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Daily Update: John Cena, All In, ROH Honor Rising tour

THE ROUND-UP

THE LATEST NEWS

WWE 205 Live taping spoilers: New UK talent debut
WWE Raw ratings up slightly despite tough NBA competition
WWE SmackDown taping spoilers: MITB qualifiers, Styles-Nakamura
Styles vs. Nakamura set for tonight, winner to pick MITB stipulation  
WWE Raw video highlights: Three MITB qualifiers in London   
Three more competitors qualify for WWE Money in the Bank  
WWE Raw live results: Money in the Bank build continues in London  

THE LATEST AUDIO

WOL: Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey, AJ vs. Nakamura feud, more! 5/15
WOR: RAW, Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey, Chuck Liddell, more! 5/15

Wednesday will be a Raw show in Geneva, Switzerland and Smackdown house show in Liverpool, England.


F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Recapping Backlash 2018 

At best, Backlash 2018 was going to be a largely meaningless show that was overshadowed by more important events on the WWE calendar. Surrounded by WrestleMania 34 and the fallout from the company’s biggest event of the year, the Superstar Shakeup, and the Greatest Royal Rumble, Backlash should have been an afterthought. Instead, it will be remembered as one of the worst WWE shows of at least the last few years.


WON NEWSLETTER: May 13, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Details on the UFC/ESPN deal, more  

This is a big business issue of the Observer as we update all aspects of WWE business and look at the most important business deal in years, the UFC’s new deal with ESPN.

Look at the ramifications from all perspectives of the UFC deal, what is good, what may not be so good, how this affects the schedule, Fight Pass, making stars, and the financial structure of the organization. Also, look at the key aspects of the deal and what it means for WWE as well when it comes to future negotiations, as well as the value of both products.

This issue runs down every aspect of the WWE business and how it’s doing. Look at the long game for WWE business, the things to look through when WWE gives its presentations, what is now being hidden in the financial reports, why the stock looks overvalued but really isn’t, the unique questions nobody is bringing up about the network numbers, the value of WrestleMania to the network, as well as house show business, television ratings, merchandise and licensing and the dichotomy of areas that are growing and those slowly declining. 

Full coverage of Backlash, the Brock Lesnar title reign, Money in the Bank and other business notes plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results, and coverage of both New Japan Dontaku shows with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results,  the Okada records, Okada vs. Omega, Dominion and the Best of the Super Juniors tournament.


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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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.


TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE
Tonight’s 205 Live has Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali & Flash Morgan Webster vs. Drew Gulak, James Drake & Joseph Conners and TJP vs. Tyler Bate vs. Kalisto vs. Kenny Williams. This was Williams’ WWE debut and the first match that Webster has wrestled for the company aside from competing at WrestleMania Axxess this year.
John Cena co-hosted the Today Show again and followed up on his comments from yesterday, saying he wanted Nikki Bella to see that his public feelings are the same as his private ones.
The Buffalo News interviewed Hulk Hogan about his potential comeback to WWE, with Hogan saying nothing is confirmed yet: “Until you hit a home run, it’s not a home run. All these things say it’s imminent or rumors, that’s like saying ‘maybe, possibly, could be.’ Until I’m back home with the WWE, I’m not home. Hopefully some day I can go back home and be with my family, the wrestlers and all the people I love. I just really, really hope it happens.” Hogan also spoke about the racist comments that led to him being fired by WWE in 2015: “People know me. I’m a human being like anybody else, and sometimes, people make mistakes. When they do, you watch that person a little bit more closely than you did before to see what kind of person they really are. I just want people to judge me by my actions, not a few misspoken words. To those few fans who feel (hurt), I’m forever sorry, and I’ll do whatever I can to make them feel comfortable with me.”
On Monday’s episode of Table for Three with Jeff Jarrett, Road Dogg, and Elias, it was revealed that AJ Styles’ WWE theme music was originally supposed to be for James Storm before Storm decided not to sign with the company.
In a storyline that was set up last night, Sami Zayn has “invited Bobby Lashley’s sisters” to Raw next week.
Davey Boy Smith Jr., who was recently part of ITV’s World of Sport tapings, was backstage at Raw in London and visited with Natalya and Tyson Kidd.
In an interview with The Sun, Roman Reigns discussed the reactions he gets from WWE crowds: “As long as fans are showing up and as long as they’re making noise, I’ve done my job. I’ve done what I’m supposed to do and that’s draw people into the building.
Daniel Bryan commented on having to miss Mother’s Day and his daughter’s birthday for WWE’s European tour.
The card for NXT’s June 11th house show in Paris has been announced:
NXT Champion Aleister Black defending against Lars Sullivan
NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler defending against Nikki Cross
Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch & Pete Dunne vs. The Undisputed Era
Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream
Dakota Kai & Steffanie Newell vs. Lacey Evans & Bianca Belair
Tyler Bate vs. Zack Gibson
Heavy Machinery vs. Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler

Rusev appeared on Sky Sports today and mocked Liverpool ahead of their Champions League final against Real Madrid later this month.
Steve Austin is recording an episode of his podcast with the Big Show, who was originally advertised to return at the Greatest Royal Rumble but ended up missing the show.
Squared Circle Sirens reported that WWE has signed gymnast Stacey Ervin Jr. for the Performance Center.
Pro Wrestling
Paul Heyman congratulated Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks on the success of All In: “What @CodyRhodes and #TheYoungBucks @MattJackson13 / @NickJacksonYB have accomplished is truly epic. They have built a brand, self-marketed yourselves, negotiated your destinies on multiple continents AND sold over 10,000 tickets to your own event … on your own terms. It goes without saying that #Dusty would be so very very proud of @CodyRhodes and @MattJackson13 and @NickJacksonYB, and I hope everyone involved is proud of themselves, because this particulatr accomplishment cannot and should not be understated. So I offer my heartfelt congratulations to @CodyRhodes, @MattJackson13 and @NickJacksonYB who have PROVEN themselves to be artists who backed their own vision and emerged as pioneers in the genre of entertainment to which they have dedicated their lives!”
Episode 102 of Being the Elite includes Cody and The Young Bucks’ reactions to how quickly All In sold out.
Matt Jackson told WrestleZone that he personally thinks All In should be about three hours long and that they worked with NJPW to find a date where they could use a star like Kazuchika Okada.
Starrcast announced events for their convention during All In weekend. There will be weigh-ins and a press conference for All In at the convention on August 31st.
Here are the updated lineups for ROH’s Honor Rising UK tour:
Edinburgh on May 24th:
ROH Tag Team Champions The Briscoes defending against Cody & Hangman Page
EVIL & SANADA vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian
Shane Taylor vs. Scorpio Sky

London on May 26th:
ROH Six-Man Tag Team Champions The Kingdom defending against The Young Bucks & Hangman Page
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Silas Young vs. Punishment Martinez vs. SANADA
Jay Lethal vs. Mark Briscoe
Shane Taylor vs. Toru Yano

Doncaster on May 27th:
ROH Tag Team Champions The Briscoes vs. EVIL & SANADA vs. The Young Bucks vs. Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan in a non-title match

Sports Illustrated interviewed Kenny Omega about partnering with CEO Fighting Game Championships for the NJPW show in Daytona Beach on June 29th.
Zack Sabre Jr. spoke to ESPN about achieving his dream of wrestling full-time in NJPW.
Harold Meij, NJPW’s new president, mentioned selling out the Tokyo Dome and improving their exposure on Japanese television as two of his goals.
Daisuke Sekimoto, who appeared at this morning’s Lion’s Gate Project show and defeated Shota Umino, said his commitments with Big Japan come first but he’s willing to take NJPW bookings when he’s free.
Rich Swann will debut for Impact Wrestling at their television tapings in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on June 1st and 2nd.
WALTER will face David Starr at PROGRESS Wrestling’s show in Manchester on Sunday.
UFC/MMA
CM Punk responded to a tweet about his fight against Mike Jackson being on the UFC 225 PPV while Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson is the main event of the prelims: “I understand too. If it was up to me, I’d be first fight on fight pass. Don’t matter to me.  Fans like to be outraged by stuff that doesn’t matter.”
Jon Jones responded to Chuck Liddell wanting to face him: “Old Chuck has been calling me out for years! I get it, I hold pretty much every record in the division. I normally try to respect my elders but if you want it come get it. Id literally fly you out to Albuquerque this weekend. You might want to test the strength of that jaw before you take a bite you cant chew.” He also joked about Liddell’s age: In all seriousness @ChuckLiddell I appreciate your offer for a fight, but due to scheduling conflicts may not be able to fulfill till mid 2019. In the Upcoming months I have similarly lethal opponents in Ric Flair and George Foreman awaiting.”
The UFC released a statement on the Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the federal ban on sports gambling: “UFC supports legalized, regulated sports betting, as we have seen firsthand in Nevada the success of well-regulated gaming. We look forward to working with Congress and state legislatures to support policy that ensures the integrity of our sport and makes the best sense for our fans and our business.”
Dave Meltzer has an article for MMA Fighting on this weekend’s MMA and boxing ratings.
Tony Ferguson wants to still be paid like a champion when he returns from injury.
Mackenzie Dern was almost pulled from UFC 225 when she arrived at 139.5 pounds five days before her fight.

Daily Professional Wrestling History: AJ Styles wins NWA World title


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