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Daily Update: Cena turns 40, Impact tapings, Vader


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The Latest from the F4W Staff



We're looking for reports on these shows:

  • WWE Friday night in Rapid City, SD
  • Impact TV tapings Friday in Orlando
  • Impact tapings today in Orlando
  • House of Hardcore last night in Philadelphia
  • WWE Raw in Fargo, ND
  • WWE Smackdown in Hammond, IN

        You can send the reports to


  • Ethan Page vs. Austin Theory
  • ACH vs. Jaka
  • Keith Lee vs. David Starr
  • Fred Yehi vs. Kyle O'Reilly
  • Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Lio Rush for Evolve title
  • Matt Riddle vs. Drew Galloway I Quit match for WWN title

Raw will be Monday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. It will be the go-home show for Payback meaning the return to television of Roman Reigns. Kalisto vs. Braun Strowman in a dumpster match was announced. There will also be a Smackdown brand house show in Peoria, IL, and this will be with the new rosters meaning Shinsuke Nakamura, Charlotte, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn appear.

Smackdown will be Tuesday night in Des Moines. Naomi vs. Charlotte for the women's championship has been announced for the show.

FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 4/18/2017: Shibata vs. Okada underscores the dangers of pro wrestling

I wasn't thinking about the headbutt that may have ended Katsuyori Shibata's career when the main event of Sakura Genesis ended. Instead, I was impulsively trying to fit Shibata vs. Kazuchika Okada into the hierarchy of matches I've seen over the past few years. I knew that it was my favorite match of the year so far, even surpassing Okada vs. Kenny Omega from the Tokyo Dome. It comfortably surpassed anything from 2016 for me as well, and I may have been able to go back further if it wasn't for the fear of recency bias affecting my judgment too much.

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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: April 24, 2017: Jinder Mahal made #1 contender, Rosey passes away, more

A look at the life and times of Matt "Rosey" Anoa'i, more on the Mauro Ranallo situation, looking at Jinder Mahal's push to the top, an update on Katsuyori Shibata and a look at the first-ever government investigation of an attempted fix of a UFC fight are just some of the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Have a look at the current WWE booking, the story behind the push of Jinder Mahal, realities of what pushing talent based on physique leads to, and how the network business models plays into this move.

Examine the life and career of Matt Anoa'i of the famed Samoan wrestling family, and notes from those who knew him and a rundown of his pro wrestling career, his near misses when it comes to a push, tragedies in the family, his runs outside WWE and more.

An update on the situation with Katsuyori Shibata, who was injured during one of the greatest matches in recent years, and a look at what happened after the match; look back at how the death of Masakazu Fukuda plays into the story, more on the match, as well as the road Shibata took from high school to selling out Sumo Hall and where he was supposed to be headed, inside this issue.

There is more on the Mauro Ranallo situation including his return to Japan with Rizin and how that was set up, his run in WWE, why the run didn't work, backstage notes at WWE tapings, several wrestlers talk about that situation or their own situations, a look back at the Layfield/Blue Meanie incident and differences of opinion regarding who was responsible for what was happening.

Check out the roster switch over when it comes to house shows and the current plans for May lineups, Roman Reigns at the house shows this past weekend, the biggest surprise of the roster moves, update on The Hardys and the legalities of the broken gimmick, update on Bill Goldberg's contractual situation and future with the company, and WWE injury updates. 

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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

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 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: March 27, 2000: More on WWF leaving USA Network, Beyond the Mat controversy, more

One of the two remaining roadblocks to the WWF/CBS deal was removed this past week when Chris-Craft Industries, Inc. agreed to sell its half of UPN to Viacom for $5 million. Chris-Craft had sought to block a clause in its dual ownership contract of UPN with Viacom, which gave either side the right to order the other to either sell its half or buy out the other company's half. Viacom had, through that clause, ordered Chris-Craft to make a decision by 3/20.

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A quick thank you to those who listened to the show and mentioned Dave Korner and Doc Young. In my case, thank you for your patience because the reality is that there would probably be no Observer without him, so for me, he changed my life in ways unimaginable looking back. 

Vader did wrestle yesterday and today after collapsing in the ring on Thursday, so he wasn't in as bad of shape as it appeared at the time. We noted that he did go to the after-party and left the ring on his own power on Thursday.

Alberto El Patron beat Magnus to win the GFW title and it looks like the top matches at Slammiversary on 7/2 will be Bobby Lashley vs. Alberto Impact title vs. GFW title and Jeremy Borash & Joseph Park vs. Josh Matthews & ? for the lead announcer position. Abyss has now turned back into Joseph Park. Matt Sydal debuted on Friday.

Mike Johnson reported that it was The Young Bucks who were to be the ROH representatives that were going to face Tommy Dreamer & Bully Ray last night at the House of Hardcore show. On the mic Dreamer had thanked Joe Koff of ROH for clearing the way for replacements, without mentioning names, but that something fell through. Nick Jackson got very sick yesterday morning and had to cancel. I was told that Vince McMahon and Paul Levesque agreed to allow the Hardys to wrestle to save the show after first not allowing it, I guess with them figuring Dreamer did everything he could to get a replacement. They were told they were not allowed to do anything physically risky but could do a match. At the show they teased Dreamer & Bully vs. Spirit Squad, the same match as the night before, and then got the pop as The Hardys came out and Matt said that they had been told they couldn't wrestle tonight, but they were going to wrestle even if it means getting fired on Monday. Besides Koff, Dreamer also thanked HHH and Vince, saying that HOH owes both of them one.

John Cena turned 40 today. Happy Birthday. Vince McMahon sent out a tweet calling him the Babe Ruth of WWE. 


  • Jim Ross' autobiography "Slobberknocker" that he wrote with Paul O'Brien will be available for preorder on 10/3.
  • The former Bollywood Boys are now going to be known as The Singh Brothers.
  • Sean Mooney talks his time in WWE.
  • John Layfield talks about going to a major rugby event.
  • The cover story in Bloomberg News was on WrestleMania.


  • The company named Maurice Smith to its Hall of Fame. Smith was UFC heavyweight champion in 1997 and a great kickboxer in the 80s where he went unbeaten for about nine years. The ceremony is 7/6 in Las Vegas.


  • Jack Swagger was announced for the House of Hardcore Australian tour in June. The shows are 6/17 in Sydney, 6/18 in Perth, 6/23 in Melbourne and 6/24 in Adelaide. Swagger is also listed on FULL shows in May in Mexico against Alberto El Patron.
  • Chris Cruise noted that Bruno Sammartino is coming to his class on the life of Bruno Sammartino this coming Wednesday that he's teaching.
  • Tonight's Matt Riddle vs. Drew Galloway main event for Evolve in Brooklyn, an I Quit match, has also become a WWN championship match. 
  • Dick Bourne and Mid Atlantic historians announced they were releasing a book called "Old School Rules Volume 1," which will be photos of Eddie Cheslock, who did the photography for Jim Crockett Promotions as well as articles from the old programs and articles by writers like Mike Mooneyham and Bill Apter. The book will focus on Ricky Steamboat, Magnum T.A. and The Rock & Roll Express. For more info you can go to
  • CWE 8th anniversary tour on Friday night in Prince Albert, SK: Roy Gordon b K-Dos, Rex Roberts b Ethan Price, Omar Amir b Canadian Cougar, Garrison Creed b Jacob Creed, Danny Duggan b Big Chief, Tony Kozina b Alex Anthony, Shane Sabre & Phil Atlas b Kody Lane & Travis Cole. The next show is 8/5.
  • Oddsmakers at have put up odds on what Conor McGregor will name his baby and whether it'll be under or over 7 1/2 pounds. They are also doing this with Serena Williams, and nothing on Bryan Danielson.
  • Bryan Danielson's wife Brie Bella and Roderick Strong's girlfriend, Marina Shafir are both due any time now. I believe Marina's due date was a few days ago but haven't heard anything since. Best of luck to both women, and to the fathers as well.
  • Branko Busick, the son of Nick "Big Bully" Busick, fought Tyrell Fortune on the Friday night Bellator show. Fortune beat him soundly. Sean Grande, the announcer is a wrestling from childhood and even helped do a newsletter as a kid, mentioned his father, who was in his son's corner, and also made references to Sid Vicious and Harvey Wippelman. Even though Branko lost, he did drop Fortune in the second round.
  • MCW on 6/3 in Brantford, ONT at Legion Branch 90.
  • Here is an interview with Dan Severn is, talking Owen Hart, Steve Blackman and Ken Shamrock.
  • Lucha Xtreme TV from last night in Fresno: Eli Everfly won three-way over Joel Nelson and Dark Usagi, Homicide b Brandon Groom-DQ, Robbie Phoenix b Kato Hiro. (thanks to Jon Southerland)

Today in Professional Wrestling History (4/23): Heavenly Bodies become first SMW tag champs

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