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Daily Update: More on Conor McGregor, UFC 197 preview, Chyna's death

UFC 197

While much of the MMA week has been focused on Conor McGregor, the return of one of the sport’s best and possibly the best of all time has been overshadowed and perhaps, that might be a good thing.

While he’s not facing blood rival Daniel Cormier for the “real” light heavyweight title at UFC 197 tonight, Jon Jones is still going to strut his stuff in the Octagon Saturday night and that’s newsworthy in its own right. Off for more than a year, we should have questions answered about ring rust, whether his newly-built muscle will help or hinder him, and the toll of all of the previous year’s events have had on him.

And while Ovince St. Preux isn’t a household name and is a big underdog going into tonight, history is littered with cases where sure things didn’t turn out to be sure things.

There are other interesting fights on the show, but tonight is really about one thing: attempting to answer the question of where Jon Jones wants to be at in this next stage of his career.

[Josh Nason]

UFC 197 ON SATURDAY FROM THE MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA IN LAS VEGAS

Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time

  • Efrain Escudero vs. Kevin Lee
  • Clint Hester vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
  • Cody East vs. Walt Harris

FS 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern time

  • Glaico Franca vs. James Vick
  • Carla Esparza vs. Julianna Lima
  • Danny Roberts vs. Dominique Steele
  • Chris Kelades vs. Sergio Pettis

PPV at 10 p.m. Eastern

  • Yair Rodriguez vs Andre Fili
  • Rafael Natal vs. Robert Whittaker
  • Edson Barboza vs. Anthony  Pettis
  • Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo for the flyweight title
  • Jon Jones vs. Ovince Saint Preux for the interim light heavyweight title

ROH in San Antonio

  • Jay Lethal vs. ACH vs. Roderick Strong vs. Moose vs. Jay Briscoe vs. Kyle O'Reilly and whoever pins Lethal in this match will get an ROH title match later on the show
  • Adam Page vs. B.J. Whitmer in a street fight 
  • Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley 
  • Young Bucks vs. Delirious & Cheeseburger
  • Bobby Fish vs. Kenny King 
  • Silas Young vs. Mark Briscoe
  • Will Ferrara vs. Rhett Titus

NEW JAPAN FROM KORAKUEN HALL ON NEW JAPAN WORLD LATE SATURDAY/EARLY SUNDAY AT 5:30 A.M. EASTERN TIME

  • Jay White vs. David Finlay
  • Tiger Mask & Ryusuke Taguchi & Captain New Japan vs. Rocky Romero & Trent Baretta & Yoshi-Hashi
  • Katsuyori Shibata & Kushida & Juice Robinson vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Jushin Liger
  • Kazuchika Okada & Gedo vs. Seiya Sanada & Bushi
  • Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tetsuya Naito & Evil
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin & Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma & Yoshitatsu vs. Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa & Yujiro Takahashi in an elimination match
  • We're looking for reports on Sunday from the TNA tapings in Orlando. 
  • Raw is Monday night in Hartford, CT.  It's the go-home show for Payback and will include the in-ring debut of Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows, facing the Usos.
  • Smackdown and Main Event will be taped Tuesday in Manchester, NH.

NEW JAPAN FROM FUKUOKA'S HAKATA STAR LANES LIVE ON NEW JAPAN WORLD ON WEDNESDAY AT 6 A.M.

  • Captain New Japan & David Finlay vs. Juice Robinson & Jay White
  • Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Yoshi-Hashi & Rocky Romero & Trent Baretta
  • Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma & Yoshitatsu vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa
  • Katsuyori Shibata & Kushida vs. Yuji Nagata & Jushin Liger
  • Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo vs. Tetsuya Naito & Seiya Sanada & Bushi & Evil
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale
  • Kenny Omega vs. Michael Elgin for IC title

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 25, 2016 WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: CONOR MCGREGOR ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT, TNA SALE IMMINENT

In this week's Observer the Conor McGregor/UFC issue as it relates to UFC 200, and the future and possible sale of TNA are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

The top story runs down how the McGregor situation went down, how much money is at stake for the UFC if McGregor isn't on the show, Dana White's claims, a look at the most likely replacement fights and evaluating them, the possible UFC 200 momentum, as well as a rundown of UFC plans for what was expected to be the biggest weekend in its history.

The second big story has to do with the potential sale of TNA to Aroluxe, the company looking at buying them, and the moves Dixie Carter has tried to make, where things stand, a look at the business of TNA and what is needed to turn it around, and more.

There is also an update on the condition of Bray Wyatt, a look at the next WWE PPV show, Notes on the Total Bellas TV show, update on Total Divas and how badly this season declined in audience, more on the WWE drug test failuers, more on Undertaker pulling out of the European tour and HHH wrestling on it, an update on Steve Austin, an update on the Global cruiserweight tournament, Brock Lesnar's next match, how WWE affects the USA Network overall, former major star honored in Chickasaw nation Hall of Fame, upcoming major NXT dates, Bret Hart talks current WWE, Ryback talks WrestleMania, and notes on the November European tour including why TV location is so notable.

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.

SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE

    Joanie “Chyna” Laurer’s manager Anthony Anzaldo told the New York Daily News that he had been working on a documentary of her life when she passed away, and said he was the person who actually went into the room and found her body the day she died, a discovery you won’t see in the doc. "I saw no indication of foul play, no vomit, no blood. She was just lying there peacefully. Of course she's had issues and posted things (online), but I just don't think it was intentional." He also said that they will be donating her brain to Dr. Bennet Omalu of Concussion fame who will investigate it for signs of CTE.

    WWE has put up a compilation of some of Chyna’s most memorable moments with the organization. We haven’t received reports of any ten bell salutes at either WWE or NXT house shows, but you have to assume there will be some form of recognition on RAW and/or Smackdown this week.

    New Hampshire’s Union-Leader did a feature on Laurer today. While she wasn’t born in the state, her and Triple-H have a lot of ties there.

    There was some news coming out of last night’s Bellator show which featured prize free agent Benson Henderson getting worked over in his debut against welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov. Fellow free agent signee Matt Mitrione will make his promotional debut in the co-main event of Dynamite 2 on June 24th against Carl Seumanatafa. The July 16th London show headlined by Kimbo Slice got a little deeper with Linton Vassell vs Francis Carmont and Michael Page vs Fernando Gonzalez announced for the main card. Page won handily on Friday night by submission.

    This week on 6:05 Superpodcast, David Bixenspan and Brian Last talk to John McAdam about the Observer Hall of Fame, referee/office manager Bobby Simmons about Mr. Wrestling II and other top stars of the Georgia Championship Wrestling glory years, and Tom Robinson about the adventures of Dennis Coraluzzo and Kenny Bolin. Also: Jimmy Snuka's 1983 Wrestler of the Year speech and much more!

    WWE & Pro Wrestling

    • In case you missed it, we had some results and news go up early this morning like NXT results, NJPW results, WWE results, and even some TNA results.
    • It doesn't appear to be widespread, but we did hear from some people who attempted to order the TNA Knockouts PPV last night and were unable to do so in either HD or SD. Customer service was unable to help.
    • WWE is beginning to add 2000 and 2001 Smackdown episodes to the WWE Network. Presumably they are holding off adding WCW Thunder until they really need that subscription boost.
    • Rock's next project appears to be to star in and produce a remake of the Robin Williams' film JUMANJI.
    • Here’s a local media piece catching up with former AWA announcer Ralph Strangis.
    • Here’s a local media review of the Dick The Bruiser book.
    • Inspire Pro Wrestling presents "Splendor in the Smash" in Austin, Texas, at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre this Sunday with Teddy Hart vs Masada scheduled.
    • The Blade Runner sequel featuring Dave Bautista had its release date pushed back to October 2, 2017.

    UFC/MMA

    • Jose Aldo tweeted some thoughts on the Conor McGregor situation: Training here in Vegas last night. Because some of us can train while still promoting the fight. 
    • For UFC 197, catch up on our DraftKings picks and our staff picks as well.
    • UFC will host another UFC 200 presser this Wednesday at 2 PM at MSG featuring Dana White, bantamweight champ Miesha Tate, Amanda Nunes, Jose Aldo, and Frankie Edgar. It’s open to the public.
    • If you live in New York State and want to get involved with the MMA movement there, how about a job in government?
    • Japanese promotion Shooto debuted on UFC Fight Pass last night/early this morning. Hiromasu Ogikubo won the flyweight title with a 5th round submission over champion Masaaki Sugawara; Koshi Matsumoto won the vacant lightweight title with a 3rd round sub over Yuki Kawana; UFC veteran Caol Uno scored a 2nd round sub over Jung Ho Hwang and former Pride and WEC star Yoshiro Maeda won with a 2nd round sub over Kosuke Suzuki.
    • Legacy FC ran last night in Oklahoma on AXS TV. In the main event, Rafael Lovato Jr won the vacant middleweight title with a 2nd round KO of previously unbeaten Marcelo Nunes.
    • Pancrase runs tonight on UFC Fight Pass starting just after the UFC 197 PPV is complete. The main event is for the vacant featherweight title as former UFC fighter Issei Tamura takes on Juntaro Ushiku. Former UFC vets Kazuki Tokudome and Akhbar Arreola square off in the co-main.

    MISCELLANEOUS

    • Six prospective Olympic wrestling 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 Saturday are Haley Augelio (Women's freestyle, 105 pounds); Helen Maroulis (Women's freestyle, 117 pounds); Kelsey Campbell (Women's freestyle, 128 pounds); and Tamyna Mensah (Womens' freestyle, 152 pounds). Competing Sunday ar Frank Molinaro (Men's freestyle, 143 pounds) and J'Den Cox (Men's freestyle, 189 pounds)​. Former UFC star Matt Lindland coaches the Greco-Roman team. 

    EVENTS

    • 4/23 All Star Wrestling on in Richmond, BC at the Fridge Youth Center
    • 4/23 Battlarts in Mississauga, ONT at the Dan Kolov Arena at Santino Marella's Battlarts Academy with a TV taping for Rogers TV Peel.
    • 4/23 ECWA Super 8 tournament in Woodbury Heights, NJ
    • 4/23 Maryland Championship Wrestling 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.
    • 4/27 Pro Wrestling Phoenix in Omaha at the Waiting Room Lounge.
    • 4/28 All Star Wrestling in Maple Ridge, BC at the Westview Secondary School.
    • 4/29 All Star Wrestling on in Surrey, BC at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.
    • 4/30 Pro Wrestling in Santa Cruz, CA at the VFW Hall on 7th ave. This show is 21+ and will have 7 matches. For tickets go to ComedySuplex.com.
    • 4/30 AIW Girls Night Out 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.
    • 4/30 Legacy Wrestling in Manheim, PA, with Johnny Gargano, Koko B. Ware, Dave Crist, Candice LeRae, and more.

    Today in professional wrestling history: Heavenly Bodies win SMW Tag Team Titles; Backlund wins Missouri State Title