WED. UPDATE: Light heavy title update, Hogan surgery, ESPN piece on UFC, Ratings, TNA TV tapings

        UFC 136 (Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard II) is currently airing (stared at 7 p.m. Eastern) on Fuel.  The Countdown to Aldo vs. Mendes will be replayed at 10 p.m. tonight and last night's UFC Tonight airs tonight at 1 a.m. Eastern.
        A look in detail at Cris Cyborg and performance enhancing drugs in women's MMA, Edge and The Four Horsemen in the WWE Hall of Fame, New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome event, plus big TNA and Strikeforce events and a WWE Network update are among the leading stories in this week's double issue of the Observer.  The issue, as well as a new back issue, is currently on the site and print copies can be ordered with information below.
        Our lead story looks at Cris Cyborg and her fall from being the biggest star in women's MMA to disgrace due to a positive steroid test.  We look at her punishment, the future of the women's 145 pound division, what Cyborg has said publicly, Gina Carano, the realities of Stanazolol in supplements, the difference between the reaction to her failing and men failing, the difference in PED's when used by women and men and realities of the issue in the sport.
        We also have comments from other women fighters in discussion of both Cyborg and the issues with drugs in the sport.
        We also look at the unique situation of Ric Flair being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame a second time, and it being the first time a performer under contract with a rival promotion was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.  We look at Edge, and have a history of the Four Horsemen and their many incarnations.
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        We also have a look at New Japan's 1/4 show at the Tokyo Dome, including a history of every New Japan Pro Wrestling event held at the Tokyo Dome in history.  We look at the main angle that didn't get over, match-by-match coverage, the stories behind the biggest matches and more.
        We also have notes on the Royal Rumble show, Punk at the next UFC on FOX, a change in the 2012 PPV schedule, scalpers report on Mania tickets, Beth Phoenix vs. Chelsea Handler, John Cena Fruity Pebbles tie-in, Legends House, WWE signs second generation wrestler, first wrestler from the recent season of Tough Enough to make the main roster, using FCW guys on the house show tours, as well as business notes from the past week and highlights from all the weekend house shows.
        We also have a feature looking back at the 30 year mark since the final show promoted by Sam Muchnick, the most powerful figure in the pro wrestling industry over a 25 year period.  We look back at the rise of Muchnick, the difference between Muchnick and Vince McMahon, a look at his last show, and Larry Matysik, who was Muchnick's protege, talks about that final night.
        We also have a look at one of the most unique pro wrestling events ever, the Bull Nakano retirement show held this past week in Tokyo, including the surprise ending to the show.
        We have a rundown of TNA's Genesis PPV, with coverage of all the matches, star ratings and poll results.
        We also have coverage of the most recent Strikeforce show, the unique position the fighters are in, why there are no bonuses at Strikeforce shows, match-by-match coverage, ratings and poll results, as well as pay records.
        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 and Impact over the past two weeks gained or lost audience.   We look at how the segments with Chris Jericho, Brodus Clay, and changing a tire during a wrestling show all did.

        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:
--One of world's top wrestlers came close to switching promotions, find out how close
--Hall of Famer hits 33 years for his active career and still a headliner
--Issues with AAA and U.S. television
--First AAA TV taping of 2012
--Update on Abdullah the Butcher in Japan
--ROH wrestlers headed for lengthy stint in Japan
--A look at the CMLL & New Japan joint shows coming next week
--What promoter is talking about Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor, and the rules they are looking to put it under
--A look at WWC's first weekend of the year and international names coming in
--John Morrison returns to wrestling in a few weeks 
--More on the Kevin Nash/Ultimate Warrior front
--End of wrestling at the old ECW Arena
--Crazy Jesse Ventura story
--OVW sells out, what storyline does it
--Former WWE wrestler looks to start doing MMA in Japan
--The 1975 world championship discussion
--Huge match coming to TV next week
--More ROH TV outlets
--ROH TV taping notes and future storylines
--Notes on TNA taping in London
--Details of the taping schedule leading to Against All Odds
--Current Against All Odds lineup
--Jesse Neal talks about his post-military trauma issues, and leaving TNA
--Kurt Angle says different things about going to the Olympics
--Angle talks problems in TNA
--TV show character modeled after one of the most famous pro wrestlers returns in a few weeks
--Abyss talks losing his mask
--TNA new TV deals
--Notes on recent TNA house shows
--Lots of upcoming UFC notes
--UFC schedule through August
--A look at fighter pay in UFC and Lorenzo Fertitta talks to ESPN about the subject
--Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey
--Looking at the star power of women fighters
--One of the great fights in history may be rematched  if one of the fighters wins his next fight
--A look at the next UFC show
--Dana White talks Brock Lesnar and WWE
--Notes on ticket sales to upcoming shows
--UFC kicks off on Fuel
--Update on B.J. Penn
--Tons of new UFC fights
--Story behind new MMA TV show
--MMA champion gets Hall of Fame induction at his college
--What happens in Japan after New Year's Eve show
--Former UFC title contender sentenced to 42 months in prison
--Former major woman's wrestling star faces daughter of movie legend in an MMA fight in Japan
          New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major story (ies) of the past 11 years you are most interested in
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*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
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*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
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*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth, and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
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*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
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*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and
Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund,
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*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world
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*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart
signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
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*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
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*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
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*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
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*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
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*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double
issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
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--Dana White yesterday on the Jim Rome show said that regarding Jon Jones, that no decision will be made until after 1/28.  If Rashad Evans beats Phil Davis and isn't injured, Jones' next fight will be with Evans.  If not, Dan Henderson would be waiting in the wings. 
--Hulk Hogan had dental surgery in October to get implants (teeth implants, not breast implants like all the women in his family), and his mouth got infected and antibiotics weren't making it better.  He had a CATSCAN which revealed that one of the doctors had left a metal tack in his mouth.  Well, that sucked.  So last night he had surgery to remove the back.  Story is here. Hogan noted that in doing the surgery they had to drill a hole in his face.
--For those wondering, UFC has 29 fighters who have built in percentages of PPV revenue worked into their contract.
--With all the Bowl games going on, ESPN averaged a 3.7 in prime time last week, well above USA at 2.1 and Disney at 2.1.  FX was No. 16 at 0.9, Syfy was No. 20 at 0.8 and Spike No. 25 at 0.6.  Last week's Raw was No. 20 and No. 22.  The top four shows were Bowl games.
--ESPN 2 will be airing an Outside the Lines feature at 10 a.m. Sunday morning on the pay scale in UFC.
--HHH was at New York Giants practice today.
--Tickets for the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony on 3/31 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami go on sale at 10 a.m tomorrow with the password GOHEAT 
--Last night's UFC Tonight drew 20,000 viewers on Fuel, roughly half of the debut the week earlier.   
--An interesting note about the UFC show on Saturday night.  The main event between Jose Aldo Jr. vs. Chad Mendes is scheduled to go into the cage at 3 a.m. Rio time.  The live event starts at 10:30 p.m. and will last until 3:30 a.m.  I went to a JWP show like that in 1992.  The matches were great, but it was freaking torture.  The nazis in charge would not let you out of your seat.  I know that sounds preposterous but we were not allowed to leave until actually 6 a.m. because it was a live network all-nighter special and by going in, you weren't allowed to leave.  Chad Mendes has been doing middle-of-the-night training to get acclimated.    
--TNA has announced Sting, Kurt Angle, A.J. Styles, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Bully Ray, Crimson, Samoa Joe, Gunner, Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, Mickie James, Tara, Douglas Williams, Magnus, Mark Haskins, Austin Aries, Alex Shelley, Matt Morgan, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels to appear on the 1/28 TV taping from Wembley Arena in London.  They will also be doing some filming at the 1/26 show in Nottingham and 1/27 show in Manchester.  They are claiming they are just shy of setting the company attendance record (which is about 8,000) at the London show.  There is more here
--ROH announced a new clearance in Providence on WLWC at 10 p.m. on Saturday nights starting on 2/4.
--The new 2011 Wrestling Observer Newsletter index is out.  This index covers every issue in the history of the publication, dating back to 1983, some 170 pages and looking at the biggest news story by week in very issue.  It's available for $21 via paypal at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   If you have an index and are looking to get it updated with the last year, you can either order the new year for $5 or get it free with a  $30 purchase of back issues.  He also has a special on the first 15 Royal Rumble issues.
--We will be back tonight with our mid-week version of Wrestling Observer radio.  We'll talk UFC Brazil, Tokyo Dome, WWE and TNA going forward as well as taking your e-mail questions on pro wrestling and MMA to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
--Gina Carano on G-4's Attack of the Show from Monday.
--Thoughts on Brodus Clay's debut?
Liked it 45.3%
Didn't like it 35.9%
Was indifferent too it 18.8%
Who do you predict to take this match?
Vitor Belfort 52.5%
Anthony Johnson 47.5%
--Poll on Monday's Raw
Excellent 5.4%
Good 18.5%
Average 17.2%
Fair 13.1%
Poor 45.8%
        11.7% of those responding didn't see the show 
--The 1/20 and 1/28 UFC shows will both air on ESPN in the U.K. live. (thanks to Lee Wall)
--Rey Mysterio will be appearing this coming weekend at the Cavalcade of Customs at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati. (thanks to Brian Henke)
--The announced Zack Ryder vs. Jack Swagger U.S. title match on Raw this coming Monday in Anaheim is in jeopardy due to the worked injury Ryder suffered in the Kane angle on Monday.  That angle, for what it's worth, drew the lowest rated quarter hour for a non-holiday show in perhaps a decade.
--Ross Pearson vs. Dennis Siver II at featherweight has been added to the 4/14 UFC show in Stockholm, Sweden.
--ROH has added the 3/4 show at the Manhattan Center to its iPPV lineup, the company's next iPPV show.   
--No Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler rematch coming as long as Chandler is Bellator 155-pound champion.  Alvarez has decided against entering the upcoming lightweight tournament and is looking at fighting Shinya Aoki instead.  
--Zero-One USA is holding a tryout camp on 2/4 at 10 a.m. in Orlando.  The winner will get round trip airfare to Japan and will get to live at the Zero-One Dojo.  Yoshiyuki Nakamura, the owner of Zero One, will be there to evaluate talent along with The Sheik and The Headbangers.  There are only a few spots left in the camp. Here are the details.
--There will be a bus trip from New York to Philadelphia for Saturday's CZW & Evolve doubleheader.  The trip will be $120 and include tickets to both shows.  There will be pickups at 10:45 in Elmhurst, Queens at the White Castle on Queens Blvd. and at 11:15 a.m. in front of the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. For more info, you can e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
--The 16th annual ECWA Super 8 tournament takes place on 4/7 in Newark, DE at the Greater Newark Boys and Girls Club.
--New names for the WrestleReunion on 1/27 to 1/29 in Los Angeles are Mike Tyson (really), Supreme, Messiah, Kris Kloss, Abdullah the Butcher, Lanny Poffo, Brutus Beefcake, Greg Valentine and Larry Zbyszko.  All four will be working a 20 man Battle Royal on 1/28 along with Raven, Virgil, The Godfather and Matt Classic.  Chavo Guerrero Jr. is also back appearing after finding out that the upcoming India TV tapings will be over in time for him to appear here.  They are trying to put together a Tyson, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn photo special because they were all in DX.   (thanks to Daniel Short)
--There will also be a salute to Los Angeles wrestling from Noon to 2 p.m. on 1/27.  Confirmed as attending are Gene LeBell, The Destroyer, Jeff Walton, Superstar Billy Graham, Bengali, Don Savage, Art Mihalik, Billy Rogers, Art Williams, Jimmy Lennon Jr., Terry Brodt, Dario Romero, Theo Ehret and Dan Westbrook.
--Starting on Saturday, NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood moves to a new time slot at 1 a.m. on Sunday on KDOC TV.  The first new episode will air on 1/22.  They will be airing an old episode on 1/15.  
--A funny thing in TNA advertising: for the 1/20 show in Worcester, MA on the local TV commercial, the city is spelled Worchester.  People in the city hate when it's pronounced like that. (thanks to Kevin Bergstrom)
--UFC fighter Court McGee talks about overcoming serious drug addictions.
--Netflix Canada has added the following shows:  UFC 83 (GSP vs. Matt Serra from Montreal); UFC 111 (GSP vs. Dan Hardy); UFC 124 (GSP vs. Josh Koscheck) and UFC 129 (GSP vs. Jake Shields) (thanks to Scott Keith)
--An interview with UFC fighter Ed Herman here.
--Jerome LeBanner, who is actually a pro wrestling world champion (IGF in Japan), but a kickboxing legend, has signed for an MMA fight on 2/25 in Plock, Poland against Marcin Rozalski.
--UWC TV show for this week here.
--U.K. wrestler Marty Scurll, who has worked for Dragon Gate, is on the front page of The Sun in the U.K. in a photo about a dating show that he appeared on.
--Ed, Craig and Cutrer talk Ric Flair here.

--Resistance Pro Wrestling, the company owned by Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, has a tryout scheduled for wrestlers, managers and valets at 8 p.m. on Thursday night at The Dome at 635 N. Dearborn St. in Chicago.  They also have a show on 1/13 at Excalibur headlined by Harry Smith vs. Kevin Steen vs. The Sheik, plus Colt Cabana, The Daivari Brothers and Teddy Hart appear.
--A look at the roster for UFC Undisputed 3.
--Gabe Sapolsky talks the weekend shows.
--Eric Young was on Marek v Wyshynski Radio talking pro wrestling and ice hockey, with a discussion about the best babyfaces and the best heels in Ice Hockey.  Is Marek on that show the Jeff Marek?  (thanks to Mark Coale) 
--Former UFC fighter Kyle Watson headlines on 2/11 in Beirut, Lebanon against Juha-Pekka Vainikainen of France.   
--ECCW in Canada has changed its name from Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling to Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling.
--Calgary, one of UFC's best PPV markets in North America, may not do too well on Saturday (well, a lot of places may not) due to the Calgary Flames vs. Los Angeles Kings game which is getting monster publicity in Calgary because of the return of former Flames coach Darryl Sutter, now coach of the Kings. (thanks to Ryan Pike)

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?