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Daily Update: SmackDown to Fox, Punk & Amann lawsuit, Cro Cop


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We're looking for reports on these weekend shows:

  • NXT Thursday in Oklahoma City, OK
  • NXT Friday in Jacksonville, FL
  • Smackdown Saturday night in Amsterdam, Holland
  • NXT Saturday night in San Antonio, TX

Reports from these shows can be sent to

We're also looking for any dark match stuff and non-Raw stuff from Albany, NY tonight. There is no Smackdown brand house show tonight.


  • Taiji Ishimori & Chase Owens vs. Flip Gordon & Tomoyuki Oka
  • Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. ACH & Shota Umino
  • Yoshi-Hashi & Yoh vs. Will Ospreay & Gedo
  • Tetsuya Naito & Bushi vs. Tiger Mask & Toa Henare
  • Sho vs. Chris Sabin
  • Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Dragon Lee
  • Marty Scurll vs. Kushida
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. Desperado

Smackdown and 205 Live will be Tuesday in Worcester, MA.

F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: All In sells out within 30 minutes

For all of the hype and expectations ahead of tickets going on sale, Sunday was going to be when the unknown became known for Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks. And with tickets for their Labor Day weekend All In show selling out in 29 minutes and 36 seconds, the Bullet Club's success could be a landmark moment for professional wrestling. What began as Cody taking a Dave Meltzer tweet as a bet, where Meltzer responded to someone last May and tweeted that he didn't think ROH could sell out a 10,000-plus seat building anytime soon, has now become the first show in the United States to do so in almost 20 years.

WON NEWSLETTER: May 21, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: USA potentially paying big money for Raw, more

A look at how the new WWE television contract situation will change the game once again is the lead story in the new issue of the Observer. Look at why the stock price is up, what analysts thought WWE would get with its deal, what kind of level we're talking about now, interest level, where Smackdown may end up, the value of an episode of Raw and how that relates to PPV and where the key events should take place, and the long-term value of both UFC and WWE.

This issue also has a big feature on the All In show and weekend, with notes on the business, what questions were answered and what weren't, who is on the show, ticket breakdown, secondary market numbers, how it compares with big WWE shows, as well as the largest crowds other non-WWE companies have done and other groups in the last 32 years to have drawn 10,000 for a live show. Also look at how unique this really is and the business of the Starrcast event.

Look at the new President of New Japan, Harold Meij, what his hiring means, what he brings to the table, one of his ideas that has already been used, just how much of a success he was in the toy business and his goals for New Japan's future.

Also, look at NXT business numbers for the first three months of the year and compare it with last year at the same time.

There is an update on Money in the Bank, matches announced, other directions and look at the Ronda Rousey vs. Nia Jax direction.

Read about the lawsuit against C.M. Punk that is coming to the wire, thoughts on the John Cena/Nikki Bella storyline, NXT Takeover Chicago news, WWE wrestler media appearances, a list of new WWE signees from the U.K. and details of the contracts.

This issue has more on Amy "Lita" Dumas breaking ranks on Greatest Royal rumble, update on movies with big WWE names, a unique world class athlete WWE has just signed, why Cass is in trouble, who hasn't won in 2018, and new matches and new 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

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 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.


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Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio and we obviously have a lot to talk about. If you've got questions about the WWE TV deal and its ramifications, and they are huge, send to We'll focus on questions on the deal for tonight's show.

Obviously the big question we don't have an answer for is if Smackdown will be live or taped. WWE hasn't responded to questions on it. It would be difficult logistically to do it live, but for the kind of money offered and FOX wanting live programming, I can't see it not being live, except here on the West Coast. When it comes to the rest of the world, like Canada and U.K., I presume it will air at the same time as in the U.S., but the U.K. deal itself is still to be worked out.

Wednesday's Observer will go into detail on the deal, lots of ramifications and we went through why USA made the decisions it did and how this changes the landscape, and it does in many ways.

WWE stock exploded today, closing at $57.87 per share, meaning the company is now worth $4.465 billion. 

Lawyers are talking today in the Dr. Christopher Amann libel suit against Phil Brooks (C.M. Punk) and Scott Colton (Colt Cabana). Ryan Satin reports they are talking about reaching a settlement. As of a few days ago, both sides were posturing that they were not looking at settling.

Mirko Cro Cop was injured in training and had to pull out of Friday's Bellator show in London at Wembley. This was the Bellator 200 show where he was to face Roy Nelson. They are looking for a new opponent for Nelson. But the main event has been changed to Rafael Carvalho defending the middleweight title against Gegard Mousasi.

Hideo Itami vs. Akira Tozawa will be on tomorrow night's 205 Live show.

Ric Flair is fine now. He'll be back working tomorrow. It was a short-term bug this past weekend that made flying a bad idea.  


  • John Cena and Nikki Bella are basically back together according to People Magazine. 
  • Alicia Fox and Kairi Sane are backstage at Raw. 
  • In the post-Raw WWE Network spot, Matt & Jeff Hardy will do a Table for 4 with Edge & Christian.


  • Michael Chiesa will make his announcing debut for this coming Sunday's show in Liverpool, England. The announcers for the show itself, which starts at 11 a.m. Eastern, will be Brendan Fitzgerald and Dan Hardy. Michael Chiesa, Michael Bisping, Jimmy Smith and Karyn Bryant will host the pregame and post-game shows.
  • Sunday's show will be a first for UFC as BBC 5 radio in the U.K. will broadcast the event on radio starting at 6 p.m. British Standard time with the main card. It will be a different broadcast crew than TV with Layla Anna-Lee, OJ Borg and Nick Peet working the show and play-by-play from Malcom Martin and Brad Pickett. (thanks to Lee Wall)
  • Mickey Garcia, a boxer who has held world titles in four weight divisions, was in Hawaii this past weekend and talked about wanting a fight with Max Holloway at Aloha Stadium later this year. Not sure if this is even feasible. In MMA, it's not a contest and in boxing, it's also no contest. (thanks to Paul Onishi) 
  • A story on Austen Lane, an ex-NFL player who will be facing Greg Hardy on an upcoming episode of the new season of Dana White's Tuesday Night Fights.


  • We still have tickets on sale for our Q&A talk show with Bryan and me on 7/7 at 10 a.m. (the morning after King of Indies and morning of the New Japan Cow Palace show) at the San Francisco Westin Hotel at the San Francisco Airport.
  • Our Chicago show is sold out, like pretty much everything in Chicago. There were ten rooms at the host hotel that opened up at one point and were taken in 42 seconds. Everything around the Chicago show is nuts.
  • London Trust has purchased more than 50 percent of the Legacy Fighting Alliance, which is the promotion that runs most Friday nights on AXS TV after New Japan. Ed Soares, the CEO, announced this on the MMA Hour today. Soares will remain CEO. Sven Bean will take over as President. Soares on the show today talked about expanding distribution, improving production values, and growing women's fighting with one to two fights on every show, as well as adding best fight bonuses. Soares noted that they did 30 events last year with six or seven employees, and now they can afford to build a team. Soares is promoting his company as the No. 1 developmental league for UFC.
  • Stardom results from yesterday: Rina d Hina (these are both young teenage sisters who are about 14 years old and already starting out), Natsuko Tora & Leo Onozaki b Starlight Kid & Shiki Shibusawa, Candy Floss & Zoe Lucas b Tam Nakano & Hanan, Mayu Iwatani & Saki Kashima b Hazuki & Session Moth Martina, Jungle Kyona & Kaori Yoneyama & Ruaka b Kagetsu & Natsu Sumire in a handicap match, Momo Watanabe & Konami b Io Shirai & AZM. (thanks to Jake Koch)
  • Rise will be doing women TV tapings on the first week of July in Naperville, IL, a double-shot weekend. They will be taping six episodes.
  • Impact has announced a One Night Only taping on 6/3 at Santino Marella's Wrestling Academy in Mississauga, ONT, announcing Pentagon Jr., Moose, Eddie Edwards, Matt Sydal, DJZ, Sami Callihan, Dezmond Xavier, Josh Alexander, Eli Drake, Stone Rockwell and Su Yung.
  • Alpha 1 Wrestling on 7/15 in Colborne, ONT at the Keller Centre.
  • CWA ran its Spa City Slam Saturday night in Hot Springs, AR before 800 fans. This was one of the shows Ric Flair had to cancel due to his illness and they booked Lex Luger to replace him. They raised $10,000 at the show for Special Olympics of Arkansas. An original chair from the Mid South Coliseum autographed by Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee sold for $500. J.J. Dillon hosted the event. Dundee and Brian Christopher worked as managers, on the show, with Christopher managing his father, Jerry Lawler, in the main event: OMGs b Morgan Williams & Dale Wylde, Matt Starr b Nathan Starr, Matt Boyce b Greg Anthony, Barrett Brown b D-Lo Brown, Michael Barry & Black Hand Rider & Anthony b Tim Storm & Roosevelt & Boyce, Matt Riviera b Jerry Lawler-DQ.
  • Rey Fenix missed the above show and worked in Tijuana for Crash instead. The CWA reported to us that he paid back his flight cost and apologized for missing the booking, saying he ran into issues leaving Mexico.
  • MLW announced a Boiler Room Brawl with Sami Callihan vs. MVP for its 6/7 show in Orlando at Gilt Nightclub.
  • Lilian Garcia's podcast on PodcastOne is no longer. She's looking for a new hosting site.
  • AAW announced that if you use the code AAWTNP from this point forward to purchase tickets for their Friday night show at the Logan Square Arena in Chicago, you can get $10 off per ticket. The show is headlined by Jessicka Havok vs. Kimber Lee for the women's title, plus Darby Allin vs. Brody King, Penta 0M & Rey Fenix vs. AR Fox & Myron Reed, Eddie Kingston vs. Fred Yehi, Sami Callihan & Jake & Dave Crist vs. Shane Strickland & Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz, Trey Miguel vs. Zema on plus Besties in the World, Juice Robinson and Colt Cabana.
  • Defy Wrestling takes place Saturday night in Portland, OR at the Hawthorne Theater with Matt Sydal vs. Matt Riddle, Shane Strickland vs. Darby Allin and Joey Ryan vs. Randy Myers. You must me 21 and over to attend with an ID.
  • Fury Pro Wrestling will be bringing women wrestling to the DC area on 6/10 at 2 p.m. with Kelly Klein, Su Yung, Shotzi Blackheart, Brittany Blake and more.
  • Cleveland Knights Championship Wrestling from yesterday in Parma,OH with lots of Puerto Rican stars: Cisco Silver b JD Smooth, Jordynne Grace won three-way over Samantha Heights and Kaci Lennox, Nazareno b Brian Cage, Justin Dynamite won three-way over Robbie E and Aero Boy, Angel Fashion & Mike Mendoza b Thunder & Lightning, Vanilla Vargas NC Diamante. The match had to be stopped when Diamante suffered a dislocated elbow.
  • Total Combat Wrestling from Saturday night in Carrara, Tuscany, Italy before 250 fans: Rocco Gioiello b Fenice Rossa, Dido DCOR Jacob, Mefisto b Antonio Bellavita, Mefitsto & Scandalo b Black Ice & Break Bones. (thanks to Alessio Garbini)
  • Trailer for the documentary "Underdogs" about independent wrestling.
  • Ahmed Johnson interview.
  • The latest episode of Elliot Sexton's Trophy Life is up. It features Sexton in backstage confrontations with Matt Riddle and Joey Ryan. 
  • MCW announced Marcius Pitt and Damian Slater challenging Syd Parker and Caveman Ugg for the Tag Team Titles on June 9th. Indi Hartwell will take on Tenielle Dashwood on July 21st for MCW. July 12th will be Tenielle Dashwood vs Shazza McKenzie for Wrestling Go in Sydney. 
  • EPW announced Marcius Pitt challenging Michael Morleone for the EPW Title on June 2nd in Perth. Also on that show is Kiel Steria vs Gavin McGavin vs Damian Slater. On June 16th, Pitt and Slater will challenge Hayden Zenith and Allyson Cruz for the EPW tag team titles. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)

Daily Professional Wrestling History: Jinder Mahal wins WWE Championship

12th Annual F4W Empire Vegas Convention

Greetings friends and fans of the F4W / Wrestling Observer website. It's time to announce the details of the 12th annual F4W / Wrestling Observer Empire Las Vegas Convention~!

This year's event will be taking place in Las Vegas from August 16th to the 20th and will again be in conjunction with WWE's SummerSlam weekend a.k.a. Super China Buffet Day~! There will still be the usual events, but our big draw will be WWE's summer blockbuster PPV, SummerSlam. As per tradition, we will all gorge ourselves at a Las Vegas buffet, and then watch SummerSlam in a rented out movie theater. All information and ticketing prices are available now. Sign up ASAP as spots are limited for some events. 

This year will also feature a Future Stars Wrestling show which will include the first ever Gladys Gibson Doubles Match Classic! Already booked for the show are the teams Mia Yim & Leva Bates, Hudson Envy & Shotzi Blackheart, Samantha Heights & Brittany Blake, and Miranda Alize & Kylie Rae. Kris Wolf will also be appearing along with many more future stars. There may even be a classic star or two making an appearance. You won't want to miss this show! Check out the convention's Facebook page for all additional information.