Skip to main content

Daily Update: Candice LeRae & Zelina Vega, AJPW, TJ Dillashaw

THE ROUND-UP

Image placeholder title

THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're looking for reports from Raw in Lincoln, NE, and NXT shows in Nashville and Largo, FL to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

UFC FROM BELEM, BRAZIL ON SATURDAY

Fight Pass at 7:30 p.m. Eastern

  • Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Morales

FS1 at 8 p.m. Eastern

  • Iuri Alcantara vs. Joe Soto
  • Polyana Viana vs. Maia Stevenson
  • Damir Hadzovic vs. Alan Patrick
  • Tim Means vs. Sergio Morales
  • Thiago Santos vs. Anthony Smith
  • Douglas de Andrade vs. Marlon Vera
  • Marcelo Golm vs. Timothy Johnson
  • Desmond Green vs. Michel Prazeres
  • Valentina Shevchenko vs. Priscila Cachoeira
  • Lyoto Machida vs. Eryk Anders

Sunday has afternoon shows before the Super Bowl with Raw in Omaha and Smackdown in Little Rock.

Raw will be Monday night in Des Moines.

Smackdown is Tuesday in Kansas City with Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn with the winner facing A.J. Styles for the WWE title at Fast Lane, Bobby Roode vs. Rusev for the U.S. title, Kalisto vs. Lince Dorado and Hideo Itami vs. Roderick Strong in the cruiserweight title tournament plus Jimmy Uso & Naomi vs Goldust & Mandy Rose in the Mixed Match Challenge.

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Rousey's arrival highlights big Royal Rumble Weekend

The most newsworthy week in recent WWE history capped off with Ronda Rousey appearing at the end of the Royal Rumble on Sunday night. Instead of participating in the women's Royal Rumble match itself, Rousey closed the show with an appearance that initially did little to reveal what's next for her in WWE. She came out to "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett, her old UFC walkout song, while wearing one of Roddy Piper's leather jackets. 

WON NEWSLETTER: February 5, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Rebirth of the XFL, Ronda Rousey signs WWE contract

Coverage of some of what will be the biggest stories of the year is in a giant news double issue of the Observer this week.

Our lead story covers the WWE PPV appearance of Ronda Rousey, the plans for her, her training, why this was the perfect timing for WWE, a look at other fighting celebrities in pro wrestling, where she is most valuable to the company and thoughts on if she'll be a success or not, including what has to be guarded against.

This issue contains the most in-depth look at the old XFL, Vince McMahon's new XFL, what went wrong the first time, and whether the 180 degree about-face will work. Also, look at the differences in the landscape between then and now, and what the real keys are to success or failure.

Detailed coverage of the Royal Rumble, including a chart on both Rumble matches, records for the Rumble, business from the Rumble, who put the Rumble together, notes on the surprises, Rey Mysterio and his current situation, changes made the day of the show, plans for Elimination Chamber an updated WrestleMania card, and match-by-match coverage with poll results and star ratings.

Read about the Takeover show in Philadelphia, what did and didn't work, business notes, probable directions coming out of it with match-by-match coverage and star ratings.

Look at the making of the Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic fight and UFC's plans for as many as three champion vs. champion matches on the July show. Also look at the Cormier/Cain Velasquez dynamic with both men commenting as well as the new season of Ultimate Fighter.

Have a look at New Japan Pro Wrestling, with the Omega-Cody angle, a twist that wasn't on television in Sapporo, ticket sales for Long Beach and putting that into perspective, an update on Hiroshi Tanahashi and when he's scheduled to return, the Bullet Club breakup angle, the three different incredible sell jobs of the weekend and how they are different, the business from the two Sapporo events, the lineup for this week's New Japan World live shows, and coverage of both Sapporo shows, with star ratings and poll results.

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: January 15, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2000 Year End Awards, final ECW PPV reviewed, plus tons of news

In what may have been the swan song of the promotion, ECW promised a "holy shit" surprise, which prompted debates over methods of promotion today as well as if there is any future left with the company in the wake of losing its New York television, cancelling next month's PPV and not even producing a new TV show in the go-home week before a PPV show.

SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE

Image placeholder title

WWE

Pro Wrestling

  • Ratings for Thursday’s episode of Impact, which was the launch of another new era and featured Austin Aries winning the World title from Eli Drake, were up slightly. The show averaged 319,000 viewers after doing 310,000 the week before.
  • The Mirror interviewed Ed Nordholm, Scott D’Amore, and Don Callis about Impact’s future while they were on a trip to the UK.
  • Tokyo Sports spoke to Kota Ibushi about his reunion with Kenny Omega.
  • All Japan Pro Wrestling is launching a streaming service, with the price set to be 900 yen (currently $8.17) per month. Further details, including the content that will be on it, have yet to be announced. There are ownership issues that may prevent older content from being uploaded.
  • AJPW revealed the blocks for this year’s Champion Carnival: A Block: Kento Miyahara, Shuji Ishikawa, Yuji Hino, Shingo Takagi, Ryoji Sai, The Bodyguard, Naoya Nomura, and Joe Doering. B Block: Jun Akiyama, KAI, Zeus, Naomichi Marufuji, Suwama, Yoshitatsu, Yutaka Yoshie, and James Raideen (Dylan James).
  • Yuji Nagata & Akiyama defeated Nomura & Sai to win AJPW’s All Asia Tag Team titles this morning.
  • PWG released the preview video for last month’s Mystery Vortex show. The event was Ricochet’s farewell before heading to WWE.
  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a story on a campaign to have a statue of The Crusher put up in Milwaukee.

UFC/MMA

  • After the Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar main event for UFC 222 fell apart due to Holloway suffering an injury, TJ Dillashaw declined to defend his bantamweight title against Cody Garbrandt at the show. Dillashaw spoke to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto about the decision: “It took me two years to get a title shot back, now they want me to defend it on four weeks notice? I have a five-week-old son. I’m not training. My camp is in California and I’m in Denver right now. And all this to face a guy who doesn’t deserve a rematch to begin with? I lost a split decision to Dominick Cruz when I lost my belt, the UFC told me they thought I won that fight, and it still took me two years to get back to it. I had to wait through Cody’s back injury last year, all of TUF bullsh*t. I told the UFC I’m not doing it, I’m shooting for the DJ fight in July.”
  • Garbrandt responded to Dillashaw and started a back-and-forth on Twitter: “My wife will be expecting anytime during that fight week, I just started to be able to use my right hand, how many excuses do you have @TJDillashaw ??”
  • Ariel Helwani tweeted that the current plan is for Edgar to face Brian Ortega in a non-title bout at UFC 222 with Holloway off the show.
  • The UFC released the poster for April’s UFC 223 with Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
  • John Dodson will receive a portion of his pay for tonight’s show after his fight with Pedro Munhoz fell through due to Munhoz missing weight.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: The Mega Powers explode

WRESTLING OBSERVER / F4W - WRESTLEMANIA 34 in NEW ORLEANS

Here we go again! It's back to New Orleans for Wrestlemania 34 and a huge weekend of spectacular professional wrestling related fun and wackiness. EdinSanAntonio Productions along with the Wrestling Observer / Figure Four Empire~! is proud to present the annual Wrestlemania weekend trip details. This huge weekend includes a number of website "members only" events. Below are the two events currently scheduled. Click here for full event details.

WOR Podcast Taping:Purchase TICKETS for the Wrestling Observer Radio LIVE MAILBAG~!

  • WHAT: Wrestling Observer Radio LIVE Podcast Recording with Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez
  • WHEN: Friday, April 6th, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (Doors open at 8:45 a.m. for VIP ticket holders and at 9:15 a.m. for general admission)
  • WHERE: The Bourbon Room, Royal St. Charles Hotel in downtown New Orleans; 135 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130

WO/F4W Brunch:Purchase TICKETS for the Wrestling Oberver BRUNCH~!

  • WHAT: All you care to eat brunch buffet on the morning of Wrestlemania 
  • WHEN: Sunday, April 8th, 2018 - T11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: The Court of Two Sisters restaurant in downtown New Orleans; 613 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130

CONTACT INFORMATION

Support the Empire~! with F4W shirts. Grab yours today!