Daily Update: Chyna's death, huge weekend schedule

The death of Joanie “Chyna” Laurer is believed to be from an accidental drug overdose. The belief is that she was dead for probably two plus days when found on Wednesday night.  Nobody had seen her since Sunday but she did a tweet on Monday morning.  She was surrounded by prescription medication, but there were pills left in the bottles which would seem to rule out suicide.

We’re looking for reports on today’s WWE shows in Paris and Sheffield, NXT in Kingston, RI as well as the second night of TNA tapings in Orlando to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com

Our weekend poll will be for Saturday’s UFC 197 show.


Michael Page (170) vs. Jeremie Holloway (171)
Brent Primus (156) vs. Toninho Furia (156.75) – Furia missed weight
Brennan Ward (171) vs. Evangelista Cyborg Santos (168.25)
Patricio Pitbull Freire (146) vs. Henry Corrales (146)
Andrey Koreshkov (170) vs. Benson Henderson (170) for welterweight title


Kazuchika Okada vs. A.J. Styles for the IWGP heavyweight title from Osaka Jo Hall – This was an incredible match when it happened and the matches are a step above when you watch them with the JR/Josh Barnett commentary.


Angelito & Stukita vs. Nitrito & Pequeno Olimpico
Esfinge & Pegasso & Triton vs. Cuatrero & Escandalo & Virus
Angel de Oro & Rey Cometa & Stuka Jr. vs. Euforia & Olimpico & Ripper
Block B of the incredible partners tournament
Teams:  Atlantis & Gran Guerrero, Brazo de Plata & Kraneo, Caristico & Cibernetico, Dragon Lee & La Mascara, Maximo Sexy & El Terrible, The Panther & Tiger, Titan & Vangellys and Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Escorpion
Mistico & Volador Jr. & Mascara Dorada vs. Barbaro Cavernario & Felino & Mr. Niebla


Aaron Robinson (153.2) vs. Justin Radar (145.8) – Robinson blew weight badly here
Derrick Adkins (155.5) vs. Daryl Wilson (155.6)
Bilal Williams (170) vs. Ed Cline Jr. (170.6)
Charles Byrd (172.4) vs. Trey Houston (169.6) – Byrd missed weight
Evan Thompson (184.4) vs. Andrew Todhunter (184.6)
Marcelo Nunes (182.4) vs. Rafael Lovato Jr (184.4) for the middleweight title


Ryusuke Taguchi & Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask vs. Rocky Romero & Trent Baretta & Gedo
Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. David Finlay & Jay White
Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa vs. Captain New Japan & Juice Robinson
Katsuyori Shibata & Kushida vs. Yuji Nagata & Jushin Liger
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin & Juice Robinson vs. Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi for Never six man titles
Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Tetsuya Naito & Seiya Sanada & Bushi & Evil in an elimination match

The WWE European tour ends Saturday with shows in Malaga, Spain headlined by HHH vs Dean Ambrose and Glasgow, Scotland, headlined by Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus for the WWE title.  We’re looking for reports on those shows as well as the NXT show in Poughkeepsie (Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor, Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss, Jason Jordan & Chad Gable vs. Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder), the TNA tapings in Orlando and ROH in San Antonio (Jay Lethal vs. ACH vs. Roderick Strong vs. Moose vs. Jay Briscoe vs. Kyle O’Reilly and whoever pins Lethal in this match will get an ROH title match later on the show, Adam Page vs. B.J. Whitmer in a street fight, Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley, Young Bucks vs. Delirious & Cheeseburger, Bobby Fish vs. Kenny King, Silas Young vs. Mark Briscoe and Will Ferrara vs. Rhett Titus).


Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time

Efrain Escudero vs. Kevin Lee
Clint Hester vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
Cody East vs. Walt Harris

FS 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern time

Glaico Franca vs. James Vick
Carla Esparza vs. Julianna Lima
Danny Roberts vs. Dominique Steele
Chris Kelades vs. Sergio Pettis

PPV at 10 p.m. Eastern

Yair Rodriguez vs Andre Fili
Rafael Natal vs. Robert Whittaker
Edson Barboza vs. Anthony  Pettis
Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo for the flyweight title
Jon Jones vs. Ovince Saint Preux for the interim light heavyweight title


Jay White vs. David Finlay
Tiger Mask & Ryusuke Taguchi & Captain New Japan vs. Rocky Romero & Trent Baretta & Yoshi-Hashi
Katsuyori Shibata & Kushida & Juice Robinson vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Jushin Liger
Kazuchika Okada & Gedo vs. Seiya Sanada & Bushi
Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tetsuya Naito & Evil
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin & Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma & Yoshitatsu vs. Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa & Yujiro Takahashi in an elimination match
We’re looking for reports on Sunday from the TNA tapings in Orlando. 
Raw is Monday night in Hartford, CT.  It’s the go-home show for Payback and will include the in-ring debut of Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows, facing the Usos.
Smackdown and Main Event will be taped Tuesday in Manchester, NH.


Captain New Japan & David Finlay vs. Juice Robinson & Jay White
Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Yoshi-Hashi & Rocky Romero & Trent Baretta
Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma & Yoshitatsu vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa
Katsuyori Shibata & Kushida vs. Yuji Nagata & Jushin Liger
Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo vs. Tetsuya Naito & Seiya Sanada & Bushi & Evil
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale
Kenny Omega vs. Michael Elgin for IC title


Watch the McGregor-free UFC 200 press conference; news & notes
UFC 197 : Observer Panel Picks Jones vs St Preux; Johnson vs Cejudo
TMZ: UFC refuses to put Conor McGregor back on UFC 200 
Conor McGregor releases statement regarding UFC 200  
Joanie “Chyna” Laurer passes away at 45 

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Figure Four Weekly 4/18/2016: The media’s involvement in the Hulk Hogan/Gawker lawsuit verdict – All the inside information you would ever want to know about how NOT to release a sex tape.

Wrestling Observer Newsletter


In this week’s Observer the Conor McGregor/UFC issue as it relates to UFC 200, and the future and possible sale of TNA are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

The top story runs down how the McGregor situation went down, how much money is at stake for the UFC if McGregor isn’t on the show, Dana White’s claims, a look at the most likely replacement fights and evaluating them, the possible UFC 200 momentum, as well as a rundown of UFC plans for what was expected to be the biggest weekend in its history.

The second big story has to do with the potential sale of TNA to Aroluxe, the company looking at buying them, and the moves Dixie Carter has tried to make, where things stand, a look at the business of TNA and what is needed to turn it around, and more.

There is also an update on the condition of Bray Wyatt, a look at the next WWE PPV show, Notes on the Total Bellas TV show, update on Total Divas and how badly this season declined in audience, more on the WWE drug test failuers, more on Undertaker pulling out of the European tour and HHH wrestling on it, an update on Steve Austin, an update on the Global cruiserweight tournament, Brock Lesnar’s next match, how WWE affects the USA Network overall, former major star honored in Chickasaw nation Hall of Fame, upcoming major NXT dates, Bret Hart talks current WWE, Ryback talks WrestleMania, and notes on the November European tour including why TV location is so notable.


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If you wanted to know just how big Giant Baba was to people who grew up in the 60s and 70s, the latest back issue will explain.
Check out the latest Online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: February 15, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Reaction to the death of Giant Baba, 2 wrestlers have heart scares, plus tons more  A look at the surprising public reaction to the death of Giant Baba, 2 wrestlers have heart attack scares, plus tons of news and notes.


The UFC held a press conference this afternoon in Las Vegas with all the headliners for International Fight Week and the elephant not in the room, Conor McGregor.  It got embarrassing for Dana White, who said that Nate Diaz would be on the card but they don’t have a new opponent for him.  Diaz, sitting there, said if he wasn’t fighting McGregor, he’s going on vacation.  There was a promotional piece for UFC 200 that said three title fights, and that would, based on schedule, that either they go with Daniel Cormier vs.  Tomorrow’s winner (Dana White did say that was a possibility) or Robbie Lawler vs. Nate Diaz.  Nobody brought that up. 

Everyone was pretty respectful with the exception of Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha.  Jedrzejczyk was asked about the fight the two had that wasn’t filmed while on the set of Ultimate Fighter.  Jedrzejczyk said she couldn’t remember.  Gadelha on Wednesday night said that she got the better of the fight.  They had a few words with Jedrzejczyk claiming Gadelha wanted to blow her kisses and she wanted to punch her.  Gadelha said that maybe she needed a fist somewhere else, which was a sexual innuendo since she pretty much said that he (whoever he is) needed to basically put her in better mood and make her less of a bitch.  Nobody else could touch that.

Eddie Alvarez said Rafael dos Anjos was the kind of opponent who will bring out a great fight in him.  He said he knows fans want Tank Abbott fights but he can’t do that every time out and needs the right opponent, and Anthony Pettis was not that opponent.

The fans were booing when White kept saying that McGregor was off the show because he wouldn’t come to do the press and TV commercial.  Here’s the deal, you can make a deal regarding the press conference but you can’t be in the main event and refuse to do the television commercial.  Obviously there is more to the story than is playing out, even though White claimed the whole story is out there.  White kept saying it’s unfair to everyone else who came, although Diaz said he didn’t care and that he feels McGregor needs the time to catch up.  McGregor tweeted during the press conference that nobody else on stage had made the company $400 million in eight months.  Well, he didn’t come close to that either. 

White also said that they were looking at having McGregor’s next fight to be against either Frankie Edgar or Jose Aldo, whoever wins on 7/9, and would book that as soon as the 7/9 winner was ready.  He said if McGregor didn’t take the fight, then the Aldo-Edgar winner would be the champion and White said that McGregor knows what’s going on.  White was very careful not to say anything bad about McGregor, claimed he wasn’t mad at him or even frustrated and that you have to come and do the press.

If you check the schedule, some big stuff tonight.  Benson Henderson challenges for the Bellator welterweight title; one of the best matches of 2015 airs on New Japan on AXS; and the last hour from Arena Mexico, which should be at about 11 p.m. Eastern is filled with talent.  The Friday night stuff when you’ve got guys like Mascara Dorada, Dragon Lee, Mistico, Volador Jr. with good catchers and bases as heels has been spectacular and tonight’s main event looks great.    


Lots of rumors regarding Finn Balor coming off the Samoa Joe title win last night.  The win was known and planned in advance.  The Finn Balor ankle injury was almost surely storyline as it played into the match, although he has been dealing with nagging injuries.  Balor’s teasing about seeing people on Monday is part of his regular stuff of always teasing a debut on Raw in some form.  He is coming up at some point and pitches have been made for him.  When that will be is uncertain.
WWE announced a Global cruiserweight series qualifying match on 5/1 in London at The Cockpit on the Revolution Pro Wrestling show with Noam Dar vs. Josh Bodom.
WWE stock closed up 30 cents per share today to $16.85.
WWE 2K 17 will be filming a TV commercial.  They are looking for a male or female 25-50 who can look credible as a police officer in a dangerous situation, and a stung person 25-40 with training and credits.  Pay is $500 per session.
American Grit, which I heard radio promotion for all day yesterday, did 2,170,000 viewers last night on ABC, down from week one.  Of the four major networks, the show was the lowest rated in prime time by a substantial margin.  In fact, Smackdown on USA beat it.
New Japan announced today that Wednesday morning’s show from Fukuoka, with some of the bouts from the canceled Kumamoto show, will air live on New Japan World.
A John Cena story is here.
Jim Ross talks the death of Joanie Laurer and his interaction with her.


Cain Velasquez talked about how he has to change his training so he makes it to the fight without getting hurt.
White said that if they were healthy, he would like Velasquez and Henry Cejudo to fight on the November show in Mexico City.
Yes, there is a UFC show tomorrow.  Rolling Stone interviewed Jon Jones on his return.
Jim Ross talks about the Eddie Bravo Invitational submission tournament which will be on both UFC Fight Pass and Fite TV on Sunday.  


The 5/8 ROH PPV show from Chicago is now sold out, as expected.  They have announced a preshow match as Crazy Mary Dobson vs. Kelly Klein.  Also added to that show besides the matches listed in the new Observer is an eight-man tag with the Young Bucks & Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa (The Bullet Club) vs. Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley & Kushida & Matt Sydal.  Kushida & Shelley have been tag team partners for years.  Sabin & Shelley were partners years before that. 
There is nothing to stories going around of Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer coming in for the TNA tapings.  They are in Japan for the NOAH tag team tournament and Smith has had no talks with TNA at all.
A fundraiser has been set up for Joe Doering for medical treatment to beat cancer and return to wrestling. 
Lots of interest in both the death of Chyna and the Conor McGregor situation mainstream.  On Thursday, Chyna was the No. 1 search with 5 million searches, which is more than any previous pro wrestling death or pro wrestling story has gotten in years.  On Wednesday, the second most searched term was Conor McGregor with 1 million, which is the interest level of a blockbuster (as in 750,000+ buys) show would do.  The most searched term was the Republican primary election results.
In Your Face Wrestling on 4/23 in Massena, NY at the Central High School with Tommy Dreamer & Shooter Storm vs. Myzery & Damien Barbarian.
NWA Mid South Wrestling at Resorts Casino 2 in Robinsonville, MS on 5/7 featuring an appearance by Kevin Nash.  
Maryland Championship Wrestling has changed its name to MCW Pro Wrestling.  They say the change is because they are promoting in Delaware and Pennsylvania now and are doing a subscription video network at MCWRageTV.
Interview with former Tough Enough winner Daniel Puder can be read here.

Today in professional wrestling history: 

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