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Daily Update: WWE news and notes, Aro Lucha tapings, Jon Jones

THE ROUND-UP

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THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: WWE Announces the end of brand exclusive PPVs

Less than two years into the current brand split, WWE announced last week that the era of brand-exclusive pay-per-views is coming to an end. Sunday's Elimination Chamber will be the last Raw-exclusive event, and Fastlane on March 11th will be the final SmackDown PPV. Starting with Backlash on May 6th, every PPV will feature wrestlers from both Raw and SmackDown. The schedule for 2018 initially listed five dual-brand shows (the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Money in the Bank, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series), five Raw-only shows, and four SmackDown ones.

WON NEWSLETTER: February 26, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Raw gauntlet match, brand exclusive PPVs ending, more

A look at some of the longest matches in WWE history is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Then, look back to the Bruno Sammartino era and his matches with Waldo Von Erich and Pedro Morales, as well as look at the gauntlet match on Monday with notes on records.

Look at the reason behind WWE changing its PPV schedule, cutting back on the individual brand PPV shows and lowering the number of shows this year, the reasons behind it, the schedule for the rest of the year and an update on the next two PPV shows.

Read about the possible retirement of Keiji Muto and the latest issues facing Roman Reigns. Also look at past precedents in this situation.

There is a detailed look at New Japan's tour of Australia, including business notes, the highlights from all the shows and talks regarding returning.

Look at Donald Cerrone and career all-time records in UFC with coverage of Sunday's show from Austin, TX.

Read a major feature on the career of Jeff Jarrett, from his days working for his father, the move to WWF, what did and didn't work, the infamous holding up Vince for money and background of that story, his WCW run, why WWF never took him back, the starting and history of TNA and why WWF is putting him in its Hall of fame.

Read notes on the death of Tom Zenk and how it relates to an entire era of wrestling.

This issue has more on the release of Rich Swann and his schedule, an update on the cruiserweight title tournament, a unique match added to the next Madison Square Garden show, executive positions opened, SummerSlam notes, The Miz's baby shower, where WWE holds live events, WWE market value, Ronda Rousey honored and the most-watched shows over the past week on the WWE Network.

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: February 12, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Debut of the XFL, Stan Hansen retires, more

With fan and media reaction after its debut all across the board and a huge buzz leading to a monstrous television rating, the only way to review the debut of the XFL over the weekend is this. Despite what sports people may think and even hardcore fans of sports may think, the majority of people attend sporting events as well as wrestling events based on quality of hype. They enjoy themselves based on quality of atmosphere of the show, and going home happy (either the babyface prevailing at the end or the home team prevailing). 

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • SmackDown, Mixed Match Challenge, and 205 Live will take place from the Staples Center in Los Angeles tonight, with John Cena returning to SmackDown as his build to WrestleMania continues and the second rounds of Mixed Match Challenge and the Cruiserweight title tournament beginning. Here’s what’s set for each show: SmackDown: John Cena appears as he tries to find his road to WrestleMania, Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin, Ruby Riott vs. Naomi, a face-to-face segment with The Usos and New Day. Mixed Match Challenge: Sasha Banks & Finn Balor vs. Asuka & The Miz. 205 Live. Cedric Alexander vs. TJP and Roderick Strong vs. Kalisto in quarterfinal matches. Drake Maverick will also present his vision for where he plans on taking 205 Live in the future.
  • Ronda Rousey sent out a tweet continuing the storyline where Triple H laid out Kurt Angle with a cheap shot at the end of last night’s episode of Raw: “1st day on the job... @stephaniemcmahon slaps me...2nd day on the job... my fellow Olympian @therealkurtangle, an American hero with pneumonia, gets sucker punched by @tripleh ... This is far from over.”
  • WWE.com also followed up on Roman Reigns’ promo on Brock Lesnar with a storyline update noting that Paul Heyman hasn’t responded to their requests for comment.
  • Former Indianapolis Colts punter and current Barstool Sports personality Pat McAfee will be the special guest ring announcer for Kassius Ohno & The Street Profits vs. Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly at NXT’s house show in Indianapolis on Sunday. McAfee wrote about the appearance: “ Can’t wait for Sunday. Getting a chance to watch some up and coming superstars, and intro them in majestic fashion.. Sunday is a bucket list night for a lifelong wrestling Mark... LET’S GOOOO #NXTIndy”
  • The WWE Network will be uploading episodes of All-Star Wrestling, which was the WWWF’s television show in the 1970s and early 1980s, on March 5th. The shows are expected to be from 1976-1979, though WWE Network News notes that they’ll likely be scattered episodes and not the complete years.
  • Charlotte Flair wrote a tribute to Reid Flair yesterday on what would have been his 30th birthday.
  • Goldust defeated Curt Hawkins and Akira Tozawa defeated Ariya Daivari on last night’s main event tapings. Hawkins tweeted about facing Goldust in Anaheim: “I wrestled @Goldust tonight in the same building he faced @R_Roddy_Piper in the infamous Hollywood Back Lot Brawl. That’s gotta be the coolest loss I’ve had yet. No shame in that, just honored. 0-179.”
  • Before the angle where she refused to accept Sasha Banks’ tag on Raw, Bayley spoke to The Mirror about her in-ring rivalry with Banks: “I really do think that we have such a great chemistry and it's just a natural bond, that it doesn't matter when it happens, we can pick it up anywhere. Not to sound cocky or anything, but I just think we have a really good connection. Whenever we have the time to tell that story, we would be able to. And last night after what she did, I think now is a good time! So I would love to start that up and get some payback.”
  • ESPN.com interviewed Roman Reigns and Alexa Bliss after their Elimination Chamber match wins.
  • Rey Mysterio posted a photo with Sin Cara as SmackDown was in San Diego for a house show last night.
  • Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Nia Jax, Renee Young, Charly Caruso, Lilian Garcia, and Noelle Foley were among those who attended the grand opening of Paige’s “The Saraya Store” in Anaheim yesterday.
  • Stephanie McMahon appeared on the latest episode of Lilian Garcia’s podcast.

Pro Wrestling

UFC/MMA

Today in Professional Wrestling History: NXT arrives with first WWE Network special

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