Daily Update: Roman Reigns, ACH, UFC notes


Latest News:

The Revolt to appear on Talk is Jericho this Wednesday
WWE Raw ratings reach new all-time record low this week
WWE announces schedule for ‘Undertaker: The Last Ride’
UFC postpones Australia date, still planning June 6th PPV
Kip Sabian vs. Colt Cabana, two other matches slated for AEW Dark
Rescheduled dates announced for WWE Australia/New Zealand tour
WWE Raw video highlights: AJ Styles returns
Edge, Randy Orton & Becky Lynch appearing on WWE Raw next week
AJ Styles returns to WWE Raw, qualifies for Money in the Bank
Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville announced for WWE SmackDown

Latest Audio:

WOL: RAW, Money in the Bank main event, Roman Reigns, more! 5/5
DragonKingKarl Classic Wrestling Show: April and May 1981 5/5
WOR: RAW, Money in the Bank, AEW and NXT, more! 5/5

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 forward 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 doesn’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.

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 Velasquez, 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 confrontation, the deregulation 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.

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.

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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.


During the countdown of the top 10 Money in the Bank moments that aired on last night’s Raw, Seth Rollins cashing in at WrestleMania 31 was edited so that Roman Reigns wasn’t shown.
The Viking Raiders defeated Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits in a non-title match last night, seemingly setting up a title match for Money in the Bank. That match hasn’t been officially announced by WWE yet.
In an interview with Sportskeeda, Matt Riddle spoke about whether he has any heat backstage: “I’ll tell you this. Do I have heat with WWE or NXT, or the people that run the show? No. Do I have heat with some people that think I’m disrespectful at times because they don’t understand how business works? Yes. Do people take things too serious? Yes. And honestly, I’ve had to give talks at NXT, and it’s not like I stopped the place, but it’s like while everybody’s talking I’m interjecting like, ‘Hey. I’m going to tweet or say something that offends you. Realize I’m not trying to actually offend you, I’m just trying to make people think I am.’ I’m putting out an image, a facade, you know? If I talk a certain amount of trash, people are like, ‘Oh, man, that guy’s uncontrollable, he does what he wants.’ You know what I’m saying? I’m doing the job, I’m in the business I’m in. I’m a tag champ, I was in the Rumble, so how does this guy have so much nuclear heat? I was in Vince McMahon’s office like three weeks ago before this whole thing broke out. I was in headquarters talking to him — and, yeah, we mentioned the heat I have with certain people but, at the end of the day, he signs the checks, he makes it happen for me, and they’re in control, not the talent. As long as my employer’s happy and I can make them money and make them a profit, and I’m worth my weight and I’m pulling my weight, I don’t see a problem. To answer your question, yes, some people I have heat with. But most of it’s just high school, catty, ‘He said this,’ people who just can’t take a joke or a work.”
E! has an article about revelations made in Nikki and Brie Bella’s new book “Incomparable.” 
The Street Profits spoke to TalkSport about working with Paul Heyman:
Angelo Dawkins: Paul that dude!
Montez Ford: Yeah, Paul’s that guy. He has a mind like any other. He knows exactly what works, what doesn’t work. He knows what things to carve, he just knows the ins and outs of everything, and if you didn’t already know, he’s the advocate for possibly, arguably, one of the greatest superstars of all-time in Brock Lesnar.
Dawkins: He’s one of the guys who as soon as we got up there, he was like ‘ay, ya’ll be ya’ll. We brought you up here for a reason, ya’ll be ya’ll. Don’t do anything else, just be The Street Profits. Do what The Street Profits would usually do. This is just like NXT for you’. And we’re like ‘alright, cool!’ He gave us the keys and we ran with it.
Dawkins: Everybody plays a hand in it, but it just essentially came down to ‘do what you normally do’ and they trusted us enough to be able to do it. And when we look back, honestly, any time we began to teeter and not really be like The Street Profits a little bit, he’d be like ‘woah, woah, woah! Remember, you’re The Street Profits, keep that same energy’. I think everyone plays a part in the things that we’ve done but at the end of the day it comes down to us putting on a show in front of the camera and making everybody happy.”

WWE uploaded a Making WWE video on Rey Mysterio’s mask maker Masahiro Hayashi.
WWE also has a behind-the-scenes video on Jinder Mahal’s return to the ring.
Keith Lee appeared on this week’s edition of Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia.
Digital Spy has an interview with Otis.
Danielle Fishel Karp, who played Topanga on Boy Meets World, surprised Xavier Woods by appearing on The New Day’s Feel the Power podcast this week.
WWE’s YouTube channel added Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins from Money in the Bank 2016 and the Money in the Bank ladder matches from 2015 and 2012.
Other Wrestling
ACH appeared on the latest episode of Submission Squad Presents: Dollar Menu Midcarders. He discussed his departure from WWE: “I was having the time of my life there. I really was. I enjoyed my time there. I really did. But then when they released that shirt, is when I got angry. I made a lot of comments that I’m not gonna take back, because that’s just how I feel. Now, could I have said them a lot better? Absolutely. I said a lot of things out of anger. If I would’ve said those things a little bit more intelligently, and calmly, and came from a real place and not an angry place … I think it would’ve been ok.”
ACH also said: “It wasn’t even a wrestling matter. ‘ACH is upset because he wasn’t booked right.’ This was some serious sh*t. I honestly wish I did things differently. I had people trying to tell me to use ‘mental issues,’ not as an excuse, but say it was the thing. ‘You’re depressed right, that’s why you’re out lashing out.’ I was angry. I’m not gonna be like, ‘Sorry, mental illness.’ That’s a serious issue. I’m not gonna say things like that to smooth things over. I had a meltdown in front of the entire world. I broke down in front of the entire world. I said so much stuff and if I was to go back and take it all back…it really sticks to me. I went from working my dream job, providing for myself. I was finally at a space in my life that I worked for to where I was starting to feel comfortable. I’ve sacrificed a lot of pro wrestling, and I don’t expect anything back, but I made a lot of sacrifices. I’m ashamed of myself. I’m embarrassed. This is something that I’ll never be able to shake. I know I embarrassed a lot of people. Most importantly, I embarrassed myself. I’m just not used to this type of negativity and attention. Waking up angry for no reason, mad at the world. Truth be told, it’s all my fault. I’ll take the blame for this. I could have put the phone down and deleted my Twitter app.”
IWA Mid South announced that they plan to hold events in Indiana on June 18, June 19, June 25, and June 26 if the state opens as scheduled on June 14. The June 25 show will be their Queen of the Deathmatches event and the June 26 show will be Prince of the deathmatches. The promotion wrote that masks will be provided to fans who would like one.
After receiving backlash for the announcement, IWA Mid South wrote: “There’s been some backlash, that’s to be expected. We’re just starting May, so it’s almost 2 months away from the deathmatch shows. All safety precautions will be followed, sanitizing supplies & masks provided. If you’re not comfortable, they will be available streaming as well.”
Matt Hardy posted a video hyping up his AEW in-ring debut on tomorrow’s Dynamite. Hardy & Kenny Omega are teaming against Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara in a street fight.
Non-medical AEW face masks are now available to order on Pro Wrestling Tees.
In an interview with TalkSport, Jon Moxley discussed the difference between putting together a segment in AEW and WWE and how proud he is of his AEW title feud with Jericho: “It’s the complete opposite. I’m super proud of the whole Chris Jericho story from beginning to end. It was like an eight-week piece of work. Like, how are we going to keep this going for eight weeks, build it and build it to where the good guy is going to triumph at exactly the right time. What was really cool about it was, it had that big fight feel. Going in, when I was doing media and stuff, I could tell people didn’t know which way it was going to go. A title change was in the air, but it was a 50/50 pick ’em because Chris Jericho is such a great champion and so hot, he might just pull it out. But, it was perfectly built in eight weeks, the unstoppable force versus the immovable object kind of deal, something’s got to give kind of thing. And that’s so rare in recent years to have that big fight feel, the pageantry with the choir and everything. So for that whole thing, it was basically me and Chris got in the ring once or twice and just shot some ideas around. Chris had a couple of ideas, I had a couple of ideas. I was like, ‘instead of rejecting you immediately, what if we could kind of make people think, maybe I will join the Inner Circle?’ Like, man, maybe he really is going to do it. Then Chris took it a step further and he was thinking of the time that Mark Henry pretended to retire and then he swerved everybody. Chris was like ‘yeah, let’s take it all the way and put the T-shirt on and everything’ and I thought that was a great idea.”
The NWA announced that their Super Power episode that was supposed to air in March will air on their YouTube channel next Tuesday at 6:05 p.m. Eastern time. Today, the NWA streamed Nick Aldis and Colt Cabana’s NWA title match from China in 2018 and the build to the match.
MLW announced that they’ve agreed to a deal with DirectTV for three past events to air on pay-per-view this month. Saturday Night SuperFight will air on May 7, Battle Riot II will air on May 14, and Opera Cup 2019 will air on May 21. It was also announced last week that those shows would be airing as PPVs on those dates through Indemand.
Lio Rush tweeted yesterday that he “legitimately might not ever wrestle again.”
Matt Cardona (the former Zack Ryder) discussed his release from WWE while appearing on Busted Open Radio yesterday.
ComicBook.com has an interview with Brian Myers (formerly Curt Hawkins).
Tino Piscitelli (formerly Tino Sabbatelli) appeared on episode one of Dan Matha’s The Drop podcast.
ESPN has an article about the health precautions the UFC is taking for holding UFC 249 amid the coronavirus pandemic. It notes that the UFC “will administer both the diagnostic swab coronavirus test as well as the antibody test.”
Dana White spoke about the status of Conor McGregor: “Conor’s been ready to fight for a while. He’s in shape. He’s ready to go. First of all, ‘Fight Island’ is going to be very important in any of these fights that are happening with people from outside the country. It kills me to do a fight with Conor without fans. Kills me. This guy’s doing almost $20 million gates.”
White confirmed that Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns is the planned main event for the UFC’s show on May 23.
Justin Gaethje spoke about why he doesn’t think he would have taken a short-notice fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov: “Matchup-wise, I think I have a much better chance of touching Tony’s chin than Khabib’s, in the first two, three rounds. In order to get taken down once or twice by Khabib, and work up, and still be able to fight, I really do need at least 10 weeks. You know I’ve been training my whole life but there’s certain lactic acid that builds up that you really have to account for. No matter what, this is not perfect circumstances, but a fight is a fight. When it was on 14-day’s notice, that was much different than now, or 20-day’s notice. Now I’ve had five weeks to train, it’s not what I’ve asked for, or wanted, but I do believe that before this I was in better shape…I didn’t let myself go. I was telling myself since the beginning of the year, I was gonna fight again and it was gonna be a big fight.”
Tony Ferguson hyped up his fight against Gaethje as being for the real lightweight championship: “F*ck Khabib. I’m going to be real. I want to say f*ck Khabib. I’m defending my belt for the third time. This is for the real belt. This is not for an interim title. This is for the real championship sh*t. It’s champ sh*t only, buddy. That dude’s a b*tch. I’m going to be real. Him and McNuggets (Conor McGregor). They both need to f*cking retire. The only two real men out there are going to be me and Justin Gaethje. American motherf*ckers.”
Daniel Cormier explained why losing to Stipe Miocic is one of his greatest regrets: “I’m a better fighter than Stipe Miocic. I respect him, I think he’s a great guy, I think he’s a great role model, but I’m better than him. I just want to go prove it. I should’ve never lost to him. That is going to be one of my greatest regrets. I lost to (Jon) Jones, but he was better. Stipe Miocic is not better than me, and that’s going to be something I regret for the rest of my life, is letting him get a victory over me. It should’ve never happened.”
Miocic told ESPN that he’s willing to accept a fight against Cormier but said August is too early: “I have no cage, no training partners, nothing. I need a full camp. I need to be back in the swing of things before I even get into camp, because that’s how you get injured. I’m so used to training all the time and now I can’t do anything. It’s crazy. I have no training. There’s no place for me to train. There’s no way I can fight him in August. I have no idea what he’s talking about. The state of Ohio is shut down. What do you want me to do?”
Francis Ngannou discussed the difficulty of staying motivated through coronavirus cancellations.
Donald Cerrone thinks fighting on short notice is in his wheelhouse: “Losing sucks — I don’t care who you are. So it’s absolutely something I want to get back. This is my wheelhouse. Taking fights on short notice, when no one else is prepared, and mentally, I’m the strongest. I feel good. I feel hungry. Ready to go out there and do it.”
Cheick Kongo has signed a new multi-fight contract with Bellator.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Second annual Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions


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