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Daily Update: Braun Strowman, UFC 219 fallout, AAW

THE ROUND-UP

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THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're looking for your thoughts on UFC 219, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

Nothing happening today in wrestling.

Raw will be Monday night from Miami with Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe for the IC title where the title can change hands via DQ and Enzo Amore vs. Cedric Alexander for the cruiserweight title.

Smackdown and 205 Live will be Tuesday night from Orlando, including A.J. Styles vs. Sami Zayn, Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable for the tag titles, Aiden English vs. Xavier Woods in the U.S. title tournament and Tyler Breeze & Fandango vs. Harper & Rowan.

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly 12/25/2017: Looking at WWE's women's Royal Rumble announcement

The road to WrestleMania took a not-entirely-unexpected turn last week when it was announced on Raw that the first-ever women's Royal Rumble match would be taking place next month. While there are still plenty of specifics to be worked out, the announcement itself made all of the sense in the world. The women's division shouldn't be an afterthought in the build to WWE's biggest show of the year. 

WON NEWSLETTER: January 1, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2017 In Review

Our 2017 year in review issue of the Observer is up on the site, with full business coverage of the year as well as a breakdown of the biggest pro wrestling news stories of 2017, updating them with a lot of new information on them. There is a major feature on the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling at the Tokyo Dome, as well as an update on where John Cena at WrestleMania stands.

Have a look at the biggest crowds of the year, who has headlined the most major shows, where John Cena stands among the all-time biggest drawing cards as well as where other current WWE stars stand.

There is a PPV breakdown of the year, a breakdown of biggest live crowds and who drew the most, a look at the biggest gates of the year and an update on the ten biggest drawing cards in pro wrestling history.

Examine Vince McMahon's stock sale, thoughts on buying an NFL franchise or starting his own league and the stock price concerns.

In this issue, an update with the planned main event for WWE's PPV in March, update on Dean Ambrose, more WWE injury notes, T-shirt selling strong, Brock Lesnar's schedule, Daniel Bryan update, Ronda Rousey update, former member of WWE Board of Directors is the latest major executive having to step down, Angle talks Jordan angle, Gerald Brisco awarded, plans for March, Velveteen Dream update, what WWE is looking for in talent right now, and the most-watched shows on the WWE Network.

There is also a huge feature on the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling at the Tokyo Dome dating back to 1989. Look at why the first show took place, what legendary video game character came from the first show, why there were so few stadium shows before the Tokyo Dome opened, and a look at that first show. Check out the first main event and the move that came from another sport to pro wrestling that ended up as the finisher of one of the biggest stars ever years later. 

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 11, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: ECW Massacre on 34th Street review, WWF Rebellion, more

Amidst rumors of the company being down for the count, Extreme Championship Wrestling put on a strong PPV show on 12/3, but more importantly, everyone was paid for one pay period (meaning everyone is now five weeks behind in pay). Nobody quit the promotion, which some had talked about doing if they weren't paid again. The morale, which rises and falls based on whether or not the checks come, was said to be better coming out of the show.

SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Our weekend show is already up on the site.

UFC 219 was the single most searched item yesterday on Google with more than one million searches. That indicates far more interest than all but the biggest UFC shows, which really surprised me. Khabib Nurmagomedov was the 12th most searched item, which is notable given it's not the easiest term to know how to spell.

Braun Strowman was off the last three days with a very bad flu. 

Hideki Suzuki & Konosuke Takeshita won today's New Year's Eve multi-promotional tag team tournament at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.

It shouild be noted for this week that besides the Tokyo Dome show Thursday morning/late Wednesday night, that there will be matches with guys not booked on the Dome show on 1/3 at Differ Ariake, and New Year's Dash, where the angles starting the new year will be shot on 1/5 at Korakuen Hall.

AAW from last night in Merrionette Park, IL: Keith Lee & Shane Strickland b Zachary Wentz & Dezmond Xavier, ACH d Matt Riddle 20:00, Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett b Curt Stallion & Nick Brubaker, David Starr b Eddie Kingston after a baseball bat shot to the face, AR Fox over Joey Janela, Teddy Hart and Penta 0M, David & Jake Crist & Sami Callihan b Myron Reed & Stephen Wolf & Try Miguel, Connor Braxton & Jake Something b Paco & Sean Waltman, Rey Fenix b Jeff Cobb with a Canadian Destroyer to keep the AAW title. Riddle vs. ACH said to be better than their bout in LaSalle and ****1/4 or more. (thanks to Dave Gould)

WWE

  • The complete collection of Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling from 1981-82 will be on the WWE Network by 1/8.
  • Pete Dunne kept the U.K. title yesterday on the Progress show in London beating Jack Gallagher.

UFC

  • Even though two judges gave Holly Holm the first two rounds against Cris Cyborg last night, here are the significant strike totals by the round: 1 - 16-5 Cyborg 2 - 21-4 Cyborg 3 - 22-6 Cyborg 4 - 20-9 Cyborg 5 - 39-20 Cyborg
  • Cyborg's blows also landed harder.
  • For last night's predictions 5-0 Steve Juon 4-1 Mike Sawyer 3-2 Josh Nason, Ryan Frederick, John Pollock 2-3 Dave Meltzer, Paul Fontaine 1-4 Mike Sempervive, David Bixenspan, Front Row Brian and Tom Lawlor
  • For the full year: Pollock 57-28 (.671) Meltzer 56-29 (.659) Juon 55-30 (.647) Nason & Sawyer 53-32 (.624) Sempervive 51-34 (.600) Lawlor 28-28 (.583) Bixenspan & Frederick 49-36 (.576) Brian 44-41 (.518) Fontaine 43-42 (.506)
  • UFC sent out e-mails to some Fight Pass customers offering them 20 percent off on last night's PPV show.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Progress from yesterday in London at the Electric Ballroom, Chapter 60, no matches were announced but the show still drew a sellout of 700 fans: Tyler Bate & Zack Gibson & Kyle Fletcher & Chris Brookes b Trent Seven & James Drake & Mark Davis & Kid Lykos in an elimination match with Brookes as the final survivor in a comedy match, Jack Sexsmith b Joe Coffey, Millie McKenzie won six-way over Charlie Morgan, Sierra Loxton, Candyfloss, Charli Evans and Chakara, Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins b Clint Margera & Drew Parker in a 12 days of Christmas no DQ match with 12 different weapons wrapped up as Christmas presents being used, Rampage Brown b Flash Morgan Webster, Travis Banks b Will Ospreay to keep the Progress world title (said to be one of the best matches in Progress for the year and possibly their history), Pete Dunne b Jack Gallagher to keep the U.K. title (fantastic match). 
  • A story on Marco Corleone from his home paper.
  • There will be a New Year's Eve show streaming live on Powerbomb.tv starting at 6 p.m. Eastern time with David Starr vs. Joey Janela fans bring the weapons, Chris Dickinson & Jake vs. EYFBO (LAX in Impact) in a TLC match, Flip Gordon vs Wheeler Yuta, Matt Riddle vs. Jimmy Jacobs, AR Fox vs. Rickey Shane Page, Keith Lee vs. Josh Briggs and Jordynne Gracie vs. John Silver, plus Joey Ryan, Dan Barry and more. There is also a pregame show with Jonathan Gresham vs. Tracy Williams and Tom Lawlor & Chuck O'Neil vs Rory Gulak & Jay Freddie.
  • Today is the 23rd anniversary of the death of Woody Strode. Strode was one of the first black players to play in the NFL, became a major movie star and was also a star pro wrestler. 
  • Best of the West on 3/17 at Fresno City College at 5:30 p.m. will be an iPPV with Eli Drake and James Storm. There will be a meet and greet for $30 and include front row ringside and one hour with the talent. They also have a TV taping on 1/7 at the Hanford Civic Center at 6 p.m. with Funnybone vs. Sinn Bodhi and Shotzi Blackheart vs Desi Derate. They return to TV in Fresno on KAIL TV-53 next Sunday at 10 a.m.
  • Inspire Pro Wrestling on 1/14 in Austin, TX has ACH vs. Shane Strickland, Kody Lane vs. MJF and a Battle Royal. 
  • SuperBowl Bash 5 on 1/20 at 5 p.m. in Barrie, ONT at 49 Ferris Lane featuring Joe Hendry.
  • Smash Wrestling on 1/19 in Sarnia, ONT at the Music Hall with Tarik vs. Joe Hendry.
  • Femmes Fatales on 2/24 in Vanier, ONT at 260 McArthur St. with Vanessa Kraven, Nicole Savoy, Mercedes Martinez and Jessicka Havok.
  • XICW on 1/7 in Warren, MI at the Hot Rock Sports Bar.
  • CWE on 1/8 in Virden, Manitoba at the Virden Collegiate and 1/10 in Brandon, Manitoba featuring an appearance by Jake Roberts.
  • Stardom on 1/13 in Yokohama has Io Shrai vs. Rachael Ellering plus Kris Wolf defends her AWS title against Miranda Salinas. 1/21 is the company seventh anniversary show at Korakuen Hall with Mary Apache vs. Kay Lee Ray and Queen's Quest vs. Oedo Tai.
  • Lisa Marie Varon will appear on the Amazon and Amazon Prime TV show "Tainted Streams" that Jessie Godderz is in. She plays the parole officer for the character Godderz plays. The two played a couple in TNA several years ago.
  • Celeste Bonin, who was Kaitlyn in WWE, will face Rachael Ellering in her return to pro wrestling on 2/10 for Coastal Championship Wrestling in South Florida. Bonin has been training with Pablo Marquez. 
  • BBC News re-released their feature on Pro-Wrestling: EVE today.
  • EVE have also been featured in Buzzfeed's "Look back at 2017" feature this week. (thanks to Emily and Dann Read)

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Mike, Kerry and Kevin Von Erich win WCCW 6 Man Tag Team Titles

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