Daily Update: Ronda Rousey, Lucha Underground, Belair & Barreta

THE ROUND-UP

THE LATEST NEWS

Two tag team matches confirmed for WWE Elimination Chamber
WWE reveals bracket for 2018 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
NXT Mississauga live results: Gargano in action, Ricochet vs. Murphy
NXT St. Petersburg, FL, live results: Adam Cole vs. Kassius Ohno
Impact Wrestling results: Johnny Impact takes on EC3

THE LATEST AUDIO

I Left My Wallet In Greg Polanco premiere: Vinny V 2/23
Wrestling Observer Live with Bryan Alvarez and Mike Sempervive! 
Wrestling Weekly: Raw gauntlet match, Buddy Rogers & Luther Lindsay 2/23
B&V&G: Granny, NXT, THURSDAY NIGHT POTPOURRI! 2/22

We’re looking for reports today from the WWE show in Vancouver, NXT in St. Catharines, ONT and Lucha Underground in Los Angeles to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

NEW JAPAN ON AXS TV AT 8 P.M. TONIGHT

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki for IC title

CMLL FROM ARENA MEXICO AT 9:30 P.M.

Ultimo Guerrero & Volador Jr. vs. Rush & El Terrible in the finals of the Parejas Increibles tournament
Atlantis & Angel de Oro & Dragon Lee vs. Forastero & Sanson & Cuatrero
Diamante Azul & Marco Corleone & Stuka Jr. vs. Euforia & Kraneo & Gran Guerrero
Niebla Roja vs. Soberano Jr.
Two other matches

ROH HONOR RISING WITH NEW JAPAN ON FRIDAY NIGHT/SATURDAY MORNING AT 4:30 A.M. EASTERN FROM KORAKUEN HALL IN TOKYO

Toa Henare vs. Beer City Bruiser
Jay Lethal & Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens & Hikuleo
Ryusuke Taguchi & Flip Gordon vs. Hiromu Takahashi & Bushi
Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa & Bad Luck Fale vs. Jushin Liger & Cheeseburger & Delirious for Never Open weight title
Young Bucks & Hangman Page vs. Jay White & Chuckie T & Yoshi-Hashi
Dalton Castle vs. Baretta for ROH title
Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi & Marty Scurll & Cody

Saturday we’re looking for reports from the WWE Raw show in Everett, WA (afternoon show at 1 p.m.), Smackdown in Denver and NXT in Peterborough, ONT and Bartow, FL, as well as Lucha Underground in Los Angeles to newstips@wrestlingobserver.com.

UFC ON FOX ON SATURDAY FROM THE AMWAY CENTER IN ORLANDO, FL

Fight Pass at 4:15 p.m. Eastern time

Manny Bermudez (10-0) vs. Albert Morales (7-3-1)
Alex Perez (19-4) vs. Eric Shelton (11-4)
Russell Doane (15-7) vs. Rani Yahya (24-9)
Sam Alvey (31-10) vs. Marcin Prachinio (13-2)

FOX AT 6 p.m. Eastern time

Alan Jouban (15-6) vs. Ben Saunders (21-8-2)
Angela Hill (7-4) vs. Maryna Moroz (8-2)
Sara McMann (11-4) vs. Marion Reneau (8-3-1)
Renan Barao (34-5) vs. Brian Kelleher (18-8)
Max Griffin (13-4 vs. Mike Perry (11-2)
Ilir Latifi (13-5) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (22-10)
Jessica Andrade (17-6) vs. Tecia Torres (10-1)
Jeremy Stephens (27-14) vs. Josh Emmett (13-1)

Sunday we’re looking for reports from WWE Smackdown in Ontario, CA and NXT in Barrie, ONT.

WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER AT 7:30 P.M. FROM THE T MOBILE ARENA IN LAS VEGAS

Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. Elias vs. The Miz vs. John Cena vs. Braun Strowman for the No. 1 contendership to the Universal title
Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville vs. Mickie James for the Raw women’s title
Asuka vs. Nia Jax
Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Apollo & Titus O’Neil for the Raw tag titles
Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel (preshow mach)

Monday has the live Raw in Anaheim, CA at the Honda Center. John Cena and Brock Lesnar are on the show. Ronda Rousey is not advertised, but it would make sense for her to be there since it’s Anaheim. There is also a Monday Smackdown house show in San Diego.

Tuesday has Smackdown in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. Ruby Riott vs. Naomi has been announced, along with Finn Balor & Sasha Banks vs. The Miz & Asuka in mixed match challenge and cruiserweight title tournament matches the Roderick Strong vs. Kalisto and TJP vs. Cedric Alexander.


​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: WWE Announces the end of brand exclusive PPVs 

Less than two years into the current brand split, WWE announced last week that the era of brand-exclusive pay-per-views is coming to an end. Sunday’s Elimination Chamber will be the last Raw-exclusive event, and Fastlane on March 11th will be the final SmackDown PPV. Starting with Backlash on May 6th, every PPV will feature wrestlers from both Raw and SmackDown. The schedule for 2018 initially listed five dual-brand shows (the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Money in the Bank, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series), five Raw-only shows, and four SmackDown ones.


WON NEWSLETTER: February 26, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Raw gauntlet match, brand exclusive PPVs ending, more 

A look at some of the longest matches in WWE history is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Then, look back to the Bruno Sammartino era and his matches with Waldo Von Erich and Pedro Morales, as well as look at the gauntlet match on Monday with notes on records.

Look at the reason behind WWE changing its PPV schedule, cutting back on the individual brand PPV shows and lowering the number of shows this year, the reasons behind it, the schedule for the rest of the year and an update on the next two PPV shows.

Read about the possible retirement of Keiji Muto and the latest issues facing Roman Reigns. Also look at past precedents in this situation.

There is a detailed look at New Japan’s tour of Australia, including business notes, the highlights from all the shows and talks regarding returning.

Look at Donald Cerrone and career all-time records in UFC with coverage of Sunday’s show from Austin, TX.

Read a major feature on the career of Jeff Jarrett, from his days working for his father, the move to WWF, what did and didn’t work, the infamous holding up Vince for money and background of that story, his WCW run, why WWF never took him back, the starting and history of TNA and why WWF is putting him in its Hall of fame.

Read notes on the death of Tom Zenk and how it relates to an entire era of wrestling.

This issue has more on the release of Rich Swann and his schedule, an update on the cruiserweight title tournament, a unique match added to the next Madison Square Garden show, executive positions opened, SummerSlam notes, The Miz’s baby shower, where WWE holds live events, WWE market value, Ronda Rousey honored and the most-watched shows over the past week on the WWE Network.


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WON BACK ISSUE: January 29, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Royal Rumble review, Shawn Michaels to return

In what was one of the best PPVs in the history of the WWF, the company gave a big tease for the eventual Rock vs. Steve Austin match which at this point still looks to be the headliner at Wrestlemania, putting Austin over in the Rumble. The show, featuring some strong highs and only a few lows, featured an early match of the year candidate in the Chris Jericho IC title win over Chris Benoit in a ladder match.


FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Richardson ruled on Thursday that he was issuing sanctions on attorney Konstantine Kyros, who is representing wrestlers in concussion lawsuits against WWE. He issued a decision that Kyros would have to pay attorney costs of WWE and to inform his clients that the court had found him to have violated protocol. WWE is still attempting to get the cases filed by Vito LoGrasso and Evan Singleton thrown out, and a decision on that should come before the end of March. Kyros had been admonished for the lawsuit filed on at least one prior occasion.

For tonight’s CMLL show, there is a solid chance the link above will be geo-blocked live. It will still be up later tonight on the CMLL YouTube page. 

Lucha Underground starts taping season four tonight in Los Angles after about 20 months off. One of the big questions involved whether Sexy Star would be back, and for whatever this is worth, she is in Mexico today doing a press conference regarding an upcoming boxing match. For obvious reasons, her being back was a controversial issue, based on the belief she intentionally injured Rosemary last year.

For the weekend house shows, Randy Orton will be working the Monday night show in San Diego and the Los Angeles show, but is not being advertised for Denver or Ontario. John Cena and Brock Lesnar are both only working Raw in Anaheim this week.

Ronda Rousey has been training at the Performance Center in Orlando this week and was also in Stamford, CT.

Bianca Belair was injured last night taking the eclipse from Ember Moon in Mississauga, ONT. We’re not sure how severe or if she’ll be working tonight in St. Catharines.

Trent Baretta apparently suffered a torn triceps. The injury took place last week at the PWG show, but he did wrestle earlier today in Tokyo anyway and is wrestling tomorrow as well.

WWE

The Melbourne Herald-Sun said WWE was looking to run the MCG, a giant stadium, in the first week of October. They said that Victoria officials met with WWE last week to put the show together. The story pushed Ronda Rousey, who drew 56,000 plus when she fought Holly Holm in Melbourne in 2015.
Ric Flair appeared last night on the TV show Premios Lo Nuestro on Univision. 
WWE sent an e-mail to those coming in on WrestleMania travel packages to warn them of things banned at bringing into any WWE event over that weekend. They said everything was banned except clear vinyl bags no larger than 12 inches wide, 12 inches high and six inches deep, gallon size Ziploc bags and small clutch purses. Specifically listed as banned included banners, beach balls, bottles, cans, glass, glitter, helium balloons, large bags, laser pointers, noisemakers, outside food and drinks and tablets or iPads.
It was noted that at yesterday’s NXT show in St. Petersburg that there were fans chanting “Happy Ending” and “Pearl Harbor” at Kairi Sane. It was not many and others shouted them down, but people were not happy about it. 
An interview with Eric Young at 93.1 Fresh Radio in Barrie, ONT by Dave Blezard.
A story on Mojo Rawley.

UFC
MMA Fighting confirmed a report from Combate in Brazil earlier this month that Amanda Nunes will defend her bantamweight title against Raquel Pennington on 5/12 in Rio de Janeiro.
Edson Barboza vs. Kevin Lee is close to being finalized for the 4/21 main event in Atlantic City a Boardwalk Hall according to a report by Ariel Helwani.
Luke Rockhold was interviewed by ESPN and said that he was looking at moving to light heavyweight, saying he’s tired of cutting to 185. He expects it’ll be six months before he fights, but did say a fight with Alexander Gustafsson interests him. He walks around at 210, which would make him much lighter than most of the guys who fight at 205, who are really 225-230 pound guys. But he believes, since he’s never worked at gaining weight, that he can build up from 210. He said the only fight he’d like at 185 if offered would be Michael Bisping, which is very unlikely to happen.
Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori has been announced for the 4/14 UFC show from Glendale, AZ.
MISCELLANEOUS

The classic Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki match from Sapporo, a master class in psychology and selling and getting over personas, airs tonight before AXS Fights.
AXS TV Fights is premiering a new show tonight called “Cageside” after New Japan at 9 p.m. The idea is to showcase the top prospects in MMA with features on Legacy’s Kyle Stewart, CES MMA’s Dinis Paiva, LFA’s Juan Adams as well as LFA’s Robert Watley, Ricky Simon and Nick Newell.
MLW announced The Dirty Blondes, managed by Col. Rob Parker (Robert Fuller) vs. Jason Cade & Jimmy Yuta has been added to its 3/8 show in Orlando at Gilt Nightclub.
CWO on 3/18 at The Rockpile in Toronto.
Bar Wrestling from last night in Los Angeles: Tenille Dashwood b Taya Valkyrie, Eli Everfly & Delilah Doom b Ruby Raze & Jason Cade, LuchaSarus b Suicide, Peter Avalon & Ray Rosas b Curry Man & Kikutaro, Scorpio Sky & Willie Mack b Brody King & Matt Cross, James Ellsworth b Joey Ryan to keep his intergender title with no chin music, Brian Cage & Tommy Dreamer & Jeff Cobb b The Spirit Squad. Next show is 3/8 with Tessa Blanchard vs. Taya and Rey Fenix & Penta 0M vs. LAX from TNA. (thanks to Jake Koch)
Legends of Wrestling on 4/21 in Fraser, MI at Hockeyland Arena. There will be a VIP meet and greet, a Q&A, an autograph session and and the live show.
Julie Valentine called CWE and said that Greg Valentine was violently ill and won’t be able to come to Winnipeg for their convention. After getting the word, Ron Simmons brokered a deal to bring in D-Lo Brown as a replacement. For those who purchased specific items related to Valentine, you can contact diyobo.com for a refund before the start of the event or exchange for D-Lo Brown, who will be taking Valentine’s scheduled spots. They said Valentine will also be signing items sent to him for fans if they want that.
Smash Wrestling on 6/16 in Dresden, ONT at the Dresden Arena as 1212 North Street.
MVP has pulled out of a 4/13 Defy Wrestling show in Seattle at Washington Hall. Tommy Dreamer will be the replacement. Also on that show will be Shane Strickland vs. Austin Aries, plus Matt Cross, Tom Lawlor and Body King.
A story on Eddie Ryan of 5 Star Wrestling.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: The Crusher & Dick the Bruiser win AWA Tag Team Titles


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