One day closer to WrestleMania! Lots of people are traveling down there today. Bryan and Dave both left for WrestleMania in Dallas today. Dave returns Saturday and Bryan will remain through the post-Mania Raw. They will be doing shows pretty much every day for subscribers. Mike Sempervive will be running Wrestling Observer Live in the meantime.
Countdown clock to WrestleMania 32 and F4W MANIA~!
Click here for the complete run down. Only a few bus ride tickets for WrestleMania are still available so act fast.
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Figure Four Weekly 3/21/2016: Hulk Hogan awarded $115 million (sort of) by jury
Hulk Hogan is awarded $115 million by jury over the Gawker sex tape lawsuit. Will he collect?
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
READ IT HERE: April 4, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Wrestlemania 32 preview, Jon Jones arreste
WrestleMania 32, the Daniel Bryan story updated, the entire weekend and history of St. Louis wrestling are all part of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
WrestleMania 32: The matches, schedule, what hasn’t been promoted, ticket sales, gate numbers, ticket sales and secondary market prices for all the sold out events over the weekend.
Aftermath of the Hulk Hogan/Gawker trial, what is next, Nick Denton’s attempt to explain their decision, and more.
Jon Jones arrest, the key points and what he’s facing. Lots more on Daniel Bryan, the retirement of Brie Bella, the WWE special on Daniel Bryan, and a lot more details of his issues and a time line of thing. Friday night’s Madison Square Garden event.
A major feature on St. Louis wrestling and Joe Garagiola, the first host of Wrestling at the Chase. How powerful the show was in its heyday, when Vince McMahon promoted Wrestling at the Chase and why one of the most noteworthy moments in modern pro wrestling took place at the show. The beginnings of the show and the role Garagiola played in it. Before Sam Muchnick and Lou Thesz, the arrival of Muchnick, the heyday of Bill Longson, the Muchnick vs. Thesz feud and reconciliation, the boom and bust of pro wrestling in the 50s. Why Garagiola left the show and his last show. The colorful life of Garagiola.
SummerSlam tickets, a crazy Hulk Hogan story from years back, John Cena update, more on ESPN’s coverage of WWE, WWE wrestler whose push is being rethought, Roman Reigns talks being booed, Newcomers to WWE, and more people getting looks. Global cruiserweight tournament that WWE is putting together. We also have an update on the WWE Hall of Fame.
Hodge trophy and more on the NCAA tournament in Madison Square Garden.
PLUS MUCH MORE! CLICK HERE FOR A FULL WRESTLING OBSERVER PREVIEW
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Click here for the most requested Wrestling Observer back issues.
If you wanted to know just how big Giant Baba was to people who grew up in the 60s and 70s, the latest back issue will explain.
Check out the latest Online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: February 15, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Reaction to the death of Giant Baba, 2 wrestlers have heart scares, plus tons more A look at the surprising public reaction to the death of Giant Baba, 2 wrestlers have heart attack scares, plus tons of news and notes.
THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE
On today’s NXT conference call hosted by HHH, he revealed the first six competitors for the upcoming Global Cruiserweight tournament: Zack Sabre Jr., Rich Swann, Tommaso Ciampa, Noam Dahr, Johnny Gargano, Ho Ho Lun, and Akira Tozawa. He also announced a new UK tour for NXT starting in June that will kick off at the big Download Festival.
There really wasn’t much else of note discussed other than a lot of reporters asking HHH about his thoughts on Nakamura. We hope to have audio from the conference up later on the site.
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No big surprise here, but top UFC light heavyweight contender Jon Jones is in the clear to fight current champion Daniel Cormier in April even after his arrest this week on a probation violation. UFC said they were “disappointed” by Jones but “respects Jones’ right to contest those traffic citations in court and receive a fair hearing on the matter.” A judge added new terms onto Jones’ probation today.
Very sad story about the death of Kris Travis, a British wrestler who had been battling stomach cancer. He actually briefly made a comeback, but then his illness returned and he recently moved to hospice care. He was only 32 years old. The UK Mirror has a story on him today, and TNA’s Jeremy Borash also paid tribute to Travis.
WWE & Professional Wrestling
There will be a brand new Stone Cold Podcast on the WWE Network tonight immediately following Smackdown with special guest Mick Foley joining Steve Austin.
Paul Heyman’s new deal with Yahoo’s Turnstile section is off and running with this video on why Andy Kaufman would have loved Wrestlemania.
Brendan Dassey of Making A Murderer “fame” won’t be able to watch Wrestlemania this year.
Rikishi knows the one thing that can save Roman Reigns.
CBS Sports’ Denny Burkholder has done a lot of Mania writing, talking to HHH about NXT and in a separate article, his 20th Wrestlemania.
Chikara announced their first team for this year’s King of Trios Tournament. Who are they? JBL talks, what else, Wrestlemania. At last check, he still has our Twitter account blocked.
Big Japan ran in Korakuen Hall today and our own Alan4L was in attendance. He tells us, “It was a really fun show capped off with a truly great main event which saw Daichi Hashimoto defeat Big Japan ace Daisuke Sekimoto in the Strong Climb tournament. Hashimoto is of course the son of the legendary Shinya and his career looked in danger of going off the rails until he hooked up with BJW on a permanent basis a few month back.
Since that point, he’s turned things around in a big way – showing more confidence and composure in every match. Today was a huge breakthrough for him. Sekimoto was out of this world and looked like the best in the business with his selling, timing and facial expressions.
“In the other tournament bouts, Hideoyoshi Kamitani beat Atsushi Maruyama in an excellent match, Yoshihisa Uto upset Hideki Suzuki, Shuji Ishikawa knocked off Ryota Hama (who is someone that every wrestling fan needs to see live once) and Kohei Sato beat Seiya Sanada.”
Former TNA X Division champion Johnny Devine is returning to Canadian Wrestling Elite for three appearances in May.
Speaking of Canada, Natalya was featured in this article on the Hart dynasty.
Indy wrestling champ Josef Von Schmidt was interviewed on the latest ShiLounge podcast.
UFC & Mixed Martial Arts
UFC announced Wednesday that EXOS, a sports training, nutrition, and education provider, will be their “performance partner” in 2016. The deal will give fighters “the opportunity to train and learn from EXOS’ world-class performance staff of coaches, nutritionists and physical therapists, while also participating in educational seminars at UFC Athlete Summits throughout the year.” Kelvin Gastelum, Kamaru Usman, Paul Felder, and Max Holloway are currently training in their Phoenix, AZ, location.
Rizin announced they’ve signed women’s amateur wrestling star Kanako Murata. She’ll make her pro debut on their 4/17 show — the same show featuring Wanderlei Silva and Sakuraba in a tag team grappling match.
Legacy Fighting Championship at Center Stage in Atlanta on Friday, April 8, features Dhiego Lima in his first hometown fight in years versus Antonio Trocoli. The show will be on AXS TV.
Saturday night’s WSOF show in Vegas has had it’s start time pushed back to 11:30 pm eastern on NBC Sports Network. The show is headlined by a middleweight title fight between champion David Branch defending against Clifford Starks and Jon Fitch vs. Joao Zeferino for the vacant welterweight title in the co-main.
Just days after her official UFC debut was announced, Cris Cyborg is already calling out Ronda Rousey and wants the fight to happen in New York. I’ll bet she does.
WRESTLEMANIA WEEK EVENTS
FRIDAY, APRIL 1ST, 2016
ROH AUTOGRAPH SIGNING – 5PM to 7PM – ROH Pro Shop (store opens at 4 pm cst) – Meet ROH World Champion Jay Lethal, Young Bucks, ReDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly), Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian), ACH,All Night Express (Rhett Titus & Kenny King), and Moose.
SUPERCARD OF HONOR X – 7:30 pm cst **SOLD OUT** Hyatt Regency Dallas – 300 Reunion Boulevard – Dallas, Texas 75207
SATURDAY, APRIL 2ND, 2016
ROH AUTOGRAPH SIGNING – 11 am to 1 pm ROH Pro Shop (store opens at 11 am cst) – Meet ROH World Tag Team Champions War Machine, “Mr. ROH” Roderick Strong, Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelly and Chris Sabin), Adam Cole, The Briscoes, Cheeseburger, and Dalton Castle.
SUPERCARD OF HONOR X DAY 2 – 2:00 pm cst **SOLD OUT** Hyatt Regency Dallas – 300 Reunion Boulevard – Dallas, Texas 75207
ROH Autograph Pricing: Singles Wrestlers – $20.00 each (1) Personal item or 8×10 (ROH supplied) signed & (1) Posed Photo and $10.00 per additional item. Tag Teams – $30.00 per team (1) Personal item or 8×10 (ROH supplied) signed & (1) Posed Photo and $15.00 per additional item
Today in professional wrestling history: Shawn Michaels wins WWF World Title in an Iron Man match
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