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SUN. UPDATE: Elimination Chamber preview, Destination America, Lesnar sells out, Alves injury, Rollins talks curb stomp

By">Dave Meltzer

We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's Elimination Chamber show, so you can send a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to">

We're also looking for reports on last night's WWE house show in Laredo, TX as well as on tonight's Evolve show

WWE Elimination Chamber at 8 p.m. Eastern from Corpus Christi on the WWE Network

*Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for WWE title - This isn't the time for Rollins to be losing the title with Brock Lesnar returning and Roman Reigns still not having gotten his main event title shots.  These two had a really good long match last night in Laredo getting ready and I can't imagine this bout not being great. 

*John Cena vs. Kevin Owens non-title - While not billed as the main event, most consider it the real main event on the show.  The non-title aspect would seem like a way for Owens to win while keeping Cena as champion.  The fact Owens has laid Cena out at every turn would normally indicate a Cena win.  But I can't make sense out of Owens not winning here in his first big PPV match unless they've got a really creative finish.  Plus, it's not scheduled as a one-and-done program.  It will be interesting to see what kind of a match the two have and how the crowd reacts.  Tickets were originally for a Sunday house show, which means more kids and families and it's a small building.  But there were enough tickets left for the TV fans to get enough to where they'll make enough noise as the minority.  Cena went on TV and practically set up "Fight Owens Fight" chants if people pay attention.  No matter what, this is Owens' biggest match and it's really the most important match on the show long-term.

*IC title Chamber match:  Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. ? (formerly Rusev, no official announcement has been made) vs. R-Truth vs. Ryback vs. King Barrett - As of today, Rusev was still being advertised.  There was talk of Bray Wyatt earlier in the week being added.  At one point, Sheamus was scheduled to win, but we'll see.  Barrett has lost so much late that you almost have to consider his winning as a possibility.  Ziggler is also a possibility.  Ryback would be a surprise and R-Truth would be a shock and also a silly move.

*Tag title Chamber match:  New Day vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. Lucha Dragons vs. The Ascension vs. Prime Time Players vs. Los Matadores - It's too early to take the title from The New Day.  On paper, there are enough good wrestlers here that it should be a hell of a match.

*Neville vs. Bo Dallas - This will probably be short and Neville should win with the red arrow.  

*Nikki Bella vs. Paige vs. Naomi for Divas title - It feels like it's time for Naomi to win. 

        Every WWE show these days looks good on paper.  They could add a match, but probably don't have to because the top four matches should all get a lot of time and on paper all should be very good. 

Evolve 44 i PPV tonight at 8 p.m. from the Ronkonkoma Fire Department Hall in Ronkonkoma, NY at for $9.99 plus on the WWN Roku channel 

Rey Hours vs. ?

Biff Busick vs. Mike Bailey

Rich Swann vs. Trevor Lee

Anthony Nese vs. TJ Perkins

Drew Gulak vs. Davey Richards

Johnny Gargano vs Ethan Page - If Gargano wins, Page leaves the promotion, if Page wins, Gargano must shake his hand

Drew Galloway vs. Roderick Strong for Evolve title

Raw is Monday night in San Antonio.

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday night in Houston.


The newest issue of Figure Four Weekly is up on the site for subscribers (subscribe here) with a detailed look at the history of popular music being used in pro wrestling, including:

* Who actually did the first pro wrestling music video?

* The role of popular songs gtting major acts over.

* What made the use of music in ECW so special.

* How "real" songs make wrestlers stand out in a sea of in-house productions.

And much more. Plus, as always, we have  all of the usual reviews and international news.

Also, now available for the first time on Kindle (meaning Kindle devices and anything with the Kindle app) is Fall Guys, the seminal 1937 book that has been described as being like the 1930s version of the Wrestling Observer. It was surprisingly not on Kindle already, so we put together a nice version with a full table of contents w/ chapter marks, proper formatting on everything, etc. Right now it's available from the AmericanCanadian, and Australian Amazon/Kindle stores OR you can also buy it from anywhere in the world on PayHip, who will provide you with both Kindle and ePub (every other e-reader) format files, and you can either sideload them to your device or have them email it to your Kindle. 


The breakdown of the ROH deal on Destination America, how this affects TNA, the time frame of both company's deals with the station and why this went down is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We also look at Daniel Cormier winning the world championship and questions arising, full coverage of UFC 187, Full coverage of Samoa Joe to NXT and the last special, the AAA World Cup coverage, Bischoff sues TNA and the UFC hall of Fame.

The new issue is up on the site at June 1, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: ROH to Destination America, Bischoff sues TNA, UFC Hall of Fame

Web site subscriptions, which include access to both current and older newsletters as well as every audio show in the history of the site are at  Sign up here for as low as $9.99 per month!

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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.

The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.

We look at TNA's actions over the past week since the original Observer story broke, the expansion in coverage of ROH, why the ROH deal got done, how Dixie Carter handled the situation, the conference call with TNA talent and how it went, the lineup for the first month of ROH on Destination America and the key show to watch, what to expect from the ratings, the ROH PPV schedule and the Samoa Joe situation with ROH.

We also look at Daniel Cormier winning the UFC light heavyweight title, the Jon Jones situation, the situation with Ryan Bader, the shadow over the Cormier win, Vitor Belfort physically, the Arlovski vs. Browne fight, all the business notes from the show including a top ten of all time, and match-by-match coverage.

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We've also got full coverage of the World Cup show, including screw-ups, best foreign stars, and the awards from the show.

We also look at Elimination Chamber, the Rusev injury, Ronda Rousey and next year's WrestleMania, talk about a gimmick for a future NXT special, notes on the new season of Total Divas, Notes on someone who is a TV star that got a tryout as a WWE star this past week and how it went, A look behind the scenes on the Daniel Bryan/A.J. Lee angle, how WWE is changing its thoughts on talent, another celebrity angle, NXT dates and a look at the upcoming Australia tour.

Plus we've got notes from all the arena events from the past week as well as business notes.

We look at the Bischoff-Hervey lawsuit against TNA.

We also have a full breakdown on the UFC Hall of Fame and its new members.  We look at their histories, why they are in and more.

We've got first word on the Extreme Rules PPV business.

The Observer is the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.

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Also in this week's issue:

--A look at CMLL's new tournament over the next few months and background of the guys

--What pro wrestling event in Mexico will have a number of U.S. reporters from another sort attending

--Tetsuya Naito in CMLL

--Wife of wrestler planning oncoming out of retirement

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--King of Gate finals and rundown of semifinals

--Looking at the booking from there

--Triple Crown title change

--MMA fighter coming to All Japan

--Full coverage of the first week of the Best of the Super Juniors tournament

--Current standings

--Why this year doesn't have as much interest as in the past

--Why all the booking had to be redone after the first night

--How business has been

--Tournament lineup for this week

--Satoru Sayama health update

--Terry Funk news

--World champions from two different promotions team up together in a third promotion

--Global Force Wrestling update

--Go fund me campaigns for wrestlers

--Update on the past week's PWG show

--Trish Stratus talks thinking about doing MMA

--One of the biggest indie show of the summer

--Tammy Sytch on doing adult videos

--Latest on Lucha Underground and season two

--Alberto El Patron talks about doing MMA and Bill Goldberg

--The back story in one of Lucha Underground's main angles

--ROH signs action figure deal

--Update on the next ROH PPV show

--TNA changes up television tapings and why

--Dixie Carter reality show

--Christy Hemme leaves company

--History of TNA sale talks

--Samoa Joe on why he left TNA

--Dana White talks UFC 189

--Where ticket sales for the show are coming from

--Dana White talks the PPV numbers

--Update on UFC in New York and where it stands

--Sara McMann thinking of legal action on the Reebok deal

--This week's UFC show

--Tons of new UFC fights

--Lawsuit settlement results in apologies

--Suspended fighter thinks about going to Olympics

--Hector Lombard talks Josh Barnett

--Ronda Rousey at the  Wall Street Journal cafe brunch

--Fighter who had announced retirement now coming back

--Biggest World Series of Fighting show to date

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*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)

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*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)

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*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)

*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)

*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)

*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)

*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)

*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)

*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)

*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)

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*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)

*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)

*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)

*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)

*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)

*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)

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*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)

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  • Bryan and I will be back late tonight covering Elimination Chamber and taking e-mail questions that can be sent to
  • The Friday night shows (New Japan and TNA) were really strong.  Very notable that Destination America during TNA did no promotion for ROH in front of the audience mostly likely to watch the show.  If you watched TNA, all the promotion was about 9 p.m. Wednesday, not 8 p.m.
  • Randy Orton, who had the weekend off, was in San Antonio (where Raw comes from tomorrow already today, as was Big Show.  So that would indicate both return to TV.   Show was on the road for the house shows, working last night in Laredo.  Both were kept off TV the past few weeks since they weren't booked on tonight' show.  
  • The movie "San Andreas," starring Dwayne Johnson, is estimated at doing $53.22 million in its opening weekend, beating predictions of $45 million solidly.  It opened at No. 1 at the box office, but that had been a lock ahead of time as nothing was going to be close.  Reviews were mixed that I saw.  It's also already topped $60 million outside the U.S.
  • The announcement of Brock Lesnar for the 7/4 show at Sumo Hall in Tokyo led to the show having a strong surge in ticket sales to where it is now sold out.  They also announced Hideo Itami would make an appearance on the show, but he won't be wrestling on it.    
  • Thiago Alves is probably going to need surgery due to the nasty broken nose he suffered last night in his fight with Carlos Condit.  His nose bone ended up lodged in his forehead and that's why the doctor stopped the fight even though his corner was begging for them to let him continue. 
  • In winning via finish, Condit's 10 stoppages in his UFC/WEC days ties with Matt Brown for second place all-time in welterweight division history behind Matt Hughes with 11.  It was the first time Alves had lost via  
  • Only combat sport search item that had any traction this weekend was Amir Khan, who was No. 6 on Friday with 20,000 searches.  Elimination Chamber should top 100,000 tonight. 
  • Sasha Banks, who didn't work NXT TV or house shows last week, was back in action for the NXT shows this past weekend, but used in trios matches instead of singles matches.
  • Jerry Lawler has a 40th anniversary celebration show on Thursday night in Jackson, TN at the Oman Arena.  I'm not sure what it's the 40th anniversary of because Lawler was a major star there by 1972, but it's probably the best idea for a celebration they could come up with.  Lawler vs. Tommy Dreamer in an anything goes Hardcore match is the main event, plus James Storm vs. Chase Stevens, Brian Christopher vs. Thorn, Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson vs. Chris Michaels & LT Falk, plus Bill Dundee, Sabu and Derrick King are on the show, and there is a Battle Royal.
  • Seth Rollins talks his past, what he wants from his future and the curb stomp
  • USA today on Dwayne Johnson
  • A story on Sami Zayn being a fan of the Montreal Canadiens  Hab at Heart : Sami Zayn - Montréal Canadiens - News
  • Evolve from last night in Queens, NY:  Rey Hours b Anthony Nese, Davey Richards b Caleb Konley (strong match), TJ Perkins b Mike Bailey, Chris Hero b Trevor Lee (also a great match), Rich Swann & Johnny Gargano b Drew Gulak & Tracy Williams to keep the Dragon Gate USA tag titles, Drew Galloway b Biff Busick to retain the Dragon Gate USA title.
  • Jake Roberts will be doing a speaking tour on 7/31 in Kitchener, ONT at the Moose Lodge, with Jim Duggan as his opening act.  Tickets are $30 and $35, with $70 VIP tickets at 226-647-4402.  Only 200 seats are available.
  • Great North Wrestling from Friday night in Smiths Falls, ONT:  Knine b Patrick Shenzy & Big Bad Ray, Bryan Briggs & Nathan Banner b Hart Throbs-DQ,. Soa Amin b ?:, Darko b Spoiler, Eve b Malicia-DQ, Hannibal b Jeremy Prophet, Brutus Beefcake & Grape Crusher b Preston Perry & Sexy Eddy.
  • Great North Wrestling from Saturday night in Ottawa:  Harley Davison's won six man, Knine won handicap match, The Spoiler b Majic Mario, Nathan Banner b Sexy Eddy, Malicia b Eve, Jeremy Prophet b Darko-COR, Hannibal b Soa Amin, Brutus Beefcake & Grape Crusher b Hart Throbs.
  • In results from today's Super Junior tournament in Numazu:

Chase Owens b Gedo

Jushin Liger b Baretta

Kushida b Tiger Mask

  • UFC picks from last night.  Me, Josh Nason, Mike Sempervive, David Bixenspan, Steve Juon, Mike Sawyer and Jack Encarnacao all went 3-2 and John Pollock and Frontrow Brian went 2-3.
  • I Believe in Wrestling's Florida J Cup from last night in Orlando:  Lince Dorado b Jason Cade, Aaron Epic b Josh Hess-DQ, Jesus (Ricardo) Rodriguez b Chasyn Rance, Jonny Vandal b Vertigo, Santana Garrett b Cherry Layne to keep NWA women's title, Aaron Epic b Jesus Rodriguez, Lince Dorado b Jonny Vandal, Mike Patrick & Leo Brien & Mike Reed & Chico Adams & Tyranus b Rhett Giddins & Jody Kristofferson & Gabriel Black & Joey Mayberry & Josh Parker, Aaron Epic b Lince Dorado.  Next show is 6/13 with Teddy Hart as special guest.     
  • World League Wrestling from last night in Troy, MO:  Air Raid b Michael Magnuson-DQ, John E Rock won three-way over Evan Morris and Dustin Bozworth, Dave DeLorean b Brandon Espinosa, Michael Magnusson b Justin D'Air, Superstar Steve Fender & Derek McQuinn b Leland Race & Trevor Murdoch (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
  • Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls worked last night for Explosive Pro Wrestling in Perth, Western Australia.  They teamed with Jonah Rock (who they sometimes team with in NOAH) & Marcus Pitt against locals Hayden Zenith & Michael Morleone & Scotty Ryan & Emanuelle.  (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • Justin Gabriel faces New Japan's Chase Owens on 6/26 in Winnipeg at Holy Cross Gym Hall.
  • In response to questions from last night about promotions on their TV promoting stuff from other companies, Stampede Wrestling used to promote WWF house shows in the 80s in Calgary since Stu Hart was the local WWF promoter.  Sometimes they'd have Bret Hart on Stampede Wrestling promoting his matches.  WWF promoted ECW and UFC PPV's in the 90s as part of deals made for footage. 
  • The WWE web site has a photo gallery on Samoa Joe in the indies, mostly in ROH with Daniel Bryan, Kenta Kobashi, KENTA, Takeshi Morishima, Seth Rollins,. but no C.M. Punk.  They also did a story on his career, talking about his start in UPW, going to Japan for different groups, ROH, but there is no mention at all in the story of TNA, meaning a selective decade of amnesia. (thanks to Jeff Parker)
  • Lucha Xtreme TV from last night in Fresno:  Kikyo b Luscious Lynn, Mustafa Saed b Elia So'oalo, CB 3 b Johnny Dynamo, Marcus Ericks b Wiseguy (thanks to Jon Southerland)


1946 - El Santo beat Tuffy Truesdale to win the vacant Mexican national middleweight title

1976 - Jim Breaks beat Vic Falukner in Bradford to win the British welterweight title

1979 - Great Kojika & Motoshi Okuma beat The Sheepherders in Noshiro to win the vacant All Asia tag titles

2002 - Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero beat El Hijo del Santo & Negro Casas in Mexico City to win the CMLL tag tiles

2014 - Takashi Sugiura & Masato Tanaka beat Takeshi Morishima & Maybach Taniguchi to win the GHC tag tiles


2:00 AM ET
TOUGH ENOUGH The Miz gives the contestants a taste of what life as a WWE Superstar means outside the ring. Back in the gym, the competition heats up.

3:00 AM ET
WWE NXT After the shocking events of NXT Takeover: Unstoppable, NXT Champion Kevin Owens addresses his actions to Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe.

4:00 AM ET
OLD SCHOOL Old School card from MSG features 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper taking on Ric Flair in singles action. Legion of Doom vs. Natural Disasters and more.

6:00 AM ET
WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER 2015 The Intercontinental Championship and the WWE Tag Team Titles will be decided inside the merciless Elimination Chamber, LIVE on WWE Network!

9:00 AM ET
WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER 2015 The Intercontinental Championship and the WWE Tag Team Titles will be decided inside the merciless Elimination Chamber, LIVE on WWE Network!

12:00 PM ET
WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER 2015 The Intercontinental Championship and the WWE Tag Team Titles will be decided inside the merciless Elimination Chamber, LIVE on WWE Network!

3:00 PM ET
WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER 2015 The Intercontinental Championship and the WWE Tag Team Titles will be decided inside the merciless Elimination Chamber, LIVE on WWE Network!

6:00 PM ET
TOTAL DIVAS Eva's sexy bachelorette in Curacao gets heated when TJ destroy's Nattie's hopes of rekindling their marriage.

7:00 PM ET
FIRST LOOK A First Look to watch exclusive content from WWE Home Video's latest release, Daniel Bryan - Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes!

7:30 PM ET
RAW PRE-SHOW From WWE Studios in Stamford Connecticut. Scott Stanford, David Otunga and Corey Graves cover all the events leading up to Monday Night Raw.

8:00 PM ET
MONDAY NIGHT WAR It takes an army to win a war, and both WCW and WWE were developing a deep roster in order to emerge victorious.

9:00 PM ET
WWE COUNTDOWN Counting down the Top Ten Biggest Crybabies of all time!

10:00 PM ET
TOTAL DIVAS Eva's sexy bachelorette in Curacao gets heated when TJ destroy's Nattie's hopes of rekindling their marriage.

11:06 PM ET
STONE COLD PODCAST WWE Hall of Famer and Icon Stone Cold Steve Austin will have a no holds barred LIVE interview with Paul Heyman!