THE ROUND-UP

THE LATEST NEWS

John Cena appearance advertised for WWE Fastlane
Apollo Crews replacing Enzo Amore in WWE Mixed Match Challenge
NJPW announces ticket information for Long Beach show
TakeOver: Philadelphia card takes shape at NXT TV tapings
Chris Jericho appears at NJPW New Year’s Dash, brawls with Naito
NXT TV taping spoilers: Final TakeOver build at Center Stage
Impact Wrestling results: Dan Lambert vs. James Storm career match

THE LATEST AUDIO

WOL: New Year’s Dash, Mixed Match Challenge, 205 Live, Stokely Hathaway and more! 1/5
BAN: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 reviewed and what lies ahead 1/5
B&V&G: Granny and the New Japan Tokyo Dome top matches! 1/5

We’re looking for reports on tonight’s WWE Raw show in Evansville, NXT in Spartanburg, SC and NXT in Crystal River, FL to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

We’re also taking weekend polls on both New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom and today’s New Year’s Dash shows, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING AT 8 P.M. EASTERN TONIGHT ON AXS TV

Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll for the IWGP jr. title
Kenny Omega vs. Baretta for the U.S. title

We’re looking for reports on Saturday’s Raw show in Cape Girardeau, MO, Smackdown in Jackson, MS, and NXT in Charlotte to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

CMLL FROM ARENA MEXICO ON SATURDAY AT 6 P.M. EASTERN TIME

Audaz & Flyer & Magia Blanca vs. Coyote & Templario & Yago
Pegasso & Titan vs. Raziel & Virus
Soberano Jr. vs. Rey Cometa
Drone & Esfinge & Guerrero Maya Jr. vs. Cuatrero & Forastero & Sanson
Niebla Roja vs. Gran Guerrero
Volador Jr. & Cavernario vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Valiente

NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING ON SATURDAY AT 8 P.M. EASTERN ON AXS TV

This will be the U.S. television debut of the Tokyo Dome show, which will air at both 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. The show will be edited down to three hours so now all of the bouts will air, but the key matches will air in their entirety.

Sunday has WWE Raw in West Plains, MO and Smackdown in Mobile, AL.

Monday has Raw in Memphis, with Brock Lesnar on the show. There will be a Smackdown house show Monday night in Montgomery, AL.

Smackdown and 205 Live will take place on Tuesday night in Birmingham, AL.


​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly 12/25/2017: Looking at WWE’s women’s Royal Rumble announcement

The road to WrestleMania took a not-entirely-unexpected turn last week when it was announced on Raw that the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match would be taking place next month. While there are still plenty of specifics to be worked out, the announcement itself made all of the sense in the world. The women’s division shouldn’t be an afterthought in the build to WWE’s biggest show of the year. 


WON NEWSLETTER: January 8, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: More Women’s Royal Rumble details, UFC 219 reviewed, more 

An update on the Royal Rumble, as well as the women’s Royal Rumble and different possibilities of where it can go is the lead item in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Have a look at the UFC’s 2017 when it comes to business, why the increase in total revenue may be hiding a real problem, the value of the big stars, all the ratings and PPV numbers, as well as the competition from Bellator.

This issue runs down UFC 219 with some early business indicators of how it did, thoughts on Cyborg vs. Holm and the judging process, TV numbers and what they did and didn’t say, Khabib Nurmagomedov plus full match rundowns with how much everyone was paid and poll results.

Check out Japan’s Rizin New Year’s Eve two major shows with notes on Mirko Cro Cop, the Gabi Garcia fiasco and her explanation, the ratings of the show and more highlights.

Our good friend Larry Matysik, who is currently hospitalized, is talked about in a feature on who he is, his role in St. Louis, his books, his being the only person to work for both Sam Muchnick and Vince McMahon, and some notes on the doors he’s opened for me in my lifetime. For those who like history this is a cool feature.

Read about a woman wrestler who was offered a WWE contract but it’s not looking like she’ll be in soon, another who may be in soon, notes on Strowman and Enzo and their illnesses, one major WWE star who won’t be in the Royal Rumble, the best WWE matches of 2017, and another John Cena movie role as well as an update on Rock and Cena movies and business.

There is more on the Mixed Match Challenge Facebook series, just how crazy the end of the month will be for WWE, Dolph Ziggler, WWE stock and the most-watched shows of the week on WWE Network.

Check out a full rundown of the WWE’s holiday tour, with notes from every show, including business notes and booking notes.

Examine the 2017 win-loss records for WWE wrestlers as well as the Iron Man award winners dating back to 2004 and also compare the number of dates with WWE’s top stars with that of New Japan’s top stars.


ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to Dave Meltzer, or by using PayPal directing funds to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com. 
 
Rates in the United States are $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to moonsault@mediaplusint.com. For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52. If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.)

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can choose one free classic issue, or two free classic issues with a 40-issue subscription.


WON BACK ISSUE: December 18, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WWF Armageddon reviewed plus tons of news 

The WWF’s final PPV event of its biggest year was sold as a one match card, and even after buying the show, most of the first two hours of the show came across more like an ad to buy a show already purchased. After a flat undercard, where nothing was terribly bad but nothing was particularly good, that dragged at times because of too much hype that would have best been served being on Sunday Night Heat, the main event finally took place.


FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be doing a special show tonight to cover New Year’s Dash, as well as Tuesday’s Smackdown, more UFC PPV info and other news. You can send questions for tonight’s show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

There is a big twitter feud going on between Stephen Espinosa of Showtime and Dana White and Conor McGregor. This stems from a few weeks back when Showtime released the 4.3 million number for North American PPV buys. White had claimed, and still claims the worldwide number was 6.7 million and would have been 7 million without problems people had ordering the night of the show. It is impossible both numbers are accurate even though they were measuring different things because there were not 2.4 million buys out of North America as that would be impossible. Espinosa taunted them saying how they are mad about the truth, and how both Showtime and UFC signed off on that press release. White said he’d never work with Espinosa again. McGregor called him a weasel and saying they were No. 1 worldwide. Then Espinosa said that they actually weren’t No. 1 in worldwide revenue either (which would imply they didn’t do nearly as well as they claimed outside North America since Pacquiao vs. Mayweather is the only other fight that could have been had No. 1 worldwide).

The first night of the three-show 205 Live tour on 1/19 in Kingston, RI was canceled today. The public term is logistical problems. The other two dates, 1/20 in Lowell, MA and 1/21 in Poughkeepsie, are still on. Even though it’s listed as 205 Live, the main event for both shows is Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt. 

At the 18 hour mark after the conclusion of the show, Wrestle Kingdom broke our record as the show that had gotten the most responses in the 30-year history of our polls (which are usually up three days after an event). The old record was set in 2005 by the first WWE One Night Stand show. AXS will have a New Japan marathon starting at Noon tomorrow. From Noon to 6 p.m. will be Kenny Omega’s best matches, and then Power Struggle will air from 6-8 p.m. before Wrestle Kingdom from 8-11 p.m. and again from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

There is no CMLL show tonight at Arena Mexico. The show is being moved to Saturday at 6 p.m. Eastern and it’s the new Three Kings Day tradition of having rematches of big matches from the year. So the main event will be the rematch of a tag team tournament with face & heel partners, plus Niebla Roja vs. Gran Guerrero is a rematch of the anniversary show main event, and Soberano Jr. vs Rey Cometa is the rematch of a major title match where Soberano got one of his biggest wins.

New Japan will announce late tonight at 1 a.m. Eastern and 10 p.m. Pacific live on New Japan World regarding the Fantastica Mania tour and the New Beginnings tour key matches. The New Beginnings big matches will be split over 1/27 in Sapporo, 1/28 in Sapporo and 2/10 in Osaka. The key matches look to be Kazuchika Okada vs. Seiya Sanada for the IWGP title, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki for the IC title, Kenny Omega vs. Jay White for the U.S. title, Hirooki Goto vs. Evil for the Never title, Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP jr. title and Young Bucks vs. Sho & Yoh for the IWGP jr. tag titles. The Chris Jericho vs. Tetsuya Naito match is undetermined. Jericho is touring with Fozzy from late January so it’s almost impossible for any time soon. Cody vs. Juice Robinson may also be taking place.

The Never trios title change from yesterday with Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii & Baretta beating Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa ended up being switched back today at Korakuen Hall with the Bullet Club teaming winning the titles back. There were, as expected, tons of angles on the show to build up all of the aforementioned matches. Jericho showed up after the main event was over and attacked Naito. 

WWE
No John Cena or Randy Orton at the house shows this weekend for WWE. Orton is scheduled for Smackdown on Tuesday. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are scheduled for Raw on Monday.
UFC
Jessica Penne has accepted an 18 month suspension for a steroid test positive by USADA. Normally it would be a two-year suspension but Penne said she took the substance wile under care of a physician. She had tested positive for DHEA. She will be able to return on 10/22.
UFC is pushing the Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou fight.
MISCELLANEOUS
Sonjay Dutt just went in for surgery due to a torn right Achilles tendon. That’s a major injury with usually about a nine month to one year recuperation time. 
Negro Casas is out of action due to a broken rib and two other bruised ribs suffered in his 1/1 match with Sam Adonis. You could tell he was hurt. The injury took place late in the second fall. He’ll be out for a few months so he is out of Fantastica Mania.
This is a great preview from AXS for the Omega vs. Jericho feud.
Christy Hemme announced today that she will be having surgery tomorow to deliver quadruplets. Best of luck to her.
Chuck Carroll on how the Women of Honor title tournament came together.
John Morrison aka Johnny Impact said on today’s Impact Wrestling media call that he is not wrestling on the AAA event January 26 that is his being advertised for and he blames Vampiro for the situation.
Legacy Fighting Alliance on 2/16 in Dallas on AXS TV from the Bomb Factory. Kyle Stewart vs. Jaleel Willis headlines the show. Greg Hardy, who once played for the Dallas Cowboys, will face Ryan Chester in a heavyweight fight.
Legacy Fighting Alliance also announced the signing of Lucas Brennan, 17, the youngest fighter they’ve ever signed. He’s the son of former UFC and Pride fighter Chris Brennan. Brennan has won age group world championships in Jiu Jitsu and is the top ranked wrestler in high school in the 138 pound division in the state of Texas.
Scott D’Amore talks to The Mirror in the UK. (thanks to Matt Elder) 
Combat Zone Wrestling on 2/10 in Voorhees, NJ at the Next Level Coliseum with Penta 0M, Rey Fenix, Dave & Jake Crist & Sami Callihan headlining.
Revolution Pro Wrestling announced Britt Baker won’t be the on its shows this weekend due to weather and flight issues. Baker will be replaced in their two-day women’s title tournament by Sammii Jayne, who faces Deonna Purrazzo in the first round.
Kris Wolf, who just had a CBS This Morning story about her air over the weekend, was injured and was off today’s Stardom show. (thanks to Jake Koch)
Penta 0M will be doing a meet and greet at the 1/11 MLW show in Orlando, FL.
Dalton Castle vs. Punishment Martinez for the ROH title has been added to the company’s first show of the year on 1/20 in Nashville, a TV taping called Music City Excellence.
CWE on 1/13 in Thunder Bay, ONT at the West Thunder Community Centre with Jake Roberts, Tony Kozina and Chase Owens appearing.
Five Star Wrestling has a press conference Monday in Sheffield to announcer a former WWE world champion that will be on their roster besides already announced Rey Mysterio Jr., Rob Van Dam and John Morrison. 

Today in Professional Wrestling History: 2 Cold Scorpio wins ECW TV title


CONTACT INFORMATION

Poll opinions: dave@wrestlingobsever.com
​Feedback: feedback@wrestlingobserver.com
Show results and news tips: newstips@wrestlingobserver.com
Wrestling Observer Radio questions: mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com

Support the Empire~! with F4W shirts. Grab yours today!