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Daily Update: More on WWE & Fox, 5 Star Wrestling, Edwards

THE ROUND-UP

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THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're looking for reports on tonight's NXT shows in Columbus, OH and Ocala, FL to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

IMPACT TONIGHT ON POP TV AT 8 P.M. EASTERN TIME

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Recapping Elimination Chamber and the Reigns-Strowman decision

What had been expected for nearly a year became official on Sunday night as Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns was announced for WrestleMania 34. Reigns defeated Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, John Cena, Elias, and The Miz in the main event of the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view to set up him challenging Lesnar at WrestleMania. The match came down to Reigns and Strowman, with Reigns finally putting him down with two spears.

WON NEWSLETTER: March 5, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Elimination Chamber review, Jon Jones hearing

An updated look at WrestleMania, explaining the booking of Braun Strowman, the Brock Lesnar angle and plans for John Cena and Ronda Rousey are all in the headline story of this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Look at the story behind the Reigns promo, the goal of the promo, what is and isn't reality about Lesnar, when Lesnar returns, Lesnar's talks with UFC and his decision making right now and a reality check when we look back three years ago.

Also look at the John Cena interview, Undertaker, Rey Mysterio Jr., how the Rousey angle has gone so far, what the TV ratings said about Rousey's debut, women's title plans, as well as the rest of the WrestleMania and Fast Lane show.

Check out the Strowman situation for WrestleMania, flaws in the Elimination Chamber booking as well as full coverage of the show, with match-by-match rundowns with star ratings and poll results on the show.

Find out about Jon Jones' hearing before the California State Athletic Commission and what it means, as well as the completely befuddling remarks made prior to the hearing.

Look at what may be a WWE drug scandal with the tease of 15 names being involved including one who purchased $140,000 worth of substances. Read the claims out there and teases of what else will be released. Find out about the realities of drug testing and the changing pro wrestling business from when the death rate was so high.

Look at what talent WWE is interested in, WWE signing a deal to do events in Saudi Arabia, lots of news regarding the concussion lawsuits filed against WWE, what happened in a deposition that went badly for the plaintiff in one of those suits, more on Ronda Rousey training, Chris Jericho's 2018 schedule, why Apollo Crews' last name was dropped and the Dusty Rhodes tag team tournament.

Examine the secondary market in New Orleans for WWE events, update on a deal to bring WWE into a 100,000 seat stadium this fall, Ric Flair becoming a celebrity in Latin America, UFC talent at WWE event and why they weren't identified, Bianca Belair injury update, WWE headed to Japan and the most-watched shows on WWE.

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WON BACK ISSUE: February 12, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Debut of the XFL, Stan Hansen retires, more

With fan and media reaction after its debut all across the board and a huge buzz leading to a monstrous television rating, the only way to review the debut of the XFL over the weekend is this. Despite what sports people may think and even hardcore fans of sports may think, the majority of people attend sporting events as well as wrestling events based on quality of hype. They enjoy themselves based on quality of atmosphere of the show, and going home happy (either the babyface prevailing at the end or the home team prevailing). 

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE

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The WWE to FOX stories have grown stronger including this noting a Monday night slot on FOX for Raw is possible. This is actually something first talked about more than a year ago and we had reported it months ago. But this story said FOX would rather have WWE and would let UFC go if they can make the WWE deal and is willing to pay more for WWE. The moral of this story is that it's very important to have a good year in your contract year. One year ago, nobody would have ever made that call. This year, the perception is very different, and the signing of Ronda Rousey is a big part of this.

Today's 5 Star Wrestling show in Belfast was a mess due to a blizzard in the city which some talent from appearing and the crowd was nonexistent. Alberto El Patron replaced Rey Mysterio Jr., who was the top star advertised. The story they gave that Mysterio Jr. wasn't there due to a family emergency is legitimate. 

I want to send my condolences to all the friends of Mark Hitchcock of High Spots, and he had a lot of them. He was a regular at the PWG shows. Hitchcock was a graphic designer and did most of their cover art and posters for the past several years. He was on a honeymoon before he was scheduled to get married in May, in Kenya,with is fiance. He was hiking in the woods and slipped and in falling, his head hit some rocks and he died. He was only 36 years old.

Eddie Edwards signed a new deal with Impact.

A correction from the new issue of the Observer. The Tuesday night match with Randy Orton beating Jinder Mahal went ten seconds, not 5:00.

WWE

  • On FS 1's Speak for Yourself show, Jason Whitlock and Colin Cowherd talked about Cowherd going with FOX Sports execs to the Smackdown tapings Tuesday night at the Staples Center.  Cowherd talked about meeting Stephanie McMahon and said that he had a blast at the show. He'd spent years burying wrestling and its fans. Cowherd now said it was a very good sport "coming to a network near you" which was meant as a tease as FOX is looking to get WWE's TV rights in 2019.
  • The ringside tickets for Fast Lane must not be going well since WWE has two-for-ones out in Columbus, OH for the most expensive sections of the arena.
  • For what this is worth, NXT is advertising Johnny Gargano for a 4/20 house show in Bethlehem, PA. Gargano lost a loser leaves NXT stipulation in a title match with Andrade Cien Almas on last week's show.
  • John Cena is scheduled as a guest on The Tonight Show on 3/7.
  • Carmella has an autographed Money in the Bank briefcase on an ebay auction with the last bid being $19,880.
  • A video story on T.J. Wilson and Natalya and their relationship dating back to being kids.

UFC / MMA

  • Sage Northcutt was on Submission Radio this week and said he'd be moving back up to welterweight from lightweight. He said his last weight cut to 155 was difficult.
  • At the UFC's open workouts, Cris Cyborg was wrestling around with a masked man, who ended up unmasking as B.J. Penn.
  • Jon Fitch signed a multi-fight multi-year deal with Bellator. Fitch left WSOF as its welterweight champion and with a four-fight winning streak. 
  • Weigh-ins for tomorrow night's Bellator show in Thackerville, OK: Darrion Caldwell (134.7) vs. Leandro Higo (134.2) for the bantamweight title Joe Warren (135.8) vs. Joe Taimanglo (135.8) Kristina Williams (125.2) vs. Emily Ducote (124.5) Juan Archuleta (144.5) vs. William Joplin (144.9)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • CWE on 3/9 in Winnipeg at Rookie's Sports Bar. They also run 3/31 in Selkirk, Manitoba.
  • Melbourne City Wrestling from Saturday night before an SRO crowd of 600 fans: Lochy Hendricks b Cremator, Tome Filip b Alex Kingston, Kellyanne b Allyson Cruz, Slex b Robbie Eagles in a ladder match to win the Intercommonwealth title, Jake Andrewartha & Big Ali b Mitch Waterman & Nick Bury-DQ, Will Ospreay b Gino Gambino, Elliot Sexton b JXT, Dowie James b Jonathan Preston. Ladder match said to have been excellent. (thanks to Kirk Beattie)
  • All Star Wrestling on 3/2 and 4/14 in Surrey BC at the Alice McKay Building at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. Due to Tom Lawlor's injury, tomorow night's main event will be Davey Boy Smith Jr. defending the Stu Hart Heritage title against Artemis Spencer, who replaces Lawlor.
  • MCW on 3/24 in Joppa, MD with Bruiser vs. Joey Mercury in a cage match.
  • CZW on 3/10 in Voorhees, NJ at the Colossal Sports Academy has Rich Swann vs. Joe Gacy added to the show.
  • Wrestle Circus announced Penta 0M vs. Shane Strickland, Tessa Blanchard vs Chelsea Green and Extra Talented vs. Andy Dalton & Gregory James for their 3/24 show in Austin TX.
  • Evolve runs 5/20 in Livonia, MI at the Knights of Columbus.
  • Combate Americas first show of 2018 will be 4/14 at the Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles with John Castaneda vs. Marc Gomez in  bantamweight main event, plus world women's boxing champion Amanda Serrano makes her MMA debut against Erendira Ordonez of Mexico City.
  • Pro Wrestling Eve on 3/30 in London at the Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green has Dash Chisako vs. Kay Lee Ray and Kris Wolf vs. Sammi Jayne.
  • Defy Wrestling on 4/28 in Tacoma, WA at the People's Community Center featuring Sean Waltman, Rey Hours and Moose.
  • Mick Foley will appear on 3/18 in Toronto at 310 Danforth Ave from 6-9 p.m. for a pro wrestling event and meet and greet.
  • Paul Lazenby is appearing in a comedy series called Dumbbells with Lee Madjoub, Elysia Rotaru of Arrow and pro wrestler Brady Roberts.
  • Bret Hart appeared on the TBS show "The Detour" on Tuesday night playing an announcerfor a female lingerie hockey team. 
  • AWS is doing a womens tournament on 6/30 in South Gate, CA with first round matches of Shotzi Blackheart vs. Nicole Matthews, Shazza McKenzie vs. Madison Eagles, Willow Nightingale vs. Jordynne Grace and Miranda vs. Aerial Monroe.
  • Another NWA video produced by Dave Lagana covering Nick Aldis returning home as NWA champion.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Kobashi defeats Misawa to win GHC title

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