SATURDAY UPDATE: Mania tickets on sale today, Ross returns Monday, fighter death from August conclusion, Roddy Piper talks last awful Piper's Pit, Colt interviews Punk, tons more



By Bryan Alvarez

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

@bryanalvarez

We're looking for reports from today's Raw show in Minehead, U.K. and Smackdown in Lisbon, Portugal as well as yesterday's Raw house show in Cardiff, Wales and TNA in Windsor, ONT at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

New Japan Power Struggle iPPV from Osaka at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/njpw1972 on Sunday (late Saturday night) at 4 a.m. Eastern and 1 a.m. Pacific time (or you can be like me and watch the replay when you wake up Sunday)

Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov vs. Alex Shelley & Kushida for IWGP jr. tag titles

Manabu Nakanishi & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Captain New Japan & Negro Casas vs. Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka & Tomohiro Ishii 7 Yoshi-Hashi & Jado

Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Minoru Suzuki & Taichi

Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan for IWGP tag team titles

Low Ki vs. Prince Devitt for IWGP jr. title

Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue

Kazuchika Okada vs. Hirooki Goto for the No. 1 contender briefcase

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Karl Anderson for the IC title

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yujiro Takahashi for IWGP heavyweight title

TNA Turning Point PPV on Sunday from Orlando

ODB & Eric Young vs. Tara & Jessie

Joseph Park vs. Doc (Drew Hankinson/Luke Gallows)

Rob Van Dam vs. Joey Ryan for X title

Kurt Angle vs. Devon

Samoa Joe vs. Magnus in no DQ match for TV title

Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Hernandez vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian for tag titles

Bobby Roode vs. James Storm vs. A.J. Styles - Winner is No. 1 contender for TNA title, loser can't get a title shot until October of next year

Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries in a ladder match for the TNA title

Raw will air live from Columbus, OH on Monday night.

Smackdown, Saturday Morning Slam and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Cleveland. Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes was announced for Main Event for the tag titles.

TNA is also taping on Monday in Orlando for the 11/15 show, so they are not live next week.  They tape Tuesday for the Thanksgiving night show.

        The 2012 issue of the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame is now out and will be on the web site today.  This is the biggest and most talked about issue of the year.  Because there was so much news this week, of the six new inductees into the Hall of Fame, we only have three biographies this week.  We will have almost a second Hall of Fame issue in a few weeks with more biographies.  We also have part one of a story on the career of Brad Armstrong, Linda McMahon's election post mortem, WWE financials and a lot more.
 
        The main story is a look at the Hall of Fame and who was inducted.  We've got not only a list of the ballot results but a breakdown of how the top candidates did with different groups.  We also look at the near misses and background on them and a look at a number of the candidates who didn't get in, as well as a look at next year's ballot additions.
 
        We have a look at the McMahon campaign for senate, results and the key factors at the end that caused her loss.
 
        We've got a look at the death of 80s star Brad Armstrong of the famous Armstrong wrestling family, and his different roles in wrestling, why his full-time agree ended and notes about his death.
 
        We also look at the booking about-face made by WWE with the change in Survivor Series.  We talk about why the change was made, the new card, and more on the WWE title switch.
 
        We've got a beginning look at the WWE financials, in particular more talk about the network, details on how the PPV shows did this year as compared with last year, why profitability is down, more on how much they are earning for the third hour of Raw, value of Brock Lesnar.
 
        We also have notes on what percentage of WWE revenues goes to talent right now as compared with real sports.  We also look at an update on what is going on in New York for WrestleMania week.  We've got more on the WWE video game and future of THQ, WWE in talks for mega events outside the U.S., as well as European tour business.  We have more on the background of Brad Maddox and how he got his spot and push.  We also have updates on injuries and planned return dates for a number of WWE performers.
 
        We also look at the return of Great Khali, Booker T talks his fight from a few years back with Batista, Daniel Bryan talks difficulty in getting management behind him, plus we've got all the business notes of the European tour and notes from all the events.
 
        We also look at the debut and goals of the new World Series of Fighting promotion on its first show.  We look at how the show did in ratings, the stars, the production and what it needs for financial viability.
 
        We also look at Scott Steiner's second lawsuit against TNA, and why one of the charges involved is very serious, or the ultimate cheap shot.
 
        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 29th 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.
 
        If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.  Just sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        You can also order by paypal by sending to www.paypal.com and directing the funds to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        You can also subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA  95009-1228. 
 
         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:
 
--Notes on the last AAA TV taping
 
--Notes on Dragon Gate USA shows over the weekend in the U.S.
 
--Hall of Fame candidate and recuperation from neck surgery and what the doctors told him about his future
 
--A look at Pro Wrestling NOAH's next major show
 
--The beginnings of the 2012 World League tournament
 
--A preview of the New Japan iPPV this weekend
 
--Notes on the finals of the New Japan Super junior tag team tournament
 
--Update on Tetsuya Naito and his return to pro wrestling
 
--Upcoming CMLL/New Japan joint shows announced
 
--Woman star for more than 26 years announces her retirement
 
--Akebono vs. Onita feud continues
 
--Notes from the funeral of Mike Graham
 
--NWA title decision
 
--Promoter from the 80s resurfaces looking at doing a pro wrestling reality show based on starting of a new promotion
 
--Update on Kelly Kelly
 
--Full lineup and television build for ROH Final Battle
 
--A look at where all the ROH TV angles are going
 
--More on the Hogan lawsuit regarding the sex tape
 
--Update on the Turning Point lineup
 
--Future of Eric Young in TNA
 
--Notes on the plans for TNA television between now and the end of the year
 
--What former WWE wrestler tried out for TNA
 
--A look at TNA developmental and Jessie
 
--Notes on weekend TNA house shows
 
--UFC official talks about ramping up drug testing next year
 
--Preview of the UFC show this weekend
 
--Notes on the big matches planned for 2013 in UFC
 
--Notes on a directive within UFC as far as younger fighters goes
 
--Notes on UFC's dates for FOX this coming year
 
--Lots of new UFC fights
 
--Notes on Tough Enough for this season
 
--Ticket sale advances for upcoming UFC dates
 
--More on the Stephan Bonnar suspension
 
--Another UFC fighter talks retirement
 
--Notes on UFC video game
 
--Chael Sonnen building up his fight
 
--Notes on this season's Ultimate Fighter cast
 
--Eddie Alvarez contract update 
 
--Notes on  Bellator's first reality show and upcoming cards 
 

 
Rates are:
 
        For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for 4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52.  In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 for 52 .
 
        If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
 
        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

-- We'll have a better breakdown tomorrow, but WrestleMania tickets went on sale today and the most expensive seats (price levels 1 and 2) appear to be gone. There are still tickets in the $700 range available. At Stubhub, they had 5200 for sale today going from $72.99 to $20,000 for front row. Should be noted that this is less than last year at this time.

-- Jim Ross tweeted that he'll be in the announce booth this coming Monday when Jerry Lawler returns, so after all these years it'll be back to Cole, JR and Ross. At least for the time being.

-- Well this is unfortunate. UFC ran on-screen ads for the GSP vs. Condit PPV on today's FUEL event from China. Unfortunately, on at least some of them (not sure about all as I haven't seen the show yet, but I know at least some because people sent screen shots) they had the date listed as November 10, 2012 – that's today. Show is next Saturday.

-- After today's UFC on FUEL event, the company announced a March 3rd date in Japan at the Saitama Super Arena. It'll be a Sunday morning show in Japan, meaning it'll air Saturday night in the US. Dong Hyun Kim wants a rematch with Damien Maia on that show.

-- Lance Storm has a look at trainees who made it big here. His next Storm Wrestling Academy session starts in January and there are a few slots open.

-- Coroner Rae Wooten told MMA Junkie that after an exhaustive investigation they were unable to determine a cause of death fo South Carolina fighter Tyrone Mims, who passed away after a fight on August 11th. They looked for everything, drug use (he took a Percocet prior to the fight but that was it), evidence of concussion or brain injury (none), and more, and the best they could theorize was that perhaps he had an irregular heart due to an electrical dysfunction, something that cannot be determined after death.

-- Joe Warren beat Owen Evinger via decision in the main event of last night's Bellator show.

-- Haven, which often guest-stars Edge (though not anytime in the foreseeable future after his recent neck surgery), has been renewed for a fourth season.

-- Just a reminder that all three of last week's DGUSA events (write-ups are in this week's new Figure Four Weekly which is available on the front page, some very good wrestling all three nights) are up as iPPVs at WWNLive.comright now. Gargano vs. Tozawa vs. Fox vs. Ricochet from Freedom Fight is being called by a lot of DGUSA fans the best DGUSA/EVOLVE match this year and a legit Match of the Year candidate.

-- Roddy Piper tweeted that he'd heard Vince McMahon was upset about the last Piper's Pit segment on Raw (it was awful), but Piper said nobody had ever said anything to him about it, and if you thought it sucked, "I DIDN'T WRITE THAT CRAP". He said to blame the writers.

-- CM Punk is on Colt Cabana's podcast here.

-- Trailer for Breaking Kayfabe with Lanny Poffo is up here.

-- Eric Bischoff interview heretalking the benefits of going live. “Being live makes all the difference in the world," he says. Actually, that is factually incorrect, in the sense that if you look at the facts of the matter (did going live make all the difference in the world to TNA or, in fact, did it make absolutely no difference at all), the answer is that no, going live does not make all the difference in the world, and in the case of TNA, it made no difference whatsoever. Although I will say, I think going live is important because it makes the wrestlers in the ring and the fans in the building FEEL like the show is more important, and that makes for a better quality product even if it does not, in fact, make all the difference in the world.

-- California Classic Wrestling wacky gimmicks and angles podcast up here.

-- New interview with Ryan Howe, formerly of Tough Enough, here.

-- Paul writes: Last night Rachel Maddow had a feature on Republicans having little support from women during the elections. The segment opened with special mention of Linda's lack of support despite being a woman (as well as the $100m she's spent in the past several years campaigning). The show can be viewed at www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908 and the segment is called "Women Remembered".

-- Interview with Bobby Starr up here.

-- Will Turning Point Get 10,000 buys?
Yes 19.8%
No 80.2%

Will the New Japan Power Struggle PPV get more than 750 buys outside Japan?
Yes 59.0%
No 41.0%

Will UFC form China get 100,000 viewers on the live early morning show on Fuel?
Yes 13.3%
No 86.7%

Should Ronda Rousey's first match in UFC be with Cyborg?
Yes 38.8%
No, they should both have matches prior building them 61.2%

Poll on Impact
Excellent 21.0%
Good 46.0%
Average 19.0%
Fair 4.0%
Poor 10.0%
38.3% of those responding didn't see the show

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Which of these main events would draw the best?

 

What are you planning on watching on Friday?