We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw did the past two weeks. We look at the highest rated Raw in more than a year including what segments did well, what segments did not do well and what the ratings said overall about the show. We look at the audience that came to see Steve Austin and departed when he was gone. We also look at how each segment did as TNA peaked for this week.
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.
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Also in this week's issues:
--Update on Chris Jericho's book
--The latest on the health of people like Sir Oliver Humperdink, Superstar Billy Graham and Paul Orndorff
--The situation with Shad Gaspard at the Arnold Fitness Expo and his arrest, as well as witnesses talk
--Former WCW and WWE star sentenced in a public drunkenness case
--Former 90s headliner hospitalized from in ring accident
--A look at TNA's moving Impact to an arena setting, the first show, plans for the future and more
--A look at how the different celebrities at the TNA tapings were viewed
--The politics involved in getting a Bellator fighter on a TNA show
--Bret Hart talks Vince Russo, Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan and Earl Hebner
--Lineup for TNA's next two PPV shows
--Hulk Hogan in the movies
--Eric Bischoff talks the future of PPV
--Will Hulk Hogan wrestle?
--Hogan vs. Bret Hart feud
--Bischoff talks Bret Hart
--A look at the weekend TNA house shows
--UFC considers a change in PPV and why
--Georges St. Pierre talks facing Anderson Silva and moving up in weight
--How budget cutbacks in commissions have changed a major part of UFC
--UFC roster situation
--Ref talks about Bisping vs. Rivera knee controversy, as do UFC officials
--Dana White talks about a potential Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans match
--Funny White story and how it resembles a Vince McMahon story on Letterman
--Notes on the fall season of Ultimate Fighter
--New UFC heavyweight signee
--New UFC fights
--How loss of Mistico has affected CMLL
--Bookers talk about the future of the Mistico character
--The wrestler being talked about most of late to be the new Mistico
--A look at the death of Felipe Ham Lee
--Legends match in Mexico
--CMLL officials talk about Dorian Roldan's offer to work together with AAA
--Carlito goes to AAA
--Plans for post Rey de Reyes in AAA
--What the ratings have shown in Mexico and what steps AAA is taking to try and bring them back
--Next Dragon Gate USA PPV taping and card
--A look at All Japan's first major show of the year
--Former WWE star to challenge for GHC title
--Former shoot fighter faces GHC champion
--New Japan's 39th anniversary show and beginning of the Japan Cup tournament
--New Japan signs young star
--Retired wrestler to come out of retirement to reprise 80s feud against biggest rival in May
--Lou Thesz Hall of Fame inductees for 2011
--Whatever happened to Madusa
--A look back at the late Pez Whatley
--Update on Brooke Hogan
--Former pro wrestling promoter named to major sorts Hall of Fame and a look back at his promotion
--Update on Lilian Garcia
--New ROH matches
--Upcoming Strikeforce events
--Another promotion gets its shows on television
--Update on Jens Pulver
--Former highly ranked middleweight sued
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)
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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.
--Dana White confirmed the new UFC starting time with PPVs at 9 p.m. Eastern and 6 p.m. Pacific, kicking in at UFC 129 on 4/30 in Toronto, will be a permanent time change.
--Although there are reports that WrestleMania is sold out, checking Ticketmaster today there were still tickets available. There are not a lot of tickets left, but a few minutes ago I was still able to get six ringside seats together in the 10th row but cheaper tickets are gone.
--Rock will appear live on the 4/4 Raw show in Atlanta, the day after Mania.
--Very sad to report that Jillian Hall went into labor yesterday at 14 weeks and lost her baby. Our deepest sympathies to her and her family.
--The Score in Canada made the official announcement of what we reported earlier in the week, that they have signed a new multi-year (said to be four year) deal with WWE.
--Kurt Angle did an interview with The Sun in the U.K. and said he would never go back to WWE. His contract expires at the end of August but said the only question is how heavy a commitment he's willing to make in terms of schedule with TNA, not if he's staying or leaving. Story is at http://www.thesun.co.uk
Of course understanding how Vince McMahon's mind works, the smartest thing he could say if he wanted to go back, and I'm not insinuating he thought this out or that's why he said it, is saying he would never go back. He said when it came to his marriage breaking up that it ended up the best for everyone and she found Jeff and he found someone else.
--A note that we did a show yesterday with Road Warrior Animal, Joe Laurinaitis on the site that was really good. Worth going out of your way to listen to how the Road Warriors got started, the glory days in Crockett Promotions, the match in Minneapolis with the Fabulous Ones where they refused to put them over for the title, and controversy before the match with Hulk Hogan & Genichiro Tenryu at the Tokyo Dome, and a ton about Road Warrior Hawk, and how they both almost quit wrestling within a few weeks of their debut.
--John Morrison claimed that he and girlfriend Melina are now banned from Skybar in Los Angeles. Somehow I don't think this is something they should be bragging about, noting they are both partying too heavily. WWE really needs to teach its wrestlers a class in common sense and twitter, because it's annoying once a month to see outright lack of common sense manifest itself by watching people do useless jobs on television just as they are starting to get momentum. Don't be that guy. Or that girl.
--UFC 130 tickets go on sale on 3/19 at 10 a.m. to the public priced from $800 down to $75. The Fight Club pre sale will be on 3/17 and the newsletter pre sale will be on 3/18. This is the 5/28 show which is in conjunction with this web site's annual UFC convention. The PPV fights are Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard for the lightweight title, Quinton Jackson vs. Matt Hamill, Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson, Stefan Struve vs. Travis Browne and Brian Stann vs. Jorge Santiago.
--The Hollywood Reporter ran a story about a new WWE movie called "Barricade" starring Erin McCormack. The story noted it was the first movie WWE will be producing without a wrestler in a featured role. McCormack plays a father who is trapped in a cabin during a blizzard and then starts losing his mind. They begin shooting next month in Vancouver, nor New Orleans, which is interesting.
--Regarding whether the current increase in WWE interest is short-term or long-term
Yes, it's a turnaround 5.8%
The gains are only due to bringing back older wrestlers who won't be regulars 40.4%
The gains are purely due to Rock and won't last 53.8%
--Should Hulk Hogan wrestle again?
--What best describes your feelings regarding Bellator on MTV 2
Not interested in seeing MMA with fighters I've never heard of 25.4%
Will watch it regularly 21.1%
Not interested in MMA at all 20.5%
Would watch it but don't get MTV 2 14.0%
Would watch it, but not on Saturday night 9.9%
Not interested in MMA if it's not UFC 9.1%
--M-1 announced the full card for its 3/25 show in Norfolk, VA which will air live on Showtime at 11 p.m.
Magomed Sultanakhmedov vs. Tyson Jeffries for the vacant M-1 middleweight title
Artiom Damkovsky vs. Jose Figueroa for the lightweight title
Alexander Sarnavskiy vs. Josh Bacallao
Vinny Magalhaes (former TUF finalist) vs. Jake Doerr
Arthur Guseniov vs. Mark Palbykin
--Stevie Richards isn't getting the $1 million prize for pitching a perfect game on MLB 2K11 because the contest isn't scheduled to start until 4/1.
--Mick Foley was at the New Jersey Nets game with the Golden State Warriors last night at the Prudential Center in Newark. They showed him on the Jumbotron and he got a reaction. (thanks to Denis Gorman)
--Cain Velasquez will be appearing on 3/23 at Humber College in Ontario. He will be at the Orangeville campus at 9:30 a.m., the North campus at 12:30 p.m. and the Lakeshore campus at 3:30 p.m. (thanks to Mike Johnston)
--Shark Fights tomorrow night from Lubbock, TX on HDNet at 10 p.m. Eastern features Sean Shakour vs. Joseph Sandoval, Alex Cisne vs. Eric Davila, Lucas Lopez vs. Mike Bronzoulis, Tara LaRosa vs. Carina Damm and Matt Horwich vs. Danillo Villefort.
--Ryan Jimmo vs. Emmanuel Newton for the MFC light heavyweight title has been added to the 4/8 show in Windsor, ONT at the Colosseum at Caesar's on HDNet.
--Big story in today's San Francisco Chronicle on six decades of Bay Area Roller Derby, built around Ann Calvello with old photos dating back to the 30s at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/parenting/detail?entry_id=84692
Most interesting is the comments from people on the story, the first being from promoter Jerry Seltzer, who knocks the current incarnation of the Bay Bombers at Kezar Pavilion while promoting the all girls shoot version of the game.
--The annual 16 carat gold tournament takes place this weekend in Oberhausen, Germany with Zack Sabre Jr., Davey Richards, El Generico, Johnny Moss, Carnage, Yoshito Sasaki, Jon Ryan, Tommy End, Mark Haskins, Sami Callihan, Adam Cole, Kotaro Suzuki (GHC jr. champion), Go Shiozaki, Rico Bushido, Big Van Walter and Colt Cabana. Tomorrow night's card has Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Bad Bones for the world title, Axeman vs. Karsten Beck vs. Kyle O'Relly vs. Marty Scurll, plus Carnage vs. Yoshito Sasaki, Callihan vs. End, Walter vs. Bushido, Shiozaki vs. Moss, Richards vs. Ryan, Generico vs. Kotaro Suzuki, Cole vs. Haskins and Cabana vs. Zabre Jr. Semifinals and finals are Sunday. (thanks to Timo Knopf)
--The MTV web site at http://www.m
tv.com has comments from James Durbin, an American Idol finalist, about WWE. He hates John Cena and loves The Rock (thanks to Robert Anderson)
--Bellator weigh-ins for Saturday night's show in Shreveport on MTV 2 will be tomorrow at 5 p.m. local time at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium.
--Magen Boys Entertainment and Twin Wrestling host the Rethink Rumble on 3/17 at The Factory in Vaughan, ONT with Iron Sheik, Eugene, Kurrgan, Bushwhacker Luke, Dustin Diamond, Tatanka and Ted DiBiase Sr. all appearing.
--MWF on 3/19 in Melrose, MA at Memorial Hall has Slyck Wagner Brown vs. Shelton Benjamin, plus Paul Bearer, Doink the Clown Matt Osborne, X-Pac vs. Robbie E and Kaval.
--Dory Funk's BANG on 3/26 at the Funking Conservatory in Ocala, TX features Claudia Reiff defending her BANG women's title against Mickie James.
--Fight Card Entertainment presents Vendetta on 4/16 in Melrose Park, IL at The SportsZone
--ASW on Friday night in Tampa at Stroker's Billiards.
--3XW on 4/22 in Des Moines in a new location, All Play, headlined by Malia Hosaka.
--Canadian Wrestling Elite on 4/8 in Winnipeg at the Vince Leah Community Center.
--CMLL from Tuesday night in Guadalajara: In Memoria b Templario, Black Metal & Leo b Camorra & Rafaga, Metal Blanco & Palacio Negro b Kid Tiger & Puma King, Delta & Metro & Sangre Azteca b Cancerbero & Euforia & Polvora, Brazo de Plata & Toscano b Ephesto & Mephisto
--Monday night in Nuevo Laredo: Decnis & Tito Santana (not the WWF wrestler) & Tigre Cota b Perseus & Street Boy & Zebu Jr., Black Mamba & Pit Bull & Rio Bravo II b Hombre sin Nombre & Rio Bravo & Sobredosis, Antifaz del Norte & Damian 666 & Bestia 666 b Psycho Circus, Electroshock & La Parka & Pimpinela Escarlata b Charly Manson & Tabu & Dark Escoria
--UWE from last night in Tlalnepantla: Angel de la Noche & Rey Krystal b Los Halcones Diabolicos I & II, Eros & Tortuguillo Ninja b Pequeno Demonio & Sharkman, Rocky Santana & Sadico & Terry Dos Mil b Black Terry & Cerebro Negro & Dr. Cerebro, Halcon 78 Jr. & Las Traumas I U II b Kid Tiger & Puma King & Sadico, Felino & Mr. Niebla & Rey Bucanero b Los Payasos Tricolor, Hector Garza & Olimpico b Chucho el Roto & Iron Love (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--WSL on 4/23 in North Platte, NE and the company is looking for local wrestlers who can drive in for the show. They are also looking for local wrestlers in Galveston and Beaumont, TX for shows in July, as well as looking for people who can help with social marketing, as well as a booker with a successful track record at
--All Pro Wrestling has a TV taping on Saturday night at the APW Garage in Hayward, CA headlined by Dylan Drake vs. Blackwell. Admission is three cans of food or an unwrapped toy for donation to the Alameda County Food Bank. The show airs on Ch. 50 in the Bay Area and Ch. 14 in Salinas.
--Josh Nason has a feature in the March issue of Fight Magazine on Eddie Wineland, who faces Urijah Faber on 3/19 in Newark, NJ in both men's UFC debut.