Daily Update: Ric Flair, Adam Cole-EVOLVE, Tiger Hattori
NXT Atlanta live results: Gargano & Ciampa team up
NJPW notes: Future programs, YOSHI-HASHI, Bullet Club
MLW Fusion results: Pentagon Jr. vs. Teddy Hart
Number one contender’s match set for WWE SmackDown
NJPW New Year Dash live results: Wrestle Kingdom 13 fallout
Rollins and Balor confirmed as WWE Royal Rumble entrants
Nigel McGuinness documentary to air on WWE Network
WOL: New Japan Wrestle Kingdom 13 recap show! 1/4
Wrestling Weekly: ‘Mean’ Gene, AEW, NJPW in 2019 1/4
WOR: New Japan Wrestle Kingdom 13 recap from Tokyo 1/4
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: WWE’s biggest news stories of 2018
2018 was an especially mixed year for WWE. It’s been an incredible year for WWE financially — even if that hasn’t always been mirrored by traditional metrics. They agreed to two transformative TV deals that will shape the company for years to come. WWE also reached a lucrative 10-year deal with the Saudi General Sports Authority, with the first two shows in Saudi Arabia being among the most controversial in the history of the promotion.
WON NEWSLETTER (ONLINE ONLY): January 7, 2019 Observer Newsletter special: History of the Tokyo Dome
When the Tokyo Dome opened on March 17, 1988, the idea of pro wrestling there wasn’t even an idea.
The Dome was built to be the new modern home of two baseball teams, the Yomiuri Giants of the Central League, the team of Shigeo Nagashima and Sadaharu Oh years earlier, the unofficial national team that had all its games on NTV, and sold out every game. The Dome held 48,316 fans for baseball, but for years, every single Giants game announced the attendance as 56,000. The other team, the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Pacific League, which played there through the 2003 season, were the ones that the average person could get tickets to see.
The idea was baseball and concerts, the Rolling Stones (who have 19 Tokyo Dome sellouts), Michael Jackson (who sold 405,000 tickets for nine dates in December 1988), U2, Madonna and Japanese artists. But while it has housed numerous sporting events, including NFL and Major League Baseball, with the exception of baseball and concerts, it’s probably best known for pro wrestling.
Pro wrestling was still huge on television back then. All Japan, headed by Giant Baba, was a fixture on Nippon TV, one of the major networks. New Japan, on TV-Asahi, had matches airing in prime time.
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SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE
PWinsider reported that Ric Flair is scheduled to be at Monday’s Raw, which is taking place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. If Flair appears on the show, it seems likely that it would be to honor “Mean” Gene Okerlund. WWE announced yesterday that Hulk Hogan will be returning on Monday’s Raw to celebrate Okerlund’s life.
Adam Cole and EVOLVE Tag Team Champions The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) have been announced for EVOLVE 121 at the Kroc Center in Atlanta, Georgia on February 15. The announcement was made at last night’s NXT house show in Atlanta.
Braun Strowman did his Polar Plunge today to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County in Wisconsin. Strowman wrote that he thinks he’s going to make it an annual event: “One of the crazier things I’ve ever done!!!!! Thank you to everyone that came out and donated. What a great time for a great cause!!!! I think I’m gonna make this an annual event. #TheMonsterPlunge”
WWE uploaded episode one of “Remaking the Monster,” which follows Strowman during his recovery from elbow surgery.
Shinsuke Nakamura told Sports Illustrated about wrestlers in WWE being underrated: “Honestly, most people in WWE are underrated. I can choose so many people. They have so much ability but can’t show everything on TV. Everybody has a great ability to wrestle, and you can see that at the house shows. Tye Dillinger, Shelton Benjamin, Primo and Epico, the Bludgeon Brothers, the New Day, they’re all underrated.”
WWE Performance Center members Shadia Bseiso and Nasser Alruwayeh announced their engagement. Bseiso is the first Arab woman to sign With WWE, while Alruwayeh is the first Kuwaiti man to sign with the company.
Mike Mooneyham interviewed Xavier Woods for his latest Charleston Post and Courier column
WWE uploaded video of last year’s men’s Royal Rumble match to their YouTube account.
WWE has a video ranking John Cena’s 10 most exciting returns.
Chris Jericho wrote that NJPW employee and referee Tiger Hattori worked his last Tokyo Dome show at Wrestle Kingdom 13: “Congrats to my old friend #TigerHattori for working his last #TokyoDome show last night. Tiger is one of the most genuine and best people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with and My times shared with him and so many great brothers, including #EddieGuerrero, #ChrisBenoit, #DocDean & #BlackCat, will never be forgotten. Kanpai Tiger! @njpw1972”
This week’s MLW Fusion episode is now available on YouTube. Pentagon Jr. vs. Teddy Hart and LA Park vs. Gringo Loco aired on the show.
The Mirror has an interview with Gail Kim ahead of tomorrow’s Impact Homecoming PPV. She’ll be the special guest referee for Tessa Blanchard and Taya Valkyrie’s Knockouts Championship match.
The NWA posted video of their press conference for today’s pop-up event.
Luke Rockhold told TMZ that he thought Jon Jones looked “beatable” in his return and that he’s coming for Jones and the light heavyweight title.
Amanda Nunes said Cris Cyborg had “no power at all” in their fight.
Ben Rothwell will make his UFC return against Blagoy Ivanov in March.
Anthony Pettis asked his fans what they think about the idea of him going to welterweight to face Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
Daily Pro Wrestling History: NJPW New Year Dash shows
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