THE LATEST NEWS
- Raw after WrestleMania draws WWE's second-best ratings of 2018
- Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle set for WWE Greatest Royal Rumble
- Two matches official for next week's WWE Raw
- WWE Raw video highlights: A night of debuts and returns
- Samoa Joe and Jeff Hardy return to WWE TV after injury
- Paige officially announces her retirement on WWE Raw
- Raw tag team titles to be decided at The Greatest Royal Rumble
- Bobby Lashley returns to WWE Raw
- The Authors of Pain debut on WWE Raw
- Paul Heyman re-signs with WWE
- WWE announces Superstar Shakeup for next week
- Ember Moon, No Way Jose debut on WWE Raw
THE LATEST AUDIO
- WOL: Raw, Smackdown, Superstar Shakeup, GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE, more! 4/10
- WOR: Lesnar vs. McMahon, new contract, Roman Reigns finish, RAW, more! 4/10
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Looking ahead to Wrestlemania 34
Though there will always be some complications when putting a big show together, things have pretty much fallen perfectly into place for WWE heading into WrestleMania 34 on Sunday. The 14-match card was scheduled to be finalized heading into this week's television, with John Cena vs. The Undertaker left as the last thing to be confirmed. In a different era, it would have been insane to not announce such a big match before the go-home episode of Raw. But selling WWE Network subscriptions is a bit different than pay-per-views, and the match almost feels unnecessary on such a loaded event.
The final words before WrestleMania, the change in UFC's PPV this week, coverage of Sakura Genesis and a look at the Andre the Giant documentary are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Read the update on WrestleMania and the week regarding the matches, the questions and ticket sales. Look at what WWE Fan Axxess has scheduled and notes on who will be appearing on the different shows.
Go through the background of UFC making Max Holloway vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov as Saturday's PPV main event, including how Tony Ferguson was injured, who else was asked to face Nurmagomedov, challenges for Holloway, examining the risk/reward for Holloway and what Dana White says about how it all went down.
Find out about the crazy risks that Will Ospreay has been taking, his match with Marty Scurll at Sakura Genesis as well as the Kazuchika Okada vs. Zack Sabre Jr. match, go through the upcoming matches, the lineups for the next month of new Japan major shows, business notes on the show, as well as the huge controversy Sabre got into based on a promo he did in Japan making mainstream media in Mexico.
Examine the life and times of Andre the Giant, and review the upcoming HBO documentary on Andre, how it got done, myths about Andre, Andre's early days, where the name came from, behind his confrontations with Akira Maeda, Blackjack Mulligan and Badnews Allen, the famous Andre vs. The Monster story, the build to Andre vs. Hogan and the sad end of his career and life.
There is more on Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman and their WWE futures, who WWE says won't be at Mania, notes to look for when WWE announces its new number, more on Greatest Royal Rumble, thoughts on WWE, injuries, health of Daniel Bryan, who else was talked with about teaming with Ronda Rousey, the next planned Roman Reigns program, Cena and Dwayne Johnson have new movies out, most watched shows on WWE Network, as well as results and highlights from every WWE and NXT show this past week with business notes.
Check out the new promotion that Josh Barnett and Kazushi Sakuraba are debuting next week in Japan at Sumo Hall, with the unique rules plus Sakuraba comments on it, and so much more.
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.
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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE
- With Mixed Match Challenge over, tonight will be the first Tuesday since January to only have two WWE shows. Not much is advertised for SmackDown aside from WrestleMania fallout and teasing more NXT call-ups/surprises. 205 Live will return to airing right after SmackDown at 10 p.m. Eastern and will feature Cedric Alexander’s first appearance since winning the Cruiserweight Championship. Drew Gulak also faces Mark Andrews.
- HBO’s Andre the Giant documentary premieres at 10 p.m. Eastern tonight. The documentary has an 85-minute runtime.
- Though there’s still the Superstar Shakeup and the Greatest Royal Rumble between now and the pay-per-view, two matches are listed as official for Backlash. Those are Seth Rollins defending his Intercontinental title against The Miz and Roman Reigns facing off with Samoa Joe. Reigns will challenge for Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble on April 27th. Backlash takes place on May 6th and will be a dual-brand show after WWE decided to move away from brand-exclusive PPVs.
- After officially announcing her retirement last night, Paige thanked everyone who has shown their support for her: “Completely overwhelmed with the love and support. Thank you everyone. Seriously means so much to me. This isn't the end though. Just the beginning of something special. #ThankYou #ThisIsMyHouse”
- AJ Mendez (the former AJ Lee) posted about Paige’s retirement: “The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long. #ThankYouSaraya”
- WWE.com gathered a lot of the tweets of support after Paige's speech.
- Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, and Jeff Hardy played with beach balls after Raw went off the air last night.
- Following his NXT Championship win, Alester Black wrote a message about suffering from anxiety and depression and said winning the title was for everyone who thinks their situation or problems with mental health are too severe to accomplish anything.
- Hour two of the WrestleMania pre-show, which was also available on the WWE Network and the company’s social media platforms, averaged 762,000 viewers on the USA Network. The one-hour 2018 Hall of Fame special did 665,000 viewers on Saturday night.
- Ronda Rousey spoke to ESPN after her in-ring debut at WrestleMania, discussing how the fans have reacted to her: "I owe the WWE universe an apology, because I thought they were going to boo me out of the building from day one. They really accepted me from day one. Hopefully, I satisfied a lot of skeptics tonight. I underestimated how kind the WWE universe would be. I thought any outsiders would be shunned. I was expecting to get shunned and to have to battle to be accepted. I worked my ass off to pay respect to what's so important to them, and hopefully they saw that tonight. I'm just so grateful, man. I'm trying my best to deserve it."
- Charlotte Flair did an emotional interview after WrestleMania where she reflected on her father’s health issues from last year and her late brother Reid.
- Shinsuke Nakamura turning heel and low blowing AJ Styles is on the cover of Weekly Pro Wrestling in Japan.
- Japanese wrestler Kikutaro was backstage at Raw last night and tweeted a picture with Stephanie McMahon.
- The 100th episode of Being the Elite, titled “Finale,” was released today. The ending of Kenny Omega vs. Cody Rhodes, fallout from the match, and Marty Scurll “signing a lucrative recording contract” are featured as the show’s future is left in question.
- ROH announced that Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, BUSHI, and Hiromu Takahashi) will be on all four stops of their War of the Worlds tour in May. Those shows are in Lowell, Massachusetts on May 9th, Toronto on the 11th, Royal Oak, Michigan on the 12th, and Chicago on the 13th.
- The Young Bucks, Hangman Page & Flip Gordon will face Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Scorpio Sky & Shane Taylor at ROH’s show in Columbus, Ohio this coming Sunday.
- ROH sent out an update on the technical issues for Supercard of Honor XII and are providing $40 Pro Shop coupons to all VIP members and $10 ones to all other subscribers.
- After the line on Raw where Kurt Angle told Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn that he's heard TNA is hiring, Impact Wrestling tweeted out “#WeAreImpact” in response. They also joked that someone showed up at their offices with some donuts and their resume.
- Rosemary tweeted about the company being mentioned on Raw as well: “Turn their heads in our direction.. for this Thursday, we steal the show..”
- Vader posted an update on his recovery from open heart surgery and said he wants to wrestle one more time: “Still in the hospital -Should be leaving soon to go into rehab its a long long ROAD BACK WHEN I GET BK I WILL WRESTLE ONE MORE TIME WRESTLING IS MY PASSION”
- IPW UK announced a show with Pro Wrestling NOAH for September 23rd.
- Last night’s CMLL Arena Puebla show, which featured Caristico vs. Mistico for the first time ever, is available to watch on YouTube.
- Dave Meltzer has an article for MMA Fighting about Brock Lesnar’s new contract with WWE -- which is “short-term” and has an option allowing him to do at least one UFC fight.
- Paige VanZant appeared on Good Morning America and opened up about being a sexual assault survivor.
- Nick Diaz accepted a one-year suspension from USADA for “whereabouts failures” from 2016-2017. If he chooses to fight again, Diaz would be able to return later this month since the suspension dates back to last year.
- Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier, and Dominick Cruz will be the commentary team for Saturday’s UFC on FOX 29.
Daily Professional Wrestling History: Jeff Hardy wins IC title from Triple H
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