FRIDAY UPDATE: Big weekend preview, tons of FOX notes, Turning Point line-up (PPV this Sunday, legit), DGUSA and Chikara on iPPV, WWE TV rib, CM PUNK PIZZA, tons more



By Bryan Alvarez

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We're looking for reports on today's Raw show in London at the O2 Arena, Smackdown in Gdansk, Poland, Dragon Gate USA in Revere, MA (Cima & Brodie Lee vs. Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano) as well as yesterday's Smackdown show in Zurich, Switzerland, and Wednesday's Raw show in Nottingham, England and Smackdown show in Brussels, Belgium 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

Saturday is a big day with UFC on FOX:

Facebook fights starting at 5 p.m.

Aaron Rosa (16-4) vs. Matt Lucas (14-2)

Mike Pierce (12-4) vs. Paul Bradley (18-3, 1 no contest)

Alex Caceres (5-4) vs. Cole Escovedo (17-6)

Mackens Semerzier (8-3) vs. Robert Peralta (15-3)

Kid Yamamoto (18-4, 1 no contest) vs. Darren Uyenoyama (6-3)

DaMarques Johnson (17-9) vs. Clay Harvison (9-4)

Cub Swanson (15-4) vs. Ricardo Lamas (10-2)

Dustin Poirier (10-1) vs. Pablo Garza (12-1)

Clay Guida (29-11) vs. Ben Henderson (14-2)

Live on FOX at 9 p.m.

Cain Velasquez (9-0) vs. Junior Dos Santos (13-1) for the heavyweight title

The tour finishes on Saturday with Raw in Minehead, England and Smackdown in Frankfurt, Germany. New Japan has a PPV show on Saturday from Osaka headlined by Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Toru Yano for the IWGP title. Dragon Gate USA runs in Philadelphia at the Arena with Yamato vs. Chuck Taylor for the Open the Freedom Gate title.

Sunday is headlined by Turning Point with Bobby Roode vs. A.J. Styles for the TNA title, Jeff Hardy vs. Jeff Jarrett, RVD vs. Christopher Daniels no DQ, Mexican America & Sarita vs. Ink Inc. & Toxine for the tag titles, Matt Morgan vs. Crimson, Mr. Anderson & Abyss vs. Scott Steiner & Bully Ray, Austin Aries vs. Kid Kash vs. Jesse Sorensen for the X title and Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim for the Knockouts title. Dragon Gate USA finishes its tour in New York at BB King's with Yamato vs. Gargano for the Open the Freedom Gate title.

All three Dragon Gate USA shows are on iPPV at www.wwnlive.com

There is also a CHIKARA iPPV on Sunday at www.gofightlive.tv headlined by Mike Quackenbush vs. Eddie Kingston.

There is a three-hour Raw on Monday from Boston featuring The Rock and Mick Foley live, plus the Jim Ross/Michael Cole angle. There is also an Impact taping from Orlando.

Tuesday is a Smackdown and NXT taping in Bridgeport, CT and Impact tapings in Orlando.

The record setting first weekend gross for WrestleMania is among the lead stories in the newest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which also has a detailed preview of Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos and why it's one of the biggest fights in UFC history, the business of UFC on network TV, and the biggest money events in UFC and WWE history.

We also have our updated quarterly look at WWE business, looking at the quarterly report in every aspect. We look at the ideas for the WWE Network, talk about the planned launch time, reactions from those in the company and how many employees and how much money will be spent between now and the end of the year to get the network going.

We look at 2011 financially for both UFC and WWE so far, Vince McMahon calls another network a failure, his goals for the network, what shows will likely be on the network and what shows won't. We look at the two different concepts for WWE on PPV going forward. We look at Vince's reaction when it was brought up that WWE had a buzz over the summer and seems to have lost it.

We also look at the movie business, where WWE revenue is coming from as far as different parts of the world, live event business, PPV business including a chart of all the PPV numbers for the first nine months of the past three years. We look at what the average house show is bringing in, both in ticket sales, ticket revenue and merchandise sales. We've got updated numbers on how WrestleMania did, how Money in the Bank did, as well as SummerSlam and Night of Champions. We look at the prospects for Survivor Series and Rock's return, what the return of HHH meant on PPV and what figures are misleading due to new contracts.

We also look at the home video business, the toy business, the video game business, magazine business and the contract with the USA Network.

The issue is available today on the web site, as is a back issue from 1994 as part of ten issues of the Observer and Figure Four available to web site subscribers. We also have the Observer as a print newsletter available with details below.

The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.

Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sites and has 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 publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling industry as well as the MMA industry, from bookers, to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest current names, both on camera, and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed as long as 20 years or more straight. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world and an accuracy from having the most inside sources that can't be found on the web. Everyone from Wall Street to the major offices to the TV networks in 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 send your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order by faxing that information to 408-244-3402. You can also subscribe via paypal at www.paypal.com and using the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address or 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.

We also have more on Vince McMahon, why Smackdown and Raw are different these days, a songwriter suing WWE, update on Shane McMahon, UFC in Madison Square Garden, WWE drug testing, update on Survivor Series, Brock Lesnar vs. Steve Austin, Vince McMahon donates to presidential campaign, update on Averno in WWE, update on Great Khali and a tweet that turns a champion into a job guy.

We also note GSP's favorite WWE wrestler, more complaints about a new star getting pushed, return of Kane, a 2012 program, WWE back in Japan, WWE developmental notes, WWE business notes from the past week in the U.K. and highlights of all the European events.

We also have full coverage of UFC 138, including details on the ratings, how much each match gained or lost viewers, and the fallout of Chris Leben vs. Mark Munoz and the emergence of Renan Barao as a bantamweight star and potential title challenger, plus what finish is now in the UFC record books.

We also look at the Japanese New Year's tradition, Antonio Inoki's attempt to keep it going, his idea of a show and where the networks' heads are at right now.

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.


-- UFC on FOX weigh-ins take place at 7 PM Eastern today, and a link to watch them live will be on our front page.

-- Weigh-in for next week's UFC 139 take place at the HP Pavilion next Friday at 7 Eastern.

-- Cain Velasquez is a 9-to-5 favorite (-175 vs. +150) over Junior Dos Santos. I predicted Cain winning, as did Dave Meltzer and Mike Coughlin, but if you read Dave's breakdown of the fight on Yahoo here, well, perhaps those should be closer. Ben Henderson is a heavy favorite over Clay Guida on Saturday night.

-- Full TNA Turning Point line-up after last night. The show is this Sunday. Seriously. AJ Styles vs. Bobby Roode for the title (signed in the last, no joke, 30 seconds of Impact), Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim for the Knockouts title, Ink Inc. & Toxine vs. Mexican America & Sarita for the tag titles (this match was made last night during the brawl between all six participants when someone randomly shouted to bring the tag titles – the state of booking in 2011), Kid Kash vs. Austin Aries vs. Jesse Sorensen (why did Aries agree to put his title on the line here?), Eric Young vs. Robbie E (continuing the feud that appeared to have been blown off on TV last night), RVD vs. Daniels, Matt Morgan vs. Crimson, Jeff Jarrett vs. Jeff Hardy, and Bully Ray & Scott Steiner vs. Mr. Anderson & Abyss (we just saw this match with two extra men last night, now we get the toned-down version). I've been high on Impact the last few weeks, but this show is almost certainly going to do the worst buyrate of the entire year for TNA.

-- Styles, by the way, has a bum ankle and shouldn't be working for probably another two weeks, but he seems to think he's doing the match Sunday regardless.

-- Same day Chikara runs their first-ever iPPV, HIGH NOON, on gofightlive.tv. You can get all the info at chikarapro.com. Both Mike Quackenbush and Ultramantis Black have been on our show the past two weeks previewing this, the biggest Chikara show of all time. Chikara also runs a show in Easton, PA tomorrow as well. More info on the site.

-- DGUSA also runs three different events this week, all available for live viewing at WWNLive.com. You can check out the line-ups and more at dgusa.tv. Gabe Sapolsky was on the show twice this week promoting the event. Saturday's DGUSA is a double-header with CZW live, though if you show up at the building you will have to buy a ticket for each show.

-- Smackdown tonight has Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett, Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan, Sheamus vs. Christian, Ted DiBiase vs. Jinder Mahal, Big Show vs. three men (including THE FRENCH STALLION of Lance Storm World of Hurt fame), Alicia Fox vs. Tamina, and Hunico & Epico vs. Usos. Smackdown has consistently been a good to great show for weeks, tons better than Raw, so if you haven't been watching you should check it out.

-- We've got this week's Superstars on the front page. It features DANIEL BRYAN VS. WILLIAM REGAL. Watch the match. As a teaser, during ring intros, they switch Regal's music to "REAL MAN'S MAN" briefly, causing both Regal and Bryan to lose it.

-- It was announced today that Bonnier Corp. will take over publication of the UFC Magazine startign with a 2012 annual preview.

-- Ian's Pizza in Wrigleyville, WI is bringing back the GTS Pizza for Survivor Series. Yes, a pizza named after CM Punk's finisher. For real, it's not just called the GTS Pizza and I'm making a joke. Punk has endorsed it. "The G.T.S. pizza is the best in the world. Would you expect anything less from a pizza inspired by me?" The pizza, for those wondering, features smoked turkey leg, sliced potatoes, Swiss cheese and French fried onions on a creme fraiche base. There is a video here where it is revealed that there also appears to be a pizza called, get ready, THE UNDERSTEAKER. You can also watch Punk attempt to toss pizza dough here. Colt Cabana makes a cameo. Don't let HHH see this, he'd have a field day on Raw cutting an insider promo that 0.0001% of the audience would understand.

-- For the second year in a row, ArenaChicks.com will be setting up a vendor at the WrestleReunion event in Los Angeles from January 27-29, 2012. The first three guests announced for their vendor so far are Shelly Martinez, Amber O’Neal, and Angel Orsini. Martinez will also be participating in a deluxe bikini photo op shoot with Nitro Girl Spice. The Pro Wrestling Superstars show on the Saturday of the event in Los Angeles will feature Colt Cabana vs. Fit Finaly in a World of Sports Rules Match. The only other match announced thus far is the Legends WrestleRoyale, which I under may include Matt Classic as a participant. -- Harvey Whippleman radio interview here.

-- PWP runs this Saturday at the National Guard Armory in Council Bluffs, IA.

What are your plans as far as watching this weekend:
Raw 62.4%
UFC on FOX 67.9%
Bellator 17.9%
32.9% said they would watch both Raw and UFC on FOX

Plans for next weekend
Survivor Series 50.2%
UFC 139 42.8%
19.8% said they would watch both

Poll on Ultimate Fighter on Wednesday
Excellent 42.3%
Good 46.5%
Average 2.8%
Fair 1.4%
Poor 8.5%
51.7% of those responding didn't see the show

-- I Tap Boys has new kid-friendly (no "I Tap Boys" references) t-shirts available here. Mostly for little girls (as in, it says "GIRL'S JIU-JITSU" on them), in all kid's sizes, in both blue and pink.

-- Another story on Liz Tracy, who I Tap Boys sponsors, here. She won her MMA debut via majority decision after multiple slams over an opponent with three fights under her belt.

-- For those who love After Dark Radio, an absolute legend of Ufology is on the show this afternoon, STANTON T. FRIEDMAN. You can't watch a documentary or read a book about UFOs without hearing from or about Stanton, and he's got a lot to talk about. Will be posted on the front page later tonight.

-- Jim Ross talks Terry Gordy, Henry Godwinn, Jerry Brisco and more here.

-- The next UWF PPV is going to be called THUG ASSASSIN, the best name for a PPV of all time ever.

-- Jake writes: Ronnie from The Jersey Shore was on Access Hollywood Live as a guest yesterday (Thursday). I just watched my DVR of it. It was a pretty long interview with Billy Bush and guest co-host Holly Robinson-Peete. They talked at length about The Jersey Shore then Peete actually said Ronnie was involved with TNA Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling on Impact Wrestling. Yes, she actually mentioned all the names! They showed a clip of Ronnie in action from Impact. They even had a notice on the screen from Access Hollywood Live itself plugging Turning Point being a pay-per-view event this Sunday. Ronnie told them TNA is a promotion where "a lot of the older wrestlers have gone to" but only mentioned Hulk Hogan. He said pro wrestling is what inspired him growing up to hit the gym because he wanted to have a body like guys like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and HHH. Peete ended the segment telling people to catch Ronnie "tonight" on Impact Wrestling on Spike. A really good segment and I was surprised how well they put TNA over aside from the name dropping of the WWE guys by Ronnie. I thought for sure they would only talk about The Jersey Shore.

-- Steven Prazak comes out of a self-imposed hibernation tonight on the Midnight Black Mass radio show here.

-- Harry Smith joins Over The Top Rope radio tonight here.

-- While I don't trend worldwide like the cool kids, I am on Twitter @bryanalvarez, and also Facebook at facebook.com/officialbryanalvarez.


How many buys do you think the UFC show on 12/6 did?

 

What are you watching this weekend?

 

What was the best TV show of the past week?