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Daily Update: Backlash preview, BOSJ results, fake CM Punk story

THE ROUND-UP

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The Latest from the F4W Staff

NEWS

AUDIO

We're looking for your thoughts on last night's NXT Takeover show and tonight's Backlash show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS ON SUNDAY FROM KIRA ON NEW JAPAN WORLD (not live, should be up in the early afternoon)

  • Will Ospreay vs. Taka Michinoku
  • Dragon Lee vs Taichi
  • Ricochet vs Hiromu Takahashi
  • Marty Scurll vs. Jushin Liger

EVOLVE ON SUNDAY AT 8 P.M. FROM LIVONIA, MI

  • Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Lio Rush for Evolve title
  • Matt Riddle vs. Jeff Cobb for WWN title
  • Tracy Williams vs. Kyle O'Reilly
  • Ethan Page vs Donovan Dijak
  • Fred Yehi vs. Keith Lee
  • Chris Dickinson & Jaka vs. Jason Kincaid & ? non-title
  • Allysin Kay (Sienna in Impact) vs. Priscilla Kelly

WWE BACKLASH SUNDAY AT 7:30 P.M. FROM THE ALL STATE ARENA IN CHICAGO ON THE WWE NETWORK

An update: It's pretty clear on the odds that at this point smart money hasn't come in. I'm listing the latest odds from 5 Dimes for entertainment purposes. It's not like at the last show when it was clear and turned out that all of the matches were accurate at this point except the Bayley-Bliss match which changed endings four times in the last 30 hours. If there are any major shifts they will be undated.

Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal for WWE title -- This is a big deal match. After last night and really the entire build, these two have to have their working shoes on. They are probably going on last (they were planned to go on last mid-week). Orton likes Mahal and everyone knows it's Mahal's night to shut up the critics if he can have a strong main event. At last word, Orton was a -380 favorite to retain his title.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler -- It will be interesting if we get the New Japan PPV Nakamura or not here. Nakamura will be ridiculously over in Chicago and Ziggler's job is to put him over in the ring. They've wrestled many times, and they've been fine but nothing outstanding. Nakamura has historically been a strong big match performer. Nakamura is -2600, not because of smart money, but because any other result wouldn't make sense.

Kevin Owens vs. A.J. Styles for U.S. title -- These two look to be the favorites to steal the show. Styles is -140 to win. That doesn't mean win the title, only get his hand raised when it's over. A.J. Styles + Chicago crowd + Kevin Owens + coming off last night and this will probably be the must-see match.

Usos vs. Breezango for tag titles -- Another huge match for Tyler Breeze & Fandango. It's really the biggest match of Breeze's main roster career, and arguably his entire career, and Fandango's biggest match except maybe his WrestleMania match with Chris Jericho. The Usos are -460 favorites. It makes sense for them to win given the New Day will be back soon.

Charlotte Flair, Naomi & Becky Lynch vs. Tamina, Natalya & Carmella -- It's not as much who wins but what angle comes out of this to determine Naomi's next contender, as Carmella has gotten some wins and Charlotte and Naomi is obviously a teased direction. The heel trio was favored at -900.

Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin -- I think we all know this is designed for Corbin, who they have big plans for. It is possible Zayn can win to build up a bigger loss down the line. Corbin is at -1200 right now.

Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan -- Rowan has gotten a little push on television. He also won the TV match clean which probably would favor Harper unless Rowan is being groomed for a title shot. Harper is at -380 at last report.

Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English (preshow match at 7:30 p.m.) -- Dillinger will get the crowd going. On paper it's a nice short opening match where the face wins. Dillinger was listed as a -825 favorite.

NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS LIVE ON MONDAY AT 5:30 A.M. FROM KORAKUEN HALL ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

  • Ricochet & Hirai Kawato & Tomoyuki Oka vs. Marty Scurll & Katsuya Kitamura & Shota Umino
  • Taka Michinoku & Taichi vs. Will Ospreay & Jado
  • Ricochet & David Finlay & War Machine vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa & Yujiro Takahashi & & Marty Scurll
  • Satoshi Kojima & Juice Robinson & Jushin Liger & Dragon Lee vs. Tetsuya Naito & Seiya Sanada & Evil & Hiromu Takahashi
  • Volador Jr. vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  • Kushida vs. Bushi
  • Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Desperado
  • Tiger Mask vs. ACH

Raw will be Monday night in Grand Rapids, MI. There will also be a Smackdown house show on Monday night in Ypsilante, MI.

NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS TUESDAY FROM TOCHIGI ON NEW JAPAN WORLD (not live, should be up early afternoon)

  • Taichi vs. Hiromu Takahashi
  • Marty Scurll vs. Taka Michinoku
  • Ricochet vs. Dragon Lee
  • Jushin Liger vs. Will Ospreay

The Smackdown and 205 Live show will be taped on Tuesday night in Toledo.

FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 5/15/2017: Looking ahead to WWE's weekend in Chicago

With the Allstate Arena set to host NXT TakeOver: Chicago on Saturday and Backlash on Sunday, this weekend may be one of WWE's biggest of the year that doesn't include one of their four signature pay-per-views. There are things to look forward to on both cards. All four title matches at TakeOver should deliver on some level, with Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne boosting a show that probably would have still been fine without it.

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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: May 22, 2017: NJPW business up, ROH War of the Worlds review, tons more

An update on upcoming WWE big shows, the Braun Strowman injury and plans for his return, a lot of notes on New Japan business in a number of categories, the ROH-New Japan relationship, coverage of all the major shows this past week all over the world including first day Super Juniors, the life of Doug Somers and the age old pro wrestling style debate are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

The issue goes through plans for now as well as directions long-term for WWE, this weekend's Takeover and Backlash shows, and booking for summer shows.

Plus, look at New Japan's total revenue, growth, merchandise sales, Tokyo Dome goals, realities of New Japan World and why it has limitations as well as what has happened since the Tokyo Dome, AXS ratings for New Japan as compared with Impact, plans for broadcasting the Long Beach shows, the pro wrestling industry in Japan, updates on Tomoaki Honma and Katsuyori Shibata, the Hiroshi Tanahashi injury, as well as how business has done for several of the leading promotions in Japan this year.

Have a look at the ROH/New Japan relationship, coverage of ROH War of the Worlds with match-by-match rundown, poll results and star ratings, and the lineup for the ROH Best in the World show.

Check out UFC 211 and questions regarding drawing power of Stipe Miocic and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, a look at how Mayweather and Pacquiao became top draws, business notes for the show when it comes to ratings, PPV and live attendance and future booking direction of the winners, plus match-by-match coverage and poll results.

Read about a change in the broadcasting of Smackdown in a few weeks, what company's spent the most this year on advertising on Smackdown and what the list tells you about value and ad rights, notes on the UK special, a list of a number of upcoming shows with Rock Lesnar, Dwayne Johnson updates including a poll on if he ran for President against Donald Trump. 

Subscribers click here to continue.

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.

WON BACK ISSUE: April 24, 2000: Death of Masakazu Fukuda, legal battles in the wrestling world, tons more

New Japan wrestler Masakazu Fukuda passed away of complications from a cerebral hemorrhage at 3:28 a.m. on 4/19 in the Public Kesennuma Synthesis Hospital in Kesennuma, Japan after collapsing in the ring on 4/14 at a match in the same city with Katsuyori Shibata. Fukuda, 27, was rushed to the hospital when, after Shibata hit him with an elbow drop that he was supposed to kick out of. Instead he collapsed and began snoring in the ring, which caused everyone to panic. 

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SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back tonight covering Backlash, C.M. Punk, UFC Fighters Summit, Best of the Super Juniors and taking your questions for tonight's show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

I'd highly recommend last night's NXT show. It was really something else, especially the Pete Dunne U.K. title win over Tyler Bate. But really the whole show was as good a two-and-a-half hour show as you'll see anywhere.

We have notes on tonight's PPV on the top of this report as well as the odds. Sports betting firms that offer Kambi pricing are offering odds for what will be the highest rated match in the Observer for tonight's show. It's the third straight card they are offering this.

  • A.J. Styles vs. Kevin Owens is -154
  • Dolph Zigger vs. Shinsuke Nakamura is +115
  • Picking any other match is +700

Regarding the supposed post from Dan Hinkles of Five Star Wrestling claiming C.M. Punk would be in the tournament and at the Liverpool show, a rep from the promotion told us: "This tweet came from a fake account that has no affiliation with Dan Hinkles or anyone affiliated to 5 Star Wrestling."

Results of today's Best of the Super Juniors matches in Kira:

  • Will Ospreay (2-1) beat Taka Michinoku (1-2)
  • Marty Scurll (2-1) beat Jushin Liger (0-3)
  • Taichi (2-1) beat Dragon Lee (2-1)
  • Ricochet (2-1) beat Hiromu Takahashi (1-2) Marty Scurll was thrilled, saying the 12-year-old in him can't believe it. 

WWE

  • Dwayne Johnson hosted Saturday Night Live last night and did what came across as a tongue in cheek but winking tease regarding running for President.
  • Even though there weren't many tickets left for Backlash two weeks ago, sales largely halted when the card lineup came out which isn't a good sign. There are still a lot of unsold tickets on the floor including second row (at $500, which may be the issue more than lack of interest in the show).

MISCELLANEOUS

  • ESPN SportsCenter showed a clip from Thursday's Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay match.
  • The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Wichita Falls, TX inducted Mick Foley and Tatsumi Fujinami last night. Both were there. Among others attending were Len Denton, George Napolitano, Tiger Conway Jr., Susan Greene, Ross Hart, Gary Young, Eddy Mansfield, Wendi Richter, Larry Hennig as well as family members of Terry Gordy, Sputnik Monroe, Luther Lindsay and Yvon Robert.
  • Mike Mooneyham on a book chronicling the history of the Four Horseman.
  • The 58th anniversary of Wrestling at the Chase from last night in East Carondelet, IL before a sellout and record building setting 360 fans: Jimmy D & Bobby D b Tony Santo & Mauler McDarby, Clint Poe DDQ Big Texan, Flash Flanagan won three-way over Curtis Wylde and Curt Hanson, Moondog Rover b Dave Vaughn-DQ, Gary Jackson d Johnny Blade, Ken Kasa & Heath Hatton & Sean Vincent b Superstar Steve Fender & Ax Allwardt & Bubba Roll, Chris Hargas b Flash Flanagan 2/3 falls to win the SICW Classic title, Sean Vincent won the Bruiser Brody Memorial Battle Royal. Special guests at the show were Abdullah the Butcher (who attacked Dave Vaughn while sitting in a wheelchair), Charlie Thesz (the widow of Lou Thesz) and Barbara Goodish (the widow of Bruiser Brody). (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer and Larry Matysik)
  • Defy 3 Swerve City on 5/25 in Tacoma, WA at Washington Hall with John Morrison vs. Shane Strickland, Lio Rush vs. Davey Richards, Taya vs. Christina Von Eerie, Joey Ryan vs. Mr. Fitness and Moose vs. Mike Santiago.
  • Women's Wrestling Revolution from yesterday in Somerville, MA before 75 fans: Veda Scott b Laurel Van Ness (doing her drunk TNA gimmick in the wedding dress), Faye Jackson b Skylar, Team Sea Stars b Leah Vaughn & Kaitlim Diemond, Davienne b Maria Manic, MJ Jenkins (Impact) b Vanity, Taeler Hendrix b Rachael Ellering, Barbi Hayden b Alexxis, Jordynne Grace b Tessa Blanchard. (thanks to Patrick Tobin)
  • Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 6/3 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds.
  • Some clips from the All Pro Wrestling show at the Cow Palace on 5/6 headlined by Joey Ryan vs. Cody Rhodes in a cage match.

Today in Professional Wrestling History (5/21): The Undertaker returns at Judgment Day 2000

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