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Daily Update: Jerry Lawler, ROH & MLW statements, NWA

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WON NEWSLETTER: April 13, 2020 Observer Newsletter: UFC postpones all future shows, WrestleMania 36 review

The battle to keep UFC 249 alive is the lead story in our annual WrestleMania double issue, which shows how big a story that became. 

We look at how a U.S Senator, government agencies, doctors and Dana White all chimed in and what killed plans for the show next week. We look at the fighters who dropped out of the top two bouts, the reaction locally, the commission, how the association of commissions didn't back the California commission, how UFC was to be regulated, what happens next, what the doctors said, the business reasons behind why UFC pushed so hard for the show, and what the show originally had.

The new issue also covers:

The wrestling industry going forward after WrestleMania, with a look at WWE, AEW, Impact, MLW and New Japan and what has and hasn't been taped, who returns to WWE this week, Money in the Bank, Double or Nothing, AEW California crew wrestling, and more.

WrestleMania with a look at the good and the bad of the show, business numbers, the stories of the different unique matches, Roman Reigns update, television ratings for the prelims, and media criticism. We also have match-by-match coverage of both nights with poll results.

President Trump's meeting with the key players in the sports world including Vince McMahon and Dana White as well as others talking about when or if spectator sports can return.

The key numbers to look for at the next WWE investors call, new WWE TV deals, Paul Levesque talks Wednesday night ratings, Michael Cole's new role, WWE new documentaries including thoughts on the Edge documentary, new angles, Drew McIntyre talks about a number of subjects, new WWE movie, NXT booking, Kurt Angle talks Brock Lesnar, C.M. Punk talks Vince McMahon, FS 1 TV block, TV sports ratings, Charlotte Flair talks WrestleMania, WWE market value and the most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

A story on one of the strangest lawsuits you'll ever see against Dana White.

A story on the break-in of the home of Anthony Smith.

A huge back-of-the-book story on the life of Danno O'Mahoney, one of the biggest short-term drawing cards in pro wrestling history. We go back to the 1930s, the politics that led to the creation of O'Mahoney, how Paul Bowser put the plan in place, the story of Jim Londos, the biggest drawing card in U.S. history and his role in this, some of the biggest matches in wrestling history and why the O'Mahoney vs. Shikat match changed the industry for a dozen years after and some historians call it the most important match in history. It's all here, creation of world titles, promotions not getting along, in-ring double-crossess, stadium shows and the tragic story about how happy ever after end up lasting five weeks.

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.

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • Jerry Lawler calling Akira Tozawa’s senton on last night’s Raw a “Ramen Noodle moonsault” was edited out of the Hulu edition of the show. NXT’s Rachael Evers seemingly tweeted about what Lawler said last night: “Just a casual reminder that being a racist is not ok. Thanks for listening to my Ted talk. Have a great night.”
  • Mandy Rose & Otis, Big Show, Christian, Io Shirai, and IRS (Mike Rotunda) have been announced as guests for tomorrow’s episode of WWE’s The Bump. That’s in addition to William Regal appearing on the show and giving an update on the state of the NXT Tag Team title picture.
  • In an interview with CBS Sports, Alexa Bliss discussed Ronda Rousey’s recent comments about pro wrestling: "I'll just start by saying I like Ronda. We've always gotten along, I have a lot of respect for her and what she does and what she's been through. What she does in MMA and UFC, I've always been super supportive and everything like that. It was just the use of the word 'fake.' Especially because we welcomed Ronda with open arms. We all wanted to see her succeed, and whenever we would have a match, we would respect her UFC background and respect how she did certain things. We wanted to make an amazing story with amazing matches while meshing both styles of WWE and UFC together. I thought every girl that worked with her did an amazing job of that. But, with that, we had a whole documentary based on my concussions and how I didn't know if I was ever going to be medically-cleared. The thing is, you know, you're only as good as the person you're in the ring with. When you kind of bash the fans who were always really supportive and say what we do is fake, it's kind of disrespectful when we were so respectful of what she did coming in and we were respectful of her in WWE. Everyone was willing to help her succeed, you know? She did a lot for us, but we also did a lot for her. A lot of bodies laid on the path she walked on. So, to say what we do is fake is really unfair. Yes, the finish is scripted, we say that; it's protagonist, antagonist and conflict resolution. It's a story we're telling. My whole thing is ... if she comes back to WWE? Great. We would all love to work with her again, I'm sure. Just limit the use of the 'F-word.’”
  • While appearing on Booker T’s Hall of Fame podcast, Christian was asked if Edge’s return gives him any hope of being able to make an in-ring comeback: "I mean, it's one of those things, right? It's a completely different injury. You know... I'm pretty content with all that I've accomplished in WWE. I've pretty much accomplished everything I've ever wanted to do, except main event WrestleMania, and let's be honest -- how many people actually get a chance to do that? It's one of those... I'm 46 years old, you know... and I had some concussion issues. It's just a matter of... you know, I don't see it happening. I'm medically disqualified. I just don't... I'm not sure how I would ever get cleared."
  • WWE and Ad Council have partnered together to release PSAs that stress the importance of practicing good hygiene during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Ronda Rousey vs. Nia Jax from Money in the Bank 2018.

Other Wrestling

  • ROH’s Joe Koff and MLW’s Court Bauer both issued statements to Post Wrestling saying they aren’t considering running shows in Florida right now despite pro wrestling being deemed essential.
  • Koff: “I think it’s great for WWE that they are able to operate how they see fit, or how they may even need to for their business. It doesn’t necessarily change our approach to the pandemic though. The safety of all of our performers, staff, vendors, and fans are the most important thing to us right now and we are continuing to improve our infrastructure and find ways to connect with them during this time. Are we eager to get back? Absolutely. For now, we will be monitoring day by day.”
  • Bauer: “No. I will not put my athletes, crew and staff along with their families at risk of contracting the virus.”
  • The NWA streamed the build to the 2019 Crockett Cup at 6:05 p.m. Eastern time tonight, leading into the 2019 Crockett Cup event airing on their YouTube channel at 7 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. Next Tuesday, Kamille’s first match for the NWA will premiere and the NWA is promoting that Kamille will speak for the first time.
  • NJPW president Harol Meij wrote an open letter to fans that was posted yesterday:

As I’m sure you’re aware, last week we announced the cancellation of the remainder of the events on the Road to Dontaku Tour. Our latest 12 cancellations from April 19 in Korakuen to May 4 in Fukuoka join other events already cancelled from March 1 onward.

I know how much of a disappointment this is to fans who were looking forward to attending these events. Ticket holders are all being refunded however, and as we closely monitor the situation with regards to events after May 4, ticket sales have been suspended or delayed accordingly to make the process as easy as possible for fans.

NJPW have been taking the ongoing global situation very seriously from an early stage. Currently over 90% of our employees are working from home as we continue to do our civic duty as a company to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We, like you, are disappointed and frustrated at not being able to present the best professional wrestling on the planet on a live basis at the current moment in time.

As a result, we want you to join us in preventing the spread of this disease. Please wash your hands and gargle regularly. If you’re in essential work, we sincerely appreciate you and ask that you take precautions to stay safe and healthy; otherwise, please stay home and watch the wealth of content available as part of the NJPW World Together Project, from archived matches with English commentary for the first time to the fantastic My Dad Is A Heel Wrestler movie. Together we can make a powerful tag team that can kick out of this, or any other crisis.

We are always proud of the greatest fan base in the world. Particularly in this uncertain environment, we are especially grateful to fans that have shown their support for New Japan Pro-Wrestling even without being able to see live events. Every Tokon Shop customer and NJPW World subscriber has our deepest gratitude, and the appreciation of every single NJPW staff member and wrestler.

Make no mistake: we will get through this together. I firmly believe that the fighting spirit of New Japan Pro-Wrestling is one that can overcome any opposition. I look forward to the day the greatest wrestlers in the world can show that spirit in the ring once more.

MMA

  • Daniel Cormier spoke about the precautions the UFC had planned for the broadcasters of UFC 249: “So they called me, told me the procedures in terms of what was going to happen, you know I’m a guy when go places, generally I’m not by myself. Somebody goes or I’ve got friends and I take them to the fights or if I’ve got a friend in the town that we’re fighting I invite them to the fight. So being in California, one of the biggest worries for me was, no one can go with you. Like nobody. They said ‘DC, you’ve got to come alone. You’re going to check into the hotel, they’re going to screen you and make sure you’re okay, do everything. Then you’re going to go into the arena, call the fights, and then you’re going to leave.’ In terms of what they were going to do to try and protect us, it was crazy. [Joe] Rogan, myself, and [Jon] Anik - the octagon has eight sides - we would each be on a different side of the octagon just to make sure we were social distancing away from each other. By the time I was done with this conversation, I felt like I was almost safer at the event than I am anywhere else because it’s only people that are OK, we’re all away from each other, and then you go and get paid, and you’re there for a day. I could have drove up Saturday morning, called the fights, drove home Saturday night. It was perfect for me.”
  • Ariel Helwani did a live chat with Georges St-Pierre today.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Mickie James wins WWE Women's title

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