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Daily Update: Britt Baker, FS1 ratings, PFL

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WON NEWSLETTER: April 20, 2020 Observer Newsletter: WWE cuts staff, XFL folds, death of Howard Finkel

The life and times of Howard Finkel in the most details article on his life and wrestling career, as well as coverage of one of the biggest news weeks in the history of the industry highlight the current issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We go through WWE financials to look at cash on hand, cash available, the decision to continue tapings and the schedule which has since changed, why they made the call, the cuts, the Florida decision to make WWE an essential service, why, how the Governor's explanation makes no sense at all, what WWE did that make no sense health wise, reactions from other companies in the industry, the story behind the WWE's first Coronavirus positive and how the story the talent got and the public got were different. We also look at the stories behind the cuts, looking at who different companies may or may not want, some NXT releases, sports owners look at WWE decisions, the monthly cost savings of talent cuts, and the first Corona virus death in pro wrestling.

In our story on Howard Finkel, we trace his career from his first connection with the McMahons in 1977, his first MSG ring announcing date, his late 70s ring announcing, his attempts to be a TV announcer, the decisions to take him off television, WWE doing national, his being the butt of Vince McMahon's jokes, his taking a blood test for Hulk Hogan, many in the business talk about Finkel, as well as angles he worked.

The new issue also covers:

AEW and UFC plans going forward.

Folding of the XFL, how it was handled, who did and didn't know, biggest creditors and why the decision to shut down was likely made.

Departure of the Revival and their new names, Bill Goldberg gives a WrestleMania blow-by-blow and talks Roman Reigns, DVR viewership of Raw, Ronda Rousey compares WWE to UFC, compares methods of pay, talks unionization, Rousey's last UFC contract terms, wrestlers respond to Rousey saying wrestling was fake, Lawler controversy, Canadian ratings, cruiserweight title tournament, UFC star talks going to WWE full-time in a few years, Dwayne Johnson talks pro wrestling, and most-watched shows on the WWE Network.

An explanation as to why UFC was so desperate to get back up and running.

The meeting between the Japanese government and many of the major business players and top stars in Japanese wrestling. We look at who presided over it which explains why it happened, the talks on COVID-19, ability to return, plans to return and more.

The AEW vs. NXT battle and go through different demos, and how the viewers reacted to the different key matches.

Update on the matches scheduled for the Money in the Bank show.

Kevin Sullivan responding to Dark Side of the Ring, alleging Nancy stabbed him, as well as a planned WCW angle and how Chris Benoit came to ECW and then WCW.

Full coverage of all the WWE and AEW television shows from the past week.

In-depth looks at the ratings of all the major shows, the key demos and quarters for AEW and WWE, what happened head-to-head and what can be learned from them.

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 

ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to dave@wrestlingobserver.com or by going to www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • WWE posted on their social media just prior to tonight's NXT: "Ahead of tonight’s episode of #WWENXT, officials have learned of a possible incident involving @FinnBalor inside the @WWENXT locker room. This is a developing story, more information will be provided when available."
  • Mike Chioda, who had been employed by WWE for 35 years prior to his release last week, commented on his firing on Twitter: “Want To Say Thanks To the WWE & To All My AMAZING WWE FANS & Universe! 35yrs & 31yrs Refereeing Working for the WWE has been a FANTASTIC RUN!! I Am So PROUD to have Worked with So Many ICONS & AMAZING TALENT IN THIS INDUSTRY!! I THANK YOU ALL!! 1Luv!”
  • Fox Sports 1 ratings had Becky’s Lynch’s five most favorable moments (9:00 pm) drawing 299,000 viewers, while the WWE 24 documentary on Ronda Rousey (8:00 pm) drew 214,000 viewers. The WWE 24 special on Becky Lynch and WWE Backstage did not chart the top 150 most watched cable shows for the night.
  • Muscle and Fitness has an interview with Bianca Belair.
  • Dakota Kai talked to CBS Local Sports and the Sporting News about working during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Mandy Rose talked to Metro UK about her storyline with Otis and the chemistry they share.
  • WWE added The Big Show vs. The Great Khali from Backlash 2008 and The New Day vs. The Usos vs. Lucha Dragons in a triple threat ladder match from WWE TLC 2015.

Other Wrestling

  • Britt Baker appeared on today’s episode of Talk is Jericho. Baker spoke about people saying she stole her “role model” gimmick from Bayley (via Post Wrestling): “While we’re on the topic of that, no, we did not steal the ‘Role Model’ from Bayley because that’s like a daily thing and I know we’ve talked about it too, how the inspiration came from you, from Chris Jericho for the ‘Role Model’ gimmick. I’m not… I don’t wanna say I don’t know totally what’s going on with RAW and SmackDown because I try to stay in touch with it but at the same time, I’m a dentist and a professional wrestler. I don’t know every single storyline or [what’s] going on each week. So, it wasn’t until I actually said the words ‘Role Model’ on TV and then I got the Bayley army coming at me. ‘You’re stealing her gimmick’ [like] I even knew she was calling herself that too. Granted, totally different uses of the words, totally different gimmicks as we call it. But I just kinda wanted to set the record straight that no, we didn’t steal that from anybody. Well I stole it from you [Chris Jericho], not from her.”
  • Billy Caputo, a former referee for the WWE and a former NYSAC official, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 72.
  • Darby Allin was interviewed by Sports Illustrated ahead of his TNT Championship tournament first round match against Sammy Guevara airing on Dynamite tonight.
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH announced that they have canceled all of their events for May.
  • Vice TV released the trailer for next week’s Dark Side of the Ring episode. It’s focused on David Schultz and him slapping 20/20 reporter John Stossel.
  • David Penzer tweeted about returning to Impact Wrestling: “Thanks for the nice wishes tonight. Not sure how long this ride will last but I'm going to work hard and enjoy being home again! @IMPACTWRESTLING @ScottDAmore” Scott D’Amore also posted a tweet welcoming Penzer back to Impact.
  • The BBC has a story of luchadores sewing face masks during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Gia Miller, a 22 year old pro wrestler in the Alabama area, made her debut as an Impact interviewer last night.
  • Epico and Primo will make their first appearances post-WWE for a scheduled Legends of the Ring convention on October 3 in South Iselin, New Jersey. They will be appearing as The Colons as well as under their former Los Matadores personas.

MMA

  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk talked to ESPN about her legacy.
  • PFL CEO Pete Murray told Fansided that the organization has made roster cuts but is keeping “the significant majority, over two-thirds” of their fighters. Murray said about the cuts: “We haven’t announced those fighters, so we’re not at liberty to share all those details. But the Coronavirus had an impact on businesses in all industries including sports and we’ve had to make some difficult decisions during a very difficult time.”
  • Brett Okamoto of ESPN is reporting that the PFL is paying a $1,000 a month stipend to athletes.
  • Paige VanZant still has plans to fight.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Goldust wins WWF Intercontinental title

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