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Daily Update: Payback matches, SmackDown, Kane


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The Latest from the F4W Staff



FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 4/3/2017: Memorable moments make Wrestlemania 33

Despite the match quality and show length being similar, WrestleMania 33 was much better than its predecessor. That's largely due to just having more memorable moments than WrestleMania 32. The Undertaker's retirement is what will define this year's show, even if he clearly held on too long. Jim Ross' return to the WWE broadcast booth was a nice touch and necessary to stress the magnitude of Undertaker's final match. The Hardys coming back brought genuine excitement while making the Raw tag team title ladder match feel like a big deal. And John Cena proposing to Nikki Bella at least gave reason for what was a nothing mixed tag after such a great build.

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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: April 10, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Wrestlemania 33 review, WWE financials, more

Our annual WrestleMania double-issue of the Observer is out today, covering not only the big show, but also the entire week in Orlando with NXT, ROH, the top indie shows and even the NXT tapings.

Stories on New Japan's quick sellouts and plans for their first U.S. shows, behind-the-scenes bullying in WWE and what's next in WWE, in this issue.

Plus, look at all of the business numbers for WrestleMania, how to analyze the network number and what numbers need to be out before fully getting a picture of everything, the gain of subscribers this year as compared to the past two years and how much time the average subscriber spends during Mania week watching the network. Also, look at the live gate, what aspects of the show were the most talked about, general public reaction compared to big UFC events, and television ratings for the prelims.

Undertaker's retirement, the Cena proposal, return of the Hardys sans gimmick, Goldberg vs. Lesnar, ring psychology, length of matches, as well as when the finishes were finalized and the gambling money came in, inside.

This issue also has match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results for WrestleMania, NXT Takeover and ROH Supercard of Honor.

Read about the returns to WWE of Jim Ross and Drew Galloway and the backgrounds of everything as well as the unique Ross/New Japan/WWE dynamic that under normal circumstances would be unheard of, and also look at how the situation with Galloway went down.

Also, look at the dynamic of the Takeover show and why decisions were made the way they were.

This issue goes through the plans for the New Japan shows in Long Beach, what will be on the shows and goals of the shows.

Finally look at the highlight matches during the week from smaller promotions in Orlando.

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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.

WON BACK ISSUE: March 20, 2000: WWF to leave USA network, ECW Living Dangerously review, more

The landscape of American pro wrestling may undergo major changes within the next month. Starting off, WWF officially gave notice to the USA Network on 3/1 that it is cancelling its contract with them effective in September when the new TV season starts. This isn't necessarily as big as it sounds, but most feel it is bigger. The WWF's deal for Raw, Livewire and Superstars expired in September 2001, but WWF has the right to get out of the deal in September 2000 by giving the network six months notice and USA Network has the right to match any offer.

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  • In addition to the continuation of the Superstar Shakeup with SmackDown's roster additions, The Usos defending their tag titles against American Alpha is advertised for SmackDown tonight. 205 Live will have TJ Perkins vs. Jack Gallagher.
  • Byron Saxton also moved brands in the shakeup last night. He'll switch places with David Otunga and join the SmackDown announce team as Otunga heads to Raw.
  • WWE continued to build to Payback, which will be a Raw pay-per-view on April 30th, last night even with the shakeup. Randy Orton defending the WWE title against Bray Wyatt in a House of Horrors match is announced for the show after Wyatt joined Raw, though Orton remains on SmackDown. The Hardys vs. Cesaro & Sheamus for the Raw Tag Team Championship and Austin Aries challenging Neville for the Cruiserweight title have also been added to the card.
  • After officially announcing that he's running for mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, Glenn Jacobs (Kane) released an ad about his candidacy. His campaign slogan is "Lighting the Way for Our Future."
  • Jacobs also discussed running for mayor on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast.
  • Chris Harrington looks at WWE's schedule for the next year, which was unsealed as part of a lawsuit the company filed concerning potential merchandise bootleggers.
  • Aleister Black tweeted that he'll be part of Raw's European house show tour in Lille, Zurich, Stuttgart, Leige, and Rotterdam next month.
  • Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated wrote a story on the Mauro Ranallo/JBL bullying situation.
  • Wrestling DVD Network posted the content listing for the DVD that WWE is producing on Kevin Owens that will be released in July. The first disc will be a documentary, the second will have special features and matches, and the third will have more matches.

Pro Wrestling

  • Mark Haskins will face Mark Andrews in a number one contender's match for PROGRESS Wrestling on April 23rd. The winner will get a shot at Pete Dunne's title.
  • Tom Lawlor is the first announced entrant for AIW's 2017 JT Lightning Invitational tournament. The tournament is scheduled for May 26th and 27th in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • EVOLVE posted a video with Ethan Page hyping his last man standing match against Darby Allin in Queens, New York on April 22nd.
  • KSWA Digest has a story on the class on Bruno Sammartino's life that Chris Cruise is teaching at the Community College of Allegheny County on April 19th and 26th.


  • Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald II won best fight in UFC history in an ESPN poll.
  • Daniel Cormier said on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that Jon Jones needs their rematch more than he does.
  • Holly Holm vs. Bethe Correia is being targeted for the main event of UFC's Fight Night show in Singapore on June 17th.
  • Former champion Luke Rockhold claimed that Michael Bisping facing Georges St-Pierre cheapens the middleweight belt.

Today in Professional Wrestling History (4/11): DDP wins WCW title at Spring Stampede

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