THURS. UPDATE: 2 new UFC events inc. next FOX; New WWE PPV stip; Update on Neal leaving TNA;

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        Countdown to UFC 139 airs after Impact tonight at 11 p.m.  I saw some of the special today.  The stuff with Cung Le is very good.
        Impact tonight at 9 p.m.
Robbie E vs. Devon for TV title
Brian Kendrick & Jesse Sorensen vs. Kid Kash & Austin Aries
Ten woman gauntlet series for a Knockouts title shot at Gail Kim 
Mexican America vs. Matt Morgan & Crimson for the tag titles
        The show also includes the return after exactly zero weeks off with an injury by James Storm, as well as Kurt Angle appearing.
        Superstars on the WWE web site
Alex Riley vs Drew McIntyre
Usos vs. Primo & Epico
Trent Baretta vs. Tyson Kidd   
        With all the news of the past week, we've got one of our bigger issues of the year, a double issue of the Observer this week. 
        Our lead story is the most in-depth coverage of the UFC's lawsuit against officials of the state of New York.  We look at the case, the real goals of the case, why UFC isn't legalized right now in New York, why they made this move, who is involved in the suit, why the fighters were chosen and what UFC officials and fighters will and won't be talking about this.
        We look at the history of why UFC is not allowed to run in New York, the successful show held in New York, the crazy story behind the second UFC show in New York, what promotion did what and how the media was involved in derailing UFC in New York years ago. 
        We also have a look at the build to Survivor Series, the three hour Raw with The Rock, how every segment on the three hour Raw did including what was one of the biggest gaining segments of he year on WWE television.      
        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 each month.  We also have the Observer as a print newsletter available with details below.       
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        We also look at the UFC on FOX, including the most detailed ratings breakdowns of the biggest televised MMA events ever in the U.S.  We also look at some of the biggest and most important moments of the Zuffa history of the sport, the flops, the successes, and what successes meant little long term, what did, and what flops hurt and what flops did no damage at all. 
        We look at what backfired on the first show, what worked, the future of Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos, why all traditional understanding of what gets over in sports often misses the most basic of points, the FOX strategy, what the show really did ratings wise and how every reported figure is missing a key element of the audience watching the show and why even with a final number that is not all that impressive, why Dana White was doing cartwheels when reading into the numbers.
        We also chart the five biggest MMA television shows in history, with ratings, viewers, peak quarter and key demo numbers as well as how the audience that watched a big UFC event in 2006 and 2011 have changed.
        We also have full coverage of the live event from the Honda Center, match-by-match coverage with poll results.
        We also have comments from UFC and FOX executives going into detail of the 2012 plans for UFC on television.
        We also have an updated story on the WWE Network, looking at a lot of information of show ideas as well as notes on who long it's likely to take because the network can be financially successful and what are its biggest obstacles.  We detail of a ton of new programming ideas and what is good, what isn't, what does and doesn't have legs.
        We also have more on the injuries to Christian, why there is so much twitter talk on WWE television, notes on the new WWE video game and the value of The Rock and Brock Lesnar to it, notes on the final WWE PPV show of the year, Notes on John Morrison, Gerald Brisco, Smackdown in early 2012, new WWE signing that most people would know and business from all the European events as well as highlights from the European shows.
        We also have a profile on the life and times of Joe Frazier, the story behind one of the biggest feud in sports history, Ali vs. Frazier in and out of the ring, the back story of the feud and why it garnered so much interest and the story of the Thrilla in Manila, considered one of the great heavyweight fights of all-time.
        We also have exclusive notes not covered anywhere else of Joe Frazier as a pro wrestler, both his two pro matches and his refereeing angles, and the major match they were planning on doing with him that never happened.
        We also talk with Spike and Bellator officials about Viacom's purchase of Bellator and what plans are, what changes are going to be made, and how this changes the MMA landscape.
        We also have the story of the champion of a major promotion who suddenly quit, came back for one night, and then did an angle with the rival promotion days later. 
        We also have a rundown on TNA's Turning Point show including match-by-match coverage with poll results.
        We also have coverage of New Japan's latest PPV show from Osaka, as well as notes on the company's next PPV show from Nagoya.
        In addition, we have a complete listing updated of all members of the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, what category they are from and when they were inducted.
        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:
--Just how bad things have gotten for CMLL
--Last AAA big show of the year announced
--AAA makes a signing of someone they've been after for months
--Latest AAA tapings
--A look at Dragon Gate's latest U.S. tour and who to look out for
--Opening night lineup for the Real World Tag League of 2011
--Update on the Global League tournament from NOAH
--Satoshi Kojima's 20th anniversary special show
--One of the world's most spectacular wrestlers is out until May
--Tenryu's 35th anniversary show
--A look at the start of Tenryu's career
--The return of the Great Kabuki
--The end of Battlarts
--Fit Finlay goes to Japan
--The legend of Killer Karl Kox
--Mark Canterbury update
--More on what happened to Kamala
--Perry Saturn talks drug addiction and being homeless and what saved him
--More on Scott Hall
--Nigel McGuinness returns to action
--NWA Hall of Fame notes
--The second annual Bruno Sammartino award
--Pro wrestler on trial
--Former WWE star is told by doctor to retire
--Wrestler arrested as part of alleged steroid ring
--Former WWE wrestler qualifies for nationals in another sport
--Famous 70s actress talks about her days as Miss Wrestling
--Former NWA champion coming to ROH television in segments recently filmed
--Gail Kim talks about her leaving TNA and her WWE stay
--Kurt Angle talks Olympics
--Tommy Dreamer on why he left TNA
--What to look out for in future TNA television
--Update on Strikeforce going forward
--Updates on the UFC business
--What they pegged Velasquez vs. Dos Santos to do when it was originally a PPV match
--Updated UFC numbers
--Update on Brock Lesnar
--How Lesnar's life has changed after surgery
--Lots of new UFC PPV matches announced
--UFC headliner sues management
--Update on recoveries from surgery by UFC stars
--Zuffa's plans for a new womens star
--Major Bellator fights this week
--A Benoit style story in MMA this week
--Bobby Lashley's latest fight
--New promotion gets U.S. TV deal
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--Sorry about this update going up late but I was in San Francisco all day for the UFC press conference.  Not much in the way of major news coming out of it.  Dana White wasn't there.  It was said that he was under the weather.  Urijah Faber thought he won two rounds clearly against Dominick Cruz, one round close and the other two rounds were close.  Brian Bowles, when asked who he thought won the fight, said he thought Cruz won.  Everyone was respectful of each other in the main matches.  Interesting that the fans at the press conference, and there weren't many, saw Shogun and Silva as the two biggest stars, and didn't see Cung Le or Urijah Faber at that level.  Weigh-ins are 4 p.m. local time at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. 
--The first FX special looks to be headlined by Jim Miller vs. Melvin Guillard on 1/20, and will be a three round fight, so apparently not all main events are going five rounds going forward.  While it's being reported that it's from Nashville, we were told it will be taped as an afternoon show on 1/21 in Sydney, Australia and broadcast back to the U.S. live for two hours.
--The next FOX TV show is 1/28.  There are reports of the United Center in Chicago as being the site but nobody would confirm that.
--Beth Phoenix's match with Eve Torres at the Survivor Series will be a lumberjack match with all the women in the promotion at ringside.
--Regarding Jesse Neal's departure from TNA, a lot of the lesser experienced talent that isn't being used on a regular basis was asked to move to Louisville and train at the OVW school, similar to what a lot of the WWE talent on the main roster (Mason Ryan, Jinder Mahal, Ricardo Rodriguez and others) who still live and train at FCW.  Neal decided against making the move, and was let go.
--Regarding TNA canceling the South American tour, the actual reason was because ticket sales were poor.
--Ultimate Fighter last night did a 1.1 rating.
--Strikeforce weigh-ins for tomorrow night (yes, there is a show tomorrow night) from Las Vegas on Showtime at 11 p.m.
Derek Brunson (186) vs. Nate James (184)
T.J.Cook (205) vs. Trevor Smith (205)
Adlan Amagov (184) vs. Anthony Smith (190) - he missed weight big time
Julia Budd (146) vs. Ronda Rousey (146)
Antwain Britt (184) vs. Lumumba Sayres (185)
--Weekend viewing plans
Survivor Series 49.2%
UFC 139 48.0%
Watching Bellator 13.7%
        As far as crossover goes, 50% of those who said they are watching Survivor Series also said they are watching UFC.  Of those who said they were watching UFC, 51% said they were also watching Survivor Series.  Of those watching Bellator, 83% said they were also watching UFC.  So Bellator is getting the DVR treatment big time.
--What pro wrestling product are you most interested in?
ROH 30.9%
WWE 24.7%
TNA 11.2%
New Japan 9.9%
Dragon Gate 4.2%
CMLL 1.3%
NOAH 1.1%
IGF 0.6%
All Japan 0.4%
AAA 0.4%
NEW 0.4%
--Does the UFC on Fox last week make you?
More likely to buy Saturday's PPV 5.4%
Less likely to buy Saturday's PPV 7.6%
Makes no difference 87.0%
--What Saturday fight are you most interested in?
Shogun vs. Henderson 48.1%
Le vs. Silva 28.6%
Faber vs. Bowles 15.6%
Alvarez vs. Chandler 2.6%
Story vs. Kampmann 1.8%
Lombard vs. Prangley 1.8%
Bonnar vs. Kingsbury 1.6%  
--Dave Bautista will be at Saturday's UFC show in San Jose.  Bautista is good friends with Cung Le after the two worked together on a movie overseas.
--The National Geographic Channel will be re-airing the documentary on independent pro wrestling, focusing on ROH and NWS in the Northeast, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday night.
--There is a rumor going around that Angel de Oro will be the new Mistico in CMLL
--The U.K. Magazine "Loaded" is now doing an advice column written by Ultimate Warrior.  Yeah, that's the first guy I'd go to for advice if I had issues. (thanks to Alex Boothroyd)
--Shawn Michaels is up for some awards on the Outdoor Channel's 12th annual Golden Moose Awards fan voting as both a personality for Favorite show host and Favorite Hunting Series for this TV show "Shawn Michaels' MacMillan River Adventures."  The voting is open to fans by sending a written postcard with your vote to 2011 Golden Moose Awards Fan Favorite Voting Sweepstakes, Attn:  Tina Mull, Programming, 43445 Business Park Dr. #103, Temecula, CA  92590.  Voting is open until 12/26 and the winners will be announce don 1/19 in Las Vegas.
--A story on Lorenzo Fertitta in Buffalo yesterday pushing state lawmakers to legalize UFC at (thanks to Greg Marra)
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia.  Charles Kalani Jr. graduated from The Iolai School in Honolulu, a college prep high school and was an excellent football player who went on to Weber Junior College, which is now Weber State, and then the University of Utah.  Kalani Jr. in high school was friends with Harry Fujiwara.  The two reunited more than 20 years later, as one of the WWWF's most famous tag teams, Professor Toru Tanaka & Mr. Fuji.
--Alex Marvez talks to Bill Apter at
--Former WWF wrestler Loren Miyake (Riki Ataki) is now working at Fuel TV and one of his jobs is doing UFC promos for the station.  
--M-1 Global iPPV on Saturday at from Ufa City, Russia headlined by Dmitry Samiolov vs. Mario Miranda.  They will also air the undercard free on the M-1 Challenge Facebook page.
--They also have a regular PPV at 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning, or 4:30 a.m. here on the West Coast from Moscow:
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Jeff Monson
Jose Figueroa vs. Daniel Weichel for the lightweight title
Aleksander Yakovlev vs. Juan Manuel Suarez
Mairbek Taisumo vs. Josh Thorpe
Arthur Guseinov vs. Xavier Foupa-Pokam
        Even though this show is in Russia, the ring announcer will be Jimmy Lennon Jr.
--Dustin Runnels went on twitter and is pushing for a match against his brother Cody Rhodes for this coming year's WrestleMania.
--If you want to vote for the country music video with A.J. Styles as one of the year's best you can vote at
They are looking for votes.
--Ring of Combat iPPV on Friday night from The Tropicana in Atlantis City headlined by former UFC fighter Pete Sell defending his welterweight title against Nordine Taleb, as well as former WEC fighter Deividas Taurosevicious defending his featherweight title against Marlon Moraes.  This will be on
--North American Fighting Championship on Friday night in Milwaukee at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino Expo Center features Sergio Pettis (Anthony's brother) vs. Tony "The Tiger" Zelinski (I wonder if Lee Marshall gets to play his voice).  I wonder if either of these guys get to UFC, that 15 years later, if the scriptwriters try and have their opponents try to downgrade them by saying that they used to fight at a Bingo Hall.
--The Camden, SC Police department and the Southern Wrestling Association run a show Friday night at the Rhame Arena in Camden, SC with Jim Duggan vs. The Barbarian plus Chris Hamrick and others.  Tickets are $7 or $5 with a donation of a new unwrapped toy aimed at 6-12 year olds.
--Rampage Pro Wrestling on Sunday at 2 PM. at Johnny G's in Warner-Robins, GA for a TV taping.  Mikael Judas (Murphy in TNA) appears there on 12/4 and NWA champion Adam Pearce will be there on 12/18.
--Frank Trigg is now doing an advice column for women at  Trigg, who formerly wrestled and appeared as a personality for TNA, and is now a television announcer for HDNet after an MMA career, noted that he has dated more than 300 women and has been married three times.  I'm not sure that means he's experienced in ditching women or in getting ditched by women with that track record. 
--Ed, Craig and Cutrer talk with Harry Smith about his family, his career and MMA at
--Ring of Fire on 12/17 at the First Bank Center in Broomfield CO with a 13 fight show. 
--Taichi Palace Fights on 12/2 in Lemoore, CA at the Taichi Palace Hotel and Casino features flyweight champion Ian McCall, ranked No. 1 in the world, defending his title against Josh Rave.  The show will stream live at with Jordan Breen, T.J. DeSantis and Phil Baroni as announcers.  Former UFC fighter Rob Emerson and 2011 NCAA champion Bubba Jenkins are also on the show.
--Brodie Lee will not be at the Dragon Gate USA show in Los Angeles at the end of January at this point because his wife expecting to give birth to their first child around that time. (thanks to Daniel Short)
--The latest on the trial of Andre Davis, who is accused of having sex with 12 women while being HIV positive and not letting them know, is at
--Christopher Daniels will be at the WrestleReunion event in Los Angeles from 1/27 to 1/29, including wrestling on the Saturday night Pro Wrestling Superstars show and will be signing autographs.  Also coming to sign autographs will be Curry Man, although the two aren't going to be signing at the same time.  Unless you ask them.  Robbie E will also be there.  That means Daniels and Robbie E aren't booked on the TNA tour of the U.K. going on that same weekend (thanks to Daniel Short)

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?