TUES UPDATE: More from Raw, former ROH star does dark match and looks good, Dana talks Chael vs. Anderson location, Angle admits TNA changed plans on major show, Orton update, new TNA TV deals, tons more

By Bryan Alvarez

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We're looking for your thoughts on Sunday night's TNA Genesis PPV as well as Saturday night's Strikeforce show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're also looking for reports on the WWE weekend shows, which include Friday night in Jackson, MS Saturday night in Tyler, TX and Birmingham, AL and Sunday in San Angelo, TX and Baton Rouge.

Today has the Smackdown tapings in Laredo featuring Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal. Nevertheless, Laredo, a border town, has been one of WWE's strongest markets for many years, with very enthusiastic fans. TNA also tapes TV in Orlando on Tuesday.

        A look back at the MMA career and the debates over Brock Lesnar, as well as details on the return of Chris Jericho, is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that is on the site today.  We have usually six new issues per month and four back older issues as well as four or five issues per month of Figure Four Weekly on the site as well as all the radio content is part of a web site subscription.  In addition, both newsletters are available for print subscriptions.
        With Lesnar's MMA career having ended with the loss to Alistair Overeem, we look at his entire UFC career, we look at the divergent viewpoints on him, what is reality, what is silly, and more.  We look at the questions marks both he and Overeem faced going into their fight.  We look at Overeem's contract and what is shows about how much UFC main eventers actually earn, what has come out in court, why there is a court case regarding Overeem's deal and more.
        We look at Lesnar before, during the after the fight, why most are accepting Lesnar's retirement is legit even though nobody believes it when most fighters retire, Lesnar going to WWE, his prospects marketing wise, his legacy as a UFC fighter, realities of where he stands with former champions, as well as a look at the entire UFC 141 show.
        We look at what Dana White said to the fighters before the show and what materialized, how the title picture changed in a few weight classes based on results, business notes on the show, as well as early PPV numbers.
        The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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        We have a look at the return of Chris Jericho, his previous returns to WWE, a funny reason why Eric Bischoff never pushed him in WCW, his WWE debut and his return and second return.  We look at the marketing plan for his return and whether it worked or not, the photos that surfaced of him, and the thought process behind what he did for his return.
        We also look at his Mania program and teases of his post-Mania work, when he starts back and more.
        We also look at the nine hour plus Dream and Inoki New Year's Eve show.  We look back at the debut of the New Year's Eve tradition in Japan on a show that featured a number of both pro wrestling and MMA legends and set an Osaka Dome attendance record, as well as the shoot fight between the top two finishers for Wrestler of the Year that took place on New Year's Eve many years ago.  We look at the peak of the New Year's Eve fighting tradition in Japan, and it's fall, as well as how the programming put in its place this year did.
        We have match-by-match coverage of a night of MMA, pro wrestling and kickboxing and which of the three got the best responses and what two matches stole the show.  We look at the storyline behind the matches and how they went.
        We've got more on the WWE network and 24/7 Classics on Demand.  We've also got an update on Randy Orton, what is wrong, his return and what unique status he has in WWE right now.  We've got an update on The Rock, reprising a 1998 angle very soon, the plight of Evan Bourne, PPV schedule for the year, plans for Brodus Clay, Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes feud, new name of a WWE performer, another celebrity talked with for Mania, where the ring collapsing spot in Show vs. Henry came from, shortest world title reign and a look at the return to Madison Square Garden.
        We also have a look at the week after Christmas in WWE, with business and show highlights from what is traditionally their best week of the year in the U.S. when it comes to touring.
        We also look at the pro wrestling angle regarding one of Japan's all-time biggest feuds.
        We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week, who is and isn't watching and how each segment on Raw gained or lost audience. 

        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 the new CMLL world champion
--Angle being dropped and wrestlers getting new characters
--Identities revealed of two decade long regulars
--90s star resurfaces as a new member of Perros Del Mal
--The retirement of Abdullah the Butcher and a Japanese ceremony to take place
--90s star returns to All Japan to try and bring back their world title
--All Japan's start of the year angle involving all of their championships
--Notes on the new shooter trio
--Notes on end of the year shows in Japan
--Controversy over world jr. title name
--Notes on A-Rod and Torrie Wilson
--Reports on death of Hall of Famer are exaggerated
--More on a new movie about one of pro wrestling's biggest stars and who will and won't be involved
--Two of the most famous tag teams of the past 20 years face off later this month
--Unique pro wrestling show set for Los Angeles
--More on Kim Neilson on "Biggest Loser."
--Anniversary of the end of one of the longest running weekly TV shows in U.S. history, an it was a pro wrestling show
--Update on Barry Windham
--Update on Luke Robinson
--A look back at 70s star Buddy Colt
--Famous evangelist's father was a 60s wrestling star
--Notes on next ROH TV tapings and future matches
--Notes on the Genesis PPV
--TNA's Christmas house shows
--Test of FX as a promotional vehicle for UFC
--State of UFC's welterweight division
--Behind the return of Miguel Torres
--Updates on Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos
--Notes on ticket sales for upcoming UFC events
--Notes on this week's Showtime event
--UFC debuts in Sweden
--More on UFC's fastest fight arguments
--Notes on the UFC return to Japan and how tickets are doing
--Fighter retires on camera, and then says he has no recollection of it
--Lots of new UFC fights announced
--30-year-old solid level MMA fighter passes away tragically
--Sapp signs to face a Gracie        
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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
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America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.

-- Dana White during a taping of UFC Tonight on FUEL said that if they put together the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen fight it will probably take place in Brazil in a huge soccer stadium. The clip never made the air, though it's up on our front page right now.

-- Randy Orton tweeted that he's off to the Bahamas for a family vacation tomorrow. He can work on his tan while rehabbing his back.

--Kurt Angle on the Busted Open Radio Show admitted that Bobby Roode was supposed to win the title at Bound for Glory and they changed the finish that night before they went to the ring. Angle said he was in disbelief at the time, noting that he had a torn hamstring and couldn't really wrestle. He also said he was disappointed in 2010 with how often the show would be written and then Hogan and Bischoff would come in and want things re-written. He said he didn't think they were wrong, and in fact agreed with Hogan's changed 100%, but thought they should have approached Vince Russo about changes earlier in the week.

-- Alex Riley beat Antonio Cesaro (former Claudio Castagnoli, now on the road with WWE) in the dark match at Raw last night. Cesaro was said to look good.

-- If you want to try to meet John Cena in the Fruity Pebbles contest, the link to do so is here. Don't tell Kane.

-- Jesse Ventura has an interview herewhere he demands a retraction from the Navy SEAL who claims he punched Ventura out in a bar a few years back for disrespecting the military.

-- Chris Hero vs. Michael Elgin has been added to “The Homecoming 2012” on January 20th in Philadelphia, PA.

-- From TNA, new foreign TV deals: IMPACT WRESTLING, home to Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, “The Icon” Sting, Kurt Angle and the biggest names in professional wrestling, are delighted to announce that New Zealand’s SKY Television will begin airing flagship program “IMPACT WRESTLING” weekly on the BOX (SKY channel 005), in addition to monthly pay-per-view events which will be available on SKY ARENA. IMPACT WRESTLING will air every Saturday at 9:30pm on the BOX starting Saturday January 21st with New Zealand fans now able to watch stars including Hulk Hogan, Jeff Hardy, TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode and Kurt Angle each Saturday Night. The show will air just one day after the U.S. broadcast to ensure continuity with TNA pay-per-view events which will be broadcast LIVE on SKY ARENA. IMPACT WRESTLING continues its strong growth in Australia. Fuel TV, Australia’s only dedicated 24-hour action sports channel have acquired new programming to complement the weekly screening of IMPACT WRESTLING Saturday Nights at 8:30pm. “Xplosion” and “Greatest Matches” will join the line-up of weekly shows broadcast on Fuel TV. “Xplosion” will air every Saturday Night at 7:30pm AEDT starting January 14th with a special catch up episode airing at 6:30pm AEDT on January 14th. "Xplosion" features exclusive interviews and matches with your favourite Superstars. Get caught up with all the news, results and upcoming matches on IMPACT WRESTLING and monthly pay-per-views events. TNA’s GREATEST MATCHES will feature the very best matches from all the TNA Pay-Per-Views over the last two years and is set to start in February on Fuel TV!

-- UFC on FUEL 2 from Stockholm, Sweden on April 14th has Alessio Sakara vs. Brian Stann, Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Paulo Thiago, DaMarques Johnson vs. John Maguire, Cyrille Diabate vs. Jorgen Kruth, Simeon Thoresen vs. Besam Yousef, Francis Carmont vs. Magnus Cedenblad, Papy Abedi vs. James Head. Several of the new names here are signees that hail from Sweden.

-- At around noon today, TNA Champion Bobby Roode had a brief phone interview on WCCC FM, in Hartford, CT, with mid-day personality Mike Karolyi. He was plugging the TNA house show coming to the Oakdale in Wallingford, CT, this Thursday night. He came across well, as far as handling the questions given to him. A couple things he mentioned included: that he's been in the buisness since 1998, and some days he feels great, and other mornings, he feels like a 90 year old. He also jokingly asked what the weather forecast will be for Thursday. When the road schedule was brought up, Bobby said he only has 3 off days in the entire month of January. Submitting this news tip: Keith Lagasse of New Britain, CT.

-- Wrestler Austin gives blessing to Tebow?. Even I saw this one coming.

-- We have a great new interview up right now with Johnny Gargano, the current Open the Freedom Gate champion for DGUSA, who headlines what is billed as the final-ever wrestling show at the famed former ECW Arena in Philadelphia this coming weekend versus Rich Swann. The show is available worldwide on iPPV at WWNLive.com. We also talk a bunch of other wacky topics including his match with Brodus Clay on Superstars a few months back, horror films, and more.

-- Whitney has a new Team Viggity after picture up at itapboys.com. More to come in the next few weeks. There is also a package deal in the I Tap Boys store where you can get discounted Viggity training and a sports bra. Viggity's website is up at teamviggity.com, where Whit is now a spokesperson.

-- ZERO1 USA is holding a wrestling camp on Feb 4, 2012 @ 10am in Orlando, FL. The winner will receive round trip airfare to Japan and housing at the Zero1 Dojo. Zero1 Owner - Yoshiyuki Nakamura will be in attendance to evaluate talent, as well as former ZERO1 World Heavyweight Champion The Almighty Sheik, former WWF Tag Team Champions - The Headbangers and many more. For details visit: http://www.prowrestlingfusion.com/zero1-usa-camp-2012/

-- From Chikara: In less than 3 weeks, CHIKARA kicks off Season 11 at Easton's Palmer Center on Saturday night, January 28th. Any CHIKARA fan who brings 3 paying guests with them to the event will be admitted ABSOLUTELY FREE! Our live event experience is without peer, and there's no better way to share it than with friends! So round up three of yours and bring them to The Palmer Center on Saturday night, January 28th. Every fan that brings 3 paying customers with them, we'll admit free to the event! If you already purchased your ticket to the event, and you end up bringing 3 fans with you, we'll refund you the purchase price of your ticket!

-- Josh Nason is working on a big guest for our MMA-themed Figure Four Daily on Wednesday afternoon.

-- Do you think Saturday's UFC 142 will crack 200,000 buys?
Yes 48.6%
No 51.4%

Who do you predict to take this fight?
Ronda Rousey 61.7%
Miesha Tate 38.3%

Who is the greatest woman wrestler of all-time?
Manami Toyota 32.7%
Trish Stratus 20.9%
Fabulous Moolah 17.9%
Bull Nakano 9.4%
Mildred Burke 7.0%
Akira Hokuto 7.0%
Chigusa Nagayo 2.7%
Lioness Asuka 1.0%
June Byers 0.9%
Jaguar Yokota 0.6%

--Who do you expect to win this match?
Jose Aldo Jr. 81.3%
Chad Mendes 18.7%

-- A correction to the Monday Update note on the front page. Rosita will not be going to London for the TNA tapings. Apparently they left her off. Both Scott Epstein and WrestleReunion are now making her appearance at the convention official as Epstein is bringing her in through his vendor.

-- Photos of Torrie Wilson and Alex Rodriguez frolicking here. So yeah, she's in shape.

-- WrestleReuion has announced that American Icons and Autographs will be bringing in Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and Larry Zbyszko to the Los Angeles event. This will be the second year Zbyszko will appear at the LA event, having been a VIP guest in 2010 during which he wrestled on the Ring of Honor show. Beefcake and Zbyszko join Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and Lanny Poffo, both of whom were previously announced. Thanks to Daniel.

-- MEXPW will be having a vendor at the convention as well. They will be brining Supreme, Messiah, and Kris Kloss.

-- Wide Open Wrestling wishes to announce a tribute show for professional wrestler the Ugandan Giant Kamala, to be held at Buck’s Celebration Center 209 W. Stateline, S. Fulton, TN (across from Buck’s Party Mart) on Sunday January 15, 2012 at 5PM. The proceeds from this event will be donated to Kamala to help with accumulating medical bills from three recent surgeries as a result, amputation of his left leg forcing him to retire.

-- Mick Foley makes a one-night-only stand-up appearance at the Stardome Comedy Club in Birmingham, AL on 01/12 at 7:30.

-- On Saturday, January 14, 2012, Kid Kash will be facing off against Jerry Lynn in a return grudge match at Crossfire Entertainment’s Wrestling Revival at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds Sports Arena.

-- Mixed Martial Arts is back in a big way at California's largest fitness event, The Los Angeles Fitness Expo Saturday and Sunday, January 28-29 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 South Figueroa Street, South Halls G & H. The Expo will feature two full days of MMA seminars and interactive demonstrations where attendees can learn from the best in the sport, up close and personal. The latest in fight gear and clothing will be featured on the exhibit floor.

-- MLW Radio has a new show up at: www.MLW.com and on iTunes with Harry "Brakuss" Smith. Harry talks with Mister Saint Laurent about his future in pro wrestling and MMA, training at a haunted New Japan dojo, mentoring by Bret, WWE being shady, WWE's logic behind not using the name Harry Smith, MMA training with Dave Bautista, cramming for high school exams during MLW tours, origins of BRAKUSS and a lot more.

-- New interview with Court McGee up here.

-- The Weekly Wrestling and MMA Showfirst episode up here.

-- Over the Top Radio looks at Ric Flair here.

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?