WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE (12/5): XFL cities announced, XFL merchandise released, MLW replaces PCO, Evolution DVD surprise, ex-WWE wrestler’s first MMA fight scheduled, top indy names five years ago

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

Vince McMahon


-The XFL officially announced the cities that will host XFL teams in its inaugural season today: New York, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Washington D.C.

-Although there aren’t team names yet, you can be the first wear city-specific XFL t-shirts and hats.

-Are you excited about the XFL? Will you watch?

-MLW has announced Sami Callihan vs. LA Park in a Falls Count Anywhere match in Miami, Fla. on Dec. 13 at the “Never Say Never” event at the Scottish Rite Temple. Callihan is stepping in for PCO, who is working exclusively for ROH going forward. The MLW press release notes: “PCO has withdrawn from his Dec. 13 Falls Count Anywhere in Miami bout and has suspiciously vanished from the league.” MLW is taping their Fusion TV show on Dec. 13 and 14. The Dec. 13 show also includes Pentagon Jr. vs. Teddy Hart, Rush vs. Shane “Swerve” Strickland, and “Filthy” Tom Lawlor vs. Simon Gotch. The Dec. 14 “Zero Hour” event features Low Ki vs. Konnan for the MLW Title, Tommy Dreamer vs. Brian Pillman Jr., Rush vs. Rich Swann, and a five-way World Middleweight Title ladder match.

-The lowest rated episode of WWE Monday Night Raw ever this past Monday was still seen by enough 18-49 year olds to rank no. 4, 6 and 7 in that demographic’s nightly rankings behind only the NFL coverage on ESPN and “Love & Hip Hop” on VH1. It’s overall viewership peaked at 2.399 million in the second hour. In total viewership, it ranked sixth behind three ESPN NFL shows and two political news shows (Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and Tucker Carlson on Fox News).

-Jack Swagger (Jake Hager) is set to make his MMA debut next month for Bellator. He will be fighting winless heavyweight J.W. Kiser at Bellator 214 on Jan. 26. Read the full story at

-WWE’s “Evolution 2018” DVD has been officially release today as as Walmart exclusive. Read more at

-WWE announced Tribute to the Troops will air on Dec. 20 at 9/8 CT on USA Network. The press release touts the event:

The 16th annual WWE Tribute to the Troops celebration will be held today at Fort Hood with a two-hour special airing Thursday, December 20 at 9/8c on USA Network. This year’s celebration will feature a special appearance by Jon Stewart, former host of The Daily Show and a long-time supporter of our servicemen and women. In addition, rising country music star Morgan Wallen will perform for the troops in attendance.
WWE began Tribute to the Troops in 2003 to honor our servicemen and women and their families. In the tradition of Bob Hope, WWE brings together the best of sports, entertainment and pop culture with celebrity appearances and performances from music’s most popular acts in what is considered TV’s most patriotic and heartwarming show of the year
“Entertainment companies such as WWE and other nationally recognized performers and performances which have visited Fort Hood in the past are a tremendous morale booster for our Soldiers and their families,” said Col. Henry Perry, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hood commander. “It shows how a little bit of their time can give our Soldiers some relaxation, good fun and enjoy much needed down time experiencing something they don’t see every day.”

-Five years ago this past weekend, AAW ran its Windy City Classic (11-30-13) in Berwyn, Ill. headlined by Kevin Steen (a/k/a Kevin Owens) in the main event beating Shane Holister to win the AAW Hvt. Title. Also, Jimmy Jacobs & Silas Young beat Ethan Page & Ricochet to win the Allegiance Tag Title tournament, Matt Cage beat A.C.H. to win the AAW Heritage Title, and Kyle O’Reilly beat Louis Lyndon via submission, among other matches.

-NWA Vice President Dave Lagana joins me this Friday on the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast for the “Interview Friday” episode to talk about the state of the NWA, the lasting effects of All In, the 2019 indy landscape, what’s going on with WWE on the business side with declining cable viewership, and more. Check out the latest NWA video from their “Ten Pounds of Gold” series released just yesterday HERE.

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