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Daily Update: The Rock, tonight's Raw, Bruno Sammartino

THE ROUND-UP

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THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're looking for your thoughts on Sunday's Impact Redemption show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

We're also looking for reports from St. Louis tonight with anything not on the live Raw show such as Main Event matches and any other dark angles, plus reports from the Smackdown show tonight in Bowling Green, KY to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

We're also looking for reports in the Impact tapings the next several nights to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

NEW JAPAN FROM KORAKUEN HALL ON TUESDAY AT 5:30 A.M. EASTERN ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

  • Tetsuhiro Yagi vs. Ren Narita
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Shota Umino vs. Yuji Nagata & Tomoyuki Oka
  • Rocky Romero & Sho & Yoh vs. Takashi Iizuka & Taichi & Taka Michinoku
  • Togi Makabe & Michael Elgin & Toa Henare & Kushida vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi & Will Ospreay
  • Tetsuya Naito & Evil & Sanada & Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Gedo
  • Jay White vs. David Finlay for U.S. title

Smackdown will be Tuesday in Louisville, KY. There will be a gauntlet match of the cruiserweights for the Friday night title shot at Cedric Alexander.

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Looking ahead to the Greatest Royal Rumble

With WrestleMania 34 just barely in the rearview mirror, WWE's second stadium show of the month is already under two weeks away. The Greatest Royal Rumble will take place at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday, April 27th and air live on the WWE Network at noon Eastern time. The card already has seven matches confirmed: a 50-man Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns in a steel cage, John Cena vs. Triple H, The Undertaker vs. Chris Jericho in a casket match, Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins defending against The Miz, Finn Balor, and Samoa Joe in a ladder match, The Usos challenging for The Bludgeon Brothers' SmackDown Tag Team titles, and a match to decide the new Raw Tag Team Champions. The WWE, United States, and Cruiserweight Championships will also be on the line.

WON NEWSLETTER: April 24, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: The death of Bruno Sammartino

A look back at the life and career of Bruno Sammartino is the focus of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. This is the most in-depth look at both his life inside and outside the ring, talking his career, his biggest matches, his conflicts with Vince McMahon and his father, the Phil Donahue show, his biggest feuds, how he got started, his weightlifting and the amazing story of his life as a child in Italy, and growing up to be one of the strongest men in the world.

Read about Sammartino’s appeal, his health issues, his family, the amazing story of his mother, why he refused to let Hollywood studios do a movie on his life, his learning to lift weights, his high school yearbook and goals, what he did out of high school, notes on two of his most famous early matches, how he first got noticed in Pittsburgh and got NFL and wrestling offers. 

Have a brief look at the career of Paul Jones, who also passed away this past week.

The break down of both Raw and Smackdown after the Superstar shakeup, looking at the depth charts, what categories are strong, what categories are weak and what changes can be made, all inside this issue.

Read the update on the Greatest Royal Rumble show and the ethical questions the show has brought up.

Look at the John Cena/Nikki Bella story, Ronda Rousey and Daniel Bryan working house shows, Bobby Lashley news, Chris Jericho talks New Japan, Jericho vs. Undertaker prior matches, Cena and Rock movie box office, Next week's WWE TV, beers named after two different wrestling legends, NXT big show lineups, and the name change of a WWE wrestler.

There is also an update on the UFC television contract talks.

Plus, this issue has the weekly coverage of all the ratings of the major shows, detailed notes on who is watching all the WWE shows, results from the major league events held around the world, the major TV show rundowns, and the results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 

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.)

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.

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back with Wrestling Observer radio tonight covering Raw and the latest wrestling news. You can send e-mail questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are on tonight's show, which is the go-home show for the Greatest Royal Rumble event on Friday in Saudi Arabia.

We spoke on last night's show about the death of Motoko Baba, who was probably the single most influential woman in the history of pro wrestling.

Dwayne Johnson's third daughter, Tiana Gia Johnson, was born earlier today. Congratulations to grandma and Dwayne and Lauren. 

More on Bruno Sammartino including words from a few of his good friends. Plus, this a story on his funeral.

A combined PWA and Progress show in Australia earlier today drew more than 1,000 fans, making it the largest attended show in the country promoted by a local company in a long time: Pete Dunne b Caveman Ugg, Jude London & Paris de Silva won a Lucha rules match over Adam Hoffman & Madison Eagles, Concrete Davidson & Big Fudge and Juan Direction, Ricky South b Jimmy Havoc in a no DQ match, Michael Spencer won Battle Royal, Jack Bonza & Mike Moretti b Trent Seven & Tyler Bate, Toni Storm b Jessica Troy to keep the Progress women's title, Unsocial Jordan & SnapChad b Carter Dreams & Matty Walhberg to keep the PWA tag titles, Travis Banks b Robbie Eagles in a match that got a lot of raves .(thanks to Kevin Chiat)

Tenille Dashwood missed the weekend with a shoulder injury. She was schedulede for Northeast Wrestling.

John Cena turned 41 today. He was not advertised to be on the show tonight.

WWE

  • A Bruno Sammartino documentary will debut tonight on the WWE Network after Raw.
  • Boom Studios announced a graphic novel called "WWE: Undertaker," about his career. MMA reporter Chad Dundas wrote the story and the art work was done by Rodrigo Lorenzo of WWE.
  • The Bella Twins were out promoting their new wine, Bella Radici, and co-hosting a party with celebrity chef Todd English on Saturday at the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort in Scottsdale, AZ. It was written as Nikki's first public appearance since 4/3, when she was at a red carpet premiere with ex-fiance John Cena for his movie "Blockers."
  • Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson will be on some European dates for the Smackdown crew next month.

UFC

  • USADA announced that Junior dos Santos, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Marcos Rogerio de Lima were all suspended for six months when it was found that their failed drug tests were due to a supplement manufactured in Brazil. Given it has been more than six months since their positive test, all are back eligible to fight today.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Bellator announced two fights for a 7/13 show in Thackerville, OK, which are Julia Budd defending the featherweight title against Talita Nogueira and Michael McDonald vs Eduardo Dantas.
  • Bellator also announced its full main card for Bellator 200, on 5/25 at SSE Wembley in London. The main bouts are Mirko Cro Cop vs. Roy Nelson, Rafael Carvalho vs. Gegard Mousasi, David Rickels vs. Michael Page, Aaron Chalmers vs. Ash Griffths and Phil Davis vs. Linton Vassell.
  • Brian Cage vs. Joey Janela was announced for the 5/3 MLW tapings in Orlando.
  • IPW UK has announced Naomichi Marufuji appearing on the 9/23 show in Rochester, Kent.
  • Jonah Rock was announced for the World Series Wrestling tour of Australia in June.
  • Marcin Wrzosek vs. Kleber Koike Erbst was announced for the vacant KSW featherweight title on 6/9 in Gdansk, Poland.
  • International Big Time Wrestling did a Hall of fame show last nigh tin Westland, MI: Frank Isaac Anderson b William Jacobs, Isaiah Broner b Mongo, Freedom Ramsey b Buddy Hanton, Chuck Wagon b Ton Scott, El Ridiculoso b Soultaker, Heather Owens b Amazing Maria, Fat World Order b DBA & Malcom Monroe III and Revenge of the Nerds to win tag titles, Ruff Crossing b Rik Matrix. Honored for their Hall of fame were Jerry Graham Jr., Mickey Doyle and El Brassero, along with referee/promoter A.T. Huck, promoter Gary Woronchak and manager/photographer Dave Drason. (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • Pro Wrestling Phoenix runs Wednesday night in Omaha at the Waiting Room Lounge.
  • Shine has its 50th show on Friday night in Ybor City, FL headlined by LuFisto defending her Shine title against Kimber Lee.
  • Evolve announced that 5/19 in Chicago will have a double main event of Austin Theory vs. DJZ for the WWN title and Matt Riddle vs. Shane Strickland in a non-title match. Also on the show is Keith Lee vs. James Drake, Tracy Williams vs. Dominic Garrini and AR Fox v. Zachary Wentz.
  • Lisbeth Lopez Silva vs. Kyra Batara in a women's 105 pound fight will headline a 5/11 Combate Americas show billed as Mexico vs. USA from the McClellan Conference Center in Sacramento. Silva is from Mexico and Batara from the U.S. The other top bout is Mexico's Horacio Gutierrez vs. U.S.'s Chris Avila. 
  • There was a fight at last night's Cleveland vs. Indiana NBA playoff game between Lance Stephenson of the Pacers and Jeff Green of the Cavs. On Inside the NBA, Charles Barkley watched the clip and said, "Ric Flair!" USA Today mentioned it was only missing a WWE ring and Vince McMahon. (thanks to Brian Henke)
  • PCW on 5/4 in Wilmington, CA on Fite TV has Penta 0M vs. Homicide for the PCW title, Tessa Blanchard vs. Chelsea Green to create their first women's title, Shane Strickland vs. Douglas James for the light heavyweight title, War Best vs. La Rebellion, Jeff Cobb vs. Hammerstone, Darby Allin vs. Eli Everfly and Chris Bey vs. ACH.
  • An NWA video building up Colt Cabana for a match with Nick Aldis.

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