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Daily Update: Howard Finkel tribute video, WWE Backstage, Raw

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

WWE makes significant cuts to staff, the XFL folds, and the life of Howard Finkel.

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SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • WWE uploaded their Howard Finkel tribute video that aired on SmackDown last night. The show also opened with a tribute graphic.
  • Dolph Ziggler, Greg Hamilton, Big E, Adam Pearce, The Miz, and Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross shared their memories of Finkel.
  • Tuesday’s episode of WWE Backstage will have an all-women’s theme. Renee Young, Paige, Ember Moon, and Beth Phoenix will be the panelists for the show, and Natalya has been announced as a guest.
  • The following programming will air on FS1 on Tuesday leading into WWE Backstage: 7 p.m. Eastern time -- The Best of WWE: Becky Lynch’s most memorable matches 8 p.m. Eastern time -- WWE 24: Revolutionary - The Year of Ronda Rousey 9 p.m. Eastern time -- The Best of WWE: Charlotte Flair’s most memorable matches 10 p.m. Eastern time -- WWE 24: Becky Lynch - The Man
  • For Monday’s Raw, WWE is teasing that Drew McIntyre will respond to Seth Rollins’ attack from this week’s show.
  • WWE stock closed the week at $40.54 per share yesterday, which was up 2.19 percent on the day.
  • Mike Bennett (Mike Kanellis) spoke to WrestleTalk about his release: “So, I mean in the sense that in my head it was always like if there is going to be releases, it’s probably going to be me and probably going to be my wife, just because my wife has been out on maternity leave and they weren’t doing anything with me. I had already asked for my release in the past, though we did work things out after that. I didn’t want it to happen during a pandemic. And I think that’s a hard thing for me to try to explain to people, not to go off topic, but there are a lot of people who are like ‘well he did ask for his release,’ which I did, but my wife never did and I want to get that clear, my wife was happy to stay there. But it’s like, you think in the back of your head, yes I did ask for my release, but no one wants to be released in the middle of a pandemic. You ask for your release when you think you can go and do other things. I asked for my release because I wasn’t working and I wanted to work.”
  • Elizabeth Myers, who is the wife of Brian Myers (Curt Hawkins), wrote a blog about her husband’s release and its impact on their family.
  • Mandy Rose posted a video responding to Sonya Deville and furthering their storyline from last night’s SmackDown.
  • Total Bellas averaged 461,000 viewers on Thursday night. The rating in the 18-49 demo was a 0.22. Those numbers were up from last week’s 454,000 viewers and 0.20 rating in 18-49.
  • Sports Business Journal published a story on the final days of the XFL.

Other Wrestling

MMA

  • Despite UFC 249 not happening on its originally scheduled date, Tony Ferguson made weight anyway yesterday. Ferguson spoke to Ariel Helwani about why it was important to him: "It wasn't just for me -- it was for my team, man, and my sponsors and obviously for my family. And just the commitment to myself to follow through with the weight cut. ... To me that says a lot more for my stock. Saying that you know what, 'I'm gonna make weight; I'm not gonna miss weight.' I have what it takes mentally to go through this fight camp. It's gonna be awesome, dude. It was such a great experience."
  • Dana White held a call with UFC fighters yesterday to address the coronavirus pandemic and how the company is handling it.
  • The UFC filed 22 trademarks for the terms “Fight Island” and “UFC Fight Island.”
  • Jon Jones hinted at wanting to face Jan Blachowicz next instead of having a rematch with Dominick Reyes.
  • Paul Felder has decided against retiring: “I can tell you that after all of this with what we’re going through, I cannot wait to fight again. Dude, I’m on this bike. I had my manager, Brian Butler, send me all these photos. I texted him last night. I said, ‘Man, I’m a little depressed.’ I’m missing my job. I’m missing my guys. I’m missing my commentary. … We’re having a great time. Family time is great. But I just miss that fire.”
  • The UFC’s YouTube channel uploaded Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald II from UFC 189.

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