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Daily update: Full Royal Rumble Card, McGregor UFC 197 press conference

We now have the full card for Sunday’s WWE Royal Rumble PPV / Special Event:

Pre-show: Darren Young and Damien Sandow vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Ascension vs. Mark Henry and Jack Swagger

The New Day (c) vs. The Usos for the Tag Team Championship

Charlotte (with Ric Flair) (c) vs. Becky Lynch for the Divas Championship

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Kalisto for the United States Championship

Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Championship in a Last Man Standing match

The Royal Rumble for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship where Roman Reigns (c) will be the first entrant


TV tonight:

No UFC programming on Fox Sports 1 due to college basketball commitments.

NXT at 8:00 p.m. ET on WWE Network is headlined by Samoa Joe vs. Johnny Gargano.

ROH at midnight on COMET has a main event of Adam Cole & Michael Bennett vs. The Young Bucks vs. reDRagon.

If you've ever wanted to WATCH our radio shows here on the site, check out our new Youtube page! No full video shows, but lots of video clips, full free audio shows that you can tell your friends about, and much more to come! Make sure you subscribe today!  


Figure Four Weekly

Figure Four Weekly 1/4/2016: More on Gawker motioning to dismiss Hulk Hogan lawsuit

More information on Gawker's motion to dismiss Hulk Hogan's sex tape lawsuit, tons more.



Wrestling Observer Newsletter

The Latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter: January 18, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: NJPW strips Nakamura, Sting to HOF

An update on Shinsuke Nakamura, WWE and New Japan Pro Wrestling is the lead story of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer.  His departure, not losing the IC title in the ring, the decision making surrounding it, Nakamura's final matches in Japan and his start in the U.S., New Japan's next two PPV shows, and the future of the IC title.

Nick Diaz's updated suspension, Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler, and the welterweight division title situation.  UFC 197 through 200 with talk about what is next for Ronda Rousey, Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier, MMA in New York, what huge publicity coup UFC had that fell apart, is UFC too confident about high ticket prices, and a number of future main events.  The plans for C.M. Punk's debut.

Lots of WrestleMania updates, including what is on the books and other key matches.  We've got more on John Cena's surgery, updates on a number of WWE injuries, a look at the first Smackdown on USA, more on brain injuries to fighters and wrestlers, Notes on the next NXT tapings, new WWE camps, double standards, Linda McMahon update, NXT weekend, and football background of two NXT stars.

Rundowns of all the WWE & NXT house shows over the weekend and business notes.  Updates on Royal Rumble.

A feature on Sting and his career, from growing up through Memphis, through WCW and TNA and his final run in WWE.  How he got started, his first break, the Ric Flair match that made him a star, when he was originally going to win the NWA title and why it was delayed, what happened when he was champion, the Hogan vs. Sting disaster, how he ended up in TNA.

Full coverage of TNA's tapings and PPV, contract issues, the Matt Hardy situation and what is the short-term future for television.

Yoel Romero and his potential test failure and how this changes the middleweight division.  Romero's background, fighter reactions to his test failure.

The future of the AAA Mega championship and the current plans for Guerra de Titanes, the first major show of 2016 in AAA.



You can also order the print Observer right now and get it delivered to your door via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to Dave Meltzer

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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 get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. 
Click here for the most requested Wrestling Observer back issues.

Check out the latest Online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: November 23, 1998 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WWF Survivor Series review, Rock becomes Corporate Champion
A full review of WWF Survivor Series with The Rock becoming the Corporate Champion, more WCW woes, plus tons of news.


If you didn’t see McGregor today at the UFC 197 press conference, enjoy.

WWE RAW ratings get no help from lack of NFL competition.

There are only 18 participants announced thus far for the Royal Rumble, with the betting favorite HHH not even listed, so expect some surprises as usual

Jerry Millen, VP of Rizin Fighting, is hinting that Randy Couture may come out retirement to face Fedor Emilianenko on a future show. He claims that they were in talks for Couture to be the New Year’s Eve opponent but he needed more time to get ready.


  • The stipulation of the pre-show match is that the winning team gets to enter the Rumble, and then be promptly eliminated most likely
  • The Condemned 2 starring Randy Orton is available for purchase now. I’ve heard it’s a decent action movie but not at good as Condemned 1 starring Steve Austin
  • John Cena posted a photo of AJ Styles on his Instagram account today leading to speculation of a possible debut at the Rumble; or perhaps Cena is just getting back at the internet for memeing him into shoulder surgery
  • Our own David Bixenspan has a huge longform article on the front page of SBNation.com today about how the Big Show spent his time in 2007 between WWE runs training for a professional boxing career.
  • If you missed it last night on Total Divas, Nikki Bella did not in fact leave John Cena for Dolph Ziggler.
  • From deadline.com, The Rock was named Number 1 international box office star of 2015, starring in movies that made a combine 1.488 billion dollars last year (San Andreas and Fast 7), right at the level of the recent Powerball lottery jackpot.
  • Eva Marie talks to Ted Gruber at Fansided.


  • Mike Tyson will be fighting in the UFC… as a playable character in the EA Sports UFC 2 video game. If you pre-order the game, you will be able to get Tyson immediately along with bonus downloads of Kazushi Sakuraba and Bas Rutten. If not, you’ll have to unlock Tyson in career mode. It’s unclear whether or not you’ll be able to unlock his pigeon collection. The game is out March 15th and available for pre-order now.
  • Lebron James finds Conor McGregor inspiring. The world’s greatest NBA player instagrammed a quote from arguably the world’s greatest UFC fighter today.
  • Darren Elkins vs. Chas Skelly has been signed and will take place at UFC 197 on March 5. Tickets for that card (McGregor vs. Dos Anjos) go on sale January 22.
  • UFC announced today that the 3rd season of TUF Latin America will be taped in Argentina after the first two seasons were filmed in Las Vegas. This is part of the UFC’s plans to run events in South American countries other than Brazil, according to Jamie Pollock, UFC Senior Vice President in charge of Latin American content.
  • Ariel Helwani’s new show ‘In The Clinch’ that focused on Matt Serra debuted Tuesday on Fox Sports 1. Good debut effort. It’s being repeated throughout the week on Fox Sports 2.
  • Marlon Moraes will defend his WSOF Bantamweight Title against Joseph Barajas at Next Level Sports Complex in Garden Grove, Calif. on Saturday, Feb. 20, which airs live on NBCSN at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.


  • Gawker is selling part of the company to Columbus Nova Technology Partners as part of a fundraising effort in light of Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against the company. This is the first time that founder Nick Denton has brought on outside investors.
  • Joey Ryan is trying to capitalize on Tammy Sytch’s adult film offers by publicly trying to divert her to his sponsor.
  • Timothy Thatcher is off this week’s EVOLVE show due to a staph infection. Sami Callihan will now team with Zack Sabre Jr. in the tag team tournament.
  • Jake Roberts, Nick “Magnus” Aldis, and Mickie James are doing a seminar in Richmond, Virginia in March.
  • Former pro wrestling Joe Blanchard will be inducted as a distinguished member of the 2015 Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame this summer in Waterloo, IA. Father of Tully, Joe worked in the Calgary, Hawaii, and Texas territories in a 25-year career that also included the founding of Southwest Championship Wrestling.
  • Due to unforeseen circumstances, Infinity Pro and its partners are forced to postpone January 30's 10th anniversary event. Refunds via PayPal have already been processed. Information on our return will be provided at InfinityProWrestling.com and facebook.com/ipwbloomington.
  • This week’s Fire Pro Podcast takes a look at the May 3, 2000 WCW Thunder where there were no referees, so everyone had to count their own pins, and lots and lots and lots of brawling. It also featured the returns of  Bret Hart and Randy Savage in WCW, who showed up once then were never seen again. It was really weird. They also review WCW Great American Bash 2000, which was somehow even worse, here.

ON THIS DAY IN WORLD PRO WRESTLING HISTORY: Daily pro wrestling history (1/20): Flair vs. McMahon, Misawa wins Triple Crown

I normally try not to list off everyone who helped with the daily update today because so many of us do and it would be hard to list everyone every day.  But thanks to David Bixenspan, Paul Fontaine and Brian Hoops for the help today, and Bryan too I guess...