FRI UPDATE: Weekend preview, Impact announce team notes, Hell in a Cell finish, Linda screws up, Punk talks Ryback, new UFC signings, 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 reports on tonight's TNA show in Poplar Bluff, MO to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Scheduled on the tour this weekend are Jeff Hardy, Bully Ray, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Mickie James, James Storm, A.J. Styles and Tara.

Very quiet weekend. Little in the way of events with WWE not touring before Hell in a Cell on Sunday.

Bellator from the Nutter Center in Dayton, OH at 8 p.m. on MTV 2:

- Lyman Good (170.5) vs. Michail Tsarev (171) in the welterweight tournament semifinals

- Andrey Koreshkov (170.5) vs. Marius Zaromskis (170.5) in the welterweight tournament semifinals

- Alvin Robinson (145) vs. Daniel Straus (145.5)

- Brian Rogers (185) vs. Dominique Steele (184.5)

- Women's champion Zoila Gurgel, who was a focal point of the advertising on television last week for the show, is instead in a dark match with Casey Noland which airs at 7 p.m. on Spike.com

Smackdown tonight on Syfy:

- Kane vs. Cody Rhodes

- Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett

- Kaitlyn & Layla vs. Eve Torres & Aksana

- Daniel Bryan vs. Damien Sandow

- The main event is an in-ring angle with Sheamus and Big Show at the end of the show

Ultimate Fighter airs tonight at 10 p.m. on FX. Saturday night has a TNA house show in St. Louis at the Chaifetz Arena.

Hell in a Cell on Sunday from the Phillips Arena in Atlanta:

- C.M. Punk vs. Ryback for the WWE title in a Hell in a Cell match

- Sheamus vs. Big Show for the World title

- Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio

- Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes for tag titles

- Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz for IC title

- Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn vs. Layla for the Divas title

- The pre-show at 7:30 p.m. on the WWE web site will feature a John Cena interview addressing the charges made by Vickie Guerrero.

Raw will be Monday night in Charlotte. Smackdown, Main event and Saturday Morning Slam will be taped on Tuesday night in Fayetteville.

THIS WEEK'S OBSERVER: Women in UFC, final WWE Wrestlemania numbers, more

Everyone who subscribes this month for either the print or web site version of the newsletter will get our most talked about issue, the Hall of Fame issue that comes out in less than two weeks.  There will be six new entrants into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, voted on by those in the business, as well as reporters and historians in our annual balloting.

We look at the final WrestleMania PPV numbers, among the highest in history, and the ratings from Raw on Monday, the new 15-year-low and more.

We also have an update on women in UFC and why this subject is a lot more complicated than most think due to contractual issues.  We look at what the hold up would be, examine how this may or may not effect when and if a Cris Cyborg vs. Ronda Rousey fight takes place, as well as a look at the future of Strikeforce and the UFC's relationship with Showtime.  We look at plans for the next show, the future of the brand, how soon Rousey can come to UFC is needed, Showtime ratings and Strikeforce history.
 
        We also have a huge feature on the glory days of Florida wrestling and behind the suicide death of Mike Graham.  We look first at his father, the legendary Eddie Graham, and how Graham at one time may have been the most powerful figure in the pro wrestling industry.  We look at the legend of the Graham Brothers in Madison Square Garden, Eddie Graham coming to Florida, the Eddie Graham booking philosophy, the ascension of Gordon Solie and the greatest angles in Florida history, Dusty Rhodes' babyface turn and Eddie Graham vs. The Great Malenko. 
 
        We look at the role Eddie Graham played in wrestling, his dark side, Mike Graham growing up.  We look at the background of the suicide, the death of Mike's father and son, and how it actually happened.  We look at the two different sides of Mike Graham, from his contemporaries in the 70s and those who knew him in the 90s.  We look at Mike Graham's role in the Brian Pillman/Sid Vicious encounter, as well as his role in Chris Benoit and Eddy Guerrero going to WWF.  We also look at Graham's role when it came to the booking of Bill Goldberg and why he was assigned often to Goldberg.  We look at the high school wrestling rivalry with Mike Graham and Ricky Steamboat, and how that in a way played a role in Steamboat becoming a pro wrestler.  We also look at the number of different pro wrestlers who went to high school with Mike Graham.
 
        We look at his powerlifting, feats of strength, junior heavyweight run, biggest rivals, the death of the  Florida territory, and look back at the death of Eddie Graham.
 
        We also have WrestleMania ticket notes, Mid South library notes, Chris Jericho talks about what is up with hi and WWE, Hell in a Cell lineup notes, notes on WWE tax credits, the Linda McMahon campaign, polls, and moves that she's made over the last week.  We also note the background of the A.J. storyline, holiday television schedule, DVD news, why Jack Swagger was gone, Video game news, as well as business notes from the past week and house show highlights.  
 
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        We also look at the Dragon Gate PPV in Japan over the weekend.
 
        We've also got exclusive detailed PPV numbers for Night of Champions, and how it compares with last year, as well as WWE numbers when it comes to house shows, merchandise, DVD sales and more for the month of September.
 
         We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on how every segment of Raw and Impact this past week did.  We look at what segments gained and lost viewers
 
        We also have results from all the major league arena events over the past week as well as a look at all the major television shows.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--Several promotions working together, including two different sets of meetings over the past week
 
--Top star talked about coming to Mexico
 
--A list of some of the biggest drawing cards in the history of pro wrestling in Mexico
 
--Update on Hector Garza's battle with cancer
 
--Hall of Famer talking a full-time comeback next year when he gets back into shape
 
--Some very depressing attendance figures for Mexico
 
--All Japan big show coverage and what the next programs are
 
--Lineup for the 2012 Real World Tag League tournament
 
--Notes on the 2012 Global league tournament
 
--Super Juniors tag team tournament
 
--El Generico vs. Kota Ibushi rematch
 
--Ultimo Dragon 25th anniversary show
 
--Return to pro wrestling of Genichiro Tenryu
 
--Death of Brain Damage
 
--Update on Tammy Sytch
 
--Behind the return of Portland Wrestling and notes on the first taping
 
--Former WCW exec now working as a major player in the tennis world
 
--Former football player getting strong reviews on indie scene
 
--Update on Terry Funk and Tony Schiavone
 
--Retired wrestler comes back for one last match so his daughter can see him
 
--Sleazy story of the week
 
--Hulk Hogan, Bubba the Love Sponge and the latest sordid details
 
--More notes on TNA in the U.N.
 
--TNA wrestler opening restaurant
 
--TNA house show notes
 
--UFC 153 PPV numbers
 
--UFC closed circuit show
 
--Update on Tito Ortiz and Frank Shamrock
 
--UFC Canadian plans for next year
 
--UFC drug testing suspensions and results overturned
 
--UFC legal updates
 
--UFC fighter does grandstand play
 
--UFC manager becoming promoter
 
--UFC star opening two gyms
 
--Retirement of a former Japanese star
 
--Bellator reality show notes
 
--Eddie Alvarez update
 
--Notes on recent Bellator events
 
--Notes on Here Comes the Boom
 
--Update on the Invicta promotion
 
--World Series of Fighting notes
 
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Today's News, Notes and Links

-- The death of Mike Graham was likely a suicide.

-- It appears the finish for Punk vs. Ryback at Hell in a Cell is changing at least daily.

-- Spike TV had cameras at last night's Ohio Valley Wrestling TV taping, filming King Mo for what appears to be an upcoming TV special attempting to get him over to both the pro wrestling and MMA audience on Spike. He's still not ready to get into the ring as a performer so they mostly just filmed him sitting in the crowd and such, and likely everything else was done backstage.

-- Not sure if it's a permanent change, but Jeremy Borash and Todd Kenely being moved to the 8-9 announcing spot on Impact Thursday was done as a way to freshen up the show a bit. I thought they both did a great job, although Kenely did sound a little like Kenny Floiran doing a FUEL broadcast which isn't a bad thing.

-- Quinton Jackson claimed (and this was confirmed by Dana White) that he'd been offered the TUF coaching gig opposite Chael Sonnen but had turned it down because Chael is a boring humping fighter that he doesn't want to face. He said that he was happy to be fighting Glover Texeira, and claimed that when he was told the Chael vs. Forrest Griffin fight was off, he offered to face both Glover and Griffin on the same night.

-- There is a story here on what appears to be a major misstep in the Linda McMahon campaign. Essentially, she has a new campaign commercial here where various people explain that they are going to vote for Barack Obama (Democrat) and also Linda McMahon (Republican). This led to a firestorm among Republican voters who believe that the commercial suggests Linda supports Obama for President and not Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate. Her team made the following statement on Facebook: "Linda actively supports Governor Romney. The ad is Democrats explaining that they are going to vote for Linda on the Independent party line. There are thousands of Democrats and Independents who are supporting Linda over Chris Murphy because she is a job creator, not a professional politician."

-- New CM Punk interview at Slam Wrestling where he talks about the one goal he has left as a pro wrestler here.

-- New video from EVOLVE here looking at the creation over next year's WrestleCon weekend (in association with WrestleMania festivities) of the first-ever EVOLVE singles champion. There is another video here with Chuck Taylor doing the Book It Cam. There is also the EVOLVE 11 DVD teaser (Finlay vs. Sami Callihan) here.

-- Check out UFC new ring girl here.

-- Interview in the Baltimore Sun with CM Punk here talking about being excited to work with Ryback at Hell in a Cell and why.

-- TJ Grant signed a new four-fight deal with UFC.

-- A blog page for the new Pro Wrestling Heroes and Icons book (we'll be reviewing in more detail soon) is up here. Check out the book here: The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: Heroes & Icons (Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame series)alt

-- Charles writes: Former WWE announcer Jonathan Coachman has a daily radio show on ESPN Radio with longtime ESPN host Linda Cohn. And as part of their show, they were reading tweets and one of whom, asked a question of Coach about his WWE days. In particular, he wanted to know more about what was going on with the storyline about The Rock forcing him to dance. Coachman sighed audibly then said that they were working something with Rock, Rock made him dance a few times including the Charleston and then proceeded to kick him in a painful area before booting him out of the ring and then cutting a very Rock-esque promo. Coachman ended the segment that with all the Wrestling questions they get, answering one or two may become a regular bit on their show.

-- CHIKARA: "The Cibernetico Rises" Sunday, November 18th Live at The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City! Tickets on Sale Right Now! Doors = 12:00 pm Belltime = 1:00 pm. More info here.

-- FSW presents its 3rd Annual Tricks, Treats, & Slams, at the FSW Arena, at 6658 Boulder Hwy, Las Vegas, Nevada. Tonight's main event is a Halloween Battle Royal, featuring the FSW stars, dressed as the stars of yesteryear. Tonight marks the returns of former WWE Superstar Rico, as he will appear in tonight's Battle Royal. Watch the latest episode of FSW High Octane, featuring The Young Bucks.

Who should win the Hell In A Cell match?
C.M. Punk 31.5%
Ryback 20.2%
No decision, Punk retains 48.3%

What did you think of WWE Main Event?
Excellent 13.9%
Good 47.2%
Average 20.8%
Fair 6.9%
Poor 11.1%
56.6% of those responding didn't see the show

Should Jeff Blatnick be put in the UFC Hall of Fame?
Yes 76.2%
No 23.8%

Will Raw beat a 3.0 average rating in January?
Yes 43.8%
No 56.2%

-- Ed, Craig and Cutrer welcome Trina Michaels to Over the Top Radio tonight here.