WED UPDATE: TNA looking for writers, Kane gets new role, Survivor Series match official, Gustaffson new opponent, Bellator vs. UFC, tons more



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

There is a rare Wednesday night WWE house show with the tour that will leave after the show for Europe, this will be held in Columbia, SC.

The WWE European tour opens with a Wednesday show in Belfast headlined by Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan, plus Big Show, The Shield, The Miz and Dolph Ziggler.

UFC Fight for the Troops is Wednesday from Fort Campbell, KY with nine fights in a five hour television show that leads into Ultimate Fighter.

Facebook fights at 3:15 p.m. Eastern time

Derek Brunson vs. Brian Houston

Seth Baczynski vs. Neil Magny

Yves Edwards vs. Yancy Medeiros

Chris Camozzi vs. Lorenz Larkin

FS 1 at 5 p.m.

Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie

Dennis Bermudez vs. Steven Siler

George Roop vs. Francisco Rivera

Bobby Green vs. James Krause

Michael Chiesa vs. Colton Smith

Rustam Khabilov vs. Jorge Masvidal

Yoel Romero vs. Ronny Markes

Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis

Tim Kennedy vs. Rafael Natal

WWE has a loaded house show on Thursday in Dublin, Ireland with both Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan and John Cena vs. Alberto De Rio headlining.

TNA does its final Impact on the road in Cincinnati with a same-day show and a second week show including the first round of the NTA heavyweight title tournament including Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Sabin in a Full Metal Mayhem (TLC) match.

        We have the first of two straight weeks of double issues of the Observer up on the site today given that it is Hall of Fame season.  Plus, the new back issue is the original 1996 Hall of Fame issue so you can read about the original class of no-brainers as well as next week will have the 2013 voting breakdown.

        The lead story of the new issue looks at the fallout of Hell in a Cell, including what insiders have said about Shawn Michaels and how what happens next should be the real determinant of whether or not the Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton finish was an effective move.
 
        We look at where the WWE PPV and house show programs are going, the real reason John Cena won the world title, what friends of Shawn Michaels say regarding wrestling again, the title record totals of Cena and Randy Orton and all-time records, what audience swelled the ratings for Cena's return to television and fan reaction to the Hell in a Cell show.
 
        We look at indications for SummerSlam, how Daniel Bryan as top babyface will be evaluated, as well as our usual PPV coverage with notes on odds, as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results of the show.
 
        We also have the full story of what went down with Bellator as they lead into the biggest show in company history.  We look at Saturday's card, the ramifications of Tito Ortiz's injury, the usage of Rampage Jackson, the change in the heavyweight tournament, could Ortiz vs. Jackson have made it on PPV, Jackson's new fight and likely why it's happening the way it is.  We also look at costs of live TV vs. PPV, the decision made to put the big show on TV, and the hidden ramifications of Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler and why it's so important to Alvarez.
 
        We also have more regarding the WWE Network, a book on the life of a WWE legend that is being done, Dwayne Johnson's latest television moves, Chris Jericho's new web series, notes on the new season of Total Divas, WWE honored for its medical care for talent, and what current WWE star will be out of action for a while over this coming summer.
 
        We also look at a major name athlete looking for a WWE deal, return of Mark Henry, ideas for new DVDs, and why Matt Morgan isn't in WWE and what that says about other older talent and TNA talent.
               
        We also look at an announced major WWE deal that has quietly fallen through, WWE going international this month, notes on other name wrestlers and WWE status, and tons of news from developmental.  We also look at Ken Shamrock talking about wanting to get back in, Shelly Martinez talks why she was fired, notes on a college football starter who was recently signed and others in developmental as well as what NXT star are they trying to find a spot for and why.
 
        We've got full coverage of the UFC show from Manchester, England, including notes on viewership, the middleweight picture, what happened in Guillard vs. Pearson, was Rosi Sexton correct regarding a double standard, business notes as well as match-by-match coverage.
 
        We also have notes on a pro wrestling world heavyweight championship match that they are saying is going to be a legitimate shoot involving names that have MMA experience 
 
        We've also got an awesome article by Pat Laprade going back in history and looking at the first member of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Class of 2013, including a look back at one of the most controversial and debated matches in the early history of pro wrestling.
 
        We also look at New Japan's next big shows and its junior heavyweight tag team tournament with the newcomers.  We've got full coverage of the weekend iPPV, the heavyweight tag team tournament lineup and the card for another of the most loaded PPV shows of the year.
 
        We also look at All Japan's attempt to run a major show at Sumo Hall, based around the return of the Funk Brothers, one of the most legendary tag teams in the history of the country.
 
        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 as well as details of how every segment on Raw and  Impact this past week 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.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--The crazy Lucha Libre attempt to do a worked MMA match
 
--What made it so strange to watch
 
--Wrestling publication celebrates 60th anniversary
 
--Major promotion works with top indie talent for unique tag team match
 
--A look back 20 years ago to the death of a wrestler who was expected to be a franchise player of the past generation
 
--Notes on Dragon Gate's next iPPV show
 
--Who were the best actual shooters in the glory day of New Japan Pro Wrestling and what Hall of Famer never thought as a shooter makes the list
 
--Global League tournament news
 
--First news on annual Japanese New Year's Eve show 
 
--A joint tour of two of the five biggest wrestling companies in the world working together for a week
 
--Alex Shelley injury notes
 
--New Japan announces overseas event for next year
 
--Sometimes ROH talent working several New Japan main events
 
--What wrestlers have been voted the most often into top ten Match of the Year award contenders in the history of the Observer awards
 
--New concept of pro wrestling debuts, shoot matches, MMA stars and even a hair vs. hair stipulation
 
--Legendary sportscaster in New York and his pro wrestling background
 
--A look back 30 years to the strange circumstances regarding the death of the Grand Wizard, one of wrestling's all-time great managers and how his death showed people in New York that pro wrestling finishes were worked
 
--A look at ROH's big weekend show and its next several weeks of television coming out of it, as well as the main event for the year's big event
 
--Paid attendance for Bound for Glory
 
--More on TNA sale talks with exclusive info
 
--Who isn't interested in purchasing the company
 
--What the sale talks and Hulk Hogan situation seem to indicate
 
--A look at the TNA schedule for television and house shows through early February
 
--TNA's new promotional concept
 
--How TNA is spinning the move back to Orlando and cutting back on dates
 
--First estimates on Bound for Glory buy rate
 
--TNA star does grandstand challenge for high profile fight
 
--Notes on future PPV tapings
 
--What has the cutting back on TNA PPVs shown about PPV strategy
 
--A look at the A.J. Styles vs. Dixie Carter storyline
 
--Where the story is going and what doesn't seem to make sense
 
--The future of Eric Bischoff in TNA
 
--Update on who is in charge of the creative direction of TNA without Bischoff
 
--What newcomers are gaining power in TNA
 
--Jessy Sorensen talks the recovery from his injury and thoughts on treatment from TNA
 
--Examples of wrestling having no regard for its fans and it just being something they don't even see
 
--Christopher Daniels responds to comments by Vince Russo
 
--More on the UFC Super Bowl shows
 
--What fighter's knee injury cost him way over one million dollars in lost income
 
--Tons of notes regarding the UFC PPV business
 
--Survey on people who didn't buy the last two UFC PPVs and why it is concerning
 
--UFC TV schedule for 2014
 
--Major notes on UFC's new Europe strategy
 
--How ticket sales are going for the upcoming UFC events
 
--Notes on UFC 20 year anniversary special
 
--Thoughts on the special
 
--The series of good and bad things that led to UFC being where it is
 
--The most important pieces of good and bad luck in UFC history
 
--UFC gets award
 
--UFC fighter scheduled for next PPV is pulled over steroid test failure and why this one is controversial
 
--New UFC fights
 
--UFC lightweight star talking of dropping down
 
--Notes on the biggest gate in history
 
 
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        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.
 

Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Just want to start off by apologizing for the audio quality of our show with David Shoemaker, AKA The Masked Man today. It was a hardware issue and not something that I can correct with post-production. After I found out I rebooted everything and my new recordings sound fine now, so I don't have any idea what the issue was. It was a great interview too, which is the most infuriating part. I guess if you're a fan of old-time AM radio you'll like what it sounds like. That's the best I can say. If you want to check out the book, which I recommend, here's the link: The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestlingalt. The show, which is free, can be heard here. I did learn a lesson about doing a sound test before the shows from now on.

-- For the love of all that's holy. Dixie Carter was promising a FORMER WORLD CHAMPION was returning to Impact on Thursday. FORMER WORLD CHAMPION. Not only is the FORMER WORLD CHAMPION in question a former tag champ, but it's PACMAN JONES. I don't even have the words.

-- TNA is looking for writers.

-- Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Title official for Survivor Series.

-- Libertarian Kane is the new "DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS" for WWE.

-- Bjorn Rebney and Dana White are going at it on Twitter again after Bellator's show on Saturday did 1.1 million viewers, peaking at 1.4 million, and Bjorn is now pointing out that the show did TEN TIMES the viewers of UFC's last event (Fight Night 30, which did 122,000 viewers on FS2).

-- That entire show replays Friday at 8 PM if you missed it, or if your DVR cut out during the main event.

-- Speaking of Dana, his latest video blog looking at the UFC 166 behind the scenes is here.

-- I'll be on MLW Radio for Konnan's Death of WCW book report today. We'll have a download link up later if you want to listen and can't hear the show live. Also, we've got a new Observer Radio this evening talking ten million hours of UFC and the latest news in wrestling and MMA. The Observer Hall of Fame issue I believe will be out later today. For the rest of the week we've got Todd Martin and Bryan & Vinny on Thursday, I believe Dr. Lucha at some point, Pat Laprade talking Montreal on Friday, plus a new After Dark Friday night.

-- Sad to hear about the death of Roland Alexander of All Pro Wrestling. He could be a controversial character but he was always very nice to me and even booked me for the Battle Royal at the legendary King of Indies event in 2001 which in many ways directly lead to the creation of Ring of Honor, and was the first time a lot of people were exposed to guys like Low-Ki, Bryan Danielson, Spanky and others.

-- With Antonio Rogerio Nogueira out, Alexander Gustaffson will now be facing Jimi Manuwa on March 8th. Manuwa is 15-0 in MMA and has finished every single opponent he's ever faced, 14 by knockout and one by submission.

-- Hacksaw Jim Duggan trying to raise money for shoulder surgery here.

-- Impact did an 0.9 and 1.1 million viewers this week.

-- Latest Impact Wrestling podcast with Bully Ray and more up here.

-- Alberto del Rio tweeted yesterday that he would be wrestling on one of his father Dos Caras' retirement shows in Mexico next February with permission from the WWE. Thanks to Kris Zellner.

-- Lex Luger talks Elizabeth and more here.

-- Looks like the Houston Astrodome, home of WrestleMania X7, is on it's way to DOOM.

-- A two-day training camp has been announced by Kid Kash. Just north of Nashville in Millersville, Tennessee, Kash's camp announced this week that he will be holding a two day wrestling seminar at the NWA Southern All-Star Wrestling arena at the SAW Mill at 1214B Louisville Highway on Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17, 2013. Training seminar will start at noon on both days. The cost of the seminar will be $250. With spots filling up fast, make sure to contact Tasha Simone at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

-- World Series of Fighting is proud to announce the addition of Cody "Bam Bam" Bollinger (14-2) to the company's bantamweight roster. The 22-year-old Californian signed a multi-fight deal with World Series of Fighting and is expected to debut for the promotion in early 2014.

-- For Saturday's New Japan show in Osaka on PPV, in the tag team title mach with Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer (NWA tag champs) vs. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan (IWGP tag champs) vs. Rob Conway & Jax Dane, it will be a two fall match. The first fall will be for the NWA titles and second fall for the IWGP titles.

-- DGUSA returns live to Queens in two weeks, and a full look at the cards for the show so far is up here.

-- What's new with Paul Heyman? Excellent interview here.

-- Bobby Lashley faces Tony Melton Friday night at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa. Tickets at HardRockCasinoTulsa.com.

-- Mental Floss talks the pro-wrestling course at MIT.

-- CAN NEW JAPAN SUCCEED IN THE INTERNATIONAL TV MARKETPLACE?
Yes, good product 32.8%
No, not good product 2.5%
No, good product but the Japanese influence won't translate outside of Japan 64.8%

IF SURVIVOR SERIES IS BRYAN & PUNK VS. WYATTS, CENA VS. DEL RIO AND ORTON VS. SHOW, DOES IT BEAT LAST YEAR'S NUMBERS?
Yes 8.8%
No 78.2%
Same 12.9%

WHICH OF THESE EVENTS DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL?
Royal Rumble 43.4%
UFC 168 26.6%
Pacquiao-Rios 18.9%
New Japan Tokyo Dome 11.1%

WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
Big Show 44.4%
Paul Heyman 22.8%
John Cena 18.3%
HHH 6.0%
Randy Orton 4.9%
Stephanie McMahon 3.7%

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF RAW?
Excellent 2.9%
Good 14.3%
Average 20.1%
Fair 14.3%
Poor 48.4%
14.4% of those responding didn't see the show

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1963 - Luke Graham & Al Galento defeated Lonnie Brown & Bob Morrow in a tournament final to win the Southeastern Tag Team Titles in Augusta, GA.

1973 - Bobby Shane & Gorgeous George Jr defeated Tim Woods & Mr. Wrestling II to win the Macon Tag Team Titles in Macon, Georgia.

1983 - Jake Roberts defeated Ron Garvin to win the National Television Title in Atlanta, Georgia.

1989 - Jerry Lawler defeated The Soultaker (Papa Shango/Kama/Godfather) for the USWA Unified Heavyweight Title in Memphis

1994 - Octagon & El Hijo del Santo defeated Love Machine (Art Barr) & Eddy Guerrero in a two out of three falls, Mask vs. Hair match at the AAA When Worlds Collide PPV.

1995 - Ahmed Johnson defeated Jerry Lawler for the USWA Unified Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee

1998 - The Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh & D-Von) defeated Masato Tanaka & Balls Mahoney for the ECW World Tag Team Title in New York

2000 - Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather defeated The Hardy Boyz for the WWF Tag Team Title in Houston, Texas

2000 - Crowbar defeated Reno for the WCW Hardcore Title in Chicago, Illinois.

2002 - Jerry Lynn defeated AJ Styles for the NWA:TNA X Division Title in Nashville, Tennessee

2006 - At the Cyber Sunday PPV, Ric Flair & Roddy Piper defeated the Spirit Squad to win the WWE World Tag Team Title. At the same show, Lita defeated Mickie James to win the WWE Diva's Title.

-- To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), the veterans service organization will debut “Wounded: The Battle Back Home,” a documentary film series that focuses on issues of critical importance to this generation of injured service members and their families through personal stories of struggle and resiliency. The project, produced in conjunction with Austin-based Flow Nonfiction, will launch Sunday, November 10, 2013 as part of special Veteran’s Day programming on “Taking the Hill” on MSNBC, with additional episodes airing over the course of the coming year on the cable news channel. The first installment in the series, titled “Shane,” centers on Marine service member, Shane Krutchen, who returned from Iraq seeking help with his horrific nightmares. Krutchen immediately felt ostracized and was discharged to a Veteran Affairs health facility with little understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder. Krutchen’s spiral led to a drug addiction and suicide attempt in 2009, but his connection with a WWP outreach coordinator helped him get clean and discover that mixed martial arts (MMA) was just the medicine he needed. Wounded: The Battle Back Home follows Krutchen, now married and expecting a child, days before a professional MMA fight as he prepares for a dramatic victory and the opportunity to honor 19 friends and fellow soldiers he lost in combat.

-- ONE Fighting Championship™ (ONE FC), Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization with a 90% market share has added four fights to the blockbuster Philippines card set to take place on 6 December at the state of the art SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila. Fan favorite Kevin Belingon is back in action against undefeated David Aranda Santacana, America’s Caros Fodor squares off against Vuyisile Colossa, Filipino Geje Eustaquio battles fellow countrymen Eugene Toquero and Heavyweight slugger Alain Ngalani battles the fierce brawler from Canada Paul Cheng. Tickets for ONE FC: MOMENT OF TRUTH are on sale now at SM Tickets (www.smtickets.com). Ticket categories begin with the full Red Carpet and cageside experience for VIPs at PHP 6,360 followed by Patron PHP 3,180, Lower Box PHP 1,280, Upper Box PHP 640 and General Admission PHP 220.

-- A look at the life of Doug Lindzy here.

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