*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.
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
You can also order by paypal by sending to www.paypal.com
and directing the funds to
You can also subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.
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)
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.
Monday's news update
--Regarding the cancellation of this coming Saturday's Strikeforce card, Josh Thomson volunteered to face Pat Healy in the main event. Showtime wasn't interested in that fight. Gilbert Melendez suffered a separated shoulder in training working with Jake Shields, which is what put him out of the main event against Healy. Healy noted today that he had spent $5000 on his training camp and now isn't getting paid until the fight takes place (probably early 2013), nor getting his sponsorship money.
--In predictions from UFC in Canada, Mike Sempervive was this past week's winner going 4-1, being the only person to pick Demetrious Johnson over Joseph Benavidez. Myself, Bryan, Oliver Copp and Todd Martin all went 3-2 (missing Johnson and Cub Swanson's win) while Josh Nason and Mike Sawyer were 2-3.
--Even though Ryback was busted open at the Saturday night house show in Sarnia, ONT, he worked last night in London, ONT with Jinder Mahal, and at least as of this morning, was scheduled for some sort of an angle with Miz on tonight's Raw. Also scheduled for Raw tonight includes following up on the C.M. Punk/Brad Maddox (referee) angle, interviews with John Cena, a satellite or taped interview with Jerry Lawler, the announcement of the Hulu deal and something to advance the Prime Time Players vs. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara. They will also be promoting Criss Angel and whatever he's doing since he's tonight's social media ambassador.
--On today's MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Rampage Jackson was the guest and Matt Mitrione called in. They got at it and Mitrione challenged him to fight at a catchweight, which Jackson accepted and then Jackson wanted it a winner-take-all fight. Jackson, who previously said he was done with UFC after his next fight when his contract expired, said he's regained his love for MMA and wants to fight a few more years for whoever offers him the most money. In other words, he's likely staying in UFC.
He said he can beat Jon Jones and Jones is the kind of guy where it takes two fights to figure out how to beat him. He ripped on Jones for throwing cowardly kicks to the kneecap and said Ryan Bader sucks because he's just a points fighter. He said he has no problems with Dana White (this changes based on Jackson's mood swings). He also intimated that UFC fixed his fight with Forrest Griffin because Griffin was their white golden boy. Oh God.
--Reader Mike McNulty was at Times Square in New York on 9/16 with all the street performers and saw a guy doing step ups on a box: 63 year old Bob Backlund who would do 100 step ups and then used a wheel. He was selling a 'gym in a box', which was the wheel and box to step up. He's in incredible shape for his age. McNulty said he talked with him and Backlund thanked him, all the while doing his exercises while talking and never being winded.
Poll on ROH TV show
74.5% of those responding didn't see the show
What was the best TV show of the past week?
UFC 152 prelims 20.3%
MMA Uncensored 2.8%
Fight Factory 2.3%
Ultimate Fighter 1.7%
Countdown to UFC 152 1.1%
Inside MMA 0.6%
--UFC has a press conference open to the public on Thursday at Noon at the Montreal Science Center with Georges St. Pierre, Carlos Condit and UFC Canada head Tom Wright. Tickets go on sale Thursday to Fight Club members, Friday to newsletter subscribers and Saturday to the general public.
--Here's a really cool story from Saturday regarding Mad Dog Vachon and his friend DeJay Monson
. Vachon, who is now in his early 80s, likes to hang out at Monson's farm and talk wrestling and watch tapes. Monson noted with Vachon at the age he is, he doesn't know how many more trips he has left coming to the farm.
--B.J. Whitmer, who debuted at the ROH tapings on Saturday night in Baltimore, appears to be a regular now.
--Ultimate Warrior appears 11/10 signing autographs at Frank & Sons Collectibles from 1-4 p.m. at the City of Industry, CA. Autographs are $60 and photos are $60, but Warrior will not sign the WWE documentary about him. (Jeez, any fan who brings him that documentary to sign either has an IQ under ten or is an absolute dick to begin with.)
-Here's a two-party story on Jerry Lawler, his heart attack and how old is too old when it comes to wrestling: Part 1
& Part 2
--Invicta Fighting Championships announced a business relationship with the Super Fight League out of India. I wonder what that means for the Invicta relationship with Strikeforce.
--In Australia, the first episode of the U.S. season of Ultimate Fighter aired on Foxtel and it was a mess. On multiple occasions, they went to an ad break out of nowhere, usually in the middle of rounds and when they came back, it would be a different fight being ready to start. A few times, they restarted the fight that had just aired. People watching wouldn't have known who won several of the fights. Also, when the fighters were being picked, after the third round of picks, there was an ad out of nowhere. Then the show ended and they went to the next television show. There had never been problems with TUF when it aired on Australia's version of Fuel, nor were there any problems with the Australia vs. U.K. season. (thanks to David Pender)
--Pro Wrestling Evo on 9/28 in Concord, NC with Cedric Alexander & Marcellus King & Zack Salvation as Team EVO vs. Team PWX of Roderick Strong & Eddie Edwards & Delirious.
--Ring Wars Carolinas on 10/6 in Fayetteville at the Rock Shop at 11 a.m. in a Children's Miracle Network fund raiser and 10/6 in Falcon, NC at the Falcon Children's Home at 7:30 p.m.
--Lucha Libre in Minneapolis from yesterday: Apostle 13 b Alas de Fuego, Gato Samurai & Guerrero Rebelde b Mexican Boy & Harucin-DQ, Teporocho b Chintin, Spider Baby b Black Dragon (thanks to Marvin Joel Rubin)
--Joey Ryan vs. SoCal Crazy headlines for EWF on 10/5 in Covina, CA at the Knights of Columbus Hall. They also run 10/13 in San Bernardino, CA at the Sports Academy Fight Club.
--ECWA on 10/6 in Newark, DE at the Greater Newark Boys and Girls Club featuring the second annual K-Cup, which is an eight team tag team tournament named after The Fabulous Kangaroos, one of the best tag teams in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Teams are Fusion DS, Nigerian Nightmares, Ricky Martinez & Danny E, Rex Lawless & Apollyon, Kekoa the Flying Hawaiian & Aden Chambers, Kirby Mack & Derek Ryze, Dixie & Azrieal and Chris Rockwell & Sam Shields. They also have a show on 10/10 in Sewell, NJ at Sports and More.
--There will be a show on 9/29 in Bay City, MI at the Prime Event Center, although no Steiner Brothers on the show, who grew up in that city. Those appearing include Bushwhacker Luke Williams, Zach Gowen and D-Ray 3000.
--Future Stars of Wrestling from yesterday in Las Vegas: Bryce Harrison b Crash Test Cody, Devin Sparks b Mr. Smith, Agency b Kid Vegas & Mike Dalite, Sugar Brown b Jack Manley, Shawn Daivari & Sheik Khan Abadi & Sikou b Gorgeous & Young & Tristan Kelli, Suburban Commandos b Iwi, Brandon Gatson b Ric Ellis, Jason Partain b Jayson Cash in a lumberjack match, Young Bucks b Hater Nation to win tag team titles.
--Absolute Intense Wrestling from yesterday in Cleveland: Dustin Rayz b Isais Velasquez, Ethan Page b Davey Vega, Submission Squad b Jock Samson-COR, Colin Delaney over Michael Facade, Gary Jay and Josh Alexander in a four-way, Veda Scott b Mia Yim, Gregory Iron b Josh Prohibition, B.J. Whitmer NC Eddie Kingston, Obariyon & Kodama b Flip Kendrick & Louis Lyndon, Allysin Kay b Crazy Mary Dobson, Irish Airborne b Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly, Johnny Gargano b Eric Ryan, Tim Donst b ACH (thanks to Mike Minadeo)
--Fight Night 5 (MMA) takes place on 11/17 in Lewiston, ME at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
--GOUGE on 9/29 in Apex, NC at the Iron Horse Bar features Eddie Edwards and Roderick Strong as well as the regular GOUGE crew.