TUES UPDATE: Final FOX numbers and those not listed, Bellator announcement, TLC card, Slammy categories, Henderson toothpick scandal, Cody's mustache, tons of videos and news

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 Saturday's UFC on FOX and Sunday's TNA Final Resolution PPVs 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 the TNA tapings tonight in Orlando.

Smackdown, Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam will be taped tonight in Bridgeport, CT. TNA is taping two more episodes of Impact in Orlando. The main event for the Main Event show is Ryback vs. Alberto Del Rio.

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

-- Final UFC on FOX 5 numbers were 4.4 million viewers on average over two hours and 5.7 million for the final half-hour featuring the Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz title fight. These numbers also don't include the ratings for FOX Deportes, so the real total is probably 10% higher.

-- As noted on the front page, the big Bellator announcement was their January 17th live debut on Spike TV after Impact with Michael Chandler vs. Rick Hawn for the lightweight title and Pat Curran vs. Patricio Pitbull for the featherweight title. Renato Babalu Sobral also debuts on the show so it's a loaded line-up.

-- UFC on FOX 5 prelims did 1.2 million viewers on FX.

-- WWE has added a Santa's Helper Diva Battle Royal to the pre-show with the winner becoming number-one contender to the title.

-- The rest of the card after last night has Daniel Bryan & Kane & Ryback vs. Shield in a TLC match, John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler in a ladder match with the briefcase on the line, Big Show vs. Sheamus for the World Title in a chairs match, Damian Sandow & Cody Rhodes' Mustache vs. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara in a tables match for the tag title shot, Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett for the IC Title, Antonio Cesaro vs. Truth for the US Title, and the battle royal.

-- From WWE, the Slammy categories:

- Superstar of the Year
- Breakout Star of the Year
- Trending Now Award – (Hashtag of the Year)
- Comeback of the Year
- Kiss of the Year
- "Tell me I did NOT just see that" – (The Most Shocking Moment of the Year)
- LOL Moment of the Year
- Match of the Year

-- Cody's Mustache should get awards for Breakout Star, Trending and LOL Moment, and there is still time for Kiss.

-- UFC on FUEL 8 takes place March 3rd at Saitama Super Arena in Japan with Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve already signed.

-- Regarding Ben Henderson and ToothpickGate, The Washington State Commission noted, "We will not be investigating. We do not have any rules that address a toothpick." If you do a Google search you can find a million screen shots and videos of Henderson with what appears to be a toothpick in his mouth between rounds three and four. The toothpick also has its own Twitter account now, @benstoothpick.

-- Malki Kawa told MMA Weekly that if Rory MacDonald wants another fight with Carlos Condit, they'd accept.

-- There is a fundraising drive starting here for a potential film about the history of World Championship Wrestling.

-- Remembering professional wrestling's 'Hippie' Mike Boyette

-- If you are wondering how TNA is going to set up the gigantic AlamoDome for Lockdown, click here.

-- Phil Baroni returns to Japan to fight Hayato Sakurai for the GLORY New Year's Eve show.

-- Smackdown was up slightly to 2.6 million viewers Friday night.

-- Bret's ex-wife Julie talks her upcoming book here.

-- Raw Backstage Fallout:

-- Full hype video for ROH Final Battle:

-- TUF 16 Finale preview:

-- Trailer for Steve Austin's new movie The Package:

-- Did you know that Bas Rutten used to be a model with an amazing head of hair? No joke. He tells the story along with photos here:

-- MLW Radio returns for Part 2 of bookers roundtable with Konnan, Court Bauer, Gabe Sapolsky and MSL talking Booking vs. being on a writing team and what the differences are, plus AAA negotiates with Dragon Gate ON AIR over a talent, plus Gabe details for the first time what Paul Heyman's plans for TNA were. Hint: Daniel Bryan vs Kurt Angle. Plus more: http://traffic.libsyn.com/mlwradio/51bookit.mp3

-- East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! ECWA NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS II Sat, January 5, 2013 Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702 (302) 836-6464

-- Thai Wrestling Federation invites resumes from wrestlers around the world looking to wrestle on bi-weekly events in Pattaya, Thailand, who will be holidaying in, or re-locating to Thailand. Please email TWF booker Greg Bownds at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with expressions of interest.

-- Ed, Craig and Cutrer talk pro-wrestling and MMA news here.

-- From the promoter: Warrior Island Fighter Reality TV show is proud to announce the addition of coach and professor Renzo Gracie. Renzo Gracie is a world-renown practitioner of Brazilian jiu jitsu and MMA. He is a senior member of the famous Gracie family of jiu jitsu teachers and fighters who did so much to change the shape the current state of martial arts instruction in America. Renzo will be joining Warrior Island Master Relson Gracie on Warrior Island in 2013. Join Renzo and the Warrior Island Camera Crew at BJJ, Mauy Thai, MMA Fighters Casting Call this Saturday at Renzo Gracie Fight Academy Brooklyn NY 11222 from 10am to 2pm. Come early to register or email RSVP to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

-- On this week’s UFC TONIGHT, we break down the biggest fights from this weekend’s UFC ON FX: SOTIROPOULOS VS. PEARSON and THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER FINALE. Plus, Jon Jones talks about his newfound respect for Chael Sonnen, gives us an injury update on his arm, and keeps the door open on a potential super fight with Anderson Silva. In addition, one of the UFC's most beloved fighters makes a major announcement. Anderson Silva's camp responds to the GSP/Diaz rumors and brings another fighter into the discussion. Urijah Faber discusses his rival Dominick Cruz's recent injury, and his words may surprise you. Plus, UFC TONIGHT’s Kenny Florian weighs in on whether BJ Penn should retire.

-- Today in history with Brian:

1953 - Sonny Myers defeats Lenny Montana in St. Joseph, Missouri to win the NWA Central States Heavyweight Title.

1971 - The Spoiler defeats Wahoo McDaniel to win the NWA American Heavyweight Title in San Antonio, Texas.

Ric Flair 82.3%
Chris Benoit 17.7%

UFC on FOX 65.0%
TNA Final Resolution 21.4%
Pacquiao vs. Marquez 20.9%
Of those, 22.0% watched none of the three. 4.6% watched all of the three. Boxing and UFC had an 16.0% crossover while TNA and UFC had a 11.9% crossover.

ROH Final Battle 24.2%
UFC Nelson vs. Mitrione 16.4%
UFC Pearson vs. Sotiropolous 7.5%
CMLL Sin Piedad 3.6%
Boxing with Amir Khan 2.1%
Bellator final show on MTV 2 1.5%

Have no interest in buying under any circumstances 31.8%
Am buying 30.1%
Considering buying, not sold yet 22.4%
Won't get it, but would buy Rousey against either Cyborg or Tate 9.9%
Would only buy Rousey vs. Cyborg 4.7%
Would only buy Rousey vs. Tate 1.1%

Not watching either of them 35.0%
Watching TNA, not Bellator 23.9%
More likely to watch both than before 13.9%
Will watch Bellator now, usually didn't otherwise 13.4%
Will watch Bellator, not TNA 8.7%
More likely to watch at least the end of TNA before Bellator 5.1%

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?