Daily Update: Hana Kimura, WWE notes, UFC coronavirus protocol


Latest News:

Asuka-Charlotte set for WWE Raw, Apollo Crews to defend US title
Vince McMahon says he will not attempt to reclaim XFL
Ten matches announced for AEW Dark
Finn Balor vs. Damian Priest set for NXT TakeOver: In Your House
Matt Riddle likely headed for WWE SmackDown following call-up
WWE Raw video highlights: Backlash build, NXT wrestlers as fans
Drew Gulak reportedly back under WWE contract
Rollins to host Mysterio ‘retirement ceremony’ on WWE Raw next week
Raw Women’s title match official for WWE Backlash
Apollo Crews wins United States title on WWE Raw

Latest Audio:

FREE WOL: Jim Ross talks Under The Black Hat, AEW and more! 5/26
DragonKingKarl Greatest Kayfabe Tournament: El Santo vs. Eddie Guerrero 5/26
WOR: RAW report, fans in the building, UFC and WWE testing, Japan, more! 5/26
F4D: Smackdown Live and Undertaker Last Ride part III 5/25

WON NEWSLETTER: May 25, 2020 Observer Newsletter: Death of Shad Gaspard

A story on the life of Shad Gaspard is the lead in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 

We cover the circumstances of his tragic death, notes from his family and friends, his acting career, his childhood, his thoughts about MMA, what world champion MMA fighter did he tell to pursue MMA before pro wrestling, and look at his wrestling career.

Whether Vince McMahon is doing an end-around to get out of paying people money owed and then restarting the league.  We look at why the people he owes money to believe that is the case.

The new issue also covers:

A preview for Double or Nothing II.

Update SummerSlam, more on Ric Flair’s new deal, more on Drew Gulak leaving WWE, brand-to-brand changes, IC title tournament, key person in directing television shows leaving, Backlash update, In Your House update, Jim Cornette’s comments on Becky Lynch and Dana Brooke, Seth Rollins and Dana Brooke respond, Glenn Jacobs talks shutting down businesses, WWE star nominated for major sorts award, Lio Rush talks leaving WWE, Nikki Bella talks her back, sports ratings for the past week, Canadian ratings for recent weeks, top amateur star talks going to WWE, WWE market value right now and the most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network.

Complete coverage of this past week’s UFC show.

A feature on the career of Kevin Randleman, the newest UFC Hall of Fame inductee, nothing his amateur wrestling days, his fighting days and his pro wrestling days.  We look at his most famous fights and biggest pro wrestling matches.

A lot more looking back 21 years ago to the tragic death of Owe Hart. We look at comments by Martha Hart and Jerry McDevitt and go back through the legal proceedings.

The highest television rating for any pro wrestling match in history and the legend of Kim Il, a forgotten South Korean sports legend.

The movie “My Dad is a Heel Wrestler,” starring Hiroshi Tanahashi.

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.

In Canada and Mexico, the rates are $16 for 4, $27 for 8, $38.50 for 12, $76 for 24, $126 for 40 and $162.50 for 52.

For the rest of the world, rates are $18 for 4, $48.50 for 12, $93 for 24, $155 for 40 and $201.50 for 52.

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.


Seth Rollins is appearing on tonight’s episode of WWE Backstage. Jeff Jarrett will also be on the show to discuss the infamous Bash at the Beach 2000 pay-per-view with Booker T. Backstage will again begin at midnight, with WWE’s “A Future WWE: The FCW Story” documentary airing before it on FS1.
FOX Sports has announced that a replay of WrestleMania 31 will air on FS1 at 8 p.m. Eastern time next Tuesday (June 2). WWE’s Evolution PPV from 2018 will air on FS1 at 7 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, June 9.
Raw ratings are delayed this week due to yesterday being Memorial Day.
Triple H responded to a question from TMZ about whether or not we’re going to see Ronda Rousey back in WWE: “I think Ronda’s in a place in her personal life where she’s figuring some things out. But, the thing with Ronda is you never know what she is saying. Is she attacking the business really or is she attacking the business because she knows that’s what will light up the fans that love the business?” Triple H called Rousey one of the greatest performers ever for WWE and said they still have a great relationship with her and would love to have her back when she’s ready.
Arnold Schwarzenegger paid his respects to Shad Gaspard at a memorial outside of Gold’s Gym in Venice, California today: “On my bike ride today I stopped to pay respects to Shad Gaspard. He was such a positive force in the gym and the world. He was a hero in bodybuilding, a hero in wrestling, and the moment he told lifeguards to save his son first, the ultimate hero. My thoughts are with his family.”
JTG paid tribute to Gaspard on this week’s episode of Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia.
Seth Rollins praised Austin Theory during an interview with Sports Illustrated yesterday: “A little backstory to Austin Theory — he was a guy recently signed to NXT and kind of just fell into my lap. When WrestleMania was moved to Orlando and we had to make roster changes, Austin kind of slipped in there, and he made his WrestleMania debut at 22 years old. I had heard his name, but I’d never actually seen him perform. I watched him for the first time leading into WrestleMania, and I was so impressed by his poise, his work ethic, his style, and his presence. Then I found out how old he is, and I was even more in shock. I felt so disappointed in myself for thinking about how terrible I was at his age (laughs). I’ve kept an eye on him since, and I put the feelers out there that, if he was available, I’d certainly take him. One thing led to another, now here we are. We’re just getting started. Tonight is really going to be the first time we’ll see him side-by-side with me, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can accomplish.”
In an interview with Slam Wrestling, The Undertaker spoke about whether or not he’ll wrestle at WrestleMania again: “It would be tough to try to look forward to going and performing a match in an empty warehouse. You never say never, but to make it to Mania again, it’s going to take something really, really juicy.”
Undertaker also said he’s sure he’ll never completely retire from the industry: “I’ll never, ever retire completely. I may not get in the ring and wrestle anymore, but I’ll always somehow be involved I’m sure within the industry. For 30 years, I’ve been a mainstay in the ring.”
Apollo Crews tweeted about his United States title win on last night’s Raw: “The grind never stops!!! And it won’t stop now!! Here’s where the hard work really begins! Thanks to anyone who has supported me since day 1! Let’s make this the first of many!! #AndNew #unitedstateschampion #WWERaw @usa_network @WWE”
Crews, Matt Riddle, Sonya Deville, Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae, and Kane are appearing on WWE’s The Bump tomorrow morning. 
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson did an interview with Access and discussed his daughter Simone signing with WWE.
The WWE Network added a compilation of The Rock’s most electrifying matches.
WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Edge vs. Randy Orton from the July 19, 2004 episode of Raw and Rey Mysterio vs. Big Show from Backlash 2003.
Other Wrestling
Stardom issued a statement regarding the passing of Hana Kimura:

In regards to the passing of Hana Kimura,

We would like to take this opportunity to apologize for your concern and sorrow due to the sudden passing of Stardom’s Hana Kimura on May 23. According to the police report, there is no case of foul play.

Regarding more details on the cause of death, we will refrain from publishing anything, according to the wishes of the bereaving family. We do not plan to announce the details here in any press conferences or news releases. We kindly ask for your continued support.

In addition, please refrain from trying to interview the family and athletes belonging to Stardom in consideration of the current situation. Moreover, please refrain from visiting the bereaving family, athletes’ homes, offices, the dojo, etc.

Regarding the funeral of Hana Kimura, we will not be announcing the date and time nor the place according to the wishes of the bereaving family. We would appreciate the consideration of the media and fans.

The bereaving family expresses their deep gratitude to the fans who supported Hana Kimura, and although the date and time of the event is currently undecided due to the Coronavirus situation, a memorial service for Hana Kimura will be held.

We are taking everything into consideration, and deciding on plans for videos and photos that can be shared with her fans. Details will be announced as soon as they are decided. We are very sorrowful on Hana’s passing, and only wish for her to rest in eternal peace.

Thank you.

CNN covered Japanese government officials calling for action against cyberbullying in the aftermath of Kimura’s death.
Cody was a guest during the third hour of the Rich Eisen Show today.
Alicia Atout has an interview with Matthew Rehwoldt (the former Aiden English).
NJPW posted the second part of a two-part interview with Tama Tonga.
The UFC is instituting a stricter coronavirus protocol starting with this Saturday’s show in Las Vegas.
With Kevin Holland off Saturday’s show due to a shoulder injury, Daniel Rodriguez will now face Gabriel Green.
The Octagon for the shows at the UFC’s Apex facility in Las Vegas will be 25’ instead of the normal 30’ cage.
Henry Cejudo posted after it was confirmed that the UFC bantamweight title has been declared vacant following his retirement: “Thank you for the awesome experiences uncle @DanaWhite. I will forever be grateful. Thank you for taking a chance on the sport that people thought would never make it. To all my coaches and fans it been a wonderful ride. Triple C is out.”
Jorge Masvidal is already in camp training for his next fight.
Kamaru Usman wants to face Masvidal or Conor McGregor in July.
The New York Times interviewed Joe Rogan about his new exclusive podcast deal with Spotify.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Power outage at In Your House: Beware of Dog


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