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Daily Update: Undertaker, Impact & AAA working agreement, NJ Cup

THE ROUND-UP

The Latest from the F4W Staff

NEWS

AUDIO

We're looking for your thoughts on the New Japan Cup finals held earlier today with a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

We're looking for reports on the non-Raw stuff from the Barclays Center such as Main Event or dark matches or anything not on the show, as well as reports from the Smackdown brand house show in Worcester, MA tonight to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

Raw is tonight in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center with Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman advertised, plus a Chris Jericho Highlight Reel and locally advertised is Jericho & Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens & Samoa Joe. SmackDown's Monday night house show will be in Worcester, MA.

SmackDown & 205 Live will be taped on Tuesday night in Uncasville, CT at the Mohegan Sun Casino.


FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 3/13/2017: Impact Wrestling's identity problem

With the departure of The Hardys and the beginning of a new era, the promotion formerly known as TNA Wrestling is once again trying to establish a new identity. That began on the first episode of Impact under the new regime, where they officially ditched the name TNA in favor of Impact Wrestling and promised to make the company great. Changes in ownership and creative as Anthem Sports & Entertainment took over meant that a rebrand was inevitable, but the timing comes just as TNA was finally starting to carve out a unique place in the pro wrestling landscape... Subscribers click here to continue.


WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: March 20, 2017: Situation with Broken Matt Hardy and Anthem Sports, Wrestlemania card, more

This is a major news issue of the Wrestling Observer, with lead stories including full details on the legal questions regarding the Hardys’ gimmick, why Impact made the move they did, with the arguments from both sides and why they happened when they did.

Also look at the U.K. television battle with updates on ITV and WWE plans in the market.

There is a rundown of the 2018 WrestleMania main event as currently planned and long-term goals for the company and the top talent.

A WrestleMania show update for this year is included.

News on top talent leaving WWE after WrestleMania, NXT to Europe, Nakamura main roster update, Dwayne Johnson talks WrestleMania, several WWE injury updates, John Cena's schedule, a look at wrestlers and other athletes WWE had in camp this past week including an Olympic silver medalist, WWE Hall of Fame, Jack Swagger, post-WrestleMania plans, WWE value and most watched shows on the WWE Network, is all inside.

Check out a full rundown of all the WWE and NXT live events over the past week with business notes, results and highlights.

Other major stories are on the New Japan Cup, the state of ROH talent and popularity, the 15th anniversary show coverage, who was Dennis Stamp, just how big a difference PEDs are in UFC, how much the top executives and the McMahon family earned last year, and the Japanese national poll on who the greatest pro wrestling stars ever to work Japan were.

This issue also contains a WrestleMania week schedule.

WWE & ITV's moves for television in the U.K. are examined, plus a major rundown of former and current ROH talent, what is happening with WWE, ROH business and full coverage of the PPV with match-by-match coverage and star ratings.

Coverage of the UFC show in Brazil over the past week as well as the WWE house show in Madison Square Garden is in this issue.

Details on the ratings for all of the national shows over the past week, including a breakdown of who was watching all of the WWE shows are inside.

Examine the results of the major league arena events held all over the world this past week, as well as notes on the various TV shows.


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WON BACK ISSUE: February 21, 2000: 1999 attendance numbers, WCW turmoil, tons more

For the year, WWF increased attendance 20%. Monday night Raw ratings for the year as an average increased from a 4.40 average in 1998 to a 6.04 average in 1999, a 37% increase. PPV buy rates for the year increased from a 1.02 average in 1998 to a 1.25 average in 1999 which is a 23% increase. In 1998, WWF sold out 33.5% of its house shows while the figure increased to 63% of its shows in 1999. Average live gate per arena show increased from $188,482 in 1998 to $286,495, a whopping 52% caused by a combination of the increase in attendance and an increase in average ticket price from $18.84 to $23.84... Subscribers click here to continue.


MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio, talking Raw, Impact, New Japan Cup, more on the Paige situation as well as taking your e-mail questions for the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

Lots of talk about Jim Cornette inducting the Rock & Roll Express into the WWE Hall of Fame. It was obviously the right move for the circumstances. Cornette had made it clear he was never against doing it so it wasn't as if they had to talk him into it. It was always the WWE's call.

Undertaker is backstage in New York at Raw. Undertaker was expected to be at the last two Raw's before WrestleMania which is this week and next week but was not advertised for tonight. 

At yesterday's Rey de Reyes show in Monterrey, Jeff Jarrett was introduced during the show and AAA announced they established a working agreement with Impact. Also at the show, they unified all of their major singles titles in a three-way as Latin American champion Johnny Mundo beat AAA Mega heavyweight champion El Texano Jr. and AAA cruiserweight champion El Hijo del Fantasma (King Cuerno) and he now holds all three belts.

Katsuyori Shibata beat Bad Luck Fale earlier today in Nagaoka, Japan to win the New Japan Cup and his match with Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP title is official for the 4/9 show at Sumo Hall.

WWE

  • Tonight's Raw at the Barclays Center is legitimately sold out. The next three Raws are all a lock to be sold out.
  • WWE has announced Jason Jordan & Chad Gable defending their tag team tiles against the Usos for Smackdown tomorrow. Bray Wyatt vs. Luke Harper for the WWE title and John Cena vs. A.J. Styles in a street fight are also being billed locally, although that doesn't necessarily mean those two matches will happen since they change dark matches all the time. Smackdown always has one match before the taping to get the crowd in its seats for the beginning of the show, and one match after 205 Live that is pushed during the entire show at the arena to keep people from leaving after Smackdown ends.
  • WWE also announced that Shinsuke Nakamura would be on the June tour of the U.K. He was not originally scheduled for the tour. Nakamura is also scheduled for NXT house shows after WrestleMania. That doesn't necessarily mean anything but being added to an overseas tour as late as June would be a surprise if he was to be touring on the main roster.
  • We've heard nothing on Finn Balor returning to television. He is on the road and worked every show this weekend on the Raw side.
  • Kurt Angle talks to the Sporting News about meeting Vince McMahon for the first time in 11 years and his return to WWE.
  • A lot of NXT episodes from 2012 and 2013 have been added to the WWE Network in the VOD classic section.
  • Big Show will be on Conan O'Brien on TBS on Wednesday night.
  • The company will be releasing a new cut of the WWE 24 special on the Raw after WrestleMania on DVD and BluRay tomorrow.
  • After the hype that the last show at the Joe Louis Arena would be WWE's final show in the building, which is closing later this year, they have just announced a 7/29 house show there. Actually that was announced in the building last week. (thanks to Jake Koch)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • ROH announced that Jushin Liger and Yoshi-Hashi are off the 4/1 show in Lakeland, FL. The company posted on Facebook that due to delay in U.S. visa processing, the wrestlers will be unable to attend the show as planned. They announced that Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa would take their place in a six-man tag, teaming with Hangman Page against six-man champions Mark & Jay Briscoe & Bully Ray. They also announced Volador Jr. & Will Ospreay vs. Dragon Lee & Jay White for the show, which sounds like a potentially great match.
  • The main event for a UFC show on FS1 that will air on 6/10 from Auckland, New Zealand will be Mark Hunt vs. Derrick Lewis.
  •  Northeast Wrestling from Saturday night in Port Jervis, NY before a sellout 1,200 fans: Flip Gordon b Brad Hollistrer, The Now b Battle Brothers, Mandy Leon b Maria Manic, Warbeard Hanson b Dijak, Ryback DCOR Wrecking Ball Legursky, Matt Hardy b Vinnie Marseglia, Pretty & Gritty b Adrenaline Rush, Cody Rhodes b Mike Bennett to win NEW title.
  • Northeast Wrestling from Sunday in Waterbury, CT: Ron Zombie NC Wrecking Ball Legursky, Dijak b JT Dunn, Cam Zagami b Randy Shawn, Brad Hollister Nico Silva, Mandy Leon & Maria Maniac b Sea Stars, Flip Gordon b Lio Rush, Battle Brothers won over The Now, Adrenaline Rush and So Over, Keith Lee b Warbeard Hanson, Vinny Marseglia b Mike Bennett
  • A nice story on LuFisto trying to make it in pro wrestling before her type of wrestler was being accepted is here.
  • Evolve has a new mini-documentary.
  • This week's pro wrestling quiz is here.
  • Busted Open radio will be broadcasting from Harry Buffalo in Orlando during WrestleMania week with shows on 3-5 p.m.on Saturday and 1-3 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Regarding the legislation in Arkansas that will be presented to the state senate today in an attempt to make it more economically feasible to run smaller events such as needing an ambulance at the show or post a surety bond, the language presented that changed yesterday is that if a company donates at least 20 percent of the live gate to a charitable clause, it would be exempt from regulation. 
  • Matt Morgan has been training for his Impact return at the Team Vision Dojo in Orlando. An instagram post on the subject is here.
  • Superkick'd on 4/14 in Toronto at the Great Hall for TV tapings.
  • NWA Smoky Mountain Wrestling announced the Smoky Mountain Cup tournament with 12 wrestles for 4/8 in Kingsport, TN at the Civic Auditorium. The tournament will have six singles matches with the last six competing in a six-way elimination match. The tournament winner will face Tim Storm for the NWA title at a later date. Announced are Colby Corino, Facade, Tracer X, Myron Reed, Axton Ray, Jordan Kage, Chris Richards, Chip Day, Michael Starr, Jeff Connelly, Timmy Lou Retton and Toby Farley.
  • The next Wrestle Circus show in Austin, TX is 4/30 with Brian Cage vs. John Morrison for their title, Taya vs. Rachael Ellering plus Matt Sydal, Lio Rush, Dave & Jake Crist, Shane Strickland and Dezmond Xavier.
  • WrestleCon is pushing that it 3/30 WrestleMania kickoff party will be the first time Jim Ross, Sting and Ric Flair have shared the same stage together for a Q&A. It takes place at 4 p.m. on Thursday and is priced at $33. Matt Striker will also be there.
  • WCPW has a show today in England with a main event of Will Ospreay & Scott Wainwright defending their tag titles against the Young Bucks, Prospect and Matt Riddle & Liam Slater in a four-way.
  • Evolve will be holding a tryout and seminar on 5/21 in Livonia, MI.
  • Mephisto vs. Caristico for the CMLL welterweight title was announced for tonight's show in Puebla which streams on the CMLL YouTube channel.
  • Pro Wrestling Phoenix from Friday night in Omaha: Joey Daniels won over Purple, Robert Storm and Nathan Edwards, Hype Gotti b Devin Carter, Con Artiest & Duke Cornell & Ajax Adams b Paul Daniels & Lars Metzger & Johnny Ruckus, Zac James b Dalton Lee Roth, Hype Gotti won Rumble, Pat Powers b Branden Juarez in a street fight. Next show is 4/26 in Omaha at the Waiting Room Lounge.
  • Ratings for March Madness are evidently the highest in the last 24 years. They are up 10 percent from last year, bucking the trend in television overall.

Today in Professional Wrestling History (3/20): WWF WrestleMania X

F4W / WO EMPIRE WRESTLEMANIA GROUP INFO

BUS INFO:

  • The Empire bus trip, which will be hosted by Leva "Blue Pants" Bates, to WrestleMania will cost $50.00 and will be round trip from Rosen Inn at 9000 International Drive 32819 (a few blocks away from Wrestlcon). 
  • The bus will leave at 3:30pm (time subject to change) for WrestleMania and will leave WrestleMania no later then one hour after the show. If you would like a seat email Ed at f4wfan@hotmail.com or message him on the BOARD~! for Paypal payment instructions.

DINNER INFO:

  • WHAT: Dinner at Texas de Brazil
  • WHEN: Friday March 31st
  • WHERE: 5259 International Dr Ste F1, Orlando, FL 32819 at 5 p.m. (they may open at 4:30 for us)
  • WHO: All your best empire buddies, including BIG DAVE MELTZER
  • DETAILS: The cost of the dinner will be $68.00 which includes the dinner, salad bar, soft drinks and tea, and dessert, tax and tip. This is a pre pay dinner and you can send payment to paypal at Srjaialaiot@yahoo.com (please send as a gift to a friend). Payments must be made by March 24th (if you wait until after that, Ed will charge an extra $5.00 for being a pain).

Pro Wrestling Tees is now carrying our latest line of F4W shirts. Support the Empire~! Grab yours today!


CONTACT INFORMATION