TUES UPDATE: More from Raw, Network, why Christian has been gone, Slammy records, 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 reports on Sunday's WWE shows in Spokane, WA and Yakima, WA.

We're also looking for reports on tonight's Main Event and Smackdown tapings in Portland, and tomorrow's Tribute to the Troops tapings in Fort Lewis, WA.

        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.
        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.

        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 

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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

-- GSP to discuss his future Friday. Getting a lot of press in Canada.

-- Dave was at the WWE WrestleMania 31 press conference today in Santa Clara, CA, and his photo actually made it onto

-- Even though it was Daniel Bryan's hometown, the company was not expecting the crowd to hijack the final segment of the show last night. We'll have a lot more on this in the upcoming Figure Four Weekly since I was at the show live, as was Vinny. And, obviously, we'll be talking all about it on tonight's Bryan & Vinny Show.

-- Christian did a WWE exclusive video saying he'd been out of action due to concussions symptoms, and also because his wife just gave birth to a baby girl. He said that's the first and last time you'll hear him discussing his personal life. Congratulations to them.

-- We've got a new FREE Figure Four Daily with Stevie Richards/Michael Manna up here. Stevie has a second life as a tech guy so we talk everything from iWatches and gaming consoles (Stevie was legit the guy who would wrestle and then go back to his hotel room and play video games) to taking bumps onto thumbtacks. Really fun show.

-- Speaking of Stevie, info on the upcoming Extreme Rising show where he defends the heavyweight title against three question marks: PHILLY! PHILLY! PHILLY! EXTREME RISING PRO WRESTLING presents “UNFINISHED BUSINESS” Saturday, December 28th 2013 – 7pm Bell time. Doors open 6pm. Fan Fest 2pm – 4pm Arena (former ECW Arena) 7 W. Ritner Street (Corners of Swanson & Ritner) Philadelphia, PA 19148. Live event video promo

-- I'm interviewed hereabout the WWE Network, cable vs. Internet and tons more!

-- The download link for Sunday's FREE Observer Live is now up on the front page. It'll almost always be up right after the show Sunday despite the fact that it hasn't been for two weeks. Danny would have had it ready Sunday but there was an audio issue that he presumed as on the live show side, and he figured if he waited for the replay it wouldn't be there. Well, it was my fault, and it was there, so that's why it was delayed again.

-- According to WWE, "the 2013 Slammy Awards set a new record with 1.64 million votes via the WWE app, an increase of 180 percent from last year’s record-setting awards show." Amazing how they can tally up so many votes during a commercial break. The company insists the voting is legit.

-- This has been all over the Internet today: Raw script from 2000.

-- For the moment, the post-Raw spinerooni contest is up here. Seattle is the same city where a decade ago everyone tried to get Undertaker to do a spinerooni and he flatly refused and ran for his life.

-- WWE doing a deal with Living Social for tickets here.

-- Christmas Bounty is available on Amazon right now for $15. That's more than the rumored monthly cost of the WWE Network which gives you access to monthly PPVs.

-- By the way, there are people in WWE who have some insight into the Network behind the scenes who in an unofficial capacity (meaning, not because they work for the company but personally as wrestling fans) are pretty excited about the concept as it currently stands.

-- Lance Storm flips his lid on Ed's show regarding Impact here. We'll hear from him in the next day or two as well on our show.

-- Brian Papa, who has been a subscriber forever, has a Kickstarter herefor a new iOS wrestling video game he is trying to put together.

-- If you're on Stitcher, we'd love for you to nominate our shows for the 2013 Stitcher Awards. You can participate here. No, I am not above requesting this.

Punk vs. Lesnar 48.7%
Cena vs. Bryan 17.3%
Undertaker vs. Punk 15.9%
Cena vs. Punk on Raw 8.9%
Bryan vs. Rollins 6.6%
Cesaro vs. Kingston 2.6%

UFC Hunt vs. Silva 41.3%
UFC GSP vs. Hendricks 14.3%
New Japan Power Struggle 12.2%
UFC Velasquez vs. Dos Santo 10.6%
TNA Bound for Glory 8.5%
New Japan tag tourney final 3.7%
WWE Survivor Series 3.7%
WWE Hell in a Cell 3.7%
New Japan tag tourney first day 1.6%
UFC 11/30 Las Vegas 0.5%

Yes, to get PPVs cheaper plus the additional content 48.1%
No, not interested enough in WWE these days 29.0%
Not interested in WWE, but will get the network for the old footage 14.9%
Will get the network to get Mania, will drop it as soon as I can after 3.3%
Yes, but will still buy the monthly PPVs separately 1.2%

WWE TLC 61.9%
UFC on FOX 39.2%
ROH Final Battle 13.3%
13.6% are planning on watching none of the three

-- Jim Cornette interview heretalking Family Guy and more.

-- Fight Stories with Urijah Faber on Youtube here.

-- Since Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon's funerals were held in Iowa and nothing was planned for Montreal, Pat Laprade (author of Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screw Jobs) and Yves Theriault (director of the documentary on Maurice) are holding a commemorative night in memory of Maurice, this Wednesday, December 11 at a sports restaurant in Montreal. Many wrestling personalities have confirmed their presence such as Paul Leduc, Gino Brito, Gilles "The Fish" Poisson, Fernand Fréchette, Denis Gauthier Sr, Fernand Ste-Marie, "The Hangman" Neil Guay, Sylvain Grenier, Marc Blondin, Ludger Proulx, Armand Rougeau, Tony Mule and LuFisto. Paul "The Butcher" Vachon will also be there, alongside many of his brothers, his sister and many nephews and nieces, including Maurice's only son who actually wrestled, Mike Vachon. The event will be covered by many medias and is opened to everyone who'd like to pay one last tribute to Maurice.

-- Podcast talking Patera vs. Backlund here.

-- - THIS Saturday, December 14 is CZW's largest event of the year, at the Flyers Skate Zone, 601 Laurel Oak RD in Voorhees, NJ airing LIVE on iPPV! (Available for pre-order NOW at!)

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1957 - The Atomic Blonds (Johnny Valentine & Chet Wallich) defeated Joe & Guy Brunetti for the NWA World Tag Team Title in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1968 - The Medics (Billy Garrett & Jim Starr) defeated Wahoo McDaniel & Jose Lothario in the finals of a tournament to become the first NWA Florida Tag Team Champions.

1973 - Antonio Inoki defeated Johnny Powers for the NWF World Heavyweight Title in Tokyo, Japan

1975 - Terry Funk defeated Jack Brisco to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title in Miami, Florida.

1977 - Don Kent defeated Lanny Poffo in Chattanooga, Tennessee to win the NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Title.

1980 - Antonio Inoki & Bob Backlund defeated Hulk Hogan & Stan Hansen in the finals of a tournament to win New Japan's first annual MSG Tag League.

1981 - Andre The Giant & Rene Goulet defeated Antonio Inoki & Tatsumi Fujinami in the finals of a tournament to win New Japan's annual MSG Tag League.

1982 - Antonio Inoki & Hulk Hogan defeated Killer Khan & Tiger Toguchi in the finals of a tournament to win New Japan's annual MSG Tag League.

1995 - Combat Toyoda defeated Shark Tsuchiya in Tokyo, Japan to win the FMW Independent World Women's Title.

1999 - Genichiro Tenryu defeated Keiji Mutoh in Osaka, Japan to win New Japan IWGP Title.

2000 - At the Armageddon PPV held in Birmingham, Alabama; Edge and Christian defeated Bull Buchanan and The Goodfather, The Dudleys and Road Dog & K. Kwik to capture the WWF World Tag Titles. Also, Chris Benoit defeated Billy Gunn to win the Intercontinental Title.

-- Ring of Honor Year Three DVD on sale right now here.

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