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Daily Update: Matt Riddle, Raw notes, Tokyo restrictions ending


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WON NEWSLETTER: May 25, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Death of Shad Gaspard

A story on the life of Shad Gaspard is the lead in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 

We cover the circumstances of his tragic death, notes from his family and friends, his acting career, his childhood, his thoughts about MMA, what world champion MMA fighter did he tell to pursue MMA before pro wrestling, and look at his wrestling career.

Whether Vince McMahon is doing an end-around to get out of paying people money owed and then restarting the league.  We look at why the people he owes money to believe that is the case.

The new issue also covers:

A preview for Double or Nothing II.

Update SummerSlam, more on Ric Flair's new deal, more on Drew Gulak leaving WWE, brand-to-brand changes, IC title tournament, key person in directing television shows leaving, Backlash update, In Your House update, Jim Cornette's comments on Becky Lynch and Dana Brooke, Seth Rollins and Dana Brooke respond, Glenn Jacobs talks shutting down businesses, WWE star nominated for major sorts award, Lio Rush talks leaving WWE, Nikki Bella talks her back, sports ratings for the past week, Canadian ratings for recent weeks, top amateur star talks going to WWE, WWE market value right now and the most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

Complete coverage of this past week's UFC show.

A feature on the career of Kevin Randleman, the newest UFC Hall of Fame inductee, nothing his amateur wrestling days, his fighting days and his pro wrestling days.  We look at his most famous fights and biggest pro wrestling matches.

A lot more looking back 21 years ago to the tragic death of Owe Hart. We look at comments by Martha Hart and Jerry McDevitt and go back through the legal proceedings.

The highest television rating for any pro wrestling match in history and the legend of Kim Il, a forgotten South Korean sports legend.

The movie "My Dad is a Heel Wrestler," starring Hiroshi Tanahashi.

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 or by going to directing funds to

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.


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Bryan and I will be back tonight for Wrestling Observer Radio covering Raw and the latest wrestling news. You can send email questions for the show to

The state of emergency restrictions in Tokyo are being lifted. Buildings will be reopened for sports events.  As far as pro wrestling is concerned, we haven't heard anything directly but there should be some news in the next few days.

Tonight's Raw will have NXT wrestlers and company staff acting as fans. They needed something new because with the head-to-head competition of the season debut of Titan Games, which stars Dwayne Johnson, on NBC, that could have brought numbers down to record lows coming off last week's second lowest in history performance. The MVP lounge with Drew McIntyre plus Nia Jax vs  Natalya vs. Charlotte Flair for the next Raw women's title shot at Asuka is on the show. 

Also announced for Raw is Ric Flair giving his thoughts on the Randy Orton/Edge match prior to Backlash and an interview with WWE 24/7 champion Rob Gronkowski.

Matt Riddle's main roster debut right now is scheduled to be imminent, so his cage match with Timothy Thatcher could either be his blow-off or lead to it. 

There was a hilarious Vanguard One funeral on BTE that came out today. Actually the most newsworthy is that Marty Scurll does a cameo in the final segment and The Young Bucks wore an ugly outfit that was basically a spoof on one of the comedy outfits WWE creative came up with for The Revival on the way out. 

There are a lot of questions about the future of the TV show Terrace House after the suicide death of Hana Kimura this past weekend. 

Independent wrestling shows with crowds took place over the weekend in Tennessee.  Bert Prentice ran USA Championship Wrestling on Friday night in Dickson, TN before 150 fans with city officials on hand to make sure everything ran according to guidelines.  Prentice also ran Saturday in Jackson, TN also with a city official present. Greg Anthony's Pro Wrestling Mid South ran Saturday night in Dyersburg, TN at the Herb Welch Wrestleplex before 100 fans were shut down at intermission when local police came, allegedly after being tipped off by a rival promotion complaining about them running a show with crowds. There was a new order that allows noncontact sporting events and activities and other social gatherings but also had this wording which seems to ban pro wrestling, and now everyone doesn't know whether it's allowable. This was the ruling that got Anthony's show shut down:

"Contact sporting events and activities, where there is a requirement or substantial likelihood of routine close contact and adequate social distancing is not feasible, are prohibited, but this does not apply to collegiate or professional sports conducted under the rules or guidelines of their respective governing bodies.  This also does not prohibit training or otherwise practicing the elements of such sports that do not involve close contact with persons."


  • WWE is taping Raw & Smackdown for this week today and will tape next week's shows tomorrow.
  • The next episode of Undertaker's Last Ride will air on 6/14 on the WWE network.
  • There is no Dark Side of the Ring new episode, but there will be an After Dark episode at 9:30 p.m. talking about Owen Hart. So WWE will be unopposed this week on FS1 tomorrow and run the Florida Championship Wrestling documentary at 10 p.m. which previously aired on the WWE Network.
  • Kurt Angle referees Matt Riddle vs.Timothy Thatcher in a cage match on NXT next week as well as a three-way with Kushida vs. Drake Maverick vs. Jake Atlas for the A block in the cruiserweight classic tournament, an angle with Adam Cole likely to set up the NXT Takeover title match as well as Charlotte Flair & mystery partner vs. Io Shirai & Rhea Ripley.


  • Frankie Edgar vs. Pedro Munhoz has been added to the 7/11 UFC lineup.


  • Mike Tyson will be on Wednesday's show that will also include a Battle Royal for the first shot at Cody's TNT title, as well as the announcement of the date of  Fyter Fest, which will headline  with Jon Moxley vs. Brian Cage for the AEW title.
  • Matt's wife Dana said that he has a broken rib. What I was told is that Matt wasn't getting X-rays because he wants to avoid the hospital but that it feels the same as when he fractured a rib in the past. This injury took place on a stadium dive last Wednesday and he worked with it on Friday night when filming Stadium Stampede.


  • An interview with me about my career.
  • PCW in Melbourne has announced a 6/27 show but with governmental rules attendance will be limited to the first 50 people. 
  • ROH is doing a trivia night on Thursday at 7 p.m. Eastern on Zoom.  Any one or team interested in playing can e-mail  Deadline to sign up is 9 a.m. Thursday morning and teams should be 3-10 players..
  • Bill Apter talks to Al Snow about Shad Gaspard, who he helped train.
  • Mick Foley has a nice story about how he was trained in the past by woman wrestler Susan Sexton.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: First AEW Double or Nothing