SAT. UPDATE: Notes on today's big shows, WWE France results, Scott Hall update, Henderson's weight, New WWE PPV match, Observer convention notes, Sonnen copies two 90s stars



By Dave Meltzer
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We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's UFC 173 and tonight's Back to the Yokohama Arena shows, 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
UFC 173 takes place today at the MGM Grand  in Las Vegas:
 
Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m.
 
Jingliang Li (170) vs. David Michaud (171)
Aaron Phillips (145) vs. Sam Sicilia (146)
Anthony Njokuani (155) vs. Vinc Pichel (155)
 
FS 1 at 8 p.m.
 
Mitch Clarke (155) vs. Al Iaquinta (155)
Chico Camus (135) vs. Chris Holdsworth (135)
Tony Ferguson (155) vs. Katsunori Kikuno (155)
Michael Chiesa (156) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (155)
 
PPV at 10 p.m.
 
James Krause (156) vs. Jamie Varner (155)
Takeya Mizugaki (135) vs. Francisco Rivera (135)
Jake Ellenberger (171) vs. Robbie Lawler (171)
Daniel Cormier (205) vs. Dan Henderson (199)
Renan Barao (135) vs. T.J. Dillashaw (135) for the bantamweight title
 
New Japan's Back to the Yokohama Arena takes place late tonight at 1:40 a.m. Eastern and 10:40 p.m. Pacific at www.ustream.tv/channel/njpw1972
 
Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Desperado & Mascara Dorada vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Bushi & Kushida & Alex Shelley
Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Tomoaki Honma & Captain New Japan vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows & Tama Tonga
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Wes Brisco & Rob Conway for NWA tag titles
Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka vs. Shelton Benjamin & Minoru Suzuki
Tetsuya Naito vs. Bad Luck Fale
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Rolles Gracie
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kota Ibushi for Never Open weight title
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe vs. Katsuyori Shibata & Hirooki Goto - winner gets a title shot at Anderson & Gallows for IWGP tag tiles
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Daniel Gracie for IC title
A.J. Styles vs. Kazuchika Okada for IWGP title
WWE finishes up its European tour with shows today in Rotterdam, Holland and Berlin, Germany.  We're looking for reports on both shows.
 
Raw will be Monday night from Knoxville with Daniel Bryan advertised on the show.  While not official, as of yesterday, they were planning on a Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose match.
 
Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday from Atlanta.
 
We go into detail on WWE finances with the new television deal, the new WWE prospectus, exactly what the company needs out of the network to break even for 2015, to make up for lost PPV in 2015, to make profits back to 2010 levels, and how many subscribers it needs over the next five years to actually break even to actually cover all the start up costs.  We also look at the new TV detail with more information as to where it looks to fit, why they didn't get what they wanted, why the number may be actually less than anyone is indicating, the conference call, vague numbers and why Wall Street threw them for a loop.
 
We also have an update on Daniel Bryan, WWE booking without Bryan, what has changed since the surgery, and the title situation.
 
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The lead story goes into the stock fall, how much WWE gets paid per viewer compared to the latest sports deal and it will blow your mind, lots of unanswered questions, how much money Vince McMahon has lost in the last six weeks, what happened in negotiations, why WWE is expected to lose more money than any pro wrestling company ever has in the course of a year with the exception of one company in one year, and how many network subscribers will they need to restore themselves to pre-network profitability.
 
We also look at the investigations claimed into the company, and an equity firm that has ownership that wants changes.
 
We look at company departures up to this point, why certain questions not being answered is troubling, the perception of pro wrestling in the real world, how many subscribers they need by July to not lose money next year and how many they need from 2016 to 2020 to make up for expenses already incurred.  We look at how many subscribers they need to have by December 2014 to be positive in money out vs. money in and why current WWE projections remain as flawed as at the start.
 
We look at the one big surprise in projections and estimates of Raw & Smackdown revenue for the next three years.
 
We also update the Daniel Bryan situation, the neck problem, the television storyline, choices the company has, ideas from those in wrestling regarding Daniel Bryan tweaking his style to avoid further problems and more.
 
We also have a complete rundown on ROH War of the Worlds, where the company is going next from a booking standpoint, plus match-by-match coverage, poll results and star ratings.
 
We've got an update on the Payback PPV, including several matches that have been talked about yet to be announced.  We've got more on the WWE video game for next year, how close Shawn Michaels was to wrestling Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania, notes on a lot of wrestlers at the recent WWE tryout camps, Lots of new talent signed including a cousin of one of the biggest stars in company history, the return as a regular character of one of pro wrestling's all-time greats, Total Divas season end, who watches Total Divas, Sting, Tough Enough and a major tape library WWE doesn't own but wants.
 
We also have notes on the European tour and business from the tour, plus highlights from every show.
 
We also have coverage of the Bellator debut on PPV, including business notes, what comes next for the headliners, thoughts on judging, polls on judging, should Bellator do PPV, the upside of PPV if they didn't make money on the first one, plus match-by-match coverage and poll results.
 
We've also got more on KENTA's departure from Pro Wrestling NOAH, more on why he made the move, why this is such a major move, as well as coverage of his farewell to NOAH show this past week.
 
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:
 
--Talk of a government investigation into the working plight of pro wrestlers and questions about independent contractor status
 
--Former WWE personality in talks with AAA
 
--One of top workers jumps promotions and debuts
 
--King of Gate tournament update
 
--Next New Japan PPV show lineup
 
--What wrestler from Japan did WWE want a few years ago
 
--New Japan crew in Thailand and news from those shows
 
--More on Antonio Inoki wanting to do shows in South Korea
 
--What former UFC star challenges for a pro wrestling world title in a match announced for August
 
--Update on Scott Hall
 
--A new national pro wrestling TV show has been announced
 
--Foxcatcher movie and what pro wrestling superstar was in that camp and reactions
 
--More bad news for TNA when it comes to television
 
--Why Vince McMahon never took Kurt Angle back
 
--Notes on this week's UFC show
 
--What show is going to test the baseline bottom UFC PPV number
 
--Update on ticket sales to upcoming UFC events
 
--Notes on Urijah Faber's return to UFC and a surprise
 
--Notes on MMA star being robbed and having his money and clothes taken
 
--Notes on TUF Latin America
 
--Can Ronda Rousey beat male bantamweights?
 
--Pro wrestling and MMA women in Maxim's 100 hottest women
 
--Lots of new UFC fights
 
--Renzo Gracie's arrest
 
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SATURDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
 
--Scott Hall wrote that he had checked himself into Emery hospital earlier this week, has since been discharged, and is getting himself ready for a Tuesday interview with WWE when they come to Atlanta for the network and stuff they can put on future DVD releases.
--The WWE crew flies back today from Europe as today's show end the two week tour.  They'll start back Monday's Raw in Knoxville for the go-home for for the Payback PPV.
--The Sheamus vs. Cesaro U.S. title match was officially announced for Payback.
--A press conference was held yesterday for UFC 175 with Chris Weidman, Lyoto Machida, Ronda Rousey, Alexis Davis, Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen all there. Sonnen was doing stuff from both Scott Hall and Bret Hart.  Wanderlei was said to have been turning purple.
--I was told to advice people regarding that show to get tickets early and also make hotel reservations early.  We are doing our website convention in conjunction with that weekend and there are a ton of weekend activities including concerts, a Muay Thai show, a Sunday UFC on FS 1 show the day after the PPV headlined by Frankie Edgar vs. B.J. Penn, signings, pool parties and more all week.  It's basically UFC's version of WrestleMania week.
--Results from yesterday's WWE house show in Strasborg, France:
Rob Van Dam & The Miz (babyface on this show) & Rhodes Brothers b Titus O'Neil & Tyson Kidd & Jack Swagger & Justin Gabriel
Rusev b Zack Ryder
Paige retained Divas title over Natalya and Tamina Snuka
Big Show b Kane last man standing
Santino Marella & Emma b Fandango & Layla
Bad News Barrett b Big E to retain IC title
The Shield b Randy Orton & Curtis Axel & Ryback
--Pat Patterson was there as the guest ring announcer for the Barrett vs. Big E match, given it was the IC title match and Patterson was the first champion.

--There was a really good interview this week on the I Am Jericho podcast with Bryan Danielson.  Basically confirming that every single thing that happened to him in his career was because plans for others backfired and the crowd kept getting behind him.  Even he questioned the late 2013 booking, noting the idea was to get Randy Orton over as champion and he didn't think it helped Orton either.
--The New Japan show tonight in theory is the company's biggest show since the Tokyo Dome.  It doesn't appear to have interest at that level.  It was actually part of Bushiroad, the New Japan parent company, booking the Yokohama Arena for two straight days as they had a regular company event scheduled. 
--Dan Henderson came in light, but he was 196 a few days ago (for a 205 pound fight) when we weighed himself after a workout.  It's his first fight off TRT, which could be a factor, especially at 43.  Still, Henderson does have the one punch chance.
--Jim Ross debuts as a boxing announcer Monday night in the Monday night FS 1 Memorial Day Fight for the Troops like show.  From the FS 1 standpoint, he's being brought in as a celebrity announcer. 
--Dory Funk's BANG runs tonight in Ocala, FL, which includes a movie screening, an autograph sessions with Dory Funk and 70s and 80s rival Gerald Brisco, plus Dave Schlenker, the Entertainment Editor of the Ocala Star-Banner will be guest referee for one of the matches.

--Elijah Burke aka Pope D'Angelo Dinero turned 36 today.

--Rusher Kimura was 68 when he passed away on this day four years ago.

ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops)

1973 - Harley Race defeated Dory Funk, Jr. for the NWA World Heavyweight Title in Kansas City, Missouri.  This ended a four-plus-year NWA title run

1976 - Ric Flair defeated Wahoo McDaniel for the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title in Charlotte, North Carolina in a title vs. hair match.

1984 - Ric Flair defeats Kerry Von Erich for the NWA World Heavyweight Wrestling Title in Yokosuka, Japan in the third fall of their title match on an All Japan Pro Wrestling show.  This ended an 18 day NWA title run.

1985 - Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura defeated International Tag Team Champions Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch via count-out 18:27 to win the titles in Kobe, Japan.

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