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.
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We also have the latest update on the proposed WWE network. We look at the various models under consideration. We look at the original plan and why the timing of everything doomed it. We look at the pay model and what kind of numbers of subscribers they are going to need to make it work. We look at what kind of numbers are possible, and how to evaluate it considering how the PPV business would likely be cannibalized by running the network.
We also look at the UFC business after the cancellation of UFC 151, looking at where the 2012 business is going to wind up and how close they can come to beating last year's numbers. We look at the cards for the rest of the year, as well as the new problems with UFC 153.
We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on how every segment of Raw and Impact 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:
--Japan vs. Mexico tournament
--Notes on CMLL's biggest show of the year coming up
--Wrestlers unhappy about being ignored on big shows
--AAA's Heroes Inmortales lineup, company's next major show
--Notes on new signings
--All Japan creating a TV champion and early tournament notes
--Former WWE wrestler returns to All Japan
--Notes on the All-Asia tag team title tournament
--Early notes on NOAH jr. tag team tournament featuring ROH stars
--Notes on Paul London in Japan
--Kazushi Sakuraba's first match back in New Japan announced for the September PPV show
--Complete New Japan September PPV card
--Notes on the build for Okada vs. Tanahashi
--Two former WWE wrestlers forming a tag team to feud with Kojima & Tenzan in Japan
--Notes on the 20th anniversary show of the debut of Yuji Nagata
--Oldest IWGP champion
--Promotions not thinking long-term and only short-term and risking long-term careers of superstars
--Another well-known wrestler gets elected to political office
--Update on the National Wrestling Alliance
--Notes on the death of Richard Byrne
--Notes on the tour of Aruba with big crowds, including names like Jerry Lawler, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash, Roddy Piper and Rhino
--Well known indie wrestler attempting to battle back from pain killer addiction
--British star Anaconda passes away
--Notes on ROH Death Before Dishonor PPV
--Notes from the ROH house show in Charlotte
--Update on TNA TV title
--Notes on Devon not being signed
--Notes on TNA new TV special
--Trivia note about the best matches on TNA shows
--Notes on the weekend TNA house shows
--Lots of new UFC matches
--A weekend where FX will be running live shows on Friday and Saturday night
--Jon Jones continues to talk
--Daniel Cormier says he wants Jon Jones
--Dana White talks a number of potential matchups
--Dana White talks more about the canceling of UFC 151
--White talks about instant replays
--Sara McMann's Strikeforce debut
--More on Rousey vs. Cyborg
--Michael Bisping one-liners
--UFC fighter arrested
--UFC's first show in Macau top bouts
--UFC fighter retires
--More on the future of MMA Uncensored
--Dave Bautista on his MMA debut and thoughts
--How the K-1 show did on iPPV
--Notes on the debut of the World Series of Fighting
--The MMA murder case that got national attention
--Another MMA fighter arrested on vehicular homicide charges
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
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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, LINKS AND UPDATES
--A correction from the Observer story up today: Jerry Lawler didn't fly from Aruba to Montreal on Sunday. He flew from Aruba to Memphis on Sunday and then from Memphis to Montreal on Monday.
More on Lawler: he's making slow, deliberate progress and there is no word on when he can come home. He was very responsive to his girlfriend Lauryn Laine McBride. This morning, he grabbed her hand and cried and seemed aware of what was going on, smiling and laughing. As noted in the previous update, he can now talk.
From his girlfriend:
"He is completely stable. He no longer has breathing tube nor any sedation. He is coming around, but very very weak and sore. I have been working with him on breathing treatment exercises every hour to help his lungs. At this point he is getting a lot of rest. He can talk, but doctors have asked him to rest his vocal cords for the time being and relax as much as possible, so he is resting now."
--There was a Twitter post by Charley Waters that Cole Konrad, the Bellator heavyweight champion, has decided to retire. We don't have anything more on that. (Update: Konrad has hung it up
--The "Unauthorized ECW Documentary" hit its Kickstarter goal of $23,200 after a huge day yesterday coming off John Philipavage's appearance on our show. You can still contribute
--USA won the cable ratings race last week averaging 2.79 million viewers in prime time to 2.09 million for The History Channel. With football season starting, the race will change greatly starting this week. Syfy Was No. 16 at 1.28 million viewers. FX was down to No. 25 at 957,000 and Spike was not in the top 25. Raw last week finished No. 9, No. 12 and No. 22 for the three hours. It didn't crack the top ten in 18-34 and the second hour was No. 10 in 18-49.
--Georges St. Pierre and Carlos Condit are in the process of working out details for extensive drug testing prior to their fight.
--Matt Hardy will be doing commentary for one match on Saturday's ROH iPPV, which is likely to start whatever angle he's doing.
--Bob Evans will be making a big announcement on the Ringside Rap show at 8:30 p.m. tonight on BlogTalkRadio
--Edge was at last night's WWE show in Ottawa because one of his students, Leah Von Dutch, was getting a backstage tryout. There were five wrestlers getting tryouts. Notable is that William Regal, who is on of the men in charge of the tryouts, stressed that the company is now looking for ROH style wrestlers, which is different from the previous mindset.
--The new season of The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. U.K., was announced today as airing on ESPN U.K. It did not have a U.K. broadcast deal announced. The first episode starts in the U.K. on 9/19.
--The Los Angles Observer has a story on legendary sports photographer Theo Ehret
, who passed away a few months ago. Ehret was the house photographer for wrestling and boxing at the Olympic Auditorium in the 60s and 70s and also shot the apartment house wrestling stuff that appeared in the Apter-mags during the 70s.
How should WWE or TNA handle situations like what happened to Jerry Lawler in the future on a live show?
- Every situation is different but a death should cancel the show immediately. Otherwise, go by instinct 69.5%
- Stop the match, focus on the more important story 13.3%
- Keep the matches going, but cut down on the storyline talking because it's not the time or place 11.6%
- Continue the show as scheduled 5.6%
--Golden Boy Promotions has announced a $100,000 bonus for knockout of the night on Saturday night. This is the Showtime card, not the PPV card, from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas headlined by Canelo Alvarez vs. Joseito Lopez and Jhonny Gonzalez defending the WBC featherweight title against Daniel Ponce De Leon. In a trivia note, Gonzalez's girlfriend is pro wrestler Sexi Star. Fans will be asked to text who they thought delivered the best knockouts of the four TV fights and the winner gets the bonus. UFC, on one show, allowed fans to vote on bonuses and well, it only lasted one show.
--Round 5 announced the latest Ultimate Collector series action figures of Chael Sonnen, Alistair Overeem, Dominick Cruz, Anthony Pettis and Mark Coleman.
--Lucha Xtreme from Saturday night on Fresno television: Johnny Plinko b Fuego Salvaje, Vinny Massaro b L.J. Summers, Texas Hitmen b Mike Dillinger & Brandon Pinion, Brandon Groom b Mike Rayne-DQ, Brian Cage b Mustafa Saed (of the Gangstas). The show is moving to 8 p.m. on Saturday nights. The finals of their title tournament will be on 10/14 at the Fresno Fair. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--All Star Wrestling on 9/23 in Abbotsford, BC at the Arts Centre headlined by Gangrel defending the Trans Canada title against the winner of a Battle Royal earlier in the show. They are planning on running monthly in the city.
--There will be an autograph session with Edge and Tommy Dreamer from 2-5 p.m. on 10/7 at Dave and Busters in Philadelphia. It is $100 for Edge for one autograph and one photo.
--NWA Ring Warriors from Saturday night in Hollywood, FL: Wes Brisco & Cassidy Riley b Tommy Vandal & Sean Allen, Headbangers b Red Devil Fight Club, Sienna DuVall b La Rosa Negra, Vordell Walker NC Buck Q, Johnny Vandal b Billy Fives, Vader b Jesse Neal, Wes Brisco & Cassidy Riley became NWA Ring Warriors Global tag team champions over Headbangers in tournament final, Bruce Santee b Chance Prophet (thanks to Paul Kacprzak)
--New England Championship Wrestling on 9/14 in Blackstone, MA at the Millerville Men's Club with a tournament for the NECW heavyweight title.
--CWE on 9/28 in Winnipeg at the Garden City Collegiate featuring Dan Severn headlining. Angelina Love also appears on the show.
--All American Pro Wrestling on 9/22 in Marion, IL at the Black Diamond Harley-Davidson Warehouse features Adam Pearce defending the NWA title against Heath Hatton.
--Sacramento Pro Wrestling on 9/16 in Sacramento at 6200 McMahon Dr. with Drake Younger vs. Mustafa Saed of the Gangstas.
--Progress Wrestling on 9/30 in Islington, U.K. at 4 p.m.
--There are two shows at The Hangar in Orange County, CA upcoming. On 10/4 at 7:30 p.m. there is a show with three boxing matches and three MMA matches. On 10/6, there is a ten match MMA card promoted by Roy Engelbrecht and Tito Ortiz.