We’re looking for reports on Raw today from Pittsburgh with dark matches, Superstars matches and anything else that wouldn’t be evident from the live show to NEWSTIPS We’re also looking for reports on Saturday’s Wrestlecade show in Winston-Salem, NC.
Nothing has been officially announced for Raw at this point, although as of this morning, Ric Flair was booked to be on the show.
Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday night in Hershey, PA.
New Japan tag team tournament Tuesday in Fukuoka
Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga
Michael Bennett vs. Matt Taven vs. A.J. Styles & Yujiro Takahashi
Kazuchika Okada & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Toru Yano & Kazushi Sakuraba
It’s Black Friday and that means Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online has a huge deal for you!
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Figure Four Weekly
Figure Four Weekly (11/23/15): Lots of Updates in Hulk Hogan-Gawker case
Lots of news including a win for Gawker, the new police report, the remaining mysteries of the case, what Bubba the Love Sponge is saying, and more.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
A look at the decision to make Sheamus the WWE champion and its ramifications is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We look at WWE’s options, both the obvious ones and the ones out of the box, different ways to use people, the nature of the decision, the prior identical decision in 2011 and the storyline it was supposed to lead to and why it was made.
We look at the real long-term goal, the note on the ratings, the portrayal of Sheamus leading up to the title change, the plans for the TLC show, what has been messed up, the women’s division, the WWE blaming Charlotte on a bad taste angle, ESPN and WWE, plus match-by-match coverage of Survivor Series with poll results and star ratings.
We look at the TNA deal with Pop TV, both the good and the bad of it, plus the tapings in Bethlehem, the economics of the deal and note on the station.
We’ve got a look at the New Japan tag team tournament, with current standings, goals of the tournament, who probably can’t win the tournament, and coverage of the tournament so far.
We also look at why Genichiro Tenryu is one of the biggest stars of the past 40 years in wrestling, with a look at his career in wrestling, his days in sumo, his early U.S. run, his rise in All Japan, why he left All Japan, how his leaving led to a boom period for All Japan, the real story behind his Tokyo Dome match with Hulk Hogan, the story behind his rise.
We also have an update on Randy Orton, Cesaro, notes and thoughts on new WWE signing La Sombra, WWE week on USA and changes this year, WWE Network shows, Brock Lesnar’s return to Raw, legal briefs filed by WWE, why Stephanie McMahon has been gone from TV and why she’s back regularly, next Takeover special, HHH talks Hogan’s return, John Cena talks his departure, WWE star teases retirement in a few years, Mick Foley upset with creative direction and notes from the developmental shows over the weekend,.
PLUS MUCH MORE! CLICK HERE FOR A FULL WRESTLING OBSERVER PREVIEW
The Latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter: November 30, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Sheamus wins WWE title, Tenryu retirement show
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TODAY’S DAILY UPDATE
Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio covering Raw and the rest of the latest news. You can also send questions to the show to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mick Foley gives his opinion on WWE’s current state with this FaceBook post, where he suggests that today’s wrestlers be allowed to improvise without a script.
I want to make mention the latest wrestling book I’m reading on the life of Strangler Lewis called “Ed Strangler Lewis: Facts within a Myth” by Steve Yohe is the definitively researched work on pro wrestling from 1915 to 1945, with info both before and after those dates when it comes to the politics of the industry, the key players and has complete a results listing of Lewis’ career. For more info email email@example.com The book is available in both soft cover and hardcover editions. It’s a fascinating look at a very different time in wrestling, and different politics and how that shaped the more modern era of the business.
With match of the year award season up, www.WWNlive.com has put up the Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Roderick Strong match up for free today.
The Nevada Athletic Commission announced today that John McCarthy will officiate the Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor featherweight title fight on 12/12 in Las Vegas. The judges will be Derek Cleary, Sal D’Amato and Juichiro Kamijo. Herb Dean will officiate the Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold middleweight title fight and Adelaide Byrd, Chris Lee and Marcos Rosales will be judging that fight. I hope that has a definitive finish.
Due to Thanksgiving weekend, all the ratings for the past few days have been delayed. I don’t expect Raw ratings in until Wednesday this week. As noted before, with a weak football game, the ratings should be up today and if it’s anywhere under 3.2 million viewers with that weak competition it would be a bad sign.
“Spectre” with Dave Bautista was No. 4 this weekend at the box office with $12.8 million. It was No. 2 in Australia. Creed was No. 3 at $30.12 million. (thanks to James Stanios)
A note that ROH starts on COMET TV this week at midnight Eastern and Pacific time Wednesday. ROH is done on Destination America with last Wednesday being the final show.
A.J. Styles didn’t work today’s New Japan show in Fukuoka. Styles & Yujiro Takahashi are scheduled for a tournament match tomorrow in Fukuoka against Matt Taven & Michael Bennett. I’m told he’s trying to push through the back injury.
Matt Hardy, who was split open on Saturday night in Winston-Salem on the Wrestlecade show and hospitalized, wrote on social media that he needed 38 stitches.
A trailer for the “Kickboxer” remake that features Dave Bautista, George St-Pierre and Gina Carano
Bonnie Hammer, a driving force behind Raw, and the person who pushed to get Raw away from Spike TV in 2005 was named AdWeek’s TV Exec of The Year
I don’t know how many people got this, but WWE sent something out today to some ticket holders for WrestleMania saying “Oops, your tickets have the wrong price on them. New tickets with the correct price are on the way sorry for the mix-up” and to toss the old tickets because they are invalid.
Neville wants a match with Kevin Owens at WrestleMania this year
WCHS-TV in Huntington, WV reported that at last night’s WWE show, fans are asked to arrive early and went through multiple levels of security. Fans with backpacks and purses were required to empty everything out into a clear bag and return purses or backpacks to their vehicle rather than be allowed in the arena with them. WWE has been having extra security at its shows the past two weeks.
Wanderlei Silva’s new hearing before the Nevada Athletic Commission, scheduled for today, was moved to 12/17. Silva was banned for life for running away from a drug test last year. He went to court, which ruled the punishment excessive.
Nick Diaz comes to Atlanta on 1/22 and 1/23. Today only is a dinner with Diaz at Hooters in Kennesaw, GA from 6-8 p.m. on 1/22 for $75 for all you can eat wings and sodas and a cageside seat for the fights that night and bring what you want signed. Diaz will be doing a four hour training seminar for $75 on 1/23 from Noon to 4 p.m. For more info go to www.nfcfighting.com
There is an MMA show at Center Stage in Atlanta on 12/5 headlined by C.J. Hamilton vs. Demarcus Holmes.
Progress Wrestling from yesterday in London before 700 fans: Dave Mastiff b Eddie Dennis, Chuck Mambo & Pastor Bill Eaver b Darrell Allen & Earl Black Jr., Rampage Brown b Big Daddy Walter, Damon Moser b Shen Woo, Mark Haskins b Paul Robinson, Marty Scurll b Tommaso Ciampa (who worked Saturday in Chicago and Sunday in London, which given time change differences is not easy), Nathan Cruz & El Ligero won tag titles in three way over Tommy End & Michael Dante and London Riots, Zack Gibson b Morgan Webster, Will Ospreay b Mark Andrews to retain Progress title. I was told this match was off the charts. I saw them in PWG in August and that match was great and I heard this was very similar. They run Sunday in Manchester at the Ritz with Ciampa vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Ospreay defending against Zack Gibson. (thanks to Robert Leigh)
AAW from Saturday night in Chicago before a sellout 450 fans: Tommaso Ciampa b Fenix, Shane Hollister & Markus Crane b Matt Cage & Tyson Dux, Kongo Kong won over Bucky Collins, Connor Braxton, Marion Fontaine, CJ Esparza and Brett Gakiya, Davey Vega b ACH, The Hooligans b Dave & Jake Crist to retain AAW tag titles, Louis Lyndon b Alex Shelley to retain AAW Heritage title, Gregory Iron b Christian Faith (who unmasked as Rickey Shane Page), Chris Hero b Pentagon Jr., Eddie Kingston won AAW title in three-way over Trevor Lee and Ethan Page. Sami Callihan returned and attacked Kingston after the match. Next show is 12/26 at 115 Bourbon Street in Chicago with Hollister & Crane challenging The Hooligans for the tag title plus Kingston, Callihan, Ciampa, Michael Elgin, Chris Hero, Ethan Page, Colt Cabana, Louis Lyndon, Davey Vega, Kongo Kong and more. (thanks to Keith Lipinski)
Adam Sandler recently updated verses to his classic “Chanukah Song,” and there’s a shoutout to Goldberg beating Hogan for the WCW Title.
Vice has an audio history of The Wrestling Album
C4 8th anniversary show from Saturday night in Ottawa before a sellout 400 fans: Tarik & John Greed b Michael Von Payton & Vanessa Kraven to retain tag titles, Cecil Nyx b Evan Dams, Matt Angel & Travis Toxic & Brandon O’Connor b Velvet Jones & Jason Gory & Deeno Benjamin, Franky the Mobster b Space Monkey, Thomas DuBois won four-way over Facade, Sebastian Suave & Brent Banks, Viking b Lionel Knight, SSB (Super Smash Brothers) & Evil Uno & Stu Grayson b The Fraternity & Mathieu St. Jacques & Scotty O’Shea to retain C4 title (thanks to Patric Laprade)
C4 returns on 1/23 in Ottawa at the Vanier Columbus Club.
Maryland Championship Wrestling on 12/4 at the Delaware Auto Exchange in Felton, DE featuring Mick Foley and The Head Bangers. There will be a meet and greet at 6:30 p.m. and a live show at 8 p.m.
Marc Mero will be talking at the Fingerlakes Mall in Aurelius, NY on 12/16 doing a motivational speech. Mero grew up in the area. There will be a noon show open to students and a 7:p.m. show for families.
Pro Wrestling Eclipse on 1/20 in Oshawa, ONT at Legion Br. 43 with Tarik vs. John Atlas in a lumberjack match.
Legacy Wrestling on 12/5 in Manheim, PA at 2913 Spooky Nook Rd., with AR Fox, Matt Tremont, DJ Hyde, Jonathan Gresham, Val Venis, Veda Scott and more.
There is a Ringo Mendoza tribute show on 12/17 at Arena Jalisco featuring a hair vs. hair match with Hall of Famer El Satanico facing Javier Cruz.
NWA Mid South Wrestling on Friday night in Tunica, MS at the Resorts Casnio with Matt Sydal vs. Kincaid, plus appearances by Matt Riviera, Rob Conway, Greg Anthony, Tim Storm, Moose and Jim Cornette.
CWE Rumble for Run on Wednesday in Yorkton, Saskatchewan at the Yorkdale Central School featuring a Battle Royal plus Charlie Haas vs. Chase Owens and Silas Young vs. Danny Duggan.
Pro Wrestling Phoenix from yesterday in Omaha: Tony Cortez b L-Ray, Devin Carter b Purple, Zac James b Dalton Lee Roth, Branden Juarez b Pat Powers, Devin Carter b Arik Cannon, Joey Daniels b Hype Gotti. Next show is 12/30 in Omaha at the Waiting Room Lounge.
Greg Oliver talks about the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame, which is moving from Amsterdam, NY to Wichita Falls, TX this week
Vice writes on Intergender wrestling
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Bob Magee sent us this list of promotions that have done great work over the past few weeks for charity:
* Hoosier Pro Wrestling contributed over $1,000 in toys and cash to the Fireman’s Cheer Fund of Columbus, IN from its November 7 show in Columbus, IN
* Ring Wars Carolina contributed over 200 canned food items to a local food pantry from fans at its November 7 show.
* Furious Wrestling Society collected dozens of toys for the Memphis, IN area Toys for Tots campaign, and raised funds for wrestler Mitch Page at two November shows.
* Primal Conflict Wrestling collected nearly 50 pounds of canned goods for the Community Ministries Food Bank at its”A Night to Remember IX” show on November 13.
* World League Wrestling collected hundreds of non-perishables (including pork and beans, ramen noodles, canned vegetables, cereals, and pasta) at its final show on 2015 on November 14 in Troy, MO.
* Wrestling for a Cause raised nearly $1000 to the family of a child with cancer at The Fight for Matthew on November 14 in Owasso, OK.
* CWF Mid-Atlantic Wrestling and OMEGA Championship Wrestling combined for Headlock for Hunger with shows in Gibsonville, NC and Smithfield, NC that saw hundreds of non-perishables and canned food items collected to benefit the
area’s Salvation Army Food Pantries.
* Old Time Wrestling collected numerous bags of food itemsat its November 21 weekly show in Williamstown, NJ.
* Ultimate Championship Wrestling held a successful benefit show on November 27 at the Prime Event Center in Bay City, MI; originally designed to benefit Cassidy Christie, the daughter of local wrestler Pete Christie. But Cassidy passed away on Veterans Day after a long battle from cancer. Brian Christopher and Scotty Too Hotty and Sabu appeared, which became a benefit for St. Catherine of Sienna in Bay City, MI.
* NWA Vendetta Pro Wrestling returned to November 27 for Winter Wonderslam in Santa Maria, CA. A number of toys were collected for local Toys for Tots efforts at the show.
* Power Pro Wrestling returned to The Milford Delaware Boys and Girls Club, in Milford, DE on November 28 for their annual Toys For Tots show. They were able to collect dozens of toys for Delaware children.
* TRUE Wrestling presented ‘Twas the Fight Before Christmas on November 28 in Berwick, PA, benefiting local Toys For Tots efforts, and was able to collect “a really good number” of toys for Columbia County area children.
Now….this weekend is December. Here are the events coming up:
* 3XWrestling presents Holiday Havoc 6 on December 4th, and the 3XW annual Toys for Tots Drive at the El Merenderos Event Center, 900 E Army Post Road, Des Moines, IA
* Pure Wrestling Association returns to Guelph, ON on December 4 for “Spirit of the Season” at the Red Chevron in Guelph, ON. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy and PWA will give you two colour posters.
* Pure Wrestling Association returns to Guelph, ON on December 5 for “Spirit of the Season” at the Alpine Club in Kitchener, ON. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy and PWA will give you two colour posters.
* Hoosier Pro Wrestling continues giving back as they return to Columbus, IN on December 5 with Former NWA World Champion Tommy “Wildfire” Rich in action; Crazy Mary Dobson vs. Amazing Maria, Mad Man Pondo vs Cooter, the debut of Vic The Bruiser, a Heavyweight Title defense by TJ Kemp, a tag title defense by Big Country Clint Poe and Cowboy Marc Houston. Please bring a new or gently used toy.
* WAR Wrestling returns to Lima, OH on December 5 for United or Divided in a fundraiser for the Veterans Food Pantry. Front row sold out, second row $15, General admission is free will offering with 100% of the donation going to the Veterans Food Pantry.
* The originator of Toys for Toys events in the Philadelphia/South Jersey region, United Wrestling Coalition, will be doing the same on December 5 at Kelly’s Bar/Banquet Hall, 14 Railroad Avenue, Wrightstown, NJ
* 2300 (ECW) Arena presents a Toys for Tots collection at
the CHIKARA Pro Wrestling season finale at the 2300 (ECW) Arena on December 5 with a 7:30 pm belltime. Hallowicked defends his CHIKARA Grand Championship against Eddie Kingston and Icarus.
* ECWA Pro Wrestling will hold its annual Toys for Tots show on December 5 at the Woodbury Heights Community Center, Woodbury, NJ
* Right Coast Pro returns to Newark, DE, at the Life Community Church, Otts Chapel Road, on December 5 show and will hold a food collection for the “Feed the Need Ministry” in Newark, DE at their monthly show.
* Atomic Championship Wrestling returns to Stevens Fire Hall (91 Stevens Road, Stevens, PA) on December 5 with a Toys for Tots collection and canned food collection.
* Crossfire Wrestling presents Jingle Bell Brawl IV on December 5 at The Merritton Community Centre 7 Park Avenue, St. Catharines, ON, benefiting The Niagara Children’s Centre Foundation with Former TNA Superstar Cody Deaner vs Former TNA World Heavyweight Champion “Showtime” Eric Young! General Admission tickets are available. Call the hotline at 905-329-2693 or go to http:// www.crossfirewrestling.com
* Pure Wrestling Association returns to Guelph, ON on December 6 for “Spirit of the Season” at Hafa Hall in Dundas, ON. Please bring a canned food item, and PWA will give you two colour posters.
* Grumpy’s Bail Bonds Operation Christmas sponsors show in Portland, TN at the Richland Park Gym on December 11 with Ricky Morton, Bill Dundee, and TNA’s Crimson.
* Join Game Changer Wrestling in Howell, NJ on December 12. On that night we will be giving back! Not only via our Toys for Tots fundraiser, but to a pioneer of our industry, as we honor “Reckless Youth” Tom Carter for his contributions to the sport of Pro Wrestling. Not only that, but #WWE Hall of Famer George “The Animal” Steele and the lovely Terri Runnels will be in the house. For this special celebration to kick off the holiday season with Santa and his elves, get your tickets, NOW by calling the GCW Ticket line at 201-257- 8621.
* Chaotic Wrestling is joining forces once again with The United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots Program on December 12. In Lowell, MA, we will be collecting NEW, UNWRAPPED TOYS to help provide a happier holiday for families in need.
* All Star Wrestling presents Bodyslams For Toys on December 12 at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, 6050 176 St, Surrey, BC, Canada. Bring a new unwrapped toy for a boy or girls with at least a $10 value and get in FREE.
* Combat Zone Wrestling presents its annual Toys for Tots collection (in conjunction with the Marine Corps Reserve) to take place for the eleventh year in a row with Combat Zone Wrestling’s 17th annual Cage of Death on December 12 at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ. Cage of Death is part of an all day CZW event, including a Combat Zone Wrestling afternoon student show, in which admission is $5 or one new, unwrapped toy.
* GALLI Lucha Libre presents its annual GALLI Toy Drive Navidad event in Villa Park, IL on December 13.
* 2300 (ECW) Arena and Ring of Honor present a Toys for Tots collection at Ring of Honor’s Final Battle PPV on December 18 at the 2300 (ECW) Arena on December 18 with an 8:30 pm belltime.
* 2300 (ECW) Arena and Ring of Honor present a Toys for Tots collection at Ring of Honor’s TV taping on December 19 at the 2300 (ECW) Arena on December 18 with an 6:00 pm belltime.
* SCW Entertainment returns to the Coronaca Fire Department in Coronaca, PA for the 5th annual Toys for Tots event. Featured matches: Anderson Strong (c) vs. Dean Richards in a SCW Heavyweight Championship/30 Minute Iron Man Match, TJ Boss vs. Ben Wright in a Cage Match/Loser Leaves SCW/Winner is # 1 Contender to the SCW Heavyweight Title, and Kat Daddy (c) vs. Karl Hager for the SCW Internet Championship
* Wrestling for a Cause will run The Fight for Haylie on December 12 in Pryor, OK (7:00 pm belltime) . 100% of the show’s go to the family of a child with cancer.
* Brew City Wrestling will run its annual Headlock for Hunger on December 11 at the Knight of Columbus Hall in West Allis, WI. The show features a food drive for the Hunger Task Force of Greater Milwaukee. Fans are asked to bring two non-perishable food items.
* Chaotic Wrestling will do its second Toys for Tots show of the year on December 11th at the Woburn, MA at the Elks Lodge, 295 Washington St, Woburn, MA.
* Keystone Championship Wrestling will hold its yearly Toys for Tots show, tentatively scheduled for December 19.
* Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling will hold Wrestling With Hunger in at the Elks Hall #49 ,2272 Leigh Square, Port Coquitlam, BC on December 19 (8:00 pm belltime/ 7:30 doors open) to support Share Family Services Food Bank. All seats ONLY $16
* Great Canadian Wrestling presents Season’s Beatings ’15 on December 27 at Harmony Creek Community Hall, 15 Harmony Rd. N, Oshawa Ontario. This is the annual Christmas show for local food bank. Fans are asked to bring donations for Harmony Creek food bank. No matches yet announced.
Between all of these over the years, thousands of children have been able to have a Christmas or Hanukkah. Please help your local independent promotion do the same, or encourage them to schedule an event soon for the Holidays if they haven’t already. If you’re a promoter, PLEASE email me and let me know of your holiday charity themed plans (fund-raisers/collections for clothes, food pantries, Toys for Toys, etc.) at wrestling or MMA events to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON THIS DAY IN FLORIDA HISTORY MAIN EVENTS FOR 11/29 (thanks to Barry Rose)
1956 – June Byers beat Betty Hawkins to retain the NWA women’s title (Orlando)
1956 – Therese Theis (who at the time was the wife of Ray Stevens) won a tournament for the right to meet June Byers for the title (Fort Lauderdale)
1960 – Eddie Graham beat Charlie Garza (Lake Worth)
1960 – Man Mountain Managoff beat Buddy Austin via DQ (Tampa)
1962 – The Fabulous Kangaroos, Al Costello & Roy Heffernan beat Don Curtis & Joe Scarpa (Chief Jay Strongbow) (Jacksonville)
1965 – Lou Thesz retained NWA title in a 60:00 draw with Dick Steinborn (Orlando)
1966 – Sammy Steamboat & Jose Lothario beat The Infernos to win world tag team titles (Tampa)
1971 – Ole Anderson and Johnny Walker (later Mr Wrestling II) co-won Battle Royal (Orlando)
1972 – Jack Brisco beat Paul Jones to retain Florida title (Miami Beach)
1973 – Dusty Rhodes beat Pat O’Connor to retain Southern title (Jacksonville)
1976 – Superstar Billy Graham beat Dusty Rhodes to retain Florida tilte (West Palm Beach)
1977 – Mike Graham & Steve Keirn beat Ivan Koloff & Masa Saito in a cage match (Tampa)
1978 – Harley Race beat Dusty Rhodes in a lumberjack match to retain NWA world title (Miami Beach)
1979 – Dusty Rhodes beat Harley Race via DQ in a cage match for NWA world title (Jacksonville)
1980 – Dick Murdoch beat Harley Race via DQ in an NWA tilte match (St. Petersburg)
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY INTERNATIONAL (thanks to Graeme Cameron)
1930 – Al Kashey wins the NWA light heavyweight title in Tulsa. He goes to Mexico eventually as champion and it becomes the leading championship in that country and still exists today
1963 – Ray Mendoza beat Espanto I in Mexico City to win the Mexican national light heavyweight title
1973 – Strong Kobayashi beat Wahoo McDaniel in Tokyo to win the IWA tilte
1976 – Mariko Akagi beat Maki Ueda in Tokyo to win the WWWA title
1979 – Antonio Inoki beat Bob Backlund in Tokyo to win the WWF title. Even though this was a title change agreed upon by Vince McMahon Sr. as part of a business deal, the WWE’s current history pretends this never took place.
1979 – Enrique Vera beat Dr Wagner in Mexico City to win the Mexican national light heayvweight title
1994 – Rey Misterio Jr. beat Juventud Guerrera in Matamoros to win the WWA lightweight title
2000 – Yuji Nagata & Takashi Iizuka beat Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan in Tokyo to win the G-1 tag team tournament
2003 – Yuji Nagata & Hiroshi Tanahashi beat Kenta Kobashi & Tamon Honda in Sapporo to win the GHC tag tiltes
2003 – Dynamite Kansai beat Manami Toyota in Tokyo to win the AAAW title
2003 – Latin Lover & Michael Shane beat Mr. Aguila & David Young to win the AAA TV tag team tournaemnt
2007 – Averno beat Mistico in MexicoCity to win the NWA middleweight title
2012 – Takao Omori & Manabu Soya beat Joe Doering & Suwama in Tokyo to win the Real World Tag League tournaemnt