THURS. UPDATE: UFC SHOW ENCOUNTERS PROBLEMS; WWE CHANGES LOOMING; TNA VIDEOGAME COMPANY IN TROUBLE
Thursday, 12 February 2009 09:04
Impact tonight on Spike at 9 p.m.:
*Homicide vs. Brutus Magnus
*Eric Young vs. Kip James
*Team 3-D vs. Kurt Angle & Sting
*Petey Williams vs. Scott Steiner with the metal head piece on a pole and loser banned from ever wearing it again
*Women's Royal Rumble with basically everyone but Awesome Kong
*Jay Lethal & Consequences Creed vs. Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley
*Non-title: Robert Roode & James Storm vs. Rhino & Abyss
*Kurt Angle vs. Sting
I was told this was better then the shows over the past few weeks.
Between the most detailed coverage of what may end up being among the most important news stories of the year, the Strikeforce deals to purchase the remnants of Elite XC, and in doing so, signing contracts with both CBS and Showtime, the details of the Chris Jericho altercation with fans in Victoria with some exclusive information on the story, as well as a look at Raw from a live perspective, and some major historical features, we've got two issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter coming out next week.
The first issue is already available on the web site today and the second will be available on Friday.
We look at the Jericho story, including where the criminal aspects of the case stands, how the police in Victoria and WWE reacted, as well as notes of the behavior of the couple in question at the live show.
The Strikeforce story includes the background of Scott Coker, who with establishes himself as one of the industry's major promoters, notes on the Frank Shamrock vs. Nick Diaz main event, lots of Strikeforce plans for the year including many main event matches talked about. We look at key fighters under contract, what to watch for from UFC and the relations between the two sides, the 2009 schedule, updates on CBS and its plans, most on the debut show, and the fight between two big names that will never take place.
We also have a look at how the changes in MyNetwork TV affect WWE next season, and more, the long-term ramifications of what is going on. We've got a lot more on Linda McMahon's attempt to get on the Connecticut school board and both her supporters and her opposition comments and where things currently stand.
We also have a discussion of Steve Austin and Wrestlemania, different prospects, the current plans for him to appear on Raw and when, and the different ideas over the past several months that have been discussed for his role on the show.
We've got more on the WWE Hall of Fame, as well as the background of plans for Smackdown house shows and current plans to regularly feature an incredible tag team. We also look at a former WWE performer trying to get back in and her backers and non-backers. We look at a licensee with WWE and UFC and its problems and how it may affect products from both companies.
We've got notes on hiring of a new WWE executive, as well as an update on the business of the WWE voices CD and why there have been recent changes when it comes to arenas being booked.
We also have a look at the live Raw event in Oakland, looking at the crowd, the state of WWE, booking, reactions and a comparison with UFC events.
We look at TNA today, with reactions from Sunday's PPV and the morale and momentum of the group and differences between TNA and WWE that shouldn't be there because they have nothing to do with money. We look at changes in how things are booked, future plans, as well as full coverage of Against All Odds with match-by-match with star ratings and poll results.
We also have full coverage of UFC's Ultimate Fight Night from Tampa, with all the business notes, how every match did in the ratings, match-by-match coverage and poll results.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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We also have a number of history pieces this week. We look at the life of Jim Wilson, and while that probably on the surface would not interest a lot of people, his story is fascinating, looking at the goings on behind the scenes in Georgia during the 1970s, not only regarding Jim Barnett, Roy Shire, Eddie Graham, Dusty Rhodes, The Sheik, Thunderbolt Patterson, Ole Anderson, Jack Brisco and even the early career of John Cena. It's a story about a different time and place in the wrestling business, the last great run of the territorial system and the lengths and nature of what the NWA did when it was in power to preserve that system.
We also look back at celebrations held in Mexico this past week regarding the 25th anniversary of the death of El Santo. In doing so, we look back at the career of the most beloved pro wrestler who ever lived, including notes from his last interview, and details of the end of his career, the last few days of his life, and the debut of his son, who was one of pro wrestling's biggest drawing cards both in Mexico as well as on the U.S. independent scene of the past quarter-century.
We also have our usual weekly features including the most detailed look at the ratings over the past week, including segment-by-segment ratings so you can see what people and things are moving ratings up and down. We also have results from the major league arena events held around the world, and have the major TV show reviews.
Also in this week's issues:
--Notes on major title changes in recent days in Japan
--Plans for continuation of pro wrestling's longest tradition that dates back to 1959
--Son of Carolinas legend in first pushed match working with major talent
--TNA new signings and people who have been cut in TNA, along with reactions of people to this news
--New angle that will end with eliminating people from the roster
--TNA talent on television outside the company
--Plans for a major international house show next month
--TNA house show rundowns
--Financial issues plague two of the highest profile promoters
--More on ramifications of Karo Parisyan's positive drug tests
--Early plans for June UFC show from Germany
--Georges St. Pierre defends himself on greasing accusation
--Reactions from UFC
--Early buy rate into on St. Pierre vs. Penn and what record is pretty much confirmed to have been set
--Update on UFC's financial situation
--A look at UFC cuts
--Head-to-head show with Wrestlemania announced
--Best selling DVDs
--New Cena ad campaign
--WWF legend forgotten suddenly reappearing and an explanation
--Two stars expected back in a few weeks
--New WWE signings
--Notes from WWE weekend house shows
--Weird mix on magazine cover
--Notes on new main event trio in Mexico getting a big push
--Thoughts on Mistico
--First match talked about for CMLL's first big show of the year and it's a big seller if it happens
--Update on AAA's U.S. tour
--Last AAA TV taping news
--Update on major star opening up talks to switch companies and why
--Former ECW champ takes major overseas title
--Joint pro wrestling and MMA show this past week which includes some MMA fighters making pro wrestling debuts
--Movie talks regarding doing a story on the life of one of pro wrestling's all-time biggest stars
--Update on box office success of "The Wrestler"
--Notes on this year's inductees in the Lou Thesz Hall of Fame and their background
--Notes on Bill Goldberg's next project
--Paul London talks his WWE days
--Sleazy boxing promoter signs former WWF stars who had a big program in the past for a boxing match
--Updates on more MMA shows that will air on national TV in the U.S., including shows from Japan
--Update on Affliction
--Freak show match being negotiated
--The latest on War Machine
--Craziest house show story of the week
--Bobby Lashley's second MMA match
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major story (ies) of the past 11 years 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 11 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 networks)
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
*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 Lex Luger)
*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 and friends)
*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 Lesnar)
*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 business changed)
*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 week)
*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 overseas)
*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 overseas)
*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
*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 overseas)
*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 now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more
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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
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America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--There is a lot of trouble regarding UFC 97 in Montreal scheduled for 4/18. Tickets went on sale today to fight club members and as of a few hours ago, they had sold 13,000 tickets for $3 million. They don't even go on sale to the public until Saturday and they may sellout before they even officially go on sale to the public. However, due to the riot at a show in Quebec promoted by Stephane Patry where fans threw beer cans and bottles because a match went to the ground (fans were told no fights going to the ground as it was not promoted as MMA but as StrikeBox with different rules, but then the athletic commission told them if they were using small gloves, they had to use MMA rules, and then told the refs the fights were all MMA rules, James Thompson took Steve Bosse to the ground in the main event, and the fans rioted), the Alcohol, Races & Game commission is saying that UFC can come as long as they ban elbow or knee strikes. I spoke with Marc Ratner of UFC who confirmed that this issue is going on and that they are trying to work with the commission to get the unified MMA rules back in place. It's a major sports story today in Montreal and at least on the air, they are reporting it as this may result in the show being canceled. The director of communications for the commission, M. Rejean Theriault said it would be difficult to accept the rules in time for the 4/18 show, and said that the commission did not properly due do their job in allowing knees and elbows at the show last year (thanks to Eric Bonin).
--WWE announces its draft on 4/13 in Atlanta, which would be the Raw eight days after Wrestlemania
--Midway, the makers of the TNA Impact videogame, filed for bankruptcy today. In filings, they listed assets of $167.5 million and debuts of $281 million. They were unable to make a $150 million bond payment today and filed for Chapter 11. Midway expects to continue business under the Chapter 11.
--Poll on Raw
20.7% of those responding didn't see the show
--Who do you expect to win this fight?
Frank Shamrock 52.9%
Nick Diaz 47.1%
A lot closer than I'd have expected from the poll
What were your thoughts of Christian's WWE return and how it was handled
--Official for UFC 96 in Columbus, OH
Aaron Riley vs. Shane Nelson
Brandon Vera vs. Mike Patt
Tim Boetsch vs. Jason Brilz
Kendall Grove vs. Jason Day
Tamdan McCrory vs. Ryan Madigan
Gray Maynard vs. Jim Miller
Shane Carwin vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
Pete Sell vs. Matt Brown
Matt Hamill vs. Mark Munoz
Quinton Jackson vs. Keith Jardine
--John Cena is at the Staples Center in Los Angeles today for the Los Angeles Kings vs. Calgary Flames NHL game. He will be doing a number of things with the Kings including being interviewed at the game (Fox Sports West Ch. 692 on DirecTV), and doing a skit with some of the players.
--There will be a UFC marathon Monday on Spike. It'll start at 9 a.m. and end at 9 p.m. It starts with the August 17, 2006 Fight night featuring that year's match of the year with Diego Sanchez vs. Karo Parisyan. At 11 a.m. will be the December 13, 2006 card headlined by Sanchez vs. Joe Riggs. At 1 p.m. will be the July 25, 2007 show headlined by Rashad Evans vs. Sean Salmon featuring a candidate for the best knockout of the year. At 3 p.m. will be Ultimate Knockouts 5. At 4 p.m. will be Ultimate Knockouts 1. At 5 p.m. will be Ultimate Knockouts 2. At 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. will be, you got it, Ultimate Knockouts 3 and 4. Ultimate Knockouts 6 will air at 8 p.m.
--The UFC 95 Countdown show to build Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson will air immediately after Raw goes off the air Monday night at 11 p.m. It will also be replayed at 1 a.m. Thursday and at 6 p.m. Saturday. Sanchez vs. Stevenson airs from 9 p.m. to midnight on a six hour tape delay from the U.K. on Saturday night.
--Boxer Paulie Ayala will be honored by the IHWE wrestling group on 3/7 in a private ceremony at his boxing school in West Fort Worth, TX
--KHVC Ch. 45 in Seattle airs Championship Wrestling from Tennessee on Tuesdays at 4 p.m.
--Ken Shamrock vs. Ross Clifton and Tank Abbott vs. Mike Bourke headline on 2/13 in Fresno at the Arena for WarGods and Ken Shamrock Productions
--Mikey Whipwreck announced his retirement show on 2/28 in Deer Park, NY at the NYWC Sportatorium. He'll face Maverick
--Variety today at http://www.variety.com
had a story on Afa, saying he trained Mickey Rourke for three months, focusing on learning certain moves but that Rourke wanted to learn what Rey Mysterio could do.
--Sunday in Mazatlan, Mexico at the bullring in the 10th anniversary of wrestling at the bullring: Kempo Dragon & Linterna Verde & Relampago b Encapuchado & Tapado & Terremoto King Jr., Elegido & Gallego b Kenzo Suzuki & Halcon 78, Psycho Circus b Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero & X-Pac, Konnan & Electroshock b Mesias & La Parka
--Naucalpan tonight has Emilio Charles Jr. & Fantasma Jr. & Hijo del Solitario & Scorpio Jr. vs. Head Hunter A & Hijo del Cien Caras & Tetsuya Bushi & Veneno
--Villanos III & V vs. Blue Panther & Ultimo Guerrero headline on 3/7 in Tijuana (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Awesome Kong and the debut of Jason the Giant, billed as 7-3 and 450 pounds, take place on 3/1 for BANG in Ocala, FL, which also includes Shane Chung and Jumbo Elvis from All Japan, Wahoo McDaniel Jr. and Dory Funk
--Tickets are on sale for the 4/17 Wild Bill's Fight Night in Duluth, GA headlined by former UFC fighter Kevin Jordan vs. Jon Ivey (who has gone three rounds in losing to Sam Hoger and Ricco Rodriguez)
--Pro Wrestling Fusion on 2/13 in Davie, FL at the PAL Gymnasium
--CHIKARA on 2/20 in Reading, PA features Claudio Castagnoli vs. Escorpion Egipcio, Colony vs. Fist, plus Brodie Lee, Grizzly Redwood, Delirious, Mike Quackenbush, Linda Dorado and Sami Callihan at The Riverside Beneficial Association
--WAMMA has announced it will start doing ratings for women, using weight classes of 125, 135 and 145 pounds
--Great Championship Wrestling tonight in Phenix City, AL at the Great Skateplex featuring Buff Bagwell's debut with the group
--One Man Gang turns 49 today
--Wrestle Birmingham on 3/7 in Graysville, AL at the Community Center with Dennis Condrey, Mike Jackson and Danny Fuller managed by father Robert Fuller
--I Believe in Wrestling on 3/7 in Orlando at the Downtown Rec Center with Chasyn Rance & Larry Zbyszko & Glacier vs. Heartbreak Express & Nick Fame
--Rich Tate's Atlanta wrestling nostalgia
74 years ago today: Dorv Roche beat George Zaharias via decision after the two had split falls and gone the 90:00 time limit'
44 years ago in Marietta: The Medics kept the world tag titles beating Bill Dromo & Joe (Jay Strongbow) Scarpa in the last known show at the Bell Auditorium which burned down later in the year
38 years ago: Ray Gunkel & Bobo Brazil & El Mongol beat Kubla Khan & The Assassins via DQ
35 years ago in Macon: Mr. Wrestling I beat Mr. Wrestling II, plus the McGuire twins, who legitimately both weighed around 750 pounds and were known as the world's fattest twins, beat Ron & Terry Garvin
31 years ago in Savannah: Blackjack Mulligan kept the U.S. title beating Ricky Steamboat and Paul Jones pinned The Masked Superstar
30 years ago in Augusta: Dusty Rhodes & Wahoo McDaniel drew Ole Anderson & Ivan Koloff plus Mr. Wrestling II beat Masked Superstar
26 years ago in Chattanooga: Butch Reed beat Ivan Koloff in the main event
--Palace Fighting Championships announced shows on 4/23 in Lemoore, CA at the Taichi Palace Hotel and Casino on 4/23 headlined by Enoch Wilson vs. Jimmy Jarquin and 5/8 headlined by Doug Marshall vs. Jaimie Jara, as well as former WEC star Carlo Prater, Cabbage Correira, Ricco Rodriguez vs. Ruben Villareal, Poppies Martinez vs. Gabe Ruediger and more