THE LATEST NEWS
- WWE Raw ratings only down three percent on Christmas Day
- Brian Kendrick suffered broken nose, orbital bone on WWE Raw
- WWE SmackDown video highlights: US title tournament begins
- WWE Madison Square Garden live results: Reigns vs. Cena
- WWE 205 Live results: Alexander & Ali vs. Gulak & Daivari
- Tag Team title match set for first WWE SmackDown of 2018
- WWE announces tournament to crown new United States Champion
- WWE SmackDown live results: The final episode of 2017
THE LATEST AUDIO
- WOL: Hideo Itami, Kendrick and Ambrose injuries, Thomas Santell interview, more! 12/27
- B&V&C: Retro Raw and Nitro from 19 years ago this week! 12/26
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly 12/18/2017: Recapping WWE's last PPV of the year
After a show that went about as well as it reasonably could have gone, SmackDown came out of Sunday's Clash of Champions pay-per-view with some renewed optimism heading into WWE's few biggest months of the year. AJ Styles defeated Jinder Mahal in the PPV's main event. And with Mahal tapping out clean in the middle to Styles' Calf Crusher, WWE's seven-month experiment with Mahal as a main eventer appears to at least momentarily be on hold.
This is a huge week for news and business, which means a double issue looking at the ramifications of Vince McMahon getting into football, the women's Royal Rumble, Japanese awards and a story on the life and career of Tom Zenk.
The lead story looks at all the questions regarding Vince McMahon and football including the total XFL losses, the difference in the business landscape, why this could work and why it could fail even worse, as well as business moves Vince McMahon has already made as far as ideas are concerned. Also look at what the trademarks applied for tell us about the approach and the key story as far as the effect on wrestling, and the future of WWE without Vince McMahon in charge.
Take a look at the announcement of the Women's Royal rumble and the silliness involved, as well as an update on Ronda Rousey and why the key idea for her debut apparently changed.
The story on Tom Zenk runs down his life from his friendship in high school with Curt Hennig, his time as a bodybuilder, getting into wrestling, how he was hit hard by Hennig's death, lots of discussion about his leaving WWE and Rick Martel, the WCW years, wrestling in Japan, testifying against Vince McMahon in court and life after wrestling.
This issue updates the business numbers for Mayweather-McGregor and the ridiculousness of a one billion dollar number being thrown around for doing UFC events.
Enjoy a look at Clash of Champions, with notes on creative, star ratings and poll results.
Read about ROH Final Battle, with booking notes, plus notes on people leaving ROH and what it means for its future, a major plan for 2018, as well as match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.
There is an update on Dean Ambrose's injury and the first plans on how the booking will change and who takes his role, where the injury may have happened, next MSG show, value of WWE to the USA Network, Dwayne Johnson and the presidency, WWE 2018 PPV schedule and a few major notes on it including what cities tentatively host PPVs next year.
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Amidst rumors of the company being down for the count, Extreme Championship Wrestling put on a strong PPV show on 12/3, but more importantly, everyone was paid for one pay period (meaning everyone is now five weeks behind in pay). Nobody quit the promotion, which some had talked about doing if they weren't paid again. The morale, which rises and falls based on whether or not the checks come, was said to be better coming out of the show.
WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE
- The Lars Sullivan vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Aleister Black vs. Killian Dain fatal four-way match to determine Andrade “Cien” Almas’ challenger for TakeOver: Philadelphia will air on NXT TV tonight. Ember Moon defending her Women’s Championship against Sonya Deville is also on the show.
- Matt Hardy wrestled for the first time since his gimmick change and defeated Bray Wyatt at WWE’s house show at Madison Square Garden last night. Hardy used Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” as his theme music, which was also his entrance song in Impact Wrestling.
- Jimmy Fallon was in attendance at MSG and took pictures with some of the wrestlers.
- Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura have been officially announced for the 2018 Royal Rumble match. They join Elias as the only wrestlers to be confirmed for it so far. Ruby Riott and Natalya will be in the women’s Rumble, joining Naomi and Asuka as the first four announced for it.
- Hideo Itami tweeted that he hopes Brian Kendrick gets well soon after accidentally breaking Kendrick’s nose and orbital bone with a GTS on Raw. Itami used the Rings of Saturn, which Neville had been using prior to his absence, instead of the GTS for the finish of his match against Jack Gallagher on 205 Live.
- AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Jinder Mahal was the dark match after SmackDown and 205 Live last night. Daniel Bryan was the special guest referee for it and did a comedy spot where he ran the ropes with Zayn.
- SmackDown ratings should be out tomorrow due to the Christmas delay.
- Goldberg, Cesaro, and Zelina Vega are all celebrating their birthday today. Goldberg turned 51, Cesaro turned 37, and Vega is now 27.
- Mae Young Classic participant Jazzy Gabert (Alpha Female) will be the guest on Friday’s episode of the Edge & Christian podcast.
- The LA Times ran a story on Shadia Bseiso becoming the first Arab woman to sign with WWE.
- Fox News interviewed Charlotte Flair about continuing her father’s legacy and how she now understands why it was so hard for him to walk away after retiring in 2008.
- Sports Illustrated spoke to Kenny Omega about Wrestle Kingdom 12 and his upcoming match with Chris Jericho. Omega said he wants it to be a wake-up call to both NJPW and WWE and hopes it will lead to more crossover between the companies for the sake of good business. He claimed the match will “evoke a new kind of emotion from people watching.”
- Omega said about Shinsuke Nakamura: “I’m happy for the response that he’s getting, of course, and all of us in New Japan knew when he left that he was going to get over with his charisma. But when I see Nakamura in WWE, it’s hard for me to say he’s done anything compelling in-ring since he’s been there, which is a shame. It will just take the one right story and the one right moment and then people will be captivated by everything that he does. Right now, he hasn’t had that.”
- In a separate interview, Omega also said that Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito should go on last at the Tokyo Dome because he couldn’t beat Naito in the G1 or win the title from Okada, but Omega said that his match against Jericho is what the world will be watching.
- Jado discussed Omega vs. Jericho and his history with Jericho.
- The Eli Drake vs. Johnny Impact main event from Bound for Glory, which featured interference from Alberto El Patron, will air on Thursday’s best of 2017 episode of Impact.
- Impact won’t be shown on Spike TV in the UK this week, but the recap episode and a new show will air on January 5th.
- Chelsea Green spoke to the Orlando Sentinel about being a fan of the city’s theme parks and winning Impact’s Knockouts Championship. The article notes that she’s under contract through June of 2018.
- Independent wrestler Parrow came out and shared the story of his journey and getting engaged.
- Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz are set to debut for Dragon Gate in January.
- CBS Pittsburgh has a story on former pro wrestler Nick “Big Bully” Busick getting surgery to remove a brain tumor.
- A judge ruled that Hulk Hogan’s defamation lawsuit against radio host Mike “Cowhead” Calta, a former co-worker of Calta’s, and the radio station that Calta works for will be allowed to move forward.
- XWA UK has started to put their events on Pro Wrestling: EVE’s on-demand service, including Kota Ibushi’s appearance from earlier this year and Keith Lee vs. Daisuke Sekimoto.
- Dana White told ESPN that Georges St-Pierre won’t be facing Conor McGregor if GSP fights again. White said GSP has Tyron Woodley and Robert Whittaker waiting for him, though White thinks GSP doesn’t want to fight and “jumped in, grabbed some cash, and went back to Canada.”
- The special Christmas Eve rebroadcast of three of the top fights from UFC 218 averaged only 357,000 viewers on FS1. Last year’s Christmas Eve special, which aired on the main Fox network and had a lead-in from the NFL, drew 4,720,000 viewers.
- The second episode of Embedded for UFC 219 is now available.
- John Lineker underwent successful surgery today after he had to be pulled from Saturday’s PPV due to a tooth infection.
- Dan Hooker vs. Marc Diakiese is being moved to the UFC 219 main card, which means Jimmie Rivera is officially not fighting on the show. Rivera had been scheduled to face Lineker.
- Khabib Nurmagomedov is focused on Edson Barboza and Tony Ferguson instead of thinking about McGregor.
- Valentina Shevchenko said she knew Rose Namajunas was going to defeat Joanna Jedrzejczyk prior to their title fight.
Today in Professional Wrestling History: Kevin Nash ends Goldberg's streak at Starrcade 1998
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