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Daily Update: WWE tapings, AAA, OTT


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Are you interested in attending our annual F4W/WON convention? We will hold it during AEW Double or Nothing weekend. For more information, check this post for activities and prices.

WON NEWSLETTER: April 20, 2020 Observer Newsletter: WWE cuts staff, XFL folds, death of Howard Finkel

The life and times of Howard Finkel in the most details article on his life and wrestling career, as well as coverage of one of the biggest news weeks in the history of the industry highlight the current issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We go through WWE financials to look at cash on hand, cash available, the decision to continue tapings and the schedule which has since changed, why they made the call, the cuts, the Florida decision to make WWE an essential service, why, how the Governor's explanation makes no sense at all, what WWE did that make no sense health wise, reactions from other companies in the industry, the story behind the WWE's first Coronavirus positive and how the story the talent got and the public got were different.  We also look at the stories behind the cuts, looking at who different companies may or may not want, some NXT releases, sports owners look at WWE decisions, the monthly cost savings of talent cuts, and the first Corona virus death in pro wrestling.

In our story on Howard Finkel, we trace his career from his first connection with the McMahons in 1977, his first MSG ring announcing date, his late 70s ring announcing, his attempts to be a TV announcer, the decisions to take him off television, WWE doing national, his being the butt of Vince McMahon's jokes, his taking a blood test for Hulk Hogan, many in the business talk about Finkel, as well as angles he worked.

The new issue also covers:

AEW and UFC plans going forward.

Folding of the XFL, how it was handled, who did and didn't know, biggest creditors and why the decision to shut down was likely made.

Departure of the Revival and their new names, Bill Goldberg gives a WrestleMania blow-by-blow and talks Roman Reigns, DVR viewership of Raw, Ronda Rousey compares WWE to UFC, compares methods of pay, talks unionization, Rousey's last UFC contract terms, wrestlers respond to Rousey saying wrestling was fake, Lawler controversy, Canadian ratings, cruiserweight title tournament, UFC star talks going to WWE full-time in a few years, Dwayne Johnson talks pro wrestling, and most-watched shows on the WWE Network.

An explanation as to why UFC was so desperate to get back up and running.

The meeting between the Japanese government and many of the major business players and top stars in Japanese wrestling.  We look at who presided over it which explains why it happened, the talks on COVID-19, ability to return, plans to return and more.

The AEW vs. NXT battle and go through different demos, and how the viewers reacted to the different key matches.

Update on the matches scheduled for the Money in the Bank show.

Kevin Sullivan responding to Dark Side of the Ring, alleging Nancy stabbed him, as well as a planned WCW angle and how Chris Benoit came to ECW and then WCW.

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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Our weekend show with Bryan talking Howard Finkel, WWE business and Smackdown is already up on the site right now.

Some WWE talent that doesn't live in Florida is staying there for the time being to avoid flying back-and-forth and keeping in quarantine between tapings.  But not many. WWE and AEW are both lucky that Florida is the state opened up because both companies have a lot of talent living in Florida. 

As far as Google searches, Howard Finkel was the fourth most searched for topic in the U.S. on Thursday with 300,000 searches while Vince McMahon was No. 12 on Wednesday with 100,000, based on Donald Trump mentioning his name as one of the people he would consult regarding opening up the economy.

AAA ran a show last night on Facebook and YouTube. They actually taped several weeks worth of shows this past week, had the referee wear a mask and gloves and attempted to keep the referee as far away from the participants as possible.  They did only singles matches as opposed to trios matches. The announcers were kept far apart from each other. They were also wiping down the ropes and mat.    

A second wave of the virus has hit Japan, so don't expect shows any time soon there with fans. (thanks to Gary Collins)

Sports Illustrated has a great story on Danhausen, Shazza McKenzie, Chris Dickinson and other independent wrestlers and how the stoppage of pro wrestling has financially and career wise hurt them badly.



  • AEW will be airing footage from Matt Hardy's compound this week on Impact. The big angle they are doing is that Dustin Rhodes said that he will retire if he doesn't beat Kip Sabian on the show this coming Wednesday in the TNT title tournament. The Rhodes vs. Sabian winner will face Lance Archer on the TV show that airs on 4/29.


  • The OTT promotion in Ireland lost their wrestling school this weekend. Joey Cabray said that the landlord was unwilling to work with them in any form.  They say they will try and open up a new wrestling school soon.
  • The San Diego Comic Con, which was to take place 7/23 to 7/26, has been canceled.
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH had two titles switches earlier today at a no-fans show at their gym. Kotaro Suzuki beat Yoshinari Ogawa to win the jr.title and El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr. and Rene Dupree,who won the tag team tournament finals yesterday, came back to beat Naomichi Marufuji & Masaaki Mochizuki to win the tag team titles.
  • Kevin Clark, who wrestled in the 70s and 80s as The Zebra Kid, passed away on Friday from esophageal cancer. Greg Oliver has a story.
  • As expected the Glory 78 show set for 6/20 in Rotterdam, Holland, featuring Badr vs Benny as the main event, has been postponed. All tickets will be valid for when the fight takes place and they are hoping to announce a new date soon.
  • HBO is now airing "Stuber," the Dave Bautista comedy movie.
  • Matt Striker is appearing in a FOX  reality show called "Labor of Love." It features a woman who wants to have a child and she picks from different men to have the child with. Kristy Katzman, 41, is a smart and successful career woman who wants a child and there are 15 men in the cast.  She will put them through tests and pick a man. The show is set to debut on /21 in the 9 PM. time slot.
  • IWTV announced an international partnership with Sendai Girls, the promotion Meiko Satomura runs. They will be airing on Thursday at 10 p.m. Eastern the 2016 Sendai Girls major show of that year headlined by Satomura vs. Io Shirai.  IWTV will also debut a Shimmer, Rise and Smash Wrestling joint show called The Summit at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. IWTV is a subscription streaming pro wrestling service.
  • Impact is releasing a series of stay at home videos, including a comedy piece by Moose, Adam Thornstowe of Reno Scum shows us his other job working in a hospital emergency room and Tessa Blanchard & Jordynne Grace both issued stay-at-home videos.   
  • A new EC3 video. (thanks to Himanshu D)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Road Warriors win '86 Crockett Cup