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Daily Update: Renee Young and Dean Ambrose, Rusev, ROH


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The Latest from the F4W Staff



FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 4/24/2017: Jinder Mahal's surprising WWE title shot

WWE's booking rarely ever manages to be quite as surprising as what happened on last week's SmackDown. Without any real build or any prior semblance of an ascent to the top of the card, Jinder Mahal became the number one contender for the WWE Championship by winning a six-pack challenge. It shouldn't have been as surprising as it was given the wrestlers involved in that match, but it was only a week prior that Mahal was introduced to the SmackDown roster in the Superstar Shakeup by losing to Mojo Rawley and once again getting shown up by New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: April 24, 2017: Jinder Mahal made #1 contender, Rosey passes away, more

A look at the life and times of Matt "Rosey" Anoa'i, more on the Mauro Ranallo situation, looking at Jinder Mahal's push to the top, an update on Katsuyori Shibata and a look at the first-ever government investigation of an attempted fix of a UFC fight are just some of the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Have a look at the current WWE booking, the story behind the push of Jinder Mahal, realities of what pushing talent based on physique leads to, and how the network business models plays into this move.

Examine the life and career of Matt Anoa'i of the famed Samoan wrestling family, and notes from those who knew him and a rundown of his pro wrestling career, his near misses when it comes to a push, tragedies in the family, his runs outside WWE and more.

An update on the situation with Katsuyori Shibata, who was injured during one of the greatest matches in recent years, and a look at what happened after the match; look back at how the death of Masakazu Fukuda plays into the story, more on the match, as well as the road Shibata took from high school to selling out Sumo Hall and where he was supposed to be headed, inside this issue.

There is more on the Mauro Ranallo situation including his return to Japan with Rizin and how that was set up, his run in WWE, why the run didn't work, backstage notes at WWE tapings, several wrestlers talk about that situation or their own situations, a look back at the Layfield/Blue Meanie incident and differences of opinion regarding who was responsible for what was happening.

Check out the roster switch over when it comes to house shows and the current plans for May lineups, Roman Reigns at the house shows this past weekend, the biggest surprise of the roster moves, update on The Hardys and the legalities of the broken gimmick, update on Bill Goldberg's contractual situation and future with the company, and WWE injury updates. 

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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: April 3, 2000: Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo in charge of WCW, a look back at past Wrestlemanias, more

After seemingly swimming in an ocean of rapidly declining numbers across the board, World Championship Wrestling went to a strange pair of people as its life preservers--Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo. In a decision that had been in the works for about one month according to company sources, Brad Siegel completed the circular back-stabbing game which wound up in, not almost, but actually a pro wrestling like tag team, of the two people, former enemies, with seemingly nothing in common, bound together by their hatred for common enemies.

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  • Tonight's episode of NXT will feature a WWE UK title match with Tyler Bate defending against Jack Gallagher. Drew Galloway vs. Andrade "Cien" Almas is also on the show.
  • Renee Young spoke to E! News about her and Dean Ambrose's wedding, saying that they never got formally engaged (though they knew that they wanted to get married and got a marriage license six months ago) and that their wedding was a spontaneous thing where they called a 24-hour pastor. "We were going to bed and he like busted out the ring and we were like, 'Oh man I guess we should do this now.' So we ended up going on Yelp and we found a 24-hour pastor to come to our backyard," Young said. "It was so handy and his name was Pastor Pete and he lived around the corner from us, so he was there. They were very concerned by the way because it was 1 o'clock in the morning, so technically it was Sunday and they were very concerned about us calling, they were like, 'Is everything OK? Have you guys been drinking? What's happening?' We're like, 'It's fine, you can come down.' So we had to get a witness and we called and woke up a friend of ours and got it done."
  • There was an angle on last night's SmackDown where Rusev said in a pre-taped video that he won't join the brand unless he gets a title shot at Money in the Bank in June. Rusev moved to SmackDown in the Superstar Shakeup, though he's out of action after undergoing shoulder surgery in March. Lana said on Busted Open Radio at the beginning of April that he'd be back in 2-4 months.
  • Another angle took place after SmackDown when Baron Corbin attacked Sami Zayn and shoved down a referee. Shane McMahon tweeted that Corbin is "suspended" for a week: "It is never acceptable for an athlete in any sport to put their hands on an official, @WWE is no exception. @BaronCorbinWWE actions on #TalkingSmack were irresponsible and unprofessional. He has been fined and suspended for one week effectively immediately. #SDLive
  • The Bollywood Boyz have officially been renamed on WWE's roster page. Gurv Sihra's new name is Sunil Singh and Harv Sihra's is Samir Singh.
  • Though there have been reports that former Tough Enough winner Josh Bredl has been released, Dave Meltzer posted on our Board yesterday that Bredl is still with the company.
  • Today is mayoral candidate Glenn Jacobs' 50th birthday.
  • Randy Orton reflected on debuting on SmackDown 15 years ago.

Pro Wrestling

  • Will Ospreay will face Cody Rhodes at ROH's War of the Worlds show in Toronto on May 7th. Another ROH six-man tag title match is also set for that tour, with Bully Ray & The Briscoes defending against Hirooki Goto & Roppongi Vice at the pay-per-view in New York on May 12th. KUSHIDA vs. Silas Young will take place on May 10th in Dearborn.
  • Cody Rhodes claimed that he hasn't yet signed with any company.
  • The Young Bucks will be the guests on Edge & Christian's podcast this Friday.
  • Revolution Pro Wrestling announced that KUSHIDA would be one of the entrants in the 2017 British J-Cup. There will be eight junior heavyweights in the tournament, which will take place on July 8th. Jushin Thunder Liger was the first confirmed entrant.
  • Bram was suspended from Pro Wrestling NOAH's Global Tag League after posting what NOAH deemed to be an inappropriate picture on Instagram where he was laying on top of an ice cream freezer at a convenience store.
  • Dahlia Black and TK Cooper were interviewed about going back to New Zealand and having to leave the UK due to their visas expiring.


  • Mickey Gall posted a picture of a gruesome cut that he got three weeks before his fight against CM Punk. Gall said that he was told that he couldn't fight for six months but kept it secret so that he could face Punk.
  • Frank Mir told TMZ that he probably won't fight his two-year USADA ban and hinted that he's in discussions to fight in Japan.
  • Al Iaquinta went on a Twitter rant about Reebok, Sage Northcutt, and more.
  • Tyron Woodley said that he has an opponent for a bout in July but can't reveal who it is yet.

Today in Professional Wrestling History (4/26): Edge wins World Heavyweight title

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