FRI UPDATE: Weekend schedule, Smackdown line-up, update on Jerry Brisco, Scott Hall sad update, Tomko, refs for UFC on FOX, Cena film skewered, tons more

By Bryan Alvarez

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Not the busiest of weekends led to WWE's Vengeance PPV on Sunday from San Antonio.

The only event of note tonight will be the XFC show live from Orlando on HDNet with this lineup

Bruce Connors (148.8) vs. John Mahlow (151)
Mike Bernhard (185) vs. Mikey Gomez (185)
Elijah Harshbarger (169.4) vs. Nicolas Cury (170)
Reggie Pena (185) vs. Josh Clark (184.6)
Molly Heisel (125) vs. Marianna Kheyfet (125)
Carmello Marrero (254.8) vs. Scott Barrett (264.8)
Jamie Varner (159.6) vs. Nate Jolly (159.6)

Saturday has a WWE combined Raw & Smackdown show in Corpus Christi.

Bellator runs on MTV 2 on Saturday night with bantamweight tournament semifinals with Marcos Galvao vs. Alexis Vila and Eduardo Dantas vs. Ed West, plus light heavyweight champion Christian M'Pumbu has a non-title fight against Travis Wiuff and Ricardo Tirioni vs. Steve Gable.

Sunday has WWE Vengeance from San Antonio, with Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena for the WWE title last man standing, Mark Henry vs. Big show for the world title, C.M. Punk & HHH vs. The Miz & R-Truth, Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes, Christian vs. Sheamus, Beth Phoenix vs. Eve Torres and Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder for the U.S. title.

Sunday is also All Japan at Tokyo Sumo Hall with Suwama vs. Jun Akiyama for the Triple Crown and Great Muta & Kenso vs. Dark Ozz & Dark Cuervo for the tag team titles.

Raw will be Monday from Austin, TX. This will be the start of the Survivor Series build and the beginning of pushing the return of The Rock.

Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday at the Toyota Center in Houston.

TNA tapes four hours of television on Wednesday night in Macon with James Storm vs. Bobby Roode for the TNA title and Ronnie from Jersey Shore teaming with Eric Young vs. Robbie E & Rob Terry.

        The annual Hall of Fame issue of the Observer is up on the sight today.  It is a double issue, our traditional most talked about issue of the year.

        We look at the three new entrants to the Hall of Fame with extensive biographies on former U.K. wrestling announcer Kent Walton, Curtis Iaukea and Steve "Dr. Death" Williams.  These go into detail on all of their careers, and lives before and after pro wrestling.  With Williams we've got an extensive overview of his life, from his high school and college days, his career in the U.S. and Japan, his battle with cancer, drug issues, and legacy.  We also talk about the high period of Mid South Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and the politics in Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW, and what match cost him likely $1 million in future payoffs and why.
        With Walton, we talk about the voice of wrestling in a country for 33 years, his background, as well as the history of U.K. wrestling on television, and with Iaukea, we talk extensively about the glory days of pro wrestling in places like Hawaii and Australia, plus his runs all over North America, his life after wrestling, the story of how he got into a Three Stooges movie, the day he quit the Oakland Raiders with an all-pro player in the middle of training camp, and how he got over first in Japan and made his name for two decades there as a main event star.
        We look at the voting including not only the complete voting breakdown, how one gets in, who has been eliminated from the ballot and what huge names debut on the ballot next year which will make it the most interesting Hall of Fame election in years.  We also have a breakdown of the voting by group, from active wrestlers, retired wrestlers, reporters and historians and who did well in what group.
        For all the wrestlers who came close, we look at where their voting support came from and why they didn't get in.
        We also have a rundown on the injury to Georges St. Pierre, how this changes UFC 137, business notes including an estimate on how much UFC revenues for the show will decrease by losing the main event.  We look at this as a comparison of The Rock missing WrestleMania.
        We also have a first estimate on the UFC 136 buy rate and the story that it tells.  We look at the power of title matches on UFC purchases, fan reaction vs. selling, what matches were promoted and where UFC looks to be strongest.  We also have more on the change in UFC start times.  We also have a lot more on Chael Sonnen, licensing, and the second aspect of Sonnen being licensed.  We look at Sonnen withdrawing his loser leaves town stipulation and likely why he said it in the first place.
        We also have a lot of news regarding the WWE network and plans to launch it even sooner than you think.  We look at ideas for new shows, a new concept when it comes to WWE and the PPV business, plus an update on Vengeance, more on Brock Lesnar in the WWE video game, next combined Raw & Smackdown taping for Smackdown, next live Smackdown, and more details on this year's Tribute to the Troops show.
        We also look at two WWE executives profiled, behind the new nickname for John Laurinaitis, suspension of Heath Slater, what wrestler is getting strong reviews for his recent work, new concept of running angles off television, Vince's love/hate relationship with the divas on television, WWE going to Japan, the son of a Hall of Famer who just debuted with WWE, something the company did nice for its talent over the past week, Bret Hart talks more about his thoughts and what he says different from in the Hart vs. Michaels DVD, plus all the business notes and highlights from the house shows in Mexico.
        We also look at two movies coming out based on UFC stars, one that will be in theaters in a few weeks. 
        We've also got full coverage of TNA's Bound for Glory show, including a look at Hogan stealing the show, the value of Hogan stealing the show, early business notes on the show regarding attendance and the debut of TNA as a theater product and comparisons to UFC's debut in the same marketplace.
        We also have full details regarding what went down with the decision by Hulk Hogan to not have Bobby Roode win the title.  We look at Roode vs. Storm, the prospective feud, having the title change on free television, the injury to Kurt Angle, the backstage reaction, why Hogan was able to make the call and the real decision making power in TNA right now no matter who tries to claim otherwise.
        We've also got match-by-match coverage of the show, star ratings and poll results on the show.
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        We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week.
        We also have our regular weekly features with results of all the major arena events around the world, as well as all the major TV show
         Also in this week's issue:
--Lots of wrestlers trying out for WWE spots this week
--Famous wrestler eliminate from reality show
--A look at the turns of La Parka and Octagon
--Major stip match involving brothers vs. brothers feud
--What former WWE star is now using the name of one of the most famous overseas wrestling stars
--Title change in Japan
--The next NOAH major show takes shape with two new matches
--NOAH's major singles tournament
--Thoughts on the Scott Hall E:60 piece
--Hall's past in rehab
--What Hall was telling his friends just this past week about his plans
--Lots of details on the Wrestling Revolution Project
--Why Prince Devitt wasn't there
--Characters and the idea behind the 13-week series
--Different wrestlers as their new ring names
--A look at some of the best matches that were taped
--Shakeup at Spike TV and where that stands for TNA wrestling
--Spike makes first hint at future in MMA
--Notes on the hiring of David Lagana by TNA
--A look at TNA's outside projects
--Why Eric Bischoff has so much power in TNA
--Kurt Angle inducted into yet another Hall of Fame
--Jeff Hardy talks about being sent home and his return
--TNA working with another promotion on a promotion vs. promotion angle
--Sting talks about Jeff hardy
--More on the case of John Graziano
--More thoughts on Hogan's burial of A.J. Styles and Bobby Roode
--New TNA front office exec hired
--Hogan video game reviews
--MMA names contacted by TNA
--Notes on upcoming TNA TV shows
--Surprising UFC cut
--Notes on the final Strikeforce show of the year
--Update on Gina Carano
--New UFC matches and new UFC injuries
--Bellator upcoming matches including what could be the most interesting of the season
--More on the end of an era, one of the biggest annual events of the year is no more
--Floyd Mayweather numbers update   
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America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.

-- Jim Ross on Gerald Brisco, who suffered a mild stroke yesterday: "Spoke to Jerry Brisco today. He's still hospitalized in Tampa after suffering 'mild' stroke on Wednesday. He's feeling better & is a fighter."

-- Update on Tomko here. WWE will be paying for his rehab. He was jailed last week on second degree robbery charges after allegedly threatening a CVS employee to get Oxycontin, which he then took to a nearby Chili's and injected. He admitted both the CVS worker and the police that he had a major drug problem and wanted help.

-- TMZ had a story yesterday noting that since filming of the Scott Hall E:60 special, Scott's son Cody had become fed up with his father, moved out, and has given up on plans to be a pro-wrestler. Hall, who was in the hospital for seizures last week, is back in rehab on WWE's dime.

-- John McCarthy, Herb Dean and Larry Landless are the referees for UFC on FOX. Two out of three isn't bad.

-- There is a scathing review of John Cena's newest WWE film in Variety here. It includes, swear to God, a photo of Cena on a horse playing a cowboy. It is beyond preposterous, almost to the point of actually making me want to see it. The film is called, " one of the most poorly assembled scripts to emerge from the wrestling franchise."

-- Very important note on the DirecTV/FOX story that went up on the front page last night. The story specifically notes: "Fox Networks includes FX, National Geographic Channel, 19 regional sports networks, Fox Movie Channel, Speed, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes. Fox broadcast stations and Fox News Channel are not involved in the negotiations."In other words, UFC on FOX won't be affected. Thanks to all that sent that in.

-- The Rangers-Cardinals World Series game last night did a 9.9 rating based on the metered markets. Overall rating should end up in that range.

-- Smackdown tonight has Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show, Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara mask vs. mask in a For Free On TV With No Build Match, Mark Henry vs. John Morrison based on Henry killing Morrison in a tag match, Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan and more.

-- Craig writes: There is a small article in this months Maxim about CM Punk. It talks about his infamous interview on June 27's Raw and how is now a "superstar" among the likes of Stone Cold and the Rock. They talk about his life, how he came into the WWE and where his career is now. Though they did say he would be headlining Survivor Series (I guess no one told them about the Rock).Or about how Miz and Truth on Monday said they assured that he wouldn't get another title shot for a long, long time to come.

-- Shawn writes: Earlier today I can hear radio station here in Winnipeg talking about Scott Hall. They said that he went by the name "the bad guy" "Scot Hall" "machismo", etc. I thought "Oh my God! they're giving his obituary! why else would he be randomly mentioned on the radio?". turns out it was a radio contest to call in and tell them what his ring name was in WWF. Then they plugged the E:60 special. I just thought it was sad how that conclusion can be jumped to these days.

-- Chael Sonnen will host the 2011 World MMA Awards on Nov. 30th. That should be something else.

-- You can follow my wife's TEAM VIGGITY training diary here. Peachmachine, who used to be the regular co-host on Ed's show, put together a program for her. If you tell him that you heard about the program at he will give you $50 off a training program of your own. She also has shirts, shorts, sports bras and more available if you want to support the cats. You can also like her page on Facebook

-- Fighter Girls, a one-hour special, airs on CNN Sunday night at 8 Eastern/5 Pacific.

-- Alex Marvez has a look at Chris Kanyon's book, which he wrote before his suicide, here. He also has a look at George Napolitano's book here.

-- Chyna will be visiting the Exxxotica Expo. More here.

-- Kevin Steen interview talking ROH angle here.

-- Audio interviews with Rob Conway and, no joke, FUNAKI up here.

-- Shane Helms talks Lucha Libre USA and more here.

-- Which of these people is the strongest Hall of Fame candidate?
John Cena 36.1%
Brock Lesnar 23.7%
Buddy Rose 14.6%
Hiroshi Tanahashi 10.4%
Domenic DeNucci 5.0%
Sharpe Brothers 3.0%
Mario Milano 2.8%
Johnny Barend 2.8%
Masahiko Kimura 1.7%

Amazed that some people find Buddy Rose a better candidate than John Cena, and I loved Buddy Rose, was his friend and trained with him.

Who is the best executive in the business right now?
Dana White 58.2%
Lorenzo Fertitta 15.2%
Jim Cornette 12.1%
Vince McMahon 8.0%
Eric Bischoff 2.1%
Dixie Carter 1.9%
Paco Alonso 1.2%
Roldan Family 0.6%
Bjorn Rebney 0.6%

Will PPV be a viable money making option for wrestling and MMA in 2017
Yes for both 39.1%
Yes for MMA only 28.9%
Yes for wrestling only 4.1%
No 27.9%

What is the biggest future problem facing pro wrestling and MMA?
Out of touch creative in pro wrestling 40.0%
Pro wrestling's inability to make viable new stars 22.4%
Overexposure of product in both 10.7%
Pro wrestling's lack of talent movement 5.1%
Overexposure only in MMA 5.0%
Pro wrestling being a dated spectacle 4.4%
Piracy of PPV 3.9%
Pro wrestling being perceived as kids entertainment 3.7%
Bad economy 2.9%
Changing technology 1.5%
Overexposure of pro wrestling only 0.4%

Poll on Ultimate Fighter
Excellent 52.0%
Good 36.6%
Average 4.9%
Fair 1.6%
Poor 4.9%
47.2% of those responding didn't see the show. These are some of the best numbers a regular show has gotten in a long time.

-- NSPW in Quebec City Saturday October 22nd at Horizon Center celebrates its 50th show with a heavyweight tournament featuring Steve Corino, Michael Elgin, Franky the Mobster, Mike Rollins and Dru Onyx. Also on the card, LuFisto, Colby Corino and Gabby Gilbert. Mike Kehner will be the senior referee for the show.

-- SOCAL PRO 20 MAN ROYAL RUMBLE. Sat. October 22nd 2011
Oceanside Boys & Girls Club 
401 Country Club Ln
Oceanside, CA

-- Texas All-Star Wrestling presents the "HUMBLE STREET FIGHT" this Saturday night October 22nd. All the action takes place at Coaches Sports Bar located at 5403 FM 1960 Rd E in Humble. Bring the kids out for a fun night at the TASW Wrestling matches starting at 8pm. Tickets prices are $15.00 for adults, and $10.00 for kids 12 & under.

-- The Gail Kim Shoot DVD is now shipping at

-- Ed's show runs down the Hall of Fame this week. I may or may not be on the show. Link will be here.

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?