There should be a lot of interest in Raw today with the title change last night. The title change opens up a lot of new possibilities and also the question as to whether Roman Reigns run as the new face of the company is over. The title loss doesn't mean that, as they were pushing Reigns as the top face during the entire Seth Rollins title run. It appears they will be doing a three-way deal with The Shield for now, but as far as face, heel, whatever, or shades of gray, and whether this is just a new method to push Reigns as top face with a new story, or a legit change in direction, tonight's show could answer at least to a degree. With five weeks until the next PPV, I don't expect a ton of direction as they usually go hard for three weeks. Plus, we're still waiting on the Wyatt family return. Bray Wyatt has been around, but they want to reintroduce him and the family in a meaningful way.
We're looking for your thoughts on yesterday's New Japan Dominion and WWE Money in the Bank 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.
Raw is live tonight in Phoenix with the fallout of Money in the Bank.
Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday night in Tucson, AZ
We're also looking for reports on Saturday's WWE house show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
- WWE announces draft for July 19th in Worcester, MA
- WWE claims 2017 Royal Rumble will not be in Los Angeles
- WWE Money In The Bank live results: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins; AJ Styles vs. John Cena
- NJPW Dominion live results: Tetsuya Naito vs Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP HW Championship
- WWE moves Royal Rumble to Los Angeles for 2017
The 10th annual Wrestling Observer/F4W convention in Las Vegas takes place during UFC's International Fight Week from July 7 - 11.Ed in San Antonio has information up on Facebook, or you can email him at F4Wfan@hotmail.com. It's always a fun time, so hurry up and make your plans to join Dave Meltzer, Bryan Alvarez (yes he'll be there), Vinny, Granny, and the rest of the group in beautiful Las Vegas this July.
Our "lunch with Granny" is good-to-go at Johnny Rockets (in Excalibur), just like last year, on Saturday July 9th, at 11:30 a.m. local time. We have the "patio area" reserved for us. We've also been granted 10% discounts. Just tell the cashier that you're a part of "Granny's Gang!" And of course... the star of this event, Ms. Gladys Gibson, just has to show up and be her charming self, and she eats for FREE! See ya soon!
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 6/13/2016: Gawker files for bankruptcy - Depending on your point of view, Hulk Hogan went one step further towards either succeeding or failing in his lawsuit against Gawker Media last Friday when the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the type that allows the company to continue operating.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
This week's Observer has a major story on the gamble of Brock Lesnar in UFC 200, the most in-depth look at the Ariel Helwani situation that you'll find anywhere, full coverage of NXT Takeover, UFC 199, WWE Money in the Bank, and the details of TNA's struggle to stay alive, its PPV and its future. There's also a breakdown on the WWE cruiserweight classic, and monthly WWE and TNA business figures.
Take a look at Michael Bisping's unlikely title win, all the ramifications of the Lesnar deal, what it shows about WWE, a look back at the last time WWE risked one of their stars against an outsider without scripting, how Ariel Helwani got to be a star reporter and how that played into what happened last week, and what aspects of the story that are really more important that haven't been covered or have been overlooked, all covered in this week's issue.
WWE looks at the possibility of adding PPV shows and the good and bad of that decision-making, and some economics of that decision.
A key WWE musician passes away, more on what Ali learned from pro wrestling, Bryan Danielson attends WWE event, Bobby Roode's debut, notes on SummerSlam, new WWE executive hire, new WWE announcer, WWE looking for new members of creative, who is expected to return shortly, another animated WWE movie, update on Paul Heyman plus a full rundown on all the WWE & NXT live events this past week and business notes on the shows, in this edition.
Take a look at the background of the NXT Takeover show, the debut of Andrade Cien Almas and what did and didn't work, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
For UFC 199, we look at the state of the middleweight title, how everything lines up, whom Michael Bisping wants next, as well as match-by-match coverage along with pay records for those on the show.
Finally, read how TNA saved its recent TV tapings and PPV, why they were close to not happening, where money came from, and what to look out for in the future. Plus, check out Slammiversary with match-by-match coverage and star ratings.
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: May 10, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Fans celebrate life of Giant Baba at Tokyo Dome, PRIDE 5 recap, more. The final chapter in the career and life of Shohei Baba took place on the biggest show he ever main evented and the biggest show he ever promoted--some three months after his death.
MONDAY NEWS UPDATE
Jeremy Botter just reported a UFC deal with WME/IMG for $4.2 billion was accepted. As noted, the bids were finalized on Thursday and the two leading bidders, WME/IMG and China Media Capital, were told UFC would get back to them within a few days. So from a timing standpoint, I was expecting this at any time. At this point we have not been able to independently confirm this story but WME/IMG was the favorite for the past week. The story lists Garry Cook as the probable new CEO in the spot formerly held by Lorenzo Fertitta. Cook in that spot had also been expected. The story states Dana White will stay and will also have some ownership interest.
Kurt Angle was on Mark Madden's radio show today and said that he has talked with HHH about coming back to WWE. The conversation took place six weeks ago and he said he didn't know when he was coming in. That's an about-face on Angle who the company had no talked with even though he's been a free agent since the end of January and they wouldn't even talk with him the year earlier when he was a free agent. As noted the WWE has been very aggressive of late when it comes to contacting talent, including people that in the past they had shown no interest in. They are looking to make as big a bang as possible over the next month leading to the brand launch. However, a few of the names who have been mentioned as being talked with have told us that their names on the list are incorrect, but they are people under contract to TNA or Lucha Underground. They were looking at introducing people ASAP, including before the draft takes place. The only names we can report that were called are MVP, Carlito and Stevie Richards, but that's the tip of the iceberg. Not everyone called is looking at going, but enough are that the independent scene as far as companies that like to use ex-WWE stars to draw may get more difficult shortly.
The NBA seventh game between the Warriors and Cavs last night averaged 30.8 million viewers and peaked at 44.5 million at 10:30 p.m. It was the most watched NBA game since 1998. WWE has gotten a good deal of pub out of this because Kevin Love wore a Steve Austin T-shirt in the post-show news conference and LeBron James wore an Ultimate Warrior T-shirt today.
The report we had yesterday of Royal Rumble in Los Angeles at Staples Center is incorrect. It's weird just because there was on sale info and a code out, but WWE officials have said the show is not there and the location will be announced later.
For Google trends, while the NBA playoffs with more than 10 million searches blew everything away, WWE did have 500,000 searches for Money in the Bank. That's the same as UFC has been doing for its PPVs and what WWE has been doing for its recent shows as well. UFC on Saturday had 200,000 searches which is well above what they usually do for FS 1 shows. However, a lot of the UFC searches related to the future of Dana White and sale of the company. To that point, Brandon Howard has a very interesting article regarding Google searches and WWE popularity and why ratings may not be meaningful to track popularity, although they are still meaningful since TV is the leading source of revenue.
- Jerry Lawler and fiance Lauryn McBride appeared earlier today in front of Judge William Turner who ordered no contact, no communication, no texts and no phone calls between the two. Both were charged with domestic assault because police officers couldn't determine a primary aggressor. Both were released on Friday. They have another court date on 7/1.
- Alberto Del Rio suffered a bruised bone in taking that ladder bump late in last night's match and got precautionary X-rays taken today.
- The 32 competitors in the cruiserweight tournament as well as some alternates are in Orlando right now. They are shooting personality profiles and undergoing complete physicals. The first round will be shot on Thursday and air over a number of weeks in July, with it being a weekly one hour show on the WWE Network, airing on Wednesday nights after NXT.
- The Steve Austin podcast with A.J. Styles starts immediately after Raw tonight in Phoenix.
- WWE legal has approved the John Cena T-shirt with the Pabst Blue Ribbon design.
- WWE looks to be pushing Seth Rollins two minutes as champion as the shortest WWE title reign in history.
- WWE will be doing TVs in Southern California with an 8/8 show in Anaheim at the Honda Center and 8/9 show in Bakersfield. Presales start on Friday.
- New NXT dates have been announced for 8/4 in Birmingham, 8/5 in Pensacola and 8/6 in New Orleans.
- Former WCW & WWE star Marc Mero underwent heart surgery last week in Cleveland to have his aorta replaced and install a heart valve. Best of luck to him in his recovery.
- Bellator announced that Friday's show will stream live in Japan at AbemaTV, which is a streaming company partially owned by TV Asahi. The Japanese interest is because of Satoshi Ishii, who won a gold medal in judo in the 2008 Olympics, in the main event against Rampage Jackson. The show goes head-to-head with the ROH PPV.
- Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Jeff Hardy, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Drew Galloway, Gunner, Chase Stevens and Terri Runnels appear this coming weekend at the Fanboy Expo Comic Con in Knoxville. For more info go to www.fanboyexpo.com. They will be appearing at different times between 6/24 and 6/26 and 10 a.m and 5 p.m.
- ONE has announced a 7/2 show in Hefei China at the Olympic Sports Center with Narantungalag Jadambaa of Mongolia vs. Eric Kelly of The Philippines as the main event. ONE is the one major MMA and pro wrestling group that has made inroads into China with regular shows.
- TCW on Saturday night in Rozzano, Italy: Claudio Campari & Martini b Death Mask & Paziente Zero, Violent Joe b Oxlade Black, Backslash b Sami Grayson, Carlo Birra b Rocco Gioiello, Scandalo b Turbo, II Marchese b Pain, Darkness II b Fenice Rossa (thanks to Alessio Garbini)
- Friday night at the Auditorio in Tijuana: Dinastia Silver b Black Machine, Angel Vengador b Furia Salvaje, Enigma b Dinamico, Fantastik & Nino Hamburguesa & Fabi Apache NC Super Fly & Mari Apache & Polvo de Estrellas, Damian 666 & Bestia 666 & Rey Hours b Averno & Chessman & Pagano, Dr. Wagner Jr. & Chris Masters & La Parka b The Psycho Circus
- GMLW on 7/23 in Pacoma, CA at the San Fernando Valley Boys & Girls Club features Caristico, La Mascara, Misterioso and Misterioso Jr.
- Caristico (original Sin Cara) also appears on Sunday in Westminster, CO at the Imperium Events Center.
- Solar vs. Negro Navarro for the Maestros championships takes place Saturday in Andersen, MN at the Anderson School and Sunday in Chicago at Chi-Town Futbol.
- Laredo Kid vs. Brian Cage on 7/23 in Benbrook TX and the Camp Bowie Bingo Hall.
- Jim Ross and Jimmy Garvin along with Ingles Markets and Eblen Charities are promoting the Second Annual Headlock on Hunger Food drive in Asheville, NC, to benefit the Ingles/Eblen Food for Thought program. Ross and Garvin will be collecting food and donations on 6/29 at the Ingles on Tunnel Rd. in Asheville, with ross from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. an Garvin from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that Sonjay Dutt will be featured on a track called Moguls by ripper Vice with plenty of wrestling lines listed.
- James Gallagher (3-0) vs. Mike Cutting (6-5) has been added to the 7/16 Bellator show at the O2 Arena in London that is headlined by Paul Daley vs. Douglas Lima.
- CWE on 7/8 in Winnipeg at Rookie's Sports Bar featuring a Lethal Lottery show.
- Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Buff Bagwell on Friday night in Elizabethton, TN at the Evolution Sports Gym.
- Three men, Scott Knight, 23, Adam Knight, 20 and Joshua Knight, 19, have been charged with murder of a Ramsgate, UK woman 54-year-old Delyth Andrews with it claimed they used WWE and UFC moves including rainbow flips, T-bones, FUs and cliff hangers on her. In November, emergency services were called when Andrews was found lying on her bad saying they jumped all over her, and X-rays showed multiple rib fractures as well as a fractured sternum and pelvis. She said the brothers had taken her TV and jewelry and performed body slams on her. The woman died from the injuries in December. Joshua is alleged to have told police they did WWE moves on her.
- Creative Control podcast interview with Matt Riddle here.