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Daily Update: UFC 207 interest, HBK & Undertaker, World Of Sport ratings

THE ROUND-UP

The Latest from the F4W Staff

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NEWS

AUDIO

We're looking for your thoughts on UFC 207, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst fight to dave@wrestlingobserver.com. We'll also be doing a poll on the Tokyo Dome show on late Tuesday/early Wednesday.

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 WRESTLE KINGDOM 11 FROM THE TOKYO DOME ON NEW JAPAN WORLD IN ENGLISH AND JAPANESE STARTING AT 2:30 A.M. LATE TUESDAY NIGHT EASTERN TIME  

  • 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 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: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.

SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Bryan and I will have a Wrestling Observer Radio show tonight talking the weekend news plus, with no major show to cover, we'll be taking a lot of questions that you can send to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

Undertaker and Shawn Michaels will be on Raw on 1/9, which will probably be promoted hard on tomorrow night's show.

There was a ton of interest in the UFC. On Friday, Cody Garbrandt was the No. 7 most searched for term in the country with more than 200,000 searches. Ronda Rousey was the most searched for term over the past few days other than New Year's Eve related searches, with more than 10 million. That would be among the highest in history. 

The World of Sport rating for the wrestling show yesterday was 1.25 million viewers and a 7.3 market share. The number isn't high enough to guarantee the show gets turned into a series, nor low enough to guarantee that it doesn't. It's a lot lower than ITV did in the time slot the week before, but they were down all night, probably due to it being New Year's Eve. 

MISCELLANEOUS

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  • Jon Fitch, after retaining his WSOF welterweight title, beating Jake Shields yesterday at the Theater in Madison Square Garden, talked like it could be his last fight. He noted that he'd like to continue, but he's got a bulging disc plus there was an MRI of his brain that was something concerning that he needs to follow up on. If you DVR'd the show, the Justin Gaethje lightweight title win over Luiz Firmino was a hell of a fight. I wouldn't call it a fight of the year candidate because of the ending. It was really strong in the second and third round, but Firmino couldn't see out of his right eye after the third round, wanted to continue, but the doctor stopped it. Fans were chanting to let him fight, but the eye was swollen badly and it was clearly the only decision possible.
  • Coverage of the New Japan Festival, which is similar to WWE Fan Axxess, and will include live matches, starts at 10 p.m. Eastern time on Monday night. The Tokyo Dome show starts at 2:30 a.m. late Tuesday night.
  • CMLL has a major show on Friday night, its last big show before the top talent goes to Japan for Fantastica Mania, with three singles matches, Rey Cometa vs. Cavernario, Volador Jr. vs. Mephisto and Valiente vs. Ultimo Guerrero.  It's very much unlike how the traditional promotion runs so it'll be very interesting to see why the change was made.  

AAW Unstoppable

  • Friday night in Merrionette Park, IL before 690 fans: Homicide b Conor Braxton (Scarlett Bordeaux, who was on Raw on Monday as the opponent of Nia Jax, was Braxton's manager), Jake & Dave Crist b Markus Crane & Kongo Kong, Matt Riddle b Davey Richards (this may have been their first ever meeting), Michael Elgin won four-way over Mat Fichett, Paco Gonzalez and Dezmond Xavier, Drew Galloway b Jeff Cobb, Pentagon Jr. b Chris Hero, Colt Cabana & Chuck Taylor b Davey Vega & Silas Young, Heidi Lovelace b Kimber Lee, ACH b AR Fox to win the AAW Heritage title, Sami Callihan b Rey Fenix to retain the AAW title. 
  • In the Hero vs. Pentagon match, Hero was whipped into the turnbuckle and one of the pieces of the ring post broke and then the top rope broke at the 2:00 mark of the match. The two continued to wrestle while they tried to repair the top rope but it deflated the crowd  They did fix the top rope between matches and neither guy was hurt. The two had to improvise without a top rope. Pentagon won with the package piledriver and the two men raised each others' hands. Hero talked about the ring breaking and said it was amazing. He thanked the fans for supporting the promotion and supporting him even with his lack of an appealing physical appearance. He said that he's never had a bad match in AAW and he's never seen a bad AAW show and it's his Midwest home. He said he's been asked a lot of questions, but right now still doesn't have an answer and thanked the fans for his ability to have made a living in pro wrestling.
  • Lovelace did an interview and noted it was her last show with the promotion (she and Kimber Lee are both headed to WWE) and thanked Danny Daniels for giving her the chance to compete and that whatever success she gets in wrestling was because of AAW. She was fighting back tears and thanking people for her being able to call AAW her home promotion. For Lovelace and Lee, it was both of their last indie shows.
  • Callihan noted it was Fenix's birthday and the crowd started singing Happy Birthday to him. But then he gave Fenix a low blow and laid him out with a belt shot. Homicide made the save and challenged the Killer Cult to a cage match on 1/20. Next show is 1/7 in LaSalle, IL with Callihan vs. John Morrison for the AAW title, Rey Fenix vs. Michael Elgin and Colt Cabana vs. Silas Young.  On the 1/20 show in Merrionette Park, it will be Silas Young's last AAW appearance plus Galloway, Eddie Kingston, Andrew Everett, Matt Sydal, Brian Cage and Abyss appear.
  • There was a controversial situation with language used by Homicide in a promo on the show. Keith Lipinski from the promotion noted that they had no clue words like that would be used in their promotion. They give the talent bullet points but let them cut their own promo. He said Homicide did apologize to the AAW staff immediately after he got through the curtain, and also apologized on Twitter saying he made a huge lapse of judgment. Lipinski said that the promo did alienate fans and feels racial or homophobic slurs have no place on their shows.
  • Danny Daniels of the promotion wrote a post about the subject.

Today in Professional Wrestling History (1/1): Sam Muchnick retirement show

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