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Daily Update: Ric Flair, Adam Cole-EVOLVE, Tiger Hattori

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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

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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SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

Pro Wrestling

  • Chris Jericho wrote that NJPW employee and referee Tiger Hattori worked his last Tokyo Dome show at Wrestle Kingdom 13: “Congrats to my old friend #TigerHattori for working his last #TokyoDome show last night. Tiger is one of the most genuine and best people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with and My times shared with him and so many great brothers, including #EddieGuerrero, #ChrisBenoit, #DocDean & #BlackCat, will never be forgotten. Kanpai Tiger! @njpw1972”
  • This week’s MLW Fusion episode is now available on YouTube. Pentagon Jr. vs. Teddy Hart and LA Park vs. Gringo Loco aired on the show.
  • The Mirror has an interview with Gail Kim ahead of tomorrow’s Impact Homecoming PPV. She’ll be the special guest referee for Tessa Blanchard and Taya Valkyrie’s Knockouts Championship match.
  • The NWA posted video of their press conference for today’s pop-up event.

UFC/MMA

Daily Pro Wrestling History: NJPW New Year Dash shows

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