THE ROUND-UP

THE LATEST NEWS

Booker T filling in for Coachman on Monday’s WWE Raw
WWE Network airing Bruno Sammartino special on Monday
Jay White added to ROH War of the Worlds tour
NXT Washington, DC, live results: Aleister Black vs. Andrade Almas
NXT Sanford, FL, live results: Kacy Catanzaro makes her debut
Impact Wrestling results: The Redemption go-home show

THE LATEST AUDIO

FREE WOL! Matt Cross aka Son of Havoc live in studio! 4/20
B&V&G: Granny, NXT, THURSDAY NIGHT POTPOURRI! 4/19

We’ll be doing polls this weekend for the Impact Redemption show on Sunday so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

We’re looking for reports from last night’s WWE Raw show in Cape Town, South Africa, tonight’s show in Pretoria, South Africa, and NXT shows in Bethlehem, PA and Jacksonville, FL to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. EASTERN ON AXS TV

Toru Yano vs. Sanada
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Kota Ibushi

MLW FUSION DEBUTS TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. AND 11 P.M. EASTERN ON BEIN SPORTS

Pentagon Jr. vs. Rey Fenix
Austin Aries vs. ACH

CMLL TONIGHT FROM ARENA MEXICO AT 9:30 P.M.  EASTERN AT THE CMLL YOUTUBE AND FACEBOOK PAGES

Astral & Oro Jr. vs. Espanto Jr. & Yagi
Blue Panther Jr. & Pegasso & The Panther vs. Puma & Tiger & Templario
Kaho Kobayashi & Marcela & Princesa Sugehit vs. Amapola & Dallys & Seductora
Caristico vs. Dragon Lee
Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja & Volador Jr. vs. Negro Casas & Ultimo Guerrero & Cavernario
Atlantis & Diamante Azul & Kraneo vs. Rush & Bestia del Ring & El Terrible

PWG TONIGHT FROM RESEDA, CALIFORNIA

Trevor Lee vs. Rey Hours
Robbie Eagles vs. Flash Morgan Webster vs. Sammy Guevera
Jonah Rock vs. Joey Janela
Taiji Ishimori vs. Bandido
Walter & Timothy Thatcher vs. Brody King & Tyler Bateman
Keith Lee vs. Adam Page

Matt Riddle & Jeff Cobb vs. Young Bucks vs. Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz for PWG tag titles in Young Bucks last match in the building that put them on the map

ALL JAPAN CHAMPION CARNIVAL FROM OSAKA AT 4 A.M. EASTERN TIME SATURDAY ON ALL JAPAN’S STREAMING SERVICE

Jun Akiyama vs. Zeus
Suwama vs. Naomichi Marufuji
Shingo Takagi vs. Ryoji Sai
Shuji Ishikawa vs. The Bodyguard

Saturday has WWE Raw in Johannesburg, South Africa, Smackdown in Johnson City, TN and NXT in Bel Air, MD and Fort Pierce, FL. We’re looking for reports on those shows to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

UFC ON SATURDAY NIGHT FROM BOARDWALK HALL IN ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY

Fight Pass at 7:30 p.m. Eastern

Tony Martin (170.6) vs. Keita Nakamura (170.6)

FS 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern

Merab Dvalishvili (135.2) vs. Ricky Simon (135.8)
Corey Anderson (205) vs. Patrick Cummins (205.6)
Siyar Bahadurzada (171) vs. Luan Chagas (170)
Alex Garcia (171) vs. Ryan LaFlare (170.6)
Dan Hooker (155.6) vs. Jim Miller (155.4)
Brett Johns (135.8) vs. Aljamain Sterling (135.2)
David Branch (186) vs. Thiago Santos (185.8)
Chase Sherman (247) vs. Justin Willis (265.4)
Frankie Edgar (145.6) vs. Cub Swanson (145)
Edson Barboza (155.6) vs. Kevin Lee (157)

PWG SATURDAY NIGHT FROM RESEDA, CALIFORNIA

Bandido vs. Rey Hours
Robbie Eagles vs. Joey Janela
Trevor Lee vs. Flash Morgan Webster
Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz vs. Tyler Bateman & Body King
Taiji Ishimori vs. Sammy Guevara
Matt Riddle vs. Timothy Thatcher
Keith Lee vs. Jonah Rock vs. Walter for PWG title

ALL JAPAN CHAMPION CARNIVAL FROM NAGOYA AT 4 A.M. EASTERN TIME SUNDAY ON ALL JAPAN’S STREAMING SERVICE

Naomichi Marufuji vs. Kai
Suwama vs. Yoshitatsu
Shuji Ishikawa vs. Ryoji Sai
Kento Miyahara vs. Joe Doering

Sunday has WWE Smackdown in Chattanooga and NXT in Johnstown, PA.

IMPACT REDEMPTION PPV FROM ORLANDO AT 8 P.M. EASTERN

Drago vs. Aerostar
Sami Callihan & Dave & Jake Crist vs. Tommy Dreamer & Moose & Eddie Edwards in a Hardcore match
Brian Cage vs. DJZ vs. Taiji Ishimori vs. El Hijo del Fantasma vs. Trevor Lee
Allie vs. Su Yung for Knockouts title
Matt Sydal vs. Petey Williams for X title
LAX vs. Eli Drake & Scott Steiner for Impact tag titles
Austin Aries vs. Pentagon Jr. & Fenix for Impact title

NEW JAPAN FROM KORAKUEN HALL ON MONDAY AT 5:30 A.M. EASTERN ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

Ren Narita vs. Yota Tsuji
Yuji Nagata & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Tomoyuki Oka & Shota Umino & Tetsuhiro Yagi
Rocky Romero & Sho & Yoh vs. Takashi Iizuka & Taka Michinoku & Taichi
Togi Makabe & Michael Elgin & Juice Robinson & Toa Henare & Kushida vs. Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi & Will Ospreay
Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kazuchika Okada & Jay White & Gedo
Tetsuya Naito & Evil & Sanada  vs. Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado vs. Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi for IWGP jr. tag titles

Raw will be Monday in St. Louis as the go-home Raw for the Greatest Royal Rumble show. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are both scheduled for the show. There is also a Smackdown house show on Monday night in Bowling Green, KY.

NEW JAPAN FROM KORAKUEN HALL ON TUESDAY AT 5:30 A.M. EASTERN ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

Tetsuhiro Yagi vs. Ren Narita
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Shota Umino vs. Yuji Nagata & Tomoyuki Oka
Rocky Romero & Sho & Yoh vs. Takashi Iizuka & Taichi & Taka Michinoku
Togi Makabe & Michael Elgin & Toa Henare & Kushida vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi & Will Ospreay
Tetsuya Naito & Evil & Sanada & Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Gedo
Jay White vs. David Finlay for U.S. title

Smackdown will be Tuesday in Louisville, KY. There will be a gauntlet match of the cruiserweights for the Friday night title shot at Cedric Alexander.


​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Looking ahead to the Greatest Royal Rumble

With WrestleMania 34 just barely in the rearview mirror, WWE’s second stadium show of the month is already under two weeks away. The Greatest Royal Rumble will take place at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday, April 27th and air live on the WWE Network at noon Eastern time. The card already has seven matches confirmed: a 50-man Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns in a steel cage, John Cena vs. Triple H, The Undertaker vs. Chris Jericho in a casket match, Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins defending against The Miz, Finn Balor, and Samoa Joe in a ladder match, The Usos challenging for The Bludgeon Brothers’ SmackDown Tag Team titles, and a match to decide the new Raw Tag Team Champions. The WWE, United States, and Cruiserweight Championships will also be on the line.


WON NEWSLETTER: April 24, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: The death of Bruno Sammartino

A look back at the life and career of Bruno Sammartino is the focus of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. This is the most in-depth look at both his life inside and outside the ring, talking his career, his biggest matches, his conflicts with Vince McMahon and his father, the Phil Donahue show, his biggest feuds, how he got started, his weightlifting and the amazing story of his life as a child in Italy, and growing up to be one of the strongest men in the world.

Read about Sammartino’s appeal, his health issues, his family, the amazing story of his mother, why he refused to let Hollywood studios do a movie on his life, his learning to lift weights, his high school yearbook and goals, what he did out of high school, notes on two of his most famous early matches, how he first got noticed in Pittsburgh and got NFL and wrestling offers. 

Have a brief look at the career of Paul Jones, who also passed away this past week.

The break down of both Raw and Smackdown after the Superstar shakeup, looking at the depth charts, what categories are strong, what categories are weak and what changes can be made, all inside this issue.

Read the update on the Greatest Royal Rumble show and the ethical questions the show has brought up.

Look at the John Cena/Nikki Bella story, Ronda Rousey and Daniel Bryan working house shows, Bobby Lashley news, Chris Jericho talks New Japan, Jericho vs. Undertaker prior matches, Cena and Rock movie box office, Next week’s WWE TV, beers named after two different wrestling legends, NXT big show lineups, and the name change of a WWE wrestler.

There is also an update on the UFC television contract talks.

Plus, this issue has the weekly coverage of all the ratings of the major shows, detailed notes on who is watching all the WWE shows, results from the major league events held around the world, the major TV show rundowns, and the results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 


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 moonsault@mediaplusint.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.


FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE
John Pollock of Post Wrestling reported that Alexa Bliss recently underwent “minor cosmetic surgery” but is expected to be back soon and is still scheduled for Backlash on May 6th. Nia Jax defending her Raw Women’s Championship against Bliss has been set up for the PPV but has yet to be officially announced.
For this weekend, Randy Orton is working the tour. Brock Lesnar is only working Monday. John Cena is not scheduled for any shows this week. The new rosters won’t go into effect for at least a few more weeks as the SmackDown house show tour matches are AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the title, Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Rusev vs. Bobby Roode, Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair for the Women’s title and The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Usos for the Tag Team titles.
Dave Meltzer appeared on Off the Ball to discuss Bruno Sammartino’s life and career.
While on KFM Mornings in South Africa, Seth Rollins said Dean Ambrose should return from his torn tricep injury in the summer or late spring.
An Uber driver in South Africa was excited to pick up Rollins, Titus O’Neil, Sasha Banks, and Bayley.
After Rusev was added back to the casket match against The Undertaker at the Greatest Royal Rumble, Chris Jericho told CBS Sports’ In this Corner podcast that he’s happy to work the show in whatever spot he’s needed in.
Rusev tweeted a Throwback Thursday to when Undertaker vs. Jericho was briefly scheduled for the show in Saudi Arabia.
WWE.com has a poll asking whether AJ Styles should wear a protective cup for his match against Shinsuke Nakamura at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
More photos of the stage for the Greatest Royal Rumble have leaked online.
Breezango are the guests on today’s episode of the Edge & Christian podcast.
While replying to a video of Ricochet hitting a People’s Moonsault at last night’s NXT house show in Washington DC, The Rock tweeted that he loves what Ricochet is doing and called him a future champion.
WWE Shop has released their first T-shirt for Ricochet.
Natalya wrote about her friendship with Jinder Mahal and him getting his “WrestleMania moment” this year.
WWE posted a time-lapse video of the set construction for WrestleMania 34.
Pro Wrestling
Thursday’s episode of Impact averaged 373,000 total viewers and did a 0.09 rating in the 18-49 demo, down slightly from last week’s 381,000 and 0.11 but within the range of what the show has been doing lately. Impact faced competition from this year’s NBA playoffs for the first time this week.
Impact Wrestling released the opening video for Sunday’s Redemption PPV.
Scott D’Amore spoke to Sports Illustrated about the PPV, Alberto El Patron being released, and building trust with the audience.
ROH announced Hiroshi Tanahashi, SANADA, EVIL, and Toru Yano for their three Honor United shows in the UK next month.
After being released from the hospital following open heart surgery, Vader tweeted that he’s back in and has been diagnosed with pneumonia: “Damn I have bad news Iam bk in the hospital. My  pain is thru the roof and they say I have pneumonia. Cant breath. But Iam still fighting VADER TIME”
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Toa Henare has been added to the card for NJPW’s show at Korakuen Hall on April 24th, which also features Jay White defending his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against David FInlay.
Tanahashi posted a picture with AJPW’s Kento Miyahara.
UFC/MMA
In more chaos stemming from the now completely insane morning weigh-ins, two fights are off tomorrow’s UFC show. Magomed Bibulatov vs. Ulka Sasaki is out because Bibulatov was flagged by doctors and declared medically unfit. Aspen Ladd vs. Leslie Smith is out because Ladd weighed 137.8 and Smith and Ladd didn’t come to a deal about fighting. Kevin Lee also missed weight by one pound, at 157, and will forfeit 20 percent of his purse to Edson Barboza, but that fight is still on.
Lee issued a statement about missing weight: “For the first time ever in my athletic career since high school I’ve missed weight this morning. I just ran outta time. I apologize @Ufc @danawhite @edsonbarbozajr tomorrow Imma go put on a show #ufcatlanticcity #25tolife”
Smith is getting her show and win money despite Ladd missing weight, but Smith is now a free agent and the UFC isn’t interested in re-signing her.
Cub Swanson, Frankie Edgar’s opponent for tomorrow, thinks it’s “very possible” that Edgar is returning too soon after being knocked out by Brian Ortega in March.
Ariel Helwani reported that Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis is expected to be made official for UFC 226 in Las Vegas in the coming days.
Chad Mendes is hoping to return in late June or early July after completing his two-year suspension from USADA.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto noted that Bellator has spoken to Ben Askren about potentially facing Rory MacDonald, but there are potential issues with Askren’s contractual status.

Daily Professional Wrestling History: AWA WrestleRock ’86


CONTACT INFORMATION

Poll opinions: dave@wrestlingobserver.com
Feedback: feedback@wrestlingobserver.com
Show results and news tips: newstips@wrestlingobserver.com
Wrestling Observer Radio questions: mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com
Support the Empire~! with F4W shirts. Grab yours today!