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Daily Update: Roman Reigns, The Rock, Impact tapings

THE ROUND-UP

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The Latest from the F4W Staff

NEWS/REPORTS

AUDIO

We're looking for reports from WWE Raw in Champaign, IL, WWE Smackdown in Springfield, MO, and NXT in Concord, NC and Gainesville, FL to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com

UFC ON FOX ON SATURDAY FROM THE SPRINT CENTER IN KANSAS CITY, MO

Fight Pass at 4 p.m. Eastern

  • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Ketlen Vieira
  • Nathan Coy vs. Zak Cummings
  • Augusto Mendes vs. Aljamain Sterling
  • Andrew Sanchez vs. Anthony Smith
  • Devin Clark vs. Jake Collier

FOX AT 6 p.m. Eastern

  • Tim Elliott vs. Louis Smolka
  • Bobby Green vs. Rashid Magomedov
  • Tom Duquensnoy vs. Patrick Williams
  • Roy Nelson vs. Alexander Volkov
  • Jeremy Stephens vs. Renato Moicano
  • Ronaldo Jacare Souza vs. Robert Whittaker
  • Rose Namajunas vs. Michelle Waterson
  • Demetrious Johnson vs. Wilson Reis for flyweight title

Sunday has WWE Raw in Cincinnati and Smackdown in Gape Girardeau, MO.

Raw will be Monday night from Columbus, OH, while there is a Monday night Smackdown house show in Bowling Green, KY.

Smackdown and 205 Live take place on Tuesday in Louisville, KY.

There will be four weeks of NXT taped on Wednesday at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.

FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 4/10/2017: ESPN's complicated relationship with WWE

As Mauro Ranallo's absence from the SmackDown broadcast booth nears a month and may become permanent, concerns about the legitimacy of ESPN's coverage of WWE have again been raised. Singling out ESPN from a group of mainstream media outlets that provide similarly toothless reporting probably isn't entirely fair, but the prominence of ESPN and their expanding relationship with WWE has made it so they will be criticized every time they fail to give a story that is critical of WWE the attention that it deserves.

Subscribers click here to continue.

WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: April 17, 2017: WWE Superstar Shakeup, Mauro Ranallo situation, more

A look at the fallout of the WWE "Superstar shakeup" is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer. Have a look at the moves, chart the talent on Raw, Smackdown and 205 Live, look at the next few PPVs and different programs, and identify weaknesses on each side as well as look at possible main event programs.

Also look at the death of Joaquin Roldan, the head of one of the largest pro wrestling companies in the world, and his role within AAA and the challenges that face AAA going forward.

Examine the Mauro Ranallo situation with his leaving WWE, plus look at how the situation was and has changed. There were comments from people regarding John Layfield, the TV change in Layfield, the crowd reaction in Boston, the story of Justin Roberts and his passport being stolen and ESPN coverage of WWE.

There is a backstage story in All Japan from 1994, while also talking about Katsuyori Shibata and his injury, and the nature of hard hitting Japanese matches and what the human body can take.

Full coverage of the Sakura Genesis show and the Okada vs. Shibata match, plus look at the big picture direction New Japan seems to be going, the lineups for the next series of big shows as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results, all inside.

The Renee Young/Dean Ambrose wedding, Vince & Linda McMahon's assets, WrestleMania merchandise numbers, Kane running for mayor and his thoughts, why they did the Stephanie McMahon injury angle, Update on Kofi Kingston, Kurt Angle admits he was foolish in thinking about MMA, Backstage at Mania, Jim Ross' deal, WWE makes deal with streaming service, NFL story that has WWE implications, plus notes on the WWE house show schedule for the next year, Kevin Owens DVD, most popular network shows and coverage of all the company's events this past week, all inside this issue of the Wrestling Observer.

Subscribers click here to continue.

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.

WON BACK ISSUE: March 20, 2000: WWF to leave USA network, ECW Living Dangerously review, more

The landscape of American pro wrestling may undergo major changes within the next month. Starting off, WWF officially gave notice to the USA Network on 3/1 that it is cancelling its contract with them effective in September when the new TV season starts. This isn't necessarily as big as it sounds, but most feel it is bigger. The WWF's deal for Raw, Livewire and Superstars expired in September 2001, but WWF has the right to get out of the deal in September 2000 by giving the network six months notice and USA Network has the right to match any offer.

Subscribers click here to continue.

SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • WWE is handling Roman Reigns' storyline injuries after the angle with Braun Strowman by having him appear on the Raw house shows this weekend but not wrestling in matches. They announced that he wasn't cleared to compete on the show in Providence last night, then had him come out to brawl with Strowman. Reigns was taped up and came out on top in the brawl by spearing Strowman through a table.
  • When announcing that Mauro Ranallo and Frank Shamrock would be calling tomorrow's RIZIN show, RIZIN's Facebook page noted that Ranallo has a documentary on his life in production. The announcement said that the documentary is scheduled to be released in 2017.
  • Ranallo tweeted in response to someone about calling the RIZIN show: "I'm so excited to be back! The fact it's ONLY a 2 man booth makes me even happier!"
  • "The Fate of the Furious," which stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in a key role, is on track to hit $103.8 million domestically on its opening weekend.
  • The Hardys will be on WWE's European tour in May.
  • WWE posted a video of Jerry Lynn reflecting on his stint as a guest trainer at the Performance Center.
  • The latest WWE top 10 video looks at hostile crowd reactions.

Pro Wrestling

  • Ian Riccaboni announced on Twitter that he's signed a contract with Ring of Honor to continue announcing for the promotion.
  • This week's episode of Impact on Pop TV was watched by an average of 302k viewers. That's down slightly from last week's 309k, but pretty much at the level the show has been doing.
  • The next set of Impact tapings will take place over four straight days and begin on Thursday.
  • At today's ScrapperMania III show at National Stadium in Dublin, OTT announced a return to the venue on August 5th with Mick Foley scheduled to appear and Matt Sydal, Candice LeRae, Joey Ryan, Lio Rush, Martina the Session Moth, and Jeff Cobb advertised to wrestle.
  • Justin Roberts was interviewed by The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast.

UFC/MMA

  • Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier had an exchange on Twitter today after Cormier accused Jones of doing steroids. Jones wrote, "do you really think I took steroids or is that just another thing you tell yourself to sleep better after I made u forever my bitch." To which Cormier replied, "U hid from usada bruh. Yes u did steroids. You have always done steroids. U tried to cheat me. So shut ur bum ass up."
  • Demetrious Johnson discussed why there's a lack of interest in the UFC's flyweight division.
  • From Paul Fontaine on yesterday's Bellator show: "Bellator 177 ran yesterday in Budapest, Hungary and aired via tape delay on Spike TV. The main event was originally scheduled to be a bantamweight title defense by Eduardo Dantas. When his opponent, the debuting Leandro Higo, missed weight the fight was changed to a non-title three-round main event. Dantas picked up a split decision win in kind of a boring fight. The only other fight with names familiar to even hardcore fans was the co-main event where Daniel Weichel somehow picked up the decision over John Teixeira. Most people, myself included, scored the fight for Teixeira. Local product Adam Borics ran his record to 10-0 with a first round submission over American Anthony Taylor in the opener. The other main card fight featured Lena Ovchynnikova picking up a second round TKO over Helen Harper."

Today in Professional Wrestling History (4/15): Misawa becomes first GHC champion

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