Daily Update: Styles vs. Owens on SD tonight, Asuka, NJPW



Kalisto back in the ring on WWE Main Event this week
Marlon Moraes unlikely to face Jimmie Rivera at UFC 219
Lesnar vs. Kane announced for pre-Royal Rumble house show
WWE: Dean Ambrose will be out for approximately nine months
WWE Raw video highlights: Rollins & Jordan win Tag Team gold
Cruiserweight title match, Lesnar return set for WWE Raw next week
WWE Raw live results: John Cena returns on Christmas Day


WOL: Sempervive talks Raw, women’s Royal Rumble, more 12/26
WOR: RAW report, new tag team champions, Jason Jordan, top stories of 2017, more! 12/26
FREE DR. KEITH PRESENTS: The Doctor is in!!! 12/25
WOR: Vince sells stock, Raw Monday, Top Ten Stories, more! 12/24

Smackdown and 205 Live are from Chicago tonight. The Raw brand has a Madison Square Garden house show headlined by Roman Reigns vs. John Cena for the IC title and Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan in a cage match for the tag titles.

Wednesday will be a Raw at the Nassau Coliseum in New York and a Smackdown show in Detroit at the Little Caesar’s Arena (A.J. Styles vs. Jinder Mahal for WWE title, Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode).

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly 12/18/2017: Recapping WWE’s last PPV of the year

After a show that went about as well as it reasonably could have gone, SmackDown came out of Sunday’s Clash of Champions pay-per-view with some renewed optimism heading into WWE’s few biggest months of the year. AJ Styles defeated Jinder Mahal in the PPV’s main event. And with Mahal tapping out clean in the middle to Styles’ Calf Crusher, WWE’s seven-month experiment with Mahal as a main eventer appears to at least momentarily be on hold.

WON NEWSLETTER: December 25, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Vince McMahon football mystery, women’s Royal Rumble, tons more

This is a huge week for news and business, which means a double issue looking at the ramifications of Vince McMahon getting into football, the women’s Royal Rumble, Japanese awards and a story on the life and career of Tom Zenk.

The lead story looks at all the questions regarding Vince McMahon and football including the total XFL losses, the difference in the business landscape, why this could work and why it could fail even worse, as well as business moves Vince McMahon has already made as far as ideas are concerned. Also look at what the trademarks applied for tell us about the approach and the key story as far as the effect on wrestling, and the future of WWE without Vince McMahon in charge.

Take a look at the announcement of the Women’s Royal rumble and the silliness involved, as well as an update on Ronda Rousey and why the key idea for her debut apparently changed.

The story on Tom Zenk runs down his life from his friendship in high school with Curt Hennig, his time as a bodybuilder, getting into wrestling, how he was hit hard by Hennig’s death, lots of discussion about his leaving WWE and Rick Martel, the WCW years, wrestling in Japan, testifying against Vince McMahon in court and life after wrestling. 

This issue updates the business numbers for Mayweather-McGregor and the ridiculousness of a one billion dollar number being thrown around for doing UFC events.

Enjoy a look at Clash of Champions, with notes on creative, star ratings and poll results.

Read about ROH Final Battle, with booking notes, plus notes on people leaving ROH and what it means for its future, a major plan for 2018, as well as match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.

There is an update on Dean Ambrose’s injury and the first plans on how the booking will change and who takes his role, where the injury may have happened, next MSG show, value of WWE to the USA Network, Dwayne Johnson and the presidency, WWE 2018 PPV schedule and a few major notes on it including what cities tentatively host PPVs next year. 

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: December 4, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: ECW turmoil, WCW Mayhem review, more

With just days before its next PPV, Extreme Championship Wrestling is in a state of turmoil to the extent that Paul Heyman at first didn’t want to even announce a card because he doesn’t know what wrestlers would appear. After many, if not most of the wrestlers and employees missed another check, putting them six weeks behind on pay, and with the Texas house shows officially canceled, the company only has three shows left on the books and a crew of panicked talent and an almost complete lack of trust among the talent toward Heyman.


AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens in a non-title match is set for SmackDown tonight. Plus, the storyline with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan will continue, there will be the follow-up to Dolph Ziggler leaving the United States title in the ring and seemingly walking out last week, and more Royal Rumble entrants may be revealed.
More build to Enzo Amore and Cedric Alexander’s Cruiserweight title match is advertised for 205 Live, along with Hideo Itami’s second week on the roster.
Asuka was officially announced last night as the first Raw entrant in the women’s Royal Rumble. She interrupted Alexa Bliss before making the announcement, then laid out Bliss with a kick to the head. Naomi is the only other confirmed participant for the women’s Rumble as of now.
PWInsider reported that Brian Kendrick was sent to the hospital to be checked out last night after being hit in the face by a rough GTS by Itami.
Sami Zayn accomplished his goal of raising $5,000 on Christmas Day for his campaign to help provide medical aid to people in Syria. Zayn matched each donation, bringing the total to $10,000.
“WWE Photo Shoot” with The Miz will debut after Raw next Monday. The concept of the series is wrestlers being shown pictures from throughout their career and telling stories about them. WWE has already uploaded the episode online.
Johnny Gargano surprised his parents by giving them his first action figure before it’s released in stores.
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo attended Raw in Chicago last night.
In storyline, Roman Reigns was fined $5,000 for pushing referee John Cone in his match against Samoa Joe on Raw.
Last night’s show wasn’t commercial-free in the first hour for at least some international markets. The same will likely be true for SmackDown tonight.
Jack Gallagher picked his top 10 video games of the year for Giant Bomb.
Chris Harrington found that Jimmy Uso is the new iron man of WWE (someone who is wrestling the most without taking a break of 40 days) after Dean Ambrose’s injury.
Pro Wrestling
NJPW will be making a video game-related announcement at their fan festival on January 3rd.
NJPW has a hype video for Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White at the Tokyo Dome with English subtitles. There’s also a video for the four-way Junior Heavyweight title match.
wXw uploaded WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov from the 2017 16 Carat Gold Finals for free for 24 hours. It got some praise as one of the best matches of the year.
Pro Wrestling: EVE has the second show of their She-1 available for free for a limited time.
PROGRESS Wrestling also made their Unboxing Live show from 2016 free to celebrate the holiday season.
The Young Bucks did a few spots with “Santa Claus” in their house on Christmas Day.
Matt Riddle & Jeff Cobb will be part of Fight Club: PRO’s 2018 Dream Tag Team Invitational.
Riddle will debut for The Crash against the returning Rey Horus on January 20th.
Cowboy Cerrone vs. Yancy Medeiros is expected to main event the UFC Fight Night show in Austin on February 18th.
MMA Fighting reported that there’s almost no chance Jimmie Rivera fights at UFC 219 on Saturday. He was supposed to face John Lineker before Lineker was forced out due to a tooth infection.
The UFC released the first episode of Embedded for Saturday’s Cyborg vs. Holm PPV.
An arraignment is set for January 9th in the battery case against Volkan Oezdemir.
Georges St-Pierre planned to overcome the three biggest criticisms of him when facing Michael Bisping at Madison Square Garden.
Arjan Bhullar wants Reebok to start making turbans and for his next fight to be in London.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Iron Sheik defeats Bob Backlund to win WWF title


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