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WON NEWSLETTER: August 17, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Life and career of James 'Kamala' Harris, more

A look at the life of James "Kamala" Harris, one of pro wrestling's biggest stars of the 80s, and Daniel Cormier, one of the biggest MMA stars of all-time, are the lead stories in the current issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

The Kamala story goes through how he got the Kamala gimmick, who came up with the idea, the story around the video that instantly made him a star, how Kamala worked in that time but wouldn't now, how he was as a draw against Hulk Hogan, his late life health issues, his original meeting with Bobo Brazil, how he started watching wrestling, his pre-Kamala  career, going to Europe, how J.J. Dillon was a key in getting him over and a look weekly at the first Memphis run that made him a big star.

His rivalry with Andre the Giant and how it was ugly early on, the feud with Bruiser Brody and every WWF run.  We look at his career peak in 1986-87 and the gates and payoffs he got, his working Mexico, his last big WWF run, and the declines of his health.

Daniel Cormier's quest for the storybook ending, others who tried to have that ending, the greatest heavyweight of all-time, his tragic upbringing, growing up as a wrestler, competing with Cael Sanderson, his Olympic dream crushed, his MMA beginnings, his word title wins, and more building the fight with Stipe Miocic.

Also in this issue:

Return of ROH to action, what the new TV will be about, the creative involved, testing and more.

How Kevin Reilly is one of the key people who fell into place and without him there would be no AEW.  We look at the changes in TNT management including a unique note about Reilly's successor.

A scary scene at NXT tapings, Dwayne Johnson's earnings for the year, New contracts signed in WWE, Sports ratings, U.K. ratings and Canadian ratings, Lawler 50th anniversary sow, WWE market value, and most-watched shows on WWE Network.

WWE moving TV into the Amway Center, Takeover and SummerSlam news updates and creative.

COVID updates from Japan, with many shows canceled this past week, why they were, and what this says about Japan in comparison with the U.S.

New Japan's Jingu Stadium show for the end of the month.

WWE Network featuring independents.

Saturday's UFC show with a complete rundown and match-by-match coverage.

Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa doing a lecture for students at Tokai University on sports entertainment during the COVID era, with notes on AEW profitability, ad spending, how COVID has changed the world, how the AEW audience has changed, A.J. Styles, personal goals and New Japan Pro Wrestling.

New Japan, All Japan and NOAH have their biggest tournaments of the year at the same time.

CMLL's planned return.

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.

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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 talking Raw, Jon Jones, Smackdown, ROH's return and tons of other news. You can send questions for the show to

Raw tonight is Raw's go-home show for SummerSlam. They'll also be pushing the new set up at the Amway Center, called the Thunderdome, where they will be taking up residency and airing live every Monday and Friday starting on 8/21. NXT will remain a taped show from Full Sail. No doubt the new "WrestleMania" style set up for the weekly TV shows will be pushed hard tonight.  

Phillip A. Thomas II will have a hearing on Thursday regarding his breaking into the home of Daria Berenato (Sonya Deville), who is in jail with no bond set in Hillsborough County in Florida.

Impact's Emergence specials take place over the next two Tuesdays on AXS TV.  Tomorrow's show has:

  • Kylie Rae vs. Taya Valkyrie
  • Moose vs. Trey Miguel for the TNA title
  • Chris Bey vs. TJP vs. Rohit Raju for the X title
  • Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows vs. Mad Man Fulton & Ace Austin
  • Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley vs. Ethan Page & Josh Alexander for the tag titles

Alex Shelley on Twitter noted that Benjamin Carter, Tre Lamar and Lee Moriarity are starting with Impact.


  • Content is now on the NBC Peacock streaming service including Best of compilations for Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage, HHH, Brock Lesnar, and Best WrestleMania matches, plus Austin interviews with Undertaker, Bill Godlberg, Kane, Big show, Bret Hart and Ric Flair. They also have the Monday Night Wars series episodes of WWE Untold, WWE Ruthless Aggression series and WrestleMania rewind.
  • Lacey Evans will be on the first episode of Military Makeover with Montel Williams that airs at 7:30 a.m. on Lifetime on 8/21.
  • A feature on Vince McMahon's attempt to put together a bodybuilding promotion with the WBF.


  • Edson Barboza returns as a featherweight to face Sodiq Yusuff on a 10/10 show.
  • Anthony Smith vs. Alexander Rakic will headline the 8/29 show in a three-round fight. That main event was Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Yair Rodriguez, but that fight fell through when Rodriguez suffered an ankle injury.
  • Dana White's Tuesday Night Contenders lineup for tomorrow at 8 p.m. Eastern on ESPN+ Louis Cosce vs. Victor Reyna - welterweights Cheyanne Buys vs. Hilarie Rose - strawweights Orion Oosce vs. Matt Dixon - welterweights Josh Parisian vs. Chad Johnson - heavyweights Kevin Sylver vs. Ken Cross - lightweights


  • The Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships will have a press conference tomorrow at the ATT Headquarters in Coconut Creek, FL to announce its next show, headlined by Paige VanZant.  Also appearing are Hector Lombard and Thiago Alves, meaning they are likely on the show as well, along with Dave Feldman, the promoter.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWE SummerSlam 2014