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Daily Update: WWE returns, Smackdown ratings, ROH matches

T. Guerin

WWE Talent Returns

More former WWE superstars have returned. Former ECW Champion and WWE Hardcore Champion Rhyno made his Smackdown Live debut last night spearing fellow free agent Heath Slater. It appears Rhyno will stay on the main roster with the Smackdown brand.

Also returning to the WWE on the Smackdown brand is former WWE Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin. Since his release in 2010, Benjamin has worked for ROH and New Japan along with various other promotions. No word on whether Shelton's momma has also been signed. 

As mentioned yesterday, the Hype Bros tag team of Zach Ryder and Mojo Rawley are back together again, and in their first match back defeated the Vaudvillains. The match will air on Main Event. 

The ratings for Smackdown Live's second week was less than the first, but still up compared to pre-draft numbers. Raw did in fact beat Smackdown. 

[Dan Velten]


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Figure Four Weekly

READ IT HERE: Figure Four Weekly 7/25/2016: More concussion legality! - Just moments after last week's issue was put to bed, news broke that WWE had been hit by yet another lawsuit from Massachusetts lawyer Konstantine Kyros against WWE. Before, there were of a small handful of wrestlers with no prospects of dealing with WWE again suing strictly over nebulously worded concussion-related claims. This time, there are over 50 plaintiffs, including a lot of surprises, and the counts have been expanded to include variations on misclassifying them as independent contractors as part of an alleged racketeering scheme. 

Subscribers click here to continue reading.

Wrestling Observer Newsletter

READ IT HERE: July 25, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Results of the WWE draft, Brock Lesnar fails USADA drug tests, - The WWE draft ended up just as planned from the start, with the same dynamics of Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins as the top Raw program and John Cena vs. A.J. Styles as the top Smackdown program.

With one of the biggest news weeks of the year, it's a double issue of the Observer this week, covering the draft, the Jon Jones & Brock Lesnar drug test failures and drugs failed for, the Roman Reigns drug test failure, a major WWE star who is no longer under contract, lots more on the UFC sale, details on the latest concussion lawsuit against WWE, as well as coverage of the beginning of the G-1 tournament and the beginning of the Super J Cup.

The lead story covers the draft.  We look at what, when the draft idea started, were the planned main events for SummerSlam.  We look at what did and didn't change about the draft and why.  We look at what failed about the draft.  We look at what changed in the final week before the draft.  We look at why certain people were called up from NXT and some interesting decisions made.  We look at the situation with he cruiserweight, the announcing team changes, and what's new with Brock Lesnar.

We've got a complete rundown of not only who is on what brand but slotting and what the slotting shows, as well as the Cesaro interview.

We also go through the Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar drug test failures.  We talk about the drugs, what their medical usage would be for, Jones past test results and Twitter responses.  We also look at what Lesnar tested for, Mark Hunt's reaction, what punishment Lesnar is facing, and how this pertains to pro wrestling.  We also look at what John Cena said about the test failure.

We've got more on the UFC sale including several other companies that had interest in buying UFC and why each one ended up dropping out as the bidding reached high points.  We look at what different stations had wanted to do with UFC, and why a media company would have made sense as a buyer.  We look at what revenue stream and logic was used to generate the $4 billion sale figure, as well as notes on Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta after the sale.

Subscribers click here to continue reading.

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Wrestling Observer Newsletter BACK ISSUE

READ IT HERE: June 21, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Hart family files lawsuit against WWF, WCW Great American Bash review, more - The expected lawsuit filed by the Hart family against a number of defendants, the main one being the World Wrestling Federation, was announced at a press conference on 6/15 in Kansas City.


World Wrestling Entertainment

  • In this article, William Regal pays a surprise visit to Morecambe to reminisce about his early years as a wrestler.
  • Friend of the site Lance Storm gives his thoughts on the current WWE lawsuit in this article.
  • UK TV personality and late night host James Corden unleashed his parents backstage at Monday night Raw to do some investigative journalism.
  • After getting his first victory in NXT last month, Oney Lorcan (the former Biff Busick) did an interview about going back to his roots.
  • Fandango responded to Randy Orton disparaging him at Battleground.
  • In this article, WWE superstars visit their fans in a children’s hospital.

Professional Wrestling

  • Our Dave Meltzer participated in a panel with Wade Keller, Greg Oliver, and Steve Johnson at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame last weekend and the full video is available to watch.
  • Here is the video of Bob Backlund's induction speech at the HOF.
  • Ring of Honor announced a huge tag team title match for their August 19th Death Before Dishonor XIV pay-per-view with champions The Addiction defending against Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin as well as the Los Ingobernables de Japon team of Tetsuya Naito & Evil in a triple threat tag match.
  • ROH’s U.K. “Reach for the Sky Tour” tickets are on sale now for Ringside members. ROH will be returning to England for three live events on November 18th, 19th, and 20th. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday July 29th at 10am GMT (5am Eastern)
  • Ricochet will be making his return for EVOLVE on September 11th in Queens, NY.
  • Cody Rhodes teased that we may be seeing him in New Japan Pro Wrestling soon.
  • Revolution Pro Wrestling announced Jeff Cobb vs. Big Damo for their August 7th show at The Cockpit in London.


  • UFC renewed its TV rights deal with BT Sport in the United Kingdom and Ireland. No details about the financials of the deal have been revealed yet.
  • Joe Rogan signed a deal to return to the UFC commentary team for at least one more year on a reduced schedule.
  • The Guardian has a profile on Michael Bisping.
  • Bellator fighter Benson Henderson backed Mark Hunt’s call for a fighter’s union.
  • Nate Diaz appeared on Conan last night and Conor McGregor sent in a video calling him out.
  • Diaz tweeted today, “@Ufc played me again #trustnobody.” No explanation has been given on whether the tweet is regarding the Conan appearance or something more serious.


  • This article takes a look back at the good old days of wrestling in Portland, Oregon.
  • Abdullah The Butcher’s House of ribs closed without much fanfare. In 2014, Abdullah, real name Larry Shreve, was found guilty of negligence, assault and battery related to transmitting Hepatitis C to Devon Nicholson, by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The Fulton County court in Georgia ruled that the Canadian judgement would be upheld in the state of Georgia. (thanks to Anthony Ambrose)
  • “Rowdy” Roddy Piper’s last movie The Bet, is out today. Click here to view the trailer.
  • This article discusses an update to be made to the old school style “ear muff” headgear worn by amateur wrestlers, in order to prevent head injuries. The new headgear will look more like something you’d see worn by rugby players or soccer goalkeepers.
  • RESULTS: July 23, Franklin Horner Community Center - Afternoon Card, CHIKARA: When Nature Calls - Kobald def Evil Uno, Rick Riley, Saul Caprice & The Big Deal def ???, Getty Young & Justin Bachman, Oleg The Usurper def Officer Warren Barksdale, The heXed Men (Icarus, Kodama, Mark Angelosetti & Obariyon) def Heidi Lovelace, Princess KimberLee & Team Sea Stars (Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo), Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) def 3.0 (Scott Parker & Shane Matthews) and Hermit Crab & Rock Lobster and The Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian), Drew Gulak def Dasher Hatfield
  • RESULTS: July 23, Evening Card, CHIKARA: Back In The Habit - Missile Assault Man def Stephon Smith, Soldier Ant def Lucas Calhoun, Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) def N_R_G (Hype Rockwell & Race Jaxon), Los Ice Creams (El Hijo del Ice Cream & Ice Cream Jr.) def N_R_G (Hype Rockwell & Race Jaxon) (c) - TITLE CHANGE !!!, The Colony (Silver Ant & Worker Ant) def The Batiri (Kodama & Obariyon), Rick Riley, Saul Caprice & The Big Deal def The United Nations (Juan Francisco de Coronado, Prakash Sabar & The Proletariat Boar Of Moldova) Hallowicked (c) def Fire Ant Princess KimberLee def Shayne Hawke (4:00)

The Summer Slam Events Calendar

  • July 30 - HYBRID Wrestling at Lighthouse Hall in Eddystone, PA! To purchase tickets, call Mike Hamilton at 484-478-1308 or message the HYBRID Facebook page.
  • July 29, 30, 31 - ECCW returns to the Agrifair 2016 Abbortsford, BC with three shows per day. Friday and Saturday shows start at 12:00PM – 3:00PM – 8:00PM. Saturday July 30 wil feature “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. Sunday’s shows start at 11:00AM – 2PM and 5PM
  • July 30 - Steel Domain Wrestling: Legion Mania - American Legion in Richfield, MN.
  • July 30 - UFC 201 - LAWLER VS. WOODLEY from Atlanta, GA
  • July 30 - WSOF 32: Moraes vs. Hill 2 - Live on NBCSN from Everett, Washington. Also featuring Ben “Phoenix Jones” Fodor vs Caros Fodor in a brother vs brother fight
  • July 30 - Smash Wrestling - Oshawa Music Hall, 39 King St E, Oshawa, Ontario L1H 1B2
  • July 31 - BATTLEWAR 36; Les Foufounes Électriques, 87 Sainte-Catherine Street East, Montreal, QC
  • Aug 4-6 -  !BANG! TV - Professional Wrestling Spectacular, 3 charity shows in 3 days. - More information.
  • Aug 5 - NEF Presents Dana White: Looking for a Fight. More info here.
  • Aug 6 - Smokey Mountain Wrestling: Fire on the Mountain - Jason Kincaid defends against Elliott Russell, Civic Auditorium, 1550 Fort Henry Dr., Kingsport, TN
  • Aug 6 - Crossfire Wrestling return to Bissell's Hideaway for Battle Of Bissells II. The price is $20 for all day pass at the park and the wrestling show.
  • Aug 6 - Upstate Professional Wrestling presents: Headlocks & Homeruns 5 at the Premier Sports Center in Webster, New York.
  • Aug 6 - UFC FIGHT NIGHT - RODRIGUEZ VS CACERES, from Salt Lake City, UT
  • Aug 6 - Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out in Cleveland at Our Lady of Mt Carmel with Crazy Mary Dobson, Allysin "Sienna" Kay, Veda Scott, Shayna Baszler, Annie Social, Kelly Klein, Heidi Lovelace, Lufisto, Nicole Savoy and more.
  • Aug 12 - BIG WEST WRESTLING presents BOWLING, BODYSLAMS & BBQ, Lake City Bowling & Billiards: Kelowna, BC
  • Aug 12 - Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Jeff Cobb has been added to the Revolution Pro show in London at York Hall in Bethnal Green.
  • Aug 13 - Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling: CIVIL WAR, Russian Community Centre, 2114 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC 7:30pm Bell Time
  • Aug 13 - Viva La Lucha: San Diego, CA, Mongomery High School - This show is a special fundraiser event in the 619 featuring Rey Mysterio, John Morrision, TJP, Nicho/Psychosis, Teddy Hart, Willie Mack, Vermin, Los Luchas and more.
  • Aug 13 - World Women’s Wrestling 2016 IRON MAIDEN Championship at the America Civic Center in Wakefield, MA
  • Aug 13 - wXw NOW - The End (Tommy End's final show in Germany, booked by The Sumerian Death Squad)
  • Aug 13 - NWA Mid South Wrestling in Dyresburg, TN at the Herb Welch Wrestle Plex headlined by Matt Riviera vs. Jeremy Moore.
  • Aug 19 - We Watch Wrestling LIVE Podcast Recording – Copper Still 4485 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004
  • Aug 19 - Superkick'd Pro Wrestling Rock Show - Blazed The Great Hall, 1087 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario M6J 1H3
  • Aug 19 - The Hardys, Drew Galloway, Ethan Carter III and Mickie James appear for House of Glory Wrestling in Jamaica, NY. That's the Friday before SummerSlam.
  • Aug 20 - "Best In The West" in Fresno, CA from the VFW Hall #8900, located at 3585 N Blythe at 6pm. Featuring Jeff Cobb, Joey Ryan, and Mustufa Saed.
  • Aug 20 - UFC 202 - DIAZ VS MCGREGOR 2, from Las Vegas, NV
  • Aug 21 - WWE Presents THE SummerSlam PPV event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It will be the twenty-ninth event under the SummerSlam chronology and the second consecutive SummerSlam to be hosted in the Barclays Center.
  • Aug 21 - Chavo Guerrero Jr. will appear for Smash Wrestling on in Pickering, Ontario at Super Showdown lV.
  • Aug 21 - Octagon & Tinieblas Jr. vs. Fuerza Guerrera & Pirata Morgan headlines in Houston at the Arena Theater.  
  • Aug 26 - All Star Wrestling - Cloverdale, BC at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds Alice McKay Building, it’s the semifinals and finals of the All Star Wrestling Tag Team Tournament.
  • Aug 26 - Absolute Intense Wrestling - Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 1355 W. 70th St. Cleveland, OH
  • Aug 26 - CONFLICT Wrestling: "Black or White"
  • Aug 26 - Bellator 160 from the Pond in Anaheim and live on Spike TV. Benson Henderson vs Patricio Pitbull Freire
  • Aug 27 - Battlearts: Summer Heat - 4880 Tomken Road, Mississauga, Ontario L4W 1J8
  • Aug 27 - LuchaTO at the Benelife Wellness Centre, 68 Tycos Drive, Toronto, Ontario, M6B 1V9
  • Aug 27 - UFC FIGHT NIGHT - Maia vs. Condit from Vancouver, BC.
  • AUG 28 - Steel City Pro Wrestling: End Game Aug 28th - 222 Queenston Rd, Hamilton, ON L8K 1G6, Canada
  • Aug 28 - Destiny wrestling proudly presents “SUMMER HEAT” at the Battlearts Wrestling Academy. Featuring MOOSE!

TODAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (7/27): Hansen wins AJPW Triple Crown; Angle wins WWE Title