THURS. UPDATE: Ratings, Munoz update, Legendary bout on TV tonight, Cain's next fight, Michaels

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        Impact tonight on Spike:
Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne in a cage match
A.J. Styles vs. Gunner
Crimson vs. Magnus
Eric Young vs. Angelina Love
Jeff Hardy vs. James Storm for TNA title shot 
        Superstars on tonight:
Santino Marella & Mason Ryan vs. Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks
Alex Riley vs. Jinder Mahal
Tamina vs. Natalya
        Among the stuff on Fuel tonight besides the weigh-ins live at 5 p.m. Eastern is Best of Pride at 9 p.m. featuring one of the great fights of all-time, Nick Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi, Unleashed at 10 p.m. and they will repeat the weigh-ins at midnight.
        A note that everyone who subscribes to the site this month will get the biggest issue of the year, the 2011 Wrestling Observer Awards issue that is coming out in a few weeks. 
        A crazy week of UFC news, with the most in-depth look at fighter pay, as well as how this compares to boxers, wrestlers, NFL players and more is one of the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer.  The issue is on the site today, as is a new back issue from 1994 covering When World's Collide, one of the greatest PPV shows in history.  You can also get the Observer by mail with ordering information below.
        We also look at the UFC canceling its 3/24 PPV, what that means for the schedule for this year, plans for UFC in 2012 in Canada as we talk to Tom Wright of UFC Canada, what that means with the PPV schedule, what company benefits the most from that date being canceled and why with reasons you wouldn't think of at first.  We also look at the Michael Bisping vs. Chael Sonnen fight with quotes from both guys, what the UFC's first company implemented drug testing really means, the test failure of King Mo Lawal, other fighters who have failed for Drostanalone and background of it, the weight-cutting issue in UFC, what happened with Anthony Johnson and the psychology and pros and cons of massive weight cutting.  We also look at the major downsides including why UFC should be proactive instead of reactive.  We also look at the officiating at UFC 142 in Brazil, including the Erick Silva loss, company reaction, and the next step.
        We look at the ESPN piece, the reaction of Dana White, and tons more on fighter pay, UFC vs. WWE pay, UFC vs. boxing pay, Dana White argues with ESPN's Dan Rafael on the story and more.
        We also have an update piece on Ric Flair, the WWE Hall of Fame, and what happens next.
        We also look at Evan Bourne's second drug test failure, the tag team title change, and ramifications.
        We also have a look at the final show and final angle at the old ECW Arena, whether wrestling will at some point return, the beginnings of pro wrestling in that building in the ECW days and what it evolved into.
        We also have full coverage of UFC 142 from Brazil, with business notes, Brazil ratings, match-by-match coverage and poll results.
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        We've got more on C.M. Punk and Chael Sonnen and how it all went down with Vince McMahon, Legends House, and Stephanie McMahon's take on the WrestleMania main event, as well as her new year's resolutions.
        We've got a feature on Howard Finkel's anniversary in wrestling, his first show, return of Randy Orton and Christian update, Foley appears on network TV, background of Lilian Garcia and a date Rock is scheduled to be back on Raw.
        We also look at Jerry Lawler listing two people who he thinks should be in the Hall of Fame and why, Marty Jannetty talks Shawn Michaels, notes on Florida Championship Wrestling and last week's WWE business and house show highlights.
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        We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week.

        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:
--Wrestler arrested on robbery and kidnapping charges and garnering national publicity in his home country
--Mexico celebrity turns to pro wrestling, legendary star takes promoters to task
--Update on Masakatsu Funaki after his surgery
--Third generation wrestlers from one of most famous family about to debut
--Matt Hardy returns to pro wrestling
--Tribute to Los Angeles territorial wrestling
--One of biggest crowds for a U.S. indie in months
--ROH new PPV experiment and philosophy
--Notes on this week's RH shows
--Notes on TNA's television schedule for the next several months
--Lots of updates on Ring Ka King, the new India promotion which starts airing next week
--Who is on the roster, when the show will air, where it will be available, who is putting it together
--Hulk Hogan update
--TNA in the U.K. notes
--Notes on Sting's future
--Next TNA PPV outside of Orlando
--Eric Bischoff gets new TV deal
--Kurt Angle twitter fun
--Notes on weekend TNA house shows
--Official numbers for Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem
--Update on Kenny Florian's career
--Lorenzo Fertitta talks what they've learned about the PPV business and who is competition
--GSP talks about who he wants to fight next and why
--MMA's version of the Rock vs. Cena one year build
--Champion suffers broken hand
--Update on plans for a June PPV in Brazil from a soccer stadium
--How ticket sales are going for UFC events coming up
--New market UFC will debut in later this year
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Why the biggest match possible in one promotion is not going to happen
--Notes on reviews of "Haywire" with Gina Carano
--Update on Nate Marquardt
--Former Ultimate Fighter winner faces pro wrestler/fighter this weekend
--Notes on a new promotion and first main event
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--In the weekly TV ratings on cable, ESPN thanks to the Alabama vs. LSU game being the second most watched event in the history of cable television last week, finished with a 3.0 prime time average, easily beating USA at 2.1 and Disney at 1.7.  Syfy was No. 10 at 1.0.  FX was down to No. 20 at 0.8.  Spike failed to crack the top 25.  The top five shows all related to the LSU vs. Alabama game on ESPN, with the game, preshow coverage and post-show coverage.  The episode of NCIS that beat Raw was No. 15.  The two hours of Raw were No. 17 and No. 21.
--Mark Munoz was scheduled to undergo surgery this morning for floating bone chips in his right elbow, which was the injury that caused him to pull out of the 1/28 FOX show in Chicago where he was to face Chael Sonnen.
--A note about tomorrow's UFC show for those on the West Coast.  FX is not staggering the feed in prime time.  So the show will be airing live.  The prelims on Fuel are from 6-9 p.m. Eastern and 3-6 p.m. Pacific.  The live show on FX is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Pacific and 9-11 p.m. Eastern.  Weigh-ins are up on the site today at 5 p.m. Eastern.  Keep this in mind when it comes to the rating, since UFC is stronger on the West Coast than anywhere else and it's airing out of prime time, plus the new night.
--The first episode of the preview of Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit will air on FX immediately after the fights tomorrow night.  There will be three episodes of the series, all airing at 11 p.m. the next three Fridays.
--Last night on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC, she did a long segment talking about Ted DiBiase's 58th birthday.  She showed clips of the Hulk Hogan vs. Ted DiBiase feud and said how Mitt Romney was coming across as the real life version of DiBiase's Million Dollar Man character and it seems to be costing him in recent polls where he talks too much about his wealth.  Piece is at (thanks to Jake Koch, Steven Miller, Shilo Robinson  and others)
--The UFC's debut in Brisbane, Australia noted in this week's Observer will be the Ultimate Fighter finals of a U.K. vs. Australia season.  UFC officials noted Brisbane was chosen was because 15% of the tickets purchased for the first two shows in Sydney came from Brisbane, and that Kyle Noke (who has the ability to garner mainstream press because he was the bodyguard for the late Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin) who they are pushing as their new Australian star (George Sotiropolous isn't even on the next Sydney show) is from Queensland.
--The Courier-Mail also noted the idea of a May fight (which if so would either be on the FOX special or on the Memorial Day weekend UFC show) between Cain Velasquez vs. Frank Mir.
--Stacy Keibler will be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tomorrow night.
--Shawn Michaels will be getting some TV hunting awards tonight at the Golden Moose Awards which starts at 9:15 p.m. and will be streamed live at (thanks to Carl Dantes)
--The Rock DVD called "The Rock: The Epic Journey of Dwayne Johnson" will be released on 2/21, as part of the beginning of the push of the Rock vs. Cena WrestleMania match.
--Who do you think will win this match:
Jim Miller 55.1%
Melvin Guillard 44.9%
Who wins this fight?
Chael Sonnen 80.6%
Michael Bisping 19.4%
Who wins this fight?
Rashad Evans 80.9%
Phil Davis 19.1%
--Who was the best pro wrestler of the 90s?
Bret Hart 28.5%
Shawn Michaels 20.1%
Steve Austin 14.8%
Mitsuharu Misawa 12.7%
Chris Benoit 7.0%
Kenta Kobashi 6.8%
Ric Flair 3.5%
Jushin Liger 1.7%
Toshiaki Kawada 1.6%
Eddy Guerrero 1.4%
Keiji Muto 1.2%
Rey Misterio Jr. 0.7%
--Shane Douglas is running an Extreme Reunion show on 4/28 in Philadelphia. 
--A correction from yesterday.  Pro Wrestling Syndicate's 3/9 show in Rahway, NJ is not the first pro wrestling event in the building in more than a year.  TNA ran a show there in September. (thanks to Devin Cutting)
--The Sydney Morning Herald today had a review of "Journey 2:  The Mysterious Island," giving it *.  (thanks to James Stanios)
--If you are looking for tickets to the Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey fight on 3/3 in Columbus, OH, the Internet presale word is STRIKE  They go on sale to the public tomorrow.  Smackdown tickets for 3/13 also at the Nationwide Arena go on sale on 1/28. 
--Jim Ross talks about  C.M. Punk's promo on Raw on Monday, as well as meeting Muhammad Ali (Ali came in to manage The Snowman against Jake Roberts on a Mid South Wrestling show at the Superdome in New Orleans in the 80s) at
--An article about Melbourne, Australia not getting UFC due to silly regulations that allow MMA in a ring but not a cage at
--An article on Australian MMA fighters is at (thanks to Tim Forge)
--Pedro Fernandez' Ring Talk at has both Ali and Carano as guests on Saturday.
--The UFC show tomorrow night airs live on Saturday at Noon on ONE HD in Australia.
--The report in this week's Observer about a Ross Pearson vs. Dennis Siver fight was wrong.  The fight is not happening.   
--ESPN U.K's coverage of Diaz vs. Condit on 2/4 starts at 1:30 a.m. with the Countdown show, followed by MMA Live at 2:30 a.m. and UFC 143 at 3 a.m.
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia concerns Jim Nance, a former AFL football star who was one of the best legitimate wrestlers of the 60s, and in fact, in his day, some considered him the most athletic heavyweight ever in college wrestling.  Nance was 93-1 wrestling for Syracuse between 1963 and 1965, winning the 1963 and 1965 NCAA titles.  He was the first African-American NCAA heavyweight champion and later was an MVP in pro football.  He also did some pro wrestling in the off-season for promoter Pedro Martinez, and negotiated with Vince McMahon Sr., although he only refereed once in Boston (he played for the Patriots) and it didn't lead to a match.
--A story on pro wrestler/MMA fighter Minowa-man, who headlines tomorrow nights Pro Elite show in Honolulu against Kendall Grove on HDNet is at
--Frank Shamrock and Court Bauer did a story on Joe Lozito, the New York City subway hero at  Maksim Gilman was sentenced to 200 years in prison yesterday for murdering several people while on a killing spree last year.  I understand as further punishment he's going to be forced to watch a never ending loop of 1999 WCW Thunder episodes.  Lozito was able to stop Gilman's attacking by using moves he learned watching UFC events on television.  Dana White always has him at ringside during shows in the New York area.   
--Among the Friday night indie shows this week are:
ROH in Philadelphia at the National Guard Armory
MWW in Niles, OH at the Niles Wellness Center (a fine place for a pro wrestling event)
FPW in Bradenton, FL at the HBE Complex
EPWE in Allentown, PA at the East Side Youth Center
SWE in James City, NC at the SWE Power Station
--For Saturday
ROH in Norfolk at the Scope Arena (a smaller building in the complex)
2CW in Ithaca, NY at Shops at Ithaca Mall
C4 in Ottawa, ONT at the Knights of Columbus
PCW in Harpers Ferry, WV at the Harpers Ferry KOA
ESW in North Tonawanda, NY at the St. Johnsburg Fire Hall
FOW in Hollywood, FL at the VWF
MOW in Clinton, OH at the High Points Christian Church
SWO in Columbia, PA at the Columbia Consolidated Fire Company
MOW in Clinton, OH at the High Point Christian Church
OWA in Onedia, TN at the Burchfield Elementary School
NWA F in Mataponii VA at the King & Queen County Elementary School
UWA in Hars, WV at the Old Ferrellsburg Grade School (thanks to Nate Stein)
--Irv Muchnick has a book on Concussions in sports and in particular the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's role, which includes talk about ImPACT testing at
--New Japan is running Saturday and Sunday at Korakuen Hall for the annual Fantasticmania shows with CMLL.  Saturday night has Hiroshi Tanahashi & La Sombra vs. Kazuchika Okada & Volador Jr., plus Jushin Liger & Tetsuya Naito & Diamante vs. Mephisto & Shinsuke Nakamura & Yujiro Takahashi.  Sunday has La Sombra vs. Volador Jr. for the NWA welterweight title, Diamante & Naito & Tanahashi vs. Mephisto & Nakamura & Okada and Mascara Dorada vs. Kushida for the CMLL welterweight title.
--AAA has its first TV taping of 2012 on Saturday night in Guanajuato at the baseball stadium with Mesias & Jack Evans vs. Perro Aguayo Jr. & Hector Garza in the main event.
--Lion Fight Promotions has Muay Thai on 2/25 in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock with WBC interim light heavyweight champion Joe Schilling vs. Sion Marcus.
--Jackson's MMA series 7 takes place on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Albuquerque headlined by Michelle Waterson (8-3) vs. Diana Rewal (3-1) in a 105 pound weight class fight.
--Future Stars of Wrestling has its first iPPV show on on Friday night from Sam's Town in Las Vegas featuring Eugene, Sin Bodhi, Kenny King and Michael Modest.  Impact Zone Wrestling has a free show on Saturday night at 8 p.m. from Lawton, OK. 
--New Era Wrestling on Saturday night in Shelbyville, IN at the Boys Club featuring an appearance by Rob Conway.
--USWO runs Friday and Saturday night at the Stadium Inn in Nashville.  Raven vs. Jocephus headlines the Friday night show. 
--NWA Top Rope on Saturday night in Lebanon, TN at 220 East High St. headlined by Tasha Simone defending the NWA womens' title against Pandora.
--CMLL on Tuesday night in Guadalajara:  Angel del Mal b Xavier Cruz Jr., Magnum & Rafaga b Leo & Hierro, Demus 3:16 & Pierrothito & Pequeno Violencia b Bam Bam & Electrico & Astral, Polvora & Rafaga b Titan & Triton, Atlantis & Delta & Guerrero Maya Jr. b Volador Jr. & Psicosis & Morphosis to retain the Mexican national trios titles    
--NWA Ring Warriors from last night in Fort Lauderdale:  Pablo Marquez b Francisco Ciatso Tommy Vandal b The Beast, Jesse Neal b Chasyn Rance, Santana Garrett b Christina Von Eerie, Chance Prophet DDQ Kahagas to keep the NWA National heavyweight title, Giant Titan b Steve Madison, Bruce Santee b Cassidy Riley, Billy Gunn & Mosh & Thrasher b Dark City Fight Club & Vordell Walker.  Next show is 3/29 in Fort Lauderdale at the National Guard Armory the week of WrestleMania with Adam Pearce defending the NWA title and Jim Cornette managing his opponent, while Dark City Fight Club defends the NWA tag titles against The Head Bangers.  Also Santana Garrett & Chasyn Rance vs. Jesse Neal & Christina Von Eerie with Tammy Sytch as referee and Billy Gunn vs. Vordell Walker. (thanks to Al Hart and Howard Brody)
--The Video-on-Demand of the Evolve show from Saturday night that was release don Tuesday has done a record amount of buys for the promotion.
--There are still spots open for the Dragon Gate USA seminar/tryout on 1/26 in Los Angeles.  The seminar will be with Masato Yoshino and Jimmy Susumu (formerly Susumu Yokosuka). 
--Vendetta Pro Wrestling on Sunday in Lompoc, CA at the Lompoc Veteran's Hall 
--Steeltown Pro Wrestling on 1/29 in Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, Manitoba at the Centennial Hall; 1/21 in Selkirk, Manitoba at the Memorial Hall and 1/22 in Winnipeg at the Royal Canadian Legion.
--Ted DiBiase Sr. will be a guest instructor at a Wrestling Clinic put on by the EWF in San Bernardino from 6-9 PM. today at ASU, 399 North D St.  The price is $50.
--NWS on 1/27 in Brick, NJ at the Elks Lodge featuring The Zombie vs. Boogeyman, plus Marty Jannetty will appear.
--Jim Torres, the oldest son of the late Enrique Torres, will be attending the Los Angeles Territory reunion on 1/27 at the Westin Hotel.  He will be bringing photos and posters of the Torres wrestling family.

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?