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Daily Update: SANADA, Rey Fenix, Japan schedule


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F4W NEWSLETTER: Recapping WWE TLC 2019 Joseph Currier gives his thoughts on WWE's final PPV of the decade.

WWE's final pay-per-view of the decade took place on Sunday night and exemplified some of the changes we've seen over the past 10 years.

TLC 2019 was very much a B-level PPV in the WWE Network era. Not only were the top men's and women's singles titles from each brand not defended, there were no singles titles on the line at all. Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens and AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton seemed like they were being built up as non-title matches that would help anchor the card, but they didn't end up getting added. The show even ended with an angle instead of a match. After Asuka & Kairi Sane's tables, ladders, and chairs match against Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair, a locker room brawl that featured Roman Reigns and Baron Corbin continued. The image that closed the show was Reigns spearing Corbin from an elevated area onto a pile of bodies. It felt like the ending of an episode of Raw or SmackDown instead of a major event.

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WON NEWSLETTER: December 23, 2019 Observer Newsletter: TLC and Final Battle reviews, more

We've got complete coverage of the last series of major shows held around the world in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer, as well as bios on a number of wrestlers who have passed away in recent weeks.The new issue also covers:

TLC, focusing on the behind-the-scenes of the Kairi Sane situation, who knew,when did they know, the channels where the ball was dropped and what can and needs to be learned from it. We note the business of the event, the U.S. popularity levels, plus have match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

Exactly how AEW was formed, including what match made Tony Khan feel opposition was viable and what conversation with what major person in television made it happen, as well as who was contacted first to be part of it. We also have the story from the market rep who got Bullet Club shirts into Hot Topic.

DVR numbers for pro wrestling shows right now as well as how meaningful they are and what it says about audiences. We also look at how and why the dynamic of how people watch wrestling on Wednesdays has changed over the past several weeks.  We also look at wrestling viewership in Canada.

Big names who have signed new WWE deals and a major name who has not, a WWE overseas TV deal, how many people buy WWE video games, pro wrestling offers to Daniel Cormier, Cain Velasquez's next WWE show, the story behind Chelsea Green and Deonna Purrazzo on Raw and what it means short and long-term, a reboot of a WWE tag team, new feuds being started in WWE, most-watched shows on the WWE Network, WWE stock value and a look at all the WWE & NXT shows held over the past week with business notes and highlights.

UFC 245, with business notes, notes about the fighters who elevated their games, the title picture, plus match-by-match coverage.

ROH as it goes into 2020, who is going, who is staying, what is unknown, what kind of deals are being offered plus Final Battle coverage, with business notes, poll results, match-by-match coverage and star ratings.

AAA Guerra de Titanes, the creation of the new top stable, the debut of Sin Cara, thoughts and problems with the new name he's using and more.

A bio on Randy Colley, best known as Moondog Rex, including his legal issues with WWE, what happened with the fans that ruined what would have been his biggest career break, other gimmicks he had, the birth of the Moondog gimmick and his biggest matches.

NWA, its YouTube numbers, its television tapings direction for the next several weeks, its net PPV show, as well as coverage of its Into the Fire show with poll results.

2019 cable numbers for the stations that carry pro wrestling and MMA and what they mean.

Notes on the career of Alberto Munoz, who was supposed to become a legend, and what happened in 1973 that ended that dream.

Dragon Gate's Final Gate show with coverage of the event.

A personal look at how a law that was poorly thought out will affect reporters and web sites that use people from California and how adhering to it will make it nearly impossible for anyone in the state to start out in the field, and for the vast majority who work for publications outside the state, to likely lose their jobs.

The life of Scottish Hall of Famer Andy Robin, and his protege, Hercules the Bear.

Regarding the Wednesday numbers, we've got full details, demos that each side won, how every segment did and what match ended up as the difference maker. 

Full coverage of all the WWE and AEW television shows from the past week.

In-depth looks at the ratings of all the major shows, the key demos and quarters for AEW and WWE, what happened head-to-head and what can be learned from them.

Results of all the major pro wrestling events around the world over the past week. 

Current subscribers click here to read.

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 or by going to directing funds to

Rates in the United States are $14.50 for 4 issues, $35.50 for 12, $70 for 24, $116 for 40 and $149.50 for 52.

In Canada and Mexico, the rates are $16 for 4, $27 for 8, $38.50 for 12, $76 for 24, $126 for 40 and $162.50 for 52.

For the rest of the world, rates are $18 for 4, $48.50 for 12, $93 for 24, $155 for 40 and $201.50 for 52.

If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order to P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228, you can get $1 off in every price range.


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We have a show that I did yesterday with Garrett Gonzalez and Patric Laprade, talking Hall of Fame, Rene Goulet, Wednesday nights and what we've learned from recent weeks and more. Garrett Gonzalez and I are doing a show today. One of the topics will be 2020 wrestling. If you've got any questions on that topic send to

I'm doing a show and a meet and greet at Toudoukan in Tokyo at 11 a.m. on 1/4, several hours prior to the first of the two Tokyo Dome shows. I'll just tell you this, if you are going to Japan, whether you want to see the show or not, you need to go to Touduokan's. Ticket info is here. Jim Valley and I will also be doing a podcast from Toudoukan. 

Regarding Sanada, we haven't gotten an update from anyone past it being downplayed to us.  New Japan hasn't announced any injury or card changes yet, although Bushi beating Zack Sabre Jr. yesterday came out of nowhere and feels like a backup plan.  Sanada missed yesterday's show with what was called a head injury.

The Kevin Nash pulling out of the Jericho Cruise over doing a movie is legit. He got a good part in an upcoming Alec Baldwin movie. There were people questioning the reason. 

Rey Fenix missing PWG over transportation issues was legit. His flight out of Mexico City to Tijuana was delayed. The hope was until late in the show that he could make it, but traffic issues on Friday night made it impossible. David Starr ended up working twice and replaced Fenix in a match with Jonathan Gresham.


  • Cody Rhodes was interviewed by Sports 1 in Germany.
  • Nyla Rose, on a gimmicked suspension from AEW is working for the Marvelous promotion in Japan right now.


  • For those going to Japan who have asked, this is just some of the Tokyo schedule. It's not everything, but it is the major groups:
  • December 29, Sunday WAVE, 11:45am at Korakuen Hall Pure J, 1:00pm at Hana Gekijyo, Asakusa, Tokyo
  • Dec.30, Monday OWE, 11:30am at Korakuen Hall Hard Hit, 6:30pm at New Pier Hall, Tokyo Bay area Big Japan, 6:30pm at Korakuen Hall ACT, 6:30pm at Shinkiba
  • Dec. 31, Tuesday Ice Ribbon, 11:30am at Korakuen Hall Rizin New Year's Eve show, Saitama Super Arena 2 p.m. New Year's Eve show 8:00pm until next morning at Korakuen Hall
  • January 1, Wednesday ZERO-1, 2:00pm at Korakuen Hall WAVE, 6:00pm at Shinkiba
  • January 2, Thursday Kyushu, 1:00pm and 3:00pm at Shinkiba All Japan, 11:30am at Korakuen Hall Big Japan, 6:30pm at Korakuen Hall Stardom, 6:00pm at Shinkiba
  • January 3, Friday All Japan, 11:30am at Korakuen Hall Freedoms, 12:30pm at Shinkiba Stardom, 6:00pm at Shinkiba DDT, 6:30pm at Korakuen Hall
  • January 4, Saturday Stardom, 12:00pm at Ryogoku KFC Hall New Japan 4:00pm at Tokyo Dome NOAH 6:30pm at Korakuen Hall Tokyo Joshi 11:30am at Korakuen Hall Big Japan, 12:00pm at Shinkiba Ice Ribbon, 12:00pm at Yokohama Radiant Hall
  • January 5, Sunday NOAH, 11:30am at Korakuen Hall SEAdLIING, 12:00pm at Shinkiba New Japan, 2:00pm at Tokyo Dome Dragon Gate, Heiwajima Boat Race Sendai Girls & OZ Academy, 12:00pm and 6:00pm at Shinjuku Face
  • January 6, Monday New Japan, 6:30pm at Tokyo Ota Ward Gym
  • Rico Verhoeven came back from being knocked down twice to win when Badr Hari was injured in the third round while delivering a spin kick in a fight he was winning in the biggest kickboxing match of the year.  The Glory heavyweight title fight drew gigantic numbers in Holland, not Super Bowl numbers but maybe NFC championship finals numbers.
  • The only thing that made the Google search list over the weekend from combat sports was Julio Caesar Chavez Jr.'s fight on Friday night which was No. 15 for the day with 100,000 searches.  Nothing from UFC or Bellator made the list, nor from Smackdown.
  • Northeast Wrestling from last night in Bethany, CT:  Christian Casanova won three-way over Keith Youngblood and JT Dunn to become Live champion, Brian Pillman Jr. b Mike Verna, Dan Maff b Wrecking Ball Legursky in a no DQ match, Royce Bishop & Trigga the OC b Traevon Jordan & Jaylen Brandyn, Tasha Steelz b Angel Sinclair, Chuck O'Neil b Jake Manning, Chris Battle & RJ Rude & Zane Bernardo b Brett Ryan Gosselin & Aide Aggro & Danger Kid. They announced Flip Gordon and Marty Scurll for the 1/25 show.  TK O'Ryan was there and talked about his concussion issues that have kept him out of action for months. He said he suffered three concussions in 2019 but will be back and wrestling in NEW in 2020. (thanks to Nick Mahmood)
  • Pro Wrestling Phoenix on Wednesday night from Omaha, NE:  Pat Powers b K-Dos, Lars Metzger b Logan Ocean-COR, Willy Sweet b Nick Scent, Jack Darling & Uncle Ricky b Manford Zablinski & Gideon Tenpenny, Moonshine Russell b Con Artiest, Seto Kobara & Tim Boston b Paul Daniels & Joey Daniels, Tony Cortez b Donnie Peppercricket, Arik Cannon b Duke Cornell-DQ.  Next show is 1/3 at the Waiting Room Lounge in Omaha.
  • Ignite Wrestling on 1/11 in Vero Beach, FL at the Walking Tree Brewery with Aaron Epic, Serptentico, Kaci Lennox and more.
  • Dynamo Pro Wrestling on 12/28 in St. Louis at the Concordia Turners Gymnasium.
  • Glory Pro Wrestling from last night in Sauget, IL:  Valentina Loca b Sophie King, Devon Monroe won eight-way, Mike Outlaw won four-way over Dak Draper, Paco Gonzalez and Jake Lander, Elayna Black won three-way over Seishin and Lanie Luck, Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett b Air Wolf & Angel Dorado, Hakim Zan b PB Smooth, Rickey Shane Page b Kevin Lee Davidson, Danny Adams & Barackus & Kody Lane b Steve Manders & Eddy Only & Billy Brash in a bunkhouse match, Jake Something b Matthew Justice in a no DQ match Curt Stallion b Effym, Halal Beefcake b Philly Collins & Marino Tenaglia, A.J. Gray b Mance Warner in a death match (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
  • Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 1/4 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds.
  • Mike Mooneyham on Rene Goulet (thanks to Chris Cruise)
  • Here are photos from Friday’s PWG event.

Daily Pro Wrestling History: Rikidozan becomes Japanese Heavyweight Champion