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Daily Update: Cena shirt cancelled, UFC FN 88, Omega vs. Elgin

John Cena

UFC Fight Night 88 is set up to be a fun show with Thomas Almeida taking on Cody Garbrandt in the main event. It's a big stage for both of these men who will headling the Fox Sports 1 show which starts at 6 pm eastern tomorrow evening on UFC Fight Pass. The semi-main event features the return of longtime former bantamweight (135lb) champion Renan Barao moving up to featherweight (145lb) to face Jeremy "Lil Heathen" Stephens. Barao looks to get back on track after being twice derailed by now ex-bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw.

In the only women's fight on the card, it's do or die for Sara McMann who needs a win desperately to stay in the hunt, but she's facing a really tough opponent, Jessica "Evil" Eye. Both women need a win here if they ever want to get a shot at the 135lb women's bantamweight champion Miesha "Cupcake" Tate. It should be a really fun show. Check out the Observer's live coverage starting tomorrow at 6 Eastern, 3 Pacific.

Saturday we're looking for reports on the WWE shows in Peoria, IL (Roman Reigns, Sheamus, Kevin Owens, Dudleys, Enzo, Cass, Sami Zayn, Charlotte, Natalya) and Winnipeg (Big Show, Chris Jericho, Kane, Erick Rowan, Braun Strowman, Dean Ambrose, New Day, Rusev, Kalisto, Alberto De Rio, Paige, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks).


  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Michael Elgin & Volador Jr. vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Trent Baretta & Will Ospreay
  • Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Bobby Fish & Jay White & Juice Robinson & Katsuyori Shibata
  • David Finlay vs. Gedo
  • Rocky Romero vs. Bushi
  • Satoshi Kojima & Yoshitatsu & Captain New Japan & Ricochet vs. Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens
  • Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Tetsuya Naito & Evil & Seiya Sanada
  • Matt Sydal vs. Kyle O'Reilly
  • Kushida vs. Ryusuke Taguchi

Sunday we're looking for reports on WWE shows in Madison, WI (Roman Reigns, Sheamus, Kevin Owens, Dudleys, Enzo, Cass, Sami Zayn, Charlotte, Natalya) and LaCrosse, WI (Big Show, Kane, Erick Rowan, Braun Strowman, Dean Ambrose, New Day, Rusev, Kalisto, Alberto Del Rio, Paige, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks).


Fight Pass bouts at 6 p.m. Eastern

  • Adam Milstead vs. Chris De La Rosa
  • Bryan Caraway vs. Aljamain Sterling

FS 1 at 7 p.m. Eastern

  • Shane Campbell vs. Erik Koch
  • Jake Collier vs. Alberto Pereira Uda
  • Abel Trujillo vs. Jordan Rinaldi
  • Sara McMann vs. Jessica Eye
  • Josh Burkman vs. Paul Felder
  • Jorge Masvidal vs. Lorenz Larkin
  • Chris Camozzi vs Vitor Miranda
  • Tarec Saffiedine vs. Rick Story
  • Jeremy Stephens vs. Renan Barao
  • Cody Garbrandt vs. Thomas Almeida

NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS FROM TOTTORI ON MONDAY (taped for New Japan World available later in the day)

  • Trent Baretta vs. Chase Owens
  • Tiger Mask vs. Will Ospreay
  • Bobby Fish vs. Volador Jr.
  • Jushin Liger vs. Ricochet

Raw is Monday from Green Bay featuring the return of John Cena plus a Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin match.

NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS FROM HIROSHIMA ON TUESDAY (taped for New Japan World available later in the day)

  • Bushi vs. David Finlay
  • Matt Sydal vs. Rocky Romero
  • Kushida vs. Gedo
  • Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kyle O'Reilly

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Rockford, IL.


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    Figure Four Weekly 5/23/2016: More strange developments in WWE's concussion lawsuit deposition - Last week we talked a bit about both Evan Singleton's deposition in the WWE concussion lawsuit as well as a video of a concussion presentation held in developmental during Singleton's time under contact. Among other topics, there's been a bit more movement on that front.

    Wrestling Observer Newsletter

    READ IT HERE: May 30, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Return of Seth Rollins and the WWE brand split, plus tons of news 

    With two of the biggest news stories of the year, the WWE brand split and the UFC sale both in play, we've got a new issue of the Observer packed with news.

    Our lead story looks at the brand split, with what we do know, what has and hasn't been decided and the background of how it went down. There's also more info on the UFC sale talks.  Plus there is coverage of the return of Seth Rollins, the build to Money in the Bank and have coverage of Extreme Rules, the negotiations for a Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz fight and look more at the Floyd Mayweather vs. McGregor rumors. Take an in-depth look at the departure of Cody Runnels (Rhodes) from WWE and his future prospects, plus look at his complaints regarding people in the company. All this plus a look at the New Japan Super Juniors tournament, the funding of the Hulk Hogan lawsuit, the World Cup trios tournament coming up and a feature on the last PWG show.

    The lead story looks at every aspect of the brand split.  It looks at the original goals and reasons for it and what did and didn't work, plus how it'll be different this time, how the touring will work, and an examination of what talent knows and tentative plans in place.  Vince McMahon' reaction is a big part of this, and this issue explains how the deal went down, the story behind the story and other aspects to be considered. There's also a look at Smackdown going live, the affect on the fan base, the affect on TNA and why it was important to get Smackdown away from Thursday.

    Another big story in this issues is Extreme Rules, the decision to make Seth Rollins a heel and current plans for Money in the Bank, and also match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

    Details about what's going on with Conor McGregor, including Colin Cowherd's claim that Mayweather vs. McGregor is happening, as well as a look at the Nate Diaz negotiations last week and what McGregor has said publicly.

    Finally, this issue looks at Cody Runnels leaving WWE, what he said was the reason why, and a look into those reasons, and a look at the realities of WWE business decisions and his background.


    Current subscribers click here to continue reading.

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    Check out the latest online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: April 19, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Davey Boy Smith hospitalized with spinal infection, WCW Spring Stampede. The health situations involving both Davey Boy Smith and Japanese woman wrestler Emiko Kado took turns for the worst this past week.


    Pro Wrestling Sheet is reporting WWE canceled plans for John Cena merchandise that looked to be inspired by the classic Pabst Blue Ribbon beer logo. Yesterday, the official twitter account for PBR tweeted a picture of a new Cena shirt that went on sale Friday alongside a photo of him wearing a shirt with the PBR logo. The tweet also reads: “A message to @JohnCena & the @WWE: We have a chokehold called the Cease & Desist. Pretty sure we see you.” Notably, the color scheme of red, white and blue could also be interpreted as a patriotic theme especially considering Cena returns to Raw on a national holiday this Memorial Day. Nevertheless, the shirt in question is no longer for sale on WWE Shop. Other new Cena merchandise is similarly patriotic with one shirt dubbed as “American Pride”. 

    Univision and Penske Media are two groups possibly interested in buying Gawker. Penske media already owns Variety and Deadline.com among other publications. With Nick Denton looking at possibly owing the Hulkster 140 million dollars once everything settles, it may be a wise time to start liquidating assets. For more on the story, check out this article

    Cody "Stardust" Rhodes / Runnels sent out an interesting tweet today. Runnels has sent a tease that he will be available to work in just under three months. It is unclear what name he will choose as Rhodes is a family name, but not a legal name. At this point, nobody can say for sure who or where he will be working but he added a list of opponents he'd like to work with: Adam Cole, Dalton Castle, Kurt Angle, Chris Hero, The Miracle (Mike Bennett), Moose, Pat Buck, Young Bucks, Trevor Lee, Katsuyori Shibata and Roderick Strong. His tweet was a photo of the list of names and the only words "After 8/19."

    WWE & Professional Wrestling

    • This week on 6:05 Superpodcast, Brian Last and David Bixenspan talk to Kenny "Starmaker" Bolin (as close to "out of character" as he'll ever get) about his childhood friendship with Jim Cornette, working for Nick Gulas, and much more. Plus: More discussion of the best wrestling families and tons of other old-school topics.
    • John Cena has much more to say on his return to Raw this coming Monday, as well as his thoughts on Camp WWE.  
    • Bayley is doing some press for the upcoming NXT tour.
    • No, it’s not a Silicon Valley plotline: the founder of eBay is powering Gawker’s appeal of the Hulk Hogan lawsuit victory where he’s being powered by another Silicon Valley billionaire.


    • Friend of the site Pat LaPrade did a Slam Wrestling column on the first-ever all Canadian main event on a New Japan show: Michael Elgin vs. Kenny Omega.
    • While the headline ‘Tony Schiavone working at Starbucks?’ is designed for that sympathy click, he actually wants to do it in order to stay busy with his other sports gigs. Here’s the local news story.
    • Johnny Kidd’s final wrestling match is today against Chikara’s Mike Quackenbush. Here’s a feature on it.



    UFC & MMA

    • Fight Network announced Friday that UK’s Insane Championship Wrestling (a group our Alan Boon talks about frequently in his weekly British wrestling column) is coming to their airwaves with a weekly TV show airing Fridays at 1 AM, part of a wrestling block that starts Thursday nights with AAA and CMLL.
    • The NWA announced Friday that they are expanding into NYC with NWA Big Apple Wrestling, increasing their total number of licensed promotions to 30.
    • FITE.tv has a mix of free and paid combat sports content up this weekend.


    • May 28 - Mayhem in the Magnolia State, Louisville Coliseum. This show is a benefit for Kamala.
    • 28 - Absolute Intense Wrestling "2016 JT Lightning Invitational Tournament," Our Lady Of Mount Carmel, 1355 West 70th Street, Cleveland, Ohio
    • May 30 - Jake Roberts will be appearing in Burbank next monday at 8pm at Flappers Comedy.
    • June 4 - UFC 199 from the Forum in Los Angeles with Michael Bisping getting his first title opportunity of his career battling Luke Rockhold for the middleweight belt
    • June 4 - In celebration of Metro Pro's Sixth Anniversary, Demolition (Ax & Smash) will be in action on Saturday, Turner Recreation Center in Kansas City, Kansas. The event address is: 831 S. 55th St., Kansas City, KS 66106 - Tickets can be bought in advance.
    • June 5 - AAA's Victoria World Cup men and women's trio tournament finals at Los Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City which will be a live iPPV show
    • June 7 - New Japan Best of the Super Juniors finals from Sendai live on New Japan World
    • June 8 - NXT Takeover from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL featuring Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor in a cage match plus a loaded lineup that includes American Alpha vs. The Revival and probably Shinsuke Nakamura vs Austin Aries, which could be WWE's match of the month.
    • June 11 - NECW presents the 2016 IRON 8 Championship, Saturday Night, June 11 in Wakefield, MA
    • June 12 - TNA Slammiversary headlined by Drew Galloway vs. Bobby Lashley for the TNA title from Orlando
    • June 12 - Revolution Pro Wrestling in London, England headlined by Kurt Angle vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
    • June 17 - AAW “Killers Among Us” features Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Johnny Gargano, Drago vs. Chris Hero, and more at 115 Bourbon Street (3359 w 115th Street Merrionette Park, IL) All Ages Event - Tickets available.
    • June 18 - UFC in Ottawa: Rory McDonald vs. Stephen Thompson
    • June 18 - New England Fights (NEF) returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine with "NEF 24: PROMISED LAND." Tickets for “NEF 24” are on sale now.
    • June 19 - New Japan Dominion, one of the company's biggest events of the year, featuring Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada in an IWGP title match and Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi in a ladder match for the IC title
    • June 19 - WWE Money in the Bank from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas 
    • June 24 - ROH Best in the World from Concord, NC with Jay Lethal vs. Jay Briscoe for the ROH title 
    • June 25 - Ultima Lucha tapings in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles at The Temple
    • June 26 - Ultima Lucha tapings in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles at The Temple   
    • July 7-11 The 10th annual Wrestling Observer/F4W convention in Las Vegas, EdinSanAntonio has all the information up on Facebook, or email him at F4Wfan@hotmail.com.

    Today in Professional Wrestling History: Crusher & The Bruiser win AWA World Tag Team Titles; Bruno vs. Superstar Graham