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Daily Update: Finn Balor, NJPW press conference, AEW odds

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We're looking for reports on today's WWE show in Calgary, NXT in Des Moines, IA and the recent Progress in Manchester, England to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

We're also taking polls on last night's NJPW tag team tournament final as well as UFC 231, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

COMBAT ZONE WRESTLING CAGE OF DEATH TONIGHT IN PHILADELPHIA AT THE 2300 ARENA ON The Highspots Wrestling Network

  • Rickey Shane Page vs. Mance Warner for CZW tile in a cage of death
  • Atsushi Onita & Matt Tremont vs. DJ Hyde & Masada
  • BLK OUT vs. The Rep in a tables match

Monday has Raw from San Diego, plus there is a Smackdown brand house show in Ontario, CA.

Tuesday has Smackdown, Mixed Match Challenge and 205 Live from Las Vegas. Among the things announced for the show is a rap battle with Sheamus & Cesaro vs. The Usos with New Day as hosts, Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair, and Mixed Match Challenge Smackdown finals with Carmella & R-Truth vs. The Miz & Asuka.

ALL JAPAN TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT FINALS FROM TOKYO KORAKUEN HALL

  • Atsushi Maruyama & Kotaro Suzuki vs. Tajiri & Gianni Valletta
  • Masa Fuchi & Koji Iwamoto & Ultimo Dragon vs. Atsushi Aoki & Hikaru Sato & Yusuke Okada
  • Zeus & The Bodyguard & Osamu Nishimura vs. Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi & Black Menso-re
  • Kento Miyahara & Yoshitatsu vs Parrow & Odinson
  • Jun Akiyama & Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Takao Omori & Manabu Soya
  • Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa vs. Joe Doering & Dylan James

F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Looking ahead to 2019   

As we enter December, it feels like 2019 has been cemented as an absolutely pivotal year for the immediate future of professional wrestling. The global arms race for talent continued this past week. It was confirmed that WALTER, who is legitimately one of the best wrestlers in the world, has signed with WWE. He's been signed for NXT's United Kingdom brand and could play a part in the potential NXT Germany. 


WON NEWSLETTER: December 10, 2018 Observer Newsletter: Death of Dynamite Kid

A look at the life of Dynamite Kid is the lead story in this week's issue of the Wrestling Observer.

Look at his influence on the industry, his in-ring sacrifices, read comments from Bret Hart & Julie Hart, a look at his early days and his arrival in Stampede Wrestling, and his explosion of popularity in Japan.

Also look at Vince McMahon's latest stock sale, as well as co-President George Barrios selling stock.

Read about the decision to flip flop Takeover and the Hall of Fame ceremony in April. Look at awards given to Cena, wrestlers and charity work, and more on the restrictions placed on U.K.

Look more at the XFL and the battle with the AAF that Vince McMahon is going to have starting next spring. 

Examine UFC's decision to sign Greg Hardy and debut him on the same show as Rachael Ostovich and the marketing behind both fights. 

Read the update on the New Japan tag team tournament tour with results, business notes, lineups, the Tanahashi & Okada tag team and more.

This issue has an update on the WWE TLC show, with the card, plus ticket sale updates.

Read full coverage of both UFC shows from the past week, with match-by-match coverage and business notes on both shows.

Also look at the PPV numbers for Liddell vs. Ortiz what lessons is teaches.

There is also coverage of AAA's Guerra de Titanes and ICW's Fear and Loathing.

Read more on the MMA debut of the former Jack Swagger.


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SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

Our weekend show is up right now.

Finn Balor worked the first night of the WWE Raw tour in Santiago, Chile on Wednesday, but then went home. We don't know of an injury or anything. Also, no update on Dakota Kai, who was injured on Friday night in Green Bay.

New Japan has a press conference tonight at 3 a.m. Eastern and midnight Pacific time to announce next weekend's lineups and update the 1/4 Tokyo Dome show. They will probably be announcing the complete card which should go something like this:

  • Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for IWGP title
  • Chris Jericho vs. Tetsuya Naito for IC title
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Will Ospreay for Never title
  • Kushida vs. Taiji Ishimori for IWGP jr. title
  • Tama  Tonga & Tanga Loa vs. Young Bucks vs. Evil & Seiya Sanada for IWGP tag titles
  • Cody vs. Juice Robinson for U.S. title
  • Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado vs. Sho & Yoh vs. Shingo Takagi & Bushi for IWGP jr tag titles
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr. for British heavyweight title

The rest of the crew will likely be in a Never trios title match which won't be announced tonight. They will likely announce a Never trios title match for next week at Korakuen Hall and the winners will be in a gauntlet match. At least that was the plan a few weeks ago.

Of that list, the only matches now that aren't a sure thing official is the Cody match and the Never match, but both have been on the scheduled for some time.

The press conference will be on New Japan World. New Japan World also has the New Japan party streaming live at 6 a.m. Eastern to announce the company's 2018 MVP.

In the most searched for items for the weekend, all three on Saturday, UFC 231 was second behind only the Heisman Trophy. It had 600,000 which is about average, and probably not a big PPV number. Lomachenko had 120,000 and was sixth. Bumblebee, the movie John Cena is in, was 20th with 50,000.

Based on preliminary ratings, the Lomachenko fight did a 1.4 rating in the top 55 metered markets making it the second highest rating of the year for a boxing telecast on ESPN, trailing only the Crawford-Benavidez fight in October. The main event itself averaged a 1.5 rating.

BetOnline has published a series of odds related to AEW:

  • Jim Ross' role with the company
    • Commentator +300
    • General Manager +225
    • Head the Office +175
    • Will not be with the promotion +150
  • They will announce a TV deal by 1/31
    • Yes -200
    • No +150
  • The promotion will make a public announcement that is in business by 1/31
    • Yes -250
    • No +170
  • Who Will Adam Page sign next with?
    • New Japan +500
    • WWE +400
    • All Elite -300
    • Anywhere else +400
  • Who will Cody sign next with?
    • New Japan +600
    • WWE +900
    • All Elite -1200
    • Anywhere else +600
  • Who will Kenny Omega sign next with?
    • New Japan +600
    • WWE +300
    • All Elite -500
    • Anywhere else +800
  • Who will The Young Bucks sign next with?
    • New Japan +600
    • WWE +1200
    • All Elite -750
    • Anywhere else +400

WWE

  • Paul Levesque was shown standing with Vasyl Lomachenko a few times last night including after Lomachenko's win over Jose Pedraza which took place on ESPN at the Hulu Theater in New York. (thanks to Joe Becht and many others)
  • John Cena was on the FOX NFL Sunday pregame show today.
  • Cena will also be lighting up the Empire State Building on 12/20.
  • Becky Lynch will be on Ariel Helwani's MMA show on ESPN tomorrow.
  • WWE was advertising for its California shows on Howard Stern on Friday, both the house shows and the TLC PPV show in San Jose. It was notable that on a national show they were only advertising California shows. (thanks to Richard Law Orloski)

UFC

  • MMA Fighting announced Johnny Walker vs. Justin Ledet on 2/2 in Fortaleza, Brazil. 
  • Kai Kara France vs. Raulian Paiva in a flyweight fight has been added to the 2/10 show in Melbourne.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Progress from today in Sheffield, UK before a sellout of 900 fans: Travis Banks b Ilja Dragunov, Mark Haskins b Mark Andrews, Chris Ridgeway b Paul Robinson in a chain match, Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate & Trent Seven b Timothy Thatcher & Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham, Jordynne Grace b Toni Storm, Walter b Shigehiro Irie, Aussie Open b LAX in a great match. (thanks to Andy Cliff)
  • AXS was airing ads for he new WOW women's wrestling television show during New Japan on Friday night with a lot of clips of Tessa Blanchard and Santana Garrett, as well as David MacLane.
  • The New York Times covers the history of wrestling graphic novels. (thanks to Chris Cruise)
  • There will be an ECW reunion theme for Keystone Championship Wrestling this coming Saturday night in Darby, PA at the Edward Baron Rec Center with Shane Douglas vs. 2 Cold Scorpio as the main event. New Jack, Joel Gertner and Tod Gordon are also scheduled for the show.
  • Alpha One Wrestling on 1/20 in Oshawa, ONT at the Polish Hall.
  • PCW on Friday night in Wilmington, CA. Show drew a sellout crowd: Jake Atlas b ACH (ACH's last match with the company), Eli Everfly won four-way over Cholo, Hammerstone and Aero Boy, Taya Valkyire b Heather Monroe, Sami Callihan b Brody King (King thanked PCW for giving him his start in his last match with the company noting he had been on every show and hoped some day he could return, and talked about how he helped set up the ring and chairs and how he started his career there), Tessa Blanchard b Delilah Doom (Valkyrie challenged Blanchard after the match), War Beast b Border Patrol, Shane Strickland b Penta 0M to win the PCW title. Excellent match. Matt Sydal challenged Strickland for the next show on 1/18. They also announced a Mil Mascaras meet and greet. Everfly did a Canadian Destroyer off the top rope. (thanks to Russell Griffith, Shannon Walsh and Brian Reznick)
  • PWA from Friday night in Sydney, Australia: Matty Wahlberg b Jax Jordan, Robbie Eagles b Tyler Payne, Damian Slater & Mikey Broderick b Jude London & Mat Diamond, Michael Spencer b Madison Eagles, Funny Juan & Romantic Juan b Adam Hoffman & Jessica Troy, Carter Deams & Harley Wonderland and BelPierce & Tree Hugger Luchi, Mick Moretti b Unsocial Jordan, Caveman Ugg over Bigg Fudge & Kai Drake and Ricky South & Shazza McKenzie, Jack Bonza b Paris DeSilva. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • Jimmy Havoc works 1/12 in Melbourne, Australia for MCW, 1/13 in Sydney for PCW, 1/18 for SPW in New Zealand and 1/19 for WrestleRock in Melbourne.
  • Showdown Wrestling from yesterday in Melbourne, Australia: JXT b Thirfteen, DCT b Andy Roy, Mitch Waterman b Carlo Cannon, Cletus & Pitbull b Fox & Andy Phoenix, Syd Parker b Slade Mercer, Avary & Bianka b Erika Reid & Aria, Dowie James b The Enforcer. It was Enforcer's retirement match.
  • Pac vs. Kip Sabian headlines for British Wrestling Revolution on 12/21 at the North Promenade in Cleesthorpes. (thanks to Lee Wall)
  • House of Hardcore from last night in Philadelphia: Fallah Bahh b Ethan Page, Britt Baker b Angelina Love, Gangrel b Alex Reynolds, RJ City & David Arquette b Robert Strauss (Robbie E) & Tyrus (Sandman got involved and Bully Ray power bombed Arquette through a table), Nick Aldis b Brian Cage to keep the NWA title, Mark & Jay Briscoe b Rich Swann & Teddy Hart, Blue Meanie b Joey Ryan thumb wrestling match, Willie Mack b Shane Strickland to keep the House of Hardcore title. This was the show that Big Cass had the seizure at during intermission and he was rushed to the hospital. There was no update on him other then he was fully alert and talk with people as he was leaving. 
  • Showtime Championship Wrestling on 1/4 in St. Paul, MN at the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
  • AAW Last Call in LaSalle, IL from last night before 400 fans in their last show in that building: Kylie Rae b Savanna Stone to keep the women's title, Paco & Ryan Boz b Stephen Wolf & Connor Braxton, Sami Callihan b Mance Warner, Jessicka Havok won King of LaSalle Battle Royal, Darby Allin b Jimmy Jacobs in a street fight, David Starr & Curt Stallion & Jake Something b ACH & Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett, DJZ b Trevor Lee (who is headed to WWE) to win the AAW Heritage title, Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz & Trey Miguel b AR Fox & Myron Reed & Ace Romero, Brody King b Eddie Kingston to retain the AAW title.
  • EVE from yesterday in London: Jamie Hayter & Charli Evans & Sammi Jaynes & Night Shade b Kris Wolf & Sadie Gibbs & Miss Roxxy & Kanji, Shotzi Blackheart b Jinny, Jordynne Grace b Toni Storm (Storm's last match with the promotion), Session Moth Martina & Jetta & Laura DiMatteo & Erin Angel b Sierra Loxton & KellyAnne & Lana Austin & Mercedes Blaze in an elimiation match, Nina Samuels b Charlie Morgan. They announced wrestlers from Stardom are coming for their 6/30 show at York Hall in London. Storm got a big sendoff. (thanks to Shannon Walsh)
  • Andy Brown beat Tyler Bateman in the finals of a tournament to become the first Ground Zero champion in Imperial Beach, CA last night.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Chris Jericho becomes Undisputed Champion


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