By Bryan Alvarez
We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's UFC 137 from Las Vegas, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
Actually a slow Halloween weekend with the exception of the Saturday night MMA shows.
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.
-- UFC 137 tonight:
Nick Diaz (170) vs. B.J. Penn (169)
Cheick Kongo (234) vs. Matt Mitrione (255)
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (235) vs. Roy Nelson (252)
Jeff Curran (134) vs. Scott Jorgensen (135)
Hatsu Hioki (145) vs. George Roop (145)
Donald Cerrone (156) vs. Dennis Siver (155) – Spike Prelim
Tyson Griffin (149) vs. Bart Palaszewski (146) – Spike Prelim
Eliot Marshall (204) vs. Brandon Vera (205) -- Facebook
Danny Downes (155) vs. Ramsey Nijem (155) -- Facebook
Chris Camozzi (185) vs. Francis Carmont (185) -- Facebook
Dustin Jacoby (185) vs. Clifford Starks (186) -- Facebook
-- Griffin missed weight and must give up 25% of his show money.
-- Dave and I will be back late tonight with our weekend Observer Radio running down this show in-depth, plus talking all of the news of the weekend, including tons of TNA notes, more on Maryse, WWE Network and more. Dave will also be doing live running play-by-play on the front page starting with the Facebook prelims at about 3:15 PM Pacific/6:15 PM Eastern.
-- Raw Monday with the Muppets will be headlined by Mark Henry vs. CM Punk in a non-title match where Punk has to win in order to get a shot at Alberto del Rio's WWE Title at Survivor Series. I hate this match. Henry doesn't need to be doing non-title jobs, particularly if it doesn't lead to a title shot for the guy who beats him, and if Punk wins by countout or DQ that's a lame way to be awarded a title shot at a major PPV.
-- YouTube Set to Announce TV Initiative With 100 Niche Channels. One of those channels is going to WWE. This is almost certainly the first roll-out of the new WWE Network which the company has claimed will launch around WrestleMania of 2012. This would certainly solve the problem of trying to get clearances on over-the-air television, but it's also certainly not what most fans were expecting when they heard WWE was planning to launch its own network.
-- Jimmy Savile, one of the most recognizable personalities in all of the United Kingdom, died today at the age of 84. Although far better known as a UK broadcaster, television personality, and one of the very first disc jockeys in history (among probably a dozen other things), in his youth he wrestled over 100 matches on the local cicuit. There is a big story on his life herewith some amazingly wacky photos. "I've broken every bone in my body," he said of his wrestling career. "I loved it." He was on the real-life This Is Your Life (without Mick Foley) twice, because as the story goes they featured a story on him once and then years later asked him to do it again because they forgot he'd been on already. He was also mugged by a female fan a few years ago, having his giant glasses stolen in a hallway corridor, and he said he loved it because it reminded him of the old days. Thanks to Lee Wall and others.
-- UFC returns to Rio on January 14 at the HSBC Arena, the same arena they ran in August.
-- Dave has an in-depth look at the Matt Hamill film here.
-- ROH on Sinclair tonight has Briscoes vs. All Night Express, Tommaso Ciampa vs. Alex Silva, and Roderick Strong vs. Kyle O'Reilly.
-- The Zach Ryder video that WWE blocked from Youtube yesterday has been re-edited and is now up here.
-- We got great reviews for the TNA house show in Sacramento, CA last night, particularly the Bobby Roode vs. James Storm match.
-- As noted on the Todd Martin show Thursday, John Cena has, in fact, retired the jean shorts. It'll be military attire from now on I guess.
-- Ryan writes: G4 is replaying the entire season of Tough Enough from 11am to 10pm today (Saturday 10/29). The Comcast guide says it's the original Maven and Josh season, but I checked the G4 website and it's the most recent (Andy and Luke) one.
-- The WWE Divas are the second group to be announced as WWE '12 downloadable content. We had two of the developers on the show last week, a great show by the way, and they revealed that, in fact, Nikkie and Brie were created separately and they didn't just cut-and-paste.
-- Fans can join Frank Trigg at the Cabo Wabo Cantina in Las Vegas to watch UFC 137, Saturday, October 29th, Cabo Wabo Cantina, 3663 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109
-- I Tap Boys has photos of their lovely new model Briley on their facebook page at facebook.com/itapboys. LIKE the page to be updated when more are posted. Everything she is wearing is available in the I Tap Boys store.
-- Speaking of, Liz Tracy, who is sponsored by I Tap Boys, fights Emily Whitmire on November 5th for CAGED ON THE COAST 6 at the Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City, OR. More info on the show is up here.
-- WrestleReunion has gotten word that Chavo Guerrero Jr will not be able to attend the WrestleReunion event in Los Angeles at the LAX Westin from January 27-29, 2012. Chavo was to appear as a vendor guest courtesy of RF Video, but was apparently offered a deal in India that he could not pass up. Unlike VIP guests, vendor guests are not bound by a binding contract to appear at the events they are scheduled for. So far scheduled to appear at the Los Angeles event: VIP Guests: Scott and Rick Steiner, Kevin Sullivan, Tommy Dreamer, Carlos Colon, The Godfather, Big Van Vader, Mikey Whipwreck, Molly Holly, BG James and Billy Gunn, Harry Smith, Kevin Von Erich, Mick Foley, Nitro Girl Spice. Vendor Guests: Fit Finaly (HighSpots.com), Fifi The Maid (HighSpots.com), Tori (RF Video). Thanks to Daniel Short.
-- What are your planning on watching this weekend
UFC 137 45.5%
The crossover is 10.0%, so based on this, so very few only watching Bellator
How many buys do you think UFC 137 will do?
Under 200,000 14.8%
More than 500,000 5.2%
Poll on Impact
53.3% of those responding didn't see the show.
-- CRW tonight in Montreal for its 3rd anniversary show. ROH World Champion Davey Richards vs Kevin Steen. Michael Elgin vs Darkko vs Jake Matthews in a 3-way match. Sylvain Grenier vs Dru Onyx. Plus LuFisto, Kalamity, Super Smash Bros and a rare presence by Ted Dibiase who'll be there for pictures and autographs. www.luttecrw.com for more info.