MON. UPDATE: Tonight's TV, UFC TV Network, EA MMA sales, New McMahon poll, SummerSlam 2011, Foley
We're looking for your thoughts on both last night's WWE Bragging Rights and Saturday night's UFC 121, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're looking for reports from Raw tonight in Green Bay and Impact tapings tonight in Orlando. For Raw, we're looking for anything not on the show including Superstars matches, dark matches, attendance or other notes live. Raw has Toby Keith as guest host and at least last night the show was going to feature the first title defense of John Cena & David Otunga as tag champs. The only official match is Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan. Impact has Jeff Jarrett vs. Mr. Anderson in a chain match and The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Generation Me vs. Ink Inc. for the tag titles.
Tomorrow will be the Smackdown/NXT tapings in Milwaukee and the TNA go-home show for Turning Point will be taped in Orlando.
We're also looking for reports from the TNA Friday night house show in Cadillac, MI.
ROH tonight on HDNet
Super Smash Brothers vs. House of Truth
Grizzly Redwood & Andy Ridge vs. Necro Butcher & Erick Stevens
Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Mark & Jay Briscoe for the tag titles
UFC will be airing a tape of an old Fight Night on Spike headlined by Josh Neer vs. Nate Diaz starting at 7 p.m.
Today's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter includes a story on the history of and the attempted revival of the WWE Tough Enough project, including what happened to former winners and personalities on the show, as well as thoughts on how to tweak the show, and a number of names who WWE first spotted on Tough Enough that either didn't win or even make the show. We also look at time slot issues and ratings demands.
We also look at Stand Up for WWE, the latest in the flying salvos in the Linda McMahon senate race, how much the McMahons have spent so far on the race, the miscalculation that was made when entering the race and the company's claims of six major media inaccuracies, which we break down. We look at what is and isn't accurate in history, the Hartford Courant from page story on drug usage and wrestler deaths. We have more on the death of Lance Cade, and a one-day near about-face in the campaign.
We also have more on Batista and Strikeforce, with an update on negotiations, where they stand, and what he wants out of the deal. We also look at another former WWF pro wrestler who started in MMA at the same age, 42, ad how he did, as well as a former NFL star who started in MMA at the same age as Batista.
The issue is available on the site right now with a web site membership. Another issue, from August 1993, will be up tomorrow. You can also get the Observer delivered by mail, with details below. For those who are web site subscribers, not only do we have issues once and in big news weeks, twice every week, but also release one back issue from 1993 each week.
We also have notes on a major motion picture that is being talked about regarding one of wrestling's all-time legends with a major producer involved.
We also look at Matt Hardy's release from WWE, how it happened, why it took so long, and what program is already being talked about for him.
We also look at a new law passed that could have a major effect on WWE's doing business in that state.
We look at timetable currently when it comes to the Cena/Nexus angle, new role for Daniel Bryan, Bret Hart talks about WrestleMania and TNA, WWE reaction to J-Woww, release of Knucklehead and those in WWE talk about creating a new television show and what current show it is based on.
We also look at the Slammmy Awards for 2010, lots of new WWE signings, a show that has WWE, TNA and ROH talent all on the same event, plus updates on the WWE business from every arena the past two weeks and highlights of the live events.
We have a look at UFC 120, including all the business notes on the show, where it stood locally when it came to business records, as well as a look at the TV numbers, which matches gained and lost viewers, the ESPN decision to run the results, the judging and match-by-match coverage.
We also look at Lesnar vs. Velasquez, looking at each man's strengths and weaknesses, gambling odds, late notes on both men, pros picks and fan reaction to gambling odds.
We also have a complete listing of the members of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame updated with the 2010 inductees.
We also have an in-depth look at the ratings of all the national shows this past week, including how every segment on Raw and Impact did, as well as a look at what audience was retained and changed in the Smackdown move to Syfy.
We also have our usual weekly features with results of the major arena shows from around the world, and the major TV show rundowns and reviews.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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Also in this week's issue:
--Major wrestling show draws terrible crowd and thoughts as to why and what it means
--Top wrestler gets honored for the fourth straight year
--Former TNA stars debuts with AAA this week
--Things not looking good for a U.S. promotion
--A look at the NOAH jr. tag team tournament thus far
--New Japan vs. Pancrase match billed
--A look at the New Japan jr. tag team tournament
--One of 90s major groups coming back together for a Christmas show before member retires
--The night of 49,205 thumb tacks
--Lots of video game news
--A look at attendance this season in other sports
--Former WWE star shuts down business
--Longtime indie star and early UFC competitor forced to retire over health issues
--Former wrestling announcer makes news with an incident this past weekend at a football game
--Son of a 90s wrestling great gets good opportunity in another sport
--Notes on ROH Survival of the Fittest
--Notes on ROH weekend events
--Lots of thoughts on the big TNA week
--Interest level of TNA right now compared to other big points
--A look at where TNA's main angle came from
--Updates on Kurt Angle, Sting and Kevin Nash in TNA
--Looking at TNA's long and short-term issues
--Reactions to Bruce Prichard's debut in TNA
--A look at new TNA singing from WWE
--Noes on TNA merchandise
--Did Bound for Glory help TNA arena business
--A look at all the TNA weekend events
--Plans for the biggest UFC event ever in 2011 and who would likely headline
--Update on UFC video game license
--First look at New Year's UFC show and looking at its chances on PPV
--International markets UFC is looking at
--Looking at other markets
--Dana White outside the cage
--Interpromotional matches directly talked about as a possibility this past week
--How ticket sales are for all the upcoming UFC events
--Another UFC star talks about what he believes the percentage of performance enhancing drug users is in the sport
--Lots of new UFC and WEC matches
--Bellator readies its biggest show
--Ken Shamrock's return to MMA
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 in and 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
*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
America or $5 overseas.
For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50
for 4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
. For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 for
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
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 $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--Crazy morning. I was doing one interview after another today, mostly regarding the Undertaker-Lesnar thing. Because of Lesnar's UFC contract, it's highly unlikely any WrestleMania match could take place. Dana White said he wouldn't allow it.
--Undertaker has a shoulder issue that may require surgery. If it does, he'd be out for four months. That's why he lost the Buried Alive match last night. The feeling if he does get the surgery now is to get it taken care of as soon as possible so he'd be ready for Mania.
--White did an interview with Broadcasting & Cable where he hinted at a network TV deal as well as launching a UFC TV network, similar to Vince McMahon's idea of a WWE TV network.
--The EA Sports MMA game got off to very slow sales. Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz called the game "more or less DOA at retail."
--The new Rasmussen poll came out showing Richard Blumenthal leading Linda McMahon 56-43%
--The Hartford Courant endorsed Richard Blumenthal for Senate, as did the New Haven Day and the Norwich Bulletin. The Courant editorial board story was not negative toward Linda McMahon, but the Day was very negative, saying they can't understand why the Republicans pushed McMahon over Rob Simmons. The Norwich story was also not favorable to McMahon at all. The Republican American announced their support of McMahon.
--Another bad sign for Bragging Rights. Last night's Sunday night game with the Vikings vs. Packers was the third highest rated game in modern history, and largest for October since 1998. The show on the overnights did a 16.0 rating and 25 share. It did a 53.1 rating in Milwaukee and a 51.5 rating in Minneapolis.
--Friday night's Strikeforce show will be replayed tomorrow night on Sho 2 at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.
--We'll be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio covering both the WWE Raw and tonight's TNA tapings. If you've got questions for the show you can send to
--Raw after the Royal Rumble will be in Providence, RI on 1/31
--Dragon Gate USA is offering a chance to win a pair of tickets to Saturday night's Freedom Fight PPV taping in Rahway, NJ at the Rec Center. You can send to
. Only one entry per person and if you entered last week you aren't eligible this week. The show is headlined by Masato Yoshino vs. Yamato, BxB Hulk & Homicide vs. Jon Moxley & Akira Tozawa, Cima vs. Shingo and Akebono vs. Brodie Lee.
--Poll on Impact from Thursday
38.3% of those responding didn't see the show
--Who do you think won this fight?
Jake Shields 44.8%
Martin Kampmann 44.2%
A draw 11.0%
--Who should get the winner of GSP vs. Koscheck
Jon Fitch 38.1%
Carlos Condit 36.8%
Jake Shields 25.1%
--Best TV show of the past week
UFC Prime Time: Lesnar vs. Velasquez 17.8%
Ultimate Fighter 11.9%
UFC prelims 7.8%
Countdown to UFC 121 1.9%
Strikeforce Challengers Series 0.7%
--Poll on Smackdown
41.8% of those responding didn't see the show
--The idea of SummerSlam as an annual event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles has changed after two years. WWE is now listing SummerSlam for next year on August 14, 2011 in Madison Square Garden.
--The Bobby Heenan DVD is scheduled for a 12/28 release.
--Taylor Wilde of TNA just got engaged to boyfriend Oliver Mitchell
--On Spike this week, They are doing a Wednesday UFC marathon with old episodes of TUF from seasons nine and 11 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Unleashed from 7-10 p.m. leading into the new episode of Ultimate Fighter.
--The United Airlines In Transit magazine had a piece on Ross Forman, the former TNA publicity head, talking about him running in his fifth marathon in San Diego.
--Honky Tonk Man stands up for WWE at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHqWjfJurgY
He talks about standing up against all the lies that the bad people are saying, although he doesn't specify what any of them are.
--Cain Velasquez was on TMZ live earlier today. He was also on Piolin's show this morning. Piolin is the No. 1 Spanish DJ in the country. Velasquez ended up as the replacement for President Obama, who had to cancel. They tried to do a comedy sketch with a fake Brock Lesnar calling in. They mostly spoke in English, although Velasquez answered most questions in Spanish. Velasquez's got some coverage in Australia where UFC is trying to push him as almost like a local star because his first ever main event was in Sydney, and he proposed to his girlfriend in Australia.
--Michael Bisping, under consideration to coach the first Ultimate Fighter season of 2011, is on the Ch. 4 soap "Hollyoaks" in the U.K. doing an MMA fighter storyline. (thanks to Scott Wright)
--Florida Championship Wrestling on 10/29 in Gainesville, FL at the Alachua County Fairgrounds has a Halloween show that will feature an autograph session with Sheamus. Two former University of Florida graduates are on the show, Titos O'Neal and Byron Saxton. The main event will be a ladders and chairs match, plus a 25 man Battle Royal and Mason Ryan vs. Lucky Cannon for the FCW title.
--DDP and Dennis Rodman were both on Howard Stern this morning. DDP came with Chuck Zito to promote TV pilots. DDP promoted his web site and workout videos. When asked about groupies on the road, DDP said he was married when he was wrestling, but he wasn't the most faithful husband. When asked about Linda McMahon, DDP just said he only worked for Vince a short period of time at the end of his career and stayed away from politics. (thanks to Jeff Cohen)
--Spike on Tuesday night on 1,000 Ways to Die is airing a segment on Backyard wrestling and guys hitting each other with light tubes. (thanks to Grant Zwarych)
--Brett Williams at
is looking to get in touch former wrestler Larry "Hacksaw" Higgins, as well as people who may have results from Troy, NY in the 40s and 50s. He had a lot of the results but his hard drive crashed and he lost them all.
--CZW has added a Fans Bring the Weapons match with Danny Havoc & Scotty Vortekz & Devon Moore vs. Brain Damage & Masada & Thursteen to the 11/13 Night of Infamy show in Philadelphia at the Arena.
--Real Championship Wrestling on 11/6 in Baltimore at DuBurns Arena headlined by Christian York vs. Ruckus and Briscoes vs. Osirian Portal.
--NWA Dawg Pound runs an over-21 show at 1 p.m. on 11/6 in Vineland, NJ at Kashmir's Gentleman's Club
--WSU on 11/6 in Union City, NJ at the Ace Arena with Mercedes Martinez vs. Jazz and Angel Orsini vs. Alicia as well as Serena vs. Traci Brooks and ODB vs. Portia Perez.
--Jerry Lawler headlines an 11/11 show in Monroe City, IN at the Blue Jeans Community Center, which also includes Chase Stevens, Chris Michaels, Jason Briley, Tony Kozina and more.
--I Believe in Wrestling on 10/30 in Orlando at the Downtown Rec Center with 2 Fast 2 Furious vs. QT Marshall & Mike Reed, plus Cookie from TNA will manage Mister Saint Laurent on the show.
--West Coast Wrestling Company from last night in Widomar, CA: Mercurcio Jr. DCOR Vintage Dragon, Ruben Igleasis over Kid Vegas, Chuy Martinez and Johnny Saovi, Kyle Haystacks b James Morgan, Jameson Stafford over LTP and Jacob Diez, Devin Sparks b Brandon Gatson, Davey Richards b Ric Ellis to win the West Coast title. Ellis will be out of action six to eight months due to a knee injury. Next show is 11/20 at Camp Pendleton, CA for the Marines. (thanks to Adam Ginsberg)