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Daily Update: WrestleMania week, Cyborg to UFC, Snoop to WWE HOF

Cris Cyborg

Cyborg signs with UFC

In huge non WWE WrestleMania news, Cris "Cyborg" Justino announced she will be fighting at UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil, making her promotional debut. "Cyborg" will face Leslie Smith in a 140 pound catchweight fight set for Saturday, May 14th at the 42,000 seat Arena de Baixada. The story forever was whether or not Cyborg would ever face Rousey. With Rousey's loss to Holm, it no longer makes sense for Cyborg to attempt to cut to 135 pounds.

Snoop Dogg to enter the WWE Hall of Fame

WWE announced today that Snoop Dogg would be entering the WWE Hall of Fame. He'll be joining the celebrity wing of the HOF, but it was not made clear whether he would be inducted as Snoop Doggy Dog, Snoop D-O-Double-Gizzle, Tha Dogfather, or Snoop Lion. 

In a related story, John Cena, on The Today Show this morning, informed Joan Lunden that she would be the recipient of this year's Warrior Award at the 2016 HOF induction ceremony. 

[Dan Velten]

The last show before WrestleMania for the WWE main roster is Raw tonight. All hands are on deck, with Brock Lesnar, Undertaker, Shane McMahon, Vince McMahon, Paul Heyman and HHH all booked. They will be taping a few matches for Smackdown prior to Raw so we're looking for reports on the preshow matches to newstipsdave@wrestlingobserver.com">@WrestlingObserver.com.

Other shows like Main Event and Superstars will be highlight shows as opposed to having unique matches taped for the shows. The WWE talent will be headed for Dallas tomorrow to start promoting the events.


Countdown clock to WrestleMania 32 and F4W MANIA~! 

Click here for the complete run down. Bus seats are still available for the WrestleMania bus ride, but dinner is now sold out.

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Figure Four Weekly 3/21/2016: Hulk Hogan awarded $115 million (sort of) by jury

Hulk Hogan is awarded $115 million by jury over the Gawker sex tape lawsuit. Will he collect?



Wrestling Observer Newsletter

READ IT HERE: March 28, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Hogan wins Gawker lawsuit, MMA legalized in NY, Wrestlemania weekend preview, more  

Well before the Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker Media trial began, it was not a secret that Gawker believed they would lose the case before a jury, but believed they would win it on appeal.

But in a trial that got worldwide attention, as much for the questions of what constitutes legitimate news versus invasion of privacy, as the fact Hogan was involved, Gawker never saw what was coming.

A St. Petersburg jury of six people awarded Hogan $140.1 million, even more than the $100 million he was asking for, with one juror making it clear the figure was because they wanted to send a message to the company.

Current subscribers click here to continue reading.

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Check out the latest Online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: February 15, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Reaction to the death of Giant Baba, 2 wrestlers have heart scares, plus tons more  A look at the surprising public reaction to the death of Giant Baba, 2 wrestlers have heart attack scares, plus tons of news and notes.

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Raw, Jon Jones and taking your questions for the show which can be sent to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was arrested once again early Friday morning and the Albuquerque Police Department released video of the incident. According to Jones, he revved up his engine at a stop light, but noted he wasn't speeding and was not arrested on a speeding violation. The officer pulled him over and he was given citations for vehicle disturbance (revving the engine up), an illegible license plate, unable to maintain a traffic lane and exhibition driving. 

The video linked includes the confrontation which saw the two go back-and-forth with Jones calling the officer a "complete f***ing liar" and "how can you sleep at night?" and the officer telling Jones he's lucky he's not going to jail for reckless driving. If it wasn't so sad, the video is actually entertaining because the officer has some quick and funny comebacks when Jones was calling him all kinds of names.  Jones appeared today on Ariel Helwani's MMA Hour and said he was driving home from dinner with his teammates and pulled up at a red light in his Corvette, saw some fans, and revved up the engine to get a pop. Jones called his lawyer while he was pulled over. He has a court date on 4/5. 

This could be a major breakthrough in concussion diagnosis -- the ability to discern a concussion in a blood test.

Renzo Gracie on the MMA Hour today said that he's been training Georges St-Pierre, that St-Pierre is definitely coming back "sooner than later," and is in his best shape. He talked about it like St-Pierre would come back to challenge for the welterweight title. Gracie has said this before but this was the first time in such a public forum. 

For what this is worth, John Cena is strongly rumored from those in the building to be on Raw tonight. Obviously, he is in New York since he was on The Today Show earlier today, and will be on The Today Show again tomorrow. There are also four non-numbered seats in the front row. Brie Bella is also at Raw.   

Bubba the Love Sponge was on Howard Stern today. Stern tried to get him to talk about the Hogan situation but he didn't answer many questions, other than saying he was happy that Hogan won the case.

WWE

  • The company announced today that Pamela J. Murrin has been hired as its new Senior Vice President of Data Strategy. She came from Time Warner Cable where she was Group Vice President of Marketing Analytics and Insights and had worked there for the past 15 years. Prior to that she worked in the same field with HBO and American Express. She will work under Tandy O'Donoghue, the EVP of Strategy and Analytics. It's a new position and she will be responsible for analyzing data and providing insights and strategies from that data across all lines of business and oversee metadata management initiatives.
  • Karl Anderson was at the Performance Center in Orlando earlier today. As noted, his arrival on television in WWE, along with that of Doc Gallows, is imminent.  
  • Behind the Scenes at WrestleMania week with Paul Heyman can be seen here.
  • The LAW interview with Dean Ambrose talking Terry Funk and WrestleMania can be read here.
  • HHH is on the new cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine. Sasha Banks did a photo shoot today for Muscle & Fitness Hers magazine.
  • Paul Levesque has announced these dates for NXT shows:
    • 5/5 in Salina, KS
    • 5/6 in Oklahoma City
    • 5/7 in Tulsa
    • 5/12 in Seattle
    • 5/13 in Spokane
    • 5/14 in Portland
  • The "Thank You Daniel" shot on the WWE Network airs tonight after Raw. They shot tons of footage of him before and after the interview in Seattle where he announced his retirement.
  • Results from the house show yesterday in Washington, DC: Goldust b Adam Rose, Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch b Naomi & Tamina with Natalya as referee, Kalisto b Rusev for U.S. title, Ryback b Sin Cara, Big E & Kofi Kingston won three-way over Usos and Dudleys for tag title, Big Show & Kane b Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan, Miz b Jack Swagger, Kevin Owens won three-way over A.J Styles and Sami Zayn for the IC title, Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose b King Barrett & Sheamus. Matches went the same as they did on the other weekend shows (thanks to Ed Lang, Matt Gerson and Will Holder) 
  • Brian Fritz talked with Roman Reigns about WrestleMania. That can be read here. He also spoke to Bayley which you can read here. You can also listen to the interviews. 
  • A Yahoo interview with Paul Heyman can be read here.
  • JTG is releasing a second book, called "Damn, Why Did I Write this Book Too?" a comedic look at his days in WWE.  
  • The Sports Illustrated article we talked about on the show last night can be seen here. Expect tons of ESPN coverage for WrestleMania. They have sent Jonathan Coachman to the show and are treating it like it's a major sporting event.
  • WWE stock closed at $17.89 per share today, up 77 cents.

UFC

  • Even after the result of their first fight, FiveDimes.com has opened with Conor McGregor as a -140 favorite over Nate Diaz provided they have a rematch at UFC 200, which is expected to be announced soon.
  • The usual UFC Memorial Weekend big show isn't taking place this year due to the PPV being two weeks earlier at the soccer stadium in Curitiba, Brazil. But they are doing a show the Sunday of that weekend at the Mandalay Bay Events Center headlined by Cody Garbrandt vs. Thomas Almeida, Renan Barao vs. Jeremy Stephens and Jorge Masvidal vs. Lorenz Larkin for FS 1. Tickets go on sale Wednesday for Fight Pass members and Friday to the public priced at $175, $125, $75 and $50.
  • Paige VanZant's second week on Dancing with the Stars airs tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.  

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Fenix suffered a badly broken nose Saturday night at the Lucha Underground tapings.
  • The family of Roddy Piper has asked people have a moment of silence on 4/17 (which would have been Piper's 62nd birthday) in honor of him.
  • Fox News on the Hogan vs. Gawker case with more info here.
  • Taz will be doing a post-WrestleMania radio show with Jim Ross and Todd Grisham on 200 stations starting at 11 p.m. Sunday night.
  • There are some tickets left for Jim Ross' shows on Saturday afternoon, Saturday night (at 11 p.m. after the Hall of Fame) and Monday night (an hour after Raw) at the House of Blues in Dallas. There will be a surprise guest expected to appear.
  • SA (for Smart Ass) magazine in the U.K. has released its list of the 100 Sexiest Women alive. I have no idea how they do this list but on the list include independent wrestler Su Yung at No. 67, Paige at No. 62, Rima Fakih, who once appeared on Tough Enough at No. 34, April Brooks, who used to be A.J. Lee at No. 28, and Gail Kim at No. 15.
  • Evolve has announced two new matches for the 4/2 show at Noon in Dallas at Eddie Dean's Ranch, which is the show with the Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay match. They are Chris Hero vs. Fred Yehi and Sami Callihan vs. Anthony Nese. Ethan Page will also wrestle someone from the WWN seminar/tryout. Eddie Dean's Ranch is at 944 S. Lamar St. in downtown Dallas, next to the Convention Center and within minutes from all the WrestleMania events. Unlike last year when WWE tried to lock down Santa Clara county (didn't succeed, but tried), this year most of the key shows (ROH, Evolve, WWN, WrestleCon) are within a few minutes of each other. There will be a wide variety of food available at the Eddie Deen's shows. WWN is asking fans not to use foul or offensive language at the shows.
  • The Terry Funk tailgate party will take place starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday at the Collins Entertainment Center across the street from AT&T Stadium. There are dinner options for $25 and a Terry Funk meet and greet for $30, which includes an autograph and you can shoot a photo on your own device, plus there will be live wrestling at the event.
  • CZW on Friday night at 8 p.m. at Eddie Deen's Ranch in Dallas has Matt Tremont vs. Masada in a no rope barbed wire match for the CZW title, Cherry Bomb vs. Jessicka Havok for the WSU title, Sami Callihan vs. Bull Dempsey, Devon Moore & Lucky & Danny Havoc vs. Drew & Rory Gulak & Chuck Taylor in a tables match, David Starr vs. Dave Crist, Joe Gacy vs. Tim Donst and AR Fox issuing an open challenge.
  • Big Valley Wrestling from yesterday in Las Vegas:  Jakob Austin Young b Suede Thompson-DQ, Jason Muse b The Beast, Mike Da'Lite & Allie Parker b Nick Bugatti & Mazeratti, Lethal Lee & Rick Tenacious b FOE, Owen Travers b Greg Romero-DQ, King Gamera & Jace Battle b Leon Hater & Jayson Cash, Hyperstreak b Adam Reyes, James Slade b Loony Bin (thanks to Mike Trask)  
  • CWE on 6/4 in Morden Manitoba at the Morden Block Party Street Festival
  • Ignite Wrestling from Friday night in Fort Pierce, FL:  Damien James b Gabriel Black, Lince Dorado NC Jesus (Ricardo Rodriguez), Santana Garrett b Angel Rose, JB Cool b Mark Silva, Chico Adams & Bradyton Knight b James Anthony & Victor Andrews, Lio Rush b  Dezmond Xavier, Lince Dorado & Jesus Rodriguez b Jon Cruz & Jay Rios and Ace Andrews & Rex Bacchus in a three-way.
  • Pro Wrestling Syndicate Bombshells Ladies of Wrestling in Sayreville, NJ on Saturday night:  Kelly Klein b Kennadi Brink, Veda Scott b Leva Bates, Annie Social b Deonna Purrazzo, Candy Cartwright b Karen Q, Mia Yim (TNA Jade) b Kimber Lee, Pinky Shortcake b Marti Belle (TNA), Missy Sampson b Terra Calaway, Heidi Lovelace b Santana Garrett to win the Bombshells Majestic title
  • Championship Wrestling Entertainment will have the Rise of a Queen tournament on Friday night in Orlando at the Team Vision Dojo with a tournament that will include Santana Garrett, Rachel Ellering (daughter of Paul, trainee of Lance Storm), Raquel of TNA, Chelsea Diamond of Stardom, Tammy Lynn, Shaniah Ariyana, Rachel Freeman and Amber Flora (who was a late cut from Tough Enough).
  • Heroes and Legend Wrestling VI in Fort Wayne, IN on Saturday night:  Super Dunkerton won Battle Royal, Rod Street b Colt Cabana, Russ Jones b Nick Cutler, Sybil Starr b Sin-D, Zach Gowen & Gregory Iron b Apollo Starr & Remi Wilkins, Too Cold Scorpio b  Eli McFly, Suger Dunkerton won three-way over Zema Ion and Troy Miller to win the cruiserweight title, Billy Gunn b Anthony Toatele, Tracy Smothers & Bobby Fulton b Jake Omen & Scott Young to win the tag team titles, Tatanka b Kongo Kong, Abyss b Dru Skillz-DQ (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • I Believe in Wrestling on Saturday in Orlando at the Team Vision Dojo with Jesus Rodriguez and Pablo Marquez.
  • United Wrestling Coalition on 4/9 in Wrightstown, NJ at Kelly's Bar and Banquet Hall.
  • Booker T will appear at the Icons of Wrestling & Comic Book Collectorfest on 4/16 in Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena, prior to the House of Hardcore show.  Also appearing will be Bobby Heenan. Shawn Michaels, Ricky Steamboat, Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, Mickie James, Tommy Dreamer, Billy Gunn, Road Warrior Animal, Stan Hansen, Howard Finkel, Lady Blossom, Lex Luger, Marty Jannetty, Ron Bass, Rhino, Sabu, Abyss, Mil Mascaras, Jimmy Hart, Sean Waltman, Gorgeous George, Tito Santana, Dennis Tamp, Snitsky, Brian Myers, Bull James, Sami Callihan, Brian Cage, Shane Douglas, Little Guido, Justin Credible, Blue Meanie, Roadkill, Kevin Thorn, Domino, Maven, Bill Apter, Danny Cage, Jade, SoCal Val, Amber Gallows, Melissa Coates, Christina Von Eerie and Veda Scott.
  • The card that night at 7 p.m. has Rob Van Dam vs. Rhino, Chris Hero & Colt Cabana vs. Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr., Brian Cage vs. Sami Callihan, Bull James vs. Billy Gunn, Tommy Dreamer vs. Pepper Parks, Jade vs. Thea Trinidad plus Tony Nese, Eddie Kingston, Alex Reynolds, Ben Ortiz, Team Tremendous, SoCal Val and more.
  • Rockstar Pro on iPPV Wednesday night from the Rockstar Pro Arena in Dayton with David Starr vs Shane Strickland. The 4/3 card will be free admission for Fan Appreciation Night.
  • A Chavo Guerrero comic book can be seen here.

Today in professional wrestling history: Daily pro wrestling history (03/28): John Cena wins WWE Championship

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