We're looking for reports on today's Raw house show in Cardiff, Wales, Smackdown in Malaga, Spain and TNA in Windsor, ONT at
Bellator tonight is from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, FL on MTV 2 at 8 p.m.:
Darryl Cobb (185.2) vs. Brett Cooper (18.8)
Waggney Fabiano (146) vs. Rad Martinez (145.8) in the featherweight tournament semifinal
Vinicious Queiroz (240.5) vs. Alexander Volkov (226) in the heavyweight tournament semifinal
Joe Warren (135.6) vs. Owen Evinger (135.2)
We will have live coverage on the site tonight.
Smackdown from Tuesday will air on Syfy tonight as a repeat of the earlier broadcasted show.
Facebook starting at 7:40 a.m. Eastern
Riki Fukuda (18-6, 186) vs. Tom DeBlass (7-1, 185)
John Lineker (19-6, 126) vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-5-6, 125.5)
Motonobu Tezuka (19-4-4, 135.5) vs. Alex Caceres (7-5, 136)
Fuel fights at 9 a.m. Eastern
Jeff Hougland (10-5, 135) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (15-7-2, 135.5)
Jon Tuck (6-0, 156) vs. Tiequn Zhang (18-3, 155)
Mac Danzig (22-9-1, 155) vs. Takanori Gomi (33-8, 1 no contest, 155)
Paulo Thiago (14-4, 169.5) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (15-2-1, 1 no contest, 170.5)
Stanislav Nedkov (12-0, 203) vs. Thiago Silva (14-3, 1 no contest, 205)
Rich Franklin (29-6, 1 no contest, 185) vs. Cung Le (8-2, 186)
The WWE's European tour ends with Raw on Saturday in Minehead, U.K. and Smackdown on Saturday night in Lisbon, Portugal.
Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov vs. Alex Shelley & Kushida for IWGP jr. tag titles
Manabu Nakanishi & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Captain New Japan & Negro Casas vs. Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka & Tomohiro Ishii 7 Yoshi-Hashi & Jado
Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Minoru Suzuki & Taichi
Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan for IWGP tag team titles
Low Ki vs. Prince Devitt for IWGP jr. title
Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue
Kazuchika Okada vs. Hirooki Goto for the No. 1 contender briefcase
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Karl Anderson for the IC title
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yujiro Takahashi for IWGP heavyweight title
ODB & Eric Young vs. Tara & Jessie
Joseph Park vs. Doc (Drew Hankinson/Luke Gallows)
Rob Van Dam vs. Joey Ryan for X title
Kurt Angle vs. Devon
Samoa Joe vs. Magnus in no DQ match for TV title
Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Hernandez vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian for tag titles
Bobby Roode vs. James Storm vs. A.J. Styles - Winner is No. 1 contender for TNA title, loser can't get a title shot until October of next year
Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries in a ladder match for the TNA title
Raw will air live from Columbus, OH on Monday night.
Smackdown, Saturday Morning Slam and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Cleveland. Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes was announced for Main Event for the tag titles.
The 2012 issue of the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame is now out and will be on the web site today. This is the biggest and most talked about issue of the year. Because there was so much news this week, of the six new inductees into the Hall of Fame, we only have three biographies this week. We will have almost a second Hall of Fame issue in a few weeks with more biographies. We also have part one of a story on the career of Brad Armstrong, Linda McMahon's election post mortem, WWE financials and a lot more.
The main story is a look at the Hall of Fame and who was inducted. We've got not only a list of the ballot results but a breakdown of how the top candidates did with different groups. We also look at the near misses and background on them and a look at a number of the candidates who didn't get in, as well as a look at next year's ballot additions.
We have a look at the McMahon campaign for senate, results and the key factors at the end that caused her loss.
We've got a look at the death of 80s star Brad Armstrong of the famous Armstrong wrestling family, and his different roles in wrestling, why his full-time agree ended and notes about his death.
We also look at the booking about-face made by WWE with the change in Survivor Series. We talk about why the change was made, the new card, and more on the WWE title switch.
We've got a beginning look at the WWE financials, in particular more talk about the network, details on how the PPV shows did this year as compared with last year, why profitability is down, more on how much they are earning for the third hour of Raw, value of Brock Lesnar.
We also have notes on what percentage of WWE revenues goes to talent right now as compared with real sports. We also look at an update on what is going on in New York for WrestleMania week. We've got more on the WWE video game and future of THQ, WWE in talks for mega events outside the U.S., as well as European tour business. We have more on the background of Brad Maddox and how he got his spot and push. We also have updates on injuries and planned return dates for a number of WWE performers.
We also look at the return of Great Khali, Booker T talks his fight from a few years back with Batista, Daniel Bryan talks difficulty in getting management behind him, plus we've got all the business notes of the European tour and notes from all the events.
We also look at the debut and goals of the new World Series of Fighting promotion on its first show. We look at how the show did in ratings, the stars, the production and what it needs for financial viability.
We also look at Scott Steiner's second lawsuit against TNA, and why one of the charges involved is very serious, or the ultimate cheap shot.
Also in this week's issue:
--Notes on the last AAA TV taping
--Notes on Dragon Gate USA shows over the weekend in the U.S.
--Hall of Fame candidate and recuperation from neck surgery and what the doctors told him about his future
--A look at Pro Wrestling NOAH's next major show
--The beginnings of the 2012 World League tournament
--A preview of the New Japan iPPV this weekend
--Notes on the finals of the New Japan Super junior tag team tournament
--Update on Tetsuya Naito and his return to pro wrestling
--Upcoming CMLL/New Japan joint shows announced
--Woman star for more than 26 years announces her retirement
--Akebono vs. Onita feud continues
--Notes from the funeral of Mike Graham
--NWA title decision
--Promoter from the 80s resurfaces looking at doing a pro wrestling reality show based on starting of a new promotion
--Update on Kelly Kelly
--Full lineup and television build for ROH Final Battle
--A look at where all the ROH TV angles are going
--More on the Hogan lawsuit regarding the sex tape
--Update on the Turning Point lineup
--Future of Eric Young in TNA
--Notes on the plans for TNA television between now and the end of the year
--What former WWE wrestler tried out for TNA
--A look at TNA developmental and Jessie
--Notes on weekend TNA house shows
--UFC official talks about ramping up drug testing next year
--Preview of the UFC show this weekend
--Notes on the big matches planned for 2013 in UFC
--Notes on a directive within UFC as far as younger fighters goes
--Notes on UFC's dates for FOX this coming year
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Notes on Tough Enough for this season
--Ticket sale advances for upcoming UFC dates
--More on the Stephan Bonnar suspension
--Another UFC fighter talks retirement
--Notes on UFC video game
--Chael Sonnen building up his fight
--Notes on this season's Ultimate Fighter cast
--Eddie Alvarez contract update
--Notes on Bellator's first reality show and upcoming cards
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 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.
Friday's news update
--Best wishes to Bob Ryder who just got out of the hospital while in a long battle with cancer.
--Also, Adam Copeland got out of surgery today for a major neck operation done in Pittsburgh by Dr. Joseph Maroon. He noted that one of the first people to call him and wish him the best was Bruno Sammartino, who he didn't even know. Sammartino and Maroon are friends since Maroon did a back operation of Sammartino years ago which he credits for keeping him out of a wheelchair and allowing him to continue training.
--Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin both passed unannounced tests for steroids and diuretics ordered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission prior to their 12/15 fight. Carwin was tested on 10/18 and Nelson took his test the next morning. Both expressed being very happy at being asked with no warning to take a drug test. And I'm not being facetious.
--In the story in the current issue of the Observer regarding WWE scouting stadiums in the U.K., they are looking at doing next year's SummerSlam in a stadium location overseas.
--Today is the 15th anniversary of the 1997 Survivor Series in Montreal, which is probably one of the five most famous pro wrestling matches ever held in North America and easily the most famous ever in Canada, with Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels. There's even a movie on it.
--Episode two of UFC Prime Time for the 11/17 GSP vs. Carlos Condit fight airs after Ultimate Fighter at 11 p.m. tonight.
--WrestleMania tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. tomorrow. If you want tickets, there is a presale going on. There are a number of presale codes but you can use the term FAMOUS. Most of the good seats are already gone.
--For what it's worth, Rich Franklin looked really gaunt and scary skinny, as did Alex Caceres at weigh-ins earlier today. I got really worried about Franklin at 185 seeing him, and as soon as he got off the scale, he was guzzling water.
--Although there are reports everywhere of Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida for 2/2, and it has a good chance of happening then, reports are premature. Henderson brought it up last night on MMA Uncensored, but after the show he made it clear that it was just a date given to him by UFC, and no contracts with that date have been sent.
--WWE Tribute to the Troops will be taped on 12/9 in Norfolk at the Scope Arena. It airs on 12/19 on USA and 12/22 on NBC.
--In an interview with Business Week, Linda McMahon said that she doesn't expect to run again for office.
--Jim Ross is confirmed for Monday's Raw in Columbus, OH, so they will at least next week be doing a three-man with Michael Cole, Ross and Jerry Lawler.
--UFC coverage begins at 8 a.m. Eastern tomorrow on Fuel with the pre-game show. Jay Glazer, Dominick Cruz, Brian Stann and Gareth A. Davies are the broadcast team for pre-and post-show.
--A replay of the weigh-ins will be 7 p.m. Eastern tonight.
--Fuel has announced a GSP Week starting this coming Monday. There will be 34 hours of GSP programming. Among the shows are:
Monday 10:30 p.m. - UFC Roundtable with Jay Glazer, GSP, B.J. Penn, Matt Serra and Renzo Gracie
Tuesday 10 p.m. - Preview to UFC 154 with Todd Harris and Kenny Florian
Tuesday 10:30 p.m. - UFC Prime Time replay
Wednesday 11 p.m. - Countdown to UFC 154
Thursday at 11 p.m. Replay of UFC Roundtable
Thursday at 11:30 p.m. - Best of GSP, a look at GSP after surgery and his road to getting back in the cage
Saturday at 7:30 P.M. - UFC Prime Time part three (episode that will have aired the previous night on FX)
Sunday at 1 a.m. - Post UFC 154 coverage
--Strong angle on TNA last night involving taking Sting out for a while. Will be interesting if he comes back since his contract expires at the end of this year.
--Hyun Gyu Lim of South Korea, scheduled to make his UFC debut tomorrow morning, was pulled from the show due to UFC declaring him medically unfit. It is believed that his body turned on him while cutting weight. David Mitchell, his opponent, will be paid his regular pay.
--All fighters on Saturday's World Series of Fighting show in Las Vegas passed their drug tests.
WHAT WEEKEND MATCH ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO?
Low Ki vs. Prince Devitt 22.5%
Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le 20.2%
Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries 14.7%
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yujiro Takahashi 13.6%
A.J. Styles vs. Bobby Roode vs. James Storm 12.0%
Karl Anderson vs. Shinsuke Nakamura 3.1%
Hirooki Goto vs. Kazuchika Okada 3.1%
Takanori Gomi vs. Mac Danzig 3.1%
Kurt Angle vs. Devon 3.1%
Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov vs. Alex Shlley & Kushida 2.3%
Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Hernandez 1.6%
Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Wataru Inoue & Togi Makabe 0.8%
WILL CARLOS CONDIT RUIN THE ANDERSON SILVA VS. GSP MATCH?
Yes, because Condit is going to win 20.2%
Yes, because Condit will make GSP struggle to win 25.0%
No, GSP is running through Condit 54.8%
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF WEDNESDAY'S WWE MAIN EVENT
65.0% of those responding didn't see the show
--MTV MADE tomorrow at 11 a.m. has a show with a TNA theme based on a girl named Deanna Washington who wants to become a pro wrestler. Several TNA performers are on the show including Tara, Miss Tessmacher, Al Snow and Robbie E.
--Affliction Clothing (remember them) has signed Cain Velasquez to a licensing and marketing deal to be their brand ambassador and be the focus of a major media campaign next year. I guess they're banking on the idea they got a deal with him before he wins the title.
--CZW tomorrow night in Voorhees, NJ at Flyer's Skate Zone has Masada vs. Davey Richards for the CZW title, Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. Jake & Dave Crist, AR Fox vs. Lucky Thurteen vs. Rich Swann vs. Shane Strickland for the Wired title, and Azrieal & Bandido Jr. defend the tag title in an open challenge. They also have a 4 p.m. show in the same building for $10 with Masada vs. Rich Swann to benefit the family of Brain Damage, one of their former wrestlers, who committed suicide on 10/18.
--Kurt Brown and Dan Farren talk wacky Los Angeles wrestling angles like The Wrestle Beatle (Ringo Rigby), The Monster and when Roddy Piper hypnotized Adrian Adonis (then called Keith Franks) into giving up smoking at http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/124456