Tonight is the second Raw show since the brand extension. They'll likely be starting some new undercard programs for SummerSlam. As noted earlier, Paul Heyman will be back with Brock Lesnar. There should be a megapush of Finn Balor, since he and Seth Rollins will be the Raw brand main event on the third biggest event of the year.
Raw is tonight night in Atlanta at the Phillips Arena. John Cena and A.J. Styles are both booked on the Raw show, but will likely not appear on television. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman both return on the show as well. We're looking for live reports with Superstars, dark matches (there is one advertised using Cena & Styles) and any other notes that wouldn't be evident from the live show.
Smackdown is Tuesday night in Nashville.
We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday's UFC 201 and Saturday's G-1 Climax show from Nagoya, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com.
NEW JAPAN G-1 CLIMAX TOURNAMENT IN KAGOSHIMA AT THE ARENA WEDNESDAY AT 5:30 A.M. EASTERN TIME ON NEW JAPAN WORLD
- Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & David Finlay
- Yuji Nagata & Michael Elgin & Satoshi Kojima & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima & Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi & Gedo
- Katsuyori Shibata & Captain New Japan vs. Kenny Omega & Yujiro Takahashi
- Tomoaki Honma & Kushida & Juice Robinson vs. Tetsuya Naito & Evil & Bushi
- Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Bad Luck Fale
- Hirooki Goto vs. Tama Tonga
- Naomichi Marufuji vs. Seiya Sanada
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Togi Makabe
- Jinder Mahal returning to WWE
- NXT Houston: The art on display amidst the farewells
- NJPW G1 Climax 26 night nine results: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hirooki Goto
- Will Ospreay returns to action
- UFC 201 Atlanta live results: Robbie Lawler vs. Tyron Woodley
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Figure Four Weekly
READ IT HERE: Figure Four Weekly 7/25/2016: More concussion legality! - Just moments after last week's issue was put to bed, news broke that WWE had been hit by yet another lawsuit from Massachusetts lawyer Konstantine Kyros against WWE. Before, there were of a small handful of wrestlers with no prospects of dealing with WWE again suing strictly over nebulously worded concussion-related claims. This time, there are over 50 plaintiffs, including a lot of surprises, and the counts have been expanded to include variations on misclassifying them as independent contractors as part of an alleged racketeering scheme.
Subscribers can click here to continue reading.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
READ IT HERE: August 1, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Brand split week one, Brock Lesnar and the WWE Wellness Policy- The entire story of Brock Lesnar, UFC drug testing, WWE drug testing and its history leads the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. There is also full coverage of week one of the brand extension, what has been good and what hasn't, as well as coverage of Battleground, the G-1 Climax tournament, and the deaths of well known personalities on a regional basis like announcer Bill Cardille and Oregon advertising icon Tom Peterson.
The lead story explains in detail why Lesnar was not suspended, the changes in the policy where he can't be suspended, who else has those loopholes, where they came from, why PED usage is more of a competitive advantage in WWE than in most real sports and why people who claim wrestling isn't competition miss the entire point. There is also a look back to 2007 when a large percentage of the roster was suspended at the same time without test failures and why, including how office people have been treated different from talent on the subject. Take a look into specifics of the case of Randy Orton, performance vs. cosmetic in wrestling and how it has changed, how WWE differs from the other major promotions, when steroid testing started in WWF, when it was dropped and when it was restarted, a look back at the key component of the 1994 indictment of Vince McMahon and subsequent trial, and what happened and why WWF dropped drug testing.
A look back at the cases involving Eddy Guerrero and Chris Benoit, the success of the program all inside.
In this issue, take a look at Lesnar's schedule, the situation with Paul Heyman, what the next steps for UFC and athletic commissions regarding the Lesnar test failures and the reaction to all this from Mark Hunt. This issue also looks at Hunt's argument regarding how Lesnar gained financially from cheating and how Lesnar was not treated differently than anyone else when it came to drug testing in the UFC.
Finally, examine week one of the brand split, the changes in the SummerSlam show, Roman Reigns booking, the ascension of Dolph Ziggler and Finn Balor, as well as business notes and a match-by-match rundown of Battleground with star ratings.
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Wrestling Observer Newsletter BACK ISSUE
READ IT HERE: June 21, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Hart family files lawsuit against WWF, WCW Great American Bash review, more - The expected lawsuit filed by the Hart family against a number of defendants, the main one being the World Wrestling Federation, was announced at a press conference on 6/15 in Kansas City.
MONDAY NEW UPDATE
The Huffington Post has an article on TNA Knockout Jade, focusing on her overcoming domestic abuse. As a former victim of domestic violence, Jade is now an advocate of women’s rights championing the cause to end domestic battery. “We choose to get in the ring. We’re trained to keep ourselves and our opponents safe. But when someone brings it back home, that’s not wrestling anymore. That is not entertainment. That is just straight abuse.” Pass this article along if you know of anyone in a dangerous situation, female or male, child or adult. Violence in the home is not ok in any form.
Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Raw, G-1 and the rest of the wrestling and MMA news tonight. We'll also be taking e-mail questions for the show to MailBag@WrestlingObserver.com.
The Bella Twins were awarded the Teen Choice awards for favorite female athlete last night on the show, which airs on FOX. John Cena hosted the show.
Sean "P Diddy" Combs will be the guest host of next week's Raw show from Anaheim.
As expected, Gawker founder and partial owner Nick Denton has declared bankruptcy stemming from judge Pamela Campbell's ruling that he needed to start paying Hulk Hogan his share of the big verdict. Denton is in a legal vise as he may not be able to raise the $50 million to appeal the original verdict.
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT
- The WWE has announced NXT shows on 9/16 in Des Moines, 9/17 in Omaha and 9/18 in St,. Paul, MN. The St. Paul show will be at the Roy Wilkens Auditorium, the same site as the ECW Anarchy Rulz PPV. The problem is that it's head-to-head with the Minnesota Vikings game for the first time in their new stadium. It'll hurt, but NXT has never been there and it's maybe 2,000 seats. HHH actually listed the 9/18 show in Minneapolis, which is near St. Paul. Some people in St. Paul hate when people make that mistake but it's one people make all the time.
- A Facebook video of Kane talking politics is here. (thanks to Stephen Brown)
- Adam "Edge" Copeland noted that he has had to cancel his 8/21 Edge & Christian Q&A show at Caroline's in New York. He had a commitment the next morning in the U.K. and there was no way he could do both events. He said that Christian would still be doing the show.
- Mick Foley talks the Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks title match from last week.
- Right before this morning's Howard Stern show there was an ad for WWE house shows and the Summer Sizzler tour listing all the headliners. In the ad they listed Charlotte as women's champion. (thanks to Mike Stack)
- There will be a Smackdown taping on 10/4 in San Diego. I believe the Raw taping that week will be a the Staples Center in Los Angeles but that isn't confirmed.
- Seth Rollins had a cameo on Sharknado, which aired last night on Syfy.
- What was said to be the best match of the first round of the cruiserweight classic, Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa, will air on Wednesday night on the WWE Network. WWE Network has also added all of the 2007 episodes of Raw aside from the Chris Benoit tribute show which obviously will never be seen again.
The WWE is having fans vote for the greatest SummerSlam match ever, with these being the list to choose from:
- Edge vs. Matt Hardy (2005)
- HHH vs. Shawn Michaels (2002)
- Steve Austin vs. Undertaker (1998)
- Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella (2014)
- Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley (2006)
- Rey Mysterio vs. Eddy Guerrero (2005)
- Team WWF vs Team Nexus (2010)
- Ultimate Warrior vs. Ric Rude (1990)
WWE Network News listed these matches for the upcoming Three Faces of Foley collection being added to the network:
- Cactus Jack vs. Sting (falls count anywhere, 1992 Beach Blast)
- Cactus Jack vs. Big Van Vader (Texas death match, 1993 Halloween Havoc)
- Cactus Jack & Shane Douglas vs. Sandman & Terry Funk (1995, ECW)
- Undertaker vs. Mankind Boiler Room match (SummerSlam 1996)
- Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind WWF title (probably Foley's career best match)
- Steve Austin & Dude Love vs. Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith (Raw 1997)
- Steve Austin & Dude Love & Undertaker vs. Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith & Bret Hart (Raw 1997)
- Dude Love vs. Rockabilly (Billy Gunn) (NBC 1997)
- Dude Love vs. The Rock (Raw 1997)
- Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie (Terry Funk) vs. New Age Outlaws (Raw 1998)
- Steve Austin vs. Dude Love (WWF title, Unforgiven PPV, 1998)
- Mankind vs. The Rock (WWF title, Raw 1999)
- Mankind vs. The Rock (Empty arena match for WWF title,1999)
- Cactus Jack vs. HHH (street fight for WWE title, 2000 Royal Rumble
- The Toronto Star posted an excerpt from Pat Patterson's upcoming book on the front page of the site today: How a young, gay Québécois wannabe made WWE history (thanks to Jeff Lam)
- Matt Sydal wrestles Steve Arsenault in the main event of Wrestlecentre Voltage on the Fight Network Thursday night at 11 pm eastern.
- WWE Hall of Famer and Japanese Wrestling icon Stan Hanson goes into detail about his time in AWA and why he refused to drop the heavyweight title before leaving the company.
- William Regal was at yesterday's Progress Wrestling show in London. He pretty much ignored the chants from the fans all night encouraging him to sign up Tyler Bate, Mark Haskins and Will Ospreay. Obviously Ospreay would be off limits for some time. He popped his head out of the curtain and made a joke about asking someone to buy promoter Jim Smallman a sandwich, since Smallman is skinny. Regal talked to a number of the wrestlers but didn't say much else. He also went to two others shows over the past week and did a podcast with Smallman that plays tomorrow night.
- RESULTS of the Progress show: Trent Seven & Tyler Bate DCOR Pete Dunne & Damian Dunne, Jack Gallagher b Zack Gibson, TK Cooper & Travis Banks b Roy Johnson & Jack Sexsmith, Mark Andrews b El Ligero, Mark Haskins b Will Ospreay (winner gets a Progress title shot), London Riots b War Machine (Ray Rowe & Hanson), Marty Scurll won the Progress title beating Pastor Will Eaver. (thanks to Rob Leigh)
- Joey Davis, 21, who went 131-0 in Division II wrestling competition with four national championships, (the only Division II wrestler to win four titles and go unbeaten for a career), makes his MMA debut against Keith Catrone (1-0) on Bellator's 8/26 show in Anaheim. The fight will be part of the streamed prelims and not on the television show.
- RESULTS: Beyond Wrestling from yesterday in Providence, RI, before more an advanced sellout of more than 400 fans for a show that lasted five hours: Keith Lee (who is now in ROH) b Brian Cage, Joey Ryan b Suge D-COR (mostly comedy based around Ryan dick spots), AR Fox b Matt Tremont after a swanton off the balcony, Darius Carter & TJ Marconi & Anthony Gangone & Devin Blaze & Tommy Trainwreck b Dan Maff & Homicide & Eddie Kingston & B-Boy, Chris Hero b Kimber Lee, Donovan Dijak won three-way over JT Dunn and Chris Dickinson (during this match Dijak threw a cup of water into Dickinson's face and water ended up splashing on the mixing board and shortened it out, meaning no PA for the rest of the show, ring announcer Rich Palladino had to ask the crowd to be quiet for the rest of the ring introductions), Tanya (a camera woman) b Suge D to win the DDT Pro Iron man championship, Matt Riddle b John Silver, Jake & Mike Draztik & Angel Ortiz b TJP & Drew Gulak & Tracy Williams, David Starr b Johnny Gargano, Joey Ryan regained the DDT Pro Iron man title over Candice LaRae, Suge D and Johnny Cockstrong (who had beaten the camera woman backstage) with a Zack Morris Saved by the Bell spot where Ryan made everyone freeze and then pinned Cockstrong. Ryan then announced that the crowd deserved the title and they started chanting, "We are awesome." Ryan then ruled the crowd had tapped out and he was champion again. Brian Fury b Tommaso Ciampa, Jonathan Gresham b Zack Sabre Jr. in 2/3 falls using the figure four in the third fall. (thanks to Patrick Tobin)
- MLW has announced a Bruce Prichard podcast called "Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard."
- Results from All Star Wrestling in Dublin, WV on Saturday night: Tinky the Clown b Silent Assassin, Nate Diamond b Liam Cross, Misty James b Roni Nicole, Tennessee Hillbillies & Iron Cross b Stan Lee & Scott Sterling & Sexy Kevina, Wolf b Joe Briggs, Frank Parker & Gunner b Sgt. Long & Drake Tungeston
- Victory Commonwealth Wrestling on 8/5 in Toronto at the Super Wonder Gallery.
- Hannibal vs. Scott Steiner has been announced for the GNW title for 11/5 in Hawkesbury, ONT.
- Smoky Mountain Wrestling Fire on the Mountain on Saturday night in Kingsport, TN at the Civic Auditorium has Jax Dane vs. Jordan Kage for the NWA title, Jason Kincaid vs. Elliott Russell for the Southeastern title, Chase Owens vs. Damien Wayne plus appearances by Tammy Sytch and Raven.
- Here is a video of Luna Wrestling from France, seemingly a short lived French promotion that existed in the early 70's. The wrestlers used springboards powered by air compressors to literally catapult themselves into the ring, over and over. (thanks to Nick DeFranco)
- RESULTS: 7/29 B.C.W Central: When Sparks Fly, BPO ELKS Queensborough Lodge #878, Queens, NY, This was the final BCW Central show. It is merging with Tier 1 Wrestling. Black Jeter won the Dany Yamz Memorial Battle Royal, Change for Crusade def The Disassemblers, Caveman def Eric Jayden by DQ via low blow, Maxwell Jacob Feinstein def Sebastian Cage via armbar submission, Triple Threat Women's Match, Faye Jackson def Solo Darling & Dominique Fabiano, Hounds of Hatred def GOAT, Mike Orlando def "Greek God" Papadon, General Romero def Mike Verna, Team Pazuzu def Certified Graysons, Tier 1 Championship Rude Boy Riley def MOOSE.
- RESULTS: 7/31 Pure Wrestling Association - Funion Days, Thedford, Ontario: Mr Atlantis defeated Jesse Bieber, Brandon Jacobs defeated Rip Impact, Joey Allen defeated “Reckless” Ryan Swift, Beautiful Beaa defeated Dominique Fabiano to remain Elite Women’s Champion, Reggie Marley defeated Andrew Davis to become new Ontario Champion, Ryan Swift/Jesse Bieber defeated Mr Atlantis / Joey Allen
TODAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (8/1): Harley Race downs Jumbo Tsuruta for NWA gold
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