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Daily Update: XFL announcement, EVOLVE, Paul Daley

THE ROUND-UP

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THE LATEST NEWS

THE LATEST AUDIO

We're looking for reports on tonight's NXT show in Albany, NY to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

For this weekend, we'll be doing polls on the Royal Rumble, Takeover Philadelphia and both New Japan shows in Sapporo.

IMPACT ON POP TV AT 8 P.M. EASTERN TIME

  • Matt Sydal vs. Ethan Carter III
  • Allie vs. Laurel Van Ness
  • Bobby Lashley vs. Moose

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly 1/22/2018: Recapping WWE Raw 25

With a rare opportunity to present an episode that reached a bit beyond WWE's usual audience, Raw's 25th anniversary show took place in New York City on Monday night. It was the most-anticipated Raw of the year, with WWE putting their full promotional force behind the event and inviting seemingly every available name from the past. With a rare opportunity to present an episode that reached a bit beyond WWE's usual audience, Raw's 25th anniversary show took place in New York City on Monday night. 

WON NEWSLETTER: January 29, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Enzo Amore rape allegations, WWE Raw 25, plus tons of news

The most detailed coverage of the Enzo Amore allegations and firing is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer. Look at all sides of the story, from the allegations by Philomena Sheahan, details of who was in the room, why WWE was so quick to fire him, her claims, claims of people who know her, what is in the text message, the problem with the police investigation, what is next for 205 Live and plans that have been scrapped.

Also have a look at the WWE this week, including Raw 25, angles on the show, WrestleMania current plans, future of Brock Lesnar, Royal Rumble, the Takeover special, what audience flocked to Raw that usually doesn't, how Raw viewer patterns have changed since the last similar special, what age group nearly doubled from last week, and how the gender split changed.

Read about the history of Raw, why it was moved quickly from the Manhattan Center, the move to two hours, how close the show came to being canceled and why it wasn't, when the show started making the company significant money, how Raw and Vince McMahon in 2005 were responsible for the start of a major sports franchise, the story of Raw going to Spike and back to USA, and what are really the longest lasting wrestling shows in U.S. television history.

Full coverage of Raw 25 inside this issue.

Check out the Podcastone situation and why people are leaving, more on the 2019 Royal Rumble plans, more on WWE stock and the move being made for a cheap WWE Network sub and the reason, George Barrios says strange things about WWE talent contracts, Hogan talks Bullet Club and the smoke to that fire, Cena movie gets Academy Award nomination, Cena up for lead for another movie, success of Dwayne Johnson's current movie, funny quotes from Michaels & HHH about Goldberg being a Hall of Famer from a few years ago, and more WWE injuries. 

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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WON BACK ISSUE: January 8, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Paul Heyman considering selling ECW, more on Wrestler of the Year, more

Citing a number of factors, including the enormous pressure he's been under over the past year, the large company debt and what he sees as the future landscape of the business, Paul Heyman said he was in serious negotiations to sell either a majority share or all of Extreme Championship Wrestling.

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE

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Most of the XFL news is already covered. My main observations is that it didn't appear that Vince McMahon had any great ideas, past the idea of speeding up games to end in two hours (probably based on the fact that his pro wrestling shows lose ratings in the third hour, which, with any studying, football doesn't). But it's clear this XFL is going to be, essentially, the anti-XFL, with McMahon's talk of no crossover with WWE, he won't even be seen as the face of the company or in public talking about the company, no cheerleaders at all (which were a big part of marketing the first XFL), no shots taken at the NFL, and most notably nobody with a criminal record, even a DUI, being considered for the league. 

The key take is that it appears Vince McMahon subscribes to the belief that the NFL ratings being down this year are based on a weakness in aspects of the game as opposed to overexposure of the product. He talked about a ten week regular season with four of the eight teams making the playoffs, starting in late January 2020. The idea is when they get teams together they want them to practice longer so the quality of the game is higher. 

Nobody asked what type of salaries they are going to pay and how that compares to the CFL, as they will be competing for the same type of player. As far as public interest, I don't see this being any different from last time or any of the attempts at second pro football leagues. But the environment is completely different today than in 2001. Whether that allows them to make it is a different story, but it's all about broadcast rights and if you can get a deal that allows you to make money, it doesn't matter about merch sales or ticket sales. And if it's just merch sales and ticket sales, but no significant money from broadcast rights, this doesn't have a chance. There are a lot more outlets, but television and OTT, looking for fringe product and you don't need that many viewers to stay on the air. But you need for someone to pay you a lot to be on the air, so this depends far more on the television/OTT market than the football market. 

WWE stock wasn't hurt by the XFL announcement as it was up 64 cents per share to $34.13, the highest the stock has been since 1999.

Evolve announced Daisuke Sekimoto & Munenori Sawa vs. Walter & Timothy Thatcher and Will Ospreay vs. AR Fox for their WrestleMania weekend show on 4/5 at 8 p.m. Also on that show is Zack Sabre Jr., Keith Lee, Chris Dickinson, Jaka, Tracy Williams, Austin Theory, Darby Allin and Fred Yehi. For 4/6 at 4 p.m., they have Sekimoto vs. Matt Riddle, Walter vs. Allin and more. For 4/6 at 8 p.m. they have Lee vs. Sekimoto for the WWN title, Sabre vs Sawa for the Evolve title, Dickinson & Jaka vs. Walter & thatcher, Riddle vs. Ospreay and more. Style Battle on 4/7 at 8 p.m. has Lee vs. Nick Gage as a first round match in an eight-man tournament.

In a funny story, Paul Daley put out on Facebook that asked for and gotten his release from Bellator and will be looking for fights over the next 18 months once he gets the official relese paper work, at which point he's looking to end his career. Bellator then stated that in fact, Daley has not been released.

For those in Philadelphia for the Royal Rumble, or just in the area, there is an Icons of Wrestling convention on Saturday and Sunday. Guests on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. are Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, J.J. Dillon, Sting, Corey Graves, Scott Hall, Booker T, Mark Henry, Dean Malenko, Ron Simmons, Jerry Lawler, Swoggle,Victoria, Melina, Lex Luger, Vader, Rick & Scott Steiner, Gene Okerlund, Tammy Sytch, Paul Orndorff, Missy Hyatt, Bruce Prichard, Terri Runnels, Teddy Long, Tony Atlas, Butch Reed, Bob Orton Jr., Traci Brooks, Barry Orton, Paul Roma, Boogey Man, Shelly Martinez, Steve McMichael, Velvet Sky, Bully Ray, Abdullah the Butcher, Rene Michelle, Honky Tonk Man, Warlord, Barbarian, Nasty Boys, Billy Gunn, Bill DeMott, Shane Douglas, Justin Credible, Super Crazy, Virgil, Ricardo Rodriguez, Teddy Hart and Jessie Godderz. Sunday will have all the same people aside from no Flair, Anderson, Blanchard, Dillon or Sting. Pat Patterson will only be there Sunday. Saturday night at 8 p.m. will be a Jake Roberts one-man-show. Saturday night at around 11 p.m. will be a Bruce Prichard show with Conrad Thompson.

WWE

  • Chad Gable's wife gave birth to a daughter, Meadow Ann, yesterday. Congratulations to both of them.
  • The Royal Rumble will air live on IB Sports in South Korea at 9 a.m. on Monday morning local time. This is the first time a PPV will air live on South Korean television that we are aware of. (thanks to David Duffett)
  • This is the list of VIP session guest at WrestleMania Fan Axxess: 4/5 at 6 p.m. - Sasha Banks 4/5 at 8 p.m. - Bill Goldberg 4/6 at 5 p.m. - Shinsuke Nakamura 4/6 at 7 p.m. - Andrade Cien  Almas, Zelina Vega and Ember Moon 4/7 at 8 a.m. - A.J. Styles and Asuka 4/7 at 10 a.m. - Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman 4/7 at 1 p.m. - Roman Reigns and Alexa Bliss 4/7 at 3 p.m. - Randy Orton 4/7 at 6 p.m.- Matt & Jeff Hardy 4/7 at 8 p.m. - Charlotte Flair  4/8 at 8 a.m. - Daniel Bryan 4/8 at 10 a.m.- Dean Ambrose
  • The Washington Post on the XFL here and another story here. (thanks to Chris Cruise)
  • A story on Alexa Bliss.
  • A story on the 25 years of Raw and see how many incorrect things you can find in this story.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • FITE TV is already advertising the 3/9 ROH PPV at $34.99 and the 4/22 Impact PPV at $39.99 so that looks to be the list price for both shows on regular PPV. (thanks to Jake Koch). 
  • More on fund raising to build a statue in Milwaukee for The Crusher.
  • WrestleCircus on 2/17 in Austin, TX has Brian Cage vs. Tessa Blanchard with both the Ringmaster title and the Sideshow title at stake, Chelsea Green vs. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Leva Bates vs. Christi Jaynes, Shane Strickland vs. Scorpio Sky, The Boys vs. Andy Dalton & Gregory James, El Hijo del Fantasma vs .Matt Cross vs. Jordan Len-X, Shane Taylor vs Baretta, Brody King vs. Space Monkey vs. Dragon Azteca Jr. and Colin Delaney vs. Gentleman Jervis.
  • NFC Saturday night in Atlanta at Center Stage. There are very few tickets remaining.
  • All Star Wrestling on 2/17 in Surrey, BC at the Alice McKay building.
  • Texas All-Star Wrestling on Saturday night in Cypress, TX at he VFW with Big Daddy Yum Yum vs. Danny Ramons vs. Alex Reigns for the TASW title in the main event.
  • Pro Wrestling Mid South on 2/9 in Ripley, TN at the Power Pro Arena with Matt Riviera vs. Greg Anthony headlining.
  • CWA Wrestle Raise V Spa City Slam on 5/19 in Hot Springs, AR at the Convention Center with Ric Flair, Jerry Lawler, J.J. Dillon and Bill Dundee appearing.
  • AWS on Saturday night in South Gate, CA with Tyler Bateman vs. Jake Atlas and Peter Avalon & Ray Rosas vs. Eli Everfly & Jorel the Vegan Superman.
  • wXw results from Sunday in Cologne, Germany for TV tapings for Shotgun:  Avalanche & Julian Nero b Maggot & Prince Ahura, Veda Scott b Killer Kelly, Bobby Gunns b Drity Dragan, Toni Storm b Melanie Gray to keep the women's title, Francis Kaspin & Jay Skillet b Ivan Kiev & Lucky Kid, Jurn Simmons b Julian Pace, Melanie Gray & Veda Scott b Killer Kelly & Toni Storm, Da Mack & John Klinger b Timothy Thatcher & Walter. (thanks to Markus Gronemann)
  • Rings of Europe on 4/28 in Eisenstadt, Austria, has Ken Anderson, Chris Brookes, Kid Lycos and more.
  • AAW on 2/3 in LaSalle, IL at the Knights of Columbus with Rey Fenix vs. ACH for the AAW title, Jessicka Havok vs. Rosemary for the women's title, Jeff Cobb vs. AR Fox, Penta 0M vs. Eddie Kingston and more.  They also run 2/17 in Chicago with Tetsuya Naito vs. Sami Callihan as the main event but that show sold out instantly.
  • John Nord, who was the Berzerker in WWF and Nord the Barbarian in the AWA and Mid South, was on yesterday's episode of Judge Mathis.  He was being sued for not making payments on two credit cards a friend of his had opened on his behalf.  He ended up being ordered to pay back about $3,000 (thanks to Samuel Batts)
  • MCW on 2/17 in Joppa, MD at the MCW Arena features a Four Horsemen Reunion with Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and Barry Windham as well as J.J. Dillon, as well as Rosa Mendes appears.
  • Vulcan Wrestling from earlier today in Sydney, Australia:  Chris Zorba b Prince of Leon, A.K. b Alex Irvine, Bee Boy b 5 Star Flash, Lord Sabre b Samoan Hercules, Lee Marrow b J.J. Spartan, Darius Vega b Mike Valuable (thanks to James Stanios)
  • Pro Wrestling Revolution on 3/10 in San Francisco with Jushin Liger, Rocky Romero and Puma King.
  • SoCal Uncensored announced its 2017 awards for the area's independent scene Wrestler of the Year - Eli Everfly Woman's Wrestler of the Year - Ruby Raze Tag Team of the Year - Jesse James & Hoss Hogg Most Outstanding Wrestler - B-Boy Rookie of the Year - Jake Atlas - After winning the award, Atlas publicly announced that he was gay. Promotion of the Year - PWG Match of the Year - Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii on 7/2 in Long Beach (Keith Lee vs. Donovan Dijak and Walter vs. Zack Sabre Jr. placed second and third)
  • Antonio Thomas interviews Mike "Simon Dean" Bucci.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Roman Reigns wins 2015 Royal Rumble

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!