SUN. UPDATE: More on UFC 167, WWE UK tour results, What company produces best big shows, GSP vs. Hendricks stats, Hero vs. Storm
Sunday, 17 November 2013 18:13
We're looking for reports from today's Dragon Gate USA show in Brooklyn, last night's WWE show in Minehead, England, Friday's WWE show in London, Thursday's WWE show in Rousen, France and Wednesday's WWE show in Zurich.
WWE returns with Raw Country tomorrow night from Nashville with the country artists Florida Georgia Line as guest performers.
Smackdown and Main Event will be taped Tuesday in Atlanta.
Coverage of UFC's decline in audience heading into its biggest shows in year is the lead story in this week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We've also got a new back issue from 1996 up which talks about a WWE jmaump to WCW more than one year before it happened and how close it came to happening at the time for an NWO surprise member. We also look at negotiations for what would have been some of the biggest matches in Japan that also never happened and how close they came.
This week's issues looks at the challenges MMA faces and its historical weaknesses in maintaining popularity. We look at the reason nobody's talking about for UFC's PPV increases this year, and the questions it faces with a declining television audience. We look at just how much of the audience has dropped and the reasons as to why. We also look at how pro wrestling differs from other sports when it comes to audience loyalty. We look back at the history of Vale Tudo in Brazil, the dark ages of UFC in the U.S., and look at the 20th anniversary show as well as the two shows last week.
We also look at where Hulk Hogan sits and thoughts on what his role would be in 2014 as well as optimum use for him if he can still go on the ring, more on John Cena and Big Show, Survivor Series updates, and a lot on the internal shakeups in WWE as well as how talent is paid. We look at the release of Kassius Ohno, why advertised matches haven't been taking place, what on paper looks to be great timing for WWE, and something surprising that has been talked about and whether it makes sense financially.
We also look at Miz's turn, who is being focused on in WWE advertising, coverage from developmental including hot prospects and injuries, notes on the upcoming season of Total Divas, a new WWE signing, and tons of news from the WWE European tour.
We also look at New Japan's Road to the Tokyo Dome with the first five matches announced, what they mean, background of the matches, what the expected rest of the show is, and coverage of the two big shows this past week.
We also have a look at the possible end of All Pro Wrestling with the death of Roland Alexander, a look back at his life, the controversies surrounding it, the attempts to make the promotion grow, Beyond the Mat, and thoughts on him, as well as a look back at the 2001 King of Indies and how it led to the formation of Ring of Honor.
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 and how every segment on Raw and Impact did as far as gaining or losing 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:
--Why two rival promotions are working together on a show this next week
--Why another promotion is having business issues
--A.J. Styles in Mexico
--A look at Masato Yoshino's second Open the Dream Gate title defense
--A look at Dragon Gate's upcoming U.S. shows
--All Japan adding a title
--NOAH planning its last big show of the year for Akira Taue's retirement
--A look at the top scheduled matches on the show
--Final standings and a look at the Global League singles tournament
--Details on this year's New Japan tag team tournament
--Who are in what blocks and what are the key lineups
--Lineup for New Japan's next iPPV on 11/23
--A look at the CMLL/New Japan FantasticMania lineups for January
--Why Fedor Emelianenko is attending a big pro wrestling show next month
--The return of a character from the 80s
--Former WWE star puts up his hair on major international show this week
--Lots of TNA PPV news
--A look at some upcoming PPV matches
--A look at Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore show
--A look at TNA tapings
--What wrestlers have been contacted by TNA
--A look at recent TNA house shows
--A look at next week's Impact
--UFC injuries and card changes
--Advance for the last major UFC event of the year
--Update on the TUF finales
--Notes on international dates
--Notes on UFC in Brazil
--More on Rousey vs. Tate and a last minute win by Tate
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.
SATURDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Mike Sempervive went in depth on last night's show, including post-show antics, judging of main event and more on the site, plus we talked TNA and some WWE PPV theories.
--Don't forget Total Divas week two on E! at 10 p.m. tonight.
--In the deciding first round (since almost everyone had rounds two and four for Hendricks and three and five for GSP), Hendricks landed 27 strikes to 26 for GSP, but GSP landed 19 significant strikes to 18 for Hendricks. Each had one takedown. Overall significant strikes stats were 101 for GSP and 85 for Hendricks, but overall Hendricks landed 142 strikes to 125 for GSP. GSP had 3 takedowns to 2 for Hendricks based on Fightmetric stats. Fightmetric gave the deciding round one to Hendricks.
--The single most searched for term in the U.S. on Google yesterday was UFC. The numbers for the U.S. were equivalent of a very good buy rate, but not a through the roof number. Motorcycle racer Kurt Caselli and USC Football were No. 2 and No. 3, but very distant.
--A.J. Lee worked last night's show in Minehead, England, so she's fine.
--Final show from Minehead, England for the C.M. Punk tour results: Prime Time Players b Hunico & Camacho, Great Khali b Jinder Mahal, Bella Twins b A.J. Lee & Tamina Snuka, Curtis Axel b R-Truth in an IC title match, Usos b Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre, Ryback b Justin Gabriel, C.M. Punk & Daniel Bryan b Wyatts. Paul Heyman was there getting destroyed by Punk before the main event.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1941 - Eddie Scarf, an Olympic bronze medalist beat Leo Jensen in Sydney to retain the Australian heavyweight title.
1986 - Lance Von Erich & Dingo Warrior (Ultimate Warrior) b Matt Borne & Master Gee (George Welles) to win the World Class tag titles in Fort Worth. Gee subbed for Buzz Sawyer.
1994 - The Head Hunters beat Nobutaka Araya & Dick Slater to win the IWA tag titles
1996 - Sid Vicious beat Shawn Michaels to win the WWF title at Survivor Series in Madison Square Garden
1998 - Duane Gill beat Christian to win the WWF light heavyweight title in Columbus, OH
2002 - At Survivor Series, Billy Kidman beat Jamie Noble to keep the cruiserweight title, Victoria beat Trish Stratus in a hardcore match to keep the women's title, Big Show beat Brock Lesnar to win the WWE world title, Eddie & Chavo Guerrero Jr. beat Edge & Rey Mysterio and Chris Benoit & Kurt Angle to win the world tag team title, and Shawn Michaels beat HHH, Chris Jericho, Kane, Booker T and RVD in an Elimination Chamber to win the WWE title
2011 - Matt Morgan & Crimson beat Mexican America to win the TNA tag titles in Orlando
--In predictions last night, Josh Nason went 4-1 (missing Lawler vs. MacDonald), Oliver Copp went 4-1 (missing Koscheck vs. Woodley) and Todd Martin went 4-1. I went 3-2 as did Mike Sempervive while Mike Sawyer was 2-3.
WHO WAS THE BEST OF THESE HALL OF FAMERS?
Mitsuharu Misawa 62.7%
Pat Patterson 17.8%
Pat O'Connor 10.0%
Bronko Nagurski 4.9%
Leroy McGuirk 1.7%
Ray Mendoza 1.5%
Atsushi Onita 1.1%
Kintaro Oki 0.4%
WHAT COMPANY PRODUCES THE BEST BIG SHOWS?
New Japan 18.3%
Dragon Gate 1.0%
WHO WAS THE BEST OF THESE HALL OF FAMERS?
Harley Race 32.3%
Roddy Piper 26.8%
Dusty Rhodes 17.5%
Billy Robinson 5.5%
Argentina Rocca 2.3%
Yvon Robert 1.5%
John Pesek 1.0%
POLL ON IMPACT
48.6% of those responding didn't see the show
--UFC 154 airs tonight at 11 p.m. on FS 2. That's the GSP vs. Carlos Condit show. Ultimate Fighter airs at 10 p.m. tonight on FS 1
--AIW on 11/29 in Cleveland at Turners Hall features Michael Hutter (Ethan Carter III) vs. Tim Donst in the main event plus Louis Lyndon vs. Marion Fontaine. Shiima Xion (Zema Ion) is also on the show. Really weird to me that they use TNA talent on television but give them their prior ring names.
--On the Chris Hero vs. Lance Storm match for Smash Wrestling on 12/15 at the Can Lan Sportsplex in Mississauaga, ONT, the show will be live at 3 p.m. They will have an annual awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. and then will air the TLC PPV in the building at 8 p.m. Also on he show are Super Smash Brothers vs. Overdogs, plus Johnny Gargano, Tyson Dux and Matt Cross.
Notes on Classics on Demand for this week
NWO Souled out 1997 (that show was awful)
Legends of Wrestling talk the NWO
Shawn Michaels & HHH vs. Mike Tyson & Chris Jericho
Michaels vs. Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan Half of Fame
Hogan & The Giant vs. Kevin Nash & Lex Luger
Hogan & Nash vs Ric Flair & Bill Goldberg
Lex Luger vs Hogan for WCW title
Hogan vs. Randy Savage for WCW title
WCW on TBS 8/13/88
--There will be a toys for tots collection at the CZW Cage of Death show on 12/14 in Voorhees, NJ at Flyers Skate Zone.
--Any indie promotion doing Christmas benefits for the needy, please contact us because we'll gladly publicize them.
--Gold Rush Wrestling from last night in Pacifica, CA: Pistolaro b Grimes-DQ, Virgil Flynn b Marquis Jackson, Vinnie Massaro b Drake Younger, Suburban Commandos b Billy Blade & Mitch Valentine, Dalton Frost & Matt Carlos and Jeckles & Sledge, Dylan Drake b Rik Luxury in a gold miners glove match, Will Rood b Mr. Prime Time in a cage match, JR Kratos b Brian Tannen in a cage match with a splash off the top of the cage through a table
--In Your Face Wrestling on 3/15 in Ballston Spa, NY has a convention from 1-5 p.m. during the day and a sow that nihgt. Ballston Spa is a 30 minute drive from Albany Airport.
--Empire State Wrestling on 11/30 in Lockport, NY at the Kenan Center Arena with Kevin Nash, Johnny Gargano, Trent Barreta, Gene Snitsky, Jamin Olivencia, Colin Delenay, Rhett Titus, The Colony and Pepper Parks.
--ECWA on 12/7 at the Greater Newark Boys & Girls Club has a Toys for Tots collection show headlined by Kekoa the Flyin Hawaiian vs Ahtu. J.J. Dillon will be managing on the show.
--Grown Ups 2 was No. 10 at the Australian box office this weekend. Steve Austin was in that movie (thanks to James Stanios)
--WAR on 11/30 at the UAW Hall in Lima, OH
--Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in East Carondelet, IL before a sellout 280 fans: Chaz Wesson b Max Archer, Ricky Cruz & Daniel Eads b Bull Bronson & Ax, Flash Flanagan b Brandon Gallagher, Bobby D DCOR Joker, Ron Powers b Ironman Kasa, Jake Dirden b Dave Vaughn, Gary Jackson b Big Texan in a career vs. mask match. Texan was revealed as Big Jim Hoffarth (thanks to Larry Matysik and Patrick Brandmeyer)
--Lucha Xtreme TV from last night in Fresno (taped in Oakhurst): Sheik Khan Abadi b Marcus Eriks, Wiseguy b John Redito, General Pogo b Trap Johnson, Brandon Pinon b Manny Fernandez to keep the U.S. title. Next taping is 12/7 in Merced, CA at the Veterans Memorial Building.
--Preston City Wrestling from last night in Preston, England: Dave Rayne issued a challenge to former boxing champion Riddick Bowe, who makes his pro wrestling debut on 2/28 and 3/1. Also Dave Mastiff b Kevin Steen, Kris Travis b Chris Masters in a last man standing match, Bob Holly b Johnny Moss, Dean Allmark b Jushin Liger, Awesome Kong b Bubblegum, Johnny Hayes b D-Lo Brown-DQ, Doug Williams & Lionheart b Uhaa Nation & Noam Dar. (thanks to Steve Wareing)
--Fusion Wrestling from last night in Gloucester, VA: Victor Griff b Isaiah Sanero, Sabbath & Zak Hilton b Pat Cusick & ?, Bob Evans & Ryan Nuzzi b Jael Rose & Krotch, Rocco Abruzzi & Sam Bass b Big MC 123 & Nick Westgate, Mike Booth b Ryan Zane, Sabbath won Battle Royal over Memphis Mofo, Bob Evans, Jefferson Early, Zak Hilton, Rocco Abruzzi, Sam Bass, Mike Booth and Ryan Nuzzi, Preston Quinn b Kongo. Next show is 12/7 at the King William County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department.
--PWA from last night in Calgary: Colt Cabana b Deryck Crosse, Harry Smith b Brandon Von Danielson, Azrael b Kenny Stryke, Duke Durrango & Chris Steele b Dusty Adonis & Dylan Knight-DQ, Marky b Saxon Huxley, William Saint b Mike Peterson, Priest b Richie Rage and Kevin Quill in a three-way (thanks to Dwayne Soper)
--Squared Circle Live on 1/25 in Scarborough, ONT at 6 p.m. at the Variety Village Gym.
--UPW from last night in Rochester, NY: Kriptic Keegan b Plunkett, Chip Stetson & Barry Hardy b Johnny Kayfabe & Bad News Bradley, Evan McCloud b Spazz, Kevin Dunn b Ron Falco, Asylum b Matt Milan, Nikki Jett won three-way over Brittney Force and LaDiva, Rochester Wrecking Crew & Roc City Warriors b Order & Justice & Easy Riders, Cheech b Marc Hauss, Gabriel Saint over Coconut Jones, Maximo Suave and Frank Burlington, Nick Ando b Victor Lord, Cloudy b Colin Delaney (thanks to Todd Brantley)