BLACK FRIDAY UPDATE: Lots of sales, obviously, absolutely nothing going on this weekend in pro-wrestling, WWE '12 notes and interviews, UFC on FX sale date, more
By Bryan Alvarez
In what has been traditionally the best weekend of the year to draw, there is absolutely nothing on the U.S. scene. The WWE, TNA and ROH crew all have the weekends off.
The only significant U.S. show of the weekend will be Bellator live at 9 p.m. on MTV 2 with the final show of the season with Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos in the finals of the heavyweight tournament, Alexis Vila vs. Eduardo Dantas in the finals of the bantamweight tournament, Patricky Pitbull Freire vs. Kurt Pellegrino and Marcin Held vs. Phillipe Nover.
Monday will be Raw in Columbia, SC headlined by C.M. Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio for the WWE title. Given that what WWE advertises for Raw and what happens are often mutually exclusive, it's anyone's bet whether this happens or not. TNA is also taping Impact on Monday night in Orlando.
Tuesday will be a live Smackdown from Charlotte, which will feature Raw and Smackdown talent together, with Mick Foley as guest host. Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan in a cage match for the World title is the main event. They will also be taping NXT. TNA will also be taping Impact on Tuesday, doing the go-home show for Final Resolution.
We've got another huge double issue this week of the Wrestling Observer, covering the return of the Rock and tons of WWE news involving Survivor Series, plans going forward and much more.
We look at the Madison Square Garden crowd that made the show, the situation with John Cena and the reasons they are leery of turning him, the double standard in WWE when it comes to the Garden, the Zack Ryder situation, what Rock said off camera, Rock's goals for his comeback, the C.M. Punk title win, Vince McMahon's current commitment to Punk, who McMahon lost confidence in, notes on the TLC PPV show, the suspension of R-Truth, the real reason Vince McMahon ordered the R-Truth babyface turn, the WWE drug policy and drug policy i other sorts, more notes on the injury to Sin Cara and the plans for him and how it affects WrestleMania.
We look at the business of Survivor Series, a full rundown on the show with match-by-match coverage, poll results of the show and star ratings for all of the matches.
We also have more updates on UFC on FOX, including thoughts on the next show, how many people really watched the show and the main event, the most watched MMA matches on U.S. television in history,what the ratings said about the drawing power of someone thought to have no charisma, what the rating would have been had the fight gone three rounds or longer and booking decisions going forward on the show. We also look at the difference between the mentality of UFC on FOX as compared to UFC on PPV or UFC on Spike.
We look at the ups and downs of various available matches for the next special, what main event risks having a bad rating, new sponsors, how the audience for Velasquez vs. Dos Santos compares to the heyday of Raw, the biggest wrestling events, the real rating of the show in Brazil, and why more people actually saw the show than the ratings list.
We also have an update on Chris Jericho and WWE, including what major things have changed since the last time we reported on this story.
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 big fights over the weekend, Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua, Cung Le vs Wanderlei Silva, Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles and Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler. We look at the Henderson vs. Rua judging, our feedback on the judging, the legacy of Henderson, what is in Henderson's future, business of the show and how it compares to previous Strikeforce events in San Jose, early PPV estimates, plus a complete rundown of UFC 139, including payoffs and injuries.
We also look at HHH talking twitter and the speech he gave to talent about it, his thoughts on The Rock, updates on The Rock in Hollywood, Randy Orton and C.M. Punk talk Rock, Rock responds to those knocking him, WWE 12 game business, future of Maryse, update on WrestleMania ticket sales and who has purchased a large percentage of the tickets, business notes on WWE's last European swing, Slammy Awards, notes on the live Smackdown this week, Shawn Michaels' new endorsement deal, Steve Austin talks wrestling again and thoughts on Austin at Mania. We've also got updates on Mania, Undertaker, Booker T going back to wrestling, John Cena on why he endorsed a Zack Ryder push, unique way a young WWE wrestler has gotten a push renewed, new spots the company is looking for, and more on the upcoming WWE Network.
We look at Vince McMahon's newest concept for the network, an update on John Morrison, Zack Ryder's impromptu match in Boston, Mick Foley doing a network show, WWE in Japan next week, Alberto Del Rio on how long he wants to continue wrestling, lots of developmental news including a wrestler of Tough Enough starts on FCW TV. Plus, notes on how WWE programming is doing in foreign countries, what former WWE star allowed a current WWE star to continue their career when they almost had to give it up, who was asked to make a surprise appearance at SummerSlam as well as foreign wrestlers who got recent WWE tryouts.
We have a short item on the death of Bison Smith.
We also have more details on the Hulk Hogan divorce settlement, why it just came out, details on his financial situation and why a current court case ruling that he's appealing could have very negative affects on his current business dealings.
We also look at CHIKARA Pro Wrestling with its first iPPV show, notes about the promotion and the comedy involved.
We also have part two in our rundown of UFC stars who have done pro wrestling over the years, looking at some of the legends in the sport, fighters who have done WWE and New Japan wrestling, and others who have dabbled in pro wrestling.
In the ratings rundown we have the dichotomy of the person that fans are going crazy for more than almost anyone in the business this week and a look at his effect on the television audience. We also look at one show that did its all-time low audience, and another that did one of its biggest audiences to date. Plus, what segment on Impact this week gained nearly 400,000 viewers.
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:
--Another main eventer jumps to a rival promotion
--Legendary Hall of Famer added to his promotions creative team
--Wrestler in negotiations with WWE drops local title
--Jushin Liger drops his Mexican title
--Storyline for TNA wrestlers in AAA
--Why Hector Garza left CMLL as world champion
--Next Dragon Gate U.S. show in Los Angeles
--American star from Dragon Gate wins title overseas
--Two wrestlers arrested in an assault stemming from a dressing room fight that looks to have ended a career and nearly cost a life
--Bad sign for the early days of the Real World Tag League
--A look at NOAH's Global league tournament
--Outsiders being brought in for this year's New Japan Tokyo Dome show
--A Zuffa star scheduled to challenge for a pro wrestling world in a few weeks
--Stan Hansen returns to Japan
--Nostalgia of the famous 90s UWFI promotion
--An update on the legal problems facing Matt Hardy
--Update on Shane Helms' legal issue
--What former WWE star is promoting a famous rock band's video game
--Story on the background of a wrestler getting a well remembered movie role, the background of how he got it and why he was the second choice for the role
--A look at ROH Survival of the Fittest and what this week did or didn't tell about television helping business
--New stars the company is pushing
--Thoughts on the booking
--ROH star defending Japanese title
--Update on Jesse Neal in TNA
--Why Jeff Hardy matches have gone the way they have
--A look at the ratings in the U.K. for all the major wrestling shows from TNA and WWE
--What happened with the latest TNA overseas tour
--UFC's TV debut on FX
--Dana White's crazy schedule going forward
--Update on the Brazilian soccer stadium show
--Update on the first international edition of Ultimate Fighter
--Payoffs for the FOX special
--Injuries to Dos Santos and Velasquez before the fight
--Update on ticket sales to upcoming UFC shows
--Latest on Ronda Rousey
--Story of WWE trying to pay someone off to no-show a UFC broadcast from years ago
--Bas Rutten talks the Alistair Overeem problems with Golden Glory and gives his side of it
--Chael Sonnen's TV appearance where he walks off an interview
--Josh Koscheck talks why he hopes Nick Diaz beats GSP and if he will fight Jon Fitch
--Lots of new UFC matches announced
--More on this year's Japan New Year's Eve show
--What is said to be the best promotional television show
--The return of Fedor Emelianenko
--A new television show added to the Spike lineup
--The highest rated fight in Mexico
For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for
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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
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.
-- Hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Check out our Black Friday sale on the front page. You can get FREE months for yourself or a friend by signing up between now and Christmas!
-- WWE '12 is selling great, particularly compared to last year. Thomas, who has played it, writes, "It's funny how someone at THQ can make a better storyline on the WWE '12 game then Vince and the writing team can in real life."
-- UFC on FX 1 takes place on January 20th in Nashville, TN with Melvin Guillard vs. Jim Miller with tickets on sale next week.
-- For those in the UK, UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida will air on ESPN and ESPNHD.
-- Despite taking a bad bump off the ropes in a match in Mexico earlier this week, Dark Angel, aka Sarita in TNA, won the women's division of the annual CMLL bodybuilding contest for the sixth straight year, although apparently there was controversy that she beat Dalis.
-- Smackdown tonight has Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett & Cody Rhodes, Justin Gabriel vs. Hunico, Beth & Natalya vs. AJ & Kaitlyn, Zack Ryder & Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger, Heath Slater vs. Ted DiBiase, and more. There's also a huge angle involving Bryan.
-- For those who listened to Jeremy Borash on the show earlier this week, DARTS ENTRANCES up here.
-- Jim Ross has a new blog up here.
-- RF Video sale, 20% off all items here.
-- ROH has a crazy Black Friday sale herewith up to 50% off DVDs.
-- I Tap Boys Black Friday sale here, 20% off everything including brand new HOODIES.
-- You can save up to 80% of merch at ShopTNA.com here.
-- WWNLive.com is offering $9.95 sign-ups (33% off) until Monday here.
-- Trish Stratus is offering her new DVD signed for free (first 100 orders) here.
-- What city had the best Thanksgiving tradition?
What was the best MMA fight of the 2000s
Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar 39.1%
Don Frye vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 15.9%
Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida 12.9%
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Royce Gracie 12.0%
Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia 7.7%
Forrest Griffin vs. Quinton Jackson 4.3%
Randy Couture vs. Pedro Rizzo 3.0%
Diego Sanchez vs. Karo Parisyan 2.6%
Wanderlei Silva vs. Quinton Jackson 2.1%
Wanderlei Silva vs. Hidehiko Yoshida 0.4%
What was the greatest in-ring rivalry in history?
Flair vs. Steamboat 36.5%
Misawa vs. Kobashi 23.8%
Freebirds vs. Von Erichs 10.2%
Rock & Roll Express vs. Midnight Express 7.2%
Hogan vs. Andre 7.0%
Jack Brisco vs Dory Funk Jr. 5.9%
Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite Kid 3.5%
Jushin Liger vs. Chris Benoit 1.4%
Strangler Lewis vs. Joe Stecher1.2%
Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham 1.2%
Aja Kong vs. Manami Toyota 1.2%
Lou Thesz vs. Pat O'Connor 1.0%
Which show do you think did better on domestic PPV?
UFC 139 58.5%
Survivor Series 41.5%
-- Trina Michaels has her Thanksgiving thoughts here.
-- EWF Wrestling Saturday, November 26, 2011 "Thanksgiving Throwdown" Borderman Gym 501 E. Marion St Converse, IN 46919
-- Brent Albright interview here.
-- Chikara "JoshiMania" December 2 - 3 - 4, 2011, Friday - Saturday – Sunday, Philadelphia, PA - Everett, MA - Manhattan, NY. Tickets on sale now! More info on the whole weekend up here.
-- Interview with Gran Akuma here, including why he doesn't work for DGUSA anymore.
-- Ed and crew talk Thanksgiving, Black Friday and more tonight here.
-- Trish talks WWE '12 here.