Daily Update: Raw 25 open, UFC 220 fallout, Robert Whittaker

THE ROUND-UP

THE LATEST NEWS

ROH TV taping results: Titles on the line, WOH tournament matches
RevPro High Stakes results: Bate & Seven vs. Suzuki & ZSJ
WWE 205 Live Lowell, MA, results: Enzo Amore vs. Cedric Alexander
WWE Main Event results: Curt Hawkins goes 0-157
UFC 220 live results: Miocic vs. Ngannou, Cormier vs. Oezdemir
Bellator 192 live results: Chael Sonnen vs. Rampage Jackson

THE LATEST AUDIO

WOL: Stephanie and the Royal Rumble, YOU DESERVE IT, 205 Live house shows, UFC, more! 1/21
WOR: Brennon Martin talks his book on the life of Christine Jarrett! 1/21
WOR: UFC and Bellator shows, tons of wrestling and MMA notes, more! 1/21

We’re looking for reports from tonight’s WWE Raw show in Binghamton and 205 Live show in Poughkeepsie as well as the Arolucha shows in Amarillo and Lubbock and The Crash show in Tijuana to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

We’re also taking polls this weekend on five different shows to dave@wrestlingobserver.com:

Friday’s Fantastics Mania
Today’s Fantastica Mania
Monday’s Fantastica Mania
Bellator on Saturday
UFC on Saturday

NEW JAPAN FANTASTICA MANIA FROM TOKYO KORAKUEN HALL AT 4:30 A.M. EASTERN EARLY MONDAY MORNING

Ryusuke Taguchi & Fuego vs. Puma & Disturbio
Star Jr. & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Kushida vs. Okumura & Rocky Romero & Sho & Yoh
Third place match in brothers tag team tournament
Atlantis & Hirai Kawato vs. Cavernario & Gedo
Volador Jr. & Soberano Jr. & Drone vs. Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi & Bushi
Satoshi Kojima vs. Rush
Brothers tag team tournament championship match

Raw is Monday night from both the Barclays Center and the Manhattan Center for the 25th Raw with a giant list of former stars, Smackdown stars, and pretty much everyone being there with Roman Reigns vs. The Miz for the IC title as the main event.

Smackdown, Mixed Match Challenge and 205 Live will be taped in Washington, DC on Tuesday. Big E & Carmella vs. The Miz & Asuka is the mixed match challenge match.


​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly 1//15/2018: Looking at WWE’s latest Performance Center class

While it’s hard to predict whether someone will or won’t have success on the main roster, the class that’s scheduled to report to the WWE Performance Center this week includes some potentially game-changing talent. Ricochet, Candice LeRae, War Machine (Ray Rowe & Hanson), Kavita Devi, Kacy Catanzaro, Rinku Singh, Shadia Bseiso, Nasser Alruwayeh, Nicolai Salchow, and Saurav Gurjar have been reported as the latest names to sign with WWE.


WON NEWSLETTER: January 22, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Paige’s in-ring career with WWE over, Reigns steroid allegations, more

A look at the career of Paige and the injuries that appeared to end it is one of the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer. Read about her career, the movie on her life that is forthcoming, how the movie affected the last few years, details of the injury, how this compares to Bryan Danielson, how the movie got started, her life before WWE and her role in the changes in the WWE women’s division.

Look at the situation with Conor McGregor, as well as a huge show UFC is looking at doing in the fall.

Read comments on the Roman Reigns allegations and the WWE background on how different allegations have been handled.

There are changes in plans of the rumble show, an update on a lot of talent talking with WWE, many coming into WWE, history of why Bobby Lashley left WWE, former TNA star talks wanting to move to WWE, Jey Uso’s DWI arrest, notes on a lot of new talent starting at the Performance Center, Cena projects on Nickelodeon, who is coming in for 25th Raw, who isn’t coming to the 25th Raw and why, and a complete scheduled for Mixed Match Challenge.

Check out how house show plans changed with the Samoa Joe injury, WWE injury notes, WWE signs new giant, UFC star’s name talked about for WWE, Cena and Rock move notes, WWE stock price value and most-watched shows for the week on the WWE Network. Look at the WWE and NXT arena events over the past week with results, highlights and business notes.

Look at the head-to-head battle with UFC and Bellator this week, the hoped for stardom of Francis Ngannou, Sonnen vs. Rampage, Cormier vs. Oezdemir and more.

Read about the UFC show in St. Louis and the most emotional moment in UFC television history. Plus, look at the unique nature of how the television audience changed and why the ratings were so high.


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WON BACK ISSUE: January 1, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Candidates for Wrestler of the Year, Sakuraba defeats another Gracie, more 

For a year that, with the exception of the success of the WWF, was hardly a banner year for the business, there is actually no shortage of candidates for Wrestler of the Year. The Observer awards balloting results will be announced here in two weeks, but before hand, I wanted to run down a list of the top qualifiers with my own comments on them.


SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE

Our weekend show is already up on the site. We cover UFC, Bellator, update on WWE injuries and weekend news and the build for tomorrow night’s show.

UFC 220 was the second most searched item on the Internet yesterday with more than 1,000,000 searches. That usually means a good PPV number. Bellator’s show had 100,000 searches.  The most searched item was rapper Fredo Santana, who died Friday night, with 2,000,000 searches.

Dana White last night on TSN said that Robert Whittaker was in serious condition with a staph infection in his stomach that was starting to eat at his internal organs and had been mistreated earlier.

Stipe Miocic would not let Dana White put the belt around his waist after winning, and gave it to his coach to do so instead.

Dalton Castle vs. Jay Lethal for the ROH title was announced for the next ROH PPV show in Las Vegas on 3/9. 

WWE has released the open to Raw tomorrow.

WWE
Kevin Owens and Jason Jordan were both off the WWE house shows this weekend due to injuries. Paige was on the road as a manager for Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose.
Pete Dunne defends the UK title against Zack Gibson on 2/17 for Future Shock Wrestling. 
Dolph Ziggler was at last night’s UFC PPV show in Boston in the sixth row.
Koko B. Ware joined Cerrito Live talking about being in the first-ever RAW match & how he hasn’t heard from WWE since his 2009 HOF induction. Audio (Koko comes on around the 33 min mark)
MISCELLANEOUS
AAW from last night in Chicago before 520 fans: Curt Stallion & Jake Something b Zero Gravity, Eddie Kingston b Kevin Lee Davidson, Maxwell Jacob Freidman b Juice Robinson, ACH b Paco Gonzalez, David Starr & Trevor Lee & Jeff Cobb b Sami Callihan & Jake & Dave Crist, Jessicka Havok kept the women’s title in an elimination match over Scarlett Bourdeaux and Kyle Rae, Teddy Hart b Myron Reed, Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett kept the tag titles over Shane Strickland & Keith Lee, Rey Fenix b Matt Riddle to retain the AAW title. Fenix defends next against ACH on 2/3. (thanks to Dave Gould)
Lucha Downunderground from Melbourne on Friday: Maddog & Cletus b Carlo Cannon & Sketch, Kellyanne b Ivelisse, Vance Adams & Nick Bury & Mitch Waterman b Freddie Gold & Big Cuz & FOX, Angelico b Syd Parker, PJ Black b Gabriel Wolfe, Drago & Aerostar b Dowie James & JXT to win the BCW tag titles, Shane Mercer retained the BCW title over Alan Payne, Preston and Mil Muertes. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
From yesterday in Sydney: Angelico b Gabriel Wolfe, Syd Parker & Nick Bury & Mitch Waterman b Psykotic & Vinnie Vain & Billy the Kid, Ivelisse b Kellyanne, Syd Parker won Aztec Rumble, Dowie James & JXT b Drago & Aerostar to win the BCW tag titles, Syd Parker kept the BCW title over PJ Black and Slade Mercer, Mil Muertes b Maddog under Hardcore rules. (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
MBE on 2/21 in Downsview Park, ONT at The Warehouse with James Ellsworth, Jim Duggan, Virgil, Chris Masters, Ethan Page and Kongo Kong.
Legacy Fighting on 3/2 in Prior Lake, MN at the Mystic Lake Center is headlined by Robert Watley defending the lightweight title against Brandon Jenkins, plus Kelly Kobold, who has fought Gina Carano and ODB, will be appearing. This will be her first fight in six-and-a-half years. The show airs live on AXS.
PCW from Friday night in Wilmington, CA before more than 600 fans: ACH b Rey Fenix, Kikutaro b Mariachi Loco, Shane Strickland won three-way over Flip Gordon and Brody King, Hammerstone b Bran Cage, Douglas James b Ganseki Tanaka, Warbeast (Josef & Fatu) b Joey Janela & Jimmy Jacobs in a tag title match, Great Muta & Penta 0M b Johnny Ultra (John Hennigan) & Sami Callihan when Penta pinned Ultra. After the show, Rob Van Dam came out to challenge Penta for the PCW title on the next show. Muta couldn’t do much. Opener was the best match by far. Stephan Bonnar was there and cut a terrible promo. Janela took a Canadian Destroyer off the middle rope through four chairs. Los of chair shots to the head in that one as well.  Muta couldn’t do much but everyone else covered for him. They pushed it could be his last match ever in the U.S. Kevin Sullivan managed the Warbeast tag team. Jacobs walked out on Janela so they’ll probably feud. At the end, guitarist Nita Strauss was playing Penta’s music and then switched to “Walk” by Pantera and RVD came out. (thanks to Gary Bogard, Russell Griffith, Jake Koch and Brian Reznick)
I saw an article in the Udaipur Times in India for a WWE show, which isn’t a WWE show, on 2/24 in Udaipur, India. They pushed it as the biggest sports event ever in Udaipur and the names listed are Great Khali, Brody Steele, Katie Forbes, Santana Garrett, Rey Mysterio and Ryback with Khali vs. Ryback as the main event. A number of actors in India will be at the show and they claimed it would air on television and YouTube and it was expected to draw 50,000 fans.
CWE Rise of a Queen II from Orlando on Friday: Amber Nova b Lexi Gomez, Aria Blake b Chelsea Durden, Kaci Lennox b Chloe Christmas, Salina de la Renta b Clara Sniclare, Aaron Epic b Mike Austin, Amber Nova b Chelsea Durden, Kaci Lennox b Salina de la Renta, Bobby Bourne won Rookie Rumble, Kaci Lennox b Amber Nova. Next show is 2/2 at the Team Vision Dojo.
Sabotage Wrestling on Friday night from Austin, TX: Hyan & Erica Torres b Jordan Len-X & Rocketboy Wilson, GPA b Kylie Rae, Baby D b Human Tornado, B-Boy b Leva Bates, Angel Blue & Phoebe & Robyn Reid & Nikki Knight b Andy Dalton & Double D & Ray Ortiz & JC Res, Fuego del Sol b Heather Monroe, Erica Torres b Fuego del Sol to win their title, Joey Ryan b Barbi Hayden, Sammy Guevara d Thunder Rosa 20:00. Next show has Torres defending the title against Delilah Doom. Mia Khalifa, the porn star who got into a twitter battle with Shane Helms appeared with a bodyguard to work spots with Ryan. She said Ryan looked like a hairy cartoon character. He told her to touch his dick, since that’s what she did best. She refused and was offended. Ryan shoved away the bodyguard and put the sucker in her mouth. The bodyguard attacked Ryan and took the dick flip. The report was that Khalifa was very respectful to everyone and had a good time. (thanks to Jake Koch)
National Wrestling League from Friday night in O’Fallon, MO: Jet Royal b Thomas Shire, Anthony Gutierrez won three-way over Thor Thierot and Matt Kenway, Davey Vega & Mat Fichett & Paco Gonzalez b Niles Plonk & Everett Connors & Rasheed Ali, Jeremy Wyatt b Mike Outlaw, Dak Draper b Christian Rose, Maverick b Jack Foster, Marti Belle & Savanna Stone b Carolina Rodriguez & Rahne Victoria, Gary Jay b Leonel Howlett in a no DQ match. (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
wXw in Oberhausen, Germany on Saturday before 575 fans: Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin b Maggot & Prince Ahura, Session Moth Martina b Melanie Gray, Jurn Simmons b Dirty Dragan, Da Mack b Chris Colen, Absolute Andy b Bobby Gunns, Toni Storm b Killer Kelly, Walter & Timothy Thatcher & Avalanche & Julian Nero b Bad Bones & Ivan Kiev & Tarkan Aslan & Lucky Kid in a Cage Battle designed like a War Games match. David Starr and Jurn Simmons will face in a last man standing knockouts only match in the first round of the 16 Carat Gold tournament. Also announced are Matt Sydal, Matt Riddle, Jonah Rock, Avalanche, Jeff Cobb, Travis Banks, Chris Brookes and Mark Haskins. Walter vs. Matt Riddle takes place on 3/10 under UWFI rules while on 3/8, Walter vs. Rock and Haskins vs. Mike Bailey will be taking place at the wXw Academy. (thanks to Markus Gronemann)
Disturbio suffered an ankle injury on the first show of Fantastica Mania but did work today’s show. I haven’t seen it but people have been raving about the Volador Jr. vs. Cavernario main event today.
Robbie Eagles, Mick Moretti and Jack Bonza were announced for the New Japan tour of Australia. Other Australians previously announced have been Jonah Rock, Marcius Pitt, Damian Slater and Slex.
On the next WrestleCircus show, in the Tessa Blanchard vs. Brian Cage match, Cage is putting up his Ringmaster title and Blanchard is putting up her Sideshow title. Blanchard is already women’s champion so they are pushing the show as the shot for Blanchard to hold three belts.
Limitless Wrestling from Friday night in Westbrook, ME: Kalvin Strange & Xavier Bell b Mark Sterling & Jaxon Stone, Darby Allin b Jeff Cobb, Martin Stone won three-way over Fred Yehi and David Starr, Allie Kat & Kris Stadlander & Ashley Vox b Danger Kid & Alexander Lee & Aidan Aggro, Troy Nelson & Dick Justice b Brett Domino & DL Hurst, Maxwell Jacob Friedman b Matt Cross, Tessa Blanchard b Deonna Purrazzo, Chris Dickinson b Eddie Kingston, Ethan Page & Jay Freddie & John Silver b Mr. Grimm & Christian Casanova & Austin Theory, Doria Graves & VSK b James Drake & Anthony Henry, Anthony Greene won four-way over Ace Romero, JT Dnnn and Josh Briggs. Next show is 3/30 with Teddy Hart & AR Fox & Sami Callihan vs. Josh Briggs & Ace Romero & JT Dunn, Darby Allin vs. MJF, Martin Stone vs. ? and Joey Janela, Brian Cage an Chase Owens. (thanks to Wrestling Insomniac and Philip Laine)
Kris Wolf returned on today’s Stardom show: They ran their seventh anniversary show at Korakuen Hall and a lot of the women sang a pop singers to start the show. Starlight Kid & Shiki Shibusawa & Hanan b Hiromi Mimura & Konami & Ruaka, Jungle Kyona & Kaori Yoneyama & Natsuko Tora b Nicole Savoy & Miranda & Xia Brookside, Mary Apache b Kay Lee ray to keep the High Speed title, Mayu Iwatani b Rachael Ellering in her return, Queen’s Quest b Oedo Tai so Tam Nakano must leave Oedo Tai. Io Shirai said she could join Queen’s Quest. Momo Watanabe challenged Io Shirai for her title. Iwatani said that Nakano should join her stable. (thanks to Jake Koch).
Best in the West on 3/17 with an iPPV from Fresno City College Gym. Their next live show is 2/10 in Merced, CA with Eli Drake vs. JR Kratos which airs that night for free on Twitch. The iPPV in March is on FITE TV with James Storm and Eli Drake. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
Lucha Xtreme TV from last night in Fresno: Calder McCall b Snipes, Beast the Butcher b Alonso Alvarez, Gary Galaxy b Kevin Daquets. Next show is 1/28 in Hanford, CA at the Civic Center at 2 p.m..
Phil Lions with pre-1940 pro wrestling footage available to view for free.
Denis Gorman on Friday night’s Bruce Prichard, Eric Bischoff and Conrad Thompson podcast after the Brooklyn Nets game at the Barclays Center:

“This was…something that had to be experienced. The podcast was held on Barclays Center basketball practice court. Initially, the podcast audience was herded towards the first 15-30 rows of Barclays Center’s main court, which had just completed the Brooklyn Nets’ 101-95 win over the Miami Heat, followed by the start of a CYO game. So you had wrestling fans and basketball fans in effect having created mass congestion in the hallways and concourse.

During the stoppage of play between the first and second quarters of the Heat-Nets game, Conrad Thompson and Bruce Prichard were introduced to the Barclays Center crowd, and received rousing rounds of silence and indifference. Prichard pulled an embarrassed-looking Eric Bischoff into the shot, but he wasn’t introduced. Later in the quarter, John Layfield showed up and sat between Prichard and Bischoff.

The show began with Oscar from Men On A Mission introducing Prichard, who told an amazing Vince McMahon story before bringing Thompson out.

Thompson and Prichard riffed on JR losing his podcast for a few minutes, then JBL came out.

Layfield recalled tales involving Hornswoggle, Steve Blackman, Dick Murdoch and Jerry Briscoe. Following the story about Briscoe tapping Layfield out, Prichard introduced Bischoff. Layfield, Prichard and Bischoff told a story about Briscoe tapping Bischoff out in a Radisson bar.

When the story ended, Layfield left and Bischoff and Thompson began riffing on podcasts before Bischoff and Prichard riffed on Bret Hart and Terry Funk and Jim Cornette.

Eventually Bischoff talked about his heel authority figure during WCW’s high point, and he defended the call out of Vince McMahon as a “good idea” since it drew notoriety. Prichard argued that Bischoff needed the Vince call out to pop a PPV buyrate, and sandwiched a burial of Russo between an explanation of the creation of the Fake Diesel and Fake Razor Ramon. 

Prichard and Bischoff spoke about JR’s business philosophy in WCW, then the hiring of Jerry Jarrett. Bischoff said he never considered bringing Shawn Michaels into WCW because he had his “hands full” with Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman at the time.

Following a tedious screaming match between Bischoff, Prichard and Thompson, Bischoff explained his thought process in hiring Johnny Ace, and hiring Lex Luger away from WWE.

From that point, the panel took questions from the audience, with Sam Roberts acting as a roving reporter.

By and large, this was a fine show but there were issues. One, Prichard routinely interrupted Layfield and Bischoff with impressions when they were asked questions. Two, Thompson’s arrogance—especially as it came to Bischoff—was insufferable. Thompson repeatedly interrupted Bischoff to mock him about his podcast, and WCW’s mistakes.”

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Steve Austin wins 2001 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


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