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Daily Update: Jinder Mahal merch, Asuka's undefeated streak, BOSJ

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FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 5/22/2017: Jinder Mahal is actually WWE Champion  

Even after having over a month to prepare for the possibility, it's hard to believe that Jinder Mahal is actually WWE Champion. Title wins like Mahal beating Randy Orton at Backlash aren't really supposed to happen in pro wrestling. When you have the ability to control wins and losses, challengers are theoretically built up over time and have enough credibility when they win a championship that the result is either obvious or hardly surprising.

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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: May 29, 2017: WWE weekend show reviews, CMLL drama, plus tons of news

The two WWE weekend shows in Chicago’s All-State Arena were almost amazing that they came from the same company.

The NXT Takeover show on 5/20 was one of the company’s best shows in years before one of the hottest crowds in a long time. One would have thought the competitive nature of having to follow such a great show would lead to the Backlash PPV stepping it up as well. But instead, they had a lackluster show which felt more like a boring elongated episode of Smackdown. Still, it was the latter show that generated far more talk with the decision to make Jinder Mahal, 30-year-old Yuvraj Singh Desi, into the WWE world champion.

The same decision making that led to Mahal headlining the show made it clear to accomplish the goals based on this move, that he should win the title. Going from a prelim jobber type to holding the historical biggest championship title in the world in a short period of time was unusual, but this was a unique situation.

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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.


WON BACK ISSUE: May 1, 2000: Justin Credible wins ECW Heavyweight Championship, safety concerns in Japan, tons more  

When the smoke cleared after nine months of title changes largely forced upon him and designed to surprise, Paul Heyman finally went back to the original Plan A--as the latest surprise. Justin Credible (Peter Polaco), who Heyman had planned to be ECW heavyweight champion dating back more than 18 months, with the idea of not putting the title on him until he had a national television outlet, and being the wrestler that Rob Van Dam would chase in the company's top program, wound up with the title after two more switches at ECW's "Cyberslam" show on 4/22 in Philadelphia at the ECW Arena.

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THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE

  • After becoming WWE Champion at Backlash, Jinder Mahal got his first shirt on WWE Shop today.
  • Mahal tweeted about his match with Randy Orton that WWE.com announced for the June 13th episode of SmackDown in New Orleans, which would seem to indicate that the match is still happening (though it could be a dark match).
  • NXT is taping its next round of television episodes at Full Sail University tonight. There are almost three months between TakeOver specials if the next one isn't scheduled until SummerSlam weekend in Brooklyn.
  • WWE is acknowledging that Asuka has passed Goldberg's undefeated streak. Triple H posted a picture with her from the NXT tapings celebrating it. Stephanie McMahon also tweeted about it today: "Congratulations @WWEAsuka on breaking @Goldberg's record as the champion with the longest undefeated streak in @WWE history! #UDeserveIt!" Goldberg congratulated Asuka on Twitter as well.
  • The Washington Post interviewed Chris Jericho about his tour with Fozzy and when he'll be coming back to WWE. “It’ll be a long time before I go back,” Jericho claimed. “If I ever do go back, if I never go back, it’s fine. If I never wrestle another match, it wouldn’t bother me.” Jericho has made similar comments in the past in an effort to keep his WWE returns from being known in advance.
  • Matt Hardy responded to a clip from the Taz Show where Taz criticized Impact Wrestling president Ed Nordholm's handling of The Hardys' legal situation by writing: "100% correct, @OfficialTAZ. I wasn't going to post the drunken, mean, vulgar texts sent to talents by TNA management"
  • Fox Sports spoke to Goldust earlier this week about his career going forward and turning his back on R-Truth.
  • Chef Inspired Popcorn Company in Tampa, Florida released a "Titus Brand" flavor of popcorn in collaboration with Titus O'Neil in an effort to raise money for charity.
  • Trevor Noah posted on Instagram about meeting John Cena.

Pro Wrestling

  • NJPW's Best of the Super Juniors continued in Ishikawa last night. The results from the B Block matches were:
    • ACH defeated KUSHIDA
    • BUSHI defeated Ryusuke Taguchi
    • Volador Jr. defeated El Desperado
    • Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Tiger Mask IV
  • Kanemaru and El Desperado are now tied at the top of the block with six points. ACH, Taguchi, Volador Jr., and Tiger Mask all have four points. KUSHIDA and BUSHI have two points.
  • Matt Riddle and Tomohiro Ishii will face off in a non-tournament match at Revolution Pro Wrestling's British J-Cup show on July 8th.
  • Despite previously telling Sports Illustrated that he was going to be deciding on which promotion he would be making his pro wrestling home soon, Cody Rhodes said in an interview with CBS Local Sports that now is probably not the time to make the decision.
  • 5 Star Wrestling owner Dan Hinkles told the "Pancakes and Powerslams" show that his offer to CM Punk isn't a publicity stunt and that he may be willing to offer more than the $1 million. Hinkles said that he wants to speak to Dana White about it.
  • Lio Rush will defend his CZW World Championship against Davey Richards at Defy Wrestling's show at Washington Hall in Seattle tomorrow night. The match signifies a working relationship between the companies.
  • MLW Radio announced that a podcast hosted by Sean Mooney and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan will be debuting over the summer. It will feature the two of them looking back at their time in the WWF.
  • The National Review has an article on what the media can learn from pro wrestling.

UFC/MMA

  • The UFC announced the signing of former kickboxer Gokhan Saki. Saki posted that he's the "best investment" the company has made since Conor McGregor.
  • Sage Northcutt vs. Claudio Puelles, Aljamain Sterling vs. Renan Barao, and "Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung vs. Ricardo Lamas have been added to the card for UFC 214 on July 29th in Anaheim, California.
  • Jose Aldo said that he knows a rematch against Conor McGregor "will never happen."
  • While appearing on UFC Tonight last night, Gegard Mousasi noted that he hasn't come to terms with the UFC on a new contract and said that their offer to him wasn't good.
  • The New York State Athletic Commission announced changes to its weigh-in policy after Daniel Cormier's towel incident prior to UFC 210.

Today in Professional Wrestling History (5/25): Jushin Liger wins IWGP Junior Heavyweight title

Pro Wrestling Tees is now carrying our latest line of F4W shirts. Support the Empire~! Grab yours today!


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