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Daily Update: Nick Denton on The View; WrestleMania weekend; GSP Returning?

We're looking for reports on tonight's NXT show in Largo, FL at newstips@wrestlingobserver.com

SMACKDOWN TONIGHT FROM BOSTON AT 8 P.M.

  • Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks non-title
  • Sheamus vs. Kofi Kingston
  • Usos vs. The Ascension
  • Dolph Ziggler & Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens & The Miz
  • Roman Reigns vs. Bubba Ray Dudley

The main event segment is a brawl with Brock Lesnar, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan.

The WWE has shows on Friday night with Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. HHH & Sheamus headlining what was formerly the first of three Daniel Bryan Appreciation Nights in New York's Madison Square Garden.  NXT also has a show on Saturday night in Venice, FL.

NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING RETURNS ON AXS TV AT 9 P.M. FRIDAY EASTERN TIME

Kushida vs. Kyle O'Reilly in the finals of the 2015 Best of the Super Junior tournament

CMLL FROM ARENA MEXICO AT WWW.CLAROSPORTS.COM AT 10:30 P.M. EASTERN ON FRIDAY NIGHT

Aereo & Ultimo Dragoncito vs. Mercurio & Nitrito

Estrellita & Princesa Sugei & Skadi vs. Amapola & Dallys & Tiffany

Angel de Oro & Guerrero Maya Jr. & Stuka Jr. vs. Luciferno & Polvora & Rey Hechicero

Brazo de Plata & Caristico & Marco Corleone vs. Rush & Pierroth & La Mascara

Cibernetico vs. Ultimo Guerrero

Atlantis & Mascara Dorada & Volador Jr. vs. Barbaro Cavernario & Negro Casas & Mr. Niebla

WWE has shows on Saturday night in Trenton, NJ, Richmond, VA and NXT in Orlando.  We're looking for reports on all of these shows.

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

Kushida & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & David Finlay vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano & Rocky Romero & Trent Baretta

Katsuyori Shibata & Ryusuke Taguchi & Captain New Japan & Juice Robinson vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi

Michael Elgin vs. Cody Hall

Jay White vs. Kenny Omega

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yujiro Takahashi

Tomoaki Honma vs. Bad Luck Fale

Togi Makabe vs. Tama Tonga

Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Tetsuya Naito & Bushi & Evil

WWE on Sunday has a in Washington, DC.

The last show before WrestleMania will be a combined Raw and Smackdown taping on Monday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  The show is expected to be a sellout.


Countdown clock to WrestleMania 32 and F4W MANIA~! 

Click here for the complete run down. Bus seats are still available for the WrestleMania bus ride, but dinner is now sold out.

Please join and like the Facebook Event page to stay up to date with the most current details.


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Figure Four Weekly 3/21/2016: Hulk Hogan awarded $115 million (sort of) by jury

Hulk Hogan is awarded $115 million by jury over the Gawker sex tape lawsuit. Will he collect?



Wrestling Observer Newsletter

READ IT HERE:  March 28, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Hogan wins Gawker lawsuit, MMA legalized in NY, Wrestlemania weekend preview, more  

Well before the Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker Media trial began, it was not a secret that Gawker believed they would lose the case before a jury, but believed they would win it on appeal.

But in a trial that got worldwide attention, as much for the questions of what constitutes legitimate news versus invasion of privacy, as the fact Hogan was involved, Gawker never saw what was coming.

A St. Petersburg jury of six people awarded Hogan $140.1 million, even more than the $100 million he was asking for, with one juror making it clear the figure was because they wanted to send a message to the company.

Current subscribers click here to continue reading.

PLUS MUCH MORE! CLICK HERE FOR A FULL WRESTLING OBSERVER PREVIEW


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 Meltzer

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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

Gawker's Nick Denton was on "The View" today, which probably wasn't a smart idea given his defense is that Hogan was a celebrity and the hosts are all celebrities. 

George St-Pierre returning? Rutten and Ranallo did a podcast and interviewed Renzo Gracie which has not come out but apparently Gracie in the podcast said Georges St-Pierre would return.

Neilsen ratings starting on 4/25 will include ratings for over the top devices which means shows like WrestleMania and other WWE network and Fight Pass ratings will be available.

Mauro Ranallo debuts as Bas Rutten's Inside MMA co-host tomorrow night on AXS TV at 12:30 a.m. Eastern time.  Rutten has been in that position since the show's inception, but Ranallo becomes his sidekick starting with tomorrow's show.  They are loading up the first show with Chuck Liddell and Chris Weidman as guests as well as Cat Zingano.

Joe Garagiola, who started his television broadcasting career as the announcer for Wrestling at the Chase, is one of the people featured in this great documentary on St. Louis Wrestling  More Garagiola:  The Pat O'Connor vs. Lorenzo Parente match we talked about last night on the show with Garagiola announcing.  Even by today's standards this holds up really well.  O'Connor was one of the best.  Also a O'Connor demonstration of moves with Garagiola.  A back story on this is that these are the only tapes of the show from before the late 70s that still exist.  Sam Muchnick gave them to Garagiola in 1962 and he kept them through several moves and never erased over them.  Check them out here.

There are a number of wrestler birthdays today including Undertaker (51), Christopher Daniels (46), Jack Swagger (34) and Lana (31).

WrestleMania Weekend Events

Added to the 4/1 Evolve 4 p.m. show is a tag team title match with Johnny Gargano & Drew Galloway vs. Anthony Nese & Caleb Konley, and if Nese & Konley lose, they can't team up again.

The 4/2 WrestleCon show in Dallas at the Hyatt Regency (Saturday night) is sold out.

Another WrestleMania weekend show on 3/31 from the Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth features a meet and greet with Jim Cornette, former World Class announcer Marc Lowrance, Mike McGuirk, Bruce Tharpe, Sonjay Dutt, Brian Myers and Bill Apter.  The NWA Parade of Champions show that night has Jax Dane defending the NWA world title against Charlie Haas, managed by Black Bart, The Iron Empire defend the NWA tag titles against Brown & Dirty, Amber Gallows defends the NWA women's title against Jessica James with Veda Scott as referee, Tim Storm defends the North American title against Devin Driscoll, Steve Anthony defends the jr. title against John Saxon, a Battle Royal, plus Lance Hoyt (Archer) vs. Rodney Mack vs. Ray Rowe, Chase Owens vs. Jason Kincaid and more.  

WWE

  • WWE is looking for new writers.  they are looking for a minimum of five years experience in TV/Film writing and production, TV staff experience in drama or comedy is a plus and writing and directing reality TV is a plus, as well as experience in live TV production.  They want people plugged into pop culture, highly creative, able to work with talent, writers and producers, an understanding of the WWE audience (the people in charge most of the time aren't even that), and must be willing to live in the New York or Stamford area, and have strong knowledge of WWE shows, talent and storylines.
  • Shawn Michaels will replace Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania Axxess on Sunday of WrestleMania week.
  • The WWE announced this WWE Network programming for next week

Monday after Raw:  WWE 24:  Thank You Daniel, a show with backstage footage and Daniel Bryan's retirement speech from Seattle

Tuesday at 8 p.m. - John Layfield interviews Michael Hayes

Wednesday at 9 p.m. WWE Ride Along with Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Page and Alicia Fox

Thursday at 10 p.m. - Steve Austin podcast with Mick Foley

WWE Hall of Fame coverage will start at 7 p.m. Eastern with the red carpet ceremony and the event starts on the network at 8 p.m.  That's 7 p.m. in Dallas

  • While this has been known for some time, WWE announced a conference call on 4/4, the morning after WrestleMania, at 3 p.m.where they will announce the subscriber number for the network.  The day or two after WrestleMania last year was the peak number for all of 2015, so they are doing it to announce what will likely be the high point of 2016.   
  • Sasha Banks will be appearing at Wizard World at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines on the weekend of 5/13 to 5/15. 
  • WWE stock closed down 23 cents per share today to $17.12.
  • Forbes talks with Charlotte
  • An interview with Mauro Ranallo
  • USA Today talks with Roman Reigns
  • A feature on Undertaker's birthday

 
UFC/MMA

  • UFC is working on a Cris Cyborg vs. Cat Zingano match for the 5/14 PPV show from Curitiba, Brazil.  This is the show at the soccer stadium.
  • The main event of UFC 200 is expected to be announced within the next several days, likely Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz.
  • UFC signed a multi-year extension of its business partnership with Harley Davidson. 
  • Sara McMann vs. Jessica Eye has been added to UFC's 5/29 show in Las Vegas
  • John Lineker vs. Rob Font has been added to UFC's 5/14 show in Curitiba, Brazil.   
  • The complete television lineup has been announced for Bellator 153 on 4/22 from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT:

Andrey Koreschkov (18-1) defends the welterweight title against Benson Henderson (23-5)

Patricio Pitbull Freire (24-3) vs. John Teixeira (19-1-2)

Brennan Ward (13-3) vs. Evangelista Cyborg Santos (20-16)

Michael Venom Page (9-0) vs. Jeremie Holloway (7-1)

Brent Primus (6-0) vs. Gleristone Santos (27-5)

All-American wrestler Chris Honeycutt will face Matt Secor in the prelims.     

  • Bellator has also announced Marcin Held vs. David Jansen and Chase Gormley vs. Joey Beltran (at heavyweight) for the 5/20 show in Boise, Idaho headlined by Rafael Carvalho defending the middleweight title against Melvin Manhoef. 
  • Glory announced a show on 5/13 at the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, CA featuring middleweight champion Simon Marcus vs. Dustin Jacoby for the title.  Part of the show will air on UFC Fight Pass. 
  • Former Tough Enough competitor Tanner Saraceno makes his pro MMA debut tomorrow night against Jared Gooden in the main event of a National Fighting Championships show from Atlanta at Center Stage Theater.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Hall of Famer Big Bill Miller passed away on this day in 1997 at the age of 69.
  • The movie documentary "Memphis Heat:  The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin" plays tonight at the Malco Paradiso Theater in Memphis at 7:30 p.m.  Jerry Jarrett and others from the area's pro wrestling community will be in attendance.
  • TNA announced five new signings, Jessie Guilmette (Pepper Parks), Laura Dennis (Cherry Bomb), Marshe Rockett (who works under his real name, he's a Chicago independent wrestler), Thomas LaRuffa (who was Sylvester Lefort in NXT) and Mikael Vierege (who was Marcus Louis in NXT).
  • Eric Young will be taking independent bookings through showbis@aol.com flying out of Nashville.
  • Lucha Underground had two major articles this week: From L.A. Weekly, From Paste Magazine
  • Yoshi Tatsu will be on ROH shows during the New Japan week including the 5/11 television tapings in Toronto.  He's also taking independent bookings through showbis@aol.com out of Los Angeles.  Also taking bookings are Cortez Castro/Ricky Reyes of Lucha Underground (based in Philadelphia), Mike Posey, Jay Lethal (no bookings in the U.S.), Matt Sydal, Christopher Daniels (no bookings in the U.S.), Frankie Kazarian, Young Bucks (no bookings in the U.S.), Moose, Al Snow, Tommy Dreamer, Sean Waltman, Scott Hall, TNA champion  Drew Galloway, Jimmy Rave, DDP, Nunzio and Tony Mamaluke.     
  • Daron Cruickshank has signed with Rizin and will debut on the 4/17 show in Nagoya.  He'll face Shinji Sasaki in a lightweight bout.  Chris Barnett vs. Kirill Sidelnikov (Fedor's training partner) was also announced, as well as Teodoras Aukstuolis vs. Jaideep Singh and Vadim Nemkov vs. Karl Albrektsson.
  • Fan voting for the Danny Hodge Trophy ends at 11 a.m. Eastern tomorrow at www.win-magazine.com with the top contenders being:

Alex Dieringer, the 165 pound champion, from Oklahoma State (33-0, 12 pins, 7 tech falls, 8 major decisions)

Nahshon Garrett, the 133 pound champion from Cornell (37-0, 11 pins, 7 tech falls, 7 major decision)

Zain Retherford, the 149 champion from Penn State (34-0, 15 pins, 7 tech falls, 7 major decision)

Kyle Snyder, the heavyweight champion from Ohio State (11-0, 1 in, 5 tech falls, 2 majory decision)

  • Here's a guide to New Japan Pro Wrestling for beginners.
  • AAW on 4/9 in Chicago at the Logan Square Arena with Sami Callihan vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Timothy Thatcher, Heidi Lovelace vs. Jessicka Havok vs. Kimber Lee vs. Candice LaRae plus Johnny Gargano, Chris Hero, Andrew Everett, Trevor Lee, Silas Young, Chuck Taylor, Dan Barry, Kongo Kong and more.     
  • CZW tomorrow night at the Woodbury Heights Community Center in Woodbury Heights, NJ.  They also have an iPPV on Saturday night in Voorhees, NJ at  Flyers Skate Zone with Matt Tremont vs. Devon Moore in a Taipei and Barbed wire boards death match plus Joey Janela vs. Dave Crist vs. David Starr vs. Lio Rush.
  • Maryland Championship Wrestling on 4/9 in Galena, MD at the Fire Department headlined by Sean Waltman.
  • Action Packed Wrestling from Sunday night in Huntington, WV:  Shane Kryzak b Rusty Shank, Christian Kobain b Rob Killjoy, Jessie Belle b Nyla Rose, Yasha b G-Cute, Timmy Lou Retton b Shane Andrews, Jack Samson & Mighty Hojo b Benny Conley & Tanner Reynolds, Cedric Alexander b Blake Hall (thanks to Jon Villareal)
  • NWA Smoky Mountain Wrestling in Kingsport, TN tonight at the Civic Auditorium,.  All students K-12 can get into the show for free.  Jason Kincaid vs. Chase Owens for the Southeastern title headlines.
  • CWF on 4/16 in St. Catherines, ONT at the Haig Bowl Arena.
  • Capital City Championship Combat on 4/15 in Ottawa and the Vanier Columbus Club.
  • Smash Wrestling from Sunday in Toronto:  Frankie the Mobster b Mike Rollins, Kevin Bennett b Scotty O'Shea & Brent Banks, Tarik b Andy Williams, Facade b Player Dos, Overdogs b Goat Brigade, Tyson Dux b Bull Dempsey, Courtney Rush (Rosemary in TNA) b Cherry Bomb-DQ.
  • Women's Wrestling Revolution on 4/10 in Providence, RI headlined by Santana Garrett vs. Deonna Purrazzo, Jessicka Havok vs. Jenny Rose, Taeler Hendrix vs. Barbi Hayden, LuFisto vs. Kimber Lee, Candice LaRae vs. Alexxis Nevaeh and more.
  • Tier 1 Wrestling iPPV from Brooklyn on Sunday:  Darius Carter b Fred Yehi, Black Baron won six-man elimination match over Gran Akuma, Joey Ace, Mike Law, Nitrious X and Justneph, Logan Black b Mike Orlando, Super Perea b Hatred, Timothy Thatcher b Tommaso Ciampa, Travis Grodon & Space Monkey won over Alex Mason & Sonny Kiss, Ken Lee & Chris Crunk and Brandon Watts & Randy Summers, JGeorge b Jessie Brooks in a last person standing intergender amtch, VSK b Ethan Page, Rude Boy Riley b Anthony Nese  Michael Elgin didn't appear even though he was on the poster.  (thanks to Mike Trask)
  • Border City Wrestling on 5/28 at the Tecumseh Legion in Tecumseh, Ontario (near Windsor) with Cody Deaner vs. Jon Bolen, plus Eric Young, Phi Atlas, Kongo Kong and Scott D'Amore.
  • Eve Torres Gracie will guest star on Supergirl on CBS on 4/11 playing the character of Maxima.
  • All Pro Wrestling on 5/13 in Daly City, CA at the Pacelli Event Center in Westlake Park with MVP vs. JR Kratos vs. Jody Kristofferson plus Yoshitatsu vs. Joey Ryan and the Monster Jeff Cobb.
  • Rock Solid Wrestling on 4/1 in Midland, ONT at the Midland Secondary School.
  • Mascara Dorada vs. Barbaro Cavernario will headline Monday's show in Puebla for the CMLL welterweight title.  This will be available live on the Internet.
  • CWE on 5/22 in Medicine Hat, Alberta at the Whiskey Creek Pub with Frankie Kazarian, Lio Rush and Silas Young.  The same crew works 5/28 in Thunder Bay, ONT at the West Thunder Community Centre.
  • XICW from Sunday in Warren, MI:  Aaron Tl b Cameron Sky, Palmer Cruise b Joey Edwards, Vinny Scarboni b El Ridiculoso, Chris Moore b Jaimy Coxxx, N8 Mattson & Xavier Walker b Movado & Dre Jacobs, DBA & Jay Maynard b Gavin Quinn & Jamal King, Malcolm Monroe III b Alex Shelley, Rik Matrix b Paul Bowser (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • Lucha Toronto on 6/4 at the La Liga Indoor Soccer Sports Complex
  • Baja Stars USA on 4/16 in San Diego at the Montgomery Waller Rec Center with Extreme Tiger & Star Boy vs. Misterioso & Shamu Jr.
  • Triton & Valiente vs. Dragon Rojo & Polvora headline three shows at Wild Bill's in Duluth, GA on 4/15, 4/16 and 4/17, as well as 4/23 at the Casablanca Event Venue in Denver.
  • L.A. Park vs. Blue Demon Jr. and Solar vs. Negro Navarro headline for FMLL on 5/15 in El Monte, CA at Florentine Gardens.
  • Cibernetico headlines on 4/9 in Pacoma, CA at the Boys & Girls Club
  • Volador Jr. & Misterioso Jr. headline on 4/23 in Las Vegas at the Cashman Center.
  • Blue Panther Jr. & Estrellita vs. Pierroth & Tiffany headline on Sunday in Channelview, TX at the Diamante Negro Disco.
  • Aero Star vs. Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr. plus Drago & Jack Evans vs. Black Cat & Daga headline tomorrow night in Pharr, TX at the Pharr West Club.
  • Teddy Hart & Mariachi Loco & Steve Pain vs. Fujin & Raijin & Okumura headline on 4/23 in Montebello, CA at the Grace Baptist Academy.
  • Trina Michaels will be appearing in Dallas for WaleMania on Thursday, WrestleCon at the RCW booth on Friday, at the Figure Four dinner and at WrestleCon at the RCW booth on Saturday.
  • Superkick'd Pro Wrestling on 4/23 at The Great Hall in Toronto.
  • Pro Wrestling Phoenix on Tuesday night in Omaha:  Paul & Joey Daniels b Con Artiest & Blue Rocket, Cuco Santiago b Purple, Devin Carter b Jon West, Zac James b Preston Maxwell, Dalton Lee Roth b Robert Storm, Pat Powers b Arik Cannon, Mark Sterling b Branden Juarez.  Next show is 4/46 in Council Bluffs, IA at the National Guard Armory.  
  • H20 Wrestling on 6/10 in Woodbury Heights, NJ at the Community Center with Kevin Sullivan vs. Matt Tremont plus  Shane Douglas will wrestle.
  • A look at the movie "No Holds Barred"

Today in professional wrestling history: Hulk Hogan regains WWF gold; Ultimate Warrior ends Savage's career

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