By Bryan Alvarez
The only big show of the weekend is the Ultimate Fighter final on Spike at 8 p.m. tonight. All Japan also has its 35th annual Real World Tag League finals at the Yokohama Bunka Gym on Sunday.
Today has Raw in Sunrise, FL (Punk vs. Del Rio for WWE title, Cena vs. Miz street fight), Smackdown in Augusta, GA (Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton for World title in a cage match, Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett street fight), ROH in Spartanburg at the Memorial Auditorium (20 man Rumble for a title shot, Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin; Jay Lethal vs. T.J. Perkins, Eddie Edwards vs. El Generico) and CHIKARA in Everett, MA (Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada).
The big show tonight is the Ultimate Fighter final. Facebook fights starting at 2:15 p.m. are Marcus Brimage vs. Stephen Bass, John Albert vs. Dustin Pague, Roland Delmore vs. Josh Ferguson, Steve Siler vs. Josh Clopton (a sub or injured Akira Corassani), and Dustin Neace vs. Bryan Caraway. The live fights on Spike at 8 p.m. have Johnny Bedford vs. Louis Gaudinot, Tony Ferguson vs. Yves Edwards, John Dodson vs. T.J. Dillashaw in the bantamweight tournament final, Diego Brandao vs. Dennis Bermudez in the featherweight tournament finale and Michael Bisping vs. Mayhem Miller.
Sunday has Smackdown in Columbus, GA, ROH in Greensboro (Haas & Benjamin & Edwards & Generico vs. Briscoes & Strong & Elgin in an elimination match), and CHIKARA in New York (Sara Del Rey vs. Ayako Hamada).
Raw is Monday in Tampa.
Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Jacksonville.
The final New Japan PPV show of the year is Sunday from Nagoya:
*Gedo & Jado vs. Killer Rabbit & Karl Anderson
*Tomoaki Honma & Tama Tonga & Ryusuke Taguchi & Tiger Mask vs. Toru Yano & Yujiro Takahashi & Tomohiro Ishii & Rocky Romero
*Hirooki Goto & Kushida vs. Takashi Sugiura & Atsushi Aoki in New Japan vs. NOAH
*Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue vs. Yoshihiro Takayama & Lance Archer
*Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Hideo Saito & Takashi Iizuka
*Prince Devitt vs. Davey Richards for IWGP jr. title
*Masato Tanaka vs. MVP for IC title
*Minoru Suzuki vs. Giant Bernard
*Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tetsuya Naito in a No. 1 contenders match
*Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yuji Nagata for IWGP heavyweight title Raw is Monday in Tampa.
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.
For the print Observer, if you order a 16 issue subscription for someone who is not a current subscriber, you get four issues free for each 16 you order and there is no limit to that offer. These are good until Christmas.
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.
The newest issue of the Observer is on the site today, which has the latest in PPV numbers from both WWE and UFC, including UFC's strongest markets, WWE comparisons from last year and what WWE show did the second worst numbers of the modern era.
The issue also features a huge biography on the late Killer Karl Kox, one of wrestling's biggest characters of the 60s and 70s. We talked to many of his co-workers with a lot of really funny anecdotes about his out of the ring conduct both before, during and after wrestling, his career rundown, details of his biggest matches and most famous angles in Australia where he is remembered as one of the country's all-time wrestling legends, his records, what modern era wrestlers copied him and whose gimmicks were inspired by him.
We look at his pre-wrestling background, how he got into wrestling, his early days when he nearly quit, his original break, where he went and his most famous matches and angles including multiple world tile matches, his time in every territory including what got him over in Japan and Australia, his turns, one of the most famous moments in the history of pro wrestling in Australia, the 1976 Tokyo wrestling war, who was Alex, the Jim Barnett business strategy at the end in Australia, his trash can match with J.J. Dillon, his relationship with Dick Murdoch, his big angles in Florida, the end of his career and life after wrestling.
We also have full coverage of Pro Wrestling NOAH's final major event of the year as well as the surprise retirement, Jun Akiyama as Triple Crown champion and the next round of big matches.
We also have the 2011 Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards ballot, looking at every category, what the category is about, as well as the top finishers in every category last year.
We also have an update on Sin Cara, update on how the tag team title plans have changed, notes on the plans for the WWE title and how they changed over the past few months, changes in Raw writing, new Miz character, Jennifer Hudson on how pro wrestling and her boyfriend may have saved her life, notes on video game sales, latest on WWE business in several different categories, Punk defends his being brought back immediately and knocks those who think otherwise as well as knocks Dwayne Johnson one more time, a business promotional strategy of WWE, Sin Cara T-shirt controversy, new signing, Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust, update on Steve Austin, former WWE Diva dating a TV show (and it's not Keibler), the viral campaign and more.
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We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week.
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:
--More on El Texano Jr. leaving CMLL
--TNA woman takes bodybuilding contest
--Update on AAA's last big show of the year
--Update on ratings in Mexico
--TNA wrestlers in Mexico notes
--Girlfriend of badly injured wrestler commits suicide
--Update on All Japan's annual tag team tournament
--All Japan belts being defended in other promotions
--Former WWE star faces Brazilian giant on same show a Zuffa star goes after a pro wrestling world title
--Fit Finlay goes to Japan
--Health updates on a number of former wrestlers
--Latest on Matt Hardy, charges against him, and what court has ordered him to do
--CHIKARA bringing in Japanese women stars
--More on the background and what happened between Joe Kapp and Angelo Mosca
--Hall of Famer who almost came to CHIKARA this weekend
--Chris Jericho summer plans
--Arrest of a former WCW and WWF wrestler
--Notes on ROH television and shows
--Update on TNA Final Resolution PPV
--Notes on a TNA tournament on television that isn't acknowledged on Impact
--Update on TNA and OVW
--Hulk Hogan's morale boosting
--Details behind UFC show lack of promotion
--More notes on the suspension of Chris Leben
--More on the ratings of the UFC show on FOX
--What UFC footage Vince McMahon recently watched
--Notes on tons of new UFC matches
--Lots of notes on new UFC shows and the schedule for the first three months of the year
--Fighters battle on Internet show, argue about business and understanding of such
--Notes on possibility of an Alvarez vs. Chandler rematch
--Lots of plans for Bellator's first season in 2012
--Controversial Bellator season ending
--Changes in women's division
--Japanese pro wrestler signs with U.S. MMA group for a main event
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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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.
-- The final live UFC show on Spike TV takes place tonight. Line-up:
Facebook fights starting at 5:15 p.m. Eastern time
Dustin Neace (145.5) vs. Bryan Caraway (145)
Josh Clopton (144) vs. Steven Siler (146)
Josh Ferguson (134) vs. Roland Delorme (136)
John Albert (136) vs. Dustin Pague (136)
Stephen Bass (145) vs. Marcus Brimage (143)
Live on Spike at 8 p.m.
Johnny Bedford (136) vs. Louis Gaudinot (136)
Yves Edwards (155) vs. Tony Ferguson (155.5)
John Dodson (134) vs. T. J. Dillashaw (135.5) for bantamweight finals
Dennis Bermudez (146) vs. Diego Brandao (145) for the featherweight finals
Jason Miller (185.5) vs. Michael Bisping (186.25)
-- Bisping had to take two tries to make weight.
-- According to Devon Nicholson, Abdullah the Butcher's blood work was received yesterday by Nicholson's lawyers and Abby did, in fact, test positive for Hepatitis C. Nicholson advised everyone who had been cut by Abdullah or even been in a match with him be tested.
-- Footage of Dark Angel (Sarita) nearly killing herself on a dive two days before she went on to win the CMLL women's division in their annual bodybuilding contest (yes, CMLL does this) is up here. It actually looked WAY worse than I thought.
-- Reports we got from last night's Chikara Joshimania show were that it drew about 500, totally different crowd than your usual Chikara event (more people interested in Joshi than Chikara), and that aside from a "disappointing finish" to the Sara Del Ray vs. Aja Kong main event, the show was said to be incredible. Thanks to Paul.
-- Evan Bourne's 30-day suspension is over so he should be back on the road starting this weekend.
-- For those looking for the Ultimate Fighter Finale it's live on FX (Sky channel 124) from 1 AM Sunday morning. Thanks to Lee Wall.
-- In a correction from yesterday's update, Dee Snider is from the band Twisted Sister, not Kiss. Thanks to Grant.
-- Just want to say thank you to everyone who wrote in with well wishes regarding our cat Gracie.
-- WWE All-Stars review for the 3DS up here
-- Two more vendor guests have been announced for the WrestleReunion event in Los Angeles from January 27-29, 2012 at the LAX Westin Hotel. Konnan has been officially announced as a vendor guest courtesy of RF Video. He was one of three names RF Video said they would be bringing along with Tori, although WrestleReunion wanted contractual assurance they will be coming due to Chavo Guerrero Jr. dropping out months ago. Konnan will be doing autographs and photos throughout the second day, Saturday. Raven will be running his own vendor under The Raven Effect. He will be a replacement in Breakfast with Champions after Mick Foley and the New Age Outlaws had to pull out due to Foley and BG James needing to be present at the Royal Rumble. Raven will also be participating in doing video ops (where paying fans will get to cut a thirty second promo with an available wrestler of their choice), doing a group deluxe photo op (rumored to be an ECW group shot involving Foley, Tommy Dreamer, and Mikey Whipwreck), and competing in the WrestleRoyal match on the Pro Wrestling Superstars show on Saturday. Thanks to Daniel Short.
-- NWA Smoky Mountain returns to The Bus Pit (240 E. Main St.) in Downtown Kingsport, TN on Thursday Night, Dec. 8 for another huge TV taping. This event will be their 1st ever Ladies Night. All women of all ages will be admitted for FREE to this event! One lucky lady will also win a date with any NWA wrestler of their choice!
-- Bobby Lashley, the current Shark Fights TEXAS HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, will be our guest on Figure Four Daily this coming Tuesday.
-- Tons of WWE DVDs and such up on this ebay auction.