Monday Update: Good and bad news on Cody’s knee, UK article on Saudi Arabia using sports to soften image, Rumble rules change, Miz vs. A.J., Ronda’s December opponent, ECW Arena

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

Ronda Rousey (photo credit Brandon LaClair © PWTorch)

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-Cody Rhodes announced on Twitter that his doctor believes his ligaments are structurally sound, but his meniscus is damaged and requires a scope. He is vowing to be ready for ROH Final Battle and New Japan’s WrestleKingdom in nearly two months. He missed last night’s ROH show because his knee popped earlier in the weekend.

-The annual drama of who will be the 30th entrant in the Royal Rumble is about to shift to no. 29 because WWE announced that the winners of the Mixed Match Challenge will automatically be the final entrants in the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble this coming January.

-Impact held a TV taping in Las Vegas last night. We have full results (spoilers) HERE.


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-The Independent in the UK published an article on how Saudi Arabia is using sports affiliations from around the globe to help “sanitize” its controversial image, which of course relates to WWE and why they have paid “above market value” for live events to be staged in Saudi Arabia for a ten year span beginning the year. WWE hasn’t indicated they are attempting to extricate themselves from being part of this deal with Saudi Arabia, which some argue is using the goodwill WWE has built up with its fans to help soften the image of the Saudi Arabia regime so they can change at their own pace and come across as more mainstream and acceptable in the mean time. Full Article Link: From Rafael Nadal to Neymar: How Saudi Arabia is using the cover of sport to sanitise its image Excerpt:

One day, of course, the oil will run out. And so in order to wean its economy off its reliance on oil, the Saudis needed to diversify. In order to diversify, it needed outside investment. In order to get outside investment, it needed to get people to like it. And as with the rich kid at school who everyone hates, what better way of getting people to like your country than by throwing them a huge party? … (S)port has served a particularly valuable role, not merely for its ability to attract tourism – another prong in the diversification strategy – but for its easy access to a captive global audience and protagonists whose silence can easily be bought. …

The need to shift Saudi Arabia’s popular image as a brutal, conservative and deeply repressive place – although it remains virtually all of these things – has seen sport deployed as a sort of keyboard shortcut for fun-loving good times. Yes, women are still kept under the abhorrent ‘guardianship’ system where male relatives decide whether they can travel, study or even access healthcare. But look, they can go to football stadiums now! Smile, indentured female chattel, you’re on the big screen! …

As critics of the Saudi regime are rounded up and held without trial, the European Tour is preparing to host its first ever event in Saudi Arabia in January, with the likes of Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed among those signed up. Turn up the music loud enough, and nobody will be able to hear the screaming. …

Those who take the money also have an obligation to tell the truth. “Failing to criticise human rights abuses,” an expert on Saudi politics wrote earlier this year, “creates an atmosphere that empowers authoritarian rulers to deny civil rights to their own people.” The writer’s name was Jamal Khashoggi.

-WWE has announced these matches for the Dec. 27 house show in Columbus, Ohio: Ronda Rousey vs. Mickie James (w/Alexa Bliss) for the Raw Women’s Title, Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for the IC Title, and Braun Strowman vs. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre in a two-on-one match. [Thanks to PWTorch reader Jordan T.]

-WWE is advertising A.J. Styles vs. The Miz for the WWE Championship as the main event for the Jan. 5 and 6 house shows in Fayetteville, S.C. and Greensboro, N.C.

-MLW has announced “MLW: Superfight” will take place Feb. 2, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pa. at 2300 Arena (a/k/a Viking Hall, ECW Arena). Tickets go on sale Monday November 26 at 10 a.m. ET at

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