THE ROUND-UP

THE LATEST NEWS

UFC on FOX 28 live results: Josh Emmett vs. Jeremy Stephens
Injury report: Baretta, Tom Lawlor, Bianca Belair updates
Young Bucks confront Omega & Ibushi, move up to heavyweight
NJPW-ROH Honor Rising night two results: Omega-Ibushi vs. Cody-Scurll
WWE Vancouver live results: Reigns vs. Elias, Asuka vs. Jax
NJPW-ROH Honor Rising night one results: Omega & Ibushi team up

THE LATEST AUDIO

JNPO: A look at UFC’s history and return to Orlando 2/23
I Left My Wallet In Greg Polanco premiere: Vinny V 2/23
WOL: Elimination Chamber matches, brand split debate, tons more! 2/23
Wrestling Weekly: Raw gauntlet match, Buddy Rogers & Luther Lindsay 2/23

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.


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 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.


SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE

WWE
Roman Reigns gave his thoughts on the six other wrestlers in Sunday’s Elimination Chamber match.
Reigns also spoke to CBS Local Sports about racial equality in WWE and potentially facing Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.
Paul Heyman indicated that there will be a face-to-face segment with Lesnar and the Elimination Chamber winner on Monday’s Raw.
The WWE Network launched on this day four years ago.
A new episode of WWE Photo Shoot with Charlotte Flair will air on the Network after Raw on Monday.
WWE uploaded videos where AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, and more wrestlers comment on Jeff Jarrett being announced for the Hall of Fame.
Shortly after posting the bracket for this year’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic yesterday, WWE made a minor change and moved SAnitY vs. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss to the left side and TM61 vs. The Authors of Pain to the right.
WWE.com has a list of the top 10 matches from NXT TakeOver events:
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Johnny Gargano (TakeOver: Philadelphia)
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks (TakeOver: Respect)
Neville vs. Sami Zayn (TakeOver: R-Evolution)
Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne (TakeOver: Chicago)
The Revival vs. DIY (TakeOver: Toronto)
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn (TakeOver: Dallas)
Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley (TakeOver: Rival)
DIY vs. The Authors of Pain vs. The Revival (TakeOver: Orlando)
Asuka vs. Ember Moon (TakeOver: Brooklyn III)
Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn (TakeOver: ArRival)

Mauro Ranallo wrote about Almas and Gargano’s series of matches: “I want to publically acknowledge @AndradeCienWWE & @JohnnyGargano for their sensational series of @WWENXT matches . I’ve been fortunate enough to be ringside and cageside for myriad memorable battles. Your artistic rivalry ranks right up there! #Respect”
Velveteen Dream is doing an anti-indie wrestlers gimmick on Twitter that was acknowledged by WWE.com.
Ahead of the Elimination Chamber PPV, the Las Vegas Review-Journal interviewed Alexa Bliss about her career since being called up to the main roster and Ronda Rousey signing with WWE. Bliss also attended last night’s Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey game to promote the PPV.
Cesaro & Tyson Kidd rewatched and commented on the 2015 tag team Elimination Chamber match.
Chris Jericho, Christian, Dave Bautista, Natalya, Tyson Kidd, and Baron Corbin were among the attendees at a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Overwatch Wire spoke to Xavier Woods about esports.
Pro Wrestling
Kevin Kelly noted that the shows from NJPW’s Australian tour are being voiced over for New Japan World. Kelly wrote that it would be ideal to do the shows live when they return to Australia.
Cody vs. Matt Taven is official for ROH’s 16th Anniversary PPV on March 9th.
In matches that took place in Stardom, Mayu Iwatani defeated HZK and Kagetsu beat Jenny Rose to advance in ROH’s Women of Honor Championship tournament. The matches will air on ROH TV and then appear on Stardom World.
ESPN has a feature on Flip Gordon’s service in the Army National Guard and career in pro wrestling.
EVOLVE announced that they and Fred Yehi have agreed to part ways after reaching an impasse in contract negotiations: “EVOLVE and Fred Yehi have reached an impasse in contract negotiations and will amicablly part ways immediately. We thank Fred for all his contributions. The door is open on both sides for a return in the future.”
Impact did its lowest ratings of 2018 this week. Thursday’s episode averaged 262,000 viewers, down from 300,000 the week prior. The show again faced competition from the Winter Olympics and NBA.
The Mirror interviewed Ed Nordholm, Scott D’Amore, and Don Callis about the current direction of Impact Wrestling and all of the changes in recent weeks.
UFC/MMA
EC3 and Drake Maverick are in attendance at tonight’s UFC show in Orlando.
Josh Emmett and Jeremy Stephens gave their thoughts on the featherweight division.
The UFC is planning a return to Dublin in May.
Scott Coker isn’t sure if Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell could happen in Bellator because it’s his understanding that Liddell is still under contract with the UFC.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: War Games at WCW WrestleWar 1991


CONTACT INFORMATION

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

Support the Empire~! with F4W shirts. Grab yours today!