WrestleMania 32

Today’s WrestleMania in terms of paid attendance and gate will be the biggest show in history.  As of Monday, they had 85,000 tickets out, were sold out and had a $13.5 million advance.  There will be some more tickets available after production so the real attendance will be a little in excess of 85,000.  On SportsCenter today they were pushing the 100,000 line hard so the announced figure I’m guessing will be between 100,000 and 105,000. 

As far as rumors go, we hear Shaquille O’Neal is backstage.  Nothing on any major surprises, other than people we’ve heard from backstage haven’t seen anyone other than Shaq that wouldn’t be expected.  Hulk Hogan has said he’s in Florida on a party boat and won’t be there and would watch the show on tape later.  As far as any other names rumored, we’ve heard nothing to confirm anyone else at this point.

Dwayne Johnson noted that he was working on whatever he would be doing at 2 a.m. last night since he had to come in from filming the “Baywatch” movie he’s working on.

The 11 match show will start at about 5:30 p.m. with the Kalisto vs. Ryback match only on the WWE Network.  There will be a simulcast with the WWE Network, USA, YouTube, the WWE web site and many others places with the women’s ten person tag and the Dudleys vs. Usos.  The first two hours of the six plus hour live show, the longest PPV in WWE history, will be announced by the Smackdown crew of Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler and Byron Saxton.  The PPV portion from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. (or however long it goes) will be announced by the Raw crew of Michael Cole, JBL and Saxton (doing the entire six hours).

We have a full preview in the audio update Bryan and I did last night.


Kalisto vs. Ryback for U.S. title


Team Total Divas (Natalya & Paige & Brie Bella & Alicia Fox & Eva Marie) vs. Team BAD & Blond (Naomi & Tamina & Summer Rae & Lana & Emma)

Usos vs. Dudleys


HHH vs. Roman  Reigns no DQ for WWE title

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Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon Hell in a Cell for control of Raw

Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose no holds barred street fight

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara vs. Stardust vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz for IC title in a ladder match

New Day vs. League of Nations (Rusev & Alberto Del Rio & Sheamus & King Barrett) in a 3 on 4 handicap match

A.J. Styles vs. Chris Jericho

Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch for Divas title

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

We’re doing polls this weekend on WrestleMania & NXT Takeover so you can send a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com

We’re looking for reports on both ROH shows over the weekend as well as the Wrestlecon & WWN super shows from last night in Dallas at newstips@wrestlingobserver.com

Raw will be tomorrow night in Dallas.  Lots of surprises and debuts expected.

Smackdown will be taped Tuesday in Houston.

Countdown clock to WrestleMania 32 and F4W MANIA~! 

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Figure Four Weekly 3/21/2016: Hulk Hogan awarded $115 million (sort of) by jury

Hulk Hogan is awarded $115 million by jury over the Gawker sex tape lawsuit. Will he collect?

Wrestling Observer Newsletter

READ IT HERE: April 4, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Wrestlemania 32 preview, Jon Jones arreste

WrestleMania 32, the Daniel Bryan story updated, the entire weekend and history of St. Louis wrestling are all part of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
WrestleMania 32:  The matches, schedule, what hasn’t been promoted, ticket sales, gate numbers, ticket sales and secondary market prices for all the sold out events over the weekend.
Aftermath of the Hulk Hogan/Gawker trial, what is next, Nick Denton’s attempt to explain their decision, and more.
Jon Jones arrest, the key points and what he’s facing. Lots more on Daniel Bryan, the retirement of Brie Bella, the WWE special on Daniel Bryan, and a lot more details of his issues and a time line of thing. Friday night’s Madison Square Garden event.
A major feature on St. Louis wrestling and Joe Garagiola, the first host of Wrestling at the Chase. How powerful the show was in its heyday, when Vince McMahon promoted Wrestling at the Chase and why one of the most noteworthy moments in modern pro wrestling took place at the show. The beginnings of the show and the role Garagiola played in it. Before Sam Muchnick and Lou Thesz, the arrival of Muchnick, the heyday of Bill Longson, the Muchnick vs. Thesz feud and reconciliation, the boom and bust of pro wrestling in the 50s. Why Garagiola left the show and his last show. The colorful life of Garagiola.
SummerSlam tickets, a crazy Hulk Hogan story from years back, John Cena update, more on ESPN’s coverage of WWE, WWE wrestler whose push is being rethought, Roman Reigns talks being booed, Newcomers to WWE, and more people getting looks. Global cruiserweight tournament that WWE is putting together. We also have an update on the WWE Hall of Fame.
Hodge trophy and more on the NCAA tournament in Madison Square Garden.


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Both the HHH vs. Roman Reigns winner and the winner of the women’s match will be on The Today Show tomorrow.  The funny story last year is that Reigns was scheduled on the Today show and Seth Rollins was told 30 minutes before that match went in the ring that he was winning and also would have to rush to the Today show in New York from San Jose after the show, and then fly back to San Jose for Raw.  Both winners will fly from Dallas to New York and back.
They may present the new women’s title belt to the winner, which the odds last we heard favored Sasha Banks.
The smart money isn’t in yet.  I was told the finishes won’t be finalized until 4 to 5 p.m. today.  So the big swings for Zack Ryder and Chris Jericho, and for John Cena as the Battle Royal winner before that time probably don’t mean anything.
One person behind the scenes noted that there were a lot of things done regarding rehearsals for Mania and shooting that wasn’t done this year because the company thought that everything would probably change the morning of the show anyway.
There was a photo on Twitter sent to us with someone who said they just had their photo taken with Ronda Rousey in Dallas.  Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir were all at the Shimmer show yesterday where Baszler announced she was debuting with the promotion soon, so the visit could just be hanging with her friends..
We were told there would be some amazing entrances today, noting Sasha Banks, HHH and New Day.
Tons of NXT talent is backstage for potential work as extras.
There was a sweatshirt being sold with the words “WrestleMania TX 32” which ended up embarrassing the company because they found out if you look a selfie in it, it looks like “SEXT” on the bottom.
Earlier in the week the plan was Undertaker vs. Shane and Reigns vs. HHH as the longest matches given big show main event time, followed by Lesnar vs. Ambrose, the women’s match and the Jericho vs. Styles match.  That could change but it at least makes sense given how much everything has been pushed.


All of the merged lawsuits regarding WWE defrauding inventors, by claiming they were engaged in a scheme to deceive the market and inflate the stock price by claiming they were expecting to sign a much higher priced TV deal than they did, were thrown out in U.S. District Court in Connecticut on Thursday.  It also claimed that WWE grossly inflated the size of its fan base.  The court ruled that WWE statements did not mislead a reasonable investor.  Even those huge figures about how may homes had WWE fans, the court felt the representations were not materially misleading. 
The New York Post had an article.  It claims that John de Mol, who came up with “Big Brother” and is one of the major stockholders in WWE, has a standing offer to buy controlling interest from Vince McMahon if he’s interested in selling.    
Geoff Portz, who was a great technical wrestler who was a major 60s star in the U.K. and came to the U.S. in the 70s and would do European style matches with the likes of Billy Robinson and Horst Hoffman, recently passed away at the age of 85.  His is the father of Scott McGhee (Garfield Portz) who wrestled in the 80s.  Geoff Portz was one of the most underrated wrestlers in the U.S. during the 70s.
At the WWN Super Show, they did a ceremony honoring Terry Funk.  Sabu and Mick Foley showed up to honor him as well.  Foley was a surprise to Funk.  Sabu shook hands and hugged Funk.  Foley gave Funk a plaque and brought up that he chose Funk to induct him into the WWE Half of Fame.  He said there are other things going on (this was during the Hall of Fame ceremony) but he came here because Terry Funk was here and that even if he attended the Hall of Fame, his heart would be here because Terry Funk is everything that is right about the business.  Funk then did an angle where he punched Larry Dallas and Earl Cooter.  Sabu gave Cooter an Arabian Facebuster, Funk hit Dallas with a chair and Foley gave Funk a sock and they each used Mr. Socko on Cooter and Dallas.
No update on La Parka, who collapsed in the ring during a match in Benbrook, TX.  It appeared that he fainted and he was out for several minutes.  Others have reported it as a back injury that looked serious and he was taken out in an ambulance, but he did tell a joke over the p.a. system before being taken out. 


Finn Balor, American Alpha and Shinsuke Nakamura are the three names being advertised for the June NXT tour of the U.K. (thanks to James Witcombe)
Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows are to be in town today.  The talk was they would debut tomorrow but in WWE, plans change constantly.
Paul Heyman had front page articles on Yahoo nearly every day this week.
Lince Dorado has been added to the lineup for the Global cruiserweight tournament.
Randy Orton said he was three months away from being able to return to the ring.
Neville did an interview and said that he broke his ankle in two places but won’t need surgery.  He didn’t give a time frame on when he’d be able to return.
John Cena is scheduled on Conan O’Brien on Wednesday night.
A correction from the NXT tapings up on the front page.  The team that Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson beat were Scott Parker & Shane Matthews.  
NBC Saturday Night Live last night did a Hulk Hogan skit based on his $140 million jury award.
As far as Google searches for the weekend, it’s still early but WrestleMania is already No. 1 today at 100,000 and Sting is No. 5 at 20,000.  Yesterday, Daniel Cormier was No. 6 with 50,000 andon Friday, NXT was No. 19 with 50,000.
The upcoming Raw at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on 4/11 has announced Kalisto & Dolph Ziggler & Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus & Kevin Owens & Rusev & Alberto Del Rio as the main event.  As history shows, that isn’t necessarily indicative of anything.


Update on Daniel Cormier
A look back at the first time MMA was legalized in New York
The reason Ovince Saint Preux is getting the fight with Jon Jones and not Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is that Johnson was the UFC’s first choice, but when they offered him the fight, they found out he recently had oral surgery and wouldn’t be able to fight as he wouldn’t be able to put in a mouthpiece for a few weeks.


Evolve had its most interest in its history for the weekend shows, but both Friday and Saturday’s shows had major issues.  Gabe Sapolsky knew it and informed us early in the night that things were bad but that they would make good for anyone to order the show that they would not just get the Video on Demand for the shows on delay but they could pick five shows from the past from the Evolve library to watch for free.  The Shimmer show from the same building streamed with no problems but that also had a lower demand.  Sapolsky said didn’t want to delay the show with their largest live audience since it would take time to fix.  Evolve hadn’t had major streaming problems for a long time prior to this show.   (thanks to Ian Hamilton)
We didn’t get to talk about it last night, but in going from place to place before I had to fly home for coverage tonight (you really can’t do justice covering WrestleMania the way I have to in the press box, that’s great for football), I saw a four-way at the ROH tapings yesterday with the Motor City Machine Guns vs. Young Bucks vs. Briscoes vs. The Addicition, won by the Briscoes, to become top contenders for War Machine.  The match was great.  It was taped in the final hour of the tapings.
Jim Ross did a show last night after the Hall of Fame with Rob Van Dam as his special guest.  Van Dam knocked the idea of Shane McMahon working with Undertaker and both he and Jim Ross said that Undertaker should win.  Then late in the show, Jeff Hardy and Shane Helms also showed up a special guests.
Drew Galloway will have singles matches on 5/6 and 5/7 for Evolve against Ethan Page and Johnny Gargano stemming from angles yesterday.
Johnny Gargano praised Kris Travis at the end of the show saying that he was watching the main event.
At WrestleCon, we’re told the longest lines were for people like Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall and Tully Blanchard.
Raquel from TNA beat Santana Garrett last night in a CWE women’s Rise of a Queen tournament:  Rachel Ellering (who was trained by Lance Storm, daughter of Paul Ellering) b Tammy Lynn, Raquel b Layne Rosrio, Chelsea Diamond b Rachel Freeman, Santana Garrett b Nova Girl, Raquel b Rachel Ellering, Santana Garrett b Chelsea Diamond, Raquel b Santana Garrett (thanks to Al Haft)
Bobby Lashley had a bit part in the premiere of “Rush Hour” on CBS on Thursday night.  He was in a fight scene at the bar and got beat up by one of the lead characters (thanks to Ross Blair)
New Japan World has added the three matches with New Japan talent from the Las Vegas TV tapings in February (thanks to Ian Hamilton)
Friends of Kris Travis, who passed away earlier this week noted that Kris was a patron at the Cavendish Cancer Care center in Sheffield and they made a difference in the final few months of his life.  They asked if anyone could spare a few pounds to donate you can go to http://cavcare.org.uk/donate/ in the name of Kris Travis.
Dave Bautista will be in the film “Blade Runner 2.” (thanks to James Stanios)
CZW Best of the Best takes place on 4/9 in Voorhees, NJ like at StreamCZW.con from Voorhees, NJ and Flyers Skate Zone.  The bracketing for the tournament will be announced tomorow.
Paragon Pro Wrestling announced that they are no longer airing on the MSG Network.  On Facebook they wrote:  “Due to continuing issues, we are no longer airing on the MSG Network.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  Please watch here for an announcement this week on how you, and may others, can catch Paragon Pro Wrestling

Today in professional wrestling history: Frank Gotch wins World Title; Batista wins WWE World Title 

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Check out all of our WrestleMania 32 weekend coverage.