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Daily Update: Raw tonight, Keith Lee, Big Cass

THE ROUND-UP

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THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're looking for reports from Raw tonight in Richmond, VA and the Smackdown brand house show tonight in Fayetteville, NC to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

We're also looking for reports on these weekend shows:

  • ROH on Thursday in Edinburgh
  • ROH on Saturday in London
  • ROH on Sunday in Doncaster

        Reports can be sent to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS FROM TOCHIGI ON TUESDAY ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

  • Taiji Ishimori vs. Tiger Mask
  • ACH vs. Bushi
  • Flip Gordon vs. Yoh
  • Will Ospreay vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Tuesday has Smackdown and 205 Live in Raleigh. Samoa Joe vs. Daniel Bryan for the final men's spot in Money in the Bank is on the show plus, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tye Dillinger, Miz & Sheamus & Cesaro vs. The New Day, and for 205 Live, Cedric Alexander defends the cruiserweight title against Buddy Murphy.

NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS FROM FUKUSHIMA ON WEDNESDAY ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

  • Dragon Lee vs. Marty Scurll
  • Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Sho
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. Chris Sabin
  • Desperado vs. Kushida

F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: WWE cashes in on TV rights boom

The company appears set to cash in on the live sports television rights boom they've been banking on since before their last deal with NBC Universal was agreed to in 2014. The Hollywood Reporter first reported on May 16th that the USA Network would likely be retaining Raw, with NBC Universal paying as much as three times more for the show than they did previously, which would equate to somewhere around $240 million annually. But in prioritizing Raw, it meant that SmackDown would be shopped around to other suitors.

WON NEWSLETTER: May 28, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WWE making massive money for TV deals, more

The two biggest stories from an industry business perspective broke on consecutive days, the WWE deal with FOX and the UFC deal with ESPN. This issue has the most detailed coverage of both stories you'll find anywhere, from the money, what the money means to both sides, what the deals entail, how this changes things for both companies and much more.

Look at Jimmy Pitaro's thoughts on UFC to ESPN, the aging of the UFC and WWE audience, is UFC really the youngest skewing sport, the good and bad of the ESPN deal, the value of the WWE and its stock, Vince McMahon's personal value with the stock, the timing and why these deals came in the way they did, value of streaming vs. television, the archaic pay structure in WWE, and the difference in television hours of WWE and UFC going forward with the new deals.

Read about the big shows upcoming, New Japan at the Cow Palace, All In, NXT Chicago, Money in the Bank and SummerSlam with a lesson on ticket sales, the secondary market and where people are coming from who are attending these shows.

Check out the angle this past week that could lead to one of the biggest matches in the history of Mexican wrestling, L.A. Park vs. Rush in a mask vs. hair match. 

This issue updates the plans for PPV shows and time running with the latest changes made, an update on the legal situation with C.M. Punk and Dr. Christopher Amann. Look at the idea of other groups streaming on WWE Network and the latest talk on it. 

Read the plans for a WWE summer tournament, Dwayne Johnson's latest business, movies with wrestlers, Cena & Nikki Bella, More WWE injury updates, wrestlers returning to WWE, U.K. tournament first round matches, new WWE signing, next MSG card, Mauro Ranallo news, TV ratings in the U.K., most-watched shows for the week on WWE Network, as well as a look at all the WWE & NXT live shows of the past week with match-by-match coverage and business notes.

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 Dave@WrestlingObserver.com

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 moonsault@mediaplusint.com. 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.)

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio covering Raw and the rest of the news. You can send questions for the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

Quick thanks to everyone who has served in the U.S. military today on Memorial day.

Raw tonight goes not only against Game Seven of the Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets series, but also against game one of the Stanley Cup finals with the Las Vegas Golden Knights vs. Washington Capitals. There is a good chance this will be one of the lowest rated Raw shows in history. But next week things should bounce back to normal.

Scheduled for the show tonight is Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal for the IC title and a gauntlet match for the final spot in the women's Money in the Bank match with Bayley, Sasha Banks, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Dana Brooke and Mickie James.

Keith Lee's final show for Beyond Wrestling from Sunday: Ortiz & Santana of LAX & Chris Dickinson & Jake b Adrian Alanis & Leon Ruff & Liam Gray & Tommy Maserati, AR Fox b Jerome Daniels, Cam Zagami b Green Ant, Josh Briggs b Jonathan Gresham, Walter b Joey Janela, Robo the Punjabi Lion b Anthony Greene, David Starr b Timothy Thatcher, Wheeler Yuta b Matt Riddle, Mia Yim b Keith Lee by reversing the jackhammer into a victory roll. Lee thanked the fans after the match and said he was going to the mountains to suplex a bear and reminded everyone to bask in his glory. The promotion then gave him a painting as a thank you for his time with the company. (thanks to Greg Valko)

World Classic Professional Big Time Wrestling from Saturday night in Circleville, OH: Iron Russian #1 b Luis Casanova, Miss Hana won over Shawna Reed and Kacee Calisle, Eric Fallen b Tyler Robinson in a hair vs. hair match, Bill Dundee & Rey Mascaras & Superman Onyx b Kevin Sullivan & Iron Russian #2 & Pittsburgh Steeler, Superman Onyx won Battle Royal, Tommy Rich & Tracy Smothers b Sean Casey & Cody Hawk, Shane Douglas b Pitbull Gary Wolfe with Ronnie Garvin as the enforcer at ringside, Abyss b The Barbarian in a Monster's Ball match, Bobby Fulton NC Nick Curry, Bobby Fulton & Nick Curry b Pitbull Gary Wolfe & Robby Starr in what was promoted as Fulton's retirement match. He laid down his boots in the ring after the match. There was also a ceremony for him with a number of stars of the past including Bobby Eaton, J.J. Dillon, Jim Cornette and Fred Curry. (thanks to Jake Koch)

WWE

  • Big Cass is currently listed as appearing on this coming weekend's Smackdown tour. 
  • WWE has started contacting women around the world for the summer Mae Young Classic.
  • There are a lot of new 1984 episodes of Mid South Wrestling on the WWE network.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • The New York Times has an article on Jack Veneno, who was such a big star in the Dominican Republic that there is a three movie series being produced on him with the first movie, about his childhood and starting in pro wrestling, already out. The Ric Flair vs. Jack Veneno match in 1982 is part of that country's culture, as Veneno won the match and the NWA title, but it was never recognized outside the country.
  • Nancy Schultz Vitangeli, the widow of Dave Schultz, the subject of a number of recent movies and documentaries including "Foxcatcher," will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame next weekend in Stillwater, 22 years after the murder of her husband. She will be receiving the Order of Merit from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
  • Progress and Defy are doing a two-day event at Washington Hall in Seattle on 8/9 and 8/10. The 8/9 show will be Progress with its regular crew of UK stars and 8/120 will be a Defy show featuring the stars from Progress and Defy. Tickets are on sale now at www.progresswrestling.com and www.defywrestling.com.
  • Tickets are also on sale for both the Progress and Evolve shows on 8/4 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia and 8/7 at La Broom in Queens, NY. 
  • House of Hardcore on Friday night in Napanee, ONT has Willie Mack vs. Alex Reynolds vs. MJF for the TV title, Tommy Dreamer vs. Braxton Sutter, Billy Gunn issuing an open challenge and more.
  • Rise 8 on 6/29 in South Gate, CA with Delilah Doom vs. Shotzi Blackheart, Madison Eagles & Nicole Matthews vs. Kylie Ray & Miranda Alize, Taya Valkyrie & Rachael Ellering vs. Dust & Raven Ash, Mia Yim vs. Andrew Everett, Heather Monroe & Laura James vs. Charli Evans & Jessica Troy, Chelsea Green & Britt Bakers vs. Karen Q & Ray Lyn and Kris Wolf vs. Mercedes Martinez vs. Shazza McKenzie vs. Kimber Lee.
  • Under Armour has just dropped the first Dwayne Johnson show, called the PR 1 for Project Rock 1. 
  • Shine runs on 6/9 at La Boom in Queens, NY with LuFisto vs. Su Yung for the Shine title, Candy Cartwright vs. Santana Garrett for the Nova title, Mercedes Martinez & Ivelisse vs. Penelope Ford & Maria Manic, Priscilla Kelly vs. Holidead, Stormie Lee vs Leva, Rain vs. Natalya Markova and Keira Hogan & Dementia D'Rose vs. Gabby Gilbert & Luscious Latasha.
  • Pro Wrestling Phoenix from Saturday night in Omaha: Con Artiest b Pat Powers, Brett Bishop b Dalton Lee Roth, Zac James b Dalton Lee Roth, Moonshine Russell b Carson Rockwell, Tim Boston b Bigote, Con Artiest NC Purple, Con Artiest & Purple b Moonshine Russell & Pat Powers
  • Will Ospreay was announced for the 7/21 MCW show in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Battle Championship Wrestling on 6/30 in Adelaide, Australia with Angelico, Mick Moretti and Ivelisse. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • Tessa Blanchard joined Dave and Mark on Busted Open Radio and discussed what it was like being on TV every week with IMPACT Wrestling:
  • "At first I was a little nervous. I didn't really know what to expect. TV style is very new to me still. But the locker room and everyone has been so welcoming there and it's just a very good environment there. Everyone wants the best for each other. I haven't run into any problems where it's like people talking about other people or saying one thing and turning around and saying a different thing. It feels just like good vibes there, like good energy. Everyone really, really wants the best for each other."
  • "For instance, Petey Williams and Gail Kim agent a few of our matches and they're just so knowledgeable. They're so brilliant. And doing pretapes with Jimmy Jacobs. Jimmy Jacobs has one of the greatest minds I think. He is so creative and brilliant. He thinks of things that I never would've thought and it'd get my mind racing and it just stems into a bunch of different ideas." You can listen to the full interview here. (thanks to Himanshu D)
  • Here are notes from Friday night's AAW show in Chicago: Before the show, Sami Callihan and Brody King had a pull apart brawl. 1. In a huge upset Trey Miguel defeated former AAW Hertiage Champion DJZ via O’Connor Roll (7:29). 2. Eddie Kingston defeated Fred Yehi via two spinning backfists in an ode to Kings Road Style (16:06). 3. Curt Stallion, Connor Braxton & Jake Something defeated Ace Romero, Paco & Stephen Wolf after a Black Hole Slam from Something to Wolf (10:57). 4. Brody King defated the debuting Darby Allin after a devistating over-the-shoulder piledriver (10:33). 5. The Rascalz (Zachary Wentz & Dezmond Xavier) & Shane Strickland defated the Killer Kult (Sami Callihan, Dave & Jake Crist) with an assisted moonsault from Xavier/Wentz to Jake Crist (13:16). During intermission, an angry Jimmy Jacobs confronted AAW Promoter Danny Daniels about not being on the show tonight. 6. Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett with Scarlett) defeated Colt Cabana and Juice Robinson with a roll-up on Cabana by Davey Vega (11:52). 7. In an impromptu challenge Kylie Rae defeated Scarlett after a superkick (6:34). Afterwards Kylie let the fans in Logan Square know she was going after the AAW Womens Championship. 8. The Lucha Bros (Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix) defeated FireFox (AR Fox & Myron Reed) after Fenix hit a spinning muscle buster to Fox (17:58). This absolutely tore the house down. 9. AAW Womens Championship Match: Kimber Lee defeated Jessicka Havok after using brass knuckles to become second AAW Women’s Champion. Havok fails in her sixth defense (11:10). After, Kimber ran to the back to celebrate her win. Brody King made his impression felt on AAW by hitting Havoc with a bicycyle kick - this brought out Sami Callihan and the entire AAW locker room for a wild brawl to close the show. Footage of this and much more to come shortly.
  • AAW Returns to 115 Bourbon Street on Saturday Night June 23 for WRESTLING RULES - Featuring Trey Miguel challenging Trevor Lee for the AAW Hertiage Championship, the returns of David Starr, Moose and AAW Heavyweight Champion ACH. More videos and announcents coming shortly.

Daily Professional Wrestling History: Crusher & Bruiser win AWA tag titles

12th Annual F4W Empire Vegas Convention

Greetings friends and fans of the F4W / Wrestling Observer website. It's time to announce the details of the 12th annual F4W / Wrestling Observer Empire Las Vegas Convention~!

This year's event will be taking place in Las Vegas from August 16th to the 20th and will again be in conjunction with WWE's SummerSlam weekend a.k.a. Super China Buffet Day~! There will still be the usual events, but our big draw will be WWE's summer blockbuster PPV, SummerSlam. As per tradition, we will all gorge ourselves at a Las Vegas buffet, and then watch SummerSlam in a rented out movie theater. All information and ticketing prices are available now. Sign up ASAP as spots are limited for some events. 

This year will also feature a Future Stars Wrestling show which will include the first ever Gladys Gibson Doubles Match Classic! Already booked for the show are the teams Mia Yim & Leva Bates, Hudson Envy & Shotzi Blackheart, Samantha Heights & Brittany Blake, and Miranda Alize & Kylie Rae. Kris Wolf will also be appearing along with many more future stars. There may even be a classic star or two making an appearance. You won't want to miss this show! Check out the convention's Facebook page for all additional information.

CONTACT INFORMATION