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Daily Update: WWE Extreme Rules preview, Conor McGregor speaks

WWE EXTREME RULES TODAY AT 7:30 P.M. EASTERN FROM THE PRUDENTIAL CENTER IN NEWARK, NJ ON THE WWE NETWORK AND PPV

Looking at this show on paper, it should be really strong.  This also feels more about blow-offs where as last month was more about doing finishes that built to rematches three weeks later.  With Money in the Bank, it's more about a strong WWE title match and then the right people underneath in the Money in the Bank match.  With John Cena and Seth Rollins likely back for that show and Money in the Bank having more interest than most shows, it should be the biggest one since Mania.  Follow along live with Dave Meltzer.

Bryan and I will be back tonight with a huge Wrestling Obsever radio, covering Extreme Rules, more on Cody Runnels, Sasha Banks, PWG, New Japan Super Juniors, Tanahashi, Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz and more.  You can send questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com 

We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's Extreme Rules 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

Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin preshow match - This match has happened several times already.  We know it's a decent match.  If we're judging this on 50/50 booking rules, Corbin won the last TV match, but Ziggler won the last PPV match.  Corbin at this stage should win, but he should have last month as well.

Kalisto vs. Rusev for U.S. title - I'd go with a title change here.  The belt will mean more with Rusev defending against the new group of top faces.  Rusev & Lana are a strong act and for a lot of reasons, they've been downplayed.  

Usos vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson tornado match - The Usos won the last TV match, and Anderson & Gallows should be put over to build for a title feud, so that should make them the favorites.  Should be a good match.  

Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho asylum cage match - Ambrose did win the first match, but Jericho's role in this program is to make Ambrose stronger.  The rules here are no escapes from the cage and only a pin or submission can win.  There will be all kinds of weapons used.  This should also be a good match.

Charlotte vs. Natalya submissions match for women's title - Natalya's role here was always to eventually put Charlotte over and to have good matches in the process.  The last PPV match was hurt by the finish.  This is more difficult as you can't do near falls.  Still, Natalya has studied submissions with Josh Barnett to expand her game so this may be the match for her too really shine in. 

New Day vs Vaudevillains for tag team title - The crowd will go crazy for the ring entrance.  The match should be good, and we'll probably see the best of the Vaudevillains because those two have never been in a match anywhere near this level of importance.  I think there are better heel teams on the roster and no reason for this program to be lengthy.  The only reason I could see a Vaudevillains win is to do a long program.

The Miz vs. Cesaro vs Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens for IC title - For the title right now, Owens would be the best champion.  This kind of match is designed for a heel to get a fluke win and Miz has gotten beaten at every turn in the build up, and in WWE, that usually makes them the favorite in the match.  This does have a shot with the talent involved to be the best match on the show.  Plus, with Money in the Bank coming, Cesaro, Zayn and Owens all fit good into that match and Miz can always get a new title program.   

Roman Reigns vs. A.J. Styles in an extreme rules match for the WWE title - We've almost been promised a ton of outside interference.  I don't think anyone expects Styles is going to win.  Styles is an incredible big match wrestler and Reigns has been strong in his PPV singles matches.

The smart money doesn't appear to be in yet but here were tonight's odds

  • Roman Reigns -1050
  • A.J. Styles +550
     
  • New Day -720
  • Vaudevillains +440
     
  • Charlotte -840
  • Natalya +480
     
  • Rusev -900
  • Kalisto +500
     
  • The Miz -600
  • Cesaro +725
     
  • Kevin Owens +1100
  • Sami Zayn +1400
     
  • Dean Ambrose -1200
  • Chris Jericho +600
     
  • Baron Corbin -900
  • Dolph Ziggler +500  

NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS ON MONDAY FROM NIIGATA (this won't air live but should be up sometime Monday on New Japan World)

  • Satoshi Kojima & Jay White & Ricochet vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi & Will Ospreay
  • Yuji Nagata & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Katsuyori Shibata & Juice Robinson & Volador Jr.
  • Matt Sydal vs. Bushi
  • Kyle O'Reilly vs. Gedo
  • Ryusuke Taguchi vs. David Finlay
  • Kushida vs. Rocky Romero
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yoshitatsu & Captain New Japan & Bobby Fish vs. Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens
  • Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Trent Baretta vs. Tetsuya Naito & Seiya Sanada & Evil

Raw will be Monday night in Baltimore at the Royal Farms Arena.

NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS ON TUESDAY FROM YAMAGATA (this won't air live but should be up sometimeTuesday on New Japan World)

  • David Finlay & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Gedo & Yoshi-Hashi
  • Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima & Kyle O'Reilly & Matt Sydal vs. Katsuyori Shibata & Kushida & Juice Robinson & Jay White
  • Tiger Mask vs. Volador jr.
  • Jushin Liger vs. Chase Owens
  • Bobby Fish vs. Ricochet
  • Will Ospreay vs. Trent Baretta
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yoshitatsu & Captain New Japan vs. Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi
  • Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii & Rocky Romero vs. Tetsuya Naito & Seiya Sanada & Evil & Bush

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Norfolk.  

    THE ROUND-UP


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    Figure Four Weekly 5/16/2016: WWE concussion lawsuit deposition takes a strange turn - Details on the developments in WWE's concussion lawsuit, and more. Find out all the details in this weeks issue of Figure Four Weekly.



    Wrestling Observer Newsletter

    READ IT HERE: May 23, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WWE Extreme Rules preview, Vince McMahon sells portion of WWE stock, tons more 

    A look at what's next for WWE after Extreme Rules, the UFC sale with lots of exclusive info, Vince & Linda McMahon selling their stock, Chris Weidman's injury and how that changes plans, the staggering drop in kids viewing for WWE and exactly who watches the TV today, plus UFC 198 coverage and Best of The Super Juniors tournament news are among the stories covered in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

    More on the injury returns and summer ideas and why WWE could have its deepest talent roster in a long time in very short order. Plus, talk about the NXT/WWE balance and why talent is actually more important for arena business if in NXT.

    There is also an extenisve look at the Extreme Rules show.

    In addition, updates on the UFC sale, including news about who is in, who is not in, what it all means, what is being sold, where Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta fit in and UFC fixture who indicates he's likely gone if the sale goes through, all in covered in this issue.

    A glimpse into Vince McMahon's stock sale, what it means, how much money did he get, and how his stock sale only increased the difference in the value of UFC vs. WWE, and for how much Vince McMahon bought the company.

    More on the injury to Chris Weidman, how it happened, his future, Michael Bisping's title shot and more on UFC 1999.

    Also in this issue, find out who watches WWE on television and how many in each different age group.

    Find out how WWE has changed the schedule of the Cruiserweight tournament and why, more on the arrest of Adam Rose, more on Stephanie McMahon's book, how Stephanie will be pushed on television going forward, how Stephanie will be marketed as the face of the company, and another WWE firing.

    Finally, there's full coverage of UFC 198, including business notes including early estimates on success, ramifications of the show, match-by-match coverage, looking at the judging of close fights and poll results.

    CLICK HERE FOR A FULL PREVIEW

    Current subscribers click here to continue reading.


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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. 

    SUNDAY NEWS

    Cody Runnels has left WWE as noted yesterday.  As best we can tell it's not an angle and he has said he will explain his reasons soon.  Wife Brandi wrote on Twitter that she's getting ready to work tonight's show and talked about false rumors being spread.  His brother Dustin (aka Goldust) worked a WWE house show last night.  

    Conor McGregor was on ESPN this morning for an interview with Kenny Mayne, his first TV interview in the U.S. since the UFC 200 debacle went down. He called his issues with Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta a "publicized civil war" and didn't say really anything new other than he was thinking of going to the press conference in Las Vegas and never imagined things would turn out like they did.  Well, had he done that, everything would have ended up better off. He was throwing around fake numbers like he was Hulk Hogan, clamming that he made UFC $400 million from him last week. He talked about all the attention he got on Twitter, about the discussed Floyd Mayweather fight with his version of the story that Mayweather was supposed to get $100 million and he was to get $7 million, and he's not taking a pay cut to fight him. He said Mayweather needs him because he's got nobody else he can make money with in boxing. 

    Some additions to the Victoria World Trios Cup tournament which takes place 6/3 in Puebla and 6/5 in Mexico City:

    • Team Mexico Internacional:  Dr. Wagner Jr. & Dragon Azteca Jr. & Rey Mysterio Jr.
    • Team Lucha Underground:  Johnny Mundo & Brian Cage & Chavo Guerrero Jr.
    • On the women's side: Team USA: Cheerleader Melissa (not under a mask like in Lucha Underground) & Santana Garrett & Sienna (Allysin Kay).

    As of this writing, day two of the Best of the Super Juniors tournament isn't up on New Japan World, but should be up some time later in the day.

    WWE

    • Regarding Seth Rollins questions, he is ready to return now, but it's a question of the exact time and situation. There are all kinds of rumors and the only thing we just heard from someone backstage at Extreme Rules is that they haven't seen him but have heard the talk.  With John Cena as an advertised return, he's more likely to be a surprise at some point.
    • The Shane McMahon podcast with Mick Foley will air after Raw tomorrow night. 
    • The aforementioned Cena will appear Wednesday night on the Late Late Show with James Cordon on CBS. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
    • WWE hired a new announcer named Austin Romero, who started on Friday working the NXT tour using the name Mike Rome.
    • A new Camp WWE will be out this week on the Network.

    UFC

    • UFC is releasing a new Fight Pass series called "Where Are They Now?"  The first season will start airing shortly and will be six episodes long, covering Din Thomas, Tait Fletcher, Shonie Carter, Bobby Southworth, Noah Inhofer and Luke Cummo, who were all past fighters on The Ultimate Fighter when the show was doing big ratings.

    MISCELLANEOUS

    • Raven is doing a DVD on ring psychology and building matches and working matches.
    • Preston City Wrestling from last night in Liverpool before a sellout of 500 fans.  The show was sold out in advance in a new market.  They announced a return to Liverpool of 11/18 and put tickets on sale last night.  They ran on 6/4 back in Preston with Drew Galloway as the headliner. Scott Hall was there and got great reports on how nice he was and how much he was popping watching the John Morrison vs. Noam Dar match. Hall worked in Grado's corner for the main event where he lost his PCW title bid to champion Sha Samuels.  Lionheart b Dave Rayne, Sammy Ward b Jimmy Jay (making his pro debut), Viper b Session Moth Martina, Noam Dar b John Morrison, Iestyn Rees b Bram, Dave Mastiff b Joe Hendry, Bubblegum b Dean Allmark (easily a ****+ match I'm told) Sha Samuels b Grado to win PCW title. (thanks to Stephen Lyon)
    • NSPW drew a record sellout crowd of 631 in Quebec City last night:  Team Montreal b Team Quebec City in a War Games cage match, Shayne Hawke b Alex Price in a hair color vs. hair color match, Heavy Metal Chaos & Vanessa Kraven b 3.0 & Coach Enzo, The Foundation b StrangeBulls, Matt Angel b Cedric Alexander to keep the NSPW jr. title, Dru Onyx & Surfer Mitch b Kickin n Stompin-DQ, Marko Estrada b Travis Toxic.  With the win, and no title defense scheduled until 9/10, Estrada will break Edouard Carpentier's record for the longest champion in Quebec history.  Carpentier held the Montreal Athletic Commission title, sometimes called world and sometimes called International title, from January 30, 1963 to September 30, 1965. (thanks to Pat Laprade)
    • Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling did a 57th anniversary of Wrestling at the Chase show last night and set its all-time record crowd in East Carondelet, IL of 375 fans.  Barbara Goodish, the wife of Bruiser Brody, as the special guest at the show.  Chris Harges & Brandon Espinosa b Ken Kasa in a handicap match when Kasa filed to win over them in 15 minutes (that was an old Sam Muchnick style handicap match that dates back to the Frank Gotch days), Moondog Rover b Jimmy D, Sean Vincent b Dave Vaughn-DQ, Cooter & Daniel Gunner b Brandon Tucker & Jason Chaos, Johnny Blade b Flaming Fury Ax & Troll b Big Jim Hoffarth & Jason Vaughn, Gary Jackson b Curtis Wylde, Attila Kahn b Ron Powers-DQ, Big Jim Hoffarth won Bruiser Brody Memorial Battle Royal (thanks to Larry Matysik).
    • Freedom Pro Wrestling from last night at the Nashville Fairgrounds before 325 fans:  Among those at the meet and greet were Kevin Nash, Eric Young, Tatanka, MVP and Rockstar Spud.  Nash was the guest General Manger and said he was supposed to wrestle but he's too old.  They made fun of C.M. Punk at the show.  Robbie E came out and cut down Nashville (even though he's a face in TNA) and Punk's music came out.  They had a guy in a La Parka mask wearing a C.M. Punk T-shirt as "La Marka" doing a C.M. Punk routine.  The idea is that he's a "Mark," and was so enamored seeing Kevin Nash that Robbie E then threw him out of the ring:  Ethan Carter III b Robbie E, The Mest Brothers b Motley Two, Samuel Shaw b Shawn Schultz, MVP b Teddy Fine, Arams b D3 and Action Ortiz in a three-way, James Storm b Crimson, C.J. O'Doyle b Tatanka, Eric Young b Rockstar Spud.  Crimson cut a promo on Nash, who was likely gone by this time, and then challenged two members of the Tennessee Titans at ringside (Dorial Green-Beckham was one of them) and then Chase Stevens and then said he wanted a former world champion, and that's when Storm's music played.  Young worked as a face in the main event.  They announced 7/2 as a return date with Tommy Dreamer, Stevie Richards and Blue Meanie announced (thanks to Lee Thomas).
    • Smash Infinity on 6/11 in Oshawa, ONT at the Harmony Creek Community and Events Centre.
    • Conflict Wrestling on 6/12 in Kitchener, ONT at 3 p.m. with Will White vs. John Atlas as the main event.
    • Lucha Libre Mexicana on 5/28 in Shawnee, KS at Soccer Nation features Tinieblas Jr.
    • St. Louis Anarchy from Friday night in Alton, IL:  Jojo Bravo b Sammy Guevara, Kevin Lee Davidson b Ken Phoenix, Paco Gonzalez & Mike Outlaw & Nick Cutler & Jason Roberts b Evan Gelistico & Danny Adams & Everett Connors & Austin Blackburn, Zakk Sawyers & Mikey McFinnegan b Alexandre Rudolph & Jake Parnell, Stephen Wolf b Curt Stallion, Gerald James b Jonathan Gresham, Ricky Stars b Alex Castle, Devin & Mason Cutter b Nick Iggy & Kerry Awful, Mat Fitchett b Evan Gelistico, TJ Perkins b Davey Vega (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer) 
    • St. Louis Anarchy from last night in Alton, IL:  Nick Iggy & Kerry Awful b Nick Cutler & Ken Phoenix, Jake Parnell b Danny Adams in a Hardcore match, Zakk Sawyers & Mikey McFinnegan b Devin & Mason Cutter, Everett Connors b Angelus Layne-DQ, Jonathan Gresham b Davey Vega, Mike Outlaw won four-way over Ricky Stars, Curt Stallion and Jason Roberts, Gerald James b Alexandre Rudolph, Evan Gelistico & Austin Blackburn b Jojo Bravo & Paco Gonzalez, Mat Fitchett b TJ Perkins (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
    • IWA Mid South on 5/26 in Clarksville, IN  at Jammerz with Reed Bentley defending the title against Joseph Schwartz in the main event.
    • ECCW 20th anniversary show from last night in New Westminster, BC before 250 fans:  Buddy Wayne b Alex Plexis, Dynamite Dan & Pete Powers b Jamie Diaz & Air Adonis, Shreddz b Bishop, Moondog Manson won Battle Royal, The Cunninghams & Ray Brooks b Ladies Choice & Skag Rollins & Wrathchild, Phantasmo b Moondog Manson in a Hardcore match for the title.  Original owner Dave Republic came out and cut a promo about the history of the group and brought out early stars Abbadon and Dr. Luther. (thanks to Travis Woloshyn)   
    • Pure Wrestling Association on 5/28 in Campbell River, BC at the Navy League Hall.
    • Ring Wars Carolinas on 6/18 in Lumberton, NC at the Priscilla King Arena.
    • Steel City Wrestling on 6/19 in Hamilton, ONT at the Knights of Columbus.
    • Lucha Xtreme TV from last night in Fresno:  Manny Fernandez b Anthony Idol-COR, Homicide DDQ Brandon Groom.  Next show is 7/5 in Hanford, CA at The Longfield Center with Manny Fernandez and Homicide. (thanks to Jon Southerland) 
    • Article on a minis show in Atlantic City (thanks to John Adams Jr.)

    EVENTS

    • June 4 - UFC 199 from the Forum in Los Angeles with Michael Bisping getting his first title opportunity of his career battling Luke Rockhold for the middleweight belt
    • June 5 - AAA's Victoria World Cup men and women's trio tournament finals at Los Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City which will be a live iPPV show
    • June 7 - New Japan Best of the Super Juniors finals from Sendai live on New Japan World
    • June 8 - NXT Takeover from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL featuring Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor in a cage match plus a loaded lineup that includes American Alpha vs. The Revival and probably Shinsuke Nakamura vs Austin Aries, which could be WWE's match of the month.
    • June 12 - TNA Slammiversary headlined by Drew Galloway vs. Bobby Lashley for the TNA title from Orlando
    • June 12 - Revolution Pro Wrestling in London, England headlined by Kurt Angle vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
    • June 18 - UFC in Ottawa: Rory McDonald vs. Stephen Thompson
    • June 19 - New Japan Dominion, one of the company's biggest events of the year, featuring Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada in an IWGP title match and Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi in a ladder match for the IC title
    • June 19 - WWE Money in the Bank from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas 
    • June 24 - ROH Best in the World from Concord, NC with Jay Lethal vs. Jay Briscoe for the ROH title 
    • June 25 - Ultima Lucha tapings in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles at The Temple
    • June 26 - Ultima Lucha tapings in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles at The Temple   
    • July 7-11 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.