Chris Jericho, Orange Cassidy face-off announced for AEW Dynamite
UFC on ESPN 11 live results: Curtis Blaydes vs. Alexander Volkov
Travis Banks & Ligero dropped by PROGRESS amid abuse allegations
Brian Cage, Orange Cassidy part of nine match AEW Dark lineup
WWE SmackDown ratings up for second straight week
WWE SmackDown video highlights: Bray Wyatt returns
Intercontinental title match set for next week’s WWE SmackDown
WWE 205 Live results: Jake Atlas debuts
Ric Flair appearance confirmed for WWE Raw
Lion’s Break Collision series to air on NJPW World
WOL: Riddle debut, IWA Mid-South controversy, #SpeakingOut continues 6/20
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WON NEWSLETTER: June 22, 2020 Observer Newsletter: #SpeakingOut and the David Starr allegations, more
Coverage of an incredibly newsworthy week is the focus of this week’s double-issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
We look at what could be the end of the career of David Starr, his significance in wrestling, the charges made about him by an ex-girlfriend, his response, the response fro companies he was headlining for and a discussion of the bigger picture story and business history on the subject.
The new issue also has:
Most recent COVID-19 case in the WWE, how plans changed for WWE taping, the schedule going forward, the company’s policies on the subject of testing and fans how WWE’s reaction compares to other companies, the politicizing of the COVID story in Orange County and how things could change this week. We also look at how every other company is handling the situation, Kevin Owens not wrestling at next week’s taping, a UFC fighter who just tested positive and a training partner pulled from this week’s who had problems at the Orlando Airport that all the wrestlers that don’t live in the area have to fly into.
More on the departure of Paul Heyman as the head of Raw. We look at Heyman’s goals, USA Network’s reaction, the previous difference between Raw and Smackdown, how Raw has already changed, how the booking this year on Raw had changed, how NXT looked different, as well as a look at how all the wrestling shows have done over the past month and actual drops both from late last year and from early this year in the COVID era.
Talent that was being featured that wasn’t this week and why.
A feature on New Japan Pro Wrestling opening up, talking about the first shows, plus New Japan Cup coverage with match-by-match and star ratings, and where the tournament goes this week.
One of the most significant issues in MMA, weight cutting,and how another sport handles the situation.
A feature on the stockholders lawsuit against WWE regarding Saudi Arabia including two secret witnesses and what they have said about the television negotiations and what really happened after the October show when talent couldn’t get out of the country.
Full coverage of Backlash, noting the Randy Orton vs. Edge match, match-by-match coverage with star ratings as well as poll results on the show.
More on the XFL’s demise, a huge story regarding TV rights and how it relates to WWE & AEW when their deals are up, Evolve not running new shows, WWE and new touring shows, new TV series based on the life of a wrestling star, Sports ratings for the past week, Canadian ratings for the past week, most-watched shows on WWE Network and WWE’s current market value.
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Mustafa Ali talking the behavior of the police, replacement feud on Smackdown and why, Drew McIntyre talks current scene, the stalker returns to Performance Center, Randy Orton talks Tommaso Ciampa, Wade Barrett talks booking idea he was given, plus next week’s TV stuff.
Coverage of this past week’s UFC show.
A back of the book feature on Johnny “Mr. Wrestling II” Walker. We’ve got his unbelievably long career title history, a look back at Georgia Wrestling in the 70s and 80s, his early days as Johnny Walker, how far masked wrestlers went to keep their identities secret, Jim Cornette talks the one time he saw him without his mask and working with him in Mid South, Les Thatcher talks their friendship clothes, the kneelift, the birth of the gimmick and it taking off, his famous match with Junkyard Dog in New Orleans, and his period as the No. 2 babyface in the 60s in an opposition promotion in New York. We also look at his criminal record updated.
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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SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE
In his SmackDown debut last night, Matt Riddle interrupted AJ Styles’ Intercontinental title presentation and then defeated Styles in a non-title match. It aired after a lawyer for Riddle issued a statement earlier in the day denying the sexual assault allegation that was made against Riddle.
After Jack Gallagher was released by WWE, Jake Atlas defeating Gallagher still aired on last night’s episode of 205 Live. Like with Riddle’s SmackDown debut, the match was taped before the #SpeakingOut movement started. Gallagher wasn’t advertised as Atlas’ opponent before the show. WWE also didn’t tweet about the match, it wasn’t mentioned in the 205 Live results posted on WWE.com, and pictures from the match weren’t included in the photo gallery for the episode.
Big E had Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau and Riah Milton’s names written on his gear for last night’s SmackDown.
In an interview with the New York Post, Triple H was asked if he thinks The Undertaker could end his career on the boneyard match he had against AJ Styles at WrestleMania: “I don’t know. It’s hard for me to say when somebody like him puts it down because I feel like the dragon is always in front of him one way or another and he’s always gonna look to do it. I think it would be hard for him to end on some kind of theatrical piece like that because of what you said, the emotionality of it. We finished the last shot and then we’re like, ‘Alright, I think we got some good stuff let’s go home.’ There weren’t 80,000 or 100,000 people standing up going crazy and you getting to stand on the top of that stage and get to have that one last moment. It’s not the closure you’re looking for. Then again, if he decided to never come back or his health gets worse or he gets injured or something, this could be the last one. So, when I got involved in it, I was hell-bent on making sure for Mark this thing’s got to be everything it could be. It can’t fall apart on our end.”
WWE congratulated Titus O’Neil on being a finalist for this year’s Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award.
A new episode of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions will be made available on the WWE Network on June 28. Mark Henry will be the guest on the show.
WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa’s last man standing match for the NXT Championship from TakeOver: Brooklyn IV and MVP and Kofi Kingston’s United States title match from the June 1, 2009 episode of Raw.
wXw and Revolution Pro Wrestling issued statements regarding the #SpeakingOut movement.
Will Ospreay posted a statement denying that he’s ever been part of any group trying to blacklist Pollyanna from pro wrestling after she accused a friend of Ospreay’s of sexually assaulting her. Pollyanna replied to Ospreay’s statement by saying that he isn’t sorry and claiming that he did blacklist her.
CHIKARA announced that Kobald has been removed from their roster: “We have been made aware of a recent allegation about Kobald. We take all allegations of misconduct very seriously, and are looking into the matter. Our priority is and always will be the safety of our fans, cast & crew. In accordance with this, Kobald has been removed from our roster.”
Inspire Pro Wrestling announced that they’ve ended their working relationship with Andy Dalton.
After IWA Mid-South received criticism for posting and then deleting a picture of their show last night where social distancing wasn’t being practiced and there appeared to be minimal facial mask use, Ian Rotten wrote on Facebook: “Yes, folks. The rumors are true. Last night, I took a club and beat 226 people over the head like they were baby seals and then took $20 out of each one of their pockets and made them sit there for 4 hours. I forced them to enjoy the hell out of themselves. Seriously though, thank you to everyone whom came out and showed their support last night. I would say that I hoped you enjoyed yourself and that we entertained you, but then I would just be fishing for compliments because 90% of you told me on the way out the door what a great time you had. Thank you Indy. We will see you in September.” Rotten added that there were 300 masks available to people for free.
Game Changer Wrestling’s Brett Lauderdale explained the COVID-19 precautions the promotion took for tonight’s The Wrld On GCW show, which was held outdoors:
– 4 Multi-Outlet Santizer Stations
– Sanitize ropes & turnbuckles between every match
– Masks at the door
We are using a staggered Social Distance Seating Chart
– Ringside Seating at 50%
– Groups limited to 2 or 4 based on ‘household’ purchase
Kevin Kelly’s English commentary for the first two nights of the New Japan Cup is now available on NJPW World.
The Owen Hart Foundation announced that a new Owen Hart T-shirt and new Owen Hart tank top are coming to Pro Wrestling Tees on July 1: “New Owen Hart Tees Available Soon! Due to very popular demand new commemorative Owen Hart T-shirts will be available July 1st (Canada Day) with all proceeds donated to the OHF to help those most in-need. For more information please contact prowrestlingtees.com”
In his first interview since being released by WWE, Mike Chioda was the guest on yesterday’s episode of Talk is Jericho.
CW Anderson announced his retirement.
Dana White expressed sympathy for other MMA promotions who have had to lay people off during the coronavirus pandemic: “No. I know how hard this is, believe me. You guys, most of you have known me for a very long time. Whether you like me, you hate me; you don’t agree with me, you agree with me – when I come out and tell you something is the hardest thing that I’ve ever done, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and there were a lot of powerful forces battling against us for this to happen. And I don’t wish that on anybody. I know everybody thinks I hate all these … I don’t hate all these other groups. All these other groups need to survive for this thing to work for everybody. People getting laid off and losing their jobs – I don’t wish that on anybody, ever.”
White spoke about the UFC going back and forth between Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi during the coronavirus pandemic: “We’re going to be going back-and-forth to Abu Dhabi until the world comes back. This is an international business, and most of our fighters are international. We have to put on so many international fights, or I’ll end up smoking all the U.S. talent like that and we wouldn’t be able to put on any events. We’re going to be going back-and-forth to Abu Dhabi I’m assuming for a very long time.”
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