Daily Update: Balor on NXT, Cena's American Grit, Kane after WWE

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Balor Club on Tour at NXT

Despite Finn Bálor making his main roster on Monday, he appears to be working the NXT house show loop this weekend in Texas. He was advertised for the shows long before he ever joined the Raw roster. Bálor worked the NXT show in San Antonio on Thursday night. On his official Twitter account, Bálor tweeted earlier in the week, “As for now, back to work! #NXTSanAntonio #NXTCorpusChristi #NXTHouston #BalorClub Is Here”.

Other NXT social media outlets had the message: “Finn Bálor may have been drafted to WWE Raw… but you can still see him LIVE with WWE NXT THIS FRIDAY, 7/29, in Corpus Christi!”

Besides Bálor having previously been advertised for the shows in Texas, those also listed include Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka, Bayley, and The Revival. The NXT tour of the Lone Star State began Thursday night in San Antonio, before heading to Corpus Christi on Friday, then on to Houston this Saturday.

[F4W Staff]

For the weekend, we’ll be doing two polls, for both Saturday’s G-1 show in Nagoya and Saturday’s UFC 201 show in Atlanta, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com.

We’re looking for reports tonight from these shows:

WWE in Tallahassee, FL (Roman Reigns vs. A.J. Styles vs Seth Rollins, Neville vs. Kevin Owens, New Day vs. Wyatt Family for tag titles, Charlotte vs. Alicia Fox, Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus and Jey Uso & Zack Ryder vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
NXT in Robston, TX
NXT in Orlando, FL

INVICTA TONIGHT FROM KANSAS CITY ON UFC FIGHT PASS

Sijara Eubanks (135) vs. Amberlynn Orr (135.2)
Jessica Hoy (135) vs. Aspen Ladd (138.1)
Tessa Rose Simpson (106) vs. Simona Soukupova (105.6)
Megan Anderson (146) vs. Peggy Morgan (144.6)
Cindy Dandois (135.4) vs. Jessamyn Duke (135.9)
Lynn  Alvarez (114.8) vs. Mizuki Inoue (115.1)
Agnieszka Niedwiedz (125.9) vs. Christine Stanley (128.6)
Alexa Grasso (115.4) vs. Jodie Esquibel (115.8)

        Ladd and Stanley both missed weight and were fined 25 percent of their purse.

NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING RETURNS AT 9 P.M. EASTERN ON AXS TV

Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Alex Shelley & Kushida for IWGP jr. tag title
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale

CMLL LIVE FROM ARENA MEXICO AT 9:30 P.M. EASTERN

Ultimo Dragoncitoo & Electrico vs. Mercurio & Nitrito
Oro Jr. & Pegasso & Soberano vs. Fujin & Raijin & Okumura
Golden Magic & Sharly Rockstar & Super Crazy vs. Rey Bucanero & Vangellys & Bobby Z
Mascara Dorada & Mistico & Valiente vs. Barbaro Cavernario & Felino & Negro Casas
Dragon Lee vs. La Mascara
Marco Corleone & Maximo Sexy & Volador Jr. vs. El Terrible & Ultimo Guerrero & Shocker

RESURRECTION FIGHTING ALLIANCE TONIGHT AT 10 P.M. EASTERN ON AXS TV FROM SAN ANTONIO AT COWBOYS DANCE HALL

Jose Soto (4-1, 130.6) vs. C.J Vergara (3-1, 130.2)
Hugo Prada (7-1, 155.4) vs. GleidsonMoraes (4-2, 154.6)
Fabio Trindade (5-3, 169.8) vs. Chris Lopez (6-1, 171)
Chris Pecero (14-6, 156) vs. Alex Hernandez (6-1, 155.8)
Jamall Emmers (9-3, 149) vs. Rivaldo Junior (15-5, 144.2)
Joshua Clark (9-2, 186) vs. Trevi biles (6-0, 183.8)

PWG TONIGHT IN RESEDA, CA (unless you are there, you’ll have to wait for the DVD, no streaming)

Chuck Taylor vs. Trent Baretta
Jeff Cobb vs. Trevor Lee
Sami Callihan vs. Marty Scurll
Adam Cole vs. Brian Cage
Roderick Strong vs. Timothy Thatcher
Young Bucks vs. Chris Hero & JT Dunn
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Kyle O’Reilly for PWG title

NEW JAPAN G-1 CLIMAX TOURNAMENT IN NAGOYA AT AIICHI GYM ON SATURDAY AT 5 A.M. EASTERN TIME ON NEW JAPAN WORLD (late tonight)

Ryusuke Taguchi vs. David Finlay
Satoshi Kojima & Manabu Nakanishi & Captain New Japan vs. Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi
Kushida & Juice Robinson vs. Bushi & Seiya Sanada
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto & Gedo & Naomichi Marufuji
Tomoaki Honma vs. Toru Yano
Yoshi-Hashi vs. Evil
Yuji Nagata vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima
Michael Elgin vs. Kenny Omega
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tetsuya Naito

We’re looking for reports on these shows Saturday to NewsTips@WrestlingObserver.com:

WWE in Savannah, GA (Roman  Reigns vs. A.J. Styles vs. Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens, New Day vs Wyatt Family for tag titles, Charlotte vs. Alicia Fox, Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus and Jey Uso & Zack Ryder vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
WWE in Knoxville, TN (Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho for WWE title in a street fight, Kane & Neville vs. Vaudevillains, Cesaro vs. Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin, Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch vs. Summer Rae & Dana Brooke, Enzo & Cass vs. Dudleys)
NXT in Houston, TX
NXT in Jacksonville, FL
Northeast Wrestling in Pomona, NY at the Palisades Credit Union Park with Ric Flair and Booker T appearing, plus Jeff Hardy vs. Brian Anthony, Matt Hardy vs. Vinny Marseglia, Jerry Lawler vs. Dan De Man, Sami Callihan vs. TK O’Ryan and Cam Zagami & Mandy Leon vs. Deonna Purrazzo & Damian Adams with Velvet Sky referee.

UFC 201 FROM ATLANTA’S PHILLIPS ARENA ON SATURDAY

Fight Pass at 7 p.m. Eastern time

Cesar Arzamendia vs. Damien Brown
Michael Graves vs. Bojan Velickovic

FS 2 at 8 p.m.

Wilson Reis vs. Hector Sandoval
Damian Grabowski vs. Anthony Hamilton
Jorge Masvidal vs. Ross Pearson
Nikita Krylov vs. Ed Herman

PPV at 10 p.m.

Ryan Benoit vs. Fredy Serrano
Francisco Rivera vs. Erik Perez
Matt Brown vs. Jake Ellenberger
Rose Namajunas vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Robbie Lawler vs. Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title

NEW JAPAN G-1 CLIMAX TOURNAMENT IN GIFU AT INDUSTRIAL HALL SUNDAY AT 3 A.M. EASTERN TIME (midnightSaturday night on the West Coast) ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

Tiger Mask & Yuji Nagata vs. Michael Elgin & David Finlay
Katsuyori Shibata & Satoshi Kojima & Manabu Nakanishi & Jushin Liger vs. Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hash & Gedo & Katsuhiko Nakajima
Ryusuke Taguchi & Captain New Japan vs. Kenny Omega & Yujiro Takahashi
Tomoaki Honma & Kushida & Juice Robinson vs. Tetsuya Naito & Evil &* Bushi
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tama Tonga
Seiya Sanada vs. Bad Luck Fale
Togi Makabe vs. Naomichi Marufuji
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Kazuchika Okada
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Hirooki Goto

We’re looking for reports on these shows Sunday to NewsTips@WrestlingObserver.com:

WWE in Augusta, GA (Roman Reigns vs. A.J. Styles vs. Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens, New Day vs. Wyatt Family for tag titles, Charlotte vs. Alicia fox, Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus and Jey Uso & Zack Ryder vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
WWE in Asheville, NC (Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho, Kane & Neville vs. Vaudevillains, Cesaro vs. Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin, Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch vs. Summer Rae & Dana Brooke, Enzo & Cass vs. Dudleys)

NEW JAPAN G-1 CLIMAX TOURNAMENT IN TAKAMATSU AT THE CIVIC GENERAL GYMNASIUM MONDAY AT 6 A.M.EASTERN TIME ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Captain New Japan vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Juice Robinson & David Finlay
Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi
Hirooki Goto & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Seiya Sanada & Bushi
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe & Kushida vs. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo
Yoshi-Hashi vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima
Yuji Nagata vs. Michael Elgin
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Toru Yano
Kenny Omega vs. Evil
Tomoaki Honma vs. Tetsuya Naito

Raw is Monday night in Atlanta at the Phillips Arena. John Cena and A.J. Styles are both booked on the Raw show, but will likely not appear on television. Brock Lesnar returns on the show as well.

Smackdown is Tuesday night in Nashville.

NEW JAPAN G-1 CLIMAX TOURNAMENT IN KAGOSHIMA AT THE ARENA WEDNESDAY AT 5:30 A.M. EASTERN TIME ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & David Finlay
Yuji Nagata & Michael Elgin & Satoshi Kojima & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima & Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi & Gedo
Katsuyori Shibata & Captain New Japan vs. Kenny Omega & Yujiro Takahashi
Tomoaki Honma & Kushida & Juice Robinson vs. Tetsuya Naito & Evil & Bushi
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Bad Luck Fale
Hirooki Goto vs. Tama Tonga
Naomichi Marufuji vs. Seiya Sanada
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Kazuchika Okada vs. Togi Makabe


THE ROUND-UP

UFC 201 DFS Playbook: value picks, who to avoid
NJPW G1 Climax 26 night seven results: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale
TNA Impact Wrestling results: Bound for Glory playoffs continue 
Updated news on Raw’s women’s title change 
The Week In Lucha Libre: A look at the TripleMania card; CMLL intrigue

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Figure Four Weekly

READ IT HERE: Figure Four Weekly 7/25/2016: More concussion legality! – Just moments after last week’s issue was put to bed, news broke that WWE had been hit by yet another lawsuit from Massachusetts lawyer Konstantine Kyros against WWE. Before, there were of a small handful of wrestlers with no prospects of dealing with WWE again suing strictly over nebulously worded concussion-related claims. This time, there are over 50 plaintiffs, including a lot of surprises, and the counts have been expanded to include variations on misclassifying them as independent contractors as part of an alleged racketeering scheme. 

Subscribers can click here to continue reading.


Wrestling Observer Newsletter

READ IT HERE: August 1, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Brand split week one, Brock Lesnar and the WWE Wellness Policy – The entire story of Brock Lesnar, UFC drug testing, WWE drug testing and its history leads the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. There is also full coverage of week one of the brand extension, what has been good and what hasn’t, as well as coverage of Battleground, the G-1 Climax tournament, and the deaths of well known personalities on a regional basis like announcer Bill Cardille and Oregon advertising icon Tom Peterson.

The lead story explains in detail why Lesnar was not suspended, the changes in the policy where he can’t be suspended, who else has those loopholes, where they came from, why PED usage is more of a competitive advantage in WWE than in most real sports and why people who claim wrestling isn’t competition miss the entire point. There is also a look back to 2007 when a large percentage of the roster was suspended at the same time without test failures and why, including how office people have been treated different from talent on the subject. Take a look into specifics of the case of Randy Orton, performance vs. cosmetic in wrestling and how it has changed, how WWE differs from the other major promotions, when steroid testing started in WWF, when it was dropped and when it was restarted, a look back at the key component of the 1994 indictment of Vince McMahon and subsequent trial, and what happened and why WWF dropped drug testing.

A look back at the cases involving Eddy Guerrero and Chris Benoit, the success of the program all inside.

In this issue, take a look at Lesnar’s schedule, the situation with Paul Heyman, what the next steps for UFC and athletic commissions regarding the Lesnar test failures and the reaction to all this from Mark Hunt. This issue also looks at Hunt’s argument regarding how Lesnar gained financially from cheating and how Lesnar was not treated differently than anyone else when it came to drug testing in the UFC.

Finally, examine week one of the brand split, the changes in the SummerSlam show, Roman Reigns booking, the ascension of Dolph Ziggler and Finn Balor, as well as business notes and a match-by-match rundown of Battleground with star ratings.

Subscribers click here to continue reading.


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Wrestling Observer Newsletter BACK ISSUE

READ IT HERE: June 21, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Hart family files lawsuit against WWF, WCW Great American Bash review, more – The expected lawsuit filed by the Hart family against a number of defendants, the main one being the World Wrestling Federation, was announced at a press conference on 6/15 in Kansas City.



FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

In a big surprise, the TV show “American Grit” with John Cena will be returning for a second season. Cena, who returns as Executive Producer, will be out of action for several months filming the show. The show did bad ratings, usually the lowest rated network show on Thursdays and often doing only half of its lead-in, and sometimes falling under 2 million viewers which is terrible for a major network first run show in prime time. However, Cena got high marks on the show and right now people want to attach themselves to him as a star because of the feeling in Hollywood he’s the guy following in the success of Dwayne Johnson.

This coming week’s Observer will have a very detailed look at the WWE financials including looking at the numbers beneath the numbers, and the real value of WrestleMania, was WrestleMania more profitable this year than last year, and a look at the valuation of WWE not from a stock market perspective but the same perspective used to get UFC’s $4 billion price tag.

Impact did 350,000 viewers last night, which is slightly down from last week.

Hara Arena in Dayton, which had been the main arena in the city for decades and home of pro wrestling gating back to the 60s, will be closing up shop due to a legal battle which made it impossible to give the arena much needed renovations. It will force the Dayton Demolition minor league hockey team to not lay this season and has housed presidents, the pro hockey debut of Wayne Gretzky and concerts with the Rolling Stones, Prince, Nirvana and the Grateful Dead. 

Ken Arden, who wrestled regularly on indie shows in Tennessee in the 80s and 90s, passed away on Monday at the age of 59. No other details are available but his funeral service is tonight at 7 p.m. at the Biereley-Hale Chapel in Madisonville, TN with visitation starting at 5 p.m. He’ll be buried tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Hopewell Springs Cemetery. He was a comedy wrestler known as Skinny Kenny Arden, when he was anything but skinny.

WWE

In this article, Glen Jacobs (Kane) implies that a career in politics may await him after the ring.
Rusev and Lana are off the road since the television version of their wedding is being taped today in Southern California. That’s also why a number of the cast members of Total Divas are off the road this weekend.
NXT has announced shows on 9/22 in Toronto at the Mattamy Athletic Center (the site of the old Maple Leaf Gardens), 9/23 in St. Catharines, ONT at the Meridian Center and 9/24 in Kitchener, ONT at The Air.
Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that WWE has licensed a new Limp Bizkit song but didn’t specify exactly what the song was or what it would be used for.
The Miz tossed out the first pitch at a recent Baltimore Orioles baseball game. In this article, Miz talks about dreaming of being a professional wrestler and what it has been like to live that reality.

PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING

Tickets for the ROH Reach for the Sky UK tour are now on sale. 
If you are around tonight you’ll want to check out the third from the top match at Arena Mexico. I’d say 10:30 p.m. Eastern or so it’ll go into the ring.  Semi and main should be good since Dragon Lee is in the semi and Volador Jr. in the main, and nobody in the business is tearing it up in recent weeks anymore than Volador. But third from the top match will be the one to go out of your way to see.
In this article, Nick Denton gets demeaned by a judge for lying about the value of Gawker stock.
Shigehiro Irie from DDT has been added to the Hoosier Pro Wrestling shows on 8/5 at the Brown County Fair in Nashville, IN and 8/6 at the 4-H Fair in Columbus, IN. In both shows he faces Jonathan Wolfe.

More videos from the Pro Wrestling HOF weekend in Waterloo:

Dave Meltzer’s Jim Melby Award acceptance speech.
Joe Blanchard’s induction accepted by Tully & Tessa Blanchard.
Lex Luger’s Frank Gotch Award acceptance speech.
Chael Sonnen’s George Tragos award acceptance speech by Gerald Brisco.
Tully Blanchard and JJ Dillon discuss the origin of the Four Horsemen.
Stan Kowalski, 2 time AWA Tag Team Champion, talks about being honored with the “Patriots” and “Lifetime Service” awards at the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame last weekend. He also discusses being the first person to wrestling Andre The Giant in the US. He did not come on stage for a speech during the ceremony due to mobility issues. Baron Von Raschke talks about his amateur wrestling accomplishments, teaming with Mad Dog Vachon, his time managing “The Powers of Pain” in WWE and more. (thanks to Anthony Ambros)

UFC / MMA

Ricardo Abreu was suspended for two years today after failing a test for two banned substances, stemming from a 6/3 out of competition test. Regarding a question from Wednesday’s show, Josh Nason heard from UFC’s Jeff Novitzky. If a fighter is suspended, such as the two-year suspension given Ricardo Abreu, he will be tested during the entire period unless he announces his retirement from the sport. 
Tyrone Woodley believes Saturday night will be his night at UFC 201. This article discusses how T-Wood could possibly be Lawler’s biggest test.

VARIETY

Former WWE star Santino Marella joined the Jordan Garber NOW podcast to talk about his career in wrestling and the evolution of his persona for WWE. The program is available via vocnation.com by clicking on the “On Demand” or “2016 Archives” tab.
This is the Tessa Blanchard & Kiandra vs Jessika Havoc & Miss Frankie Jay match.  
Here is the Ricochet (aka Prince Puma) vs Sami Callihan fulf HQ match from the Impact Pro Wrestling HOF weekend show.
WWE Cruiserweight Classic competitor Ariya Daivari was the latest guest on the Pancakes and Powerslams Show.
Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore promotion on 9/16 in St. James, NY at the Sports Arena features Tony Nese vs. Ricochet, Matt Hardy (with Reby Hardy and Senor Benjamin) vs. Aaron Stevens (Damian Sandow), Torito vs. Swoggle (Hornswoggle), Tommy Dreamer vs. Rhino in a Extreme New York Street fight plus Terry Funk, Sami Callihan and Brian Myers.
RESULTS: Masters of the Ring in Wilmington NC from Saturday night: Patrick Pain Parade b LaBrone James, Victor Andrews won three-way over Timmy Lou Retton and Mason Mayles, Gunner d Velvet Jones, Caprice Coleman b Jimmy Parker, Awesome Kong won three-way over Santana Garrett and Hollywood Von Royal, Sonjay Dutt b Al Snow to retain the GFW NEXT GEN title (how is Al Snow next gen?), James Storm won three-way over Jeff Jarrett and Ethan Carter III to become Masters of the Ring Entertainment world champion.
RESULTS: Southern States Wrestling from Wednesday night in Princeton, WV: Phillip Lawson b JD Hogg, Rusty Shank & Inmate b Rip & Roger Mason, Beau James b Krunch the Equalizer-DQ, Eric St Clair b George South

In honor of Dave Meltzer’s recent induction into the George Tragos / Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, now available for a limited time, 9 issues of Dave Meltzer’s California Wrestling Report.  Journey back over 40 years to read the early work of today’s most respected wrestling journalist. Your collections won’t be complete without these rare and hard to find editions. All 9 issues (Aug 26, ’72; Sept 9,’72; Sept 30, ’72; Oct 21, ’72; Nov 13, ’72; Dec 9, ’72; Jan 6, ’73; Feb ’73 & March ’73) totaling 130 pages in all, are available to readers for only $85 for Canada; $95 for USA; $120 for International. All payments must be in U.S. funds. (Due to the extreme age of the publications, there are 5 pages that do not reproduce that well)

After The California Wrestling Report Dave began to produce his newest project “International Wrestling Gazette”

Now available for a limited time, the first 5 issues of Dave Meltzer’s International Wrestling Gazette. Journey back almost 40 years to read the early work of today’s most respected wrestling journalist. Your collections won’t be complete without these rare and hard to find editions. All 5 issues (January, February, March, April & May 1974) total 141 pages in all, are available to readers for only $85 for Canada; $95 for USA; $120 for International . All payments must be in U.S. funds. (Due to the extreme age of the publications, there are a few pages that do not reproduce that well and I have reproduced the best I can from the copies I received)

Buy both the California Wrestling Report issues along with the International Wrestling Gazette together and receive a $10 discount off the combined price. Paypal payments can be made to grantsindex@nexicom.net.

TODAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (7/29): Flair wins US Title; Hansen & Gordy win All Japan Tag Titles


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