Daily Update: ROH 14th anniversary PPV and Bellator previews; Plus CMLL, WWE, & UFC

ROH 14TH ANNIVERSARY PPV FROM SAM’S TOWN IN LAS VEGAS AT 9 P.M. EASTERN TIME – By Dan Velten

Hirooki Goto vs. Dalton Castle: Castle has been the most over act on all the recent shows. He has the boys back so expect the usual antics. Get there early to get a Dalton Castle autograph. His booth is always jammed.

Alex Shelley vs. Christopher Daniels: These two have been wrestling a long time and both are excellent at match lay out. This should be really good. 

B.J. Whitmer vs. Adam Page: The build up for this has been excellent with Page stepping in for the injured Corino. It’s unclear whether or not we will get the Corino vs. Whitmer match, but we should know after this. Page has really grown into his own since leaving the decade. I’m sure this will be a good match as BJ Whitmer is one of the craftiest veterans wrestling today.

Kazuchika Okada vs. Moose non-title: Moose really is quite the character. He has improved big time over the past year, but this is a big test for him. Okada will have his hands full here. 

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin vs. Mark & Jay Briscoe: This one has awesome written all over it. The Briscoes always bring it, and Tanahashi and Elgin are no strangers to awesome matches. I expect a wild, hard hitting performance.

Young Bucks & Kenny Omega vs. ACH & Matt Sydal & Kushida for the Never Open Weight Trios Championship: This one is the early front runner for match of the night. Sydal an ACH defeated the Bucks on TV a few weeks back in a really fun TV main event. ACH is incredible, Sydal is amazing, and the Young Bucks have such an incredible understanding of this business, it’s no wonder why they’re one of the biggest draws on the ROH roster.

Tomohiro Ishii vs. Roderick  Strong vs. Bobby Fish for TV title: Booking multiple three-way matches is an interesting choice. Obviously, Strong is the likely candidate to win back the ROH TV title, but with Lethal likely retaining in the main event, this could be Fish’s chance to wear the gold. 

Hanson & Ray Rowe vs. Rhett Titus & Kenny King for tag titles: The All-Night Express have been on a roll, and with weapons in play here, this should be a crazy fun wild brawl. Titus and King are great and I’m sure this will have some creative weapon use. I expect Hanson and Rowe to win.

Jay Lethal vs. Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly for ROH title: My gut says Lethal retains, but I’d be happy if Cole won. It’s not time yet for O’Reilly, but hey, it’s ROH. One thing is for sure, this match will be spectacular. All three men can deliver. This one should be given some time. It’s possible that we get a lot of interference to set up matches for Super Card of Honor which is the ROH big WrestleMania weekend show. Do not miss this PPV! 

We’re looking for your thoughts on tonight’s ROH PPV show, 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 also looking for reports from ROH’s TV taping tomorrow in Las Vegas at Sam’s Town. (Young Bucks vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal vs. Hirooki Goto, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Kazuchika Okada & Gedo, Adam Cole vs. Kushida, ACH vs. Kenny Omega, Silas Young vs. Dalton Castle)

BELLATOR AT 9 P.M. ON SPIKE TV FROM MULVANE, KANSAS – By Paul Fontaine

After the insanity that was Bellator 149 last weekend with the Gracie/Shamrock and Kimbo/Dada 5000 spectacles, Bellator MMA is right back at it tonight on Spike TV with Bellator 150. The show was originally scheduled to be headlined by a Bantamweight title fight between Marcos Galvao and Eduardo Dantes but Galvao was pulled from the bout earlier this week due to a medical issue. The new main event is former UFC Heavyweight Cheick Kongo squaring off against Bellator vet Vinicius Spartan. These two have both promised a war and have been sniping at each other on Twitter the last couple of weeks. Kendall “Spider” Grove is also back, facing off against Francisco France in what could be a sleeper fight. David “Caveman” Rickels, famous for his ring entrances looks to have a showcase match against journeyman Bobby Cooper. Rickels is not just show, as evidenced by his 16-4 record. 
 

 
Rounding out the card are two matches featuring fighters making their main card debuts. Highly touted prospect Gaston Reyna takes on Chuka Willis in a featherweight fight and in a battle of newly signed Women’s Flyweights, Lena Ovchynnikova goes up against veteran Rebecca Ruth. And hey, it’s Bellator so you may get a drunk Mike Tyson showing up to randomly commentate on a fight. You’ll probably get an earth-shattering announcement that is guaranteed to change the sport forever and you most assuredly will hear Sean Grande spout out at least three 15-year old pro wrestling catch phrases. We’ll have all the action here starting at 9 pm eastern when the show starts on Spike. The prelims air on Spike.com but unless you’re related to one of the 12 fighters on that portion of the card, I guarantee you’ve never heard of any of them. 

Bellator Main Card

Lena Ovchynnikova vs. Rebecca Ruth

Kendall Grove vs. Francisco France

Gaston Reyno vs. Chuka Willis

Dave Rickels vs. Bobby Cooper

Cheick Kongo vs. Vinicius Queiroz

NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING RETURNS AT 8 P.M. (one hour earlier than usual) EASTERN ON AXS TV*

A.J. Styles vs. Kota Ibushi

*This is the final show with Mauro Ranallo as announcer.  The shows taped with Jim Ross and Josh Barnett announcing start on 3/4.

LION FIGHTS AT 9 P.M. EASTERN ON AXS TV

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

Astral & Stukita vs. Demus 3:16 & Pierrothito

Blue Panther Jr. & The Panther & Triton vs. Escandalo & Fujin & Raijin

Angel de Oro & Dragon Lee & Stuka Jr. vs. Kamaitachi & Okumura & Bobby Z

Marcela vs. Dallys

Mistico & Super Parka & Volador Jr. vs. Negro Casas & Felino & Mr. Niebla

Marco Corleone & Mascara Dorada & Maximo Sexy vs. La Mascara & Rush & Vangellys

UFC ON FIGHT PASS AT 12:45 P.M. EASTERN TIME SATURDAY

Martin Svensson vs. David Teymur

Thibault Gouti vs. Teemu Packalen

Jarjis Danho vs. Daniel Omielanczuk

Rustan Khabilov vs. Norman Parke

Brad Scott vs. Krzysztof Jotko

Arnold Allen vs. Yaotzain Mesa

Scott Askham vs. Chris Dempsey

Marlon Vera vs. Davey Grant

Mike Wilkinson vs. Makwan Amirkhani

Brad Pickett vs. Francisco Rivera

Tom Breese vs. Keita Nakamura

Thales Leites vs. Gegard Mousasi

Michael Bisping vs. Anderson Silva

WWE / NXT WEEKEND HOUSE SHOW SCHEDULE

We’re also looking for reports on all of the weekend’s WWE and NXT shows. 

Tonight, WWE is in Denver (Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose for IC title, Kalisto vs Alberto Del Rio for U.S. title plus A.J. Styles, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Natalya, Paige and Sasha Banks) and NXT is in Largo, FL.

Saturday, WWE is in Louisville (Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose; Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio) and Cape Girardeau, MO (Big Show & Kane vs. Wyatt Family, Rusev vs. Ryback, Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch), and NXT is in Sebring, FL.

Sunday, WWE has shows in Evansville, IN (Kevin Owens vs. Ambrose, Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio) and Jonesboro, AR (Big Show & Kane vs. Wyatt Family, Ryback vs. Rusev, Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch).

WWE Raw will be Monday in Nashville. Undertaker will be there and Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks is scheduled with the winner getting a title shot.

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Atlanta.


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Figure Four Weekly 2/8/2016 Kevin “Mordecai” Thorn voices issues with WWE Network royalties, more
Former WWE Superstar Kevin Thorn voices his frustrations with the amount of money WWE pays in royalties for the WWE Network, plus more.


Wrestling Observer Newsletter

The Latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Feb 22, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WWE 2015 Financial Report, Kevin Randleman passes

The return to WWE of Shane McMahon, his history, and how the deal to bring him back was put together and why it happened now, is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
 
McMahon’s background, what about the TV angle is based on real life and what is based on fiction, where the idea for this year’s WrestleMania first came from and what year it was first planned for, the story on Roman Reigns, the blood, and why that angle took  place.  What the current deal is for McMahon, various possible scenarios and the situation with Roman Reigns.  Shane McMahon’s career in WWE, his attempts to run businesses in the past, high profile deals he attempted to put together that his father shot down, deals he tried to put together away from his father, and his latest venture and how changes in that company have changed his power. 
 
Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz on 3/5, including who was called, who was available, why Diaz got the shot and what his chances are.
 
Updated WrestleMania plans, where the Roman Reigns angle is headed, current card, scheduled guests and what key role is really not determined.

The Godfather, looking at his wrestling career, his pre-wrestling days, how he got into wrestling, why he was so popular with wrestlers, his different gimmicks and what he’s doing now.
 
The ramifications and lessons of Bellator’s last big show, what it says about what the public interest in the Kimbo vs. Dada and Shamrock vs. Gracie fights, what led to Dada’s hospitalization, ratings and business notes on the show and coverage of the event.
 
More WWE business and why a lot of the analysis of the network is shallow and missing key points.
 
Shinsuke Nakamura in WWE, reason he came to WWE that isn’t going to happen, John Cena update.  Kota Ibushi leaving New Japan, including an update on his plans, will he work for New Japan again, as well as WWE.

PLUS MUCH MORE! CLICK HERE FOR A FULL WRESTLING OBSERVER PREVIEW

You can also order the print Observer right now and get it delivered to your door via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to Dave Meltzer

You can also order print issues at www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com 
 
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For the United States, it is $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 get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. 
 
Click here for the most requested Wrestling Observer back issues.

Check out the latest Online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: Jan 18, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Giant Baba retires, ECW Guilty as Charged review
Details on the retirement of Giant Baba, a full rundown of ECW Guilty as Charged, plus tons of news.

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

In regards to a mailbag question on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio show that asked about attendance in Detroit before and after WrestleMania III that year, there are two shows for which I have found results. The show prior to WrestleMania was held in the Joe Louis Arena on February 21, 1987 and drew 21,000 people. The show directly after WrestleMania was held in Cobo Hall on May 3, 1987 and drew 5,000 fans. (thanks to Brian Hoops)

Another email question on the same show asked about changing finishes during the course of a match. Although not in the WWE, I have been told by Nick Bockwinkel that the AWA Championship change where Bockwinkel lost the title to Verne Gagne on July 18, 1980 at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois was called by Gagne during the course of the match. (thanks to Brian Hoops)

Shaq was asked about the possibility of doing an MMA fight during an interview on the Dan Patrick Show. Shaq said that he had watched the Kimbo/Dada fight on Friday night and is pretty sure he could do it if he wants to. I’m sure that once he realizes he’d have to cut to 265 the door would be closed on that one.

Shine 33 airs live from Ybor City, Florida, and is available on iPPV via WWN Live, WWN’s Roku Channel, FITE.tv, and more starting at 9 PM EST.

SHINE Champion: Taylor Made w/ So Cal Val & April Hunter vs. Kimber Lee
SHINE Tag Team Champions BTY of Marti Belle & Jayme Jameson w/ So Cal Val & April Hunter vs. La Sicaria of Ivelisse & Amanda Carolina Rodriguez w/ La Rosa Negra
NWA World Women’s Champion Amber Gallows vs. Thunderkitty
Mia Yim, Vanessa Kraven, Jessicka Havok, and more.

WWE / ROH

An article showed up on WWE.com announcing that Triple H will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the March to WrestleMania WWE Network special on March 12th in Toronto… but it wasn’t linked from anywhere else on the site, much less the front page. Not sure how it was discovered in the first place, but it was deleted after it got attention online.
WWE stock saw a slight turnaround for the stock today as it rebounded a little up 19 cents to $16.82. The NASDAQ was up about 8 points today.
AJ Styles and Kevin Owens have wrestled each other before. In a correction from yesterday, the Styles vs. Owens match which is advertised at MSG and may or may not happen, would not be the first time they’ve wrestled. They wrestled a singles match in upstate New York a few years ago for the 2CW promotion.
Christopher Daniels talks Ring of Honor and the 14th Anniversary show in an interview from the Miami Herald.

Lay Lethal cuts a promo during an interview on a local newscast plugging the ROH PPV in Las Vegas.

UFC / MMA

SI’s Jon Wertheim did a feature on Conor McGregor.
Tim Kennedy was on the Chive podcast this week

MISCELLANEOUS

This week’s 6:05 Superpodcast with Brian Last and our own David Bixenspan includes the audio of the banquet from the first annual Eddie Gilbert Memorial Brawl in 1996, which had never seen the light of day until now. It includes speeches from Mick Foley, Jerry Lawler, Jim Cornette, Dory Funk Jr., Doug Gilbert, and others. The banquet audio comes after a normal full length show, which includes Brian and David discussing the careers of Gilbert and Kerry Von Erich, watching wrestling taped in a women’s prison, and much more.
Here’s a look at Gulf Coast Championship Wrestling’s reunion show.
Website favorite The Great Khali was injured this week due to chair shots and punches.
Carlito is appearing for Great North Wrestling on Saturday and still spits in the face of anyone that wants to be cool.
Jim Ross appeared on the Another Wrestling Podcast.
The building that was once the Tampa Sportatorium, home to the TV tapings of Championship Wrestling from Florida and whatever their B-show was called at the moment (it had a lot of different names) is up for sale, and the Tampa Tribune has a story about it. While it’s been through many changes since, the permanent ring posts that formed the base of the wrestling ring are still there.
wXw’s weekly recap show Shotgun can be seen here.
This is the English language version of the show with our own Alan4L on commentary. The big news on the show was the drawing for the first round of March’s 16 Carat Gold tournament – Europe’s biggest wrestling tournament – featuring names such as Zack Sabre Jr, Sami Callihan, Angelico, Will Ospreay, Trevor Lee, Speedball Mike Bailey, Marty Scurll and Big Daddy Walter.
Revolution Pro UK announced the first big name for July 10th Summer Sizzler show at the famous York Hall in London. It will be the first ever match in Europe for New Japan’s NEVER Openweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata. They have promised more big names will be announced soon, and they usually live up to those promises when it comes to the York Hall shows.

ON THIS DAY IN WORLD PRO WRESTLING HISTORY: Verne Gagne wins AWA gold; Memphis throwback night 

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