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Daily Update: CMLL, John Cena, WWE zombies

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WON NEWSLETTER: May 24, 2021 Observer Newsletter: AEW to TBS, Ospreay vacates IWGP World Heavyweight title

Our lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer analyzes the WarnerMedia and AEW new deal, from the change of stations in 2022, quarterly specials both the good and bad and what they can't be or they won't work, how to tape so much content, the benefits and non-benefits of TBS vs. TNT, of a second show, how the second show idea came about, and for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction.

Also in this issue: 

  • Turmoil in New Japan, COVID issues, and first hints of what is going on behind the scenes as well as Ospreay drops title
  • Full coverage of WrestleMania Backlash, PPV numbers, next direction, poll results
  • A look at all the WWE cuts and background behind them, who was and wasn't a surprise
  • Coverage of UFC 262, back story, where everyone goes next, all the business notes on the show
  • How AEW ticket sales are doing for all the events on sale now and what that tells us about where they stand and things stand
  • All the different questions that have come out of the talks to put together Georges St-Pierre vs. Oscar de la Hoya, plus freezing contracts, Jake Paul's new deal and more
  • Lots more behind the scenes of Mayweather vs. Logan Paul including who was originally to finance the show
  • News on TripleMania, Omega vs. Andrade and other plans for Mexico's big event of the year
  • A look back at what some would say was the biggest match ever in the Carolinas and step-by-step of building it, plus the unique story of the career of Don Kernodle, from a shoot match debut, the match that led to Starrcade and more
  • The story of Sergio el Hermoso & El Bello Greco, a landmark tag team and the glory days of UWA
  • The most complete look at TV ratings available, including who watches live, how long they watch and more
  • Match of the week and performer of the week
  • Pro wrestling legend to be inducted into sports Hall of Fame
  • What wrestling promoter sang backup for John Lennon

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@wrestlingobserver.com or by going to www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Garrett Gonzales and I will be covering all the wrestling, boxing, MMA and other news tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio, running down all the stories of the past week. I will be doing a Saturday night show with Bryan after the UFC card as well.

An interesting note with SummerSlam on 8/22 in Las Vegas is that a major boxing match with Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence Jr. will be in Las Vegas on 8/21.

Regarding talk of John Cena being on the first WWE show back with fans on 7/16, I was told that this is still being discussed.

Ringside News reported a seven figure payday Warner Brothers to WWE for the zombies to be on WrestleMania Backlash in some form. WWE sources have confirmed Nick Khan brokered that deal for more than $1 million.

Tonight is the first show with fans at Arena Mexico since March 13, 2020. It's just a normal show with a main event of Mistico & Caristico & Euforia vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Gran Guerrero & Volador Jr.

Hall of Famer L.A. Park said today that he's been out of action due to COVID but he's better now.

UFC tomorrow night starts at 4 p.m. Eastern has a show with the entire card on ESPN+:

  • Rafael Alves (154.5) vs. Damir Ismagulov (155.5)
  • Yancy Medeiros (155) vs. Damir Hadzovic (156)
  • David Dvorak (126) vs. Juancamilo Ronderos (128.5) - Ronderos forfeits 20 percent of his purse for missing weight.  Dvoak was scheduled against Raulian Paiva, who ended up hospitalized earlier today due to weight cutting issues and Ronderos was called at the last minute.
  • Joshua Culibao (146) vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (146)
  • Bruno Silva (125.5) vs.; Victor Rodriguez (125.5)
  • Court McGee (170.5) vs. Claudio Silva (169.5)
  • Ben Rothwell (265.5) vs. Chris Barnett (263)
  • Jack Hermansson (186) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan (185)
  • Ricardo Ramos (146) vs. Bill Algeo (145.5)
  • Felicia Spencer (145) vs. Norma Dumopnt (146)
  • Justin Tafa (265.5) vs. Jared Vanderaa (264)
  • Yan Xiaonan (116) vs,  Carla Esparza (116)
  • Cody Garbrandt (135.5) vs. Rob Font (136)

Dwayne Johnson was announced as the voice of Superman's best friend, Krypto the Superdog in a DC film called "DC League of Super-Pets," scheduled for a May 2022 release.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced that Mark James will be awarded with the Jim Melby award for journalism.  James has done four books covering results from different territories and runs the Memphis Wrestling History website.

Smackdown tonight has Apollo Crews defending the IC title in a four-way with Big E, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Announced for 205 Live are Ikemen Jiro & August Grey vs.  Samir & Sunil Singh and Ari Sterling vs. Asher Hale.  Jiro is the former Jiro Kurosho and Sterling is the former Alex Zayne.

New Japan Strong at 10 p.m. Eastern on New Japan World:

  • Bateman vs. Alex Coughlin
  • Brody King & Karl Fredericks vs. Danny Limelight & JR Kratos
  • Fred Rosser vs. Hikuleo no DQ

The A&E bio on Sunday is on Ultimate Warrior. I was interviewed for several hours on this but don't know if I'll be on the show.

Invicta debuts tonight on AXS but will also be streaming live on YouTube for free starting at 7 p.m. Eastern time. The show has:

  • Elise Pone (124.7) vs. Chrissy Yandolli (125.9)
  • Fatima Kline (115.6) vs. Arianna Melendez (114.89)
  • Josee Storts (128.7) vs. Maria Favela (125.5) - Storts missed weight and was fined
  • Juliana Miller (125.3) vs. Claire Guthrie (126)
  • Alesha Zappitilla (104.9) vs. Jessica Delboni (104.8) for the atomweight title
  • Karina Rodriguez (124.7) vs. Daiana Torquato (124.9) for the flyweight title

LFA tonight on UFC Fight Pass at 9 p.m. Eastern:

  • Bryce Merideth (135.4) vs. Steven Merrill (133.8)
  • Clayton Carpenter (128.6) vs. Nicholas Clem (123.8) - Carpenter forfeits a percentage of the purse for missing weight to Clem
  • Tiani Valle (116) vs. Kathry Paprocki (116)
  • Tyler Ray (170.2) vs.  Ernesto Ancona (170.4)
  • Rodney Kealohi (125.2) vs. Mark Climaco (125.6)
  • Josh Frernd (184.6) vs. Gregory Rodrigues (184.8)

WWE

  • Jey Uso talks his family's history in wrestling.
  • Ric Flair was depicted on the "Gone Fishing" segment no DJ's Neat O Stat of the Night on Inside the NBA on Tuesday night (thanks to Brian Henke)
  • Dwayne Johnson has joined Bit.Fry as part of the Ultimate Rivals franchise. Johnson joins Roman Reigns, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Bayley in their roster of more than 140 athletes.  
  • The Hana Kimura Tribute show will air on FITE at 10 p.m. Eastern Saturday night from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.

UFC

  • Darren Elkins vs. Darrick Minner has been added to the 7/24 show.
  • Alessio Di Chirico has pulled out of his 6/5 fight with Roman Dolidze due to an injury.

OTHER NOTES

  • Kevin Eck's ROH news of the week.
  • MMA announcer Laura Sanko has been hired by  Wimp2Warrior as its brand ambassador. Wimp2Warrior is a new fitness program based on MMA training  Sanko is a former fighter who has done announcing for UFC, LFA and Invicta among other companies.
  • Dragon Gate Network has live shows from Sapporo at 4 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning and another show at midnight Eastern late Saturday night from Sapporo which includes Masato Yoshino's final match in Sapporo.
  • Stardom has a big match on Sunday in Kofu with Giulia vs. Mayu Iwatani.
  • Julianna Velasquez (11-0) makes her first Bellator flyweight title defense against Denise Kielholz (6-2), a top level kickboxer, on a 7/16 show on Showtime from the Mohegan Sun Casino.  There will be tickets on sale starting at $60.  Tickets go on sale on 6/4 with a presale the day before for 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship has signed former UFC fighter Alan Belcher.  Belcher will debut in August on a show in his home city of Biloxi, MS.
  • AAW tomorrow night at Galli Arena in Villa Park, IL at 7:05 p.m. with masks mandatory for all in attendance. Some of the card will stream live at twitch.tv/aawpro  The main event has Ace Austin & Madman Fulton vs. Manders & Matthew Justice for the tag team titles, Mance Warner vs. Thomas Shire, Gringo Loco & Black Taurus vs. Dragon Bane & Canis Lupus, Trey Miguel vs. Mat Fitchett and more.
  • Innovate Wrestling on 5/29 in Kingsport, TN at the Civic Auditorium.
  • Nicole Duva was announced as the new Director of Legal and Business Affairs for PFL. She will oversee all contract signings and regulatory issues.  Duva worked for more than a decade for Main Events at the COO and General Counsel, and is the daughter of former boxing promoter Dan Duva.
  • Mark Andrews will be doing as UK podcast on BBC and among his guests will e HHH, Cody Rhodes, Shawn Michaels, Drew McIntyre, Edge, Charlotte Flair, Kurt Angle, Kofi Kingston, Adam Cole, William Regal, Paige, Tegan Knox, MJF and Pete Dunne.
  • Combate Global and Univision have announced a one-night eight-man bantamweight tournament from Miami on 5/29.  It will air live on Univision at 11 p.m. next Saturday. The first round has David Martinez (3-1) vs. Eduardo Alvarada Osuna (9-6), Ernesto Ibarrra (5-0) vs. Alan Cantu (8-6), Manny Vazquez (12-3) vs. Nohelin Hernandez (10-4) and Francisco Rivera Jr. (1-7) vs. Adam Martinez (7-2).
  • The Alessio Di Chirico vs. Roman Dolidze fight scheduled on the UFC's 6/5 show is off due to Di Chirico pulling out due to injury.
  • Insane Wrestling Revolution from last night in Monroe, MI:  Mysterious Movado b Billy Ray Daneisl, Moonshine b Ridiculoso, Trey Miguel b Kenny Urban, Crash Jaxson b Sam Beale, Johnny Swinger b Rohit Raju, Larry D b Rhino, Malcolm Monroe III b Ben Boone-DQ, DBA & Jaimy Coxxx won over Larry D & Nate Bock and Aarno Orion & Jack Price (thanks to Leonard  Brand).  Rhino owns this promotion. Next show is 7/15.
  • ONE has postponed a 5/28 show at Singapore Indoor Stadium due to COVID restrictions.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Jinder Mahal wins WWE title at Backlash 2017

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