We have a number of holiday specials this weekend that will continue until Christmas for those of you looking at a wrestling present for family or friends, or even enemies if you wish.
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For the print Observer, if you order a 16 issue subscription for someone who is not a current subscriber, you get four issues free for each 16 you order and there is no limit to that offer. These are good until Christmas.
The issue is available today on the web site, as is a back issue from 1994 as part of ten issues of the Observer and Figure Four available to web site subscribers each month. We also have the Observer as a print newsletter available with details below.
The newest issue of the Observer is on the site today, which has the latest in PPV numbers from both WWE and UFC, including UFC's strongest markets, WWE comparisons from last year and what WWE show did the second worst numbers of the modern era.
The issue also features a huge biography on the late Killer Karl Kox, one of wrestling's biggest characters of the 60s and 70s. We talked to many of his co-workers with a lot of really funny anecdotes about his out of the ring conduct both before, during and after wrestling, his career rundown, details of his biggest matches and most famous angles in Australia where he is remembered as one of the country's all-time wrestling legends, his records, what modern era wrestlers copied him and whose gimmicks were inspired by him.
We look at his pre-wrestling background, how he got into wrestling, his early days when he nearly quit, his original break, where he went and his most famous matches and angles including multiple world tile matches, his time in every territory including what got him over in Japan and Australia, his turns, one of the most famous moments in the history of pro wrestling in Australia, the 1976 Tokyo wrestling war, who was Alex, the Jim Barnett business strategy at the end in Australia, his trash can match with J.J. Dillon, his relationship with Dick Murdoch, his big angles in Florida, the end of his career and life after wrestling.
We also have full coverage of Pro Wrestling NOAH's final major event of the year as well as the surprise retirement, Jun Akiyama as Triple Crown champion and the next round of big matches.
We also have the 2011 Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards ballot, looking at every category, what the category is about, as well as the top finishers in every category last year.
We also have an update on Sin Cara, update on how the tag team title plans have changed, notes on the plans for the WWE title and how they changed over the past few months, changes in Raw writing, new Miz character, Jennifer Hudson on how pro wrestling and her boyfriend may have saved her life, notes on video game sales, latest on WWE business in several different categories, Punk defends his being brought back immediately and knocks those who think otherwise as well as knocks Dwayne Johnson one more time, a business promotional strategy of WWE, Sin Cara T-shirt controversy, new signing, Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust, update on Steve Austin, former WWE Diva dating a TV show (and it's not Keibler), the viral campaign and more.
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 ratings for all the national shows for the past week.
We also have our regular weekly features with results of all the major arena events around the world, as well as all the major TV show
Also in this week's issue:
--More on El Texano Jr. leaving CMLL
--TNA woman takes bodybuilding contest
--Update on AAA's last big show of the year
--Update on ratings in Mexico
--TNA wrestlers in Mexico notes
--Girlfriend of badly injured wrestler commits suicide
--Update on All Japan's annual tag team tournament
--All Japan belts being defended in other promotions
--Former WWE star faces Brazilian giant on same show a Zuffa star goes after a pro wrestling world title
--Fit Finlay goes to Japan
--Health updates on a number of former wrestlers
--Latest on Matt Hardy, charges against him, and what court has ordered him to do
--CHIKARA bringing in Japanese women stars
--More on the background and what happened between Joe Kapp and Angelo Mosca
--Hall of Famer who almost came to CHIKARA this weekend
--Chris Jericho summer plans
--Arrest of a former WCW and WWF wrestler
--Notes on ROH television and shows
--Update on TNA Final Resolution PPV
--Notes on a TNA tournament on television that isn't acknowledged on Impact
--Update on TNA and OVW
--Hulk Hogan's morale boosting
--Details behind UFC show lack of promotion
--More notes on the suspension of Chris Leben
--More on the ratings of the UFC show on FOX
--What UFC footage Vince McMahon recently watched
--Notes on tons of new UFC matches
--Lots of notes on new UFC shows and the schedule for the first three months of the year
--Fighters battle on Internet show, argue about business and understanding of such
--Notes on possibility of an Alvarez vs. Chandler rematch
--Lots of plans for Bellator's first season in 2012
--Controversial Bellator season ending
--Changes in women's division
--Japanese pro wrestler signs with U.S. MMA group for a main event
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)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for
4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
. For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 for
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
We now 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.
--Former Strikeforce heavyweight Brett Rogers pleaded guilty to third degree domestic assault in charges that he beat up wife Tiuna and was sentenced to two months in prison and three years probation. He has about five weeks left to serve because he had already served three weeks when originally arrested. For more at http://www.startribune.com/local/south/134765048.html
(thanks to Kyle Shiely)
--We didn't get the rating yet for Smackdown but it was 3.05 million viewers, which is in the same range the show has been drawing on Fridays.
--Just one day after we were told that the last new UFC show on Spike would be the Countdown show for UFC 141 that airs after Impact on 12/29, comes word that the UFC 141 prelims will also be airing on Spike the next day with Ramsey Nijem vs. Anthony Njokuani and Ross Pearson vs. Junior Assuncao. The UFC 140 prelims on 12/3 will be a two-hour show in ION and the UFC 140 Countdown show will be on Fuel and not Spike. If the countdown shows air on Fuel next year instead of Spike, it's almost like they won't exist.
--Raw last week was No. 5 and No. 6 in the cable ratings, trailing only Monday Night Football, another game on the NFL Network, the pregame show to the NFL Network game and Walking Dead on AMC, which is not about 1980s WWE wrestlers after 32 straight days on the road.
--Mick Foley will be appearing on George Stroumboulopoulos' TV show tonight in Canada on CBC to promote a series of comedy show appearances. (thanks to Ed Ludwig)
--The new plan, which can change, is that the Royal Rumble will be 30 men and not 40 men this year.
--The CBC in Canada has done two television campaign spots looking for public funding with a storyline that an evil wrestling promoter from the U.S. is buying the station and going to turn it into garbage. The campaign is an attempt to be funny which missed a lot more than hit. Bret Hart wasn't thrilled by it because they portrayed the wrestlers as being stupid at http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2011/11/29/pf-19036091.html
--The Ultimate Fighter finals air on Sunday in Australia at 11:30 p.m. on Channel GO!
--TMZ.com had a story about John Layfield getting his scooter stolen which he parked right in front of the police station. Layfield, who lives in Bermuda, said he left his scooter in the police lot at the Bermuda Airport, but when he came back for it to go home, it was gone.
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio talking Smackdown, Ultimate Fighter, Killer Karl Kox as well as the latest news and take e-mail questions that can be send to
--Bull Nakano was backstage at today's Raw house show in Yokohama, Japan. C.M. Punk posted a photo of her on his twitter account. She's getting ready for her retirement match in January, even though it's been years since she wrestled.
--CHIKARA's Sunday Joshimania show in New York at the Highline Ballroom has:
Sara Del Rey vs. Ayako Hamada
Manami Toyota & Sawako Shimono & Hanako Nakamori vs. Aja Kong & Mio Shirai & Tsubasa Kuragaki
Mayumi Ozaki vs. Kaori Yoneyana
Cherry & Fire Ant & Soldier Ant & Green Ant vs. Toshie Uematsu & Obarlyon & Kodama & Kobald
Los Ice Creams vs. Throwbacks
Gami vs. Portia Perez
UltraMantis Black vs. Brodie Lee
--What is your feeling on The Rock headlining WrestleMania this year?
The right move for business 71.7%
The right move for business,but he still shouldn't be because it's not fair to the wrestlers who work all year for the spot 22.2%
Not the right move for business, so he shouldn't be 6.1%
Is it better for the wrestlers to make less money based on fewer people getting the show to have someone not full-time headlining? Should Undertaker also not be on the show this year in a main event capacity?
--Should UFC bring back Chris Leben in one year?
--Who was the best babyface?
Hulk Hogan 32.0%
Steve Austin 18.7%
Bruno Sammartino 15.2%
Bret Hart 7.2%
The Rock 6.6%
Dusty Rhodes 5.0%
Kenta Kobashi 4.5%
Jerry Lawler 3.8%
Ricky Morton 3.7%
Andre the Giant 1.5%
Antonio Inoki 1.0%
Road Warriors 0.9%
--Poll on Monday's Raw
14.9% of those responding didn't see the show
--ROH has announced a $10 General Admission ticket for both Saturday's show in Spartanburg, SC and Sunday's show in Greensboro. Both are available at www.Ticketmaster.com
You can also get GA tickets for both shows for $10 at the door the night of the show.
is looking for handheld footage of a WWE house show in Providence on January 30, 1992 showing an Undertaker vs. Sid match and the post-match brawl from that match.
--Traditional Championship Wrestling on 12/3 in Clarksville, AR at the Marvin Vinson Center features Fit Finlay vs. Killer Nikels, plus Matt Borne as Doink the Clown, Bill Apter and a guest appearance by Santa Claus.
--There will be a benefit for Michael Morgan, the cousin of Matt Morgan, on Friday night in Clifton, NJ at Pub 46 to raise money for his family. Michael Morgan was a 32-year-old police officer who was shot and killed during a robbery in Paterson, NJ.
--A story on the connection between Vince McMahon and David Black through their wives is at
--Rampage Pro Wrestling on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Johnny G's in Warner-Robins, GA with matches to determine who faces Adam Pearce for the NWA title. Pearce will be wrestling for the group in the same location on 12/18.
--Fight Now TV, a U.S. 24-hour fight channel, will be airing Instinct MMA on Friday night from Quebec City headlined by former UFC fighter Pete Spratt facing Martin Grandmont. The station is on Ch. 464 on Cabelevision as part of their IO Sports & Entertainment pack.
--World 1 on Sunday in Jackson,NJ with a Battle Royal plus Steve Corino vs. Sam Shields and Colby Corino vs. Ricky Landell
--APW on Saturday night at the Garage in Hayward, CA has a TV taping which includes former Tough Enough wrestler A.J. Kirsch, Jody Kristofferson and a main event of Larry Blackwell vs. APW champion career vs. title in a no DQ falls count anywhere match.
--Steeltown Pro Wrestling on Sunday in Winnipeg at the Royal Canadian Legion featuring a Battle Bowl match
--WSU returns on 1/12 in Stirling, NJ at the Long Hill Community Center with a women's wrestling show featuring Jillian Hall vs. Traci Brooks with Molly Holly as referee, a 10 woman Battle Royal and Mercedes Martinez vs. Jennifer Cruz for the WSU title.