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Daily Update: Pre-Raw notes, Jeff Hardy, Shane McMahon





We're looking for your thoughts on Friday night's ROH Anniversary show and Sunday's WWE Fast Lane show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

We're also looking for reports from Raw in Detroit tonight with the Main Event matches, dark matches and anything else not on television, as well as reports from the Smackdown house show in Dayton to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

We're also looking for reports on these shows:

  • ROH TV tapings from Saturday in Las Vegas
  • Lucha Underground TV tapings from Saturday and tonight in Los Angeles
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH from today in Yokohama

Smackdown, 205 Live and Mixed Match Challenge take place on Tuesday in Indianapolis. Matches announced are Cedric Alexander vs. Roderick Strong and Charlotte Flair & Bobby Roode vs. Rusev & Lana.


  • Juice Robinson vs. Michael Elgin in New Japan Cup
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale in New Japan Cup


  • Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Kota Ibushi in New Japan Cup
  • Seiya Sanada vs. Toru Yano in New Japan Cup

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Recapping Elimination Chamber and the Reigns-Strowman decision

What had been expected for nearly a year became official on Sunday night as Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns was announced for WrestleMania 34. Reigns defeated Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, John Cena, Elias, and The Miz in the main event of the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view to set up him challenging Lesnar at WrestleMania. The match came down to Reigns and Strowman, with Reigns finally putting him down with two spears.

WON NEWSLETTER: March 12, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Build to Wrestlemania, Bullet Club All In location, more

An updated look at WrestleMania, explaining the booking of Braun Strowman, the Brock Lesnar angle and plans for John Cena and Ronda Rousey are all in the headline story of this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Look at the story behind the Reigns promo, the goal of the promo, what is and isn't reality about Lesnar, when Lesnar returns, Lesnar's talks with UFC and his decision making right now and a reality check when we look back three years ago.

Also look at the John Cena interview, Undertaker, Rey Mysterio Jr., how the Rousey angle has gone so far, what the TV ratings said about Rousey's debut, women's title plans, as well as the rest of the WrestleMania and Fast Lane show.

Check out the Strowman situation for WrestleMania, flaws in the Elimination Chamber booking as well as full coverage of the show, with match-by-match rundowns with star ratings and poll results on the show.

Find out about Jon Jones' hearing before the California State Athletic Commission and what it means, as well as the completely befuddling remarks made prior to the hearing.

Look at what may be a WWE drug scandal with the tease of 15 names being involved including one who purchased $140,000 worth of substances. Read the claims out there and teases of what else will be released. Find out about the realities of drug testing and the changing pro wrestling business from when the death rate was so high.

Look at what talent WWE is interested in, WWE signing a deal to do events in Saudi Arabia, lots of news regarding the concussion lawsuits filed against WWE, what happened in a deposition that went badly for the plaintiff in one of those suits, more on Ronda Rousey training, Chris Jericho's 2018 schedule, why Apollo Crews' last name was dropped and the Dusty Rhodes tag team tournament.

Examine the secondary market in New Orleans for WWE events, update on a deal to bring WWE into a 100,000 seat stadium this fall, Ric Flair becoming a celebrity in Latin America, UFC talent at WWE event and why they weren't identified, Bianca Belair injury update, WWE headed to Japan and the most-watched shows on WWE.

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Bryan and I will be back tonight covering Raw and all the latest news as well as taking your e-mail questions to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

Ryan Satin reported that Jeff Hardy's return to WWE television was actually taped on Thursday's Ultimate Deletion. The segment taped on the Hardy grounds was expected to air on Raw over the next few weeks. It wouldn't surprise me to see it edited off the show given Hardy's arrest on Saturday night on a DUI charge.   

Mike Johnson at PW Insider reported earlier that neither Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman nor Ronda Rousey were at television past the usual call time. We haven't been able to confirm anything past that they weren't there. The TV was advertised around Lesnar confronting Roman Reigns. Right now it's a big mystery as far as what is the case, if they're being hidden (although Heyman is usually very visible when he's at a show) or if this is an angle or not. Lesnar was in Minneapolis for his house show match on Friday night. He was kept off the Anaheim Raw even though advertised in a very weird situation, but ultimately the goal is to do everything possible for Lesnar to be booed and Reigns to be cheered at WrestleMania. If we get anything before show time, we'll write it up.

Shane McMahon is now scheduled to wrestle at WrestleMania with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn coming off last night's angle. Exactly what it will be should be announced tomorrow.

John Cena is scheduled on Raw tonight, which is expected to be sold out. They were 438 tickets shy of capacity as of the last word we got which was a few hours ago.

PW Insider reported that WWE had reached out to Chris Jericho to work the 4/27 show in Saudi Arabia. That date is between his touring.


  • Bill Goldberg will make another appearance on the TV show "The Goldbergs" on 3/21 at 8 p.m. on ABC. Goldbeg's character, a school coach at the school the Goldberg's kids go to, named Coach Nick Mellor, will move into the house of the TV Goldbergs, if that isn't confusing enough. Adam Goldberg, not related, but the real name of the show's Executive Producer, who is a wrestling fan, said that Bill was a "legit comedic genius." He said that when Bill is around, it's difficult to stop laughing between takes.
  • WWE will be setting up a merchandise store from 4/5 to 4/8 in New Orleans for those traveling. It will be adjacent to the WrestleMania Axxess at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The store will be open from Noon to 10 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Rusev will be signing on Friday at 11 a.m. and Elias on Saturday at 11 a.m.
  • Braun Strowman was on Fox 2 in Detroit this morning promoting Raw. (thanks to Mike Malasev)


  • 5 Star Wrestling has said that champion Jake Hager, who was buried in commentary on the last show as far as a champion who took his belt and went home, is still with the company and that he would be returning on the 3/22 show in Manchester. They also said that Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio Jr. would be on the show and John Morrison would be returning although no date was specified.
  • Roger Huerta was on the MMA Hour earlier today and broke the news that he has signed with Bellator and will face Benson Henderson in the main event of a show on 4/6 in Budapest, Hungary. That weekend is long beyond insane. Huerta was being groomed to be a top star in UFC, but had issues with management and then lost fights when matches with tougher lightweight competition and was gone in 2009. He had fought for several years with ONE in Asia and had only had a 2-3 record there. 
  • For those interested in college wrestling, Mike Sempervive has a ton on the upcoming NCAA tournament and other national tournaments.
  • MLW on 4/12 at Gilt Nightclub in Orlando features the finals of their World title tournament with Matt Riddle vs. Shane Strickland. 
  • NWL from Saturday night in Kansas City: Maddox b Matt Waterman, Top Shelf b Jack Foster & Buddy Shepard, Jet Royal b Ace Steel-DQ, Maverick b Mike Outlaw to keep the Spirit of NWL title, Dak Draper b Todd Letterman-DQ, Davey Vega & Mat Fichett b Howletts to keep the tag titles, Jeremy Wyatt b Martin Stone to keep the NWL title. (thanks to Brian Hoops)
  • IPW from Saturday night in Panmure, New Zealand: Mr. Tagataese b Falcon Kid, Jukebox Hero & James Shaw won four-way over Privileged, Short & Sweet and Alex Savage & Will Stone, Mason Daniels b Mitch Gray, Jakob Cross b JK Moody, No Face b Big Ted, Candy Lee b Ashlee Spencer, Vinny Dunn b Liam Fury, Mr/.Burns b Michael Richard. (thanks to Steve Ogilvie)
  • CWE will be at Rookie's Sports Bar in Winnipeg on 4/15 with a guest appearance by Stan Hansen.
  • Cross Body Pro Wrestling on 4/7 in Kitchener, ONT at 69 Agnes St. at 4 p.m. show.
  • Future Stars of Wrestling from yesterday at the Cannery Casino in Las Vegas: Reno Scum b Dave & Jake Crist, Teddy Hart b Joey Janela, Jushin Liger & Rocky Romero b Whirlwind Gentlemen, Hammerstone b Moose, Tommy Dreamer & Raven b Disco Inferno & Eli Drake, Kenny King won three-way over Scorpio Sky and Chris Bey, Graves won four-way over Jorel Nelson, Karl Fredericks and Spyder Warrior. (thanks to Mike Trask)
  • Alpha One Wrestling Game of Throws on 4/29 in Oshawa, ONT with Swoggle, Josh Alexander and Ethan Page.
  • All Star Wrestling May Mayhem on 5/25 in Vancouver, BC at the Wise Hall & Lounge features Tommy Dreamer.
  • An article on Roanoke wrestling in the 60s and the Bolos.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Bryan Danielson & Curry Man win IWGP Junior tag titles


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