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.
Monday's news, notes and links
--Hulk Hogan will be holding a press conference today to announce filing of lawsuits against Bubba the Love Sponge and his wife Heather, as well as against Gawker.com.
--The Punk/Austin video on the front page is now officially released
. Many people saw it a few weeks ago when it was leaked before hand. Paul Heyman has a story hyping the video and talking about its background, shot in Hollywood on a closed set with Jim Ross, Punk and Austin on the Thursday before SummerSlam.
--WWE announced that WrestleMania generated a record setting $102.7 million in economic impact on the Miami metropolitan area according to the study by the Enigma Research Corporation. Atlanta the prior year generated $62 million. That included $15.3 million in local taxes and they estimate $6.9 million was spent at local restaurants above and beyond what would normally have been spent, based on so many tourists being in town. WWE is expecting similar results with the show in the New York market (in East Rutherford, NJ) this coming April.
--The Colorado Boxing Commission has overturned the result of the 8/11 UFC Jake Shields vs. Ed Herman fight due to Shields admitting taking an illegal substance that he tested positive for before the fight. The fight is no considered a no contest.
--Ultimate Fighter set a record low with 624,000 viewers on Friday.
--Harlem Bravado suffered a broken nose in the Bravados vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander match at Saturday's ROH show in Mississauaga, ONT. He will miss no ring time. Mike Mondo appears to have suffered a broken leg and may need surgery. He's going to get a second opinion today and then decide. Truth Martini suffered a deep and nasty gash on his leg when Rhino threw him over the top rope and the guard rail sliced his leg up.
--ROH announced a May 4, 2013 iPPV from the Ted Reeve Arena in Toronto. Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday at 10 a.m for ROH Ringside Club members and 10 a.m. Friday to the public. The next ROH show is 11/3 in Belle Vernon, PA and announced is Michael Elgin vs. Davey Richards in a rematch of one of the best matches of 2012, as well as Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly for the TV title.
--Jon Jones has said he is willing to coach Ultimate Fighter next season if asked, but will not do so against Daniel Cormier, saying Cormier doesn't have a big enough name and he's not going to help him get one off of him.
--On Saturday, the third most searched for item on Google was UFC 153, behind Amanda Todd and New York Yankees.
--Marcus Buchecha Almeida came close to getting an on Roger Gracie in a grappling competition match last night.
--I want to make note that the ROH, UFC and TNA shows over the weekend were all worth going out of your way to see. All were really good.
--Pro Wrestling Illustrated announced they are listing Gail Kim as No. 1 in their top 50 women's issue that will be available on Thursday. Madison Eagles was No. 1 last year and Michelle McCool the year before.
Poll on ROH TV show?
67.3% of those responding didn't see the show
Which fight do you think is bigger?
Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones 52.1%
Anderson Silva vs GSP 47.9%
Aside from John Cena, who is the strongest under-40 active pro wrestler as a Hall of Fame candidate?
C.M. Punk 36.9%
Hiroshi Tanahashi 31.7%
Sin Cara 16.3%
Randy Orton 12.8%
Perro Aguayo Jr. 2.3%
Best TV show of last week?
UFC prelims on FX 6.9%
Saturday Morning Slam 4.9%
Main Event 2.0%
Countdown to UFC 153 1.6%
UFC Tonight 1.6%
Ultimate Fighter 1.2%
Inside MMA 0.4%
--Notes on WWE Classics on Demand for this week. Among the things airing are:
Dory Funk Jr. & Jake Roberts vs. Jack Brisco & Mike Rotundo
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Harley Race
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Dick Steinborn
Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley 2/3 falls 2006 Vengeance
Nasty Boys vs. Public Enemy falls count anywhere SuperBrawl 6
DDP vs. Scott Steiner falls count anywhere WCW Greed
Taz vs. Bubba Ray Dudley falls count anywhere 1999 Hardcore Heaven
World Class Championshp Wrestling 1987 Parade of Champions from Texas Stadium (thanks to Brian Hoops)
--El Generico has not signed a contract with ROH and is still scheduled on Evolve and Dragon Gate USA iPPV shows.
--There will be an Evolve show on 12/8 in Voorhees, NJ as part of a double header with CZW's annual Cage of Death show.
--Mick Foley is doing a comedy tour of Australia with comedian Brendon Burns. He's got shows on 2/6 in Brisbane, 2/9 in Sydney and 2/11 in Melbourne. (thanks to James Stanios)
--Traditional Championship Wrestling has reached a deal with OCTAPIXX LIVE to attempt to market their television show overseas in HD. They will start shopping the product at Sportel Monaco later this month.
--Dana White appeared interested in a Rampage Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira fight. On Twitter, when asked about Rampage asking for the fight after Teixeira called him out Saturday, he said, "Sounds good bro."
--Crossfire Wrestling on 11/3 in Nashville at the Fairgrounds has Matt Hardy vs. Paul Burchill and Chris Adonis (Chris Masters) in an open challenge. Other matches already announced for the show are King Shane Williams defending the title against Carlito Colon, Shane Douglas vs. Arrick Andrews and Jerry Lynn vs. Kid Kash in a chain match.
--The NWA sent out a release saying that due to injuries in a show on 10/12 in Houston, Kevin Douglas was unable to defend his NWA jr. heavyweight title against Chase Owens on 10/13 in Kingsport, TN and that his injuries will results in him being out of action for more than 30 days. NWA president R. Bruce Tharpe said that due to the 30-day rule, he is being stripped of the title effective two hours before the show in Kingsport. At the show, Owens won a match on that card that was billed as for the title and the NWA ruled Owens is the champion. Owens will defend the title against Douglas on 11/24 in Rogersville, TN in a no time limit cage match. There is likely more to the story than this.
--Future Stars of Wrestling on Saturday night at Sam's Town Hotel in Las Vegas featuring Young Bucks vs. Suburban Commandos plus Kenny King vs. Daivari and Paul London appears.
--Tomorrow at 9 a.m. Eastern, the Glory kickboxing organization
has a press conference featuring Giorgio Petrosyan (this guy is the best lightweight kickboxer in the world) to build up an eight-man 154 pound weight class tournament featuring Petrosyan and Albert Kraus that takes place on 11/3 in Rome, Italy. The show will also stream live on their web site.
--Konnan and Court Bauer interview MVP
(direct download). In the interview, he talks about getting into a fistfight with John Laurinaitis before leaving WWE, a possible WWE return, cornering Dave Bautista in his MMA fight, Brian Gewirtz, WWE divas and a new project on TV he's working on.
--ECWA from Saturday night in Carney's Point, NJ: Napalm Bomb b Cujo the Hellhound, Jessie Kaye b Missy Sampson, Chris Rockwell & Sam Shields b Danny E & Ricky Martinez, Kekoa the Flyin Hawaiian b Matt Saigon, Bobby Shields b Bolo Young, Mr. Ooh La La & Coach Jim Shorts & Cole Callaway & Shockwave the Robot b Mike Tartaglia & Ricky Martinez & Gus Grand & Magnum, Chris Wylde kept ECWA title over Papadon and Breaker Morant. Next show is 10/20 in Sewell, NJ at Sports and More.