We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week. We also have how every segment on Raw and Impact did as far as gaining and losing viewers, as well as who did what in the key segments and who appeals to what.
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 first major show of the year notes and what legends are being honored
--Star wrestler put out of action in an accident the likes of which you'll never believe
--Notes on AAA's first television taping on 2012
--What it looks like AAA is building for its first major show of the year
--Johnny Gargano injury situation
--A look at Dragon Gate's major show at Korakuen Hall this past week
--NOAH's first big show of the year, title changes and other big matches as well as two new title matches announced
--A look at New Japan's Fantasticmania, joint shows with CMLL
--More on the Jesse Ventura story
--Wrestling announcer whose career spans four decades in serious accident
--Pro wrestler sentenced to 32 years in jail this past week
--Pro wrestling promoter serving time in jail right now
--Behind the firing of Syd Eick from ROH
--A look at ROH angles going forward and the two shows this past week
--Early notes on TNA Lockdown and ticket sales
--Against All Odds main event situation
--Update on Jeff Hardy
--More people leaving TNA
--Notes on the India promotion and plans going forward
--Mr. Anderson talks leaving WWE
--More on Ric Flair in WWE Hall of Fame a second time
--Notes on all the TNA house shows this past week both in the U.S. and Europe
--Update on UFC PPV numbers
--Strikeforce ticket sales
--More on the box office results for Haywire and thoughts on the opening weekend
--Notes on UFC and WWE and their support of SOPA
--Dana White responds to hackers
--Stipulations on the UFC on FOX show this week
--Update on UFC doing its own drug testing
--More on King Mo Lawal's failed drug test
--Marc Ratner rules on Erick Silva vs. Carlo Prater fight from Brazil
--New UFC ad and what is behind it
--Update on Mark Munoz after surgery
--More on the TUF Brazil show
--Notes on plans for TUF Australia vs. U.K, time frame, finals and a probable coach
--UFC banning more sponsors and why
--NFL star talks about wanting to do MMA after football is over
--Notes on the beginning of the next season of TUF U.S.
--UFC star in a Super Bowl commercial
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Early plans for April PPV in Atlanta and May FOX show
--Notes on the next Bellator show and its new time slot
--More on HDNet being sold and what that means for the MMA programming
--Details on new weekly MMA TV show on Spike that starts in March
--Former UFC and Strikeforce fighter sentenced to prison
--More on the grandson of a pro wrestling legend in MMA
--A new potential MMA star and opponent for the women's champion
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.
--We will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio covering the Royal Rumble, more on the TNA tapings in London, ratings for the UFC show last night and more late tonight.
--Tonight's Royal Rumble is an official sellout.
--Some more notes from the TNA tapings yesterday in London. There was originally going to be a big entrance and ramp but they stripped it down at about 2 p.m. for reasons that were never confirmed. Sting was walking fine as he left the arena but he was banged up. Others described him as limping and hurting. He was going to see a doctor when he got home but he didn't think his injury was serious. The event should look great on television because of the good crowd and super hot reactions. The camera shooting around the arena looked great. The hard camera shots didn't look any different from any other Impact I was told, but the big crowd made TNA look more major league.
--Mark Haskins suffered a concussion from a botched shooting star press. He was back at the building after going to the hospital in an ambulance. They feared a broken neck when he landed on his face landing short on a shooting star press against Austin Aries on the first Impact (that airs Thursday) that was taped yesterday. A match on the second show taped, the go-home show for Against All Odds, was scheduled to be Aries & Haskins vs. Douglas Williams & Alex Shelley, and it became a three-way with Aries, Williams and Shelley. Haskins was released from the hospital and was at the post-show party just to show everyone he was okay. His pupils were dilated and it was said you could tell he had a concussion, but he was talking to people.
--While this got little pub, Mark "Rollerball" Rocco was backstage at the TNA show. Rocco was the original Black Tiger in Japan who feuded with Tiger Mask. Hulk Hogan, who worked for New Japan during the heyday of Tiger Mask, and teamed with Rocco on some occasions, specifically asked that he be brought in when he decided to come to the U.K.
--TNA already announced a return to the U.K. in January 2013 with shows in Nottingham, Manchester, London and Glasgow and will actually be selling tickets a year in advance starting on Monday.
--Bill Apter had an intestinal problem which resulted in him having to go to the emergency room (for the first time in his life) and was told it wouldn't be a good idea to fly to Los Angeles this weekend. He was told to make some diet modifications but we've heard from him a few days ago and seems like he's doing fine.
--No ratings for the UFC show past what is already up on the site will be available until tomorrow. The original numbers are down 4% from the 11/12 show, but that doesn't figure in the final 18 minutes of the show, and with it, the number may end up almost exactly the same. Based on what we have, which is half hour breakdowns, it grew solidly every half hour. As noted, the final audience should be between 5.3 million and 6.0 million, probably very close to the number of the first show, which did 5.68 million viewers. It more than doubled everything else on the networks last night in the 18-49 demo, although in total viewers would have been behind CBS crime dramas that appeal to older audiences. The figure skating on head-to-head did 3.72 million viewers.
--Bryan Alvarez and Mike Sempervive are previewing the Royal Rumble, talking last night's UFC from 6-8 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Ch. 94 and XM Ch. 208. The show is streaming live now on the front page.
--ESPN Sports Center last night listed the Cub Swanson knockout of George Roop as one of its top 10 plays of the day.
--We don't have a URL past www.kare11.com
but they did a story on Verne Gagne being at the Parkway Theater yesterday for several screenings of "The Wrestler." They talked a lot about him in a TV news story pushing how famous he used to be locally. The incident where he killed the elderly man a few years back was never mentioned in any of the stories. Looked like a lot of older fans had a good time seeing him and seeing the movie that relived 1974 AWA wrestling during one of its hot periods.
--A New York Times story on Rulon Gardner, at 40, trying to qualify for the 2012 Olympic team is at http://nyti.ms/xTNv3i
Within the amateur wrestling community, the Gardner comeback is getting far more attention than the Angle comeback. In fact, in amateur publications I read, the Angle story has never been mentioned. Gardner is now 315 pounds. He got to 289 on The Biggest Loser and has put weight back on.
--Today's Walter Scott Parade Personality Q&A in Parade magazine included a question of how Gina Carano got her role in "Haywire." Steven Soderbergh said he was tired of women action film stars who weren't believable doing stunts and fight scenes. (thanks to Jose Gonzalez)
--Announced for the 2/14 Smackdown tapings in Fresno are Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show for the world title and Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett in a street fight. (thanks to Bryan White)
--Who do you expect to win the Rumble
Chris Jericho 54.3%
Randy Orton 22.4%
C.M. Punk 3.6%
Dolph Ziggler 2.8%
Daniel Bryan 1.3%
John Cena 1.2%
Big Show 0.5%
Mark Henry 0.3%
--Who was the best of these feuds
John Cena vs. C.M. Punk 33.2%
GSP vs. Josh Koscheck 14.7%
Kevin Steen vs. ROH 10.7%
Randy Orton vs. Christian 8.7%
Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards 8.7%
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard 7.2%
Mark Henry vs. Big Show 4.0%
Blood Warriors vs. Junction Three 3.9%
Michael Bisping vs. Mayhem Miller 3.2%
Briscoes vs. All Night Express 2.3%
Averno vs. La Mascara 2.2%
Seiya Sanada & Manabu Soya vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi 1.2%
--Poll on Smackdown
28.3% of those responding didn't see the show
--The New York Times had nothing on last night's UFC show.
--Georges St. Pierre was the single most searched for item last night on Google. UFC on FOX was around No. 12 last night and again this afternoon, behind both the Pro Bowl and NHL All-Star game.
--As noted earlier we had a typo last night on the judging story. The cards in Chris Weidman vs. Demian Maia were incorrectly read and Weidman won a unanimous decision, not a split decision. The cards were read correctly in the Michael Bisping vs. Chael Sonnen fight.
--Danshoku Dino beat Kudo yesterday at Korakuen Hall to win the DDT KO-D open weight championship.
--Johnny Valiant will be appearing at Gizzi's on 16 West 8th St. in Manhattan tonight at 7 PM. doing stand-up comedy with music. There will also be a meet and greet at with Valiant and wrestlers from Family Wrestling entertainment at 7 p.m.
--HighSpots was filming the Los Angeles Celebration seminar yesterday so expect it on DVD soon. Abdullah the Butcher was late for his appearance there because he was talking to Carlos Colon for a long time. Abdullah arrived in a wheelchair but was able to move into a chair at the table where he was signing. The most popular stuff was Mick Foley, who did whatever character people wanted, Brooke Tessmacher in a bikini photo shoot that had everyone's attention, and the Papa Shango gimmick photo opportunity. (thanks to Daniel Short)
--Mike Tyson was there and last night Tyson and Superstar Billy Graham were together telling stories. Tyson talked about how much he loved Graham and his interviews growing up.
--Another name not mentioned at the convention was Seymour Koenig, who was a famous weightlifter/wrestler in the days of Lou Thesz. Dick Beyer said that when he was given The Destroyer gimmick by Jules Strongbow (a Southern California promoter, no relation to the former WWWF tag team champion who took the name in the 70s) that his first match under that name was with Koenig and the two hadn't seen each other in years. (thanks to Mike Lano)
--CWE third year anniversary show from Friday night in Winnipeg: Carter Mason b Tommy Lee Curtis, Rick Matthews & J.J.Sanchez b Tyler Colton & B. Brian Rich, Bubble McFly b Ike Idol, Zack Mercury & The Axe b Nate Hardy & Darian Karisma, Mike Mission & Cliff Corleone b Spyder & Darren Dalton, Moses Luke b Paul Arcidi, Matt Fairline b Val Venis, Robby Royce & Anderson Tyson Moore b A.J. Sanchez & Kevy Chevy , Dany Duggan b Mentallo to win the CWE title. Next show is in Winnipeg at Cowboy's Roadhouse on 3/8 with Tommy Dreamer and Vance Nevada..
--A rematch of the great Evolve match between Sami Callihan and Fit Finlay was announced as a first round match in the 16 carat gold tournament in Oberhausen, Germany on 3/2.
--Wrestlezone Scotland from 1/28 in Aberdeen, Scotland before 150 fans: Davey Annan b Blue Thunder, Johnny Lions won four-way over Shawn Johnson, James Midas & Benjamin Steele, Crusher Craib & Sterling Oil b Zach Dynamite & Los Cystos, Scotty Swift b Mr. Malice, Aspen Faith b Chris Archer, Bryan Tucker b Damien
--Pro Wrestling Xtreme from last night in Orlando: Lince Dorado b Milo Beasley & Rocky Santiago, Christina Von Eerie b Santana Garett, Hegasus b Michael Ziak, Chasyn Rance b Chico Adams, Vordell Walker b 2 Cold Scorpio, Steve Corino b Sam Shaw, Masked Maniac & Maximum Capacity b Blue Weenie & Lizard Schlong, Jillian Hall b Leva Bates, The Sheik DDQ Jesse Neal, New Jack b Reggie Brown, Latin Assassins b Circle of Disrespect, Steve Corino b Vordell Walker to win PWX heavyweight title (thanks to Al Haft)