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Daily Update: Raw tapings, NBC Universal upfronts, PROGRESS




We're looking for your thoughts on UFC 224, 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 looking for reports on today's WWE Smackdown house show in Budapest, Hungary and yesterday's WWE show in Prague, to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

Tuesday will be Smackdown and 205 Live taped in London at the O2 Arena. Announced is a celebration for Carmella as well as New Day vs. Sheamus & Cesaro where the winning team picks one guy to enter Money in the Bank, and the U.K. contracted talent will be on the 205 Live show. 

There will also be a Tuesday Raw house show in Brighton, England.


  • Yota Tsuji vs. Yuya Uemura
  • Manabu Nakanishi vs. Tomoyuki Oka
  • Hiro Saito & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Ren Narita & Ryusuke Taguchi
  • Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Shota Umino
  • Yuji Nagata vs. Ayato Yoshida

Wednesday will be a Raw show in Geneva, Switzerland and Smackdown house show in Liverpool, England.

F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Recapping Backlash 2018 

At best, Backlash 2018 was going to be a largely meaningless show that was overshadowed by more important events on the WWE calendar. Surrounded by WrestleMania 34 and the fallout from the company's biggest event of the year, the Superstar Shakeup, and the Greatest Royal Rumble, Backlash should have been an afterthought. Instead, it will be remembered as one of the worst WWE shows of at least the last few years.

WON NEWSLETTER: May 13, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Details on the UFC/ESPN deal, more

This is a big business issue of the Observer as we update all aspects of WWE business and look at the most important business deal in years, the UFC's new deal with ESPN.

Look at the ramifications from all perspectives of the UFC deal, what is good, what may not be so good, how this affects the schedule, Fight Pass, making stars, and the financial structure of the organization. Also, look at the key aspects of the deal and what it means for WWE as well when it comes to future negotiations, as well as the value of both products.

This issue runs down every aspect of the WWE business and how it's doing. Look at the long game for WWE business, the things to look through when WWE gives its presentations, what is now being hidden in the financial reports, why the stock looks overvalued but really isn't, the unique questions nobody is bringing up about the network numbers, the value of WrestleMania to the network, as well as house show business, television ratings, merchandise and licensing and the dichotomy of areas that are growing and those slowly declining. 

Full coverage of Backlash, the Brock Lesnar title reign, Money in the Bank and other business notes plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results, and coverage of both New Japan Dontaku shows with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results,  the Okada records, Okada vs. Omega, Dominion and the Best of the Super Juniors tournament.

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.


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

This is the lineup for Raw tonight. Spoilers are up on the front page. The NBA has a huge game in competition.

  • Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens for IC title
  • Tyler Breeze & Fandango vs. Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas
  • Natalya & Sasha Banks & Ember Moon vs. The Riott Squad
  • Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt vs. The Revival for the tag titles
  • Bayley vs. Mickie James vs. Alexa Bliss MITB qualifier
  • Braun Strowman & Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre
  • Bobby Lashley vs. Elias vs Kevin Owens MITB qualifier

"Avengers: Infinity Wars" which features Dave Bautista is now the 5th highest grossing movie based on worldwide sales in the history of movies.

One of our readers at the NBC Universal upfronts this morning noted that Stephanie McMahon, Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax were all there as WWE was pushing women's empowerment. They continued to push the storyline of having the first women's match ever in Dubai. Nia Jax talked about bodyshaming.

Here are notes on the Progress & Evolve doubleheaders in August. On all these dates, there will be a 4 p.m. Evolve show and an 8 p.m. Progress show:

  • 8/4 in Brooklyn at PacPlex
  • 8/5 in Melrose, MA at the Memorial Hall
  • 8/11 in Cicero, IL at Cicero Stadium
  • 8/12 in Livonia, MI at the Monaghan Knights of Columbus Hall
    •         Tickets for 8/4 and 8/5 go on sale next Monday at Noon EDT at TicketFly.com
    •         Tickets for 8/11 go on sale Saturday at the Evolve show in Summit, IL
    •         Tickets for 8/12 go on sale Sunday at the Evolve show in Livonia, MI.
    •         Tickets for 8/11 and 8/12 go on ale next Monday at Noon EDT at TicketFly.com

Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. Cody & Adam Page for the ROH tag titles was announced for the 5/24 ROH show in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Corn Exchange. 


  • Aleister Black and Ronda Rousey will be coming to the WWE European tour later this week.


  • Rich Swann vs. ACH has been added to the 6/7 MLW Fusion TV tapings in Orlando.
  • Future Stars of Wrestling from Saturday night in Las Vegas: Mr. Opportunity won Battle Royal, Cima (yes, that Cima) & Yanchao b Remy Marcel & Jack Manley, Cody Hancock b Nick Bugatti, Jorel Nelson & Royce Isaacs b Jace Battle & Jody Summers, Graves won three-way over Owen Travers and Chris Bey to win the Nevada state title, Greg Romero won ladder match over Suede Thompson, Jungle Boy (Luke Perry's son), Gary Galaxy, Tomaste and Funnybone, PJ Black won over Willie Mack and Teddy Hart, Hammerstone b Sami Callihan. (thanks to Jake Koch) 
  • Bad Luck Fale will challenge Giant Koyote for the Venom Pro title on 5/26 in Queensland, Australia.
  • Ultimate Championship Wrestling from Saturday night in Essexville, MI: Blake Acumen b Billy Ray Daniels, Lawrence Jeter & Kurt Hendrik b Ridiculoso & Mongo, A-1 b Fabio Morito, Justin Mane b Cyrus Satin, Bry Sullivan b Soul Taker last man standing, Brooklyn Brawler b John E.Bravo with Jeff Jarrett as referee. (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • Jake Shields vs. Ray Cooper III and Rick Story vs. Yuri Villefort will headline the PFL's 7/5 show in Washington, DC that will air on NBC Sports Network.
  • CWE tonight in Dauphin, Manitoba at the Dauphin Friendship Centre. Ron Simmons is the special guest.
  • Smash Wrestling on 9/16 in Toronto at the Rec Room.
  • Demand Lucha on 6/10 at Lee's Palace in Toronto with PCO, Teddy Hart, PJ Black Darby Allin and Joel Gertner.
  • C4 Wrestling on 5/25 in Ottawa, ONT at St. Anthony's Banquet Hall.
  • Superkick'd on 5/18 in Toronto at the Great Hall.
  • A Dynamite Cup tournament on 6/23 in Lafayette, IN at the Lafayette YWCA Gym.
  • On last week's episode of Billions on Showtime, one of the characters had a 1998 Undertaker vs. Mankind Hell in a Cell poster.
  • Blackcraft Cult is starting a wrestling promotion called Blackcraft Wrestling and debuting on 8/24 in Pittsburgh with an iPPV show with Johnny Blackcraft (John Hennigan's latest name) vs. Jimmy Havoc, PCO vs. Brody King and Saraya Knight vs. Britt Baker.
  • Revolution Pro on 5/29 at the Portsmouth Guild Hall has Cody vs. Phantasmo. 
  • Bar Wrestling's show on Thursday is sold out, although there will be some standing room tickets sold at the event for walkup. It is the fifth straight sellout for the group.
  • Border Town Pro Wrestling on 6/23 in Fort Erie, ONT at the Native Friendship Centre.
  • No Limit Wrestling on 6/9 in Hamilton, ONT at The Jet Hall.

Daily Professional Wrestling History: First WWF In Your House PPV