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Daily Update: Toni Storm & WWE, Sami Callihan, Atlantis

THE ROUND-UP

THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're looking for reports on last night's ROH show in Lowell, MA as well as last night's WWE show in Bornemouth, UK and today's show in Dublin, Ireland to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com

NXT is taping tonight at Full Sail University with the final shows leading into the NXT Takeover show on 6/16 in Chicago at the Allstate Arena.

IMPACT AT 8 P.M. TONIGHT ON POP TV

  • Moose vs. Kongo Kong (taped on a House of Hardcore show)
  • Brian Cage vs. Takashi Sugiura (taped at a NOAH show)
  • LAX vs. DJZ & Andrew Everett
  • Taiji Ishimori vs. El Hijo del Fantasma vs. Drago vs. Aerostar for an X title shot
  • Pentagon Jr. vs. Eli Drake for Impact title

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.


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THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I did an interview that will be up on the site shortly today with Jim Cornette talking a number of different topics.

The belief in the U.K. is that Toni Storm has signed with WWE. Apparently there was a video montage for the King of the Ring two-day event at Royal Albert Hall in London on 6/18 and 6/19 and her photo was shown. Storm was scheduled for June with Stardom and told the promotion that she needed to leave after the 6/17 show because she had a date she need to make on 6/18 in England. She could be working it without a contract, similar to when she was in the Mae Young Classic. WWE is also attempting to sign a lot of talent in the U.K. right now for both their own television show, and more, to keep them away from ITV, which started taping television today. But it is not confirmed she signed and if she did, she and WWE would be keeping it secret anyway.

We've gotten a lot of comments in the last two days regarding the death of Gwen "Skinnie Minnie" Miller, who was one of the greatest jammers in Roller Games history with the Los Angeles T-Birds in the 70s and also appeared for years in Roller Derby remakes in Northern California as a star with the Bay Bombers in the 80s as one of the team's most popular stars. She was a regular in tons of attempted comebacks. She had been hospitalized after a cruise a few months back. She seemed ill skating in a U.S vs. Japan game last year. Her son Jackie has skated in the Bay Area. At 92 pounds, she wasn't big enough to be the top star on a team, but her unique skating style and psychology of being a babyface, as well as her memorable nickname (coined by announcer Jim McInerney), made her one of them most unforgettable characters. She had just retired recently from skating. She was a great athlete, competing in gymnastics, basketball and softball growing up, and went to the T-Birds training center as a teenager with Sonja Sims, her childhood friend, who also later became a star. She was known for her ability to get a reaction selling from the very start, her endless stamina and how she'd work so hard her shirt would come hanging out of her trunks. She was compared to Carol "Peanuts" Meyer as the best jammer in Roller Derby/Roller Games history. Miller, who started skating with the T-Birds in the late 60s and was in the game for 50 years, was 66 years old.

Tonight's Impact will be pushing an angle where Sami Callihan attacked Don Callis at a taping in Mississauaga, ONT. As you can tell, they are very high on Callihan as a heel.

Atlantis, Guerrero Maya Jr., and Stuka Jr. will be on the ROH shows on 6/15 in San Antonio and 6/16 in Dallas. This will be the debut of the Hall of Famer Atlantis in ROH.

The All In press conference will take place on Sunday at Pro Wrestling Tees in Chicago at 2 p.m. Eastern live on Twitch and Facebook. Tickets for the show go on sale that today and some names and announcements of matches are expected.

WWE

  • Stephanie McMahon will be representing WWE on Monday at the NBC Universal upfronts, so she definitely won't be on Raw this week. John Cena and the Bella Twins will also be there. The upfronts take place at Radio City Music Hall and WWE will be heavily featured with a ring set up.
  • The pre-sale code for tickets at Ticketmaster for Raw, Smackdown and NXT over SummerSlam weekend on 8/18 to 8/21 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in WWEWEEK and another code is WWE2018. The pre-sale lasts until 10 p.m. tonight and tickets go on sale to the public tomorrow. 
  • We're waiting for more on this, but it appeared Charlotte Flair had a dental issue during her match today in Oberhausen.
  • The NBC News in Detroit made fun of the Shinsuke Nakamura vs. A.J. Styles finish from Backlash. Sportscaster Bernie Smilovitz showed the segment with both Russian, Mandarin and Spanish announcers calling it. All the anchors laughed at it and made run of wrestling scripts and rehearsals. (thanks to Jake Koch)
  • We send our sympathies to the Arias family as Sin Cara's grandmother passed away this week. 
  • A pre-sale code for tickets for the 7/30 Raw TV show in Miami is GOHEAT. They are advertising Roman Reigns & Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley & Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn & Elias & Jinder Mahal. That is a weak heel side.
  • The movie "Blockers" with John Cena will be released on DVD & Blu Ray on 7/3.

UFC

  • Eddie Alvarez sent out a tweet earlier today challenging Dustin Poirier for the 7/28 FOX show in Calgary. But Poirier told MMA Junkie that he's not interested in that fight unless he's being offered more money, but he'd fight him on another date, saying Alvarez had kept turning down that date and he gave him a deadline to accept and the deadline came and went.
  • Darren Elkins vs. Alex Volkanovski has been added to UFC's 7/14 show in Boise, ID.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Mick Foley appears Saturday night doing his 20 years of Hell show at the MCW Arena in Joppa, MD. MCW also has its next show on 5/19 in Hampstead, MD at North Carroll High School with Adam Rose and Rosa Mendes.
  • Greg Oliver wrote a long piece about the Fabulous Moolah from a Moolah panel discussion among women wrestlers who were unhappy WWE removed Moolah's name from the WrestleMania Battle Royal.
  • Jim Cornette and Brian Last have moved their podcast from the MLW Radio family to going independent. Both sides have said the split was amicable.
  • MLW announced a three-way match to determine its first tag team champions on the 6/7 show at Gilt Nightclub in Orlando with Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix vs. Jason Cade & Jimmy Yuta vs. Dirty Blondes.
  • For tomorrow night's MLW TV show on Bein Sports, Tom Lawlor vs. ACH and MJF vs. Fred Yehi will be featured.
  • Bobby Fulton of The Fantastics announced his retirement match would take place on 5/26 in Circleville, OH facing Nick Curry, the son of the famed Flying Fred Curry.
  • CZW on Saturday night in Voorhees, NJ at the Colossal Sports Academy features Rich Swann vs. Dezmond Xavier and a match for the Wired title with Wheeler Yuta vs. Zachary Wentz vs. Alex Reynolds vs. Johnny Silver.
  • The annual CZW Tournament of Death is 6/9 in Berlin, NJ at Tansboro Dek Hockey. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • CWE on 5/29 in Virden, Manitoba at the Virden Collegiate with Ron Simmons appearing.
  • All-Star Wrestling on 6/23 in Surrey, BC at the Alice McKay Building with Davey Boy Smith Jr.
  • Christopher Daniels is replacing the injured Dalton Castle on the AWF tour. Cima is also on the tour. On 5/17 in Sydney, TNT vs Cima and Daniels vs. Suicide was announced. For Melbourne on 5/18, Jay Lethal faces Cima and Daniels faces Ryback. On 5/19 in Adelaide, it'll be Rock vs. Daniels, Suicide vs. Ryback and TNT vs. Lethal.
  • There were people upset that ROH didn't announce Castle's injury before the Lowell show last night noting he had a title defense scheduled and it wasn't until midway through the show that fans found out it wasn't taking place.
  • World Series Wrestling announced Marty Scurll vs. Robbie Eagles on 6/22 in Melbourne, as well as Jimmy Havoc vs Abyss plus Joey Ryan appears. On 6/23 in Melbourne they have Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Jonah Rock and Brian Cage vs. John Morrison. 6/25 in Sydney has Rock vs. Cage.
  • WrestleGo runs tomorrow night in Sydney with Ultimo Dragon vs. Jack Bonza. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • AAW on 5/25 in Chicago at the Logan Square Auditorium has Jessicka Havok vs. Kimber Lee for the AAW title, Darby Allin vs. Brody King, Penta 0M & Rey Fenix vs. AR Fox & Myron Reed, Eddie Kingston vs. Fred Yehi plus Sami Callihan, Besties in the World, Zema Ion, Juice Robinson, Dezmond Xavier, Zachary Wentz, Colt Cabana and more.
  • Combate Americas runs Mexico vs. USA tomorrow night at 11 p.m. Eastern on Univision Deportes from Sacramento's McClellan Conference Center. It will stream starting at 9:30 p.m. and then a 90 minute television show starts at 11 p.m. The main event features Lisbeth Lopez Silva of Mexico City against Brenda Enriquez of Salt Lake City. Enriquez replaces Kyra Batara who had to pull out due to a back and neck injury.
  • Booker T and Scott Norton appear at the O Comic Con in Council Bluffs, IA on 7/13 to 7/15. Booker will be there 7/13 and 7/14 because he'll be working the 7/15 WWE PPV show. Norton will be there all three days. Pro Wrestling Phoenix will also be doing live shows all three days. Tickets are at OComicCon.com
  • Stardom had a press conference for 5/23 at Korakuen Hall announcing Io Shirai vs. Momo Watanabe which is supposed to be a big deal match there, and a 2 of 3 falls match with Mayu Iwatani & Tam Nakano & Saki Kashima & Shiki Shibusawa vs. Kagetsu & Hana Kimura & Hazuki & Natsu Sumire.
  • Warrior Wrestling tomorrow night in Chicago Heights, IL has Alberto El Patron vs. Jack Swagger, Penta 0M vs. Rey Fenix, Nick Aldis vs. Sam Adonis for the NWA title, Tessa Blanchard vs. Santana Garrett, Deonna Purrazzo vs. Chelsea Green, El Hijo del Fantasma vs. El Hijo de Dos Caras, Hornswoggle vs. James Ellsworth with Frank the Clown as referee, Moose vs. Brian Cage, DJZ vs. Matt Sydal and Dave & Jake Crist & Robbie E vs. Pat Monix & Matt Knicks & Stevie Fierce.
  • AWS on 6/30 in South Gate, CA has added Kris Wolf vs. Cheerleader Melissa for the AWS women's title, Mia Yim vs. Nicole Savoy a men vs. women tag match with Delilah Doom & Mercedes Martinez & Raze & Heather Monroe & Laura James & Kyle Rae vs. Eli Everfly & Suede Thompson & Andy Brown & Douglas James & Tyler Bateman & B-Boy, [plus a one-night tournament with Shotzi Blackheart vs. Nicole Matthews, Madison Eagles vs. Shazza McKenzie, Willow Nightingdale vs. Jordynne Grace and Miranda vs. Aerial Monroe as the first round matches.
  • Eve on Saturday has its 8th anniversary show in London at the Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green, with Toni Storm vs. Bea Priestley and Millie McKenzie vs. Killer Kelly.
  • Joseph Schooling, who won a gold medal in swimming at the 2016 Olympics for Singapore, has been hired by One as the Ambassador. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete in history, will be attending One's 5/18 show in Kallang, Singapore.
  • Rey Mysterio Jr. will be appearing on 5/23 at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas representing Masked Republic's Legends of Lucha Libre brand, signing autographs and photos and meeting from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m..
  • There was an EWA show over the weekend in Dresden, Germany that featured Tom LaRuffa (Sylvester Lefort in WWE), Ken Anderson, Jonny Storm, Joe E. Legend and Franz Schumann, who wrestled in the old CWA, came out of retirement.
  • Alpha Female Jazzy Gabert will wrestle reality TV star Micaela Schafer on 5/12 for the German Wrestling Promotion. Schaefer was on the first season of Germany's Next Top Model and is well known in Germany as a nude model. She's been training at the GWP wrestling school and they are hopeful her debut brings them some publicity. Former Olympic wrestling gold medalist Nobert Novenyi of Hungary, who is 61 and won the gold in 1980, claims he will be doing his retirement match on the show. (thanks to Markus Gronemann)
  • IPW Capitol City Culmination on Saturday night in Waterloo, IA features two cage matches and a gauntlet match for the tag team titles.
  • Demand Lucha on 6/10 at Lee's Palace in Toronto with PCO, Teddy Hart, PJ Black and Darby Allin.
  • Innovate Wrestling on 5/26 in Kingsport, TN at the Civic Auditorium.
  • PCW on 6/8 in Wilmington, CA has Penta 0M vs. Sami Callihan in a cage match for the title plus Shane Strickland defends the light heavyweight title against Dragon Lee, Stephan Bonnar vs. Steve Madison, Tessa Blanchard vs. Rachael Ellering, Jeff Cobb vs Brody King, Ace Romero vs. Eli Evefrly vs Darby Allin vs. Jake Atlas and ACH vs. Hammerstone. That would seem to make it unlikely that ACH or Dragon Lee would win Best of the Super Juniors, because they'd be in Japan that weekend. I don't think anyone expected them to win.
  • Tuff N Uff runs on 5/19 in Mesquite, NV at the Casablanca Resort Casino Golf & Spa. The weekend will include fights, a free concert and a free after party.
  • David Arquette will be doing his first pro wrestling convention appearance on 5/19 in Richmond, VA at the Richmond South Bella Road Holiday Inn for Two Man Power Trip Convention 2. The convention includes Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Mikey Whipwreck, Mark Canterbury (Henry Godwinn), Solo Darling, The Barbarian, Tony Atlas, New Jack, Mr. Hughes, Ron Garvin, Shannon Moore, Gillberg, 2 Cold Scorpio, CW Anderson and Oscar.
  • The New York Times has a story on Saudi Arabia pirating the feed of BeinSports.
  • Nigel Sherrod interviewed Judy Martin who is unhappy about the charges against Fabulous Moolah.
  • Here's a story on a pro wrestling horror film.
  • Tomorrow night, American Combat Wrestling (ACW) in Port Richey, Florida, is hosting a benefit show for MLW star Salina de la Renta to afford knee surgery. Salina spoke with The Wrestling Estate ahead of the event. 

Daily Professional Wrestling History: Verne Gagne retires as AWA World Champion


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