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Daily Update: Raw tonight, NJPW, Golden Globe nominations


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The Latest from the F4W Staff



We're looking for reports on yesterday's WWE house show in Louisville,tonight'sSmackdown brand house show in Terre Haute, IN, the non-Raw stuff from Clevelandtonightand yesterday's Arolucha tapings in Nashville to

We're also looking for your thoughts on today's New Japan tag team tournament finals from Fukuoka, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to

Raw is from Cleveland. Matches announced are Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro, Dean Ambrose vs. Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus and Kane vs. Braun Strowman for the top contendership for the Raw title. There is also a Smackdown brand house show in Terre Haute, IN.

Smackdown will be Tuesday from Cincinnati. Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura with Sami Zayn and Randy Orton in the corners, plus an A.J. Styles/Jinder Mahal face-to-face confrontation, will be on the show.

There are a number of different features in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, including why last week's UFC show is so important historically, an update on the Shane McMahon-Daniel Bryan storyline, the changes in direction at Impact once again and the new power structure, a look at the Clash of Champions show, the Konnan / Crash split, U.S. TV coverage of Wrestle Kingdom and how New Japan is doing on U.S. TV, the idea behind a 205 Live tour and much more.

Look at the last three UFC events and why they are important, including lessons regarding the value of titles or shows that on paper look to be filled with action and what it means to the public. Read our poll results for UFC 218 and full coverage of the show including the good and bad of China, the creation of the women's flyweight title, two match-of-the-year candidates, as well as questions regarding sport vs. spectacle and the message being sent.

Examine the business numbers for the shows including UFC 218 preliminary PPV numbers.

Look at the changes at the top with Impact, Don Callis' background in wrestling, who looks to be gone from Impact next, and the directives the company is under.

Read about the WWE Smackdown direction leading into the PPV show, and the long-term of Daniel Bryan and where things currently stand.

This issues goes into detail on the Konnan / Crash split, the different factors that led to it, what Konnan said about it, the Aroluxe deal and what this means long-term for Crash.

Have a look at the New Japan TV deal in the U.S., viewership update on the show, plans for Tokyo Dome coverage and what led to numbers increasing.

Check out WWE's plans for a 205 Live tour, including plans for the division.

Also, look at Jim Johnston leaving WWE and his work in the promotion, why the WWE stock price is rising and what UFC has to do with it, more WWE injuries, and WWE Week on the USA Network.

Subscribers click here to continue.

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

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 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.)

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WON BACK ISSUE: November 20, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Shinya Hashimoto fired from NJPW, Wrestlemania X7 sets records

Shinya Hashimoto, who headlined more big gates at the Tokyo Dome than any wrestler in history, was shockingly fired by New Japan Pro Wrestling on 11/13 after a weekend filled with turmoil after news got out he was negotiating with Pro Wrestling NOAH. The story was among many things that is threatening the future of the All Japan/New Japan relationship, which started off with the big success on 10/9 at the Tokyo Dome and has since seemed to start falling apart.

Subscribers click here to continue.


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Bryan and I will be talking all the news in wrestling and MMA today including Raw, the angles at the Fukuoka show, the Tokyo Dome lineup and more on Wrestling Observer Radio. You can send questions for the show to

It would appear Vince McMahon made his decision regarding the Rumble main event. They announced that tonight's winner of the Braun Strowman vs. Kane match would get the title shot. 

New Japan did a couple of major angles today. Chris Jericho made a surprise appearance and bloodied up Kenny Omega with a couple of codebreakers and a belt shot. He also gave Don Callis a codebreaker and Callis did a stretcher job. They pushed it that Jericho has been friends with Callis for more than 25 years. Also, Kazuchika Okada has now come up with the cobra clutch as a counter to the destino and used it to lay out both Tetsuya Naito and Hiromu Takahashi after Naito & Takahashi had beaten Okada & Will Ospreay.

While all this will be announced tonight, the teases were Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. defending the tag titles against tournament winners Evil & Sanada, and Minoru Suzuki vs. Hirooki Goto with the Never title up against Goto's hair. The press conference, which I presume will include Jericho, will be at 1 a.m. Eastern time, or two hours after Raw, streaming for free. 

There were two Golden Globe nominations that have pro wrestling tie-ins. Alison Brie was nominated for Best Actress on a Comedy TV series for her lead work in GLOW. Ferdinand, an animated movie where John Cena plays the voice of the lead character, was nominated for Best Animated Film. (thanks to Daniel Short)

It's WWE Week on the USA Network. It's just Raw tonight but besides the regular stuff, NXT will be on USA at 7 p.m. Wednesday night, Tribute to the Troops airs Thursday night at 8 p.m., the movie "Damnation" with Luke Harper airs after Tribute to the Troops, and "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," a Dwayne Johnson movie will air at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.


  • A Smackdown brand show was announced for the Ziggo Dome in Holland on 5/19.
  • There was a story going around that Brock Lesnar was in line to play Drago's son in the movie Creed 2. The storyline is that Creed, the son of Apollo Creed, faces the son of the man who killed his father, with Dolph Lundgren back as Ivan Drago. The tease was Brock Lesnar playing Lundgren's son. I was told right now that is more a publicity stunt for the movie and no deal is in play at this point.
  • Tickets for the 4/7 NXT Takeover New Orleans show the night before Mania go on sale Friday. This is expected to be an immediate sellout.
  • An interview with former WWE writer Tom Caseillo.


  • Evolve from yesterday in Melrose, MA before about 225 fans: Dominic Garrini b Craig Mitchell, Matt Knicks & Stevie Fierce b Brandon Watts & Stephen Wolf, Jarek 1:20 d Jason Kincaid 10:00, Anthony Henry & James Drake b Kyle the Beast & Shane Mercer, AR Fox b DJZ, Darby Allin won three-way over Keith Lee and Tracy Williams to win a match of his choosing in 20:10, Austin Theory b Fred Yehi to win the FIP title, Matt Riddle b Walter in a no rope breaks match via ref stoppage from elbows on the ground (they did an MMA style education finish), Zack Sabre Jr. b Jaka to keep the Evolve title. Riddle vs Walter got a standing ovation and said to be an incredible match. (thanks to Paul Matyasovskhy and Greg Valko)
  • Beyond Wrestling ran an afternoon show in the same building in Melrose, MA yesterday: Walter b David Starr, Brian Milonas & Cam Zagami b Anthony Green & Brick Mastone-DQ, Wheeler Yuta b Mike Verna, Rex Lawless & Ryan Galeone b Jay Freddie & Rory Gulak, AR Fox & Austin Theory b Brandon Watts & Zenshi, Ace Romero b Josh Briggs, Matt Riddle b Martin Stone, Darby Allin b John Silver, Keith Lee b Joey Janela. EYFBO (who are Ortiz & Santana of LAX in Impact) attacked Doom Patrol after the match and they did a pull-apart to set up a TLC match for a 12/31 show in Worcester. Also Janela vs. Starr fans bring the weapons. (thanks to Greg Valko)
  • MLW on 1/11 in Orlando at Gilt Nightclub runs another show and tickets are on sale. Announced are Matt Riddle & Jeff Cobb vs. Tom Lawlor & Seth Petruzelli, Jimmy Havoc, Darby Allin, MVP, Shane Strickland, Sammy Guevara, MJF, Jimmy Yuta, Jason Cade and Barrington Hughes. Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini will call the action. Fallout 4 is a video game sponsor for the promotion.
  • Impact announced 1/10 to 1/15 dates at Universal in Orlando for TV tapings.
  • James Storm will be in the U.K. from 2/1 to 2/13, and is booked on 2/2, but is looking for bookings the other dates. You can contact Bill Behrens at
  • WrestlePro from Saturday night in Rahway, NJ: Fallah Bahh & Pat Buck & Rhett Titus b Team Espanikos, CPA b Colt Cabana, Sienna b Kasey Catal, Buster Jackson won over Brody, Habib, Joe Keys, Max Caster and LSG, Bobby Wayward b Crowbar Devon Storm, Dan Maff b Anthony Bowen, Beach Bums b Taboo Crew, Kevin Matthews & Chris Steeler b Chris Queling & Delroy, LAX b Apple Corp to win tag titles, Eli Drake b Alberto El Patron to keep the Impact Global title. (thanks to Bob Nichnadowicz)
  • Darren Young, under his real name of Fred Rosser, will appear at the Warriors of Wrestling show on 3/10 in Staten Island, NY and for Wrestle Pr on 3/9 in Union, NJ.
  • XICW from last night in Warren, MI: Jackson Stone b Jamal Kyng, Travis Titan b Johnny Devine, Dre Jacobs & Jack Price & Alex Weir b El Ridiculoso & Cyrus Satin & Louie Perez, Malcolm Monroe III won four-way over Blake Acumen, George Mac and Juntai, Willy Watts b Mark Gjoka, Alex Beardslee b Justin Mane, DBA & Marcus Everette & Isiaih Broner b Jay Maynard & Aaron Orion & Matt Hagen, Caleb Stills b Zachary Main, Jaimy Coxxx NC Gavin Quinn. Truth Martnii was at the show, his first appearnce at a show in nearly two years. (thanks to Michael Z)
  • Pro Wrestling Phoenix from Thursday night in Omaha: Purple won over Paul Daniels & Joey Daniels in a handicap match, Willy Sweet b Carson Rockwell, Con Artiest b Robert Storm, Pat Powers & Devin Carter b Moonshine Russell & Duke Cornell, Zac James b Dalton Lee Roth, Brooke Valentine b Valentina Loca, Preston Maxwell b Branden Juarez-DQ, Clay Cooper & Nathen Edwards b Lars Metzger & Johnny Ruckus in a last team standing match. Next show is 1/5 at the Waiting Room Lounge in Omaha.
  • Rico Verhoeven beat Jamal Ben Saddik in the biggest kickboxing match of the year over the weekend in Holland on Fight Pass from the Glory promotion. The show aired on Ziggo Sport in Holland and did 360,000 viewers, peaking at 630,000 for the main event, which are great numbers for that country. Famous soccer announcer Jack van Gelder did the broadcast with Remy Bonjasky and Sander Schrik (a big wrestling fan). They drew more than 10,000 fans to sell out the Ahoy. Badr Hari returns on 3/3. (thanks to Henk Mulder)
  • NWL from yesterday in O'Fallon, MO: Christian Rose b Mike Outlaw, Everett Connors & Rasheed Ali b Buddy Shepherd & Javy Torres, Dak Draper b Lionel Howlett, Davey Vega & Mat Fithcett b Jet Royal & Anthony Gutierrez, Thor Theriot b Thomas Shire, Jack Foster b Maverick-DQ, Savanna Stone won three-way over Marti Belle and Carolina Rodriguez, Gary Jay b Jeremy Wyatt-DQ. (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
  • The TKO promotion was resurrected with a show on Friday night in Montreal at the Bell Centre before 4,250 fans. They had five title bouts: TJ Laramie b Charles Jourdain via decision to win the featherweight title 50-45, 50-45, 50-44 Marc-Andre Barriault b Strahinja Gavrilovic via decision to win the middleweight title 48-47, 47-48, 48-47 Jesse Ronson b Derek Gauthier via first round TKO to win the lightweight title 1:10 Adam Dyczka b Bakary Sakhoby via TKO in the first round to win the heavyweight title 3:46 Jesse Arnett b Dmitri Waardenberg via D'arce choke in round one to win the bantamweight title 1:44 (thanks to Grant Zwarych and Patric Laprade)         The show aired live on Fight Pass and The Fight Network and will air on tape delay on RDS.
  • Former WWE wrestler Sawyer Fulton, who will use the name Madman Fulton, made his first indie appearance since his release over the weekend for the ASWA group in Ohio. He'[ll face Toby Cline for the ASWA title on 2/10 in Mansfield, OH. He also appears for Pro Wrestling Magic on 1/29.
  • Eli Drake will headline for Best of the World on 12/16 at Fresno City College at 6 p.m. Funnybone vs. Mike Rayne is the main event. The group will return to local television in Fresno on KAIL TV-53 on Sundays at 10 a.m. starting on 1/7.  
  • Smash Wrestling on 1/28 in London, ONT at the Music Hall for a 4 p.m. show with Royal Rumble on closed-circuit after the show.
  • An interview with Sean Oliver at Kayfabe Commentaries.
  • Steve Bunce talks pro wrestling. (thanks to Lee Wall)

Today in Professional Wrestling History: NXT TakeOver: R-Evolution


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