** Chris Jericho is gearing up for his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi on night two of Wrestle Kingdom 14. He did an interview with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to promote the match and Jericho revealed that he wanted to work with Tanahashi last year but Gedo insisted that he work with Tetsuya Naito first.
“I wanted to work with Tanahashi last year. When I attacked Naito in Korakuen Hall, I wanted to attack Tanahashi, but Gedo wanted it to be Naito, which turned out to be great. This is a main-event, money match, and there is a lot of buzz about it. I just watched the match Tanahashi had with Kenny from last year in the Tokyo Dome, and it was amazing.”
The stipulation of Tanahashi earning an AEW World Title opportunity if he defeats Jericho has been thrown out there. When asked what is next for him in New Japan, Jericho said he doesn’t know but he’d like to work Will Ospreay and Kota Ibushi.
“I came to work with Omega, Naito, Okada and Tanahashi. Will I come back after the Tana match? I don’t know. I’d love to work with Ospreay and Ibushi. It might be mission accomplished after this, it might not, but it’s really cool to go back as a main event heavyweight after being a junior heavyweight.”
** Nikki Bella announced that she and Artem Chigvintsev got engaged this past November in France and they were keeping it a secret until 2020.
** Dave Meltzer stated on Wrestling Observer Radio that AXS informed New Japan Pro-Wrestling that they could stay on AXS if NJPW got a working relationship with IMPACT Wrestling going. New Japan turned the offer down which led to them no longer being on AXS TV.
** WWE announced that on tonight’s edition of SmackDown in Memphis, Tennessee, there will be a Triple-Threat tag team match involving Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley versus Lacey Evans and Dana Brooke versus Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. Also, Daniel Bryan is teaming with Roman Reigns to take on King Corbin and Dolph Ziggler.
** Both Drew Parker and Chris Brookes are committing to Japan for the next year. Parker shared on Twitter that he is joining the Big Japan Pro-Wrestling roster on a full-time basis and Chris Brookes is spending his 2020 in Japan working for DDT Pro Wrestling.
** Suge D has been announced for GCW For The Culture.
** Ring of Honor released the Daniel Bryan versus Jushin Thunder Liger match from 2004’s Weekend of Thunder:
** Former NXT Tag Team Champion Eric Young appeared on Sportsline on NewsChannel 5 to chat about hockey, TNA Wrestling and his run in WWE. During the conversation, Eric Young detailed his run in WWE thus far, from his signing to NXT to his position in the sports-entertainment company now. Young stated that he is in a holding pattern and was even asked by WWE to do some producing and he enjoyed that but feels he has gas left in the tank as a wrestler.
“I was hired through Triple H and Steven Regal, went to NXT, was one of five or six guys — I was allowed to stay here . I wasn’t asked to move. I just did television and road shows, had a great run there, loved my time there. If I’m being completely honest, it rekindled my fire for wrestling. I think if you’re at any place long enough or you’re doing one thing long enough, it gets stale. It doesn’t really matter what it is. I was with TNA Wrestling for over 12 years and I owe them everything. They employed me for 12 years. I lived a very good life, I traveled the world, I entertained millions of people all over the place and I don’t get to go to the WWE and fulfill my dream of that if it wasn’t for them and I owe ‘em a lot. Jeff Jarrett, Dixie Carter, there’s a bunch of people. So yeah, I owe them a lot. But going there, having my run in NXT, tag team of the year, was a part of the match of the year, WarGames. The very first WarGames in like 20-something… ever for the WWE but it had been like 20, 25 years since there had been a WarGames match. So yeah, had a good run there, went up, the SAnitY gimmick didn’t work on TV. The other two guys went back to NXT and I was asked to go to Monday Night RAW so right now, it’s a holding pattern for me. I’m waiting for them to decide. I can say that I’m very well taken care of, I’m very respected in the circles there. I did some producing. I was asked by the company to do some producing so I did 16 weeks of that and I liked it but I’m not ready to retire. I’m getting long in the tooth. There’s no doubt about that. I got lots of years left.”
Young also talked about getting to meet Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson while he was still making a name for himself in the wrestling business. Eric Young stated that every time he met The Rock, The Rock was friendly and remembered past details about him and was very down to earth.
“Yeah, for sure, and I think that’s what I was saying earlier. Real media is starting to realize… not everyone can be him. He’s one-in-a-million. I can remember the first time meeting him, doing a dark match in Cleveland… no, actually it was in Pittsburgh, it was in The Igloo (Civic Arena) and I did a dark match, and he met me for the first time and, ‘Hey, how is it going?’ And I met him and said, ‘Oh, I’m from Canada and this is my first…’ ‘Oh good luck.’ A very personal guy, and I probably didn’t see him again for three or four months and I’m talking, for me, I could meet… just a taping of RAW, I could meet 20 or 30 people that I’ve never met before. Sometimes 100 people I’ve never met before, and I didn’t see him for three or four months and the next time I saw him, I went to introduce myself again because that’s what you do. He’s busy making millions of dollars and flying all over the world, and I’m making horse harnesses and driving to Cleveland and he remembered me. He remembered my name, he remembered where we met, he remembered I was from Canada, and that stuck with me, forever, and still does to this day. He’s a guy, it’s crazy… I can tweet him and maybe not instantly, but within a day or two, he responds and that’s crazy to me. This is the biggest box office draw in the world. The highest grossing actor in Hollywood, and he still has time for pro wrestling. This is a guy that doesn’t have time. He’s being pulled in a million directions. He’s been successful in everything he does and is the blueprint for something like that. The real world, the media world outside of wrestling realized that, ‘Look, this guy has something’, and I think he would say it too is he refuses to be outworked.”
** Here are the awards issued for the IWTV Indie awards that took place on New Year’s Eve:
– Breakout Star Of The Year: Kris Statlander
– Tag Team Of The Year: Violence Is Forever (Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku)
– Match Of The Year: David Starr vs. Joey Janela, Iron Man Match, Americanrana 19
– Face Of The Future (voted on by active independent wrestlers): Manders
– Wrestler Of The Year: Kris Statlander
** AAW added ACH to their January 24th show in Chicago, Illinois.
** Chris Jericho released his interview with IMPACT Wrestling’s Rhino. During their conversation, Rhino revealed that he inked a two-year deal with IMPACT.
“I’m excited for wrestling. I’m excited for wrestling fans. I’m excited to see what AEW does, I’m excited to what WWE does. I’m really excited about IMPACT. I’ve signed for two years there. They allow me to do indies too because it’s important to find new talent.”
Rhino told the story of how WWE originally wanted to introduce him to their fan base. They wanted him to be dubbed as Edge and Christian’s little brother and also wanted him to dye his hair blonde. Rhino said that Edge went to bat for him and made it clear that WWE would be dropping the ball if they went that direction.
“So Adam like, ‘He looks nothing like us. We’re tall and lanky and he’s short and stocky,’ and they go, ‘Could you imagine having to dye your hair blonde all the time?’ Especially having dark hair.”
** Katsuyori Shibata and Rocky Romero are hosting a seminar on January 28th in Charlotte, North Carolina for pro wrestlers looking to advance their skills.
** To promote Wrestle Kingdom 14, Tetsuya Naito spoke with NJPW1972.com and revealed to the site that in early 2019, he had a confidence issue to the point where he felt like he didn’t know how to wrestle anymore.
“No, not really. I don’t want to go into specifics, but for a while I thought I couldn’t wrestle anymore. Truth is for about six months, maybe since May, I had this kind of crisis of confidence. From about May, I’d felt something was up, and I couldn’t put my finger on it.”
** Former OVW Television Champion Devin Driscoll was the focus of an article on the Knox News website. Driscoll is now working as the general manager and owner of D1 Sports Training with four locations across the United States: one in Knoxville, Maryville and two in Alabama.
** The Austin Chronicle profiled AEW’s Dustin Rhodes. During their chat, Dustin talked about his match with Cody at Double Or Nothing and shared that Cody asked if Dustin wanted to stop the match because of the amount of blood he was losing.
“It’d been a while since I’d done it. So it was a little more than I would have liked. Cody even asked, ‘Do you want to stop now?’ And I went, ‘Hell no, let’s keep going.'”
At the conclusion of the article, Dustin was asked about the possibility of adding a world title victory to his career accolade list and responded with the following:
“It’s not over yet. I have a lot to do.”
** New Japan Pro-Wrestling issued a statement about the wildfires in Australia. NJPW’s own Robbie Eagles’ brother was affected by the fires.
** NJPW1972.com conducted an interview with Kazuchika Okada.
** To promote the ‘Playing With Fire’ film, John Cena did an interview with Belfast Telegraph. Cena said that no matter where he goes in life, he always wants to be remembered as a WWE superstar and doesn’t want people to forget where he came from.
“I hope they always view me as a member of the WWE, because I am. Whether it’s watching the events or being able to participate, any chance I’m given to answer this question, WWE is my family. It’s weird that the culture is, you either do this or you do that, and for 20 years I’ve been trying to tell people, ‘No, it’s all really cool’. So I don’t ever want to not be known as a WWE superstar. I can’t perform as much as the current ones, because I’m a little bit older, and I have these cool opportunities to do other stuff, but in doing other stuff, I’m not saying that world is shut off. I’m trying to bring this world with me, so we can all be involved in a movie conversation, or a WrestleMania conversation.”
** Former RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey recapped her best highlights of 2019:
** WWE streamed their top ten matches of 2019 video that is hosted by Paige:
** All Japan Pro Wrestling: ‘New Year Wars’ Results (1/3/20) Korakuen Hall
– Izanagi & UTAMARO def. Dan Tamura & Masayuki Mitomi
– Jun Akiyama, Masanobu Fuchi, Osamu Nishimura & Rising HAYATO def. Atsuki Aoyagi, Hokuto Omori, SUSHI & Takao Omori
– Ayato Yoshida, Danny Jones, Ryouji Sai & Yuma Aoyagi def. KAI, Naoya Nomura, Yoshitatsu & Zeus
– Akira Francesco, Fuminori Abe & Koji Iwamoto def. Black Menso-re, Kagetora & Masahiro Takanashi
– Lucas Steel & Shigehiro Irie def. Shuji Ishikawa & Yusuke Okada
– Vacant AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Championship Tournament Final: Susumu Yokosuka def. Hikaru Sato
– AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship: Kento Miyahara (c) def. Jake Lee
** DDT Pro Wrestling: ‘New Year Special’ Results (1/3/20) Korakuen Hall
– DDT Iron Man Heavymetalweight Championship: Omochi def. Toru Owashi (c)
– DDT Iron Man Heavymetalweight Championship – Gauntlet Match: Saki Akai def. Omochi (c), Antonio Honda, Gorgeous Matsuno, Kazuki Hirata, Keigo Nakamura, Mizuki Watase, Toru Owashi and Yuki Ino
– Kazusada Higuchi & Yukio Sakaguchi def. Hiroshi Yamato & Mad Paulie
– Three Way Deathmatch: Super Sasadango Machine def. Danshoku Dino and Sanshiro Takagi
– HARASHIMA & Shinya Aoki def. Makoto Oishi & Masahiro Takanashi
– MAO def. Shunma Katsumata
– Masato Tanaka def. Chris Brookes
– T-Hawk & Tetsuya Endo def. Akito & Konosuke Takeshita
– KO-D Tag Team Championships: Naomi Yoshimura & Yuki Ueno def. Daisuke Sasaki & Soma Takao (c)
** Katsuhiko Nakajima is challenging Daiki Inaba for the Wrestle-1 Championship on January 12th.
** Ring of Honor ambassador Cary Silkin and ROH commentator Ian Riccabonni are launching a podcast titled, ‘Last Stop Penn Station’.
** Brian Pillman Jr. is challenging Jacob Fatu for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship at MLW’s January 11th show in North Richland Hills, Texas.
** AEW commentator Jim Ross turned 68-years old on January 3rd.
** In honor of Jushin Thunder Liger’s career, Arby’s put out a tweet thanking Liger ahead of Wrestle Kingdom 14.
** FOX 25 News anchors in Oklahoma were questioned about WWE. The first episode of Monday Night RAW of 2020 is emanating from Oklahoma City. To watch the video, click this link.
** To promote Friday Night SmackDown in Memphis, Baron Corbin appeared on WREG News Channel 3.
** Titus O’Neil is throwing Dave Bautista a party to celebrate Bautista’s upcoming induction into the WWE Hall Of Fame during WrestleMania 36 week.
** The Sealy News has a recap of XFL Houston Roughnecks President, Brian Cooper’s panel during the Fandemic Comic Con this past October. Cooper shared that there will be opportunities to score one, two or three extra points after a touchdown in the XFL.
** According to PWInsider, both John Morrison and David Arquette are in Memphis, Tennessee which is the location for tonight’s SmackDown.
** GCW announced Treehouse Lee for ‘For The Culture’.
** Former video game journalist Dan Ryckert confirmed on Twitter that he is now working as a producer for the WWE After The Bell and New Day: Feel The Power podcasts. He added that he’ll be producing in-house and on the road podcasts for the sports-entertainment company.
** Ring of Honor is advertising that former ROH World Television Champion Shane Taylor will address his future with the company on January 11th at ROH’s show in Atlanta. Ring of Honor is making a special announcement about their next event in Baltimore on January 11th. Also, being added to Honor Reigns Supreme on January 12th is Jeff Cobb, Dan Maff, Jonathan Gresham and Jay Lethal teaming up to face Silas Young, Josh Woods, Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas. Independent wrestler Jason Cade is scheduled for the Center Stage show on 1/11 as well.
** Adam Cole, Rhea Ripley, Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, Dominik Dijakovic, Roderick Strong, Cameron Grimes and Kyle O’Reilly are doing meet-and-greets at EVOLVE shows on January 17th and 18th in Florida.