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Daily Update: Royal Rumble notes, WrestleMania plans, Edge


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We're looking for reports on the New Japan show tonight in Durham, NC as well as from Raw in San Antonio with reports of Main Event matches or any dark matches to  We're also looking for reports on the Saturday and Sunday NWA Powerr tapings.

We're also looking for your thoughts on both the Royal Rumble and Worlds Collide, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to

WON NEWSLETTER: January 20, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Death of Rocky Johnson, AEW extends TV deal

We've got what will be one of the biggest issues of the year, a double issue with a look at the lives and careers of Rocky Johnson, La Parka and Kendo Nagasaki, plus what will be one of the biggest news stories of 2020, the AEW new television extension with TNT through 2023.

The lead story goes into the life and career of Rocky Johnson, the father of Dwayne Johnson and one of pro wrestling's biggest stars of the 1970s. We talk about Johnson's death this past week, his ancestry, the story of him being kicked out of the house at 13, his background in boxing and wrestling along with ties to both Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, as well as where the name Rocky Johnson came from.

We talk about his main skills, his dropkicks, the birth of Dwayne Johnson, the best television match on Roy Shire television of the 70s, his quick rise to main events and championships, and how his run in Los Angeles in 1970 made him into one of the biggest stars in pro wrestling. We cover his years in San Francisco, his landmark program with Jerry Lawler, his headlining in St. Louis, his world title battles, early championships and his brother, as well as how Dwayne Johnson got started in pro wrestling.

The new issue also covers:

Full details of the new television deal between AEW and TNT, including the value, the options, how this relates to the old deal, how this compares to other deals, what we know about the second show, questions this brings up regarding WWE countering, stars that are about to become free agents, Tony Khan talks the new deal, and the ratings in 18-49 and value per episode update on Raw, Smackdown, NXT and AEW and what type of value did TNT get for its money.

The death of La Parka, including his connection with the first La Parka, as well as the uncle of the first La Parka. We look at his career before La Parka, his rise to fame in AAA, his period on top, his biggest feuds, his heel turn and why it flopped, L.A. Park comments on his rival and more on his biggest matches.

The death of Kazuo Sakurada, the Japanese Kendo Nagasaki. We look at his connection with Bret Hart, with comments by Bret Hart, Ross Hart and Fumi Saito. How Dusty Rhodes created Kendo Nagasaki and who it was copied from.  Many of his other wrestling names.  Sakurada's tough guy reputation and his days in sumo prior to pro wrestling.  How he got into pro wrestling, his original relationships with Giant Baba and Genichiro Tenryu, his day in Stampede Wrestling as one of its biggest tag team stars, his wrestling in Japan, Mid South, WCW and the story of he and Bruiser Brody from Puerto Rico. His fights in the ring,and his one MMA fight.

Next WWE show in Saudi Arabia, a new Dwayne Johnson television show, a new Miz television show, notes on the return of Big Show, Paul Levesque and Paige, Bret Hart filming a WWE show, Brock Lesnar honored, WWE trademarks, WWE BT party in London,WWE European ratings, notes on several new WWE signings as well as a major star who has met with Paul Levesque about coming in.  We look at the next MSG show, DVR viewership of WWE programming, plus a look at all the WWE & NXT live events over the past week with results,highlights and business notes.

Update the Royal Rumble and World Collide shows and how tickets are selling for the next round of major WWE events.

The Tessa Blanchard controversy and her winning the Impact title, with comments from many in wrestling and a full rundown of TNA Hard to Kill with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.

Update the changes at Bellator in structuring, who is now in charge and what may be happening next.

More money being sent into MMA with the PFL, its new ownership and revenue sources and how much new capita they now have.

Coverage of the WWE U.K. Takeover show, with show notes, business notes, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results of the show.

The 2019 Wrestling Observer Awards ballot.

Regarding the Wednesday numbers, we've got full details, demos that each side won, how every segment did and what match ended up as the difference maker. 

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 covering Raw, with more on the WrestleMania card, Saudi Arabia, Kota Ibushi, ratings, and much more. You can send questions to tonight's show to

Sasha Banks was scheduled for the Rumble yesterday but was not cleared.

Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler is on the books for WrestleMania but Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley is not happening at the present time. As noted last night, Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre, Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns and Randy Orton vs. Edge are also on the books.

Royal Rumble had 500,000 searches yesterday, making it No. 13 on the list. That's about half of what you would expect. The much lower figure, the level of a weak UFC PPV show, shows a little less interest this year but probably a lot of people's attention being on Kobe Bryant and not WWE. Kobe Bryant had about 35 million searches.

Raw tonight should do one of its biggest ratings of 2020. The last few years, unless there's a special anniversary event, the two biggest Raw numbers are usually the day after WrestleMania and the day after the Royal Rumble. Edge will be on the show, while Seth Rollins & Buddy Murphy defend the tag title against Samoa Joe & Kevin Owens and Lana vs. Liv Morgan with Bobby Lashley and Rusev barred from ringside.  Drew McIntyre also has an interview.

Edge will be working limited dates. They were filming an Edge documentary yesterday.


  • Last night was not the blow-off of the Andrade vs. Humberto Carrillo program. They are still scheduled for a continuing program and are trying to teach the audience that a heel clean win doesn't end the story any longer.   
  • Tom Phillips will be the new lead voice of Raw replacing Vic Joseph. There have been other names talked about for the rest of the team but we haven't been able to confirm them. 
  • MVP is expected to do more dates but not be a regular going forward. Last night was his first show with the company in more than nine years when he left to join New Japan Pro Wrestling.
  • Undertaker, Kane, Big Show, Xavier Woods, Rhea Ripley, Ruby Riott, Nia Jax and Ember Moon were backstage at the Royal Rumble.
  • Fan Axxess takes place 4/2 to 4/6 for Mania week at the Tampa Convention Center. 


  • Rachael Ostovich has pulled out of her 2/22 fight in Auckland, New Zealand against Shana Dobson. Priscilla Cachoeira was reported by MMA Junkie as the replacement.
  • Tickets for the 3/28 show in Columbus, OH, which will have the main card on ESPN, go on sale Friday at 10 a.m.. UFC Fight Club members can get tickets on Wednesday.
  • Mackenzie Dern returns to UFC on a 4/25 show in Lincoln, NE where she will face Ariane Carnelossi. 


  • A story on Mark Jay Hildreth, the former Van Hammer, accused of a DUI and hitting a five-year-old on his bicycle in Boynton Beach, FL (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • Impact announced TV tapings 2/7, 2/8 and 2/9 at Sam's Town Live in Las Vegas. So Impact and ROH are using the same arena for significant shows the next two months. Announced for the shows are Tessa Blanchard, Daga, Ken Shamrock, Rob Van Dam, Rhino, TJP, Moose, Sami Callihan, Eddie Edwards, Ace Austin, Taya Valkyrie, Josh Alexander and Ethan Page.
  • Zicky Dice won the NWA TV title from Ricky Starks yesterday. Starks had just won it in a tournament on the Friday night PPV show.  They also announced Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson in the Crockett Cup, and that PPV show will also have Thunder Rose vs. Melina vs. Allysin Kay in a three-way for the women's title.
  • Sean Mooney will be working for the NWA as a broadcaster.
  • New Japan in Durham, NC tonight has Yujiro Takahashi vs. Misterioso, Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima vs. TJP & Alex Coughlin, Colt Cabana & Toru Yano & Rocky Romero vs. Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson & Alex Zayne, Jeff Cobb vs. Clark Connors, Lance Archer vs. Ren Narita, and a main event of Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson & David Finlay & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa & Chase Owens & Jado.
  • Karl Fredericks suffered a right shoulder injury landing badly on a dropkick in Nashville last night. He's out the rest of the U.S. tour.
  • New Japan sent a message that due to unforeseen circumstances the food and beverage caterer for the Durham show tonight will be unable to arrive so they will have limited food at the building, mostly soda, water and pizza.
  • Future Stars of Wrestling from Saturday night in Las Vegas at Sam's Town before 375 fans:  Suede Thompson & Greg Romero & Hero Leu b Ricky Tenacious & Adriel Noctis &* Lazarus, Shaggy McLovin won three-way over Kyle Hawk and Sinn Bodhi, Unguided won  over Bad Bitches, Lights Camera Faction and Sky High, Lacey Ryan b Owen Travers, Jorel Nelson won three-way over Chris Dickinson and Willie Mack, Kenny King & Shogun Jones b Hammerstone & Graves in a tag title match, Bonus Boyz b Death Proof in a cage match, Ice Williams b Remy Marcel in a cage match for the No Limits title, Killer Kross b Funnybone in a cage match. (thanks to Jake Affleck)
  • Latest ROH notes from Kevin Eck.
  • A story on a show coming to the Rosedale Center in Minnesota (thanks to Brian Hoops)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: The Rock wins WWE title at Royal Rumble 2013