THE ROUND-UP

The Latest from the F4W Staff

NEWS

Shaq blames WWE for WrestleMania match falling through
CM Punk part of MTV’s ‘The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros’ cast
EVOLVE 83 results: Drew Galloway vs. Matt Riddle
Tajiri not returning to WWE after knee injury
WWE allows the Hardys to wrestle at House of Hardcore on Saturday night

AUDIO

WOL: Feedback from India on Jinder, RAW, Payback, tons more! 4/24
B&V: ROH TV, NWA World Championship Wrestling from 30 years ago this week! 4/23
WOL: Jinder Mahal and India, DUMPSTER MATCH returns, more! 4/23

Raw is tonight at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. It will be the go-home show for Payback meaning the return to television of Roman Reigns. Kalisto vs. Braun Strowman in a dumpster match was announced. There will also be a Smackdown brand house show in Peoria, IL, and this will be with the new rosters meaning Shinsuke Nakamura, Charlotte, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn appear. Send reports to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

Smackdown will be Tuesday night in Des Moines. Naomi vs. Charlotte for the women’s championship has been announced for the show.


FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 4/18/2017: Shibata vs. Okada underscores the dangers of pro wrestling

I wasn’t thinking about the headbutt that may have ended Katsuyori Shibata’s career when the main event of Sakura Genesis ended. Instead, I was impulsively trying to fit Shibata vs. Kazuchika Okada into the hierarchy of matches I’ve seen over the past few years. I knew that it was my favorite match of the year so far, even surpassing Okada vs. Kenny Omega from the Tokyo Dome. It comfortably surpassed anything from 2016 for me as well, and I may have been able to go back further if it wasn’t for the fear of recency bias affecting my judgment too much.

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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: April 24, 2017: Jinder Mahal made #1 contender, Rosey passes away, more

A look at the life and times of Matt “Rosey” Anoa’i, more on the Mauro Ranallo situation, looking at Jinder Mahal’s push to the top, an update on Katsuyori Shibata and a look at the first-ever government investigation of an attempted fix of a UFC fight are just some of the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Have a look at the current WWE booking, the story behind the push of Jinder Mahal, realities of what pushing talent based on physique leads to, and how the network business models plays into this move.

Examine the life and career of Matt Anoa’i of the famed Samoan wrestling family, and notes from those who knew him and a rundown of his pro wrestling career, his near misses when it comes to a push, tragedies in the family, his runs outside WWE and more.

An update on the situation with Katsuyori Shibata, who was injured during one of the greatest matches in recent years, and a look at what happened after the match; look back at how the death of Masakazu Fukuda plays into the story, more on the match, as well as the road Shibata took from high school to selling out Sumo Hall and where he was supposed to be headed, inside this issue.

There is more on the Mauro Ranallo situation including his return to Japan with Rizin and how that was set up, his run in WWE, why the run didn’t work, backstage notes at WWE tapings, several wrestlers talk about that situation or their own situations, a look back at the Layfield/Blue Meanie incident and differences of opinion regarding who was responsible for what was happening.

Check out the roster switch over when it comes to house shows and the current plans for May lineups, Roman Reigns at the house shows this past weekend, the biggest surprise of the roster moves, update on The Hardys and the legalities of the broken gimmick, update on Bill Goldberg’s contractual situation and future with the company, and WWE injury updates. 

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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. 
 
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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: March 27, 2000: More on WWF leaving USA Network, Beyond the Mat controversy, more

One of the two remaining roadblocks to the WWF/CBS deal was removed this past week when Chris-Craft Industries, Inc. agreed to sell its half of UPN to Viacom for $5 million. Chris-Craft had sought to block a clause in its dual ownership contract of UPN with Viacom, which gave either side the right to order the other to either sell its half or buy out the other company’s half. Viacom had, through that clause, ordered Chris-Craft to make a decision by 3/20.

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Due to an injury to King Mo Lawal, he’s off the 6/24 Bellator show in Madison Square Garden, where he was to face Phil Davis for the light heavyweight title. Ryan Bader has been moved into the spot. The fight will air on Spike prior to the PPV as the television main event.

Scott Steiner was revealed at last night’s Impact tapings as the mystery partner of Josh Matthews at Slammiversary on 7/2 in his tag match against Joseph Park & Jeremy Borash for the lead announcing position. LAX also won the GFW tag team titles in a tournament final over Wilcox & Mayweather (Jax Dane & former Crimson). Last night was the final night of tapings and covers all of May.

The main event for the next ROH PPV on 5/12 in New York will be a three-way for the title with Christopher Daniels vs. Cody, with the third guy being the winner of a four-way match earlier in the show with Jay Lethal, Hangman Page, plus Marty Scurll vs. Matt Sydal for the TV title.

New Japan’s Anti-Aging Yuji Nagata turned 49 today.

This story lists some new Sinclair acquisitions which may include some new small market stations ROH may be on. (thanks to Chris Cruise)

WWE
On the TV show Last Week Tonight last night, in a segment talking about Turkish President Erdogan, they brought up hoping John Cena has a Happy 40th birthday (it was yesterday). Host John Oliver joked “How the f*** are John Cena and I the exact same age?” (thanks to Denis Gorman)
Jerry Lawler’s Hall of Fame Bar and Grille in Memphis announced they would be doing an event on 5/13 with a Memphis Hall of Fame induction ceremony featuring Jerry Lawler, Bill Dundee, The Gilbert Family, Koko B. Ware, Bobby Eaton, Jerry Calhoun, Jim Cornette and Jimmy Hart with Brandon Baxter as the M.C. They just did an event over the weekend with Lance Russell & Dave Brown together.
After Raw tonight will be a Table for Three special with Shawn Michaels, A.J. Styles and Kevin Nash. They will talk about how the story of the Styles-Michaels match at Rumble got started, which is basically Styles pushing for it, Vince asking and then it didn’t happen.
The company announced they would be holding tryouts in Dubai with a four-day camp from 4/26 to 4/29 at the Dubai Opera House. They will be looking at powerlifters, bodybuilders, martial artists and fitness experts.
MISCELLANEOUS
Today’s pro wrestling quiz is on brain injuries.
AAW on Saturday night in LaSalle, IL: Stephen Wolf & Trey Miguel b CJ Esparza & Nick Brubaker, Mike Hartenbower b Danny Adams, Ace Perry & Paco Gonzalez b Bucky Collins & Connor Braxton, Chuck Taylor b Alex Daniels, Mat Fitchett b Zachary Wentz, Bob Holly b Mil Muertes, Gregory Iron & Veda Scott b Mike Hartenbower & Samantha Heights, Michael Elgin b Daga in a **** match, Dave & Jake Crist d AR Fox & Rey Fenix over 30:00 in a tag team title match. The crowd was furious because nobody has seen time limit draws in so long. Heel Dave Crist asked the crowd if they wanted five more minutes, and when they said yes, he said, “No way marks.” Next show is 5/6 at the Logan Square Auditorium. The show is almost sold out with no matches announced.
Bullet Proof Wrestling on Saturday night in Barnesville, GA before 500 fans: Odinson b Ryan Oshun, Yohei Komatsu & Sho Tanaka b Tyson Dean & CB Suwave (subbing for Jax Dane, who was on the Impact tapings), Bobby Fish b Brady Pierce (subbing for JT Dunn, who is recovering from a concussion), Donovan Dijak b Drew Adler to win the WrestleMerica heavyweight title, Aria Blake b Keira Hogan with Brandi Rhodes as referee, Zac Edwareds & Michael Stevens b Jon & Trey Williams, Cody Rhodes b Jimmy Havoc in a no D! match for the Bullet Proof championship. Next show is 5/13 with Jeff Cobb, Trevor Lee, David Finlay, John Skyler, Cody Rhodes and Dijak.
Absolute Intense Wrestling’s JT Lightning Invitational tournament on 5/26 and 5/27 features Tom Lawlor, Tracy Williams, Ethan Page, Joey Janela, Steve Pain and Little Guido.
Pro Wrestling Phoenix on Wednesday night in Omaha at the Waiting Room Lounge.
Canadian Wrestling Elite from last night in St. Albert, Alberta as part of the Paul Orndorff tour: Shane Sabre b K-Dos, Omar Amir b Ethan Price, Rex Roberts b Phil Atlas, Garrison Creed & Roy Gordon & Alex Anthony b Jacob Creed & Tony Kozina & Steve Stylez, Danny Duggan b William Saint, Heavy Metal & Jess Youngblood b Kute Kody & Tasty Travis, Marky b AJ Sanchez. Next show is 8/7.
IPW from Saturday night in Lynfield, New Zealand: Candy Lee b Frankie, James Shaw won Rumble, Britenay b Ashlee Spencer, Privileged b FIST, Brook Duncan b Curt Chaos to win IPW title, Shaw b Duncan. (thanks to Steve Ogilvie)
Best in the West TV from Sunday morning in Fresno: RJ Cruz b Wild Horse, Midnight Marvels b Richie Slade & Billy Blade, Virgil Flynn won three-way over Diablo Azteca and Vintage Dragon. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
NWL St. Louis from yesterday in St. Louis: Tommy Flagg b Jay Lutz, Underground & Christian Adonis b Buddy Shephard & Javy Torres and Neon Iverson, Cornell Douglas & Castle b Blood Brothers, Jack Foster b Emmett DuBois-DQ, Royal Blood b Party Crashers, Blaine Meeks b Marcellus Gaines, Maverick b Todd Letterman-DQ. (thanks to Brian Hoops)
NWX on 5/7 at the CWF Training Facility in St. Catharines, ONT.
Red Rock Wrestling on 5/12 in Stratford, PEI at the Town Hall with a women’s tournament.
Brady Roberts, who wrestled as Brady Malibu and starred in World of Hurt with Rowdy Roddy Piper, has released his first ebook, The History of Comic Books on Television. It’s available on Amazon now for $2.99.

Today in Professional Wrestling History (4/24): Hogan vs. Bockwinkel at AWA Super Sunday

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