News

FRI UPDATE: Big Weekend, two companies look to set records, CTE, Robinson, Owens, new WWE network show

By Dave Meltzer

We’ve got a huge weekend with lots of shows, tons of audio and perhaps the most important match of the year tonight.

We’ll be doing thumbs up, thumbs down and thumbs in the middle and best and worst match polls on CMLL and ROH tonight, Bellator tomorrow and WWE on Sunday at Dave Meltzer

We’re looking for reports on tonight’s WWE show in Montreal (Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns), NXT in Austin, TX (Bayley vs. Dana Brooke for womens’ title, Samoa Joe vs. Tyler Breeze) land TNA in Morgantown, WV (Ethan Carter III vs. Matt Hardy for TNA title, Bobby Roode vs. Drew Galloway vs. Ken Anderson for King of the Mountain title, Tommy Dreamer vs. Eli Drake falls count anywhere, Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong, Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Abyss & Manik, DJ Zema Ion vs. Tyrus) at Dave Meltzer

CMLL 82nd Anniversary show at 9 p.m. at http://cmll.cleeng.com on iPPV

Esfinge & Fuego & The Panther vs. Disturbio & Puma King & Virus

Guerrero Maya Jr. & Maximo & Stuka Jr. vs. Dragon Rojo & Polvora & Rey Escorpion

Dark Angel (Mexico City farewell before starting with WWE as a trainer) vs. Princesa Sugei

Dragon Lee & Mistico & Valiente vs. Negro Casas & Felino & Mr. Niebla

Shocker & Volador Jr. & Ultimo Guerrero vs. Marco Corleone & Rush & Thunder

Atlantis vs. La Sombra mask vs. mask 
 

ROH on PPV at 9 p.m. from the Shrine Auditorium in San Antonio

Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. ?

Silas Young vs. Dalton Castle – If Young wins, he gets the boys, if Castle wins, Young becomes one of the boys

Moose vs. Cedric Alexander no DQ

Matt Sydal vs. ACH match three in best of five

A.J. Styles vs. Roderick Strong vs. Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin – winner gets an ROH title shot

Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. Young Bucks vs. Matt Taven & Michael Bennett for ROH tag titles

Jay Lethal vs. Bobby Fish for TV title

Jay Lethal vs. Kyle O’Reilly for ROH title
 

New Japan World Pro Wrestling Returns on AXS at 9 p.m. Eastern

Chase Owens vs. Jushin Liger for NWA jr. title

Ryusuke Taguchi vs Taichi for IWGP jr. title

Alex Shelley & Kushida vs. Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly for IWGP Jr. tag titles
 

World Series of Fighting tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern on NBC Sports Network

Justin Gaethje (14-0 vs. Luis Palomino (23-10) for lightweight title

Dave Branch (16-3) vs. Teddy Holder (9-0) to crown the first light heavyweight champion

Timor Valiev (9-1) vs. Tito Jones (11-7)

Ben Fodor (Phoenix Jones) (5-1-1) vs. Roberto Yong (2-2)

Brian Foster (22-7) vs. La Rue Burley (6-0)
 

RFA tonight at 10 p.m. on AXS

Don Hamilton vs. Kassius Holdorf

James Nakashima vs. Chance Rencountre

Grant Dawson vs. Clay Wimer

Zach Juusola vs. Robert Rojas Jr.

Matt Brown vs. Derrick Minner

Ryan Roberts vs. Adam Townsend

Brock Jardine vs. Anthony Smith
 

Pro Wrestling NOAH on Saturday at the Edion Arena in Osaka

Yoshihiro Takayama & Mohammed Yone & Akitoshi Saito & Quiet Storm vs. Kenou & Hajime Ohara & Genba Hirayanagi & Captain NOAH

Desperado & Taka Michinoku vs. Mitsuhiro Kitamiya & Kota Umeda

Super Crazy & Hitoshi Kumano vs. Buffalo & Billy Ken Kid for the jr. tag tourney

Yoshinari Ogawa & Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Taiji Ishimori & Masamune for jr. tag tourney

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Shelton Benjamin vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima

Naomichi Marufuji vs. Atsushi Kotoge

Maybach Taniguchi vs. Takashi Iizuka no DQ

Taichi vs Daisuke Harada for GHC jr. title

Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Ray Rowe & Hanson for GHC tag titles

Minoru Suzuki vs. Takashi Sugiura for GHC title, no DQ, no count out, no stopping on blood, no time limit, nobody allowed at ringside special ref Tiger Hattori

Saturday we’re looking for reports on WWE in Waco, TX (Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns), ROH TV tapings in San Antonio (Jay Briscoe vs. Adam Page, Jay Lethal vs. Takaaki Watanabe for TV title, ACH vs. Matt Sydal, plus The Addiction, Young ?Bucks, A.J. Styles, Mark Briscoe, Matt Taven, Michael Bennett, Adam Cole, Silas Young, Dalton Castle, Moose and Cedric Alexander), NXT also in San Antonio (Finn Balor vs. Tyler Breeze for NXT title, Vaudevillains vs. Blake & Murphy in Dusty Rhodes tag team tournament), TNA in Belle Vernon, PA (Ethan Carter III vs. Matt Hardy for TNA title, Drew Galloway vs. Tyrus, Ken Anderson vs. Eli Drake, Madison Rayne vs. Awesome Kong, Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Abyss & Manik, DJ Zema Ion vs. Tyrus plus Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy appear).

Bellator Dynamite 1 from San Jose Saturday night on Spike TV at 9 p.m. Eastern

Linton Vassell (15-4-1) vs. King Mo (15-4, 1 no contest) in first round of light heavyweight tournament

Phil Davis (13-3) vs. Emanuel Newton (25-8-1) in first round of light heavyweight tournament

Kerri Taylor Melendez (2-1) vs. Hadley Griffith (0-0) in Glory kickboxing

Paul Daley (20-3) vs. Fernando Gonzalez (1-2) in Glory kickboxing

Josh Thomson (20-8) vs. Mike Bronzoulis (18-8-1)

Saulo Cavalari (31-2) vs. Zack Mwekessa (13-2) for the Glory light heavyweight title

Light heavyweight tournament finals

Liam McGeary (10-0) vs. Tito Ortiz (18-11) for Bellator light heavyweight title

 

Titan Fighting Championships from Ridgefield, WA on UFC Fight Pass Saturday night

Ricky Simon vs. Alex Soto

Zane Kamaka vs. Belel Muhammed

Steven Siler vs. Austin Springer

Tim Elliott vs Felipe Efran

Andre Harrison vs. Desmond Green for featherweight title

Pat Healy vs Rick Hawn for lightweight title
 

WWE Night of Champions PPV at 7 p.m. Eastern on WWE network

Seth Rollins vs. Sting for WWE title

Seth Rollins vs. John Cena for U.S. title

Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose & ? vs. Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper & Braun Strowman

Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte for Divas title, title can change hands via DQ or count out

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev

New Day vs. Dudleys for tag titles

Neville & The Lucha Dragons vs. Stardust & The Ascension preshow match

Raw will be Monday night in Laredo, TX.  For what it’s worth, and it wasn’t worth much last week, Randy Orton is scheduled on the show.

Smackdown will be taped Tuesday in Corpus Christi with Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Sheamus as the top advertised stars.
 

New Japan Destruction in Okayama PPV on Tuesday night at 11 p.m. Pacific and 2 a.m. Eastern on New Japan World

Sho Tanaka & Yohei Komatsu & Yuji Nagata & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Jay White & David Finlay & Manabu Nakanishi & Tetsuya Naito

Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Jushin Liger & Mascara Dorada non-title

Steve Anthony vs. Tiger Mask for NWA jr. title

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Matt Sydal vs. Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga

Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan for IWGP tag titles

Hirooki Goto & Tomoaki Honma & Captain New Japan & Ryusuke Taguchi & Alex Shelley vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi & Rocky Romero & Baretta

Kazuchika Okada & Toru Yano vs. A.J. Styles & Cody Hall

Kushida vs. Kenny Omega for IWGP jr. title

Togi Makabe vs. Kota Ibushi for Never Open weight title

We’ve got a look at WWE right now with the issues that have led to ratings setting record lows as well as an update on TNA, New Japan, GFW, ROH and everyone else in the battle for No. 2, as the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  This issue also has a detailed look at the Nick Diaz situation and why it is far more complicated than most are making it out to be, Atlantis vs. La Sombra in one of the year’s biggest matches, a history of the CMLL anniversary shows, a look at Thomas Hauser’s article on USADA, an update on Dr. Christopher Amann’s lawsuit against C.M. Punk and Colt Cabana, what led to the Mayweather flop on PPV and New Japan builds for two PPVs this month.

The latest Wrestling Observer:September 21, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: State of WWE after lowest ratings in years

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The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.

The lead story looks at what is and isn’t misleading about the record low ratings for Raw and Smackdown over the past two weeks, the rate of decline, the future of Smackdown, and why wrestling even with lower ratings may be far more valuable to the USA Network when the current contract is over.  We look at the problems that are inherent, those that can be addressed and those that can’t.  We look at why this past week’s Raw rating was far more sobering than the week before as well as how wrestling and every combat sport is changing from an economic situation worldwide.  We look at interviews, finishes, making stars and dropping the ball on stars.  We also look at Night of Champions.

We update the TNA television situation, what promotion had a strong growth year, and the future of No. 2, as well as an update on all of TNA’s TV deals.

We go in depth on Nick Diaz, and what are the key elements of the story, why he got a five year suspension, how Diaz has blown his prime years in fighting, the commissioners discuss the suspension and the deliberations leading to it.  We talk about why comparisons to Anderson Silva and Jon Jones aren’t valid in this case, detail the controversies over the test results, the legal issues involved, and Diaz talks about what happened in childhood that led him to where he is.

We also look at the situation with Jake Shields and the commission ruling on his post-match punch to Rousimar Palhares, as well as his comments on what happened.

We also look at what contracted talent was told about Hulk Hogan, as well as a double standard that is too obvious, the next Takeover special, Update on Lana, Dwayne Johnson makes former WWE writer a major executive in his company, what happened at the recent NXT talent meeting, Daniel Bryan talks about creating new stars, and his health situation as well as PPV matches he wants.

We look at plans for the November European tour, WWE performers and Twitter, Paige talks in detail about her incident with Alicia Fox that turned into a fight of sorts with two other women and how it all went down.  Jimmy Noonan talks issues with WWE security including a story when a fan kicked the ass of a main event wrestler inside the ring one night and how that fan ended up as a wrestler.

We look at another sports star that WWE is bringing in for a tryout, four cast members from Tough Enough who have now signed contracts, this week’s NXT shows, and the father of a WWE wrestler who is an all-time legend in slow-pitch softball.

We’ve got notes on the WWE TV shows as well as the next month of NXT shows, as well as reports on WWE business over the past week, and highlights from all the house shows.

We look at the Atlantis vs La Sombra match, the build to the match, why the match is so big, the last angle and what happened with Dr. Wagner Jr. an L.A. Park.  We also look at a history of the CMLL Anniversary shows, with the big names that have appeared on them and the most famous matches over the years.

We look at Thomas Hauser’s article on USADA and how it related to Floyd Mayweather, what about the article had validity and what was a stretch.  We look at USADA’s drug testing in UFC and what the results so far say, the concept of retroactive TUE’s, a scary aspect of a contract Manny Pacquiao was given and wouldn’t sign, rumors of Mayweather positive tests, and the story behind Erik Morales failing four tests before a fight for Clenbuterol and still fighting.

We update the situation with Dr. Christopher Amann’s lawsuit against C.M. Punk.  We look at the response to the suit filed by Punk and Colt Cabana, WWE’s response and what the key issues in the suit are.

We’ve got notes on the Floyd Mayweather-Andre Berto PPV number and lessons that it has taught.

We also run down this past week’s New Japan show at Korakuen Hall and how it builds the next two PPV shows.

We’ve also got ratings from all the television shows this past week along with results from all the major arena events.

We also update on the last two AAA TV tapings, Genichiro Tenryu’s last match at Korakuen Hall, the Dragon Gate Summer Adventure tag team tournament, the All Japan Open singles tournament, the NOAH jr. heavyweight tournament, New Japan talks about their relationship with WWE and more.

We look at the Japanese female wrestler who broke her record for most world championships, and a new Hall of Fame mixed tag team.

We’ve got notes on Hulk Hogan’s latest media and what he said that simple time lines can disprove, notes on Jimmy Snuka including why there will be a lot more coverage of his story coming up, as well as why his hearing this week was canceled.  We look at the U.S. gold medalists in the world wrestling championships and what wrestler looks like a great UFC or WWE prospect.  We also update GFW and where television stands, look at a star indie wrestler sent to prison, Podcasts involving wrestling personalities, two pro wrestlers at the 1980 Olympic team reunion, an update on House of Hardcore, an update on Kelly Kelly, whatever happened to Chuck Palumbo, former UFC star getting a pro wrestling break, a wrestling show uncovered by a historian that drew 80,000 fans in 1936, the daughter of a WWE Hall of Famer starting wrestling training, and a well known pro wrestler competing under another name in pseudo MMA combat.

We also look at some significant negotiations going on with ROH and a look at the weekend events.

We also look at the Jarrett/Dixie Carter deal, Earl Hebner into the TNA Hall of Fame and his background, an update on Bram and Kurt Angle and Angle’s wrestling schedule.

We look at ticket sales for UFC 194 and how early sales have been, more big fights announced, a UFC signee who will start after competing in the 2016 Olympics, Ronda Rousey in the ESPN poll of the greatest female athlete of all-time, as well as lots of new UFC fights.

We also look at a new Bellator deal, and Scott Coker’s hopes for this week’s show.

We also look at a proposed Chael Sonnen vs. Josh Barnett grappling match, and the return of Ben Askren.

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FRIDAY’S NEWS UPDATE

Lots of audio on this gigantic weekend for big shows.  Bryan and I will be doing shows the next four tonights.  Tonight’s show will cover CMLL and ROH, tomorrow we’ll be covering Bellator, Sunday we’ll be covering WWE Night of Champions and Monday we’ll be covering Raw.  With four shows, there’s probably a lot of time for questions at least on some of the shows so you can send them to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com
Not that this means anything until an hour before the start of the show, but the odds for WWE at BetWrestling.com are
Seth Rollins -455
Sting +315
Seth Rollins +250
John Cena -350
Ryback -140
Kevin Owens +100
New Day -230
Dudleys +170
Nikki Bella +115
Charlotte -155
Dean Ambrose team -150
Wyatts +110
Neville’s team +130
Stardust’s team -170

Expectations this weekend are that CMLL could approach if not break its all-time gate record tonight.  Bellator has already blown past its all-time gate record for tomorrow.
Evolve announced on 10/17 in Queens NY that Drew Gulak faces Trevor Lee, with the winner getting an Evolve title shot at Timothy Thatcher on 10/18 in Deer Park, NY.  The loser will wrestle Willie Mack.  Matt Riddle’s first two matches with the promotion and outside the Monster Factory shows will be on 10/17 against Jonathan Gresham and 10/18 against Chris Dickinson.
Today would have been the 76th birthday of Billy Robinson.  It’s really amazing that for a guy whose entire career was as a pro wrestler, his death got so much more coverage on UFC and MMA broadcasts than pro wrestling broadcasts.
While this isn’t a pro wrestling or MMA story, although it really is, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University has noted that out of 91 deceased NFL players brains that have been examined, 87 shows symptoms of CTE.  In those who never played pro football, but played college or high school that were tested, 44 out of 74 had symptoms of CTE.
The WWE Network will be debuting a new Monday night show after Raw called “Legends with JBL,” where John Layfield interviews people from wrestling.  Monday will be Eric Bischoff. 
Patric Laprade story on Kevin Owens
One of my friends who has been a paying subscriber to the WWE Network since day one keeps getting an offer for a free month, so they’re actually encouraging paying subscribers to cancel, and get a free month for signing back on.
Premier Wrestling tomorrow in San Jose at Del Mar High School at 6 p.m.. with JR Kratos (8-2) defending his title against Jeff Cobb (6-2-1), Nicole Savoy & Kahmora vs. Raze & Kikyo Nakamura, Timothy Thatcher (3-2-1) vs. Joe Graves (2-0-1) and more.
Jim Ross has a talk show on Sunday at the Warehouse Live Ballroom, very close to the Toyota Center, at 2 p.m. for the meet and greet and 4 p.m. for the show.  tickets are at tickerly.com and the box office at the building.  There will be two and a half hours after the show ends before the first prelim goes into the ring at Night of Champions.
CMLL on Tuesday night in Guadalajara:  Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno b Divino & Reycko, Cancerbero & Raziel & Sangre Azteca b Gallo & Hombre Bala Jr.. & Super Halcon Jr., Blue Panther Jr. & Esfinge & The Panther b Cuatrero & Sanson & Bobby Zavala-DQ, Angel de Oro & Rey Cometa & Stuka Jr. b Misterioso Jr. & Pierroth & Sagrado, Metalico b Omar Brunetti in a hair vs. hair match, Brazo de Plata & Maximo & Valiente b Euforia & Negro Casas & Ultimo Guerrero
UWE on Tuesday in Tlanepantla:  Mr. Arana & Arana Negra b Dragon Force & Pakal, Nino Hamburguesa & Goya Kong b Carta Brava Jr. & Hiedra, Daga & Pentagon Jr. & Angelico & Fenix (fans threw money into the ring after this match), Psycho Circus b El Hijo del Fantasma & El Texano Jr. & Mascara Ano 2000 Jr., Blue Demon Jr. & Canek b Pirata Morgan & Villano IV
There is a Lucha Libre show on 10/8 in Laredo with Alberto El Patron teaming with father Dos Caras & brother El Hijo del Dos Caras to face Mr. Aguila & Pierko & Pirata Morgan (thanks to Kris Zellner)
NWAClassics.com today has a young Greg Valentine vs. Tiger Conway Jr. plus early David Von Erich footage.
Less then 70 tickets remain for tonights’ NFC 77 show at Center Stage in Atlanta.
AAW tonight in Merrionette Park, IL at 115 Bourbon Street is headlined by Ethan Page, The Crist Brothers, Tyson Dux, Matt Cage, Louis Lyndon, Eddie Kingston, Chris Hero, Johnny Gargano, Trevor Lee, Candice LaRae and more.
Indie band Wavves shot their music video at an Underground Empire Wrestling event (LA hardcore indie promotion).
Rolling Stone premiered the video

ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY INTERNATIONAL (thanks to Graeme Cameron)

1981 – Alfonso Dantes beat Enrique Vera to win the Mexican national light heavyweight title

1992 – Lizmark beat Universo 2000 in Acapulco to win the Mexican national light heavyweight title

1993 – Mima Shimoda beat Bat Yoshinaga to win the Japanese women’s title

1995 – Fuerza & Juventud Guerrera beat Latin Lover & Panterita del Ring in Nuevo Laredo to win the Mexican National tag titles and Perro Aguayo beat Cien Caras to win the WWA heavyweight title

2006 – Azumi Hyuga beat Manami Toyota on Tokyo to win the JWP title