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Daily Update: Paul Heyman, 205 Live gauntlet match, Backlash


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​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Looking ahead to the Greatest Royal Rumble

With WrestleMania 34 just barely in the rearview mirror, WWE's second stadium show of the month is already under two weeks away. The Greatest Royal Rumble will take place at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday, April 27th and air live on the WWE Network at noon Eastern time. The card already has seven matches confirmed: a 50-man Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns in a steel cage, John Cena vs. Triple H, The Undertaker vs. Chris Jericho in a casket match, Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins defending against The Miz, Finn Balor, and Samoa Joe in a ladder match, The Usos challenging for The Bludgeon Brothers' SmackDown Tag Team titles, and a match to decide the new Raw Tag Team Champions. The WWE, United States, and Cruiserweight Championships will also be on the line.

WON NEWSLETTER: April 24, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: The death of Bruno Sammartino

A look back at the life and career of Bruno Sammartino is the focus of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. This is the most in-depth look at both his life inside and outside the ring, talking his career, his biggest matches, his conflicts with Vince McMahon and his father, the Phil Donahue show, his biggest feuds, how he got started, his weightlifting and the amazing story of his life as a child in Italy, and growing up to be one of the strongest men in the world.

Read about Sammartino’s appeal, his health issues, his family, the amazing story of his mother, why he refused to let Hollywood studios do a movie on his life, his learning to lift weights, his high school yearbook and goals, what he did out of high school, notes on two of his most famous early matches, how he first got noticed in Pittsburgh and got NFL and wrestling offers. 

Have a brief look at the career of Paul Jones, who also passed away this past week.

The break down of both Raw and Smackdown after the Superstar shakeup, looking at the depth charts, what categories are strong, what categories are weak and what changes can be made, all inside this issue.

Read the update on the Greatest Royal Rumble show and the ethical questions the show has brought up.

Look at the John Cena/Nikki Bella story, Ronda Rousey and Daniel Bryan working house shows, Bobby Lashley news, Chris Jericho talks New Japan, Jericho vs. Undertaker prior matches, Cena and Rock movie box office, Next week's WWE TV, beers named after two different wrestling legends, NXT big show lineups, and the name change of a WWE wrestler.

There is also an update on the UFC television contract talks.

Plus, this issue has the weekly coverage of all the ratings of the major shows, detailed notes on who is watching all the WWE shows, results from the major league events held around the world, the major TV show rundowns, and the results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 

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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  • WWE revealed that Tony Nese, Mustafa Ali, Drew Gulak, Kalisto, and TJP will be the participants in tonight’s gauntlet match on 205 Live. The winner will challenge for Cedric Alexander’s Cruiserweight Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble on Friday.
  • Despite reports to the contrary, Dave Meltzer notes that Paul Heyman is scheduled for the Greatest Royal Rumble.
  • Shane McMahon being in the 50-man Royal Rumble match in Saudi Arabia was officially announced on Raw last night. He had been featured on advertising for the show.
  • Raw Women’s Champion Nia Jax defending her title against Alexa Bliss is official for Backlash on May 6th. There will be a contract signing between Carmella and Charlotte Flair tonight for a SmackDown Women’s title match at Backlash, and Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe and Seth Rollins vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship have also been announced for the PPV.
  • Ronda Rousey vs. Mickie James is set for WWE’s house show in Turin, Italy on May 18th. They’ll be wrestling in Paris as well, with Rousey also working in Geneva and Vienna on the European tour.
  • Jim Ross called Rousey’s match at WrestleMania 34 the best in-ring debut he’s ever seen.
  • WIth Raw in St. Louis last night, Harley Race was backstage at the show. Sunil Singh wrote about reconnecting with him: “An honor to reconnect w/  @8XNWAChampion. When we 1st started out in this business, we attended Harley’s camps in Eldon, Missouri, multiple times, hoping to get noticed by the big leagues. Learning under Harley’s guidance in our early years was truly a highlight of our careers.”
  • After the storyline where Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel were looking for a new leader on Raw last night, Bray Wyatt posted a tweet inviting his brother and Axel to join him and Matt Hardy: “Please, @TheBoDallas, @RealCurtisAxel . Quit trying to coincide with those Obsolete Mules. A Woken World awaits you. Let us fix you.”
  • Bayley apologized for an awkward interaction with a fan on Raw.
  • Wednesday’s episode of Something Else to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson will be focused on The Mega Powers. It will be uploaded to the on-demand section of the WWE Network at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
  • NJPW’s Toru Yano thanked Shinsuke Nakamura for taking his low blow punch worldwide.
  • The Sporting News interviewed Baron Corbin about the Greatest Royal Rumble and his move to Raw in the Superstar Shakeup.
  • Mark Henry and Mojo Rawley were part of a Be A Star rally in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia today.

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