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Daily Update: Chris Jericho, Final Battle, WWE notes

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We are looking for reports on the WWE shows with Raw in Bakersfield, Smackdown in Oakland and NXT in Jacksonville as well as the ROH TV tapings in Philadelphia (Jeff Cobb vs. Luchasaurus, Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tracy Williams, PJ Black vs. Juice Robinson, Rush vs. TK O'Ryan) and Evolve in Woodside, NY to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

BELLATOR ON SUNDAY AT 10 P.M. EASTERN ON DAZN

  • Nainoa Dung (153.3) vs. Kona Oliveira (153.7)
  • King Mo Lawal (203.8) vs. Liam McGeary (203.4)
  • Neiman Gracie (168.8) vs. Ed Ruth (169.3) in the welterweight Grand Prix tournament
  • Rafael Carvalho (186) vs. Lyoto Machida (185.9)
  • Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (125) vs. Valerie Letourneau (124.4) for the women's flyweight title

Sunday we're looking for reports from Evolve in Deer Park, NY.

WWE TLC FROM THE SAP CENTER IN SAN JOSE AT 6 P.M. EASTERN ON WWE NETWORK

  • R-Truth & Carmella vs. Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox in MMC championship match for No. 30 spot in Royal Rumble
  • Natalya vs. Ruby Riott tables match
  • Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre
  • Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton chairs match
  • Buddy Murphy vs. Cedric Alexander for cruiserweight title
  • Sheamus & Cesaro vs. New Day vs. Usos for tag titles
  • Bobby Lashley vs. Elias ladder match with guitar hanging from ceiling
  • Ronda Rousey vs. Nia Jax for Raw women's title
  • Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for IC title 
  • Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin TLC match for Rumble title shot vs. Corbin being full-time GM
  • Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka in TLC match for Smackdown women's title
  • Daniel Bryan vs. A.J. Styles for WWE title

EVOLVE ON SUNDAY AT 8 P.M. EASTERN FROM THE NYWC SPORTATORIUM IN DEER PARK, NY

  • Fabian Aichner vs. AR Fox for Evolve title
  • Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford vs. Harlem Bravado & Austin Theory for Evolve tag titles
  • Roderick Strong vs Darby Allin
  • Kassius Ohno vs. Anthony Henry
  • Priscilla Kelly vs. Shotzi Blackheart
  • Josh Briggs vs. Adrian Alanis
  • Joe Gacy vs. Joe Bailey
  • Curt Stallion vs. Leon Ruff vs. BSHP KNG vs. Colby Corino

There is a huge Raw on Monday in Sacramento as they are taping for both a live show and doing the 12/24 show. There is a lso a Smackdown house show in Stockton on Monday.

Tuesday has a double TV taping for Smackdown live, plus one or two episodes of 205 Live, and the 12/25 Smackdown all in Fresno.


F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: The revitalization of the new Daniel Bryan 

When Daniel Bryan announced his emotional return to the ring, it was fairly inconceivable that he'd end up being a vicious and pompous environmentalist heel just eight months later. But the character change has revitalized Bryan and taken him to the highest points since the immediate aftermath of announcing his comeback. With Bryan completely buying into the change, "the new Daniel Bryan" has been far better in execution than it would have sounded on paper.


WON NEWSLETTER: December 17, 2018 Observer Newsletter: Fantastic Tokyo Dome card, death of Larry Hennig 

A look at New Japan going into the Tokyo Dome, notes on lots of new television deals and a story on the life of Larry Hennig heads up this week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Our lead story is a preview of the Wrestle Kingdom 13 show, with the lineup, storylines, tag team tournament rundown, this weekend's shows and full coverage of the tag team tournament finals with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.

Look at the glory days of the AWA with a story on the life of Larry Hennig. Start with his legit sports background, why he never wrestled or played football in college, how he got started in pro wrestling, and his rise to fame as a heel in the AWA.

Look at one of the 60s most successful tag teams, Harley Race & Larry Hennig, and their feud with Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher. Also look at the rest of Hennig's career all over the world.

Also look at the future of Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt, George Bush's connection to pro wrestling, WWE week on USA, WWE rules for what U.K. talent can do, injury and illness updates, John Cena talks on future, notes on and WWE tryouts.

Also look at ONE attempting to become a significant player on the U.S. scene with its deal with TNT, its big signings, but also a look at the company's real economic numbers.


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

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SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE

  • John Cena told Sports Illustrated about being in “the definite twilight” of his in-ring career and doing whatever is required to establish his successor: “It's a giant relay race, and I'm in the phase where I'm handing the stick off. My time is up, someone else's time is now."
  • The Transformers spinoff “Bumblebee,” which features Cena in a prominent role, has a 98 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes through the first 41 reviews counted.
  • Becky Lynch appeared on this week’s episode of the Edge & Christian podcast. Yahoo and Uproxx both also have articles on Lynch ahead of TLC.
  • Baron Corbin, who has been playing Raw's on-screen authority figure, posted a tweet in response to WWE's announcement that Vince McMahon will appear on Monday’s Raw: “I’m probably going to get a raise!”
  • Sami Zayn wrote about his time away from wrestling after undergoing double shoulder surgery: “Double shoulder surgery isn't fun, but I see the whole experience as a gift. Time off wrestling gave me perspective, about myself and the world around me. Honest introspection/critical reflection is SO valuable, and it costs nothing. To heal the world, we must heal ourselves.”
  • The WWE Performance Center’s YouTube account uploaded a four-minute behind-the-scenes video of Tyler Breeze from the day where he challenged Ricochet for the North American title. Their match aired on this week’s episode of NXT.
  • For her Calgary Sun column this week, Natalya talked to Dynamite Kid’s daughter Bronwyne Billington.
  • Tomorrow's addition to the WWE Network’s Hidden Gems section has already been uploaded. It's a 10-minute video of a public appearance from December 22, 1992 where Randy Savage teamed with George Steinbrenner to deliver a holiday message

Pro Wrestling

  • NJPW held a press conference last night for Chris Jericho and Tetsuya Naito’s IWGP Intercontinental Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom 13. The press conference ended with an angle where Naito spit water at Jericho and Jericho brawled with Naito while being held back. Jericho said he’s going to end Naito’s career at Wrestle Kingdom. Jericho then ambushed Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI after they defeated El Desperado, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru at this morning’s Road to Tokyo Dome show. Jericho laid out Naito with chair shots and a Codebreaker and then went into the crowd and yelled at Los Ingobernables de Japon fans.
  • Christopher Daniels tweeted after his match against Marty Scurll at Final Battle: “The Hammerstein Ballroom is always filled with great fans! I thank you sincerely for all of your support tonight. I’m sorry that victory wasn’t mine to enjoy tonight. Congratulations to @MartyScurll for giving me your best tonight.”
  • Hangman Page also tweeted after his match with Jeff Cobb: “Sorry everyone watching at home.  I couldn’t look at the hardcam tonight.  Just wanted to see the people.”
  • Cody wrote that last night was his “final Final Battle.”
  • NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis appeared at Final Battle last night after Jay Lethal retained the ROH World Championship against Cody, with ROH seemingly setting up Aldis as one of Lethal’s upcoming challengers. Marty Scurll, who has a shot at the ROH title after winning Survival of the Fittest, had also come down to confront Lethal.
  • Court Bauer tweeted yesterday morning before MLW’s live special: “2 attempted raids in 2 days as we head into tonight's #MLWFusionLIVE on @beINSPORTSUSA. Wish we could all work together instead of of this trash. PS: Both dudes declined. Now that's what I call #honor.”
  • WrestlePro will be holding a show featuring comedic wrestlers called “Does Funny = Money?” in Rahway, New Jersey on April 3, 2019. That’s the Wednesday of WrestleMania week.

UFC/MMA

  • Michael Chandler defeated Brent Primus by unanimous decision at Bellator 212 last night to reclaim the Bellator lightweight title. Primus had defeated Chandler for the title in June 2017.
  • A note from Dave Meltzer on tonight’s Bellator show (which isn’t about the wrestler Kevin Sullivan): “Impact's Kevin Sullivan did the opening videos for six fighters on tonight's Bellator show including Ilima-lei Macfarlane's, which is said to be very impressive.”
  • After having to pull out of their scheduled fight due to a shoulder injury, Dominick Cruz sent a heartfelt message to John Lineker.
  • Joseph Benavidez vs. Dustin Ortiz is set for the UFC’s first ESPN+ show on January 19.
  • Kron Gracie vs. Alex Caceres has been rebooked for the UFC’s first show on ESPN on February 17.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: WWE Armageddon 2002


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