Tuesday 4/12 Torch Today – Was that PWG or Raw last night?, post-Mania Raw social media place, Taker/U.K. Tour, Punk’s UFC fight still on, Big Show vs. Shaq, Rock’s “Baywatch” screened, Cena’s “American Grit” panned, Cena & more stars to Wizard World Philly, Ibushi’s future, Video – Schamberger paints at WM32

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

The Rock (art credit Travis Beaven)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

TORCH TODAY – Tuesday, April 12

At PWTorchLivecast.com: On-demand access to Monday’s Raw Post-Game Show and Tuesday’s Wade Keller Livecast with Jim Valley on-location at Cauliflower Alley Club.

At MMATorch.com: The Daily Top 5.

– The weekly grind of three-hour Raws 52 weeks per year often leads to top-notch matches being overlooked in favor of trying to figure out storyline direction (e.g. the 584 different directions the Reigns-Wyatts-League of Nations main event situation could go). Last night’s Raw provided two really good matches worth focusing on – A.J. Styles vs. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro. No, this was not a PWG double main event down the road in Reseda. It was Raw … in Los Angeles … at the Staples Center. Quite the journey for Styles, the former El Generico, the former Kevin Steen, and the former Claudio Castagnoli.

– As far as social media goes, the annual post-WrestleMania Raw ranked #3 among series & specials last week. Nielsen’s Twitter TV Ratings have the “MTV Movie Awards” hosted by “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson & Kevin Hart at #1, then Fox’s series finale of “American Idol” at #2, followed by Raw.

Jim Ross published a new blog at jrsbarbq.com with his thoughts on Raw and reports of TNA moving out of their Nashville HQ to the company’s merchandise warehouse. Ross added: “If they do get an investor and initiate a restart of their brand I’d suggest that they change their name to give the ‘new brand’ a fresh start. Nonetheless, I’m hopeful that TNA Impact Wrestling can kick out of this apparent predicament.”

– As of right now, The Undertaker is advertised and listed for the April 19 Smackdown TV taping in London and April 20 house show in Newcastle, England. We are awaiting official word from WWE on Taker’s U.K. Tour status.

– The UFC fight between C.M. Punk and Mickey Gall is still on, according to Gall talking to ESPN.com, it’s just a matter of when the fight takes place later this year after Punk recovers from surgery. Gall said he’s already looking past Punk to what’s next, though.

“Then my dream really starts,” said Gall. “I don’t want to be the ‘C.M. Punk guy.’ I don’t want to be a sideshow-type thing. [After Punk], I get to prove I’m of this caliber. I’ve been training with UFC guys since I was 16. I know I’m ready and I can’t wait to fight the best guys in the world, get into those wars, and get those victories.”

Big Show followed up on Shaq’s challenge for a match at WrestleMania 33 by telling Shaq to “become get some.” TMZ talked to Show about the challenge HERE.

– Paramount screened the “Baywatch” re-make movie starring The Rock at this week’s CinemaCon gathering. The movie is slated for release in May 2017. Rock was featured throughout the early trailer and sent a message to CinemaCon that he will be there in-person next year to introduce the movie, which Rock boasted will be a “global success for movie theaters all over the world.” (Variety Report)

Variety also reviewed the new “American Grit” TV series hosted by John Cena premiering Thursday on Fox. Variety said Cena “turns out to be something of a natural as hosts go,” but panned the show concept, civilian cast, and trite themes.

– Wizard World announced John Cena, Sheamus, and The Bellas for Wizard World Philadelphia the weekend of June 3-5. Included will be photo-ops, autographs, and Q&A panels.

  • Sheamus: Friday, June 4 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
  • Bellas: Sunday, June 5 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Cena: Sunday, June 5 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Kota Ibushi is heading back to Japan to wrestle on the May 29 IGF show. Ibushi’s WWE status remains tentative. (Full Daily News Listing from PuroresuSpirit.net)

– Wrestling artist Rob Schamberger’s latest painting features the Triple H vs. Roman Reigns clash at WrestleMania 32. Plus, a look at Schamberger painting in Dallas throughout the weekend.

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