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Daily Update: Rousey's payout, Cena & Reigns Twitter feud, UFC 207 fallout


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Raw will be Monday night in Tampa with Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn in a last man standing match announced plus the return of Bill Goldberg. There is no Smackdown house show on Monday night so it actually would make sense for Smackdown talent to be on the show teasing the Rumble match. It also would have made a good night for the Slammys since most Mondays you can't have the Smackdown talent at the show.

Smackdown and 205 Live are Tuesday night from Jacksonville. The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose for the IC title is on Tuesday.


  • New Japan 20 man Royal Rumble rules match
  • Tiger Mask W (Kota Ibushi) vs. Tiger the Dark (ACH)
  • Young Bucks vs. Rocky Romero & Trent Baretta for IWGP Jr. tag titles
  • Gauntlet series for trios titles with Satoshi Kojima & Ricochet & David Finlay (champions), Seiya Sanada & Evil & Bushi, Yoshi-Hashi & Will Ospreay & Jado and Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi & Hangman Page
  • Cody the American Nightmare vs. Juice Robinson
  • Kyle O'Reilly vs. Adam Cole for ROH title
  • Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa vs. Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma for IWGP tag team titles
  • Kushida vs. Hiromu Takahashi for IWGP jr. tag title
  • Katsuyori Shibata vs. Hirooki Goto for Never Open weight title
  • Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for IC title
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega for IWGP title

FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: Figure Four Weekly 12/26/2016: Is WWE violent enough?

A couple years ago, I was working on an article for Fighting Spirit Magazine about how lopsided WWE was in terms of having too many babyfaces and not enough heels, as well as the company's heel/face divide in general. One of the people I interviewed for the article was Kevin Sullivan, who spoke at length about how he felt that WWE heels were inherently limited because they couldn't "commit a violent act" due to WWE's "PG" content restrictions... Subscribers click here to continue.

WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: January 2, 2017 UFC 207 preview, Wrestlemania's rumored matches, more

A look at Ronda Rousey going into what will be the fight that determines a lot of her legacy is the lead story of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Find out why this fight will be looked back on as a key to her career, why it could be her last fight, and the psychological issues going into this fight. There is also a look at other aspects of the show including Cain Velasquez not fighting, and the last show for two of the longest-tenured UFC employees, booker Joe Silva and announcer Mike Goldberg. Plus, look at the ramifications of the show.

This issue also has an update on WrestleMania 33, with the three matches confirmed for the show and several others likely, plus the latest on the Undertaker situation and the different ideas Vince McMahon has been talking about, and also look at where other top stars are fitting in.

Preview the Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada match and the Tokyo Dome build, and find out what to look for from a business standpoint as well as a history standpoint. Also, have a look at the rest of the show and what to expect and a look back at some history of January 4th at the Tokyo Dome.

Mick Foley's hip surgery situation and why he's not having it just yet, notes on the 2017 Money in the Bank show, a look at the past 11 years with what WWE stars headlined most often and what WWE matches drew the best with a lot of surprises, inside this issue. Also, look at exactly who owns WWE right now. Find out what WrestleMania main event poll that was taken down, and also look at the situation in the U.K. Examine the NXT TV specials, Hulk Hogan, a college class on a former WWE champion, WWE and Matt Riddle, how a WWE Network special was edited, as well as stock notes, and the most watched shows of the past week on the WWE 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.)

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.

WON BACK ISSUE:December 5, 1999 WWF losing advertisers, Steve Austin gets good news regarding neck, more - If you're looking for this week's top story to be simplified into good vs. evil, you're looking in the wrong place. After two years of the WWF's new direction turning it into prime advertising for companies aiming products at in particular, teenage and young adult males, suddenly, this week advertisers were dropping like flies... Subscribers click here to continue.


Today is the final day in the annual Whale Scout fundraising drive. Whale Scout is a certified Washington State 501(c)3 non-profit run by Bryan's wife Whitney, so Bryan has thrown in a bunch of wrestling-related perks including signed copies of the original 2005 edition of Death of WCW. All donations are tax-deductible for the year 2016. There are also a lot of great and unique whale-related perks left if you or someone in your life loves whales. Whitney has a video up, a look at all the perks and more on the Indiegogo page here, or you can check out more information at Of course, you can donate without grabbing a perk if you are so inclined. She also has a regular podcast available on iTunes searching Whale Scout Podcast, the latest of which features an interview with Mark Leiren-Young, who wrote the new book "The Killer Whale Who Changed The World." Thanks from Whitney and Bryan!


  • John Cena and Roman Reigns went back and forth on Twitter yesterday after Reigns responded to a video of him laughing in a match with Kevin Owens by saying he was laughing at Owens’ merch check. Cena first sent a tweet to Reigns with a video of him working out at Georgia Tech, where Reigns played football in college: “While @WWERomanReigns was making fun of what people earn I was at @GeorgiaTechFB to #EarnTheDay #recognize.” And then Reigns responded to Cena.
  • looks at their top 25 matches of 2016.
  • Tommy End spoke about his background in kickboxing and his road to WWE.
  • WWE has a video on the top 10 new catchphrases of 2016.


  • While time will tell whether it was a success, ITV’s World of Sport special aired in the UK today. Our British wrestling reporter Alan Boon will have a column on the show tomorrow.
  • Ratings were up a bit for this week's Hardy-centric best-of edition of TNA Impact. 224k peoople watched the show, whereas last week's best-of 2016 episode was watched by 209k viewers. Matt and Reby Hardy revealed that their next child will be a boy on the show.
  • Tyrus (formerly Brodus Clay) takes part in New Year’s Eve coverage on Fox News tonight doing man-on-the-street segments in Times Square with Libertarian pundit Kat Timpf. Tyrus is a regular contributor for Fox News.


  • The UFC uploaded video of Amanda Nunes’ interview inside of the Octagon after decimating Ronda Rousey in the first round last night at UFC 207, as well as full video from last night’s post-fight press conferences.
  • Not that it was a surprise, but Rousey didn’t speak to the media after her loss. She released a statement to ESPN on Saturday, saying that she would have to take some time to reflect and think about the future.
  • Bloody Elbow has a transcript of advice that Rousey’s coach Edmond Tarverdyan gave her during the fight. Nunes didn’t have kind words for Tarverdyan at the post-fight press conference.
  • Rousey’s mom posted a blog about her daughter’s loss.
  • Rousey's disclosed fight purse was $3 million, with Nunes receiving $100k for the fight and a $100k win bonus before PPV points are calculated.
  • Dana White said that TJ Dillashaw is likely next in line to challenge Cody Garbrandt after Garbrandt won the bantamweight title from Dominick Cruz last night.
  • In an interview with ESPN, White also said that he’s unsure if Rousey will fight again and credited her for the success of women fighters in the UFC.
  • Garbrandt gave his bantamweight championship belt to cancer survivor and friend Maddux Maple after the win.
  • Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports looks at Rousey and her future in his latest column.
  • The fight between Gabi Garcia and 49-year-old pro wrestler Yumiko Hotta took place at RIZIN’s show this morning and went pretty much exactly as expected. After showing off her rope running ability, Hotta got knocked out in under a minute.
  • After defeating Baruto earlier in the night, Mirko Cro Cop went on to win RIZIN’s Grand Prix later in the night by beating Amir Aliakbari.
  • World Series of Fighting debuted in New York City today with a big show from Madison Square Garden with the main card airing on the NBC Main Network. Justin Gaethje (17-0) retained his lightweight title in the main event over Luiz Firmino after a doctor stoppage at the end of round three. There were three other title fights on the show with Jon Fitch (over Jake Shields), Marlon Moraes (over Josenaldo Silva) and Dave Branch (over Louis Taylor) all retaining their belts.
  • Mike Goldberg’s son wasn’t happy with his father not being given a chance to have a proper sendoff in his last event with the company at UFC 207. Kole Goldberg tweeted: “my dad did so much for the UFC over the past 13 years and they can't even give him a proper goodbye. what a joke @ufc.”

Results from the Observer Panel picks for last night’s show:

  • 5-0: Paul Fontaine
  • 4-1: Josh Nason, Front Row Brian, Steve Juon
  • 3-2: Mike Sempervive, John Pollock, Dave Meltzer, David Bixenspan
  • 2-3: Mike Sawyer
  • 1-4: Ryan Frederick

Final standings for the year:

  • John Pollock (79-49; .617)
  • Josh Nason/David Bixenspan (78-50; .609)
  • Dave Meltzer (74-54; .578)
  • Mike Sawyer (73-55; .570)
  • Mike Sempervive/Front Row Brian (72-56; .563)
  • Steve Juon (71-57; .555)
  • Ryan Frederick (70-58; .547)
  • Paul Fontaine (66-62; .516)

Today in Professional Wrestling History (12/31): Bruiser Brody wins Florida Title