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Daily Update: Lawler calling the Rumble, Kidani's comments, Orton


The Latest from the F4W Staff

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FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 1/16/2017 WWE's path forward in the United Kingdom

While the specifics of what's to come remain uncertain, it was clear as Tyler Bate stood in the ring alongside Triple H, William Regal, Finn Balor, and Fit Finlay at the conclusion of the United Kingdom Championship tournament that WWE has a legitimate path forward in the country... Subscribers click here to continue.

WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: January 16, 2017 The conundrum of Kenny Omega, 2016 in retrospect, more

A look at the lessons learned of what worked and didn't work in 2016, and each major company's prospects for 2017 is the biggest story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Next, check out the situation with Kenny Omega, look at the updated plans for WrestleMania, plans for the 2018 WrestleMania and the Mark Hunt lawsuit against Brock Lesnar and the UFC.

Comparisons of the UFC and WWE business in 2016 and how each company looks going into next year, plus a look at the lessons regarding television ratings of MMA, loading up PPV shows, why GSP isn't fighting, what's on the horizon in 2017 for future UFC fights and some experimental ideas for UFC and FOX, all in this issue.

Have a look at the positives and negatives of WWE going into 2017 including how the women's and cruiserweight divisions are doing. Find out what big star returns, how NXT has changed the WWE business, the good and the bad of using top stars in NXT, as well as both UFC and WWE struggling with creating a long-term fan base.

The plight of the independent scene, the future of ROH and TNA, how New Japan and AXS can work together to build a stronger product, the role of Flo Slam in the 2017 wrestling world, and the lessons of Bellator's ratings regarding who does and doesn't move numbers, inside this issue.

Read a big story on Kenny Omega coming out of Wrestle Kingdom 11, including John Cena's reaction, Omega's and Okada talk about their match, the new top program in New Japan and why Omega is in such a unique position right now.

An update on the WrestleMania card as things stand including what talked about match is off, and what matches are official, and also look at why WrestleMania in 2018 is coming to New Orleans and the schedule of events, can be read.

Finally, take a look at the ticket demand and sales for Royal Rumble and NXT in San Antonio, the NXT Takeover lineup, more on the WWE Hall of Fame, the remarketing of XFL nostalgia, the return of Chris Hero to WWE and a new John Cena movie. 

Click here for full preview.

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

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 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.

WON BACK ISSUE: December 27, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WCW Starrcade review, NWO reforms, tons more

The idea to turn WCW around is--the same idea Eric Bischoff came up with that helped turn WCW around three-and-a-half years ago. The most important thing about the revival of the NWO with Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Bret Hart and Jeff Jarrett, all holding the major WCW title belts, as the final act of the 12/20 Nitro in Baltimore is not whether it was just copying something from the past. Of course it was nothing original, but the object of wrestling is not originality... Subscribers click here to continue.


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  • It was announced on Talking Smack last night that Jerry Lawler would be calling the Royal Rumble match alongside Michael Cole and Corey Graves. Lawler will also be part of the pre-show in San Antonio. Both Lawler and Lita were pulled from their regular pre-show duties at the end of last year.
  • Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper in a singles match was announced last night for next week's SmackDown.
  • All three Wyatt Family members will be in the Royal Rumble. Cesaro and Sheamus were also announced as participants in the match on Monday.
  • Orton posted a series of tweets in response to an article about a recent altercation he had with a fan at a gym in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Orton tweeted: "Apparently I hurt a fans feelings when I told him to F off at the gym yesterday. That's news? Been happening for 15 years. #getalife"
  • Tonight's episode of NXT features a contract signing with Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode for their upcoming title match at TakeOver: San Antonio.
  • Darren Young tweeted an update about the injury that he suffered at the Main Event taping before Raw on Monday: "Hyperextension which resulted in a traumatic dislocation & fracture of the coronoid process of the right elbow. #blockthehate #standby"

Pro Wrestling

  • Chris Charlton translated an interview from NJPW owner Takaaki Kidani where he talked about the company's plans for expansion into the United States. Kidani said, "When you ask what it is we can do (with New Japan), it is to create an American based subsidiary and run shows there. In addition, it is to produce television in line with our Japanese content that can be sold cheaply to American cable networks. While we currently sell television content to AXS TV, the most popular and visible networks have a high demand for volume of content available cheaply."
  • What Culture Pro Wrestling will host the 2017 Pro Wrestling World Cup, which will be a 64 wrestler tournament that spans 10 nights and takes place in the spring.
  • The Hardys are set to face Pentagon Jr. & Fenix on the March 31st WrestleCon show over WrestleMania weekend.
  • Matt Jackson of The Young Bucks tweeted a photo of them and the Hardys along with a message agreeing to their challenge to a match. The teams are scheduled to face each other at ROH's Supercard of Honor show in Lakeland, Florida on April 1st.
  • ROH announced CMLL's Volador Jr. and NJPW's YOSHI-HASHI as the latest additions to that show.
  • PROGRESS Wrestling has confirmed that Tyler Bate, Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, and Mark Andrews will be wrestling for the company over WrestleMania weekend in Florida. PROGRESS is part of WWN's weekend of events and will be putting on a supershow with EVOLVE in addition to a show of their own.
  • 4FW announced that Kenny Omega would be appearing at their show this Saturday in Swindon.


Today in Professional Wrestling History (1/18): Steve Austin wins the 1998 Royal Rumble