By Bryan Alvarez
We're looking for reports from Smackdown and NXT that is taped tonight in Minneapolis.
The latest on C.M. Punk, his future, Money in the Bank as well as updates on contract situations involving some key people who are free agents in wrestling is among the lead stories as we've got two issues of the Observer coming out this week.
Our lead story talks about reactions in wrestling that surprised me to the Punk direction, why worrying about the ratings right now and even the PPV buy rate are only a small part of the story going forward and the pitfalls of how long you can go in this direction as seen by previous attempts and their self life. We look in depth at the ratings, and just as important, the ratings of Punk's segments compared to the rest of the show.
We look at PPV vs. TV, Punk's interviews and what is and isn't real regarding his contract talks as well as who he wants to face at WrestleMania and right now where that stands.
We also have a look at TNA's promotion of the X Division, with comments from wrestlers, and thoughts about the heyday of the Division vs. today and if Destination X did well and if so, what would it mean. We have a complete rundown of the show including poll results and star ratings for all of the matches.
Both issues are up today on the web site for web site subscribers and the second is available tomorrow. You can get a mail subscription to the Observer with information below. The Observer has the most detailed coverage of pro wrestling around the world, as well as insider UFC coverage not available anywhere else. We have about 14 new newsletters each month, usually six Observers, four or five Figure Four Weeklies and four or five back issues of the Observer each week.
We also have an in-depth look at the changes in the WWE writing team, both in structure, as well as notes on the new head writers for both Raw and Smackdown, what the new roles are for the old head writers, reactions from those with experience in creative about these changes as well as the basic depth chart regarding who answers to who, and how the writing process is changing. We also have notes regarding new writers being looked at.
We also have more on the future of WWE developmental, as well as what these moves mean regarding John Laurinaitis. We also look at some reactions we got to the Randy Orton interview before the European tour. We've got more on wrestlers belongings being stolen in South Africa as well as a story regarding something somewhat similar happening in the U.S. to one of WWE's biggest stars at the time.
We also have notes on what at least on paper could be a major potential hurdle to Randy Savage going into the WWE Hall of Fame at WrestleMania, a wrestler whose work is cause for concern and more on Tivo and tape viewership of Raw and how it's changing.
We also have a trivia note of a wrestler currently on WWE TV who got interested in wrestling when one of his friends who was a WWE star showed him something.
We've also got WWE business notes from the past week as well as highlights of all of the overseas house show events including a new angle about to be shot and its test marketing first overseas.
We also look at the future of women's MMA fighting and how several things in the past few months has put a lot of uncertainty into it on a major level, and why the next big fight is so important.
We also have the beginning of Hall of Fame season, looking at NWA world championship records during the heyday of the territorial record, looking at the biggest stars, their title shots and what people have been overlooked in Hall of Fame discussions. For those into history, you'll really enjoy this piece looking back at a different era of the business and what lessons about drawing and who draws that this period showed that seemingly have been forgotten.
We also look at UFC's problems with injuries, including a laundry list of main events that have fallen through this year.
We also look at Pro Wrestling NOAH's last major show, as well as its major upcoming jr. tag team tournament.
We also have a feature looking back nearly a century ago at one of the most famous matches in wrestling history, Strangler Lewis vs. Joe Stecher's nearly five hour match in Omaha. We look at the background of the match, as real a story of the match as can be ascertained including notes from Steve Yohe's research on both men. We look at the program, and how it shaped pro wrestling going forward including why Lewis and not Stecher became the era's icon, what didn't happen that likely hurt Stecher from becoming the better known legend, as well as how double-crosses changed the direction of wrestling in the Lewis era.
We also have our usual weekly features including ratings for all the major national shows, broken down the segment-by-segment for both Raw and Impact, showing which segments gained and lost viewers and evaluated their performance from an audience level.
We also have results from all the major league pro wrestling and MMA events over the past week, as well as reviews of all the major television shows.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
Also in this week's issues:
--More notes on plans for TNA to tape outside the Impact Zone over the next few months
--How the tapings are going to be done
--Why this is another experiment
--Morale in TNA right now
--Hogan's future role in TNA
--X Division wrestlers weigh in on what they hope the PPV will show
--Update on Ric Flair and TNA and what has happened in recent weeks
--More on the Flair situation on the New York house show tour
--More on the departure of Generation Me and Orlando Jordan
--Update on Chris Sabin
--More on the pilot and plans for All Wheels Wrestling and who is behind it
--Kurt Angle talks Olympics
--More TNA injury updates
--Notes on the next few weeks of TNA television
--Notes on business for upcoming UFC shows
--What this is saying about the UFC product and how it relates to the same issues with the WWE product
--Talk about what looks to be the next monster UFC show
--Lots of talk regarding new UFC fights
--Notes on a major year-end show
--Pay records for UFC in Vancouver
--Fighters cut by UFC of late
--Major movie role for a UFC regular
--Surprise result in title match regarding someone supposed to be headed to WWE
--Update on Arena Mexico
--Ratings from Mexico
--A look at AAA taping with Jeff Jarrett, Abyss and Mickie James
--More TNA stars at the next AAA TV tapings
--Notes on upcoming Dragon Gate USA shows
--Next major NOAH show including return of Kenta Kobashi, title eliminator and tournament matches
--Complete details of the upcoming G-1 Climax tournament, lineups of all the major matches
--Wacky IGF world title tournament goes to final featuring Zuffa current headliner vs. K-1 legend
--What unique match of a Zuffa star vs. an indie MMA name took place in pro wrestling this past week
--What is being talked about as the biggest nostalgia show of all-time featuring multiple Hall of Famers and tons of big stars of the past
--Details of the bus accident involving a recent WWE headliner and the eery coincidence regarding it of another famous bus accident that is well known in rock and roll history
--New book on the history of pro wrestling in one of its most important cities ever
--Update on wrestling reality show and its future
--Claim of an overseas show featuring some of the biggest non-WWE names in the world, as well as the legitimacy of it
--The fiasco that was the Randy Savage benefit show over the weekend
--New TNA signing
--Update on UFC 132 PPV numbers and where it was strongest
--Major lighter weight star set for UFC debut in Las Vegas
--More on the half-point system in MMA and its applications
--Former WWE star continues MMA career
--Freak show Ken Shamrock vs. James Toney match rules and thoughts
For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
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.
-- For anyone who might have been concerned based on last night's transfer of power angle (including Darren Rovell, who thought it might be an SEC violation), WWE stock at press time is down a whopping 2 cents.
-- Vince will be at SummerSlam in LA in a few weeks, though not necessarily in front of the camera.
-- I guess we'll see where they go tonight, but one WWE source believed that SummerSlam would be Christian vs. Orton AGAIN, this time in a no-DQ match.
-- Also, and I don't know if this means he's going to win the title or if they've got something else planned, but Rey is in line for a big push now that he's the only masked guy in the company, and there is something big planned for SummerSlam and the Raw in his hometown of San Diego the next night.
-- As noted on last night's Observer Radio, the talk backstage as of last night was that Sin Cara likely will not be brought back. WWE.com had two stories on him up yesterday, one saying that he'd been popped for a Wellness failure and the other claiming that he'd hurt his knee and would be gone about 30 days.
-- And what perfect timing with the company also just announcing a six-stop tour of Mexico from October 12th through 15th in Monterrey, Merida, Monterrey, Puebla, San Luis Potosi (original home of the Alvarez clan) and Veracruz.
-- Post- Raw angle saw Vince flip is lid and demand Cena come out for a fight. Vince slapped the hat off his head and Cena was about to go after him when Truth, Miz and Ziggler ran down and attacked him. Santino, Evan Bourne and, yes, ZACH RYDER made the save. Truth and Miz left the ring, so the babyfaces all gave their finishers to Ziggler.
-- Punk has the belt on ice here.
-- There is a CM Punk t-shirt from Sunday on eBay now up at over $500 here.
-- Julian writes: Just wanted to pass the message along that during a break, a commercial ran for Monday Night Raw's return to Chicago on December 26th. The first superstar advertised was none other than John Cena. Just thought I'd pass that along.
-- Dana White just confirmed that UFC 138 is in Birmingham, England and will air on Spike TV.
-- Speaking of Dana, there is a look at his mom's new tell-all book, in which she calls him a prick and worse, here.
-- Jim Cornette has a big commentary up heretalking about ROH's debut on Sinclair, the first TV tapings, what the mission statement of the program is, what mistakes they have learned from in the past, and more.
-- FOX News has an article here where a PETA representative essentially compares Shawn Michaels to Jeffrey Dahmer. Yeah. It's in regards to his new hunting show and the fact that he shoots animals and then eats them. Shawn has comments in the article as well, and also posted on his Twitter how ridiculous the whole thing was. Story is here.
-- Bond Enforcement, which is written by Lance Storm's daughter, is available for sale on the Kindle for $1.99 here. She's using the pseudonym "Sunny Schaffer" in case you're confused. Help support her dream and grab a copy.
-- Rhett & Link: Wrestling Lessonpreview video up here.
-- Besides Bruno Sammartino, Josh Nason and I will also be joined by KING MO LAWAL in the afternoon. We'll talk not only Strikeforce but also pro-wrestling as he's a huge fan.
-- The audio for Chavo Guerrero on Right After Wrestling Radio is up here.
-- Juggalo Championship Wrestling has their next $5 iPPV tomorrow with OFFICER COLT CABANA headlining versus 2 Tuff Tony for the JCW Title, plus Sabu vs. Nick Dinsmore, Zach Gowen in action and more. For info on how to order click here.
-- There is a Strikeforce Challengers show this weekend from the Palms at the Pearl in Las Vegas with Roger Bowling vs. Bobby Voelker headlining.
-- The Perry Saturn Youshoot video is now up for sale here.
-- 3XWrestling (3XW) proudly presents its 6 Year Anniversary Event on Friday, July 29 at All Play in Des Moines. Traditionally 3XW’s biggest wrestling event of the year, this year is even more special due to it also being 3XW’s 75th event overall.
-- NWS is not happy with one Balls Mahoney. They write: WWE Alumni and Samoan superstar Manu will take the place of John "Balls" Mahoney on the National Wrestling Superstars Saturday, July 23rd Island Heights Fire Company card. The change, due to Balls Mahoney's penchant for self destructive childish behavior and non cooperative and just all out assinine nature has become over the past two years more the norm rather than not. NWS as always wishes to please its many fans but washes its hands dealing with Mr. Mahoney on all future engagements. A sad statement indeed as Balls was always a welcome addition to the NWS roster for many many years.