THE LATEST NEWS
- Four matches from Wrestle Kingdom 12 airing on AXS TV tonight
- NJPW New Year's Dash results: Jericho appears, Bullet Club friction
- NXT Crystal River, FL, live results: SAnitY vs. AOP & Jaoude
THE LATEST AUDIO
- Wrestling Weekly: Wrestle Kingdom, Naito, more 1/6
- WOR: New Year's Dash, Jericho and NJPW, Smackdown, 205 Live, more! 1/6
- WOL: New Year's Dash, Mixed Match Challenge, 205 Live, Stokely Hathaway and more! 1/5
We're looking for reports on Saturday's Raw show in Cape Girardeau, MO, Smackdown in Jackson, MS, and NXT in Charlotte to email@example.com.
CMLL FROM ARENA MEXICO ON SATURDAY AT 6 P.M. EASTERN TIME
- Audaz & Flyer & Magia Blanca vs. Coyote & Templario & Yago
- Pegasso & Titan vs. Raziel & Virus
- Soberano Jr. vs. Rey Cometa
- Drone & Esfinge & Guerrero Maya Jr. vs. Cuatrero & Forastero & Sanson
- Niebla Roja vs. Gran Guerrero
- Volador Jr. & Cavernario vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Valiente
NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING ON SATURDAY AT 8 P.M. EASTERN ON AXS TV
- This will be the U.S. television debut of the Tokyo Dome show, which will air at both 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. The show will be edited down to three hours so not all of the bouts will air, but the key matches will air in their entirety.
Sunday has WWE Raw in West Plains, MO and Smackdown in Mobile, AL.
Monday has Raw in Memphis, with Brock Lesnar on the show. There will be a Smackdown house show Monday night in Montgomery, AL.
Smackdown and 205 Live will take place on Tuesday night in Birmingham, AL.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE
- Enzo Amore returned to the ring and retained his Cruiserweight Championship against Cedric Alexander at Raw's house show in Evansville, Indiana last night. Amore was supposed to defend the title against Alexander on Raw last Monday but missed the show due to being hospitalized with the flu. Amore also wasn’t on 205 Live and was pulled from the upcoming Mixed Match Challenge, but Dave Meltzer reported that Amore had been cleared to wrestle in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- Ahead of Mixed Match Challenge debuting on January 16th, WWE uploaded a video where Cathy Kelley teaches viewers how to use Facebook Watch.
- To further establish her character in NXT, WWE has a video with Shayna Baszler interrupting a training session at the Performance Center and “teaching” Jessie Elaban submissions by trying to choke her out.
- WWE re-did the 1996 Raw intro with wrestlers from the current roster.
- This week’s WWE video top 10 list focuses on AJ Styles’ best moments in the company.
- ESPN has an article on how CrossFit has changed the way that WWE wrestlers train.
- Luke Gallows is supporting Kane for mayor of Knox County, Tennessee.
- Impact ratings continue to rise now that the NFL regular season is over. This week’s episode averaged 309,000 viewers, which is the third straight week that ratings have been up and the first time Impact has been over the 300,000 mark since August. The show was a new episode after two weeks of recaps.
- At least for now, Jay White is a member of NJPW’s Chaos stable after joining the group at a post-Wrestle Kingdom press conference. White said that his next goal is to challenge Kenny Omega for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, but he said he isn’t going to fall behind Kazuchika Okada and eventually wants to challenge for Okada’s IWGP Heavyweight title. NJPW posted full video of the press conference.
- Okada also responded to SANADA challenging him to an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match by suggesting that there should be a Tag Team title match with SANADA & EVIL defending against Okada & Hirooki Goto if he accepts.
- NJPW’s Takaaki Kidani said he wants all of the outfield seats at the Tokyo Dome to be full for Wrestle Kingdom within two years and mentioned that NJPW needs young Japanese stars to do so, including a heavyweight in his 20s. Kidani also said he’s interested in more wrestlers with a relationship with WWE getting involved in NJPW and wants to do that until the “other side” wants to get along.
- Chris Jericho posted a photo with Jado and Gedo on Instagram and wrote: “Great to work together again with #Jado & #Gedo, two of my oldest friends in the business!! Who would’ve thought when I bought them hotdogs back in 1993 in Mexico City that 25 years later we would be dominating @njpw_english_official together??”
- Rolling Stone ran an article on Jericho helping NJPW appeal to American viewers.
- Minoru Suzuki thanked everyone behind the Real Hero Archive drive to raise money for Yoshihiro Takayama and everyone who donated.
- Tetsuya Naito will face Taichi at a show produced by Taka Michinoku and Taichi on January 23rd.
- After suffering an injury, Kris Wolf won’t be on Stardom’s shows the rest of the weekend and returned to Tokyo to recuperate.
- Jeff Jarrett briefly won the “Grizzlyweight Championship” from Jerry Lawler at halftime of last night’s Memphis Grizzlies game after using a guitar shot. DeAngelo Williams, who is a free agent NFL running back and made an in-ring appearance for Impact last year, then helped the Grizzlies’ mascot win the title from Jarrett.
- The New York Post ran a story on Justin Credible and how he’s working with DDP to overcome his struggles with addiction.
- Paul Heyman responded to a question about his thoughts on Marty Scurll: “I am, indeed, a huge admirer / fan of @MartyScurll. Anyone who is not, is simply not paying attention to the trends in the industry nor the proper villain who will show us the way into the future!”
- WrestleCircus teased that they’ll be returning later this year.
- Amanda Nunes tweeted about potentially facing Cris Cyborg: “First of all, I have nothing personal against @criscyborg I do believe it is the fight that everyone wants to see and a fight where we can both leave our marks on this sport.”
- Tyron Woodley said that he wasn’t impressed by Rafael dos Anjos’ win over Robbie Lawler.
- Yoel Romero thinks it’s crazy that Michael Bisping was allowed to fight Kelvin Gastelum so quickly after losing to Georges St-Pierre.
- Brad Tavares wants to face Bisping in England for Bisping’s retirement fight.
- Marlon Moraes tweeted that he’s signed his bout agreement for a matchup against Jimmie Rivera and told Rivera to pick one of two dates.
Today in Professional Wrestling History: Lance Storm & William Regal win WWE Tag Team gold
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