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Daily Update: The Rock, Braun Strowman, UFC 211


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The Latest from the F4W Staff



FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 5/8/2017: Thinking outside the long talking segment

While it wasn't entirely revolutionary, the two-part "Who is Roderick Strong?" series that aired on NXT television over the past couple of weeks again proved how effective WWE's video profiles can be in getting characters over. Similar videos have aired in the past (with a series that focused on Finn Balor in NXT standing out as a highlight), but the profiles on Strong may have been the best that WWE has ever done. They made him feel like a fully formed character in a way that he never really has before.

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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: May 8, 2017: WWE Payback review, WWE financials, plus tons of news

A brief look at the WWE financials for the first quarter, basically looking at why the profit margin was so far down this quarter, where the added spending came in, a look at the house show business in WWE and NXT, what categories are losing money in WWE, and what are increasing the most is the lead story in this week’s Observer.

Also, look at the major WWE storylines, the next few PPV shows, what WWE match result changed four times in 30 hours before the PPV, behind the House of Horrors segment, plus match-by-match coverage of Payback with star ratings and poll results.

Notes on the New Japan booking coming out of Dontaku and likely matches for Dominion, one of the company's biggest events of the year, plus Dontaku coverage, in this issue.

The biggest junior heavyweight tournament in probably a decade is coming up. Check out some of the big matches that will be part of it, with the announcement of the bracketing of this year's Super Junior tournament and the web site schedule.

There is an update on the ITV television project and why the tapings were postponed, plus the key thing going on behind-the-scenes.

News on Brock Lesnar going forward in WWE, his latest plans and title matches expected, more on Fate of the Furious and its box office, update on the Hardy broken gimmick in WWE, a new WWE movie with Michaels, Hogan talks Vince McMahon, indie champion gets WWE tryout his week, and the most watched WWE Network shows this past week, in this issue.

Read about the WWE & NXT shows this past week including both the Raw and Smackdown tour openers in Europe

Boxing fans, check out the highlights of the Joshua vs. Klitschko fight, the amazing U.K. business numbers, as well as whether heavyweight boxing is back big in the U.S. because of the fight or not.

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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

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WON BACK ISSUE: April 17, 2000: Mike Awesome jumps ship to WCW, Russo/Bischoff era of Nitro begins, more

At press time, exactly what is going on between WCW and ECW regarding current ECW heavyweight champion Mike Awesome is apparently up in the air. In a strange series of circumstances, it appeared that Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo, in their attempt to re-create the debuting impact of Nitro in 1995 with Lex Luger's surprising walking on the set, combined with the incident where Madusa threw the WWF womens title belt in the garbage can, since they were unable to secure any WWF talent, made a huge pitch to garner ECW's heavyweight champion.

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  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is on the cover of GQ Magazine this month and GQ's Caity Weaver wrote an excellent profile on him. It has received a lot of attention for Johnson saying that there's a "real possibility" that he'll run for President of the United States one day. Johnson answered some political questions and revealed that both the Trump and Clinton campaigns wanted him to endorse them last year, but he declined because he didn't want to make people unhappy or sway opinions.
  • Braun Strowman confirmed that he'll soon be undergoing surgery: "I will return to finish what I've started and that's carving my name in history as the most destructive thing #WWE has ever seen. This surgery is just a minor speed bump I will return bigger stronger faster and even more dangerous than ever mark my words I'm the definition of unstoppable!!!"
  • Today is William Regal's 49th birthday. 
  • Former Tough Enough winner Sara Lee and NXT wrestler Wesley Blake are now parents after Lee gave birth to their daughter on May 1st.
  • Triple H is being inducted into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame.
  • In a video on the Bella Twins' YouTube channel, Nikki Bella said that the Bellas are in the process of writing a book.
  • Big E posted a video of him and Kofi Kingston dancing on a show in India.
  • The Mirror interviewed Stephanie McMahon. She spoke about WrestleMania, being open to wrestling again, and left the door open for WWE to bring a pay-per-view to the UK at some point.
  • Alexa Bliss will be the guest on tomorrow's episode of Talk is Jericho.

Pro Wrestling

  • PROGRESS Wrestling revealed Tyler Bate, Zack Sabre Jr., and Zack Gibson as the latest entrants for the company's Super Strong Style 16 tournament.
  • OTT announced that they'll be launching an on demand service.
  • Lucha Forever posted that their show that was set to take place in London on Sunday has been postponed due to "several logistics and uncertainty in communications." The promotion wrote that the event will be rescheduled and ticket holders can be refunded or transfer their tickets over to a future show.
  • The Seattle Times has a tribute to pro wrestling historian J Michael Kenyon after Kenyon's passing.
  • The Orlando Sentinel spoke to Tom Lawlor about his transition to pro wrestling.


  • Dana White appeared on Colin Cowherd's show yesterday and discussed the negotiations for the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing match. White called it a "nightmare" to get done and said that they have to get the right deal for the fight to happen. He also said that there's a point where he'll walk away from negotiations if he isn't able to get it done.
  • Ariel Helwani reported that the Sergio Pettis vs. Henry Cejudo fight that was scheduled for UFC 211 on Saturday has been canceled due to Cejudo suffering a hand injury.
  • The UFC released episode three of Embedded for UFC 211.
  • Anderson Silva ripped Dana White on an Instagram live stream and said that the UFC has to book Michael Bisping vs. Yoel Romero for the middleweight title.
  • Demetrious Johnson was photographed with 10 title belts to celebrate his 10 consecutive title defenses.

Today in Professional Wrestling History (5/10): Verne Gagne retires as AWA Champion

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