SAT. UPDATE: Doc funeral, Southern star passes away; wrestling wedding & engagement; Lesnar; Foley

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        We're looking for reports on last night's TNA house show in Westbury, NY and the ROH TV tapings in Philadelphia, as well as tonight's Raw brand house show in Lincoln, NE, the Smackdown brand house show in Fargo, ND, the ROH TV tapings in Philadelphia and the TNA house show in Poughkeepsie.
        Tomorrow is WEC in Sacramento which airs live on Versus.  I'll be there so we'll have live coverage of the show, plus late tomorrow night we'll cover the weekend wrestling news as well as wrap up the show.  Raw has a show in Rochester, MN, Smackdown is in Duluth and TNA is in Danbury, CT.
        Monday night has two shows, with Raw in Minneapolis with Mike Tyson as referee, and a live UFC show on Spike from Fairfax, VA, headlined by Nate Diaz vs. Gray Maynard.
        Smackdown is Tuesday night in Green Bay, which features an eight man Battle Royal for a shot at Christian's ECW title at the Royal Rumble.

        A note that for all people who subscribe on-line to the Observer, you will get our 30th annual awards issue that comes out in late January, which is our traditional best selling issue of the year.
        We have two-part coverage of the biggest television night for U.S. pro wrestling in almost nine years, with a blow-by-blow account of what went down in front of and behind the scenes, winners and losers, how each segment did, what it means for the future and more in two issues of the Observer for next week.
        Both issues are available on the site for premium subscribers.
        We also look at the career of Steve "Dr. Death" Williams, his death, football and wrestling career, getting into pro wrestling, a little known item regarding Steve Williams and the college heavyweight ranks that is still in play today.  We look at Bill Watts' recruiting Williams, how he first got into Japan, where people rank his tag team with Terry Gordy, why he never competed in the UFC, his WWE run and his post-WWE career.
        We have the most detailed look at who was watching wrestling on Monday and what new viewers Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan brought to the table.  It's very interesting because both drew from the same age group, and it's an age group that will surprise a lot of people.  We look at how every segment on both shows did, what Impact said its battle plan is, the Hart return, an update on Jeff Hardy, Hardy's indictment, Ric Flair's contract, TNA's main program, the match of the night, how real was Bobby Lashley's quitting, what is on the next TNA & WWE PPV shows as well as the debut of Bryan Danielson.
        We also have an update on the condition of Brock Lesnar.
        We also have detailed coverage of Japan's biggest event of the year, the annual New Year's Eve show produced by K-1.  We look at the biggest night of the year for ratings in Japan, how the show fared, who was the ratings star of the night, as well as a history looking back on previous shows.
        We also look at what U.S. legendary entertainer drew about 50 million viewers on New Year's Eve in Japan for a special on his life going against K-1, as well as what famous U.S. angle was copied in Japan by a Hall of Fame wrestler and seen by nearly 25 million people on New Year's Eve.  We look at the various wrestlers in Japan who were the biggest celebrities on variety shows over the holiday weekend.
        We also look at the appeal of Masato and his place in shaping the history of kickboxing in Japan, his final fight, the debut of Satoshi Ishii, how the press covered the show, Shinya Aoki's arm breaking incident and match-by-match coverage.  
        We also look at arguably the greatest wrestler of the past 20 years and an injury that seriously threatens to end his career.
        We also have coverage of the biggest pro wrestling event of the year in Japan, the annual 1/4 show at the Tokyo Dome.  We look at the real attendance, how it compares with the past, the matches that stole the show, the general reaction, the return of Terry Funk and Abdullah the Butcher and how New Japan handled them compared with TNA.  We also have match-by-match coverage of the event.
        We also have a look at UFC 108, with business notes, a listing of all the injuries that plagued the event, the injury situation in UFC and what it says about the future, as well as match-by-match coverage and how much each fighter earned on the show.
        We also look in depth at Georges St. Pierre and a possible chase of an Olympic wrestling dream, looking at fighters who have tried to do that in the past, why St. Pierre's size is a detriment in competing at that level in wrestling, his own thoughts on the subject and what it means to his career.
        We've also got more on how Sen. Christopher Dodd dropping out of the senate race affects Linda McMahon going forward.  We also have a lot of comments on the issue of the WWE and how that has taken shape in McMahon's campaign, including many politicians give thoughts regarding regulation of the industry.
        We also look at testimony before Congress and a former NFL doctor when talking about brain damage, brings up something he thinks needs to be investigated which has a lot to do with pro wrestling.
        We also have another match hitting the 6 million viewer club in North America, as well as a look at the signing of Takanori Gomi by UFC.
        We look at claims regarding why Bret Hart was brought back, as well as an update on Shane McMahon.
       We also have a look at the ratings for all the major pro
wrestling and MMA shows on television over the past week.
    We also have our usual weekly features such as the results of the
biggest matches of the week and rundown of the major television shows.
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Also in this week's issues:
--Wrestler arrested for stabbing girlfriend
--Big holiday show
--The match billed as the battle for wrestler of the decade in one part of the world next week features a current Raw star, a current AAA champion and the man known as Mr. Ratings
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--One of the funnier Hogan stories
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--What UFC star is looking at making his name on promos coming up to build a future PPV
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--Longest reigning WWE champions of all-time
--Major sporting event head-to-head with early year WWE PPV show
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--Some notes from the funeral of Steve Williams yesterday in Lakewood, CO.  There were about 1,000 people at the ceremony, including virtually everyone from the local wrestling community.  Both Barry Switzer, his football coach at Oklahoma, and Stanley Abel, his wrestling coach, spoke at the service about his drive as an athlete.  Jim Ross spoke of Williams as being like his younger brother.  Also speaking at the service included Ted DiBiase Sr., his tag team partner in the 80s, Stan Hansen, who both teamed with him and opposed him for years in Japan, Terry Taylor (an early ring rival in Mid South), Jeremy Young and Leon White (Vader). (thanks to Diane Devine)
--Jim White, a Memphis wrestling star of the 70s, passed away on 1/7 after a long battle with cancer.  There will be a viewing tomorrow night from 6-9 p.m. at the Britton Funeral Home in his home city of Manchester, KY, and the funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday.  White, best known as Jerry Lawler's first tag team partner, as Lawler & White, managed by Sam Bass, had a big run that drew huge crowds (some of the best consistent business in the history of the territory) against Jackie Fargo & Jerry Jarrett.  I only got to meet White a few times, but White was always a nice guy and he was an Observer subscriber and regular letter writer for I would guess about 25 years.
--Marty Morgan, the coach of Brock Lesnar, said that Lesnar would fight again, but did not say when that would be.  Morgan, like Dana White, noted Lesnar has asked that his medical condition be kept private.


--Linda McMahon appears on ABC's World News Tonight later today.


--MMA fighter Hermes Franca, who once challenged Sean Sherk for the UFC lightweight title in a Sacramento match that Sherk won (and both tested positive for drugs after), announced his retirement yesterday.
--ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas said that a source he trusts saw e-mails from the Manny Pacquiao camp to the Floyd Mayweather camp
as part of negotiations, asking what the penalties would be if Pacquiao tested positive, and that would the Mayweather camp be agreeable that if Pacquiao did test positive, to suppress the results from the public "for the good of boxing."  This is a story that was actually written three weeks ago in the New York Daily News that the Pacquiao camp denied and actually listed as part if its lawsuit against Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya, Richard Schaeffer and others.  
--Jim Ross talks like he believes this is all a publicity ploy, and also about a mythical Steve Williams vs. Brock Lesnar match at
--The complete lineup for tomorrow WEC show in Sacramento is:
Jamie Varner vs. Ben Henderson for the WEC lightweight title
Urijah Faber vs. Raphael Assuncao for the No. 1 contender for the featherweight title
Mike Brown vs. Anthony Morrison
Kamal Shalorus vs. Dave Jansen
Deividas Taurosavicius vs. Mackens Semerzier
Akitoshi Tamura vs. Charlie Valencia
Clint Godfrey vs. Wagnney Fabiano
Bryan Caraway vs. Mark Hominick
George Roop vs. Eddie Wineland
Will Campuzano vs. Coty Wheeler
--TNA drew a sellout of 2,500, its best house show numbers in several months, for last night's show in Westbury, NY:  Amazing Red b Homicide to keep the X title, Taylor Wilde & Sarita b Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne, Desmond Wolfe b Daniels, Pope D'Angelo Dinero b Rhino, Beer Money b Kevin Nash & Eric Young, A.J. Styles b Kurt Angle to keep the title with Jeff Jarrett as referee.  Mick Foley was there as well as Taz
--Monday's UFC Fight Night Live will replay at midnight and again at 11 p.m. on Tuesday night
--Mick Foley wrote in his blog on the TNA web site that on 12/27, he called Ric Flair up and tried to talk him into coming to TNA.  Flair was still undecided as late as 1/2.
--Jim Cornette at last night's ROH tapings announced that for the anniversary show at the Manhattan Center they will bring back Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black and if they go 60 minutes, it will be decided on by a three judge panel.  The three judges will be Kenny King, Roderick Strong and Jim Cornette.   The third hour main event saw The Young Bucks beat the American Wolves to become the top contenders for the Briscoes tag team titles.
--The Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin fight from 11/21 will debut on Spike on Tuesday night at 8 p.m.
--We actually got a ton of e-mails on this one.  New England Championship Wrestling reported that due to technical issues caused by the cancellation of the last TV taping, the company's debut on Comcast SportsNet won't be until February.  However, the show that was supposed to air is available on-line at and in the New England area on Comcast Video on Demand in the Get Local/SportsNetwork & Shows folder.  Really a bad screw up since the company had an article teased on the front page of the Boston Herald promoting the debut.
--Dan Severn will be on the road this weekend.  He's in Atlantic City today for the 10th annual action Martial Arts Magazines Hall of Fame.  Sunday he'll be in Philadelphia for the MMA Expo.  Monday he'll be at Sea Oaks in Tuckerton, NJ as a special guest of a showing of Monday's UFC event.  Tuesday he'll be in Culpeper, VA doing a seminar at the Zamora Boxing Gym at 6:30 p.m.  He also is doing another three-day MMA camp in March for $195.  For more info you can contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   It is limited to 20 people.
--Steve Lewington (D.J. Gabriel) was released by WWE.  When he was dropped from the Alicia Fox act several months back, it was a very bad sign for him and WWE never used him again on the main roster.  
--For those into research, the New York Times has digitized their entire run of newspapers from the 1850s.  There are about 1,600 articles on pro wrestling and a few hundred on MMA at
--Dick Morris talks about the Connecticut senator election at    The article talks about Christopher Dodd's retirement.  It actually doesn't mention Linda McMahon at all when talking about the Connecticut race.  (thanks to Jeff Gagliardo)
--On PTI on Thursday when talking about the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight falling apart, both Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon blamed Mayweather Jr. and Wilbon said that Mayweather was running scared.  Amazing that the media and the public have entirely different perceptions of this. (thanks to Erin Hotovy and others)
--Will Raw with Tyson beats last week's rating with Bret Hart?
Yes 28.4%
No 36.1%
They'll be roughly the same 35.5%
--Will UFC on Monday beat the TNA rating on Spike?
Yes 38.3%
No 44.3%
Rating will be about the same 17.4%
--In reality, who do you think won the Monday night war week one?
WWE 37.9%
TNA 62.1%
--Poll on Superstars
Excellent 18.2%
Good 32.7%
Average 18.2%
Fair 10.9%
Poor 20.0%
        63.3% of those responding didn't see the show
--Which company do you think consistently puts on the best shows?
WWE 27.6%
ROH 21.8%
Dragon Gate 20.0%
TNA 18.9%
New Japan 4.7%
NOAH 2.5%
AAA 1.8%
CMLL 1.5%
All Japan 1.1%
        Mind boggling.
--What MMA company do you think consistently puts on the best shows?
UFC 59.8%
WEC 28.1%
Strikeforce 8.5%
Dream 2.0%
Bellator 0.5%
Cage Force 0.5%
Sengoku 0.5%
MFC 0.0%
--Booboo Stewart of the "Twilight" movie sagas will be doing an interview column on the TNA web site.  
--Bryan Danielson asked to go to FCW to get rid of some ring rust
--Suicide (Frank Gerdelman) and Traci Brooks (Tracy Brookshaw) were married on Thursday.  A lot of the TNA crew was there.  Christopher Daniels was the best man.  
--WWE performers Tiffany (Taryn Terrell) and Drew McIntyre (Drew Galloway) are now engaged.  They are planning a May wedding. (thanks to Bradley Grover)
--Rob Van Dam blogged about Monday night saying when he watched the two shows, he felt no more inspired about returning to wrestling then before, but he was glad a lot of people watched wrestling on Monday.
--Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Larry Zbyszko with Jonny Fairplay as ref has been added to the 1/29 ROH show in Los Angeles and the Airport Hilton
--There are wrestling shows at Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn on 1/16 and 2/27 presented by Johnny Rodz
--Dreamwave Wrestling on 2/6 in LaSalle, IL at the Knights of Columbus features a special appearance by Paul Orndorff
--Shark Fight 8 takes place on 2/5 at the Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, TX, headlined by Ryan Ford vs. Anselmo Martinez
--Nate Diaz, after Monday, wants his next match with Tyson Griffin.  He's mad at Griffin, a former training partner, helping Gray Maynard get ready for him.  Story is at
--WEC has signed a sponsorship deal with AMP Energy
--New York Wrestling Connection on 1/30 in Deer Park, NY at the Sportatorium with a five-on-five elimination main event
--Lanny Poffo, Brian Blair and Austin Idol will be singing a song on 2/20 at the Ritz-Ybor in Tampa for a fund raiser for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation before a concert headlined by the Famunda All-Stars       
--USWO from last night in Nashville before 82 fans:  Psycho Medic & Eric Hodge b Tiny Bear & Chic Canyon, Kevin Jones b Saint, Mr. USA b Bad Boy Dixon, Steven Green b Dyron Flynn-COR, Josh Crowe & Damien Payne b Rudy Switchblade & Johnny Punch-DQ, Jeff Daniels b L.T. Falk (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)  
--Rampage Pro Wrestling from last night in Warner-Robins, GA before 200 fans:  Due to icy road conditions, a lot of the crew didn't make it including Bull Buchanan and Rob Adonis, and ring announcers Ben Masers announced that refunds would be offered:  Sam Slaughter & Pit Bull b Michael Stevens & Mike Kross, Vordell Walker b Koonce, Colt Derringer & Dr. Johnny Gayton b Jeremy Vain & J.T. Talent, Caleb Konley b Kyle Matthews, Consequences Creed (TNA) b Frankie Valentine, Cru Jones NC A.J. Steele, Cru Jones & J-Rod b A.J. Steele & Murder One, Creed won Battle Royal.  They announced the next show will be this coming Friday night.  Creed is booked on both that show and the 1/22 show.  Jimmy Rave was there but unable to wrestle as he just had his tonsils out and will be out a few weeks (thanks to Larry Goodman)

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?