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Daily Update: NXT, Royal Rumble entrants, Omega speaks to SI

THE ROUND-UP

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THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

​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.

WON NEWSLETTER: December 25, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Vince McMahon football mystery, women's Royal Rumble, tons more

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. 

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 Dave@WrestlingObserver.com

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WON BACK ISSUE: December 11, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: ECW Massacre on 34th Street review, WWF Rebellion, more

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

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WWE

  • 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.

Pro Wrestling

UFC/MMA

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Kevin Nash ends Goldberg's streak at Starrcade 1998

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