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Daily Update: Andre documentary premiere, weekend schedule, Styles

THE ROUND-UP

THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're looking for reports from tonight's WWE Raw show in Boston and NXT show in St. Augustine, FL to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com

We're doing one poll for this weekend, on the New Japan Sakura Genesis show late Saturday/early Sunday, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com" target="_blank">dave@wrestlingobserver.com

NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. EASTERN TIME ON AXS TV

  • Jay White vs. Hangman Page for the U.S. title
  • Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi vs. Young Bucks

CMLL TONIGHT FROM ARENA MEXICO AT 10:30 P.M. EASTERN TIME

  • Flyer & Robin vs. Akuma & Templario
  • Kaho Kobayashi & Marcela & Princesa Sugehit vs. Dalys & Seductora & Zeuxis
  • Felino & Dragon Rojo Jr. & Kawato San vs. Blue Panther & Blue Panther Jr. & The Panther
  • Mr. Niebla & Negro Casas & Cavernario vs. Sam Adonis & Johnny Idol & Okumura
  • Atlantis & Caristico & Valiente vs. Rush & Bestia del Ring & Kraneo
  • Volador Jr. vs. Matt Taven for the NWA historic welterweight title

We're looking for reports from Saturday's Raw show in North Charleston, SC, Smackdown in Huntington, WV and NXT in Crystal River, FL to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com

NEW JAPAN SAKURA GENESIS LATE SATURDAY NIGHT/EARLY SUNDAY AT 3 A.M. EASTERN AND MIDNIGHT PACIFIC ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

  • Young Bucks vs. Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi
  • Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. Takashi Iizuka & Taichi
  • Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa vs. Togi Makabe & Michael Elgin & Ryusuke Taguchi for the Never trios titles
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs. Hirooki Goto & Jay White & Yoshi-Hashi
  • Tetsuya Naito & Evil & Seiya Sanada vs. Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.
  • Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado vs. Sho & Yoh vs. Hiromu Takahashi & Bushi for IWGP jr tag titles
  • Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll for IWGP jr. title
  • Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi vs. Cody & Hangman Page
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Zack Sabre Jr. for IWGP heavyweight title

Sunday has WWE Raw in Macon, GA and Smackdown in Lexington, KY.

The WrestleMania go-home Raw is Monday night in Atlanta at Phillips Arena.  Announced are a face-to-face confrontation with HHH, Stephanie McMahon, Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle, as well as Seth Rollins vs.Finn Balor.  The show will also feature the climax of the John Cena/Undertaker storyline as well as the final angle between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar.

There is also a Smackdown house show on Monday night in Knoxville

The final main roster show before WrestleMania is the Smackdown/205 Live/Mixed Match Challenge tapings on Tuesday in Nashville.  The finals of MMC with The Miz & Asuka vs. Bobby Roode & Charlotte Flair will take place as well as Mark Andrews vs. Drew Gulak.


​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Another chapter in Daniel Bryan's unbelievable journey

When Daniel Bryan chronicled his "improbable journey" to the main event of WrestleMania in his first book in 2015, there's no way that he could have known how unbelievable the story of his career would end up being. A day that, not long ago, seemed like it was never going to come arrived last Tuesday as WWE announced that Bryan has been medically cleared to wrestle for the company. "Following more than two years of extensive evaluations, four-time World Champion Daniel Bryan has been medically cleared to return to in-ring competition by leading neurosurgeons, neurologists and concussion experts, including Dr. Robert Cantu, Dr. Javier Cárdenas and Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher," WWE's statement said.


WON NEWSLETTER: April 2, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Changes to Wrestlemania card, more

An update on WrestleMania, with changes in he show, rumors about the show, ticket sales for all the major events of the week and what shows have the most and least interest is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

This issue has full coverage of New Japan going to the Cow Palace, the background of how that happened, notes on the Long Beach show with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results. Also look at a Friday night show that week, the situation with Rey Mysterio Jr., thoughts on the main event, this week's biggest shows and future booking.

Read the updated WWE/Hulk Hogan situation.

Examine the notes on PWG leaving its home base in Reseda and full coverage of the weekend show, the PWG business, and match-by-match coverage with star ratings.

Also inside is a full events calendar for WrestleMania week with the non-WWE and ROH shows, how the rules for independent shows will differ from those of WWE shows, and where the big stars and key matches will be taking place.

We also look at two lawsuits against WWE that were thrown out and why, and thoughts on both why they were and what questions they bring up. There is also more on the Greatest Royal Rumble show and the big ethical question everyone is avoiding.

Look at Vince McMahon's competition for a spring football league and moves that they are making. Plus, get the update on Bryan Danielson, Charlotte Flair, changes in commercial content on Raw coming soon, as well as the latest plans for after WrestleMania.

There is a ton of WWE Hall of Fame news, non-wrestling news involving Paul Heyman, Ronda Rousey media, former WWE star to host a television show, key live dates for the next year, future of Jim Ross, and lots of women wrestlers defend Moolah and others who don't.

Find out more on John Cena's acting gigs, Ric Flair starting a new company, new DVD releases for 2018, update on Dean Ambrose, UK TV ratings, most-watched shows on the WWE Network as well as a rundown of all the WWE live evens over the past week with highlights and business notes.

Check out the weekly coverage of all the ratings of the major shows, detailed notes on who is watching all the WWE shows, results from the major league events held around the world, and the major TV show rundowns.


ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to Dave Meltzer, or by using PayPal directing funds to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com

Rates in the United States are $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to moonsault@mediaplusint.com. For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52. If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.)

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can choose one free classic issue, or two free classic issues with a 40-issue subscription.


FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

The world premiere of the HBO/WWE Andre the Giant documentary took place last night in Los Angeles. We were told that everyone overall thought it was great. I was told there are some historical issues that longtime fans would notice but they tried their best to make it as accurate as possible and it was as in-depth as an 85 minute documentary has the time to be. The movie itself debuts on HBO on 4/10 from 10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. I was also told that Hulk Hogan comes across as the star of the show and Vince McMahon also comes across very well.

Among those in attendance last night were Vince Vaughn, Hogan, Paul Levesque, Stephanie McMahon, Cary Elwes (who starred in the Princess Bride with Andre in the role Andre wanted everyone to remember him by), Gennady Golovkin, Bill Simmons (who was the person who spearheaded the project), Rey Mysterio Jr., Big Show, Mark Henry, Jimmy Hart, as well as Andre's nephew Boris Roussimoff and Andre's daughter Robin. The event had a French theme as they had a French car in the theater and the after-party was nothing but French food. I was scheduled to be part of this but unfortunately real life got in the way. There will be another showing of the documentary on 4/7 in New Orleans and I believe that is where Vince McMahon will see it for the first time.

For this weekend, Randy Orton and A.J. Styles are on all of the Smackdown house shows. John Cena, Ronda Rousey and Paul Heyman are all only working Monday night in Atlanta.

A.J. Styles did an interview with USA Today and downplayed his injury, but did say it was a knee injury. He said he knew he was going to make it to WrestleMania and there's nothing wrong with him. He said it bothered him there was so much speculation on whether he'd be able to do WrestleMania. Honestly, given that the promotion was asked immediately and failed to respond, if he has true heat about it, the reality is that the company would not address it after he had missed multiple dates.

Bein Sports and Major League Wrestling sent out their official press release today regarding the new weekly one hour MLW Fusion show that starts on the station on 4/20 in the Friday night at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern time slot.

WWE

  • Tickets for the Greatest Royal Rumble on 4/27 in Saudi Arabia were supposed to go on sale today, but it was announced that on-sale has been delayed until 4/7. So they have 20 days to fill a 62,000 seat stadium (thanks to Hasan Salem)
  • Jeff Jarrett will be filming a Table for 3 Segment next week. WWE is filming tons of shows and documentaries with so many people in New Orleans next week.
  • WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar is working the main event in Boston tonight vs. Kane and Braun Strowman.
     

UFC

  • Ben Saunders vs. Jake Ellenberger has been added to the 6/1 show in Utica, NY.  Saunders replaces Bryan Barbarena, who was originally to face Ellenberger.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Problems between the U.S. and Russia have led to issues with the Russian wrestling team getting visas and thus may not be able to compete in the World Cup, which takes place 4/7 and 4/8 at Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, on the campus of Iowa State University. The Russian side, through its Foreign Military Spokesperson, said, "The failure to issue visas to the Russian athletes is a gross violation on the part of the United States of its obligations as a host country to international competitions." Dan Gable, who helped organize the event, said that the U.S. wants the Russians competing and feels they should not bring discrimination into this problem. The Russians have claimed that the U.S. is trying to eliminate the toughest competition from the tournament. From the U.S. side, they said that every team has known since August about the need to get visas and took care of it, but the Russian Wrestling Federation didn't even start requesting visas until this past week, and with cutbacks, and delays, it is possible they cut it too close to get them done. Gable said that maybe they should have figured things out ahead of time.
  • Volador Jr. goes for his 20th straight title defense of the NWA historic welterweight title at Arena Mexico tonight against Matt Taven. This is Taven's final night of this tour with CMLL. Because Mexico hasn't started daylight savings time, it starts one hour later than usual, 10:30 p.m. Eastern instead of the usual 9:30 p.m. and can be streamed for free with details in the schedule section on top.
  • John "Bad Bones" Klinger, who has been one of the top stars of the German-based wXw promotion, is no longer with the group, and the reasons are being kept quiet. wXw issued a release yesterday saying, "It is with great regret that we have to inform you about the immediate suspension of Bad Bones John Klinger from all future wXw events. The wXw World Tag Team Championship, currently held by Da Mack and John Klinger, has been vacated effective today. It will be contested at the next marquee event, wXw True Colors on April 14 in Dresden." (thanks to Markus Gronemann)
  • ROH announced a main event for a 4/28 show called Bound By Honor at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, FL.  It will be four members of the Bullet Club against four champions, Dalton Castle & Kenny King & Mark & Jay Briscoe.  
  • Cheick Kongo vs. Javy Ayala has been added to Bellator's 5/12 show at the SAP Center in San Jose.  This will be an alternates fight in their heavyweight tournament.  Ryan Bader vs. King Mo Lawal also takes place on that show.
  • We Watch Wrestling is doing a live podcast on 4/6 in New Orleans at 3 p.m. at The Allways Theater at 2240 St Claude Avenue.
  • Kris Wolf, having just left Stardom, listed this as her schedule:
    • Pro Wrestling Eve today in London, UK
    • Fight Club Pro on Saturday in Manchester, UK
    • OTT Wrestling on Sunday in Dublin, Ireland
    • Bar Wrestling on 4/12 in Los Angeles
    • Rise on 4/13 in Berwyn, IL
    • Shimmer on 4/14 and 4/15 in Berwyn IL
    • Kamikaze Pro on 4/27 in the U.K.
    • RCW on 4/28 in Spain (thanks to Jake Koch)
  • Sabotage Wrestling announced that Ricardo Rodriguez would debut as their figurehead General Manager, most likely on their 4/28 show in Austin,TX.
  • CWE on 3/31 in Selkirk, Manitoba at the Selkirk Friendship Centre.
  • NFC MMA runs tonight in Kennesaw, GA at the Electric Cowboy with Jared Gooden defending his welterweight title against Sean Kilgus,  and Shea Taylor vs Gavin Cano.  Taylor fights with a prosthetic leg.
  • Fred Yehi vs. Maxwell Jacob Feinstein was announced for the 4/12 MLW show in Orlando, FL at Gilt Nightclub.  This will be Yehi's debut with the promotion.  
  • A story that has had a lot of talk, and this is the video of it, an independent heel spit on a young child which led to the child's father chasing the heel down and throwing punch after punch on him. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)

Daily Professional Wrestling History: Austin's final match, Flair vs. Michaels


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