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Daily Update: Ric Flair, Sasha Banks & Naomi, Wardlow

Flair has a guarantee for his last match, WWE again brings up the Banks & Naomi situation, and more.

Daily Update

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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Sasha Banks & Naomi walk out of Raw, Ric Flair returning to the ring

  • Performer and Match of the Week
  • Sasha Banks and Naomi walking out of the WWE taping on Monday. What were the plans, where were things going, how did it go down, what was the reaction, what is the not talked about story that was the key to all of this
  • Dwayne Johnson and the XFL get an ESPN deal, what it means, what is their competition and also a look at ratings
  • Ric Flair returning to wrestle, a look at the situation, the match, others of his age wrestling, why Ricky Steamboat turned down the match
  • Cain Velasquez denied bail again, the man he was accused of shooting speaks, his lawyer speaks
  • AEW Double or Nothing and WWE Hell in a Cell as well as business notes for the week
  • Ticket sales for the WWE Clash at the Castle in Cardiff
  • Full coverage of Capital Collision, the New Japan show from Washington, DC
  • Full coverage of Saturday's UFC show
  • This past week's ratings
  • Main event plans for the next four WWE PPV shows
  • More details on why Stephanie McMahon took a leave of absence
  • Update on Money in the Bank
  • Update on Young Rock
  • Streaming numbers
  • Freak accident ends a main event just three minutes in
  • Matt Jackson does video challenging for major world title
  • Five Star Grand Prix tournament
  • Update on Kota Ibushi
  • New Japan Strong tapings for the next month run down
  • Best of the Super Juniors update
  • Update on Tammy Sytch
  • Wrestler shot to death
  • Zachary Wentz talks about his Hitler photo
  • Former WWE stars announce new promotion featuring the wrestling debut of Alistair Overeem
  • Huge match between two of the top stars in the business set for Sunday
  • More on the Warner Discovery upfronts and what is going on at Warner Discovery
  • Tony Khan talks the creative process
  • Hikaru Shida gets upset
  • Toni Storm talks the original plan for the Charlotte Flair angle
  • AEW vs. WWE in New York and Chicago business update
  • International TV ratings
  • Sports franchise of the year
  • How much UFC CEO Ari Emanuel earned this past year
  • Ari Emanuel defends his ESPN PPV deal
  • Baseball legend on MMA promotion board of directors and a new investor

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter: April 18, 2005 Observer Newsletter: Matt Hardy released by WWE, Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale

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Tuesday News Update

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WWE

  • The semifinals of the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament will take place on NXT tonight.
  • One week after Sasha Banks & Naomi walked out of Raw, the situation was again brought up on Raw last night. Corey Graves said on commentary that Banks & Naomi “relinquished their championships and disappointed the WWE Universe in the process.”
  • TMZ covered Banks partying with Steve Aoki at a concert over the weekend.
  • On his My World podcast, Jeff Jarrett commented on his Broken Skull Sessions episode that premieres on June 3: “I don’t know how long the conversation was and who knows what they will end up airing, but when they rolled tape, it was a lot of fun. I’ll just say that. It was a lot of fun walking down memory lane. [Steve Austin's] got a good recall. I know he has good researchers. We talked about bus rides and Dallas and WWE. It was a trip down memory lane. His format is, ‘Let’s just roll tape and run with it.’ I can honestly say, without question, I never thought that event would take place.”
  • WWE filed a trademark for “Max Dupri” (LA Knight’s new in-ring name on the main roster) on May 19.
  • Prior to last night’s Raw, Apollo Crews vs. T-Bar and Akira Tozawa vs. Commander Azeez were taped for WWE Main Event.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded D-Generation X vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase from SummerSlam 2009, Mickie James vs. Alicia Fox for the Divas Championship from Hell in a Cell 2009, and Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss for the SmackDown Women’s Championship from Stomping Grounds 2019.

Other Wrestling

  • Ric Flair refuted rumors that Hulk Hogan will be involved in his “final match” at Starrcast V this July. Flair did say that Hogan has been invited to Starrcast and he thinks Hogan will be there: “Not that I know. I think you [Conrad Thompson] would have run that by me. He’s invited. I’ve talked to him personally to come to the roast and come watch the match. But yeah, he hasn’t confirmed for sure but I’m pretty sure he’ll be there.”
  • In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Flair guaranteed that he’ll be coming off the top rope during his final match: “That’s what I’m working on, It’s just a timing issue. I’ll guarantee I’ll be coming off the top rope. Whether it’s the flip or not, I don’t know.”
  • Wardlow spoke to CBS Sports about his rise in AEW being similar to Batista’s in WWE: “The crazy thing [is] that we did without even realizing it. We kind of mirrored it in a way. It was very different, but also the same. The crazy thing is this wasn't my idea. I didn't have any say so in this. It just organically happened. My career just seems to be mimicking a little bit of a Batista's. You can compare The Pinnacle to Evolution and you can compare myself and Max to Triple H [and] Batista. It has really unfolded very similar to how that did. It's a real special thing because we didn't plan it that way."
  • Thunder Rosa explained the significance of the gear that she’ll be wearing at Double or Nothing this Sunday: “Then, this show coming up, Double or Nothing, this is one of the most elaborate things I've done for my gear. Time, effort, money. Like you were saying, I will be representing the Lost souls of a lot of the disappeared women in Mexico in the last couple of months. I think in the last two years, over 750 women have disappeared from the border, the Border towns in Mexico, these are women that have gone to work, try to find a job to support their families, their daughters, their mothers, cousins, you name it, and they have disappeared completely. Nobody knows where they are, they haven't found their bodies. So I will be representing every single one of them in Las Vegas.”
  • On Rene Dupree’s Cafe De Rene podcast, Paul London said he inquired about working behind the scenes in AEW but was shut down immediately:
    • What a lot of people don’t know is that last year, there had been like some very loose discussions between myself and that company [AEW], not Ring of Honor and it was more so like, ‘Hey, I would like to help if there’s a way for me to help from a coaching standpoint or a producing standpoint. You know, I feel I have a lot to offer’ and you know, without outright saying, ‘Hey, this doesn’t make any sense’ and, ‘Hey look, this is really bad’ and, ‘Hey look, this is pretty unwatchable,’ there was more so, ‘How can I help you guys kind of sharpen some of these things up a bit?’ Because I had done that at Lucha Underground and I really excelled at it, I really enjoyed it, you know? I was part of that writing team, even though I wasn’t officially a writer there. I was part of the creative discussions and things of that nature and really enjoyed it and really excelled and it was probably the most fun I ever had in wrestling was my time in Lucha Underground. So I was hoping, hey, you know, maybe there’s a need for something like that and was shut down like immediately. Like, ‘No, no, no. We’ve got enough coaches, got enough agents.’ It’s like, really? I don’t think they’re doing their job [London laughed]. I don’t think they’re doing anything. Really? Okay, that’s surprising… it’s one thing to offer me a ‘look’ on their YouTube show which I can’t say was very flattering and then for Brian [Kendrick] to be released one day and then get put immediately on TV and then that whole thing blew up in their face, you know, because they didn’t vet somebody properly, was like, ah, well, you know, ah, good luck [London laughed]. Good luck.
  • Candice LeRae has reopened her merchandise store on Pro Wrestling Tees.
  • Mick Foley is holding a one-man show in Buffalo, New York on Sunday, June 5 with 100 percent of the proceeds going to benefit victims of the Buffalo mass shooting (5/14 Survivors Fund).
  • This week’s episode of Sammy Guevara’s vlog is now available.
  • Adam Cole will defend the BTE Championship against Christopher Daniels at AEW’s Double or Nothing Fan Fest this Saturday.
  • Konosuke Takeshita has been announced for Jersey Championship Wrestling’s Great American Birthday Bash show on Sunday, July 10.