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Daily Update: Honor Rising, Roman Reigns, Liddell & Ortiz




We're looking for reports on today's 5 Star Wrestling show in Plymouth, UK, tonight's NXT shows in Mississauaga, ONT and St. Petersburg, FL to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.



  • Katsuya Kitamura & Toa Henare vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale
  • Jushin Liger & Delirious & Cheeseburger vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa & Hikuleo
  • Young Bucks vs. Juice Robinson & David Finlay
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. Flip Gordon vs. Kushida
  • Dalton Castle & Jay Lethal & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Jay White & Baretta & Chuckie T
  • Hirooki Goto vs Beer City Bruiser for Never Open weight title
  • Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi & Chase Owens vs. Cody & Marty Scurll & Hangman Page

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: WWE Announces the end of brand exclusive PPVs 

Less than two years into the current brand split, WWE announced last week that the era of brand-exclusive pay-per-views is coming to an end. Sunday's Elimination Chamber will be the last Raw-exclusive event, and Fastlane on March 11th will be the final SmackDown PPV. Starting with Backlash on May 6th, every PPV will feature wrestlers from both Raw and SmackDown. The schedule for 2018 initially listed five dual-brand shows (the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Money in the Bank, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series), five Raw-only shows, and four SmackDown ones.

WON NEWSLETTER: February 26, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Raw gauntlet match, brand exclusive PPVs ending, more 

A look at some of the longest matches in WWE history is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Then, look back to the Bruno Sammartino era and his matches with Waldo Von Erich and Pedro Morales, as well as look at the gauntlet match on Monday with notes on records.

Look at the reason behind WWE changing its PPV schedule, cutting back on the individual brand PPV shows and lowering the number of shows this year, the reasons behind it, the schedule for the rest of the year and an update on the next two PPV shows.

Read about the possible retirement of Keiji Muto and the latest issues facing Roman Reigns. Also look at past precedents in this situation.

There is a detailed look at New Japan's tour of Australia, including business notes, the highlights from all the shows and talks regarding returning.

Look at Donald Cerrone and career all-time records in UFC with coverage of Sunday's show from Austin, TX.

Read a major feature on the career of Jeff Jarrett, from his days working for his father, the move to WWF, what did and didn't work, the infamous holding up Vince for money and background of that story, his WCW run, why WWF never took him back, the starting and history of TNA and why WWF is putting him in its Hall of fame.

Read notes on the death of Tom Zenk and how it relates to an entire era of wrestling.

This issue has more on the release of Rich Swann and his schedule, an update on the cruiserweight title tournament, a unique match added to the next Madison Square Garden show, executive positions opened, SummerSlam notes, The Miz's baby shower, where WWE holds live events, WWE market value, Ronda Rousey honored and the most-watched shows over the past week on the WWE Network.

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WON BACK ISSUE: January 29, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Royal Rumble review, Shawn Michaels to return

In what was one of the best PPVs in the history of the WWF, the company gave a big tease for the eventual Rock vs. Steve Austin match which at this point still looks to be the headliner at Wrestlemania, putting Austin over in the Rumble. The show, featuring some strong highs and only a few lows, featured an early match of the year candidate in the Chris Jericho IC title win over Chris Benoit in a ladder match.


The first major program built out of Being the Elite, with Cody vs. Kenny Omega, has its first meeting late tonight (early tomorrow) at Korakuen Hall with a six-man tag main event of Cody & Marty Scurll & Hangman Page vs. Omega & Kota Ibushi & Chase Owens. There is also a Cody & Scurll vs. Omega & Ibushi tag team match on the second show of the tour which takes place on Saturday in Japan.

Film maker Jon Bravo who has released a series of videos regarding records from alleged steroid distributor Richard Rodriguez, who is currently in prison, and has tied things into Roman Reigns, has claimed that he has proof that Reigns drug test failure in 2016 was from products he got from Rodriguez. Reigns has claimed he never knew or heard of Rodriguez. Bravo also said Rodriguez's clients included 15 other current and former WWE performers.

The Edmonton Community Services Committee yesterday voted to lift the city's ban on combat sports. This will now go to the city council for approval. After the death of Tim Hague, the city banned all combat sports, which included pro wrestling, through the end of this year. They have since rescinded the ban on pro wrestling but kept it up for all other combat sports. (thanks to Mike Jenkinson)

There has been talk all week regarding a Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz fight. Ortiz said he brought it up to UFC, who then told him Liddell wouldn't get cleared. Liddell said he believes he would be cleared and is up for it but he won't believe it until Ortiz actually signs a contract.

All fans in attendance at Tuesday's Smackdown show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles will get pre-sale codes to purchase Survivor Series, NXT Takeover, Raw and Smackdown shows over Survivor Series weekend. Survivor Series tickets will go on sale to the public on 3/16. Announced for Tuesday is A.J. Styles vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn for the WWE title.

Here is a clip of the much-talked about Brian Cage vs. Tessa Blanchard match. 


  • Lou Thesz, Pedro Morales, Bearcat Wright, announcer Dick Lane, Chavo & Mando & Hector Guerrero and The Assassins (Jody Hamilton & Tom Renesto) were elected to the Los Angeles Wrestling Hall of Fame.
  • Matt Riddle debuted on today's 5 Star Wrestling show in Plymouth, UK and beat Mark Haskins to win the Tap or Snap championship. Rey Mysterio Jr. & Rob Van Dam & Grado & Moose beat Zack Gibson & Rampage Brown & the tag team of Max Money when Mysterio pinned Gibson with a splash off the top of Moose's shoulders.
  • Austin Idol talks about the plane crash that ended the career of Buddy Colt and killed Bobby Shane, that he was one of the passengers on. The plane crash was 43 years ago this week.
  • Showtime Sports announced a new talk show today called "Below the Belt," hosted by Brendan Schaub. It will be a twice monthly 30 minute show which debuts on 2/28 digitally. Among the guests on early episodes will be Steve Austin, Joe Rogan and Paulie Malignanaggi. Other dates for new shows on 3/14, 3/28, 4/11, 4/18, 5/2 and 5/16. Compilations of these shows will also be airing on television on Showtime Extreme.
  • Anthony Carelli (Santino Marella) talks about his judo background.
  • Carelli will be in Dusseldorf this weekend for the Dusseldorf Grand Slam judo tournament.
  • Former Bellator bantamweight champion Marcos Galvao is no longer with the promotion according to a report by MMA Fighting.
  • Garza Jr. vs. Ultimo Ninja has been added to the 3/8 MLW show in Orlando at Gilt Nightclub.
  • Ellsworth is trying to do an Andy Kaufman by proclaiming himself the intergender champion of the world and challenging women on independent shows as his gimmick.
  • MCW on Saturday in Hollywood, MD at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Company with Jim Duggan, Tammy Sytch, Swoggle, Adam Rose, Joey Mercury and others all appearing.
  • River City Wrestling on 3/2 in Kirby, TX at Turner Club features Abyss vs. Michael Faith, plus Jeff Jarrett will appear as a referee.
  • The Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame in Waterloo, IA announced a show the weekend of this year's induction ceremony with the Hall of Fame Classic tournament on 7/27 in Waterloo at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center. In the tournament will be Austin Aries, Air Wolf, Bob Holly, Brian Cage, Colt Cabana, Curt Stallion and DJZ.
  • CZW has four shows over the next two months starting tomorrow night in Asbury Park, NJ at the House of Independents at 572 Cookman Ave at 8 p.m. with Rickey Shane Page vs. Matt Tremont, The Rep vs. Private Party, Alex Reynolds vs. John Sliver and more. They also have shows on 3/10 in Voorhees, NJ at the Colossal Sports Academy, 4/7 at the Sugar Mill in New Orleans a 3 p.m. with Jeff Cobb vs. Joe Gacy, Will Ospreay, Sami Callihan, Joey Ryan, Dezmond Xavier, MJF, Page and 4/14 in Voorhees with Tessa Blanchard, David Starr, Dan Barry and more.
  • CWE Legends of Wrestling and Professional Sports convention on Saturday in Winnipeg has Fred Ottman (Tugboat) 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Johnny Devine 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Greg Valentine 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., A Johnny Devine Q&A from 11:30 a.m. to Noon, Jim Brunzell 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Ottman 1 to 1:30 p.m., Barry Windham 1:30 to 4 p.m., Valentine 2 to 2:30 p.m., Simmons 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tito Santana 3 to 5:30 p.m., Devine 3 to 6 p.m., Brunzell Q&A 3:30 to 4 p.m., Windham Q&A 4:30 to 5 p.m., Simmons Q&A 5 to 5:30 p.m., Santana Q&A 5:30 to 6 p.m., and there will be a live card at 7 p.m.
  • Billy Gunn (Monty Sopp) is available for wrestling and autograph session bookings through Bill Behrens at showbis@aol.com. Gunn is based in Orlando. Also available is Matt Sydal, Delirous, Mecha Wolf 450 out of Orlando, as well as Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman, Scott Hall, Jim Ross, DDP, Eric Bischoff, Al Snow, Tommy Dreamer, Flip Gordon, Mike Posey, Corey Hollis, Hurricane Helms, Moose, Tessa Blanchard, Glacier, Stevie Richards, James Ellsworth, as well as outside the U.S. and Ontario bookings for ROH stars Young Bucks, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Jay Lethal.
  • WrestleCircus announced for 3/24 in Austin, TX will have Tessa Blanchard vs. Chelsea Green for the women's title plus Teddy Hart, Andrew Everett, Zachary Wentz, Shane Strickland, Myron Reed, Dezmond Xavier, Leva Bates, JT Dunn and more.
  • Dynamite Cup on 6/23 in Lafayette, IN at the YMCA Gym.
  • Bellator on 3/3 has an event in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center with Dan Henderson and Roy Nelson signing autographs from 2-3:30 p.m. and fights at 4 p.m. in conjunction with Monster Energy Supercross in Atlanta.
  • IWF Pro Wrestling in Brockport, NY at the Elks Lodge tomorrow night.
  • NWL is taping television tomorrow night in Overland Park, KS with Jeremy Wyatt vs. Eddie Kingston for the NWL title, Gary Jay vs. Maverick and more.
  • Femmes Fatales on Saturday night in Ottawa and the Vanier Columbus Club with Mercedes Martinez vs. Vanessa Kraven, Tessa Blanchard vs. Britt Baker, Jessicka Havok vs. Samantha Heights and more.
  • Pro Wrestling Eclipse announced its 3/10 show in Oshawa is off since WWE is running the same night in the city. They will be running 3/18 with Teddy Hart. 
  • Nova Pro Wrestling on 3/10 in Annandale, VA at 3:30 p.m. at the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Sting defeats Hogan to win vacant WCW title


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