Daily Update: UFC 252, Joseph Park, Stardom
UFC 252 live results: Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 3
Street fight set for Dominik vs. Seth Rollins at WWE SummerSlam
WWE SmackDown ratings up, best viewership since June
WWE SmackDown video highlights: Strowman-Fiend-Bliss angle
WWE approved to use Orlando’s Amway Center through October
Finals set for New Japan Cup USA tournament
NJPW Strong results: Jeff Cobb vs. KENTA
Women’s Tag Team titles to be defended at WWE Payback
Shawn Michaels set for WWE Raw, Rey Mysterio appearance teased
WWE 205 Live results: Ariya Daivari vs. Jake Atlas
WOR: Lance Storm on intergender matches, #SpeakingOut 8/15
WON NEWSLETTER: August 17, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Life and career of James ‘Kamala’ Harris, more
A look at the life of James “Kamala” Harris, one of pro wrestling’s biggest stars of the 80s, and Daniel Cormier, one of the biggest MMA stars of all-time, are the lead stories in the current issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The Kamala story goes through how he got the Kamala gimmick, who came up with the idea, the story around the video that instantly made him a star, how Kamala worked in that time but wouldn’t now, how he was as a draw against Hulk Hogan, his late life health issues, his original meeting with Bobo Brazil, how he started watching wrestling, his pre-Kamala career, going to Europe, how J.J. Dillon was a key in getting him over and a look weekly at the first Memphis run that made him a big star.
His rivalry with Andre the Giant and how it was ugly early on, the feud with Bruiser Brody and every WWF run. We look at his career peak in 1986-87 and the gates and payoffs he got, his working Mexico, his last big WWF run, and the declines of his health.
Daniel Cormier’s quest for the storybook ending, others who tried to have that ending, the greatest heavyweight of all-time, his tragic upbringing, growing up as a wrestler, competing with Cael Sanderson, his Olympic dream crushed, his MMA beginnings, his word title wins, and more building the fight with Stipe Miocic.
Also in this issue:
Return of ROH to action, what the new TV will be about, the creative involved, testing and more.
How Kevin Reilly is one of the key people who fell into place and without him there would be no AEW. We look at the changes in TNT management including a unique note about Reilly’s successor.
A scary scene at NXT tapings, Dwayne Johnson’s earnings for the year, New contracts signed in WWE, Sports ratings, U.K. ratings and Canadian ratings, Lawler 50th anniversary sow, WWE market value, and most-watched shows on WWE Network.
WWE moving TV into the Amway Center, Takeover and SummerSlam news updates and creative.
COVID updates from Japan, with many shows canceled this past week, why they were, and what this says about Japan in comparison with the U.S.
New Japan’s Jingu Stadium show for the end of the month.
WWE Network featuring independents.
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Saturday’s UFC show with a complete rundown and match-by-match coverage.
Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa doing a lecture for students at Tokai University on sports entertainment during the COVID era, with notes on AEW profitability, ad spending, how COVID has changed the world, how the AEW audience has changed, A.J. Styles, personal goals and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
New Japan, All Japan and NOAH have their biggest tournaments of the year at the same time.
CMLL’s planned return.
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
Former TNA/Impact Wrestling wrestler Abyss, who now works as a producer for WWE, made a cameo appearance on SmackDown last night as part of a segment with AJ Styles. Abyss appeared as Joseph Park, an alter ego that he also used in TNA. He played someone who Styles hired to develop the Phenomenal Intercontinental Statistic System. The system listed that there were no worthy challengers for Styles. Jeff Hardy interrupted Styles, setting up Styles vs. Hardy for the Intercontinental title on SmackDown next week.
Big E wrote about honoring George Stinney with his armband on last night’s SmackDown: “Tonight’s armband is for George Stinney. George is the youngest American to ever be sentenced to death. He was 14 when he was executed. In 2014, 70 years after his death, his conviction was vacated.”
Amale announced that she’s officially signed with WWE as part of the NXT UK brand.
WWE has applied for multiple trademarks for “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”
Peyton Royce competed in her first fitness competition today.
Naomi is appearing on Monday’s episode of The New Day’s Feel the Power podcast
WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Bayley and Sasha Banks’ 30-minute Iron Man match for the NXT Women’s Championship from TakeOver: Respect, Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch for the SmackDown Women’s Championship from SummerSlam 2018, and Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship from SummerSlam 2019.
Stardom canceled their show that was supposed to take place today due to someone on their roster who wasn’t part of the trip testing positive for COVID-19: “One Stardom member that was not on this roadtrip has tested as corona positive. Everyone on the trip has normal body temperature as checked this morning. The decision was made to cancel the event upon learning of the situation with the positive member. Thank you to fans that came to the venue today. We’re sorry that we had to cancel the show (and for all the fans watching on Stardom World, too). Official 5★STAR GP2020 matches for today will be rescheduled to upcoming shows. Thank you for your support, we truly appreciate you.”
Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling has canceled their August 16 and August 22 shows after a wrestler who wasn’t on today’s event tested positive for COVID-19.
Bea Priestley commented on her release from AEW: “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work on such a big platform with such a great roster. I wish @AEWrestling the biggest success & hope that everyone will stay safe & healthy. I will miss you all But until then..This is a difficult time for everyone globally, & I completely understand the circumstances that COVID 19 has presented. I’m sure once travel bans are lifted, you’ll be seeing me again on American soil. Special thank you @dustinrhodes & @KennyOmegamanX for taking your time to coach me, and thank you @TonyKhan, @CodyRhodes, Brandi and @youngbucks for giving me a chance I truly appreciate everything you’ve done for me”
Matt Cardona discussed his status with AEW: “Yeah, so I only have a couple of dates signed. But I didn’t go there just to get a new T-shirt, you know? I’m there for the long haul. That’s the goal. That’s the plan. To show the world what I can do. To win some championships, have some fun and it’s a great environment there. You know, the past two weeks I was there, I loved it. It was great. You know, it was weird being like the new kid in school. You’re meeting all these new friends and stuff like that, but you know, the reception online has been great. Couple of haters, whatever, it’s life, gonna happen, but I was happy with my performance and I can’t wait to do more with them.”
In an interview with Jim Norton & Sam Roberts, David Arquette said Dark Side of the Ring is doing an upcoming episode on Nick Gage.
MLW’s website posted a statement from head of wrestling operations Jared St. Laurent regarding Davey Boy Smith Jr.: “I want to address some misinformation put out there. I had talks with Impact about Davey Boy possibly crossing over and doing some dates. We had a very positive conversation with Impact. Scott D’Amore and Impact were great to deal with and we were absolutely open to it. We gave Davey several options for how we could make this work as well as help him out financially during the pandemic. Davey opted to do nothing, unfortunately. It could’ve been a win/win for all 3 parties. It’s a shame but that is the full story. On a personal level, I’ve known Davey for almost 2 decades. It’s sad to see him elect to end his tenure with yet another company on such a sour note.”
Stephanie Chase of Sportskeeda interviewed the former Erick Rowan on Instagram Live.
The UFC released the opening video for tonight’s UFC 252 PPV. They also uploaded the final episode of Embedded for the show.
Scott Coker congratulated Daniel Cormier on having the final fight of his career tonight: “From an elite collegiate wrestler, to representing our country in the Olympics, to becoming one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, @DC_MMA’s greatest accomplishment is being one of the best human beings I’ve ever met. Congratulations my friend.”
Cormier spoke about his approach to tonight’s fight against Stipe Miocic: “The reality is for me to just go away from striking with Miocic would be a huge mistake. Because I’ve shown over the majority of the fight that I can outstrike him. I’m not going to abandon all my stand up, but I do want to make wrestling a focus. Am I going to be as wrestling heavy as Curtis Blaydes was? No, I’m not going to just be charging at him to take him down. I’m going to be using stand up to set up my takedowns and then the takedowns show themselves, I’ll get them. If not, I’m more than confident in my ability to box and kickbox this guy. I think the reason why the fourth round became so easy for him to land those body shots was because I was tired. I was making a lot of mistakes, and I was just boxing him. I wasn’t kickboxing anymore. I wasn’t kicking. I wasn’t kneeing. I was just straight up boxing. I’m not going to be doing that this time.”
Dana White said Francis Ngannou is next in line in the heavyweight division after tonight’s Miocic vs. Cormier main event.
Khabib Nurmagomedov spoke about why he wants to face Georges St-Pierre: “If (St-Pierre) comes back to the UFC and agrees to fight me, I’m fighting him. Why? Because the last time he lost was 2007. My career started in 2008. Together we’ve been undefeated for 25 years. I’m talking in terms of time, not fights. I don’t think the UFC will get another chance to make a fight like that, definitely not in the next 10 years. So, Georges St-Pierre is next. If not, then let Conor beat (Dustin) Poirier or have Tony beat him, then I’ll fight them.”
Cris Cyborg and Gina Carano became the first women to headline a major MMA event as they faced off for Strikeforce on this day in 2009.
Tyron Woodley announced that he’s officially facing Colby Covington on September 19.
Donald Cerrone vs. Niko Price is set for September 19.
Angela Hill vs. Michelle Waterson has been rescheduled and will now take place at the UFC’s Fight Night show on September 12.
Greg Hardy will face Maurice Greene at the UFC’s Fight Night show on October 31.
Ray Borg issued a statement regarding his release from the UFC.
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