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Daily Update: Eddie Edwards, Bobby Lashley, SmackDown

THE ROUND-UP

THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're looking for reports on these weekend events to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

  • Raw on Friday night in Amarillo
  • Raw last night in Wichita Falls, TX
  • Smackdown last night in Hidalgo, TX
  • Evolve last night in Queens, NY
  • Raw tonight in Waco, TX
  • Raw tonight in Hidalgo, TX
  • Impact tapings tonight in Orlando

UFC DEBUTS SUNDAY AT THE SCOTTRADE CENTER IN ST. LOUIS

Fight Pass fights at 6:30 p.m.

  • Mads Burnell (150) vs. Mike Santiago (146)
  • J.J. Aldrich (115.5) vs. Danielle Taylor (113.5)
  • Jessica Eye (126) vs. Kalinda Faris (124.5)

FS1 at 8 p.m.

  • Guido Cannetti (135) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (135.5)
  • Irene Aldana (135) vs. Talita Bernardo (134.5)
  • Matt Frevola (156) vs.  Marco Polo Reyes (155.5)
  • James Krause (155.5) vs. Alex White (155)
  • Darren Elkins (145.5) vs. Michael Johnson (145)
  • Emil Meek (170.5) vs. Kamaru Usman (169.5)
  • Paige VanZant (125.5) vs. Jessica Rose-Clark (125.5)
  • Jeremy Stephens (145.5) vs. Doo Ho Choi (146)

EVOLVE IPPV AT 7 P.M. EASTERN FROM ST. FINBAR CHURCH IN BROOKLYN, NY

  • Keith Lee vs. Chris Dickinson for WWN title
  • Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Walter (rematch of one of 2017's best matches)
  • Matt Riddle vs. Jaka
  • Fred Yehi vs. Timothy Thatcher
  • Darby Allin vs. Austin Theory vs. Tracy Williams vs. Jason Kincaid

There is also a 3 p.m. iPPV with a one night-tournament with first round matches of Water vs. Nick Gage, Joey Janela vs. Joey Lynch, Shane Mercer vs. KTB and Matt Riddle vs. Rayo.

Raw will be Monday in San Antonio with Nia Jax vs. Asuka announced. There will also be a Smackdown house show in Corpus Christi, TX and the final day of Impact tapings in Orlando.

Smackdown, Mixed Match Challenge and 205 Live will be taped on Tuesday in Laredo, TX with Finn Balor & Sasha Banks vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Natalya as the first mixed match challenge match.


​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly 1/8/2018: Jericho continues to make wrestling a better place

At 47 years old, Chris Jericho would have been forgiven if his match against Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12 wasn't a classic. No one expected Jericho vs Omega to live up to Kazuchika Okada vs. Omega from the year prior. There was no way it could have. It was enough that Jericho, someone who's been with WWE since 1999 and has enjoyed a privileged position for most of his run, was wrestling in NJPW at all. Interest for this year's Tokyo Dome show was up fairly substantially from the last few years across the board, with attendance figures and New Japan World subscriber numbers rising year-over-year.


WON NEWSLETTER: January 15, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 review, plus tons of news

It’s a double issue week, packed with more major news than any issue in a long time, including notes on the top two matches at WrestleMania, the Hall of Fame main eventer, updates on several major contract issues and a lot of notes on what will be the two biggest stories of the year, the UFC and WWE television negotiations.

There is extensive coverage of New Japan's Tokyo Dome show including all the business notes, how New Japan World is doing and the cycle of subscribers, the value of Jericho vs. Omega to New Japan, attendance notes, what was unique on the show, Jericho going forward in New Japan, all the angles going forward, what's next for Kenny Omega, what's next for Kazuchika Okada, questions on the booking, who were the most popular people on the show, long and short-term angles coming off New Year's Dash, and a look at New Japan's big shows through August. 

Look at the next eight live shows on New Japan World, plus full Tokyo Dome and New Year's Dash rundowns with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results on the shows.

Updated plans for the Royal Rumble, including the makeup of the women's match, demand for tickets for Rumble and Mania week and a record to be set on the show.

Notes on WWE & UFC and how the changing landscape of television affects both companies as they go into their most important negotiations for many years, are in this issue.

There is a feature on John McCarthy stepping away from officiating, with a background of his start in UFC, his role in the growth and changes of the sport and his new role as an announcer.

Look at NJPW vs. WWE matches taking place in the U.K., as well as the story of the first and only time the WWF champion and IWGP champion wrestled each other at the Fukuoka Dome and the politics that allowed it to happen.

Read about WWE injuries, the Mixed Match Challenge, WWE Hall of Fame 2018, NXT Takeover notes, more on Miz's new TV show and the challenges it faces, Ronda Rousey and Bryan Danielson.


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WON BACK ISSUE: December 25, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Blue Demon passes away, WCW talent walks out on tapings, more 

Alejandro Munoz Moreno, who was a 1960s Mexican movie star and possibly the second most famous wrestlers in that country's history as the Blue Demon, passed away on 12/16 from a heart attack at the age of 78. Demon, who would probably be ranked just behind El Santo as the most famous cultural wrestling icon in Mexico, starred in even lower budget movies than those which made Santo one of the most beloved and probably the longest enduring wrestling legend in any culture.


SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio covering lots of TNA news, UFC tonight, WWE this week, PWG and more. You can send questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

Eddie Edwards is okay, at least compared to fears last night. He had a broken nose, some other broken bones and has a black eye from when a baseball bat accidently ricocheted and hit him in the eye doing an angle with Sami Callihan, and he was rushed to the hospital. 

I was told today's Impact tapings will tell the story regarding Bobby Lashley with the company. At least as of not too long ago, Lashley, Ethan Carter III and Laurel Van Ness were all finishing up and the first two are already gone. The front page has a rundown of the latest Impact news after last night's tapings.

WWE has announced Charlotte Flair & Naomi & Becky Lynch vs. The Riott Squad, and both U.S. title semifinals with Xavier Woods vs. Jinder Mahal and Bobby Roode vs. Mojo Rawley for Smackdown on Tuesday. WWE will also have a one-hour special on USA Network from 10-11 p.m. Tuesday night covering the history of Raw to build up the 25th anniversary show on 1/22. (thanks to Joe Puccio)

UFC has its first show of the year tonight. Expect a heavy push for this coming Saturday's PPV which has a strong top two matches, particularly Francis Ngannou. With a head-to-head battle with Bellator, next weekend should be very interesting. As for tonight, the main event looks good on paper. Choi's fight with Cub Swanson was one of the best fights of 2016 and Stephens is usually a good action fighter. Choi is a -170 favorite at this point. VanZant debuts as a featherweight and is one of the company's more popular fighters. Kamaru Usman vs. Emil Meek is a fight that insiders are talking about. Usman has looked great at welterweight but been unable to get top ten opponents. He's 6-0 in UFC which isn't easy, and has ten wins in a row. Meek has won four in a row, but didn't fight in 2017. Also Michael Johnson, who is a good lightweight known for action fights, who has a deceptive 17-12 record, since he's got wins over Edson Barboza, Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson, tries to see if he can get something going at featherweight. The big four fights starting at 10 p.m. Eastern on paper look strong.

WWE

  • Those who report to Orlando on Tuesday to start in WWE are War Machine, Ricochet, Candice LeRae, Kacy Catanzaro, Kavita Devi, Rinku Singh (the former minor league baseball player who got WWE ESPN coverage yesterday about his debut), Shadia Bseiso, Nasser Alruwayeh and Nicolai Salchow (a former MMA fighter). 
  • Stephanie McMahon did an interview for the BBC this past week.
  • An interview with Naomi about the Royal Rumble. 

UFC

  • TMZ had a story that Paige VanZant is interested in working for WWE. VanZant was scheduled in 2016 to be part of SummerSlam but her fight schedule led to her canceling it.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • For Evolve tonight, new matches based on angles last night are Tracy Williams & Dom Garrini vs. Odinson & Parrow and Jason Kincaid vs. Austin Theory. Shane Mercer pulled off this afternoon's Style Battle show and Brody King was replacing him in the one-day eight-man tournament. 
  • The MLW show from Thursday which included a Penta 0M vs. Fenix match people have raved to me about is up at $4.99. Plus you get to hear Tony Schiavone call wrestling once again.
  • Sting, Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Hart, Torrie Wilson and Eric Bischoff will be appearing at the Ace Comic Con in Phoenix tomorrow at Gila River.
  • Lions Pride Sports from Friday in Caldwell, TX: Lance Hoyt b John Saxon in a lumberjack match, Tim Storm & Apoc b Mike Foxx & Johnny Swole, Brent McKenzie & Vordell Walker b Big Daddy Yum Yum & Nobe Bryant, Mike Dell b Shane Taylor, Jordan Len-X b Danny Ramons, Tarrale Tempo b Brysin Scott. They run today in College Station, TX at Hurricane Harry's with MVP, Hoyt, Masada, Shane Taylor and more. (thanks to Steve Fullhart)
  • Tessa Blanchard and Britt Baker had plane delays today and were supposed to work in Chicago for Zelo Pro Wrestling where Blanchard was facing Kylie Rae to crown the first women's champion. Zero announced that due to the problems, both women were on the same United flight, they won't be making the show. (thanks to Jake Koch)
  • Blue Water Championship Wrestling on 2/3 in Port Huron, MI features the Rising Stars tournament with Jungle Boy Nate Coy and Brian Pillman Jr.
  • Stardom results from yesterday in Yokohama: Ruaka won three-way over Miranda and Hanan, Mary Apache & Hiromi Mimura b Kaori Yoneyama & Natsuko Tora, Kagetsu & Sumire Natsu & Hana Kimura b Nicole Savoy & Kay Lee Ray & Xia Brookside, Momo Watanabe & Viper & AZM & HZK b Jungle Kyona & Starlight Kid & Konami & Shiki Shubusawa, Io Shirai b Rachael Ellering to keep the World of Stardom title. (thanks to Jake Koch)
  • Superkick'd on 1/18 in Toronto at The Great Hall's Longboat Hall.
  • Alpha One Wrestling on 1/21 in Hamilton, ONT at 222 Queenston Rd., features Joey Ryan and Cody.
  • Femme Fatales on 2/24 in Ottawa, ONT at the Vanier Columbus Club with Mercedes Martinez, Nicole Savoy, Jessicka Havok, Vanessa Kraven and more.
  • NWL from last night in Overland Park, KS before a sellout 350 fans: Jet Royal b Niles Plonk, Thor Theriot won four-way over Bolt Brady, Mike Outlaw and Anthony Gutierrez, Jack Foster & Besties in the World b Ace Steel & Maddox & Lionel Howlett, Michael Stride b Gil Rogers (Rogers was fired based on the result), Marti Belle b Lanie Luck, Eddie Kingston b Leo Howlett, Jeremy Wyatt b Drak Draper to keep the NWL title. (thanks to Brian Hoops)
  • NEW from last night in Waterbury, CT before a sellout 400 fans: Wrecking Ball Legursky won Rumble Battle Royal, Joey Mercury b Flip Gordon-DQ so Gordon keeps the NEW title, Penelope Ford b Ashley Vox, Josh Briggs b Brick Mastone, Chris Battle b Dexter Loux, Cam Zagami & Robbie E & Tyler Nitro b The Mac & Adrenaline Rush, Mike Verner b Foxx Vinyer. (thanks to Nick Mahmood and Christopher Lowe)
  • Old Time Wrestling on 1/26 in Galloway, NJ at the Stockton University Campus Center Event Room and 1/27 for Winterfest at the OTW Arena in Williamstown, NJ at the Monroe Business Center.
  • Kansas City Xtreme Wrestling from last night in Kansas City: James Moore b Nelson Atkins, Juno Granger b Ray Gamma, Calvin Aldridge b Branaie, Bigg Dogg b Johnny Rocco, Maverick West & Jack Jackson & Hal Rogers b Liam Power & Nick Vendetta & Tyler Grey, J Savage won over Leo D'Auraia and Campeon, Hollis Giroux b Sarge, David Cattin & Aaron Clay b Cornelius Wylverstone & Captain Shabam, Marksman b Derek Stone, Ricky Morton & Shannon Reed b Hollis Giroux & JC Thunder. (thanks to Shannon Steward)

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Christian wins NWA World title


WRESTLING OBSERVER / F4W - WRESTLEMANIA 34 in NEW ORLEANS

Here we go again! It's back to New Orleans for Wrestlemania 34 and a huge weekend of spectacular professional wrestling related fun and wackiness. EdinSanAntonio Productions along with the Wrestling Observer / Figure Four Empire~! is proud to present the annual Wrestlemania weekend trip details. This huge weekend includes a number of website "members only" events. Below are the two events currently scheduled. Click here for full event details. 

WOR Podcast Taping: Purchase TICKETS for the Wrestling Observer Radio LIVE MAILBAG~!

  • WHAT: Wrestling Observer Radio LIVE Podcast Recording with Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez
  • WHEN: Friday, April 6th, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (Doors open at 8:45 a.m. for VIP ticket holders and at 9:15 a.m. for general admission)
  • WHERE: The Bourbon Room, Royal St. Charles Hotel in downtown New Orleans; 135 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130

WO/F4W Brunch: Purchase TICKETS for the Wrestling Oberver BRUNCH~!

  • WHAT: All you care to eat brunch buffet on the morning of Wrestlemania 
  • WHEN: Sunday, April 8th, 2018 - T11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: The Court of Two Sisters restaurant in downtown New Orleans; 613 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130

CONTACT INFORMATION

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