THE LATEST NEWS
- Beth Phoenix joins WWE Mixed Match Challenge announce team
- The Miz returning to WWE Raw next week
- WWE Raw video highlights: Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe
- Former Wrestling at the Chase host Larry Matysik hospitalized
- There will be 30 entrants in WWE's women's Royal Rumble
- WWE Raw live results: The first episode of 2018
- Look & listen to all the F4WOnline.com Year in Review/Best Of content
THE LATEST AUDIO
- WOL: RAW, long matches on WWE TV, Tokyo Dome, PREDICTION SHOW update, more! 1/2
- WOR: Larry Matysik, New Japan Tokyo Dome preview, RAW, more! 1/2
The road to WrestleMania took a not-entirely-unexpected turn last week when it was announced on Raw that the first-ever women's Royal Rumble match would be taking place next month. While there are still plenty of specifics to be worked out, the announcement itself made all of the sense in the world. The women's division shouldn't be an afterthought in the build to WWE's biggest show of the year.
WON NEWSLETTER: January 1, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2017 In Review
Our 2017 year in review issue of the Observer is up on the site, with full business coverage of the year as well as a breakdown of the biggest pro wrestling news stories of 2017, updating them with a lot of new information on them. There is a major feature on the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling at the Tokyo Dome, as well as an update on where John Cena at WrestleMania stands.
Have a look at the biggest crowds of the year, who has headlined the most major shows, where John Cena stands among the all-time biggest drawing cards as well as where other current WWE stars stand.
There is a PPV breakdown of the year, a breakdown of biggest live crowds and who drew the most, a look at the biggest gates of the year and an update on the ten biggest drawing cards in pro wrestling history.
Examine Vince McMahon's stock sale, thoughts on buying an NFL franchise or starting his own league and the stock price concerns.
In this issue, an update with the planned main event for WWE's PPV in March, update on Dean Ambrose, more WWE injury notes, T-shirt selling strong, Brock Lesnar's schedule, Daniel Bryan update, Ronda Rousey update, former member of WWE Board of Directors is the latest major executive having to step down, Angle talks Jordan angle, Gerald Brisco awarded, plans for March, Velveteen Dream update, what WWE is looking for in talent right now, and the most-watched shows on the WWE Network.
There is also a huge feature on the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling at the Tokyo Dome dating back to 1989. Look at why the first show took place, what legendary video game character came from the first show, why there were so few stadium shows before the Tokyo Dome opened, and a look at that first show. Check out the first main event and the move that came from another sport to pro wrestling that ended up as the finisher of one of the biggest stars ever years later.
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The WWF's final PPV event of its biggest year was sold as a one match card, and even after buying the show, most of the first two hours of the show came across more like an ad to buy a show already purchased. After a flat undercard, where nothing was terribly bad but nothing was particularly good, that dragged at times because of too much hype that would have best been served being on Sunday Night Heat, the main event finally took place.
TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE
- AJ Styles faces Sami Zayn in a non-title match on tonight’s SmackDown from Orlando, Florida. The Usos will defend their Tag team titles against Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin on the show, Breezango will face The Bludgeon Brothers, and the United States title tournament will continue with Xavier Woods vs. Aiden English.
- Hideo Itami vs. Jack Gallagher is set for 205 Live.
- Enzo Amore, who was supposed to wrestle Cedric Alexander in a Cruiserweight Championship match last night, wasn’t on Raw after being hospitalized due to the flu. Amore’s hospitalization was built into the show as Nia Jax chose to visit him over helping Alexa Bliss in her match against Asuka. Drew Gulak also cut a promo for Amore.
- Here’s the updated list of announced entrants for the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches: Men’s match: Elias, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, John Cena, and Finn Balor Women’s match: Naomi, Asuka, Ruby Riott, Natalya, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Paige, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville.
- WWE’s stock today reached its highest point since the first week or so after the company went public. It closed at $34.41 per share.
- Raw ratings are delayed this week due to the New Year’s Day holiday. With the episode going against an all-time classic Rose Bowl game and another college football playoff game, it will be interesting to see how close SmackDown’s viewership comes to Raw’s this week. Raw will go against the Georgia vs. Alabama national title game next Monday.
- Finn Balor teamed with some familiar faces on Raw as he was joined by Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows for a six-man tag match against Elias, Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas. WWE has a post-Raw video with Balor reacting to teaming with Anderson & Gallows.
- Xavier Woods recruited Leva “Blue Pants” Bates for an anti-Aiden English video as part of Woods’ campaign to become the next United States Champion.
- Tommaso Ciampa ominously wished Johnny Gargano a happy New Year on Twitter and was shown working out in a picture that was posted by Bobby Roode.
- Bayley tweeted that her goal for 2018 is to find her way again.
- The WWE Network is conducting planned system maintenance from 7-10 a.m. Eastern time tomorrow that may affect subscribers’ ability to watch content.
- The Rock sent a message of encouragement to Curt Hawkins amid Hawkins’ losing streak: “Haha what’s up my man! F*ck that losing streak. You’re still #1 to me. That should be your next t-shirt to sell: ‘F*ck a losing streak’. I smell a top seller!”
- The Washington Capitals have started to use Oney Lorcan’s theme music as their official goal song.
- NJPW has a video interview with Jay White ahead of his Intercontinental Championship match against Hiroshi Tanahashi at the Tokyo Dome.
- Chris Jericho visited the NJPW dojo while in Japan for Wrestle Kingdom 12. Jericho cut a brief promo about arriving early for the show.
- Chris Charlton translated an excerpt from Gedo’s book where he wrote about his love of US territorial wrestling.
- Tetsuya Naito vowed to make everyone who’s watching the Tokyo Dome show for Jericho become Naito fans.
- NJPW put out an English-language advertisement for New Japan World.
- DDP gifted Cody Rhodes a fur coat that was originally owned by Dusty Rhodes.
- David Starr called out independent wrestler Mathias Glass for refusing to apologize for using an offensive Hasidic gimmick.
- EVOLVE has a 15-minute short film about starting 2018 with a new chapter.
- Matt Riddle sat down for an interview with A Music Blog, Yea.
- The latest episode of the NWA’s “Ten Pounds of Gold” series focuses on the day after Tim Storm lost his Worlds Championship.
- Miesha Tate announced that she’s pregnant and she and Johnny Nunez are expecting a daughter later this year.
- Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov continued to go back and forth on social media after starting their feud yesterday.
- Ariel Helwani reported that Mackenzie Dern will make her UFC debut against Ashley Yoder at UFC 222 in Las Vegas on March 3rd.
- Cris Cyborg wrote that she expects an apology from a photographer from Jackson Wink MMA who called her a man on Instagram or for the person to lose their credentials.
- Justin Gaethje is interested in facing Kevin Lee in his next fight.
- In an interview with his website, BJ Penn said that he never should have fought at featherweight and dismissed rumors that he’ll be facing Suman Mokhtarian at UFC 221.
- Rose Namajunas said being the best in the world doesn’t mean much if you’re not a good person and setting a good example for other people.
- Rampage Jackson doesn’t think that Chael Sonnen is capable of taking him down when they face off in Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Today in Professional Wrestling History: Arn Anderson wins NWA TV title
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