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Daily Update: Hell in a Cell preview, Canelo vs. GGG, Matt Hardy


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We're looking for reports from Friday night's Impact tapings in Mexico City to

We're also doing polls this weekend for Friday's CMLL Anniversary show, Saturday's New Japan show in Hiroshima and Sunday's Hell in a Cell, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show to


Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman Hell in a Cell for Universal title with Mick Foley as referee -- Strowman is hit and miss on big shows. Sometimes you're amazed at how good his matches are and other times, well, you're not. It usually depends on the leeway you get to do monster spots as opposed to wrestle. Fortunately, Hell in a Cell is about those spots. It would seem silly to have spent so long building up the Reigns title run and then have him lose it, but they are very short on the heel side, with only Drew McIntyre feeling ready down the line, although they can turn people as well. Still, most feel this is not the end for this program and you need a winner and a loser in HIAC. Reigns is a solid -380 favorite at press time. Keep in mind that it has been months since smart money has come in to any great degree, so these are just guesses based on betting patterns and some inside knowledge and don't recognize that the books actually know the finishes, as they did for most shows for years. Reigns has been getting cheered over Strowman at the house shows, which two months ago nobody would have believed. This isn't your Northeast PPV audience, but it's still a PPV audience and I can't recall the last time Reigns was the crowd favorite there.

A.J. Styles vs. Samoa Joe for WWE title -- They did a DQ last show so you'd think they'd bring it back with a stipulation. You'd be wrong. Still, they had the best match last show and on paper should have the best match here as well. Styles is a -170 favorite. I can see Joe winning the title making sense because this is also a program that seems to have more legs left, particularly without a stip here, although they are doing a Daniel Bryan vs. Miz match in Australia for the top contender spot. But I don't expect the title change.

Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton Hell in a Cell match -- Most expect the already injured Hardy to take a crazy bump or do something memorable here. By all rights they should have a good match but Hardy has been limited in his recent matches. Orton is a -365 favorite. The winner should go into a program with Shinsuke Nakamura, who is not on the card. Or they could do the three-way match which has been pushed for months but still hasn't happened.

Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse -- Bryan & Bella are -300 favorites. Usually the faces go over in these kind of matches, plus Miz won the last one. The men should work most of the way, so that means Bryan and that should mean a good match.

Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose for Raw tag titles -- On paper, this could be the best or second best match of the show.  Really, Rollins and Ziggler still haven't given the match people expected of their singles feud. Ziggler & McIntyre are -145 favorites. I don't know that Rollins & Ambrose should lose clean. It doesn't seem like the right time. 

Ronda Rousey vs. Alexa Bliss for Raw Women's title -- Last night in Corpus Christi, the match got over great largely due to constant interference from Mickie James and Alicia Fox, so I'd expect that to happen here as well. Rousey is the biggest favorite at -1050. I don't think anyone sees this as the right time for her first loss.

Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch for Smackdown Women's title -- I think everyone is wondering about crowd reactions. At first, the crowd was for Lynch over Charlotte, but it hasn't been as pronounced at the house shows or even at TV. A lot depends on what the plans are for Evolution and Charlotte, but if there's nothing notable in that direction, Lynch should win. However, Charlotte is the -170 favorite. It's also interesting to see, as usually best friends have good matches. 

New Day vs. Rusev & Aiden English for Smackdown tag titles (kickoff match at 6:30 p.m.) -- This should be good, but kickoff show matches are usually limited by time and rarely get out of second gear. The New Day are -400 favorites. They've had English save Rusev to make you think they are back together, so we'll see how that storyline plays out. 

The positive here is there are less matches, although it's also possible something could be added. This means less throwaways and more time for the individual matches, which is usually a positive. There have been a lot of mixed bag shows of late. This looks to be better than that.


  • Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz vs. Penta 0M & Rey Fenix for PWG tag titles


  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Yota Tsuji vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Yuya Uemura
  • David Finlay & Ren Narita vs. Toa Henare & Shota Umino
  • Takashi Iizuka vs. Ayato Yoshida
  • Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Kushida & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Will Ospreay & Rocky Romero & Sho & Yoh
  • Baretta & Chuckie T vs. Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.
  • Evil & Sanada & Bushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma & Juice Robinson vs. Kazuchika Okada & Jay White & Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi
  • Hirooki Goto vs. Taichi for Never open weight title
  • Tetsuya Naito vs. Minoru Suzuki

Raw is Monday in Dallas. Nothing has been announced for the show other than an appearance by The Undertaker. Smackdown has a house show in Oklahoma City.

Tuesday has Smackdown and 205 Live in Tulsa. Announced for 205 Live is Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak for the Cruiserweight title and Lio Rush vs. Noam Dar.

F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Looking at Shawn Michaels potential return

While retirements in professional wrestling are almost always temporary, the direction that WWE went in on last Monday's episode of Raw was still genuinely surprising. What seemed like it would be a by-the-numbers segment with Shawn Michaels promoting Triple H and The Undertaker's match at WWE Super Show-Down, which is being billed as the last time they'll ever face each other, turned into a full-blown tease of Michaels coming out of retirement.

WON NEWSLETTER: September 17, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: The story of Dave Meltzer, more

The new issue of the Wrestling Observer goes through my life experiences with pro wrestling from childhood. Preview one of the biggest weekends for major shows of the year, including Hell in a Cell and the CMLL anniversary show. 

Look at UFC 228, with match-by-match coverage and what the results mean, as well as the early business indicators on the show.

Run down wrestling shows from the Media Con in Manchester including the British J Cup and a unique Impact show.

Look at Rock's daughter training to be a fourth generation pro wrestler, Matt Riddle notes in WWE, update on Neville, update on WWE and a number of top indie stars, Vince McMahon changing his feeling on managers, Renee Young's first week as official third person in the booth, Matt Hardy's future, Ric Flair's commitment ceremony, and WWE nominated for awards.

Read more on the Mixed Match Change, first episodes of the new season of Total Divas, funny Stephanie McMahon quote, Batista talks Smackdown 1,000th episode, most-watched shows of the past week on the WWE Network and WWE stock value.

Run down all the Raw, Smackdown and NXT events held over the past week with results, highlights and business notes.

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.


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I want to thank everyone for all the kind words on the current issue. I did not expect this kind of reaction. The only reason I wrote it was because I probably couldn't have finished an issue without it given the travel schedule and no Internet on my flight back from the U.K. I still don't expect to ever write that book, but maybe every year I'll do a chapter or something.

Last night's show was up late but it is up now.

I didn't see Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez last night, but most reaction was it was a great fight, one of the best major fights in years. Most felt Golovkin won, but Alvarez got the decision. Some would say Golovkin was robbed twice. The fight was the No. 1 searched for item on both Friday and Saturday with more than three million searches, so it should do a big PPV number.

The scores last night saw Glenn Feldman have it 114-114 even, going 2, 3, 5,6,7 and 8 for Alvarez. Judge Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld went 115-113 for Alvarez. Moretti had 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 12 for Alvarez. Weisfeld had 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 12 for Alvarez.

Media scores were 50 percent for Golovkin, 45 percent even and five percent for Alvarez. So the idea that those there live had it for Alvarez which is sometimes the case in these kind of fights, that wasn't the case here.

As noted, Matt Hardy has talked like last night's match on Corpus Christi could be the last of his career. He made a point to say "never say never" but it looks that way. I'm not sure why he worked the past few weeks because he's been hurting for some time but he just said he was fulfilling his advertised dates. He kind of bowed at the end almost every night with the idea it was his last time in each city. He had said a few weeks ago that it would depend on how his physical therapy goes whether he would try and come back.

Lance Storm noted that unless he wrestles again, that the last match of his career would have been against Matt Hardy in Dallas.

Kambi has listed the over/under for star ratings predictions for Hell in a Cell that you can bet on:

  • Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton ***
  • Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse *3/4
  • Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose ****
  • Ronda Rousey vs. Alexa Bliss **1/4
  • New Day vs. Rusev & Aiden English ***
  • Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch ***1/2
  • Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman ****
  • A.J. Styles vs. Samoa Joe ****1/4

While odds have shifted a little, there have been no major shifts to the level that would indicate anything substantial. Reigns grew as a favorite big time yesterday but settled back down to around where it was before. New Day odds grew yesterday while Bryan & Brie Bella dropped a good amount although they are still favorites. A.J. vs. Samoa Joe has bounced around a little but it hasn't moved big. Rousey's odds have grown greatly from -600 to -1050.


  • Raw will have quite the competition tomorrow night with the Emmy Awards taking place on a Monday night, to go along with the NFL. This will be the first time since 2014 that Raw has gone head-to-head with the Emmys.
  • Nia Jax was given the Association of National Advertisers See Her Now Award last night for obstacles and challenges she has overcome and honoring her dedication to assisting others.


  • UFC and Bas Rutten have reached an agreement where UFC has a new licensing agreement for Rutten to market the BAS Body Action System that you probably saw a ton of commercials for on TV years ago. IMG negotiated the deal where Rutten will release a UFC Bas Body Action system.


  • The 12 remaining people in the one-night left Battle of Los Angeles tournament are Trevor Lee, Jonah Rock, Robbie Eagles, Jeff Cobb, Shingo Takagi, Walter, Rey Hours, Flamita, Cima, Bandido, Joey Janela and Brody King. 
  • Mickey Mansfield, 61, who wrestled as Eddy Mansfield, was arrested on Friday night in Orange County, FL, on charges of aggravated assault with a firearm. Mansfield was a star in the 70s and early 80s who later promoted in Florida, and was best-known for his blading on camera as part of a pro wrestling expose in 1985 on the TV show 20-20.
  • Stardom from today in Osaka as the 5 Star tournament continues: Nicole Savoy & Jamie Hayter b Starlight Kid & Saki Kashima, Kimber Lee b Tam Nakano, Kagetsu b Shiki Shibusawa, Kelly Klein b Natsu Sumire, Momo Watanabe & AZM & Konami b Jungle Kyona & Leo Onozaki & Natsuko Tora, Rachael Ellering d Utami, Mayu Iwatani Hazuki.
  • Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in East Carondelet, IL: Jake Prater b PT Beckham, Big Texan b Keith Smith, Christopher Hargas b Billy McNeil, Gary Jackson & Sean Vincent b Mauler McDarby & Brady Shadeux, Steve Fender b Keith Smith Jr., Bobby D b Steve Fender-DQ, Ken Kasa b Curtis Wylde, Ricky Cruz DDQ Attila Khan, Kowalski b Flash Flanagan-COR. (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
  • J.J. Dillon will appear for Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling on 11/3 in Swansea, MO for a fire department fund raiser.
  • CWE on 10/3 in Altona, Manitoba at the Millennium Exhibition Centre.
  • Austin Aries will be signing copies of his book "Food Fight: My Plant-Powered Journey from the Bingo Halls to the Big Time," on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema in Bethesda, MD. He'll be talking about how a vegan diet helps him as an in-ring performer and giving nutritional advice to improve performance. Chuck Carroll, a wrestling reporter, will be there as well talking about how he cut down from 420 pounds to 155 pounds. 
  • Best of the West TV report from Friday night in Fresno: Marcus Ericks b Stryker-DQ, Steve Tresario b Owen Travers. Next taping is 10/6 in Merced, CA at the American Legion Post at 6 p.m. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
  • Pride of Wrestling on 11/9 in Orilla, ONT at the St. Pauls Centre featuring Bushwhacker Luke.
  • The Humboldt County Historical Museum will host a presentation of the career of Frank Gotch on 9/23 at 4 p.m. at the museum which is located at 905 First Avenue North, Dakota City, IA. Jerry Johnson, who is writing a book on the early history of pro wrestling (somebody needs to get him in touch with the historians like Dan Anderson, Don Luce and Steve Yohe) in the early days, will be speaking and will talk about early stars. In particular, they will talk about a 1904 American title match with Gotch vs. Tom Jenkins. He will speak that the entire series of events were actually a financial scam directed at the area populace in Bellingham.
  • Bodyslam! Wrestling Federation from last night in Copenhagen, Denmark before 400 fans: Valentine b Senza Volto, Betty Rose & Rick Dominick & Styggelse b Sixt & Danny Sharp & Erik Sabel, Swedish Elite b Tank & Burnett, Emeritus b Pastor William Eaver, Fred Yehi b Ophidian, Michael Fynne b Joseph Conners to keep Bodyslam title. Next show is 9/29 in Aarhug, with Yehi. (thanks to Kristian Buus Neilsen)

Daily Professional Wrestling History: Lesnar vs. Angle Iron Man match