Daily Update: The Rock, ROH World title, Wally Yamaguchi

THE ROUND-UP

The Latest from the F4W Staff

NEWS

Mayweather vs. McGregor brought in a lot of PPV buys
WWE NXT averages 841,000 viewers for USA Network episode
WWE NXT results: Aleister Black takes on Adam Cole

AUDIO 

WOL: NXT on USA Network, Clash of Champions, Dave Meltzer and more! 12/14
WOR: WWE and Facebook, Smackdown, 205 Live, Japanese awards, more! 12/14
F4D: Smackdown, 2005 Royal Rumble, Geek of the Week and more! 12/13

IMPACT ON POP TV AT 8 P.M.

TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS ON USA NETWORK AT 8 P.M.

Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. Samoa Joe & Sheamus & Cesaro
Mickie James & Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. Paige & Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
Charlotte Flair vs Ruby Riott non-title
New Day & Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable & Rusev & Aiden English
A.J. Styles & Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn & Jinder Mahal


​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly 12/4/2017: Looking at WWE’s match of the year candidates

While there’s still some time for WWE to shape how the company’s 2017 will be remembered, the beginning of December marked the end of this year’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards calendar. The insane output of high-end matches New Japan Pro Wrestling had during the voting period will rightfully lead to a strong showing in the Match of the Year category, but WWE’s in-ring year shouldn’t be forgotten. Though a full year of brand-exclusive pay-per-views and not having the Cruiserweight Classic may have led to a decline from 2016, WWE produced their fair share of matches that deserve to be in contention for best of the year.


WON NEWSLETTER: December 18, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: The metamorphosis of Chris Jericho, GSP vacates title, more 

The story behind this past week’s Chris Jericho/Kenny Omega angles in Japan is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Look at the selling of the angle, betting on the match, usage of blood, storyline implications and other business notes regarding the match.

Find out about Georges St-Pierre vacating the middleweight title, the story behind it, whether he’ll fight again, Dana White burying GSP, and the business of why the fight happened.

Check out WWE’s new Facebook experiment, why it happened, an update on the rise in WWE stock, what type of profits long-term will justify the current stock price, what is up with 205 Live, the roster of the show and more.

Get an in depth look at the 2017 Tokyo Sports Awards for Japanese wrestling and how the voting went.

This issue has a rundown on New Japan’s final major show of the year, the tag team tournament finals, including tournament standings, the final days, the business, match-by-match coverage, poll results and star ratings along with angle rundowns.

Coverage of this past week’s UFC show in Fresno with match-by-match coverage and business notes, and also look at the first Arolucha taping, the good and the bad, how it got started, goals, and what comes next for the company.

Read about the end of the Raven/Bagwell lawsuit for residuals for appearances on the WWE Network and how the argument regarding the actual issue never played into the end result, and what did kill it.

Plus, look at the Universal title match at Royal Rumble and how the plans changed, the Clash of Champions show, Raw after Mania, Paige talks her issues, TNA star coming to WWE, WWE injury notes, WWE 25th anniversary show notes, funny initials for a Mexican promotion being advertised while WWE was in town, a look at the HHH vs. Mahal match, New Day book, MMA fighter signs with WWE, as well as notes from all the weekend NXT and main roster house shows, business notes and highlights.


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: November 27, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Survivor Series review, Stan Hansen retires, more 

The rapidly changing world of wrestling changed once again, as a Steve Austin vs. HHH main event at Survivor Series didn’t end with a pinfall in the ring, but with a forklift dropping a car, purported to be with HHH inside, theoretically to a Wile E. Coyote like catastrophe (where the victim should be dead, but will, of course live to see another day). The angle, largely to explain HHH taking some time off to rest his back and hip injuries, kept HHH’s unusual streak alive of having done no pinfall jobs in singles matches on PPV.


THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE

Dwayne Johnson was interviewed by Variety and said that he’s too busy to run for President in 2020, but is very serious about 2024.

Wally Yamaguchi, a very important figure in the Japanese wrestling business in the 80s and 90s, had a major stroke and as of earlier today was in a coma and his condition is not good. He was a key figure in both the magazine business, as well as the independent wrestling business having helped start FMW which was the first really strong Japanese indie group. He was a major figure helping Giant Baba with All Japan, and a major editor of Gong Magazine in that magazine’s heyday. He was also Yamaguchi-san in WWE as the manager of Kaientai, and also worked for WWF for years as its Japanese industry liaison. His brother, Shun Yamaguchi, works for WWE today as a Japanese language television announcer live at the PPV shows.

Rizin will be live on iPPV with shows on 12/29 and 12/31 from the Saitama Super Arena with the broadcasts starting at 1 a.m. Eastern late Thursday and Saturday night. The show will also be on regular PPV in the U.S. but that will start at 5 a.m. Eastern early 12/31, as only the New Year’s Eve show will be on regular PPV. Joe Ferraro and Frank Trigg will be he announcers. FITE TV offers both shows streaming for a combined $29.99, or $19.99 individually. It will be on regular PPV in the U.S. and Canada, but not everywhere. It appears DirecTV won’t be carrying it. The PPV price for 12/31 is $19.95.

ROH will be debuting a new world heavyweight title belt for Cody tomorrow night at the Final Battle PPV.

Those under contract to Lucha Underground have been forced to cancel indie dates for weekends starting in mid-February. Right now the battle plan is for tapings for the new season to start on 2/16. This could get in the way of some wrestlers working the February New Japan tour. Pro Wrestling Revolution has announced that Rey Fenix and Penta 0M are off the 2/24 show in San Jose due to tapings.

Fabricio Werdum was found guilty of assault in the case involving Colby Covington where he threw a boomerang at his face. Werdum was fined $600. Werdum didn’t show up for his court case, as he said he would. The case went on without him and he was ordered to pay the fine.

WWE
Alex Marvez talks about the Rich Swann case for The Sporting News.
John Cena will be on “The Late Late Show” at 12:35 a.m. tonight to promote “Ferdiinand,” the animated movie that comes out tomorrow night.
WWE Mayhem by Reliance Games is available now and free to download on iOS devices via the App Store as well as Android smartphones and tablets through Google Play.
Christy Lemire, the movie critic who filled in for Roger Ebert when he had cancer, named Baywatch as one of the worst movies of 2017. (thanks to Jake Koch)
UFC
UFC on 1/27 in Charlotte at the Spectrum Center on FOX has Ronaldo Jacare Souza vs. Derek Brunson, Ovince Saint Preux vs. Ilir Latifi and Randa Markos vs. Juliana Lima. Tickets go on sale to the public tomorrow priced from $180 down to $50. There is an Internet pre-sale today to UFC newsletter subscribers.
UFC on 1/20 in Boston at the TD Garden with Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou for the heavyweight title and Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir for the light heavyweight title tickets also go on sale to the public tomorrow. Tickets are priced from $350 down to $60. There is also an Internet pre-sale going on today. 
Ben Askren on Submission Radio about GSP: 
How serious Ben’s challenge to fighting GSP is: “That’s serious! That was before, the moment I said retirement I always left it with a caveat, and the caveat was that if I get to fight and prove I’m number one, that I would do that.”
“No one knows where I stand because I’ve literally, in my entire career I’ve had one competitive match and that was when I was two and a half years into my fighting career, and so people don’t know exactly how good I was. My good friend Tyron (Woodley) is the number one welterweight in the world, the UFC Champion and he made a statement the other day that if I would ever get my opportunity I would have been UFC champion. So I don’t think you can have a better recommendation than that because he’s achieved everything he possibly could achieve.”
Thoughts on GSP vacating his middleweight title and his coach John Danaher saying it’s a “definite possibility” GSP may never fight again: “Wasn’t that what you expected? I expected that. I knew that, I mean, my suspicion was that there’s no way that he’s ever going to fight again at middleweight. This was the one time he would because I think he had a good idea that he was gonna beat Michael Bisping, but there’s no way he wanted to fight Robert Whittaker. He didn’t want that fight. So, I definitely think we’ll never see him in middleweight again. Now, will we see him fight again? I’m not sure.”
How he sees himself as an option for GSP compared to Conor McGregor and Anderson Silva and why GSP should fight him: “What’s in it for GSP? He’s gonna make some money and I think he’s scared of getting hit hard. And so I’m making the compelling case that Tyron hit’s a lot harder than me. So if you don’t want to be hit hard you can fight me instead of Tyron.”
If Ben would be disappointed if McGregor got the super fight with GSP next: “Yeah, GSP versus Conor is not a super fight. Conor McGregor is 2-1 in his last three fights against someone who is not even very good, so I don’t think Conor deserves a super fight against Georges.”

MISCELLANEOUS
Bellator weigh-ins for tomorrow’s show in Newcastle, UK on Spike:
Jeremy Petley (146.4) vs. Lewis Monarch (146.0)
Mohammed Yahya (163) vs. Ash Griffiths (170.5)
James Thompson (266) vs. Phil DeFries (261)
Valerie Letourneau (125.8) vs. Kate Jackson (125.5)
Michael McDonald (137.6) vs. Peter Ligier (135.8) 

AXS TV Fights announced today a new agreement with both the Legacy Fighting Alliance and CES MMA for a 2018 schedule which starts on 1/12 at 9 p.m. for a show from Costa Mesa, CA at the Orange County Fair and Event Center with Curtis Millender (13-3) vs. Nick Barnes (12-2). The first CES MMA show of the new year will be 2/2. Their final live show of this year will be tomorrow with an LFA show headlined by Chico Camus vs. Ricky Simon from Prior Lake, MN. AXS announced they will have 100 hours of live MMA on their network in 2018.
Michael Vetter will be replacing David Sahadi in production with Impact. Sahadi, who has been with the company for almost 14 years, was let go earlier this week. We’ll have more on that in next week’s issue.
Legacy Wrestling on 12/16 in Manheim, PA at Spooky Nook Sports featuring Sandman, Chris Dickinson, Brittany Blake and more. 
Ric Flair will be appearing for House of Glory Wrestling in Jamaica, NY on Saturday at Club Amazura. The show is headlined by Zack Sabre Jr. vs Amazing Red.
Fight or Flight on 12/17 in Pikeville, TN at the FW.
Cross Body Pro Wrestling on 1/13 in Kitchener, ONT at 69 Agnes St
Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 1/6 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds featuring Flash Flanagan.
Alpha One Wrestling on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Polish Hall in Oshawa, ONT.12/17 at 2 p.m. with Kobe Durst vs. AJ Gray vs. Joey Janela vs. Alex Daniels.
NSW on 2/4 in Etobicoke, ONT at 2:30 p.m. with Ethan Page and Josh Alexander.
There is a listing for a show called the Bobby Heenan Memorial Ham n Egger Classic. Cindy Heenan knows nothing about this show.
A story on Ricky Morton.
A story on wrestling agent Bill Behrens.

We always like to publicize independent events doing Toys for Tots benefits and other benefits. Bob Magee provided us with this list:

National Wrasslin’ League returns to St. Joseph, MO on Friday, December 15 at the St. Joseph Army National Guard Armory, 301 N Woodbine Rd, St Joseph, MO in a Toys for Tots show. Feature match for the NWL Championship is Champion ‘The Monarch’ Jeremy Wyatt vs. Thor Theriot
National Wrasslin’ League returns to Joplin, MO on Saturday, December 16 at the St. Joseph Army National Guard Armory, 301 N Woodbine Rd, St Joseph, MO in a Toys for Tots show. Feature match for the NWL Championship is Champion ‘The Monarch’ Jeremy Wyatt vs. Thor Theriot
Total Wrestling Federation presents Wreck the Halls on Saturday, December 16 at the Historic Colonial Theatre, 3522 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, CA…the promotion’s annual live wrestling event plus toy drive for local Shriners Hospital. Bring a toy for those in need and be entered to win prizes. Doors open 6:30pm, 7pm showtime. $8 presale, $10 at the door. Sponsored by Deja Vu Sacramento.
Supreme Pro Wrestling presents it’s annual toy drive show and canned food drive as well as the last show of 2017 on Sunday, December 17 with a 5:00 pm bell time at 6200 McMahon Drive, Sacramento, CA.
Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to children in the Sacramento area and get in for only $5! SPW brings you live pro wrestling action for the whole family. General admission is $10 and $5 for children (without donating a toy), doors open at 4:30 pm, show starts at 5:00 pm.
Pro Wrestling All Stars presents Christmas Classic on Friday night December 15th from The Play Atlantis in Melvindale, MI featuring former WWE star Adam Rose. This is the promotion’s annual Toys for Tots show. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy to the event. Every child deserves a Christmas.
Gangrel’s Wrestling Asylum presents a Florida Toy Drive student show with 7 action packed matches on Sunday, December 17 with a 2:00 pm bell time at 1982 Tigertail Boulevard, Dania Beach, FL. Admission is free with a new, unwrapped toy. If you can not make it to the show, and would like to donate, please stop by during the week after 5pm and place your Unwrapped toy under the tree. All toys will be presented to Dania City Commission at bell time to be given to area kids at Frost Park later the same day.
All Star Wrestling returns to Cloverdale, BC on December 15 for BodySlams for Toys to benefit the Surrey Christmas Bureau. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy and you’ll receive a free ticket to a 2018 show.
Nueva Revelacion de Lucha Libre returns to Be A Sport Gym, 320 Etta Lane, Thomasville, NC on December 16 as Nueva Revelacion de Lucha Libre’s presents the fourth annual Lucha 4 a Toy show.
Tommy Wildfire Rich School Of Wrestling presents “‘Twas The Fight Before Christmas” to benefit Toys for Tots on December 16 at the X Gym Sports Mall, 568 George Bishop Parkway, Myrtle Beach, SC. The event features a One Night Tournament with 7 great matches featuring Tommy “Wildfire” Rich and Dangerous Doug Gilbert in a big tag team grudge match; plus Renee Michele, Papa Stro, Tim Zbyszko, and more. Donate a toy to Toys for Tots and get $2 off your ticket.
Crossfire Wrestling comes to Lincoln Alexander Centre, 160 King Street East, Hamilton, ON on December 16 with an 8:00 pm bell time in a benefit for Mission Services Men’s Shelter and Addiction Services.
Imperial Wrestling Revolution will do a Toys for Tots show at its December 16 show in Admore, OK. They are also working on starting a partnership with Vettix.org, which gives away free tickets to active duty military personnel and veterans.
Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling presents its annual Wrestling For Hunger show in New Westminster, BC on December 16. 7:30 pm bell time (doors open at 7:00 pm)
NWL/HoPWF Wrestling returns to Martinsburg, WV on December 16, at The Wherehouse, Martinsburg, WV with a 7:30 pm bell time. The Holiday Season Toy Drive for Children In Need, Inc. collection takes place.
DWI Wrestling returns to Riverview, FL on December 16 for a Toys 4 Tots show with a 2:00 pm bell time at the Rivercrest Club House, 11560 Ramble Creek Dr, Riverview, FL as it brings you the fifth Toys For Tots show. Admission is an unwrapped toy or new stuffed animal for a girl or boy.
Georgia Wrestling Extreme presents its first Annual Holiday Throwdown and Toy Drive on December 16 in Albany, GA. Tickets are only $10, ($7 with any unwrapped Toy) kids 5 and under are free. Special appearances by Scott Hudson and Jimmy Rave.
Miracle in Greektown takes place December 17 in Toronto, ON to benefit the John Howard Society of Toronto, which provides addiction/harm reduction services, domestic violence services and more
Northeast Wrestling returns to the NEW Arena, 40 Peck Road, Bethany, CT on Sunday, December 17 for King of Bethany (rescheduled from December 9). This is Northeast Wrestling’s annual holiday spectacular and a Toys for Tots – Fundraising event. The Marines will be in attendance that day. The promotion asks all of its fans to help those in need to bring an unwrapped toy and support Toys for Tots this holiday season.
H20: HardCore Hustle Organization returns to action on December 22 for HOSS, for ” A Christmas Classic 2″ at the Monroe Business Center, 1041 Glassboro Road/Building C/Suite 1 in Williamstown, NJ. The show will feature a Toys for Toys collection.
Keystone Championship Wrestling presents “Slay Bells Ring”, a Toys for Tots show, on December 23 at the Darby Recreation Center, 1022 Ridge Avenue, Darby, PA.
Great Canadian Wrestling returns to Oshawa, ON on December 27 for “Season’s Beatings”, to benefit Simcoe Hall Settlement House with a 6:00 pm bell time. Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door. Bring cans of food and get one raffle ticket for each can you bring.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Jeff Hardy wins WWE Championship


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