By Bryan Alvarez
We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's Dragon Gate USA iPPV show at www.WWNlive.com which starts at 11 p.m. Eastern time
Cima & Ricochet vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Jimmy Susumu for Open the United Gate titles
Pac vs. Akira Tozawa
Masato Yoshino vs. Naruki Doi
AR Fox vs. Sami Callihan
Low Ki vs. BxB Hulk
Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann vs. Young Bucks
Jon Davis vs. Caleb Konley
Also tonight on HDNet at 10 p.m. Eastern is Maximum Fighting Championships 32 from Edmonton featuring Antonio McKee vs. Brian Cobb and Dhiego Lima vs. Nathan Coy as the main events.
The weekend is based around two big shows, tomorrow night's UFC on FOX 2 and the WWE Royal Rumble on Sunday.
UFC starts at 5 p.m. Eastern and 2 p.m. Pacific on Fuel. The last I saw the show actually starts at 4:30 p.m with Chris Camozzi vs. Dustin Jacoby on Facebook, but Dana White said yesterday all the prelims would be on Fuel and it starts at 5 p.m. Facebook has Joey Beltran vs. Lavar Johnson, Charles Oliveira vs. Eric Wisely, George Roop vs. Cub Swanson, Jon Olav Einemo vs. Mike Russow, Shane Roller vs. Michael Johnson and Nik Lentz vs. Evan Dunham. The big three fights at 10 p.m. on FOX are Demian Maia vs. Chris Weidman, Michael Bisping vs. Chael Sonnen and Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis.
Also on Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern and Noon Pacific on HDNet will be It's Showtime live from The Netherlands with what is billed as Badr Hari's last ever kickboxing match (he's going into boxing since with the death of K-1, the big money in kickboxing is over) vs. Gokhan Saki and Hesdy Gerges defends the world heavyweight title of the promotion against Daniel Ghita.
TNA has what is expected to be its biggest attended show in history on Saturday night from Wembley Arena in London, the Impact tapings for the next two weeks which includes the return of Hulk Hogan to TV.
WWE's only house show of the night is a joint branded show in Evansville.
Sunday is the Royal Rumble, WWE's second biggest event of the year, from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Besides the 30 man Rumble, announced are C.M. Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE title with John Laurinaitis as ref, Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show vs. Mark Henry in a three-way cage match for the world title, and John Cena vs. Kane.
Monday is Raw from Kansas City, built around HHH returning to do a review of Laurinaitis as General Manager. Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Omaha.
-- Some interesting proposed surprise names and also potential winners being discussed for Royal Rumble Sunday.
-- Dana White yesterday said there were currently no plans to expand their pre-contract drug testing to year-round random testing, saying that responsibility fell on the commissions, that he had too much stuff to deal with as it was, and that they were "the most regulated sport on Earth. We're the last guys on Earth who should be getting fucking steroid questions."
-- We also have an interview on the front page of Dana going on the offensive against the hackers who took down UFC.com a few days ago, and who also uploaded what was purported to be his personal information, address, cell phone numbers, and information on a recent tax lien. This one is guaranteed to get very messy.
-- Dave has a story hereabout the implications for tomorrow night's UFC on FOX 2 special.
-- As noted on the front page, Hulk Hogan wrestled at TNA's house show in Nottingham yesterday. It was a six-man and we're told he did virtually nothing, took no bumps, and the most intensive move was the big boot. The match was Bobby Roode & Bully Ray & Kurt Angle vs. Hogan & Sting & James Storm and ended with Storm dropping the legdrop of doom onto Roode.
-- Smackdown tonight has Mark Henry vs. Big Show, Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel, Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre (yes, still employed), Epico & Primo vs. Yoshi Tatsu & Santino, Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett, Ted DiBiase vs. Hunico, Brodus Clay vs. Alex Riley, and Aksana vs. Natalya. That's a lot of matches.
-- From watching the Henry vs. Big Show match on video, it certainly appears that Henry hyperextends his knee throwing a punch. He went down hard for no reason and eventually ended up getting himself counted out. Haven't heard anything on his status for Sunday, which probably means he's going to tape it up and work on it, but who knows.
-- Hogan on his back surgery and electrical implant. "It's an electric stim you know? If the pain in my back is too bad and it goes to my head, there's an electrical current that I can turn on that will cancel out any pain waves, it pretty much makes you so you don't feel the pain. It's not a drug, it's just electricity. I've got like a garage door controller with all these buttons on how intense I want to make it, my nipples stand on end if I want to! And my wiener stands straight. It's much better than Viagra!" If I hadn't read that on the CTV.ca site I would have presumed someone made it up. You can read the rest of it here.
-- From ROH: Ring of Honor Wrestling & CHIKARA both are excited to announce a special ticket deal we have put together for our fans in the Chicago area looking to attend our joint "Synergy" event! While quantities last, and available exclusively at ROHWrestling.com, we will be offering a Ticket Combo Deal for admission into both CHIKARA's "Hot Off The Griddle" afternoon event and ROH's "Unity" evening event on April 28th at the Frontier Fieldhouse! This deal will save you a total of $10 off the price of admission to BOTH EVENTS, and you can combine any ROH Reserved or GA ticket with your CHIKARA ticket to *ensure* you catch the entire day of the the best professional wrestling!! Tickets, including the limited quantity combo pack On Sale Now at www.ROHWrestling.com!
-- Bill Apter won't be at WrestleReunion this weekend. He was hospitalized a few days ago, and while he's back home now he was advised not to travel cross-country. Our best wishes to him. Thanks to Charles.
-- Paul London and Brian Kendrick are also on the loose.
-- Mick Foley had a cameo on 30 Rock last night. His episode of Wife Swap will also be airing on ABC this coming week. He talked about that show on Wrestling Observer Radio a few months back, and apparently it went pretty well.
-- In the Antonio McKee vs. Brian Cobb main event in Edmonton, McKee, the lightweight champion, weighed in yesterday at 162, so I'm guessing he's stripped of the title.
-- Joe writes: Chael was on Thursday night’s broadcast of the Mark Levin show. You could tell that Sonnen is a big fan of Levin as he was effusive in his praise of Levin’s show (a conservative talk radio guy). He was out of character and they both plugged his fight with Bisping numerous times. Good appearance and Levin totally put him & UFC over big.
-- Derek writes: I went to the Foley show @ Slim’s in SF last night. It’s a small rock and roll club and the bottom floor was fairly packed but not like sardines. They have an upstairs loft with tables that I would say were ¾ full. I’d estimate just over 300 people. The opening band was a parity band and they did an hour. A quick intro would have been enough. After a 15 minute break Foley did an hour including singing a couple songs with the band. I’d say his material was 75% wrestling humor and stories and 25% non-wrestling comedy. I went with 2 of my cop co-workers. One was a semi-fan while the other one had a lot of WWF knowledge from the 90’s but has had next to no exposure for years. He knew Foley was a wrestler but didn’t know the phenomena of who he was. They both enjoyed the show and afterwords my friend who didn’t know recent wrestling said, “That guy is really funny-- and he has something to say.” A pretty good compliment as the guy is very perceptive. A lot of “Foley, Foley…..” chants.
-- The link to buy copies of Lance Storm's newest book, which he talked about on our show this past Thursday, is up here. His first book got awesome reviews.
-- Charles writes: During the last ten minutes four o'clock hour for the Doug Gotlieb show, the host, Doug Gotlieb, started comparing the WWE to the situation in LA with regards to the NBA teams, the Lakers and Clippers. Basically he said it was like watching the end of their game on Wednesday night compared to WWE. He went on to say that fellow ESPN employee Michelle Beadle, co-host of SportsNation, loves Raw and watches it every monday so he has to unfollow her on Monday to avoid those updates.
-- Steve Gerweck has new interviews up with Jesse Neal, The Diva Maria, and Maryse here.
-- A Day in the Life of Rashad Evans here.
-- Chael talking trash here.
-- Audio interview with Miz talking Royal Rumble and more here.
-- Josh Nason talks to Chris Weidman and previews UFC On Fox 2.
-- WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts posted a photo on Twitter of himself meeting Shawn Michaels as a kid. It's up here.
-- There is an excellent interview with Dolph Ziggler up here. Suffice to say, dude's a huge pro-wrestling fan.
-- Did you know Hulk Hogan could have been in Metallica?
-- Your daily dose of Hogan audio craziness here.
-- JR has a new blog up here.
-- How many buys in North America do you expect the Royal Rumble to get
Under 200,000 19.6%
326-350,00 0 3.2%
More than 351,000 5.1%
What rating do you expect UFC on FOX 2 to get?
Under 2.0 16.8%
2.1 or 2.2 9.6%
2.3 or 2.4 9.6%
2.5 or 2.6 16.8%
2.7 or 2.8 8.8%
2.9 or 3.0 13.2%
3.1 or 3.2 12.4%
3.3 or 3.4 2.8%
3.5 or 3.6 2.0%
3.7 or 3.8 0.4%
3.9 or better 7.6%
What are your plans for this weekend
Watching UFC on FOX 66.0%
Watching Royal Rumble 70.2%
Of those responding, 67% of those watching the UFC are also watching the Rumble. 63% of those watching the Rumble are also watching UFC. 8% are not watching either show.
-- Special deal from Chikara: This weekend, CHIKARA kicks off Season 11 at Easton's Palmer Center on Saturday night, January 28th and you can join us for FREE! 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!
-- 3XWrestling presents Divide & Conquer 2 in Des Moines, Iowa on Friday night. This is a very historic event as it features "Scrap Iron" Adam Pearce defending the NWA World's Heavyweight championship against two-time former 3XW Heavyweight and current NWA Central States champion "The Rebel" Jeremy Wyatt. This is the first NWA World's Heavyweight title match in Des Moines since Ric Flair defended against Dusty Rhodes in 1986. More info at http://www.3XWrestling.com
-- Venue change: RWC returns to Lumberton, NC this Saturday, January 28th! Come check out 1 of the best pro-wrestling companies in the Carolinas! Lumberton Indoor Flea Market, 612 2nd street Lumberton NC
-- Insanity Pro Wrestling returns on Saturday, March 3, 2012 The Fountain Square Salvation Army Community Center 1337 S Shelby St Indianapolis, IN 46203 Doors open at 5:15pn Showcase begins at 5:45pm Main show Bell Time is 7:00pm
-- New Slammin Stan podcast up here, including Vandall Drummond talking his recent match with Riki Ataki~!
-- Ed and his crew have a Royal Rumble preview show up tonight here, and they'll be calling the action live Sunday as well.