THE LATEST NEWS
- WWE SmackDown ratings down from last week, up year-over-year
- Updated list of confirmed WWE Royal Rumble entrants
- Big E & Carmella round out WWE Mixed Match Challenge lineup
- Cody Rhodes & The Young Bucks' 'All In' show teased for September
- US title tournament to continue on WWE SmackDown next week
- WWE SmackDown video highlights: Three-on-two main event
- WWE 205 Live results: Cedric Alexander faces Tony Nese
- Seven more names advertised for 25th anniversary of WWE Raw
- Two-out-of-three falls tag title match set for WWE Royal Rumble
- WWE SmackDown live results: AJ Styles responds to Daniel Bryan
THE LATEST AUDIO
- WOL: Tony Schiavone interview, plus Royal Rumble, Smackdown, Mixed Match Challenge, more! 1/10
- B&V&C: Retro Raw and Nitro from 19 years ago this week! 1/9
At 47 years old, Chris Jericho would have been forgiven if his match against Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12 wasn't a classic. No one expected Jericho vs Omega to live up to Kazuchika Okada vs. Omega from the year prior. There was no way it could have. It was enough that Jericho, someone who's been with WWE since 1999 and has enjoyed a privileged position for most of his run, was wrestling in NJPW at all. Interest for this year's Tokyo Dome show was up fairly substantially from the last few years across the board, with attendance figures and New Japan World subscriber numbers rising year-over-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.
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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.
Alejandro Munoz Moreno, who was a 1960s Mexican movie star and possibly the second most famous wrestlers in that country's history as the Blue Demon, passed away on 12/16 from a heart attack at the age of 78. Demon, who would probably be ranked just behind El Santo as the most famous cultural wrestling icon in Mexico, starred in even lower budget movies than those which made Santo one of the most beloved and probably the longest enduring wrestling legend in any culture.
WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE
- TMZ reported that Triple H had dinner with Ronda Rousey and her agent in Los Angeles last night. Though the article noted that it was a big deal for Triple H to miss SmackDown for the dinner, he and Stephanie McMahon were already in LA for Television Critics Association press events to celebrate the 25th anniversary episode of Raw.
- While speaking with TheWrap, Triple H was asked if there was an exception that could be made to allow Daniel Bryan to return to the ring with WWE: “There can be no exception medically. If the belief is that he’s not healthy enough and there’s a risk [for him] to perform, then I don’t know why you’d allow him to step into the ring unless it can be proven otherwise. There will be no exceptions. We have some of the best medical people in the world that work for us. Our wellness policy, our concussion programming, our protocols -- I’ll put them up there against any on the planet. That is a new science in a way, too. So we’re gonna look at it from all aspects, but the medical experts will make the determination as to whether he can ever step into that ring or not. Look, personally for him, I know it would be something he would love to do, and part of me feels like I hope he has that opportunity. But at the same point in time, he’s married and has a child. Certainly, [we put] the human being first.”
- When asked why Donald Trump wasn’t included in a celebrity sizzle reel that WWE presented, Stephanie said WWE “made a strategic decision to not put forth any type of partisan politics at all” in their programming.
- Triple H and Stephanie noted WWE is waiting for the legal process to play out in Rich Swann’s arrest. They reiterated that Swann will be immediately released if he’s convicted, which is what WWE’s zero-tolerance domestic abuse policy calls for.
- PWInsider reported that Gabe Sapolsky will be signing an official contract with WWE to work as a consultant. Sapolsky has been working in that role in NXT, and PWInsider wrote that he’ll maintain his position with WWN/EVOLVE.
- Matt Hardy tweeted a photo with Anthem’s Ed Nordholm and mentioned that they’re now on the same page: “I am thrilled to PROCLAIM that we have ACQUIRED new ALLIES on our side of #TheGreatWar. Ed Nordholm & The Owl of Anthem have revealed themselves as MAJESTIC beings who stand on the side of the LIGHT. The LIGHT always EMERGES, #WOKENWarriors. Everything is COPASETIC & WONDERFUL!”
- The Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, which will host Fastlane on March 11th, put out a WWE-produced video that continues to advertise AJ Styles defending the WWE Championship against Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn in a fatal five-way match as the PPV’s main event.
- The New York Post and some other news outlets have picked up on an Instagram post Heath Slater made on January 1st where he was stuck in an airplane bathroom.
- Xavier Woods posted a video where Carmella trained with pancakes in preparation of teaming with Big E in Mixed Match Challenge.
- Rusev teased that a Rusev Day calendar may be getting released soon.
- Impact Wrestling is back to having a four-sided ring for this week’s television tapings in Orlando. There’s also a Twitch logo on the side of the ring, which could mean they’re partnering with the company.
- Austin Aries returned to Impact at the tapings.
- Sonjay Dutt posted that his achilles surgery went well but his doctor didn’t clear him to fly to the Impact tapings.
- Kenny Omega appeared on Talk is Jericho with Chris Jericho to talk their match, the planning of it, and how it came together.
- Jericho also discussed the business impact of the Omega match when appearing on Busted Open Radio. Jericho said he’s interested in doing the “Brock Lesnar idea” with NJPW if it works out. He said he has to reevaluate and see what he wants to do next, where the next big impact can be, and what time he has available.
- In an in-character interview with Tokyo Sports, Omega talked about the angle where he stopped Cody Rhodes from hitting Kota Ibushi with a chair at New Year’s Dash: “Cody went into business for himself. That's the kind of thing Jericho would do, or Suzuki Gun. I don't want that from Bullet Club. I want us to be the best in ring bell to bell. I'll have to go back to Canada, take a break and think about this. Of course Kota and I have a lot of history but any more than that.. no comment.”
- In addition to Cody and The Young Bucks, Omega, Marty Scurll, Stephen Amell, and Hangman Page have tweeted that they’re “All In” for Cody and the Bucks’ 10,000 seat show. The location for the show will be revealed on a future episode of Being the Elite.
- The Young Bucks’ Funko Pops will be available as a Hot Topic exclusive in July, with a non-exclusive variant set to be released in August.
- Madison Rayne will be taking part in the tournament to crown the first ROH Women of Honor Champion. She’ll be facing Mandy Leon in a first round match at ROH’s television tapings in Nashville on January 20th.
- Yuji Nagata & Jun Akiyama are set to challenge Yuma Aoyagi & Naoya Nomura for AJPW’s All Asia Tag Team titles on February 3rd.
- Ray Rowe’s final appearance for AIW will be against Keith Lee on January 19th.
- Independent wrestler Dan Barry announced that he’ll be ending his pro wrestling career in February of 2019. Barry thanked everyone who has supported him over the years and said it’s time to move forward and pursue other interests.
- Demetrious Johnson underwent successful surgery on his left shoulder today. It isn’t known how long he’ll be out of action for.
- Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather went back and forth on social media after Mayweather mocked McGregor for allegedly being in trouble with an Irish gang.
- On Instagram, Khabib Nurmagomedov wrote that big news is coming.
- Tony Ferguson has been cleared to return to training and sparring.
- FloCombat interviewed Frankie Edgar about challenging Max Holloway at UFC 222. Holloway opened as a -280 favorite over Edgar at Bovada.
- Chael Sonnen plans to defend the title if he wins Bellator’s Heavyweight Gran Prix.
Today in Professional Wrestling History: Kurt Angle wins vacant World Heavyweight title
Here we go again! It's back to New Orleans for Wrestlemania 34 and a huge weekend of spectacular pro wrestling related fun and wackiness. EdinSanAntonio Productions along with the Wrestling Observer / F4W is proud to present the annual Wrestlemania trip details. This huge weekend includes a number of website member only events. Not only will we be attending Wrestlemania 34 togther, we will also be hosting a live Wrestling Observer podcast recording with "Big" Dave Meltzer and Bryan "Chico" Alvarez, taking questions from attendees.
- WHAT: WOR LIVE Podcast Recording with Dave and Bryan
- WHEN: Friday, April 6th 2018 - Doors at 8:45 AM, Show starts at 9:30 AM and concludes at 11:00 AM
- WHERE: The Bourbon Room, Royal St. Charles Hotel in downtown New Orleans: 135 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130
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