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Daily Update: SummerSlam preview, Mike Perry, Kenny Omega

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WWE SUMMERSLAM ON SUNDAY AT 6 P.M. EASTERN ON WWE NETWORK

  • Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins for Universal title.  They've told the story that Rollins doesn't have a chance.  The only way Rollins should lose is if they have a big-time challenger set up for Lesnar next.  The fact Braun Strowman isn't on the show puts him on the list.  Bill Goldberg is there but that's been done.  Lesnar is a -230 favorite so the Oddsmakers think the same as what WWE is leading people to think.  This is very unique in the idea that the PPV is built around the idea the babyface challenger doesn't have a chance to win.
  • Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton for WWE title.  Should be good but the interaction thus far has been well timed but nothing spectacular.  They have a nice story built in.  You would think on this stage it should be very good and they'll get a lot of time.  Kingston is a -210 favorite.
  • Bill Goldberg vs, Dolph Ziggler.  This should be short.  If it goes too long, something is wrong.  Goldberg is a -475 favorite and even that feels like too low to me.   
  • Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon - If Owens loses he must quit WWE.  Because of the stip, Owens is the heavy favorite at -510.  I expect the match will be good since they'll have a lot of latitude of which to work.
  • A.J. Styles vs. Ricochet for U.S. title - Based on pure talent this should be the best match on the show.  Styles is a -200 favorite to retain.  Gallows & Anderson should be around to get involved.  This is also a -133 favorite to be the best match on the show.  The second favorite for best match is Lesnar vs. Rollins at +165. 
  • Trish Stratus vs. Charlotte Flair.  Stratus has said this will be the last match of her career so she'll be doing everything to make it memorable.  Logically Flair should win but wins and losses don't mean much in WWE storylines so it's not a lock.  Flair is listed as a -530 favorite.  I've got to think this will be a good match, plus the Toronto crowd will be way behind Stratus so they'll get a benefit a lot of women's matches on PPV don't get.
  • Becky Lynch vs. Natalya submission match for Raw women's title.  Lots has been talked about regarding how the crowd will react.  I expect a great atmosphere and maybe a mixed reaction.  It's very unpredictable.  Natalya is there to get a good match from Lynch while losing most likely, and the odds have Lynch a -430 favorite.  .
  • Bayley vs. Ember Moon for Smackdown women's title.  Should be good.  Moon is underrated and Bayley is a good worker.  Not sure how much the crowd will care about this though since Moon hasn't been pushed much.  Bayley is a -245 favorite to retain the title.
  • Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt - Wyatt is a -1580 favorite as he should be.  This is likely Balor's last match for a few months.  He may do TV tomorrow but the idea was he was finishing up here for a few months.  Really this should not be about having a great match but more about putting Wyatt over strong with his new gimmick.
  • Drew Gulak vs. Oney Lorcan for cruiserweight title.  This is confirmed a pre-show match.  On paper this should be a great match.  Technically it could be one of the best on the show.  Gulak is a -335 favorite at press time. 

NEW JAPAN G-1 CLIMAX FINALS AT BUDOKAN HALL ON SUNDAY NIGHT AT 2 A.M. EASTERN AND 11 P.M. PACIFIC ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

Raw will be live on Monday from Toronto with Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss defending the women's tag titles against Asuka & Kairi Sane and The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler.

Smackdown and 205 Live will be Tuesday night from Toronto.

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 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 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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SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back tonight with coverage of SummerSlam and both G-1 shows. We'll also talk the latest news.

We got a lot of complaints yesterday regarding WWE Network. This was the first major show since the changes.  I don't know how widespread the problems were but we did get a lot of complaints.  I had no trouble during Takeover, but I did want to watch the tag title match a second time and watching on replay buffered a few times, and today it went out once.  the demand today will be much higher than yesterday so hopefully all goes well. 

As far as trending numbers go for the weekend, three UFC topics got 50,000 or more searches, which were Valentina Shevchenko, Mike Perry (based on his surgery today) and UFC 241. It's very rare that a show trends a week in advance. NXT Takeover did get 20,000 searches today so it's on the early list although did not crack the top 20 yesterday and probably won't by the end of the day today, but for NXT, just being no the list part of the day is better than usual.

Mike Perry underwent surgery for his badly broken nose today in Uruguay. He will be staying in Uruguay until tomorrow and then is expected to return home.  He will be unable to spar or test his nose for six months, so it will be some time before he gets back in the cage. 

OWE and Singapore Pro Wrestling announced a 9/15 show with Kenny Omega. The show sold out the first day of the announcement.  The show is called Klash of Kings.  Riho of AEW is their current Singapore Pro Wrestling champion. They are looking at adding tickets. (thanks to Kevin Chiat) 

WWE

  • I really liked this interview with Roman Reigns from when he was in Edmonton talking about his days on the football field.  He also confirmed he played here after his battle with leukemia which was known but turned into controversy when I pointed that out a few months ago and he talks about his time there and his first fight with the disease and the idea that he wanted to be a football player (he was all-ACC).
  • Another story on Reigns out of Montreal. (thanks to Barry Werner)
  • Daria Berenato aka Sonya Deville on coming out as being a lesbian in WWE on Tough Enough was covered in Parade this weekend. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • A story on Seth Rollins raising the ire of fans. (thanks to Chris Cruise)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa were in Japan Saturday and at the Stardom show with Will Ospreay (who is at most Stardom Tokyo shows when he's not on the road because his girlfriend, Bea Priestley, is champion of the promotion).
  • Omega also works 9/14 for New Taiwan Wrestling.
  • Kota Ibushi was established as a -154 favorite to beat Jay White in tomorrow's G-1 finals.  Kambi has also released over/under star ratings for Ibushi vs. White at ****3/4
  • Thanks to everyone for their nice comments on the Harley Race story in the current Observer.  Race is definitely one of the all-time greats and a fascinating character regarding his time and place and the changes in the industry.
  • Another strong story on Harley Race, by Mike Mooneyham. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk and Chris Cruise)
  • wXw Toronto from Friday in a great show with an incredible main event:  Cima won four-way over Daniel Makabe, Brent Banks and Julian Pace, Emil Sitoci b Avalanche to keep the Shotgun title, Amale won three-way over LuFisto and Allysin Kay, Bobby Gunns b Mike Bailey to keep wXw title, Timothy Thatcher b Yuki Ishikawa (bout got a standing ovation when it was over), Alexander James & Jurn Simmons won three-way over T-Hawk & Lindaman and Aussie Open in a wild  tornado match, Walter b Daisuke Sekimoto.  After the match Walter turned on the crowd saying it's an absolute disgrace to be wrestling on independent shows and he deserves better.  He was ripping on the fans until David Starr ran in, hit a German suplex and a tope and the brawled after the match.  Classic main event (thanks to Dave Musgrave)
  • The Summit, which was a combination of Shimmer, Rise, Smash and Femmes Fatales from yesterday in Toronto:  Rosemary b KC Spinelli to become the first Smash womens' champ with Xandra Bale as referee, Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo b Dust & Veda Scott, Delilah Doom b Shotzi Blackheart, Aerial Monroe b Zoe Lucas to win the Phoenix of Rise title, Priscilla Kelly won four-way over Cheerleader Melissa, LuFisto and Allysin Kay, Mercedes Martinez b Jordynne Grace to keep the Femmes Fatales title in a match people were raving about, Nicole Savoy b Nicole Matthews to  keep the Shimmer title.   Lucas refused to hand over her title belt after losing and tried to walk about with it when bull Nakano came out and hit her with a weapon and got the belt away and gave it to Monroe (thanks to Shannon Walsh and Dave Musgrave)
  • After Takeover, Dave Musgrave had none of the Takeover matches in the top five for best match in Toronto this week. Top five were: Jordynne Grace vs. Mercedes Martinez from yesterday's Summit show Walter vs. Daisuke Sekimoto from wXw Timothy Thatcher vs. Daniel Makabe from wXw on 8/8 David Starr & Jody Threat vs. Chris Brookes & Jordynne Grace from Progress on 8/9 Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin from Progress on 8/9 Billy Corgan has been in Toronto because he's got a concert there on Tuesday.
  • Legacy Fighting on 9/13 in Wichita, KS at the Hartman Arena on AXS TV headlined by Trey Ogden (12-3) vs. Nick Browne (8-1).
  • Stardom from yesterday at Korakuen Hall:  AZM won five-way over Leo Onozaki, Rina, Hina and Ruaka, Momo Watanabe b  Saya Kamitani (Kamitani's debut match), Hana Kimura & Bobbi Tyler & Konami b Mayu Iwatani & Tam Nakano & Saya Iida, Riho won High Speed title over Death Yama-San, Kagetsu & Natsu Sumire & Andras Miyagi Hazuki & Jamie Hayter & Natsuko Tora, Arisa Hoshiki b Jungle Kyona to keep the Wonder of Stardom title, Bea Priestley b Utami Hayashishita to keep the World of Stardom title (thanks to Shannon Walsh and wrestlingwithdemons.net)
  • PCW Ultra from Friday night in Wilmington, CA:  Mil Muertes b Dan Maff to keep Ultra title, Daga b Puma King, Artemis Spencer b Matt Sydal to keep Defy title, Schaff won three-way over Brian Pillman Jr. and Douglas James, Jake Atlas b TJ Perkins to keep the Ultra light title, Sumie Sakai b Tessa Blanchard to win women's title, Josef Samael & Jacob Fatu NC Eddie Kingston & Homicide in an unsanctioned match to keep the tag title (thanks to Eric Chase and Shannon Walsh)
  • Great North Wrestling from last night in Petawawa, ONT:  Teddy Hart DCOR Cazador de Sangre (replacing Davey Boy Smith Jr. who had travel issues), Wes Brisco b Max Testosterone, Jessika Black b Melanie Havoc to win the womens' title, Rene Dupree b Steve McDaniel ,Nathan Banner b Jeremy Prophet, Bruiser b Harley Davidson in a tables match, Dave Juno b Mark Burelle in a kickboxing exhibition.  Next show is 10/20 in Ottawa with Haku vs. Blood Hunter plus Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Wes Brisco appearing.
  • CZW from last night in Voorhees, NJ:  Gabriel Skye & Tristen Thai b Budapest Bastards, Justin Wylde b KC Navarro, Suvanna Stone b Leyla Hirsch, Emil Sitoci d Jordan Oliver, Conor Claxton b Avalanche, Alexander James & Jurn Simmons b Nate Carter & Dave McCall, John Silver b Anthony Greene to keep CZW title.  Next show is the Chris Cash Memorial show 9/13. (thanks to Bob Magee)
  • A  story on Kingsport area wrestlers doing a benefit show for Don Wright, who lost his home and van in a fire.
  • The New York Times has a story on GLOW and AEW's Kia Stevens aka Awesome Kong. (thanks to George Maranville)
  • Stephan Bonnar wrestles on a show tonight in San Jose  at The Ritz.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Masahiro Chono wins 1991 G1 Climax Tournament

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