SAT UPDATE: Huge weekend of shows on site and off, WWE and AppleTV, Mike DiBiase arrest and father's statement, tons more



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

We'll be doing polls this weekend on both the UFC on FOX show Saturday and the Royal Rumble.

We're looking for reports from tonight's WWE house show in State College, PA, headlined by Randy Orton vs. John Cena. Also on the show include Ryback, Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Rio, Antonio Cesaro and the Rhodes Brothers.

Today's UFC show in Chicago from the United Center

Fightpass at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time

Walt Harris vs. Nikita Krylov

FS 1 at 5 p.m.

Mike Rhodes vs. George Sullivan

Daron Cruickshank vs. Mike Rio

Ramiro Hernandez vs. Hugo Viana

Chico Camus vs. Yaotzin Meza

Yves Jabouin vs. Eddie Wineland

Alex Caceres vs. Sergio Pettis

FOX at 8 p.m.

Darren Elkins vs. Jeremy Stephens

Donald Cerrone vs. Adriano Martins

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Stipe Miocic

Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thomson

WWE has a house show Reading, PA on Saturday night headlined by Orton vs. Cena.

ROH has a TV taping on Saturday night in Pittsburgh (Adam Cole & Matt Hardy vs. Chris Hero & Michael Elgin vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe, Paul London vs. Cedric Alexander winner gets a title shot on 2/8 in San Antonio), Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jay Lethal vs. Matt Taven for TV title, Finals of the Top Prospect tournament, Kevin Steen vs. Kyle O'Reilly, Jimmy Jacobs & B.J. Whitmer vs. ACH & Tadarius Thomas, Romantic Touch vs. Michael Bennett). With the Royal Rumble the next night, the advance for this show was strong.

Sunday is the Royal Rumble from Pittsburgh:

30 man Royal Rumble

Randy Orton vs. John Cena must be a winner for WWE title

Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar

Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt

Rhodes Brothers vs. New Age Outlaws for tag titles on pregame show at 7:30 p.m.

A.J. Lee vs. Naomi could be added depending on how the main show times out.

Raw is Monday in Cleveland. Batista and Brock Lesnar are both scheduled on the show. Neither are scheduled for Smackdown.

Smackdown will be taped Tuesday in Toledo.

The biggest Observer of the year is out today, the 2013 awards issue. The issue features awards, as voted on by the Observer readership, in all of these categories, as well as all the top place winners in each category, details on the voting, notes on the winners as well as a listing of winners of every award dating back to 1980.

We also have a feature on George Scott, the wrestling star of the 50s and 60s, who became the booker for Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling in the 70s and brought a regional company running in secondary markets to national prominence as the premier pro wrestling promotion in North America. We look at how Scott influenced the building of people like Ric Flair, Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper and many others.

We also look at his run as booker for WWF in the mid-80s during the national expansion.

We look at how Scott changed the entire way wrestling was done in the Carolinas and brought in new talent. We look at the big offer he turned down, why his run ended, as well as his various booking runs over the next decade including his short run as booker of WCW in 1989, and why that didn't last.

We look at the Flair-Steamboat series, the 1989 Super Sunday and what major PPV draw got his first big break on independent shows booked by Scott.

We also look at this past week's UFC show in Duluth, GA, and what this card showed UFC is dangerously close to becoming, notes on the ratings, as well as match-by-match coverage and how much everyone on the show earned.

We also have an update on the Royal Rumble, thoughts on the show, Daniel Bryan's concussion issues, how the Ultimate Warrior deal got put together, plans on the network for WrestleMania week, more on WrestleMania tickets for this year, Hulk Hogan's return, Hulk Hogan legal situation and an update on WWE stock.

We also look at WWE signing a multi-book contract, a wrestler leaves WWE and starts up on his own next week, a WWE legend whose will no longer be under contract when his deal expires, politics of this year's WWE Hall of Fame, Daniel Bryan talks his reaction to WWE booking, theories about superstar booking, how he got over and connected, who in UFC he compares himself to, a new marketing idea come up with for him and who was behind it and more.

We also have more on a new WWE movie project, double booking, Dana White talks Brock Lesnar in UFC, and what announcers were told before TV.

We also have more notes from developmental, next MSG show lineup, a weird radio deal involving a WWE major star, locations for two upcoming WWE PPV shows, as well as notes on all the weekend WWE house shows and business notes.

We also have a look at the 2014 Fantastica Mania tour, looking at the concept, how Lucha Libre has changed over the past decade, as well as match-by-match coverage of this past weekend's two big shows and why the second show may end up as one of the most entertaining two hours of pro wrestling on a show this year.

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.

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. Just sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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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. ox 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.

We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows.

We also have a look at the ratings of all the major television shows.

Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Just a ridiculously packed live radio show schedule this weekend. A quick look:

Saturday 3 PM ET/12 PT: Vinny V pre-SuperBowl Sport Report return (already over but the download is FREE on the front page)
Saturday night (time TBA, check front page or @bryanalvarez): Observer Radio with Bryan and Dave talking UFC on FOX
Sunday 6 ET/3 PT: Wrestling Observer Live with Bryan and Mike Sempervive with the Royal Rumble preview show
Sunday 11 ET/8 PT: Bryan & Vinny post-Royal Rumble show immediately following the event
Sunday 3 AM ET/12 PT: Wrestling Observer Radio with Bryan and Dave talking Rumble and weekend news

These live shows are free for anyone worldwide, although you must be a subscriber to access the onDemand replays which go up within 10 minutes of the shows ending. Your subscription obviously also includes all the Wrestling Observers, Figure Fours, newsletter archives, plus every radio show we've ever produced dating back to 2005, and depending upon how long you subscribe for you can get it all for as low as $9.99 per month. If you love the shows, please support the site and sign up!

-- The stream is available 24/7 through the front page or at F4WLive.com. When we're not live, the latest free shows play on a loop throughout the day and evening.

-- There is another Don Frye video on the front page. Absolutely fantastic. WATCH NOW.

-- Gearlive.com has a story on The WWE Network being supported by Apple TV.

-- The whole news story on Mike DiBiase's arrest after a seven-hour standoff is here. It's actually interesting because the comment area down below has a bunch of comments from people he knew in the area, including some he went to school with.

-- His father Ted DiBiase tweeted this: Please pray for my oldest son Mike. He's been arrested again and is in jail. Pray that God would break his pride and he would grow up.

-- Interview with Daniel Bryan here where he notes that, at the moment, he is not scheduled to be in the Royal Rumble.

-- TNA did manage to get a bunch of Orlando dates booked for March. Good news for them as they were facing the possibility of very expensive road tapings if they couldn't get any Universal Studios dates.

-- Dean Ambrose the guest on Colt Cabana's podcast this week here.

-- Chris Jericho was, in fact, on a plane to Pittsburgh this morning, though you shouldn't read too much into that because he's got a personal appearance set up at a boat show. It is rather amazing the Royal Rumble and the boat show are in the same city.

-- There is a trailer for Oculus, WWE's latest horror film, up here.

-- WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FIGHTERS DEBUT?
Excellent 17.6%
Good 29.4%
Average 5.9%
Fair 11.8%
Poor 35.3%
84.1% of those responding didn't see the show

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IMPACT?
Excellent 10.1%
Good 13.1%
Average 19.2%
Fair 4.0%
Poor 53.5%
36.1% of those responding didn't see the show

HOW MANY NORTH AMERICAN BUYS DO YOU THINK ROYAL RUMBLE WILL GET?
Under 200,000 12.1%
201-225,000 10.7%
226-250,000 11.7%
251-275,000 14.0%
276-300,000 12.1%
301-325,000 14.0%
326-350,000 6.1%
351-375,000 5.6%
376-400,000 4.2%
More than 401,000 9.3%

WHAT RATING WILL UFC ON FOX GET?
Under 1.3 36.8%
1.3 9.8%
1.4 8.3%
1.5 14.3%
1.6 3.0%
1.7 6.0%
1.8 4.5%
1.9 3.0%
2.0 8.3%
2.1 0.0%
2.2 0.0%
2.3 or more 6.0%

-- New interview up with April Hunter here.

-- New interview with Jim Cornette here.

-- The Stro has Royal Rumble predictions here.

-- Heroes and Legends wrestling deeply regrets that we are postponing our "Defying All Odds" event this Saturday, January 25th. We feel like it is in everyone's best interest to postpone the event as the safety of our fans and wrestlers is our number one priority as many of you and our wrestlers travel from out of the city/state. We will work quickly to secure a new event date and try to maintain the exact line up, anyone who has purchased their advanced tickets for Defying All Odd's may use their ticket to any event we do in 2014 including HEROES & LEGENDS III event on March 22nd in Ft. Wayne, IN. , or you may contact me for a refund by calling 865-388-0099 Our reasoning for the postponement is due fully to the weather forecast of expected snow, the 40 mph blowing winds, snow drifts and hazardous road conditions , several county roads are becoming one lane and I-69 has been shut down in 3 places just this evening alone. Tonight the Grant County Commissioners office having issued a Travel Advisory to be in effect from tonight and running throughout the weekend. The news station here in Ft. Wayne is saying that local authorities are asking people to stay indoors except where absolutely necessary tonight and tomorrow due to dangerously cold weather and hazardous road conditions. State Police are asking motorists who have to be out to use extreme caution on the roads this evening and throughout the entire weekend.

-- Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 television channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, kicks off the live schedule for Golden Boy Promotions in 2014 with a live broadcast of Golden Boy Live! tonight, January 24, at10 p.m. ET from Fantasy Sprigs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif., featuring San Diego’s undefeated Antonio “Relentless” Orozco against fellow power-puncher Miguel Angel "El Anestesista" Huerta of Ecatepec de Morelos, Mexico in a 10-round junior welterweight fight.

-- The University of MMA continues to provide action-packed entertainment in its Fight Night series, the next of which takes place on February 9 at Club Nokia at L.A. LIVE. Tickets are now on sale at www.UofMMA.com and www.axs.com.

-- A look at the 50 Greatest Wrestling Themes here.

-- Lance Storm reviews WrestleMania 22 here.

-- One of our readers, Jonathan, is doing a fundraiser to help offset the costs of surgery (leg amputation unfortunately) for a stray cat his family rescued. The link is here. Anyone who donates will get a thank you letter and photo post-surgery if they'd like one.

WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING ON WATCHING THIS WEEKEND?
Royal Rumble 79.4%
UFC on FOX 36.8%
9.8% aren't watching either show. 25.9% are watching both

-- 1950 - Yvon Robert defeated Whipper Billy Watson to win the Toronto NWA British Empire Heavyweight Title in Montreal, Quebec.

1951 - Tarzan Kowalski defeated Bill Longson in Kansas City, Kansas for the NWA Heart of America (later known as Central States) Heavyweight Title.

1954 - Wilbur Snyder and Sandor Szabo defeated Lord James Blears and John Tolos to become the first NWA International Television Tag Team Champions in Hollywood, California.

1961 - Sam Steamboat defeated Dick Hutton for the NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Title in Honolulu, Hawaii.

1963 - Buddy Rogers makes his first defense of the WWWF World Heavyweight Title, defeating Bobo Brazil in New Haven, Connecticut.

1964 - Dominic DeNucci defeated Ray Stevens for the San Francisco NWA United States Heavyweight Title in San Francisco, California

1969 - Stan Pulaski and Chris Tolos defeated Butcher and Mad Dog Vachon in Omaha, Nebraska for the AWA Midwest Tag Team Title.

1969 - Assassin #2 (Tom Renesto) and The Professional (Doug Gilbert) defeated Alberto and Ramon Torres to win the NWA Georgia Tag Team Title

1972 - Dean Ho and Fritz Von Erich defeated Thunderbolt Patterson and Johnny Valentine for the NWA American Tag Team Title in Dallas, Texas.

1972 - El Mongol defeated Buddy Colt in Macon, Georgia to win the NWA Georgia Heavyweight Title and Flash and Rocket Monroe defeated Bob Armstrong and Bill Dromo for the NWA Macon Tag Team Title.

1975- Bobo Brazil defeated The Sheik for the Detroit NWA United States Heavyweight Title in Detroit, Michigan.

1978 - Jack and Jerry Brisco defeated Ivan Koloff and Mr. Saito to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Titles at the Superbowl of Wrestling in Miami, Florida. Also, Mike Graham and Steve Keirn defeated Jimmy and Johnny Valiant to win the NWA Florida US Tag Team Title. WWWF World Champion, Superstar Billy Graham and NWA World Champion, Harley Race wrestled to a 60 minute time limit draw.

1982 - Roger Kirby and Jerry Valiant (Guy Mitchell) defeated Eddie Gilbert and Ricky Romero for the NWA Central States Tag Team Title in Wichita, Kansas.

1983 - The Fabulous Kangaroos (Johnny Heffernan and Don Kent) defeated Ron Bass and Barry Windham to win the NWA Florida Global Tag Team Title in Miami, Florida.

1984 - Angelo Mosca, Jr. defeated Iwan Koloff to win the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title in Shelby, North Carolina.

1991 - Bill Dundee defeated Gary Young to win the vacant USWA Texas Title in a tournament final in Dallas, Texas at the Sportatorium.

1992 - Brad Rhenigans and Baron Von Raschke defeated The Punishers to win the PWA Tag Team Title in Annadale, Minnesota.

1993 - Ron and Don Harris defeated Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett to win the USWA Tag Team Title in memphis, Tennessee

-- East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS III Sat, Jan 25th, 2014 Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702 (302) 836-6464

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Which of these main events would draw the best?

 

What are you planning on watching on Friday?