By Dave Meltzer
On Fuel tonight, UFC Tonight replays at 7 p.m., UFC Insiders repeats at 7:30 p.m., UFC 141 with Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem is at 8 p.m. and Best of Pride is at 11 p.m.
We've got a special history of Monday Night Raw and a look back at the longest lasting wrestling shows in U.S. television history as the main focus of two issues of the Observer on the site this week. If you are a print subscriber, the two issues are combined into a double issue.
We look back at the 1,000th Raw, including the highlights, what things are building to, the usage of wrestlers from the past, what the ratings pattern said about what people were most into, as well as how the various demographics related to different segments and personalities on the show.
We look at the people on the show, as well as what happened to others who were either at the arena or talked about at one point regarding being there. We look at the C.M. Punk heel turn, what people expect for SummerSlam, Royal Rumble and WrestleMania as well as full coverage of the show.
We also have a history of Raw, the transition from syndicated television to cable television, promotions paying to get on the air, stations paying promotions, how wrestling changed in the 80s, what killed the territories that people never talk about, the Monday Night Wars, how viewership of wrestling has changed since the Monday Night Wars, how the aim of wrestling has changed, how Raw and Nitro differed from wrestling show of the past, what killed Nitro, the voices of Raw, who Vince McMahon tried to get to host Raw and the story behind it.
We also look at the longest running wrestling shows in history and the people most associated with them. We look at the histories of those shows. We also have a lot of stats for the history of Raw, including who had the most matches, won the most matches, ratings and what cities have played host the most times.
We also have full coverage of UFC 149, what went wrong, why fans turned on the show, the future of Urijah Faber as well as the bantamweight and middleweight divisions, along with a look at controversial judging and close decisions. We also have our usual match-by-match coverage and fan reaction to the show.
We also have a look at three major shows over the past week in Japan, as Pro Wrestling NOAH had its big summer show featuring Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels and Magnus, New Japan had its big event of the month with multiple championship matches, while Dragon Gate had its big event of the year.
We also look at Vince McMahon comments on ratings, WCW and UFC. We've got more on Steve Austin, notes on Vince McMahon's 2010 tax returns, how much income he made, how much he paid in taxes and more. We've got an update on the Linda McMahon campaign for senate, and reactions to her recent debate. We also look at her policy on tax cutting.
We've got more on another lawsuit filed against WWE, a look back at Terry Gordy on the anniversary of his death, the WWE 2013 PPV schedule, update on Kharma, developmental and an update on the TV situation, Raw going three hours, HHH talks reality TV, why David Otunga has been missing from TV, new people and names in developmental, Ziggler talks his future, how many people watch Raw on DVR's, notes on newcomers to the road for WWE, as well as the business notes for the past week as well as rundowns of all the WWE house shows.
We also have a note on yet another former Olympian who became a pro wrestling world champion, as well as a look at Tito Ortiz's career, his retirement and the UFC Hall of Fame.
The first issue is on the site today if you are a web site member and the second will be up tomorrow. We also have a new back issue on the site from 1995 just put up.
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 a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on how every segment of Raw this past week did. We look at what segments gained and lost viewers
We also have results from all the major league arena events over the past week as well as a look at all the major television shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--More on Pac leaving Dragon Gate and the tournament to crown the vacant trios champion
--Update on All Japan's junior heavyweight tournament
--Next major matches for NOAH
--Early notes on NOAH's annual junior heavyweight tag team tournament and where ROH competitors fit in
--New Japan vs. WWE big shows in a few weeks
--Notes on a new promotion that will likely make waves on the indie level
--Notes on the life of the late Goldie Rogers, a longtime Canadian star
--Notes on the next ROH iPPV
--Davey Richards/ROH update
--More on Hulk Hogan doing an indie show
--Why there are new issues in TNA and what changes are attempting to be made with what contracts
--A scoreboard regarding TNA talent, who is going and what will be very interesting to watch play out
--Identity of Aces and 8s
--Bound for Glory series update
--TNA house show notes
--A change at FOX
--The arguments regarding a bill in Congress that would affect UFC, WWE and Bellator
--Doctor who treated UFC star being investigated by board
--UFC and social media
--Lots of new UFC matches
--More on the situation with Strikeforce contracts
--New reality TV show on small station set to debut in August
--5,000 seat arena sells out two straight weeks
--Build for TripleMania
--Indie promotion books the biggest show in its history in a 16,000-seat arena
--Hall of Famer hospitalized trying to do too much after surgery
--Update on Bellator
--Notes on international MMA
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 Updates
--Bryan and I will be back later today talking all the latest pro wrestling and MMA news on Wrestling Observer radio. We'll also be taking your e-mail questions at
--Alex Marvez at http://msn.foxsports.com/ufc/story/UFC-on-FOX-rua-vera-will-find-next-title-sht-vs-jon-jones
heard from Dana White who said that the winner of the 9/1 Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson match will defend the light heavyweight title against someone from the 8/4 FOX show in Los Angeles. The winner of Shogun Rua vs. Brandon Vera would be the most likely next contender, but if that match is a stinker or the winner doesn't look impressive, the winner of Lyoto Machida vs. Ryan Bader could get the shot.
--Strikeforce officially announced Gilbert Melendez vs. Pat Healy as the main event for its 9/29 Showtime event from the Power Balance Pavilion (formerly Arco Arena) in Sacramento. The match will be five rounds for the lightweight title. Daniel Cormier will also headline the show. Tickets go on sale Friday to UFC Fight Club members at 10 a.m. Pacific time, while newsletter readers can get tickets at Noon on Friday. They go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. to the public, priced at $125, $90, $65 and $40.
--Shawn Michaels will be appearing on 10/6 at an autograph show at the Courtyard Marriott hotel near LaGuardia Airport in East Elmhurst, NY. Advance tickets are recommended. For more info you can go to http://www.sportsfanpromotions.com/the-big-event/
--Velvet Sky was removed from the TNA roster on the web site but has since been put back up. Her contract was expiring and as of last word, she hasn't signed a new deal. We've got a story on TNA contract negotiations in the new Observer. Sky is listed on an upcoming iPPV for Pro Wrestling Superstars in September, and TNA wrestlers are not allowed to appear on such shows.
--ROH has announced these matches for the 8/3 TV tapings in Baltimore at the Du Burns Arena:
*Kevin Steen vs. Homicide for ROH title
*Kyle O'Reilly vs. Tony Kozina
*Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin for the TV title
*Sara Del Rey vs. Mia Yim
*QT Marshall vs. Tadarius Thomas
There will also be a six-way match as well as first round matches in a tournament for the vacant ROH tag team title
--Ben Rothwell suffered an ankle injury so his 8/4 match on FOX with Travis Browne is out. There have been reports of Devin Cole as the sub, but that is not confirmed.
--Rousimar Palhares suffered a knee injury in training and is off UFC 150 on 8/11 in Denver. Palhares vs. Yushin Okami was one of the main fights on the show. Okami will now face Buddy Roberts. Roberts was scheduled to face Chris Camozzi, who was also injured.
What guest on Raw did the best on Monday?
The Rock 39.5%
Paul Heyman 33.4%
Brock Lesnar 5.7%
Which of these names most deserves a spot on the Hall of Fame ballot?
Iron Sheik 42.5%
Haystacks Calhoun 12.3%
Dr. Jerry Graham 8.7%
Larry Hennig 8.7%
Ron Garvin 7.1%
Chavo Guerrero Sr. 6.5%
Rocky Johnson 5.8%
Jimmy Garvin 4.9%
Hard Boiled Haggerty 1.6%
Missouri Mauler 1.1%
Luke Graham 0.5%
Hercules Cortez 0.3%
Poll on Raw
4.1% of those responding didn't see the show
--Ronnie Gossett, the promoter of Universal Championship Wrestling, was listed in critical condition with injuries to the face, hip, head and legs after an auto accident near Atlanta which was caused when it is believed he suffered a heart attack behind the wheel. (thanks to Georgia Wrestling History.com)
--OMEGA, short for Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts, the promotion started by the Hardys, had its first show 15 years ago today, on July 25, 1997, in Sanford, NC at the National Guard Armory. The main event was Surge (Matt Hardy) vs. Willow The Whisp (Jeff Hardy). Others on the show included Shane Helms, Shannon Moore, Champaign, Mike Maverick, Caprice Coleman and referee Jamie Tucker.
--Rey Mysterio is headed to the Philippines and Taiwan for a WWE promotion tour.
--Former UFC fighters Joe Doerksen vs. Kalib Starnes headline an AFC show on 9/15 in Winnipeg at the Convention Center.
--Jeff Bukantz, one of our readers, will be doing commentary for the Olympics this year in fencing, where his father was one of the all-time greats in the U.S. Air dates are 7/28 at 6:30 on NBC Sports and 8/1 at 10:40 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on MSNBC. He's scheduled
--In the don't let this happen to you department, Voula Papachristou of Greece, a triple jumper, was kicked out of the Olympics by the Hellenic Olympic Committee for Twitter posts that mocked African immigrants and expressed support for far right-wing parties that they said went against the Olympic spirit. After being kicked off the team, she apologized for her posts.
--Pro Wrestling Battlarts from Friday night in Oshawa, ONT: Tadarious Thomas b Phil Atlas, Ashely Sixx b Brent B, Ethan Page b Alex Vega, Gym Rats 2.0 b Aeroform, Psycho Mike Rollins b Sebastian Suave, Scotty Turner b Lionel Knight, Christopher Bishop won three-way over Josh Alexander and Michael Elgin (thanks to Steven Ashe)
--Weigh-ins for Saturday's Invicta all women's MMA show in Kansas City, take place on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Kansas City on the 28th Floor in Salon D. They are free and open to the public.
--The Charlie Haas seminar at the XCW Institute in Denton, TX has been moved to 8/18 at Noon. For more info go to Facebook.com/xcwinstitute
--CWE on 8/16 in Carman, Manitoba at the Community Hall, 8/17 in Winnipeg at the Polish Fraternal Hall and 8/18 in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba at the BDO Centre for the Community. Brian Christopher will be the headliner on the tour.
--559 Fights runs Saturday night in Tulare, CA at the Fairgrounds
--Another movie documentary fundraising campaign for a movie called "Kingdom," about wrestler Anthony Kingdom James and the UIPW promotion in Canada, is going on. For the trailer you can check at http://www.indiegogo.com/projectgs/148828
--Pro Wrestling Superstars has an iPPV on 9/14 from Rahway, NJ at the Rec Center which will include Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding from Saved by the Bell) as guest commissioner and an appearance by Lex Luger. The top matches are Sami Callihan vs. Kevin Matthews for the PWS title in a falls count anywhere match, Demolition vs. Powers of Pain, Antony Nese vs. Matt Hardy for the Tri States title, Necro Butcher vs. Devon Moore as well as appearances by Velvet Sky, Ashley Massaro, The Goon and Rich Swann. There will also be a Matt Hardy seminar on 9/13 at the Rec Center for 440 for non-PWS school students. For more info go to www.ProWrestlingSyndicate.com
--River City Wrestling on 8/14 in San Antonio at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Activity Center. Hernandez will be making an appearance on the show, as will Alissa Flash and 90s stars The Head Hunters.
--Lucha Libre on 8/19 in El Paso at El Coliseo with Latin Lover, La Parka, Blue Demon Jr., Shocker, Villano IV, Cobarde and Blue Panther.
--Empire Pro Wrestling on Friday night in Avondale Estates, GA at the Academy Theater
--Alex Ricci vs. Jesse Ronson headlines the 8/25 Score Fighting Series show in Hamilton, ONT at the Hamilton Place Theater.