- WWE SmackDown ratings up following McMahon return
- VIDEO: WWE ARRIVAL featuring Matt Riddle, episode 4
- NXT UK results: Joe Coffey vs. Travis Banks, Toni Storm returns
- NXT UK results: Women's title match, Moustache Mountain in action
- OTT books WALTER vs. PAC for Homecoming II
- Jericho announces second Rock 'N' Wrestling Rager at Sea cruise
- Johnny Gargano vs. Austin Theory set for EVOLVE 120
- ROH TV results: Christmas Surprise 10-man tag match
- WWE SmackDown video highlights: Mustafa Ali pins Daniel Bryan
- WWE SmackDown TV taping spoilers: United States title match
- WOL: Jimmy Jacobs talks the WWE writing process 12/19
- Wrestling Weekly: Looking back at 2018 for NJPW, ROH, NWA & WWE 12/19
- B&V&C: Retro Raw and Nitro from 19 years ago this week! 12/18
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Recapping WWE TLC
When Daniel Bryan announced his emotional return to the ring, it was fairly inconceivable that he'd end up being a vicious and pompous environmentalist heel just eight months later. But the character change has revitalized Bryan and taken him to the highest points since the immediate aftermath of announcing his comeback. With Bryan completely buying into the change, "the new Daniel Bryan" has been far better in execution than it would have sounded on paper.
A look at New Japan going into the Tokyo Dome, notes on lots of new television deals and a story on the life of Larry Hennig heads up this week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Our lead story is a preview of the Wrestle Kingdom 13 show, with the lineup, storylines, tag team tournament rundown, this weekend's shows and full coverage of the tag team tournament finals with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.
Look at the glory days of the AWA with a story on the life of Larry Hennig. Start with his legit sports background, why he never wrestled or played football in college, how he got started in pro wrestling, and his rise to fame as a heel in the AWA.
Look at one of the 60s most successful tag teams, Harley Race & Larry Hennig, and their feud with Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher. Also look at the rest of Hennig's career all over the world.
Also look at the future of Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt, George Bush's connection to pro wrestling, WWE week on USA, WWE rules for what U.K. talent can do, injury and illness updates, John Cena talks on future, notes on and WWE tryouts.
Also look at ONE attempting to become a significant player on the U.S. scene with its deal with TNT, its big signings, but also a look at the company's real economic numbers.
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WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE
- Asuka told Tokyo Sports that Vince McMahon hugged her after TLC and congratulated her on her match with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
- John Cena appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night to promote the Transformers spinoff “Bumblebee,” which now has a 93 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 87 reviews counted. Three clips of his appearance were uploaded: Fans Aren't Happy About John Cena's New Hair John Cena on Gold’s Gym & New Transformers Movie John Cena Has a Message for Children's Book Authors
- Cena also appeared in a Titanic-themed commercial for SKYY Vodka.
- Jimmy Jacobs was a guest on Wrestling Observer Live today and talked about the WWE writing process.
- The USA Network issued a press release celebrating being the number one entertainment network on cable for the 13th straight year.
- WWE Network News reported that an AWA Christmas Day event from 1984 will be added to the WWE Network’s Hidden Gems section tomorrow.
- Today is Gene Okerlund’s 76th birthday.
- WWE’s YouTube channel and Facebook and Twitter accounts will be streaming a Christmas gift exchange with The New Day and Peyton Royce & Billie Kay at noon Eastern tomorrow.
- ROH announced that Six-Man Tag Team Champions The Kingdom will face Hurricane Helms, Delirious & Luchasaurus in a proving ground match at Honor Reigns Supreme in Concord, North Carolina on January 13. The stipulation is that Helms, Delirious & Luchasaurus will get a future shot at The Kingdom’s titles if they win or go to a time-limit draw. After it was set up at ROH’s TV tapings this past weekend, Women of Honor World Champion Kelly Klein defending her title against Jenny Rose is also official for Honor Reigns Supreme.
- Rolling Stone Japan interviewed Kenny Omega and Hiroshi Tanahashi ahead of them headlining Wrestle Kingdom 13.
- NJPW’s Lion’s Break Project events from November 10 and November 11 have been uploaded to New Japan World. Both shows took place at the Anaheim Expo Center and featured four-match cards including members of NJPW’s US dojo. Hirooki Goto vs. ACH and Omega vs. David Finlay were the main events of the shows.
- Taka Michinoku tweeted that he’s thinking about taking bookings outside of Japan next year: “Until now, I have refused all offers for matches outside of Japan. However, next year, depending on my schedule and conditions, I'm thinking about doing matches overseas. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org”
- Konosuke Takeshita, Soma Takao, Kazusada Higuchi, MAO, Saki Akai, and YOSHIHIKO have been added to DDT’s WrestleMania week show in New York City on April 4.
- On the NWA’s latest Ten Pounds of Gold episode, Nick Aldis discusses returning to the United Kingdom for upcoming title defenses against Iestyn Rees, Jimmy Havoc, and Ricky Knight Jr.
- Jon Jones has declined a California State Athletic Commission members’ suggestion to enroll in the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency drug testing program. Jones was granted his license back last week and will still be tested by USADA. Jones’ attorney said about the decision: “It’s complicated. To say refused is the wrong word. There were issues with the proposal. We asked questions and were unable to fully resolve it.” Jones will return to the Octagon against Alexander Gustafsson in a light heavyweight title fight at UFC 232 on December 29.
- Anderson Silva said he has three fights left and “then it’s done.” Silva wants one of his final fights to be against Conor McGregor.
- The final UFC on FOX averaged 1,828,000 viewers, which is down from the fast nationals number the event posted.
- ESPN named Daniel Cormier as their MMA Fighter of the Year for 2018.
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