We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE Raw show in Pensacola
and Smackdown show in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico at
It's a quiet weekend with the biggest show finishing this morning, but picking up with The Rock at both the Raw and Smackdown tapings on Monday and Tuesday.
- Saturday night has Raw in Columbus, GA, Smackdown in San Juan at the Jose Agrilot Coliseum, TNA in Salisbury, MD with Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries in a cage match plus Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam and Bully Ray (isn't he suspended?) all advertised.
- Saturday also has the ROH TV tapings in Baltimore at the Du Burns Arena with Mark & Jay Briscoe defending the tag titles against Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman, Adam Cole vs. B.J. Whitmer for the TV title, MsChif vs. Athena, Michael Elgin vs. Mike Bennett, a tag team gauntlet, and a six-man Top Prospect tournament will take place throughout the show with ACH, QT Marshall, Silas Young, Mike Sydal, Tadarius Thomas and Matt Taven.
- Saturday is also the Invicta iPPV which starts at 5 p.m. Eastern and features 13 women's fights from Kansas City. Cost of the show is $7.95. the main fights are
Joanne Calderwood vs. Livia Van Plettenberg
Ediane Gomes vs. Hiroko Yamanaka
Sarah D'Alelio vs. Amanda Nunes
Raquel Pennington vs. Leslie Smith
Shayna Baszler vs. Alexis Davis
Carla Esparza vs. Bec Hyatt for the strawweight championship
Sunday is Raw in Tallahassee. The live Raw takes place on Monday night in Tampa featuring C.M. Punk vs. Ryback in a TLC match as well as The Rock appearing on the show. It also goes against the Alabama vs. Notre Dame BCS championship game that is expected to be the single most watched program in the history of cable television.
Smackdown is Tuesday from Miami, with The Rock appearing at that
THE LATEST OBSERVER: 2013 IN WWE & UFC PREVIEW
We open 2013 with a look at WWE and UFC going into the new year. We look at where WrestleMania stands right now as far as rumored matches, the network, key factors for the company in 2013, what major stories to look for, thoughts on how WrestleMania will do, post-WrestleMania, where the top stars are with the public right now and a historical look when it comes to three hour wrestling shows and long-term.
We also look at UFC business in 2012 and thoughts going into 2013. We look at PPV numbers, canceled shows, dream matches, major shows of 2013, UFC getting into New York and where things stand, the politics behind getting into Madison Square Garden, company plans for a Madison Square Garden debut, how things look in the New York legislature and a look at the key matchups, key competitors, and where things stand in every division as the new year starts.
We look at who is coming in from Strikeforce, and how they fit in, as well as a look at the women's division and the possibility of Rousey vs. Cyborg this year.
We also have complete coverage of UFC 155, with early business notes on the show, match-by-match coverage and listed payoffs for all the fighters.
We also look at the New Japan Tokyo Dome show, the stories behind it and what to look out for.
We also look at plans for the 20th anniversary Raw in a few weeks, the January ratings bounce back. We look at a chart Dwayne Johnson was on that is good, the returns of Randy Orton and Sin Cara this past week, Michelle McCool on Mickie James, Vickie Guerrero and Beth Phoenix, an openly frustrated WWE wrestler, gimmick crowd reactions, return of New Age Outlaws to WWE house shows and how long it's actually been. We also have notes on LeBron James talking Ric Flair, unplanned things that happened at some of the weekend house shows, C.M. Punk holding the tile for a calendar year and other wrestlers who have held world titles for a full calender year in the modern era.
We also look at a new prospect signed by WWE, as well as all the business notes from the biggest North American house show week of the year, as well as highlights from all the shows.
We also look at the life of Emilio Charles Jr., one of Mexico's best rudos of the 80s and 90s, looking at his recent death, his career highlights, title history, style, partners and gimmicks.
We also have an obituary on Big Bill Dromo, a star in Georgia during the 60s and 70s, talking about his background before wrestling, his amateur days and what pro wrestler he came across before both went pro, his days as Bill Zbyszko in WWWF, his biggest career wins and more.
We also look at one of Japan's New Year's Eve weekend gimmicks, an arm wrestling television show featuring major names from pro wrestling, UFC, K-1, gymnastics, Japan's most famous boxer, rugby player and several sumos. We look at who stole the show, as well as the Bob Sapp vs. Alistair Overeem showdown.
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.
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 as well as details of how every segment on Raw did and what 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.
-- We will be taking calls for our annual prediction show today at 1 PM Pacific/4 PM Eastern. Everyone will be given the opportunity to make one prediction, two at the very most. Please try to make them fun, meaning go out on a limb so if you have a hit you really look like a prognosticator. In other words, "UFC will run a show in the UK" is a pretty lame prediction, whereas "Cris Cyborg armbars Ronda Rousey in less than one minute in their fight" is pretty good. All the info on how to call in will be on the front page as soon as the lines open up, and also on my Twitter at @bryanalvarez. We'll also be looking at last year's predictions. This show will replace today's 10-Minute Afternoon Update.
-- Hulk Hogan has re-filed his $100 million lawsuit against Gawker.com. This time it's being done in Florida state court where he's also suing Heather The Love Sponge Clem, the other half of the leaked sex tape.
-- 24-year-old heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury, who is 20-0, went nuts on Twitter yesterday ranting that since none of the major boxing heavyweight champions would give him a title shot, he was challenging Cain Velasquez to a UFC fight for the title. He said Cain wouldn't last two rounds with him. Tyson is renowned for, among things, managing to uppercut himself during a fight.
-- Smackdown tonight has Big Show & Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton & Sheamus, Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston for the US Title, Miz vs. Heath Slater, Natalya & Hornswaggle & Great Khali vs. Primo & Epico & Rosa Mendes, and Tamina vs. Layla.
-- Rock is prominently featured in the Elimination Chamber poster. He's expected to wrestle on that show but they haven't made it official.
-- Genesis so far has Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries, Chavo & Hernandez vs. Joey Ryan & Matt Morgan, and Rob Van Dam facing the winner of the X-Title tournament. Two-and-a-half matches and the show is next weekend.
-- If you are in radio or involved in podcasting, I have two Telos dual digital hybrid boxes for sale on eBay right now (search "F4W Telos" and they'll come up). They're both like new and were used to do shows here on the site (and Wrestling Observer Live on Sirius) before I upgraded to what I have now. Basically the devices that allow you to take phone calls.
-- Colt Cabana talking the importance of social media to his "small business" (his wrestling career) here.
-- Bjorn Rebney admitted that, in fact, the reason Paul Daley couldn't get into the US was because he had been charged with assault in the UK. He's awaiting trial and Bjorn said they're going to try to set something up where he can get fights in the UK in the meantime.
-- Roberto Figueroa Salazar of Llaves y Canados in Monterrey posted on Twitter that he is still holding out hope for possibly booking Hulk Hogan for a match in Monterrey during the Summer which isn't as far fetched as it seemed last year because Hogan wants to have another back surgery that would help him come back to wrestling. Thanks to Kris Zellner.
-- Interview with Chris Masters here noting it takes time to master psychology in pro-wrestling.
-- Twenty years ago today was the final episode of Prime Time Wrestling.
-- Weigh-ins for the final-ever Strikeforce show take place January 11th at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, and it's open to the public. The show takes place January 12th, and lucky lucky, that's right in the middle of a Showtime free preview weekend. So I guess that means if the only reason you have Showtime is Strikeforce and were planning to cancel it after the final event, well, you can get a jump on things.
-- First SoCal Pro Wrestling Event of 2013 in ONE WEEK! Saturday Jan 12th 2013 Boys & Girls Club 401 Country Club Way Oceanside, CA
-- AKA head coach Javier Mendez was a guest on The MMA Report w/ John Pollock discussing Cain Velasquez's win at UFC 155. Mendez gave a timeline of when Velasquez injured his knee prior to the first fight with Junior dos Santos in 2011 and clarified when the video was shot where he tore his ACL. Mendez also spoke about their game plan for Velasquez going into Rounds 4 and 5 and whether he thinks Muhammad Lawal will be TNA champion in 2013. The show also featured Ariel Helwani from MMAFighting.com stopping by to discuss the past year and major stories to follow in early 2013. The full show is up here and you can also subscribe on iTunes. The MMA Report airs every Friday night at 11pm EST on TSN 1050 Toronto.
-- 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
-- Over the Top Radio has wrestling's great returns and debuts here.
What was the best of these shows?
WWE TLC 49.4%
UFC on FOX Henderson vs. Diaz 17.8%
ROH Final Battle 6.9%
UFC 154 5.8%
New Japan tag tourney finals 5.4%
TNA Final Resolution 5.0%
UFC 155 4.6%
UFC on FX Nelson vs. Mitrione 3.1%
UFC on FX Sotiropolous vs. Pearson 1.9%
WWE Survivor Series 0.0%
Which of these people is the biggest star?
The Rock 58.5%
Floyd Mayweather 16.3%
Hulk Hogan 9.1%
Manny Pacquiao 6.5%
C.M. Punk 2.8%
Brock Lesnar 2.3%
John Cena 1.6%
Anderson Silva 1.6%
Jon Jones 0.5%
Biggest star who passed away this year?
Chief Jay Strongbow 41.0%
Buddy Roberts 16.6%
Jeff Blatnick 7.8%
Brad Armstrong 7.3%
Dara Singh 7.0%
Red Bastien 6.4%
Hans Schmidt 6.1%
Doug Furnas 2.0%
Mike Graham 2.0%
Joe Blanchard 1.7%
Rip Hawk 1.5%
Bobby Jaggers 0.6%
What weight division is the strongest in MMA?
Light heavyweight 17.5%
Women's bantamweight 3.4%
Which of these companies will have the best year?
New Japan Pro Wrestling 44.8%
Dragon Gate 3.0%
One FC 1.0%
All Japan 0.7%
-- Today in history with Brian Hoops:
1929 - Gus Sonnenberg defeats Ed "Strangler" Lewis to win the World Heavyweight Title in Boston, Massachusetts.
1955 - Lee Fields and Herb Welch defeat Mario Galento and Red Roberts in a tournament final to become the first holders of the Gulf Coast version of the NWA Southern Tag Team Title.
1957 - Chief Big Heart defeats Jerry Graham in Atlanta, Georgia, to win the Georgia version of the NWA Southern Heavyweight Title.
1961 - Nick Bockwinkel and Edouard Carpentier defeat Stan Holek and The Preacher for the World Wrestling Association International Television Tag Team Title in Los Angeles, California
1962 - Chris and John Tolos win the Toronto version of the NWA International Tag Team Title by defeating Whipper Billy Watson and Yukon Eric.
1966 - Johnny Barend and Ripper Collins defeat Luther Lindsay and Bearcat Wright for the NWA Hawaii Tag Team Title in Honolulu, Hawaii.
1972 - Bobby Shane defeats Bob Roop for the NWA Florida Television Title in Tampa, Florida.
1975 - Jackie Fargo defeats Don Kent to win the NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Title in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
1986 - Arn Anderson defeats Wahoo McDaniel in a tournament final to win the vacant NWA World Television Title in Greensboro, North Carolina.
1988 - In Dallas, Texas, The Freebirds (Terry Gordy, King Parsons and Buddy Roberts) defeat Chris Adams, Matt Borne (subbing for Kevin Von Erich) and Steve Simpson to win the World Class Six-Man Tag Team Title.
1992 - At New Japan Pro Wrestling's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Starrcade 1992 in Tokyo Dome", Riki Choshu defeats Tatsumi Fujinami to retain his Greatest 18 Title and win the IWGP World Heavyweight Title. This ended Fujinami's fourth reign and began Choshu's third.
1993 - At New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Fantastic Story in Tokyo Dome", IWGP World Heavyweight Champion The Great Muta defeats Masahiro Chono to win Chono's NWA World Title. Also, Jushin Liger defeats Ultimo Dragon for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title, beginning Liger's sixth reign.