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Daily Update: Kota Ibushi, AEW Rampage, WWE Raw

Dave discusses the latest in the Kota Ibushi-NJPW saga, Friday's Rampage, and Monday's Raw.

Daily Update


Latest News:

Latest Audio:

Latest Free YouTube Video:

This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Sasha Banks & Naomi walk out of Raw, Ric Flair returning to the ring

  • Performer and Match of the Week
  • Sasha Banks and Naomi walking out of the WWE taping on Monday. What were the plans, where were things going, how did it go down, what was the reaction, what is the not talked about story that was the key to all of this
  • Dwayne Johnson and the XFL get an ESPN deal, what it means, what is their competition and also a look at ratings
  • Ric Flair returning to wrestle, a look at the situation, the match, others of his age wrestling, why Ricky Steamboat turned down the match
  • Cain Velasquez denied bail again, the man he was accused of shooting speaks, his lawyer speaks
  • AEW Double or Nothing and WWE Hell in a Cell as well as business notes for the week
  • Ticket sales for the WWE Clash at the Castle in Cardiff
  • Full coverage of Capital Collision, the New Japan show from Washington, DC
  • Full coverage of Saturday's UFC show
  • This past week's ratings
  • Main event plans for the next four WWE PPV shows
  • More details on why Stephanie McMahon took a leave of absence
  • Update on Money in the Bank
  • Update on Young Rock
  • Streaming numbers
  • Freak accident ends a main event just three minutes in
  • Matt Jackson does video challenging for major world title
  • Five Star Grand Prix tournament
  • Update on Kota Ibushi
  • New Japan Strong tapings for the next month run down
  • Best of the Super Juniors update
  • Update on Tammy Sytch
  • Wrestler shot to death
  • Zachary Wentz talks about his Hitler photo
  • Former WWE stars announce new promotion featuring the wrestling debut of Alistair Overeem
  • Huge match between two of the top stars in the business set for Sunday
  • More on the Warner Discovery upfronts and what is going on at Warner Discovery
  • Tony Khan talks the creative process
  • Hikaru Shida gets upset
  • Toni Storm talks the original plan for the Charlotte Flair angle
  • AEW vs. WWE in New York and Chicago business update
  • International TV ratings
  • Sports franchise of the year
  • How much UFC CEO Ari Emanuel earned this past year
  • Ari Emanuel defends his ESPN PPV deal
  • Baseball legend on MMA promotion board of directors and a new investor

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter: April 18, 2005 Observer Newsletter: Matt Hardy released by WWE, Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale

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Monday News Update

  • Bryan and I will be back talking Raw, Kota Ibushi, Women's tag titles, and more wrestling and MMA news tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio. You can send questions to the show to
  • Kota Ibushi tweeted today where he said that his mother had attempted suicide just after Mother's Day and blamed it on the stress from the ordeal is he was going through. He also said that he was texted a dismissal notice without a meeting but said that he would be getting a meeting shortly. He again targeted NJPW President Takami Ohbari and assistant booker Yusuki Kikuchi as the source of his problems.
  • Regarding Friday's Rampage, there is no set time for the show. On Friday they listed 5:30 p.m. Eastern and 2:30 p.m. Pacific, but the start time will depend on the NHL schedule. The plan right now is for Rampage to air before the game or games start, and for the Countdown to Double or Nothing show to air after the games are over on TNT. It's possible there will be two games. It's possible there will be one. And it's possible there won't be any depending on how the Avalanche vs. Blues and Panthers vs. Lightning series goes. Avalanche is up 2-1 and Lighting are up 3-0, so there is a very good chance that series will be over. Avalanche-Blues is Avalanche up 2-1. If the Avalanche wins tonight and Wednesday, there is no Friday game.
  • Raw is tonight in Evansville, IN. The only match announced as of earlier today was Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz. There is also Bobby Lashley's Almighty Challenge to Omos, whatever that means.
  • Raw tonight goes against the Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics game starting at 8:30 p.m. With nothing major announced, it could be tough. The Warriors can clinch a spot in the finals tomorrow against NXT, so that is also tough competition. If the Warriors lose, game five would be Thursday and game six would be Saturday. In Celtics-Heat, game five will be Wednesday opposite AEW. Game six would be Friday against Smackdown. Game seven would be against the AEW PPV show, which would take a bite out of that show.
  • There are also NHL playoffs tonight with Panthers vs. vs. Lightning in 7 p.m. and Avalanche vs. Blues at 9:30 p.m. There are also two NHL games opposite wrestling on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • AEW and Joe Hand Promotions are again working together for Double or Nothing in movie theaters around the country. To check if there is a theater in your area, it's at
  • Kevin Kelly tweeted that it may be soon that New Japan fans will be able to cheer and boo at shows, saying he was hopeful it would be by the 6/3 show at Budokan Hall. Ohbari had also hinted the same thing last week without giving any kind of a date.
  • New Japan has a ten-match Best of the Super Juniors show tomorrow morning at 5:30 a.m. Eastern from Korakuen Hall with all tournament matches.
  • Alex Zayne vs. Francesco Akira
  • Titan vs. TJP
  • Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Clark Connors
  • Bushi vs. Wheeler Yuta
  • Yoh vs. Ace Austin
  • Douki ve. El Phantasmo
  • Master Wato vs. Robbie Eagles
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  • Sho vs. Taiji Ishimori
  • Desperado vs. Lindaman
  • We're looking for reports from these weekend shows:
  • WWE Saturday in Rockford, IL
  • WWE yesterday in Fort Wayne, IN
  • WWE yesterday in Cedar Rapids, IA
  • RevPro yesterday from York Hall in London
  • We're looking for results, finishes and highlights to
  • Regarding open scoring in MMA has gotten a lot of talk since the Rose Namajunas vs. Carla Esparza fight. That dreadful fight would have almost for sure had more action if Namajunas knew she was losing rounds. She'd know she would have to pick up the pace, Shannon Knapp, the CEO and promoter of Invicta, one of the three major MMA groups (Invicta, LFA and Combate Global) now using open scoring regularly, said to us, "Nothing but positive feedback from all at Invicta. I'm for anything that puts some of the control back into the athlete's hands. It doesn't solve all problems, but still a valuable tool for an athlete. Knowledge is king ad using it to make adjustments in real-time is priceless."
  • Young Rock will be finishing its season with two episodes tomorrow at 8 and 8:30 p.m.
  • Besides losing Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb also missed yesterday's RevPro show at York Hall. Cobb was to face RKJ, but he was replaced by Aaron Henare. RKJ won that match as well. As noted yesterday, people have raved about the Aussie Open vs. Velocities match. Will Ospreay was replaced by Michael Oku in the main event, losing to Minoru Suzuki.


  • NXT tomorrow has a ton of matches announced:
  • Bron Breakker vs. Duke Hudson non-title
  • Mandy Rose vs. Indi Hartwell non-title
  • Pretty Deadly vs. Roderick Strong & Damon Kemp non-title
  • Elektra Lopez vs Alba Fyre
  • Wes Lee vs, Sanga
  • Stacks & Two Times vs. Malik Blade & Edris Enofe
  • Ikemen Jiro vs Von Wagner
  • With no singles "world" champions touring, it will be interesting to see what they do for house show main events. Right now on the Raw brand, they are having Bianca Belair title defenses as the main event every night. Smackdown still headlines with Roman Reigns but his days of doing house shows touring are dwindling to a close.
  • The Chicago Cubs will be doing a WWE themed night on 5/30.
  • The WWE Network/Peacock will be adding summer 1995 episodes of WWE Superstars.


  • Double or Nothing odds:
  • CM Punk -150
  • Adam Page +110
  • Thunder Rosa -600
  • Serena Deeb +340
  • Jade Cargill -1600
  • Anna Jay +600
  • Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus -150
  • Powerhouse Hobbs & Ricky Starks +250
  • Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland +250
  • Wardlow -600
  • MJF +340
  • Team Moxley - 150
  • Jericho Appreciation Society +110
  • Young Bucks -200
  • Hardys +150
  • Hook & Danhausen -1200
  • Tony Nese & Mark Sterling +500
  • House of Black -140
  • Death Triangle +100

Other Notes

  • Glory Pro Wrestling from last night in St. Louis: Frodo the Ghost & Donnell Benjamin b Myron Chapman & Mason St. Goodz, Tootie Lynn b Shazza McKenzie to keep the Midwest Territorial title, Rahim De La Suede won four-way over Blair Onyx, Anakin Murphy and August Matthews, Karam & Xavier Walker b Eli Rossi & ATM to keep the Glory tag titles, Rohit Raju b Layne Luck, Eddie Kingston b Davey Richards, Camaro Jackson & Kenny Alfonso b Myron Reed & Jordan Oliver, Dan the Dad b Davey Bang in a ladder match, Jake something & Ethan Price b Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett, Mike Outlaw b Warhorse to keep Crown of Glory title (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
  • Mick Foley is doing a show on 6/5 in Buffalo and tickets go on sale tomorrow. 100 percent of ticket sales and merchandise will be donated to the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund.
  • Killer Kross was announced the the 6/23 MLW Battle Riot show in New York at the Melrose Ballroom.
  • Ultimate Women of Wrestling from Saturday night at the Sahara Theater in Las Vegas: Ashley D'Amboise b Jordan Blu, Zeda Zhang b Gamma Jewels, Charlette & Robyn Renegade b Delilah Doom & Myka Madrid, Christina Von Eerie b Nevaeh, Miranda Alize b Alex Gracia, Lei'D Tapa DCOR Jennacide, Santana Garrett b Christi Jaynes, Ivelisse b Mazzerati
  • For what it's worth, Brian Blair may have slipped up doing a Wrestling Shoot interview where he said Hulk Hogan would be in the match with Ric Flair (six-man tag) on 7/31. But he then said he read it on the Internet and was going to check with Hogan if it was true.
  • Final X at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden on 6/8 will have 2 p.m and 6 p.m. shows. It will air on FloWrestling. The winner of the best two of three matches will represent the U.S. at the World championships 9/10 to 9/18 in Belgrade, Serbia. Gable Steveson turned down in vite but most of the top American amateurs will be competing including David Taylor, Jordan Burroughs, Helen Maroulis, Kyle Dake, Sarah Hildebrandt, Kayla Miracle, Nick Gwiazdowski, and Yianni Daikomilhalis.
  • Stu Grayson announced he will start taking bookings at