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WED UPDATE: Hulk Hogan's lawyers lash at at Gawker, legal news on Jimmy Snuka, Wanderlei Silva, UFC antitrust

by David Bixenspan | davidbix@wrestlingobserver.com

Tonight:

* NXT at 8:00 p.m. ET on WWE Network has Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady vs. The Mechanics, Baron Corbin vs. Jesse Sorensen, Chad Gable and Jason Jordan in action, Charlotte vs. Dana Brooke, Blake and Murphy (c) vs. The Vaudevillains for the NXT Tag Titles, and more.

* Lucha Underground at 8:00 p.m. ET on El Rey has part one of Ultima Lucha with Angelico, Ivelisse, & Son of Havoc (c) vs. The Disciples of Death for the Trios Titles, Hernandez vs. Drago in a Believers Backlash (Fan lumberjacks with straps) match, and The Mack vs. Cage in a falls count anywhere match. With Vampiro wrestling on part two next week, Michael Schiavello joins Matt Striker at the announcers' table.

* UFC Tonight returns at 8:00 p.m. ET, though on Fox Sports 2 for this week instead of Fox Sports 1.

* Impact Wrestling at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on Destination America is being built around Jeff Jarrett's induction into the TNA Hall of Fame.

*ROH at 11:00 p.m. ET on Destination America (no more 8:00 p.m. ET showing) has Michael Bennett & Matt Taven vs. Corey Hollis & Jonathan Gresham, a six-way with Cheeseburger vs. Dalton Castle vs. Moose vs. Caprice Coleman vs. Brutal Bob Evans vs. Silas Young, and ACH vs. Bobby Fish.

 
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The newest issue of Figure Four Weekly is up on the site for subscribers (subscribe here) with a feature story looking at WWE's firing of Hulk Hogan and how it relates to all of the litigation with Gawker including:

* How Hogan's racist comments and the set of sex tapes his tirade was part of tied into the FBI investigating someone attempting to extort money from Hogan.

* How long it's been known that something like this could come out.

* Gawker alluding to the idea that the FBI was helping Hogan cover up these statements.

* Where The National Enquirer and Radar Onlne could have sourced the story from.

And much more. Plus, as always, we have  all of the usual reviews and international news.

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. 

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The return of the Undertaker and build to SummerSlam, Battleground coverage, the rise of NXT and situation with ROH, the G-1 Climax tournament and some major UFC stories are the major stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 

The latest Wrestling Observer: July 27, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: The Undertaker returns at Battleground, NXT/ROH insanity with Liger booking

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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 concerns the build to SummerSlam.  We look at advertising that has already been cut for the show, what are the possibilities for Sting, the Lesnar-Undertaker angle, the booking of WWE right now, the situation with the women, plus full coverage of Battleground with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results on the show.

We also look at the booking of  Jushin Liger to NXT on 8/22, ticket sales for the show, plans for the NXT show, how the Liger booking affects ROH and has caused such a political turmoil.  We look at the NXT card as well as the competing ROH show.  We look at the Liger booking, ROH working with New Japan, ratings with New Japan stars vs. shows without New Japan stars, NXT touring, the next NXT vs. ROH head-to-head in September, the next ROH PPV show and much more.

We also have full coverage of the G-1 Climax tournament, with all of the shows planned for the next week, as well as full coverage of opening night in Sapporo with match-by-match-coverage, star ratings and poll results.

We also look at a major story concerning fighters for UFC to address which is the banning of IVs for rehydrating after weigh-ins starting October and why the story is far more significant than people realize.

We also look at a potential alliance between ESPN and WWE and the ethical debate regarding the coverage.  We also look at the Hogan/Gawker lawsuit and each side's case, an update on the Dr. Christopher Amann lawsuit against C.M. Punk and Colt Cabana, an update on Dolph Ziggler and what he claims is his contract status, Undertaker working more than just SummerSlam, Stephanie McMahon talks gay characterizations in future WWE creative as well as a look back from former creative members regarding different suggestions on gay characterizations in the past.  We look at more WWE banned terms and how some were changed and why.  We also look at how the characters are being described for Camp WWE, which is really hilarious.

We've also got notes on Chris Jericho working more house shows, Tough Enough notes, John Cena in the movies, how the WWE Network free month has changed, as well as what to look for over the next week in WWE stock.

We also have full coverage of the next month of NXT TV tapings, as well as coverage of all the WWE and NXT house shows this past week and business notes from the shows.

We also have notes on TripleMania being on U.S. PPV for the first time on 8/9, including price point, why it's happening now, and its history as well as broadcast information.

We also have coverage of both UFC events held over the past week, with the Mir vs. Duffee and Bisping vs. Leites shows.  We've got business notes and stories behind both events.

We also have notes on the third season of New Japan World on AXS, including highlights of the new season, all the matches airing from 8/14 to 12/11 including when the Wrestle Kingdom 9 matches will air, as well as notes on the schedule for 2016.

We also look at Dragon Gate's Kobe World Festival show and CMLL's Sin Salida show, which were two of those two company's biggest events of the year.

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Wednesday Daily Update

  • TMZ is reporting that Hulk Hogan's lawyers have filed new documents in his lawsuit against Gawker asking for an investigation into the leak of his racist and homophobic comments that have been released the last few days. Radar Online wrote that "[Hogan's] attorneys have asked the judge to permit them to appoint an independent electronic forensic expert that would be given access to Gawker’s computer network, systems and tablets in the hopes of uncovering a mole."

Gawker's lawyers had successfully sued the FBI for the records of the investigation surrounding the attempted extortion of Hogan using the sex tape, but only Gawker's lawyers are allowed to see those records (as in they can't share them with anyone else at Gawker), which include the sex tapes, audio of the sting operation, transcripts of the sex tapes, and various other documents.  The new filing more or less alleges that if Gawker wasn't being the leak, it sure looks like they were. It's such a huge gamble that it seems unlikely, though: If Hogan's side can prove Gawker leaked the transcripts, then he most likely wins without having to go to trial.

Gawker issued this statement: Hulk Hogan has only one person to blame for what he said and no one from Gawker had any role in leaking that information.

Radar is also claiming that court documents reporting the existence of three sex videos is a new exclusive even though that information was reported weeks ago.

  • Per Irv Muchnick, the grand jury decison regarding whether or not Jimmy Snuka will face charges in the 1983 death of girlfriend Nancy Argentino is expected this week. At the time, he coroner had recommendd that police investigate her death as a homicide, citing evidence of domestic abuse among other reasons, but it was never really followed up on. The grand jury proceedings had been delayed repeatedly but finally got going again recently.
  • Not exactly shocking, but the UFC has sued Wanderlei Silva for saying that they've fixed fights. This one will be interesting if it doesn't end quickly and quietly.
  • John Nash is reporting at Bloody Elbow that n the UFC antitrust lawsuit, the judge denied a Zuffa (UFC) motion to stay discovery. This doesn't mean that the plaintiffs will get all of the financial statements and so on that they want, but they can start depositions, interrogotories, and document discovery. What becomes public all depends  on what gets filed with the court for one reason or another.
  • As noted on the front page, Joseph Duffy vs. Dustin Poirier is headlining the October 24th UFC Fight Pass card in Dublin. Big step up in both competition and positioning for Duffy, AKA "the last man to beat Conor McGregor." Poirier had previously asked for a ranked opponent next, but it lookes like he softened on that once he broke into the top 15 anyway and got offered a main event.
  • At MMAFighting, Dave Meltzer has:

His UFC on Fox postmortm.

Notes on the UFC on Fox show being their biggest Summer special to date.