TUES UPDATE: O'Neil WWE history, Matt Hardy update, WWE Charlotte fun, Hogan goofy tweet, Rumble tickets, Morrison written out on WWE.com, Bison Smith final match, tons more
By Bryan Alvarez
We're looking for reports from the live Smackdown from Charlotte, with Mick Foley as guest host. Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan in a cage match for the World title is the main event, and the TNA tapings in Orlando for the go-home show for Final Resolution to
WWE will then be running Raw shows on both Wednesday and Thursday at the Yokohama Arena in Japan.
We have a number of holiday specials this weekend that will continue until Christmas for those of you looking at a wrestling present for family or friends, or even enemies if you wish.
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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
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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.
-- Comedian Patrice O'Neil, who passed away today at the age of 41, most likely due to the effects of a stroke he suffered last month, very briefly worked as a writer for WWE in the early 00s. So briefly that I talked to people in WWE today who never even knew that.
-- As noted on the front page, Matt Hardy had his bail lowered to $100,000 from $1 million and was released a few days ago after spending ten days behind bars. He was in court today and ordered back to rehab. That did wonders last time.
-- Not sure if it means anything, but WWE is in Charlotte tonight and Charles Robinson is walking around backstage with a fully-sequined "Little Nature Boy" robe on. I'm not kidding.
-- Today's wonderful Hulk Hogan tweet, sent about a week, I should note, after he retired from Twitter: Taping again in Orlando,Garrett seems to have found the magic,I only hope it rubs off on some of the other numbskulls.
-- Tickets for the 2012 Royal Rumble go on sale December 10th, 2011 at 10 AM. The prices are $300, $90, $75, $45 and $20. Thanks to Devin Cutting.
-- WWE did a video on WWE.com where John Lauranitis said that John Morrison's contract wasn't going to be renewed because his win/loss record had been poor lately. Funny, I could have sworn the easiest way to get a title shot in WWE of late was to lose a bunch of matches in a row.
-- A video of Bison Smith's last match before his death, versus Primo Colon, is up here.
-- The second viral video for the WWE debut first week of January is up here. For the record, this is still scheduled to be the return of Undertaker, but things change as everyone (including Daniel Bryan on last night's Raw) can attest. Also, should be noted that if you go on Youtube to watch a video and it only shows slightly more than 300 views, that's a glitch. Come back a few hours later and the real total will be recorded. Reason I mention this is that many times when someone sends me a WWE video on Youtube, it lists only slightly more than 300 people having viewed it, which leads one to think nobody is watching the videos. But that's not the case. Last night this video was around 300 for several hours, and as of this morning it has hit 70,000.
-- Of course, it should also be noted that Raw does around 4.5 million viewers most weeks. So essentially, for every 64 people who watched Raw last night, 1 person saw this video. That's not how you effectively get things over.
-- Due to the Video Game Awards (well, and the fact that UFC and Spike are feuding over the November 12th head-to-head battle), Spike TV will not be broadcasting the UFC 140 Prelims. Instead, they will be airing on Ion Television with four fights airing starting at 7:00 eastern time, with the first three prelims airing on the UFC's Facebook page. Thanks to Ryan Frederick.
-- Maryse talks her departure from WWE here.
-- Bunch of new wacky wrestling shirts released today, including one that reads "CENA'S LADY PARTS", up here.
-- Early sales numbers have WWE '12 blowing away last year's game. Big test will be in the weeks leading up the Christmas holiday, as lots of games have started off huge and then fallen off.
-- Story on the life and death of Chris Kanyon here. Yes, that is me billed as "Barry Alvarez". Speaking of Kanyon, Jim Mitchell, probably Kanyon's best friend for years, got a copy of the new Kanyon book last week, and suffice to say, he has a lot to say about it. He'll be on Figure Four Daily likely next week.
-- For those wondering, After Dark Radio is on hiatus until the first week of January due to holiday and big weekend show insanity over the next month.
-- An alternate opening for UWF STREET KING is up here.
-- Mick Foley will be a guest on the CBC talk show George Stroumboulopoulos in Canada Wednesday night. Thanks to Ed.
-- Last two days to vote for the AJ Styles/Sarah Darling music video as VIDEO OF THE YEAR. You can do so by clicking here.
-- Bobby Lashley, who is the current Shark Fights TEXAS HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION (which, sadly, is not a belt with a giant Texas plate on the front) is accepting pro-wrestling bookings through
-- Best babyface of this group
Steve Austin 42.9%
The Rock 20.5%
Ricky Morton 14.2%
Magnum T.A. 7.6%
Junkyard Dog 5.4%
Bill Goldberg 2.6%
Jim Londos 1.6%
Argentina Rocca 1.3%
Jackie Fargo 1.2%
Carlos Colon 1.1%
Sgt. Slaughter 0.9%
Roddy Piper 0.9%
Best babyface of this group
Road Warriors 27.8%
Kenta Kobashi 17.7%
Antonio Inoki 13.9%
Tiger Mask 9.6%
Mitsuharu Misawa 8.8%
El Hijo del Santo 7.9%
Giant Baba 6.1%
Keiji Muto 3.8%
Perro Aguayo Sr. 2.0%
Shinya Hashimoto 1.6%
Riki Choshu 0.8%
Ray Mendoza 0.4%
Best babyface of this group
Hulk Hogan 44.9%
Bret Hart 11.8%
Dusty Rhodes 11.1%
Shawn Michaels 8.0%
El Santo 4.6%
Randy Savage 3.5%
Ric Flair 3.2%
Kerry Von Erich 2.4%
Ultimate Warrior 1.4%
Ray Stevens 1.0%
Jimmy Snuka 0.9%
Best babyface of this group
Bruno Sammartino 50.1%
Jerry Lawler 18.0%
Andre the Giant 17.7%
Bob Backlund 3.3%
The Crusher 2.0%
Jack Brisco 2.0%
Mil Mascaras 1.9%
Verne Gagne 1.6%
Bobo Brazil 1.1%
Dick the Bruiser 0.8%
Wahoo McDaniel 0.8%
Edouard Carpentier 0.7%
What match would be the biggest draw at WrestleMania
Austin vs. Lesnar 41.4%
Hogan vs. Austin 21.4%
Undertaker vs. Lesnar 15.0%
Cena vs. Rock 10.3%
Undertaker vs. Austin 7.5%
Hart vs. Michaels 4.4%
-- Chikara "JoshiMania" is coming: December 2 - 3 - 4, 2011 in Philadelphia, PA - Everett, MA - Manhattan, NY. Tickets on sale now. Line-up has Aja Kong [Oz Academy] vs. Ayako Hamada, Sara Del Rey [CHIKARA] vs. Tsubasa Kuragaki [JWP], Mayumi Ozaki vs. Mio Shirai, Manami Toyota/MikeQuackenbush/Fire Ant/Green Ant vs. Portia Perez/Icarus/Chuck Taylor/Johnny Gargano, Kaori Yoneyama vs. Hanako Nakamori, Gami/Toshie Uematsu vs. Sawako Shimono/Cherry, Gregory Iron vs. Ophidian. For more information on all things JoshiMania, click here.
-- XFC ‘Tribute’ will take place at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, FL, Dec. 2nd and will air live on HDNet. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster. VIP tables are also available through XFC Corporate. Please call 813-625-1672 for more information. To learn more about the XFC, please visit www.officialxfc.com, like them on Facebook and follow the promotion on Twitter.
-- Federation of Elite Wrestlers (F.E.W.) presents "Out With The Old... In With the FEW" Saturday, December 3, 2011 Join us for a new beginning for Federation of Elite Wrestlers at our NEW arena! The FIGHT House 2250 Pennsylvania St Fort Wayne. IN Doors open at 6:00 PM, 7:00 PM Bell time Special Admission: Donation of 2 canned goods or $5.00 donation
-- ADAM FIRESTORM MEMORIAL RUMBLE 2 FRIDAY DECEMBER 9th., 7:30 PM(doors open at 6:45pm) CLOVERDALE FAIRGROUNDS-Alice McKay Building 6050A-176th Street Surrey. Adam passed away two years ago. He was a really great guy, someone I knew from before I even officially got into wrestling and was doing shows at a gymnastics facility in Everett.
-- Newest Wrestling Culture podcast is up here.
-- Lance Storm writes memories of the US Title tournament here.
-- GOUGE presents Season's Beatings Thursday, December 8, 2011 8:00pm until 11:00pm The Packhouse, 2526 Hillsbourgh St, Raleigh, NC. Colt Cabana among those appearing.
-- EPIC Fighting returns to the GFL Combat Sports Network on December 3 at the Four Points Sheraton in San Diego, California for EPIC Fighting 9, Live on iPPV at www.GFL.tv.