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Daily Update: Raw, Kerwin Silfies, Georgia reopening


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

The life and times of Howard Finkel in the most details article on his life and wrestling career, as well as coverage of one of the biggest news weeks in the history of the industry highlight the current issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We go through WWE financials to look at cash on hand, cash available, the decision to continue tapings and the schedule which has since changed, why they made the call, the cuts, the Florida decision to make WWE an essential service, why, how the Governor's explanation makes no sense at all, what WWE did that make no sense health wise, reactions from other companies in the industry, the story behind the WWE's first Coronavirus positive and how the story the talent got and the public got were different.  We also look at the stories behind the cuts, looking at who different companies may or may not want, some NXT releases, sports owners look at WWE decisions, the monthly cost savings of talent cuts, and the first Corona virus death in pro wrestling.

In our story on Howard Finkel, we trace his career from his first connection with the McMahons in 1977, his first MSG ring announcing date, his late 70s ring announcing, his attempts to be a TV announcer, the decisions to take him off television, WWE doing national, his being the butt of Vince McMahon's jokes, his taking a blood test for Hulk Hogan, many in the business talk about Finkel, as well as angles he worked.

The new issue also covers:

AEW and UFC plans going forward.

Folding of the XFL, how it was handled, who did and didn't know, biggest creditors and why the decision to shut down was likely made.

Departure of the Revival and their new names, Bill Goldberg gives a WrestleMania blow-by-blow and talks Roman Reigns, DVR viewership of Raw, Ronda Rousey compares WWE to UFC, compares methods of pay, talks unionization, Rousey's last UFC contract terms, wrestlers respond to Rousey saying wrestling was fake, Lawler controversy, Canadian ratings, cruiserweight title tournament, UFC star talks going to WWE full-time in a few years, Dwayne Johnson talks pro wrestling, and most-watched shows on the WWE Network.

An explanation as to why UFC was so desperate to get back up and running.

The meeting between the Japanese government and many of the major business players and top stars in Japanese wrestling.  We look at who presided over it which explains why it happened, the talks on COVID-19, ability to return, plans to return and more.

The AEW vs. NXT battle and go through different demos, and how the viewers reacted to the different key matches.

Update on the matches scheduled for the Money in the Bank show.

Kevin Sullivan responding to Dark Side of the Ring, alleging Nancy stabbed him, as well as a planned WCW angle and how Chris Benoit came to ECW and then WCW.

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.

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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 with Wrestling Observer Radio, talking about the death of Joe Pedicino, Raw, and the rest of the news. You can send questions to the show to but please limit the questions so subjects revolving around news of the past week.

Conrad Thompson in his podcast with Jim Ross noted that Kerwin Silfies, who had been a TV director from WWF dating back to the mid-80s, was furloughed.  WWE has not confirmed or denied this as of this writing.

The only thing we're told from Raw is that there is a "weird name" scheduled for multiple segments. 

A quick thanks to everyone for their nice comments on the story on Howard Finkel in the current issue of the Observer.

Georgia is likely to open up for wrestling as Governor Bran Kemp told a news conference today that gyms, bowling alleys, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and other similar businesses can open on Friday.  He also ordered hospitals to allow elective surgeries and that some restaurants and theaters can open up but with distancing guidelines in place. 


  • The New York Post ran a story about how WWE released Dan Matha, who had suffered a hole in the back of his head after an auto accident recently.  Matha has said he is looking to continue his career in wrestling.
  • BT Sports released this video of every WWWF/WWF/WWE champion from Buddy Rogers to Drew McIntyre.
  • John "Jack" Lotz, a New York State Athletic commission boxing and wrestling referee for 36 years, who was the third man in Bob Backlund's win over Superstar Billy Graham for the WWWF title and Hulk Hogan's WWF title win over Iron Sheik, passed away Saturday at the age of 86. 


  • AEW may be taping again in a few weeks with both Florida and Georgia opening up.  At least one talent that had not appeared at the last set of tapings is going into quarantine for two weeks to get ready to return.
  • Announced for Dark tomorrow is Penelope Ford vs. Anna Jay and Cody vs. Joe Alonzo.  Dynamite on Wednesday has Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara and Kip Sabian vs. Dustin Rhodes in the TNT tournament with Rhodes vowing to retire if he loses, plus Orange Cassidy makes his debut against Jimmy Havoc and Matt Hardy appears from the Hardy Compound.      


  • Impact's Rebellion PPV show, which was canceled but turned into two weeks of television, starts tomorrow with Ken Shamrock vs. Sami Callihan, Ace Austin vs. Willie Mack for the X title, Keira Hogan vs. Kyle Rae, and Tommy Dreamer & Rhino & Mystery partner vs. Dave & Jake Crist & Mad Man Pondo plus Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz vs TJP & Fallah Bahh vs. Acey Romero & Larry D in a three-way tag match.
  • Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis-Bennett, who were among the talent released, said that they would be making an announcement tonight.
  • Steve Johnson has a story on the death of Dick Steinborn.
  • MLW announced a television deal with MBC, the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation.  MLW Fusion will start on the station shortly. MBC broadcasts in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Agalega.
  • Disney+ is adding the movie "The Princess Bride," which Andre the Giant appeared in a  starring role in and loved the movie and the cast members in the movie loved him.
  • Dark Side of the Ring tomorrow night will be doing a feature on Dino Bravo's murder. Unlike previous subjects they have done that have been heavily covered, the Bravo death, believed to be at the hands of the mob, has not been covered very much in-depth elsewhere so there could be a lot of new material.
  • After all the controversy from the show "After Dark" last week on the Jimmy Snuka case, the TV lists aren't listing an episode tomorrow. (thanks to Joe Puccio)
  • USA Wrestling has announced that all events through 7/1 have been postponed. Previously events had been postponed through 5/10.
  • Jason Agnew has interviews with myself and Mickie James, as well as with Paul "Big Show" Wight.
  • Bob Tiedermann, the highly successful New Jersey high school wrestling coach, who guided Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow to a third-place finish in the state’s heavyweight division, passed away. (thanks to Steve Feitl)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: AWA WrestleRock 1986