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WON Preview (January 20, 2020): Death of Rocky Johnson, AEW extends TV deal

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.  He 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.

We also have 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.

We look at 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.

We also look at 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.  We look at how Dusty Rhodes created Kendo Nagasaki and who it was copied from.  We look at many of his other wrestling names.  We look at Sakurada's tough guy reputation and his days in sumo prior to pro wrestling.  We look at 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.  We also look at his fights in the ring,and his one MMA fight.

We also look at the 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.

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

We look at 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.

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

We also look at more money being sent into MMA with the PFL, its new ownership and revenue sources and how much new capita they now have.

We've also got 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.

We also have 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. 

We also have full coverage of all the WWE and AEW television shows from the past week.

We've also got 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.

We also have the results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 

Also in this issue:

--Big match at Arena Mexico

--A look at next week's show

--Update on Atlantis

--New CMLL rule about stars taking photos

--More legal issues with AAA

--Tournament for Dragon Gate tag titles

--A look at the Korakuen Hall show of the week

--A look at NOAH's title change

--More thoughts on the two New Japan shows at the Tokyo Dome

--A look at how New Japan World business did for the Dome shows

--Will Ospreay update

--New Japan coming to WrestleMania week

--A look at the New Japan World schedule for Friday and what it says about the U.S. tour

--A look at Fantastica Mania so far

--NOAH star takes a world title

--New ideas for Stardom shows

--Update on a movie about one of pro wrestling's best workers and why it won't be happening

--Former pro wrestler inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, and a look at the life of Alex Karras and one of the most famous builds and matches of the 60s with Dick the Bruiser

--A look at one of the most famous streetfghts with a pro wrestler

--Alex Karras playing a pro wrestling star in the movies

--Update on Bobby Fulton

--Next PWG show

--Dave Bautista gets a new TV role

--DemonMania show

--Terry Funk hosting an event

--Former UFC fighter debuting as a pro wrestler

--16 Carat Gold tournament update

--MLW new deal

--A look at this past week's MLW show and the next show

--Details on the big changes in ROH with Marty Scurll moved to creative

--What angle was planned for Scurll had he gone to AEW

--What type of deal did ROH make to keep him

--How does Hunter Johnston fit into everything

--Why Bandido signed to stay

--A look at the weekend ROH shows

--New AEW potential signing

--Jon Moxley vs. Josh Barnett match

--Lots of upcoming AEW bouts

--AEW ticket sale updates

--AEW injury updates

--Lots of AEW storyline updates

--Conor McGregor's claims

--USADA and Jessica Penne

--Major new UFC signing

--Big UFC fight is off

--A look at this week's UFC show

--Lots of new UFC fights

--Bellator big fights announced

--Demetrious Johnson goes after ONE title

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