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Daily Update: Mayweather & McGregor, Angle, Vince interview

THE ROUND-UP

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NEWS

AUDIO

We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE show in Topeka, KS (Raw crew headlined by Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens), as well as NXT shows in Louisville, KY (Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode as headliners) and Lakeland, FL to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

We're also doing polls this weekend for both U.K. tournament shows from WWE, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

NEW JAPAN WORLD ON AXS TV AT 8 P.M. TONIGHT FROM THE TOKYO DOME

  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega for IWGP heavyweight title

LEGACY FIGHTING ALLIANCE ON AXS TV AT 9 P.M. TONIGHT FROM THE BOMB FACTORY IN DALLAS, TX

  • Jessie Vasquez (2-1, 144) vs. Rob Butler (1-0, 145)
  • Armando Servin (4-4, 170) vs. Sean Holden (4-2, 168)
  • Cameron Miller (2-0, 129) vs. Oscar Ramirez (3-0, 129)
  • Cynthia Calvillo (2-0, 115) vs. Montana Stewart (6-3, 115)
  • Ulysses Aguila (6-1, 134) vs. Eli Tamez (9-0, 135)
  • Charles Cheeks III (11-5, 146.5) vs. Damon Jackson (10-1-1, 145)
  • Leandro Higo (16-2, 134) vs. Steven Peterson (14-4, 134) for the bantamweight championship

CMLL AT ARENA MEXICO AT 9:30 P.M.

  • Astral & Electrico vs. Demus 3:16 & Pierrothito
  • Estrellita & Vaquerita & Silueta vs. Amapola & Tiffany & Comandante
  • Blue Panther & The Panther & Johnny Idol vs. Sam Adonis & Ripper & Kraneo
  • Sanson & Cuatrero & Mascara Ano 2000 vs. Angel de Oro & Bobby Z & Guerrero Maya Jr
  • Rayo de Jalisco Jr. & Caristico & Diamante Azul vs. El Terrible & Rey Bucanero & Mephisto

We're looking for reports on Saturday's other WWE events, which are a Raw show in Wichita, KS (Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens), a Smackdown show in Birmingham, AL (A.J. Styles vs. John Cena vs. Baron Corbin), NXT in Nashville (Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode as headliners) and Cocoa Beach, FL as well as ROH television tapings at Center Stage in Atlanta (Cody Rhodes & Adam Cole vs. Jay Lethal & Bobby Fish, Marty Scurll vs. Juice Robinson for TV title, Young Bucks vs. Team of their Choice, Jay Lethal vs. Jay Briscoe, Lethal-Briscoe winner vs. Christopher Daniels for a PPV title shot at Adam Cole, Bull James vs. Silas Young, Colt Cabana vs. Bobby Fish, Briscoes vs. Keith Lee & Shane Taylor, War Machine vs. Punisher Martinez & B.J. Whitmer, Kennadi Brink & Kelly Klein vs. Sumie Sakai & Faye Jackson) to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

WWE UNITED KINGDOM CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND SATURDAY AT 3 P.M. EASTERN TIME FROM BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND ON WWE NETWORK

  • Tyler Bate vs. Tucker
  • Danny Burch vs. Jordan Devlin
  • HC Dyer vs. Trent Seven
  • Wolfgang vs. Tyson Bone
  • Mark Andrews vs. Dan Moloney
  • James Drake vs. Joseph Conners
  • Pete Dunne vs. Roy Johnson
  • Sam Gradwell vs. Saxon Huxley

INVICTA ON SATURDAY NIGHT ON UFC FIGHT PASS FROM THE SCOTTISH RITE TEMPLE IN KANSAS CITY AT 8 P.M. EASTERN TIME ON UFC FIGHT PASS, WHICH IS FREE THIS WEEKEND

  • Christine Ferea vs. Rachael Ostovich
  • Celine Haga vs. Amy Montenegeero
  • Andrea Lee vs. Jenny Liou
  • Sijara Eubanks vs. Aspen Ladd
  • Leah Letson vs. Elizabeth Phillips
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Kali Robbins
  • Pannie Kianzad vs. Raquel Pa'aluhi
  • Megan Anderson vs. Charmaine Tweet for the interim featherweight title

Sunday has WWE shows with Raw in Tulsa (Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens) and Smackdown in Jackson, MS (A.J. Styles vs. John Cena vs. Baron Corbin).

WWE UNITED KINGDOM CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT FINAL EIGHT AT 3 P.M. EASTERN TIME SUNDAY FROM BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND ON WWE NETWORK

UFC FIGHT NIGHT FROM PHOENIX

Fight Pass at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time (free this weekend)

  • Cyril Akser (7-2) vs. Dmitri Smuliakov (8-1)
  • Jaochim Christensen (13-4) vs. Bojan Mihaljovic (10-4)
  • Walt Harris (8-5) vs. Chase Sherman (9-2)
  • Nina Ansaroff (6-5) vs. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (6-3)

FS 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern time

  • Drakkar Klose (6-0-1) vs. Devon Powell (8-1)
  • Tony Martin (10-3) vs. Alex White (11-2)
  • Viktor Pesta (10-3) vs. Aleksei Olenik (50-10-1)
  • Frankie Suarez (11-4) vs. Augusto Mendes (5-1)
  • Sergio Pettis (14-2) vs. John Moraga (16-5)
  • Ben Saunders (20-7-2) vs. Court McGee (18-5)
  • Marcin Held (22-4) vs. Joe Lauzon (26-12)
  • B.J. Penn (16-10-20 vs. Yair Rodriguez (9-1)

Raw will be Monday night in Little Rock featuring the return of Brock Lesnar. There is also a Smackdown brand house show on Monday night in Jonesboro, AR.

Smackdown and 205 Live will be taped on Tuesday in Memphis featuring Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss in a cage match for the women's title.

FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 1/9/2017 Chris Hero's unlikely road back to WWE

Chris Hero returned to NXT as Kassius Ohno last week after a little over three years away from WWE developmental. All that happened in between is that he became arguably the best professional wrestler in the world. It's not that Hero didn't enter developmental in 2012 as an excellent performer. He was a genuine independent wrestling star even then, having worked for Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling NOAH, and seemingly everywhere else across the globe... Subscribers click here to continue.

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

Tweets by Kenny Omega and an Instagram post by John Cena created a major stir coming off the New Japan Wrestle Kingdom show at the Tokyo Dome. Omega wrote on Twitter that “I will be stepping away from Japan to reassess my future. The path of my journey may change, but my goals will not.” Later he wrote, “There is no plan. My schedule is cleared and I’m weighing all options. I’ve got a lot to consider.”

2016 ended up a monumental year with a number of themes. UFC was sold for $3,995,000,000 and key architects of the company’s success left in the wake of the sale. The company also set a number of PPV records and was, by far, the most successful promotion of its kind in modern history when it came to PPV and profit margin this past year. But with new ownership, and in a business reliant greatly on creating major drawing stars, we’ve already seen cracks in the foundation.

There have been some changes made in WrestleMania plans as noted in recent weeks, with the major thing being that the proposed Undertaker vs. John Cena match is off the boards. Vince McMahon changed his mind on the match, which was to be one of the two biggest matches in 2016, and at one point one of the top matches for the 4/2 show in Orlando. The card will be clearer coming out of the Royal Rumble, on 1/29 in San Antonio... Subscriber click here to continue.

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WON BACK ISSUE: December 19, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WWF Armageddon review, more - The one thing I can say for WWF Armageddon is, it was a weird show. When it was over, I couldn't say that I liked or disliked it, and based on the response here, a lot of people has similar reactions. Some of the undercard wrestling was decent. Nothing was particularly good. A few matches were pretty bad. But that's to be expected both from the line-up, which didn't promise on paper one good match, and from the WWF PPV undercards in general... Subscribers click here to continue.

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Dana White announced today that he's offering a $25 million guarantee for both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor if they would do a boxing match, plus each would get a cut of the PPV money. He claimed that Mayweather has nobody else out there he can make that kind of money with (not true, Pacquiao) and he would be disappointed if it wouldn't do more than two million buys. He also said they would load up the show like Madison Square Garden with championship fights underneath. Mayweather responded to White, calling him a comedian for the offer.

White said that Ronda Rousey hasn't told him anything regarding if she does or doesn't want to fight again.

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson is now official for UFC 209 on 3/4 in Las Vegas and it will be a five round fight for the interim lightweight title. We'll talk more about this in the days to come. 

Regarding rumors of Kurt Angle in the Royal Rumble, as of this morning, there is nothing to them. That isn't a cryptic thing. There's been no discussion as of today. Sometimes they don't call people until the last minute (which is why they sometimes get turned down because many older guys don't have time to get in shape).  

It was announced yesterday that Angle will be starring in a movie called "In the Ring" which was described as being a comedy like "Major League" about a group of local misfit wrestlers led by Angle are in a war against a multinational promotion to get a network television contract.  Tommy Dreamer plays the role of Vince McMahon.  A lot of wrestlers are in the movie including Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, John Morrison, Ken Anderson, Jay Lethal, Joey Ryan, Candice LeRae, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Kevin Kelly, Nick Aldis, Chad Lail, Dalton Castle and the Briscoe Brothers.

WWE

  • Vince McMahon spoke to the New Orleans Times-Picayune earlier this week and when asked if he was going to retire, said, "No. No. Never. This is not work for me. I never go to work. Ever. Every aspect of the business, whether it's working with the talent or the writing staff, even on occasion working with the legal guys, it's all a big family. I never go to work."  He also said that he doesn't miss being on television at all. He said he enjoyed it when he did it, but then he couldn't produce and direct the show, which is what he loves to do. 
  • Tickets for the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony in Orlando at the Amway Arena have been move back to a pre-sale on 1/25 and a public on-sale of 1/27. This is the second time they've moved back the date.
  • Paul Levesque, Scott Armstrong and Marty Miller will be overseeing the production of the U.K. shows this weekend. David Finlay is a producer. There will be no Vince McMahon at the show nor his fingerprints on the show. The talent, if left to their devices, want to do all kinds of blow away high spots so we'll see how it turns out.
  • Brock Lesnar will be at every Raw in February except the show in Las Vegas. He'll also be on the first Raw in March, on 3/6 in Chicago as well as the 3/20 Raw in Brooklyn and most likely (not confirmed but probable) the 3/27 Raw. .
  • "Moana" was No. 2 at the Australian box office this past weekend (thanks to James Stanios)
  • Mick Foley appears from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow for an autograph signing at the City of Industry, CA at 19649 E. San Jose, Avenue at Frank &  Sons Collectibles.
  • Paul Levesque held a press conference today in the U.K. to talk about the tournament this weekend. This was his response when asked about Kenny Omega:
  • "As far as Kenny Omega goes, I'm interested in talent period and if someone is talented as a performer and they want to come work for the WWE. If they want to work for the best in the world. If they want to come to the largest platform where they can truly show what they do off on a global basis then WWE is the choice for them. If they want to work for us and they are very talented then I'm interested in talking to them across the board. I hear a lot of speculation sometimes about well this guy who's been working for a long a time, or they wouldn't have interest or they would, or they're going after football players or this and that. I'm interested in talent at every level. Somebody with charisma, someone with the it factor, that is athletic, can do what we do...I'm interested in them. So, to me, anytime anyone questions me on a talent and if I'm interested in them...the fact that you are questioning me on it means that person is pretty talented so yes I'm interested."

UFC

  • UFC is offering Fight Pass free the next three days, which will include a live show from  the TKO promotion tonight, Invicta tomorrow, and prelims for the show on Sunday.  

MISCELLANEOUS

  • AXS TV opens up its 2017 Friday night fights with New Japan at 8 p.m. with Jim Ross and Josh Barnett commentating on the much-talked about Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega main event from 1/4 at the Tokyo Dome.  The ratings over the next month for the Dome shows will play a factor in determining how prominent New Japan may be on the station going forward.  The show is moved up one hour this year and the live MMA fights that follow now start at 9 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.
  • The TNA show last night didn't air until 10 p.m. Eastern on The Fight Network. TNA finished editing late and sent it to Toronto, where they were racing against time to get it ready for air, and then one of the files was corrupted so they didn't get it done. They aired last week's show in the normal time slot and then aired the new show in the later time slot.
  • Josh Barnett will be appearing on the Impact shows that air from 2/16 to 3/2.  
  • Bill Apter spoke to Fred Ottman's wife show noted that he was in rough shape with four different infections including a kidney infection and had a 104 degree fever, but she said he was doing better.
  • PW Insider reported a joint ROH and New Japan show will take place on 5/7 in Toronto. Plans are for at least four shows over eight days in May.
  • There will be a press conference tomorrow in Dundee, Scotland to announce a major 5 Star Wrestling show at the Dundee Ice Arena on 1/28. Comedian and announcer Billy Kirkwood will host the press conference with Drew Galloway, who will be one of the headliners. Fans are encouraged to come to the Ice Arena tomorrow and Galloway, Jack Jester, Kid Fight, Lou King Sharp, Irving Garrett and Joe Hendry will be there for photos and autographs. John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, Carlito, Joe Coffey, Jay Lethal, PJ Black, Nick Aldis, Mark Haskins, Henry and Jimmy Havoc are on the show. There is also expected to be another major name confirmed by tomorrow. For information on attending contact dan@serious-parody.com.
  • Don West has been hired by TNA to return. He'll be working for ShopTNA, not as an announcer.
  • Tonight's Arena Mexico show is weak, as will be next week's show, since most of the top talent is in Japan for Fantastica Mania. The first show was earlier today in Osaka. Nothing of major note other than the Dragon Lee & Titan vs. Hiromu Takahashi & Bushi match only went 7:47.   
  • The National Wrestling League debuted last night in St. Louis at the Casa Loma Ballroom. We don't have much on it a far as how it drew, but there was real money behind this and they did a lot of advertising: Christian Adonis (Elvis Aliaga) b Dominick Butler (Jayden Fenix), Party Crasher Boulder (Mikey McFinnegan) b August Marshall (Austin Blackburn), Marcelus Gaines (Stephen Wolf) b Javy Torres (Paco  Gonzalez), Adam Ryan (Danny Adams) & Jackie Lee Bosch (Jake Parnell) b Dez Wellston (Mike Outlaw) & Neon Iverson (Justin D'Air), Coco Rumble (Suger Dunkerton) b Jay Lutz (Gary Jay), Todd Letterman (Kevin Lee Davidson) b Cal Stark (Chip Day), Cornell Douglass (Murder One) b Skyler Beckett (Everett Connors), Maverick (Moonshine Mantell) & Davey Gibson (Davey Vega) & Matthew Grundy (Mat Fitchett) b Dak Draper (Sammy Six Guns) & Jet & Jax Royal (Logan & Sterling Riegel). (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
  • Wrestler Len "Hard Rock" Hamilton filed a suit against Microsoft claiming that the character in Gears of War of Augustus Coel Train Cole was a rip-off of his character, claiming he provided photos and voice recording in 2005 for the character, which is voiced by another former pro wrestler, now actor Lester Speight (Rasta the Voodoomon in pro wrestling). 
  • (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk and others)
  • Upstate Pro Wrestling tomorrow night in Rochester, NY at the Eagles Club.
  • PWP from last night in Omaha, NE: Ajax Adams b Tim Boston, Darren Russell & Duke Cornell b Paul Daniels & Joey Daniels, Con Artiest b Robert Storm, Purple b Dalton Lee Roth in a hair match, Branden Jaurez b Devin Carter, Rory Fox b Hype Gotti in a submission match, Zac James b Pat Powers-DQ. Next show is 2/8 in Omaha at the Waiting Room Lounge.
  • Lio Rush is the first wrestler announced for the 2017 Super 8 tournament promoted by ECWA, which takes place on 4/29 in Woodbury Heights, NJ at the Community Center. 

Today in Professional Wrestling History (1/13): Thundercage match at Clash of the Champions

CONTACT INFORMATION

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