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Daily Update: WWE Payback, McGregor, Bellator fighter leg amputation

WWE Payback


It's a big night for WWE. Payback was expected to be sold out with a legit crowd of more than 11,000 at the Allstate Arena today. It wasn't completely sold out as of yesterday, but was close. Raw was about 4,000 tickets shy of a sellout in St. Louis, so that ends the streak of consecutive Raw sellouts that dates back to the end of February. The Wrestling Observer has you covered for the WWE Payback. Follow along with Dave Meltzer. We're looking for your thoughts on today's WWE Payback show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match todave@wrestlingobserver.com"> dave@wrestlingobserver.com


      *Roman Reigns vs. A.J. Styles for WWE title - Much of the intrigue here is based on how Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows will be used. Will they interfere? Will they interfere to help A.J. Styles or screw Styles. Does Finn Balor debut? The match should be great. Styles is one of the best big match wrestlers in the business and it's his first WWE PPV main event. Plus, as the challenger, he's in a natural babyface role. Still, I don't expect a title change. It makes no sense to spend two years straight building for Reigns to get his big WrestleMania title win to reverse it a month later.

      *Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho - For a long-term program, Jericho going over first wouldn't be a bad idea, but considering Ambrose lost at Mania and Jericho won, one would think Ambrose is winning this one. On paper this should also be a good match.

      *Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens - This would be the highest profile match the two have had with each other. This should be the show stealer. The way I'd book it is Zayn winning clean, and then Owens wins the U.S. title very quickly (since that title is pretty much useless right now) and Zayn can challenge for it.

      *The Miz vs. Cesaro for IC title - This will be interesting because it's not the right time for either of these two to lose. Miz & Maryse just got put together as an act and it's early to take the title from them, and early for Cesaro to win a title, but it's also early for Cesaro to lose. My feeling is Miz retains in some form, but in a manner of building a rematch.    

      *Charlotte vs. Natalya for women's title (Ric Flair and Bret Hart in the corners) - This is really big because it was the Charlotte vs. Natalya match a few years ago in NXT that was the catalyst in opening a lot of eyes to the idea that women could be higher on shows and is also the reason Charlotte got put in the position she's in now. The two had a great match in Toronto and the timing is right for them to have a similar match as in Orlando, if not better. I have a sense this could be the most important match on the show when viewed in hindsight.

      *Enzo & Cass vs. Vaudevillains for a tag team title shot -With the New Day as champs, the Vaudevillains make sense to go over.  But Enzo & Cass are getting over and the Vaudevillains act was just thrown at the people with almost no explanation, so nobody cares about it.  So figure either the Dudleys interfere and cost Enzo & Cass, or they go with Enzo & Cass and do a face vs. face tag title match.

      *Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin - This is the test of Ziggler.  Corbin is okay, but never much above average.  A great wrestler like Austin Aries got an acceptable match out of him at Takeover, but it was still clearly the worst bout on that show.  So we'll see how Ziggler does with him.  Any result but Corbin winning makes no sense.  That doesn't mean it happens that way. 

      *Kalisto vs Ryback for the U.S. title (preshow match at 7:30 p.m.) - Given Kalisto won at WrestleMania, I could see this going the other way.  If not, no real reason to book it.  

      The other big thing on the show is Vince McMahon announcing who is in charge regarding Stephanie and Shane McMahon. The most illogical major angle in wrestling history is likely to continue here. It makes the most sense for this to end up with some sort of a competition, since picking Stephanie is too easy and expected, and picking Shane makes zero sense in the storyline. Really, a competition makes no sense given the storyline, but it's the best thing for interest.

      The smart money wasn't in for Payback at this writing. So here were the latest odds for today:

      • K alisto -245 vs. Ryback +175 
      • Dolph Ziggler -150 vs. Baron Corbin +110
      • Enzo & Cass -195 vs. Vaudevillains +155
      • Charlotte -320 vs. Natalya +240
      • Kevin Owens -245 vs. Sami Zayn +175
      • The Miz -270 vs. Cesaro +190
      • Dean Ambrose -750 vs. Chris Jericho +450
      • Roman Reigns -600 vs. A.J. Styles +400 

      Raw will be Monday night in St. Louis at the Scottrade Center.

      Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.


      • Captain New Japan & Juice Robinson vs. Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi
      • Tiger Mask & Ryusuke Taguchi & Jay White & David Finlay vs. Kazushi Sakuraba & Yoshi-Hashi & Will Ospreay & Gedo
      • Rocky Romero & Trent Baretta vs. Matt Sydal & Ricochet for IWGP jr. tag titles
      • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin & Yoshitatsu vs. Kenny Omega & Young Bucks for Never six man tag titles
      • Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa for IWGP tag team titles
      • Katsuyori Shibata vs. Yuji Nagata for Never title
      • Kushida vs. Jushin Liger for IWGP jr. title
      • Hirooki Goto vs. Evil
      • Kazuchika Okada vs. Seiya Sanada
      • Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii for IWGP heavyweight title

      We're going to be doing a poll for Tuesday's New Japan Wrestling Dontaku show.

      We're also looking for reports on last a night's ROH show in West Warwick, RI to dave@wrestlingobserver.com">dave@wrestlingobserver.com.


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      Figure Four Weekly 4/25/2016: Concussion lawsuit update - All the inside information you would ever want to know about concussion lawsuits.

      Wrestling Observer Newsletter

      READ IT HERE: The death of Joanie "Chyna" Laurer and the saga of Conor McGregor and UFC

      The life and career of Joanie "Chyna" Laurer and the saga of Conor McGregor out of UFC 200 and Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier as the new main event are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. There is also an update the TNA situation, with tons of notes on the future of TNA and Lucha Underground and one of the best wrestlers in the world joins ROH.

      The lead story looks at the life of Joanie Laurer. The story examines the circumstances of her death, the publicity it received, the media coverage that never looked past the surface and was almost totally lacking context regarding her role in wrestling, and her post wrestling life. The story also looks at her start in pro wrestling, how she got into WWE, her role in the ascension of HHH to the top of the card, how she was booked, how the relationship with HHH benefited her, and just how hot pro wrestling was during that time period.

      A look back at her IC title win and the back story, and why her title reign was so short along with a look at her run with Eddy Guerrero, doing Playboy, her departure from WWE, why she never lost the women's title, her most-watched match of her career and it wasn't in WWE, the attempt to make her a star in Japan, the WWE Hall of Fame and her life after wrestling, all in this issue.

      This issue examines how Conor McGregor managed to get himself off the biggest UFC event of the year, how his strategy backfired, the UFC press conferences, the new Cormier vs. Jones fight, business notes for UFC 200 as well as a rundown of UFC 197, with all the business news, match-by-match coverage, pay records and poll results.

      In this issue, there is a look at the upcoming Payback show, notes about the angle for power, the NXT title change, the return of John Cena, Bret Hart talks return to WWE, update on WWE Board of Directors, update on the concussion lawsuits and counter suits, WWE trying to make moves to Japan, WWE with new movie partnership, WWE wins awards and the update on the Global cruiserweight series. Finally, there is also a look at the Adam Rose suspension, a new WWE book, plus details on all the NXT shows over the past week as well as the complete WWE European tour.


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      All the news from WCW Uncensored 1999, why the double turn was attempted, and more will be in the latest back issue.
      Check out the latest Online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: March 15, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WCW Uncensored review, Hogan/Flair double turn, history of Flair's title wins, tons more  There is also a full break down of Ric Flair's title history, plus tons of news and notes.


      Jordan Parsons, a Bellator fighter who was to be on the show in San Jose on 5/14, had the bottom half of his right leg amputated today after being the victim of an apparent hit-and-run accident. He was listed earlier today in critical condition at Delray Medical Center in Delray Beach, FL. Parsons was to face Adam Piccolotti in San Jose. The hit-and-run took place on Lindell Blvd. and South Federal Highway in Delray Beach. Anyone with any information regarding this is asked to call the Delray Beach Police Department at 561-243-7800. Dave Doyle has more on the story. Parsons was a top Bellator prospect at featherweight with a 12-2 record. He had recently lost a split decision to fellow prospect Bubba Jenkins and was scheduled to face Adam Piccolotti on Bellator's next show onMay 14th. Parsons has been pulled from that fight as a result of the accident but no announcement has been made as of yet if they will find a new opponent for Piccolotti or if the bout will be scrapped entirely. 

      AAA will return to PPV in the U.S. and Canada with the finals of the Victoria World Cup, a multi-promotional tournament with a show on 6/5 from Los Palacios de los Deportes in Mexico City. NOAH, Lucha Underground and TNA will be sending teams. Last year's show was quite the unique spectacle. There will be both an English and a Spanish language feed for the show.

      Conor McGregor is coming off desperate in trying to keep his fight with Nate Diaz on the schedule in some form with another instragram message saying "Nobody gives a f*** about these other fights until this one is settled. Cut the bullsh**. Run it back." 

      For those who keep track of Observer back issues or are ordering back issues, the new 2015 year supplement, with the leading story in every issue, is $5 in Canada, $6 in the U.S. and 49 for international. It is also free for anyone who purchases a minimum $40 back issue order.  There is also a complete Observer index covering every issue dating back to 1983 available at grantsindex@nexicom.net  Grant Zwarych also has all pre-1991 back issues available as well as some issues from the 70s, and all the yearbooks that we used to do.

      Amir Khan, who faces Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night in Las Vegas for the WBC middleweight title in one of the bigger boxing matches of the year, was talking about going into MMA this week. Khan is part owner of the India-based Super Fight League promotion. (thanks to Brian Cooper) 


      • Noam Dar, who had already been announced in the tournament, won the qualifying match for the Global Cruiserweight series earlier today in London on the Revolution Pro show.  Dar beat Josh Bodom.
      • John Cena and Nikki Bella attended the white House Correspondents dinner last night that was all over the news.
      • Congratulations to Kofi Kingston. He and his wife had their second child, a boy named Orion Kingsley Sarkodie-Mensah,on Thursday. Kingston had gone home early from the European tour but did work Raw on Monday.
      • Seth Green talks the debuting Camp WWE animated series which debuts tonight on the network.
      • Ric Flair and Charlotte threw out the first pitch at the Cubs game this afternoon prior to the PPV. Summer Rae was supposed to do it yesterday but the game was rained out.


      • Scott D'Amore has announced that he will match all donations made to Joe Doering's Go Fund Me today for his hospital bills from his brain cancer surgery and treatment.
      • Season two of the TV show WAGS, which features Barbie Blank, the former Kelly Kelly, debuts on 6/26 in the Sunday at10 p.m. time slot.
      • Ricochet, Matt Sydal and Will Ospreay all arrived in Japan for yesterday's show in Oita. Ospreay worked the main event, an eight-man where Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Ospreay beat Tetsuya Naito & Seiya Sanada & Bushi & Evil with Ishii pinning Bushi with a brainbuster to take the fall. Ishii challenges Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP title early Wednesday morning on the most loaded up New Japan show since the Tokyo Dome. The Young Bucks worked for ROH in West Warwick, RI, so they weren't at today's show but left after the show for Japan.
      • Preston City Wrestling from yesterday in Blackpool, England:  Team Single b Ray Rowe & Hanson via DQ in a PCW tag title match, Dave Mastiff b Bram, Iestyn Rees b Charlie Garrett, Gangrel b Lionhart, Noam Dar b Philip Michael, Sha Samuels b Bubblegum, Zak & Roy Knight b Sha Samuels & James Davis.  Ray Rowe talked about coming back in November.  Main event pretty much had to have a DQ finish since the local tag champs were facing the ROH tag champs.  Dar's match was against a trainee as a warm up for his match toady. (thanks to Jan Buxton)
      • Silas Young appears on 5/20 in Sherwood Park, Alberta for the CWE promotion. On 5/26 in Brandon, Alberta, they have Lio Rush vs. Chase Owens vs. Jason Kincaid in a three-way match. 
      • Stardom results from Friday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo:  Azunmi & Kaori Yoneyama b Eimi Nishina & Starlight Kid, 2016 Cinderalla tournament results:  Jungle Kyouna b Saori Anou, Santana Garrett b Alex Lee, Kyoko Kimura b Kaori Yoneyama, Kairi Hojo b Momo Watanabe, Mayu Iwatani b Hiromi Mimura, Hiroyo Matsumoto b Kagetsu, Queen Maya b Alpha Female, Io Shirai b Diopsa Atenea, Hiroyo Matsumoto b Jungle Kyouna, Mayu Iwatani b Queen Maya, Santana Garrett d Kairi Hojo (both eliminated with the draw), Io Shirai DDQ Kyoko Kimura, Miyu Iwatani b Hiroyo Matsumoto to win tournament (thanks to Al Haft)
      • Capital City Championship Combat on 5/27 in Ottawa at the Vanier Columbus  Club.
      • Battlewar 35 on 5/29 in Montreal at Foufounes Electriques.
      • Absolute Intense Wrestling on 5/27 and 5/28 in Cleveland at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel has the J.T. Lightning Invitational tournament. Among those appearing this year are Homicide, Dan Severn, Tim Donst, Ray Rowe, Louis Lyndon, Tyson Dux, Tracy Williams, DJ Zema Ion, Colin Delaney, Cheech, Big Damo from the Europe, Laredo Kid, B.J. Whitmer, Brian Myers, Colt Cabana, Billy Gunn, Cedric Alexander, Veda Scott, Little Guido, Johnny Gargano, Candice LaRae, Josh Alexander and more.
      • Big Time Wresatling on 5/13 in Newark, CA at the Pavilion features midget wrestling, plus Chris Masters.
      • Pro Wrestling Championship Series from last night in Granite City, IL:  Jojo Bravo b Austin Blackburn, Mat Fitchett & Zakk Sawyers b Adam Caster & Danny Adams, Paco Gonzalez b Justin D'Air, Jake Dirden b Davey Vega, Evan Gelistico & Pierre Abernathy & Everett Connors b Makaze & Alexandre Rudolph & Jake Parnell, Gary Jay b Mike Outlaw, Luke Langley b Kody Krash, Steven Kennedy b K.C. Karrington in a last man standing match (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
      • Lucha Xtreme from last night in Fresno:  Big Dogg & Skitzo DCOR Chris Nar & Prince Najar, Brandon Groom b Dark Usagi, Homicide b Tommy Wilson. Next taping is 5/14 in Fresno at the Sequoia Brew Company headlined by Homicide (thanks to Jon Southerland)
      • Northern Justice is a combined Global Force and Max Pro show on 10/1 in Timmins, ONT at the Ecole Secondaire Catholique Theriault features Jeff Jarrett, Karen Jarrett, Scott D'Amore and Sonjay Dutt.
      • CHIKARA has a doubleheader on 7/23 at the Franklin Horner Community Center in Toronto with shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
      • Resurrection Fighting Alliance on 6/17 in Hammond, IN at the Civic Center, a former wrestling hotbed, with Roani Bareclos vs. Bobby Moffett for the featherweight title.  The show airs live on AXS TV.

      Today in professional wrestling history: Booker T wins WCW TV Title; Harley Race wins NWA World Title