TUES UPDATE: Latest on Punk surgery, new audio show, TUF and Bellator air dates, Ryback talks desired Mania opponent, 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 your thoughts on the New Japan iPPV, 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 also looking for reports from these shows:

WWE from last night in Anderson, SC

WWE from Saturday night in Roanoke and Columbia

WWE from Friday night in Asheville, NC

Smackdown, Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam will be taped tonight in North Charleston, SC. IC champ Kofi Kingston vs. U.S. champ Damien Sandow headlines the Main Event show.

A note regarding Christmas season specials. We've got specials both on the web site and for the print Observer. If you order a gift subscription to someone new of four months for the web site or 16 issues for the Observer, you will get either one month free on the web site or four issues free of the Observer. There is no limit to the number of gift subscriptions you can order.

If you order 32 issues or more and you are not a current subscriber, you can get until Christmas a free copy of Tributes II. If you order a 32 issue gift subscription, you can also get a free copy of the book for yourself or the person you are ordering the subscription for.

We have what is essentially a second Hall of Fame double issue of the Observer out today and already up on the web site. The issue features among other things, our Hall of Fame biographies on Lou Albano and Hans Schmidt, as well as a list of everyone in the Observer Hall of Fame. We also have the 2012 Wrestling Observer awards ballot.

We also update Georges St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva, as well as the middleweight and welterweight division in UFC regarding what happens if that fight does take place. We look at St-Pierre's most recent comments on the fight, what he says about the size difference and how realistic it is, and why the weight of the fight is important.

We look at other alternates for both fighters and the risk of both doing and not doing the fight.

We also look at the Hell in a Cell buy rate, and what lessons it shows, whether it's about Ryback, getting a challenger ready, John Cena, and time between shows. We also look at the profitability comparison between one strong show and two weak shows, and why the most accurate read on what the number meant won't come for a few more weeks.

We've got the 2012 awards ballot along with the top place-winners in every category from last year.

We also have updates on The Rock returning to WWE and when, what he's doing, C.M. Punk's likely role at Mania, update on the WWE Network, Update on the TLC show, how atmosphere is different at Raw when Vince isn't there, lots of business notes in different categories and how they compare to a year ago, plus injury updates, a DVD update, Cena booking and merchandising and more and lots more from WWE.

We've got updates on three different pro wrestling tournaments that are going on in Japan right now with New Japan, Pro Wrestling NOAH and All Japan. We look at what the plans are for the winners of the Global League and the next two GHC title matches.

We've got our Hall of Fame bio on Lou Albano. We talk about his early life, the sports he played before pro wrestling and what sport he tried to go pro in first. We look at his early career as a wrestler, the hot period he was tag team champion during and why it abruptly ended. We look at the real story behind Albano's run as half of the WWWF United States tag team champions.

We look at how he switched over to being a manager and his first protege and how that set the standard for WWWF business for the next 15 years. We look at his most famous matches in the ring, the Jimmy Snuka turn and match, the Ivan Koloff vs. Bruno Sammartino program and story behind the 1971 title change.

We look at the Triumvirate of Terror and how the WWWF operated during the 70s, stories of Albano getting fired and rehired by Vince McMahon Sr., his tag team champions, and his original connection with Cyndi Lauper and how that changed pro wrestling.

We look at the first WWF shows on MTV and why they didn't continue. We look at Albano after WWF as an actor and media personality.

We also look at the first post-World War II German superstar in U.S. wrestling, Hans Schmidt. We look at the creation of Schmidt, why he became the star he did, the story behind his program with Verne Gagne, his glory years, his other big rivals, and his world title shots. We look at his run as U.S. champion, the period in the U.S. when pro wrestling had the most mainstream popularity (and it wasn't the 80s or the 90s), his main events in places like Madison Square Garden and Montreal, and the stars he influenced fro the next generation.

We also look at his retirement and life after retirement.

We also have an updated listing of the 25 biggest gates in pro wrestling and MMA of all-time, updated with the early figures from next year's WrestleMania.

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

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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 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.

Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Just a note that we have a new audio feature for subscribers, the Figure Four Daily 10-Minute Afternoon Update, which I will be doing likely Monday through Friday, starting this past Monday. All the biggest stories in a 10-minute audio format that you can have downloaded to your favorite listening device through iTunes, etc., to help you quickly and easily stay up-to-date with what's going on. We'll go more in-depth on all the stories in our usual weekly programming. That should bring us back to anywhere from 15-20 audio updates for subscribers every week. Thanks very much to everyone for the nice feedback on this feature.

-- WWE.com noted that CM Punk underwent emergency knee surgery following the attack by Ryback the night before on Raw. His knee had actually been bothering him for awhile. It was confirmed that it was a scope, meaning he won't be out of action too long. We'll know soon whether he's out of TLC. But he's not missing the match with Rock at Royal Rumble.

-- UFC confirmed the UFC Magazine report of Ultimate Fighter moving to Tuesdays on FX starting in January, so that's official. Based on building bookings for Bellator, they are all but official for Thursday nights following Impact as expected. It's also up in that time slot on the Spike TV website as well.

-- Ryback says he wants Undertaker at WrestleMania. It's a very good interview that also talks about his rise to the top, where "FEED ME MORE" came from, who he likes to travel with and more.

-- New York Post has a story with him here.

-- The second downloadable content pack for WWE ’13 is available today, featuring the debut of Ryback, hence all the interviews.

-- Huffington Post has a story on the Dana White homeless man cameo here

-- WWE Main Event on Ion will be moved an hour later next week as a result of a Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert pre-empting the show.

-- Steven Seagal on the MMA Hour said that he'd be willing to fight Randy Couture anytime, any place as long as there were no witnesses. Apparently this was in response to Couture earlier in the year likely jokingly saying that he'd come out of retirement for one fight, with Seagal. Obviously this is all ridiculous.

-- The TMZ story on Ric Flair's latest divorce is up here.

-- Shawn Michaels interview talking his retirement, leaving on his own terms, the Undertaker matches, and more.

-- Interview with Kelly Kelly where she talks about life after wrestling, whether she'd ever return, and a neck injury that actually sped up the end of her in-ring career.

-- The Hart Family mansion, which has been completely renovated, has now been dubbed a local Calgary Heritage Site.

-- Older interview with the late DC Drake here.

-- Chris writes: In the Dec 2012/Jan 2013 issue of "Fast Company" magazine, there's an article about UFC. Good read but the only noteworthy thing I found was the claim that Spike TV execs drew up the deal for another season of Ultimate Fighter on the back of an envelope following the first finale (and the classic Bonner vs. Griffin fight). WWE even gets credit for inspiring the invention of Ultimate Fighter as a TV show to get the brand over.

-- Tune in note: FUEL TV is excited to announce the premiere of UFC PRESENTS BENSON HENDERSON: RISING UP on Wednesday, December 5 (11:00 PM ET). This one-hour special takes a look at the UFC Lightweight Champion’s struggles and motivations that helped him become one of the best in the UFC.

-- News story on Hacksaw Jim Duggan coming to town here

-- John Cena claims he's not the face of the WWE

-- Story on Daniel Puder doing public speaking about being bullied growing up here.

-- Really great story about Jake Roberts attempting to turn his life around under the tutelage of DDP here.

-- The lie detector segment from Raw:

-- Awesome UFC on FOX 5 video package selector:

-- Very good UFC on Fox 5 Road to the Octagon special:

-- MLW Radio drops its 50th episode with part 1 of Bookers Roundtable discussion with 4 bookers sitting down to talk about their unique jobs. AAA booker Konnan, Dragon Gate booker/ROH founder Gabe Sapolsky, former WWE writer/producer & MLW booker Court Bauer and I Believe In Wrestling booker Mister Saint Laurent. For the first time ever we get some of the top minds in booking in the same room to chop it up about their fascinating jobs, journeys and yes, their beefs. http://traffic.libsyn.com/mlwradio/50bookers.mp3

-- There are anti-John Cena shirts available for sale here

-- Over the Top Radio Buddy Roberts tribute here

-- 2012 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup December 14 8pm, December 15 6pm The Orpheum, 1915 E 7th Avenue, Ybor City, FL

-- Classics on Demand update from Brian:

Big Events
Starrcade 1997

Classic Rewind
ECW Holiday Hell 1995
Monday Night Wars: Nitro 7/14/97
Monday Night Wars: Raw 7/14/97
Monday Night Raw: Stone Cold Christmas 12/22/97
Tuesday Night Titans 9/6/85

Eddie Graham
WWE Hall of Fame: Eddie Graham
No DQ Match: Eddie Graham vs Leroy Brown CWF 1980
Eddie Graham & Bob Armstrong vs Dick Murdoch & Bob Roop CWF 1970's
Steel Cage Match: Eddie Graham & Dusty Rhodes vs The Spoilers CWF 1970's
No DQ Match: Eddie Graham vs Jumbo Tsuruta CWF 1970's

TV Classics
Monday Night Raw 11/30/98
WWE's Tribute to the Troops: Christmas in Baghdad 2004
WCW Worldwide 5/29/93

Season Beatings
See the Season Beatings thread

-- Metro Pro Wrestling returns to action for another television taping this Saturday, December 8, inside Turner Recreation Center in Kansas City, Kansas.

-- Who is WWE's best all-around performer right now?
C.M. Punk 44.2%
Daniel Bryan 32.6%
Dolph Ziggler 11.6%
John Cena 2.9%
The Miz 2.1%
Alberto Del Rio 1.9%
Sheamus 1.7%
Wade Barrett 1.6%
Rey Mysterio 0.9%
Kofi Kingston 0.5%

What was the best TV show of the past week?
Raw 28.7%
Impact 26.9%
ROH 19.9%
Smackdown 8.2%
Ultimate Fighter 5.3%
BAMMA 2.9%
Bellator 2.3%
UFC Tonight 2.3%
RFA 1.8%
Inside MMA 1.8%

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?