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Daily Update: Dunne vs. Ospreay in IPW, UFC 222, NJPW

THE ROUND-UP

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THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're looking for reports on tonight's Raw from Memphis as far as the Main Event matches, any dark matches or anything else not on Raw to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com. We're also looking for reports on tonight's Smackdown brand house show in Montgomery, Al.

Raw tonight features the return of The Miz after his last movie, Matt Hardy's in-ring debut on WWE television with his new gimmick, Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman, along with last week's planned Enzo Amore vs. Cedric Alexander cruiserweight title match.

We're also looking for reports on last night's Smackdown house show in Mobile, AL.

Smackdown and 205 Live will take place on Tuesday night in Birmingham, AL.

​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 8, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: More Women's Royal Rumble details, UFC 219 reviewed, more

An update on the Royal Rumble, as well as the women's Royal Rumble and different possibilities of where it can go is the lead item in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Have a look at the UFC's 2017 when it comes to business, why the increase in total revenue may be hiding a real problem, the value of the big stars, all the ratings and PPV numbers, as well as the competition from Bellator.

This issue runs down UFC 219 with some early business indicators of how it did, thoughts on Cyborg vs. Holm and the judging process, TV numbers and what they did and didn't say, Khabib Nurmagomedov plus full match rundowns with how much everyone was paid and poll results.

Check out Japan's Rizin New Year's Eve two major shows with notes on Mirko Cro Cop, the Gabi Garcia fiasco and her explanation, the ratings of the show and more highlights.

Our good friend Larry Matysik, who is currently hospitalized, is talked about in a feature on who he is, his role in St. Louis, his books, his being the only person to work for both Sam Muchnick and Vince McMahon, and some notes on the doors he's opened for me in my lifetime. For those who like history this is a cool feature.

Read about a woman wrestler who was offered a WWE contract but it’s not looking like she'll be in soon, another who may be in soon, notes on Strowman and Enzo and their illnesses, one major WWE star who won't be in the Royal Rumble, the best WWE matches of 2017, and another John Cena movie role as well as an update on Rock and Cena movies and business.

There is more on the Mixed Match Challenge Facebook series, just how crazy the end of the month will be for WWE, Dolph Ziggler, WWE stock and the most-watched shows of the week on WWE Network.

Check out a full rundown of the WWE's holiday tour, with notes from every show, including business notes and booking notes.

Examine the 2017 win-loss records for WWE wrestlers as well as the Iron Man award winners dating back to 2004 and also compare the number of dates with WWE's top stars with that of New Japan's top stars.

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WON BACK ISSUE: December 18, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WWF Armageddon reviewed plus tons of news

The WWF's final PPV event of its biggest year was sold as a one match card, and even after buying the show, most of the first two hours of the show came across more like an ad to buy a show already purchased. After a flat undercard, where nothing was terribly bad but nothing was particularly good, that dragged at times because of too much hype that would have best been served being on Sunday Night Heat, the main event finally took place.

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back doing Wrestling Observer Live tonight, covering Raw, the latest news as well as taking questions sent tomailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

 Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar for the UFC featherweight title is being reported for UFC 222, on 3/3 in Las Vegas, by MMA Junkie. It was expected that would be Holloway's next title defense.

The first WWE vs. NJPW singles champion match in 24 years will take place on 1/17 in Milton Keyes, UK for the IPW promotion as WWE UK champion Pete Dunne will face IWGP jr. champion Will Ospreay.  

One of the most frequently asked questions I've gotten in the last year plus regards New Japan in Australia and/or New Zealand since it was planned for 2017 but didn't happen. Bad Luck Fale will be making an announcement within the next 24 hours regarding multiple dates.

It is quite weird with the tour starting on Saturday that no lineups have been announced for Fantastica Mania. One would have expected all the January and February cards to be announced on Friday but nothing has been. One explanation is the broken rib suffered by Negro Casas that takes him off the tour held things up, but it's now been several days, and they could still announce the New Beginnings tour. As it is, they've got two shows in a Sapporo on successive nights on the 27th and 28th, which is only a few weeks away, with no matches announced.

The mystery former world champion that Five Star Wrestling was going to announce as part of their promotion was Jack Swagger, who was there live at a press conference. The promotion debuts with a live show on Free Sport TV in the U.K. from Liverpool.

WWE

  • Paul Levesque announced NXT dates for 2/22 in Mississauga, ONT, 2/23 in St. Catharines, ONT, 2/24 in Peterborough, ONT and 2/25 in Barrie, ONT. Tickets to on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday.
  • Regarding the canceled NXT show on 1/19 in Jacksonville, it is because the National Guard needed the Armory for training purposes. There's no issues when it comes to the building, ticket sales or anything and they'll be back in February.  
  • "Jumanji" with Dwayne Johnson as the lead debuted at No. 1 at the Australian box office this past week doing $15,885, 194. It beat Star Wars, although it was the third week for Star Wars.
  • Johnson's daughter Simone spoke last night at the Golden Globe Awards where she was the special ambassador. Johnson was a presenter on the show.
  • Paige was on the road with WWE this past week working as the manager for Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose, so there is a chance she'll be on TV but not wrestling tonight.
  • A number of episodes of Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling from September 1981 (when Ric Flair first won the NWA title) through October 1983 (the build to the first Starrcade where Flair won the title a second time) are now up on the WWE Network.
  • A story on Kevin Owens promoting tomorrow night's Smackdown show.
  • A story on Cedric Alexander promoting the 205 Live house show in Poughkeepsie.

UFC

  • Paul Fontaine has a very interesting article on the UFC PPV business.
  • The Massachusetts Commission licensed all the fighters and officials for the 1/20 UFC PPV show in Boston, which is a big one because there is the feeling that Francis Ngannou will become the next new major star for the company if he can beat Stipe Miocic and win the heavyweight title. Plus the show has Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir for the light heavyweight title. There were issues and at one point the commission was wanting all the fighters to appear before the commission to get licensed ahead of time which would have been a nightmare having to bring everyone to Boston before the show.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Dalton Castle vs. Punishment Martinez for the ROH title will take place on the company's first show of the year, the TV tapings on 1/20 in Nashville. There will also be a meet and greet in Nashville at the Municipal Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. with the Young Bucks, Cody, Dalton Castle & The Boys, Adam Page, Marty Scurll, Deonna Purrazzo as well as a meet and greet during intermission with The Kingdom. 
  • Brad Stutts, the booker and TV announcer for the CWF Mid Atlantic promotion, and who was The Scribe in the TNA version of Matt Hardy's broken universe, was let go by the promotion for what the promotion said was "what we believe is inappropriate behavior."
  • Impact on Thursday will be the first show from the new tapings, which begin on Wednesday. So Thursday's show is either same-day or being taped a day ahead in Orlando at the Impact Zone.
  • Reader Lavie Margolan, who wrote a book about Donald Trump's connection with pro wrestling, has a Trump/pro wrestling timeline.
  • WrestleCircus, after closing down a few months ago, announced there will be a big announcement made tonight, which the presumption is for a return. 
  • CWE from last night in Moosomin, Saskatchewan: Bobby Collins b Austin Arrow, AJ Sanchez b Danny Duggan, Tyler Colton (managed by Jake Roberts) b Jacob Creed for the CWE title, Tony Kozina b Chayse Britton to keep the jr. title, Tommy Lee Curtis b Kevin Lee Davidson. The crew runs in Virden, Manitoba tonight.
  • Destiny champion Pete Dunne defends the title against Austin Aries in the main event on 1/21 for Battle Arts Academy at the Dan Kolov Arena in Mississauaga, ONT.
  • Dynamo Pro Wrestling on 1/20 in St. Louis at the Concordia Turners Gymnasium.
  • Cleveland Knights Championship Wrestling will have an iPPV on 2/9 featuring Eric Bischoff in a key role. J-Rocc vs. Kongo Kong for their championship is the main event. Warlord, Barbarian and Tracy Smothers are on the show.  
  • Pro Wrestling Phoenix from Friday night in Omaha: Purple b Paul Daniels, Zac James b Hefe Barbosa, Brooke Valentine b Miss Frankie Jay, Dalton Lee Roth b Branden Juarez, Joey Daniels b Tim Boston, Preston Maxwell b Carson Rockwell, Robert Storm b Con Artiest, Pat Powers & Devin Carter b Moonshine Russell & Duke Cornell, Lars Metzger & Johnny Ruckus and Clay Cooper & Nathen Edwards in a four-way. Next show is 2/1 at the Waiting Room Lounge in Omaha.
  • Pro Wrestling Eve on Saturday in London features Millie McKenzie vs. Toni Storm. The event is sold out but will be available on delay.
  • Less than 40 tickets remain for Eve's 2/10 show in London with Jinny vs. JAWSolyn.
  • New Japan World today has put up a free Dragon Lee vs. Hiromu Takahashi match. Those two have had one of the best programs over the past three years of any rivalry in the world, with some groundbreaking speed as well as insanity levels.
  • Some results that were missing from RevPro over the weekend in yesterday's update. For Saturday, Martin Stone over Dan Magee and Josh Bodom & Zack Gibson over Kurtis Chapman & Ryan Smile. For Sunday, Lord Gideon Gray over Eddie Daniels via DQ and Will Ospreay & Travis Banks & Kurtis Chapman over Josh Bodom & Zack Gibson & Rob Lias.  Pete Dunne vs. Phantasmo was said to be the best match of the weekend for Rev Pro. (thanks to Ben Hart)
  • Chase Owens will be appearing in a 50 man Rumble match on Friday night in Winnipeg for the CWE promotion.
  • Stand Alone Wrestling on 2/24 in Mays Landing, NJ at the Atlantic Cape Community College is headlined by Tenille Dashwood (Emma) vs. Brittany Blake plus LAX appearing.
  • NWA champion Nick Aldis appears on 1/18 in Primal Conflict Wrestling in Harpers Ferry, WV at KOA.
  • Future Stars of Wrestling on 1/27 in Las Vegas at the Silverado Casino featuring a cage match with Kevin Kross vs. Hammerstone vs. Young Boy Jody, Jeff Cobb vs. Sami Callihan, Alberto El Patron vs. Moose and Kenny King vs. Graves.
  • The 1978 pro wrestling movie “Blood and Guts" that stars the 70s grind house and horror movie star William Smith who then became a tough guy movie character actor in the 80s and features a role with Reginald Love of the Love Brothers, who passed away this past week. (thanks to Jake Koch)

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Edge cashes in to win his first WWE World title

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