SUN. UPDATE: Preview for Extreme Rules, Baista notes, Major show top matches coming in a few weeks, Talent expected at WWE TV, Mistico breaks leg, Bodyslamming Andre

By Dave Meltzer
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We'll be doing polls this weekend on both today's WWE Extreme Rules show and yesterday's New Japan Dontaku show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
We're also looking for reports on the weekend TNA house shows in LaCrosse, WE and Racine, WI.
Notes on today's Extreme Rules PPV from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ
*Evolution vs. The Shield - The original plan was that Evolution was winning to keep the program going, but with Batista expected to leave, that would have most likely changed.  But now there is talk Batista, who wasn't advertised on any shows past tonight, is going to stay until the next show, so that line of thinking is out the window.  Basically, if they are going to keep the program going, either side could win.  If it's one-and-done, The Shield should win.  On paper should be a great match.
*Daniel Bryan vs. Kane for WWE title - It would make no sense for Bryan to lose it here.  Bryan hasn't worked a significant match in several weeks, so even though he's going in storyline all hurt, in real life he should be at his healthiest in a long time as far as physically goes.  I expect with the time off, that Bryan will put on a killer performance here.
*John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt cage match - With Cena winning last time, it's kind of like Wyatt's turn here, probably with some interference since at this point nothing has been announced for Rowan & Harper on the show.
*Big E vs. Bad News Barrett for IC title - Most expect a title change here.  Judging from the last two years, this would be a belt you'd want to run away from, not toward.  They worked over the weekend at the house shows and the bouts were better than average.
*Cesaro vs. RVD vs. Jack Swagger - RVD is only in temporarily.  Swagger usually loses.  Unless they are going to start teasing problems with Cesaro and Heyman, and this is early and there are two many teased splits going around, then Cesaro should win.  RVD vs. Cesaro was rough for a Cesaro match, but this should be very good as well.
*Paige vs. Tamina Snuka for Divas title - Hopefully this won't be put on late in the show and positioned to die, because these two can have a good match if given a real shot to do so.
*Alexander Rusev vs. R-Truth & Xavier Woods handicap match - Needs to be exactly what everyone envisions it to be.
*Hornswoggle vs. Torito in a Wee LC match - This takes place at about 7:30 p.m. Eastern on the pre show.  Will probably be like their other matches, in the sense they'll try and work a good match and it's be called like it's pure comedy, like it's Ali vs. Frazier III.    
On paper, the show looks good.  The Shield usually thrive in main event situations.  Nothing on paper looks bad.  
Dragon Gate has one of its biggest shows of the year late Sunday/early Monday from Nagoya's Aiichi Gym at 3 p.m. Eastern and midnight Pacific time at
Mondai Ryu vs. Ryotsu Shimizu vs. Kotoka
Cyber Kong & Kzy vs. Uhaa Nation & Shachihoko Boy
Gamma & Yosuke Santa Maria vs. Genki Horiguchi & Jimmy Kagetora
Flamita vs. Jimmy Susumu for the Open the Brave Gate title
Akira Tozawa & Shingo Takagi vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Don Fujii for the Open the Twin Gate title
T-Hawk & Eita & U-T vs. K-Ness & Dragon Kid & Super Shisa for Open the Triangle Gate titles
Ricochet vs. Yamato for Open the Dream Gate title
Naruki Doi vs. BxB Hulk vs.Jimmy Kanda vs. Cima vs. Masato Yoshino vs. Naoki Tanizaki in a cage of death match with the loser or his representative getting their head shaved.
Raw on Monday will be from Albany, NY.
Smackdown and Main Event will be taped in Buffalo on Tuesday.  John Cena is advertised on this show but Daniel Bryan is not.
KENTA's leaving Pro Wrestling NOAH, what that means for the company and his WWE tryout is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that is up on the web site now.
The issue also has lots of news regarding upcoming WWE and TNA TV shows, angles on the horizon, potential title changes and more.
We've got full coverage of UFC 172, including where Jon Jones stacks up on the list of all-time greats, his issues with popularity, drawing, ratings, PPV and more thoughts coming off the show, as well as match-by-match coverage and poll results.
We also look at the always touchy subject of deaths in pro wrestling.  We look at the story in the ESPN satellite site, look at the numbers, the problems, how things have changed from the 80s and 90s, whether the problems are WWE problems or industry problems and where the issues were worse, including looking back at the 1992 rosters of WCW and WWE and what has happened to them.
We also look at wrestler deaths compared to the general public, and what periods are the worst.
We look at the WWE on PPV starting with Extreme Rules, how the satellite companies decisions have affected PPV numbers in the past, the lineup for the PPV show, Rumors on the timing of WWE's next big announcement, WWE worth, WWE major executive leaves, time frame for A.J. Lee, and Hulk Hogan goes to Japan for WWE dates.
We also look at Hogan's big Japanese matches, his standing in that country and why he was a star there before he was in the U.S.
We also have notes on Buddy Danielson, the father of Daniel Bryan, more on Undertaker losing to Brock Lesnar, the upcoming WWE European tour, the NXT women's title change and tournament, the upcoming NXT Takeover show, the story behind booking that doesn't appear to make sense, as record setting title reign goes unnoticed, , overseas TV notes, developmental notes, recruiting notes, what former TNA star had a WWE tryout, new WWE signing, and notes on all the weekend house shows with highlights.

We've also got full coverage of TNA Sacrifice from Orlando, with match-by-match rundowns, star ratings and poll results.  We look at the positives and negatives of where TNA stands right now and more.
We also look at Lee Marshall, the former AWA and WCW voice, who passed away this past week, what he was most remembered for, life after pro wrestling and outside of pro wrestling.

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.
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--Latest from Arena Mexico
--CMLL does big crowd for kids day anniversary double special show
--A look at this week's Dragon Gate PPV show and one of the company's best shows of the year with multiple showcase matches
--Coverage of the 2014 Champion Carnival tournament
--Final standings
--Pro Wrestling NOAH's Global tournament final standings and rundown
--Notes on major New Japan shows coming this month and a full card for Wrestling Dontaku this week
--New Japan star autobiography notes turning down a seven figure offer to leave
--Tanahashi causes a stir in New Japan
--A look at the New Japan/Border City wrestling joint show
--Kenta Kobashi becomes a wrestling promoter
--Update on Bobby Heenan
--Update on the Nancy Grace show and pro wrestling
--Son of one of the most well known pro wrestlers of this generation about to debut
--One of the best in-ring workers of the past 25 years said he has one match left against the career biggest rival
--Hardys vs. Briscoes for the first time
--WWC does angle based on Carlos Colon in Hall of Fame
--TV station in Puerto Rico does a Colon TV special this past week
--Colon talks about his interaction with biggest stars, biggest matches and the biggest match ever in Puerto Rico
--Lucha Libre comes to Philadelphia with Masked Republic promotions
--Major issues with promoters on two different weekend events and background
--Longtime promoter passes away
--Famous TV icon talks about how his fight scenes were based on being a kid watching pro wrestling
--Terry Funk wrestles once again
--ROH lineups for the two New Japan shows this month
--Stories behind the matchmaking
--Eric Young and his title win and why it was done on TV
--Eric Young's non-wrestling TV show notes
--New TNA business deal
--Jessy Sorensen talks about why he didn't sue TNA
--Current TNA announcer now working road shows in a completely different world
--A look at TNA television for the next several weeks
--UFC officially announces Mexico debut
--UFC pay records for the FOX show from Orlando
--Cain Velasquez injury updates
--Daniel Cormier talks path to Jon Jones
--What WWE star played a behind-the-scenes role in Ultimate Fighter
--UFC signs Andrei Arlovski after years away
--UFC injury notes
--Notes on the next two seasons of Ultimate Fighter as well as a rundown of the strawweight tournament
--A look at the UFC TV network that airs outside of the U.S.
--UFC champ complains about pay
--New UFC fights
--Notes on Bellator

New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.

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*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)

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*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)

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We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods..

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.

--Bryan and I will be back tonight covering both WWE Extreme Rules, New Japan Dontaku, TNA and other weekend news.  You can send questions to tonight's show to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   Try and limit questions to this week's news, which would be the shows as well as the WWE financials.
--As of this writing, there are no odds on the WWE shows that I've seen which indicate heavy last minute smart money betting.  The odds are similar to the ones listed yesterday, with no late swings at least that I'm aware of.
--For those who didn't see it, the Mayweather-Maidana fight will air at 9:30 p.m. Saturday night on Showtime during a Showtime free preview weekend.

--Mistico II, the current one in CMLL, suffered a compound fracture of the right leg in a motorcycle accident a few days ago and underwent surgery yesterday in Mexico City.  We wish him a speedy recovery.  For his style and persona, that's a nasty injury because as small as he is, and with the name Mistico, he has to be a great high flyer.
--Jason Jordan and Baron Corbin are being brought in for TV tomorrow and Tuesday by WWE. 
--Several members of the Hart Family noted that yesterday would have been Stu Hart's 99th birthday.
--Former Florida wrestler Al "Wild Thang" Hardimon passed away on Thursday from colon cancer at the age of 60.  His funeral will be on 5/10 at 4 p.m. at Cannon Park in Winter Haven, FL.  His widow, Donna, is asking people to come casual, bring a chair and a covered dish and a memory to share.  For any other info contact Mark at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
--If you are a UFC star, please keep a close watch on your cell phone, as we've had yet another embarrassing situation of somebody's missing cell phone leading to an unfortunate situation.  A few weeks ago it was Jon Jones' phone missing and God only knows what the person with the phone wrote that was embarrassing and homophobic.  Luckily that was cleared up.  This time it's Josh Thomson, whose phone on Twitter asked for a fight with Nick Diaz on July 26 in San Jose, saying he knocked out his brother and now wants him.  Thomson then said this morning that his phone was stolen and he never tweeted any such thing.  At least the thief knew enough to know what show Thomson would likely be fighting on next.
--Mr. Fuji (Harry Fujiwara) turned 79 today.  WWE referee Scott Armstrong turned 55.  
--Former heel magazine writer Dan Shocket (who was a real person) passed away from cancer at 35 on this day in 1985.  Sugi Sito was 73 when he passed away on this day in 2000 (thanks to Georgia Wrestling
--New Japan held a press conference earlier today to announce the 5/25 show called "Return to Yokohama Arena," which is the biggest show they are running between February and July.  This will be the next PPV in Japan and iPPV in the U.S.  Kazuchika Okada will challenge the winner of the 5/17 A.J. Styles vs. Michael  Elgin match for the IWGP title, Shinsuke Nakamura faces Daniel Gracie for the IC title and Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson defend the tag titles against Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe.  
--Matt Taven thought he was a UFC fighter and showed some initiative, pushing on Twitter for a match with Kazuchika Okada on the 5/17 show in New York.  As noted, Cedric Alexander got the match.  Anyway, if you want to look for a change you can tweet to Hashtag #ROHTavenOkadaNYC as well as @MattTaven and @ringofhonor

ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
1987 - Tommy Rogers & Bobby Fulton beat Mike Davis & Tommy Lane (the RPMs) in the finals of a tournament in Lubbock for the World Class tag titles
1994 - At the Fukuoka Dome, Rick Rude beat Sting to win the WCW International world title (I think this was the match Rude broke his back in catching Sting on a plancha, an injury that led to the end of his career) and Shinya Hashimoto beat Tatsumi Fujinami to win the IWGP heavyweight title
1998 - Fit Finlay beat Booker T in Indianapolis at Nitro to win the WCW TV title
2001 - Zandig beat Tomoaki Honma in Sapporo to win the Big Japan death match title
2002 - Martha Villalobos beat Esther Moreno in Veracruz to win the AAA Reina de Reinas title
2007 - Marcela beat Princesa Sugei in Mexico City to win a 14 woman elimination match and become the Mexican national women's champion.
--A clip of all kinds of wrestlers bodyslamming Andre the Giant is at (thanks to Neal Hager)
--People in TNA can relate to this one.  In the screen TV Guide on Thursday for Rampage Jackson on Craig Ferguson is lists him as "UFC Fighter Rampage Jackson."
--Hunter Shull is looking for a way to get DVDs of last year's G-1 Climax tournament. a This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
--There were "Yes" chants at last night's Philadelphia Phillies baseball game during the ninth inning.  It was a smattering of chants, not something the whole stadium joined in on. (thanks to Jody Jamieson)
--A.J. Styles will be signing autographs from Noon to 3 p.m. on 5/31 at Time Warp Media at 5 Salisbury St,. in Williamsport, MD.  You can get two autographs for $30 with an 8x10 provided and you can bring your own item for a secnod autograph.  Kids under 6 are free with a paid adult admission.
--Dynamo Pro Wrestling from last night in Fenton, MO:  Michael Magnuson & David DeLorean b Jack Gamble & Jake Parnell, Evan Morris b Ace Hawkins, Brandon Espinosa b Brandon Aarons, Ricky Cruz won three-way over Sir Bradley Charles and Outtkast, Mark Sterling b Da'Marius Jones, Jeremy Wyatt b Mike Sydal, Jake Dirden  NC Evlis Aliaga (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
--GOUGE from last night in Stem, NC:  Masked Magician b Old School, Mickey Gambino b Timmy Lou Retton, Team Sexxy b Ryan the Killer Miller & Juan Jeremi, Seymour Snott DCOR Gluteus Maximus, Jimmy Jack Funk Jr. b Otto Schwanz
---Muppets Most Wanted was No. 9 at the box office in Australia this weekend (thanks to James Stanios)
--The WWE movie Oculus was No. 16, estimated at doing $750,000 this weekend.
--Chris Hero is headed to France for the ICWA, France's top indie promotion, for shows on 5/24 in Maubeuge, France, where he faces Lucas Di Leo (a former WWE developmental wrestler), and 5/25 in Bethune, France, facing Tristan Archer.  The 5/25 show is at the Usine & Catch and promoted as for elite fans only.
--Lucha Libre Xtreme on  Fresno TV last night:  Johnny Dynamo b Kevni El Devino, Jeff Cobb b Dave Dutra, God of War Kratos b Wiseguy.  Dylan Drake did yet another Ric Flair style promjo sitting in a new suit poolside drinking champagne, saying "He's coming, May 16th," which is the date of the company's next taping in Merced, CA. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling from yesterday in Columbus, IN before 225 fans:  Fiji Wiildman b Fast Eddie, Ricky Ruckus b Wicked Clown, Sign Guy b Cameron Satr, 8 Bit Punks b Bobby Black & Jay Maddix, Cousin Cooter b Stompin Steve, Troy Van Zant b Nick Cutier, Danny Idol b TJ Kemp in a dog collar match, Ronnie Vegas & Hillbilly Jed b Nate Stone & Dash Venture, JKO b Flash Flanagan to keep the HPW title.  Next show is 6/7 with Rob Conway.(thanks to Jerry Wilson)

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?