MON. UPDATE: Notes for tonight's Raw, More on UFC decision, TNA returns to Orlando,UFC 169 tickets, WWE historical DVD release, Mania tickets, Askren vs. Hendricks
Monday, 18 November 2013 13:47
We're looking for reports from Raw in Nashville tonight with Superstars results, dark matches, attendance notes or anything else not evident from the live show. The only thing announced is the show will be called Raw Country, with a Country Music theme and the band Florida Georgia Line performing. Stephanie McMahon and HHH return at the show. With only three matches announced for the PPV,they'd better get some matches together tonight. Will be a tired crew, after a grueling tour, plus a lot of people had flight issues of landing in different places, routing changed because of storms last night.
Florida Georgia Line will perform Raw's opening theme as well as their song "Round Here."
We're also looking for reports on these shows
*Dragon Gate USA last night in Brooklyn
*WWE on Saturday night in Minehead, England
*WWE on Friday night in London at the O2 Arena
*WWE on Friday in Merseilles, France
*WWE on Thursday in Rousen, France
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 jump 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)
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*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
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*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)
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*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)
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*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
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*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.
MONDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Mario Yamasaki, who refereed the GSP/Hendricks fight Saturday night, said he thought the only round GSP won was the fifth, but conceded three was close and one could have gone either way, but he thought Hendricks dominated the fight overall. He also said he didn't watch it as a judge, but thinks Nevada should train its judges better.
--Here's my MMA Fighting piece
on understanding the St-Pierre vs. Hendricks scoring. I will say that I'm becoming more of a proponent of open scoring with Saturday as the reason. While it's all well and romantic not to change things, in what sport do athletes not even know what the score is down the stretch? Even in gymnastics, you know your score after every round.
--TNA's production staff arrived in Universal Studios Orlando today to transform Soundstage 19 into a pro wrestling arena for TV tapings which start on Thursday in the new building.
--UFC tickets for UFC 169 (Dominick Cruz vs. Renan Barao for the bantamweight title, Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas for the featherweight title and Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem in a loser leaves town match) headlines the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on 2/1, the night before the Super Bowl. Tickets go on sale Wednesday to Fight Club members, Thursday for newsletter readers and Friday to the public, priced at $400, $250, $175, $100, $80, $65 and $50.
--The first pro wrestling film festival starts Thursday in New York at the Krainne Theater in East Village, NY:
- Thursday at 6 p.m.: Opening reception, 90 minutes of short films on pro wrestling; Colt Cabana and friends on stage watching bad wrestling
- Friday: Seven Levels of Hate, a DVD about the Cabana vs. Adam Pearce feud at 6:30 PM. Pearce, Sheldon Goldberg (in the documentary) and Kevin Gill will be doing a Q&A.
- Saturday: 11 a.m. Sadermania, a story of the friendship between Hulk Hogan and Chris Sader
- 1:15 p.m. I Like to Hurt People, a documentary about the dying days of The Sheik's promotion in the late 70s in Detroit. Ox Baker, in the movie, will do a Q&A. The movie shows Sheik in action with Abdullah the Butcher, Andre the Giant,The Funk Brothers, Dusty Rhodes, Bobo Brazil and Dick the Bruiser
- 4 p.m. Barbed Wire City, the documentary on ECW. Tony Lewis, Kevin Keirnan and John Philipavage will do a Q&A and other ECW personalities are expected
- 8 p.m. Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies with Jim Duggan, Roddy Piper, Kurt Angle, Matt Hardy and Shane Douglas as they battle zombies. Director Cody Knotts and female lead Adrienne Fisher will do a Q&A after the screening.
--Hulk Hogan will be in the final episode of season two of China, IL, an animated show on Adult Swim on Sunday at 11:30 p.m. The show averages more viewers than TNA, Total Divas, Ultimate Fighter or Main Event.
--Mick Foley goes back on the road this week with shows on Wednesday night in Columbia, MO at the Deja Vu Comedy Club, Thursday night in St. Louis at Funny Bone and Saturday night at 10 p.m. in Las Vegas at the Palomino Club. Somebody should have told him he should have been in Las Vegas on Friday night. I know a ton of people who would have gone to have seen him perform.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1938 - Jim Londos beat Bronko Nagurski in Philadelphia to win the world heavyweight title. In 1938, that's the equivalent of The Rock beating Ray Lewis
1983 - Ted DiBiase beat Brett Wayne Sawyer in Cleveland to win the National heavyweight title.
1989 - Noriyo Tateno beat Bull Nakano in Ashikaga to win the Women's All Pacific title
1992 - Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas beat Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes in Macon, GA to win both the WCW and NWA tag team titles
1994 - Norio Honaga beat El Hijo del Santo in Hiroshima to win the UWA light heavyweight title
2001 - The Dudleys beat Matt & Jeff Hardy in a cage match in Greensboro to win the WWF tag team titles while retaining the WCW tag team titles
POLL ON BELLATOR FRIDAY
58.3% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON SMACKDOWN FRIDAY
53.4% of those responding didn't see the show
SHOULD UFC HAVE DONE MORE ON THE PPV FOR THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY
Yes, the show didn't feel special past the fights 89.6%
No, UFC is about fights, special stuff only gets in the way 10.4%
WHAT WAS THE BEST TV SHOW OF THE PAST WEEK?
UFC Prime Time 19.7%
Total Divas 12.1%
UFC 167 prelims 6.1%
Main Event 2.3%
Countdown to UFC 167 2.3%
Legacy Fighting Championships 0.8%
--FS 2 will replay UFC 154 (the return of GSP vs. Carlos Condit) at midnight Eastern time. It will also air at 8 p.m. Tuesday night.
--John Cena will be at the Wizard World Convention in Austin on Saturday at 3 p.m. doing a Q&A.
--At the airport yesterday, I saw David Otunga on the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine featuring a spread about his love of weight training and leaving a law firm to do reality TV.
--The History of WWE DVD comes out tomorrow. They start in 1963 with Bruno Sammartino, then go through the national expansion, Hulk Hogan, Wrestlemania III, the steroid trial, Monday Night Wars, Montreal screw job, Owen Hart's death, WrestleMania, Hall of Fame and more. The only feedback I've gotten is people surprised at how much Steve Austin was downplayed and how much credit WWE takes for The Rock's movie success.
--Mick Foley's comedy show last night in Smithtown, NY, was taped for either television, WWE Network, DVD or Netflix. They taped the show, interviewed audience members and his family, etc. Joey Styles was Foley's sidekick on the show.
--In the playoff on who will join Jon Jones on the cover of the UFC EA video game, GSP got more votes than Johny Hendricks, Anthony Pettis beat Jose Aldo, Chael Sonnen beat Michael Bisping and Alexander Gustafsson beat Miesha Tate. As noted previously, Gustafsson has been getting far more votes than anyone because of a huge contingent from Sweden pushing for him to make the cover with Jones.
--John Cena apparel aimed at children and young teens was to be stocked at KMart stores across the country starting today.,
--ENDVR 2 from last night in Balham, London, England before 130 fans: Eddie Dennis d Joey Lakeside, Paul Ryker & Thomas Cartelle b Mark Hendry & Chuck Mambo, Paul Ryker b Tyson James, Easy Tiger b Leah Von Dutch & Rhia O'Reilly, Flash Morgan Webster b Pastor William Eaver, Fug b Ali Armstrong, Darrell Allen & RJ Singh b Phil Ward & Steve Burden. (thanks to Martin Bentley)
--Matt Rivera was on "Extreme Cheapskate" with the Maximos as his trainer, showing him living with his mother and living on $300 a month. The show featured all of his ways to save money. The show built to him getting a TNA tryout in Kentucky. Chris Sabin, Magnus and Kurt Angle were all featured ripping on him for his bad habits and his gear. He wrestled Sabin on the show. TNA ended up turning him down. (thanks to Michael O'Brien)
--I Believe in Wrestling from yesterday in Orlando: Santana Garrett b Jason Cade-DQ, Andrew Steele b Alan Stratton, Chico Adams b Cameron Jacobs, Rhett Giddins b Chasyn Rance, Rafael Altair b Frank Burbank, Josh Hess b Brandon Scherer, Lince Dorado b Jesse Neal to win the Florida title. Next show is 12/8 with the regulars plus wrestlers from FIP. (thanks to Al Haft)
--Empire Wrestling Federation from Saturday night in Beaumont, CA: Juan Roman b Seville the Thrill, Eddie Mattson b Freddy Bravo, Patient Zero b Uday Ukleja, Daniel Joseph b Andrew Makieseski, Curly Bill b E$1 Deliciousoso, Vintage Dragon & Prototype Fox b Anchors Away, Andy Brown b Tommy Wilson (thanks to Frank Mott)
--Premier Wrestling on 12/15 in Gilroy, CA at 5 p.m. at the Nine Lives Club headlined by Jeff Cobb (3-0) vs. Oliver John (2-0) and Timothy Thatcher (2-0) vs. Sledge (2-1) as well as a battle of monsters with JR Kratos (2-2) vs. Brian Tannen (2-1). Just added is a women's match with Cole Pistol vs. Nicole Savoy. Tickets are $10 in advance.
--NWA Championship Wrestling on Sunday in Oregon, OH: Dave Duponte b Renzo Lavell, Terror Khan NC Kevin Gutierrez, Terror Khan & The Beast & Mustafa Mohammed b Sean Casey & D-Ray 3000 & Kevin Gutierrez, Kris Korvis b Justin Manem, Nitro b N8 Mattson, Grizzly House Jones b Brian Castle, Great Akuma b Malice, Trey Miguel & Andrew Lee b Krimson & Jon Bolen-COR, Sebastian Rose d Shane Douglas, Nitro DDQ Lance Erickson (thanks to Leonard Brand)
--Some more benefit shows
11/22 Mega Championship Wrestling Toys for Tots Santa's Bash in Eleanor Plaza in Eleanor WV at 8 p.m.
11/24 Charity Appeal Wrestling on 11/24 in a cancer research benefit show in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne at Seaton Burn College
at Baratta's in Des Moines There is a Toys for Toys collection at the door and they are also collecting items that will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club's "Feed the Hungry" program
12/7 ECWA Toys for Tots at the Greater Newark Boys & Girls Club in Newark, CA
12/7 in Browns Mills, NJ has a United Wrestling Coalition show holding collections for Operation Santa Claus
12/14 Dynamite Championship Wrestling in Milford, DE is also collecting gifts for Toys for Tots. (thanks to Bob Magee)
--Extreme Rising Unfinished Business on 12/28 at 7 p.m. at the old ECW Arena with Matt Hardy vs. Luke Hawx, Stevie Richards defends their title against ?, Super Crazy & Pesadilla vs. Damien 666 & Bestia 666, plus Devon Storm vs. Rhino, Sabu vs Facade and Super Crazy & Pesadilla vs. Damian 666 & Bestia 666.
--The Nevada State Athletic Commission will be holding a workshop on 12/2 to get feedback from the public on any regulation changes. The meeting will be at 9 a.m. at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building at 555 East Washington Ave., #4500 in Las Vegas.
--Maryland Championship Wrestling on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Joppa, MD at the Joppa Market Place. There will be an autograph signing with Tommy Dreamer, Rikishi, Stevie Richards and Scott Hall at 6 p.m.