We want to wish everyone reading and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season. And let’s do that with The 2015 Bryan and Vinny Christmas Show!
Thanks to everyone for the nice words on the Lizmark story in the new issue and also want to thank Steve Sims for his help with the story.
Smackdown will be replayed tonight on Syfy in the usual 8 p.m. time slot even though it aired live on the USA Network. The lineup has:
Kofi Kingston & Big E vs. Lucha Dragons for tag titles
Dudleys & Kane & Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper & Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman
Usos vs. Alberto Del Rio & Rusev
Neville & Titus O’Neil vs. The Ascension – This match has some of the heaviest stakes in wrestling history as if The Ascension wins, Christmas is canceled.
Charlotte vs. Brie Bella non-title
Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler for the IC title – This match was very good.
Figure Four Weekly
Figure Four Weekly (12/21/15): Hulk Hogan and Nelson Frazier Lawsuit Updates
Transcript gives new insight into the FBI/Gawker dispute, plus WWE gives us a peek at what their termination notices look like in the Nelson Frazier wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
A look at the Slammy Awards, business of the show, who watched the show, suggestions made for improving the awards show idea, some history of where it came from and what happened at the show including injury updates.
We also have a story about both the California commission, doctors, and reps from the Association of Boxing Commissions talking about the problem of weight cutting in MMA as well as all the medical issues involved, win/loss records of bigger vs. small fighters, belief of how many fighters go into fights dehydrated, the dangers of fighting dehydrated, new weight class suggestions, the good and the bad of adding weight classes, the discussion of splitting up the heavyweight division and the ONE organization becomes the first promotion to take drastic steps in this subject with a look at their new regulations.
We also look at the life, career and significance of Lizmark, one of the biggest stars in the history of Lucha Libre, who passed away this past week. We have his background, how he got into wrestling, his life before wrestling, why he first wore a mask, how he got the name Lizmark, his long run as a constant singles champion or top contender, his induction into the Hall of Fame, his run in the glory days of AAA, Lizmark Jr. and why he fell out of favor in WCW due to loyalty to his father, his biggest rivals, the wrestlers who emulated him and his title history.
We look at what is next for NXT, the upcoming tour dates, reaction to Roman Reigns internally, Notes on the video game, Mauro Ranallo updates, WWE injury updates, John Cena and Dwayne Johnson news, lots of WWE U.K. date business notes, Japan TV update, Two new wrestlers making main roster debut for one tour in January and why. We also have notes from all the weekend house shows.
PLUS MUCH MORE! CLICK HERE FOR A FULL WRESTLING OBSERVER PREVIEW
The Latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter: December 28, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: WWE Slammy Awards, MMA Weight cutting
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Check out the latest Online Wrestling Observer BACK ISSUE: November 9, 1998 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Jesse Ventura wins Minnesota Governor election, WCW trailing WWF, more
Jesse Ventura becomes the Governor of Minnesota, WCW begins trailing WWF, ECW November to Remember recap, plus tons of news.
TODAY’S DAILY UPDATE
The UFC announced that they were informed by USADA of a potential test failure involving Gleison Tibau from a test taken on 11/7 in Sao Paulo, Brazil on the day of his fight with Abel Trujillo. This was the second time USADA has informed the UFC of a potential test failure involving Tibau. USADA will be in charge of discipline in this case and has yet to make a final ruling. It will be interesting to see if this second positive means a longer than two year suspension and if the two suspensions will be added to each other or served concurrently.
Pro Wrestling NOAH, coming off their big show yesterday in Tokyo, announced that Yoshinobu Kanemaru returns to the promotion on its 1/9 show at Korakuen Hall. They also announced a major show on 1/31 at the Yokohama Bunka Gym with the Naomichi Marufuji vs. Takashi Sugiura grudge match that was set up in yesterday’s angle where Sugiura turned on NOAH and joined Suzuki-gun. I was told yesterday’s Minoru Suzuki vs. Marufuji match was a clear level above their previous matches and it was said to be Marufuji’s best match in years.
PWInsider reported that Lucha Underground may be doing a show in the Dallas area during WrestleMania week. Some of the talent has been contacted that they may be needed that week and thus to not book themselves.
Click Here: Geelong Cats Guernsey
A story on the movie Concussions
Movie notes we’ve been told: The movie also has some pacing issues- it clocks in at just over 2 hours, and yet jumps between the deaths of Mike Webster (2002), Justin Strzelczyk (2004) and Andre Waters (2006) in short order. I’d probably give it 3 stars out of 4, definitely worth a watch and an engrossing dramatic depiction of a story that you both know well.
Chris Nowinski does not get mentioned in the movie. The film portrays Will Smith’s character (Dr. Bennet Omalu) as the person who asks for and receives Andre Water’s family’s consent to have his brain tissue examined post-mortem, instead of Chris. The Sports Legacy Institute is not mentioned at all in the film or the post-script.
Dr. Joseph Maroon, played by Arliss Howard, does not come off well at all. Smith/Omalu notices a correlation between the deceased players and documentation noting Maroon as a medical provider. Baldwin’s character (former Steelers’ Doctor Julian Bailes) arranges a meet between he, Omalu and Maroon to discuss the evidence of CTE (in what I believe is Maroon’s only in-person scene in the movie). Maroon rebuffs Omalu’s attempts at sharing the information, leading to the scene from the trailers where Omalu tearfully implores someone to “tell the truth.” In the movie, it is Maroon that he is speaking to. Maroon doesn’t come off the worst in the film (that probably falls to Roger Goodell), but he is clearly represented as acting as a barrier on behalf of the NFL.
It’s worth going out of your way to see the four-way tag match on NXT this week.
There will be ratings delays over the next couple of weeks because of the holidays. Raw ratings next week will hopefully be up on Wednesday. TNA ratings for Tuesday are expected up on Thursday. It will probably be the same next week and then get back to normal the week after.
The stock continued a big pre-Christmas week, up 25 cents per share today to close at $18.77.
The WWE Network airs a Swerved marathon that started at 4 p.m. today. They will also be airing a Table for 3 marathon tomorrow.
A story on pro wrestlers working on their Improv skills at clubs in Southern California, including Dolph Ziggler.
TNA is uploading 12 weeks worth of Impact, the entire world title tournament, with a new episode uploaded daily at 9 a.m. Eastern at ImpactWrestling.com starting tomorrow morning. This will run until 1/4, the day before the tournament concludes on Pop TV from Bethlehem, PA.
Miesha Tate predicts Holly Holm will destroy Ronda Rousey in the rematch in a New York Post story
Some upcoming UFC television notes
Ultimate Insider airs on Sunday at 4 p.m. Eastern on FS 1 with Megan Olivi. There will be stories with Robbie Lawler preparing for his title defense against Carlos Condit, Roy Nelson’s reactions watching the Travis Browne vs. Andrei Arlovski match of the year candidate and Joe Rogan talks about upcoming fights in 2016.
The Countdown too UFC 195 airs Sunday at 4:30 p.m on FS 1, covering Lawler vs. Condit and Andrei Arlovski vs. Stipe Miocic.
A Fights of the Year special will be on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on FS 1
UFC 189, one of the biggest shows of the year, with Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes and Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald, will air on New Year’s Eve at 8 p.m. on FS 1
Karyn Bryant, Daniel Cormier, Kenny Florian, Tyron Woodley and Ariel Helwani will be the crew for FS 1 covering UFC 195, which takes place a week from Saturday on PPV.
UFC has signed a new TV deal in the Philippines with on the Hyper Channel starting in November.
Emanuel Yarbrough, who passed away on Monday, when he was only 400 or so pounds, takes on Tom Erikson, who also had a long career in MMA after being one of the top wrestlers in the world, this took place at the National JC finals
The World Series of Fighting has a Greatest Hits show on Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern hosted by Chael Sonnen, Bas Rutten and Todd Harris. They will announce the company’s Fight of the Year from a fan vote, Finish of the Year and Upset of the Year. You can vote for Fighter of the Year.
AP ran a story about Campbell McLaren’s Combate Americas promotion
Colleen Schneider vs. Raquel Pa’apaluhi has been added to the next Invicta show on 1/16 in Costa Mesa, CA. This is another Fight Pass show.
Shawn Michaels has been added to the Pro Wrestling Icons and Comic Book Collectors fanfest on 4/16 in conjunction with Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore show at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Michaels will be there that day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with $100 getting you one photo and one autograph. Photos and autographs separately are $60. VIP tickets are $300 that get you in front of the line and four autographs. More info
Matt Farmer has an independent wrestling history story
A story on a 19-year-old boxer who passed away due to injuries in Michigan this past week
TCW has announced a $4.99 per month subscription service.
Smash vs. CZW on 1/16 in Toronto at the Franklin Horner Community Center. Among the matches are Johnny Gargano vs. Sami Callihan, Drew Gulak vs. Tarik, Pepper Parks & BLK Jeez & Mike Rollins vs. Brent Banks & Super Smash Brothers, D.J. Hyde vs. Scotty O’Shea and Jonathan Gresham vs. Tyson Dux.
Infinity Pro Wrestling on 1/30 in Bloomington, IN at the National Guard Armory.
Magen Boys Entertainment on 1/27 in Vaughan, ONT at The Avenue Banquet Hall featuring Nikolai Volkoff.
Barrie Wrestling on 1/30 at Ferris Lane Community Church in Barrie, ONT.
IHWE on 1/30 in Crowley, TX with Charlie Haas & Ray Rowe, managed by Black Bart, vs. Jax Dane & Rodney Mack, plus Blue Pants Leva Bates. They also have a 3/31 show in Fort Worth hosted by Jim Cornette.
Caristico & La Mascara vs Cibernetico & Sharly Rockstar headline Arena Neza on Christmas day. There are a ton of shows on Friday in the Mexico City area including an iPPV from Arena Mexico with 12 masked men in a cage and last man left in the cage loses his mask with Blue Panther Jr., Esfinge, Fuego, The Panther, Pegasso, Triton, Cancerbero, Puma King, Sangre Azteca, Super Comando and Tiger.
The Tijuana Christmas show at Auditorio Municipal has Dr. Wagner Jr. & El Hijo del Rey Misterio & Super Muneco vs. Damian 666 & Pakal & Rey Misterio II, plus Extreme Tiger (Tigre Uno in TNA) & Rey Hours (Lucha Underground) vs. Bestia 666 & X-Fly. (thanks to Kris Zellner)
Papadon was announced as the third man in the ECWA Super 8 tournament this year along with Davey Richards and Jason Kincaid for the show on 4/13 in Woodbury Heights, NJ.
Matt Tremont has opened “Bulldozer’s Collectibles, ” a pro wrestling and sports memorabilia store inside Mike’s Custom Airbrush at the Berlin Farmers Market at 41 Clementon Rd., in Berlin, NJ off entrance B-10. It will be open Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more info you can call 609-289-7198.
My good friend, longtime reader and sometime guest Jeff Bukantz (likely the only person ringside for Bruno Sammartino vs. Ivan Koloff, Pedro Morales vs. Ivan Koloff and Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia title matches) will be doing the color for the Boston Grand Prix fencing championships on NBC Sports on 1/3 at 5 p.m. Eastern. Whenever he does commentary, he almost always sneaks some interesting wrestling references.
ECCW on 1/16 in Vancouver, BC at the Commodore Ballroom with a show where you have to be 19 or older to attend with a cage match main event. They also run 1/2 at the Russian Community Centre in Vancouver.
All Star Wrestling on 1/29 in Surrey, BC at the Alice McKay Building at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds with Azeem the Dream & Christopher Ryseck vs. Jinder Mahal & Gama Singh Jr.
Here is today’s FULL Daily Pro Wrestling History including International history: Daily pro wrestling history (12/24): Rock & Roll Express win SMW Tag Team Titles