THURS. UPDATE: Regal advice to aspiring wrestlers, Cornette doing shows in U.K., UFC main event change and new prelim fights, Pro wrestler who taught Gracies Jiu Jitsu, Next MSG show, Grandson of legend debuts in a few weeks
By Dave Meltzer |
Impact tonight is the annual Thanksgiving show. Because of how the show was taped, with matches out of order and such, the only thing for sure is a elimination match main event with Kurt Angle & Magnus & James Storm & Gunner vs. Bobby Roode & Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian & Chris Sabin.
We've got the history of pro wrestling on Thanksgiving piece on the front page of the site today.
We've got our holiday special for all newsletter and web site subscribers. Anyone who orders a gift subscription for a friend who is a new subscriber for four months will get one free month added to your subscription. Just make sure when you order to note it is the holiday special.
A coverage of where WWE stands coming out of Survivor Series, as well as part one of a two-part series on the life and times of Mad Dog Vachon lead off this week's double issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The issue is available on the site today.
We look at the fame of Vachon, his extensive career title history from all over the world, and the legends of wrestling in Montreal. We look at why Vachon was so famous mainstream and the major political leaders who spoke this past week about his death.
We look at Mad Dog the wrestler, Mad Dog the fighter, Mad Dog the Olympian and more.
We look at his start in wrestling, the start of the career of brother Paul the Butcher, one of the great practical jokes in the history of the Calgary territory, Mad Dog and Gorgeous George, Mad Dog in Hawaii and where he got the shaved head from. We also look at the origin of the Mad Dog Vachon name, his multiple runs as AWA champion, his matches as AWA champion against rival world champions including the night the AWA champion faced the WWWF champion on an NWA show.
We also look at his career in Montreal, his early tours of Japan, and one of the most famous angles in AWA history setting up the Mad Dog vs. Crusher feud. We also look at the night Mad Dog set the North American gate record for pro wrestling, and the night he broke that card.
We also look at the Vachons vs. LeDucs feud, the heyday of Grand Prix Wrestling and the biggest wrestling match ever in Quebec and how it was actually a late replacement idea, and how Mad Dog sold out Jarry Park.
We also look at WWE's upcoming plans, the push of Roman Reigns, the betting on WWE matches, if Survivor Series is actually a big four show to wrestling fans and WWE hurting its PPV business.
We also have match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results on the show.
We also have more on WrestleMania ticket sales, Royal Rumble ticket sales, the WWE network, the Hulk Hogan latest suicide attempt story, stories that need to be watched by both those in WWE and UFC, as well as Bill Goldberg tells the real story about WrestleMania 30, would he wrestle there, if he's been approached, pro wrestling vs. NFL vs. MMA, wrestling Steve Austin and more.
We've got more on Daniel Bryan, Chris Hero, Vince McMahon, Paul Heyman, Dwayne Johnson, WWE movies, a current WWE star talking about retiring, another giant from India, update on Christian and Maven, the world of developmental and who is looking good, Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards in WWE Cody Rhodes talks about a shoot on television, WWE employee makes news for indecent fro yeas ago, WWE title unification and more.
We also look at New Japan's annual tag team tournament, standings, upcoming iPPV lineups, who has the best shot at winning and why, as well as full coverage of opening night from Korakuen Hall and highlights of the next three dates.
We also have our 2013 Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards ballot.
We've also go an overview of Bellator's completed season, including notes on business, Friday vs. Thursday, did the big show help, what were season highlights, plans for next year, Rampage Jackson, Tito Ortiz, as well as big title matches and what is upcoming.
We also have notes on the punishment Antonio Inoki was given for going to North Korea a few weeks ago.
The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
The Observer is now in its 31st year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world. Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.
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We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and how every segment on 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 a lot of wrestlers are upset with CMLL management
--A look at recent Arena Mexico shows
--What top heel is turning face and what top face is being booed
--A look at CMLL's last big tournament of the year
--Results of the annual CMLL bodybuilding contest
--What former TNA star placed second
--Some big matches upcoming
--Full lineup for AAA's Guerra de Titanes
--A look at the last two TV tapings building up the big show
--What Hall of Famer got involved in an angle and looks to be coming out of retirement
--Main event for Dragon Gate's last major show of the year
--New gimmick match idea Dragon Gate is doing
--A look at the All Japan big show of the last week and where the angles are going
--All Japan's expenses
--New group being put together
--A look at the Akira Taue retirement show with the lineup
--What happened with Davey Richards and who is taking his place
--Debut of a son of a Hall of Famer
--80s legend suffers significant injury, will gut through one match but then take it easy
--Return to the ring of Genichiro Tenryu at 63 years old
--New Year's Eve pro wrestling events in Japan
--Update on Dynamite Kid after a stroke
--El Hijo del Santo talks injuries
--UFC fighters wrestling professionally at Madison Square Garden next week
--A look at the 2014 classes of two Halls of Fame
--Necro Butcher explains his side of domestic violence charge
--Thanksgiving tradition of wrestling returns to Greensboro with card and names involved
--WWC's year-end show notes
--Former wrestling magazine publisher passes away
--PWG's All-Star weekend noes
--Mid South Wrestling reunion at this year's WrestleMania weekend
--Former TNA wrestler retires
--Loads of injuries to former WCW wrestler
--Celebrities doing pro wrestling
--Matysik celebrates 50 years in wrestling
--ROH notes on Final Battle for this year
--TNA's taping schedule
--TNA Final Resolution lineup
--Upcoming house shows
--Return of Madison Rayne
--Abyss/Joseph Park storyline ending
--Thoughts on Sports Illustrated story on Dixie Carter
--Carter's life growing up
--How she ended up running TNA
--New TNA plans
--Notes for the next month of TNA television
--Business of UFC 167
--What percentage of crowd came from Canada
--What records were set
--How much GSP really earns
--List pay vs. real pay
--GSP talks future
--Jon Jones talks retirement
--UFC schedule update for 2014
--Ticket sales for upcoming UFC events
--Will UFC 168 set records?
--CSAC head Andy Foster addresses judging problems
--Dana White new TV show
--Cain Velasquez injury updates
--Anthony Pettis health update
--Who almost got into a fight with Bisping
--UFC fighter suddenly retires
--Another UFC fighter says he's one fight from retiring
--More UFC plans for New York
--UFC plans overseas
--Lots of injury updates
--Tons of new UFC fights made
--Notes on Invicta and World Seres of Fighting
--Next Glory 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)
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We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods..
To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
THURSDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Want to with everyone and their families a Happy Thanksgiving.
--A note from yesterday's update. Mick Foley's appearance on Sunday in Cincinnati at Moeller High School at 11 a.m. is not a comedy show, but just part of a major autograph show. Foley will be appearing with former Cincinnati Reds stars like Tony Perez, Cesar Geronimo, Ken Griffey Sr., Don Gullett, Dave Parker and George Foster. Foley is doing a comedy show Sunday night in Muncie, IN at the Laugher House Five. (thanks to Brian Henke)
--Jim Cornette has announced a U.K. tour from 2/18 to 2/25. The dates are:
2/18 in Manchester at the Comedy Store with a live show
2/19 in Birmingham at the Glee Club for a live show
2/22 in Nottingham for a fans dinner at the Restaurant 88
2/23 in Dagenham at 11:45 a.m. to 2:45 a.m. for a booking and managing seminar
2/23 in London at the Leicester Square Theater for a live show at 7:30 p.m.
2/25 in Cardiff, Wales at the Glee Club for alive show.
(thanks to Stephen Lyon)
--Jake Ellenberger is injured and out of his 1/4 UFC main event from Singapore, where he was to face Tarec Saffiedine.
--UFC announced Andy Ogle vs. Charles Oliveira and Francisco Trinaldo vs. Jesse Ronson fight for 2/15 at Jaragua do Sul in Brazil on an FS 1 show.
--Cyrille Diabate vs. Ilir Latifi has been added to UFC's 3/8 show in London at the O2 Arena.
WHO WAS THE BEST OF THESE HALL OF FAMERS?
The Rock 52.1%
Chris Jericho 21.7%
Rey Mysterio 9.6%
Ed Strangler Lewis 5.7%
Bill Miller 4.5%
Masa Saito 2.1%
Everette Marshall 0.3%
WHAT COMPANY'S YEAR END SHOW ARE YOU MOST INTERESTED IN?
WHO DO YOU EXPECT TO WIN THIS FIGHT?
Gray Maynard 59.2%
Nate Diaz 40.8%
--The New Japan tag team tournament continues tomorrow with Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka, Tetsuya Naito & La Sombra vs. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows and Hiroshi Tanahashi & Captain New Japan vs. Masato Tanaka & Yujiro Takahashi.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1939 - In a battle of future major promoters, Paul Jones (Atlanta) beat Pedro Martinez (Cleveland) in Honolulu to win the Hawaiian heavyweight championship
1963 - The Crusher beat Verne Gagne in St. Paul to win the AWA world heavyweight title
1966 - Clayton Thompson beat Bert Royal in Nottingham to win the British middleweight title and Vic Faulkner, his brother-in-law, beat Jose Rodriguez Questra to win the European middleweight title on the same show.
1977 - Dennis Condrey & Phil Hickerson beat Afa & Sika to win the Southern tag team titles and Jimmy Valiant beat Jerry Lawler to win the Southern title in Memphis
1985 - Starrcade at the Greensboro Coliseum saw Magnum T.A. beat Tully Blanchard in a cage match under I Quit rules to win the U.S. title; The Rock & Roll Express beat Ivan & Nikita Koloff to win the world tag team titles, Buddy Landel beat Terry Taylor to win the National title and Krusher Khrushchev beat Sam Houston to win the Mid Atlantic title.
1985 - Buck Zumhofe beat Steve Regal to win the AWA light heavyweight title in St. Paul
1985 - Chris Adams & Gino Hernandez beat Kevin & Kerry Von Erich to win the American tag team titles in a cage match at Reunion Arena in Dallas.
1986 - Ringo Mendoza & Kiss & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. won the Mexican national trios titles from Los Brazos in Mexico City
1993 - Toshiyo Yamada beat Manami Toyota to win the All-Pacific title in Osaka and Chapparita Asari beat Mitsuko Endo to win the Japanese jr. title on the same show
1997 - Yukihiro Kanemua & Mr. Gannosuke beat Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka to win the World Brass Knux tag titles
--The WWE has changed its lineup for the post-Christmas Madison Square Garden show, which is now John Cena vs. Randy Orton in what is billed as a title unification match, plus Rhodes Brothers vs. Usos vs. Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro for the tag titles.
--Among the birthdays today are Smith Hart, the oldest son of Stu Hart, who turns 64, NWA champion Rob Conway, who turned 41, and Brent Albright, who turned 35.
--Mitsuya Maeda, a turn of the century pro wrestling star who was the original Jiu Jitsu teacher of the Gracies, died on this day in 1941 at the age of 63. Kazuhiro Sonoda, the Magic Dragon, died in a plane crash while leaving for his honeymoon on a trip that was the present of the Great Kabuki, died on this day in 1987 at the age of 31. When he left, he was the personal trainer for Kenta Kobashi. El Hijo de Cien Caras was murdered on those day in 2010 at the age of 33. Jack Laskin was 81 wen he died on this day in 2012. Freebird Buddy Roberts was 65 when he passed away one year ago today. (thanks to Georgia Wrestling History)
--There is a story at www.tokyoreporter.com
on the Rikidozan tribute show at Korakuen Hall on 12/16 which will feature the pro debut of Chikara Momota, the grandson of Rikidozan and son of Mitsuo Momota. The father-and-son team will face Masao Orihara & Nosawa on the show. The show commemorates the 50th anniversary of the death of Rikidozan, who was stabbed in the stomach by a mobster on December 8, 1963, and died seven days later.
--Team Phere vs. Team Stixx headlines Sunday's show in Morecambe, England at the Glove Arena. It's a six-man elimination match with Johnny Phere & Rossion & Max Angelus vs. Stixx & Jon Aggro & Bubblegum.
--The World Series of Fighting announced yesterday signing multi-fight deals with Razak Al-Hassan, Luis Palomino and Kelvin Tiller, who will all start next year. Al-Hassan has fought before in UFC and has a 12-4 record. Palomino is from Peru, not living in Miami. Tiller is 6-0 with four submissions.
--Empire State Wrestling on Saturday in Lockport, NY at the Kenan Center Arena. There will be an Ilio DiPaolo Memorial Cup match with Trent Barreta, Johnny Gargano, Brandon Thurston, RJ City, Johnny Adams and Gabreal Saint. Kevin Nash will be the special guest at the show. Also appearing are Gene Snitskym, Jamin Olivencia, Colin Delaney, Rhett Titus and The Colony.