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Daily Update: Balor evaluation, War of the Worlds, Lashley


The Latest from the F4W Staff



We're looking for reports on the WWE house shows Saturday night in Champaign, IL and Sunday in Cincinnati, as well as reports from Raw tonight in Columbus, OH (Main Event matches, dark matches, anything not on the live show) and Smackdown tonight in Bowling Green, KY.

Raw is tonight from Columbus, OH, while there is a Smackdown house show in Bowling Green, KY.

Smackdown and 205 Live take place on Tuesday in Louisville, KY.

There will be four weeks of NXT taped on Wednesday at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.

FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 4/10/2017: ESPN's complicated relationship with WWE

As Mauro Ranallo's absence from the SmackDown broadcast booth nears a month and may become permanent, concerns about the legitimacy of ESPN's coverage of WWE have again been raised. Singling out ESPN from a group of mainstream media outlets that provide similarly toothless reporting probably isn't entirely fair, but the prominence of ESPN and their expanding relationship with WWE has made it so they will be criticized every time they fail to give a story that is critical of WWE the attention that it deserves.

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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: April 17, 2017: WWE Superstar Shakeup, Mauro Ranallo situation, more

A look at the fallout of the WWE "Superstar shakeup" is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer. Have a look at the moves, chart the talent on Raw, Smackdown and 205 Live, look at the next few PPVs and different programs, and identify weaknesses on each side as well as look at possible main event programs.

Also look at the death of Joaquin Roldan, the head of one of the largest pro wrestling companies in the world, and his role within AAA and the challenges that face AAA going forward.

Examine the Mauro Ranallo situation with his leaving WWE, plus look at how the situation was and has changed. There were comments from people regarding John Layfield, the TV change in Layfield, the crowd reaction in Boston, the story of Justin Roberts and his passport being stolen and ESPN coverage of WWE.

There is a backstage story in All Japan from 1994, while also talking about Katsuyori Shibata and his injury, and the nature of hard hitting Japanese matches and what the human body can take.

Full coverage of the Sakura Genesis show and the Okada vs. Shibata match, plus look at the big picture direction New Japan seems to be going, the lineups for the next series of big shows as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results, all inside.

The Renee Young/Dean Ambrose wedding, Vince & Linda McMahon's assets, WrestleMania merchandise numbers, Kane running for mayor and his thoughts, why they did the Stephanie McMahon injury angle, Update on Kofi Kingston, Kurt Angle admits he was foolish in thinking about MMA, Backstage at Mania, Jim Ross' deal, WWE makes deal with streaming service, NFL story that has WWE implications, plus notes on the WWE house show schedule for the next year, Kevin Owens DVD, most popular network shows and coverage of all the company's events this past week, all inside this issue of the Wrestling Observer.

Subscribers click here to continue.

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.

WON BACK ISSUE: March 20, 2000: WWF to leave USA network, ECW Living Dangerously review, more

The landscape of American pro wrestling may undergo major changes within the next month. Starting off, WWF officially gave notice to the USA Network on 3/1 that it is cancelling its contract with them effective in September when the new TV season starts. This isn't necessarily as big as it sounds, but most feel it is bigger. The WWF's deal for Raw, Livewire and Superstars expired in September 2001, but WWF has the right to get out of the deal in September 2000 by giving the network six months notice and USA Network has the right to match any offer.

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IC champion Tetsuya Naito and Kushida were the first two people announced for the War of the Worlds ROH tour in May, with shows in Toronto, Dearborn, New York and Philadelphia.

Finn Balor is being evaluated today to find out whether or not he can be cleared after his concussion last week.

Raw tonight in Columbus, OH will open with a Braun Strowman interview. If they do what they've been doing at the house shows, Roman Reigns will do a run-in. It seems awfully fast for him to be back given the nature of last week's angle. Reigns is scheduled at Raw. If they want to sell the angle for television, they could just have him appear in a dark segment. But if Reigns vs. Strowman will be on the next PPV, tonight would be the probable night to announce it.

If you have Flo Slam, the Young Bucks & Kenny Omega vs. Ryan Smile, Will Ospreay & Lio Rush match from Saturday in Dublin is up. The entire show isn't up yet. It is a match a lot of people are talking about, with very divergent viewpoints on the bout.

On Twitter, Mauro Ranallo, when plugging his calling Showtime boxing this coming weekend, said, "You best believe I'll be calling pro wrestling again, too."


  • We had a mistake in the link yesterday so this is Kevin Eck's interview with Justin Roberts where he said that Roberts' portrayal of the key characters in WWE is accurate.


  • Conor McGregor's friends reportedly trashed a hotel room.
  • Angela Lee defends her women's atom weight title against Istela Nunes and Ben Askren faces Agilan Thani on the 5/28 ONE show in Kallang, Singapore and the Singapore Indoor Stadium.


  • Bobby Lashley has been announced for the World of Sport tapings in late May.
  • An article on Kenny Omega talking about Prince Devitt starting the Bullet Club is here.
  • This week's Weekly Quiz based on famous sendoffs, like Nakamura's sendoff all week on NXT is here.
  • Here is a four part story on five star matches: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
  • Ignite Wrestling from Saturday night in Orlando: Jon Cruz b Teddy Stigma, CJ O'Doyle b Braydon Knight, Aaron Epic b Maxx Stardom, Alex Cruz b Chico Adams, Rex Bacchus & CT Brown b Nick Nero & Joey Ozbourne, Lacy Lane b Chuckles, Aaron Epic b Jon Cruz, Alex Cruz b CJ O'Doyle, Axx Clover b Carlos Gabriel, Aaron Epic b Alex Crux to win tournament for the title. (thanks to Kim Artlip)
  • Wes Brisco has pulled out of his 5/13 match in Smiths Falls, ONT against Hannibal. Brisco has agreed to make up the date on 6/30 in Pembroke, ONT. Hannibal will now face Rene Dupree on that show.
  • Best in the West TV from yesterday morning in Fresno: Marcus Ericks & Mike Rayne b Midnight Marvels, Sunamni b Funnybone-DQ, Wiseguy b Brandon Pinion. Next taping is 5/7 in Hanford, CA at the Civic Center. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
  • Pro Wrestling Revolver on 5/5 in Clive, IA at the Seven Flags Event Center with Billy Gunn vs. Joey Ryan, ACH vs. Jason Cade plus John Morrison, Brian Cage, Eddie Edwards, Trevor Lee, Sienna, Michael Elgin, Colt Cabana, Sami Callihan, Dave Crist, Jake Crist, Keith Lee, Ethan Page and Space Monkey.
  • Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 5/6 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds headlined by Vic the Bruiser vs. Flash Flanagan in a strap match.
  • Kings of the South on 4/9 in Arlington, TX at The Gym with Keith Lee, Shelton Benjamin, Matt Sydal, Brian Cage, Homicide and Sammy Guevara.

Today in Professional Wrestling History (4/17): WCW Spring Stampede 1994 

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