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Daily Update: Raw angle, Bonnie Hammer, Chris Sabin

DAILY UPDATE

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We're looking for reports tonight from these shows to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com:

  • WWE in Knoxville Saturday night
  • ROH in Atlanta Saturday night
  • WWE in Huntsville AL (Raw) last night
  • Raw in Memphis tonight with any matches or other stuff not on the live show.

We're also looking for your thoughts on Saturday's NXT UK Takeover show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

Raw is in Memphis tonight. Announced is Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley for the IC title and Ronda Rousey & Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax & Tamina.

Tuesday has Smackdown and 205 Live tapings in Birmingham. Announced for Smackdown is a Miz TV celebrating Shane McMahon's birthday (he turns 49), Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade Cien Almas, Carmella vs. Sonya Deville and a Buddy Murphy non-title open challenge on 205 Live.

NEW JAPAN FANTASTICA MANIA FROM CHIBA ON WEDNESDAY AT 5 A.M. EASTERN ON NEW JAPAN WORLD

  • Titan & Ryusuke Taguchi & Kushida vs. Forastero & Taiji Ishimori & Gedo
  • Raijin & Fujin (Sho & Yoh) vs. Bushi & Shingo Takagi non-title
  • Angel de Oro & Soberano Jr. & Audaz vs. Barbaro Cavernario & Okumura & Namajague (Desperado)
  • Satoshi Kojima & Toa Henare vs. Tetsuya Naito & El Terrible
  • Caristico & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Gran Guerrero & Templario
  • Families tag team tournament semifinals: Atlantis & Atlantis Jr. vs. Sanson & Cuatrero
  • Families tag team tournament semifinals: Mistico & Dragon Lee vs. Volador Jr. & Flyer

F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: All Elite Wrestling becomes official

As the clock struck midnight and we entered 2019, All Elite Wrestling finally became official. Weeks of speculation culminated with AEW being formally announced at the end of a Being the Elite episode that was released at midnight Pacific time on January 1, 2019. With that came the announcement of Double or Nothing, which is the sequel to All In. While there are plenty of questions about what the roster for AEW will look like, the initial group of wrestlers has started to come into focus. 

WON NEWSLETTER: January 14, 2018 Observer Newsletter: All Elite Wrestling details, Tokyo Dome, more

The most detailed coverage of All Elite Wrestling heads up the new issue of the Wrestling Observer. Take an extensive look at the promotion, from its beginnings, background on its owners, its front office structure, senior management, contracts with the top guys, different concessions, other stars being talked with, details behind the Chris Jericho signing, an update on Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi, and more on proposed television deals.

Look at the New Japan WrestleKingdom show. Read about the top matches, changing of talent, MSG show, Bullet Club changes, business surrounding WrestleKingdom big shows of 2019 and early 2020 as well as full coverage of the Dome show with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.

Read about the life of “mean” Gene Okerlund, his background before wrestling, his death and his wrestling career.

Look at the NXT UK Takeover show, update on several injured WWE stars, most watched WWE videos of 2018, new executive hire, and an injured wrestler may become an announcer.

Go in-depth on the Jon Jones situation covering the test results, how the story changed, what the experts said, what is misleading as well as the world of drug testing and PED usage.

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

Rates in the United States are $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to moonsault@mediaplusint.com. For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52. If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.)

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can choose one free classic issue or two free classic issues with a 40-issue subscription.

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will be back late tonight with Wrestling Observer radio covering Raw as well as the latest news. You can send e-mail questions to the show to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

A major angle is expected to be shot tonight that will change one of the main events at the Royal Rumble show. We'll talk about it after the show depending on how it goes down or if it goes down. It will be reported that it is due to an injury by others. It is not. It was always the plan and we'll explain that on tonight's show if it happens based on how it is explained.

Tonight is also the "bounce back" Raw where we get an indication where ratings are after no more football competition or holidays. The past two years the "bounce back" increase has been 12.5 percent in 2017 and 17.2 percent in 2018. Based on those figures we should have an average audience of 2.61 million to 2.72 million. I expect closer to 2.56 million but anything under that would be a disappointment. Smackdown last year did not go up since it doesn't have football competition. To show how far things have fallen for a direct comparison, for this same week last year Raw did 3.22 million viewer and Smackdown did 2.60 million. 

Bonnie Hammer, who was the key person involved in making the call to bring WWE back from Spike to USA at the end of 2005, is no longer in charge of NBC Universal and will now be in charge of the company's new streaming service in her new role of Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Entertainment at NBCU.

Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi defeated Violent Giants Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa to win the All Japan double world tag team titleson Sunday's Big Japan show at Korakuen Hall.

The name of the Dwayne Johnson & Jason Statham movie that had a lot of the Fast & Furious cast very unhappy because it pushed back their own movie, is called "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw." The movie will be released this summer.

Regarding the ROH injuries over the weekend, Chris Sabin is believed to have suffered an ACL tear, but he has not gotten his MRI done to confirm that. Flip Gordon was also injured last night and there is no update at this point on his status.

WWE

  • WWE donated $10,000 to the National Civic Rights Museum in Memphis. They aired footage from the museum last year when they filmed a number of wrestlers there, and also filmed wrestlers there again earlier today so this may be mentioned on the air. (thanks to Lou Pickney) 
  • As noted, tonight is a rarity as the Monday night Smackdown brand show in Chattanooga was canceled so the entire Smackdown roster is on the road and it doesn't make sense for as least some of them to not appear to do a Royal Rumble angle tonight.
  • Afrer Raw tonight, the WWE Network will have a special on Gene Okerlund. It should be noted that this special was worked on months ago so the interviews were done prior to his death and the special was always going to air sometime early this year.
  • Sami Zayn and Sin Cara were back training in Orlando for a return after surgery on both shoulders by Zayn and reconstructive knee surgery by Sin Cara. The last we had heard pegged Zayn's return for sometime in February.

UFC

  • UFC Fight Pass will be streaming a big four-way heavyweight Combat JJ tournament on 2/22 from Los Angeles with first round fights of Fabricio Werdum vs. Gordon Ryan and Josh Barnett vs. Rustam Chsiev. Ryan is the guy who beat Josh Barnett by submission in 2:00 at the last Quintet show.
  • UFC has officially named Motel 6 as its first official economy lodging partner. Motel 6 will have a branded presence in the Octagon on a number of events on ESPN, ESPN+ and PPV shows. Motel 6 has been a television sponsor of UFC since November 2017.
  • TMZ has reported Holly Holm has filed for divorce from husband Jeff Kirkpatrick, who she met when both were attending college at the University of New Mexico and were married six years ago. The two separated ten months ago. Holm also asked for her name to be legally changed back from Holly Holm-Kirkpatrick to Holly Holm.
  • Kyle Stewart will replace Dwight Grant in the opening match of Saturday's UFC show on ESPN and ESPN+ from the Barclays Center. Grant, who was facing Chance Rencountre, was not approved to fight by the New York State Athletic Commission.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • ITV World of Sport's first season will start airing in a Sunday night at 12:35 a.m. time slot starting this coming week. They are hopeful the airing will boost ticket sales for the WOS house how tour which was not doing well.
  • Erika Reid is the final name announced for the WSW women's title tournaemnt in Australia. Bandido has also been added to that tour. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • The first time an AEW contracted performer has faced a New Japan contracted performer would have been on Saturday when Frankie Kazarian beat Chase Owens for ECCW in Vancouver, BC at their Ballroom Brawl 11 show. 
  • ECCW results from Friday night in Vancouver before 700 fans: Billy Suede & Travis Williams won four-team TLC match, Nicole Matthews b Nicole Savoy, Christina Von Eerie & Scotty Mac & Daniel Adonis b Derek Drexl & Pete Powers & Adam Ryder, Eddie Osbourne b B-Boy in a street fight, Chase Owens b Rey Hours, Artemis Spencer b Phantasmo to keep the ECCW title.
  • ECCW results from Saturday night in Vancouver before a sellout of 800 fans: King of the Yukon won an eight-man tag match, Nicole Matthews b Reia Von Slasher, Drexl b Scotty Mac in a no DQ match, Cat Power & Ashley Sixx b Wiseman to win the ECCW tag titles, Frankie Kazarian b Chase Owens, Tony Baroni b Darby Allin in a no rules match, B-Boy & Bishop & Artemis Spencer b Rey Hours & Phantasmo & Eddie Osbourne. (thanks to Jeff Duncan)
  • Dustin Rhodes (Goldust, using the Dustin Rhodes name), Tiny Lister (Zeus from the late 80s), Scott Hall, Scott Steiner, Boogeyman, and Jake Roberts will be at the Astronomicon 2 on 2/8 to 2/10 in Detroit headlined by Dee Snider at the Windham Gardens in Sterling Heights, MI.
  • River City Wrestling Con takesw place 6/29 in Jacksonville, FL at the Fairgrounds.
  • Defy Wrestling this coming Saturday night in Seattle at Washington Hall has its second anniversary show with Artemis Spencer defending his Defy title against Dezmond Xavier, plus Shane Strickland & Randy Myers & Schaff vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky, Robbie Eagles vs. Cody Chhun and Amerikan Gunz defend the tag titles against Jorel Nelson & Royce Isaacs, as well as a blind draw elimnation match plus the show will be hosted by Joey Ryan and Rich Bocchini. It's a 21 and over show and there are standing room tickets available.
  • Tommy Fierro is doing an 80s Wrestling convention on 4/27 in Freehold, NJ at iPlay America from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Jake Roberts, Ricky Steamboat, Bruce Prichard, Wendi Richter, Ken Patera, King Kong Bundy, Nasty Boys, Greg Valentine, Bob Orton, Slick, Warlord, Barbarian, Tony Atlas, Rocky Johnson, Lanny Poffo, Koko B Ware, Afa, Sika, Paul Roma and Jim Powers. For $299 you get autographs of 21 of the stars plus admission price. There will also be a lunch with Bruce Prichard and Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine will be a big part of the convention.
  • Bodyslam Pro Wrestling from Saturday night in Aalborg, Denmark before 400 fans: Chuck Mambo b Valentine, Rick Dominick & TAFKA Rayo & Capt. Bodyslam b Erik Sabel & Zach White & Toby Zane, Peter Olisander b Michael Fynne in a ladder match for the Bodyslam title, David Starr b Emertius, Sixt b Betty Rose, Tank & Burnett b Sweden's Elite to become the first tag team champions. (thanks to Kristian Buus Nielsen)
  • WOW on AXS on Friday night will have the arrival of Tessa Blanchard, plus Santana Garrett vs. Jungle Grrl for the WOW title, Beast vs. Stephy Slays and Abilene Maverick vs. Fire.
  • Ace Romero vs. Simon Gotch has been added to the 2/2 MLW show in Philadelphia.
  • PW Insider announced Mance Warner and Almighty Sheik have signed with MLW.
  • Lucha Libre on 4/18 in Toronto at the Opera House.
  • PWA from Sunday in Sydney, Australia: Four Nations b Juan Direction to keep tag titles, Shazza McKenzie b Tree Hugger Luchi, Paris De Silva won four-way over Gavin McGavin, Adam Hoffman and Party Boy Jax Jordan, Mat Rodgers b Kai Drake, Robbie Eagles won three-way over Jonah Rock and Adam Brooks, Cavemen Ugg b The Prefects in a handicap match, Jessica Troy b Michael Spencer, Matty Wahlberg b Jimmy Havoc no DQ. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • A story about gangs with a reference to Jesse Ventura. (thanks to Chris Cruise)

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Christian wins NWA World title

Ed in San Antonio Presents the WON/F4W Empire Events for WRESTLEMANIA Weekend (more to be added):

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