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Daily Update: SmackDown, Super Juniors results, WCPW


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The Latest from the F4W Staff



FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 5/22/2017: Jinder Mahal is actually WWE Champion

Even after having over a month to prepare for the possibility, it's hard to believe that Jinder Mahal is actually WWE Champion. Title wins like Mahal beating Randy Orton at Backlash aren't really supposed to happen in pro wrestling. When you have the ability to control wins and losses, challengers are theoretically built up over time and have enough credibility when they win a championship that the result is either obvious or hardly surprising.

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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: May 22, 2017: NJPW business up, ROH War of the Worlds review, tons more

An update on upcoming WWE big shows, the Braun Strowman injury and plans for his return, a lot of notes on New Japan business in a number of categories, the ROH-New Japan relationship, coverage of all the major shows this past week all over the world including first day Super Juniors, the life of Doug Somers and the age old pro wrestling style debate are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

The issue goes through plans for now as well as directions long-term for WWE, this weekend's Takeover and Backlash shows, and booking for summer shows.

Plus, look at New Japan's total revenue, growth, merchandise sales, Tokyo Dome goals, realities of New Japan World and why it has limitations as well as what has happened since the Tokyo Dome, AXS ratings for New Japan as compared with Impact, plans for broadcasting the Long Beach shows, the pro wrestling industry in Japan, updates on Tomoaki Honma and Katsuyori Shibata, the Hiroshi Tanahashi injury, as well as how business has done for several of the leading promotions in Japan this year.

Have a look at the ROH/New Japan relationship, coverage of ROH War of the Worlds with match-by-match rundown, poll results and star ratings, and the lineup for the ROH Best in the World show.

Check out UFC 211 and questions regarding drawing power of Stipe Miocic and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, a look at how Mayweather and Pacquiao became top draws, business notes for the show when it comes to ratings, PPV and live attendance and future booking direction of the winners, plus match-by-match coverage and poll results.

Read about a change in the broadcasting of Smackdown in a few weeks, what company's spent the most this year on advertising on Smackdown and what the list tells you about value and ad rights, notes on the UK special, a list of a number of upcoming shows with Rock Lesnar, Dwayne Johnson updates including a poll on if he ran for President against Donald Trump. 

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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.

WON BACK ISSUE: May 1, 2000: Justin Credible wins ECW Heavyweight Championship, safety concerns in Japan, tons more

When the smoke cleared after nine months of title changes largely forced upon him and designed to surprise, Paul Heyman finally went back to the original Plan A--as the latest surprise. Justin Credible (Peter Polaco), who Heyman had planned to be ECW heavyweight champion dating back more than 18 months, with the idea of not putting the title on him until he had a national television outlet, and being the wrestler that Rob Van Dam would chase in the company's top program, wound up with the title after two more switches at ECW's "Cyberslam" show on 4/22 in Philadelphia at the ECW Arena.

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  • Jinder Mahal hosting a "Punjabi Celebration" is advertised for tonight's SmackDown as he makes his first appearance since becoming WWE Champion. Shane McMahon will also be making an announcement about Money in the Bank and Charlotte Flair teams with Becky Lynch against Natalya & Carmella on the show.
  • Akira Tozawa vs. Brian Kendrick in a street fight and the return of Cedric Alexander are set for 205 Live.
  • Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins have been announced for next week's episode of Raw. It will be the go-home show for Extreme Rules, where all five will meet in the main event fatal five-way match with the winner getting a future shot at Brock Lesnar's Universal Championship.
  • Many people in WWE, including Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, have sent their thoughts to those in Manchester after last night's awful terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena. TMZ posted a statement from the company about the NXT house show that's scheduled to take place at the arena on June 6th: "WWE offers its heartfelt condolences to those affected by this tragedy. We are working with local authorities on the appropriate course of action as it relates to our event scheduled for Tuesday, June 6 at the Manchester Arena."
  • In a video that WWE uploaded on YouTube, it was revealed that Vic Joseph will be joining Corey Graves on the announce team for Main Event going forward.
  • Matt Hardy tweeted that Senor Benjamin "was in the TNA's top story & NEVER PAID A PENNY, even tho promised. He NEVAH signed a release to use/air his footage-That isn't legal. #DTO"
  • Following up on an angle where Hideo Itami furiously destroyed the NXT locker room and swore at Kassius Ohno after losing to Bobby Roode at TakeOver: Chicago, posted a story about Ohno continuing the angle with Itami on Twitter.
  • Ricky Morton tweeted a picture on his first day guest coaching at the WWE Performance Center.
  • The Ringer uploaded a video where they asked WWE wrestlers if they could take various people, dangerous animals, and fictional characters in a fight.
  • Tommaso Ciampa tweeted a photo of him moving out of the house that he shared with Johnny Gargano.
  • Rolling Stone has an article on Breezango making wrestling fun again.
  • Dean Ambrose and Jeff Hardy will appear on Talk is Jericho this Friday.
  • Becky Lynch was interviewed by Sports Illustrated about the Raw and SmackDown women's divisions.

Pro Wrestling

  • NJPW's Best of the Super Juniors tournament continued in Tochigilast night with A Block matches. The results were: Dragon Lee defeated Ricochet Hiromu Takahashi defeated Taichi Will Ospreay defeated Jushin Thunder Liger Marty Scurll defeated Taka Michinoku
  • Liger is officially out of contention after losing (and he previously announced that this would be his last time competing in the tournament).  Dragon Lee, Ospreay, and Scurll are at the top of the block with six points.
  • What Culture Pro Wrestling announced that the weekly tapings for their "Loaded" shows will be canceled going forward starting on June 9th. WCPW noted that the model for the show is no longer sustainable due to a change in YouTube's policy where wrestling videos have been categorized as non-advertiser friendly. All of the company's other shows will go on as scheduled.
  • Live Audio Wrestling posted the full interview that John Pollock conducted with Impact's Ed Nordholm.
  • Lucha Forever announced that Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate are off their show in Birmingham on Thursday due to WWE commitments.
  • PROGRESS Wrestling revealed that they're coming back to the United States for a show at the Elmcor Center in Queens, New York on August 12th. It will be a double-header with EVOLVE, which has a show taking place at the same building in the afternoon.
  • PROGRESS also posted the bracket for this year's Super Strong Styles 16 tournament.
  • Adam Cole's character was killed off of The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega's "Being the Elite" YouTube series on the latest episode.
  • Sho Tanaka is competing in an MMA fight in Corona, New York on Saturday night.


  • Dana White said that the UFC is looking into the incident where Cris Cyborg punched Angela Magana at the UFC Athlete Retreat in Las Vegas. Cyborg released a statement about it on Facebook.
  • White also appeared on an episode of GGN News with Snoop Dogg.
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov claimed that he expects to return to the UFC in October and that he thinks he will finally face Tony Ferguson in their interim lightweight title fight.
  • Rory MacDonald discussed his decision to leave the UFC for Bellator on the MMA Hour this week.
  • Also on the MMA Hour, Al Iaquinta compared the UFC to a strip club.
  • Jimi Manuwa called the feud between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones "WWE sh*t" in an interview with

Today in Professional Wrestling History (5/23): Frank Gotch regains American Heavyweight title

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