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Daily Update: WrestleMania media, WWE Network number, Raw

THE ROUND-UP

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The Latest from the F4W Staff

NEWS

AUDIO

We're looking for live reports on any Main Event or dark matches on Raw tonight in Orlando, as well as reports on any of the events in Orlando that have taken place over the past few days with the exception of the Evolve, ROH & NXT shows to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

We're also taking polls this week on WrestleMania, NXT Takeover and ROH Supercard of Honor, so you can send a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle on all three shows to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

Raw is tonight from the Amway Arena in Orlando. The show is usually the most talked about and most-watched Raw of the year. The expectation is there will be a few debuts on both tonight and tomorrow.

NEW JAPAN AT TOKYO KORAKUEN HALL ON TUESDAY AT 5:30 A.M. EASTERN TIME ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

  • Manabu Nakanishi & Jushin Liger & Hirai Kawato vs. Takashi Iizuka & Desperado & Taka Michinoku
  • Yuji Nagata & Tomoyuki Oka vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Tiger ask vs. War Machine & David Finlay
  • Hirooki Goto & Toru Yano & Gedo & Jado vs. Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi
  • Tomohiro Ishii & Baretta vs. Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale
  • Juice Robinson & Kushida vs. Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi
  • Kazuchika Okada & Yoshi-Hashi vs Katsuyori Shibata & Togi Makabe
  • Seiya Sanada & Evil & Bushi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Ryusuke Taguchi & Manabu Nakanishi for Never trios championship

Smackdown will also be live from the Amway Arena in Orlando on Tuesday. Expect some surprises on that show as well as they want to make a tradition of the Tuesday Smackdown show over Mania week also being something special.

FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 3/27/2017: Looking ahead to WrestleMania 33

As what has now become nearly a full week of WrestleMania-related events begins, the card for WWE's marquee event of the year is virtually complete. There are 12 matches announced for WrestleMania 33 heading into the final week of build on television, though some issues still remain. Triple H vs. Seth Rollins has to be officially announced, participants in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal have to be confirmed, and we'll see if there are plans for the SmackDown tag titles and a few other notable wrestlers left without anything scheduled...

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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: April 3, 2017: Massive WrestleMania weekend preview, plus tons of news

Your guide to WrestleMania is the focus of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

The issue runs down the key matches, keys to what to look for, unique crowd reactions expected, the plight of Roman Reigns as the new face of the company, how booing top babyfaces is not unique to WWE today and why you have to look at business numbers and not who gets cheered and booed, plus a look at the public interest level in the top six singles matches on the show and what has the most and least interest generally.

Examine the Reigns situation, ticket sales for all the WWE events, thoughts on finishes and what, adjusted for inflation, were the biggest money pro wrestling events of all-time. Plus, look at this year vs. last year when it comes to incredible matches.

Have a look in depth at the legacy inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame, including just how big a name Rikidozan was in his prime in Japan, the amazing television ratings he did, the most-watched live pro wrestling match anywhere in the world in history, the backgrounds of the inductees and with June Byers, the story behind one of most legendary pro wrestling matches of all-time, the 1954 world women's title unification match which was a completely legitimate shoot.

There is an update on Mauro Ranallo and his disappearance from WWE with a filled in the time line of what happened, why Ranallo's close friend Bas Rutten pretty much points the finger at JBL, how it's been handled and why it puts WWE in a tough situation as well as the Be a Star group.

Notes on a major business deal made by WWE, SummerSlam ticket sales, WrestleMania available in China, Hardys arrival, the inevitable changes in the UK market, Alberto & Paige getting married, Paige talks about her embarrassing situation, WWE star reportedly on the way out, Shawn Michaels talks about his offer to face A.J. Styles at WrestleMania, all inside, and Kane potentially running for Mayor of Knox County, TN.

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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 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 moonsault@mediaplusint.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.

WON BACK ISSUE: March 13, 2000: Beyond the Mat controversy, New York Daily News stories on wrestling deaths and drugs, more

The controversy over the movie "Beyond the Mat" grew this past week when pressure tactics from the WWF caused the USA Network, UPN and Cris Craft Communications to all ban any advertising on any of their programs for the film. While some were surprised at the lengths Vince McMahon would go to attempt to bury the movie, it has been clear for some time by anyone who understands the "with us or against us" and no in between philosophy of McMahon, that he felt the movie wasn't "with us."

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

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We have notes on the network number. The number of paid was slightly above what I had listed to be a success based on last year's growth patterns. Even with all the push to get former subscribers to subscribe free, that number was down. The stock fell 37 cents per share today to $21.85, which is still a strong number historically, way up from the same period last year. Overall the company is a very stable business which will increase in profitability this year and continue to do so unless something bad happens to the TV rights market, which is possible, or they reach WCW levels of acumen on the television product, which I seriously doubt can happen.

Nothing on newcomers although some of the losers on Saturday night's Takeover show are expected to be brought up today and tomorrow, and Finn Balor should be returning imminently. Since there is a several week break, they aren't pressed to put together new matches and programs tonight and tomorrow, but there should be a semblance of them. Raw, since it has the next PPV, should be creating more new directions than Smackdown this week.

There was a ton of mainstream media regarding WrestleMania, with John Cena & Nikki Bella talking their engagement on The Today Show this morning. Cena claimed only one person knew in advance and Nikki claimed to have no idea it was coming. Well, it was out of nowhere with absolutely no television build or hints.

Impact has inked a television deal with Game TV in Canada to air the shows in the same time slot as on Pop TV in the U.S., at 8 P.M. Eastern on Thursday nights. Game TV is in 9.5 million homes, which is in more homes than The Fight Network, which Anthem owns. Impact will also remain airing at the same time on The Fight Network.  

Bellator has announced a partnership with Monster Energy and NASCAR where they will present live fights as pre-race activities at the venues. The first show of the new deal will be on 5/20 at the Monster Energy All-Star race in Charlotte and second will be at the BASS Pro Shops NRA Night Race in Bristol, TN on 8/19.

WWE

  • Undertaker's gear stayed in the ring for about 45 minutes after the show before it was cleaned up and the ring was taken down. 
  • This is the trailer for a documentary that Dave Lagana was working on with Drew Galloway this past week. It shows him going from show-to-show and I believe will have some of his talks that led to his inking his new WWE deal.
  • Galloway will be allowed to finish up his bookings as he's on the 4/22 and 4/23 Evolve shows, facing Zack Sabre Jr. on the first night in Queens and Matt Riddle in an I Quit match on 4/23 in Brooklyn.
  • This week's wrestling quiz concerns Undertaker.

UFC

  • The UFC has confirmed Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone will happen on 7/8 in Las Vegas.
  • UFC has named Duncan French at the new Vice President of Performance at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas. French has more than 20 years coaching athletes at every level, including the Olympic level. He will be advising UFC fighters on nutrition, strength & conditioning and physical therapy. He served that role at Notre Dame University previously as well as the English Institute of Sport helping the British Olympic team, notably the basketball and Tae Kwon Do teams.
  • A fight between Rafael dos Anjos, the former lightweight champion moving up a division to welterweight, against Tarec Saffiedine, has been added as one of the key fights on a 6/17 show in Singapore.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • The bill changing regulations on pro wrestling in Arkansas passed 79-2 in the state House of Representatives. The new law means that any show in Arkansas that gives 20 percent of its gate to charity will no longer be regulated. In addition, if a show draws 1,500 fans or less, they are not required to have an ambulance at the event and the promoter doesn't have to post a surety bond. The bond, in theory, means that if a promoter doesn't pay talent, the money comes from the bond he's posted to get his promoters license. In theory, historically, this hasn't always been the case. The WWE would likely become the only promotion in the state that would still be subject to full regulations. In theory, this should lead to more independent shows in the state.
  • Hoosier Pro Wrestling from Saturday night in Columbus, IN before a full house: Kenny Kage b Scarecrow Eddie Felson to win the cruiserweight title, JKO b Doink, Troy Van Zant b Clint Poe-DQ, Cooter b Drax O'Brien to win the Tri States title, Dave the Rave b Kid Thunder,Vic the Bruiser b Flash Flanagan, TJ Kemp b Marc Houston to win the heavyweight title. Next show is 5/6. (thanks to Jerry Wilson)
  • Last week's episode of the ABC TV show "The Goldberg's" which is set in the 1980s and has had references many times to pro wrestling, featured a shot in the main character's bedroom of an old Hillbilly Jim action figure. (thanks to Joe Puccio)
  • Best of the World returned to TV in Fresno on KAIL TV 53 yesterday with: Sheik Khan Abadi b RJ Cruz, Reno Scum b Midnight Marvels, Eli Drake b Funnybone. Next taping is 4/15 in Merced, CA at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Hall with Joey Ryan vs. Funnybone.
  • Former pro wrestler Stan "Big K" Kowalski (Bert Smith), a honored veteran who is 90 years old, will be raising the American flag in the outfield prior to the start of the 5/5 Minnesota Twins baseball game.
  • NWL Kansas City from Saturday night in Kansas City: The Howletts b Shane & Bradley, Thor Theriot b Ken Dharma, Swoll Patrol b The End, Jeremy Wyatt b Kyle O'Reilly, Ray Briggs b Chad Barstow, Royal Blood b Niles Plonk & Belvedere, Dakota Draper b Blaine Meeks to become the NWL Kansas City champion. (thanks to Brian Hoops)
  • Rush & Atlantis & La Mascara vs. Volador Jr. & Marco Corleone & Maximo Sexy in one of those parejas incredibles match, as well as a singles rematch of Pierroth vs. Diamante Azul, headlines Puebla tonight which airs on the CMLL YouTube channel.
  • Jeff Jarrett talks about his plans for TNA and Global Force Wrestling to merge.

Today in Professional Wrestling History (4/3): WrestleMania goes Hollywood

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