The Latest from the F4W Staff
- WWE NXT results: An arrival and a departure
- SmackDown tops three million viewers for first time since WWE draft
- Renee Young confirms marriage to Dean Ambrose
- WWE SmackDown video highlights: The Superstar Shakeup concludes
- WWE 205 Live results: TJ Perkins takes on Jack Gallagher
- Charlotte, New Day join SmackDown as WWE rounds out roster moves
- Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn arrive on WWE SmackDown
- WOR: Smackdown, Superstar Shakeup, Mauro Ranallo, Ratings, more! 4/13
- F4D: UFC 210 debacle, Smackdown Live, Impact, Total Divas, Geek of the Week, more! 4/12
- Big Audio Nightmare: Sakura Genesis recap, NHL playoff preview 4/12
- WOL: Smackdown Shakeup, Renee and Dean, Strowman petition, more! 4/12
We're looking for reports on tonight's NXT show at Center Stage in Atlanta and Revolution Pro show in London to firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPACT ON POP TV AT 8 P.M.
- Davey Richards vs. DJZ
- Andrew Everett vs. Suicide (Caleb Konley) vs. Gregory Shane Helms vs. Marshe Rockett
- Reno Scum vs. Decay vs. Garza Jr. & Laredo Kid
- Team JB (Alberto El Patron & Chris Adonis/Masters & Magnus & Matt Morgan) vs. Team Josh (Bobby Lashley & Bram & Tyrus & Eli Drake) for the lead announcing position on Impact
Only one major show this coming weekend in North America, which is the UFC show in Kansas City on FOX on Saturday. No weekend polls since we only do UFC PPVs at this point.
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.
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.
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 email@example.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.
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.
THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE
An update on the situation with Katsuyori Shibata. Unfortunately the news appears to be very bad and that the injuries are not storyline. This is not 100 percent because there are many situations historically where this could be just storyline or a cover for something else, but it appears this is the case and that a combination of dehydration and the trauma of the legitimately skull-on-skull head-butt hospitalized him and at this point it is believed he will never be cleared to wrestle. He is currently in the hospital and is awake, can carry on a conversation, has some memories of the match itself. He initially had some right side paralysis but that is getting better.
There is a major story that affects independent promotions and WWE as well who made revenue from YouTube. By doing this, almost all wrestling channels will be losing virtually all ad revenue, which in cases of companies that pushed product consumption on YouTube as a significant part of their business plan, that's a major hit.
A collection of John Layfield hazing and bullying stories are here.
ESPN is taken to task on WWE coverage of real stories.
Kevin Eck talks to Justin Roberts on the JBL story.
- Another WWE bullying story makes press in Australia. (thanks to Greg Delaney)
- The house show listings for the weekend are listing talent with their old brands. Roman Reigns is still advertised as the top star on the Raw brand shows this weekend.
- Another Kane story is here.
- A story on how Braun Strowman tipped over the ambulance is here.
- WWE and DK Publishing are releasing a book called "The WWE Book of Top 10s," with more than 100 lists of top 10s in different categories covering all eras of WWE.
- Smackdown will air on tape delay this coming Tuesday in Canada. Sportsnet 360 will be airing the NHL Playoffs on Tuesday night so Smackdown will air Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on the station.
- David Otunga just picked up another movie role so he'll be off television for the next six weeks. He had been scheduled to start on Raw this coming week.
- Drew McIntyre starts at NXT house shows tonight in Atlanta.
- ICM Partners took out a full page ad in last week's Variety congratulating their client, John Cena, for winning the CinemaCon Action Star of the Year award.
- Here is a story on Sheamus where he says today's wrestling is much better than in the past.
- Producer Mike Ryan said on Dan LeBatard's show in the third national hour yesterday that he believed WWE had banned them from getting guests, saying, "They don't trust us, and you know what, that's probably a good call by them." Ryan is a big fan. They had DDP on last week and he seemed to get mad when LeBatard tried to press him on a fight he had with Scott Steiner in the 90s. (thanks to Jeff Parker)
UFC / MMA
- The broadcasting team for Saturday's FOX show will be Jon Anik and Brian Stann, while the desk crew will be Daniel Cormier, Dominick Cruz and Curt Menefee, and Todd Grisham will also be in studio with Megan Olivi doing interviews. The main event is Demetrious Johnson vs. Wilson Reis for the flyweight title.
Here are the Bellator weigh-ins for tomorrow's show in Budapest, Hungary. The show will air on tape delay on Spike in prime time at 9 p.m., with MMA fights followed by kickboxing at about 11 p.m.
- Adam Borics (144.4) vs. Anthony Taylor (147.4)
- Lena Ovchynnikova (124.6) vs. Helen Harper (126.2)
- Daniel Weichel (145) vs. John Teixeira (145.6)
- Eduardo Dantas (134.6) vs. Leandro Higo (139)
- Higo failed to make weight so the fight is no longer for the Bellator bantamweight title that Dantas holds.
- Gabriel Varga (145.4) vs. Gabor Gorbics (145)
- Jorina Baars (142.7) vs. Irene Martens (140.5)
- Raymond Daniels (170.2) vs. Csaba Gyorfi (167.6)
- Joe Schillings (187.8) vs. Alexandru Negrea (186.5)
- Zoltan Laszak (166.1) vs. Karim Ghaji (168.7) for the welterweight title
- Discovery Wrestling from yesterday in Edinburgh, Scotland before a sellout of about 750 fans: Polo Promotions b Buffet Club, Joe Hendry b Liam Slater, Marty Scurll b Will Ospreay (super match), Dave Conrad & Deviation b Michael Chase in a handicap match, Session Moth Martina b Amazon Ayesha Ray, Young Bucks & Kenny Omega b Joe Coffey & BT Gunn & Lewis Girvan in 15:00. (thanks to Tony Cottam)
- Rocky Romero and Baretta have some dates open May through August and are taking independent bookings through Bill Behrens at firstname.lastname@example.org. They have particular interest in European bookings. Romero is based in Los Angeles and Baretta in Rochester, NY. The Spirit Squad is also taking independent bookings. Jim Ross is taking appearance and autograph bookings and DDP is also taking appearance and autograph bookings. Also available are Frankie Kazarian (Outside of U.S. and Ontario), Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Mike Posey, Corey Hollis, Al Snow, Shane Helms, Delirious, Stevie Richards, Tommy Dreamer, Shannon Moore, Matt Sydal and Ricochet. Available for bookings outside the U.S. and Ontario are The Young Bucks, Jay Lethal and Christopher Daniels.
- AXS and The Fight Network will be airing the Legacy Fighting Alliance at 9 p.m.Eastern tomorrow night from Shawnee, KS at the FireLake Casino, headline by Myron Dennis vs. Danilo Marques.
- Results from the Shimmer show over WrestleMania weekend in Orlando: Cherry Bomb (Allie in Impact) b Alex Windsor, Britt Baker won over Veda Scott, Samantha Heights and Neveah, LuFisto b Leva Bates, Shayna Baszler b Santana Garrett, Jessicka Hovok b Cat Power, Nicole Matthews b Shotzi Blackheart, Vanessa Kraven & Tessa Blanchard b Mia Yim (Jade in Impact) & Kay Lee Ray to keep the tag titles, Sexy Star b Kellyanne, Mercedes Martinez b Candice LeRae to keep the title. The title matches and Sexy Star match were said to be the best. Fans were chanting Candice Wrestling at LeRae because she's the wife of Johnny Gargano (Johnny Wrestling). (thanks to Pat Laprade)
- Wrestling Night in Hanover 4 on 5/12 in Hanover, ONT at the John Diefenbaker Secondary School with Cody Deaner, KC Spinelli, Phil Atlas, Tyler Tirva and a special guest appearance of Ricky Steamboat.
- Smash Wrestling from Sunday in Toronto: Kevin Blackwood & Mark Wheeler b Holden Albright & British Brawler, John Greed b Scotty O'Shea, Mike Rollins & Pepper Parks b Super Smash Brothers, Allie b Xandra Bale, Kevin Bennett b Andy Williams, Davey Richards b Tony Kozina, Sebastian Suave b Rosemary, Michael Elgin won four-way over Brent Bans, Jeff Cobb and Tarik, Tyson Dux b Jimmy Havoc. (thanks to Steven Ashe)
- Battlarts Pro Wrestling on 5/6 in Scarborough, ONT at the St. John Paul II Gymnasium.
- Big Time Wrestling tomorrow night in Sebring, FL at the Highlands Today Center with Kevin Nash, Billy Gunn, Michael Tarver, Adam Rose, Kahagas,The Dudley Twins, Cuban Assassin and Sean Maluta plus a performance by Nala Price (The Voice).
- SoCal Pro on Saturday night in Oceanside, CA at the Boys & Girls Club with Rey Mysterio, Paul London, Rocky Romero, Bestia 666, Ballard Brothers and more.
- There is a Ricky Steamboat seminar on 4/28 in San Marcos, CA at the SoCal Pro Wrestling Training Facility for $65. For more info go to www.SoCalProWrestling.com.
- Austin Idol's podcast this week at AustinIdolPod.com has Terry Funk as a guest.
- Defy Wrestling on 5/26in Seattle with Lio Rush as a headliner.
- Fighting Evolution Wrestling tonight in Clewiston, FL at the John Boy Auditorium with Teddy Long and The Headbangers.
- Rock Solid Wrestling on 5/13 in Collingwood, ONT at the Collingwood Curling Club with Cody Deaner vs. Tornado with Ricky Steamboat as guest enforcer.
- Les Thatcher has a three-day seminar Friday through Sunday in Knoxville, TN at the H3 Performance Center. The seminar will be with sessions at 6:30 p.m.tomorrow night, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. will be a day-long training on Saturday with some participants wrestling on a show at the gym that night, plus Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $75. For more info you can go to email@example.com.
- AAW on 4/22 in LaSalle, IL at the Knights of Columbus with Dave & Jake Crist vs. AR Fox & Rey Fenix, 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 plus Candice LeRae and more.
- New England Championship Wrestling tomorrow night in Wakefield, MA at the Galvin Middle School featuring Tony Atlas appearing. They also have the Iron 8 tournament on 5/6 in Wakefield, MA at the Americal Civic Center.
- WCPW World Cup 17 in Canada on 5/14 in Toronto at the Phoenix Concert Theater with a tournament featuring Michael Elgin, Kyle O'Reilly, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Rene Dupree, Tyson Dux, Brent Banks, Tarik and Franky the Mobster. Also appearing are Martin Kirby, Joe Hendry and Zack Sabre Jr.
- Appalachian Mountain Wresting tonight in Jackson, KY at the LBJ Elementary School and tomorrow in South McKee, KY at the Old Jackson County High School.
- Simon Gotch vs. Doug Williams on 7/28 in Taunton, UK for Pro Wrestling Pride.
- Northland Wrestling on 5/6 at 5 p.m. in North Bay, ONT at the Davedi Club.
- Glory kickboxing on 4/29 in Copenhagen, Denmark with middleweight champion Simon Marcus vs. Jason Wilnis.
Evolve 82 on 4/22 in Queens, NY on Flo Slam
- Matt Riddle vs. Timothy Thatcher for WWN title
- Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Drew Galloway non-title
- Darby Allin vs. Ethan Page last man standing
- Keith Lee vs. Kyle O'Reilly
- ACH vs. Austin Theory
Evolve 83 on 4/23 in Brooklyn, NY
- Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Lio Rush for Evolve title
- Matt Riddle vs. Drew Galloway non-title I Quit match
- Fred Yehi vs. Kyle O'Reilly
- Keith Lee vs. Darby Allin
- ACH vs. Jake
- Ethan Page vs. Austin Theory
FloSlam will be airing the OTT show live from Dublin, Ireland at the National Stadium at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time:
- Grado vs. Charlie Sterling
- Jigsaw vs. Scotty Davis
- Gymnastics vs. Logan Bryce & Justin Sharpe
- Martina & Nixon Newell & Alex Windsor vs. Katey Harvey & Jinny Couture & Bea Priestley
- Jay White vs. Marty Scurll
- Young Bucks & Kenny Omega vs. Ryan Smile & Will Ospreay & Lio Rush
Today in Professional Wrestling History (4/13): ECW's first PPV
Pro Wrestling Tees is now carrying our latest line of F4W shirts. Support the Empire~! Grab yours today!
- Poll opinions: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Feedback: email@example.com
- Show results and news tips: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wrestling Observer Radio questions: email@example.com