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Daily Update: WWE notes, ROH attendance record, UFC 222

THE ROUND-UP

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THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Rousey's arrival highlights big Royal Rumble Weekend

The most newsworthy week in recent WWE history capped off with Ronda Rousey appearing at the end of the Royal Rumble on Sunday night. Instead of participating in the women's Royal Rumble match itself, Rousey closed the show with an appearance that initially did little to reveal what's next for her in WWE. She came out to "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett, her old UFC walkout song, while wearing one of Roddy Piper's leather jackets. 

WON NEWSLETTER: February 5, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Rebirth of the XFL, Ronda Rousey signs WWE contract

Coverage of some of what will be the biggest stories of the year is in a giant news double issue of the Observer this week.

Our lead story covers the WWE PPV appearance of Ronda Rousey, the plans for her, her training, why this was the perfect timing for WWE, a look at other fighting celebrities in pro wrestling, where she is most valuable to the company and thoughts on if she'll be a success or not, including what has to be guarded against.

This issue contains the most in-depth look at the old XFL, Vince McMahon's new XFL, what went wrong the first time, and whether the 180 degree about-face will work. Also, look at the differences in the landscape between then and now, and what the real keys are to success or failure.

Detailed coverage of the Royal Rumble, including a chart on both Rumble matches, records for the Rumble, business from the Rumble, who put the Rumble together, notes on the surprises, Rey Mysterio and his current situation, changes made the day of the show, plans for Elimination Chamber an updated WrestleMania card, and match-by-match coverage with poll results and star ratings.

Read about the Takeover show in Philadelphia, what did and didn't work, business notes, probable directions coming out of it with match-by-match coverage and star ratings.

Look at the making of the Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic fight and UFC's plans for as many as three champion vs. champion matches on the July show. Also look at the Cormier/Cain Velasquez dynamic with both men commenting as well as the new season of Ultimate Fighter.

Have a look at New Japan Pro Wrestling, with the Omega-Cody angle, a twist that wasn't on television in Sapporo, ticket sales for Long Beach and putting that into perspective, an update on Hiroshi Tanahashi and when he's scheduled to return, the Bullet Club breakup angle, the three different incredible sell jobs of the weekend and how they are different, the business from the two Sapporo events, the lineup for this week's New Japan World live shows, and coverage of both Sapporo shows, with star ratings and poll results.

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: January 22, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Fusient Media to buy WCW, sale of UFC, more

After nearly a full year of various rumors, negotiations, and several near finalized deals, the sale of World Championship Wrestling by Time Warner to Fusient Media Ventures was officially announced on 1/11, literally hours before the announcement that the final step of the Time Warner/AOL merger had been cleared. Fusient Media Ventures, a one-year-old company headed by Brian Bedol and Stephen Greenberg, who are best known for starting up the Classic Sports Network, and then selling it to ESPN where it became ESPN Classics, for $175 million, is the parent company. 

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • A number one contender’s match between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn headlines tonight’s SmackDown, with the winner set to challenge AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Fastlane on March 11th. Bobby Roode is also scheduled to defend his United States Championship against Rusev, Daniel Bryan will reveal the first “SmackDown Top 10 List” after introducing the ranking system last week, and Charlotte Flair faces Liv Morgan in a non-title match.
  • Either Bryan or Kurt Angle will be the special guest referee for Mixed Match Challenge tonight. WWE opened up a fan vote to decide whether Bryan or Angle would ref this week’s match, which is Goldust & Mandy Rose vs. Jimmy Uso & Naomi. Rose replaced Alicia Fox as Goldust’s partner after Fox was forced to withdraw from the tournament with a broken tailbone.
  • Two more first round Cruiserweight Championship matches have been announced in advance for 205 Live. Roderick Strong will make an appearance as he faces Hideo Itami, and Kalisto takes on Lince Dorado.
  • Strong did a pre-show interview about competing in the Cruiserweight title tournament
  • William Regal denied reports that WWE is working on putting together a Latin American tournament: “I usually use this account for entertainment purposes only. This is official though. The @WWE has no Latin American tournament booked at this time despite the news that is being reported today.”
  • PWInsider reported that The Miz has signed a new four-year contract with WWE.
  • Corey Graves made a veiled mention to Booker T’s issues with him on commentary last night, telling Jonathan Coachman that he “might be doing afternoon radio locally” if he doesn’t watch his tongue.
  • Lita issued a statement on why she supported the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements on her gear at the Royal Rumble and started an auction to support the #TimesUp legal defense fund.
  • Savanna Stone, who is just 17 years old, was Nia Jax’s opponent on Raw last night. Jax tweeted about wrestling her: “was impressed with this very young talent that stepped in the ring with me, nervous as can be, but she did such a great job! @SavannaStone01 congrats on your raw debut”
  • Mandy Rose managed Goldust on this week’s Main Event tapings as he defeated Curt Hawkins. Kalisto beat Ariya Daivari in the other match that was taped.
  • While responding to a Twitter interaction that Cody Rhodes was having with someone else, Randy Orton wrote that he can’t wait for Cody to come back one day: “DAMN (Ron’s Simmons voice) Can’t wait to have you back one day codeman. Legacy reboot? Ha I kid I kid”
  • “Elbow Grease,” a children’s picture-book by John Cena, is scheduled to be released in October. Cena tweeted about the book: “Big dreams can be scary, but that's okay. Never be afraid to put in the work...sometimes all it takes is a little #ElbowGrease. So happy to bring this story with wonderful illustrations from Howard McWilliam. Excited for you all to enjoy.”
  • Bubba Ray Dudley thinks it would make sense for Paul Heyman, Edge & Christian, or The Hardys to induct The Dudleyz into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Pro Wrestling

UFC/MMA

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Harley Race wins NWA title from Terry Funk

WRESTLING OBSERVER / F4W - WRESTLEMANIA 34 in NEW ORLEANS

Here we go again! It's back to New Orleans for Wrestlemania 34 and a huge weekend of spectacular professional wrestling related fun and wackiness. EdinSanAntonio Productions along with the Wrestling Observer / Figure Four Empire~! is proud to present the annual Wrestlemania weekend trip details. This huge weekend includes a number of website "members only" events. Below are the two events currently scheduled. Click here for full event details.

WOR Podcast Taping:Purchase TICKETS for the Wrestling Observer Radio LIVE MAILBAG~!

  • WHAT: Wrestling Observer Radio LIVE Podcast Recording with Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez
  • WHEN: Friday, April 6th, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (Doors open at 8:45 a.m. for VIP ticket holders and at 9:15 a.m. for general admission)
  • WHERE: The Bourbon Room, Royal St. Charles Hotel in downtown New Orleans; 135 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130

WO/F4W Brunch:Purchase TICKETS for the Wrestling Oberver BRUNCH~!

  • WHAT: All you care to eat brunch buffet on the morning of Wrestlemania 
  • WHEN: Sunday, April 8th, 2018 - T11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: The Court of Two Sisters restaurant in downtown New Orleans; 613 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130

CONTACT INFORMATION

Support the Empire~! with F4W shirts. Grab yours today!