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Daily Update: Big weekend incoming, Quintet, Sami Zayn

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F4W NEWSLETTER:  Rey Mysterio's US title win Joseph Currier looks at how WWE has started to use the legendary Mysterio to his full potential.

After periods of not being used as well as he should have been, it seems like Rey Mysterio's legendary career may get the dream final stretch that it deserves.

Mysterio was at the center of a great moment on last week's post-Survivor Series edition of Raw. With Humberto Carrillo being attacked by The O.C. before his scheduled title shot, Mysterio won two straight matches to become United States Champion. He defeated Ricochet, Randy Orton, and Drew McIntyre in a number one contender's fatal four-way match and then beat AJ Styles to win the US title.

Mysterio pinned Ricochet to get the immediate title shot against Styles. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson had interfered when Orton had the fatal four-way won, and Orton then helped Mysterio even the odds a bit when The O.C. got involved in the title match. Orton took out Gallows and Anderson, gave Styles an RKO after Mysterio hit the 619, and Mysterio followed up with a frog splash to win the title. Mysterio then celebrated in the ring with his son Dominik.

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WON NEWSLETTER: December 16, 2019 Observer Newsletter: TLC card mystery, Kelly Klein/ROH issues, more 

A look at plans as they are for the WWE's TLC PPV is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We look at what was on the boards this week for the card, ways it may change, why zero matches had been announced nine days before the show and Vince McMahon's philosophy regarding PPV shows these days. The new issue also covers: 

Issues with ROH, from its concussion policy, to its relationship with New Japan, with comments from both Joe Koff and Harold Meij. We look at the claims regarding a concussion policy, why ROH cut off negotiations with women's champion Kelly Klein after first offering her more than double of her prior contract and more.

The economics of WWE, PPV vs Network and which would have been better, Orlando wants big shows, Ciampa says he'd rather retire than move to the main roster, why he said it, changes with WWE Network, TV ratings in Canada and Germany, new WWE fire, WWE in sports survey, NXT the next two weeks, Raw announcing, Carmella tarts new business, stock value, most-watched shows on WWE Network, as well as a rundown of all the weekend arena dates.

New Japan tag team tournament matches of the past week.

AAA's TripleMania Regia, the big angle shot, the usage of rival CMLL's old heel stable, plus the return of Kenny Omega, as well as hopes to use more AEW talent on major shows coming up.  We also have match-by-match coverage.

History of Starrcade, how it started, the roles of key people like Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, Harley Race and Dory Funk Jr.  We look at every main event in Starrcade history, and how Vince McMahon tried and failed to sabotage the first show, but succeeded in sabotaging the fifth show. We look at how Starrcade came to be, the match in 1983 that created the first Starrcade, the Flair vs. Race program and how it was built, the Roddy Piper vs. Greg Valentine angle, what killed wrestling on Thanksgiving, plus a rundown of Sunday's show in Atlanta.

Preview of Tito Ortiz vs. Alberto El Patron, how Combate Americas came into this world, Campbell McLaren's role in the birth of MMA, how Alberto got into pro wrestling, his MMA career before WWE, why he was not allowed to fight on the Los Angeles Coliseum show and the realities of this fight as a PPV from a business standpoint.

Full coverage of all the WWE and AEW television shows from the past week.

In-depth looks at the ratings of all the major shows, the key demos and quarters for AEW and WWE, what happened head-to-head and what can be learned from them.

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 


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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio talking Raw, WWE TLC, Tokyo Dome, WWE releases, WWE Hall of Fame, and taking questions that you can send to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

This is a gigantic weekend coming up. There is an ROH PPV on Friday. UFC has its deepest show of the year on PPV on Saturday with Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington for the welterweight title, Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski for the featherweight title and Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie for the women's bantamweight title. Holloway vs. Volkanovski in particular looks like a potential classic on paper. NWA has a PPV on Saturday as well. WWE has TLC on Sunday.

The new Being the Elite is up. The opening sketch is a super inside joke regarding the ratings and the idea that it's now over and they are done because they had fewer viewers that NXT did twice.

There is also a Quintet show on Thursday night on UFC Fight Pass. I've been to one and seen others on the channel. It's a really cool concept built along the themes of the old New Japan Survival Series concept with teams. This show will be from the Red Rock Casino resort in Las Vegas as part of the weekend festivities. There will be a four-team tournament under submission rules with eight minute time limits and a draw eliminates both people so it's active attacking rather than stalling. Team UFC will be Anthony Smith, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, Sean O'Malley, Clay Guida and Gilbert Burns.  Team Pride will be Kazushi Sakuraba, Takanori Gomi, Gregor Gracie, Hector Lombard and Yes Edwards. Team WEC will be Chad Mendes, Glover Teixeira, Mark Munoz, Cub Swanson and James Krause. And Team Strikeforce will be Gilbert Melendez, Jake Shields, King Mo Lawal, J.Z. Cavalcante and Renato Sobral. Gordon Ryan, who is one of the best submission fighters in the world, has a singles match against UFC submission master Aleksei Oleinik while Cynthia Calvillo, who just fought on Saturday and is a top strawweight contender, faces Danielle Kelly.

I know this is late notice, but we are going to work with Wrestling Travel for the Tokyo Dome in a few weeks. If you have thought about going but are intimidated by the idea of Japan by yourself, there will be a huge group from all over the world going and we are working on doing a live show that week in Tokyo. They'll take care of flights, hotel and tickets for both Dome shows. And there are tons of other shows in Tokyo every afternoon and evening that week so you can see a lot of different groups. They also have packages for WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and other shows. 

WWE

  • The top stuff on Raw at this point is the Lana/Rusev divorce angle and Rey Mysterio vs. A.J. Styles for the U.S. title. If Styles wins, he will likely defend at TLC against Randy Orton. Styles vs. Orton, not in a title match, was on the lineup as of late last week. So unless things change, and they do every Monday and Friday, Orton could be involved in some form before or after that match.
  • Something that got a lot of talk on social media last night was a fan who used a gay slur at Sami Zayn at the show in Daytona Beach. Zayn didn't find it appropriate and the fan was kicked out. It's an example of what I've written about many times, dating back to similar issues at NXT house shows and even at PWG where fans do what fans did in yelling at heels a decade ago swearing and using words not acceptable today. Times have changed. It is for the better. For older fans, please don't do this even if it was commonplace when you were younger.
  • Kurt Angle turned 51 today.

UFC

  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Yan Xiaonan has been added to the 2/22 show in Auckland, New Zealand. Xiaonan is going for her fifth UFC win in a row against a former title contender.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa won the All Japan Real World Tag League tournament earlier today beating Jake Lee & Naoya Nomura in the finals. If you are a new fan, if you check out the history of that tournament from 1977 to 1999, you'll be amazed. I would say that prior to WrestleMania, that the tag team tournament was the biggest annual event in pro wrestling anywhere in the world. Of course, that was a long time ago.
  • WrestleCon has announced Mike Tyson and Pete Rose along with Bret Hart and a large percentage of big name wrestlers from the last 30 years.
  • MLW announced a return date for New York at the Melrose Ballroom on 7/16.  Tickets go on sale Friday for the show that will be a TV taping with Jimmy Havoc vs. Mance Warner in a no rope barbed wire match.
  • There is a Night of Appreciation for Bobby Eaton on Saturday night in Knoxville at the D1 Sports complex. Among those scheduled to appear are longtime tag team partner Dennis Condrey, Tracy Smothers, The Barbarian, George South, Tom Prichard, Bill Dundee, Bobby Fulton (and send your best wishes to him with his cancer battle), Chase Owens, Kevin Kelly and Gary Michael Cappetta.
  • Best in the West on 12/14 in Fresno at the Best in the West Studios on 5766 E. Fountain Way#101 with Sinn Bodhi (Kizarney in WWE) scheduled plus Dave Dutra defending his title against Jorel Nelson.
  • Hoosier Pro Wrestling from Saturday night in Columbus, IN:  Corvis b Cooter, Ace Jackson & Bubby James b Donnie Blyze & Viper to win tag titles, Lighting Bolt b Guy Lombardo, Scarecrow b DooDo Brown to win cruiserweight title, Flash Flanagan b Shilo Jonez, Duke the Nuke, Omega de-DQ, Buck Sexton b Butcher Manson to win the HPW title. Next show is on 1/4.
  • There was an inside pro wrestling joke on ESPN+'s NFL Prime Time show when Chris Berman noted that Roddy White was just elected into the Atlanta Falcons Ring of Honor, and called him Rowdy Roddy White (thanks to Brian Henke)
  • Shane Douglas will be doing the CWE tour across Canada next year from 4/26 to 5/31. We'll have more details on this as the date approaches.
  • 559 Fights on 12/14 in Fresno at the Rainbow Ballroom with Larry Gonzales (3-0) vs. Danny Moreno (2-1) to crown the 559 Fights first heavyweight champion since 2017.
  • Psicosis will debut for Defy on the 1/3 show in Seattle.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Chris Jericho becomes first Undisputed Champion


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