MON. UPDATE: Tons of Payback notes, Bluetista fires back, Goldberg, buy the ECW Arena sign, NWA news, tons more
Monday, 02 June 2014 14:43
By Dave Meltzer |
Bryan Alvarez and I will be back late tonight covering Raw, talking more news as well as answering e-mail questions that can be sent to
We're looking for your thoughts on last night's Payback, as well as NXT Takeover and the first night of the New Japan Super Juniors tournament, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're looking for live reports from Raw tonight in Indianapolis, with dark matches, Superstars matches, attendance and anything else that wouldn't be evident from the live show, as well as from tonight at Korakuen Hall for the New Japan Super Juniors show.
We're also looking for reports on the weekend TNA shows in Pikeville, KY on Friday and Corbin, KY on Saturday.
Rocky Romero vs. Taichi
Tiger Mask vs. Nick Jackson
Taka Michinoku vs. Matt Jackson
Mascara Dorada vs. Alex Koslov
Hiroshi Tanahashi & ? & Tetsuya Naito & Tomoaki Honma & Captain New Japan vs. Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi & Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows & Tama Tonga
Kushida vs. Bushi
Desperado vs. Kenny Omega
Jushin Liger vs. Ricochet
Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Alex Shelley
Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday night in Cincinnati.
The issue also includes more on the change in business philosophy of WWE, fallout of the last UFC and Bellator shows and a look at several big international events coming up.
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The lead story updates Daniel Bryan's return, the WWE title situation, estimated time frame of Daniel Bryan's return, Money in the Bank, how the idea of PPV changes and what the new goals need to be and how that changes the buildup philosophy of the big shows.
We also go into a blow-by-blow of why the Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva match is off and questions revolving around the Sonnen vs. Vitor Belfort fight.
We also look at the end of two different major streaks in UFC, the longest unbeaten streaks among major league performers in MMA history, the best streaks ever, the performance of T.J. Dillashaw, Dillashaw vs. Urijah Faber, the Duane Bang Ludwig situation as well as mapping out the UFC PPV business between now and the end of the year.
We also have early business notes on UFC 173, what fighter on the show nearly had to pull out, the plight going forward of Dan Henderson and the welterweight title situation. We've also got match-by-match coverage of UFC 173 as well as how much everyone on the show earned.
We also have an update on WWE Payback, notes on show promotion, NXT Takeover, Update on Rey Mysterio, schedule for three of the biggest stars outside of WWE to begin with WWE as of right now, more on the WWE stock, more on the next WWE video game, update on Undertaker, Update on the next show in Madison Square Garden, new WWE movie, WWE funding the California State Athletic Commission, SummerSlam celebrity idea floated, Behind the scenes at Smackdown, Lana when she was in college, future of T.J. Wilson, Bray Wyatt portrayal and why it's being done the way it is, Daniel Bryan talks when he was fired by WWE, money, the irony of his push and his booking. We also have more on Batista, Bill Goldberg, WWE TV, what stat WWE used to project domestic network subscriptions that is valid, funny story about plans changing, former WCW wrestler at Performance Center, plus a rundown of the WWE European tour.
We also look at how New Japan Pro Wrestling resembles the glory days of Jim Crockett Promotions, and what is both good and bad about that comparison, the rise of the promotion, why there are danger signs ahead, A.J. Styles as champion, what big show now has everyone concerned, New Japan's next major shows coming up and full coverage of Back to the Yokohama Arena.
We also have news on the Bellator PPV, what the number says, the affect of Eddie Alvarez not being there, what it means regarding future shows, the Alvarez-Will Brooks confrontation and future shows.
We also look at the return of CHIKARA Pro Wrestling.
We also look at the latest promotion to get a bona fide network deal and what that means going forward.
We also have a look at how WWE and UFC PPV business does and doesn't affect the other as well as a lot of notes on things that affect business, including time frame, price, start time, match quality, what the WWE network needs to do for UFC to consider following their lead on PPV and why options of taking UFC away from PPV right now are so economically foolish.
We also have coverage of the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony and a look at the members, who is in, a lot of backgrounds and more.
The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
The Observer is the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
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Also in this week's issue:
--Updating the Busca en un Idolo tournament
--World heavyweight champion in a promotion challenges for the light heavyweight title
--Update on the return of the original Mistico and Sin Cara to Mexican television
--What are the early lessons and reaction to Mistico and Averno in AAA
--A look at AAA's No. 2 show of the year coming in two weeks, with a lineup
--More thoughts on Mistico going forward in AAA, including the name Mistico aspect
--The unique way AAA has been doing some big sellout houses
--Dragon Gate returns to iPPV
--Update on the King of Gate tournament
--Update on Champions Gate coming up
--Amazing high spot
--Wrestle-1 returns to Sumo Hall
--Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial Show for this year
--What outside stars are coming in including the star who started his career with Misawa
--Major network looking at a documentary on one of the biggest rivalries in pro wrestling history
--When boxing legend Matthew Saad Muhammad appeared on a pro wrestling show with Billy Robinson and Nick Bockwinkel
--A look back at the few boxer vs. wrestler shoots
--The career of Matthew Saad Muhammad
--Two of the legendary junior heavyweights meet for the first time
--More on the movie "Foxcatcher"
--Cauliflower Alley Club notes
--Update on legendary manager
--Final Mid Atlantic Legends Fan Fest
--Jim Ross doing boxing
--A look at PWG's last show and more on major league scouting of the group
--St. Louis Hall of Fame inductions
--Brad Armstrong Memorial Show
--Most successful indie promotion in North America and their methods
--Lots of notable indie matches
--Indie star who was scheduled for an MMA fight this weekend and what happened
--Former wrestler and NFL star and his role in a major lawsuit that has gotten national publicity
--Chris Sabin update
--More on the next ROH PPV show
--Update on the ROH show in Cyclones Stadium in Brooklyn
--ROH/New Japan relationship update
--Reaction to Tom Lawlor in ROH
--Notes on TNA summer TV plans
--TNA talks of changes
--New York ticket notes
--A huge deal with a major sports league that greatly affects UFC
--A look at UFC doing two shows on the same day and the schedule
--Story behind a legit fight with a UFC title contender
--Return of UFC Prime Time
--Lots of new UFC shows and matches
--The crazy TUF controversy that led to ratings doubling
--Renzo Gracie legal situation updated
--Don Frye national TV ad
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Our most requested issues in our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
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*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)a
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
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*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
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*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
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*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
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*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
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*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
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*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
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*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
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*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
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To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
MONDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Last night's WWE Payback
show was very physical up and down the card. We haven't heard much past the point Bad News Barrett had a black eye from a blow from Rob Van Dam, and Bray Wyatt had some cuts from his Last Man Standing match with John Cena.
--Dave Bautista either mad or riling up fans (probably both) on Twitter: "6 guys go 2 war and beat the shit out of each other and what do you genius smarks walk away with? "Batista wore blue! What a loser!"
--We had a lot more emails than last month regarding technical issues with the show. It doesn't appear to have been widespread, but there were enough that we got that it wasn't isolated either.
--Mick Foley is playing Wednesday night at The Brokerage in Bellmore, NY at 8 p.m.
--Raw should be up in ratings with both the NBA and NHL playoffs down for a couple of days. TNA will go against game one of the NBA finals, which will do it no favors.
--As expected, C.M. Punk was at the Chicago Blackhawks game Sunday night, where they got eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings.
--Lisa Varon's Squared Circle restaurant was packed last night for Payback before and after the show. Lots of wrestling people came by over the weekend. More than one told me about the good food and large portions, and watching old shows on the big screen. Two people talked about seeing the 1990 Starrcade show, Dick The Bruiser dressing like Popeye and one of the final appearances of Sam Muchnick at a live wrestling show (his last appearance was at a WWE PPV show seven years later).
--Spike TV today announced that Gym Rescue, a TV show starring Randy Couture and Frank Shamrock, that had been talked about for in early 2013 and was shot last year, will debut on 8/10 at 9 p.m. Only three weekly episodes are scheduled. But it answers the question that was asked to us a few times about whatever happened to that show.
-- Several birthdays today including Lex Luger (56), A.J. Styles (37), Velvet Sky (33) and former TNA manager Kim "Desire" Neilsen (41)
--Junkyard Dog was 45 when he passed away on this day in 1998. Fred Blassie was 85 when he passed away on this day in 2003. Sandy Barr was 69 when he passed away on this day in 2007. (thanks to Georgia Wrestling History.com)
--UFC light heavy champ Jon Jones is scheduled for Conan O'Brien at 11 p.m on Thursday night on TBS. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--Bill Goldberg was at the Caged Warrior Combat show in Tacoma on Saturday night. One of the fighters, Andy Paves, after winning, did Goldberg's arms-spread tongue out gimmick in front of him and Goldberg applauded. It was noted to us that unlike most celebrities at local MMA shows, he wasn't constantly checking his phones and he watched every fight intently, was happy to take photos with fans between fights.
--There is a pre-sale in Chicago for the 9/29 Raw taping using the code term WWERAWTV
--The 8/19 Smackdown tapings will be in Phoenix.
--RF Video has been able to get the original ECW Arena sign
which hung on the outside of the building for the entire run of the promotion. It's 91x43 and being sold with autographs of some of the wrestlers. Call 215-891-9404 for info.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
- 1960 - Cowboy Bob Ellis beat Dick the Bruiser in Windsor, ONT to win the U.S. title
- 1960 - Dan Miller & Frank Valois beat Rikidozan & Michiaki Yoshimura in Osaka to win the All-Asia tag title
- 1962 - Dick the Bruiser beat Wilbur Snyder in Detroit to win the U.S. title
- 1978 - El Faraon beat Alfonso Dantes in Mexico City to win the NWA world light heavyweight title
- 1979 - Dennis Condrey beat Ron Garfield in Chattanooga to win the Mid American title
- 1979 - The Spoiler was awarded the American title when champion Wahoo McDaniel was injured and unable to defend it in Houston
- 1980 - Matt Borne & Buzz Sawyer beat Jimmy Snuka & Iron Sheik in the tournament finals in Greenville, SC to win the Mid Atlantic tag team title
- 1980 - Dennis Condrey beat Gorgeous George Jr. in Chattanooga to win the Mid American title
- 1980 - Ken Lucas & Ricky Morton beat Gypsy Joe & Skull Murphy to win the Southern tag titles in Memphis
- 1983 - Hulk Hogan beat Antonio Inoki via knockout to become the first IWGP champion in the tournament final. On the same show, Tiger Mask beat Kuniaki Kobayashi to win the vacant NWA jr. heavyweight title
- 1983 - Harley Race beat Dewey Robertson (Missing Link) in Kansas City to win the Central States title. Race vacated the title a few days later after beating Ric Flair for the NWA title
- 1987 - Honky Tonk Man beat Ricky Steamboat in Buffalo to win the IC title
- 1989 - Aguila Solitaria beat Fuerza Guerrera in Mexico City to win the NWA welterweight title
- 1990 - Dandy beat Angel Azteca to win the NWA world middleweight title in Mexico City
- 1990 - Tony Anthony & Tom Burton beat Rex King & Steve Doll in Memphis to win the USWA tag titles beating King in a handicap match
- 1993 - The Patriot (Del Wilkes) & The Eagle (Jackie Fulton) beat Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi in Koyama to win the All-Asia tag titles
- 2002 - Lioness Asuka & Gami beat Michiko Omukai & Ai Fujita to win the Twin Stars of Arsion tag title
- 2004 - Jeff Jarrett won the first King of the Mountain match over Ron Killings, A.J. Styles, Raven and Chris Harris to win the NWA title
- 2005 - Kenny Omega beat Chris Sabin in Winnipeg to become the first Canadian X champion, winning the Premier Cup
- 2005 - Black Tiger (Rocky Romero) & Pentagon Black & Pantera beat Los Villanos in Naucalpan to win the vacant IWRG trios titles
--Yesterday in Guadalajara: Tapatio b Marvel, William Rock & Brillante Jr. b Furia Nazi & Joker, Rey Trueno b Virgo, Demonio Maya & Barbaro Cavernario & Bobby Zavala b Gallo & Esfinge & Black Metal, Exterminador b Ebola, Volador Jr. & Brazo de Plata & Sagrado b Euforia & Mr. Aguila & Dragon Rojo Jr.-DQ
--NWA SAW wrestling from Friday night in Millersville, TN: Jax Dane (New Japan) b Lance Erikson, Hammerjack b Gator McAllister, Prime Time Outlaws b Team IOU, Satoshi Kojima b Jeremiah Plunkett to keep NWA title, Kevin Weatherby b LBK, Arrick Andrews b Kahagas to keep Southern title, Satoshi Kojima b Damien Wayne (thanks to Lekisha Oliver)
--There is an amateur MMA event in New York, at the Azamura Concert Hall in Jamaica, Queens on 6/7 promoted by the New York Fight Exchange.
--The deadline for the bill that would legalize MMA in New York is just a few weeks away. Unlike in other years where people in the company would be enthusiastic, I get a completely negative vibe in the sense they don't believe it will come up for a vote in the Assembly and will be dead again. Last year, UFC and MSG had a date booked and were ready to have a blow-out show and this year, it seems everyone is resigned to the fact that as long as Sheldon Silver is there, pro MMA won't be legal. Instead, they will only have unregulated amateur events that are legal, which is the worst of all worlds because guys fight without blood testing, any medicals,background checks or anything.
--Squared Circle Live on 6/15 in Whitby, ONT at the Live ACT theater headlined by Tyson Dux vs. Will White
--Pro Wrestling Eclipse on 6/22 in Oshawa, ONT at the Best Western Hotel's Durham Banquet hall. with Matt Cross vs. Josh Alexander and Johnny Gargano vs. Ethan Page.
--At a show last night in Naucalpan, Dr. Wagner Jr. was attacked by a wrestler dressed in an L.A. Park mask, who then ran away. L.A. Park was in Monterrey and noted that it wasn't him.
--Here's a story talking about Andy Hug
, building stars and somehow comparing it with The Freebirds vs. Von Erichs feud in Dallas. The tie-in is that K-1 and World Class Wrestling were successful revolving around a small cast of characters that everyone knew, and how the current MMA scene with so many fighters doesn't have that.
--James Beard was named Director of Wrestling Operations and head referee for the NWA. The NWA had a meeting today in Las Vegas in conjunction with the Cauliflower Alley Club banquet. By the way, I want to say hi to everyone there. This is the first year in a while I missed it. Family obligations and just a killer weekend schedule made it impossible, plus having a number of Las Vegas trips of late and another coming up. My plan is to attend next year. To the people who I always talk to there, I just want to let you know I'll really miss seeing you.
--At the Preston City Wrestling show, Low Ki and Uhaa Nation did a 20:00 draw that was a great match. Fans chanted for five more minutes but it wasn't accommodated. (thanks to Matty Barker)