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Daily Update: Weekend schedule, New Japan Cup, Rich Swann

THE ROUND-UP

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THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're looking for reports from tonight's Raw show in Minneapolis to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING ON AXS TV AT 8 P.M.

  • Kenny Omega vs. Jay White for U.S. title

ROH 16TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW FROM SAM'S TOWN IN LAS VEGAS FRIDAY NIGHT

Facebook Live at 8:30 p.m. Eastern

  • Sumie Sakai vs. Hana Kimura in Women of Honor tournament
  • Tenille Dashwood vs. Brandi Rhodes in Women of Honor tournament

Honor Club and PPV at 9 p.m. Eastern

  • Dalton Castle vs. Jay Lethal for ROH title
  • Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley vs. Mark & Jay Briscoe for ROH tag titles
  • Young Bucks & Adam Page vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky for six man titles in a street fight
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. Flip Gordon
  • Marty Scurll vs. Punishment Martinez

LEGACY FIGHTING TONIGHT AT 9 P.M. ON AXS TV FROM THE ARENA THEATER IN HOUSTON

  • Casey Jones vs. Leomana Martinez
  • Miles Johns vs. Adrian Yanez
  • Jeremy Hardy vs. Vernon Lewis
  • Charles Cheeks III vs. Rivaldo Junior
  • Jason Langellier vs.Thonmas Webb
  • Nick Newell vs. Sonny Luque

CMLL FROM ARENA MEXICO TONIGHT AT 9:30 P.M. AT http://www.marca.com/claro-mx

  • Astral & Electrico vs. Cancerbero & Raziel
  • Lady Maravilla & Princesa Sugehit & Sanely vs. Dalys & Seductora & Tiffany
  • Guerrero Maya Jr. & Rey Cometa & The Panther vs. Johnny Idol & Kawato San & Puma
  • Block B one-night tournament for CMLL tag team titles: Marco Corleone & Niebla Roja, Cavernario & Mr. Niebla, Diamante Azul & Stuka Jr., Okumura & Sam Adonis, Titan & Triton, Rey Bucanero & El Terrible, Blue Panther & Blue Panther Jr. and Mephisto & Ephesto
  • Angel de Oro & Atlantis & Volador Jr. vs. Cuatrero & Negro Casas & Ultimo Guerrero

NEW JAPAN FROM AIICHI GYM IN NAGOYA AT 4 A.M. EASTERN ON SATURDAY MORNING ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

  • Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Ren Narita
  • Yuji Nagata & Shota Umino vs. Juice Robinson& David Finlay
  • Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Michael Elgin & Tomoyuki Oka
  • Takashi Iizuka & Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Togi Makabe & Toa Henare
  • Tetsuya Naito & Seiya Sanada & Bushi vs. Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. & Taka Michinoku
  • Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi & Chuckie T vs. Kota Ibushi & Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens & Tanga Loa
  • Bad Luck Fale vs. Lance Archer in the New Japan Cup
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Taichi in the New Japan Cup

We're looking for reports on Saturday's Raw show in Oshawa, ONT, Smackdown in Corbin, KY, ROH TV tapings in Las Vegas and NXT in Fort Pierce, FL to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

NEW JAPAN FROM AMAGASAKI AT 2 A.M. EASTERN LATE SATURDAY NIGHT ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

  • Ryusuke Taguchi & Tetsuhiro Yagi vs. Yuji Nagata & Tomoyuki Oka
  • Desperado vs. Shota Umino
  • Michael Elgin & Juice Robinson & David Finlay & Toa Henare vs. Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens & Tanga Loa
  • Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe vs. Takashi Iizuka & Taichi
  • Kazuchika Okada & Chuckie T vs. Seiya Sanada & Bushi
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Yoshi-Hashi in the New Japan Cup
  • Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr. in the New Japan Cup

Sunday has a Raw house show in London, ONT.

WWE FAST LANE PPV ON SUNDAY FROM COLUMBUS, OH AT 7:30 P.M. EASTERN TIME

  • A.J. Styles vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena vs. Baron Corbin for the WWE title
  • Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev
  • Bobby Roode vs. Randy Orton for U.S. title
  • Usos vs. New Day for tag titles
  • Charlotte Flair vs. Ruby Riott for women's title
  • Naomi & Becky Lynch vs. Natalya & Carmella

NEW JAPAN FROM TAKAMATSU AT 6 A.M. EASTERN MONDAY MORNING ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

  • Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Ren Narita
  • Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi & Tanga Loa vs. Yuji Nagata & Tomoyuki Oka & Shota Umino
  • Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Michael Elgin & David Finlay
  • Tetsuya Naito & Bushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taka Michinoku
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe & Juice Robinson & Toa Henare vs. Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer & Takashi Iizuka & Taichi
  • Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kota Ibushi & Chase Owens
  • Toru Yano vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. in the New Japan Cup
  • Seiya Sanada vs. Chuckie T in the New Japan Cup

Raw will be live on Tuesday from Detroit. Both Brock Lesnar and John Cena are advertised for the show. Smackdown has a house show on Monday night in Dayton, OH.

NEW JAPAN FROM FUJI-SAN AT 5:30 A.M. WEDNESDAY MORNING ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

Smackdown, 205 Live and Mixed Match Challenge take place on Tuesday in Indianapolis. Matches announced are Cedric Alexander vs. Roderick Strong and Charlotte Flair & Bobby Roode vs. Rusev & Lana.

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Recapping Elimination Chamber and the Reigns-Strowman decision

What had been expected for nearly a year became official on Sunday night as Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns was announced for WrestleMania 34. Reigns defeated Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, John Cena, Elias, and The Miz in the main event of the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view to set up him challenging Lesnar at WrestleMania. The match came down to Reigns and Strowman, with Reigns finally putting him down with two spears.

WON NEWSLETTER: March 5, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Elimination Chamber review, Jon Jones hearing

An updated look at WrestleMania, explaining the booking of Braun Strowman, the Brock Lesnar angle and plans for John Cena and Ronda Rousey are all in the headline story of this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Look at the story behind the Reigns promo, the goal of the promo, what is and isn't reality about Lesnar, when Lesnar returns, Lesnar's talks with UFC and his decision making right now and a reality check when we look back three years ago.

Also look at the John Cena interview, Undertaker, Rey Mysterio Jr., how the Rousey angle has gone so far, what the TV ratings said about Rousey's debut, women's title plans, as well as the rest of the WrestleMania and Fast Lane show.

Check out the Strowman situation for WrestleMania, flaws in the Elimination Chamber booking as well as full coverage of the show, with match-by-match rundowns with star ratings and poll results on the show.

Find out about Jon Jones' hearing before the California State Athletic Commission and what it means, as well as the completely befuddling remarks made prior to the hearing.

Look at what may be a WWE drug scandal with the tease of 15 names being involved including one who purchased $140,000 worth of substances. Read the claims out there and teases of what else will be released. Find out about the realities of drug testing and the changing pro wrestling business from when the death rate was so high.

Look at what talent WWE is interested in, WWE signing a deal to do events in Saudi Arabia, lots of news regarding the concussion lawsuits filed against WWE, what happened in a deposition that went badly for the plaintiff in one of those suits, more on Ronda Rousey training, Chris Jericho's 2018 schedule, why Apollo Crews' last name was dropped and the Dusty Rhodes tag team tournament.

Examine the secondary market in New Orleans for WWE events, update on a deal to bring WWE into a 100,000 seat stadium this fall, Ric Flair becoming a celebrity in Latin America, UFC talent at WWE event and why they weren't identified, Bianca Belair injury update, WWE headed to Japan and the most-watched shows on WWE.

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WON BACK ISSUE: February 19, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Yearly business breakdown, WCW shutdown nixed

The XFL went from television's penthouse to its outhouse in record time as ratings plummeted on NBC to the point the entire league is already being labeled, just two weeks in, a major failure in most circles.It got so bad, that on 2/12, just eight days after the initial ratings for opening night came in at well above the levels even the most optimistic in NBC expected, that emergency meetings were held after an embarrassing show with a tremendous finish went 45 minutes long due to an alleged generator problem, an injury, and a double overtime.

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back tonight for Wrestling Observer radio covering the ROH PPV and the latest news. You can send questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

For the weekend, no Randy Orton on this week's Saturday night house show but he's working Sunday through Tuesday. Brock Lesnar is working tonight in Minneapolis and Monday for Raw in Detroit. John Cena is working the PPV in Columbus and Raw on Monday. He is not advertised for Smackdown on Tuesday.

In today's New Japan Cup matches, Juice Robinson beat Yujiro Takahashi and Michael Elgin beat Tomohiro Ishii. The latter match was great. Elgin vs. Robinson will be on Wednesday in the second round.

Rich Swann has pulled himself from all of his appearances, including the ones he's advertised on, including his WrestleMania weekend shows, even Crash in Mexico. He is very despondent based on the reaction to his wrestling. Previously he had said he would fulfill his agreed upon dates and then retire from wrestling.

Konnan underwent hip replacement surgery this past week. This is his third hip replacement as the last one came loose about ten years ago from coming back and doing angles too quickly and he's been in great pain ever since.

We don't have an update regarding Rey Mysterio Jr. and wrestling but he will be doing his autograph signing this weekend at the Kentucky Comic Con.

Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mayu Iwatani in the Women of Honor tournament will take place tomorrow at the ROH tapings in Las Vegas. (thanks to Jake Koch)

WWE

  • Paige, who is dating Kalan Blehm of the band Attila, will be touring with the band this weekend. Attila is performing shows this weekend with Insane Clown Posse.
  • If you want the textbook on building one of the greatest feuds of all-time, this is the run of Bruno Sammartino and Larry Zbyszko interviews from 1980. From both sides, these are some of the best interviews building a program you'll ever seen. Their Shea Stadium match set the all-time pro wrestling gate record, although that has long since been broken. (thanks to Dave Doyle)
  • Odds as of this morning for Fast Lane from Paddy Power: A.J. Styles is a -800 favorite in the WWE title match. John Cena at +750 is the next highest Charlotte Flair is -1000 in the womens' title match Bobby Roode and Randy Orton are both -120 in the U.S. title match Usos are -175 in the tag title match Shinsuke Nakamura is -800 against Rusev Becky Lynch & Naomi are -150 against Carmella & Natalya

UFC

  • Mairbek Taisumov is off the 4/7 UFC show in Brooklyn due to a delay in getting his visa.
  • Nick Newell, the fighter with one arm who actually first got interested in being a fighter when his college roommate (Curt Hawkins in WWE) was a fan, is coming out of retirement for the main event on AXS from Houston.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Next week, ESPN will be airing the NCAA tournament in prime time on Thursday and Friday night, but the finals are being moved to ESPN 2 on Saturday night. We'll have more next week. All six sessions will be televised as ESPN U will be doing all the afternoon sessions.
  • There was a ticket snafu today for ROH tickets for the 6/2 show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. They went on sale at 10 a.m. General Admission tickets weren't available at first and the only tickets shown were priced at $103, for every seat in the building. This wasn't corrected for several hours. (thanks to Joe Puccio)
  • New Japan tickets for its 3/24 event at its gym that we wrote about yesterday sold out in 15 seconds.
  • Bar Wrestling sold out last night in Baldwin Park, CA: Scorpio Sky & B-Boy & Big Honky Kev b Matt Cross & Watts & Marty the Moth, Brian Cage b Tyler Bateman, Chelsea Green (who turned into Laurel Van Ness) & Britt Baker b Heather Monroe & Laura James, Joey Ryan b Hot Young Briley (Dolph Ziggler's brother Briley Nemeth). After the match, The Young Bucks, Cody and Hangman Page all showed up in an angle taped for Being the Elite. Page and Ryan went at it and Page took the dick flip and poured a bottle of what was supposed to be urine on him. Kevin Kross b Willie Mack, Taya Valkyrie b Tessa Blanchard (said to be great), Rey Fenix & Pentagon Jr. b LAX. Next show is 4/12. (thanks to Jake Koch)
  • MLW's show last night in Orlando was taped for television. There will be more on that but they are doing a series of 60 minute shows with Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini as the announcers. Dan Bynum, who was the director of World Class Championship Wrestling is directing, Charlie Bruuzzese of ECW was there as a Producer, as was Bruce Prichard at Senior Producer according to PW Insider. An announcement of the TV is expected soon.
  • AAW on 3/16 in Merrionette Park, IL at 115 Bourbon Street announced Jushin Liger vs. Trevor Lee as the main event, plus Jessicka Havok vs. Hudson Envy, Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Kingston, Moose vs. Keith Lee, Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett & Colt Cabana vs. Curt Stallion & Jake Something & Conor Braxton, MJF vs. Paco, Zema Ion vs. Myron Reed plus Dave & Jake Crist, Joey Janela, Teddy Hart, Dezmond Xavier and Ace Romero. There will also be an afternoon meet and greet with Liger. You must have a ticket to the show to attend the meet and greet. They also run 3/31 in LaSalle, IL at the Knights of Columbus, with Havok vs. Ivelisse for the women's title,Vega & Fitchett vs. Stallion & Something for the tag titles, AR Fox & Myron Reed vs. Trey Miguel & Steven Wolf and a Rumble with ACH, Callihan, Dave & Jake Crist, Moose, Keith Lee, David Starr, Trevor Lee and Eddie Kingston.
  • Independent wrestler James "Rude Boy" Riley pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography stemming from a bust last year at his home. Police found 10 images on his phone of children under 16 engaging in sex acts. He disappeared from wrestling after the bust. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • wXw Inner Circle 5 from yesterday in Essen, Germany: Travis Banks b Alexander James, Timothy Thatcher b Julian Pace, David Starr b Chris Brookes, Walter b Jonah Rock, Killer Kelly b Veda Scott, Mike Bailey b Mark Haskins. Rafa was supposed to come back tomorrow after a knee injury, but twisted his knee again and will be replaced by Marius Al-Ani. David Starr injured his ankle last night but will remain in the tournament. Bailey vs. Haskins said to be really good. (thanks to Markus Gronemann)
  • Jurn Simmons will be having ankle surgery on Monday.
  • The Big Event autograph show is tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the La Guardia Plaza Hotel in East Elmhurt, NY with Bret Hart Chuck Liddell, Danielle Moinet (Summer Rae), Scott Hall, Fred Rosser (Darren Young), D-Lo Brown, Mick Foley, James Ellsworth, Stu Bennett,Vader, Dan Severn, Gene Okerlund, Tessa Blanchard, Molly Holly, Madusa, Lisa Varon, Broke Adams, Brian Adias, Juventud Guerrera, LAX, Brandi Rhodes, Rachael Ellering, Lacey Von Erich,Allie, Madison Rayne, Diamante, Josh Matthews, Hurricane Helms, Doug Gilbert, Lex Luger, William Regal, Bob Holly, Tyrus, Ed Leslie, Ivory, Jake Roberts, Jim Duggan and more.
  • Baja Stars USA on 3/17 in San Diego at 3020 Coronado Av. has Soberano vs. Mecha Wolf 450 vs. Cavernario.
  • Gran Guerrero & Euforia vs. Misterioso Jr. & Blood Eagle headlines 3/234 in Los Angeles at Leonardo's Huntington Park.
  • Octagon & El Hijo de Octagon vs. Silver King & El Hijo de Silver King headlines on 3/23 at the Auditorio in Tijuana.
  • NWL tomorrow in Kansas City at the Turner Rec Center has Jeremy Wyatt vs. Martin Stone for the NWL title and Anthony Henry vs. Jet Royal. NWL TV begins airing in Florida/Alabama on Gulf Coast CW. The TV is also in Kansas City, Joplin, Springfield, MO and St. Joseph, MO.
  • Former UFC fighter Norman Parke faces Lukasz Chlewcki on the 4/14 KSW show in Wroclaw, Poland.
  • PWA on 3/31 in Cambridge, ONT at the Hespeler Memorial Arena has Elian Habanero vs. Joey Allen and Kobe Durst vs. Josh Alexander.
  •  PWA on 3/17 in Kitchener, ONT at the Alpine Club
  • C4 Wrestling on 3/17 in Ottawa at the Vanier Columbus Club with Kobe Durst vs. Mathieu St. Jacques in an I Quit match.
  • Matt Wiese, the former Luther Reigns, talks about his issues with drugs.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Steiner Brothers win NWA tag titles

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