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Daily Update: Shad Gaspard, Larry Csonka, Owen Hart


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WON NEWSLETTER: May 18, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Becky Lynch pregnant, UFC 249 controversies, more

A new double issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is out with a wider variety of news stories than any issue we've done in a long time. 

From a perspective among leading sports doctors about opening up, to Becky Lynch's pregnancy and what the plans for her that won't happen were scheduled to be, to Money in the Bank coverage, Roman Reigns risk factors, New Japan talks its future, AEW profitability, Oliver Luck's lawsuit against Vince McMahon and Georges St-Pierre in the Hall of Fame, it's all covered here.

The issue covers in detail:

Becky Lynch's pregnancy, her comments on it, timing, what were the booking plans for her and how Money in the Bank changed, a look back at how Lynch got over when she wasn't supposed to and the time frame where Lynch became the chosen one, while at the same time the crowd was mad, not realizing any of this.

Ronaldo Jacare Souza's positive test for COVID, UFC handling the situation, and the key components of the story that have not been covered well elsewhere. 

How UFC didn't abide by its own policies, what UFC did learn, and what fighters and reporters signed to get in the door to the show.

Facts of the Coronavirus and on combat sports from three doctors who have extensive experience with combat sports.

Harold Meij talking about New Japan Pro Wrestling, why it made the choices it did not to turn, as well as its plans when it can run and the stages it will go through, why the company has been able to remain solvent while not running live events.

Complete coverage of UFC 249 and WWE Money in the Bank, including match-by-match coverage and poll results on both shows.

Behind the scenes notes on  both shows, including UFC business, and interest level in WWE.

The arrest of Alberto Rodriguez, the former Alberto Del Rio, for sexual assault, the harrowing description of what happened and more.

Roman Reigns sitting it out including what he said and his risk factors.

Updated plans for SummerSlam and where Vince is coming from, plans for the next Takeover, WWE book on best sellers list, The softening of the brand split, update on Rey Mysterio, Rachael Ellering release info, NBA star says he's going to WWE, Undertaker documentary notes, the story of how two different planned WrestleMania main events in 2011 fell through, Sting update, Canadian TV ratings, One of the best college wrestlers mentions going into pro wrestling, Raw DVR numbers, WWE market value and the most-watched shows on the WWE Network.

Smackdown's renewal and what it means.

Feature on the career of Georges St-Pierre and his records and his legacy, as he gets inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.

Oliver Luck lawsuit against Vince McMahon, including details of his contract, Vince's attempts and arguments to get out of paying him on that contract and arguments both sides are making.

AEW's Double or Nothing plans as well as the return of some of the company's biggest stars.

AEW's profitability in April, the cost of production and cost savings, Mike Tyson, the casino ladder match and more.

May 13 UFC show.

Full coverage of all the WWE and AEW television shows from the past week.

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 on Wrestling Observer Radio talking about Shad Gaspard, Raw, Larry Csonka and the rest of  the current news. You can send questions for the show to

We are sad to report the death of Larry Csonka, a wrestling writer from the 411 Mania website who was known for his tireless work in doing wrestling reviews and to send sympathies to both his family and friends as well as the family and friends of Shad Gaspard. Gaspard's body has not been found and it would seem to be a miracle that he could possibly be alive at this point as they searched for hours for his body last night and earlier today after he was not pulled to safety yesterday afternoon after rip tide currents made him unable to swim ashore. He directed the lifeguards to save his ten-year-old son and at that point a huge wave came and he was submerged and never found. There were a number of rescues at Marina del Rey beach yesterday but he was the only one not found. Joel Eisenberg, a friend of Gaspard, sent us this piece he wrote about him.

California today talked about opening things up for sports without an audience around the first week of June as long as cases drop.

The Owen Hart documentary will air tomorrow night on Vice. Owen Hart Foundation members Dr. Martha Hart, Virginia Xavier, Tammi Christopher and Athena Hart (Owen's daughter) were interviewed. Oje Hart, Owen's son, was interviewed in Toronto. We will have a lot more this week on Owen Hart. At 9:30 p.m. will be After Dark on the Road Warriors and the Owen Hart show will be at 10 p.m.

CBS Sports has an interview with Dr. Martha Hart.

Both AEW and NXT will be going opposite NASCAR races on Wednesday, as well as on 5/27 and 6/10. The first NASCAR race back over the weekend had 6.3 million viewers, so this could be major competition even though the NASCAR audience is traditionally older than the wrestling audience, unlike UFC which skews younger than wrestling. The race Wednesday is from Darlington at 7 p.m. Eastern.

NXT has cruiserweight tournament matches with El Hijo del Fantasma vs. Akira Tozawa and Kushida vs. Drake Maverick on Wednesday. AEW has Jon Moxley vs. 10 (Preston Vance), MJF vs. Marko Stunt, Orange Cassidy vs. Rey Fenix, Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara and a face-to-face with Jake Roberts and Arn Anderson.

The release of the Young Bucks autobiography has been pushed back from 9/27 to 11/17.


  • For Raw tonight, we've got Drew McIntyre vs. King Corbin in a non-title match, Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss vs. The Iiconics for the women's tag titles, Street Profits vs Viking Raiders in an axe throwing contest, Shayna Baszler vs. Natalya in a submission match, plus Edge will appear to talk about a match with Randy Orton at the next PPV show.
  • An interview with Nikki and Brie Bella on Sunday Night's Main Event talking about John Cena's editorial rights on their new memoir, Daniel Bryan still working TV tapings and still coming home to Brie, and they comment on WWE's handling of the Becky Lynch pregnancy.
  • WAPA in Puerto Rico aired WrestleMania 34 from 6-10 p.m. yesterday.  It was being advertised for a few weeks (thanks to Leonardo Mendez Toledo)
  • DK Publishing will be releasing a book called "WWE Kicking Down Doors" about WWE women's wrestling dating back to Wendi Richter, Chyna and Lita to the modern group of stars like Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bayley, Ronda Rousey and the others.  The book is scheduled for release tomorrow.


  • Wrestler Charli Evans has returned to Australia from the U.K. where she had been living and wrestling to be with her family. She has to do a 14 day quarantine in a hotel when she arrives.
  • Will Cooling has a story on the finances of Progress Wrestling. 
  • Australia is moving to stage 2 today, allowing restaurants and bars to open with up to 20 people.  The hope is to allow interstate travel by July, and travel between Australia and New Zealand perhaps. It looks like July or August for the earliest period where wrestling would be able to return. It's notable that Australia and New Zealand have also had shockingly few cases but still had restrictions similar to the U.S. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • IWTW wall be releasing digital archives of a number of independent promotions starting today including AAW out of Chicago, which is one of the best indies out there and almost like the Midwest version of PWG, as well as the library of AWS in Southern California and Wildside starting on 6/8.
  • Championship Wrestling from Arkansas has folded according to the promotion.  They will be offering free access to their CWA Wrestling Network library of 165 hours of footage of Jerry Lawler, A.J. Styles, Matt Hardy, Tim Storm, DDP, Jake Roberts, Scott Steiner, Jim Cornette, Fit Finlay, Rock & Roll Express, Dan Severn, Lance Archer, Tammy Sytch, Jim Duggan and many others. "We at Championship Wrestling of Arkansas would like to thank our fans for supporting us, and helping us to become one of the premiere independent wrestling promotions in the country."
  • The Telegraph has a story on Andre the Giant at (thanks to Lee Wall)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Daily Pro Wrestling History (05/18): Undertaker wins World Title