Daily Update: Don Callis, great matches of the weekend, UFC

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Ian Riccaboni signs multi-year contract with AEWWWE Main Event results: Indi Hartwell vs. Dana BrookeWrestleCon issues statement on booking Rick Steiner again after Gisele Shaw incidentAEW star Jon Moxley wins gold in grappling competitionX-Division to be featured in Impact x NJPW Multiverse United 2 tag team match

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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter

July 17, 2023 Observer Newsletter: Bloodline angle makes history, loaded weekend preview

In this issue:

Match and Performer of the WeekThe Bloodline saga comes very close to a first in the history of pro wrestling on televisionA look at the Trial of Roman Reigns, the Reigns vs. Usos feud, and the storyline that has caused WWE business to growA preview of all the big matches of the weekend in three different countries, none of which are the U.S., with TripleMania, G-1, Miyahara vs. Nakajima and CollisionUpdated news on SummerSlam and Great American Bash and business notes on both showsThe new AEW rules memo, what is and isn't new and the reality of what this means to talentFull coverage of UFC 290 with two of the best fights of the year, a unique television situation and two title boutsLooking at the 2023 Wrestler of the Year award and the top candidatesFrancis Ngannou vs. Tyson Fury, the questions about the show and why the hope for it to be a success is the evolution of understanding fighting being lowThe most detailed look at the ratings of every major pro wrestling and MMA show of the past week, the analysis, competition, segment numbers and comparisons with one year agoLots of injury talks regarding major starsKey husband and wife jumping promotionsMercedes Mone rivalry plannedUpdate on major sports rights negotiations in the next few yearsThe death of Michael Halac, the former Bruiser Mastino and MantaurWrestling magazine pioneer writer Ed Garea, The Phantom of the Ring, passes awayNotes on the new women's promotionRevPro Epic Encounters rundownBattle of the two best 18-year-old wrestlers in the world announced for next monthTicket sales for tons of big showsKenny Omega talks the Tiger driver spotInternational TV ratingsLots of new major UFC fightsLooking at the vacant UFC light heavyweight title situationWorld champion in UFC talks about how two years ago he supplemented his income driving for Uber EatsMore major show dates fr WWEBackstage issue at WWEA look at all the major TV shows and WWE weekend show coverage

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter

May 22, 2006 Observer Newsletter: WWE & ECW, Bob Sapp

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Sunday Update

Bryan and I will be back tonight talking all the latest news from a crazy day of wrestling withWrestling Observer Radio. Our weekend show with Garrett Gonzales and Larry Dallas covering the news of the week is back up on the site.

We have video related to the fan hitting Don Callis from behind and choking him after last night's TripleMania show in Tijuana.

It started out as an angle where Kenny Omega was being interviewed and Don Callis came out and started making fun of him for losing so many matches of late, claiming five losses in a row. Didn't he beat Wheeler Yuta? Konosuke Takeshita attacked Omega and then a fan was there and attacked Callis. It was brief, one of the videos you only see after it happened. Callis said a punch injured his ear, busted his mouth and his neck was injured and he never saw it coming. Konnan told Callis that the fan was a former security guard who did security for wrestling and concerts so was there because his friends were part of the security detail. He was not supposed to get involved and according to another source he also ripped his suit.

The past few days we had a lot of talk about Saturday being an unbelievable day for great matches. We'll talk more about it later but people were raving about the FTR vs. Jay White & Juice Robinson match, which was one of the best matches ever on American television, as well a Kento Miyahara vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima on yesterday's NOAH show, Will Ospreay vs. Taichi in the G-1 along with Shota Umino vs Ren Narita, and the Kenny Omega vs. Vikingo match in Mexico City. The amazing this is that because of travel situations, the four men in the tag match last night in Calgary had very little time to prepare for the match and then went out for 58:00 to do a three fall match. We'll talk a lot more about it tonight as well as the other bouts that we get a chance to see.

Mayra Bueno Silva became a contender for the bantamweight title vacated by the retirement of Amanda Nunes yesterday in beating Holly Holm via second round choke in the main event of yesterday's show. The talk seemed to be that Silva would face former champion Julianna Pena for the title, but that's not official.

For Friday's ROH show, the belief is that the new opponent for Claudio Castagnoli in the main event for the ROH title will be announced Wednesday. Tony Khan is doing a press conference on Tuesday so he may not have the main event but will have a few bouts. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Daniel Garcia for the Pure title was announced by Khan and Samoa Joe vs. Dalton Castle for the TV title is on based on last night's tapings. Mike Bennett & Matt Taven may be facing Penta & Fenix for the tag titles and there was an angle with Stu Grayson and Evil Uno. The belief is that Athena will defend the women's title against Willow Nightingale stemming from Nightingale's win over Athena in the Owen Hart Cup tournament.

Regarding Jon Moxley's winning a NAGA novice over-30 no gi BJJ tournament yesterday in Cincinnati, it was just a last minute thing he decided to do but said it was loads of fun.

We're looking for reports on the WWE shows from the weekend, with dark matches from the Smackdown tapings Friday in Raleigh and reports from last night in Fairfax, VA and tonight in Salisbury, MD, as well as from the Impact tapings tonight in Windsor, ONT with results, finishes and highlights to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

We're also doing polls on these four weekend shows:

G-1 Saturday in SapporoImpact Slammiversary Saturday in Windsor, ONTTripleMania Saturday night in TijuanaG-1 today in SapporoWe're looking for a thumbs up, down or middle, best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

Arya Witner, our friend, who has written on this subject in the past, was very mad as were others, at the decision made by Highspots to book Rick Steiner at their convention in Detroit on 8/4 and 8/5. We'll talk about that tonight but it's obviously going to be a very controversial topic:

Public Incident, Private Apology? No Way.

by Arya Witner

In October 1992 two-sport athlete Deion Sanders attempted to make history by playing in a professional football game for the Atlanta Falcons in the afternoon and a professional baseball game for the Atlanta Braves in the evening. Since the Braves were in the middle of the National League Championship Series at the time, this was a point of contention with the baseball media, specifically Hall of Fame catcher and broadcaster Tim McCarver. McCarver publicly blasted Deion, calling him selfish for not devoting all his time to helping his team win the pennant. After the Braves won the NLCS in 7 games, Deion Sanders, who had heard about this from his Mom, responded by dumping four buckets of water on McCarver, who was reporting in the locker room that night. 

In the aftermath on this incident, which is covered in the ESPN 30 For 30 Documentary “Deion’s Double Day”, McCarver said in an interview that due to the public nature of the incident he would not accept a private apology from Deion, stating that since the incident was public, it deserves a public apology. Deion never did and Tim passed away in February 2023.

In a story that was reported on, talked about and editorialized on at the time, in April 2023 at the WrestleCon convention Rick Steiner decided to let his transphobic side shine through and publicly lambasted and shamed Impact Wrestling’s Gisele Shaw for being a transgender woman, calling her “filth” and “a piece of trash”. 

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Rick Steiner was kicked out of the convention and was announced to be permanently banned from WrestleCon. Everyone had something to say about the incident, including me writing an article that was published both in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and AngryMarks that week. We all accepted that the incident was taken care of and moved on with our lives.

It turns out, like with most stipulations in wrestling, a permanent ban doesn’t really last long. Today, slightly more than three months after the original incident, WrestleCon announced that Rick Steiner would be a part of their next convention in Detroit over SummerSlam weekend. 

Michael Bochicchio, the owner of WrestleCon, went to Twitter to defend this booking. Michael stated that Rick “immediately apologized” during a “private mediated event” with other Impact Wrestling staff which Gisele had refused to attend. Due to this private apology WrestleCon agreed to book Rick for this upcoming event, placing him on a “zero-tolerance scale” where Rick will be permanently banned if he does this again.

Maybe this time the permanent ban could last all the way until January. 

Now there will undoubtedly be people who are like “Why are you making a big deal? He apologized!." The fact is, much like with Tim McCarver and Deion Sanders, if you are going to publicly shame someone, then you need to follow that up with a public apology. 

The fact is Rick Steiner has never said anything publicly regarding this incident. Nor has he even “released a statement” talking about regret.

While I do not represent the entire transgender community or the entire LGBT community, I can tell you from experience that if you say something incredibly stupid, we will normally accept your apology once, as long as you show actual contrition and show that you have learned your lesson and are making an effort to become better educated.

If he had done that, or if Gisele comes out and says he apologized to her and she forgives him, then I am more than happy to allow bygones be bygones and let everyone move on with their lives. Unfortunately, neither of those things have happened and WrestleCon has chosen to make whatever money you’re going to make with a Rick Steiner meet and greet in 2023 over making a stand and doing what was right.

Whether or not you agree with our existence, being transgender is not a fad, we’re not undergoing years of therapy and spending thousands of dollars in surgeries just because it’s cool or so we can win a swim meet vs cisgender women.

In a way it makes the aftermath of Jay Briscoe’s comments even crazier. As mentioned, Jay once said something really stupid. He immediately apologized and donated his pay to an LGBT charity. The response was Jay was never allowed to work for a major league company with US national television.

Meanwhile, let’s face facts, at some point Rick Steiner will be on WWE television again doing an angle with his son and by that point no one is going to care.

So, WrestleCon has made their choice and so have I and I choose to not patronize WrestleCon or spend my hard earned money at their sponsored events. Of course, I cannot force anyone else to follow along, but I know the transgender community would appreciate anyone’s support. Ultimately all this has done is make me, and people of my ilk, even more nervous to attend public events such as this.

Brandon Moreno got involved physically at TripleMania. He was coaching Team Baja California against Team Chilango. Even with the broken hand suffered last Saturday in his title loss to Alexandre Pantoja, he was shoved by Daga, and then responded with a spin kick, a jumping knee and then put Daga in an armbar before it was broken up.

Giulia will be defending her New Japan Strong Women's title on 8/19 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia . So she will be missing a Stardom PPV show which is scheduled on the same day.

Istela Nunes suffered a dislocated elbow on yesterday's UFC show in Las Vega. She had just started the fight with Viktoriya Dudakova on Saturday when he posted on her left arm and it gave way, leading to a dislocation and a loss via stoppage in 34 seconds. It was her fourth straight loss as well, which puts her UFC status in jeopardy.

As far as Google searches go, UFC did not place in the listings this weekend. Nothing involving pro wrestling did this week. The only MMA related stuff was Tuesday when Tyson Fury was No. 7 related to his signed fight with Francis Ngannou and Mark Zuckerberg was No. 11 for the fight being talked about with Elon Musk.

The G-1 Climax tournament is back Tuesday in Yamagata with a 5:30 a.m. start, and then Wednesday in Sendai.

The new programming season of WWE events on A&E on Sundays is over, but they are replaying the Rivals episodes of Rock vs. Cena at 8 p.m. and Hogan vs. Andre at 11 p.m.

Impact tapings tonight in Windsor, ONT has Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster vs. Chris Bey & Ace Austin for the tag titles, Santino Marella vs. Dirty Dango, Lio Rush vs. Kushida and Tommy Dreamer & Darren McCarty vs. Champagne Singh & Shera.

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Dominik Mysterio & Damien Priest has been added to tomorrow's Raw show.

The 9/25 Raw show in Ontario, CA, basically sold out on the first day tickets were put on sale to the public. It was almost sold out after the presale.

There was an Ali vs. Inoki TV documentary that aired in Japan last week. Josh Gross, who wrote the book about the event, was one of the people interviewed along with Bob Arum, Gene Kilory and they talked mostly about stuff in the Gross book. Hisashi Shinma, Inoki's manager, Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Seiji Sakaguchi were also interviewed for the documentary.

Other Notes

The Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup will be 7/22 at the RJ Meyer Arena in Joppa, MD. There will also be a show on 7/23 and a Fan Fest on 7/23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the building.

Shane Heimberger on 9/9 in Fairplay, MD is doing a fundraiser for his old neighborhood fire department. There is a 1 p.m. meet and greet with Ricky Morton, Tony Atlas, Shane Douglas, and Godfather. If you mention the Observer you can get $5 off tickets if you send by midnight Sunday to 4CPWINFO@gmail.com

Teddy Hart returned to wrestling Friday night at Team Vision Dojo Hart replaced Bella Snow who caught COVID wrestling in Puerto Rico.

Artemis Spencer & Randy Myers were the opponents of Malakai Black & Brody King on last night's Collision show in Calgary.

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