The Latest News
Alexa Bliss not yet fully cleared to return
WWE SmackDown falls below two million viewers this week
XFL announces start date, team cities and venues
ROH TV results: SCU defend their titles
UFC looking to book controversial Greg Hardy for ESPN+ debut show
WWE Mixed Match Challenge results: SmackDown’s quarterfinals
Watch the XFL announce their teams and venues at 12 PM Eastern
WWE SmackDown video highlights: Daniel Bryan lays out AJ Styles
Tom ‘Dynamite Kid’ Billington passes away at 60 years old
Semifinals set for WWE Mixed Match Challenge season two
The Latest Audio
Portland Wrestlecast: Tom Prichard on Don Owen and the WON HOF 12/5
WOL: Death of Dynamite Kid, record-low RAW ratings, Smackdown, XFL news, more! 12/5
B&V&C: Retro Raw and Nitro from 19 years ago this week! 12/4
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Looking ahead to 2019
As we enter December, it feels like 2019 has been cemented as an absolutely pivotal year for the immediate future of professional wrestling. The global arms race for talent continued this past week. It was confirmed that WALTER, who is legitimately one of the best wrestlers in the world, has signed with WWE. He’s been signed for NXT’s United Kingdom brand and could play a part in the potential NXT Germany.
WON NEWSLETTER: December 3, 2018 Observer Newsletter: Death of Larry Matysik, NXT UK contract changes
Sorting out the future of the UK independent scene and the changes made in what WWE UK contracted wrestlers are allowed to do is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer.
The new double issue is a major look back at history as well, with a huge story on Larry Matysik and the rise and fall of St. Louis wrestling in the 70s and the 80s, and a look at Texas wrestling with the life of Jose Lothario.
The lead story talks about the original WWE deals, cards that have to change, promotions that have to change booking plans at different levels, as well as the end of Walter on the independent scene.
Look at why Walter chose this deal and what makes him unique in WWE regarding goals, as well as why he’s not already on the main roster and never went to New Japan. Look at how many promotions are affected, and the future of some of the most popular U.K. groups.
The article on Larry Matysik includes looking at some of the biggest matches of the St. Louis wrestling club, how Matysik started with pro wrestling, his start as a television announcer, the heyday of Wrestling at the Chase, how talent was paid, and how Ric Flair first got into St. Louis.
There is a feature on the career of Jose Lothario, the role of Mexican stars in Texas wrestling, how Lothario first became a major U.S. star long before his famous Texas run. Also look at his feud with Gino Hernandez, his long title history record, and comments from many of the biggest stars on his career.
ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to Dave Meltzer, or by using PayPal directing funds to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com.
Rates in the United States are $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to email@example.com. For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52. If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.)
If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can choose one free classic issue or two free classic issues with a 40-issue subscription.
This week’s NXT UK episodes opened with a tribute graphic for Dynamite Kid. There was also a scrolling message on the lower third of the screen for the episodes, 205 Live, and NXT, with WWE extending its condolences to his family, friends, and fans.
Bret Hart wrote about the death of Dynamite Kid: “There are people in life that have a ripple effect both professionally and personally. Tom ‘Dynamite Kid’ Billington was one of those people. The second professional wrestling match of my career was against Dynamite. I benefited from his greatness and through our matches in Stampede, WWE, and everywhere in-between, I became a better wrestler because of him. Dynamite truly was the best wrestler ever, pound-for-pound. Tom was family, my brother-in-law, and we were very close. In many ways I felt like one of the few people who truly knew him, both the good and the bad. I saw Tom one final time this past June in England and I can only hope he is finally at peace. My thoughts are with his children Browyne, Marek, and Amaris, and the entire Billington family.”
Becky Lynch tweeted about her VIP session for Royal Rumble Axxess selling out: “They tell me that my Royal Rumble VIP Axxess, sold out in 90secs. I see and hear you all, all the tee shirts, the signs, the posts, the love. The Man sees you all. They didn’t expect us, but here we are”
Alicia Warrington announced that she’s the newest member of the NXT broadcast team. Her name will be Alicia Taylor and she’ll be appearing on this weekend’s house show loop.
After World of Sport’s Justin Sysum wrote an open letter to British Wrestling about WWE UK’s new restrictions and said that he doesn’t want a job with WWE, Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, and Trent Seven all responded to him on Twitter:
Dunne: “Every step myself and other members of the NXT UK roster have taken within WWE over the past two years has been nothing but a benefit to the independent scene. Don’t disregard that because of hear say and rumours.”
Bate: “NXTUK is a great opportunity for all UK based performers to showcase their talents and make a living doing what they love doing. This open letter to British Wrestling is based off of nothing but rumours, don’t believe everything you read.”
Seven: “Hang your head in shame Justin. We’ve all worked incredibly hard over the past few years to create a thriving scene for all levels of talent to perform on. Delete your tweet and stop attention seeking.”
During a dark match against The Miz after Mixed Match Challenge last night, Daniel Bryan played the heel by saying “It’s your birthday…congratulations, you’re stupid” to a kid with a birthday sign. The crowd then chanted happy birthday to the kid.
WWE stock closed yesterday at $71.56 per share.
WWE Network News reported that Jerry Blackwell vs. Colonel DeBeers in a ladder match (AWA, November 27, 1986) and The Dudleyz vs. The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer & Spike Dudley in a Stairway to Hell match (ECW, May 16, 1998) will be added to the WWE Network’s hidden gems section tomorrow morning.
The XFL noted that its top players (“tier-1 quarterbacks”) will be paid at least $250,000 per season.
WWE presented The V Foundation with a check for $1.2 million on behalf of Connor’s Cure.
Scott Dawson started a petition to get WWE to suspend Lucha House Rules.
Impact Wrestling will be returning to Mexico City on January 11 and January 12 for television tapings at Fronton Mexico. Impact also taped TV there in September.
Impact celebrated reaching two million subscribers on YouTube last night: “We just crossed 2 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS on YouTube! Thank you to everybody that subscribes and watches. We’ve added nearly 900,000 subscribers this year alone and broken every record multiple times! We plan to do a little something special to celebrate next week!”
Dezmond Xavier vs. Andrew Everett is set for MLW’s TV tapings in Miami on December 13.
Timothy Thatcher has been added to Game Changer Wrestling’s Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport event, which is taking place on Thursday, April 4 during WrestleMania week.
The Nevada Athletic Commission granted Conor McGregor a continuation in his case for the post-UFC 229 brawl. A disciplinary hearing for McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov was scheduled for next Monday. MMA Fighting reported that Nurmagomedov is highly unlikely to be in attendance and that “sources said a continuance is still possible, as is some kind of settlement agreement, which has become regular protocol for the NAC over the last year plus.”
Max Holloway, Brian Ortega, Valentina Shevchenko, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk took part in a press conference today ahead of UFC 231.
The UFC uploaded episode three of Embedded for Saturday’s PPV.
Dominick Cruz will return to the Octagon against John Lineker at UFC 233 on January 26.
Joanne Calderwood vs. Ariane Lipski has been moved from UFC 233 to the UFC’s first ESPN+ show on January 19.
Daily Pro Wrestling History: Randy Savage’s last match
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