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Daily Update: Vince & the XFL, Daniel Straus, Lesnar

THE ROUND-UP

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The Latest from the F4W Staff

NEWS

AUDIO 

IMPACT ON POP TV AT 8 P.M. TONIGHT

  • This will be a 2017 year-in-review show.

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly 12/4/2017: Looking at WWE's match of the year candidates

After a show that went about as well as it reasonably could have gone, SmackDown came out of Sunday's Clash of Champions pay-per-view with some renewed optimism heading into WWE's few biggest months of the year. AJ Styles defeated Jinder Mahal in the PPV's main event. And with Mahal tapping out clean in the middle to Styles' Calf Crusher, WWE's seven-month experiment with Mahal as a main eventer appears to at least momentarily be on hold.

WON NEWSLETTER: December 25, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Vince McMahon football mystery, women's Royal Rumble, tons more

This is a huge week for news and business, which means a double issue looking at the ramifications of Vince McMahon getting into football, the women's Royal Rumble, Japanese awards and a story on the life and career of Tom Zenk.

The lead story looks at all the questions regarding Vince McMahon and football including the total XFL losses, the difference in the business landscape, why this could work and why it could fail even worse, as well as business moves Vince McMahon has already made as far as ideas are concerned. Also look at what the trademarks applied for tell us about the approach and the key story as far as the effect on wrestling, and the future of WWE without Vince McMahon in charge.

Take a look at the announcement of the Women's Royal rumble and the silliness involved, as well as an update on Ronda Rousey and why the key idea for her debut apparently changed.

The story on Tom Zenk runs down his life from his friendship in high school with Curt Hennig, his time as a bodybuilder, getting into wrestling, how he was hit hard by Hennig's death, lots of discussion about his leaving WWE and Rick Martel, the WCW years, wrestling in Japan, testifying against Vince McMahon in court and life after wrestling. 

This issue updates the business numbers for Mayweather-McGregor and the ridiculousness of a one billion dollar number being thrown around for doing UFC events.

Enjoy a look at Clash of Champions, with notes on creative, star ratings and poll results.

Read about ROH Final Battle, with booking notes, plus notes on people leaving ROH and what it means for its future, a major plan for 2018, as well as match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.

There is an update on Dean Ambrose's injury and the first plans on how the booking will change and who takes his role, where the injury may have happened, next MSG show, value of WWE to the USA Network, Dwayne Johnson and the presidency, WWE 2018 PPV schedule and a few major notes on it including what cities tentatively host PPVs next year. 

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: November 27, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Survivor Series review, Stan Hansen retires, more

The rapidly changing world of wrestling changed once again, as a Steve Austin vs. HHH main event at Survivor Series didn't end with a pinfall in the ring, but with a forklift dropping a car, purported to be with HHH inside, theoretically to a Wile E. Coyote like catastrophe (where the victim should be dead, but will, of course live to see another day). The angle, largely to explain HHH taking some time off to rest his back and hip injuries, kept HHH's unusual streak alive of having done no pinfall jobs in singles matches on PPV.

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Vince McMahon is clearly serious about this football venture as he sold 3,340,000 shares of his WWE stock today. The price was not disclosed but that would be a market value of $106 million at the time of the sales. The WWE sent out a release noting that the sale was for him to raise money to fund his new Alpha Entertainment Company. The sale drops McMahon's ownership of the company from 46.1 percent to 41.8 percent. The release said that McMahon has no plans to sell any of the rest of his stock at this time. McMahon had been selling stock previously for retirement purposes and that stock he was selling at below market value. 

On 12/16, McMahon applied for five new XFL trademarks, for football games, merchandise, downloadable software, and tons of other items. That would indicate that he's looking at using the XFL name for his football league and not the other names in prior trademarks that were filed in September.

The news of McMahon selling has seen the stock go from $31.87 per share to $30.75 per share in after hours trading.

Brock Lesnar is currently booked on Raw shows on 1/1 in Miami, 1/8 in Memphis, 1/22 in Brooklyn (the 25th anniversary show) and 2/26 in Anaheim. Lesnar's schedule usually picks up in the lead into WrestleMania, since he's scheduled for the main event on that show.

Bellator star Daniel Straus was in a serious motorcycle accident on Sunday morning. Jeremy Botter reported that Straus has full movement of his legs and arms and is able to talk, but the full extent of his injuries aren't known yet, and he has no recollection of the accident.

WWE

  • The Ric Flair 30 for 30 airs from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday night in Canada on TSN 2.
  • WWE runs 2/5 in Springfield, MO and are moving to a smaller arena than they have been running in that market. (thanks to Brian Hoops)
  • A story on Vince McMahon's XFL from the past and present.
  • A story about a new arena opening up in the New York area for the Islanders, which will also likely end up holding wrestling and MMA events.

UFC

  • Mark Hunt, in an interview with Submission Radio, said that after his next three fights, he will be done with UFC and will move on. He didn't say where, but he was a star in Japan and Rizin uses stars from that era and lots of older fighters for name value.
  • Sage Northcutt vs Thibault Gouti at lightweight was announced for the 2/18 show in Austin, TX. 
  • TSN 2 in Canada will be airing UFC 217, the GSP vs. Michael Bisping headlined show tonight at 8 p.m. in a three-hour block.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Alberto El Patron spent eight hours earlier this week working to help distribute more than 8,000 toys to needy families in the San Antonio area this Christmas season.
  • Hot Topic for today only in the stores themselves has 35 percent off all Bullet Club merchandise. That includes the new Chris Jericho "Alpha Club" shirts.
  • Adam Brooks of Melbourne City Wrestling debuts for Revolution Pro in the U.K. on their 1/20 York Hall show in London against Ryan Smile. 
  • Will Ospreay on Facebook said that his match with Brooks was his personal favorite match of 2017.
  • Aaron Pico's third pro fight will be on the 1/20 Bellator show at the Forum in Los Angeles. That's a major head-to-head with UFC running a PPV with two title fights against Bellator's biggest show in several months. Pico will face Shane Kruchten (12-3). Pico (1-1) nearly made the Olympic team in wrestling at 19 and has great hands, but he suffered a quick submission loss in his MMA debut, and came back with a big win on the Bellator show on 9/23 in San Jose. He's still considered as a potential superstar in the sport.
  • Championship Wrestling from Ontario on 2/11 at the Rockpile in Toronto.
  • GCW on 12/27 at Harmony Hall in Oshawa, ONT.
  • CWE on 12/29 in Melfort, SK featuring an appearance by Jake Roberts. Roberts also appears for the promotion on 12/30 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan at Midtown Hall. 
  • Ricky Steamboat and Jimmy Hart are coming to San Antonio on 1/12 for River City Wrestling at Turner Hall in Kirby, TX. Steamboat will be the enforcer in a cage match with Paul Titan & Anthony Andrews vs. Rob Love & Brandon Groom.  Hart will work as a manager. Hernandez headlines defending the RCW title against Xavier Daniels.
  • World Classic Big Time Wrestling on 1/13 in Circleville, OH has Bobby Fulton vs. Shane Douglas in a Texas death match plus Sabu vs Tyler Robinson plus Raven appears. They also announced the induction of The Sheik into the Ohio Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame that night.
  • Ground Zero Pro Wrestling San Diego on 12/23 in Imperials Beach, CA with Tito Escondido & Ray Rosas vs. Delilah Doom & ?.
  • Bar Wrestling after getting all that pub for the Macauley Culkin appearance returns on 1/18 in Baldwin Park, CA with Billy Gunn, Joey Janela, Scorpio Sky, Dan Barry, Bill Carr, Jeff Cobb, Willie Mack, Taya Valkyrie, Joey Ryan, Candice LeRae, Delilah Doom, Brian Cage and more. (thanks to Jake Koch)
  • The Bud Carson Pro Wrestling World & Museum store in Allentown will be closing up on 1/28.  Carson told PW Insider that after 20 years of spending his weekends running the store, he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren. He said it wasn't about finances and he had been considering it for the past year.
  • From Bob Magee on the holiday shows: H20: HardCore Hustle Organization returns to action on December 22 for HOSS,  for "A Christmas Classic 2" at the Monroe Business Center, 1041 Glassboro Road/Building C/Suite 1 in Williamstown, NJ. The show will feature a Toys for Toys collection. Keystone Championship Wrestling presents "Slay Bells Ring", a Toys for Tots show, on December 23 at the Darby Recreation Center, 1022 Ridge Avenue, Darby, PA. Great Canadian Wrestling returns to Oshawa, ON on December 27 for "Season's Beatings", to benefit Simcoe Hall Settlement House with a 6:00 pm bell time. Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door. Bring cans of food and get one raffle ticket for each can you bring.
  • As a side note, here are the numbers thus far of what these shows have done over the last month plus for their communities from the promoters themselves, or public sources (three haven't given me info yet and there are the above three to be held): 71 shows held out of the 74 shows scheduled $41,533 cash donations/raised for various charities 14,200 meals donated (estimated through donations of meals, canned and non-perishable foods) 6,415 toys collected through Toys for Tots and similar toy drive efforts. 47 blankets Numerous scarves and hats, winter socks and boots for the homeless 30 Christmas "Stockings of Love" stockings for the people of the Houston and Puerto Rico regions which included Walmart gift cards and various toiletries.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Jeff Jarrett wins the USWA Southern Title

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