THE LATEST NEWS
Jey Uso arrested for DWI in Texas over the weekend
Candice LeRae, War Machine officially sign with WWE
Updated list of confirmed WWE Royal Rumble entrants
Impact Wrestling announces partnership with Twitch
Ricochet officially reports to WWE Performance Center
WWE Raw video highlights: Braun Strowman wreaks havoc
Paige removed from Royal Rumble, long-term future not addressed
Chris Jericho, eight more advertised for WWE Raw 25
WWE Raw live results: Royal Rumble build continues in San Antonio
THE LATEST AUDIO
FREE WOL! Braun Strowman, Ricochet signs, Daniel Bryan odds, Mixed Match Challenge, more! 1/16
WOR: RAW, Royal Rumble, Raw 25, Impact, mailbag, more! 1/16
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly 1/8/2018: Jericho continues to make wrestling a better place
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: 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.
TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE
WWE has a big night of television tonight as they’ll present three live shows from the Laredo Energy Arena. Mixed Match Challenge will premiere on Facebook Watch tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern time. It will take place for ~20 minutes after SmackDown, with Finn Balor & Sasha Banks vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Natalya scheduled.
Both semifinal matches in the US title tournament will take place on SmackDown. Bobby Roode faces Mojo Rawley and Jinder Mahal takes on Xavier Woods, with the winners advancing to the finals. Charlotte Flair, Naomi & Becky Lynch vs. The Riott Squad is also set.
Though it was originally announced that the finals of the US title tournament would be taking place at the Royal Rumble, it appears that the new champion will actually be crowned on SmackDown next week according to WWE.com’s SmackDown preview.
WWE issued the following statement on Jey Uso’s DWI arrest: “Joshua Fatu is responsible for his own personal actions. We are investigating the matter and awaiting information from local law enforcement officials.”
Seth Rollins used his old Curb Stomp finisher, which had been banned by WWE, to defeat Finn Balor on Raw last night. Rollins wrote on Twitter about using the move again: “Welcome back, old friend.”
Aaron Solow & Ricky Starks, who team together as Extra Talented, were the enhancement tag team that The Revival defeated on Raw. Solow is also engaged to Bayley.
Raw ratings are delayed due to yesterday being Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Paige continued to take a positive approach to her current situation by writing: “2018 WILL be my year.”
Johnny Gargano tweeted about WWE officially announcing that Candice LeRae has signed with the company: “She’s one of the best in the world and got here on her own merit. Blood, sweat and tears.. She’s sacrificed and worked incredibly hard for a very long time. I’m proud of my Wife; Candice.. But even prouder of my favorite wrestler, the toughest person I know; Candice LeRae.”
Hulk Hogan confirmed that he won’t be appearing at Raw 25 next week, which isn’t much of a surprise.
Samoa Joe appeared on CBS Sports’ “In This Corner” podcast and discussed why he isn’t interested in crossing over to MMA.
Carmella appears to have confirmed that her and Big Cass have broken up. She wrote that Cass “will always hold a special place” in her heart when tweeting about this week’s episode of Total Divas.
Tessa Blanchard has been announced for Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks’ “All In” show on September 1st.
After their social media feud was briefly reignited, The Young Bucks and Daniel Cormier have buried the hatchet. Cormier wrote on Twitter today: “I apologize for the hate you have gotten. I have received a ton too. It’s not one way. I am in the middle of fight week and get get agitated easily. I apologize. I wish you nothing but continued success. From all I see you guys are doing amazing. Good luck in the future.” Matt Jackson responded by apologizing to Cormier, and both Young Bucks wished him well in his fight this weekend.
Jazzy Gabert had surgery on her neck yesterday and posted that the road to recovery starts now.
Ric Flair announced that his daughter Megan is engaged to MLW podcast host Conrad Thompson.
As she departs the company, Chelsea Green (Laurel Van Ness) thanked everyone that she worked with in Impact Wrestling. Green spoke to the Orlando Sentinel about leaving Impact.
Impact Wrestling confirmed that LAX & Homicide vs. OVE & Sami Callihan in Barbed Wire Massacre III will air on Twitch and not Thursday’s episode of Impact.
Dixie Carter tweeted about how proud she is of EC3: “Can’t tell you how proud I am to be the aunt of @therealec3. This guy is special. He deserves great things. Excited for your future E, whatever it holds. @IMPACTWRESTLING @wwe”
Travis Banks will defend his PROGRESS Wrestling Championship against TK Cooper in London on January 28th. The two are tag team partners as the South Pacific Power Trip.
Jon Jones took and passed a polygraph test in an effort to prove that he didn’t knowingly take any performance-enhancing substances that would have caused last summer’s test failure.
Cris Cyborg is open to facing Amanda Nunes if it’s on a big card that will be able to sell a lot of pay-per-views.
Francis Ngannou said that he could make $500,000 for his fight against Stipe Miocic on Saturday.
The first and second episodes of Embedded have been released for UFC 220.
Vitor Belfort told Michael Bisping to stop looking for excuses and face him at UFC’s show in London.
Paige VanZant’s coach explained why he let her continue to fight with a broken arm last weekend.
Josh Barnett doesn’t trust USADA and won’t accept any settlements to resolve his drug test failure from 2016.
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
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!