FRIDAY UPDATE: Big weekend preview, Survivor Series and UFC 154 notes, GSP's return, Dana and Rousey confirm signing, Hogan sex tape link, Cody Rhodes, tons more

By Bryan Alvarez

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


We're looking for reports on tonight's TNA show in Knoxville as well as last night's show in Johnson City, TN at 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

Bellator tonight on MTV 2 at 8 p.m. from Kingston, RI:

Jonas Billstein (185) vs. Perry Filkins (185)

Dustin Neace (146) vs. Marlon Sandro (145.5)

Dave Jansen (156) vs. Ricardo Tirloni (156) in a lightweight tournament semifinal

Rich Clementi (156) vs. Marcin Held (156) in a lightweight tournament semifinal

Legacy Fighting Championships tonight at 10 p.m. on AXS from Houston:

William Bush vs. Noel Ligon for vacant middleweight title

Robert Drysdale vs. Chris Reed

Angel Huerta vs. Saul Elizondo

Ray Blodget vs. Nick Gonzalez

UFC 154 is Saturday night from Montreal:

Facebook fights at 6 p.m.

Darren Elkins vs. Steven Siler

Azamat Gashimov vs. Ivan Menjivar

Matt Riddle vs. John Maguire

Antonio Carvalho vs. Rodrigo Damm

FX at 8 p.m.

Mark Bocek vs. Rafael Dos Anjos

John Makdessi vs. Sam Stout

Cyrille Diabate vs. Chad Griggs

Patrick Cote vs. Alessio Sakara

PPV at 10 p.m.

Mark Hominick vs. Pablo Garza

Costa Philippou vs. Nick Ring

Francis Carmont vs. Tom Lawlor

Johny Hendricks vs. Martin Kampmann

Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit for the welterweight title

TNA has a show on Saturday night in Spartanburg, SC at the Memorial Auditorium.

Sunday is the Survivor Series from Indianapolis

*C.M. Punk vs. John Cena vs. Ryback for the WWE title

*Big Show vs. Sheamus for the World title

*Team Foley (Kofi Kingston & Daniel Bryan & Kane & The Miz & Randy Orton) vs. Team Ziggler (Dolph Ziggler & Alberto Del Rio & Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes* & Wade Barrett) in an elimination match. Rhodes may not participate due to suffering a concussion on Tuesday.

*Antonio Cesaro vs. R-Truth for the U.S. title

*Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn for the Divas title

*Bonus match to be added involving Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara (not announced but it was planned as of a week ago)

*Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal at 7:30 p.m. on Facebook, You Tube and

Raw will be live on Monday night from the Nutter Center in Dayton. Superstars will also be taped there,

Smackdown, Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam will be taped on Tuesday in Grand Rapids. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler has been announced as the main event for that show.

        We have several lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that will be up on the web site today.  We look at the return of Jerry Lawler, including thoughts on how it was handled on television and why it is emblematic of everything WWE wants the public to think it isn't, and why they can't shake that reputation.  We also look at how viewers reacted to Raw, when they tuned out, when they tuned in and how it made a difference in ratings.  
        We also have a new back issue from 1995 up on the site including full coverage of the first ever Nitro vs. Raw head-to-head, which show had the advantage where and attitude coming out of both shows.  We also have notes of the building up of what was at that point in time the biggest grossing pro wrestling event in history.
        We also have a look at the business of WrestleMania 29, some of the biggest early advances in company history, notes no tickets that are available, how much Met Life Stadium will hold, will they be able to claim the usual building record with markup and if so what legendary piece of WWE history does that threaten.
        We also have a major feature on WWE business, looking at every category, and some notes not talked anywhere else regarding profitability, costs, whether the PPV business really is stronger than in the past, updates on how every PPV show did so far this year, costs of producing Raw, a rough estimate of how much WWE is getting paid for the third hour and how many added PPV buys is that figure worth.  We also look at what looks to be the future direction of where WWE concentrates its business.  We also look at what categories are up and down.
        We've got comments by Vince McMahon from the quarterly investors conference, updated numbers on WrestleMania, expenses of the different divisions, what kind of increases WWE should be getting from television with all the new programming and lessons from WCW about programming but also how it is different now.  We also look at the next major show contract coming due.
        We also look at how much cash WWE now has on hand, why the trends will change in the fourth quarter, what led to the third quarter increases, how much WWE has gotten in tax incentives, a major lawsuit settlement, how much income WWE has made from all different parts of the world broken down, comparisons of how PPV is doing when you take The Rock and Brock Lesnar out of the equation, merchandise sales, home video sales, video game sales, notes on how much talent is making in licensing money and what WWE movies actually made money at the end.  We also have every major aspect of WWE business and profit margins.
        We also have thoughts on the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame including several names people have talked about.  We've got more on what happened in the Linda McMahon campaign including what last second Hillary they tried to throw that didn't happen.  We've got notes on the Tribute to the Troops show for this year, notes on the WWE 13 video game sales and the troubles THQ is in and how that relates to WWE.  We also update WWE talks about a stadium show for next year in the U.K. and why it is so difficult to do a major PPV in he U.K.  We also have early notes on plans for WrestleMania 30, WWE announcing, Roddy Piper, Steve Austin's Redneck Island show, notes on several more new WWE signees, the types of people they are looking for, all the WWE business notes from the past week as well as highlights of the last week of European tour dates.
        We also look at the end of the Strikeforce promotion, the move of the top stars to UFC and thoughts on Rousey vs. Cyborg.
        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.
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        In addition, we have full coverage of the three major shows of the past week, the TNA Turning Point show, the New Japan Power Struggle show and UFC from China.  We've got poll results, star ratings for the pro wrestling matches, and business notes for all of the show.
        We also have notes on the January 4, 2013 show at the Tokyo Dome and the main event matches, as well as New Japan's tag team tournament and next PPV show.
         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:
--Son of former WWF star now tag team champion in Mexico
--Title match main event announced for AAA's final big show of the year
--Pro Wrestling NOAH's Global League tournament with standings and all of the results of the past week
--Notes on the joint New Japan/CMLL shows schedule in January
--Ultimo Dragon's 25th anniversary show
--A city street being named after recently deceased pro wrestling star
--Notes on Dynamite Kid documentary
--Former WWE headliner pleads guilty to felony mortgage fraud charge
--Former WWE star puts up hair in big match against top overseas star
--Former WWE performer adjusts to life after wrestling with new job
--Dragon Gate USA champion vs. ROH champion match
--Jeff Hardy talks upcoming contract negotiations and where they stand
--Notes on TNA tapings in January and February
--Notes on TNA's U.K. tour
--Notes on Sting angle
--Update on Kenny King
--Notes from the weekend TNA house shows
--A look at the next few weeks of TNA television
--Lineup for Saturday's UFC show
--Lots of new UFC dates announced and thoughts on the show
--More on Overeem vs. Bigfoot fight
--UFC makes major international partnership and what foreign market they are likely next headed to
--Talk of Anderson Silva vs. GSP and Silva's talking about taking nearly a year off
--UFC star signs Nike deal
--Dan Henderson vs. Machida update
--Advance for the FOX show in Seattle
--UFC hacker gets sentenced
--UFC injury updates
--New UFC fights announced
--World Series of Fighting business notes

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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

-- USA Today has tons of coverage of UFC 154 all weekend, including a very interesting story that estimates that if you add up all of GSP's endorsements, many of which involve deals signed when he was on the shelf with his ACL injury, he's making over $10 million per year.

-- Video and Dave's recap of the weigh-ins is up on the front page right now. For whatever it's worth, despite the long layoff GSP didn't look any different on the scale or worried or nervous. Looked to be in a great mood and eager to fight tomorrow. John Danaher, his BJJ coach, noted that it was a really tough camp, super tough for the first four weeks (he had limited mobility coming off his rehab), but by the end of it he felt GSP was back to normal. We'll find out tomorrow.

-- GSP: "I believe I’m different than what I was. I'm a more improved version, because I changed my schedule. My last fight was my worst fight. I was kind of burnt out mentally and physically. Now I don't feel that way. I’m happy to be here. I have a smile on my face. If you used to see me before my fight, oh, God, I was tired. I wanted to get to the end right away. Now, I try to appreciate every second of everything. Whether I'm doing the weigh-in, the media, the fight, I want to appreciate every second of it. Because I appreciate how important it is for me and I won't be able to live and feel that forever."

-- Not that it's any surprise, but Dana White confirmed Rousey has signed a UFC contract on Jim Rome. Rousey confirmed on her Twitter. So they both basically confirmed the as-yet-unofficial story that the Strikeforce/Zuffa relationship is dead after January.

-- Regarding Cody Rhodes, it appears the company isn't going to make a decision about Survivor Series until Sunday. They'll probably wait until then, test him the day of the show for concussion symptoms, and if he passes he'll work and if he won't he'll likely be replaced in the ten-man Survivor Series match by Tensai.

-- WWE has a countdown list of the top 20 superstars of the Attitude Era on Not surprisingly, Steve Austin is number one followed by the Rock and HHH.

-- A story on Hogan's sex tape argument being shot down in court, which we talked about Wednesday on Wrestling Observer Radio, is here.

-- I have to say, I was super impressed with the singing talents of our readers based on last night's Bryan & Vinny Show Karaoke Contest. Don't miss that one. Three lucky folks won copies of the WWE '13altvideo game, and everyone else who participated won a $10 participation prize. It was worth it.

-- At Last, Bubba the Love Sponge Enters Petraeus Scandal

-- A friend of mine got his email hacked and a spam email got sent to me from his account that opened with "HOW'S IT GOING". I laughed.

-- FUEL TV telecasts two upcoming live shows around UFC 154: ST-PIERRE VS. CONDIT. Things begin on Friday, November 16 (4:00 PM ET) with the live UFC 154 WEIGH-IN ON FUEL TV, hosted by veteran combat sports journalist Karyn Bryant. UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz and UFC TONIGHT Analyst Kenny Florian join Bryant, offering analysis from FUEL TV’s Los Angeles studios. Two-time MMA Journalist of the Year Ariel Helwani conducts fighter interviews on-site in Montreal. FUEL TV wraps up coverage of UFC 154 Saturday night (1:00 AM ET), with the UFC 154 POSTFIGHT SHOW ON FUEL TV, live immediately following the Pay-Per-View. Jay Glazer leads the recap, with Cruz and Florian’s analysis, while Helwani conducts postfight interviews.

-- CWF Mid-Atlantic runs an i-ppv out of Gibsonville, NC's Mid-Atlantic Sportatorium this Saturday night with different types of elimination matches, such as the 2 out of 3 falls Triathlon Match, the old ECW "Ultimate Jeopardy" Match where everyone in the match puts something on the line like their hair or career and more. Full details are at

-- A 48 minute interview with the host of the T4 Show (Tech Today, Tech Tomorrow) and former ECW, WCW, WWE and TNA star Michael Manna a/k/a Stevie Richards. A great show covering both Apple's technology monopoly, marketplace competition for cell phones and tablets, his history in ECW and WWE, and his Extreme Rising appearance this weekend (11/17/12). Enjoy!

-- Top Ten UFC Comebacks

-- Our incredible, smart, quick-witted, fearless NXT reporter Emerson Whitner (also a great singer) has his first induction up at WrestleCraptoday. Meaning, he inducts someone, not he's being inducted. I don't think. Click and find out.

-- Filsinger Games has teamed up with wrestling promotion Ring of Honor to release an exciting new card game which is set for release on November 29! Ring of Honor is the third largest professional wrestling promotion in the United States and has some of its greatest stars like Kevin Steen, El Generico, Rhino, and the Briscoe Brothers. Filsinger Games has been releasing wrestling card games for 25 years including Champions of the Galaxy which was first released in 1987. Filsinger Games has licensed other games with wrestlers and wrestling organizations. They released Legends of Wrestling Card Game in 2003 featuring classic wrestlers throughout history like Jimmy Snuka and the Road Warriors. In 2010 they followed with Chikara Wrestling Game based on the exciting real-life promotion. The Ring of Honor game is due to be released on November 29. The game features 26 full color playing cards of Ring of Honor stars including Kevin Steen and El Generico. The introductory game offer includes game charts, dice, instructions, and ROH handbook with bios and special matches.

-- RF VIDEO has a Hillbilly Jim shoot interview that goes on sale today.

-- Jeff Walton on the California Classic Wrestling podcast here

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

-- We have more info for EVOLVE 18 on December 8th in Voorhees, NJ. The EVOLVE tournament is coming up at WrestleCon on April 5th. It is now known that everyone's Record will be very important with the seeding and brackets of the tournament. On December 8th, EVOLVE will present eight competitors the opportunity to gain two victories in one day. There will be four singles matches at EVOLVE 18. The four winners will then compete in a Four Way Freestyle later on the card. We'll have the four singles matches announced in the Black Friday edition of the WWNLive Alerts in just one week from today. Tickets for EVOLVE 18 are now on sale in the DGUSA.tvStore or by calling 267-519-9744.

-- Smart Mark Video and Wrestling is Fun have another LIVE free-per-view this Saturday night, featuring tons of stars from CHIKARA! It starts at 7PM and will air LIVE on for FREE!

-- Today in history, courtesy Brian Hoops:

in 1961, Hardboiled Haggerty and Bob Geigel were defeated for the AWA World Tag Team Titles in Rochester, Minnesota by Dale Lewis and Pat Kennedy.

in 1984, Jerry Blackwell defeated Harley Race for the Missouri State Heavyweight Title in St. Louis, Missouri.

-- Off the Top Rope Radio talks most disgusting promotional tactics in wrestling history tonight here.

-- Jim Ross has a new blog up 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?