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Daily Update: Giant weekend, Piper Niven, AEW/NXT ratings


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This is a gigantic weekend for major shows, maybe the busiest of the year:

Smackdown tonight in Milwaukee

ROH Final Battle at 8 p.m. Eastern from Baltimore on Honor Club and PPV headlined by Rush vs. PCO for the ROH title, Briscoes vs. Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham for the tag titles ad Shane Taylor vs. Dragon Lee for the TV title

Warrior Wrestling tonight at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago on FITE TV at 8 p.m. with Will Ospreay & Rocky Romero & Amazing Red vs. Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz & Trey Miguel, Brian Cage vs. El Phantasmo for the Warrior title, Minoru Suzuki vs. Tom Lawlor, Lance Archer vs. Brian Pillman Jr. and many others including Michael Elgin, Drago, Black Taurus, Jake Atlas, Ace Austin and Templario.  This is one of the most loaded indie shows of the year.  

Tonight at 9:30 p.m. has CMLL at Arena Mexico on the CMLL You Tube Page headlined by Caristico & Negro Casas & Valiente vs. Soberano Jr. & Euforia & Ultimo Guerrero

UFC 245 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas:

Prelims at 6:15 p.m. Eastern

  • Oskar Piechota (186) vs. Punahele Soriano (185.5)
  • Jessica Eye (131) vs..Viviane Araujo (126)
  • Kai Kara France (125.5) vs. Brandon Moreno (125.5)
  • Chase Hooper (144.5) vs. Daniel Teymur (145.5)

ESPN 2 at 8 p.m.

  • Matt Brown (171) vs. Ben Saunders (170)
  • Omari Akhmedov (185.5) vs. Ian Heinisch (185.5)
  • Irene Aldana (135.5) vs. Ketlen Vieira (136)
  • Geoff Neal (170) vs. Mike Perry (170.5)

PPV at 10 p.m.

  • Urijah Faber (135.5) vs. Petr Yan (135.5)
  • Jose Aldo (136) vs. Marlon Moraes (135.5)
  • Amanda Nunes (136) vs. Germaine de Randamie (134.5) for the women's bantamweight title
  • Max Holloway (145) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (144.5) for the featherweight title
  • Kamaru Usman (170) vs. Colby Covington (170) for the welterweight title

*Eye missed weight by a full five pounds. She was fined 30 percent of her purse.  On Twitter, Eye said she had no excuse and was thankful the fight was still happening.

NWA at 6:05 p.m. Eastern on PPV from Atlanta with Nick Aldis vs. James Storm for the NWA title 2/3 falls with Tim Storm and Brian Hebner as referees plus Rock & Roll Express vs. WildCard for the NWA tag titles.

Guerra de Titanes from AAA in Ciudad Madero will be on the AAA Twitch channel featuring Big Mami vs. Lady Maravilla in a hair vs. hair match, plus a no DQ main event with Psycho Clown & Dr. Wagner Jr. & Drago vs. Blue Demon Jr.& Bestia Del Ring & Rush, Pentagon Jr. & Fenix defend the AAA tag titles in a three-way against Australia Suicide & ? and El Hijo del Vikingo & ?, and Brian Cage & Puma King & Murder Clown & Pagano vs. Killer Kross & Black Taurus & El Texano Jr. & Chessman.

WWE TLC from the Target Center in Minneapolis:

  • Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin TLC match
  • Asuka & Kairi Sane vs. Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch TLC match for women's tag title
  • Bray Wyatt (not The Fiend) vs. The Miz non-title
  • Bobby Lashley vs. Rusev tables match
  • New Day vs. Revival Smackdown tag titles in a ladder match
  • Viking Raiders open challenge for Raw tag titles
  • Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy

As for other stuff, A.J. Styles vs. Randy Orton hasn't been announced but was on the lineup earlier in the week.  Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Braun Strowman was scheduled but has been pulled since Strowman hasn't been cleared unless something changes today.  Bayley vs. Lacey Evans was listed last week but as of earlier today it was called not expected and they were not planning to hold that match off until the Royal Rumble.  As of earlier today, a kickoff match was being added and that would be the only other match, but this is WWE and they could add matches on Sunday.

We'll be taking polls this week for the ROH, NWA, UFC and WWE big shows, thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to

We're also looking for reports on these weekend shows:

  • Warrior Wrestling tonight from Chicago
  • Smackdown tonight from Milwaukee with the dark matches
  • NXT tonight in Visalia, CA
  • WWE Saturday night in Cedar Rapids, IA which is a joint branded show with Roman Reigns, Baron Corbin, Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt and others.
  • NXT Saturday night in Santa Cruz, CA
  • NXT Sunday night in San Jose, CA

All reports can be sent to

Raw on Monday will be from Des Moines, IA. They will be doing a five plus hour taping with all the matches for the 12/23 Raw also being taped.  Smackdown will be live every week but they aren't running a live show between Friday 12/20 and the return on 12/26.

F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Harper, Sin Cara & The Ascension get WWE releases Joseph Currier looks at WWE's latest departures.

WWE took a step forward this past weekend by resolving their situations with a few wrestlers who wanted out of the company.

In quick succession on Sunday, WWE announced that Luke Harper, Sin Cara, and The Ascension had been released: "WWE has come to terms on the releases of Jonathan Huber (Luke Harper), Sin Cara, and Ryan Parmeter (Konnor) and Eric Thompson (Viktor) of The Ascension. WWE wishes them all the best in their future endeavors."

Harper's release saga was nearly eight months long. He went public with his request via a statement he posted online on April 16. He spent the next five months off of television before then returning in a pretty significant angle at Clash of Champions, helping Erick Rowan defeat Roman Reigns in their no disqualification match.

Current subscribers click here to continue reading.

WON NEWSLETTER: December 16, 2019 Observer Newsletter: 10 Hall of Fame inductees

Our biggest issue of the year, the 2019 Hall of Fame issue is out with complete balloting results, breakdowns by category, bios of the new entrants, comparisons with how everyone did last year, as well as who will be on next year's ballot who will be removed from next year's ballot, breakdowns on how each new inductee did in different groups and a look back at a lot of stellar careers.  We also talk about the future of the Hall of Fame.

Feature on the development of pro wrestling in France at the turn of the previous century and the wrestler generally considered most responsible for establishing pro wrestling in that country.

The two Tokyo Dome shows, as well as New Japan's last three events of 2019. We look at the good and bad aspects of the lineups and the comparisons with last year.  We look at the retirement of Jushin Liger, the signing of Dragon Lee and his change to Ryu Lee and talk about the different titles at stake.

Drug test suspensions of Robert Roode and Primo Colon and why guys can look the way they look with drug testing and how WWE's testing greatly differs from others, a look at the releases of Luke Harper, The Ascension and Sin Cara, major change for Miz & Mrs., WWE star hints leaving, Canadian ratings, signing of Oney Lorcan, Tribute to the Troops coverage, Lana death threats, Ronda Rousey talks potential return, current plans for holiday shows, celebrity training for a WWE stint, a rundown on the different people at the last tryout camp including a former MMA champion, the boyfriend of a reality show star and a number of high level women athletes including a former WNBA player, an incident at a house show, value of WWE stock, most-watched show on the WWE Network as well as a rundown of all the WWE and NXT arena events over the past week with business notes , results and highlights.

2019 Tokyo Sports awards, including what wrestles historically have had the most MVP trophies and the most match of the year trophies.

TLC PPV including the changes in the show and the ticket demand.

Next Wednesday ratings battle and why it is the most interesting in several weeks.

Dave Bautista's career, the NWO, and look back at the program that made Bautista's career and the good and the bad of the NWO.

New Japan tag team tournament, whether the changes in format worked, the business of the final night, standings, match-by-match coverage and star ratings of the last night.

Saturday's UFC show from D.C. with the business notes on the show and match-by-match coverage.

Look back at the life of Andy Robin, a U.K. star who was one of the greatest performers in the history of pro wrestling in Scotland.

Full coverage of all the WWE and AEW television shows from the past week.

In-depth looks at the ratings of all the major shows, the key demos and quarters for AEW and WWE, what happened head-to-head and what can be learned from them.

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 

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 or by going to directing funds to

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.


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We will have shows for the next four nights with tonight's show on Smackdown and the ROH show, plus Hall of Fame, Wednesday ratings, and UFC preview and a lot more.

Regarding the ratings, the actual final numbers for same day were NXT at 778,300 if you include the overrun and 771,400 head-to-head. AEW did 778,000. Head-to-head in the numbers the TV industry cares, which is 18-49, NXT had 367,000 viewers and NXT had 301,100, and if you factor in the overrun, 306,300.

Piper Niven (Kimberly Benson) aka Viper of WWE U.K. noted today that she had a case of Bell's Palsy, a facial paralysis malady best known in wrestling because of Jim Ross' repeated  issues with it over the last 25 years. She seems to be in good spirits. 

WWN has announced it will be holding its WrestleMania week events in Tampa at the Brian Glazer Family JCC, which is the former location of the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory, which had all those incredible matches every Tuesday night in the 60s and 70s with every major wrestling star of that era. There will be a multi-promotional tournament, Progress, WNN Supershow, Shimmer Kaiju Big Battel, Evolve and wXw shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Mania week.  

Here is an updated WrestleMania week schedule.


  • The New Day, The Usos and Naomi will be appearing on season 14 of Nick Cannon's Improv comedy show "Wild N Out" on VH-1. The first episode is 1/7 at 8 p.m.
  • Some odds for Sunday from Bray Wyatt -1500 vs. The Miz +575 Kabuki Warriors -200 vs. Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch +150 Roman Reigns -500 vs. King Corbin +300 Rusev -150 vs. Bobby Lashley +110 Aleister Black -500 vs. Buddy Murphy +300
  • A web series about the Japanese food culture in New York had Asuka this week talking about sushi, how she started wrestling and eating on the road.
  • A story on Dakota Kai is at (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  • BT is launching a new monthly sports pass for £25 per month in the UK. Its includes 4K HDR streaming for Premier League, Champions League games, WWE and other sports. (thanks to Jose Gonzalez)


  • UFC has announced a 2/29 show in Norfolk which goes head-to-head with AEW's Revolution PPV show.
  • UFC is working on a big heavyweight bout where the winner will almost surely get a title shot between Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Francis Ngannou for 3/28 in Columbus, OH. Another fight being worked on is Cody Garbrandt vs. Raphael Assuncao.
  • UFC has reached a deal with Snapchat where UFC will have at least 200 pieces of content to the Discover page including UFC Pulse three times a week, Embedded before the biggest shows and other story shows revolving around the major events.
  • Tickets for the 2/8 PPV show from the Toyota Center in Houston went on sale today with Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes for the light heavyweight title and Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian for the women's flyweight title.


  • A final promo piece for the Nick Aldis vs. James Storm NWA title match tomorrow.
  • The movie "Mob Town" which features David Arquette premiers today in select theaters along with Video on Demand, Amazon Prime and more. NEW promoter Michael Lombardi also had an appearance in the movie.
  • Eve runs tomorrow at the Resistance Gallery in London with Rhia O'Reilly vs. Jetta for the Eve championship in the main event.
  • MLW returns to Chicago on 4/18 at Cicero Stadium. They also have tickets on sale for a 7/16 return to New York at the Melrose Ballroom.
  • Cheeseburger from ROH is taking bookings through Bill Behrens at  Behrens also noted that he no longer represents Ryback or Flip Gordon on bookings.
  • Future of Honor tomorrow night in Joppa,MD at the MCW Arena with Rhett Titus vs. Jonathan Gresham as the main event.
  • MCW on 12/27 in Baltimore at Perry High School with Ricky Morton, Robert Gibson and Private Party.
  • Evolve has announced a recruitment camp 1/3 to 1/5 in Port Richey, FL.  Guest coaches will include Terry Taylor, Steve Corino, Norman Smiley, Sean Hayes, Jeremy Borash, referee D.A,. Brewer and Gabe Sapolsky who all work for WWE. There will also be NXT roster members coaching and those in the camp will get to on the last day do a PPV like show.  For more info go to and look for the Seminar/Tryout section.
  • 559 Fights tomorrow night in Fresno at the Rainbow Ballroom.   
  • IPW in New Zealand at 1 a.m. Eastern ha an iPPV on FITE featuring Toa Henare.
  • PWA/Fale Dojo on Saturday in Sydney has Jushin Liger & Robbie Eagles vs. Jack Bonza & Bad  Luck Fale plus Mick Moretti, Madison Eagles, Jessica Troy, Michael Richards and others on OvoPlay.
  • AAW Windy City Classic on 12/28 at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park, IL with Josh Alexander vs. Jacob Fatu for the AAW title, Jessicka Havok (Impact) vs. Kris Statlander (AEW) for the women's title, Paco vs. Hakim Zane for the Heritage title, Jimmy Jacobs vs. Good Brother #3 in a dog collar chain match and Eddie Kingston & David Starr vs.; Curt Stallion & Jake Something in a street fight.
  • Combate Americas on 1/25  Arena Coliseo in San Juan, PR featuring boxing champion Amanda Serrano (37-1-1 with 27 knockouts in boxing, 1-0-1 in MMA) vs. boxing rival Dahianna Santana (36-12, 15 knockouts in boxing, 0-0 in MMA) in a 130-pound fight under MMA rules.  Serrano beat Santana in 2017 at the Barclays Center.
  • Combate Americas runs tonight on AXS TV from Stockton, CA headlined by Horacio Gutierrez (6-3) vs. Marlon Gonzales (15-4).
  • Maki Itoh, Tokyo Joshi Pro International champion, faces Session Moth Martina for Eve on 1/1 in London at Wrestle Queendom 3.
  • WrestleRock from today in Melbourne, Australia:  Hartley Jackson b Ritchie Taylor, Xena b Nick Bury to win the women's title, Caveman Ugg b Mitch Waterman, Ritchie Taylor won Rumble, Toni Storm b Avary (this got a real good reaction), CK Dowie b Mad Dog to keep WrestleRock title, Ritchie Taylor b CK Dowie to win WrestleRock title (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • A 1971 Bill Apter interview with Rene Goulet.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Starrcade 1989