THE LATEST NEWS
Uriah Hall fails to weigh in, fight with Vitor Belfort canceled
PWG Mystery Vortex results: Ricochet says farewell
Impact notes: Two title changes at TV tapings, another departure
UFC 221 loses headliner, interim belt revived
Enzo Amore vs. Cedric Alexander official for WWE Royal Rumble
THE LATEST AUDIO
WOL: Mixed Match Challenge, Impact changes, Darby Allin, more! 1/12
Wrestling Weekly: Pillman book, All In, Mid-Atlantic on WWE Network 1/12
B&V&G: Granny, NXT, THURSDAY NIGHT POTPOURRI! 1/12
We’re looking for reports from the Raw house show in Wichita Falls, TX, Impact TV tapings in Orlando, the Smackdown house show in Hidalgo, TX and NXT in Tampa to firstname.lastname@example.org.
EVOLVE IPPV AT 6 P.M. EASTERN FROM LA BOOM IN QUEENS, NY
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Darby Allin for the Evolve title
Keith Lee vs. Jaka
Austin Theory vs. Fred Yehi for FIP title
Tracy Williams & Dom Garrini vs. Timothy Thatcher & Walter
Matt Riddle vs. AR Fox
Sunday has Impact tapings in Orlando, WWE Raw in Waco, TX and Smackdown in Hidalgo, TX for a second night.
UFC DEBUTS SUNDAY AT THE SCOTTRADE CENTER IN ST. LOUIS
Fight Pass at 6 p.m.
Mads Burnell (150) vs. Mike Santiago (146)
J.J. Aldrich (115.5) vs. Danielle Taylor (113.5)
Jessica Eye (126) vs. Kalindra Faria (124.5)
FS1 at 8 p.m.
Guido Cannetti (135) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (135.5)
Irene Aldana (135) vs. Talita Bernardo (134.5)
Matt Frevola (156) vs. Marco Polo Reyes (155.5)
James Krause (155.5) vs. Alex White (155)
Michael Johnson (145) vs. Darren Elkins (145.5)
Emil Meek (170.5) vs. Kamaru Usman (169.5)
Jessica-Rose Clark (125.5) vs. Paige VanZant (125.5)
Jeremy Stephens (145.5) vs. Doo Ho Choi (146)
EVOLVE IPPV AT 7 P.M. EASTERN FROM ST. FINBAR CHURCH IN BROOKLYN, NY
Keith Lee vs. Chris Dickinson for WWN title
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Walter (rematch of one of 2017’s best matches)
Matt Riddle vs. Jaka
Fred Yehi vs. Timothy Thatcher
Darby Allin vs. Austin Theory vs. Tracy Williams vs. Jason Kincaid
There is also a 3 p.m. iPPV with a one night-tournament with first round matches of Water vs. Nick Gage, Joey Janela vs. Joey Lynch, Shane Mercer vs. KTB and Matt Riddle vs. Rayo.
Raw will be Monday in San Antonio with Nia Jax vs. Asuka announced. There will also be a Smackdown house show in Corpus Christi, TX and the final day of Impact tapings in Orlando.
Smackdown, Mixed Match Challenge and 205 Live will be taped on Tuesday in Laredo, TX with Finn Balor & Sasha Banks vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Natalya as the first mixed match challenge match.
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly 1/8/2018: Jericho continues to make wrestling a better place
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At 47 years old, Chris Jericho would have been forgiven if his match against Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12 wasn’t a classic. No one expected Jericho vs Omega to live up to Kazuchika Okada vs. Omega from the year prior. There was no way it could have. It was enough that Jericho, someone who’s been with WWE since 1999 and has enjoyed a privileged position for most of his run, was wrestling in NJPW at all. Interest for this year’s Tokyo Dome show was up fairly substantially from the last few years across the board, with attendance figures and New Japan World subscriber numbers rising year-over-year.
WON NEWSLETTER: January 15, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 review, plus tons of news
It’s a double issue week, packed with more major news than any issue in a long time, including notes on the top two matches at WrestleMania, the Hall of Fame main eventer, updates on several major contract issues and a lot of notes on what will be the two biggest stories of the year, the UFC and WWE television negotiations.
There is extensive coverage of New Japan’s Tokyo Dome show including all the business notes, how New Japan World is doing and the cycle of subscribers, the value of Jericho vs. Omega to New Japan, attendance notes, what was unique on the show, Jericho going forward in New Japan, all the angles going forward, what’s next for Kenny Omega, what’s next for Kazuchika Okada, questions on the booking, who were the most popular people on the show, long and short-term angles coming off New Year’s Dash, and a look at New Japan’s big shows through August.
Look at the next eight live shows on New Japan World, plus full Tokyo Dome and New Year’s Dash rundowns with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results on the shows.
Updated plans for the Royal Rumble, including the makeup of the women’s match, demand for tickets for Rumble and Mania week and a record to be set on the show.
Notes on WWE & UFC and how the changing landscape of television affects both companies as they go into their most important negotiations for many years, are in this issue.
There is a feature on John McCarthy stepping away from officiating, with a background of his start in UFC, his role in the growth and changes of the sport and his new role as an announcer.
Look at NJPW vs. WWE matches taking place in the U.K., as well as the story of the first and only time the WWF champion and IWGP champion wrestled each other at the Fukuoka Dome and the politics that allowed it to happen.
Read about WWE injuries, the Mixed Match Challenge, WWE Hall of Fame 2018, NXT Takeover notes, more on Miz’s new TV show and the challenges it faces, Ronda Rousey and Bryan Danielson.
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 email@example.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: December 25, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Blue Demon passes away, WCW talent walks out on tapings, more
Alejandro Munoz Moreno, who was a 1960s Mexican movie star and possibly the second most famous wrestlers in that country’s history as the Blue Demon, passed away on 12/16 from a heart attack at the age of 78. Demon, who would probably be ranked just behind El Santo as the most famous cultural wrestling icon in Mexico, starred in even lower budget movies than those which made Santo one of the most beloved and probably the longest enduring wrestling legend in any culture.
SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE
WWE touted the signing of Rinku Singh, who is best known for being one of the winners of India’s “Million Dollar Arm” reality series (with a Disney movie of the same name being released in 2014) and spending time in the PIttsburgh Pirates organization. His career was plagued by injuries and he last pitched in 2016. Singh took part in WWE’s tryouts in Dubai last year.
Dave Meltzer confirmed PWInsider’s report of Paige’s in-ring career with WWE being over due to injury.
Before the news broke yesterday, Paige seemed to express some optimism about whatever is next for her on Instagram: “The comeback is always stronger than the setback @wwe”
Meltzer also noted that Kairi Sane is “banged up.” Sane hasn’t wrestled since NXT TakeOver: Houston in November.
Maria Kanellis-Bennett and Mike Bennett had their gender reveal party and revealed that they’re expecting a baby girl.
The New York Post spoke to Triple H about Raw 25 and the show’s history. Triple H said about The Undertaker possibly wrestling again: “It’s a hard thing to say that that would be the end. What he has left? I don’t know. We’ll have to ask him. That’s the beauty of WWE. Wait and see.”
WWE re-did the Attitude Era Raw intro video with today’s wrestlers.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Nia Jax said she’d love to see Bull Nakano appear at Raw’s 25th anniversary episode and would love to get in the ring with her.
Xavier Woods put out an anti-Jinder Mahal ad in his campaign to become United States Champion.
WWE uploaded videos where Finn Balor & Sasha Banks, Shinsuke Nakamura & Natalya, Jimmy Uso & Naomi, Goldust & Alicia Fox, Bobby Roode & Charlotte Flair, Elias & Bayley, Apollo Crews & Nia Jax, and Sami Zayn & Becky Lynch briefly discussed their Mixed Match Challenge. In addition to the winning team’s charity receiving $100,000, a $10,000 donation will be made to each charity.
The “Wildest Royal Rumble showdowns” are the focus of this week’s WWE video top 10 list.
Matt Hardy’s Vanguard 1 drone made a return appearance on Hardy’s YouTube channel.
In addition to Ricochet saying farewell at PWG last night, Hanson did a goodbye speech at Chaotic Wrestling in Massachusetts. Both are expected to report to WWE.
For the first time since the show went against Tribute to the Troops, Impact ratings were down this week. The episode averaged 276,000 viewers. That’s down from 309,000 but about even with what Impact’s two recap shows did towards the end of last month.
Impact Wrestling wished Chris Adonis well after Adonis announced that he’s no longer with the company: “We’d like to wish @ChrisAdonis the very best in the future and thank him for his contributions to IMPACT.”
Impact announced a show for Sunday, April 22nd called “Impact Redemption.”
The memorial service for Tom Zenk took place in Minneapolis today.
Gabe Sapolsky wrote about signing a contract with WWE as a consultant for NXT: “I am beyond excited about what the future will bring. I need to give my most heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported me on this 24 year journey. I truly wouldn’t be here without you. I never forget that and will always work my hardest to bring you the best product possible. I want to make it clear that I am still committed to doing the same job I have always done for WWN and EVOLVE. I go 100% in everything I do and will never let up. In fact, I feel that 2018 will be the will be biggest year in WWN history with the launch of the Club WWN subscription service at WWNLive.com.”
Kazuchika Okada is dating actress/singer Mimori Suzuko.
Nick Jackson took a shot at Josh Barnett when replying to a tweet about The Young Bucks’ match from the Tokyo Dome airing on AXS: “One helluva match. Can’t wait to hear UFC guy bury it on commentary!”
Ariel Helwani reported that Uriah Hall is awake and talking as of tonight but will be kept in the hospital overnight. Paige VanZant tweeted that the situation that forced Hall to fail to weigh in this morning was the scariest thing she’s ever seen.
Vitor Belfort, who was scheduled to face Hall tomorrow, wrote that he hopes Hall recovers soon.
In the 18 months since going to early weigh-ins, there have been 51 UFC fighters to miss weight or fail to weigh in. There were 17 fighters to miss weight or fail to weigh in for the same period before the change.
Robert Whittaker released a statement apologizing to the fans for having to miss UFC 221.
David Branch reacted to not being able to face Yoel Romero next month due to Romero fighting Luke Rockhold for the interim middleweight title.
Today in Professional Wrestling History: WCW Clash of the Champions XXII
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 – 11:00 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
Poll opinions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Show results and news tips: email@example.com
Wrestling Observer Radio questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Support the Empire~! with F4W shirts. Grab yours today!