TUES UPDATE: Many notes from Raw, more UFC 167 fallout, Rogan on GSP and why he should retire, brush up your tag team skills, tons more

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

We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday night's UFC 167 show, 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 on these shows

*Dragon Gate USA Sunday night in Brooklyn

*WWE on Saturday night in Minehead, England

*WWE on Friday night in London at the O2 Arena

*WWE on Friday in Merseilles, France

*WWE on Thursday in Rousen, France

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped tonight in Atlanta.

        Coverage of UFC's decline in audience heading into its biggest shows in year is the lead story in this week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We've also got a new back issue from 1996 up which talks about a WWE jump to WCW more than one year before it happened and how close it came to happening at the time for an NWO surprise member.  We also look at negotiations for what would have been some of the biggest matches in Japan that also never happened and how close they came.

        This week's issues looks at the challenges MMA faces and its historical weaknesses in maintaining popularity.  We look at the reason nobody's talking about for UFC's PPV increases this year, and the questions it faces with a declining television audience.  We look at just how much of the audience has dropped and the reasons as to why.  We also look at how pro wrestling differs from other sports when it comes to audience loyalty.  We look back at the history of Vale Tudo in Brazil, the dark ages of UFC in the U.S., and look at the 20th anniversary show as well as the two shows last week.
        We also look at where Hulk Hogan sits and thoughts on what his role would be in 2014 as well as optimum use for him if he can still go on the ring, more on John Cena and Big Show, Survivor Series updates, and a lot on the internal shakeups in WWE as well as how talent is paid.  We look at the release of Kassius Ohno, why advertised matches haven't been taking place, what on paper looks to be great timing for WWE, and something surprising that has been talked about and whether it makes sense financially.
        We also look at Miz's turn, who is being focused on in WWE advertising, coverage from developmental including hot prospects and injuries, notes on the upcoming season of Total Divas, a new WWE signing, and tons of news from the WWE European tour.
        We also look at New Japan's Road to the Tokyo Dome with the first five matches announced, what they mean, background of the matches, what the expected rest of the show is, and coverage of the two big shows this past week.
        We also have a look at the possible end of All Pro Wrestling with the death of Roland Alexander, a look back at his life, the controversies surrounding it, the attempts to make the promotion grow, Beyond the Mat, and thoughts on him, as well as a look back at the 2001 King of Indies and how it led to the formation of Ring of Honor.
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        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and how every segment on Raw and Impact did as far as gaining or losing 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:
--Why two rival promotions are working together on a show this next week
--Why another promotion is having business issues
--A.J. Styles in Mexico
--A look at Masato Yoshino's second Open the Dream Gate title defense
--A look at Dragon Gate's upcoming U.S. shows
--All Japan adding a title
--NOAH planning its last big show of the year for Akira Taue's retirement
--A look at the top scheduled matches on the show
--Final standings and a look at the Global League singles tournament
--Details on this year's New Japan tag team tournament
--Who are in what blocks and what are the key lineups
--Lineup for New Japan's next iPPV on 11/23
--A look at the CMLL/New Japan FantasticMania lineups for January
--Why Fedor Emelianenko is attending a big pro wrestling show next month
--The return of a character from the 80s
--Former WWE star puts up his hair on major international show this week
--Lots of TNA PPV news
--A look at some upcoming PPV matches
--A look at Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore show
--A look at TNA tapings
--What wrestlers have been contacted by TNA
--A look at recent TNA house shows
--A look at next week's Impact
--UFC injuries and card changes
--Advance for the last major UFC event of the year
--Update on the TUF finales
--Notes on international dates
--Notes on UFC in Brazil
--More on Rousey vs. Tate and a last minute win by Tate

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        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

-- Joe Rogan said he thinks Georges St. Pierre should retire. He said when GSP was on his podcast Georges was talking about aliens, possibly being abducted by him, and how he experienced missing time (he'll be driving and then all of a sudden he's at home and has no idea how he got there). Rogan said he felt it was the head kicks, noted Georges had been hit in the head an incredible number of times in the past three fights, and also said they should hand the belt to Johny Hendricks because he felt he won that fight. Under Joe Rogan Scoring, which is pretty much the same as PRIDE scoring ("Who won the whole fight?"), yes, Hendricks won. Unfortunately, it's not Joe Rogan Scoring or PRIDE scoring, it's Unified Rules scoring, and under that round-by-round ten-point-must system, it can easily be argued that either man won. And two of the three judges through it was Georges. I like Joe Rogan but I'm not sure it's doing UFC any favors to have one of its commentators out there misrepresenting how scoring works and whipping fans into a frenzy about how there was a robbery in the main event when the reality is there wasn't.

-- All drug tests for UFC Fight Night came back clean, including that of Vitor Belfort, who claims that his testosterone levels were actually LOW going into that fight with Dan Henderson.

-- Keith Kizer blew off Dana White's concerns about scoring saying the final four rounds of GSP vs. Johny Hendricks were unanimously scored, and the first round could have gone either way. He said he personally wasn't concerned about Dana hinting he might not want to run shows in Las Vegas anymore. For the record, I think the idea that UFC is no longer going to run in Vegas is something nobody should take all that seriously.

-- Regarding Ryback being in the doghouse which we talked about on last night's Wrestling Observer Radio, it appears to be a situation where he went out a week ago and did the spear and jackhammer, Goldberg's spots, and didn't get permission to do it first.

-- Also, regarding our discussion of American Wolves and NXT, we're told that 2014 is going to be a very tag-team-heavy year, so if you are a tag team on the indy scene you might want to start really upping you game the best you can.

-- Doug writes: Before the musical chairs, Jerry Lawler said that "Cruise" by FGL was on its way to being the most downloaded song ever. This isn't even close. It's sold a little over 6 million copies now whereas the most downloaded song ever is "I Gotta Feeling" with 15 million sold. "Cruise" wouldn't even make the top 50 most downloaded songs ever. He most likely meant to say "country" song, but even that's misleading. Most downloaded country songs right now are "Love Story" by Taylor Swift, "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum, and then "Cruise." "Cruise" is close to surpassing "Need You Now," but will most likely not come close to Taylor Swift. While there's debate on Taylor Swift being country, the trajectory of "Love Story's" chart progress has to make it country by definition.

-- Kofi Kingston vs. Miz will be the pre-show match at the PPV Sunday.

-- We got a report last night that said Bryan and Punk are by far the most popular guys in the company, at least according to fan reactions on Raw, and that nobody cared at all when poor Miz turned heel.

-- From Scorpio Sky on Twitter: WWE wanted to sign me, but because I did TNA a month before I was "off limits". So nobody can say I'm not there because I'm not good enough.The first I recall hearing that he was never going to work for WWE was after he made some offensive comments on Twitter and then attacked those who didn't like what he said. WWE a few days later released an official statement saying he didn't work for the company and would not work for them again in the future. This was around the time he was involved in the Daniel Bryan/Kane/Dr. Shelby skits.

-- Due to some issues with TV (couldn't get the new ROH TV online, no access to Total Divas, etc.) Vinny and I skipped Sunday night's show but we'll be back tonight covering Raw, Smackdown, Divas and NXT. We were scheduled to have Val Venis on the show today but it appears that show will be rescheduled for a later date. Last night's Observer Radio is up on the front page covering Raw and we'll have another Observer Radio and a Figure Four Daily with Dr. Lucha up tomorrow as well. Plus, the Observer back issue, new issue and a Figure Four Weekly in the next day or so. No shortage of content.

-- Mike Sempervive writes: Just got the 11/11-11/17 copy of the Sports Business Journal, and they had a 16-page special advertising spread on the UFC's 20th Anniversary, hyping their business successes with their current partners, as well as a sweet full-page "Congratulations UFC on reshaping the sports world" ad from FOX, with a picture of the Earth from space as an octagon. Much cooler than how it likely sounds here.

-- Prime Time Sports, which usually doesn't cover UFC and Dana White, spoke about the weekend goings on here.

-- All Star Wrestling presents It's Midget Time 2 Friday November 29th., 8pm(doors open at 7). Alice Mckay Building-Cloverdale Fairgrounds 6050 176st., Surrey. My God the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.

-- Steve O'Neill of Extreme Rising talks a number of different topics including changes to the company over the past year, TNA and more here.

-- John Hoven, a 20-year Observer subscriber, has a new article up on Sherdog.com about Robbie Lawler's resurgence here.

-- Pro wrestlers at New York Comic Con footage here.

-- ROH vs. SCUM three-DVD set for sale today here.

-- Cassandro El Exotico has a lot to say about Konnan here. He also talks hereabout the issues with being openly gay in wrestling and how it almost caused him to commit suicide.

-- Big day in history with Brian Hoops:

1906 - Clarence Weber defeated Buttan Singh for the Australian Heavyweight Title in Melbourne, Australia.

1951 - Danny McShain defeated Verne Gagne in Memphis, Tennessee to win the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title.

1954 - Polo Torres defeated The Sheik for the NWA Texas Heavyweight Title in Houston, Texas.

1956 - Otto Lenz and Jack O'Reilly defeated Enrique Romero and Black Hawk to win the Western States Tag Team Title in Phoenix, Arizona.

1958 - Billy Wicks defeated Gorgeous George to win the NWA Gulf Coast Heavyweight Title in Mobile, Alabama

1960 - Johnny Valentine & Buddy Rogers defeated The Fabulous Kangaroos (Al Costello & Roy Heffernan) for the United States Tag Team Title

1964 - Martino Angelo defeated Danny Ferraza to win the Wolverine Wrestling Midwest Heavyweight Title in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

1966 - Mad Dog Vachon defeated Dick the Bruiser for the AWA World Heavyweight Title in Omaha, Nebraska

1966 - Ray Stevens and Art Nelson defeated George and Sandy Scott to win the International Wrestling Alliance (Australia) Tag Team Title in Melbourne, Australia.

1970 - Dory Funk, Sr. defeated Thunderbolt Patterson for the Southwest Brass Knuckles Title in Amarillo, Texas.

1970 - Larry Hennig and Bob Windham (Blackjack Mulligan) defeated Thunder Sugiyama and Great Kusatsu for the International Wrestling Alliance (Japan) Tag Team Title in Ashikaga, Japan.

1971 - Kinji Shibuya and Masa Saito won the NWA Americas Tag Team Title, defeating Pantera Negra and Salvador Lothario.

1974 - Jack Donovan defeated Ken Lucas to win the NWA Gulf Coast Heavyweight Title in Mobile, Alabama.

1975 - Jackie Fargo and Jerry Lawler defeated Phil Hickerson and Dennis Condrey for the Mid-America version of the NWA United States Tag Team Title in Nashville, Tennessee.

1976 - Chavo Guerrero, Sr. defeated Ken Mantell to win the NWA Americas Heavyweight Title.

1976 - Thunderbolt Patterson defeated The Sheik for the Toronto version of the NWA United States Heavyweight Title in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

1976 - Bob Kelly defeated The Wrestling Pro (Doug Gilbert) for the NWA Alabama Heavyweight Title in Dothan, Alabama

1977 - Sangre Chicana defeated Jose Luis Mendieta to win the Mexican National Middleweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico.

1979 - Steve Regal and Hector Guerrero defeated The Blond Bombers (Larry Latham and Wayne Farris) for the AWA Southern Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee

1981 - Tommy Martin defeated Bob Sweetan to win the NWA Central States Heavyweight Title in Kansas City, Kansas

1982 - Leo Burke and Bret Hart defeated Duke Myers and The Dynamite Kid for the Stampede International Tag Team Title in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

1984 - Jacques Rougeau, Jr. won the vacant NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee.

1985 - Lex Luger defeated Wahoo McDaniel to win the Florida version of the NWA Southern Heavyweight Title in Tampa, Florida

1988 - Brian Lee defeated Mike Miller in a tournament final for the Championship Wrestling Association Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee.

1988 - Jason the Terrible defeated TNT (Juan Rivera) for the WWC Caribbean Heavyweight Title in Carolina, Puerto Rico.

1989 - Bill Dundee defeated Tony Anthony for the USWA Southern Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee

1990 - Curt Hennig defeated Kerry Von Erich for the WWF Intercontinental title in Rochester, New York

1991 - At the Clash of the Champions in Savannagh, Georgia; Dustin Rhodes & mystery partner Ricky Steamboat defeated The Enforcers, Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko to win the WCW World Tag Team Title and Rick Rude defeated Sting to win the WCW United States Title.

1994 - Chris Candido defeated Tracey Smothers to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title in a tournament final in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

2004 - Trevor Rhodes defeated Rick Steiner for the World League Wrestling Heavyweight Title in Columbus, Nebraska.

2005 - The NWA Cyberspace Heavyweight Title changes hands twice in the same night in Wayne, New Jersey. Chris Harris defeated Jeff Jarrett for the title, then lost it to Abyss.

2006 - Abyss defeated Sting by DQ to win the NWA World Title at the TNA Genesis PPV from Orlando, Florida.

-- Ronda Rousey protégé Marina Shafir headlines Tuff-N-Uff’s November 29 return to Orleans Casino -- Promotion to honor founder Barry Meyer, who will be named chairman emeritus. Ahead of next weekend’s The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale, a Team Rousey assistant coach will headline a very special night for “Tuff-N-Uff: The Future Stars of MMA.” Rousey’s friend and protégé, undefeated prospect Marina Shafir (3-0), meets Tabby Patterson (3-1) in the headlining bout of Tuff-N-Uff’s November 29 event at Las Vegas’ Orleans Casino.

-- World Series of Fighting is happy to announce the addition of two more fighters to its rapidly growing roster, as both Scott "The Bear" Barrett (13-3) and Valdir Araujo (14-4) have agreed to exclusive, multi-fight deals with the Las Vegas-based promotion. Both fighters are expected to debut in the World Series of Fighting decagon in early 2014.

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?