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SUN UPDATE: Battleground preview, Gawker accuses FBI of helping Hogan, NXT tickets Sting in U.K., Brody song, Rhodes talks his current role

By Dave Meltzer

We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's WWE Battleground, New Japan G-1 opening night and Dragon Gate Kobe World Festival with a thumbs up, thumbs down and thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to Dave Meltzerdave@wrestlingobserver.com">

We're also looking for reports on last night's WWE show in Danville, IL and NXT show in Venice, FL, as well as the House of Hardcore show in Toronto.

Battleground Sunday in St. Louis on PPV and the WWE Network starting at 7 p.m. Eastern time

*Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar for WWE title - There seems to be two possibilities here, either Lesnar takes the title, or Rollins retains due to interference.  The interference can come from a number of different directions, and obviously Undertaker rumors are prevalent.  If it goes that way, Lesnar will probably take Rollins to Suplex City and it'll probably be a great match.

*John Cena vs. Kevin Owens for U.S. title - They've had two great matches in a row.  So here it's the same thing, either Owens wins, and he should, or Cesaro and Rusev cost Owens the match and it builds to a four-way at SummerSlam.  You can't count out Cena winning clean to end the program, but this doesn't seem like the right time for that.  With a PPV crowd, Owens is likely to be the super babyface.   

*Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt - Reigns should win.  The key is more how well it gets over, in the sense Wyatt is usually popular with the PPV crowd and Reigns' reaction varies greatly depending upon the crowd.  They've had good house show matches.

*Randy Orton vs. Sheamus - Orton has the advantage of being the home town guy.  Sheamus has the briefcase and is being pushed, but Orton is a guy they usually protect.  One would think in his home town that Orton should win, and set him up for something if Sheamus cashes in.    

*Prime Time Players vs. New Day for tag titles - This should be a title change.  The Prime Time Players needed to win last month because they had no credibility in a title situation even though it was too early to take the belts off New Day.  Now that they have that credibility, they can go back to chasing as New Day is the team that should be champs right now.

*R-Truth vs. King Barrett in the preshow match for the right to be called King.  Really, given how Barrett has been booked as King, he should just lay down and lose to get away from the portrayal, but he'll probably win.

Given that the top three matches should be long, they probably can go with seven matches on the PPV itself, so there is room for two more bouts or one bout and a long segment.  The plan was always to book a Divas title match on this show, but it was never announced. 

Show should be good, with the top two matches probably being great.
 

New Japan G-1 Climax fight night from Sapporo at 2 a.m. Eastern and 11 p.m. Pacific on New Japan World

Yohei Komatsu & Tiger Mask & Jushin Liger & Yuji Nagata vs. Tomoaki Honma & Mascara Dorada & David Finlay & Jay White

Hirooki Goto & Captain New Japan vs. Cody Hall & Yujiro Takahashi

Shinsuke Nakamura & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Karl Anderson & Tama Tonga

Michael Elgin & Satoshi Kojima & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo

Tournament matches:

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Doc Gallows

Togi Makabe vs. Toru Yano

Tetsuya Naito vs. Bad Luck Fale

A.J. Styles vs. Katsuyori Shibata

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi

This looks like a two-match show, but both should be excellent. 
 

Dragon Gate Kobe World Festival late tonight at 2 a.m. Eastern and 11 p.m. Pacific www.niconico.com

U-T & Kotoka & Lindaman vs. Super Shisa & Shachihoko Boy & Mike Sydal

K-Ness & Cyber Kong & Mondai Ryu & Punch Tominaga vs. Jimmy Kanda & Naoki Tanizaki & Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa & Yosuke Santa Maria

Akira Tozawa vs. Eita for the Open the Brave Gate title

Shingo Takagi & Masato Tanaka vs BxB Hulk & Big R Shimizu

Cima & Gamma & Don Fujii vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Dragon Kid & Kzy vs. Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi & Jimmy Susumu for the Open the Triangle Gate title

Yamato & Naruki Doi vs. Ricochet & Matt Sydal for the Open the Twin Gate titles

Masato Yoshino vs. T-Hawk for the Open the Dream Gate title

Raw is Monday night from Kansas City. It will be the start of the build up for SummerSlam.  Brock Lesnar is advertised on the show.  There are rumors Undertaker will be there or in some form will be part of the show.

Smackdown will be Tuesday night in Lincoln, NE.

The Conor McGregor phenomenon and the new direction of women in WWE and a history of women in WWE are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 

The issue is on the site right now at July 20, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: UFC 189 report, WWE calls up NXT women

Web site subscriptions, which include access to both current and older newsletters as well as every audio show in the history of the site are at  Sign up here for as low as $9.99 per month!

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The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.

Our lead story talks about the Conor McGregor phenomenon, how it ushered in the new era of UFC, the business notes on the show, McGregor's popularity in Ireland, why iPPV numbers probably set records, U.K. reaction, what to learn from McGregor vs. Mendes, how risky a gamble this fight was, similar gambles from the past, the story of the fight, McGregor vs. Aldo next, Ultimate Fighter and a full rundown of UFC 189.

We also look at WWE's bringing up Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks this past week, and a look back at the history of women performers in WWE dating back to the Wendi Richter vs. Fabulous Moolah match in 1984.  We look at the forgotten best women's matches in main roster history and best workers, and failed attempt to market athletic women, what really happened with Aja Kong, We also look at the different ways this can go, how the angles changed, how the angle was done, as well as how UFC made it work and what was the same and different.

We also look at what may be UFC's biggest event of 2016, the UFC 200 show.

We also look at the NXT show in Brooklyn and the busy weekend in the New York area, notes on when the next WWE network number will be released and what it would be up to, as well as break-even, and the peak number.  We look at advance sales for Battleground and the card, Lennox Lewis admits to almost doing a mixed match with Brock Lesnar in 2003, the story behind that fight and why it never happened, William Regal explains what WWE is looking for in new talent in a fascinating interview, notes on the future of Smackdown, who are planned to be focal point of NXT, Ziggler, Cody Runnels, update on Tyson Kidd, key WWE exec gets fired and new major WWE stock purchase by one of the richest men in Holland.

We also look at an update on several legal proceedings involving WWE suits, notes on Tough Enough, as well as a rundown of the weekend NXT and WWE house shows with business notes on the shows.

We also look at this year's UFC induction ceremony, how it has changed, its future goals, and the speeches by Bas Rutten, B.J. Penn, Matt Hughes Frank Trigg, Lori Blatnick and many others.  We look at the histories of all the inductees as well.

We also have more on Fedor Emelianenko being shopped around for a comeback at the age of 38.  We look at who he is, what he said just a few months ago about a comeback, if it is realistic to expect a match with Brock Lesnar, what Fedor said directly a few months ago about a match with Lesnar, as well as how UFC or Bellator can use him.

We also look at UFC's Sunday show in Las Vegas and business notes on the show.

The Observer is the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
 
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
 
Also in this week's issue:

--A look at the big weekly event at Arena Mexico

--Build to CMLL's big summer show

--A major big show controversy and a lot of buck passing involved

--Top matches for this year's TripleMania

--A look at this past week's AAA TV taping

--Wrestling returns to Royal Albert Hall in London

--A major star celebrates 30th anniversary of his pro debut

--Third generation legend makes debut

--Wrestle-1 announces its own tournament

--Coverage of Wrestle-1 show from the past week

--Notes on the G-1 debut card

--Shinya Hashimoto death anniversary show

--More on Dusty Rhodes and one of his most famous angles

--A look at the build of Starrcade 85

--GFW's road shows and TV tapings

--A look at the Waterloo wrestling Hall of Fame and this year's inductions

--A match of the year candidate

--Former WWE star falls into more problems

--One match which features champions from New Japan, a top star of Evolve, the TNA world champion, a Lucha Underground champion, anther TNA wrestler as well as a WWE wrestler and an ROH wrestler all in the same match

--A look at Tommy Dreamer's next show

--Update on Alberto Del Rio

--Update on Lucha Underground

--Movie being made about a Lucha Underground star

--More on ROH over WrestleMania weekend

--This week's upcoming ROH show in Las Vegas

--A look this past week's ROH show

--More on the future of TNA

--Update on Davey Richards

--Something to watch for when it comes to UFC fans

--Update on Travis Browne situation

--This week's UFC show on FS 1 and Fight Pass Titan show

--More on C.M. Punk and his debut

--More on fighters and prospective TV show ideas

--Cris Cyborg, UFC and Invicta

--New UFC fights

--Lawsuit filed regarding Bellator

--This week's Bellator show

--Notes on how new Bellator announcer used to write for a wrestling newsletter

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SUNDAY'S NEWS UPDATE

  • Bryan and I will have a show tonight covering Battleground, but G-1 coverage will be on Monday's show.  We'll also talk NXT Takeover, UFC at Texas Stadium and take your questions to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com
  • Gawker is accusing the FBI of helping Hulk Hogan in the lawsuit against him according to a New York Daily News article. 
  • Although there must have been times where no tickets were available at the primary outlets, those in WWE say that the 8/22 NXT show in Brooklyn is not sold out,b but ticket sales have been strong.
  • There is information on the front page on how to order both New Japan World and the Dragon Gate show tonight.  The Niconico is kind of a pain, but I've ordered several shows and once you have a card they accept it's pretty easy.  New Japan was a piece of cake to sign up, but open in Google Chrome and translate everything to English or it won't be so easy.  If you order today, because it's good for a month, you'd get every G-1 show live (or VOD as soon as the show is over) for just over $8.
  • We talk a lot of about plans for SummerSlam on the radio show I did last night with Bryan and Tom Lawlor.
  • Sting will be doing a UK talk show tour with shows on 10/5 in London at the Lyric Theater, 10/6 in Manchester at the Comedy Store and 10/7 in Glasgow at The Garage.  Tickets go on sale 7/24 at 9 a.m.  It will be a two-hour Q&A and fans can also get their photos with Sting and autographs.  
  • FOX will be airing the Road to the Octagon show at 5 p.m. today promoting Saturday's show, featuring the T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao fight.  No, they will not be airing a preview to Tom Lawlor vs. Gian Villante, which does air live on FOX this coming Saturday night.
  • The Mountain Goats’ live version of Stabbed To Death Outside San Juan, a song about the death of Bruiser Brody
  •  
  • Cody Rhodes talks his future on his wife's Facebook page
  • Randy Orton visits the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Mike Hollow has opened up a wrestling school in New England
  • Dana Warrior will be doing a book signing in conjunction with SummerSlam on 8/22 at the Powerhouse Arena at 3 p.m. for the launch of a Warrior book.
  • John Finnegan, who has been keeping track of wrestlers TV wins and losses since November 2006, noted that Cody Rhodes' 7/16 Smackdown loss to Neville would be his 100th loss during that time period.  He is the seventh wrestler to have lost 100 TV matches in that time period, following Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Zack Ryder and Kane.  Randy Orton has 99 losses in that period.
  • Capital City Championship Combat on 8/15 in Ottawa and the Vanier Columbus Club with Ultimo Dragon & Super Smash Brothers vs. Pinkie Sanchez & Mike Draztik & Angel Ortiz, Roderick Strong vs. Buxx Belmar and more.
  • These are the matches that will be uploaded to NWAClassics.com from the Paul Boesch Houston wrestling collection this week:
  • Kerry Von Erich vs. Kamala, Rock & Roll Express vs. Dirty White Boys, Gino Hernandez vs. Nick Kozak, Rocky Johnson vs. Bruiser Brody, Hector Guerrero vs. Jose Lothario, Al Madril vs. Buddy Landel, Fantastics vs. Dutch Mantell & Bill Dundee, Dusty Rhodes & Bad Leroy Brown vs. Gary Hart & Killer Karl Krupp, Midnight Express & Ernie Ladd vs. Rock & Roll Express & Jim Duggan, Dick Slater vs. Jake Roberts, Steve Williams vs. Mark Ragin, JYD vs. Butch Reed Ghetto Street fight, JYD vs. Butch Reed dog collar match, Hector & Chavo Guerrero vs. Jose Lothario & Al Madril, Ernie Ladd vs. Magnum T.A., Rock & Roll Express vs. Midnight Express scaffold match, Ric Flair vs. Magnum T.A. for NWA title, Gino Hernandez & Tully Blanchard vs. JYD & Tony Atlas, Terry Gordy vs. Dick Murdoch, Terry Taylor vs. Jake Roberts.
  • Resurrection Fighting Alliance on AXS TV on 8/21 from Sioux Falls, SD at the Sanford Pentagon has a series of USA vs. Brazil matches with Robbie Lawler coaching the USA team against Lyoto Machida coaching the Brazil team. 
  • Bill Behrens, who books for A.J. Styles, said that Styles being on a poster for a 10/4 Superstars of Wrestling show in the U.K. is false advertising and that they have asked the promoter to remove him from advertising, and said promoter Matt Jarrett had not done so as requested.
  • Championship Wrestling Entertainment on Friday night from Port St. Lucie, FL:  Chico Adams b Rhett Giddins to win the national title, Santana Garrett b Su Yung to win the Vixens title, Jesus DeLeon b Lince Dorado, Tyranus won Rumble Battle Royal, Zach Monstair b JB Cool in a three stages of hell match.    
  • Dory Funk Jr. will be presenting Dan Spivey for a Fighting Heart Award on 8/1 at the BANG show in Ocala, FL at the Bang TV Sound Stage.
  • Big Time Wrestling from last night in Newark, CA before 250 fans:  Boyce LeGrande b Johnny Dynamo (Johnny Redito), Chico Navarro b Achilles Steel, Sinn & Tony Navarro b JR Kratos & Will Cuevas, Samara b Beatrice Domino, Scotty Wringer b Prakash Sabar, Shawn Daivari b Victor Sterling, Kimo b Robbie E (TNA), Shane Kody b El Mero Mero Kaka Meng.  Next show is 9/25 (thanks to Derek Sousa)
  • GOUGE from last night in Fuquay Varina, NC:  No Direction b Old School & Waylon Maze, Captain Court b Terry Ryker, Krazy Killer Klowns b Anime Man & Chance LeBeaux, Jimmy Jack Funk Jr. b Johnny Fulls, Otto Schwanz b Chet Sterling, Seymour Snott b Jakob Hammermeier.  Next show is 7/25 in Raleigh at the Blackjack Brewery.
  • Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in East Carondelet, IL:  Keith Smith Jr. & Daniel Gunner b Bubba Troll & Purple Passion, Chris Hargas b Captain Shabam, Waco b Sean Vincent, Brandon Espinosa b Keon Option, Heath Hatton b Ax Allwardt, Bobby D b Curtis Wylde, Ron Powers & Gary Jackson b Flash Flanagan & Kahaagas-COR, Ricky Cruz b Attila Khan-DQ (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
  • Lucha Xtreme from last night's TV in Fresno:  Idris Jackson b Marcus Eriks, Hanford Chicken Shack mascot b Aki Sol-COR, Johnny Plinko b CB 3, Buddy Royal & Levi Shapiro b Kevin El Devino & Prince Nagi.  They have an iPPV on 8/23 from Hanford, CA at the Civic Auditorium called Battle for the Gold. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
  • Pro Wrestling First from last night in Suquamish, WA:  Dave Turner b Ryan Roode, Christopher Ryseck b Brickhouse Bereta.  This was a two match DVD taping (thanks to Charles Short)
  • Legacy Wresting on 8/22 in Palmyra, PA with AR Fox vs. Shane Strickland (Killshot in Lucha Underground), Kimber Lee vs. Solo Darling, Matt Cross vs. David Starr and Mike Bailey vs. Facade vs. Eddie Smooth.
  • MCW from last night in Joppa, MD for the annual Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup:  Shane Strickland b Eddie Smooth, Lio Rush b Kai Katana, Brandon Scott b Chuck Lennox, Matt Cross b Bo Nekoda, Eddie Edwards & Fenix Fury b Punk Rock All-Stars, Veda Scott & Madison Rayne b Amber Rodriguez & Kimber Lee with Velvet Scott as referee, The Entourage b Hell Cats, Black Wall Street and Fed UP in a four-way to win the tag tiles, The Bruiser b King McBride to keep the MCW tile, Lio Rush won over Shane Strickland, Matt Cross, Eddie Edwards, Brandon Scott and Rolix to win the Shane Shamrock Cup.  Next show is 9/11, a free Fan Appreciation show with Jim Duggan and Mickie James.
  • New GFW videos 
  • Chris Mordetzky on whether he feels pressure being one of the "known" guys on the roster

Nick Aldis on why fans should be excited about GFW Amped

Nick Aldis on his mindset going into the GFW Global Championship Tournament

Nick Aldis on if he is the favorite to win the GFW Global Championship

Nick Aldis on why having alternative wrestling brands is important

ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY INTERNATIONAL (thanks to Graeme Cameron) 

1966 - Red Bastien & Mario Milano beat Kurt & Karl Von Stroheim to win the IWA tag titles in Brisbane

1974 - Cyclone Negro won the Austra Asian heavyweight title in a tag match where he teamed with Brute Bernard to beat champion Mario Milano & Gorge Guliovas

1975 - Great Mephisto beat Bobby Hart (who had formerly used the Mephisto name in the 60s) in Melbourne to win the WCW jr. heavyweight title

1981 - Fishman beat Villano III in Naucalpan to win the UWA light heavyweight title

981 - El Solitario beat Eric Embry in Mexico City to win the UWA jr. light heavyweight title

l1982 - Lioness Asuka beat Masked Yu to win the Japanese women's title

1988 - Yumiko Hotta & Mitsuko Nishiwaki beat Bull Nakano & Grizzly Iwamoto in Tokyo to win the WWWA tag titles and Toshiyo Yamada beat Miori Kamiya to win the Japanese jr. title

1990 - Jumbo Tsuruta & Great Kabuki beat Terry Gordy & Steve Williams to win the All Japan world tag titles in Tokyo

1997 - Yoshiko Tamura beat Toshie Uematsu in Yokohama to win the WCW women's cruiserweight title

2002 - Koji Kanemoto beat Minoru Tanaka in Sapporo to win the IWGP jr. title

2003 - Kohei Sato & Hirotaka Yokoi beat Tomoaki Honma & Kazushi Miyamoto in Tokyo to win the vacant All-Asia tag title

2009 - Naruki Doi beat Cima in Tokyo to win the Open the Brave Gate title

2010 - Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi beat Koji Kanemoto & El Samurai in Tokyo to win the IWGP jr. tag title