THURS. UPDATE: Impact tonight, UFC & WWE onsale codes, Cena charity work, What happened to George Scott, Dusty talks career and Murdoch, Grice update, Darren Young, new fights on UFC's biggest show, Ordering ROH & NJPW
By Dave Meltzer |
*Jeff Hardy & Manik vs. Kenny King & Chris Sabin
*Magnus in a gauntlet against Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Bobby Roode
*Samoa Joe vs. Bully Ray for TNA title
The show is built around the Dixie Carter/Hulk Hogan angle which is a cover story if Hogan doesn't return, or to set up when he does return.
The situation with Hulk Hogan and updates on TNA, as well as a look at New Japan as it heads into the stretch drive for its biggest show of the year, are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that is up on the site today. We also have updated PPV information and a look at the best in-ring performers in pro wrestling over the past two plus decades.
Our lead story looks at Hulk Hogan and TNA, both the angle, the reality, and why everyone should be skeptical of almost anything that comes out. We look at the obsession with the swerve, the situation with Eric Bischoff, questions being asked by those in the company, the Hogan era of TNA, the successes and the failures. We look at the value in theory of Hogan and how much turned out. We also look at others who are gone from TNA and their situations.
We also have the Bound for Glory lineup for TNA and the goals for the matches as well as questions facing the company going forward.
We also have a look at New Japan going into one of its biggest shows of the year, the Kings of Pro Wrestling event at Sumo Hall. We look at how this show will affect the Tokyo Dome main event and what the arguments are for the various combination of matches that could headline. We look at the record of Hiroshi Tanahashi, the status of Kazuchika Okada as well as a rundown of all the matches on the show and their back stories.
We also have full coverage of the New Japan Destruction show, with match-by-match rundowns, star ratings and poll results.
We also have more on the build to WrestleMania, WWE makes a major office hire, the Bryan Danielson/Brie Bella engagement, Vince McMahon TV return, lots of injury updates, several new contract signings, as well as who hasn't been signed that tried out. We also have a look at the potential future of a character booked in a way he can't stay long-term, a look at the Battleground show, notes on the biggest match ever held at the Superdome in New Orleans and why Dusty Rhodes' interviews feel so much different than all but a few.
We also look at leaks, DVD sales, John Cena's return along with business notes from the past week and highlights from all the weekend house shows.
We also look at the career of Gene Petit, his background, how he got into pro wrestling, why he used the name Gene Lewis, who was Dale Lewis, how a one year run in WWF gave him more than a decade of indie bookings and his difficult life after wrestling ended.
We also have a look at the wrestlers who have had the most **** matches on major WWF, WWE, ECW, ROH, TNA and WCW shows over the past 27 years. We look at who is and isn't in the Hall of Fame from that list, and who isn't No. 1, but would almost surely be if many of their most prominent matches were counted.
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 31st 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.
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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 this past week 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:
--A long time pro wrestling major network deal in a very difficult situation
--A second national TV deal also seems dead
--CMLL tag team tournament update
--Heat on wrestler likely for showing up at rival promotion show
--Major AAA stars robbed at gunpoint
--Lineup for AAA's Heroes Inmortales tribute to Antonio Pena show
--Identity of a new hot babyface
--Wrestler about to get biggest career push needs surgery
--Former WCW star getting another last chance to get his act together
--Dragon Gate tag team tournament notes
--Notes on NOAH's annual Global League singles tournament, including lineups for the tour's biggest shows
--Changes in the hierarchy at New Japan Pro Wrestling
--Notes on New Japan profits for this year
--Wrestler trying to gain weight to become a legitimate heavyweight
--What program that was set up involving a Japanese and U.S. title is up in the air due to a major injury.
--Grandson of one of the biggest stars in wrestling history about to debut on a major tribute show
--Antonio Inoki's latest promotion
--Movie on famous wrestling murder release date changed
--Note on WWC video tribute piece
--Attitude era star looking at returning for regular bookings
--What famous entertainer was inspired by Bam Bam Bigelow
--Update on the whereabouts of Maven Huffman
--How Pedro Morales got his first really big career break in California
--Story on the man chosen as the replacement for Haystacks Calhoun and why it never worked out
--Wrestler elected to parliament, but nobody knew he was a pro wrestler
--Notes on ROH's latest shows and next big shows
--More changes in TNA
--Jim Ross talks about TNA
--Update on Gut Check
--Update on Jeff Jarrett
--A look at the recent TNA TV tapings
--The decision to go with Glover Teixeira as the next light heavyweight title contender
--Looking at the arguments of Teixeira vs. Gustafsson for the next Jon Jones fight
--Why one of UFC's biggest events of 2014 looks to be a very difficult local sell
--Ticket sales for upcoming UFC events
--Promotion of Silva vs. Weidman
--Note on Ultimate Fighter China
--Lots of injury updates
--Update on Michael Bisping, Gegard Mousasi and others
--Lots of new UFC fights and card changes
--The cutting of Yushin Okami and what it says
--Update on GSP vs. Johny Hendricks drug testing battle
--Who Anderson Silva says he will retire before fighting
--Wanderlei Silva vs. Chael Sonnen angle at the Mr. Olympia
--Next UFC card
--Notes on this season of Ultimate Fighter and Tarverdyan vs. Hallman
--Rundown of last Bellator show
--Joe Warren health situation
--How Lavar Johnson got his suspension cut
--Story behind the first weight cutting death in modern MMA history
--What former Strikeforce fighter had a close call with weight cutting
--How much will Floyd Mayweather make out of his last fight
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)
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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.
THURSDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--The presale code for tickets for the 12/14 Fox show in Sacramento headlined by Anthony Pettis vs. Josh Thomson is UFCSOCIAL.
--Chael Sonnen on the encounter with Wanderlei Silva over the weekend at the Mr. Olympia contest:
"I'm all for him having a little fun. But a little advice if you're going to do a publicity stunt, do not bring your own camera. It looks staged. It insults your audience. Accosting a gangster can be hazardous. If you want to have a conventional interview, we at UFC Tonight will pay your way to come to the show."
--An update on Matt Grice, the UFC fighter who was battling for his life after a car accident in Oklahoma and brain surgery. There have been ups and downs over the past week. His tracheotomy tuber was removed. He is breathing without help and eating regular food. He can walk using a walker. So overall he is make strong progress.
--Ryan Satin, the guy with the wrestling shirts and references, who is obviously a big fan on TMZ TV, isn't the host of the show, but he's a guy who appears on air and pitches stories.
--Presale code for the 12/29 WWE show in Hershey, PA is WWEHPA
--Presale code for the 12/30 Raw TV taping in Richmond, VA is RICHMOND
--Two interesting notes on MMA and WWE going head-to-head. On 12/7, WWE and World Series of Fighting both have shows in Vancouver in buildings that are next door to each other. WWE also has a house show on 12/7 in Sacramento, just one week before UFC runs in the same arena. (thanks to Jeff Zanatta)
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
1967 - Brute Bernard & Mike Paidousis beat Fritz & Waldo Von Erich to win the American tag team titles in Dallas
1970 - Mark Lewin & Spyros Arion beat Kurt & Karl Von Steiger in Melbourne to win the IWA tag titles
1975 - Mr Wrestling II beat Nikolai Volkoff to win the Georgia title in Atlanta
1979 - Mal Sanders beat Ken Joyce to win the U.K. Southern Area middleweight title
1981 - Blackjack Mulligan beat Jan Wilkens in Cape Town, South Africa to win the World super heavyweight title there
1982 - Paul Orndorff beat Super Destroyer (Scott Irwin) to win the National title in Atlanta
1983 - Austin Idol beat Stan Hansen to win the International title in Memphis
2004 - At the No Mercy PPV, John Cena beat Booker T in the finals of a best-of-five series to win the U.S. title
--Chris Jericho and Fozzy play tomorrow night in West Hollywood, CA at the House of Blues on Sunset Strip. They also play Sunday night in San Francisco at the DNA Lounge.
--Mick Foley performs tonight in Arlington, TX at the Arlington Improv and tomorrow night in Corpus Christi and Chuckles Comedy Club, followed by Saturday in McAllen, TX at the Cine El Rey Theater.
--Jim Miller vs. Fabricio Camoes and Bobby Voelker vs. William Patolino Macario have been added to the 12/28 UFC show in Las Vegas, which is the biggest show of the year.
IF YOU ORDERED NEW JAPAN IN THE PAST, ARE YOU GETTING THE 10/14 SHOW?
Yes, always get the big New Japan shows 43.8%
No, not ordering anymore New Japan shows 16.9%
Yes, good card 14.6%
No, burned out due to too many shows 12.4%
Not ordering until Tokyo Dome 9.0%
Yes, ordering because of main event 3.4%
Nobody said they wouldn't order due to either the main event or overall lineup
WOULD YOU ORDER ROH FINAL BATTLE IF IT WAS ON IPPV?
No, will not order iPPVs from anyone 52.7%
Would have, but no due to all the technical problems 30.8%
Not sure, depends on card 9.5%
Yes, will order 5.5%
Have ordered ROH but don't like the product 1.5%
WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING ON WATCHING THIS WEEKEND?
WWE Battleground 59.2%
34.1% say they are ordering neither
WHO WAS THE BIGGEST WRESTLING STAR OF THE 1970S?
Bruno Sammartino 37.9%
Andre the Giant 28.%
Dusty Rhodes 10.1%
Harley Race 5.9%
Superstar Billy Graham 4.5%
Antonio Inoki 4.0%
The Sheik 3.0%
Jack Brisco 2.2%
Mil Mascaras 1.5%
Dory Funk Jr. 1.0%
Giant Baba 0.7%
Verne Gagne 0.7%
WHICH OF THESE PERIODS DO YOU THINK WRESTLING WAS THE MOST POPULAR MAINSTREAM IN THE U.S?
--Dory Funk Jr. on twitter said that he and Terry Funk will be returning to Japan. He didn't elaborate further.+
--NAAFS on 10/5 in Akron, OH at the Chapparelkls Community Center with the national amateur series semifinals
--Amazons' LOVEFILM has added these four WWE movies to their LOVEFiLM instant subscription video on demand service:
Legendary with John Cena
Knucklehead with Big Show
Chaperone with HHH
--UFC Tonight is replayed at 5 p.m. on FS 1. Ultimate Fighter will be replayed on FS 2 tomorrow night at 10 p.m.
--CWF Mid Atlantic's 13th annual CWF Rumble will be Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Gibsonville, NC at 1001 Springwood Ave. It's available free on the Internet at ondemand.CWF247.com
--Jim Ross talks Texas legends at Facebook.com/ihweprowrestling
--Prime Wrestling Art of War on 10/20 at 3 p.m. in Parma, OH.
--Squared Circle Live third anniversary show on 11/3 in Whitby, ONT at the Class Act Dinner Theater with Davey Richards vs. Tyson Dux, Josh Alexander vs. Brent Banks 2/3 falls, Kevin Steen vs. Psycho Mike Rollins, Michael Elgin vs. John Greed and more. Tickets are only $10.
is looking for DVDs or tapes of shows announced by Ray Morgan from 1959-1971. He can trade with a lot of ECW stuff signed by Paul Heyman and others.
--New South Championship Wrestling on 10/26 in Tennessee Ridge, TN at the National Guard Armory
--XICW from Saturday night in Clinton Township, MI: Mad Dragon b Austin Manix Chaz Montana b Caleb Stills, Movado b Owen Taraves, Movado Alexander the Great, Movado b Mike Marvel, Mark Gjoka b Paul Bowser, Petey Williams b Andy Muscat Dicky Bronson b Willie Watts, Vinny & Sonny Scarboni b Pain Killers and Zach Gowen & Jamey Coxxx to keep tag titles, Eddie Venom b Carlito, DBA b Sabu in a cage match (thanks to Leonard Brand)