SUN. UPDATE: Understanding judges, Survivors preview, Morgan Freeman, UFC on FOX II



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        We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's Survivor Series and last night's UFC 139, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        We're also looking for the same on the M-1 Global PPV if anyone watched.
 
        We're also looking for reports from the Friday night TNA house show in Greenwood, MS and the Saturday night show in Vicksburg, MS.
 
        Tonight's lineup from Madison Square Garden:
*John Cena & The Rock vs. The Miz & R-Truth - The key here isn't who wins and loses, but two things, how The Rock looks and more than anything else, how the angle with Cena and Rock at the end gets over.  Result doesn't matter.  Cena vs. Rock is business and this is just a prelude so help sell some PPV buys for a show that otherwise would not have done well.  Miz & R-Truth are just the guys there to make sure however the angle is supposed to go that it does, and to make sure Rock looks good.
*Alberto Del Rio vs. C.M. Punk for the WWE title - It's possible for a title change here.  What we do know is these two are already being advertised for the next PPV, so unless that changes, the finish is designed to build a rematch. 
*Mark Henry vs. Big Show for the World title - While a rematch has not been announced for TLC in December, at least at one point that was the plan to bring these two back for a gimmick match.  Henry shouldn't lose the title, and if he does, Show isn't the guy he should be losing it to.
*Randy Orton & Sheamus & Mason Ryan & Kofi Kingston & Sin Cara vs. Wade Barrett & Dolph Ziggler & Cody Rhodes & Jack Swagger & Hunico in an elimination match.  If nothing else, this match will have time given to it and given who is in it, it should be a good match.
*Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison for the U.S. title - Most people expect Zack Ryder will be added for a three-way.  Ryder probably should win the title as well if that's how they were going just because of the story of the fans petitioning him into the match. 
*Beth Phoenix vs. Eve Torres in a lumberjack match for the Divas title.  Doesn't really matter who wins, but Phoenix won clean last time.
 
        Raw will be on Monday night from Hershey, PA. 
 
        Smackdown will be taped on Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
 
        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
reviews.   
 
         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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--A few notes.  Last night's UFC PPV didn't start out strong, but the final three matches were as strong a final three matches as you'll see on any show.  Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua was nothing short of incredible, although I can't fathom how Rua did not get a 10-8 fifth round given he out landed Henderson 26-0 in significant and had full mount for much of the round and Henderson was just trying to survive and mounted zero offense. 
 
The significant strikes stats were
First:  Henderson 23, Rua 10
Second:  Henderson 25, Rua 20
Third:  Henderson 21, Rua 17
Fourth:  Henderson 8, Rua 23
Fifth:  Henderson 0, Rua 26
        In takedowns, Henderson was 1 for 4 and Rua was 5 for 10.
 
Henderson got the decision and it was close enough that it could have gone either way.  I had a draw.  Dana White had the same scores I did.  That said if it's a draw, you can't argue anyone winning.  But you had three judges, who all knew their own cards and knew 10-8 would make it a draw, and thus that's likely the reason (draws are discouraged) that they wouldn't go the 10-8 route if you want to know why that probably happened.  With Maynard vs. Edgar they scored the first round the way they did without knowing what the scores would be the rest of the fight so the mentality is completely different.  Granted, you could argue Penn vs. Fitch, but only one of the three judges did a 10-8 making it a draw.  Overall, Rua won more of the fight but ten point must is a scoring system that doesn't always pick who a judge thinks won the fight, only who gets the most points on their scorecard and they are often two different things.  For those talking about how the system failed because nobody did a 10-8, while I agree, that is the reason why.   
 
--Regarding Survivor Series, WWE was happy that Survivor Series was trending about 90 minutes ago on twitter.  Nice that your mood swings are determined by things like that.
 
--For Google, late last night UFC was No. 12.  This morning it was No. 4.behind UC Davis, USC-Oregon and Green Bean Casserole.  Almost everything in the top 20 are food recipes for Thanksgiving. 
 
--They did an angle for the Internet where Ricardo Rodriguez saw someone who appeared to be Justin Roberts sitting at a computer and put him out with a sleeper.  However, it turned out it was referee John Cone.
 
--The belief is Zack Ryder is wrestling on the show by people who are there behind the scenes right now.  Most people figure that as well.
 
--Also, go out of your way to see Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler from Bellator last night.  I know people who thought that was better than Henderson vs. Rua (in the sense Henderson vs. Rua was so awesome because both guys were totally gassed fighting through it while these two were not gassed and fighting at a great pace back-and-forth).  I only went 1-4 last night on the main card (although there are a ton of witnesses that knew I switched by pick in Le vs. Silva after weigh-ins so that would be 2-3, still sucks), but I was one of the very few who picked Chandler here.
 
--After the Fedor vs. Jeff Monson fight, which was apparently atrocious, with Emelianenko winning straight 30-27 scores, although we were told he probably should have won 30-0, Vadim Finkelchstein said that Fedor may be facing Satoshi Ishii on New Year's Eve.
 
--Morgan Freeman narrated the M-1 main event intro piece and Vladimir Putin was at ringside at the show. 
 
--Ariel Helwani will be in the front row at Survivor Series
 
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Survivor Series, TNA and more plus more from all of last night's MMA.  If you've got questions for the show tonight or tomorrow night you can send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--Dana White did confirm 1/28 in Chicago at the United Center for the next FOX show, which will be a four match show from 8-10 p.m.  It's the night before Royal Rumble and the week between the NFC and AFC championships and the Super Bowl.  This is also a good show because they can promote GSP vs. Nick Diaz before a big audience.  White said there wouldn't be a title match. 
 
If you're looking at who may be on the show, here are name fighters who aren't already in announced bouts on other shows:  Fabricio Werdum (if he's even in UFC), Roy Nelson, Brendan Schaub, Rashad Evans, Quinton Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Chael Sonnen, Mark Munoz, Brian Stann, Demian Maia, B.J. Penn, Phil Davis, Rory MacDonald, Thiago Alves, Gray Maynard, Clay Guida, Renan Barao, Anthony Johnson, Joseph Benavidez and Scott Jorgensen.  I think.  There are so many shows it's impossible to keep everyone straight.
 
--White said 1/20 would not be in either Nashville or Sydney, Australia.  I'm sure it's not Sydney as I was told on Thursday, because as explained to me, nobody can keep the cities straight.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if it's Nashville.  White knew they were doing shows in Nashville and Sydney but didn't think Nashville was 1/20 but admitted there are so many shows and dates that he can't keep them straight.  But 1/20 is the first FX show.  Just wait until March. 
 
--Last night, Chael Sonnen was being heckled by fans with the You Tapped Out stuff.  He walked over to the guard rail and did a personal promo on Silva to those fans. 
 
--Hulk Hogan has retired from twitter.  I believe this will last about as last as his last retirement from wrestling did.
 
--NBC Saturday Night Live did an Andre the Giant skit last night.  He was choosing a ice cream cone.  The guy trying to do Andre's voice ended up speaking as if Andre was a Russian instead of French, but at least he had a good Andre afro wig.

--Shawn Michaels is doing a Q&A today at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.  You can join in at www.mrahunting.com  Just don't ask him if he's wrestling at WrestleMania or if he wants to come back and face C.M. Punk or team with Kevin Nash.
 
--How many buys do you predict for UFC 139?
Under 175,000 14.1%
176-225,000 25.1%
226-275,000 29.6%
276-325,000 19.1%
326-400,000 7.0%
More than 400,000 5.0%
 
--How many North American buys do you expect from Survivor Series?
Under 100,000 5.1%
101-130,000 7.3%
131-160,000 8.4%
161-190,000 19.0%
191-220,000 20.1%
221-250,000 13.9%
251-280,000 10.6%
281-310,000 6.2%
311-340,000 2.6%
341-370,000 1.1%
More than 371,000 5.8%
 
--Poll on Impact
Excellent 22.2%
Good 23.6%
Average 29.2%
Fair 13.9%
Poor 11.1%
        54.4% of those responding didn't see the show.
 
--Poll on Smackdown
Excellent 12.4%
Good 44.8%
Average 23.8%
Fair 5.7%
Poor 13.3%
        42.3% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Poll on Strikeforce on Friday
Excellent 36.4%
Good 48.%
Average 6.1%
Fair 3.0%
Poor 6.1%
        77.2% of those responding didn't see the show 
 
--Harry Smith won the PWA title last night in Calgary and after winning was challenged by Lance Storm.  The two had a match with Smith winning in his first title defense (thanks to Dwayne Soper)
 
--All Pro Wrestling TV featuring Colt Cabana and Gangrel on the show at http://www.youtube.com/watch/v=zdot_ign8Hc&feature=feedu
 
 
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia has to do with another New Jersey city, Hammonton, where the Pitbulls, Gary Wolfe and Anthony Durante grew up.  It's also the home town of Jill Biden.  And on 12/10, Dan Gable will be speaking at the Hammonton High School gym.  Gable is one of the greatest wrestlers and coaches in the U.S., but has had both hips replaced and five hip surgeries in total as well as eight knee surgeries, and 20 surgeries in all.  That's the flip side of being the hardest training athlete of his generation.
 
--GOUGE from yesterday in Raleigh:  The Goat b Raymond King, Otto Schwanz b ATL, Jimmy Jack Funk Jr. b Amish Monster Zebadiah Munson, Lou Marconi b Mike West, Rob McBride & Seymour Snott b Gluteus Maximus & Baron Von Fox.  Next show is 12/8 in Raleigh at the Packhouse with Colt Cabana, Grizzly Redwood, Rhett Titus and Cedric Alexander from ROH.
 
--Southern Wrestling Association from Friday night in Camden, SC before 541 fans:  Chris Hamrick b Michael Frehley, Wicked b Alexis Parrish-DQ, Jon Malus b Bradford Steele, Wicked & Salem Sinner Sixx b Rob Killjoy &  Will Demented, John Skyler b B.J. Hancock-COR, Jim Duggan b Barbarian-DQ (thanks to Brett Wolverton)
 
--EWA from last night in Vienna, Austria with a full house of 600 fans:  Mario Cesny d Tom Venice, Captain Steve Swallow b Dailor Rheznik, Chris Colen b Absolute Andy, Mr. Tattoo & Franz Schlederer b Lexxus & Cannonball Grizzly (formerly P.N. News in WCW), Dragon Otic b Maxx, Peter White b Damon Brix, Michael Kovac b Bad Bones John Kayu to keep EWA Catch title. (thanks to Markus Gronemann)
 
--Warrior was No. 10 at the box office this past week in Australia (thanks to James Stanios)
 
--Dave Musgrave talks All Japan Wrestling in the 80s, or lots of double count outs at http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/talkCast.jsp?masterID=112658&cmd=tc
 
--New Era Wrestling from last night in Shelbyville, IN:  Darren Brewer b Aaron Anarchy, Osyris b Mark Vandy and Flying Wondercat, Bobby Black DCOR Rodney Fultz, Jon Wall & Tom & Troy Van Zant b T.J. Kemp & Gary Cherry & Donny Idol, Shawn Cook NC Flash Flanagan, Flash Flanagan & Shawn Coook b Apollo Starr & Dru Skullz, Miss Heidi b Camron Starr, G.T. Vega b Damian Cole.  Next show is 12/17 at the Boys Club.
 
--NWA Chattanooga from Friday night in Soddy Daisy, TN, which was the home town of Terry Gordy, before 137 fans:  Kyle Matthews b Andrew Alexander-DQ, Juggernaut b All Star, Dru Felight b Drew Haskins, Ace Rockwell & Logan Alvey b Chip Day & Corey Hollis, Bryan Casanova b Jessco Blue, Shaun Tampers b Patrick Bentley-DQ, Tank NC Seven.  Next show is 1/20 with Tempers vs. Bentley 2/3 falls. (thanks to Bill Behrens)
 
--I Believe in Wrestling last night in Orlando:  Mike Reed b Bobby Adams, J.D. Amazing b Mike Reed, Larry Zbyszko b Tony Torres, Q.T. Marshall b Ray Beez to win Florida title, Santana Garrett b Wayne Van Dyke, Lince Dorado b Brandon Scherer, Mike Cruz b Chasyn Race.  Next show is 12/17 (thanks to Al Haft) 
 
 
--Future Stars of Wrestling on Friday night in Las Vegas at the FSW Arena at 6658 Boulder Highway.  Bring up to four canned food items and get $1 off for each item brought.  Tickets start at $10 with a Rumble, plus Michael Modest appears.
 
--Mike Sawyer talks last night's show at http://blog.toughtalkmma.com 
 
--Tara LaRosa and Ronda Rousey are having a twitter war, or at least were yesterday.  Is started with LaRosa saying, "I'm not fond of Miesha Tate (135 pounds), but Ronda Rousey (145 pounds) has no business calling her out when she hasn't faced Cris Cyborg yet."  So Rousey wrote back:  "If you such a big problem with me, just move up to 135 so I can solve it for you.  Let's do it.  Don't be scared homie."  Which led to LaRosa saying, "I don't want to go back to 135.  I just want to shut this Rousey chick up."  And from Rousey:  "That was a quick change of tune."  And LaRosa:  "Not really.  I still think you're a disrespectful newb."  And finally from LaRosa:  "You might be a decent fighter, no one really nows yet, but that doesn't mean I'm gonna pretend to like you."
 
--AWWL results from last night somewhere in Michigan:  Mr. X b Johnny Summers, Randi West DCOR Serenity, Viking b Lobo Brown, Harker Dirge & Frank Stein & Big Country b Rastakhan & Jerome Pruitt & Jason Harris, Whipdog Johnny & Big Country b RiverRok for tag titles, Sabu b Necro Butcher

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