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THURS. UPDATE: NXT events canceled, Michaels in San Jose, Silva hearing, Mania week news, CM Punk

By Dave Meltzer
dave@wrestlingobserver.com">dave@wrestlingobserver.com
 

Smackdown tonight on Syfy

Paige vs. Brie Bella

Gauntlet involving Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Stardust and Luke Harper

Los Matadores & Torito vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd & Natalya

Handicap match: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins & Kane 

The NCAA Division I wrestling tournament from St. Louis opens tonight with coverage live on ESPN U and ESPN 3 at 7 p.m. Eastern tonight.  Tomorrow had the quarterfinals at 11 a.m on ESPN U and ESPN 3, and the semifinals are live on ESPN at 8 p.m.

****

The newest issue of Figure Four Weekly is up on the site for subscribers (subscribe here) with a look at whatever is going on with NXT, plus notes on the upcoming WWE Jerry Lawler DVD as well as all of the usual reviews and international news.

The Kindle edition for non-subscribers isn't up yet, but you can still get the February 6th issue, featuring a a eulogy for the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Almanac and Book of Facts (which Kappa Publishing announced it is no longer producing) as well as all of the usual reviews and international news. It's available on the AmericanUK/IrelandCanadian, and Australian Amazon Kindle stores, as well as various other regional Kindle stores that I'm probably forgetting. 

Also, now available for the first time on Kindle (meaning Kindle devices and anything with the Kindle app) is Fall Guys, the seminal 1937 book that has been described as being like the 1930s version of the Wrestling Observer. It was surprisingly not on Kindle already, so we put together a nice version with a full table of contents w/ chapter marks, proper formatting on everything, etc. Right now it's available from the AmericanCanadian, and Australian Amazon/Kindle stores OR you can also buy it from anywhere in the world on PayHip, who will provide you with both Kindle and ePub (every other e-reader) format files, and you can either sideload them to your device or have them email it to your Kindle. 

**** 

We've got a jam packed issue of news this week in the Observer, with the fallout of UFC 185 and the two title changes, The New Japan Cup and where the booking is going, the build toward Invasion Attack, more comments on the Bill DeMott situation in WWE, more on Rampage Jackson's Bellator contract and Scott Coker, under oath, goes through what happened in negotiations and why Bellator is suing, , plus we've got features on Larry Zbyszko and Tatsumi Fujinami and the WWE Hall of Fame, New Japan attempts to rebuild NOAH with a storyline that has gotten mainstream ink and the bus accident and problems leading to the Rey de Reyes show.

The latest issue of the Observer:  Mar. 23, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Two upset title changes at UFC 185, New Japan Cup, Bill DeMott notes, Bellator/Rampage injunction update

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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.
 
The lead story covers UFC 185, the two surprise title changes, a look at the future for the fighters on the show, business notes on the show, early PPV notes, bonuses and match-by-match coverage with poll results.

We also look at the New Japan Cup, as well as the Invasion Attack show, changes in the original card and why, plus other New Japan World shows coming up, and full coverage of the New Japan Cup finals, with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.

We've got more on the Bill DeMott situation including more comments by different people, as well as DeMott's first defenses.

We've got more from the deposition of Scott Coker on the Rampage Jackson lawsuit.  We look at how much Jackson earned while in UFC, how much he had earned in his tenure in Bellator, business notes on Jackson's fights and how the relationship with Bellator fell apart, including Bellator's plans for Jackson going forward.

We also look at the career of Larry Zbyszko, including notes on the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, who is inducting who, how Larry Zbyszko started his career, what 90s feud was a copy of Sammartino vs. Zbyszko, a look at the feud, and why Zbyszko was never as hot again, how he got the AWA title, his lawsuit against WWE, what happened to Ray Stevens, notes on Tatsumi Fujinami, the politics of wrestling in the early 80s and where Fujinami fit in, the Fujinami vs. Choshu feud, the Fujinami vs. Flair matches and other WWE Hall of Fame notes.

We also have an update on Brock Lesnar and where he currently stands as far as what is next, how much Vince McMahon, HHH and others earned this past year, who are WWE's biggest stockholders and how much of the company does Vince McMahon own, how much McMahon and HHH have earned the past several years, great incentives given for key WWE officials to stay, WWE video game notes, Notes on WWE ticket sales, WrestleMania ticket selling update, Vince's stolen car found, updates on Kevin Owens and Jey Uso, and why others mised shows this past week.

We also look at fan behavior, DVD sales, lots of new WWE signees, WWE network changes, new WWE character, Cena movie, WWE night in Phoenix and Justin Gabriel talks leaving WWE.

We also have lots of updates from NXT, NXT house shows, WWE house show coverage and business notes.

We also look at Pro Wrestling NOAH's first major show of the year, how well it did, coverage, angle hints, booking of the show as well as match-by-match coverage.

We also look at AAA's attempt to put on Rey de Reyes, the problems with the show, the bus accident, injuries in the accident and more.

We also have more on PPV numbers for UFC, WWE and ROH. 

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:

--Notes on CMLL's first big show of the year

--More on plans for the AAA World Cup

--Wrestlers to get pushed in AAA

--Dragon Gate has iPPV coming up

--New Japan ticket sale notes

--More on Lisa Varon and the crazy story of the Squared Circle restaurant

--Lots more on WrestleMania week activities around the San Jose area

--A look at the NCAA championships, biggest stories and Hodge Trophy top contenders

--Lots of foreign stars head to England for Preston Championship Wrestling, including a star return from injury and a champion leaves

--Update on the Lucha Underground promotion

--More on Rey Mysterio and his leaving WWE

--More on Spike TV and pro wrestling going forward

--ROH tries to sign major act

--Update on the ROH show over WrestleMania week

--A look at the ROH weekend shows and business

--TNA makes decision to strip Wolves of tag title

--Who the new champions are and how it happened

--Also notes on X title change

--TNA TV schedule

--TNA ratings in Germany

--Lots of newcomers in AN and two new factions

--TNA star misses TV for a while due to movie filming

--A look at what will happen on TNA television between now and early May

--UFC plans for New York state

--Next UFC show

--Lots of new UFC dates

--New UFC TV deal

--More on Rousey vs. Cyborg

--Why former TUF winner seems to have disappeared

--UFC fighter places in Jiu Jitsu tourney

--Two former Bellator champions test positive

--PBC signs a huge TV deal

--Notes on Phoenix Jones and his MMA debut

--Gracie vs. Hughes rematch signed

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.
 
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.
 
Our most requested issues in our history are:
 
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
 
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*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
 
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*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
 
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
 
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
 
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THURSDAY'S NEWS UPDATE

- T-shirts for the WWE Hall of Fame list Diesel as going in and not Kevin Nash, so that's the way the decision went down.

- NXT moved its weekend shows in Florida to mid-week after WrestleMania.  The next show will be the 3/27 show in San Jose.

- Kevin Owens won't be defending his title in San Jose due to his recent knee surgery.

- Anderson Silva asked for a delay in his hearing before the Nevada Athletic Commission.  There is a meeting on 3/23 which will include talking about the cases of Nick Diaz and Hector Lombard, who also failed drug tests on UFC shows in Las Vegas.  Silva is expected to have his hearing in April.

- The U.S. named its team for the 2015 World Cup which takes place 4/11 and 4/12 at the Forum in Inglewood, CA.  Among those on the team are 2012 gold medalist Jordan Burroughs, and former Olympic medalists Jake Varner and Coleman Scott, as well as 143 pounder Aaron Pico of Bellator, who is only 18 years old.  The team as of right now is:

  • 125 - Tony Ramos and Andrew Hochstrasser
  • 134 - Coleman Scott and Matt McDonough
  • 143 - Brent Metcalf and Aaron Pico
  • 154 - Nick Marable and James Green
  • 163 - Jordan Burroughs and Moza Fay
  • 189 - Ed Ruth and Clayton Foster
  • 213 - Jake Varner and Ed Kilgore
  • 275 - Tervel Dlagnev and Zach Ray

- John Cena and Daniel Bryan will headline a 7/2 show at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, which is one of the home arenas of the ONE Championships promotion.

- There is a pre-sale going on for tickets to the Raw taping on 5/25 at the Nassau Coliseum with the code LASTWWE.

- While they may be gone now, WWE had opened up some tickets today for the 3/30 Raw show in San Jose.

- While not yet official, Mick Foley on Twitter hinted at adding another show in San Jose next week.  The idea is for it to be 3/25.  I don't know the location but it won't be the San Jose Improv, where he has a 3/27 show that is sold out.

- The 3/28 Wrestlecon show in San Jose headlined by Hardys vs. Sabu & Rob Van Dam, ACH vs. John Morrison and Jushin Liger & Ricochet & AR Fox vs Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian & Roderick Strong has also sold out.

- The Go Fund Me drive for former UFC champion Mark Coleman, who needs hip surgery after an infection, has raised more than $42,000.

- Bobby Jones, a Winnipeg wrestler in the 50s, 60s and 70s, passed away on 3/12 at the age of 84.  Jones appeared on AWA TV tapings in the 60s and 70s doing jobs as well as working the Winnipeg house shows.  He was later a TV announcer for Tony Condello in the 90s.

- Jeremy Borash appeared on the TV show Restaurant Impossible in an episode recorded in Bowling Green, KY.  He was a restaurant guest who was interviewed.  Borash has toured with Robert Irvine, the famous chef who is married to Gail Kim. (thanks to Brian Hoops)  

- Jeff Hamlin, a regular correspondent to this site who does the great Impact reports, is now the play-by-play announcer for the Charlotte Independence of the United Scocer League.

- UFC's FS 1 schedule tonight (all times Eastern):

  • 8 p.m. Special on TJ Dillashaw
  • 9 p.m. Premiere of special on TJ Dillashaw
  • 9:30 p.m. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao
  • 10 p.m. Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber

Tomorrow night has

  • 9 p.m. Special on Conor McGregor
  • 9:30 p.m. Premiere of special on Cub Swanson, Ricardo Lamas, McGregor and Jose Aldo
  • 10 p.m. Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar

- UFC tickets go on sale to the public tomorrow for UFC 188,which takes place on 6/13 at Arena Ciudad in Mexico City headlined by Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum for the heavyweight title plus Eddie Alvarez vs. Gilbert Melendez.  Tickets are priced from 375 pesos to 7490 pesos.

- The Fight Network in Canada will be airing the prelims and pre-and-post fight coverage for Saturday's UFC show from Brazil.

- Several time Observer guest Shayna Baszler fights on Saturday's show against Amanda Nunes.  

- WWE stock went up 47 cents per share to $16.32, likely on the news that a network number will be released a week from Monday.  

- Norm Connors at iwcpromoter@aol.com is looking to see if anyone has an extra Cauliflower Alley banquet ticket.

- FTW Wrestling tomorrow night in Pigeon Forge, TN at the Armory.

A BBC video on British wrestling

A WWE video game promotion for WrestleMania season

- Superkick'd Unstable on Saturday night at 8 p.m. in Toronto at The Great Hall headlined by Roderick Strong vs. Brent Banks, plus Cheeseburger, Tommaso Ciampa, J Diesel, Seleyzia Sparks, Romantic Tough and Will Ferrara of ROH all appear.  They also run 4/18 in the same building with Michael Elgin, Matt Morgan and Tommy End. 

A woman bit a boy's foot because he wouldn't move while she was watching Raw

For anyone in the U.S. looking to get tickets for New Japan shows

An article on Ted DiBiase

Devon Dudley talks his future

- Shawn Michaels will be doing a book signing on 3/26 in San Jose at 6 p.m. at the Barnes & Nobles on Stevens Creek Blvd. 

Kenny Omega's match with a nine-year-old girl in Japan aired Wednesday night on Comedy Central's @ Midnight TV show.  They also aired the Shockmaster entrance.  One of the guests, Ron Funches, knew who Kenny Omega was (thanks to Leonardo Mendez Toledo)

- The world premiere of the film "Shock the World," on how Jesse Ventura became Governor of Minnesota, will debut next month at the Tribeca ESPN Sports Film Festival.

- On the Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, there is a flashback scene where one of the girls comes down with a severe case of Hulkamania in which she jumps on a table and stars doing Hogan promos.  The only way to get her off the table was for Kimmy to do Randy Savage promos. Said to be pretty funny (thanks to Emerson Witner)

- Charity Appeal Wrestling on 3/29 at The Hightown Club in Luton, UK with Jonny Storm.

- ASW on Saturday in Lewisburg, TN at 2224 Mooresville Highway.

- Extreme Midget Wrestling on 3/27 at the AM Vets Post 101 in Smithville, TN for a 21 and older show.

- A correction from a report earlier in the week on the In Your Face Wrestling show, JP Black on the show was not Justin Gabriel.  Gabriel is PJ Black.

- Also, to stop a rumor going around, TNA is not signing Kota Sekifuda of Big Japan Pro Wrestling as has been reported all over the place.  Sekifuda, 19, is coming to the U.S. to attend a wrestling school and learn.  What he said when he left Japan is that his goal would be to work for a major company like TNA.  Nobody in TNA even knew who he was.

- Northern Championship Wrestling on 3/21 in Montreal at Centre Brussels.

- Alpha-1 Wrestling on 4/12 in Hamilton ONT at 4 p.m. with Ricky Shane Page vs. Mike Bailey, Eddie Kingston vs. Seleyzia Sparks, The Beaver Boys, Ethan Page and more.

- CHIKARA reports that its 4/6 show in London, UK at The Garage is almost sold out.  The main event is Icarus vs. Hallowicked.

- Booker T's Reality of Wrestling results from Saturday night in Webster, TX before 300 fans:  Rob Barnes b Rockstar Robbie, Alex Reigns b Brendan Sky, Brian Keith b Andrew Jackson, Gino b Bu Ku Dau, Mario Bokara b Ryan Davidson-DQ, Pump Patrol b Tigers, Sean Studd (son of John Studd) b Cameron Cole, Rex Andrews b Steel-DQ, Pride b Purple Haze, Erik Lockhart b Andrew Lockhart-COR Fallah Bahh b Mysetrious Q.  Next show is 4/11 with Ricky Steamboat and Bret Hart attending.  Brenday Sky, in his second pro match, got great reviews (thanks to Scott Williams)

- AAW on 3/21 in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club has Eddie Kingston vs. Silas Young, Dick Justice vs. Gregory Iron in a blindfold match, Jimmy Jacobs vs. Ethan Page, Jake & Dave Crist vs. Zero Gravity, Johnny Gargano vs. Josh Alexander and more.

- UCW on Saturday night in Union City, TN at 308 South First St.

- OCW on Saturday night in Coshocton,OH at the Hopewell School with Shane Douglas.

- NWF on Saturday night in Fairfield, OH at the UAW Hall with a ladder match.  They also run 3/27 in Ludlow, KY at the Ludlow Theater with Chris Harris.

- Crossfire Wrestling on Saturday in Niagara Falls, ONT at the Scotiabank Convention Centre from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a convention that includes Bret Hart, Kevin Nash and Dan Severn as well as Grant Fuhr and Cito Gaston.  There will also be a wrestling show that night headlined by Cody Deaner.

- Maryland Championship Wrestling on Saturday night in Frederick, MD at the Indoor Sports Center with a fan fest at 5:30 p.m. with Matt Hardy, Boogeyman and Terri Runnels and a wrestling show with Hardy and Boogeyman.

- Canadian Wrestling Federation on 3/28 in St. Catherines, ONT at the Haig Bowl Arena headlined by Rhino vs. Shaunymo in a tables match.

- Lucha Libre VIP on 3/22 in Cudahy, CA at the Clara Street Sports Complex is headlined by Volador Jr. vs. La Sombra.

A podcast talking Premier Wrestling, NXT in San Jose, and WrestleMania weekend news

- A story on Matt Riviera  NWA Mid South Wrestling to feature reality star Saturday

Wrestling Outsiders podcast with Emerson Witner and Bruce Tharpe

An interview with crime fighter superhero turned MMA fighter Phoenix Jones  

C.M. Punk talks UFC

Two Montreal Canadians do a stone cold stunner on the ice

A podcast on the WWE developmental system

Hulk Hogan met Irish Prime Minister Enda Kelly on a flight this past week

Paige talks about wanting an extreme rules match with Stephanie McMahon, Emma or anyone else

- Absolute Intense Wrestling tomorrow night in Cleveland at Our Lady of Mt Carmel School with 2 Cold Scorpio, Jimmy Jacobs, Raymond Rowe, Johnny Gargano, Tyson, Dux, Candice LaRae and Chris Sabin.

- XICW on Saturday night in Clinton Township MI with Rhino vs. Tommy Dreamer and Davey Richards vs. Orlando Christopher.

- TAW on 3/28 in Dunstable, UK at the Leisure Centre headlined by Robbie E.

- Tennessee All Pro Wrestling on Saturday night in McMinnville, TN at 191 Industrial Drive.

- 4th Generation Wrestling on 3/28 at Castleford, West Yorkshire, UK at the Fryson Miners Welfare Club.

- Reno Wrestling Factory on 3/27 in Sparks, NV at the Spanish Springs High School with Martin Casaus of Tough Enough and Lucha Underground.

- Pro Wrestling Ulster on 3/29 at the Europa Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland headlined by Shelton Benjamin. 

- Great North Wrestling on 5/29 in Ottawa, ONT at the Earl Armstrong Arena with Brutus Beefcake, Hannibal, Alex Silva and Jeremy Prophet.

- ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING INTERNATIONAL (thanks to Greame Cameron)

1965 - Ray Stevens beat Domenic DeNucci in Brisbane to win the IWA title

1968 - John DaSilva beat George Gordienko in Auckland to win the British Commonwealth title

1994 - Canek beat Yamato (Kim Duk) to win the UWA heavyweight title

2011 - Mesias beat Jeff Jarrett in Mexico City to win the AAA heavyweight title