We'll be doing our regular poll for Turning Point tomorrow.
For UFC tonight from the Honda Center in Anaheim, the prelims will air on the UFC Facebook page as well as the Foxsports.com web site. From 7-9 p.m. several prelims will air on Fox Sports Deportes. In addition, Fuel will be airing a two-hour pregame show from 7-9 p.m. with tons of talks on Velasquez vs. Dos Santos as well as a one hour post-game show at 10 p.m. If you're driving, Fox Sports Radio will be covering the event from 8-10 p.m.
Prelims starting at 4:45 p.m. Eastern time
Matt Lucas (203) vs. Aaron Rosa (204)
Paul Bradley (171) vs. Mike Pierce (171)
Alex Caceres (136) vs. Cole Escovedo (134)
Mackens Semerzier (146) vs. Robbie Peralta (145)
Darren Uyenoyama (135) vs. Kid Yamamoto (135)
Clay Harvison (169) vs. DaMarques Johnson (171)
Ricardo Lamas (145) vs. Cub Swanson (145)
Pablo Garza (145) vs. Dustin Poirier (146)
Clay Guida (156) vs. Ben Henderson (156)
Live on Fox at 9 p.m.
Cain Velasquez (249) vs. Junios Dos Santos (239) for the heavyweight title
Dragon Gate USA iPPV at www.wwnlive.com from the arena in Philadelphia starts at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time and if you watch the iPPV they note they will be done by 9 p.m. in time for the UFC on Fox:
Yamato vs. Chuck Taylor for the Open the Freedom Gate title
Cima & Ricochet vs. Sami Callihan & Arik Cannon for the Open the United Gate tag titles
Sabu vs. Pinkie Sanchez in a street fight
Johnny Gargano vs. BxB Hulk
Brodie Lee vs. Pac
Akira Tozawa vs. Rich Swann
AR Fox vs. Masato Yoshino
For those live, there is a dark match at 5:05 p.m. with B.J. Whitmer & Uhaa Nation vs. Scott Reed & Caleb Konely
Bellator tonight will be at 7 p.m., two hours earlier than usual to avoid the UFC as well, on MTV 2
Douglas Lima (171) vs. Ben Saunders (170.4) for welterweight tournament final
Alexander Shlemenko (185) vs. Vitor Vianna (184) for the middleweight tournament final
John Hawk (205) vs. Roger Hollett (204.8)
Alexandre Bezerra (146.4) vs. Doug Evans (146) - they agreed to meet at a catch weight when Bezerra didn't make weight
Sunday is headlined by Turning Point with Bobby Roode vs. A.J. Styles for the TNA title, Jeff Hardy vs. Jeff Jarrett, RVD vs. Christopher Daniels no DQ, Mexican America & Sarita vs. Ink Inc. & Toxine for the tag titles, Matt Morgan vs. Crimson, Mr. Anderson & Abyss vs. Scott Steiner & Bully Ray, Austin Aries vs. Kid Kash vs. Jesse Sorensen for the X title and Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim for the Knockouts title. Dragon Gate USA finishes its tour in New York at BB King's with Yamato vs. Gargano for the Open the Freedom Gate title.
The Sunday Dragon Gate show is also on on iPPV at www.wwnlive.com
There is also a CHIKARA iPPV on Sunday at www.gofightlive.tv headlined by Mike Quackenbush vs. Eddie Kingston and we'll be looking for reports on the show.
There is a three-hour Raw on Monday from Boston featuring The Rock and Mick Foley live, plus the Jim Ross/Michael Cole angle. There is also an Impact taping from Orlando.
Tuesday is a Smackdown and NXT taping in Bridgeport, CT and Impact tapings in Orlando.
The record setting first weekend gross for WrestleMania is among the lead stories in the newest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which also has a detailed preview of Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos and why it's one of the biggest fights in UFC history, the business of UFC on network TV, and the biggest money events in UFC and WWE history.
We also have our updated quarterly look at WWE business, looking at the quarterly report in every aspect. We look at the ideas for the WWE Network, talk about the planned launch time, reactions from those in the company and how many employees and how much money will be spent between now and the end of the year to get the network going.
We look at 2011 financially for both UFC and WWE so far, Vince McMahon calls another network a failure, his goals for the network, what shows will likely be on the network and what shows won't. We look at the two different concepts for WWE on PPV going forward. We look at Vince's reaction when it was brought up that WWE had a buzz over the summer and seems to have lost it.
We also look at the movie business, where WWE revenue is coming from as far as different parts of the world, live event business, PPV business including a chart of all the PPV numbers for the first nine months of the past three years. We look at what the average house show is bringing in, both in ticket sales, ticket revenue and merchandise sales. We've got updated numbers on how WrestleMania did, how Money in the Bank did, as well as SummerSlam and Night of Champions. We look at the prospects for Survivor Series and Rock's return, what the return of HHH meant on PPV and what figures are misleading due to new contracts.
We also look at the home video business, the toy business, the video game business, magazine business and the contract with the USA Network.
The issue is available today on the web site, as is a back issue from 1994 as part of ten issues of the Observer and Figure Four available to web site subscribers. We also have the Observer as a print newsletter available with details below.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sites and has
the most complete look at the business as a whole anywhere. The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling
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readers in all 50 states and 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed as long as 20 years or more straight. They get the most
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the business. If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a
40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. Just send your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address,
We also have more on Vince McMahon, why Smackdown and Raw are different these days, a songwriter suing WWE, update on Shane McMahon, UFC in Madison Square Garden, WWE drug testing, update on Survivor Series, Brock Lesnar vs. Steve Austin, Vince McMahon donates to presidential campaign, update on Averno in WWE, update on Great Khali and a tweet that turns a champion into a job guy.
We also note GSP's favorite WWE wrestler, more complaints about a new star getting pushed, return of Kane, a 2012 program, WWE back in Japan, WWE developmental notes, WWE business notes from the past week in the U.K. and highlights of all the European events.
We also have full coverage of UFC 138, including details on the ratings, how much each match gained or lost viewers, and the fallout of Chris Leben vs. Mark Munoz and the emergence of Renan Barao as a bantamweight star and potential title challenger, plus what finish is now in the UFC record books.
We also look at the Japanese New Year's tradition, Antonio Inoki's attempt to keep it going, his idea of a show and where the networks' heads are at right now.
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
Also in this week's issue:
--Death of a wrestler who had a very controversial gimmick in the 70s, to the point even the wrestlers protested it
--Second generation masked Russian roulette
--Two more wrestlers using the same name feuding similar to the WWE's Sin Cara feud
--An indie show draws almost the same in an arena as WWE did for its TV taping in the same building a few weeks ago
--Lots of injury updates
--Explanation for turn of Octagon and La Parka in AAA
--Notes on the upcoming Dragon Gate USA tour
--All Japan goes to Taiwan
--Pro Wrestling NOAH's Global League tournament starts, early matches and standings
--A look at the finish of New Japan's G-1 tag team tournament
--Lineup for the next New Japan PPV show
--Update on the health issues of Barry Windham
--Former WWE headliner wants to go back to promotion and why it won't happen
--Two former WWE stars in training to do MMA and update on how both are doing
--A look at longtime wrestling announcer Dave Brown of Memphis
--What former WWF star vows never to fly again and wants to move out of the country
--Former WWF star autobiography finished
--The surprising note on the biggest pro wrestlers of all-time, and they are names you would have never heard of
--ROH's first house show in a market with television and how much did television help business
--Notes on ROH TV ratings
--A look at change in ROH business and the realities of trying to compete in modern times
--Plans going forward for ROH television
--A look at the ROH TV tapings and highlights of all the shows leading to this year's Final Battle including go-home angle
--How ROH handles house show after TV is taped but before TV is played
--A note on how one of the main events on the next ROH iPPV is likely to go
--Update on A.J. Styles and Turning Point
--Details of Kurt Angle's latest court case
--TNA going to be cross promoting with MMA far more going forward
--Notes on TNA doing business with international group
--More on the TNA/OVW deal
--Notes on Jeff Hardy's legal status
--Rap record featuring Ric Flair
--Notes on all the TNA house shows of the past week
--Update on UFC PPV numbers
--Lorenzo Fertitta talks UFC business
--Notes on Gina Carano's movie premiere
--Notes on the next season of Ultimate Fighter
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Talk about the revival of K-1
--90s pro wrestling group looks to revive as a shoot promotion
--Latest on Bobby Lashley in MMA
--Another PPV show announced for November
--Nate Marquardt returns to fighting in the U.K.
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
and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue. Our most requested issues in our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series
plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article
and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)
*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)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
*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)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*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)
*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)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s,
Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
*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,
Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered
separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*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
wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the
history of TNA)
*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)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings,
Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a
double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*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)
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him
tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*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
*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)
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for
4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
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
price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North
America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--Some eyebrows were raised when Cain Velasquez weighed in at 249 pounds, and he did look a little softer then usual at that weight, because he usually fights between 235 and 244. Ariel Helwani asked Dana White a couple of days ago about a rumor of Velasquez being injured and White kind of acknowledged something happened but that he was fine now. I guess we'll see in a few hours.
--Bryan and I will be doing post-show radio tonight as well as another show Sunday after the TNA Turning Point show, and Monday after the three-hour Raw. We are both in Anaheim today covering the event.
--WWE performers fly back to the U.S. from Europe today for the Boston Raw on Monday. Business picked up yesterday with near sellouts in London and in Gdansk, Poland, and the two weeks in Europe is traditionally the best house show payoff runs of the year (the April and November tours) but also the most grueling as many won't get home until Wednesday.
--We spoke backstage with Brock Lesnar yesterday. How this affects fighting we shall see, but he's the biggest and strongest he's been in years. A lot of people saw the WWE 12 video, which must have been done just as he got back to training, but he's 278 pounds and looks enormous up close, far more than Alistair Overeem who is a little taller and almost as heavy. Lesnar said that Dana White did ask him to fight on tonight's show when the deal was first made but he said that he wouldn't be ready, but says he's surprised because he's recovered faster than he expected and would have been ready.
--Lesnar will be all over tonight's broadcast, as they are going to be pushing Lesnar vs. Overeem. There will be little if any promotion for the San Jose show and the 12/10 Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida show from what we've been told, but they will hit Lesnar vs. Overeem hard and push the winner of that fight facing the champion.
--If you are in Ireland, the show will air for free at 2 a.m. tonight on Sky 423.
--The Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida winner is tentatively scheduled to face Frankie Edgar for the lightweight title on 2/25 in Saitama, Japan.
--Very interesting to note that with the UFC being on FOX, even though this is one of the biggest fights in company history, I was watching ESPN Sports Center last night and didn't even see a mention of it. Granted, with college football and the Penn State scandal it was never going to be a major story this weekend, but not a mention. They have been covering the Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez fight.
--Really sad news that James Harris, the original Kamala from the 80s, just underwent surgery to have his foot removed due to complications from high blood pressure and diabetes.
--Although he had been scheduled to start rehab right after the E:60 piece aired, Scott Hall was trying to get his affairs taken care of and actually just went in earlier today.
--Georges St. Pierre was nominated for Canada's Athlete of the Year award by Sportsnet, an all-sports television station. St. Pierre has won the award the past three years, which is a testament to his popularity in that country. Given that he only fought once this year, he probably shouldn't have been nominated.
--Bobby Lashley beat Karl Knothe last night in Lubbock in 3:00 with a Kimura to become the Shark fights Texas heavyweight champion. Knothe was a last minute replacement but there were a lot of people who expected Lashley to lose this one. Lashley has been training and really has been studied catch wrestling of late under Josh Barnett.
--WWE has a lot of new programming they are considering for their network, among the ideas listed on the WWE web site are:
*A show with Steve Austin and a more high-brow beer taster going around the country sampling beer.
*Mick Foley going around the country to amusement parks and checking out the rides
*Mick Foley hosting a show with the craziest moments in WWE history like the insane high risk moves of himself, Jeff Hardy, Shane McMahon and others.
*The Big show and wife Bess reality show, showing off her cooking talents and him showing off his eating talents as well as life at home.
*A reverse biggest loser, in this case it's skinny guys who work with a WWE performer to add muscle to their bodies and try then get girls.
*A fitness show with various WWE men and women stars where you go go the gym with them and they demonstrate their workouts and give nutritional advice. Shouldn't that show be with the guys who are their trainers and give them their nutritional advice?
*Divas on the road in a tour bus. I guess they'll create women fighting over guys in their storylines.
--Mike DeGeorge noted that today is Matt Cappotelli's birthday and he's got photos of himself, now with a shaved bald head and ripped to shreads, on his facebook page. Cappotelli won Tough Enough in 2003 and had a ton of promise as a pro wrestler, but his career ended due to brain cancer. People all spoke highly of him and I'm really glad to hear he's doing well after what he's been through.
--Mickie James will be appearing and wrestling tonight for BANG at their BANG Sound Stage in Ocala, FL.