THE LATEST NEWS
- Kenny Omega officially confirmed for Chris Jericho's cruise
- WWE El Paso, TX, live results: Styles vs. Owens & Zayn
- Tag team number one contender's match set for WWE SmackDown
- WWE Raw video highlights: Gauntlet match takes up first two hours
- EVIL off NJPW anniversary show due to injury
- Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt added to WWE Elimination Chamber card
- WWE Raw live results: The Elimination Chamber go-home show
THE LATEST AUDIO
- WOL: Raw, Seth Rollins, John Cena, Elimination Chamber, more! 2/20
- DragonKingKarl Classic Wrestling Show: Formation of the NWA 2/20
- WOR: RAW records, Rollins one-hour performance, Chamber, tons more! 2/20
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: WWE Announces the end of brand exclusive PPVs
Less than two years into the current brand split, WWE announced last week that the era of brand-exclusive pay-per-views is coming to an end. Sunday's Elimination Chamber will be the last Raw-exclusive event, and Fastlane on March 11th will be the final SmackDown PPV. Starting with Backlash on May 6th, every PPV will feature wrestlers from both Raw and SmackDown. The schedule for 2018 initially listed five dual-brand shows (the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Money in the Bank, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series), five Raw-only shows, and four SmackDown ones.
The most complete look at WWE business for 2017 is the lead story in the new double issue of the Wrestling Observer this week. Look at every category of WWE business, including why profits were down even with record revenues, how much the company really makes off network subscriptions, why profits will almost surely be up big next year, how much the company's annual loan payments are, changes in the network and PPV business, and how many people add and cancel subs.
This issue addresses the story regarding the end of brand-specific PPVs, how much Vince McMahon personally made in cash from his dividends this year, as well as how much stock and the value of it that HHH, Stephanie, Kevin Dunn, Michelle Wilson and George Barrios have. Vince McMahon talks about if his position in WWE changes with the XFL launch, HHH and Stephanie talk about the addition of Ronda Rousey, exactly how much interest there was on Rousey at the rumble, WWE Network numbers, predictions for numbers next quarter, and the paradox of social media, WWE network and revenue.
Look at stats that are really fake and why, where revenue comes from as well as WWE profits and losses every year since 1994.
Also, look at the next three WWE PPV shows, with what is announced and other directions.
Read about New Japan's next major show, the ROH tour, Rey Mysterio in New Japan, as well as the title picture.
This issue discusses the New Beginnings in Osaka, with notes on business, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results from the show.
There are also notes on the history of the longest running pro wrestling TV show still in existence, and it beats Raw by 25 years.
Find out about wrestlers renewing deals, Rob Gronkowksi, WWE in talks for major overseas show, WWE & Mysterio update, Dwayne Johnson sets a personal record, why a WWE main roster performer was booked on an indie show this past weekend, the Booker T and Corey Graves situation, and lots of WWE injury updates.
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.
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In what was one of the best PPVs in the history of the WWF, the company gave a big tease for the eventual Rock vs. Steve Austin match which at this point still looks to be the headliner at Wrestlemania, putting Austin over in the Rumble. The show, featuring some strong highs and only a few lows, featured an early match of the year candidate in the Chris Jericho IC title win over Chris Benoit in a ladder match.
TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE
- SmackDown, Mixed Match Challenge, and 205 Live will take place at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona tonight. Here’s what’s set for each show: SmackDown: The New Day vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin in a number one contender’s match (winning team challenges The Usos at Fastlane), Charlotte Flair, Naomi & Becky Lynch vs. Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan, and WWE following up on Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin being added to the Fastlane main event last week. Mixed Match Challenge: Charlotte & Bobby Roode vs. Nia Jax & Apollo Crews in the final first round match. The winners will face Lana & Rusev in the next round. 205 Live: Mustafa Ali vs. Jack Gallagher and Buddy Murphy vs. Ariya Daivari in the last two Cruiserweight Championship tournament first round matches. Drake Maverick indicated that WWE will be releasing the bracket for the tournament now that the first round is coming to an end.
- Seth Rollins tweeted about wrestling in last night’s gauntlet match: “It’s nights like these when I remember why I fell in love with professional wrestling. Thank you to the men I shared the ring with this evening. It was truly special. I’ve drawn a line in the sand... #MONDAYNIGHTROLLINS #WrestleMania.” Rollins was in the match for an hour and five minutes and pinned Roman Reigns and John Cena back to back, and the entire thing lasted for nearly two hours if you consider it one match.
- Though the Tag Team title match for the Elimination Chamber PPV hasn’t been officially announced, Titus O’Neil & Apollo challenged Cesaro & Sheamus to face them again after beating them in a non-title match last night.
- Raw ratings are delayed to tomorrow due to Monday’s Presidents’ Day holiday.
- PWInsider reported that DDP was brought to Raw last night to film material for the upcoming Randy Savage unreleased matches DVD and other projects. Bayley tweeted a picture of her, DDP, Corey Graves, and Sean Mooney filming for the Savage DVD.
- TMZ Sports spoke to Jeff Jarrett about being announced for the WWE Hall of Fame and being excited for AJ Styles and Ronda Rousey.
- Pro Wrestling Elite noted that Wolfgang is off their March 17th show due to his commitments with WWE.
- Becky Lynch discussed the state of women’s wrestling in WWE with the Phoenix New Times.
- Luke Gallows told Sky Sports that he hopes The Young Bucks come to WWE one day and that he thinks they owe it to themselves to: “This is the pinnacle. It doesn't get bigger than this. There's no bigger worldwide stage than WWE. So I think The Young Bucks owe it to themselves to come out here and thrive. Japan is a great place to wrestle but WWE is a worldwide platform and you can't beat that. Their reach is all across the world."
- The Mirror interviewed Apollo about working with Titus O’Neil, his appearance at PCW earlier this month, and more
- Stephanie McMahon will be the next guest on Lilian Garcia’s podcast.
- After these matches were set up at their most recent round of television tapings, ROH confirmed that Dalton Castle will defend his World Championship against Jay Lethal in the main event of their 16th Anniversary PPV in Las Vegas on March 9th and The Briscoes will challenge for Motor City Machine Guns’ Tag Team titles.
- ROH also announced The Bullet Club (The Young Bucks, Marty Scurll & Hangman Page) vs. SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) & Shane Taylor and Soberano Jr. vs. Punishment Martinez for Manhattan Mayhem on March 3rd. The stipulation for Bullet Club vs. SoCal Uncensored & Taylor is that two wrestlers will start the match and someone else will enter after five minutes, with a coin flip deciding which team will have the advantage. From there, another person will join the match every two minutes and it can only end by pinfall or submission once everyone is in the match.
- The storyline of the Bullet Club’s split continued on the latest episode of Being the Elite as Kenny Omega confronted Cody Rhodes backstage on NJPW’s tour of Australia.
- PWG’s next event will be called “Time is a Flat Circle” and will take place on March 23rd. NJPW’s show in Long Beach takes place two days later on the 25th.
- Combat sports photographer Esther Lin has a photo gallery from last Friday’s PWG show.
- Antonio Inoki turned 75 years old today. Buddy Rogers, Gail Kim, and Killian Dain were also born on February 20th.
- Matt Riddle will challenge for Zack Sabre Jr.’s EVOLVE Championship in New Orleans on April 5th.
- Revolution Pro Wrestling also announced that ZSJ will defend his Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship against Tomohiro Ishii at their WrestleMania week event on April 6th.
- In an announcement video that was really well done, WALTER vs. Pierre Carl Ouellet was revealed for Joey Janela’s Spring Break II on April 6th.
- Impact World Champion Austin Aries vs. Matt Sydal vs. Kongo Kong will main event Impact’s Twitch taping on March 4th. The show will air on their Twitch channel on March 9th.
- James Ellsworth is creating an Intergender Championship title belt.
- Low Ki vs. MVP in an unsanctioned match is set for MLW in Orlando on March 8th.
- The Press Association has a video on Pro Wrestling: EVE having the first female wrestling school in London.
- Yoel Romero said the UFC has confirmed to him that he’ll be the next challenger for Robert Whittaker’s middleweight title.
- Donald Cerrone wants the lightweight title and said he's coming after Khabib Nurmagomedov.
- Matt Mitrione criticized Roy Nelson for trying to cheat by pushing off the fence during their fight in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix.
- Floyd Mayweather Sr. believes that his son will end up fighting in the UFC. BodySlam.net spoke to Jody Kohn of the Mayweather Boxing Channel about the potential for Mayweather to crossover into MMA.
Today in Professional Wrestling History: Steamboat wins NWA title from Flair
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