TUES UPDATE: Lawler destroys Cole after Raw, Rock talks the return of Jericho, UFC positive numbers, why two title matches on Smackdown, Brodus Clay update, Nick Jackson foot in mouth (hopefully not too hard), tons more
By Bryan Alvarez
We're looking for your thoughts on both Friday night's UFC 141 and Saturday's Dream show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're looking for reports on Friday night's TNA show in Albany and Saturday night's TNA show in Poughkeepsie.
Smackdown and NXT will be taped tonight in North Little Rock, AR, with Bryan vs. Show for the World title and Cody Rhodes vs. Booker T for the IC title.
Wednesday is the New Japan show at the Tokyo Dome, headlined by Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki for the IWGP heavyweight title, Keiji Muto vs. Tetsuya Naito, Togi Makabe vs. Yoshihiro Takayama, Hirooki Goto vs. Takashi Sugiura, Giant Bernard & Karl Anderson vs. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan for the IWGP tag team titles, Masato Tanaka & Yujiro Takahashi vs. MVP & Shelton Benjamin, Yuji Nagata & Wataru Inoue vs. Masakatsu Funaki & Masayuki Kono, Kazuchika Okada vs. Nobuo Yoshihashi, Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Mascara Dorada & Kushida vs. Atlantis & Valiente & Taka Michinoku & Taichi and Davey Richards & Rocky Romero vs. Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi for the IWGP jr. tag titles.
We've got our annual business year in review double issue of the Wrestling Observer out this week. The issue, along with a back issue from 1994, are up on the site today and each month there are approximately 10 issues, both old and new up.
We look at who the biggest money players were in 2011, with the biggest shows, the biggest headliners, the PPV numbers for every major WWE, UFC and boxing PPV, as well as where John Cena now ranks among the career drawing cards, who became draws, who fell out and more importantly, how the business changed over the past year.
We also look at the biggest PPV players of all-time, how PPV habits have changed, the difference between how boxing, MMA and wrestling sell and is PPV flourishing or fading.
We have a look at UFC on PPV for the year, as well as UFC at the gate. We look at whether this was an up year or a down year in PPV, ratings and big show attendance, and more, what the long-term patterns appear to be..
We also have a chart of the most talked about and big 100 stars of 2011, who is up, who is down, who is new, who is fading and more. We also look at some very interesting notes about popularity including big fish in a small pond vs. small fish in a big pond and which is better, value of the UFC title now as compared with a few years ago, as well as looking at the 2012 prospects for the various UFC belt holders.
We look at popularity in the U.S., Canada and worldwide and how each region differs, including what country is the one where you can tell the rising stars the fastest and who those potentially marketable stars are.
We also look at UFC vs. WWE around the world, and in a number of U.S. states including what direction that trends have gone over the past year. We look at the strongest cities for UFC and WWE as well as the countries with the most per-capita interest in WWE, UFC, boxing and even TNA.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sites and has
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the web. Everyone from Wall Street to the major offices to the TV networks in U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in
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We also have updates on a number of WWE injuries, the mystery man, WrestleMania and celebrities, changes in booking, WWE business notes from the past few weeks, PPV plans for 2012, Punk talks WWE announcing, as well as Steve Austin and Mania.
We look at Brock Lesnar's comeback, coming back from his health issue, age illness, surgery, and power as well as a look at UFC 141 and the Dream New Year's Eve events.
We also update a look at Ring of Honor stemming from the Final Battle show. We look at how the show did, frustrations with the product, the psychology of being a champion vs. being a challenger, the future of ROH, the effect of television on their business so far, the return of Kevin Steen and apparent direction for 2012, the New York crowd and how it affected the show and more.
We also have match-by-match coverage with star ratings, flying chairs, tables and long matches.
We also look at the WWE's traditional No. 1 house show of the year, the week after Christmas show in Madison Square Garden, including a lot of the extra things thrown out this yea.
We also look at the late Korean dictator Kim Jong II, and not only his connection with pro wrestling, but a look at the two most attended pro wrestling events of all-time in North Korea, which included Ric Flair, Scott Norton, Muhammad Ali, Chris Benoit, Eric Bischoff and others. We look at what the reaction was like at the time including from the worldwide media.
We also have the history of the Japanese MVP award.
We also look at the question of the fastest UFC fight in history and the debate over what should be he record.
We also look back in history on a 70s star entering the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stllwater, OK this coming year, and go back at looking at someone who was a famous celebrity amateur wrestler who later became a pro, and other great athletes that Verne Gagne tried to recruit to be his top stars in the 70s, who made it and who didn't.
We also have the final category list for the 2011 Wrestling Observer Awards with the updated ballot.
We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week, 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:
--Promotion leaving their fan base furious at recent finishes
--Top booker wrestler in Mexico talks rise of WWE in that country
--Notes on TNA wrestlers who have been appearing in AAA
--Japanese star looks like they are getting cut
--New Japan's last shows of the year
--More on the reaction in Japan to the death of Umanosuke Ueda
--Why major news commentators talked about Ueda's fame as a symbol of the country at large
--Ueda's most famous singles match
--His moving from company to company
--Death of a wrestling trainee
--Hall of Famer needs back surgery
--Sean Waltman's arrest
--WWE's big year beginning shows featuring some former WWE wrestlers
--What former WWE wrestler can now command $25,000 per appearance
--Former TNA Knockout member now on a reality show
--Update on Travis Tomko after his arrest
--Corporal Robinson talks about why he had to retire from wrestling
--Another former Olympian going into pro wrestling
--Notes on some books that will be released on pro wrestling in 2012
--Former well known wrestling television announcer inducted into a college Hall of Fame
--Why Karen Jarrett was fired by TNA
--Upcoming TNA PPV notes
--A look in depth at the TNA satellite promotion India, its prospects and angles
--Notes on ticket scalping at WWE and UFC shows
--Update on Pride fights airing on U.S. television
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Notes on some of the Bellator tournaments for the new season in March
--Fighter paralyzed trying a move
--Bas Rutten picks his 2011 awards
--Legends from the past return to fighting the past few weeks
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
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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.
-- Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole were advertised locally to wrestle last night, but after the show ended Cole said no, I can't do that, there is a hole in the ring. So John Cena said you aren't having a wrestling match, you're having a streetfight, which actually was what the match was billed as being. Lawler completely destroyed him, including ripping his pants off and giving him the piledriver, which he's not allowed to use on TV. People enjoyed it, aside from the Michael Cole in his underwear part.
-- Rock on Jericho's return: @IAmJericho Helluva kick ass return. Welcome back my friend. Look forward to having some fun w you.
-- No rating yet, but the UFC Prelims did 1.8 million viewers, much higher than usual. Trending numbers indicate this show did big numbers. We also got reports from people who were at bars that were packed, way more so than for any of the recent shows.
-- Smackdown has two title matches this week in part due to the loss of Randy Orton from the show.
-- Lovy writes: I saw this comment somebody posted on Todd Martin's blogspot and thought maybe you'd be interested: Don't know if anyone has pointed this out but that suffocating move Kane is using, shutting off the mouth and nostrils, is called "burking." Supposedly it's the method Burke & Hare used to obtain undamaged corpses to sell to medical schools. ... You can see an example of burking in the Boris Karloff movie "The Body Snatcher."
-- I know it's a running joke now, but as of yesterday the plan was to hold off Brodus Clay until Royal Rumble.
-- Happy 60th birthday to Jim Ross.
-- Goofy comment of the day from Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks, aka Generation Me. "It's funny how everyone on the dirt sheets get so mad about unprotected chair shots. They say its to dangerous to the head. It's to dangerous to the head?! Obviously. But if you guys were so worried you should be more worried about a normal back bump. Falling on the mat from any type of impact is like a small car crash. R heads bounce from the mat and it's extremely more dangerous. Should we stop taking back bumps than? In my opinion it's the same impact to the head. I should know because I've taken both before. But I've never gotten a concussion from chair shots. They've mostly been from bumps on the ring mat. Everything in wrestling is dangerous. If ppl were really concerned about us wrestlers health, than wrestling all together would be banned." I wrestled for over ten years and can count on one hand with plenty of fingers left over the number of times I hit the back of my head on the canvas taking a normal back bump.
-- Jeff writes: They just ran a commercial for Smackdown at the Mohegan Sun in CT on 3/6 with an advertised match of Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry vs. Big Show vs. Randy Orton in a Fatal Four Way.
-- From THQ: THQ and UFC today announced availability of the first downloadable workout pack for UFC Personal Trainer: The Ultimate Fitness System, the popular interactive fitness product released earlier this year. Focusing on prominent UFC bantamweight Urijah Faber, whose submission victory over Brian Bowles at UFC 139 earned him a future rematch against Dominick Cruz for the UFC Bantamweight Championship, the Urijah Faber Workout Pack will feature five new workout routines and 15 new Hit the Mitts drills. The pack also includes an Undisputed Trainee achievement, providing consumers who purchase the forthcoming UFC Undisputed 3 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft with an opportunity to receive a Create-a-Fighter boost and save approximately 8-10 hours in gameplay time. The Urijah Faber Workout Pack is available now on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for the Xbox 360 and is free of charge to all consumers who own UFC Personal Trainer: The Ultimate Fitness System on Kinect for Xbox 360.There are Cain Velasquez and Jon Jones packs added.
-- What was the biggest news story of August?
UFC signs 7 year contract with FOX 72.5%
All Japan, New Japan and NOAH combine for All Together Now show and head-to-head battle with IGF show 6.9%
TNA brings back Jeff Hardy 4.3%
TNA fires Matt Hardy 3.7%
Raw adds Smackdown stars to the show weekly to try and fight ratings decline against football 3.0%
Alberto Del Rio wins WWE title 2.9%
WWE releases Melina, Chris Masters, Harry Smith and Vladimir Kozlov 2.4%
UFC returns to Brazil 1.3%
Rashad Evans beats Tito Ortiz 1.1%
Shawn Tompkins passes away 1.1%
Chris Lytle retires 0.6%
Shinsuke Nakamura wins G-1 0.2%
Best TV show of the past week
Dream New Year's Eve 17.7%
Countdown to UFC 141 13.4%
UFC 141 prelims 7.8%
Inside MMA 0.9%
-- JR has a new blog up here.
-- Newest APW Gym Wars show is up here.
-- In Your Face Wrestling invites all our fans to meet WWE & WCW Tag Team Champions The Nasty Boys, on Sunday, January 8, from 4-7pm at the In Your Face Wrestling Academy, 3 McElwain Ave., Cohoes, NY. Autograph tickets are $10 per item, and you can purchase a color 8x10 photo for an additional $5. "Mr. USA" Tony Atlas will be our special guest at our live event: "Seize The Moment" on January 14, 2012, at the Ballston Area Community Center, 20 Malta Ave., Ballston Spa, NY
-- XFC 16 : High Stakes is sponsored by Sheets Energy Strips & Overthrow Gear and will air live on HDnet from the Knoxville Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, TN on February 10th, 2012. Tickets are on sale now through KnoxvilleTickets.com. To learn more about the XFC, please visit www.officialxfc.com, “Like” them on Facebook, and “Follow” the promotion on Twitter (@officialxfc).
-- NWA-Lone Star & TXStampede Wrestling presents “One More Time” 1/28/12– Balch Springs Recreation Center – 7pm - $10 Adults / $5 Kids 10 & under / FREE ADMISSION for ACTIVE Military personnel with current I.D - WWE Legendary manager - the "Dr. of Style" Slick, heads an All Star TX based roster to iPPV (RadRadioNetwork.com) that includes WWE/TNA/Intergalactic Star the "Intrepid Traveler" Paul London, "Main Event" Mike Foxx, Danny Matthews, the "Freaky Playa" Wally Darkmon, Action Jackson, "Addictive & Expensive" Byron Wilcott, Big Hoss Murdoch, the Dark Circle, Jared Steele, C Diddy, Matthew Palmer & "Solid Gold" Gregory Symonds. Also scheduled to attend: TLC reality stars The Bussey Bunch, local radio personalities & more...Tickets sold online & at local outlets soon. NTX needs it. The Fans deserve it. #ForProsByPros #TXStampede for more info you can visit facebook.com/TXStampede twitter.com/OriginalPlaya facebook.com/RatedTVOP & youtube.com/ThePlayazPerspective.
-- East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! “NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS” Sat, Jan 7th, 2012 Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702
-- From the promoter: Five-time National Wrestling Alliance "Referee of the Year" Tommy Young has confirmed his intentions to be with us for this summer's NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest Weekend in Charlotte! Thursday thru Sunday, August 2-5, 2012 CHARLOTTE, NC - HILTON UNIVERSITY PLACE HOTEL.
-- River City Wrestling -- San Antonio's brand of professional wrestling -- will appear on tonight's (January 3) edition of KENS-5's Eyewitness News broadcast at 10 p.m. RCW Tag Team Champions Jingo Wallabee and Honkey Kong along with RCW Promoter Brandon Oliver will appear during the sports segment along with former RCW Commissioner and head honcho of Reinagel Championship Wrestling, Joe Reinagel.
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