- Velvet Sky & Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne & Gail Kim
- A.J. Styles vs. Bully Ray
- Austin Aries vs. Christopher Daniels
- Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner
The last three bouts are part of a best of three series with the winning team, either Team Garett or Team Eric, getting the man advantage at Sunday's Lethal Lockdown. The show also includes ODB & Eric Young getting married inside of a cage, and late build for Roode vs. Storm and the other matches on Sunday's Lockdown.
MMA Uncensored airs right after Impact at 11 p.m. with Frank Mir and Miguel Torres as guests. Maybe we can have Frank call a Miguel Torres match while we're at it.
Tomorrow's WWE shows are Raw in Stuttgart and Smackdown in Belfast. Saturday has Raw in Berlin and Smackdown in Manchester, England. We're looking for reports on all the WWE European tour events.
On Fuel tonight, they are replaying Tuesday's UFC Tonight at 8 p.m., Unleashed at 10 p.m., Friday's Ultimate Fighter at midnight and UFC Tonight at 1 a.m., plus a replay of Ultimate Insider at 2 a.m.The New Observer: Brock In WWE, Overeem's Issues, Miguel Alonso Death
A look at Brock Lesnar in WWE is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which also looks at more on Alistair Overeem's situation and the situation with the next UFC heavyweight title shot, and a look at the glory days of Southern California wrestling in a biography of announcer Miguel Alonso, who passed away this past week.
Our lead story talks about the Lesnar vs. Cena match, the lessons and examples of putting on a major match on a "B" PPV show, looking at Cena vs. Punk, Steve Austin's planned coming out of retirement match and Rock & Cena vs. Miz & R-Truth. We look at what makes Lesnar completely unique to the WWE main event scene on a business negotiating level, and being a former UFC champion is actually a tiny part of it. We look at why the demands on Lesnar to succeed in driving business is completely different than for someone like C.M. Punk. We look at what the first Lesnar rating showed, not just in the overall number but in the key opening quarter.
We look at the two matches and dates that have the best chance of moving business. We look at the creative, and how UFC, unscripted, appears to have done a better job of bringing him in due to a boundary that even scripted, WWE has never allowed itself to cross. We also look back at certain major programs WWE did that are similar to this and whether they worked or not. We also look at why, given Lesnar's track record, doing the best thing for short-term Lesnar business may not be worth the risk, and why this approach is the more conservative.
We look at Lesnar's second week of television, as well a what is likely to happen in Chicago for the PPV.
We've also got a look at where the UFC 146 main event stands today. We look at the Overeem situation, as well as look at the prospective other opponents and evaluate who should get the next shot, as well as who people want to see get the next shot. We also look at the major issues involved in the hearing.
We also have a feature on Miguel Alonso and the heyday of Los Angeles wrestling. We look at Alonso's death, how wrestling became a staple on Wednesday nights in prime time and when and why it moved into a Spanish affiliate. We look at the national exposure of Los Angeles wrestling during the early days of what is now Univision. We look at the wrestler who changed the face of Southern California wrestling in 1968 and became its biggest drawing card for most of the next 14 years, and how he differed from the previous Latin stars in the market.
We look at the stars from Mexico who headlined in California during the era, and the story behind the television show. We also look back to the first closed-circuit pro wrestling show in history, as well as the decline of the territory, and how different promoters viewed its exposure into their markets. We also look at how Alonso got his jobs in WWF and WCW after the closing of the local promotion.
We also have the first estimates of how WrestleMania did in 2012, more on the departure of the Bella Twins from WWE and a look at the cost of having Dwayne Johnson at Survivor Series. We've got more on Daniel Bryan "yes" chants and signs, a rundown of the Extreme Rules show, notes on upcoming three hour Raw shows, will Undertaker return next year and more on Legends House.
We also have an update on the developmental in WWE and the latest moves that have been made including a very strange television move. We also look at a segment edited off the show, a look at Dwayne Johnson and the end of his football career, WWE gives awards on a television show, notes on Miz and Christian at WrestleMania, why Del Rio was pulled from the show, and Punk changes his tune on Rock.
We've also got our weekly Friday night ratings scoreboard, with Smackdown, Ultimate Fighter, Prime Time and Bellator and how they stacked up both in ratings, audience, and in the key demos and who was up and down and why.
We've also got a feature on the New Japan Cup tournament, including a detailed look at the second night of competition, as well as a look at the next New Japan PPV show.
The issue is up on the site today along with a back issue from early 1995 also up on the site this week. The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world. Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.
If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. Just sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to
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We also have our in-depth look at the ratings of the national shows, including how every segment of Raw and Impact did, what gained in audience, and what lost in audience. We also have our weekly features with the results from the major events held around the world over the past week, as well as reviews of the major television shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--Update on the Gran Alternative tournament
--Dragon Gate WrestleMania weekend rundown
--Two major promotions working together for a big show in July
--Update on the All Japan jr. heavyweight tag team tournament
--Former WWE performers starting up a new promotion later this month
--The most famous man ever to be a regular pro wrestling announcer and the name will shock most people
--Scott Hall's latest arrest details
--Update on Nigel McGuinness' fund raising for his documentary
--Notes on a big weekend in Toronto
--Change in the leadership of the NWA
--The end of one of the famous wrestling arenas
--More notes from the bio of Joe Blanchard
--More on the arrest of Maven Huffman
--Son of Hall of Famer released from baseball contract
--More on the ROH and Go Fight Live issues, as well as plans for ROH's biggest match so far this year, Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen in Toronto on 5/12
--Update on the last iPPV numbers
--ROH and CHIKARA joint show notes
--Details of the next several weeks of ROH television and where angles are going
--Notes on the new Spike contract with TNA
--Why people were breathing a sigh of relief when the deal was announced
--Kurt Angle and the Olympics update
--Update on the Lockdown show
--Notes on the last few weeks of Ring Ka King
--Thoughts on someone under consideration to win first singles world title
--What happened at Cris Cyborg's hearing regarding suspension
--California looking to introduce new legislation
--Joe Rogan goes against the grain, claims marijuana is performance enhancing
--Nick Diaz's next match signed for a few weeks from now
--Notes on the Brazilian version of Ultimate Fighter being on U.S. TV
--Tons of new UFC matches signed
--UFC on FOX schedule for the rest of the year
--How UFC is part of FOX's major change in programming philosophy
--Notes on this past week's Bellator and next week's show
--Ultimate freak show match signed
--The supposed return to prominence of K-1, except as an American group
The Most Popular Observers Ever
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories 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 Hogan)
*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 Strangler Lewis)
*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 52 .
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.