WED, UPDATE: Washington Post on Dana White, Interesting note on UFC TV, Odds for Saturday, WWE stock, First $100,000 pro wrestling show, Jericho, Atlas, Fole, Jim Ross, Star of Raw
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 14:44
By Dave Meltzer
We're looking for reports on today's WWE house shows in Orchies, France and Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Tomorrow has the John Cena, Big Show, Sheamus, Wyatt Family, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro and Dolph Ziggler tour in Dublin, Ireland. The Randy Orton, Shield, Big E, Rob Dan Dam, Kane crew will be in Liege, Belgium.
Friday has the Cena crew in Oberhausen, Germany and the Orton crew in Strausborg, France. Saturday has the Cena crew in Berlin and the Orton crew in Rotterdam, Holland.
We're looking for reports on all of these shows.
We go into detail on WWE finances with the new television deal, the new WWE prospectus, exactly what the company needs out of the network to break even for 2015, to make up for lost PPV in 2015, to make profits back to 2010 levels, and how many subscribers it needs over the next five years to actually break even to actually cover all the start up costs. We also look at the new TV detail with more information as to where it looks to fit, why they didn't get what they wanted, why the number may be actually less than anyone is indicating, the conference call, vague numbers and why Wall Street threw them for a loop.
We also have an update on Daniel Bryan, WWE booking without Bryan, what has changed since the surgery, and the title situation.
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The lead story goes into the stock fall, how much WWE gets paid per viewer compared to the latest sports deal and it will blow your mind, lots of unanswered questions, how much money Vince McMahon has lost in the last six weeks, what happened in negotiations, why WWE is expected to lose more money than any pro wrestling company ever has in the course of a year with the exception of one company in one year, and how many network subscribers will they need to restore themselves to pre-network profitability.
We also look at the investigations claimed into the company, and an equity firm that has ownership that wants changes.
We look at company departures up to this point, why certain questions not being answered is troubling, the perception of pro wrestling in the real world, how many subscribers they need by July to not lose money next year and how many they need from 2016 to 2020 to make up for expenses already incurred. We look at how many subscribers they need to have by December 2014 to be positive in money out vs. money in and why current WWE projections remain as flawed as at the start.
We look at the one big surprise in projections and estimates of Raw & Smackdown revenue for the next three years.
We also update the Daniel Bryan situation, the neck problem, the television storyline, choices the company has, ideas from those in wrestling regarding Daniel Bryan tweaking his style to avoid further problems and more.
We also have a complete rundown on ROH War of the Worlds, where the company is going next from a booking standpoint, plus match-by-match coverage, poll results and star ratings.
We've got an update on the Payback PPV, including several matches that have been talked about yet to be announced. We've got more on the WWE video game for next year, how close Shawn Michaels was to wrestling Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania, notes on a lot of wrestlers at the recent WWE tryout camps, Lots of new talent signed including a cousin of one of the biggest stars in company history, the return as a regular character of one of pro wrestling's all-time greats, Total Divas season end, who watches Total Divas, Sting, Tough Enough and a major tape library WWE doesn't own but wants.
We also have notes on the European tour and business from the tour, plus highlights from every show.
We also have coverage of the Bellator debut on PPV, including business notes, what comes next for the headliners, thoughts on judging, polls on judging, should Bellator do PPV, the upside of PPV if they didn't make money on the first one, plus match-by-match coverage and poll results.
We've also got more on KENTA's departure from Pro Wrestling NOAH, more on why he made the move, why this is such a major move, as well as coverage of his farewell to NOAH show this past week.
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 the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, including who are the big movers in WWE & TNA, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--Talk of a government investigation into the working plight of pro wrestlers and questions about independent contractor status
--Former WWE personality in talks with AAA
--One of top workers jumps promotions and debuts
--King of Gate tournament update
--Next New Japan PPV show lineup
--What wrestler from Japan did WWE want a few years ago
--New Japan crew in Thailand and news from those shows
--More on Antonio Inoki wanting to do shows in South Korea
--What former UFC star challenges for a pro wrestling world title in a match announced for August
--Update on Scott Hall
--A new national pro wrestling TV show has been announced
--Foxcatcher movie and what pro wrestling superstar was in that camp and reactions
--More bad news for TNA when it comes to television
--Why Vince McMahon never took Kurt Angle back
--Notes on this week's UFC show
--What show is going to test the baseline bottom UFC PPV number
--Update on ticket sales to upcoming UFC events
--Notes on Urijah Faber's return to UFC and a surprise
--Notes on MMA star being robbed and having his money and clothes taken
--Notes on TUF Latin America
--Can Ronda Rousey beat male bantamweights?
--Pro wrestling and MMA women in Maxim's 100 hottest women
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Renzo Gracie's arrest
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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)a
*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 history)
*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)
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*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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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., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
WEDNESDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I will be back tonight after Raw to talk the latest WWE business notes, as well as a heavy question day so you can send questions on current news to
--ROH ringside members can order advanced tickets today for the company's 8/15 show at MCU Park in Brooklyn. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday at 10 a.m. at www.brooklyncyclones.com
--The WWE 2K 15 video game will be released on PS3, PS 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox 1 on 10/28. That should end rumors about the game being delayed.
--What could be bad news for UFC is that FS 1 is negotiating with the NBA for a weekly Saturday night game. That could lock UFC out of it's traditional Saturday night shows for several months out of the year is the deal goes through, or force them onto FS 2.
UFC odds for Saturday night from 5Dimes
Renan Barao - 800
T.J. Dillashaw +550
Dan Henderson +575
Daniel Cormier -850
Jake Ellenberger +185
Robbie Lawler -225
Francisco Rivera +150
Takeya Mizugaki -170
James Krause +160
Jamie Varner -185
Francisco Trinaldo +115
Michael Chiesa -135
Katsunori Kikuno +235
Tony Ferguson -275
--WWE stock closed down 8 cents today to close at $10.85 per share.
--Ticket prices for UFC 175, which is the biggest show of the year, on 7/5 in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay are $1,250, $850, $600, $400, $250 and $125. They are on sale to Fight Club members today and to the public on Friday at 10 a.m.
--Ticket prices for the Frankie Edgar vs. B.J. Penn show the next day, in the same location, are $175, $125, $100, $75 and $50, with the pre-sale now and tickets to the public on sale at Noon on Friday.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1952 - The first $100,000 gate in pro wrestling history took place at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles where NWA champion Lou Thesz beat the California based champion Baron Michele Leone to unify the titles. The promotion for this match was tremendous, selling out a stadium and getting tons of mainstream.
1965 - Toyonobori beat Fred Blassie in Tokyo to win the annual World League tournament
1974 - Junko Sasaki & Peggy Kuroda beat Sandy Parker & Jean Antone in Kochi to win the WWWA women's tag titles
1982 - Wahoo McDaniel beat Sgt. Slaughter to win the U.S. title in Richmond
1986 - White Ninja (Keiji Muto) beat Kendall Windham to win the Florida title in Tampa
1988 - Ciclon Ramirez beat Bestia Salvaje in Mexico City to win the Mexican national welterweight title
1989 - Popitekus beat Gran Markus Jr. to win the Mexican national heavyweight title
1990 - Cuchillo beat Yoshihiro Asai (Ultimo Dragon) in Puebla to win the UWA middleweight title
1993 - Dan Kroffat beat Masa Fuchi in Sapporo to win the PWF jr. title
1995 - The Nasty Boys beat Harlem Heat in St. Petersburg to win the WCW tag titles
1996 - Mascara Magica beat Felino in Mexico City to win the CMLL welterweight title
2000 - HHH beat The Rock in Louisville to win the WWF title
2001 - In one of the biggest matches in Raw history, Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho beat HHH & Steve Austin in San Jose to win the world tag team titles. HHH tore his quad in this match
2006 - Paul London & Brian Kendrick beat Joey Mercury & Johnny Nitro in Phoenix to win the WWE tag titles, while Booker T beat Bobby Lashley in the finals of the King of the ring tournament
2009 - Alex Koslov beat Extreme Tiger and Alan Stone in a tournament final to become the first AAA cruiserweight champion
2010 - Mascara Dorada & La Sombra & La Mascara beat Hiroshi Tanahashi & Shigeo Okumura & Taichi Ishikari to win the CMLL trios title at Arena Mexico
--UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer turned 57 today.
--The original Great Gama was 75 when he passed away on this day in 1960.
--There is a pre-sale for the 7/21 Raw show in Miami at Ticketmaster starting tomorrow with the code term AAA14
--Chris Jericho's band Fozzy is on the road right now. They play tonight in Little Rock, tomorrow in Birmingham, Saturday in Duluth, GA and Monday in Beckley, WV.
--TMZ ran a piece with Tony Atlas saying he'd like to work on Antonio Inoki's show in North Korea. They said Tony Atlas was 70. Tony himself has in one interview claimed he was born in 1944, which would make him 70. If that's the case, he was still in high school at 28 years old and competing in teenage contests at 29. Tony was actually born in 1954 and is 60.
--Jim Ross has Bill Goldberg on his new podcast.
--Renzo Gracie, Igor Gracie and Andrew Gusmao are all scheduled for a court date on Friday regarding charges they assaulted a bouncer at the 1 Oak Club in Manhattan on Monday at 1:10 a.m. The bouncer, Craig Molesphini suffered a broken elbow and cuts and bruises.
--Cory Gibson replaces Rani Yahya on the UFC's 6/28 show in San Antonio and will face Johnny Bedford in a bantamweight fight.
--Another new fight is Roger Narvaez vs. Patrick Cummins on 6/7 in Albuquerque. Cummins is the guy who stepped up at the last minute to face Daniel Cormier earlier this year.
WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING ON WATCHING THIS WEEKEND?
UFC 173 42.1%
New Japan Yokohama Arena 38.5%
Well over half of each said they were planning on watching both.
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
Bray Wyatt 32.5%
Wade Barrett 15.1%
Alicia Fox 10.5%
Adam Rose 8.5%
Stephanie McMahon 7.9%
Seth Rollins 5.9%
Luke Harper 5.9%
Summer Rae 5.6%
Paul Heyman 4.3%
John Cena 2.3%
Rob Van Dam 0.7%
POLL ON RAW
13.4% of those responding didn't see the show
BEST RECENT MAJOR SHOW
WWE Extreme Rules 37.5%
ROH War of the Worlds 24.3%
TNA Sacrifice 19.9%
ROH Global Wars 7.4%
UFC Silva vs Brown 6.9%
UFC 172 2.0%
Bellator PPV 1.5%
New Japan Dontaku 0.7%
--Supreme Pro Wrestling on 6/15 at the SPW Arena in Sacramento.
--Radio 1, the U.K.'s third most listened to radio station, had the DJ play the entire Adam Rose theme and used his catch phrase, "Don't be a lemon, be a rose bud" (thanks to Steven Taylor)
--There will be a New England Fan Fest on 6/21 in Warwick, RI featuring Daniel Puder.
--CMLL from Monday night in Puebla: Metatron & Aguila Egipcia b Guerrero Especial & Ares El Guerrero, Nitrito & Pequeno Violencia & Pequeno Black Warrior b Meyer & Asturiano & Tigre Rojo Jr., Fuego & Sagrado & Rey Cometa b Raziel & Kamaitachi & Cancerbero, Negro Casas & Felino & Mephisto b Maximo & Delta & Guerrero Maya Jr., Ultimo Guerrero & Gran Guerrero & Niebla Roja b Volador Jr. & Valiente & Mascara Dorada-DQ
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Esfinge & Leo b Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno, Escandalo & Canelo Casas & Demonio Maya b Magnus & Stigma & Black Metal, Estrellita & Lluvia & Dark Angel b Zeuxis & Tiffany & Amapola, La Sombra & La Mascara & Valiente b Rey Bucanero & Barbaro Cavernario & Herodes Jr., Volador Jr. b Rey Escorpion (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
--The band The Psychotic Turnbuckles, who released the song "Sudan Butcher" about Abdullah the Butcher in the 80s, play on 6/28 in Sydney, Australia at the Lansdowne Hotel (thanks to James Stanios)
--For those who didn't hear, Mick Foley's big announcement yesterday was that he was going back to the 90s and going to wear a fanny pack. That even beats the worst of TNA surprises.
--BANG on Saturday night in Ocala, FL at 7 pm.
--Velvet Sky appeared on WFAN's Boomer and Carton show today plugging TNA coming to New York for TV tapings in June. (thanks to Denis Gorman)
--Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka and Brutus Beefcake will be together at the Spooky Empire's May-Hem Convention at the Double Tree at Universal Studios in Orlando on 5/30 at 8 p.m.
--Afa Anoa'i Jr. (Manu in WWE) was cast for an MTV scripted series. We don't know the name of the show but he starts filming on Monday.
--Mil Mascaras (74 years old) & Canek & Fantasma beat Astro Rey & Mascara Ano 2000 & Villano IV in the main event of a show this past Saturday nigh in Tlanepantla.
--Maximum Carnage on 6/15 at the ACT Theater in Whitby, ONT with Tyson Dux and SoCal Val.