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TUES. UPDATE: Triple H conference call, Scotland establishes national concussion guidelines, and more

by David Bixenspan | davidbix@wrestlingobserver.comFollow @davidbix

TV/show notes:

Fox Sports 1 has a block of UFC programming tonight designed to push this Saturday's UFC 187 pay-per-view card:

8:30 p.m. ET - UFC From All Angles: Daniel Cormier (sit-down interview from a year ago)

9:00 p.m. ET: UFC Countdown: UFC 187 (The hype show for Saturday, which premiered Sunday night)

10:00 p.m. ET: UFC Fight Flashback: Weidman vs. Machida (Documentary style look back at the fight)

10:30 p.m. ET: UFC Fight Flashback: Silva vs. Weidman I

Plus as always we need SmackDown/Main Event spoiler reports, which you should email to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

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The newest issue of Figure Four Weekly is up on the site for subscribers (subscribe here) and being the first week of May, features an extensive article demystifying what Sweeps mean for ratings and how it affects the wrestling business in 2015:

-- What do Sweeps periods actually measure?

-- Do Sweeps matter for cable at all?

-- What wrestling companies are they relevant to these days?

-- What was their past significance?

-- And 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. 

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The story behind the Elimination Chamber as a network special, why and how it came about, as well as a look at the next two WWE major shows, Payback and Elimination Chamber and NXT Takeover, is the lead story in this week's Observer.  We also have a look at the injury situation with Daniel Bryan, Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami.  We also look at the Mayweather-Pacquiao business, New Japan & ROH working together for big shows, a detailed story on Global Force Wrestling including talent and television outlets and the TV scene, a lawsuit that has nothing to do with WWE & UFC, but where the result will be very important to both, Tough Enough, has NOAH turned the corner, as well as the monthly business rundowns for WWE & TNA.

The latest Wrestling Observer: May 18, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Last minute Elimination Chamber special, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao destroys PPV records

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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.

The lead story looks at the addition of the Elimination Chamber show, why this is being done, plans for the future and how this relates to it, the Elimination Chamber card as well as notes on the Chamber matches.  We also look at Daniel Bryan and the poor job of pushing his appearance and how they are pushing the Payback main event.

We also look at the Mayweather-Pacquiao business, and how it breaks down, live event business, Vegas closed circuit, bar business, how much Mayweather and Pacquiao figure to earn, Mayweather talks rematch, why the fight was so big, and the state of PPV in 2015. 

We also look at a big question as to how this relates to UFC going forward.

We look at the historical implications of Ronda Rousey on the Sports Illustrated cover.

We also have a rundown of ROH and New Japan working together in Philadelphia.

We've got a major piece on Global Force Wrestling.  We look at the talent list, notes on the schedule for different talent, notes on the taping schedule, different TV stations they are talking with, Spike talks about getting into wrestling, the business ideas behind all this, as well as thoughts on the talent and both who is surprisingly not listed.

We also look at the new season of Tough Enough including the nature of the contract to the winner, Steve Austin talks WrestleMania 32, the Owen Hart DVD controversy, new movie projects with Dwayne Johnson and Dave Bautista, a night Raw is going to have to be special show next year, WWE injury notes, Fourth generation wrestler gets a WWE tryout, WWE angle news, When they had ideas for Justin Bieber at SummerSlam, Jerry Lawler day, Sheamus talks his career, WWE raising ticket prices for premium seats, WWE tryout notes, most popular shows on WWE Network, WWE Japan tour notes, why Jericho vs. Balor was put on the Japan show, Lesnar story involving the brother of a famous actor and notes and business of all the arena events from the past week.

We look at last week's UFC show in Australia, the heavyweight title picture, the Mark Hunt stoppage and match-by-match coverage.

We also look at the latest Pro Wrestling NOAH major show, which included appearances by Kenta Kobashi and Yuji Nagata, as well as NOAH's Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial tour coming up next month.

We also have a business rundown for WWE & TNA and where things stand in the different categories.

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.

Also in this week's issue:

--Wrestler fired once from major promotion, doesn't last long on his return

--The Santo Memorial tournament for 2015

--Notes on the format of the AAA World Cup tournament

--Who is now heading two promotions at the same time and why the move was made

--Update on Dragon Gate's King of Gate tournament

--Minoru Suzuki promoting a show

--New Japan lineups for all the big shows in June as well as the Dominion PPV in July

--Notes on this year's Best of the Super Junior tournament

--Hall of Famer and health issues noted

--Shinya Hashimoto Memorial show

--Fujinami vs. Funaki Battle of Hall of Famers for the first time

--Notes from the AGON promotions and main event pay

--Notes on a promotion which claimed a TV deal and it falling apart

--Details on all TNA television through mid-June, with matches, angles and destinations

--A look at TNA's Slammiversary show

--Notes on TNA's prospects on PPV

--Update on Jeff Hardy

--Notes on the best of five series between the Wolves vs. Aries & Roode

--Update on TNA money issues

--Update on TNA creative team

--A look at those who returned to TV this past week and who is long and short-term

--Who turned down an offer to come in

--TNA announcing situation

--Notes on TNA's relationship with AAA

--What happened with TNA and Wrestle-1

--Can TNA talent work for GFW

--Best stuff at the TNA tapings

--Updates on UFC PPV numbers

--Managers meeting and why

--Dana White's reaction regarding complaints about the Reebok deal

--An interesting legal question stemming from the deal

--UFC schedule notes

--Anthony Pettis injury notes

--Josh Barnett vs. Ryron Gracie

--Metamoris news

--Fight Pass promotion

--New Fight Pass deals made

--Rousey talks coaching vs. Cyborg

--Lots of new UFC fights

--Active UFC fighter sort of does a pro wrestling match

--Huge Bellator signing of Olympian

--This week's Bellator show 

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.

New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.

Our most requested issues in our history are:

*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)

*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)

*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)

*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)a

*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)

*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)

*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)

*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our history)

*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)

*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)

*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)

*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)

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

*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)

*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)

*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)

*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)

*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)

*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)

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*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)

*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)

*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)

*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)

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*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)

*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)

*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)

*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)

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*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)

*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)

*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)

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*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)

*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)

*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)

*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)

*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)

*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bigelow)

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*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)

*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)

*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)

*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)

*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)

*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .

*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)

*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)

*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)

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*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)

*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)

* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)

* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)

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You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.

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To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.

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Tuesday Daily Update

-- The quarterly Triple H pre-NXT special conference call was ongoing as I wrote this (and we'll have audio up for subscribers), and he mentioned a few newsworthy things:

- Matt "Jason Albert" Bloom and Sara Amato have been promoted to Head Coach and Assistant Head Coach, respectively. at the WWE Performance Center. Bloom had been the Interim Head Coach since the departure of Bill DeMott.

- Sami Zayn has been cleared to wrestle at tomorrow night's NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable live special on WWE Network.  Hideo Itami isn't, but that's no surprise.

- The official word on Samoa Joe for now: He was at the Performance Center a month ag, but"whether or not we do business together, I don't know."

- There are plans to do what everyone expected with NXT house shows, which is the TV talent on tour and the greener talent on B-shows in Florida, but it's probably not happening until 2016.

-- Per the BBC, Scotland has become the first country to introduce national guidelines for dealing with concussions in all sports. There's no sport-specific guidance, but there are clear guidelines on how to recognize and deal with concussions. Should be interesting to see how much publicity this gets and what governments follow suit.

-- You may have seen this by now, but Kevin Owens' wife posted an Instagram video of their son (Owen, who was named after Owen Hart, and in turn Kevin took "Owens" on as his WWE name) reacting to his dad's Raw debut. It's pretty much the most adorable thing you'll see all day.

-- Also, RollingStone.com has an interview with Owens. Of note, he mentions that Terry Taylor is his main trainer, which, if the timing had been different, probably would have been a hint since Taylor is used to put the finishing touches on talent considered ready for the main roster. Anyway, interesting quote from Owens on adapting himself to WWE: “So there were little tweaks, maybe clean up the language a little, but besides that I think I've been pretty true to myself. And I think that's a big part of what helps me be successful. I'm genuine, and I think people can see that when they watch. I'm just gonna keep going that way and see where that takes me.”

-- ROH issued a press release announcing that Quinn "Moose" Ojinnaka has signed a new contract, meaning that the former Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman won't be going to WWE or Global Force Wrestling's TV tapings any time soon. He's still working the GFW baseball park house shows because those aren't restricted by ROH contracts.

-- Global Force Wrestling removed Scott Hall from their website's roster page after he was thrown out of a show this past weekend for showing up intoxicated and not even taking the time he was given to try to dry out.

-- Part 1 of the UFC Embedded documentary videos for this weekend's UFC 187 PPV went up today. The highlight is absolutely Vitor Belfort going to a barber shop for maintenence on his mowhawk with the crosses on the sides of his head. He looks smaller than the last time he fought off testosterone replacement therapy (the Anderson Silva fight four years ago) but leaner and in better overall shape.

-- Really nice article about a boy from Princeton, Indiana whose love of WWE helps him cope with a number of serious medial problems stemming from a birth defect.

-- Under the Mat Radio talked to Jim Ross at his Baltimore one-man show.

 -- Jim Ross will be doing a show on Aug. 19, the Wednesday before SummerSlam, at the DC Improv in Washington, DC. Tickets go on sale this Friday at the venue's website.

-- AAA EVP Dorian Roldan and Court Bauer talk about the Lucha World Cup, AAA’s expansion, Lucha Underground’s future as well as Rey Mysterio and dealing with Japanese companies on today’s MLW Radio podcast at MLWRadio.com.

-- Dave has two articles at MMAFighting.com from the past few days:

- A look at if Mayweather-Pacquiao will hurt UFC 187 PPV buys.

- The usual Fortunes Changed for Five postmortem for this past weekend's card.

-- This is not new, but I had never seen nor heard of it before that I can recall: In 2008, Thomas Golianopoulos wrote an article about Hardbody Harrison's wrestling and criminal careers for KING Magazine, and he added it to his website last year. Fascinating stuff, well worth going out of your way to read. For those not aware of what exactly happened with him, he was a WCW Power Plant trainee turned WCW job guy who was one of the plaintiffs who got a big settlement in the racial discrimination lawsuit against the company. Meanwhile, he was running an elaborate pimping/sexual slavery operation, and eventually, in 2005, he got busted.

TOMORROW'S WWE NETWORK SCHEDULE (thanks to Bert Duckwall)

Wednesday, May 20

12:00 AM ET
WWE UNFILTERED WITH RENEE YOUNG    In the premiere of Unfiltered, Renee Young hangs out with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins for a fun and revealing conversation!

12:07 AM ET
MONDAY NIGHT WAR    In an era of shifting loyalties, WWE and WCW would each build a cornerstone in order to achieve stability.

1:01 AM ET
WWE NXT    The future is here. Witness the entertainers, the leading men and women, the Superstars of tomorrow -- this is NXT!

2:00 AM ET
TUESDAY NIGHT TITANS    Vince McMahon hosts Tuesday Night Titans with Lord Alfred Hayes. Guests include Roddy Piper, Greg Valentine and Wendi Richter.

4:00 AM ET
PRIME TIME WRESTLING    On this Prime Time Wrestling, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan tries to find himself. Plus, Iron Mike Sharpe, Macho Man Randy Savage, and more!

6:00 AM ET
TOUGH ENOUGH     Legendary WWE Superstar The Rock and 'Psych' star James Roday give the remaining five contestants a lesson in charisma.

7:00 AM ET
MONDAY NIGHT WAR   In an era of shifting loyalties, WWE and WCW would each build a cornerstone in order to achieve stability.

8:00 AM ET
WWE COUNTDOWN    Counting down the top ten most stylish ring attire ever worn by a WWE Superstar.

9:00 AM ET
TOUGH ENOUGH    Legendary WWE Superstar The Rock and 'Psych' star James Roday give the remaining five contestants a lesson in charisma.

10:00 AM ET
MONDAY NIGHT WAR   In an era of shifting loyalties, WWE and WCW would each build a cornerstone in order to achieve stability.

11:00 AM ET
WWE COUNTDOWN    Counting down the top ten most stylish ring attire ever worn by a WWE Superstar.

12:00 PM ET
TOUGH ENOUGH    Legendary WWE Superstar The Rock and 'Psych' star James Roday give the remaining five contestants a lesson in charisma.

1:00 PM ET
MONDAY NIGHT WAR    In an era of shifting loyalties, WWE and WCW would each build a cornerstone in order to achieve stability.

2:00 PM ET
WWE COUNTDOWN    Counting down the top ten most stylish ring attire ever worn by a WWE Superstar.

3:00 PM ET
WWE NXT    The future is here. Witness the entertainers, the leading men and women, the Superstars of tomorrow -- this is NXT!

4:00 PM ET
TOTAL DIVAS     Trinity's inability to have sex frustrates Jon, and Bryan and Nikki shock Brie when they team up to stage an intervention.

5:00 PM ET
TOTAL DIVAS    Ariane's mother calles with a desperate plea for help, and Eva is shocked when Jonathan makes a dangerous decision without her consent.

6:00 PM ET
WWE BEYOND THE RING    An in-depth look at some of the most well-known, colorful managers wrestling has ever seen including Bobby Heenan, Paul Bearer, and more.

7:30 PM ET
NXT TAKEOVER UNSTOPPABLE    The NXT TakeOver Unstoppable Pre-Show hosted by Renee Young, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.

8:00 PM ET
NXT TAKEOVER UNSTOPPABLE    Sami Zayn looks to end the title reign of his former best friend, NXT Champion Kevin Owens at NXT TakeOver Unstoppable.

10:00 PM ET
CULTURE SHOCK WITH COREY GRAVES   Corey Graves heads down to one of his favorite tattoo shops in the heart of New York City!

10:10 PM ET
WWE UNFILTERED WITH RENEE YOUNG    In the premiere of Unfiltered, Renee Young hangs out with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins for a fun and revealing conversation!

10:30 PM ET
NXT TAKEOVER UNSTOPPABLE    The NXT TakeOver Unstoppable Pre-Show hosted by Renee Young, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.

11:00 PM ET
NXT TAKEOVER UNSTOPPABLE   Sami Zayn looks to end the title reign of his former best friend, NXT Champion Kevin Owens at NXT TakeOver Unstoppable.