Daily Update: CM Punk, WWE SmackDown, weekend schedule

Daily Update

Latest News:

Chris Jericho vs. Adam Cole unsanctioned match set for AEW Double or NothingWWE SmackDown live results: Reigns & Sikoa face-to-face with Owens & ZaynReport: Release date scheduled for AEW Fight ForeverAEW Rampage live results: Blackpool Combat Club vs. Best Friends & BandidoAsuka vs. Zelina Vega added to WWE SmackDown

Latest Audio:

Wrestling Observer Radio: AEW Collision, more "Superstar" Billy Graham memoriesWrestling Observer Live: AEW drama, Rocky Romero talks NJPW ResurgenceWrestling Weekly: Remembering 'Superstar,' AEW Collision with (or without) CM PunkFight Game: More CM Punk drama, 'Superstar' Billy Graham memoriesBryan & Vinny Show: AEW Dynamite with Elite reunion, plus NXT

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Join us in Las Vegas for our annual F4W Convention

This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

May 22, 2023 Observer Newsletter: Superstar Billy Graham passes away, AEW Collision show officially announced

In the new issue:

The life and times of Superstar Billy GrahamA history of every Graham main event in Madison Square GardenHow the entire history of wrestling changes if there was no Billy GrahamGraham's decades of health issuesGraham suing WWFGraham losing the title and depression and whyGraham in football, boxing, bodybuilding, track, world's strongest man competitions and moreThe last week of Graham as WWWF championWhen Billy Graham was reported as dying 32 years ago in two major newspapersHis start of his career and first time he met Dr. Jerry GrahamHis big break in the AWA when he became a big drawing card and his interviewsHis changing the way top stars were paid in WWWFHis last run in WWFHis life after wrestlingEverything said and not said about AEW CollisionHow CM Punk fits into the pictureWhy Punk really was such an important character right now for AEW if things would have worked outThoughts on Collision and its time slotHow AEW's fan base consumption has changed over the last yearThe blow-by-blow story of how WWE and Endeavor made their merger, including other offers, how much the offers were, and how much Vince McMahon made through the different negotiationsJust how much money Endeavor gave up to keep Vince McMahonUFC business notesFrancis Ngannou signs with PFL, his deal, his negotiations and different potential opponentsUpdate on the WWE brand splitUpdate on WWE Night of ChampionsUpdate on AEW Double or NothingNew Japan Best of the Super Juniors coverageThis week's UFC show rundownThe most detailed look at the TV ratings of wrestling over the past weekWhat wrestler is getting a pickle ball court named after himBuild for what looks to be the biggest match of the year in MexicoMore on a major network negotiations for a new wrestling show and why the deal fell throughUpdate on Kota IbushiMore on Von Erichs moving back to TexasNew play loosely based on WWEInternational TV ratingsAEW house showsUFC fall schedule and new fightsBellator draws 12,000 for show this past weekNine drug test failuresRandy Orton updateBray Wyatt updateMore on the WWE show in Puerto RicoLots of new WWE business talk by Nick KhanWWE injury updatesUpcoming WWE ticket salesAll the weekly WWE business info

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:

March 27, 2006 Observer Newsletter: WWE Saturday Night's Main Event tanks, sanctioned MMA begins in California

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Friday Update

Garrett Gonzales and I just finished a show talking about all the news items in this week's Observer, along with a lot of thoughts on different subjects including the nature of the WWE sale, the latest WBD deal and the legacy of Billy Graham. I also want to thank everyone for their comments on the lead story. This was a very difficult one to write, but I'm really glad I did that MSG retrospective because in many ways that really brought home how big he was in the heyday of his career.

AEW has had contact with Daily's Place as a possible back-up location for the debut of Collision on 6/17. This is not an official change, but it does appear that the CM Punk situation has until Wednesday to go whichever way it goes and if he's not appearing then they won't go to the United Center. People involved with the proposed event said they were told yesterday about the show being possible and that a decision would be made over the next week. The feeling is, and I agree with this, that the United Center is not the right place for the debut unless Punk is going to be there because fans will expect him and be disappointed if he's not there, whether he's advertised or not. Also, without fans believing he will be there, I don't see them being able to sell enough tickets on such short notice that it would be worth it since they already have a show a few days later at the Wintrust Arena.

There has been no other news regarding that situation since this afternoon.

WWE is taping two Smackdown episodes tonight in Columbia, SC, including for next Friday's show since the crew will be in Saudi Arabia. Tonight is to have Rey Mysterio & Santos Escobar vs. The Usos, a face-to-face with Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, The Grayson Waller Effect with A.J. Styles, Street Profits vs. LA Knight & Rick Boogs and Butch & Ridge Holland vs. Pretty Deadly. They were at 10,200 this morning. They were up 49.9 percent over the last time they taped TV in the building and that doesn't include any tickets sold today for the walkup.

We're looking for reports from these weekend shows

Smackdown in Columbia, SC tonight (dark matches and second show)NXT tonight in Tampa, FLWWE house show Saturday in Fayetteville, NCNXT house show Saturday in Orlando, FLWWE house show Sunday in Hampton, VA We're looking for results, finishes and highlights to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

For this weekend, our only poll will be Sunday's NJPW PPV for Long Beach CA with the women's title tournament with first round of Mercedes Mone vs Stephanie Vaquer and Willow Nightingale vs. Momo Kohgo, Will Ospreay vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & Rocky Romero vs. Jon Moxley & Wheeler Yuta & Shota Umino.

Tyson Fury was mad that Joe Rogan said that if both men were locked in a room together, Jon Jones would beat Fury. After Fury got mad, Jones said that Fury should fight him and to call Dana White to make it happen. Of course Fury then challenged back, but only under boxing rules.

The New Japan Super Juniors tournament is back on Sunday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo at 5:30 a.m. The final round-robin days are Tuesday and Wednesday.

AEW put tickets on sale for Collision tapings in Toronto, Hamilton and Newark, NJ. Newark is moving but Hamilton sold very few tickets Toronto didn't sell much either.

The A&E Sunday night block at 9 p.m. features Most Wanted Treasures on Bill Goldberg. Steve Austin's Take on America show is at 10 p.m.

Trish Stratus was given the key to the city of Niagara Falls ONT on Monday night, which is why she wasn't at Raw.

Ingrid Isley of Impact noted on Twitter that Mercedes Varnado (Mone) was the person who got the glow sticks for the fans to use in Trinity's ring entrance at the taping in Chicago.

UFC has a pure ESPN+ show tomorrow starting at 4 p.m. Eastern —

Takashi Sato (170.5) vs. Themba Gorimbo (170)Natalia Silva (124.5) vs. Victoria Leonardo (124.5)Chase Hooper (156) vs. Nick Fiore (154)Orion Cosce (172.5) vs. Gilbert Urbina (170) – Cosce was fined 20 percent of his purse for missing weightKarolina Kowalkiewicz (115.5) vs. Vanessa Demopoulos (117.5) – Demopoulos was fined 20 percent of her purse for missing weightMaheshate (155.5) vs. Vlacheslav Borshchev (154.5)Diego Ferreira (154.5) vs. Michael Johnson (155)Andre Fialho (169.5) vs. Joaquin Buckley (170.5)Emily Ducote (119.5) vs. Loopy Godinez (119.5)Edmen Shahbazyan (185.5) vs. Anthony Hernandez (186)Mackenzie Dern (115) vs. Angela Hill (114.5)

A song on the Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant match at WrestleMania III. 

Jeff Cobb returns to West Coast Pro Wrestling on 7/8 in San Francisco at the Irish Cultural Center.

The Nogueira Brothers have been named the 2023 recipients of the Forrest Griffin Community Award. The award is for community service and the brothers will receive a $25,000 donation to a charity of their choice by Toyo Tires. They will be honored at the UFC Hall of Fame ceremony on 7/6 at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The legendary brothers started a charity in 2010 to provide opportunities in teaching children and adults in MMA as well as the elderly.

Fallah Bahh, who formerly wrestled for Impact, has a role on he Hulu comedy series "Wreck," under his real name of Francis Flores.

Randy Couture had a guest role on NCIS Los Angeles this past Sunday. He played a an ATF agent that went missing. (thanks to Grant Zwarych)

Combate Global announced David Martinez (9-1) defends his bantamweight title against Jose Zarauz (23-9-1) on the 5/28 show that airs at 10 p.m. Eastern on Paramount + and Univision.

T-Mart Promotions presents The Gathering in Charlotte, NC at the University Hilton from 8/4 to 8/6 wit stars from the past including a CWF panel of Kevin Sullivan, Steve Keirn, Brian Blair, Gerald Brisco and Bob Roop, and a Starrcade 85 panel of Manny Fernandez, Baby Doll, and Big Mama. There will be a live show on 8/5 featuring the Rock & Roll Express vs. The Headbangers.

ESPN News will air a 30 minute preview of the next season of The Ultimate Fighter with Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler as coaches. It will air at Noon Eastern on Sunday.

Defy on 10/13 in Yakima, WA features El Hijo del Vikingo, Ultimo Dragon and Juventud Guerrera. 

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