TUES UPDATE: Rousey/Carmouche buyrate notes, George Lucas' daughter on Y2J show, Undertaker match thoughts, Anderson Silva talks fight with Jon Jones, tons more
By Bryan Alvarez |
We're looking for your thoughts on UFC 157, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're also looking for reports on these shows:
*WWE Raw from Saturday night in Istanbul, Turkey
*WWE Raw on Thursday and Friday in Doha, Qatar
*WWE Smackdown from Saturday night in Waco, TX
*TNA from Saturday night in Grand Rapids
Smackdown and Main Event are taped on Tuesday in Oklahoma City.
We've got a giant news week with the Observer with two regular issues and one back issue up on the site. The back issue, which was up on the site Tuesday, covers the original Ultimate Ultimate tournament won by Dan Severn as well as the full story behind the end of women's wrestling in WWF in 1995, Madusa being fired and showing up on Nitro and throwing the WWF women's title belt in a garbage can on television.
The two issues will be combined as a double issue for print subscribers and both are now up on the site.
Our lead story updates the WWE situation leading into WrestleMania. We look at the matches planned, the match in jeopardy, and what the status is for a number of wrestlers who have had matches talked about but those matches haven't even been teased yet on television. We look at why there isn't any pressure on booking undercard matches, as well as talk about post-WrestleMania plans.
We've got more on Undertaker, Ryback, Brock Lesnar and The Shield.
We've also got full coverage of the Elimination Chamber PPV, including business notes, match-by-match coverage, poll results and star ratings.
We've also got the most detailed update on the status of wrestling going forward as an Olympic sport. We've got more on the background of how wrestling being eliminated happened, the decision-making process, the appeal process,what legendary attempt to set an all-time Olympic record in the sport is being thwarted, as well as what the U.S. wrestling community knew.
We also look at the history of sports voted out being brought back, why wrestling right now should not have been cut and why it does need to heed this warning and make necessary changes. We look at the country very strongly pushing for wrestling to be brought back. We look at why the future doesn't look bright even if wrestling is brought back.
We look at the major and minor moves that the world wrestling community has taken in the past week, who got the blame, as well as thoughts from Kurt Angle, King Mo Lawal and Ben Askren regarding how the loss of the Olympics would have affected all of their lives and their career decisions.
We also look at how this affects the entire infrastructure of the sport in the U.S. in ways most people haven't figured.
We also have comments from Bill Watts, a former amateur wrestler who became a pro wrestling star and later a legendary promoter, and his thoughts on the subject.
We've got a major feature on WrestleMania coming to the New Orleans Superdome. We've got how it came about, as well as exclusive first news on what the planned main event is for WrestleMania 30. We also look at the few WWE wrestlers who have worked the Superdome before, as well as The Rock talked about his only time in the building as an athlete, which was not as a pro wrestler.
We also go back to the days when the Superdome was arguably the hottest big show setting in the U.S. We have a history of pro wrestling at the Superdome starting in 1976 when Bill Watts and Leroy McGuirk took the gamble and what lineup they used to make the first show.
We have a history of pro wrestling in the building, including the all-time biggest shows, the biggest angles leading to the shows, and the greatest matches held in the building. We look at the story of one of the greatest matches of its era that bombed at the gate. We also look at the Nitro events at the Superdome and a rundown of the most successful shows.
We've got a feature on Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche in leading to the most important woman's MMA fight in history. We look at the unique dynamic of the fight, women's MMA on television, live ticket sales, previous women's fights on PPV, the UFC Prime Time shows building the fight, the reaction Rousey has received, background of Liz Carmouche and more.
We have a feature on the Jack Swagger arrest and how it affects WrestleMania, as well as Dana White's new stance on TRT and some UFC statistics about big guys vs. small guys that will in some cases confirm what is the general feeling and in others show the exact opposite of what people think, as well as an investigation of terms like ring rust, UFC jitters and weight cutting issues.
We also have notes on The Rock's schedule, what shows he is going to be appearing at and what shows he is going to be missing. We also look at the scheduled over the next several weeks of Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar. We've got a lot of news regarding how the WWE video game deal with Take 2 went down, and why it was so beneficial to THQ. We look at who the big losers in the deal were.
We also have more on Bruno Sammartino going into the Hall of Fame, who WWE wants to get to induct him, who Sammartino would pick and more.
We also have notes on two other candidates for the Hall of Fame this year, and why both are unlikely to go in the same year. We also look at the Zeb Colter character, a WCW character that this may be similar to, R.J. Brewer talks about his gimmick being used, as well as a very interesting statistic regarding children watching WWE that is the exact opposite of what everyone thinks.
We have a lot more on Tammy Sytch, as well as her apology to WWE, another WWE movie, El Generico in WWE, WWE going back to Japan, John Layfield talks the Public Enemy TV beating in the 90s, WWE injury updates, as well as new signings and people who have quietly left.
We also have a rundown on UFC's weekend event on Fuel headlined by Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald. We look at the show, the ratings, what happened with the fighters with the best records and the strange judging in spots.
The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world. Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.
If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. Just sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to
You can also order by paypal by sending to www.paypal.com
and directing the funds to
You can also subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.
We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows as well as details of how every segment on Raw and Impact did and what gained and lost viewers.
We also have results from all the major league arena events over the past week as well as a look at all the major television shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--Fan movement trying to spur change with Japanese wrestling on television
--A look at New Japan's anniversary show lineup
--What New Japan star has been training at the Blackhouse Gym with Anderson Silva
--A look at Oklahoma television icon and former pro wrestling announcer Danny Williams
--Story behind Ric Flair's latest TMZ publicity and his financial issues with his separation
--Another major show set for WrestleMania weekend
--Notes on TNA finishing up all its taped PPV shows of the year by the end of next month
--More on TNA's new German TV deal and how it really happened
--Hulk Hogan's criticism of Bret Hart. Does it hold any water?
--A look back at where the Hogan-Hart issues started, stopped and started again
--A look at the weekend TNA house shows
--A look at ticket sales for all the upcoming UFC events
--Business notes for UFC 156
--A look at UFC as a business, profitability, revenue, what we do know and what we don't know
--Complete look at UFC 157
--Tito Ortiz representing Cyborg and her signing with Invicta. The pros and cons of the deal
--What huge risk Invicta may be taking if some current negotiations are followed up on
--What happened with UFC and Nick Diaz
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Update on UFC's status in New York after a judge heard their case this past week
--What UFC can do, can't do, and prefers to do
--Major names talking about what fights they want
--More on UFC international business
--What big match UFC was looking at doing over Memorial Day and how it fell apart
--What match was scheduled for Sweden and why it's not happening there
--What Dana White told Cain Velasquez after Overeem lost
--New York Times looks at the Bellator/UFC promotional battle, what UFC wanted from Spike, what Spike wants from Bellator and more
--UFC developmental program to try and target a demographic
--Update on B.J. Penn and Frank Mir
--One of pro wrestling's biggest stars playing two groups against each other and where it seems to stand
--A major star from the 80s doing a retirement match and the unfortunate incident that made him such a big heel
--A look at CMLL's King of Flyers
--Promotion in talk with a new station
--Two companies that have nothing in common that are working together and why
--Big matches coming to Dragon Gate in Japan, England and the U.S.
--All-time legend returns to Japan
--Pro wrestler says he's going to attempt to make the Olympic team because of it being the last Olympics
--A look at the new AAA Canada group and why Lance Storm isn't happy about it after he was stiffed money
--The promotional war in Puerto Rico as well as a Puerto Rican group looking at running shows in California and New York
--More on Jake Roberts, DDP and Scott Hall
--Former pro wrestler who headlined at the Superdome and is now the star of a new TV show
--English language New Japan TV matches airing in Canada
--Former wrestler lands a role in a Showtime series
--Major TV situation involving ROH
--A look at the weekend ROH TV taping
--Nick Diaz's legal case is ruled on
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.
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 excellent John Cena vs. CM Punk match from Raw is up on the front page right now.
-- Fandango allegedly debuts on Smackdown tonight. Thank God.
-- Dave has a story on the early buyrate for Rousey vs. Carmouche here. At this point it's bigger than every UFC show of 2012 that wasn't headlined by a 170-pound-or-above title match.
-- I saw a private video of the Undertaker match from Waco, TX. He seemed to be moving all right during the body of the match, but he's definitely got some physical issues in the sense that he was very, very careful when doing the old school rope walk spot. It looked like he'd be fine to work his way through a match with CM Punk at WrestleMania, though the question is whether he feels he could do a match the calbire, or at least close to the calibre, of the last four years. The feeling is he'll be back on Raw next week, since it is, coincidentally, OLD SCHOOL RAW.
-- The woman on the Chris Jericho Robot Combat League commercial last night during Raw who said she was a professional MMA fighter is Amanda Lucas, who is, seriously, the daughter of George Lucas. She's fought a number of times in Japan.
-- UFC offically announced UFC on FUEL TV 8 on Saturday, March 2nd from the Saitama Super Arena in Japan with Wanderlei Silva taking on Brian Stann in the main event. Silva had turned that fight down a number of times because he didn't want to get booed against his opponent, but I guess he figures if he fights in Japan there's no way he's getting booed. Which is a pretty decent bet. There is a video feature on the card and fight here.
-- Going to be doing an experiment for awhile taking questions for the show on my Twitter, so if you want to participate follow me at @bryanalvarez. Tried it for the Brian Kendrick show today and it worked great. The show is up now and was tons of fun.
-- If you scroll down the right-hand side of the front page, we've added three new FREE radio shows including last night's Wrestling Observer Radio with me and Dave. As noted on that show, Vince McMahon flipped his lid backstage because the piledriver is illegal (unless it's a tombstone and your name is Undertaker or Kane) and Cena and Punk did that spot without his permission.
-- As noted, Dana White talked Jose Aldo into fighting Anthony Pettis this August with the stipulation being that if Aldo wins, he'll get an immediate shot at the 155-pound champion.
-- And speaking of superfights, Anderson Silva is claiming that he will fight Jon Jones at a 192-pound catchweight (which would mean non-title obviously) if UFC can get into New York later this year. Don't get excited about anything Silva says until it's official.
-- Speaking of, yes, the man in the plaid would kill you.
-- East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! SPRING BATTLE II Sat, March 2, 2013 Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702
-- MICK FOLEY TO APPEAR AT NIGHT OF THE SUPERSTARS Sat., April 13, 2013 Waynesboro High School 1200 W. Main St. Waynesboro, VA 22980
-- Latest TCW Championship Wrestling TV show with fantastic production values and featuring Matt Riviera of MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER fame is up here.
-- Russian wrestler returns Olympic gold medal in protestof the IOC voting to remove wrestling from the Olympics in 2020. That's a man who believes in what he stands for.
-- Ed and the crew on Over the Top Rope Radio are running through all the WrestleMania matches from 1-29 in order on the show over the next few months. You can listen to the latest show here.
-- New Chris Jericho interview up here
-- Giant convention upcoming with tons of different names including Ric Flair, Jerry Lawler, etc., apparently headlined by Kelly Kelly. Yup. More info here.
-- Today in history with Brian Hoops:
Verne Gagne was born today in 1926 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1944 - Ed "Strangler" Lewis defeated Rollend Kirchmeyer by knockout to win the Florida Heavyweight Title in Tampa, Florida.
1951 - Sky Hi Lee defeated Al Mills to win the Calgary NWA Canadian Heavyweight Title in Edmonton, Alberta.
1952 - Duke Keomuka and Mr. Moto defeated Ray Gunkel and Miguel Guzman for the NWA Texas Tag Team Title in Dallas, Texas.
1957 - Guy and Joe Brunetti defeated Ivan and Karol Kalmikoff for the Minneapolis NWA World Tag Team Title in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1958 - Don and Jackie Fargo defeated Lee Fields and Lester Welch to win the Mid-America NWA World Tag Team Title in Mobile, Alabama
1967 - Verne Gagne won the AWA World Heavyweight Title (on his birthday) in St. Paul, Minnesota by defeating Mad Dog Vachon.
1969 - Bob Kelly and Ramon Perez defeated Mitsu and Sugi Sito to win the NWA Gulf Coast Tag Team Title in Mobile, Alabama.
1971 - Vivian Vachon defeated Betty Nicoli for the NWA California Women's Title in Los Angeles, California.
1973 - At a WWWF event at Madison Square Garden, AWA World Heavyweight Champion Verne Gagne defeated Eddie Graham (subbing for Ray Stevens). Also, WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Pedro Morales defeated King Curtis Iaukea.
1978 - Dick Murdoch defeats Ted DiBiase for the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Title in St. Louis, Missouri.
1979 - Bill Dundee and Robert Gibson defeated Don Carson and Dennis Condrey to win the AWA Southern Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee.
1979 - Bryan St. John and Randy Alls (Randy Rose) win a tournament for the NWA Central States Tag Team Title in Wichita, Kansas.
1985 - The PYT Express (Norvell Austin and Koko Ware) defeated Jay and Mark Youngblood for the Florida NWA United States Tag Team Title in Tampa, Florida.
1988 - Terry Taylor defeated Matt Borne for the World Class Texas Heavyweight Title in Dallas, Texas.
1988 - Masahiro Chono defeated Mike George to win the World Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Title in St. Joseph, Missouri.
1990 - Jimmy Valiant defeated Jerry Lawler to win the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee
1993 - Heavy Metal defeated Rey Misterio, Jr. for the Mexican National Welterweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico
1993 - The Ebony Experience (Stevie Ray and Booker T) defeated The Bad Breed (Axl and Ian Rotten) to win the Global Wrestling Federation Tag Team Title in Dallas, Texas; also Calvin Knapp defeated Alex Porteau for the GWF Light Heavyweight Title
1994 - Colonel DeBeers defeated Bruiser Brian in Portland, Oregon for the Championship Wrestling USA Television Title
1994 - Mike Samson defeated Wayne Rogers for the Southern States Wrestling Heavyweight Title in Morristown, Tennessee
1995 - Bobby Blaze defeated Jerry Lawler to win the SMW Heavyweight Title in Knoxville, Tennessee
-- What was the best promotion of 2012?
New Japan 38.6%
Dragon Gate 1.2%
What was the best TV show of 2012?
New Japan World Pro Wrestling 11.0%
Fight Factory 5.3%
Main Event 4.4%
Dragon Gate Infinity 1.3%
What was the best match of 2012?
John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar 25.9%
C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan 16.6%
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki 15.9%
Undertaker vs. HHH 14.3%
Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin 8.1%
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada 6.4%
A.J. Styles & Kurt Angle vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian 4.6%
Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito 3.1%
Blue Panther vs. Negro Casas 2.1%
Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi 1.4%
Rock vs. John Cena 1.4%
Kazuchika Okada vs. Hirooki Goto 0.2%
What was the best recent big show?
UFC 157 43.2%
New Japan The New Beginnings 28.9%
WWE Elimination Chamber 23.0%
UFC 156 5.0%