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Daily Update: Cain Velasquez, CM Punk/Backstage, Lockdown

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WON NEWSLETTER: January 13, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Death of Pampero Firpo, Wrestle Kingdom 14 review

With coverage of WrestleKingdom, pro wrestling in Japan and the death of Pampero Firpo, we've got another double issue of the Observer this week.

Our lead story looks at the legacy of Pampero Firpo, one of the top stars of the 60s and 70s. We look at his character, the Randy Savage connection, the start of his career in Argentina, how he got started in the U.S. and was a star in week one, his forgotten world title win, the story behind his getting the Pampero Firpo name and the legendary boxing match it came from, his first run with Vince McMahon Sr. in 1960, his second run in 1972, the angle that turned him babyface in Detroit, and his life after wrestling working at the post office.

The issue also covers: 

The wrestling scene in Japan, wrestling around the city, the wrestling stores, the advertising, the business from the Tokyo Dome, doing two WrestleMania in two days, why it worked for New Japan and why such a great first show ended up as a handicap.  We look at what got over the biggest, probably why main roster PPVs struggle the day after blow away NXT shows, as well as tickets sold outside of Japan for he two shows and growth of the overseas audience.

New Japan's expansion into the U.S., original booking plans for 2019, how Jericho and Tanahashi were able to do an angle involving the AEW belt, the political issues between AEW and NJPW, New Japan's 2020 schedule, and the future of the junior heavyweights.

A pension fund suing WWE and why, with the story behind it as well as the launch of the XFL and its new rules, we've got DVR numbers for AEW & NXT, a wrestler who may be leaving WWE and contract status, crazy stuff  some in WWE have been brainwashed on, lots of new lineups in WWE, Punk vs. Miz, Lesnar gets honored by University of Minnesota, new WWE signing, WWE awards, Ryback's latest issues with WWE, Canadian ratings for all the top U.S. shows, WWE and Russian television plus a rundown of the holiday season house shows.

Complete rundowns of both Dome shows, with match-by-match coverage, poll results and star ratings.

Upcoming major New Japan events.

WWE's traditional biggest house show of the year, the holiday event in Madison Square Garden.

Compiled lists of the wrestlers with the most great matches from the past year, the past decade and over the course of a career. 

Regarding the Wednesday numbers, we've got full details, demos that each side won, how every segment did and what match ended up as the difference maker. 

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.

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

In Canada and Mexico, the rates are $16 for 4, $27 for 8, $38.50 for 12, $76 for 24, $126 for 40 and $162.50 for 52.

For the rest of the world, rates are $18 for 4, $48.50 for 12, $93 for 24, $155 for 40 and $201.50 for 52.

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

  • The first round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will conclude with Alex Shelley & Kushida vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake) and Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne vs. Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster taking place on tonight’s NXT. Shelley’s match will be his NXT TV debut. There will also be a number one contender’s battle royal to decide NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley’s challenger for NXT TakeOver: Portland, and a triple threat match between Lio Rush, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, and Tyler Breeze will decide one of Cruiserweight Champion Angel Garza’s challengers for a fatal four-way match at Worlds Collide. Garza’s other two challengers will be from NXT UK.
  • A 10-bell salute for Rocky Johnson was held before NXT tonight.
  • In an interview with The Sun, Cain Velasquez responded to a question about whether or not he’s going to be in this year’s Royal Rumble match: "I think I'm doing it, right, I think so. I can win it, hell yeah, that's my mentality for everything. For everyone as well, that is how your mentality has to be. I'm going in to win this thing."
  • CM Punk has been officially confirmed for next Tuesday’s episode of WWE Backstage. It will be the third time Punk has appeared on the show as an analyst.
  • Sportskeeda asked Sheamus if he contemplated retirement during his time away from the ring: “It's something that's always in the back of your mind. It's no secret that I had a couple of issues physically, a few injuries, because it is physical what we do -- and then my style as well, it trebles that, you know? There were a couple times when I thought, ‘Will I make it back in there?’ Especially when I got a concussion in that match after WrestleMania. But I used that time really really well, I went to physical therapy, started boxing, kickboxing. I got myself in the best shape possible, dropped about 40 lbs. I feel better, look better, and I've never been hungrier to get back in the ring. For me, the first 10 years were just a warm-up. This is the real deal now. I'm just starting, mate. I'm telling you, my body feels amazing. At 42 I feel better than I did at 32."
  • Becky Lynch told Sports Illustrated about her one regret from WrestleMania 35: “If I could change anything from WrestleMania, I would have tried to freakin’ sink on that armbar. Make Ronda Rousey tap out for the first time in her life.”
  • WWE announced that Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Nikki & Brie Bella, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Sonya Deville, Natalya, and Nia Jax will lead individual episodes of their “Fight Like a Girl” series on Quibi. The show is described as: “In each episode of ‘Fight Like a Girl,’ Stephanie McMahon pairs a WWE Superstar with a young woman struggling with a personal issue that has been holding her back. The WWE Superstars draw from their own life experiences to help their trainees overcome obstacles and become tougher, stronger and healthier versions of their former selves inside and out.”
  • WWE.com wrote about Kane’s appearance on tomorrow’s SmackDown: “Former WWE Champion and current Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, Kane makes his return to SmackDown this Friday for a special appearance. The Big Red Machine has competed in more Royal Rumble matches and has more eliminations than any Superstar in WWE history, and with the match on the horizon, could Kane be ready to make history once again?”
  • Today is Shane McMahon’s 50th birthday.
  • TVInsider interviewed Chelsea Green ahead of tonight’s NXT.
  • The South Florida Sun Sentinel has a story on former Miami Dolphins defensive lineman AJ Francis signing with WWE.
  • Lacey Evans was the in-studio guest on today’s episode of WWE’s The Bump.
  • Drew McIntyre and Keith Lee will appear on tomorrow’s episode of After the Bell with Corey Graves.

Other Wrestling

  • AEW is at the Watsco Center in Miami for tonight’s Bash at the Beach episode of Dynamite. Here’s what’s been announced for the show: PAC vs. Darby Allin and Jon Moxley vs. Sammy Guevara (the winners of these matches will advance to a number one contender’s match next week, with the winner of that getting a future shot at Chris Jericho’s AEW World Championship) Santana & Ortiz vs. The Young Bucks vs. Best Friends vs. Kenny Omega & Hangman Page (winning team will challenge for SCU’s AEW Tag Team titles next week) Diamond Dallas Page, Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall vs. MJF, The Butcher & The Blade Hikaru Shida & Kris Statlander vs. Brandi Rhodes & Mel Cody will respond to MJF’s proposed stipulations for a match at Revolution
  • Fite TV has a video revealing the set for Bash at the Beach.
  • AEW streamed a pre-Dynamite video with some backstage interviews before tonight’s show.
  • Impact Wrestling announced that Lockdown is returning as an Impact Plus special on Saturday, March 28. The show is taking place at St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
  • Zack Sabre Jr. has been announced for this year’s WrestleCon SuperShow. It’s taking place at The Ritz Ybor on Thursday, April 2.
  • LuFisto wrote a Facebook post clearing things up about her medical history.

MMA

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Big John Studd wins 1989 Royal Rumble

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