One thing that is really a shame from last night is that the Michael Bisping story of capturing the title walking off a movie set on two weeks notice was trumped so badly by the other big stories that took place.
It's created an interesting dynamic because Bisping has always been the guy in the middleweight division everyone wanted to fight with the idea he's good, but beatable. In a fight with top guys, anything can happen and how history changes based on luck, flukes, and inches. It also makes truly dominant fighters like Anderson Silva, Demetrious Johnson, Jon Jones and GSP in their primes even more remarkable. St-Pierre and Silva each may have fallen victim to the bad luck of inches, but they compiled long sets of wins before that happened. Johnson and Jones have not, and Johnson hasn't even been tested in a long time.
We talked extensively about the Brock Lesnar story last night on the show. Lesnar's opponent is expected to be announced tomorrownight on ESPN. OfficiallyUFC said there would be more on his fight in the next 48 or more hours. The thing is, he can get hurt, even if they put him against an opponent everyone feels he can beat. It's a weird dynamic for UFC using somebody not under contract for a one-off.
Clearly Lesnar isn't doing this for anything less than a ton of money. I don't know when the deal was put together and finalized, but Lesnar has been training consistently since April. Josh Barnett has pushed for the fight but I can't see him facing someone at that level. Still, in the past, Lesnar always had wanted to face the top guys and not waste time facing secondary guys. Of course, everything is different now.
He's not about chasing the title, or at least there's no indication he is. Frank Mir, the most logical opponent, is on a drug suspension. Cain Velasquez, who at one point he was interested in facing again, is against Travis Browne. Fedor Emelianenko, who Lesnar had agreed to face a few years ago, is fighting on the 17th.
We're looking for your thoughts on last night's UFC 199, as well as today's Lucha World Cup and tomorrow morning and Tuesday morning's New Japan shows, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com.
We're looking for live reports on these weekend shows to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com.
*ROH in Friday night Collinsville, IL
Saturday night we're looking for reports from:
*WWE Saturday night in Lubbock, TX
*WWE today in Amarillo (Roman Reigns, A.J. Styles, Seth Rollins, Alberto Del Rio, Charlotte, Rusev, Usos, Kalisto, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, Cesaro)
*WWE today in Lawton, OK (Kane, Big Show, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, Paige, Enzo, Cass, Dudleys, Apollo, Crews, Sheamus, New Day, Erick Rowan, Braun Strowman)
*ROH today in Columbus, OH at the Ohio Expo Building (Jay Briscoe vs. Roderick Strong, Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian defend the tag title against War Machine, Adam Cole vs. Lio Rush, Dalton Castle vs. Kamaitachi)
NEW JAPAN WORLD MONDAY AT 5:30 A.M. EASTERN TIME FROM SENDAI (English language commentary)
Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Tetsuya Naito & Seiya Sanada & Evil
- Volador Jr. vs. Will Ospreay
- Ricochet vs. Chase Owens
- Bobby Fish vs. Tiger Mask
- Jushin Liger vs. Trent Baretta
- Matt Sydal vs. David Finlay
- Kyle O'Reilly vs. Rocky Romero
- Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Gedo
- Kushida vs. Bushi
Raw will be Monday in Oklahoma City. John Cena, Seth Rollins and Chris Jericho are all booked on the show along with the usual regulars.
NEW JAPAN WORLD TUESDAY AT 5:30 A.M. EASTERN TIME FROM SENDAI (English language commentary)
- Best of the Super Juniors championship match
NXT TAKEOVER THE END ON WEDNESDAY AT 8 P.M. FROM FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY IN WINTER PARK, FL
- 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 on Tuesday in Wichita. John Cena is not scheduled but Seth Rollins and Chris Jericho are scheduled.
- WWE confirms Brock Lesnar for SummerSlam, calls UFC fight a "one off"
- Don Frye named to UFC Hall of Fame 2016 class
- Major news on UFC 200: Brock Lesnar is coming back
- Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz II official for August's UFC 202
- F4W / Wrestling Observer annual VEGAS convention information (updated)
If you've ever wanted to WATCH our radio shows here on the site, check out our Youtube page! No full video shows, but lots of video clips, full free audio shows that you can tell your friends about, and much more to come! Make sure you subscribe today!
Figure Four Weekly 5/30/2016: Big Vito's deposition - If you thought Evan Singleton's deposition went badly for the plaintiffs in the WWE concussion lawsuit, then that appears to be nothing compared to what happened a week later during Vito LoGrasso's deposition on May 18th. Given the back and forth over LoGrasso claiming that head injuries caused partial deafness when, in the past, he had spoken of having a hearing impairment since birth, the deposition promised to be interesting. It over-delivered.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
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.
You can also order the print Observer right now and get it delivered to your door via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to Dave Meltzer.
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Check out the latest online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: April 26, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Davy Boy Smith recovering in the hospital, UFC to be sanctioned by Nevada State Athletic Commission, more. This past week has seen Davey Boy Smith, going stir crazy in a Calgary Hospital, attempt to start battling back after the worst year in his life.
SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE
SUNDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
Sorry this is late but I had a later than usual flight out of Los Angeles and it's just been a crazy weekend. Our weekend show talking Brock Lesnar, UFC 199, McGregor vs. Diaz and some more Ali is up on the site. We did a special Friday night show on Ali as well.
The HBO piece on Ali, I haven't seen it yet but people have told me this was incredible.
Here are the standings going into tomorrow's final day of the Super Junior tournament:
- Ryusuke Taguchi 4-2
- Kushida 4-2
- Matt Sydal 4-2
- Kyle O'Reilly 4-2
- Rocky Romero 3-3
- Bushi 3-3
- David Finlay 1-5
- Gedo 1-5
- Volador Jr. 4-2
- Ricochet 4-2
- Will Ospreay 3-3
- Jushin Liger 3-3
- Bobby Fish 3-3
- Tiger Mask 3-3
- Chase Owens 2-4
- Trent Baretta 2-4
In the Lucha Libre World Cup at Palacio de Los Deportes, today's show has:
*Team USA of Cheerleader Melissa & Santana Garrett & Sienna vs. Team Canada of Allie & Taya & K.C. Spinelli in a third place match
*Team Mexico of Lady Apache & Mari Apache & Fabi Apache vs. Team Japan of Aja Kong & Yuki Miyazaki & Sumire Natsu for the championship
*A four-team elimination match with Team Zero One-Oudou of Masato Tanaka & Ikuto Hidaka & Akebono vs. Team Mexico legends of Canek & Blue Demon Jr. & La Parka vs. Team International of Mil Muertes & Apolo & Rockstar Spud vs. Team TNA of Eli Drake & Ethan Carter III & Tyrus which is essentially for fifth place
*Team Mexico of Pentagon Jr. & Psycho Clown & El Texano Jr. vs. Team NOAH of Naomichi Marufuji & Taiji Ishimori & Maybach Taniguchi in a semifinal match
*Team Mexico Lucha Underground of Rey Mysterio Jr. & Dragon Azteca Jr. & Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Team USA Lucha Underground of Brian Cage & Johnny Mundo & Chavo Guerrero Jr. in a semifinal
*The two losers of the semifinals battle for third place
*The two winners of the semifinals meet for the championship
In the weekend Google searches, UFC 199 did 500,000 plus searches which is the same level as the previous two shows did. It beat the NHL game for the top searched thing in the U.S. on Saturday. Brock Lesnar was No. 5 at 200,000. Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz did not rank. Dan Henderson was No. 20 with 20,000. Muhammad Ali was by far the most searched term of the weekend with well over 10 million searches, which is the top number listed.
- Congratulations to former WWE stars Adam "Edge" Copeland and Beth (formerly Phoenix) on the birth of a daughter, Ruby, on Tuesday.
- WWE is going to start pushing Bill Goldberg with the video game deal as the WWE network will be releasing a Bill Goldberg collection of matches tomorrow. It'll feature his biggest matches from WCW against Hugh Morrus, Steve McMichael, William Regal (the famous match that was made out to be something it wasn't as it was not a shoot, just a match that fell apart), Raven, Hulk Hogan, DDP, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Bret Hart, The Rock and HHH.
- The Network has also released three famous AWA shows, the April 23, 1983 Super Sunday show with Hulk Hogan vs. Nick Bockwinkel for the AWA title and Mad Dog Vachon & Verne Gagne vs. Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie & Jerry Blackwell (an interesting match is a pre-Brutus Beefcake called Eddie Boulder facing Wahoo McDaniel), the April 20, 19806 Wrestlerock show from the Metrodome in Minneapolis with The Road Warriors vs. Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin, Greg Gagne & Jimmy Snuka vs. Bruiser Brody & Nord the Barbarian, leading to Verne Gagne vs. Kaissie, Stan Hansen vs. Nick Bockwinkel for the AWA title, Harley Race vs. Rick Martel, Barry Windham & Mike Rotunda vs. Fabulous Ones; and the December 13, 1988 Superclash show headlined by Jerry Lawler vs. Kerry Von Erich for the AWA title vs. World Class title.
- Interesting to note that the day after Muhammad Ali passed away, that Gorilla Monsoon, who did the angle with him in 1976 to build up the Inoki match for the U.S. audiences, would have turned 79.
- A story on American Alpha can be read here.
- Fedor Emelianenko vs. Fabio Maldonado will air on Fight Pass on 6/17 from St. Petersburg, Russia.
- The Atlantic has a story on Conor McGregor. (thanks to Richard Orloski)
- In the picks from last night:
4-1: Ryan Frederick, Paul Fontaine
3-2: John Pollock, Josh Nason, me, David Bixenspan, Steve Juon, Front Row Brian
2-3: Mike Sempervive, Mike Sawyer
- During the UFC show on BT Sport last night in the U.K., they are advertising the Bellator show with Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson from the O2 Arena and that tickets are on sale. (thanks to Matthew Singh-Dosanjh)
- Brandi Runnels (Eden Stiles) at this point is going to be working outside wrestling while Cody will be working indies. The one announced show with Cody vs. Mike Bennett with Brandi Rhodes, as she's being called, is more to do a story of counteracting Maria Kanellis. But it's not going to be a regular thing at this point.
- Pro Wrestling Sheet is reporting that Adam Rose will use his party boy gimmick on the Indies using the name Aldo Rose and will be taking indie bookings. Right now he can't appear on TV or iPPV until the late summer. He said, "Ain't no more PG in this party."
- Lots of ROH media for their shows this weekend. Here is an article on BJ Whitmer.
- This is an interview with Jay Lethal, with more on the past weekend of ROH.
- Here is a fun article about Kazarian and Daniels, also known as the Addiction.
- Here is another ROH article promoting this past weekends shows.
- Casting Networks Inc. has a listing for anyone who has worked in WWE before as a wrestler or a Diva for a television commercial. It is listed as an Amazon series commercial with a pay rate of $100 per hour. They are looking for men and women 18-45 and they want talent to submit using their old WWE wrestling names.
- A story on the Kenny Jay vs. Muhammad Ali pro wrestling match that many people have forgotten is here.
- Gawker confident in its appeal in the Hogan suit was covered in the BBC.
- New European Championship Wrestling, which is Alex Wright's group in Germany has signed a new international TV deal that began on Friday night with HD Fightbox as we noted eariler in the week. It's a monthly airing of a show in a minor station in Germany that also airs in Austria and Switzerland mostly as part of an on-line television providers package. The station also airs ROH but only the most hardcore of fans would get the station because it's not a regular TV station that everyone gets. There was a minor buzz when they announced a TV deal but this I'm told ended up viewed as a disappointment as it's an obscure online only channel and fans could already get the shows on VOD on Vimeo, so it wasn't breaking new ground.
- wXw ran its Shortcut to the Top, a Royal Rumble for a world title shot last night in Oberhausen, Germany before 575 fans. The big news was Tommy End announcing his final sow on 8/13 in Cologne and that End would also produce a matinee show that day at 2 p.m. Karesten Beck won the match but there was a surprise return of Chris Hero unannoucned. Hero has been in Europe. Beck had retired in March. They also announced a streaming service called wXw Now that will launch on 8/13. They also announced a world tag team tournament from 9/30 to 10/2 with David Starr & Shane Strickland (Killshot from Lucha Underground) appearing. Full results: Kim Ray b Francis Kaspin, Absolute Andy & Marius Al-Ani b Emil Sitoci & Marty Scurrll, Melanie Gray b Kim Lee Ray, Da Mack b Sasa Keel, Dirty Dragon & Ilja Dragunov & Julian Negro b Michael Dante & Mikey Whiplash & Tommy End, Jurn Simmons b John Klinger in 27:40 to retain their title, Beck won the 30 man Rumble. (thanks to John Carey & Markus Gronemann)
- Preston City Wrestling yesterday in Preston, England: Roy & Zak Knight & Alex Boylan b Joey Hayes & Martin Kirby & Jimmy J, Dave Mastiff b Charlie Garrett, Dave Rayne b Iestyn Rees, Drew Galloway b Lionheart, El Ligero b Speedball Mike Bailey, Rob Lynch & James Davis & Sammy Smooth b Bubblegum & T-Bone & Rampage Brown, Noam Dar b Sha Samuels, Drew Galloway won gauntlet match over Roy Knight, Zak Night, Alex Boylan, Dave Mastiff and El Ligero to earn a title shot. Galloway will face Sha Samuels on 6/25, a free Tribute to the Troops show at the 3,000-seat Guild Hall. Ligero vs. Bailey said to be great. (thanks to Jan Buxton)
- Revolution Pro from today in London: Rob Lias won a three-way, Noam Dar b Sha Samuels, Chris Garrett & Joel Redman b Hunter Brothers, Josh Bodom b Speedball Mike Bailey, Trent 7 b Anarchist James, Marty Scurll b Big Damo, Jinny b Addy Starr, Pete Dunne b Matt Cross. Scurll vs. Damo said to be great. Zack Sabre Jr. attacked Damo after the match.
- CCW on 6/10 in Chatham, ONT at the Chatham Kinsmen Fair at 6:30 p.m.
- Conquer Pro Wrestling from last night in Orlando: Monster b Leo Gold, Chuckles & Haitian Sensation b Kodi & Koko, Queen Raquel b Thea Trinidad to win women's title, Chris Melendez b Irish Jack, Short n Sweet b Jason Static. They have a show on Friday at the Giraffas Brazilian Grill in Orlando with Santana Garrett, Raquel and Thea Trinidad.
- Lucha Xtreme TV taping tonight in Hanford, CA at the Long Field Center with Homicide vs. Mortal plus Eddie Kingston debuts.
- TONIGHT - AAA's Victoria World Cup men and women's trio tournament finals at Los Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City which will be a live iPPV show
- TONIGHT - Silver Star Promotions at the 4 Ever Arena in Fort Worth has Caristico & El Hijo del Fishman vs. Silver Star & Psicosis Jr.
- June 7 - New Japan Best of the Super Juniors finals from Sendai live on New Japan World
- June 8 - 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 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 - 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 Spike.com as the top prelim fight Bellator Dynamite show in St. Louis. This will be a combination MMA and kickboxing show.
- 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 F4Wfan@hotmail.com.
- 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 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: Eric Bischoff downs Terry Funk for WCW Hardcore title