WWE Main Event at 8 p.m. tonight on Ion
Randy Orton vs. Big Show
Kofi Kingston vs. Michael McGillicutty
A look at the Raw ratings and the WWE shakeups after the 15 year low on October 1 is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. It's an issue jammed with news, including the most detailed look at the Hulk Hogan sex tape scandal with a lot of new information, Vince McMahon's response to the ratings, the C.M. Punk incident hitting the fan in Sacramento, A look at TNA's Bound for Glory show, Steve Austin vs.C.M. Punk, the New Japan PPV show, the ROH booking change and WrestleMania 2013.
Both the issue and a back issue from 1995 will be up on the site today.
The lead story looks at changes made regarding bringing Vince McMahon back, what happened with Brian Gewirtz, how his role had changed, how the writing team is structured, who are the lead writers, the McMahon vs. C.M. Punk brawl, as well as the current A and B plan for Hell in a Cell.
We also have a detailed look at Hogan and the sex tape.
We have notes on the incident with C.M. Punk and the fan, as well as local coverage of the incident and reaction from both WWE and Punk.
We've got a rundown on Bound for Glory, looking at the programs going in and the fan reaction to the major angles.
We also look at one of the best PPV shows in recent years, the New Japan King of Pro Wrestling show featuring the Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki match. We look at business numbers on the show, a very positive stat as well as another stat which isn't nearly so positive. We've got match-by-match coverage as well as star ratings.
We also have a look at the ROH booking change and update the situation with that company as it builds for Final Battle in December. We look at the inherent problems with the promotion, the new role of Jim Cornette and the reaction to the Kevin Steen vs. Jay Lethal finish.
We also look at UFC's show this past week, why two matches didn't happen, the injury that led to the main event ending fast, business notes, ratings and more.
We also look at the C.M. Punk vs. Steve Austin rivalry, the taped seeming beginning of an angle, the Linda McMahon campaign, what people in Connecticut really think of pro wrestling, WWE end of the year television schedule and why they have two shows that will almost surely do record low numbers before the year is out. We also look at Sara Del Rey in WWE, just how valuable C.M. Punk has been to WWE of late, more WWE firings and departures that have not gotten out, Chris Jericho talks his future, the latest on Ric Flair and WWE, update on WWE injuries, as well as business notes from the past week and a look at all the weekend WWE house shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--Notes from Arena Mexico
--Son of former WWF and WCW star now in Mexico
--U.S. belts defended in Dragon Gate this past week
--What would have been a major dream match in the 90s is announced as a Hall of Fame candidate comes out of retirement at the age of 51 to face a current world champion he never faced in his heyday.
--All Japan creates a TV champion and notes on the tournament
--Next major All Japan show lineup
--Pro Wrestling NOAH's show that went head-to-head with the new Japan PPV with Morishima vs. Akiyama
--A look at the upcoming Global League singles tournament
--Notes on New Japan jr. heavyweight tag team tournament
--Zuffa heavyweight appearing on pro wrestling show next week
--The latest on Tammy Sytch
--Adam Copeland talks about no longer being Edge
--When he targeted ending his career originally
--More on the death of Bobby Jaggers
--Notes on Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore promotion debut show
--Target for a second show
--Linda Hogan's latest arrest
--Notes on next ROH iPPV card and direction
--Weekend ROH house show note
--King Mo situation
--What former TNA star is close to returning
--TNA house show notes
--How the change in a television channel could affect UFC
--More problems with the next Strikeforce show
--Why UFC is adding a new clause in all future talent contracts and what led to it
--Notes on the Brazil PPV
--Two UFC stars will be forever linked together
--UFC does one of its best ever television commercials
--Notes on UFC's year-end show
--Several UFC cuts
--Dana White talks TV numbers and what they learned from the England show
--Dana White cuts a promo on Spike TV
--Promotion's biggest star in his probable last match before leaving
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 have a new interview with Jonathan Snowden talking the subject of shooters in pro wrestling and the link of pro wrestling to MMA on a radio show today. Bryan and I will be back talking the latest news as well as this week's Observer, what did and didn't work in the ratings on Raw, Smackdown and more. You can always send in questions for the show at
--The death of Alex Karras, a NFL star in the 60s, has gotten a lot of attention today. As many people know, Karras did some pro wrestling in the late 50s and early 60s during NFL off-seasons. He had a match with Dick the Bruiser that got national media attention because Bruiser went to a night club that Karras owned a few days before the match, and it turned into a wild street fight. Bruiser ended up being arrested. Karras figured when Bruiser showed up that he was just there making a scene to get word around town of their already scheduled match, but it got way out of control..
--Last night on UFC Tonight, it was reported that a first examination of Jon Jones' elbow was that it was only a strain with no ligament damage. But his camp is having him get a follow up examination in Los Angeles.
--Brett Rogers fought most of his fight against Alexander Volkov on Friday night's Bellator show with a broken arm. He suffered the broken arm two minutes into the fight, but didn't figure our the forearm was broken until the third round. Rogers lost the fight via decision.
--The fan that C.M. Punk hit has decided against pressing any charges.
--Regarding three hour Raws, this ratings this past week tell you why USA would not want Raw to move back to two hours, even if long-term that is the best thing for everyone. USA's claim to fame is being No. 1 in cable, but this past week, USA was only No. 5 with an average of 2.19 million viewers in prime time, behind ESPN (3.51 million), Fox News (3.06 million), TBS (2.72 million) and Disney (2.22 million. X was No. 8 at 1.51 million. Syfy was No. 13 at 1.17 million. Spike was not in the top 25. For the first time I can ever recall, last week's Raw had none of the three hours in the top 25 on cable. No. 25 was a Cardinals vs. Braves baseball game at 3.99 million. The Presidential debate took up a lot of spots, as well as some football an baseball. Sons of Anarchy did 4.60 million viewers which was only No. 15, and that would be top five most weeks. Raw didn't rank top ten in any key demo for the week.
--For Impact tomorrow night, the top three matches are Austin Aries vs. James Storm, Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy and Miss Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim. The Aries and Tessmacher matches are non-title.
--Javier Mendez told Mauro Ranallo on the MMA Show that he'd like to see Daniel Cormier face Fabricio Werdum or Shane Carwin. Carwin wouldn't be available for 11/3 since he's got a December fight with Roy Nelson. Werdum right now doesn't have a scheduled fight, but we're now less than four weeks away from the date so if there is going to be a fight, they'd better get an opponent quick.
--Dana White is the keynote speaker on Monday at the CTAM Summit at 7:30 a.m. in Orlando at the Disney World Dolphin resort.
--For the ROH iPPV on Saturday night from Mississauaga, ONT, at 7 p.m. Eastern time they will stream a free 10-15 minute pre-show. This is being done to make sure people know how the stream is working and if for some reason it doesn't work well, you can cancel your PPV order immediately.
--Steve Austin cut a promo regarding C.M. Punk's promo on Raw on Monday that is on You tube today.
--John Layfield & Josh Matthews were the announcers on Smackdown since Michael Cole is now doing Main Event. Layfield did a Facebook post earlier today where he said he was having a blast being back, but doesn't even know if he will be at the TV's this coming week, but said he would like to work Smackdown next Tuesday since Jerry Lawler will be there.
--Yves Edwards, who didn't get to fight on Friday night due to Jeremy Stephens being in jail, was given a fight on the 12/8 UFC show in Seattle against Mike Cholish. It's likely to be on the Fuel prelims of the show that airs on FOX.
--Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of Jackie Fargo introducing Stan Lane & Steve Keirn as The Fabulous Ones. That's huge in Memphis, since they ended up being one of the best drawing tag teams in that area's history, but also big worldwide because they were the forerunners of the babyface Rock & Roll tag teams that proliferated for the next 20 or so years. A trivia note is that Lane & Keirn were actually meant to be heels, with the idea they'd have a short run as faces, turn on Fargo and go with Jim Cornette to feud with Fargo.
--Tickets go on sale today for UFC Fight Club members for the 12/15 show in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. That's the finals of the current season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show plus Roy Nelson vs. Shane Carwin as the main event. Tickets are available to newsletter subscribes tomorrow at 10 a.m. and to the public on Friday at 10 a.m.
--India's Super Fight League, owned by Raj Kundra, debuted its new Friday Night Fights series. These are weekly fights done like old time pro wrestling, in a television studio in Mumbai that holds maybe 150 and a VIP audience for airing in India. The shows will air at 11:30 a.m. on the East Coast and 8:30 a.m. on the West Coast live and free at http://www.youtube.com/sfl
It's a live seven fight TV show with Kultar Singh Gill vs. Amr Wahman and Sanja Sucevic vs. Irne Cabello on the first show. Gill, from Canada, is being pushed as India's most decorated MMA fighter. Wahman is from Egypt. They will be having fights every Friday night airing on the Internet.
--El Generico vs. Sami Callihan has been signed for the 11/3 Dragon Gate USA show in Voorhees, NJ in a 2/3 fall match. Also on that show is Akira Tozawa vs. Samuray del Sol.
Why are wrestling ratings down so much of late?
The product is bad 35.9%
Too much product, don't have time for it all 22.1%
So-so product 21.4%
NFL football 18.0%
New prime time network shows 2.6%
Is an all women's MMA promotion viable?
No, women's MMA is only viable as part of mostly men's shows 30.5%
Women's MMA is only viable with a pretty, charismatic woman on top, without it, it's not 22.9%
Woman's MMA is only really viable if UFC adds women to the shows 20.5%
Yes, it's viable 20.2%
Women's MMA isn't viable even if UFC had women's fights on shows 5.9%
Who was the star of Raw?
C.M. Punk 42.4%
Vince McMahon 35.3%
Daniel Bryan 4.1%
Jim Ross 3.8%
John Layfield 1.7%
John Cena 0.6%
Poll on Raw from Monday
11.3% of those responding didn't see the show
--IWA East Coast on 10/27 in Nitro, WV at the Kings Way Center headlined by Goldust vs. Chance Prophet, plus B.J Whitmer, Mad Man Pondo and Facade.
--Taryn Terrell of TNA has a cameo in "Treme" on HBO in a totally nude scene. (thanks to Andy Thurston)
--There has been a story in San Francisco about a wayward seal being rescued that was named The Blonde Bomber. The seal was apparently named after Ray Stevens, who had that nickname when he was the top star in the area in the 60s. .
--Mark Madden interviewed Christopher Daniels at www.wxdx.com
--The 2012 National Roller Derby Hall of Fame inductions will be on 11/10 from Noon to 6 p.m. at the PennJersey Roller Derby Warehouse in Philadelphia.
--Fight Now TV will be arcing nine EFC Africa events starting tomorrow night with a new show every night at 10 p.m. They will also be presenting the next EFC Africa show live on 10/19 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time and replaying it at 10 p.m that night. Fight Now TV is Ch. 464 on Cablevision.
--Steeltown Pro Wrestling on 11/4 in Winnipeg at the Caso Do Minho Portuguese Centre.
--Rampage Pro Wrestling from Sunday in Warner-Robins, GA before 90 fans: Tracy Taylor b Nina Monet, Michael Stevens b Joey Kidman, Cash Vault retained tag titles in a multiple person match via DQ, J-Rod b Tommy Daniels, Murder One b Zac Edwards, Chris Jacobs b Jake Slater, Cru Jones b Bobby Moore, Mike Posey b Kyle Matthews, Pandora b Tracy Taylor, Shane Marx b Steve Stiles, Rob Adonis b Drew Adler, Murder One & J Rod & Vordell Walker b A.J. Steele & Micah Taylor & Shaun Banks-DQ (thanks to Larry Goodman)
--Rampage wrestlers Hot Like Lava face Mike Posey & Corey Hollis on the 10/20 TNA show in Macon, GA.
--NWA Fusion King of Mid Atlantic on Saturday night in West Point, VA: Jefferson Early b Krotch, Victor Griff DDQ Pat Cusick, Zak Hilton b Ryan Zane, Larry Horsley b Big MC 123, Preston Quinn b Butch Beauchamp, Damien Wayne b Sanchezzzz, Larry Horsley b Zak Hilton, Da New Bloodz b Outlaw Ink., Memphis Mofo b Jay Steel, Larry Horsley b Jefferson Early. Next show is Saturday night in King and Queen, VA at the Elementary School with Damien Wayne vs. Pat Cusick
--Laredo Wrestling Alliance at Texas A&M International University on Saturday: Texas Joe & Ace over Arkham & Anthrax, Xacto & Tribal and Lou Crow & Xinacrow, Walking Terror b Iron Storm & Genocide, J.C. Valentine b Pretty Boy Ocho, Manuel Villalobos b Bobby Garrett, Bandana Joe & Coven & Michael Autumn b Aries & Black Mangum & Mariscal, Prince Fontenot b Derdy Sanchez, Prince Fontenot won Battle Royal for LWA title
--NPWS on Friday night in Union, NJ at the Elks Lodge featuring Matt Hardy and Balls Mahoney. They also run 10/13 in South Brunswick, NJ at the High School Gym with Matt Hardy, Tommy Dreamer and the Iron Sheik appearing.
--Homicide headlines for Dreams on 11/4 in Birdsboro, PA, plus Adam Cole vs. Grizzly Redwood, Steve Corino and more at the Community Center.