Daily Update: Friday of WrestleMania week, Conor, UFC 223

THE ROUND-UP

THE LATEST NEWS

WWE Hall of Fame live coverage: Goldberg headlines the 2018 class
EVOLVE 103 results: Matt Riddle vs. Daisuke Sekimoto
Impact Wrestling ratings fall against competition from WWE
UFC 223 finally gets a main event: Nurmagomedov vs. Iaquinta
WWE announces Kane, four more for Andre the Giant battle royal
El Santo headlines 2018 WWE Hall of Fame legacy inductee class
WWE Axxess day one results: Keith Lee vs. Kassius Ohno
Beyond Wrestling Lit Up results: Full card of intergender matches
Max Holloway out of UFC 223 main event, UFC yet to announce replacement
Your guide to what’s streaming live during WrestleMania week
WrestleCon Supershow results: Golden Lovers vs. Chuck Taylor & mystery partner

THE LATEST AUDIO

WOL: Sempervive & Nason talk Conor & UFC 223, Mania week, more 4/6
JNPO: Richard Deitsch on Ronda Rousey, WWE/UFC TV deals 4/6
WOR: Wrestling Observer Live Mailbag from New Orleans! 4/6
WOR: Conor McGregor, UFC fights off, Brock Lesnar, WaleMania, Andre the Giant docs, more! 4/6


​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Looking ahead to Wrestlemania 34 

Though there will always be some complications when putting a big show together, things have pretty much fallen perfectly into place for WWE heading into WrestleMania 34 on Sunday. The 14-match card was scheduled to be finalized heading into this week’s television, with John Cena vs. The Undertaker left as the last thing to be confirmed. In a different era, it would have been insane to not announce such a big match before the go-home episode of Raw. But selling WWE Network subscriptions is a bit different than pay-per-views, and the match almost feels unnecessary on such a loaded event.


WON NEWSLETTER: April 9, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Massive Wrestlemania 34 weekend, more

The final words before WrestleMania, the change in UFC’s PPV this week, coverage of Sakura Genesis and a look at the Andre the Giant documentary are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Read the update on WrestleMania and the week regarding the matches, the questions and ticket sales. Look at what WWE Fan Axxess has scheduled and notes on who will be appearing on the different shows.

Go through the background of UFC making Max Holloway vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov as Saturday’s PPV main event, including how Tony Ferguson was injured, who else was asked to face Nurmagomedov, challenges for Holloway, examining the risk/reward for Holloway and what Dana White says about how it all went down. 

Find out about the crazy risks that Will Ospreay has been taking, his match with Marty Scurll at Sakura Genesis as well as the Kazuchika Okada vs. Zack Sabre Jr. match, go through the upcoming matches, the lineups for the next month of new Japan major shows, business notes on the show, as well as the huge controversy Sabre got into based on a promo he did in Japan making mainstream media in Mexico.

Examine the life and times of Andre the Giant, and review the upcoming HBO documentary on Andre, how it got done, myths about Andre, Andre’s early days, where the name came from, behind his confrontations with Akira Maeda, Blackjack Mulligan and Badnews Allen, the famous Andre vs. The Monster story, the build to Andre vs. Hogan and the sad end of his career and life.

There is more on Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman and their WWE futures, who WWE says won’t be at Mania, notes to look for when WWE announces its new number, more on Greatest Royal Rumble, thoughts on WWE, injuries, health of Daniel Bryan, who else was talked with about teaming with Ronda Rousey, the next planned Roman Reigns program, Cena and Dwayne Johnson have new movies out, most watched shows on WWE Network, as well as results and highlights from every WWE and NXT show this past week with business notes.

Check out the new promotion that Josh Barnett and Kazushi Sakuraba are debuting next week in Japan at Sumo Hall, with the unique rules plus Sakuraba comments on it, and so much more.


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.


FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE
In his latest WrestleMania Diary video, Daniel Bryan teased whether he’ll wear new gear (in Seattle Seahawks colors) or gear that represents the old Bryan. He said “philosophically, we’ll see which Daniel Bryan we get at WrestleMania.”
Jeff Jarrett got emotional when reflecting on his friendship with Owen Hart and talking about what it would have been like if Owen were here for his Hall of Fame induction. In other WrestleMania Diary videos, Jeff & Karen Jarrett and their family arrived in New Orleans and got ready for tonight’s Hall of Fame ceremony.
Jarrett received his HOF ring from Vince McMahon and talked to him for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Asuka ate Japanese food in New Orleans and worked out for Sunday in her WrestleMania Diary.
The Rock said that he won’t be at WrestleMania this year.
With WWE announcing that a mystery wrestler would be playing at the venue, Elias performed at Razzoo on Bourbon Street last night.
Today’s episode of the Edge & Christian podcast with The Hardys is now available. The two teams reunited for a photo as well.
Edge teased that the Edge & Christian show is coming back to the WWE Network for a second season. Matt Hardy also took part in a Table for Three taping today. A lot of content for the Network is being filmed this week.
After John Cena has been taunting The Undertaker on Twitter over the last few weeks, Nikki Bella did the same today.
Following up on this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter report about Dave Bautista having had talks with WWE about teaming with Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania, Pro Wrestling Sheet noted that WWE didn’t tell Bautista that they were going with Kurt Angle instead before announcing it.
Dana Brooke has been added to the list of entrants for Sunday’s WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal.
Ric Flair tweeted a photo with Ronda Rousey from WWE’s Hall of Fame ceremony.
Rousey spoke to CBS Sports about WrestleMania and how her pro wrestling training initially came together.
A leaked photo shows some of the stage for Sunday.
Cathy Kelley interviewed The Dudley Boyz and The New Day on today’s WWE Now episodes.
The New Day told IGN that hosting WrestleMania last year was better than having a filler match on the card.
For what it’s worth, the Smoothie King Center is advertising AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Charlotte Flair vs. Carmella for Tuesday’s SmackDown tapings. One or both of those could be dark matches if they end up happening.
Chicago magazine posted a feature on Mustafa Ali and his journey from being a police officer to wrestling on Sunday.
The Charlotte Observer has an article on Cedric Alexander ahead of his Cruiserweight title match against Ali.
Jim Ross and Rob Van Dam were guests at Paul Heyman’s one-man show in New Orleans yesterday.
Heyman rewatched Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg from last year’s WrestleMania for WWE Playback.
Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio from WrestleMania 22 is today’s WWE free match on YouTube.
EC3 did a promo insulting his five opponents in Saturday’s ladder match for the North American Championship at NXT TakeOver.
Pro Wrestling
Darby Allin and Travis Banks weren’t able to wrestle at today’s EVOLVE show due to suffering injuries while wrestling for PROGRESS this morning.
In an interesting note given that he’s been linked with WWE, Keith Lee lost the WWN Championship to Austin Theory at EVOLVE 103.
Despite the injury, PROGRESS announced that Jeff Cobb will challenge for Travis Banks’ title tomorrow. Toni Storm will also defend her PROGRESS Women’s Championship against Mercedes Martinez.
Jack Sexsmith wasn’t able to make this week’s PROGRESS shows in New Orleans due to personal circumstances: “BREAKING: Unfortunately, due to personal circumstances, @TheJackSexsmith is unable to appear at our shows in New Orleans this weekend. Our heart goes out to him as we know how much he was looking forward to these shows.”
ROH claimed that Cody Rhodes “will have a police escort to the ring” for his entrance against Kenny Omega on Saturday.
Last night’s WrestleCon Supershow is already available on the Highspots Wrestling Network.
Minoru Suzuki and Ken Shamrock took a picture together at WrestleCon.
Pete Dunne took pride in doing a banned piledriver in Louisiana.
Next year’s Walemania will take place on April 4th.
Al Snow announced that he’s acquiring Ohio Valley Wrestling.
UFC/MMA
Conor McGregor’s $50,000 bail has been posted by fighter Dillon Danis and his next hearing will take place on June 14th. McGregor faces three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief.
Video of McGregor’s bus attack and its aftermath is shown on UFC 223 Embedded episode five.
Despite the New York State Athletic Commission not letting it be a full title fight due to Al Iaquinta initially coming in 0.2 pounds over, Dana White said the winner of tomorrow’s Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Iaquinta main event will be the lightweight champion.
White said that everyone who had a fight fall through for UFC 223 will still be receiving their show money.
White called Brock Lesnar facing whoever is heavyweight champion after Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier a possibility for Lesnar’s return fight.
Max Holloway tweeted about not being able to face Nurmagomedov: “@TeamKhabib my brother I want to keep going but they are stopping me. Sorry to your team and the fans. You don’t deserve this. This is number one. Shout outs to you and @Showtimepettis . Give the fans what they deserve.” That was before Nurmagomedov vs. Iaquinta became the main event.
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington, which was originally planned to take place at UFC 224 in Brazil, is now scheduled for UFC 225 in Chicago on June 9th. It’s an interim welterweight title fight.
Ben Rothwell accepted a two-year sanction for drug test failures from February of last year.

Daily Professional Wrestling History: Daniel Bryan wins WWE World title at WrestleMania 30


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