The Latest from the F4W Staff
Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega rematch set for NJPW Dominion
Impact Wrestling results: Alberto El Patron vs. Eli Drake
WWE Q1 financials: Network subscribers up from last year
UFC announces a fourth women’s division
NJPW reveals 2017 Best of the Super Juniors lineup
Wrestling Weekly: CAC, Mid-Atlantic Fanfest, TNT’s Hearts & Flowers 5/5
B&V: NXT, WWF Wrestling Classic, RAW, Granny, tons more! 5/5
WOL: Meltzer, Brandon Howard, Lance Archer guest on an eclectic show 5/4
WOR: Cauliflower Alley, Smackdown, ratings, New Japan, tons more! 5/4
We’re looking for reports on today’s WWE Raw show in Dublin, Ireland, Smackdown in Cardiff, Wales, Crash in Tijuana, and NXT shows in Riverside, CA and Gainesville, FL to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re also looking for your thoughts on the Wednesday Wrestling Dontaku show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to email@example.com.
NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING RETURNS AT 8 P.M. EASTERN TONIGHT ON AXS TV
Tiger Mask W (Kota Ibushi) vs. Red Death Mask (Juice Robinson)
Kazuchika Okada vs. Naomichi Marufuji for IWGP heavyweight title
LEGACY FIGHTING ALLIANCE TONIGHT AT 9 P.M. EASTERN ON AXS TV FROM THE COMERICA THEATER IN PHOENIX
Tyler Sidders (1-0) vs. Keoni Diggs (3-0)
Luiz Gavinho (6-3) vs. Mike Hamel (5-0)
David Nuzzo (5-1) vs. Sean O’Malley (6-0)
Bruno Silva (8-3) vs. Casey Kennedy (6-0)
Kyle Stewart (7-0) vs. Ty Freeman (9-5)
James Nakashima (6-0) vs. LaRue Burley (7-2)
Matthew Frincu (10-3) vs. Maycon Mendonca (6-1)
CMLL TONIGHT AT 9:30 P.M. EASTERN TIME FROM ARENA MEXICO
Oro Jr. & Starman vs. Arkangel de la Muerte & Espiritu Negro
Estrellita & Marcela & Princesa Sugei vs. Amapola & Dallys & Zeuxis
Angel de Oro vs. Ripper
Esfinge & Guerrero Maya Jr. & Soberano Jr. vs. Bobby Villa & Dragon Rojo Jr. & Polvora
Dragon Lee & Stuka Jr. & Titan vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Niebla Roja & Euforia
Caristico & Diamante Azul & Marco Corleone vs. La Mascara & Rush & Pierroth
THE CRASH TONIGHT IN TIJUANA
Young Bucks vs. Penta 0M & Rey Fenix
Daga vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Ricochet & Flip Gordon vs. Sammy Guevara & Mr. 450
Garza Jr. & Jack Evans & Ultimo Ninja vs Bestia 666 & El Hijo del Pirata Morgan & Jeff Cobb
The WWE tour continues tomorrow with Raw in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Smackdown in Valencia, Spain, UK TV tapings in Norwich, England and NXT in San Diego, CA and St. Petersburg, FL. We’re looking for reports on all of those shows.
WWE on Sunday has Raw in Liverpool, England and Smackdown in Coruna, Spain and U.K. TV tapings in Norwich, England.
Raw will be Monday night from the O2 Arena in London featuring a tag team turmoil match. Smackdown will be running in Bornemouth, England.
Tuesday has Smackdown and 205 Live being taped at the O2 Arena in London and Raw will be in Lille, Frame.
Wednesday has a Raw house show in Zurich, Switzerland, and a Smackdown has show in Brighton, UK.
FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 5/1/2017: The rise of Braun Strowman
It was somewhat fitting that Braun Strowman’s win against Roman Reigns in the main event of Payback came after the conclusion of a dreadful House of Horrors match between Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. At the very least, it was a reminder of how far Strowman has come since splitting from the Wyatt Family last July. He has seamlessly transitioned out of the group and gradually become the most compelling character on Raw in less than a year.
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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: May 8, 2017: WWE Payback review, WWE financials, plus tons of news
A brief look at the WWE financials for the first quarter, basically looking at why the profit margin was so far down this quarter, where the added spending came in, a look at the house show business in WWE and NXT, what categories are losing money in WWE, and what are increasing the most is the lead story in this week’s Observer.
Also, look at the major WWE storylines, the next few PPV shows, what WWE match result changed four times in 30 hours before the PPV, behind the House of Horrors segment, plus match-by-match coverage of Payback with star ratings and poll results.
Notes on the New Japan booking coming out of Dontaku and likely matches for Dominion, one of the company’s biggest events of the year, plus Dontaku coverage, in this issue.
The biggest junior heavyweight tournament in probably a decade is coming up. Check out some of the big matches that will be part of it, with the announcement of the bracketing of this year’s Super Junior tournament and the web site schedule.
There is an update on the ITV television project and why the tapings were postponed, plus the key thing going on behind-the-scenes.
News on Brock Lesnar going forward in WWE, his latest plans and title matches expected, more on Fate of the Furious and its box office, update on the Hardy broken gimmick in WWE, a new WWE movie with Michaels, Hogan talks Vince McMahon, indie champion gets WWE tryout his week, and the most watched WWE Network shows this past week, in this issue.
Read about the WWE & NXT shows this past week including both the Raw and Smackdown tour openers in Europe
Boxing fans, check out the highlights of the Joshua vs. Klitschko fight, the amazing U.K. business numbers, as well as whether heavyweight boxing is back big in the U.S. because of the fight or not.
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WON BACK ISSUE: April 10, 2000: Wrestlemania 16 reviewed, NBC buys into the XFL, more
Wrestlemania XVI, the first Wrestlemania that seemed to take on almost Super Bowl or Final Four level proportions as an American institution, turned out like many Super Bowls, with a flat crowd, a been there, done that main event finish ending a disappointing match, and with the exception of a ladder match, which was an amazing stunt show, it was probably not as good as an average episode of Raw. The show ended with Hunter Hearst Helmsley retaining the title when Vince McMahon, instead of Mick Foley, was the one to make the heel turn screwing The Rock at the end.
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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE
Georges St-Pierre on Twitter said he would be ready to fight Michael Bisping after October. To me that means UFC needs to have Bisping defend the title first and whatever happens, happens. Bisping hasn’t fought since November and the division has meaningful contenders knocking each other off. If GSP’s star power is such that they want to book him against the winner of a summer fight, so be it.
Yoshihiro Takayama, one of the major stars of Japanese pro wrestling in the 00s, who still works regularly today, was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury after a match in DDT with Yasu Urano.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has its major open tonight with Dave Bautista in a major role. It did $17 million last night in some selected openings. Industry projections are that the movie will be between $138 million and $175 million this weekend. The 2014 original had a $94 million opening weekend.
Ember Moon has been pulled off the advertising for the NXT TakeOver show on 5/20 in Chicago. The women’s title match is now a three-way with Asuka vs. Ruby Riot vs. Nikki Cross. It had been scheduled for a four-way.
One of the biggest independent undertakings of the year is tomorrow night’s All Pro Wrestling show at the Cow Palace in San Francisco featuring a 30 man Rumble hearkening back to the legend of the Cow Palace Battle Royals of the 60s and 70s as well as a cage match with Cody Rhodes vs. Joey Ryan. Pat Patterson, the biggest star still alive from the era when the Cow Palace was one of the three hottest arenas in the U.S., will be a guest at the show.
Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns are appearing at all the Raw shows on the European tour even though they made up injuries to both of them on TV on Monday. They are doing the same brawl at the house shows they’ve been doing on the domestic shows where Reigns puts Strowman through a table at the end.
Dwayne Johnson has been shooting a movie called “Rampage” in Georgia this week. Ata Johnson noted to us that she missed this year’s Cauliflower Alley Club because Dwayne wanted her there for the filming.
The WWE Network has added 120 hours of Prime Time Wrestling.
An interview with Becky Lynch is here.
A story on Titus O’Neil is here.
Ricardo Abreu, who has failed two drug tests, the second testing positive for the steroid Nandrolone on 12/21 while he was already on suspension for a June 2016 failure also for Nandrolone, was suspended for four years, or longer. Abreu told UFC and USADA that he was retired after the word got out about the positive test. So yesterday, USADA announced that the four year suspension is now frozen and will pick up if or when he comes out of retirement.
Tickets for the 6/25 show in Oklahoma City at the Chesapeake Energy Center went on sale today. The top fights scheduled are Michael Chiesa vs. Kevin Lee, Johny Hendricks vs. Tim Boetsch, BJ Penn vs. Dennis Silver, Ilir Latifi vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Felice Herrig vs. Justine Kish, Carla Esparza vs. Maryna Moroz and Clay Guida vs. Erik Koch.
Stevie Ray vs. Paul Felder has been added to the 7/16 show in Glasgow, Scotland.
Cowboy Bill Watts turned 78 today.
A couple of news stories on Chris Cruise’s class teaching the history of Bruno Sammartino are here and here.
CWE tonight in Winnipeg at the Holy Cross Gym featuring a guest appearance by Paul Orndorff.
CWE from last night in Gladstone, Manitoba: Phil Atlas b Kute Kody, Jacob Creed & Bobby Collins b Shane Sabre & K-Dos, Danny Duggan (managed by Paul Orndorff) b Kaz Karter, Ethan Price b Tasty Travis, Roy Gordon & Garrison Creed & Alex Anthony b AJ Sanchez & Tony Kozina & Omar Amir.
Pro Wrestling Revolver tonight in Clive, IA at the Seven Flags Event Center with Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin, John Morrison vs. Trevor Lee, Billy Gunn vs. Joey Ryan, Colt Cabana vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Moose vs. Keith Lee, ACH vs. Jason Cade, Bran Cage & Sami Callihan vs. Dave Crist, Sienna vs. Jake Manning and a scramble match with AR Fox, Curt Stallion, David Starr, Space Monkey, Trey Miguel, Ethan Page, Myron Reed and Kevin Thorn Fertig.
Smash Wrestling on 7/8 in Sarnia, ONT.
GWN on 6/4 in Hamilton, ONT at the UCC.
Roy Engelbrecht will be promoting MMA shows at the Peristyle Plaza at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum this summer with live events on 7/8, 8/5, 9/23 and 10/21. There will also be shows at the Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach on 6/10, 7/22 and 9/16.
Jim Ross will be doing a live show on 8/10 in Washington, DC. Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.
Dave Bautista will be appearing at the Alamo City Comic Con in San Antonio on 5/27.
The AIW J.T. Lightning Invitational tournament on 5/26 and 5/27 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Cleveland has Tom Lawlor, Ethan Page, Tracy Williams, Joey Janela, Steve Pain, Little Guido, Alex Daniels, Swoggle, Eddie Kingston, Mike Tolar, Shawn Shultz, Dominic Garrini, Laredo Kid, Gringo Loco, Britt Baker, Matt Cross, Colin Delaney, Facade, Mordekai, Matthew Justice, Super Crazy, Jimmy Rave, Space Monkey and Colt Cabana.
NSW on 6/24 in Georgetown, ONT at the St. Paul Church Hall with Josh Alexander and Lionel Knight.
Courage Pro Wrestling 6/25 at the Holy Trinity Banquet Hall in Hamilton, ONT.
Classic Championship Wrestling on 5/7 at the WISH Centre in Chatham, ONT with Kongo Kong vs. Cody Deaner as the main event.
Awesome Wrestling Entertainment tomorrow night in Waynesboro, VA a the Waynesboro High School features appearances of Barry Windham, Magnum T.A., Kid Kash, Hornswoggle and Ron Simmons.
Breaking the Barrier on 6/11 at the GSW Arena in Old Forge, PA with Tiger & Puma vs. Guerrero Maya Jr. & Titan from CMLL, Joey Janela vs. Buxx Belmar from C4 and Colt Cabana vs. Orange Cassidy plus Chick Taylor, Jigsaw and more.
Welterweight wrestling on iPPV on Sunday at 5 p.m. Eastern from Turners Hall in Cleveland. It’s bee a one-minute tournament to crown their champion. Shane Douglas will present the belt to the winner. Kevin Bennett, Sami Guevara, Cam Zagami and Dylan Bostic are among those entered.
M1 Challenge on 5/19 in Sochi, Russia streaming has Viktor Nemkoov vs. Ronny Markes. Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brandon Halsey headline a 6/1 show in St. Petersburg, Russia. Sergei Kharitonov vs. Marcus Vinicus headlines 6/14 in Harbin, China.
NWX announced its scheduled Sunday show at the CWF Training Facility in St. Catharines, ONT has been moved to 5/27 at 7 p.m.
Acclaim Pro Wrestling tomorrow in Ottawa at the Polish Combatants Centre.
PWA on 5/12 in Guelph, ONT headlined by Ethan Page vs. Josh Alexander on 5/12.
NFC on 5/12 at the Electric Cowboy in Kennesaw, GA will have 15 fights plus a guest appearance by Burt Watson, who worked for the UFC forever as the baby sitter to the stars.
Austin Idol talks to Stan Hansen.
RF Video interviews Patrick Tanaka.
A look at some of the greatest matches of the 90s by Dave Musgrave is here.
There is talk about extraditing a pro wrestler from Australia.
Today in Professional Wrestling History (5/5): David Von Erich Parade of Champions 1985
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