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Daily Update: Greatest Royal Rumble, CEO & NJPW, Aerostar

THE ROUND-UP

THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

IMPACT ON POP TV TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. EASTERN TIME

NEW JAPAN IN HIROSHIMA LIVE ON NEW JAPAN WORLD AT 5:30 A.M. FRIDAY MORNING

  • Ren Narita vs. Yuya Uemura
  • Yuji Nagata & Shota Umino & Tomoyuki Oka vs. Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Ryusuke Taguchi
  • Rocky Romero & Sho & Yoh vs. Taichi & Taka Michinoku & Takashi Iizuka
  • Jay White & Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi vs. David Finlay & Togi Makabe & Michael Elgin & Toa Henare
  • Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado vs. Tetsuya Naito & Evil & Sanada & Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi
  • Hirooki Goto vs. Juice Robinson for Never Open weight title
  • Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kushida

WWE GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE AT NOON EASTERN TIME ON FRIDAY ON THE WWE NETWORK

  • Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for Universal title
  • A.J. Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for WWE title
  • John Cena vs. HHH
  • Undertaker vs. Rusev casket match
  • Seth Rollins vs. The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe for IC title
  • Jeff Hardy vs. Jinder Mahal for U.S. title
  • Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt vs. Sheamus & Cesaro for Raw tag titles
  • Luke Harper & Erick Rowan vs. Usos for Smackdown tag titles
  • Cedric Alexander vs. Kalisto for cruiserweight title
  • 50 man Royal Rumble

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Winners and losers of the superstar shakeup 

While both shows retained some of their core pieces, the rosters for Raw and SmackDown have been transformed since WrestleMania. The days after WWE's biggest show of the year saw Bobby Lashley, The Authors of Pain, Ember Moon, and No Way Jose join Raw, while Peyton Royce and Billie Kay debuted on SmackDown and Paige was announced as the show's new general manager. And that was just the prelude to this year's Superstar Shakeup, which saw dozens of wrestlers switch brands.


WON NEWSLETTER: April 30, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: The story of Bruno Sammartino continued 

The new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has more about the life and death of Bruno Sammartino, as well as Motoko Baba's death, the Greatest Royal Rumble and news out of the Impact tapings, PWG shows and UFC shows.

The lead story goes in depth about the last several months of Sammartino, the nature of his death, his funeral, what was good and bad about the WWE documentary, what was going to be left out because it had to be, as well as details of how Sammartino and WWE got back together in 2012 and 2013 after nearly 25 years of being apart.

Also look at why Motoko Baba may have been the most influential woman in the history of the pro wrestling industry. Read about the heyday of All Japan Pro Wrestling, just who Giant Baba was and his level of popularity and respect, and how the Baba's first met.

Read about the different controversies regarding WWE doing the show in Saudi Arabia this week, the ticket situation, the promotion of Saudi Arabia by WWE, the ethical issues particularly when pushing the women's revolution theme, as well as looking at both the Saudi Arabia and the Backlash shows.

There is also more on John Cena and Nikki Bella, WWE gets a restraining order against a crazy fan, Reigns talks next year's WrestleMania, updates on Dwayne Johnson and John Cena in the movie business, reaction to the death of Bruno Sammartino in WWE, as well as the most watched shows for the past week on the WWE Network.

This issue covers the last two UFC events with the business notes on both of the shows, including notes on streaming viewership, pay records and more.

Read the run down of the PWG All-Star weekend with match-by-match coverage with star ratings, thoughts on the talent involved, the farewell to Reseda of the Young Bucks, more on the situation with Keith Lee, and where things go from here.


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.


THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tomorrow with a special Friday show covering the Greatest Royal Rumble show and at least some of the New Japan show as well as the latest news. We also have a new show talking Andre the Giant and the documentary with Pat Laprade on the site today.

PW Insider has reported that Shawn Daivari and Hornswoggle are in Saudi Arabia with the WWE crew. One would expect them in the Rumble.

Sean Waltman reported that WWE tried to get Shawn Michaels out of retirement for tomorrow's show. He said Michaels said he had a prior commitment with his family. 

Kenny Omega is helping put together a New Japan branded show on 6/29 in Daytona Beach, FL as part of the CEO gaming convention. The show takes place at the Ocean Center. There will be members of the Golden Lovers, LIJ, New Japan, Taguchi Japan and Roppongi 3K involved but a the ROH talent has a show that night and Suzuki-Gun, Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii are booked in the U.K. that night. They are looking at five matches plus a dark match in a two plus hour show and will be trying to give the show a New Japan feel as well as a Fighting Games community feel with the idea of people at the convention being a key part of the audience. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa and Chase Owens are scheduled. The ring will be in the area of the weekend tournament and there will be a fighting games commentary team and not a pro wrestling commentary team. It will be an esports filming crew.

The Bruno Sammartino documentary from Pittsburgh on his life growing up.

Aerostar was injured last night at the Impact tapings but he's okay. We were told he had the wind knocked out of himself bad, but it was a very scary situation until they realized it wasn't serious.

WWE

  • Rusev, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, Undertaker, Great Khali, Kurt Angle, Vince McMahon, Paul Levesque, Braun Strowman, Shane McMahon and Roman Reigns were at a private dinner with the key people in Saudi Arabia tonight.
  • BetDSI Sportsbook has these listed favorites for the show tomorrow:
  • Rumble favorites:
    • Daniel Bryan +400
    • Braun Strowman +450
    • Bobby Lashley +500
    • Samoa Joe +700
    • Big Cass +800
    • Chris Jericho +850
    • Baron Corbin +900
    • Elias +1200
  • Roman Reigns is a -190 favorite to win the cage match. Jeff Hardy is a -200 favorite. A.J. Styles is a -180 favorite. Undertaker is a -480 favorite. John Cena is a -180 favorite. Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt are -360 favorites. The Bludgeon Brothers are -400 favorites.
  • Kambi is doing betting odds for stars for the different matches that you can bet over/under for. The listings are:
    • Royal Rumble ***
    • Styles vs. Nakamura ***3/4
    • Lesnar vs. Reigns ***1/4
    • Hardy vs. Mahal **1/2
    • Undertaker vs. Rusev **
    • Cena vs. HHH ***
    • Ladder match ***1/2 (thanks to David Taylor)
  • For the show there will be a less than 15 minute prayer break, not one hour as is the usual custom. The break will not impact the television audience.
  • Ronda Rousey is announced for the 6/24 Raw house show in Anaheim, CA at the Honda Center.
  • New Day appears in this new College Humor video.
  • A story on rugby star Todd Clever training with WWE.

UFC/MMA

  • Ariel Helwani reported that Demian Maia is being talked with about being Kamaru Usman's opponent in the main event on 5/19 in Santiago, Chile. This fight was not official, but Maia is being talked about as the replacement for the injured Santiago Ponzinibbio.
  • Bellator announced that the Roy Nelson vs. Mirko Cro Cop main event winner on 5/25 in London will be the alternate in case of injury in their heavyweight championship tournament.
  • Alexander Shlemenko faces Bruno Silva in the main event for M-1 on 6/1 in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Artem Frolov, who is 10-0, faces Joe Riggs in he cofeature.
  • Legacy Fighting Association on 5/4 from Vail,CO at the Dobson Arena on AXS TV. The main event has Ian Heinreich (9-1) vs. Gabriel Checco (10-2) for the interim middleweight title.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Braxton Sutter has finished up and is leaving Impact.
  • MLW announced it had signed a multi-year announcing contract with Tony Schiavone.
  • Another story on Bruno Sammartino. (thanks to Chris Cruise)
  • BetDSI Sportsbook has these as listed favorites for the U.S. Open wrestling championships this coming weekend in Las Vegas:
    • 125 - Tony Ramos -140
    • 133 - Joe Colon +200
    • 143 - Logan Steiber =-650
    • 154 - Frank Molinaro -700
    • 163 - Isaiah Martinez -200
    • 165 - Kyle Dake -750
    • 189 - David Taylor -1100
    • 202 - J'Den Cox -900
    • 213 - Kyvan Gadson -850
    • 275 - Dom Bradley -225
  • CZW on 5/12 in Voorhees, NJ and 5/13 in London, England for a joint show with IPW at Clapham Grand, plus the tournament of Death is 6/9 in Townsend, DE at 179 Ebenezer Church Rd.
  • MCW on 5/12 in Joppa, MD features Mick Foley and 5/19 in Hampstead, MD at North Carroll High School with Adam Rose.
  • Unholy Warfare on 6/30 in Reidsville NC at the National Guard Armory. 
  • All Star Wrestling on Saturday night in Surrey, BC at the Alice McKay Building at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds with Joey Ryan as the headliner. Ryan also headlines a show on Friday night in Squamish BC at Totem Hall.
  • Evolve on 5/20 in Livonia, MI has Matt Riddle vs. Keith Lee in a no rope break match for the Evolve title, Tracy Williams vs. Odinson, Austin Theory vs. Trey Miguel, DJZ vs Zachary Wentz, AR Fox vs. Myron Reed plus Chris Dickinson, Jaka, Shane Strickland and more.
  • Shine 50 tomorrow night at WWNLive.com is headlined by LuFisto vs. Kimber Lee for the Shine title and Rain vs. Stormie Lee in a street fight, plus tag champs Ivelisse & Mercedes Martinez vs. Maria Maniac & Penelope Ford.
  • MJF vs. MVP, Santana Garrett vs. Chelsea Green and Tom Lawlor vs. Fred Yehi have been added to the 5/3 MLW show in Orlando which is a TV taping.
  • Defy Wrestling on Saturday night in Tacoma, WA has Sean Waltman & randy Myers vs. Drexl & Dr. Kliever and Brody King vs. Schaff, plus Rey Hours vs Sonico.
  • Rise on 6/29 in South Gate, CA has Delilah Doom vs. Shotzi Blackheart and Dust & Raven Ash, managed by Rosemary, against Rachael Ellering & Taya Valkyrie.
  • wXw from Saturday night in Frankfort, Germany: Marius Al-Ani won over David Starr, Emil Sitoci and Ivan Kiev, Absolute Andy b Dirty Dragan, Melanie Gray b Killer Kelly, Bobby Gunns b Mark Davis to keep the Shotgun title, Avalanche & Julian Nero b Dover & Icarus to keep wXw tag titles, Zack Sabre Jr. b Lucky Kid.
  • wXw TV taping on Sunday in Cologne, Germany: Lucky Kid b Emil Sitoci, Marius Al-Ani b Juvenile X, Avalanche & Julian Nero b Ivan Kiev & Pete Bouncer to keep tag titles, Alexander James b Jay Skillet, Dirty Dragan b Francis Kaspin, Absolute Andy & Melanie Gray b Killer Kelly & Mark Davis, Bobby Gunns b Lucky Kid-COR to keep Shotgun title, Zack Sabre Jr b David Starr.
  • wXw Superstars of Wrestling on 5/5 in Oberhausen, Germany is almost sold out with Mil Muertes, Joey Mercury Christopher Daniels, Billy Gunn, Jay Lethal, Toni Storm and Tenille Dashwood on the show. (thanks to Markus Gronemann) 
  • World Classic Pro Big Time Wrestling on 5/26 in Circleville, OH has a convention that features Flying Fred Curry, Ron Garvin, Demolition Ax, Jim Cornette, Bobby Eaton and Bobby Fulton. Abyss vs. The Barbarian in a Monsters Ball match is on the show. Fred Curry does an interview for the event.
  • Pro Wrestling Eve on 5/12 in London features Killer Kelly in the main event and fans can choose her opponent between Toni Storm, Millie McKenzie or Bea Priestley in a Twitter poll.
  • Ignite Wrestling on 5/5 in Vero Beach, FL at the Walking Tree Brewery for a Cinco de May afternoon show.
  • River City Wrestling on 5/4 in Kirby, TX at Turner Club with Hernandez defending his RCW title against Abyss plus Joey Spector vs. James Ellsworth.
  • Welterweight Wrestling 3 on Fite TV on Sunday at 5 p.m.will feature a ceremony honoring Brian Pillman, with his son Brian Pillman Jr. attending. Jason Gory vs. Nate Wings, Dylan Bostic vs. Ace Perry and Myron Reed vs.Trey Miguel vs. Ace Austin vs. Cole Reddick is also on the show.
  • There will be a be a benefit show for Gil Arellano of Gil's Gym in East Los Angeles on Saturday at 5 p.m. at 132 East Florence Avenue in Los Angeles. A lot of current and past stars who got their start out of Gil's Gym over the last 35 years will be there. Arellano is currently in hospice care. He was one of the key guys in creating a local Lucha Libre scene in the Los Angeles area since the 80s.
  • NFC MMA tomorrow night in Kennesaw, GA at the Electric Cowboy with Amir Dadovic vs. Michael Hazzad as the main event under Muay Thai rules.
  • Action Wrestling tomorrow night at the Roger Spencer Community Center in Tyrone, GA with Dominic Garrini vs. Gunner Miller and Fred Yehi vs. Cain Justice. All revenue from the show goes to the Make A Wish Georgia chapter.
  • Former ECW and WWE wrestler Jazz is back taking bookings. 
  • Sumo Ryuta Yamamoto has been added to the 5/4 PCW Ultra show in Wilmington, CA.
  • Baja Stars Wrestling on 5/12 in San Diego at 3020 Coronado Ave. has Volador Jr. & Flyer vs. Misterioso Jr. & Ultimo Ninja.
  • House of Hardcore on Saturday night in Fort Wayne, IN at the Grand Wayne Convention Center has Eddie Edwards vs. Sami Callihan in a street fight, Matt Cross vs. Nick Cutler, Al Snow vs. Rod Street plus Tommy Dreamer, Bob Holly, Matt Cross, Angelina Love and Kevin Throne. They also run Hanover, MA no 5/18 with Eddie Edwards vs. Sami Callihan in a street fight.
  • Pro Wrestling Phoenix from last night in Omaha: Robert Storm b Con Artiest in a flag match, Purple b Dalton Lee Roth, Pat Powers b Brett Bishop, Tim Boston & Carson Rockwell b Paul Dennis & Joey Daniels, Devin Carter b El Bigote, Zac James NC Willy Sweet, Moonshine Russell & Duke Cornell b Lars Metzger & Johnny Ruckus. The next show is their 13th anniversary show on 5/23 in Omaha at the Waiting Room Lounge.
  • A story on ODB's food truck and life after wrestling is at From City Pages. (thanks to Shane Raatz)

Daily Professional Wrestling History: Edge wins World Heavyweight title at Backlash 2009


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