Bryan and I will be back tonight for our mid-week version of Wrestling Observer Radio. If you've got any questions, this is the best show of the week for it. We'll be talking Dana White, TNA, UFC on Fuel, Smackdown for this week, a huge weekend upcoming and more.
On Fuel TV tonight, UFC Tonight airs at 8 p.m., the preview to Mir vs. Dos Santos airs at 8:30 p.m., Best of Pride at 9 p.m., Unleashed at 10 p.m. and the Ultimate Fighter replay from Friday at midnight.
We've got another two issue week coming out with the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, between a look at Ring of Honor, the bankruptcy proceedings of K-1, TNA Sacrifice, UFC on Fuel, Border Wars, Nick Diaz, Ric Flair, King Mo, the Hogan family, the John Cena divorce and so much more.
The issue will be up on the site shortly. We also have a new back issue on the site that was put up today and a third issue that will be up on the site tomorrow.
We look at an update on Ring of Honor, talking the current state of their business, the latest iPPV snafu, who could and couldn't watch it, what the problems were, and a reaction of those who stayed home on Saturday night to see Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen and ended up not being able to see it.
We've got notes from Joe Koff, as well as how well the show did, were they hurt by the problems with the iPPVs in March, ROH ratings, where Jim Cornette was, the idea of doing regular PPVs and television specials, plus a match-by-match rundown of the Border Wars show.
We also look at the company which not that many years ago was considered a giant in the industry, looking at the peak moment in popularity of K-1, and its bankruptcy and where it stands.
We look at TNA Sacrifice with our usual coverage of the show, match-by-match, star ratings and poll results.
We've got more on the John Cena divorce, his ex-wife speaks, notes from the WWE Business Partners summit including ideas for new TV shows the company is looking at, why Dustin Runnels were fired by WWE, notes on the new tapings of NXT in Florida, current NXT storylines, Injury updates, Business notes at the past week's WWE shows and rundowns from all the house shows.
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.
We also look at what was one of the most successful ratings segments on a WWE television show so far in 2012, as well as the widest ratings variation for TNA in a long time.
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 look at the Nick Diaz situation and his no-showing last week's match with Braulio Estima.
We also look at Spike TV's decision regarding King Mo Lawal as a two-genre star in wrestling and MMA at the same time. We look at Lawal's introduction to pro wrestling, the press conference, cross promotional ideas with TNA and Bellator, what they do and don't have in common, the Bellator time slot, Lawal's background and things about his beginnings in pro wrestling that TNA and he are not yet aware of. We also look at where the idea came from, the questions coming out of this signing and more.
We've also got full coverage of the third UFC on Fuel show, with ratings, business, and match-by-match coverage.
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 issues:
--New Japan Super Junior tournament
--Hall of Famer out of action with broken ribs
--Former ECW star announces retirement after car accident
--A look back at the career of Gorgeous George Jr.
--Wrestler convicted of sodomy with a 12 year old girl
--Movie doc covers a former WWE star in life after wrestling
--The Junior Danny Hodge Trophy winner
--Former WWE stars and stars of the Lucha Libre world converge
--Update on Ric Flair
--Daughters of legends thinking about going into pro wrestling
--TNA big surprise
--Gail Kim wedding
--Hulk Hogan sex tape details
--Notes on TNA's return to the U.K.
--Ric Flair Hall of Fame story
--Notes on weekend TNA house shows
--Notes on upcoming TNA television
--Dana White health update
--More on Nick Diaz's court case against the Nevada commission, how it went and where it goes from here
--More on UFC Calgary ticket sales
--Another Ultimate Fighter series announced
--Notes on Ronda Rousey's return
--Former Ultimate Fighter winner retires
--Former UFC star runs for state senate
--Notes on UFC 147 in Brazil
--Lots of new UFC fights announced
--Social media with Ronda Rousey
--Mother's Day special at Arena Mexico
--Future of La Parka
--AAA Night of Champions show
--Pro Wrestling NOAH big show of the month
--Misawa Memorial Show
--Notes on Bellator's last show and next show as well as summer plans
--Update on a lawsuit regarding WrestleMania 24
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.
Wednesday's News Update
--Vince McMahon appeared on Dancing with the Stars Monday night in a preview piece on Maria Menounos.
--In the cable ratings for the week, TNT (thanks to the NBA) averaged a 3.0 in prime time to beat USA (which averaged a 2.5) and Disney at 2.2. FX was No. 8 averaging a 1.2, Syfy was No. 14 averaging a 1.0 and Spike was No. 23, averaging an 0.8. Raw was the No. 2 and No. 6 shows on cable, with the Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angles Lakers game that did 6.46 million viewers in first. Raw was not among the tops in 18-34, but the first hour was No. 8 in 18-49.
--The press conference for Saturday's Strikeforce will be at 11 a.m. at the HP Pavilion in San Jose and is open to the public. The show is headlined by Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier and Gilbert Melendez vs. Josh Thomson for the lightweight title, plus Rafael Cavalcante vs. Mike Kyle.
--On last night's UFC on Fuel event, myself, Bryan and Josh Nason all went 4-1. Todd Martin, Mike Sempervive and Oliver Copp went 3-2 and Mike Sawyer was 2-3. Every single staff member picked Dustin Poirier to beat Chan Sung Jung.
--ROH has a TV taping on Friday night at the DuBurns Arena in Baltimore:
- TV title: Roderick Strong vs. Tommaso Ciampa
- All Night Express vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander
- Eddie Edwards vs. Brutal Bob
- Michael Elgin vs. Matt Taven
- Adam Cole vs. Mike Mondo
- A four-way elimination match for the ROH title (the our men will be picked from Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Mike Bennett, Jay Lethal, Tommaso Ciampa and Michael Elgin.
Also on the show are the Briscoes, Maria Kanellis, Jay Lethal, Jimmy Jacobs, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas
--Christian will be appearing on Friday night for the FCW show at the Orlando Armory. He will be doing a Meet & Greet, autograph and photo session before the card. Also on the show will be Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow.
HHH/Paul Heyman 72.9%
Big Show/John Laurinaitis 18.8%
John Cena/Laurinaitis 8.3%
Who do you expect to win the Strikeforce Grand Prix?
Daniel Cormier 30.2%
John Barnett 69.8%
Did you like RAW?
*13.0% of those responding didn't see the show.
--BWO on Saturday night in Elmwood Park, NJ at 1 Legion Place.
--On the Monday edition of ESPN SportsNation, when the subject of Metta World Peace not shaking hands with James Harden was brought up, one of the announcers talked about Mr. Peace playing heel similar to the Iron Sheik and how you'd never see the Sheik shake hands with a babyface. Jonathan Coachman was one of the commentators and laughed at the reference and said, "We like to call it predetermined." (thanks to Roy Lucier)
--A note on the reference on Monday to the death of George Gordienko, a legendary shooter and international pro wrestling star from the 50s into the mid-70s. Gordienko was one of the most respected wrestlers in the 50s and as noted, Lou Thesz hand picked him to lose the NWA title to, but Gordienko wasn't allowed into the U.S. due to McCarthyism. Gordienko was originally from Winnipeg, and communists had been elected to City Hall, the school board and Provincial legislature from the 1920s through when he was growing up in the 40s. (thanks to Marty Goldstein)
--We send our condolences to Dusty Wolfe, a former pro wrestler, on the loss of his mother earlier this week.
--Roy Lucier (
) is looking for any footage of Bobby Bradley, particularly of his 1995 tour of All Japan Pro Wrestling.
--CMLL on Sunday in Guadalajara: Virgo b Relampago Azul, Caudillo & Halcon de Plata b Infierno & Exterminador, Leo & Xavier Cruz Jr. & Black Metal b Barbaro Cavernario & Sadico & Espectrum-DQ, Tiffany & Amapola b Marcela & Silueta, Mascara Dorada b Mephisto to retain the CMLL welterweight title
--Vendetta Pro Wrestling on Saturday night in Santa Maria, CA before 1,000 fans: Opening six-way with Clay Tawzer, Ricky Ruffin, Tenchismo, Fernando Estrella, Judah Matthew, Trent Savage and Damien Grundy was a no contest, Sunami & Kadin Anthony b Greg Hernandez & Jesse Jiminez, Bobby Lashley b Rik Luxury, Mario Banks & Mike Menace & Jeremy Jaeger & Terra Calway b Bo 'Cooper & Sledge & J.D. Horror & Crystal Michelle, Shawn Daivari won three-way over SoCal Crazy and Brian Cage, Gangrel b Drunken Irishman, Matt Hardy b Billy Blade, El Hijo de Rey Misterio b Shannon Ballard to win Vendetta heavyweight title
--Jay Hieron vs. Mike Bronzoulis was announced for 7/13 for Legacy Fighting from the Arena Theater in Houston on HDNet.
--New England Championship Wrestling on Friday night in Blackstone, MA at the Millerville Men's Club. They also run 6/8 in Bridgewater, MA with Colt Cabana vs. Adam Pearce for the NWA title in a Boston street fight.
--The next BANG show in Ocala, FL is 6/2 at the Bang TV Sound Stage headlined by Wes Brisco vs. Cory Weston.
--Shadow Jackson is injured and will not be wrestling in his scheduled main event match on Friday night for Empire Wrestling at the Academy Theater in Avondale Estates, GA.
--There is an amateur MMA show on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.
--EWA from Saturday night in Feeding Hills, MA before 202 fans: Vinny Maseglia b Sebastian Reese, Dr. Reginald Heresy & Johnny Idol & William King b Antonio Thomas & Romeo Roselli & Don Juan DeSanto Shane Marvel b Dan De Man, Punk & Prep United b Purists & Rising Sons, Mike Nice b IM Valor, Scotty Slade & Tapu b Adrian Vine & Buddy Romano, Bobby Ocean b The Mac, Alex Cypher b Sean Burke. Next show is 6/23 with a War Games and the Heartthrobs back. On this show, the Heartthrobs reunited with their OVW manager Mo Greene.
--NWS on 5/18 in Kenilworth, NJ at the Veterans Hall headlined by Rikishi, on 5/19 in Spotswood, NJ at the Immaculate Conception Church Gym headlined by Rikishi and 6/1 in Stirling, NJ at the Long Hill Township Community Center headlined by Matt Hardy