FRIDAY UPDATE: Huge weekend preview, Dave on Rousey vs. Carmouche, UFC fighter KO's self in sauna, NOAH update, TNA star besides Velvet re-signs with company, tons more

By Bryan Alvarez

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


A lighter than usual weekend but UFC, Pro Wrestling NOAH and TNA all have big events.

Bellator tonight from Atlantic City, NJ, one hour earlier than usual at 7 p.m. Eastern on MTV 2 and Epix and 11 p.m. Eastern and 8 p.m. Pacific on mun2:

Jessica Eye (124.5) vs. Zoila Gurgel (124.5)

Anthony Leone (136) vs. Zach Makovsky (135.5)

Rad Martinez (145.5) vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev (146) in the featherweight tournament final

Saturday has UFC on FOX 5 from Key Arena in Seattle

Facebook at 4:30 p.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. Pacific)

Scott Jorgensen vs. John Albert

FX from 5-8 p.m.

Dennis Silver vs. Nam Phan

Abel Trujillo vs. Tim Means

Daron Cruickshank vs. Henry Martinez

Ramsey Nijem vs. Joe Proctor

Mike Easton vs. Raphael Assuncao

Jeremy Stephens vs. Yves Edwards

FOX at 8 p.m.

Mike Brown vs. Mike Swick

B.J. Penn vs. Rory MacDonald

Shogun Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson

Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz for lightweight title

Sunday is Pro Wrestling NOAH from Sumo Hall in Tokyo

NOAH vs. Diamond Ring #1: Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls vs. Mitsuhiro Kitamiya & Tsurugi

NOAH vs. Diamond Ring #2: Atsushi Kotoge & Taiji Ishimori vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima & Satoshi Kajiwara

NOAH vs. Diamond Ring #3: Mohammed Yone vs. Kento Miyahara Ricky Marvin & Super Crazy vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Genba Hirayanagi for GHC jr. tag title

All Japan vs. NOAH: Shuji Kondo vs. Kotaro Suzuki for GHC jr. title

NOAH vs. All Japan: Jun Akiyama & Yoshinari Ogawa & Atsushi Aoki vs. Taiyo Kea & Akebono & Kaz Hayashi

NOAH vs. old FMW: KENTA & Maybach Taniguchi & Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Atsushi Onita & Hideki Hosaka & Ichiro Yaguchi

Go Shiozaki & Akitoshi Saito vs. Takashi Sugiura & Naomichi Marufuji for

GHC tag titles

NOAH vs. New Japan: Takeshi Morishima vs. Satoshi Kojima for GHC heavyweight title

Sunday is TNA's Final Resolution PPV from Orlando:

Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan & Joey Ryan for tag team title

Tara vs. Mickie James for Knockouts title

Rob Van Dam vs. Kenny King for X title

Devon & Doc & two masked men vs. Kurt Angle & Garett Bischoff & Samoa Joe & Wes Brisco

Bully Ray vs. Austin Aries

A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels

Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode for TNA title

Sunday is also the taping of WWE's Tribute to the Troops show in Norfolk at the Scope Arena.

Monday is Raw TV being taped in Newark, NJ at the Prudential Center, and TNA is taping Impact for Thursday in Orlando.

Smackdown, Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam will be taped on Tuesday in Bridgeport, CT. TNA is taping two more episodes of Impact in Orlando.

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.

A look at the C.M. Punk injury and the card changes for TLC is our headline story in a news-heavy week of the Observer. We update on the knee injury, the nature of the injury, the latest on recuperation time, and look at the original TLC card and all the different reasons it's changed including updating status on several wrestlers no longer on the show.

We also look at the John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler booking and the match.

We also update the situation with Pro Wrestling NOAH, the once powerhouse promotion that looks to be falling apart. We look at the reasons the promotion has gone down, what moves are being made and the status going forward of many of its biggest names. We also look at a record set by Kenta Kobashi that may never be equaled.

We've also got a story on three of the biggest names in history, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan and Terry Funk, and in-ring wrestling. We look at Flair's comments about not wrestling again, what happened when Hulk Hogan was given a huge money offer for one last match, as well as what looks to be each man's last match. We look at changes in WWE, the chances right now of Flair going to WWE, The offers Flair recently turned down for a major match and the TMZ report on Flair and his impending divorce.

We also have a look at the plans for January with UFC and Bellator both getting new TV time slots. We look at why both spots are potentially strong, as well as when both are scheduled to debut.

We also have a long biography on the death of Buddy Roberts of the Fabulous Freebirds and Hollywood Blonds tag teams. We look back to one of the biggest wrestling angles of all-time and how Buddy Roberts fit in, we look at the heyday of Freebirds vs Von Erichs, we've got how the feud kicked off, how The Freebirds ended up in Texas, what Texas wrestling was like when they got there and the famous Christmas 1982 cage match with Ric Flair and Kerry Von Erich.

We look at how Buddy Roberts got started in wrestling, who was his first mentor, his career before the Hollywood Blonds, how the Hollywood Blonds came to be and the wrestling war in Montreal. We've got comments from a number of people who interacted with Roberts during his career. We look at his run with Johnny Valentine, we look at how The Freebird trio came to be. We look at The Freebirds days in Atlanta during the heyday of the Georgia Championship Wrestling TV show.

We also look at his feud with King Parsons, their run in WWF and why it was so brief, why his career ended and life after wrestling.

We also look more at a flood in a dressing room at a WWE event, an update on Martha Hart's lawsuit against WWE, Dolph Ziggler, a WWE release for legal reasons, a WWE employee who as recently as this summer was competing at a high level in a real sport, two new wrestlers WWE has its eye on and is scouting, Shawn Michaels talks the end of his career, and a former WWE performer rips on John Cena.

We also look at the fate of a WWE performer, DVR viewership of Raw, plus business notes from the past week and details from all the weekend house shows.

We also have a story on the injury to UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and look at how this impacts the division, with the various big fights coming up.

We've got a look at the last New Japan PPV show with the tag team tournament finals, plus preview the Tokyo Dome show. We look at the standings of the tournament, as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.

We also look at the prospects of AAA expanding into the U.S., as well as look at its last big show of the year, Guerra de Titanes over the weekend including what legend got his head shaved and how it all went down.

We also have coverage of the finals of the 2012 Real World Tag League tournament.

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.

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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.

Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Dave has a big story on the Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche fight here.

-- Dave is here in town for UFC, by the way, so be ready for some IN-STUDIO GOODNESS, and also shows the next four days straight.

-- Tim Means is off tomorrow's UFC show after he reportedly slipped in the sauna and KO'd himself. He was scheduled to face Abel Trujillo. Replacing him will be Marcus LeVesseur. So it appears there will no longer be a Facebook fight and the show will now start an hour later live since FX has a three-hour block reserved for the undercard. LeVesseur was originally scheduled to face Michael Chiesa, who had to pull out after getting sick.

-- Next week's WWE Main Event main event is Ryback vs. Alberto Del Rio. Cannot WAIT to hear Granny's Main Event TV report on that one.

-- Regarding Pro Wrestling NOAH, everyone on both sides was mad that the story got out without them releasing it on their own. They were going to handle it in a harmonious fashion with Kenta Kobashi announcing his retirement on Sunday at Sumo Hall. The belief is that everyone knows that now so they are thinking of changing their angle. But the key players, Kobashi, Jun Akiyama, Akira Taue, Ryu Nakata, KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji and the rest are still all in communication on a daily basis of how to handle things.

-- Add Shinya Aoki vs. Antonio McKee to the DREAM New Year's Eve show. Antonio McKee. ANTONIO MCKEE.

-- Full card for TNA's PPV Sunday after last night's show has Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode for the title, Chris Daniels vs. AJ Styles for the supposed last time ever, Bully Ray vs. Austin Aries, Aces & Eights (not the girls from last night) vs. Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe & Wes Briscoe & Garrett Bischoff in an Is It Time For The Horseman Beatdown Yet? Match, Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan & Joey Ryan, Rob Van Dam vs. Kenny King, Tara vs. Mickie James and maybe another added at the last minute.

-- Colt Cabana will be doing commentary for tomorrow's EVOLVE iPPV which will be airing at He's still out of action after a gruesome finger infection.

-- Eric Young announced today on his Twitter account that he'd re-signed with TNA.

-- Booker T on Monday Night Mayhem said the match he'd like to see at WrestleMania would be Ryback vs. Brock Lesnar. Hope he's not holding his breath on that one. Fighting Spirit Magazine has a look at his comments here.

-- Daniels and Kazarian signing in Holly Hill, FL tomorrow.

-- Mick Foley talks Mankind, the Attitude Era DVD, the new WWE '13 video game, more here.

-- Bret Hart reflects on tragedies

-- Mike notes: I know you mentioned Jerry Lynn in the Bay Area on Saturday and he is also a part of the Pro Wrestling Bushido card in Modesto at the Fat Cat Lounge on Dec. 9 at 5pm.

-- MetroPCS will host a live fan chat with Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones backstage during UFC on FOX 5: HENDERSON vs. DIAZ. Participants are invited to tweet questions to #AskDana or submit questions on the MetroPCS’ Facebook’ page leading up to or during the chat. White, Jones and other special guests will weigh in on the coveted fourth spot on #TeamMetro, discuss the event, recent news and answer questions live from participants. Fans are invited to “like” MetroPCS’ Facebook page and check out the UFC tab to participate in the action.

-- The former John Morrison makes a one-time-only appearance for Dragon Gate USA on January 25th during the California swing.

-- Sami Callihan has words for champion Johnny Gargano, who he faces for the title at tomorrow's EVOLVE event:

-- The Brad Mad Ox Experience:

Strikeforce is done, Rousey to UFC 36.0%
Brad Armstrong passes away 15.4%
Jerry Lawler returns to Raw 15.4%
Linda McMahon loses election 14.2%
GSP beats Condit 7.8%
WrestleMania sells 52,000 tickets in one day 5.3%
Hell in a Cell does well on PPV 2.8%
Vince McMahon changes Survivor Series main event 1.7%
UFC debuts in China 1.4%

Renan Barao 74.0%
Michael McDonald 26.0%

Excellent 15.9%
Good 38.6%
Average 31.8%
Fair 2.3%
Poor 11.4%
63.9% of those responding didn't see the show

Yes, will buy a New Japan PPV for the first time because it's the big show 32.3%
No, will not buy an iPPV 27.8%
Have purchased one before, liked it, getting this 16.1%
No, no interest in non-U.S. wrestling 11.7%
Won't buy because of the time slot and won't watch on tape delay 6.1%
Not buying, would if there was some TNA involvement 3.1%
Have bought before, liked it, but skipping this one 0.9%

UFC on FOX 62.5%
TNA Final Resolution 15.6%
Pacquiao vs. Marquez 14.6%
NOAH big show 6.0%
Bellator 1.3%

-- TCW Wrestling presents an international television taping THIS Saturday, December 8, 2012 -- Holiday Homecoming 2 -- at 6:30 p.m. at the Marvin Vinson Center (1611 Oakland Street) in Clarksville, AR

-- In the wake of Nigel McGuiness coming out about having had Hepatitis B, here is an short article from Thunder Bay's Net New's Ledger's online newspaper regarding former pro wrestler Devon Nicholson's Hepatitis C treatment. It contains Nicholson's treatment video update from week 7 titled "Awaiting A Response". Devon is currently in his 8th of 24 weeks of treatment and has already lost over 19 pounds due to the muscle wasting effects of the medications. If the treatment is effective he will be cured of Hepatitis C and once again be able to be sanctioned to wrestle professionally or fight MMA anywhere in the world. Nicholson was the Silver Medalist at the 2012 Canadian Olympic Trials in Greco Roman Wreslting, has been a National Champion in Freestyle Wrestling and has won the Canadian Open in Grappling. He has also had matches for WWE and TNA in the past wrestling professionally. Story is here.

-- Thanks to Brian for Today in History:

1981 - Junkyard Dog defeats The Great Kabuki in New Orleans, Louisiana for the Mid-South Louisiana Heavyweight Title, beginning his third reign with the belt.

1990 - Terry Gordy & Steve Williams win the All Japan World Tag Team Title by winning the annual Real World Tag League tournament in Tokyo, Japan.

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?