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Daily Update: AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, MMC & 205 Live semifinals

THE ROUND-UP

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THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

NEW JAPAN FROM NAGAOKA AT 2 A.M. LATE TUESDAY NIGHT EASTERN TIME ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Looking at the Wrestlemania 34 card

While there are a few more pieces that still need to fall into place, the card for WrestleMania 34 came closer to being finalized at Sunday night's Fastlane pay-per-view. AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura was made official after Styles retained his WWE Championship in a six-pack challenge against Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, and Baron Corbin. The SmackDown Women's Championship match was also announced, with Asuka coming out after Charlotte Flair's win over Ruby Riott and challenging her for WrestleMania.

WON NEWSLETTER: March 19, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2017 Observer Newsletter Awards

One of the biggest issues of the year is out this week: The 2017 Observer Awards, with not just the top place winners in every category but also a list of every award winner in the categories dating back to 1980. For a full list of categories click here.

A WrestleMania update with this past week’s changes to the card, the most complete lineup, thoughts surrounding the use of the Moolah name in the women's Battle Royal, how things evolved on the card, changes in recent weeks, more on the Reigns vs. Lesnar plans, and more on the year's biggest show.

Also, full review of Fast Lane, with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.

In addition to all of this, an update on Ronda Rousey missing Raw, John Cena's next movie, Dwayne Johnson's contract for an upcoming movie, ticket sales for New Orleans, update on the NXT Takeover show, WWE injury updates, WWE cuts, WWE returns, and the most-watched shows on WWE Network. This issue provides complete rundowns on all of this past week’s WWE and NXT arena events, with highlights and business notes on every show.

Coverage continues, taking a look at New Japan plans for its next show after March, the situation with Jeff Hardy following his recent arrest and when he was scheduled to return to TV, a look at the first week of the New Japan Cup tournament and coverage of the ROH Anniversary Show. Also a preview of the NCAA Wrestling Championships, and a look at the biggest weekend of the year for pro wrestling in Germany with the 16 Carat Gold Tournament.

The issue also delivers the weekly coverage of every major show’s ratings, with detailed notes on who is watching all the WWE shows, results from the major league events held around the world, and the major TV show rundowns.

Finally, this past week’s results for every major pro wrestling event around the world are covered as well.

ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to Dave Meltzer, or by using PayPal directing funds to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com

Rates in the United States are $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to moonsault@mediaplusint.com. For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52. If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.)

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can choose one free classic issue, or two free classic issues with a 40-issue subscription.

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • Though details on the injury that kept AJ Styles out of action on this weekend’s house shows still isn’t known, Dave Meltzer noted that Styles was examined yesterday and will be good to go for WrestleMania.
  • Triple H posted about Daniel Bryan being cleared to return: “.@WWE's primary concern is the health and wellness of our performers. I'm sure it was a long two years for @WWEDanielBryan, but glad he could make a healthy return to doing what he loves: performing for the #WWE Universe in the ring. #YesYesYes”
  • After WWE announced that they’ve medically cleared Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura took to Twitter to tease a dream match with him at some point: “This is great news. No one needs to wish anymore. They can see it with their eyes. #NakamuravsBryan,” They’ve been friends with each other since their time at NJPW’s LA dojo and both have spoken about wanting to have a match together.
  • While their medical situations are different, Paige took the Bryan news as a sign of hope about her own situation: “Congrats @WWEDanielBryan overcoming what looked like a career ending injury to being fully cleared and ready to compete again! Real life super man. Gives hope to a lot of people to never give up on your passion! Inspiring. @WWE”
  • The semifinals start on Mixed Match Challenge tonight with Asuka & The Miz vs. Alexa Bliss & Braun Strowman. The second semifinal will take place next week, with Charlotte Flair & Bobby Roode taking on the winners of a second-chance fan vote. The eliminated team that will be returning will be revealed tonight.
  • After the semifinals begin on Mixed Match Challenge, Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak on 205 Live will decide who advances to face Cedric Alexander in the Cruiserweight Championship tournament finals at WrestleMania. Hideo Itami vs. Lince Dorado has also been announced for the show.
  • The Ultimate Deletion wasn’t included in the Hulu version of Raw this week. Hulu support responded to someone who asked about the decision: “Sorry for the disappointment, Shannon! We have the rights to stream a pre-formatted 90-minute special of Raw, and no edits are done on our end. We'll share your feedback with our team.”
  • Jeff Hardy (as Brother Nero) made a cameo near the finish of the Ultimate Deletion match. The appearance was filmed before his DWI arrest earlier this month but wasn’t edited out.
  • The O2 in London will be hosting a Raw house show on August 29th.
  • WWE teased that Seth Rollins will be facing Finn Balor on one of the final two Raws before WrestleMania.
  • John Cena referenced The Undertaker on Instagram today, posting a picture of Undertaker from the beginning of his career.
  • Braun Strowman wrote about Mark Henry being announced for this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class: “Over the moon to find out @TheMarkHenry is being inducted into the #WWEHOF  Mark is the reason I am a @WWE superstar and I will forever be thankful and indebted to him for putting his name on the line to get me a look!!!!! #ThankYouMark”
  • Ronda Rousey spoke to Fox News about WrestleMania and switching over to pro wrestling at the WrestleMania 35 press conference in New Jersey last Friday.
  • The Mirror also interviewed Rousey about how everything in her life led to her joining WWE.
  • WWE Shop put out an “OG BC” shirt for the Balor Club.

Pro Wrestling

UFC/MMA

Today in Professional Wrestling History: WrestleMania X