SAT UPDATE: More on the weekend, Classics on Demand history, Dana talks Punk, Chiesa talks Pena, Austin talks Punk, WWE office at PWG, tons more



By Bryan Alvarez | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @bryanalvarez

We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's UFC 169, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're looking for reports on today's WWE house shows in Orlando (John Cena vs. Randy Orton, Big Show vs. Kane, Rhodes Brothers vs. Real Americans) and Saturday in Wichita (Sheamus vs. The Shield, Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt), as well as today's TNA tapings in London and last night's WWE show in Miami at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

UFC 169 takes place today at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ:

Fightpass fights at 6:30 p.m.

Neil Magny vs. Gasan Umalatov

Tony Martin vs. Rashid Magomedov

Andy Enz vs. Clint Hester

FS 1 fights at 8 p.m.

Al Iaquinta vs. Kevin Lee

Nick Catone vs. Tom Kong Watson

Chris Cariaso vs. Danny Martinez

John Makdessi vs. Alan Patrick

PPV at 10 p.m.

Abel Trujillo vs. Jamie Varner

Ali Bagautinov vs. John Lineker

Alistair Overeem vs. Frank Mir

Jose Aldo Jr. vs. Ricardo Lamas for featherweight title

Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber for bantamweight title

New Japan has an iPPV late Saturday/early Sunday at 4:30 a.m. Eastern and 1:30 p.m. Pacific time at www.ustream.tv/channel/njpw1972 for $15

Taka Michinoku & Taichi vs. Sho Tanaka & Yohei Komatsu

Jushin Liger & Bushi & Tiger Mask vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Yoshi-Hashi & Jado

Tomoaki Honma & Captain New Japan vs. Takashi Iizuka & Toru Yano

Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Desperado vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata & Desperado

Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows & Tama Tonga

Togi Makabe & Alex Shelley & Kushida & Ryusuke Taguchi (return from injury) vs. Prince Devitt & Bad Luck Fale & Young Bucks

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tetsuya Naito & Hirooki Goto vs. Kazuchika Okada & Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii

Super Bowl Sunday has one show in Lakeland, FL (Big Show vs. Kane, Real Americans vs., Rhodes Brothers) and the other in Kansas City (John Cena vs. Randy Orton, Sheamus vs. The Shield, Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt). What's notable about this is another mix-up as Cena was advertised on both shows (he'll be in Kansas City) and Cody Rhodes is also advertised on both shows.

TNA will be taping a One Night Only PPV on Sunday in Birmingham.

Raw will be in Omaha on Monday. The New Age Outlaws vs. Rhodes Brothers for the tag title in a cage match is scheduled. Batista is also booked on the show.

Smackdown is Tuesday in Des Moines.

        The C.M. Punk story is covered in detail as the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that is up on the site.  There are more details on the story here than are going to be anywhere, including a lot of comments from people very close to the scene.
 
        We look at what happened, we look at the frustrations, we look at what happened on Monday at Raw, how the show changed, what he was booked for on the show, thoughts on him long-term with the company and why his situation is different from most. We look at WWE's plans for the shows he was scheduled on, and how this will change advertising of shows coming up.
 
        We have notes from people who spoke with him just two days before he left whe he did the Comic Con, a note on his schedule, his thoughts on Daniel Bryan and Batista, as well as notes on a long interview he did a few days earlier with Ariel Helwani.
 
        We look at what the situation with Batista showed both good and bad, as well as examples of other talent leaving.  We look at how Punk's decision making is very different from others who left while on top.  We look at Vince McMahon's M.O., Punk talks doing MMA, and we also look at a surprising company that has already tried to reach out to him.  We look at when he can do other projects in wrestling.
 
        We also look at Punk in MMA, if it's viable, risks involved, and his own talks about having an interest in doing it.  We also look at an idea Punk sent to Vince McMahon that is probably not happening, his thoughts on the WWE Network, the unanswered questions about the network, and a lot more on business.
 
        We also have full coverage of the Royal Rumble, with poll results, star ratings, business notes, a chart on how everyone did, how a booking idea backfired, the crowd hijacking the show and ruining what they expected to happen as far as where they are going for WrestleMania.
 
        We've also got updates on both WrestleMania and Extreme Rules, Mick Foley's comments, Royal Rumble records and more.
 
        We also have an update on WWE television negotiations with NBC Universal, the unique thing they are offering as part of the deal and reaction inside WWE, as well as what WWE is hoping for from the deal.  We also look at why the network can lose money early and it not hurt WWE at all.
 
        We've got an update on WWE's paper worth with all the stock price increases as well as Vince McMahon's status.
 
        We also update with the latest plans for Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania, notes on the Extreme Rules sow in Seattle, the plight of Daniel Bryan and being a top guy or the top guy.
       
        We also have a lot more on KENTA's tryout with WWE and what makes this story so interesting.
 
        We also look at a situation that has evolved in the San Jose area regarding the 2015 WrestleMania and the city limiting access of independent promotions and what WWE could have done and did do in New Orleans.
 
        We look at WWE Fan Axxess, Ric Flair in WWE, WWE on Hulu, Sting negotiations and where they stand, and tons of comments from the original Sin Cara about his frustrations with WWE, his thoughts on the new Sin Cara, the new Mistico, Alberto Del Rio, Dwayne Johnson, the WWE system as well as why his not making it big was inevitable.  We also look at the development of La Mistica, a key reason WWE officials soured on him and what he's said about the Sin Cara name and why he'll continue to use it.
 
        We also look at contract renewals, upcoming TV taping news, a WWE performer gets a network TV special apart from WWE, as well as business notes from the past week and highlights from all the house shows.
 
        We've also got more on the Association of Ringside Physicians and their consensus statement about TRT in boxing and MMA.  We look at an organization that has not come out and concurred, the comments Dana White has made about the statement, the different ways the TRT subject can be handled and a look at the issue from both sides.
 
        We also have full coverage of the UFC on FOX 10 show, including in depth on the judging, the ratings and what they mean, match-by-match coverage as well as how the television show was presented and a decision by FOX that left viewers flat. 
 
        We also have a bio on the life and times of Jake Roberts as he goes into the WWE Hall of Fame, including thoughts on other Hall of Fame candidates for this year, when it was clear Roberts was going in, notes on Roberts' father in pro wrestling, how he got started, his motivation to be a headliner and his career before WWF.
 
        We also look at what huge drawing card he was part of getting his big break, the origins and getting over the DDT, his biggest feuds and most famous angles of his major WWF run, including Ricky Steamboat, Rick Rude, Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior and Ted DiBiase.  We look at Roberts quitting the company, his short runs in WCW and AAA, his return to WWF, and life after being in the wrestling spotlight.
 
        The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
 
        The Observer is now in its 31st year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world.  The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe.  Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively.  They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world.  Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.
 
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        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major television shows as well as segment breakdowns on Impact and who the biggest ratings movers on Raw have been.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--First big CMLL show of the year and first angles setting it up
 
--The beginnings of CMLL's major tournament
 
--More on AAA coming to the U.S.
 
--First two AAA tapings of the year
 
--Dragon Gate returns to iPPV very soon
 
--Tag title change in All Japan
 
--Big NOAH angel
 
--NOAH's biggest event of the week
 
--Two matches announced for next major NOAH show
 
--Jumbo Tsuruta Memorial show
 
--New Japan ads more iPPV shows including three in the next few days and lineups for all three events
 
--More notes on Tokyo Dome business
 
--How Tokyo Dome PPV business did compared to Sakuraba's heyday
 
--Update on New Japan contract signings for the new year
 
--Promotion looks to be on death's door
 
--Promotion loses its top two stars to surgery for the next several months
 
--More on the arrest of Matt Hardy and his Rebecca after alleged hotel altercation
 
--More notes on a Grand Jury investigation of the death of Nancy Argentino in 1983, the girlfriend/mistress of Jimmy Snuka
 
--Lots of details on the case
 
--Notes on Jim Ross' negotiations with FOX
 
--Notes on the new AGON promotion, what they are paying, what their goals are and what happened to the last company that tried something similar
 
--Notes on the arrest of Mike DiBiase, the son of Ted
 
--ROH weekend show notes and where things are going
 
--What the ROH attendance for the weekend show made clear
 
--Update on TNA television tapings going forward
 
--More notes on Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards in TNA including ideas that got changed
 
--More notes on the investor angle
 
--Notes on this week's TNA tapings and schedule
 
--Lots of Kurt Angle talk about WWE, TNA, Sting leaving and more
 
--Details on the Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva brawl while Ultimate Fighter was being filmed
 
--Dana White talks his views on WWE Network
 
--Dana White admits his company had a ton of UFC crossover but says no longer the case
 
--Update on Anderson Silva
 
--Silva says who he wants next
 
--Vitor Belfort says he'll apply for a TRT exemption, Nevada doctor and commissioner responds
 
--Dana White talks Ronda Rousey leaving to become an actress
 
--More notes on Sonnen-Silva season of TUF
 
--Anthony Pettis talks return and when
 
--UFC fighter talks drug addiction issues
 
--A look at a lot of new UFC fights including debut of Joe Ellenberger
 
--Update on Matt Grice
 
--Bellator negotiated second TV deal and how it went down as well as why it didn't come to fruition
 
--Update on Tito Ortiz
 
--Lots of new Bellator fights
 
--Ben Askren talks his One FC deal and what happened in talks with UFC
 
--World Series of Fighting signs former Olympian
 
--Notes on next WSOF show
 
--Notes on former Ultimate Fighter and his trial and conviction of spousal abuse
 
--Crazy story about an MMA fighter and a horrible brawl protecting his family
 
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        We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, 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.
 
Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Want to thank everyone for the flood of wonderful comments about last night's After Dark Radio interview with Jonestown survivor Leslie Wagner-Wilson. The near two-hour interview is up right now on the front page, or through afterdarkradioshow.com, and if you have any interest in the subject whatsoever, it's a must listen. Absolutely amazing woman.

-- Dave and I will be up late tonight on the F4WLive stream with a post-UFC report, plus tomorrow we've got Wrestling Observer Live's annual SuperBowl show (yes, going head-to-head) as well as a new Bryan & Vinny Show talking NXT, ROH and more at midnight PT/3 AM ET. The schedule and all audio links are up at F4WLive.com, plus you can access the stream 24/7 by searching "F4WLIVE" on TuneIn Radio's website or mobile app. Of course, if you miss a show or any portion of a show, our entire audio library is up for subscribers for as little as $9.99 per month depending upon how long you sign up for. It's Mania season, so if there was ever a time to sign up, this is it. Click hereand join the fun.

-- Fare thee well, Classics on Demand.

-- Dana White on CM Punk: "He quit? Really? No, he hasn't said a word to me. He hasn't reached out to me. I was with him all night in Chicago, he never said a word about it. He just showed up. We talked about a lot of things, fighting was not one of them. I like him, he's a great guy. It's a little late to get into the game, but who knows if he can fight? I don't know. We'll see what happens, but I like him a lot. He's a nice guy."

-- Teammate Michael Chiesa on the stories of what happened to Julianna Pena: "Pena was never 'attacked' by some guy. She was training with a 135er that she trains with on a regular basis. He wasn't talking shit to her for wearing a TUF shirt, and if he was, it was light-hearted gym humor. They were rolling and he went for a move that he's hit on her a thousand times before and it just happened. Nobody is to blame, it was a training accident. Just like Dominick Cruz. Everyone knows how hard she is to train with 'cause she's so damn tough. She only has one female partner that can somewhat challenge her. Even on the show, she was training with guys on her team and, correct me if I'm wrong, they made a point to say how tough she is. She's Cyborg-esque, I guess you could say, minus the PEDs. We're a very close knit team here in Spokane, she was training with someone that she's gone all the way to Canada to corner. She's held this guy's child, they are very close. This guy wasn't some attacker or whatever the hell she said. This whole thing is tearing our team apart."

-- Video of Steve Austin on the new Arsenio Hall show heretalking CM Punk and more.

-- Preview of the Kevin Steen Show with Davey Richards up here. Some pretty funny stuff.

-- Besides being the new investor, MVP will also be a wrestler with TNA. That seems like a conflict of interest.

-- A trailer for Wrestling Road Diaries 2, which is coming one of these days, is up here. The first one was excellent if you've never seen it.

-- There were people from the WWE office at last night's PWG event and we're told they loved the show.

-- In an unprecedented move, fierce competitors in the Octagon will put aside their long-standing rivalries to ensure research continues in a landmark study for professional fighters. Cleveland Clinic will announce it has received ongoing support to continue its Professional Fighters Brain Health Study from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), along with other boxing and mixed martial arts organizations. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator John McCain (R-AZ), UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, and UFC light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira will show their support for the study by joining executives from Cleveland Clinic. Sen. Reid was an amateur boxer in his youth, and Sen. McCain boxed at the U.S. Naval Academy and has been involved in legislation related to boxing since the mid-1990s.

-- New interview with Elijah Burke talking TNA and more here.

-- Gregory writes: "DDP will be in next Friday's episode of Shark Tank on ABC, likely pitching DDP yoga." Probably a pretty good guess.

-- Marty writes: Just to add to the report earlier, the blonde women who helped Sabin is European wrestler Alpha Female. Also after the Magnus v Gunner match, EC3 beat Eric Young for Xplosion. After off air Kurt Angle limped out and Eric Young angle slammed and ankle locked Carter 3 as Angle stood on the stage applauding.

-- Dave has a new story on Ricardo Lamas here.

-- OMEGA Championship Wrestling will host a live wrestling event on February 22, 2014 at the Smithfield Aquatics & Recreation Center to benefit the Autism Society of North Carolina. On the card are such wrestling superstars as former WWE wrestlers, Shane “The Hurricane” Helms and Matt Hardy, former ECW wrestler, C.W. Anderson, TNA superstar Gunner, Christian York and many more! Bell time is 7:30 pm. For more information, please visit http://www.omegachampionshipwrestling.com.

-- After kicking off 2014 in front of one of the biggest crowds for pro wrestling in the history of the Civic Auditorium, NWA Smoky Mountain makes its return to the Civic TONIGHT(Saturday, February 1) for Encore 2014. Doors open tonight at 7:15 PM and Bell Time is at 8:00 PM. Tickets are available for $15 for front row, and $10 for general admission.

-- Just two days removed from a live broadcast of Victor Ortiz vs. Luis Collazo from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 television channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, presents another blockbuster live boxing card today, Saturday, Feb. 1, at 12 p.m. ET from Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo, Monaco, headlined by undefeated WBA and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin making the first defense of 2014 against former title challenger Osumanu Adama.

-- Funkdafied Wrestling returns to the Long Hill Community Center, 264 South Warren Avenue in Stirling NJ this Saturday night, February 1 with a 7:00pm bell time. Headlining the event will be two former TV wrestling stars, the first being former WWE/TNA/ECW star Matt Hardy. The second, making his FwF debut is Christian York.

If you do get WWE network, besides PPVs, what are you most interested in?

 

If you have stopped subscribing to WWE network, why?

 

What was the best TV show of the week?