By Dave Meltzer
We're looking for your thoughts on Friday night's UFC on FX show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're also looking for reports on these shows tonight:
*Raw today in Spokane, WA
*Smackdown today in Reno
*Raw Saturday night in Yakima, WA
*Smackdown last night in Anaheim Saturday
*TNA Friday night in Hot Springs, AR
*TNA Saturday night in Fort Smith, AR
Today is also AAA's Hero Inmortales, the next to last major show of the year, from San Luis Potosi.
On Fuel tonight is Ultimate Fighter at 9 p.m. and again at 10 p.m. with the last two week's episodes, and a replay of the FX show from Friday night at 11 p.m..
Monday has Raw from Sacramento with the return to television of Vince McMahon as well as John Cena appearing on the show, with more on Punk/Ryback, Punk/Cena Hell in a Cell storyline and the continuation of the tag team tournament.
Monday also has a head-to-head showdown in Japan as New Japan has a PPV show from Sumo Hall in Tokyo headlined by Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki for the IWGP heavyweight title. Pro Wrestling NOAH has its big show at the Yokohama Prefectural Gym headlined by Takeshi Morishima vs. Jun Akiyama for the GHC heavyweight title, Samoa Joe & Magnus vs. KENTA & Maybach Taniguchi for the GHC tag titles, plus a NOAH vs. Zero-One feud series of matches.
Tuesday is Smackdown and Main Event tapings in San Jose. Randy Orton vs. Big Show will be the taped main event for Main Event.
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.
The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world. Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.
If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. Just sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to
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We also have a story on Ted Boy Marino, a huge national star in the heyday of pro wrestling in Brazil. Marino was a pro wrestler who had a level of mainstream appeal that only a handful of pro wrestlers have had within their country over the past 50 years.
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.
Sunday's news update
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Raw, Bautista, Smackdown as well as taking e-mail questions tonight that you can send to
--Dennis Hallman did a video interview with Frank Trigg where he said his personal issues were that he was going through a brutal custody battle with his wife. He alleged in the interview that his wife is struggling with drug problems and Hallman said he suffered a nervous breakdown trying to make weight and the only reason he was going to go through with the fight was because he needed to money to get custody of his daughter.
--We haven't heard anything as to why like a possible injury, but at last night's house show in Anaheim, Dolph Ziggler didn't wrestle. He was there and after the main event was over, he came in for a cash in of the briefcase on Sheamus (who had beaten Alberto Del Rio in a last man standing match). Ziggler took a Brogue kick but that was it for his physical activity. We'll probably know more in a day or two.
--Memphis author and historian Mark James noted to us that he spoke to Jerry Lawler for a few minutes at a show last night and he's doing great. He said he was already the same old king.
--The New Japan iPPV will be at 4 a.m. Eastern and 1 a.m. Pacific tonight
Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata & Strongman vs. Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka & Tomohiro Ishii
Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov vs. Kushida & Alex Shelley for IWGP jr. tag title
Kota Ibushi vs. Low Ki for IWGP title
Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer for IWGP tag title
Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue
Tetsuya Naito vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Kazuchika Okada vs. Karl Anderson for IWGP title shot
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hirooki Goto for IC title
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki for IWGP heavyweight title
What did you think of Ultimate Fighter on Friday?
63.0% of those responding didn't see the show. This is such a turnaround in a bad way from even last season.
What did you think of Bellator?
75.0% of those responding didn't see the show.
What did you think of Smackdown?
43.9% of those responding didn't see the show
Who do you think wins this fight?
Demetrious Johnson 69.5%
John Dodson 30.5%
--Ultimate Warrior was to do an autograph appearance last night at a Big Time Wrestling show in Portland, ME. He showed up three hours late. Virgil was also there with the lonely non-lnie. About 300-400 fans came to the show. (thanks to Chris Cruise)
--Remy Bonjasky of K-1 fame headlined a Glory show in Brussels, Belgium yesterday beating Anderson Braddock Silva (the other Anderson Silva via getting the nod from four of five judges in an overtime round after they went to a draw. Gokhan Saki beat Mourad Bouzidi via decision.
--USWO from Friday night in Nashville before 68 fans: Tim Scruggs & James Dudley b Menion & American Psycho, Justin Grandberry won three-way over Chris Norte and Big Time Sexy, Josh Crow b Matt Korbaine, Kerry Awful b Nick Iggy, Jon Davis b Drew Haskins, Damien Payne b Scott Hayes-DQ (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--Perros Del Mal from Thursday night in Mexico City: Douky & Daisuke Hanaoka b Celestial & Cosmico, Ek-Balam & Kronus b Ares & Jeque, Teddy Hart & Trauma I b Nicho & Trauma II, Sexy Star won a three-way bikini contest over Taya Vakyrie (the only one who came out in a bikini) and La Hiedra when Teddy Hart did a run with two other women for a DQ, Perro Aguayo Jr. & Halloween b El Texano Jr.& Toscano-DQ (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Real Championship Wrestling from last night in Baltimore: Greg Excellent over Core, Kindred and Ruckus in a four-way, Kimber Lee b Annie Social, The Runaways b Monster Mafia, Robbie Mireno b Lance Steel, Alex Payne b Skull, Mia Yim & Mary Dobson b Aki Kanbayashi & Kimber Lee, Blk Jeez b Christian York, Derek Frazier b Devon Moore and Ryan McBride in a three-way. Next show is 11/3 with Jazz appearing (thanks to Joe Burrows)
--Belleview Pro Wrestling from last night not sure city but Orlando area: Aaron Epic won Battle Royal, Mike Reed b Jayson Falcone, Hayden Price & Jeff Boom b Derk Drexl & Rafael Altair, Santana Garrett b Radian Rain, Lince Dorado b Josh Hess, Tim Zbyszko b Gersom Sanchez, Chasyn Rance b J. D. Amazing, Chico Adams b Aaron Epic. (thanks to Al Haft)
--Lucha Xtreme from last night in Fresno: Primal Warrior b Big Dog-DQ, Brian Tannen b Brandon Pinon, Skitzo b Vinny Massaro, Brian Cage & Brandon Groom b Death & Destruction. They have a free show on 10/14 at the Fresno Fair with the finals of their world title tournament.
--GOUGE from last night in Yanceyville, NC: Super Pimpin & Big Mike b Outlaw Josh Vallen & Jay EZ, Court Montgomery b Kamikazi Kid, Seymour Snott b Steven Stiffler, Perfect Punk b Josh Vallen, Otto Schwanz b Pat Jones, Seymour Snott won Battle Royal. Next show is 10/20 in Roxboro, NC at the National Guard Armory.
--NAWA Big Time Wrestling from last night in Waxahachie, TX: Joe Angelo Garcia b Barrett Brown, Billy Club b Corey Saturn, Doberman & Big John Famous b Casey Cane & Scott Murdoch, Cowboy Adam b Nobe Bryant-DQ (thanks to Rob Moore)
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling from last night in Columbus, IN before 320 fans: T.J. Kemp & T.J. Kemp Jr. b JKO & JKO Jr., Fast Eddie b Sabotage Styles, Donny Idol & Aaron Anarchy b Damien Cole & Camron Star-DQ, High Rollers b Cooter & Stompin Steve, Ricky Ruckus won three-way over Bobby Black and J.D. Marioni, Shawn Cook b Doink the Clown, Leatherface b Zombie. Next show is 11/3 with the company's 14th anniversary show with Tommy Rich, Doug Gilbert, Eugene and Flash Flanagan. They ask you also bring a new toy for the Cheer Fund Toy Drive for Christmas. (thanks to Jerry Wilson)