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Daily Update: Kimbo Slice dead, Ospreay wins, Helwani back, Van Zant to WWE

The death of youtube fighting sensation Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson at age 42 has shocked the MMA world. Ferguson, who most recently KO'd Dada 5000 on a Bellator show a few months back, was scheduled to face James Thompson on July 16, in a rematch of their Elite XC fight from 2008. The cause of death for Ferguson was heart failure, although there is some question about that, as Slice had failed a drug test after his Dada 5000 match for elevated Testosterone and Nandrolone. More on this story can be read here.

Will Ospreay surprised no one by winning this year's New Japan Super Juniors tournament. The 16 man tournament was really a star studded event, especially on the gaijin side which included Matt Sydal, Trent Baretta, Bobby Fish, Kyle O'Reilly, David Finlay, Rocky Romero, and of course, Ricochet. Ospreay went on to defeat Ryusuke Taguchi in the finals to win the entire tournament. More on that here.

[Dan Velten]


  • Andrade Cien Almas vs. Tye Dillinger
  • Asuka vs. Nia Jax for women's title
  • Jason Jordan & Chad Gable vs. Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder for tag titles
  • Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries
  • Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor cage match for the NXT title

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped today in Wichita. John Cena is not scheduled but Seth Rollins and Chris Jericho are scheduled.


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Figure Four Weekly 6/9/2016: Will Christopher Nowinski testify in WWE concussion lawsuit? - The latest battleground in the WWE concussion litigation is whether or not Christopher Nowinski can be compelled to testify. Issues cited in a WWE opposition to the plaintiffs' effort are included in the lawsuit.

Wrestling Observer Newsletter

READ IT HERE: June 6, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: More details on WWE brand split, Jimmy Snuka found incompetent, more

A huge double issue of the Observer is out this week, including the real catalyst behind the WWE brand split, a breakdown of the roster, justice denied again in the Jimmy Snuka case, Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay and the Super Juniors tournament plus a full rundown, the story behind Bill Goldberg and the WWE video game and the Brock Lesnar tease, famous boxer vs. pro wrestler fights, WWE schedule and injury rates, business rundowns from the past two months for WWE & TNA, updates on cable stations that carry wrestling and MMA, and one of the greatest territorial business runs in history in the life and career of Cowboy Frankie Laine.

Our lead story looks at the WWE brand split, why it happened, what is known that isn't a secret, ads out post brand split, plans for the split two months ago and what the ad department was told then, what different arenas have been told this week, thoughts behind decisions having too be made, plus a roster rundown on what positions WWE is strong and weak in, and where NXT talent should fit in and who is ready, or who can fill a slot.

There is also an update on the Jimmy Snuka situation, with a realistic view if there will be a trial and what the time frame is and what happens next.

This issue also looks at the Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet match, Vader's reaction, Super Juniors standings and rundowns of the shows plus looking at where things are going.

Updates on Money in the Bank, stars returning to television soon, how the NBA & NHL playoffs coincide with wrestling the next two weeks, an update on NXT, lots of WWE performers off TV for the next several weeks, notes from lawsuit depositions that are eye opening, Cena getting a gigantic endorsement deal, Rollins return news, injury updates, lots of Dwayne Johnson news, WrestleMania in the future notes, notes on how little talent gets told in advance about things, who watches what on WWE network, plus we've got rundowns of every WWE & NXT events over the past week and business notes on the shows, all included in in this issue.


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Check out the latest online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: May 3, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Death of Rick Rude, WWF Backlash review, more  A look at the life and career of Rick Rude, a review of WWF Backlash, plus tons more.


Ariel Helwani and MMAFighting have been reinstated. After much to-do about the untimely departures of Helwani and his crew from this past weekend at UFC 199, it appears Dana and the Fertitas have changed their mind. 

In whatever deal was made to get Brock Lesnar to UFC for 200, we now know what WWE wants in return: Paige Van Zant. They want her for SummerSlam, I guess to fight the Undertaker if Lesnar is KO'd by Hunt. Seems fair. 

Also earlier today, Paul Heyman conducted an exclusive sit-down interview with Brock Lesnar to discuss his upcoming fight at UFC 200. You can find out more at

2K will be announcing this year’s WWE roster shortly. The game is not scheduled to be released until October 2016, but consumers who pre-order WWE 2K17 at any participating retailer will receive two playable characters of legendary WCW and WWE star Bill Goldberg, well as playable WCW Monday Nitro and Halloween Havoc arenas, at no extra cost on launch day. For more information on WWE 2K17 and 2K, visit, become a fan on Facebook, follow the game on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #WWE2K17 or subscribe on YouTube. posted an article on former German national soccer team goalkeeper Tim Wiese accepting a deal to start training at the Performance Center.It has also been posted to WWE's German website and has gotten a good amount of media buzz in Germany today. Wiese, who bulked up big the past few years as he picked up bodybuilding is a charismatic and impressive looking guy at around 6'4" and about 285 lbs. His contract with his former soccer club of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim is set to expire on 6/30, even though he was cut from the team long before that, in January of 2014. Wiese had publically talked about getting into wrestling, as the media had made comparisons of his physique to those of wrestlers. He appeared in person at a WWE house show in Frankfurt, Germany on November 15, 2014, taking part in a red carpet event before the show and later that night appearing in the ring to celebrate with the Usos after they won their match. He also had a one-day tryout at the Performance Center at some point last year. (Thanks to Marcus Gronemann)

WWE and Pro Wrestling

UFC and other MMA

  • This is an interesting read regarding the Ariel Helwani and banning, which was quickly overturned. Columnist Ed Graney accuses the UFC of bullying.
  • The UFC 199 prelims did 798,000 viewers on FS 1 Saturday night slightly up from last month and right in line with what regular shows have been doing this year. There is usually an uptick for shows where Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey is fighting on the main card, especially in the case of Rousey.
  • Bellator 158, originally scheduled to be headlined by the late Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson, has lost its co-main event as well as Josh Koscheck pulled out of his scheduled fight with Paul Daley due to injury. Douglas Lima will step in to face Daley in a fight that won’t have a fraction of the interest, although it could be a better fight.
  • A top strawweight fight has been added to UFC 201, as Rose Namajunas will face Karolina Kowalkewicz. That fight would make sense as either the FS 1 or Fight Pass featured prelim, as the winner would be in line for a title shot.
  • Emil Meek, fresh off his KO win over Rousimar Palhares in Italy last month, has signed with UFC and will debut on the show in Hamburg on September 3rd. He’ll face another debuting fighter, Jessin Ayari. Ayari is coming off a win over former UFC fighter Mickael Lebou in April.


  • TODAY - New Japan Best of the Super Juniors finals from Sendai live on New Japan World
  • TOMORROW - NXT Takeover from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL featuring Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor in a cage match plus a loaded lineup that includes American Alpha vs. The Revival and probably Shinsuke Nakamura vs Austin Aries, which could be WWE's match of the month.
  • June 11 - ECCW Port Coquitlam, BC at the Elks Hall #49.
  • June 11 - NECW presents the 2016 IRON 8 Championship, Saturday Night, June 11 in Wakefield, MA
  • June 11 - Lex Luger will appear  in Gray, TN at the Daniel Boone High School for the Fountain of Life Bible Church's Car and Bike show at 6 p.m.  The show is free.  There will be a wrestling card in conjunction with the show.
  • June 11 - The UWC returns to Kelly’s Bar/Banquet Hall, 14 Railroad Avenue, Wrightstown, NJ 08562. For more information, call 609-792-9328 or like us on Facebook:
  • June 12 - TNA Slammiversary headlined by Drew Galloway vs. Bobby Lashley for the TNA title from Orlando
  • June 12 - Revolution Pro Wrestling in London, England headlined by Kurt Angle vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
  • June 17 - Absolute Intense Wrestling at Mentor-on-the-Lake, OH at Tequila Jaxx with Joey Janela vs. Facade, Shayna Baszler vs. Veda Scott, Laredo Kid, B.J. Whitmer and more.
  • June 17 - AAW “Killers Among Us” features Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Johnny Gargano, Drago vs. Chris Hero, and more at 115 Bourbon Street (3359 w 115th Street Merrionette Park, IL) All Ages Event - Tickets available.
  • June 18 - UFC in Ottawa: Rory McDonald vs. Stephen Thompson
  • June 18 - New England Fights (NEF) returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine with "NEF 24: PROMISED LAND." Tickets for “NEF 24” are on sale now.
  • June 19 - New Japan Dominion, one of the company's biggest events of the year, featuring Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada in an IWGP title match and Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi in a ladder match for the IC title
  • June 19 - WWE Money in the Bank from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas 
  • June 24 - ROH Best in the World from Concord, NC with Jay Lethal vs. Jay Briscoe for the ROH title 
  • June 24 - Isao Kobayashi vs. Justin Lawrence will appear on as the top prelim fight Bellator Dynamite show in St. Louis.  This will be a combination MMA and kickboxing show.
  • June 25 - Great North Wrestling returns to the Pembroke Memorial Centre, featuring Nicolai Volkoff. Tickets available here.
  • June 25 - The UWC returns to Kelly’s Bar/Banquet Hall, 14 Railroad Avenue, Wrightstown, NJ 08562. More information here.
  • June 25 - Ultima Lucha tapings in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles at The Temple
  • June 26 - Ultima Lucha tapings in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles at The Temple
  • July 2 - Stars of Wrestling from Alameda, CA at the Alameda Point Gym  has Bobby Lashley, Carlito and The Boogeyman appearing.
  • July 2 - NWA Cajun Heat in Morgan City, LA at the Municipal Auditorium with Jax Dane vs. Mustang Mike for the NWA title, Rob Conway vs. Rodney Mack and an appearance by Kevin Nash.
  • July 7-11 The 10th annual Wrestling Observer/F4W convention in Las Vegas, EdinSanAntonio has all the information up on Facebook, or email him at
  • July 9 - Smash Wrestling in Fort Erie, ONT at the Native Friendship Center.  Chris Hero will headline this fund raising event to raise money for the Godson of Jeremy Elliott, who Hero will wrestle.  Elliott's Godson is a patient at the CPRI Treatment Center.
  • July 17 - Premier Wrestling at the IFDES Lodge and Portuguese Hall in Gilroy, CA with Joe Graves (5-1-1) vs. Gabriel Gallo (5-0-1) for the Premier title plus the Premier Women Athletes title with Raze (3-2) vs. Shayna Baszler (1-0), Jeff Cobb (6-6-1) vs. JR Kratos (9-3-1), Nicole Savoy (3-3) vs Desi de Rata (0-0) and Alexander Hammerstone (2-0) vs. Douglas James (1-0).  Tickets are available at
  • July 22 - Rachel Ellering appears for Ignite Wrestling in Fort Pierce, FL at the National Guard Armory on a show with Lince Dorado, Mr. 450 Hammet, Lio Rush, Martin Stone, Los Ben Dejos, and more.
  • July 24 - Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr. headlines for Lucha Libre New York at Club LaBoom in Queens, NY.
  • August 13 - Rey Mysterio Jr. will headline a show at Montgomery High School in San Diego, his alma mater, for Viva La Lucha promotions.  Also appearing are Konnan, Psicosis, Johnny Mundo, Teddy Hart and TJ Perkins.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Taz, CM Punk, and Batista wins individual gold