Recapping the week
Today is quite honestly a welcomed quiet weekend in the world of Pro Wrestling and MMA after a very long week. To quickly recap the week: It all started with the retirement of Bryan Danielson from WWE that culminated with his WWE RAW Retirement speech. In the aftermath of the Danielson speech Titus O'Neil was suspended for 90 days and then quickly reduced to 60 days for grabbing Vince McMahon during the closing of RAW's broadcast on the WWE Network. CM Punk's UFC debut was delayed due to needing back surgery which was by all reports successful.
After publicly announcing his prostate cancer diagnosis and impending surgery last week, this week Bret Hart posted a positive message following his surgery. We heard the sad news of UFC Legend and former Heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman passing away at 44. In other said news Mark Nulty, wrestling historian, former announcer and the engine behind the Wrestling Classics website, also passed away.
NEW JAPAN NEW BEGINNINGS IN NIIGATA LATE TONIGHT STARTING AT 2 A.M. EASTERN AND 11 P.M. PACIFIC ON NEW JAPAN WORLD
Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Captain New Japan vs. Young Bucks & Cody Hall
Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly vs. Gedo & Kazushi Sakuraba
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Ricochet & Matt Sydal vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Ryusuke Taguchi & David Finlay
Michael Elgin & Jay White vs. Tetsuya Naito & Evil
Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi vs. Mark & Jay Briscoe & Toru Yano for Never Open weight title
Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata & Juice Robinson vs. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hash
Kushida vs. Bushi for IWGP jr. title
Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe vs. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows for IWGP tag titles
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kenny Omega for IWGP IC title
Sunday has WWE in Bakersfield,, CA (Chris Jericho, Bray Wyatt, Wyatt Family, Dudleys, Ryback, A.J. Styles, Kane, Natalya).
Raw will be Monday in Anaheim. No Brock Lesnar or Paul Heyman on to the go-home show for Fast Lane. Ticket sales picked up with the announcement of A.J. Styles, although I'm sure in management that will be passed off as pure coincidence, and maybe it is. But this looks to be the first sellout of a Raw show this year. It's very close at this point and Anaheim is good walk-up market.
Lesnar will make his first appearance on Smackdown since 2004 at the Tuesday tapings in Ontario, CA.
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Figure Four Weekly
Figure Four Weekly 2/1/2016: Weekly Hogan/Gawker update
A look at the past weeks developments in the Hulk Hogan and Gawker lawsuit.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
The Latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter: February 15, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Daniel Bryan retires
The newest issue of the Wrestling Observer is one of the best of the year. A very detailed look at the end of Bryan Danielson's career and retirement. Looking back at sports, pro wrestling and the ramifications that are and are not being talked about. Danielson's retirement is a big story, both his short and long term impact on pro wrestling. How his story will act as a catalyst for change not only within pro wrestling but all contact sports. If you are a wrestling fan, a sports fan or a science fan, this may be the most important issue of the year.
Bryan Danielson's retirement speech, career highlights, home town, character both in and out of the ring, booking, the crazy way he ended up as champion for the first time, the birth of the "Yes" chant, the build to WrestleMania 30 & 31, the various exams, why he wanted to continue wrestling and WWE didn't, his goals outside of WWE and why he changed his mind in the last few weeks.
The quandary he was in about continuing his career, how his career began, the formation of ROH and the changing landscape of independent wrestling, the changing ideas of what a pro wrestling headliner can look like, the first time I ever saw him wrestle while sitting with Red Bastien and Nick Bockwinkel
The suspension of Titus O'Neil, a longtime WWE star talking about going into another sport, another star looking at retiring soon, lots of WrestleMania plans including an early summer major match, Steve Austin's WrestleMania status, update on promotion of Stephanie McMahon, star who may be interested in returning, Fast Lane, A.J. Styles talks his beginnings in WWE and how hard he tried to hide the Royal Rumble story, how DDP figured in Styles' return, Linda McMahon forms a new company, Roman Reigns in Raw main events, WWE cuts five in developmental, new WWE books. New announcer hired, Update on many Tough Enough competitors from the past season, plans for a WWE show taped this summer, international star WWE has interest in, as well as a look at all the weekend house shows from WWE & NXT with business notes.
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Check out the latest Online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: Jan 4, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Starcade review, Jaguar Yakota retires, more
A look at how promotions did in 1998 overall, a review of Starcade with Nash pinning Goldberg, Jaguar Yakota retires, plus tons more.
SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE
The Fight Network’s John Pollock has some details on that just-announced show featuring Chael Sonnen vs. Michael Bisping in a grappling match, Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio, and Roy Jones Jr. offering to box a fan for $100k.
- Here’s some WWE California Smackdown promotional work by Becky Lynch.
- On this week’s 6:05 Superpodcast, David Bixenspan and Brian Last return for Episode #12: “Way Ahead of My Brain,” which includes a discussion of Daniel Bryan’s retirement in a larger historical/emotional context, Brian’s lone meeting with Randy Savage part one of a chat with Scott Teal about his books and writing Nick Gulas’s “Slam-O-Gram” programs, an amazing old newspaper interview with Jimmy Snuka, Beau James’ Dennis Coralluzzo story, and much more, including a crazy Koko B. Ware squash match, which you can also watch on YouTube with their narration.
- ECWA returns on Saturday, 2/20 for a “Winter Challenge” show at the United Asbury Methodist Church in New Castle, DE.
- Chyna is appearing tonight for Maryland Championship Wrestling’s Xtreme Anniversary show in Joppatowne, MD. Matt Hardy is in the main event with Jeff Hardy also making a non-wrestling appearance.
- Mick Foley did an appearance on a comedy podcast.
- We have a feature up about an interesting night for Roddy Piper, Bob Orton, and Don Muraco in Fresno, CA, 30 years ago this weekend.
- Kobe Bryant said he reached out to Ronda Rousey after her loss to Holly Holm.
- Due to a late change due to “medication issues” involving the Siyar Bahadurzada-Brandon Thatch fight on next weekend’s Fight Night 83, the Joe Riggs-Chris Camozzi fight has been moved to the prelims after originally being scheduled for the Fight Pass prelims. The Thatch fight will now take place 2 weeks later at UFC 196
- Luke Rockhold says that he will finish Chris Weidman even quicker in their rematch than he did at UFC 194 in December.
- Bellator MMA is continuing to build up a roster of Female Flyweights (125 lbs), announcing the signing of 3 new prospects out of Brazil.
ON THIS DAY IN WORLD PRO WRESTLING HISTORY: Tyler Black wins ROH Title; Jeff Hardy wins TNA Title