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Daily Update: AEW rally, SmackDown, Impact meeting

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F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: WWE's biggest news stories of 2018

2018 was an especially mixed year for WWE. It's been an incredible year for WWE financially -- even if that hasn't always been mirrored by traditional metrics. They agreed to two transformative TV deals that will shape the company for years to come. WWE also reached a lucrative 10-year deal with the Saudi General Sports Authority, with the first two shows in Saudi Arabia being among the most controversial in the history of the promotion.

WON NEWSLETTER (ONLINE ONLY): January 7, 2019 Observer Newsletter special: History of the Tokyo Dome - NO HARDCOPY AVAILABLE

When the Tokyo Dome opened on March 17, 1988, the idea of pro wrestling there wasn’t even an idea.

The Dome was built to be the new modern home of two baseball teams, the Yomiuri Giants of the Central League, the team of Shigeo Nagashima and Sadaharu Oh years earlier, the unofficial national team that had all its games on NTV, and sold out every game. The Dome held 48,316 fans for baseball, but for years, every single Giants game announced the attendance as 56,000. The other team, the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Pacific League, which played there through the 2003 season, were the ones that the average person could get tickets to see.

The idea was baseball and concerts, the Rolling Stones (who have 19 Tokyo Dome sellouts), Michael Jackson (who sold 405,000 tickets for nine dates in December 1988), U2, Madonna and Japanese artists. But while it has housed numerous sporting events, including NFL and Major League Baseball, with the exception of baseball and concerts, it’s probably best known for pro wrestling.

Pro wrestling was still huge on television back then. All Japan, headed by Giant Baba, was a fixture on Nippon TV, one of the major networks. New Japan, on TV-Asahi, had matches airing in prime time. 

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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • SmackDown takes place tonight at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Two matches are set to take place tonight: a triple threat match between Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Carmella with the winner facing Asuka at the Royal Rumble and a non title match between The Usos and The Bar. A confrontation between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles will also take place tonight.
  • Jordan Devlin was removed by WWE from a Wrestle Gate Pro event that will take place on January 26. Jake McCluskey, his original opponent, will now face Chris Ridgeway.

Pro Wrestling

  • Joey Janela, Penelope Ford and MJF all appeared today during the AEW rally in Jacksonville, Florida. Dave Meltzer has confirmed that MJF has signed with the promotion.
  • Additional notes from the rally. Brandi Rhodes said that both men and women would be paid equally in the promotion. Cody meanwhile emphasized that wins and losses would matter in AEW.
  • The Young Bucks announced during the rally that CIMA and his stable known as STRONGHEARTS would be a part of AEW, representing CIMA’s promotion in China called Oriental Wrestling Entertainment. The stable includes wrestlers such as El Lindaman, T-Hawk and Takehiro Yamamura.
  • Cody announced on the AEW Twitter account that Billy Gunn will be working with the promotion as a producer.
  • PWInsider is reporting that a meeting was held backstage prior to yesterday’s Impact tapings by Ed Nordholm, president of Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions. It was said to be a positive speech, with Nordholm saying that 2018 was a learning year and was he optimistic regarding 2019. He also shot down recent rumors that Anthem were looking to sell the company.
  • Tetsuya Naito and CMLL’s Okumura will be going to Costa Rica as part of the Costa Rica Wrestling Embassy’s March 30 event.
  • Eric Bischoff was on a DTALKS podcast talking about running WCW while also being a parent.

UFC/MMA

  • Rachael Ostovich spoke to Ariel Helwani about Greg Hardy, saying that she believes in second chances, and that everyone’s situation is not the same.
  • Dana White says that Rose Namajunas will defend the strawweight title against Jessica Andrade at UFC 237 on May 11 in Brazil.
  • The March 30 UFC Fight Night show on ESPN will take place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
  • An upcoming 30 for 30 documentary on Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz’s feud has been teased on their Twitter.
  • Cezar Mutante will face Tom Breese in a middleweight bout at UFC Fight Night London. He replaces Alessio Di Chirico.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Edge cashes in to win his first WWE World title

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