MON. UPDATE: Wrestling show done; Lots of trouble with trans getting from MSG to Raw, UFC vs. WWE

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        We're looking for reports from tonight's Raw show in Albany and the Smackdown house show in Pittsburgh at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
        For Raw, we're looking for reports on dark matches, Superstars matches and anything else that wouldn't have aired on the live show, as well as any other notes like attendance.  Nothing has been announced for the show.  As you can imagine, there is a lot of trouble traveling from New York to Albany, or to Raw for those who weren't booked into New York.  The show is going to take place.  There is also concern about getting the production trucks out of Albany to Rochester tomorrow night for the Smackdown tapings.    
        We're also looking for additional reports from Chicago last night.
        Tuesday has the Smackdown/NXT tapings in Rochester, NY, while Raw will be running in Wilkes-Barre.  The only Smackdown match announced is Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. Kane & Alberto Del Rio.
        Wednesday has Raw in Baltimore and Smackdown in Cleveland.
        Thursday has Raw in Washington, D.C. and Smackdown at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ.
        The annual biggest event of the year in Japan, the Dynamite! New Year's Eve show from the Saitama Super Arena will be late Thursday night (1 a.m. Pacific time, 4 a.m. Eastern time).
        Our annual 2010 Business Year in Review issue is one of two issues out this week for web site members and will be in one of the two printed issues of the Observer out next week.  The first issue was on the site yesterday and the second issue is up on the site today.  We'll also have a third issue from 1993 up on the site this week. 
        The issue covers the December 1, 2009 to November 30, 2010 period with the biggest crowds, biggest shows, what main eventers headlined the most shows that drew 10,000 fans, as well as where today's biggest draws rank among the all-time best in the history of pro wrestling.
        We also have notes on how every major PPV event this year did, including several milestones, as well as the biggest money live shows.  We also have a breakdown of big live shows and big PPV shows by promotion.
        We have a breakdown of WWE & UFC PPV numbers for 2009 and 2010 so you can see the changes in the North American market, including the Lesnar effect on UFC numbers and the UFC schedule for the first five months of 2010.
        We also look to the future of UFC in 2010 as far as major shows, comparing big show UFC gates in 2009 and 2010, as well as UFC ratings, and an interesting note about the three main eventers that WWE created in 2009 and where they are now, as well as the main eventers WWE created in 2010.
        We also have our annual top 50 rundown of the most popular performers, and how rankings changed over the past three years.  We've got listings for the U.S., Canada as well as worldwide to show the difference in the different markets.  We look at which company did the best job in creating new stars, the value of the championship in 2010, and what is UFC's challenge for 2011.  We also look at who the most under promoted major stars are.
        There is also an interesting note regarding worldwide popularity of WWE-created stars.
        We also look at UFC vs. WWE, what cities and states each are the most popular in, and comparison of the two in several key countries, and how that has changed from 2008 to 2009.
        We also have a feature on the questions regarding the brain, the body and the questions looking back at the death of Chris Benoit after a peer reviewed story on his brain issues was published.  We look at technical aspects, including aspects of Benoit's health that have been kept quiet until this point including physical similarities to a number of wrestlers who died young.  We look at WWE's position, the position of the doctors, including a lot of surprising aspects regarding concussion treatment.  We look at the earliest signs of mental problems that plagued Benoit.
        We have notes on a number of awards, including fan voted Japanese awards, and an MMA fighter winning a major athlete of the year awards.
        We also have updated notes on the Survivor Series buys, how the show did both domestically and overseas, comparisons to last year and previous years, as well as with the UFC show the night before, as well as updates on TNA on PPV the past few months.
        We also look at the WWE's swing of Texas with a strong PPV and television shows, and where that sets up the new year.  We've got full coverage of WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs, ROH Final Battle and the WEC 53 final event, with match-by-match coverage as well as star ratings for the pro wrestling shows.
        We look at the potential retirement of one of the biggest stars of the era.
        We've got an update on UFC 124 PPV numbers in both the U.S. and Canada, as well as Chael Sonnen starts building up his next fight.  We also have notes on the popularity of UFC in Australia and the unique situation of where the ticket sales actually came from.
        We also look at the end and the history of WEC, as well as the future of its stars, and the Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis match of the year candidate. 
        We look at the ROH Final Battle show including the value of Internet PPV at this point and why the show was structured the way it was. 
         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've also got updates on Tiffany, Kaval, reaction to Miz as world champion, and the return of C.M. Punk, as well as Shawn Michaels talks about his relationship with the company.   We've got an update on Royal Rumble ticket sales, notes on who logs into the WWE web site and how often, what match ups were the most frequent in WWE over the past ten years, and more on the newest WWE video game.
        We've also got notes on the deaths of 60s star Hans Mortier, who was also known as Tarzan Zorro, as well as Donn Lewin, the oldest son in the famous Lewin wrestling family.
        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.
        The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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Also in this week's issues:
--More on the annual New Japan Tokyo Dome show and two days with joint promotional shows
--A major change in television being talked about in TNA and the good and bad points of it.
--Update on Hulk Hogan's health
--Another TNA star officially cut
--Matt Hardy talks Jeff Hardy
--A bad week in the life of Lisa Varon
--TNA star in a movie role
--TNA top team faces indie top team
--Lots of new UFC matches announced
--A couple of UFC cuts
--UFC star claims he's in talks with WWE and TNA
--Notes on the next Strikeforce show in San Jose
--Update on the New Year's Eve show including all the freak show matches
--What will likely be the biggest PPV event of 2011 was just finalized
--Wrestler wins world title, then needs knee surgery a few days later
--Update on second generation tournament
--Major star of past 20 years gives notice and talks retirement
--American wrestlers debuting in Dragon Gate
--Update on who is booking what Japanese promotion right now
--Multi-promotional television special announced including a ton of unique matches
--Japanese fan voting awards for 2010
--Death of early junior heavyweight champion
--Notes on the life of Paul Morton, a well-known referee
--Former WWE tag champ turns into MMA main eventer
--Documentary to be released on current international star
--Update on new promotion with national U.S. television and its recent tapings and highlights of upcoming shows
--More on the famous 1968 brawl in Japan between Billy Robinson and Peter Maivia
--Wrestler to donate his mansion to a city
--Former WWF TV host on network show
--What company is listed as the fifth most innovative sports property
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--Spike TV has officially canceled Reaction with the final episode airing this Thursday. 
--Tons of trouble with the weather regarding last night's show.  Several reports said it did not feel like an MSG show when it comes to atmosphere.  For talent, they had a lot on their minds, including how they were going to have to get to Albany today in the blizzard.  Ring announcer Justin Roberts arrived late and they had to have someone fill in for him who didn't appear to know how to ring announce.  The only referee that arrived was Charles Robinson, so James "Nunzio" Maritato, who came to the show to visit with some friends, and was recruited to be a referee.  Several people from Florida including Sgt. Slaughter, Heath Slater and Alicia Fox didn't make it.  Tito Santana was contacted since he lives in the area to sub for Slaughter as the guest in Piper's Pit.  (thanks to Vince Averill and many others)
--As of this afternoon, the Long Island Rail Road hadn't resumed operation and there were wrestling fans still waiting to get home.  Newsday reporter Alfonso Castillo noted that he had tickets to the show, but decided to skip attending for fear he wouldn't be able to get home.  Castillo was critical of both WWE and Madison Square Garden for not canceling the event, saying that with ample warning of a blizzard that threatened transpiration in the city "seems shortsighted, irresponsible and even greedy." 
--Ch. 11 in New York interviewed a man stuck with his young son on the Gowanus Expressway coming home from the MSG show.  They had no food and little gas.  His wife told him not to go.  He'd better not get home too fast.  Mike Omansky, our regular MSG reporter, told us they had a foot of snow at 5 p.m. and a state of emergency was declared, and he couldn't make it to the arena by car or train.
--Randy Orton has already arrived in Albany.  John Morrison was stuck in New York in the blizzard earlier today.  The WWE ring trucks were shown on the Today Show this morning leaving New York for Albany. (thanks to Gary Graham, Stacey Davidson and others)
--Morrison said at one point he flipped on his hazard lights and left his car on 8th Avenue (too much snow to park) and got breakfast bagels.  He said cars were stuck in the snow everywhere.
--The next MSG house show is 3/19, head-to-head with UFC running in Newark for the PPV headlined by Shogun Rua vs. Rashad Evans.  Not only that, but ROH will be running the same night at the Manhattan Center, which is right down the street from MSG.
--We'll have our weekly post-Raw Observer radio show up tonight.  If you've got any questions on pro wrestling or MMA for tonight's show you can send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   We'll also be talking Jeff Hardy, Reaction, and all the latest news. 
--UFC put up a video of fighters predictions for Maynard vs. Edgar.  Ricardo Almeida, Sean McCorkle, Jim Miller and Miguel Torres said Edgar would win.  Ben Henderson, Anthony Pettis and Cain Velasquez said Maynard would win.
--Maynard remains the favorite ranging from -137 to -152 with Edgar at +110 to +125.  Most of the money of late has been coming in on Maynard.  Chris Leben is a solid favorite over Brian Stann, Thiago Silva a solid favorite over Brandon Vera, Dong Hyun Kim a slight favorite over Nate Diaz and Clay Guida a solid favorite over Takanori Gomi.
--For upcoming main events, Anderson Silva is a strong favorite, in the 3-to-1 range, over Vitor Belfort, while John Jones is close to 4-to-1 over Ryan Bader and Rich Franklin a solid favorite over Forrest Griffin for the 2/5 show.  Jon Fitch is a solid favorite over B.J. Penn.  Shogun Rua is a solid favorite over Evans.  While Cain Velasquez is a 9-to-4 favorite over Junior Dos Santos.
--The Kings of Wrestling rematch with Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin takes place in another non-title match on the ROH show on 1/28 at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton in conjunction with WrestleReunion.
--UFC/WEC on television this week has the Best of WEC 201 show replaying at midnight tomorrow night on Versus.  Countdown to UFC 125 airs 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night on Spike.  Countdown also airs Thursday night at 8 p.m. on Versus, Friday at 9 a.m. on Spike, while Best of WEC airs at 9 p.m. Friday night on Versus.  There are no prelims airing from UFC 125 on Spike on 1/1.
--Combat Sports Media and the Titan Fighting Championships have set up a casting call for a reality show looking for women MMA fighters.  Sam Caplan, who was been a reporter and promoter affiliated with a number of promotions is behind the product.  Funny, I was just contacted about this exact idea from another group looking to do the same thing.  They are looking for women fighters with a marketable look to send a resume, photo, video and cover letter as to why they think they would be a strong fit for the show.  They are open to professional and amateur fighters, and you don't need MMA experience, but having competed in a combat sport is a benefit.  Applications can be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
--Which fight coming up this week are you most interested in?
Clay Guida vs. Takanori Gomi 34.6%
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard 26.6%
Alistair Overeem vs. Todd Duffee 12.7%
Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann 7.6%
Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim 5.4%
Josh Thomson vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri 4.0%
Marius Zaromskis vs. Kazushi Sakuraba 2.5%
Thiago Silva vs. Brandon Vera 2.5%
Gegard Mousasi vs. Kyotaro 1.4%
Bibiano Fernandes vs. Hiroyuki Takaya 0.8%
Jerome LeBanner vs. Satoshi Ishii 0.8%
Shinya Aoki vs. Yuichiro Nagashima 0.8%
--What was January's biggest news story?
Bret Hart returns to WWE 60.0%
Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Jeff Hardy debut in TNA 17.2%
Brock Lesnar announces he will fight again 6.7%
Decision made to move Impact to Mondays 4.0%
Georgiann Makropolous passes away 2.6%
TNA sets record rating on a Monday against Raw 2.4%
Zuffa sells 10% of company to Abu Dhabi government 2.2%
Awesome Kong/Bubba the Lovesponge incident 1.4%
More UFC/WWE crossover on  Monday than TNA/WWE crossover 1.4%
TNA drops six sided ring 1.2%
Tony Halme suicide 0.8%
--Who is the all-time MMA MVP
Randy Couture 21.3%
Royce Gracie 16.0%
Chuck Liddell 12.1%
Fedor Emelianenko 11.0%
Georges St. Pierre 10.4%
Ken Shamrock 10.4%
Kazushi Sakuraba 10.1%
Brock Lesnar 5.1%
Anderson Silva 1.4%
Mirko Cro Cop 1.4%
Bob Sapp 0.8%
--Christmas show in Neza:  Pavor & Zeiya b Kiva & Leopardo Negro, Black Terry & Cerebro Negro & Dr. Cerebro b Guerrero Negro & Mickie Segura & Veneno, Hermano Muerte III lost a cage of death match and was revealed as Juan Cardenas Romero, Mistico & Averno b Dragon Rojo Jr. & Mephisto  
--Christmas show in Michoacan:  Mascarita Sagrada & Mini Charly Manson b Mini Abismo Negro & Mini Histeira, Hechicera & Cinthia Moreno b Fabi & Mari Apache, Billy Boy & Chris Stone b Aero Star & Super Fly, Alebrije II & Electroshock & Gran Apache b Chessman & Nicho & Ultimo Gladiador.
--Tonight in Puebla has Mistico & ? (Shocker billed, but he's had knee surgery) & La Sombra vs. Atlantis & Negro Casas & Rey Bucanero. (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Sydney Morning Herald film critic Paul Byrnes is not a fan of Dwayne Johnson.  In his listing of the ten worst movies of 2010, he listed "The Other Guys," which Johnson was in the beginning of, and "Tooth Fairy," which he was the star in.  (thanks to James Stanios) 
--Blue Collar Wrestling Alliance on 1/2 in Flat Rock, MI at the Community Lutheran Church
--CHIKARA Pro announced the King of Trios tournament from 4/15 to 4/17, all three nights at the Asylum Arena in Philadelphia.  There will also b a Fan Conclave in association with the tournament.  If you buy tickets for all three nights, you get the Fan Conclave ticket for free.  CHIKARA opens its season on 1/23 at the Arena in Philadelphia. 
--New England Championship Wrestling, which closed its doors recently, has its final television show on-line as well as on Comcast on Demand in New England.  It's at
--Sengoku match order for the Thursday morning U.S. time show in Japan:
Amy Davis vs. Misaki Takimoto
Rin Nakai vs. Mika Harigi
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Hitomi Akano
Manabu Inoue vs. Shunichi Shimuzu in the semifinals of the Asian bantamweight title tournament
Taiyo Nakahara vs. Akitoshi Tamura in the other semifinals
Dave Herman vs. Yoshihiro Kiss Nakao
Yuki Sasaki vs. Mamed Khalidov
Kazunori Yokota vs. Jadamba Narantungalag (what a great name to try and pronounce)
Keita Nakamura vs. Yasubey Enomoto for the Sengoku welterweight title (title is vacant)
Won Sik Park vs. Maximo Blanco
Ryo Chonan vs. Taisuke Okuno (late replacement for Dan Hornbuckle, who according to couldn't get permission from Bellator to do the fight)
Yoshiro Maeda (former WEC title contender) vs. Masanori Kanehara
Megumi Fujii vs. Emi Fujino
Kazuo Misaki vs. Mike Seal
Marlon Sandro vs. Hatsu Hioki for the featherweight title
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on 1/18 in Lakewood, OH at St. Gregory's Byzantine Hall featuring Isis the Amazon (Aloisia who was briefly with WWE) on an all-women's show that also includes Sara Del Rey, Mickie Knuckles, Roxie Cotton and Annie Social.  
--Championship Wrestling Alliance will have weekly Thursday night shows in Morristown, TN at the National Guard Armory at 7:30 p.m. with all seats $8 and kids under 6 free starting on 1/6.

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?