**The WWE Smackdown and Main Event television tapings are in San Antonio, Texas tonight featuring Alberto Del Rio’s championship fiesta celebration. The Main Event tapings will feature a non-title match between Antonio Cesaro and Randy Orton to air on Wednesday night on Ion Television.
**Review-A-Raw from last night is up on the site with Wai Ting and I recapping #RAW20 and taking your feedback at http://fightnetwork.com/news/6383881:jan-15-edition-of-review-a-raw-raw20/ as well as on iTunes by subscribing to Live Audio Wrestling.
**For all the information about our annual Review-A-Wai Royal Rumble Pool and how you can join (it is free) you can go to http://lawradio.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=feedback&action=display&thread=2359.
**Last night’s edition of Raw averaged 4,550,000 and was their highest average since the RAW 1000 episode last July that did over 6-million. The show peaked in the second hour and fell slightly in the final hour but the artificial bump from football along with added curiosity for the anniversary and The Rock being back has led to a healthy increase.
**Both Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels were in Las Vegas on Monday for the annual “Shot Show”, which is a hunting convention and prevented the possibility of them appearing on Raw. Personally I was against the idea of using Austin especially as a surprise where no doubt it would only heat up talk and expectations that he would work WrestleMania this year and by dangling him out there with no plan for that match it didn’t seem logical. For those that are unhappy because Austin should have been part of the big anniversary let us not forget that a decade ago when Raw was getting set for its 10th anniversary show and they had worked out a deal with Steve Austin to return after his 2002 walkout. Everyone was expecting him back at the anniversary but they saved him for the pay-per-view the next month in Montreal and chose the business route over the surprise pop. Surprises are fun and if that’s what you crave than you got Ric Flair as a bonus last night but I think too often people think of returns in a vacuum and you have to maximize these things to make the most sense business wise and Austin returning last night made little sense when it can mean a lot more down the road when they actually need something and he’s been gone for an even longer period so as not to trivialize his appearances.
**Eve Torres is in fact done with the WWE following last night’s write off. Torres got engaged to Rener Gracie of the famous Gracie family last summer and had given her notice quite some time ago and was sticking around to finish up the storyline with Kaitlyn and eventually drop the title. Torres has been very active in the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu school with her fiancé and attaching herself to the Women Empowered series of instructional DVD’s and classes. Torres joined the company in 2007 after winning that year’s Diva Search and was a babyface her entire run until a heel turn last year when she turned on Zack Ryder and had her best year with the company over the past year.
**New Japan wrestler and the most improved wrestler of 2012 Kazuchika Okada is stating he is not leaving the company after rumors the WWE was interested in him. Okada is stating he is under contract with NJPW through the end of 2014 and that may be a new contract extension.
**Here is the updated card for the WWE Royal Rumble on January 27th in Phoenix, Arizona:
*CM Punk Vs The Rock for the WWE Title
*Alberto Del Rio Vs Big Show for the World Title
*Daniel Bryan & Kane Vs Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes for the Tag Titles
*30-Man Royal Rumble
**TMZ is reporting that Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against the Laser Spine Institute is due to the lost earnings Hogan could have made in 2009 for a proposed match with John Cena (which was discussed in late 2008 and early 2009 for WrestleMania 25) and that based on the match and the contract with the WWE for other work it would have added up to $50-million. Now we should clarify that Hogan did not directly state this and it is only what TMZ is alleging through Hogan’s legal team. There are so many arguments that come to mind here such as the discussion of the Cena Vs Hogan match already gaining steam and then Hogan had the back surgery less than two-months before WrestleMania and it would be reasonable to assume that having the laser surgery that close to the event would have ruled out the match regardless of whether it was a successful operation or not. On top of that it will hurt Hogan’s case the fact that he worked the Australia tour in late 2009 (where he did three matches), a tag match in TNA in early 2010, a Bound for Glory match in 2011 and was still involved physically throughout his tenure in TNA after the surgery.
**The Chinlock for Chuck benefit show takes place tonight in Durham, North Carolina to help raise funds for Chuck Coates, who is battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for a second time. The show is headlined by the reunion of Jeff & Matt Hardy taking on Hurricane Helms and James Storm and full information on the show is up at http://www.chinlockforchuck.com/index.html.
**Prior to Raw going live in Houston last night they had two dark matches with Kofi Kingston defeating Michael McGillicutty and Zack Ryder over JTG.
**Bryan Alvarez of F4Wonline.com and R.D. Reynolds from Wrestlecrap have announced a new book deal with ECW Press to release an updated 10th Anniversary edition of their 2004 release “Death of WCW” including the original (and much longer) manuscript along with updated stories, interviews and chapters including one chapter dedicated to all of the excuses given out since 2001 from those inside the company and breaking down those excuses with…facts. For those that have not read their original book it one of the best wrestling books I have ever read and a constant resource I use when it comes to writing pieces or doing reviews so I definitely recommend the updated version. The book is set for release in early 2014.
**Bret Hart’s ex-wife Julie Hart will be releasing her autobiography “Hart Strings” on March 31st of this year through Tightrope Books.
**Zack Ryder has now reached 1,000,000 followers on Twitter and there is a story on WWE.com regarding the statistic.
**Martyn Nolan at Wrestlezone gives some love to my terrible puns while recapping last night’s Raw at http://www.wrestlezone.com/editorials/266649-a-british-point-of-view-20-years-strong.
**We are back with a new edition of Review-A-Wai tomorrow as Wai Ting and I chat the WWF Royal Rumble from 1991 featuring Ultimate Warrior Vs Sgt. Slaughter for the WWF Title in Miami and lots more.
**TNA has created a Facebook event page for this Thursday’s wedding between Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan and you can RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/193315627479578/.
LAW MMA UPDATE
**The UFC announced today that the top two fights at the UFC on FOX 6 card in San Jose on April 20th will be a Lightweight Title defense by Benson Henderson against Gilbert Melendez and the anticipated heavyweight bout between Daniel Cormier and Frank Mir (which was originally booked for late last year but Mir injured his knee and the entire event was scrapped). Henderson is coming off the last FOX card in December where he and Nate Diaz drew a huge amount of viewers and was Henderson’s most impressive performance since winning the title in February of last year against Frankie Edgar.
**The final Strikeforce event didn’t translate to an inflated audience on Showtime with only 310,000 viewers tuning for the final event in company history. It was their lowest number since September of 2011 on a show headlined by Josh Barnett Vs Sergei Kharitonov. Even though it was a free preview weekend the viewers are only tabulated on those that subscribe to the network and not the overall universe of viewers.
**The UFC returns to Sao Paulo, Brazil this Saturday for the UFC on FX 7 card (their first time in Sao Paulo since October 1998). For Canadian viewers the undercard will run on Sportsnet One and the main card on regular Sportsnet. Here is the card for the show Saturday night:
MAIN CARD (9pm EST)
*Michael Bisping Vs Vitor Belfort
*C.B. Dollaway Vs Daniel Sarafian
*Ben Rothwell Vs Gabriel Gonzaga
*Khabib Nurmagomedov Vs Thiago Tavares
PRELIMINARY CARD (6pm EST)
*Godofredo Castro Vs Milton Viera
*Ronny Markes Vs Andrew Craig
*Nik Lentz Vs Diego Nunes
*Lucas Martins Vs Edson Barboza
*Yuri Alcantara Vs Pedro Nobre
*Wagner Prado Vs Ildemar Alcantara
FACEBOOK PRELIM (5:35pm EST)
*Francisco Trinaldo Vs C.J. Keith
**UFC president Dana White has stated that Bisping will get the next Middleweight title shot if he defeats Belfort this weekend.
**The UFC has confirmed that Mike Goldberg will return to the booth for the UFC on FOX 6 card on January 26th in Chicago, Illinois. Goldberg was never scheduled to be on this Saturday’s FX card as Jon Anik and Kenny Florian call all of the FX and FUEL events.
**Lightweight Kurt Holobaugh coming off a decision loss to Pat Healy this past Saturday night has been picked up the UFC but he will be cutting down to 145-pounds.. Holobaugh impressed a lot of people taking the fight on relatively short notice and doing very well even in defeat against a tough grinder in Healy. This signing should give hope to a lot of fighter on the bubble in Strikeforce in terms of at least getting one fight to prove themselves in the UFC.
REVIEW-A-RAW – January 15th 2013
(John Pollock and Wai Ting review #RAW20, take your feedback and details on the Royal Rumble Pool)
THE LAW – January 14th 2013
(Dan Lovranski and Jason Agnew chat with Dave Meltzer, review TNA Genesis and discuss The Rock Vs CM Punk, Del Rio winning title and more)
REVIEW-AN-IMPACT – January 11th 2013
(John Pollock and Wai Ting review Impact with Nate Milton and are joined by TNA’s Christopher Daniels)
THE MMA REPORT – January 10th 2013
(John Pollock chats with Daniel Cormier and The History of Strikeforce)
REVIEW-A-WAI – Bigger, Stronger, Faster
(John Pollock and Wai Ting review the 2008 documentary and an interview with producer Chris Bell)