We're looking for reports on last night's TNA house show in Poplar Bluff, MO as well as tonight's show in St. Louis at
Tonight on Fuel has Ultimate Fighter at 7 p.m. Best of Pride at 8 p.m. Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson at 9 p.m. and UFC 66 with Tim Sylvia vs. Randy Couture at 10 p.m.
Everyone who subscribes this month for either the print or web site version of the newsletter will get our most talked about issue, the Hall of Fame issue that comes out in less than two weeks. There will be six new entrants into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, voted on by those in the business, as well as reporters and historians in our annual balloting.
We look at the final WrestleMania PPV numbers, among the highest in history, and the ratings from Raw on Monday, the new 15-year-low,
We also have an update on women in UFC and why this subject is a lot more complicated than most think due to contractual issues. We look at what the hold up would be, examine how this may or may not effect when and if a Cris Cyborg vs. Ronda Rousey fight takes place, as well as a look at the future of Strikeforce and the UFC's relationship with Showtime. We look at plans for the next show, the future of the brand, how soon Rousey can come to UFC is needed, Showtime ratings and Strikeforce history.
We also have a huge feature on the glory days of Florida wrestling and behind the suicide death of Mike Graham. We look first at his father, the legendary Eddie Graham, and how Graham at one time may have been the most powerful figure in the pro wrestling industry. We look at the legend of the Graham Brothers in Madison Square Garden, Eddie Graham coming to Florida, the Eddie Graham booking philosophy, the ascension of Gordon Solie and the greatest angles in Florida history, Dusty Rhodes' babyface turn and Eddie Graham vs. The Great Malenko.
We look at the role Eddie Graham played in wrestling, his dark side, Mike Graham growing up. We look at the background of the suicide, the death of Mike's father and son, and how it actually happened. We look at the two different sides of Mike Graham, from his contemporaries in the 70s and those who knew him in the 90s. We look at Mike Graham's role in the Brian Pillman/Sid Vicious encounter, as well as his role in Chris Benoit and Eddy Guerrero going to WWF. We also look at Graham's role when it came to the booking of Bill Goldberg and why he was assigned often to Goldberg. We look at the high school wrestling rivalry with Mike Graham and Ricky Steamboat, and how that in a way played a role in Steamboat becoming a pro wrestler. We also look at the number of different pro wrestlers who went to high school with Mike Graham.
We look at his powerlifting, feats of strength, junior heavyweight run, biggest rivals, the death of the Florida territory, and look back at the death of Eddie Graham.
We also have WrestleMania ticket notes, Mid South library notes, Chris Jericho talks about what is up with hi and WWE, Hell in a Cell lineup notes, notes on WWE tax credits, the Linda McMahon campaign, polls, and moves that she's made over the last week. We also note the background of the A.J. storyline, holiday television schedule, DVD news, why Jack Swagger was gone, Video game news, as well as business notes from the past week and house show highlights.
Also in this week's issue:
--Several promotions working together, including two different sets of meetings over the past week
--Top star talked about coming to Mexico
--A list of some of the biggest drawing cards in the history of pro wrestling in Mexico
--Update on Hector Garza's battle with cancer
--Hall of Famer talking a full-time comeback next year when he gets back into shape
--Some very depressing attendance figures for Mexico
--All Japan big show coverage and what the next programs are
--Lineup for the 2012 Real World Tag League tournament
--Notes on the 2012 Global league tournament
--Super Juniors tag team tournament
--El Generico vs. Kota Ibushi rematch
--Ultimo Dragon 25th anniversary show
--Return to pro wrestling of Genichiro Tenryu
--Death of Brain Damage
--Update on Tammy Sytch
--Behind the return of Portland Wrestling and notes on the first taping
--Former WCW exec now working as a major player in the tennis world
--Former football player getting strong reviews on indie scene
--Update on Terry Funk and Tony Schiavone
--Retired wrestler comes back for one last match so his daughter can see him
--Sleazy story of the week
--Hulk Hogan, Bubba the Love Sponge and the latest sordid details
--More notes on TNA in the U.N.
--TNA wrestler opening restaurant
--TNA house show notes
--UFC 153 PPV numbers
--UFC closed circuit show
--Update on Tito Ortiz and Frank Shamrock
--UFC Canadian plans for next year
--UFC drug testing suspensions and results overturned
--UFC legal updates
--UFC fighter does grandstand play
--UFC manager becoming promoter
--UFC star opening two gyms
--Retirement of a former Japanese star
--Bellator reality show notes
--Eddie Alvarez update
--Notes on recent Bellator events
--Notes on Here Comes the Boom
--Update on the Invicta promotion
--World Series of Fighting notes
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.
SATURDAY NEWS, NOTES & LINKS
--I guess Linda McMahon's idea of not having to spend as much money as last time went up in smoke now that they are coming down to the wire. Linda has already spent $42.6 million on her campaign and on Tuesday, earmarked another $3.3 million. Most of the money is to flood the airwaves with TV commercials.
What was amazing was the hit piece on Linda's side last week saying that Murphy was paying the women on his staff 50% of what he was paying the men, in an attempt to garner the women voters who are substantially supporting Murphy. McMahon's side was so lucky Murphy's side wasn't quick on the draw, because if they examined the pay of the performers in WWE and what men and women earn on average, their TV hit piece TV commercial would make her look like the world's biggest hypocrite. People who live in wood houses shouldn't be starting fights in an industry filled with termites. This kind of goes for both candidates in that election.
--JBL, Jim Ross and Michael Cole as a three man booth are the scheduled announce team for Hell in a Cell, provided there are no weather issues with JBL in particular getting to Atlanta. The winner of Sunday's main event has changed over the past week. And probably will continue to change tomorrow.
--Here's a good story by Michael Chiapetta on Bellator and Eddie Alvarez
. They have made him an offer, which will include featuring him heavily in all promotional material when they move to Spike. If he doesn't accept the offer, Bjorn Rebney has said they'll cut off their 90-day exclusive negotiating period and allow him to take an offer from UFC. At that point, whatever offer he gets, they'll choose to match it or not. The whole deal is they want to know if he's with them or not as soon as possible instead of having the situation drag out. He said within three or four days, if Alvarez doesn't accept the offer, he'll allow the 90-day exclusivity period to end. The story also noted the deal UFC inked with Hector Lombard was a $400,000 signing bonus, $300,000 per fight and PPV points. If they make that offer to Alvarez, I'd suspect he's gone.
--Elia Markopolous, who was Evan Markopolous on Gut Check last month, did security on Smackdown last night along with other area independent wrestlers Tony Delfonzo, Julian Starr, Mark Shurman, Brandon Locke, Kristian Frost and Dave Cole (thanks to Ed Wise)
--NXT is moving to 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday on The Score in Canada starting on 11/7 due to coverage of NBA games.
--Some funeral information for Jeff Blatnick. There will be a viewing from 2-6 p.m. tomorrow at Glenville Funeral Home in Glenville, NY. His funeral will be on Monday at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Grace Church in Ballston Lake, NY followed by a burial at Most Holy Redeemers Cemetery in Niskiyuna, NY.
--Marty Jannetty did a rambling post but his general point is his ankles are shot from 20 years of dropping off the top rope to the floor. He noted WWE is still making money off his matches, but he's hurting so bad that he puts a milk jug next to his bed because it hurts so much to walk to the bathroom. He complained WWE will take care of Tammy Sytch after going to jail but won't help him and asked if he needs to get messed up on pain meds before he can get help. He said he asked WWE before he wrote it, then he ripped on Shawn Michaels and Dawn Marie, saying Dawn Marie releasing that his ankles were shot cost him bookings. Yeah, I know.
--Colt Cabana beat Adam Pearce last night to win the NWA title and then Cabana declined taking the belt. I heard the NWA itself beforehand wouldn't sanction the belt or title change, so I guess nobody is the champion.
HOW MANY DOMESTIC BUYS DO YOU EXPECT HELL IN A CELL TO DO?
Less than 70,000 12.8%
More than 171,000 4.9%
POLL ON MMA UNCENSORED
64.3% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON IMPACT
35.9% of those responding didn't see the show
--The San Jose Mercury story mentioned here in the Thursday update on Linda McMahon was a syndicated column that originated in the New York Times.
--Some new Dragon Gate USA notes:
On 11/2 in Everett, MA, they are doing a captains fall rules match (match can only end if one captain pins the other) with captain Rich Swann & Cima & ACH vs. captain Chuck Taylor & Drew Gulak & Orange Cassidy. If Swann wins, he'll face Taylor on 11/4 in Deer Park, NY. Also Taylor & Gulak & Cassidy vs. Scott Reed & Caleb Konley & ? has been added to 11/3 in Voorhees, NJ. Arik Cannon & Pinkie Sanchez vs. Reed & Konley has been added for 11/2. There will also be on 11/4, an undercard of NYWC matches not on iPPV starting at 7:30 p.m. as well as after the PPV ends will be Big O & John Silver & Alex Reynolds vs. Rex Lawless & Stockade & Apollyon. Tony Nese and Papadon will be on the 11/4 show. Jon Davis vs. Johnny Gargano has been added to 11/3 in Voorhees, NJ in a non-title anything goes match.
--Lance Hoyt debuts for Traditional Championship Wrestling on 12/8 in Clarksville, AR.
--AAW from last night in Berwyn, IL: Dan Lawrence b Davey Vega, Kyle O'Reilly b Mr. Miller, Shane Hollister b ACH, Keith Walker & Lamar Titan & Tweek Phoenix b Isias Velasquez & Zero Gravity, Athena over Christina Von Eerie, Kellie Skater and Nicole Matthews, Davey Richards b Silas Young, Darin Corbin & Marion Fontaine b Austin Mannix & Marcus Crane, Saraya Knight b MsChif to retain Shimmer title, Arik Cannon & Jimmy Jacobs b Danny Daniels & Jesse Emerson, Michael Elgin b Sami Callihan. Next show is 11/24 in Merrionette Park, IL headlined by Richards vs. Elgin for the AAW title, Colt Cabana vs. Hollister plus an appearance by Ken Shamrock. (thanks to Martin Bentley)
--Kissimmee Pro Wrestling from Thursday night in Kissimmee, FL: Mikey b Simon Sez, Chasyn Rance b Maxwell Chicago, Lince Dorado & Jonathan Cruz & Jay Rios b Aaron Epic & Mike Reed & Milo Beasley, Rafael Altair vs. Jayson Falcone vs. Oliver Grimsley vs. T-Bone Funk ended in a no contest, Johnny Armany & London Vice b Gorilla Hanley & Josh Hess, Michael Tarver & Rob Weilert b Maxwell Chicago & Johnny Fuggedaboudit (thanks to Al Haft)
--NWA DAWG no 11/2 in Clayton, NJ at the Clayton High School for a benefit show to help the family of Autumn Pasquale, a 12-year-old, with funeral expenses. Damien Wayne vs. Anthony Nese and Lince Dorado vs. Sebastian Cruz headline.
--New Outbreak Wrestling from last night in Canberra, Australia: Falco b Dan Damage, Adam Asixx b Mikey Lord, Randal b Blade, Bee Boy b Ethan Hughz, Kyote b Colt Cabana due to distraction from Adam Pearce, Jak Arkham b Mikey Brodrick, Adam Pearce b Matt Bailey (thanks to Greg Delaney)
--Collector's Realm has announced that the scheduled autograph signing of Marty Jannetty for tomorrow has been canceled. The Pitch for Kids Fund that was bringing Jannetty to town canceled their show, so the meet and greet with Jannetty is canceled. The group in Poughkeepsie, NY will have a signing with Kelly Kelly on 11/3 and 11/4 and with Shawn Michaels on 12/2. For more info, email
--Dreams Project Wrestling on 11/4 at 6:30 p.m. in Birdsboro, PA at the Community Center with Adam Cole vs. Grizzly Redwood, Homicide vs. American Tiger plus Steve Corino, Veda Scott, Gran Akuma and more.