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Daily Update: UFC 221 fallout, Romero, Omega & WrestleCon

THE ROUND-UP

THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're doing two polls this weekend, one on the New Beginning in Osaka and the other on UFC from Perth, Western Australia. You can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

We're also looking for reports from today's WWE shows with Raw in Fresno with John Cena on the card and Smackdown in Oakland to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

Raw will be Monday in San Jose featuring Apollo Crews vs. Matt Hardy vs. Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt for the final spot in the Elimination Chamber. There will also be a Smackdown house show in Stockton.

Tuesday will be a Smackdown / 205 Live and Mixed Match Challenge taping in Bakersfield. Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin for a spot in the Fast Lane title match, plus Elias & Bayley vs. Rusev & Lana and cruiserweight title tournament first round matches with Akira Tozawa vs. Mark Andrews and Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese are all scheduled.


​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Can a reboot salvage 205 Live?

The most newsworthy week in recent WWE history capped off with Ronda Rousey appearing at the end of the Royal Rumble on Sunday night. Instead of participating in the women's Royal Rumble match itself, Rousey closed the show with an appearance that initially did little to reveal what's next for her in WWE. She came out to "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett, her old UFC walkout song, while wearing one of Roddy Piper's leather jackets. 


WON NEWSLETTER: February 12, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Wrestlemania plans, All Japan streaming service

An update on the road to WrestleMania, including the future prospects for Brock Lesnar, the story behind Ronda Rousey, changes this past week and what they mean for upcoming shows and the next three PPV cards being looked at is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Look at WWE vs. UFC for Lesnar, the contract term, the comparisons, why his leaving was a given at one point and isn't right now, changes in the Chamber match and different directions things can go. 

Read about the XFL, the weak heel side of WWE, Rey Mysterio Jr. talks WWE return, Takeover for WrestleMania card, Dusty Rhodes tag team tournament, notes on 2019 WrestleMania, changes to 205 Live, storyline stemming from a crazy real-life story, another new Dwayne Johnson project, success of Jumanji, Raw U.K. numbers, debut of Ricochet in WWE, several injury updates, 205 Live touring, advance ticket sales for shows, movie with WWE star, plus some notes on people training this past week at the Performance Center tryouts.

Look at All Japan's first show of the year and its Champion Carnival tournament, and streaming service.

Find out about the injury to Max Holloway and how UFC has shuffled around booking, what major match is now out the window, who is Yana Kunitskaya and why is she main eventing while having never fought in UFC, what prior ideas UFC had and notes on other major fights the company has tried to put together.

The UFC show in Belem, Brazil is reviewed with thoughts on Mario Yamasaki as referee, weight cutting, and lot of business notes on the show including the most intriguing business note of all when it comes to television and streaming.

This issue covers the debut show of 5 Star Wrestling on Freesports, looking at the matches and direction, as well as the situation with Booker T and Corey Graves as well.


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WON BACK ISSUE: January 22, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Fusient Media to buy WCW, sale of UFC, more

After nearly a full year of various rumors, negotiations, and several near finalized deals, the sale of World Championship Wrestling by Time Warner to Fusient Media Ventures was officially announced on 1/11, literally hours before the announcement that the final step of the Time Warner/AOL merger had been cleared. Fusient Media Ventures, a one-year-old company headed by Brian Bedol and Stephen Greenberg, who are best known for starting up the Classic Sports Network, and then selling it to ESPN where it became ESPN Classics, for $175 million, is the parent company. 


SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

Early indicators for last night's UFC aren't good. UFC 221 was the 8th most searched Internet term with 100,000 and Yoel Romero was 9th, also at 100,000. Last night they were combined at 200,000 and listed at fourth. But of late, most UFCs do 500,000 and the last two topped 1 million, so this had far less interest.

Romero thought he had suffered a broken leg in his fight with Luke Rockhold, and went to the hospital after. He said he thought it was broken after a low kick. But later word after he had been in the hospital was the injury wasn't as bad as he had feared and he can't be back training in a few weeks.

The Cauliflower Alley Club announced that Shawn Michaels would receive the Art Abrams / Lou Thesz Lifetime Achievement Award at their reunion on 5/2 at the Gold Coast in Las Vegas.

A Kenny Omega match at a WrestleCon show in New Orleans will be announced shortly and I was told it will be a big surprise.

New Japan has announced several new matches for Australia next week:

  • 2/16 in Adelaide: Evil & Sanada vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa for the IWGP tag titles and Cody vs. Rocky Romero
  • 2/17 in Melbourne: Minoru Suzuki vs. Jonah Rock, Juice Robinson & Toa Henare & Kushida vs. Young Bucks & Cody, Jay White vs. Slex and Lance Archer vs. Elliot Sexton.
  • 2/19 in Perth: Young Bucks vs. Juice Robinson & Toa Henare, Will Ospreay vs. Cody vs. Robbie Eagles

WWE

  • With all the talk in recent weeks about the screwjob in the 1997 Survivor Series match with Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels of late, Vince McMahon's first screwjob on a big scale is on the WWE network under Home Video Classics on "Grand Slams," at the 12:45 mark, as they showed the Wendi Richter vs. Spider Lady (Fabulous Moolah) finish from Madison Square Garden where Richter had the title taken from her without being told ahead of time, and then Richter quit the promotion and never returned until being put in their Hall of Fame. (thanks to David Wolf)
  • TMZ ran a quote from Mojo Rawley about good friend Rob Gronkowski and WWE, saying "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when." Rawley then said he can't speak for Gronkowski, who has not committed to returning to the New England Patriots in 2018.
  • Bobby Roode building up a show in LaCrosse, WI. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)

UFC

  • Livinha Souza, who was scheduled to face Jessica Aguilar on the 2/18 show in Austin, TX, pulled out due to a hand injury.

MISCELLANEOUS

    • Deonna Purrazzo beat Holidead on Friday night in Concord, NC in a first round match in the Women of Honor tournament. This took place before the main show.

    • The 2005 Tag Team of the Year, America's Most Wanted of Chris Harris & James Storm were reunited last night on an ASWA show. Ethan Wright beat Chris Harris after distraction from JJ Deville and Benjamin Bartholomew. Harris then said he was bringing in an old friend to face Deville & Bartholomew on 4/7 in Mansfield, OH, and said it was Storm. The match takes place at the Malabar School Gym.
    • Preston City Wrestling from yesterday in Preston, UK before 800 fans which included a WWE vs. Impact match. Singles tournament: Dean Allmark b Adam Brooks, Apollo Crews b Iestyn Rees, Moose b Sheikh El Shan, Zack Sabre Jr. b Matt Riddle, Dean Allmark b Zack Sabre Jr., Apollo Crews b Moose, Dean Allmark b Apollo Crews to win tournament, Tel Banham & Big T Justice b Joey Hayes & Danny Hope, Matthew Brooks & Sugar Dunkerton b Henchman, Charlie Sterling & Ashton Smith b Lionheart & Sha Samuels, T-Bone & Rampage Brown b Mark Coffey & Jackie Polo, Tel Banham & Big T Justice b Matthew Brooks & Sugar Dunkerton, T-Bone & Rampage Smith b Tel Barnham & Big T Justice to win tournament, Matt Riddle b Adam Brooks, Rhio & Joey Hayes & Danny Hope & Arcadian b Jennie B & Iestyn Rees & Sheikh El Sham & Mark Alexander Price. Best matches were Riddle's matches with Sabre and Brooks. (thanks to Jan Buxton)
    • CZW drew a sellout at the Colossal Sports Academy in Voorhees, NJ for its 19th anniversary show last night: Brandon Kirk b Joey Janela (they tore the house down), Dan Barry & Alex Reynolds won over John Silver, Alexander James, Ace Austin and Tyler Murphy, MJF b Alex Colon, Ace Romero b Greg Excellent in a dog collar match, Anthony Gagnone b Joe Gacy, MJF won CZW Rumble to get a title shot at Rickey Shane Page's CZW title, The Rep b Angsty Ellis & Handsome Charlie, Rickey Shane Page & Penta 0M & Rey Fenix b Jake & Dave Crist & Sami Callihan when Page pinned Callihan after a Canadian Destroyer and choke backbreaker. Next show is 2/23 in Asbury Park, NJ at the House of Independents with Page vs. Matt Tremont for the title, Dezmond Xavier vs. Jonathan Gresham and more. They also run 4/7 at WrestleCon in New Orleans will Will Ospreay, David Starr, Jeff Cobb, Joey Janela, Joey Ryan and Rickey Shane Page. Best of the Best will be on 4/14. (thanks to Bob Magee)
    • Kevin Eck talked to Hurricane Helms about doing the Royal Rumble.
    • There is a pro wrestling related cartoon.
    • CWE King of Transcona tournament from Friday night in Winnipeg: Petey Brown b Tasty Travis, Kevin O"Dole b Math Magician, Mike Mission b Cory Diamond, Danny Duggan b Tod Bullet, Cliff Corleone b Wildman Firpo, A.J. Sanchez b Austin Arrow, Kat Von Heez b Kevin Cannon, Rob Stardom b Jay Lanza, Adam Knight b Agent Red, A.J. Sanchez won Battle Royal to with all the winners to become King of Transcona. Next show is 3/9 at Rookie's Sports Bar.
    • United Wrestling Coalition on 3/10 for its 22nd Anniversary show at Kelly's Banquet Hall in Wrightstown, NJ at 7 p.m. There will also be a Hall of Fame ceremony.
    • Smash Wrestling announced its biggest show of the year on 8/26 at 4 p.m., at the Phoenix Concert Hall in Toronto leading up to SummerSlam.
    • New World Rising iPPV from Friday night in Parma, OH from Cleveland Knights Championship Wrestling, with Eric Bischoff and Jessica Eye. Justin Dynamite b Cisco Silver, R.c. Dupree b Shane InYaFace, Lightning Bolt Johnson b Funky White Boy, Shawn Phoenix b Tracy Smothers, Tokyo Monster Kahagas b Ricky Reyes, Vanilla Vargas b Solo Darling, Fenomeno BJ & Hiram Tua b Jaxon Argos & Jack Pollock, Star Roger b Mike Mendoza to keep CWA world title, Barbarian & Shawn Phoenix (subbing for Warlord) b Damien Angel & Eddie Taurus, Angel Fashion won ladder match over Nazareno, Justin Dynamite, Brandon Edwards, Seth Allen, Sonny Vice and JD Smooth, J-Rocc b Kongo Kong with help from Jessica Eye of UFC after Eric Bischoff made it a no DQ match. Bischoff announced Roger vs. Phoenix as the main event or another iPPV on 4/13 and also talked about J-Rocc vs. Shane Taylor and that Ron Simmons will appear. (thanks to Jeff Gorman)
    • All Star Promotion from Friday night in Leamington England: James Mason b Ringo Ryan, Max Moran b Dan Main, Screwface b Tiger Kid, Tony Spitfire b Joe Bailey, Oliver Grey & Dean Allmark b Gangrel & Harlem Bravado. Joe Bailey is Bailey Matthews, the 21 year old son of William Regal. (thanks to Tony Earnshaw)
    • Stardom results from yesterday in Tokyo: Miranda & Hanan b Ruaka & Kaori Yoneyama, Natsuko Tora & Jungle Kyona b Nicole Savoy & Xia Brookside, Starlight Kid & Shiki Shibusawa b Konami & Hiromi Mimura, Mayu Iwatani & Tam Nakano & Mary Apache d Kagetsu & Hana Kimura & Sumire Natsu, Momo Watanabe & HZK b Io Shirai & AZM. The second match set up Kyona challenging Savoy for the Shimmer title and Tora challenging Brookside for the IPW title. (thanks to Jake Koch)
    • FIST Combat on Friday night in San Diego: Matt Vandagriff b Maximus, Sho Nuff b Millennial, Ruby Raze b Randy Order, True Grit d Pulp Fistin, Biggie Biggz b Shark, Ron McDonald b B-Boy in fans bring the weapons, Eli Everfly won three way over Teddy Hart and Biagio Crescenzo. (thanks to Jake Koch)
    • C4 Championship Wrestling on 3/17 in Ottawa, ONT at the Vanier Columbus Club.
    • CWO on 3/18 at The Rockpile in Toronto.
    • A show called Foley in Greektown takes place on 3/18 in Toronto at 310 Danforth Avenue. Space Monkey and Laurel Van Ness also appear.
    • Battlarts Pro Wrestling on 2/17 in Mississauga, ONT at the Dan Kolov Arena.
    • Bodyslam! Pro Wrestling in Hasted, Denmark yesterday: Shooter Schjotker b Sonne, Rick Dominick b Zach White, Vasyl b Hombre Enmascarado, Steinbolt b Yuri Konsinski, Michael Fynne b Vecino, Betty Rose b Sixt, Tanik b Peter Olisander.  Next show is 2/17 with former UFC fighter Nicolas Dalby as guest enforcer plus appearances by Flash Morgan Webster and Chris Brookes. (thanks to Kristian Buus Nilesen)
    • Celeste Bonin, who was Kaitlyn in WWE, wrestled last night against Rachael Ellering for Coastal Championship Wrestling in Florida.
    • wXw Dead End from Friday night in Hamburg, Germany before 550 fans. It will be up on their streaming service Monday at 8 p.m.: Leon van Gasteren b Tyler Colton, Julian Pace b Veit Muller, Walter & Timothy Thatcher b Francis Kaspin & Jay Skillet, Jurn Simmons b Mike Schwarz, Lucky Kid b Ivan Kiev, Toni Storm won four-way over Session Moth Martina, Killer Kelly and Veda Scott, Bobby Gunns b Absolute Andy to keep the Shotgun title, John Klinger b Mike Bailey to keep the wXw title. (thanks to Markus Gonemann)
    • Antonio Thomas talks to Tapper Espteric of Czarface who talks about his love of pro wrestling, the road warriors, attending Crockett Cup ‘87, shooting a video with Chikara wrestlers, knowing John Cena before wrestling and rapping together, Boston sports and more! Please include in daily update today.
    • The biggest wrestling crowd in the U.S.since WrestleMania was a sold out Bryce Jordan Center for No. 1 Penn State's 28-13 win over No. 7 Iowa:
      • 125 - Spencer Lee (Iowa, No. 3) b Devin Schnupp via pin 2:05
      • 133 - Corey Keener (Penn State) b Paul Glynn 5-2
      • 141 - Nick Lee (Penn State, No, 8) b Vince Turk 11-8
      • 149 - Zain Retherford (Penn State, No. 1) beat Brandon Sorenson (No. 2) 6-2
      • 157 - Michael Kemerer (Iowa, No. 2) b Bo Phipher 14-4
      • 165 - Alex Marinelli (Iowa, No. 7) b Vincenzo Joseph (No. 1) 9-6 - huge upset
      • 174 - Mark Hall (Penn State, No. 2) b Joey Gunther via pin 1:00
      • 184 - Bo Nickal (Penn State, No. 1) b Mitch Bowman (No. 20) via pin :50
      • 197 - Shakur Rasheed (Penn State) b Cash Wilcke (No. 7) 11-2
      • 285 - Nick Nevills (Penn State, No. 6) b Sam Stoll (No. 3), 3-2 (thanks to Mike Sempervive)

    Today in Professional Wrestling History: AJ Styles wins his second IWGP Heavyweight title


    WRESTLING OBSERVER / F4W - WRESTLEMANIA 34 in NEW ORLEANS

    UPDATED

    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~! - ONLY 8 General Admission Tickets Remain!

    • 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~! - SOLD OUT~!

    • WHAT: All you care to eat brunch buffet on the morning of Wrestlemania 
    • WHEN: Sunday, April 8th, 2018 - T11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    • 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!