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Daily Update: Raw ratings competition, NXT changes, NJPW Super J results

While there is a lot of talk about Raw ratings, which, unless John Cena's drawing power is really strong for his return, they would hit seasonal record lows going against both the Warriors vs. Thunder game seven and the Sharks vs. Penguins game one in the NHL finals, another story has started to surface: TicketMaster and the WWE's web site have pulled the planned SummerSlam weekend NXT show off their schedule. 

Decisions and schedule changes happen all the time though. If you remember, last year's show in Brooklyn was NXT's biggest success in history, drawing a legit sellout with the Bayley vs. Sasha Banks match that may have been the best women's match in company history. Even internally, people have been asking questions and right now there are no answers other than the show is no longer on the schedule. At least some in NXT are very concerned about that and the billing of the 6/8 show as "The End." 

We're looking for live reports from Raw tonight in Green Bay, featuring the return of John Cena to

NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS FROM HIROSHIMA ON TUESDAY (taped for New Japan World available later in the day)

  • Bushi vs. David Finlay
  • Matt Sydal vs. Rocky Romero
  • Kushida vs. Gedo
  • Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kyle O'Reilly

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Rockford, IL  We're also looking for reports on this show.

NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS FROM NAGOYA ON THURSDAY (taped for New Japan World, available later in the day)

  • Volador Jr. vs. Chase Owens
  • Jushin Liger vs. Tiger Mask
  • Bobby Fish vs. Will Ospreay
  • Ricochet vs. Trent Baretta


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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

READ IT HERE: May 30, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Return of Seth Rollins and the WWE brand split, plus tons of news

With two of the biggest news stories of the year, the WWE brand split and the UFC sale both in play, we've got a new issue of the Observer packed with news.

Our lead story looks at the brand split, with what we do know, what has and hasn't been decided and the background of how it went down. There's also more info on the UFC sale talks.  Plus there is coverage of the return of Seth Rollins, the build to Money in the Bank and have coverage of Extreme Rules, the negotiations for a Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz fight and look more at the Floyd Mayweather vs. McGregor rumors. Take an in-depth look at the departure of Cody Runnels (Rhodes) from WWE and his future prospects, plus look at his complaints regarding people in the company. All this plus a look at the New Japan Super Juniors tournament, the funding of the Hulk Hogan lawsuit, the World Cup trios tournament coming up and a feature on the last PWG show.

The lead story looks at every aspect of the brand split.  It looks at the original goals and reasons for it and what did and didn't work, plus how it'll be different this time, how the touring will work, and an examination of what talent knows and tentative plans in place.  Vince McMahon' reaction is a big part of this, and this issue explains how the deal went down, the story behind the story and other aspects to be considered. There's also a look at Smackdown going live, the affect on the fan base, the affect on TNA and why it was important to get Smackdown away from Thursday.

Another big story in this issues is Extreme Rules, the decision to make Seth Rollins a heel and current plans for Money in the Bank, and also match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

Details about what's going on with Conor McGregor, including Colin Cowherd's claim that Mayweather vs. McGregor is happening, as well as a look at the Nate Diaz negotiations last week and what McGregor has said publicly.

Finally, this issue looks at Cody Runnels leaving WWE, what he said was the reason why, and a look into those reasons, and a look at the realities of WWE business decisions and his background.


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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.


Before starting, I just want everyone to spend a moment thinking of & honoring those who Memorial Day was named for: people who lost their lives in service to this country. That is the supreme sacrifice, and hopefully we all recognize that because of their efforts, we are able to live the type of lives we are able to right now. 

NXT is booking shows outside Florida going forward. In fact, they just announced a tour in July with shows on 7/14 in Indianapolis, 7/15 in Cincinnati and 7/16 in Louisville. 

The record low Raw number for non-football season would be 3,116,000 viewers on April 25. Without Cena's return, I don't think there's a chance they get that number. 

Tonight's Raw show should not only introduce the seventh person in the Money in the Bank match but also start some build for the key matches on the undercard. Enzo & Cass vs. The Dudleys and a technical match with Dolph Ziggler vs Baron Corbin were scheduled as of earlier today. Another tease is The Hatch happens tonight and lots more social media activity from Bray Wyatt, who should be back any week now if not tonight.

Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio covering all the news on the brand split, Raw and take email questions that can be sent to

Today's Super Juniors results from Yonago:

  • Chase Owens (2-2) beat Trent Baretta (2-2)
  • Tiger Mask (2-2) beat Will Ospreay (1-3)
  • Bobby Fish (2-2) beat Volador Jr. (2-2)
  • Ricochet (3-1) beat Jushin Liger (2-2) 


  • John Cena said he would be wearing shorts that were given to him by Ellen Degeneres.
  • Seth Rollins will be headlining "the Reigns tour" this coming weekend with multiple person title matches, usually with A.J. Styles, on dates in Odessa, Lubbock and Amarillo.
  • The Marine 5 starts production tomorrow in Vancouver and will include The Miz, Maryse, Naomi, Heath Slater, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. In theory, some or all of those names should be out for several weeks. If Miz loses the title tonight, that would be why. If he doesn't, the title may be on ice for a little while.  
  • Dwayne Johnson officially announced he was going to star in the Sony Pictures adaption of "Doc Savage" as well as produce the movie through his Seven Bucks Entertainment company. Savage is a DC superhero comic book character with super strength and intelligence.   
  • The Seth Rollins documentary starts right after Raw on the WWE Network. 
  • The TakeOver go-home show featuring the contract signing for Asuka vs. Nia Jax will be on NXT on Wednesday night. The big show featuring Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe in a cage match and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries will be a week from Wednesday from Full Sail University.
  • Summer Rae threw out the first pitch at the Chicago Cubs game on Friday.


  • Lots of surprises last night so this is how the picks went

3-2 - Mike Sawyer, John Pollock, Paul Fontaine

2-3 - Josh Nason, David Bixenspan, Front Row Brian

1-4 - Steve Juon, me, Ryan Frederick

0-5 - Mike Sempervive

  • UFC Bad Blood TV special at 9 p.m. Eastern tomorrow night on FS 1 runs down the nine year long feud between Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz which comes to a head on Saturday night.


  • Lineup for tomorrow night's Impact is:

Mike Bennett vs. James Storm

Gail Kim & Jade vs. Sienna & Allie

Robbie E & Jessie Godderz vs. Rockstar Spud & Tyrus with Mike Bennett as referee

Bram vs. Bobby Lashley for the King of the Mountain title

Drew Galloway vs. Abyss & Crazzy Steve in a handicap match.

        This is also the next to last episode of Impact before the 6/12 Slammiversary PPV show.

  • TNA announced a VIP experience for Slammiversary for $129 with priority seating at the show and the tapings over the next few days, as well as a post-show party with the wrestlers a poster, and nighty meet and greets and autograph sessions.
  • A.J. Brooks, the former A.J. Lee, on Twitter wrote, "Just finished my book.  No co-writer.  No ghost writer.  Just me, lots of carbs and an adorably evil mind."
  • Progress Wrestling from yesterday in London, England at the Electric Ballroom for the Strong Style 16 tournament:  Mark Haskins b Pete Dunne, Mikey Whiplash b Damon Moser, Zack Gibson b Kenny Williams, Jack Gallagher b TK Cooper, Big Daddy Walter b Dave Mastiff, Chris Hero b Mark Andrews, Sami Callihan b Matt Cross (Son of Havoc in Lucha Underground), Tommy End b Rampage Brown, James Davis & Rob Lynch b Nathan Cruz & El Ligero  
  • Smash Wrestling vs. Progress Wrestling takes place in Toronto on 9/17 and 9/18 at the  Franklin Horner Community Centre.  Nothing has been announced but the push is the stars of Progress like Zack Sabre Jr., Will Ospreay, Mark Andrews, Jimmy Havoc and Marty Scurll and the stars of Smash like Courtney Rush (Rosemary in TNA), Pepper Parks (TNA), Cherry Bomb (TNA), Matt Cross and Johnny Gargano.
  • A story on Cowboy Frankie Laine, who passed way last week, can be read here, from his hometown newspaper.
  • A story on a book about Manitoba pro wrestling history is here.
  • World Series of Fighting on NBC Sports has this show scheduled for 7/30 in Everett, WA at the Xfinity Arena:

Marlon Morales vs. Josh Hill for the bantamweight title

Alexandre Almeida vs. Lance Palmer for the featherweight title

Phoenix Jones vs. Caros Fodor in the battle of adopted brothers from Seattle

  • In Your Face Wrestling on 6/11 in Delanson, NY at the Duanesburg YMCA features Brutal Bob Evans and HC Loc.
  • I Believe in Wrestling from Saturday night in Orlando for the Florida J Cup:  Jonny Vandal b Jay Rios, Kota Sekifuda b CT Brown, Aaron Epic b Slade Porter, Jon Cruz b Xander Vargas, JD Amazing & Brandon Scherer & Chico Adams b Braydon Knight & Tyranus & Josh Parker, Jonny Vandal b Kota Sekifuda, Aaron Epic b Jon Cruz, Santana Garrett & MJ Knight & Nova Girl b Queen Raquel (TNA) & Dominique Fabiano & Jenson Fratelli, Jonny Vandal b Aaron Epic to win tournament.  Next show is 6/18 with Rhett Giddins vs. JD Amazing and Santana Garrett vs. Thea Trinidad (Rosita in TNA). 
  • CWF presents a free wrestling show at Tim Horton's on 145 Hazel Rd. in St. Catherines, ONT on Wednesday at 6 p.m. to support Tim Horton's Camp Day 2016. 
  • Another free event takes place tonight in the parking lot of Tim Horton's at 1495 Regent Ave. in Winnipeg with donations accepted for Tim Horton's Children Foundation to send underprivileged children to camp put on by Canadian Wrestling Elite..
  • Conflict Wrestling on 6/12 in Kitchener, ONT features a tribute show for Edith Marie Marsh, headlined by Will White vs. John Atlas and Kaitlin Diemond vs. Jennifer Blake.
  • CZW Tournament of Death on 6/11 in Townsend, DE at 2 p.m. at 179 Ebenzer Church Rd. features these tournament matches

Alex Colon vs. Danny Havoc in a light tube death match

Masada vs. Conor Claxton in a barbed wire madness match

Tim Donst vs. Rickey Shane Page in a stipulation of Donst's choice match

Jeff Cannonball vs. Matt Tremont in a Home Run Derby match.

        There will also be non-tournament matches including:

Devon Moore vs. Dale Patricks in a scaffold match

DJ Hyde vs. Josh Crane in a panes of glass match

  • Maryland Championship Wrestling on 6/10 in Joppa, MD at the MCW Arena feature Jimmy's Seafood Slamboree with Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Damien Sandow appearing at 6 p.m. for a meet and greet.  Sandow will also wrestle on the show.
  • CWE from last night in Fort William, ONT:  Jason Kincaid b Joe Keys, Silas Young b Robby Royce, Anderson Tyson Moore b Travis Cole to keep the CWE title, Lio Rush b Tyler Colton-DQ so Colton keeps the TV title, Danny Duggan b Wildman Firpo, Lio Rush & Jason Kincaid & Anderson Tyson Moore b Silas Young & Tyler Colton & Travis Cole.  Next tour is 9/22 to 10/2 featuring Ethan Carter III.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Joe Stecher wins World Title; Inoki vs. Andre; Gordy wins UWF Title