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Daily Update: Dave Hebner, Ric Flair, Bobby Lashley

Hebner tributes, Flair will manage Andrade in Puerto Rico this August, and more.

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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter: June 20, 2022 Observer Newsletter: Vince McMahon under investigation by WWE Board of Directors

One of the most important wrestling news stories in years is taking place right now and is the lead story in the new issue of the Observer out today. The issue has:

  • Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis, the alleged payouts, the key aspect of the story, how the story broke, notes on the investigation, the prior burial of Stephanie McMahon, the timing of her leaving, the firm handling the investigation, and what happens next.
  • Jeff Hardy arrested, more details, AEW response and more
  • Update on AEW Forbidden Door show and fan interest levels
  • The career of Keiji Muto with his retirement announcement
  • Report on the changes to the 2022 G1 Climax tournament
  • Issues with top AEW talent in G1 this year
  • Update on WWE Money in the Bank and ticket interest levels
  • UFC 275--coverage of one of the greatest fights in MMA history, business notes and poll coverage
  • New Japan Dominion coverage, match-by-match with star ratings, storylines, business notes and poll results
  • Cyberfight show
  • College athletes that WWE signed this week to NIL deals
  • How the death of Hana Kimura led to a change in Japanese laws on cyberbullying
  • Pro wrestling TV ratings over the past week
  • Notes on the oldest tradition in wrestling, now in its 89th year
  • The family tag team tournament update
  • News from this week's Triplemania
  • Key Stardom rule
  • Dream trios match of Triple Crown champions
  • Early notes on N-1 tournament
  • Movie on famous pro wrestling family
  • NWA 74th anniversary show
  • 70s and 80s star doing autobiography
  • One of the year's best independent matches
  • Ticket sale updates for all the major pro wrestling and UFC shows
  • AEW injury update and story
  • FTR managed by Bet Hart
  • Politics of Forbidden Door show
  • International TV ratings
  • AEW stars announcing MMA
  • New major UFC fights and this week's card
  • Another major UFC retirement
  • News for those who get Peacock free
  • Notes on Paige being dropped by WWE
  • Roman Reigns schedule
  • Oliver Luck vs. Vince McMahon trial
  • Ronda Rousey talks the one MMA fight she would still do and how it almost happened years ago and why it didn't

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter: May 4, 2005 Observer Newsletter: WrestleMania 21 breaks records, TNA Lockdown review

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.

Saturday News Update

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WWE

  • Following the passing of Dave Hebner, WWE.com posted an article extending its condolences to Hebner’s family, friends, and fans:
    • WWE is saddened to learn that long-time referee David Hebner has passed away.
    • Throughout a storied career, Hebner found himself at the center of some of WWE’s most iconic moments. Hebner officiated the classic showdown between Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III, and the clash between Savage and Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania V.
    • Hebner and his brother Earl helped author one of the most memorable moments in WWE history when Andre The Giant and Hogan met on WWE Main Event for the WWE Title in 1988. With Dave locked in a closet, Earl and ‘Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase laid a trap for The Hulkster. As Dave joined Earl in the ring, he had the befuddled Hogan seeing double in disbelief.
    • Following the conclusion of his impressive officiating career, Hebner would work for WWE in a backstage capacity until 2005.
    • WWE extends its condolences to Hebner’s family, friends and fans.
  • Paul “Triple H” Levesque tweeted: “I’m saddened to hear of the passing of Dave Hebner. My thoughts are with Earl and the entire Hebner family at this time.”
  • Inside Edition ran a story on Vince McMahon stepping down from his CEO and chairman positions until the WWE Board of Directors’ misconduct investigation is complete.
  • On WWE Table for 3, Bobby Lashley discussed how The Hurt Business provided a different representation of Black talent than WWE had seen before:
    • We were able to give our audience a different look at black talent because, before, it was always like you had to be militant, or dancing, or you had to be this or that. I was like, ‘No, man. All of us make good money. We carry ourselves in a certain way so we don’t have to be thugs, we don’t have to be this, we don’t have to be that,’ we can show kids such as my son and kids growing up that these three black athletes that are very talented, they can do anything else, but at the same time, they’re not a thug, they’re not tap dancing, they’re not doing any of this.
    • We’re dressing nice and that was one thing we made sure that we did all the time is come as the character that we wanted to be which was professionals; that’s where the ‘business’ part came into it. I loved everything about it and I think it transcended so many different areas that we want, that we got locked into, and I think so many people saw that. I got a couple messages on Instagram, they took pictures of their son like, ‘My son went in the closet, put on a little suit after he saw you.’ That’s incredible, that made me feel good.
  • Drew McIntyre, Raquel Rodriguez, and Madcap Moss were interviewed on The SmackDown LowDown (formerly known as Talking Smack) this week.
  • Sam Roberts appeared on the latest episode of WWE After the Bell.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded John Cena vs. Kane in a no DQ match from the March 26, 2018 episode of Raw, Becky Lynch & Natalya vs. Charlotte Flair & Dana Brooke from Money in the Bank 2016, and Brock Lesnar vs. Kofi Kingston from Beast in the East 2015.

Other Wrestling

  • Earl Hebner paid tribute to his twin brother Dave: “My true partner in crime. Friends. Road partners. Brothers. 73. 73 years, the good Lord gave us. We were on the road for 30+years, it's like we never got a divorce. I feel like I lost half my life. I love you very much , David. We will never count each other out, we will always be together.”
  • Brian Hebner tweeted about his uncle Dave’s passing: “I’m so sad. Just don’t really know what to say. Today we lost one of the good ones…….My uncle David. He was one of the best humans in the world. Thank you all for all the outpouring of messages and support. This is a tough one. I Love You Uncle David. God got a good one.”
  • Ric Flair will be managing Andrade El Idolo in a match against Carlito in Puerto Rico on Saturday, August 6: “On August 6th In San Juan, Puerto Rico, The Nature Boy Will Be Managing The Great @AndradeElIdolo Against Carlito Colón. Make No Mistake- There Will Be Blood, Sweat, And Tears! Carlos, You’ve Felt The Pain. On August 6th, Carlito Will Too! WOOOOO!”
  • While speaking with Sports Illustrated ahead of tomorrow’s Impact Wrestling Slammiversary pay-per-view, D’Lo Brown was asked if he ever envisioned that he would have the type of longevity in pro wrestling that he has: “No, not at all. I never thought I had connectability with the audience. Then everything in my career changed forever when Ron Simmons gave me a piece of advice. He said it doesn’t matter if all you’re getting is 30 seconds on camera, but you need to find a way to steal that moment. To steal a line from Tupac, I made sure all eyes were on me, no matter who was out there with me. That’s how I got noticed, and then I learned that one of the hardest aspects of the business is longevity. But I had great mentors and role models, which played a big part of my success.”
  • Tom Hannifan interviewed Scott D’Amore, Eric Young, and Chris Sabin ahead of Slammiversary.
  • Daniel Garcia appeared on Talk is Jericho this week.
  • The Complex Unsanctioned Podcast interviewed Mercedes Martinez.
  • Marina Shafir was the guest on this week’s edition of AEW Unrestricted.