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Daily Update: Tanahashi will work through injury; Early CTE detection close?

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There's a big weekend coming up of events, including TNA tapings in the U.K., New Japan having Shinsuke Nakamura's last match which airs late tomorrow/early Saturday our time live on New Japan World, Pro Wrestling NOAH has a big show, UFC has a show on FOX and Lucha Underground will be taping Ultima Lucha season two.

SMACKDOWN TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. ON USA NETWORK

Dolph Ziggler & Titus O'Neil & Usos vs. New Day & The Miz

Kalisto vs. Neville for the U.S. title

A.J. Styles vs. Curtis Axel

Charlotte vs. Natalya non-title

Chris Jericho & Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan & Luke Harper

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Figure Four Weekly

Figure Four Weekly 1/18/2016: Gawker's motion to dismiss Hulk Hogan lawsuit denied
Gawker's motion to dismiss the Hulk Hogan sex tape lawsuit is denied, plus news and notes

Wrestling Observer Newsletter

The Latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter: February 1, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2016 Royal Rumble, Road to Wrestlemania, more

Coverage of the Royal Rumble and where things lead to WrestleMania is the lead story in a jam-packed news issue of the Wrestling Observer.  TNA's statements regarding A.J. Styles, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson, the timing, what is accurate, and a lot that wasn't in those statements as to why the deal didn't happen. The process that led the stars from New Japan and more. The Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum injuries and title match cancellation and what directions UFC took to try and save it.  More on the injury to Hiroshi Tanahashi, the death of Archie "Mongolian Stomper" Gouldie, some stories about his life and career.  WWE Hall of Fame class of 2016, New Japan Fantatstica Mania tour with full rundowns and stories behind it, Nikki Bella injury and what led to the increase in ratings for Raw and Smackdown.

The story behind why HHH won the title, why it was the right booking decision given the destination, questions about the execution, the confusing Fast Lane main event, what the original booking plan was behind Roman Reigns ascension to the top and why it was so hard for Vince McMahon to decide against his winning at last year's WrestleMania, and questions about the crowds at Fast Lane and Mania for the main events. Update WrestleMania, chart out the Royal Rumble with how long everyone was in, eliminations, and news, Rumble business, poll results and match-by-match results with star ratings. 

The situation with New Japan losing talent, and how the CMLL stars did on the tour.

The arrival of Shinsuke Nakamura to WWE and why he's in NXT, an update on Daniel Bryan, NXT finances for talent, another endorsement deal for Dwayne Johnson, notes on the next WWE network live special, updates on NXT talent coming to the main roster, lots of WWE injury notes, WWE plans for post-Mania and the European tour, Lesnar dates, details on NXT tapings as well as details on all the weekend WWE events.

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Check out the latest Online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: December 28, 1998 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Bischoff gets historic NBC deal, WCW files lawsuit against WWF over Wrestling With Shadows, more

Eric Bischoff and NBC work out a historic deal to air WCW on NBC, WCW files a lawsuit against WWF over Wrestling With Shadows, plus tons of news.

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE

A story with Dr. Robert Cantu in the Boston Herald talking about how close they are to being able to detect CTE in living people and what that will mean for sports

Hiroshi Tanahashi is planning on working the upcoming New Japan tour.  It used to be considered a sign of toughness in another era to do that.  Today, the sign of toughness is the ability to admit when you're hurt and make the tough decision to take time off.  He's in a lot of pain, and will be working lots of tags and trying to get through it.   

TNA announced that Will Ospreay vs. Mark Andrews would take place on tomorrow's TV tapings in Manchester, England.  I hope they give them time because they'll put on a fantastic TV match.

The University of Michigan announced today that they were bringing in Ric Flair on 2/3 to meet with their 2016 recruiting class.  He'll join a number of other celebrities that include Desmond Howard, pitcher Derek Holland, famous football coach Lou Holtz and former NFL coach Mike Shanahan. 

Josh Barnett's open workout today was a pro wrestling match, that's not the first time he's done that.

WWE

  • WWE and 2K announced a new multi-year exclusive contract giving 2K worldwide rights to develop and publish WWE video game properties across all major platforms.  They will continue to do WWE 2K and WWE Super Card franchises.
  • A pre-sale for WWE Axxess tickets starts Monday at 9 a.m. Central time.
  • A pre-sale for the final Raw and Smackdown prior to WrestleMania, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, is on right now through tomorrownight at 10 p.m.  You need the code BKRAW.  HHH, Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Sheamus, Kevin Owens and Alberto Del Rio are the listed stars.
  • WWE Studios and Blumhouse Production have bought a new indie movie called "Sleight", a science fiction thriller about a street magician in New York.  WWE Studio officials saw the movie at Sundance and decided to get involved.
  • WWE stock was up 25 cents per share today to close at $17.82.
  • Battarelli Research yesterday published an analysis saying "WWE is about to get body slammed." 
  • The upcoming show in Magdeburg Germany is sold out, in a small arena (thanks to Bronco Groen)
  • A 3/15 show in Asbury Park, NJ for the NXT brand is sold out. 
  • Wale attended the WWE show on Monday night in Miami.  He took photos with Vince McMahon, HHH and Dwayne Johnson. 
  • Announced for 3/19 in White Plains, NY at the Westchester County Center

Big Show vs. Bray Wyatt

Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio for the U.S. title

Dudleys & Kane vs. Braun Strowman & Erick Rowan & Luke Harper

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev (thanks to Mike Omansky)

UFC/MMA

  • Johny Hendricks' Bigg Rigg Steak House in Midlothian, TX closed up after one year.
  • Bellator has its first show of the year tomorrow night in Fresno at the Save Mart Center, on Spike, headlined by Paul Daley vs. Andy Uhrich.
  • UFC announced these fights for its 4/10 show in Zagreb, Croatia.  Tickets go on sale 2/12

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Ruslan Magomedov

Igor Pokrajac (from Zagreb) vs. Jan Blachowicz (Poland)

Francis Ngannou (the Paris heavyweight that has a freaky physique) vs. Bojan Mihajiovic (Serbia)

Nicholas Dalby (Denmark) vs. Bartosz Fabinski (Poland)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • The Saturday night PBC show on FOX ended up doing 2.5 million viewers and peaked at 3.5 million for the Danny Garcia vs. Robert Guerrero main event.  I would suspect the UFC numbers on Saturday will be somewhat similar.  It was the largest PBC audience in several months.
  • ROH sent out a release that Shinsuke Nakamura won't be appearing on their 2/26 PPV show.  I think that's been known since 1/5. 
  • Steve and Colby Corino are headed to Zero-One in March. 
  • NJPW Europe noted it's your last chance to buy Shinsuke Nakamura King of  Strong Style T-shirts 
  • A giveaway of the audio book for Bob Holly's autobiography, as well as some info about a short film he's made with Ross Williams, the guy he wrote his book with.
  • A story on what WWE can learn from New Japan
  • A story on TNA's UK tour
  • Pro Wrestling Phoenix from last night in Omaha:  Branden Juarez DDQ L-Ray, Robert Storm b Mad Dog McDowell, Zac James b Pat Powers, Paul & Joey Daniels b Dalton Lee Roth & Purple, Ariya Daivari b Blue Rocket, Arik Cannon b Mark Sterling to win the PWP title.  Next show is 2/13 in Council Bluffs, IA at the National Guard Armory.
  • Brian Last and David Bixenspan talk to Mongolian Stomper's friend Beau James, as well as Stampede wrestling author Heath McCoy on the Stomper
  • One of Stardom's best matches with Io Shirai vs. Kairi Hojo in the 1/17 Korakuen Hall anniversary show main event
  • Marvelous Puroresu on 2/13 in Elmhurst, NY at the Queensbro Elks Lodge at 4 p.m. with Rocky Romero vs. Amazing Red.  Mio Momono make her pro wrestling debut.  She's a highly touted protege of Chigusa Nagayo (the most popular female wrestler of her time), who will also be wrestling on the show.  Also appearing are Kyoko Kimura, Renee Michelle, Kimber Lee, Heidi Lovelace, Will Ferrara and Cheeseburger
  • NWA Mid South on Saturday night in Dyresburg, TN at the Herb Welch Wrestle Plex with Matt Riviera & Rob Conway vs. Jeremy Moore & ? for the NWA world tag team titles and John Saxon vs. Greg Anthony for the National title.  Gary Cappetta will be attending as guest ring announcer and to be inducted into the Mid South Hall of Fame.
  • ECWA on Saturday night in Woodbury Heights, NJ at the Community Center.
  • Maryland Championship Wrestling on 2/13 in Joppa, MD at the MCW Arena features the Hardy Boys.  The main event is King McBride defending the MCW title against Matt Hardy, who will have Jeff Hardy in his corner.
  • CZW will induct WWE ref and former CZW star Drake Weurtz (Drake Younger) into its Hall of Fame on 2/13 at the show at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ.  The main event will be a ladder match with Matt Tremont defending his CZW title against Devon Moore in a ladder match.
  • NWA Smoky Mountain Wrestling on 2/13 in Kingsport, TN at the Civic Auditorium with Jax Dane vs. Toby Farley for the NWA title.
  • Capital City Championship Combat on 3/19 in Ottawa at the Vanier Columbus Club.
  • CHIKARA Pro on 1/30 in Philadelphia at the Wrestle Factory in their season opener.
  • NWA Parade of Champions on 3/31 in Fort Worth at the Ridglea Theater includes a Jim Cornette Q&A at 3 p.m., A meet and greet from 5-7 p.m. with Sabu, Cornette, Marc Lowrance and Mike McGuirk plus matches with Jax Dane, Ray Rowe, Amber Gallows, Chase Owns, Rob Conway, Matt Riviera and more.
  • Beyond Wrestling on 1/31 in Somerville, MA have a show that is sold out for a month that features Matt Riddle, Zack Sabre Jr., Chris Hero, Chris Dickinson, Tommaso Ciampa and more.
  • Rockstar Pro has an iPPV on 2/5 from Dayton headlined by Armageddon Games.
  • Nova Pro Wrestling on Sunday in Springfield, VA with Sonjay Dutt and the Bravado Brothers at the Annandale Sports Center at 5 pm.
  • Lucha Libre VOZ on 3/19 at the Arizona State Prepatory Academy in Phoenix with El Hijo del Rey Misterio vs. Rush vs. Bestia 666 vs. Niebla Roja.
  • Grand Slam Pro Wrestling on 2/6 in Moosic, PA at the Youth Center.
  • Collector's Realm at the Dutchess Marketplace in Fishkill, NY has Sami Callihan appearing on Saturday from Noon to 1:30 p.m.; and Jim Duggan on 2/13 from Noon to 2 p.m.
  • The Laugh It Up Comedy Club at Mahoney's in Poughkeepsie NY has Jim Duggan doing a show at 6:30 p.m. on 2/13 and Jim Cornette doing a show on 3/5 at 11 p.m.     
  • A story on Jim Duggan performing in Buffalo
  • CTV in Montreal did a piece on local wrestler Shayne Hawke (real name Andrew Stott) on his battles with depression
  • A story on Andre the Giant and the end of his career
  • If anyone has video footage from Buffalo Wrestling Federation out of Las Vegas (also known as Buffalo Jim's Wrestling), from 1999 to 2004, please contact Roy Lucier at roywarrenlucier@yahoo.com
  • Nine Legends, a new wrestling film starring Bill Goldberg, Mike Tyson, Bret Hart, Rob Van Dam, Lita, Randy Couture, Ted DiBiase, Dynamite Kid and Chris Jericho is now available to stream at www.ninelegendsfilm.com for just $5.  Check out this trailer.

ON THIS DAY IN WORLD PRO WRESTLING HISTORY: Daily pro wrestling history (01/28): Jerry Lawler wins the Smoky Mountain Title

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