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Daily Update: UFC fallout, Renee Young, Vida Gail James


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WON NEWSLETTER: June 29, 2020 Observer Newsletter: #SpeakingOut continues, WWE COVID-19 outbreak

The worst week in the pro wrestling industry since 2007 is looked back on in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We go through name after name, case after case, the culture, the situations, suggestions on changes and a history dating back to the 30s of women in wrestling's plight.  We look at Joey Ryan, the WWE talent, people fired from every company, companies restructuring, attorney letters, Jim Cornette, Sammy Guevara, Travis Banks, Marty Scurll, the U.K. culture, the legal aspect, the ugliness from the fan base, David Lagana, Michael Elgin, death of CHIKARA, and pretty much the only mainstream place that will touch the story.

We also look at the COVID outbreak in WWE.  We look at how it happened, why AEW is at risk, the new taping schedule, the plans to return to shows with fans quicker than you think, how the AEW decision making went, how WWE is getting around the travel ban, the Orlando, the mask ordinance, and much more.

The new issue also covers:

The ending of WWE Backstage, the Tuesday night block and more.

Update on the New Japan Cup tournament with this coming week's shows.

What was supposed to be a big deal and ended up going nowhere due to COVID, the Tessa Blanchard Impact title win. We talk about the ending, and why it happened the way it did.

Possible end of Undertaker's career, where wrestling stood this past week in sports ratings, WWE gets new overseas deal, most-watched shows on WWE Network and WWE's current worth.

This week's UFC show that featured a guy with a destroyed knee winning one of he best fights of the year.

Next two weeks of Wednesday night wrestling. 

Update on Extreme rules.

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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One of the most talked about episodes that we've done in a long time is the weekend show we did with Garrett Gonzalez and Andreas Hale that is up on the site right now. Also, the current issue has been one of the most highly-praised we've done, particularly the two lead stories.

Last night's UFC show was very strong. The Dustin Poirier vs  Dan Hooker fight has been generally considered top three for this year's fight of the year along with Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Shane Burgos vs. Josh Emmett.  Other fights you should go out of your way to see were Sean Woodson vs. Julian Erosa, Brandan Allen vs. Kyle Daukaus and Mike Perry vs. Mickey Gall.  Plus the TakashiSato vs. Jason Witt fight is devastating.

The scorecards for the Poirier vs. Hooker fight saw all three judges give Hooker the first two rounds and Poirier the last three, which is what I would have done as well. There were no complaints as 100 percent of the media scores were for Poirier.  Judge Eric Colon's 48-46 score was based on giving Poirier a 10-8 round four.

We are saddened to report the death of Vida Gail James, who has been married to Bob Armstrong since 1960 and is the mother of Brian, Brad, Steve and Scott Armstrong. Brian & Scott noted that they were thankful that Bob was able to be at her side at the end.

On Google search charts for the past week, Dustin Poirier was the No. 5 most searched term in the U.S. yesterday with more than 100,000.  Mike Perry was no. 10 with 100,000. On Friday, Dave Bautista was No. 16 with 50,000 for the Love Walk in Tampa that he and Titus O'Neil spearheaded.  The Rock was No. 20 on Thursday with 50,000 because he's The Rock. And the dubious distinction of the most searched for name over the past week in pro wrestling, boxing or MMA is Sammy Guevara with 200,000 on Monday. Guevara is the only name from any Speaking Out stories that got any traction at all mainstream, and the WWE's COVID breakout also got nothing.

Renee Young is doing much better. She also tweeted that she will make an announcement on Wednesday.


  • The original plans to tape the entire month of NXT over Wednesday and Thursday has been changed. Both episodes of the Great American Bash for 7/1 and 7/8 will be taped Wednesday.  They will tape two weeks of Smackdown on Thursday and two weeks of Raw on Friday. And that is obviously all subject to change because there were multiple changes this past week.
  • An amazing interview with EVP John Brody explaining why WWE is still running, especially when invoking the name of Ric Flair in talking about safety measures.
  • Scheduled for Raw are contract signings for Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre and Asuka vs Sasha Banks. At least a few talents were not at the tapings for COVID related reasons.


  • Dana White wasn't at the show last night because he took matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard on a vacation to Cabo after all their work in putting the last several weeks of shows together. After he gets back, White will head to Yas Island for several weeks. There are no UFC shows until 7/11, the next PPV show.
  • Dustin Poirier was given the first Forrest Griffin Community Award for all of his work in establishing The Good Fight Foundation in Lafayette, LA. This year they have donated more than 1,000 meals to frontline healthcare workers at local hospitals and clinics. Last night they donated meals to hundreds of people in the city at a burger restaurant where they all watched last night's show together.
  • A preview of Fight Island.


  • Regarding a talk a few days ago on the radio show about the Crush Gals in WWF, they did three matches. On March 8, 1986, at the Boston Gardens,they beat Judy Martin & Donna Christantello.On March 11, 1986 in Poughkeepsie in a dark match, they beat Black Venus & Leilani Kai. And on March 16, 1986, in Madison Square Garden, they beat Kai & Penny Mitchell. Dump Matsumoto & Bull Nakano also teamed up that week in WWF rings for Matsumoto's only WWF matches. In Boston, they lost to Dawn Marie (not the same Dawn Marie who was in WWE in the 00s and came from ECW) & Velvet McIntyre.  In MSG they beat McIntyre &  Linda Gonzalez. (thanks to Paul Sosnowski)
  • The New Japan Cup continues on Wednesday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo with Taichi vs. Kota Ibushi, Sanada vs. Sho, Yoshi-Hashi vs. Bushi and Evil vs. Hirooki Goto.
  • The Dave Bautista movie "My Spy" was released on Amazon Prime on Friday.
  • Bret Hart is launching a 35 episode online series on his web site priced at $1 per episode called "Confessions of the Hitman", with Hart discussing different aspects of his life and career.  There is a preview on his Instagram account.
  • PCW in Melbourne, Australia was scheduled to have its first show back last night but it was moved to 7/25 because Melbourne had a spike in cases and new restrictions have ben put in.
  • Alex Cuevas has been dropped by Singapore Pro Wrestling and Philippine Wrestling Revolution after multiple claims. 
  • The movie 350 Day that Evan Ginzberg did is now free on Amazon Prime, Tubi and Roku.
  • Steve Ogilvie in New Zealand is selling (on behalf) several original Ali vs Inoki items including posters & magazines from Japan & the UK. He can be reached at
  • A story on a play about the life of Ivan Koloff. (thanks to Lee Wall)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Undertaker-Mankind Hell in a Cell