WED. UPDATE: New NXT tour dates, Rampage appeal details, Ron Wright , and more

by David Bixenspan | davidbix@wrestlingobserver.com | Follow @davidbix

TV tonight:

NXT at 8:00 p.m. ET on WWE Network has Kevin Owens vs. Alex Riley, Finn Bàlor vs. Tye Dillinger, Bayley vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte. CJ Parker vs. Hideo Itami, and Rhyno vs. Jesus de Leon. There’s a promo video on YouTube.

Lucha Underground at 8:00 p.m. ET on El Rey has Sexy Star vs. Pentagon Jr. as well as Big Ryck, The Mack, & Killshot vs. Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, & Angelico vs. Cage, King Cuerno, & Texano in a three-way elimination match to determine the Trios Champions. You can check out this week’s teaser and “previously” video on YouTube. The official preview from El Rey reads as follows:

Three teams have advanced, but only one can walk away with the belt. Tonight, the first ever Lucha Underground Trios Champions will be crowned in a Three Way Trios Tag Team Elimination Match! Battling are those who have proven they are a force to be reckoned with; Cage, Kill Shot, Tejano, Angelico, Ivelisse and Son of Havoc. It doesn’t stop there when Sexy Star takes on Pentagon Jr. The last surviving team wins the title on Wednesday, April 22nd at 8:00PM ET/PT on El Rey Network.

UFC Programming on Fox Sports 1:

8:00 p.m. ET New episode of UFC Tonight

9:00 p.m. ET The premiere of UFC’s Top 5 Greatest Fights

10:00 p.m. ET The 90 minute season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter: ATT vs. Blackzillians

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The newest issue of Figure Four Weekly is up on the site for subscribers (subscribe here) with a look at the Daniel Bryan injury situation, including what he’s said in the past, how it relates to his current situation, and more; plus and all of the usual reviews and international news.

Also, now available for the first time on Kindle (meaning Kindle devices and anything with the Kindle app) is Fall Guys, the seminal 1937 book that has been described as being like the 1930s version of the Wrestling Observer. It was surprisingly not on Kindle already, so we put together a nice version with a full table of contents w/ chapter marks, proper formatting on everything, etc. Right now it’s available from the American, Canadian, and Australian Amazon/Kindle stores OR you can also buy it from anywhere in the world on PayHip, who will provide you with both Kindle and ePub (every other e-reader) format files, and you can either sideload them to your device or have them email it to your Kindle. 

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We’ve got full coverage of the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony from two weeks ago along with a lot of backstage stories, truth vs. fiction on the stories told, as our lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We also have a ton of notes on ROH and the New Japan tour, Lucha Underground’s future and what it needs, TNA and Destination America along with notes on Taz, the Briscoes, Daniel Bryan, the latest lawsuits against WWE and UFC and a look at WWE & TNA business for February.

The latest Wrestling Observer:  April 20, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WWF Hall of Fame feature, latest WWE concussion lawsuit, UFC Poland debut

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The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.

The lead story covers the ins and outs of this year’s WWE Hall of Fame, the Randy Savage induction, Elizabeth, Ray Stevens, what WWE was and wasn’t happy about, how things are expected to change next year and thoughts about next year.  We also run down everyone’s speeches and talk about fact vs. fiction regarding what was said, as well as key parts of stories that were and weren’t said.

We look at the latest copycat lawsuit against WWE, how it was similar to others and in what key way it was different, we look at the individuals involved, We look at the claims made and WWE’s reaction to the latest suit through Jerry McDevitt, and also talk the Nelson Frazier case.

We also look at the schedule for WWE PPV shows over the next year as well as NXT specials and other key events.  We look at a PPV date that may change and why, and if not, why a major UFC and WWE event look to be going head-to-head early next year.

We’ve got an update on Extreme Rules, the Paige angle, Furious 7 at the box office, Daniel Bryan being sent home, Jey Uso’s injury, Seth Rollins title win and lots of notes on new talent signed by WWE including backgrounds.  We also look at plans for Tough Enough this year, UFC vs. WWE value, Another wrestler who may be getting a deal, and three names who are getting tryouts next month.

We also have full coverage of the current WWE European tour, with notes and business from every location.

We’ve got notes on UFC’s show this past week from Poland with a full show rundown.

We’ve got February business notes, covering WWE house show business, TV ratings, merchandise, DVDs and other categories, as well as TNA numbers and what they really mean.

The Observer is the world’s most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
 
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
 
Also in this week’s issue:

–Rey Bucanero gives his side of the Rey Mysterio Jr. retiring story

–Major indie show with huge names coming this week

–Unique angle in the Arena Mexico main event this week

–Key star injury

–Big show in Mexico being planned in two weeks

–AAA business since the Aguayo death and upcoming TV lineups

–More shows with Rey Mysterio Jr.

–El Hijo del Santo talks the Aguayo death and why he’s being heavily criticized on the subject

–More on the upcoming World Cup trios tournament

–Unique major stipulation match in Dragon Gate in a few weeks

–A look at the off the charts Dragon Gate match this past week

–Notes on the upcoming King of Gate tournament

–Major name joins the NOAH feud that has gotten mainstream news coverage

–A look at NOAH’s big show of the week

–Details of NOAH’s Global Tag League tournament

–Three title matches including two from the U.S. on New Japan show in two weeks

–Notes on the return of the old FMW promotion with Atsushi Onita

–The shoot tournament going on for a pro wrestling world title

–News on Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling

–News on a promotion claiming national exposure and the realities of the deal

–Who is involved with the new company

–Notes on upcoming PWG dates

–One of the most famous weird incidents in modern pro wrestling explained, the non-fast count by Nick Patrick at Starrcade 1997

–Update on Bobby Heenan

–Many top stars working Middle East

–Retirement of Tomoka Nakagawa

–Jim Ross and Lucha Underground and why they wanted him

–The current status of Lucha Underground

–What is the key thing to look at with  that promotion

–Notes on their big season ending show, the angles leading to it and the lineup

–Ideas they had and where they stand

–Why Lucha Underground is having trouble catching on even with strong television

–Notes on the weekend TV tapings and where the show stands well into July

–Why the Briscoes turned down WWE

–Notes on the upcoming ROH and New Japan shows and challenges in booking

–What would have happened had the Briscoes left

–Notes on the Killer Elite Squad in ROH

–Notes on TNA’s finances and late payment

–The TNA/Destination America relationship and key factors on it

–More on Bobby Lashley’s next fight

–Notes on TNA going back to doing a live PPV show and the time frame

–UFC pioneer Kevin Rosier passes away

–Notes on tons of new UFC fights

–What UFC star is looking to compete in the 2016 Olympics in what sport

–What happened with Matt Brown and Nate Diaz

–Notes on the latest lawsuit against UFC

–How UFC is doing on TV in Canada

–Former hockey fighter signs with UFC for Montreal

–Crazy Wanderlei Silva interview

–Thoughts on Phil Davis signing with Bellator

–Fight of the Year

–Bill Goldberg fighting update

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.
 
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we’ll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We’ve got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.
 
Our most requested issues in our history are:
 
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
 
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you’ll know exactly what was said–the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
 
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
 
Click Here: collingwood magpies 2019 training guernsey *March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)a
 
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
 
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
 
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
 
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our history)
 
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
 
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
 
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
 
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
 
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
 
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
 
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
 
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
 
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
 
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
 
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
 
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
 
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
 
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy’s win over Brock Lesnar)
 
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
 
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
 
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair’s book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
 
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair’s book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
 
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
 
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez–this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
 
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
 
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
 
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
 
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
 
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
 
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
 
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*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
 
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff’s book and how the industry was changed forever)
 
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*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn’t click)
 
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride’s offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
 
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
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*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage–which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
 
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
 
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
 
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women’s wrestling) .
 
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
 
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
 
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*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
 
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
 
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To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.

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Wednesday Daily Update

— Elsewhere on the site:

– Raw ratings rebounded this week, with no clear reason other than that maybe fans are finally turning on pretaped shows after years of it not making a difference.

– Quinton “Rampage” Jackson won his appeal of Bellator’s injunction to keep him from fighting outside of Bellator. His fight with Fabio Maldonado this Saturday at UFC 186 in Montreal is back on, albeit as a 215 pound catchweight fight instead of being a light heavyweight fight. Since yesterday’s update, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto got ahold of the court order, and he tweeted that the court found that Bellator’s “irreperable harm” claim was “vague speculation,” though the judge added that ‘Beyond April 25, however, it is unclear to this court whether other actions by defendant may cause irreparable harm.’ Jackson’s replacement, Steve Bosse, will be paid in full.

– ROH has continued to announce their lineups for the New Japan invasion shows, including May 13 in Philadelphia and part of May 15 in Toronto, which will be an internet PPV.

– Mick Foley is taping a WWE Network special at Full Sail Univrsity this Friday night.

— WWE has announced NXT’s first northeast (Albany, Philadelphia, and Pittsburh) dates and the returns to Ohio. Surprisingly, given the reports from several weeks ago, Philadelphia will be at Tower Theatre on May 14th instead of the former ECW Arena.

— Steve Johnson and Greg Oliver have a Ron Wright obituary up at Slam! Wrestling. Well worth going out of your way to read, including the somewhat disturbing details of how wrestlrs in east Tennesee got color back in the day. This quote from Buddy Landel (who grew up in Knoxville watching Wright) seems weirdly sad today, thought: “People outside of Tennessee and around there are not going to know him.”

So far, the only coverage in Tennessee is a one line obituary in the Kingsport Times-News that doesn’t mention pro wrestling. His death has gotten a lot more coverage from people outside of Tennessee, with the best coverage so far coming from Canadian newspaper company’s website. There’s something about that which makes his death extra sad. We’ve gotten used to mainstream outlets covering wrestling deaths that this, which used to be the norm, is starting to seem foreign.

— Triple H made a rare podcast appearance on the latest episode of The Tim Ferriss Show. Ferriss is best known as the author of “The 4-Hour Workweek.” It’s about an hour long, and what I’ve listened to so far is pretty good. Some of it consists of his existing talking points (stories vs. moves, Rocky vs. old boxing matches), but a lot of it isn’t, and he talks in-depth about switching from bodybuilding training to training as an athlete

— The Los Angeles Times has a really nice feature story on Lucha Underground, which includes a quote from Dave about AAA’s original boom in the area in the ’90s. Nothing earth-shattering, but well-written.

— The Memphis Grizzlies continue to embrace pro wrestling, as their mascot jumpd off a ladder to put a mascot in a Blazers jersey through a table.

— Vice Gaming has an article exploring why developers “keep getting wrestling video games wrong.” Spoiler: If you’re a gamer who’s well-versed in the history of WWE’s gamex, t’s not what you think.  Instead, it takes the point of view that kayfabe should be completely broken and it should be mix of choreography (a la rhythm games like Dance Dance Revolution) and management instead of being competitve fighting gams with assorted story modes. 

— Stuff.co.nz has an article about Kartik Swamy, a New Zealand indie wrestler who is trying to overcome a long-standing heart condition to live his dream. Good article with a lot of specifics about just how difficult the process has been for him.

— The second episode of The Trade Marks podcast has myself and Dylan Hales talking about the Gilbert family lawsuit against WWE and ESPN, WWE sending a cease and desist to Pro Wrestling Tees, and much more.

— Lance Storm reviews WCW Monday Nitro #32 and talks about the early Nitros in general.

— Shane/Gregory Helms talks about his new TNA gig, House of Hardcore, the upcoming OMEGA show, and more at JourneyOfAFrontman.com.

TODAY’S PRO WRESTLING VIDEOS (thanks to Thomas Rude)

WWE
4/20/15 WWE RAW “Fallout”-Nikki Bella Is Ready For Any Challenge

4/20/15 WWE RAW “Fallout”-Roman Reigns Is Ready For Big Show

4/20/15 WWE RAW “Fallout”-The New Day Are The New Number One Contenders

The Miz Heading To Hollywood?:  FIRST SEEN ON THE WWE APP; April 20, 2015

4/20/15 Top 10 WWE RAW Moments

INDY TV SHOWS
AIWF Mid-Atlantic Wrestling TV (Episode 213)

West Virginia Championship Wrestling TV (Episode 221)

Covey Pro Wrestling TV (Episode 202)

TNA
Question Mark (Episode 5)

MISC. STUFF
POWW “Inside The Ropes” (Episode 7)

TOMORROW’S WWE NETWORK SCHEDULE

12:00 AM ET
CULTURE SHOCK WITH COREY GRAVES    Corey Graves gets a culture shock immersing himself within the fascinating world of Marvel Comics, from their headquarters in New York City!

12:10 AM ET
TOTAL DIVAS   Brie and Bryan get married, and Nikki’s marriage is finally exposed to John. The Divas compete at WrestleMania for the Diva’s Championship.

1:00 AM ET
TOTAL DIVAS   Nikki plans a future without boyfriend John Cena. Eva’s life is turned upside down when she must decide between family and her husband.

2:00 AM ET
WWE BEYOND THE RING   The bigger they are, the harder they brawl! True Giants is an in-depth look at sports entertainment’s most successful gargantuan Superstars.

4:00 AM ET
RAW FLASHBACK   In one of the most controversial episodes of Monday Night RAW, Stone Cold Steve Austin targets Brian Pillman at his home.

5:00 AM ET
RAW FLASHBACK   Stone Cold Steve Austin takes on Bob ‘Spark Plugg’ Holly in the main event. Problems between Shawn Michaels and Sycho Sid escalate.

6:00 AM ET
PRIME TIME WRESTLING   Join Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan for Prime Time Wrestling featuring Macho Man Randy Savage, Dick Slater, and many more.

8:00 AM ET
OLD SCHOOL   Old school WWE card features Andre The Giant and Hillbilly Jim vs Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy. The Hart Foundation and more.

9:00 AM ET
WWE BEYOND THE RING   Bret ‘Hit Man’ Hart and Shawn Michaels engaged in one of the most bitter rivalries ever. Now, they sit down and rehash their storied past.

11:00 AM ET
WCW MONDAY NITRO    The biggest stars of WCW make history on the debut edition of Monday Nitro. Hulk Hogan defends the World Heavyweight Title against Big Bubba

12:00 PM ET
RAW FLASHBACK    As SummerSlam gets closer, the Undertaker looks to make Tatanka rest in peace. Plus Diesel, the British Bulldog, and many more in action.

1:00 PM ET
CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS    Clash of the Champions XVI: Fall Brawl features The Enforcers against Rick Steiner and Bill Kazmaier in the World Tag Team Tournament Finals.

3:00 PM ET
TUESDAY NIGHT TITANS     Vince McMahon hosts Tuesday Night Titans with Lord Alfred Hayes. Guests include Kamala, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Mr. Fuji.

4:00 PM ET
WCW MONDAY NITRO    ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage battles The Giant in the main event. Ric Flair faces Eddie Guerrero. Madusa makes a shocking announcement.

5:00 PM ET
WCW BEACH BLAST 1993    Sting and Dave Boy Smith face Big Van Vader and Sid Vicious. Ric Flair takes on Barry Windham. Dustin Rhodes faces Rick Rude.

8:00 PM ET
TUESDAY NIGHT TITANS   Vince McMahon hosts Tuesday Night Titans with Lord Alfred Hayes. Guests include Kamala, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Mr. Fuji.

9:00 PM ET
WCW MONDAY NITRO    ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage battles The Giant in the main event. Ric Flair faces Eddie Guerrero. Madusa makes a shocking announcement.

10:00 PM ET
HULK HOGANS ROCK N WRESTLING    On this episode of Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, JYD turns to Hulk Hogan and friends to build a super racer to defeat Roddy Piper’s infamous Hot Rod.

10:30 PM ET
FIRST LOOK: ALWAYS BELIEVE     A First Look to watch exclusive content from WWE Home Video’s latest release, Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe!

11:00 PM ET
TUESDAY NIGHT TITANS    Vince McMahon hosts Tuesday Night Titans with Lord Alfred Hayes. Guests include Kamala, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Mr. Fuji.

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