Daily Update: Great Balls of Fire odds, Amanda Nunes, AJ Styles

THE ROUND-UP

The Latest from the F4W Staff

NEWS

WWE Great Balls of Fire live results: Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe
RevPro British J-Cup results: Matt Riddle vs. Tomohiro Ishii
WWE Waco, TX, live results: Ambrose & Rollins vs. Miz & Joe
UFC 213 live results: Yoel Romero vs. Robert Whittaker
NXT Largo, FL, live results: Roderick Strong vs. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas

AUDIO

DragonKingKarl Classic Wrestling Marathon: Eric Darsie 7/9
WOR: UFC 213, Great Balls of Fire, Aries, AJ Styles, more! 7/9
DragonKingKarl Classic Wrestling Marathon: AWA World title 7/8
WOR: UFC, Styles wins US Title, Aries out of WWE, tons more! 7/8

We’re looking for reports on last night’s WWE Smackdown show in Corpus Christi, TX, Evolve last night in Charlotte, today’s Smackdown brand show in Hidalgo, TX and today’s Evolve show in Marietta, GA to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

We’re also doing polls on last night’s UFC 213 as today’s WWE Great Balls of Fire, 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.

WWE GREAT BALLS OF FIRE PPV ON SUNDAY AT 7:30 P.M. EASTERN AT THE AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER IN DALLAS ON WWE NETWORK

Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe for Universal title — Based on the buildup and the reaction, this looks to be the most anticipated WWE match in several months. Unless something major happens, Lesnar is scheduled to defend the title at SummerSlam, meaning no title change here. The “smart money” odds actually came in on Thursday, and right now Lesnar is a -2000 favorite. It’s really the biggest match of Joe’s career and people want a real fight out of this one.

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman in an ambulance match — The ambulance match stip allows a gimmick finish. At one point, as of a few weeks ago, it was Lesnar vs. Reigns as the SummerSlam main event, which would lead you to believe Reigns wins here. But if Reigns is going over for the title at SummerSlam, they also need to get challengers ready, so Strowman getting the win actually makes sense if you think about it. Their previous matches have been good, and one was great. There should be a lot of gimmick spots with a lot taking place outside the ring. I expect this to be the match with all the smoke and mirrors. Strowman at press time is a -1500 favorite.

Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt — This one is interesting. On one hand, if Reigns is going over, you want to get heels ready. On the other hand, this looks like a heavy heel-win show, and with WWE, that means a lot of gimmick finishes which often people don’t like. Based on odds movement in extremes, this would appear that the finish has changed at least once since Thursday. Right now Wyatt is a -1005 favorite to get his hand raised.

Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Hardys for tag titles in a 30:00 Iron man match — These guys have the most pressure because the crowd knows nothing can end the match until the 30:00 mark. I’m always more in favor of natural long matches than Iron man matches, but since these teams have faced each other over-and-over, including doing a cage match, this was the pick. Sheamus & Cesaro are -1275 to retain.

The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose for the IC title — The Miz is a -1500 favorite to retain. I just hope this is the end of the program because it’s gone on too long and both need something fresh. They still should have a good match. 

Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks for the Women’s title — Similarly, this title match feels more like a show to fill the bridge between Bliss vs. Nia Jax. Bliss is a -1050 favorite.

Enzo Amore vs. Big Cass — This match will likely be kept short. Even though Enzo is the golden throat, he is correct that the company sees Cass as the money. Cass is a -1580 favorite.

Neville vs. Akira Tozawa for the Cruiserweight title (pre-show match) — No odds are listed for this match. From a technical standpoint, this should be really good, but they’ll be limited by the fact the crowds have not been strong for cruiserweight division matches, and it’s on the pre-show, which also means it’s probably not lasting that long.

        As far as match quality goes, everything looks okay. I think the show will likely be judged overall on how fulfilling Joe vs. Lesnar is overall and whether they overload with gimmick finishes in trying to get so many heels over. When you look at the odds, every heel is winning except for Joe, and there’s nothing wrong with that because in every case that’s based on long-term plans. But they usually have heel wins be weak finishes more than face wins, and there are a lot of those.

EVOLVE ON SUNDAY NIGHT IN MARIETTA, GA AT 8 P.M. EASTERN

Anthony Henry vs. James Drake
Jason Kincaid vs. Jon Davis
ACH vs. Ethan Page
Timothy Thatcher vs. Darby Allin
Keith Lee vs. Tracy Williams
Trent Baretta vs. Austin Theory
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Fred Yehi for Evolve title

Raw will be Monday night in Houston. Both Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar are scheduled for TV this week. SmackDown’s Monday night house show is in Laredo, TX.

SmackDown and 205 Live will be taped on Tuesday in San Antonio. John Cena returns for that show. No Randy Orton on the show this week.

NXT will be taped on Wednesday night at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.


FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: Figure Four Weekly 7/3/2017: Looking at NJPW’s weekend in the US 

When New Japan Pro Wrestling’s weekend in Long Beach was over, Kenny Omega had been crowned as the inaugural IWGP US Heavyweight Champion and the most pressing question was what’s next for the company in the United States. Omega was, as expected, the star of the two G1 Specials.

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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: July 10, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: NJPW in Long Beach reviewed, TNA becomes GFW, tons of news   

New Japan’s expansion into the U.S. with the shows over the weekend in Long Beach is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Look through the business of the show, the positives, the negatives, the complaints about using ex-WWE talent, the U.S. title tournament, views on the U.S. title, as well as the New Japan plans for early 2018 in the U.S.

Read about examples as to why the early success may not lead to long-term success, indications of how well the show did, where the show was the strongest, which wrestlers had the most mainstream interest on the show, the Omega vs. Rhodes dynamic, and all the controversy regarding the announcing is covered. Plus, there is match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results of both the shows.

Check out Impact’s rebranding to GFW, the good and the bad of the Slammiversary show, the interesting politics involved, the debut of DeAngelo Williams as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

This issue talks the WWE security breach reported by Forbes, MSG notes, ideas for big events in 2018 in WWE, new TV show idea, Iron men of 2017 plus who never wins and who never loses, lots of updates on the Mae Young Classic, why Randy Orton will be out for a couple of weeks, experiences of a woman on the WWE writing team, plus the most-watched shows on the WWE Network this past week, WWE company market value, and notes on all the WWE and NXT arena events the past week with highlights and business notes.

Also inside, notes on the pending case against Jim Breaks, the death of his ex-girlfriend, and the details of the case, and notes on the career of Vic Faulkner of the Royal Brothers tag team, who passed away this past week.

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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. 
 
Rates in the United States are $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.)

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WON BACK ISSUE: June 12, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Paul Heyman meets with ECW talent, PRIDE 9 results, more

Paul Heyman, who hadn’t appeared at an ECW event since the Hardcore Heaven PPV, surprisingly, after missing the TV taping on 6/2 in New Orleans, flew to Pensacola, FL for the house show for a lengthy ECW team meeting. The one hour long meeting was largely a pep talk, since most of the wrestlers hadn’t even spoken to Heyman in a month, and with smaller crowds, slightly declining ratings and late checks, morale had hit a new low.

Heyman went through a story about where he saw the wrestling business in the U.S. headed. The theory he had was that WWF and USA Network would settle their lawsuit before going to trial because both have so much dirt on the other that would come out in court that both sides stock prices would drop and suffer public embarrassment. 

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SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight covering Great Balls of Fire, as well as the rest of the latest news. You can also send questions for the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

Regarding the Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko fight falling out, Nunes said she had sinusitis and wasn’t able to fight. Dana White said that the withdrawal was 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical, noting that she went to the hospital, couldn’t find anything wrong and she was cleared to fight. He said that they didn’t consider stripping her of the title because she had no history of late withdrawals, but said he wasn’t paying her any of her purse and would never main event with her again. Keep in mind he has also said in the past he would never main event with Jon Jones again. The plan is to hold that match now on the 9/9 show in Edmonton.

Nunes said that she has chronic sinusitis and has fought with it before, but this time it didn’t work out. She said she was unable to breathe and fell off balance from the pressure in her sinuses during her weight cut and didn’t feel good enough to risk getting punched in the face. She went to the hospital after weigh-ins and she said they only checked her blood and if she was dehydrated and there were no issues with either so she was cleared to fight. She went back to the hospital on Saturday and they did a CT scan and found a build up and she was prescribed antibiotics and sent to a specialist.   

UFC 213 was the second most searched item yesterday on the Internet, topping 500,000. That is much higher than I would have expected, but that could be misleading because of Amanda Nunes falling out probably let to a lot of searches that wouldn’t necessarily correlate with PPV orders or interest. Yoel Romero was the No. 3 most searched item for today earlier this morning but that was only 20,000.

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Because the Los Angeles and Brooklyn stops for the Mayweather-McGregor press conferences saw 30,000 tickets go within hours (the tickets were free, but you needed a ticket to attend), the Toronto stop on Wednesday was moved to the 16,000 seat Budweiser Stage.

Just for a note, at last night’s Smackdown house show in Corpus Christi, A.J. Styles made his first U.S. title defense in a three-way over Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin. There are no reports as to any reason for the title change in MSG past it was just a booking decision.

WWE
Lio Rush is likely coming in sooner than later. He announced last night at the CZW show that 8/5 would be his last show with the promotion.
John Cena is in Australia for a speaking tour this weekend which was heavily advertised on WWE television there. Cena got a huge guarantee and it may not be doing that great since there are 30% off tickets in some places and a two-for-one for the Gold Coast show. I think the tickets started at $99 and the VIP packages are really expensive. It’s been marketed more like a corporate speaker tour than a pro wrestling event. Cena has been doing publicity work for the tour these past few days there. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
Cena was on the HBO show Tour de Pharmacy, a mockumentary spoofing drug use in the 1982 Tour de France. Cena played a cheating Austrian cyclist. (thanks to Denis Gorman)  
A story on Big E.
Kambi once again has odds for what match gets the highest star ratings in Wednesday’s Observer:
Lesnar vs. Joe -111
Reigns vs. Strowman +150
Neville vs. Tozawa +200
Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Hardys +300
Rollins vs. Wyatt +400
Bliss vs Banks +600
Miz vs. Ambrose +1000

MISCELLANEOUS
Kevin Nash will be undergoing surgery on Tuesday for a meniscus tear in his left knee. His knee locked up. He noted this was his 32nd surgery.
Smash Wrestling has a Fight Network TV taping on 7/16 at the Phoenix Concert Theater in Toronto at 4 p.m. with Tyson Dux vs. Colt Cabana, Jay White vs. Kevin Bennett, Scotty O’Shea vs. Matt Cross, Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Stu Grayson and more. 
Best in the West TV from yesterday in Fresno: Hip Hop Harry b Richard Shnarry (Shnarry is a one-legged wrestler), Danny Rocket & Hip Hop Harry b Jesse Poole & Toxic Trent, Eli Drake b Funnybone. They are taping at 6 p.m. tonight in Hanford, CA at the Civic Center with JR Kratos vs. Mustafa Saed plus Alexander Hammerstone, Jeff Cobb, Joe Graves, Gabriel Gallo, Diablo Azteca and Desi Derata. They also have an 8/19 taping at Fresno City College. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
CWE on 8/3 in Yorkton, SK at 7 p.m. with a guest appearance by Nikita Koloff, plus also appearing are Silas Young, Tony Kozina, Kelly Klein, Jonathan Gresham and Kaito Kiyomiya.
Pro Wrestling Phoenix ran several shows on Friday at the Omaha Comic Con: 
Morning: Zac James won over Preston Maxwell and Dalton Lee Roth, Brooke Valentine b Sierra Avery, Nathen Edwards b Purple, Hype Gotti b Pat Powers
Afternoon: Purple b Johnny Ruckus, Nathen Edwards b Lars Metzer, Pat Powers b Carson Rockwell, Hype Gotti & Zac James b Preston Maxwell & Dalton Lee Roth
Evening: Hype Gotti & Zac James & Carson Rockwell b Preston Maxwell & Pat Powers & Tim Boston, Dalton Lee Roth b Chris Havius, Lars Metzger & Johnny Ruckus DCOR Purple & Nathen  Edwards, Preston Maxwell won Battle royal

From Yesterday:
Morning: Purple b Joey Daniels, Dalton Lee Roth b Tim Boston, Branden Juarez & Zac James b Lars Metzger & Johnny Ruckus
Afternoon: Paul Daniels & Joey Daniels b Mad Dog McDowell & Jon West, Zac James b Carson Rockwell, Con Artiest b Tim Boston, Hype Gotti & Tony Cortez & Branden Juarez & Purple b Pat Powers & Dalton Lee Roth & Lars Metzger & Johnny Ruckus.
Evening: Hype Gotti & Tony Cortez b Pat Powers & Preston Maxwell, Purple b Dalton Lee Roth, Zac James & Carson Rockwell b Mad Dog McDowell& Jon West, Joey Daniels b Con Aritest, Brandon Juarez b Chris Havius in a street fight

House of Hardcore on 8/11 in Freehold, NJ at the iPlay America has MVP vs. Jake Hager (Jack Swagger) vs. Tommy Dreamer, Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson vs. Spirit Squad, Bully Ray vs. Sami Callihan anything goes, Bobby Fish vs. Rhett Titus, plus Nick Aldis, Bull James, Velvet Sky and Angelina Love. 
CZW from last night in Voorhees, NJ: Nate Carter & David McCall b Private Party, Conor Claxton b Rickey Shane Page, Tim Donst won over Kit Osbourne, Ace Austin, Anthony Bennett and Devon Moore, Dan O’Hare & Jay Shlak & Masa b Brandon Graver & Stockade & Matt Tremont in a doors match, Maxwell Jacob Feinstein b Trevor Lee to keep the TV title, Ace Romero b AR Fox, Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz & Miguel b Sami Callihan & Jake Crist & Dave Crist, Shane Strickland won the CZW/Defy Wrestling title in a four-way over champion Davey Richards, Joe Gacy and Lio Rush. (thanks to Bob Magee)
A nice story on Northeast Wrestling’s Brian Ciskowski, who goes by the name Brian Anthony, who saw a child battling bone cancer wearing one of his T-shirts.
Speaking of NEW, they have a show on 7/14 in Danbury, CT at the PAL Building with Cody Rhodes vs. Ricochet, plus Jake Hager and Ryback appear.
A story on a 1932 pro wrestling movie called “Flesh”. (thanks to Jake Koch)

Today in Pro Wrestling History: WCW Bash at the Beach 2000

F4W Online / Wrestling Observer Vegas Convention Event Info

August 17-21; All times are TBA; Full information on the group Facebook page; Activities subject to change 

Thursday: Meet at the High Roller for Bowling at the Link; Party at Carnival Court at Hurrah’s
Friday: Kiss Mini Golf tournament at the Rio; Dinner at Texas de Brazil; Suite party (location TBA)
Saturday: Burgers with Granny for lunch; Future Stars of Wrestling show featuring Stephan Bonnar & Phil Baron, and co-main events: 3-way match with Leva Bates vs. Mia Yim vs. Hudson Envy, and “Filthy” Tom Lawlor vs. Thomas Santell (f.k.a. Antonio “The Promise” Thomas); NXT viewing party at the Sci-Fi Center
Sunday: SUPER CHINA BUFFET DAY at the Wicked Spoon Buffet at 1pm; SummerSlam viewing party at the Sci-Fi Center
Monday: Goodbye lunch at Chen Chen at NY NY
All website members will also receive a 15% discount on any purchases from the Las Vegas Fight Shop for the entirety of the convention

Texas de Brazil, Wicked Spoon, NXT and Summer Slam will all be sign up and pre-paid events, prices and collection begin in mid July~!

Pro Wrestling Tees is now carrying our latest line of F4W shirts. Support the Empire~! Grab yours today!


CONTACT INFORMATION

Poll opinions: dave@wrestlingobsever.com
​Feedback: feedback@wrestlingobserver.com
Show results and news tips: newstips@wrestlingobserver.com
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