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Daily Update: More on XFL closure, The Revival, WWE tapings


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Are you interested in attending our annual F4W/WON convention? We will hold it during AEW Double or Nothing weekend. For more information, check this post for activities and prices.

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 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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Tonight's Smackdown show was to air "as close to live as it gets."  WWE is taping five episodes of Raw, five episodes of Smackdown, as well as many episodes of NXT this week.  Smackdown is being taped today and tomorrow. Raw is being taped Sunday and Monday. NXT will also be taped over the weekend, presumably at Full Sail while Raw & Smackdown will be taped at the Performance Center.  Rules for shutdown in Orange County are very different from California. 

Besides Sen. Dianne Feinstein being against UFC taking place in Lemoore, CA, Gov. Gavin Newsom specifically went to Disney, the parent company of ESPN, saying he didn't want the show taking place in California.  ESPN then told UFC not to run it. Dana White said that he is making plans for a Fight Island where all the fighters will be housed for one month prior to fights and they will be starting up with regular shows as soon as possible. Some day somebody is going to do a movie on a UFC promoter who gets crazier by the week.

Regarding the release of The Revival, it's what they've been wanting for a year. There is no 90-day non-compete so they would be free to be on AEW television Wednesday if it wasn't already taped more than a month ahead of time. They have since changed their names on Twitter to Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood.

On the XFL closing up, the economy has changed and opening a new sports league right now is all of a sudden not the easiest thing. If AEW had not signed their deal with TNT in January, things would be very rough on them right now, not that they aren't rough for everyone, because they are. Every company, whether it's WWE, New Japan, UFC, AEW and everyone else is going through a rough time economically as are most businesses in the U.S. Almost all employees of the league and all its teams, as well as the players, have been laid off. There were a few people still employed being needed to tie things up. The big question is how much of the $20 million deal did Oliver Luck end up making.

Signs that the XFL was closing actually came right after we finished the issuewhen Sports Business Journal reported that the league would be refunding all deposits for 2021 season tickets, which was the first sign that they were not planning to return.  At first, the league had announced that people who had tickets to games called off could use them as credit for 2021 games. When that happened, Sports Business Journal asked if they were planning on playing in 2021, and they got no answer back.


  • BT Sports will be airing WrestleMania free to their customers on this coming Saturday and Sunday nights at 10 p.m. (thanks to Colin McMillan)
  • A Sporting News interview with Bayley.
  • Taken another digit, the audience for NXT on Wednesday was 629,900 and AEW was 629,500, so the difference in viewers was 400.  The actual difference was in the first ten minutes of the show where the much larger rated USA Network gave NXT ten much bigger minutes before it fell into a more normal range starting around minute 11.



  • Update on Wednesday's show is Jon Moxley vs. Jake Hager for the AEW title, Kip Sabian vs. Chuckie T, Colt Cabana vs. Lance Archer in the TNT tournament, plus a match with Britt Baker.


  • Kevin Sullivan was on Jim Cornette's podcast and denied ever giving Nancy Toffoloni a black eye, and said that she spent three days in jail for coming after him with a knife. He said the two of them were living apart and if Nancy had a black eye, it came from someone else.
  • Impact finishes taping today and will be taping the planned Rebellion PPV, which now looks to be one or two episodes of the television show.  The planned card is looking like it would have to change based on people not coming into Nashville this week for taping.
  • ROH did a fan voting tournament for its best wrestler in history with 27 former ROH champions and five others. Bryan Danielson beat C.M. Punk in the finals. Danielson in the tournament beat Colt Cabana, Austin Aries, A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe to reach the finals.
  • Tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. today for the Defy Wrestling/Progress/PCW Ultra joint shows on 7/30 in Los Angeles at the ILWU Hall, 7/31 and 8/1 in Seattle at Washington Hall.  Tickets for the 8/2 show in Portland, OR at the Crystal Ballroom go on sale at a later date. 
  • MLW airs the first show of its MLW vs. AAA series taped on 3/13 in Tijuana tomorrow night.  Alexander Hammerstone vs. Laredo Kid for the national title headlines.
  • An article on the Bruno Sammartino documentary. (thanks to Chris Cruise)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Jeff Hardy wins WWF Intercontinental title