- Tony Khan comments on Lee & White's AEW debuts, if he'd be interested in Shane McMahon
- AEW announces signing of AQA: 'She's a shooting star, and now AQA is All Elite'
- Goldberg appearance, In-Zayn segment added to WWE SmackDown
- Tama Tonga announces he's re-signed with NJPW
- TJ Wilson still working in WWE, taking time off to heal neck
- WWE WrestleMania Backlash PPV announced for May
- Wrestling Observer Live: Smackdown, Rampage, Dynamite ratings, Rocky Romero interview!
- Wrestling Weekly: Territory stories involving wrestler challenges, Death Matches, a look at AEW Dynamite
- Bryan & Vinny review AEW and NXT 2.0!
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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE
- Garrett and I will be doing a show tonight covering the news of the past week and the new issue of the Observer. Bryan and I will have a show tomorrow night after the UFC card in Houston.
- Here are some of the highlights of the new issue:
- Major story on the current business with January attendance comparisons and what it means, as well as growth or losses when it comes to television of every national show and breakdowns in categories as well as what things could be next year if current trajectories continue. We also explain a lot of the whys, the variables and more
- The controversies of Joe Rogan
- The life and times of Super Muneco, the story of becoming a kids hero, shunned by older wrestlers and fans but eventually earning respect
- Update on Elimination Chamber
- The death of iconic wrestling announcer Arturo Rivera
- The probable top ten finishers for the Category A Observer awards
- UFC coverage of Saturday's show
- The life and times of Ricky Hunter, a journeyman prelim wrestler who had a few brushes with fame, including the 1973 upset of the year, 1971 TV match of the year, shooting with the Iron Sheik and how his big run challenging Jack Brisco for the NWA fell through.
- The death of former newsletter writer turned AWA women's champion Candi Devine
- Pepper Martin, a wrestler and announcer turned actor who got Pat Patterson into San Francisco, is in hospice care with lung cancer.
- The most detailed look at the TV ratings over the past week
- CMLL gets major new addition
- Promotion gets national television deal and notes on it
- TripleMania mask tournament update
- Injury updates on many major stars
- AEW Revolution notes
- Notes on Keith Lee and Jay White's debuts
- Ticket sales for all upcoming WWE and AEW shows
- How much have Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar meant for the next MSG show
- How much the top WWE execs made in bonuses for the success of 2021 and who got the most
- Joe Rogan is off tomorrow's UFC 271 broadcast and will be replaced by Michael Bisping. The belief is that this was not a UFC decision, but an ESPN decision.
- Sorry to hear about the death of Tennessee wrestling historian David Williamson at the age of 70. Williamson was around the newsletter scene dating back to the 70s.
- SmackDown tonight from New Orleans has announced Charlotte Flair vs. Naomi for the SmackDown Women's title and Aliyah vs. Natalya in a Dungeon match. Sami Zayn will do a talk segment with Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs. Ronda Rousey and Goldberg are also on tonight's show.
- They are taping two SmackDowns tonight because the crew is going to Saudi Arabia. Nakamura vs. Zayn for the IC title will be on the second show.
- We are looking for reports from tonight's show in New Orleans with the 2/18 SmackDown show tapings and Dark matches to email@example.com.
- AEW Rampage tonight has The Young Bucks vs. Rocky Romero & Trent Beretta, Britt Baker vs. Robyn Renegade (a student of Thunder Rosa for an angle alert), Hook vs. Blake Li and Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus defend the AEW Tag Team titles against Colten & Austin Gunn. Bryan Danielson will also be doing an interview.
- Ronda Rousey will be on all SmackDown shows until WrestleMania and will be doing most of the house shows as well. She's doing a full schedule for now.
- For 205 Live tonight it's Joe Gacy vs. Xyon Quinn, Trick Williams vs. Ikemen Jiro and Erica Yan vs. Lash Legend.
- UFC weigh-ins for tomorrow 6 p.m. on ESPN+:
- Jeremiah Wells (170.5) vs. Michael Mathetha (170)
- Douglas Silva de Andrade (136) vs. Sergey Morozov (135)
- AJ Dobson (185) vs, Jacob Malkoun (186)
- Carlos Ulberg (204) vs. Fabio Cherant( 206)
- Alexander Hernandez (154) vs. Renato Moicano (156
- Mame Martinez (136) vs. Ronnie Lawrence (136)
- Andrew Arlovski (246) vs. Jared Vanderaa
8 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN+:
- William Knight (218) vs. Maxim Grishin (206) - Knight missed weight by 12 pounds, which is ridiculous. He was fined 40 percent of his purse
- Roxanne Modafferi (126) vs. Casey O'Neill (125.5)
- Andrei Arlovski (246) vs. Jared Vanderaa (265)
- PPV at 10 p.m. on ESPN+
- Nasrat Haqparast (156) vs. Bobby Green (155.5)
- Kyler Phillips (136) vs. Marcelo Rojo (136)
- Derrick Lewis (266) vs. Tai Tuivasa (265)
- Israel Adesanya (184) vs. Robert Whittaker (184) for middleweight title
The fight with Alex Perez (128) vs. Matt Schnell (126) was canceled as Schnell turned down the fight after Perez missed weight.
- New Japan's Osaka show will be at 2:30 a.m. Eastern late Saturday night with Evil vs. Tomohiro Ishii for the Never title and Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada vs. Sanada & Tetsuya Naito.
- The five best selling wrestling tickets of the past 24 hours:
- AEW in Boston for 4/6
- WWE Smackdown for tonight in New Orleans
- Monday's Raw in Indianapolis
- WWE 2/27 house show in Rochester, Ny
- Raw on 2/28 in Columbus, OH
- Gold medal winning super heavyweight Gable Steveson, who will be starting with WWE in a few months, has his final home match at the University of Minnesota's gym tonight. Steveson has never lost in that building.
- Updated Elimination Chamber odds from www.BetOnline.ag
- WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match:
- Brock Lesnar +100
- Bobby Lashley +150
- Seth Rollins +250
- AJ Styles +600
- Riddle +700
- Austin Theory +2500
- Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg for the Universal Championship:
- Roman Reigns -1250
- Goldberg +550
- Becky Lynch vs. Lita for the Raw Women's Championship:
- Becky Lynch -1500
- Lita +575
- The Usos vs. The Viking Raiders for the SmackDown Tag Team titles
- The Usos -400
- The Viking Raiders +250
- Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss:
- Drew McIntyre -600
- Madcap Moss +350
- The current Observer has more details but Dynamite beat Smackdown in viewers and beat both Raw & Smackdown in the key demo this week in Canada. In this case the tables were turned as Dynamite was moved from TSN 2 (the national station) to TSN 5 while Raw and Smackdown were on their normal channel. The promise of a surprise debut drew again this week.
- Rafael Fiziev is out of the 2/19 UFC show due to a visa issue. His fight with Rafael dos Anjos scheduled for that night has been moved to 3/5 and will remain a five-round fight. Fiziev vs. dos Anjos was to main event next week's show. Jamahal Hill vs. Johnny Walker has been moved t the main event spot.
- Curtis Blaydes vs. Chris Daukaus headline a 3/26 sow in Columbus, OH.
- The Tennessean has a story on William Corgan bringing the NWA back to Nashville (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
- Doug Williams & Nick Aldis were the first team announced for the 2022 NWA Crockett Cup.
- PFL announced a new media rights deal with FIGHTING.de for Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The service will carry all shows exclusively in those markets live.
- KTLA in Los Angeles had a show on the Super Bowl Experience, in Los Angeles, a Fan Axxess like event. There were fans shown waring masks of Rey Mysterio, Blue Demon, El Santo and Mil Mascaras shown on TV.
- GCW announced a 4/23 date in Detroit at Harpo's Theater.
- A story on Booker T visiting a school for Black History Month.
- LFA on 2/25 in Niagara Falls,NY at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino features BJJ world champion Jacqueline Amorim (4-0) vs. kickboxing champion Loveth Young (3-1-1) as the main event for the show on UFC Fight Pass.
- 559 Fights takes place tonight in Visalia, CA at the Convention Center. Gabriel Smith vs. Laz Maldonado for the flyweight title headlines.
- Fighting Evolution Wrestling has shows tonight and tomorrow night in Hialeah, FL, featuring B-Fab, 2 Cold Scorpio, Red Velvet, Baron Back, The Poe, Chris Bey and MJ Jenkins.
- Jay White appears for House of Glory Wrestling tomorrow at Club Amazura in Jamaica, NY, facing Ken Broadway. Low Ki vs. Alex Shelley headlines and Private Party faces Rich Swann & Willie Mack.