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Daily Update: Tessa Blanchard, The Rock, WWE Backstage


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WON NEWSLETTER: January 13, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Death of Pampero Firpo, Wrestle Kingdom 14 review

With coverage of WrestleKingdom, pro wrestling in Japan and the death of Pampero Firpo, we've got another double issue of the Observer this week.

Our lead story looks at the legacy of Pampero Firpo, one of the top stars of the 60s and 70s. We look at his character, the Randy Savage connection, the start of his career in Argentina, how he got started in the U.S. and was a star in week one, his forgotten world title win, the story behind his getting the Pampero Firpo name and the legendary boxing match it came from, his first run with Vince McMahon Sr. in 1960, his second run in 1972, the angle that turned him babyface in Detroit, and his life after wrestling working at the post office.

The issue also covers: 

The wrestling scene in Japan, wrestling around the city, the wrestling stores, the advertising, the business from the Tokyo Dome, doing two WrestleMania in two days, why it worked for New Japan and why such a great first show ended up as a handicap.  We look at what got over the biggest, probably why main roster PPVs struggle the day after blow away NXT shows, as well as tickets sold outside of Japan for he two shows and growth of the overseas audience.

New Japan's expansion into the U.S., original booking plans for 2019, how Jericho and Tanahashi were able to do an angle involving the AEW belt, the political issues between AEW and NJPW, New Japan's 2020 schedule, and the future of the junior heavyweights.

A pension fund suing WWE and why, with the story behind it as well as the launch of the XFL and its new rules, we've got DVR numbers for AEW & NXT, a wrestler who may be leaving WWE and contract status, crazy stuff  some in WWE have been brainwashed on, lots of new lineups in WWE, Punk vs. Miz, Lesnar gets honored by University of Minnesota, new WWE signing, WWE awards, Ryback's latest issues with WWE, Canadian ratings for all the top U.S. shows, WWE and Russian television plus a rundown of the holiday season house shows.

Complete rundowns of both Dome shows, with match-by-match coverage, poll results and star ratings.

Upcoming major New Japan events.

WWE's traditional biggest house show of the year, the holiday event in Madison Square Garden.

Compiled lists of the wrestlers with the most great matches from the past year, the past decade and over the course of a career. 

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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  • NBC has picked up comedy series “Young Rock” for an 11-episode order. The show is inspired by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s early life. Johnson and Nahnatchka Khan are executive producers on the show and Johnson will appear in all 11 episodes.
  • San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle wore Rock-inspired cleats ahead of today’s playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings.
  • Alex Shelley reflected on making his NXT debut at last night’s house show in Pittsburgh: “I’ve more to say, but wrestling for @WWE and @WWENXT specifically has been a dream of mine for awhile. I have had to do a lot of hard things in life, especially the last few years. But so have you. If a single person can draw some inspiration and strength from this? Win. Thanks.”
  • The Usos will appear on Tuesday’s episode of WWE Backstage. Freddie Prinze Jr. has been announced for Tuesday's Promo School segment.
  • WWE will stream a Q&A on Facebook and YouTube with Alicia Taylor interviewing Triple H after NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II tomorrow.
  • Angelo Dawkins and his significant other are expecting a baby boy.
  • Chris Van Vliet has an interview with Kurt Angle.

Other Wrestling

  • After Tessa Blanchard tweeted “Hey women, try supporting one another. Cool things happen” today, Allysin Kay accused Blanchard of spitting in another wrestler’s face and calling them the n-word in 2017: “Remember when you spat in a black woman’s face and called her the N-word in Japan? Was that you ‘supporting women’? The AUDACITY of this tweet.”
  • Blanchard tweeted in response to what Kay wrote: “not true. That’s my statement and the most attention I’ll give it because of how actually ridiculous it is.”
  • Chelsea Green commented on Blanchard’s first tweet: “You’ve consistently put down, bullied, and belittled countless female coworkers, including me. Is that support?”
  • Blanchard responded to Green: “I’ve never been anything but kind to u. I’ve dealt with mean girls since I started..not saying I’m a saint, hell I’ve had my ups&downs & Ive made silly decisions...Such is life. u have ZERO merit in your comments..Instead putting me down here for a little’ve got my #!”
  • La Rosa Negra wrote that she was the wrestler that Kay was referencing in her tweet: “@Sienna & @ImChelseaGreen Thank you so Much!!!!.......That Story!!!!.... Yes, that's happens on Japan 2017!!! If @Tessa_Blanchard do not Remember it ... Can I!..I am not a Mean Girl with any Coworkers around the world. Be kind of #racist is not ridiculous is a #sickness”
  • Shanna wrote in support of La Rosa Negra: “[Blanchard] did more nasty stuff in Japan... Never forget. Practice what you preach sweetheart. I standby @LaAbusadoradePR, she's a fun loving person who would never disrespect anyone. Much love to you Rosa.”
  • Isla Dawn and Priscilla Kelly responded to Blanchard’s original tweet. Dawn tweeted: “As someone who experienced your bullying firsthand, received regular verbal abuse, was spat on, had rumours spread about me, dealt with multiple attempts by you to blacklist me from other companies, (plus more), I just pray you now follow your own advice.”
  • Kelly wrote: “Remember publicly putting me down on twitter last year for something that didn’t involve you whatsoever, then continuing to drag my name to other people for it? Pepperidge Farm Remembers. You should probably delete this tweet.”
  • Wrestling Inc’s Nick Hausman noted that Blanchard didn’t do media at today’s media day for Impact’s Hard to Kill PPV. Blanchard is challenging Sami Callihan for the Impact World Championship in the main event of the PPV tomorrow.
  • Sammy Guevara and the former Luke Harper appeared at the Corpus Christi IceRays’ Pro Wrestling Night on Friday.
  • Santana wrote a tribute to his father after his passing: “I still feel like none of this is real. I still feel like you’re going to call and tell me this was one of your f*cked up jokes that you loved to play. But the truth is, none of that is going to happen. The truth is, that I have to live this unfortunate reality everyday for the rest of my life. I love you with every inch of my existence. I’m thankful for your love, guidance, and beautiful memories that’ll also be with me for the rest of my life. I’m blessed to know that I made you proud of the man I became. Not only would you tell me every chance you got, but also everyone you spoke to. That’s all they would say. How incredibly proud you were of me. You were the smartest, funniest, most brutally honest person I know. You pulled no punches. You said it like it is. Which is something very rare to find In this world. I promise to carry on your legacy and continue to make you the proudest dad EVER. I will continue to take my life and career to heights I never knew possible. I will always carry your name with the upmost pride and respect. Dad, you are and will always be my hero. Despite being blind, no one saw the world as clear as you. All I ask is to please continue guiding me and giving me strength. I survived these past 2 weeks because of you. Because I felt you by my side every step of the way. But there’s still a long road ahead and I NEED you. Nana needs you. Continue shining your light on us Pa. For that light is what’s going to guide us thru the rest of our lives. I love you. I cherish you. I promise you. I will ALWAYS make you PROUD. Sleep in eternal peace, Papi.”
  • The ROH World title will be defended at Bound by Honor in Nashville on February 28 and Gateway to Honor in St. Louis on February 29. Rush is challenging PCO for the title at tonight’s Saturday Night at Center Stage event.
  • Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham will defend their ROH Tag Team titles against Silas Young & Josh Woods at Bound by Honor, and Dragon Lee will defend his TV title against Dak Draper at Gateway to Honor.
  • Darby Allin was the guest on yesterday’s episode of Talk is Jericho.
  • Viceland’s Dark Side of the Ring teased that they’ll be covering ECW’s Mass Transit incident in one of the episodes for season two.


  • USADA issued a statement on Jessica Penne saying that USADA “has effectively bullied and forced [her] into retiring from MMA”: “Given Jessica Penne’s public statement, we can confirm her positive test for stanozolol. However, there are many factual inaccuracies and unfounded allegations in her statement, including that she has been forced out of UFC. In fact, she has exercised her right to contest her case before an independent arbitrator, per a request USADA received after she released her public statement. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, all athletes have the right to present the facts and circumstances during a full evidentiary hearing. We look forward to the opportunity to present the facts and evidence through this process.”
  • ESPN released a clip of Ariel Helwani’s interview with Conor McGregor ahead of next week’s UFC 246 PPV.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: The first episode of Monday Night Raw