Daily Update: WWE Royal Rumble notes, odds & preview



WWE Royal Rumble 2018 live results, news & recap
UFC on FOX 27 draws lowest overnight ratings in series history
Pre-NXT TakeOver TV taping results: Roderick Strong vs. Tyler Bate
NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo night two live results: Omega-White
EC3 appears in crowd at NXT TakeOver, officially signs with WWE
NXT TakeOver Philadelphia live results: Almas vs. Gargano
UFC on FOX 27 live results: Jacare Souza vs. Derek Brunson 2


WOR: Royal Rumble, NXT Takeover, New Japan, UFC, tons more! 1/28
WOL: WWE Royal Rumble added matches, odds, NXT Takeover, tons more! 1/26

We’re doing four polls this weekend, for the Royal Rumble, both New Japan New Beginning shows in Sapporo and NXT Takeover. You can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show to dave@wrestlingobserver.com.


30 Men Royal Rumble — Keep in mind that as best we can tell, no smart money has come in. Shinsuke Nakamura is listed as the favorite at -310 as of this writing. Other favorites are Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan (who has not been hinted as being in it by the company), Dolph Ziggler, John Cena and Braun Strowman (who is also not listed as being in although it is possible he could do two matches).
30 Women Royal Rumble — Asuka is listed as the favorite at -105.
Brock Lesnar vs. Kane vs. Braun Strowman for Universal title — Lesnar was a heavy -750 favorite as of a few days ago and we haven’t seen any significant change there.
A.J. Styles vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn in a handicap match for WWE title — Styles is a heavy favorite listed at -825. Owens worked his first match last night since being out with a back injury. He was hurting but seemed to work okay.
Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan vs. Sheamus & Cesaro for Raw tag titles — Sheamus & Cesaro are -260 favorites to win the match. Jordan worked the house shows this past weekend but did little both nights and it was noticed he was being protected.
Usos vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin in a 2/3 fall match for Smackdown tag titles — Even though the odds say otherwise, this is my pre-match pick for best match on the show. Gable & Benjamin are the favorites with the last number we saw at -195.
Bobby Roode defends the U.S. title in an open challenge (pre-show match).
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. The Revival (pre-show match).
Kalisto & Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado vs. Drew Gulak & Jack Gallagher & TJP (pre-show match).

On Monday will be Raw from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and a Smackdown house show in Newark, DE.

Smackdown, 205 Live and Mixed Match Challenge will be Tuesday in Philadelphia. The mixed match challenge match is Braun Strowman & Alexa Bliss vs. Sami Zayn & Becky Lynch.

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly 1/22/2018: Recapping WWE Raw 25 

With a rare opportunity to present an episode that reached a bit beyond WWE’s usual audience, Raw’s 25th anniversary show took place in New York City on Monday night. It was the most-anticipated Raw of the year, with WWE putting their full promotional force behind the event and inviting seemingly every available name from the past. With a rare opportunity to present an episode that reached a bit beyond WWE’s usual audience, Raw’s 25th anniversary show took place in New York City on Monday night. 

WON NEWSLETTER: January 29, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Enzo Amore rape allegations, WWE Raw 25, plus tons of news

The most detailed coverage of the Enzo Amore allegations and firing is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer. Look at all sides of the story, from the allegations by Philomena Sheahan, details of who was in the room, why WWE was so quick to fire him, her claims, claims of people who know her, what is in the text message, the problem with the police investigation, what is next for 205 Live and plans that have been scrapped.

Also have a look at the WWE this week, including Raw 25, angles on the show, WrestleMania current plans, future of Brock Lesnar, Royal Rumble, the Takeover special, what audience flocked to Raw that usually doesn’t, how Raw viewer patterns have changed since the last similar special, what age group nearly doubled from last week, and how the gender split changed.

Read about the history of Raw, why it was moved quickly from the Manhattan Center, the move to two hours, how close the show came to being canceled and why it wasn’t, when the show started making the company significant money, how Raw and Vince McMahon in 2005 were responsible for the start of a major sports franchise, the story of Raw going to Spike and back to USA, and what are really the longest lasting wrestling shows in U.S. television history.

Full coverage of Raw 25 inside this issue.

Check out the Podcastone situation and why people are leaving, more on the 2019 Royal Rumble plans, more on WWE stock and the move being made for a cheap WWE Network sub and the reason, George Barrios says strange things about WWE talent contracts, Hogan talks Bullet Club and the smoke to that fire, Cena movie gets Academy Award nomination, Cena up for lead for another movie, success of Dwayne Johnson’s current movie, funny quotes from Michaels & HHH about Goldberg being a Hall of Famer from a few years ago, and more WWE injuries. 

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 8, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Paul Heyman considering selling ECW, more on Wrestler of the Year, more 

Citing a number of factors, including the enormous pressure he’s been under over the past year, the large company debt and what he sees as the future landscape of the business, Paul Heyman said he was in serious negotiations to sell either a majority share or all of Extreme Championship Wrestling.


Bryan and I will be back tonight covering the Royal Rumble and the rest of the news. We already have a show up on all the shows yesterday on the site. You can send questions for tonight’s show, limit them to stuff having to do with this weekend’s shows, to mailbag@wrestlingobserver.com.

Regarding the Rumble, there’s really nothing of substance to report. Undertaker, Michelle McCool, Kelly Kelly and the Bella Twins are all in town for the show. You can take that however you want. We were told a scenario for the Rumble that included Undertaker at one point but have not been told of late that he’s in the match. I don’t know the match order but there is talk of the women’s match closing, which would mean it would have to have a major impact. Ronda Rousey has been on social media pushing being in Colombia but who knows. She has been in Colombia filming a movie. But on her front, nothing would surprise me. There’s probably a reason for Stephanie being out there announcing that match.

I was just told this will be a very newsworthy show, but it always is. We’ve heard talk of the women’s match last but nobody has confirmed that.

I was told Bobby Roode’s opponent is a big surprise.

Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega are not in. Jericho is in France right now and literally just finished a concert at the Olympia in Paris. Omega is under contract to New Japan, and even if he wasn’t, he couldn’t make it to Philadelphia from Sapporo in time. Molly Holly, who was reported a few weeks ago as a surprise in the match, has claimed she has no idea where that came from and she’s not.

Lots of NXT women stayed to fill in the women’s Rumble. While this could change, as of three weeks ago the plan was nine women from NXT in the match.

The main roster women did not work any house shows this weekend and apparently that was to get ready for the Rumble because they want to make sure it goes well, since it’s going to be 45 minutes to 65 minutes most likely. 

Yesterday was an amazing day for pro wrestling, between the Bullet Club split, the Andrade Cien Almas vs. Johnny Gargano match and the Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki match. All the ramifications of this was talked about on today’s show.

As far as Google searches go for yesterday, the UFC show did not even crack the top 20. The NXT show didn’t either, but NXT never has as it’s still niche. The Royal Rumble was No. 4 today and will probably end up along with lines of a significant UFC show by the end of the night. What is talked about mainstream is Andre the Giant on the 25th anniversary of his death and with the news about the HBO documentary coming out, as that was No. 13 yesterday with 50,000 searches night.

Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane for the Universal title is the new main event for 3/16 at Madison Square Garden. Of course, this may change a few more times based on booking idea changes.
Nigel McGuinness legit had the flu which is why he wasn’t on the show last night. 
For those wanting to bet on the star ratings, Kambi published its over and under at:
A.J. Styles vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn ***3/4
Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane ***1/2
Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable ***3/4
Jason Jordan & Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus & Cesaro ***1/2
Women’s Rumble **3/4
Men’s Rumble ****
Based on this, they seem to believe the main show will be of high quality. (thanks to David Taylor)

Five Star Wrestling debuts on FreeSports in a weekly three-hour live Thursday night prime time format with major arena shows each week. The first show has:
John Morrison vs. Rob Van Dam for the Five Star championship
Five way elimination match for the Five Star Tap or Snap championship, only eliminations can come via submission: Mark Haskins vs. BT Gunn vs.; Nathan Cruz vs. Joey Axl vs. Flash Morgan Webster
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Zack Gibson
Eddie Ryan vs. Jake Hager (Jack Swagger)
Carlito & Chris Masters vs. Adam Maxted & Charlie Sterling in a tag team title tournament semifinal
El Ligero & Jody Fleisch vs. Big Grizzly & Dave Mastiff in a tag team tournament semifinal
Moose vs. Rampage Brown
Jack Jester vs. Jason Prime
Brian Cage vs. PJ Black
The show takes place at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

Liam O’Rourke’s book “Crazy Like a Fox: The Definitive Chronicle of Brian Pillman 20 Years Later,” has been released today on Kindle on Amazon. The book has gotten rave reviews. We have a great audio show talking about the book. I highly recommend the book.
A lot of people thought that the 2/3 joint show with Impact and WrestlePro that was pushed on TV this week would air live on Twitch. It will air on Twitch, but won’t be live. It will debut on 2/10.
AWS from yesterday in South Gate, CA: Desi DeRata b Barbi Hayden, B-Boy b Steve Tresario, Lil Cholo b Andy Brown, Ruby Raze won four-way over Delilah Doom, Nadi and Dynamite Didi, Peter Avalon & Ray Rosas b Eli Everfly & Dominic Kubrick, Dickie Mayer b Suede Thompson, Bad Dude Tito & Rico b Super Beast & Kratos, Shotzi Blacklheart b Ivelisse, Tyler Bateman b Jake Atlas. (thanks to Jake Koch)
NWL TV tapings from yesterday in Kansas City: Mat Fitchett won six-way over Niles Plonk, Bolt Brady, Leo Howlett, Jet Royal and Mike Outlaw, Jack Foster b Maddox, Thor Theriot b ACH (best match of the night by far), Dak Draper b Marco Howlett, Maverick b Anthony Gutierrez, Marti Belle b Hudson Envy-COR, Jeremy Wyatt b Mat Fitchett to keep NWL title. Next taping is 2/10 in Overland Park, KS at the Abdallah Shrine Temple with Draper vs. Michael Striker. (thanks to Joseph Myers)
Stardom results from earlier today in Tokyo: Kaori Yoneyama & Ruaka b Xia Brookside & Hanan, Momo Watanabe & AZM b Starlight Kid & Shiki Shibusawa, Nicole Savoy & Miranda & Kay Lee Ray b Mary Apache & Konami & Hiromi Mimura, Mayu Iwatani & Tam Nakano b Jungle Kyona & Natsuko Tora, Io Shirai & Viper & HZK retained the trios titles over Sumire Natsu & Kagetsu & Hana Kimura. (thanks to Jake Koch)
CWA Wrestle Raise on 5/19 in Hot Springs, AR at the Convention Center will include appearances by Ric Flair, J.J. Dillon, Jerry Lawler, Bill Dundee and Rey Fenix will be wrestling on the show.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: Bobby Roode wins NXT title at TakeOver San Antonio


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


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