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Daily Update: Elimination Chamber, Flair's birthday, Rousey


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We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's Elimination Chamber show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to

We're also looking for reports tonight on the Smackdown house show in Ontario, CA and the NXT show in Barrie, ONT to


Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. Elias vs. The Miz vs. John Cena vs. Braun Strowman for the No. 1 contendership to the Universal title -- This will be a long match since Chamber matches always are, and there's more than enough talent to make it great. The key, like with the gauntlet match, seems to be to have somebody win, and Reigns was the original pick and we'll see if they change it, and also protect Strowman with a gimmick elimination. Chamber matches are historically great and I don't see any reason this won't fit into that. Oddsmakers have done an over/under on 4 stars as well as 45 minutes in length. Reigns at last word was a -505 favorite, and there's a lot of money to be made if Vince changes his mind.

Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville vs. Mickie James for the Raw women's title -- This doesn't look nearly as strong. But they'll probably give it a good storyline, plus with the emphasis on the women, I doubt they'll rush it. Bliss is a -320 favorite.

Asuka vs. Nia Jax -- They've wrestled before. It's usually good, but not that good. Asuka is a -900 favorite. It's going to be interesting to see how they protect Jax, if they do, and rebuild her.

Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Apollo & Titus O'Neil for the Raw tag titles -- There aren't even any odds posted on this one. A title change would be a surprise. Crews will probably be in most of the way selling and so it should be good.

Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt -- Their previous matches haven't been much. Hardy is a -230 favorite but it really doesn't matter who wins.

Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel (pre-show match) -- This should be an average pre-show match. Gallows & Anderson are the far better team, but Dallas & Axel are more focused in main angles, especially going forward since Miz is a key part of Mania.

Monday has the live Raw in Anaheim, CA at the Honda Center. John Cena and Brock Lesnar are on the show. Ronda Rousey is not advertised, but it would make sense for her to be there since it's Anaheim. There is also a Monday Smackdown house show in San Diego.

Tuesday has Smackdown in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. Ruby Riott vs. Naomi has been announced, along with Finn Balor & Sasha Banks vs. The Miz & Asuka in mixed match challenge and cruiserweight title tournament matches the Roderick Strong vs. Kalisto and TJP vs. Cedric Alexander.

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: WWE Announces the end of brand exclusive PPVs

Less than two years into the current brand split, WWE announced last week that the era of brand-exclusive pay-per-views is coming to an end. Sunday's Elimination Chamber will be the last Raw-exclusive event, and Fastlane on March 11th will be the final SmackDown PPV. Starting with Backlash on May 6th, every PPV will feature wrestlers from both Raw and SmackDown. The schedule for 2018 initially listed five dual-brand shows (the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Money in the Bank, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series), five Raw-only shows, and four SmackDown ones.

WON NEWSLETTER: February 26, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Raw gauntlet match, brand exclusive PPVs ending, more

A look at some of the longest matches in WWE history is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Then, look back to the Bruno Sammartino era and his matches with Waldo Von Erich and Pedro Morales, as well as look at the gauntlet match on Monday with notes on records.

Look at the reason behind WWE changing its PPV schedule, cutting back on the individual brand PPV shows and lowering the number of shows this year, the reasons behind it, the schedule for the rest of the year and an update on the next two PPV shows.

Read about the possible retirement of Keiji Muto and the latest issues facing Roman Reigns. Also look at past precedents in this situation.

There is a detailed look at New Japan's tour of Australia, including business notes, the highlights from all the shows and talks regarding returning.

Look at Donald Cerrone and career all-time records in UFC with coverage of Sunday's show from Austin, TX.

Read a major feature on the career of Jeff Jarrett, from his days working for his father, the move to WWF, what did and didn't work, the infamous holding up Vince for money and background of that story, his WCW run, why WWF never took him back, the starting and history of TNA and why WWF is putting him in its Hall of fame.

Read notes on the death of Tom Zenk and how it relates to an entire era of wrestling.

This issue has more on the release of Rich Swann and his schedule, an update on the cruiserweight title tournament, a unique match added to the next Madison Square Garden show, executive positions opened, SummerSlam notes, The Miz's baby shower, where WWE holds live events, WWE market value, Ronda Rousey honored and the most-watched shows over the past week on the WWE Network.

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

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 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 29, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Royal Rumble review, Shawn Michaels to return

In what was one of the best PPVs in the history of the WWF, the company gave a big tease for the eventual Rock vs. Steve Austin match which at this point still looks to be the headliner at Wrestlemania, putting Austin over in the Rumble. The show, featuring some strong highs and only a few lows, featured an early match of the year candidate in the Chris Jericho IC title win over Chris Benoit in a ladder match.


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Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio to talk Elimination Chamber, New Japan Honor Rising, as well as take your e-mail questions to

Ric Flair turns 69 today. God is there the easiest joke in the world begging to be written.

The winner of tonight's Elimination Chamber match will face off in the ring with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman tomorrow night on Raw. At least as of yesterday, Ronda Rousey was to be appearing on Raw as well, although she is not being advertised locally for the show.

Kambi odds you can bet on regarding tonight's show and star ratings: (thanks to

  • Highest rated match
  • Men's Chamber -500
  • Womens' Chamber +650
  • Any other match +175
  • Over/under star ratings
  • Asuka vs. Nia Jax **1/2
  • Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt **1/2
  • Men's Chamber ****
  • Women's Chamber **3/4

This is the thing talked about on last night's show regarding Daniel Cormier and Dominick Cruz and Michael Bisping on the finish of the main event.

Last night's UFC show didn't air on KTVU-TV in San Francisco and the prelims didn't air on WSVN in Miami/Fort Lauderdale. As noted in the ratings story, the streaming numbers are going to be very interesting because it will be one of the telling signs about real viewing patterns of the average sports fan in those two markets. (thanks to Matt Prentice)

Probably the biggest news from the weekend New Japan shows was how over Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi were as a tag team. The Omega & Ibushi vs. Young Bucks match was set up, but the date has not been announced. On that front, I was told to expect the New Japan Long Beach card to be announced this week. The New Japan Cup should also be announced imminently.


  • Charlotte Flair has been added to the Detroit Autorama at the Cobo Center on 3/2 from 6-8 P.M. Roman Reigns will be there on 3/3 from 10 a.m. to noon. (thanks to Jake Koch)
  • A story on Bruno Sammartino and other famous people who went to his high school. (thanks to Chris Cruise)
  • There was a big story on Linda McMahon and politics.


  • Shuji Kondo beat Koji Iwamoto in the finals in Osaka to win All Japan's Junior Battle of Glory tournament. Kondo will now be getting a shot at champion Atsushi Aoki. Zeus & The Bodyguard regained their world tag titles over Kento Miyahara & Yoshitatsu.
  • A show last night in San Jose, CA where Dragon Lee beat Titan in the main event and Ultimo Dragon also appeared drew 1,250 fans at Mt. Pleasant High School for Gabe Ramirez's Pro Wrestling Revolution group.
  • Gary Michael Cappetta starts his "Beyond Bodyslams" stage show tour on 5/19 in Richmond, VA. He will be doing shows this year in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Scranton and Baltimore. There is 20% off tickets. Cappetta has a lot of great stories and really if you want a book on 80s and 90s pro wrestling, his is one of the most honest around.
  • L.A. Park and Edge have been added to WrestleCon in New Orleans to an endless list of people there that include Shawn Michaels, Sting, Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Ted DiBiase, Mick Foley, The Steiner Brothers, Road Warrior Animal, Gene Okerlund, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Penta 0M, Ken Shamrock, Jerry Lawler, Kevin Sullivan, and countless others.
  • ROH has announced Q&A's on 4/7 in New Orleans in conjunction with the Supercard of Honor show. The Q&As will be Bullet Club at 12:30 p.m., The Kingdom at 1:25 p.m. Women of Honor at 2:05 P.M., Dalton Castle at 2:55 p.m. and Baretta, Chuckie T, Colt Cabana, Ian Riccaboni, Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser at 3:45 p.m. and all the ROH champions at 4:45 p.m.
  • The Eddie Edwards vs. Sami Callihan match where Edwards eye was messed up from a baseball bat rebounding off a chair will be part of Thursday's TV show.
  • Combat Zone Wrestling drew a sellout last night in Asbury Park, NJ: Jimmy Lloyd, Handsome Charlie, Griffin McCoy, Ceapo, Frankie Pichard, Jordan Oliver, Angsty Allis was a no contest, Dan O'Hare & Shlak b Mr. Braxton & Mitch Vallen, Alex Reynolds b John Sliver, Anthony Gagnone & Smiley & Juba b Joe Gacy & Dan Berry & Eddy Blackwater, Kit Osbourne b Mike Dell, Nate Carter & Dave McCall b Isiah Kassidy & Marq Queen, Penelope Ford b Leyla Hirsch, Brandon Kirk & D.J. Hyde b Graver & Stockade, Dezmond Xavier b Jonathan Gresham, Rickey Shane Page b Matt Tremont. Next show in Asbury Park will be in May.
  • Stardom's Noon show yesterday in Osaka: Natsuko Tora won three-way over Kaori Yoneyama and Starlight Kid, Hana Kimura & Sumire Natsu b Tam Nakano & Shiki Shibusawa, Toni Storm & Xia Brookside & Jungle Kyona d Nicole Savoy & Miranda & Bea Priestley over 15:00, Io Shirai & Momo Watanabe b Konami & Hiromi Mimura, Kagetsu b Jenny Rose in the Women of Honor tournament, Mayu Iwatani b HZK in the Women of Honor tournament.
  • Australian historian Dan Lennard said that a four-way with Will Ospreay vs. Robbie Eagles vs. Mick Moretti vs. Caveman Ugg today in Sydney finished a one week period where he never saw two matches as good live (the other being the Chaos vs. Young Bucks & Cody match from the New Japan show).
  • Battlewars on 4/1 in Montreal at Los Foufounes Electriques.
  • Pro Wrestling Championship Series from last night in Alton, IL: Gary Jay b Christian Rose, Mat Fitchett b Thomas Shire, Paco Gonzalez b Mike Outlaw, Donovan Danhausen b Joshua Bishop, Dominc Garrini b Evan Gelistco, Chris Mac & Angelus Layne b Edvin Kudic & Tootie Lynn Ramsey, Paco Gonzalez b Mat Fitchett, Dominic Garrini b Gary Jay, Danny Adams b Davey Vega, Paco Gonzalez b Matt Kenway. (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
  • NGCW from last night in Kissimme, FL at Fire Frogs Stadium: Roxxy b Chelsea Durden, Apolo Jr. & Jake St. Patrick & Anubis b Cha Chc Charlie & Alex Flash & Ricardo Rodriguez, Kamelot b Santos, Santana Garrett b Lacey Lane-DQ, Billy Gunn b Snitsky, Mecha Wolf 450 won three-way over Zumbi and Laredo Kid, Apolo & Chicano & Alofa ? Mike Knox & Eli Drake & Chris Adonis, Boricua Guerrero & Pantera Ecuatoriana b Noriega & El Hijo de Dos Caras-DQ, Alberto El Patron b Carlito. Hugo Savinovich and Savio Vega did the announcing. Chicky Starr, El Profe, Fidel Sierra, Ricky Santana and Shane Sewell were also there. (thanks to Ivan Pajic)
  • Best of the West iPPV on 3/17 at Fresno City College on the Fite App at 6 p.m. Pacific time with Funnybone vs. Mike Rayne in a cage match, plus El Drake and James Storm will be appearing. They also run 4/15 in Visalia, CA at the Veterans Memorial Building and 5/12 in Merced, CA at the American Legion Post.
  • Lucha Xtreme TV from yesterday in Fresno: Guy Cool b Snipes, Calder McCall b Coa Azul, Shaggy McIovin b Hallowpoint to win the TV title. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
  • River City Wrestling on 3/2 in Kirby, TX and the Turner Club with Abyss vs. Michael Faith in a Monster's Ball match and Jeff Jarrett will referee a tag team title match.
  • Innovate Wrestling from last night in Morristown, TN: Lenny Stratton b Jeff Connelly, Axton Ray b Austin Tyler Morris, Party Boys b Jones Boyz, Devin Driscoll b Wild Bill, Nicole Pain b Madi Maxx, Heatseekers b Jordan Kage & Chris Richards.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: WWF No Way Out 2001


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