FRIDAY UPDATE: Weekend preview, updates on Mulligan and Kox, Impact rating details from last night, MVP talks Bischoff, UFC on FOX line-up and notes on the UK viewing, Diaz drug tested, tons more



By Bryan Alvarez

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Actually a slow Halloween weekend with the exception of the Saturday night MMA shows.

We're looking for reports on tonight's TNA house show from Sacramento as well as last night's show from San Francisco at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

There are no major pro wrestling shows in the U.S. on Saturday night, which is amazing when you think about it.

The big weekend show is UFC 137 from Las Vegas. The Facebook fights start at 6 p.m. with Dustin Jacoby vs. Clifford Starks, Chris Camozzi vs. Francis Carmont, Danny Downes vs. Ramsey Nijem and Brandon Vera vs. Eliot Marshall. On Spike TV at 8 p.m. they have Tyson Griffin vs. Bart Palaszewski and Dennis Siver vs. Cowboy Donald Cerrone. The live PPV fights are Hatsu Hioki debuting against George Roop, Jeff Curran vs. Scott Jorgensen with Curran vowing to retire if he loses, Mirko Cro Cop vs. Roy Nelson, Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione and Nick Diaz vs. B.J. Penn.

Also on Saturday is Bellator coming from Memorial Hall in Kansas City on MTV 2. The heavyweight tournament semifinals have Neil Grove vs. Thiago Santos and Eric Prindle vs. Ron Sparks. The main event has Ben Askren defending the welterweight title against Jay Hieron.

Monday is Raw from Atlanta with Jim Ross vs. Michael Cole in some sort of a challenge with the Raw announcing job at stake. Smackdown and NXT are taped on Tuesday in Greenville, SC.

        The return of The Rock at Survivor Series is the subject of the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  The issue is up on the site today, and a back issue was put on the site yesterday.  In addition, our most talked about issue of the year, the Hall of Fame issue is available on the site for web site subscribers, and you can still get the issue with a new print subscription if requested.

 
        We also have a look at the Viacom purchase of Bellator and what it means for U.S. MMA going forward, as well as notes on two different sets of the leading wrestling companies in the world this past week in discussions to further working agreements and why.
 
        Our lead story talks about the angle setting up Rock & John Cena vs. The Miz & R-Truth.  We look at how tickets moved for Survivor Series when Rock was announced, as well as what the scalper situation of ticket sales based on anticipating huge demand.  We also look at the unique effect the return of Rock has on the popularity of John Cena and why.  We look at the match itself, whether Miz & R-Truth are the right opponents, notes on HHH vs. Kevin Nash, thoughts on the HHH angle, title matches and more.
 
        We also look at the Vengeance PPV, including major notes on the show, thoughts on the creative, business notes and match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
 
        We also look at the business of WrestleMania this past year, the value to a city, comparisons with the Super Bowl and Final Four, comparisons to UFC in Toronto and other UFC events, and a breakdown of who bought tickets to WrestleMania and from where. We also note why John Cena gets a different reaction based on different types of shows.
 
        We've got notes on WrestleMania tickets, an update on Gerald Brisco, WWE fires announcer and tries to reprise Michael Cole character into Spanish, updates on the plans for the WWE Network, new positions WWE is looking to hire, a WWE policy change that was changed again bringing comedy to the commentary, Mick Foley's return, former WWE wrestler says he's going into MMA in 2012, update on Batista, lots of names having tryouts for WWE positions last week and why.  We also look at the company's feeling on twitter, Heath Slater talks his suspension, Raw Canada numbers as well as what percentage of Raw viewers watch live and not live.  We also look at the return of a wrestler that looks to be fairly soon with a new name, Legends roundtable shows filmed, WWE wrestlers working non-WWE stars, and the son of a wrestling legend doing a tryout camp.  We also look at post-Christmas WWE lineups including a non-wrestler booked for an angle which at this point hasn't taken place.  Plus we've got notes from the lone weekend house show and business notes.
 
              The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
 
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the most complete look at the business as a whole anywhere.  The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling
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        We also look at the Bellator purchase by Viacom and what that means to the company going forward.  We look at the plans for 2013, why this is going to take so long to develop, how this changes thing for Bellator and comparisons made between Bellator and TNA.
 
        We also look at ads aimed at major professionals by both UFC and WWE, what they claim, what is and isn't accurate about claims, the breakdown of who actually watches UFC and WWE on television and more. 
 
       We also have a look at All Japan's last major show of the year at Sumo Hall.  We look at Jun Akiyama winning the Triple Crown, his background, why historically that result is significant, All Japan plans going forward, and where its business stands. 
 
        We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week.  We also have a breakdown of Raw and Impact and what segments gained and lost viewers so you can see what segments and personalities people tune in and out from.
 
        We also have our regular weekly features with results of all the major arena events around the world, as well as all the major TV show
reviews.   
 
         Also in this week's issue:
 
--Trying to promote a major wrestling group when the TV is preempted
 
--Father of a wresting family passes away
 
--Update on Jushin Liger in Mexico
 
--Star quits CMLL
 
--Davey Richards defends the ROH title in Mexico
 
--Legendary brother team faces former WWE stars
 
--Updated ratings from Mexico
 
--Upcoming major shows
 
--Two reality show ideas that are being talked about in wrestling, one to have a star become the person playing a former top star and another based on Tough Enough
 
--Update on Dragon Gate USA's next tour
 
--More on the change in the hierarchy at Pro Wrestling NOAH
 
--How much money did one of the biggest shows of the year raise for charity
 
--Thoughts on New Japan's last major show
 
--Update on the New Japan annual tag team tournament
 
--Crazy Antonio Inoki statement
 
--Daughter of wrestling legend and her last Olympic dream
 
--One night revival of one of the 90s most popular wrestling companies with old stars coming back
 
--Update on Killer Karl Kox
 
--Two wrestling shows look to be on their last legs
 
--More on the ESPN story on Scott Hall
 
--Update on Travis Tomko after his arrest
 
--Thoughts on the AWE PPV show
 
--What former star gets the most money for doing personal appearances nowadays
 
--Jury convicts several in the murder death of a wrestler a few years back and the sick plot described
 
--Former pro wrestler says he's going back to amateur this year for Canadian Olympic trials
 
--More notes on Curtis Iaukea in Australia and the heyday of WCW
 
--Former Tough Enough personality turns down $50,000 to appear on a reality show and why
 
--Update on Bruno Sammartino movie
 
--Several wrestlers talking about doing autobiographies
 
--Notes on Memphis Heat, the DVD
 
--A famous wrestler cited in a song
 
--Wrestler and MMA star together in a movie
 
--A look at a reunion of wrestles from the Gulas territory
 
--Story behind a former indie wrestler killed by New York police in a fight
 
--A lot of where are they nows with 80s and 90s wrestlers
 
--Notes on the return to the ring of Nigel McGuinness
 
--Thoughts on ROH booking and the good and bad of the television show
 
--Lots of new ROH shows
 
--The push of Garrett Bischoff
 
--Eric Bischoff behind a new non-wrestling television show for Nick at Nite
 
--Update on Kurt Angle injuries
 
--More on latest TNA Jersey Shore angle
 
--Notes on next TNA PPV show
 
--Gail Kim talks about her departure from WWE
 
--Update on Georges St. Pierre's injuries
 
--More on UFC losses for GSP not fighting
 
--Notes on UFC going back into theaters for 3-D shows
 
--Why UFC PPV buyers say they aren't buying recent shows
 
--Ticket sales for all the upcoming UFC shows
 
--Update on Feb. 25 UFC plans
 
--Note on movie "The Hammer" about the life of UFC star Matt Hamill
 
--UFC donating money to a presidential candidate
 
--Kenny Florian talks his future
 
--UFC foes mobilize and jump on former statements
 
--Lots of new UFC fights
 
--Notes on the last Bellator show and the bantamweight tournament
 
--Boxing PPV numbers
 
--Harrowing weight cutting story
 
--Bobby Lashley's next MMA fight
 
--Former MMA names arrested this past week
 
--Notes on major indie MMA shows with name fighters
 
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-- Blackjack Mulligan said there was great improvement in Barry Windham today but that he had a long road ahead of him. He now has some feeling in his fingers and toes. Doctors still aren't sure whether it was a massive heart attack or a stroke or both that took him down several days ago.

-- A correction from a report on the site yesterday. The information on the condition of Killer Karl Kox, attributed to a Wrestling Classics post by Steve Harmes, is both correct and incorrect. The information on the condition from Kox's son Cody is accurate, but it was not Harmes, but a former wrestler who does not post under his real name, who posted the information from Cody. We apologize for the error.

-- Don't have a name yet but one WWE release so far today.

-- Not that nobody expected it, but Impact last night was back down to a 1.14 rating wtih 1.5 million viewers. The final segment, with the Bobby Roode vs. Samoa Joe number-one contenders match and the Bischoff family feud, did a 1.06. The show started at a 1.3 and fell from there. To be fair, it was going up against what was apparently an amazingly awesome World Series game that did an 8.11 and 21.1 million viewers, a game that had many wrestlers tweeting that it reminded them of Michaels vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania. Lots of nearfalls and hope spots and kicking out of finishers apparently.

-- Well, this is interesting. If you go to Zack Ryder's Youtube page you get this message: This video contains content from WWE, who has blocked it on copyright grounds. Sorry about that.I would bet the issue is cleared up by later today or tomorrow, but we'll see.

-- From MVP's Twitter: MVP 1st time I tune in to Impact to watch @JEFFHARDYBRAND & I see Bischoff’s son angle is more important than the HVYWT title angle?????Hey, at least that angle had Ric Flair cutting a great promo. Without that it would have been beyond insufferable.

-- The full undercard for the UFC on FOX debut will air live on Facebook. Obviously if Cain Velasquz vs. Junior Dos Santos is over in, say, a minute, they'll put as many of the best of these as possible on the FOX special. Matches:


Clay Guida vs. Ben Henderson
Pablo Garza vs. Dustin Poirier
Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto vs. Darren Uyenoyama
Ricardo Lamas vs. Cub Swanson
Clay Harvsion vs. DaMarques Johnson
Robert Peralta vs. Mackens Semerzier
Paul Bradley vs. Mike Pierce
Matt Lucas vs. Aaron Rosa
Alex Caceres vs. Cole Escovedo

-- For those in the UK: Premier Sports are delighted to announce our latest UFC offering. The massive heavyweight title fight featuring Velasquez vs. Dos Santos on Sunday 13th Nov, 2am will be live and free-view only on Sky channel 433.

-- Nick Diaz was recently tested for drugs of abuse by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and passed. They didn't test him for performance-enhancing drugs. He'll be tested for everything on fight night. Testing a fighter who previously failed a test is standard operating procedure in Nevada. Apparently not in Texas.

-- Dana White noted yesterday that no matter what happens in the Penn vs. Diaz fight Saturday night, Carlos Condit is still first in line for the 170-pound title shot against GSP. St. Pierre is currently rehabbing his knee and should be able to resume training in about two months, provided it doesn't turn out he needs surgery. Condit vs. GSP would likely take place around February 2012.

-- Dana also said TUF: Brazil was a done deal and they were looking to run as many events and possible down there.

-- Dave has a great story on Nick Diaz and the fight Saturday here. Diaz is Diaz. It would be nice if his supposed lawyer that he pays $100,000 to every year to tell him what to do and where to be would tell him that he's honest-to-God going to make more as a UFC main eventer than a low- or mid-card boxer.

-- Jason writes: I'm just passing along this email as effective November 1st HDNet will be leaving Rogers Digital Cable. Back in 2009 HDNet was pulled from Bell ExpressVu. I'm not sure if its a Rogers move or an HDNet move as I have heard rumors the HDNet is going to be an online subscription or if Rogers is just replacing HDNet with FX Canada. More to come.

-- Smackdown tonight has an update on Mark Henry and Big Show after they destroyed the ring last week, Christian vs. CM Punk, Truth & Miz vs. Air Boom in a non-title match, Wade Barrett vs. Trent Baretta, Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match (obv), Daniel Bryan vs. Tyson Kidd and more.

-- We'll be joined on After Dark Radio tonight by Dave Goldberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Drexel University Department of Physics, author of A User's Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes, and Quantum Uncertainty. Going to be an awesome show. More info is up at afterdarkradioshow.com and you can also LIKE us on Facebook at facebook.com/afterdarkradioshow. If you love this show, please spread the word about it!

-- Out of character Dolph Ziggler interview here.

-- Podcast discussion on why pro wrestling is better than MMA here.

-- Chikara weekend schedule:

"No Safety in Numbers"
Saturday evening - 10.29.2011
Live @ The Goodwill Beneficial Assoc. Hall
100 Madison Avenue in Reading, PA!
The action starts @ 7:00 pm, Doors open @ 6:30 pm!

"Maiden Flight of the Great Condor"
Sunday afternoon - 10.30.2011
Live @ The Campbell Street Center
600 Campbell Street in Williamsport, PA!
The action starts @ 4:00 pm, Doors open @ 3:30 pm!

-- Speaking of Chikara, in preparation for their first-ever live iPPV on November 13th, we'll be joined by Ultramantis Black this coming Tuesday and Mike Quackenbush the Tuesday after, so if you have questions, we'll have a thread on the board in the radio show section for both very soon.

Who do you expect to win this fight?
Nick Diaz 51.4%
B.J. Penn 48.6%

Who is the greatest welterweight of all-time?
GSP 85.1%
Matt Hughes 14.9%

Who is the WWE's second biggest regular star?
C.M. Punk 41.8%
Randy Orton 25.7%
HHH 19.3%
Mark Henry 9.8%
Alberto Del Rio 3.3%

What did you think of Wednesday's Ultimate Fighter reality show
Excellent 42.3%
Good 43.3%
Average 7.7%
Fair 2.9%
Poor 3.8%
41.9% of those responding didn't see the show

-- Garett Bischoff now has a Facebook page up here.

-- Josh Nason talked to Scott Jorgensen who takes on Jeff Curran on Saturday at UFC 137 here.

-- Melbourne City Wrestling in Australia held their anniversary supershow, titled 'Wrestleclash' which is now available online for viewing here. The event was held on Saturday October 22, at the Thornbury Theatre in Melbourne, Australia and featured a special appearance by Raven, former Shimmer Champion Madison Eagles and all the best male and female professional wrestlers from all around the country, as well as live music from local rock outfit 'Gretchen Lewis', in a three hour spectacular.

-- This Sunday, October 30th, CollectorFest Monthly will have another show and sale at The Webster Columbus Center (a.k.a. The Knights of Columbus) at #70 Barrett Drive in Webster, NY 14580. CollectorFest Monthly is the only monthly sports cards and collectibles show in Western New York with free admission and a gift at noon. T.V. Wrestling Superstar Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake will make a rare appearance, meeting the public and signing autographs as well. This $15 signing session runs from 12:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. while the show/sale runs from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

-- New UWC Championship Wrestling TV up here.

-- Review of Matt Hamill's life story film up here. They say the lead, who plays Hamill, is great, but that the movie is full of your usual sports cliches.

-- Alex Marvez interviews BULL BUCHANAN here.

-- Due to scheduling conflicts with some of the announced talent, New England Championship Wrestling has announced the postponement of the Iron 8 tournament(scheduled for Nov. 13, 2011 at the YMCA in Malden, MA) to sometime in spring 2012. NECW felt it would be better to postpone the event than risk some talent being unable to appear. Anyone who has already purchased tickets will be refunded. Details on getting refunds will be annonuced shortly.

-- Steeltown Pro Wrestling and the City of Selkirk has joined forces to present a live pro wrestling event as a fundraiser for the annual Parade of Lights at the Selkirk Memorial Hall on Saturday November 19, 2011. SPW officials will also be collecting non-perishable food, new and gently worn clothing and unwrapped toys for the Selkirk Food Bank and the Selkirk Hamper Drive at the door of the Selkirk Memorial Hall throughout the evening of Saturday November 19th. The City of Selkirk and Steeltown Pro Wrestling have formed a successful team several times in the last few years. SPW helped raise $400 in 2009 and $250 in 2010 for the Parade of Lights and the Selkirk Hamper Drive. This will be the third year that the City of Selkirk and Steeltown Pro Wrestling team up for a Parade of Lights fundraiser. Several local wrestlers are scheduled to appear on the November 19th card including Matt Fairlane, SPW Heavyweight Champion Ike Idol, Mr. Nasty and Rob Stardom from Selkirk, Gibby Guerrero from Gimli and Chip Fletcher from Arborg. Tickets are set at $12 at the door and can be bought in advance at the Garry Theatre of Selkirk. Doors will be open to the public at 6:30 p.m. with bell time scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

-- Ed will have news of the week and a review of the Bret vs. Shawn DVD here.

Long-term, what are your thoughts on Lucha Underground?

 

What did you think of Wednesday's Ultimate Fighter TV show?

 

What did you think of TNA Impact?

 

What did you think of Lucha Underground last night?