We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week, who is and isn't watching and how each segment on Raw and Impact over the past two weeks gained or lost audience. We look at how the segments with Chris Jericho, Brodus Clay, and changing a tire during a wrestling show all did.
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:
--One of world's top wrestlers came close to switching promotions, find out how close
--Hall of Famer hits 33 years for his active career and still a headliner
--Issues with AAA and U.S. television
--First AAA TV taping of 2012
--Update on Abdullah the Butcher in Japan
--ROH wrestlers headed for lengthy stint in Japan
--A look at the CMLL & New Japan joint shows coming next week
--What promoter is talking about Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor, and the rules they are looking to put it under
--A look at WWC's first weekend of the year and international names coming in
--John Morrison returns to wrestling in a few weeks
--More on the Kevin Nash/Ultimate Warrior front
--End of wrestling at the old ECW Arena
--Crazy Jesse Ventura story
--OVW sells out, what storyline does it
--Former WWE wrestler looks to start doing MMA in Japan
--The 1975 world championship discussion
--Huge match coming to TV next week
--More ROH TV outlets
--ROH TV taping notes and future storylines
--Notes on TNA taping in London
--Details of the taping schedule leading to Against All Odds
--Current Against All Odds lineup
--Jesse Neal talks about his post-military trauma issues, and leaving TNA
--Kurt Angle says different things about going to the Olympics
--Angle talks problems in TNA
--TV show character modeled after one of the most famous pro wrestlers returns in a few weeks
--Abyss talks losing his mask
--TNA new TV deals
--Notes on recent TNA house shows
--Lots of upcoming UFC notes
--UFC schedule through August
--A look at fighter pay in UFC and Lorenzo Fertitta talks to ESPN about the subject
--Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey
--Looking at the star power of women fighters
--One of the great fights in history may be rematched if one of the fighters wins his next fight
--A look at the next UFC show
--Dana White talks Brock Lesnar and WWE
--Notes on ticket sales to upcoming shows
--UFC kicks off on Fuel
--Update on B.J. Penn
--Tons of new UFC fights
--Story behind new MMA TV show
--MMA champion gets Hall of Fame induction at his college
--What happens in Japan after New Year's Eve show
--Former UFC title contender sentenced to 42 months in prison
--Former major woman's wrestling star faces daughter of movie legend in an MMA fight in Japan
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.
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
. 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.
--Dana White yesterday on the Jim Rome show said that regarding Jon Jones, that no decision will be made until after 1/28. If Rashad Evans beats Phil Davis and isn't injured, Jones' next fight will be with Evans. If not, Dan Henderson would be waiting in the wings.
--Hulk Hogan had dental surgery in October to get implants (teeth implants, not breast implants like all the women in his family), and his mouth got infected and antibiotics weren't making it better. He had a CATSCAN which revealed that one of the doctors had left a metal tack in his mouth. Well, that sucked. So last night he had surgery to remove the back. Story is here
. Hogan noted that in doing the surgery they had to drill a hole in his face.
--For those wondering, UFC has 29 fighters who have built in percentages of PPV revenue worked into their contract.
--With all the Bowl games going on, ESPN averaged a 3.7 in prime time last week, well above USA at 2.1 and Disney at 2.1. FX was No. 16 at 0.9, Syfy was No. 20 at 0.8 and Spike No. 25 at 0.6. Last week's Raw was No. 20 and No. 22. The top four shows were Bowl games.
--ESPN 2 will be airing an Outside the Lines feature at 10 a.m. Sunday morning on the pay scale in UFC.
--HHH was at New York Giants practice today.
--Tickets for the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony on 3/31 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami go on sale at 10 a.m tomorrow with the password GOHEAT
--Last night's UFC Tonight drew 20,000 viewers on Fuel, roughly half of the debut the week earlier.
--An interesting note about the UFC show on Saturday night. The main event between Jose Aldo Jr. vs. Chad Mendes is scheduled to go into the cage at 3 a.m. Rio time. The live event starts at 10:30 p.m. and will last until 3:30 a.m. I went to a JWP show like that in 1992. The matches were great, but it was freaking torture. The nazis in charge would not let you out of your seat. I know that sounds preposterous but we were not allowed to leave until actually 6 a.m. because it was a live network all-nighter special and by going in, you weren't allowed to leave. Chad Mendes has been doing middle-of-the-night training to get acclimated.
--TNA has announced Sting, Kurt Angle, A.J. Styles, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Bully Ray, Crimson, Samoa Joe, Gunner, Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, Mickie James, Tara, Douglas Williams, Magnus, Mark Haskins, Austin Aries, Alex Shelley, Matt Morgan, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels to appear on the 1/28 TV taping from Wembley Arena in London. They will also be doing some filming at the 1/26 show in Nottingham and 1/27 show in Manchester. They are claiming they are just shy of setting the company attendance record (which is about 8,000) at the London show. There is more here
--ROH announced a new clearance in Providence on WLWC at 10 p.m. on Saturday nights starting on 2/4.
--The new 2011 Wrestling Observer Newsletter index is out. This index covers every issue in the history of the publication, dating back to 1983, some 170 pages and looking at the biggest news story by week in very issue. It's available for $21 via paypal at
If you have an index and are looking to get it updated with the last year, you can either order the new year for $5 or get it free with a $30 purchase of back issues. He also has a special on the first 15 Royal Rumble issues.
--Thoughts on Brodus Clay's debut?
Liked it 45.3%
Didn't like it 35.9%
Was indifferent too it 18.8%
Who do you predict to take this match?
Vitor Belfort 52.5%
Anthony Johnson 47.5%
--Poll on Monday's Raw
11.7% of those responding didn't see the show
--The 1/20 and 1/28 UFC shows will both air on ESPN in the U.K. live. (thanks to Lee Wall)
--Rey Mysterio will be appearing this coming weekend at the Cavalcade of Customs at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati. (thanks to Brian Henke)
--The announced Zack Ryder vs. Jack Swagger U.S. title match on Raw this coming Monday in Anaheim is in jeopardy due to the worked injury Ryder suffered in the Kane angle on Monday. That angle, for what it's worth, drew the lowest rated quarter hour for a non-holiday show in perhaps a decade.
--Ross Pearson vs. Dennis Siver II at featherweight has been added to the 4/14 UFC show in Stockholm, Sweden.
--ROH has added the 3/4 show at the Manhattan Center to its iPPV lineup, the company's next iPPV show.
--No Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler rematch coming as long as Chandler is Bellator 155-pound champion. Alvarez has decided against entering the upcoming lightweight tournament and is looking at fighting Shinya Aoki instead.
--Zero-One USA is holding a tryout camp on 2/4 at 10 a.m. in Orlando. The winner will get round trip airfare to Japan and will get to live at the Zero-One Dojo. Yoshiyuki Nakamura, the owner of Zero One, will be there to evaluate talent along with The Sheik and The Headbangers. There are only a few spots left in the camp. Here are the details
--The 16th annual ECWA Super 8 tournament takes place on 4/7 in Newark, DE at the Greater Newark Boys and Girls Club.
--New names for the WrestleReunion on 1/27 to 1/29 in Los Angeles are Mike Tyson (really), Supreme, Messiah, Kris Kloss, Abdullah the Butcher, Lanny Poffo, Brutus Beefcake, Greg Valentine and Larry Zbyszko. All four will be working a 20 man Battle Royal on 1/28 along with Raven, Virgil, The Godfather and Matt Classic. Chavo Guerrero Jr. is also back appearing after finding out that the upcoming India TV tapings will be over in time for him to appear here. They are trying to put together a Tyson, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn photo special because they were all in DX. (thanks to Daniel Short)
--There will also be a salute to Los Angeles wrestling from Noon to 2 p.m. on 1/27. Confirmed as attending are Gene LeBell, The Destroyer, Jeff Walton, Superstar Billy Graham, Bengali, Don Savage, Art Mihalik, Billy Rogers, Art Williams, Jimmy Lennon Jr., Terry Brodt, Dario Romero, Theo Ehret and Dan Westbrook.
--Starting on Saturday, NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood moves to a new time slot at 1 a.m. on Sunday on KDOC TV. The first new episode will air on 1/22. They will be airing an old episode on 1/15.
--A funny thing in TNA advertising: for the 1/20 show in Worcester, MA on the local TV commercial, the city is spelled Worchester. People in the city hate when it's pronounced like that. (thanks to Kevin Bergstrom)
--Netflix Canada has added the following shows: UFC 83 (GSP vs. Matt Serra from Montreal); UFC 111 (GSP vs. Dan Hardy); UFC 124 (GSP vs. Josh Koscheck) and UFC 129 (GSP vs. Jake Shields) (thanks to Scott Keith)
--An interview with UFC fighter Ed Herman here
--Jerome LeBanner, who is actually a pro wrestling world champion (IGF in Japan), but a kickboxing legend, has signed for an MMA fight on 2/25 in Plock, Poland against Marcin Rozalski.
--UWC TV show for this week here
--U.K. wrestler Marty Scurll, who has worked for Dragon Gate, is on the front page of The Sun in the U.K. in a photo about a dating show that he appeared on.
--Ed, Craig and Cutrer talk Ric Flair here
--Resistance Pro Wrestling, the company owned by Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, has a tryout scheduled for wrestlers, managers and valets at 8 p.m. on Thursday night at The Dome at 635 N. Dearborn St. in Chicago. They also have a show on 1/13 at Excalibur headlined by Harry Smith vs. Kevin Steen vs. The Sheik, plus Colt Cabana, The Daivari Brothers and Teddy Hart appear.
--Eric Young was on Marek v Wyshynski Radio talking pro wrestling and ice hockey, with a discussion about the best babyfaces and the best heels in Ice Hockey. Is Marek on that show the Jeff Marek? (thanks to Mark Coale)
--Former UFC fighter Kyle Watson headlines on 2/11 in Beirut, Lebanon against Juha-Pekka Vainikainen of France.
--ECCW in Canada has changed its name from Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling to Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling.
--Calgary, one of UFC's best PPV markets in North America, may not do too well on Saturday (well, a lot of places may not) due to the Calgary Flames vs. Los Angeles Kings game which is getting monster publicity in Calgary because of the return of former Flames coach Darryl Sutter, now coach of the Kings. (thanks to Ryan Pike)