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Daily Update: NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed, UFC 240, Maria Kanellis

DAILY UPDATE

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F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Smackville, EVOLVE & the WWE Network

Joseph Currier looks at two Network specials and what they could mean for the future of the service.

EVOLVE's 10th Anniversary Celebration streamed on the Network opposite AEW Fight for the Fallen on July 13. Another in-ring special has also been added to the Network schedule for this month, with "Smackville" set to air this Saturday (July 27).

Smackville is similar to past specials like The Shield's Final Chapter and WWE Starrcade. The WWE Network broadcast of Smackville will be an hour long. Kofi Kingston will defend the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe and Dolph Ziggler in a triple threat match, Finn Balor will face Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura in a rematch from Extreme Rules, and there will be a musical performance segment with Elias.

The Smackville name is playing off the show taking place in Nashville, Tennessee and the city's Bridgestone Arena, which is the home of the Nashville Predators. The event was just a house show prior to the special being announced, and it will still feature some untelevised matches.

Televised house shows have been something WWE has surveyed subscribers about for a long time. Smackville feels very much like a by-the-numbers house show card. After already having defeated them in his most recent pay-per-view title defenses, Kingston is facing Joe and Ziggler again. Balor has already moved on to a storyline with Bray Wyatt and is set to take some time off from WWE after SummerSlam, so it seems unlikely that he'll be regaining the Intercontinental title. The Smackville theme should play into the Elias segment, but it's unlikely that it will have much meaning to the larger audience.


WON NEWSLETTER: July 29, 2019 Observer Newsletter: AEW announces TV details, more

The new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has details on the first episode of AEW on TNT, the possible name of the show, why the host city was chosen, and potential TV competition in the first few weeks of airing. 

We detail the latest G1 Climax 29 shows, and how it compares to last year's tournament. 

We have coverage of Jon Jones and his latest potential legal trouble.

We cover Summerslam, how the card is shaping up, and the possible return of a WWE Hall of Famer on the show. 

We look back at Saturday's UFC show, and the business notes on the show.

We have details on Dragon Gate's biggest show of the year, and have business notes on that as well. 

We also have coverage of a wrestling star being part of Hollywood box office history.

There's also a run down the ratings of all the major TV shows, along with detailed demo info for the WWE shows and results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week.


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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE

  • WWE stock closed the week at $75.99 per share, which was up an additional 1.75 percent from yesterday’s gains.
  • Maria Kanellis noted that she missed Tuesday’s 205 Live because she spent the day at the emergency room. Kanellis wrote that she had acute vomiting, a headache, and was dehydrated, and doctors think she had a flu bug. A contract signing for Drake Maverick vs. Mike Kanellis was announced for the show but didn’t end up happening. Maverick will face Mike in an “unsanctioned” match on 205 Live on Tuesday, with Mike getting a Cruiserweight title shot if he wins.
  • Tegan Nox tweeted after returning to the ring for the first time in nearly a year last night: “The reactions to last night’s events made me make a smile that has been missing for a VERY long time! Thank you”
  • PWInsider reported that WWE has hired Chris Resnick to work full-time on WWE Network programming. Resnick has been working as a producer and editor for ROH.
  • WWE uploaded a bonus clip for their “Rebuilding Big Show” documentary that’s airing after Smackville tomorrow night, with Big Show talking about how John Cena motivated him to lose weight.
  • The Hindu interviewed Seth Rollins about facing Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.
  • Ronda Rousey appeared on the latest episode of Superstar Savepoint with Xavier Woods on UpUpDownDown.
  • Today is Roderick Strong’s 36th birthday. Impact’s Tessa Blanchard also turns 24 today, while ROH’s Marty Scurll turns 31.

Pro Wrestling

  • Tickets for NJPW’s Fighting Spirit Unleashed events at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City (September 28) and the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia (September 29) sold out right after going on sale today. There are still some tickets available for the show in Lowell, Massachusetts on September 27. Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito, and Kota Ibushi are featured on the graphic for the three-show tour.
  • Wrestle Circus confirmed that their show that was scheduled for Sunday has been canceled and announced that the promotion is shutting down for good.
  • Chase Owens, Okumura, and Felino have been announced for ROH’s TV tapings in Atlanta on August 24 and their Honor for All HonorClub show in Nashville on August 25.
  • David Starr will challenge for WALTER’s PROGRESS World title at PROGRESS’ show at Alexandra Palace in London on September 15.
  • CIMA & Christopher Daniels vs. Private Party is set for OWE’s show in Toronto on August 7.
  • Kenny Omega, Nyla Rose, and Jungle Boy are the latest AEW wrestlers to be announced for Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Rager at Sea cruise, which sails from January 20-24.
  • MJF was the guest on today’s edition of Talk is Jericho.
  • Matt Sydal appeared on this week’s episode of the Edge & Christian podcast.

UFC/MMA

  • Everyone made weight today ahead of tomorrow’s UFC 240 PPV. Here are the weigh-in results:
  • Main card --
    • Featherweight champion Max Holloway (145) vs. Frankie Edgar (145) (Alexander Volkanovski made weight at 144.5 and is the backup for the main event if needed)
    • Cris Cyborg (146) vs. Felicia Spencer (145)
    • Geoff Neal (170.5) vs. Niko Price (169)
    • Olivier Aubin-Mercier (155.5) vs. Arman Tsarukyan (155)
    • Marc-Andre Barriault (184.5) vs. Krzysztof Jotko (185.5)
  • Prelims --
    • Alexis Davis (125) vs. Viviane Araujo (125)
    • Hakeem Dawodu (146) vs. Yoshinori Horie (145.5)
    • Gavin Tucker (145) vs. Seung Woo Choi (145)
    • Alexandre Pantoja (125.5) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (126)
  • Early prelims --
    • Gillian Robertson (125) vs. Sarah Frota (125)
    • Erik Koch (170.5) vs. Kyle Stewart (170.5)
  • Frankie Edgar thinks Max Holloway would deserve an immediate rematch if he loses the featherweight title. Edgar said Holloway is knocking on the door of being the best featherweight ever.
  • Episodes four and five of Embedded for UFC 240 are now available.
  • The UFC streamed today’s ceremonial weigh-ins.
  • Despite saying that he wouldn’t give BJ Penn another fight, Dana White told TSN that Penn and Nik Lentz have verbally agreed to face each other. The date and location is to be announced.
  • White reiterated that a rematch between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor is “absolutely possible.”
  • White spoke about Jon Jones’ latest issues: “I haven’t talked to him, but my guys have. Listen, there’s two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle I’m sure, so I don’t know. I’m numb to this sh*t now. It doesn’t faze me anymore. Every time we do a fight with Jon, I’m wondering if it’s going to be his last.”
  • Leon Edwards wants to face Kamaru Usman or Jorge Masvidal next.
  • ESPN reported that Yair Rodriguez will face Jeremy Stephens in the main event of the UFC’s Fight Night show in Mexico City on September 21.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Dusty Rhodes defeats Ric Flair for the NWA World Title


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