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Daily Update: WWE UK tournament, Snuka death, UFC Fight Night

THE ROUND-UP

The Lastest from the F4W Staff

NEWS

AUDIO

We're looking for your reports on these shows to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com:

  • WWE last night in Wichita
  • ROH last night in Atlanta
  • WWE today in Tulsa (Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens)
  • WWE today in Jackson, MS (A.J. Styles vs. John Cena vs. Baron Corbin)

We're also looking for your thoughts on both days of the WWE U.K. tournament, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle for each show along with a best and worst match from each show to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT FROM PHOENIX

Fight Pass at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time (free this weekend)

  • Cyril Akser (7-2) vs. Dmitri Smuliakov (8-1)
  • Jaochim Christensen (13-4) vs. Bojan Mihaljovic (10-4)
  • Walt Harris (8-5) vs. Chase Sherman (9-2)
  • Nina Ansaroff (6-5) vs. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (6-3)

FS 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern time

  • Drakkar Klose (6-0-1) vs. Devon Powell (8-1)
  • Tony Martin (10-3) vs. Alex White (11-2)
  • Viktor Pesta (10-3) vs. Aleksei Olenik (50-10-1)
  • Frankie Suarez (11-4) vs. Augusto Mendes (5-1)
  • Sergio Pettis (14-2) vs. John Moraga (16-5)
  • Ben Saunders (20-7-2) vs. Court McGee (18-5)
  • Marcin Held (22-4) vs. Joe Lauzon (26-12)
  • B.J. Penn (16-10-20 vs. Yair Rodriguez (9-1)

Raw will be Monday night in Little Rock featuring the return of Brock Lesnar. There is also a Smackdown brand house show on Monday night in Jonesboro, AR.

Smackdown and 205 Live will be taped on Tuesday in Memphis featuring Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss in a cage match for the women's title.


FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 1/9/2017 Chris Hero's unlikely road back to WWE

Chris Hero returned to NXT as Kassius Ohno last week after a little over three years away from WWE developmental. All that happened in between is that he became arguably the best professional wrestler in the world. It's not that Hero didn't enter developmental in 2012 as an excellent performer. He was a genuine independent wrestling star even then, having worked for Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling NOAH, and seemingly everywhere else across the globe... Subscribers click here to continue.



WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: January 16, 2017 The conundrum of Kenny Omega, 2016 in retrospect, more

The lessons learned of what worked and didn't work in 2016. Each major company's prospects for 2017 is the biggest story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We also look at the situation with Kenny Omega, look at the updated plans for WrestleMania, plans for the 2018 WrestleMania in New Orleans and the Mark Hunt lawsuit against Brock Lesnar and the UFC. Comparisons of UFC and WWE business in 2016 and how each company looks going into 2017.  The lessons regarding television ratings of MMA, loading up PPVs, why GSP isn't fighting, what's on the horizon in 2017 for future UFC fights and some experimental ideas for UFC and FOX. 
 
Positives and negatives of WWE going into 2017, women's and cruiserweight divisions.  Big star returns, how NXT has changed the WWE business, the good and the bad of using top stars in NXT, as well as both UFC and WWE struggling with creating a long-term fan base.
 
The plight of the independent scene, the future of ROH and TNA, how New Japan and AXS can work together to build a stronger product, and the role of Flo Slam in the 2017 wrestling world.
 
A big story on Kenny Omega coming out of Wrestle Kingdom 11, including John Cena's reaction, Omega and Okada talk their match, the new top program in New Japan and why Omega is in such a unique position right now.
 
Update on the WrestleMania card as things stand including what talked about match is off, and what matches are official.  
 
Ticket demand for Royal Rumble and NXT in San Antonio, the NXT Takeover lineup, more on the WWE Hall of Fame, the re-marketing of XFL nostalgia, Chris Hero's WWE  return. New names for talent and another wrestler doing a gimmick takeover.  The U.K. tournament, what NXT talent is of the highest priority for the main roster.  WWE announcing hire.

New Year's Dash and New Japan's big matches coming out of the show.  Update on Wrestle Kingdom subscriptions, the changing popularity of the product, the Fantastica Mania tour and the early February shows on New Japan World including two PPV events.  Click here for full preview...


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
 
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WON BACK ISSUE: December 19, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WWF Armageddon review, more - The one thing I can say for WWF Armageddon is, it was a weird show. When it was over, I couldn't say that I liked or disliked it, and based on the response here, a lot of people has similar reactions. Some of the undercard wrestling was decent. Nothing was particularly good. A few matches were pretty bad. But that's to be expected both from the line-up, which didn't promise on paper one good match, and from the WWF PPV undercards in general... Subscribers click here to continue.


SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

We will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio covering the Snuka story, as well a the rest of the news including the WWE U.K. tournament and UFC show today.  You can send in questions for tonight and tomorrownight's shows to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

Jimmy Snuka passed away today, a story that will no doubt get a ton of mainstream news coverage both because he was such a major star in his heyday and because of the death of Nancy Argentino in 1983 that became a major story due to local newspaper coverage, the persistence of Nancy's sisters and reporter Irv Muchnick, over the past three plus years.  Obviously there is a lot to talk about and write on this subject.

WWE made a statement about the passing of Snuka, talking about his match with Don Muraco in Madison Square Garden and calling it one of the most memorable moments in WWE history. It was not acknowledged on the U.K. show today.

If you didn't see the U.K. show, it's worth watching. The Tyler Bate title win over Pete Dunne in the finals was an excellent match, really the best match on any WWE show in a while. It was textbook making a superstar booking. Just outstanding.

Tonight's UFC rating will be hurt by the NFL game, although the last two matches should take place after the game ends. Still, there is post-game and this is not a very good card as far as star power.  The only thing it has going for it is however much interest and curiosity there is at this point regarding the comeback of B.J. Penn. Fox is promoting the hell out of the show on tonight's NFL broadcast that will be doing a huge number, so that will help the number.

Wrestlecon has announced a Kliq reunion with Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman for 4/1 in Orlando as part of WrestleMania including a 90 minute Q&A session at 5 PM. that day. For $999, you can get front of the line privileges, a front row seat, a 30 minute limo ride with the four, a group photo with yourself in front of the limo, a poster signed by all four members and more.  There are other price structures but to get a photo with all four the lowest price is $299. 

WWE

  • The WWE's XFL Hall of Fame thing took place yesterday with a screening of the 30 for 30 documentary that airs on ESPN early next month. They screened it three times at Cooper Union in New York. About 50 people were there according to reader Jim Maugeri who said that it was worth seeing.
  • Regarding the always asked question about a U.K. PPV show, Paul Levesque said to "Inside the Ropes": "I think that is a goal of WWE to be here in that way. It's a very difficult process with PPV schedules and coming to the UK or globally to perform live with a live TV component, following that up with Raw and Smackdown. It's a massive undertaking, trying to co-ordinate all that. There were 5 shows going on tonight under WWE. We have somewhere between 18 to 21 trailer trucks that come to our events, it's tough to get them over the ocean. Is it a goal? Yes and I think tonight was one step closer to that goal becoming a reality."
  • A story on Chad Allegra aka Karl Anderson and how he got his start in pro wrestling and came to Japan and WWE is here.

 MISCELLANEOUS

  • WrestleCircus, the group using a ton of major indie stars, drew another sellout of 502 fans last night in Austin, TX: Ethan Carter III wasn't there so his title match with Michael Elgin was changed to Elgin vs. Brian Cage for the title which turned out to be a great match that Cage won. How they did it was announce on Twitter a few days ago with Josh Matthews and EC 3 doing a video together that EC 3 had a gall bladder infection but laughed about it to make everyone know they just made it up, but that allowed the company to strip him of his title. They also announced a 2/19 return date with Ricochet vs. Sammy Guevara. Trevor Lee also missed the show. He was announced as having the flu. Lights Out b Zorakis, Space Monkey b Jervis Cottonbelly, Ricky Stars & Aaron Solow (the fiancee of WWE's Bayley) b Fenix & Laredo Kid, Christi Jaynes b Alley Cat, Moose b Jeff Cobb (said to be the best match on the show), Scorpio Sky won elimination match over Willie Mack, Ethan Page, Jordan Len-X and Gregory James, Jax Dane b Texas Lion Carson in a bullrope match, Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer b Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa (very good match with great heat), Sammy Guevera b Shane Strickland (also very good), Rachael Ellering won over Jessicka Havok, Delilah Doom and Leva Bates (who pretended to be Kenny Omega), Brian Cage b Michael Elgin in 21:00 to win the vacant Ringmaster championship. (thanks to Nicholas K and Paul Matyasovsky)
  • CWF Mid Atlantic will be hosting a unique show on 1/29 in Gibsonville, NC at the Mid Atlantic Sportatorium. There will be a tag team Apocalypto match on 1/21 and the winner of that match will face Matt & Jeff Hardy on 1/29. The Hardys match will be taped for TNA Impact. (thanks to Brad Stutts)
  • Pro Wrestling All-Stars from Friday night in Melvindale, MI: N8 Mattson NC Zach Gowen, N8 Mattson & Buddy Hanlon b Zach Gowen & Atlas Hytower, Justin Pilgrim b Unknown Dougie the Creep & Jay Maynard b Zachary Main & Alex Bradslee, Great Akuma won gauntlet match, Soul Shooters b Movado & Ridiculoso, Heidi Katrina b Thunder Kitty (who was the woman on Smackdown against Carmella this past week as CJ Lunde), Great Akuma b Breyer Wellington. (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • Lucha Xtreme TV tapings on 1/28 in Hanford, CA at the Civic Center is a free admission fan appreciation night show. Anyone can show up, as many people as you want, at 7 p.m.
  • Border City Wresting from Wednesday night in Windsor, ONT: N8 Mattson & Movado & Sheldon Jean b Idris Abraham & Karou & Dustin Quicksilver, Randy Reign & Muscles Marinera b Kurt Hendrix & Matrox, Jon E Bravo b Benjamin Boone, Phil Atlas & Brent Banks b Sebastian Suave & Tarik, A-1 b Joe Coleman, Johnny Devine & Jon Bolen b Tyson Dux & Aiden Prince, Cody Deaner b Joe Doering to retain heavyweight title. (thanks to Leonard Brand)
  • Amazon Prime has added a lot of classic wrestling to its catalogue, with lots of footage from the old Memphis territory as well as the May 12, 1988 UWF show in Japan which features Akira Maeda, Nobuhiko Takada and Kazuo Yamazaki. (thanks to Larry Huber Jr.)
  • I Believe in Wrestling from Friday night in Orlando: Aaron Epic b Axx Clover Daniel Drennen b Leo O'Farrell, Jesse Neal b Jason Dugan, Raegan fire & Kaci Lennox b Amber Nova & Mila Naniki, Jonny Vandal & Tyranus b JD Amazing & Chico Adams, Michael Patrick & Leo Brien & Josh Hess b Rhett Giddins & Seth Petruzelli & Chasyn Rance. Next show is 1/27.
  • Shine on Flo Slam from Ybor City on Friday night: Su Yung won four-way over Jayme Jameson, Jessie Belle Smothers and Angel Rose, Malia Hosaka b Brandi Lauren, Xandra Bale b Ariel Monroe, Candy Cartwright b Leva Bates, Rachael Ellering b Chelsea Green (Laurel Van Ness in TNA), Santana Garrett & Raquel retained tag titlesover Thea Trinidad & Amanda Carolina Rodriguez and Kennadi Brink & Amber O'Neal, LuFisto won three-way over Mercedes Martinez and Allysin Kay (Sienna in TNA) to win vacant Shine title was was vacated by Ivelisse. Next show is 3/10 (thanks to Al Haft)
  • CZW from last night in Voorhees, NJ before a smaller than usual crowd: David Starr retained wXw (German) Shotgun title over Alexander James, Anthony Henry b Sean Carr, Jimmy Lloyd NC Ace Austin, Tony Deppen b Tom Donst, Scarlet & raves b Dub Boys to retain CZW tag titles, Dave Crist b Sami Callihan (said to be very good), Jeff Cannonball b Mike Dell, Conor Claxton NC Drew Blood, Joe Gacy b Rickey Shane Page to retain the CZW world title. Next show is the 18th anniversary show on 2/11 in Voorhees, NJ at Flyers Skate Zone. Danny Havoc & Claxton vs. Devon Moore & Drew Blood in a fans bring the weapons match is the main event.  There will also be a 10th anniversary show for WSU at 4 p.m. with Mercedes Martinez vs. Allie from TNA for the WSU title. (thanks to Bob Magee)
  • Baja Stars USA on 1/21 in San Diego has Rey Fenix & Misterioso vs. Pentagon Jr. & Rayden.
  • Robles Promotions on 1/29 in McAllen, TX at Famoso Club Fuego has Mistico & Dragon Rojo Jr. vs. Maximo Sexy & Shocker.
  • Johnny Mundo and Teddy Hart headline a show in Los Angeles today at the Clela Arena.
  • Shocker and Chris Masters headline a show today in El Paso at the Boys & Girls Club.
  • A story on Shannon Moore returning to wrestling is here. (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • A story on an indie group in Arkansas is here.

Today in Professional Wrestling History (1/15): WWF Royal Rumble 1989


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