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Daily Update: WWE notes, Heath Slater, Tetsuya Naito


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Live on Twitch: Bryan & Vinny's WCW Nitro odyssey comes to an end

Bryan and Vinny's journey through all of the editions of WCW Monday Nitro have finally brought them to the final episode, one that changed the landscape of wrestling forever.

And to commemorate the big occasion, they are doing their Tuesday night show live and free our Twitch channel starting at approximately 8 PM Pacific/11 PM Eastern.

As a reminder, Twitch subscribers and Amazon Prime users can get an ad free version of Twitch with some added bonuses. Here's the details.

You. Bryan. Vinny. Vince. Shane. Flair. Sting. Actual fans. Tonight. Join us.

WON NEWSLETTER: April 27, 2020 Observer Newsletter: WWE schedule changes, layoffs, and quarterly financials

We've got one of our biggest news issues of the year out this week, a double-issue with a number of bios and history features, updates on all the major promotion moves when it comes to scheduling and WWE business notes.

The issue also covers:

Changes in the WWE schedule, why the company changed plans after just one week, who benefits the most, as well as AEW going back too taping and details of that.  We also look at the next AEW PPV show, an employee complaints about WWE continuing, differences between what AEW, UFC and WWE are doing, what firing hurts the WWE perception and thoughts of people sitting it out, a doctor talks about what is needed to do these shows without a health risk and the WWE event schedule for the next few months.

A number of recent new WWE cuts, including some surprises, how the WWE dividend and Vince McMahon's share fits into these cuts, projections for 2020 profitability if house shows don't return for the rest of 2020, and why several people got cut.

The most in-depth coverage of WWE business, covering each department of the company, lots of Vince McMahon reaction to the numbers and the future, what McMahon said that is and isn't true, the story behind the ratings and the story behind increases and declines across the board.  Plus we examine the WWE network numbers.

Changes in the business going forward.

Joe Pedicino and pro wrestling, how he got in, his early innovative ideas, how Nigerian scram, his promotion of Global Wrestling, how it fell apart, stars who got breaks there and lie after wrestling.

Oliver Luck's lawsuit against Vince McMahon, what is it all about and how much the XFL actually lost before it folded.

HHH's thoughts on two-night WrestleManias going forward, A.J. Styles talks Gallows & Anderson losing their job, Roman Reigns update, Ronda Rousey update, Arn Anderson talks why Cesaro doesn't get pushed, Canadian wrestling TV ratings, story on a surprise on Raw this past week who was canceled after the show started, update on Drake Maverick, the Smackdown announce team, and the most-watched shows on the WWE Network.

PFL closing down for the year, why what they said publicly was somewhat misleading and why they are still paying fighters, as well as thoughts on shutting down.

A number of new stories on Howard Finkel, both people who helped out and people who bullied him and looking back on those situations.

The first UFC fighter announced COVID-19 positive.

Brawl for All, going behind the scenes, a look at the Dark Side of the Ring coverage, examining the coverage and looking back at the entire scenario.

Look back at the Jimmy Snuka/Nancy Argentino death case, look at Dark Side coverage and add a lot more that wasn't covered.

A back-of-the-book feature on Dick Steinborn, who was a big star in the 60s and 70s, and his father Milo, one of the strongest men in the world and a wrestling promoter.  We look at Milo's amazing feats of strength, as well as both the positive and negatives of the legacy of Dick in pro wrestling.

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. 

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  • WWE uploaded a post-Raw video where Ricochet & Cedric Alexander accepted the challenge thet NXT’s Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink issued to them last night. On Twitter, Ricochet posted that their match will be on next week’s Raw. MVP aligned with Thorne & Vink on last night’s show.
  • WWE and Drew McIntyre celebrated World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore’s birthday by gifting him a customized title belt. Moore has been raising money by walking for the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.
  • Kalisto posted a video giving an update on his status. Kalisto said he suffered an AC separation in his shoulder on December 31 and had some ligament tear. He said the injury didn’t require surgery, but there’s a longer recovery and he’s taking his time so he can come back 100 percent.
  • Stephanie McMahon is among the new additions to Ad Council’s board of directors. She tweeted about the news: “Honored to be joining the @AdCouncil Board of Directors and serve alongside an incredible group of business leaders who endeavor to serve the American public with meaningful campaigns around important social causes.”
  • Sports Illustrated asked Bayley if she thinks she and Sasha Banks could continue the build for a match between them until WrestleMania 37: “I think we can. We’ve bounced ideas off each other for as long as we’ve known each other, and we learn from each other so much. With all of our ideas and how much we are trusted by the people backstage, I think it’s possible. It would be challenging, but I think that would be so cool. Someday, I hope we do get to work together again. She’s my favorite person to be in the ring with, obviously, so I would be down to try.”
  • Chris Van Vliet has an interview with Mandy Rose.
  • Rey Mysterio, Carmella, “Billions” co-creator Brian Koppelman, Big E, and Becky Lynch have been announced as guests for tomorrow’s episode of WWE’s The Bump.
  • The WWE Network has added a new Best of WWE compilation titled “Stone Cold’s Hell Raisin’ Moments”
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels in the company’s first-ever ladder match from 1992, Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy from No Mercy 2008, and Paige vs. Nikki Bella from Money in the Bank 2015.

Other Wrestling

  • Heath Slater discussed his release from WWE while appearing on this week’s episode of Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia. He spoke about being burned out in WWE: “I was burned out man. Like burned the hell out, fact. I knew it, family knew it, my co-workers knew it. I was just burned out and it’s like 14 years, four years developmental, ten years on the road to where it’s you can be promised, you can be told, you can have it in your hand and ready and it just changes on the drop of a dime, and then it’s one of those things like putting everyone over for ten years will take a toll on somebody. Confidence and your drive, your fire, all of that and it’s like, my goodness. I do everything you ask. I can’t get a bone? Like that type of thing. I went through those a lot, a lot! And I wish I would’ve took more control. You know, walking in there saying, ‘Why is this happening? Why are we doing this? Why can’t we do it this way? I have 15 other damn great reasons why we could do it this way, but why are we going that way?’ Which takes a toll on you a little bit.”
  • Slater also spoke about getting his fire, hunger, and focus back now that he's been released: "I think what it was in my younger days was the whole -- but I did go in there and try to talk. I did go in there and try to push but they just, ‘No, no.’ I heard ‘no’ too many times, to where I literally said, ‘You know what? Sh*t. I ain’t gonna pitch no more sh*t,’ because when I do, it goes nowhere or if I do pitch something good, they give it to someone else to where I’m just sitting there like, ‘Hello! Come on now. When you get tired of hearing, ‘No, no. Not for you, not for you, not for you. Can’t do that. No, no, no,’ you kinda start believing. You kinda start damn believing it and then, like I said, getting fired I really believe I needed this. The times are crazy. The times are weird now because you can’t go out and make money and all that stuff, but I really believe I needed this to get the fire, get the hunger, focus. I can honestly tell you that out of the last four or five years, besides me and Terry [Rhyno] winning the tag titles, which was an awesome little run, I have been so burned out and not even really caring, to where this happened, so I have to say thank you for lighting that fire for me again. Giving me that, ‘Oh, what? I’m gone? So I can spread my wings and fly a little bit?’ I thank WWE for every year I was there. Every damn year I was there, I thank them because man, I went so many places I never even dreamed of ever going and it’s just one of those things where I made so many relationships with so many people and best friends too. Drew [McIntyre] is one of my best friends, period. He was the second person to text me when everybody got released. So it’s just one of those things where like, hey if I didn’t work there all this time, I wouldn’t have met or gone or experienced so many things. So that part was amazing. But then again, every job is like a relationship. You got your ups, you got your downs but it’s how you handle it.”
  • Aiden English spoke to Inside the Ropes about his release from WWE.
  • Sportskeeda interviewed former NXT wrestler MJ Jenkins about her release.
  • Luke Gallows filed a trademark for his “Sex Ferguson” alter ego.
  • AEW released this week’s Road to TNT Championship video.
  • WWE has been granted an extension to oppose or request another extension regarding Cody’s attempts to trademark "Slamboree" and "The Match Beyond."
  • While speaking with NJPW’s website, IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito discussed only wanting to defend one title at a time: “If every defence I have is going to be for both titles, then what’s the point of having two titles? Why not unify them at that point? Maybe that’s a conversation that we have, but for the time being there are two titles, so why not use them both? I think it should be fine to defend one title belt at a time.”
  • TV Insider interviewed Josh Mathews and Madison Rayne about doing commentary together for Impact Wrestling’s empty arena shows: Mathews said: “We’re in such a unique world right now. Calling these shows from home without an audio engineer or producer. Literally sitting down with a laptop going segment by segment. We’ve been watching the shows as we’ve been going along, playing it out before we hit record. I think it helps taking the time to go through it. Then I’m constantly on the phone with Scott D’Amore or Jimmy Jacobs or Don Callis from creative and communicating. It really is a collaboration, which is awesome. It’s the old wrestling cliche where what you see is your real personality turned up a bit. I think it’s our chemistry turned up a bit for the two hours.We are cognizant of what is going on in the world, so we want to bring smiles on people’s faces for those two hours on AXS TV.” Rayne said: “I think as an athlete by trade I put a lot of pressure on myself with whatever I do. I’m my own worst critic. That’s no different with this because I’m representing  the company. I’m also representing my partner in the broadcast booth and in life. I want to do a good job because I know how I’m doing is a direct reflection of how he is teaching. That’s one of the things I love so much about Impact Wrestling is that we’re given all these opportunities to branch out and push ourselves out of our comfort zone and try new things, all within the space we love. For the creative team, production and everyone who gave me this chance, I want to do well. I have big shoes to fill. I think Don Callis is incredibly talented. I enjoy hearing his feedback and getting the feeling that I’m doing a good job too.”
  • The NWA streamed a look back at the modern rebirth of their brand.
  • Sports Illustrated interviewed Bronson Rechsteiner, the son of Rick Steiner, and asked if he would ever consider a career in pro wrestling: “I’m open to it. But I know wrestling will always be there for me. It’s always been my dream to carry the family’s legacy in professional sports, and I’m staying focused on taking football as far as I can.” Rechsteiner recently signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent.


  • The UFC released a new hype video for UFC 249.
  • Donald Cerrone spoke to MMA Fighting about his loss against Conor McGregor from UFC 246: “My brain was definitely rattled from the ass-whooping I took in 40 seconds. But I feel good. My eye healed up enough. My heart is still hurt, but that’s what makes it a man’s sport. We go in there and figure it out. That’s the only thing you can do is to suck it up and keep moving. I can’t dwell on that. Can’t sit and worry about all that. I had my moment. I let it go, but at the end of the day, I got in there and did it. I stood with one of the best and I’m proud. I’m proud of what I’ve become in the sport. I’m proud as a father. It’s what I do. I give people hope and I keep fighting. That’s how we do it.”
  • Kevin Lee is set to undergo surgery to repair a torn ACL and is expected to be out of action for at least six months.
  • Michael Chiesa wrote that he doesn’t plan on having his next fight until he can train and be at his absolute best.
  • ONE Championship has postponed all of their May events due to the coronavirus pandemic. ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong wrote: “BREAKING NEWS: All May events for ONE Championship will be postponed until further notice due to the recent COVID-19 developments (border closings and lockdowns) across most countries in Asia. Our highest priority remains the safety and health of our athletes, officials, staff, fans, and the public during these challenging times. My team and I are working around the clock on multiple options to bring back our events as soon as safely possible. Stay tuned for news! #WeAreONE”
  • Vitor Belfort said he’s expecting his ONE debut to be against Alain Ngalani.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Owen Hart wins Intercontinental title