The Latest from the F4W Staff
- TakeOver Chicago card takes shape at NXT TV tapings
- reDRagon set to reunite at PWG's Head Like a Cole
- WWE NXT results: The Perfect Goodbye
- NXT TV taping spoilers: The build to TakeOver Chicago
- SmackDown ratings down big following Superstar Shakeup
- WOR: Pete Gas talks his new book! 4/20
- WOL: WWE and India and Jinder, Dave Meltzer interview, WWE business, more! 4/20
- WOR: Jinder Mahal, Smackdown, 205 Live, NXT, more, plus a KUSHIDA INTERVIEW! 4/20
- F4D: Jinder and Smackdown, Impact, Total Divas, Geek of the Week and more! 4/19
- WOL: JINDER 4/19
Impact is almost live tonight on Pop TV at 8 p.m. featuring Bobby Lashley vs. James Storm for the championship.
FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 4/18/2017: Shibata vs. Okada underscores the dangers of pro wrestling
I wasn't thinking about the headbutt that may have ended Katsuyori Shibata's career when the main event of Sakura Genesis ended. Instead, I was impulsively trying to fit Shibata vs. Kazuchika Okada into the hierarchy of matches I've seen over the past few years. I knew that it was my favorite match of the year so far, even surpassing Okada vs. Kenny Omega from the Tokyo Dome. It comfortably surpassed anything from 2016 for me as well, and I may have been able to go back further if it wasn't for the fear of recency bias affecting my judgment too much.
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.
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.
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One of the two remaining roadblocks to the WWF/CBS deal was removed this past week when Chris-Craft Industries, Inc. agreed to sell its half of UPN to Viacom for $5 million. Chris-Craft had sought to block a clause in its dual ownership contract of UPN with Viacom, which gave either side the right to order the other to either sell its half or buy out the other company's half. Viacom had, through that clause, ordered Chris-Craft to make a decision by 3/20.
THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE
TNA starts tapings tonight. They will be taping nightly through Sunday for TV for the month of May.
Time Magazine today named Conor McGregor one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He was the second UFC fighter to make the list, as Ronda Rousey made it last year.
Speaking of Rousey, she and boyfriend Travis Browne announced their engagement today. Rousey said that Browne proposed to her while they were under a waterfall while on vacation in New Zealand. Rousey told TMZ that they didn't have a date or a location planned.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Bushi, Seiya Sanada and Kenny Omega have all been added to the ROH War of the Worlds tour. Omega thus far has only been announced for the 5/7 show in Toronto. The main event in Toronto is Omega & Young Bucks vs. Tanahashi, Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian.
We've got two cool and very different shows up on the site, with interviews with Kushida from last night and Pete Gasparino (Pete Gas) from today.
Very sorry to report the death of Doc Young, who was part of this site for many years. He had been in poor health for some time. Also wanted to mention that we got terrible news today of the death of Dave Korner, who was one of my best friends dating back to college and not only was he one of the first subscribers to the Observer but he was one of the people who pretty much was responsible for me starting the newsletter. He was a regular at our house for pro wrestling PPV shows and was also the person who introduced me to Brad Muster when he was playing at Stanford.
- Roman Reigns is off the WWE weekend house shows. I'm presuming this has to do with the death of his brother but he was pulled from the advertising of the dates. He is scheduled for Raw on Monday.
- "Guardians of the Galaxy," had its premiere in Hollywood last night. The movie opens in the U.S. on 5/5 with Dave Bautista as one of the top stars. It's going to be one of the biggest movies of the year.
- WWE announced today the creation of a new Vice President and General Manager for WWE in India in Sheetesh Srivastava, who comes to WWE from Walt Disney Company of India.
- KDKA television in Pittsburgh is putting together a tour of Italy where Bruno Sammartino will be coming for the first few days. The tour will hit Abruzzi, Italy and then Pizzoferrato, the town he grew up in, for the San Domenico Festival and a dedication to Sammartino.
- David Otunga will be appearing on TMZ Live tonight talking about his movies that are coming out.
- Miguel Torres, who was considered one of the top fighters in the sport in 2008-09 as WEC bantamweight champion, announced his retirement today.
- The announcing team for Saturday's UFC show from Nashville will be Todd Grisham doing play-by-play with Brian Stann.
- Dan Hinkles, the creator of 5 Star Wrestling, which we hadn't heard much about since its television show in the U.K. where they announced a tournament, has announced its next show on 6/10 in Liverpool at the Echo Arena featuring John Morrison, Carlito and P.J. Black. This will be the first show of their planned 128 man tournament that will take place over 30 weeks. Tickets for the show went on sale today at 5 p.m. at 5starwrestling.co.uk
- A remake of GLOW called Women of Wrestling was announced today by MGM Television partners and Mark Burnett, who were behind Lucha Underground. Burnett will work with Jeanie Buss of Los Angeles Lakers fame, as well as David McLane, who put together GLOW, for the new TV series.
- Rey Mysterio will be appearing Saturday night at the MCW show in Joppa, MD with a 4 p.m meet and greet. Lio Rush faces Travis Flip Gordon on the show, that also includes The Ecktourage vs. Paul Jordane & Bill Collier for the tag team titles vacated by the Hardys.
- Weigh-ins for tomorrow night's Bellator show in Uncasville, CT at the Mohegan Sun Casino on Spike: Tyrell Fortune (244.5) vs. Branko Busick (220) Ed Ruth (185.5) vs. David Mundell (184.25) A.J. McKee (146) vs. Dominic Mazzotta (146) Saad Awad (164.5) vs. Ryan Quinn (164.5) Ilima Macfarlane (126) vs. Jessica Middleton(126) Daniel Straus (145) vs. Patricio Pitbull Freire (144) for the featherweight title
- Ruth and Fortune were two of the best wrestlers in the U.S. before they signed with Bellator and are considered major prospects. McKee vs. Mazzotta is a fight to watch as well. Straus and Pitbull have fought three times, with challengers Pitbull winning twice.
- Here are highlight clips of what looked like a hell of a title match with Dragon Lee vs Cavernario Barbaro from Arena Mexico on Sunday.
- A story on Grado and soccer star Jason Cummings doing a wrestling match is here.
- Tommy Dreamer talks the House of Hardcore shows this weekend.
- House of Hardcore shows on Friday and Saturday night featuring Matt & Jeff Hardy (who are not on the road doing WWE shows those nights) will be on Flo Slam. Evolve also has shows on Saturday and Sunday on Flo Slam featuring the final Evolve matches of Drew Galloway.
- IPW UK Results from Monday night in Rochester, Kent, UK for a show that airs today on FloSlam with a one-night tag team tournament: London Riots b Hunter Brothers, Angelico b Marty Scurll, Tom Dawkins b Adam Maxted, Jimmy Havoc & Zack Sabre Jr. b Penta 0M & Rey Fenix (best match on the show), Cuban Heat b Jonny Storm, Big Grizzly b Jack Evans, Jimmy Havoc & Zack Sabre Jr. b London Riots to tin the tournament. The next show is 4/30 in Calpham, London with Tommy Dreamer vs. Jimmy Havoc for the IPW UK title, plus Sean Waltman appears. (thanks to Dean Ayass)
- AAW on Saturday night in LaSalle, IL at the Knights of Columbus with Dave & Jake Crist vs. AR Fox & Rey Fenix for the tag team titles, Michael Elgin vs. Daga, Bob Holly vs. Mil Muertes, Veda Scott vs. Samantha Heights, Chuck Taylor vs. Alex Daniels, Ace Perry & Paco vs. Connor Braxton & Bucky Collins, Mat Fitchett vs. Zachary Wentz and Candice LeRae appearing.
- Mark Briscoe is now taking indie dates outside the U.S. and Ontario through Bill Behrens at email@example.com. Jay Briscoe is also taking dates. Mark can fly out of either Baltimore or Philadelphia. James Storm is also back taking indie dates, out of Nashville.
- Legacy Fighting Alliance on 5/5 from the Camerica Theater in Phoenix with Matthew Frincu vs. Daniel Madrid in the main event for a show that airs live no AXS.
- Preston City Wrestling has moved tomorrow's show from Liverpool back too Preston at the PCW Academy Building. The show was originally at the Fusion nightclub in Liverpool but the building ended up being double-boooked with a local boxing show, and the building decided to keep the boxing show and just told PCW yesterday. All existing tickets will be honored. Jack Evans, Angelico, Ryan Smile, Bubblegum, Dean Allmark and Tyson T-bone are the headliners. (thanks to Stephan Lyon)
- NWA Smoky Mountain Wrestling on Saturday night in Jonesborough, TN at the David Crockett High School. They named a high school after him. Okay, maybe not the same one. Tracer X vs. Jordan Kage is the main event.
- Cross Body Pro Wrestling on 6/3 in Kitchener, ONT at the Cross Body Wrestling Academy for a taping for Rogers TV..
- CWF Pro Wrestling on 4/29 in St. Catharines, ONT with Tyson Dux vs Cody Deaner for the CWF title.
- AWE on 5/6 in Waynesboro, VA at the High School with Swoggle, plus appearances by Ron Simmons, Barry Windham, Kid Kash and Magnum T.A.
- Combat Zone Wrestling on 5/13 in Voorhees, NJ at Flyers Skate Zone with David Starr vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Joe Gacy vs. Lio Rush in a cage match, plus Jake Crist vs. Sami Callihan and there will also be an all-women's show that day at 4 p.m. featuring a War Games match with Su Yung & Brittany Blake & Annie Social & Samantha Heights & Chrissy Rivera vs. Leva Bates & Balespin & Missy Sampson and partners)
- National Fighting Championship on Saturday at Center Stage in Atlanta. Tickets are almost sold out for this show. Jared Gooden vs. Julien Williams at welterweight is the main event. They also run 5/12 in Kennesaw, GA at the Electric Cowboy.
- Fighting Evolution Wrestling on 5/13 in Coral Springs, FL a the Coral Springs High School featuring The Headbangers, The Spirit Squad, Adam Rose, Moose and Angelina Love.
- Cody Deaner is doing a wrestling seminar in Oshawa, ONT at the Harmony Creek Community Centre on 5/20. This is only for trained pro wrestlers and is not open to the public.
- Dynamo Pro Wrestling on 5/6 in St. Louis at the Cinco de Mayo Festival on the corner of Ohio and Cherokee Streets. Wrestling will be at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. and admission is free.
- Vampiro's Underground Invasion takes place on 5/28 at Lee's Palace in Toronto with Lucha Underground stars The Mack vs.. Son of Havoc and Drago vs. Aerostar. The show is at 6 p.m.
- Rock Solid Wrestling on 5/26 in Perry Sound, ONT at the Bobby Orr Community Centre with Cody Deaner, Jake O'Reilly, Tyler Tirva and KC Spinelli. They also run 5/27 in Bracebridge, ONT at the Memorial Arena.
- Absolute Intense Wrestling tomorrow night in Cleveland at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel with Tim Donst & Alex Daniels & To Infinity and Beyond vs. Louis Lyndon & Joey Janela & Crazy Pain, Shayna Baszler vs. Lufisto, Jimmy Rave vs. Tracy Williams, Ethan Page vs. Shawn Shultz, Swoggle vs. Space Monkey and more.
- AIW also has the J.T. Lightning Invitational tournament on 5/26 and 5/27 in Cleveland at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel with Tom Lawlor, Tracy Williams, Ethan Page, Joey Janela as the first announced entrants.
- The annual ECWA Super 8 tournament is 4/29 in Woodbury Heights, NJ at the Community Center with a field off Lio Rush, Timmy Lou Retton, Brandon Scott, Leon St. Giovanni, Joey Janela, Zombiie King, Anthony Bennett and Joe Gacy.
- The Binghamton Rumble Ponies and Xcite Wrestling have a doubleheader at NYSEG Stadium on 6/3 before their baseball came with matches at 2 p.m. Ricky Steamboat will be appearing at the game. A ticket gets you into both wrestling and the baseball game that follows.
- Classic Championship Wrestling on 5/7 in Chatham ONT with Cody Deaner vs. Kongo Kong.
- Capital City Championship Combat on Saturday night in Ottawa, ONT at the Vanier Columbus Club with Mathieu St. Jacques vs. Franky the Mobster and Tyson Dux vs. David Starr.
- Superkick'd Lucha Madness on 5/5 at the Superkick'd Studios at 66 Fraser Av Unit B in Toronto.
Today in Professional Wrestling History (4/20): AWA WrestleRock 1986
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