- The promise is Dolph Ziggler cashes it in tonight. If they are going in that direction, Show should win because they harped on how Show has two title reigns that lasted 45 seconds, plus Sheamus has a million wins over Ziggler and Ziggler never beat Sheamus for the title.
These two may be put in the position to carry, because both main events don't look like great matches on paper. Orton is at least guaranteed a solid match almost every time out.
Both teams are entertaining. I could see a title switch here. Eventually Rhodes & Sandow should get the belts, but it doesn't have to be here.
It doesn't really matter who wins as much as these two are also in a position where a good match is needed stemming from the strong TV bout they had on
Torres and Layla have usually been good.
On paper, certainly not the best show of the year, but I suspect more work will be done on the booking of the top two matches than most shows. The pre-show at 7:30 p.m. on WWE.com will feature a John Cena interview addressing the charges made by Vickie Guerrero.
Fuel tonight has Ultimate Fighter at 10 p.m. and a replay of the Bigfoot Silva vs. Travis Browne show at 11 p.m. Raw will be Monday night in Charlotte. Smackdown, Main event and Saturday Morning Slam will be taped on Tuesday night in Fayetteville.
Also, 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.
Sunday's news update
--Best wishes to everyone on the East Coast today and over the next few days, as well as those in Hawaii.
--Not a lot of notes before tonight's Hell In A Cell show. A lot of talent few in today instead of yesterday so they could get one last day home. After TV this week, they head to Europe for two weeks and won't be back home until mid-November.
--Security was told to remove all signs for Bill Goldberg at tonight's show as they were afraid that they would encourage Goldberg chants since they're in Atlanta and Ryback is in the main event.
--WWE must be praying for a San Francisco Giants win tonight. While the PPV may be hurt a little with the combination of both football and the World Series, Raw will probably be hurt a lot worse if the Series goes to a fifth game tomorrow. The Giants are up 3-0. Saturday night isn't much for ratings since game 3 only did 9 million estimated for the first two hours (which doesn't include the last several innings of the game).
--Linda McMahon no-showed yesterday's NAACP state convention in Waterbury, CT, where she was supposed to be speaking along with opponent Chris Murphy. Todd Abajano of McMahon's campaign said that she accidentally skipped the event and that there was an NAACP event she was planning on attending on 11/. They didn't realize they had agreed for her to appear at two different NAACP events. McMahon was at another event at the time of the convention.
--Happy Birthday today to Les Thatcher, who turned 72. Best wishes. Today is also the birthday of MVP (39), Christy Hemme (32) and Rocky Romero (30). (thanks to Georgia Wrestling History)
--As of right now, plans for the finals of the Bellator welterweight tournament with Lyman Good vs. Andrey Koreshkov, who both won their fights on Friday night, will be on 11/30.
--ESPN's E:60 will be doing a story on Georges St-Pierre on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Eastern.
--Not much in the way of interest here regarding Friday TV shows. Lowest response I can remember across the board. Here are the recent poll results:
73.7% of those responding didn't see the show
Rate ULTIMATE FIGHTER:
70.1% of those responding didn't see the show
45.5% of those responding didn't see the show
--If anyone has photos or videos of 80s wrestler Korsita Korchenko (the one who worked Mid South and feuded with Bill Watts), let me know. A TV show is doing a feature on him and could use any non-Mid South stuff since WWE owns Mid South footage nowadays.
--Mid Atlantic Memories convention will be 8/1 to 8/4 in Charlotte at the Hilton University Place Hotel. This will be the 11th installment of what has been in the past one of the most well respected conventions of the year.
--USWO from Friday night in Nashville before 33 fans: Zack Hartnell b Josh Crow, Miss Rachel b Crazy Mary Dobson, Kerry Awful b Shawn Hoodrich, Big Time Sexy b Mad Man Pondo, Nick Iggy b Justin Grandberry, Damien Payne b Psycho Medic (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--SOR Class Wars from last night in Lafayette, IN before a reported 500 fans: Mat Russo & Billy Roc b Chris Conway & Fabrice, Guy Lombardo b Ripper Thomas, Big Sue Jackson & Red Bentley & Tripp Cassidy b Heidi Lovelace & Dale Patricks & Trevor Court, Marc Houston b Buck Boulder, Rob Ramer b Joe Pittman, U-Gene b Shawn Cook. Next show is 4/20 (thanks to Thomas Green)
--Lucha Xtreme from Fresno TV last night: Brian Tannen b Fernando Cunha, J.R. Kratos b Mike Dillenger, Sheik Khan Abadi b Wiseguy in a tornado rules match, Mustafa Saed & Mike Rayne b Suburban Commandos-DQ (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--Shimmer results from last night in Berwyn, IL: Miss Natural b K.C. Spinelli, Yumi Ohka b Christina Von Eerie, Taylor Made & Allysin Kay b Shazza McKenzie & Veda Scott, Hiroyo Matsumoto b Sassy Stephie, Ryo Mizunami b Courtney Rush, Cheerleader Melissa b Rhia O'Reilly, Tomoka Nakagawa b Davina Rose, Kellie Skater b Leva Bates, Mercedes Martinez b MsChif, Ayako Hamada b Kalamity, Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews b LuFisto & Kana to keep tag titles, Saraya Knight b Athena to keep Shimmer title, Miss Natural b Veda Scott, Shazza McKenzie b Santana, Sassy Stephie b Su Yung, Courtney Rush b Taylor Made, Christina Von Eerie over Cherry Bomb, Kalamity and Ryo Mizunami, Rhia O'Reilly b Davina Rose, Hiroyo Matsumoto b Melanie Cruise, Athena b Tomoka Nakagawa, Kellie Skater b Yumi Ohka, Ayako Hamada b Kana, Cheerleader Melissa & MsChif & LuFisto & Allison Danger & Leva Bates b Saraya Knight & Portia Perez & Nicole Matthews & Mercedes Martinez & Lexie Fyfe in an elimination match (Melissa and MsChif were left on their team to win) (thanks to Martin Bentley)
--There is a story today on ABC News about a guy, Eric Hartsburg, who got a Mitt Romney logo tattooed on his face for $15,000, paid by someone who would only be identified as a Republican party Ebay user. He claimed to be a 30-year-old professional wrestler. Does anyone know anything about him? (thanks to Lou Pickney)
--NEO Wrestling on 11/3 in Niagara Falls, ONT at Fight Club Canada featuring Tiberious King vs. Cody Deaner, Tyson Dux vs. Pepper Parks and Shawn Spears vs. R.J. City.
--Squared Circle Live on 11/17 in Vaughan, ONT at the Sportsplex headlined by Josh Alexander vs. Michael Elgin plus Sonjay Dutt, Shawn Spears, Jake Crist and more.
--The Travel Channel show "Mysteries at the Museum" did a profile this week on Maurice Tillet (aka The French Angel), one of pro wrestling's biggest drawing cards in the early 40s.
--Anarchy Wrestling from last night in Cornelia, GA before 175 fans for the annual Fight Night show, their big event of the year: Anthony Henry & Najassism & Vandal & Joey Rhymer b Andrew Pendleton III & Brandon Parker & C.B. Suave & Tommy Penirelli, Billy Back b Bo Newsome, Seth Delay b Bobby Moore, Stryknyn b Adrian Hawkins, Mikael Judas b Jacoby Boykins, Brody Chase b Shaun Tempers, Shadow Jackson & Nemesis b Slim J & Azreael in a barbed wire tag title match. Next show is 11/10 with Judas vs. Jerry Palmer in a age match. (thanks to Bill Behrens)