The Latest from the F4W Staff
- NJPW announces broadcast plans and roster for Long Beach shows
- Roderick Strong vs. Eric Young set for NXT TakeOver: Chicago
- NJPW Best of the Super Juniors results: Ricochet & Ospreay steal the show again
- Conor McGregor signs deal, negotiations begin with Floyd Mayweather
- WWE NXT results: The last stop before TakeOver
- FREE WOL! New Japan BOSJ, WWE Backlash, Dave Meltzer interview, more! 5/18
- JNPO: UFC 211 leftovers with Bleacher Report's Mike Chiappetta 5/18
- WOR: BOSJ, Smackdown, ratings, Backlash and NXT previews, more! 5/18
- F4D: FILTHY LANCE STORM DAILY! Raw, Smackdown, Jinder push, more! 5/17
We're looking for reports from tonight's NXT house show in Highland Heights, KY to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This coming weekend we'll be doing polls for the NXT Takeover and WWE Backlash shows.
IMPACT TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. ON POP TV
FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 5/15/2017: Looking ahead to WWE's weekend in Chicago
With the Allstate Arena set to host NXT TakeOver: Chicago on Saturday and Backlash on Sunday, this weekend may be one of WWE's biggest of the year that doesn't include one of their four signature pay-per-views. There are things to look forward to on both cards. All four title matches at TakeOver should deliver on some level, with Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne boosting a show that probably would have still been fine without it.
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.
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.
New Japan wrestler Masakazu Fukuda passed away of complications from a cerebral hemorrhage at 3:28 a.m. on 4/19 in the Public Kesennuma Synthesis Hospital in Kesennuma, Japan after collapsing in the ring on 4/14 at a match in the same city with Katsuyori Shibata. Fukuda, 27, was rushed to the hospital when, after Shibata hit him with an elbow drop that he was supposed to kick out of. Instead he collapsed and began snoring in the ring, which caused everyone to panic.
THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE
New Japan announced before its show earlier today that Hiroshi Tanahashi had a ruptured right biceps (full tear) and will be out of action until 6/9 when he will return at Korakuen Hall. Satoshi Kojima replaces him in all of his matches until then. With that injury, he really should have surgery and be out six months.
Today's Best of the Super Junior tournament results from Korakuen Hall:
- Taichi (1-1) beat Taka Michinoku (1-1)
- Dragon Lee (2-0) beat Marty Scurll (1-1)
- Hiromu Takahashi (1-1) beat Jushin Liger (0-2)
- Will Ospreay (1-1) beat Ricochet (1-1).
The next show is Saturday in Matsuzaka with:
- Desperado vs. Bushi
- ACH vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Volador Jr.
- Tiger Mask vs. Kushida
The Five Star Wrestling promotion and promoter Daniel Hinkles made a grandstand offer of $1 million to C.M. Punk for him to enter their 128-man tournament that begins on 6/10 in Liverpool's Echo Arena and ends on 12/30 at the Manchester Arena. They will be running weekly Saturday night shows starting on 6/10. Hinkles said, "We've been trying to contact CM Punk on and off for well over a year. We wanted him on the first show we did in Edinburgh in 2015. I've tried going through friends in the industry. I've gone through his website and sent dozens of emails but the opportunity has never been this big. We want to offer C.M. Punk $1 million to come and join the Five Star Wrestling tour starting 6/10. It's a genuine offer. We'd love to hear back from the man himself." Punk is currently still under exclusive contract with UFC.
Impact this week in the U.K. is being moved from its usual Friday night at 9 p.m. time slot to Saturday at 10 p.m. on Spike UK. Spike UK will be airing one hour of Bellator's London show headlined by Rory MacDonald vs. Paul Daley at 9 p.m. The main bouts from London will air on Ch. 5 in the U.K. at 10 p.m. Spike UK evidently believes that there is a strong crossover and is moving Impact to another night rather than airing it one hour later. (thanks to Stephan Lyon)
Bellator weigh-ins from earlier today for the show that airs tomorrow night on Spike in the U.S at 9 p.m. (on tape delay)
- Dan Vinni (169.4) vs. Alex Lohore (170)
- D.J. Griffin (164) vs. Kevin Ferguson Jr. aka Baby Slice (165)
- Augusto Sakai (263.75) vs. Cheick Kongo (244)
- Linton Vassell ()205) vs. Liam McGeary (205.5)
- Rory MacDonald (170.1) vs. Paul Daley (170.8)
Scott Coker talked to the press after weigh-ins. Among the highlights were:
- Bellator will run a major show in Brazil in 2018
- They are in talks with Mike Goldberg but have no deal made
- They will have shows in Florence, Italy and Tel Aviv, Israel before the end of the year
- They are expecting a near sellout at SSE Wembley tomorrow
- There will be two or three more events in the U.K. and Ireland before the end of the year, with Dublin as one of the cities
- They haven't been talking with Bobby Lashley about fighting of late.
- A story on The Miz featuring quotes from The Miz, Daniel Puder and Rick Bassman.
- Nigel McGuinness talks about announcing with Jim Ross. (thanks to Lee Wall)
- On the Netflix show "Master of None" which features Aziz Ansari, a wrestling fan, during the fourth episode his character uses a dating app and goes on a bunch of dates. One of his dates started talking about watching SummerSlam and talking about a match with Dean Ambrose vs. Samoa Joe (which obviously never happened) and even brought up the term Coquina clutch. (thanks to Robb Block)
- The Tuesday night MTV show Challenge: Invasion Reunion hosted by The Miz did 501,000 viewers. "The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros" which followed which included C.M. Punk did 568,000 viewers.
- Jim Ross and Nigel McGuinness are doing the voiceovers today for the U.K. show that airs starting at 3 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow on the WWE Network headlined by Tyler Bate vs. Mark Andrews and Trent Seven vs. Pete Dunne.
- Mark Hunt talks to Submission Radio about his lawsuit against Brock Lesnar and the UFC.
- Daniel Cormier talks throwing the water bottle at Jon Jones last week.
- Cormier on Jones’ alleged PED use.
- The presale for UFC 213 started today and for the show the night before. The tickets are now on sale to Fight Club members. The 7/7 main event is Michael Johnson vs. Justin Gaethje plus the finals of this season's Ultimate Fighter. The 7/8 main bouts are Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko and Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone. UFC 213 ticket are priced at $600, $300, $200, $150, $90 and $75. The Friday night show is priced at $175, $100, $75 and $50.
- UFC sent out a casting call release for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. Tryouts will be Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Palace Station in Las Vegas. It's open only for women who can fight at 125 pounds
- On the Den LeBatard show on Monday they talked about how the Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier feud is the single most hateful rivalry in all of sports, and claimed all sports need this type of thing and then played all kinds of clips of the two on each other.
- Tim Johnson vs. Junior Albini was announced today for the 7/22 show at the Nassau Coliseum. Albini comes to UFC with a nine fight winning streak out of Brazil.
- Mairbek Taisumov of Russia pulled out of his 5/28 match with Joaquim Silva due to an undisclosed injury.
- Impact today announced signing of Mayweather, Wilcox, Matt Sydal, Dezmond Xavier, Diamante and Ava Storie.
- The new season of "The Bachelorette," which features ROH wrestler Kenny King, debuts on Monday night.
- Wrestling Under the Stars on 7/15 at the Joseph L Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY featuring Rey Mysterio, Mick Foley, Cody Rhodes, Ryback and Jeff Starr.
- Impact will be doing an event on 5/26 in Manchester at Shooters Sports Bar. The event will be a get together to watch that week's Impact show on Spike UK with Jeff Jarrett, Jeremy Borash, Grado and Rockstar Spud. It opens at 8 p.m, and one hour early for VIP ticket holders. Admission is free but you have to spend at least five pounds. VIP tickets are 35 pounds. You have to be over 18 to attend.
- An interview with new ROH signee Travis Flip Gordon.
- New England Championship Wrestling on 6/3 in Wakefield, MA at the Americal Civic Center with Chris Escobar vs. Damian Wayne in the main event.
- MCW on 6/9 in Joppa, MD at the MCW Arena features Jake Hager (the new name Jack Swagger is going under), Stevie Richards, Gail Kim, and Kevin Matthews plus Fred Yehi, Lio Rush Bestia 666, Steve Anthony and Jeff Cobb. Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson will be taping a Podcast on 6/4 at Jimmy's Famous Seafood restaurant as well.
- Evolve will be running in Atlanta on 7/9.
- Nikita Koloff will be appearing as a guest for the CWE promotion on shows throughout Canada from 8/1 to 8/20. They announced the first show is in Stonewall, Manitoba. Those on the tour with Koloff will be Silas Young, Jonathan Gresham and Chase Owens.
- Promoter Roy Englebrecht has announced the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Gladiator 2017 MMA Championship series, which will be a series of four monthly shows at a 3,000 seat capacity venue they are putting up at the Coliseum's Peristyle. The shows will be parts of tournaments with events on 7/8, 8/5, 9/13 and 10/21 all at 7 p.m.
- Revolution Championship Wrestling on 5/27 in Barcelona, Spain features Santana Garrett vs. Leah Owens for their world women's title, plus Kris Wolf vs. Kay Lee Ray appear. Wolf will also be doing a seminar teaching Japanese women's pro wrestling style on the morning on 5/27 in Barcelona.
- Gold Wrestling tournament on 6/11 at 4 p.m. in Toronto at the Phoenix Concert Theater. It's a ten man tournament with the winner getting a shot at the Smash championship. One of the first round matches has Dalton Castle vs. Mark Haskins.
- AAW on 5/25 in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club has Sami Callihan vs. ? for the AAW title, Rey Fenix & AR Fox defend the tag titles against Lio Rush & Shane Strickland, Michael Elgin vs. Jack Swagger, Keith Lee vs. Donovan Dijak, Trevor Lee vs. Colt Cabana, Jake Crist vs. Laredo Kid vs. Myron Reed vs. Joey Janela and Team Tremendous vs. Alex Daniels & Davey Vega vs. Trey Miguel & Stephen Wolf.
- AAW also announced 6/17 in Merrionette Park, IL at 115 Bourbon Street with John Morrison vs. Brian Cage, Abyss vs. Low Ki and more to be announced.
- Superkick'd Key to the City on tomorrow night in Toronto at the Great Hall.
- SynRGY Pro Wrestling on 6/4 in Oshawa, ONT at the Curling Club.
- C4 Wrestling on 5/27 in Ottawa, ONT a the Vanier Columbus Club
- Masked Republic and 80Stees.com announced a licensing deal for T-shirts of Rey Mysterio, Konnan, Felino, Solar, Super Astro, Penta 0M and Rey Fenix.
- NFC MMA on 6/30 at the Electric Cowboy in Kennesaw, GA with Clay Harvison vs. Brandon Longano.
- Pro Wrestling Eve at the Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green, London on Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. with a 16 woman tournament with Kris Wolf, Emi Sakura, Riho, Kary Lee Ray, Sammi Jayne, Jinny, Viper and more.
- Chaotic Wrestling on Friday night in Woburn, MA at the Elks Lodge #908 with a Rumble Battle Royal. and Christian Casanova vs. Donovan Dijak.
- 550 Fights on 5/26 in Visalia, CA at the Convention Center at 7 p.m.
- Manami Toyota started her retirement tour with this match with early 90s star Takako Inoue at Korakuen Hall.
Today in Professional Wrestling History (5/18): WCW Slamboree 1997
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