James Te Huna (204.5) vs. Igor Pokrajac (205)
Goran Reljic (184) vs. C.B. Dollaway (185)
Brian Foster (171.5) vs. Chris Lytle (169.5)
Krzysztof Soszynski (204.5) vs. Stephan Bonnar (204.5%)
Anthony Perosh (215.5) vs. Mirko Cro Cop (233)
Ryan Bader (204.5) vs. Keith Jardine (204.5)
George Sotiropolous (154) vs. Joe Stevenson (154)
Michael Bisping (185) vs. Wanderlei Silva (185)
Cain Velasquez (242) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (233)
We'll have live coverage on the site starting at about 8 p.m. Eastern time with the prelim fights.
We're also looking for reports on tonight's WWE house show in Springfield, IL, which is a tri-branded show headlined by John Cena & Edge & Undertaker vs. Sheamus & Randy Orton & Batista, as well as tonight's TNA house show in Massena, NY, headlined by A.J. Styles vs. The Pope and Jeff Jarrett vs. Mr. Anderson.
Tomorrow has the Elimination Chamber PPV from St. Louis, with only four matches official but likely adding a fifth match on the show.
Raw will be Monday from Indianapolis with Ty Murray and Jewel as co-hosts.
Tuesday is Smackdown tapings from Milwaukee with Mickie James vs. Michelle McCool for the women's title with Vickie Guerrero as referee.
We've got an exclusive look at major WWE plans for the future, both regarding long-term plans for television, the establishment of their own network and the type of programming they are looking at as one of the lead stories in this coming Monday's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The issue, with an in-depth look at WWE business, as well as where TNA stands right now, is our second largest issue so far this year.
The issue is available right now to web site subscribers. For
those interested in getting the Observer mailed to your home, ordering
Our lead story talks about the formation, start up plans and goals of the new WWE television network. We look at Vince McMahon's history with outside ventures, how the economics work on this, as well as the future of Smackdown.
We also have a detailed look at the current WWE business, including why most categories are down in business but profits are up company-wide, why the company is so bullish on 2010 even with a 10% decline in revenue in 2009 and one category they are already getting a turnaround in and a second where they believe a new decision that was heavily criticized is already paying off.
We look at McMahon's business projections over the next three years, his view on 2009, his view on creative, how the company has benefited from Obama's policies, and McMahon's thought and my thought on what is the real barometer as to have creative is doing.
We look at where the revenues declined, both in categories and in each part of the world, including what part of the world the trends are completely different than the rest of the world. We look at every major business category, including changes in TV, changes in PPV, changes in the philosophy in home video, merchandise as well as what percentage of total revenue each category brings to the table.
We also have a year-by-year chart of the ups and downs of WWE business.
We also have a look at the PPV business, looking back at how every show over the past two years did. We look in particular at the pluses and minuses of the new philosophy of gimmick match PPVs and whether it has or hasn't worked. We look again at the UFC influence on PPV, the elimination of the Survivor Series and McMahon's thoughts on it, and why you have to look long-term at the 2009 changes in PPV.
We also look at the price increase, which gimmicks worked, as well as a look at eight new gimmick ideas for PPV in 2010 the company is looking at, why some have no chance, and why others may have a chance and why.
We also have a look at the NXT show, with McMahon's quotes, a look at Tough Enough and Ultimate Fighter, the two shows this is somewhat based on, as well as a look at all eight newcomers that will be introduced with their backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses. We look at who were the last cuts as well.
We also look at TNA moving to Monday nights permanently, the decision to go with 9 p.m., what the initial goals are, the real vs. perceived growth of the TNA product, what Hogan has said, upcoming PPV shows, as well as early indicators of how Against All Odds did. We also have coverage of the show including match-by-match rundown with star ratings and poll results.
We have more on the life and times of Jack Brisco, including notes from his funeral last week, what Jim Ross said, Brisco's first pro wrestling match, among those who attended, Brisco's life after wrestling, as well as a more detailed look at the selling of Georgia Championship Wrestling to Vince McMahon in 1984. We look at what a big deal that was in the business at the time, the reaction to it, why Brisco made the move and Brisco's thoughts years later on all the criticism he took for it.
We also have a complete list of Brisco's main events in St. Louis against the biggest names of the 70s, as well as a listing of his championship matches in Japan.
We also have coverage of the New Japan show at Tokyo Sumo Hall, including what major tag team title match is coming up, the building of a feud from Mexico into a New Japan main event, and the latest signs of where the Japanese business stands.
We also have more on WrestleMania, a new member of the WWE Board of Directors, lots more on Linda McMahon getting grilled on CNBC and how it was covered as far as her campaign, and a history of WWE drug testing. We also look at the reaction to Jerry Springer, another WWE major star looking at taking time off, as well as WWE vs. UFC web activity and how things have turned around this year.
We have notes on Mickie James attempting to become a country singer, lots of developmental news, firing of a Diva, the best selling WWE DVDs of the year, what WWE star is in a current issue of Playboy with old shots, WWE's album sales, a milestone of Mae Young, former WWE woman wrestler announces engagement, as well as notes on the WWE's Latin American tour and its domestic house shows this 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 issue:
--Major title changes in Mexico
--How the Mistico vs. Volador Jr. feud has impacted business
--A new wrestling program being pushed at international conventions
--Updating the Mexico ratings over the last three weeks
--Lots of American newcomers coming to Mexico in the next few weeks
--Major star jumping ship in Mexico
--More on the Dragon Gate USA shows in Phoenix
--What Hall of Fame legend is headed to Dragon Gate for its Sumo Hall show
--First cage match in the history of All Japan Pro Wrestling
--First Budokan Hall event of the year
--TV network special being produced on the life of one of the biggest pro wrestling stars of all-time
--Hall of Famer and son will be forming a tag team for son's debut match, and renewing 1980s rivalry
--Update on Sandy Scott
--How the movie "Tooth Fairy" has done
--Former WWE star in lead role in a movie
--Fourth generation pro wrestler make debut this week
--Lots of new wrestling books coming out
--A look at the ROH 8th anniversary show
--Notes on ROH television
--Future of Jeff Hardy
--TNA ratings in the U.K.
--New mentality regarding women wrestlers in TNA
--RVD talks and updates on TNA
--Mick Foley talks TNA
--Update on Bobby Lashley
--Notes on TNA house shows and a look at TNA television over the next several weeks
--Update on Vitor Belfort
--New UFC experiment regarding its major shows starting the day before Mania
--Notes on UFC 109 business numbers and thoughts on UFC 110 and its full card
--UFC star in new national TV ad
--Some minor trouble regarding UFC overseas
--Lots of new fights signed and under discussion, as well as notes on newcomers that have been signed
--MMA fighter wedding garners major overseas attention
--More on the boxing Kameda brothers and ratings drawing power
--Longtime WCW promoter does first MMA show
--A look at a number of great wrestlers doing MMA events
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues can get free issues from the
last 18 years. You can get 2 free back issues by ordering 40 or more
issues and one for 24. Let us know which stories you are most interested
we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got
coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every
major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings
and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits
into those descriptions over the past 18 years, as well as our biggest
issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial
issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue. Our most requested issues in
our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous
wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a
history of in-ring double-crosses)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation
right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was
said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural
broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but
everything that was said between the two about the match that was going
to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon
steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article
and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such
great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career
ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career
and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people
who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino,
Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally,
the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth, and the rise of fall of
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say
was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the
plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the
night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined
for a joint show and what happened)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the
controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the
seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s,
Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding
world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of
Road Warrior Hawk)
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story,
Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the
company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best
and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and
Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his
background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on
Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year
with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund,
Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts
as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately,
due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details
of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in
pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle
and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the
history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a
look at their Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW,
as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and
behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at
the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings,
Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental
territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized
issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul
Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double
issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on
its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New
Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller
Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class
Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame
inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and
Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from
the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working
in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of
Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him
tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how
the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How
Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro,
Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania
planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged
McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and
why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and
Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why
there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real
reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are
calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his
influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas
including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S.
women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at
the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks
of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on
its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers
and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
*September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8
overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
*September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
*September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our
most in-depth bios)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North
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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228,
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We also have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our
latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about
the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz,
Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk,
Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry
Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods.
To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a
$60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer
articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that
is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is
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to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You
can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--Quinton Jackson signed his contract to face Rashad Evans which is believed to be 5/29 in Las Vegas.
--The next three-hour Raw will be on 4/26 from Richmond, VA.
--A clip of Batista's movie "Wrong Side of Town" at http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhd0047S2940bfV8MG RVD is also in the movie but not in the clip.
--Dana White yesterday said that UFC would be running one show per year in Australia, although the next show would probably be in Perth. Melbourne won't allow MMA so that's out of the question. He also said that even if they lose, Stephan Bonnar and Wanderlei Silva are in UFC for life. His feelings weren't the same with Mirko Cro Cop, although Cro Cop isn't likely to lose unless he's fallen off a cliff. He also said he was sure they would have Fedor Emelianenko sooner than later.
--Suicide at last night's TNA house show, and tonight's, is Frankie Kazarian. The character will be kept but Kazarian won't be doing it after this week most likely. There are a few under consideration for the role.
--Brian Fritz interviews Dixie Carter at http://www.fanhouse.com/2010/02/18/tna-president-dixie-carter-ready-to-ta ke-next-big-step/
--Today is the 21st anniversary of the Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat NWA title change in Chicago.
--A trailer for next season's Ultimate Fighter, which debuts on 3/31, is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pQbRr0XyNk&
--Poll on Impact
27.3% of those responding didn't see the show
--Poll on Superstars
61.6% of those responding didn't see the show
How many PPV buys do you expect tonight's UFC show to do?
Under 200,000 9.1%
More than 601,000 8.5%
--"The A Team" opens on 6/10 in Australia. (thanks to James Stanios)
--There is talk of a boxing show on 6/5 at Yankee Stadium headlined by Miguel Cotto vs. Yuri Foreman. Yankee Stadium used to hold big boxing and some big wrestling shows in New York in the first part of the 20th century.
--Tajiri, Billy Gunn and Bushwhacker Luke headline for CWE on 3/7 in Winnipeg at the Glenwood Community Center
--ROH announced Tyler Black & Briscoes vs. Chris Hero & American Wolves as the main event for 3/19 in Dearborn, MI. El Generico vs. Chris Hero was announced for 3/20 in Mississauaga, ONT. Kenny Omega returns on both shows, facing Roderick Strong the first night and Davey Richards the second night.
--FCW from last night in Plant City, FL before 250 fans: Aksana & Tiffany b Courtney Taylor & Liviana, A.J. Lee b Naomi Night, Heath Slater b Titus O'Neill, South Beach Boys b Michael Tarver & David Otunga, Bo Rotundo b Cliff Compton (formerly Domino), Duke Rotundo b ?, Johnny Curtis b Richie Steamboat, Joe Hennig & Ted DiBiase b The Usos (Ted replaced injured Brett DiBiase), Skip Sheffield & Justin Gabriel & Kaval b Trent Baretta & Caylen Croft & Curt Hawkins. Next show is 3/19 and everyone on the show will be from a wrestling family including the debut of Sarona Snuka (Jimmy's daughter)
--A fourth generation wrestler, Dory Funk IV, teams with his grandfather, Dory Funk Jr. and Johnny Magnum, managed by Jimmy Hart, to face Damien Steele & Shane Chung & Blain Rage. Show is tonight in Ocala, FL at the Funking Conservatory.
--Hulk Hogan and WWE are part of a Doonesbury cartoon strip at http://www.arcamax.com/doonesbury
--Bryan Travers is out with a shoulder injury from his 3/26 Showtime match with Justin Wilcox in Fresno on the Strikeforce Challengers Series show. Shamar Bailey (10-1) from Chicago will be the replacement. The main event features the return of Lavar Johnson vs. Lolohea Mahe.
--WSU's third anniversary show on 3/6 at the Ace Arena in Union, City, NJ with a Hall of Fame ceremony to honor Jazz, Molly Holly and Dawn Marie, plus Mercedes Martinez vs. Rain, Nikki Roxx vs. Angel Orsini, Jazz vs. Amber O'Neal, April Hunter vs. Traci Brooks and Angelina Love vs. Sassy Stephanie
--Jimmy Snuka will be appearing signing autographs at the 4/11 TWA show in Voorhees, NJ at the Flyers Skate Zone. Wrestling on the show will be Steve Corino vs. Tony Stetson, plus Julio Dinero, Rob Eckos, Jimmy Cicero and Ricky Reyes
--Steve Austin will be the honorary starter for Auto Club 500 on Sunday in San Bernardino.
--If anyone has any info on how to contact former Leatherface Rick Patterson, let me know.
--Great North Wrestling on 2/27 in Renfrew, Ontario at the Air Force Wing has a three-way tables match with Hannibal vs. Jeremy Prophet. Lanny Poffo will also be wrestling on the show.
--A story about the end of ECW is at http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/sports/ECW-gets-the-boot-84643412.htm l
--All-Star Wrestling from last night in Tampa: Alex Decay b Jordan O'Neil, Bobby Fanta b Maxwell Chicago, Bruce Santee & Rod Steel NC Ricky Romeo & Justin Cade, Tommy Taylor b Nick Fame, Michael O'Toole b Shane Swyft, Kaotic Romeo b Dirty White Boy, Aaron Epic d Eddie Taurus 15:00, Simon Sez b Gus Money (thanks to Alan Wojcik)
--NYWC tonight in Deer Park, NY at the NYWC Sportatorium featuring Tony Mamaluke, Chris Kanyon, Mercedes Martinez and Sumie Sakai
--Raven will headline for PWUSA on 3/18 in Hamburg, PA at the Field House. Also on the show is Shane Douglas, Backseat Boyz, Ricky Reyes and more.
--Apocalypse Wrestling Federation on 4/25 at 2 p.m. in Whitby, ONT at the Class Act Dinner Theater
--AAW from last night in Davenport, IA: Shane Hollister won Battle Royal, Knight Wagner b Dr. X, Trik Davis b Mike Sydal, Keith Walker b Matt Mayday, Brett Gakiya & C.J. Esparza over Donavan Cain & Jason Lite and The Phoenix Twins, Jordan McEntire b Jeremy Wyatt, Silas Young b Shane Hollister to keep AAW title, Tyler Black & Jimmy Jacobs b Josh Raymond & Christian Abel
--TNA ref Mike Posey ended the 45 year reign of Mike Jackson as Alabama junior heavyweight champion last night in Graysville, AL.
--Dan Severn's Price of Glory Wrestling at Severn's Michigan Sports Complex in Coldwater, MI tonight
--IHWE on 3/20 in Fort Worth at the Wolfpac Gym