The Latest from the F4W Staff
New Japan Cup semifinals results: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tomohiro Ishii
CMLL Homenaje a Dos Leyendas results: Mask match main event
UFC Fight Night 107 live results: Jimi Manuwa vs. Corey Anderson
Manami Toyota to retire later this year
Three UFC fighters test positive for marijuana
DragonKing Dark: The Atomic Bomb
DR. KEITH PRESENTS: Just (Just) Keep on Truckin’!!!
WOR: Paige, Toyota, PWG, CMLL, UFC, tons more
WOL: AAA and CMLL with Dr. Lucha, SOUTHPAW CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING, more
We’re looking for reports from last night’s WWE show in Albany, NY, and today’s shows with Raw in Hershey, PA and Smackdown in Amherst, MA to email@example.com.
We’re also looking for your thoughts on tonight’s New Japan Cup finals, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW JAPAN CUP FINALS LATE SUNDAY AT 2 A.M. EASTERN ON NEW JAPAN WORLD
Bad Luck Fale vs. EVIL winner vs. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Katsuyori Shibata winner
Raw will be Monday night in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center with Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman advertised, plus a Chris Jericho Highlight Reel and locally advertised is Jericho & Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens & Samoa Joe. SmackDown’s Monday night house show will be in Worcester, MA.
SmackDown & 205 Live will be taped on Tuesday night in Uncasville, CT at the Mohegan Sun Casino.
FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 3/13/2017: Impact Wrestling’s identity problem
With the departure of The Hardys and the beginning of a new era, the promotion formerly known as TNA Wrestling is once again trying to establish a new identity. That began on the first episode of Impact under the new regime, where they officially ditched the name TNA in favor of Impact Wrestling and promised to make the company great. Changes in ownership and creative as Anthem Sports & Entertainment took over meant that a rebrand was inevitable, but the timing comes just as TNA was finally starting to carve out a unique place in the pro wrestling landscape… Subscribers click here to continue.
WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: March 20, 2017: Situation with Broken Matt Hardy and Anthem Sports, Wrestlemania card, more
This is a major news issue of the Wrestling Observer, with lead stories including full details on the legal questions regarding the Hardys’ gimmick, why Impact made the move they did, with the arguments from both sides and why they happened when they did.
Also look at the U.K. television battle with updates on ITV and WWE plans in the market.
There is a rundown of the 2018 WrestleMania main event as currently planned and long-term goals for the company and the top talent.
A WrestleMania show update for this year is included.
News on top talent leaving WWE after WrestleMania, NXT to Europe, Nakamura main roster update, Dwayne Johnson talks WrestleMania, several WWE injury updates, John Cena’s schedule, a look at wrestlers and other athletes WWE had in camp this past week including an Olympic silver medalist, WWE Hall of Fame, Jack Swagger, post-WrestleMania plans, WWE value and most watched shows on the WWE Network, is all inside.
Check out a full rundown of all the WWE and NXT live events over the past week with business notes, results and highlights.
Other major stories are on the New Japan Cup, the state of ROH talent and popularity, the 15th anniversary show coverage, who was Dennis Stamp, just how big a difference PEDs are in UFC, how much the top executives and the McMahon family earned last year, and the Japanese national poll on who the greatest pro wrestling stars ever to work Japan were.
This issue also contains a WrestleMania week schedule.
WWE & ITV’s moves for television in the U.K. are examined, plus a major rundown of former and current ROH talent, what is happening with WWE, ROH business and full coverage of the PPV with match-by-match coverage and star ratings.
Coverage of the UFC show in Brazil over the past week as well as the WWE house show in Madison Square Garden is in this issue.
Details on the ratings for all of the national shows over the past week, including a breakdown of who was watching all of the WWE shows are inside.
Examine the results of the major league arena events held all over the world this past week, as well as notes on the various TV shows.
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.
Rates in the United States are $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 email@example.com. 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.)
If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can choose one free classic issue, or two free classic issues with a 40-issue subscription.
WON BACK ISSUE: February 21, 2000: 1999 attendance numbers, WCW turmoil, tons more
For the year, WWF increased attendance 20%. Monday night Raw ratings for the year as an average increased from a 4.40 average in 1998 to a 6.04 average in 1999, a 37% increase. PPV buy rates for the year increased from a 1.02 average in 1998 to a 1.25 average in 1999 which is a 23% increase. In 1998, WWF sold out 33.5% of its house shows while the figure increased to 63% of its shows in 1999. Average live gate per arena show increased from $188,482 in 1998 to $286,495, a whopping 52% caused by a combination of the increase in attendance and an increase in average ticket price from $18.84 to $23.84… Subscribers click here to continue.
SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE
Our weekend Observer radio show is already up talking the Paige situation, as well as last night’s PWG show, yesterday’s UFC show and all the latest news.
Jeff Jarrett, Ed Nordholm and Jeremy Borash of Impact are in Monterrey, Mexico for the AAA Rey de Reyes. That is most interesting to say the least, given Impact had been working with Crash and those two companies hate each other.
Xavier Woods wasn’t at the Raw house show in Allentown, PA last night, but he was not booked there as he was in Austin, TX speaking at the SXSW conference. The fact he wasn’t pulled from that event would at least seem to indicate WWE is not taking him off the road.
Bad Luck Fale beat Evil and Katsuyori Shibata beat Tomohiro Ishii in the semifinals of the New Japan Cup earlier today in Hamamatsu. The Evil vs Fale winner late tonight/early tomorrow will get a title shot at the championship they ask for, most likely on 4/9 at Sumo Hall. Most likely tonight’s show will set up some of the matches for 4/9. Thus far we only know of two title matches with Hirooki Goto vs. Zack Sabre Jr. for the Never title and Hiromu Takahashi vs. Kushida for the IWGP jr. title.
Penn State had five national champions in finishing well ahead of Ohio State in the NCAA wrestling championship last night. Besides the matches we talked about last night, Bo Nickal won the main event at 184, stopping Gabe Dean from being a three-time champion 4-3 in what was pushed as the biggest match of the year. Olympic medalists Kyle Snyder and J’Den Cox at 285 and 197 both won NCAA titles. Cox was the first three-time champion ever to come from Missouri, as Ben Askren only won twice. Snyder won for the second time and is the first U.S. Olympic gold medalist to follow-up winning the gold medal by winning an NCAA title.
The WWE/Snickers tie in is getting stronger. On the WWE Network, there are Bayley and Rusev TV commercials for snickers.
Cody Rhodes was pulled from tomorrow’s What Culture show due to filming the TV show “Arrow.” Regarding Adam Cole, who is scheduled for the same show, he won’t be able to wrestle for about ten days due to surgery to remove the cyst on his forehead that he got taken care of on Friday. Cole also taped two episodes of the Stone Cold Podcast yesterday, which was big for him since Austin was the guy who got him into pro wrestling.
ROH’s Kenny King will be a contestant on the new season of “The Bachelorette.” A story on the season and King is here.
PWG from last night in Reseda, CA: Brian Cage won three-way over Keith Lee & Sami Callihan, Jeff Cobb & Matt Riddle b Jake & Dave Crist, Lio Rush b Trevor Lee, Shane Strickland b Dezmond Xavier, Chuck Taylor & Trent Baretta b Zack Sabre Jr. & Marty Scurll, Penta 0M & Rey Fenix won PWG tag titles over Young Bucks and Ricochet & Matt Sydal. This was the second best show I’ve seen this year live or, Internet or TV or anywhere. In particular, the tag teams were all on fire, one of the best collections of tag teams I’ve seen in any promotion in a long time, and the opener was just ridiculous how good it was. The main event was among this years’ best matches. Pretty much the consensus this was their best show since the second day of Battle of Los Angeles.
The wXw tournament first and second days are both up on FloSlam today. The third day goes up at 8 p.m. Eastern time tonight. I was told the championship match with Walter vs. Ilja Dragunov was great. FloSlam also just put up a live IPW: UK Super show 7 featuring Drew Galloway, Grado and Ken Anderson.
A bill to amend the regulations of pro wrestling in Arkansas goes before the State Senate tomorrow. It will help smaller promotions, particularly those that draw less than 300 fans to shows, because they no longer will need to have an ambulance, carry a surety bond or fill out an event form for $50. The companies will be subject to annual commission inspections but not at every event. The bill will apply to all shows that draw less than 2,500 fans. This is not the bill to completely deregulate pro wrestling in Arkansas. There is another bill out on that.
AAW did an advanced sellout in Berwyn, IL on Friday night with a loaded up show that featured a lot of the wrestlers in PWG: Dave & Jake Crist b Trent Baretta & Chuck Taylor in a tag title tournament semifinal match, Abyss b Homicide with a black hole slam on thumbtacks, Drew Galloway b DJZ with his new spinning future shock (cool new finisher), AR Fox b Shane Strickland, Penta 0M b ACH to win the AAW Heritage title, Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz b Mat Fitchett & Davey Vega in the tag tourney semifinals, Rey Fenix b Trevor Lee, Zack Sabre Jr. b Kyle O’Reilly, Sami Callihan b Low Ki due to interference from Abyss to keep the AAW title. Was told this may have been the company’s best show in 13 years. Next show of 4/8 in Rosemont, IL with Penta 0M defending the Heritage title against AR Fox plus Callihan, ACH, John Morrison, Michael Elgin, Rey Fenix, Jack Evans, Matt Riddle and Shane Strickland.
WrestleCircus drew 1,200 for a free show Friday night as part of SWSX in Austin, TX: Barrett Brown b Terrale Tempo, Fred Yehi won three-way over Gregory James and Curt Stallion, Ricky Starks & Aaron Solow & Andy Dalton b Jordan Len-X & The Boys, Carson b Davey Boy Smith Jr.-DQ, Rachael Ellering b Tessa Blanchard to keep the women’s title, Jax Dane b Jeff Cobb, John Morrison b Sammy Guevera, Matt Hardy (super over) b Colt Cabana, Brian Cage retained the title beating Matt Riddle. Leva Bates worked as Sister Nero in Matt’s corner.
Fight Club Pro from Friday night in Wolverhampton, England: Session Moth Martina b Damian Dunne, Damian Dunne (as The Dunnedertaker) won over David Starr, Clint Margera and Dan Moloney, Candice LeRae b Kay Lee Ray, Jim & Lee Hunter b Joe Coffey & Omari, Jimmy Havoc b Mikey Whiplash, Chris Brookes b Nixon Newell in a weapons match, Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate & Trent Seven b Travis Banks & Will Ospreay & Wolfgang. Dunne lost the first match by homicide and returned from the dead. Newell, a woman wrestler headed to WWE, had a strong showing and the main event was tremendous. (thanks to Jan Buxton)
Ryback will headline on 5/13 for NWA Smoky Mountain Wrestling at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium.
Legacy Fighting Alliance on 4/7 from Greenville, SC is apparently the first nationally televised MMA event ever from the state. Cee Jay Hamilton vs. Jesse Bazzi will headline the show which airs right after New Japan on AXS.
Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in East Carondelet, IL before an overflow crowd of 350 fans: Cowboy Houston b Ax, Flash Flanagan NC Curtis Wylde, Moondog Rover b Purple Passion, Troll b Jake Savage, Jayson Chaos d Bobby D, Johnny Blade b Jimmy D, Sean Vincent & Chris Poe b Big Texan & Waco, Chris Harges b Gary Jackson, Ken Kasa b Davey Vaughn. (thanks to Larry Matysik and Patrick Brandmeyer)
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman in his column decried a NASCAR altercation with Kyle Bush and Joey Logano not getting any punishment, and it being pushed on FOX and compared it to Vince McMahon’s playbook.
Due to technical issues last Sunday’s Best of the West iPPV is now up for free for anyone who would like to view it on the Fite App. Just type in Best of the West 1 Year anniversary show. Lio Rush vs Funnybone was the standout match. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
Austin Sopp, the son of Billy Gunn, debuted last night in Valdosta, GA, teaming with is father using the name Austin Gunn, in a 2 on 3 handicap match against Adam Rose and two other wrestlers for Sunbelt Wrestling Entertainment at the Wild Adventure Theme Park. Robbie E, Colby Corino and Jon Davis were also on the show. Rose cut off most of hair. Austin mostly sold to set up his father’s hot tag. (thanks to Billy Ellis)
Today in Professional Wrestling History (3/19): The Dudley Boyz win WWF tag titles
F4W / WO EMPIRE WRESTLEMANIA GROUP INFO
The Empire bus trip, which will be hosted by Leva “Blue Pants” Bates, to WrestleMania will cost $50.00 and will be round trip from Rosen Inn at 9000 International Drive 32819 (a few blocks away from Wrestlcon).
The bus will leave at 3:30pm (time subject to change) for WrestleMania and will leave WrestleMania no later then one hour after the show. If you would like a seat email Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org or message him on the BOARD~! for Paypal payment instructions.
WHAT: Dinner at Texas de Brazil
WHEN: Friday March 31st
WHERE: 5259 International Dr Ste F1, Orlando, FL 32819 at 5 p.m. (they may open at 4:30 for us)
WHO: All your best empire buddies, including BIG DAVE MELTZER
DETAILS: The cost of the dinner will be $68.00 which includes the dinner, salad bar, soft drinks and tea, and dessert, tax and tip. This is a pre pay dinner and you can send payment to paypal at Srjaialaiot@yahoo.com (please send as a gift to a friend). Payments must be made by March 24th (if you wait until after that, Ed will charge an extra $5.00 for being a pain).
Pro Wrestling Tees is now carrying our latest line of F4W shirts. Support the Empire~! Grab yours today!
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