- PROGRESS Unboxing Live results: Dunne, Bate finish up
- Johnny Gargano teaming with AR Fox at EVOLVE 119
- Number one contender for WWE title decided at SmackDown tapings
- UFC 232 results: Jon Jones regains gold, Amanda Nunes KOs Cyborg
- WWE SmackDown TV taping spoilers: John Cena returns
- UFC 232 live results: Jones vs. Gustafsson 2, Cyborg vs. Nunes
- WOL: Weekend feedback, 2018 MVPs, WrestleMania, more! 12/30
- Big Audio Nightmare: Wrestle Kingdom 13 preview, more 12/30
- WOR: UFC 232 recap, WWE ratings, Raw and Smackdown tapings, more! 12/30
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Looking at WWE's promise of change
After promising change, the challenge for WWE going forward is to make a real commitment to that instead of having it be a short-term ratings fix. Those vague promises of change were made during the opening segment of last Monday's episode of Raw. Following two straight weeks of record-low ratings -- with the first of them even being brought up on WWE television as Seth Rollins said Baron Corbin was the reason for the ratings dip -- it was advertised that Vince McMahon would return to "shake things up." Vince appeared and brought out Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, and Shane McMahon. WWE oddly blurred the lines between kayfabe and reality, with the McMahons also blaming Raw's issues on Corbin.
The most in-depth reporting on the Jon Jones case is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
This article tries to break down the time line, what the realities of drug testing are, what is misleading, why the show was moved, why the show had no reason to be moved, the limits on what drug testing can detect and how many statements over the past week have been double-talk, & the fishy parts of the case.
Also look at previous Jones tests and the controversy prior to the first Cormier fight that nobody talks about and why it was controversial. Go through the Tom Lawlor and Tim Sylvia cases.
Look at the new Impact TV deal, what is Pursuit TV, what options Impact had, comparing the homes that the different wrestling TV shows are in, & why it's important for Anthem to keep Impact alive.
Read a rundown of WWE's biggest annual house show of the year, the holiday show at Madison Square Garden. This issue has match-by-match coverage with star ratings and business notes, as well as appearances by Vince McMahon and John Cena, and Ronda Rousey being put in the main event.
Look at discussions regarding what could be the main event at WrestleMania and different angles on the match, the future of the top of the women's division, more on Smackdown on FOX next year,
Look at Dragon Gate's Final Gate show, its last major show of the year. Run down the show and talk of the future and update business for that promotion.
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.
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SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE
- NXT UK's Pete Dunne tweeted that he finished his time on the British indie scene at PROGRESS Wrestling’s Unboxing Live show today: “Finished my time on the British independent scene tonight. Closing out a week that saw me in New York, Germany, Spain and London. 13 years that I wouldn’t change for anything, on to the next chapter”
- PROGRESS co-owner and NXT UK's Jim Smallman also tweeted about Dunne and Tyler Bate finishing up: “Thank you @PeteDunneYxB. Thank you @Tyler_Bate . For everything you’ve done in @ThisIs_Progress and for British wrestling in general. The sky is the limit for you both.
Scary how talented you both are. (I will not miss being flicked with towels and having coats thrown at me)”
- WWE.com ranked their top 25 matches of 2018. Here are the top 10: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair in a last woman standing match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship (Evolution) Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano in a Chicago Street Fight (NXT TakeOver: Chicago) Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan (Survivor Series) The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong) vs. Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate & Trent Seven) for the NXT Tag Team titles (July 11 episode of NXT TV) Seth Rollins vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental title (Backlash) Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre for the Raw Tag Team titles (Hell in a Cell) Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship (NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia) John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Braun Strowman vs. Elias in a gauntlet match (February 19 episode of Raw) Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs. Stephanie McMahon & Triple H (WrestleMania 34) The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers in a no DQ match for the SmackDown Tag Team titles (August 22 episode of SmackDown)
- Nia Jax responded to a tweet from WWE that said “There's no denying it. The women of @WWE BROUGHT IT in 2018!” and only included pictures of white women.
- Seth Rollins is partnering with 392 Caffe to open a coffee shop in Davenport, Iowa in early 2019.
- WWE’s YouTube account uploaded AJ Styles and John Cena’s WWE Championship match from Royal Rumble 2017.
- Kevin Owens appears to have gotten new tattoos on his arm.
- DDT announced that Naomi Yoshimura suffered a cervical sprain after a scary situation where Yoshimura took a bad bump on a Pedigree. He tweeted about the injury: “Sorry to keep you guys worried. I'm angry at myself, but lucky for me it was only a cervical spine sprain. I look bad in this pic but I'm good for now; I'll be healed up in no time, so don't worry and wait for me!”
- Booker T will return to the ring for his Reality of Wrestling promotion on January 12 in a match against Rex Andrews.
- Joey Janela announced Masato Tanaka for Joey Janela’s Spring Break III part one in Jersey City, New Jersey on April 5 and Necro Butcher for part two on April 6.
- Sami Callihan defeated Brody King in a steel cage match to win the AAW Heavyweight title last night.
- Chris Jericho thanked the Jacksonville Jaguars' Tony Khan for helping to get him and his wife on the field at today’s Minnesota Vikings game: “Amazing experience to be on the field for the big @vikings game today!! Thanks to @tonyrkhan & the #Vikings organization for the hookup!” Khan is rumored to be behind All Elite Wrestling.
- Daniel Cormier tweeted after Jon Jones defeated Alexander Gustafsson to win the light heavyweight title at UFC 232: “I mean sh*t , he should win! Dude starts with a head start everytime #usadafake #jonnybrasco”
- At last night’s post-fight press conference, Jones said Cormier was never the light heavyweight champion: “He works his hardest to try to discredit and try to de-legitimize the fact that I beat him twice. And the only thing I want to de-legitimize is his claim of being the light heavyweight champion. He was never the light heavyweight champion. He never beat me. This has been my era since 2011. I want to make that loud and clear. DC is no champ champ. When we talk about an asterisk next to my name, there’s always gonna be an asterisk next to the idea of him being a champ champ. The only way he can shut me up -- what I’m saying right now -- is to beat my ass. It’s simple.”
- Dana White noted that Cormier vs. Brock Lesnar isn’t off the table as an option.
- Jones apologized to Izabelle Kostic, who is the journalist he disrespected at the pre-UFC 232 press conference.
- Cris Cyborg posted a statement on her loss to Amanda Nunes: “Today was not our day, but I want you to know that I am very grateful for your affection! Life is like that one day we lose and one day we win! Belt for me has always been symbolic, the most important is to be a champion in the lives of people making a difference in this world! Thank you, God, I am with you in victory and defeat until the end of my days!”
- Cyborg trolled Ronda Rousey by joking that she was covering her face at the post-PPV press conference.
- White said Nunes is the best women’s MMA fighter ever after beating Cyborg: “She’s the best ever. How can you deny it? You can’t deny that she’s the best ever. That’s what this fight was for. This fight was to find out. But if you look at her resume and who she beat, she’s the best ever. Nobody can dispute that. You can try, you can say some stupid sh*t, but she’s the best ever.”
- White called Nunes’ win convincing and indicated that he doesn’t think Cyborg should get an immediate rematch.
- After losing when Megan Anderson’s toe caught her in the eye on a kick, Cat Zingano wrote that her eye is going to be okay: “I was worried my eye was ruptured. They say I’ll be ok tonight. Thanks to everyone for your concern. What are your thoughts on a finger digit poke vs a toe digit poke being ruled a tko?”
- Mick Foley was at UFC 232 to support Cyborg and Zingano.
- Following BJ Penn’s loss to Ryan Hall, White would love to see Penn retire.
- The UFC has pushed the unveiling of their new title belt design back to their ESPN+ debut show in Brooklyn on January 19. It was originally supposed to be unveiled at last night’s PPV.
- Greg Hardy vs. Allen Crowder is listed as the semi-main event of the first ESPN+ event, with Henry Cejudo defending his flyweight title against TJ Dillashaw in the main event.
- White confirmed that Nick Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal won’t be happening at UFC 235.
Daily Pro Wrestling History: Vader wins WCW World title
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