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Daily Update: MITB preview and odds, Kizuna Road, Io Shirai


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We're looking for reports on these shows for the weekend:

  • WWE last night in Dubuque, IA
  • ROH Friday night in San Antonio
  • ROH Saturday night in Dallas
  • Crash last night in Tijuana
  • Arolucha today in Nashville

All reports can be sent to

We're also looking for your thoughts on both last night's NXT Takeover show and tonight's Money in the Bank, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to


A.J. Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a last man standing match for the WWE title -- Based on current odds, no smart money has been coming in yet, or at least not enough to where we can see a difference in things. If Nakamura was ever going to win the title, this is the right time. With the stipulations there better be a real finish and if there is, it should be the best match of their series. Nakamura is a listed -245 favorite to take the title.

Men's Money in the Bank ladder match: Braun Strowman, Bobby Roode, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, The Miz, Rusev and a member of New Day -- These are always good. The Miz is the -175 favorite to win, followed by Braun Strowman at +550, Kevin Owens at +700 and Samoa Joe at +900. Bobby Roode is at +5000. I guess they are very confident Vince won't change his mind and go with him. Roode doing a heel turn and getting the briefcase doesn't feel to me to be that much of a long shot. That's often the kind of guy they go with. Miz, smarmy heel, is their usual winner type.

Women's Money in the bank ladder match: Charlotte Flair, Naomi, Becky Lynch, Lana, Natalya, Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks and Ember Moon -- As noted, they've been working on this match all weekend. For that reason, it should be better than it looks on paper, and they have a number of very good athletes in there. Alexa Bliss is the -230 favorite, followed by Natalya at +250 and Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks at +2000. Naomi is the longest of the longshots at +8000. Bliss fits the prototype as winner, and if you go with the idea Smackdown wins one and Raw wins one, Miz and Bliss do make sense.

Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey for Raw women's title -- This is the most intriguing match on the show. Does it go long, very short, or relatively short? How much does Rousey sell? What kind of a finish do they do? Rousey is a -560 favorite.

Seth Rollins vs. Elias for IC title -- Rollins is a -825 favorite to win. That's high odds because Elias could very viably win this one. I think the match quality predictions here at **1/2 is also low because I just don't see Rollins on a big show not having a good match, no matter who he is against.

Carmella vs. Asuka for Smackdown women's title -- This is a real challenge for Asuka. Carmella is the slight favorite at -135. James Ellsworth was scheduled to return on this show, so it could be here.

Roman Reigns vs. Jinder Mahal -- Reigns is a -1545 favorite. Considering Reigns is scheduled to face Brock Lesnar next for the title at this point in time, logic (which doesn't always apply here) would have him winning. This is a big test for both.

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass -- Cass is the -165 favorite to win. Bryan did beat him by submission last time. Unless Miz costs Bryan the match and they go Bryan vs. Miz next month, the idea of having Cass win and keeping this alive is not appealing. Hopefully the match is better than last time.

Bobby Lashley vs. Sami Zayn -- Lashley is a -675 favorite. One would expect him to win. This is actually one of the bigger matches on the show because the Lashley narrative depends on how this match is and how fans react to it. Lashley can be a top guy with a great performance and fans behind him. If this is a match people don't care about, it's not good for Lashley. 

Luke Harper & Erick Rowan vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows for Smackdown tag titles -- They should have enough time to have a decent match. Going on first in Chicago helps. Harper & Rowan are -750 favorites. I expect a good match here. 


  • Yota Tsuji vs. Yuya Uemura
  • Shota Umino & Ren Narita vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori
  • Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tomoyuki Oka
  • Togi Makabe & David Finlay & Toa Henare & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi & Sho & Yoh
  • Tetsuya Naito & Evil & Seiya Sanada & Bushi vs Takashi Iizuka & Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taka Michinoku
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin & Juice Robinson & Jeff Cobb & Kushida vs. Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Jay White & Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. Desperado for IWGP jr. title

Raw will be Monday night in Grand Rapids, MI while Smackdown has a house show on Monday night in Fort Wayne, IN, and the WWE Network is taping a show at Royal Albert Hall in London (Final 8 in U.K. tournament with first round matches of Zack Gibson vs. Jack Gallagher, Flash Morgan Webster vs. Jordan Devlin, Joe Coffey vs. Dave Mastiff, Travis Banks vs. Ashton Smith, plus Isla Dawn vs. Toni Storm vs. Jinny vs. Killer Kelly for an NXT women's title shot and Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly & Roderick Strong vs. Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate & Trent Seven).


  • Kushida & Ren Narita vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori
  • Togi Makabe & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Toa Henare & Tomoyuki Oka & Shota Umino
  • Rocky Romero & Sho & Yoh vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado & Taka Michinoku
  • Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. Takashi Iizuka & Taichi
  • Michael Elgin & Juice Robinson & Jeff Cobb & David Finlay vs Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Jay White & Yoshi-Hashi
  • Super Strong Machine retirement celebration
  • The Masked Machines (Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) vs. Tetsuya Naito & Evil & Bushi & Seiya Sanada & Hiromu Takahashi

Smackdown and 205 Live will be taped on Tuesday night in Toledo with the only thing announced being Mustafa Ali vs. Hideo Itami vs. Buddy Murphy for the No. 1 contender position in the cruiserweight division on 205 Live. There is also a WWE Network taping on Tuesday at Royal Albert Hall in London (Pete Dunne vs. U.K. tournament winner for U.K. title,.Shayna Baszler defends NXT women's title, Adam Cole defends North American title, Kyle O'Reilly & Roderick Strong defend NXT tag titles).

F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: A week of closure for CM Punk

What promised to be one of the most important seven-day periods of his life ended up being a week of closure for CM Punk. The week began with triumph and, though he was soon discharged and didn't suffer any serious injuries, ended with Punk being transported to the hospital. On Tuesday, after roughly two hours of deliberation, the jury ruled in Punk and Colt Cabana's favor in WWE doctor Chris Amann's defamation lawsuit against them. 

WON NEWSLETTER: (June 18, 2018): Omega vs. Okada reaches new heights

A look back at the Okada-Omega IV match is the lead story in the new jam-packed double issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week. The story goes back to the previous matches, the story behind the match, the booking of Okada-Naito, the Okada title reign, how Okada is viewed in Japan right now, what is next for New Japan, the future of Chris Jericho in New Japan, New Japan President Howard Meij talks the future and match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

Look at UFC 225, C.M. Punk's second fight, the story behind Yoel Romero's weight issues, business notes on the show and match-by-match coverage with poll results.

Examine Jeff Hardy's guilty plea in a DUI case and WWE standards, advertised matches for the Extreme Rules PPV in July, thoughts on a new UFC news talk show, Ronda Rousey contract info, WWE campaigning for an Emmy nomination, a SummerSlam main event update, the Corey Graves/C.M. Punk issue, a Rey Mysterio/WWE note, NXT at the Download Festival, UK show cards, Survivor Series ticket update, Cena and Rock movie updates, wrestler returning to WWE action from injury, tons of talk of the XFL, and Bret Hart talks drama in WWE matches.

Read about the most-watched matches from the past week on the WWE Network, as well as coverage of all the WWE and NXT events over the past week with results, highlights and business notes.

Preview Money in the Bank and Takeover, look at the career that led Ronda Rousey into the UFC Hall of Fame including her pre-UFC career, a new streaming service that will cover dozens of promotions all over the world, and the sad death of Arkangel de la Muerte.

Read more on ROH talking about running Madison Square Garden and all kinds of things going on.

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

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 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.


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Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio with more from last night's Takeover, G-1, Money in the Bank and over weekend news. You can send questions to

I highly recommend everyone watch this. This is the Highspots Documentary on Bruiser Brody, who would have turned 72 tomorrow. Highspots is putting this up free until Monday night. If you've got any questions on this, send to me at" target="_blank"> as we'll be talking about it tonight.

Hirooki Goto won the Never Openweight title back after eight days from Michael Elgin. Goto looks to be defending the title against Jeff Cobb on the 7/7 show at the Cow Palace. 

The women were pulled from all the WWE weekend house shows to work out their matches tonight. So the matches should be better than they look on paper, at least in theory.

Io Shirai did her Stardom farewell today at Korakuen Hall. Kaori Yoneyama & Ruaka b Natsuko Tora & Leo Onozaki, Natsu Sumire b Hanan, Konami & AZM b Starlight Kid & Shiki Shibusawa, Saki Kashima & Tam Nakano b Deonna Purrazzo& Zoe Lucas, Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani b Kagetsu & Hazuki, Momo Watanabe b Jungle Kyona to retain the Wonder of Stardom title. The show was all about trying to get the sellout crowd behind Watanabe as the new star with Shirai endorsing her at the end.

Nothing from wrestling, boxing or MMA were among the major searched items on the Internet the past few days. Money in the Bank will crack the list later today, but the advance interest in it so far hasn't made it.


  • The reason the crowd wasn't reacting in the Shayna Baszler vs. Nikki Cross match last night was because they were paying more attention to beach calls in the crowd and chanting "C.M. Punk."
  • Undertaker was on stage last night at a Post Malone concert in Austin, TX and choke slammed Malone. 
  • Lost In Time, a pacer, co-owned by Ric Flair, finished a fast-closing third at 17-1 in the $1 million Pepsi NA Cup Saturday night in Canada
  • The New York Post has a story on Ember Moon ahead of tonight's show.


  • Sorry to hear about the death of Leon Tabb, at the age of 86. Tabb was a UFC original, the first cut man, who dated back to the very first show in 1993 and remained a regular until his retirement in 2012.


  • EPW from last night in Perth, Western Australia: Scotty Ryan b AZ Vegara to keep Coastal title, Billy Williams b Lord Jonathan Wimbeldon, Logan Grey & Alex Kingston NC David Nero & Kiel Steria, Gavin McGavin b Julian Ward in a last man standing match (said too be close to ****), Marcius Pitt & Damian Slater b Hayden Zenith & Allyson Cruz to win tag titles, Taylor King b Garry Schmidt, Michael Morleone b Carlo Cannon to keep EPW title. King entered swinging on a wrecking ball trying to replicate the Miley Cyrus spot. Next show is 7/21 in Perth.
  • PWA from last night in Sydney, Australia: Mat Diamond won four-way over Adam Hoffman, Concrete Davidson and Mikey Broderick, Jessica Troy & Madison Eagles b Bel Pierce & Shazza McKenzie, Caveman Ugg b Mat Rogers, Funny Juan & Romantic Juan b Jax Jordan & Matty Wahlberg, Michael Spencer b Ricky South in a fans bring the weapons match, Jack Bonza & Mick Moretti b Jude London & Paris DeSilva, Unsocial Jordan b Big Fudge, Jonah Rock b Robbie Eagles to win PWA title (thanks to Kevin Chait)
  • Bert Prentice's USA Championship Wrestling on 7/6 in Humboldt, TN at the Stiogall Center with Matt Riviera vs.; Brandon White and Matt Starr vs. Johnny Morton. On 7/7 in Jackson, TN at Oman Arena, Koko B. Ware and Bill Dundee will be appearing. They will be taping TV on 7/8 in Jackson, TN at the Studio A of Oman Arena.
  • USA Championship Wrestling airs on television in Jackson, TN on Saturday night's at 10:30 p.m. on WBBJ-7 in Jackson, TN.
  • CWE on 8/4 in Winnipeg at the Palomino Club. Must be 18 to attend. It will be the annual Elite 8 tournament. Mark Henry will be doing a meet and greet at the show.
  • Pat Patterson will be doing a talk show at Wrestling MediaCon2018 at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester, England in early September. The convention takes place 9/8 and 9/9.
  • Brutus Beefcake will be touring with CWE from 10/22 to 11/21 all over Canada, with shows in Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

Daily Professional Wrestling History: Kurt Angle wins TNA title at Slammiversary 2007

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, Lufisto & Shotzi Blackheart, Samantha Heights & Brittany Blake, and Miranda Alize & Kylie Rae. Kris Wolf will also be appearing 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.