SUN UPDATE: TNA preview, Superstar talks health, Vince overseas, upcoming big events and awards
We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's TNA Final Resolution PPV as well as last night's UFC and Strikeforce shows, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with the best and worst match to
We're also looking for reports on last night's WWE house show in Jackson, TN, and today's shows in Ontario, CA (Miz, Wade Barrett, Edge, Rey Mysterio, Alberto Del Rio as headliners) and Bowling Green, KY (Juan Cena vs. Kane main event).
Tonight's Final Resolution lineup:
*Ink Inc vs. Beer Money - on paper a solid to perhaps even very good match
*Robbie E defends the X title against Jay Lethal with Cookie hung in a cage above the ring - They had a good match on the last PPV so no reason this should be different
*A.J. Styles vs. Douglas Williams for the TV title - On paper this should be a very good match
*Tara vs. Mickie James falls count anywhere - They are also coming back from the best women's PPV match in months. They seem to work well together
*Motor City Machine Guns vs. Generation Me in a Full Metal Mayhem match, which is tables, ladders, chairs and other objects legal. This could be the show stealer based on their prior matches
*RVD vs. Rhino in a first blood match
*Abyss vs. Pope in a casket match
*Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Jarrett in a submission match
*Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Morgan for the TNA title with Mr. Anderson as referee
This looks like a very good first two-thirds of the show and the last third has a shot at being good as well. The main event was so-so last time and they still have the issue where fans are going to cheer Hardy, plus it's a hard dynamic with Morgan the face and being so big.
We will have live coverage of the show starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time
Monday will be Raw live from Louisville while TNA tapes Impact in Orlando.
Tuesday has Smackdown and NXT from Dayton while TNA tapes another episode of Impact in Orlando.
We've got a special from now until Christmas for subscribers to get free issues extending their subscriptions. If you order a gift subscription for a friend who is not a subscriber of three months or more, you get one free month added to your subscription. If you order a one year gift subscription, you get two months added to your subscription. This is both for print subscribers and web site subscribers. In addition, everyone subscribing for three months or more will get the biggest issue of 2011, the annual awards double issue.
With our special feature on the history of pro wrestling on Thanksgiving, we've got a double issue of the Wrestling Observer out today on the site. We will also have a back issue from 1993 up later this week. This week's issue also has a rundown of this year's King of the Ring show, Jerry Lawler's birthday party, the death of El Hijo de Cien Caras and Kantaro Hoshino and a profile on the only pro wrestling superstar ever to leave pro wrestling, win a national legitimate wrestling championship and then be declared ineligible for the Olympics.
We've also got updated WWE and UFC PPV numbers, including just how bad Bragging Rights did, as well as updating previous figures.
Our lead story goes back to Starrcade 83 and looks at the Thanksgiving pro wrestling tradition in cities like Greensboro, Minneapolis, Dallas, Atlanta and New Orleans. We look at the origins of pro wrestling on closed-circuit television, a look back at the Thanksgiving night shows that changed the industry forever, the story behind the death of Jim Crockett Promotions, and how Vince McMahon nearly destroyed Starrcade once, and pretty much succeeded in doing so four years later.
This is a major feature looking at some of the biggest events of the 60s, 70s and 80s, as well as the story of the death of the Thanksgiving wrestling tradition. We look at the first major Thanksgiving show, the first pro wrestling event ever at the Greensboro Coliseum, the battle in the infancy of PPV and the battle plan of Vince McMahon's original national expansion.
We also look back at the most famous Thanksgiving events of all-time, the heydays of World Class and Mid South Wrestling and the final Thanksgiving major shows.
We also have a look at Jerry Lawler's week, the TLC match against The Miz, Michael Cole, what happens next, and the King of the Ring tournament.
We've got additional notes on the death of El Hijo de Cien Caras, who he was, and the updated theories on why he was killed.
We also look at the death of Kantaro Hoshino, a look back at his heyday, his most famous matches, and his career. We look at what was once the longest match in the history of Japanese wrestling, the Hoshino vs. Danny Hodge title match, and what show legendary shows was Hoshino in the semifinal of. We also look at his days since retiring as a full-time wrestler, including his run as a heel manager.
We've got more on MMA judging, what the PPV numbers of UFC 123 show about who was the top star, as well as a story behind the scenes that is costing MMA fighters significant money because of the changing nature of sponsoring fighters.
We've also got a feature on the new season of NXT, running down the six new competitors with a scouting report on each. We also look at the surprises regarding the list, as well as Kaitlyn's winning of season three.
We also have a look at the TNA tour of Abu Dhabi this past week.
We've also got more on the next WrestleMania, injury and business updates from WWE including the video game, casting for Tough Enough, more on writers being gone, the WWE TV Network, Shawn Michaels signs new endorsement deal, longest running WWE champions, best selling DVDs for this year and a second big holiday show in New York.
We also have a current and a past UFC fighter talking about going to WWE, as well as more on Jim Ross and the announcing situation
We also look back at the career of Yoshiaki Yatsu, one of the biggest stars of the 80s in Japan.
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 match by match of every UFC televised event.
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:
--A series of annual bodybuilding contests for pro wrestlers
--How to get audio and video of major show each week in Mexico minutes after it ends
--A look at both major shows in Mexico this week
--Update on All Japan's annual Real World Tag League tournament
--Update on NOAH's last major show of he year
--Kings of Wrestling in NOAH
--Senator announces she is going to restart her wrestling company that she left when she went into politics
--Update on Bobby Heenan
--The Nancy Benoit nude photos court case
--Notes on Dwayne Johnson's movie career
--Johnson talks publicly for the first time about the Peter Maivia/Billy Robinson fight
--Lots of TV appearances by wrestlers upcoming
--More wrestlers looking at doing stand-up comedy
--A look at the onetime world heavyweight wrestling champion who was one of the greatest athletes of his era
--Update on TNA television situation overseas
--TNA regular who isn't expected to be long for the company
--Update on Desmond Wolfe
--More on ticket sales in Montreal for GSP vs. Koscheck
--Randy Couture's next movies
--Nate Marquardt responds to Dana White's remarks
--Strikeforce's next attempted step
--Why there are going to be more head-to-head conflicts in 2011
--Update on Herschel Walker fighting
--Challengers for Cris Cyborg
--Update on Gilbert Melendez
--Ken Shamrock and Bob Sapp fight over the weekend
--Former UFC fighter gets extended prison time
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
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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
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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.
--Kotaro Suzuki beat Yoshinobu Kanemaru earlier today to win the GHC jr. title at Budokan Hall in Tokyo for Pro Wrestling NOAH.
--Tonight is AAA's last major event of the year, Guerra de Titanes in suburban Guadalajara with Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Zorro for their AAA heavyweight title. Also, the Psycho Circus faces Damian 666 & Halloween & X-Fly, Mesias vs. L.A. Park, Dark Espiritu & Jack Evans & Extreme Tiger & La Parka vs. Los Bizzaros and a three-way ladder match with champ Silver Kain & Ultimo Gladiador defending the tag titles against Joe Lider & Nicho and Hernandez & Illegal.
--The next Strikeforce show is 1/7 in Nashville, a Challengers show which means no major stars:
Nate Moore vs. Nate Coy
Julia Budd (being groomed for a title shot at Cris Cyborg) vs. Amanda Nunes
Yancy Medeiros (9-0) vs. John Salter (former UFC fighter)
Daniel Cormier (unbeaten former Olympian) vs. Devin Cole
Tyron Woodley vs. Tarec Saffiedine (winner becomes a welterweight contender)
--The annual Tokyo Sports wrestling awards will be released early Wednesday.
--The original format for the wrestling episode of the Bob Sagat A&E show that airs on Tuesday was to follow five independent wrestlers which would lead too the best of them appearing on a Dragon Gate show. An interesting note is that one of the people in the contest was Chimera, who is ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez in WWE. The show was taped to be a one hour show, but is now 30 minutes so it could have changed quite a bit. Christina Von Eerie, Luke Hawx, Jason Redondo, Johnny Yuma, Erik Watts and Extreme Loco were those trying out. Roddy Piper and SoCal Pro Wrestling were also featured as well as a backyard wrestling promotion were all taped for segments, but not sure what will and won't air. (thanks to Kevin Kleinrock and others)
--Poll on Smackdown
42.9% of those responding didn't see the show. This Kane-Edge feud on top is really taking the edge off what used to be the best wrestling TV show a lot of weeks.
--If there was a tournament with the best heavyweights, who do you think would win?
Cain Velasquez 43.4%
Fedor Emelianenko 24.9%
Brock Lesnar 17.6%
Alistair Overeem 6.8%
Junior Dos Santos 3.4%
Frank Mir 2.2%
Shane Carwin 1.2%
Fabricio Werdum 0.5%
--Will UFC business go up or down next year?
Stay the same 45.7%
--Results from the second night of the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup tournament in Crystal River, FL: Quarterfinals: Jon Moxley b Suger Dunkerton, Sami Callihan b Frightmare, Arik Cannon b Craig Classic, Rich Swann b Jigsaw, Semifinals: Jon Moxley b Arik Cannon, Sami Callihan & Rich Swann, Jake Manning & Christopher Gray & Chris Dickinson & Scott Reed b Brad Allen & A.R. Fox & Grizzly Redwood & Lince Dorado, Sami Callihan b Jon Moxley to win the tournament. Should set up Moxley, the FIP champion, defending against Callihan (thanks to Alan Wojcik)
--World Pro Wrestling from last night in Mount Pleasant, MI before 2,000 fans: Brittany Force b Angel Dust, Short Sleeve Sampson b Pitbull Patterson, Johnny Dollar b Noah Lott, Jerry Grey & Heinrich Volkoff b Honky Tonk Man & Doink the Clown-DQ, Rick Steiner b Road Warrior (not Animal but a guy doing the gimmick), Dan Severn b Butterbean-DQ (thanks to Leonard Brand)
--Rodney Wallace, a former UFC fighter, has signed a three-fight deal with the Maximum Fighting Championships
--Time Warner has a UFC 124 preview on its barker channel up right now promoting the GSP vs. Josh Koscheck fight along with Thiago Alves vs. John Howard and Joe Stevenson vs. Mac Danzig. (thanks to Suju Abraham)
--We're going to be back tonight talking pro wrestling, Raw this week, TNA and more on Wrestling Observer radio. If you've got any questions on pro wrestling or MMA, you can e-mail us to
and we'll get to as many as we can.
--Nemesis Fighting Global Invasion on 12/11 will be doing a taping for iPPV (which will air on 12/13) from the Dominican Republic in Punta Cana at the Barcelo Convention Center features Keith Jardine vs. Francisco France, Paul Buentello vs. Kerry Schall, Eliot Marshall vs. Chris Davis, Jeff Curran vs. Travis Marx, Marcus Hicks vs. Terry Martin and Dean Liter vs. Kyle Seals among others. Former UFC ring girl Ali Sonoma will host.
--New Era Wrestling on 12/11 in Shelbyville, IN at the Boys Club
--Real Championship Wrestling from last night in Baltimore before 300 fans: Skull b Adam Cole, Greg Excellent b Hallowicked, Shiima Xion b Steve Diaz to win cruiserweight title, Mia Yim & Jamilla Craft b Daizee Haze & Sara Del Rey, Jay Briscoe d Sabian 20:00, Osirian Portal b Devon Moore & Adam Cole to win tag titles, Mark Briscoe DDQ Nick Sage, Derek Frazier b Christian York to win singles title. Next show is 2/5 (thanks to Joe Burrows)
--Joey Styles tweeted today that if he was to announce again, it would only be for MMA. He has no desire to do pro wrestling or anything in competition to WWE. Styles has done MMA many years in the past.
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling from last night in Columbus, IN before 160 fans: Cousin Cooter b Damian Cole, Jimmy Fletcher b Brandon Styles, Loose Cannons b Pastor Pain & Gary Cherry, Donny Idol b J.D. Marioni, Ox Harley b Ricky Ruckus, High Rollers b T.J Kemp & Joey Owens. HPW returns on 1/8 for a one night tournament to crown tag team champions (thanks to Jerry Wilson)
--CZW's Cage of Death show is 12/11 at the Arena in Philadelphia with Vortekz & Danny Havoc & Devon Moore & Dysfunction vs. Masada & Brain Damage & Thurteen & Drake Younger, plus Nick Gage vs. Yuko Miyamoto of Big Japan for the CZW Ultraviolent Underground title, Jon Moxley vs. Homicide for the CZW title, Sami Callihan vs. Robert Anthony, Joker & Blk Jeez vs. Orisirian Portal, Adam Cole vs. A.R. Fox for jr. title and Akuma vs. Ruckus vs. Rich Swann vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. Alex Colon vs. Ryan McBride.
--Dale Gagne is starting back Wrestling Superstars Live and looking for talent for 2011 and as well people to help with print media, web development, social; media and marketing at
--The final WSU show of the year is Saturday night in Dunellen, NJ at the Dunellen Knights of Columbus with Alicia vs. Nikki Roxx (Roxxi in TNA), Krissy Vain vs. Niya, Angel Orsini vs. Athena and more.
--SCW from last night in Paulsbo, WA: Outpatient b Crimson Oni, Biohazard & Emperor Void b Chef & Native Assassin, Son of Buddha & Iron Buddha & Little Creepy b Hoss Tull & Daifullah the Butcher & Psy-Sho, Marion Gein won Rumble, Mike Santaigo b Marlon Gein, Butcher b Dash Venture, Squire Fear & Dale Houston b Josh Blaze & Alex Hawk, Dean da Drifta b Demarcus James (thanks to Charles Short)