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Daily Update: NXT, War of the Worlds, McGregor and Mayweather


The Latest from the F4W Staff



FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 4/18/2017: Shibata vs. Okada underscores the dangers of pro wrestling

I wasn't thinking about the headbutt that may have ended Katsuyori Shibata's career when the main event of Sakura Genesis ended. Instead, I was impulsively trying to fit Shibata vs. Kazuchika Okada into the hierarchy of matches I've seen over the past few years. I knew that it was my favorite match of the year so far, even surpassing Okada vs. Kenny Omega from the Tokyo Dome. It comfortably surpassed anything from 2016 for me as well, and I may have been able to go back further if it wasn't for the fear of recency bias affecting my judgment too much.

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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: April 17, 2017: WWE Superstar Shakeup, Mauro Ranallo situation, more

A look at the fallout of the WWE "Superstar shakeup" is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer. Have a look at the moves, chart the talent on Raw, Smackdown and 205 Live, look at the next few PPVs and different programs, and identify weaknesses on each side as well as look at possible main event programs.

Also look at the death of Joaquin Roldan, the head of one of the largest pro wrestling companies in the world, and his role within AAA and the challenges that face AAA going forward.

Examine the Mauro Ranallo situation with his leaving WWE, plus look at how the situation was and has changed. There were comments from people regarding John Layfield, the TV change in Layfield, the crowd reaction in Boston, the story of Justin Roberts and his passport being stolen and ESPN coverage of WWE.

There is a backstage story in All Japan from 1994, while also talking about Katsuyori Shibata and his injury, and the nature of hard hitting Japanese matches and what the human body can take.

Full coverage of the Sakura Genesis show and the Okada vs. Shibata match, plus look at the big picture direction New Japan seems to be going, the lineups for the next series of big shows as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results, all inside.

The Renee Young/Dean Ambrose wedding, Vince & Linda McMahon's assets, WrestleMania merchandise numbers, Kane running for mayor and his thoughts, why they did the Stephanie McMahon injury angle, Update on Kofi Kingston, Kurt Angle admits he was foolish in thinking about MMA, Backstage at Mania, Jim Ross' deal, WWE makes deal with streaming service, NFL story that has WWE implications, plus notes on the WWE house show schedule for the next year, Kevin Owens DVD, most popular network shows and coverage of all the company's events this past week, all inside this issue of the Wrestling Observer.

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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: March 27, 2000: More on WWF leaving USA Network, Beyond the Mat controversy, more

One of the two remaining roadblocks to the WWF/CBS deal was removed this past week when Chris-Craft Industries, Inc. agreed to sell its half of UPN to Viacom for $5 million. Chris-Craft had sought to block a clause in its dual ownership contract of UPN with Viacom, which gave either side the right to order the other to either sell its half or buy out the other company's half. Viacom had, through that clause, ordered Chris-Craft to make a decision by 3/20.

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  • Tye Dillinger vs. Eric Young in a steel cage match is the main event of the NXT episode that airs tonight. NXT is also taping more shows at Full Sail University tonight, which will feature the build to TakeOver: Chicago.
  • Daria Berenato and Macey Estrella both got new names at the tapings. Berenato is now known as "Sonya Deville" and Estrella's new name is "Lacey Evans."
  • WWE aired an in memoriam graphic for Matt "Rosey" Anoa'i before SmackDown last night.
  • After they moved over from Raw in the Superstar Shakeup, Primo and Epico were repackaged as "The Colons" on television this week.
  • Matt Hardy tweeted about how WWE has treated The Hardys since their return: "The @WWE has been INCREDIBLY great to Nero & I upon our return. They've taken such good care of us & have been generous to our family time."
  • WWE's Michelle Wilson is quoted in an AdWeek article about why companies are choosing to adopt streaming services.

Pro Wrestling

  • What Culture Pro Wrestling announced that Drew Galloway would defend his WCPW title in a 30-man Championship Rumble match at an iPPV on April 29th. His final date for the promotion will be the next day as he fulfills his commitments after re-signing with WWE.
  • Continuing to add members of Los Ingobernables de Japon to the War of the Worlds tour, Ring of Honor announced SANADA and BUSHI for the four shows. Tetsuya Naito and EVIL were both previously announced for the tour. The stops are in Toronto on May 7th, Dearborn on the 10th, New York on the 12th, and Philadelphia on the 14th.
  • Christopher Daniels will defend his ROH World Championship against Matt Taven on the show in Dearborn.
  • In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Cody Rhodes said that he's going to make a decision about which promotion will be his regular home in pro wrestling soon.
  • Bad Luck Fale spoke to Newshub in New Zealand about his career in NJPW and transitioning from rugby to pro wrestling.


  • Dana White said on the Colin Cowherd show today that he expects to work out an agreement with Conor McGregor and his team on their side of the potential McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing superfight in the next couple of days. He'll then begin negotiating with Mayweather's side. White said that how much the fighters will get paid depends on how the pay-per-view sells, but estimated that Mayweather would make more than $100 million and McGregor would make $75 million.
  • White was also interviewed by TMZ Sports about McGregor vs. Mayweather, saying that the fight will "probably" happen.
  • Last Saturday's UFC on FOX show peaked at 2,874,000 viewers for the Demetrious Johnson vs. Wilson Reis main event and averaged 1,996,000 on final numbers.
  • Michael Bisping claimed on his podcast that Robert Whittaker is a more worthy contender to his title than Yoel Romero.
  • World Series of Fighting has rebranded as the "Professional Fighters League" and is moving to a format where there will be an initial season that begins in January 2018 and spans 10 months. Fighters will take part in three regular season fights, with a playoff after that for those with the best records.

Today in Professional Wrestling History (4/19): WCW Spring Stampede 1998

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