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Daily Update: Cro Cop admits to PEDs, Ronda Rousey and UFC 193

We're looking for reports on today's WWE shows in Newcastle, England, Bologna, Italy, yesterday's WWE show in Rome, tonight's NXT show in Winter Haven, FL, as well as tomorrow's shows in Leipzig, Germany, Nottingham, England and NXT in Orlando to Dave Meltzer

SMACKDOWN TONIGHT ON SYFY AT 8 P.M.

Fandango vs. Braun Strowman

Neville vs. Barrett in first round of WWE title tournament

Ryback vs. Kalisto in first round of WWE title tournament

Alberto Del Rio vs. Stardust in first round of WWE title tournament

Usos vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan

Figure Four Weekly:

Figure Four Weekly (10/2/15): WWE 2K16 Review
2K Sports and Yuke's turnaround WWE video game series with a reinvigorated title boasting huge roster.


Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

Exclusive news on WrestleMania, how SummerSlam has changed due to the Seth Rollins injury, updates on Rollins, notes on the WWE title tournament and what key stars besides Rollins and Randy Orton are now unlikely to wrestle at WrestleMania is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We also look at the different potential finishes of the WWE title tournament, how it looks to be progressing, a look at the Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock fight and look back 20 years to their two previous fights, lots of notes on the fight, and the back story.

We also look at WrestleMania tickets, the Wayne Rooney angle, Dwayne Johnson and Dave Bautista update, More on Alberto Del Rio's outside business and his angle in Puerto Rico, Undertaker week, WWE make more network predictions, notes from the next Madison Square Garden show, notes on Raw this week, Ronda Rousey talks WWE Divas division, what WWE star is ready to return from surgery, plus notes on all the WWE & NXT arena events of the past week and business note.

We also look at the retirement of Genichiro Tenryu this week, the career of Mirko Cro Cop, the UFC show headlined by Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson and all the business notes, plus we've got details of two different pro wrestling groups that are looking at starting up, with major name involvement.  We look at who is behind one group that is calling talent for a January start, and the different vision of pro wrestling that a legendary promoter looking to come back is working with. 

We also have our monthly business rundown of WWE and TNA, to see how both groups are doing as compared to the same period last year, as well as a breakdown on how every different WWE main event is drawing over the past month.

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL WRESTLING OBSERVER PREVIEW

The latest Wrestling Observer: November 16, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Seth Rollins injury, Wrestlekingdom 10 matches

You can also order the print Observer right now and get it delivered to your door via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to dave@wrestlingobserver.com" target="_blank">dave@wrestlingobserver.com

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Click here for the most requested Wrestling Observer back issues.

THURSDAY DAILY UPDATE

  • Mirko Cro Cop posted that he took injections of Growth Hormone to aid with his shoulder recovery and that's what he failed his test for.  He clearly wasn't happy that it got out, I guess figuring that if he announced his retirement it wouldn't get out.
  • Ronda Rousey said today that due to acting roles, she probably won't fight again after Saturday until UFC 200 in July.
  • A Ronda Rousey story on if there is a double standard regarding domestic violence regarding her story in her book of beating up an ex-boyfriend who took nude photos of her
  • Ratings for last night saw TNA do 277,000 viewers for the 9 p.m. show and 97,000 at midnight.  ROH did 172,000 at 11 p.m.  Everybody was up from last week.
  • Undertaker was on the Tonight Show last night.  They did a segment where he gave a tombstone piledriver to a guy in a turkey suit.  Brad Maddox, who wasn't identified, with the guy who took the tombstone.
  • There are a number of unique shows this weekend:

The Iowa vs. Oklahoma State wrestling meet outdoors on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at Kinnick Stadium has now sold 34,000 tickets, meaning it will be the largest crowd ever to witness a college wrestling match, and for that matter, a legit wrestling match, ever in the U.S.  In fact, it will double the all-time dual meet record.  It will air on TV Sunday at about 6:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

Insane Championship Wrestling in Glasgow this weekend with Grado vs. Drew Galloway is expected to draw the largest crowd from a U.K. based promotion since 1982, with a sellout of 4,000 fans.

Genichiro Tenryu, one of the biggest stars in the history of Japanese wrestling, has his retirement match late Saturday night on New Japan World.  Full details on this are in the new issue of the Observer.

Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore promotion is doing an iPPV tomorrow night from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia at 8 p.m. Eastern at www.RFVideonow.com

La Sombra vs. Rush, longtime tag partners, headline Arena Mexico tomorrow night.  This may or may not air live at www.ClaroSports.com 

New Japan World tomorrow night on AXS features a crazy high flying match with La Sombra vs. Mascara Dorada

Lucha Underground has its first TV tapings of the new season on Saturday and Sunday of this week in Boyle Heights 

  • There is a Royal Rumble (1/24 in Orlando) pre-sale going on right now using the code RRORL.  Tickets go on sale Saturday morning to the public.  It should be an immediate sellout.
  • Dixie Carter announced that the semifinals of the TNA title tournament would be taped in early December at the shows in Mumbai, India.
  • PWG All-Star Weekend on 12/11 and 12/12 in Reseda, CA, which is the same weekend UFC is doing its big shows.

12/11 lineup

Roderick Strong vs. Matt Sydal for PWG title

Young Bucks vs. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa for PWG tag titles

Michael Elgin & Brain Cage vs Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards

Mark Andrews vs. Chuck Taylor

Ricochet vs. Marty Scurll

Will Ospreay vs. Trevor Lee

Kenny Omega vs. Speedball Mike Bailey

12/12 lineup

Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. Michael Elgin & Brian Cage

Matt Sydal vs. Trevor Lee

Chuck Taylor vs. Kikutaro

Ricochet vs. Mark Andrews

Timothy Thatcher vs. Marty Scurll

Chris Hero & Speedball Mike Bailey & Joey Ryan & Candice LaRae vs Young Bucks & Super Dragon & Roderick Strong in a Guerrilla Warfare match   ​

WWE

  • Dwayne Johnson appears Sunday on Oprah's Master Class on OWN at 8 p.m. Eastern, talking about his mother.
  • Drew Gulak on the Two Man Power Trip radio show, when asked if he's signed a WWE deal, said, "I am not allowed to speak on that issue.  If I was allowed to, I would be in great detail. But I can't really elaborate on my business with WWE, or if there has been any business with WWE."
  • The piece on Roman Reigns being a big 49ers fan that aired on TV in San Jose on Sunday (there is a link in the Monday update) was really cool.  He came across real well talking about the thrill of headlining WrestleMania in the 49ers home stadium but not winning, and they pushed Leo Nomellini, who in the 50s was both an all-time great lineman during the season and the area's biggest pro wrestling star for many years during every off season.  
  • WWE stock fell 67 cents today to close at $16.38 per share, which is at a low level based on recent months.
  • WWE is releasing a DVD of NXT's Greatest Matches Vol. 1 on 3/7 in Europe and 3/8 in the U.S. 
  • A tourist guide if you're coming in for the Royal Rumble

UFC

  • TV programming this weekend in conjunction with UFC 193

Weigh-ins are at 5 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow on FS 1

Prefight show is at 7 p.m. Saturday on FS 1

Prelims are at 8 p.m. Saturday on FS 1

Post-fight show is scheduled for 1:30 a.m. late Saturday on FS 1

Ultimate Insiders on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. with John Dodson, Luke Rockhold and Aljamain Sterling

The Rafael dos Anjos vs. Anthony Pettis fight will air on FS 1 on Sunday at 9 p.m.  This is the fight where dos Anjos won the lightweight title.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • The Baseball Hall of Fame made some changes yesterday.  They are dropping the number of years you can be on the ballot from 15 to ten.  There was a recommendation to raise the number of people you could vote on from 10 to 12, but that was rejected.  "At some point, there has to be a line drawn," said Hall of Fame Vice President Brad Horn.  "To retain the exclusivity of the Baseball Hall of Fame, entering the Hall of Fame should be difficult."  Last year was the first year more than half the people who voted, voted for the maximum ten people. (thanks to Houston Mitchell)
  • Luis Santos failed to make weight earlier today for his fight tomorrow with Ben Askren for the One welterweight title.  No word if this fight will happen.  Santos got down to 172 pounds and needed to make 170.    
  • A note on a question we had on Monday regarding why Mike Tyson never fought George Foreman.  There were talks for such a match in 1990.  Don King wanted it, because Tyson who had just lost to Buster Douglas, had seen Foreman destroy Joe Frazier as a kid and Cus D'Amato told Tyson why it happened, that Frazier's style and the height difference made Frazier winning an impossibility, and said the only person who could beat Foreman was a rangy boxer who could fight from a distance.  Tyson has more similarities with Frazier and Cus' words always stayed with him. (thanks to Alfonso Garcia and many others) 
  • There is a major convention Saturday in at LaGuardia Plaza Hotel in Elmhurst, NY with all kinds of big names including Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Kevin Nash, Pete Rose, Ricky Steamboat, Barry Windham, Tully Blanchard, Scott Hall, Carlito, Ted DiBiase, Missy Hiatt, Angelina Love, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Sid Vicious, Torrie Wilson, Christy Hemme, Marty Jannetty, Jim Neidhart, Tajiri, Mickie James, Brooke, Madison Rayne, Dan Malenko, Vince Russo, Bill Apter, Bob Backlund, Jessie Godderz, Taz, EC 3 and many more.
  • Jake Roberts movie notes
  • Tommy Dreamer and Virgil were on Comedy Central on Monday night's "The Nightly Show" with a comedy sketch about whether wrestling was racist. 
  • 39 years ago Tuesday in Miami Beach saw a show headlined by Terry Funk retaining the NWA title over Bob Backlund, plus Dusty Rhodes & Jack Brisco beat Ox Baker & The Assassin and Mike Graham & Ken Lucas beat Bob Orton Sr. & Jr. 
  • Matt Myers Jr. who was the head of marketing with ROH, is leaving for a job in his home town of Pensacola.
  • Due to an injury to Marcus Lewis, JR Kratos will now defend his heavyweight title against Gabriel Gallo on the 11/28 Premier Wrestling show in Gilroy, CA at the IFDES Lodge Portuguese Hall.  The main event is a round-robin series using rounds with Jeff Cobb (6-3-1), Timothy Thatcher (4-2-1) and Joe Graves (2-1-1).  Tickets are available at www.premierewrestle.com and tickets in advance save $5.
  • Chaotic Wrestling tomorrow night in Woburn, MA at the Elks Hall #308 with Chase Del Monte vs. Julian Starr for the Chaotic title in a 2/3 fall match.
  • Ric Flair, Mickie James and Baby Doll will be appearing at the Maryland Championship Wrestling show tomorrow night in Waldorf, MD at the Unique Sports Academy for the 6 p.m. meet and greet.  Mickie James vs. Kimber Lee for the womens' title headlines.  Flair, JJ Dillon, Tully Blanchard, Baby Doll and James will also be appearing Saturday night at the MCW Arena in Joppatowne, ME with a6 p.m. meet and greet followed by a show. 
  • Hoosier Pro Wrestling contributed more than $1,000 in toys and cash to the Fireman's Cheer Fund of Columbus, IN in their 11/7 show.
  • Ring Wars Carolinas contributed more than 200 canned food items to the local food panty from fans at its 11/7 show
  • There will be a holiday food drive at the Primal Conflict Wrestling show tomorrow night in Harpers Ferry, WV at the KOA.
  • Grand Slam Wrestling on Saturday night in Moosic, PA at the Youth Center.  Fans are urged to donate non perishable food items to support Feed a Friend, and will get a raffle ticket for every donated item.
  • World League Wrestling's last show of the year will be Saturday night in Troy at the Race Wrestling Academy.  For every five canned food items donated you get a raffle ticket with the prize being a 32 inch TV.  Or you can purchase tickets for $5.
  • IWF Thanksgiving Thunder on Saturday night at 7 p.m. as well as 11/21 at 7 p.m. at the IWF Centre.  There will be a food drive at both events for non perishable items. 
  • Pinnacle Fighting Championships on 11/25 in Chewsick, PA at the Syria Shriners.
  • Border City Wrestling on 11/20 at Club Alouette in Windsor, ONT is having a wrestling show at 7 p.m. followed by a party for the wedding of Tyson Dux and his bridge to be.  You have to be 19 to attend.  The wrestling show is $20 and the show and the party is $40.
  • Abyss headlines for Superkick'd on 12/19 in Toronto at the Lithuanian House, facing Ashley Sixx in a chain rope match.
  • Ted DiBiase Sr. appears at Collector's Realm in Fishkill, NY on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dutchess Marketplace.  
  • Shockwave the Robot returns to the ECWA on 11/21 at their show in New Castle, DE at the Ashley United Methodist Church.
  • Real Canadian Wrestling tomorrow night in Calgary at the Royal Canadian Legion 1 is doing a show to honor Karl Moffat, who was a headliner there as Jason the Terrible.  Sinn Bodhi appears on the show.  Scheduled to attend include Leo Burke, Great Gama and Cuban Assassin.

ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY INTERNATIONAL (thanks to  Graeme Cameron)

1976 - Marty Jones beat Rollerball Rocco in Wovlerhampton to win the British lightweight title

1982 - Sangre Chicana beat Fishman at El Toreo in Naucalpan to win the UWA light heavyweight title

1983 - Mocho Cota beat Talisman in Mexico City to win the Mexican national welterweight title

2007 - Yoshito Sasaki beat Daisuke Sekimoto in Tokyo to win the Zero-One United National title