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Daily Update: Raw tonight, Chase Owens, UFC notes

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F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: WWE's biggest news stories of 2018

2018 was an especially mixed year for WWE. It's been an incredible year for WWE financially -- even if that hasn't always been mirrored by traditional metrics. They agreed to two transformative TV deals that will shape the company for years to come. WWE also reached a lucrative 10-year deal with the Saudi General Sports Authority, with the first two shows in Saudi Arabia being among the most controversial in the history of the promotion.

WON NEWSLETTER (ONLINE ONLY): January 7, 2019 Observer Newsletter special: History of the Tokyo Dome - NO HARDCOPY AVAILABLE

When the Tokyo Dome opened on March 17, 1988, the idea of pro wrestling there wasn’t even an idea.

The Dome was built to be the new modern home of two baseball teams, the Yomiuri Giants of the Central League, the team of Shigeo Nagashima and Sadaharu Oh years earlier, the unofficial national team that had all its games on NTV, and sold out every game. The Dome held 48,316 fans for baseball, but for years, every single Giants game announced the attendance as 56,000. The other team, the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Pacific League, which played there through the 2003 season, were the ones that the average person could get tickets to see.

The idea was baseball and concerts, the Rolling Stones (who have 19 Tokyo Dome sellouts), Michael Jackson (who sold 405,000 tickets for nine dates in December 1988), U2, Madonna and Japanese artists. But while it has housed numerous sporting events, including NFL and Major League Baseball, with the exception of baseball and concerts, it’s probably best known for pro wrestling.

Pro wrestling was still huge on television back then. All Japan, headed by Giant Baba, was a fixture on Nippon TV, one of the major networks. New Japan, on TV-Asahi, had matches airing in prime time. 

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • The first Raw of 2019 takes place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida tonight. Though appearances by Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and Braun Strowman have been announced, tonight’s show will face significant competition in the ratings from the college football national championship game between Alabama and Clemson. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable defending their Raw Tag Team titles against The Revival in a lumberjack match is also set for tonight, along with Elias vs. Baron Corbin and Ronda Rousey being the guest on Alexa Bliss' new "A Moment of Bliss" talk show segment.
  • Cena will be appearing in the opening segment of tonight’s Raw.
  • PWInsider reported that EC3, Lars Sullivan, Lacey Evans, and Heavy Machinery are backstage at Raw tonight. With the show taking place in Orlando, whether or not they’ll have any kind of a role on the episode remains to be seen.
  • EVOLVE has announced that Adam Cole will be wrestling at EVOLVE 122 in Concord, North Carolina on February 16. Cole is also set for EVOLVE 121 in Atlanta the day before that.
  • WWE Network News reported that a collection on “Mean” Gene Okerlund will be added to the WWE Network tomorrow.
  • Cena appeared in a “#205Life” video and showed his support for 205 Live.
  • Dave Bautista will be part of the cast for a reboot of the movie “Dune.”

Pro Wrestling

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Daily Pro Wrestling History: Triple H returns at Madison Square Garden

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