- Tanahashi renews NJPW deal, Beer City Bruiser re-signs with ROH
- As expected, WWE Raw posts record-low ratings on Christmas Eve
- Watch the UFC 232 Jones vs. Gustafsson press conference at 5 PM ET
- WWE Chicago live results: Asuka vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte
- WWE MSG live results: Cena returns, Rousey vs. Jax, NXT tag match
- MLW Fusion Christmas Day Special results: PCO vs. Brody King
- WWE NXT results: Tag Team titles on the line
- Murphy to defend title in fatal four-way match at WWE Royal Rumble
- WOL: WrestleMania main event, Dave Meltzer interview, Jon Jones, more! 12/27
- WOR: UFC weekend, Jon Jones, Smackdown, Observer Awards, more! 12/27
We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE Raw show in Columbus, OH and Smackdown at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY to email@example.com
We're also looking for reports on tomorrow's Raw TV tapings in Detroit and Smackdown house show in Baltimore.
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Looking at WWE's promise of change
After promising change, the challenge for WWE going forward is to make a real commitment to that instead of having it be a short-term ratings fix.
Those vague promises of change were made during the opening segment of last Monday's episode of Raw. Following two straight weeks of record-low ratings -- with the first of them even being brought up on WWE television as Seth Rollins said Baron Corbin was the reason for the ratings dip -- it was advertised that Vince McMahon would return to "shake things up." Vince appeared and brought out Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, and Shane McMahon. WWE oddly blurred the lines between kayfabe and reality, with the McMahons also blaming Raw's issues on Corbin. Stephanie admitted that WWE hasn't been doing a very good job for the fans lately and said they haven't been listening to their audience. In storyline, that was blamed on "absentee management" -- and it was stated that those days are over. WWE said they would be empowering their wrestlers and fans, giving them what they want, and that new faces and matchups would be coming in the weeks and months ahead.
On 12/20, USADA informed the UFC and the Nevada State Athletic Commission that Jon Jones had tested positive for the steroid Turinabol in a surprise test on 12/9.
This set into motion a series of crazy things, misleading statements and outright deceptions.
Under normal circumstances, Jones positive test, which would be his third drug test failure (the failed cocaine test in 2014 doesn’t count against him because it was out of competition) would mean an eight-year suspension.
An eight-year suspension would be it for Jones. While he probably could still come back, his prime would be long past. USADA already handed Jones his break, cutting down what by its bylaws should have been a four-year suspension.
However, USADA ruled that the Turinabol he tested positive for was residuals of the same Turinabol that he tested positive for in a July 28, 2017, test, which he was already punished for.
The Nevada commission felt that they couldn’t clear him without at least a hearing, and because it was Christmas weekend, most of the commission was out of town. The next day, the UFC started looking at moving the show from the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to either California or Texas, as both commissions stated they would allow the Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson main event for the light heavyweight title.
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.
THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE
So this was a crazy day. Among the key things said by Jeff Novitzky on Joe Rogan's podcast was that they are considering making anything under 50 picograms in a steroid test a pass because of the idea it would constitute inadvertent usage, which actually makes no sense in a lot of levels because the levels aren't accurate enough to determine what is and isn't performance enhancing. They are going to up the number of drug tests. Also, they contradicted their early story that Jon Jones had passed every drug test, as apparently there were two tests this year that he failed (8/28 and 9/18). Actually those tests give some validity to their theory they are espousing as fact regarding the positive test being from usage a long time ago. It should be noted that if Nevada would have looked the other way, these test results would have never gotten out.
A press conference was held today in Los Angeles where Jones was heavily cheered. I didn't see it, but it was described as a circus, and not in a good way. Dana White said that they aren't paying any of the fighters increase in taxes due to the move. One reporter asked about Frank Mir and Tom Lawlor, and well, I guess that didn't go over very well. Alexander Gustafsson outright said he thought Jones was a cheater.
UFC expects a sellout of 14,000 fans at the Forum on Saturday.
The irony is that all this publicity will help PPV numbers most likely. Will it help enough to make up for all the added costs of moving the show? Probably not. Will it help with the perception of UFC? Probably not. Will that perception markedly hurt business. Also, probably not.
Here's a tremendous story on Miyuu Yamamoto, the sister of Kid Yamamoto, who fights on New Year's Eve for Rizin.
- The listed matches for the Raw house show in Columbus, OH tonight are Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins for the IC title in a cage match, Ronda Rousey vs. Nia Jax for the women's title, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs. AOP for the tag titles, Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Lashley vs. Elias.
- Listed for Smackdown tonight at the Nassau Coliseum is Daniel Bryan vs. A.J. Styles for the WWE title in a cage match, Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch for the women's title, Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton plus John Cena appears.
- The WWE has a few mistakes on the Hidden Gems. The AWA December 25, 1982 show actually had two matches from December 25, 1981, which were Nick Bockwinkel vs. Billy Robinson and Hulk Hogan & Tito Santana vs. Ken Patera & Bobby Duncum. Also, in their presentation of both the 1981 and 1982 shows, matches with Buck Zumhofe, a sex offender, were edited off the shows.
- Today WWE has put up a December 31, 1985 Mid South Wrestling show. They were the only company I know of that worked New Year's Eve back then. Among the matches are Terry Taylor vs. Rob Rechsteiner (Rick Steiner), Jake Roberts with one hand tied behind his back vs. Sir Oliver Humperdink, Eddie Gilbert & The Nightmare (Randy Culley) vs. The Bruise Brothers (Mad Dog Boyd & Porkchop Cash), Dick Slater vs. Jim Duggan and Butch Reed vs. Buzz Sawyer in a dog collar match (thanks to Paul Sosnowski)
- WWE has put up looking for a Writer's Assistant position on the creative team.
- On Detroit's CriticLee Speaking on the FOX station, both Lee Thomas and Adam Graham gave "Bumblebee" a thumbs up. But Thomas was negative on John Cena saying he's not believable in this. (thanks to Shannon Walsh)
- "Holmes and Watson" with Braun Strowman wasn't screened for critics, which is usually a bad sign. It's gotten bad reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, with only six percent positive.
- Herb Dean is out as referee of Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson Saturday due to an injury. He'll be replaced by Mike Beltran.
- The ten best selling wrestlers at Pro Wrestling Tees when it comes to merchandise in 2018: 1. Young Bucks 2. Marty Scurll 3. Kenny Omega 4. Cody 5. Bruce Prichard 6. Kota Ibushi 7. Steve Austin 8. C.M. Punk 9. Tama Tonga 10. Adam Page
- The Chris Jericho podcast will be taped on 1/12 at the BANG TV Sound Stage in Ocala, FL with Dory Funk Jr., to raise money for local charities.
- MLW Fusion will have a marathon from 6 a.m. Easter on 12/31 to 1 a.m. on 1/1 running 12 different episodes on Bein Sports.
- AXS TV is running a Kenny Omega marathon from 2 p.m. to midnight tomorrow Eastern time. Here's the full lineup (all times listed are Eastern): 2 p.m. -- Kenny Omega vs. Hirooki Goto in the G1 Climax tournament finals (G1 Climax 2016 Finals) 3 p.m. -- Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (Wrestle Kingdom 11) 4 p.m. -- Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (Dominion 2017) 5 p.m. -- Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii in the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship tournament finals (G1 Special in USA) 6 p.m. -- Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship (Wrestle Kingdom 12) 7 p.m. -- Kenny Omega vs. Jay White for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship (New Beginning in Sapporo 2018) 8 p.m. -- Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega in a no time limit, two-out-of-three falls match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (Dominion 2018) 10 p.m. -- Kenny Omega vs. Cody for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (G1 Special in San Francisco) 11 p.m. -- Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi vs. Cody for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (King of Pro Wrestling 2018)
- MCW on Saturday in Baltimore at Perry Hall High School has Tito Santana, Billy Gunn, Tommy Dreamer and Melina. Gunn will team with son Austin Gunn. Dreamer also wrestles on the show. WOH champion Kelly Klein faces Gia Scott with Mandy Leon as referee.
- Wrestling Revolver tomorrow night in Des Moines, IA at the Val Air Ballroom has a one-night tournament for the Revolver title with Rich Swann vs. Larry D, Brian Cage vs. Shane Strickland, Jessicka Havok vs. Matthew Palmer and Trey Miguel vs. Ace Austin vs. JT Dunn, plus Sami Callihan & Jake & Dave Crist vs. Mat Fitchett & Davey Vega & ACH, Jimmy Jacobs vs. Arik Cannon, Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz vs. Shane Strickland & Jason Cade and more.
- Roy Lucier is looking for AAA Kelian Fuerza Guerrera figure still in the package at email@example.com
- Pro Wrestling Eclipse on 1/6 in Oshawa, ONT at the Oshawa Legion.
- AAW on Saturday night in Merrionette Park, IL at 115 Bourbon Street has Brody King vs. Sami Callihan in a cage match for the AAW title, DJZ vs.; Bandido for the Heritage title, Myron Reed & AR Fox vs. Zachary Wentz & Dezmond Xavier for the tag titles, ACH vs. Eddie Kingston, Jake Something & Curt Stallion & Quinn McKay vs. Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett & Scarlett, Kylie Rae vs. Kimber Lee for the women's title and Jessicka Havok & Paco vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Josh Briggs in a double dog collar match.
- Pro Wrestling Phoenix results from last night in Omaha: Tim Boston b Seto Kobaara, Brett Bishop b Uncle Ricky, Moonshine Russell b Jack Darling, Paul Daniels & Joey Daniels b Chris Havius & Jaystin Strife, Con Artiest b Kenny Jones, Devin Carter & Preston Maxwell b Johnny Ruckus-DQ, Branden Juarez NC Willy Sweet. Next show is 1/17 at the Waiting Room Lounge in Omaha.
- Marcius Pitt/Damian Slater vs Scotty Ryan/Julian Ward announced for February 2nd for EPW in Perth. Slex vs Rat Daddy and Dowie James and Adam Brooks vs The Brat Pack have been announced for MCW on January 12th. Juan Direction vs Mick Moretti/Jack Bonza for January 13th for PWA in Sydney.
- Here's the first part of the End of Year Australian/NZ Awards for Voices of Wrestling, with Robbie Eagles named as WOTY and Eagles vs. Will Ospreay named as MOTY.
Daily Pro Wrestling History: Kevin Nash ends Goldberg's streak
- Poll opinions: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Feedback: email@example.com
- Show results and news tips: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wrestling Observer Radio questions: email@example.com
- Support the Empire~! with F4W shirts. Grab yours today!