WWE Main Event debuts tonight on Ion. Michael Cole and The Miz will be doing the commentary:
Non-title: C.M. Punk vs. Sheamus
Tag team tournament: Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel vs. Zack Ryder & Santino Marella
Both WWE and UFC set record low ratings this past week for their flagship television shows. In the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, we look at what led to the low Raw numbers as well as what was the star segment of the show, how when people usually turn off Raw, they skyrocketed and what segments lost audience. We also look at the plight of Ultimate Fighter, as well as history on Raw battling football as the season goes on.
The issue will be up later today on the web site. A new back issue from 1995 is currently on the site.
We also have a look at Brock Lesnar's financial value to WWE so far, and if he's worth his massive pay. We look at how Extreme Rules and SummerSlam did, including some very strange results that are hard to explain. We also look at why Lesnar is likely to be offered a new contract by WWE when this one expires.
We also look at the former WWE star and Hall of Famer who had been in secret negotiations and why they fell through at present.
We also have a look at the latest ESPN poll on the popularity of WWE, UFC and Boxing across every age group. The poll is interesting because the general public perception of who is actually most interested in all three genres, and even television ratings, tell a very different story. We also look at how boxing and wrestling's popularity have changed over the past decade and why one of the three has the best chance of increasing for reasons few have really picked up on.
The poll shows a lot about where WWE may be making mistakes with their approach. It also has Lorenzo Fertitta talking about how his sport has decreased in popularity in recent years and his reaction to it.
We also look at New Japan opening up in the iPPV business on an international basis this week. We look at how the Japanese marketplace makes iPPV more viable than the U.S. marketplace. We also look at attempts over the years to market Japanese pro wrestling in the U.S. We also look at the first card, with notes on all the participants and every match.
We also have a full rundown of the UFC show in Nottingham, England, with background on the show, all the financial numbers, injury notes, judging and match-by-match coverage.
We also have a story on the departure of Kelly from WWE, talking about the background of how it all went down, how she got started in pro wrestling to begin with, why so many people have been leaving WWE, and what is next for her.
We also have a major feature looking at the 2013 WrestleMania, including directions for all the major names. We look at why one match up where the angle was shot a long ways back is unlikely to happen. We look at different potential usages of big names, as well as what people internally have said about Undertaker.
We also update Hell in a Cell, update Jerry Lawler and John Cena. We also look at a former star looking at returning, the tag team tournament, what department in WWE is undergoing major changes, notes on house shows, an update on Edge and his neck surgery, Randy Orton's schedule for the next few weeks, WWE stars talk about their backgrounds, notes on another tryout camp, C.M. Punk's schedule this pat week, WWE's relationship with Full Sail University in Florida, Michael Cole's new role, update on Steve Austin, as well as business notes from WWE over the past week and details of all the weekend house shows.
We also have a look at Bobby Jaggers, a star in the 70s and 80s in a number of territories, who passed away this past week. He look at his style, his career, and his heyday in different promotions, as well as what he was best known for in pro wrestling.
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:
--NWA historic middleweight title changes hands
--One of the oldest active titles returns as champion who has held the title for 37 years will defend it this week
--Major national star rushed to hospital with high fever and infection
--A look at the recent AAA TV tapings
--Notes on Heroes Inmortales, one of AAA's signature big evens of the year
--A look at the next Dragon Gate PPV show
--How title shot was decided
--Notes on next Dragon Gate USA tour shows
--All Japan and New Japan combine for shows in Taiwan
--NOAH notes on a title change and a tournament
--Japanese star breaks Karelin's all-time world championship record
--Genichiro Tenryu vows a return and a look at his probable first opponent back
--Update on Japan's New Year's Eve tradition and plans being made
--The wacky world of Inoki Genome Federation
--U.S. indie star wins major title in Japan
--First Legend Pro Wrestling show on 2013
--Daughter of 70s and 80s star makes name for herself in another sport
--Update on George & Stacy
--Notes on Tommy Dreamer's first House of Hardcore show
--Daivari talks about choking out an unruly passenger on a bus
--Former WWF star gets movie role next to DeNiro
--Australian WCW Hall of Fame notes
--TNA sued by longtime star
--Lots of notes regarding Bound for Glory
--Update on Aces and 8s angle
--Update on overseas wrestlers who will be appearing at the TNA tapings over the next few weeks
--UFC PPV update
--Notes on UFC's new hire to run European operations
--What the problems have been in Europe to far
--A look at this week's UFC show
--Update on Jon Jones
--Update on the middleweight division
--Why two major fights fell through this past week
--Lots of new fights
--How a UFC announcement has great impact going forward on the next few WrestleManias
--Shane Carwin talks his knee injury and his fight with Roy Nelson
--What state Dana White said he's avoiding
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Notes from Bellator's debut
--Notes on a triple head-to-head MMA battle this week
--Notes on all three shows
--Who is Vince Lucero, the new opponent for Bautista
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.
Our most requested issues in our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for 4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 for 52 .
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods.
To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
Wednesday's news update
--We'll also be updating the latest news including ratings and notes from the new issue of the Observer tonight on Wrestling Observer radio and you can always send questions to the show to
--The death of 70s and 80s star Bobby Jaggers was due to the effects of Agent Orange that he first picked up in the early 70s while serving in Vietnam. Jaggers passed away in Baton Rouge where he was on site working for FEMA.
--Ion is heavily advertising the debut of WWE Main Event tonight on ESPN in the New York market. The ads are built around John Cena, who is not on tonight's show.
--Once again, tons of stuff from Raw was edited off the Hulu plus version. Among the things not on the version were the Big Show/Sheamus debate, Ryback vs. Tensai, Eve Torres vs. Beth Phoenix, Santino Marella vs. Heath Slater, Antonio Cesaro vs. Brodus Clay and parts of the Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Primo & Epico match.
--Weigh-ins for Dave Bautista's MMA debut will be on Friday at the Marriott Downtown Hotel in Providence, RI at 1:30 p.m.
--For the past week, ESPN was No. 1 in prime time on cable with an average of 3.03 million viewers to 2.33 million for USA. Syfy was No. 9 at 1.27 million. FX was No. 15 with 1.10 million Spike didn't crack the top 25. Even though last week's Raw did its lowest audience in years, the three hours were still No. 6, No. 9 and No. 10 for the week in the ratings. The second and first hour were No. 7 and No. 9 in 18-49.
--For what this is worth, John Layfield on twitter has said he has not been told he is announcing on Raw on Monday. On this past week's show, it was mentioned that JBL would return. That's not as strange as you think. The announcers are often the last to be called in regard to assignments, especially now when the regular Raw host is gone.
--Anthony Johnson faces D.J. Linderman and Miguel Torres faces Marlon Moraes is two of the main fights on the 11/3 World Series of Fighting show from Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. The show will air live on NBC Sports, head-to-head with the next Strikeforce event on Showtime.
--UFC has started advertising in the Vancouver market for the 12/8 show in Seattle headlined by Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz for the lightweight title.
--There is a very good story on Jeff Hardy talking about Bound for Glory, kicking his drug habit, going through Matt Hardy's problems and more at
When asked about possibly returning to WWE next year when his TNA deal expires, he did the never say never answer.
Who was the star of Raw?
C.M. Punk 41.0%
Jim Ross 16.8%
Daniel Bryan 14.1%
Ricardo Rodriguez 4.4%
Paul Heyman 3.5a%
Are you going to watch WWE Main Event?
No, I'm a WWE fan but I watch enough for one week as it is 41.6%
Don't get Ion but would watch it if I did 16.9%
Not a WWE fan, so no 13.4%
What was the best match on Raw?
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow 56.2%
Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler & C.M Punk 23.3%
Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Primo & Epico 18.4%
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston 2.1%
What did you think of Monday's Raw?
20.5% of those responding didn't see the show
--UFC has cut Michihiro Omigawa to go along with the news yesterday of Charlie Brenneman being cut.
--A story on Ronaldo Melo of Coral Springs, FL, a third degree black belt who has fought MMA in Brazil, being arrested for beating up his wife on and off for eight ours is at http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/crime/fl-coral-springs-domestic-strangulation-20121002.0.21111962.story
The police report said Melo began assaulting wife Vivian Heiderich at 9 p.m. on 9/28 when he came home and saw that his wife wasn't there. When she got home, they fought over an e-mail message in his account and money issues. Melo allegedly punched his wife and tried to choke her, threatened to kill her, threw picture frames at her, knocked her down, kicked her in the ribs and punched her in the stomach. He allegedly threatened to hit her over the head with an iron and told her he wanted to shoot her in the back when she walked away. She was locked in the bedroom and he continued to attack her until the next day. She finally escaped and went to the hospital. Melo told police the injuries came when his wife fell off a ladder she put on a night stand. Melo was charged with false imprisonment, domestic battery with strangulation and aggravated assault. He is being held on $75,000 bond at the Broward County jail. (thanks to Paul Kacprzak)
--Invicta FC is partnering with Hope House in Kansas City, a nonprofit shelter for victims of domestic violence to support National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The promotion on its web site is selling a line of Knock Out Domestic Violence merchandise. All proceeds from the sales will go to Hope House. They are also asking as a show of support for fans coming to Saturday night's show at Memorial Hall in Kansas City to wear purple. They ask also people to wear purple while streaming the show Saturday night.
--Premiere Wrestling Xperience on Friday night in Charlotte at the Neighborhood Theater is headlined by Matt Hardy vs. Kevin Steen. This will be an iPPV through Highspots.com
--A free live wrestling show on 10/11 in Winnipeg at the Northern Hotel put on by CWE. The group also has a TV taping on 10/21 in Winnipeg at the Royal Canadian Polish Legion. they will tape two episodes.
--PWX at the PXW Wrestleplex in McKeesport, PA on 10/13
--Frank Shamrock will be doing a book signing on Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble at the Media City Center in Burbank.
--NWA DAWG on 11/2 in Clayton, NJ at the High School headlined by Damien Wayne vs. Anthony Nese.
--Monday night CMLL in Puebla: Ares & Policeman b Dinamico & Tiger Rojo Jr., Hombre Bala Jr. & Stigma & Super Halcon Jr. b Apocalipsis & Artillero & Super Comando, Diamante & Starman & Triton b Arkangel de la Muerte & Escandalo & Hooligan, Taichi & Namajague & Okumura b Angel de Oro & Rey Cometa & Stuka Jr., Virus b Fuego to keep CMLL super lightweight title, La Mascara & Mascara Dorada & Mistico b Black Warrior & Dragon Rojo Jr. & Rey Escorpion (thanks to Kris Zellner and Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims)
--Sunday in Oaxaca: Cyborg & Caricia b Luz Clarita & Pasion Kristal, Atomic Boy & Halcon 78 & Juventud Guerrera b Decnis & King Dragon & Tonina Jackson Jr., Jack Evans & La Parka b Teddy Hart & Tabu
--Legend Wrestling in Tlanepantla: Black Thunder & Calle 13 & Miedo Extremo b Black & Blue Dragon & Extreme Misterio, Chapuline Negro & Dr. Mascara & Rey Mohicano b American Assassins I & II & Daisuke Hanaoka, Nihon Dragon & Taya Valkyrie & Mini Histeria b Black Thunder & Big Mama & La Parkita, Douky & Heddi Karaoui & Maya Balam & Zumbi b Dr. Karonte & Argenis & Argos & Dar Karonte Jr., Psycho Circus b Chris Masters & Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero
--LLC promotion on Sunday in Monterrey before 3,000 fans: Chamaco Gurrola & Los Gemelos Muerte I & II b Argenis & Kratos & Rey Orio, Gato Fantama & Pimpinela Escarlata b Genocida & Yuriko, Dalion & Super Parka & Toscano b Antifaz del Norte & Hator & Rico Rodriguez, Hector Garza & Humberto Garza Jr. & El Hijo del Ninja b Blue Demon Jr. & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. & Super Muneco
--Former Elite XC bantamweight champion Wilson Reis faces Billy Vaughan in the main event of Matrix Fights on 10/26 in South Philadelphia at the Sheet Metal Worker's Union Hall.
--Texas All Star Wrestling on 10/6 in Humble, TX at the Coaches Sports Bar at 5304 FM 1960 Road East.
--UWE runs on 11/24 in Sault Ste Marie, MI at the Kewadin Casinos DreamMakers Theater with Warlord, Barbarian, Demolition, Jimmy Snuka, Billy Gunn, Scotty 2 Hotty, Rikishi, Rhyno, Al Snow, ODB, Daivari, Ryan Howe and Jessie Belle Smothers. There will also be a Q&A session on 11/23 at the theater.
--River City Wrestling on Saturday night at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in San Antonio