TUES UPDATE: More from Raw, WWE '12 out to rave reviews and records, TUF Brazil requirements, weekend ratings, Big Dave honored, new HBK DVD, tons more
By Bryan Alvarez
We're looking for your thoughts on Sunday night's Survivor Series and Saturday night's UFC 139, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show to
We're also looking for reports from the Friday night TNA house show in Greenwood, MS and the Saturday night show in Vicksburg, MS.
Smackdown will be taped tonight in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
With all the news of the past week, we've got one of our bigger issues of the year, a double issue of the Observer this week.
Our lead story is the most in-depth coverage of the UFC's lawsuit against officials of the state of New York. We look at the case, the real goals of the case, why UFC isn't legalized right now in New York, why they made this move, who is involved in the suit, why the fighters were chosen and what UFC officials and fighters will and won't be talking about this.
We look at the history of why UFC is not allowed to run in New York, the successful show held in New York, the crazy story behind the second UFC show in New York, what promotion did what and how the media was involved in derailing UFC in New York years ago.
We also have a look at the build to Survivor Series, the three hour Raw with The Rock, how every segment on the three hour Raw did including what was one of the biggest gaining segments of he year on WWE television.
The issue is available today on the web site, as is a back issue from 1994 as part of ten issues of the Observer and Figure Four available to web site subscribers each month. We also have the Observer as a print newsletter available with details below.
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 the UFC on FOX, including the most detailed ratings breakdowns of the biggest televised MMA events ever in the U.S. We also look at some of the biggest and most important moments of the Zuffa history of the sport, the flops, the successes, and what successes meant little long term, what did, and what flops hurt and what flops did no damage at all.
We look at what backfired on the first show, what worked, the future of Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos, why all traditional understanding of what gets over in sports often misses the most basic of points, the FOX strategy, what the show really did ratings wise and how every reported figure is missing a key element of the audience watching the show and why even with a final number that is not all that impressive, why Dana White was doing cartwheels when reading into the numbers.
We also chart the five biggest MMA television shows in history, with ratings, viewers, peak quarter and key demo numbers as well as how the audience that watched a big UFC event in 2006 and 2011 have changed.
We also have full coverage of the live event from the Honda Center, match-by-match coverage with poll results.
We also have comments from UFC and FOX executives going into detail of the 2012 plans for UFC on television.
We also have an updated story on the WWE Network, looking at a lot of information of show ideas as well as notes on who long it's likely to take because the network can be financially successful and what are its biggest obstacles. We detail of a ton of new programming ideas and what is good, what isn't, what does and doesn't have legs.
We also have more on the injuries to Christian, why there is so much twitter talk on WWE television, notes on the new WWE video game and the value of The Rock and Brock Lesnar to it, notes on the final WWE PPV show of the year, Notes on John Morrison, Gerald Brisco, Smackdown in early 2012, new WWE signing that most people would know and business from all the European events as well as highlights from the European shows.
We also have a profile on the life and times of Joe Frazier, the story behind one of the biggest feud in sports history, Ali vs. Frazier in and out of the ring, the back story of the feud and why it garnered so much interest and the story of the Thrilla in Manila, considered one of the great heavyweight fights of all-time.
We also have exclusive notes not covered anywhere else of Joe Frazier as a pro wrestler, both his two pro matches and his refereeing angles, and the major match they were planning on doing with him that never happened.
We also talk with Spike and Bellator officials about Viacom's purchase of Bellator and what plans are, what changes are going to be made, and how this changes the MMA landscape.
We also have the story of the champion of a major promotion who suddenly quit, came back for one night, and then did an angle with the rival promotion days later.
We also have a rundown on TNA's Turning Point show including match-by-match coverage with poll results.
We also have coverage of New Japan's latest PPV show from Osaka, as well as notes on the company's next PPV show from Nagoya.
In addition, we have a complete listing updated of all members of the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, what category they are from and when they were inducted.
We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week. We also have a breakdown of Raw and Impact and what segments gained and lost viewers so you can see what segments and personalities people tune in and out from.
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 issue:
--Just how bad things have gotten for CMLL
--Last AAA big show of the year announced
--AAA makes a signing of someone they've been after for months
--Latest AAA tapings
--A look at Dragon Gate's latest U.S. tour and who to look out for
--Opening night lineup for the Real World Tag League of 2011
--Update on the Global League tournament from NOAH
--Satoshi Kojima's 20th anniversary special show
--One of the world's most spectacular wrestlers is out until May
--Tenryu's 35th anniversary show
--A look at the start of Tenryu's career
--The return of the Great Kabuki
--The end of Battlarts
--Fit Finlay goes to Japan
--The legend of Killer Karl Kox
--Mark Canterbury update
--More on what happened to Kamala
--Perry Saturn talks drug addiction and being homeless and what saved him
--More on Scott Hall
--Nigel McGuinness returns to action
--NWA Hall of Fame notes
--The second annual Bruno Sammartino award
--Pro wrestler on trial
--Former WWE star is told by doctor to retire
--Wrestler arrested as part of alleged steroid ring
--Former WWE wrestler qualifies for nationals in another sport
--Famous 70s actress talks about her days as Miss Wrestling
--Former NWA champion coming to ROH television in segments recently filmed
--Gail Kim talks about her leaving TNA and her WWE stay
--Kurt Angle talks Olympics
--Tommy Dreamer on why he left TNA
--What to look out for in future TNA television
--Update on Strikeforce going forward
--Updates on the UFC business
--What they pegged Velasquez vs. Dos Santos to do when it was originally a PPV match
--Updated UFC numbers
--Update on Brock Lesnar
--How Lesnar's life has changed after surgery
--Lots of new UFC PPV matches announced
--UFC headliner sues management
--Update on recoveries from surgery by UFC stars
--Zuffa's plans for a new womens star
--Major Bellator fights this week
--A Benoit style story in MMA this week
--Bobby Lashley's latest fight
--New promotion gets U.S. TV deal
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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.
-- WWE ’12, which is out today, is now the most pre-ordered WWE game ever, beating SVR 2008. And keep in mind, there were six platforms for the latter game and only three for this year's. G4 gave it a 5 out of 5 review here.
-- I believe Sin Cara had his knee surgery today.
-- Ultimate Fighter Brazil tryouts are December 14th in Sao Paulo, Brazil. You have to be between 21 and 35 years old and have fought three times as a pro, and at least two of those fights have to be victories.
-- As noted on Observer Radio last night, Booker T took over for Jerry Lawler as Lawler lost his voice.
-- Besides the suspension, the Truth injury angle and Awesome Truth split was because Miz is doing to be getting a singles push into the title picture over the next few months. At least as of last night.
-- Great new interview with Jeremy Borash up for subscribers right now talking the India project, All Wheels Wrestling, why he's going to the Tokyo Dome every year, the process of putting together the great TNA house shows, wacky WCW stories and more.
-- We've also got a breaking news audio on the R-Truth suspension and why it's so interesting, UFC on FOX 2 potential cards, and more.
-- WWE returns to Australia on August 30th in Brisbane, August 31st in Sydney and September 1st in Melbourne.
-- Congratulations to Big Dave Batista for being promoted to blue belt in Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. His goal is to get his black belt by the age of 80.
-- David (not Batista) writes: Margarito vs. Cotto 24/7 premiered this past Saturday night. After reading many rave reviews on boxing sites and forums calling it the best episode in the history of the 24/7, I checked out the episode, and hype is true. This series blows the original series out of the water; it is THAT good. I strongly recommend you view the 30 minute episode(it's on Youtube). I guarantee you will love it. This is the best promotion of a fight, from any sports and entertainment company that I can remember.
-- Shawn Michaels has signed a new agreement deal with Total Gym for a workout DVD to come out very soon.
-- UFC Prelims this week did 1.2 million viewers, which is OK. Bellator was up huge to 269,000 viewers, double what the show the week before did. In other words, unsurprisingly, way more people watched UFC on FOX than UFC 139. Strikeforce Challengers on Friday night did not fare as well, drawing 143,000 viewers, an all-time low.
-- Steve writes: Hi Dave. Just bought the Daily Mail (UK paper) and in the news pages is a picture of Putin and Fedor shaking hands after the fight. This is a paper that literally never mentions MMA. They refer to it as "ultimate fighting". The story was not of the fight itself but them reporting that Putin had been jeered by the audience, which had been covered up on TV. They mention the fight has one million youtube views and that you can clearly hear the boos. A Putin representative said the crowd were booing "his american opponent", so they didn't even mention Jeff Monson by name.
-- Poll on Bellator
60.8% of those responding didn't see the show. This is one of the highest ratios of excellent in the history of our poll.
Poll on ROH
53.7% of those responding didn't see the show.
Who came out of the weekend the strongest
Urijah Faber 35.1%
Dan Henderson 24.3%
Ronda Rousey 16.7%
Michael Chandler 7.2%
Shogun Rua 6.8%
Wanderlei Silva 5.6%
Michael McDonald 4.4%
Best TV show of the past week
UFC prelims 11.5%
Ultimate Fighter 10.1%
UFC Countdown 3.5%
MMA Live 2.2%
-- For those of you who used to visit it, theddt.comhas re-opened today. It shut down awhile ago for personal reasons but is back up and running.
-- The final new participant to join this Chikara's JOSHIMANIA on December 2nd, 3rd and 4th is former star of ARSION and even TNA, Ayako Hamada. More info on all three shows and the big line-ups here.
-- Josh Nason writes: Listening to an interview Mike Goldberg did with Ariel Helwani last week and he confirmed that during his negotiations with WWE, they offered him an additional bonus if he stiffed UFC on their Monday, 10/3 Ultimate Fight Night 2 event they had planned and appeared on RAW that night instead.
-- WrestleReunion announced some changes to their schedules for both the events in Los Angeles and Miami due to Mick Foley and BG James (aka Road Dogg) working with WWE again. Neither one will be absent from the events, as they are contractually obligated to appear, but their availablity is being adjusted due to their need to be present at the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania PPVs respectively. With regards to the Los Angeles event, both Foley and the New Age Outlaws will be pulling out of the Sunday morning Breakfast with Champions so Foley and James can catch morning flights out to be at the Royal Rumble. To compensate this change, Foley and the Outlaws have agreed to participate in a Q&A session for VIP ticket holders on Friday afternoon at 4pm. The replacement talent for their tables at Breakfast with Champions will be announced in soon. With regards to the Miami event, the New Age Outlaws have been moved to the Saturday VIP lineup as opposed to the originally schedul Sunday VIP lineup so that James will make the WrestleMania call time. A tag team will be filling their original spot on the Sunday VIP lineup. Thanks to Charles Short.
-- Texas Upstart Promoter Blasts UFC and Bellator For “Intimidation” Tactics
-- ANDRE THE GIANT Family Speaks Out Over Jason Segel's 'SNL' Impression
-- Mick Foley leaves NYC in stitches after Survivor Series
-- I Tap Boys! has a special herein association with TEAM VIGGITY that runs through next year – three weeks of competition prep and dieting consultation plus an I Tap Boys! sports bra of your choice. Viggity trains a number of WWE stars including both Alicia Fox and Evan Bourne, so if you want to get into shape for either a sports competition or life and rock a cool sports bra while you're at it, it's a pretty good deal.
-- Guest Booker with Terry Taylor is for sale now at kayfabecommentaries.com.
-- IPW:UK 7th anniversary show on Sunday 27th November 2011, being held at the Wyvern hall in Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 4NT.
-- AAW: Professional Wrestling Redefined presents Windy City Classic VII Saturday November 26, 2011 7:30pm Berwyn Eagles Club 6309 W. 26th St. Berwyn, IL Doors Open at 5:30pm for a special meet and greet that is FREE to ALL ticket holders.
-- Ed and his crew have a post-Survivor Series show up here.