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Daily Update: Conor McGregor madness, Joanie Laurer aka Chyna passes away

Chyna

Very sad news last night regarding the death of Joanie "Chyna" Laurer. She was a major star during a period where pro wrestling was at its biggest as far as mainstream popularity, and she had to deal with the stardom being a rapid rise with a sudden end.  

We have a couple of stories below in the ROUND UP regarding Conor McGregor, a game that in some form appears to be still ongoing. The McGregor story has taken almost all the focus away from Saturday's UFC 197 show in Las Vegas with the return of Jon Jones. 

We're looking for reports on today's WWE shows in Dublin, Ireland (Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus) and Brussels, Belgium (HHH vs. Dean Ambrose), as well as tonight's NXT show in Lowell, MA and tonight's TNA TV tapings in Orlando to dave@wrestlingobserver.com">Dave@WrestlingObserver.com

Friday has WWE in Paris and Sheffield, England and NXT in Kingston, RI, as well as the second night of TNA tapings in Orlando.

New Japan World has shows from Korakuen Hall early Saturday and Sunday mornings.

SMACKDOWN TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. ON USA NETWORK

Kalisto vs. Ryback non-title

A.J. Styles vs. The Miz

Paige & Natalya vs. Naomi & Tamina

R-Truth vs. Fandango with Goldust as referee

Sami Zayn & Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens

THE ROUNDUP


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Figure Four Weekly 4/18/2016: The media's involvement in the Hulk Hogan/Gawker lawsuit verdict - All the inside information you would ever want to know about how NOT to release a sex tape.



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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Click here for the most requested Wrestling Observer back issues.

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

The Washington Post story on the death of Chyna can be read here.

It has been business as usual at today's TNA TV tapings so far. Nothing major has been said or has taken place. Tapings start shortly.    

Kofi Kingston flew home from the WWE tour yesterday as his wife is expecting the second child any day now.

Also, a correction from the current Observer and last night's audio show, the match Enzo & Cass vs. Vaudevillains for the tag team title shot will take place at Payback on 5/1 in Chicago, not on Raw this Monday.

The Asbury Park Press reported that the death of Jon "Balls Mahoney" Rechner does not have a cause of death and it could take a few months for all the reports to be done, which means there is no cause pending toxicology test results. The coroner reported no suspicious behavior, which means ruling out foul play of any kind, which was never suspected in the first place.

WWE

  • Dwayne Johnson was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
  • Results from today's WWE show in Dublin:

Sin Cara beat Stardust

Darren Young & Zack Ryder beat Bo Dallas & Heath Slater

Big E & Xavier Woods won three-way over Dudleys and Usos in a tag title match

Jack Swagger beat Tyler Breeze

Charlotte won three-way over Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks for the women's title

Roman Reigns beat Sheamus

        As has been the pattern virtually every night, the women's three-way was the show stealer. (thanks to Robert Behan)

  • Tickets for Raw in St. Louis on 5/2 are not moving at a sellout pace since they have announced a discount, four tickets for the price of three.
  • WWE stock closed at $16.55 per share today, down 24 cents.
  • Here is a story on the 15th anniversary of the XFL's final game. 

UFC

  • UFC announced its latest Fight Pass deal with Shooto Japan, the world's oldest MMA promotion, having been formed in 1985 by Satoru Sayama. Its first card will be at 2 a.m. Eastern and 11 p.m. Pacific tomorrow night featuring Masaaki Sugawara vs Hiromasa Ogikubo for the flyweight title and Koshi Matsumoto vs. Yuki Kawana for the vacant lightweight title. 
  • Fight Pass will upload the complete Shooto Japan tape library later this year.
  • Felice Herrig vs. Kailin Curran has been added to the 7/23 UFC show in Chicago.
  • Tim Boetch vs. Josh Samman at middleweight, Cody Pfister vs. Scott Holtzman at lightweight, Ben Nguyen vs. Louis Smolka at flyweight and Kyle Noke vs. Keita Nakamura at welterweight have been announced for the 7/13 UFC show in Sioux Falls, SD.
  • Randa Markos vs. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger at strawweight was announced for the 6/18 UFC show in Ottawa, ONT.  

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Jimmy Jacobs wrote a nice tribute to his long time friend Josh Burgess. Click here If you would like to contribute to the funeral costs of Josh Burgess via gofundme.com 
  • Very sad to report the passing of Ruth Silverstone, the wife of Dean Silverstone, a former Washington promoter who is part of the Cauliflower Alley Club and the couple were known for hosting the annual Northwest wrestlers reunion. She died today at the hospital after being in a coma from a fall a few weeks ago. We send our sympathies to Dean, who is a really great guy, who wrote one of the best wrestling territorial books ever "I ain't no Pig Farmer" about his days as a promoter.
  • The daughter of 60s and 70s star Louie Tillet noted that they had feared they were going to lose him, but that earlier this week they removed his breathing tube and he was able to speak. "To all of you who have lifted him up in prayers and asked for this miracle, who have prayed for strength and peace, I cannot thank you enough," she wrote.
  • Nine prospective Olympic team members will be competing this weekend in a qualifying tournament in Mongolia. These are athletes whose weight classes haven't already competed. The wrestlers have to place top three in the tournament to compete in the 2016 Olympics.

        Competing tomorrow are:

Jesse Thielke (Greco Roman, 130 pounds)

RaVaughn Perkins (Greco Roman 145 pounds)

Joe Rau (Greco Roman, 215 pounds)

        Competing Saturday are:

Haley Augelio (Women's freestyle, 105 pounds)

Helen Maroulis (Women's freestyle, 117 pounds)

Kelsey Campbell (Women's freestyle, 128 pounds)

Tamyna Mensah (Womens' freestyle, 152 pounds)

        Competing Sunday are:

Frank Molinaro (Men's freestyle, 143 pounds)

J'Den Cox (Men's freestyle, 189 pounds)

Former UFC star Matt Lindland coaches the Greco-Roman team. 

  • Evolve on 5/6 in Joppa, MD at the MCW Arena has:

Chris Hero vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Drew Gulak & Tracy Williams vs. TJ Perkins & Fred Yehi for the tag team titles

Drew Galloway vs. Ethan Page

Johnny Gargano vs. Marty Scurll

Lio Rush vs. Caleb Konley

Matt Riddle vs. Anthony Nese

Bravado Brothers vs Devastation Corporation

        This show will air as a live iPPV at www.wwnlive.com

  • Evolve on 5/7 in Queens, NY at La Boom:

Drew Galloway vs. Johnny Gargano

Drew Gulak vs. Tracy Williams in a WWE Global cruiserweight series qualifying match

TJ Perkins vs. Fred Yehi in a WWE Global cruiserweight series qualifying match

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Marty Scurll

Matt Riddle vs. Lio Rush

Bravado Brothers vs. Milk Chocolate

Ethan Page vs. Chris Dickinson 

  • Ric Flair will appear on 5/21 in Williamsport, PA at the Liberty Arena for Billtown Championship Wrestling.
  • AIW Girls Night Out on 4/30 in Cleveland at Our Lady of Mount Carmel with Heidi Lovelace vs Crazy Mary Dobson, Gail Kim vs. Lufisto, Kelly Klein vs. Marti Belle, , Maria Manic vs. Cristina Diamond plus Shayna Baszler, Mia Yim (Jade) and more.
  • AIW presents the J.T. Lighting Invitational tournament 2016, a 24 person tournament on 5/27 and 5/28 in Cleveland at Our Lady of Mount Carmel with Homicide, Dan Severn, Tim Donst, Raymond Rowe, Louis Lyndon, Tyson Dux, Tracy Williams, DJ Zema Ion, Colin Delaney, Cheech, Big Damo from Europe and Laredo Kid from Mexico. 
  • Former UFC fighter Chuck O'Neil worked on the Northeast Wrestling show in Bethany, CT over the weekend.  He's been doing pro wrestling in the Northeast the past few months.
  • UWC on 5/7 in Wrightstown, NJ at Kelly's Bar and Banquet Hall.
  • Legacy on 4/30 in Manheim, PA with Koko B. Ware, Johnny Gargano, Candice LaRae and Dave Crist.
  • Maryland Championship Wrestling on 4/23 in Joppa, MD at the MCW Arena features Billy Gunn and X-Pac wrestling plus a meet and greet appearance of Shawn Michaels.  Michaels appears Noon to 3 p.m. and Gunn and X-Pac from 4-6 p.m., and the wrestling show starts at 6 p.m.
  • Battlarts on 4/23 in Mississauga, ONT at the Dan Kolov Arena at Santino Marella's Battlarts Academy with a TV taping for Rogers TV Peel.
  • Smash Wrestling on 6/11 in Oshawa, ONT at the Harmony Creek Community and Events Centre.
  •  Pro Wrestling Phoenix on 4/27 in Omaha at the Waiting Room Lounge.
  • All Star Wrestling on 4/28 in Maple Ridge, BC at the Westview Secondary School.
  • All Star Wrestling on 4/23 in Richmond, BC at the Fridge Youth Center
  • All Star Wrestling on 4/29 in Surrey, BC at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.
  • CHIKARA on 5/7 in Philadelphia at the Wrestle Factory.
  • Rockstar Pro Wrestling tomorrow night in Dayton at the Rockstar Pro Arena with Brutal Bob Evans vs. Bruce Grey.
  • Grand Slam Wrestling on 5/14 in Moosic, PA at the Youth Center.
  • Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 5/7 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds.
  • Great North Wrestling has these upcoming dates:
  • 5/6 in Ottawa at the Earl Armstrong Arena with Demolition (Bill Eadie & Barry Darsow)
  • 5/7 in Kingston, ONT at the Cataraqui Community Arena with Demolition
  • 6/4 in Smiths Falls, ONT at the Smith Falls Memorial Centre with Al Snow
  • 6/25 in Pembroke, ONT at the Memorial Centre with Nikolai  Volkoff
  • Snow will also be doing a seminar on 6/4 at 2 p.m. at the Smiths Falls Memorial Centre.  

Today in professional wrestling history: