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THE ROUND-UP

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The Latest from the F4W Staff

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FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY:Figure Four Weekly 11/13/2017: AJ Styles becomes a two-time WWE Champion

Adding another accomplishment to his already phenomenal career, AJ Styles became a two-time WWE Champion at last week's SmackDown tapings in Manchester, England. Styles defeated Jinder Mahal to win the title, putting an abrupt end to a reign that seemed destined to go longer. The switch came less than two weeks before Mahal's planned non-title champion vs. champion match against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series

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WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER:November 20, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Survivor Series card changes, McGregor incident, more

A preview and an update on Survivor Series is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, looking at that show and the Takeover show.

Look at Conor McGregor's behavior at the Bellator show in Dublin, and the tricky position punishing him is from all sides because of the money he generates. Also look at the fight out of left field for McGregor that people are already knocking heavily but would do gigantic business, how this may have already cost UFC a major main event.

The renewal of Lucha Underground, what is expected to change, notes no decreasing costs, and why some talent is happy but a lot of talent is less happy about this news. Also look at the Arolucha promotion, who is involved, when it's scheduled to tape, and how the renewal of Lucha Underground greatly impacts them.

WWE is in India, what the show cancellation and Jinder Mahal title loss means, the business in India, and claim of biggest match ever in India.

Read about Daniel Bryan's statements about returning to wrestling next year, and more on CTE. Take a look in depth at the economics of WrestleMania, how many tourists came to the show, how much tourists spent in Orlando and just how much more important WrestleMania is for a locale than even a few years ago. 

Examine the James Ellsworth cut, lots more on the Ric Flair 30 for 30, John Cena movie, update on WWE U.K., Chris Jericho cruise and 2018 schedule, the Randy Orton/Kevin Owens twitter back-and-forth, reaction to Owens & Zayn being sent home, Starrcade notes, Notes on indie asking price of a WWE wrestler just cut, injury updates, the next U.K. TV tapings, former WWE star talks coming out of retirement, as well as the current company value and most watched shows on the WWE Network.

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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

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 moonsault@mediaplusint.com. 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: November 6, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Bret Hart retires, Halloween Havoc review, more

In one of the strangest endings to one of the strangest pro wrestling careers in history, Bret Hart officially announced his plans not only to retire, but to walk away completely, from a business often dubbed inside as the Hotel California, based on the line from an old 70s song. "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave." Hart's career in the ring was almost surely over, due to a series of concussions suffered starting most likely on 12/19 from the famous kick by Bill Goldberg in the Starrcade WCW title match. 

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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • The SmackDown follow-up to Survivor Series takes place in Houston tonight as WWE completes their four days in the city. Charlotte Flair will defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Natalya after winning it last week. The AJ Styles/Jinder Mahal program will also be furthered and Luke Harper & Erick Rowan will return to TV as the Bludgeon Brothers in a match against the Hype Bros.
  • Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak in a street fight is advertised for 205 Live.
  • Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that WWE is in talks with Facebook for the test run of a new weekly in-ring show that would air on Facebook Live. If it were to happen, it would be filmed after SmackDown on Tuesdays and would possibly feature Raw and SmackDown wrestlers, with mixed tag matches reported as a possible theme. WWE applied to trademark “WWE Mixed Match Challenge” earlier this month. Pro Wrestling Sheet mentioned that 205 Live taking place before SmackDown has been discussed if the new show comes to fruition.
  • The implosion of the Georgia Dome, which hosted WrestleMania 27 and Goldberg winning the WCW title from Hollywood Hogan in 1998 (among other Nitro episodes), took place yesterday. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta opened as the Georgia Dome’s replacement earlier this year.
  • Nikki and Brie Bella are celebrating their 34th birthdays today. Daniel Bryan wished Brie a happy birthday: “34 years ago today, my beautiful wife was born. There are no gifts I could give her that would equal the blessings of her support, no presents that would equal the joy of watching her with our child. I am the luckiest man alive. Happy Birthday Brianna” John Cena also tweeted a birthday message to Nikki: “Happy birthday love. @BellaTwins U R the best thing that has ever happened 2 me. Wonderful day to reflect, enjoy, and look ahead. I love you.”
  • WWE announced more dates for next May’s European tour.
  • For his podcast, Tony Schiavone did another “Control Center” video running down the card for WWE’s Starrcade house show.
  • Johnny Gargano challenged Shawn Michaels to another “ab off” for WrestleMania weekend.
  • The Miz spoke to Fox News to promote that he’s hosting the next season of MTV’s “The Challenge.”

Pro Wrestling

  • Christopher Daniels responded to some of the criticism he’s received for the flaming table spot he was involved in against Cody Rhodes for ROH over the weekend: "When people criticize me or my decisions with moronic comments (not valid critique), I fight the urge to draw attention to a vocal minority of fans, but I will say this: 1) Our business is up, 2) My paychecks are fine, & 3) My career won't be 1 day shorter. NOT. ONE. DAY.”
  • NWA Champion Tim Storm accepted CZW’s invitation to appear at this year’s Cage of Death show on December 9th.
  • MLW announced that their first show of 2018 will take place at GILT Nightclub in Orlando on January 11th. Matt Riddle is the first wrestler confirmed for the event.

UFC/MMA

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Bret Hart wins WCW World Championship

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