The Latest from the F4W Staff
Shawn Michaels: WWE asked me to wrestle AJ Styles at WrestleMania
ROH’s Supercard of Honor to air live on iPPV
NXT TakeOver conference call: HHH on Kassius Ohno’s return, Kyle O’Reilly
Aleister Black set to debut at NXT TakeOver: Orlando
WWE NXT results: SAnitY vs. Dillinger, Strong & Jose
Jim Ross: ‘My little angel is gone’
WOL: AJ Styles vs. Shawn Michaels story, Dave Meltzer, Michael Kingston on Headlocked 3/23
NXT TakeOver conference call: HHH on Kassius Ohno’s return, Kyle O’Reilly 3/23
WOR: Death of Jan Ross, WWE/ROH situation, Smackdown, 205 Live, more 3/23
F4D: Smackdown, Impact, Total Divas, Geek of the Week, more! 3/22
We’re looking for reports on the NXT show tonight in Cocoa Beach, FL.
IMPACT AT 8 P.M. ON POP TV TONIGHT
FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 3/20/2017: Is AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon the right match for Wrestlemania?
While the decision to have AJ Styles face Shane McMahon at WrestleMania has drawn criticism from a lot of people, I’ve remained mostly ambivalent about the matchup. Or at least that’s how I felt until last Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown. The seven weeks between Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania kept the feud between Styles and Shane from really building until now, but it was surprisingly worth the wait when it did… Subscribers click here to continue.
WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: March 27, 2017: WWE potentially buying ROH, Jan Ross passes away, more
This week’s lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is regarding ROH, WWE and the current situation with ROH. It looks at the ramifications of a possible purchase, and how a sale changes the dynamics of the industry far past just ROH.
There is an update on the WrestleMania situation, with notes on new matches and plans, as well as ticket sales and matches throughout the weekend.
There are notes on the unique story involving Impact Wrestling making a deal with AAA as well as a current deal with The Crash, which has all kinds of strange political implications. Plus, look at Impact planning a potential PPV show to be held in Mexico, the unique contractual hurdles involved, and recent changes in AAA writing.
An update on the Paige situation can be read about.
There are also a number of WWE Hall of Fame updates, how the Hall of Fame has changed, an update on Mauro Ranallo, an update on Shinsuke Nakamura, more on the WrestleMania 32 attendance, Kurt Angle talks his return, lots more people coming to WWE, Fan Axxess plans and matches scheduled, WWE responds to a concussion lawsuit, plus the most watched shows of the week on WWE Network.
Check out the notes on all the WWE and NXT arena events over the past week, with in-ring highlights, results, crowd reactions and business notes.
Inside has full coverage of the New Japan Cup finals, as well as the other tournament matches, plans for the next month in Japan including the next three New Japan World live events.
There is a major feature on the retiring Manami Toyota, arguably the greatest female wrestler of all-time, talking about her background, her heyday, the boom of women’s wrestling, the Crush Gals and Beauty Pair era, the show where Toyota first got over, and so many of her awards.
Finally, look at CMLL’s first major show of the year with business notes, who is Pierroth, and match-by-match coverage with tar ratings.
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 28, 2000, WCW Super Brawl review, Super J Cup, plus tons of news
There is little to say about SuperBrawl 2000 other than James Brown was there and got a big reaction, and the crowd popped pretty big for Hulk Hogan’s ring entrance. It was a WCW show filled with young guys who the crowd doesn’t know or care about and old guys that the crowd knows but isn’t interested in except as short-term nostalgia acts. The big surprise of Sting returning meant little. The return of Roddy Piper returning was really sad, and showing clips of the 1989 Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk I Quit match only emphasized how great they once were compared to what the company puts out today, and how much older they’ve gotten… Subscribers click here to continue.
THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE
The latest audio show goes into detail on the ROH situation as well as all the latest news, plus the new issue of the Observer also covers those subjects in detail.
Joe Koff had something sent to ROH talent to tell them that the discussions with WWE regarded licensing old footage from their library.
An official announcement that World of Sport will be returning to ITV is expected to be imminent. We had already reported late May tapings for 10 or 11 episodes. Magnus and Rockstar Spud will join the cast of wrestlers who appeared on the New Year’s Eve show like Grado, Dave Mastiff and Davey Boy Smith Jr.
The show “Tainted Dreams” on Amazon got five Daytime Emmy nominations including Outstanding Digital Drama Series. Jessie Godderz of Impact Wrestling is a regular on the series.
Anthem has put a TM over all its YouTube videos that involve the Broken Hardys gimmick.
Konnan has said that he will have nothing to do with the AAA talent if they appear on Impact and that the Crash talent will not be in the same matches as the AAA talent.
The Bellator PPV show on 6/24 in Madison Square Garden currently has this lineup:
Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione
Douglas Lima vs. Lorenz Larkin for the welterweight title
Michael Chandler vs. Brent Primus for the lightweight title
Tickets for the show go on sale on 3/31. The show will start at 8 p.m. Eastern with two hours of fights on Spike and then the PPV starts at 10 p.m.
On the WWE conference call today, Paul Levesque said that there will be no specific television tapings done at Fan Axxess this year. All the matches will be taped but not for specific television shows. Last year they did an NXT taping in Dallas at Fan Axxess, but since they’re in Orlando, this year they are doing it at Full Sail University on 4/5.
The company will announce the new WWE Network subscriber number on 4/3 at 3 p.m. Eastern time in a conference call with George Barrios and Michelle Wilson.
Jimmy Fallon last night, when he had John Cena on as a guest, said that he would be attending WrestleMania as he’s taping all week in Orlando.
There is a pre-sale later today for the WWE tour of Australia with shows on 9/14 in Melbourne, 9/15 in Sydney and 9/16 in Brisbane. They go on sale 10 a.m. Friday local time at My Ticketek and go on sale to the public on Monday.
They also announced these new dates with shows on 6/8 in San Juan at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, 6/10 in Panama City, Panama at the Roberto Duran Arena, 6/11 in San Jose, Costa Rica at the Anfiteatro Coca Cola.
WWE debuts in Buenos Aires at the famed Luna Park, which was the site for a number of legendary matches in the old days, with a show on 10/19.
For anyone complaining about people who haven’t tweeted publicly about Jan Ross, who are likely close friends of Jim’s or at least people he’s known for decades, seriously, save your getting mad for something significant. I can guarantee they’ve all reached out to him in some form and if they were close with him that is a private situation. And this isn’t to say anything for people who did so in a public form, as I’m sure that is appreciated as well. But trying to turn this into some anti-Vince McMahon or anti-WWE thing is the worst. There are plenty of viable things to be mad or critical of WWE for, and this is the farthest thing from one of them. This is a real life tragedy and not some pro wrestling political issue.
WWE is advertising Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson defending the tag titles against The New Day, Sheamus & Cesaro and Enzo & Cass plus Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and Bayley for a show tomorrow night at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
NBC Sports talks to Paul Levesque.
Bayley talks to NBC Sports about why her dream opponent would be Stephanie McMahon.
A Las Vegas story noting that the commission will likely sanction McGregor vs. Mayweather is here.
Tickets for UFC 211 on 5/13 in Dallas at the American Airlines Arena, the PPV headlined by Stipe Miocic vs. Junior Dos Santos for the heavyweight title, Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade for the women’s strawweight title, Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodriguez, Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal, Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier, and Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. priced from $400 down to $50. There is a pre-sale going on right now using the code DALLAS.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Ilir Latifi has been added to the 6/25 UFC show in Oklahoma City.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Ben Nguyen has been added to the 6/10 show in Auckland, New Zealand.
The bill to change regulations on pro wrestling events in Arkansas that draw less than 1,500 fans so as to not require an ambulance at the shows passed in the state senate by a 34-0 margin yesterday.
A story on Mike Adamle is here.
Gawker and Peter Thiel have apparently come to a truce after Thiel financed the Hulk Hogan lawsuit that put them into bankruptcy. The deal they are working on, according to the New York Post, would mean Thiel would agree to fund no more lawsuits against them. In return, Gawker would write nothing negative about Thiel is what it appears to be.
More names added to the WrestleCon roster at WrestleMania include Jeff & Karen Jarrett, Moose, Kevin Sullivan, Shane Douglas, Tommy Rich, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Matt Morgan, King Mo Lawal, James Storm, Adam Rose and MVP.
Alberto El Patron has pulled out of all gigs in Orlando that weekend stating it’s due to the invasion of privacy involving his fiance.
Kyle O’Reilly will be starting with Evolve in late April.
Gabe Sapolsky will be doing a creative seminar on 3/31 in Orlando.
A trailer for a Ricky Steamboat interview is here.
Monsters Wrestling on 3/22 in Orlando at The Beacham on Orange Avenue featuring Ted DiBiase as a special guest.
FEW on 3/31 in Orlando at the Downtown Orlando Recreational Complex with a 7 p.m. show with live wrestling and a concert.
FEW is doing a Lucha Libre show on 4/1 at 3 p.m. at the Downtown Orlando Recreational Complex with Silver King, El Hijo de Mascara Sagrada, El Hijo de Dr. Wagner, Gronda, Willie Mack, Bestia 666, Rey Hours and Mariachi Loco.
The annual Beat the Streets wrestling event in Times Square takes place on 5/17 featuring a U.S. vs. Japan challenge with eight men’s matches and three women’s matches. The event takes place at 6 p.m.
Lucha Slam on 3/25 in Brantford, ONT at 6 Aberdeen Avenue at 3:30 p.m.
Pro Wrestling Eclipse on 5/20 in Oshawa, ONT and the Harmony Creek Community Centre.
Destiny on Sunday in Mississauaga, ONT at the Don Kolov Arena at 7:30 P.M. featuring Moose vs. Josh Alexander and Billy Gunn & Psycho Mike vs. RJ City & Johnny Playboy.
Smash Wrestling on Sunday at 6 p.m. in London, ONT at the Music Hall with Tyler Tirva vs. Tyson Dux vs. Cody Deaner, Braxton Sutter vs. Davey Richards, Colt Cabana vs. Scotty O’Shea and Rosemary vs. KC Spinelli.
NWF from Sunday in Kansas City: Gil Rogers DCOR Ray Briggs, Blaine Meeks b Lakota Red Cloud in the Kansas City title tournament, Jeremy Wyatt won three-way over Scott Slade an Thor Teriot, Dak Draper b Niles Plonk in the Kansas City title tournament, Blood Brothers b Royal Blood (thanks to Brian Hoops)
Reader Kyle Niblett is selling tickets for these events in Orlando at less than face value that he can’t attend due to an illness: Hall of Fame (lower level), Evolve 81 (front row), Sting & Flair Q&A, Wrestling Revolver (fourth row) and Jim Ross Q&A. For more info he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Rand has a ticket to the Wrestlecon supershow on 3/31 at 8:30 p.m. in the third row. He said he will be at the Observer dinner earlier that night and can give the ticket to someone attending at face value if they contact him first at email@example.com.
Golden By Boxing will be debuting on ESPN 2 tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern.
GOUGE on Saturday night presents Russellmania at the Draft Line Brewery in Fuquay Varina, NC at 4 p.m.
Empire State Wrestling on Saturday at 6 p.m. in North Tonawanda, NY at the St. Johnsburg Firehall with Brandon Thurston vs. Bill Collier as the main event, plus Davey Richards vs. Braxton Sutter, DJZ vs. Kevin Bennett and Ethan Page, Punishment Martinez, Bram, Gregory Iron and Dick Justice appearing.
Global Wrestling Federation Rebirth on Saturday in Kansas City at Soccer Nation KC at 7 p.m.
NFC MMA tomorrow night in Kennesaw, GA at the Electric Cowboy.
Matt Riddle talks Bill Goldberg and pro wrestling.
You can also listen to the entire interview with Riddle on the Between The Ropes podcast.
A story on ribs in the old AWA involving Verne Gagne, Ray Stevens and Larry Hennig is here. (thanks to Gary Collins)
Here’s a long but very interesting article written by the “drag queen” pro wrestler who has been making social media rounds the past few days. (thanks to Jake Koch)
Today in Professional Wrestling History (3/23): Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13
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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