THE LATEST NEWS
- John Cena partnering with Nickelodeon on three projects
- WWE reveals bracket and schedule for Mixed Match Challenge
- Impact Wrestling TV taping results: Four-sided ring, title change, more
- Former champion returns, wins title at Impact TV tapings
- WWE NXT results: Undisputed Era vs. Strong & Aleister Black
THE LATEST AUDIO
- WOL: WWE and FOX speculation, Mixed Match Challenge update, tons more! 1/11
- WOR: Smackdown, 205 Live, ratings, New Japan line-ups, ALL IN show, more! 1/11
IMPACT ON POP TV AT 8 P.M. EASTERN TONIGHT
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.
It’s a double issue week, packed with more major news than any issue in a long time, including notes on the top two matches at WrestleMania, the Hall of Fame main eventer, updates on several major contract issues and a lot of notes on what will be the two biggest stories of the year, the UFC and WWE television negotiations.
There is extensive coverage of New Japan's Tokyo Dome show including all the business notes, how New Japan World is doing and the cycle of subscribers, the value of Jericho vs. Omega to New Japan, attendance notes, what was unique on the show, Jericho going forward in New Japan, all the angles going forward, what's next for Kenny Omega, what's next for Kazuchika Okada, questions on the booking, who were the most popular people on the show, long and short-term angles coming off New Year's Dash, and a look at New Japan's big shows through August.
Look at the next eight live shows on New Japan World, plus full Tokyo Dome and New Year's Dash rundowns with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results on the shows.
Updated plans for the Royal Rumble, including the makeup of the women's match, demand for tickets for Rumble and Mania week and a record to be set on the show.
Notes on WWE & UFC and how the changing landscape of television affects both companies as they go into their most important negotiations for many years, are in this issue.
There is a feature on John McCarthy stepping away from officiating, with a background of his start in UFC, his role in the growth and changes of the sport and his new role as an announcer.
Look at NJPW vs. WWE matches taking place in the U.K., as well as the story of the first and only time the WWF champion and IWGP champion wrestled each other at the Fukuoka Dome and the politics that allowed it to happen.
Read about WWE injuries, the Mixed Match Challenge, WWE Hall of Fame 2018, NXT Takeover notes, more on Miz's new TV show and the challenges it faces, Ronda Rousey and Bryan Danielson.
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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.
THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE
Vitor Belfort told Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting that Sunday will be his last fight. Hesaid he's opening a gym franchise on Monday called Belfort Fitness and Lifestyle and is looking for franchises in both Brazil and the U.S. He said he would only fight if he was offered $10 million. In other words, he's retiring.
Scott D'Amore and Don Callis at Impact did a press call this morning. They noted that there will be an Impact channel on Twitch including old and new content, behind the fourth wall and wrestlers not in a studio setting. Don Callis said the move to a four-sided ring was because the talent preferred it. Callis also said he has no plans to appear in front of the camera. They will be introducing new championship belts in April.
Callis talksabout Impact moving back to a four-sided ring.
Regarding Moose, he suffered a torn lateral collateral ligament in his knee at the tapings last night. We're told he's not expected to miss the tapings the rest of the week. He said the knee was stiff but he'll be fine.
AXS announced this schedule for the upcoming weeks from the Tokyo Dome show:
- 1/12 - Young Bucks vs. Sho & Yoh and Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi vs. Kushida
- 1/19 - Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa & Bad Luck Fale vs. Trent Baretta & Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii, Davey Boy Smith Jr & Lancer Archer vs. Evil & Sanada, Minoru Suzuki vs. Hirooki Goto
- 1/26 - Cody vs. Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White
- 2/2 - Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho
- 2/9 - Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito
- 2/16 - Highlights from New Year's Dash
Bryan and I will be doing a talk show on 4/6 at 9:30 a.m. in New Orleans for about 90 minutes at the Bourbon Room at the Royal St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans. Tickets are currently available for the show.
- The Miz is replacing Samoa Joe in some bookings for a main event position including 3/16 in Madison Square Garden where he's in a three-way for the IC title against John Cena and champion Roman Reigns.
- WWE is doing a double bill with the American Airlines Center in Dallas hosting both Raw & Smackdown on 3/19 and 3/20. They are offering a combo pass for tickets as well.
- Oddsmaker Jim Murphy has pegged Asuka as the favorite in the Royal Rumble. The top nine favorites, many of whom are not announced for the match, are: Asuka +150 Ronda Rousey +350 Nikki Bella +700 Paige +700 Becky Lynch +700 Charlotte Flair +1250 Sasha Banks +1250 Alexa Bliss +1250 Nia Jax +1250
- Men's odds right now are: John Cena +350 Shinsuke Nakamura +350 Roman Reigns +650 Seth Rollins +650 Samoa Joe +750 Kevin Owens +750 Finn Balor +750 AJ Styles +1000 Braun Strowman +1000
- Both Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose are battling the flu.
- The WWE will open Monday's show with another Martin Luther King Jr. package, which they do every year on MLK Jr. Day.
- WWE Hall of Fame tickets go on sale a week from tomorrow, so expect the announcement of a major name on Monday.
- Add Gene Okerlund to the Raw 25th anniversary show.
- Jeff Hardy will be performing in concert on these dates: 1/18 in Concord, NC at Amici's Pizza Bar & Grill 1/19 in Wilmington, NC at The Real Cafe 2/2 in Florence, SC at 507 Live 2/3 in Hickory, NC at The Vault
- There will be NXT tapings at Full Sail University on 3/7.
- Michelle Wilson talks the WWE Network.
- Great Khali said that WWE has been a failure in India.
- Tickets for the 2/24 FOX show in Orlando go on sale Friday priced from $195 down to $55. The top fights are Yoel Romero vs. David Branch, Jessica Andrade vs Tecia Torres, Ben Saunders vs. Alan Jouban and Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Aleksandar Rakic.
- Bryan Caraway vs. Cody Stamann has been added to the 3/3 show in Las Vegas at the T Mobile Arena.
- The 1/20 Bellator show will be airing both on the new Paramount Network and on CMT. (thanks to Floyd Adams)
- The Los Angeles Times reported that a rematch with Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez is expected for 5/5. The report is Alvarez has agreed to the date and Golovkin's team is expected to agree to it shortly. They fought to a controversial draw last year even though most felt Golovkin should have won the fight and the scorecard for Adelaide Byrd, who had it even, was heavily criticized.
- Five Star Wrestling in the U.K. announced a second television show on FreeSports. Besides the live Thursday night show, there will be one hour shows both on Saturday and Sunday mornings featuring highlights of the three-hour Thursday night live shows. Names the promotion is listing are John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, Jake Hager, Moose, Carlito, Chris Masters, PJ Black, Adam Maxted, Zack Gibson, El Ligero, Dave Mastiff, Eddie Ryan and more.
- Major League Wrestling tonight in Orlando at Gilt Nightclub: Jimmy Havoc vs. Shane Strickland in a death match MVP vs. Low Ki Matt Riddle & Jeff Cobb vs. Tom Lawlor & Seth Petruzelli Penta 0M vs. Rey Fenix Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevera MJF vs. Brody King Santana Garrett vs. MJ Jenkins Jason Cade & Jimmy Yuta vs. Dirty Blondes Mike Parrow vs. Vandal Ortagu Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini will be announcing the show
- Brian Cage is in Orlando for Impact so he'll be debuting at this set of tapings. Tyrus also returned for the tapings.
- The NWA is working with Impact because on Sunday they will be filming an empty arena match with Jocephus vs. Tim Storm from the Impact Zone in Orlando with the winner being top contender for champion Nick Aldis. The match will be filmed before the Impact tapings that night.
- Current WBO world bantamweight boxing champion Amanda Serrano (234-1-1, 26 knockouts) has signed a deal with Combate Americas to make her debut in MMA.
- Championship Wrestling from Hollywood announced a TV event in China and that more information will be released next week.
- Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tyler Bate takes place on 2/3 in Dublin for Over the Top Wrestling.
- ECWA on 1/20 in New Castle, DE at the United Asbury Methodist Church.
- One's next show will be on 1/20 in Jakarta, Indonesia featuring Tiffany Teo vs. Xionig Jing Nam to become the first One strawweight champion. They also run 1/26 in Pasay, The Philippines at the Mall of Asia Arena with Geje Eustaquio vs. Kairat Akhmetov for the interim flyweight title as the main event.
- Pro Wrestling Revolution on 2/24 in San Jose at Mt. Pleasant High School headlined by Dragon Lee.
- The Mississippi State baseball team is calling itself The Road Warriors because their new stadium being built is forcing them to spend the first half of the season on the road. Their coach is a huge pro wrestling fan and created some Road Warriors spiked shoulder pads to wear at the games. (thanks to Kyle Niblett)
- Michael "Elgin headlines for PW Eclipse on Saturday night in Oshawa, ONT
- Pride Sports Pro Wrestling tomorow night in Caldwell, TX at the Civic Center with Lance Archer, Rodney Mack, Shane Taylor, Tim Storm, Vordell Walker and more. They also run Sunday night in College Station, TX at Hurricane Harry's with Shane Taylor vs. Masada, plus MVP, Lance Archer, Byron Wilcott and more. (thanks to Doug Brown)
- West Coast Wrestling Federation on 1/20 in Yuba City, CA at the Yuba Sutter Fairgrounds at 7 p.m.
- AAW on 1/20 in Chicago at Logan Square Arena has Rey Fenix vs. Matt Riddle for the AAW title, Mat Fitchett & Davey Vega defend the tag titles against Shane Strickland & Keith Lee, Sami Callihan & Jake & Dave Crist vs. David Starr & Trevor Lee & Jeff Cobb, Juice Robinson vs. MJF, Jessicka Havok & Kyle Rae vs. Allysin Kay & Scarlett plus ACH, Eddie Kingston, Myron Reed and AR Fox.
- AAW also runs 2/3 in LaSalle, IL at the Knights of Columbus with Jessicka Havok vs. Allysin Kay for the women's title, and the winner of the 1/20 AAW title match defends against ACH plus Jeff Cobb vs. AR Fox and Penta 0M, Trevor Lee and more. They also have a 2/17 show at the Logan Square Arena that sold out instantly with a main event of Tetsuya Naito vs. Sami Callihan.
- CWE before a sellout last night in Brandon, Manitoba: Tony Kozina b Chayse Britton, Kevin O'Doyle b Austin Arrow, AJ Sanchez b Danny Duggan, Tommy Lee Curtis & Brian Rich & Agent Red (managed by Jake Roberts) b Jacob Creed & Bobby Collins & Canadian Cougar, Mr. Inkredible b Kevin Lee Davidson, Tyler Colton b Mentallo.
- Queen of Combat on 1/20 in Gibsonville NC with Su Yung vs. Tessa Blanchard as the main event plus Chelsea Green and Taeler Hendrix appearing. (thanks to Jake Koch)
- El Hijo del Fantasma, Tessa Blanchard, The Boys, Matt Cross Shane Strickland, Space Monkey and Deonna Purrazzo will be on the 2/17 WrestleCircus show in Austin, TX. (thanks to Jake Koch)
- Smash Wrestling on 1/21 at the Phoenix in Toronto with Matt Riddle vs Brent Banks plus a ladder match, as well as Jeff Cobb, Mark Haskins and Joe Hendry.
- Bloomberg has a Lucha Libre pictorial.
Today in Professional Wrestling History: The first episode of Monday Night Raw
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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