SUN. UPDATE: White on main event; Mania tickets sale update; WWE DVD top 50, UFC headliner bout
We're looking for your thoughts on Thursday night's WEC show, Friday night's Dragon Gate USA PPV show and last night's UFC 122, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for all three shows to
We're also looking for reports on today's WWE Smackdown tour finale in Istanbul, Turkey and TNA show in Gainesville, GA. We're also looking for reports on last night's Raw show in Milan, Italy, Smackdown in Mannheim, Germany, Friday night's WWE shows in Geneva, Switzerland and Cologne, Germany and Thursday's shows in Nantes, France and Nuremberg, Germany.
Monday has both the three-hour Old School Raw go-home show for Survivor Series from Hershey, PA which includes guest appearances by Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, Dusty Rhodes, Sgt. Slaughter, Mae Young, Ted DiBiase Sr., Mike Rotunda, Jim Duggan, Nikolai Volkoff, Iron Sheik, Tatanka and Gene Okerlund. TNA will be taping Impact on Monday in Orlando.
Tuesday has Smackdown & NXT (featuring an elimination) from Richmond, VA, while Impact will be taped in Orlando.
The new issue of the Wrestling Observer features the most in-depth look at every facet of the current WWE business. We not only run down the quarterly report, compare each category with last quarter and last year, but look at a lot of things behind-the-scenes and in some cases, hidden from view.
We look at the current profit margin, what financial figure is the lowest in modern company history, an updated look at the ten lowest purchased modern PPV shows, how government tax credits have greatly impacted the WWE's profitability, a look at how the Mattel deal has impacted the bottom line, updates on how shows, merchandise, PPVs, both domestic and overseas, a real interesting note about the price increase, how many buys makes PPV profitable, and how much revenue WWE itself has taken in from its recent PPV shows.
We also look at the current television deals, how much, on average, WWE spends to produce an episode of Raw or Smackdown, what few segments are up, where costs have been cut, what segment does the apparent increase in volume be misleading, how many magazines does WWE sell, and the first profit/loss look at "Legendary.
We also have a chart looking at the profitability of every aspect of the WWE business, as well as from a geographical standpoint, where the WWE revenue comes from, and a percentage breakdown showing how important each revenue stream is to profitability.
We also have a full rundown on the Turning Point PPV, including very notable poll results, problems with the show, what did and didn't click as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
Besides the issue, we will have a new back issue up tomorrow, as well as another back issue just put up a few days ago from the summer of 1993. 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 a look at Dragon Gate USA, its most recent shows, as well as the future of Internet PPV.
We also have updated news on all the major WWE injuries, who had surgery, who isn't having surgery, plus an update on Survivor Series, a look at the three-hour Raw coming up, Steve Austin addresses rumors of his being on Raw, more thoughts about WrestleMania and William Regal's future.
We also have a ton of interesting notes about who attended WrestleMania this past year, including from what age group, which is completely different than the perception. We also have an in-depth breakdown of who watches Raw, which will also go almost completely against the belief of who watches it, including a study that yielded some very bad results for WWE.
We look at the future of Mr. McMahon, future of NXT, future of regulating pro wrestling, the end of an 82 year pro wrestling tradition in a city, , notes on developmental, a new WWE signing, if Linda runs again, fallout of Linda running, Jim Ross back announcing and the background of it, and a full rundown of the current WWE tour of Europe.
We also have a biography of the longest lasting fixture in Japanese wrestling, Joe Higuchi, who in his prime was lauded as the greatest referee in the history of pro wrestling. Higuchi, who passed away on 11/8, was more than just a referee, but played an important role in four different major league promotions. We look at his legacy, how he was remembered by American wrestles, as well as his forgotten background as a pro wrestler.
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:
--Injury to a main event name landing on his head taking a huracanrana off the top
--One of the most famous fat men in wrestling is fat no more, or at least, not as fat
--Shortest main event in modern history of one of the world's most famous wrestling arenas
--Mexico ratings over the past two weeks
--Major star on the verge of leaving now looks to be staying with his group
--Promotion gets a short-term TV deal on a minor U.S. network
--Several ex-WWE stars headline a successful show in Mexico
--Another retirement announcement
--Promotion announces first ladder match in its history--title shot going to the winner
--World tag team champions from two different promotions set to meet in a few weeks on a major show
--Complete rundown of this year's G-1 Climax tag team tournament
--Start of a junior heavyweight tag team tournament
--Hall of Famer faces his protege in a few weeks
--Former pro wrestling superstar, Olympic wrestler and even Pride fighter, starts retirement tour
--One of the biggest pro wrestling stars of the past 25 years undergoes heart surgery
--Updates on Bruno Sammartino movie, including what stipulations he has for it to be made and a look back at his childhood
--Lots of former WWE stars starting overseas tour
--Changes in Hulk Hogan's life
--Changes starting in TNA and why
--Update on Jeff hardy's legal situation
--Tivo viewership and Raw, Smackdown, Impact and Ultimate Fighter
--Wrestling woman star in bikini contest
--Background of Robbie E
--UFC fires fighter after steroid test positive
--The making of the heel Josh Koscheck
--Back story of what happened in the issue with Koscheck and the male nurse, Brad Tate
--Update on UFC 121 PPV and comparisons with Lesnar vs. Carwin
--How did the Velasquez marketing work out
--All-American wrestlers who became UFC heavyweight champions
--UFC promoting Velasquez
--Update on Shogun Rua and Rashad Evans
--Lots of new UFC fights
--A look at Herschel Walker's next opponent
--A PPV fight that has been proposed
--Ken Shamrock to fight again
--Another former Olympian goes into MMA
--MMA show that included four pro wrestlers and a former boxing world champion
--K-1 gets terrible news from the ratings Gods
--K-1 Max World Grand Prix notes
--Judo gold medalist vs. former pro wrestler match
--Update on the annual New Year's Eve show
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
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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)
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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 $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.
--Dana White said Nate Marquardt choked last night, and blamed his corner for bad advice, telling him he was winning a fight that he was losing. White said that even thought the main event wasn't very exciting, that Yushin Okami will be getting a middleweight title shot at the Vitor Belfort vs Anderson Silva winner.
--Not sure why things changed but yesterday the first 11 rows were listed as sold out for Mania, but this morning it was down to only the first eight rows sold out. They priced a lot of rows at $850 which is why there are seats available, although tickets are available throughout the stadium. There will be a huge crowd and lots of tickets have been sold, but it's not like a few years ago.
--Michael Bisping vs. Jorge Rivera sprung up as a fight that is likely to take place on the 2/27 show in Sydney, Australia (2/26 U.S. air date).
--Former UFC fighter Jonathan Goulet lost to Chris Clements last night in Montreal fighting for Ringside Promotions. Clements won via second round knockout and Goulet was unable to get up for several minutes. After the fight, Goulet was talking about retiring on his twitter (thanks to Patric Laprade)
--Our weekend Observer radio show for today is already up, covering such subjects as the aftermath of the death of Eddy Guerrero (and to an extent Chris Benoit), UFC 122, Lesnar vs. Mir III, Thursday's Impact show and TNA's direction going into the next PPV, Pacquiao vs. Margarito, Old School Raw and more.
--Poll on Smackdown
46.8% of those responding didn't see the show
--Who was the best of these Hall of Famers
Eddy Guerrero 70.9%
Dynamite Kid 29.1%
--Which did you think was more petty, WWE doing a DVD listing Flair at No. 17, Hogan at No. 23 and Bruno at No. 24 on the greatest wrestlers of all-time, or Dana White not allowing fans to vote on Frank Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz and Mark Coleman vs. Maurice Smith for the top 100 fights as chosen by fans in UFC history?
--We've gotten a ton of letters on that WWE listing. It is what it is. I was told months ago it was going to be an embarrassment, and it actually was more than expected.
--AAA is doing a taping for Fox Sports Espanol tomorrow night with Dr. Wagner Jr. & Zorro vs. Jack Evans & Chessman and Cibernetico & Hernandez vs. Mesias & Electroshock as the main matches.
--IWRG from Thursday night in Naucalpan: Centurion b Nemesis, Carta Brava Jr. & Hammer b Dinamic Black & Saruman, Amarillo & Negro & Rojo b Alan Extreme & Comando Negro & Guerrero Negro, Los Oficiales b Bobby Lee Jr. & Decnis & El Hijo del Pierroth-DQ (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Jushin Liger was announced for K&S Wrestlefest on 12/11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ramada Hotel in Essington, PA. He'll be doing autographs or photo ops for $25 or both for $35.
--Slam Championship Wrestling from last night in Gloucester City, NJ: JoJo won 15 man Battle Royal, Miquele Temple b J.L. Cruz, Latin Connection b La Familia, Twiggy Ramirez b Bull Perez, King Kaluha b Mike Goldstein, Breaker Morant b JoJo (thanks to Paul Verlander)
--Empire Wrestling Federation from last night in Covina, CA: Tommy Wilson b Hector Canales, Scorpio Sky b Liger Rivera, SoCal Crazy b Johnny Star, Bo Cooper b Joshua Dunbar, Wilson b Scorpio Sky, SoCal Crazy b Bo Cooper, Wilson b SoCal Crazy to win Inland title
--New Era Wrestling from last night in Shelbyville, IN: Cousin Cooter b Skip Raddison, P.T. Hustla b Gary Cherry, Osyris won Battle Royal, T.J. Kemp b Joey Owens, Troy Van Zant & Jon Wall b Bobby Black & Hillbilly Jedd, Donny Idol over Dylan Bostic and Tyson Judge, Osyris b Damian Cole. Next show is 12/11 in Shelbyville at the Boys and Girls Club.
--NWA Southwest from last night in Sherman, TX: Chaz Taylor b Steve Anthony, Michael Faith b Michael Barry, Jasper Davis b John Saxon, Ken Carson & Joey Diamond DCOR Nobe Bryant & Jerome Daniels, Spoiler 2000 b Rod Price, Phil Shatter (Murphy in TNA) b Jaykus Plisken to keep NWA National title (thanks to Rob Moore)
--Last night in East Carondelet, IL before 121 fans: Dave Vaughn DCOR Brandon Espinosa, Ron Powers & Chris Harges b Big Texan & Waco-DQ, Danny Boy b Jason Static, Jerome Cody b Chance King, Waco b Max Archer, Ace Hawkins b Webmaster Stevie (thanks to Larry Matysik)
--Millennium Pro Wrestling from last night in Simi Valley, CA: Tournament for the title: Ryan Taylor b Mario Banks, Billy Blade b Jeremy Jaeger, Brandon Parker b Fern Owens, Kyle Haystacks b Tool, Brandon Parker b Billy Blade, Ryan Taylor b Kyle Haystacks, Ryan Taylor b Brandon Parker to win title (best match), Hellkid b Logan X, T.J. Perkins b Omar Slam Duncan, Nikki the NY Knockout b Claudia Del Solis (thanks to Dan Farren and Scott Walton). Next show is 1/30 at Yankee Doodles in Simi Valley with Tammy Sytch.
--IWF Thanksgiving Thunder takes place Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the IWF Centre in West Paterson, NJ.
--Championship International Wrestling from last night in Jackson, MI before 375 fans: Mongolian Butcher b Hoss Monahan, Nitro b Krimson, Mean Libre b Brittany Force, D-Ray 3000 b Christopher Saint, Dave Duponte & Chris Korvis & Aaron Orion b 1/2 Ton Hillbillies & Jayden Jackson, Brian Castle & J.D. Mason b Doink the Clown & Nacho Libre, Azure b Justin Mane. Next show is 12/4 in Waldron, MI (thanks to Leonard Brand)
--IWF tonight in Golden, CO at the Buffalo Rose