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We've got notes on more plans regarding the WWE Network, including a first year budget, where money would come in, when the idea of the network really started and what negotiation period many years ago caused Vince McMahon to feel that he needed to do the network. We look at more of the problems facing it, as well as why the difference between the makeup of wrestling fans in another era and this era makes interest in the network itself more of an issue. We look at notes on other similar networks as well as the end of WWE Classics on Demand.
We also have more on Georges St. Pierre's injury, his surgery, how the surgery went, notes on the operation, returning, and comments he's said. We also look at how much being on the shelf during what should be his athletic prime is going to hurt him financially, as well as the hit UFC takes with one of its biggest stars gone for most of 2012.
We also have full coverage of UFC 140, early business numbers, future of Jon Jones, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Tito Ortiz, the fastest finish in UFC history, close calls along with match-by-match coverage and poll ratings on the show.
We also look at TNA on PPV, Final Resolution, match-by-match coverage with star ratings, and why it's past the point of worrying about using PPV matches to build up television matches that people can see for free.
We also have a blow by blow on Alistair Overeem and drug testing. We look at the schedule of tests he has to take, as well as a time line of everything that has gone down in the last month, why people are suspicious, Overeem's growth, Overeem's success and how this could affect the outcome of Lesnar vs. Overeem as well as handicapping the fight.
We also have more thoughts on the TLC show, the first show on the WWE Network, notes on the returns of both Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara based on what they've told people in recent days, more on the future of John Morrison, HHH's changes in developmental, a secret WWE television taping and prospective plans for it, the Jim Ross blooper, the angle erased from television after it was already filmed, another person quits WWE, the lawsuit filed by Doug Somers, more Slammy Awards, new WWE international signings and who they are, notes on different wrestlers as well as notes on the only WWE weekend regular house show.
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 have more on the second UFC show on FOX, looking at the matches, early business notes on the show, Dana White talks about the matchmaking, as well as comments from the fighters on the show, including interesting remarks by Chael Sonnen, Michael Bisping, Mark Munoz, Phil Davis and Rashad Evans, how Evans got into trouble, and head-to-head programming against FOX that night.
We also have more on Hulk Hogan's various lawsuits out against ex-wife Linda. We look at the newest suit that got a lot of attention as well as a few others that got less attention.
We also have a rundown on Japan's biggest pro wrestling event of the year, the 2012 show on Jan. 4 at the Tokyo Dome, including major international names title matches as well as some stars from the U.S. appearing.
We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week, including the most details on Raw's three-hour Slammy Awards show along with comparisons with last year's show, who is and isn't watching and how each segment on the show gained or lost audience. We also have the same for Impact including the change in the makeup of the viewership this week from normal levels and why.\
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:
--CMLL's last major event of the year including the hair match
--The end of Jushin Liger in CMLL
--Two new wrestlers show up at AAA's press conference and the storyline they are doing
--Recruiting for wrestlers leaving CMLL
--Notes on a big house show and why things may be looking up in parts of Mexico
--Court action in a savage wrestler beating from earlier this year
--One of the world's best wrestlers tears ACL and is about to have surgery and will be out for months
--The debut of two members of one of the all-time most famous pro wrestling families
--Notes on a show where fans picked the main event matches
--Major show featuring a ton of big stars canceled and why
--Hall of Fame wrestler tries to outdo Cena and Rock, sets up challenge for a gimmick match in 2017
--Potential end of wrestling in one of the U.S.' most famous arenas
--More on Abdullah the Butcher including his response to the lawsuit claiming he infected Devon Nicholson with Hepatitis C
--Legendary 80s name having fund raisers to pay medical bills for new surgery
--Autobiography just released on Hall of Famer
--Danny Davis talks about losses in trying to keep OVW afloat since WWE pulled out
--Notes on the current state of WWE developmental
--Update on Chris Hero
--Longtime star has final U.S. match this past week
--Member of famous wrestling family just releases autobiography
--Why Nick Gulas used to claim that he saved the wrestling business
--Another famous wrestling family is about to debut a 4th generation member after he finishes high school this year
--Update on Fit Finlay
--Huge newspaper article talks about old days when wrestling was at its peak and notes on many of the biggest names
--ROH promotes the 80 minute match
--Update on ROH Final Battle show
--ROH prospective TV issue in the new year
--Notes on the TNA related promotion in India that starts taping this week including the roster
--TNA wrestler talks about the difference between working in WWE and TNA
--Karen Jarrett talks about her background as a wrestling fan
--Karen Jarrett talks Vickie Guerrero
--Eric Bischoff rips on Linda Bollea
--TNA wrestler films reality show pilot
--Notes on the next several weeks of TNA tapings.
--Lots of notes on the background of Miguel Torres being fired and how it all went down including comments from Dana White
--Business notes on the last show in Las Vegas
--More details on the tournament to crown the first UFC flyweight champion
--Big fight among smaller guys signed
--How business is going for the first UFC show in Japan in more than a decade
--More on the Showtime/Strikeforce negotiations and how that impacts future bookings
--Details of the first foreign season of Ultimate Fighter and where it's airing
--How this foreign Ultimate Fighter differs from the Spike version and how it will be the same
--GSP denied in major award
--Notes on a lot of January UFC programming and where it will be
--Lineups for upcoming Strikeforce shows
--Why early 2012 will be challenging for UFC on PPV
--Lots of new UFC matches
--Forrest Griffin talks about his career winding down and Tito Ortiz
--Why Fedor is facing Ishii in Japan
--Update on the New Year's Eve show in Japan
--Former UFC star gets into major trouble overseas with the law and is posting on Facebook while trying to keep from being arrested
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major story (ies) 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
*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)
*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)
*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 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
*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)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
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. For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 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.
--Bryan and I will be back tonight covering Strikeforce, TNA Impact, Smackdown and all the latest news from the past few days with Wrestling Observer Radio. We'll also be back tomorrow night after the TLC show. You can send questions in for the show to
--The wrestling promotions that run the Asylum Arena are meeting with the new owners in the next few days to know about the future, if there is any, of pro wrestling in the building. As for right now there are no shows scheduled after CZW (2:30 p.m.) and Evolve (7:30 p.m.) run on 1/14.
--John Cena claims he is ordering the TLC PPV show on twitter. When someone told Cena that he should quit pretending because everyone knows he's going to be at the show, he replied, "Wow mr serious, u are about to go from looking serious to looking stupid." (thanks to Morrison Cohen)
--Alistair Overeem says: "This fight isn't going to last two rounds. Mr. Lesnar is the best wrestler in the division, but he has a big weakness: He cannot strike. And unfortunately I am the best striker in the world."
--Brock Lesnar says: "He says he is going to knock me out inside two rounds. That's his dream. The reality is if I execute my game plan, Alistair Overeem cannot win this fight."
--WWE has changed the lineup for 12/30 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ. It's now Mark Henry vs. Big Show in a cage match for the title, Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett in a street fight, Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes vs. Booker T for the IC title, Daniel Bryan vs. Hunico. Tyson Kidd vs. Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox & A.J. vs. Tamina & Kaitlyn in a Santa's Helpers match. So apparently Kaitlyn is a heel even though her turn has thus far been erased from television. Maybe this week. (thanks to Mike Omansky)
--Madison Square Garden on 12/27 is Punk vs. Del Rio vs. Miz in a cage match and Cena vs. Kane. Cena will be working with Kane at all the house shows starting after Christmas.
--The National Enquirer did an interview with Ed Leslie's former wife where the highlight was her talking about how weird Hogan &
Ed's friendship was, saying the funniest thing was once Hulk went up to go to the bathroom and Ed ran to the bathroom first to make sure and adjust the toilet seat. (thanks to Paul Kacprzak)
--Maria Kanellis will be in her boyfriend Mike Bennett's corner for the 12/23 ROH Final Battle iPPV as Bennett is in a three-way for the TV title involving Jay Lethal and El Generico.
--Aggression MMA on 2/11 in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Center is headlined by Ryan Ford, Tyson Steele and Victor Valimaki.
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia involves John Morrison. As John Hennigan, he went to Peninsula High School in Palos Verdes, CA, which is a rich school. He then attended UC-Davis, graduating in 2002 where he studied film and geology. Hennigan was a good high school wrestler, and went out for the UC-Davis team, but stopped wrestling due to knee problems. That would have been the same team that Urijah Faber was the star of.
--The CBC fund raising efforts in Canada, where the public broadcasting station is trying to garner fund raisers with a mock commercial where if they don't raise enough money, an evil wrestling promoter from the U.S. will take over the station and turn it into something resembling 1999 Raw. There is a story about the CBC's boosters making fun of Hulk Hogan as part of the campaign at http://www.torontosun.com/2011/12/15/cbc-friends-mock-hulk-hogan
--Steve Austin's next project is a movie called "Maximum Conviction" where he will co-star with Steven Segal. Maybe Segal can teach him that front kick knockout spot that Anderson Silva used on Vitor Belfort.
--Add Mickie James to the list of those at the TNA satellite promotion tapings going on this week in India.
--Gabriel Gonzaga is back with UFC and will be fighting on the 1/14 show in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil against Edinaldo Oliveira. Gonzaga is a late replacement for Rob Broughton. Gonzaga was cut one year ago after losing to Brendan Schaub, but he has a famous 2007 win over Mirko Cro Cop and headlined by PPV with Randy Couture for the heavyweight title.
--Tickets go on sale for UFC Fight Club members on Monday at 10 a.m. for the 3/3 show in Sydney, Australia at the Allphones Arena. If you're not a member, you can get tickets on Tuesday at 10 a.m. using the code word UFCAUSSIE and they go on sale to the public on Wednesday. The main event is Thiago Alves vs. Martin Kampmann, plus the first round of the flyweight title tournament with Joseph Benavidez vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani and Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall.
--Booker T did an interview with the Baltimore Sun saying he's not going to be wresting full-time with twin babies and he's happy with what he's doing right now. He said he's having a tough time becoming a commentator and is really not that excited about being in the ring and said he considers this like a last hurrah. He said the staff has helped him a lot on announcing and at first didn't think he was going to make it. Story is at http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/pro-wrestling/bs-sp-wwe-booker-t-1218-20111216,0,4135577.story
--Cinemax is airing the debut of the movie "Beatdown" which features Michael Bisping and Bobby Lashley tonight at 10 p.m.
--There is a lengthy interview with Cowboy Bob Ellis, now 82, who was one of the biggest stars of the 60s. Joe Garagiola listed Rip Hawk, Gene Kiniski and Cowboy Bob Ellis as the three guys he remembers most when he got his announcing break as a wrestling announcer. For those who don't know Garagiola, he was one of the most famous television stars of his era as NBC's baseball announcer and sometimes host of the Tonight show during the 70s. Anyway, story is at http://www.examiner.com/fight-sport-in-national/cowboy-bob-ellis-interview-part-1
--Tully Blanchard has been added to the 2012 NWA Fan Fest in Charlotte from 8/2 to 8/5. He joins the previously announced Magnum T.A. in attending.
--Jens Pulver was knocked out by a knee to the head by Tim Elliot in the second round in last night on Resurrection Fighting Alliance show
--Empire Wrestling from last night in Avondale Estates, GA: Jay Fury & Chip Day & Pandora & Hayden Young & Phantom b Campus Strike Force, Terry Lawler b Zackary Blane, Fred Yehi b Warhorse 3.14, Sylar Cross & Master Jae DCOR Jon & Trey Williams, Jagged Edge b Eric Walker, Dany Only b Kyle Matthews, Nemesis b Seth Delay, Mason b Zach Daniels, Shane Marx b Tommy Daniels. Next show is Friday night at the Academy Theater.
--Xtreme Fighting Championships comes 2/10 to the Knoxville City Coliseum for a show that will air live on HDNet. Jamie Varner will be headlining the show.
--The next CHIKARA show will be 1/28 at the Palmer Center in Easton, PA. They also have some posters autographed by Aja Kong and Manami Toyota and other items stemming from Joshimania at http://myworld.ebay.com/chikarawrestling2007/
--Squared Circle Wrestling on 1/28 at the Variety Village Children's Gymnasium in Scarborough, ONT. All seats are $20 with all proceeds going to the Variety Village Children's Charity. Michael Elgin, Tyson Dux and Pepper Parks are among those appearing.
--Peter Paulsen is looking for a regular supplier of Japanese women's pro wrestling DVDs and looking to hear from people who have large collections at
--Octagon & La Parka defend the Mexican national tag titles against Silver Kain & Chessman in the main event of the Christmas night show at Arena Naucalpan.
--NYWC from last night in Deer Park, NY: John Silver won three-way over AR Fox and Papadon, Tony Burma & Mega b Juicy Justin & Da Fireman, Francis Kipland Stevens b Victor Cruz, Rob Vegas & Azerial & Bandido Jr. b Spyder & J.T. Kasin & Braydon Knight, Alex Reynolds b Tony Nese, Stockade & Mikey Whipwreck & Rex Lawless b Michael Mansfield & DJ Phat Pat & Danny E, Nikki Syxx b Marti Belle, Apollyon b John Silver. Next show is 1/6 at the Northport Middle School and 1/21 in Deer Park at the Sportatorium.