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Daily Update: UFC 232, Jon Jones, NJPW on AXS

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RAW TONIGHT TAPED FROM LAST WEEK IN SACRAMENTO

  • Elias vs. Bobby Lashley Miracle on 34th street fight
  • Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs. The Revival for the tag titles
  • Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre
  • Bayley & Sasha Banks & Ember Moon vs. Alicia Fox & Mickie James & Dana Brooke
  • Ronda Rousey vs. Natalya for women's title
  • Heath Slater vs. Jinder Mahal
  • Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin

SMACKDOWN TUESDAY NIGHT ON USA

  • New Day vs. Sanity vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson & The Bar
  • Mustafa Ali vs. Andrade Cien Almas
  • Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe
  • Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev for U.S. title.

WWE returns to action Wednesday at Madison Square Garden with a Raw house show that also includes an NXT match and a Smackdown show at the Allstate Arena in Chicago.


F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Recapping WWE TLC

When Daniel Bryan announced his emotional return to the ring, it was fairly inconceivable that he'd end up being a vicious and pompous environmentalist heel just eight months later. But the character change has revitalized Bryan and taken him to the highest points since the immediate aftermath of announcing his comeback. With Bryan completely buying into the change, "the new Daniel Bryan" has been far better in execution than it would have sounded on paper.


WON NEWSLETTER: December 24, 2018 Observer Newsletter: 7 entrants into the Hall of Fame  

Our biggest issue of the year, the 2018 Hall of Fame issue of the Observer is out right now.

Read detailed bios of the seven new inductees, a voting breakdown, as well as a voting breakdown among reporters, historians, current business professionals and former business professionals as well as a breakdown of how all the top candidates did with every group.

Read the explanation of the criteria, the voting, who will be on next year's ballot, who was dropped from this year's ballot, with histories of wrestlers and wrestlers in different parts of the world in different eras.

Read full coverage of the TLC PPV, with match-by-match coverage, star ratings, poll results and business, as well as some decision making background.

Look at the changes going forward in ROH in 2019. Read about who is leaving, who is coming, the nature of the Sinclair ownership, how the changes in the industry are going to greatly affect the independent scene almost immediately, the grab for talent, ROH's key signings and who is coming in that they haven't signed, and look at the chances for AEW.

Read about the situations with Bandido and PCO, and also run down the Final Battle PPV from ROH with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.


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.


MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Jon Jones, maybe the awards, some Raw and other news. You can send questions to tonight's show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

If you DVR New Japan on AXS, there was a second show on Friday night that had the only Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kenny Omega match ever held, from almost three years ago in Nagaoka. The match was really good, but what was more notable was the interview Omega did before the match. It was just another interview at the time, but if you watch the interview, realize where NJPW was at the time of the interview, what he said, and where things are now, it's was kind of amazing. 

The biggest individual losers in this UFC fiasco are probably Alexander Gustafsson and Cris Cyborg. Cyborg is probably losing 12.3 percent of her purse in the difference in taxes. If she was cut into PPV revenue and the show does 600,000 buys, this could easily cost her $185,000. 

Corey Anderson, who is on the show, said: "If we all said No, we won't travel again, would they just take Jones off the card and keep it in Vegas? Or book 11 new fights, continue the move to L.A. and keep the main event the same? A lot of money has been spent in travel fees for my family to be in Vegas for this fight. I'm not even mad, just disappointed in the company. I bust my ass every day, make sure my piss and blood is clean every day, and represent myself like a professional every day for? Just so clowns who sell a lot of tickets and make a lot of money could f*** up every day and still get a pat on he back and told, `don't worry, it's not your fault' beacuse at the end of the day they sell?  I'm also currently on my five hour flight to Vegas with my wife, who is seven months pregnant on the border of not being able to travel and spent an hour and a half walking through Newark's shit show of an airport, now we have to land, get our shit, figure out what's next, load up and hassle through the airport, and travel again. The law says 'drive sober or get pulled over.' The UFC should be `piss clean or hit the streets' even if you're making loads of money. But again I'm not pissed just highly disappointed."

Brian Kelleher wrote, "Can I have some of Jon Jones' purse though as reimbursement to the family that I have flying down to Vegas and the hotels booked?" "We should all say no, see what happens. Then again, we're all trying to make a paycheck and pay our bills so can we risk it?"

Free advice for people looking to make a stand. Don't strategize and release it on Twitter. 

Mike Mazulli, the head of the Association of Boxing Commissioners, wrote on Twitter his support of Andy Foster of the California State Athletic Commision and his decision to allow Jon Jones to fight. Both California and Texas were willing to license Jones immediately but the Forum in Los Angeles had a free date so it ended up in California.

Jon Jones is, after all, enrolling in VADA testing after turning it down last week. He agreed to be tested by VADA starting today.

"Jon Jones is certainly clean right now. That's not questionable," Andy Foster told ESPN. "The Nevada commission did not have enough time to get this thing done, but this is not about California taking a fight Nevada would not. And out of respect for Nevada, I've kept all the official working the fight he same as it would have been in Las Vegas."

For tickets, which will be priced lower than usual, with the hope of a $1 million gate (they were hoping for $6 million at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which can't make the arena very happy, but UFC is a major regular client), and a $300 front row price, go on sale at Noon on Wednesday for those who already have tickets to the show in Las Vegas, and you can get those tickets changed through 2 p.m. From 2-3 p.m., Fight Club members can get tickets and they will go on sale to the public on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

WWE

  • WWE Network News reported that WWE Network Hidden Gems will be uploading an AWA/JCP joint show from December 29, 1985 at the Meadowlands soon with : 
    • Ron Bass vs. J.J.Dillon
    • Little Tokyo vs. Cowboy Lang
    • Sherri Martel vs. Debbie Combs
    • Carlos Colon vs. The Barbarian
    • Jake Roberts vs. Paul Ellering
    • Rock & Roll Express vs. The Long Riders (Bill & Scott Irwin)
    • Sgt. Slaughter vs. Boris Zhukov & Chris Markoff
    • Magnum T.A. vs. Tully Blanchard
    • Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes for NWA title
    • Road Warriors vs. Ivan Koloff & Krusher Krushchev
    • Rick Martel vs. Stan Hansen for AWA title

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Stardom's Christmas Eve show in Tokyo Korakuen Hall: AZM b Natsu Sumire, Tam Nakano & Starlight Kid & Arisa Hoshiki b Natsuko Tora & Kaori Yoneyama & Ruaka, Hazuki b Mary Apache to win the High Speed title with a great looking shooting star press, Jungle Kyona won four-way over Kagetsu, Hana Kimura and Konami, Momo Watanabe & Utami Hayashishita b Saki Kashima & Tam Nakano (replacing the injured Mayu Iwatani) to keep the Goddesses of Stardom tag title. Kagetsu issued a world title challenge. Io Shirai, back for the holidays, was at the show. (thanks to Shannon Walsh)
  • Tickets for the 4/5 Stardom show at the NYC Arena in Queens, NY at 4 p.m. (the Friday before WrestleMania), which was just announced, go on sale at midnight Eastern time. Tickets are available.
  • Lion's Pride from yesterday in Bryan, TX: Swole b Barrett Brown for the 360 title, Nobe Bryant b Gregory James, Angel Blue b Alex Gracia, Moonshine Mantell b Mike Dell to win title, Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. b Royce Issacs & Jorel Nelson.  Archer & Smith thanked everyone for coming and invited all the kids in the crowd to get in the ring with them. He then thanked all parents for bringing their kids saying he can remember going to shows like this as a kid. (thanks to Shannon Walsh)
  • USA Championship Wrestling on 1/5 at the Oman Arena in Jackson, TN headlined by Jerry Lawler vs. Tommy Rich. There will also be a TV taping at Studio A of the Oman Arena on 1/6.
  • IPW had its biggest show of the year yesterday in Maidstone, UK: James Castle won four-way over OJMO, Joe Nelson and Myles Kayman, Kip Sabian b Chris Ridgeway to keep IPW title, Lewis Howley & Sammy Smooth b Connor Mills & Maverick Mayhew, Mark Haskins b Timothy Thatcher, Rob Sharpe b Jack Sexsmith in a no DQ match, Nick Aldis b Jimmy Havoc to keep the NWA title, Anti Fun Police b SCTO in a tag title match, Sierra Loxton b Bobbi Tyler in a women's title match, Mark Haskins b Kip Sabian to win the IPW title. He's now the second guy to hold it three times. The first was Martin Stone. Sabian did an injury angle earlier when Ridgeway took out his knee so went in hurt in his second title defense on the same show. Next show in Maidstone is 3/24 with Madison Rayne, Brody King and Matt Taven. Pac returns on a 2/20 show in Canterbury. (thanks to Dean Ayass)
  • Wrestling Go on 3/2 in Sydney, Australia with Melina, Madison Eagles, Shazza McKenzie and Candy Lee. It will be the first all-women's show in New South Wales since 2013.
  • Bandit Wrestling on Wednesday night in Knoxville at D1 Knoxville Sports with Jake & Dave Crist vs Devin Driscoll & Mik Drake, Daniel Eads vs Aaron Williams and a Battle Royal.
  • Uce Wrestling from Saturday night in Honolulu: Davey Cusano won three-way over Jordy Michael and Bobby Bolt, Aleki b Kaimana, Ativalu b Davey Cusano, Nightmarchers b Ross & Marshall Von Erich, Austin Aries b Ativalu, Aleki b Jeff Cobb, Radiant Rain b Sumie Sakai to become first women's champion, Aleki b Austin Aries-DQ when Aries hit Aleki with a pineapple. Aries has lost a lot of weight. Aleki is the son of Siva Afi. Don Muraco was the star of the show on commentary.  Aries said he came to Hawaii to see The Rock, and ended up only meeting Don Muraco (who used the nickname The Rock long before Dwayne Johnson). Muraco talked a lot about wrestlers from the past but had a good working knowledge of the present. He also noted wrestling Raul Mata in Los Angeles. (thanks to Shannon Walsh)
  • There will be a Bruiser Brody Cup on 1/25 in Philadelphia. There will be two four-way matches with the winners meeting for the Cup.  The matches are DJ Hyde vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. Stockade vs. Dave Dawson and Sami Callihan vs. Michael Elgin vs. Matt Tremont vs. Beastman. Abyss is also on the show, as is Eddie Edwards. Others appearing are Abdullah he Butcher, Stan Hansen, Sandman, JJ Dillon, Jazz, King Kong Bundy, Danny Davis, Marty Jannetty and Virgil.
  • Headlocked comics has announced the digital release of "The Beacon," a comic book written be Adeel Alam (Mustafa Ali) and artist Nadia Ramian. It talks about Alam's experience as a police officer and as an independent pro wrestler. It will be available for 99 cents starting today.
  • New School Wrestling on Thursday at 7 PM. at 15 Harmony Rd in Oshawa, ONT with Ethan Page.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Minoru Tanaka wins IWGP Junior Heavyweight title


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