Daily Update: UFC 249 changes, Drew McIntyre, NJPW notes


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WON NEWSLETTER: March 30, 2020 Observer Newsletter: WrestleMania continues to change

An update on pro wrestling around the world, where almost everything is canceled, update on WrestleMania, and how every company is handling the situation is the lead story in this week’s issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Why WWE had to tape WrestleMania in advance, update on the card, update on the changes, some of the early changes, what matches were changed from last week and why, many different matches that were talked about as recently as a week ago, PPV price, NXT big matches and the NXT UK next major show.

The new issue also covers: 

The massive stock sale of Vince McMahon, the questions regarding why he would do it, how much of the company he still owns, the television deal with ESPN, and how it compares with airing of big fights from the UFC and boxing on ESPN this week.  We also look at the latest WWE Network free offer and what it entails, how long AEW will be going without fans at shows, why the original plans for last week had to be scrapped, who is iced for now from appearing on AEW TV, how hard it has been to put shows together ad new dates.

Dana White’s comments regarding UFC 249, what he said about testing and what the doctors have said about doing shows right now.  We also look at White’s plans to make up for missed shows, Impact canceling its PPV, the Japanese sports scene, the Governor of Tokyo talks shutting down the city, the difference in stats between Tokyo and New York, and what Korakuen Hall management has decided.

Shows in Japan this past week and decisions made by companies for this coming week.  We look in particular at how New Japan is handling this as compared with other companies.  We look at problems for Americans getting to Japan, when the next possible New Japan show is and what content New Japan has been producing.

The arrest of Jon Jones this past week, details of the arrest and a look back at Jones’ arrests and drug test failures.

The best of the 10s, who were the Best of the Decade as far as the Thesz/Flair Award, MMA Most Valuable, Most Outstanding Wrestler of Fighter, Biggest Box Office Draw, Best Tag Team, Best on Interviews, Most Charismatic, Best Technical, Best Brawler, Best Flyer, Best Promotion, Who had the best matches over the past decade, Best Non-Wrestler and Best Television announcer.

Daniel Bryan also talks his future after his current contract expires, WWE stars make marketing donations, WWE renews major TV deal, U.K. ratings for WWE and AEW, how WWE contract work and how that pressures some wrestlers into signing new deals, behind what Braun Strowman said that caused so much controversy, key exec stock sales, Arn Anderson on what Vince McMahon wanted said about Sting, new WWE movie coming to Netflix, Injury updates, and most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

A feature on the death of Branko Cikatic, the first K-1 champion and a pioneer on major MMA shows in Japan.  We look at his gigantic career, what star was made in Japan by beating him, the first K-1 World Grand Prix and early Pride shows.

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. 

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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Bryan and I will be back tonight covering Raw, the ever-changing UFC 249, WrestleMania and many other subjects with Wrestling Observer Radio. You can send in questions for tonight’s show to

It was said that UFC’s first call for a potential new opponent for Tony Ferguson on 4/18 would be Justin Gaethje. Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley both said they would also be willing to fight each other on the show.  With Russia having sealed its borders and Khabib Nurmagomedov there right now, it doesn’t look good for him fighting on the date. If he misses this date, because of Ramadan, which Nurmagomedov celebrates, he probably wouldn’t be able to fight again until August. This is officially the single most jinxed main event fight in MMA history.

Raw tonight has Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Edge and Becky Lynch. It is the most low-key go-home show for WrestleMania in history, a show taped this past Tuesday. With a closed set, little is known but I believe they will shoot an angle to change the Raw tag title match to the Street Profits vs. Austin Theory & Angel Garza, but who knows what they’ll do and how they’ll handle things.

Roman Reigns confirmed being off WrestleMania. Paul Levesque was on SportsCenter earlier today pretty much saying the same thing, but he’s still being advertised everywhere for it and WWE’s web site hasn’t listed a change.

We have a two-part interview with Jim Ross up on the site today that Jim Valley and I conducted yesterday, talking about a plethora of different subjects. Ross’ new book, “Under the Black Hat,” which he wrote with Paul O’Brien, covering the last 20 years of his life, will be released tomorrow. You can order the book right now here and Ross will personally autograph it . 

Drew McIntyre talked to Mirror about WrestleMania and going on with the show, and his thoughts behind-the-scenes on Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman.
Edge did an interview with Sports Illustrated and noted that to get in shape, because he didn’t want anyone to know he was training, WWE sent him a ring for his house and The Revival, who live in the same city as he does, were his regular training partners.
The new episode of Road To is up.
Garrett Gonzalez interviews Antonio Thomas about his life and career.
New Japan has canceled its May tryouts in New Zealand for obvious reasons.
Anarchy Wrestling did an empty arena show on Saturday night in Cornelia, GA. 
Both ROH and the New Japan World service will be putting out last year’s Madison Square Garden show up for free. ROH will stream the show Sunday at Noon on YouTube. New Japan World will also put the show up for free at some point on Sunday.
There will be a huge convention of former wrestling stars from 8/13 to 8/16 in Charlotte at the University Hilton. There will be a banquet hosted by Jim Cornette where they will honor The Road Warriors, the Von Erichs, The Rock & Roll Express, The Fantastics and Jimmy Valiant.  Among those appearing will be Animal, Paul Ellering, Kevin Von Erich, Ricky Morton, Robert Gibson, Bobby & Jackie Fulton, Valaint, Ron Simmons,Butch Reed, Stan Lane, Steve Keirn, Tom Prichard, Tommy Rich Terri Runnels, Billy Jack Haynes, Steve Simpson, Ronnie Garvin, Ken Resnick and more.
CWE on 5/5 in Grand Prairie, Alberta, at the Jackpot Grill Events Center has Shane Douglas vs. Beri Gayson.
A Will Ospreay match from 2018 in Queensland, Australia has been released.
A story on Shota Umino’s last match in the U.K. before the Lockdown by Mark Pickering.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Ric Flair’s Retirement Match


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