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Daily Update: NXT year-end awards, Cena movie role, Jake Hager


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F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: AEW roster starts to take shape

Plans for All Elite Wrestling started to come into focus at a rally in Jacksonville, Florida last Tuesday. A surprise appearance by Chris Jericho closed the event, with Jericho instantly becoming the highest profile signing AEW has made in its brief history. "I'm Chris Jericho, and I am all in with All Elite Wrestling," Jericho said to begin his speech. "Surprise -- I think we just took things to a different level, didn't we?" Jericho said he's not here with AEW for the money -- he's here because he believes in doing something new and different. 

WON NEWSLETTER: January 28, 2019 Observer Newsletter: Future of Ronda Rousey, Royal Rumble preview, more

Our lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer talks about Ronda Rousey and her WWE schedule including how long a time frame of when she has talked of stepping away.

Also, look at the top of the WrestleMania card and what major star isn't scheduled, and what other major star may be having his match changed.

Read the full preview of the Royal Rumble, with notes on ticket expectation, how the market is for all four WWE arena events in Phoenix this week, and the situation with John Cena.

Also, look at UFC's first show on ESPN, the Dillashaw vs. Cejudo aftermath, the Greg Hardy debut, the business notes on the show and what record was set as well as how streaming sign-ups destroyed any combat sport event in history, and match-by-match coverage.

Break down the latest Jon Jones drug test failure and why failing the test actually gives more credence to his story than if he had passed all of his tests.

Examine a fourth generation wrestler training at the Performance Center, what happened with The Revival, lots of WWE contract news, XFL President announced, XFL TV talks, and injury updates.

Look at the major hearing next week in Nevada, California's reaction and UFC's reaction to Jones' test failure.

This issue has a rundown of the final three nights of the Fantastica Mania tour, including why the third night was such an entertaining show, as well as an update on the talent in CMLL and the unique match that came from a movie.

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 or by going to directing funds to

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

In Canada and Mexico, the rates are $16 for 4, $27 for 8, $38.50 for 12, $76 for 24, $126 for 40 and $162.50 for 52.

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If you order by  mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell,CA  95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.


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  • The winners of the 2018 NXT year-end awards were revealed on the pre-show for TakeOver: Phoenix and Overall Competitor of the Year: Kairi Sane Male Competitor of the Year: Tommaso Ciampa Female Competitor of the year: Kairi Sane Tag Team of the Year: The Undisputed Era Match of the Year: Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship (TakeOver: Philadelphia) Breakout Star of the Year: Ricochet Rivalry of the Year: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano Future Star of NXT: Io Shirai TakeOver of the Year: TakeOver: New Orleans
  • Jeremy Borash posted a picture from TakeOver and tweeted that he’s celebrating one year since joining WWE.
  • Bianca Belair made shirts for her parents to wear at TakeOver.
  • John Cena is set to star in an action-comedy movie that Jason Bateman is directing for Netflix. Bateman will also appear in the movie. Mark Perez, who Bateman worked with on “Game Night,” is writing the script. The Hollywood Reporter wrote about the plot for the film, which is still untitled: “The story centers on a family that gets stuck in an old abandoned movie studio. The sets come to life and the family members find themselves stuck in various movies.”
  • Cathy Kelley did a sit-down interview with Becky Lynch ahead of tomorrow’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
  • Ronda Rousey uploaded an on the road video from Monday’s Royal Rumble go-home edition of Raw.
  • Today is Sasha Banks’ 27th birthday.
  • Today is also the five-year anniversary of CM Punk’s last match, which was as an entrant in the 2014 Royal Rumble.
  • Sheffield United soccer player Billy Sharp did a Mr. Socko-themed celebration after scoring against Norwich City today. Mick Foley called the celebration tremendous and thanked Sharp.
  • Charlotte Flair helped surprise a military family with toys for their children.
  • The hologram tickets for this year’s Royal Rumble count down to zero when moved.
  • Daniel Bryan and UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo went back and forth on Twitter, with Bryan writing: “Watch your mouth, boy, or after I beat AJ at #RoyalRumble, I’ll drop down to 125 and come tap you faster than you ko’d Dillashaw. #HeelHookSucka #KingOfChampions #PlanetsChamp. P.S. Drinking Bella Radici is the closest you’ll ever get to my sister-in-law @BellaTwins”

Pro Wrestling

  • MVP wrestled for ROH at their Road to G1 Supercard show in Houston last night, teaming with Kenny King to defeat Colt Cabana & Willie Mack in a Tag Wars tournament match. King teaming with a mystery partner had been advertised. With his team advancing in the tournament, MVP will also be in action at tonight’s Road to G1 Supercard event in San Antonio. There will be two-three way tag matches, with the winners advancing to the tournament finals later in the night. The team that wins the tournament will get a Tag Team title shot at ROH’s 17th Anniversary PPV and a spot in the Crockett Cup.
  • Katsuyori Shibata will be doing the pre-show welcome at NJPW’s New Beginning USA shows in Los Angeles, Charlotte, and Nashville.
  • Dave Meltzer notes that Cody Rhodes and Hangman Page are in Waterbury, Connecticut for tonight’s Northeast Wrestling show.
  • LA Park vs. Sami Callihan in a falls count anywhere match, Barrington Hughes & Ace Romero vs. The Dirty Blondes, and Vandal Ortagun vs. Kotto Brazil aired on this week’s MLW Fusion episode.


  • Jake Hager’s (Jack Swagger) disclosed purse for his fight against JW Kiser at Bellator 214 tonight is $50,000. He doesn’t have a win bonus. Kiser’s is $7,000, with him also having a $7,000 win bonus. Fedor Emelianenko’s purse is $300,000, while Ryan Bader’s is $150,000.
  • Hager spoke to the Sporting News about his relationship with WWE, R-Truth performing during his entrance tonight, and potentially using the Jack Swagger name in MMA in the future: “I still have a very good relationship with WWE. That’s why they are allowing R-Truth to perform my entrance on Saturday. I thought that was a very good sign from them. It’s a little bit of writing on the wall from them. As far as the Jack Swagger name, they do not have it trademarked. I’m in the process of trademarking the name. I know there’s a singer who has it trademarked for musical performances. But, this isn’t music (laughs). I think I have a good chance of owning it down the line. I won’t have the name for this fight, but hopefully, by the second fight it will be Jack Swagger.”
  • Hager weighed in at 238 pounds for his fight, while Kiser weighed in at 224.3 pounds.
  • Impact Wrestling’s Kevin Sullivan (not the wrestler) did seven of the entrance videos for tonight’s Bellator show.
  • Max Holloway was in Dublin, Ireland today visiting the Jameson Irish Whiskey distillery. He sent out a tweet where he appeared to take a shot at Conor McGregor’s Proper 12 Whiskey: “238 years of innovation, hard work, and unmatched quality. Not a watered down trend. A true pillar of Ireland, supporting the hard working families in Dublin for generations. Thank you @jamesonwhiskey for the hospitality. The number one Irish whiskey in the world #sinemetu”

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Batista wins 2014 Royal Rumble

Ed in San Antonio presents the Events for WRESTLEMANIA Weekend (more to be added):

  • Sunday, April 6th, at 12:00 pm: Empire lunch (all you can eat) at Churrascaria Plataforma ($90 per person), located at 316 W. 49th street in Manhattan. Purchase tickets here~!
  • Luxury Bus to MetLife Stadium for Wrestlemania: We will depart from the Hilton Midtown (site of Wrestlecon) located at 1335 Avenue of the Americas. Departure time is 4:00 pm and will return from MetLife approximately 30 mins after the event. Times are subject to change, and cost $67.00 per person for the round trip. Purchase tickets here~!