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Daily Update: Matt Cappotelli, Leslie Smith, NXT TakeOvers

THE ROUND-UP

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THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're looking for reports on the WWE shows today and tomorrow in Tokyo, as well as the Raw show tonight in Rapid City, Impact in Orlando and New Japan in Daytona Beach to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

We're also doing a poll on tonight's ROH PPV show, 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.

NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING ON AXS TV TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. (two hour special from Dominion)

  • Hirooki Goto vs. Michael Elgin vs. Taichi for Never Open weight title
  • Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi for IWGP Jr. title
  • Evil & Sanada vs. Young Bucks for IWGP tag titles
  • Tetsuya Naito vs. Chris Jericho for IC title

MLW ON BEIN SPORTS TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. EASTERN

  • ACH vs. Rich Swann

NEW JAPAN ON TWITCH FROM DAYTONA BEACH AT 8:30 P.M.

  • Jeff Cobb vs. Chase Owens
  • Jushin Liger vs. Rocky Romero
  • Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa
  • Sho & Yoh vs. Dragon Lee & Ryusuke Taguchi
  • Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi

ROH BEST IN THE WORLD PPV TONIGHT AT 9 P.M. EASTERN FROM BALTIMORE

  • Sumie Sakai & Jenny Rose & Mayu Iwatani & Tenille Dashwood vs. Kelly Klein & Kagetsu & Hana Kimura & Hazuki
  • Flip Gordon vs. Bully Ray
  • Jay Lethal vs. Kushida
  • Punishment Martinez vs. Hangman Page in a street fight for the TV title
  • Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia & TK O'Ryan vs. Evil & Seiya Sanada & Bushi for the ROH six man titles
  • Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. Young Bucks for ROH tag titles
  • Dalton Castle vs. Cody vs. Marty Scurll for ROH championship

BELLATOR MMA TONIGHT AT 9 P.M. EASTERN FROM TEMECULA, CA ON PARAMOUNT

  • Juan Archuleta (146) vs. Robbie Peralta (145.3)
  • Valerie Letourneau (126) vs. Kristina Williams (125.6)
  • Saad Awad (159.8) vs. Ryan Couture (159.9)
  • Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (125) vs. Alejandra Lara (124.6) for the flyweight title

CMLL LIVE FROM ARENA MEXICO AT 9:30 P.M. EASTERN TIME ON THE CMLL FACEBOOK PAGE

  • Star Jr. & Stigma & Pegasso vs. Okumura & Kawato San & Disturbio
  • Rey Cometa & Stuka Jr. & Guerrero Maya Jr. vs. Mephisto & Templario & Ephesto
  • Atlantis & Angel del Oro & Niebla Roja vs. Sanson & Forastero & Cuatrero
  • King Phoenix (Rey Fenix) vs. Cavernario
  • Cibernetico & Zorro & Sharly Rockstar vs. Caristico & Volador Jr. & Valiente

Saturday we're looking for reports from the ROH TV tapings in Fairfax, VA (Sumie Sakai vs. Hazuki for WOH title, Bushi & Evil & Sanada vs. Young Bucks & Hangman Page, Kushida vs. Jonathan Gresham, Tenille Dashwood vs. Karen Q vs. Madison Rayne vs. Kelly Klein in an elimination match, Kagetsu & Hana Kimura vs. Mayu Iwatani & Jenny Rose plus Austin Aries will be on the show), Raw in Bismark, ND, Smackdown at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, New Japan/Revolution Pro in Milton Keynes, England (Shota Umino vs. ?, Aussie Open vs. Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi, Takashi Iizuka & Desperado & Taichi vs. Toru Yano & Jay White & Gedo, Tiger Mask vs. David Starr, Walter vs. Yuji Nagata, Chris Brookes vs. Yoshi-Hashi, Will Ospreay vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki vs. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii for the British tag team titles), and NXT in Cocoa, FL to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

Sunday has WWE Raw in Fargo, ND, Smackdown in Taipei, Taiwan and New Japan/Revolution Pro in Manchester, UK (Dan Duggan vs. ?, Yuji Nagata vs. Shota Umino, David Starr vs. Taiji Ishimori vs. Tiger Mask vs. Phantasmo, Takashi Iizuka & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi, Walter vs. Yujiro Takahashi, Jay White vs. Chris Brookes, Will Ospreay vs. Taichi, Kazuchika Okada vs. Zack Sabre Jr., and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Minoru Suzuki for the British heavyweight title).

Monday has Raw in Sioux Falls, SD. Nothing has been announced for the show. There is no Smackdown house show on Monday as it's a travel day coming back from Taiwan.

Tuesday has Smackdown in Omaha with James Ellsworth vs. Carmella announced plus a hint of Cedric Alexander vs. Hideo Itami for 205 Live.

F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Remembering Leon 'Vader' White

The professional wrestling world lost a truly one-of-a-kind figure last week. Leon "Vader" White, the best big man that the industry has ever seen, died on Monday, June 18 after years of heart problems and complications from a recent bout with pneumonia. Vader's son and former WWE developmental wrestler, Jesse, shared the news on Twitter: "It is with a heavy heart to inform everyone that my father, Leon White, passed away on Monday night (6/18/18) at approximately 7:25pm. Around a month ago my father was diagnosed with a severe case of Pneumonia. 

WON NEWSLETTER: (July 2, 2018): WWE announces new TV deals, more

The official announcement of the WWE's new television deals for the 2019-2024 television seasons is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer. 

Find out about the financial figures for each year, what those numbers mean, what it means to WWE profitability, how much the company is now worth and how that valuation as compared to profits compares to other media stocks. Look at how much money Vince McMahon could have made if he didn't sell so much in December.

Look at a very interesting part of the WWE/Fox deal that hasn't been talked about. There are also notes from WWE Co-Presidents Michelle Wilson and George Barrios on the deal, what led to the deal, and how things have changed both regarding the perception of wrestling, its fans and other content ideas WWE has for television and streaming.

Read about the new Bellator deal with the money figures involved, how this changes the game for them, and how the entire game for all wrestling and MMA companies are no different due to these latest deals. 

Find out about the situation with Brock Lesnar and WWE, what the goals are for the latest storyline change, plans for the Extreme Rules PPV show and matches announced, matches told to the arena and matches seemingly being built.

Read the update on Rey Mysterio and WWE, Shinsuke Nakamura's injury, Jeff Hardy's injuries and lots of other WWE injury updates, Big Cass, Sami Zayn, Ronda Rousey as well as the amazing contract Oliver Luck got with Vince McMahon and what it says about the XFL. 

Look at Minoru Suzuki's 30th anniversary show and match with Kazuchika Okada, the retirement of Rashad Evans, coverage of UFC from Singapore, a look at the PWG Battle of Los Angeles, and the WWE U.K.show.

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 Dave@WrestlingObserver.com

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 moonsault@mediaplusint.com. 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.

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Matt Cappotelli, who won the 2003 version of Tough Enough and was the top star in developmental when he was first diagnosed with cancer in 2005, passed away today at the age of 38. This is heartbreaking news, not unexpected, but no less sad.  Matt was an incredible warrior and people who knew him thought the world of him as a person. His wife wrote that Matt passed away at 3:30 a.m., one year to the day from his last brain surgery. Cappotelli beat brain cancer the first time, but it ended his pro wrestling career. The cancer came back and last year he was operated on, but due to the deadly Grade 4 glioblastoma tumor, being next to his brain stem, they could only remove 90 percent of the cancer and it was really inevitable what would happen. 

Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio, covering the ROH PPV and the New Japan show in Daytona Beach (hopefully), plus taking your e-mail questions that can be sent tomailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

The National Labor Relations Board region has ruled that the claims by Leslie Smith have merit and will be filing a claim against UFC that the fighters are not independent contractors, but are employees. Obviously if the complaint goes through, this strongly relates to WWE in particular. This would also lead to a claim that UFC was discriminated against for being released for her out of the ring unionizing activities. Lucas Middlebrook, the attorney for Smith, told MMA Fighting that the complaint would be filed in one month. It would eventually end up with a hearing before an administrative law judge in Philadelphia. A very good story on this is here. In the big picture, this is a massive story.

I'm not sure if this is the case for Brooklyn, it likely is, but it is definitely the case for November in Los Angeles, that NXT Takeover shows are permanently being moved up one hour to 7 p.m. starts on Saturday night. The NXT Takeover live events will start closer to 6 p.m. I was told the idea isn't longer shows, but that's probably what will wind up happening. Right now the directive is that the shows will be less than three hours in length, when before they were just over two hours, and then lengthened to close to two hours and 30 minutes.

AXS is running a two hour special tonight airing part of the Dominion card from a few weeks ago. There will be another two hour special next Friday with the Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega IV match. 

To answer a question, tonight's New Japan show in Daytona Beach, which will be live on Twitch, will also be available to watch any time on demand.It will eventually be uploaded.

Mick Foley did his 20th anniversary Hell in a Cell show in Pittsburgh last night. Jeremy Borash hosted the show. Nita Strauss, who did the Shinsuke Nakamura guitar ring entrance at WrestleMania, played Foley's theme. Foley's trainer, Dominic DeNucci, was at the show. This show was taped for a WWE Network special that will air after Hell in a Cell on 9/18.

On tonight's Bellator show, the prelims on the Bellator web site will include fights with former amateur wrestling star Tyrell Fortune, Joey Davis and Ed Ruth, as well as the second MMA fight of Keri Melendez. It's really weird because they would mean more than most of the main card fights, both now and even more for the future.

WWE

  • In the current Observer, the wrestler at NXT TV last week called Max Humberto was Max Castellenas. It was not Garza Jr., although Garza Jr. is also expected to be in WWE shortly.
  • Reminisce Magazine has articles in the current issue on both Dwayne Johnson and Andre the Giant.  

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Jim Ross has the first part of a two part interview with Kenny Omega on The Ross Report this week.
  • Will Ospreay debuted his Frontline Wrestling show last night in London. He didn't wrestle on the show. He spoke at the beginning saying he was going to be pushing younger talent on these shows and run them between his New Japan tours. The first show drew about 200 fans: Flash Morgan Webster & Wild Boar b Conor Mills & Maverick Mayhew, Toni Storm b Bea Priestley (Priestly has improved greatly since touring Japan), Chris Brooks & Travis Banks & Kid Lykos b Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher & Adam Brookes, Mark Haskins b Naoki Tanizaki (former Dragon Gate wrestler), Phantasmo & Kelly Sixx b Chief Deputy Dunne & Kip Sabian, Rob Lynch b Stixx, Kenou b Chris Ridgeway in what I was told was a **** match with both men getting standing ovations afterwards. (thanks to Jamie Thomas)
  • Defiant Wrestling announced for 8/26 in Manchester, UK a main event for a PPV show of Walter vs. Will Ospreay.
  • Bar Wrestling has its one year anniversary show last night before a sellout crowd in Baldwin Park,CA: Luchasaurus and Super Panda won over Tyler Bateman & Brody King, Stevie Fierce & Matt Knicks, Kevin Martenson & Yuma, Taya Valkyrie b Mia Yim, Zach Gowen & Gregory Iron b Peter Avalon & Ray Rosas, Douglas James b Andrew Everett, Shotzi Blackheart & Rachael Ellering & Kris Wolf & Britt Baker b Tessa Blanchard & Miranda Alize & Laura James & Heather Monroe, Jimmy Jacobs b Joey Ryan in a Hardcore match, Brian Cage & Melissa Santos b Eli Everfly & Delilah Doom. Main event said to be awesome with Cage pinning Eli with a power bomb off the top rope. Santos did a dive. Next show is 7/14. (thanks to Jake Koch)
  • David Arquette, who was at the Bar Wrestling show last night, will face RJ City on 7/15 at the Oceanview Pavilion in California. TMZ reported on the match.
  • Rise announced that Madison Eagles is recovering from an illness so can't travel for Rise shows she was booked on tonight as well as the 7/7 and 7/8 shows.
  • WWN announced that all events will be put up for VOD on their subscription streaming service within 72 hours instead of the prior two weeks, and noted last weekend's shows were up within 24 hours. 
  • WWN also announced a doubleheader on 9/8 in Queens, NY at LaBoom with Shine in the afternoon and Evolve at night.
  • Jimmy Havoc, Brody King, Low Ki and Samu of the Headshrinkers have been added to MLW's 7/19 Battle Riot match.
  • PFL's next show on NBC Sports will be this coming Thursday, 7/5 at the George Washington University Charles E. Smith Center in Washington, DC. Among those on the card is longtime star Jake Shields, as well as Abubakar Nurmagomedov, the cousin of Khabib Nurmagomedov.
  • Capital City Championship Combat tonight in Ottawa at St. Anthony's Hall.
  • A correction from yesterday. The 7/15 show in Oshawa, ONT is from PWE, not PWF as we had listed.
  • Pro Wrestling Mid South tonight in Ripley, TN at the Power Pro Arena is headlined by Matt Riviera vs. Koko Anderson.
  • Jerry Lawler headlines USA Championship Wrestling tomorrow night in Dickson, TN at the Fairgrounds which also includes Matt Riviera.
  • Best in the World TV from last night in Fresno: Danny Rocket won 12 man Battle Royal, Kenny K b Danny Rocket to keep the West Coast title, Wiseguy & Niko b Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson to keep tag titles. Next show is 7/15 in HanFord, CA at the Civic Center.  
  • A story on the new season of GLOW.

Daily Professional Wrestling History: Stan Hansen stripped of AWA World title

12th Annual F4W Empire Vegas Convention

Greetings friends and fans of the F4W / Wrestling Observer website. It's time to announce the details of the 12th annual F4W / Wrestling Observer Empire Las Vegas Convention~!

This year's event will be taking place in Las Vegas from August 16th to the 20th and will again be in conjunction with WWE's SummerSlam weekend a.k.a. Super China Buffet Day~! There will still be the usual events, but our big draw will be WWE's summer blockbuster PPV, SummerSlam. As per tradition, we will all gorge ourselves at a Las Vegas buffet, and then watch SummerSlam in a rented out movie theater. All information and ticketing prices are available now. Sign up ASAP as spots are limited for some events. 

This year will also feature a Future Stars Wrestling show which will include the first ever Gladys Gibson Doubles Match Classic! Already booked for the show are the teams Mia Yim & Leva Bates, Shotzi Blackheart & ???, Samantha Heights & Brittany Blake, and Miranda Alize & Kylie Rae. Also appearing will be Kris Wolf along with many more future stars. There may even be a classic star or two making an appearance. You won't want to miss this show! Check out the convention's Facebook page for all additional information.

CONTACT INFORMATION