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Daily Update: Wendy Barlow, WWE notes, weekend preview


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WON NEWSLETTER: July 27, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Extreme Rules review, Good Brothers podcast, more

A look at the very good, and the very bad, of Extreme Rules is the lead story in the new double issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We also have a back-of-the-book feature on Carlton Haselrig, one of the greatest American heavyweight wrestlers in the history of the sport of wrestling.

The new issue also covers:

Interest levels in Extreme Rules and with the rating the next day, the lesson that tells us about certain types of angles, the background of Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio, along with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results on the show.

An examination of all facets of the Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson departure from WWE, including what makes sense, what doesn't, why, how come they were signed, how come they were given such a strong offer to stay, their release, A.J. Styles, angles set up for them in New Japan and AEW last year, the booking of Raw under Paul Heyman and much more.  This is a very detailed look not only at Gallows &  Anderson, but the roles of a number of different people and how Raw fell off the creative tracks

Impact Slammiversary with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results on the show.

Stephanie McMahon's interview in Ad Age covering wrestling during the pandemic, testing and what changes look to be permanent, as well as race relations.

The current plan for WrestleMania and how it has shifted, the new WWE Board of Directors, next week's Raw show, NXT North American title thoughts, notes on the next Takeover, update on Wendy Barlow and COVID, WWE producer let go, WWE loses major international deal and how it went down, WWE TV personality get bullied by fans, idea nixed for Raw this past week and all the different changes to the show, Adam Cole-Pat McAfee angel, Bellas update, sports ratings and Canadian TV ratings for the past week, another example of WWE marketing that ha led to the situation they are in, market value of WWE and the most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

This past weekend's UFC show.

A feature on Haselrig, a Pennsylvania sports legend who could have been an Olympic medalist or an all-time great NFL player, but drugs curtailed his career, but not before he set a heavyweight record that may never be beat and another record that almost surely will never be beat.

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. 

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Bryan Alvarez and Lance Storm will be doing a live show on Twitch at 8:30 p.m. Eastern tonight with a Q&A. Garrett Gonzalez and I will be doing a show tomorrow with Missy Hyatt and I will be doing a show tomorrow night with Bryan Alvarez covering UFC and New Japan as well as talk about other news. 

We'll have the complete breakdown in next week's issue, but the last five minutes of the Young Bucks vs. Butcher & Blade match on Wednesday did 1,018,000 viewers and 502,000 in 18-49. It also hit 1 million right before the commercial break.  It was the largest 18-49 number for a segment on Wednesday in months. I don't have minute-by-minutes for a few weeks ago but Keith Lee vs. Adam Cole almost surely hit 1 million at its finish as well, but came nowhere close in 18-49.  It's more the visual of how the match came across on television and the excitement level, and also a notable lesson. Great matches usually don't reflect in television ratings.  But what viewers want changes and obviously, this time it did.

Bellator at 10 p.m. Eastern tonight from Uncasville, CT on both Paramount Network and DAZN

  • Aaron Pico (145) vs. Solo Hatley Jr. (145.6)
  • Tywan Claxton (146) vs. Jay Jay Wlson (147.9)
  • Jason Jackson (171) vs. Jordan Mein (170.5)
  • Ricky Bandejas (135.4) vs. Sergio Pettis (134.7)

UFC weigh-in results for the seven hour show starting at 5 p.m. Eastern on ESPN and ESPN+ tomorrow:

  • Nathaniel Wood (136) vs. John Castaneda (136)
  • Ramazen Emeev (171) vs. Niklas Stolze (170.5)
  • Bethe Correia (136) vs. Pannie Kianzid (136)
  • Tanner Boser (235) vs. Raphael Pessoa (264)
  • Movar Evloev (146) vs. Mike Grundy (146)
  • Tom Aspinell (248) vs. Jake Collier (264)
  • Nicolas Dalby (160) vs. Jai Hebert (156)
  • Rhys McKee (170.5) vs. Khamzat Chimaev (171)
  • Alex Oliveiera (171) vs. Peter Sobotta (171)
  • Paul Craig (206) vs. Gadzhimurad Antigulov (206)
  • Carla Esparza (116) vs. Marina Rodriguez (115.5)
  • Fabricio Werdum (242) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (140)
  • Mauricio Shogun Rua (206) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (206)
  • Robert Whittaker (1286) vs. Darren Till (186) Dalby was fined 30 percent of his purse for missing weight by four pounds

New Japan Lion's Break Collision at 10 p.m. Eastern tonight on New Japan World:

  • Tom Lawlor vs. Alex Coughlin
  • Danny Limelight vs. Misterioso
  • Rocky Romero & Rust Taylor vs. TJP & Clark Connors
  • Jeff Cobb vs. Karl Fredericks

Thanks to everyone for their nice comments on the Carlton Haselrig piece in the current issue.

The biggest weekend show is the New Japan Sengoku Lord show which starts at 5 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning on New Japan World.  Our only weekend poll will be on the show, which is headlined by Evil vs. Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP & IC titles, Shingo Takagi vs. Sho for the Never title and Kazuchika Okada vs. Yujiro Takahashi.


  • Smackdown tonight has Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus in a bar fight, Miz TV with Naomi and Sasha Banks & Bayley will appear.
  • Smackdown will air at 11 p.m. tonight on Fox 2 in Detroit due to the Detroit Tigers vs.Cincinnati Reds baseball game. So the numbers tomorrow morning that come out for Smackdown will include those of the game, or be higher than the final numbers that won't be out until Tuesday, will be.
  • Cannonball, starring The Miz, did 561,000 viewers and 0.17 in 18-49, finishing No.46.  It went head-to-head with the Yankees-Nationals game on ESPN that did 4.01 million viewers, the largest regular season baseball number in many years for the first game of the unique new season.  Most expect sports to do a number on wrestling ratings the next few months.
  • Ric Flair's wife Wendy Barlow is either close to or is 100 percent after battling COVID-19 the past few weeks.
  • PWInsider reported that WWE has applied for a trademark of NXT UK Heritage Cup, so it sounds like they are doing some sort of a tournament on that brand coming up.


  • The William Hill Agency has listed Robert Whittaker as a -120 favorite over Darren Till in their fight tomorrow in Abu Dhabi.
  • The agency reported that last week there was a bet of $60,000 on Ariane Lipski which won the bettor $110,000.


  • The MLW TV show this coming weekend on BeIn Sports will be from 2003, with Dusty Rhodes vs. Terry Funk vs. Steve Corino in a death match, Satoshi Kojima vs.Mitsuya Nagai for the MLW title, Simon Diamond & CW Anderson vs. The SATs and Steve Williams & PJ Friedman vs. Jimmy Yang & Mike Sanders.
  • Mike Tyson opened as a -300 favorite over Roy Jones Jr. The feeling in the gambling world is that everyone will bet on Tyson because he's Tyson but the intelligent bettors will go heavily for Jones, being younger, having been active more recently, and being younger and taller. 
  • Bellator announced for its 8/7 show, Michael Chandler vs. Benson Henderson and Matt Mitrione vs. Timothy Johnson.  Curtis Millender vs. Sabah Homasi has also been reported for that show.  
  • Fox Sports has laid off another 50 people. John Ourand tweeted a comment from the network, "As part of Fox Sports' commitment to become a more efficient organization, we are taking steps to streamline our business.  As a result, today we announced the restructuring of several positions."
  • ROH's weekly news with Kevin Eck.
  • Mikey Jay has sold Melbourne City Wrestling to the team that owns the MCW Academy in Melbourne, which was affiliated with the promotion but not owned by him.  He will stay on in a production and possibly creative capacity.  One of the new owners is Robin Herbstriet, who runs Ringside Consulting, which is the firm that does the WWE's PR when they run Australia and New Zealand. 
  • Wide Bay Pro Wrestling looks to have the first show back in Queensland, Australia on 9/5 with a 150 person capacity (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • Synergy Pro Wrestling on 7/25 has a live show on, the second annual Garden State Invitational with first round matches of Simon Gotch vs. KTB, Tony Deppen vs. Gregory Iron, Matt Cross vs. Gary Jay and Myron Reed vs. Jordan Oliver.
  • A story on a proposed television show based on Lucha Libre.
  • A story on MLW's Calvin Tankman.
  • Jamie Hemmings contacted a number of African-Americans who work in wrestling and MMA media for a discussion about race in pro wrestling.
  • If you've heard about Johnny Valentine but never seen him, this is an example of his ability to sell at a more legit level than most in a 1969 match with Wild Bull Curry.
  • An interview with Sting on Saturday at 7 p.m. Eastern here.
  • Australian filmmaker Luke McCarthy on wrestling. (thanks to Lee Wall) 
  • A story on Andy Kaufman's 80s run in the Memphis territory (thanks to Lee Wall)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Sherri Martel wins WWF Women's title