THE LATEST NEWS
- Gauntlet match proves to be major ratings success for WWE Raw
- Bracket set for WWE Cruiserweight title tournament
- WWE SmackDown video highlights: Styles-Corbin, Owens-Ziggler
- PWG reveals card for Time is a Flat Circle
- WWE 205 Live results: Mustafa Ali vs. Jack Gallagher
- Three title matches set up for WWE Fastlane
- WWE Mixed Match Challenge live results: Final first round match
- WWE SmackDown live results: Build to Fastlane continues
THE LATEST AUDIO
- WOL: Joey Janela talks Spring Break 2, plus Smackdown thoughts and more! 2/21
- B&V&C: Retro Raw and Nitro from 19 years ago this week! 2/20
- WOL: Raw, Seth Rollins, John Cena, Elimination Chamber, more! 2/20
- DragonKingKarl Classic Wrestling Show: Formation of the NWA 2/20
- WOR: RAW records, Rollins one-hour performance, Chamber, tons more! 2/20
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: WWE Announces the end of brand exclusive PPVs
Less than two years into the current brand split, WWE announced last week that the era of brand-exclusive pay-per-views is coming to an end. Sunday's Elimination Chamber will be the last Raw-exclusive event, and Fastlane on March 11th will be the final SmackDown PPV. Starting with Backlash on May 6th, every PPV will feature wrestlers from both Raw and SmackDown. The schedule for 2018 initially listed five dual-brand shows (the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Money in the Bank, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series), five Raw-only shows, and four SmackDown ones.
The most complete look at WWE business for 2017 is the lead story in the new double issue of the Wrestling Observer this week. Look at every category of WWE business, including why profits were down even with record revenues, how much the company really makes off network subscriptions, why profits will almost surely be up big next year, how much the company's annual loan payments are, changes in the network and PPV business, and how many people add and cancel subs.
This issue addresses the story regarding the end of brand-specific PPVs, how much Vince McMahon personally made in cash from his dividends this year, as well as how much stock and the value of it that HHH, Stephanie, Kevin Dunn, Michelle Wilson and George Barrios have. Vince McMahon talks about if his position in WWE changes with the XFL launch, HHH and Stephanie talk about the addition of Ronda Rousey, exactly how much interest there was on Rousey at the rumble, WWE Network numbers, predictions for numbers next quarter, and the paradox of social media, WWE network and revenue.
Look at stats that are really fake and why, where revenue comes from as well as WWE profits and losses every year since 1994.
Also, look at the next three WWE PPV shows, with what is announced and other directions.
Read about New Japan's next major show, the ROH tour, Rey Mysterio in New Japan, as well as the title picture.
This issue discusses the New Beginnings in Osaka, with notes on business, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results from the show.
There are also notes on the history of the longest running pro wrestling TV show still in existence, and it beats Raw by 25 years.
Find out about wrestlers renewing deals, Rob Gronkowksi, WWE in talks for major overseas show, WWE & Mysterio update, Dwayne Johnson sets a personal record, why a WWE main roster performer was booked on an indie show this past weekend, the Booker T and Corey Graves situation, and lots of WWE injury updates.
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In what was one of the best PPVs in the history of the WWF, the company gave a big tease for the eventual Rock vs. Steve Austin match which at this point still looks to be the headliner at Wrestlemania, putting Austin over in the Rumble. The show, featuring some strong highs and only a few lows, featured an early match of the year candidate in the Chris Jericho IC title win over Chris Benoit in a ladder match.
WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE
- A big episode of NXT will air on the WWE Network tonight. The show has the Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Johnny Gargano rematch from TakeOver: Philadelphia, with the storyline being that Almas’ title and Gargano’s NXT career are on the line in this match. Nikki Cross vs. Vanessa Borne and Velveteen Dream vs. No Way Jose will also air on the episode.
- WIth Charlotte Flair & Bobby Roode defeating Nia Jax & Apollo on Mixed Match Challenge last night, all of the second round matchups for the tournament are set. Sasha Banks & Finn Balor will face Asuka & The Miz next week, Alexa Bliss & Braun Strowman take on Naomi & Jimmy Uso after that, and Charlotte & Roode will be matched up with Lana & Rusev.
- Aiden English wrote a tribute to Eddie Guerrero after visiting a street mural of Guerrero in El Paso, Texas. English is married to Guerrero’s daughter Shaul.
- While the SmackDown Tag Team title match for Fastlane was announced as The Usos vs. New Day, Chad Gable followed up on last night's storyline by posting a video where he pointed out that the number one contender’s match on SmackDown wasn’t fair.
- Rusev tweeted about he and Lana not being on SmackDown for two straight weeks: “In case you missed us the past 2 weeks on #SmackDownLIVE here we are. Your chants are ‘DULY’ noted”
- The Usos and The Young Bucks would both like to face each other at some point in their careers.
- Fast Company named WWE as its third most innovative company in Hollywood, coming in behind Marvel Studios and Netflix.
- Video Insider has an article about WWE embracing streaming platforms.
- Ahead of Dalton Castle defending his ROH World Championship against Jay Lethal at ROH’s 16th Anniversary PPV, Castle will team with Volador Jr. against Lethal & Ultimo Guerrero at Manhattan Mayhem on March 3rd. Caprice Coleman will also host an edition of his “The Pulpit” talk show at Manhattan Mayhem. Fans can vote on Coleman’s guest, with Cheeseburger, Ultimo Guerrero, Flip Gordon, Delirious, Kelly Klein, Gary Juster, and Colt Cabana as the options.
- As of this morning, ROH had sold 4,621 tickets for Supercard of Honor XII in New Orleans.
- Tetsuya Naito did an in-character interview with Tokyo Sports where he complained about being booked against Taichi at NJPW’s 46th Anniversary event: “I actually rate Taichi, a bit. But I won MVP two years in a row, right? And I just beat him (at Takataichimania) anyway? Why not have YOSHI-HASHI face Taichi, and then the winner faces me? Just chucking people at me for no reason, expectations get raised, and then they lose, obviously. It’s bad for them, if anything. They need to stop throwing matches together at random.”
- When asked if All In would be televised in any form, Cody Rhodes noted that it depends on initial ticket sales.
- Also on the All In front, CM Punk trolled his Twitter followers last night by posting that a lot of people have been asking him if he’s “in” and following up with a tweet that said “You know I'm in. #EverbodyIn #cubs @cubs,” referencing the Chicago Cubs’ “Everybody In” slogan for this baseball season.
- Stu Bennett (the former Wade Barrett) praised Neville in an interview with SportBible: “When I saw my name against him, it was almost like I knew I could go asleep during that match because everything he does is amazing. I think a lot of people look at Neville [and] think, 'Oh he's that high-flying guy who does all the flips', but literally everything he does, from even the most basic stuff, locking up, tying up, the way he moves around the ring; the way he reacts to anything I do to him and sells my stuff is always incredible so he's one of the best in-ring guys ever."
- John Pollock spoke with Russell Naquin of the Louisiana Boxing & Wrestling Commission about the regulations in Louisiana ahead of WrestleMania weekend. Blood and piledrivers are banned in the state, and all performers are required to have blood work done that is no more than six months old.
- Impact Wrestling announced that everyone who buys first or second row seats to their WrestleMania week show will receive access to a VIP meet and greet.
- Session Moth Martina and Candyfloss are set to debut for Stardom in April.
- Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins will defend their PROGRESS Wrestling Tag Team titles against Zack Gibson & James Drake in London on Sunday.
- Brody King will face Sami Callihan at MLW’s show in Orlando on March 8th.
- Bar Wrestling announced Tenille Dashwood vs. Taya Valkyrie and Joey Ryan vs. James Ellsworth for their event in Baldwin Park, California tomorrow night. (thanks to reader Jake Koch)
- The Wisconsin Gazette ran a story on a fundraiser to put up a statue of The Crusher in Milwaukee.
- Deadline has a report on the UFC’s television rights negotiations.
- Despite competition from the NBA All-Star game and the Winter Olympics, UFC Fight Night: Austin averaged 893,000 viewers on Sunday night. The ratings peaked with Sage Northcutt’s fight against Thibault Gouti.
- Derrick Lewis fractured his hand against Marcin Tybura at the show in Austin.
- Anderson Silva claimed that tainted supplements may have caused his USADA test failure last year and said his goal is to face Roy Jones Jr. in a boxing match.
- Tito Ortiz told TMZ Sports he’s interested in a third fight with Chuck Liddell. Ortiz said that he pitched the idea to the UFC’s matchmakers but was told that doctors wouldn’t be able to license Liddell.
- Frankie Edgar called it a shame that Ben Askren hasn’t been in the UFC.
Today in Professional Wrestling History: WCW SuperBrawl III
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