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Daily Update: Stephanie's role, Raw ratings drop, Weidman hurt?

Outside the next big NXT match being booked, some ratings news, and awaiting RAW ratings, news is kinda slow today which is why I wanted to drop a few lines about the continued portrayal of Stephanie McMahon on WWE TV as opposed to her role off TV amplified by the announcement of her biography to be released this fall yesterday.

The wrestling equivalent of church and state (on-screen personality vs. admitting that you play a character off screen) is such where we are continually hammered over the head that wrestling is just an act and these are all great, likable people with families and lives just like your favorite TV and movie actors. Those of us who have watched wrestling since our formative years hate that aspect while it’s assumed younger fans will just adapt over time, pushing us irrelevant old fogies off to the side.

But McMahon is a unique case because there’s the added rub that she’s a female in a male-dominated company who likely has to endure more lewd commentary than most would expect. (If you’ve seen the #MoreThanMean video, you’ll get an idea of what she likely receives via Twitter daily.) The domineering and talking down to talent, especially male wrestlers, feels too overt and too forced. As a result, we want to like her less even though, in real life, she’s probably pretty cool and someone we’d like over time as a character.

But with her role outside the company about to grow even more, what’s the point in continuing to position her in a way on TV that still draws vitriol and frustration? Make her a strong lead in a way that feels natural, not scripted. (The same could be said for Shane as well). And in the case of both McMahons, get them out of the way. The show should always be about the in-ring talent and not a continual McMahon family drama, but weekly, that’s what we get.

If the goal is to get Stephanie McMahon to a revered place like her father someday, it could happen...but not the way WWE is doing it now.

[Josh Nason]

THE ROUND UP


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Figure Four Weekly 5/9/2016: Hogan and Gawker fight over verdict - Hulk Hogan is suing Gawker a second time, this time for leaking the contents of sealed documents to the tabloids. Now we have the verdict. Find out all the details in this weeks issue of Figure Four Weekly.



Wrestling Observer Newsletter

READ IT HERE: May 16, 2016 Wrestling Observer newsletter: Potential UFC sale, WWE releases, plus tons of news

Our lead story updates the talks of a UFC sale, plus an updated look at how the WWE is doing as a business, a look at WWE cuts, the booking behind the ROH Global Wars PPV and how New Japan and ROH are working together even more closely than on the surface, Global Wars coverage, a look at the status of a lot of ROH talent, coverage of the UFC debut in Holland, the hidden story of just how much of the male audience has been lost by WWE, as well as what WWE can learn from the NBA, and historical bios on Billy Wicks and Kato Kung Lee.

There is also a look at the ESPN story on the potential sale of the UFC, what we know is legit, numbers being thrown around, who actually owns UFC, Dana White's reaction to the story, moves UFC has made, Dana White's long-term future if there is a sale, timing of the sale and sustaining the brand popularity.  Plus there's also a look at the various companies listed that are in talks of buying.

An update on WWE financials is in this issue, plus a look at the WWE Network numbers, what last year's patterns tell us about the numbers, the company's profits and losses, how well every division does for WWE and what is the most important for the bottom line, how well the company is doing financially compared to last year, what is projected by WWE this year for the WrestleMania quarter, update on injured wrestlers and their returns, Vince McMahon talks WWE injuries, and how much cash on hand the company has right now.

There is also a look at how WWE is going to be changing how it reports information and what information they are going to be keeping secret as compared to the past. Also, there is a look at the dichotomy between social media numbers and WWE network subscribers and what it says.

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL PREVIEW

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All the news from WrestleMania 15, the All Japan Tokyo Done show, and more will be in the latest back issue. Check out the latest online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: April 12, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Wrestlemania 15 business numbers, details on All Japan's Tokyo Dome show, plus tons more. Both Davey Boy Smith and Japanese rookie woman wrestler Emiko Kado were both remaining in bad condition after an illness and in-ring injury respectively. 

TUESDAY NEWS

As of this writing, there are rumors all over social media that middleweight contender Chris Weidman is injured. Additional information wasn’t available at this time, nor was it confirmed he is off UFC 199 where he is set to face middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in a rematch. We’ll have more as we find out detais.

NXT Champion Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor in a steel cage match will be the headliner for the June 8 NXT TakeOver show at Full Sail. They used the post-match brawl in Portland, OR, at a house show this weekend as the impetus for the move.

As discussed on last night’s Wrestling Observer Radio, UFC strawweight Paige VanZant earned a spot in the Dancing with the Stars finale. She’ll be up against Ginger Zee and Nyle DiMarco, which kind of stretches the definition of “Stars” in the show’s title.

The UFC 198 prelims Saturday night on FS 1 did 786,000 viewers, down about 5% from the UFC 197 prelims even with a stronger prelim main event of Matt Brown vs Demian Maia. The number was obviously hurt by going head to head with the Bellator show on Spike TV, headlined by King Mo vs. Phil Davis.

Newly crowned UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will be a VIP guest of the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight as they open up the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Toronto Raptors. Miocic is from the area and it’s been touted that he’s finally brought a title to a city that has been without one for a long time.

WWE & Pro Wrestling

UFC & MMA

  • Dave Meltzer’s “Fortunes Changed for Five” article is up at MMA Fighting, looking at this past weekend’s UFC 198.
  • From the “You Can’t Make This Up” department, adult film star and California resident James Deen filed a Cal/OSHA complaint of “bloodborne pathogen violations” against Bellator MMA and Viacom Tuesday. Why? Because Deen was both cited and fined under the same code violation from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and is tired of his industry being persecuted.
  • “You can't pick and choose how to enforce the law. Cal/OSHA knows that section 5193 is not designed to protect entertainment workers. If the government is choosing to say that 5193 applies to the adult entertainment industry, then they are also saying that it must apply to all sports and entertainment,” he said.
  • Bellator 154 on Spike did 709,000 viewers, up from their last two shows and much better than expected given the lack of star power outside the main event.
  • Tickets officially go on sale Friday for UFC on Fox Chicago, set for July 23rd. Holly Holm vs. Valentina Shevchenko, Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira, and Edson Barboza vs. Gilbert Melendez are your three headlining fights.
  • Also going on sale Friday is UFC Fight Night 91 the promotion’s first visit to South Dakota. Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Chiesa headlines with Tim Boestch vs. Josh Samman and more announced for the undercard.
  • UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has signed a long-term contract extension with UFC.
  • Bellator yesterday announced a multi-fight, multi-year extension with unbeaten bantamweight prospect Darrion Caldwell.
  • Cris Cyborg opened up as a betting favorite over UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, should that bout ever take place. She is still listed as an underdog for a theoretical fight with former champ Ronda Rousey, though.
  • In a recent interview, Stephen Thompson opened up to Submission radio about not getting a title shot, fighting Rory MacDonald, thoughts on Woodley fighting Lawler and why he'd like to fight McGregor.
  • World Series of Fighting is launching a program designed to find fighters who are also military veterans. President Ray Sefo and team are going to visit gyms in an attempt to put together the first fight in the program on their Saturday, November 12th NBCSN show Veterans Day weekend.

Miscellaneous & Events

  • NWA Smoky Mountain in Elizabethton, TN, on 6/24 with Chase Owens & Buff Bagwell vs. Jordan Kage and Chris Richards. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall are doing a meet and greet earlier in the day.
  • NWA is running CAJUN HEAT on July 2nd in Morgan City, LA, with Rob Conway vs. Rodney Mack, NWA Champion Jax Dane, and an appearance from Kevin Nash.
  • Alpha 1 Wrestling runs on 7/3 at the Knights of Columbus in Hamilton, ON.
  • If you are interested in attending the 10th annual Wrestling Observer / F4W convention in Las Vegas, EdinSanAntonio has all the information up on Facebook, or email him at F4Wfan@hotmail.com.

Today in professional wrestling history: