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Posted 10/15/17 , edited 10/23/17
The Raw-Branded PPV TLC is coming up. Here is the news of the go home week leading into it.

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending while please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

Raw's Tables, Ladders & Chairs on Sunday, October 22, 2017 from Minneapolis, Minnesota

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TLC:_Tables,_Ladders_%26_Chairs_(2017) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwetlc

UPDATED PPV CARD:

*WWE Raw Women's Championship Match: Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Mickie James
*Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match: The Shield (The Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) & Raw GM Kurt Angle vs. The Intercontinental Champion The Miz, Braun Strowman, Kane and The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro)
*Asuka vs. Emma
*WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Kalisto (C) vs. Enzo Amore
*Jack Gallagher & The Brian Kendrick vs. Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann
*"The Demon Finn" Balor vs. SmackDown's AJ Styles

*Kickoff Show Match: Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox
*Kickoff Show: Drew Gulak's PowerPoint Presentation

NXT Takeover: War Games on Saturday, November 18 from Houston, Texas

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXT_TakeOver:_Houston and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt

UPDATED PPV CARD:

*Fatal Four-Way for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship: Mae Young Classic Winner Kairi Sane vs. Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce vs. Nikki Cross
*War Games Match: The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe, Eric Young & Killian Dain w/ Nikki Cross) vs. Roderick Strong and The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar w/ Paul Ellering)
*NXT Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/ Zelina Vega)
*Aleister Black vs.Velveteen Dream
*Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan

Survivor Series on Sunday, November 19 from Houston, Texas

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivor_Series_(2017) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries

UPDATED PPV CARD:

*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: RAW WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. SD WWE Champion Jinder Mahal (w/ The Singh Brothers [Sunil & Samir])

-A few Canadians participated in WWE's most recent developmental tryout camp: Munraj Sahota, son of legendary star Gama Singh Jr., former national amateur wrestling champ Jeremy LaTour, and mulit-sport competitor and two-time Ontario amateur wrestling champion Sean Dawkins.

The WWE put out a list of the recent attendees at the tryouts at the WWE Performance Center. The biggest name of the group was the former Madison Rayne (Ashley Lomberger), who was with TNA on-and-off since 2009 and finished up the promotion earlier this year. Other names among those attending, including Karen Q (Karen Yu), who has been featured on the Women of Honor specials from ROH, independent wrestler Matthew Justice (Matt Hannan), Munraj Sahota (the son of Gama Singh), El Hijo del Medico Asesino (who was signed to FCW in 2012 but released shortly afterwards, but did make it to FCW television), MMA fighter Andrews Nakahara, who was a member of the Ultimate Fighter Season 21 featuring ATT vs. The Blackzilians and fought earlier this year on a World Series of Fighting card and had fights with Kazushi Sakuraba and Ryo Chonan among his fights with the now defunct DREAM organization. The prospect that got top billing in the article was 7-foot boxer Taishan Dong from China, who has a 6-0 pro record, but hasn’t fought since December 2015 and is 29-years old.

-At https://www.thescore.com/nfl/news/1398605-the-rock-approves-of-golden-tate-s-people-s-elbow-td-celebration the Rock approved of Golden Tate's People's Elbow celebration.

-Noted on Friday night, the current plan for the Survivor Series is for the main event to feature a non-title match between Brock Lesnar and Jinder Mahal. From what sources say, this had been the direction for quite some time and is one of the few options the WWE can go to with no challengers for Mahal on the Smackdown side and for Lesnar, the only option was Finn Balor to keep Lesnar busy before going into the Roman Reigns build up in 2018. Lesnar is scheduled for next week’s Raw the night after TLC and could kick off the program as early as that show.

-The Raw tapings take place Monday night in Portland, Oregon and they have announced a steel cage match between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman for the “go home” show before TLC.

-Neither Bray Wyatt nor Bo Dallas worked the live events over the weekend in Saskatchewan. Samoa Joe was listed in some of the local advertising but wasn’t on the shows either.

-Jinder Mahal has been all over Indian media over the past few days to promote the WWE’s upcoming tour in December. Mahal was on lots of various outlets and received a lot of attention for a photo up with Sachin Tendulkar, who is a famous cricket player and politician in the country. Tendulkar tweeted out how proud Mahal was making their country and sent it out to his 20+ million followers.

-Austin Aries posted an interesting message on Saturday, stating that over the next six-weeks he will be making more money than the last four-months in the “big leagues”. It continues the trend of names leaving the WWE with a lot of buzz and finding out the economy of the independent scene can be very strong if one can navigate the system and have a following. Aries has been announced for the November House of Hardcore shows in St. James, New York on November 17th, in Philadelphia on November 18th, a match with Ricochet in New South Wales on November 27th and has been announced for the IPW group of the U.K. for their December 17th card.

-The WWE has announced the signing of female performers Kavita Devi, who participated in the Mae Young Classic and Shadia Bseiso. Devi is the first female signed of Indian descent and Bseiso is the first female from the country of Jordan to be signed.

In conjunction with Jinder Mahal's media tour of India, WWE announced that Kavita Devi and Shadia Bseiso (who is from Jordan) have signed with the company -- touting that they're the first Indian and Middle Eastern women to sign WWE contracts. Both attended tryouts that the company held in Dubai this past April.

“Recruiting Kavita and Shadia to join our developmental system underscores WWE’s ongoing commitment to building a talent roster as diverse as our fan base,” Paul "Triple H" Levesque said. “We’re confident Kavita and Shadia will inspire future WWE superstars as we continue to recruit the most talented athletes and entertainers from around the world.”

Devi lost to Dakota Kai in the first round of the Mae Young Classic. A clip of the match that WWE posted on YouTube far outdrew anything else from the tournament due to interest in India and it being posted on Indian news websites, with it currently approaching eight million views.

Dave Meltzer reported in the September 18th edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Devi was already under contract with WWE. Meltzer notes that she's not scheduled to start in the United States until January.

-WWE HOFer Diamond Dallas Page will be releasing another book next summer through Rodale Books called “Own Your Life: How to Make Yourself Positively Unstoppable”.

-Mickie James was inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame over the weekend.

-Lilian Garcia sang the national anthem at the NFL's New York Jets vs. New England Patriots game.

-A new documentary called "Roddy Piper: In His Own Words" looks at Pipers career from interviews he's done. A percentage of all sales will be going to the Doernbeacher Children's Hospital, which Piper had worked on fund raising events for in the past.

-Roman Reigns and Cody have gone back-and-forth and featured Cody bringing up Reigns during a promo at the Global Wars event on Sunday night. It began when Cody did an interview for Ring of Honor after his match with Kushida in Columbus on Saturday night. It was clearly an in-character interview and Cody referred to himself as “the biggest damn draw in the entire industry”. A fan tweeted the video to Roman Reigns and he responded by saying “I don’t even need to clink the link and watch it. If that house didn’t draw over 100k. He’s just talking silly.” This led to Cody addressing Reigns on the Global Wars (without stating his name) and said he thought the vest was covering his gut or failed drug test, but it was covering up envy.

-Jimmy Jacobs made his first public appearance since his WWE release when he showed up in the crowd at the conclusion of Sunday’s Ring of Honor Global Wars show in Villa Park, Illinois. The show ended with The Bullet Club inside the ring and went to take a selfie and didn’t have a phone, which led to Jacobs being pointed out in the crowd and he took a selfie with the group.

-Anthony Carelli briefly addressed the Jim Cornette story at Sunday’s Destiny Wrestling event in Mississauga, Ontario. Carelli referred to him as a “bully”.

-Adam Cole and Britt Baker will be featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” this Sunday night on CNN at 9pm Eastern.

-The WWE stock closed at $22.59 on Monday.

-Ric Flair posted his Mt. Rushmore of pro wrestling at https://www.thescore.com/news/1399349-look-ric-flair-reveals-his-mount-rushmore-of-wwe

-Last week, Dave Palumbo, who handles the nutrition and supplementation for Paul "Triple H" Levesque, made comments on an episode of Matt Riviera's podcast that the WWE's drug policy allows for use of Hormone Replacement therapy (shooting testosterone) as well as HCG and HGH.

The actual quote in question was, "They're allowed to take hormone replacement. They can go to an HRT place and get testosterone replacement, 100 mg a week, whatever they prescribe nowadays," said Palumbo, a former well-known competitive bodybuilder. "Those are acceptable. A lot of the wrestlers do it, and it's not for me to say whose using what, but they're very minimal doses."

Today, the WWE responded to the comments that Palumbo made by saying that he was misinformed on the subject and the drug policy does not allow for use of those substances unless an endocrinologist and the WWE's medical staff approved of it for legitimate medical need.

-The WWE 2K18 video game will officially be released tomorrow.

-There was a news report that John Cena is selling his Lamborghini for $148,000 through Lamborghini Palm Beach.

-Daniel Bryan and Big Show are scheduled for a signing and a Q&A on 11/5 at Play Fair 217 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York for Mattel.

-Braun Strowman, Alexa Bliss, Big Cass and Finn Balor are scheduled for Ringside Fest on 10/29 at Caroline's on Broadway in Times Square in New York. They will be doing autograph signings and photos.

-Baron Corbin, whose wife is from Puerto Rico, talked to reporters about how the damage on the island has bothered him.

-Chen chen Li, a Chinese kickboxer, came out to Mark Henry's WWE theme song on the weekend Glory show. Announcer Sander Schrik in Holland talked about Henry when the song played.

-Rich Swann takes on Jack Gallagher on 205 Live this week.

**UPDATES for Oct.17/17**

-The WWE rounded out the card for TLC on the go-home edition of Raw.

As expected, Finn Balor will be facing Bray Wyatt at Sunday's pay-per-view -- or rather The Demon will be taking on Sister Abigail. Balor delivered one final message to Wyatt on Raw, which ended with his face transforming into an orange version of his Demon persona.

The match will be the third time Balor vs. Wyatt has happened on PPV in recent months. While wearing his Demon paint, Balor defeated Wyatt at SummerSlam in August. Balor then got another win over Wyatt without the paint in a match that was billed as "man vs. man" at No Mercy last month.

With much of the Raw roster involved in the main event, there will be multiple matches in the women's and cruiserweight divisions at TLC. Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox is set for the pre-show, and WWE lists that there will be a cruiserweight tag match with Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann teaming against Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher.

The Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota will host TLC on Sunday night.

-The WWE's plans for the Survivor Series main event should be confirmed on tonight's episode of SmackDown.

After returning from his media tour of India, WWE is advertising that Jinder Mahal will be making an announcement about his plans for Survivor Series and issuing a challenge for the dual-branded pay-per-view. As Dave Meltzer reported last week, plans call for Mahal to face Brock Lesnar in the main event of the PPV in a match where neither Mahal's WWE Championship nor Lesnar's Universal title is on the line.

The direction for the rest of the Survivor Series card should become clear in the coming weeks. The last brand-exclusive PPV before Survivor Series will take place on Sunday as Raw presents TLC.

Tonight's SmackDown from the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington will also feature Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler in a rematch from Hell in a Cell, Sami Zayn will open the show with a promo after aligning himself with Kevin Owens last week, Baron Corbin will be involved in a match, and Breezango's Pulp Fiction-inspired edition of the Fashion Files should finally air.

-The WWE announced today that tickets for WrestleMania 34 would go on sale on November 17th at 11 a.m. Eastern time.

The 2018 WrestleMania takes place on April 8th at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans and is expected to be headlined by Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship.

Tickets will be priced from $35 to $2,000. The $2,000 tickets will be for the first nine rows on the floor and, as usual, will include the take home commemorative WrestleMania chair. Tickets will be available at ticketmaster.com.

For some of the best seats, the WWE is also doing WrestleMania travel packages, which will include tickets to all WrestleMania week events. Those are available on October 30th at noon through wrestlemaniatravel.com.

Those WrestleMania week events will include WrestleMania itself, Raw, SmackDown, NXT TakeOver, Fan Axxess, and the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. Raw, SmackDown, TakeOver, and the Hall of Fame will take place at the Smoothie King Center.

-Nikki Bella safely cruised through another week of Dancing with the Stars last night. She and her partner earned a judges’ score of 27/30 for their jazzy interpretation of a song from the upcoming Disney film Coco. She and her partner were right in the middle of the leaderboard with that score, which were generally high last night – including one couple receiving a perfect 30.

-On SmackDown Live for an unknown time, Tom Phillips has been sent on assignment so Michael Cole will be doing double duty taking his commentary booth spot for the meantime.

-The competition from the MLB playoffs and Monday Night Football led to last night's episode of Raw doing the lowest numbers since a June 12th show that went against the NBA finals.

Raw did 2.68 million viewers, down seven percent from last week.

It was still third for the night on cable, trailing the Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts NFL game that did 8.38 million viewers and a New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros baseball playoff game that did 5.11 million viewers.

Dancing With The Stars, featuring Nikki Bella, did 9.57 million viewers, up three percent from last week. The NFL was down 18 percent from last week, while baseball was up 14 percent.

With a Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman steel cage match as the main event, the audience held in the third hour better than most weeks. The only demo that showed a significant drop from hour one to three was over 50 and 12-34 showed a rare increase.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 2.73 million viewers
9 p.m. 2.73 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.61 million viewers

-205 Live has Enzo Amore & Ariya Daivari vs. Kalisto & Mustafa Ali and Rich Swann vs. Brian Kendrick.

-Ahead of Mahal vs. Lesnar likely being set up for Survivor Series tonight, Mahal spoke to ESPN about wanting that match, his work ethic, striving to be the greatest of all time, and denied rumors that he has a shoulder injury. In a Twitter Q&A session, Mahal also said that he wants to defend his title against John Cena at WrestleMania 34.

-While appearing on Busted Open Radio, Chris Jericho discussed Neville potentially leaving the WWE and the matches that he’s had with him. Jericho said that he thinks Neville could be a bigger star outside of the WWE than he was in the company due to getting a bigger opportunity, but leaving the WWE is like walking off of the side of a building and being told a net is there without being able to see it. Jericho said Neville has the talent, ability as a character, and the intelligence to succeed elsewhere.

-Dave Palumbo walked back the comments that he made about WWE’s drug testing policy.

-Shadia Bseiso, the first Arab woman to sign a WWE contract, discussed with reporters the road that she’s taken to get to the promotion.

-Triple H posted a picture with Lio Rush and welcomed him to NXT.

-WWE.com ran an article on Adam Cole and Britt Baker appearing on an upcoming episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” show.

-Braun Strowman, The Rock, Razor Ramon, and Alexa Bliss are in WWE’s next line of Funko Pops.

-Sunil Singh will face AJ Styles next week on SmackDown Live.

-After Jinder Mahal did indeed issue the Survivor Series challenge to Brock Lesnar, they announced on TV that Brock Lesnar returns on Raw to respond.

-Shane McMahon will return to SmackDown Live next week.

**UPDATES for Oct.18/17**

-After rumors that Nia Jax walked out of Raw started going around the internet yesterday, Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that Jax has been granted a leave of absence by WWE due to personal reasons. There's truth to the story despite WWE denying it.

-Chris Jericho spoke to Metal Injection about Jimmy Jacobs’ firing from the WWE. He had praised Jacobs for his ideas in the past and continued to do so in the interview. Jericho said that he would’ve tried to help Jacobs out if he was on the road with the WWE when Jacobs was fired, but taking a picture with the Bullet Club during their invasion of Raw like Jacobs did is something that you can’t do. Jericho theorized that the picture was the final straw that led to Jacobs’ firing.

-Sports Illustrated has an article about Neville’s situation with the WWE, with it noting that Neville has been "miserable" since January and that he was unhappy when his match with Austin Aries at WrestleMania was moved to the pre-show and kept off the DVD of the event. Neville was still in the video intro for 205 Live as of last night.

-Daniel Bryan again teased a return to the ring on Twitter by replying to a joke about Sami Zayn saying that Bryan isn’t an in-ring performer anymore. Bryan’s daughter also watched her father’s appearance on SmackDown last night.

-Reby Hardy went at it with WWE costume designer Julie Youngberg on Twitter after Youngberg wrote that she’d rather see “dead Matt” than “Broken Matt” in WWE. Youngberg was apparently formerly married to Shannon Moore.

This escalated quickly with Reby Hardy responding:

"Say it in person next time ! Say hi, babe ! What’s GOOD, twitter fingers !!! Just remember: I ain’t got a job to lose. Bitch you seen both me & Matt about 20x at TVs & have never said a damn thing. Shut up, pu***"

The two continued to go back-and-forth with one another with insults thrown both ways.

Youngberg had a falling out with Matt & Reby Hardy in the past. In 2015, Youngsberg posted the following statement alleging that the two were stalking and hacking attempts on Youngberg:

"So great news. The police came over the other day who are working on my case of the person/people who are hacking me, stalking me, making up horrible lies, slander, etc and are trying to break up the beautiful marriage Shannon and I have. Funny enough the cops traced the emails back to a town none other than Cameron NC!!! Hmmm, lol, Just a little more time before they crack the false name the acct was opened under but they are working on it. Let's just say what comes around goes around and sorry a**holes Shannon and I love each other way too much to let psychopaths like you with nothing better to do with your lives or time than to try and ruin ours. Your pathetic and sad excuses for human beings. If I were you right now I’d be extremely nervous for the outcome."

-RealSport101 interviewed Tyler Breeze and Fandango about their team and how the Fashion Files was created.

-In an interview to promote WWE 2K18, Sting spoke about wanting a match with The Undertaker before he had to retire in 2015.

“We’ve had a brief conversation, and I just told him, I said, man, I just always wanted to have that match,” Sting said. "It wasn’t necessarily reciprocated so I’m not sure where he stands or if he had any interest at all, to be quite honest. But I did. I don’t mind saying.”

-With competition from both the Major League Baseball playoffs and the NBA season kicking off, WWE SmackDown Live saw a drop in audience from last week. This week’s episode of SmackDown Live averaged 2,320,000 viewers on the USA Network. The show went up against the season opener between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics on TNT, which did a big number of 5,598,000 viewers. Smackdown also went against the last hour of the Yankees vs. Astros game and then the Dodgers vs. Cubs games began at 9pm against the second hour of Smackdown. The number was down 6% from last week’s Smackdown and was their lowest number since June 12th.

-The WWE has announced that tickets for next April’s WrestleMania card in New Orleans will go on sale on Friday November 17th for the general public. The tickets will be priced from $35 all the way up to $2,000 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. This is a quick turnaround for the city to get WrestleMania, with the same venue hosting WrestleMania back in 2014.

-The WWE stock closed at $22.54 on Wednesday.

**UPDATES for Oct.19-20/17**

-The WWE NXT Twttier at https://twitter.com/WWENXT/status/921029189154889729 broke the news that the NXT Champion Drew McIntyre will defend the title against The Undisputed Era's Adam Cole in San Antonio on Friday, November 17 with hometown star Shawn Michaels as special guest referee. This is the day before NXT Takeover but the same night in the same city as the first of 3 ROH events in the area.

WWE announced that Michaels will be refereeing an NXT Championship match between Drew McIntyre and Adam Cole, which will take place as NXT comes to the Aztec Theatre for a house show on November 17th. McIntyre is set to defend his title in Houston against Andrade "Cien" Almas the next day.

The likely reason for Michaels being added to the show is because Ring of Honor has a show in San Antonio head-to-head that night.
Ring of Honor had announced a show for Friday November 17th in San Antonio for the first night of their annual Survival of the Fittest tournament and are running Dallas on Saturday and Oklahoma City on Sunday. ROH has announced that The Young Bucks will be working the San Antonio card on November 17th. The WWE is running Houston that weekend with NXT Takeover on Saturday, Survivor Series on Sunday and then Raw and Smackdown also taking place at the Toyota Center along with the aforementioned San Antonio show.

Originally McIntyre vs. Cole was to headline the TakeOver show in Houston until the decision was made to revive the War Games concept. Cole will be teaming with Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly against SAnitY (Eric Young. Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain) and The Authors of Pain & Roderick Strong in a three-team War Games match at TakeOver.

TakeOver: War Games will be the first of four WWE events to take place at the Toyota Center in Houston during Survivor Series weekend. The venue will host Survivor Series, Raw, and SmackDown over the following three nights.

-Ring of Honor has also announced that Kenny Omega will be working the big Supercard of Honor show over WrestleMania weekend on Saturday April 7th in New Orleans, Louisiana. Omega joins Hiroshi Tanahashi, who has also been announced for the card and should be the biggest ROH show of the year. The event will take place at the UNO Lakefront Arena, which can be configured to hold approximately 10,000 people. No matches have been announced but it will obviously be a loaded show given the talent already announced and it will also be going head-to-head with the NXT Takeover event on the eve of WrestleMania.

With both Omega and Tanahashi announced, it means NJPW isn't running a major date at that time, and also means that much of the New Japan talent will likely be available. Normally NJPW runs a major show at Sumo Hall in Tokyo on that weekend, and thus, the New Japan stars haven't been available to ROH for its annual Mania events.

Running the building on a weekend with so many tourists in town, and with Omega, the biggest non-WWE draw in the United States right now, is an attempt to break the company's all-time attendance record of 3,500, which was set at last year's Supercard of Honor in Lakeland, Florida. That show was headlined by The Young Bucks vs. The Hardys in a ladder match.

Before Supercard of Honor, Omega is set to wrestle at ROH's shows in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on November 11th and in Lakeland on November 12th. He previously wrestled for the promotion at all four stops of their Global Wars tour last week, defeating YOSHI-HASHI to retain the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship at Sunday's iPPV in Chicago.

-There's finally an air date for ESPN's 30 for 30 film on Ric Flair film, Nature Boy. It'll run on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 10:00 p.m. ET.

-Mick Foley made an appearance at Bookends in Ridgewood, NJ, on Tuesday, October 17th, to promote his new book, Saint Mick. SLAM! Wrestling photographer George Tahinos was there, and said there was about 150 people there.

"Mick talked about the book and answered questions for about 25 minutes before he started signing. Was very fan friendly, took photos with everyone and signed extra items if people had anything. Staff was very good. Good experience for everyone," reported Tahinos.

-Following the episode of Ultima Lucha Tres, Ricochet / Prince Puma posted a photo with the caption “Clock starts now” as a not-so-subtle reference to his status. Ricochet will become a free agent in 90-days now that his final appearance on Lucha Underground has aired. Rumours persists that he's going to sign with the WWE.

-Total Bellas did 563,000 viewers on Wednesday night on E! The number was up 11,000 viewers from last week.

-The WWE stock closed at $22.62 on Thursday.

-Bray Wyatt is said to be ill and there is no update on his status for Sunday. Bo Dallas has been ill as well for the last 2 weeks.

-Nia Jax is out of action with the WWE after the company had been denying it all week. Alexa Bliss, who is her friend, and who wouldn't do an interview without WWE approval, said to the New York Post that she wouldn't call it a leave of absence but that Jax is taking some time off, blaming it on the tough WWE road schedule. Bliss said that she took some resets while in NXT but nobody knew about them.

UPDATE: There really isn't much to the story of Nia Jax's situation with the WWE, which has gotten overblown due to the lack of information out on it.

Jax has a few weeks off, until the European tour. One can call it a leave of absence, although she and the WWE are both denying that, but that's a vague terminology and it could be called that.

WWE's tour of Europe will kick off in Glasgow, Scotland on November 1st.

Jax is just resting up since she wasn't figured into any major storylines, but according to those close to her, stories that she stormed off at Raw (she wasn't even at Raw to begin with), asked for a leave of absence, or is unhappy with her pay are all untrue.

-Jimmy Jacobs did an interview for Live Audio Wrestling that will air Sunday. He said that he made no mistake in posing for the photo and he's okay with how everything went down. He said that when he was fired, he was told the photo was the reason. When asked if anything else was part of the reason, he said, "If it was, I'm not aware of any of that. It's certainly possible but who knows."

-Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 11 a.m. for the 12/5 Smackdown & 205 Live tapings in San Diego at the Valley View Casino Arena.

-The Los Angeles Clippers has a WWE Night on 10/28 with wrestlers at the Clippers vs. Pistons game.

-The WWE will be holding tryouts in Santiago, Chile this weekend.

-Jim Ross was promoting his book on Colin Cowherd on FS1 and predicted that at some point, probably for a one-shot deal that Conor McGregor would get a paycheck from Vince McMahon. It's a good bet that some day that will happen. Cowherd said that he didn't think McGregor would fight for UFC again because there's more money in the WWE. He really said that, and on FS1 that airs the UFC.

-Kevin Owen's won't be appearing at WWE's three remaining house shows in South America this weekend.

The WWE announced the news on their website today, citing personal reasons as to why Owens won't be at the shows in Argentina and Chile. Owens did travel to South America with the SmackDown roster and wrestled at Thursday night's event in Buenos Aires, Argentina before missing the rest of the tour.

Owens took part in a triple threat match for the United States Championship match in Buenos Aries. Baron Corbin defeated Tye Dillinger and Owens in the match to retain his title.

The WWE will be back in Buenos Aires again on Friday night for another show at Luna Park. The tour will then conclude with stops at the Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile on Saturday and Sunday before the roster flies back home to the United States for Tuesday's episode of SmackDown in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

It is unknown what the status is for Owens for this Tuesday’s television in Milwaukee, where they had set up Shane McMahon’s return to television to confront Owens and Sami Zayn.

-MAJOR BREAKING NEWS came on Friday via the WWE at http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwetlc/article/kurt-angle-returns-replace-roman-reigns-at-wwe-tlc-aj-styles-the-demon?sf123717574=1 that medical issues have caused a ton of changes to the TLC PPV this Sunday. In the piece, Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt are now off the PPV as they continue to try to quarantine the issue which many sources say is meningitis. As noted above on the Update PPV Card, AJ Styles will be coming in from SmackDown to take on Finn Balor now in a fight of former NJPW Bullet Club Leaders. It will be the first time they've ever faced each other. Kurt Angle, who hasn't wrestled in 11 years for the WWE, is now in for Roman on the Shield team to take on the Miz, Braun Strowman, Kane and the Bar. This will be Angle’s first match since this past February for TNA Impact and first WWE match since 2006.

It is clear that they felt they needed something major for the company to not only have Angle’s first match back with no promotion, but also putting him in an incredibly physical and dangerous style of match. There were signs of the meningitis issues when Bo Dallas was announced as being off TV due to medical issues. Bray Wyatt and JoJo Offerman were then taken off TV quietly, with the former having done the pre-taped Titantron videos beforehand for the last 2 weeks of Raw. No official injury reports were cited by the WWE, but The Pittsburgh Tribune's Justin LaBar first reported Wyatt and his brother Bo Dallas, as well as Raw ring announcer JoJo Offerman, had missed television and live events due to viral meningitis .Dave Meltzer noted in Thursday's daily update that Wyatt is said to be ill as well.

After announcing some major shakeups to the TLC card earlier this afternoon, the WWE issued a statement to ESPN about the reason behind the changes.

"We have confirmed that three of our performers have been diagnosed with a viral infection," a WWE representative told ESPN. "As a precautionary measure, we are ensuring in-ring performers and staff are tested and immunized in accordance with recommended medical guidelines."

Wrestling Observer's Bryan Alvarez tweeted that the AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor match is currently scheduled to get a good amount of time on Sunday and that creative is working on big changes for Raw with Reigns out. Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc. reports that the WWE is testing members of the RAW roster for the mumps. It was reportedly discovered while the talent was being tested for viral meningitis.

Kurt Angle posted on Instagram about returning to the ring at TLC on Sunday:

“Is it true??? Oh It's damn true! Your Olympic Hero will be wrestling along side of The Shield at #TLC this Sunday. Be sure to watch. #yourolympicheroisback”

Daniel Bryan replied to the news of Angle’s return by posting “Interesting…” and the thinking face emoji.

AJ Styles also posted a video via WWE's Twitter in response to his match, saying that he’s heading to TLC to represent SmackDown. Styles also made a slight reference to his and Balor's past in Japan.. The WWE indicated that Finn Balor will still be wearing his “Demon” paint for the match against Styles.

-The Raw crew has a show in St. Louis Friday night at the Scottrade Center and is headlined by The Shield vs. Braun Strowman & Cesaro & Sheamus. On Saturday, the same crew is in Mankato, Minnesota and then TLC is Sunday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Drew McIntyre wrote about Angle returning and Balor facing Styles:

“This has sent the @WWENXT tour bus into meltdown”

-Shown at http://www.bardown.com/mohamed-sanu-will-rock-custom-ric-flair-cleats-this-weekend-1.891272 are custom Ric Flair cleats NFL Atlanta Falcon's receiver Mohammed Sanu is going to where Sunday for a Super Bowl rematch with the New England Patriots. Ric Fliar posted:

"Of Course! Thank You To Sanu And The Entire Falcons Organization. Much Respect! Looking Forward To Sunday!!!"

-Shawn Michaels is on tour with NXT working backstage at this weekend’s house shows. Michaels posted a video of him talking to Johnny Gargano about Gargano’s losing streak.

-The mayor of Vancouver declared Thursday “Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Day” due to The Rock’s upcoming “Skyscraper” movie being filmed in the city.

-Pete Dunne has his first T-shirt on WWE Shop.

-City Pages in Minneapolis interviewed Sasha Banks about her history in the city, her start in pro wrestling, and wanting to wrestle Asuka.

-Los Angeles Clippers point guard Patrick Beverly taunted rookie Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball with John Cena’s “You Can’t See Me” after hitting a shot over him in Ball’s NBA debut.

**UPDATES for Oct.21/17**

-Announced at https://www.thescore.com/mlb/news/1403102-ric-flair-to-yell-play-ball-ahead-of-game-7-in-houston is that with the Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees MLB playoff series going to Game 7 tonight, that the Houston Astros are pulling out all the stops for Saturday's winner-take-all clash at Minute Maid Park against the New York Yankees. Prior to the game, wrestling legend Ric Flair will start the proceedings by yelling "Play Ball," the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday.

There's already a connection between the wrestler and the baseball team, as Astros outfielder Josh Reddick uses Flair's theme song as his walk-up music.

Flair's appearance in Houston will come just two months after he was hospitalized due to serious health issues that left him in a medically induced coma.

-There is an article at http://www.bardown.com/vancouver-mayor-proclaims-oct-19-to-be-the-rock-day-as-thanks-to-johnson-for-providing-jobs-1.891494 about Vancouver's mayor declaring October 19th The Rock Day. When The Rock was 22, he went to Vancouver for the first time while he was playing in the CFL for the Calgary Stampeders.

On Thursday, October 19th, the mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, stopped by the set of the movie 'Skyscraper' to present The Rock with a proclamation stating that October 19th will now be known as Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Day in Vancouver.

-With Kevin Owens off of the remainder of the tour and AJ Styles returning to the United States to face Finn Balor at TLC, the WWE has lined up a big replacement for tomorrow's house show in Santiago, Chile.

The company revealed today that Triple H is heading to Santiago and will be in action at Sunday's show at the Movistar Arena. The match will be the first time Triple H has wrestled since WrestleMania 33 in April, where he lost to Seth Rollins to conclude their feud. The WWE has yet to reveal who Triple H will be facing at the show in Chile. Triple H tweeted about the news:

"My boots are packed and I’m coming for a fight. #WWESantiago, I’m headed your way. Chile, get ready...it’s #GameTime"

The SmackDown roster has been in South America for house shows in Argentina and Chile this weekend. After wrestling at their first show in Buenos Aires, the WWE announced that Kevin Owens would be missing the rest of the tour due to personal reasons. Owens clarified why he had to leave the tour in a tweet today.

"I’m not sick. I’m not hurt. My family needed me home," Owens wrote. "Thank you to @WWE & the fans in Argentina & Chile for their support and understanding." Owens had wrestled in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Thursday, taking part in a triple threat match for the United States Championship where Baron Corbin retained his title over Tye Dillinger and Owens. The WWE then announced that Owens would be missing shows on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday due to personal reasons.

Styles missed the first show in Buenos Aires due to what was reported as stomach issues before then wrestling last night. He'll be back in the United States for Sunday's TLC pay-per-view as he faces Balor in one of the show's matches that was put together on short notice due to health issues that are impacting Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns.

**UPDATES for Oct.22/17**

-With no time on television to build to the revised TLC card, the WWE released a few promos to hype up the pay-per-view. AJ Styles and Finn Balor discussed facing each other for the first time and the similar paths they’ve taken to get to this point, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose reacted to Kurt Angle being their new partner at TLC and Roman Reigns not being able to wrestle at the show, and Braun Strowman, Cesaro, and Sheamus sent warnings to Angle ahead of Sunday.

-With Reigns currently out of action, Rollins & Ambrose defending their Raw tag titles against Cesaro & Sheamus in a street fight main evented Friday night’s house show in St. Louis. Strowman, who usually faces Reigns on the Raw house shows, defeated Balor.

-Angle wrote about his return to a WWE ring:

“#wweuniverse, be sure to tune in to my return to WWE action tomorrow, Sunday, at TLC. It's been 11 years and long overdue. I will proudly team up with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, members of the notorious faction ‘The Shield’. Couldn't be more excited. #itstrue”

Angle also responded to a question about Neville and Nia Jax’s status, saying that he doesn’t know about Neville but Jax will be returning soon. Dave Meltzer reported that Jax will return to WWE in time for November’s European tour.

-The Miz and Maryse had their gender reveal party today, where they found out that Maryse will be giving birth to a baby girl. Miz wrote:

“The #ItBaby is a GIRL! If she gets half the brains, beauty, and strength of her mother @marysemizanin then she’s gonna be a powerful woman.”

-The WWE has posted a video looking at Jinder Mahal’s media tour of India.

-Jimmy Jacobs made a surprise appearance at tonight’s WrestleCircus show. He confronted Sami Callihan and mentioned being fired for the Bullet Club selfie. Callihan punched him down but Jacobs came back and hit a spear. Jacobs tweeted after the appearance:

“For the record, I have zero bitter feelings towards WWE. I had a great two and a half years there. But now I’m very excited to perform again.”

-With Roman Reigns off the house shows, this weekend’s shows were headlined by street fights with Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro & Sheamus. The shows were scheduled to have The Shield working six-man tags on the shows prior to Reigns being pulled.

-Monday’s episode of Raw will feature Brock Lesnar answering Jinder Mahal’s challenge in Green Bay. It's a smaller arena so it's expected to be the first Raw sellout in several weeks. Tuesday’s episode of Smackdown in Milwaukee will feature Shane McMahon’s return for the first time since Hell in a Cell.

-In an interesting trivia note, today is also the 17th anniversary of Kurt Angle’s first WWF title win. Angle defeated The Rock on this date in Albany, New York at the No Mercy pay-per-view event.

-The first of the Survivor Series ads on the kickoff show advertised that there will be Raw vs. SmackDown matches on the card.

-As far as the Kambi odds for the star ratings for tonight's matches, the over/under are:

Banks vs. Fox *3/4
Asuka vs. Emma ***1/4
Kalisto vs. Enzo **
Balor vs. Styles ****1/2
TLC match ****1/4
Bliss vs. James **3/4
Kendrick & Gallagher vs. Alexander & Swann **1/2

Originally when one could bet on what would win best match for tonight, the original odds came out with Emma vs. Asuka as the favorite followed by TLC and any other match paid +350. Of course people bet on any other match (given Styles vs. Balor) and it was taken off the boards. The new odds are Balor vs. Styles as the best match favorite at -183 while any other match is +130. One can also get +400 odds if you bet that a match tonight will be five stars. Usually that's +1500.

-As of last night, it didn't look like tonight's TLC PPV would sell out although it'll be a good crowd. It's possible it could sell out with a very strong walkup.

-According to the WWE, there is no set timetable on when Kevin Owens would return. He is out of action due to a family matter.

-As far as the other wrestlers, Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns and Bo Dallas, they will be reevaluated in eight days for an update. All WWE Raw talent was ordered to get shots for Measles, Mumps and Rubella on Thursday stemming from the illness that has kept the aforementioned three off tonight's show.

-Elias vs. Jason Jordan got teased on the kickoff show after the 2 appeared with GM Kurt Angle and thus they did a few short segments on the TLC PPV to start that feud then had a match on it.

-WWE WrestleMania Travel Packages are out and are very expensive. WWE is offering its most expensive at $9,175 per person to $8,525 per person for a group of two or more, which guarantees first five row tickets or Mania, Takeover, flying on a private flight with WWE legends from New York to New Orleans, and getting behind the scenes meet and greets with stars. There are a number of cheaper packages that get as low as $2,125 per person for 100 level seating at all the shows, and Axxess tickets down to $1,150 per person for a group or four.

-The Miz was the Grand Marshall of the Krewe of Boo parade in New Orleans this weekend. As noted yesterday, Miz & wife Maryse are having a daughter.

-Ryan Cabrera, a singer, and Avril Lavigne, who is a major name singer, posted photos dressed up as Miz and Maryse for Halloween. They posted photos and said they actually wore authentic ring outfits that Miz & Maryse had when they went to their house for a party.

-Big Cass was doing Ringside Fest in New York next week and the price was dropped from $69.99 to $49.99 which is a rarity because usually on those shows, the price increases due to demand. Alexa Bliss, for example, is getting $119 for an autograph and photo combo pack which is more than Finn Balor, Braun Strowman and Cass.

-Ric Flair will be making an appearance for the House of Glory promotion in New York on 12/16 at Club Amazura in Jamaica, Queens, NY.

Come back for more news, so don't 'cha dare miss it!
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Posted 10/23/17 , edited 10/29/17
TLC is in the books but not without lots of fallout due to the changes made. The 'viral infection' took its toll on the roster as Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns and Bo Dallas at the moment are still under quarantine and will be re-evaluated next Monday. Meanwhile other people are missing due to other reasons like Nia Jax and Kevin Owens. Shows are being rewritten this week while trying to keep November's Survivor Series PPV intact to be Raw vs. SmackDown, so here is how this week is going down.

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending while please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

NXT Takeover: War Games on Saturday, November 18 from Houston, Texas

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXT_TakeOver:_Houston and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt

UPDATED PPV CARD:

*Fatal Four-Way for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship: Mae Young Classic Winner Kairi Sane vs. Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce vs. Nikki Cross
*War Games Match: The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe, Eric Young & Killian Dain w/ Nikki Cross) vs. Roderick Strong and The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar w/ Paul Ellering)
*NXT Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/ Zelina Vega)
*Aleister Black vs.Velveteen Dream
*Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan

Survivor Series on Sunday, November 19 from Houston, Texas

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivor_Series_(2017) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries

UPDATED PPV CARD:

*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. SmackDown WWE Champion Jinder Mahal (w/ The Singh Brothers [Sunil & Samir])
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. SmackDown United States Champion Baron Corbin
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss vs. SmackDown Women's Champion Natalya
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Tag Team Champions The Shield (Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
*5 on 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw's Men's Team vs. Team SmackDown's Men's Team (Randy Orton and 4 others TBA)
*5 on 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw's Women's Team (Captain Alicia Fox, Bayley, Sasha Banks and 2 others TBA) vs. Team SmackDown's Women's Team (Captain Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Naomi, Carmella w/ James Ellsworth & Tamina w/ Lana)

-Tonight’s episode of Raw will take place from the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin and will feature Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman appearing on the show to answer Jinder Mahal’s challenger for their match at Survivor Series. As noted, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas will not be on the show with Dave Meltzer noting to the LAW that Reigns has the mumps and they are scheduled for a checkup next week to see if they can be cleared. It's not certain when he'll be back but it's not going to be a longtime thing, a couple of weeks is what people are saying. No word on Bray Wyatt or Bo Dallas yet until next Monday's re-evaluation.

Tonight will also see the beginning of the build to Survivor Series with the TLC show making it clear that it will be a theme of Raw vs. Smackdown for the show and a minimum of two traditional Survivor Series matches with the men and the women. With Kurt Angle now cleared, he is obviously an option to use next month in Houston or be saved when they have an opponent that is ready and a story. At the moment, the only viable opponent for Angle is The Miz coming out of TLC and anything else would be starting from scratch.

What is expected to be teased or announced tonight would be a Miz vs. Baron Corbin match at Survivor Series, likely with neither title at stake and Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. The Usos and Alexa Bliss vs. Natalya, and possibly Kane vs. Braun Strowman. It has also been talked about for the Brock Lesnar vs. Jinder Mahal main event to have John Cena as referee but that would be dependant on his filming schedule.

Planned for Raw is Sasha Banks vs. Bayley with the winner becoming team captain of a Raw vs. Smackdown elimination match. The Horsewoman vs. Horsewoman match will not be at Survivor Series but it will still happen at some point. There will be an either a Team Enzo vs. Team Kalisto match tonight, or the start of a build for that match at Survivor Series tonight.

-The SmackDown crew is returning from their tour of South America and won’t have a house show tonight. They are in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Tuesday night for the television tapings with Shane McMahon scheduled to return. Kevin Owens’ status is up in the air and it isn’t yet known if Owens will be at television this week due the family matter he is tending to. Planned for Smackdown is a multiple person match to determine the Smackdown team captain of a women's elimination match at Survivor Series.

Tuesday night’s episode of SmackDown Live will be going head-to-head with Game 1 of the World Series between the L.A. Dodgers and Houston Astros. Raw will not face any competition from the World Series but still face the usual NFL Monday Night Football game, with this week being the top 2 teams in the NFC East from Philadelphia and Washington.

-Triple H ended with working with Rusev at the live event in Santiago, Chile on Sunday afternoon. Hunter won clean with the pedigree and later danced with the New Day inside the ring.

-At https://www.thescore.com/news/1404955-the-rock-shuts-down-comedian-who-told-him-wrestling-isn-t-real the Rock shut down a comedian online for claiming wrestling isn't real and that he's a dummy for believing it.

-Shane McMahon, who was announced for Smackdown tomorrow, is in Green Bay. He has been at Raw shows before and not appeared on the show, but with Raw vs. Smackdown as the theme for the next month, his being on Raw is more possible.

-AJ Styles said the "too sweet" sign at the end of his match with Finn Balor was something they decided and not something they were told to do. They said they wanted to show they haven't forgotten where they came from and that they love their Bullet Club brothers. The Young Bucks did reply positively to his explanation.

-Kalisto will have his rematch on 205 for the Cruiserweight Championship against the new champion Enzo Amore.

**UPDATES for Oct.24/17**

-After two years without wrestling on French TV, two new wrestling TV programs began in Quebec last week. Last Wednesday, October 18, it was WWE Raw on TVA Sports. It marked the first time the WWE was in French in Quebec since 1998. Every Wednesday night, one hour of Raw will air. The commentators are Pat Laprade and comedian Kevin Raphael. Then on Sunday, October 22, it was a mix of ROH and IWS on RDS 2. It's the first time that ROH has ever aired in French in Quebec. They showed matches from Death Before Dishonor. IWS is a longtime local promotion, where Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn really got their start. The promotion was even showcased in Owens' DVD. It's going to be once a month with radio personality Ben Cossette and RDS' Stephane Morneau as announcers. It's the first time that a local promotion is on TV since Sylvain Grenier's TOW had four shows on RDS 2 in December 2013. The last time any wrestling was on French TV in Quebec was in 2015 with TNA, which was on air for 11 years on RDS.

-At https://www.thescore.com/news/1405699-ex-wwe-star-davey-boy-smith-jr-saved-woman-from-jumping-off-bridge is a recap of how former WWE and current NJPW talent Davey Boy Smith Jr. saved a woman's life when he saw her about to jump from a bridge ledge. He tried to talk to her and actually pulled her down from where she was and held her down until police came. He posted on Facebook that his knowledge and grip strength from all his grappling training allowed him to pull her her up from where she was hanging and she wasn't small either. He said he put her in a mount position and wouldn't let her move, for fear she had a gun, until the police arrived.

-Just a couple of days after losing the Cruiserweight Championship, Kalisto will get his rematch on tonight's episode of 205 Live.

That was announced during Raw last night, with Kalisto saying that he was invoking his rematch clause against Enzo Amore. To further set up the match, Kalisto pinned Amore in a 10-man tag on Raw after hitting the Salida del Sol.

Amore regained the Cruiserweight title by defeating Kalisto with help from a thumb to the eye at TLC on Sunday. Kalisto had won the championship from Amore in a lumberjack match on Raw just two weeks ago, which was a decision that was made when plans were changed due to Neville wanting to leave the company.

Before 205 Live, tonight's SmackDown will feature the continuation of the angle where the SmackDown roster invaded Raw last night. Various things announced for tonight's show includes Shane McMahon addressing how Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have acted over the last couple of weeks. AJ Styles vs. Sunil Singh has been announced for SmackDown and, as was previously noted, Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto for the Cruiserweight title is set for 205 Live.

Other matches planned as of this morning were a five-way women's match to determine the captain of Team SmackDown, Baron Corbin vs. Sin Cara for the United States title in a follow-up of Sin Cara's upset countout win last week, The New Day versus Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin.and the Usos against Aiden English & Rusev (who are now going to be pushed as a regular tag team).

They'll likely also talk more about last night's Raw Under Siege angle that ended the show. Following up on last night's Raw, tonight is another big night of WWE programming with the follow-up to the Raw vs. SmackDown angle. Nothing has been said about a Raw invasion of SmackDown, similar to what happened last night, but it would seem inevitable.

-One of the weirdest Raw ratings patterns ever took place last night, but overall the show did an average of 2.94 million viewers, up nine percent from last week due to the PPV bump, indicating a lot of curiosity coming off the TLC show. It was Raw’s highest number overall since the return of Monday Night Football this season.

However, the hour-to-hour drop was among the largest in history.

Raw finished third for the night on cable. The Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles game did 11.28 million viewers, and the other show that beat Raw was the SportsCenter episode after the game.

Dancing with the Stars on ABC with Nikki Bella did 9.15 million viewers.

On average, 23 percent of those watching the first hour weren't watching the third hour. In reality, the turnoff number would be much higher because the start of the show was likely well above the first hour average, and the end was likely lower than the third hour average. Even in the male 18-49 demo the drop from hour one to hour three was 19 percent.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 3.33 million viewers
9 p.m. 2.97 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.56 million viewers

-Though a lot of viewers tuned out before the surprise show-closing angle where the SmackDown roster invaded Raw, WWE’s clip of the segment has been watched more than two million times already, which is a very strong but not overwhelming number. Ratings for tonight’s SmackDown and next week’s Raw will tell how effective the angle was.

-After having to leave SmackDown’s tour of South America last week because his family needed him at home, Kevin Owens tweeted a thank you to fans, friends, family, and others in the pro wrestling business for their outpouring of support. Karina Steen, Owens’ wife, also wrote a post on Instagram thanking people for the messages they’ve sent and saying that things are okay now:

“Thank you all for the kind messages asking if everything was alright. It was one of the toughest weeks of our lives but we are ok now. This guy travelled half way around the world to get back to us and I don't know what I would have done without him. Best husband and dad we could ever ask for”

-Nikki Bella had another strong showing on Dancing with the Stars last night, with her team finishing in a tie for fourth place. Four teams finished below them.

-John Cena is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to spread awareness about eradicating polio across the world.

-The WWE uploaded some video of Triple H’s return to the ring and him dancing with The New Day from their house show in Santiago, Chile last Sunday.

-The New York Post interviewed Alexa Bliss about her rise in WWE, being on Total Divas, and overcoming battles with anorexia as a teenager.

-The Minnesota Star Tribune ran a story on Elias’ anti-Green Bay Packers comments from Raw in Wisconsin last night.

-ROH posted a promo where the Bullet Club offered the McMahon family a 10 percent discount on tickets to ROH's show in San Antonio, Texas on November 17th. The promo was in response to NXT having a house show in San Antonio (with Shawn Michaels refereeing a title match between Drew McIntyre and Adam Cole) the same night.

-Samir Singh will take on AJ Styles next week on SmackDown Live, Shinsuke Nakamura faces off with a returning Kevin Owens, and Bobby Roode gets Dolph Ziggler in a best 2-out-of-3 falls match where the latter 2 matches will have the winners join Team SmackDown in the Survivor Series Men's match.

**UPDATES for Oct.25/17**

-Goldberg will be featured in a new WWE 24 in November.

-ESPN issued a press release of the 30 For 30 documentary on Ric Flair to premiere on November 7. Obviously, the subject of Reid’s passing is a major area focused on and is really heart wrenching to watch with Ric’s reaction described in real time when he found Reid in the hotel room. Among those interviewed for the special is Ric’s first wife Leslie, his children David & Megan & Ashley and lots of people from within the industry. In the clip, Flair talks about how people would live vicariously through him in the 1980s and video of athletes imitating him were shown.

-NJPW star KUSHIDA took to Twitter to voice his disapproval of Enzo Amore's punch that looks similar to KUSHIDA's.

-William Regal is returning to EVOLVE and he will be available for pictures, autographs and appearing on the EVOLVE 96 live event.

-Sports Illustrated reported that Nia Jax did not want to lose clean to Sasha Banks at TLC. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jax’s cousin, encouraged Jax to walk away if she was unhappy.

-Nia Jax replied to Natalya and Tamina on Twitter, teasing that she’ll be part of the Raw women’s team at Survivor Series.

-Nikki Bella did well on this week's Dancing With the Stars, receiving a judges' score of 36/40, despite the fact that her partner stumbled at one point. John Cena was in the audience which is presumably why he didn't intervene when the Smackdown Live roster invaded RAW on Monday.

-Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are celebrating their wedding anniversary today.

-Shawn Michaels posted on Twitter that the “ab-off” featuring himself vs Johnny Gargano has been made official for NXT Takeover WarGames.

-AJ Lee appeared on the latest episode of The Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast and discussed leaving the WWE, CM Punk, living with bipolar disorder, her new book, and more.

-Despite big competition from Game 1 of the World Series, Smackdown was up 16% from last week and would indicate there was a lot of curiosity after the closing angle to Raw. SmackDown Live averaged 2,699,000 viewers on the USA Network and is their highest number since September 12th (a big show promoted around Vince McMahon’s return to television for the Kevin Owens angle). Game 1 of the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros did just under 15 million viewers on FOX.

In an interesting comparison, last year SmackDown Live also went up against Game 1 of the World Series. Last year’s series did a much bigger name matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians trying to break the longest droughts without a World title with 19,370,000 and was a big hit to the SmackDown audience, with the show only doing 2,187,000 viewers.

If the World Series goes to a Game 6, that game would go up against next week’s episode of SmackDown Live on Halloween night and the combination would likely take a big chunk out of the Smackdown number. It is also the last domestic show for the WWE crew before the big European tour that goes from November 1st – 12th.

-The number for Monday’s episode of Raw was a very mixed bag. On the one hand, it was their highest number since the NFL season began with Monday Night Football competition. However, once you look at the pattern over the three-hours, it paints a bleaker picture with big drops in the second and third hours. The overall drop from the audience in the first hour to the third was a staggering one of 23.3%. The number shouldn’t be used as an indictment on the invasion at the end of the show, because that wasn’t promoted ahead of time and the number for Tuesday’s Smackdown and next week’s Raw would be better indicators of whether or not the closing angle hit with the audience.

-Tonight is the season-finale of Total Bellas with this season building towards John Cena’s proposal to Nikki Bella at WrestleMania and Brie giving birth.

-The WWE stock closed at $21.55 on Wednesday.

-In what could be a sign for his future with the company, Neville was removed from the video intro for 205 Live this week. It’s the first time that he hasn’t been in the intro since the news that he wanted to leave the WWE broke.

-Sami Zayn will be this week’s guest on the Edge & Christian podcast.

-Triple H announced that “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)” by Power Trip and “Play” by Marmozets are the official theme songs for NXT TakeOver: War Games.

-BBC has a video profile on Mae Young Classic participant and WWE signee Kavita Devi.

-Chris Jericho will be appearing on an episode of First We Feast’s “Hot Ones” YouTube show tomorrow.

**UPDATES for Oct.26/17**

-The WWE released their third-quarter results on Thursday morning.

The WWE Network finished the third quarter with a total of 1,578,000 worldwide subscribers, which is broken down to 1,206,000 U.S. subscribers and 427,000 international.

The total paid at the end of the quarter was 1,507,000 with 1,106,000 paid subs from the U.S. and 401,000 international paid subs.

The quarter as a whole for the network has to be disappointing as they added 392,000 new subscribers, but that was offset by 453,000 cancellations for a churn of 61,000 subs (the third quarter also had a big drop in Q3 of 2016 with 67,000 dropping the service). This shows that the strength of the pay-per-views, as the main events were stronger this year, only has a very minor effect on subscription numbers. The other take is that the Mae Young Classic, with all the hype, really meant nothing for subscriber numbers. They also predicted another drop in Network subscriptions, as much as 50,000, in the fourth quarter. The pattern is for the big growth for the Network to come in the first quarter and early second quarter.

There are now over 8,900 hours of content on the WWE Network. The key are increases in profitability in most categories, with only WWE Studios and home entertainment falling below last year's numbers.

Overall revenue for the quarter was up from the same quarter last year with the company bringing in $186.4 million in revenue with OIBDA of $40.4 million for the quarter. These figures are up significantly from the third quarter of 2016, which had OIBDA of $24.5 million off revenue of $164.2 million. This would make the first quarter in recent memory where the profits beat the dividend payout, which was $9.42 million.

They are very strong in terms of their projections to close out the year and have adjusted their OIBDA from $100 million for 2017 to a range between $108 and $112 million. They are also projecting “at least” $115 million in OIBDA for 2018.

The WWE also increased profitability of house shows, although it was by running more total events as the average attendance dropped from 5,300 to 4,900 per show.

Licensing profits went from $4.6 million to $6.7 million due to an increase in mobile game sales.

During the conference call, the WWE pushed the idea of localized television, like they have in the Middle East and India, and have secured 20 new advertisers for television. They pushed the worldwide aspect of the product by noting that of the athletes training at the Performance Center, 40 percent come from outside the United States.

In regards to their television deals that expire in 2019, they are planning to announce a new U.S. rights deal between May – September 2018 (the deal with NBC Universal expires September 30, 2019), an announcement on their U.K. television deal by the end of 2018 (Sky deal expires December 31, 2019) and an announcement for their television deal in India by the end of 2018 (TEN Sports deal expires December 31, 2019 as well).

The strong numbers led to a stock price increase of $2.27 per share to $23.82 at the time of this writing. With the WWE having its strongest quarter of profits in more than a decade, stock closed today at $24.40 per share, up 13 percent.

-As Dave Meltzer confirmed in this week's edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Jeff Jarrett checked into a rehab facility yesterday. Meltzer wrote that Jarrett came to grips with the fact that he had a problem, with Karen Jarrett working with WWE officials to set up the rehab stay.

The decision comes after Jarrett allegedly showed up late (with Jarrett saying he was held up at customs for three hours), was drinking and passed out backstage, and then wrestled while in no condition to perform at a show for Real Canadian Wrestling in Calgary last Friday. Jarrett then missed their show in Edmonton the next day as he returned to the United States.

Before the news that Jarrett was checking into rehab became public, WrestleCade also announced yesterday that he wouldn't be appearing at any of their events in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on November 24th, 25th, and 26th due to personal reasons.

Impact Wrestling revealed earlier this week that Jarrett was officially no longer with the company and that their rebrand into Global Force Wrestling was no longer happening, though Meltzer notes that he first heard about that before what happened with Jarrett over the weekend.

Jarrett is part of the WWE sponsored rehab program, which is open to all talent that was previously under contract to the company.

-Kenny Omega has added another Ring of Honor date to his calendar.

ROH announced today that Omega would be appearing at their show in San Antonio, Texas on November 17th, which will go directly against an NXT house show in the same city that night. NXT has Drew McIntyre defending his title against Adam Cole with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee.

ROH posted a promo earlier this week of the Bullet Club hyping up going against NXT, with them doing a skit where they extended an offer to any member of the McMahon family to purchase tickets to ROH at a 10 percent discount.

The ROH show in San Antonio will be the first night of this year's Survival of the Fittest. The final two nights of the tournament will take place in Dallas and Oklahoma City the following two days, with the winner getting a future ROH World title shot.

Before wrestling in San Antonio, Omega will be in action for ROH in Fort Lauderdale and Lakeland, Florida on November 11th and 12th.

-There are no main brand WWE house shows this weekend. The Raw crew starts back Monday and Smackdown Tuesday, then both go on a two-week tour of Europe.

-PWInsider reported the company is planning a major episode of Raw on 1/12 from the Barclays Center which would be the 25th anniversary special for the show that debuted at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York in January, 1993.

-Bill Miekina, the head designer of action figures for the WWE line at Mattel, will be appearing at Ringside Fest on 10/29 with Alexa Bliss, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor and Big Cass with the new 2018 line. He will also be in London on 11/4 and 11/5 at the Wrestling Shop Lie in Leicester Square showing the new product line.

**UPDATES for Oct.27/17**

-The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that the WWE has plans to book a match featuring The Four Horsewomen of WWE – Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Bayley vs The Four Horsewomen of MMA – Shayna Baszler, Ronda Rousey, Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke.

-The WWE stock received a huge increase from the third-quarter earnings report and closed at $26.09 on Friday (the stock closed at $21.55 on Wednesday, prior to Thursday’s earnings report). For the quarter, the WWE made a profit of $21.8 million off revenue of $186.4 million and exceeded the projections going in. In addition, the WWE was so confident about the ramifications of this quarter and their performance expectations between now and the end of the year, that they increased their expected OIBDA (Operating income before depreciation and amortization) from $100 million for the year to between $108 and $112 million for the year. If there was a negative to the quarterly report, it was that the WWE Network ended the quarter with 1,507,000 paid subscribers and had a churn of 61,000 subscribers throughout the quarter. The pattern has emerged that people are going to add the network from January through WrestleMania and you will have moderate growth with people that hold onto the service and that July – December are going to be months where no matter what is promoted, there is going to be churn. They are increasing year-over-year, but it is small steps towards their hope of one day having 2 million paid subs.

-Rob Rousseau of VICE Sports has a piece up today, discussing the statements made by Warrior / Jim Hellwig over the years that were extremely offensive and tasteless. The decision to use Warrior as a central figure in the WWE’s current breast cancer awareness campaign, brought back to light all the statements Warrior made, specifically about the late Bobby Heenan being diagnosed with cancer and calling it “karma”. Dana Warrior was asked to comment on her late husband’s statements and provided VICE with the following comment:

"I will not be disloyal to my husband’s memory or speak ill of a man who is not here to defend himself. I can, however, tell you his heart was changed by conversations with his two daughters. The true testament of the man behind the character is his ability to evolve. My husband did just that."

-Mike Johnson reported at PWinsider.com, that the WWE will be planning a big 25th Anniversary episode of Raw in January. The current plan is to hold the anniversary special on Monday January 12th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The first episode of the show took place January 11th, 1993 at the Manhattan Center in New York. Their last major milestone they built a show around was for the 1,000th episode of Raw in July 2012 and the show was promoted for weeks and led to a massive number and coincided with Raw moving to the current three-hour format.

-Due to the upcoming European tour, the WWE crew has the weekend off before Monday night’s episode of Raw in Baltimore, Maryland. The SmackDown & 205 Live tapings are Tuesday night in Norfolk, Virginia. With the Raw crew flying overseas after Raw, it is unlikely there will be any presence from Raw on next week’s SmackDown episode.

-The WWE has added Triple H to five dates on the upcoming European tour. Hunter will be wrestling on November 1st in Glasgow, November 2nd in Brighton, November 3rd in London, November 4th in Minehead and November 5th in Cardiff, Wales. The tour begins next Wednesday and will run through Sunday November 12th.

All of those events will be Raw-brand house shows. WWE has yet to announce Triple H's matches or if the cards will be affected by the illnesses that caused a shakeup to the TLC lineup.

Triple H returned to the ring for the first time since WrestleMania at SmackDown's house show in Santiago, Chile last Sunday after Kevin Owens had to leave the tour to return home to his family and AJ Styles came back to the United States to wrestle Finn Balor at TLC. Triple H defeated Rusev with the Pedigree at that show.

-The first night of the tour on November 1st in Glasgow, Scotland will feature Pete Dunne defending the U.K. title against Wolfgang on the Raw show.

-This past Wednesday’s season-finale of Total Bellas did 674,000 viewers on E! It was the second largest number of the season and only trailed the season premiere last month.

-John Cena will be doing another talk show on 12/4 in Sheffield, England at the DSA Arena.

-Jeff Hardy will be launching an art gallery for his online web store on Tuesday featuring works he's been painting with his left hand only (due to his shoulder surgery).

**UPDATES for Oct.28/17**

-TMZ spoke to Enzo Amore who talked about getting his own locker room. It was previously reported that Enzo Amore was kicked out of the WWE locker room because of his behaviour.

-The WWE tweeted that the Bella Twins are planning their return to in ring action in 2018.

-Ric Flair who spoke to ESPN mentioned that he feels lucky to be alive after learning he had a 20 percent chance to live during his hospital stay.

-As previously noted, Ronda Rousey's long-rumored jump to WWE finally appears to be happening.

Plans are in place for the former UFC women's bantamweight champion to compete in a Horsewoman vs. Horsewoman match at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans on April 8, 2018, according to Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc.). The match would pit MMA stars Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir against WWE's Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bayley.

There was talk of the match potentially taking place at Survivor Series on Nov. 19, but Meltzer reports it's being pushed back to 2018 give Rousey, Duke, and Shafir extra time to prepare.

Rousey hasn't fought since losing to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in December 2016.

-As posted at https://www.thescore.com/news/1408603-t-pain-and-friends-mistaken-for-wwe-s-new-day the rapper T-Pain was walking through New York's LaGuardia airport on Thursday with his bodyguard Chris Britto and manager Andy Kabamba when they were stopped by an older woman who thought they were the WWE trio of Big E, Kofi, and Xavier Woods.

T-Pain got a laugh out of the situation, sharing a comparison photo on Instagram and tagging The New Day.

-The WWE announced that Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose would be defending their tag titles at the Raw-brand European tour house shows in Glasgow, Brighton, London, Minehead, and Cardiff, which are the same five shows that Triple H will be working. The main event of those events had been scheduled to be Roman Reigns, Rollins & Ambrose vs. Braun Strowman, Cesaro & Sheamus in six-man tag matches. The change would seem to indicate a shakeup to the card or that Reigns won’t be back in time for the start of the tour.

-Kurt Angle will also be making a non-wrestling appearance at the European tour show in Birmingham on November 7th. Angle posted a photo on Instagram of him getting new ring gear done for possible future matches.

-A new episode of “Table for Three” with Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins will air on the WWE Network after Raw on Monday night.

-NXT’s Sarah Logan and Ray Rowe of NJPW and ROH’s War Machine team announced their engagement.

-Tony Schiavone did a “Control Center” segment hyping up the card for WWE’s Starrcade house show that will take place next month.

-The Undertaker made an out-of-character appearance as he attended the premiere of Ric Flair’s 30 for 30 in Atlanta this week. Others who were there included Michelle McCool, DDP, Fit Finlay, Michael Hayes, and Luke Gallows.

-John Cena played The Pixies’ “Where is my Mind?” on the piano to celebrate the Bellas’ YouTube channel hitting 900,000 subscribers.

-Actor Jeff Goldblum reacted to an interviewer wearing a Breezango Fashion Patrol T-shirt.

The ongoing changes this week can be found here for the WWE, so don't 'cha dare miss it!
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The Raw vs. Smackdown story continues this week on TV before the big European tour. Here is the news of the week.

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending while please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

NXT Takeover: War Games on Saturday, November 18 from Houston, Texas

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXT_TakeOver:_Houston and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt

UPDATED PPV CARD:

*Fatal Four-Way for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship: Mae Young Classic Winner Kairi Sane vs. Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce vs. Nikki Cross
*War Games Match: The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe, Eric Young & Killian Dain w/ Nikki Cross) vs. Roderick Strong and The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar w/ Paul Ellering)
*NXT Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/ Zelina Vega)
*Aleister Black vs.Velveteen Dream
*Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan

Survivor Series on Sunday, November 19 from Houston, Texas

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivor_Series_(2017) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries

UPDATED PPV CARD:

*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. SmackDown WWE Champion Jinder Mahal (w/ The Singh Brothers [Sunil & Samir])
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. SmackDown United States Champion Baron Corbin
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss vs. SmackDown Women's Champion Natalya
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Tag Team Champions The Shield (Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
*5 on 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw's Men's Team (Captain Kurt Angle and 4 others TBA) vs. Team SmackDown's Men's Team (Randy Orton and 4 others TBA)
NOTE: If Team Raw loses, Commissioner Stephanie McMahon will fire GM Kurt Angle.
*5 on 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw's Women's Team (Captain Alicia Fox, Nia Jax and 3 others TBA) vs. Team SmackDown's Women's Team (Captain Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Naomi, Carmella w/ James Ellsworth & Tamina w/ Lana)

-The WWE announced Sunday morning that Emma has been released and is officially no longer with the company. Their statement read:

"WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Superstar Emma. WWE wishes Emma the best in all of her future endeavors."

Emma's release comes less than a week after she had two fairly competitive matches with Asuka. Asuka made her main roster debut at TLC, with Emma getting a decent amount of offense in before losing. The next night on Raw, they had a similarly structured rematch.

If the decision was made by the company, that makes the booking in both matches even more confusing, not the result, but the makeup of the matches since Asuka didn't come across as special in either one, and Asuka's history in NXT is that she gets over best when positioned as dominant.

Emma, a protege of Lance Storm, signed with the WWE in March of 2011 and started the next year on NXT television. She debuted on the main roster in 2014 for an angle where she did a backstage romance with Santino Marella.

She was sent back down to NXT in January 2015, and did an a mean girls gimmick, the type that has been done multiple times in NXT, with Dana Brooke. The two were brought up in March of 2016. There was a long attempt to repackage her in the role of a glamorous woman that, after months, the company abandoned.

This is actually the second time in the last few years that the WWE has announced Emma's release. The company briefly parted ways with her in 2014 after she had been arrested for shoplifting an iPad case (which Emma claimed was due to an error while using self-checkout) before reversing course and revealing that she had been reinstated that same day.

-After receiving significant blowback on Twitter for a joke he made about Emma being released by the WWE, Lio Rush tried to clarify his comments and apologized to fans who thought they were inappropriate. Rush first referenced Emma losing to Asuka in Asuka's first two main roster matches at TLC and Raw last week. In a tweet that has since been deleted, he wrote:

"I guess these are the things that happen when you're not TRULY ready for @WWEAsuka."

The joke received criticism pretty quickly, including Peyton Royce pointing out that Rush just got to NXT and telling him that professionalism goes a long way. Bray Wyatt was one of the wrestlers from the main roster to respond, saying that Rush "ain't gonna make it here with the wolves."

In response to the blowback, Rush issued a statement on Twitter (with paragraph breaks added) just a few hours after the original post:

"At the end of the day, there's a certain level of respect within professional wrestlers in the sports & ENTERTAINMENT industry that is noted within peers. With that being said, Emma I respect you and everything you've done for our business. It saddens me that the 'controversial tweet' got completely blown out of proportion and looked at in a very insensitive way.

As a family man with a 4 year [old] son and expecting another, I would never laugh or mock the fact of someone loosing there job because of how it can affect self person and there families. Whatever the situation may be regarding the release, You're an amazing performer and respected athlete by yours truly and I'm sure you will excel beyond [expectations].

To my fans who may have seen this as inappropriate as well as Emma's fans, I apologize and I love you ALL regardless of the responses. On Behalf of myself and the WWE Goodluck!"

While Jack Gallagher, Dash Wilder, and others weren't as accepting of Rush's apology, Scott Armstrong (who works as a producer for WWE) called Rush a class act and wrote that rookie mistakes are made to be learned from.

-After announcing that Emma had been released, the WWE confirmed that two more wrestlers were also no longer with the company.

The WWE announced that Darren Young and Summer Rae had been released, with the company updating their statement to wish Emma, Young, and Summer Rae the best in their future endeavors.

Young suffered an elbow injury during a match on Main Event in January and never returned to television, though he came back at a house show in September and has been working on the road this month.

Along with other WWE wrestlers, Young was at last night's Los Angeles Clippers game to promote that Raw is coming to the Staples Center in December. Also there were The Miz, Enzo Amore (whose voice is back) and Becky Lynch. It was noted with the WWE at the event there were still a number of Bullet Club shirts in the crowd.

Summer Rae's career has also been affected by injury issues, though she's been waiting to return to TV for several months. Her last televised appearance came when she was sitting in the crowd with Asuka, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Bayley at the Mae Young Classic finals in Las Vegas in September.

The last time WWE fans saw Summer Rae she was part of Team B.A.D. and Blonde at WrestleMania 32 defeating Team Total Divas. She has been off recovering from injuries since that time. Rae joined the main roster on April of 2013 when she appeared as Fandango's valet on an episode of Raw.

Once a part of the Nexus and The Prime Time Players tag team with Titus O'Neil, Darren Young was betrayed by O'Neil in 2016 and in January of this year was hurt in a match with Sin Cara when they took on The Shining Stars. He had previous been working a new gimmick with Bob Backlund as his mentor, manager and coach.

-At http://www.bardown.com/adorable-child-recreated-the-rock-s-iconic-fanny-pack-photo-for-halloween-and-it-s-incredible-1.899385 are various people including a cute baby recreating the Rock's iconic fanny pack photo.

-The VICE Sports piece has received a response from the WWE. The company issued the following statement regarding Ultimate Warrior’s past statements and the use of his character in the “Unleash Your Warrior” campaign with the Susan G. Komen Foundation this month:

"WWE’s ‘Unleash Your Warrior’ breast cancer awareness campaign and annual ‘Warrior Award’ recognize individuals that exhibit the strength and courage of WWE’s legendary character The Ultimate Warrior. Any attempt to distract from the mission of these initiatives and take the spotlight away from the honorees is unfortunately misguided."

Frankly, if the WWE has an issue with anyone trying to “distract from the mission of these initiatives” then the source of the distraction is the Ultimate Warrior. It is pretty indefensible to look at the statements that Warrior made while he was alive and opt that he is the figure to build such a campaign around. It seems there are two categories of the WWE audience –one side lives in a fantasy world with their fantasy characters that can do no wrong and somehow the moral compass is thrown out the window with a separation of “their character” with the actual human being. The other category is people in the real world – and in the “real world”, this type of figure being the subject of a breast cancer awareness campaign would be criticized beyond belief.

-Dwayne Johnson told People Magazine Saturday while at the Los Angeles Convention Center for Stan Lee's Los Angeles Comic Con:

"I think The People's President has a really nice ring to that, I'll just say that."

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was at the Los Angeles Comic Con this weekend, promoting his upcoming film Jumanji and mulling over running for President.

-Regarding changes to the first week of the Raw brand U.K. tour, it would appear Roman Reigns is off at least the early dates, because the main events were scheduled as The Shield vs. The Miz, Cesaro & Sheamus, and it's been changed to Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose defending the tag titles against Sheamus & Cesaro, and HHH has been added to the Raw brand tour. Reigns is still advertised as the main star for all of those shows. Kurt Angle will appear on the 11/7 show, which is the night after Raw, in Birmingham, UK.

The Raw tour begins on Wednesday and the SmackDown tour begins on Thursday. Because the Raw crew flies out of Baltimore to the U.K. right after the show, there will be no Raw invasion of SmackDown at least this week, and the way the schedule works, it'll be difficult to do it next week in the U.K. with the shows going on at the same time. It is possible they could do it as a pre-tape next week.

-The AP ran a big story on Ric Flair to promote the ESPN 30 for 30 show on 11/7.

-WWE's Mauro Ranallo was in Cardiff, Wales Saturday to broadcast the Anthony Joshua heavyweight boxing title defense over Carlos Takam at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales for Showtime.

-With a rare weekend off, Zack Ryder took girlfriend Chelsea Green (Laurel Van Ness in Impact) on a vacation to Jamaica.

-Kenny Omega responded to Chris Jericho, this time bringing their Twitter feud to an end. Omega stated that while Twitter angles are fun, it’s a lot of talk with no pay off.

-Austin Aries stated on Twitter that he was pulled from the WWE 2K18 video game.

-PWInsider.com reported that Roman Reigns will not be appearing on tonight’s episode of WWE Raw since he is still recovering from the illness that has taken him off the road for the past several weeks. The earliest that he's reported to being back is on the go home week of the Survivor Series when Raw is in Atlanta on November 13.

They reported that Samoa Joe is backstage at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, which is the site for tonight’s Raw. Joe has been off television since SummerSlam healing up from multiple injuries. Reigns' absence wasn't unexpected since the announcement on Friday of Triple H appearing to wrestle on at least the first week of the Raw U.K. tour seemed to be to give the shows a major replacement for Reigns not being there.

In addition, since the tour was built around The Shield reunion in matches with The Miz, Sheamus & Cesaro, and that Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose were instead announced as being switched to tag team title matches against Sheamus & Cesaro also seemed to confirm Reigns' absence.

PWInsider.com also reported that Bray Wyatt is backstage for tonight’s Raw in Baltimore and has been cleared by doctors to return to action.

Both Bray Wyatt and Nia Jax are confirmed as appearing on the tour. Both are expected to be in Baltimore to take the flight out from after Raw to Glasgow, Scotland, where the tour begins on Wednesday.

Either or both could return on Raw but it is confirmed both are expected in Baltimore.

Bo Dallas is being evaluated regarding whether or not he will be cleared to wrestle. He is in Baltimore as well.

As noted in last week's Observer, the stories regarding Jax that have been reported elsewhere were overblown as there were never any issues regarding her leaving, nor any walking out, nor any issues regarding doing a job. She had asked for a few weeks off and was always scheduled to return for the European tour and was always booked on Survivor Series.

-The 25th anniversary of Monday Night Raw will feature special appearances by WWE Legends The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash, among others. The WWE has yet to reveal any other details about their scheduled appearances.The company confirmed that the anniversary edition of Raw would be taking place at both the Barclays Center and the Manhattan Center in New York City on January 22nd, 2018. Matches from both venues will air on the broadcast and will feature wrestlers from Raw and SmackDown, along with legends making "special appearances" at the Manhattan Center.

A one-night return to the Manhattan Center is the WWE bringing Raw back to where the first episode of the show took place. The venue was home to Raw in the early parts of its run.

The episode will also be the go-home show for the 2018 Royal Rumble, with that pay-per-view set to take place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 28th.

Tickets for the 25th anniversary episode of Raw will go on sale this Friday via Ticketmaster.

-Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James for the Raw Women's Championship and Finn Balor vs. Cesaro are scheduled for the show. If James were to win, theoretically they'd flip-flop her and Bliss' matches at Survivor Series.

The men's Survivor Series match, according to multiple sources, will be Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns & Finn Balor vs. Shane McMahon, Bobby Roode, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura & AJ Styles. The current issue of the Observer covers the rest of the card as that was the only match not finalized this past week.

-Smackdown and 205 Live take place on Tuesday from Norfolk. Matches announced for Smackdown are Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode in a Best 2-out-of-3 falls match and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens both in matches to determine who gets on the Smackdown Survivor Series team.

-The NFL game pits the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos that is head to head to Raw. No World Series playoff baseball until Tuesday head to head with SmackDown. After Sunday night, that would have driven Raw to its lowest numbers since June.

-Very sorry to report that Live Audio Wrestling has been cancelled and John Pollock and Jason Agnew were let go by The Fight Network. It's sad that the Impact acquisition has devastated Anthem's television network, first losing Robin Black and now Pollock, who is the total real deal as a reporter. Dave Metlzer has been doing that show every weekend for 19 years and had enjoyed it greatly. John, Jason and Dan Lovranski have been great to work with and thus many wishes for the best to all of them.

-Regarding rumors of Detroit hosting WrestleMania 35 in 2019, the Detroit Sports Commission, which would be in charge of such a bid, admitted they had made failed bids for 2017 and 2018, but claimed they did not submit a bid for 2019.

-The new season of Total Divas opens on Wednesday night.

-Paul Levesque announced NXT shows on 12/14 in Birmingham, 12/15 in Memphis and 12/16 in Little Rock.

-Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese, Gran Metallik and Mustafa Ali will have a Fright Night Fatal Four way on 205 Live this week.

Come back for more news and notes, so don't 'cha dare miss it!
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Here is todays BTS update.

https://411mania.com/wrestling/stars-rumored-added-wwe-205-live/

According to Pwinsider (via sportskeeda.com), it appears that the WWE 205 Live roster is about to grow. Pwinsider believes that more Superstars are going to be added to 205 Live to strengthen its roster and that we’re going to see it happen over the next few weeks. The site didn’t speculate on who may be moved to 205 Live.

https://411mania.com/wrestling/rockstar-spud-hideo-itami-rumored-wwe-205-live/

According to Pwinsider, WWE is considering moving Hideo Itami up from NXT with the idea that he would join the Raw brand as a member of the Cruiserweight division. The idea has been pitched several times, but no timetable has been set for the move.
They also report that multiple sources within WWE have confirmed that WWE is looking to sign Rockstar Spud (recently released by Impact Wrestling) with the idea of adding him to the 205 Live roster.

https://411mania.com/wrestling/sin-cara-getting-re-need-push-signing-new-wwe-deal/

According to Pwinsider.com, Sin Cara has been getting pushed on Smackdown recently because he has a new sneaker line revealed, and because he has signed a new multi-year deal with WWE.

https://411mania.com/wrestling/ric-flair-praises-charlotte-top-3-wrestler-prefers-heel/

– Ric Flair recently spoke with Busted Open Radio (transcript via wrestlinginc.com), here are the highlights…
On Charlotte Being an Overall Top 3 Wrestler: “I can’t put it in words. She is ‘it,'” Flair said. “To me, and I’ll say this to anybody, she’s in the top-three workers in the business right now. The only two that I think are better than her, I won’t say they’re better than her but they have more experience, are (Randy) Orton and (AJ) Styles. Maybe Seth Rollins. But in terms of athletic ability, work ethic, and workouts and her gimmick and everything.”
His Thoughts on Charlotte’s Babyface Run: “I hate her being a on the good side because she’s a much better heel, but she’s adjusted,” he said. “She’s kind of like right now a John Cena of the company, which is not a bad spot to have.”

https://411mania.com/wrestling/brie-bella-explains-supports-daniel-bryan-wrestling/
– Brie Bella recently spoke with Busted Open Radio (via wrestlinginc.com), here are the highlights…
On Why She Supports Daniel Bryan Wrestling Again: “This is my thing, I told Bryan, ‘Obviously your health is everything to me… As long as doctors clear you, I’m OK,’ because I’m not the type of wife to ever hold back my husband from his dreams at all,” she said. “And why I fell in love with Bryan, is his passion.”

On Gearing Up For Her Own Comeback: “The moment they told him he could no longer wrestle in the ring, I’m not kidding you, that next day he has done everything to figure out how he can get back into that ring,” Bella said. “He’s flown all over the United States to do all these different oxygen chambers, all these different things. You can’t beat that passion, and that’s what I tell him. That right there, that’s passion that people will never be taught. I told him, ‘Whatever you want to do Bryan, I 100 percent support you.'”

https://411mania.com/wrestling/wwe-raw-rating-last-weeks-rebound/

– This week’s episode of Raw was down from last week’s rebound in both ratings and viewership. Monday’s episode brought in a 0.94 rating in the 18 – 49 demographic and 2.854 million viewers, down 9% and 3% from last week’s 1.03 demo rating and 2.953 million viewers. The numbers are still better than the 0.91 and 2.688 million from two weeks ago, it is worth noting.
Raw ranked #4 among cable originals for the night, per Showbuzz Daily. The NFL game lead the way with a 3.51 demo rating and 10.420 million viewers, followed by Love & Hip-Hop (1.12/2.216 million) and the post-game SportsCenter (1.08/2.777 million). The hourly numbers were:
8 PM: 0.98 demo rating (3.102 million viewers)
9 PM: 0.98 demo rating (2.943 million viewers)
10 PM: 0.87 demo rating (2.517 million viewers

https://411mania.com/wrestling/natalya-discusses-run-total-divas-welcoming-new-cast-members/

Natalya recently spoke with WWE.com about her run on Total Divas, welcoming new cast members and more…
On Being Part of Total Divas For The Entire Run: I think it’s been, for me, a journey, to be on this show since day one. It’s so cool that I’ve been able to allow the audience to be on that journey with me, that roller coaster of life. And we’ve never, ever let cameras behind the scenes before like this. We’ve never done a reality show like this before. So, to be able to share with the world what it is that we do, what makes us laugh, what makes us cry, what drives us nuts, what gets on our nerves – being able to share that sisterhood with the girls is most important. My life in and out of the ring isn’t the five minutes you see me on SmackDown or Raw or WWE programming. There’s so much more. To get to work is a struggle sometimes. It’s planes, trains and automobiles; [the week of] Hurricane Irma we almost didn’t make it to SmackDown LIVE

On Alexa Bliss, Carmella and Nia Jax Joining Total Divas: When I look at my favorite TV shows — for example, “Seinfeld” is one of my all-time favorite TV shows – I love watching George, Elaine, Kramer and Jerry. They feel like friends to me. I feel like myself, Naomi and The Bella Twins are all old friends because we’re from the very, very beginning of the show. But I also love it when we get new cast members on because I think it really spices things up. It really adds to the flavor and keeps things moving and new. You love your friends, but you also love seeing and meeting new girls.

On if we will be seeing anymore of her cat 2Pawz this season: Oh, you will definitely get to see more of the iconic 2Pawz. I’ve made sure to talk to Peyton Royce and Billie Kay about the word “iconic,” and they’re more than happy to lend it to me in talking about 2Pawz. Let me just tell you this: He’s as rich and famous as he’s ever been, and it’s only going to get better from here. He’s getting ready to drop a rap album, drop a perfume line, and he’s got a fleet of Pawzerattis in our garage ready to rock and roll for all the beautiful women that are lined up to have dates with him. Like a true reality star.

Check back for further updates as they come to hand.




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I'm back to kickoff the November WWE News!

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending while please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

NXT Takeover: War Games on Saturday, November 18 from Houston, Texas

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXT_TakeOver:_Houston and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt

UPDATED PPV CARD:

*Fatal Four-Way for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship: Mae Young Classic Winner Kairi Sane vs. Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce vs. Nikki Cross
*War Games Match: The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe, Eric Young & Killian Dain w/ Nikki Cross) vs. Roderick Strong and The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar w/ Paul Ellering)
*NXT Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/ Zelina Vega)
*Aleister Black vs.Velveteen Dream
*Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan

Survivor Series on Sunday, November 19 from Houston, Texas

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivor_Series_(2017) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries

UPDATED PPV CARD:

*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. SmackDown WWE Champion Jinder Mahal (w/ The Singh Brothers [Sunil & Samir])
NOTE: John Cena will be the Special Guest Referee.
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. SmackDown United States Champion Baron Corbin
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss vs. SmackDown Women's Champion Natalya
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Tag Team Champions The Shield (Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
*5 on 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw's Men's Team (Captain Kurt Angle and 4 others TBA) vs. Team SmackDown's Men's Team (Captain Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Bobbdy Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura and 1 other TBA)
NOTE: If Team Raw loses, Commissioner Stephanie McMahon will fire GM Kurt Angle.
*5 on 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw's Women's Team (Captain Alicia Fox, Nia Jax and 3 others TBA) vs. Team SmackDown's Women's Team (Captain Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Naomi, Carmella w/ James Ellsworth & Tamina w/ Lana)
-WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Enzo Amore (C) vs. Kalisto

-Nikki Bella and her partner were eliminated Monday night from Dancing With the Stars, along with another couple in the season’s first double-elimination. Her first dance – a jive – was marred with some sloppy footwork and earned them a low score of 24/30. Her second performance was part of a team dance with three other couples and poor synchronization led to their downfall. This now frees her up to return to the WWE ring. Bella tweeted about being eliminated:

“Beyond shocked & sad about @artemchigvintse & I’s elimination. 9’s & the power of the #BellaArmy last week is shocking! But what an amazing journey! I’ve learned so much. Most of all 2 take chances, don’t be afraid, & live life 2 the fullest! Thank you DWTS!” John Cena also tweeted about Bella's elimination, writing that no one knows more than him about how much she dedicated herself to the show and saying that it’s another reason why she inspires him every day.

-Ticketmaster.com reported that there will be an online pre-sale for tickets to The Manhattan Center portion of the Raw 25th anniversary special. The pre-sale begins tomorrow at 10am EST.

-The 2016 film The Chair, which features late WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in his final movie role is now available.

-Vince McMahon apparently wasn't too fond of Ryback's physique during his time with the WWE.

On a recent episode of Colt Cabana's "Art of Wrestling" podcast, Ryback (real name Ryan Allen Reeves) revealed his signature singlet look was the result of McMahon thinking he was overweight.

"It's funny because (Vince) was the one that put me in a singlet because he thought I was fat at one point. I have never been fat at any point in my career but this was a real thing," Ryback said, as transcribed by Doric Sam of Wrestling Inc. "Word had gotten back to me that I needed to lose 30 pounds, and this was right before I debuted as Ryback. I was in trunks, but they put me in a black singlet, which made me look like a black Big Show.

"I thought to myself that I had to do something with this, so I got a hold of RVD and asked him if It was cool that I airbrushed my singlet because I had to do something. I had done this the week before and everybody was like, oh that looks good, so I thought, OK, this is going to work."

The WWE eventually tried to get Ryback to ditch the singlet for trunks, which he refused to do. He left the company in 2016.

"I responded back that it wasn't happening, and that he can talk to me if he wants to, but I'm wearing my singlet," he said. "I'm in control, I'm not wearing trunks. So, afterwards I started not to trust anything that was going on."

-In her first public comments since being released by the WWE, Emma took a positive approach to her future in a tweet. Emma wrote,

"I feel very fortunate to have the most amazing family, friends and fans in the world! I am excited for the future. The best is yet to come!"

Along with Darren Young and Summer Rae, Emma was part of a round of WWE roster cuts that were announced on Sunday morning. Emma was the only one of the three currently being featured on television and her release came less than a week after she had competitive matches with Asuka at TLC and on last week's episode of Raw.

Young, who was one of the WWE wrestlers who attended a Los Angeles Clippers game this past Saturday night to promote that Raw is coming to the Staples Center in December, has yet to comment on no longer being with the company. In her first post on Instagram since being released, Summer Rae wrote that she's not giving up on Summer just yet.

-The second member of Raw’s men’s division team for Survivor Series was confirmed as WWE.com announced that Braun Strowman would be teaming with Kurt Angle. Dave Meltzer reported that Raw’s team would be Angle, Strowman, Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns & Finn Balor.

Shane, Orton, Roode, and Nakamura have now been officially confirmed as being part of the team, with a qualifying match between AJ Styles and Rusev to decide their final member next week. Angle and Braun Strowman have been announced for the Raw side for the traditional five-on-five elimination tag match between the brands.

If all goes according to plan, Styles will be confirmed as SmackDown's last team member and Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, and Finn Balor will join Angle and Strowman.

-Mick Foley’s auction for relief efforts in Puerto Rico raised $21,261.12 by the time it concluded.

-Cleveland Cavaliers player Kevin Love and his girlfriend Kate Bock dressed up as Sting and Hollywood Hogan for Halloween.

-AJ Styles faces off against Rusev in the final SmackDown Survivor Series qualifying match on SmackDown Live. Plus, SmackDown Tag Team champions The Usos defend against Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable.

-On 205 Live, it was also announced that Enzo Amore would be defending his Cruiserweight Championship against Kalisto at the pay-per-view. That will be Survivor Series' only title match since all of Raw's champions are facing SmackDown's champions in non-title bouts at the show.

-Reported at http://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/tyrese-blasts-the-rock-cries-over-child-custody-dispute-1.3659469 is one of the ongoing feuds Dwayne Johnson has been having with various actors on the Fast and the Furious movies. Tyrese detailed his issues with his "Fast & Furious" co-star Dwayne Johnson in multiple social media posts Wednesday and also says he's hurting because he has not seen in daughter in two months.

The singer-actor wrote that if Johnson returns for the film's ninth installment, he won't come back. Tyrese also called Johnson a "clown," "selfish" and "NOT the people's champ." There have been ongoing issues with Johnson and Vin Diesel as well.

He called out Johnson in an Instagram post last month around the time The Hollywood Reporter said that a 2019 "Fast" film is intended to be a spinoff starring Johnson and Jason Statham.

-In an interview noted at https://www.thescore.com/news/1412147-watch-the-rock-reveals-which-current-wwe-stars-he-d-want-to-wrestle the Rock said he during a Q&A session at Comic Con in Los Angeles over the weekend, Johnson named Reigns, Triple H, and Brock Lesnar as the three current WWE Superstars he'd most want to wrestle today.

Reigns told The Mirror's Neil Docking recently that he's eyeing a WrestleMania showdown with Johnson. Triple H also teased a potential WrestleMania match against Johnson in an interview on Facebook Live last month.

-A photo posted by the WWE shows that Triple H teamed with the Shield's Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins during the European tour, donning the vest too. The lineups for the tour had to be reshuffled since Roman Reigns wasn't medically cleared to go on it. He was supposed to team with Rollins & Ambrose, though WWE later announced that they'd be defending their tag titles against Cesaro & Sheamus before changing the cards again where Bray Wyatt tagged with the Bar. Triple H wore full Shield gear for the match after being given a vest by Rollins, who cut a promo trying to explain the logic of Triple H teaming with them by saying that it was a call that he never thought he’d make and that you always need to have a plan B. The match in Glasgow was Wyatt’s first since being out for the last several weeks with a viral infection.

-The WWE is advertising Braun Strowman vs. Kane for several stops on Raw’s European tour shows, including a possible meeting at next week’s Raw television taping at the Manchester Arena.

-Paige sent out a tweet thanking Mandy Rose, Nikki Cross, Ember Moon, and Ruby Riot for helping her train for her comeback at the Performance Center over the last few weeks.

-Les Thatcher has also been spending some time at the Performance Center as a guest trainer this week.

-A fan in the front row was hit in the face with the top of the announce table after Sami Zayn threw it off on SmackDown Live.

-The New Day dressed up as old-school pro wrestling characters, with Big E dressed as Akeem, Kofi Kingston as Brother Love, and Xavier Woods as Jimmy Hart.

-Baron Corbin cut a promo responding to The Miz ahead of their match at Survivor Series.

-Kelly Kelly left the door open for a return to the ring in an interview with E!.

**UPDATES for Nov.2/17**

-Shane McMahon announced on Twitter that Jinder Mahal will be defending his WWE Title on Smackdown next week, which will be taped in Manchester, England.

The WWE announced today that AJ Styles would be challenging for Mahal's WWE Championship on the show. In a storyline update, Shane McMahon revealed the news on his Twitter account:

"Due to @JinderMahal vicious attack on @AJStylesOrg, he will defend the #WWEChampionship against AJ this Tues. in Manchester, UK on #SDLive."

As part of his program with Mahal, Styles has defeated both Singh Brothers over the last two weeks. Mahal laid out Styles following Styles' match with Samir Singh on Tuesday.

Mahal vs. Styles was always the planned direction, likely for the final pay-per-view of the year on December 17th in Boston. Their program has already started as the main event on the SmackDown brand house shows.

Styles had been scheduled to face Rusev in a Survivor Series qualifying match to determine the final member of SmackDown's men's division team next week, but whether that will still happen at some point isn't clear. The Usos defending their tag titles against Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable is also set for SmackDown in Manchester.

Mahal vs. Brock Lesnar and The Usos vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose in non-title champion vs. champion matches are currently scheduled for Survivor Series in Houston on November 19th.

-On the latest episode of the "Something To Wrestle" podcast, Bruce Prichard, who served as Vince McMahon's right-hand man for nearly 25 years, revealed Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was very particular about egg whites during his wrestling days. Johnson was a regular at Waffle House, and wouldn't let cooks separate the eggs for him.

"He also used to like to stop at Waffle House and he would get a dozen eggs and he would ask them for a glass and he would crack and separate his own egg whites," Prichard recalled, according to Sports Illustrated's Jimmy Traina.

"'Bring me the 12 eggs,' and then he would separate the eggs. And then sometimes if they knew who he was, sometimes he'd go back and cook his own eggs, but he would have his chicken breast and his egg whites, but he liked to crack his own eggs and separate them because I guess he didn't trust them."

Johnson still loves his eggs. He consumes two in the morning and a 10-egg-white omelette before bed every day.

-Facing big competition from the World Series and taking the usual hit that the WWE does when their shows air on Halloween, SmackDown ratings fell 21 percent on Tuesday night. The show was down to 2.119 million viewers, which is the third lowest number for SmackDown since moving to a live format on Tuesday nights.

The show was ninth for the night on cable in terms of total viewers but did finish second in the 18-49 demo with a 0.65, trailing only American Horror Story.

The big competition was from game six of the World Series, which did over 18 million viewers on Fox during the two hours it aired opposite SmackDown. Ratings stalwarts NCIS, Bull, and This is Us also did big numbers against the show.

For only the second time since August, the show was down from the same week last year, which also went up against game six of the World Series.

SmackDown retained only 75 percent of the Raw audience from the previous night, one of the lowest totals since the brand split, but that can also be chalked up to Halloween and the competition from the World Series.

Next week should return to normal levels as the World Series ends tonight and there will likely be advancement in the Raw vs. SmackDown angle leading into Survivor Series in less than three weeks.

-Now that the main event for NXT's next TakeOver special has officially been announced on television, WWE has revealed the rules for this month's War Games match:

*There will be a steel cage that surrounds two rings.

*A member from each team will start the match, with there being three separate shark cages near the entranceway that the other wrestlers are put in before they enter.

*After five minutes, the remaining two members from one team will be let out of their shark cage and into the ring. Following that, there will be a three-minute period until the next team's wrestlers are let in. There will then be a final three-minute period until the last team's members are allowed to join the match.

*The match can be won by pinfall or submission once all of the teams have fully entered.

The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly), SAnitY (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain), and Roderick Strong & The Authors of Pain will be the three teams involved in War Games, which is the first time WWE has used the concept since acquiring WCW in 2001.

The Toyota Center in Houston, Texas will host NXT TakeOver: War Games on November 18th. Other matches that have been confirmed for the show are Drew McIntyre defending his NXT Championship against Andrade "Cien" Almas, Kairi Sane vs. Peyton Royce vs. Ember Moon vs. Nikki Cross for the vacant Women's title, and Aleister Black vs. Velveteen Dream.

-The WWE once again did The Shield, being Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & HHH, beating Sheamus, Cesaro & Bray Wyatt as the main event of their European tour show in Brighton today. They did the same main event yesterday in Glasgow.

-The presale for the 25th anniversary of Raw at the Manhattan Center sold out immediately. There will be a General Public sale for tomorrow. With only a few hundred seats, they'll go instantly.

-Emma, Darren Young and Summer Rae are all currently being paid through the end of February on a non-compete deal so they won't be signing anywhere until March at the earliest.

**UPDATES for Nov.3/17**

-Following the departures of Emma, Darren Young, and Summer Rae earlier this week, another wrestler has been released from their WWE contract.

NXT's Sawyer Fulton posted a statement on Twitter today announcing that he's no longer with the company. He wrote that he worked as hard as possible to come back after being injured in 2016, but it didn't end up working out. He noted that he's going to continue in pro wrestling and vowed to get back to WWE in the future.

Like with Emma, Young and Summer Rae, injury issues significantly hindered Fulton's career. He suffered an arm injury towards the end of last year that kept him out of action for several months. Due to the injury, he was written out of the SAnitY stable as Killian Dain joined Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, and Nikki Cross in the group.

Fulton made his return in an angle at a house show in April and defeated Brennan Williams in his first match back in May but never returned to television.

Fulton, whose real name is Jacob Southwick and who was an amateur wrestler in college, signed with WWE in 2012 after starting his career in Mid-Ohio Wrestling. His full statement about his release is available to read below:

"Wow there [are] a lot of feelings going through my head right now. First off, thank you to everyone who has supported me the last 5 years. Coaches, brothers, fans, family, and an amazing woman named Abby. This has been an absolutely amazing time in WWE. After my injury I worked as hard as possible to come back, and it just happened to not work out.

However, I'm not ashamed of being released by any means, I held nothing back and at the end of the day I'm happy to leave with my head held high. I'm going to continue to work hard as possible and learn all I can in wrestling, nothing changes but the name.

The last thing I said to Canyon [Ceman] and Coach [Matt] Bloom was that I'm still young and I will be back in WWE and I fully intend to prove it. I want to be a great professional wrestler, that goal will never change, only the path that takes me there. Honestly I can not wait to start down this new path, and travel, and wrestle in front of new crowds.

WWE, NXT thank you for everything you have done for me, and we will see each other again soon. And for all my brothers in the back, I'm sure we will make another town together in the future. I love You all. See you soon!"

-In a fitting stipulation for their guitar-based feud, the WWE announced today that Elias and Jason Jordan would face off in a guitar-on-a-pole match on next week's episode of Raw from the Manchester Arena.

Elias and Jordan last wrestled on television two weeks ago, with their match ending in a disqualification when Elias bruised Jordan's arm with a guitar shot. Their issues continued on last Monday's Raw as Jordan broke Elias' guitar after interrupting his musical performance.

Their angle began at TLC last month, with Jordan throwing food at Elias while he was singing after Elias interrupted a conversation that he was having with Kurt Angle on the pre-show. Jordan then defeated Elias in a match on the pay-per-view.

Also set for next week's Raw is a Miz TV segment with Kurt Angle that will open the show after Angle was confirmed as the captain of Raw's Survivor Series team last Monday.

Both Raw and SmackDown will be taped in Manchester next week as part of WWE's European tour. Jinder Mahal defending his WWE Championship against AJ Styles and Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable challenging for The Usos' tag titles are scheduled for SmackDown Live.

-On Tuesday, Fathom Entertainment will be presenting a Ted DiBiase documentary at movie theaters for a 7:35 p.m. showing across the country. ESPN 30 for 30 will do the Ric Flair story.

-On Wednesday has Raw in Dortmund, Germany and Smackdown in Leeds, UK.

-Raw and Smackdown in Manchester this week are both sold out with 14,000 tickets sold. That's a marked contrast from the U.S. markets where the attendance for both has been well below normal the past few months.

-Figure Four Films will be presenting a documentary called "An Extraordinary Gentleman," about the life of Jack Gallagher. The documentary covers his career prior to signing with the WWE.

**UPDATES for Nov.4/17**

-The special guest referee for the Universal Champion vs. WWE Champion match at this month's Survivor Series pay-per-view appears to be set.

Dave Meltzer notes that the decision has been made for John Cena to referee the non-title match between Brock Lesnar and Jinder Mahal at the PPV. Meltzer previously reported in the October 30th edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Cena had been talked about as an option to referee Lesnar vs. Mahal, with The Rock and Steve Austin also being considered if they were open to doing it and if their schedules allowed it.

Cena hasn't been on WWE television since losing to Roman Reigns at Raw's No Mercy show in September. That Cena is a "free agent" in storyline would seem likely to play into him refereeing the match.

Before Survivor Series takes place on November 19th, Mahal will defend his WWE Championship against AJ Styles on next Tuesday's episode of SmackDown in Manchester, England.

-The ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on Ric Flair airs on Tuesday, November 7 in the United States, and on Friday, November 10th, at 7:30 pm ET on TSN 5 in Canada.

-Les Thatcher recently was brought into the WWE Performance Center in Orlando as a guest trainer. Here's what he posted to Facebook after the experience:

"Just getting settled at home after an amazing week at The WWE Performance Center.Got to work in an great training facility with a talented staff of coaches, and a great roster of athletes. The energy was trememdous and I can't say thank you enought to everyone there for ther hospitality, professionalisum,& hard work. They made me feel right at home and my only hope is that I left as much of a positive vibe as I brough home with me, and we can do it again. God bless you all!"

-The WWE tweeted that WWE stars Jinder Mahal and Becky Lynch recently trained with Coach John Kavanagh, who trains UFC star, Conor McGregor.

-The Undertaker was spotted leaving a Best Buy wearing an "American Gun" shirt which features the American flag in the shape of an assault rifle. The shirt is made by a company called Centurion, which promotes traditional conservative values.

-The next new episode of WWE Ride Along will air immediately after WWE Raw on Monday night and will feature the Hardys and Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas.

-An update to the previous reports of tension between Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and his Fast and Furious co-star Tyrese Gibson. Apparently, The Rock's people got hold of Gibson and the two have mended fences.

-The WWE released Performance Center trainee Leo Gao yesterday, with Pro Wrestling Sheet reporting that a neck injury Gao suffered in August may have played into the decision. Gao reported to the Performance Center this year after being one of the recruits that the company signed from China in 2016. Though he never made his debut, WWE.com ran a story about him that chronicled the time he live-tweeted getting lost in Orlando, his “Stone Cold” Steve Austin impersonation, and more.

-Glenn Jacobs (Kane) is releasing two pro wrestling-inspired T-shirts for his mayoral campaign. The designs are modeled after the old Raw is War logo and the Bullet Club’s shirts.

-Josh Reddick, who is a huge pro wrestling fan, sported the Houston Astros’ customized WWE Championship and channeled his inner Ric Flair at their World Series parade yesterday. Triple H also sent out a tweet inviting Reddick to Survivor Series in Houston later this month.

-Triple H reunited with a fan he met 10 years ago before WWE’s house show in London yesterday:

“Great to see my buddy Luke after 10 years tonight before #WWELondon. Keep fighting champ, I’ve always got your back!”

-AJ Styles cut a promo on Jinder Mahal in advance of their title match on SmackDown.

-In an interview with Rolling Stone about her time on Dancing with the Stars, Nikki Bella said she wants to be the first female wrestler in WWE to reach The Rock or John Cena’s level.

-Finn Balor met Tottenham’s Mousa Dembele when he visited the Spurs’ training facility this week.

-Mike Mooneyham has an article on Asuka and how the WWE has handled her time on the main roster.

The rest of the news will roll out, so don't 'cha dare miss it!
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The WWE continues its European tour including their TV this week on tape delay. Here is the news as the tour happens this week.

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending while please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

NXT Takeover: War Games on Saturday, November 18 from Houston, Texas

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXT_TakeOver:_Houston and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt

UPDATED PPV CARD:

*Fatal Four-Way for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship: Mae Young Classic Winner Kairi Sane vs. Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce vs. Nikki Cross
*War Games Match: The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe, Eric Young & Killian Dain w/ Nikki Cross) vs. Roderick Strong and The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar w/ Paul Ellering)
*NXT Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/ Zelina Vega)
*Aleister Black vs.Velveteen Dream
*Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan
*WWE United Kingdom Championship Match: Pete Dunne (C) vs. Johnny Gargano

Survivor Series on Sunday, November 19 from Houston, Texas

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivor_Series_(2017) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries

UPDATED PPV CARD:

*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. SmackDown WWE Champion AJ Styles
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. SmackDown United States Champion Baron Corbin
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss vs. SmackDown Women's Champion Natalya
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Tag Team Champions The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
*5 on 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw's Men's Team (Captain Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor and Jason Jordan) vs. Team SmackDown's Men's Team (Captain Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Bobbdy Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura and John Cena)
NOTE: If Team Raw loses, Commissioner Stephanie McMahon will fire GM Kurt Angle.
*5 on 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw's Women's Team (Captain Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Asuka, Sasha Banks and 1 other TBA) vs. Team SmackDown's Women's Team (Captain Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Naomi, Carmella w/ James Ellsworth & Tamina w/ Lana)
-WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Enzo Amore (C) vs. Kalisto

-For as wild of a year as 2017 has been for pro wrestling, next year already appears to be following suit.

In a shocker, Chris Jericho will be wrestling Kenny Omega at the Tokyo Dome for New Japan Pro Wrestling on January 4th, 2018. Omega retained his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against Trent Barreta at the Power Struggle show and called out his next challenger after. It was teased that no one was left to challenge him, but Jericho then appeared in a video.

Jericho said he was the best in the world and the Alpha of this business before challenging Omega to the match, which Omega accepted. Jericho and Omega, who are both from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, have been engaged in a Twitter "feud" recently, but it wasn't apparent if that would ever amount to anything.

After Power Struggle, the other matches that appear to be set for Wrestle Kingdom 12 at the Tokyo Dome are Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White (who returned to NJPW as Switchblade) for the IWGP Intercontinental title, Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay vs. KUSHIDA vs. Hiromu Takahashi for the Junior title, and Sho & Yoh vs. The Young Bucks for the Junior tag titles. Post show online they teased a photo that Kota Ibushi would challenge ROH World Champion Cody.

Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez will have more on the particulars surrounding Jericho wrestling for NJPW later. Jericho has been off the road for WWE and touring with Fozzy in recent months, with his most recent WWE match coming when he made a surprise appearance to face Kevin Owens and AJ Styles for the US title on an episode of SmackDown in July.

Meltzer notes that Jericho is able to work the match due to being a free agent after his WWE contract expired. Also, Chris Jericho announced a new project that he’s working on with the Travel Channel. A 30-minute special focusing on finding the hidden treasure of Butch Cassidy will air on the channel on November 17th.

-At http://www.f4wonline.com/wwe-news/video-triple-h-appears-icw-show-cardiff-245781 is video of Triple H appearing at an ICW show. While the Raw brand is in the United Kingdom for the first several stops on their side of the European tour, Triple H paid a visit to one of the country's promotions that the WWE is friendly with.

He made a surprise appearance at Insane Championship Wrestling's "Road to Fear & Loathing X" show in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday. ICW owner Mark Dallas and WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne were in the ring before Dallas called out Triple H to join them. Triple H got a big reaction from the crowd and cut a brief promo, thanking them for supporting the promotion and pro wrestling.

During the promo, Triple H called ICW one of the places where the wrestling business starts. He said the European scene is going to continue to grow, with guys like Dunne and Tyler Bate setting the world on fire, and closed by saying the industry is going to be taken to new heights.

Along with PROGRESS Wrestling, ICW is one of the promotions in the UK that WWE has a working relationship with. Noam Dar and Kassius Ohno have also appeared at ICW shows over the last few months.

The Raw roster is in Cardiff for a house show Sunday as well, with both Triple H and Dunne wrestling on the event.

-A reminder that the air date for ESPN's 30 for 30 film on Ric Flair film, Nature Boy is Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 10:00 p.m. ET.

-Monday is Raw from Manchester, UK. The only thing announced is Kurt Angle on Miz TV and Jason Jordan vs. Elias in a guitar on a pole match. There will also be a Smackdown house show in Lisbon, Portugal.

Tuesday has Smackdown and 205 Live from Manchester, UK with Jinder Mahal vs. A.J. Styles for the WWE title and Usos vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin for the tag titles. There will also be a Raw house show in Birmingham, UK.

Wednesday has Raw in Dortmund, Germany and Smackdown in Leeds, UK.

-After being released by the WWE last week, Emma announced today that she’ll begin taking bookings on February 1st, 2018 and thanked everyone for the overwhelming amount of inquiries she’s gotten.

-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are doing a series of “Ringside” talk shows next year.

-Tyson Kidd, Natalya, and Davey Boy Smith Jr. shared their thoughts on the passing of Yukihiro Sakada (“Tokyo” Joe Daigo).

-Finn Balor discussed the possibility of a WWE PPV taking place in the UK, saying the fans there deserve it.

-Former WWE employees Jimmy Jacobs and Anthony Carelli/Santino Marella were backstage at the Impact Wrestling Bound For Glory show in Ottawa. Jacobs did show up on air on the PPV.

-Despite the fact that the Bludgeon Brothers, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, have yet to make their television debut, they have been competing on the WWE's European Tour.

-PWInsider.com reported that the WWE has released former Tough Enough winner Josh Bredl. He was wrestling as Bronson Matthews in NXT. He only worked a few house show matches and hasn’t wrestled in over a year due to concussion issues.

-At http://www.bardown.com/former-wwe-personality-is-super-mad-about-famous-rapper-stealing-his-name-1.907670 "Brother Love" Bruce Pritchard is upset that rapper Sean Diddy Combs has taken the name online, one of many name changes he's had over the years.

-Sin Cara suffered an injury during his match against Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn in Spain. He was scheduled to be evaluated Monday to see if he can wrestle at the show. Sin Cara didn’t end up wrestling at SmackDown’s house show in Lisbon, Portugal after suffering what's being diagnosed as a knee injury in a match against Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn in Spain on Sunday. After he got the news, he sent out a tweet apologizing to the fans for not being able to wrestle.

Triple H has been added to the SmackDown event in Lisbon after filling in for Roman Reigns on Raw's first five stops in the United Kingdom. He teamed with Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose against Cesaro, Sheamus & Bray Wyatt in those matches.

Since Triple H won't be appearing at any of the other Raw events in Europe, The New Day will be on SmackDown in Manchester on Tuesday and then will wrestle on the Raw side for the rest of the tour. In fact on Raw on TV, the New Day commited Under Siege Part 2, costing the Shield the tag team championship to the Bar.

-While it remains to be seen how the match will be laid out or how long it will actually go, an intergender matchup is set for Tuesday's episode of SmackDown from Manchester, England.

The WWE announced that Becky Lynch would be facing James Ellsworth at the show. The announcement was made by Cathy Kelley in a video update, who went over how Lynch vs. Ellsworth was set up by a Twitter angle. Carmella volunteered Ellsworth, who had said Lynch wasn't deserving of being SmackDown's Survivor Series captain, for the match after Lynch challenged her.

-It appears that Roman Reigns won't be on Survivor Series due to battling the mumps as at Raw in Manchester, which is being taped ahead of time, they announced Kurt Angle, Jason Jordan, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor & Samoa Joe as being the brand's team for their men's elimination match against SmackDown.

The original plan was for Reigns to return next Monday in Atlanta and be announced as the final member of the team. It is still possible that could be the case and they can shoot the angle next week.

PWInsider reported that Reigns may not be ready by Survivor Series and that Jordan could take his place, and the Raw show indicated the same thing.

A company official stated that they had not heard of a change in plans regarding Reigns not being back next week, but with the illness, it is certainly possible the return date could be delayed.

The Raw announce team did say a Shield Reunion will occur on Raw next week with Roman Reigns returning but it didn't change yet that Roman is not on the Raw team, or that he's ready for in ring action.

-This week’s episode of 205 Live will feature WWE’s UK division appearing on the show. Much of the cruiserweight roster wasn’t flown to the UK for this week’s TV.

-This year’s WrestleMania on-sale party will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 16th. The Hardys, Mickie James, Heath Slater, Rhyno, and Mark Henry will be there signing autographs, Charlotte Flair will make an appearance, and there will be some matches from NXT. Hideo Itami vs. No Way Jose has been announced as the main event.

-The WWE presented a customized title to Manchester Arena staff members, recognizing the courage the staff and first responders showed during May’s terrorist attack at the arena.

-Kurt Angle, Cesaro, and Sheamus paid a visit to the Manchester City soccer team ahead of Raw in Manchester.

-The Mirror interviewed Nia Jax about her recent time off from the WWE and being on Total Divas.

-The Nottingham Posts spoke to Chad Gable about American Alpha being split up and his time at the Performance Center.

-Triple H and Stephanie McMahon sent a gift basket to Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella’s daughter.

-The WWE sent out their usual customized championship title to sports league winners, in this case the Houston Astros. WWE fan and player Josh Reddick has been invited to bring it to Survivor Series.

-Mae Young Classic contender Jazzy Gabert posted an inspirational message about all that she’s overcome in her life.

-Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman will be back on Raw next week.

**UPDATES for Nov.7/17**

-For the first time since he was pulled from WWE's TLC pay-per-view due to a viral infection, Roman Reigns will return to television on next week's episode of Raw.

That news was announced towards the end of last night's show before Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose lost their tag titles to Cesaro & Sheamus. What Reigns will be doing next week or if he'll be wrestling at Survivor Series wasn't made clear, with Jason Jordan having been announced as the final member of Raw's men's division team.

Reigns was supposed to return on Raw in Atlanta, Georgia next week and be announced as the fifth member of the team. An angle could be shot to have Reigns replace Jordan, though another possibility for Survivor Series was opened up with The New Day costing Reigns' Shield stablemates their tag title match last night.

Brock Lesnar will also be on Raw next Monday, which will be the Survivor Series go-home show. Raw still needs to confirm the final participant for their women's team, with the storyline being that Alicia Fox wouldn't pick Bayley for it last night.

Their fifth member will join Fox, Nia Jax, Asuka & Sasha Banks in facing Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Naomi, Carmella & Tamina at the PPV.

-After suffering a knee injury at SmackDown's house show in Spain on Sunday, Sin Cara has been cleared to return to the ring.

Dave Meltzer notes that Sin Cara was medically cleared today. Sin Cara, who has been involved in a feud with Baron Corbin on television, suffered the injury in a match against Corbin and Sami Zayn for the United States Championship.

Sin Cara was scheduled to be evaluated prior to yesterday's house show in Lisbon, Portugal but ended up not wrestling on the event. He tweeted out a message apologizing to the fans in Lisbon for missing the show and wrote that he hopes to see them soon. The US title match was changed to Corbin vs. Zayn vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler, with Corbin retaining after stealing the pin from Roode.

The earliest Sin Cara could return to action is at SmackDown in Manchester, England tonight, which has Jinder Mahal vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Championship, The Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable for the SmackDown tag titles, and Becky Lynch vs. James Ellsworth scheduled.

-PWInsider.com reported that the next classic promotion that may be featured on the WWE Network could be Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, which may be added in January.

-Michelle McCool teased a WWE comeback for one more match on Twitter when she responded to Charlotte Flair. Flair tweeted:

"Thank you Woman one more more match?!?" McCool’s response shows that she is open to the idea:

"Just seeing this…..I’ve been dying for someone to ask!!!!"

-WWE stars, Natalya and Dolph Ziggler visited Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, which is one of the biggest soccer teams in the world and presented them both with personalized shirts.

-Next week for Smackdown Live, Natalya will defend her Women's Championship against Charlotte Flair. Baron Corbin will defend his United States title against Sin Cara next week, plus The New Day will face Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn.

-Prior to wrestling at Survivor Series later this month, Kurt Angle will be in action in Birmingham, England today.

Though he was previously announced as just making an appearance at the event, Angle confirmed in a tweet today that he would be wrestling in Birmingham. He wrote:

"Birmingham UK!!! WWE Raw is here! My first 'WWE live event' in 11 years, in which I will be wrestling. #itstrue"

Angle took part in his first WWE match in over a decade last month as he teamed with Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose at TLC. He filled in for Roman Reigns at that pay-per-view, with WWE having to find replacements for Reigns on their European tour as well. Triple H, Rollins & Ambrose took on Cesaro, Sheamus & Bray Wyatt at Raw's first five stops in the United Kingdom.

Angle will captain one of Raw's teams at Survivor Series on November 19th, with the match currently scheduled to be Angle, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe & Jason Jordan vs. Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura & a partner that has yet to be announced.

-AJ Styles is once again the WWE Champion.

Styles defeated Jinder Mahal to win the title at tonight's SmackDown television tapings in Manchester, England. There was a near fall where Styles got his foot on the ropes after Mahal hit the Khallas at one point, with Styles then winning the title cleanly with the Phenomenal Forearm.

That would appear to have major ramifications for the Survivor Series pay-per-view card. Mahal was scheduled to face Universal Champion Brock Lesnar in a non-title champion vs. champion match at the show, but it was announced that Styles would be facing Lesnar at Survivor Series instead.

Styles and Mahal have also main evented the SmackDown brand house shows in non-title matches on their European tour up until now, with Styles winning all of those.

SmackDown's go-home show for Survivor Series will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina next week after WWE returns from the European tour.

-Being on tape doesn't seem to have even made the slightest difference in the audience for Raw last night from Manchester, England, as the show averaged 2.83 million viewers, identical to last week.

The show didn't start out quite as strong, and in a surprise during football season, it was the second hour that was the highest rated. There was a third hour drop, but not at the level of the previous two
weeks.

As far as the key competition, the Monday Night Football game with the Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers did 11.08 million viewers, up from the 10.42 million viewers the week before. Dancing with the Stars, with Nikki Bella off the show, fell from 9.93 million viewers to 9.30 million. But that number is still within the range of the norm for the season.

Raw was fourth for the night on cable behind the NFL, Hannity on Fox News (3.11 million), Tucker Carlson on Fox News (3.05 million), and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC (2.86 million).

The tag title match succeeded in keeping viewers better than recent third hours with Women's title and Cruiserweight title matches.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 2.94 million viewers
9 p.m. 2.96 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.63 million viewers

-“Nature Boy,” the 30 for 30 on Ric Flair’s life and career, airs on ESPN at 10 p.m. Eastern time tonight. Flair has been all over ESPN promoting it and Twitter has a Flair emoji for their “NatureBoy” hashtag. The special will also stream on ESPN3.

While appearing on ESPN, Flair said he’s not sure if he’s accepted the death of Reid yet. Flair also got emotional when talking about Charlotte’s career.

Flair appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” this morning.

GQ has an interview with Flair about the documentary, and Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated has a review of the 30 for 30.

-Pete Dunne will be defending his WWE United Kingdom Championship against Johnny Gargano on November 18th in Houston, but it won’t be on the NXT TakeOver: War Games special. WWE announced the match today, with it likely taking place on the TV tapings they do prior to TakeOver.

Dunne & Mark Andrews vs. Trent Seven & Tyler Bate is also set for WWE’s house show in San Antonio on the night before TakeOver. Pete Dunne posted a photo of him receiving a tryout last year side-by-side with him debuting on Raw last night.

-The WWE posted the full list of people who attended their two days of tryouts in Manchester this week. It included indie wrestlers Eddie Dennis, Jack Sexsmith, Omari, Jackie Polo & Mark Coffey, Little Miss Roxxy, Samii Jayne, Chris Ridgeway, Iestyn Rees, Kasey Owens, and more.

-Piers Morgan responded to Corey Graves saying on commentary last night that Enzo Amore may be the only person less liked than Morgan in England:

“You’re the guy who couldn’t make it as a wrestler so turned to (bad..) commentary, right @WWEGraves? #WWERaw”

-It looks like at the moment the count out in the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match was an audible after the chop block spot legit injured one of the Usos.

**UPDATES for Nov.8/17**

-WWE announced the final member of Team SmackDown for Survivor Series is John Cena, and he will join Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura, and team captain Shane McMahon. Though he was originally scheduled to referee a match at the show, John Cena will instead be wrestling at Survivor Series.

Shane made the announcement about Cena joining the team on Twitter:

"Further proving #SDLive is the superior brand, I'm happy to announce @JohnCena will be the 5th member of Team Smackdown at #SurvivorSeries."

Raw's team for the match is currently scheduled to be Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, and Jason Jordan.

Cena hasn't appeared on WWE television since losing to Roman Reigns at Raw's No Mercy pay-per-view in September. Reigns will return on next week's episode of Raw, possibly setting up his direction for Survivor Series.

In storyline, Cena is currently a "free agent" and can wrestle for both Raw and SmackDown. He was at one point planned to be the special guest referee for the Brock Lesnar vs. Jinder Mahal non-title champion vs. champion match at Survivor Series until plans were changed and it was decided that AJ Styles would win the WWE Championship from Mahal before the PPV.

John Cena tweeted a message about being added to SmackDown’s Survivor Series team:

“I am ready to answer the call where ever and whenever I’m needed. Where? #SDLive When? #SurvivorSeries”

-Rusev also posted an in-character tweet about Cena being added to the team:

“Congrats to my friend John Cena who qualified for the survivor series fair and square...... go get them TIGER”

-PWInsider.com reported that former Impact Wrestling star, Rockstar Spud is set to sign with the WWE, and starting with the company once all of his visa paperwork has been completed. Spud was formerly with Impact Wrestling.

-Former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal publicly admitted that AJ Styles was the “better man” in a tweet:

"@AJStylesOrg was the better man for one night. Mark my words, The Maharaja will raise the crown again."

After losing the WWE Championship at yesterday’s SmackDown tapings, Jinder Mahal also took to Instagram to deny rumors about why he dropped the title:

“To @ajstylesp1, you were the better man for one night. Six months I held the #WWEChamoionship, defended it countless times, all over the world. I will one day raise the title again. To my haters and wrestling ‘insiders’, this was NOT an experiment, I am NOT injured, I have NOT violated the wellness policy. So keep throwing shade my way , it only motivates me.”

-WWE Hall of Famer Papa Shango will be appearing at this weekend’s “Frightmare in the Falls” horror convention, taking place at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The voodoo priest will be appearing on Saturday for photos and autographs and a fan Q&A.

-Johnny Gargano will be challenging for Pete Dunne's WWE United Kingdom Championship in Houston, Texas on November 18th, but it won't be part of NXT's TakeOver: War Games broadcast.

The WWE announced the match yesterday while noting that being at the event is the only way to see it live. Given that wording, it seems likely that Dunne vs. Gargano will be part of the usual television tapings prior to TakeOver and will end up airing on NXT TV.

Gargano will become the first wrestler who isn't from the UK to challenge for the title since it came into existence earlier this year.

Before TakeOver, Dunne will also be appearing at NXT's house show in San Antonio (which goes against an ROH show in the city on the same night) on November 17th. He'll be teaming with Mark Andrews against Tyler Bate & Trent Seven, with Shawn Michaels refereeing the night's Drew McIntyre vs. Adam Cole NXT Championship main event.

Dunne made his Raw debut in a cameo this week, defeating Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore in a non-title match. Amore then got a win against Bate as wrestlers from the UK division were featured on 205 Live last night.

-After dipping to one of its lowest levels since moving to a live format for last Tuesday's episode that went against the World Series and Halloween, SmackDown was up 23 percent this week and averaged 2.603 million viewers. That number is near the viewership the show reached two weeks ago for the fallout of the SmackDown invasion of Raw.

SmackDown finished eighth for the night in total viewers on cable and was third in the 18-49 demo with a 0.82 rating. The show trailed American Horror Story in that demo, as it usually does, but also the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the life of Ric Flair, which did a 0.91 rating and 1.831 million viewers.

That the show was taped did not hurt the SmackDown rating at all, and it may have even helped as the WWE itself and several other websites had posted news about a title change before the show aired. AJ Styles defeated Jinder Mahal to win the WWE Championship in last night's main event.

SmackDown retained 92 percent of the Raw audience from the night before, the second highest number of 2017.

The show was also up a whopping 35 percent year-over-year, but last year's episode was going up against coverage of the presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton that dominated both broadcast and cable television.

-AJ Styles thanked the fans in the UK for how they treated him last night and throughout his career:

“Judging by the reaction in Manchester last night after winning the WWE championship you’d think I was from the UK. Truth is, I’ve spent a lot of time in this part of the world and they have always treated me as one of their own. Thank you” WWE’s video clip of Styles winning the championship has over two million views on YouTube as of now, which is a strong number.

-ESPN has full video of their Ric Flair 30 for 30 available to watch online for those with cable subscriptions.

Rory Karpf, the director of the documentary, wrote that The Undertaker brewed coffee and had snacks for their crew and was one of the nicest people he’s ever interviewed.

ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcast series has an episode about the Flair documentary that includes an additional conversation with Flair and Karpf.

-St. Louis today ran an article on Flair and other characters from Wrestling at the Chase.

-Chris Jericho discussed his match against Kenny Omega at the beginning of today’s episode of his podcast. Jericho said he would tell the whole story later but noted that he’s been working on the match for a couple of months, that Omega is the best performer in pro wrestling today, and it’s a best in the world vs. best in the world type of situation with him coming off the best run of his career. Jericho said they’re working on other ways for people to see the match in addition to New Japan World. Later in the episode, Austin Aries made an appearance to discuss his release from WWE.

-The Chicago Tribune ran a story on Maria Kanellis-Bennett and Mike Bennett looking for houses in Chicago.

-Owens and Zayn were sent home as a disciplinary measure after their post-match angle with The New Day didn't go as planned on SmackDown last night. They were supposed to stay in the ring to be beaten up by New Day following Zayn's loss but left the ring early.

Though other details are sparse at this point, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have been removed from WWE's European tour.

Dave Meltzer reported that Owens and Zayn aren't at SmackDown's house show in Leeds, England today and won't be appearing on the rest of the tour. Both were on television last night, where they interrupted Shane McMahon and The New Day in SmackDown's opening segment and traded words with them in a promo.

Kofi Kingston then defeated Zayn in a match, with it later being announced that Owens & Zayn would be teaming against The New Day on next week's episode in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Without Roman Reigns, the WWE has been shorthanded on this month's tour. Triple H filled in for Reigns at Raw's first five stops, Kurt Angle teamed with Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose yesterday, and New Day were moved to the Raw side for their remaining dates after this week's TV. How the SmackDown house shows will be affected by Owens and Zayn's absence remains to be seen.

SmackDown's final show before flying home from Europe will be in Florence, Italy on Sunday.

**UPDATES for Nov.9/17**

-Throughout the WWE European tour, the Bludgeon Brothers (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) have debuted their new gimmick to live audiences, with new ring gear and theme music. However, during the WWE’s recent show in Leeds, England, the duo appeared in their old Wyatt Family attire and used Luke Harper’s old entrance music.

-The WWE has announced matches for its return to Madison Square Garden on December 26. The WWE announced the following matches: Kane vs Braun Strowman; Shield vs Bray Wyatt & The Bar, John Cena vs. Samoa Joe.

-PWInsider.com reported that Roman Reigns is officially cleared to return to the ring, after having the mumps, and his return to TV looks take place on WWE Raw next Monday night in Atlanta, Georgia based on the advertising.

-The despicable internet hackers are at it again. Private personal pictures of WWE superstars Paige, Maria Kanellis and JoJo were leaked to some adult websites in the past couple of days.

-At http://www.bardown.com/devils-reveal-their-favourite-wrestlers-what-their-walkout-music-would-be-ahead-of-wwe-night-1.911152 is a piece for WWE Night at the New Jersey Devils NHL game against the Edmonton Oilers. SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan was present.

-The WWE announced today that Bayley, Mickie James, and Dana Brooke will face off in a triple threat match on next Monday’s episode of Raw to decide the final member of the show’s women’s team for Survivor Series. The storyline last week was that Alicia Fox didn’t pick Bayley for the team, which consists of Fox, Nia Jax, Asuka & Sasha Banks. They’re currently scheduled to take on Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Naomi, Carmella & Tamina at the PPV.

-Chris Jericho is celebrating his 47th birthday today. While Jericho may be wrestling for NJPW at the Tokyo Dome in January, Vince McMahon’s Twitter account sent out a message wishing him a happy birthday.

-The Rock denied that he turned down the opportunity to appear in ESPN’s Ric Flair 30 for 30.

-Conrad Thompson, who is friends with Flair and used to co-host his podcast, reviewed the documentary on the Wrestling Estate podcast.

-The WWE uploaded video of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose’s post-match promo where they put over Kurt Angle after they teamed with him in Birmingham, England earlier this week.

-James Ellsworth was beaten down by the SmackDown women’s division at yesterday’s house show in Leeds, including Becky Lynch giving him a Stone Cold Stunner.

-Maria Kanellis-Bennett wrote an open letter on Facebook responding to people who have been critical of her and Mike Bennett and have called them jobbers.

-The Fremont News-Messenger ran a story on Dave Bautista and the success he’s found as an actor.

**UPDATES for Nov.10/17**

-The WWE is hyping Roman Reigns TV return to reunite with The Shield, which will take place on Raw Monday night:

“Sidelined due to illness and forced to miss The Shield’s anticipated return match at WWE TLC, Roman Reigns returns to Raw this Monday night to stand alongside Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose."

-Stephanie McMahon Tweeted the following on Veteran’s Day:

"This #VeteransDay @WWE will donate 10% of all @WWEshop proceeds to @HireHeroesUSA in support our military heroes. #WWEHero https://t.co/sbg7tUQhgb".

-The Wrestling Observer reported that Ric Flair will be appearing at Starrcade, a WWE live event taking place on November 25th in Greensboro, NC.

-More from the WWE Night in New Jersey at http://www.bardown.com/the-devils-held-a-wwe-night-their-mascot-hit-someone-with-a-chair-1.911887 shows even the NJ Devil mascot getting into the antics.

-At https://www.thescore.com/news/1417975-the-rock-unveils-new-under-amour-collection is the Rock's reveal of a new Under Armour line.

-It looks like Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn will be returning for television on Tuesday in Charlotte to face the New Day.

-Bryan Danielson talked with newspapers more about his expected return to the ring later this year.

-ESPN will be replaying the Ric Flair 30 for 30 on 11/19 at 10 p.m.

-Dustin Rhodes will be brought to ringside for the War Games match at the 11/18 Takeover show in Houston. Dusty Rhodes invented the War Games match in 1987, although the reality is that he invented and what this match will be are very different and they are really just creating their own new match and using the name of a famous match.

-The Bill Goldberg 24 documentary debuts after Raw on Monday night.

-Jeff Hardy will be doing a concert on 11/25 in Greensboro at The Blind Tiger. This will take place after the conclusion of the Starrcade show at the Greensboro Coliseum that night.

-Sasha Banks talked to India Today about wanting to wrestle Kavita Devi, a woman weightlifter from India in developmental.

**UPDATES for Nov.11/17**

-With it being Remembrance Day in Canada and Veteran’s Day in the USA, several WWE Superstars have posted on Twitter, publicly thanking the Veterans for their service and selflessness. "Thanking all of those who have courageously fought for our freedom.

#VeteransDay" — Vince McMahon;

"Free because of the brave. #RememberanceDay2017" — The Maharaja;

"BIG THANKS TO All those that have Served,Survived and Died to ensure the Safety of our Great Nation. God Bless you All and #HappyVeteransDay @usarmy @usnavy @navyudtsealmuseum @marines @theusacoastguard @unitedstatesnavyseals" — Titus O’Neil;

"Because they gave !" — Fit Finlay;

"Happy Veterans Day from Lawler’s Army to all who serve or have served our great nation!" — Jerry Lawler;

"Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your selflessness. Thank you for your service. Happy Veterans Day.' — Samoa Joe;

"Forever grateful for all who have served and sacrificed in the name of inalienable rights. #VeteransDay" — John Cena

-The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that the possibility of Hulk Hogan's return depends on whether or not WWE sponsors would react negatively to his return given the public backlash on his racist comments he made, which came to light during Hogan's case against Gawker.

-PWInsider.com reported that this year's Tribute to the Troops will be recorded December 5th in San Diego, and will air December 14th on the USA Network.

-Though they were sent home from WWE's European tour earlier this week, it doesn't appear that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are going to miss any time on television.

Dave Meltzer yesterday that Owens and Zayn are scheduled to be back for Tuesday's episode of SmackDown in Charlotte, North Carolina. As was announced previously, they'll be facing The New Day in a tag team match on the show.

Owens and Zayn were removed from the European tour after their post-match angle with New Day didn't go as planned at last Tuesday's SmackDown tapings. Owens and Zayn were supposed to be beaten down by New Day following Zayn's loss to Kofi Kingston but left the ring early, which Meltzer reported has been described as a selfish move on their part by some and as a misunderstanding by others.

Tuesday's SmackDown is the go-home show for Survivor Series. Two title matches have also been announced for the episode, with Charlotte Flair challenging for Natalya's Women's Championship and Baron Corbin defending his United States title against Sin Cara.

-Raw is Monday from Atlanta. Roman Reigns returns on the show and there will be a three-way with Bayley vs. Mickie James vs. Dana Brooke for the final spot on Team Raw for the Survivor Series.

-The WWE uploaded a video focusing on AJ Styles and his day in Manchester where he won the title on SmackDown last week.

-While on WWE’s European tour, Styles cut a promo on Brock Lesnar and compared their matchup to David vs. Goliath.

-Paige, who had been dating Alberto El Patron, claimed to now be single in a video that she posted on Snapchat.

-WWE 365, which is focused on a year in the life of a wrestler, will be debuting on the WWE Network after Survivor Series. Kevin Owens is expected to be featured in the episode.

-To promote “Daddy’s Home 2,” John Cena did a video responding to comments made about him on IGN’s website.

-Mike Mooneyham has a story on Ric Flair and how his fame and fortune came at a high cost.

-Becky Lynch recorded a video congratulating a pair of fans who got married today.

-Daniel Bryan and Dan Ryckert of the Giant Bomb video game website took the “One Chip Challenge” where they try to tolerate eating a spicy tortilla chip.

-James Ellsworth was laid out by the SmackDown women's division again at WWE's house show in Milan, Italy.

**UPDATES for Nov.12/17**

-While Jinder Mahal may not be WWE Champion when the company heads to India next month, he already has at least one high-profile match set for the tour.

The WWE set up Mahal vs. Triple H for their December 9th house show on Twitter last night. Triple H first put out a video saying that he's been asked repeatedly if he's going to step back into the ring on the tour and challenged Mahal to the "biggest match in India's history" if the fans want it bad enough. Mahal then replied in a promo where he accepted the challenge.

The WWE will be in New Delhi, India for house shows at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium on December 8th and 9th. Before losing the WWE title, Mahal was supposed to defend the championship against Kevin Owens at the shows. Whether Owens will still be on the tour (and who Mahal will be facing on the 8th if he isn't) hasn't been announced yet.

Mahal, the Singh Brothers, and Owens had been scheduled to be the only SmackDown representation on what are otherwise Raw house shows. Mahal would have been positioned as a complete babyface against Owens in India. Now that he's facing Triple H on the 9th, it seems more likely that both will end up getting cheered.

After losing the title to AJ Styles in Manchester, England last Tuesday, Mahal will inevitably get a rematch at some point. The next SmackDown-exclusive pay-per-view will be Clash of Champions on December 17th.

-At https://www.thescore.com/news/1420184-john-cena-s-hometown-might-be-honoring-him-with-a-statue is a story about the possibility of John Cena's hometown erected a statue in his honour. A local pamphlet reads:

"Can't see John Cena? Soon you will!

He's a 16-time world champion. He's been in movies. He's even had his own rap album (You Can't See Me, 2005). And now, thanks to thousands of petitions from fans in his hometown of West Newbury, our hero is finally being recognized with a statue."

More news from the Euro Tour will be coming up, so don't 'cha dare miss it!
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Posted 11/12/17 , edited 11/19/17
The go home week for the big Survivor Series and NXT Takeover: War Games PPVs occur with a bunch of matches on Raw and SmackDown Live to decide the card participants. Here is the ongoing news for what goes down.

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending while please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

NXT Takeover: War Games on Saturday, November 18 from Houston, Texas

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXT_TakeOver:_Houston and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt

UPDATED PPV CARD:

*Fatal Four-Way for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship: Mae Young Classic Winner Kairi Sane vs. Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce vs. Nikki Cross
*War Games Match: The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe, Eric Young & Killian Dain w/ Nikki Cross) vs. Roderick Strong and The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar w/ Paul Ellering)
*NXT Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/ Zelina Vega)
*Aleister Black vs.Velveteen Dream
*Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan

*WWE United Kingdom Championship Match (dark match that will air the following week on NXT): Pete Dunne (C) vs. Johnny Gargano

Survivor Series on Sunday, November 19 from Houston, Texas

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivor_Series_(2017) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries

UPDATED PPV CARD:

*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. SmackDown WWE Champion AJ Styles
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. SmackDown United States Champion Baron Corbin
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss vs. SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair
*Champion vs. Champion Non-Title Match: Raw Tag Team Champions The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
*5 on 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw's Men's Team (Captain Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor & Triple H) vs. Team SmackDown's Men's Team (Captain Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Bobbdy Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura & John Cena)
NOTE: If Team Raw loses, Commissioner Stephanie McMahon will fire GM Kurt Angle.
*5 on 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw's Women's Team (Captain Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Asuka, Sasha Banks & Bayley) vs. Team SmackDown's Women's Team (Captain Becky Lynch, Naomi, Carmella, Natalya & Tamina w/ Lana)
*The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) vs. The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)

*WWE Cruiserweight Championship Kickoff Show Match: Enzo Amore (C) vs. Kalisto
*Kickoff Show Tag Team Match: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs. Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)
*Kickoff Show Match: Elias vs. Matt Hardy

-PWInsider reported that the belief is Paige will be the fifth member of Team Raw at Survivor Series and that it will play out on Monday's show. She had been earmarked for Smackdown and that was changed. At this time a Triple Threat match on Raw will occur for the final spot on the team between Mickie James, Bayley and Dana Brooke.

-It's not 100 percent because Vince McMahon can always change his mind, but Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn are right now still booked for Tuesday's Smackdown show in Charlotte.

-The Shield vs. New Day match for Survivor Series is official and there will be angles likely on both Monday and Tuesday building the match. The New Day came home with the Raw crew to be at TV on Monday in Atlanta rather than work the final show of the tour in Florence, Italy on Sunday with the Smackdown crew.

-Jonathan Coachman said publicly he is no longer with ESPN. This actually happened a long time ago but ESPN doesn't list people who they cut unless they confirm it themselves. He hasn't been on ESPN since the original major cuts.

-Smackdown and 205 Live will take place Tuesday from Charlotte. Matches announced are New Day vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin vs. Sin Cara and Natalya vs. Charlotte Flair for the women's title. Right now the Raw invasion of Smackdown is scheduled for tomorrow's show in Charlotte. Due to scheduling, they were handcuffed and couldn't have done it the last two weeks even if they wanted to.

-PWInsider.com reported that former Cruiserweight Champion Neville, who has been off WWE TV for several weeks, could be returning soon. He had plans outside that were being held up because WWE was not going to release him from his contract.

-PWInsider.com reported that former WWE star Rob Conway is working as a guest coach in the WWE Performance Center this week.

-The WWE tweeted the first WrestleMania 34 pre-sale code: "Get your @WWE @WrestleMania 34 tickets FIRST in our online pre-sale this Wednesday at 11 AM ET using code TWEETS!"

-Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff did some tweets that have gotten people talking:

Hogan wrote: "When it rains it pours. I will never say I'm bored again. Business is getting crazy off the chain. Better than ever, one more time around the block! Thank u God. I am grateful."

Bischoff: "Game just changed. Stay tuned."

-Daddy's Home 2, which John Cena has a decent role in, not one of the main players but he gets a lot of lines late in the movie, was No. 2 at $30 million in its opening weekend. Thor was No. 1 at $56.6 million. The movie got killed by critics. The show did much better with audiences in exit polls.

-The WWE has been pushing the Bill Goldberg 24 documentary which debuts after Raw on the WWE Network.

-Cesaro talked about the upcoming show in Abu Dhabi, facing Kurt Angle and the Shield, his horrific injury to his teeth and his tag team partnership with Sheamus.

-Noted on commentary was that Ric Flair was backstage at Raw.

-The card for Survivor Series took another turn as Triple H returned to WWE television on Raw.

Triple H was announced as replacing Jason Jordan on Raw's Survivor Series men's team, with that coming after Jordan was involved in an injury angle where he hurt his knee earlier in the night. Jordan defeated Bray Wyatt before being laid out by him in a post-match attack.

Jordan, Kurt Angle's storyline son, was pleading with Angle about not being replaced when Stephanie McMahon came out and urged him to make the announcement. Triple H then made his way to the ring and gave Jordan a Pedigree. Heading into Survivor Series, Stephanie has been threatening to fire Angle if Raw doesn't beat SmackDown at the pay-per-view.

The men's five-on-five elimination tag match for Sunday's PPV is now Angle, Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor & Triple H vs. Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura & John Cena.

Though he hasn't wrestled on TV since WrestleMania, Triple H has been in action fairly regularly at house shows recently. He filled in at a show in Santiago, Chile last month before wrestling at several stops on WWE's European tour.

-They advertised Kalisto's birthday celebration for 205 Live.

**UPDATES for Nov.14/17**

-The WWE's tour of India is down to one stop.

The Times of India confirmed today that WWE's planned December 8th house show at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi has been canceled, with the December 9th date at the venue now being branded as a "Supershow."

In a match that was set up a few days ago, Triple H vs. Jinder Mahal has been announced as the main event. Mahal will be the only SmackDown representation on what is otherwise a Raw house show. While ticket sales likely played a factor, the WWE put out a statement saying that the decision to reduce the tour from two shows to one was to better serve the needs of their fans in the country:

"To meet the requests of WWE fans in India, and deliver the biggest main event in the country's history, WWE is combining two nights of family-friendly action into a one-night only, exclusive Supershow."

Jeet Rama & Kishan Raftar, who are Performance Center trainees from India, will now be wrestling in their home country as they face Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas. Kevin Owens will no longer be appearing on the tour after originally being scheduled to challenge for Mahal's WWE Championship before he dropped it to AJ Styles.

Those who bought tickets to the canceled show can exchange them for the next night or receive a refund.

The Raw roster will also be in Abu Dhabi on December 7th before heading to India.

-NXT is going on the road for its first few television tapings of 2018.

The Center Stage Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, which used to be home to WCW Saturday Night, will host NXT TV tapings on January 4th, February 1st, and February 2nd. Tickets for the shows are set to go on sale on December 1st at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

With those shows taking place in Atlanta, it isn't clear if NXT plans to tape at venues other than Full Sail University more often next year.

After this weekend's TakeOver: War Games event in Houston, Texas, the next set of episodes will be filmed at Full Sail on November 29th as NXT begins the build to its Royal Rumble weekend special. Pete Dunne defending the WWE United Kingdom Championship against Johnny Gargano will take place on Saturday prior to the TakeOver broadcast, with that match likely to air in the coming weeks.

-Former WWE Star Greg "The Hammer" Valentine was announced as a recipient of a 2018 CAC Men's Wrestling Award at the upcoming Cauliflower Alley Club reunion.

-The Survivor Series go-home edition of Raw saw a solid increase in numbers to an average of 3.02 million viewers, up nearly seven percent from last week.

Some of the difference would have been due to the Monday Night Football game last night with the Miami Dolphins vs. Carolina Panthers only doing 8.76 million viewers, down 21 percent from the week before.

Raw was second behind the NFL game on cable for the night.

However, loading up the third hour, with the Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman segment, The Shield's first match back, and building to a Braun Strowman vs. Kane main event, did not keep the third hour decline from happening. The audience drop from hour two to hour three was 9.5 percent, a drop strongly among women and people over the age of 40. Men 12-34 increased five percent, but men 35-49 dropped eight percent.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 3.26 million viewers
9 p.m. 3.06 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.77 million viewers

-Tonight’s SmackDown has two title matches that could possibly change the card for Survivor Series. Natalya will defend her Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair and Sin Cara will challenge for Baron Corbin's United States title. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn are also back tonight after being sent home from WWE’s European tour and will be facing The New Day. There should also be a Raw vs. SmackDown angle that builds to Sunday’s Survivor Series pay-per-view.

-Enzo Amore posted a photo with Ric Flair backstage at SmackDown.

-While speaking with Busted Open Radio at the New Jersey Devils’ WWE night last week, Daniel Bryan said there’s an 85 percent chance that he’ll wrestle again and a 20 percent chance that WWE will clear him. Bryan noted that he won’t come back if he has a test done that says he shouldn’t and said he wouldn’t have a full-time schedule if he ever comes back to the WWE.

-Paul Heyman’s promo on Raw was interrupted by a fan proposing in the crowd. With the audience reacting to the proposal, Heyman played along and said she wouldn’t have said yes if she had ever been up close to a beast like Brock Lesnar.

-Vince McMahon granted a wish for a 19-year-old fan named Orlando as part of the Make-a-Wish program.

-Though she wasn’t on the show, Paige posted a video with Renee Young backstage at Raw last night.

-Goldberg tweeted about his WWE 24 special:

“Thx for positive response on the @wwe #wwe24 on the @wwenetwork Hopefully it all makes sense now.... #familyfirst #humbled #luckiestmanalive #dotherightthing”

-The WWE Network has started uploading episodes of the original “reality show” run of NXT.

-The NBA's Charlotte Hornets were ringside for SmackDown Live.

-Harper and Rowan the Bludgeon Brothers are set to debut next week on SmackDown Live.

**UPDATES for Nov.15/17**

-The WWE has announced it has future-endeavoured James Ellsworth.

After he was written off television last week, WWE announced that they've released James Ellsworth today.

The company's statement:

"WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Superstar James Ellsworth. WWE wishes Ellsworth the best in all of his future endeavors."

Ellsworth lost to Becky Lynch in a match that was billed as a "battle of the sexes" at last Tuesday's SmackDown tapings in Manchester, England. He was superkicked by Carmella after the match but continued to be featured on the rest of the tour stops, getting beaten down by the entire SmackDown women's division after their matches on the house shows.

Following a memorable cameo in a squash match against Braun Strowman last year, the WWE started using Ellsworth on SmackDown and eventually signed him to a contract. He was first used as an underdog babyface and faced AJ Styles multiple times before turning heel and being paired with Carmella.

Ellsworth joins Emma, Darren Young, Summer Rae, NXT's Sawyer Fulton, Performance Center trainee Leo Gao, and former Tough Enough winner Josh Bredl as wrestlers WWE has released over the last few weeks.

He posted on Twitter the following after his release:

"Thank you @WWE for letting me live my dream,thank you fans for all the support, l'll continue to prove #AnyManWithTwoHandsHasAFightingChance"

-Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that the insertion of Triple H into the Survivor Series elimination match could be building to Kurt Angle vs Triple H at WrestleMania 34. Kurt Angle and Triple H will join Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman to face Team Smackdown at WWE Survivor Series on Sunday night. The choice was made this week among many last second changes to the PPV.

-Daddy’s Home 2, the new comedy sequel featuring John Cena, was number two at the box office this past weekend. The movie opened with a $30 million weekend, coming in behind Thor: Raganok, which was number one taking in $56.6 million.

-The WWE announced that Triple H will be facing Roman Reigns on December 8th in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The event will take place at Zayed Sports City Tennis Stadium (with another WWE show taking place there the night prior) on December 8th, which was previously the date of their first show in India before that was cancelled.

-WWE legends Greg "the Hammer" Valentine, Brutus Beefcake, and the Honky Tonk Man have been announced as guests for next June's Niagara Falls Comic Con.

-PWInsider.com reported that WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz will be doing promotional work in New York City this week. On Friday at 2pm EST, The Miz will be appearing at BUILD Studio to promote the new season of the MTV series “The Challenge: Champs vs. All Stars”.

-In a post-SmackDown video, the WWE set up a match between the Bludgeon Brothers and the Hype Bros for next week.

The Bludgeon Brothers, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, previously appeared for the first time since being repackaged at SmackDown's European tour show in Ireland. They were wearing new red and black gear and had a new theme song but went back to their old attire and song later in the tour.

Next week's SmackDown will be the first post-Survivor Series edition of the show. In addition to fallout from that pay-per-view, SmackDown will start building to their December 17th Clash of Champions event.

-Tickets are currently on sale for WrestleMania 34, which takes place on April 8th, 2018 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The online pre-sale, which is listed as ending at midnight tomorrow, can be accessed by going to Ticketmaster and using the password "TICKETS" in the Got Offers Code Box.

The show is tentatively scheduled to be headlined by Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship.

It is the culmination of the biggest weekend of shows as promotions from all over the world will be running events in the New Orleans area. For WWE, the Hall of Fame ceremony, an NXT TakeOver special, Raw, and SmackDown will also be taking place in the city in the days surrounding WrestleMania.

For those in New Orleans, there will be an on-sale party at the Superdome tomorrow. Charlotte Flair will be making an appearance, and The Hardys, Mickie James, Mark Henry, Heath Slater, and Rhyno are scheduled to be there signing autographs. There will be some NXT matches as well, with Hideo Itami vs. No Way Jose advertised.

-Following up on AJ Styles' WWE Championship win from last Tuesday, SmackDown Live ratings were essentially even for this week's Survivor Series go-home show -- averaging 2.607 million viewers.

The show finished sixth for the night on cable in terms of total viewers and fifth in the 18-49 demo with a 0.82 rating. Stronger than usual sports competition came from the opening night of the NCAA basketball season with consecutive games doing 2.97 and 2.67 million viewers. The announcement of the college football playoff rankings, a half-hour special on ESPN, did 3.785 million viewers, tops on all of cable.

For the third time in the last five weeks, SmackDown was down year-over-year, which corresponds with Raw being up in all but one of those weeks.

SmackDown retained 86.3 percent of the Raw audience from the night before, about average during football season. In addition to Raw's invasion in the closing segment, the episode also featured United States and Women's title matches that were promoted ahead of time. While Ric Flair returned to WWE television on the show, that wasn't promoted in advance.

The show-closing angle with Raw's retaliation to SmackDown's invasion from three weeks ago was not advertised but was heavily hinted at.

-In an article for the Players’ Tribune, Charlotte Flair wrote a letter to her father about her career and continuing his legacy.

With Charlotte winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship, WWE has yet to announce who will be replacing her in the women’s elimination tag match at Survivor Series. They said they'll announce the replacement at the PPV on Sunday, with rumours flying it could be Paige since she didn't appear on Raw as first reported, Natalya or even a returning Nikki Bella now that Dancing with the Stars is done.

-The WWE and the city of Orlando touted that WrestleMania 33 generated $181.5 million in “economic impact” for its host city.

-The Houston Chronicle has an article about Booker T and his Reality of Wrestling promotion.

-Charly Caruso, Booker T, and Sam Roberts will be on the panel for Saturday’s NXT TakeOver: War Games pre-show.

-The Rock called Bruno Sammartino the best babyface wrestler in WWE history on Twitter.

-Lillian Garcia, Torrie Wilson, Kelly Kelly, Cameron, Summer Rae, and Candice Michelle attended the launch party for the Bella’s Birdiebee clothing line.

**UPDATES for Nov.16/17**

-Ahead of this weekend's pay-per-view, the WWE has already announced the location for next year's Survivor Series.

Survivor Series 2018 will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on November 18th. As is the case with all WWE "big four" PPVs, the arena will host an NXT TakeOver special on the Saturday before Survivor Series and Raw and SmackDown in the days after the show.

WWE noted that ticket information for all four events will be made available in early 2018.

This will be the first time California has ever hosted a Survivor Series. It will also be the first time an NXT TakeOver event has taken place on the west coast. Drew McIntyre dropped a hint about the news at NXT's house show in Riverside, California last Saturday, mentioning that there's never been a TakeOver out west in his promo after the main event.

While no further details have been revealed about next year's Survivor Series, the PPV has had a Raw vs. SmackDown theme over the last two years.

-The NXT Takeover: War Games press conference call was today with Paul "HHH" Levesque. Here are some of the highlights:

*HHH says Saturday is an opportunity to showcase War Games to a new generation of fans and help further establish NXT’s identity. He said there won’t be a roof on the War Games cage. The style has changed, as he mentions the possibility to do moves off cage or other things. He doesn’t think they’ve changed the concept. They actually fought in Creative over this where HHH wanted the traditional roof on the cage while Vince McMahon won out again as he didn't want the roof as he had to brand everything not of his creation in his way.

*The decision to put Undisputed Era together at the start was to get them rolling. There was a buzz about them coming in, there was an opportunity there, and they were all into it.

*HHH calls Survivor Series an amazing card. There is big star power in the men’s tag match. He says his presence, or anyone elses, isn’t absolutely necessary but it’s part of the storyline. He referred to Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles as a dream match, mentioning that it’s something people never thought they’d see a few years ago.

*Asked about using War Games and Starrcade, HHH says they happened independently and it’s coincidental. He has always been keen to use War Games and was looking for the right time once NXT started out. War Games allows them to bring something from the past into the future while maintaining Dusty Rhodes’ vision. There was some resistance to using War Games, over a year in fact that he's tried to make it happen, he was able to sell that it will become a meaningful event.

The full details of this is the following: While speaking with the pro wrestling media ahead of Saturday's NXT TakeOver special, Triple H discussed bringing War Games to a new generation of fans and confirmed another change from the original concept.

"We're not gonna have a roof," Triple H said on a conference call today. "I think it's a little bit limiting. I think the style has changed. Not saying that anybody is gonna do it in this match, but I think going forward as War Games becomes -- I try to think about the future. Look, Arn Anderson wasn't doing moonsaults off the top of the cage. So, I think there's a difference in how the business is done. This allows for there to a be a little bit of a different opportunity to do some things. I don't feel, personally, that we have changed the concept of what it is."

Though the rules have been tweaked, Triple H said he thinks they work better for today's generation. And while there are some changes, he said the match is still about teams "going to war" and it worked with the storyline that The Undisputed Era, SAnitY, and The Authors of Pain & Roderick Strong are involved in.

Triple H noted that WWE using War Games and Starrcade this month was a coincidence and the decisions were made independently. He said he's always been interested in bringing back War Games and has been looking for the right time since NXT started up. He called TakeOver: War Games a chance to take something from the past into the future and slightly reinvent it while still staying consistent with Dusty Rhodes' vision.

WWE revealed the official rules for War Games earlier this month. There will be a cage that surrounds two rings, with someone from each team starting the match. The remaining members of the teams will be kept in shark cages near the entranceway. After five minutes, the two other wrestlers from one team will enter the ring. There will then be two three-minute periods until the members of the other teams are allowed in. Once that happens, the match can be won by pinfall or submission.

*HHH says it was a logistical issue with Full Sail when asked about 3 tapings at Center Stage in Atlanta. He says Full Sail is still their home and mutually beneficial. It was cool to go to to Center Stage where he started. There are date availability issues that led to them do the first 13 or so weeks of television in 2018 away from Orlando.

*HHH calls Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, and Wolfgang very talented. Putting together stuff in the UK takes some time, he wishes it happened sooner. He hopes to have something more definitive soon.

*HHH says it’s awesome Kurt Angle is back in the ring and he’s happy for him. They were taking it one step at a time when he came back with the company. Just started process of him going through medicals and talking with him when they needed him for TLC. He notes that he’d love to step back into the ring with Angle if it’s right for everyone. Calls him one of the best ever and says he picked up wrestling so fast.

*HHH says the Mae Young Classic opened their eyes to how much women’s talent is out there and ready. He mentions the deep roster they have both on TV and off.

-Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano's United Kingdom Championship match will be airing on NXT TV next week.

After the WWE previously announced that the match would be taking place in Houston prior to Saturday's TakeOver: War Games broadcast with no confirmation of whether it was being taped for television, a backstage segment with Gargano and William Regal on last night's episode set it up for next Wednesday.

In addition to that, Ruby Riot vs. Sonya Deville will also be taped for next week. The episode will feature video packages and post-match interviews from TakeOver as well.

Gargano is set to become the first wrestler born outside of the UK to challenge for the title. While the company's plans for its UK brand have still yet to be announced, Triple H noted on the conference call today that the WWE hopes to have something more definitive soon. He mentioned Dunne, Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, and Wolfgang as being very talented wrestlers.

-Following his first appearance on WWE television since his health scare, Ric Flair will be part of the company's Starrcade house show later this month.

The WWE confirmed today that Flair would be appearing at Starrcade in Greensboro, North Carolina on November 25th. The event is the first time the WWE has used the Starrcade name since acquiring WCW in 2001 and the first time the Greensboro Coliseum has hosted the show since 1986, though there aren't any plans for it to air on the WWE Network.

Flair returned to TV to celebrate Charlotte's Women's title win with her on Tuesday's episode of SmackDown. In a nod to Flair's steel cage match against Harley Race at the first Starrcade, Charlotte will defend her title against Natalya and Jinder Mahal will challenge for AJ Styles' WWE Championship in a double steel cage main event in Greensboro.

Dustin Rhodes, who is listed under that name and whose father originally created the event, is scheduled to face Dash Wilder as well.

Here's the updated card for Starrcade:

WWE Champion AJ Styles defending against Jinder Mahal in a steel cage match
SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair defending against Natalya in a steel cage match
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos defending against The New Day, Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable, and Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn in a fatal four-way match
United States Champion Baron Corbin defending against Shinsuke Nakamura
Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
Dustin Rhodes vs. Dash Wilder
Appearances by Ric Flair, The Hardys, Ricky Steamboat, and The Rock 'n' Roll Express

-Simone Garcia Johnson, the 16-year-old daughter of Dwayne Johnson, was announced today as the Golden Globes Ambassador. That has been a role for teenage daughters of famous celebrities. The Globe Awards will be on 1/7 from the Beverly Hilton on NBC. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter Johnson said that she wants to study business at NYU and then pursue pro wrestling and eventually get into talent management.

-The NFL Rams are using Ric Flair's name to call audibles.

-This is not the final odds you can get on, but oddsmaker Jimmy Murphy for sportsbettingexperts.com is listing these numbers for Saturday:

Enzo Amore -350
Kalisto +300
The Miz -350
Baron Corbin +300
Cesaro & Sheamus +130
Usos -150
The Shield -210
New Day +180
Alexa Bliss -150
Charlotte Flair +130
Brock Lesnar -350
A.J. Styles +300
Team Raw Men +210
Team Smackdown Men -250
Team Raw Women +110
Team Smackdown Women -130

His predicted star ratings are:

Enzo vs. Kalisto **1/2
Miz vs. Corbin **1/2
Usos vs. Sheamus & Cesaro ***1/2
New Day vs. Shield ***1/2
Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte ***
A.J. Styles vs. Brock Lesnar ****
Men's elimination match ***1/2
Women's elimination match ***

**UPDATES for Nov.17/17**

-WWE performer David Otunga and longtime fiance Jennifer Hudson have split up and Hudson has filed a protective order against the former wrestler.

Hudson's publicists told People Magazine on Thursday that the two have been in the process of ending their relationship and she filed a protective order against him earlier in the day. The two had been a couple for nearly 10 years.

Tracy M. Rizzo, Otunga's attorney, countered to People, claiming Hudson is making up a story in order to gain custody of the couple's eight-year-old son, David Otunga Jr.

"David Otunga has been trying to negotiate the terms of an amicable parenting agreement with Ms. Hudson for several weeks now. However, when it became apparent to Ms. Hudson that Mr. Otunga would be the parent granted residential care of the child, as a result of Mr. Otunga being the child's primary caregiver while Ms. Hudson pursues her career all over the world, Ms. Hudson decided to file a meritless Petition for Order of Protection in an effort to gain an unfair advantage in the custody dispute.

"As a result of Mr. Otunga's career in the WWE, Ms. Hudson felt that she could give an award winning performance in court to portray herself as the victim. Mr. Otunga has never abused or harassed Ms. Hudson or their son, and it is unfortuante, especially in today's climate, that she would feel the need to make these false allegations against him. Mr. Otunga looks forward to his day in court and in being awarded the residential care of the parties' only child."

After retiring from active competition in 2015, Otunga moved to commentary and a pre-show panelist postion, most recently for the Raw brand. The 37-year-old was the runner up on the first year of the NXT competition and was part of the big Nexus angle.

David Otunga has pulled out of appearing on the Survivor Series show (he was never advertised to appear on the show to begin with) after the bad publicity stemming from ex-girlfriend Jennifer Hudson accusing him of domestic abuse in what appears to be a child custody battle. She claims ongoing harassing and threatening behavior and that he once pushed her. In her court filings, she said they argued because he believed she was dating one of her producers and she denied that was true. She called police last night to try and get Otunga thrown out of their home. The police came and ordered him to leave the Chicago area home that she owns.

-Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) were announced as the recipients of a 2018 CAC Tag Team Wrestling Award at the upcoming Cauliflower Alley Club reunion.

-At http://www.bardown.com/this-hockey-team-s-ric-flair-chant-should-replace-all-pump-up-music-1.917949 is a piece about a hockey team using the Ric Flair chant as pump up music.

-Ric Flair is suing Legacy Talent and Entertainment -- the company that represented him for several years until he parted ways with them in September.

TMZ first reported on the lawsuit today, noting that Flair is alleging Legacy Talent and Entertainment owes him at least $46,000 after hiring a lawyer to look into his finances. Of that money, Flair is saying they didn't inform him about $25,000 they received from First Row Films, which is Rory Karpf's production company. Karpf directed ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary on Flair.

The TMZ report states that Flair also noticed a $12,000 royalty advance he never got for an endorsement deal with Jake's Fireworks. Flair says Legacy Talent and Entertainment told him they were using the money to pay legal bills when he inquired about it, something Flair denies he approved.

Shortly after his health scare earlier this year, Flair announced that he was parting ways with Legacy Talent and Entertainment and their CEO Melinda Morris Zanoni. He is now being represented by Get Engaged Media.

On the heels of Ric Flair suing his former management firm, Legacy Talent and Entertainment, claiming he owes them at least $46,000, they claim the allegations are baseless and defamatory. They said:

"Ric Flair has always been known to be dramatic and looking desperately for the spotlight. That's fine as a wrestler but it is despicable when he blatantly lies. As anyone who read (articles on Flair) knows, Ric has always left a trail of destruction in his wake, whether it be from his ex-wives, the IRS, State Departments of Revenue, creditors, or from his former business partners and friends...the debris is everywhere."

They claim Flair was looking for money from a trust fund that he had not yet earned and the money in question is in his management's trust account while both sides worked out a settlement.

-The brand new series “WWE 365” will make its debut exclusively on the WWE Network this Sunday night immediately following Survivor Series. The first episode will follow a full year in the life of current WWE Superstar Kevin Owens.

-Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's oldest daughter hopes to follow in her father's footsteps and become a wrestler one day.

Simone Garcia Johnson, who was born to Johnson and his ex-wife (and current manager and business partner) Dany Garcia, spoke about her love of wrestling and career aspirations in an interview with Mia Galuppo of the Hollywood Reporter. She was recently selected as the 2018 Golden Globe Ambassador, a title formerly known as Miss Golden Globe.

"It's a sport that is unlike anything else in the world. There's just a certain amount of passion that every move and match requires, and that's so admirable," the 16-year-old said. "It's definitely something I've thought about and want to pursue."

While Simone's father has successfully transitioned from the WWE into acting, it's not something she's interested in pursuing.

"As much as I love and admire the film industry, I don't see myself pursuing a career in it at the moment," she said. "I plan to study business in college - NYU, hopefully - and after graduating, I want to pursue wrestling and eventually transition into talent management."

-Adam Cole got seven staples in his head from a head-butt last night in a six-man tag match in Austin. He actually had to leave the match, go to the back, get taken care of, and then returned for the finish of his match.

-WrestleMania tickets for New Orleans are now on sale to the public.

-John Cena vs. Roman Reigns plus Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins in a cage match are the two main events for the 12/26 show in Madison Square Garden based on this week's card changes.

-Bill Goldberg will be appearing on the TV show "The Goldbergs" on Thursday night on ABC.

-Kalisto walked the red carpet in his mask last night at the Latin Grammy Awards.

-The Miz talked on MTV's Evolution on Cheddar.

**UPDATES for Nov.18/17**

-Information at https://www.thescore.com/news/1425142-ric-flair-ring-worn-robe-hitting-auction-block is given for an auction for one of Ric Flair's wrestling robes.

-Bret Hart gave the Calgary Dinos a pep talk before their university football game against Laval.

-Confirming what had been expected, the WWE officially announced Natalya as the final member of SmackDown's women's team for Survivor Series today.

A spot was left open on the team when Charlotte Flair defeated Natalya to win the SmackDown Women's Championship on Tuesday. When running down the card for the pay-per-view on SmackDown, the WWE didn't reveal who would be taking Charlotte's place on the team -- though Dave Meltzer reported it would be Natalya in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Shane McMahon made the storyline announcement on Twitter:

"Individual competition drives every #SDLive Superstar. Even in defeat, @NatbyNature proved herself to be a fierce competitor and will be an asset to Team Smackdown’s 5 on 5 #SurvivorSeries Team. Let’s go to work, Nattie."

Natalya will join Becky Lynch, Naomi, Carmella & Tamina as they take on Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Asuka, Sasha Banks & Bayley in an elimination tag match at tomorrow's PPV.

The Survivor Series card will mostly feature Raw vs. SmackDown matches, including the champions from each brand facing their counterpart from the other show in non-title bouts.

-With Shawn Michaels refereeing the match, Drew McIntyre retained his NXT Championship against Adam Cole at last night’s house show in San Antonio. Michaels gave Kyle O’Reilly the Sweet Chin Music at one point. In a post-match promo, Michaels responded to chants of “one more match” by assuring the crowd that he’s “too old for this sh*t.” Earlier in the show, Triple H came out and addressed the crowd ahead of TakeOver in Houston tonight.

-USA Today interviewed Triple H about the return of War Games.

-McIntyre and AJ Styles appeared on the Madd Hatta Morning Show in Houston to promote this weekend's WWE events.

-The WWE sent out an email to current Network subscribers offering them their first month free. They later issued a correction noting that the email was sent in error and apologized for any confusion, saying they hope you’ll enjoy Survivor Series.

-Another WWE Network offer sent to some people advertised that you could buy Survivor Series as a one-time purchase and access Network content through Monday for $24.99. With the first month being free to new subscribers and it being $9.99 to anyone else, that wouldn’t seem to be much of a deal. Much of the appeal of still offering traditional PPV is to reach people without good internet connections, but you’d need one to watch Survivor Series with this option anyway.

-The Canadian Press spoke to Bret Hart about being cancer-free after his battle with prostate cancer, the Montreal Screwjob, and what his life is like now.

-The WWE extended its condolences to Malcolm Young’s friends, family, and fans following his passing. Young was the co-founder of AC/DC and WWE used some of their songs as the themes for SummerSlam 1998 and WrestleMania 25.

-James Ellsworth sent out another message thanking the fans after being released by WWE:

“Thank you to all the wrestling fans for your overwhelming support, I'd always do anything to entertain you, and will continue to for years.”

-Former Performance Center trainee Leo Gao, who was let go earlier this month, also tweeted some comments about his release.

-Yesterday marked 21 years since The Rock debuted at Survivor Series 1996. He tweeted about the anniversary:

“Crazy it all started 21yrs ago today. Made my @wwe debut. My #1 goal was buy my parents their first home. 3yrs later in ‘99 I was able to. No idea where this crazy road would lead me, I just knew I was willing to work my @ss off and that I loved the hell outta Waffle House”

**UPDATES for Nov.19/17**

-Triple H recently did an interview where he teased his legendary rivalry with The Rock might not yet be over, and the match teases continued as Triple H Tweeted the following,

"You know…it sure is interesting that most of your big @WWE moments somehow involve punching me in the face…" - Triple H.

-Scott Dawson, has been out of action since suffering a ruptured bicep tendon during a WWE event in Calgary in August. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Dawson should be returning to the ring sometime in mid-December.

-Jerry Lawler is in the Netflix documentary titled Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at Jim Carrey’s preparation for his role as Andy Kaufman in the 1999 film Man on the Moon.

-Drew McIntyre may have suffered a torn bicep near the finish of his match with Andrade "Cien" Almas at NXT TakeOver: War Games.

At the end of the match, McIntyre held onto the top rope with his left arm while being given a DDT off the top. McIntyre grabbed his bicep after and was receiving medical attention following the match.

That DDT was the finish to the match, which saw Almas win the NXT Championship from McIntyre.

In his post-show interview on Facebook Live, Triple H said that McIntyre might have torn his bicep, would be undergoing an MRI on Sunday to determine the extent of the injury, and could have surgery this week depending on the results of the MRI.

McIntyre also spoke about the injury in a promo after the show, saying it probably wasn't good but he wouldn't know anything official until talking to the doctor. It is not certain it's a left biceps tear, but until the MRI is done, that is the belief.

-The first set of TV tapings since War Games will take place at Full Sail University on November 29th. With that falling on a Wednesday, it's not clear what will be airing on that week's show.

-Though it wasn't on TV or in front of the crowd, Johnny Gargano and Shawn Michaels showed off the results of the "ab off" they had been building up on Twitter last night.

-WWE has announced that The Miz will appear in the social media lounge during tonight’s WWE Survivor Series Kickoff show:

"Have a question for @mikethemiz? Use #AskTheMiz, and he just might answer it in the Social Media Lounge TONIGHT during @WWE #SurvivorSeries Kickoff at 5e/2p!"

-With a two-hour pre-show taking place before the main card, the lineup for Survivor Series seemed to have a couple of spots open heading into tonight.

WWE has corrected that by adding two more matches to the pre-show, with Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn set to face Breezango and Matt Hardy taking on Elias. Enzo Amore will also defend his Cruiserweight Championship against Kalisto (in what is the pay-per-view's only title match) before the main card kicks off.

Owens & Zayn didn't miss any time on television after being sent home from WWE's European tour as they returned to SmackDown and faced The New Day last Tuesday. That match didn't have a finish due to the angle with Raw invading, which saw Owens & Zayn bail during the brawl as part of their storyline issues with SmackDown's authority figures.

Neither Hardy nor Elias appeared on Raw's go-home show for Survivor Series.

-Raw will be Monday night from the Toyota Center in Houston.

-The much talked about Netflix documentary, "Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond," which came out a few days ago, has gotten a lot of good reviews, about Jim Carrey turning into Andy Kaufman who Carrey played in the 1999 movie "Man on the Moon," has a lot of good footage behind the scenes of Jerry Lawler.

-Not only are the Los Angeles Rams using the name Ric Flair in calling audibles at the line of scrimmage, but they are also using the term Dusty Rhodes.

-Daddy's Home, which John Cena is in, was No. 4 at the box office so far this weekend and the estimates are it'll do about $14.8 million in its second weekend out.

-The Tulsa World has a story on Jim Ross.

-Josh Reddick of the World Series winners Houston Astros did an online interview with the WWE custom title they sent him.

Come back as the PPV cards get filled out, so don't 'cha dare miss it!
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Posted 11/20/17 , edited 11/25/17
The Survivor Series is done with both good and questionable stuff going on as they enter the last days of 2017. The news follows now as the last PPV of the year is the SmackDown branded Clash of Champions.

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending while please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

SmackDown's Clash of Champions on Sunday, December 17 from Boston, Massachusetts

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_Champions_(2017) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wweclashofchampions

UPDATED PPV:

*WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (C) vs. Jinder Mahal (w/ The Singh Brothers Samir and Sunil)

-This Saturday night, the WWE will be debuting the return of the Starrcade event, made famous in WCW and the NWA. Here is the current card:

Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs Jinder Mahal; Steel Cage Match for the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) with Ric Flair vs Natalya; WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs The New Day vs Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable; WWE United States Championship Match: Baron Corbin (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura; Dolph Ziggler vs Bobby Roode; The Revival’s Dash Wilder vs. Dustin Rhodes, aka Goldust; Appearances by The Rock ‘N Roll Express, Ricky Steamboat and The Hardy Boyz.

-PWInsider.com reported that Paige will be backstage at WWE Raw tonight. Paige has been back on the road with the WWE since last Monday’s Raw, however she has yet to debut on TV.

-San Diego, California is officially set to host this year's Tribute to the Troops.

The WWE announced that the show will take place at Naval Base San Diego on December 5th, with a two-hour special airing on the USA Network on December 14th. With SmackDown and 205 Live also scheduled for the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego that day, it remains to be seen how the logistics of that will end up working out.

“It is a privilege to honor our servicemen and women for their commitment and sacrifice to our nation,” Vince McMahon said. “Tribute to the Troops is our most meaningful show of the year, and we are proud to continue the tradition at Naval Base San Diego.”

The WWE will also be hosting a Be a Star rally, military outreach events, and visiting hospitals while in the city.

This year's Tribute to the Troops will be the WWE's 15th edition of the event. The first seven shows were filmed at military bases overseas, with the last seven taking place stateside.

UPDATE: Regarding the Tribute to the Troops show, they will be shooting a two hour show at the Naval Base San Diego in the early afternoon and then shooting Smackdown live later that day at the Valley View Casino Arena with a 4:40 p.m. start local time for another three hours of shooting. The early afternoon show is exclusively for those in the military and will have no admission price.

-Raw, SmackDown Live and 205 Live are all going to take place from the Toyota Center in Houston this week.

Currently scheduled for Raw tonight is a Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe rematch and Braun Strowman destroying Jason Jordan. There could be Smackdown stars on the show tonight because there is no Smackdown house show and they are all in Houston anyway, and many are backstage. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman aren't scheduled for the show.

-The advances for Raw & Smackdown in Houston were not strong at all. Similar to NXT. It's easier for the crew to work four shows in the same building and live gates aren't that important to business, but the idea of four shows surrounding Survivor Series in one market and getting a lot of people to travel didn't work out that well. Last night's show was a legit sellout but it was the only one of the four shows to have a high ticket demand.

-WWE Survivor Series was the sixth most searched for term on Google yesterday with 200,000. That's normal B show levels. For a comparison, most of the UFC PPV shows this year that did in the 200,000 buy range were hitting 500,000 on searches. It was way below the other big three shows.

-Several friends of James "Kamala" Harris, have asked people to pray for him as he is hospitalized and one friend on Facebook said he was on life support.

-Regarding the term "Superkick" party, Matt Massie (Matt Jackson) registered the term for clothing in 2015. That doesn't prevent WWE announcers from using the term, like Byron Saxton did last night. It only means they can't merchandise the term for clothing.

-Paige returned to WWE television on tonight's episode of Raw, bringing two wrestlers from NXT with her.

A fatal four-way number one contender's match between Mickie James, Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Alicia Fox was going on when Paige's music hit. She asked the crowd if they missed her and then announced that she's back. She told everyone that she didn't come alone and headed down to the ring, with Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose running in from behind and attacking the wrestlers in the match.

Bayley tried to fight back, but Paige came in and gave her a kick. The segment ended with Paige giving Bayley the RamPaige.

The three later laid out Alexa Bliss backstage.

While she was rumored to return on last week's Survivor Series go-home show, this was Paige's first appearance on TV in over a year. She has been at the Performance Center recently as she prepared to come back from a neck injury. She was also suspended twice for wellness policy violations while out injured in 2016.

Deville and Rose were part of the most recent season of Tough Enough in 2015 and were making their main roster debuts tonight. They've been regulars on the NXT house show circuit, with Deville being featured on TV more often in recent months.

**UPDATES for Nov.21/17**

-It doesn't appear that Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor will be happening at the Royal Rumble.

Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio last night that Lesnar vs. Balor for the Universal Championship was originally scheduled for the pay-per-view, but the WWE changed their plans yesterday as they decided to move away from that match. Meltzer mentioned that Vince McMahon thinking Balor wasn't over enough to face Lesnar right now was one of the reasons behind the decision.

Meltzer also speculated that McMahon may have made up his mind prior to the official change of plans given how Balor was positioned in the men's elimination tag match at Survivor Series. It isn't clear who will be challenging for Lesnar's title at the Royal Rumble at this point in time. The leading candidate being rumoured to be Braun Strowman despite already having lost clean to Lesnar earlier this year.

Balor lost to Samoa Joe by referee stoppage due to passing out in the Coquina Clutch on Monday's episode of Raw. After defeating AJ Styles at TLC, Balor lost to Kane on Raw the next night and was laid out by him the following week. The idea was apparently to build Balor back up prior to the Royal Rumble.

Royal Rumble 2018 will take place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on January 28th. The challenger for either the Universal or WWE Championship at WrestleMania 34 will be decided then, with Roman Reigns tentatively scheduled to challenge for Lesnar's title in New Orleans.

-A Women's title rematch is set for tonight's episode of SmackDown.

The WWE announced on Facebook this afternoon that Natalya would be challenging for Charlotte Flair's SmackDown Women's Championship on the show. Natalya dropped the title to Charlotte last week, with Charlotte celebrating with Ric Flair after the match as he made his first appearance on WWE television since his health scare.

A rematch between AJ Styles and Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship should be further set up tonight as well, possibly for SmackDown's Clash of Champions pay-per-view next month. That will be SmackDown's last exclusive PPV before the Royal Rumble and will take place in Boston, Massachusetts on December 17th.

In addition to more fallout from Survivor Series, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan will re-debut as the Bludgeon Brothers in a match against the Hype Bros. Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak in a street fight is advertised for 205 Live.

-Raw got a bump from coming the day after Survivor Series, doing its best numbers since football season started with an average of 3.06 million viewers last night.

As would be expected, the show did a strong first hour, but held up well in hour two. The third hour had the usual big drop, but it was still the most-watched third hour since August.

Raw was third for the night on cable, trailing the Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons football game on ESPN (10.76 million viewers) and Hannity on Fox News (3.14 million viewers).

Dancing with the Stars on ABC did 10.08 million viewers and The Voice did 9.15 million viewers last night.

The unusual thing was an 11 percent male 18-49 drop from hour two to three, since men usually stick with the show more than women in the third hour. The over 50 drop from our two to three was 15 percent. The drop was double digits in every demo except teenage boys.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 3.24 million viewers
9 p.m. 3.19 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.79 million viewers

-Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that the WWE is in talks with Facebook for the test run of a new weekly in-ring show that would air on Facebook Live. If it were to happen, it would be filmed after SmackDown on Tuesdays and would possibly feature Raw and SmackDown wrestlers, with mixed tag matches reported as a possible theme. The WWE applied to trademark “WWE Mixed Match Challenge” earlier this month. Pro Wrestling Sheet mentioned that 205 Live taking place before SmackDown has been discussed if the new show comes to fruition.

-Johnny Gargano challenged Shawn Michaels to another “ab off” for WrestleMania weekend.

-The Miz spoke to Fox News to promote that he’s hosting the next season of MTV’s “The Challenge.”

-Announced for next week for SmackDown Live was a handicap match between AJ Styles and the Singh Brothers, and a new Fashion Files.

-A night after Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose debuted on Raw, three more wrestlers from NXT's women's division were called up to the main roster on Tuesday.

Ruby Riot confronted Naomi in a backstage segment on SmackDown, introducing her to Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan before they all attacked her. Becky Lynch tried to make the save, but the three new arrivals laid her out as well.

Riot, Morgan, and Logan later interrupted Charlotte Flair and Natalya's SmackDown Women's Championship match by attacking both.

Riot, who was known as Heidi Lovelace on the indies, was the most prominently featured of the three before coming to the main roster. She was involved in a triple threat match for the NXT Women's Championship at TakeOver: Chicago earlier this year and lost a qualifying match prior to the fatal four-way at Saturday's TakeOver: War Games special.

Morgan also participated in a qualifying match and has made semi-frequent appearances on NXT television. Logan was formerly Crazy Mary Dobson before coming to WWE. She's made some TV appearances in NXT and lost to Mia Yim in the first round of the Mae Young Classic

Riot vs. Deville from Saturday's tapings will air on this week's episode of NXT TV following their main roster debuts.

**UPDATES for Nov.22/17**

-After dropping the WWE Championship earlier this month, Jinder Mahal is getting his rematch at the company's final pay-per-view of the year.

It was confirmed on SmackDown Live that Mahal would be challenging for AJ Styles' WWE title at next month's Clash of Champions PPV. Styles came out for a promo in Houston and called out Mahal to have their rematch on SmackDown, but Mahal appeared on the video screen to say he preferred to have it at Clash of Champions.

Mahal said he would have beaten Brock Lesnar if he faced him at Survivor Series and bashed the state of Texas. The Singh Brothers then ran into the ring from behind for an attack before Styles fought them off.

Styles will face both Samir and Sunil Singh in a handicap match on SmackDown next week. Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton is also set for the episode, along with the return of the Fashion Files.

Styles vs. Mahal is the first match announced for Clash of Champions, which will take place at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on December 17th. The PPV will further set things up for SmackDown as we head into Royal Rumble season.

-The cruiserweight division is about to get a boost in the form of an arrival from NXT.

Following the call-ups of Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Ruby Riot, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan for WWE's women's divisions over the last two days, it was revealed that Hideo Itami would be coming to 205 Live soon. That was announced in a video package, with Nigel McGuinness hyping up Itami's addition before it aired. No exact date was announced for when Itami would be debuting on the show.

Itami joining the cruiserweight division had been anticipated for a couple of weeks following a report from PWInsider. Itami wasn't featured on the two most recent sets of NXT television tapings and lost a no DQ match to Kassius Ohno in his last appearance on TV.

After signing with WWE in 2014, Itami's career has been regularly hindered by injuries. He returned from a neck injury in March, later challenging for the NXT Championship against Bobby Roode at TakeOver: Chicago and facing Aleister Black at TakeOver: Brooklyn.

-The Sports Illustrated dated Nov. 20-27, 2017, "The Best Issue", has a lengthy feature on little people wrestling (and a discussion of the word "midget"), focusing on Dylan Postl (formerly known as Hornswoggle).

-The Miz is expected to be off TV for a few months while filming yet another edition of The Marine. He will be joined by another member of the current roster and a Hall of Famer who are set for roles in the next edition of WWE Studios' "The Marine" franchise.

It was announced today that The Miz, Becky Lynch, and Shawn Michaels would have parts in "The Marine 6: Close Quarters." Miz will reprise his role as Jake Carter, the lead character, and Michaels will also play a Marine. Lynch's character has yet to be confirmed.

Miz has starred in the last three editions of the series, with the last four movies being direct-to-DVD releases. James Nunn, who directed "The Marine 5: Battleground," is back for the sixth movie.

Here's how WWE describes the next "Marine" installment:

"When Jake Carter (The Miz) and fellow Marine Luke Trapper (Shawn Michaels) stumble upon a kidnapped girl being held prisoner by a dangerous gang of international criminals, they find themselves in the crosshairs as they try to save the girl and bring her kidnappers to justice."

Production on the film will begin in London next Monday. With that, it would seem to help explain why Miz lost the Intercontinental Championship to Roman Reigns on Raw and Lynch was laid out by the debuting Ruby Riot, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan on SmackDown this week.

-At https://www.thescore.com/nfl/news/1428796-golden-tate-makes-good-on-bet-with-the-rock there's a story where Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate is a man of his word.

Ahead of his alma mater Notre Dame's Nov. 11 game against Miami, Tate made a bet with former Hurricanes defensive lineman and WWE star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson that the loser would wear the winning school's jersey.

Notre Dame ended up losing the game 41-8.

Tate honored the bet Wednesday, rocking Johnson's old No. 94 jersey.

-Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are now just listed as “Harper” and “Rowan” respectively on WWE’s roster page after returning to TV.

-Tyler Bate & Trent Seven vs. Pete Dunne & Mark Andrews was the pre-show dark match prior to SmackDown last night.

-Finn Balor seemingly responded to Dave Meltzer’s report about Vince McMahon not thinking he’s over enough to face Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble by tweeting a picture of the crowd reacting to him.

-TMZ reported that David Otunga was granted the right to have custody of his son from 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving to 7 p.m. the following day. A hearing is set for Monday, where Otunga will ask the judge to vacate the order of protection Jennifer Hudson filed against him and will ask for temporary custody of their son.

-Daniel Bryan named AJ Styles as the person he’d like to wrestle if WWE were to clear him to return to the ring.

-Jinder Mahal cut a promo on Triple H to build up their house show match in India next month.

**UPDATES for Nov.23-24/17**

-Next year’s WWE Money in the Bank PPV will be a co-branded event. Stars from both Raw and Smackdown Live will have an opportunity to compete for the Money in the Bank briefcase. This year’s event was a Smackdown only PPV.

-Former WWE star AJ Lee, April Mendez-Brooks, released a new book this year titled Crazy is My Superpower, and PWInsider.com reported the book will be released in paperback form in April of 2018.

-NXT General Manager, William Regal traveled to Santiago, Chile, to scout new talent for WWE.

-This week’s episode of WWE SmackDown Live had a slight increase in viewership than the week before. The 11/21 edition of Smackdown Live did 2,662,000 overnight viewers, up from last week’s 2,607,000 overnight viewers.

SmackDown finished fourth for the night in total viewers on cable and first in the 18-49 demo with a 0.82 rating. It was the second straight night of good ratings news for WWE following Survivor Series as Monday's Raw posted its best audience since the start of football season.

For the ninth time in the last 12 weeks, SmackDown was up year-over-year in the ratings. SmackDown retained just over 87 percent of the Raw audience from the previous night, a similar retention to what the show has done since the start of the fall TV season.

No matches were really pushed for the episode aside from an AJ Styles title defense against Jinder Mahal that was alluded to at Survivor Series, though it was made clear early in the show that the match wouldn't be happening.

-The WWE is making some changes to their pay-per-view schedule for 2018.

There are 14 PPVs planned for next year, down from the 16 the company presented in 2017. Of those, there will be five shows with wrestlers from both Raw and SmackDown and nine brand-exclusive events. Five of those will be Raw-only PPVs and four will be SmackDown shows.

Joining the traditional "big four" as a dual-brand event next year will be Money in the Bank, which will take place in Chicago, Illinois. With WWE having done their first women's Money in the Bank ladder match this past June, it isn't known how many MITB matches will be on next year's show or whether there will end up being Raw and SmackDown wrestlers in the same matches or not.

Here's a look at the planned PPV schedule for 2018:

*January 28th -- Royal Rumble (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
*February 25th -- Elimination Chamber (Raw PPV in Las Vegas. Nevada)
*March 11th -- Fastlane (SmackDown PPV in Columbus, Ohio)
*April 8th -- WrestleMania 34 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
*May 6th -- Backlash (Raw PPV in Newark, New Jersey)
*May 27th -- Payback (SmackDown PPV in Baltimore, Maryland)
*June 17th -- Money in the Bank (Chicago, Illinois)
*July 15th -- Battleground (Raw PPV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
*August 19th -- SummerSlam (Brooklyn, New York)
*September 16th -- Extreme Rules (Raw PPV in San Antonio, Texas)
*September 30th -- Hell in a Cell (SmackDown PPV in Nashville, Tennessee)
*October 21st -- TLC (Raw PPV in Boston, Massachusetts)
*November 18th -- Survivor Series (Los Angeles, California)
*December 16th -- Clash of Champions (SmackDown PPV in San Jose, California)

-The WWE has shows with the Raw crew in Nashville and the Smackdown crew in Greensboro for the Starrcade show featuring AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal for the WWE title and Charlotte Flair vs Natalya for the women's title, both in cage matches, with guests like Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson.

Sunday has WWE shows with the Raw crew in Huntsville, AL and Smackdown in Roanoke, VA.

Raw will be live on Monday night in Knoxville. There is also a Smackdown house show on Monday night in Charleston, SC.

Smackdown and 205 Live will be taped on Tuesday in Lexington, KY with AJ Styles vs. Singh Brothers in a handicap match and Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton.

Wednesday will be NXT TV tapings at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.

-There is a funny story about Tuesday's WWE Smackdown tapings in Lexington. It is the first time in six years that the WWE has done a television taping from the city. While they did run house shows, they wouldn't do a taping or a PPV because the Kentucky commission had a rule that pro wrestling matches had to be stopped if there was bleeding, and the WWE didn't want to run TV with the chance a match could be stopped over their heads. A lobbying effort led to the repeal of that rule and now they are back doing TV in the state. What makes this story funny is it's written that blood is a huge part of the WWE, when it hasn't been for years, and that 99.99 percent of the time there is blood, it's theatrics, when actually, unless it's Vince McMahon or Brock Lesnar, and both of them would deny that's the case for them as well, blood is always accidental and theatrical blading has been banned in the WWE for years. They acted like this would bring tons of tourism money for hotels, restaurants and shopping into town, which may be the case to a degree for a minor PPV and more for a major one, but hardly for Smackdown tapings that have been struggling to draw for the last several months.

**UPDATES for Nov.25-26/17**

-Jeff Hardy was recently at a WWE Wrestlemania 34 promotional event in New Orleans and he provided an update on his injured shoulder, stating that he hopes to be back in time for Wrestlemania 34.

-Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Drew McIntyre dropping the NXT Championship to Andrade Almas was most likely done to set up his move to the main roster. However, he will be recovering from his bicep injury for 3-6 weeks.

-In a post on Facebook, Kurt Angle wrote that he tore a muscle in his leg doing wind sprints two days before Survivor Series. He said he feels good and should be 100 percent in a week.

-Arn Anderson made an appearance at tonight’s Starrcade house show in Greensboro as the special guest enforcer for Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler, giving Ziggler a spinebuster.

-Charlotte Flair also cut a promo about Starrcade’s importance to the Flair family.

-The WWE posted video of Ric Flair and Dolph Ziggler backstage at Starrcade.

-Kevin Owens was very excited for Starrcade in a video on Instagram. Owens also thanked Cody Rhodes for calling him one of Dusty Rhodes' guys.

-With Starrcade taking place tonight, ESPN looked back at WCW’s mishandling of Starrcade 1997.

-Ricky Knight, Paige’s father, tweeted about her return to WWE:

“So proud of my daughter for fighting back from a year of injury and massive problems to see her back on TV brought tears to my eyes and sense of pride beyond description thanks to the WWE for sticking by her it would have been so easy to give up on her.”

-Finn Balor tweeted the results of a WWE.com poll that had him as the leading choice for who people wanted to see Brock Lesnar face next from the Raw roster.

-When speaking with the Times of India, Kane said Jinder Mahal is someone every WWE wrestler should strive to become because of how he improved in the ring and improved his body before making his way back to WWE after being released.

Tune in for more news coming this week, so don't 'cha dare miss it!
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Posted 11/26/17 , edited 12/2/17
The build for SmackDown continues towards Clash of Champions in December. Read on for that news, Raw notes and more!

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending while please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

SmackDown's Clash of Champions on Sunday, December 17 from Boston, Massachusetts

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_Champions_(2017) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wweclashofchampions

UPDATED PPV:

*WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (C) vs. Jinder Mahal (w/ The Singh Brothers Samir & Sunil)
*WWE SmackDown Women's Championship Match: Charlotte Flair (C) vs. Natalya
*Triple Threat Match for the WWE United States Championship: Baron Corbin (C) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
*Triple Threat Match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (C-Jimmy & Jey) vs. New Day (2 of Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods & Big E) vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable

-Raw will be live on Monday night in Knoxville. There is also a Smackdown house show on Monday night in Charleston, SC.

After Paige returned and Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville debuted on Raw last week, the three are set to team together in a six-woman tag match tonight.

The WWE announced this afternoon that Paige, Rose & Deville would be facing Sasha Banks, Bayley & Mickie James on the show. Paige, Deville, and Rose arrived as a unit last Monday, interrupting a fatal four-way number one contender's match between Banks, Bayley, James, and Alicia Fox and later attacking Alexa Bliss in a backstage segment.

Tonight will be the first time Paige has wrestled in over a year. Also set for Raw is a match between Seth Rollins and Cesaro as WWE continues to build to Rollins & Dean Ambrose getting their tag title rematch. Rollins and Cesaro faced each other on this weekend's house shows as well. Jason Jordan will take on Kane.

In his first appearance on television since he won the Intercontinental Championship, WWE is teasing that Roman Reigns will issue an open challenge tonight. Just before the show after many replied to his online challenge, Elias was chosen to be the challenger.

-Smackdown and 205 Live will be taped on Tuesday in Lexington, KY with AJ Styles vs. Singh Brothers in a handicap match and Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton.

Wednesday will be NXT TV tapings at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.

-For what it's worth, this is the WWE poll on who should face Brock Lesnar next:

Braun Strowman 10%
Bray Wyatt 3%
Dean Ambrose 1%
HHH 4%
Roman Reigns 5%
Seth Rollins 3%
Finn Balor 64%
Samoa Joe 6%
Other 4%

-The reason Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson weren't at the Starrcade show Saturday night as first advertised is they were pulled to work on the Nashville card, which was the Raw crew show.

-Coco, which is the top rated movie for the Thanksgiving weekend, grossing an estimated $49.02 million in its opening weekend, has a cameo gag involving El Santo. Daddy's Home 2, which features John Cena, was No. 5 at $13.25 million, putting it at $72.7 million in three weeks of domestic release.

-Chris Jericho has started his own YouTube channel.

-Netflix is now airing the movie "Bushwick" which features Dave Bautista. Bautista has been in talks about returning to the WWE.

-The WWE has been getting many former WWE stars to film messages for the WWE Raw 25th anniversary show which are expected to be involved in the broadcast.

-Liv Morgan apparently had Smackown Live star Carmella blocked on Twitter, but Morgan recently unblocked Carmella, where she said:

"Wow thanks for even noticing that I had you blocked. I knew you checked my page" - Liv Morgan.

-PWInsider.com reported that Drew McIntyre’s injured bicep will likely keep him out of action until April of next year. Drew McIntyre is targeting the first week of April for his return after suffering a torn biceps in the last spot of the Takeover match in Houston last Saturday night against Andrade "Cien" Almas.

-The post-Wrestlemania 34 editions of Raw and Smackdown on April 9th and 10th will be at The Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

-PWInsider reported today that WWE was moving from the All-State Arena to the United Center in Chicago for a 3/3 show. Nobody is sure why since house shows can't fill the All-State Arena and the United Center is much larger, but they probably got a good deal.

-The Table for 3 show with Ric Flair, Sting and Ricky Steamboat, originally scheduled to air months ago, but delayed due to Flair's illness will be airing tonight after Raw.

-The new "Marine" movie starts filming today in London. The Miz and Becky Lynch will be off television and house shows for several weeks and Shawn Michaels will be away from coaching during the same period of time. That's why Roman Reigns won the title last week.

-Bill Goldberg will be appearing in two episodes of the CW Network show "The Flash."

-With Sheamus on a sabbatical and Dean Ambrose on his honeymoon with Renee Young, Seth Rollins cashed in his and Dean's rematch clause for a title match next week with the Bar.

-Kurt Angle set up the next 3 weeks to determine a new #1 contender for Enzo's Cruiserweight Championship. Two Fatal-Four Way matches will occur this and next week, with the winners facing of in 3 weeks time to earn that title shot.

**UPDATES for Nov.28/17**

-David Otunga and Jennifer Hudson have reached a temporary custody agreement regarding their eight-year-old son (David Jr.) and Hudson has voluntarily agreed to drop the protective order that she filed against Otunga earlier this month.

TMZ reported the news today after Otunga and Hudson were scheduled for a hearing yesterday. Hudson filed the protective order as the couple, who had been engaged for nearly a decade, had been in the process of ending their relationship for several months.

The temporary agreement calls for Otunga to have primary custody of their son, with Hudson filming "The Voice UK" in London currently and having to travel often for the US version of the show. Otunga has claimed to be their son's main caregiver due to Hudson's schedule. TMZ reports that Otunga won't be returning to Hudson's home in the Chicago area they had been living in.

In the protective order, Hudson claimed Otunga had shown "aggressive, threatening, and harassing behavior" towards her, had physically pushed her out of their master suite at one point, and left a gun and holster on their kitchen table to intimidate her. Through his lawyer, Otunga responded by denying all of Hudson's allegations, saying he's never harmed or threatened her or their son and claiming Hudson filed the order to gain an upper hand in the custody dispute.

TMZ previously reported that police had opened a domestic battery investigation into the incident, though it's not clear where that stands after Hudson dropped the protective order.

-PWInsider.com reported that WWE Raw GM Kurt Angle went into Survivor Series with a torn muscle in his leg from doing cardio before the event.

-At https://www.thescore.com/news/1433542-look-the-rock-shows-off-completed-brahma-bull-coverup-tattoo the Rock showed off his covered up Brahma Bull tattoo,

-With video at https://www.thescore.com/news/1433592-the-miz-says-lavar-ditched-script-during-wwe-appearance there is an interview by the Miz about how LaVar Ball went off script during the Miz TV segment he did this year.

"I walk into their dressing room to go over the script ... 'This is what we're kind of looking for, do you want to go over it?' And (LaVar) goes, 'Nah, we're good.' I go, 'Are you sure?' He goes, 'Nah, we're good.' I go, 'Alright, so I guess we're just going to wing it out there,'" The Miz recalled.

When asked if Ball taking off his shirt was pre-planned, The Miz replied, "It was not planned at all. I was like, 'I'm just gonna let him do his thing because guess what? People are going to be talking about it for months on end.'"

The Miz went on to praise Ball, particularly for how supportive he is of his children.

-After tonight, there are two more episodes of SmackDown until Clash of Champions.

-Raw saw the WWE tease that Matt Hardy may be becoming “Broken” soon. He repeatedly said “delete” and did the arm motion after his loss to Bray Wyatt.

-The WWE partnered with March of Dimes in New York today to help raise awareness and fundraise for people suffering as a result of premature childbirth. The WWE matched all donations made during today’s luncheon.

-Jinder Mahal visited patients at Kentucky Children's Hospital prior to SmackDown taking place in Lexington today.

-Uproxx spoke to Glenn Jacobs about wrestling in Knoxville last night and then going to a campaign event.

-Brie Bella appeared on Lilian Garcia’s “Chasing Glory” podcast.

-Kurt Angle took part in a Q&A session at a meet and greet for iPlay America last Saturday.

-The New Orleans Times-Picayune interviewed Jim Ross about meeting fans at a book signing in the city.

**UPDATES for Nov.29/17**

-While WWE's plans for Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble have yet to be made apparent, that should be changing over the next few weeks.

The Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island announced on their social media accounts yesterday that Lesnar would be in the building for the December 18th episode of Raw. Lesnar hasn't appeared on television since defeating AJ Styles at Survivor Series and hasn't been advertised for next Monday's Raw in Los Angeles or for the December 11th show in Cleveland.

The night before Raw takes place in Providence, the WWE will present their final pay-per-view of the year with SmackDown's Clash of Champions event in Boston. The build for the Royal Rumble should pick up around that time, with the following two weeks of Raw being live shows on Christmas and New Year's Day.

Dave Meltzer previously reported that Lesnar was scheduled to defend his Universal Championship against Finn Balor at the Royal Rumble until plans were changed due to Vince McMahon not feeling Balor is over enough for the match at this point in time. WWE.com ran a poll asking who should face Lesnar next, with Balor winning by a large majority.

-Raw dropped ten percent from last week, doing its second lowest total of the football season with 2.75 million viewers on Monday.

For whatever reason, the key to the low number was both a low start, but also a much larger than usual drop from hour one to hour two.

Raw was fifth for the night on cable. The NFL game with the Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens did 8.27 million viewers. Dancing with the Stars wasn't on, but the CMA Country Christmas show ABC had in its time slot did 7.95 million viewers, so it looks like television itself was down. Still, that wouldn't explain the big second hour drop for Raw.

The October 16th show did 2.69 million viewers, the only Raw episode this football season to do a lower number. There were also four shows this year during the NBA playoffs that did lower numbers than Monday. The first-to-second hour drop of eight percent was made up of six percent of women 18-49, six percent in men 18-49, seven percent in male teens, and ten percent in those over 50, which is the largest audience for the show.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 2.96 million viewers
9 p.m. 2.72 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.60 million viewers

-NXT is taping its next round of television episodes at Full Sail University tonight. With the first three tapings of 2018 set for Center Stage in Atlanta, this will be the last time NXT’s at Full Sail for a few months. Triple H said on his pre-TakeOver conference call that Full Sail is still their home and the tapings in Atlanta were due to logistical/scheduling issues with their regular venue.

In a rematch of what might have been WWE’s best match of the year, Pete Dunne will defend his WWE United Kingdom Championship against Tyler Bate at the tapings.

Matches taped at NXT house shows prior to TakeOver will air on tonight’s show. Those include Kairi Sane vs. Peyton Royce, Tyler Bate & Trent Seven vs. Pete Dunne & Mark Andrews, and The Street Profits vs. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss.

-WWE Studios announced that they’re expanding into television and digital content. Vince McMahon said in a statement:

“Given the size of our fan base and their appetite for WWE programming well beyond our core in-ring shows, this is the ideal time to further establish the WWE brand with new genres across platforms. WWE Studios is open for business with this new TV and digital initiative.”

-While speaking with Sports Illustrated, Anthem’s Ed Nordholm discussed Matt Hardy teasing the “broken” gimmick on Raw and said Impact’s new talent agreements allow wrestlers to use their personas after leaving the company. Nordholm also said they’re working with their legal team to extend that to those under previous agreements and their former roster members.

-After months of dissension, Mojo Rawley seemingly turned heel by attacking Zack Ryder as The Hype Bros disbanded on SmackDown last night.

-The cruiserweight fatal four-way match on Raw next week will be Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese. The winner will face Rich Swann in a number one contender’s match the following week.

-Triple H cut a promo on Jinder Mahal ahead of their match in India on December 9th.

-The complete run of NXT, in both its previous and current formats, has now been fully uploaded to the WWE Network.

-The Rock is on the cover of Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100” issue.

-John Cena visited with the Sydney Thunder cricket team in Australia.

-Dave Bautista posted a photo training with Jack Swagger and congratulated him on his new career with Bellator MMA.

-SmackDown ratings were up for the fourth straight week, with Tuesday night's episode on the USA Network averaging 2.68 million viewers.

That's in contrast to Raw's ratings this week, which were down 10 percent from the prior Monday and marked the show's second lowest viewership since the start of the NFL season. SmackDown retained 97.4 percent of Raw's audience this week, the second highest retention since the brand split.

SmackDown finished sixth for the night on cable in terms of total viewers and was first in the 18-49 demo with a 0.82 rating. Going into the night, Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton, AJ Styles vs. The Singh Brothers in a handicap match, and the return of the Fashion Files had been advertised for the show.

SmackDown was also up four percent over the same week from last year, which marked the 10th time in the last 13 weeks that it was up year-over-year. This week's Raw was down 11 percent from 2016.

**UPDATES for Dec.1/17**

-PWInsider.com reported that a new episode of WWE 365 is in the works and will document WWE Champion AJ Styles.

-The WWE will be taping the annual Tribute to the Troops special in California next week, and WWE Legend Sgt. Slaughter will be appearing at the tapings.

-At https://www.bardown.com/the-rock-shared-an-incredible-story-about-an-interaction-he-had-with-hulk-hogan-as-a-kid-1.931689 the Rock tells a story when he was a kid interacting with Hulk Hogan while promoting his new movie the rebooted Jumanji.

-After a new number one contender was decided at this week's NXT television tapings, the WWE officially announced the series of matches that will lead to the next challenger for Andrade "Cien" Almas' NXT Championship.

One thing of note from WWE's announcement was that the eventual winner wasn't included. Four matches took place at the tapings to determine who would advance to a fatal four-way number one contender's match, with Johnny Gargano defeating Kassius Ohno and going on to win the four-way. An angle should take place over the next few weeks to have Gargano replace Velveteen Dream against Ohno and end up challenging Almas at TakeOver: Philadelphia next month.

The WWE released a video with William Regal saying Drew McIntyre won't be able to get his rematch against Almas due to the bicep injury McIntyre suffered at TakeOver: War Games. The matches he announced were Ohno vs. Velveteen Dream, Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole, Killian Dain vs. Trent Seven, and Roderick Strong vs. Lars Sullivan. Black, Dain, and Sullivan advanced to the fatal four-way along with Gargano.

Velveteen Dream wasn't featured on Wednesday's tapings. In something that could play into the angle with Gargano, who has been on a storyline losing streak, taking his place, Regal called the eight wrestlers he announced people whose body of work over the past year has proved their worth.

Seven "earned" his way into the qualifiers by winning a battle royal at last night's NXT house show in Lakeland, which took place after he lost to Dain on Wednesday. Gargano wrestled Pete Dunne in the main event of that show.

Almas vs. Gargano for the NXT title was the only match confirmed for TakeOver: Philadelphia at the tapings. The special will take place at the Wells Fargo Center on January 27th as part of Royal Rumble weekend, with NXT having one more taping before that date to further build up the event.

-Stephanie McMahon is scheduled to be speaking from 7-10 p.m. Monday night at the CMO Digital Summit in Pelican Hill, CA. So if she appears on Raw, she either has to do pretapes or make it fit into that speaking schedule.

-With Impact giving up its IP property claim on the Broken gimmick, Matt Hardy has opened a Vanguard 1 twitter account.

-Tickets for the 4/9 Raw and 4/10 Smackdown tapings right after WrestleMania at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans go on sale on 12/8. They are likely to sell out quickly.

-The WWE is advertising A.J. Styles vs. Jinder Mahal, Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn and Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler for the post-Christmas tour including 12/27 in Detroit at the Little Caesar's Arena.

-Mick Foley talked about his new speaking tour covering the 20th anniversary of his Hell in a Cell match with Undertaker.

-The Mirror reported that WWE did not renew the contract of legendary WWE entrance music producer, Jim Johnston this week. Johnston created countless classic WWE entrance songs for many stars including The Undertaker, Steve Austin, Vince McMahon, The Rock and many others. The WWE has yet to release an official release posting about the matter. While the WWE has not confirmed this, those close to the situation have confirmed stories that Jim Johnston, the longtime WWE musical composer, was released after his contract expired.

-PWInsider.com reported that the WWE network will soon feature "collections" on Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura.

-At https://www.thescore.com/news/1436001-john-cena-sued-by-ford-after-reselling-ford-gt is a story on how the Ford company has sued John Cena for reselling a Ford GT. John Cena, who was sued by Ford for breach of contract for selling a 2017 Ford GT that he was able to purchase at a low price with the provison he would keep it for two years, then sold it for a large profit, has apologized to Ford and said he's willing to work with Ford to make things right.

-On Saturday WWE Raw has a house show in Salt Lake City, UT Smackdown in Merida, Mexico, and NXT in Bel Air, MD and St. Petersburg, FL. Sunday has WWE Raw in Anaheim at the Honda Center and Smackdown at Arena Monterrey in Mexico.

-Raw will be Monday night from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. There will be a tag title match with Cesaro & Sheamus defending against Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose, as well as a four-way with Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese with the winner facing Rich Swann on 12/11 for a title shot at Enzo Amore.

-Tuesday has two WWE show in San Diego. There will be the joint-branded Tribute to the Troops taping at the Naval Base at 10 a.m., followed by the Smackdown / 205 Live show from the Valley View Casino Arena.

-Jimmy Jacobs was on Chris Jericho's podcast and said that his taking the photo that led to him being fired was not him trying to get fired, but he tabbed it that he also wasn't trying to not get fired. He talked about losing passion for working for the WWE after getting out of rehab.

-The WWE sent out a survey asking fans their interest in the following names if they'd want to see them wrestle in WWE: Terry Crews, Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, Miesha Tate, Vladimir Klitschko, Danica Patrick, Marshawn Lynch and Rob Gronkowski.

-Ronda Rousey produced a video for the launch of her new web site with clips of all kinds of training, including her doing WWE training.

-Three more title matches have been announced for SmackDown's Clash of Champions pay-per-view.

After their previous rematch was interrupted by The Riott Squad, Natalya will be challenging for Charlotte Flair's SmackDown Women's Championship at the show. Charlotte won the title from Natalya on an episode of SmackDown last month, which featured Ric Flair making his first appearance on WWE television since his health scare and celebrating with Charlotte.

To further set up their rematch, Natalya bailed on Charlotte & Naomi when they were facing Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan last Tuesday.

The United States Championship will be on the line in a triple threat match at Clash of Champions as Baron Corbin defends against Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler. There was an angle on Tuesday where Roode (who has been feuding with Ziggler for much of his main roster run) challenged Corbin to a title match after they had brawled the week before, but Corbin wouldn't accept.

There will be three teams in the tag title match at the PPV as well, with The Usos taking on New Day and Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable.

Clash of Champions is WWE's last PPV of the year and will take place at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on December 17th. AJ Styles defending his WWE Championship against Jinder Mahal is also scheduled for the show.

**UPDATES for Dec.2/17**

-At https://www.bardown.com/watch-ric-flair-marvelously-steal-the-show-in-a-puerto-rican-rap-video-1.932352 Ric Flair makes an appearance in a Puerto Rican rap video.

-NXT will air on the USA Network on December 13th at 7pm EST. It is unsure if this is a one-shot or NXT's regular time slot on the USA Network. While neither WWE nor the USA Network have announced this, the USA Network's program grid for December 13th lists WWE NXT at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

It is not clear if this will be the episode that would normally go up on the WWE Network that day, or a compilation type of show. The show is listed for 55 minutes instead of a usual 60-minute slot. If it is the first hour of the show taped this past Wednesday, it would be built
around the tournament to crown a number one contender for the NXT title for TakeOver: Philadelphia and have Killian Dain vs. Trent Seven, Johnny Gargano vs. Kassius Ohno, and Lars Sullivan vs. Roderick Strong, plus a no DQ match between current main roster wrestlers Ruby Riott and Sonya Deville. The Gargano vs. Ohno match in particular got rave reviews.

It makes sense because that week is the annual WWE Week on the USA Network, and Tribute to the Troops, which would air on Wednesday, is being moved to Thursday, as the USA Network is airing the movie "Thor" in prime time on Wednesday night.

-WWE Raw Tag Team Champion Sheamus revealed that he is dealing with a very serious case of spinal stenosis. There is no word on how or if this will impact his in-ring work.

-At https://www.f4wonline.com/wwe-news/video-hbo-releases-first-trailer-andre-giant-documentary-247276 is the teaser trailer for the HBO documentary on Andre the Giant.

-Two weeks after she came back to WWE television, Paige should be having her in-ring return on Monday's episode of Raw.

The WWE announced today that Paige would be facing Sasha Banks on the show. It was advertised that Paige, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville would be taking on Banks, Bayley & Mickie James last week, but there was instead an angle where Banks' partners had been attacked by Absolution (Paige, Rose, and Deville). The three laid out Banks instead of having the match, and we'll see if Paige vs. Banks goes on as planned or if Rose, Deville, Bayley, and James end up getting involved.

Paige has still yet to have an official match in over a year. She was out of action due to a neck injury until returning last month.

Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose challenging for Cesaro & Sheamus' tag titles is also scheduled for Raw, along with Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese. The winner of that fatal four-way will face Rich Swann the following week in a Cruiserweight title number one contender's match.

-After Raw goes off the air on Monday, the debut edition of "Straight to the Source" will be shown on the WWE Network. The episode is a half hour taped sit-down conversation with Corey Graves interviewing Roman Reigns. The WWE posted a sneak peek of the show.

-Tuesday has two WWE show in San Diego. There will be the joint-branded Tribute to the Troops taping at the Naval Base at 10 a.m., followed by the Smackdown / 205 Live show from the Valley View Casino Arena.

-John Cena will be one of the guests on Wednesday’s episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

-Matt Hardy put out a video continuing to tease the return of his “Broken” (or "Woken") character.

-Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville discussed being called up to the main roster in an article for ESPN.

-The Usos, The New Day, and Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable cut promos about their triple threat tag title match at Clash of Champions.

-Edge and Christian spoke to Dolph Ziggler for this week’s episode of their podcast.

-In a piece for the Players’ Tribune, Diamond Dallas Page wrote a letter to his younger self.

-The Rock tweeted that Vince McMahon is still one of his greatest mentors and trusted advisors.

Come back for more news and notes, so don't 'cha dare miss it!
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Posted 12/3/17 , edited 12/10/17
More of the SmackDown PPV card for Clash of Champions got added on the weekend via video, so check the updated line up and more below.

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending while please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

SmackDown's Clash of Champions on Sunday, December 17 from Boston, Massachusetts

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_Champions_(2017) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wweclashofchampions

UPDATED PPV:

*WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (C) vs. Jinder Mahal (w/ The Singh Brothers Samir & Sunil)
*Lumberjills Match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship: Charlotte Flair (C) vs. Natalya
Ringside Lumberjills: Sarah Logan, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Lana, Tamina, Carmella, Naomi
*Triple Threat Match for the WWE United States Championship: Baron Corbin (C) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
*Fatal Four-Way Match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (C-Jimmy & Jey) vs. New Day (2 of Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods & Big E) vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable vs. Rusev & Aiden English
*Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura
NOTE: The Special Guest Referee will be Commissioner Shane McMahon, and if the team of Sami Zyan & Kevin Owens loses, they will be fired from the WWE.

-Raw will be Monday night from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. There will be a tag title match with Cesaro & Sheamus defending against Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose, as well as a four-way with Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese with the winner facing Rich Swann on 12/11 for a title shot at Enzo Amore, and Sasha Banks vs. Paige in Paige's first match since her return. Also on the show will be more on the new Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe angle and likely the next step in the Matt Hardy Woken character.

-Tuesday has two WWE show in San Diego. There will be the joint-branded Tribute to the Troops taping at the Naval Base at 10 a.m., followed by the Smackdown / 205 Live show from the Valley View Casino Arena.

-The implosion of the Pontiac Silverdome got a lot of coverage in Detroit, all over the local news. Some stories talked WrestleMania III and others didn't. Things like the Lions, The Who, the Rolling Stones and such got more play. They tried to blow up the stadium this morning, but the stadium was still standing after the explosion. The story is the building was built a little too well, but enough damage was done that the building will eventually collapse, they just don't know when.

-The reason Luke Harper didn't work the Smackdown shows the last two nights was that his wife gave birth to a son, Nolan Rhino Huber. His wife had to deliver due to medical reasons a month-and-a-half early and he rushed home from Lima, Peru and the baby was born five minutes after he arrived at the hospital. Erick Rowan has been teaming with Mojo Rawley.

-Neither Singh Brother was injured and the one that missed some shows this weekend was also due to a non-injury related matter.

-Matt Hardy was doing his new version of Broken, now called Woken (so the WWE can own it while he keeps the Broken gimmick now that Impact allowed it) at the first Raw house show of the weekend in Salt Lake City.

-Kyle O'Reilly noted that his mother passed away on Wednesday due to cancer.

There's been a ton of promotion for the Ferdinand movie with John Cena doing the voices for the lead role. Cena is currently promoting the movie that opens on 12/14.

-Dwayne Johnson broke the world record for most cereal boxes in one place with 3,006 as part of a fundraiser for Puerto Rico and damage from Hurricane Maria.

-Jim Ross has book signings for his book Slobberknocker on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Barnes & Noble at 97 Warren St., in New York and Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Bookends at 211 East Ridgewood Ave., in Ridgewood, NJ.

-WWE star R-Truth is having shoulder surgery to get a loose bone removed. He posted on it a few times on Twitter.

-PWInsider.com reported that WWE is planning to launch 205 Live house shows beginning in January of 2018. Just over a year after the series debuted, WWE made the announcement today that the first three 205 Live-exclusive house shows will be taking place across one weekend in January. All three venues that will be hosting the events are smaller buildings where NXT road shows have taken place.

Here's the schedule for the events:

January 19th -- The Ryan Center in Kingston, Rhode Island
January 20th -- The Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, Massachusetts
January 21st -- The Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York

Vince McMahon previously mentioned the idea of cruiserweight-only house shows on a conference call in February, but no timetable for them was given then. PWInsider reported that the 205 Live tours in January and potentially February will be an experiment by WWE to determine if it's a financially viable concept.

The cruiserweight division has had limited exposure on main roster house shows, with the champion usually defending against a challenger on the Raw events. If this works out, it would remove the cruiserweight matches from the Raw brand tours and enable the talent to work more often.

Tickets for the January shows are set to go on sale on December 8th at 10 a.m. Eastern time. Enzo Amore and Hideo Itami will be the key stars of the brand.

-In an effort to raise money for Puerto Rican disaster relief and damage done from Hurricane Maria, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson broke the world record for most cereal boxes in one place with 3,006. However, the record was soon broken by students from Carey High School in Long Island, New York. The record was actually for most cereal boxes lined up in a domino-like chain to fall in a continuous stream.

-The WWE Network will add its “Match of the Year” collection to the collection section as of today.

-It seems that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be on the cover of an upcoming issue of Entertainment Weekly – the magazine has posted some behind-the-scenes pics from his cover photo shoot.

-Daniel Bryan will be the guest referee, either for a live match or a dark match on the 12/26 Smackdown tapings in Chicago. However, any reports that he has been cleared to wrestle by the WWE as of this afternoon are still inaccurate.

-Some members of the Raw crew will be in San Diego Tuesday morning for the Tribute to the Troops tapings. The crew will fly out Tuesday to the Middle East for two shows and then do the show in New Delhi, India. Jinder Mahal and the Singhs were advertised for New Delhi, but it's not a sure thing about the Singhs given the angle that was shot on Tuesday. One of the Singhs was still with Mahal in his corner at SmackDown's house show in Monterrey, Mexico.

-Chris Jericho is a no for WrestleMania, since he is starting a U.S. concert tour with Fozzy on 2/28 and will be in concert on WrestleMania night in Hampton each, NH.

-Tickets for the Fast Lane PPV on 3/11 in Columbus, OH at Nationwide Arena go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster.

-The WWE is pushing the debut Monday night of "Straight to the Source" with Corey Graves interviewing Roman Reigns in the slot after Raw ends on the WWE Network.

-Jeff Hardy will be performing in concert on 12/15 in Covington, KY at the Madison Theater. Tickets are $13 in advance and $18 at the door.

-There is a pre-sale going on for a February Raw in Anaheim with the code: Hondavip

-There will be a Smackdown show on 2/13 in Bakersfield a well as a WWE show on 2/11 in Fresno. Tickets go on sale for Fresno on Friday.

-Machine Gun Kelly was shown at Raw since he promoted he'll be on the Tribute to the Troops show.

-Braun Strowman and Kane will have a rematch on Raw next week. Rich Swann and Drew Gulak, who won their respective Fatal-Four Way Qualifying matches, face each other on Raw as well to earn a title shot against the Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore.

**UPDATES for Dec.5/17**

-Last night WWE Raw went off the air with The Shield in the ring, and The Bar and Samoa Joe among the crowd, celebrating The Bar’s Raw Tag Title retention in the main event. After the show went off the air, The Shield grabbed the mic and demanded that The Bar and Joe come back to the ring, and face them in a match. This lead to a dark match, which featured The Shield defeating The Bar and Samoa Joe in a six-man tag team match. This is being done at many upcoming house shows as the main event as well.

-PWInsider.com reported that NXT stars Aleister Black and No Way Jose both suffered minor injuries over the weekend. No word on what the injuries were.

-A wrestling-heavy Raw last night was up very slightly from last week's low mark, doing 2.78 million viewers.

But the ratings pattern told a different story with a 23 percent drop from hour one to hour three, an unusually large number and a very weak third hour number.

Raw was sixth for the night on cable. The Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals Monday Night Football game did 10.84 million viewers.

In the 18-49 demo, the women's drop from hour one to hour three was 29 percent and the men's drop was 11 percent.

There was a major drop in every demo throughout the show. The message was pretty clear that a series of long matches, as opposed to long matches with main event talent, are not good for retaining viewers.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 3.15 million viewers
9 p.m. 2.86 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.43 million viewers

-As the build to Clash of Champions continues, there will be two non-title matches involving champions on SmackDown tonight. Baron Corbin vs. Bobby Roode and Charlotte Flair vs. Tamina are set for the show, along with The New Day vs. Rusev & Aiden English and a Bludgeon Brothers match. We should also get more of an idea of what WWE's plans are for Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn at the PPV.

-205 Live will be built around an angle where Drew Gulak is in charge of The Zo Train with Enzo Amore not on the show. Most of the Raw roster is headed to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s house shows in the United Arab Emirates and India. Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander is also set for 205 Live.

-WWE officially confirmed that NXT will be airing on the USA Network on Wednesday, December 13th at 7 p.m. Eastern time as part of “WWE Holiday Week.” It’s listed as a one-hour special from Full Sail with Andrade “Cien” Almas, Ember Moon, SAnitY, Adam Cole, Aleister Black, and more advertised. With that, it would appear that the show will be one of the episodes filmed at the latest television tapings. Tribute to the Troops was set to be taped at Naval Base San Diego today and will air at 8 p.m. ET on December 14th.

-Sasha Banks appeared on today’s episode of the Steve Austin podcast. There will be another episode next week with Banks and Bayley on it, and Elias and Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows also recorded shows with Austin.

-Reby Hardy tweeted about Matt becoming “Woken” on Raw last night:

“Who'd have thought, man. From brainstorming at Waffle House to tonight. My husband was confident in his execution from the jump, even when everyone told him he was dumb/nuts/irrelevant. NO ONE is irrelevant in today's age of endless possibilities. MAKE YOURSELF.”

-WWE 2K18 will be released on the Nintendo Switch tomorrow.

-Carrie Fisher apparently had a box of Booty O’s cereal displayed in her kitchen window before she passed away.

-ESPN interviewed Triple H about wrestling in India this weekend.

-Tyler Bate met with fans in Burton today as part of an appearance for the WWE.

-The WWE Shop released a “Rusev Day” T-shirt.

-In documents filed in his ongoing divorce, Rob Van Dam claimed that a concussion he suffered working on the indies caused visual impairment and disqualified him from wrestling for the WWE.

**UPDATES for Dec.6/17**

-A story at http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Wrestling/2017/12/06/22769245.html outlines Bret Hart's lawsuit over botched wrist surgery.The Calgary Sun broke the news of that yesterday, with Hart claiming that the surgery Dr. Justin Yeung performed left him unable to use the index finger and thumb on his right hand.

The lawsuit notes that Hart suffered an injury to his wrist all the way back in 1981, with him wrestling most of his career with it. Hart visited plastic surgeon Dr. Yeung in Calgary in 2015 and later had surgery on November 23rd of that year. When he returned several weeks later, Hart said the right index finger and thumb didn't function and complained about the swelling and pain. He was allegedly told to wait and see how it healed, but Hart's condition didn't improve in later visits.

It's alleged that doctors left "a tourniquet on Mr. Hart’s right arm on too long, such that the circulation of the nerves and tendons to his right thumb and index finger were damaged by a prolonged insufficient supply of oxygen."

The suit claims that Yeung and other unnamed members of the surgery team were negligent and breached the duties of care they owed him and their agreement with him. It also states that Hart is unable to properly dress himself on his own and can't functionally use objects like pens and pencils.

Hart is seeking $1 million in damages, along with undetermined amounts of lost income and other losses. He underwent a second surgery with different doctors in Vancouver in October, but the results of that procedure are currently unknown.

-Three new inductees were voted into the Quebec Wrestling Hall of Fame: Kevin Owens, Bret Hart and Eugene Tremblay. The Quebec Wrestling Hall of Fame is voted upon by a panel of former wrestlers, journalists, historians and experts.

-Enzo Amore and Kalisto were not on 205 Live last night, since the two Cruiserweights were traveling for WWE’s live events in Abu Dhabi and India this week. At the events, Enzo will defend his WWE Cruiserweight Title against Kalisto.

-After WWE 205 Live last tonight, there was a dark match where AJ Styles defeat Jinder Mahal.

-After nearly matching Raw's numbers last week, Tuesday's episode of SmackDown was down to 2.493 million viewers. That's seven percent short of last week and the third lowest number since the start of the fall TV season.

This marks the first time SmackDown has been down from the previous week since the episode that fell on Halloween night, though this Tuesday's show was up for the third straight week as compared to the previous year. The December 6th, 2016 edition of SmackDown averaged 2.479 million viewers.

SmackDown was seventh for the night on cable in terms of total viewers and second in the 18-49 demo with a 0.76 rating. The show was centered around the ongoing issues between Shane McMahon, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn and culminated in a match between Zayn and Randy Orton.

SmackDown retained 89 percent of the Raw audience from the previous night, right in the normal range of what it usually does during this time of the year after hitting 97 percent last week.

-Variety announced that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a ceremony honouring Johnson will take place on December 13th. The process for getting a star calls for the celebrity to be nominated by themselves or a third party, with a fee that also has to be paid.

-Reby Hardy posted a picture of a WWE camera crew interviewing her at home today for future Network content:

-Paige tweeted that she’s recording an episode of Lilian Garcia’s “Chasing Glory” podcast today. The show will be uploaded on Monday.

-As would be expected with her having been at at the Performance Center, USA Today noted that Ronda Rousey is finalizing the details of her plans with WWE.

-Roman Reigns’ match against Triple H at WWE’s house show in Abu Dhabi on Friday will now be an Intercontinental title defense for Reigns,

-Tickets to NXT’s WrestleMania weekend TakeOver show in New Orleans will go on sale at 12 p.m. local time on December 15th.

-The Miami Herald interviewed Alexa Bliss about being a playable character in WWE 2K18.

-The WWE United Kingdom Championship will be on the line as Pete Dunne defends against Joseph Conners at PROGRESS Wrestling’s show in Sheffield this weekend.

**UPDATES for Dec.8/17**

-Before SmackDown took place on Tuesday, WWE was at Naval Base San Diego for a visit and to tape this year's Tribute to the Troops special. The show took place outdoors and featured Raw and SmackDown wrestlers, with it set to air on Thursday, December 14th as part of WWE Holiday Week on the USA Network.

The matches involving Raw wrestlers were taped first as the show's roster was headed overseas for this weekend's house shows in Abu Dhabi and New Delhi, so it isn't known if this will air in order. Machine Gun Kelly performed at the event, and Sgt. Slaughter, Ricky Steamboat, and Mark Henry were guests at the show.

John "Bradshaw" Layfield, who originally came up with the idea for Tribute to the Troops, did commentary with Michael Cole and Byron Saxton.

-A video that aired during this week's episode of NXT hyped the arrival of a new addition to the roster.

The teaser featured the silhouette of a wrestler and the word "soon," with spades replacing the middle letters of the word. That Shayna Baszler appeared at the most recent set of television tapings and that her nickname is "The Queen of Spades" seemed to hint that she was the person who would be debuting, and Dave Meltzer said that the video was for her on Wrestling Observer Radio.

Baszler has wrestled at house shows in Florida since losing to Kairi Sane in the finals of the Mae Young Classic, but her appearance last Wednesday was the first time she's been featured on an NXT TV taping. The WWE announced in October that Baszler had officially signed with the company.

The next round of NXT tapings will take place at Center Stage in Atlanta on January 4th as the build to TakeOver: Philadelphia continues.

-A few of the highlights from the WWE Abu Dhabi show on Thursday:

*Shadia Bseiso, who recently became the first Arab woman to sign a WWE contract, was brought out during intermission. A man from Kuwait appeared as well and they talked to the crowd in English and Arabic. A short video package about Bseiso's journey played before the show and during intermission.

*There was a huge pop for the announcement of the Raw women's championship match between the champ Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks, which was WWE's first-ever one in the UAE. People rushed to ringside and a ton of cameras were taken out. There was a video camera at ringside for only this match. Both wrestlers were wearing full bodysuits.

Banks was super over with all sections of the crowd, getting more cheers and chants of her name than anyone on the card prior to this. She got most of the offense in the match, but Bliss retained with a roll-up while using her feet on the ropes for leverage.

Banks got emotional when discussing the moment in a backstage interview after the match.

*Triple H came out after the Shield vs. Samoa Joe & The Bar match, getting in the ring and squaring up to Reigns. He got on the mic to say that he didn't fly halfway around the world for nothing and told Reigns he's taking the Intercontinental Championship when they face off at Friday's show. Reigns said he's flown halfway around the world, and it's still Reigns' yard. Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Rollins & Ambrose was also announced for that show

-Three more matches have been announced for Monday's episode of Raw.

Coming off Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe both getting involved in this week's Tag Team title main event, Reigns vs. Cesaro, Joe vs. Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus are set for Monday. Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Rollins & Ambrose from this week was restarted as a no DQ match after Cesaro & Sheamus were initially disqualified. Joe came out to attack The Shield team before being chased off by Reigns, with Cesaro & Sheamus retaining in the midst of everything that was going on.

Joe's program with Reigns began towards the end of last month when he ambushed Reigns from behind and tried to choke him out after Reigns had defended his Intercontinental Championship against Elias.

Braun Strowman vs. Kane is also scheduled for Monday's Raw, along with a cruiserweight number one contender's match between Rich Swann and Drew Gulak. The winner of Swann vs. Gulak will get the next shot at Enzo Amore's title.

-The WWE has sent out marketing surveys of late for those who have attended recent house shows as well as to those in the U.K. to learn their television viewing patterns.

-Former wrestler/fighter/announcer and current author/stunt man Paul Lazenby noted that he was the stunt double for Bill Goldberg for an episode of "The Flash," and said it was one of his easiest days ever as Bill did all of his fight scenes, even with a painful and gruesome looking shin injury suffered sparring Muay Thai. He also noted how nice Goldberg was to everyone on the set.

-A pre-sale for the 1/19 205 Live show in Kingston, RI is going on now using the code word WWERYAN

-The WWE honored three Sacramento men who thwarted a terrorist attack in a Paris-bound train in 2015. They were brought in as guests to Monday's Raw show at the Staples Center.

-At https://www.thescore.com/nfl/news/1439910-the-rock-endorses-golden-tate-for-pro-bowl the Rock continues to share admiration for NFL player Golden Tate who did the People's Elbow celebration earlier in the year by endorsing him for the Pro Bowl.

-The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Sheamus is taking time off because of spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a very serious condition, and ended the in-ring careers of Steve Austin and Edge.

-The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported on the future in-ring career of Daniel Bryan. Vince McMahon told Daniel Bryan that the decision on his in-ring future will come from WWE’s Dr. Joseph Maroon, and until Maroon clears him, he will not wrestle. If Bryan is cleared to wrestle, they may book Shane McMahon vs Daniel Bryan at WWE SummerSlam next year in Brooklyn, NYC.

-Dave Meltzer speculated in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that because Asuka is portrayed as a strong style fighter in WWE it could be setting up a potential Asuka vs Ronda Rousey match in WWE. Rousey is currently finalizing a deal with WWE.

-A lawsuit filed by Marcus "Buff" Bagwell and Scott "Raven" Levy against WWE attempting to open the door for wrestlers to get royalties for appearances on the WWE Network was dropped officially yesterday in an agreement between the lawyers for both sides.

The WWE had filed a lawsuit against Levy claiming he had made false statements about a prior lawsuit, where Levy and several other former wrestlers had sued to attempt to get employee status for wrestlers claiming they were not independent contractors. In that case, it was thrown out due to the statute of limitations from when the deals were in place to when the lawsuit was filed having expired. Levy, on a Chris Jericho podcast, had apparently said that Vince McMahon had paid off a judge.

The agreement was made between lawyers that both lawsuits were to be dropped. However, in the settlement agreement, the WWE retained the rights to refile the lawsuit against Levy if he were to ever sue the WWE again on any contractual matters.

After recent depositions by the WWE of Bagwell and Levy, their lawyers opened up settlement talks regarding dropping of the case.

Levy and Bagwell were represented by Klint Bruno and Matthew Peterson of Chicago and William H. Clendenen Jr. of New Haven. The WWE was represented by Jerry McDevitt of Pittsburgh, Jeffrey Mueller of Hartford, and Jonathan Tropp of Stamford.

-Sunday has WWE Smackdown in Louisville, KY.

Raw will be Monday from Cleveland. Matches announced are Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro, Dean Ambrose vs. Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus, Kane vs. Braun Strowman and Drew Gulak vs. Rich Swann for the top contender for the cruiserweight title. There is also a Smackdown brand house show in Terre Haute, IN.

Smackdown will be Tuesday from Cincinnati.

-Both Kevin Nash and Madusa have undergone major knee surgeries in recent days. Madusa had a full knee replacement done. Nash will be on the 1/22 Raw 25th anniversary show.

-Jerry Lawler said some stuff about sexual harassment and sexual assault covered in this article and there is video that didn't come off very well.

-They are advertising Roman Reigns vs. John Cena for the IC title as the new main event for the 12/26 show in Madison Square Garden.

-The company announced today at its show in Abu Dhabi the signing of Nasser Airywayehi, first person from Kuwait ever signed by the WWE.

-The WWE will be doing both Raw and Smackdown on 2/20 and 2/21 in Phoenix. Tickets go on sale a week from today.

**UPDATES for Dec.9/17**

-David Otunga will be returning to WWE following the settlement of his recent domestic issues and child custody battle with ex-fiancee Jennifer Hudson. Otunga missed WWE Survivor Series due to the ongoing issues with Hudson.

-Deadline.com is reporting that Dave Bautista will star in a new action-comedy called Stuber for 20th Century Fox. It was written by Tripper Clancy and Michael Dowse will direct. Apparently, it's an action-comedy about a detective, played by The Animal, who gets an Uber driver to help him in his work.

-Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens in a match where Randy Orton will be in Nakamura’s corner and Sami Zayn will be in Owens’ is set for Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown, which will be the go-home show for Clash of Champions. The WWE has also announced a face-to-face segment with AJ Styles and Jinder Mahal ahead of their match at the pay-per-view.

-On the 1 day India House as part of the latest tour, Triple H defeated Mahal in the main event, with both getting big reactions but Triple H apparently being more cheered. Mahal kicked out of the Pedigree before losing, and Triple H cut a promo putting him over after. The WWE has some video of the match and what happened after.

-Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden on Wednesday and John Cena will be on the show on Thursday.

-A new episode of Ride Along with Rusev & Lana and Breezango will air on the WWE Network after Raw on Monday.

-Bayley discussed her time on the main roster, her future, and working with Sasha Banks on this week’s episode of the Edge and Christian podcast.

-ESPN interviewed Alexa Bliss about how she transitions from who she is in real life to her character.

-Adam Pearce tweeted that he’ll be a producer on the first three 205 Live house shows next month.

**UPDATES for Dec.10/17**

-Rich Swann was arrested overnight on domestic battery and false imprisonment charges.

Gainesville Police released the arrest report for the incident, which happened in Gainesville, Florida at 10:30 p.m. last night. The victim is listed as Vannarah Riggs (independent wrestler Su Yung), who Swann has been in a relationship with for approximately five years and has been married to for nine months.

The arrest report states that Swann and Riggs were involved in an argument after Riggs had wrestled at a show in Gainesville. Swann was critiquing Riggs' performance and began getting angry with her. Riggs got out of the vehicle they were in after getting scared that the argument was going to escalate. He chased her and yelled for her to get back in, then allegedly grabbed her by the arm and around the neck with his arm after Riggs said she didn't want to get back in, putting her in a headlock and dragging her back to the vehicle.

A witness to the situation said they saw Swann push Riggs back into the vehicle while she screamed for help. They also said Riggs was beating on the window and screaming for help as they drove away. Another witness said they saw the vehicle driving erratically, with Riggs jumping out of it while it was still moving and Swann getting out of it while it was moving to chase her. The vehicle wasn't put in park and rolled until it hit a telephone pole.

Riggs told police that she was afraid because Swann "has a temper sometimes," and that she was trying to get away from him because she was afraid the argument would escalate into physical violence. Riggs said she told him to stop the vehicle so she could get out before having to jump out while it was still slowly moving. She said Swann grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back in despite her not wanting to go with him.

Swann denied grabbing Riggs and putting her back in the vehicle, saying she got in on her own and he never physically touched her. He said he was trying to get home and her phone had the GPS on for directions.

The domestic battery charge is listed as a misdemeanor and the false imprisonment charge is a felony. Swann was taken into custody around midnight last night and was in custody as of this morning.

Under their zero tolerance domestic violence policy, WWE issued a statement saying that Swann has been suspended indefinitely: "WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, and per our policy, Rich Swann has been indefinitely suspended following his arrest."

The policy states that his employment would be terminated if convicted for such an incident, though the WWE notes that their ability to fine, suspend, or terminate a talent isn't limited or compromised if "incontrovertible evidence of such illegal misconduct" is presented to them.

Swann was scheduled on WWE Raw this week against Drew Gulak in the #1 Contender Final to face Enzo Amore. The status of that match has yet to be determined.

Rich Swann has been released from jail in relation to his arrest late last night. As noted the WWE immediately suspended him and he'll remain suspended until the case is cleared. ABC News picked up the Swann story.

-A sequined robe, which features Flair's catchphrase "To be the man, you've got to beat the man" written on the inside, sold for $27,000 through Goldin Auctions on Saturday, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell. That amount is actually $23,000 less than what Goldin Auctions expected the robe to fetch.

-John Cena is set to make his WWE return on Raw airing Christmas day.

-Dwayne Johnson was in Minneapolis yesterday filming a Super Bowl commercial for the movie "Skyscraper."

-At the Smackdown brand house show last night in Pikeville, KY, the main event was AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin. Kevin Owens wasn't on the show.

-By the way, for those who don't know it, at almost every UFC event, people do the Ric Flair "Whooo." It's now become part of the audience.

More news will come, so don't 'cha dare miss it!
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Posted 12/11/17 , edited 12/17/17
WWE week will include NXT on TV and the Annual Tribute to the Troops show with the usual TV on USA leading to the PPV. Here are all the news and notes leading to each show.

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending while please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

SmackDown's Clash of Champions on Sunday, December 17 from Boston, Massachusetts

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_Champions_(2017) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wweclashofchampions

UPDATED PPV:

*WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (C) vs. Jinder Mahal (w/ The Singh Brothers Samir & Sunil)
*Lumberjills Match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship: Charlotte Flair (C) vs. Natalya
Ringside Lumberjills: Sarah Logan, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Lana, Tamina, Carmella, Naomi
*Triple Threat Match for the WWE United States Championship: Baron Corbin (C) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
*Fatal Four-Way Match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (C-Jimmy & Jey) vs. New Day (2 of Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods & Big E) vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable vs. Rusev & Aiden English
*Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura
NOTE: The Special Guest Referees will be Commissioner Shane McMahon & GM Daniel Bryan, and if the team of Sami Zyan & Kevin Owens loses, they will be fired from the WWE.
*The Bludgeon Brothers (Rowan & Harper) vs. Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze)

*Kickoff Show Match: Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder

-CharityBuzz a celebrity-experience auction fundraising site has up for bid a meet and greet guest spot on the SiriusXM Busted Open radio show with Bully Ray / Bubba Ray Dudley. The description of the item calls him a former WWE superstar and future Hall of Famer, which may suggest that he and his partner D-Von Dudley are up for consideration for this year’s WWE HoF class. Currently Bully Ray is in ROH while D-Von works as a road agent in the WWE.

-Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson talked about his upcoming Rampage movie with Entertainment Weekly.

-The Golden Globe Awards nominations were released today. Ferdinand, the animated movie featuring John Cena voicing the title character, is nominated for Best Motion Picture - Animated. Alison Brie, who starred in GLOW, the show about the '80s wrestling promotion, was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV musical or comedy series. The awards show will air on January 7.

-PWInsider.com reported that Rich Swann was released from a Gainsville County, FL jail Sunday. He was required to have “no direct or indirect hostile contact” with his wife, Vannarah Riggs.

-Immediately following WWE Raw tonight, a new episode of WWE Ride Along will air on WWE Network featuring Rusev and Lana.

-The WWE has announced a tour of South Africa for April of 2018 with the WWE Raw roster. The locations and dates are at the Grand Arena in GrandWest, Cape Town on Wednesday 4/18, The Sun Arena, Time Square in Pretoria on Friday 4/20 and at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg on Saturday 4/21.

-Raw is from Cleveland. Matches announced are Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro for the Intercontinental Championship, Dean Ambrose vs. Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus and Kane vs. Braun Strowman for the top contendership for the Raw title. There is also a Smackdown brand house show in Terre Haute, IN.

It would appear Vince McMahon made his decision regarding the Rumble main event. They announced that tonight's winner of the Braun Strowman vs. Kane match would get the title shot online to decide Brock's opponent at the Royal Rumble.

-Smackdown will be Tuesday from Cincinnati. Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura with Sami Zayn and Randy Orton in the corners, plus an AJ Styles/Jinder Mahal face-to-face confrontation, will be on the show.

-It's WWE Week on the USA Network. It's just Raw tonight but besides the regular stuff, NXT will be on USA at 7 p.m. Wednesday night, Tribute to the Troops airs Thursday night at 8 p.m., the movie "Damnation" with Luke Harper airs after Tribute to the Troops, and "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," a Dwayne Johnson movie will air at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

-A Smackdown brand show was announced for the Ziggo Dome in Holland on 5/19.

-There was a story going around that Brock Lesnar was in line to play Drago's son in the movie Creed 2. The storyline is that Creed, the son of Apollo Creed, faces the son of the man who killed his father, with Dolph Lundgren back as Ivan Drago. The tease was Brock Lesnar playing Lundgren's son. Despite Sylvseter Stallone posting this tease, it appears that it is more a publicity stunt for the movie and no deal is in play at this point.

-Tickets for the 4/7 NXT Takeover New Orleans show the night before Mania go on sale Friday. This is expected to be an immediate sellout.

-After announcing that Rich Swann got his title shot taken away without noting why on TV, Cedric Alexander won a second chance fatal four-way on Raw this week to face Drew Gulak for the Cruiserweight Championship shot next week on Raw.

-Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman makes his return to Raw next week in Providence, Rhode Island.

**UPDATES for Dec.12/17**

-Ric Flair will be appearing for the House of Glory promotion in Jamaica, NY at Club Amazura on December 16th. At 4pm EST, Flair will be taking photographs and doing an autograph signing.

-Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is going to become a father for the third time.

The WWE legend announced Monday on Instagram that he and girlfriend Lauren Hashian are expecting a baby girl next spring. Johnson has another child, daughter Jasmine, with Hashian and a 16-year-old daughter, Simone, from his previous marriage to Dany Garcia.

-Raw dropped four percent from last week, doing 2.68 million viewers, making it the lowest-watched show since the June 12th episode that went against the NBA playoffs which would make it the lowest number since the revitalization of Raw with the strong series of building PPV main events in the late summer and fall.

In this case, the attempt to avoid what happened last week with the huge third hour turnoff was done by putting the climax of Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro, as well as the complete Dean Ambrose vs. Samoa Joe and Kane vs. Braun Strowman matches all in the third hour. The result was a minimal third hour drop, and a big increase in that hour from last week.

The bad news is the second hour drop was significant, resulting in the second lowest rated hour number two on Raw in history, only beating the episode that went against the Trump-Clinton debate in 2016. That means it was even below hour two on July 4th in the past.

Part of the low number was the Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots NFL game that did 11.78 million viewers. But most of the network programming was down.

Raw was sixth for the night on cable.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 2.88 million viewers
9 p.m. 2.61 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.57 million viewers

-The go-home show for Clash of Champions takes place tonight as SmackDown is in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kevin Owens will face Shinsuke Nakamura, with Sami Zayn in Owens’ corner and Randy Orton in Nakamura’s. There will also be a face-to-face segment with AJ Styles and Jinder Mahal, The Riott Squad will face Carmella, Tamina & Lana, and The Usos will take on Rusev & Aiden English in a non-title match. A new edition of the Fashion Files where Breezango will pay tribute to The Ascension is advertised as well.

-205 Live will continue to build to next week’s Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak number one contender’s match, along with the storyline of Enzo Amore flirting with Nia Jax.

-After the way Raw ended with Braun Strowman and Kane going to a double countout, Dave Meltzer noted that Brock Lesnar vs. Strowman vs. Kane is the plan for the Royal Rumble on Wrestling Observer Radio last night.

-As noted on Raw, Lesnar will officially return to television on Raw next week. He hasn’t appeared on TV since beating AJ Styles at Survivor Series.

-Lilian Garcia interviewed Paige on an emotional episode of her Chasing Glory podcast.

-PWInsider reported that Rockstar Spud, who is scheduled to be in the cruiserweight division, will start with the WWE next week.

-The Metro interviewed Braun Strowman about working with Vince McMahon.

-Steve Austin praised last night’s Intercontinental Championship match between Roman Reigns and Cesaro:

“Cesaro and Roman just ripped it up. Real good match. #WWE @WWE”

-Ric Flair now has his own YouTube channel. Responding to a question, he said his three favorite matches of his career were against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24, against Ricky Steamboat in Chicago, and against Harley Race at the first Starrcade.

-Ruby Riott had her first pro wrestling match seven years ago today.

-Drew Gulak taught other wrestlers how to play dreidel for Hanukkah.

-The WWE also released a video wishing everyone happy holidays.

-The Fashion Files has now been moved to WWE.com from now on for new episodes, with clips only shown on SmackDown Live like the set up for their Clash of Champions match against the Bludgeon Brothers.

-Colin Delaney returned to the WWE to be in an enchancement match against the Bludgeon Brothers on SmackDown Live.

**UPDATES for Dec.13/17**

-Hideo Itami’s debut will be on the next 205 Live next Tuesday.

After a few weeks of hype videos, one final video was shown last night and announced that Itami would be making his debut next week. On commentary, Nigel McGuinness called Itami one of the most intimidating opponents that he's ever faced.

Itami has been wrestling on NXT house shows while waiting to debut on 205 Live, but he hasn't appeared on television since losing to Kassius Ohno in a no disqualification match that aired in September.

Though Itami is getting called up to the cruiserweight division, it won't be the first time he's wrestled on the main roster. He was previously included as a participant in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31 in 2015 after signing with WWE the year prior.

Before Itami arrives on 205 Live, there will be a number one contender's match between Cedric Alexander and Drew Gulak on Monday's episode of Raw to decide the next challenger for Enzo Amore's Cruiserweight Championship.

-The WWE announced today that a new in-ring series, Mixed Match Challenge, will premiere on Facebook Watch on January 16th at 10pm EST. The 12-episode series is a single-elimination, tag-team tournament pitting male and female stars from its Raw and SmackDown Live rosters . Fans can vote on certain elements of the matches. Each episode will run for 20 minutes. That means that it will be taking place after SmackDown on Tuesdays, though the WWE didn't indicate what that will mean for 205 Live while Mixed Match Challenge is going on.

The concept for the show is a single-elimination mixed tag team tournament that will pit Raw against SmackDown, and the winning team will receive $100,000 to support a charity of their choice. The WWE is hyping that the series will have interactive elements, including the ability for fans to engage with wrestlers during the show and "have the opportunity to select matchups, match stipulations, and more, on Facebook."

Fans will be able to vote for the final member of the Raw roster that will be part of Mixed Match Challenge, along with which New Day member will be on the show. Those final additions to the lineup will be revealed on January 4th.

The WWE has yet to announce the teams for the tournament, but here are the wrestlers who will be taking part in it:

Raw

Alexa Bliss
Alicia Fox
Asuka
Bayley
Braun Strowman
Enzo Amore
Finn Balor
Goldust
Nia Jax
Sasha Banks
The Miz
A wrestler who will be selected by fan vote

SmackDown

Becky Lynch
Bobby Roode
Carmella
Charlotte Flair
Jimmy Uso
Lana
Naomi
Natalya
Rusev
Sami Zayn
Shinsuke Nakamura
A member of The New Day (to be selected by fan vote)

-Jerry Lawler revealed on his podcast, Dinner with the King, that he may do commentary with Jim Ross on the WWE Raw 25th anniversary show.

-PWInsider.com reported that Noam Dar has a knee injury that will require surgery. No word on how long the injury will keep Dar out of action.

-SmackDown ratings were down for the second straight week on Tuesday night, though they didn't fall as sharply as Raw did this week. The show averaged 2.481 million viewers, down just 12,000 viewers from the previous Tuesday.

This was the first week in a long time that SmackDown finished outside of the top 10 in terms of total viewers on cable, with Tuesday being a particularly strong night for news channels due to coverage of the special election in Alabama. SmackDown was sixth in the 18-49 demo with a 0.71 rating. The show is usually either first or second in that demo on cable.

For the fourth straight week, SmackDown was up in the year-over-year ratings as they continue to hold up well since the WWE Championship was switched over to AJ Styles.

In terms of audience retention, SmackDown held almost 93 percent of the Raw audience from the previous night, an above average total. Raw had done its fourth lowest total of the year, so that shouldn't come as a surprise.

-Though NXT aired on the USA Network tonight as part of WWE Week, Ember Moon and Peyton Royce’s non-title match is only going to be on the WWE Network version of the episode, which is likely due to time constraints.

-In an interview with NBC Sports, Triple H elaborated on the reactions he and Jinder Mahal received in India last weekend. He talked about there being guys who transcend the business in the country, along with how wrestlers get over through being on TV there for years. He said about Mahal:

“It’s not to say Jinder wasn’t ‘over’ there. He was! You have to understand the market. It’s not like everyone just went, ‘Oh my God he’s Indian! He looks like us so we love him.’ They are a savvy market. They understand that he’s [playing] a bad guy [on television].”

Triple H also spoke to CBS Sports about NXT being on the USA Network tonight and Elias being someone who was made for the main roster.

-WWE's stock closed at $31.88 a share today, up 4.39 percent after the announcement of them partnering with Facebook on Mixed Match Challenge.

-WWE.com has an article with a lot of videos and tweets of wrestlers reacting to the announcement of Mixed Match Challenge.

-Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today. The Rock spoke to Variety for an interview to celebrate him being honored with the star.

-While appearing on the Ellen show, The Rock reiterated that he’s “seriously considering” running for president in 2020.

-Former WWECW roster member Colin Delaney made a cameo on SmackDown last night as he and Juan Francisco de Coronado from CHIKARA were squashed by The Bludgeon Brothers. The WWE posted video of a brief interview with Delaney after the match.

-WWE Shop is selling “Yep Movement” T-shirts after Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn wore them on SmackDown last night.

-Finn Balor made an appearance at Madison Square Garden for last night’s New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Lakers game.

**UPDATES for Dec.14/17**

-While airing on the USA Network as part of "WWE Week," NXT averaged 841,000 viewers for last night's episode.

When it comes to first-run cable programming, some head-to-head comparisons were:

NBA on ESPN did 1,530,000 viewers
Erin Burnett on CNN did 1,081,000 viewers
Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC did 2,053,000 viewers
The Story on Fox News did 2,087,000 viewers
Vice News on HBO did 420,000 viewers
E! News on E! did 332,000 viewers
College basketball on ESPN 2 did 292,000 viewers
NFL Total Access on NFL Network did 196,000 viewers

Given the value of wrestling programming, that's not a number that would seem to make USA try to add it to the package regularly since Tough Enough did better numbers and wasn't renewed, though the 55-minute episode of NXT did air at 7 p.m. Eastern time instead of what is traditionally considered prime time for television.

NXT did a 0.27 rating in the 18-49 demo for the episode, which was 22nd for the night on cable in terms of original programming. The only other USA show to rank was the season three finale of Mr. Robot, with that averaging 454,000 viewers and doing a 0.19 rating in the demo.

For a comparison, Raw averaged 2.68 million viewers this week and SmackDown averaged 2.481 million. On Pop TV, which is less prominent than USA and is in fewer homes, Impact averaged 226,000 viewers last Thursday.

The episode of NXT that aired on USA had Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole to decide who would advance to the upcoming fatal four-way number one contender's match, Andrade "Cien" Almas vs. Fabian Aichner in a non-title match, and The Authors of Pain vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch. Ember Moon and Peyton Royce's non-title match was left off the USA version (likely due to time constraints) but was included in the usual WWE Network showing of NXT.

-You can't see John Cena -- or anyone with WWE -- on Feb. 9 at Edmonton's Rogers Place. The event has been postponed as city council establishes new guidelines.

The announcement was put on the Rogers Place website on Wednesday following a moratorium on all fights in the city as the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission wrestles with new rules.

"Following new guidelines established by Edmonton's city council, WWE's event on Friday, February 9 at Rogers Place has been postponed. The WWE is working closely with the local Commission, and hope to return with their sports entertainment events to Edmonton in the near future," says a statement on the Roger Place site.

Edmonton city council announced the one-year moratorium for new licences or event permits for combative sports in Edmonton on Friday. It is scheduled to last until Dec. 31, 2018.

The moratorium follows the death of 34-year-old Tim Hague who died in hospital following a boxing match against former Edmonton Eskimo Adam Braidwood on June 16.

When Pat Ried became executive director of the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission in 2014, he said that the province stuck out like a sore thumb because it does not have a provincial commission.

Following Hague’s death, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson joined the call for a provincial commission.

-Squared Circle Sirens reports German MMA fighter Nicoli Salchow has signed with WWE and will train at The WWE Performance Center in January.

-The WWE has applied for the trademark of "The Most Patriotic Show on Television" which will likely be used on the Tribute to the Troops show which airs tonight on the USA Network.

-At https://www.thescore.com/news/1445776-watch-ric-flair-lists-his-top-3-matches-of-all-time Ric Flair has posted on his new YouTube channel his top matches.

-Dwayne Johnson was interviewed by Variety and said that he's too busy to run for President in 2020, but is very serious about 2024.

-Wally Yamaguchi, a very important figure in the Japanese wrestling business in the 80s and 90s, had a major stroke and as of earlier today was in a coma and his condition is not good. He was a key figure in both the magazine business, as well as the independent wrestling business having helped start FMW which was the first really strong Japanese indie group. He was a major figure helping Giant Baba with All Japan, and a major editor of Gong Magazine in that magazine's heyday. He was also Yamaguchi-san in WWE as the manager of Kaientai, and also worked for WWF for years as its Japanese industry liaison. His brother, Shun Yamaguchi, works for WWE today as a Japanese language television announcer live at the PPV shows.

-John Cena will be on "The Late Late Show" at 12:35 a.m. tonight to promote "Ferdiinand," the animated movie that comes out tomorrow night.

-WWE Mayhem by Reliance Games is available now and free to download on iOS devices via the App Store as well as Android smartphones and tablets through Google Play.

-Ric Flair will be appearing for House of Glory Wrestling in Jamaica, NY on Saturday at Club Amazura. The show is headlined by Zack Sabre Jr. vs Amazing Red.

**UPDATES for Dec.15-16/17**

-TMZ reported that there is not a deal between UFC star Ronda Rousey and the WWE, despite her training at the WWE Performance Center.

Ronda Rousey appears serious about pursuing a professional wrestling career, but Paul "Triple H" Levesque says reports of the former UFC women's bantamweight champion finalizing details to join WWE are premature.

Levesque - WWE's executive vice president of talent, live events, and creative - insisted the two sides have yet to reach a deal while appearing on CBS Sports' "In This Corner with Brian Campbell" podcast Tuesday.

"It's funny because every now and then I wake up and I look at either social media or the news and I see a report and it's like, well, that's news to me because I'm the one who would be having that conversation," Levesque said. "So it's interesting with 'sources say.'"

However, he did note that there's mutual interest in getting a deal done.

"Everybody is very busy and I know that from Ronda's side and her team, they are looking for an opportunity," Levesque said. "I have made it very clear that an opportunity exists and it's just a matter of us getting together and having conversations."

Rousey hasn't appeared in the Octagon since losing to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in December 2016. UFC president Dana White stated last month that he "wouldn't want to see" her come back.

-The WWE has announced that it will bring live programming to South Korea for the first time as the company continues to expand its global reach. IB Sports will televise WWE Raw and SmackDown live starting on January 2. IB Sports will also show WWE’s PPV’s such as WrestleMania and Royal Rumble.

-It appears that Noam Dar will be out of action for the next several months.

After the WWE announced on 205 Live this week that Dar had a knee injury that would require surgery, an article on WWE.com noted that Dar underwent successful surgery on his left knee in Orlando on Thursday. The WWE claims that Dar suffered the injury, which was a "bucket handle" tear of his meniscus, in the cruiserweight fatal four-way match on the November 27th episode of Raw. He then got an MRI done this Monday after weeks of lingering issues.

While the exact time it will take him to recover from the injury hasn't been confirmed, Dar said in the WWE.com article that he's more than likely going to be out for around five months. Dar also said he hopes training at the Performance Center will reduce the timetable.

Dave Meltzer confirmed in this week's edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Dar's injury was legitimate and that he would be undergoing surgery.

Dar has most recently been part of Enzo Amore's Zo Train stable on Raw and 205 Live. His last match before getting surgery was against Cedric Alexander on December 5th.

-Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's busy schedule will prevent him from running for President of the United States in the next election, but 2024 remains a possibility.

The wrestler-turned-actor and producer told Variety's Elizabeth Wagmeister he would "100 percent consider" running for office.

"Realistically, as we go into 2018, when you look at my slate as we're developing and shooting into 2019 and 2020, the slate goes deep into 2021, so it feels like the realistic consideration would be 2024," Johnson said.

Johnson has attended both Democratic and Republican conventions in the past, but is registered as an Independent.

"I'm well aware politics is not the business I'm in, so the best thing I can do is continuing to listen and learn as much as I can," he said. "I'm continuing to watch our presidency and watch how every new development is handled. I continue to watch our leaders in government, and like all Americans, I continue to be hopeful that our leaders exhibit poise, perspective and the ability to bring our country together during these tough times - which I don't feel our presidency is currently doing - so that's where I'm at."

-Raw is Monday night in Providence, RI. The only match announced so far is Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander for the top contender for the cruiserweight title. There is also a Smackdown brand house show in White Plains, NY.

-Smackdown and 205 Live will be taped on Tuesday at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

-Roman Reigns is not scheduled for any of the Raw house shows this coming week nor for Raw in Providence. Strangely, the WWE web site also doesn't list Brock Lesnar for Providence even though that has been scheduled for his return and as of this writing Lesnar is "absolutely" scheduled for the show. Randy Orton is also not scheduled for the only Smackdown house show this week which is in Portland, ME.

-WWE Tribute to the Troops Thursday night did 1,401,000 viewers. Last year's show did 1,383,000 viewers but it was way down from all prior years.

-TMZ is reporting that in Delaware WWE's Enzo Amore refuses to remove his nether region from his driver's license. Amore claimed that the state of Delaware is trying to get him to change the phallic-looking signature he signed for his driver’s license.

-Paige talked about crying when she was told about the movie about her life that Dwayne Johnson produced.

-John Cena gave soccer predictions for the BBC.

-Jim Ross talked about the possibility of Conor McGregor in the WWE, Brock Lesnar in UFC and more on Submission Radio.

-A report at https://www.thescore.com/nfl/news/1447625-report-wwe-s-vince-mcmahon-interested-in-bringing-back-xfl has gotten the sports news going that Vince McMahon might bring back the XFL.

The XFL, which was a joint venture between the then-WWF and NBC, played just one season in 2001, reportedly losing $70 million in the process.

The WWE announced that Vince McMahon is funding a new endeavour, Alpha Entertainment, which will focus on alternative options in the world of sports and entertainment. The project is independent of WWE. A WWE spokesperson issued the following statement,

“Vince McMahon has established and is personally funding a separate entity from WWE, Alpha Entertainment, to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football. Mr. McMahon has nothing further to announce at this time.”

What started with a Friday night tweet raged into an all-out inferno Friday night and Saturday morning as rumors about Vince McMahon reviving the XFL were enough to get WWE to comment with some interesting news.

Journalist Brad Shepard tweeted that McMahon was looking to bring back the XFL and announce it on Thursday, January 25th. That got Deadspin's David Bixenspan to ask the WWE for a comment on this rumor which got a response that McMahon had "established and funded a separate entity from WWE" called Alpha Entertainment that would explore investment opportunities into sports and entertainment properties, including professional football.

Earlier this year, ESPN's 30 for 30 Films aired a Charlie Ebersol-helmed XFL documentary and WWE both extended and filed for XFL trademarks.

Major media outlets have also picked up on the story including the Washington Post, New York Post, Pro Football Talk, Yahoo, and others. Notably, ESPN has posted nothing on this as of this writing.

The league got a bit of a nostalgia boost this year with the documentary and there some notable technical innovations from the one-year product that debuted and folded in 2001. However, there would be considerable challenges to re-starting the league which include investment money, player acquisition, TV distribution, infrastructure, overcoming the stigma of the previous failure, and finding eyeballs and attention in a marketplace that already has the NFL and college football with the former being notably chided for declining ratings.

As the Post points out in a transcription from the documentary, McMahon has thought about the revival in the past:

“Yes I do,” McMahon replies. “I don’t know what it would be. I don’t know if it’s going to be another XFL or what it may be or how different I would make it. It seems like in some way it would tie in either with the NFL itself or the owners.”

Alpha Entertainment, which Vince McMahon has established separately from WWE, registered a trademark for “URFL” in September. VKM Ventures has also registered trademarks for “United Football League,” “UFL,” and “For the love of football.” As noted, there has been speculation that Vince is interested in getting back into the professional football business.

-Deadline.com reported that the opening weekend of the John Cena animated film Ferdinand is projected to make $12.3 million this weekend, while the latest instalment of Star Wars is expected to bring in $216 million in its debut weekend.

-Immediately following WWE Raw on Monday night, WWE Network will air a new episode of Table for 3 featuring Finn Balor and The Hardys.

-With Tribute to the Troops airing on the USA Network as part of WWE Week, WWE and Impact Wrestling went head-to-head in the ratings this past Thursday night.

And the results weren't good for Impact. This week's show averaged 161,000 viewers, the lowest number for a new episode of Impact since debuting on Pop TV. It was even lower than the audience for the Thanksgiving edition of Impact this year, which did 169,000 viewers. Earlier this month, Impact did 226,000 viewers for the December 7th episode.

Impact changed nights from Tuesdays to Thursdays in the summer of 2016 to avoid going against SmackDown after WWE had announced its move to Tuesdays.

Tribute to the Troops averaged 1,401,000 viewers. That number is up from 2016 but lower than what it had done prior to last year.

For a comparison, here are the viewership numbers that WWE posted on the USA Network this week:

Raw -- 2.68 million
SmackDown -- 2.481 million
NXT -- 841,000
Tribute to the Troops -- 1.401 million

-A member of the WWE main roster is set to wrestle for PCW (Preston City Wrestling) in February.

PCW announced today that Apollo Crews would be taking part in their Road to Glory 2018 tournament on February 10th. PCW noted that Crews is returning for one night only and thanked WWE, Triple H, and William Regal for allowing him to do so.

When he was still known as Uhaa Nation before heading to the WWE, Crews held the PCW Heavyweight Championship from November 2014 to March 2015. He joins Zack Sabre Jr. as the first two wrestlers who have been confirmed for the tournament.

A few WWE wrestlers have appeared for UK promotions this year as the WWE continues to develop working relationships overseas. Kassius Ohno and Noam Dar have appeared for ICW, while Jack Gallagher and Dakota Kai were featured on PROGRESS Wrestling's two shows in the United States this summer.

-On WWE Straight to the Source with Corey Graves, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss discussed being the first two women from WWE to have match in Abu Dhabi. Enzo Amore will be the next guest on the show.

-Raw and SmackDown will be airing live in South Korea starting in January as part of WWE’s continued partnership with IB SPORTS. It’s the first time Raw and SmackDown will be airing live in the country.

-Mojo Rawley cut a promo on Zack Ryder ahead of their match at the Clash of Champions pre-show, with the focus of it being Rawley saying Ryder has no killer instinct.

-Mike Bennett thanked Maria for staying by his side as he reached five months sober.

-In a non-wrestling podcast, Dean Ambrose was the guest on the most recent episode of Renee Young and Stacey McGunnigle’s Regular Girls show.

-Chris Jericho said his match against Kenny Omega is starting to get more excitement than Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito from people in Japan because it can transcend NJPW and may never happen again, though Jericho clarified that he’s never said this will be his last match in NJPW. Jericho also brought up WrestleMania X8 and him vs. Triple H going on after The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan when claiming that the main event doesn’t always close the show.

**UPDATES for Dec.17/17**

-A follow up report at https://www.thescore.com/nfl/news/1447964-report-vince-mcmahon-files-trademarks-for-ufl-united-football-league suggests that if Vince McMahon is, in fact, planning a reboot of the XFL, it may have a different name.

Amid rumors that the WWE CEO is interested in bringing back the defunct football league, Corey Jacobs of WrestlingNews.co reports McMahon's Alpha Entertainment has registered for trademarks on URFL and UrFL. The trademarks were filed by K&L Gates, which is the law firm belonging to McMahon's long-time attorney, Jerry McDevitt.

VKM Ventures, another one of McMahon's companies, has also reportedly filed trademarks for UFL, United Football League, and "For the Love of Football."

-The WWE announced online that the Bray Wyatt vs. Woken Matt match will be on the new 205 Live Cruiserweight tour in 2018.

-The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that Tom "Z-Man" Zenk died. Tom Zenk, a bodybuilder turned wrestler who was one of the most popular guests on Wrestling Observer Live after his career in wrestling ended, passed away on December 9th at the age of 59.

Few details are available at this point other than he passed away at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.

Zenk was a Mr. Minnesota winner in bodybuilding who grew up and went to Robbinsdale High School with Curt Hennig, Brady Boone, and Rick Rude in his graduating class and knew Hennig's wife from first grade. He was shaken up years ago realizing the four of them grew up and went to school together, and by the time he was in his early 40s, he was the only one still alive.

Like so many weightlifter and bodybuilder types in that era, they saw the success of the Road Warriors and grew up with the popularity of Hulk Hogan, Jesse Ventura, and Ken Patera in the AWA and were interested in wrestling.

He was trained by Eddie Sharkey and because of his looks and physique, became a star in short order working for Don Owen in the Pacific Northwest where he held both the singles and tag titles right away. His success led him to tie Keiichi Yamada (now Jushin Liger) in the 1984 balloting for Rookie of the Year. But his career never reached the level of his potential.

Only two years into his career, he was signed by the WWF for a tag team called the Can-Am Connection with Rick Martel. They were being groomed as the promotion's top babyface tag team, and were to win the tag titles, but Zenk quit the promotion, unhappy about money.

He became bitter with the McMahons because they tried to legally stop him from wrestling with All Japan after he left the WWF, citing he was still under contract to them.

Eventually he went to WCW as The Z Man, with his best success coming as U.S. Tag Team Champion with Brian Pillman. Zenk was thought of as having a great look and he was a good athlete, but was not a favorite of the bookers and after the team broke up, was relegated to jobber duty. He was often bitter, citing that his looks and his ability to get women should have made him pushed above promoter's sons, but also he didn't work hard on breaking through and if he wasn't pushed, would stop lifting citing if he was going to be used as a jobber he would look like one, which led to a spiral downward.

Zenk testified against Vince McMahon in his 1994 trial, and later, pretty much disappeared after legal threats were made regarding comments he made publicly on a number of shows.

-Smackdown Live star Randy Orton is working a lighter schedule. Orton is currently scheduled for WWE house show events on a bi-weekly basis. After February 11th, 2018, Orton is not advertised for WWE events, including televised and PPV events, except for the post-Wrestlemania 34 Smackdown Live taping in New Orleans.

-Hideo Itami said goodbye to NXT after making his final appearance at a NXT live event. Itami will debut on WWE 205 Live this Tuesday.

-The movie "Ferdinand," with John Cena voicing over the lead character is estimated to be doing $13,325,000 in its first weekend out. It was second to Star Wars which is estimated at more than $220 million. Fox 2 in Detroit reviewed it and gave it a thumbs up, saying it was good, but not great as a family film and said they felt sorry for it and every other movie out this weekend.

-Justin Credible (Peter Polaco) posted on Twitter, "I really apologize for the incident at Blitzkrieg Pro. I was out of line. No excuses. I have been getting help. Just had a horrible night. Sorry to all the good guys and gals. Hey, at least Blitzkrieg Pro got free press. Again, I'm sorry." The promotion wrote back, "Thank you. Apology accepted. And we sincerely apologize to you for any mishaps in how we handled it. Some things could have definitely been done better on our behalf." Polaco also posted a video saying he would turn his life around, and thanked DDP in particular as well as the McMahons (who sponsored his recent rehab).

-The oddsmaker at Kambi have published these lines on the over/under star ratings for tonight:

Rawley vs. Ryder **
Breeze & Fandango vs. Harper & Rowan *3/4
Orton & Nakamura vs. Owens & Zayn ***1/2
Tag titles ***1/2
Charlotte vs. Natalya **3/4
Corbin vs. Roode vs. Ziggler ***
Styles vs. Mahal ***

For best match of the show
Tag titles -120
Orton & Nakamura vs. Owens & Zayn +135
Styles vs. Mahal +400
Charlotte vs. Natalya +400
U.S. title +400
Any other match on the show +1500
Also odds of a five star match tonight are +1500.

-David Otunga made his return to the kickoff show.

-Talking Smack is back tonight after the PPV, hosted by Renee Young and Sam Roberts. Charlotte and the Usos will be the guests.

Enjoy the long go home week of shows and news before the PPV on the weekend, so don't 'cha dare miss it!
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Posted 12/18/17 , edited 12/24/17
WWE Clash of Champions is in the books as the year 2017 winds down. The build towards 2018 begins with the Royal Rumble, so here is the start of that in this week's post.

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending and https://www.postwrestling.com/ but please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia on Saturday, January 27 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXT_TakeOver:_Philadelphia and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt

*NXT Championship Match: Andrade 'Cien' Almas (C - w/ Zelina Vega) vs. Johnny Gargano

WWE Royal Rumble on Sunday, January 28 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Rumble_(2018) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble

*30-Man Royal Rumble Match for a world championship match at WrestleMania 34
Participants: Elias
*Triple Threat for the WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (C - w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane
*30-Women Royal Rumble Match for a world championship match at WrestleMania 34
Participants: Asuka, Mickie James, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nia Jax, Dana Brooke, Paige, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Alicia Fox, Naomi

-The WWE Hall of Fame class of 2018 is rumored to include Goldberg, the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von), Ivory, Bam Bam Bigelow and Kid Rock.

-Woken Matt Hardy vs Bray Wyatt will take place at the WWE 205 Live house shows the weekend of January 18th, and will be headlined by Enzo Amore vs Kalisto for the WWE Cruiserweight Title, with special guest referee Nia Jax. Matt Hardy would be facing Bray Wyatt on all three stops of next month's tour, supplementing cards that are otherwise scheduled to only feature cruiserweight matches. The events will be in Kingston, Rhode Island on January 19th, Lowell, Massachusetts on the 20th, and Poughkeepsie, New York on the 21st.

After Wyatt was used as the catalyst for Hardy to become "Woken" in WWE, they've been featured in back-and-forth promo videos on Raw over the last two weeks. They've yet to wrestle since Hardy underwent the gimmick change, though that may happen before their matches next month.

The three-stop tour in January will be the first set of 205 Live-exclusive house shows. They were announced earlier this month as an experiment to test the viability of future dates, and adding Hardy vs. Wyatt would appear to be an attempt to boost ticket sales.

-WWE Hall of Famer Edge will be a guest on Toronto's Q107 radio morning show tomorrow to promote his appearance on "Vikings" this week.

-Brock Lesnar returns for tonight's Raw in Providence, Rhode Island for the announcement of who he will face at the Royal Rumble.

As Dave Meltzer reported last week, the main event for the Rumble is expected to be Lesnar defending the Universal Championship in a triple threat match against Braun Strowman and Kane after Strowman and Kane went to a double countout last Monday.

Also, the number one contender for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship will be determined when Cedric Alexander faces Drew Gulak, with the winner facing champion Enzo Amore at some point in the future.

-There is also a Smackdown brand house show in White Plains, NY.

-Scott Dawson has been cleared after surgery to repair his torn biceps and he is backstage. Unfortunately, they were supposed to do a program with the Hardys, and now Jeff is out with shoulder surgery. Matches for tonight's show include Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins, Bayley & Mickie James & Sasha Banks vs. Paige & Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose and Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak for the top contender for the cruiserweight title. The NFL competition is the Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

-It'll be interesting to see if the Shane McMahon/Daniel Bryan angle at the end of the PPV will help the Raw number, which by logic it shouldn't matter but you never know. It should help the Smackdown numbers.

-Clash of Champions was the No. 11 most searched for topic on the Internet with 100,000 searches. That's a low interest level as compared to usual.

-The WWE announced a first-time ever in Mongolia with a two hour edited version of Raw airing on Saturday at 11 a.m. and Smackdown airing Sunday at 11 a.m. on SPS HD, Mongolia's leading sports channel. It will be available in the country in both English and Mongolian. It will also be available for 14 days on video-on-demand. This will be the first time WWE has ever had television in Mongolia.

-Just Seen It posted a review of Ferdinand, the John Cena movie, and said it was a "see it," the main title character is a loveable giant that kids will love.

-There will not be a new episode of Total Divas on Wednesday. E! will be doing a marathon on Wednesday morning.

-Shinsuke Nakamura noted that he can't remember how long it's been since he was in the same ring with Daniel Bryan. Early in their careers, the two lived in the same Dojo in Los Angeles.

-Hideo Itami made his debut on Raw instead of 205 Live when he ran down to save his old friend Finn Balor from a beating by the Miztourage. Corey Graves did make note to their past in Japan, as well as their NXT past as tag partners. Both then fought the Miztourage in a tag match. Michael Cole still noted Hideo will be on 205 Live.

-It was officially announced that John Cena will return to Raw in Chicago next week on Christmas.

-The first-ever women's Royal Rumble match will be taking place next month.

Though few other details were announced, Stephanie McMahon appeared at the end of tonight's episode of Raw to reveal the news. She mentioned the evolution of WWE's women's division and the times they've made history over the last few years. She then said the first all-women's Royal Rumble match will take place at next month's pay-per-view.

Both Raw and SmackDown wrestlers will be featured in the women's Royal Rumble. Bayley, Asuka, Sasha Banks, Dana Brooke, Mickie James, Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss, Alicia Fox, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, and Paige were also in the ring when Stephanie made the announcement.

The main event of Raw tonight was a six-woman tag match between Banks, Bayley & James and Paige, Rose & Deville. It ended when Rose and Deville wouldn't stop attacking Banks in the ring, then the rest of the Raw women's division came out before the announcement.

While the WWE has yet to reveal how many wrestlers will be in the women's Rumble, we now know that there will be two Royal Rumble matches at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on January 28th. Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane for the Universal Championship is the only other match that has been confirmed as of now.

-Dean Ambrose has a legitimate right elbow injury even though on television it appeared to be an angle.

We're not sure of the severity of the injury but he came to television hurt and the show was rewritten to cover for it.

During a six-man tag match with Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan vs. Cesaro, Sheamus & Samoa Joe, Rollins hit a tope and Ambrose started acting like his right arm was injured. Referee John Cone came to him and the medical personnel was called. Sheamus then Brogue kicked Rollins for the finish while the ref was distracted.

After the match, Rollins & Ambrose were beaten down again with Joe turning a box over on the bad arm of Ambrose and they announced Ambrose was taken to a local medical facility.

All of that was storyline, but the storyline was created to cover for the actual injury.

**UPDATES for Dec.19/17**

-Smackdown tonight will feature WWE champion AJ Styles, Randy Orton, and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn. The only other match that has been announced for tonight is The Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable, with The Usos' tag titles not on the line. Dolph Ziggler celebrating his United States Championship win, the follow-up to Natalya's post-match promo from Clash of Champions, and a segment where The New Day get into the holiday spirit are also advertised.

205 Live tonight will have Hideo Itami's first appearance on the show after he debuted on Raw last night.

-Former UFC champion Ronda Rousey could make her WWE debut in the women’s Royal Rumble at the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view.

-After Scott Dawson was cleared to return from injury, The Revival had their first match as a team in over four months on Monday night.

Dawson & Dash Wilder took on Heath Slater & Rhyno in their return on Raw, with The Revival hitting the Shatter Machine to get the win. Apollo Crews, Titus O'Neil, and Dana Brooke were shown watching the match backstage while it was going on. And in a post-match angle, Kurt Angle told Slater and Rhyno that they need to toughen up a bit if they want more opportunities.

Dawson was expected to return this month after suffering a ruptured right bicep in August and later undergoing surgery. It was noted in today's daily update that Dawson was backstage at Raw and that The Revival could possibly be returning on the show.

While Dawson was out of action, Wilder wrestled on house shows and on Main Event as he waited for his tag team partner to return to the ring. After their post-WrestleMania call-up, Wilder also missed a couple of months earlier this year due to a fractured jaw.

-A weaker NFL game than last week saw Raw increase four percent to 2.78 million viewers last night.

Unlike last week where they loaded up the third hour and it was the second hour that had a big decline, this week had two normal hours and a huge third hour decline.

The third hour did the second lowest number since June. Raw is often helped coming off a PPV but logically, even with the Shane McMahon/Daniel Bryan intrigue, that should not help the Raw number.

The Atlanta Falcons vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers game did 9.41 million viewers, a drop of 20 percent from the prior week, so a small increase in Raw viewership would seem logical.

The third hour drop was consistent across every demo, and not just women and older people as is often the case. The one demo that usually holds up the best, males 12-34, still dropped six percent from hour two to hour three.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 3.09 million viewers
9 p.m. 2.80 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.47 million viewers

-Though this is just the first step in the long process of getting a show on the air, production company EUE/Sokolow and producer Jeff Fisher are set to develop a television series based on AJ Brooks’ (formerly AJ Lee in WWE) book “Crazy is my Superpower.” Brooks wrote that she’ll be working on the project as a writer and executive producer.

-Trish Stratus was one of the former members of the WWE women’s division to tease entering the first women’s Royal Rumble:

“There's NOTHING @WWE women cannot do. It's been a long-time coming - can't wait for the FIRST EVER WOMENS #RoyalRumble! Now…where dem boots?”

-Elias is the first wrestler announced for next month’s men’s Royal Rumble. He was also the guest on today’s episode of the Steve Austin Show.

-PWInsider has a photo of Rockstar Spud arriving at today’s SmackDown and 205 Live tapings. They noted that Spud was also backstage at Raw last night and should be debuting in the cruiserweight division soon.

-Jesse Ventura congratulated The Rock on receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame:

“Noticed @TheRock received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame & just want to say congratulations to him on such an incredible achievement. He's the first pro wrestler wrestler to-date to receive the honor & it couldn't have gone to a better guy.”

-Shelton Benjamin praised Chad Gable on Twitter after Clash of Champions:

“I couldn’t be more proud of my partner @WWEGable. his amazing performance at @WWE #ClashOfChampions he should inspire you all rise above beyond all expectation. I know it did for me. And we are not done! #ScratchAndClaw”

-David Bixenspan has an article for Deadspin on Vince McMahon’s potential re-entry into the professional football business.

-The WWE celebrated their YouTube channel reaching 20 million subscribers.

-Dean Ambrose could be facing some time out of action.

The WWE posted an update on Ambrose's injured right arm today, with Dr. Chris Amann noting that an MRI showed "suspicion for a high-grade triceps tendon injury, possibly a tear." Amann said Ambrose would be undergoing surgical exploration and "most likely" surgical repair of the triceps tendon. Further updates, including what the timetable for recovery is, should be made available tonight or tomorrow.

Ambrose was being examined by Dr. Jeffrey Dugas, who is an orthopedic surgeon at the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dave Meltzer reported last night that Ambrose was dealing with a legitimate injury to his elbow. Ambrose came to television hurt on Monday, and there was an angle on Raw where Ambrose acted like he suffered an injury in a six-man tag match and was later attacked by Samoa Joe backstage.

A significant injury would be a rarity for Ambrose, who has been one of the most durable wrestlers in the WWE over the last few years.

**UPDATES for Dec.20/17**

-PWInsider.com reported that Ricochet, and War Machine (Warbeard Hanson & Ray Rowe) could be signing WWE contracts and debuting in NXT in the New Year.

-At https://www.bardown.com/the-rock-made-a-fantastic-deal-with-devin-booker-after-he-was-spotted-rocking-a-turtleneck-and-chain-1.949613 is a story about the Rock and NBA player Devin Booker.

-AXS TV officially announced today that Jim Ross and Josh Barnett have signed new contracts and will continue to host New Japan Pro Wrestling on the station.

"I'm excited to be returning to AXS TV, and with my partner, Josh Barnett, we look forward to another exciting year with AXS TV and their NJPW programming," Ross said. "NJPW has some of the finest athletes in the world performing for them and it's an honor to be able to add a narrative to their bouts."

It was noted in the Wrestling Observer earlier this month that Ross and AXS had verbally agreed on a new contract, with the WWE not standing in the way of the deal. Ross' agreement with the WWE allows him to continue doing his existing work.

"Together, Jim Ross and Josh Barnett form one of the strongest and most unique commentary teams in pro wrestling," AXS Fights CEO Andrew Simon said. "J.R.'s experience is second to none and his iconic voice provides a captivating soundtrack for NJPW, while Josh's career in both pro wrestling and combat sports allows him to add compelling depth and a combatant's perspective to the action."

This will be the fourth season of NJPW on AXS and will feature more up-to-date programming than ever before, notably the January 4th Tokyo Dome show in which the top three hours of the show will be edited and broadcast on January 6th, just two days after it takes place.

-After WWE noted that it was the most likely outcome, Dean Ambrose underwent surgery in Birmingham, Alabama last night to repair his triceps injury.

WWE.com provided an update on Ambrose today, noting that the surgery was successful and took about 40 minutes. It was performed by Dr. Jeffrey Dugas of the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, who told WWE.com that Ambrose "tore some of the distal triceps tendon where it attaches to the forearm bone, called the olecranon." Dugas said about 50 percent of the tendon was torn away from the bone, with the surgery being done to repair that back to where it tore off.

"The surgery was very straightforward; we removed all of the extra bursal tissue -- all of that extra swollen stuff around his elbow," Dugas said.

Ambrose has already begun physical therapy with light range-of-motion exercises. WWE's update says that they don't know how long he will be out of action for at this time.

As Dave Meltzer reported, Ambrose came to television hurt on Monday night and WWE did an injury angle on Raw to cover for it. Ambrose acted like he injured his elbow in a six-man tag match and was later attacked by Samoa Joe in a backstage segment.

-Though WWE has yet to officially confirm if it will have 30 entrants like the men’s match, Naomi has been announced as the first participant for next month’s women’s Royal Rumble. It's also hinted the women who were in the ring with Stephanie McMahon on Raw with the exception of the champion Alexa Bliss will also be in the Rumble and officially added soon. Elias was the first wrestler to be confirmed for the men’s Rumble.

-Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that only a few people knew that Stephanie McMahon would be announcing the women’s Royal Rumble on Raw and that the wrestlers in the ring weren’t told about it in advance.

-Peter Rosenberg has an interview with Daniel Bryan where Bryan discusses his history with concussions and his desire to return to the ring.

-Enzo Amore rapped a bit while appearing on Hot 97 with Rosenberg this morning.

-After he made a cameo in a tag team match against The Bludgeon Brothers last week, Colin Delaney made another appearance for the WWE and was squashed by Hideo Itami on 205 Live last night.

-Rolling Stone chose The Miz as their WWE Wrestler of the Year.

-Stephen Merchant posted an update on the editing of “Fighting with my Family,” which is the movie being made that is based on Paige and her family:

“Well, that’s done then. Thanks to cast, crew and everyone who helped make FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY. It’s a funny, emotional, uplifting film. Stay tuned for updates on when you can see it.”

-The WWE touted that their GIPHY channel has reached one billion views.

-Madusa posted an update on her recovery from knee surgery and noted that everything is checking out great.

**UPDATES for Dec.21/17**

-John Cena and Brock Lesnar are advertised for WWE Raw’s 25th-anniversary show which will take place in New York City on January 22.

-As WrestleMania 34 inches closer, speculation has begun about which names might be included in the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame class.

Bill Goldberg and The Dudley Boyz are among the stars WWE is planning to induct, reports Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, as relayed by Wrestling Inc.'s Marc Middleton. Goldberg's apparently been talked about as the 2018 class' headliner for some time.

Freelance journalist Brad Shepard, who broke the story about Vince McMahon having interest in bringing back the XFL, reported Friday that the 2018 class currently consists of Goldberg, the Dudley Boyz, Bam Bam Bigelow, and Ivory, plus Kid Rock as the celebrity inductee.

-As part of USA Network's week of limited commercials, both Raw and SmackDown this coming week will be commercial-free for the first hour of each show.

The WWE made the announcement earlier today, also noting that Monday's show will be the first time Raw has ever aired live on Christmas. In previous years, when Christmas fell on a Monday, the show was taped ahead of time.

John Cena will return on Monday's Raw from the All-State Arena in Chicago. SmackDown will also be from the same venue.

When it comes to live attendance, historically, Christmas was one of the best days to draw a crowd, but the WWE has not booked live shows on Christmas in recent memory. The week after Christmas house show tour is also traditionally WWE's strongest week of the year, drawing well above usual crowds and playing mostly major arenas.

A week after the Christmas episode, Raw will also air live on New Year's Day.

-In a move that could indicate a big step toward getting involved with professional football, WWE chairman Vince McMahon sold 3.34 million Class A common shares of company stock Thursday for what could be in the ballpark of $100+ million dollars.

As noted in the SEC filing, "Mr. McMahon executed the sale primarily to fund a separate entity from the Company, Alpha Entertainment LLC, which Mr. McMahon established to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football. Mr. McMahon has informed the Company that he has no current plan to sell additional shares of the Company’s stock and that he intends to continue in his capacity as the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the foreseeable future.

"The shares sold by Mr. McMahon represent approximately 4.3% of the Company’s total outstanding shares of Class A and Class B common stock. After the sale, Mr. McMahon beneficially owns 32,193,375 shares of the Company’s Class B common stock, which represents approximately 82.8% of the Company’s total voting power and approximately 41.8% of the Company’s total outstanding shares of common stock."

After hours trading saw the stock drop to $30.80/share.

Over the weekend, it broke that McMahon could be looking to bring back the XFL and make the announcement as early as January which led to a further reveal about the creation of Alpha Entertainment.

Earlier this month, Alpha Entertainment applied for five new XFL trademarks that cover the league restarting and merchandise. Additionally, they would like to trademark 'URFL'. On 12/16, McMahon applied for five new XFL trademarks, for football games, merchandise, downloadable software, and tons of other items. That would indicate that he's looking at using the XFL name for his football league and not the other names in prior trademarks that were filed in September.

Vince McMahon is clearly serious about this football venture as he sold 3,340,000 shares of his WWE stock today. The price was not disclosed but that would be a market value of $106 million at the time of the sales. The WWE sent out a release noting that the sale was for him to raise money to fund his new Alpha Entertainment Company. The sale drops McMahon's ownership of the company from 46.1 percent to 41.8 percent. The release said that McMahon has no plans to sell any of the rest of his stock at this time. McMahon had been selling stock previously for retirement purposes and that stock he was selling at below market value.

-The news of McMahon selling has seen the stock go from $31.87 per share to $30.75 per share in after hours trading.

-Brock Lesnar is currently booked on Raw shows on 1/1 in Miami, 1/8 in Memphis, 1/22 in Brooklyn (the 25th anniversary show) and 2/26 in Anaheim. Lesnar's schedule usually picks up in the lead into WrestleMania, since he's scheduled for the main event on that show.

-The WWE runs 2/5 in Springfield, MO and are moving to a smaller arena than they have been running in that market.

**UPDATES for Dec.22/17**

-Former WWE Champion Dave "Batista" Bautista revealed on Jim Ross's podcast, "The Ross Report" that he recently had talks with Vince McMahon about a possible return to WWE. Batista noted that he wants to come back to the company and work one final program with Triple H, and wants to work a full-time schedule.

-Former WWF star Brutus Beefcake released his autobiography titled ‘'Brutus Beefcake: Cuttin' & Struttin'.

-The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that the WWE Superstar Rich Swann after being arrested earlier this month is back with his wife Vannarah Riggs. Last week, Swann's attorney told members of the media that no criminal charges had been filed by Riggs, who wrestles on the independent scene as Su Yung.

-At https://www.bardown.com/the-ric-flair-video-that-pumped-taylor-hall-up-was-released-and-it-s-absolutely-incredible-1.951465 is a hype video by Ric Flair to pump up the New Jersey Devils of the NHL.

-Kalisto appears to have been injured when a fan threw a water bottle at him on Tuesday's episode of 205 Live.

The bottle was thrown at Kalisto while he was laying outside the ring after he had teamed with Gran Metalik against Jack Gallagher & Brian Kendrick. The faces won by disqualification, with Gallagher & Kendrick continuing to attack them after the match. As Gallagher & Kendrick were walking away, the camera cut to a shot of a bottle, which wasn't empty, bouncing off the ground and hitting Kalisto in the mouth.

Abigail Rodriguez, Kalisto's wife, posted an update yesterday which revealed that Kalisto needed stitches, had an MRI done, and suffered a possible fracture. Rodriguez didn't reveal any specifics about the potential fracture.

"The way you assaulted my husband was disgusting to say the least," Rodriguez wrote. "Your actions caused harm and medical intervention was needed. Second, I am in disbelief with those that think it's ok to ridicule (poke fun of) someone who lives their life to entertain others. If it was you in the situation, you wouldn't be laughing now would you?! What a way to spend our holidays! Stitches, MRI, and possible fracture, we don't know."

Kalisto has yet to comment on the incident. Rodriguez's post includes a fairly brutal picture of his lip after the injuries that were caused.

According to a tweet from a WWE employee, the person who threw the bottle was caught by security.

-The WWE doesn't run until Monday. Raw will be on Monday from Chicago's All-State Arena. John Cena and Roman Reigns return to Raw on the show. Monday's Raw is expected to sell out in Chicago.

-Filming of "The Marine" has been completed meaning The Miz and Becky Lynch should be back on television shortly.

-The URL xfl.com used to take you to wwe.com but it no longer does.

-With Vince McMahon having sold 3.34 million shares of WWE stock yesterday, the stock price fell $2.32 per share to $29.55. WWE's stock has plummeted following Vince McMahon's decision to sell over $100 million worth of his stock, which investors are seeing as a bad decision. The WWE stock was at $29.88 in pre-market trading, down $1.99 before the markets even opened today.

There was a key stock analyst downgrade, as Citigroup downgraded from buy to neutral. However, the big picture is the same as it was and as long as the TV negotiations look positive, the company is in a good position to be more profitable. If it was the WWE starting a new football league and not Vince McMahon on his own, that would be a very different story.

When McMahon sold his stock, he did so at slightly below actual market value so the actual money he got was $95,791,200 and not the $106 million if he had sold the stock at its going rate. He has been selling bits of stock over the years at lower than market value.

-For the women's Rumble, Kambi oddsmakers have also established these unique odds as far as a winner goes:

Ronda Rousey -111
Asuka +200
Nia Jax +500
Becky Lynch +750
Paige +750
Nikki Bella +1000
Bayley +1200
Charlotte Flair +1200
Ruby Riott +1200
Sasha Banks +1200
Alexa Bliss +1500
Carmella +1500
Shayna Baszler +2000
Stephanie McMahon +2000

Other off the wall picks are Marina Shafir at +5000, AJ Lee at +6600 and James Ellsworth at +10000.

**UPDATES for Dec.23-24/17**

-NXT wrestlers Alexander Wolfe (formerly Axel Tischer) and Marcel Barthel (formerly Axel Dieter Jr.) returned for a surprise one-time appearance at wXw's 17th anniversary show in Oberhausen, Germany on Saturday. They made the save for their former Ringkampf stablemates WALTER and Timothy Thatcher against the RISE stable.

-In an interview with ESPN, Rey Mysterio left the door open for a return to the WWE but said there’s been no communication between either side about an appearance in the Royal Rumble. He said that he could never do a full-time schedule but would “definitely love to go back and finish up. Whether it's one year or whatever the case might be.”

-Kane told the New York Post that he doesn’t know if this will be his final main-event run and said his match against Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman is going to be special for him.

-Variety projects that “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, will end the weekend by bringing in $57 million at the box office for its first six days.

-Sasha Banks named Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly, Jazz, Jacqueline, and Victoria as names from the past who she would like to see participate in the women’s Royal Rumble match.

-WWE.com put out a list of seven acts that could be called up to the main roster in 2018. They were: Peyton Royce & Billie Kay, Aleister Black, Pete Dunne, No Way Jose, SAnitY, Kassius Ohno, and The Authors of Pain.

-WWE’s website also posted their list of the company’s 25 best matches of 2017. AJ Styles vs. John Cena from the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe from SummerSlam, Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne from NXT TakeOver: Chicago, The New Day vs. The Usos from the SummerSlam pre-show, and Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles from Survivor Series were the top five.

-Rhyno visited a fan named Zach at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Michigan after learning that Zach’s hospital stay kept him from going to a WWE show in Detroit.

-A “best of” edition of Ride Along will air on the WWE Network after Raw on Christmas night.

-Cody Rhodes responded to a fan who asked if he would ever return to the WWE:

“I had a great run. Met my wife. Made the Mania' walk a bunch of times. Got a chance to see Dad's last elbow. Won a bunch of titles. Made millions without a college education. But I'm happy where I'm at and where this is going. 2018 will be the most important year of my career.”

-Jacques Rougeau talked about what went wrong with his son’s WWE tryout in an interview with Hannibal TV.

-ESPN’s Darren Rovell talked Vince McMahon’s potential re-entry into the pro football business.

-Georges St-Pierre posted a picture of himself hanging out with Hulk Hogan.

-Mauro Ranello's mother was rushed to hospital on Wednesday evening just hours after Mauro had come home to British Columbia for the holidays.

-The WWE stock closed at $31.87 on Thursday and with the news of McMahon’s stock sale, it led to a close at $29.55 on Friday. The number is still at a very healthy price but will be monitored more closely over the next announcement as more is discovered about Alpha Entertainment and its plans. On the surface, it isn’t a WWE funded company but the resource stockholders are going to be concerned with is McMahon himself and what portion of his time will be dedicated to an outside venture and away from the core business.

-The WWE crew is gearing up for one of the busiest weeks of the year. The company will be holding back-to-back television tapings at the Allstate Arena in Chicago for Raw on Monday and SmackDown Live on Tuesday. The Raw crew will have a Tuesday night live event at Madison Square Garden with John Cena on the road for the company and facing Roman Reigns at The Garden.

-Brock Lesnar is scheduled to appear on three episodes of Raw leading up to the Royal Rumble. Lesnar’s next appearance will be on New Year’s Day in Miami, followed by appearances on January 8th in Memphis and the big 25th Anniversary edition of Raw on January 22nd in Brooklyn. It was officially announced this past week that Lesnar will defend the Universal championship against Braun Strowman and Kane in a triple threat match at the Royal Rumble on January 28th in Philadelphia.

-Jeff Jarrett has returned home after going through a WWE-sponsored rehab program. Jarrett had several public incidents over the past year where he appeared to be performing while under the influence. Jarrett was initially suspended indefinitely by Impact Wrestling back in September and outright fired in October. Jarrett’s firing from Impact Wrestling led to the company distancing themselves from the Global Force Wrestling branding and back to Impact Wrestling.

Jarrett, after returning home from WWE-sponsored rehab, is already booked for shows starting the day after Christmas. He's working for Tried and True Wrestling as a guest referee on December 26th.

-Ed Leslie a.k.a. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake has just released his biography, which was co-written by Kenny Casanova. The 400-page book covers Leslie’s upbringing in Tampa, breaking into the industry and his runs with the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling under dozens of different aliases. The book is not currently available on Kindle but they are expecting to have it available on the device within a month through Amazon.

-With Money in the Bank scheduled to be a dual-brand show in 2018, it appears that there will be an NXT TakeOver special in conjunction with the weekend.

Dave Meltzer reported in the most recent edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that an NXT TakeOver show is currently planned for June 16th, 2018 in Chicago, which is one day before Money in the Bank will take place at the Allstate Arena. With the already announced "big four" weekend specials, the addition of another show means that there are five TakeOvers scheduled for next year.

Chicago hosted its first TakeOver event this past May. It featured Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Authors of Pain in a ladder match for the NXT Tag Team titles, Bobby Roode vs. Hideo Itami for the NXT Championship, Asuka vs. Nikki Cross vs. Ruby Riot for the NXT Women's Championship, Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne's show-stealing match for the WWE United Kingdom title, and Roderick Strong vs. Eric Young.

Though Meltzer notes that some of this isn't set in stone and there could be some changes, here's the WWE PPV schedule for 2018:

January 28th -- Royal Rumble (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
February 25th -- Elimination Chamber (Raw PPV in Las Vegas. Nevada)
March 11th -- Fastlane (SmackDown PPV in Columbus, Ohio)
April 8th -- WrestleMania 34 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
May 6th -- Backlash (Raw PPV in Newark, New Jersey)
May 27th -- Payback (SmackDown PPV in Baltimore, Maryland)
June 17th -- Money in the Bank (Chicago, Illinois)
July 15th -- Battleground (Raw PPV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
August 19th -- SummerSlam (Brooklyn, New York)
September 16th -- Extreme Rules (Raw PPV in San Antonio, Texas)
September 30th -- Hell in a Cell (SmackDown PPV in Nashville, Tennessee)
October 21st -- TLC (Raw PPV in Boston, Massachusetts)
November 18th -- Survivor Series (Los Angeles, California)
December 16th -- Clash of Champions (SmackDown PPV in San Jose, California)

-After Alexander Wolfe and Marcel Barthel appeared for wXw Saturday, Kairi Sane returned to Stardom for an appearance Sunday to say goodbye to Yoko Bito as Bito is retiring.

-Kassius Ohno is also in Japan (since Rachael Ellering is wrestling for Stardom) and was spotted at the most recent DDT show.

-Wrestling legends Sting and Hulk Hogan as well as Eric Bischoff will appear at Ace Comic-Con in Phoenix, Arizona for a meet and greet on 1/15/18.

-Matt Hardy has posted on YouTube a special holiday Christmas video.

-Reby Hardy referred to Sunday as “WWE Christmas” on Twitter with Raw taking place on Monday which is Christmas Day head to head with the NBA

-Finn Balor tweeted about Raw being live on Christmas:

“Its always hard leaving home, even harder on Xmas eve. I told my mum ‘I’m sorry that we have RAW on Xmas day & I have to go wrestle’ She replied ‘Well isn’t it better than you NOT being able to go wrestle on raw on Xmas day!’ Perspective”

-Dave Bautista and Cesaro appeared at Titus O’Neil’s Joy of Giving event in Tampa to give back and help support people who are struggling at this time of year.

-Members of the WWE roster answered what they want for Christmas.

-The WWE posted video of a Q&A session with Jeff Hardy.

Have a safe and happy holidays coming this weekend while checking the news here, so don't 'cha dare miss it!
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Posted 12/25/17 , edited 12/31/17
Wrap up the new year here with the WWE News!

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending and https://www.postwrestling.com/ but please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia on Saturday, January 27 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXT_TakeOver:_Philadelphia and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt

*NXT Championship Match: Andrade 'Cien' Almas (C - w/ Zelina Vega) vs. Johnny Gargano

WWE Royal Rumble on Sunday, January 28 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Rumble_(2018) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble

*30-Man Royal Rumble Match for a world championship match at WrestleMania 34
Participants: Elias, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura
*Triple Threat for the WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (C - w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane
*30-Women Royal Rumble Match for a world championship match at WrestleMania 34
Participants: Asuka, Naomi, Ruby Riott

-The Cruiserweight Championship Match between the champ Enzo Amore and #1 contender Cedric Alexander will happen on the special New Year's Day episode of Raw next week on January 1, 2018 in Miami. Brock Lesnar will also return on that night.

-On Raw they noted Dean Ambrose's surgery could keep him out as long as 9 months.

-The WWE announced a fatal five way match for the WWE championship at the SmackDown-branded PPV WWE Fastlane which comes after the Royal Rumble featuring AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn.

-Former WWE star Cameron (Ariane Andrew) announced that she has the lead role of Cecelia Collins in the new movie Underdog. The film focuses on a young girl who meets a boxing coach and the two bond over their own struggles with addiction.

-Tuesday will be Smackdown and 205 Live from Chicago. Like Raw the first hour on the USA Network will be commercial free. A note though that anywhere else from Canada to the UK to New Zealand there were many complaints online that ads were still kept in and often which muddled the flow of the show a lot. The Raw brand will have a Madison Square Garden house show headlined by Roman Reigns vs. John Cena for the IC title and Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan in a cage match for the tag titles.

-Wednesday will be a Raw at the Nassau Coliseum in New York and a Smackdown show in Detroit at the Little Caesar's Arena (AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal for WWE title, Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode).

-Sami Zayn is doing a fundraiser today for SamiForSyria.com which raises money for mobile health clinics in Syria. For every dollar donated today up to $5000, he will match that donation.

-The Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH, is advertising A.J. Styles vs. Randy Orton vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn for the title as the main event for WWE Fastlane on March 11th, the last PPV before WrestleMania.

-Christmas is Rusev Day, as he really turns 32 today.

-Miz was in the Middle East over the weekend so may not be back for Raw this week. The latest Marine movie is done filming and he should be back imminently.

-There's a Washington Post story on Dwayne Johnson as a presidential candidate in 2020 even though he has pretty much ruled that out for 2020.

-There will be 100 hours of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling uploaded to the WWE Network, one of the syndicated shows the promotion ran in the late 70s and early 80s, along with Word Wide Wrestling. The tapes they have date back to 1981 and look to go through at least 1983 and the build for the first Starrcade show.

-Jim Ross has a show in Philadelphia on the Sunday afternoon of Royal Rumble. He'll be at The Diamond Club at the Citizens Bank Ballpark which is within walking distance of the Wells Fargo Center, where the Rumble and NXT TakeOver the night before takes place. For $75, you get VIP tickets to the show, a meet and greet with signing and photo ops as well as a copy of Ross' autobiography to be signed.

**UPDATES for Dec.26/17**

-While it remains to be seen if their timetable is exaggerated, the WWE is claiming that Dean Ambrose will be out of action for approximately nine months.

Michael Cole announced the news on Raw last night, with WWE.com then updating their post on Ambrose's injury to include the timetable. Ambrose underwent surgery last Tuesday for a partially torn distal triceps tendon on his right arm. Dr. Jeffrey Dugas, who performed the surgery, told WWE's website that Ambrose "basically tore about 50 percent of the triceps tendon away" from a forearm bone called the olecranon.

Ambrose had already begun physical therapy with light range-of-motion exercises as of last week.

Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez discussed WWE's timetable for Ambrose's absence on Wrestling Observer Radio last night. Meltzer noted that WWE often exaggerates how long wrestlers will be out for, though he said he doesn't know if that will be the case here and the recovery time for a torn triceps with surgery is usually 6-8 months. Meltzer said Ambrose was very much in WWE's plans for WrestleMania and the fallout from the show.

The most recent example of WWE exaggerating an injury was with Braun Strowman's elbow surgery in May. The article on their website claimed that Strowman had "shattered" his elbow and was expected to miss up to six months. In reality, Strowman had minor surgery that was supposed to keep him sidelined for 6-8 weeks.

With Ambrose not on the episode, Roman Reigns was seeking retribution on Samoa Joe (who had given Ambrose the injury in storyline) on Raw last night. Jason Jordan also teamed with Seth Rollins, with them winning the Tag Team titles from Cesaro & Sheamus.

-The first major match between Brock Lesnar and Kane is now being advertised for the January 27th house show in Baltimore, which is the night before the Royal Rumble.

Lesnar has been added to the card as a replacement since the main selling point locally, The Shield in a six-man tag, is off due to the injury to Dean Ambrose.

Local advertising is billing it as the first-ever meeting between the two in a Universal Championship match.

The original main event, as was the case with most house shows in January, was The Shield vs, Sheamus, Cesaro & Samoa Joe. It's now being broken up as Roman Reigns defending the Intercontinental title against Joe, and Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan defending the Tag Team titles against Sheamus & Cesaro.

Lesnar's next appearance on WWE television will be on the New Year's Day episode of Raw. He'll be on the show to further the build to his triple threat title defense against Kane and Braun Strowman at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view.

-Though he was injured when a fan threw a water bottle at him on 205 Live last Tuesday, Kalisto didn't miss any time because of it.

Kalisto was back in the ring before Raw went on the air last night and got a win against Tony Nese on Main Event. Abigail Rodriguez, Kalisto's wife, had posted on her social media accounts last week that Kalisto needed stitches and had an MRI done due to the water bottle being thrown at him. The bottle, which wasn't empty, bounced off the ground and hit him in the mouth.

According to a tweet from a WWE employee, the person who threw the bottle was caught by security.

In the other match on this week's Main Event, The Revival were in action against Titus O'Neil & Apollo Crews. Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson got the win in Dawson's second week since returning from tearing his bicep in August.

-A tournament was announced by GM Daniel Bryan on SmackDown Live to crown a new US champion after Dolph Ziggler vacated it. Baron Corbin and Bobby Roode was announced as one of the matches in the first round, where Roode won to advance. Then Jinder Mahal took on Tye Dillinger in another first round match, where Mahal won. 2 more first round matches will occur in the coming days in round 1.

-Mauro Ranello updated his family status:

"My mom came home today. I can’t thank you enough for the thoughts and prayers!"

-AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens in a non-title match was set for SmackDown tonight. Plus, the storyline with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan continued, and more Rumble entrants may be revealed.

-More build to Enzo Amore and Cedric Alexander’s Cruiserweight title match is advertised for 205 Live, along with Hideo Itami’s second week on the roster as he takes on Jack Gallagher.

-Asuka was officially announced last night as the first Raw entrant in the women’s Royal Rumble. She interrupted Alexa Bliss before making the announcement, then laid out Bliss with a kick to the head. Naomi is the only other confirmed participant for the women’s Rumble as of now.

-PWInsider reported that Brian Kendrick was sent to the hospital to be checked out last night after being hit in the face by a rough GTS by Itami.

-Sami Zayn accomplished his goal of raising $5,000 on Christmas Day for his campaign to help provide medical aid to people in Syria. Zayn matched each donation, bringing the total to $10,000.

-“WWE Photo Shoot” with The Miz will debut after Raw next Monday. The concept of the series is wrestlers being shown pictures from throughout their career and telling stories about them. The WWE has already uploaded the episode online.

-Johnny Gargano surprised his parents by giving them his first action figure before it’s released in stores.

-NBA Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo attended Raw in Chicago last night.

-In storyline, Roman Reigns was fined $5,000 for pushing referee John Cone in his match against Samoa Joe on Raw.

-Last night's Raw show wasn't commercial-free in the first hour for at least some international markets. The same will likely be true for SmackDown tonight.

-Jack Gallagher picked his top 10 video games of the year for Giant Bomb.

-Chris Harrington found that Jimmy Uso is the new iron man of WWE (someone who is wrestling the most without taking a break of 40 days) after Dean Ambrose’s injury.

-Chad Gable & Shelton Benjaamin won a triple threat match with the New Day and Rusev Day to get a SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match with the Usos next week on Smackdown Live. Also after saving Breezango from a rematch they made for them with the Bludgeon Brothers, the Ascension made yet another rematch for next week between the Bludgeon Brothers and Breezango.

**UPDATES for Dec.27/17**

-As previously noted, 205 Live star The Brian Kendrick was taken to the hospital following his match with Hideo Itami on WWE Raw. Kendrick took a stiff shot from Itami’s signature GTS and was checked on by doctors who came to ringside following their bout. WWE has confirmed that Kendrick suffered a broken nose and a broken orbital bone as a result of the manuever. While the WWE website report stated that there was no timetable for his return, on 205 Live they said that Kendrick would be out for two months.

Itami faced Jack Gallagher (Kendrick's tag team partner) last night and won by submission instead of using the GTS. The match against Kendrick was Itami's third since being called up to the cruiserweight division. Hideo Itami tweeted that he hopes Brian Kendrick gets well soon after accidentally breaking Kendrick’s nose and orbital bone with a GTS on Raw. Itami used the Rings of Saturn, which Neville had been using prior to his absence, instead of the GTS for the finish of his match against Jack Gallagher on 205 Live.

-TMZ interviewed Torrie Wilson who said that the time is right for an XFL return, due to waning interesting in the NFL as a result of the National Anthem controversy this year. Wilson added that if she were contacted about participating in the XFL, she would love to work as a cheerleader or a referee.

-Vince McMahon is reportedly interested in launching his own professional football league again, but former ESPN anchor and WWE commentator Jonathan "The Coach" Coachman wouldn't be surprised to see him in the NFL instead.

Coachman, who also worked as an analyst for the XFL during its lone season, brought up the possibility of McMahon purchasing the Carolina Panthers during an interview with TMZ Sports.

"Let's remember where Vince's home base is ... North Carolina," Coachman said. "He has a restaurant in North Carolina. Triple H's (McMahon's son-in-law) bachelor party was in Raleigh, North Carolina ... Vince has legitimate money. He's a billionaire. He can come up with the funds and he's also at the age where the other owners would respect that.

"I'm not saying that he would, but I think that's a second possibility that people aren't kind of tossing out there."

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced plans to sell the franchise at the end of the season after sexual and racial misconduct allegations were made against him.

McMahon recently sold $100 million worth of WWE shares to fund Alpha Entertainment LLC, which was "established to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football."

-The unique experiment of running a live episode of Raw on Christmas Night with a commercial-free first hour at least proved the WWE and USA Network could maintain the core audience.

Monday’s episode averaged 2,690,000 viewers and was bolstered by the commercial-free hour that did 2,948,000 viewers. The second hour saw a drop down to 2,620,000 and the final hour averaged 2,543,000 viewers or a drop of 13.7% from the first hour.

The Monday Night Football game between Philadelphia and Oakland did 11,735,000 viewers on ESPN.

The overall Raw average was only down 86,000 viewers from last week’s number.

In addition to the commercial-free nature of the first hour, the show also started strong with John Cena’s first appearance on Raw since September. Cena’s segment led into a long match with Elias.

This was the second time that the WWE and USA Network experimented with a commercial-free gimmick for Raw. The last time they attempted this was in June 2009 for an episode built around Donald Trump and the entire three-hour show aired commercial free. The show did an enormous number with an average of 6,800,000 viewers but was never attempted again.

Next year, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be on a Monday and Tuesday and it will be interesting to see if they opt to run live programming on those nights.

-Matt Hardy wrestled for the first time since his gimmick change and defeated Bray Wyatt at WWE’s house show at Madison Square Garden last night. Hardy used Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” as his theme music, which was also his entrance song in Impact Wrestling.

-Jimmy Fallon was in attendance at MSG and took pictures with some of the wrestlers.

-Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura have been officially announced for the 2018 Royal Rumble match. They join Elias as the only wrestlers to be confirmed for it so far. Ruby Riott and Natalya will be in the women’s Rumble, joining Naomi and Asuka as the first four announced for it.

-AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Jinder Mahal was the dark match after SmackDown and 205 Live last night. Daniel Bryan was the special guest referee for it and did a comedy spot where he ran the ropes with Zayn.

-Mae Young Classic participant Jazzy Gabert (Alpha Female) will be the guest on Friday’s episode of the Edge & Christian podcast.

-The LA Times ran a story on Shadia Bseiso becoming the first Arab woman to sign with the WWE.

-Fox News interviewed Charlotte Flair about continuing her father’s legacy and how she now understands why it was so hard for him to walk away after retiring in 2008.

-Sports Illustrated spoke to Kenny Omega about Wrestle Kingdom 12 and his upcoming match with Chris Jericho. Omega said he wants it to be a wake-up call to both NJPW and WWE and hopes it will lead to more crossover between the companies for the sake of good business. He claimed the match will “evoke a new kind of emotion from people watching.” Omega said about Shinsuke Nakamura:

“I’m happy for the response that he’s getting, of course, and all of us in New Japan knew when he left that he was going to get over with his charisma. But when I see Nakamura in WWE, it’s hard for me to say he’s done anything compelling in-ring since he’s been there, which is a shame. It will just take the one right story and the one right moment and then people will be captivated by everything that he does. Right now, he hasn’t had that.”

In a separate interview, Omega also said that Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito should go on last at the Tokyo Dome because he couldn’t beat Naito in the G1 or win the title from Okada, but Omega said that his match against Jericho is what the world will be watching.

**UPDATES for Dec.28/17**

-A six-woman tag match was called off while in progress on Wednesday after an injury to Paige at the WWE’s live event on Long Island, New York.

The match involved Paige teaming with Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose against Sasha Banks, Mickie James and Bayley.

From those in the building, it appeared the injury occurred after Banks landed a kick and Paige went down. She was tended to by officials and the match ended.

A stretcher was brought out for Paige, although she appears to have made it to the backstage area on her own after a picture surfaced of her on her feet following the injury.

She will be getting X-rays and an evaluation today but for precautionary measures, as of right now, and WWE officials said she won't be working the shows the next few days.

There was a report that she was spotted at a bar following the live event and appeared to be feeling better. There is no official diagnosis on Paige at this time. The injury was likely a mild stinger.

-Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown Live drew an average of 2,656,000 viewers on the USA Network.

It was the WWE’s second consecutive night of television from the Allstate Arena in Chicago and aired the night after a live edition of Raw on Christmas Night.

The USA Network utilized the same strategy as Raw with the first hour of SmackDown Live also airing commercial free. This resulted in a 3% increase in the SmackDown Live audience from the prior week and was its highest number since November 28th.

This week saw Raw and SmackDown audiences at near identical marks with Raw averaging 2.69 million viewers (albeit airing on a much tougher night with the holiday) and SmackDown Live only 1.3% lower.

SmackDown finished a higher-than-usual third for the night on cable and first in the 18-49 demo with a 0.82 rating. For the second straight week, SmackDown was down year-over-year as the December 27th, 2016 episode featured the return of John Cena on a stacked show. That episode is still the only show to beat Raw since the WWE draft edition of SmackDown that kicked off the brand split.

-Hulk Hogan has filed a lawsuit against two Tampa Bay-area radio personalities for their alleged involvement in the release of his infamous sex tape.

The WWE legend - real name Terry Gene Bollea - is suing 102.5 FM The Bone morning host Mike "Cowhead" Calta, his former co-worker Matt "Spice Boy" Loyd, and the owner of the radio station for defamation, according to Adam Walser and Ric Russo of ABC Action News.

In the lawsuit, Hogan claims Calta and Loyd were involved in "stealing, disseminating, using, and exploiting illegally-recorded video." A judge ordered the defendants to respond to the allegations within 20 days after their motion to dismiss the case was denied last week.

Hogan was awarded $115 million in damages from Gawker last year after the media outlet published a portion of the sex tape involving him and Heather Cole, the then-wife of his friend Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem, in 2012. Gawker filed for bankruptcy shortly after the trial ended.

-At https://www.f4wonline.com/wwe-news/wwe-reveals-united-states-title-tournament-bracket-248786 are the United States Championship tournament brackets as finally posted by the WWE. Zack Ryder vs. Mojo Rawley and Xavier Woods vs. Aiden English are the two remaining matches in the first round. The winner of Ryder vs. Rawley will go on to face Bobby Roode, with the winner of Woods vs. English advancing to face Jinder Mahal.

The WWE announced the tournament on Tuesday's SmackDown after the angle where Dolph Ziggler left the US Championship in the ring and walked out the week prior, with Daniel Bryan noting that Ziggler had seemingly willingly relinquished the title. Roode defeated Baron Corbin and Mahal beat Tye Dillinger to advance to the second round.

The bracket indicates that the finals will take place at the Royal Rumble on January 28th.

The tournament should continue on SmackDown next Tuesday. The Usos defending their Tag Team titles against Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin is set for the episode as well, along with Breezango vs. The Bludgeon Brothers. The WWE will also follow up on Kevin Owens' non-title win over AJ Styles from this week's show and the storyline of ongoing tension between Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan.

-Roman Reigns vs. John Cena headlines tonight in Hartford and AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal headlines Pittsburgh. The same crew works Raw on Friday in Albany, NY and Smackdown in Hershey, PA. Saturday is Raw in Toronto headlined by Reigns vs. Samoa Joe and Smackdown in Tampa headlined by Styles vs. Mahal vs. Cena. Sunday is off for New Year's Eve.

-Dwayne Johnson said that he and other actors will be wearing black at the Golden Globe awards in support of women and sexual harassment and inequality issues in Hollywood.

-At last night's show at the Nassau Coliseum they announced the next date in the building would be a Raw on 5/7. Tickets are on sale with the password WWE2018.

**UPDATES for Dec.30-31/17**

-Monday’s episode of Raw from Miami will feature a rematch between Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe for the Intercontinental title. The added stipulation is that Reigns can lose the title if he is disqualified. Kurt Angle made the announcement on Twitter today, with an added stipulation being that Reigns will lose the title if he gets disqualified:

"On the first #Raw of 2018 @WWERomanReigns will defend his #ICTitle against @SamoaJoe; if Roman is DQ’ed, he’ll lose the match AND his title"

-Jazzy Gabert was a guest on Friday’s edition of Edge & Christian’s podcast and explained why she has not signed with the WWE. Gabert was one of the standout performers in the Mae Young Classic, receiving a tremendous response from the audience at Full Sail University. Gabert lost to Abbey Laith in the opening round but got over during the match in a significant way. Following the tournament, it was discovered by the WWE medical staff that she had three herniated discs in her neck, prompting the WWE to rescind their offer. Gabert is now expected to undergo surgery to repair the damage. At 35-years of age, Gabert has been wrestling since 2001 and has fought a pair of mixed martial arts fights, including one with Rizin earlier this year.

-Destiny Wrestling out of Mississauga, Ontario has announced a big show for Sunday, January 21st at the Don Kolov Arena (4480 Tomken Road). They have announced that WWE U.K. champion Pete Dunne will be facing Austin Aries to headline the show. There will also be a singles match between Matt Sydal and Petey Williams which will be taped for a future episode of Impact Wrestling. It is interesting that Impact cameras will be rolling on a show that features a WWE-contracted talent.

-The WWE stock closed at $30.58 on Friday afternoon.

-Former WWE star Sid Vicious was scheduled for a rare match for AIW in Cleveland but he didn't board his flight. After several phone calls went unanswered, the promotion used Swoggle's phone to call him and he did answer. He claimed Donald Trump's travel ban prevented him from flying to Cleveland due to an unpaid speeding ticket and he didn't have his passport with him. The promotion recorded the call and will be playing it either on a podcast or at the show. But they wanted everyone to know ahead of time that Vicious won't be appearing as advertised.

-At least at Thursday night's show in Pittsburgh, the WWE had raised T-shirt prices to $40 US.

-A week after he faced Kevin Owens, AJ Styles will be taking on Sami Zayn on the first SmackDown of 2018.

The WWE announced that Styles vs Zayn in a non-title match is set for Tuesday's episode of SmackDown. Styles lost to Owens in a non-title bout on this week's show, which came after Shane McMahon caused confusion by trying to get the referee to eject Zayn from ringside. Styles had Owens pinned, but the referee was too distracted to count it. After Styles turned his focus to the ref, Owens rolled him up for the pin.

With Styles facing Zayn on Tuesday, the direction for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble should come into focus. It appeared that Styles vs. Owens was being set up for the pay-per-view this week.

The Usos defending their Tag Team titles against Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin will take place on Tuesday's SmackDown as well, along with Breezango vs. The Bludgeon Brothers.

-According to Forbes, Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson was named as the second-highest-grossing actor of 2017, with his movies taking in about $1.5 Billion USD, coming in second to his Fast & Furious co-star Vin Diesel. Johnson might have been expected to win this year, as he did in 2016, but for the flop that was Baywatch, didn't even crack the $100 million mark in box office receipts. Johnson's current release Jumanji is still in theatres, and its numbers haven't been included in the tally.

-For the second straight night, Braun Strowman wasn’t on Raw’s house show tour at their event in Albany, New York on Friday. PWInsider noted that the reason for Strowman’s absence was an illness and that he returned home on Thursday.

Strowman usually wrestles Kane in matches where Kane gets disqualified and then Strowman puts him through a table after on the house shows. Instead, Kane did a comedy segment with Elias Friday night where he sang with him and then attacked him, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson.

It is unknown what his status is for Raw on Monday night in Miami although he is still being advertised by the WWE for Monday’s show.

-The WWE uploaded an episode of a show called “Superstar Superfan” where Bayley discusses her pro wrestling fandom with Peter Rosenberg.

-On “WWE Film Room,” Big Show tells the story of his WrestleMania 24 match against Floyd Mayweather.

-Xavier Woods put out a campaign video for his quest to become United States Champion. Woods and Kenny Omega picked their top 10 video games of the year for Giant Bomb.

Rusev also endorsed Aiden English in his campaign to win the US title.

-Two strands of Sasha Banks’ hair have shown up on eBay from a ring-worn shirt that a fan bought to support Connor’s Cure.

-Stephanie McMahon invited Chrissy Teigen to WrestleMania in New Orleans after Teigen tweeted that she had fun at a previous WrestleMania but had to leave early.

-At their “Unboxing Live” event Saturday where no matches were announced in advance, Jack Gallagher returned to PROGRESS Wrestling and challenged Pete Dunne for the WWE United Kingdom Championship. Will Ospreay also returned and challenged Travis Banks for the PROGRESS title. Both champions retained, with TK Cooper, who’s out of action due to injury, making an appearance and challenging Banks for some time later this year.

-In a report at http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Wrestling/2017/12/31/22770489.html it was deja vu for Samoa Joe. As it did during his match against Finn Balor at NXT TakeOver Dallas in 2016, an accidental cut has caused controversy and frustrated Samoan Submission Machine.

Just minutes into his main event, Intercontinental Title match against champion Roman Reigns, Joe was busted open the "hard way" (legitimately) after either taking a boot to the face or falling out of the ring to the floor.

When Reigns followed him outside Joe threw him into the steel steps and the official spotted Joe bleeding profusely. The official gave the "X" sign with his arms, used to signify a legitimate injury to the production crew in the back, and medical personal came to the ring.

Once it was determined that the bleeding couldn't be stopped the official called for the bell. Joe seemed aggravated by the call, wanting to continue. He returned to the ring to receive a Superman Punch and a Spear to put a close to the match and the evening. Reigns posed and signed autographs as the show ended.

Some fans though were not impressed by the production call and expressed their disappointment leaving the event and on Twitter afterwards.

For the WWE it was their second instance this week of a match being abruptly ended. Joe suffered a cut above his left eye and was bleeding significantly to the point that the match was stopped. Reigns and Joe are scheduled for a match on Monday’s episode of Raw in Miami. The other example from the past week came during a six-woman tag in Long Island where Paige took a kick from Sasha Banks, resulting in an injury that was thought to be serious enough for the match to be called off. Paige was taken off the remainder of the shows this week and it is not yet known if she will be at Raw on Monday night in Miami.

Based on photos from the show, the Ricoh Coliseum appeared to be full for the Raw event in Toronto, translating to approximately 9,000 in attendance.

Enjoy the rest of the year and the last bits of news that comes in, so don't 'cha dare miss it!
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Posted 1/1/18 , edited 1/5/18
It's the start of 2018 so that means it's Royal Rumble time! The continued build continues on New Year's Day on Raw so here is what went down this week.

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending and https://www.postwrestling.com/ but please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia on Saturday, January 27 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXT_TakeOver:_Philadelphia and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt

*NXT Championship Match: Andrade 'Cien' Almas (C - w/ Zelina Vega) vs. Johnny Gargano
*Extreme Rules Match: Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole
*NXT Women's Championship Match: Ember Moon (C) vs. Shayna Baszler
*NXT Tag Team Championship Match: The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) vs. The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar w/ Paul Ellering)
*Lars Sullivan vs. Killian Dain

WWE Royal Rumble on Sunday, January 28 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Rumble_(2018) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble

*30-Man Royal Rumble Match for a world championship match at WrestleMania 34
Participants: Elias, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, John Cena, Finn Balor, Baron Corbin
*Triple Threat for the WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (C - w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane
*30-Women Royal Rumble Match for a world championship match at WrestleMania 34
Participants: Asuka, Naomi, Ruby Riott, Natalya, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Paige, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Carmella, Tamina, Lana, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan
*Tournament Finals for the Vacant WWE United States Championship: To Be Determined
*Handicap Match for the WWE Championship: AJ Styles (C) vs. Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens

-Raw will be Monday night from Miami with Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe for the IC title where the title can change hands via DQ and Enzo Amore vs. Cedric Alexander for the cruiserweight title. Alexa Bliss vs. Asuka also got added at the start of the show.

New Year's Day, as it used to be historically, is a good night to run a show. WWE is expecting 11,000 to 12,000 fans tonight, which is more than most Raws would do, particularly in a market the size of Miami.

-Smackdown and 205 Live will be Tuesday night from Orlando, including AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn, Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable for the tag titles, Aiden English vs. Xavier Woods in the U.S. title tournament and the teams of Breezango of Tyler Breeze & Fandango vs. the Bludgeon Brothers Harper & Rowan.

-Braun Strowman was off the last four days with a very bad flu. Paige has been healing since her injury at a house show while Samoa Joe is patched up from a hardway cut from another house show this week.

UPDATE: WWE officials told the Observer this afternoon that Braun Strowman is scheduled for tonight's Raw in Miami.

Strowman had been out of action since Thursday morning due to a bad case of the flu and had missed the last three house shows. It is not clear what his role on the show will be.

Paige, who was injured on Wednesday night's show at the Nassau Coliseum at this point has no determination when she will be able to wrestle again. She didn't stay on the tour and work the corner after her injury, which was at last word described as a stinger, took place from being kicked in the back by Sasha Banks during a six-person match. She is in Miami though.

-The complete collection of Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling from 1981-82 will be on the WWE Network by 1/8.

-Pete Dunne kept the U.K. title Saturday on the Progress show in London beating Jack Gallagher.

-John Cena will officially be taking part in the Royal Rumble match later this month.

The WWE had Cena make the announcement on Twitter today:

"A sunny morning on the first day of 2018. Possibilities are endless, opportunities are plentiful. Time to #EarnTheDay because on January 28th, I’m entering the #RoyalRumble match and earning a chance at history @WrestleMania! #Raw"

For the first time since Survivor Series, Cena returned to WWE television on Raw last week. He opened the show with a promo, was interrupted by Elias, and they worked a long and competitive match where Cena won.

With him being a free agent in storyline, Cena would be able to challenge for either the Universal Championship or WWE Championship at WrestleMania if he were to win the Royal Rumble. Dave Meltzer noted in the most recent edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that he was told that rumors of Cena vs. AJ Styles for the WWE title are incorrect as of right now and it was indicated to him that Cena is planned to be in a "much bigger" match.

The next show that Cena is currently advertised for is the 25th anniversary episode of Raw. That show will take place on January 22nd, which is the Monday before the Royal Rumble.

Cena, Elias, Randy Orton, and Shinsuke Nakamura have now been announced for the men's Royal Rumble. Naomi, Asuka, Ruby Riott, and Natalya have been confirmed for the women's Rumble match.

-On Raw Kurt Angle clarified that the Women's Royal Rumble Match will have the same rules as the men including officially having 30 participants.

-There is a photo going around of Enzo Amore in the hospital in Miami, which would put his status for tonight's Cruiserweight title defense against Cedric Alexander in question. There is no official word yet from the WWE on this but he was ill and not injured. The fact it's a Miami hospital would indicate he had already flown in for Raw tonight in Miami when taken to the hospital since he lives in California. He had worked the Northeast house shows last week but was not in Toronto Saturday night.

UPDATE: The match was indeed cancelled on TV and Nia Jax went to visit Enzo in the hospital.

-"Jumanji" did an estimateed $50,355,000 over the weekend, just behind Star Wars at $52,446,000.

-The WWE Network is doing a Countdown of the 100 greatest moments on Raw.

-There will be a rematch between Hideo Itami and Gentleman Jack Gallagher on 205 Live this week.

-The Miztourage announced that the Miz, who won the Rolling Stone's Superstar of the Year award, returns to Raw in Memphis next week.

-A new series called WWE Photo Shoot debuts after Raw with back to back episodes with the Miz and Cesaro.

**UPDATES for Jan.2/18**

-Enzo missed Raw on Monday night due to the flu. He was in the hospital for ten hours and made his way to the American Airlines Arena in Miami with the intent of having his match with Cedric Alexander but was advised by WWE officials to return to the hospital for further evaluation and the match was scrapped from Raw.

-The Miz will return on next week’s episode of Raw from Memphis at the FedEx Forum. Brock Lesnar is also advertised for next week’s show.

Seven weeks after losing the Intercontinental Championship and taking some time off to film a movie, The Miz will return to Raw next Monday.

The WWE announced the news last night and hyped up Miz's return. He last appeared on the November 20th episode of Raw, where he lost the Intercontinental title to Roman Reigns and was powerbombed through the announce table by The Shield after the show went off the air.

The Miz had been filming WWE Studios' "The Marine 6: Close Quarters" while he was off television. Miz plays the lead character, with Shawn Michaels and Becky Lynch also having roles in the movie. Lynch returned at WWE's house shows last week and should be back on SmackDown soon ahead of taking part in the women's Royal Rumble.

Lynch was written off TV when she was attacked by Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan backstage as they were making their debut as a stable.

-The next set of NXT television tapings are this Thursday and they will take place from Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia. This will cover the weeks of television leading into Takeover over Royal Rumble weekend in Philadelphia. It should be known wwhat the entire Takeover card will be after this week’s taping.

-John Cena has been added to the Royal Rumble match. His next appearance is scheduled for the 25th Anniversary of Raw on January 22nd in Brooklyn, New York. Cena has previously won the Rumble in 2008 and 2013.

-The WWE stock continues its strong performance with a close at $31.41 on Tuesday. WWE’s stock today reached its highest point since the first week or so after the company went public.

-Beth Phoenix will be part of the commentary team for WWE's upcoming Mixed Match Challenge series.

The WWE announced today that Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Phoenix would be calling the show. Mixed Match Challenge is a 12-episode series that will debut on Facebook Watch at 10 p.m. Eastern time on January 16th. It will air live for 20 minutes after SmackDown each week and will feature a single-elimination mixed tag team tournament that includes wrestlers from both Raw and SmackDown.

Phoenix previously made a guest appearance on the Mae Young Classic announce team to call Jazzy Gabert, Kay Lee Ray & Tessa Blanchard vs. Sarah Logan, Santana Garrett & Marti Belle on the second day of tapings in July. Phoenix was also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame over WrestleMania weekend last year.

Renee Young and Byron Saxton will be the hosts for Mixed Match Challenge. The WWE has yet to reveal the teams for the show, but here are the wrestlers who will be taking part in the tournament:

Raw --
Alexa Bliss
Alicia Fox
Asuka
Bayley
Braun Strowman
Enzo Amore
Finn Balor
Goldust
Nia Jax
Sasha Banks
The Miz
A wrestler who will be selected by fan vote between Jason Jordan, Elias and Samoa Joe

SmackDown --
Becky Lynch
Bobby Roode
Carmella
Charlotte Flair
Jimmy Uso
Lana
Naomi
Natalya
Rusev
Sami Zayn
Shinsuke Nakamura
A member of The New Day (to be determined by fan vote)

-Finn Balor teamed with some familiar faces on Raw as he was joined by Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows for a six-man tag match against Elias, Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas. WWE has a post-Raw video with Balor reacting to teaming with Anderson & Gallows.

-Xavier Woods recruited Leva “Blue Pants” Bates for an anti-Aiden English video as part of Woods’ campaign to become the next United States Champion.

-Tommaso Ciampa ominously wished Johnny Gargano a happy New Year on Twitter and was shown working out in a picture that was posted by Bobby Roode.

-Bayley tweeted that her goal for 2018 is to find her way again.

-The WWE Network is conducting planned system maintenance from 7-10 a.m. Eastern time tomorrow that may affect subscribers’ ability to watch content.

-The Rock sent a message of encouragement to Curt Hawkins amid Hawkins’ losing streak:

“Haha what’s up my man! F*ck that losing streak. You’re still #1 to me. That should be your next t-shirt to sell: ‘F*ck a losing streak’. I smell a top seller!”

-The Washington Capitals have started to use Oney Lorcan’s theme music as their official goal song.

-NBA Legend Karl Malone was shown ringside at SmackDown Live.

**UPDATES for Jan/3/17**

-With its debut less than two weeks away, the WWE has started to make some announcements regarding Mixed Match Challenge.

Kurt Angle first tweeted last night that Enzo Amore, who was included on the original list of wrestlers for the show, won't be taking part in the tournament due to the flu. Amore missed Raw on Monday and his scheduled Cruiserweight title defense against Cedric Alexander after being hospitalized with the illness.

Amore also wasn't on 205 Live this week. Whether he actually won't be returning before Mixed Match Challenge begins remains to be seen.

The first pairing for the tournament has also been revealed, with Alexa Bliss set to team with Braun Strowman. Shortly afterwards, they added that Bobby Roode and Charlotte are the second team to be announced. It appears they will be announcing the teams throughout the days coming up.

Mixed Match Challenge will premiere on Facebook Watch at 10 p.m. Eastern time on January 16th. The show will air live for 20 minutes after SmackDown on Tuesdays and will last for 12 weeks. It will feature a single-elimination mixed tag team tournament, which will include wrestlers from both Raw and SmackDown.

The WWE announced yesterday that Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Beth Phoenix would be the commentary team for Mixed Match Challenge and Renee Young and Byron Saxton would be the hosts for it.

-After Xavier Woods advanced last night, the first round of WWE's United States title tournament is set to conclude on SmackDown next week.

Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder is the final match scheduled for the opening round. Rawley cut a pre-taped promo on Ryder that aired on last night's show, promising to defeat him and to send him back to the past where he belongs. The winner of Rawley vs. Ryder will face Bobby Roode in the semifinals.

The other semifinal match will be Jinder Mahal vs. Woods. Mahal defeated Tye Dillinger to advance last week and Woods beat Aiden English this Tuesday. The semifinals will occur on SmackDown over the next few weeks, with the new champion scheduled to be crowned when the finals take place at the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia on January 28th.

Before SmackDown went on the air last night, Rawley defeated Ryder in a dark match.

The Ascension vs. The Bludgeon Brothers was also set up for next Tuesday in a post-SmackDown video where Breezango volunteered The Ascension for the match.

-Even with the toughest competition of the winter, with the college football playoff semifinals, Raw was up six percent on Monday night to 2.86 million viewers.

Raw was 10th for the day on cable, but every show that beat it was on ESPN and was related to the football doubleheader and this number has to be considered a major success.

The Oklahoma vs. Georgia game did 25.85 million viewers, and the Alabama vs. Clemson game did 20.41 million viewers.

Oklahoma vs. Georgia went against the first 82 minutes of Raw while the latter game went against the rest of the show. It's also notable that last week's Christmas Day number was actually artificially inflated by having the first hour be commercial free.

In addition, while the third hour, which included the finish of Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe and the closing angle with Brock Lesnar and Kane, was down, it wasn't down nearly as much as in many recent weeks.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 2.97 million viewers
9 p.m. 2.91 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.71 million viewers

-Daniel Bryan spoke to SI.com regarding his future inside of the ring with the WWE. Bryan is of the belief that if he is not wrestling at WrestleMania then he never will be wrestling inside of a WWE ring again. Bryan’s contract with the WWE will expire later this year and it is one of the biggest stories to watch for 2018. If the WWE reverses course and clears Bryan, it will be a decision that will be scrutinized and if Bryan decides to leave the company and return to the ring then it’s going to be with enormous momentum wherever he decides to wrestle. There is also the issue of how comfortable a promotion like New Japan Pro Wrestling would be to clearing Bryan when the WWE won’t.

-On Wednesday’s edition of “Talk is Jericho”, Chris Jericho had Don Callis on the show to preview his match with Kenny Omega and the circumstances behind the match being put together. Among the notes during their conversation was that the first offer made to Jericho was a very low money offer that Jericho was taken aback by, later New Japan had asked Jericho to take care of his transportation costs and that had to be rectified and Kenny Omega was upset as well over these discoveries and even offered to take out part of his pay to cover some minor costs for Jericho. Before the reveal of Jericho at the Power Struggle card, Jericho had a quick phone conversation with Vince McMahon. McMahon gave Jericho his complete support to go ahead and do the show, citing the fact that everyone knows Jericho is a “WWE guy” and it helps Jericho and helps WWE whenever Jericho returns. McMahon asked Jericho for a heads up before the angle would be executed at Power Struggle. It would be impossible to dismiss the teases throughout this build of a Jericho match with Tetsuya Naito with Jericho taking subtle shots at Naito on the podcast and Jericho is always calculated with things like that and would suggest that Jericho is at least entertaining the idea of another match or else why tease something with no chance of a payoff. There was also a discussion on whether or not there too many titles in New Japan (there are) and Callis responded that he feels there are too many titles in wrestling as specifically said Impact Wrestling could stand to lose the Grand championship.

-Jim Ross has confirmed that himself and Jerry Lawler are booked for the 25th Anniversary of Raw special but is unaware what they will be doing at the show on Monday, January 22nd.

-TJ Perkins returned on Tuesday’s episode of 205 Live and defeated Akira Tozawa. It was Perkin’s first match on WWE television since October 10th.

-At https://www.thescore.com/nba/news/1459841-watch-karl-malone-re-enters-ring-after-wwe-smackdown is footage of Karl Malone at the SmackDown Live tapings and during the dark match. Malone got into the ring and did the “Glorious” pose with Bobby Roode following last night’s post-show dark match. Malone was also interviewed by Dasha Fuentes and spoke about wrestling for WCW in 1998. Roode teamed with AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura against Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Jinder Mahal after SmackDown and 205 Live went off the air.

-UFC Champion Cris Cyborg, who had been trying to start a feud with Lynch on Twitter last year, was excited to see her return to SmackDown.

-Maria Kanellis-Bennett wrote a blog post about her reaction to private photos of her that were leaked online.

-“WWEPC” is the pre-sale code for tickets to Backlash in Newark, New Jersey on May 6th. The pre-sale ends at 10 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow.

**UPDATES for Jan.4/18**

-A new book is out titled TrumpMania: Vince McMahon, WWE and the making of America's 45th President, from Lavie Margolin, with illustrations from Box Brown. Here's the info on it:

"The bluster and bravado that Trump witnessed at several WrestleManias, whether from a front row seat or inside the ring, surely lent a hand to his memorable electoral debate oratories. TrumpMania is the story, on screen and off, of the mutually beneficial business and personal relationship between Donald Trump, Vince & Linda McMahon and the WWF/WWE. No matter what side of the political aisle you sit on, it would be hard to deny that Vince McMahon had some hand in the election of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump."

-The first edition of SmackDown Live for 2018 was a big success on the USA Network.

The show averaged 2,720,000 viewers throughout the two-hour show and built to a non-title match between AJ Styles and Sami Zayn in the main event with Daniel Bryan, Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens ringside.

The number is SmackDown’s highest dating back to September 12th, which was a big show built around the return of Vince McMahon to television featuring the physical angle with Owens that night.

Only six episodes of SmackDown Live had higher averages throughout all of 2017.

The SmackDown number was only 140,000 viewers short of the Raw average of Monday, which did 2,860,000 viewers on New Year’s Day.

Up 2% from the final show of 2017, SmackDown finished fifth for the night on cable in terms of total TV viewers and were second in the key 18-49 demo with a 0.82 rating.

With next week's Raw show going up against the NCAA college football championship, there is a good chance that SmackDown beats Raw for the first time in over a year.

-The WWE has confirmed two more teams for the Mixed Match Challenge tournament.

It was first announced today that Sasha Banks would be teaming with Finn Balor, with Kurt Angle referring to them as a "dream team." It was then revealed that Lana and Rusev, who have been kept apart on SmackDown despite being a real-life married couple, would be paired together.

Naomi and Jimmy Uso, who are also married, will be in the tournament but it hasn't been confirmed if they'll be a team.

Banks & Balor and Lana & Rusev join Alexa Bliss & Braun Strowman and Charlotte Flair & Bobby Roode as the first four teams to be announced for Mixed Match Challenge, which is a 12-episode series that will debut on Facebook Watch at 10 p.m. Eastern time after SmackDown on January 16th. It will feature wrestlers from both Raw and SmackDown in a single-elimination mixed tag team tournament, with each episode scheduled to be 20 minutes long.

Here's the remaining list of wrestlers who still need a partner for the tournament:

Raw --
Alicia Fox
Asuka
Bayley
A male wrestler to be announced (replacement for Enzo Amore)
Goldust
Nia Jax
The Miz
A male wrestler who will be selected by fan vote between Elias, Jason Jordan and Samoa Joe

SmackDown --
Becky Lynch
Carmella
Jimmy Uso
Naomi
Natalya
Sami Zayn
Shinsuke Nakamura
A member of The New Day (to be determined by fan vote)

**UPDATES for Jan.5/17**

-After Wells Fargo upgraded the WWE stock to Outperform, saying:

"it checks all of the boxes for us and we believe it has a clear path of catalysts through 2018," and raised its target price to $43 per share, the stock jumped big to $32.34 at the start of the day today. However, by the end of the day, most of the gains were lost and it closed at $30.88, just up from $30.77 before the upgrade.

-The WWE has announced its NXT awards balloting for 2017 on Twitter. The announcement of the winners will be on 1/27 at the Takeover in Philadelphia. Categories are best show, Best Female (Asuka, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Ruby Riot and Billie Kay & Peyton Royce are nominated); Best Male (Bobby Roode, Drew McIntyre, Aleister Black, Andrade Cien Almas, Roderick Strong); Best Tag Team (Authors of Pain, Sanity, Revival, DIY and Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly); Breakout Star (Black, Almas, Undisputed Era, Sonya Deville, Ruby Riot, Velveteen Dream, Lars Sullivan); Future Star (Street Profits, Heavy Machinery, Shayna Baszler, Kairi Sane, Fabian Aichner, Cezar Bononi, Lio Rush, Bianca Belair and Lacey Evans); Match of the Year: (Johnny Gargano vs. Almas from Brooklyn, Asuka vs. Ember Moon from Brooklyn, McIntyre vs. Almas from Houston; DIY vs. Revival vs. AOP from Orlando; Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne from Chicago; War Games from Houston; Asuka vs. Nikki Cross from TV; DIY vs. AOP from Chicago; Strong vs. Roode from TV; Womens' Battle Royal from TV; Black vs. Velveteen Dream from Houston and Gargano vs. Kassius Ohno from TV); and Feud of the year (Nakamura vs. Roode, Bate vs. Dunne, Asuka vs. Moon, Sanity vs. Undisputed Era, Black vs. Dream, Ohno vs. Hideo Itami and DIY vs. AOP).

-Candice LeRae was backstage at the Atlanta NXT tapings.

-Tickets for the 5/6 Backlash show at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ are available for a pre-sale that ends at 10 p.m. tonight using the code WWEPC

-John Layfield filled in for Charles Payne as the host of the 6 p.m. Fox Business News segment Wednesday.

-During the second segment of Tuesday’s episode of The Opposition With Jordan Klepper on Comedy Central Klepper and Tim Baltz spoofed the idea of Vince McMahon relaunching a professional football league, and the praise he has received from Breitbart. Klepper referred to Vince McMahon as “wrestling entrepreneur and 80’s haircut, Vince McMahon. Klepper added McMahon “was the genius behind the XFL. As you know the XFL was a football league that was so awesome they ended it after a single season in 2001.”

-The Ryan Center in Kingston, Rhode Island announced today that the 205 Live event scheduled for Friday, January 19th has been cancelled “due to routing and scheduling issues” and offering full refunds. POST Wrestling contacted representatives at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium and the Mid-Hudson Civic Center where the other 205 Live events are scheduled that weekend, both venues told us that the 205 Live shows are still scheduled for those dates. In an effort to increase sales for the tour, the WWE announced last month that Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt were being added to those shows. POST Wrestling also contacted the WWE regarding the status of the shows and they are awaiting a response.

-The Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio has just announced that John Cena is scheduled for a special appearance at the WWE Fast Lane event at the venue on Sunday, March 11th. The same venue is advertising a fatal five-way match for the show with AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn for the WWE title. Sometimes when an advertised match gets out for a pay-per-view it will be changed or removed but that listing has been up on the Nationwide Arena’s website for a while now. The Fast Lane event is the lone SmackDown event in between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. If the five-way is the direction, that would heavily suggest that a Raw talent is winning the Royal Rumble but you should always take these things with a degree of skepticism along with changes that can occur.

-The WWE has been announcing teams this week for the “Mixed Match Challenge” with the following teams announced so far: Braun Strowman & Alexa Bliss, Bobby Roode & Charlotte, Finn Balor & Sasha Banks, Rusev & Lana, Jimmy Uso & Naomi and the latest announcement is Nia Jax teaming with Apollo Crews (in the spot that was likely designed for Enzo).

Even though the decision was made to take Amore out of the tournament, Dave Meltzer noted in the most recent edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Amore has been cleared to wrestle. The storyline in a WWE video shows where Jax's partner was revealed and was that she was disappointed to be teaming with Crews this she appeared to be annoyed with Titus Worldwide.

-Total Divas averaged 684,000 viewers on E! this past Wednesday night.

-The WWE will be running a SmackDown live event in Amsterdam on May 19th at the Ziggo Dome. They have announced AJ Styles, Jinder Mahal, Shinsuke Nakamura, Charlotte, New Day and Kevin Owens among those that are scheduled to appear.

-No John Cena or Randy Orton at the house shows this weekend for WWE. Orton is scheduled for Smackdown on Tuesday. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are scheduled for Raw on Monday.

Come back for more Royal Rumble updates, so don't 'cha dare miss it!
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Posted 1/7/18 , edited 1/14/18
Here is the WWE news of the week.

General sources are as normally credited to http://www.f4wonline.com/ and http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html and http://fightnetwork.com/ and http://www.411mania.com/wrestling and http://www.pwi-online.com and http://www.thescore.com/trending and https://www.postwrestling.com/ but please also note that all news and rumours are subject to updates and changes.

NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia on Saturday, January 27 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXT_TakeOver:_Philadelphia and http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt

*NXT Championship Match: Andrade 'Cien' Almas (C - w/ Zelina Vega) vs. Johnny Gargano
*Extreme Rules Match: Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole
*NXT Women's Championship Match: Ember Moon (C) vs. Shayna Baszler
*Steel Cage Match for the NXT Tag Team Championship: The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) vs. The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar w/ Paul Ellering)
*Lars Sullivan vs. Killian Dain

WWE Royal Rumble on Sunday, January 28 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Rumble_(2018) and http://www.wwe.com/shows/royalrumble

*30-Man Royal Rumble Match for a world championship match at WrestleMania 34
Participants: Elias, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, John Cena, Finn Balor, Baron Corbin, Broken Matt Hardy, Samoa Joe, Bray Wyatt, Rusev, Aiden English
*Triple Threat for the WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (C - w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane
*30-Women Royal Rumble Match for a world championship match at WrestleMania 34
Participants: Asuka, Naomi, Ruby Riott, Natalya, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Paige, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Carmella, Tamina, Lana, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, Mickie James, Nia Jax, Becky Lynch
*Tournament Final for the Vacant WWE United States Championship: To be determined
*Handicap Match for the WWE Championship: AJ Styles (C) vs. Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens
*WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan (C) vs. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro)
*2 out of 3 Falls Match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (C-Jimmy & Jey) vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable
*WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Enzo Amore (C) vs. Cedric Alexander

-Monday’s episode of Raw takes place from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee with Brock Lesnar scheduled for the show. The Miz, who has been away since November to film the next movie in WWE Studios' "The Marine" franchise, will return on the show. The SmackDown crew has a small house show in Montgomery, Alabama on Monday and the television tapings are in Birmingham on Tuesday night.

-Enzo was recently cleared by the WWE to return to the ring and worked the Raw house shows events this weekend. Amore being hospitalized with the flu kept him from appearing on Raw last Monday. He also wasn't on Tuesday's 205 Live and was pulled from the upcoming Mixed Match Challenge tournament, but Dave Meltzer reported in the most recent edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Amore had been cleared to return.

It has been announced that the Cruiserweight title match with Enzo defending against Cedric Alexander will take place on Monday’s episode of Raw from Memphis, Tennessee. For those curious, the #1 contender’s tournament that Alexander ultimately won to get this shot began all the way back on November 27th.

-The WWE Network’s “Straight to the Source” show hosted by Corey Graves will feature Enzo as this week’s guest and it will premiere on Monday night following Raw.

-Enzo also did an interview with The Sun in the U.K and spoke at length about Neville and his ongoing hiatus from the WWE. Enzo said that he hopes the WWE can resolve their issues with Neville and bring him back as he felt Neville is one of the best performers they have and worked the toughest schedule (Friday – Tuesday with the closing spot on 205 Live).

-At the closing of trading on Friday, the WWE stock stood at $31.05. The WWE stock closed at $31.30 on Monday.

-Ahead of Mixed Match Challenge debuting on January 16th, the WWE uploaded a video where Cathy Kelley teaches viewers how to use Facebook Watch.

-To further establish her character in NXT, the WWE has a video with Shayna Baszler interrupting a training session at the Performance Center and “teaching” Jessie Elaban submissions by trying to choke her out.

-The WWE re-did the 1996 Raw intro with wrestlers from the current roster.

-ESPN has an article on how CrossFit has changed the way that WWE wrestlers train.

-Online Luke Gallows is supporting Kane for mayor of Knox County, Tennessee.

-They were trying out the AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn handicap match for the WWE title on the Smackdown house show tour this weekend.

-"Jumanji," starring Dwayne Johnson was killing it at the box office still holding up at an estimated $36 million for the weekend, putting it in first place after its third week of release while Star Wars fell to third place. Ferdinand, with John Cena as the lead voice, was No. 6 with an $7.73 million.

-Former WWE Diva Search winner and TNA personality Christy Hemme had surgery and gave birth to quadruplets, three boys and one girl, yesterday. The mother and the babies are all doing well.

-Naomi, Bayley, The Usos, Apollo Crews and Kalisto will all be appearing throughout the week on "Paradise Run," the Nickelodeon game show. It's WWE week on the show starting Monday and running through Friday airing at 7 p.m. Eastern each night. The wrestlers team with kids for various competitions, both physical and mental.

-The 1/19 NXT show in Jacksonville has been cancelled. It has nothing to do with ticket sales because they announced a 2/16 date and that if you have tickets, you have the choice to get a refund or get tickets for the next show at the armory. Regarding the canceled NXT show on 1/19 in Jacksonville, it is because the National Guard needed the Armory for training purposes. There's no issues when it comes to the building, ticket sales or anything and they'll be back in February.

-NXT is about to tour Ontario once again.

Triple H announced on his official Twitter account that the brand will be coming back in February for four shows.

NXT will be in Mississauga on February 22, St. Catharine's on the 23rd, Peterborough on the 24th and Barrie on the 25th.

Tickets go on sale this Friday at at 10am ET.

-The latest teams to be announced for the WWE’s “Mixed Match Challenge” are The Miz and Asuka, as well as Goldust & Alicia Fox. They join the previous announces teams that consist of: Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax and Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode and Charlotte, Jimmy Uso and Naomi, Rusev and Lana and the team of Finn Balor and Sasha Banks. Despite Asuka being a face and Miz being a heel, the storyline in the video where the team was revealed was that they were happy to be paired together and vowed to win.

As noted, Miz will return to Raw for the first time since November 20th. He lost the Intercontinental Championship to Roman Reigns on that episode and then took time off to film WWE Studios' "The Marine 6: Close Quarters."

-IPW U.K has announced a big match for their upcoming card on Wednesday, January 17th in Milton Keynes as IWGP junior heavyweight champion Will Ospreay will take on WWE U.K champion Pete Dunne.

-Dwayne Johnson's daughter Simone spoke last night at the Golden Globe Awards where she was the special ambassador. Johnson was a presenter on the show.

-Paige was on the road with WWE this past week working as the manager for Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose. She's also cornering them on Raw.

-A number of episodes of Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling from September 1981 (when Ric Flair first won the NWA title) through October 1983 (the build to the first Starrcade where Flair won the title a second time) are now up on the WWE Network.

-Several big names have been added to the 25th anniversary episode of Raw.

A video that aired during Raw advertised that Steve Austin, Ric Flair, The Undertaker, DX (Triple H & Shawn Michaels), Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler, The Dudley Boys, Scott Hall & Kevin Nash, Nikki & Brie Bella, The New Age Outlaws, and JBL & Ron Simmons would be on the episode. It will be the first time Austin has appeared on WWE television since making a cameo at WrestleMania 32 in 2016.

Undertaker, Michaels, and Nash had already been announced as appearing. Brock Lesnar and John Cena are also scheduled.

There will be two locations for the anniversary show, with matches planned for both the Barclays Center and Manhattan Center (the original home of Raw). The episode will take place on January 22nd and will be the go-home show for the Royal Rumble.

The first match has also been announced for the 25th anniversary episode of Raw.

The Miz will be getting his rematch for the Intercontinental Championship against Roman Reigns on the show. Miz returned to Raw for the first time since losing the title to Reigns and taking time off to film a movie in November. He cut a promo where he set his sights back on the championship, then attacked Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Jason Jordan at the end of the show with the help of Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas.

Reigns, Rollins & Jordan had lost to Finn Balor, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson before the attack. It ended with Miz, Axel, and Dallas giving Reigns a triple powerbomb.

-Since Nia Jax attacked Asuka before their match on Raw causing the match to be cancelled, the match will be done next week on Raw.

**UPDATES for Jan.9/18**

-With some big names announced last night, the 25th anniversary of RAW (airing in two weeks) is building up to be a really big show, stacked with many legends and Hall of Famers. The show will emanate from both the Barclays Centre and the Manhattan Centre, which is the site of the first ever episode of the show. Names announced last night as appearing include the Dudley Boyz, the APA, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Shawn Michaels, the Undertaker, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Not named was Vince McMahon, but smart money is him kicking off the show with his vintage welcoming message.

-Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson has been named as one of the planned guests on Jimmy Fallon’s post-Super Bowl show. The episode will air live on Sunday, Feb 4 on NBC after the game. Other guests include the cast of the TV show This Is Us (a new episode of the show will air after the game) and Justin Timberlake (who will also be the game’s halftime performer).

-Samoa Joe is out of the upcoming Mixed Match Challenge tournament due to an apparent injury.

The WWE started a fan vote last night to decide between Joe, Elias, and Jason Jordan for the final spot on the Raw side. Joe apparently won that vote, but Kurt Angle tweeted today that Elias would be taking Joe's spot due to injury.

"Thank you all for voting for @itsBayleyWWE partner in #WWEMMC, but due to an injury suffered on #Raw @SamoaJoe is unable to compete," Angle wrote. "Therefore the runner-up @IAmEliasWWE will be Bayley’s partner. #WWEMMC"

Joe appeared on Raw last night and defeated Rhyno. He did an in-ring interview after the match where he announced himself for the Royal Rumble, saying John Cena will be the first person he eliminates.

In an article on WWE.com, Dr. Chris Amann said Joe felt a pop in the bottom of his right foot during the match against Rhyno. "We took a look and believe he has a plantar fascia rupture, which is a thick tissue rupture under the foot," Amann said, "We will get an MRI to confirm. Treatment includes a period of immobilization in a boot with crutches and platelet rich plasma injections.”

Elias & Bayley are Raw's final team in the mixed tag tournament. Three more SmackDown pairings still need to be announced before the series debuts on Facebook Watch next Tuesday.

Below is a list of updated teams and participants for Mixed Match Challenge:

Raw --
Braun Strowman & Alexa Bliss
Finn Balor & Sasha Banks
Apollo Crews & Nia Jax
The Miz & Asuka
Goldust & Alicia Fox
Elias & Bayley

SmackDown --
Bobby Roode & Charlotte Flair
Rusev & Lana
Jimmy Uso & Naomi
Becky Lynch
Carmella
Natalya
Sami Zayn
Shinsuke Nakamura
A member of The New Day (to be determined by fan vote)

UPDATE: Meanwhile, the WWE announced later in the day more teams for the “Mixed Match Challenge” on Tuesday with the additions of Shinsuke Nakamura and Natalya as well as Sami Zayn and Becky Lynch.

The final team to be announced will be through a fan vote with one member of the New Day being chosen to team with Carmella.

In an article on WWE.com, it was noted that Samoa Joe suffered a right foot injury on Raw last night. Dr. Chris Amann said that Joe felt a pop in his foot and they believe he has a plantar fascia rupture. Joe was scheduled to undergo an MRI and “treatment includes a period of immobilization in a boot with crutches and platelet rich plasma injections.”

-There was a backstage segment last night where it was teased that Kurt Angle was talking to a star who hasn't wrestled in years about entering the women's Rumble.

-Samoa Joe tweeted that he is "joining the cast of the new Transformers animated series. #PredaKingLives #transformers"

-Monday’s episode of Raw faced steep competition from the College Football Championship game and resulted in a 3.8% drop in audience on the USA Network. In particular, Raw lost 25 percent of its audience from hour one to three in women 18-49, but the other drops weren't nearly as bad and teenage boys increased from hour one to three.

The three-hour show averaged 2,750,000 viewers for a show that build towards a six-man tag between the (makeshift) Shield and the reunited Balor Club.

The Alabama vs. Georgia championship game had an enormous audience on ESPN with 27,383,000 viewers watching the game.

Raw began with an average of 2,993,000 and was up from the prior week’s opening hour, the second hour dropped to 2,784,000 and fell to 2,502,000 for the third hour of the program. Raw was sixth for the night on cable, trailing only football-related shows on ESPN and beating all the news channel programming.

For a fair comparison, last year’s College Football Championship game did 24,391,000 and Raw averaged 2,894,000 viewers head-to-head.

The Raw audience should start its seasonal increase with next week's show, and the 25th anniversary show in two weeks is likely to be the highest rated episode of the year.

-The first round of the United States title tournament concludes on SmackDown tonight with Zack Ryder vs. Mojo Rawley. The winner advances to face Bobby Roode in the semifinals. Becky Lynch will also return to action against Ruby Riott tonight, The Bludgeon Brothers face The Ascension, and AJ Styles will respond to Daniel Bryan after Bryan announced last week that Styles would be defending his WWE Championship in a handicap match at the Royal Rumble.

-The USA Network has officially greenlit an unscripted reality series starring The Miz and Maryse. The show will be called “Miz & Mrs.” and will follow their lives as they become parents for the first time. It will be produced by WWE and Bunim/Murray Productions, with an air date of later in 2018 set for the six-episode, half-hour series.

-Enzo Amore received four stitches above his right eye after being busted open by Cedric Alexander on Raw.

-PWInsider reported that Serena Deeb was spotted in Pittsburgh (where the WWE does medical testing) yesterday and that the WWE is interested in bringing her back in some form.

-The WWE announced a partnership with NextVR to bring fans virtual reality highlights from select events in 2018.

-Luke Gallows is opening a pro wrestling school in Jenkinsburg, Georgia.

-In a another video where the WWE further establishes her character in NXT, Shayna Baszler continued to bully other wrestlers at the Performance Center.

-Charlotte Flair and Bobby Roode are calling their Mixed Match Challenge team the “Robe Warriors.”

-Added on SmackDown Live to the Raw 25th Anniversary show were returns from the Boogeyman, Brother Love, John Laurinaitis, Sgt. Slaughter, The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase, Teddy Long and the Godfather.

**UPDATES for Jan.10/18**

-The WWE will be holding a house show at the Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa, Ontario on Saturday, March 10. Tickets go on sale this Friday. There’s a presale for WWE newsletter subscribers starting Thursday at 10 a.m.

-After Mojo Rawley advanced over Zack Ryder in the final first round match, the United States Championship tournament will continue on SmackDown next Tuesday.

Jinder Mahal vs. Xavier Woods in a semifinal match is scheduled for next week. Mahal defeated Tye Dillinger and Woods beat Aiden English in the opening round, and Mahal cut a promo on Woods last night where he said he has his eyes on the United States title and called Woods and The New Day a fad.

Bobby Roode, who defeated Baron Corbin in the first round, will take on Rawley in the other semifinal match. That will take place over the next couple of weeks, with the finals set for the Royal Rumble on January 28th.

In an indication of where the tournament could be heading, Roode teamed with The Usos against Mahal, Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin in a dark match after SmackDown last night.

The Riott Squad vs. Charlotte Flair, Naomi & Becky Lynch has also been set up for next week.

-The list of teams for WWE's Mixed Match Challenge is officially set.

Big E won a fan vote over his New Day stablemates and will be teaming with Carmella in the tournament. The WWE noted that Big E received 47 percent of the vote over Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods.

There was a dark match before SmackDown last night where Jimmy Uso & Naomi faced Baron Corbin & Tamina (who aren't in Mixed Match Challenge). The match wasn't part of the tournament and was a run-through ahead of the series' debut. Beth Phoenix, who will be calling the show alongside Michael Cole and Corey Graves, was at SmackDown last night.

Mixed Match Challenge premieres on Facebook Watch at 10 p.m. Eastern time in the USA only next Tuesday. It will be a 12-week series with 20-minute episodes and will feature a single-elimination mixed tag team tournament. Here's the finalized list of teams:

Raw --
Braun Strowman & Alexa Bliss
Finn Balor & Sasha Banks
Apollo Crews & Nia Jax
The Miz & Asuka
Goldust & Alicia Fox
Elias & Bayley

SmackDown --
Bobby Roode & Charlotte Flair
Rusev & Lana
Jimmy Uso & Naomi
Shinsuke Nakamura & Natalya
Sami Zayn & Becky Lynch
Big E & Carmella

-Tuesday night's episode of SmackDown on the USA Network averaged 2.603 million viewers, down four percent from last week's total.

The show was eighth for the night in terms of total viewers on cable but did finish first in the important 18-49 demo with a 0.76 rating.

For the second week in a row, and for the sixth time in the last eight weeks, SmackDown was up as compared to the same week from the previous year. The January 10th, 2016 show did 2.533 million viewers.

This continues SmackDown's strong ratings pattern since the start of AJ Styles' title reign and the ongoing storyline between Shane McMahon, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn.

The show managed to retain almost 95 percent of the Raw audience from the night before, the fifth straight week over 90 percent. They usually hover between 85 and 90 percent during the football season.

-TMZ reported that Triple H had dinner with Ronda Rousey and her agent in Los Angeles last night. Though the article noted that it was a big deal for Triple H to miss SmackDown for the dinner, he and Stephanie McMahon were already in LA for Television Critics Association press events to celebrate the 25th anniversary episode of Raw.

While speaking with TheWrap, Triple H was asked if there was an exception that could be made to allow Daniel Bryan to return to the ring with the WWE:

“There can be no exception medically. If the belief is that he’s not healthy enough and there’s a risk [for him] to perform, then I don’t know why you’d allow him to step into the ring unless it can be proven otherwise. There will be no exceptions. We have some of the best medical people in the world that work for us. Our wellness policy, our concussion programming, our protocols -- I’ll put them up there against any on the planet. That is a new science in a way, too. So we’re gonna look at it from all aspects, but the medical experts will make the determination as to whether he can ever step into that ring or not. Look, personally for him, I know it would be something he would love to do, and part of me feels like I hope he has that opportunity. But at the same point in time, he’s married and has a child. Certainly, [we put] the human being first.”

When asked why Donald Trump wasn’t included in a celebrity sizzle reel that the WWE presented, Stephanie said WWE “made a strategic decision to not put forth any type of partisan politics at all” in their programming.

Triple H and Stephanie noted WWE is waiting for the legal process to play out in Rich Swann’s arrest. They reiterated that Swann will be immediately released if he’s convicted, which is what WWE’s zero-tolerance domestic abuse policy calls for.

-PWInsider reported that Gabe Sapolsky will be signing an official contract with the WWE to work as a consultant. Sapolsky has been working in that role in NXT, and PWInsider wrote that he’ll maintain his position with WWN/EVOLVE.

-Matt Hardy tweeted a photo with Anthem’s Ed Nordholm and mentioned that they’re now on the same page:

“I am thrilled to PROCLAIM that we have ACQUIRED new ALLIES on our side of #TheGreatWar. Ed Nordholm & The Owl of Anthem have revealed themselves as MAJESTIC beings who stand on the side of the LIGHT. The LIGHT always EMERGES, #WOKENWarriors. Everything is COPASETIC & WONDERFUL!”

-The Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, which will host Fastlane on March 11th, put out a WWE-produced video that continues to advertise AJ Styles defending the WWE Championship against Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn in a fatal five-way match as the PPV’s main event.

-The New York Post and some other news outlets have picked up on an Instagram post Heath Slater made on January 1st where he was stuck in an airplane bathroom.

-Xavier Woods posted a video where Carmella trained with pancakes in preparation of teaming with Big E in Mixed Match Challenge.

-Rusev teased that a Rusev Day calendar may be getting released soon.

**UPDATES for Jan.11/18**

-Announced online like at https://www.thescore.com/news/1465237-john-cena-to-host-2018-kids-choice-awards was that John CEna would host the 2018 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards for a second straight year. Nickelodeon also revealed that Cena will voice a character as he will become the voice of Baron Draxum in the network's new animated series "Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," and serve as executive producer on a new game show called "Keep it Spotless," reports Deadline.

The 2018 Kids' Choice Awards will take place on March 24th. Both “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” where Cena's character will be a recurring villain, and "Keep It Spotless" are scheduled to premiere later this year.

Cena is the second WWE wrestler this week to announce that they'll be lending their voice to an upcoming animated series. Samoa Joe posted on Tuesday that he'll be voicing a character in "Transformers: Power of the Primes."

-Various media sites such as https://www.thescore.com/mma/news/1464649-rousey-spotted-dining-with-triple-h-amid-rumors-of-wwe-deal and https://www.ctvnews.ca/sports/wwe-wants-ufc-star-rousey-to-jump-from-octagon-to-ring-1.3754620 covered the Ronda Rousey dinner meeting with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.

-The Daily Mirror reported on Thursday that the WWE “Mixed Match Challenge” will be airing on the WWE Network for subscribers in the U.K. The series is set to air Tuesdays at 10 pm ET on Facebook Watch, which is only available in the U.S. It is unknown if other international markets will also be airing the series through the WWE Network. There will also be a "second chance fan vote" during week 11 where an eliminated team will get to re-enter the tournament during the semifinals. Below is the schedule for the series:

*Tuesday, January 16th – Shinsuke Nakamura and Natalya vs. Finn Balor and Sasha Banks
*Tuesday, January 23rd – The Miz and Asuka vs. Big E. and Carmella
*Tuesday, January 30th – Becky Lynch and Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss
*Tuesday, February 6th – Jimmy Uso and Naomi vs. Goldust and Alicia Fox
*Tuesday, February 13th – Rusev and Lana vs. Bayley and Elias
*Tuesday, February 20th – Bobby Roode and Charlotte vs. Apollo Crews and Nia Jax
*Tuesday, February 27th – Week 1 winner vs. Week 2 winner
*Tuesday, March 6th – Week 3 winner vs. Week 4 winner
*Tuesday, March 13th – Week 5 winner vs. Week 7 winner
*Tuesday, March 20th – Week 7 winner vs. Winner 8 winner
*Tuesday, March 27th – Week 9 winner vs. 2nd Chance Team (decided by a fan vote)
*Tuesday, April 3rd – Finals

Dave Meltzer reported this week in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that following “Mixed Match Challenge”, 205 Live will air on the WWE Network around 10:20 pm Eastern until the top of the hour.

-The Squared Circle Sirens outlet has reported that Candice LeRae has signed a developmental deal with the WWE and will be reporting to the Performance Center. The site added that she recently passed her medical examinations. The 32-year old has been a standout on the independent scene, beginning her career in 2002 and gaining notoriety through her work with Pro Wrestling Guerilla among the many promotions she has worked for throughout her career.

-Following a panel discussion on Tuesday involving representatives from the WWE, the Television Critics Association sent out a tweet promoting the 25th Anniversary of Raw as a “five-hour event”. The WWE confirmed to POST Wrestling and Wrestling Observer that this was a typo and the anniversary special is only scheduled for three-hours in its regular timeslot on the USA Network.

-The Miz is replacing Samoa Joe in some bookings for a main event position including 3/16 in Madison Square Garden where he's in a three-way for the IC title against John Cena and champion Roman Reigns.

-The WWE is doing a double bill with the American Airlines Center in Dallas hosting both Raw & Smackdown on 3/19 and 3/20. They are offering a combo pass for tickets as well.

-Oddsmaker Jim Murphy has pegged Asuka as the favorite in the Royal Rumble. The top nine favorites, many of whom are not announced for the match, are:

Asuka +150
Ronda Rousey +350
Nikki Bella +700
Paige +700
Becky Lynch +700
Charlotte Flair +1250
Sasha Banks +1250
Alexa Bliss +1250
Nia Jax +1250

Men's odds right now are:

John Cena +350
Shinsuke Nakamura +350
Roman Reigns +650
Seth Rollins +650
Samoa Joe +750
Kevin Owens +750
Finn Balor +750
AJ Styles +1000
Braun Strowman +1000

-Both Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose are battling the flu.

-The WWE will open Monday's show with another Martin Luther King Jr. package, which they do every year on MLK Jr. Day.

-WWE Hall of Fame tickets go on sale a week from tomorrow, so expect the announcement of a major name on Monday.

-Add Gene Okerlund to the Raw 25th anniversary show.

-Jeff Hardy will be performing in concert on these dates:

*1/18 in Concord, NC at Amici's Pizza Bar & Grill
*1/19 in Wilmington, NC at The Real Cafe
*2/2 in Florence, SC at 507 Live
*2/3 in Hickory, NC at The Vault

-There will be NXT tapings at Full Sail University on 3/7.

-Michelle Wilson talked the WWE Network.

-Great Khali said in an interview that the WWE has been a failure in India.

**UPDATES for Jan.12/18**

-WWE fans thought they'd seen the last of The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33, but the 52-year-old apparently has at least one big match left in him.

In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, (via The Comeback's John Canton), Dave Meltzer reports that Undertaker will return to face John Cena at WrestleMania 34, with the angle for the match likely being set up during the "Raw" 25th anniversary show on Jan. 22.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Ric Flair, and The Dudley Boyz are also among the legends set to make an appearance during the 25th anniversary special.

-The career of Paige (Saraya-Jade Bevis) inside of a WWE ring appears to be over, according to a report from Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com.

Johnson reported late Friday afternoon that Paige was informed this past Monday, at the Raw tapings in Memphis, Tennessee that she would not be cleared by the company. This stems from her latest injury she sustained at a recent house show.

A six-woman tag was stopped abruptly on December 27th following a strike to the back of Paige by Sasha Banks, which led to Paige unable to continue in the match and the referee called for the bell. It was reported that night that although a stretcher was brought to the ring, Paige was able to get to the backstage area on her own.

Paige had neck surgery in October 2016 and only recently returned this past November.

In Johnson’s report, it was compared to Adam Copeland’s problems that led to the WWE refusing to clear him in 2011 and his subsequent retirement.

Paige was scheduled to be in the women's Royal Rumble match later this month, though whether she was going to be cleared in time was in question even before this report.

On Monday night's episode of Raw, Paige was at ringside for Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville's match against Banks & Bayley. Whether she'll be used in a similar role going forward remains to be seen.

-The Raw crew begins their weekend house shows in Amarillo, Texas tonight with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins advertised as the top talent. Samoa Joe is still listed for the shows this weekend in the advertising, but his recent injury will obviously prevent him from working any shows. The Raw crew heads to Wichita Falls, Texas on Saturday evening and Waco on Sunday.

The SmackDown Live crew is doing something different this weekend and will run back-to-back nights in Hidalgo, Texas. The crew will run Saturday night and return on Sunday for the second show with combo tickets available from the venue. Hidalgo has always been a strong market for the company and it will be interesting to see how these shows draw and have the added benefit of the talent having less travel this weekend than usual. They will continue Monday night with a house show in Corpus Christi, Texas. Aside from those injured or ill, the regular crew is all on the road. No John Cena or Brock Lesnar scheduled although they'll be on TV on 1/22. Randy Orton is working the Smackdown tour.

-The WWE’s chief revenue and marketing officer Michelle Wilson, recently spoke to Business Insider at the annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas about the growth of the WWE Network and maintaining all their platforms. The story was a very positive one on the growth of the WWE and positioning the company as head of the curve in 2014 with so many outlets now branching out to streaming platforms. One area that Wilson went through was the exponential amount of data they have access to through their own streaming platform without a middleman such as various cable providers. Wilson stated in the past they got very little in the way of data or analytics beyond the number of buys a pay-per-view would generate and they have 40 members on staff dedicated to data analysis (there was one person responsible when they launched the network in February 2014). Wilson reiterated their commitment to paid television (and without their enormous television contracts, the WWE would be a completely different company).

In the top of the story, it lists some highlights from the discussion and they include the fact that the WWE has “built a successful subscription streaming product without undercutting its traditional channels”. This is just not the case as any story regarding the business of the WWE Network should include their abandonment of pay-per-view at a time when the biggest fights in the world are doing enormous on that medium. It isn’t an argument that the WWE should have kept all shows as pay-per-views because the WWE Network would not have the subscribers it does today without the monthly shows but there is a far greater argument that WrestleMania should have remained a pay-per-view entity and that pay-per-view business for that show would have only grown since 2014 rather than trend downward. In addition, the WWE has seen significant drops in their home video department, which was probably an area that was going to see big drops regardless of a streaming network, but the WWE Network has accelerated it with the minimal incentive for their subscribers to purchase DVDs or digital downloads. In closing, by no means was the WWE Network a mistake and for the long-term, this was a necessary tool to have and the company was ahead of the curve when it came to the launch and building a healthy subscriber base but there were sacrifices made in 2014.

-TMZ is reporting that WWE talent David Otunga will not face charges stemming from an investigation involving Otunga and Jennifer Hudson. Allegations of domestic battery were made last November with Hudson filing a report within the state of Illinois. Following the investigation, authorities have concluded they will not be pursuing any charges against Otunga. When the story first became public, Otunga was removed from WWE programming back in November and returned in December as part of the kickoff panel at the Clash of Champions show.

-Gabe Sapolsky has confirmed that he has signed a deal with the WWE to serve as a creative consultant for the NXT brand. Sapolsky issued the following statement on the news:

"I am beyond excited about what the future will bring. I need to give my most heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported me on this 24 year journey. I truly wouldn’t be here without you. I never forget that and will always work my hardest to bring you the best product possible. I want to make it clear that I am still committed to doing the same job I have always done for WWN and EVOLVE. I go 100% in everything I do and will never let up. In fact, I feel that 2018 will be the will be biggest year in WWN history with the launch of the Club WWN subscription service at WWNLive.com. I can’t wait for EVOLVE this Saturday and Sunday in New York City. EVOLVE will be the place for talent to make and improve their reputations. It can be new players like Darby Allin, Austin Theory and Priscilla Kelly, who really began getting noticed in 2017. It can be established players like Zack Sabre Jr., who raised his game and staked his claim as being one of the best in the world with his EVOLVE Championship reign, or Keith Lee, who had a rep going into 2017 but became THE MAN in 2017 as a singles star. I am highly anticipating seeing more talent develop up and down the card in 2018. It has the making of a special year."

-The WWE has announced the complete list of charities that will be represented in the upcoming “Mixed Match Challenge” series. Each team will have their charity they represent and the winning team contributing $100,000 to their charity and the other charities all receiving $10,000. The list can be found at http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwe-mixed-match-challenge/article/wwe-to-support-12-charities-in-mixed-match-challenge?sf179047536=1

-It was announced earlier this week at CES in Las Vegas, that the WWE will be launching their own virtual reality channel on the NextVR app. The channel will consist of ten-minute experiences that are added to specific events with users placed in the perspective of a member of the live audience. The app is available through Samsung’s Gear VR, Google’s Daydream View, Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality and on VR headsets for the Sony PlayStation. CES also had Stephanie McMahon appear for a 10-minute panel chat.

-Destiny Wrestling out of Mississauga, Ontario has a unique main event on their January 21st card at the Don Kolov Arena. WWE U.K champion Pete Dunne was scheduled to face Austin Aries on the show and the match is still scheduled but with the added element that Aries is now the Impact Wrestling champion. The promotion is advertising the show with both men and their respective titles displayed on the poster. The same show will feature a match between Matt Sydal and Petey Williams with Impact taping the match for a future episode. The show takes place Sunday, January 21st at 7:30 pm.

-As previously noted, the Great Khali (Dalip Singh Rana) spoke to The Indian Express about the growth of professional wrestling within India. Khali was critical of some of the native talent relying on performance enhancing drugs to improve their chances and cited their mentality as being “weak”. On the WWE’s expansion into the country, he stated that they have failed and that he had wanted to leave the company for a long time but kept being offered new deals before his departure in 2014. The WWE returned to India last month and was scheduled to run back-to-back shows but scaled back to hold one show in the country and featured Triple H vs. Jinder Mahal.

-This past Wednesday’s episode of Total Diva averaged 516,000 viewers on the E! network. The series was coming off a season-high of 684,000 viewers last week and saw a big decline this week.

-Raw will be Monday in San Antonio with Nia Jax vs. Asuka announced. There will also be a Smackdown house show in Corpus Christi, TX.

Smackdown, Mixed Match Challenge and 205 Live will be taped on Tuesday in Laredo, TX with Finn Balor & Sasha Banks vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Natalya as the first mixed match challenge match.

-On his podcast, Jerry Lawler said that he would be doing a second autobiography, picking up where the last one left off in 2001, as well as a book of his art work. He's working with historian and publisher Mark James on the projects. James has done all kinds of great history books on that territory working with Jim Cornette and Jerry Jarrett among others.

-VIP packages for the 1/27 NXT Takeover show for $750 are now available. This includes VIP Suite seating, visits from NXT wrestlers in the suite, photo opportunities with the wrestlers, a group photo on the ramp, access to merchandise before the show stars and a VIP poster.

**UPDATES for Jan.13/18**

-PWG held its (mostly) annual Mystery Vortex show Friday night. But it was no keeping the secret from anyone in attendance at American Legion Post #308 that it would be the final independent pro-wrestling show at this juncture for Reseda favorite Ricochet, who is headed to WWE later this month.

Though no card or wrestlers were announced beforehand for Mystery Vortex V, most assumed Ricochet would defend the PWG title in the main event — and drop it. The question was always: Who was that going to be against? Who’d win the belt?

The answer — after terrifying spots that included chairs, tables, ladders, and thumbtacks — was Chuck Taylor, the man who Ricochet defeated to win the title back at All-Star Weekend on Oct. 21.

Taylor won via pin in around 24 minutes in what was billed as a no-disqualification, Guerrilla Warfare match. Ricochet missed a 630 splash onto the thumbtacks and Taylor followed up with two piledrivers, including his finisher, for the victory. It was a solid match, in some ways better than their first matchup three months ago.

-In addition to Ricochet saying farewell at PWG last night, Hanson did a goodbye speech at Chaotic Wrestling in Massachusetts. Both are expected to report to the WWE along with Hanson's War Machine tag team partner Raymond Rowe.

-The WWE Network schedule is listing the “Mixed Match Challenge” premiere date for Thursday at 10 pm Eastern and this will allow those without Facebook Watch to be able to watch the series.

-The WWE has announced the signing of former baseball player Rinku Singh. Singh won a reality show out of India called “Million Dollar Arm” (with a Disney movie of the same name being released in 2014) and the exposure from that series led to a tryout with numerous teams in Major League Baseball with Singh eventually being signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, although spent most of his tenure in their minor league system. Singh will report to the WWE Performance Center with the new class this Tuesday. His career was plagued by injuries and he last pitched in 2016. Singh took part in WWE’s tryouts in Dubai last year.

-The WWE stock closed at $32.18 on Friday.

-Matt Hardy has posted a video teasing the return of “Vanguard 1”

-Dave Meltzer confirmed PWInsider’s report of Paige’s in-ring career with WWE being over due to injury. Before the news broke yesterday, Paige seemed to express some optimism about whatever is next for her on Instagram:

“The comeback is always stronger than the setback @wwe”

-Meltzer also noted that Kairi Sane is “banged up.” Sane hasn’t wrestled since NXT TakeOver: Houston in November.

-Maria Kanellis-Bennett and Mike Bennett had their gender reveal party and revealed that they’re expecting a baby girl.

-The New York Post spoke to Triple H about Raw 25 and the show’s history. Triple H said about The Undertaker possibly wrestling again:

“It’s a hard thing to say that that would be the end. What he has left? I don’t know. We’ll have to ask him. That’s the beauty of WWE. Wait and see.”

-TheWWE re-did the Attitude Era Raw intro video with today’s wrestlers.

-In an interview with Sky Sports, Nia Jax said she’d love to see Bull Nakano appear at Raw’s 25th anniversary episode and would love to get in the ring with her.

-Xavier Woods put out an anti-Jinder Mahal ad in his campaign to become United States Champion.

-The WWE uploaded videos where Finn Balor & Sasha Banks, Shinsuke Nakamura & Natalya, Jimmy Uso & Naomi, Goldust & Alicia Fox, Bobby Roode & Charlotte Flair, Elias & Bayley, Apollo Crews & Nia Jax, and Sami Zayn & Becky Lynch briefly discussed their Mixed Match Challenge. In addition to the winning team’s charity receiving $100,000, a $10,000 donation will be made to each charity.

**UPDATES for Jan.14/18**

-The WWE and Paige (Saraya-Jade Bevis) have yet to comment on the story that was first reported by Mike Johnson of PWinsider.com that the WWE will not be clearing Paige for an in-ring return. It could be addressed on Monday or at the very least expect some explanation for Paige’s removal from the Royal Rumble. For background on Paige’s health issues, she did speak about the status of her neck when she was on Lilian Garcia’s podcast last month. When Paige had surgery in 2016, she had three screws inserted and was told by her doctor at the time that he didn’t want her returning to the ring, but she was cleared to return and did wrestle a lengthy match with Sasha Banks on television in December. Paige also noted on Garcia’s podcast that she has scoliosis, which is a curving of the spine, which she attributes to all the bumps she has taken throughout her career. Although she is only 25 years old, she began her career at the age of 13.

-The SmackDown Live crew has their second consecutive show in Hidalgo, Texas tonight. On Monday night, they have a house show in Corpus Christi and the television tapings are Tuesday night in Laredo with the following matches announced for the show:

*Jinder Mahal vs. Xavier Woods in the United States title tournament
*Mojo Rawley vs. Bobby Roode in the United States title tournament
*Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Naomi vs. The Riott Squad

-The WWE will also have a one-hour special on USA Network from 10-11 p.m. Tuesday night covering the history of Raw to build up the 25th anniversary show on 1/22.

-Those who report to Orlando on Tuesday to start in WWE are War Machine, Ricochet, Candice LeRae, Kacy Catanzaro, Kavita Devi, Rinku Singh (the former minor league baseball player who got WWE ESPN coverage yesterday about his debut), Shadia Bseiso, Nasser Alruwayeh and Nicolai Salchow (a former MMA fighter).

-Stephanie McMahon did an interview for the BBC this past week.

-TMZ had a story that Paige VanZant is interested in working for WWE. VanZant was scheduled in 2016 to be part of SummerSlam but her fight schedule led to her cancelling it.

-Sting, Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Hart, Torrie Wilson and Eric Bischoff will be appearing at the Ace Comic Con in Phoenix tomorrow at Gila River.

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