No major shows today or tomorrow. Well, aside from boxing, which has several today.
On Fuel Tonight, there is Best of Pride at 8 p.m., Unleashed at 9 p.m., UFC 137 at 10 p.m. and Prelims from last Saturday's UFC 154 at 1 AM. Raw will be live on Monday in Lafayette, LA. The only thing announced is Michael Cole will be interviewing Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns.
Smackdown, Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam will be taped on Tuesday in Bossier City, LA. John Cena vs. Damien Sandow will be the main event on this coming week's Main Event show.
We look at WWE plans, both announced and in the planning stages, following up Survivor Series. We look at the background of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, where they came from and their respective strengths and weaknesses.
We look at the Survivor Series booking, who were the standouts, why booking of one performer has changed greatly, the card for the TLC PPV, plus a rundown of the show with poll results and star ratings.
We also look at UFC in 2013, with a look at every division, including the women. We look at the top contenders, which divisions have depth, which are lacking, as well as a look at the Georges St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva proposed fight as well as Silva vs. Jon Jones, and how that affects both weight divisions. We look at the questions regarding championship fights vs. big money fights.
We look at the contenders who have a shot at being stars, and those who deserve shots but maybe don't have that, as well as who can make themselves stars coming up or bring their careers back. We look at the weak divisions, as well as the questions regarding women being put in PPV main events. We also look at the status of Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Cyborg and why most feel Cyborg will inevitably fight her. We also look at the idea of Rousey as a coach on Ultimate Fighter.
We also look at the return of St-Pierre, questions answered and others not by his performance. We look at the Patrick Cote vs Alessio Sakara controversy, as well as one of the most disagreed with decisions in a long time. We also look at the business results of UFC 154, including not selling out in Montreal and why, the value of prim time, and thoughts on PPV and closed circuit numbers.
We also have match-by-match rundowns from the show.
We also update the MMA television landscape for 2013 when it comes to the games being played by FX and Spike, why nobody will confirm dates for January, a well as what is and isn't booked already.
We also look at a major project on the books for WWE next year. Steve Austin talks about Austin vs. Hogan and who he thinks should be in he Half of Fame. Edge talks why women in WWE leave so often. We also look at why Miz turned face, who is booking house shows nowadays, who is able to get away with more, the story behind the Sammartino Hall of Fame reference, Linda McMahon gets more pub after her campaign and another match planned for Mania. We also look at new names for WWE trained wrestlers and who they are, as well as more on WWE scouting, details of the last NXT tapings, and who people are highest on in developmental. We also look at the developmental cuts and delayed viewership of Raw.
Also in this week's issue:
--Injury to the new Mistico
--New world title contender in CMLL
--Performer celebrates 55 years in the business
--Main event announced for AAA's Guerrera de Titanes
--Wrestler talks why he left promotion
--A look at the recent AAA TV tapings
--Big group vs. group main event in Japan
--Hall of Famer to return to Japan in December
--All Japan's big show for December
--Notes on Japanese wrestling's ability to draw outside the country
--A look at all the tag team tournaments going on
--Pretty actresses doing pro wrestling show in December
--Name wrestler opening restaurant this week
--A look at the Global League tournament
--Hall of Famer has to close his gym
--New Japan has two tournaments going on this week
--Notes on two newcomers to New Japan
--Hall of Famer gets award from international government
--Chinese giant set to debut
--80s legends battle in main event
--Notes on the death of Dwain McCullough, also known as the original Awesome Kong
--More on the death of Mike Graham
--Notes on the new TV show that Chris Jericho is hosting
--Where the idea of the show cam from
--Jericho's early 2013 schedule and availability
--Notes on the Extreme Rising show
--The injury to Matt Hardy
--The concept of the promotion and why even with drawing good crowds it's difficult
--Notes on the funeral of Brad Armstrong
--Longest matches of the last 50 years in New York
--Thoughts on NWA Hall of Fame class
--Notes on the legacy of Sputnik Monroe
--Notes on the 2013 Cauliflower Alley Club award and the club going forward
--Notes on the early days of Montreal wrestling
--Update on Jake Roberts training for a comeback match
--Funny Mil Mascaras story
--Where the Gorgeous George gimmick really came from
--A life in prison sentence given to a conspirator in a brutal murder of a Canadian pro wrestler
--More on Hulk Hogan's court battle over the sex tape and why the judge made the ruling he did
--TNA star returns after health scare
--Notes on future TNA TV schedule between now and the end of February
--Notes on TV tapings in the U.K.
--Notes on changing announcers jobs
--Why the different injury angles have been done
--Update on plans for Sting
--Who Kurt Angle thinks TNA has dropped the ball on
--Update on King Mo and what match he watches all the time
--Notes on the TNA weekend house show tour
--Update on the next UFC lineup for Seattle
--Notes on Shane Carwin's injury and the curse of being a coach on Ultimate Fighter
--Notes on turning down short notice fights
--Legal issues settled between two warring parties
--A look at a number of new fights
--Fighter announces retirement
--More UFC injuries
--Notes on the final Bellator show on MTV 2
--First eight matches announced for New Year's Eve in Japan
--A Christmas Eve show in Japan featuring 90s star vs. 00s star
--One of the most decorated heavyweight wrestlers to come to MMA debuts
--A look at what will be the biggest rivalry in college wrestling this year
--Olympic gold medalist turns down MMA offers
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.
TODAY'S NEWS, NOTES AND LINKS
--The UFC will have a preview show on FOX on 12/2, building up the 12/8 show. Check for the time in your area, but that's a week from Sunday, likely right after NFL football. (thanks to Josh Nason)
--Vince McMahon, Layla, R-Truth, Eve Torres and The Miz went to Iraq yesterday to have footage taped for the Tribute to the Troops special.
---There were two great fights on last night's Score Fighting Series show, the Jesse Ronson vs. Ryan Healy lightweight fight and the Will Romero vs. Tristan Johnson featherweight fight.
--The main event for Impact taped this coming Thursday is A.J. Styles & James Storm vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian. They will also have the show long deal with four guys vying for an X TItle shot at Rob Van Dam with the title match later in the show. Plus Wes Brisco gets evaluated after Thursday's Gut Check.
--BBC 4 on 12/13 at 9 p.m. is presenting a special called "Timeshift: Wrestling" a one hour long documentary on the history of British wrestling on television. The big news is that in researching the BBC found the complete 1962 match with Jackie Pallo vs. Mick McManus which was believed to have been lost. That was the single most watched wrestling match ever in the U.K.
--Tank Abbott will be a guest on Inside MMA on Monday night.
--Paul Lazenby will be appearing on ABC's Once Upon a Time on 12/2 and 12/16. He's also got a supporting role on a movie-of-the-week that began filming yesterday where he played a villain bodyguard in the movie Secret Liaison.
--Eddie Sullivan passed away at 59 on this day in 2000. Former NWA champion and College Wrestling Hall of Famer Dick Hutton, who came one match away (a loss to Verne Gagne) from being the first four-time NCAA champion, passed away nine years ago today at the age of 80. Mike LeBell, who ran the Southern California wrestling office from the mid-60s to the early 80s, passed away on this date three years ago at the age of 79. LeBell was the older brother of Gene LeBell, who was the TV announcer in those days.
--Brutal Bob Evans is doing what he calls Iron Week this week. He will be doing one hour Iron Man matches on seven straight days starting tomorrow. Matches are:
> Sunday at the ROH Wrestling School in Bristol, PA against Steve Corino at 3 p.m.
> Monday at the New England Pro Wrestling Academy against Todd Sople at 6 p.m.
> Tuesday at the New England Pro Wrestling Academy against Julian Starr at 6 p.m.
> Wednesday at the ROH Wrestling School against Adam Cole at 6 p.m.
> Thursday at the ROH Wrestling School against Grizzly Redwood at 5 p.m.
> Friday at the Antonio Thomas Wrestling School in Chicopee, MA against Anthony Thomas at 7 p.m.
> Saturday at the Davey Lopez Rec Center in Providence, RI against Vinny Marseglia at 4 p.m.
--Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling has its final show of the year on 12/15 in East Carondelet, IL with a Battle Royal. Barbara Goodish (Bruiser Brody's wife) will be special guest. They also have a show tonight in Fairmont City, MO to benefit the local PAL at County Emergency Services.
--The Remy Bonjasky vs. Tyrone Spong fight previously announced for 2/16 in London has been moved to 3/23 at the Excel Arena. The delay was said to be because Bona is fighting on New Year's Eve in Japan and wants a full camp to be ready for Spong. Announced as the semifinal is Jordan Watson of Leeds, England against Australian Stone Cold Steve Moxon.
--Evolve on 12/8 in Voorhees, NJ with a 4 p.m. show before CZW's Cage of Death has Chuck Taylor vs. Jon Davis, AR Fox vs. Tony Nese, Jigsaw vs. Rich Swann and Masa vs. Papadon. The four winners advance to a four-way match in the main event. Also El Generico & Samuray del Sol vs. Super Smash Brothers.
--They also all weekend have a discount to order the show on iPPV for $8.99 for a live showing and $11.99 for the live showing and replays. They also have sales on all DVDs and everything else at www.DGUSA.tv
IF YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY ORDERED NEW JAPAN IPPV SHOWS, ARE YOU GETTING NEXT WEEK'S SHOW?
No, not interested enough in finals of tag team tournament 31.5%
No, skipping because it's not a traditional PPV show 12.3%
No, skipping because next Sunday as a bad day 11.0%
WHO WAS THE BEST OF THESE HALL OF FAMERS?
Bret Hart 71.7%
Jerry Lawler 15.2%
Ernie Ladd 4.9%
Evan "Strangler" Lewis 2.1%
Bill Longson 1.8%
Tom Jenkins 1.3%
Everett Marshall 0.3%
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST EVER THANKSGIVING SHOW?
The first Starrcade in 1983 49.2%
The first Survivor Series in 1987 15.9%
Starrcade 86 12.3%
Starrcade 85 10.8%
Dallas 1983 Kerry vs. Hayes loser leaves town 7.8%
Atlanta 1978 Funks vs. Brisco tag team tournament final 2.1%
St. Paul 1982 Bockwinkel vs. Martel 0.9%
Superdome 1981 JYD & Mike George vs. Paul Orndorff & Bob Orton Jr. 0.9%
WHAT IS JAPAN'S HISTORICALLY BIGGEST TOURNAMENT?
G-1 Climax 43.8%
All Japan Real World Tag League 21.9%
All Japan Champion Carnival 19.7%
New Japan Top of the Super Junior 12.9%
JWA World League 1.7%
POLL ON IMPACT
43.6% of those responding didn't see the show
--Some wrestling history for today
1956 - Boris & Niccoli Volkoff b Reggie (The Crusher) & Stan Lisowski to win NWA world tag team titles in Milwaukee
1972 - Omar Atlas beat Harley Race to win the Central States title in St. Joseph, MO
1979 - Fabulous Freebirds beat Cowboy Bill Watts & Buck Robley to win Mid South tag titles in Shreveport
1980 - Ric Flair beat Greg Valentine to win U.S. title in Greenville
1983 - Chris Adams beat Jimmy Garvin to win the American heavyweight title in Dallas
1983 - First Starrcade show was 29 years ago today with Ric Flair beating Harley Race for the NWA world heavyweight title in a cage match and Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Jack & Jerry Brisco in a no DQ match to win the NWA world tag team titles.
(thanks to Brian Hoops)
--Top Rope Pro Wrestling on 1/5 in Lexington, VA at the Anderson Coliseum with Goldust, Chris Masters, Daivari, Jim Duggan, Katie Lee Burchill, Angelina Love and Pat Tanaka.
--Extreme Rising on 12/29 in Philadelphia at the National Guard Armory has the final four to determine their first champion with Stevie Richards, Devon Storm, Rhino and Luke Hawx, plus the original Gangstas vs. Jeez & Ruckus in a cage match, Bestia 666 vs. El Hijo del Rey Misterio, plus Sabu, Matt Hardy, Jerry Lynn, Homicide, Papadon, Facade, Jay Bradley and Blue Meanie.
--Traditional Championship Wrestling on 12/8 in Clarksville, AR with Jim Duggan vs. Prince Al Farat and Shane Williams vs. Dustin Heritage in a TCW title vs. hair match. Lance Hoyt is also on the show.
--David Taylor was given his 2012 Hodge Trophy today at halftime of the Penn State vs. Wisconsin game. Taylor was awarded the trophy after winning the NCAA title and going undefeated at 165 pounds earlier this year. Taylor vs. Kyle Dake at 165 this year is going to be one of the biggest potential finals in college wrestling history.
--Stevie Richards, as his real life persona of Mike Manna, was on Fox and Friends
talking about Tech Gifts for Christmas. (thanks to Abe Bogoslavsky)
--The remake of David McLane's Women of Wrestling group will be taping TV on 1/19 in Las Vegas.
--Randy Couture will be in Boca Raton at Florida Atlantic University tomorrow. He will be doing a fan expo, seminars, and a photo/autograph session starting at 10 a.m.
--Christopher Daniels will be on The Mouthpiece Wrestling Show at 10 p.m. tonight at NBC Sports Radio 1510 AM in Boston. I did that show a few weeks back with Jack Encarnacao, one of my most fun media appearances. We talked about the early days of Boston wrestling and the Observer Hall of Fame, most notably Lou Albano and Gus Sonnenberg, who were both major names in Boston in their respective eras.