The Latest from the F4W Staff
NEW JAPAN BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS TOURNAMENT AT 5:30 A.M. EASTERN TIME WEDNESDAY ON NEW JAPAN WORLD
- ACH vs. Bushi
- Kushida vs. Desperado
- Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Tiger Mask vs. Volador Jr.
- Jushin Liger vs. Taka Michinoku
- Ricochet vs. Taichi
- Dragon Lee vs. Hiromu Takahashi
- Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll
FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 5/8/2017: Thinking outside the long talking segment
While it wasn’t entirely revolutionary, the two-part “Who is Roderick Strong?” series that aired on NXT television over the past couple of weeks again proved how effective WWE’s video profiles can be in getting characters over. Similar videos have aired in the past (with a series that focused on Finn Balor in NXT standing out as a highlight), but the profiles on Strong may have been the best that WWE has ever done. They made him feel like a fully formed character in a way that he never really has before.
WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: May 15, 2017: WWE financials breakdown, Braun Strowman injured, tons more
It’s another double issue of the Observer out this week, with more of a look at the WWE business in every category, how the Braun Strowman injury affects booking, the death of one of pro wrestling’s leading historians J Michael Kenyon, New Japan’s direction, the life of Gran Apache, UFC business, indies and the WWE ratings declines.
Look at the current WWE finances, WWE network subscriptions, television revenue, how much WWE takes in for Total Divas, comparing this year’s WrestleMania to last year when it comes to network subscription growth, how many people added and canceled subscriptions to the network in the first quarter, revenue and expenses regarding adding new events on the network, what categories is the company losing money in, and the interesting stats regarding social media users and where they are from and where the money for WWE comes from.
Read about the realities of WWE attendance, merchandise sales, ticket sales, the value of the band extension, and a chart showing where the actual profits have come from in WWE over the past five years.
Examine the Strowman situation, the next couple of PPV shows and how the planned Raw main event scene has been changed.
Check out New Japan’s big shows over the next month, including a major storyline that starts next week, the full lineups for the Best of the Super Junior shows, what shows will be in English, a rundown of the Dontaku show in Fukuoka, and more thoughts on the Long Beach shows.
There is an update on the Hardys situation, Dwayne Johnson’s first movie with a pro wrestling backdrop, Johnson for President, WWE announcing for new shows, plans for the women’s tournament and the highlights of the first U.K. shows.
Also, look at the WWE injury updates, how ratings for other sports and their drops are comparing with WWE, a major new WWE sieging, and details on two lawsuits against WWE including one that has potential major implications for current wrestlers.
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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At press time, exactly what is going on between WCW and ECW regarding current ECW heavyweight champion Mike Awesome is apparently up in the air. In a strange series of circumstances, it appeared that Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo, in their attempt to re-create the debuting impact of Nitro in 1995 with Lex Luger’s surprising walking on the set, combined with the incident where Madusa threw the WWF womens title belt in the garbage can, since they were unable to secure any WWF talent, made a huge pitch to garner ECW’s heavyweight champion.
- Tonight’s SmackDown in Manchester, New Hampshire is the go-home show for Backlash. Jinder Mahal vs. AJ Styles and Randy Orton vs. Baron Corbin have been announced for the episode. There will also be a Highlight Reel segment hosted by Kevin Owens, a contract signing for the six-woman tag match at Backlash, and Rusev will return to TV to continue the angle where he wants a WWE title shot at Money in the Bank. Tyler Breeze tweeted that there will be more Fashion Files on the show as well.
- Austin Aries vs. TJP will take place on 205 Live tonight.
- Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English has been announced as the pre-show match for Backlash on Sunday.
- NBC Universal plans to utilize more picture-in-picture commercials during SmackDown in the future. The show will remain playing without sound in a small box on the screen as audio and video from the commercial also airs. NBCU tried out the idea during two episodes of SmackDown last year and it tested well.
- Our Paul Fontaine notes that one of the reasons that ratings held up better in the third hour of last night’s Raw than the previous week is because the Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards game seven ended at 10:50 p.m. ET, giving Raw 25 minutes unopposed at the end of the show. Last week’s NBA game went until after Raw ended.
- Austin Aries tweeted a sarcastic thank you to the New Jersey crowd after their disinterested chants during Aries & Jack Gallagher vs. Neville & TJP last night.
- Wrestling DVD Network posted an update on WWE’s upcoming “Unreleased: 1986-1995” DVD.
- NJPW held a press conference last night in advance of the beginning of the Best of the Super Juniors tournament. Business was a topic of conversation, with owner Takaaki Kidani saying that the company wants to “find US stars, develop a dojo, and build a territory.” It was also announced that Tomoaki Honma is training in hopes of a return and that there is no timetable on if Katsuyori Shibata will return.
- NJPW World upgraded its website heading into the beginning of the Best of the Super Juniors tournament. The first night will air for free on the service overnight.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi said that he’ll choose to face someone that he’s always wanted to wrestle at Dominion if he wins the Best of the Super Juniors.
- Adam Cole will be wrestling at night two of AIW’s JT Lightning Invitational tournament.
- PROGRESS Wrestling has revealed the full lineup for this year’s Super Strong Style 16. The field is: Jack Sexsmith, Pastor William Eaver, Travis Banks, Trent Seven, Jeff Cobb, Jimmy Havoc, Flamita, Zack Gibson, Zack Sabre Jr., Tyler Bate, David Starr, Flash Morgan Webster, Nathan Cruz, Mark Haskins, Mark Andrews, Matt Riddle.
- Wrestle:List posted an interview with PROGRESS co-owner Jim Smallman.
- Marty Scurll is featured in an ad for Topman Suits.
- CZW released a video hyping their July 8th show and saying that a new regime has taken over. Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that Sami Callihan is now in charge of the promotion’s creative team.
- MLive has an article on Zach Gowen’s plans to climb a mountain in Ecuador as part of a fundraising effort to raise money to help amputees receive treatment and prosthetics.
- Cody Rhodes responded to Dave Meltzer saying that ROH couldn’t sell out a 10,000+ seat venue any time soon: “I’ll take that bet Dave I already gave them their biggest buyrate…put The Bucks & I on the card & 3-months to promote.”
- MTV’s “The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros” premieres at 9 p.m. ET tonight. The show features CM Punk as a cast member.
- Yoel Romero has opened as a -360 betting favorite in a potential fight against middleweight champion Michael Bisping at Best Fight Odds.
- Luke Rockhold and Dana White exchanged tweets about the UFC initially wanting to make Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre for the title.
- Rory MacDonald revealed that he’s making less in sponsorship money in Bellator than he did in the UFC. He said that he’s choosing to be selective with endorsements.
- FloCombat has an interview with Frankie Edgar after his win at UFC 211.
- Eddie Alvarez responded to Dustin Poirier and said that his next fight will be their rematch after their controversial no contest last Saturday.
Today in Professional Wrestling History (5/16): Verne Gagne wins AWA title from Mad Dog Vachon
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