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Daily Update: Jimmy Smith, WWE house shows, Impact

THE ROUND-UP

THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE house show in Amarillo, Impact TV tapings in Orlando and the NXT show in Fort Pierce to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING ON AXS TV AT 8 P.M. EASTERN TIME

  • Sho & Yoh vs. Young Bucks for IWGP jr. tag titles.
  • Marty Scurll vs. Kushida vs. Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP jr.title 
  • Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii from Long Beach this past summer in the U.S. title finals

If by any chance you didn't see it, the four-way on AXS tonight from the Tokyo Dome was incredible. That match and Goto vs. Suzuki, and to an extent Cody vs. Ibushi and the two tag title matches all got lost in the shuffle as they'd have all been best match on a large percentage of big shows last year.

CMLL TONIGHT FROM ARENA MEXICO AT 9:30 P.M.

  • Electrico & Stukita vs. Mercurio & Pequeno Nitro
  • Flyer & Pegasso & Stigma vs. Cancerbero & Raziel & Universo 2000 Jr.
  • Blue Panther Jr. & The Panther & Triton vs. Sagrado & Tiger & Virus
  • Titan vs. Rey Cometa
  • Blue Panther & Stuka Jr. & Valiente vs. Ephesto & Mephisto & Sam Adonis
  • Caristico & Diamante Azul & Marco Corleone vs. Kraneo & Shocker & El Terrible

We're looking for reports on Saturday from the Raw house show in Wichita Falls, TX, Impact TV tapings in Orlando, the Smackdown house show in Hidalgo, TX and NXT in Tampa to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

EVOLVE IPPV AT 6 P.M. EASTERN FROM LA BOOM IN QUEENS, NY

  • Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Darby Allin for the Evolve title
  • Keith Lee vs. Jaka
  • Austin Theory vs. Fred Yehi for FIP title
  • Tracy Williams & Dom Garrini vs. Timothy Thatcher & Walter
  • Matt Riddle vs. AR Fox

Sunday has Impact tapings in Orlando, WWE Raw in Waco, TX and Smackdown in Hidalgo, TX for a second night.

UFC DEBUTS SUNDAY AT THE SCOTTRADE CENTER IN ST. LOUIS

Fight Pass at 6 p.m.

  • Kyung Ho Kang vs. Guido Cannetti
  • Mads Burnell vs. Mike Santiago
  • J.J. Aldrich vs. Danielle Taylor
  • Irene Aldana vs. Talita Bernardo
  • Jessica Eye vs. Kalindra Faria

FS 1 at 8 p.m.

  • Thiago Alves vs. Zak Cummings
  • Matt Frevola vs. Marco Polo Reyes
  • James Krause vs. Alex White
  • Darren Elkins vs. Michael Johnson
  • Emil Meek vs. Kamaru Usman
  • Paige VanZant vs. Jessica Rose-Clark
  • Vitor Belfort vs. Uriah Hall
  • Jeremy Stephens vs. Doo Ho Choi

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.


FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

We'll have a new interview with Liam O'Rourke, who wrote the Brian Pillman biography, up on the site soon. 

Jimmy Smith was announced today as being signed by UFC for their broadcast team. Smith did a great job with Bellator and will be doing commentary on shows starting really soon. MMA Fighting reported he will be doing desk work next week at UFC 220 in Boston. 

No polls this weekend but it starts getting crazy next weekend with UFC & Bellator head-to-head and Fantastica Mania next weekend, and the following weekend of the 27th and 28th will have WWE Royal Rumble, UFC on FOX, NXT Takeover and two major New Japan events from Sapporo.

For WWE this weekend, they are doing an experiment running the Smackdown crew both Saturday and Sunday in Hidalgo, TX, which has been one of their best markets. They are offering a combined discount ticket like they do when they do two straight nights of TV in the same city. Aside from those injured or ill, the regular crew is all on the road. No John Cena or Brock Lesnar scheduled although they'll be on TV on 1/22. Randy Orton is working the Smackdown tour.

A correction from yesterday's update regarding the note on the proposed Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez rematch on 5/5. When talking about the scoring, while most thought Golovkin won, the controversy regarding Adelaide Byrd's scorecard is she had it 118-110 for Alvarez, which was an undefendable card. (thanks to Lee Wall)

The OVE vs. LAX barbed wire massacre match that we were told was the highlight of the Ottawa tapings will not be airing on Impact after all. The match will instead debut on Twitch. The story is that it was too brutal for television. 

WWE

  • WWE sent out a press release for the Mixed Match Challenge listing the 12 charities being represented by the different teams. The winning team gets $100,000 for their charity. In addition to the grand prize, each charity will receive $10,000.
  • On his podcast, Jerry Lawler said that he would be doing a second autobiography, picking up where the last one left off in 2001, as well as a book of his art work. He's working with historian and publisher Mark James on the projects. James has done all kinds of great history books on that territory working with Jim Cornette and Jerry Jarrett among others.
  • VIP packages for the 1/27 NXT Takeover show for $750 are now available. This includes VIP Suite seating, visits from NXT wrestlers in the suite, photo opportunities with the wrestlers, a group photo on the ramp, access to merchandise before the show stars and a VIP poster. 
  • Matt Hardy promotes tomorrow's house show in Wichita Falls, TX.

UFC/MMA

  • TUF Latin America winner Enrique Barzola vs. Matt Bessette has been added to the 1/20 show in Boston. Bessette has been fighting for the CES promotion.
  • Also new announced is a fight with Tim Williams, a former TUF competitor who has never fought in a UFC fight, facing Oskar Piechota on 2/18 in Austin, TX.
  • UFC and The Fight Network announced a deal for Italy media rights to UFC events. The Fight Network's Italian station, Ch 62 DTT will air prelims of the PPVs, all Fight Night shows and will air the PPVs 30 days after they take place, as well as The Ultimate Fighter reality show. The deal kicks off on Sunday with the St. Louis show.
  • Matt Hughes has been around the UFC show the past few days in St. Louis which would be the first show he's attended since his truck was hit by a train and he was in very serious condition months back. 
  • Bellator announced that the Rampage Jackson vs. Chael Sonnen heavyweight tournament fight would be the main event for the 1/20 show at the Forum in Los Angeles and that the Douglas Lima vs. Rory MacDonald welterweight title match would be the semi-main event. If you think about it, the last fight should be the one you think is going to draw the most TV viewers, and that would be Jackson vs. Sonnen if I was to bet on it.   
  • Bellator announced a Derek Campos vs. Patricky Pitbull Freire fight on 2/16 at the show in Uncasville, CT at the Mohegan Sun Casino. That's the show headlined by Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • There is a Mystery Vortekz PWG show tonight in Reseda, CA.
  • The reason for such a weak show tonight at Arena Mexico is because most of the top names are in Japan for Fantastica Mania, which started today. The three biggest shows of the tour are next weekend. The next show with the talent back will be on 1/26 at Arena Mexico.
  • This story has gotten media play today from the Drudge Report.
  • ROH announced Deonna Purrazzo has signed a non-exclusive contract. They are looking at signing several women to deals where they can work with other companies as opposed to exclusively work for ROH. 
  • Shane Missler from Port Richey, FL who won $450 million in a Mega Million lottery is evidently a big wrestling fan.
  • In this week's Green Lantern comic book, four Green Lanterns call themselves the Four Horsemen and then argued which one was the Ric Flair of the group. None of them stepped up to be the Steve "Mongo" McMichael. (thanks to Michael O'Brien)
  • Jordynne Grace vs. Viper has been added to the Eve show on 3/10 in London at Bethnal Green. 
  • Keith Lee vs. Ray Rowe and Juice Robinson vs. Dom Garrini headline for AIW on 1/29 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Cleveland.
  • A story on the latest in Edmonton with its ban on combat sports (which includes pro wrestling) and trying to get a provincial commission.
  • CWE from last night in Morden, Manitoba: Roy Gordon b Kevin Lee Davidson, Tony Kozina b Chayse Britton, Mr. Inkredible b Kevin O'Doyle, AJ Sanchez b Danny Duggan, Jacob Creed & Bobby Collins b Sydney Mason & Austin Arrow, Tyler Colton b Mentallo. There is another show with Jake Roberts tonight in Winnipeg.
  • Names currently listed for the 2/17 WrestleCircus show are Chelsea Green, Brian Cage, Scorpio Sky, Kevin Condron, Shane Taylor, Gregory James, Christi Jaynes, Leva Bates, Jordan Len-X and Colin Delaney.
  • Capital City Championship Combat on 1/20 in Oshawa, ONT at the Vanier Columbus Club is headlined by Kobe Dust vs Vanessa Kraven.
  • Brian Hoops previews tomorrow's NWL show in Kansas City.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: The Outsiders win WCW Tag Team titles


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 - Time is TBA (but probably 10 AM)
  • 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!