WED. UPDATE: WWE new hire; Ratings notes home and abroad; New UFC fights; Hogan ripped; Overeem



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        We've got notes on more plans regarding the WWE Network, including a first year budget, where money would come in, when the idea of the network really started and what negotiation period many years ago caused Vince McMahon to feel that he needed to do the network.  We look at more of the problems facing it, as well as why the difference between the makeup of wrestling fans in another era and this era makes interest in the network itself more of an issue.  We look at notes on other similar networks as well as the end of WWE Classics on Demand.
 
        We also have more on Georges St. Pierre's injury, his surgery, how the surgery went, notes on the operation, returning, and comments he's said.  We also look at how much being on the shelf during what should be his athletic prime is going to hurt him financially, as well as the hit UFC takes with one of its biggest stars gone for most of 2012. 
 
        We also have full coverage of UFC 140, early business numbers, future of Jon Jones, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Tito Ortiz, the fastest finish in UFC history, close calls along with match-by-match coverage and poll ratings on the show.
 
        We also look at TNA on PPV, Final Resolution, match-by-match coverage with star ratings, and why it's past the point of worrying about using PPV matches to build up television matches that people can see for free.
 
        We also have a blow by blow on Alistair Overeem and drug testing.  We look at the schedule of tests he has to take, as well as a time line of everything that has gone down in the last month, why people are suspicious, Overeem's growth, Overeem's success and how this could affect the outcome of Lesnar vs. Overeem as well as handicapping the fight.
 
        We also have more thoughts on the TLC show, the first show on the WWE Network, notes on the returns of both Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara based on what they've told people in recent days, more on the future of John Morrison, HHH's changes in developmental, a secret WWE television taping and prospective plans for it, the Jim Ross blooper, the angle erased from television after it was already filmed, another person quits WWE, the lawsuit filed by Doug Somers, more Slammy Awards, new WWE international signings and who they are, notes on different wrestlers as well as notes on the only WWE weekend regular house show.
 
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        We also have more on the second UFC show on FOX, looking at the matches, early business notes on the show, Dana White talks about the matchmaking, as well as comments from the fighters on the show, including interesting remarks by Chael Sonnen, Michael Bisping, Mark Munoz, Phil Davis and Rashad Evans, how Evans got into trouble, and head-to-head programming against FOX that night.
 
        We also have more on Hulk Hogan's various lawsuits out against ex-wife Linda.  We look at the newest suit that got a lot of attention as well as a few others that got less attention. 
 
        We also have a rundown on Japan's biggest pro wrestling event of the year, the 2012 show on Jan. 4 at the Tokyo Dome, including major international names title matches as well as some stars from the U.S. appearing.
 
        We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week, including the most details on Raw's three-hour Slammy Awards show along with comparisons with last year's show, who is and isn't watching and how each segment on the show gained or lost audience.  We also have the same for Impact including the change in the makeup of the viewership this week from normal levels and why.\

        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
reviews.   
 
         Also in this week's issue:
 
--CMLL's last major event of the year including the hair match
 
--The end of Jushin Liger in CMLL
 
--Two new wrestlers show up at AAA's press conference and the storyline they are doing
 
--Recruiting for wrestlers leaving CMLL
 
--Notes on a big house show and why things may be looking up in parts of Mexico
 
--Court action in a savage wrestler beating from earlier this year
 
--One of the world's best wrestlers tears ACL and is about to have surgery and will be out for months
 
--The debut of two members of one of the all-time most famous pro wrestling families
 
--Notes on a show where fans picked the main event matches
 
--Major show featuring a ton of big stars canceled and why
 
--Hall of Fame wrestler tries to outdo Cena and Rock, sets up challenge for a gimmick match in 2017
 
--Potential end of wrestling in one of the U.S.' most famous arenas
 
--More on Abdullah the Butcher including his response to the lawsuit claiming he infected Devon Nicholson with Hepatitis C
 
--Legendary 80s name having fund raisers to pay medical bills for new surgery
 
--Autobiography just released on Hall of Famer
 
--Danny Davis talks about losses in trying to keep OVW afloat since WWE pulled out
 
--Notes on the current state of WWE developmental
 
--Update on Chris Hero
 
--Longtime star has final U.S. match this past week
 
--Member of famous wrestling family just releases autobiography
 
--Why Nick Gulas used to claim that he saved the wrestling business
 
--Another famous wrestling family is about to debut a 4th generation member after he finishes high school this year
 
--Update on Fit Finlay
 
--Huge newspaper article talks about old days when wrestling was at its peak and notes on many of the biggest names
 
--ROH promotes the 80 minute match
 
--Update on ROH Final Battle show
 
--ROH prospective TV issue in the new year
 
--Notes on the TNA related promotion in India that starts taping this week including the roster
 
--TNA wrestler talks about the difference between working in WWE and TNA
 
--Karen Jarrett talks about her background as a wrestling fan
 
--Karen Jarrett talks Vickie Guerrero
 
--Eric Bischoff rips on Linda Bollea
 
--TNA wrestler films reality show pilot
 
--Notes on the next several weeks of TNA tapings.
 
--Lots of notes on the background of Miguel Torres being fired and how it all went down including comments from Dana White
 
--Business notes on the last show in Las Vegas
 
--More details on the tournament to crown the first UFC flyweight champion
 
--Big fight among smaller guys signed
 
--How business is going for the first UFC show in Japan in more than a decade
 
--More on the Showtime/Strikeforce negotiations and how that impacts future bookings
 
--Details of the first foreign season of Ultimate Fighter and where it's airing
 
--How this foreign Ultimate Fighter differs from the Spike version and how it will be the same
 
--GSP denied in major award
 
--Notes on a lot of January UFC programming and where it will be
 
--Lineups for upcoming Strikeforce shows
 
--Why early 2012 will be challenging for UFC on PPV
 
--Lots of new UFC matches
 
--Forrest Griffin talks about his career winding down and Tito Ortiz
 
--Why Fedor is facing Ishii in Japan
 
--Update on the New Year's Eve show in Japan
 
--Former UFC star gets into major trouble overseas with the law and is posting on Facebook while trying to keep from being arrested
 
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--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio talking about the latest news in pro wrestling and MMA, as well as talking questions that you can send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--For those who think the WWE launch may be without issues, an interesting article on the current economic climate for startups, carriage fees and more having to do with The Oprah Network is at http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oprah-winfrey-next-chapter-own-272979 
 
--Mark Henry's being pinned on Tribute to the Troops last night was only his second pin fall loss on television or PPV since the end of May.  So after all the protecting of him as an invincible monster, they broke the gimmick by having him lose to Zack Ryder and then get pinned in a meaningless trios match where nobody will ever talk about it again, and in both cases by guys who aren't even likely to do programs with him. (thanks to Mike Thomas)
 
--The WWE announced Andrew Judelson as the new Head of Sales and Partnership Marketing.  He starts with the company on 1/2 after coming from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.  He will work under Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Wilson and will be part of WWE's senior management team, responsible for sales and marketing partnerships and talent endorsement deals.  With the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, in 20111, for the first time that company was an increase in revenue in a non-Olympic year.  He also worked in marketing with Sports Illustrated.
 
--With the season in is latter stages, three of the five NFL carriers are down in ratings this year, and Monday has been way down.  The last several weeks have featured three of the lowest rated games in the history of the show.  If anything, given the record numbers last year and poor numbers this year, there should be a boost to Raw this year that hasn't happened.
 
--With the weak football numbers, USA was No. 1 in prime time last week with a 2.4 average to 1.9 for Disney and 1.8 for ESPN.  ESPN expects to get far bigger numbers during football season.  Syfy was No. 13 with a 1.2 prime time average, boosted by the strong Smackdown number on Friday.  Spike was not in he top 25.  FX was No. 14 with a 1.1 prime time average.  The first hour of Raw last week was No. 12 and second hour was No. 17.
 
--In the U.K. for November, Raw on Sky live drew between 102,000 and 146,000 viewers.  The first run Smackdown ranged from 78,000 to 111,000.  TNA on Challenge (which is available to a far wider audience) ranged from 135,000 to 222,000.  TNA's Turning Point did 157,000 viewers. Bound for Glory had done 186,000 (thanks to Ian Hamilton)
 
--Fabricio Werdum vs. Roy Nelson has been added to UFC 143 on 2/4 in Las Vegas.  It's Werdum's return to UFC after several years after being cut after losing to Junior Dos Santos. 
 
--Hulk Hogan got ripped for no-showing the Steve Czaban show on Yahoo Sports radio.  He got buried on the air.  He was supposed to do the show and promote his video game, so instead the show pushed the WWE 12 video game. At the end of the show, they said, "Thanks to Hulk Hogan for that great interview."
 
--Do you think this year's TLC will beat last year's on domestic PPV?
Yes 14.2%
No 85.8%
 
--What was the best of these matches?
Bryan vs. Rhodes vs Ziggler vs. Ryder 49.3%
Orton vs. Ziggler 21.2%
Bryan vs. Rhodes 13.3%
Hardy & Styles vs. Roode & Jarrett 10.4%
Punk & Orton vs. Miz & Del Rio 5.8%
 
--What did you think of the Overeem decision by Nevada
He should not have been allowed to fight because too much delay between getting asked and taking the test 42.2%
It was all just miscommunication and he should be licensed if he passes his tests 24.9%
Everyone cheats anyway, why test 24.6%
It was a fair and just decision 8.4%
 
--The Raw poll was tampered as there was a sudden surge changing voting, so before the obvious attempt to make a mockery here were the latest figures:
Excellent 10.5%
Good 11.9%
Average 13.3%
Fair 12.5%
Poor 51.8%
        15.5% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Johnny Bedford vs. Eddie Wineland was announced as a prelim on the 1/28 UFC show in Chicago.
 
--Alistair Overeem was scheduled for a steroid test in the U.K. today as part of his conditional license approval by Nevada on Monday.
 
--Harry Smith is taking on the nickname Brakuss, I guess after the short lived Brackus character WWF had in the 90s.  Smith is currently training for MMA fights this year with Brandon Sylvestry, the former Low Ki, and Dave Bautista.
 
--Fuel has not announced it officially but they are competing with Spike in doing their own weekly news show that debuts on 1/3 in a Tuesday at 10 p.m. time slot called UFC Tonight.  Todd Harris and Kenny Florian will hosts of the show.   Harris did the Versus play-by-play in the WEC days.

--Jesse Neal's first match after being released from TNA will be Saturday night in Orlando at the Team Vision Dojo for I Believe in Wrestling against J.D. Amazing.  
 
--Sheamus on "The Hampton Roads Show" at http://www.wavy.com/dpp/hr_show/meet-wwe-star-sheamus
 
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia. Cyndi Lauper was a high school dropout in New York, who later earned her GED.  She was the first female singer to have four top-five singles from one album.  In wrestling, she's best known for her being part of a 1984 angle where she managed Wendi Richter against Lou Albano managing the Fabulous Moolah in Madison Square Garden, and several other WWF appearances in 1984 and 1985.  Richter used Lauper's song, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" as her entrance music.
 
--And Steve Blackman, the former Lethal Weapon in WWF, was a graduate of Annville-Cleona High School in Pennsylvania.  Blackman played football, baseball and wrestled in school.  He now owns and operates Blackman Mixed Martial Arts in Harrisburg and also promotes MMA shows in the city. 
 
--Colin Cowherd on ESPN yesterday talked about meeting Hulk Hogan and saw Hogan's back and all the staples in it and said, "it's a mess." (thanks to Charles Parker) 
 
--There are Kamala T-shirts at http://www.ottwrestlingshirts.com where $5 from every T-shirt purchase will go to James "Kamala" Harris to help may his large medical bills after he had his foot amputated.
 
--Kevin Sullivan is now taking independent bookings and appearances through Bill Behrens at www.sbibookings.com  Sullivan is flying out of Seattle, where he's now living.  Also taking indie bookings through Behrens is Robert Gibson of the Rock & Roll Express, who flies out of Atlanta.
 
--There will be Raw house shows on 2/24 in Los Angeles at Staples Center and 1/25 in Ontario, about an hour away.
 
--Scott Norton will be wrestling this coming Saturday night in South Korea, and Norton is also in the process of writing an autobiography about his days in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
 
--The March issue of Playboy is going to have a major story on Herschel Walker.
 
--Kenny King was on briefly during Monday night's "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" TV show in several scenes at his regular job as a Chippendale dancer. 
 
--All the UFC fighters tested on the 12/3 show came out clean.  Those tested were Michael Bisping, Mayhem Miller, Diego Brandao, Dennis Bermudez, T.J. Dillashaw, John Dodson, Johnny Bedford, Tony Ferguson, Dustin Brimage, Stephen Bass, Dustin Pague, John Albert, Roland Delorme, Josh Ferguson, Steve Siler, Josh Clopton, Bryan Caraway and Dustin Neace.
 
--Future Stars of Wrestling from Sunday in Las Vegas:  Jay Garland won 7 man Frey, Beast b Mike Dalite, Tyshaun Prince b Josh Carey, Hater Nation b Kid Vegas & Jayson Cash, Rush b Jefe, Sikou b T.J. Perkins, Agency b Von Dooms, Kenny King b Roderick Strong, Funny Bone b Legacy in ladder match, Alkatrazz NC Michael Modest.  There will be a show on 12/20 in Phoenix featuring Val Venis, Johnny the Bull (that's llub eht ynnhoj spelled backwards), Michael Modest and Alkatrazz.
 
--DOA from Saturday night in Portland, OR:  Brickhouse Bereta b Christopher Ryseck, J-SinSullivan NC C.W. Bergstrom, Aaron Bolo b Nate Andrews, J&E Experience & Jorel Nelson b Illuminati & Rock & Roll Fantasy & Chuck Payne, Ravenous Randy b Ethan HD-DQ, Mike Santiago NC C.J. Edwards, Bishop b Jeremy Blanchard, Dr. Kliever b Draven Vargas, Ethan HD b Ravenous Randy and Phantasmo.  Next show is 1/21 in Portland with Ethan HD vs. Fit Finlay (thanks to Mike Sweetser)
 
--Frank and Son Collectibles at the City of Industry, CA hosts an autograph session on 12/17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with Traci Brooks, Torrie Wilson, Candice Michelle, Melina Perez and Maria Kanellis. (thanks to Daniel Short)
 
--Sunday in Guadalajara:  Relampago Azul b Meteoro, Javier Cruz Jr & Divino b Acertijo & Thunder Boy, Ebola b Virgo, Magnum & Cancerbero b Gallo & Angel de Oro, Mr. Aguila & Ultimo Guerrero b La Sombra & Titan (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
 
--A story on former UFC TUF fighter Jeremy May working to raise money for a  South American orphanage and doing a seminar to benefit the cause on Sunday at the Monsters Training Center in Miami
 
--New England Pro Wrestling Academy is doing a one-day fantasy camp on 1/14 for $69 per person if you register before 1/1.  For more info you can call 978-852-8534  
 
--UWC Championship Wrestling for this week at http://www.youtube.com/UWCWrestlingVideos 
 
--Dory Funk Jr. has his annual New Year's Eve show at the BANG TV Soundstage in Ocala, FL with all tickets $10.  Cory Weston vs. Shane Chung headlines.
 
--Brooke Adams aka Brooke Tessmacher has been added to the 1/28 WrestleReunion in Los Angeles as a vendor guest of Highspots.com.  She'll also be doing a pool side bikini photo shoot with Nitro Girl Spice and Shelly Martinez on that morning.
 
--Two wrestling shows have been announced for the April WrestleReunion in Toronto. There will be an Evolve show on 4/13 and a Pro Wrestling Superstars show on 4/14.  Both shows will be iPPV events. (thanks to Daniel Short)
 
--The Santa Maria-based Vendetta Pro Wrestling and Hayward-based All Pro Wrestling are both going to recognize the same tag team champions.  The belts will be called the Vendetta & APW Unified tag team title that will be defended on shows from both promotions.  The champions, Greg Hernandez & Jesse Jiminez of Vendetta debut for APW defending against Jody Kristofferson & Dalton Frost on 1/14 in Hayward.
 
--Added to Evolve on 1/14 in Philadelphia are AR Fox vs. Jigsaw and Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann vs. Super Smash Brothers, as well as Uhaa Nation vs. Pinkie Sanchez.
 


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