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Daily Update: Sting into WWE HOF, Royce Gracie investigation

We're looking for your thoughts on Friday night's TNA PPV show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to Dave Meltzer

We're also looking for live reports from Raw tonight in New Orleans.  Nothing has been announced for the show past the return of Brock Lesnar.

We're also looking for reports from the Lucha Underground tapings this past weekend to Dave Meltzer

Smackdown and Main Event tapings will be Tuesday in Lafayette, LA.


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! We have have clips of the post Summer Slam / Super China Buffet show featuring a lengthy Brent Kremen discussion, as well as clips from the X-Mas show. This is a soft launch but we will be releasing much more shortly.


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 11, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Cena out with shoulder injury, New Japan stars to WWE

In the biggest news week in a long time, we've got a double issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week, covering John Cena's injury, New Japan stars headed to WWE, a major feature looking at the year that past in pro wrestling and MMA and the year coming up, WWE direction for WrestleMania season, Tokyo Dome coverage, Rizin debut coverage, TNA changes and UFC 195.

Our lead story talks about John Cena's injury and the injury issues in WWE with more notes on the training program being used. All the news regarding wrestlers leaving New Japan, who's been contacted, different roles, the various schedules for different guys, other negotiations, what led to these moves, what New Japan needs to learn from this, affects on ROH, and other ideas for New Japan to break out of its standard mentality.

UFC in 2016, the success of the women's division, UFC business review, big fights on the horizon, the state of WWE in 2015 and 2016, different fan bases, rise of NXT, where New Japan has failed on the international scene, plus AAA, CMLL, Bellator, TNA and ROH prospects in 2016.

Full coverage of New Japan's Tokyo Dome show, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results, the big angles, Okada's prospects as the top star, the next big programs on the horizon, big show plans for 2016, the Fanstastica Mania tour lineup and thoughts, New Year's Dash coverage.

The changes to this year's Royal Rumble and scout the possibilities and big matches on the horizon for Mania, and the return of Chris Jericho.

WWE Network, John Cena on Peyton Manning and HGH, football coach trying to recruit WWE for Mania, portrayal of Joseph Maroon in the "Concussion", lots of details on new Dwayne Johnson projects, Lesnar's schedule, a look at 50/50 booking, Reaction to HHH circumventing his own angle, February NXT, WrestleMania plans, Jericho talks current interview style, WWE looking for new stars around the world, Dusty Rhodes tag team tournament, WWE injury updates, Austin TV show.

A complete look at the debut of the Rizin promotion, details on the ratings and how it compares to WWE & UFC, the Masato vs. Kid Yamamoto show in competition, boxing in competition, Spike TV numbers, Fedor's return, the freak show fights and what did and didn't work on the first two shows.

UFC 195, with match-by-match coverage, poll results and business regarding the show, a look at all the close decisions and why they went the way they did.

TNA's debut on Pop TV, the ratings, the title tournament, who was watching, the PPV show this week, the Mike Bennett debut, the James Storm return, the departure of Taryn Terrell and the good and bad of the latest relaunch.

PLUS MUCH MORE! CLICK HERE FOR A FULL WRESTLING OBSERVER PREVIEW

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

You can also order print issues at www.paypal.com directing funds to dave@wrestlingobserver.com 
 
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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.

MONDAY'S NEWS UPDATE

Congratulations to Sting for his being the lead inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame class for 2016.  

Bloody Elbow has a story about Royce Gracie being investigated by the IRS for having over $3 million wired from foreign banks to U.S. banks for various purposes including purchases of real estate.  The investigation also stated Royce Gracie filed tax returns from 2008 to 2011 showing minimal taxable income.  His family filed an earned income credit, which goes to low income working families, which was suspicious since he is a celebrity in MMA and his wife is a doctor.  The government is seeking $1.1 million in back taxes. 

Tonight's college football game is expected to be considerably down in the ratings from last year.  Still, given the game will outdraw every NFL game this season, Raw could be near record lows.  There is only one Raw after tonight before the Royal Rumble, so we should have all the key matches announced.  Really, we should have had most of them last week.

The Sports Business Daily had a report that the NFL is looking at splitting up its Thursday night package and selling it to two or three different networks next season and that the league may expand to 17 Thursday night games, which would greatly affect fall Smackdown ratings.

Tammy Sytch plea bargained to a guilty plea on three DUI charges stemming from a June 1 arrest and is scheduled for a 1/29 sentencing.

WWE

  • Jason Jordan & Chad Gable are backstage at Raw, although I'd expect if they were to wrestle it would be for a dark match.
  • The Stone Cold Podcast with Ric Flair (which was taped some time back) airs after Raw tonight.
  • Daddy's Home, with John Cena in a cameo, was No. 3 at the U.S. box office this past week with $15,015,465 in its third week out, and has topped $116 million domestic.  Sisters, where he had a bigger role, was No. 5, at $7,189,455 and has done just under $75 million in four weeks out.  In Australia, Sisters was No. 3 this weekend, Daddy's Home was No. 4 and Spectre (Bautista) was No. 11) (thanks to James Stanios)
  • Dwayne Johnson was a presenter last night for the Best Supporting Actress award at last night's Golden Globes.
  • Local promoters Evenko announced a 3/11 house show in Montreal, with tickets going on sale at Noon on Saturday, which will feature Brock Lesnar in his first match in Montreal since 2003.  What's notable is that is the day before the WWE Network special in Toronto.  Lesnar has not been announced for Toronto but it wouldn't make sense for Lesnar to work a Montreal house show but not a Toronto network special.  The names listed, the rest of which should almost surely be on the Toronto special, are Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Alberto Del Rio and Kevin Owens.  (thanks to Pat Laprade)
  • WWE stock was up 13 cents per share today to $16.43.
  • Gabe Sapolsky reported that William Regal would be coming to the Evolve show on 1/23 in Orlando "with a purpose."
  • The Wall Street Journal today had a small ad in the weekend edition looking for people who have archival items related to Gorgeous George, particularly photos or home movies for a documentary.  The e-mail address to contact is gorgeousgeo32415@gmail.com (thanks to Robert Steinberg)

UFC/MMA

  • UFC had wanted to announce the Conor McGregor vs. Rafael dos Anjos and Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate during halftime of the Packers-Redskins game, which drew 38.8 million (the most watched television show of any kind since last year's Super Bowl).  But apparently the deal wasn't closed in time, although all indications is the story that it was McGregor's side that held it up are incorrect and McGregor's deal is set.
  • Ticketmaster has just put up the page for UFC 197 listing it as 3/5 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.  The belief is that the hold-up, coming to terms with Rafael dos Anjos, has been worked out.  Tickets are listed as going on sale on 1/20.
  • There are two changes in Sunday's card in Boston.  Jimy Hettes is out of his featherweight fight with Charles Rosa, and taking the fight with no camp at all is Augusto Mendes (5-0), making his UFC debut.  Also out of Sunday's show is Abdul-Kerim Edlov, a light heavyweight, who was to face Francimar Barroso.  He's being replaced by Elvis Mutapcic (15-3), also making his UFC debut.  Mutapcic has been fighting for World Series of Fighting.
  • A note on Sunday's show is that it will start at the usual 8 p.m. with prelims, but it's only scheduled for four plus hours of television instead of five plus, so the main event should start around 11:40 p.m. instead of the usual 12:40 a.m. main event start on FS 1 shows.  To make up the difference, the show itself starts one hour earlier and there will be five Fight Pass bouts.
  • Here's a story on Conor McGregor pay.  While he will get an enormous payday, I think the predictions of 1.5 million buys on 3/5 sound high.
  • A story on the debut of Joey Gomez, who served overseas in the military, on Sunday's show
  • World Series of Fighting announced Justin Gaethje, the company's top star, will defend his lightweight title against tournament winner Brian Foster on 3/12 in Loveland, CO.  The show airs live on NBC Sports Network.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Paragon Pro Wrestling announced it would air on 1/16 on the MSG Network in a Saturday at 5 a.m. Eastern time slot.  PPW was formerly on Pop TV until Pop made its deal with TNA..
  • John Rocker of the Atlanta Braves, who has done some indie work in Georgia, was at the WrestleMerica TV tapings on Friday night in Barnesville, GA that A.J. Styles and Doc Gallows headlined.  Their next show is 2/20 called Night of Legends, headlined by the Rock & Roll Express.
  • Michael "Venom" Page, one of the guys Scott Coker has been trying to build in Bellator, who has a 9-0 record, will be in he semifinal on a 3/4 show in Thackerville, OK, where he faces Fernando Gonzalez (24-13).  The show is headlined by wrestling standouts Joe Warren vs. Darion Caldwell.
  • In a note regarding the update yesterday on Lucha Extreme not airing because KAIL TV moved its base.  It is true that KAIL did move its base but nobody knows why that would affect a taped wrestling show unless tapes were lost in the move.   
  • Maryland Championship Wrestling on 1/23 in  Joppa, MD with the Hardys, with King McBride vs. Matt Hardy, who will have Jeff in his corner.  Not sure how that works out with Matt's heel turn on TNA and feud with Jeff and when it airs.
  • Rock Solids Wrestling Brawl in the Falls on 2/13 in Dowling, ONT with Cody Deaner as the headliner at the Dowling Leisure Centre.   
  • AAW on 1/15 in Merrionette Park, IL at 115 Bourbon Street with Eddie Kingston vs Trevor Lee for the AAW title, Davey Vega vs. AR Fox for the AAW Heritage title, Sami Callihan vs. Chris Hero, Abyss vs. Rya Boz, Devin & Mason Cutter vs. Zero Gravity, Louis Lyndon vs. Drew Gulak plus Kongo Kong, Shane Hollister, Heidi Lovelace, Allysin Kay and more.
  • Smash vs. CZW takes place on Saturday night in Toronto at the Franklin Horner Community Centre with Sami Callihan (CZW) vs. Johnny Gargano (Smash), BLK Jeez & Pepper Parks & Mike Rollins (CZW) vs. Super Smash Brothers & Brent Banks (Smash), D.J. Hyde (CZW) vs. Scotty O'Shea (Smash), Jonathan Gresham (CZW) vs. Tyson Dux (Smash), Drew Gulak (CZW) vs. Tarik (Smash) and more.
  • CZW's 17th anniversary show is 2/13 in Voorhees, NJ at Flyers Skate Zone with Matt Tremont vs. Devon Moore in a ladder match for the CZW title and Pepper Parks & BLK Jeez defending the tag team titles against Dan Barry & Bill Carr, Lio Rush vs. Joey Janela and Speedball Mike Bailey vs. Sami Callihan. 
  • XICW on Saturday night in Clinton Township, MI:  Kyle Maverick b Jacob Mercury, Zach Gowen won over Gavin Quinn, Idris Abraham and Willie Watts, Joe Coleman b Jay Maynard, Joe Coleman won over Palmer Cruise and Xavier Walker, Little Guido & The Scarbonis b Jaimy Coxxx & Jeff Brooks & Dickie Bronson, Haki Zane b Kongo Kong-COR, Rhino b Bob Holly, DBA & Malcolm Monroe III b Dave Crist & Zachary Wents, Jake Something b Orlando Christopher (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • Nova Pro Wrestling on 1/31 in Springfield, VA at the Annandale Sports Center featuring Sonjay Dutt and the Bravado Brothers.
  • Premier Championship Wrestling from the weekend in  Winnipeg:  Shao Ming b Jacob Creed, Jay Walker b Adrian Barton, Chad Tatum b Michael Clark, Scott Justice b Alix Vanna, Mentallo b Antonio Scorpio, Jackie Lee b Alexander Prime.  Next show is 2/27 (thanks to Andrew Shallcross)

ON THIS DAY IN WORLD PRO WRESTLING HISTORY: Daily pro wrestling history (01/11): Midnight Express win World Class American Tag Team Titles