By Bryan Alvarez
We're also looking for reports on Sunday's Raw house show in Colorado Springs, Saturday's Raw show in Loveland, CO and Smackdown in Beaumont, TX, and Sunday's TNA show in Trois Rivieres, Quebec.
Smackdown and NXT will be taped tonight in Dallas. They have announced a DX reunion for the show, so Shawn Michaels is expected to be there plugging the Hart vs. Michaels DVD. They have also announced a 41 man Raw vs. Smackdown Battle Royal.
After TV, both Raw and Smackdown crews are headed to Mexico. As things stand based on two shows on the same night, next week's Raw and Smackdown will be singular brand shows. The tour starts on Wednesday with a Raw brand show at Arena Monterrey. Smackdown will run on Thursday at Arena Monterrey. Raw will be taped Saturday night at the Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City, while Smackdown will be taped on Sunday.
Our annual Hall of Fame issue of the Observer, the most talked about issue of the year, will be coming out in two weeks. If you are a print subscriber and sign up for two sets you will be getting the issue. It will be a double issue with bios of new Hall of Famers, complete voting records and a detailed story plus the updated list of Hall of Fame members.
We've got two issues of the Observer out this week. Both can be accessed by web site subscribers on the front page. All issues after they leave the front page can be accessed in the Observer archives section. We also have, for the second week in a row, one of the biggest back issues in our history. This is the 1994 issue covering when Vince McMahon was put on trial in a steroid distribution case. The issue has all the details of what happened, all the testimony, the legal technicalities, why McMahon was acquitted and a lot more. From a history standpoint, this was one of the biggest news stories in pro wrestling history and this is the most detailed coverage of that story.
This week's issues include a story on the business of Hell in a Cell. We look at when Hell in a Cell was a PPV monster, the decline of Hell in a Call, reactions to this year's show and a chart of shows since 2005 so you can see when the declines came. We talk about why the declines came and what decision that the company made that they need to evaluate when it comes to the PPV schedule.
We look at the hard business numbers and tends for PPV early, and what lessons can be learned from the show.
We also look at WWE's big angle with HHH at the end of Raw, including the television audience reaction, did fans tune in or out as the segment was going on, and more about the angle. We look at the follow-up to the Hell in a Cell closing angle as well, how plans for the PPV changed the week of the show, booking Mark Henry, the frivolous lawsuit angle and where it came from, as well as the who John Laurinaitis is texting angle. We look at what aspect of the type of writers WWE employs led to the ending of Raw and how a wrestling person would have likely done it different than a Hollywood person and why.
We also have full coverage of the PPV, with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results from the show.
We also have a feature looking back at the history of Kurt Angle's negotiations with several different MMA promotions over the years. We've got details of his UFC talks from Dana White, as well as Angle's response, as well as response from those close to angle. We look at the time that White thought he had an agreement with Angle for an exclusive contract including what pro wrestler White had called to be Angle's first PPV opponent. We look at why that fell apart. We look at the real story behind Angle as a participant in the 2009 season of Ultimate Fighter. We look at the pitch Angle made to White to try to get into UFC as well as how talks with other groups fell apart over the years including what fights were on the table. We look at Angle doing a 180 based on what he had said in the past and more.
We've also got coverage of the final UFC event on Versus, including what a UFC championship match on TV for the first time in four years on free TV meant to ratings. We also have full coverage of the event, with match-by-match coverage, as well as poll results for the show.
We also have coverage of CMLL's 78th anniversary show that was held over the weekend at Arena Mexico. We look at the business of the show, how it compares to the past, and full coverage.
We also look at what could have been in impetus of the WWE lawsuit angle, and more notes on Devon Nicholson's lawsuit filed against WWE in Ottawa. We look at his claims.
We also look at HHH's way of thinking when it comes to stars, in an interesting look at the mind set of the future of WWE and looking at what makes sense and doesn't make sense in his line of thinking.
We also have a look at one of the more underrated major names of the 50s and 60s, Handsome Johnny Barend, a New York native who headlined Madison Square Garden, Japan, and all points in between, and was one of the four biggest stars in the history of the Hawaiian pro wrestling scene. We look at his glory days in a number of territories, his standing in wrestling and much more about a headliner around the world for more than two decades. We look in particular at the scene in Hawaii and his being linked with legends like Peter Maivia, Dory Funk Jr., Mad Dog Vachon, Fred Blassie, The Sheik, Jimmy Snuka and many others.
We also look at basic WWE plans for television through the end of October, the next two three-hour Raws and a story barely covered that is chipping away slowly and significantly each month at the audience that watches WWE, TNA and UFC. We also look at Shawn Michaels and The Rock returning to WWE television over the next two months, plus more joint branded television shows.
We've got background on the new Vice President of Talent Relations, Jane Geddes, who was actually a more significant sports star than almost anyone on the active roster.
We look at Vince McMahon's latest fetish about the product. We've also got an update on Rey Mysterio, the DUI arrest of Jimmy Uso and how it was mocked in storyline. We also look at more WWE expansion plans, how Tivo is affecting WWE viewership, a former WWE performer who has signed on to a reality show, a new announcer hired, as well as what WWE stars have the most social media followers. We look at a model who will be getting a tryout next month, a rock band who wrote a song about a famous 1980s wrestling angle that ended up running afoul of WWE legal, Steve Austin's next movie, Austin talking about a champion in WWE who he doesn't believe is ready to be on top, the status of John Morrison, one of the all-time great wrestlers becomes a grandfather, WWE stars working in FCW, plus the weekend business and house show report.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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We also look at Hulk Hogan signing his new deal and a lot of thoughts about Hogan in TNA, as well as what his signing showed. We also look at where Hogan got his retirement speech from, and a new Hogan business.
We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week as well as how every segment did when it comes to gaining and losing
viewers on both TNA & WWE's A shows.
We also have our regular weekly features with results of all the major arena events around the world, as well as all the major TV show
Also in this week's issues:
--An update on the conditions, both physically and legally of both Matt and Jeff Hardy
--More on the last ROH iPPV show
--What those numbers say about iPPV shows
--Current plans for ROH Final Battle in December
--A look at the ROH TV tapings held this past week as well as why certain people weren't on the show
--A look at issues with the TVs in some markets
--Update on the TNA schedule
--A former WWE performer who is now free to come to TNA
--Dana White goes into more details of doing two shows on the same night in February and how it will be handled
--We also look at UFC flooding one market with show after show
--Update on Gilbert Melendez to UFC
--More on the Showtime/Strikeforce deal, when it expires and what may be next for both
--Update on UFC's return to Toronto
--Update on Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans
--More on this season's Ultimate Fighter show
--Boxer challenges Brock Lesnar
--Lots of new UFC fights signed
--A look at the big picture of pro wrestling in Mexico today
--Pro wrestler charges in major arson case that made international news
--ROH title being defended in Mexico
--AAA final taping before big show
--Recently departed WWE wrestler gets a one year suspension from wrestling by an athletic commission and why
--What pro wrestling promotion is doing a television show based on Ultimate Fighter
--Why the show is already getting a backlash
--Dragon Gate U.K. update
--One of the best pro wrestlers in the world hospitalized for appendicitis and has to vacate his title
--Hiroyoshi Tenzan 20th anniversary show
--Hall of Famer talks returning for a show in January for first match in a decade
--Jerry Lawler vs. Terry Funk feud continues
--One of biggest indie shows of the year
--What WWE Hall of Famer in no shape to perform
--Luke Robinson returns to wrestling for main events against two long-term stars
--An indie promotion does a live PPV featuring 90s stars
--Yokozuna Memorial show
--Hall of Famers to wrestle in CHIKARA at the end of the year
--90s pro wrestling star from WCW now doing MMA
--Notes on a wrestling reunion from a major promotion of the past
--Former WWE performer marries rock star
--Son of 70s star ranked nationally for upcoming college wrestling season
--Ben Askren's biggest pro fight
--Details of the weekend Bellator show and this week's matches
--Update on the heavyweight tournament
--Bobby Lashley returns to MMA to go after heavyweight title against former TUF heavyweight
--Notes on one of the most famous wrestling movies ever made
*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)
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
4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
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.
-- Dr. X, real name Clemente Marcelino Valencia Nájera, 43 (or 41, there are differing reports), a long-time CMLL rudo who had recently gone independent, was killed last night. He was at a party and violence broke out, and someone shot him in the head. He was not the intended victim. He was rushed to the hospital but died en route. Both CMLL and AAA have posted condolence messages today. A very sad story.
-- As noted on last night's Observer Radio, both JR and his wife Jan, who was sitting front row, were blindsided by Ross being fired on Raw. It wasn't in the script and almost nobody knew it was going to happen. One person in WWE noted last night that at this point you could probably put together a three-disc set of JR humiliations in Oklahoma. But hey, WWE is anti-bullying. And actually, that's true of most of the people who work there. Just not the guy at the very top.
-- After last night's train wreck, the line-up for Vengeance has Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena for the title (the storyline, which is apparently a secret since they didn't mention it on Raw, is that Cena is getting the shot because he got locked out of the cage at Hell in the Cell and thus it wasn't fair that he lost the belt), Triple H & Punk (now best buds) vs. Miz & Truth (back after a whopping two weeks), and Mark Henry vs. Big Show for the title.
-- Stacey noted that when Cena claimed that for many of the men and women backstage, Hunter was their first-ever boss, in fact there was one superstar whose first WWE boss was Triple H, that being Sin Cara Negro. So it wasn't complete bullshit.
-- WWE is also shooting Raw and Smackdown from Mexico for the first time ever next week. Not that you would know this from watching Raw. And keep in mind, that was the entire reason they had to get the title on Alberto Del Rio at SummerSlam and then again at Hell in a Cell.
-- Speaking of Mexico, as noted on last night's Observer Radio, Mil Mascaras is listed as appearing at the Smackdown tapings there.
-- The November 14th Raw, a three-hour show, will be entitled, "Rock Reunion Party", so obviously he'll be the focus of the show leading into Survivor Series. They sent out emails this week alerting fans that great tickets are still available.
-- Former WWE and TNA star Tomko, 38, real name Travis David Tomko, is in jail in St. Augustine, FL, on charges of second felony robbery. No other details at the moment.
-- TMZ.com has a story hereabout former UFC fighter turned movie actor (Austin Powers) Joe Son being suspected of murdering his cellmate. He is serving a life sentence for raping and torturing a woman who was walking around looking at Christmas lights in 1990. The man he is believed to have killed was a 50-year-old sex offender.
-- We have a great interview up right now with the former Ricky Ortiz, now BEAST ORTIZ in the Urban Wrestling Federation. For those who only got to see him working with Tiffany in ECW, well, you really should listen to this interview. I did not know this until today, but he won the 2011 Florida State Championship as a white belt in jiu jitsu in the men's super heavyweight division on August 6th in Kissimmee, FL. He's training right now with American Top Team.
-- Larry Matysik will be a guest of Jeff Vernetti on Sports Radio 590 AM in St. Louis tonight around 10:15 p.m.
-- UFC Prelims on Saturday night only did 1 million viewers, a God-awful number and the lowest in history for the company.
-- The Hogan retirement segment on Impact did a 1.07 this week, which is pretty horrible. It was the second-highest-rated segment on a show that was killed by strong baseballl competition.
-- UFC has a 140 press conference in Toronto tomorrow at 1 PM Eastern at the Air Canada Centre. Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida, who are fighting on that show, will be in attendance. Fans are invited to attend for free.
-- The movie WARRIOR will be released in Australia on the 27th October. Thanks to Tim Forge. We've been giving away Warrior posters on the Bryan & Vinny Show of late.
-- Georges St Pierre is featured on the cover of this month’s Australian Men’s Health Magazine.
-- TNA is launching a series of social commerce stores and an auction site "offering a multi-venue approach to reach the greatest number of fans with targeted offers." The stores are launching today on the website, the TNA Facebook page, and the Facebook pages of wrestlers. The auction site will be integrated into TNA’s shopping site (www.shoptna.com) and will feature one-of-a-kind memorabilia items "that are sure to whip the fans into a bidding frenzy – things like autographed pieces of tables smashed in matches."
-- What did you think of Saturday's ROH TV show?
52.0% of those responding didn't see the show
Pro wrestling's all-time biggest drawing card
Hulk Hogan 48.7%'
Steve Austin 34.0%
The Rock 5.4%
Jim Londos 4.3%
Antonio Inoki 3.9%
Lou Thesz 2.1%
Bill Longson 0.8%
Argentina Rocca 0.4%
Buddy Rogers 0.4%
Best on interviews
C.M. Punk 40.6%
Chael Sonnen 38.1%
The Rock 19.3%
John Cena 2.0%
-- Melina vs. Serena Deeb, formerly of WWE, will take place November 19th for WSU War Games in Deer Park, Long Island. It'll be Melina's first post-WWE match. Info on ordering is up here.
-- Friday October 14th San Bernardino based Empire Wrestling Federation presents a pro wrestling card, Knights of Columbus Hall, 4315 N. Vincent Ave, Covina, Ca. Bell time 8pm. Tickets at the door--Adults $11.00--Kids (12 yrs and under) $6.00
-- Timeline: The History of ECW – 1994 with Shane Douglas is available today at kayfabecommentaries.com.
-- EWF Wrestling presents "UNLEASHED" Friday, October 14, 2011 Borderman Gym 501 E. Marion St Converse, IN 46919. New Age Outlaws will be there.
-- Former WCW and current NWA-MSW TV champion, TV/Film star Stro "The Maestro of Wrestling" along with Johnny Kidd, Charlie Dreamer, and more at the Columbus County Fairgrounds Fair in Whiteville, NC Oct. 13th. Two shows 1st 6-8pm, 2nd 8-10pm
-- Friday October 14th San Bernardino based Empire Wrestling Federation presents a pro wrestling card. Knights of Columbus Hall 4315 N. Vincent Ave, Covina, Ca. Bell time 8pm Tickets at the door--Adults $11.00--Kids (12 yrs and under) $6.00
-- Oh my God, ALL-STAR WRESTLING is back in BC. All Star Wrestling presents "SUPERSHOW" Friday October 21st., 7:30 PM(doors open at 7), Cloverdale Fairgrounds-Alice McKay Building 6050 176th Street Surrey (Cloverdale), BC
-- Over the Top Radio with guest host Peachmachine up here.
-- A Ring Of Honor Spotlight match has been added to the Doctoberfest card on Sunday, 10-30-11 at Johnny Gs in Warner Robins, GA as ROH Champion, Davey Richards returns to NWA RPW to face one half of ROH's Future Shock tag team, Kyle O'Reilly.
-- Tri-State Wrestling Enertainment, LLC presents East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! Sat, Oct, 15th, 2011 Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702 Doors Open: 6:00 PM Bell Time: 7:00 PM