FRIDAY UPDATE: New UFC weigh class, tons of weekend notes, MMA controversy over Twitter, Hulk Hogan lawsuit notes, Rey Jr. returns, Smackdown, another CMLL defection, tons more!
By Bryan Alvarez
A lot of MMA events on television this weekend, but a light pro wrestling weekend, but a lot of TV and tapings over the next week.
No WWE house shows tonight. The only TV event is an M-1
Challenge event on Showtime from Costa Mesa, CA:
Shamil Zavurov vs. Yasubey Enomoto for the welterweight title
Sergio Cortez vs. Alexander Saranvaskly
Jose Figueroa vs. Artiom Damkovsky
Eddie Arizmendi vs. Tyson Jeffries
Boa Quach vs. Alessandero Ferriera
Saturday is a big day for MMA. BAMMA 8 will air live on HDNet at 4 p.m. from Nottingham, England with these fights
Paul McVeigh vs. Erik Perez
Diego Gonzalez vs. Andre Winner
Joey Villasenor vs. Judo Jim Wallhead
Jimi Manuwa vs. Antony Rea
UFC 140 comes from the Air Canada Centre
Prelims on Facebook starting around 5:30 p.m.
John Cholish vs. Mitch Clarke
Rich Attonito vs. Jake Hecht
Nik Lentz vs. Mark Bocek
Live on ION TV from 7-9 p.m.
Yves Jabouin vs. Walel Watson
John Makdessi vs. Dennis Hallman
Jared Hamann vs. Constantinos Phillippou
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Igor Pokrajac
Live on PPV at 9 p.m.
Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung
Brian Ebersole vs. Claude Patrick
Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida for the light heavyweight title
TNA Final Resolution will take place on Sunday in Orlando: Bobby Roode vs. A.J. Styles in a 30 minute Iron man match for the WWE title
Kurt Angle vs. James Storm
Jeff Hardy vs. Jeff Jarrett - Either Hardy wins and gets a title shot in
January or if he loses he leaves TNA
Matt Morgan & Crimson vs. Pope & Devon for the tag titles
Austin Aries vs. Kid Kash for the X title
Gail Kim vs. Mickie James for the Knockouts title
RVD vs. Christopher Daniels
Robbie E vs. Eric Young for the TV title
Because the main event is going 30, some of the undercard matches are likely to be shorter than in the past.
The only WWE house show of the weekend is Saturday night Raw's show in North Charleston, SC headlined by C.M. Punk vs. John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio for the WWE title.
Sunday will be the TV taping for WWE's Tribute to the Troops special from Fayetteville before an audience of only those in the military and their families. The show will then air from 9-11 p.m. on Tuesday on the USA Network and again on 12/17 on NBC in a one hour format.
Raw will be a three-hour Slammy Award special show from Norfolk. The main event will be Mark Henry vs. John Cena.
TNA will be taping Impact on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this coming week. They will be taping four shows in total for air dates from 12/15 to 1/5.
Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Raleigh.
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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Another major update on the WWE Network, notes about Dana White's gamble on Fox, how UFC and WWE's business models right now differ as far as profits go, are among the features in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that is on the site today. We also have a complete breakdown of WWE's individual revenue streams and profit, as opposed to overall revenue, each division brings in. We also have a chart with the financial breakdowns of every WWE movie project.
Besides the new issue of the Observer, and the new issue of Figure Four, there is also 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.
In our piece on the WWE Network, we look at how the network affects PPV business, notes on the launch of the network and issues with it internally, notes on who is in charge right now, and politically more important, who isn't in charge as it denotes a changing of the guard when it comes to WWE power.
We look at WWE's expectations for clearances, lots of notes why this is the best time in history to get a job with WWE if you are in your 20s and have graduated college with a TV degree, how the network affects Raw and negotiations for Raw, as well as looking at a number of programs both talked about and not talked about earmarked for the network. We also look at plans for a PPV show that was an annual flop that is being talked about being brought back on the new network.
We look at the mentality behind the Legends House reality show and how that will affect who is picked for the show. We look at the wrestling content available, the updated talk show plans and who would host, the network's catch phrase and calling card they are trying to build. We also look at advertising on the network, marketing plans, and how much profit they are risking with changes talked about when it comes to PPV.
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We also look at UFC's second FOX special, with the card, what is wrong with the show, risks involved financially and more.
We've also got a complete rundown of the Ultimate Fighter final show from Las Vegas, including a look at the John Dodson vs. T.J. Dillashaw stoppage, the Tony Ferguson vs. Yves Edwards decision, business notes on the show, including just how successful the Mayhem Miller vs. Michael Bisping fight was when it came to television.
We've also got match-by-match coverage, poll results and how much everyone on the show earned.
We also look at how the booking has failed the TLC PPV, more on Chris Jericho, Royal Rumble update, who did Vince McMahon say the company has dropped the ball on as far as talent, update on people dropping cable and satellite, jokes being made about who HHH has hired, former WWF star gives a totally delusionary interview plus notes on the returns to WWE of a number of wrestlers.
We also have a funny Brodus Clay story, a look at WWE's worldwide popularity and where it has increased and where it has decreased over the past year, how often people go to WWE's web site and what percentage of viewers, and what country have ratings continued to fall in.
We also have note on a record set by a recent episode of Raw, lots of business notes from the weekend and coverage of all the shows of the past week including the Japan tour.
We've also got more on the situation involving Abdullah the Butcher and Devon Nicholson and claims of Abdullah having Hepatitis C as claimed by Nicholson.
We also have a look at New Japan's final PPV show of 2011, talk of a potential match of the year, as well as early notes regarding the 2012 Tokyo dome show.
We've got a full breakdown of Bellator's moving to Friday nights, the competition it will face, and why the decision was made.
We also have a look at All Japan's Real World Tag League tournament of 2011 and who it established as on of the top young stars in Japan.
We also look at Cena vs. Punk and who their appeal is most toward, and some of the ratings numbers will both surprise people but also enlighten people regarding who people really want to see. We also look at who has become consistently TNA's biggest ratings draw and how it's someone they don't even consider a top tier performer.
We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week, including the most details on Raw over the past two weeks, with segment-by-segment breakdowns with a lot of notes regarding what wrestlers are drawing ratings and what wrestlers are making people change the channel. We also have the same for Impact and Ultimate Fighter finals.
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:
--The turmoil at Arena Mexico
--What happened at the meeting of wrestlers this past week and why morale has gotten bad
--Legends show at anniversary
--Lineup for AAA's Guerra de Titanes, its last big show of the year
--What TNA wrestlers are involved
--Why Jeff Jarrett isn't defending his title on the show
--World champions team up next week
--Kojima anniversary show with interpromotional matches
--A show where fans voted on the lineup
--A look at two different movies coming based on the lives of pro wrestlers, including one that just started shooting
--Zuffa heavyweight star gets nose broken doing pro wrestling
--What has happened to Vladimir Kozlov and Bob Sapp
--Two MMA stars debut as pro wrestlers this past week
--Notes on Masahiro Chono promoting a show with several promotions
--Lots more on the Angelo Mosca/Joe Kapp situation
--A look at CHIKARA's Joshimania shows
--More on Bison Smith
--Updates on several 80s WWF stars
--Matt Hardy update
--Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame inductions
--Updates on ROH in new television markets
--Notes on Final Battle
--More on the 80 minute match and it being on television
--Complete notes on Final Resolution card
--Business of Bound for Glory and Turning Point
--Spike president talks TNA and MMA crossover promotion plan
--More on TNA TV tapings and India project
--Reaction to Hogan on twitter
--Independent wrestlers get TNA tryout
--Notes on UFC countdown shows
--Notes on Faber and Cruz and plans for the next season of Ultimate Fighter
--Thoughts going into UFC PPV
--What lessons UFC 140 will tell regarding PPV
--News on Alistair Overeem
--Plans for UFC 4th and 5th PPV shows of next year
--Why Keith Jardine wound up with a title match
--Update on Strikeforce/Showtime relationship
--How the women's division shakes out
--Next Strikeforce show
--UFC Facebook and twitter stats
--Lots of UFC cuts as well as lots of new fights
--UFC star and WWE star in competition for the same unique award having nothing to do with fighting or wrestling
--More on the New Year's Eve show in Japan
--Former CBS headliner sentenced to jail
--Boxing champion says going to do an MMA fight next year
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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.
-- Dana White pretty much announced that this weekend UFC will officially institute a 125-pound flyweight division.
-- Suffice to say, there are a lot of people in MMA talking today about how Miguel Torres ended up getting fired from UFC over a controversial comment on Twitter ("If a rape van was called a surprise van, more people wouldn't mind going for rides in them. Everyone likes surprises.") whereas Forrest Griffen ("Rape is the new missionary") and Rashad Evans ("I'm going to put my hands on you worse than that dude did them other kids at Penn State") are still employed. Torres sent out an official apology today, stating, "I have a lot to be thankful for in my life, I have my beautiful wife and daughter, my family, my health, my gym, and in terms of my career, I succeeded to the biggest stage in the sport of mixed martial arts, the Ultimate Fighting Championship. I am very sorry for upsetting my bosses at the UFC, and also to my fans and everyone else who was upset by the language in my tweets. I understand it was wrong, and I meant no harm or disrespect. Given the chance, I will do whatever it takes to make things right. I am going to learn from this. I think life throws you opportunities that can make you a better person, and so that’s what I’m going to do here. That is how I am going to react. I am going to use this to improve myself, and I hope that my fans will continue to support me." Jim Rome had tons to say about Rashad's comment, which you can listen to by clicking here.
-- Speaking of Twitter, a new article hereon how Twitter determines whether or not something is trending. It's not as glamorous as one would think.
-- More on the Hulk Hogan defamation lawsuit against former wife Linda Bollea is up here.
-- Sheamus is on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight talking Tribute to the Troops, which is taped Sunday and airs this coming Tuesday night.
-- It appears Rey Jr. will make an appearance at the Tribute to the Troops show.
-- Add Toscano, the former Tarzan Boy, to the list of those who have left CMLL for Perros Del Mal/AAA.
-- Smackdown tonight has Wade Barrett vs. Ezekiel Jackson, Beth Phoenix & Natalya vs. AJ & Kaitlyn, Ted DiBiase vs. Jinder Mahal, Sheamus vs. David Otunga, Zack Ryder vs. Heath Slater, Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan, and Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler. They're doing a Beat the Clock gimmick with Wade and Randy where whoever wins their match the fastest gets to choose stips for the TLC PPV. They also taped a break-up angle with AJ and Kaitlyn but it appears they changed their minds during the week and it's been edited off the show. There has been talk for awhile of putting Kaitlyn with Beth and Natalya, and at one point I also heard there was talk of turning both AJ and Kaitlyn heel. So I guess we'll see where they go next week. If they go anywhere with it.
-- Josh Nason notes: From 12/30 to 2/4, there are six straight weeks of UFC and Strikeforce events. That's New Year's to Super Bowl weekend.
-- Quick correction from yesterday, the presale code for Smackdown in Orlando after WrestleMania is actually WWEBSHOW.
-- Interview with the best wrestler going today, James Storm, up here. If you didn't watch this promo with Kurt Angle on Impact last night, you are missing out on some of the absolute best in pro-wrestling in 2011.
-- Shelton Benjamin and Davey Richards are both scheduled for this year's (well, 2012) New Japan Tokyo Dome show.
-- Jericho on his Twitter noted that Revolver magazine listed him as one of the top 100 living rock stars.
-- Zack Ryder's latest Youtube show is up here.
-- If you didn't hear it, the interview Dave and I did with ROWDY RONDA ROUSEY is up hereand it's FREE. Post the link or file elsewhere if you wish and help spread the word. You'll be hearing a lot more about her very soon.
-- Sarah Kaufman has a lot to say as well here.
-- The Adam Firestorm Memorial Battle Royal takes place tonight at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds in Cloverdale, BC. A poster of the event is up here. Adam was a long (and I mean long) time friend of mine who passed away two years ago.
-- I Tap Boys has their classic pink T on sale at 25% off through Monday only here.
-- Daniel writes: Apparently lacking any shame, a discussion about Chyna was started over at the WrestleReunion web page. It was revealed that she would likely not appear at any of the events since she is charging $5,000 for an appearance fee. Folks did, though, note that she would be appearing at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas the weekend before WrestleReunion. She is apparently giving out free photo ops and autographs for paid admission. She will also be dancing at some strip clubs, this Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina and next weekend in San Diego, California.
-- “Metro Pro Wrestling" will hold their monthly live event this Saturday at Turner Rec Center - 831 South 55th Street in Kansas City, KS. The event has a 7 p.m. bell time, with doors opening at 6:00, and features a Triple Main Event that includes “The Human Wrecking Ball” Pete Madden wrestling in the final match of his legendary career.
-- More on Starrcade with Ed and his wacky gang here.
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