By Bryan Alvarez
We're looking for reports on tonight's Smackdown tapings in Raleigh and Impact tapings in Orlando.
We're also looking for reports from Saturday night's WWE Raw house show in North Charleston, SC.
TNA will be taping Impact also Wednesday this week.
WWE Tribute to the Troops airs from 9-11 p.m. tonight on the USA Network.
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.
-- Regarding the death of WWE Classics on Demand to make way for the upcoming WWE Network, although subscribers to the service are getting postcards saying that the service will be discontinued on January 1st, at least some cable operators are telling people who call that the service will not be discontinued until March 31st, 2012, the day before Mania. Thanks to Rob.
-- Line-up for TLC this weekend after last night:
Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Miz for the WWE Title
Mark Henry vs. Big Show for the World Title
Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder for the US Title
Cody Rhodes vs. Booker T for the IC Title
Kevin Nash vs. HHH in a ladder match with a sledgehammer at stake
Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett in a tables match
As for Cena, well, we'll see what happens. Very unusual for him not to be on the show. Over the weekend there was an idea to make him a special referee for the Ziggler vs. Ryder match, where if "the right guy won" (Ziggler) he'd be added to the main event. They could still do that stip at the Smackdown tapings or even on the PPV. He'll be at the show in one form or another, even if it's just to cut a promo on Kane. Last night's Raw was re-written throughout the day, and at one point Hunter wasn't even scheduled to make an appearance, if you can believe that.
-- As it regards the Jim Ross rap, as noted, there wasn't supposed to be the background music, and as soon as they played it he was thrown off and forgot his lines. Ross wrote: I apologize 4 the worst segment of tv I've ever killed. Had a rap thought, lost it. Won a Slammy!:) He also provided the rap he had planned to do. Michael Cole ur damn fool. King beat u like Gov Mule. I should call Raw ur not in my class. U kissed kings feet now u can kiss my ass! Whew.As noted last night, as bad as that segment was, I think the Tony Atlas segment was even worse.
-- Bonus Slammy awards from WWE.com are up here.
-- Punk beat Miz and Alberto Del Rio in the dark match last night after hitting the GTS on Miz.
-- Tribute to the Troops airs tonight on the USA Network at 9/8c with Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett, Zack Ryder vs. Jack Swagger, Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes, Kelly & Alicia Fox & Eve & Maria Menounos vs. Bellas & Natalya & Beth, Air Boom vs. Hunico & Epico, and Punk & Big Show & Cena vs. Mark Henry & Miz & Alberto Del Rio.
-- If you didn't see the return of the masked Kane, the video is up here.
-- UFC Prelims on Ion did 808,000 viewers, about the usual for Ion.
-- Tickets for UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit go on sale this week.
-- Mario Yamasaki will be the referee for the Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem match.
-- Ryron and Rener Gracie breaking down the breaking down of Antonio Nogueira's arm from Saturday night up here.
-- Hopefully Vince McMahon is able to control his bladder when he sees this chart.
-- And if he sees this, we'll have one on Raw next week.
-- Eric Bischoff's wife talks her book, Common Sense Happiness, here. At least someone in the family has common sense.
-- Jeff writes: I’m surprised no one sent in a review of last night’s “Why Am I Still Single?” show that featured indie wrestler Ahtu. He showed real charisma, but in a very likeable way. He has an incredible physique and a great look. Picture Houston Alexander with Road Warrior Hawk’s haircut. He’s clearly a Hawk fan, as he not only copied his hairstyle, but also threw in his catchphrase during his date (“I snack on danger and dine on death”). Not sure if he can work or not, but his size and look are right up WWE’s alley. Only negative is he’s 36. But he was instantly likeable and made a big impression on everyone. The matchmaker put a cap on his head (to cover up the double Mohawk) and told him he could get any girl he wanted with his looks. His problem with women is that he’s such a nice guy, so he gets shy and nervous. It’s worth catching the replay.
-- CTV Ottawa is airing a extended piece on Devon Nicholson competing in this week's Canadian Olympic Wrestling trials in Winnipeg tonight as part of their 6 pm newscast. After being out of the sport for over 10 years he won silver at the Western Open and silver at the Greater Toronto Open this year.
-- Scott writes: Hey guys, just thought you might like to know that a friend who lives in Japan actually managed to order one of the infamous Sin Cara t-shirts from the Japanese Shopzone website before they pulled it there too, and he sent me one. Sadly, it doesn't look much like a phallic symbol when you actually see the shirt in real life, so I think it might have been a case of the photo on the website misrepresenting the shirt a bit. I was kind of disappointed, actually.
-- WWE heads to Abu Dhabi February 9th through 11th 2012.
-- Whitney has a new blog up about her fitness and nutrition journey with Team Viggity, including new pics, up at itapboys.com. You can also follow the site on Facebook at facebook.com/itapboys. New specials on merch up most weeks.
-- Great story hereon the son of Fit Finlay, Dave Finlay III, and his amateur wrestling career. Both his father and mother are working as lay coaches for the team. Good read.
-- What do you consider the biggest January show?
Royal Rumble 59.3%
UFC on Fox on 1/28 24.7%
New Japan Tokyo Dome show 10.6%
UFC on 1/14 Aldo vs. Mendes 2.7%
TNA Genesis 1.6%
Strikeforce 1/7 Rockhold vs. Jardine 1.0%
UFC on FX 1/20 Guillard vs. Miller 0.2%
Which of these events are you planning on watching this weekend?
WWE TLC 45.1%
Froch vs. Ward 16.9%
34.4% plan on watching none of the three. The biggest crossover was UFC & Strikeforce. 35% of those watching WWE also plan on watching Strikeforce. 50% of those watching Strikeforce also plan on watching WWE. 16% of those watching WWE also plan on watching Froch vs. Ward. Of those watching Froch vs. Word 56% also plan on watching Strikeforce while 42% plan on watching WWE.
WWE's MVP for this year
C.M. Punk 60.2%
John Cena 14.6%
The Rock 13.5%
Mark Henry 5.5%
Randy Orton 3.0%
Alberto Del Rio 0.7%
The Miz 0.7%
Who do you expect to hold the title the longest from now?
Jon Jones 52.6%
Anderson Silva 18.3%
Cris Cyborg 7.4%
Jose Aldo Jr. 2.5%
Junior Dos Santos 1.8%
Dominick Cruz 1.6%
Gilbert Melendez 1.1%
Luke Rockhold 0.9%
Frankie Edgar 0.7%
Miesha Tate 0.2%
-- John Morrison talks his future and whether he's going to TNA here. I actually expected him to show up at Final Resolution after watching this, but he didn't.
-- Big story on Ohio Valley Wrestling here, including details on how much money Danny Davis has spent to keep it going since WWE pulled the plug on the company as a developmental territory. They're now working with TNA, pretty much effective today, in fact.
-- A sneak preview of the upcoming UWF THUG ASSASSIN PPV is up here. I was told by someone who attended that this set of tapings was approximately 1 billion times better than the set that made up the first several PPVs.
-- Over the Top Radio takling Starrcade up here.
-- Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and WrestleReunion announced that tickets for Kurt RussellReunion III, the PWG show that will close the WrestleReunion event in Los Angeles, are on sale now through HighSpots. 3rd Row and General Admission tickets are $25, 2nd Row is $50, and 1st Row is $75. The show is presently scheduled to take place at around 1pm at the latest on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at the LAX Westin and should end before the Royal Rumble broadcast. Those who purchase tickets in the first two rows will be let in early for the initial meet and greet, receive a free PWG DVD from the limited inventory available, and the event poster. First row ticket holders will have the addition of their posters being signed by everyone on the card. WrestleReunion VIP ticket holders will get option beginning December 21 of where specifically they want to sit.
-- Everything you ever wanted (or didn't want) to know about Tony Atlas and his foot fetish is discussed in the new Tony Atlas Youshoot, available now here.
-- WrestleReunion announced a new match for the Pro Wrestling Superstars show on the second day, January 28, of the WrestleReunion event in Los Angeles. The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) vs. The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) with Mick Foley as Special Enforcing Referee. Previously announced for this show were Colt Cabana vs. Fit Finlay in a World of Sports Match and the 20-Man Legends Wrestle Royale featuring Raven, Virgil, and more. Thanks to Daniel.
-- Interview with Krzysztof Soszynski here, who talks about how when he was doing indy pro wrestling in Canada, Bad News Allen introduced him to MMA. Former head of the NETWORK Don Callis helped train KS as well.
-- PWO Live returns on Saturday, December 17 at 6pm at the UAW Hall on 5615 Chevrolet Blvd. in Parma. Tickets are on-sale now ($15 Preferred Ringside; $10 General Admission) at Shop.PWOwrestling.com. We are expecting to match or top our largest crowd in history for a PWO TV Taping, so it's advised you reserve your seats early! If you can't be in Parma, you can see this live event in its entirety LIVE on internet Pay-Per-View at the following link for only $14.99 - http://www.gfl.tv/Events/Fight/Wrestling/PWO_Brawl_in_the_Hall/1261