According to some fans, WWE had a "thumbs in the middle" night on Sunday with Extreme Rules. The show was basically nothing, but it did have two excellent matches. The first excellent was the four way for the Intercontinental Championship featuring Miz vs. Cesar007 vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens. This match was incredibly paced and well worked with a lot of innovative maneuvers, and more importantly, the crowd was into it. I'd put it up there with the best matches of WWE so far in 2016.
However, the main event Extreme Rules match for the WWE title between Roman Reigns and AJ Styles was "phenomenal." Styles proved why he is the man in a career making performance. It was awesome to see this "outsider" get a chance to showcase his abilities. However, in the end, it was all about the return of Seth Rollins who ran in after the match to lay out Reigns. Rollins received an enormous babyface reaction upon doing so, and it was a tremendous way to go off the air on Sunday night.
However, more important than what happened on Sunday was the follow up on Monday Night Raw. There was a lot of positive speculation from fans on social medial all day, but the final rating was up very slightly. Nonetheless, many were not happy after watching Raw. Our own Alan O'Brien has an excellent piece on how WWE immediately screwed it up. He points out the comparison of bringing Alberto Del Rio back as a face only to turn him heel immediately, which is exactly what they did with Rollins. In the case of Del Rio, it was a bad decision. As of right now, it sure seems like a bad decision to turn Rollins.
Only time will tell if the "New Era" of WWE will yield positive returns. However, if making AJ Styles into a bonafide star is the only thing that happens, that may be enough to consider it successful.
NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS ON TUESDAY FROM YAMAGATA (this won't air live but should be up sometime Tuesday on New Japan World)
- Tiger Mask vs. Volador jr.
- Jushin Liger vs. Chase Owens
- Bobby Fish vs. Ricochet
- Will Ospreay vs. Trent Baretta
Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Norfolk, VA. Roman Reigns & Usos vs. A.J. Styles & Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson is the advertised main event.
- New Japan Best of the Super Juniors Night 3 results: Kushida vs. Rocky Romero
- BJ Penn out of UFC 199 due to IV use in March
- WWE RAW live results: Seth Rollins returns; Extreme Rules fallout
- How WWE took the United States title from prominence to prelim status
- Per his request, Adam Rose released from WWE
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Figure Four Weekly 5/23/2016: More strange developments in WWE's concussion lawsuit deposition - Last week we talked a bit about both Evan Singleton's deposition in the WWE concussion lawsuit as well as a video of a concussion presentation held in developmental during Singleton's time under contact. Among other topics, there's been a bit more movement on that front.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
A look at what's next for WWE after Extreme Rules, the UFC sale with lots of exclusive info, Vince & Linda McMahon selling their stock, Chris Weidman's injury and how that changes plans, the staggering drop in kids viewing for WWE and exactly who watches the TV today, plus UFC 198 coverage and Best of The Super Juniors tournament news are among the stories covered in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
More on the injury returns and summer ideas and why WWE could have its deepest talent roster in a long time in very short order. Plus, talk about the NXT/WWE balance and why talent is actually more important for arena business if in NXT.
There is also an extensive look at the Extreme Rules show.
In addition, updates on the UFC sale, including news about who is in, who is not in, what it all means, what is being sold, where Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta fit in and UFC fixture who indicates he's likely gone if the sale goes through, all in covered in this issue.
A glimpse into Vince McMahon's stock sale, what it means, how much money did he get, and how his stock sale only increased the difference in the value of UFC vs. WWE, and for how much Vince McMahon bought the company.
More on the injury to Chris Weidman, how it happened, his future, Michael Bisping's title shot and more on UFC 1999.
Also in this issue, find out who watches WWE on television and how many in each different age group.
Find out how WWE has changed the schedule of the Cruiserweight tournament and why, more on the arrest of Adam Rose, more on Stephanie McMahon's book, how Stephanie will be pushed on television going forward, how Stephanie will be marketed as the face of the company, and another WWE firing.
Finally, there's full coverage of UFC 198, including business notes including early estimates on success, ramifications of the show, match-by-match coverage, looking at the judging of close fights and poll results.
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Check out the latest online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: April 19, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Davey Boy Smith hospitalized with spinal infection, WCW Spring Stampede. The health situations involving both Davey Boy Smith and Japanese woman wrestler Emiko Kado took turns for the worst this past week.
Even with UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor under contract to UFC, the story about him boxing Floyd Mayweather is still getting a lot of play in the sports media with mid-September Las Vegas dates being speculated on. This was discussed at length on many daily sports shows including FS1's Colin Cowherd and Prime Time Sports in Canada.
Former WWE security director Jimmy Noonan was on Fox News talking about what some of the talents are “really like” and what his duties were. He talked about where fans are the craziest and some stories on Brock Lesnar. It’s a short clip, but an interesting one.
Last Friday’s Bellator 155 on Spike did 653,000 viewers, right around their year to date average. It was down about 8% from last Saturday’s show (Phil Davis vs. King Mo), but up from the May 2015 show on the same weekend. The show was headlined by the lackluster Rafael Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef middleweight title bout.
- Hey, remember the #DivasRevolution? Well, it was a revolution for one of them. Here’s an article on Charlotte.
- Smackdown in Canada will air on Thursday this week because of the Memorial Cup on Wednesday. It will also replay on Friday.
- Here’s the latest on the Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker lawsuit. Spoiler alert: it’s a conspiracy theory against Gawker.
- This is one of the most confusing wrestling based headlines in recent memory: Bobby Wales - Wrestler From Scott's Hall. Yes, Scott’s Hall is a place in Jamaica.
- The PWO/PRIME Wrestling organization is releasing a DVD set with a lot of matches of current WWE and TNA stars before they hit it big. Here’s the official trailer.
- IMPACT’s Jessie Godderz makes a surprise appearance on the Primetime Edition of The Price Is Right tomorrow night at 8e/7c on CBS (right before Impact on Pop on Pop TV).
- Here’s a nice story about a retired wrestler giving back to the community.
- UK wrestling fans that remember Kid Scorpio might like to hear (literally) what he’s up to now.
- This weekend in Houston will be The Space City Comic Con. Demolition, Mil Muertes, Katrina, and Sexy Star will be there signing autographs.
- Here is a cool story about U.S. Olympic wrestler Frank Molinaro trying to raise money to bring his family with him to Brazil.
- In the sweet irony department, Rousimar Palhares is complaining about illegal blows in his quick KO loss on Saturday’s Venator show in Italy.
- AKA head Javier Mendez came on Submission Radio to discuss why his charge Luke Rockhold’s upcoming UFC 199 title fight with Michael Bisping is going to be taken very seriously even though Rockhold has already beaten him. You can listen to the interview here.
- Here’s a Bleacher Report feature on the conflict of interest between MMA managers representing fighters and also running smaller organizations.
- TONIGHT - Frankie Kazarian and Silas Young team up and Lio Rush takes on Jason Kincaid for CWE in Regina, Saskatchewan at The Exchange (2431 8th Ave) - Purchase tickets online.
- May 27 & 28 - Absolute Intense Wrestling "2016 JT Lightning Invitational Tournament," Our Lady Of Mount Carmel, 1355 West 70th Street, Cleveland,Ohio
- June 4 - UFC 199 from the Forum in Los Angeles with Michael Bisping getting his first title opportunity of his career battling Luke Rockhold for the middleweight belt
- June 4 - In celebration of Metro Pro's Sixth Anniversary, Demolition (Ax & Smash) will be in action on Saturday, Turner Recreation Center in Kansas City, Kansas. The event address is: 831 S. 55th St., Kansas City, KS 66106 - Tickets can be bought in advance.
- June 5 - AAA's Victoria World Cup men and women's trio tournament finals at Los Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City which will be a live iPPV show
- June 7 - New Japan Best of the Super Juniors finals from Sendai live on New Japan World
- June 8 - NXT Takeover from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL featuring Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor in a cage match plus a loaded lineup that includes American Alpha vs. The Revival and probably Shinsuke Nakamura vs Austin Aries, which could be WWE's match of the month.
- June 12 - TNA Slammiversary headlined by Drew Galloway vs. Bobby Lashley for the TNA title from Orlando
- June 12 - Revolution Pro Wrestling in London, England headlined by Kurt Angle vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
- June 17 - AAW “Killers Among Us” features Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Johnny Gargano, Drago vs. Chris Hero, and more at 115 Bourbon Street (3359 w 115th Street Merrionette Park, IL) All Ages Event - Tickets available.
- June 18 - UFC in Ottawa: Rory McDonald vs. Stephen Thompson
- June 19 - New Japan Dominion, one of the company's biggest events of the year, featuring Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada in an IWGP title match and Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi in a ladder match for the IC title
- June 19 - WWE Money in the Bank from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
- June 24 - ROH Best in the World from Concord, NC with Jay Lethal vs. Jay Briscoe for the ROH title
- June 25 - Ultima Lucha tapings in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles at The Temple
- June 26 - Ultima Lucha tapings in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles at The Temple
- July 7-11 The 10th annual Wrestling Observer/F4W convention in Las Vegas, EdinSanAntonio has all the information up on Facebook, or email him at F4Wfan@hotmail.com.
Today in Professional Wrestling History: 5/24 Harley Race defeats Dory Funk for NWA World Title; Flair regains NWA World Title over Von Erich