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Daily Update: BOSJ, NJPW press conference, UFC news

THE ROUND-UP

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The Latest from the F4W Staff

NEWS

AUDIO

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 15, 2017: WWE financials breakdown, Braun Strowman injured, tons more

It’s another double issue of the Observer out this week, with more of a look at the WWE business in every category, how the Braun Strowman injury affects booking, the death of one of pro wrestling's leading historians J Michael Kenyon, New Japan's direction, the life of Gran Apache, UFC business, indies and the WWE ratings declines.

Look at the current WWE finances, WWE network subscriptions, television revenue, how much WWE takes in for Total Divas, comparing this year's WrestleMania to last year when it comes to network subscription growth, how many people added and canceled subscriptions to the network in the first quarter, revenue and expenses regarding adding new events on the network, what categories is the company losing money in, and the interesting stats regarding social media users and where they are from and where the money for WWE comes from.

Read about the realities of WWE attendance, merchandise sales, ticket sales, the value of the band extension, and a chart showing where the actual profits have come from in WWE over the past five years.

Examine the Strowman situation, the next couple of PPV shows and how the planned Raw main event scene has been changed.

Check out New Japan's big shows over the next month, including a major storyline that starts next week, the full lineups for the Best of the Super Junior shows, what shows will be in English, a rundown of the Dontaku show in Fukuoka, and more thoughts on the Long Beach shows.

There is an update on the Hardys situation, Dwayne Johnson's first movie with a pro wrestling backdrop, Johnson for President, WWE announcing for new shows, plans for the women's tournament and the highlights of the first U.K. shows. 

Also, look at the WWE injury updates, how ratings for other sports and their drops are comparing with WWE, a major new WWE sieging, and details on two lawsuits against WWE including one that has potential major implications for current wrestlers.

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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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WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • Despite it being advertised that he would return to television on the show, Rusev didn't appear on last night's SmackDown. There was an angle set up last week where he said that he would be coming to the show looking for answers about the WWE title shot that he demanded to get at Money in the Bank.
  • WWE announced an advertising partnership with the Rocket League video game. Rocket League will be sponsoring Backlash, Great Balls of Fire, and SummerSlam.
  • Drew Gulak posted a photo with him and Randy Orton standing with his "No Fly Zone" sign after Orton involved himself in the discussion about modern indie wrestling on Twitter that created a lot of controversy.
  • Jinder Mahal appeared on the episode of Talk is Jericho that was released today.
  • The Pittsburgh Times has an article on Chris Jericho playing a show with Fozzy in the city earlier this week.
  • Darren Young tweeted a picture of his improved physique after his elbow injury.

Pro Wrestling

  • At last night's Best of the Super Juniors show, Dragon Lee, Marty Scurll, Ricochet, and Taka Michinoku kicked off the tournament with wins in Block A. The winners from Block B were Ryusuke Taguchi, El Desperado, ACH, and Volador Jr.
  • There will be a Block A show at Korakuen Hall tonight/tomorrow morning with the NJPW rematch of Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet in the same building where their match in last year's tournament took place. It will air on NJPW World at 5:30 a.m. ET. The tournament matches are:  Ospreay vs. Ricochet Hiromu Takahashi vs. Jushin Thunder Liger Scurll vs. Dragon Lee Taka Michinoku vs. Taichi
  • ESPN.com ran an article on Ospreay where they spoke to him about his style of wrestling.
  • NJPW announced that they'll be holding a "major press conference" tomorrow about the July shows in Long Beach. It will be streamed on Facebook at 7 p.m. ET. Tomorrow is the day that AXS TV is supposed to announce their broadcast plans for the shows, so the press conference could be related to that.
  • NJPW's English-language website posted articles about the company's business plans and the injury status of Tomoaki Honma and Katsuyori Shibata. The articles translate comments that were made at media events prior to the Best of the Super Juniors.
  • CMLL's Ultimo Guerrero and El Terrible will be wrestling at ROH's Best in the World pay-per-view on June 23rd in Lowell, Massachusetts.
  • Al Snow attempted to clarify a story about him being arrested for "failure to appear" on Monday night. Snow wrote that he had a ticket from two years ago that he had taken care of, but due to a typo there was a bench warrant issued for him that he was unaware of. Snow said that he paid a $234 fine and was released.
  • PROGRESS Wrestling is coming to Alexandra Palace in London for the first time for a show on September 10th.
  • Wrestle:List spoke to Johnny Mundo about his acting career and the UK independent wrestling scene.
  • Mundo will be appearing at a screening of his movie "Boone: The Bounty Hunter" and hosting a Q&A session at the Central Cinema in Seattle on May 25th. He'll also be wrestling for Defy Wrestling at Washington Hall the next night.
  • The Metro posted an article on Pro Wrestling:EVE owner Emily Read. Read talks about how the promotion has helped her battle bipolar disorder.
  • EVOLVE's latest mini-documentary focuses on Kyle O'Reilly ahead of their shows this weekend.
  • Paste Magazine ran a story on how The Young Bucks utilize storytelling in their "Being the Elite" YouTube series.

UFC/MMA

  • Ariel Helwani tweeted that Cody Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw is looking less likely for UFC 213 on July 8th. He wrote that there's no confirmation the fight is off yet, but said that the UFC has reached out to other headliners recently about the main event.
  • Demetrious Johnson criticized Ronda Rousey when asked about her in an interview with Sports Illustrated. Johnson said that everyone loses in MMA and that Rousey needs to "grow up" and get over her losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes.
  • Michael Bisping said on his podcast that he hasn't heard anything official about his fight against Georges St-Pierre being off. Bisping noted that he won't be able to fight anytime soon because of a knee injury anyway and said that he hopes the fight with GSP still happens.
  • WME-IMG invited the entire UFC roster to Las Vegas this week for the "2017 UFC Athlete Retreat."
  • The Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier rematch won't be happening immediately due to a concussion that Poirier suffered during the fight. Poirier's manager said that he's hoping the rematch will take place around November.
  • The UFC is returning to Japan for a show at the Saitama Super Arena on September 23rd.

Today in Professional Wrestling History (5/17): Bruno Sammartino wins WWWF title

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