SUN. UPDATE: Survivor Series preview; New PPV main; Is Hogan married: UFC cut;Rock promo last night
We're looking for your thoughts on both last night's UFC 123 and today's Survivor Series, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
Tonight's card from Miami:
*Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett for the WWE title, must end in either a pinfall or submission, John Cena ref, if Orton wins, Cena theoretically is fired from WWE and is Barrett wins, Cena is out of Nexus. There are a lot of people, in fact it appears the expectation of many is that Barrett wins and then Miz cashes in and takes it. This is really, when it comes to anything special drawing, a one-match show with everything else feeling like filler. Although most of the matches look solid and the undercard has a shot at being very good.
*Kane vs. Edge for the World title. For some reason, between Kane as champion, Edge as a face and the goofy Paul Bearer storyline, I'm just not into this program.
*Sheamus vs. John Morrison - Don't know if it'll be here, but it seems like both the time and the place for the HHH return.
*Daniel Bryan vs. Ted DiBiase for the U.S. title - DiBiase needs a good match here because he's been going nowhere for a while and if you can't have a good match with Bryan, that doesn't bode well for you. Really this depends more on how much time they are allotted and how the crowd takes the match.
*Dolph Ziggler vs. Kaval for the IC title - Similar, but more a big deal for Kaval, in the sense they felt they needed to do that title match he was promised on PPV for winning NXT. Win or lose, a good showing on a PPV means much more than a good TV or house show match and they've done little with Kaval.
*Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater vs. Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov for the tag team title- Marella's comedy of late has been top notch so he's over. I expect this match too be kept short. This speaks volumes for the state of the tag team division.
*Michelle McCool & Layla vs. Natalya in a handicap match for the Divas title.
*Traditional Survivor Series elimination match: Team Mysterio (Rey Mysterio & Big Show & Kofi Kingston & MVP & Chris Masters) vs. Team Del Rio (Alberto Del Rio & Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes & Jack Swagger & Tyler Reks)
We will have live coverage of the show starting at 8 p.m. and are also looking for feedback from those live with dark match and anything else not evident from the PPV broadcast.
Raw will take place live tomorrow night in Orlando, while Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Jacksonville. No TNA tapings this week. We're looking for reports from both shows.
We've got three new issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter up on the site in the past few days, two new issues plus an issue from September 1993, for web site subscribers. We have about ten issues per month, six new and four old, plus four or five Figure Four Weeklies each week on the site along with all the radio shows.
We have full coverage of the old school Raw from Hershey, PA, thoughts on the show, behind-the-scenes notes from the show, what can be learned from the show, Ross vs. Cole and where Vince McMahon comes in, ratings of every segment on the show, what was different about the ratings pattern from usual, thoughts on Gene Okerlund, what wrestlers on the show had an absolutely killer day, as well as notes on every segment.
We also have an update on Brock Lesnar, his UFC future, the Internet, twitter and message boards. We look back historically at when UFC has changed plans due to public reaction. We look at where Lesnar head is at, look at every alternative when it comes to who Lesnar could viably face next, who is unavailable, available, and what would come out of each of those potential meetings. We also look at the rewards and risks of other key matches in the heavyweight division. We also update Roy Nelson, Shane Carwin and the other UFC heavyweights, as well as the concept of UFC stars going to WWE.
We also tackle the WWE's top 50 DVD, looking at the list, the politics behind the list, the choice of Shawn Michaels for No. 1, how hard doing such a list really is, the last time WWE did a similar list and who was and wasn't in, as well as a top 50 list of the biggest money draws during the television era, limited to North America and thoughts on that list. We also look at the wrestlers who led to record breaking business years, as well as the wrestlers in the modern PPV era who have had the most great matches on big shows.
You can also get the Observer delivered by mail, with details below. For those who are web site subscribers, we have approximately ten issues put our each month as well as four or five issues of Figure Four Weekly each month.
We also look at the next to last WEC event, including a look back at the in-cage and business history revolving around Urijah Faber and his drawing ability. We look at what is next for the winners of the show, how everyone was paid, match-by-match coverage, poll results on the show and thoughts on the close matches.
We also have more on Val Venis in WWE, a lot of WWE injury updates including the three biggest stars for Mania, one who says he's in, one who hasn't said anything but an idea that has surfaced for him, and why that idea may fall through having nothing to do with him. Plus, we've got updates on the prognosis when it comes to long-term for Undertaker and C.M. Punk.
We also look at the advance ticket sales for upcoming UFC events, as well as some notes on WrestleMania ticket sales. We have notes on one of the industry's biggest stars getting engaged, adding another weight class in UFC, plus updates on UFC fights and a recent UFC fighter announces his retirement.
We also have thoughts on recent media appearances by Shawn Michaels and HHH, and Chris Jericho and Bill Goldberg also comment on what they said. Michaels talks about his final match with Undertaker, Michaels & HHH talk Bill Goldberg wrestling at Mania and going into the Hall of Fame, Matt Hardy talks about his final days in WWE, lots of WWE cuts, Linda McMahon talks her running for senate, WWE's business proposals to create a physical Hall of Fame location, lots of notes about talent reaction to Old School Raw, Regal explains his teased retirement remarks and what they meant. We also have notes on a lot of firings, why they were let go, lots of new talent being looked at by WWE, as well as a report from every city on the European tour and full business notes from the trip.
We have notes on a WWE star that was just sued, and another just arrested, as well as a member of the board of directors who left, and an update on Vince McMahon's contact.
We also look at UFC's trip to Germany, Marquardt vs. Okami, close decisions, how the TV audience reacted as far as viewership of every match and how the ratings pattern from differed from most UFC televised events. We also have match-by-match coverage.
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 match by match of every UFC televised event.
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 issues:
--Complete lineup updated for Final Resolution and Survivor Series
--Update on the Hulk Hogan wedding
--A look at TNA talent coming, going, signing and up in the air
--Changes coming to TNA
--Mick Foley talks injuries, why leaving wrestling is hard, his future, WWE Hall of Fame and concussions
--Foley talks about success of this latest book
--Kurt Angle talks about going to WWE again
--Changes in the last PPV
--Former 80s star talks with TNA apparently ended
--Notes from TNA's return to Nashville as well as all the weekend house shows
--Wrestling publication celebrates huge milestone
--Story behind the scenes of magazine, including when it was in danger of going out of business and what tragedy saved it
--A look at the next major Dragon Gate show
--One of the greatest in-ring rivalries of this generation has another chapter in a few weeks
--Full coverage of the New Japan Super J tag team tournament
--Indie promotion featuring ex-WWE stars drawing good crowds overseas
--Jim Ross, Jim Duggan and Gorilla Monsoon to be honored
--A look at the son of a wrestler who died much too young
--Update on Dwayne Johnson
--Lots of movies coming up featuring pro wrestling names
--Notes on major ROH weekend and what it leads to
--Jon Fitch comes to a revelation about his career
--Notes on EA Sorts MMA game success
--Recent title contender cut
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our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous
wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a
history of in-ring double-crosses)*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation
right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was
said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural
broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but
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)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner
*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
ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career
and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people
who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino,
Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally,
the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth, and the rise of fall of
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say
was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*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
plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the
night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined
for a joint show and what happened)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the
controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*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,
Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding
world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of
Road Warrior Hawk)
*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
company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best
and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and
Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his
background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on
Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year
with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund,
Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts
as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately,
due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details
of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in
pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle
and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the
history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a
look at their Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW,
as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and
behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at
the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings,
Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental
territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized
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*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul
Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double
issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on
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*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New
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*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller
Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class
Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame
inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and
Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from
the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working
in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of
Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him
tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how
the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How
Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro,
Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania
planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged
McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and
why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and
Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why
there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real
reasons the company fell apart)
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*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are
calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his
influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
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including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S.
women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at
the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
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and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
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overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)*September 15, 2008 (Life
and Times of Evan Tanner)
*September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our
most in-depth bios)
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We also have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about
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Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods. To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--Dana White last night announced B.J. Penn vs. Jon Fitch and George Sotiropolous vs. Dennis Siver for a PPV show that will air in the U.S. on 2/26 (actually takes place the morning/afternoon of 2/27 in Sydney, Australia).
--Karo Parisyan was cut after last night's match.
--Hulk Hogan may have just gotten married. From twitter: "Sitting outside with my dogs and new awesome Mrs. Hogan,the waves are crashing and life is beautiful, only positive vibes, like attracts like."
--Dana White said there are two major deals they are close on which would double UFC's worldwide television penetration. He said it would available to 1 billion viewers. Right now they claim 500 million. That would seem to be something related to China.
--White didn't seem happy about Rampage Jackson acting like he thought he lost the fight. White said that in his mind, Jackson won the first two rounds, lost the third, and he's not interested in a rematch even though Jackson offered it and Machida accepted it.
--The Matt Brown vs. Brian Foster fight on Spike was the 1,500th fight in the history of UFC. Foster's wife is currently battling cancer.
--All across the major malls in Abu Dhabi they've been advertising TNA wrestling with photos of Jeff Jarrett, Abyss and Jeff Hardy. The shows are 11/28 to 11/30 but TNA is not listing them and the first we heard was today in an e-mail from Abu Dhabi.
--Wade Barrett was on Sky News, not Sky Sports but the actual News Channel, promoting today's show. It said that while Barrett is an unknown in the U.K., he's the poster boy for wrestling in the U.S. The news story said that wrestling has really never taken off in the U.K. because it's scripted. Can you imagine a news show saying that. Barrett didn't say much although he said he would be bigger in the U.S. than David Beckham. They didn't mention the PPV or that he's battling in the main event tonight. (thanks to Darren Wadsworth)
--Bryan and I will be back taking e-mail questions as well as talking Survivor Series, and more on UFC 123, late tonight after the show for Observer radio. You can send questions to
--Eric Young is available for bookings through Bill Behrens at
. His bookings are subject to TNA approval as they have first dibs on all his dates.
--Poll on Superstars
65.8% of those responding didn't see the show.
--Poll on Impact
43.0% of those responding didn't see the show
--Which do you see as a bigger fight
Lesnar vs. Velasquez 63.6%
GSP vs. Koscheck 36.4%
--Best of these Hall of Famers
Kurt Angle 74.2%
Mick Foley 25.8%
My gut says Foley himself would have voted for Angle.
--Jim Ross loved MVP's promo on Friday's Smackdown show, noting promos have to feel real and natural and not contrived and memorized. He talked about ad libbing and also used the company phrase for the current time period as a transition period (where they feel they are getting over new stars like Wade Barrett and Alberto Del Rio, but that it'll take away for it to truly pay off at the gate). Ross is at the PPV today although I'm not expecting he'll be used on the air. Ross' new blog is at http://www.jrsbarbq.com
--Evolve from last night in Union City, NJ: Silas Young b Drake Younger, A.R. Fox over Tony Nees, Rich Swann and Scott Reed, Bobby Fish b Kyle O'Reilly, Cheech & Cloudy b Super Smash Brothers, Jon Moxley b Homicide with a chicken wing crossface but Homicide never tapped and the ref stopped it; Homicide attacked the ref and destroyed and bloodied up Moxley after the match; Ricochet b Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano b Jimmy Jacobs, Austin Aries b Chuck Taylor. Taylor may have dislocated his shoulder during this match. Looks like Aries is being pushed as the star. Playboy Playmate Reba Sky was on the show and was pushed to be the valet of Jacobs, but Jacobs instead slapped and spanked her.
--Johnny Mantell, the former World Class star, is trying to put together the Germanfest Wringenmeisterchaft tournament in April with three days of wrestling, major stars judging and more. We'll have more on this later but his web site is at http://www.wildwestwrestling.web.com
--Fight Club Devastation on 12/10 in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Centre featuring Craig Brown of Ottawa vs. Chase Degenhardt of Alberta, plus former UFC fighter Victor Valimaki.
--Kurt Angle vs. Desmond Wolfe from last year's Final Resolution, a very good match, is on Time Warner's Events Free Preview right now (thanks to Suju Abraham)
--Don't know what's up with Taz but he wrote earlier today on twitter, To my supporters, Sorry I haven't been on here for a few days. Something PISSED me off last week, so I have nothing nice to say, still mad." Later he wrote, "My anger has to do with $$. That's all I can say right now. Enjoy the NFL, take care all."
--Shannon Rose, a longtime contributor to this site and an Florida indie wrestling personality for two decades is working on a reality show. Rose was diagnosed as a child with a rare life-threatening condition called Ehles Danlos Syndrome, and was paralyzed in both arms for years, plus has had lingering heart problems, and has underwent mainly painful surgeries. He's actually a ring announcer in the EA Sports MMA video game.
--One of Eddy Guerrero's cars, a 2007 Avalanche SUV, is being put on sale by the family on ebay.
--Ric Flair is booked on 12/16 in Winnipeg to give a speech for Icons Uncensored.
--GCW on Friday night in Oshawa, ONT at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall
--USWO from Friday night in Nashville before 58 fans: Steven Roy & Danny Copass b Shawn Hoodrich & Bishop, Kevin Dunn b Crusher Eric Hodge, Jamey Farrari b Mike Cobbs, Bryan Casey b Saint, Playboy James Duncan NC Psycho Medic, Damien Payne b Michael Jablonski, Jeremiah Plunkett b White Tiger (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--Legends of the Ring 12 takes place on 5/7 in Monroe, NJ at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Names already booked are Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, DDP, The Godwinns, Terry Taylor, Mike Tenay, Brad & Bob Armstrong, Bill Eadie, Barry Darsow and more. For more info you can go to http://www.legendsofthering.com
--All Star Wrestling on Friday night in Tampa: Super Grover b Jason Handley, Francisco Ciatso b Jimmy Whiplash, Butch Long & Marc Mandrake b Jude MacKenzie & Josh Rayne & Shawn Prime in a 2-on-3, Gus Money & Mike Cruz b Ramos & Rivera, Bobby Fonta b Kennedy Kendrick, Titan & Ryze b Eric Cooper & Eddie Taurus, Aaron Kanye Epic b Shawn Spears.
--CZW Cage of Death takes place on 12/11 at the Arena in Philadelphia. with Vortekz & Danny Havoc & Devon Moore & Dysfunction vs. Masada & Brain Damage & Thurteen & Drake Younger plus Nick Gage vs. Yuko Miyamoto for the Ultraviolent Underground title, Jon Moxley vs. Homicide for the CZW title, Sami Callihan vs. Robert Anthony and Joke & Blk Jeez vs. Osirian Portal.
--Want to make mention of the courage of J.T. Lighting. He's been battling advanced cancer and we were told it was forcing closure of Cleveland All Pro Wrestling after 17 years. He said that after finishing chemo, he is opening the promotion back up on 1/14 at Belindas Nite Club in Cleveland. "Even cancer can't keep me down," he wrote. Irish Airborne vs. Hi-Def SuperNovas headlines.
--HPW on 12/4 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds 2 Tough Tony returning.
--OWA from last night in Defiance, OH: Will Esquire d Dan Crowder, Frank Stalletto b Matt Taylor, J.J. Deville b Vladik Vornoff & Izzy Lambert, Jimmie Lee DCOR Vic the Bruiser, Bobo Brazil Jr. b Andy Chene, Satan b Lou Marconi. Next show is 1/21 with Johnny Gargano vs. Flash Flanagan. (thanks to Jerry Wiseman)
--EWF on Friday night in San Bernardino: J.P. Emerald b Locura, Mexican Warrior b Eddie Mattson, Chris Kadillak b Mercenary, Johnny Starr & Terex b Bar Room Saints, Mondo Vega b SoCal Crazy
--FEW on 11/28 in Fort Wayne, IN at the American Legion Post 82
--River City Wrestling on 12/11 in San Antonio at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Activity Center with Alissa Flash facing two guys, Jax and Ray Rowe, in a three-way for the RCW title, plus a TLC Match and another man vs. woman match with Rudy Russo vs. Mercedes Martinez.
--Texas J-Cup from last night in Pilot Point, TX: Aski b Air-Non, Jacob Kilgore b Dynamite Danny G, Galan Ramirez b Jasper
Davis, Dave the Rave b Jason Silver, Jacob Kilgore b Aski, Galan Ramirez b Dave the Rave, Jacob Kilgore b Galan Ramirez to win tournament (thanks to David Farmer)