The Latest from the F4W Staff
- Raw ratings down for Payback go-home show
- Film on Vince McMahon's life in the works
- WWE announces matches for tonight's SmackDown and 205 Live
- Tag match, Miz TV with Finn Balor set for WWE Payback pre-show
- WWE Raw video highlights: Braun Strowman vs. Kalisto
- WWE Raw live results: Dumpster match on Payback go-home show
- Shaq blames WWE for WrestleMania match falling through
- CM Punk part of MTV's 'The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros' cast
- WOR: Raw go-home show for Payback, TNA, ROH, more! 4/25
- WOL: Feedback from India on Jinder, RAW, Payback, tons more! 4/24
- B&V: ROH TV, NWA World Championship Wrestling from 30 years ago this week! 4/23
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.
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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After seemingly swimming in an ocean of rapidly declining numbers across the board, World Championship Wrestling went to a strange pair of people as its life preservers--Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo. In a decision that had been in the works for about one month according to company sources, Brad Siegel completed the circular back-stabbing game which wound up in, not almost, but actually a pro wrestling like tag team, of the two people, former enemies, with seemingly nothing in common, bound together by their hatred for common enemies.
TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE
- USA Today has an article on Jinder Mahal getting a shot at the WWE title. Triple H is quoted in the piece, where he says that he doesn't know if Mahal was ready for the experience when he was first with WWE and compared him to Drew McIntyre. He said that he told both Mahal and McIntyre when they were initially released to "go other places, learn more in your career, mature, and think about the business in a different way" and gave them credit for working hard and improving while away from the company.
- The former Andrea D'Marco confirmed that she's gone from WWE on Twitter today. Pro Wrestling Sheet also reported that NXT's Chris Atkins has been released.
- Marina Shafir and Roderick Strong are officially parents after Shafir gave birth to a baby boy. Strong posted that the baby's name is Troy Veniamin Lindsey.
- Jim Ross tweeted the cover of his book, which is titled "Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling." It will be released in October.
- Seth Rollins debuted his new finisher on television for the first time on last night's Raw. He begins the move in a rainmaker position before hitting a knee strike.
- Becky Lynch spoke about Charlotte Flair coming to SmackDown in an interview with the Mirror.
- Samoa Joe will be Chris Jericho's guest on Talk is Jericho on Wednesday.
- ESPN interviewed Adam Cole about his future. Cole said that he hasn't had any discussions with WWE, which is likely what he would say whether he has or not, and said that he would like to start in NXT before eventually making his way to the main roster if he does sign there. Cole also continued to hint at a match with Kenny Omega before he's done with ROH and NJPW.
- Ring of Honor announced more matches for the upcoming War of the Worlds tour with NJPW: The pay-per-view in New York on May 12th will have Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Adam Cole, as well as The Young Bucks defending their ROH tag titles against Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI. Naito will face Punishment Martinez in Dearborn on the 10th, with The Briscoes & Bully Ray also set to defend their ROH six-man tag titles against EVIL, SANADA & BUSHI on that show. The show in Toronto on the 7th has Jay Lethal vs. KUSHIDA and Hirooki Goto vs. Shane Taylor. For the final stop of the tour in Philadelphia on the 14th, ROH has announced Marty Scurll vs. KUSHIDA for the TV title and Cody Rhodes vs. Frankie Kazarian.
- Mister Saint Laurent said on today's MLW Radio podcast that Cody Rhodes has signed with Ring of Honor. Rhodes told Sports Illustrated last week that he would be making a decision about his future soon.
- What Culture Pro Wrestling will be working with NJPW and Revolution Pro Wrestling on the Japanese qualifiers for the 2017 Pro Wrestling World Cup. NJPW will supply eight wrestlers for the qualifiers, which will take place on July 7th in Manchester, and two will go on to the finals. Jushin Thunder Liger has been confirmed as the first entrant.
- Crazzy Steve tweeted that he's taking independent bookings for a limited time after leaving Impact Wrestling.
- Dana White claimed that the UFC declined two better financial offers, including one that was for $5 billion, when selling the company because WME-IMG had a better vision for the organization to succeed.
- Al Iaquinta said that bonuses are the UFC's way of controlling people.
- Chris Weidman wants a rematch against Gegard Mousasi after the controversial ending of their fight at UFC 210.
- Steve Bosse will face Jared Cannonier at the TUF 25 finale on July 7th in Las Vegas.
Today in Professional Wrestling History (4/25): Steve Austin vs. The Rock at Backlash 1999
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