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Daily Update: Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Kota Ibushi


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F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Seth Rollins wins Universal title at SummerSlam

Joseph Currier gives his thoughts on SummerSlam 2019. Plus, Bryan Rose's Japan notes, and Vinny's TV reviews.

This year's SummerSlam main event was a pivotal moment in the career of Seth Rollins.

If that wasn't made clear going into the pay-per-view, it certainly felt true in the moment. As much as headlining a Big Four PPV is a huge spot for anyone, Rollins' match against Brock Lesnar came at a time when Rollins was at a tipping point. He could either win and regain his momentum -- or his character would probably have to go in a different direction.

With how WWE built to their match, Rollins winning was the right outcome. He had been viciously beaten down by Lesnar in angles on Raw each of the last two weeks. After the second attack, a subdued Rollins vowed to be at SummerSlam and guaranteed that he would defeat Lesnar.

Rollins came through on his guarantee. After hitting his third curb stomp of the match, Rollins pinned Lesnar to regain the Universal title. The match delivered on a much higher level than Rollins' previous bouts against Lesnar. Rollins was put over strongly and positioned as the current top babyface in the company.

WON NEWSLETTER: August 12, 2019 Observer Newsletter: Life and death of Harley Race

The early career of Harley Race, his road to the world title and his battles with Hulk Hogan is the lead story of a special double issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We examine why Race made such a convincing champion, the story behind his seventh world title win over Ric Flair and how Vince McMahon attempted to sabotage what at the time was the biggest pro wrestling event in history.  We look at how the Flair vs. Race storyline at the first Starrcade went down, how Flair first became NWA champion, McMahon's big move right before Starrcade, how many modern wrestlers copied him, what he was known for in Japan, the incident with Hogan and the story behind why there was so much of a delay in the Hogan vs. Race program in WWF and why it didn't draw well.

We look at how Race first got involved in pro wrestling, the auto accident that killed his wife and nearly ended his career, his early career, how he got his first major career break at the age of 21, the legend of Bruiser & Crusher vs. The Dolly Sisters tag team, Race the street fighter, the creation of the world tag team championships in Australia, and his rise in the NWA.  We look at the unique situation that led to his first world title reign, why it was never planned and how his work in seven weeks as champion changed his entire career.  We also look at the road to his second world title.

We also update the G-1 Climax tournament with coverage of all the shows this past week with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.

We cover the biggest event of the year in Mexico, TripleMania, with business notes, lots on the debut of Cain Velasquez, the story behind his moves, the return of L.A. Park, The Elite, with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results on the show.

We also explore how the creative changes impacted the SummerSlam show, with notes on the different changes, the Takeover card, and the ticket demand going into the big weekend.

We look at yet another new WWE television show being proposed, Dwayne Johnson retiring as a wrestler, notes on Hobbs & Shaw, NXT business, WWE rules regarding U.K. talent, Goldberg pay, WWE looking at a major acquisition, WWE thinking about house show changes and why, WrestleMania 2021 news, an update on WWE show in Saudi Arabia, and an update on WWE touring schedule.

We have notes on how TV will be routed come October, Fox talks abut Smackdown, lots of WWE injury updates, intergender matches, WWE ticket sales, Mae Young Classic 2019, a new WWE producer, Reigns talks Dean Ambrose, Lio Rush update, a surprise return to WWE in two weeks, complaints at NXT live events about fans, Evolve news, WWE market value, most-watched shows on WWE Network, as well as a rundown on all WWE live events held over the past week with results, highlights and business notes.

We've got full coverage of the UFC event in Newark headlined by Colby Covington's win over Robbie Lawler.

We also look back at the PWG 16th anniversary show, the rise of PWG, and the Battle of Los Angeles participants.

We also have full coverage of all the WWE television shows from the past week.

As always, we have in-depth looks at the ratings of all the major shows,the key demos for the WWE shows and what can be learned from them.

We also have the 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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by Bryan Rose and Joseph Currier


  • SmackDown tonight takes place at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada. As a result of what happened last week, Roman Reigns will take on Buddy Murphy. Charlotte Flair will also face Ember Moon.
  • 205 Live tonight will feature a Cruiserweight title rematch between Drew Gulak and Oney Lorcan. After an angle where Gran Metalik was found backstage after having been attacked, Humberto Carrillo will now team with Kalisto & Lince Dorado in their six-man tag against Ariya Daivari & The Singh Brothers. Akira Tozawa vs. Jack Gallagher is also set.
  • Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that Roman Reigns recently signed a new multi-year deal with WWE.
  • The Staples Center in Los Angeles, California sent out an advertisement that listed Brock Lesnar as appearing on SmackDown’s 20th anniversary episode on Friday, October 4. The show is also SmackDown’s debut on FOX. A video posted by the Staples Center noted that the top stars from both Raw and SmackDown will be appearing. Kofi Kingston defending the WWE Championship against Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler in a triple threat match was listed for the show, though that’s likely just a placeholder match for advertising purposes.
  • Straight Up Steve Austin placed seventh in last night’s cable ratings, earning 1.2 million viewers.
  • WWE has cancelled five Raw house shows that were set to take place later this month, including 8/23 in Bossier City, Louisiana, 8/24 in Lafayette, LA, 8/25 in Mobile, Alabama, 8/30 in Bangor, Maine and 8/31 in Portland, Maine.
  • Steve Austin will be a guest on Hot Ones this Thursday at 11 a.m. on the First We Feast YouTube channel.
  • Bray Wyatt’s new theme has been uploaded to WWE Music's YouTube page.
  • A look at Candice LeRae’s NXT TakeOver: Toronto experience

Pro Wrestling

  • Kota Ibushi suggested competing for both the IWGP and Intercontinental titles at Wrestle Kingdom 14 during this morning’s NJPW press conference. He also said he would defend the right to the Wrestle Kingdom match against EVIL and KENTA.
  • Tetsuya Naito, Jay White, and Juice Robinson will be in action on the final night of the Super J-Cup in Long Beach, California on August 25. Jushin Thunder Liger is also wrestling in non-tournament action on all three Super J-Cup shows.
  • Ricky Starks has signed with the NWA.
  • Dr. Wagner Jr. will be part of this Friday’s Impact Wrestling TV tapings.
  • PCO & Brody King vs. Mark Haskins & Tracy Williams has been announced for ROH’s TV tapings at Center Stage in Atlanta on August 24. PJ Black, Chase Owens, and LSG will also face off in a triple threat match, with the winner challenging for Shane Taylor’s TV title at Honor for All in Nashville on August 25.
  • The former Enzo Amore will make his in-ring return in a match against Brian Pillman Jr. at Northeast Wrestling’s show in Poughkeepsie, New York this Friday.
  • Tom Lawlor has been added to Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport II in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 14.
  • Jordynne Grace vs. D’Lo Brown is set for Black Label Pro’s Turbo Graps 16 show in Crown Point, Indiana on September 21.
  • This week’s MLW Fusion episode has been uploaded to YouTube. It was headlined by Alexander Hammerstone vs. Savio Vega for the National Openweight Championship.


Daily Pro Wrestling History: Tetsuya Naito wins 2017 G1 Climax