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Daily Update: SmackDown rewrite, Roman Reigns, WWE 2K20

DAILY UPDATE

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F4W NEWSLETTER: Rey Mysterio and avoiding missed opportunity

Joseph Currier looks at Rey Mysterio's current WWE run and the value he could still have to the company. Plus, Vinny's TV reviews.

After three years away from the company, Mysterio made his full-time return to WWE last fall. His current run hasn't been a failure, but this is the time when he's freshest to WWE and the fans. That hasn't really been capitalized on.

Mysterio won the US title from Samoa Joe at Money in the Bank, but his reign never got a chance to begin. He had to vacate the title after separating his shoulder. Wherever WWE was going with Mysterio's son Dominick being by his side against Joe, that's seemingly been dropped. When Mysterio returned, he was demolished by Bobby Lashley in his first match back.

Mysterio also participated in a number one contender's battle royal last month, with Rollins winning and advancing to challenge Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Mysterio defeated Zayn at Raw Reunion, though the segment was mostly about returning legends getting to appear. RVD, Sgt. Slaughter, The Hurricane, and Kurt Angle stopped Zayn from walking out. Mysterio then hit the 619 and a frog splash to get the win.

Raw Reunion capitalized on the nostalgia of returning wrestlers from previous eras. Mysterio appearing on the same episode as them showed how much of an opportunity WWE is missing with him. Even at 44 years old, Mysterio is such an incredible in-ring performer. He can still be one of the most marketable people on the roster and one of the wrestlers with the most mainstream appeal. He can still connect as a top babyface. He's a Hall of Fame wrestler that still has a ton of value to the company. WWE moved on from John Cena too quickly when he should have had time left as a top star, and they shouldn't make the same mistake with Mysterio.

WON NEWSLETTER: August 5, 2019 Observer Newsletter: WWE financials breakdown, AEW TV taping details, more

The new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has details on WWE's second quarter financials. Financially, things look great. But product popularity continues to fall, slowly but steadily.

We cover how WWE was able to beat most projections and bring in higher profits in the second quarter, even with most key metrics showing declines. 

We discuss how the company's finances look going forward, as well as two big television deals on the horizon. 

We also have news on what could end up being the most important pro wrestling show of the year, AEW's TV debut. We break down the two key busiess aspects to the story, and discuss what those in the TV industry expect in terms of ratings for the show. 

We cover Jerry Lawler's lawsuit against Hardeman County, TN regarding the death of son Brian one year ago.

The new issue also covers C.M. Punk and the rumor mill that seems to follow him everywhere. We talk about the reaction to his discussion of AEW in a recent interview, as well as those who say they expect him to go back to WWE. 

We also have the latest on the SummerSlam card, and how the show is doing on the secondary ticket market. We also cover how the other WWE shows in Toronto that week are doing in terms of ticket sales. 

We have coverage of UFC 240 from this past weekend, and have business notes on nthe show, and also detailed television ratings for the prelims. 

There's also a run down of the ratings of all the major TV shows, along with detailed demo info for the WWE shows and 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 dave@wrestlingobserver.com or by going to www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

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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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

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by Joseph Currier and Bryan Rose

WWE

  • SmackDown again underwent changes this week, with Vince McMahon tearing up the show and having it rewritten today. Dave Meltzer noted that Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. Daniel Bryan & Rowan is the latest main event planned for the show. It’s taking place at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Kevin Owens inviting Shane McMahon to be on the KO Show has also been announced, and Kingston will respond to Randy Orton’s comments in an exclusive interview.
  • 205 Live will have a six-pack challenge that will determine Drew Gulak’s challenger for SummerSlam. That will feature Akira Tozawa, Kalisto, Tony Nese, Oney Lorcan, Ariya Daivari, and Jack Gallagher. Lince Dorado will also face Humberto Carrillo in a singles match.
  • Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that Bobby Lashley recently underwent surgery to remove bone spurs in his elbow and is on track to return in early November.
  • The WWE Performance Center’s YouTube account uploaded the third and final part of their video series on Tommaso Ciampa.
  • Roman Reigns told ESPN that he disagrees with the comments Jon Moxley has made about the WWE creative process: “I'll tell you straight-up: I disagree with what Ambrose said about the creative process. I love the guy. I love him to death. He's my brother. And wrestling ain't gonna stop that. On a personal level, me and that dude can hang out, have a beer or two and just talk. And even when we don't talk, that's just our relationship. When it comes down to it, creative-wise, that's on you. Communication is communication. When you go in there and you talk to boss, you gotta let him know. He even made comments about the things I had to say, but that was in a different place. I was brand-new. We've worked our asses off for Vince in this company, and he respects that, and he wants to know our opinions. You have to speak up for yourself. I'm in a position now where he listens to everything I have to say, what I'm feeling. Early on, when you don't have any equity, when you haven't put in any time, you should do what the boss says. But once you earn that equity, once you got the keys to the car -- which Ambrose was clearly in that position because all three of us [were] -- you have to speak up for yourself and do what's right for you. Regardless, I love the dude, man. We came from the bottom and got to where we are now, and he's a huge part of that. No type of business rivalry or any of that crap will ever affect the personal relationship I have with either Seth or Dean. We're all gonna do our thing. We're having fun. I'm enjoying where I'm at. I enjoy being with the WWE. I'll never be anywhere else.”
  • 2K confirmed to VGC that developer Visual Concepts is exclusively working on WWE 2K20, meaning that for the first time in 20 years longtime developer Yukes has no involvement. They had been involved with developing games with the WWE license since the first SmackDown video game for the original PlayStation console. Yukes earlier this year announced that they were working on an original wrestling IP.
  • Mark Evans, Fox Sports’ Senior Vice President of Sales, told The Big Lead that Fox isn’t concerned about WWE’s downward ratings trend. Evans said: “We feel how we’re going to present and how we’re going to promote the WWE is going to inject it with such a new life. It’s going to be a home run for us.”
  • PWInsider reported that WWE has hired Pat Buck as a producer.
  • Titus O’Neil’s "There's No Such Thing as a Bad Kid: How I went from Stereotype to Prototype" book was released today.
  • WWE issued a storyline injury update on Seth Rollins, noting that he’s been cleared to wrestle at SummerSlam despite being beaten down by Brock Lesnar again last night.
  • The Sporting News has an interview with Becky Lynch.
  • Steve Austin appeared on ESPN’s First Take to promote next Monday’s premiere of Straight Up Steve Austin on the USA Network.

Pro Wrestling

UFC/MMA

  • Corey Anderson vs. Johnny Walker has officially been set for UFC 244 on November 2 at MSG.
  • Disney announced today that when Disney+ is launched on November 12, there will be an option to bundle Disney+, ESPN+ and the ad-supported version of Hulu for $12.99 per month.
  • Jason “Mayhem” Miller has been sentenced to one year in jail on a felony count of vandalism after destroying a home in La Habra, California.
  • UFC’s ratings for this past weekend’s card were at 680,000 for the main card and 523,000 for the prelims.
  • Ben Askren vs. Demian Maia should be announced this week for UFC’s upcoming Singapore card.
  • Ryan Spann vs. Devin Clark is set for UFC on ESPN+ 19 on October 12. Ryan Spann vs. Devin Clark has also been added.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Riki Choshu wins 1996 G1 Climax

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