TUES UPDATE: More on WWE rights fees package, AJ Styles/TNA update, Silva and Chael, Michaels and Punk, Raw notes, 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 Sunday's TLC PPV as well as Saturday night's UFC show with a thumbs up, thumbs down and 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 Satuday night's ROH show in New York.

On Tuesday night, there will be a taping for the 12/23 Raw show in Austin, TX.

On Wednesday night in San Antonio, there will be a taping for the 12/20 episode of Smackdown.

On Thursday night in Corpus Christi, there will be a taping for the 12/27 episode of Smackdown. WWE goes dark after Thursday and returns on 12/26 with the company's biggest domestic house show week of the year, hitting a number of major markets including New York, Chicago and Toronto.

        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.

 
        We've got a very news-heavy issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter up on the site today as well as a new back issue from 1996.
 
        We look at Daniel Bryan and the Slammy Awards show, and how this is an example of a rapidly changing business and why the mixed messages and changing economic structure make things so much different than any other time in history.
 
        We look at the last time the market changed wrestling history in a huge way and whether this will or won't.  We look at the angle at the end of the Slammys, how it did and didn't build TLC and if all, some or none if the matches it did build will even happen and if it matters.
 
        We look at all the awards, matches and angles from Monday as well.
 
        We also have a look at the proposed WWE Network and UFC Network.  We look at the similarities, differences and most important long-term goals, both how they are similar and how they are very different.  We look at costs of original programming, how many subscribers the network would have needed had it been a TV network if WrestleMania was on it this year.  We look at the business of PPV on the Internet alone, the highlights of each package and chances of each.
 
        We also look at the changes in the upper echelon of WWE, and what they mean for Stephanie McMahon, Michelle Wilson and George Barrios.  We look at who answers to who, how things are the same and how they are different.
 
        We also look at WrestleMania coming to Santa Clara, how the decision was made, what was unique about the decision, how many cities were after it, and looking at WrestleMania site decisions in the future.  We also look at what former NFL star in the 70s played a part in WrestleMania coming to Northern California.
 
        We've got notes on the death of UFC fighter Shane Del Rosario, more on what was believed to have been the heart condition that caused his death, what happened the past two weeks and more.
 
        We also have a feature on the UFC show in Australia and the greatest heavyweight fight in UFC history between Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva.  We look at the career turnaround of Hunt, judging the fight, why everyone accepted the draw, the potential of a rematch, business and ratings notes from the show and match-by-match coverage.
 
        We also look at Hulk Hogan and WWE, Stephanie McMahon's stock sales, Vince McMahon's WWE stock holdings, WWE's Tough pre-Christmas television taping schedule, what WWE star is their a name trademark issue with, a new WWE signing, Rock movie update and background on a new WWE announcing hire.  We also have more on post-Christmas live shows, business from the past week as well as highlights from all the weekend house shows.     
 
        We also have the 2013 Japanese media awards for pro wrestling.
 
        We've also got a look at the biggest non-WWE pro wrestling event of the year, the 1/4 show at the Tokyo Dome.  We've got the complete lineup, an analysis of the card and recent history involving the headliners.
 
        We've also got notes on the New Japan tag team tournament, as well as a look at the final night show.
 
        We also look back at the career of Akira Taue with his retirement, as well as his farewell show report.
 
        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:
 
--A look at this year's All Japan Real World Tag League tournament
 
--Next New Japan iPPV notes
 
--New Japan tag tourney rundown
 
--Dos Caras' final match in Japan
 
--Unique wrestling attendance record set this week
 
--Jake Roberts and wrestling
 
--Biggest stars of the Pacific Northwest
 
--A look at ROH's Final Battle show
 
--Maria Kanellis talks heat with Bella Twins
 
--Why the A.J. Styles situation makes TNA look bad
 
--What happened behind the scenes
 
--What Styles will be doing next
 
--The world of Indies
 
--Update on Sting
 
--A look at all of TNA's TV through January 9th and where the angles are going
 
--Tons of new UFC fights
 
--What's up with GSP
 
--Time Magazine lists Ronda Rousey as a game changer
 
--Full season ratings notes for Rousey vs. Tate TUF
 
--Update on UFC injures
 
--Ben Askren on what went down in UFC negotiations
 
--More on Dana White's new reality show
 
--Pacquiao-Rios PPV vs. UFC the next week
 
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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

-- If you read the article on the front page about WWE's attempt to package all of its programming together for a massive rights fees package that could include Smackdown moving days and going live, the Variety article on the subject is up here.

-- Shockingly, Anderson Silva turned down Chael Sonnen's offer to be one of his coaches for the next TUF: Brazil season.

-- Regarding a discussion on last night's Wrestling Observer Radio, we can confirm that AJ Styles and TNA are in negotiations for a new deal. There have been rumors over the last 48 hours that a deal has already been signed but we cannot confirm that. Styles has at least nine independent bookings between now and March, so one way or another he's far from unemployed.

-- TNA is doing a Road to Lockdown tour with cage matches on the road, so my presumption is that Lockdown will actually be on PPV this year.

-- Firas Zahabi on GSP's current mental state: "Georges is right now the happiest I've ever seen him. His mood is better, he's sleeping better, he's gaining weight, muscular weight, not fat. The stress was making him weaker, miserable, he was suffering. He didn't have peace. He had too much stress in his life. Now we're doing jiu jitsu and wrestling for fun." He says he thinks ultimately GSP will fight again.

-- These creep me out, but here are the UFC on FOX Phantom Cam (mega slow-mo) highlights.

-- The latest Raw Backstage Fallout is here.

-- Shawn Michaels said his appearance on Raw was a last-minute deal. There is nothing to any speculation online about a Punk vs. Shawn match. As I've mentioned for week, I still think Michaels vs. Bryan at WrestleMania is virtually guaranteed this year despite all denials.

-- The selfie gimmick by the announcers on Raw was Vince McMahon's personal outrage over Barack Obama taking a selfie during Nelson Mandela's funeral. Vince was a big Mandela supporter and is not a fan whatsoever of Obama.

-- Kevin Nikels was released from NXT today.

-- Great interview with the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase online for subscribersright now. Lots of insight into developmental, his career, plus what happened with Ted DiBiase Jr., and why he's no longer with WWE.

-- Here we go. from Midiatica: In the most bizarre matchmaking in recent history, Brazil will possibly watch the first professional MMA fight between man and woman in its history. Shooto Brazil announced on Tuesday that its 45th edition, set to take place on Dec. 20 in Rio de Janeiro, will feature a three-round bantamweight fight between Emerson Falcao (0-1) and Juliana Velasquez (0-0). Nova Uniao’s Falcao made his MMA debut last April, suffering a first-round submission loss to Benny Blackat at Upper Sport Combat 2. Velasquez, one inch shorter, trains at Team Nogueira.

-- New podcast interview with Big E. Langston here.

-- Mom accused of shooting son with gun she used to kill ex-husband. Welcome to South Florida. MMA tie-in.

-- Mark Jindrak talks working in Mexico and more here.

-- WHO WAS THE SECOND GREATEST PRO WRESTLING PROMOTER OF ALL-TIME?
Giant Baba 34.1%
Bill Watts 17.5%
Vince McMahon Sr 14.1%
Sam Muchnick 13.7%
Jerry Jarrett 7.6%
Jim Barnett 5.1%
Eddie Graham 3.7%
Rikidozan 1.4%
Jack Curley 1.0%
Hisashi Shinma 0.6%
Billy Sandow 0.6%
Paul Bowser 0.6%

WHO WAS THE BEST OF THESE HALL OF FAMERS?
Steve Austin 84.3%
Hiroshi Tanahashi 15.7%

WHO SHOULD RANDY ORTON FACE AT ROYAL RUMBLE?
C.M. Punk 34.0%
Daniel Bryan 33.2%
John Cena 13.4%
HHH 6.3%
Big E Langston 5.8%
Roman Reigns 5.6%
Big Show 1.7%

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF TOTAL DIVAS?
Excellent 28.8%
Good 40.4%
Average 16.3%
Fair 3.8%
Poor 10.6%
52.7% of those responding didn't see the show

IF YOU WATCHED THE JAN 2013 FOX SHOW HEADLINED BY DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON, BUT NOT SATURDAY, WHY?
Wasn't aware there was a show 28.6%
No longer interested in UFC 23.2%
Less interest in UFC, didn't care for the card 16.1%
Other plans, would have liked to see it 15.2%
Watched the show last year because of Rampage Jackson, no equivalent star this year 9.8%
More interested in John Dodson as a challenger than Joseph Benavidez 4.5%
Better overall card last time 2.7%

-- Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 television channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, has signed an agreement with OSN, the leading pay-TV network in the Middle East and North Africa, to launch on December 17, 2013, adding an additional 25 territories to Fight Network’s worldwide reach, including its significant subscriber base in Canada. Fight Network HD will now be available in countries across the Middle East and North Africa region. The new 24/7 HD channel will fuel the adrenaline of fight fans across the MENA region. OSN Fight Network HD will be a one-stop-shop for the thousands of fans of combat sports, a genre that is rapidly gaining popularity across the region.

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1906 - Frank Gotch defeats Fred Beel in Kansas City, Missouri to win the American Heavyweight Title

1965 - Chris and Ken Lucas defeaedt The Mysterio Medics in Dothan, Alabama to win the Gulf Coast version of the NWA Southern Tag Team Title

1968 - Fritz Von Erich & Dan Miller defeated The Spoiler & Gary Hart to win the NWA American Tag Team Title (later to become the World Class World Tag Team Title) in Dallas, Texas.

1970 - Kim Il and Pak Song defeated Gorgeous George, Jr. and Rufus R. Jones to win the NWA Texas Tag Team Title.

1971 - The Royal Kangaroos (Jonathan Boyd and Norman Frederick Charles) defeated Beauregard and Dutch Savage for the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title.

1973 - Buddy Colt defeated Eddie Graham for the NWA Florida Heavyweight Title

1973 - Buck Ramstead and Mr. X (Guy Mitchell) defeated The Samoans (Afa and Sika) to win the Vancouver version of the NWA Canadian Tag Team Title in Vancouver, British Columbia.

1977 - The Hollywood Blondes (Jack Evans and Larry Sharpe) defeated Carlos Colon and Victor Jovica for the WWC North American Tag Team Title in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At the same event, Jose Rivera and Invader I defeated The Samoans (Afa and Sika) for the WWC World Tag Team Title, and Joe Novak defeated Hercules Ayala for the WWC Caribbean Heavywight Title.

1978 - Dino Bravo defeated Gene Kinishi in Toronto, Ontario to become the first holder of the Toronto version of the NWA Canadian Heavyweight Title.

1978 - Tiger Conway, Jr. and Bull Ramos defeated Killer Karl Krupp and Mark Lewin for the NWA Texas Tag Team Title in Dallas, Texas.

1979 - Bob Backlund defeated Bobby Duncum in a Texas death match to win the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Title in Madison Square Garden.

1985 - Bob Brown defeated Brett Sawyer in Ames, Iowa to win the NWA Central States Heavyweight Title.

1987 - El Gran Markus, Jr. defeated Super Halcon in Acapulco, Mexico for the Mexican National Heavyweight Title.

1988 - Hercules Ayala defeated Ricky Santana for the WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Title in Bayamon, Puerto Rico

1989 - Leo Burke defeated Carlos Colon to win the WWC Universal Heavyweight Title in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

1993 - Gran Hamada defeated Villano IV in Tokyo, Japan for the WWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Title.

1995 - Dr. Wagner, Jr. defeated Atlantis in Mexico City, Mexico to win the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Title

1999 - In Nashville, Tennessee Masato Tanaka defeaed Mike Awesome for the ECW World Heavyweight Title.

2000 - Kevin Nash & Dallas Page defeated Shawn Stasiak & Chuck Polumbo to regain the WCW World Tag Titles at Starrcade in Washington, DC.

2005 - In Edison, New Jersey; Austin Aries and Roderick Strong defeated Sal Rinauro and Tony Mamaluke to win the ROH Tag Team Title.

-- CZW #COD Results; Jan 11 - Three Matches Announced!‏ CZWrestling.com - VOD.CZWrestling.com - CZWiPPV.com Facebook.com/czwnews - Twitter.com/combatzone. CZW 'Cage of Death Results - Replay at CZWiPPV.com. CZWrestling.com - The largest CZW crowd of 2013, Cage of Death, can be seen again THIS TUESDAY on iPPV at CZWiPPV.com

-- PRIME Wrestling $5 DVD & T-Shirt Holiday Sale! By popular demand, we are bringing back the PRIMEwrestling.com $5 blow-out sale just in time for holiday shopping! All DVDs & T-Shirts are just $5 each + s&h (excluding Wrestlelution 6) and posters are just $3 each + s&h. In order to receive the discount & and figure out shipping rates, you MUST e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to place your order. The PayPal buttons here on our site will NOT reflect these discounts, you MUST email us to receive them & offer ONLY good while supplies last!

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