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Daily Update: 4 days until McGregor vs. Diaz; UFC 196 shapes up; Undertaker and D. Bryan on the road

McGregor vs. Diaz and Holm vs. Tate

It's heating up! We are now just four days from the Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz physical fight, but the verbal fight is on! Both men have been all over the news talking mad expletives to get under the other's skin and gain an advantage before they meet in the octagon. Not being mentioned much is that McGregor will be fighting up TWO weight classes to take on Nate Diaz.

McGregor says that weight is just a number, but Diaz has been adamant that McGregor is on steroids. Well, he's adamant that EVERYONE is on steroids, other than he and Nick. McGregor has been quick to point out that Diaz's two buddies, Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields both failed steroid tests in the past. McGregor and Diaz will no doubt continue to trash talk each other probably up until the point one man is unconscious in the center of the cage, and even then, it may only be a temporary reprival until the post fight press conference. 

Being swept politely to the side of all the McGregor and Diaz hype, is the first ever non-Ronda Rousey UFC women's bantamweight championship match between champion Holly Holm and perennial contender Miesha Tate. That championship fight will go on BEFORE the NON-TITLE five round main event between McGregor and Diaz. 

Whoever wins the womens match is in line to challenge Ronda Rousey who recently made literal headlines by appearing on the cover of the famous Sports Illustrated swim suit edition. Unfotunately, these two ladies have three monstrous shadows of which to fight out from beneath. More suprising to me than all of this is the fact that people still order magazines. 

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on tonight in Atlanta.


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Figure Four Weekly 2/8/2016 Kevin "Mordecai" Thorn voices issues with WWE Network royalties, more
Former WWE Superstar Kevin Thorn voices his frustrations with the amount of money WWE pays in royalties for the WWE Network, plus more.



Wrestling Observer Newsletter

The Latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Feb 22, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WWE 2015 Financial Report, Kevin Randleman passes

The return to WWE of Shane McMahon, his history, and how the deal to bring him back was put together and why it happened now, is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
 
McMahon's background, what about the TV angle is based on real life and what is based on fiction, where the idea for this year's WrestleMania first came from and what year it was first planned for, the story on Roman Reigns, the blood, and why that angle took  place.  What the current deal is for McMahon, various possible scenarios and the situation with Roman Reigns.  Shane McMahon's career in WWE, his attempts to run businesses in the past, high profile deals he attempted to put together that his father shot down, deals he tried to put together away from his father, and his latest venture and how changes in that company have changed his power. 
 
Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz on 3/5, including who was called, who was available, why Diaz got the shot and what his chances are.
 
Updated WrestleMania plans, where the Roman Reigns angle is headed, current card, scheduled guests and what key role is really not determined.

The Godfather, looking at his wrestling career, his pre-wrestling days, how he got into wrestling, why he was so popular with wrestlers, his different gimmicks and what he's doing now.
 
The ramifications and lessons of Bellator's last big show, what it says about what the public interest in the Kimbo vs. Dada and Shamrock vs. Gracie fights, what led to Dada's hospitalization, ratings and business notes on the show and coverage of the event.
 
More WWE business and why a lot of the analysis of the network is shallow and missing key points.
 
Shinsuke Nakamura in WWE, reason he came to WWE that isn't going to happen, John Cena update.  Kota Ibushi leaving New Japan, including an update on his plans, will he work for New Japan again, as well as WWE.

PLUS MUCH MORE! CLICK HERE FOR A FULL WRESTLING OBSERVER PREVIEW

You can also order the print Observer right now and get it delivered to your door via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to Dave Meltzer

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Click here for the most requested Wrestling Observer back issues.

Check out the latest Online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: Jan 18, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Giant Baba retires, ECW Guilty as Charged review
Details on the retirement of Giant Baba, a full rundown of ECW Guilty as Charged, plus tons of news.

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

Hulk Hogan’s trial over his sex tape is set to begin. Jury selection started today and the Tampa Bay Times has a story about the process. They also have a page devoted to collecting tweets (mostly from their reporter’s livetweets) using the hashtag #HulkvsGawk. Of the 500 potential jurors who were summoned, 106 will return tomorrow for additional questioning. The jury trial proper begins Monday.

In an effort to increase the star power of the April post-WrestleMania tours of Europe, WWE announced that the recently-retired Daniel Bryan and The Undertaker would be heading to each be part of one leg.

In last night's Observer radio show when talking about UFC fighter Ilir (who faces Gian Villante on Saturday night), Dave Meltzer confused him with fellow Swedish fighter Reza Madadi, who has a criminal record for burglary. He wanted to apologize for the error.

Former UFC fighter Mikey Burnett and his son were shot outside a gym Monday night in Tulsa, OK. Burnett and his son Scotty were getting into their and were caught in the crossfire of an attempted robbery. Both Burnetts were seriously injured but will pull through.

WWE

  • Bayley did an interview with FanSided which you can find here talking about her WWE future.
  • Mark Henry has some thoughts on who the Dallas Cowboys should draft.
  • Last night’s Edge and Christian Show on WWE Network had a bit about “Sunny’s Miracle Drops” with the side effects listed as “erratic behavior, cake fancer [as in fake cancer], and DUI’s.” Tammy Sytch is, of course, going off on Twitter. The two sides (well, WWE being the non-Sytch side, not Edge and Christian personally) had a bad falling out just over three years ago when Sytch, in a shoot interview, claimed that as soon as Linda McMahon’s last bid for the U.S. Senate ended, they pulled her out of a $1,000/day rehab facility to put her in a much cheaper one. WWE then made a public statement saying that they had “always provided rehabilitation at a certified treatment center; however, given Ms. Sytch’s inability to change her lifestyle and successfully complete treatment, WWE will no longer fund her rehabilitation."
  • From now through March 4th, there’s a presale on Ticketmaster for the August 2nd SmackDown taping in Nashville with TICKETS as the presale code.
  • WWE presale code for Smackdown at Nashville, TN’s Bridgestone Arena on August 2nd is ‘TICKETS’.

UFC

  • A public relations rep for Ronda Rousey told an Australian TV reporter at a recent EA Sports UFC 2 media day in Vancouver that she would walk out on the interview if he asked about fighting. As for the mixed martial arts fighting game she was theoretically promoting, it’s out two weeks from today and available for pre-order now.
  • USA Today has an article showcasing five things you didn’t know about McGregor and Diaz before their epic battle. For example, McGregor was previously on “Social Welfare” before hitting it big with UFC and the red panties.
  • Holly Holm says she doesn’t care she’s not in the main event at 196. She shouldn’t care either as nobody should have to follow McGregor. Her match would die a million deaths if it was after, especially if Tate makes it a plodding grind.
  • Diaz reveals his game plan for beating McGregor. In an interview with Elias Cepeda of Fox Sports, Diaz said, “The gameplan is to go in there, pfff pff, hit him with some good (expletive), don’t get hit, and come home with a pocket full of cash…” Let’s hope that’s not his entire game plan or it could be a very short and disappointing evening for Mr. Diaz.
  • There are still plenty of reasonably priced tickets for UFC 196 on the secondary markets, and even VIP packages through UFC.com. Those traveling to the show can expect a rather rowdy atmosphere. Having been at the two previous McGregor matches, I can say for certain that if you can afford it, you should go to this show.
  • Speaking of tickets, you can get presale tickets for April 23rd’s UFC 197 featuring Jon Jones vs. light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier 2 and flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo in Las Vegas starting Thursday using the promo code ‘spring’.
  • Our very own “Filthy” Tom Lawlor is featured in an article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal talking about showmanship, being an underdog and his upcoming fight against Corey Anderson.
  • An article from Yahoo! Sports speculates that Dana White is taking a back seat in the media to stars like Conor McGregor.
  • UFC announced Albert Tumenov (17-2) takes on Gunnar Nelson (14-2-1) in an important fight for both guys who are on the fringes of the top 10 in the division for their Rotterdam, Holland, debut show.

MISC MMA

  • Bas Rutten has picked his winner for Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz.
  • Bellator 150 on Spike Friday night averaged 733,000 viewers. That’s about average for their regular shows and well up from January’s show, Bellator 148, which did 566,000.
  • Tonight on Showtime’s “60 Minutes Sports,” there will be a feature on the Jackson-Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, paying special attention to how they prepared Holly Holm for her title fight with Ronda Rousey last November. The show premieres 9 p.m. ET on the main Showtime East feed and will be repeated throughout the month in addition to being available on demand.
  • Two additional fights were announced for Bellator 153 on April 22, which is Benson Henderson’s debut with the company. Patricio Pitbull goes up against John Teixeira in a Featherweight bout and in his debut with the company Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, the ex-husband of Cris Cyborg fights “Irish” Brennan Ward, who fought New Year’s Eve for Rizin.

MISC

  • As noted last week, Dragon Gate have their monthly Korakuen Hall show tonight/tomorrow morning and it’s available live on Nico Nico. We have full instructions on how to use the Nico site here. The show starts at 1:30am PST / 4:30am EST / 9:30am GMT
  • Akebono announced the debut of his new “Royal Road” promotion for April 20 at Korakuen. The idea is that it’s going to be a promotion to honour Giant Baba’s All Japan, and it’s traditions. Baba’s wife Makoto has given Akebono and the promotion her support. Considering this was essentially attempted in All Japan itself since Jun Akiyama has taken control (and had Akebono on board) but has failed to catch on, it doesn’t really add up how this is going to be a success past a very low level. The first card will have six matches and will be “rich in variety”. So far announced is:
  • Yuto Aijima & Kazushi Miyamoto vs. TARU & Voodoo Mask
  • AAA/Lucha Undergound Offer Match: X vs. X
  • Akebono, Ryota Hama & Taiyo Kea vs. Masato Tanaka, Yuji Okabayashi & Daisuke Sekimoto
  • Also signed to appear are NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA, Daichi Hashimoto and Masao Inoue.
  • As mentioned during one of this weekend’s Wrestling Observer Radio, Jim Ross will appear on ‘The Voice Vs.’ with Michael Schiavello. Here’s a five minute preview.
  • The former home of Championship Wrestling from Florida has been sold
  • Chicago Tribune compares Donald Trump and Jesse Ventura
  • This week on Between the Sheets, David Bixenspan and Kris Zellner are joined (for part of the show) by Matt Farmer to discuss February 23-29, 1992 since it’s the week of the biggest Leap Day event in wrestling history, WCW Superbrawl II. Also covered: Kip Frye’s run in charge of WCW, Lex Luger leaving WCW for the WBF, The Fat Boys make their USWA debut in spectacular fashion,Dennis Coralluzzo threatening that he’ll feed Koko B. Ware’s parrot Frankie to Kamala, and much more.
  • The latest NECW (New England Championship Wrestling) TV is online.
  • AIW runs this Saturday at Tequila Jaxx at Mentor On The Lake, OH, with their Fullest House show featuring Rockstar Spud, Homicide, Little Guido, Eddie Kingston, and more. Also, it’s the “official” bachelor party for Dick Justice!
  • The Minnesota Twins are advertising a Wrestling Night VIP package for April 29th which will include a private meet and greet with Baron Von Raschke, Larry "The Axe" Hennig and The High Flyers of "Jumpin" Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne.
  • Allen Blackstock and Kris Zellner discuss the potential Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame candidacy of Johnny “Mr. Wrestling II” Walker.
  • Over The Top Wrestling, a Dublin based promotion, is getting a lot of buzz in Ireland this week following a video from this past weekend’s show which has been getting a lot of play on social media. The clip features stars from cult classic 90s TV show Fr. Ted hitting the ring during a tag team match and getting an insane reaction. They also released a highlight video today with other clips from the show including the INSANE main event of Will Ospreay vs Ryan Smile vs. Pete Dunne (easily the best match ever in Ireland).

ON THIS DAY IN WORLD PRO WRESTLING HISTORY: Big Van Vader and Bam Bam Bigelow win IWGP Tat Team Titles