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THURS UPDATE: Balor to Ireland, Smackdown tonight, UFC steroid test failure, Nate Diaz updates on his own fight, more

By Bryan Alvarez | | @bryanalvarez

-- If you're attending any of the WWE European tour house shows or NXT house shows on their latest loop around Florida, please send reports to

Smackdown is tonight:

* Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. New Day Sucks

* Curtis Axel vs. Neville

* Natalya vs. Alicia Fox with Cameron as special referee wearing what we are told is a remarkable outfit

* Bray Wyatt vs. Vintner Erick Rowan

* Miz and Summer Rae argue over who was the biggest star in Marine 2

* Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns & Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad News Barrett & Sheamus & Big Show


The newest issue of Figure Four Weekly is up on the site for subscribers with a look at AJ Lee's retirement/departure from WWE, Vinny's annual WrestleMania trip coverage, and 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 American, Canadian, 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.


Our annual WrestleMania issue of the Observer is out right now. The new issue covers the entire show with exclusive backstage notes, full coverage of all the matches, injuries, and craziness of the week for not just WWE but all the promotions in town, the most detailed look at where the WWE Network stands, the aftermath of the death of Perro Aguayo Jr., the reaction to Roman Reigns not winning the title, full details on New Japan's presence in the U.S. both on television and arena events and the best Raw ratings in a year.

Website subscriptions, which include access to both current and older newsletters as well as every audio show in the history of the site as low as $9.99 per month!

You can also order the print Observer right now and get it delivered to your door via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to

You can also order at directing funds

Rates are:

For the United States, it is $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 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.

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.

Our lead story covers WrestleMania. We look at the title plans for the show, how they changed, who knew what and when, was Seth Rollins the guy for the spot and what the arguments were, next year's WrestleMania, Vince McMahon putting over Ronda Rousey on his biggest platform, Rock & Rousey preparation for the angle, real attendance, gate claims and other records, merchandise sales, how much people paid in San Jose, why the attendance number was announced as large as it was, biggest real WWE crowds in history, who got the biggest reaction, UFC allowing its talent to do pro wrestling appearances, looking at the results of the show, arguments on HHH vs. Sting finish and the horrible commentary.
We look at who were the most popular and talked about characters on the show, booking changes, show changes and more.

We also have match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

We also look at the WWE Network number and what it means. We talk about why Wall Street was so negative on the stock, expanded costs and what that means to both break-even and to making the network financially viable. We look at what number of subscribers the network needs to bring the company back to where it was profitability wise and what it needs to make up for the losses of PPV and iPPV revenue.

We look at how many new subscribers the free February brought in, why WrestleMania taking in far less revenue than before is not alarming, how February free compared to November free, what the next big questions regarding the network are and when we will know the answers, the future of NXT, what Vince McMahon said about Sting, and details of lots of new WWE television shows and what it says about both the direction of the network and the relationship of the company with one of its all-time biggest stars.

We've also got more on Brock Lesnar's new contract, updates on Dwayne Johnson, trouble after WrestleMania,, 2017 WrestleMania, Hall of Fame thoughts, story behind why Scott Steiner was banned from the Hall of Famer, Notes on Jimmy Jacobs to WWE, when Paul Heyman found out about Brock Lesnar signing, his thoughts on the negotiations, Daniel Bryan talks Roman Reigns, how he thinks the Reigns situation and Batista situation were different, Bryan talks Mania, Jim Ross on Bryan vs. Reigns, Bryan talks the details of his neck injury and the recovery from it.

Bill Goldberg talks about his relationship with WWE, we look at the Nikki Bella/A.J. Lee angle, Samoa Joe notes, changes on the 4/13 Raw show, Why Scotty 2 Hotty and Brian Christopher were not at the Hall of Fame with Rikishi, Phil Baroni and WWE, C.J. Parker giving notice, Ric Flair's funny comments that made Michael Cole change the subject and two new WWE movies.

We've got an update on the medical examiner's cause of death for Perro Aguayo Jr., how big the story was in Mexico, the plight this past week of Konnan and Rey Mysterio Jr., the funeral of Aguayo Jr., Dorian Roldan talks the Aguayo death, Santo talks the Aguayo death, and his doctors talk about whether he came in with a serious injury.

We also look at the NXT show in San Jose, business notes on the show, why Vince McMahon extended the time, reaction to HHH, and full coverage of the show. We also talk about what the NXT crowd showed about the plight of women performers in WWE. We also look at the NXT tournament, and future of the NXT brand.

We also have full coverage of the ROH show in Redwood City, with match-by-match coverage and star ratings.

We also look at other stars of the weekend, and the other shows, nostalgia, hot matches and new stars.

We also have an exclusive look at New Japan's new U.S. TV deal, as well as what matches will be airing on what nights from when it starts.

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.

We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.

Today's News, Notes and Links

-- If you're attending any of the WWE European tour house shows or NXT house shows on their latest loop around Florida, please send reports to Finn Balor has his WWE Ireland debut tonight.

-- There is a cool highlight video here about the NXT trip to WrestleMania weekend.

-- The Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission announced a one-year suspension for Jorge Oliveira based on a steroid test failure for stanazolol at UFC Fight Night 62. His head coach

-- Alexander Gustaffson, who was so despondent over his loss to Anthony Johnson in front of all of his friends and family in Sweden that he threatened to retire, has since stated that he had a bad day and he would beat Johnson six out of seven days of the week. You can check out the interview here.

-- Regarding the Nate Diaz vs. Matt Brown fight that we talked about last night on Observer Radio, Nate has since gone on Twitter to refute the fight, saying he's facing Anthony Pettis instead. He told MMA Fighting that he was supposed to meet with UFC on Monday to discuss his next opponent and they announced it without talking to him or having anything signed. But he also noted that he did want the Matt Brown fight.

-- The President of USA Network talks Smackdown's move to USA next year. Not much to say about it. Just feels right, he says.

-- The new Marine film starring Miz will be available for digital download tomorrow!

-- CZW Best of the Best is airing on iPPV Saturday night through The former CJ Parker is working the show.

-- Tod writes: Just a note as well as Raw and Smackdown this week I did ROH in San Antonio. I'd strongly recommend checking out the four weeks of tv taped, the main events in particular were all extremely strong. Undercard solid too especially War Machine vs Smith and Hoyt.

-- The pre-sale code for Raw in Dallas on October 19th is, in fact, DALLAS.

-- Taryn Terrell interview here talking about her work as a stuntwoman.

-- This man unhappy about ESPN covering WWE.

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1917 - Earl Caddock defeated Joe Stecher by forfeit in Omaha, Nebraska to win the World Heavyweight Title. Stecher lost the first fall and refused to wrestle the second fall.

1953 - Buddy Rogers defeated Antonino Rocca in Cleveland, Ohio to win the Ohio version of the Boston AWA World Heavyweight Title

1960 - Ray and Roy Shire defeated Dick Afflis and Gene Kiniski to win the Chicago/Indianapolis NWA World Tag Team Title

1963 - Gino and Tony Calza defeated The Medics (Tony Gonzales and Donald Lortie) to win the Mid-America NWA Southern Tag Team Title in Nashville, Tennessee

1969 - Black Gordman defeated Alfonso Dantés for the vacant NWA Beat the Champ TV Title in Los Angeles, California.

1976 - Fishman defeated Blue Demon to win the NWA World Welterweight Title in Mexico, City, Mexico, y

1978 - Ric Flair defeated Mr. Wrestling to win the NWA United States Heavyweight Title in Charlotte, North Carolina.

1978 - Perro Aguayo defeated Ringo Mendoza for the NWA World Middleweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico

1981 - Bob Brown and Terry Taylor defeated The Kelly Twins (Mike and Pat) for the NWA Central States Tag Team Title in Kansas City, Kansas.

1981 - Buddy Rose defeated Jay Youngblood to win the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title

1984 - Jerry Lawler defeated Randy Savage to win the NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Title in Lexington, Kentucky

1987 - Jim Crockett Promotions purchased Bill Watts' Universal Wrestling Federation.

1988 - Carlos Colón won the WWC Universal Heavyweight Title in Caguas, Puerto Rico, defeating Hercules Ayala.

1990 - Kenta Kobashi and Tiger Mask (Mitsuharu Misawa) defeated The Can-Am Express (Doug Furnas and Dan Kroffat (Philip LaFon)) for the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Title in Okayama, Japan

1995 - T. Rantula defeated Cactus Jack for the Steel City Wrestling Heavyweight Title in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

2003 - Doug Basham won the OVW Heavyweight Title by defeating Nick Dinsmore in Louisville, Kentucky

2004 - Minoru Fujita and Ikuto Hidaka defeated Josh Daniels and Matt Striker to win the Premier Wrestling Federation Universal Tag Team Title in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.

2004 - Zach Gowen and Silas Young defeated Jason Dukes and Skull Krusher for the Mid-America Wrestling Tag Team Title in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

2004 - Justin Kage defeated Austin Aries to win the NWA Midwest X Division Title in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

2004 - IWA Mid-South held its April Bloodshowers event at the Community Center Gym in Oolitic, Indiana.
In a 30-minute Iron Man match, B.J. Whitmer (with Jim Fannin) defeated IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Champion Jerry Lynn, 2-1, to win the title.

2005 - Petey Williams defeated Puma to win the Super 8 Tournament in Newark, Delaware.

2011 - Combat Zone Wrestling held their Best of the Best 2011 tournament at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, PA. which was won by Adam Cole.

-- Trina Michaels is on the hunt for Shayna Baszler.

-- The ECWA proudly presents Spring Battle IV on Saturday April 18, 2015 at the Woodbury Heights Community Center in Woodbury, NJ.

-- Sleeperhold: Pro-Wrestling Improvised, Friday, April 24at 8:00pm Bad Dog Theatre Company, 875 Bloor Street W., Toronto, Ontario M6G 1M5.