MON. UPDATE: Tonight's Raw, WM 31 notes, Angle in India, UFC injuries, Total Divas, White on Hunt, UFC picks, Hardy's match at Final Battle, White gets TV show on Discovery Channel
Monday, 09 December 2013 14:47
By Dave Meltzer |
We're doing polls tonight for both Saturday's Invicta and Sunday's New Japan PPV shows, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're also looking for reports from Seattle with dark matches, Superstars matches and whatever else isn't evident from the live Raw show, as well as reports on Sunday's WWE shows in Spokane, WA and Yakima, WA.
Main Event and Smackdown are taped Tuesday night in Portland at the Coliseum.
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.
Our newest issue, which is up on the site today, talks about the difficulty in gauging what is and isn't working from a financial standpoint. We look at ratings, as well as the October PPV numbers, what it means for Daniel Bryan, as well as notes on the Hell in a Cell show coming up and the unification situation.
We also have part two of our feature on the life and times of Mad Dog Vachon. In this feature, we talk with Baron Von Raschke about his friend of 47 years, how Vachon helped so many people get their big breaks including Pat Patterson. We look at Von Raschke's first career break as Vachon's tag team partner in Montreal, how he got the Baron Von Raschke name, what Vachon idea led to the first wrestling sellout at the Omni and the second half of Vachon's career.
We look at Vachon's babyface run during the last glory period of the AWA, his appearance on Wide World of Sports, his run during the Hulk Hogan era, the story of when he opened the door on an airplane in flight, his legendary promos, his drawing power, and whe he first showed signs of being a star.
We look at Vachon boxing Jersey Joe Walcott, his two WWE PPV appearance after he retired, his biggest AWA matches as a heel, the death of Grand Prix Wrestling, his time in Japan, his biggest feuds, Super Sunday in St. Paul, the death of the AWA, Vachon's WWF run, his being a cultural icon in Quebec, losing his leg, Celine Dion, TV commercials and more on the Vachon wrestling family.
We also look more at some of his most famous matches.
We also look at WrestleMania in 2015, WWE Network, Tribute to the Troops, return of Michael Hayes, who is making the major WWE decisions, Sin Cara, WWE stock and its future, WWE star engaged, Slammy Awards, Ziggler, DVD sales and what WWE is advertising is happening next. We also look at a new talent signing, a new football player trying out, and the 2000 WrestleMania.
We've got an update on UFC fighter Shane Del Rosario.
We also have a lot of exclusive details on the new UFC digital channel. We look at what will be on the channel, when it will start, the first three cards broadcast live, how it will change coverage of every UFC show and more.
We've also got coverage of the Ultimate Fighter finals.
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:
--Latest from Arena Mexico
--Mexican national title change
--More on AAA's U.S. expansion ideas
--Why things are so much different now than 20 years ago when AAA was huge in many U.S. markets
--Why AAA is guaranteed a sellout for Guerra de Titanes this week
--Next Dragon Gate title match
--Coverage of the All Japan and New Japan tag team tournaments
--Update on Tokyo Dome show
--Lots of new PPV dates announced for 2014
--New Japan iPPV show notes from this week
--A big tournament special live show that features stars from MMA, sumo, pro wrestling, baseball, UFC and more
--President of major MMA promotion will be doing a pro wrestling match this month
--First time Hall of Fame father teams with his son announced
--Update on Dynamite Kid
--More on all the talk shows coming to the U.K.
--A look at the wrestling business career of Joyce Farhat, the wife of The Sheik
--Former WWE star doing a documentary
--Two wrestlers over the age of 65 headlining another major show
--End of a 22 year old wrestling promotion
--Starrcade lives, sort of
--More on Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards, and story behind his being gone from ROH
--Major newcomer headed to ROH for Final Battle
--TNA's top storyline
--TNA total lack of quality control
--Background of Le'D Tapa
--Notes on a lot of new TNA PPV matches upcoming
--Update on Matt Grice
--Next UFC show
--Anthony Pettis injury update
--Disappointing FOX lineup
--Update on Ben Askren
--UFC TV schedule for the new year
--Tons of new UFC fights
--A look at the major MMA shows of the weekend
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)
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*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)
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*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)
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*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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*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
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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 UPDATES
--Bryan and I will be back tonight covering Raw as well as all the latest wrestling news. If you've got e-mail questions for the show they can be sent to
--The awards that will be presented live on tonight's Raw are:
Superstar of the Year (Shawn Michaels presenter)
Diva of the Year (Eve Torres presenter)
Double Cross of the Year (The Shield presenter)
Match of the Year (Bret Hart presenter)
Insult of the Year (The Miz presenter)
LOL Moment of the Year (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn presenters)
Fan Participation Award (Prime Time Players presenters)
Extreme moment of the Year (Mick Foley presenter)
--The press conference to announce WrestleMania in Santa Clara, CA at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA will be tomorrow at 11 a.m. at the Great America Ballroom in Santa Clara's Convention Center. It is not open to the public. Appearing are Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews, San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York, Vernon Davis of the 49ers, Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, John Cena, Alberto Del Rio and a ton of other talent.
--Ryan Bader suffered a broken hand in his win over Anthony Perosh at Friday night's UFC show in Brisbane, Australia.
--On Total Divas last night, the stuff with Natalya and Gizmo was the most real thing (well, along with her actual wedding ceremony, but not the pre-wedding hijinx) the show has ever covered.
--Congratulations to Frankie Edgar, who was promoted today to black belt by his BJJ trainer Ricardo Almeida.
--Happy birthday to Kurt Angle, who turned 45 today. Angle has been in India on a TNA promotional tour. Given problems wrestlers have had in that country, I hope he comes back healthy.
--Ulysses Gomez, whose fight in the Cage Warriors main event on Saturday in Newcastle, England was canceled after he was hospitalized while cutting weight, described it as a negative ***1/2 weight cut.
--The Mark Hunt vs. Bigfoot Silva Fight Night did 755,000 viewers on Friday night live. Expect the replays did well.
--Dana White just joked to me that he's been texting Mark Hunt constantly, "Like I'm a 12-year-old schoolgirl and he's Justin Bieber. he must think I'm a weirdo by now." He said that. "If you're a fight fan, you're lucky if you get to see three fights like that in your lifetime."
--In predictions from Friday's UFC, Me, Todd Martin, Mike Sempervive and Mike Sawyer went 3-1-1, all missing on Pat Barry. Josh Nason was 2-2-1, as was Oliver Copp, both missing the Shogun-Te Huna fight.
--Hulk Hogan was on Twitter complaining about TNA advertising him for the U.K. tour. There was a mix-up that resulted in his name being used for the tour somewhere but TNA never sent information that Hogan would be on the tour.
--Matt Hardy vs. Adam Page was added to Saturday's ROH Final Battle show. It's an angle for Hardy's return to the company.
--Hiroshi Tanahashi vs,. Shinsuke Nakamura was chosen by fans by a 63-37% margin to be the main event for the Tokyo Dome show on 1/4.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1881 - Joe Acton beat Tom Cannon in London to win the world catch-as-catch-can championship
1939 - George Penchoff beat Tom Lurich in Sydney to win the Australian title that Lurich had held since 1922, a record 17-year reign.
1976 - Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta beat Kim Duk & Kintaro Oki in Tokyo to win the International tag team titles
1983 - Jim Breaks beat Alan Dennison in Barnsley to win the British welterweight title
1986 - Ronnie Garvin & Barry Windham beat Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khrushchev in Spartanburg, SC to win the U.S. tag team titles
1988 - Tatsumi Fujinami beat Kerry Von Erich in Tokyo to win the World Class tag title. That was the year Fujinami was winning everything.
1988 - Lizmark beat Fabuloso Blondy in Mexico City to win the NWA light heavyweight title
1990 - Aja Kong & Bison Kimura beat Suzuka Minami & Akira Hokuto in Osaka to win the WWWA tag team titles
1991 - Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto beat Gregori Veritchev & Kroba Krutanizu in the finals to become the first World Brass Knux tag team champions
1995 - Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi beat Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada in Tokyo's Budokan Hall in the tag team tournament finals and also winning the double tag team tiles
1995 - Hikaru Fukuoka & Kaoru Ito beat Mayumi Ozaki & Cutie Suzuki in a tournament final to win the JWP tag titles
1995 - Sandman beat Mikey Whipwreck and Steve Austin in a three-way to win Whipwreck's ECW title
1995 - Tarzan Goto & Mr. Gannosuke beat Tiger Jeet Singh & Cactus Jack in a tournament final to win the IWA tag titles
2001 - Yes, today is the 12-year anniversary of the Vengeance show where Chris Jericho won a four-man tournament, beating Steve Austin and The Rock, on the same night (the fourth guy was Kurt Angle) to become what WWE called the undisputed world champion. Undertaker also beat Rob Van Dam that night in San Diego to win the Hardcore title.
--For those in Portland, OR, ROH is now on KATU at 1 a.m. every Saturday evening.
--Hunter Garstin, the teenage son of lawyer Christian Garstin, who was Shannon Spruill's lawyer in her case against TNA, suffered a severe spinal injury during a high school wrestling match on Saturday night and at last word was in critical condition. A Facebook page was set up for well wishers at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prayers-for-Hunter-Garstin/1394077424172673
--UIPW on 12/29 in Scarborough, ONT at the Rockpile East Nightclub with Josh Alexander vs. John Greed.
--Brian Jennings, the former 49er who does their post-game show looks just like The Miz if Miz didn't have a tan. (thanks to Derek Sousa)
--Carla Esparza, who did a bad attempt at a challenge with Teica Torres on the Invicta show on Saturday, apologized if it came off disrespectful (ugh, challenges like that are part of the game), but noted she's ha a horrible week. She's teammate with Shane Del Rosario, and if that's not enough, her grandmother died, then she trained for 10 weeks to defend her strawweight title and her opponent ended up hospitalized with a bacterial infection so all that work ended with nothing at the end. Then, she also noted that her best friend lost a fight.
--Dana White's new TV show, "The Fighters," a reality show about boxing in South Boston, which White and Craig Piligian are putting together, debuts on 1/23 in a Thursday at 9 p.m. time slot on The Discovery Channel. The show will air for eight weeks. It will be a reality show showing young boxers training leading to weekly amateur fights with fighter from rival gyms against each other.
--Hall of Famer Earl McCready was 75 when he passed away on this date in 1983. Wrestling legend Iron Mike Mazurki was 82 when he passed away on this day in 1990. The highest honor at the Cauliflower Alley Club is the Mike Mazurki Award.
--Knokn Pro from Saturday in Sun Valley, CA: Primal b D-Run, Jezette b Blue Holiday & Gabriella Cruz & Crazy Kiara Dillon, Syuko Stu b Eyz in Disguise Rikishi & Black Pearl & Jacob Fatu b Vito & Presidente & Hillbilly Hero, La Cara b TMD, Pedro b VIP, Greyson b Parker Graves & Maverick & Ricky the Activist in a four-way ladder match
--Battlewar 15 in Montreal before 150 fans: Franky the Mobster & Twiggy b 3.0, Vanessa Kraven b Leon Saver, TDT b Beef Wellington & Green Phantom, Radioactive Wave b Cecil Nyx & Chaz Lovely, Dirty Buxx Belmar over Shayne Hawke, Player Uno, Big Bad Quintin (RD Evans), Giant Tiger and Mike Bailey in a six-way. (thanks to Pat Laprade)
--IPW from Saturday night in Auckland, New Zealand: Evie won a three-way over Britenay and Olivia Shaw, Joel Clementson & Pirate Burns b Hush & Liger, Mason Daniels b Khan, Agents of Change b TNT, James Shaw b Curt Chaos, Vinny Dunn b Travis Banks (thanks to Steve Ogilvie)
--2 Tuff Tony of Juggalo Championship Wrestling issued a challenge to anyone in Extreme Rising and will be appearing on the 12/28 show in Philadelphia. The show, headlined by Stevie Richards vs. ? for their title, plus Matt Hardy vs. Luke Hawx, will be airing on iPPV from the ECW Arena
--IPW UK from Saturday in Swanley, Kent, UK: Uhaa Nation b Wil Ospready, Jonathan Windsor b Peace, Rhia O'Reilly b Olivia, Robert Rochester Rose b Big Bear Barrington, Mark Haskins b Lance Lawrence, James Mason d Johnny Kidd, Marty Scurll b Uhaa Nation, Jamie Farrell b Mexican Eagle, Darrell Allen & RJ Singh b James Davis & Rob Lynch-DQ, Paul Robinson b Sha Samuels. Next show is 1/19 headlined by Chris Hero. (thanks to Darren Rogers)
--River City Wrestling finishes up the year on Friday night in San Antonio with a show at Sideliners Grill. In the main event, Hernandez & Michael Faith face Mike Foxx & Rob Love in a match where every 90 seconds, the participants will drank a cup of Sideliners Draft Beer. Fans of legal drinking age can with them.
--Marcus Davis vs. Ryan Sanders was announced by New England Fights as the main event for 2/8 in Lewiston, ME at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. They are calling this the biggest battle in Maine martial arts history because of the bad blood between the two men representing Maine's two biggest schools. Sanders trained under Davis, and left in 2011 for a rival school. There was a heated confrontation in 2012 when Davis cornered Gil de Freitas against Sanders. "I'm a 22 year professional fight vet with 15 appearances in the UFC. I own my gym. He is just another student at Young's. This fight affects not only my pride, but my business. I can't just get the win against Sanders. I have to knock him out or submit him quickly," said Davis.
WHO WAS THE BEST OF THESE HALL OF FAMERS?
Shawn Michaels 69.1%
POLL ON WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING
75.4% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON ROH TV SHOW
63.0% of those responding didn't see the show
WHO SHOULD WIN SUPERSTAR OF THE YEAR?
Daniel Bryan 83.1%
C.M. Punk 6.1%
John Cena 5.1%
Brock Lesnar 3.8%
Randy Orton 1.9%\
BEST TV SHOW OF THE PAST WEEK
UFC Fight Night 53.5%
Total Divas 8.7%
Main Event 0.6%
--I Believe in Wrestling from yesterday in Orlando: Rhett Giddins b Saso Rivera, Nuyoricanz b Alex Porteau & Alan Stratton, Cameron Jacobs & Andrew Steele b Tim Zbyszko & Chico Adams, Chasyn Rance b Jason Cade, Santana Garrett b Gabriel Black, Lince Dorado b Josh Hess. Next show is 12/20.