MON. UPDATE: Shawn Michaels' Twitter woes & possible return, former WWE star in new sitcom, Bellator fight week, upcoming radio shows, tons more
We're also looking for live reports from Orlando tonight for Raw, with dark matches, Superstars matches and anything else not evident from the live show. Vince McMahon is advertised for the show. Shawn Michaels is also scheduled to be on the show.
We're also looking for reports from Smackdown on Tuesday night in Tampa. John Cena is advertised as wrestling Alberto Del Rio in a dark match on the show, as is Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton advertised.
If you are into history, this is the time to be subscribing to the Observer because it's Hall of Fame season. The original Hall of Fame issue will be up next week, and the 2013 Hall of Fame issue is also coming with the balloting now closed.
The new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter will be up on the site today with analysis pieces of where the UFC & TNA both stand coming out of the weekend and going forward.
Our lead story looks at while profits are high and business is overall good for UFC, there are some causes for concern in recent weeks. We look at the move to FS 1, ratings, PPV vs. boxing and what has 2013 in UFC shown about what does and doesn't work on PPV.
We also look back at UFC 166, how the top stars come out of the show, view polls on the close fights, the show as a whole and full match-by-match coverage.
We also look at TNA coming out of Bound for Glory, its biggest show of the year. Unlike with UFC, profits are not high and business is not good. We look at the changes on the horizon for 2014, how the new goals have to be different from the old goals, Hulk Hogan & Sting, TV tapings in Orlando, the PPV business, the house show business, injury updates and full coverage of Bound for Glory. We have poll results and star ratings on the show as well.
We also talk WWE network, WWE stock prices, WWE Hall of Fame, a WrestleMania match where the first angle was shot three years ago now on the books, update on Rey Mysterio, why he wrestled and why he wasn't on Raw. We look at the next PPV, the Big Show angle, updates on all WWE angles, former WWE wrestler accuses others of keeping her out, Jim Ross talks Undertaker's streak, time limits and no DQ tag matches.
We also update the 2014 PPV schedule and changes for the new year, sports executives on how UFC, WWE and boxing are doing, Nowinski talks why WWE was awarded, changes in this past week's Raw show, the HHH interview and what may have been clever and what was counterproductive, what WWE is looking for with prospective new talent, Daniel Bryan talks Hall of Fame, training with Shawn Michaels, wrestling Shawn Michaels, the best wrestler he ever wrestled against and the name will surprise you, favorite opponents and who he credits for getting him over. He also talks what he thinks about Total Divas.
Chael Sonnen talks a recently signed WWE wrestler who he trained with, as well as business notes and highlights from the Mexico and U.S. tours from this past week.
We also look at AAA's big event of the past week, the Heroes Inmortales show, the surprises, the jump and the enemies that became partners.
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.
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 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:
--The hard to explain and even harder to make sense situation out of what CMLL did on its big show this past week
--Updates on an international group getting U.S. TV and plans
--Major Dragon Gate show and how that leads into the next major show that will air around the world on iPPV
--A look at newcomers to the promotion
--All Japan prepares 41st anniversary show
--Tokyo Dome ticket notes
--New Japan officials come to the U.S., notes on seminar and business discussion
--Update on next New Japan major show
--Wrestler critical of New Japan tournament feeling the top stars need to be in and aren't
--Notes on Hiroshi Tanahashi and Bret Hart together in the U.K. over the weekend
--A look at New Japan talent in the U.S. and U.K. over the past week
--Business discussions with New Japan in the U.S. market
--Notes on Michinoku Pro in the U.K.
--More on Dos Caras' Japanese retirement match
--Still active wrestling star turns 70
--Notes on the career of Dennis Hall
--Pointed comments made regarding the death of Calvin Knapp
--A look at a new attempt for indie groups to work together and goals
--Update on Low Ki
--Update on Tammy Sytch
--A look at the next major ROH show, a unique angle and Jesse Sorensen
--Kurt Angle talks rehab and follow-up
--Angle talks Hogan
--Background of new TNA TV announcer
--More on plans for UFC Super Bowl show
--Thoughts on UFC going to Mexico
--More on Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva
--Mike Pierce injuries
--More on secret meeting for Fedor vs. Lesnar
--New arena being talked about being built that would be the home of the biggest UFC shows going forward
--Notes on the next season of Ultimate Fighter
--Update on Ben Askren
--UFC signs some major foreign names including one of the world's most exciting fighters of the last decade
--Pro wrestling talk in TUF house
--Promotion of Bellator PPV
--Update on Bellator's last show and next show
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 $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 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.
MONDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--I guess we'll find out if Shawn Michaels is going to wrestle at Survivor Series tonight. For what it's worth, he was swearing to everyone last night that he's not coming back for another match and has told friends that consistently. Nobody is talking like he's wrestling at the next PPV. Michaels responded to people on Twitter who are mad at him, saying essentially that it's a scripted TV show and that was his role.
--I've heard from one person in WWE who thinks the combination of Michaels and John Cena's first match back on Raw will get the rating to a 3.0, even against game 5 of the World Series on Fox.
--A Bellator TV special on Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler, building up their rematch on Saturday night, with both going through their first fight, airs at midnight tonight on Spike. It'll also be replayed after Impact on Thursday.
--Speaking of, here is the Bellator schedule for the week: no press conference but Thursday, but rather open workouts at the Long Beach Arena open to the public at noon with Michael Chandler, Eddie Alvarez, King Mo, Emanuel Newton, Pat Curran and Daniel Straus. Weigh-ins are Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern time and 5 p.m. local time at the arena as well.
--A few notes on upcoming radio shows: we have a show with Shayna Baszler from The Ultimate Fighter scheduled for tomorrow, and we will have a call-in show Friday talking Mid South Wrestling, so for those who saw the DVD WWE produced, or have any questions on the promotion, you can call in or send in questions on that day with 'Mid South Wrestling Show' in the subject line. The show will be hosted by myself and Scott Williams, the expert on that promotion who also ghost wrote Bill Watts' autobiography.
--The WWE video game gets released tomorrow. One thing for sure, they do a great job of promoting that game.
--Fox Sports 1 will be airing the UFC Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin match at 9 p.m. tonight.
--WWE returns to Miami with a house show at the American Airlines Arena on 1/31 with a presale code of WWELIVE
--Here's an interview with King Mo
on why pro wrestling is harder than MMA, why Arn Anderson is his favorite wrestler, and his pro wrestling goals.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops):
1967 - Rock Rogowski, who later became a lot more famous as Ole Anderson, beat Bob Orton Sr to win the Midwest title in Omaha
1970 - Kurt & Karl Von Steiger beat Mario Milano & Spyros Arion in Brisbane to win the IWA tag titles
1975 - Killer Karl Kox beat Dick Murdoch to win the North American title
1976 - Kim Duk & Kintaro Oki beat Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta in Tokyo to win the International tag team titles
1984 - El Hijo del Santo beat Negro Casas in Mexico City to win the UWA lightweight title
1995 - Jesse James Armstrong & Tracy Smothers beat PG-13 to win the USWA tag titles in Memphis
1996 - Genichiro Tenryu & Ultimo Dragon & Nobutaka Araya beat Yoji Anjo & Bam Bam Bigelow & Hiromichi Fuyuki to win the WAR 6 man tag titles in Tokyo
2000 - Genichiro Tenryu beat Toshiaki Kawada in the finals of a tournament for the vacant Triple Crown
2005 - Takeshi Morishima & Mohammed Yone beat Naomichi Marufuji & Minoru Suzuki to win the GHC tag titles
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF SATURDAY'S ROH TV SHOW?
54.5% of those responding didn't see the show.
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF SATURDAY'S WSOF TV SHOW?
72.3% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF SATURDAY'S UFC SHOW?
44.3% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT WAS THE BEST FIGHT ON THE UFC SHOW?
Luke Barnatt vs. Andrew Craig 43.9%
Rosi Sexton vs. Jessica Andrade 22.8%
Al Iaquinta vs. Piotr Hallmann 19.3%
Norman Parke vs. Jon Tuck 14.0%
WHAT WAS THE BEST TV SHOW OF THE PAST WEEK?
UFC from Manchester 14.8%
Ultimate Fighter 2.2%
Main Event 1.6%
UFC Tonight 1.6%
Inside MMA 0.5%
--This is different. Cortney Casey, who lost to Pearl Gonzalez via third round submission at an XFC event on 10/18, complained that her opponent should not have been able to fight with so much spray tan on. She believes a spray tan should be considered like grease, which is obviously banned in competition. Gonzalez's spray tan rubbed off all over Casey's shorts and top. She said as a submission fighter, she kept slipping off because of the spray tan. That's actually a very viable point. If it's enough that it stains the opponent's clothes noticeably, then it's got to make it slippery for gripping and should be illegal.
--Happy birthday to Les Thatcher of this site today (73), along with former WWE & New Japan star MVP (40), TNA's Christy Hemme (33) and New Japan's Rocky Romero (31).
--Northeast Wrestling on 11/9 in Bethany, CT at Town Hall with Paul London vs. Matt Taven, Brian Anthony defends the NEW title against Lukas Sharp and Ron Zombie vs. J Busta in a no DQ match.
--Xtreme Sports & Entertainment presents MMA Unleashed on 11/23 in Punta Gorda, FL at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center with Ric Flair as the special guest for a meet and greet. There will be nine fights and a bikini contest. Fights, women in bikinis and Ric Flair sounds like quite the combination.
--Empire Wrestling Federation from Saturday night in San Bernardino, CA: Richie Slade b Eddie Mattson, Tarasso b Sonny Vanes, Flecha Fugaz b Danny Ghost, Andy Brown b Raccid Najjar, Brute Baretto won Battle Royal, Von Dooms b Mega King & Raunchy Rico-DQ, Ironman Mike Maze b Terrex (thanks to Jesse Hernandez and Frank Mott)
--Anarchy Wrestling from Saturday night in Cornelia, GA before 150 fans: Todd Sexton b John Pierre Royere, Todd Sexton d Steven Walters, Mike Posey b Slim J, Wildside b Bobby Moore to win the TV title, BJ Hancock & Anthony Henry b Joey Rhymer & Stryknkyn, John Skyler b Jeremy Foster, Kevin Blue b CB Suave in a ladder match, Gunner b Corey Hollis, Nemesis & Shadow Jackson b Seven & Shaun Tampers, Mikael Judas b Geter in a cage match to win the Anarchy title. Next show is 11/9 with Stryknyn vs. Hancock in a submission match. The ring announcer on this show, Jonathan Feitner, got married on Saturday afternoon and then worked this show at night. I believe 40 years from now he will still be hearing about it. (thanks to Larry Goodman)
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Capitan & Brillante Jr. b Samael & Relampago Azul, Satara & Ebola & Yaqui b Xavier Cruz Jr. & Halcon de Plata & Explosivo, Leo & Esfinge & Black Metal b Sadico & Espectrum & Joker-DQ, Fuego b Barbaro Cavernario to win the Western States middleweight title, La Sombra & Brazo de Plata & Super Popular b Pierroth & Euforia & Niebla Roja (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
--Pro Wrestling Bushido from last night in Stockton, CA: Peter Avalon (who was on Bound for Glory against EC 3) & Ray Rosas & Joe DeSoul b Marcus Lewis & Drake Frost & Savannah Riley, Drake Younger b Rik Luxury, Lucky O'Shea b Su Yung, Timothy Thatcher b Joey Ryan, Bobby Hart NC Dylan Drake, Mustafa Saed (Gangstas) & CJ Curz b Virgil Flynn to win the tag titles as partner D-Torch is out with a broken foot, Rich Swann b TJ Perkins (Manik in TNA), Johnny Goodtime b Sir Samurai. Next show is 11/10 in Stockton at the La Jamaica Hall and 12/8 in Modesto at the SOS Club. (thanks to Mike Millerick)
--"They Live' with Roddy Piper airs Friday at midnight on the pay TV movie channel Action/Adventure in Australia (thanks to James Stanios)
--Tammy Sytch does a live Q&A on 11/14 in Glasgow, Scotland, and at CollectorMania in Milton Keynes, England on 11/16 and 11/17.