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Daily Update: Weekend fallout, Moondog Rex, Sin Cara

DAILY UPDATE

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WWE TLC from the Target Center in Minneapolis:

  • Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin TLC match
  • Asuka & Kairi Sane vs. Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch TLC match for women's tag title -These four were taken off the house show last night. I don't know that it was to practice but usually big women's matches they do practice runs before them. That's a good thing. Kabuki Warriors at last word were -185 favorite to retain the title.
  • Bray Wyatt (not The Fiend) vs. The Miz non-title - At least no red tinting. I don't know what to expect because the Bray Wyatt character hasn't done a match in forever. Wyatt is a -245 favorite as of last word. He was -900 yesterday. That means a lot of late money has come in on Miz winning.
  • Bobby Lashley vs. Rusev tables match - They have advertised this match at all the house shows, including Starrcade, and never delivered it. I was always told the first match would be at TLC. Lashley is a -140 favorite.  If the idea is to keep this going, and given all the TV time devoted to it and the fact it has done well in the quarters (don't get mad at the messenger here guys) makes that probable, Lashley should win with Lana helping out. They need to keep a reason as well after the divorce.
  • New Day vs. Revival Smackdown tag titles in a ladder match - Should be very good and could easily be great. The New Day is a -280 favorite to retain.
  • Viking Raiders open challenge for Raw tag titles - No odds.  Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson were the guys last week but we've heard nothing since.
  • Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy - They've done this on house shows. Black wins with black mass. Makes sense. Black is a-750 favorite. You know for action this match will be good but the question is crowd reactions.
  • Andrade vs. Humberto Carrillo pre show match, This is a rematch of the very good match they had on Monday night, so should be entertaining once again. They could 50/50 it and have Andrade win, since Andrade is in the plans. But Carrillo seems to be the guy with the push right now.

The A.J. Styles vs. Randy Orton match that was at one point on this show, but never announced, will instead be on Raw tomorrow night from Des Moines, IA.  There will be no live Raw on 12/23 so they are taping two shows tomorrow night.


F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Harper, Sin Cara & The Ascension get WWE releases Joseph Currier looks at WWE's latest departures.

WWE took a step forward this past weekend by resolving their situations with a few wrestlers who wanted out of the company.

In quick succession on Sunday, WWE announced that Luke Harper, Sin Cara, and The Ascension had been released: "WWE has come to terms on the releases of Jonathan Huber (Luke Harper), Sin Cara, and Ryan Parmeter (Konnor) and Eric Thompson (Viktor) of The Ascension. WWE wishes them all the best in their future endeavors."

Harper's release saga was nearly eight months long. He went public with his request via a statement he posted online on April 16. He spent the next five months off of television before then returning in a pretty significant angle at Clash of Champions, helping Erick Rowan defeat Roman Reigns in their no disqualification match.

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WON NEWSLETTER: December 16, 2019 Observer Newsletter: 10 Hall of Fame inductees

Our biggest issue of the year, the 2019 Hall of Fame issue is out with complete balloting results, breakdowns by category, bios of the new entrants, comparisons with how everyone did last year, as well as who will be on next year's ballot who will be removed from next year's ballot, breakdowns on how each new inductee did in different groups and a look back at a lot of stellar careers.  We also talk about the future of the Hall of Fame.

Feature on the development of pro wrestling in France at the turn of the previous century and the wrestler generally considered most responsible for establishing pro wrestling in that country.

The two Tokyo Dome shows, as well as New Japan's last three events of 2019. We look at the good and bad aspects of the lineups and the comparisons with last year.  We look at the retirement of Jushin Liger, the signing of Dragon Lee and his change to Ryu Lee and talk about the different titles at stake.

Drug test suspensions of Robert Roode and Primo Colon and why guys can look the way they look with drug testing and how WWE's testing greatly differs from others, a look at the releases of Luke Harper, The Ascension and Sin Cara, major change for Miz & Mrs., WWE star hints leaving, Canadian ratings, signing of Oney Lorcan, Tribute to the Troops coverage, Lana death threats, Ronda Rousey talks potential return, current plans for holiday shows, celebrity training for a WWE stint, a rundown on the different people at the last tryout camp including a former MMA champion, the boyfriend of a reality show star and a number of high level women athletes including a former WNBA player, an incident at a house show, value of WWE stock, most-watched show on the WWE Network as well as a rundown of all the WWE and NXT arena events over the past week with business notes , results and highlights.

2019 Tokyo Sports awards, including what wrestles historically have had the most MVP trophies and the most match of the year trophies.

TLC PPV including the changes in the show and the ticket demand.

Next Wednesday ratings battle and why it is the most interesting in several weeks.

Dave Bautista's career, the NWO, and look back at the program that made Bautista's career and the good and the bad of the NWO.

New Japan tag team tournament, whether the changes in format worked, the business of the final night, standings, match-by-match coverage and star ratings of the last night.

Saturday's UFC show from D.C. with the business notes on the show and match-by-match coverage.

Look back at the life of Andy Robin, a U.K. star who was one of the greatest performers in the history of pro wrestling in Scotland.

Full coverage of all the WWE and AEW television shows from the past week.

In-depth looks at the ratings of all the major shows, the key demos and quarters for AEW and WWE, what happened head-to-head and what can be learned from them.

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 


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SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Hall of Fame and TLC, plus the rest of the news, with Wrestling Observer Radio tonight after the PPV show.  You can also send questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com. We're taking polls on the UFC show last night, ROH show Friday night, NWA show yesterday and TLC from WWE tonight, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with the best and worst matches to dave@wrestlingobserver.com">dave@wrestlingobserver.com. We're also looking for reports from the ROH show today in Philadelphia and the NXT show in San Jose tonight to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com

We are sad to report the death of Randy Culley, who used a number of names including Moondog Rex, half of various Assassins tag teams, was originally part of the WWE Demolition tag team with Bill Eadie (very briefly), Deadeye Dick in WCW with Dutch Mantell, The Nightmare in Mid South. The cause of death has not been reported but Culley was 69 years old.  

UFC 245 was the most searched topic on Google yesterday with 1.2 million searches.  Max Holloway was No. 7 and Amanda Nunes was No. 10. That indicates a solid amount of interest in the show. It was one of the best shows of the year which we ran down on the show today. The Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington main event as a fight of the year candidate.

There was a Night of Appreciation for Bobby Eaton last night in Knoxville. Brad Logan won Battle Royal, Jax Dane b The Barbarian, Ryan Dookie & Shane Williams & Bobby Fulton & Brad Thomas (managed by Tracy Smothers) b George South & Bill Dundee & Stan Lee & Beau James, Jordan Cage b Gustavo Aguilar, Matt Sigmon & Elliott Russell b Brandon & Brent Tate (who used to be The Boys in ROH). Kenzie Paige Henry & Dream Girl Ellie b Sahara Seven & Cali Young, Chase Owens b Crazzy Steve, Devin Devine & Mik Drake b Richard Holliday & Paul Roma.

Gary Michael Cappetta did ring announcing at the show.  Jim Cornette handled the ceremony which included taped messages from Road Warrior Animal, Teddy Long, Luke Williams, The Steiner Brothers, Nikita Koloff, Raven, Enzo Amore, The Rock & Roll Express, The Revival and Steve Austin.  Austin said he was the biggest Eaton fan, said Eaton was the best and that he taught him so much. In the 80s, Eaton was always considered as one of the elite in-ring wrestlers in the world, like the top tier. Also there for the show were Les Thatcher, Bobby Fulton, William Regal, David Taylor and Tom Prichard.  Long after the Midnight Express, Eaton was part of the Blue Bloods with Regal & Taylor in WCW. Dustin Eaton said his father was awesome. Regal said he asked for Eaton to be his tag team partner. Eaton was given a championship belt that called him "Lifetime legend" and the crowd reacted huge.

Two weekend matches people have been raving about was the six-man tag main event of the Warrior Wrestling show on Friday with Will Ospreay & Amazing Red & Rocky Romero of New Japan vs. The Rascals of Impact.  Most reports have it ****1/2 to *****. The other is today's Ben K Open the Dream Gate title defense against Naruki Doi, which has gotten praise as a match of the year candidate. With so crazy of a weekend I haven't had a chance to see either match yet.

Jumanji: the Next Level is projected to do $60.1 million at the box office this weekend. That beats projections going into the weekend of $50 million.

WWE

  • Regarding Sin Cara using that name in AAA last night at Guerra de Titanes, there was no deal worked out with him or WWE to be allowed to use the name. He was on a 90 day non-compete.  We'll see how this transpires. 

UFC

  • Colby Covington did have a broken jaw last night during the fight. In the scores going into round four, one judge had it 3-1 for Covington one had 3-1 for Kamaru Usman and the other had it 2-2 going into round five.  All three of those scores are plausible. It came down to the fifth, which if it wasn't stopped, was still an easy 10-8 for Usman so he should have won 49-45, 48-46 and one 47-47 even in theory had Usman not finished him.
  • Regarding any controversy on the Jose Aldo vs. Marlon Moraes scoring, it came down to round three. I had Aldo winning that round but it was close. Media scores were exactly 50-50 according to MMA Decisions so nobody got robbed and either winning shouldn't be controversial. 

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Matt Taven is going in for ankle surgery which explains the angle on the PPV where he lost and was taken out. Vincent suffered a broken finger in that match.
  • PCO and Destro drove from Montreal to Baltimore in the hearse to get to the ROH show. Destro had to rip open the hearse when it wouldn't open. Both PCO and Destro do strongman stuff.
  • This was a note about the MTV show The Challenge on Wednesday nights from those close to the situation regarding ratings and why DVR numbers may be so high for AEW & NXT.  "I know you briefly referenced an MTV show that beats AEW/NXT most weeks. That show is The Challenge. We are the number one podcast and touring live show about The Challenge. Wanted to give you a heads up for some stuff to look out for. I know there is a bit of crossover between Challenge fans and wrestling fans.  Among our listeners we have a ton of wrestling fans and we've even begun scheduling our live shows around wrestling weekends. We're doing the Tampa Improv Mania weekend and we did Chicago Improv this past November. MIZ started on The Challenge. Ziggler hosted the Season 33 reunion. CM Punk did Champs vs Stars. Overall it is a competition with drama etc so it does appeal to a similar audience. Like wrestling, their bread and butter is also 18-49.This coming week is the reunion for this season but then The Challenge will be dark for a few weeks between seasons 34 and 35. Season 35 will likely premiere around Feb. Might be interested to see how AEW/NXT do in the weeks with no Challenge whatsoever.”
  • RevPro from today in London's York Hall:  Sam Stoker & Lewis Howley b Speedball Mike Bailey & Mao, Shota Umino b Hikuleo, Gisele Shaw b Shanna, Evil & Sanada b Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr., Minoru Suzuki b Mad Kurt, Dan Moloney won six-way over Kyle Fletcher, Ricky Knight Jr., Robbie X, Xenza Volto and Carlos Romo, El Phantasmo b TJP to keep British cruiserweight title, Rampage Brown & Great O'Kharn b Kings of the North, Michael Oku b Pac (thanks to Shannon Walsh and wrestlingwithdemons.net)
  • wXw 19th anniversary show from last night in Oberhausen:  Oliver Carter b The Rotation, Jay Skillet won Shotgun title in a four-way over Absolute Andy, Avalanche and Veiet Muller, Leon van Gasteren & Walter b Prince Ahura & Maggot, Killer Kelly won a four-way over Sky Smitson, Roxxy and Baby Allison, Alexander James b Jurn Simmons in a Singapore Cane match, Amale b Meiko Satomura to keep the womens' title, Lucky Kid b Kassius Ohno, Bobby Gunns won the wXw title in a four-way over David Starr, Timothy Thatcher and Ilja Dragunov when Norman Harass cost Starr the match (thanks to Shannon Walsh)
  • Darby Allin will be defending the Northeast Wrestling title tonight in Tel Aviv, Israel. 
  • CWE on 12/27 in Winnipeg at Rookie's Sports Bar with The Godfather Charles Wright as the special guest.
  • VIPW on 1/25 in Nanaoimo, BC at the Departure Bay Activity Centre with a TLC match main event.  They also run 1/24 in Victoria, BC at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch with a last man standing match.
  • Northumberland Pro Wrestling on Cobourg, ONT on 12/27 at the Cobourg Community Centre with Tyson Dux vs. Tyler Tirva as the main event.
  • CWA No Surrender on 1/18 in North Little Rock, AR at the Maumelle Event Center.
  • WAR Wrestling on 1/11 in Lima, OH at the Bradfield Community Center.
  • Pro Wrestling EVE from yesterday in London:  Sammii Jayne b Jinny, Sammii Jayne b Nina Samuels, Rhia O'Reilly b Jetta to retain  the Eve title, Heidi Katrina b Mercedes Blaze, Laura Di Matteo b Nightshade, Gisele Shaw & Sammiii Jayne b Woke Queens to win the tag titles. Samuels vs. Jinny was announced for Wrestle Queendom 3. The Woke Queens will get a tag title match on that show. Yuka Sakazaki was announced for the show.  O'Reilly vs. Di Matteo for the Eve title will headline. Millie McKenzie was scheduled for this show but pulled out due to illness. (thanks to Chris Gannon)
  • During today's Packers vs. Bears game, both announcers casually talked bout Dick the Bruiser, noting he was Dick Afflis, who played for the Packers.  He did from 1952-56 but ended up one of the biggest pro wrestling stars from the mid-50s into the early 80s.
  • CZW Cage of Death from last night in Voorhees, NJ before a legit SRO crowd:  Brittany Blake b Kris Statlander to win the title, John Silver b Conor Claxton, YDNB b Jimmy Rave & Steve Mack & Azrieal, KC Navarro won multi-person match, Ava Everett & Anthony Greene b Alex Reynolds & Mark Sterling in a no holds barred match, AR Fox b Jordan Oliver to win the Wired title, The Rep b Bear Country in a tag title match, Joe Gacy b Matt Tremont in an ultraviolent brawl, Jimmy Lloyd b Brandon Kirk in a cage of death match.  (thanks to Bob Magee)
  • Ivelisse won the Shine title in the main event over Mercedes Martinez over this weekend. 
  • Terry Funk talked to Bill Apter about his health, the loss of his wife Vicki, reminisces about the road and announces a rare upcoming appearance.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: ROH Final Battle 2017


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