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Daily Update: Owens, PROGRESS US tour, GSP vs. Diaz


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F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: WWE's bet on Saudi Arabia

If WWE was concerned about criticism of their partnership with Saudi Arabia, they certainly didn't show it at the Greatest Royal Rumble.The first event in WWE's 10-year agreement with the Saudi General Sports Authority was a weird mix of special event, house show, and propaganda. It wasn't just a stadium show with Saudi Arabia as its backdrop. The location wasn't just spotlighted in the set design or advertising like with WrestleMania host cities. 

WON NEWSLETTER: May 8, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Fallout from the Greatest Royal Rumble

A look at the Greatest Royal Rumble, both the financial and ethical aspects and answering a lot of questions about the show is the lead story in the new double-issue of the Observer.

Look at the different controversies, from why the show is completely different from anything in pro wrestling history, to the questions regarding the women and Sami Zayn, attempts at defending the situation. Review the show itself, with a complete rundown of the Rumble, match-by-match coverage with star ratings, records set for the Rumble, the Lesnar vs. Reigns finish, and Lesnar going forward.

Look at first day ticket sales for New Japan's show at the Cow Palace, why it's difficult for New Japan to promote matches when they put tickets on sale, the Okada vs. Tanahashi feud, Chris Jericho in New Japan, talk of running more Dome shows in the upcoming years, as well as full coverage of the Hi No Kuni show in Kumamoto with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

This issue features Glenn Jacobs and his mayor campaign, including his chances of winning the overall election, details of how he won the election and the campaign itself, and wrestlers who came in to support him.

Have a look at the life and career of Universo 2000, the longest reigning world heavyweight champion in pro wrestling of the modern era, who passed away on Wednesday.

There is a story looking back at the birth of UFC with the announcement of Art Davie into the UFC Hall of Fame.

Coverage of the birth of the new PFL, the $1 million tournaments and prize packages, the two-time gold medalist that is starting with the group, and a lot of former UFC names that have entered in the different weight classes.

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

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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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  • Three more Money in the Bank qualifying matches are scheduled for SmackDown tonight, with Daniel Bryan facing Rusev, The Miz taking on Jeff Hardy, and Charlotte Flair wrestling Peyton Royce. Paige will also open the show with an announcement, addressing Money in the Bank and/or AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura from Backlash. Becky Lynch vs. Mandy Rose was announced last week and may still happen but isn’t listed on the preview for the show.
  • Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy and Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher vs. Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado are advertised for tonight’s 205 Live.
  • In an interview with Patric Laprade, Kevin Owens said that he recently signed a new five-year deal with WWE.
  • Booker T will be filling in on commentary for next week’s Raw in London. Jonathan Coachman is missing the show due to his broadcast duties for the World Long Drive Association on the Golf Channel.
  • An advertisement for Impact Wrestling’s Global Wrestling Network streaming service was shown at the end of Table for Three with Shane McMahon, Kurt Angle, and AJ Styles on the WWE Network. Footage from Angle vs. Styles in Impact was shown on Table for Three and the ad directed viewers to GWN to see their matches.
  • When asked about the potential for the United Kingdom to host WrestleMania, Paul “Triple H” Levesque spoke about the logistical issues that are involved and said other pay-per-views would be the first step in that direction: “Can we get there? Sure, maybe over time. We would take steps in that direction and those steps are probably other pay-per-views. From my point of view I'd like to bring other meaningful events through WWE, whether that's NXT or the United Kingdom championships, taking international brands and putting them on in those markets. As the world becomes smaller and more technologically advanced, it becomes easier to do these things live from different places. From my end, that's what I'm working towards."
  • Zack Ryder defeated Curt Hawkins on last night’s Main Event tapings as both wrestlers returned home to Long Island. Cedric Alexander defeated Tony Nese, who is also from the area, in the other Main Event match, and The Authors of Pain won a dark match while Bobby Lashley’s sit-down interview played on television.
  • WWE explained that Ronda Rousey wasn’t on last night’s Raw because she’s in Fiji filming for Shark Week.
  • Bret Hart reflected on his relationship with his brother Owen on what would have been his 53rd birthday yesterday: “Thinking of my brother Owen instantly brings a big smile. He was like sunshine every day.”
  • Former Indianapolis Colts punter and current Barstool Sports personality Pat McAfee will be returning to the NXT pre-show panel for TakeOver: Chicago next month.
  • Orlando County, Florida officials voted to approve $1 million in spending in an effort to bring WrestleMania back in 2023 or 2025.
  • In a video on the Bella Twins’ YouTube channel, Nikki Bella thanked everyone for their support after her relationship with John Cena ended. Nikki said she’s living with her sister and Daniel Bryan at the moment.
  • Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that WWE has filed a lawsuit against Transworld Television for $337,142.98 they’re allegedly owed from international television agreements.
  • The USA Network released a brief trailer for “Miz & Mrs,” which will debut this summer.
  • In an at least partially in-character tweet, Nia Jax responded to someone who blamed her for the shoulder injury that WWE said Alexa Bliss suffered at Backlash by writing that Bliss is still scheduled for the upcoming European tour: “Haha!! If you haven’t heard. Alexa is perfectly fine. She couldn’t beat me in the ring, so she blamed it on a fake injury. Trust me, she is perfectly fine. She’s scheduled to be on tour, so you and all your troll friends can come worship your coward goddess."

Pro Wrestling

  • PROGRESS Wrestling announced that they’ll be touring five cities in the United States this August. They’ll be in New York on August 4th, Boston on the 5th, Seattle on the 9th. Chicago on the 11th, and Detroit on the 12th. Every show except the one in Seattle will be a doubleheader with EVOLVE Wrestling, with EVOLVE in the afternoon and PROGRESS at night. They’re working with Defy Wrestling for the Seattle show. Venues and ticket information have yet to be announced, but tickets for Chicago and Detroit will be available at EVOLVE’s events in those cities on May 19th and 20th.
  • Before likely heading to WWE, Keith Lee’s final matches for Beyond Wrestling will be on May 26th in East Greenwich, Rhode Island and May 27th in Worcester, Massachusetts.
  • Brandi Rhodes will be undergoing surgery to repair two separate fractures in her clavicle.
  • Bully Ray vs. Cheeseburger has been added to the card for ROH’s War of the Worlds show in Lowell, Massachusetts tomorrow night. SANADA, EVIL, BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Dalton Castle, Jay Lethal, Kenny King & Flip Gordon is set for Toronto on May 11th, and Tenille Dashwood will face Karen Q in Chicago on May 13th.
  • John Morrison will reportedly be on the next season of CBS’ “Survivor,” which recently wrapped up filming.
  • LuFisto tweeted that her cervical cancer is gone and she has a doctor’s appointment in six months to make sure it doesn’t come back.
  • Zack Sabre Jr. discussed the improvement of the British wrestling scene in an interview with Daily Star Online.
  • Will Cooling reviewed Fight Club: PRO's latest show, which was headlined by Meiko Satomura vs. Chris Brookes.
  • The latest episode of the NWA’s Ten Pounds of Gold series focuses on Nick Aldis and Colt Cabana’s title match in China.


  • Dana White commented on the UFC’s deal with ESPN+ for 15 streaming events: “I couldn’t be more excited to partner with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN on an agreement that will continue to grow our sport. UFC has always done deals with the right partners at the right time and this one is no exception. We will now have the ability to deliver fights to our young fan base wherever they are and whenever they want it. This deal is a home run for ESPN and UFC.”
  • While appearing on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, Dana White confirmed that the UFC is working on making Georges St-Pierre vs. Nate Diaz for their PPV in Los Angeles on August 4th. White also said that Alexander Gustafsson vs. Luke Rockhold in a light heavyweight fight is in the works, but it won’t be for an interim title.
  • The UFC released the first episode of Embedded for Saturday’s Amanda Nunes vs. Raquel Pennington PPV.
  • MMA Junkie ran a profile on Matt Riddle and his transition to pro wrestling.

Daily Professional Wrestling History: Edge cashes in on Undertaker to win World title