Main event tonight has Real Americans vs. Truth & Xavier Woods, Alberto Del Rio vs. Justin Gabriel, Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre, and AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn on Kaitlyn's way out.
A look at the history of pro wrestling at the Tokyo Dome, the injury and update on Anderson Silva, and the latest on WrestleMania and the Daniel Bryan turn are among the stories in this week's new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
We look at Silva's injury, the surgery, have notes from the surgeon, Silva's reaction, the impact of Silva and Georges St-Pierre not fighting in 2014, the absence of superfights, the biggest fights on the horizon, the controversy over Vitor Belfort vs. Chris Weidman, early business numbers on UFC 168 from around the world and reaction in Brazil to Silva.
We also look at the Daniel Bryan heel turn into the Wyatt family. We look at WrestleMania, the turning of Bryan, the return of Brock Lesnar, the UFC rumors and Lesnar's contractual situation with WWE. We look at last year when Lesnar did agree to return to UFC and why it didn't happen,and why even if he did agree, it couldn't happen.
We've also got full coverage of UFC 168, with match-by-match ratings, business notes, how much everyone got paid, poll results and more.
We also have a lengthy story on the history of pro wrestling and MMA, and how they intermix, at the Tokyo Dome, covering nearly every show from the last 25 years. It's a history of the biggest events in Japanese history, the highs and lows of business, the most legendary matches and angles and how pro wrestling has evolved and changed.
We look at the first show and how it changed wrestling, how the second show changed All Japan and New Japan, how Ric Flair led to a unique show, the night the three biggest wrestling companies in the world at the time worked together, Starrcade in Tokyo Dome, the January 4th tradition, future Olympic medalists doing pro wrestling first, a 10 1/2 hour long show, names who appeared at the Tokyo Dome before they were famous, the show with 14 different Hall of Famers on the same event, the story behind the biggest gates in pro wrestling history, what led to the formation of the NWO, the hottest periods of business ever in Japan, shoots, worked shoots, double crosses, a 90 minute MMA match, retirement shows, the worst show ever, dream matches that never took place and why, Brock Lesnar, NOAH's biggest event and the rise of Hiroshi Tanahashi.
We also have more on the UFC Fight Pass channel, including more details on when it will be available around the world.
We also look at WWE's annual holiday show in Madison Square Garden.
We've also got details on the next few TNA PPV shows, what was taped, and what it does and doesn't say about the future.
We also look at the latest Olympic gold medalist to win a pro wrestling world heavyweight title, and how this one won it in a non-predetermined fashion.
We also have notes on Mae Young, Dwayne Johnson, Old School Raw, Chris Jericho, Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards and all as it regards WWE. We also look at where the USA Network would be without Raw. We also look at new classes WWE is instituting for its wrestlers and why, wrestlers who have talked retirement, Cole and Layfield in a contest and Cena vs. Rollins.
We also look at the entire holiday week in WWE, both the house shows and TV tapings with highlights from every night.
We also look at Japan's annual celebrity arm wrestling competition featuring MMA fighters, pro wrestlers, sumos, baseball stars and more and who emerged victorious.
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.
The Observer is now in its 31st year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world. Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.
You can also subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.
-- I am logging this report on a flight from Seattle to Las Vegas, where Dave and I will be in attendance for the WWE Network announcement tonight at 9:30 PM ET. We'll have a full audio report up later on tonight with tons of details about their plans and hopefully some exclusives as well, so prepare for that.
-- The announcement will be streamed live on the WWE App, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, Google+, Pinterest and Pheed. Hard to miss.
-- Besides playing on the stream, last night's Bryan & Vinny Show is a FREE download off the front page as well, so feel free to spread the word about it.
-- Kaitlyn is done with WWE as of today. The word we got from people in WWE was that there were a lot of storylines involving her that she was wanting/expecting that never came to fruition, and that essentially she was just over it.
-- The feud that will never die. Maxim is doing a Hot 100 contest with fan voting and Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate are both on Twitter asking their followers to vote for them.
-- Did Daniel Bryan travel back in time? That's a topic for After Dark. Check out the cable wrangler behind Tully here.
-- TNA new TV deal: TNA Wrestling signs new multi-year deal with Challenge for the United Kingdom and Ireland. Challenge becomes the exclusive home of TNA IMPACT WRESTLING in the UK & Ireland | New multi-year deal marked with broadcasts from the TNA MAXIMUM IMPACT VI UK Tour. Challenge is delighted to announce a new multi-year partnership with TNA IMPACT WRESTLING. The deal secures more wrestling programming than ever before for fans and Challenge viewers with Challenge now becoming the exclusive home of TNA IMPACT WRESTLING in the UK and Ireland. Challenge will show all the exciting action from the TNA MAXIMUM IMPACT VI UK Tour, starting with a TV broadcast on Thursday 30 January 2014 from Glasgow’s SSE Hydro. This event will debut on UK television BEFORE it airs in America and the rest of the world – the first time this has happened in TNA history. Challenge’s coverage of TNA IMPACT WRESTLING’s extensive arena tour will also include double TV tapings in Manchester (January 31) and London (February 1) and a PPV event in Birmingham (February 2). Footage will also be recorded when TNA visits Dublin on January 29. All shows will be broadcast in 2014. Challenge has broadcast TNA since February 2011. With the new agreement the channel will continue to air TNA IMPACT WRESTLING every Sunday night at 9pm and TNA Xplosion each Wednesday at 11pm, alongside TNA’s special signature PPV events including Bound For Glory, Lockdown and Slammiversary. Challenge now also has the rights to broadcast some older TNA programming and matches.
-- Matt Brown of UFC has started a new podcast. The LEGIT MAN SHIT PODCAST. We'll see how long that lasts. In the first episode he argues that female fighters should compete topless.
-- Congrats to Ben Henderson, who just got married.
-- Slow and Hot with Brittney Palmer. That's what it's called. Click here.
-- Titans of Wrestling look at Gorilla Monsoon and more here.
-- Classics on Demand for the week. Enjoy it while you can:
Best of Saturday Nights Main Event Part 3 & 4
Best of Clash of Champions Part 1 & 2
Philadelphia Spectrum 1-12-85
AWA All Star Wrestling 11/14/81
Extreme Championship Wrestling 12/11/98
Stampede Wrestling 6/79
-- EXTREME RISING PRO WRESTLING returns to Pittsburgh, PA to present “BLACK, GOLD, AND EXTREME” Saturday, February 8th 2014 – 7pm Bell time. Doors open 6pm at the IRISH CENTRE 6886 Forward Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (in Squirrel Hill).
-- Chris writes: You've probably already heard but they covered the "Yes" chants you linked on the site big in sportscenter last night and mentioned Daniel Bryan by name a couple of times. I believe the mentioned WWE as well but def mentioned Bryan by name. Guess Vince was right? This guy isn't a star.
-- Here's a better video if you haven't seen it.
-- New Impact podcast with Samoa Joe here.
-- Tickets for "World Series of Fighting 8: Gaethje vs. Patishnock," start at just $29, and are on sale at Ticketmaster.com. The bout tops a five-fight card that airs live on NBCSN at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The fights will also be broadcast on Brazilian television network, Esporte Interativo. A six-fight undercard will stream live atwww.WSOF.com.
-- Austin Aries interview on the MAN SCHOOL podcast here.
-- From the producers of Jim Crockett Promotions: The Good Old Days come's their next project via Kickstarter Rock-N-Roll Never Dies: The Rock-N-Roll Express Story. For over 30 years Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson have been a mainstay as a tag team known worldwide and loved by millions. Now they are teaming up with EllBow Productions to produce their story. This is not the same story you have heard over the years, this story goes into more detail about their relationship not just with each other but also the fans and the promoters that they worked for. For the first time both Ricky and Robert talk about the lifestyle that they led outside of the ring being the huge stars that they were they had many opportunities to get mixed in with bad things. Nothing is will be held back when they talk openly for the first time about numerous topics that you wouldn’t expect to hear. Of course you will still get a healthy dose of their wrestling career thrown in as well but this will be different than what you are expecting. Wrestling fans we need your help to make this story come to live please visit the Kickstarter link below and contribute what you can. Our goal is to preserve the history of the sport of professional wrestling with stories that the E will not produce. Without your support and financial backing these stories take longer to produce so please consider contributing today. This is basically a pre-order for a 3 disc set on the Rock-N-Roll Express please help today. Link is here.
-- Latest Justin Credible report is up here.
-- HOW MANY FANTASTICAMANIA SHOWS WOULD YOU BUY ON IPPV
All of them 10.2%
IF NEW JAPAN PUTS 2/9 AND 2/11 ON IPPV
I would buy neither 67.1%
Will buy both 21.8%
Only 2/11 10.6%
Only 2/9 0.6%
IF YOU COULD GET WRESTLEMANIA AS PART OF THE PACKAGE, WOULD YOU BUY WWE NETWORK
Yes if price was under $15 26.5%
Yes if price was under $10 24.7%
I spent $60 to $70 last year, I'll get it at any price 14.9%
Not interested enough in WWE or old pro wrestling footage 10.7%
Only for less than $5 10.7%
Only for less than $20 6.8%
Yes, but will cancel as soon as possible 5.7%
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
The Shield 29.5%
Brock Lesnar 18.5%
Ric Flair 16.3%
Too Cool 13.0%
C.M. Punk 9.0%
New Age Outlaws 6.9%
Paul Heyman 5.1%
John Cena 1.2%
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF RAW?
7.5% of those responding didn't see the show
-- The National Wrestling Alliance returns to Rogersville, TN Saturday night, January 11with New Year’s Bash 2014, an event at the National Guard Armory (108 Frontage Rd. – 37857)
-- Today in history with Brian Hoops:
1917 - Wladek Zbyszko defeated B.F. Roller for the American Heavyweight Title in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
1925 - Wayne Munn defeated Ed "Strangler" Lewis to win the World Heavyweight Champion in Kansas City, Missouri.
1946 - Jim Casey defeated Dean Detton to win the San Francisco NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Title in San Francisco, California
1957 - Ivan and Karol Kalmikoff defeated Fritz Von Erich and Karl Von Schober in a tournament final to become the first Minneapolis NWA World Tag Team Champions in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The title would go on to become the AWA World Tag Team Title in 1960, when Verne Gagne left the NWA and founded the promotion.
1958 - Yvon Robert defeated Mario Galento to win the NWA Gulf Coast Heavyweight Title in Mobile, Alabama
1960 - Pete Managoff defeated Nick Kozak for the NWA Texas Heavyweight Title in Houston, Texas.
1962 - Len Rossi won the NWA Southern Junior Heavyweight Title by defeating Don Greene in Memphis, Tennessee.
1965 - Pepper Martin defeated Pat Patterson for the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title
1971 - Karl and Kurt Von Steiger defeated Tony Borne and Moondog Mayne for the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title.
1972 - Albert Wall defeated George Gordienko in Hanley, England to win the British Empire Heavyweight Title.
1978 - Leo Burke defeated Don Gagne (Frenchy Martin) for the Stampede North American Heavyweight Title in Edmonton, Alberta.
1983 - Moose Morowski and Al Tomko defeated Dean Ho and Moondog Moretti for the Vancouver NWA International Tag Team Title in Cloverdale, British Columbia.
1983 - Kaoru Matsumoto defeated Lioness Asuka to win the AJW Singles Title in Kumaya, Japan.
1984 - Don Kernodle and Bob Orton, Jr. defeated Dory Funk, Jr. and Jimmy Valiant for the vacant Mid-Atlantic NWA World Tag Team title in Charlotte, North Carolina.
1984 - Rayo de Jalisco, Jr. defeated Pirata Morgan to win the Mexican National Heavyweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico.
1990 - Jerry Lawler defeated King Cobra for the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee
1994 - Far 2 Wild (Chris Michaels and Todd Morton) defeated PG-13 (JC Ice and Wolfie D) for the held up USWA Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee.
1995 - Arn Anderson defeated Johnny B. Badd to win the WCW World Television Title in Atlanta, Georgia during a live edition of "The Main Event".
1995 - Tatsutoshi Goto, Shiro Koshinaka and Michiyoshi Ohara defeated Hiromichi Fuyuki, Gedo and Jado to win the Pro Wrestling WAR Six-Man Tag Team Title in Nagano, Japan from Fuyuki, Gedo and Jado
1998 - During the first edition of "Thunder", Juventud Guerrera defeated WCW Cruiserweight Champion Ultimo Dragon to win the title in Daytona Beach, Florida.
2000 - Ray Gonzalez defeated Carlos Colon to win the WWC Universal Heavyweight Title in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
2003 - America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm) defeated The New Church (Brian Lee and Slash) to win the NWA World Tag Team Title in Nashville, Tennessee.
2006 - Edge defeated John Cena to become new WWE Champion in Albany, New York.