- Raw last night in White Plains, NY (Big Show vs. C.M. Punk managed by Paul Heyman)
- Smackdown last night in Sarnia, ONT (Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio)
We update Lawler's health, his future wrestlers who have come back from heart attacks including one who was a major star in expanding the popularity of pro wrestling in a hotbed area within a year of suffering a heart attack. We also look at WWE medical care, and look back at Lawler's career starting with his first major big arena headline role in his tag team with Jim White, through his multi-year world title quest, through the ups and downs of Memphis wrestling during its glory days.
We look back at the Lawler vs. Fargo rivalry, Lawler's first sellouts as a singles star, the booking of Jerry Jarrett in building Lawler for his match with Jack Brisco and look back at the match. We also look at how Jarrett and Lawler successfully were able to take the publicity from Ali vs. Inoki in 1976 and create a major box office success. We also look at why such booking would be impossible today. We also look back at the Lawler vs. Dundee years, the success of hair vs. hair matches, the creation of Jarrett Promotions and the end of Nick Gulas, Jimmy Hart getting into pro wrestling, Lawler's in-ring psychology and where it came from, as well as Hulk Hogan's first big box office program.
We look at the story behind Lawler vs. Dundee and the most unique television pro wrestling show in history, as well as a rundown of the Andy Kaufman feud. We look at the original match, Letterman, the classic angle in the Lawler vs. Nick Bockwinkel match, the Lawler vs. Austin Idol feud, the Curt Hennig win and the death of local Memphis wrestling.
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.
We also have a note on the changes in television, most notably the decline in television homes while the population increases in the U.S., why this is happening, and the most important television markets.
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 a look at WWE's Night of Champions show, along with plans for Hell in a Cell, background of Cena's elbow and ankle injuries, updates on WWE announcing. We've got a lot of notes on the show, as well as business notes, and match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
We also have notes on how WWE edited Raw last week due to what happened to Jerry Lawler, but other edits taken out of the show. We also have more of a reaction backstage when the Lawler thing happened. Bret Hart talks his return to Montreal in a WWE ring. He also talks Jerry Lawler and Vince McMahon. We look at WWE removing clips from the Internet, the heated Linda McMahon senate campaign, update on Rock's schedule, indie talent getting tryouts, Eve Torres engagement, and funny "Did You Know" stuff on WWE television. We also look at Paul Heyman's house show schedule and the role of Brad Maddox in WWE. We also look at a recent business change, Ric Flair's daughter in WWE, former WWE star documentary on life after wrestling and business notes from the past week and WWE's house show notes.
We also run down the CMLL 79th anniversary show, regarding the oldest pro wrestling company in history and its biggest show of the year.
We also look at the problems with Ring of Honor and iPPV, the company's reaction, where things screwed up, the next attempt, a better way to handle things, as well as a rundown of the Death Before Dishonor show.
We also look at Pro Wrestling NOAH's major show of the month, which was the 20th anniversary of the debut of Jun Akiyama. We look back at Akiyama highlights, as well as results from the show and where NOAH is going with its next big show. We've also got notes on TNA talent returning to Japan to defend their tag titles.
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:
--A bad sign regarding Shocker
--A look at AAA's last TV taping and latest interpromotional idea
--Dragon Gate has a Japan only PPV this week and a look at the card
--Updating NOAH's junior heavyweight tournament
--New Japan announces tag team tournament
--More on mentality of guys working when they are hurt
--Update on Tammy Sytch
--Former major league baseball player debuting this week
--Several contracts expiring in ROH
--Notes on next ROH TV tapings
--More on Impact schedule for the rest of the year
--Lots of news on Bound for Glory
--Why Jeff Hardy is getting the big push right now
--Devon talks leaving TNA
--More on Matt Morgan's return to TNA
--A look at the weekend TNA house shows
--A look at the remade UFC 153
--Update on Jose Aldo
--More fights falling apart in UFC
--Update on ticket sales to upcoming shows
--How UFC got a lucky sports break this week
--Update on Chael Sonnen
--DirecTV UFC discount package being offered
--Lots of new UFC fights
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)
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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.
Sunday's news update
--Nothing new on this from last night, but Jon Jones was fearing nerve damage in his right bicep from the armbar Vitor Belfort had on him. Jones refused to tap, the elbow popped, Belfort let up, Jones escaped and mauled Belfort the rest of the fight.
--One thing not said at all about the mental pressure Jones was under is that his mother Camille, who is almost blind due to diabetes, is meeting this week with a specialist in Baltimore about a kidney transplant. Jon hired her a nurse and a chef. Fox Sports' Alex Marvez has the story
in a feature on the Jones brothers.
--The single most searched for thing in the U.S. on Google yesterday was UFC with more than 200,000 searches. That would usually indicate a good but not great buy rate out of last night because there's usually a correlation.
--More from Dana White that we didn't talk about last night:
On Bellator: "What they do (after cutting guys, if another company makes an offer they tie them up over right of first refusal in the case of Roger Hollett) is one of the dirtiest things in the business, dirty, grimy despicable. . . I have no beef with those guys but that's dirty. It's borderline criminal."
On Bob Arum: "Whenever boxing does good things, I like it. I'm always watching to see what they do on PPV. I'm happy for them when they do well. I want to see boxing pull big numbers. I'm not Bob Arum that crusty old dick. Boxing's great. It's an incredible sport. I'm not going to play Bob Arum's pussy game. They went head-to-head. They took the same night we're on (Dec. 8 for Pacquiao vs. Marquez), on purpose, probably. Bob Arum, the guy's a dick. For some reason he hates the fact this sport is doing well, other guys are able to make money, other athletes are able to perform and do great things."
--Here's The Toronto Sun article
that got White upset and what he referenced at the post-event presser. During his rant against the author, he labeled the company's five biggest draws as Anderson Silva, GSP, Jon Jones, Chael Sonnen and Rashad Evans.
-- Mike Sempervive led the way in UFC 152 picks at 4-1, the only person to pick Demetrious Johnson to beat Joe Benavidez. Myself, Bryan Alvarez, Todd Martin and Oliver Copp all were 3-2 while Josh Nason and Mike Sawyer were 2-3.
--They had an unplanned ending at last night's WWE house show in Sarnia, ONT. Ryback faced Jinder Mahal and Ryback got bloodied up accidentally and they stopped the match two minutes in, ruling it a no contest, as opposed to having Ryback hit the Samoan drop on him right way for the planned finish.
--After all the mud slinging in the Linda McMahon/Chris Murphy senate race, with McMahon bringing up Murphy being late twice on mortgage payments, it came out that the McMahons were 51 days late in paying their property tax bill of $54,110 on a condo they own in Stamford. On Friday, they paid the full bill for the year. This led to both sides blasting the other, with Murphy's campaign manager asking how McMahon can lie her way out of this one while McMahon's side said Murphy going after her on this subject makes him a hypocrite of the highest order.
--Aksana was on the road with the Raw crew but not associated with Antonio Cesaro after their breakup on TV. She refereed Layla vs. Eve Torres while Cesaro did a U.S. title match with Zack Ryder in White Plains.
--A correction from yesterday: the Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots game with Chandler Jones facing Arthur Jones (Jon's two brothers) is in Baltimore, not Foxborough, MA.
--Yesterday was the 16th anniversary of the Shawn Michaels vs. Mick Foley Mind Games PPV from Philadelphia that was one of the best matches of Foley's career (thanks to Paul Carboni)
--The tabloid The Globe had a full page story on Jerry Lawler.
Who is the greatest female wrestler of all-time?
Manami Toyota 33.7%
Trish Stratus 20.6%
Fabulous Moolah 14.2%
Bull Nakano 7.8%
Mildred Burke 7.3%
Akira Hokuto 7.3%
Aja Kong 4.2%
Jaguar Yokota 1.8%
Chigusa Nagayo 1.3%
Lioness Asuka 1.3%
June Byers 0.4%
Who was the greatest jr. heavyweight star in Japan?
Jushin Liger 50.1%
Original Tiger Mask 18.2%
Chris Benoit 11.1%
Dynamite Kid 9.1%
Eddy Guerrero 3.7%
Danny Hodge 2.2%
Koji Kanemoto 1.5%
Second Tiger Mask 1.5%
Prince Devitt 1.0%
Gran Hamada 0.7%
Chavo Guerrero Sr. 0.5%
Shiro Koshinaka 0.5%
Poll on Ultimate Fighter from Friday
65.6% of those responding didn't see the show
Poll on Smackdown
38.7% of those responding didn't see the show
Should Evan Markopolous be hired by TNA?
Didn't see Impact 32.3%
--Belief.net has a two part video interview with Chris Jericho talking about his religious beliefs.
--AAW from Friday night in Berwyn, IL: J. Miller b Cameron Sky, Irish Airborne b Zero Gravity, Lamar Titan b Isaias Velasquez, Tweek Phoenix b Marion Fontaine, Colt Cabana b Jesse Emerson, Sami Callihan & B.J. Whitmer b Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reilly, Danny Daniels b Waylan, MsChif won over Marcus Crane, Davey Vega, mason Beck, Austin Mannix and Trevor Court, ACH b Shane Hollister, Michael Elgin b Silas Young in 39:02 of an I Quit match to win the AAW heavyweight title
--Last night during the San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres game, when Pablo Sandoval made a great foul ball catch over the guard rail, Mike Krukow (announcer) on the replay said Sandoval almost scissor kicked an elderly gentleman as he fell. Duane Kiper then said "Looks like from the old Big Time Wrestling days." (thanks to John LaRocca)
--Mid Missouri Wrestling Alliance from last night in Lemay, MO: Brian James b Max Archer, Dave Osborne b Lumberjack Abe, Ricky Cruz b Ken Kasa, Lumberjack Gabe b Jimmy D, Gary Jackson b Jake Dirden, Dave Osborne b Brian James, Ricky Cruz b Lumberjack Gabe, Dave Osborne b Ricky Cruz-COR to win the one-night tournament. Dave Hebner worked as the manager for Lumberjack Gabe (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
--Lucha Libre Xtreme from last night's TV in Fresno: J.R. Kratos b Jesus Kruz, Wiseguy b Elmento, Brian Tannen b Brian Cage, Death & Destruction b Suburban Commandos-DQ, Homicide & Manny Fernandez b Brian Tannen & J.R. Kratos (taped match from the summer at Grizzly Stadium after a minor league baseball game) (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--Wrestling for a Cause on 10/12 in Sanford, FL at the Seminole High School Competition Gym headlined by Buck Quartermaine and Bruce Santee. Quartermaine is also teaching at the WFC Dojo in Tampa, a wrestling training facility.
--NWA Texoma Pride Wrestling from Friday night in Sherman, TX: Dane Griffin b Jamie, Michael Faith b Manimal, Mike Foxx b Carson-DQ, Kevin Douglas b Aski, Kahagas b Steven Kirby, Kyra Maya b Starr Venus and Barbi, Byron Wilcott b Tim Storm in a non-title match (thanks to Rob Moore)
--A documentary called "Theresa Sareo: Alive Again" has a promotional event on 10/5 from 6:30 p.m. to midnight at Gizzi's on 16 West 8th St. in Greenwich Village. Lanny Poffo is in the movie that played at a number of film festivals an will be telling road stories and reading poetry as well as doing a Q&A at 9 p.m. The movie also screens 10/15 at 8 p.m. at the Reel Independent Film Fest in Washington, DC. Evan Ginzberg, who has been around wrestling for years, put the documentary together about a women who lost her right leg when an impaired driver of an SUV crashed into her.
--Southern Championship Wrestling from last night in Sanford, FL: J.D. Amazing & Uncanny Brandon Scherer b Gersom Sanchez & Ryan Jay, Teigen James b Buddy Fonta, Tim Zbyszko b C.J. Summers, Dagon of the Dead b Chasyn Rance-DQ, Santana Garrett b Leva Bates to keep the women's title, Jason Hexx & Victor Creed b London Vice & Johnny Armani. Next show is 11/17 (thanks to Al Haft)
--KnokX Pro Wrestling from yesterday in Sun Valley, CA: TMD b Jezette, EyeZ in Disguise b Pedro, Black Pearl & aKILLeez b Maverick & Zander Jones, Rapture II b Ricky Activist, Parker Greaves NC TMD in a tuxedo street fight
--Combat Zone Wrestling sent a message that yesterday's event is still in the process of being edited so there will be a delay in the release of the stream. They are planning for it to be released on Wednesday.