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Daily Update: BJ Penn accused of sexual assault, Bellator, LU


The weekend schedule

There is a big weekend upcoming with Bellator's biggest show so far this year tomorrow night, WWE's Fast Lane show, a Sunday live UFC show, two ROH shows in Japan, NXT full touring and WSOF.

Bryan and I will be posting the first of two shows tomorrow night. Tomorrow night we will cover Bellator and the first ROH of the weekend in Japan.  The Sunday Wrestling Observer Radio we will cover FastLane, the second ROH in Japan and UFC.  We'll also be doing shows next weekend on both Friday & Saturday covering the ROH PPV from Las Vegas and the UFC Fight Pass from London.

We're looking for reports on tonight's NXT shows in Upper Darby, PA and Crystal River, FL at Dave Meltzer


Lucha Dragons & Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev & Alberto Del Rio & Sheamus

Sasha Banks vs. Tamina

Chris Jericho vs. The Miz

Charlotte vs. Natalya non-title

Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Dudleys


Jushin Liger & Matt Sydal vs. Dalton Castle & Ryusuke Taguchi

Gedo vs. Delirious

Kushida vs. Frankie Kazarian

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin & Tomoaki Honma & Moose vs. Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi & Cody Hall

Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Young Bucks & Kenny Omega

Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson

Jay Lethal & Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada & Yoshi-Hashi

Roderick Strong vs. Tomohiro Ishii for ROH TV title

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Wrestling Observer Newsletter

The Latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Feb 22, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WWE 2015 Financial Report, Kevin Randleman passes

The 2015 business of WWE is the lead in a  packed issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We go through the keys to the current business: biggest revenue streams, why the stock was down, compare with the past, the truth about television ratings, house show business, social media effect, Vince McMahon talks ratings, what ratings mean right now and in the future, network numbers, both good and bad signs regarding those numbers, why numbers declined and will go up soon and what kind of seasonal gain can be expected.

The career of Kevin Randleman, his most famous matches, comments from Bas Rutten, comments he made about first getting into fighting, plus his career as a pro and college wrestler.

We also have a piece looking at matches that in one night changed promotions or made superstars, and how that fits in with this past week's Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kenny Omega match.  A full rundown of the New Beginnings in Osaka and New Beginning in Niigata shows, with match-by-match coverage, story behind both shows, star ratings and poll results.  We also look at the big shows coming up for New Japan.

Lots more about Daniel Bryan, details on his medical issues, lots of things not really put into perspective, Brie Bella;s retirement, Wade Barrett situation, Titus O'Neil suspension and fine, FastLane notes, the weirdness of the Fast Lane main event as it pertains to the company's future, WWE injury updates, more on John Cena's injuries, Cesaro talks his own injury and Bryan retirement, WWE Network notes, notes on wrestlers who received tryouts last week, Jericho vs. Styles notes, WWE star opening up a wrestling themed restaurant, plus highlights of all the NXT and WWE house shows over the past week and business notes.

WWE's new Global Cruiserweight series concept, how the tournament will work, the schedule, the scouting of participants and more.

Bellator's deal with Rampage Jackson and details of how it happened.


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Check out the latest Online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: Jan 11, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Finger Poke of Doom, Awards results, Sam Muchnick passes away
Details on World Title changes in 3 promotions including the Finger Poke of Doom, full results of the Observer Awards, plus tons more.


Rumors started up yesterday about BJ Penn being accused of sexual assault that occured last August on the big island of Hawaii.  UFC has put a hold on Penn's expected comeback to investigate the allegations.

Bellator and Spike TV announced the launch of a new promotion, Bellator kickboxing that will air on a regular basis and will be the sister promotion to Bellator MMA.  Scott Coker will be running both groups.  The promotion debuts on 4/16 for a show in Torino Italy with Melvin Manhoef vs. Alexandru Negrea and Karim Ghaji defending his 165 pound weight class title against Mustapha Haida, the 158 pound champion.  It will be a combination MMA & Kickboxing show.  The MMA show will air live at 3 p.m. an the kickboxing will air on tape in prime time at 9 p.m. 

Lucha Underground set its record once again last night with 152,000 viewers for the 8 p.m. show on the El Rey Network.  That's a record for the show on El Rey, although it has drawn more on Unimas most weeks.

TNA Impact on Tuesday night did 273,000 viewers for the 9 p.m. airing and 87,000 for the midnight airing.  The Tuesday number was about the same as the week before, while the midnight number is down from 112,000.  Combined, it was the fewest viewers for Impact since the first first-run episode on Pop TV.

Jeff Jarrett's Global Force Wrestling Amped show has its first announced TV deal, in New Zealand, starting in March.


  • An interview with Paul Levesque on the upcoming cruiserweight network show
  • Bomani Jones of ESPN was critical of Steve Austin using the term "shucking and jiving" as a term in reference to Titus O'Neil in the Vince McMahon incident on his podcast, saying on Twitter:  "When you try to say something wasn't racist, but you say `shucking and jiving,' that's unfortunate."
  • A story on the WWE website redesign.
  • A story on The New Day
  • Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson, Enzo Amore & Big Cass and Sami Zayn are all scheduled for the 3/12 show in Toronto which is the live network special.  Whether they'll be on the TV special isn't clear.
  • Charlotte will be judging a "Whooo" contest on Saturday at the Lake Erie Monsters hockey game.
  • Zack Ryder does a video workout for Newsday
  • Tickets for Raw on 4/11 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles are available in a pre-sale that lasts until 10 p.m. tomorrow night using the code LAVIP
  • The stock was down 23 cents per share today, closing at $15.24
  • ProWrestlingTees A.J. Styles merchandise will no longer be on sale after tomorrow.
  • The Edge & Christian Show that Totally Reeks of Awesomeness debuts right after Fast Lane on Sunday.  


  • The Los Angeles Times has a story today on Royce Gracie
  • Holly Holm talks Ronda Rousey's comments on suicide
  • Spike TV has a special on the life of Kimbo Slice tomorrow night from 7:30 to 9 p.m. called "Kimbo Slice:  The Truth."   
  • World Series of Fighting runs a live show on Saturday night at the Next Level Sports Complex in Orange County at 9 p.m. on NBC Sports with Marlon Moraes (15-4-1) vs. Joseph Barajas (12-1) for the bantamweight title.
  • The M-1 Challenge group has moved its 3/4 show in St. Petersburg, Russia to 4/8 due to building renovations.  They have a show tomorrow night in Moscow headlined by former Bellator champion Alexander Shlemenko (51-9) facing Vyacheslav Vasielevsky (27-3) and Alexander Volkov (24-6) vs. Denis Smoldaraev (11-1).


  • The BBC has a story on Drew Galloway being an inspiration to going after your dreams
  • Rolling Stone has a story on Billy Corgan and his job in TNA
  • Rob Van Dam has been added to the House of Hardcore shows on 4/15 in Queens, NY and 4/16 in Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena.
  • Updated list for the Icons of Pro Wrestling convention on 4/16 in Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena before the House of Hardcore show is:  Shawn Michaels, Tommy Dreamer, Rob Van Dam, Lex Luger, Roadkill, Bull Dempsey, Sean Waltman, So Cal Val, Road Warrior Animal, Ricky Steamboat, Stan Hansen, Ron Bass, Abyss, Billy Gunn, Bill Apter, Justin Credible, Brian Cage, Cliff Compton, Kevin Thorne, Maven, Jeannie Clark, Curt Hawkins, Amber Gallows, Danny Cage, Blue Meanie, Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards, Sabu, Melissa Coates, Little Guido, Marty Jannetty, Rhino, Sami Callihan and Mil Mascaras.
  • Believe it or not this song, a tribute to The Crusher, got a lot of air play in the 60s and 70s on the Dr Demento type of shows
  • A story on an Australian pro wrestling movie featuring ex-WWE stars
  • Pro wrestler Devon Nicholson, a wrestling alternate for the Canadian Olympic team, wants to face Roy Jones Jr. in that fan boxing match
  • Some comedy video of Brock Lesnar and Hillary Clinton
  • A story on the news in Chattanooga about a cancer victim who wants to meet Dwayne Johnson
  • ECWA on Saturday night in New Castle, DE at the United Asbury Methodist Church with Deonna Purrazzo vs. Miranda Vionette for their women's title.
  • United Wrestling Coalition on 3/12 in Wrightstown, NJ at Kelly's Bar and Banquet Hall for their 20th anniversary show, bring back Don Montoya and Rick Silver.
  • Mark Nulty's visitation will be Saturday from 5-7 p.m. at the Roberts Funeral Home East Chapel at 2739 SE Maricamp Rd. in Ocala, FL, and the funeral will be Sunday at the Church of Hope at 3233 SE Maricamp Rd.  In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations in the anem of Evan Nulty at Gateway Bank. 
  • Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 3/5 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds headlined by Flash Flanagan vs. Vic the Bruiser & Tommy Danger in a handicap match.
  • Bull James, formerly Bull Dempsey, headlines for Grand Slam Wrestling on 3/12 in Moosic, PA at the Moosic Youth Center.
  • Superkick'd Pro Wrestling on 3/11 in Toronto at the Great Hall.
  • CWF on 4/16 in St. Catherines, ONT at the Haig Bowl Arena.
  • Luchaproof on 4/17 in Toronto at The Rockpile.
  • Kurt Angle will be the guest referee for the Battlarts Academy show on 4/10 in Mississauaga, ONT.  He'll ref the main event of Tyler Tirva vs. Stone Rockwell vs. Randy Reigns vs. RJ City in an elimination match.
  • Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling on 3/12 in Vancouver, BC has the 2016 Pacific Cup tournament with Alex Plexis, Bishop, Artemis Spencer, Phantasmo, Billy Suede, Nelson Creed, Nicole Matthews, Tony Baroni, Pete Powers, Ethan HD and Air Adonis participating.
  • Ignite Wrestling on 2/27 in Fort Pierce, FL.
  • Gouge Wrestling on Sunday in Raleigh from Noon to 5 p.m. at the CAM Raleigh with free admission to a Sunday family event.
  • National Fighting Championships on 2/27 at Center Stage in Atlanta for its 82nd show. 

ON THIS DAY IN WORLD PRO WRESTLING HISTORY: War to Settle the Score; Superstar vs. Bruno steel cage match