Latest News:

NXT UK results: Previously unaired Hidden Gems   
ROH cancels all shows scheduled for June   
May 4, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Florida and UFC/WWE/AEW, more news   
MLW Anthology series to premiere in May   
AEW & NXT ratings: Dynamite wins in 18-49 and total viewers 
WWE releases Curtis Axel   
AEW Dynamite video highlights: TNT Championship tourney final is set   
VIDEO: WWE virtual roundtable with Scottish champions   
WWE NXT video highlights: Lee vs. Priest North American title match  

Latest Audio:

WOL: AEW ratings, live wrestling in Florida with fans, Gary Benfield, more! 5/1
Wrestling Weekly: David Schultz ‘Dark Side of the Ring’ discussion 5/1
Portland Wrestlecast: Johnny Mantell on Roddy Piper, funny ribs and more 5/1
B&V: Bryan and Vinny review AEW and NXT head-to-head! 4/30

WON NEWSLETTER: May 4, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Florida and UFC/WWE/AEW, more news

A look at how the major companies are looking at either running or not running is the lead story in this week’s issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We also have a major feature on the characters from ABC’s 20/20, from David Schultz, John Stossell, Jim Wilson and Eddy Mansfield, as well as a feature on Gerald Brisco and how Vince McMahon got control of the TBS time slot for one year.

The issue also covers:

The schedule for UFC, WWE and AEW. 

The time frame Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida talked about for live events, the hypocrisy sanctioning these events, why UFC isn’t running Las Vegas, ESPN’s change of policy, another state open to bring in wrestling, boxing and MMA, UFC’s first show back, update on Fight Island, Bellator plans and Scott Coker talks his ideas.

Another feature on WWE financials with Vince McMahon’s quotes on all facets of business going forawrd and what is and isn’t honest about them.  We also look at why you can’t compare live attendance, what category does look good and what does’t, empty arena shows, costs of taping now and why Vince says the WWE Network should grow.

The firings of Cain Velasquez and Curtis Axel and the departure, at least for now, of Gerald Brisco.

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How close Brisco and Vince McMahon have been, the 1984 purchase of GCW by McMahon and how it went down, how McMahon lost the time slot after one year, the WWE signing and usage of Vealsquez, and what major WWE decision-maker thought Axel would be one of the company’s signature stars.

The latest episode of Dark Side of the Ring on David Schultz. We look at the start of Schultz’s career, his feud with Hulk Hogan, slapping John Stossel, Eddy Mansfield, Jim Wilson, Jim Barnett, how Schultz got fired by WWE, Jim Cornette on the show, the Lou Thesz-Eddy Mansfield confrontaton, the deregulaton of wrestling, and how the story on Jimmy Snuka and the 20/20 story on wrestling intertwine.

New Monday night competition to Raw, 2K plans or 2020, How WWE stars get paid, wrestler who pulled out of tapings this past week, U.K. and Canada TV ratings, Taynara Conti and Mike Bennett talk being released, Jerry Lawler talks his remark bout Tozawa, Heath Slater talks his departure, David Starr talks current conditions and the most-watched bouts for the past week on WWE Network.

A harrowing story on Ilima lei-Macfarlane and her childhood going to the famed Punahou Schoolin Hawaii and the dirty secret the school covered up for decades that has just come to light.

Full coverage of the Impact Rebellion show with so many champions not there, as well as match-by-match coverage.

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 dave@wrestlingobserver.com or by going to www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci in the New York Times on the return of sports in the U.S: “U.S. disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that it “might be very difficult for major sports” in the U.S. to “return to action this year.” Fauci indicated that a “key variable” will be “whether the country can gain broad access to testing that quickly yields results.” He said, “If you can’t guarantee safety, then unfortunately you’re going to have to bite the bullet and say, ‘We may have to go without this sport for this season.’” He added, “I would love to be able to have all sports back. But as a health official and a physician and a scientist, I have to say, right now, when you look at the country, we’re not ready for that yet”.

So I finally got to see “My Dad is a Heel Wrestler” which is on NJPW World with English subtitles. I highly recommend it. Kokoro Terada, who plays Shota Omura, totally steals this film. Hiroshi Tanahashi is the lead in the movie playing the role of a babyface that was supposed to be the biggest star in Japanese pro wrestling, who was the most popular young wrestler in Japan a decade earlier, but a knee injury nearly ends his career and he comes back as a masked heel wrestler to hide his physical limitations.

His profession is kept from his young son, who has no idea of any of this, as the family kept it from him, but he follows his father to work and ends up at a wrestling show with the family of a girl he has a crush on. The movie is about young children and teenagers following pro wrestling and its heroes, with the current star of wrestling being Dragon George, played by Kazuchika Okada. The Z-1 tournament is coming and Cockroach is not at that level, largely due to knees that limit his mobility, but a series of injuries to others puts him in the tournament for what he believes will be the last time in his career. 

Between all this, the Cockroach wants to turn face because his son and his son’s classmates think being a heel is bad, then wants to quit, ends up getting fired, and everything you expect in a formulaic sports movie then doesn’t happen. It ends up with a lesson that you can’t have a top babyface without a heel and that while wins and losses count in pro wrestling, the most important thing is entertaining the crowd. You will cry many times in the last 20 minutes, that’s how good Terada plays his role. Tanahashi is really good at playing essentially Tanahashi if he had never made it big.

It’s not at the level of the Mickey Rourke “The Wrestler,” but would be No. 2 as far as pro wrestling movies go. There are more similarities as far as the movie being a slice of the time frame with the 1974 movie “The Wrestler,”  which was about the AWA in the 70s, while this is about New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2018, but this movie is far superior to that one.  Plus you get all kinds of NJPW cameos including Manabu Nakanishi swinging the old Iron Sheik clubs. 

Smackdown tonight has:

Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler in a MITB qualifier
Carmella vs. Mandy Rose in a MITB qualifier
New Day vs.. Forgotten Sons non-title match
King Corbin vs. Daniel Bryan

Jonathan Snowden’s biography of Ken Shamrock was released today. I was told this book is excellent.

Ariel Helwani reported today that Tyron Woodley was leaning toward accepting a main event with Gilbert Burns on the 5/23 UFC show that still doesn’t have a location. He said he was hoping for Colby Covington but he doesn’t want it.

Today is the 25th anniversary of the largest crowd in the history of pro wrestling, a show in North Korea headlined by Antonio Inoki vs. Ric Flair that drew 160,000 fans, although most were ordered to attend and had no idea what they were going to witness.  A story on the two shows that week can be found here.

MLW’s TV show tomorrow night: Octagon Jr. & El Hijo del Vikingo & Myzteziz Jr. defending the AAA trios titles against Jordan Oliver & Kotto Brazil & Myron Reed, plus Mocho Cota Jr. & Tito Santana & Carta Brava Jr. vs. Black Destiny & Fantastik & Rayo Star, both from Tijuana. Plus L.A. Park cooking and the build for Jacob Fatu vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Impact on Tuesday has a tape of The North defending the tag team titles but not from the tapings in Nashville and Cousin Jake vs. Joseph P. Ryan in a rematch. 
Super LTD announced today that it has acquired the North American distribution rights to “You Cannot kill David Arquette,” a movie about Arquette and his run through independent pro wrestling. More on that here.
Pro Wrestling Eve had scheduled three events this week in the U.K., which all ended up being canceled.  So instead, tomorrow at 4 p.m. Eastern time and 9 p.m. Greenwich time they will be airing the “Road to Wrestling Queendom” special on their YouTube page with Kay Lee Ray, Dash Chisako, Kris Wolf, Piper Niven, Nina Samuels, Charlie Morgan, Millie McKenzie and more.  On Tuesday, they will stream last year’s Wrestling Queendom show featuring Aja Kong vs. Piper Niven, a War Games match, a ladder match, plus Kay Lee Ray vs.  Meiko Satomura. And on 5/8 they will have a 24 hour live stream featuring never before released matches with Manami Toyota, Emi Sakura, Toni Storm and a match with Paige vs. Nikki Cross.  The stream starts at 7 a.m. Easter time, noon Greenwich time. These are one time only streams and they will not be added to the Eve YouTube library.
Kevin Eck talks the latest ROH news here.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Harley Race wins NWA title from Tommy Rich


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