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​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 19, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WWE 2017 earnings report, Rey Mysterio appearing for NJPW

The most complete look at WWE business for 2017 is the lead story in the new double issue of the Wrestling Observer this week. Look at every category of WWE business, including why profits were down even with record revenues, how much the company really makes off network subscriptions, why profits will almost surely be up big next year, how much the company's annual loan payments are, changes in the network and PPV business, and how many people add and cancel subs.

This issue addresses the story regarding the end of brand-specific PPVs, how much Vince McMahon personally made in cash from his dividends this year, as well as how much stock and the value of it that HHH, Stephanie, Kevin Dunn, Michelle Wilson and George Barrios have. Vince McMahon talks about if his position in WWE changes with the XFL launch, HHH and Stephanie talk about the addition of Ronda Rousey, exactly how much interest there was on Rousey at the rumble, WWE Network numbers, predictions for numbers next quarter, and the paradox of social media, WWE network and revenue.

Look at stats that are really fake and why, where revenue comes from as well as WWE profits and losses every year since 1994.

Also, look at the next three WWE PPV shows, with what is announced and other directions.

Read about New Japan's next major show, the ROH tour, Rey Mysterio in New Japan, as well as the title picture.

This issue discusses the New Beginnings in Osaka, with notes on business, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results from the show.

There are also notes on the history of the longest running pro wrestling TV show still in existence, and it beats Raw by 25 years.

Find out about wrestlers renewing deals, Rob Gronkowksi, WWE in talks for major overseas show, WWE & Mysterio update, Dwayne Johnson sets a personal record, why a WWE main roster performer was booked on an indie show this past weekend, the Booker T and Corey Graves situation, and lots of WWE injury updates.


ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to Dave Meltzer, or by using PayPal directing funds to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com
 
Rates in the United States are $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to moonsault@mediaplusint.com. For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52. 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 choose one free classic issue, or two free classic issues with a 40-issue subscription.

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.


WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE

  • A big episode of NXT will air on the WWE Network tonight. The show has the Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Johnny Gargano rematch from TakeOver: Philadelphia, with the storyline being that Almas’ title and Gargano’s NXT career are on the line in this match. Nikki Cross vs. Vanessa Borne and Velveteen Dream vs. No Way Jose will also air on the episode.
  • WIth Charlotte Flair & Bobby Roode defeating Nia Jax & Apollo on Mixed Match Challenge last night, all of the second round matchups for the tournament are set. Sasha Banks & Finn Balor will face Asuka & The Miz next week, Alexa Bliss & Braun Strowman take on Naomi & Jimmy Uso after that, and Charlotte & Roode will be matched up with Lana & Rusev.
  • Aiden English wrote a tribute to Eddie Guerrero after visiting a street mural of Guerrero in El Paso, Texas. English is married to Guerrero’s daughter Shaul.
  • While the SmackDown Tag Team title match for Fastlane was announced as The Usos vs. New Day, Chad Gable followed up on last night's storyline by posting a video where he pointed out that the number one contender’s match on SmackDown wasn’t fair.
  • Rusev tweeted about he and Lana not being on SmackDown for two straight weeks: “In case you missed us the past 2 weeks on #SmackDownLIVE here we are. Your chants are ‘DULY’ noted”
  • The Usos and The Young Bucks would both like to face each other at some point in their careers.
  • Fast Company named WWE as its third most innovative company in Hollywood, coming in behind Marvel Studios and Netflix.
  • Video Insider has an article about WWE embracing streaming platforms.

Pro Wrestling

UFC/MMA

Today in Professional Wrestling History: WCW SuperBrawl III


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