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Daily Update: UFC 251 fallout, Deiveson Figueiredo, WWE notes


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WON NEWSLETTER: July 13, 2020 Observer Newsletter: COVID-19 effects on wrestling/MMA, more

How COVID-19 has affected UFC and WWE this past week when it comes to show changes and decisions is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We talk about WWE recovering from its outbreak and UFC losing major fights, as well as the details of the Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal fight coming together, the Gilbert Burns positive test and nature of who else tested positive, Burns explanation of his test failure, PPV numbers, more on UFC's testing and its business deal in Saudi Arabia, WWE & AEW reactions this past week, who still hasn't returned to television and Ric Flair's situation being a regular television performer. We also talk about Renee Young and Jon Moxley and WWE rules on masks.

The new issue also covers:

We go through all the details of Fyter Fest and the Great American Bash, positives and the negatives of the ratings, every demo looked at, every quarter hour and match looked at and what it says, Paul Levesque talks the competition, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings.

WWE schedule over the next two months, certain changes and key reason why and more.

The Rey Mysterio/WWE situation as far as contract, why he was still used while no longer on contract, the deal in place, lots more on the "eye for an eye" stip, plus updating Extreme Rules.

Update the start of wrestling with fans with New Japan, who isn't there and why, the rules in place for fans plus coverage of the New Japan Cup.

A new documentary about a wrestling icon being worked on, wrestling TV shows listed to Emmy voters and what they say, more on the Saudi Arabia situation, Smackdown's role on FOX and why it's valuable, WWE announcement coming, Canadian, U.K. and Sports ratings for the past week, ex-WWE stars sign for major representation, current WWE market value and most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

Update on Matt Riddle's situation with a time line.

New Japan's Lion's Break show, the concept and the talent.

Why COVID has slowed down a process that all sports leagues were hoping would change regarding ratings and the problem with the new system that goes into place sometime next year.

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

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We did two weekend shows that are up on the site. Garrett and I did a show covering some Wednesday fallout and spoke to Dr. Alex Patel. Today's show with Bryan covered the Japan shows and UFC 251 as well as other news. We're taking polls the next few days on the New Japan Cup final yesterday, UFC 251 yesterday and New Japan Dominion today. Please leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to

Deiveson Figueiredo has been cleared to travel to Abu Dhabi. If he passes the rest of his tests, his flyweight title fight for the vacant title with Joseph Benavidez will take place on 7/18.  Figueiredo had suffered from COVID-19 in May. He tested positive in an antibodies test this past week but he and his management claimed it was due to already having the disease in the past.  He passed another test where he got the results today and has been cleared to travel.

UFC star Santiago Ponzinibbio noted that he tested positive for COVID-19 in late June.

Regarding last night's UFC judging in the Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski title fight, it's another example of the ten point must weakness.  Holloway won the fight overall.  Few argue that.  However, media scores were 68% for Holloway, meaning there were enough people the other way to where you have to say it's reasonable under ten point must to go either way.  I had Holloway and could go 49-46 but I think any score from 49-46 Holloway to 48-47 Volkanovski is a reasonable score.  However, it is not reasonable to say Holloway didn't win the overall fight.  It's the issue we've talked about for 20 years and ten point must on occasion creates these situations.  Using either half points or a different usage of ten point must (10-9, only close round, 10-8 normal round, 10-7 decisive, 10-6 dominant) will wield better scoring but there are a lot of ways to improve scoring that won't be done due to the nature of the commission overseeing process that doesn't want change.  Last night Dana White blamed the judges.

In scoring, Mark Collett gave Volkanovski rounds three, four and five. Judge David Lethaby gave him three and four, but not five, which is weird since five was the only decisive round Volkanovski won. Clemens Werner also gave Volkanovski three through five.  Holloway clearly won one and two. Volkanovski clearly won five. Three and four were close.

Dana White said the show was trending ahead of any show except McGregor vs. Khabib.  Google trends indicate differently. The show did 2.7 million searches, the biggest thing on the Internet yesterday by a wide margin.  But that's nowhere near record levels.  UFC 251, which would include searches for Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman, did 2 million plus.  Other major searches were Paige VanZant, Max Holloway, Jose Aldo and Rose Namajunas, all top ten. The only other top 20 for the past week among boxing, wrestling and UFC was Mike Perry at No. 8 on Wednesday.

Even though Namajunas vs. Jessica Andrade was a  split decision, MMA Decisions website listed 100 percent scores for Namajunas.


  • WWE will be promoting a Women's Evolution week on all of its shows this week with the idea that they pioneered women's wrestling starting on July 13, 2015 and tomorrow is the five-year anniversary..
  • The San Diego Comic Con will exist in a streaming virtual setup. There will be a 7/23 panel discussion with Mattel & WWE with Sam Roberts, Bill Miekina and Steve Ozer of Mattel and WWE's Edge, Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, Ricochet and Rhea Ripley. There will also be a Lucha Libre panel on 7/25 at 5 p.m. with Salvador Lutteroth (head of CMLL) and the original Rey Misterio (uncle of the WWE version).
  • Dwayne Johnson is on the cover of today's Parade Magazine dealing with famous people's first jobs (thanks to Brian Henke


  • There was a $200,000 bet taken out for Jorge Masvidal last night. 


  • Dr. Alex Patel sent us this regarding herd immunity which just come out today.
  • Scheduled for Tuesday's Impact: Jordynne Grace/Deonna Purrazzo contract signing Moose & ? vs. Tommy Dreamer & Crazzy Steve Taya & Rosemary & Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz & Kimber Lee vs. Havok & Neveah & Susie & Kylie Rae & Alisha Edwards
  • SHWA from last night in Western Australia:  Toro Blanco b Chris Target, Gavin McGavin b Great George, Pegasus b Stella Nyx, Jarrad Slate b Jules Cannon & Ryan in a handicap match, Chadwick Jackson b Ryan Allen, Bruno Nitro b James Hartness, Del Cano b Axxum to keep the SHWA Pride title.  This was their first show since 2/12.  EPW in Western Australia is running 7/25 although they may need to enforce social distancing (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • Episodes of Dark Side of the Ring will air on TSN 2 the next two Saturdays right after Impact.
  • MCPW from last night in Kalkaska, MI:  Jack Price b TJ Meyer, Christopher Saint b Mitch Hewitt, Max Morrison b Sean Tyler, Tommy Vendetta b Matthew Justice, Jason Page & Eli Shelton b Conrad Loucks & Neil Gerard, Jumal King b Trey Miguel (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • XICW from last night in Pontiac, MI:  Adam Wick b Mysterious Movado, Jay Maynard & Billy Ray Daniels b Grey Wolves, El Ridiculoso b Willie Watts, Dre Jacobs b Papa Dave Dingo, Kongo Kong b Mongo, DBA & Jaimy Coxxx b Soul Shooters to keep tag titles, Malcolm Monroe III b Dread King Logan to keep the Midwest title (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • Bill Apter runs The Greatest Wrestler Ever Tournament. Also TJ Wilson & Saxon Huxley run The Greatest WWE match tournament. Here are the links.
  • has a longer story talking to Pat Rose about his journey in wrestling, and then into competitive fishing, where he is now a radio host talking about fishing:
  • A story on Les Thatcher celebrating 60 years in wrestling. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk).
  • A story on the release of Ashley Massaro's PSA on suicide done before she herself committed suicide. (thanks to Barry Werrner)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Big Van Vader wins WCW World title