WED. UPDATE: WWE injury updates, Rock and Elimination Chamber, King Mo's Foe, Rory's next fight, Title contender breaks arm, Why Smackdown is commercial free next week, Biggest UFC main event, Star of Raw



By Dave Meltzer
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        WWE Main Event tonight on Ion at 6:30 p.m. and repeating at midnight:
Ryback vs. Alberto Del Rio
Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre in a 2 on 3 handicap match
        The show is 90 minutes early because of the concert from Madison Square Garden to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims with Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney and others on Ion that begins at 7:30 p.m.
 
        Saturday's UFC on FOX replays at 11 p.m. Eastern and 8 p.m. Pacific tonight on Fuel
 
        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 lessons learned and full coverage of the UFC on FOX show, as well as notes of Dwayne Johnson's schedule both within WWE and elsewhere are among the items covered in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that will be on the site today.  It is one of two new issues today, with the other being a back issue from 1995 with coverage of what was, at the time, the biggest money pro wrestling live event in history, the Keiji Muto vs. Nobuhiko Takada match at the Tokyo Dome.
 
        We look at the significance of the rating and positives of the show.  We've got a list of the 15 most watched MMA television matches in U.S. history.  We look at how every match on the FOX special did in the ratings, match-by-match growth, the future of the lightweight champion Benson Henderson, ratings from Saturday and how they compare to what FOX usually does, the next FOX show, how the prelims did, the main event heat, the future of B.J. Penn, plus match-by-match coverage with poll results on the show.
 
        We also look at the retirement of Kenta Kobashi and Pro Wrestling NOAH's last big show of the year.  We give the background as to why Kobashi announced his retirement, his status in Japanese wrestling, what his career is a case study of, a look back at the formation of Pro Wrestling NOAH, some talk of Kobashi's last match and who they are looking to have involved, plus a rundown of Sunday's show at Sumo Hall in Tokyo and interesting notes regarding many of the losers on that show.
 
        We also look at Dwayne Johnson's first quarter schedule including a number of Raw dates, notes on the C.M. Punk vs. Ryback television match they talked about as upcoming, Randy Orton's injury, a major heel being talked about for a face turn and why, Slammy Awards notes as well as notes on all of next week's WWE programming, WWE video game sales, two WWE stars who recently have gotten engaged, notes on WWE talent development as well as an update on the best prospects including the first of the big football players to make NXT, Mark Henry update, notes on people leaving, and house show notes.
 
        We also look at the UFC's announcements regarding GSP vs. Nick Diaz, Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche and Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald and what they all mean.  We look at how the Rousey vs. Carmouche fight transpired and risks involved with the promotion of it.  We look at the decision-making leading to GSP vs. Diaz and Dana White's explanation.  We also look at the reaction of Johny Hendricks, notes on Rousey vs. Cyborg and how close that may be, comments from Rousey, Miesha Tate, White, Monte Cox and others on the first women's main event.  We also look at who will be in charge of the women's division, UFC's ticket selling in Anaheim, undercard and more.
 
        We've also got notes on the 2012 Tokyo Sports pro wrestling awards, plus a background on them and a list of every MVP dating back to 1974.
 
        We've also got coverage of TNA's Final Resolution PPV, including match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results on the show.  We look at the main event stories, injuries leading up to the show, and how the storylines did or didn't resonate with the live audience.
 
        We also have a story on the Spike TV and Bellator relationship, the debut of Bellator after Impact on Thursday, the first fights on the debut show as well as notes on week two, and other Bellator programming on Spike.
 
        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 Raw 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:
 
--CMLL's year end spectacular lineup
 
--Major benefit show in Mexico ends up with a strange result
 
--CMLL false advertising talent
 
--Arena Mexico title match this past week held up and why
 
--Former WWE star debuts with Dragon Gate in U.S. next month
 
--Former TNA wrestlers also becoming regulars on Dragon Gate USA shows
 
--Yuji Nagata worked as a guest in a Dragon Gate match
 
--Rundown of All Japan's last big show of the year, featuring Masakatsu Funaki putting the Triple Crown up against Manabu Soya putting up the future of his world tag team title duo
 
--Notes on the major matches in January in All Japan
 
--Vader returns to All Japan and teams with Keiji Muto
 
--Pro wrestling show this past week draws 25,000 fans to a stadium
 
--All Japan world tag champs defend in rival promotion
 
--Notes on the IGF New Year's Eve television deal and it's not nearly what it's cracked up to be
 
--Mirko Cro Cop appears on pro wrestling show doing shoot match against a pro wrestling star
 
--El Generico headlines major Japanese show against Kenny Omega
 
--Continuation of the feud between 80s junior heavyweight stars
 
--Notes on the life and career of Hippie Mike Boyette
 
--What part of the country was he best known in
 
--More on Ric Flair
 
--Supreme Court ends a case involving the family of a well known wrestling star
 
--More on the retirement of Jerry Lynn
 
--Legends of Stampede Wrestling return for a big show at the Pavilion in Calgary along with a number of major modern names
 
--A look at Puerto Rico's biggest rivalry of the past decade, Carlito vs. Ray Gonzalez, this time in a hair vs. hair match
 
--What other Americans are now working in Puerto Rico
 
--Notes on the 2013 class of the Amsterdam based Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame
 
--Notes on the CZW Cage of Death show
 
--Former WWF star writing autobiography
 
--Legendary talk show hosts talks about his favorite wrestlers, his 50 year association with the product and gives a sobering note about the current product
 
--WWE star from years back comes out of retirement after seven years away
 
--Notes on CHIKARA iPPV
 
--Dan Severn talks about his association with pro wrestling
 
--Notes on the ROH Final Battle
 
--Update on Jim Cornette
 
--Spike President Kevin Kay predicts big things for TNA in January
 
--Notes on the return of Sting, Velvet Sky and Eric Young to TNA
 
--Mickie James talks her surgery
 
--Bully Ray talks the elimination of two PPV shows
 
--Notes on major items at TNA television the next few weeks
 
--Notes on this week's UFC events
 
--Notes on the retirement of Mark Hominick and why
 
--Notes on who is and isn't being brought in from Strikeforce
 
--Who Anderson Silva says he is willing to defend his title against, but who he thinks will never get a title shot
 
--Strikeforce personality into a major sports Hall of Fame
 
--Ronda Rousey honored by men
 
--Update on Diego Sanchez
 
--Lots of new UFC matches made this week
 
--Anderson Silva contract talks
 
--What will be a very telling note regarding two money and talent decisions Bellator will have to make
 
--Notes on last week's Bellator show as well as the upcoming one
 
--Gate for Pacquiao vs. Marquez
 
--One-armed fighter captures championship
 
--Update on Gina Carano
 
--Lineup for the Dream New Year's Eve show at the Saitama Super Arena including one surprise name announced
 
        New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.
 
        Our most requested issues in our history are:
 
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
 
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
 
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
 
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)
 
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
 
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
 
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
 
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
history)
 
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
 
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
 
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
 
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
 
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
 
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
 
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
 
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
 
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
 
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
 
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
 
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
 
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
 
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
 
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
 
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
 
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
 
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
 
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
 
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
 
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
 
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
 
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
 
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
 
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
 
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
 
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
 
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
 
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
 
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
 
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
 
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
 
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
 
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
 
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
 
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
 
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
 
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
 
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
 
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
 
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
 
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
 
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
 
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bigelow)
 
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
 
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
 
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
 
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
 
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
 
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
 
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
 
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
 
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
 
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
 
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
 
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
 
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
 
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
 
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
 
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.
 
Wednesday's news update
 
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio covering the latest news as well as taking questions at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--Randy Orton was injured on Sunday's Tribute to the Troops show as noted in the Smackdown rundown from last night.  We should have an update on that later today.
 
--Dwayne Johnson is being advertised for the Elimination Chamber PPV on 2/17 in New Orleans
 
--Rory MacDonald vs. Carlos Condit is the first match announced for a 3/16 UFC PPV date in Montreal at Bell Centre.  MacDonald had issued a challenge on FOX on Saturday night for this fight. Condit is the only guy to beat MacDonald, doing so three years ago when MacDonald was only 20.
 
--King Mo Lawal's first opponent in the Bellator light heavyweight tournament will be Przemyslaw Mysiala on 1/24 in Thackerville, OK on Spike.  God I hope he wins because I don't ever want to have to figure how to spell that guys' name again.  Mysiala is 16-7, from Poland, with nine submissions and six knockouts.
 
--Raphael Assuncao said yesterday on MMA Junkie radio that he suffered a broken arm in his win over Mike Easton on Saturday night in Seattle.  He broke his ulna, the small bone in the forearm, but didn't know it until the next day.  He believes he broke the arm in the second round.  He'll be undergoing surgery shortly.
 
--The next UFC Countdown show for the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos fight will air on Christmas night on Fuel.  Given that if they were doing a three-week Prime Time it would have to debut this week, I guess that will be he only Countdown show.  
 
--Cosmopolitan area www.cosmopolitan.com has a story on self defense tips from Eve Torres, calling her an engineer-turned-pro wrestler who is starting a self defense system for women.  No mention of her being engaged to Rener Gracie in the piece.
 
--Jim Ross talks Raw, Punk vs. Rock at the Royal Rumble and Antonio Cesaro at www.jrsbarbq.com
 
--If you're wondering why Smackdown next week is commercial free, USA finishing third last week in cable ratings is part of the reason.  ESPN won the week averaging 3.24 million viewers to 2.94 million for ABC Family and 2.60 million for USA.  FX was No. 14 with 1.33 million and Syfy was No. 15 with 1.17 million.  Spike failed to crack the top 25.  None of the three hours of Raw cracked the top 25.  In fact,  a rerun of NCIS on USA last week beat all three hours of Raw.  USA was only No. 5 in 18-49.
 
WHICH OF THESE UFC MAIN EVENTS DO YOU HAVE THE MOST INTEREST IN?
Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos 54.0%
Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche 22.3%
Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo 12.5%
Michael Bisping vs. Vitor Belfort 6.6%
Ross Pearson vs. George Sotiropolous 2.4%
Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione 2.1%
 
WHO IS THE BEST OF THESE HALL OF FAMERS?
Eddy Guerrero 68.9%
Dynamite Kid 31.1%
 
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE REAL MAIN EVENT AT TLC?
Shield vs. Kane & Daniel Bryan & Ryback 50.5%
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler 43.5%
Sheamus vs. Big Show 6.0%
 
WHO WAS THE STAR PERFORMER ON MONDAY'S RAW?
Antonio Cesaro 27.3%
Dolph Ziggler 26.7%
Dean Ambrose 12.5%
C.M. Punk 7.8%
A.J. Lee 7.0%
Ryback 4.5%
John Cena 4.2%
Paul Heyman 4.2%
Vickie Guerrero 2.5%
Sheamus 1.9%
Vince McMahon 1.4%
 
POLL ON RAW
Excellent 4.8%
Good 25.2%
Average 33.5%
Fair 16.5%
Poor 20.0%
        17.6% of those responding didn't see the show
 
 
--Dennis Siver, coming off his impressive win on Saturday, will face Cub Swanson on 2/16 in London at Wembley Arena on a Fuel card, the show headlined by Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald.
--Justin Credible was backstage at the Smackdown tapings in Bridgeport, CT last night.   
 
--Monday was the 37th anniversary of the night Terry Funk beat Jack Brisco to win the NWA title in Miami Beach.  I actually remember that night vividly because I was watching live wrestling from Los Angeles on SIN and Miguel Alonso was talking about it in Spanish and I knew just enough Spanish to figure out what he was talking about.  A week or so later they showed the match on San Francisco television and it was, at the time, one of the best TV matches I'd seen.
 
--As for today:
32 years ago today - Dewey Robertson & George Welles beat The Sheepherders in Richmond, VA to win the Mid Atlantic tag team titles
26 years ago today - Steve Williams beat One Man Gang to win the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Cup tournament
23 years ago today - Jerry Lawler beat Kerry Von Erich at the Dallas Sportatorium to win the Texas heavyweight title
20 years ago today -  Tracy Smothers beat Dirty White Boy in a tournament final in Morristown, TN to become the first Smoky Mountain Wrestling TV champion (thanks to Brian Hoops) 
 
--Today's birthdays include former WWF and WCW ring announcer Gary Michael Capetta (60), Sabu (48), Ultimo Dragon (46) and Rey Mysterio (38).
 
--Also, in one of the more unique stories, 27 years ago today was the finals of the New Japan tag team tournament in Osaka.  The finals were scheduled to have Antonio Inoki & Seiji Sakaguchi beat Bruiser Brody & Jimmy Snuka.  However, Brody & Snuka were taking a train to Osaka, and after a singles match with Brody and Sakaguchi got legit out of control the night before, Brody & Snuka got off the train and went back to Tokyo and then went home.  In doing so, they lost their jobs and forfeited their pay (for Brody, it was about  $50,000 for a three week tour).  New Japan that put Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura, who finished third, into the finals against Inoki & Sakaguchi.  Because fans would have been disappointed by the substitution, they had Fujinami pin Inoki clean and win the tournament.  Inoki losing clean was unheard of and it became such a big story that there wasn't really any embarrassment on New Japan for Brody & Snuka being in first place and then not showing up for the finals.  It took two years before Brody & Snuka were able to get jobs in Japan, going back to All Japan.  Brody's reason for leaving was because he felt he was owed $22,000 by the promotion for brokering a talent sharing deal between New Japan and World Class Championship Wrestling and New Japan still hadn't paid him for it.
 
 
--Show also has an interview in today's New York Post on their web site.
 
 
--Last night in Guadalajara for CMLL:  Black Metal & Virgo b Acertijo & Sadico, Hours & Metalico b Apocalipsis & Cholo, Pegasso & Rey Cometa & Stigma b Cancerbero & Inquisidor & Raziel, Atlantis & Diamante Azul & Shocker b Averno & Mephisto & Ephesto, Negro Casas b Angel de Oro to retain the NWA historic welterweight title (thanks to Kris Zellner)
 
--AAA from Sunday in Mexico City:  Dinastia & Mascarita Sagrada & Octagoncito b Mini Abismo Negro & Mini Histeria & Mini Psicosis, Fabi Apache & Lolita & Magnifica b Jennifer Blake & Sexy Star & Taya Valkyrie, Psycho Circus b Daga & Halloween & Psicosis, Cibernetico & Mesias & La Parka b Chessman & El Texano Jr. & Ultimo Gladiador  
 
--MLW radio has part two of a bookers roundtable with Konnan, Court Bauer, Gabe Sapolsky and MSL taking about booking vs. writing as well as Konnan negotiating on the air for Dragon Gate talent at http://traffic.libsyn.com/mlwradio/51bookit.mp3
 
--There is an MMA show on Saturday night at the San Jose Civic Auditorium.  We'll have more on that later in the week.
 
--Fuel grew 157% in total viewers over the last year making it the fastest growing cable network. Granted, they were averaging something like 12,000 viewers in prime time, so that leaves a lot of room for growth.
 
--IPW from Saturday night in Auckland, New Zealand:  Jace the Ace b Joel Clementson, Evie b Megan-Kate, James Shaw b Antonio, Dal Knox b Dave O'Connor Alfred Valentine b Liam Fury, TNT b Neo Justice, Dlias b Danny Jacobs in a retirement match, Fro Fitness b Space Broncos, Kingi won three-way over Liger and Reuben de Jong (thanks to Steve Ogilvie)
 
--Wrestling is Awesome from Sunday in Troy, NY:  Mike Quackenbush b Jervis Cottonbelly, Oleg the Usurper b Estonian Thunderdrog, Green Ant b Juan Francisco de Coronado, Dasher Hatfield b Frank O'Rourke, Portia Perez b Saturyne, Robert Coleman b Latvian Proud Oak, Dalton Castle b Jaka, Devastation Corporation b 3.0  Next show is 3/2 in the Albany area.
 
--The Thai Wrestling Federation debuts on 12/22 in Pattaya, Thailand at Boxing World with an eight man tournament.  They are also opening a wrestling school.  For more info you can go to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--Turner Classic Movies is replaying "Night And the City," a classic old wrestling movie that features Stanislaus Zbyszko from 1950 at about 4:30 a.m. on 12/28.
 
--Alan Barcoff has a Facebook page called Alan Barcoff's photos filled with photos of wrestlers from the 80s.  None of the photos have been released before.
 
--CWE on 12/14 in Winnipeg at the Royal Canadian Polish Legion for a TV taping of two weeks worth of local television.
 
--Traditional Championship Wrestling is starting a tournament on 1/4 and 1/5 for the International championship.  First round matches have Tommy Dreamer vs. Matt Borne, Alan Steele vs. John Saxon, Michael Barry vs. Titan and Lars vs Greg Anthony.  Appearing on the Saturday night show is DDP and former pro boxer Bobby Crabtree.
 
--TMZ ran a story on Tony Atlas' foot fetish today.
 
--Today on Detroit sports radio 97.1 The Ticket they had a guess the celebrity call-in contest where local people would get celebrities to call up and the hosts would vote on who was the best and the winner got a trip to see the Detroit Tigers in spring training.  Rhino was one of the callers. The hosts couldn't figure out who he was even with him giving up hints and they finally gave up.  He noted that he's wrestling for ROH. (thanks to Mike Malasev)
 
--Natalie Slater has raised $1,500 for Grind for Life and C.M. Punk has offered to match whatever donations she gets by the end of the day at http://bakeanddestroy.net/2012/12/cm-punk-just-made-my-birthday-wish-awesome/
 
--Lion Fight 8 on AXS TV on 1/25 at 10 p.m. from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for a kickboxing show.
 
--An interview with ROH's Michael Elgin is at http://www.twospotmonkeys.blogspot.com
 
--Joel Hunt at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is selling his copies of the wrestling book "Whatever Happened to Gorgeous George" as well as Bruno Sammartino's autobiography and his bio on Bruiser Brody.
 
--Super Fight League's Night of Champions, the final show of the season, takes place Friday at 10:30 a.m. Eastern and 7:30 a.m.Pacific live from Mumbai, India with four championship matches:
Bhabajett Chowdhury vs. Shyam Prascad (welterweight)
Manoj Chuhan vs. Anup Kumar (bantamweight)
Bharat Kandare vs. Narender Grewal (featherweight)
Rajinder Singh Meena vs. Sandeep Yadav (lightweight)
 
The show will air live on You Tube at http://www.YouTube.com/SFL

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