THE LATEST NEWS
New Japan Cup night six results: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Kota Ibushi
WWE changes the name of Fabulous Moolah battle royal
The 2018 New Japan Cup semifinals are set
WWE NXT results: Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole
New Japan Cup night five results: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale
THE LATEST AUDIO
WOR: Wrestling Observer Radio with Jim Ross! 3/15
WOL: Fabulous Moolah battle royal changed, Dave Meltzer and Allie interviews, more! 3/15
WOR: 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards discussion and more! 3/15
F4D: Take One 3/14
NXT has a house show tonight in Daytona Beach.
IMPACT TONIGHT ON POP TV AT 8 P.M.
Feast or Fired Battle Royal
Taya vs. Rosemary
NEW JAPAN FROM KORAKUEN HALL TOMORROW MORNING AT 5:30 A.M. EASTERN ON NEW JAPAN WORLD
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Juice Robinson in the New Japan Cup semifinals
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Recapping Elimination Chamber and the Reigns-Strowman decision
What had been expected for nearly a year became official on Sunday night as Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns was announced for WrestleMania 34. Reigns defeated Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, John Cena, Elias, and The Miz in the main event of the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view to set up him challenging Lesnar at WrestleMania. The match came down to Reigns and Strowman, with Reigns finally putting him down with two spears.
WON NEWSLETTER: March 19, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2017 Observer Newsletter Awards
One of the biggest issues of the year is out this week: The 2017 Observer Awards in the following categories, with not just the top place winners in every category but also a list of every award winner in the categories dating back to 1980.
A WrestleMania update with this past week’s changes to the card, the most complete lineup, thoughts surrounding the use of the Moolah name in the women’s Battle Royal, how things evolved on the card, changes in recent weeks, more on the Reigns vs. Lesnar plans, and more on the year’s biggest show.
Also, full review of Fast Lane, with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.
In addition to all of this, an update on Ronda Rousey missing Raw, John Cena’s next movie, Dwayne Johnson’s contract for an upcoming movie, ticket sales for New Orleans, update on the NXT Takeover show, WWE injury updates, WWE cuts, WWE returns, and the most-watched shows on WWE Network. This issue provides complete rundowns on all of this past week’s WWE and NXT arena events, with highlights and business notes on every show.
Coverage continues, taking a look at New Japan plans for its next show after March, the situation with Jeff Hardy following his recent arrest and when he was scheduled to return to TV, a look at the first week of the New Japan Cup tournament and coverage of the ROH Anniversary Show. Also a preview of the NCAA Wrestling Championships, and a look at the biggest weekend of the year for pro wrestling in Germany with the 16 Carat Gold Tournament.
The issue also delivers the weekly coverage of every major show’s ratings, with detailed notes on who is watching all the WWE shows, results from the major league events held around the world, and the major TV show rundowns.
This past week’s results for every major pro wrestling event around the world are covered as well.
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THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE
Regarding WWE dropping the Fabulous Moolah name from the Battle Royal, a key to this happening was Snickers getting complaints from wrestling fans. Before WWE made the decision, Snickers, a sponsor of WrestleMania, wrote, “We were recently made aware of the World Wrestling Federation Inc’s decision to honor a former wrestler during the upcoming WrestleMania 34 event. As a principle-based business that has long championed creating inclusive environments that encourage and empower everyone to reach their full potential, this is unacceptable. We are engaging with WWE to express our disappointment.”
According to one person in the company, this reaction is being thought about a lot when it comes to others, including Hulk Hogan.
Talent has been very quiet on the Moolah subject and Stephanie McMahon spoke for the company on Twitter saying that they are listening to their fans and there will still be a historical women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania.
On today’s New Japan show at Korakuen Hall, Seiya Sanada and Zack Sabre Jr. advanced to Sunday’s semifinals with wins. Sanada beat Toru Yano and Sabre beat Kota Ibushi in a tremendous match. The winner of tomorrow’s match with Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Juice Robinson will meet the winner of the Sanada vs. Sabre match in the finals on Wednesday in Nagaoka. The winner of that match will likely face Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP title on 4/1.
Kota Ibushi vs. Adam Page has been added to the 4/7 Supercard of Honor show.
AXS announced that the next two Fridays will air matches from the New Beginnings in Osaka show. Tomorrow’s show is Hirooki Goto vs. Evil for the Never title (not that good) and Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi for the jr. title (one of the best matches so far this year). On 3/23 they will air the Kazuchika Okada vs Seiya Sanada IWGP heavyweight title match, and there will be the second hour on 3/23 featuring the return of the Golden Lovers, Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi, facing Cody & Marty Scurll plus Young Bucks & Hangman Page vs. Jay White & Chuckie & Yoshi-Hashi to build for the live show from Long Beach which will air at 8 p.m. Eastern and 5 p.m. Pacific headlined by Omega & Ibushi vs. Young Bucks.
They also announced a replay of the Long Beach show in the regular Friday night time slot on 3/30, and that the 4/6 show will have Minoru Suzuki vs. Togi Makabe for the IC title and Sho & Yoh vs. Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado from the 46th-anniversary show. The 4/13 show has Okada vs. Ospreay and Tetsuya Naito vs. Taichi from the anniversary show.
WWE has opened up some limited view tickets for both the 4/9 Raw and 4/7 NXT shows in New Orleans.
As of earlier today, there were only 546 tickets left for Monday’s Raw in Dallas, so that show will be sold out. However, for Smackdown on Tuesday, the entire upper deck is currently not being sold and there are still 700 tickets left for the lower deck.
Jim Ross announced he would be at WWE Axxess on the Saturday of Mania week from 10 a.m. to Noon and at Wrestlecon from 1-3 p.m.
Floyd Mayweather is claiming he’s going to train with Tyron Woodley for MMA and is looking to fight in UFC.
The new UFC video game has Dana White as a fighter character. He’s in the light heavyweight division and his stats are up there with the top guys in the promotion.
Saturday’s London show has lost a fight as Jack Marshman was pulled from his fight with Bradley Scott due to precautionary reasons related to weight cutting. Essentially they were unhappy with how much over 170 he was and with his condition and felt it would be dangerous to try and get to his weight. UFC has in recent weeks become more proactive regarding fighters cutting a ton of weight in the last day or days before weigh-ins.
UFC Gym announced a ten-year deal with TD Lifestyle pic. to open more than 100 gyms in the U.K. and Ireland. They currently have 150 gyms in the U.S., Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Mexico and other countries.
The NCAA wrestling championships started today in Cleveland. The morning show drew 18,660 fans and the secondary market for the finals is through the roof, killing everything in WWE and New Japan including WrestleMania. Mike Sempervive will be constantly updating the tournament.
FITE TV announced a television deal with Eleven Sports, Holyfield. TV, Tuff TV, Rochester Sports Channel, The Action Channel, Footprint TV, Untamed Sports and WLPC in Detroit for a weekly one hour show called FITE in Focus covering MMA, pro wrestling, boxing, Muay Thai, and kickboxing.
A video of the return of Ilja Dragunov in wXw over the weekend that was written about in the new issue. Here is the story of the angle.
Evolve pushing its WrestleMania weekend shows in this video.
AAW tomorrow night in Merrionette Park, IL at 115 Bourbon Street has Jushin Liger & ACH vs. David Starr & Trevor Lee, Jessicka Havok vs. Hudson Envy, Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Kingston, Moose vs. Keith Lee, Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett & Colt Cabana vs. Curt Stallion & Jake Something & Connor Braxton, MJF vs. Paco, Zema Ion vs. Myron Reed, Dave & Jake Crist vs. Teddy Hart & Joey Janela and Trey Miguel & Stephen Wolf vs. Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz.
5 Star Wrestling returns on 3/22 from the Manchester Arena with a three-hour show starting at 7 p.m. U.K. time. Jake Hager (Jack Swagger) returns as champion.
BJJ world champion Dillon Danis makes his MMA debut against Kyle Walker (2-4) on Bellator’s 4/28 show at the Allstate Arena in Chicago. That’s the show headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Frank Mir.
Santana Garrett vs. Priscilla Kelly was added to the 4/12 MLW show in Orlando at Gilt Nightclub.
Erik “Goyito” Perez, the top star in Combate Americas, makes his debut with the promotion on 4/20 in his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, facing D.J. Fuentes, who beat him before he went to UFC.
MCW on 3/24 in Joppa, MD headlined by The Bruiser vs. Joey Mercury in a cage match.
Shine on 4/27 in Ybor City, FL has Rain vs. Stormie Lee in a street fight, Nova champ Candy Cartwright vs. Priscilla Kelly and tag champs Mercedes Martinez & Ivelisse vs. Penelope Ford & Maria Manic.
United Wrestling Coalition on 3/17 at Kelly’s Banquet Hall in Wrightstown, NJ featuring a Hall of fame induction ceremony.
Smash Wrestling on 3/25 at The Phoenix in Toronto with Jeff Cobb and Matt Riddle.
Combate Americas announced a 4/13 show in Los Angeles at the Shrine Expo Hall.
Innovate Wrestling on Saturday night in Bristol, TN at the Patton-Crosswhite VFW Post 6975 with Devil Driscoll vs. Al Snow.
Ricky Steamboat has been announced as appearing at Wrestlecon in New Orleans on 4/7 and 4/8.
Bobby Fulton’s World Class Professional Big Time Wrestling on 3/234 in Circleville, OH has Kevin Sullivan & Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Cody Hawk & Sean Casey as the main event.
The Santino Brothers on 3/30 in Bell Gardens, FL has Tyler Bateman vs. Ruby Raze in a three stages of hell match.
Bar Wrestling next show on 4/12 has Kris Wolf, Moose, Katarina Leigh, Jeff Cobb, Joey Ryan, Brian Cage, Tessa Blanchard, Eli Drake and Taya Valkyrie.
RF Video announced a subscription-based VOD service called RFVideoVault.com. The service is being launched with an interview with Fred Rosser (formerly Darren Young) on his WWE career.
WrestleCircus on 3/234 in Austin, TX has Penta 0M vs. Shane Strickland, Tessa Blanchard vs. Chelsea Green for the women’s title, Rey Fenix vs. Dezmond Xavier, Jordan Len-X vs. Masada, Extra Talented vs. Andy Dalton & Gregory James, Teddy Hart vs. Andrew Everett vs. Myron Reed vs. Zachary Wentz, JT Dunn vs. Shane Taylor and more.
Calum Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org is looking for info on any shows in Baltimore from 4/17 to 4/27.
Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling on 3/24 in East Carondelet, IL at the Community Center.
Pro Wrestling Mid South on Saturday in Dyresburg, TN at the Herb Welch Wrestle Plex with Jerry Lawler vs. Matt Riviera plus Doug Gilbert and Tim Storm appear.
The Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill by a 112-29 vote earlier today that would ban those 17-and-under from competing in either pro or amateur MMA or pro kickboxing. In addition, the bill would ban elbows to the head and knees to the head in anyone’s first five amateur fights.
Today in Professional Wrestling History: WCW Uncensored 1998
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