FRIDAY UPDATE: Huge weekend preview, Survivor Series added stip, UFC 143 location, big WWE '12 review, tons of notes from all over
By Bryan Alvarez
A lot of stuff happening this weekend, including a number of MMA events.
Tonight we're looking for reports from the ROH Survivor of the Fittest show in Dayton. The show is headlined by a battle of champions (ROH champion Davey Richards and TV champion Jay Lethal vs. tag champs Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) on top. The Survival of the Fittest first round matches have Eddie Edwards vs. Mike Bennett, Rhett Titus vs. Roderick Strong, Briscoes vs. Bravado Brothers, Kenny King vs. Michael Elgin vs. Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Kyle O'Reilly vs. Andy Ridge. The winners will compete in the six-way main event with the winner getting a title shot.
We're also looking for reports from TNA in Greenwood, MS with probably the weakest lineup with Jeff Hardy vs. Gunner, Mickie James vs. Winter, Brian Kendrick vs. Kid Kash, Mexican America vs. ?, Mr. Anderson vs. Christopher Daniels, Kazarian vs. Pope and Robbie E vs. Devon.
Tonight is also Strikeforce from The Pearl at the Palm in Las Vegas airing at 11 p.m. on Showtime with:
Derek Bunson (186) vs. Nate James (184)
T.J. Cook (205) vs. Trevor Smith (205)
Adlan Amagov (184) vs. Anthony Smith (188)
Julia Budd (146) vs. Ronda Rousey (146)
Antwain Britt (184) vs. Lumumba Sayres (185)
The key show on Saturday is UFC 139 from the HP Pavilion in San Jose
Prelims on Facebook
Shamar Bailey vs. Danny Castillo
Seth Baczynski vs. Matt Brown
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Gleison Tibau
Miguel Angel Torres vs. Nick Pace
Tom Lawlor vs. Chris Weidman
Live on Spike at 8 p.m.
Michael McDonald vs. Alex Soto
Ryan Bader vs. Jason Brilz
PPV at 9 p.m.
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Stephan Bonnar
Rick Story vs. Martin Kampmann
Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles
Cung Le vs. Wanderlei Silva
Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua
Bellator on Saturday from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL has Rafael Dias vs. Marlon Sandro, Hector Lombard vs. Trevor Prangley in a 195 pound catch weight fight and Eddie Alvarez defends the lightweight title against Michael Chandler.
ROH runs Glory by Honor in Chicago Ridge, IL, with Davey Richards vs. El Generico for the ROH title, Benjamin & Haas defending the tag titles against King & Titus, Lethal vs. Strong non-title, Briscoes vs. Young Bucks, Edwards vs. Kyle O'Reilly, Jimmy Jacobs vs. Tommaso Ciampa and Adam Cole vs. Elgin vs. Bennett vs. Grizzly Redwood.
TNA on Saturday runs in Vicksburg, MS with the same lineup as in Greenwood, MS.
Sunday is Survivor Series from Madison Square Garden, featuring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in his first match in 7 1/2 years.
The Rock & John Cena vs. The Miz & R-Truth
Alberto Del Rio vs. C.M. Punk for WWE title
Mark Henry vs. Big Show for World title
Randy Orton & Sheamus & Mason Ryan & Kofi Kingston & Sin Cara vs. Wade Barrett & Dolph Ziggler & Cody Rhodes & Jack Swagger & Hunico in an elimination match
Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison for U.S. title
Beth Phoenix vs. Eve Torres in a lumberjack match for the Divas title
Sunday also has a 7:30 a.m. PPV from Moscow, Russia from M-1 Global with Fedor Emelianenko vs. Jeff Monson, Jose Figueroa vs. Daniel Weichel for their lightweight title, Juan Manuel Suarez vs. Aleksander Yakoviev, Mairek Taisumov vs. Josh Thorpe and Arthur Guseinov vs. Xavier Foupa-Pokam.
Raw will be on Monday night from Hershey, PA. Smackdown will be taped on Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
With all the news of the past week, we've got one of our bigger issues of the year, a double issue of the Observer this week.
Our lead story is the most in-depth coverage of the UFC's lawsuit against officials of the state of New York. We look at the case, the real goals of the case, why UFC isn't legalized right now in New York, why they made this move, who is involved in the suit, why the fighters were chosen and what UFC officials and fighters will and won't be talking about this.
We look at the history of why UFC is not allowed to run in New York, the successful show held in New York, the crazy story behind the second UFC show in New York, what promotion did what and how the media was involved in derailing UFC in New York years ago.
We also have a look at the build to Survivor Series, the three hour Raw with The Rock, how every segment on the three hour Raw did including what was one of the biggest gaining segments of he year on WWE television.
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 each month. We also have the Observer as a print newsletter available with details below.
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We also look at the UFC on FOX, including the most detailed ratings breakdowns of the biggest televised MMA events ever in the U.S. We also look at some of the biggest and most important moments of the Zuffa history of the sport, the flops, the successes, and what successes meant little long term, what did, and what flops hurt and what flops did no damage at all.
We look at what backfired on the first show, what worked, the future of Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos, why all traditional understanding of what gets over in sports often misses the most basic of points, the FOX strategy, what the show really did ratings wise and how every reported figure is missing a key element of the audience watching the show and why even with a final number that is not all that impressive, why Dana White was doing cartwheels when reading into the numbers.
We also chart the five biggest MMA television shows in history, with ratings, viewers, peak quarter and key demo numbers as well as how the audience that watched a big UFC event in 2006 and 2011 have changed.
We also have full coverage of the live event from the Honda Center, match-by-match coverage with poll results.
We also have comments from UFC and FOX executives going into detail of the 2012 plans for UFC on television.
We also have an updated story on the WWE Network, looking at a lot of information of show ideas as well as notes on who long it's likely to take because the network can be financially successful and what are its biggest obstacles. We detail of a ton of new programming ideas and what is good, what isn't, what does and doesn't have legs.
We also have more on the injuries to Christian, why there is so much twitter talk on WWE television, notes on the new WWE video game and the value of The Rock and Brock Lesnar to it, notes on the final WWE PPV show of the year, Notes on John Morrison, Gerald Brisco, Smackdown in early 2012, new WWE signing that most people would know and business from all the European events as well as highlights from the European shows.
We also have a profile on the life and times of Joe Frazier, the story behind one of the biggest feud in sports history, Ali vs. Frazier in and out of the ring, the back story of the feud and why it garnered so much interest and the story of the Thrilla in Manila, considered one of the great heavyweight fights of all-time.
We also have exclusive notes not covered anywhere else of Joe Frazier as a pro wrestler, both his two pro matches and his refereeing angles, and the major match they were planning on doing with him that never happened.
We also talk with Spike and Bellator officials about Viacom's purchase of Bellator and what plans are, what changes are going to be made, and how this changes the MMA landscape.
We also have the story of the champion of a major promotion who suddenly quit, came back for one night, and then did an angle with the rival promotion days later.
We also have a rundown on TNA's Turning Point show including match-by-match coverage with poll results.
We also have coverage of New Japan's latest PPV show from Osaka, as well as notes on the company's next PPV show from Nagoya.
In addition, we have a complete listing updated of all members of the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, what category they are from and when they were inducted.
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
Also in this week's issue:
--Just how bad things have gotten for CMLL
--Last AAA big show of the year announced
--AAA makes a signing of someone they've been after for months
--Latest AAA tapings
--A look at Dragon Gate's latest U.S. tour and who to look out for
--Opening night lineup for the Real World Tag League of 2011
--Update on the Global League tournament from NOAH
--Satoshi Kojima's 20th anniversary special show
--One of the world's most spectacular wrestlers is out until May
--Tenryu's 35th anniversary show
--A look at the start of Tenryu's career
--The return of the Great Kabuki
--The end of Battlarts
--Fit Finlay goes to Japan
--The legend of Killer Karl Kox
--Mark Canterbury update
--More on what happened to Kamala
--Perry Saturn talks drug addiction and being homeless and what saved him
--More on Scott Hall
--Nigel McGuinness returns to action
--NWA Hall of Fame notes
--The second annual Bruno Sammartino award
--Pro wrestler on trial
--Former WWE star is told by doctor to retire
--Wrestler arrested as part of alleged steroid ring
--Former WWE wrestler qualifies for nationals in another sport
--Famous 70s actress talks about her days as Miss Wrestling
--Former NWA champion coming to ROH television in segments recently filmed
--Gail Kim talks about her leaving TNA and her WWE stay
--Kurt Angle talks Olympics
--Tommy Dreamer on why he left TNA
--What to look out for in future TNA television
--Update on Strikeforce going forward
--Updates on the UFC business
--What they pegged Velasquez vs. Dos Santos to do when it was originally a PPV match
--Updated UFC numbers
--Update on Brock Lesnar
--How Lesnar's life has changed after surgery
--Lots of new UFC PPV matches announced
--UFC headliner sues management
--Update on recoveries from surgery by UFC stars
--Zuffa's plans for a new womens star
--Major Bellator fights this week
--A Benoit style story in MMA this week
--Bobby Lashley's latest fight
--New promotion gets U.S. TV deal
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We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more
about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk,
Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods. To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best
Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book
price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North
America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
-- WWE '12 received a great review hereon IGN.com. It scored a 9.0 out of 10 ("Amazing"), and also received Editor's Choice.
-- UFC 143 on February 4th with GSP vs. Nick Diaz for the welterweight title will take place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
-- Beth vs. Eve at Survivor Series is now a lumberjill match to get payoffs for all the girls.
-- Smackdown tonight has Orton & Sheamus vs. Wade & Cody, Dolph vs. Sin Cara, Mason Ryan vs. Jack Swagger, Ted DiBiase vs. Derek Bateman, Kofi Kingston vs. Hunico, Beth & Natalya vs. Kaitlyn & AJ, and more.
-- Brett writes: Given WWE's obsession with with Twitter, I thought I'd share this with you. On Thursday, the annual German Christmas market opened in Birmingham, England. This is the 11th year and don't get me wrong, it's a big deal for our city. It brings in a lot of trade and does boost the local economy in these tough times, primarily because it's billed as the third largest authentic German market in the world outside of Germany. Nonetheless, I'd wager that less than a quarter of one percent of the world's population either care or are aware of its existence. And I'm probably being generous with that figure. The point is, on Thursday night the Birmingham German Market was trending on Twitter. I'd ask you to forward this email to Vince McMahon but I'm assuming he's too busy re-writing Monday's Raw.
-- I am interviewed hereabout the Internet radio phenomenon.
-- Dragon Gate USA will have a huge announcement about the promotion's future on Black Friday at DGUSA.tv.
-- DGUSA's next event will be January 27th in Los Angeles as part of the WrestleReunion convention. Announced for the card is DGUSA Champion Johnny Gargano, DGUSA Tag Team Champions CIMA & Ricochet, Open The Dream Gate Champion Masaaki Mochizuki, Naruki Doi, Akira Tozawa & BxB Hulk of Blood Warriors, PAC, Masato Yoshino & Susumu Yokosuka of Junction Three, plus many others to be announced. All three raved about iPPVs from last weekend are now available at www.WWNLive.com On Demand. Once you order you can watch as many times as you want forever.
-- For those who had problems with this week's ROH TV online, it's fixed now.
-- Hayato Sakurai vs. Ryo Chonan has been added to the December 31st DREAM show at the Saitama Super Arena.
-- Long time Southeastern/Continental job guy "Lightening" Lee Peak is undergoing a kidney transplant today. Best wishes to him.
-- If any subscribers are part of the XBOX LIve Fall Dashboard Update BETA, they can order UFC 139 and watch it free via Live. Thanks to Josh.
-- Todd Martin fans, you can now bookmark MYTODDSQUAD.COM.
-- I Tap Boys has a special today, order anything in their online store hereand get three FREE stickers with your order.
-- Quite the bizarre article here: Nintendo Vs. Smart Phones: According To Pro Wrestling
-- This fella is doing an indy wrestling version of Wrestlecrap
-- Lucha mask-related cartoon here.
-- Alex Marvez interviews the legendary Bill Apter about the three awards he's receiving here.
-- UFC CEO pushes for legalization, commits to Utica event. Lorenzo pulled a Dana and said if they get legalized they were coming to Utica.
-- Pro Wrestling Evo Presents Battlefield:Evo Cabarrus Arena & Events Center Concord, NC Saturday November 19, 2011 8 pm Featuring Cedric Alexander, Zack Salvation, Marcellus King, Joey Silvia, Jake Manning & More!
-- DOA Pro Wrestling preview for their weekend show with Fit Finlay here.
-- Zack Ryder's latest video is up here.
-- No After Dark Radio this week, but we'll be back with a new episode next Friday!
-- Tri-State Wrestling Entertainment, LLC presents East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! ECWA DOUBLEHEADER & the First Annual ECWA K-CUP TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT Sat, Nov, 19th, 2011 Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702
-- The next !BANG! TV Taping, Support Your Troops 72, "Hell's Bells" comes to the !BANG! TV Sound Stage in Ocala, Florida Saturday December 31st. (New Year's Eve) for ticket information call 352-895-4658 or you may purchase tickets online at http://www.dory-funk.com.
-- Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU) on iPPV Saturday, November 19th NYWC Sportatorium, at 435-13 Brook Avenue in Deer Park, New York 11729. $30 in advance, $35 the day of the show. The ticket allows you entry to the meet & greet and guarantees you a seat. For more information, email
or visit WSUWrestling.com For full match previews, visit WSUWrestling.com . Watch Live on iPPV at http://www.gfl.tv/Events/Fight/Wrestling/Breaking_Barriers__II/1153. It's Melina's first match since leaving the company against an opponent to be determined. Serena Deeb was the original opponent but she had to pull out due to concussion issues. Show also features what is billed at the first-ever all-women's War Games.
-- Traditional Championship Wrestling will present "Night of Legends" this Saturday, November 19, 2011 from the Pine Bluff Convention Center in Pine Bluff, AR! The card has been announced and tickets are on sale now
-- Ed and his crew talk Survivor Series tonight here.