FRI UPDATE: Gigantic weekend of shows, new audio tonight, WWE statement about Network, Del Rosario, AJ Impact farewell, Bret's best moment, tons more!

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

Huge weekend. For polls, we will be doing only the New Japan and Invicta shows as PPV events, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're also looking for reports on tonight's WWE house show in Stockton. The last lineup I saw was John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio and Rhodes Brothers vs. Real Americans, but with WWE, lineups and who is advertised doesn't seem to mean much.

UFC from Brisbane, Australia today:

Facebook fights at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time

Alex Garcia (10-1, 170) vs Ben Wall (7-0-1, 168)

Live on FS 2 at 7 p.m.

Krzysztof Jotko (13-0, 185) vs. Bruno Santos (13-0, 185)

Justin Scoggins (7-0, 125) vs. Richie Vaculik (9-1, 126)

Nick Ring (13-2, 185) vs. Caio Magalhaes (6-1, 186)

Nam Phan (18-11, 135) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (18-7-2, 135)

Live on FS 1 at 9 p.m.

Bethe Correia (6-0, 135) vs. Julie Kedzie (16-12, 135)

Clint Hester (8-3, 186) vs. Dylan Andrews (16-4, 1 no contest, 185_

Soa Palelei (19-3, 264) vs. Pat Barry (806, 237)

Anthony Perosh (14-7, 205) vs. Ryan Bader (15-4, 205)

James Te Huna (16-6, 205) vs. Mauricio Shogun Rua (21-8, 205)

Antonio Silva (18-5, 264) vs. Mark Hunt (9-8, 262)

Smackdown tonight:

Big E Langston vs. Fandango non-title

Goldust & Cody Rhodes vs. Curtis Axel & Ryback non-title

Dean Ambrose vs. C.M. Punk non-title

Natalya vs. Tamina Snuka

Rey Mysterio & Big Show vs. Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan non-title

Saturday has the Akira Taue retirement show from Pro Wrestling NOAH at the Ariake Colosseum

Super Crazy vs. Pesadilla

Mohammed Yone & Atsushi Kotoge vs. Daisuke Harada & Hitoshi Kumano

Yoshihiro Takayama & Hajime Ohara vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Mitsuhiro Kitamiya Maybach Taniguchi vs. Katsuyori Shibata

Akira Taue & Takeshi Morishima & Takashi Sugiura & Genba Hirayanagi vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Tatsumi Fujinami & Masao Inoue & Kentaro Shiga

Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask defend GHC jr. tag title against Yoshinari Ogawa & Zack Sabre Jr.

Taiji Ishimori defends GHC jr. title against Tatsuhito Takaiwa

Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste defend GHC tag titles against Naomichi Marufuji & Katsuhiko Nakajima

KENTA defends GHC heavyweight title against Yuji Nagata

Saturday also has WWE in Sacramento (Cena, Del Rio, Rhodes Brothers) and Vancouver, BC (C.M. Punk, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Wyatt Family, Big E Langston).

World Series of Fighting in on NBC Sports Network at 9 p.m. Eastern time Saturday from Vancouver, and in fact, next door to the WWE show.

Dwayne Lewis vs. Kalib Starnes

Sabah Fadai vs. Nick Newell

Elvis Mutapcic vs. Jesse Taylor in middleweight tournament semifinal

Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Lance Palmer for WSOF featherweight title

Invicta is on PPV on Saturday from Kansas City's Ameristar Casino

Free preshow on at 8 p.m. Eastern time and your usual PPV channel (except for DirecTV which is not carrying it)

Nina Arsanoff (5-4) vs. Munah Storm (5-2)

Sarah D'Alelio (7-4) vs. Tonya Evinger (11-6)

PPV at 9 p.m. Eastern time on all regular outlets plus for $14.95

Zoila Frausto Gurgel (12-3) vs. Vanessa Porto (15-6)

Julia Budd (5-2) vs. Charmane Tweet (4-3)

Joanne Calderwood (7-0) vs. Katja Kankaanpaa (8-0-1)

Felice Herrig (9-4) vs. Tecia Torres (3-0)

Lauren Murphy (7-0) vs. Miriam Nakamoto (2-0, 1 no contest) to become first bantamweight champion

Carla Esparza (9-2) vs. Claudia Gadelha (11-0) for strawweight (115) championship

Barb Honchak (8-2) vs. Leslie Smith (6-3-1) for featherweight championship

Sunday has the New Japan iPPV show at for $25 from the Nagoya Aiichi Gym at 3:30 a.m. Eastern and 12:30 a.m. Pacific time. It is the finals of the tag team tournament

Sunday is also the finals of the All Japan Real World Tag League from Osaka.

Sunday is also AAA's Guerra de Titanes from Tepic

Dinastia & Ludxor & Venum vs. Gran Apache & Machine Rocker & Mini Charly Manson

Jack Evans & Fenix & Angelico vs. Pentagon Jr. & Steve Pain & ?

Pimpinela Escarlata & Taya Valkyrie & Black Mamba & Jennifer Blake vs. Fabi Apache & Pasion Kristal & Yuriko & ? - Escape the cage rules, last person in loses hair

Blue Demon Jr. vs. Electroshock for Latin American heavyweight title

Psycho Circus vs. El Hijo del Fantasma & Silver King & El Texano Jr. for AAA trios title

Cibernetico & Perro Aguayo Jr. & Mesias & La Parka vs. Daga & Jeff Jarrett & Psicosis & Parka Negra managed by Karen Jarrett

WWE has house shows on Sunday in Spokane, WA and Yakima, WA. Raw will be the Slammy Awards show on Monday night in Seattle.

Main Event and Smackdown are taped Tuesday night in Portland at the Coliseum.

        We've got our holiday special for all newsletter and web site subscribers.  Anyone who orders a gift subscription for a friend who is a new subscriber for four months will get one free month added to your subscription.  Just make sure when you order to note it is the holiday special.

        Our newest issue, which is up on the site today, talks about the difficulty in gauging what is and isn't working from a financial standpoint.  We look at ratings, as well as the October PPV numbers, what it means for Daniel Bryan, as well as notes on the Hell in a Cell show coming up and the unification situation.
        We also have part two of our feature on the life and times of Mad Dog Vachon.  In this feature, we talk with Baron Von Raschke about his friend of 47 years, how Vachon helped so many people get their big breaks including Pat Patterson.  We look at Von Raschke's first career break as Vachon's tag team partner in Montreal, how he got the Baron Von Raschke name, what Vachon idea led to the first wrestling sellout at the Omni and the second half of Vachon's career.
        We look at Vachon's babyface run during the last glory period of the AWA, his appearance on Wide World of Sports, his run during the Hulk Hogan era, the story of when he opened the door on an airplane in flight, his legendary promos, his drawing power, and whe he first showed signs of being a star.
        We look at Vachon boxing Jersey Joe Walcott, his two WWE PPV appearance after he retired, his biggest AWA matches as a heel, the death of Grand Prix Wrestling, his time in Japan, his biggest feuds, Super Sunday in St. Paul, the death of the AWA, Vachon's WWF run, his being a cultural icon in Quebec, losing his leg, Celine Dion, TV commercials and more on the Vachon wrestling family.
        We also look more at some of his most famous matches.
        We also look at WrestleMania in 2015, WWE Network, Tribute to the Troops, return of Michael Hayes, who is making the major WWE decisions, Sin Cara, WWE stock and its future, WWE star engaged, Slammy Awards, Ziggler, DVD sales and what WWE is advertising is happening next.  We also look at a new talent signing, a new football player trying out, and the 2000 WrestleMania.
        We've got an update on UFC fighter Shane Del Rosario.
        We also have a lot of exclusive details on the new UFC digital channel.  We look at what will be on the channel, when it will start, the first three cards broadcast live, how it will change coverage of every UFC show and more.
        We've also got coverage of the Ultimate Fighter finals.
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        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows.

        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:
--Latest from Arena Mexico
--Mexican national title change
--More on AAA's U.S. expansion ideas
--Why things are so much different now than 20 years ago when AAA was huge in many U.S. markets
--Why AAA is guaranteed a sellout for Guerra de Titanes this week
--Next Dragon Gate title match
--Coverage of the All Japan and New Japan tag team tournaments
--Update on Tokyo Dome show 
--Lots of new PPV dates announced for 2014
--New Japan iPPV show notes from this week
--A big tournament special live show that features stars from MMA, sumo, pro wrestling, baseball, UFC and more
--President of major MMA promotion will be doing a pro wrestling match this month
--First time Hall of Fame father teams with his son announced
--Update on Dynamite Kid
--More on all the talk shows coming to the U.K.
--A look at the wrestling business career of Joyce Farhat, the wife of The Sheik
--Former WWE star doing a documentary
--Two wrestlers over the age of 65 headlining another major show
--Family tournament
--End of a 22 year old wrestling promotion
--Starrcade lives, sort of
--More on Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards, and story behind his being gone from ROH
--Major newcomer headed to ROH for Final Battle
--TNA's top storyline
--TNA total lack of quality control
--Background of Le'D Tapa
--Notes on a lot of new TNA PPV matches upcoming
--Update on Matt Grice
--Next UFC show
--Anthony Pettis injury update
--Disappointing FOX lineup
--Update on Ben Askren
--UFC TV schedule for the new year
--Tons of new UFC fights
--A look at the major MMA shows of the weekend 

Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Regarding all the rumors about the WWE Network based on a report from WrestleZone yesterday (including that the Network would be an online-only platform priced at $10 a month), WWE released the following statement to us today: “In addition to not being able to confirm timing of WWE Network launch, WWE is still considering all options for distribution, pricing and role of pay-per-view.”

-- From Ariel Helwani on Twitter: -- No updates on Shane del Rosario, however, I asked his mgr if all of this weekend's positive reports were true. He said "no." #ufctonight

-- Match of the Year Slammy nominees are Undertaker vs. CM Punk from Mania, Cena vs. Rock from Mania, HHH vs. Lesnar from Extreme Ryles, and Cody & Goldust vs. Shield from BattleGround. LOL BattleGround. I'd guess Undertaker vs. Punk wins as a way to get Undertaker on TV and plant the seeds for whatever is coming at WrestleMania, but who knows.

-- For whatever it's worth, if you read the Impact spoilers on the front page regarding AJ Styles' farewell speech and such, from talking to people there it at least came off as an angle from start to finish. We'll probably know soon enough. There are reports online that AJ and TNA are far apart on money, but he was offered the same deal to stay that he'd been making in the past, and it was a substantial money offer particularly coming from TNA, so I have a feeling that's a story being floated and that he's either secretly re-signed or will re-sign soon. But anything is possible.

-- If you scrolled down and skipped the above section, go back up and check out the weekend schedule, it's packed with tons of shows.

-- Two audio shows coming TONIGHT. Dave and Mike will be back with Wrestling Observer Sin Limite after UFC tonight, and they'll be taking all of your email questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

-- I'll also be back with a new LIVE After Dark Radio on the Dark Matter Radio Network streaming through We'll be joined by Nicholas Deleon talking cutting edge technology, in what should be an awesome show. It airs for two hours starting at 11 PM Pacific/2 AM Eastern, and beside the links above, you can also listen live through TuneIn Radio, either the website or app, by searching "Dark Matter" or "Art Bell". We'll be taking phone calls, and since international callers were having issues with the toll-free number, we'll be bringing back the Skype line. More info will be on the front page later today. You can send any emails to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with "After Dark" in the subject line. The website is, and our Facebook page, which is very active thanks to Andrew, is up at

-- Regarding audio and Dave's Skype connection on yesterday's show, we are working on a few ideas that would essentially give him studio-quality audio for the show (basically a similar remote uplink to the one that puts me on the air for Observer Live on Sirius), but they won't be quick or inexpensive solutions. We also got a lot of feedback from people who said they preferred when he was on the phone. Skype can be unreliable, so he'll likely remain on the phone for the time being until we can get another solution working. We have a lot of other show-related upgrades in the works.

-- Bret Hart interview herewith new reflections on the Montreal Screwjob, plus a surprising answer to the best thing he's ever done in his career.

-- Miz chillin with MUPPETS.

-- New Japan tag tournament results from today in Shimane: Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. (5-1) b Masato Tanaka & Yujiro Takahashi (3-3); Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma (3-2) b Manabu Nakanishi & Strongman (2-4); Rob Conway & Jax Dane (3-2) b Tetsuya Naito & La Sombra (3-3); Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan (4-2) b Kazuchika Okada & Yoshi-Hashi 2-4). Final night of the round-robin is tomorrow in Okayama: Conway & Dane vs. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows (3-2); Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka (1-4) vs. Minoru Suzuki & Shelton Benjamin (3-2); Makabe & Honma vs. Shinssuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii (3-2); Hiroshi Tanahashi & Captain New Japan (0-5) vs. Prince Devitt & Bad Luck Fale (3-2)

-- Photo shoot for this weekend's Invicta show here.

-- A good LOL was had from this tweet by Ronda Rousey's mom: What? You're going to try to stop @RondaRousey from throwing & armbarring you? No one has ever thought of that before!

-- Greg writes: Hey guys, on Opie and Anthony, comedian Jim Norton talked about watching Impact and just trashes it to no end, so do Opie and Anthony, its a good listen. They call it "a much lower level of wrestling".

-- If you want another TNA rant, Lance Storm will be on Over the Top Radio with Ed, Craig and Cutrer tonight. True story, he nearly dropped weights on himself in a fury over our Impact review on the Bryan & Vinny Show last night. If you can handle Ed cackling for over an hour, tonight's show is the show for you. Check it out here.

-- Davey Richards will be at the next Cage of Deathshow.

-- Phil Baroni and Ben Askren of all people are feuding on Twitter. Askren is such a classic pro-wrestling heel.

-- Wrestling Cares Association welcomes you! Our premier tournament, the Race For The Ring, continues on December 7th! Hosted by former WWE, ECW and TNA star ‘Fun Time’ Shelly Martinez, this event will also feature the Semi-Finals of the tournament along with other great match-ups. See Johnny Gargano, Greek God Papadon, Steve Anthony and Adam Cole vie for their chance to go to the Finals in January and win the one and only Championship Ring! Tickets starting at just $15 are on sale now. Proceeds from this event go to support the Wildlife Waystation - a Non-Profit Animal Sanctuary based in LA. More info here. Support our own Les Thatcher!

-- Strangler Lewis home tour! More here.

-- Ronda Rousey is changing the world.

-- It's official! Dragon Gate USA returns to Queens, NY at the Elk's Lodge on February 22nd and Brooklyn, NY at The Lysceum on February 23rd. Tickets go on sale at this Monday morning. They also have a holiday sale in effect:

-All DGUSA DVDs are 40% off and just $12 each! This includes the Japanese DVDs!
-All EVOLVE DVDs are 25% off and just $12 each!
-All SHINE DVDs are 33% off and just $10 each!
-All PWG DVDs are 25% off and just $12 each!
-All SHINE posters are 50% off!
-Everything in the Gear section is 40% off including shirts, sweatshirts, hats and more!
-All DGUSA, EVOLVE & SHINE iPPVs On Demand are 33% Off and just $10 each!
-All prices are already marked down so no codes are needed. Email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have any customer service needs.

-- SHIMMER 62 Saturday, April 5th McAlister Auditorium at Tulane University 6823 St. Charles Avenue New Orleans, LA 70118 Tickets now on sale at First Row Stage: $100 Second Row Stage: $75 Third Row Stage: $50 VIP Floor (Rows 1-10): $35 General Admission Floor (Rows 11+): $25. Also shows on the 12th and 13th.

-- Charlie Minn (who now has dyed blond hair) has a documentary coming out covering the survivor's of the NYC Long Island Railroad massacre (LIRR). It's the 20th anniversary. There will be a screening shown in Huntington, NY at the Cinema Arts Centre at 2PM tomorrow.

-- For the fifth year in a row, the NFC, the premier MMA fighting organization in the Southeast, is presenting its FREE charity fight night at Wild Bill's! On Friday, December 13, simply bring a new toy to the door and you'll get a FREE general admission ticket to see the fights! Wanna sit cageside? That's only $40 and a new toy. There are currently 14 fights on the card with doors opening at 7 pm and the fights beginning at 8 pm.

-- Smith Hart talks WWE unification here.

Mark Hunt 59.5%
Bigfoot Silva 40.5%

Shogun Rua 64.5%
James Te Huna 35.5%

Lou Thesz 57.5%
Jumbo Tsururta 42.5%

Excellent 10.3%
Good 24.1%
Average 41.4%
Fair 10.3%
Poor 13.8%
72.4% of those responding didn't see the show

-- 1960 - Gene Kiniski defeated Wilbur Snyder in Minneapolis, Minnesota to win the AWA United States Heavyweight Title.

1968 - The Professional (Doug Gilbert) defeated Johnny Valentine to win the NWA Georgia Heavyweight Title in Atlanta, Georgia.

1985 - Gama Singh defeated Bruce Hart in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Title

1980 - The Mongolian Stomper defeated Jack Brisco for the NWA Georgia National Title in Atlanta, Georgia.

1989 - Stan Hansen & Genichiro Tenryu won the All Japan World Tag Team Title by winning the annual Real World Tag League tournament in Tokyo, Japan. Hansen & Tenryu defeated Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu to win the tournament.

1989 - Candi Devine defeated Judy Martin for the vacant AWA Women's World Title in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

1993 - Tracy Smothers defeated Chris Candido in Jefferson, North Carolina to win the vacant SMW "Beat The Champ" Television Title.

2002 - Lex Luger defeated Sting in Glasgow, Scotland to win the vacant World Wrestling All-Stars World Heavyweight Title.

2012 - Devon defeated Samoa Joe for the TNA TV Title.

-- Championship Wrestling from Hollywood is proud to present the PP3 Memorial Cup on Sunday, December 8, 2013 at the Oceanview Pavillion in Port Hueneme, California at 3pm (PST). Admission is free to all those who attend. This year’s event will feature six trios matches (six man tag matches) with the winners from each team entering an over-the-top rope battle royal to determine the winner of the cup. The winner of the PP3 Memorial Cup will receive a guaranteed championship opportunity against the champion of their choice.

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