SAT. UPDATE: Cyborg response to suspension, White reaction, ROH star on WWE tour this week, Daniels



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        We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's Strikeforce show as well as tomorrow night's TNA Genesis 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 also looking for reports on tonight's ROH TV tapings in Baltimore (Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal vs. Mike Bennett for the TV title in a no time limit match, Kenny King vs. Matt Jackson, Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reilly vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander, Eddie Edwards vs. Mike Mondo and Tommaso Ciampa vs. T.J. Perkins), WWE Raw in Tyler, TX (John Cena vs. Kane, C.M. Punk vs. The Miz) tonight's Smackdown in Montgomery, AL as well as last night's Raw show in Jackson, MS.
 
        Tonight's Strikeforce show:
 
8 p.m. on Sho Extreme
Alonzo Martinez (160.5) vs. Esteven Payan (160)
Ricky Legere (171) vs. Chris Spang (171)
Trevor Smith (205) vs. Gian Villante (206)
Nah-Shon Burrell (171) vs. James Terry (171)
 
Showtime at 10 p.m.
Tarec Saffiedine (170) vs. Tyler Stinson (170)
Tyron Woodley (171) vs. Jordan Mein (169)
King Mo Lawal (205) vs. Lorenz Larkin (205)
Adlan Amagov (186) vs. Robbie Lawler (186)
Luke Rockhold (185) vs. Keith Jardine (185) for middleweight title

We'll have live coverage of the show tonight on the site.
 
        Sunday is TNA Genesis from Orlando, the first pro wrestling PPV of the new year, featuring Roode vs. Jeff Hardy for the TNA title, Kurt Angle vs. James Storm, Abyss vs. Bully Ray (if Ray wins, Abyss has to join Immortal), Matt Morgan & Crimson vs. Samoa Joe & Magnus for the tag titles, Pope vs. Devon, Austin Aries vs. Kid Kash vs. Jesse Sorensen vs. Zema Ion for the X title and Gail Kim vs. Mickie James for the Knockouts title.
 
        WWE Raw on Sunday will be in San Angelo, TX.  WWE Smackdown will be in Baton Rouge.
 
        Monday night has Raw from Corpus Christi.  You know what would be a great swerve, since they aren't advertising Brodus Clay coming in, maybe he can debut.  TNA will be taping Impact on Monday in Orlando.
 
        Tuesday has the Smackdown tapings in Laredo featuring Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal.  Nevertheless, Laredo, a border town, has been one of WWE's strongest markets for many years, with very enthusiastic fans.  TNA also tapes TV in Orlando on Tuesday.
 
        A look back at the MMA career and the debates over Brock Lesnar, as well as details on the return of Chris Jericho, is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that is on the site today.  We have usually six new issues per month and four back older issues as well as four or five issues per month of Figure Four Weekly on the site as well as all the radio content is part of a web site subscription.  In addition, both newsletters are available for print subscriptions.
       
        With Lesnar's MMA career having ended with the loss to Alistair Overeem, we look at his entire UFC career, we look at the divergent viewpoints on him, what is reality, what is silly, and more.  We look at the questions marks both he and Overeem faced going into their fight.  We look at Overeem's contract and what is shows about how much UFC main eventers actually earn, what has come out in court, why there is a court case regarding Overeem's deal and more.
 
        We look at Lesnar before, during the after the fight, why most are accepting Lesnar's retirement is legit even though nobody believes it when most fighters retire, Lesnar going to WWE, his prospects marketing wise, his legacy as a UFC fighter, realities of where he stands with former champions, as well as a look at the entire UFC 141 show.
 
        We look at what Dana White said to the fighters before the show and what materialized, how the title picture changed in a few weight classes based on results, business notes on the show, as well as early PPV numbers.
 
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        We have a look at the return of Chris Jericho, his previous returns to WWE, a funny reason why Eric Bischoff never pushed him in WCW, his WWE debut and his return and second return.  We look at the marketing plan for his return and whether it worked or not, the photos that surfaced of him, and the thought process behind what he did for his return.
 
        We also look at his Mania program and teases of his post-Mania work, when he starts back and more.
 
        We also look at the nine hour plus Dream and Inoki New Year's Eve show.  We look back at the debut of the New Year's Eve tradition in Japan on a show that featured a number of both pro wrestling and MMA legends and set an Osaka Dome attendance record, as well as the shoot fight between the top two finishers for Wrestler of the Year that took place on New Year's Eve many years ago.  We look at the peak of the New Year's Eve fighting tradition in Japan, and it's fall, as well as how the programming put in its place this year did.
 
        We have match-by-match coverage of a night of MMA, pro wrestling and kickboxing and which of the three got the best responses and what two matches stole the show.  We look at the storyline behind the matches and how they went.
 
        We've got more on the WWE network and 24/7 Classics on Demand.  We've also got an update on Randy Orton, what is wrong, his return and what unique status he has in WWE right now.  We've got an update on The Rock, reprising a 1998 angle very soon, the plight of Evan Bourne, PPV schedule for the year, plans for Brodus Clay, Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes feud, new name of a WWE performer, another celebrity talked with for Mania, where the ring collapsing spot in Show vs. Henry came from, shortest world title reign and a look at the return to Madison Square Garden.
 
        We also have a look at the week after Christmas in WWE, with business and show highlights from what is traditionally their best week of the year in the U.S. when it comes to touring.
 
        We also look at the pro wrestling angle regarding one of Japan's all-time biggest feuds.
 
        We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week, who is and isn't watching and how each segment on Raw gained or lost audience. 

        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:
 
--More on the new CMLL world champion
 
--Angle being dropped and wrestlers getting new characters
 
--Identities revealed of two decade long regulars
 
--90s star resurfaces as a new member of Perros Del Mal
 
--The retirement of Abdullah the Butcher and a Japanese ceremony to take place
 
--90s star returns to All Japan to try and bring back their world title
 
--All Japan's start of the year angle involving all of their championships
 
--Notes on the new shooter trio
 
--Notes on end of the year shows in Japan
 
--Controversy over world jr. title name
 
--Notes on A-Rod and Torrie Wilson
 
--Reports on death of Hall of Famer are exaggerated
 
--More on a new movie about one of pro wrestling's biggest stars and who will and won't be involved
 
--Two of the most famous tag teams of the past 20 years face off later this month
 
--Unique pro wrestling show set for Los Angeles
 
--More on Kim Neilson on "Biggest Loser."
 
--Anniversary of the end of one of the longest running weekly TV shows in U.S. history, an it was a pro wrestling show
 
--Update on Barry Windham
 
--Update on Luke Robinson
 
--A look back at 70s star Buddy Colt
 
--Famous evangelist's father was a 60s wrestling star
 
--Notes on next ROH TV tapings and future matches
 
--Notes on the Genesis PPV
 
--TNA's Christmas house shows
 
--Test of FX as a promotional vehicle for UFC
 
--State of UFC's welterweight division
 
--Behind the return of Miguel Torres
 
--Updates on Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos
 
--Notes on ticket sales for upcoming UFC events
 
--Notes on this week's Showtime event
 
--UFC debuts in Sweden
 
--More on UFC's fastest fight arguments
 
--Notes on the UFC return to Japan and how tickets are doing
 
--Fighter retires on camera, and then says he has no recollection of it
 
--Lots of new UFC fights announced
 
--30-year-old solid level MMA fighter passes away tragically
 
--Sapp signs to face a Gracie        
 
          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:
 
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plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
 
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*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)
 
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history) 
 
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
 
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*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
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)
 
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
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*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,
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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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*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 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)
 
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*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
 
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*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
 
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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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--Not only did Dana White say he was going to strip Cris Cyborg of her championship for testing positive for Stanazolol, a steroid, but that he was looking at dropping the entire 145 pound women's division.
 
--Cyborg herself released a statement today blaming a tainted dietary supplement for her test failure.  I hope she can find that tainted supplement that contains Stanazolol.
 
--Bryan and I will be back tonight covering subjects such as the Cris Cyborg test, TNA Genesis, tonight's Strikeforce show and a lot more on Wrestling Observer radio.  We'll also have another show tomorrow night after the TNA show.
 
--For those in Canada, the entire Strikeforce show including the prelims are on Superchannel starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time. (thanks to Paul Fontaine)
 
--Antonio Cesaro (Claudio Castagnoli) debuted on the road with WWE at last night's house show in Jackson, MS.  He teamed with Michael McGillicutty to lose to Mason Ryan & Alex Riley.  Ted DiBiase also worked Raw last night, but that's due to it being in Jackson.  He grew up there so whenever they run the city for Raw, they bring him there, he gets a pop, and he usually loses anyway.
 
--Maria will be appearing in the corner of Mike Bennett on tonight's ROH show.

--WWE Hall of Fame tickets go on sale on Thursday.  The event will be on 3/31 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.  The only person officially announced as being inducted is Mil Mascaras. (thanks to Michael  Carpenter) 
 
--A story on Jack Swagger building up tomorrow night's Smackdown show in San Angelo, where he talks about growing up in Perry, OK, the city's legacy as a wrestling hotbed, Danny Hodge (the city's all-time sports legend) and his playing football and wrestling at Oklahoma at http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2012/jan/05/a-modeset-man-a-confident-swagger     (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
 
--Christopher Daniels has been pulled from the WrestleReunion event in Los Angeles because TNA has booked him for the TV taping on 1/28 in London.  He was scheduled to be there as both Christopher Daniels and Curry Man.  Frankie Kazarian and Rosita, who were never announced but were scheduled and to be announced, have also been forced to pull out.  Scott Steiner will still be at the convention as he had signed a contract to appear.  Robbie E and Brooke Tessmacher were also to be at the convention but no word on whether they have to go to the U.K. or not.  TNA is not sending a full crew to London because of the cost so a lot of wrestlers won't be on the TVs for those two weeks.  Superstar Billy Graham is scheduled to attend the convention.
 
--Final 2011 standings based on predictions Josh Nason has recorded
Todd Martin 71%
Dave Meltzer 70%
Mike Sempervive 68%
Mike Sawyer 68%
Josh Nason 68%
Oliver Copp 54%
Bryan Alvarez 53% 
 
--Should Sarah Kaufman get the womens' title shot at Miesha Tate before Ronda Rousey?
Yes, she earned it, holds a win over the champ and Rousey has never fought at 135 41.0%
Yes, Rousey isn't really a star except on the Internet so you should go with the person who earned it 14.2%
Yes, there is no real business difference and it's all about looks, and that's a bad way to decide who gets the shot 9.0%
No, this is a business and Rousey is a bigger star than Kaufman 22.6%
No, Rousey has more upside and can be groomed to be a superstar, Kaufman can't 13.2%
        That's 61.2% who think Kaufman should have gotten the shot.  Somewhat surprising because even in MMA among hardcores the feeling is it should have been Rousey because more people want to see that fight.
 
--Plans for viewing this weekend
Strikeforce 33.0%
TNA Genesis 18.0%
        Of those responding, 50.0% of those watching TNA are also watching Strikeforce.  18% of those watching Strikeforce are also watching TNA Genesis.  54.9% are not watching either show.
 
--Biggest news story of November
Junior Dos Santos beats Cain Velasquez in most watched MMA fight on TV in U.S. history 32.0%
UFC debut on Fox does a 3.1 rating, scores huge with Males 18-34, and Hispanics 28.2%
WrestleMania sells $6.3 million in tickets first weekend they are on sale 16.3%
Rock has first match in 7 1/2 years, Survivor Series does 160,000 domestic buys 15.3%
Killer Karl Kox passes away 3.8%
Dan Henderson beat Shogun Rua in classic match 3.6%
UFC sues New York 0.8%
 
--Poll on Impact
Excellent 24.5%
Good 26.5%
Average 23.5%
Fair 9.2%
Poor 16.3%
        48.4% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Phil Donahue was on Piers Morgan on Thursday night and they were talking about Muhammad Ali, who Donahue said was his all-time favorite guest.  He said that Ali used to go to wrestling at the Louisville Armory and watch Gorgeous George cut heel promos about being pretty and that was how he got his interview style.  He said Ali found himself his own wrestling announcer straight man in Howard Cosell.  He started talking about Gorgeous George, his robes, his hair, etc.  If it was Louisville, it is far more likely Ali was talking about Fred Blassie.  Most historical references to Ali learning from wrestlers, who do claim Gorgeous George, do so after Ali was already a pro boxer and fighting in Las Vegas going to a show with George vs. Blassie that sold out the same arena he didn't draw in.  Ali also claimed it was George.  Blassie, and those close to Blassie, have always insisted it was him.  When Ali met Blassie in 1976, he looked at him and said he was the guy and then a year later went back to saying it was Gorgeous George who inspired him on interviews.
 
--Brad Nessler, an ESPN announcer who is friends with Ric Flair, when talking about a Virginia Tech player who has style in a game on Tuesday said, "styling and profiling, like my friend Ric Flair."  (thanks to Paul Nucci)  
 
--Tommy Dreamer talks about being the wheelman for most of his career, his traveling partners and more in a good article at http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3426777
 
--CMLL on Monday night in Puebla:  Espiritu Maligno& Policeman & Siki Osama b Blue Center & Melinium & Stigma, Lluvia & Luna Magica & Marcela b Seductora & Tiffany & Zeuxis, Diamante & Sagrado & Sangre Azteca b Ephesto & Okumura & Vangelis, Marco Corleone & Maximo & Rush b El Terrible & Dragon Rojo Jr. & Rey Bucanero, La Mascara b Volador Jr. to retain NWA middleweight title
 
--CMLL on Tuesday in Guadalajara:  Evola & Metalik b Esfinge & Virgo, Nitrito & Pequeno Warrior b Meteoro & Ultimo Dragoncito, Fuego b Malefico, Olimpico & Psicosis b Metro & Sangre Azteca, Negro Casas & Mr. Niebla & Polvora b El Hijo del Fantasma & Maximo & Rush (thanks to Kris Zellner)
 
--WWC tonight in Bayamon, Puerto Rico at the Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum is the annual Euphoria tour big show featuring Ray Gonzalez vs. Gilbert, Carlito defending the Universal title against Ricky Banderas (Mesias in AAA) Blue Demon Jr. vs. Kenny Dykstra, plus Chavo Guerrero Jr. defending the Puerto Rican title.
 
--BWO on 1/21 in Elmwood Park, NJ at American Legion Post 147.  
 
--USWO from last night in Nashville:  Josh Crow b Mike Jablonski, Jason Xavier b Tim Renesto-DQ, Mike Revick b Josh Prada, Chrisjen Hayme b Damien Payne, L.T. Falk b Bully Douglas-DQ, Gary Valiant b Allen Shepard (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
 
--EWF from last night in Covina, CA:  Valiant NC Stryde, Sugar Sweet b Mexican Warrior, Eddie Mattson b Chowder, La Familia NC A-List, Mike Maze b Freddy Bravo, Josh Dunbar b Rock Riddle (Rock Riddle, he has to be in his 60s by now), Johnny Starr b Tommy Wilson
 
--Empire Wrestling from last night in Avondale Estates, GA:  Hayden Young b Devlin Valek, Aesha & Brian Blaze DCOR Pandora & Simon Sermon, Shawn Tempers b Marko Polo-DQ, Sylar Cross & Matt Sells & Chad Silva b Ken O'Sullivan & Tommy Daniels & Phantom, Fred Yehl b Ultimate Warhorse, Shane Nars & Dany Only & Jagged Edge b Warhorse #2 & Warhorse 88 & Warhorse 300, De La Vega & Vandal b Zach Daniels & Zachary Blaine, Jay Fury b Mr. Eric, Mason b Eric Walker.  Next show is Thursday night in Atlanta at The Masquerade,.
 
 


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