TUES. UPDATE: UFC anniversary, Hero challenges for Dragon Gate title, TNA PPV note, Jericho TV show, Sonnen talks fiight, Thesz Hall of Fame Class of 2014, Best of the Best
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 13:58
By Dave Meltzer |
Today is the final day for our poll on Saturday's New Japan Power Struggle PPV, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're looking for reports on the Smackdown tapings tonight in Manchester, England. The only thing announced is a possible John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio arm wrestling match. We're also looking for reports on the WWE house show in Newcastle, England tonight.
We're also looking for reports on these shows:
*WWE Friday in Brussels, Belgium
*TNA Friday night Canton, OH
*WWE Thursday in Dublin
*TNA Saturday in Toledo
Wednesday has WWE house shows in Zurich, Switzerland and Nottingham, England. Thursday has WWE shows in Leeds, England and Rouen, France.
What is the most talked about issue of the year of the Observer is now out and on the front page, the 2013 Hall of Fame issue. It's a double issue and is also available by mail and is traditionally one of our two best selling issues of the year.
The issue features a complete look at the voting, not just overall, but in every category, as well as a comparison with last year's results and an analysis of the voting by category. We look at the plight of several of the candidates, including those who increased or decreased, and also have two lengthy career bios in this issue. We will have two more bios coming down the line.
We look at those who dropped off the ballot and those who will be added onto next year's ballot. We also look at how the new candidates did.
We also have a complete analysis of the WWE business and why the profits are the lowest in years but the stock price is the highest in years. We look at why this contradiction is the case and the reason people are bullish on WWE going forward. We look at what it would take for these projections to come true and what is going on with television that both strengthens the position of WWE and TNA, but also weakens it.
We look at how an increase in rights fees from television can be a game changer and what it could mean in comparison to PPV, what two stations would benefit the most by attempting to get WWE programming but how one of them would hurt WWE in other ways even if they could get more money for the product.
We also look at the proposed network and the economics of it.
We also look at every WWE revenue stream and how it did both in garnering income and also in expenses, as well a an update on WWE cash on hand, differences in profits from the last two years in every category, and an updated look at the movie division.
We look at what television show is the company's biggest profit margin show. We also look at WWE in the realm of non-wrestling programming and history. We also look at how Daniel Bryan's quest for the title has done and even Vince McMahon's negative reaction to SummerSlam.
We've got charts with the revenues for the quarter and what parts of the world they came from, regarding where WWE is going up or down, as well as each category profits. We also have updated numbers on how WrestleMania ended up on the all-time list.
We also look at a goal for John Cena building to this year's WrestleMania, Cena talks about the Ric Flair title record, why Eva Marie is getting a push, an update on Survivor Series and more on Roman Reigns.
We also look at the new star they are grooming for a top spot, a new series of history items WWE is doing, the origin of the term judo chop in pro wrestling and the illegal karate thrust days of the business, two major new signings and thoughts on other prospects including an international star in talks, Chris Jericho on his weight, touring, diet, HHH's comments, WWE future and his web series. We also look at the WWE's new web project, Jim Ross comments on WWE business and the PPV industry and an update on Rey Mysterio.
We also have an update on WWE house shows.
We've also got a look at Bellator's biggest show in its history, the Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler program, what readers thought of who won, and where Alvarez vs. Chandler stands historically, as well as updating the Alvarez tug-of-war between UFC and Bellator. We look at the situation with King Mo.
We also look at the wrestling career of Doug Lindzy, best known as Doug Gilbert and The Masked Professional during a 24 year career as a full-time journeyman wrestler. We look back to the biggest win of the career of The Professional, but how he flopped from there and was quickly gone from the area. We look at his run as AWA tag team champion and the angles in his heyday in Georgia, as well as his various physical transformations.
We've also got full coverage of the Dragon Gate PPV show from Osaka over the weekend.
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.
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We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows.
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:
--Wrestler celebrates 36 years as a headliner
--One of the retirement matches of Dos Caras
--Latest from Arena Mexico
--Wrestlers participating in bodybuilding show including a former TNA star
--El Hijo del Fantasma talks why he left CMLL for AAA
--Fantasma notes problems in CMLL
--Notes on A.J. Styles in Japan and Mexico
--Update on the Global League tournament and all the matches of the past week
--A look at some New Japan big shows in 2014
--A look at the life of California independent promoter and wrestling school owner Roland Alexander
--A look at the golden age of APW and some of the stars that worked on Alexander's shows and what names came out of the APW school
--Former WWF star elected to political office
--Tons of stuff regarding Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards and WWE
--Departure of the last link to the beginnings of ROH
--Notes on ROH Final Battle plans
--A look at the last ROH show
--Update on TNA sale talks
--Janice Carter's memo to talent
--Why it was done
--Why there is value in TNA going forward
--What could kill TNA dead that is completely out of their hands
--What happened with dropping the OVW affiliation
--A look at the TNA title tournament
--Notes on the new Impact Zone
--Who in TNA is garnering more power
--Where A.J. Styles' future stands
--Notes on the weekend TNA house show
--Lots of new UFC fights
--A look at the middleweight division
--A look at the next UFC show in Newark
--Why Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem ended up in Newark and not Las Vegas
--What fight and why will have the most strongest drug testing in UFC history
--Who is footing the bill for it
--Poll regarding the next UFC video game cover athletes
--A look at the last few weeks of the Bellator season and the main fights
--Bradley vs. Marquez PPV numbers
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.
TUESDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Today is the actual 20th anniversary of the UFC, which debuted on November 12, 1993 in Denver, Colorado. There's a ton of history in that 20 years, with a lot of ups and downs, and in hindsight, what shaped the history was a lot of hard work, but there was incredible luck involved, both good and bad.
--At the WWE tapings today, the entire upper deck in Manchester is tarped off, so this would be the among the lowest selling TV tapings they've ever done overseas. Raw was legitimately packed last night.
--Randy Orton vs. Big Show are scheduled as the main event tonight in Newcastle.
--Johnny Gargano vs. Chris Hero for the Open the Freedom Gate title was just announced today for 11/17 at the Brooklyn Lyceum for Dragon Gate USA.
--TNA sent out a release announcing their Old School PPV taping on 12/30 in Poughkeepsie. Tickets go on sale Friday. Announced are James Storm vs. Bobby Roode in a last man standing match, Bully Ray vs. Tommy Dreamer falls count anywhere street fight, plus Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Magnus and Ken Anderson.
--Wade Barrett met with Preston North End striker Kevin Davies this past week, which will air on Match of the Day Kickabout on Saturday at 7:45 a.m. on CBBC in the U.K.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1948 - Danny McShane beat Argentina Rocca to win the Texas title in Houston
1965 - Mad Dog Vachon beat Crusher in Denver to win the AWA title
1966 - Dick the Bruiser beat Mad Dog Vachon in Omaha to win the AWA title
1976 - Marty Jones beat Rollerball Mark Rocco in Wolverhampton, UK to win the British lightweight title
1979 - Billy Robinson beat Super Destroyer Mark II (Sgt,. Slaughter) to win the British Empire title in Winnipeg
1982 - Danny Davis beat Bruce Hart in Calgary to win the British Commonwealth mid-heavyweight title
1982 - Sangre Chicana beat Fishman in Naucalpan to win the UWA light heavyweight title
2001 - Matt & Jeff Hardy beat Booker T & Test for the WWF world tag team titles and Edge beat Kurt Angle for the U.S. title
--TNA is doing an angle where Dixie Carter is now feuding with Spike TV, storming out of their offices because they allowed that Friends of AJ Styles commercial to air on Impact on Thursday.
--The UFC Fighting for a Generation special will be airing again tonight at 9 p.m. on Fox Sports 2, followed by a replay of this week's Ultimate Fighter episode.
--The National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Waterloo, IA has announced its 16th class inductions on 7/18 and 7/19 in Waterloo, IA. Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner and Wilbur Snyder are being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Other awards given are Larry Hennig getting the Lou Thesz Award, DDP getting the Frank Gotch Award, Randy Couture getting the George Tragos Award and Larry Matysik getting the Jim Melby award. We'll have more on that as the time approaches.
--Jessica Aguilar, one of the best 115 pound woman fighters in the world, has signed a multi-year deal with World Series of Fighting and will debut in 2014. She has two wins over retired legend Megumi Fujii and has a seven-fight winning streak.
POLL ON TOTAL DIVAS
61.6% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING THIS WEEKEND?
UFC 167 52.9%
Even with Rampage Jackson's debut with the promotion, seems like little interest in this show.
BEST OF THESE HALL OF FAMERS
Andre the Giant 53.1%
Fred Blassie 17.3%
The Destroyer 8.8%
Giant Baba 8.2%
Abdullah the Butcher 5.8%
Blue Demon 3.5%
Perro Aguayo 2.2%
Bert Assirati 1.1%
BEST OF THESE HALL OF FAMERS
Nick Bockwinkel 37.6%
Bruiser Brody 26.4%
Jack Brisco 22.3%
Riki Choshu 4.3%
Negro Casas 4.1%
Bobo Brazil 1.9%
--Glenn Gilbertti, the WCW Disco Inferno, turned 45 today.
--Rampage 4 Real will be airing Thursday night after Impact for the final episode.
--Dreamwave Wrestling on 12/7 in LaSalle, IL with Chris Hero vs. Prince Mustafa Ali. For more info go to www.dreamwavewrestling.com
--Empire Wrestling on Saturday in Beaumont, CA at the Lodge with a 3 p.m. show.
--Right Coast Pro Wrestling from Saturday nigh in Newark, DE: Mikey Whipwreck b Billy Bax, King Mega b Stockade, Joey Silver d Colton Quest, Damian Gibbs won Bunkhouse Battle Royal, JJ The Crew Guy b Nicholas Sohlo, Mike Reed b Francis Kipland Stevens in a stretcher match, Mozart Fontaine b Harry Baldwin, Corey Blaze b Pedro Duro (thanks to Lisa Johnston) Next show is 12/7 at the RCP Arena Life Community Center in Newark, DE.
--CMLL on Sunday in Guadalajara: Indigo & Eplosivo b Satara & Tapatio, Yacqui & Angel del Mal & Joker b Xavier Cruz Jr. & Virgo & Idolo, Virgo & Esfinge & Leo b Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno & Demonio Rojo, Psicosis & Vangellys & Rafaga b Titan & Sagrado & Black Metal, La Sombra b Euforia (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims)
--Nor Cal Hall of Fame show on Sunday in Stockton. They opened with a ten bell salute for Roland Alexander. Shane Kody inducted his father, the late Woody Farmer, into the hall of Fame. Markus Mac inducted the late Mike Lockwood (Crash Holly). Jeckles and Larry Blackwell accepted All Pro Wrestling as a promotion. Gabriel Ramirez inducted Robert Thompson and Luster the Legend and Adam Thornstowe inducted trainer Mustafa Saed. Larry Blackwell won Battle Royal, Drake Frost over Sir Samurai and Scoot Robinson, Jackles over Ryan McQueen, Davey Richards and Brian Cage, Suburban Commandos & Joe DeSoulb b Pogo & Mike Rayne & Darren Dean, Rik Luxury & Bobby Hart b Marcus Lewis & Virgil Flynn, Timothy Thatcher b Jeff Cobb, CJ Kurz & Mustafa Saed b Adam Thornstowe & Luster the Legend. Next show is 12/8 at the SOS Club in Modesto.
--Wrestling is Art from Sunday in East Greenwich, RI before 125 fans: The Batiri b Los Platanos, Jervis Cottonbelly b Tim Donst, Francis O'Rourke b Antonio Thomas, Estonian Thunderfrog b Chuck Taylor Shynron b Juan Francisco de Coronado, Colony b Devastation Corporation, Colt Cabana d Drew Gulak
--John Finnegan in noting his stats which start in November 2006, Randy Orton's win over Dolph Ziggler on the 10/21 Raw made him the first man to hit 300 wins on television and PPV. He's now at 302. The next five are CM Punk at 290, Kane at 245, Kofi Kingston at 244, John Cena at 239 and Dolph Ziggler at 230.
--Upstate Pro Wrestling on 11/16 in Rochester, NY at the Eagles Club with Cloudy vs. Colin Delaney as the main event.
--Chris Hero vs; Drew Gulak has been added to the 12/14 CZW Cage of Death show in Voorhees, NJ at Flyers Skate Zone.
--Premier Wrestling on 12/15 in Gilroy at the Nine Lives Club has Mr. Athletic vs. Mr. Old School, headlined by Jeff Cobb (3-0) vs. Oliver John (2-0) for the Premier title. I'm so mad I'm missing that one since WWE has a live PPV at the same time (show starts 5 p.m.). Also The Almighty Sheik (1-0) vs. Julio Pedroza (1-0), Timothy Thatcher (2-0) vs. Sledge (2-1) and Brian Tannen (2-1) vs. JR Kratos (2-2). Tickets are $10 at www.premierwrestle.com
or $15 day of the show.
--Metro Wrestling Alliance in Detroit on Sunday: Andrew Lee b Jack Price, Psycho Taker b Lathan Clemons, Terror Khan d Sam Farmer, Scarbonis b Keith Calhoun & Scott Fraytown, Caleb Stills b N8 Mattson, Owen Travers b Eddie Venom (thanks to Leonard Brand)