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Daily Update: WWE ratings, Lethal & Daniels sign with ROH, Hendricks


The Latest from the F4W Staff



We're looking for reports from the WWE shows tonight in Boston (Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens) and Atlanta (A.J. Styles vs John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose) as well as last night's show from Nashville.

TNA Tonight will present a New Year's show from the Hardy Compound.

Big day tomorrow with UFC 207 and the Rizin New Year's Eve show (which starts on Friday night immediately after UFC 207 ends). WWE also has a Raw brand house show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and a SmackDown brand show in Miami.


Fight Pass at 7:30 p.m.

  • Alex Oliveira (170.5) vs. Tim Means (170)

FS1 at 8 p.m.

  • Brandon Thatch (170) vs. Niko Price (170)
  • Antonio Carlos Jr. (186) vs. Marvin Vettori (186)
  • Mike Pyle (170) vs. Alex Garcia (170.5)
  • Johny Hendricks (173.5) vs. Neil Magny (171)

PPV at 10 p.m.

  • Louis Smolka (125.5) vs. Ray Borg (129.5)
  • Dong Hyun Kim (171) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (171)
  • T.J. Dillashaw (136) vs. John Lineker (135.25)
  • Dominick Cruz (135) vs,. Cody Garbrandt (135) for welterweight title
  • Amanda Nunes (135) vs. Ronda Rousey (135) for women's welterweight title

RIZIN tomorrow night at 10 p.m.

  • Charles Krazy Horse Bennett vs. Minoru Kimura
  • Valentin Moldavsky vs. Amir Aliakbari in tournament semifinals
  • Mirko Cro Cop vs. Baruto Kaido in tournament semifinals
  • Hayato Sakurai vs. Wataru Sakata
  • Gabi Garcia vs. Yumiko Hotta
  • Kizaemon Saiga vs. Dillin West
  • Andy Nguyen vs. Miyu Yamamoto
  • Reina vs. Hanna Tyson
  • Hideo Tokoro vs. Erson Yamamoto
  • Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kron Gracie
  • Tournament finals

We'll be dong polls this week on UFC 207 and the New Japan Tokyo Dome, which starts at 2:35 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday night.

FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: Figure Four Weekly 12/26/2016: Is WWE violent enough?

A couple years ago, I was working on an article for Fighting Spirit Magazine about how lopsided WWE was in terms of having too many babyfaces and not enough heels, as well as the company's heel/face divide in general. One of the people I interviewed for the article was Kevin Sullivan, who spoke at length about how he felt that WWE heels were inherently limited because they couldn't "commit a violent act" due to WWE's "PG" content restrictions... Subscribers click here to continue.

WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: January 2, 2017 UFC 207 preview, Wrestlemania's rumored matches, more

Ronda Rousey will historically be considered one of the most important fighters in the history of her sport. But no matter what she has done before, a big part of how she will be viewed in the future will depend on Friday’s fight with Amanda Nunes. A win, making her two-time bantamweight champion, will make the narrative that she came back from a devastating defeat and layoff to regain her championship...

Right now when it comes to WrestleMania while there are a lot of rumors and directions being stated, there are only three matches locked in, which are Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg, HHH vs. Seth Rollins and Big Show vs. Shaquille O’Neal. John Cena vs. Undertaker is a probable, but Vince McMahon was not locked on it...

Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada go into the Tokyo Dome on 1/4 with almost an unreal amount of pressure. In some people’s eyes, unless they have the match of the year, because expectations are so high, there will be a measure of disappointment. It’s very rare you have a match like this on such a big stage. I think Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat had that in all three of their national airing matches in 1989...

A series of flukes may have established an inadvertent new holiday tradition. The days of the big Christmas wrestling spectaculars in pro wrestling are long gone. And in the past, Christmas night has been tough and Christmas Eve has been death for ratings when it comes to Raw and SmackDown... Subscribers click here to continue.

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: December 5, 1999 WWF losing advertisers, Steve Austin gets good news regarding neck, more - If you're looking for this week's top story to be simplified into good vs. evil, you're looking in the wrong place. After two years of the WWF's new direction turning it into prime advertising for companies aiming products at in particular, teenage and young adult males, suddenly, this week advertisers were dropping like flies... Subscribers click here to continue.


SmackDown beat Raw in the ratings this week, although that story feels way overplayed. Raw went against the highest rated NFL Monday Night game of the season and SmackDown featured the return of John Cena and a show advertised with three title matches, so by all rights it should have won handily.

Jay Lethal and Christopher Daniels both signed new deals with ROH. Kyle O'Reilly is the name everyone is talking about. He has not signed a new deal at this point. 

Regarding something we got a lot of questions about Tuesday and Wednesday, Paige is still under contract to WWE.

One of the potentially biggest events, if it is a success and leads to a series, takes place 12/31 on ITV in the U.K. with a two-hour World of Sport wrestling special featuring some world title bouts, a ladder match, and talent including Grado, Dave Mastiff and Davey Boy Smith Jr., plus Jim Ross will be announcing the show.

This was the Johny Hendricks interview about challenging people to cut 20 pounds just prior to his missing weight today.


  • After last night's events at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, it was announced a 3/20 Raw in the building with the password BKISRAW with tickets on sale through tomorrow morning.
  • Sky Sports has a story on Sam Gradwell debuting with WWE in the U.K. title tournament.


  • A story on why the third quarter of 2016 was the best quarter in recent years for great matches.
  • Josh Burkman (28-14, 1 no contest) vs. Michel Prazeras (21-2) was added to the 3/11 UFC show in Fortaleza Brazil. 
  • Due to an injury to Jussier Formiga, the 1/15 UFC show in Phoenix features Sergio Pettis (14-2) now facing John Moraga (16-5). Jordan Rinaldi also pulled out of that show and Devin Powell's new opponent is Drakker Klose, making his UFC debut with a 6-0-1 record.
  • AXS TV tomorrow night will air three hours from last year's Tokyo Dome show. Most of the top matches will air with the exception of the Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada match.  The A.J. Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura match was edited so it wasn't nearly as good as the Japanese unedited version.
  • AAW tomorrow night in Merrionette Park, IL at 115 Bourbon Street has Sami Callihan vs. Rey Fenix for the AAW title, AR Fox vs. ACH for the AAW Heritage title, Pentagon Jr. vs. Chris Hero, Heidi Lovelace vs. Kimber Lee, Davey Vega & Silas Young vs. Chuck Taylor & Colt Cabana, Drew Galloway vs. Jeff Cobb plus Matt Riddle, Michael Elgin, Homicide, Dave & Jake Crist and Dezmond Xavier. 
  • They also run 1/7 in LaSalle, IL at the Knights of Columbus with Sami Callihan vs. John Morrison, Michael Elgin vs. Rey Fenix, Silas Young vs Colt Cabana, Jessicka Havok vs. Taya and more.
  • Shigehiro Irie of the DDT promotion will be working from 1/10 to 1/16 for CWE in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
  • The Legacy Fighting Alliance on 2/17 in Bossier City, LA at the Horseshoe Casino & Hotel with Kevin Aguilar vs. Raoni Barcelos for their featherweight title. The show airs live on AXS at 9 p.m. Eastern time, which will be the new time slot for live fights starting with the new year..
  • Dan Severn will be promoting an MMA show on 1/14 and a pro wrestling show on 1/21 in Denver. He is also looking at coming out of retirement for one last fight in 2017 after his fight with Ken Shamrock fell through when Shamrock failed a drug test.
  • Darius Rucker on the red carpet before the Kennedy Center Honors said that Ric Flair should get a Kennedy Center Honor.
  • FMLL with L.A. Park, Damian 666, Rey Bucanero, Nicho and more headline 1/22 in El Monte, CA at Florentine Gardens.
  • Derek Campos vs. Derek Anderson has been added to the 1/21 Bellator TV card on Spike, which is the Chael Sonnen vs. Tito Ortiz show. Also added in Rebecca Ruth (6-2) vs. Invicta's Colleen Schneider (10-7). Schneider has done pro wrestling in the past.
  • AMW on 1/8 in Hazard, KY at the Frontline Ministries Full Gospel Church.
  • Great Canadian Wrestling from Tuesday night in Oshawa, ONT: Mark Wheeler b Idris Abraham, Sinn Bohdi & Canuck Kid b Bill Skullion & Pepper Jack, Tarik b Space Monkey, The Fraternity b Flight or Fight, Tyson Dux b Sebastian Suave, Space Monkey won Battle Royal. (thanks to Steven Ashe)

Today in Professional Wrestling History (12/29): Mick Foley wins the WWF title for the first time