THE LATEST NEWS
- Johnny Mundo confirmed for next season of 'Survivor'
- Tag Team title match set for NXT TakeOver: Chicago
- WWE confirms start time change for pay-per-views
- WWE NXT results: Johnny Gargano returns to TV
THE LATEST AUDIO
- WOL: WWE PPV change, WWE and UFC TV deals, Dave Meltzer interview, tons more! 5/24
- WOR: UFC to ESPN, Smackdown, 205 Live, New Japan, tons more! 5/24
IMPACT TONIGHT ON POP TV
- Matt Sydal vs. El Hijo del Fantasma
- Moose vs. Kongo Kong
- Petey Williams vs. Dezmond Xavier
- LAX vs. Trevor Lee & Caleb Konley
- OVE vs. Drago & Aerostar
NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS TOMORROW FROM OSAKA ON NEW JAPAN WORLD
- Chris Sabin vs. Marty Scurll
- Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kushida
- Sho vs. Desperado
- Hiromu Takahashi vs. Dragon Lee
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: WWE cashes in on TV rights boom
The company appears set to cash in on the live sports television rights boom they've been banking on since before their last deal with NBC Universal was agreed to in 2014. The Hollywood Reporter first reported on May 16th that the USA Network would likely be retaining Raw, with NBC Universal paying as much as three times more for the show than they did previously, which would equate to somewhere around $240 million annually. But in prioritizing Raw, it meant that SmackDown would be shopped around to other suitors.
The two biggest stories from an industry business perspective broke on consecutive days, the WWE deal with FOX and the UFC deal with ESPN. This issue has the most detailed coverage of both stories you'll find anywhere, from the money, what the money means to both sides, what the deals entail, how this changes things for both companies and much more.
Look at Jimmy Pitaro's thoughts on UFC to ESPN, the aging of the UFC and WWE audience, is UFC really the youngest skewing sport, the good and bad of the ESPN deal, the value of the WWE and its stock, Vince McMahon's personal value with the stock, the timing and why these deals came in the way they did, value of streaming vs. television, the archaic pay structure in WWE, and the difference in television hours of WWE and UFC going forward with the new deals.
Read about the big shows upcoming, New Japan at the Cow Palace, All In, NXT Chicago, Money in the Bank and SummerSlam with a lesson on ticket sales, the secondary market and where people are coming from who are attending these shows.
Check out the angle this past week that could lead to one of the biggest matches in the history of Mexican wrestling, L.A. Park vs. Rush in a mask vs. hair match.
This issue updates the plans for PPV shows and time running with the latest changes made, an update on the legal situation with C.M. Punk and Dr. Christopher Amann. Look at the idea of other groups streaming on WWE Network and the latest talk on it.
Read the plans for a WWE summer tournament, Dwayne Johnson's latest business, movies with wrestlers, Cena & Nikki Bella, More WWE injury updates, wrestlers returning to WWE, U.K. tournament first round matches, new WWE signing, next MSG card, Mauro Ranallo news, TV ratings in the U.K., most-watched shows for the week on WWE Network, as well as a look at all the WWE & NXT live shows of the past week with match-by-match coverage and business notes.
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.
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THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE
WWE stock took another rise today to $58.78 per share after BITG analyst Brandon Ross targeted the price to $75 per share based on the value of the two new television deals. They are projecting EBITDA of $501.8 million in 2020 and $246.8 million in 2019. He also hinted at a stock buy back with the level of profitability in 2020.
I have not seen the Mauro Ranallo documentary that airs tomorrow night on Showtime but people who have seen it have raved about it. It airs at 9 p.m.
Best of the Super Juniors results from today in Shiba:
- Tiger Mask (3-0) beat Bushi (0-3)
- Yoshinobu Kanemaru (1-2) beat ACH (1-2)
- Flip Gordon (2-1) beat Taiji Ishimori (2-1)
- Will Ospreay (2-1) beat Yoh (2-1)
Impact will have a show on 9/9 in Manchester, UK as part of Wrestling MediaCon 2018 and issued a challenge to face any U.K. promotion. Media Con will take place 9/8 and 9/9 at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester. Names listed as appearing include myself, Sean Waltman, Colt Cabana, Nick Aldis, Don Callis, Findlay Martin, Dave Lagana, Joe Hendry, Patrick Lennon and others. Promotions involved include NWA, NGW, Defiant, Revolution Pro and Impact.
All key parties were in court today for the Dr. Christopher Amannn lawsuit against Phil Brooks (C.M.Punk).
Bellator 200 takes place tomorrow at SSE Wembley in London. Weigh-ins for the TV fights earlier today were:
- Rafael Cavalho (185) vs. Gegard Mousasi (185) for the middleweight title
- Michael Venom Page (170.4) vs. David Rickels (170.5)
- Aaron Chalmers (162.5) vs.Ash Griffiths (164.5)
- Mike Shipman (185.5) vs. Carl Noon (184.5)
- Anastasia Yankova (125) vs. Kate Jackson (124.5)
- Phil Davis (206) vs. Linton Vassell (205)
- Being advertised locally for the 6/25 Raw in San Diego is Roman Reigns & Braun Strowman & Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal & Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens, plus appearances of Ronda Rousey, Kurt Angle, Nia Jax, Finn Balor and Sasha Banks.
- WWE has honored for its Be A Star initiative at the 2018 Cynopsis Social Good Awards in the Anti-Bully Campaign category.
- Aleister Black was a guest on PAUW, the big late-night show in The Netherlands. Show did 900,000 plus viewers. (thanks to Henk Mulder)
- Cub Swanson vs. Renato Moicano has been added to the 8/4 show in Los Angeles.
- Cody & Brandi Rhodes working on a training camp as well as an American Dream Scholarship for wrestlers. (thanks to Chris Arrant)
- KSW, the Polish promotion known for producing the best promotional videos in the world, returns on 6/9 at the Ergo Arena in Gdansk. It will air on iPPV and be headlined by Marius Pudzianowski (12-5) vs. Karol Bedorf (14-3). Pudzianowski is a huge drawing card in that country.
- FITE TV issued a press release announcing a working agreement with Global Force Entertainment, which apparently means Jeff Jarrett is back promoting the brand. They announced they would be working together to develop content for the FITE combat sports platform. They will be working together to develop and acquire wrestling events for the platform. They will also work together on acquiring and developing non-combat sports programming.
- Added to the 6/7 MLW show in Orlando at Gilt Nightclub are Joey Janela vs. MJF and Sammy Guevara vs. Fred Yehi. They also announced a Simon Gotch Prize Fight Open Challenge.
- Impact announced a public Q&A on 6/4 in Toronto at 10 a.m. at the Real Sports Bar & Grille. Appearing at the sports bar will be Austin Aries, Moose, Madison Rayne, Su Yung, Gail Kim, Ed Nordholm, Scott D'Amore and Don Callis. They will be there selling tickets and promoting Slammiversary which takes place on 7/22 in Toronto.
- AAW is continuing its $10 off all tickets for tomorow night's show in Chicago at Logan Square Arena by going to www.aawproticketleap.com and using the code AAWTNP. The card is headlined by Jessicka Havok vs. Kimber Lee for the AAW title, Darby Allin vs. Brody King, Penta 0M & Rey Fenix vs. AR Fox & Myron Reed, Eddie Kingston vs. Fred Yehi, Sami Callihan & Jake & Dave Crist vs. Shane Strickland & Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz and more.
- Rise will debut a weekly Internet show called Rise - Ascent with new shows every Wednesday on the Rise streaming service at www.riseascent.com. The shows will be building shows on 6/29 in South Gate, CA and 7/7 in Chicago. The service is $4.99 per month. Jimmy Jacobs will be working as the writer and producer of the show starting with the 6/29 show.
- British Strong Style will be in Singapore on 6/22 for Singapore Pro Wrestling facing Trexxus & Andreuw Tang & Aiden Rix.
- Bull Miller, a longtime wrestler and promoter for the IWA out of Columbus, OH passed away this morning. He had a number of health setbacks in recant years including heart problems, diabetes, and renal failure as well as an infection that resulted in part of his leg being amputated. His friends have set up a Go Fund me.
- Progress and Evolve will be doing a joint show together on 8/4 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. They will also be doing a show on 8/7 in Queens,NY at La Boom. Tickets for the shows for each promotion on those days (different tickets) go on sale Monday at NoonEastern.
- Also announced for Evolve on 6/23 in Queens, NY is Matt Riddle vs. Shane Strickland for the Evolve title. For 6/24 in Melrose, MA they've announced Riddle vs. DJZ, AR Fox vs. Walter and Chris Dickinson vs. Tracy Williams.
- MCW on 6/9 in Joppa, MD with Joey Mercury as the headliner.
- PWE on 7/15 in Oshawa, ONT at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43.
- Tuff N Ufff MMA on 6/1 at the Henderson Events Plaza.
- Pro Wrestling Revolver on 8/3 in Dayton, OH at the Rockstar Pro Arena with Sami Callihan vs. Matt Palmer in a street fight plus and eight tag team tournament that will include OVE, Besties in the World, LAX, Nevaeh & Jessicka Havok and Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz.
- VIPW tomorrow night in Victoria, BC at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91.
- Hoosier Pro on 6/2 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds.
- Legacy Fighting on 6/22 in Beaumont, TX at the Civic Center with Brendan Allen vs. Larry Crowe as the main event live on AXS TV.
- Legacy Fighting on 6/29 in Phoenix at the Comercia Theater headlined by Matthew Frincu vs. Christian Aguilera at welterweight plus Casey Kenny vs. former UFC fighter Roman Salazar. This show will also air on AXS TV.
- Aung La N Sang defends the One middleweight title against Ken Hasegawa on 6/29 in Yangon, Myanmar.
- Stardom from yesterday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo before 860 fans: Kaori Yoneyama & Ruaka & Leo Onozaki b Starlight Kid & Candy Floss, Session Moth Martina b Zoe Lucas, Jungle Kyona & Natsuko Tora b Konami & AZM, Kagetsu & Hazumi & Hana Kimura & Natsu Sumire b Mayu Iwatani & Tam Nakano & Shiki Shibusawa & Saki Kashima in 2/3 falls, Momo Watanabe b Io Shirai to win the Wonder of Stardom title. Really good main event. Kyona and Hazuki both challenged Watanabe for the title after the match. (thanks to Jake Koch)
- wXw TV tapings in Bielefld, Germany on 5/19: Bobby Gunns b David Starr to keep Shotgun title, Killer Kelly & Toni Storm b LuFisto & Melanie Gray, Marius Al-Ani b Ivan Kiev, TKO b Juvenile X, Veit Muller b Mike Schwarz, Lucky Kid b Julian Pace, Ivan Kiev & Pete Bouncer b Francis Kaspin & Jay Skillett and Avalanche & Julian Nero, Emil Sitoci b Dirty Dragan, Ilja Dragunov & Walter b Absolute Andy & Alexander James. (thanks to Markus Gronemann)
- CWE tonight in Calgary at the Marlborough Community Hall.
- Bar Wrestling on 6/28 in Los Angeles has Delilah Doom & Eli Everfly vs. Brian Cage & Melissa Santos, plus Tessa Blanchard, Brody King, Tyler Bateman, Taya Valkyrie, Super Panda, Zach Gowen, Jimmy Jacobs, Mia Yim, Yuma, Rachael Ellering, Chelsea Green, Peter Avalon, Ray Rosas,Miranda Alize, Kris Wolf, Laura James, Andrew Everett, Britt Baker, Douglas James and Joey Ryan.
- Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson appear at Pro Wrestling Tees on 6/1 for a free event. Other appearances announced are The Nasty Boys on 6/9, Bruce Prichard on 6/15, WWE producer TJ Wilson (Tyson Kidd) on 6/23, Sabu & Super Genie on 7/14, Tenille Dashwood on 7/28, Noelle Foley on 8/11, Sean Waltman on 8/25 and C.M. Punk on 8/31.
Daily Professional Wrestling History: Harley Race wins his first NWA World title
12th Annual F4W Empire Vegas Convention
Greetings friends and fans of the F4W / Wrestling Observer website. It's time to announce the details of the 12th annual F4W / Wrestling Observer Empire Las Vegas Convention~!
This year's event will be taking place in Las Vegas from August 16th to the 20th and will again be in conjunction with WWE's SummerSlam weekend a.k.a. Super China Buffet Day~! There will still be the usual events, but our big draw will be WWE's summer blockbuster PPV, SummerSlam. As per tradition, we will all gorge ourselves at a Las Vegas buffet, and then watch SummerSlam in a rented out movie theater. All information and ticketing prices are available now. Sign up ASAP as spots are limited for some events.
This year will also feature a Future Stars Wrestling show which will include the first ever Gladys Gibson Doubles Match Classic! Already booked for the show are the teams Mia Yim & Leva Bates, Hudson Envy & Shotzi Blackheart, Samantha Heights & Brittany Blake, and Miranda Alize & Kylie Rae. Kris Wolf will also be appearing along with many more future stars. There may even be a classic star or two making an appearance. You won't want to miss this show! Check out the convention's Facebook page for all additional information.
- Poll opinions: email@example.com
- Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Show results and news tips: email@example.com
- Wrestling Observer Radio questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Support the Empire~! with F4W shirts. Grab yours today!