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Daily Update: Usman/Masvidal confrontation, Andrade, John Cena


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WON NEWSLETTER: January 20, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Death of Rocky Johnson, AEW extends TV deal

We've got what will be one of the biggest issues of the year, a double issue with a look at the lives and careers of Rocky Johnson, La Parka and Kendo Nagasaki, plus what will be one of the biggest news stories of 2020, the AEW new television extension with TNT through 2023.

The lead story goes into the life and career of Rocky Johnson, the father of Dwayne Johnson and one of pro wrestling's biggest stars of the 1970s. We talk about Johnson's death this past week, his ancestry, the story of him being kicked out of the house at 13, his background in boxing and wrestling along with ties to both Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, as well as where the name Rocky Johnson came from.

We talk about his main skills, his dropkicks, the birth of Dwayne Johnson, the best television match on Roy Shire television of the 70s, his quick rise to main events and championships, and how his run in Los Angeles in 1970 made him into one of the biggest stars in pro wrestling. We cover his years in San Francisco, his landmark program with Jerry Lawler, his headlining in St. Louis, his world title battles, early championships and his brother, as well as how Dwayne Johnson got started in pro wrestling.

The new issue also covers:

Full details of the new television deal between AEW and TNT, including the value, the options, how this relates to the old deal, how this compares to other deals, what we know about the second show, questions this brings up regarding WWE countering, stars that are about to become free agents, Tony Khan talks the new deal, and the ratings in 18-49 and value per episode update on Raw, Smackdown, NXT and AEW and what type of value did TNT get for its money.

The death of La Parka, including his connection with the first La Parka, as well as the uncle of the first La Parka. We look at his career before La Parka, his rise to fame in AAA, his period on top, his biggest feuds, his heel turn and why it flopped, L.A. Park comments on his rival and more on his biggest matches.

The death of Kazuo Sakurada, the Japanese Kendo Nagasaki. We look at his connection with Bret Hart, with comments by Bret Hart, Ross Hart and Fumi Saito. How Dusty Rhodes created Kendo Nagasaki and who it was copied from.  Many of his other wrestling names.  Sakurada's tough guy reputation and his days in sumo prior to pro wrestling.  How he got into pro wrestling, his original relationships with Giant Baba and Genichiro Tenryu, his day in Stampede Wrestling as one of its biggest tag team stars, his wrestling in Japan, Mid South, WCW and the story of he and Bruiser Brody from Puerto Rico. His fights in the ring,and his one MMA fight.

Next WWE show in Saudi Arabia, a new Dwayne Johnson television show, a new Miz television show, notes on the return of Big Show, Paul Levesque and Paige, Bret Hart filming a WWE show, Brock Lesnar honored, WWE trademarks, WWE BT party in London,WWE European ratings, notes on several new WWE signings as well as a major star who has met with Paul Levesque about coming in.  We look at the next MSG show, DVR viewership of WWE programming, plus a look at all the WWE & NXT live events over the past week with results,highlights and business notes.

Update the Royal Rumble and World Collide shows and how tickets are selling for the next round of major WWE events.

The Tessa Blanchard controversy and her winning the Impact title, with comments from many in wrestling and a full rundown of TNA Hard to Kill with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.

Update the changes at Bellator in structuring, who is now in charge and what may be happening next.

More money being sent into MMA with the PFL, its new ownership and revenue sources and how much new capita they now have.

Coverage of the WWE U.K. Takeover show, with show notes, business notes, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results of the show.

The 2019 Wrestling Observer Awards ballot.

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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  • On today’s episode of WWE’s The Bump, Robert Stone said Chelsea Green will be wrestling on NXT tonight. The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic finals will also take place, with Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne facing The Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake). The winning team will challenge for Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish’s NXT Tag Team titles at TakeOver: Portland. Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai is also set for tonight, and Adam Cole’s TakeOver: Portland challenger will be revealed.
  • NXT posted video of an angle yesterday where Finn Balor attacked Trent Seven in the parking lot.
  • In a video for the WWE Performance Center’s YouTube channel, Matt Riddle discussed his Royal Rumble appearance and still wanting to face Brock Lesnar. Riddle said he doesn’t care what Lesnar says or whether he wants the match or not, it isn’t up to him. Riddle said he’s going to make that match happen and take Lesnar’s career.
  • WWE Backstage averaged 97,000 viewers on FS1 last night, down from the 111,000 it averaged last week. The rating in the 18-49 demo was a 0.04, down from last week’s 0.06. Last Tuesday’s show had appearances by CM Punk and Becky Lynch, while last night’s show was filmed in Miami and featured Roman Reigns and The New Day.
  • Ronda Rousey will be one of the guests on tomorrow’s episode of Corey Graves’ After the Bell podcast. WWE uploaded a clip from the podcast where Rousey praises Rhea Ripley and says she’s looking forward to seeing if they ever get the opportunity to face each other. Rousey also said she hopes Charlotte Flair faces Ripley at WrestleMania. MVP and Santino Marella are the other guests on tomorrow’s After the Bell.
  • Andrade commented on his recent wellness policy violation on Instagram, saying “Never quit because things got tough, remember where you come from and where you are going.”
  • John Cena is on promotional material for Fast and Furious 9.
  • The Milwaukee Brewers will host WWE Night on July 25.

Other Wrestling


  • Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman got into a verbal confrontation today in Miami at the Super Bowl radio row.
  • Masvidal later spoke to ESPN on Usman and when he’d be back in the octagon.
  • Usman also spoke to ESPN regarding the confrontation, saying it’s just the fight business.
  • Johnny Walker has signed with Paradigm Sports Management.
  • Cody Stamann will fight Raoni Barcelos at UFC on ESPN 8 on March 28.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Cena defeats Styles for WWE title at Royal Rumble 2017