MON. UPDATE: Rock returns tonight plus more on tonight's show, New top UFC fight, FOX debut, Punk



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        We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday night's UFC 137 PPV 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 looking for reports from Atlanta tonight for Raw.  C.M. Punk vs. Mark Henry is the announced main event with Punk getting a title shot at Alberto Del Rio if he wins.  When this was announced, it didn't seem to make sense.  There was a meeting taking place regarding Survivor Series this afternoon which may end up explaining it.  The Rock will be making his decision (presumably on tape) regarding teaming with John Cena (I have a hunch he is, the key is how he explains it) and there is also a Jim Ross vs. Michael Cole challenge with theoretically the winner getting the permanent spot announcing Raw and the loser getting to stay home on Monday nights.  At least theoretically.  There was also talk yesterday of a Divas Halloween costume type of deal.  The Muppets are also there as the guest hosts so expect lots of Muppet oriented comedy. 
 
        Smackdown and NXT are taped on Tuesday night in Greenville, SC.  We're looking for
reports from that show as well.  Matches advertised locally are Randy Orton & Sheamus & Big Show vs. Mark Henry & Christian & Cody Rhodes with Booker T as referee. 
        WWE, which had no weekend house shows, returns to Europe on Wednesday for a two week tour.  Raw opens Wednesday night in Dublin, Ireland.  Thursday has Raw in Nantes, France and Smackdown in Bilbao, Spain. 
 
        The return of The Rock at Survivor Series is the subject of the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  The issue is up on the site today, and a back issue was put on the site yesterday.  In addition, our most talked about issue of the year, the Hall of Fame issue is available on the site for web site subscribers, and you can still get the issue with a new print subscription if requested.
 
        We also have a look at the Viacom purchase of Bellator and what it means for U.S. MMA going forward, as well as notes on two different sets of the leading wrestling companies in the world this past week in discussions to further working agreements and why.
 
        Our lead story talks about the angle setting up Rock & John Cena vs. The Miz & R-Truth.  We look at how tickets moved for Survivor Series when Rock was announced, as well as what the scalper situation of ticket sales based on anticipating huge demand.  We also look at the unique effect the return of Rock has on the popularity of John Cena and why.  We look at the match itself, whether Miz & R-Truth are the right opponents, notes on HHH vs. Kevin Nash, thoughts on the HHH angle, title matches and more.
 
        We also look at the Vengeance PPV, including major notes on the show, thoughts on the creative, business notes and match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
 
        We also look at the business of WrestleMania this past year, the value to a city, comparisons with the Super Bowl and Final Four, comparisons to UFC in Toronto and other UFC events, and a breakdown of who bought tickets to WrestleMania and from where. We also note why John Cena gets a different reaction based on different types of shows.
 
        We've got notes on WrestleMania tickets, an update on Gerald Brisco, WWE fires announcer and tries to reprise Michael Cole character into Spanish, updates on the plans for the WWE Network, new positions WWE is looking to hire, a WWE policy change that was changed again bringing comedy to the commentary, Mick Foley's return, former WWE wrestler says he's going into MMA in 2012, update on Batista, lots of names having tryouts for WWE positions last week and why.  We also look at the company's feeling on twitter, Heath Slater talks his suspension, Raw Canada numbers as well as what percentage of Raw viewers watch live and not live.  We also look at the return of a wrestler that looks to be fairly soon with a new name, Legends roundtable shows filmed, WWE wrestlers working non-WWE stars, and the son of a wrestling legend doing a tryout camp.  We also look at post-Christmas WWE lineups including a non-wrestler booked for an angle which at this point hasn't taken place.  Plus we've got notes from the lone weekend house show and business notes.
 
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        We also look at the Bellator purchase by Viacom and what that means to the company going forward.  We look at the plans for 2013, why this is going to take so long to develop, how this changes thing for Bellator and comparisons made between Bellator and TNA.
 
        We also look at ads aimed at major professionals by both UFC and WWE, what they claim, what is and isn't accurate about claims, the breakdown of who actually watches UFC and WWE on television and more. 
 
       We also have a look at All Japan's last major show of the year at Sumo Hall.  We look at Jun Akiyama winning the Triple Crown, his background, why historically that result is significant, All Japan plans going forward, and where its business stands. 
 
        We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week.  We also have a breakdown of Raw and Impact and what segments gained and lost viewers so you can see what segments and personalities people tune in and out from.
 
        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:
 
--Trying to promote a major wrestling group when the TV is preempted
 
--Father of a wresting family passes away
 
--Update on Jushin Liger in Mexico
 
--Star quits CMLL
 
--Davey Richards defends the ROH title in Mexico
 
--Legendary brother team faces former WWE stars
 
--Updated ratings from Mexico
 
--Upcoming major shows
 
--Two reality show ideas that are being talked about in wrestling, one to have a star become the person playing a former top star and another based on Tough Enough
 
--Update on Dragon Gate USA's next tour
 
--More on the change in the hierarchy at Pro Wrestling NOAH
 
--How much money did one of the biggest shows of the year raise for charity
 
--Thoughts on New Japan's last major show
 
--Update on the New Japan annual tag team tournament
 
--Crazy Antonio Inoki statement
 
--Daughter of wrestling legend and her last Olympic dream
 
--One night revival of one of the 90s most popular wrestling companies with old stars coming back
 
--Update on Killer Karl Kox
 
--Two wrestling shows look to be on their last legs
 
--More on the ESPN story on Scott Hall
 
--Update on Travis Tomko after his arrest
 
--Thoughts on the AWE PPV show
 
--What former star gets the most money for doing personal appearances nowadays
 
--Jury convicts several in the murder death of a wrestler a few years back and the sick plot described
 
--Former pro wrestler says he's going back to amateur this year for Canadian Olympic trials
 
--More notes on Curtis Iaukea in Australia and the heyday of WCW
 
--Former Tough Enough personality turns down $50,000 to appear on a reality show and why
 
--Update on Bruno Sammartino movie
 
--Several wrestlers talking about doing autobiographies
 
--Notes on Memphis Heat, the DVD
 
--A famous wrestler cited in a song
 
--Wrestler and MMA star together in a movie
 
--A look at a reunion of wrestles from the Gulas territory
 
--Story behind a former indie wrestler killed by New York police in a fight
 
--A lot of where are they nows with 80s and 90s wrestlers
 
--Notes on the return to the ring of Nigel McGuinness
 
--Thoughts on ROH booking and the good and bad of the television show
 
--Lots of new ROH shows
 
--The push of Garrett Bischoff
 
--Eric Bischoff behind a new non-wrestling television show for Nick at Nite
 
--Update on Kurt Angle injuries
 
--More on latest TNA Jersey Shore angle
 
--Notes on next TNA PPV show
 
--Gail Kim talks about her departure from WWE
 
--Update on Georges St. Pierre's injuries
 
--More on UFC losses for GSP not fighting
 
--Notes on UFC going back into theaters for 3-D shows
 
--Why UFC PPV buyers say they aren't buying recent shows
 
--Ticket sales for all the upcoming UFC shows
 
--Update on Feb. 25 UFC plans
 
--Note on movie "The Hammer" about the life of UFC star Matt Hamill
 
--UFC donating money to a presidential candidate
 
--Kenny Florian talks his future
 
--UFC foes mobilize and jump on former statements
 
--Lots of new UFC fights
 
--Notes on the last Bellator show and the bantamweight tournament
 
--Boxing PPV numbers
 
--Harrowing weight cutting story
 
--Bobby Lashley's next MMA fight
 
--Former MMA names arrested this past week
 
--Notes on major indie MMA shows with name fighters

          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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and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
 
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*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
 
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*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk
Hogan)
 
*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)
 
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
 
*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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*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
 
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*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
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*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 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the
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*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
 
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
 
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*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
 
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*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
 
*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)
 
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)
 
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
 
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
 
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
 
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
 
*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)
 
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
 
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original
Strangler Lewis)
 
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
 
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
 
*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)
 
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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
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--Bryan and I will be back tonight covering both Raw and all the latest news.  You can also send in questions for tonight's show on pro wrestling or MMA to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--Nate Diaz vs. Donald Cerrone is being negotiated for 12/30 in Las Vegas on the Brock Lesnar show.
 
--We got virtually no response from the FOX UFC show yesterday, and our poll indicated that at least among our readership, not many watched.  We also got a lot of reports from affiliates that didn't air the show after the NFL game.  Some did beforehand, which meant people who assumed after had already missed it.  On WSVN in Miami, it aired at midnight and the station aired an infommercial at 3 p.m.  The show didn't air in St. Louis as they instead aired a World Series winning parade.  The idea was to catch football fans who didn't turn off the set and make them interested in the fight.   
 
--Best wishes to Les Thatcher who will be undergoing eye surgery on Wednesday.
 
--The prelims for Saturday's UFC 138 show from Birmingham, England will be airing live on Facebook at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time (9:30 a.m. on the West Coast), even though the show will be on a tape delay on Spike in prime time.
 
--We're looking for someone from Europe who is watching Saturday's UFC who can send us live coverage as the show is going on since it won't be airing live in the U.S. 
 
--Also a note that there is no Bellator live show next week (they are airing a highlight show) because they don't want to go against the show on Spike.
 
--To the surprise of almost nobody, B.J. Penn is already having second thoughts about retiring.   
 
--Inside MMA tonight at 8 p.m. on HDNet features two guys who aren't afraid to talk, Don Frye and Ben Askren, plus Tyron Woodley.  They are on the road at a Haunted House in St. Louis where they are conducting a Bas Rutten look alike contest. 
 
--Mick Foley is doing a holiday comedy show on Long Island on 12/15 at McGuire's Comedy Club in Bohemia, NY.  100% of all ticket sales will be donated to Holiday Magic, a group of volunteers who will be handing out toys to children at Long Island homeless shelters on Christmas morning.  Tickets, which are $25 may be tax deductible and all tickets include a free meet and greet where you get  one free signed 8x10, a free autograph of something else and a free photo-op.  For more info you can call 631-467-5413.
 
--Foley is also going to appear on 11/20 at midnight after the Survivor Series with a comedy show for just $5 at the UCB Theatre in Manhattan which is six blocks from Madison Square Garden.  That would seem to indicate a good shot Foley will be appearing in some form at Survivor Series, or at least will be at the show. 
 
--C.M. Punk and Chris Jericho have been going back-and-forth on twitter trying to drum up interest to do a possible program next year.  Punk mocked Jericho's "Best in the World at what I do" line saying he's the best wrestler in the world while Jericho is the best at what he does, which is dancing with celebrities.
 
--What did you think of Saturday's ROH TV show?
Excellent 40.7%
Good 37.3%
Average 5.1%
Fair 1.7%
Poor 15.3%
        56.3% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Poll on Bellator
Excellent 25.9%
Good 48.1%
Average 3.7%
Fair 11.1%
Poor 11.1%
        75.0% of those responding didn't see the show 
 
--Poll on UFC Prime Time on FOX
Excellent 42.6%
Good 36.1%
Average 9.8%
Fair 3.3%
Poor 8.2%
        62.3% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Best TV show of the past week
ROH 20.1%
Ultimate Fighter 19.1%
Smackdown 18.7%
Impact 14.8%
Raw 13.4%
UFC Prime Time on FOX 8.6%
Bellator 3.8%
Inside MMA 1.4%
 
--There is an interview with Fit Finlay, who is in the U.K. for Varsity Pro Wrestling, at http://www.thesun.co.uk
 
--Nikita Koloff and Lex Luger have been added as guests at the WrestleReunion on 3/30 to 4/1 in Miami for WrestleMania weekend.  Luger will be part of the VIP lineup on the Sunday and Koloff on the Saturday, and Koloff will also return to the ring as a referee and selling copies of his new autobiography.  Currently also scheduled for the events are Stan Hansen, Larry Zbyszko, Rick Steiner, Mike Graham, Carlos Colon, Kevin Sullivan, J.J. Dillon, Leilaini Kai, Road Warrior Animal, Tito Santana, Vader, Lanny Poffo, Shane Douglas, B.G. James, Billy Gunn, Molly Holly, Jake Roberts, Fit Finlay, Paul Orndorff, Harry Smith, Bobby Heenan and Mickie James. (thanks to Daniel Short)
 
--Lots of new Dragon Gate USA matches announced:  Brodie Lee vs. B.J. Whitmer on 11/13 in New York; Sabu & AR Fox & Jon Davis vs. Sami Callihan & Arik Cannon & Pinkie Sanchez on 11/13 in New York.  BxB Hulk & Akira Tozawa vs. Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann on 11/13 in New York.  Davis vs. Callihan on 11/11 in Revere, MA.  In a prelim show presented by Top Rope Promotions in Revere, MA has Ryan Waters vs. Brandon Webb, Jason Blade vs. Matt Tavern and Lexus vs. Luscious Latasha.  NYWC presents bonus matches in New York with Apollyon vs. Michael Mansfiled, Stockade vs. Tony Nese vs. Kenny Royal and Papadon vs. Alex Reynolds. 
 
--Paul Bissonnette of the Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL is going as Hacksaw Jim Duggan for Thanksgiving tonight.  Well, minus the 300 pound frame, but in trunks carrying a 2x4 with his thumb up. 
 
--UFC 138 airs on 11/6 at 5 a.m. on ONE HD in Australia (thanks to Tim Forge)
 
--MCW from Saturday night in Dundalk, MD:  Mustafa Aziz Daniels & Boris Dragoff b Kevin Chesney & Hoss Hagood, Oliver Grimsley b Ronnie Zukko, Cat Burglar & Bob Starr b Alexander James & Chris Clow, Cobian d Tyler Hilton, Nui Tofiga b Adam Flash-DQ, Naplam Bomb b Mitch Miller, C-Fed & G-Fed & Buck Child b Marcus Streets & Drolix & Chuck Lennox, Cobian vs. Tyler Hilton vs. Ronnie Zukko ended in a no contest (thanks to Jessika Heiser)
 
--On last night's Halloween episode of "The Simpsons," one of the alien characters was named Kamala (thanks to Chris Charboneau)
 
--NWA Anarchy from Saturday night in Cornelia, GA before 130 fans:  Billy Buck won Battle Royal, Bo Newsome b Anthony Henry, Slim J & Bryan Casanova b Jacoby Boykins & Chris Mayne to keep the tag titles, Steven Walters over Seth Delay and Adrian Hawkins to keep the TV title, Billy Buck b Shaun Tempers-COR, Kimo & Shadow Jackson & Nemesis b Azrael & Dany Only & Striknyn in a War Games match,  Azrael suffered a hand injury and Nemesis ended up in the emergency room.  Next show is 11/12 (thanks to Larry Goodman)     
 
--Results from the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup:
 
Friday night in Brooksville, FL:  Caleb Konley & Scott Reed won tag team Rumble, Lince Dorado b Louis Lyndon, Jerrelle Clark b Aaron Epic, Mike Cruz b Pinkie Sanchez, Bobby Fish b Jonathan Gresham, Flip Kendrick b Johnny Vandal, Papadon b Chris Jones, AR Fox b Jake Manning, The Scene b Dark City Fight Club to win the FIP tag titles, Johnny Gargano b John Silver
 
Saturday night in Crystal River, FL:  Jonathan Gresham won six-way over Aaron Epic, Johnny Vandal, Chris Jones, John Silver and Louis Lyndon, Mike Cruz b Jerrelle Clark, AR Fox b Flip Kendrick, Bobby Fish b Papadon, Johnny Gargano b Jonathan Gresham, Uhaa Nation b Jake Manning, Semifinals:  AR Fox b Bobby Fish, Johnny Gargano b Mike Cruz, Dark City Fight Club b The Scene & Pinkie Sanchez, AR Fox b Johnny Gargano to win the tournament (thanks to Charles Caldwell)
 
--CCW on Saturday night in Tillsonburg, ONT before 200 plus fans:  Incredible Hulk (Mr. Atlantis) b Batman (Freakshow), Freddy (Adam Jacobs) DCOR Jason (Alan Coulter, Frankenstein (Sgt. Dickson) b Zipper, She-Ra (Leah Vno Dutch b Evilyn, Derek Wylde b Shawn Spears, Cherry Bomb b Ianna Titus, Deamon Rezor b Cody Deaner when Evilyn threw fire at Deaner. (thanks to Steven Ashe)
 
--A fan who a few months back got his head shaved by Mickie James in Atlanta, was in Los Angeles this weekend asking Ultimate Warrior to shave his head at http://youtu.be/3upPxjiGZ5s  The fan claims that his name is Christian Cage. 



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