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Daily Update: Cauliflower Alley Club 2016; exit the Dragon

Lyoto Machida

Cauliflower Alley Club 2016

I just got back from Las Vegas for the Cauliflower Alley Club banquet last night. I had a great time meeting everyone. They honored Arn Anderson, Trish Stratus (first woman to ever receive the Iron Mike Mazurki Award), Lance Russell, Paul Orndorff, Ken Patera, Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell, WWE's Sue Aitchison and Pepper Martin. Tons of both past and present stars were there. 

J.J. Dillon did a great speech on Arn Anderson talking about how he refused to miss any time when he started suffering nerve problems and kept performing at a high level, even though at the end it cost him years off his career. Stratus talked about her career in wrestling and growing up and watching Wendi Richter and doing mock wrestling matches with her relatives. 

Jerry Lawler told the story about how Lance Russell basically made his career in wrestling when he made some drawings of Jackie Fargo and Tojo Yamamoto and others and sent them to the local TV studio and Russell liked them so much he not only showed them on the air, but as soon as the show was over, called him at home and eventually invited him as his guest to one of the tapings where Lawler met Fargo and started making the connections to get into the business. Russell brought his family to Las Vegas and I got to meet his three kids and I thank them for the nice stuff they said. 

Paul Orndorff's son Travis did a great speech about Growing up an Orndorff and his father. Paul Orndorff put over Ric Flair Arn Anderson, Ricky Steamboat and Bobby Heenan and said they were the best wrestlers the business had ever seen. He said that he started out doing legitimate fights for $200 or $500 a pop on weekends before pro wrestling and noted that he retired after the fourth time he broke his neck, but said he still trains. 

Ken Patera went in a million different directions including talking about the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympics which he witnessed first hand. John Layfield did a very nice tribute to Beard, who helped him in his formative years in the business and the two are close friends. Layfield made some jokes about his own announcing, joking that people who watch the WWE Network and see people like Bobby Heenan make him look bad in comparison and he just takes solace that "At least I'm better than Byron." 

Steamboat was not scheduled to make a speech, but did so for Aichison talking about her being an unsung person behind the scenes in WWE over the last 30 years. There were countless readers and listeners and I do think this is something every ardent fan should attend at least once.


We're looking for reports on today's WWE house shows in Florence, Italy and Dubai at newstips@wrestlingobserver.com

We're also looking for reports on all the European tour and Dubai dates. Tomorrow has WWE shows in Amsterdam, Holland, Dubai as well as an NXT show in Orlando.

SMACKDOWN TONIGHT ON USA AT 8 P.M.

  • Zack Ryder vs. Baron Corbin
  • Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. The Ascension
  • A.J. Styles vs. Alberto Del Rio
  • Goldust & Fandango vs. The Vaudevillains
  • Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho

THE ROUNDUP

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Figure Four Weekly 4/11/2016: Rene Dupree files lawsuit against WWE for Network royalties, then dismisses lawsuit - All the inside information you would ever want to know about how NOT to sue WWE. 



Wrestling Observer Newsletter

READ IT HERE: April 11, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: A look at a historic Wrestlemania weekend, NXT Takeover 

During the 70s and 80s, Blackjack Mulligan was one of the legendary characters in pro wrestling, a man whose life and career had major ups and just as legendary downs.

Robert Deroy Windham played the character and later became the patriarch of one of the most significant modern wrestling families. He went from being a John Wayne-like figure as one of the most memorable characters in the heyday of Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling, to a wrestler known for no-shows and walking out on promotions, and later spent two years in prison for counterfeiting.

He returned to wrestling after being in prison, but he was a guy who was quick to throw down, and quick to leave when he was unhappy. The business was changing where there weren’t the options to go somewhere and always have a job like in his heyday.

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL PREVIEW

Current subscribers click here to continue reading.


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If you wanted to know just how big Giant Baba was to people who grew up in the 60s and 70s, the latest back issue will explain.
Check out the latest Online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: February 15, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Reaction to the death of Giant Baba, 2 wrestlers have heart scares, plus tons more  A look at the surprising public reaction to the death of Giant Baba, 2 wrestlers have heart attack scares, plus tons of news and notes.

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE

Here is an article on Hulk Hogan's racist rant in context and with the actual audio released. 

The next ROH PPV show on 5/8 from Chicago will be headlined by Jay Lethal vs. Colt Cabana for the ROH title, IWGP champion Tetsuya Naito vs. Kyle O'Reilly, TV champion Tomohiro Ishii vs. Bobby Fish and tag champs War Machine vs. Mark & Jay Briscoe. The holdup on the complete card is they are still hoping that Katsuyori Shibata and Kenny Omega will get their visas in time for the show, but the odds are against that happening. Omega will be working for ROH when they run in May in Toronto.

Funeral services for John Rechner (Balls Mahoney) will be on 4/30 from 2-5 p.m. at O'Brien's Funeral Home in Wall, NJ.

The only update on Bray Wyatt is a right calf injury. He didn't work today's show in Florence, Italy. Results were Cesaro b Goldust, Sin Cara b Tyler Breeze, Jack Swagger b Tyler Breeze, Kane b Rusev, New Day b Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman in a tag title match, Charlotte won a three-way over Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch (said to be the best match), Usos b Dudleys, Roman Reigns b Sheamus. Much of the card advertised wasn't there including Wyatt, Ryback, Dean Ambrose, Big Show, Paige and Natalya. Most of them were on the other show in Dubai. (thanks to Liam Francis Boyle)

Josh Burgess, who used the name Christian Abel as a Midwest based independent wrestler, passed away yesterday. Jimmy Jacobs on Twitter wrote, "Absolutely gutted to hear of the passing of my closest friend, Josh Burgess, who wrestled as Christian Abel."

There was a shooting outside Arena Mexico last night right after the Elite show ended. Two men and one woman were injured. The shooting took place at Bar El Buho which is right outside the arena. The people involved were drunken patrons who were not at the show but just people hanging out at the bar. Fans were filing out of the arena when this was happening and many ran back into the arena when they heard the shots. CMLL pushed that it had nothing to do with wrestling fans because their tourist bus business has been booming and the last thing they want is for tourists to think it's dangerous to come to shows.

WWE & Professional Wrestling

UFC

  • Georges St-Pierre will be hosting a show on The History Channel in Canada called "The Boneyard" which will be St-Pierre going around the world to learn about prehistoric animals like dinosaurs. St-Pierre is a big paleontology buff. The show debuts tonight at 9 p.m. with another episode at 9:30 p.m. with an episode of St-Pierre going to Argentina to look for dinosaurs.
  • In a follow-up on the death of Joao Carvalho in Ireland, which was covered as a lead story on almost every daily national newspaper in that country, as well as on TV and radio, the acting Minister for Sport, Michael Ring was on RTE saying that he saw things coming when he wrote to MMA organizations two years ago asking them to make sure they follow proper safety procedures. He said there needs to be regulation. He's saying he needs to speak to Sport Ireland about regulating it. The referee has defended the point at which he stopped the fight (thanks to Andrew Ryan).
  • Mark Hunt has signed a new multi-fight deal with the promotion.  It was reported in his native New Zealand that it is a six fight contract over the next 30 months and worth "multi-millions."
  • With the Lyoto Machida vs. Dan Henderson fight pulled from Saturday's UFC show in Tampa due to Machida admitting usage of a banned substance, DHEA, the main card at 8 p.m. on FOX will be:

*Hacran Dias vs. Cub Swanson

*Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Darrell Horcher

*Rose Namajunas vs. Tecia Torres

*Rashad Evans vs. Glover Teixiera five rounds

  • Clay Guida returns to action on the 6/4 show in Los Angeles against Brian Ortega.
  • UFC did about 30,000 viewers in Holland on Sunday. Bob Schreiber, a star with RINGS in the 90s did the color and was very entertaining. Marijn de Jong also worked with lead announcer Sander Schrik. The week before the 5/10 show in Rotterdam, Holland, FOX in Holland will have a live preview show every day. (thanks to Hank Mulder)
  • Tim Kennedy talks about being yelled at by Dana White and not getting fights.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Deadspin did an article on Johnny Rodz and his wrestling training in Brooklyn.
  • Elite on Azteca 7 in Mexico starting tomorrow has been moved from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., which is never a good sign in only the third week of the show. House of Hardcore lineups for this weekend... on Friday night in Corona, NY:

Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Hero

Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer vs. Rhino & Tommy Dreamer

Billy Gunn vs. Sami Callihan

Eddie Kingston vs. Bull James (Bull Dempsey)

Pepper Parks vs. Colt Cabana

Deonna Purrazzo vs. Thea Trinidad

  • Saturday night in Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena

Rob Van Dam vs. Rhino

Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Chris Hero & Colt Cabana

Brian Cage vs. Sami Callihan

Billy Gunn vs. Bull James

Tommy Dreamer vs. Pepper Parks

Jade vs Thea Trinidad

  • House of Hardcore has also announced a 6/24 date in Australia. 
  • Northeast Wrestling on 8/27 in Pittsfield, MA has Jushin Liger and Kamaitachi appearing. 
  • Bill Goldberg will be pre-race host for Sunday's Food City 500 race in Bristol, TN. This is his second straight year with that role in the race (thanks to James Combs II) 
  • Pro Wrestling Sheet announced that Kevin Martenson (Johnny Goodtime on Southern California indies) has signed a contract with Lucha Underground.
  • Sonjay Dutt defends his GFW Nex Gen title against Matt Sydal on 7/23 in Wilmington, DE for Masters of Ring Entertainment.
  • IWA East Coast on Saturday in Nitro, WV at the Kingsway Outreach Center headlined by B.J. Whitmer vs. Chance Prophet vs. Ron Mathis and Johnny Gargano vs. Gory.  Gargano also has a training seminar at 2 p.m.for $25 that day. One person from the seminar will work on the show. You can also attend the seminar for $20 to observe but not train. For info on that contract iwaeastcoast@live.com
  • Pro Wrestling Eclipse on 4/17 in Oshawa, ONT.
  • Alpha 1 Wrestling on 5/15 in Hamilton ONT at the Knights of Columbus.
  • Wrestling Revolution Project from Sunday in Providence, RI: Taeler Hendrix b Barbi Hayden, Sonya Strong over Davienne, Miranda Vionette and Willow Nightingale, Mistress Belmont b Sojo Darling, Alexxis Neveah b Raquel (TNA), Kimber Lee b LuFisto, Jonathan Gresham b Eddie Edwards, Jessicka Havok b Jenny Rose, Veda Scott b Jordynne Grace 2/3 falls, Deonna Purrazzo b Santana Garrett (thanks to Chris Silva)
  • Right Coast Pro on 4/23 in Newark, DE at the Greater Newark Boys & Girls Club.
  • Great North Wrestling on 5/6 in Ottawa at the Earl Armstrong Arena features Demolition Ax & Smash.
  • Big West Wrestling on 4/15 in Kelowna, BC at the Lake City Bowling & Billiards.
  • Ring of Combat on 6/3 in Atlantic City, NJ at the Tropicana at 8:30 p.m.
  • Future Stars of Wrestling tomorrow night in Las Vegas at the Silverton Casino with Timothy Thatcher vs. Kevin Kross, Funny Bone vs. Owen Travers, Eli Drake vs. Hammerstone plus Willie Mack and more.
  • Ariel and Colt Toombs are coming out with a book they are co-writing about their father, Roddy Piper.
  • NWA Mid South Wrestling on 5/7 at Resorts Casino in Tunica, MS headlined by Kevin Nash 
  • Curtis Hughes was replaced as head trainer by AR Fox at the WWA4 school in Atlanta.  Hughes had been the head trainer and started out talent like Moose, Jonathan Gresham, Heath Slater, AR Fox, Apollo Crews, Samuel Shaw, Peter Kassa and others.
  • Jim Duggan talks an altercation with Mickey Rourke. 

Today in professional wrestling history: Jerry Lawler wins WCWA Title; Strangler Lewis wins World Title