SUN. UPDATE: Bragging Rights preview; More on Cain vs. Brock, Taker vs. Brock, Kane vs. Taker, TNA
We're looking for your thoughts on both tonight's WWE Bragging Rights and last night's UFC 121, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're also looking for live reports from Minneapolis tonight with the dark match and other notes not evident on the PPV, as well as from people who saw UFC 121 at theaters and how attendance was.
Tonight's Bragging Rights lineup from the Target Center in Minneapolis
*Kane vs. Undertaker in a Buried Alive match for the World title - Undertaker is all banged up. Under normal circumstances, you'd think he would win, since he lost the first two. If he needs time off, it would make sense for him to lose.
*Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett for the WWE title with John Cena in the corner. One would expect one of two outcomes. Either Cena interferes and Barrett wins the title, or Cena tries to interfere, and it backfires "by accident" and Orton retains.
*Bragging Rights match: The Miz & R-Truth & Ezekiel Jackson & Santino Marella & John Morrison & Sheamus & C.M. Punk vs. Tyler Reks & Big Show & Rey Mysterio & Alberto Del Rio & Edge & Kofi Kingston & Jack Swagger - Since Smackdown dominated the angles, and also won last year, that would seem to make Raw the favorite. You would probably want to have someone on the team turn on the rest of the team to build future Smackdown programs out of it.
*Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler with neither title at stake
*Layla vs. Natalya for the Divas title
*Goldust vs. Ted DiBiase in a match just announced earlier today
Most are expecting, between last night's UFC and the Packers vs. Vikings game on television, that this will be the lowest number of buys for a WWE PPV show aside from December 2 Dismember in modern history. Plus, Undertaker and Kane are coming off two bad matches. Orton vs. Barrett is a real test for Barrett in a long singles match. The Bragging Rights match should be good fast action and fun. Bryan vs. Ziggler is interesting. A lot will depend on the crowd caring or not. Most likely another match will be added.
We'll have live coverage of the show starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
We're also looking for reports from the TNA Friday night house show in Cadillac, MI, last night's show in Saginaw and tonight's show in Port Huron, MI, with A.J. Styles vs. Mr. Anderson and the Machine Guns vs. Generation Me as the headline matches.
Raw will be tomorrow night in Green Bay, with Toby Keith as the guest host. Smackdown is being taped Tuesday night in Milwaukee. Impact will be taped Monday and Tuesday nights in Orlando.
Tomorrow's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter includes a story on the history of and the attempted revival of the WWE Tough Enough project, including what happened to former winners and personalities on the show, as well as thoughts on how to tweak the show, and a number of names who WWE first spotted on Tough Enough that either didn't win or even make the show. We also look at time slot issues and ratings demands.
We also look at Stand Up for WWE, the latest in the flying salvos in the Linda McMahon senate race, how much the McMahons have spent so far on the race, the miscalculation that was made when entering the race and the company's claims of six major media inaccuracies, which we break down. We look at what is and isn't accurate in history, the Hartford Courant from page story on drug usage and wrestler deaths. We have more on the death of Lance Cade, and a one-day near about-face in the campaign.
We also have more on Batista and Strikeforce, with an update on negotiations, where they stand, and what he wants out of the deal. We also look at another former WWF pro wrestler who started in MMA at the same age, 42, ad how he did, as well as a former NFL star who started in MMA at the same age as Batista.
The issue is available on the site right now with a web site membership. Another issue, from August 1993, will be up tomorrow. You can also get the Observer delivered by mail, with details below. For those who are web site subscribers, not only do we have issues once and in big news weeks, twice every week, but also release one back issue from 1993 each week.
We also have notes on a major motion picture that is being talked about regarding one of wrestling's all-time legends with a major producer involved.
We also look at Matt Hardy's release from WWE, how it happened, why it took so long, and what program is already being talked about for him.
We also look at a new law passed that could have a major effect on WWE's doing business in that state.
We look at timetable currently when it comes to the Cena/Nexus angle, new role for Daniel Bryan, Bret Hart talks about WrestleMania and TNA, WWE reaction to J-Woww, release of Knucklehead and those in WWE talk about creating a new television show and what current show it is based on.
We also look at the Slammmy Awards for 2010, lots of new WWE signings, a show that has WWE, TNA and ROH talent all on the same event, plus updates on the WWE business from every arena the past two weeks and highlights of the live events.
We have a look at UFC 120, including all the business notes on the show, where it stood locally when it came to business records, as well as a look at the TV numbers, which matches gained and lost viewers, the ESPN decision to run the results, the judging and match-by-match coverage.
We also look at Lesnar vs. Velasquez, looking at each man's strengths and weaknesses, gambling odds, late notes on both men, pros picks and fan reaction to gambling odds.
We also have a complete listing of the members of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame updated with the 2010 inductees.
We also have an in-depth look at the ratings of all the national shows this past week, including how every segment on Raw and Impact did, as well as a look at what audience was retained and changed in the Smackdown move to Syfy.
We also have our usual weekly features with results of the major arena shows from around the world, and the major TV show rundowns and reviews.
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Also in this week's issue:
--Major wrestling show draws terrible crowd and thoughts as to why and what it means
--Top wrestler gets honored for the fourth straight year
--Former TNA stars debuts with AAA this week
--Things not looking good for a U.S. promotion
--A look at the NOAH jr. tag team tournament thus far
--New Japan vs. Pancrase match billed
--A look at the New Japan jr. tag team tournament
--One of 90s major groups coming back together for a Christmas show before member retires
--The night of 49,205 thumb tacks
--Lots of video game news
--A look at attendance this season in other sports
--Former WWE star shuts down business
--Longtime indie star and early UFC competitor forced to retire over health issues
--Former wrestling announcer makes news with an incident this past weekend at a football game
--Son of a 90s wrestling great gets good opportunity in another sport
--Notes on ROH Survival of the Fittest
--Notes on ROH weekend events
--Lots of thoughts on the big TNA week
--Interest level of TNA right now compared to other big points
--A look at where TNA's main angle came from
--Updates on Kurt Angle, Sting and Kevin Nash in TNA
--Looking at TNA's long and short-term issues
--Reactions to Bruce Prichard's debut in TNA
--A look at new TNA singing from WWE
--Noes on TNA merchandise
--Did Bound for Glory help TNA arena business
--A look at all the TNA weekend events
--Plans for the biggest UFC event ever in 2011 and who would likely headline
--Update on UFC video game license
--First look at New Year's UFC show and looking at its chances on PPV
--International markets UFC is looking at
--Looking at other markets
--Dana White outside the cage
--Interpromotional matches directly talked about as a possibility this past week
--How ticket sales are for all the upcoming UFC events
--Another UFC star talks about what he believes the percentage of performance enhancing drug users is in the sport
--Lots of new UFC and WEC matches
--Bellator readies its biggest show
--Ken Shamrock's return to MMA
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history of in-ring double-crosses)*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation
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everything that was said between the two about the match that was going
to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon
steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article
and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
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*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such
great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career
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*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career
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*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people
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*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally,
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*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the
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*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the
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*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the
seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s,
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world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of
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*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story,
Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the
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*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best
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*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his
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*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on
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*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
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*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details
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inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and
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Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro,
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why it didn't click)
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--Regarding the Undertaker-Brock Lesnar thing from last night, WWE has made Lesnar an offer to face Undertaker at WrestleMania. I don't expect anything to come of it, but nobody can read Lesnar's mind. It's smart business for Vince if he can pull it off. It was kept secret from many, if not most or all of creative. Obviously it was the talk of things backstage in Minneapolis today and everyone was asking everyone if they knew what was up.
--Nobody knows much of anything about Lesnar's future. Lesnar I'm told is not going to be saying anything publicly for probably a few weeks. He did not go to the post-show press conference because he was being stitched up and said he didn't want to take away from Cain Velasquez's moment. The truth is, had he came, he would have been the star of the press conference and not Velasquez. As noted here, he would likely be offered Frank Mir as his next fight, which will do huge business. How quickly he wants to come back is something I wouldn't even hazard a guess at.
--The marketing worked last night. Nobody knows PPV numbers, although UFC officials noted the trends were really strong (based on predictions based on trends it could be No. 2 of all-time and will be among the biggest for sure). There was interest among Mexican-Americans the likes of which MMA has never had in the past. There were long waits at DirecTV to get it ordered because so many people ordered it at the last minute.
--Based on Compustrike numbers, Velasquez landed 65 blows to 13 by Lesnar. Martin Kampmann landed 53 to 41 for Jake Shields. That was in 15 minutes while the other was in 4:00. Diego Sanchez landed 71 to 37 for Paulo Thiago.
--Cain Velasquez will be on Lopez Tonight on TBS tomorrow night. (thanks to Jose Echavarria)
--Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson is listed on the TNA web site as the main event for Turning Point on 11/7. Yes, Anderson lost on Impact to get a title shot. Nothing else has been announced, but Team 3-D vs. Machine Guns for the tag titles and Jay Lethal vs. Robbie E for the X title are slated.
--As of 2 p.m. today, in Google searches, Lesnar vs. Velasquez was No. 3 and No. 7, Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar was No. 6, UFC 121 was No. 12 and Tito Ortiz vs. Matt Hamill was No. 19. Last night UFC references totally dominated the Google and Twitter trending topics.
--We'll be back tonight with our third straight night of radio, talking about Bragging Rights as well as the fallout from UFC 121, and taking phone calls on those subjects. If you've got questions for the show you can send to
--From Chavo Guerrero: "Mexicans are to Lesnar what kryptonite is to Superman!! 1st Eddie now Velasquez!"
--Gus Johnson, who announces for Strikeforce, has quit his job as the radio and sometimes TV announcer for the New York Knicks. He said he was going to concentrate on the NFL, college basketball and boxing/MMA on Showtime and CBS.
--Fox8 in Australia is moving WWE Vintage Collection from Sundays at 2 p.m. to Thursdays at 4:30 p.m., or right after NXT. (thanks to Graeme Cameron)
--Poll on Wednesday's Ultimate Fighter reality show
33.7% of those responding didn't see the show. Best marks of the season, and probably in a while.
--Poll on the final episode of Prime Time: Lesnar vs. Velasquez
34.4% of those responding didn't see the show.
--Best wrestler of these Hall of Famers
Dynamite Kid 49.9%
Original Tiger Mask 15.4%
Killer Kowalski 8.3%
Gene Kiniski 7.2%
Ed Strangler Lewis 7.1%
Mil Mascaras 6.5%
Jim Londos 3.7%
Don Leo Jonathan 1.8%
--WWE is holding a Supershow the night before Royal Rumble on 1/29 in Springfield, MA
--Not that this means anything related to tonight, in fact I'd encourage you to think it doesn't, but WWE is running ads today for U.K. shows in November headlined by Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Sheamus as the main event for the title. (thanks to Colin Byrne)
--TNA is doing a Final Resolution activities built around the 12/5 PPV show. They have a TNA Christmas party in Orlando the night before for those with VIP passes.
--Jersey All Pro Wrestling from last night in Jersey City: Jon Moxley b Devon Moore, Mia Yim b Annie Social, Sami Caillihan & Chris Dickinson b Axl Rotten & Balls Mahoney and Monsta Mac, Hurricane Helms b Azrieal, Southside Playaz Club b Garden State Gods, Azreial b Bandido Jr. to win light heavyweight title, Jerry Lawler b Nick Gage, Dan Maff b Brodie Lee. Next show is 11/20 at the Rec Center in Rahway, NJ with Maff vs. Teddy Hart.
--GOUGE from last night in Youngsville, NC: Wrestling Superstar b Tavare Hill, Seymour Snott & Rob McBride b Leatherface & Sean Alexander, Otto Schwanz b Scrapyard Dog, Frank Staletto & Mickey Gambino b Jimmy Jack Funk Jr. & Rob McBride, Damien Wayne b Vordell Walker in a ladder match. Next show is 10/30 in Raleigh at the Rebus Gallery Works.
--Last night's TWA show in Voorhees, NJ was canceled due to the Giants-Phillies game. The next show will be 11/20 at Flyers Skate Zone. If you would like a refund or replacement tickets email to
--CZW returns to the Asylum Arena in Philadelphia (formerly ECW Arena) on 11/13
--Wild Bill's Fight Night on 10/29 in Duluth, GA headlined by Cale Yarbrough vs. Clint Hester. They will be giving out cash prizes for the best Halloween costume in the crowd, and also to the fighter with the best ring entrance outfit.
--An article on Brandon Schaub, asking the craziest thing he's seen a pro athlete spend money on, talking about competing in lacrosse, comparing playing college football, NFL football and MMA and competing on TUF at http://bit.ly/bcIMMZ
He also talks about getting out of traffic tickets because he's a UFC fighter. Some day we need to have a discussion about getting out of traffic tickets.
--All Star Wrestling from Friday night in Tampa: Big Zay b Roman Wright, Joey Knight & Shooter Storm b Wayne Van Dyke & Kyle Blizzard, Don Maximo b Super Grover-DQ, Michael O'Toole b Josh Rayne, Kennedy Kendrick b Paradox, Aaron Epic b Brandan Scherer, Butch Long & Marc Mandrake & Donnie York b Ramos & Rivera & D.Lee (thanks to Alan Wojcik)
--Monique Rogers at
is looking for anything on her father, who wrestled as Killer Buddy Austin in the 60s and was a major star in places like California and Japan. She's looking to hear from anyone who knew her father, videotapes of matches or anything.
--Time Warner on Demand has Desmond Wolfe vs. Kurt Angle from last year's Turning Point show in their events free preview section. That was a great match, by the way.
--USWO from Friday night in Nashville before 35 fans: Kevin Dunn & Miss Rachel b Eric Hodge & Nemesis, Saint b Mike Cobbs, Psycho Medic & Pumbah b James Duncan & Shawn Hoodrich, Jamey Farrari b Josh Crow, Chrisjen Hayme b Mad Man Pondo, Damien Payne b Mosh Pit Mike-DQ, Jocephus DCOR Jeremiah Plunkett, Scott Hayes b Jeff Daniels (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--NWA Dawg Pound from last night in Frankinville, NJ: Mike Donovan b Rob Vegas, Jamilia Craft b Bobby Dempsey, Biggie Biggs b Dan Murdoch, Joey Spades b Grizzly Redwood, JoJo & Mike Goldstein b L.C. Cruz & Jace D. Face, The Sheik b Havoc, Midnight Sensations b Team Macktion, Chance Prophet b Manu (former partner of Cody Rhodes). Next show is 11/6 in Vineland, NJ at the Kashmere Dance Club
--New York Wrestling Connection from last night in Port Jefferson Station, NY: Apollyon over Mikey Whipwreck and Tony Burma, Bruno Marciano b Pat Buck, Chris Forza b Matias, Robbie E & Dan Eckos & Quiet Storm b All Money is Legal & Manny, Ryan Rush b Daemon Crowley and Syther, Benny Martinez b Spyder, Dickie Rodz b Wendell Oliver Wentworth, Michael & Kieran Mansfiled b Alex Moore & J.T. Kasin, John Silver b Victor Cruz, Alex Reynolds & King Mega b Tony Nese & Maxwell Belvedere, Alex Reynolds b Tony Nese to win the NYWC title. Next show is 10/30 at the NYWC Sportatorium
--Lethal Wrestling Alliance from last night in O'Fallon, MO: Darin Corbin b Pierre Abernathy, Shorty Biggs over Mark Sterling and K.C. Karrington, Davey Vega b Robert Evans, Jeremy Wyatt b Gerald James, Arik Cannon b Mat Fitchett, Devin & Mason Cutter b Mike Sydal & Brandon Aarons, Evan Gelistico b Billy McNeil (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)