The Latest from the F4W Staff
RevPro Epic Encounter results: The Elite in action
Booker T joining Raw commentary team for next six weeks
Impact Wrestling results: Team JB vs. Team GOAT
Daily Update: Shibata situation, YouTube revenue, JBL
DragonKingKarl Classic Wrestling Show: The Life and Times of Frank Gotch 4/14
WOL: Shibata update, WWE announce teams, Impact PPV, more! 4/14
JNPO: Sean Wheelock on UFC Kansas City, NY commission issues 4/14
Wrestling Weekly: Superstar Shakeup, wrestling weddings, Knoxville 4/14
We’re looking for reports on tonight’s WWE Raw brand house show in Providence, RI and NXT shows in Spartanburg, SC and St. Augustine, FL to email@example.com.
NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING RETURNS TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. EASTERN ON AXS TV
Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. Young Bucks
Kenny Omega vs. Yoshi-Hashi
LEGACY FIGHTING ALLIANCE AT 9 P.M. TONIGHT ON AXS FROM THE FIRELAKE ARENA IN SHAWNEE, OKLAHOMA
Daniel Casey (2-0, 144) vs. J.R. Coughran (3-0, 146)
Malcom Hill (1-1, 145) vs. Eddie Brown (1-1, 145)
Nathan Trepagnier (2-1, 136) vs. Travis Quintero (5-0, 136)
Jose Martinez (5-1, 156) vs. Kyle Driscoll (4-2, 153)
Jamie Thorton (4-2, 126) vs. Sabina Mazo (2-0, 126)
Don’Tale Mayes (2-1 260) vs. Demoreo Dennis (6-3, 227)
Danilo Marques (7-1, 205) vs. Myron Dennis (13-6, 204)
BELLATOR MMA TONIGHT AT 9 P.M. EASTERN TONIGHT FROM BUDAPEST HUNGARY ON SPIKE
Adam Borics (144.4) vs. Anthony Taylor (147.4)
Lena Ovchynnikova (124.6) vs. Helen Harper (126.2)
Daniel Weichel (145) vs. John Teixeira (145.6)
Eduardo Dantas (134.6) vs. Leandro Higo (139)
Higo failed to make weight so the fight is no longer for the Bellator bantamweight title that Dantas holds.
BELLATOR KICKBOXING TONIGHT AFTER MMA ENDS FROM BUDAPEST, HUNGARY ON SPIKE
Gabriel Varga (145.4) vs. Gabor Gorbics (145)
Jorina Baars (142.7) vs. Irene Martens (140.5)
Raymond Daniels (170.2) vs. Csaba Gyorfi (167.6)
Joe Schillings (187.8) vs. Alexandru Negrea (186.5)
Zoltan Laszak (166.1) vs. Karim Ghaji (168.7) for the welterweight title
CMLL AT ARENA MEXICO AT 9:30 P.M. EASTERN (check my Twitter at that time to see if there’s a way to see it)
Shockercito & Stukita & Ultimo Dragoncito vs. Pierrothito & Mercurio & Pequeno Nitro
Soberano Jr. vs. The Panther vs Drone vs. Oro Jr. vs. Cuatrero vs. Canelo Casas vs. El Hijo del Signo vs. Espanto Jr. in Block A of the Copa Juniors in an eliination match
Angel de Oro vs. Hechicero
Diamante Azul & Valiente & Stuka Jr. vs. Negro Casas & Sam Adonis & Mephisto
Mistico & Caristico & Dragon Lee vs. Niebla Roja & Euforia & Gran Guerrero
Ultimo Guerrero vs. Atlantis for NWA middleweight title
Saturday we’re looking for reports from WWE Raw in Champaign, IL, WWE Smackdown in Springfield, MO, and NXT in Concord, NC and Gainesville, FL to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTT FROM DUBLIN NATIONAL STADIUM IN IRELAND AT 2:30 P.M. EASTERN SATURDAY ON FLO SLAM
Grado vs. Charlie Sterling
Jigsaw vs. Scotty Davis
Gymnastics vs. Logan Bryce & Justin Sharpe
Martina & Nixon Newell & Alex Windsor vs. Katey Harvey & Jinny Couture & Bea Priestley
Jay White vs. Marty Scurll
Young Bucks & Kenny Omega vs. Ryan Smile & Will Ospreay & Lio Rush
UFC ON FOX ON SATURDAY FROM THE SPRINT CENTER IN KANSAS CITY, MO
Fight Pass at 4 p.m. Eastern
Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Ketlen Vieira
Nathan Coy vs. Zak Cummings
Augusto Mendes vs. Aljamain Sterling
Andrew Sanchez vs. Anthony Smith
Devin Clark vs. Jake Collier
FOX AT 6 p.m. Eastern
Tim Elliott vs. Louis Smolka
Bobby Green vs. Rashid Magomedov
Tom Duquensnoy vs. Patrick Williams
Roy Nelson vs. Alexander Volkov
Jeremy Stephens vs. Renato Moicano
Ronaldo Jacare Souza vs. Robert Whittaker
Rose Namajunas vs. Michelle Waterson
Demetrious Johnson vs. Wilson Reis for flyweight title
Sunday has WWE Raw in Cincinnati and Smackdown in Gape Girardeau, MO.
Raw will be Monday night from Columbus, OH, while there is a Monday night Smackdown house show in Bowling Green, KY.
Smackdown and 205 Live take place on Tuesday in Louisville, KY.
There will be four weeks of NXT taped on Wednesday at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.
FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 4/10/2017: ESPN’s complicated relationship with WWE
As Mauro Ranallo’s absence from the SmackDown broadcast booth nears a month and may become permanent, concerns about the legitimacy of ESPN’s coverage of WWE have again been raised. Singling out ESPN from a group of mainstream media outlets that provide similarly toothless reporting probably isn’t entirely fair, but the prominence of ESPN and their expanding relationship with WWE has made it so they will be criticized every time they fail to give a story that is critical of WWE the attention that it deserves.
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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: April 17, 2017: WWE Superstar Shakeup, Mauro Ranallo situation, more
A look at the fallout of the WWE “Superstar shakeup” is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer. Have a look at the moves, chart the talent on Raw, Smackdown and 205 Live, look at the next few PPVs and different programs, and identify weaknesses on each side as well as look at possible main event programs.
Also look at the death of Joaquin Roldan, the head of one of the largest pro wrestling companies in the world, and his role within AAA and the challenges that face AAA going forward.
Examine the Mauro Ranallo situation with his leaving WWE, plus look at how the situation was and has changed. There were comments from people regarding John Layfield, the TV change in Layfield, the crowd reaction in Boston, the story of Justin Roberts and his passport being stolen and ESPN coverage of WWE.
There is a backstage story in All Japan from 1994, while also talking about Katsuyori Shibata and his injury, and the nature of hard hitting Japanese matches and what the human body can take.
Full coverage of the Sakura Genesis show and the Okada vs. Shibata match, plus look at the big picture direction New Japan seems to be going, the lineups for the next series of big shows as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results, all inside.
The Renee Young/Dean Ambrose wedding, Vince & Linda McMahon’s assets, WrestleMania merchandise numbers, Kane running for mayor and his thoughts, why they did the Stephanie McMahon injury angle, Update on Kofi Kingston, Kurt Angle admits he was foolish in thinking about MMA, Backstage at Mania, Jim Ross’ deal, WWE makes deal with streaming service, NFL story that has WWE implications, plus notes on the WWE house show schedule for the next year, Kevin Owens DVD, most popular network shows and coverage of all the company’s events this past week, all inside this issue of the Wrestling Observer.
Subscribers click here to continue.
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 Meltzer, or by using PayPal directing funds to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com.
Rates in the United States are $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to email@example.com. For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52. If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.)
If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can choose one free classic issue, or two free classic issues with a 40-issue subscription.
WON BACK ISSUE: March 20, 2000: WWF to leave USA network, ECW Living Dangerously review, more
The landscape of American pro wrestling may undergo major changes within the next month. Starting off, WWF officially gave notice to the USA Network on 3/1 that it is cancelling its contract with them effective in September when the new TV season starts. This isn’t necessarily as big as it sounds, but most feel it is bigger. The WWF’s deal for Raw, Livewire and Superstars expired in September 2001, but WWF has the right to get out of the deal in September 2000 by giving the network six months notice and USA Network has the right to match any offer.
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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE
Dwayne Johnson is one of the stars in The Fate of The Furious, which is expected to top $100 million in its opening weekend. It was actually released first last night. Fast 7 opened at $150 million but stats used to predict opens have shown this one trailing that, although most predictions have ranged from a $100 million to $125 million weekend.
For the WWE weekend, for shows tonight, tomorrow and Saturday, it will be like the old brands, with the stuff that had been advertised appearing, such as Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Charlotte on the Raw shows and Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose on the Smackdown shows. However, on Monday, they will use the new rosters, so Wyatt, Ambrose, Miz, etc. are all on Raw in Columbus, OH, and Owens, Zayn and Charlotte are all going to be working in Bowling Green, KY, and then in Louisville.
Matt & Jeff Hardy are also scheduled for all the Raw shows this weekend. Shinsuke Nakamura and The Revival are working NXT this weekend but will join the Smackdown and Raw tours respectively on Monday night.
With the exception of John Cena and Nikki Bella, who aren’t scheduled for months, all the top stars are booked this weekend. Chris Jericho is scheduled the entire tour. Roman Reigns is listed every night as well, which is surprising given the nature of the angle on Monday. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be there, but he was still advertised as of this morning.
The WWE has initiated settlement talks with Mauro Ranallo’s representatives. It was pretty much incumbent that was going to have to happen.
The company’s quarterly report will be on 5/4. That will cover the first three months of the year, prior to WrestleMania. The report that would cover WrestleMania wouldn’t come out until late July or early August.
They announced a 5/28 house show in August, GA for the Raw crew.
Alexa Bliss on her current situation moving to Raw is here.
Ronaldo Jacare Souza has signed a new UFC contract. His old contract would have expired after tomorrow’s fight.
Independent wrestler Marek Brave has announced his retirement due to neck injuries.
Another story on YouTube changing its revenue model for pro wrestling is here.
New Japan’s Takaaki Kidani talks U.S. expansion.
A story on Major Baisden’s National Wrasslin League is here.
Capital City Championship Combat on 4/22 in Ottawa, ONT at the Vanier Columbus Club with Mathieu St. Jacques vs. Franky the Mobster and Tyson Dux vs. David Starr.
PWA on 5/13 in Kitchener, ONT at the Alpine Club with Joey Allen vs. Tracy Smothers
River City Wrestling on 5/12 in Retama Park in San Antonio with Blue Demon Jr. vs. Hernandez and Jeff Jarrett vs. Rockstar Spud.
Superkick’d on 4/14 in Toronto at The Great Hall.
Dan Severn will be promoting an MMA show on iPPV in Auburn, IN at the Kurse Hall.
A story about the end of a wrestling tradition in Worthing, England is here.
The Huffington Post has a story on Jessie Godderz of Impact.
IPW UK on Monday at the Casino Rooms Night Club in Rochester, Kent, England will be airing on tape delay later in the week in Flo Slam:
Penta 0M & Rey Fenix vs. Jimmy Havoc & Zack Sabre Jr.
Marty Scurll vs Angelico
Penta 0M & Rey Fenix vs. London Riots
Jack Evans vs. Big Grizzly
London Riots vs. Jimmy Havoc & Zack Sabre Jr.
Cuban Heat vs. Lee Hunter
A.J. Lee talks whether she’ll wrestle again while promoting her book. Highlights from the interview:
There has been an increased emphasis put on women’s wrestling in recent years. It’s been called the “women’s revolution” with the “Divas” title having been stripped away. Although it officially happened after you left, it seems to me that you were a big part in getting female performers to where they are now. The women are basically on par with the guys now.
That makes my heart swell. That’s all I ever wanted for the industry while I was there and for all the wonderful women after I was gone. There are a lot of really great girls who are still there that I was really fortunate enough to work with or have their tryout matches. I just want the best for them and I’m so happy that they’re getting their time. That’s all that we could ever hope or fight for. I’m so proud of them. I hope they’re also getting paid as much as the guys since they’re seen as just as important. I hope that they’re also getting paid because that’s half the battle, honestly.
Wrestling’s old adage: never say never. I’m sure you are asked this all the time so let me be the one millionth and one person to ask you this. Will we ever see AJ Lee back in a wrestling ring?
I never would say that because I’ve personally said never to things before and done them. But I am so happy where I am right now and I feel like I had such a pitch perfect career that I would be nervous about tarnishing that. I feel like it’s kind of full-circle and perfect for exactly what I wanted. But who knows?
One of the things that really stood out to me was one particular fight between your parents. You wrote that you heard a gurgling sound and then your mother scream that she was being choked. And here you are as this little girl and you bust through the door and thrown your tiny body on top of her as your father holds a TV over his head. He was ready to send it crashing down on your mother. The amount of bravery that must have taken is incredible. Were you even thinking at that point or were you just reacting?
I think so much of my childhood is just reacting to whatever situation you’re in; it was like this is what you need to do in the moment. You need to step up in every moment and just take care of yourself and everyone around you. My role in my family in my young age, probably way too young, was to kind of parent everybody even though I was the youngest in my family. I want to go back and hug that little girl. It’s hard for me to re-read those chapters… I know that I’m not alone. I’m sure that a lot of kids have been in that type of situation. Getting that stuff out there was a way of letting go and healing and hopefully there’s somebody else that realizes you shouldn’t have to be that strong at that age. That was a tough one to write.
I was thinking about the documentary UFC did on your husband, CM Punk. He was training for his first fight and you were so reluctant to go and watch him. Was some of that reluctance because of your experiences growing up and you didn’t want to be surrounded by violence anymore or was it more that you just didn’t want to see your husband get his face punched in or something like that?
(laughs) I think it’s a little bit of both and that’s super perceptive of you. I’ve gravitated toward action that is more of the superhero romanticized variety. Superheroes and comic books and pro wrestling where the fear is taken out of it because there’s a levity involved. With UFC it’s so real and so violent that it’s hard for me to even watch. The pay-per-views will be on in my house and I’ll pay for it and I’ll support it, but I can’t really sit down and watch it. It’s hard for me, especially with my husband. For someone who beat up people for a living I’m pretty queasy when it comes to violence for sure.
Today in Professional Wrestling History (4/14): Jerry Lawler wins WCWA title
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