Daily Update: The Rock, NXT tapings, Cris Cyborg's TUE

THE ROUND-UP

The Latest from the F4W Staff

NEWS

WWE Raw ratings up slightly this week
WWE SmackDown video highlights: Main event ends in controversy  
Zack Sabre Jr. debuting for NJPW at 45th anniversary show  
WWE 205 Live results: Jack Gallagher vs. Tony Nese  
Naomi relinquishes the SmackDown Women’s Championship   
WWE SmackDown live results: Number one contender’s battle royal 

AUDIO

FREE WOL! Smackdown battle royal, women’s title change, news, tons more! 2/22
FREE B&V&C! Retro Raw and Nitro flashback from 19 years ago this week! 2/21
FREE WOL! Raw, Rock calls CM Punk, tons more! 2/21
WOR: RAW, Rock calls CM Punk, WrestleMania, more! 2/21
WOL: Solo Sempervive with Dr. Lucha, UFC recap, more 2/20

There was a Raw house show tonight from Dusseldorf, Germany and we’re looking for reports on the show. 


FIGURE FOUR WEEKLY: 2/20/2017: Looking at pro wrestling’s stellar start to 2017

While making judgments about a year less than two full months into it probably isn’t a good idea, it’s clear that 2017 is already on pace to surpass its predecessor in terms of match quality. That’s not entirely unexpected. The stellar in-ring work that defined professional wrestling in 2016 didn’t come out of nowhere. It was the result of there being more qualified workers, more opportunities for them to work, and a wider variety of promotions for them to work for than there have been in many years… Subscribers click here to continue.


WRESTLING OBSERVER NEWSLETTER: February 20, 2017: WWE financials, death of Chavo Guerrero, more 

An update on the WWE’s WrestleMania plans and then two PPV’s leading to WrestleMania is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We update the situation with the Seth Rollins vs. HHH proposed match, new matches that have changed due to injuries, update injured talent and a new proposed championship match on the Mania show, as well as more on different planned matches.

Click Here: Atlanta United FC Jersey

We also look at plans for both Elimination Chamber and Fast Lane.

We’ve got full coverage of the New Beginning in Sapporo show headlined by Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki, with match-by-match coverage with star ratings, poll results and business notes. We look at the build up angle and the story behind the main event, and this week’s show in Osaka.

We look at the big coup by WWE Studios working with Dwayne Johnson, a current WWE star being talked about for doing MMA, Kurt Angle talks wrestling in WWE, NXT Takeover Orlando notes, and lots of thoughts on the XFL documentary and key points that were not in.

We also have more WWE WrestleMania week plans, more on Mike Adamle and his battle against dementia and his background, update on a lot of WWE injuries, a surprise coach at the Performance Center and update on where that come from, and another WWE movie project.

We also have tons of notes on the wrestlers brought to the Performance Center this past week as well as other athletes for tryouts, including who they are and their backgrounds including some very unique prospects. We also look at the most-watched shows of the past week on the network as well as a rundown of all the WWE and NXT arena events this past week with both highlights and business notes.


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 moonsault@mediaplusint.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 31, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WCW departures, WWF Royal Rumble review, more 

The soap opera surrounding WCW and the group of wrestlers who vowed to stick together got even stranger over the past week, with the company mired in even more uncertainty and friends who stuck together breaking apart. WCW sent unconditional release letters to Chris Benoit, Dean Simon (Malenko), Carlos Ashenoff (Konnan), Troy Martin (Shane Douglas), Eddy Guerrero and Perry Satullo (Perry Saturn) on 1/19, thus cancelling the planned meeting Bill Busch had agreed two days later to have with the group that same day, and allowing all of them to start with Titan Sports on 2/1 provided they agreed not to say anything publicly disparaging about WCW and agreed not to sue WCW… Subscribers click here to continue.


WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweeted about calling CM Punk from the ring after Raw went off the air: “I work off instinct, always listen to the people and try to give em something special. Huge positive feedback from @WWE Universe. Fun night”
Johnson posted a photo on Instagram with Kevin Owens from Monday night and shared a story about asking Curt Hawkins who Owens was when he was still Kevin Steen and wrestling on the indies.
NXT tapes its next round of television shows in Orlando tonight at the University of Central Florida. Bobby Roode is scheduled to defend the NXT Championship against Kassius Ohno at the tapings. Shinsuke Nakamura also returns to the ring following his storyline knee injury and will be facing TJ Perkins, and WWE is promoting a live appearance by Finn Balor for the crowd.
Heidi Lovelace was given the name Ruby Riot in a dark match against Kimber Lee at the tapings.
After SmackDown’s battle royal main event ended in controversy with WWE claiming that AJ Styles and Luke Harper’s feet touched the floor at the same time, it was announced that Styles would be facing Harper next week. The match will supposedly determine a new number one contender for the WWE Championship as part of the storyline where Randy Orton refuses to face Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania.
Mick Foley tweeted about the finish of the battle royal: “Come on, if we did that on #Raw, we would be eviscerated for it by #Smackdown fans.”
WWE also announced that John Cena would be appearing on Miz TV with The Miz and Maryse next week, which should ramp up the build to Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse at WrestleMania after that direction was furthered last night.
The New Day would like to see Conor McGregor make an appearance in WWE.
AJ Brooks tweeted in response to a video of Thea Trinidad playing her in “Fighting with My Family”: “Whoa haha. I’ve never looked hotter…”
Pro Wrestling
Keith Lee will face Donovan Dijak for EVOLVE on March 31st over WrestleMania weekend in Orlando.
Matt Hardy will be appearing at WrestleCircus on March 17th.
Hirooki Goto vs. Zack Gibson has been announced for Revolution Pro Wrestling on April 13th at York Hall in London.
Highspots released a free video honoring the life of Ivan Koloff.
Fight Club: PRO announced Nixon Newell vs. Candice LeRae for March 18th.
UFC/MMA
USADA communications manager Ryan Madden sent a statement to Bloody Elbow confirming that Cris Cyborg did not disclose her use of spironolactone prior to her drug test failure: “Her use of the medication was not initially disclosed; but more importantly, once contacted by USADA, she immediately identified the medication as the source of her positive test, submitted all necessary medical information and demonstrated that it was being used for legitimate medical purposes without enhancing her performance. Those are the primary considerations when reviewing any TUE application.”
Former UFC fighter Terry Etim was seriously injured in Liverpool today after reportedly running in and out of traffic and throwing himself against cars in what was seemingly an attempt to harm himself.
This past Sunday’s UFC Fight Night show averaged 907k viewers on FS1 and Bellator from Saturday averaged 807k on Spike TV.

Pro Wrestling Tees is now carrying our latest line of F4W shirts. Support the Empire~! Grab yours today!

F4W / WO EMPIRE WRESTLEMANIA GROUP INFO

BUS INFO:

The Empire bus to WrestleMania will cost $50.00 and will be round trip from Rosen Inn at 9000 International Drive 32819 (a few blocks away from Wrestlcon). THERE ARE ONLY 5 SEATS LEFT!
The bus will leave at 4pm (time subject to change) for WrestleMania and will leave WrestleMania no later then one hour after the show. If you would like a seat email Ed at f4wfan@hotmail.com or message him on the BOARD~! for Paypal payment instructions.

DINNER INFO:

WHAT: Dinner at Texas de Brazil
WHEN: Friday March 31st
WHERE: 5259 International Dr Ste F1, Orlando, FL 32819 at 5 p.m. (they may open at 4:30 for us)
WHO: All your best empire buddies, including BIG DAVE MELTZER
DETAILS: The cost of the dinner will be $68.00 which includes the dinner, salad bar, soft drinks and tea, and dessert, tax and tip. This is a pre pay dinner and you can send payment to paypal at Srjaialaiot@yahoo.com (please send as a gift to a friend). Payments must be made by March 24th (if you wait until after that, Ed will charge an extra $5.00 for being a pain).

Today in professional wrestling history (2/22): Sting defeats Hogan to win vacant WCW title


CONTACT INFORMATION

Poll opinions: dave@wrestlingobsever.com
​Feedback: feedback@wrestlingobserver.com
Show results and news tips: newstips@wrestlingobserver.com
Wrestling Observer Radio questions: mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com