TUESDAY UPDATE: More from Raw, Jesse Sorensen, post-Elimination Chamber angles, Smackdown to Japan, Carano new movie, Mark Henry into Hall of Fame, tons more



By Bryan Alvarez | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Lead: Tonight's tapings, UFC On Fuel tomorrow

- We're looking for your thoughts on Sunday night's Against All Odds PPV, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

- We're looking for reports from tonight's Smackdown tapings in Fresno and Impact tapings in Orlando, and Sunday's WWE Smackdown house show in Bakersfield.

- UFC on Fuel takes place Wednesday from Omaha, NE. The telecast on Fuel will include a one hour pregame show at 7 p.m., live fights from 8-11 p.m. and a one hour post-game show at 11 p.m.

Prelims on Facebook at about 5 p.m. Eastern:

- Bernardo Magalhaes vs. Tim Means
- Anton Kuivanen vs. Justin Salas
- Freebird Buddy Roberts vs. Sean Loeffler
- Vagner Rocha vs. Jonathan Brookins

Live on Fuel at 8 p.m. Eastern:

- John "Prince" Albert vs. Ivan Menjivar
- T..J. Dillashaw vs. Walel Watson
- Stipe Miocic vs. Philip DeFries
- Ronny Markes vs. Aaron Simpson
- Dave Herman vs. Stefan Struve
- Jake Ellenberger vs. Diego Sanchez

This Week's Observer: Awards Issue

A note that if you order a new print or web site subscription to the Observer this week, you will get one of our biggest issues of the year, the 2011 awards double issue.

A look at WWE & TNA business from August to the present with monthly business charts, looking at attendance, ratings and PPV for those months is the lead item in this week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We also have a look at the total audience watching Raw, Smackdown and Impact over the past three years with the ups and downs by months and notes on the direction of all three shows including current perception that may be misleading.  We look at what categories are doing fine and what are struggling, as well as look at the difference between ratings and viewers, Smackdown on Syfy vs. Smackdown on MyNetwork, what Vince McMahon said about the switch at the time and what has come to fruition after the change was made.

We also look at the Monday Night Wars of 2010 as well as interesting notes on TNA in 2009 vs. TNA in 2010 and 2011.

We look at how WWE attendance has varied over the past 20 years, including what period really was the dark ages for WWE and where things stand historically right now.

We also have a look at the aftermath of Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz.  We look at the fight, the judging of the fight, the booking after the fight and all the confusion.  We look at the stats and the judges scorecards, as well as notes on the other controversial decisions at UFC 143.

We also look at if the business was positive or negative on the show.  We also look at the PPV buying patterns, Fabricio Werdum, the future of Ryo Nelson, the luck of Josh Koscheck as well as match by match coverage, how much everyone earned on the show.

We also have an update on the Japanese wrestling scene, with updates on New Japan under new ownership, the struggles of Pro Wrestling NOAH and the state of women's pro wrestling in Japan.

We look at what new New Japan owner Takaaki Kidami talked about regarding the future of the promotion, what will stay the same and what they are looking a changing, as well as how viable these things are today, including new audiences being looked at reaching and the television situation.  We also look at the international opportunities if they even exist.

Kidami also look at what part of the wrestling year he most looked forward to growing up, how he wants to bring that back to Japan, and what the problems are with the current realities of the business in doing so.

We also look at problems with Pro Wrestling NOAH and a shady situation that has gotten some publicity, as well as what has happened with women's wrestling in Japan and the state of it today.

We also look at plans for another supercard in Japan, with All Japan, New Japan, NOAH as well as top wrestlers who are both independents and from other companies all getting together for a show in just two weeks.  We look at the lineup of All Together Now II.

We also look back at the career of Mexican headliner MS 1, a major star in the 80s and 90s who passed away a few weeks ago in an auto accident.

We look at the start of his career, the creation of the national trios title and world trios title belts and the history of Los Infernales one of the best known trios of their era.  We look at his feuds and teaming with the other members of the group and many of the biggest matches and programs of his career.

We also look at Dwayne Johnson movie projects, how his next movie hasn't even opened in the U.S. and it's already a hit, talk about a political career, Hulk Hogan's ten best drawing opponents of his career, John Laurinaitis storyline, ratings for Undertaker's brief return, C.M. Punk talks DVD, John Morrison talks leaving WWE, more on Legends House and why it won't be on where you think it will at this point, changes in cable TV, WWE Hall of Fame update, a look at the career of Ron Simmons, Several new WWE signings and cuts, WWE responds to press attacks and what is and isn't fair, WWE injury updates, Miz being yelled at after Raw this week, match edited off television after it was taped, the hard travel schedule for the Raw crew, Miz in a movie, developmental notes, plus weekend business news and highlights from all the weekend house shows.

About The Observer

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 the most complete look at the business as a whole anywhere.  The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling industry as well as the MMA industry, from bookers, to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest current names, both on camera, and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and 30 countries subscribe. 

Many have subscribed as long as 20 years or more straight. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world and an accuracy from having the most inside sources that can't be found on 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 the business.

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. Just send your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order by faxing that information to 408-244-3402. You can also subscribe via paypal at www.paypal.com and using the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address or subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card, by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.

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 reviews.   

More On This Week's Observer

--CMLL sets time for its first major show of the year

--CMLL new international television deal

--Latest from Arena Mexico

--Notes from the last AAA taping

--A first time ever match between two of the best wrestlers in the world set for Mania weekend in Florida

--Notes on a big All Japan show and how it sets up the first Sumo Hall show of 2012 plus the main events for that show, which may do very well

--Lots of former WWE stars get together for an overseas event, how did it do, and details on the show

--Dave Bautista gets a role in a major movie

--The possible final public appearance in conjunction with pro wrestling outside of the Pittsburgh area for Bruno Sammartino

--Anniversary of the death of one of the biggest stars of the early 80s

--Update on Matt Hardy legal issues

--Remake of a well received DVD documentary

--Sons of former WWE star playing college football

--Notes on the Lou Thesz Hall of Fame ceremony for 2012

--Legend recovering from ankle replacement surgery

--Details on ROH TV tapings as well as the big matches for the next three iPPV shows

--Sting's injury update

--Why Impact ratings are likely to go down in 2012

--Notes on Ring Ka King ratings

--Notes on the television shows and native talent

--Notes on weekend TNA house shows

--Lots of UFC business notes

--Update on many upcoming UFC shows including the next show on FOX and plans for the show after that no FOX

--Why the next show on FOX has concerns

--A look at some of the major fights on the agendas for the next few months

--Dan Henderson talks his short-term future

--Update on B.J. Penn

--Another UFC show where the main event falls out

--Lots of new UFC matches

--The UFC's twitter bonuses

--Injury issues at Team AKA

--Notes on the next Strikeforce show

--UFC cut

--Notes on the next live UFC event and how UFC may beat the next UFC's live event head-to-head, and in fact, it would be expected to happen

--Brother of UFC star listed as one of the top prospects in the upcoming NFL draft

--Chael Sonnen and his weight

--Jon Jones and moving to heavyweight

--Bellator's welterweight tournament

--Rulon Gardner's attempt to make the 2012 Olympic team and his weight issues

The Most Popular Observers Of All Time

New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories 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
history)

*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 Hogan)

*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 Strangler Lewis)

*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.

Rates are:

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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 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 52 .

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.

Tuesday's News & Links


-- TNA's official statement on Jesse Sorensen: "Jesse Sorensen has sustained a C1 vertebrae fracture with spinal cord edema. He is slowly regaining feeling and movement in his arms and legs. He wants to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Once we speak to the neurosurgeon, we will pass on more details."

-- Many new angles are set to kick off after Elimination Chamber next week.

-- The Smackdown brand is apparently heading to Japan on August 9th and 10th for the first time in three years.

-- The Hollywood Reporter has a story about Gina Carano signing on for her second film In the Blood, directed by John Stockwell of Into the Blue and Blue Crush. She won't be in the cage again for a long, long time, if ever.

-- Mark Henry is set to be inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame. Randy Couture and Jack Lalanne are also going in this year.

-- Post-Elimination Chamber house show lineups list CM Punk as WWE Champion. Quite frankly, this means nothing.

-- Next week's live Smackdown is also looking to be a Supershow, meaning Raw stars will be there as well. For sure, CM Punk is listed as appearing.

-- From Joey Styles on Twitter: "Even on crutches and in a back and neck brace, @ZackRyder gets to the ring faster than The Great Khali. LOL"

-- Jay Glazer and Brian Stann will be doing commentary for UFC on FUEL tomorrow with Ariel Helwani doing backstage interviews.

-- ESPN video interview with the Rock.

-- New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs talks pro wrestling, his trip to Impact last night (he shot angles), and more. Apparently he did a great job. Here's another story on Jacobs from the New York Times.

-- Rey Mysterio, still recovering from his most recent knee surgery, was backstage at Raw last night.

-- Besides "Poor Zack", we're told also trending on Twitter today was "Eve is a slut". Poor Eve.

-- Alistair Overeem has signed with Authentic Sports Management and is now a Blackzilian.

-- Smackdown on Friday did a 2.17 rating and 3,261,000 viewers.

-- WWE added April 10th as another live Smackdown. Show airs from Hampton, VA.

-- Stevie J of angrymarks.com has interviews with Dave 'Pee Wee' Herman and Jake Ellenberger.

-- If anyone is looking for one, Justin ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )has a WWE Hall of Fame ticket available.

-- From ROH: If that special someone in your life is fan of true professional wrestling, you can show them how much you care with something special from the ROH Store! And we are making it that much easier for you to get that wrestling fan in your life something with a special sale running thru midnight Wednesday! Starting at 8 AM Tuesday morning, everyone can save 35% off all Ladies T-Shirts in the ROH Store, save 10% off all Combo Packs including the new WGTT Pack, and knock 20% off all ROH DVDs from 2009 & 2010! And if you’re a Ringside Member, you can save an additional 15% off those sale prices! That means 50% off Ladies T’s, 25% off Combo Packs, and 35% off those 2009-2010 ROH DVDs!!! All you have to do is click here to sign up and find out about all the benefits from Ringside Membership!

-- Should Nick Diaz be brought back when his suspension is up?
Yes 58.2%
No 41.8%

--Who is the best TV announcer?
Jim Ross 49.7%
Joe Rogan 18.7%
William Regal 10.0%
Booker T 6.2%
Kevin Kelly 3.8%
Mike Goldberg 3.0%
Mike Tenay 2.4%
Michael Schiavello 2.1%
Scott Stanford 1.7%
Nigel McGuinness 1.7%
Jimmy Smith 0.4%
Josh Matthews 0.4%

--Does TNA need to move PPVs out of Orlando?
Yes 52.9%
They should but they can't afford to do so 44.8%
No 2.3%

-- From the promoter: Live pro wrestling returns to Parramatta RSL for a 2 hour wrestling extravaganza on Friday 17 February, as over 30 wrestlers pay tribute to their fallen friend, and put on a great night of all ages entertainment for fans, friends and family. A Night To Remember will feature special tributes as we remember the life of our late referee and friend OJ Fitzpatrick. AWF hopes by donations raised at the show, we can help further assist the Fitzpatrick family with some monetary contributions to help pay for outstanding debts as a result of Owen’s untimely passing.

-- Here's a video look at this year's ECWA Super 8 show.

-- Next two big Chikara events:

"A Death Worse Than Fate"
February 25, 2012
Saturday night at The Goodwill Beneficial Assoc.!
100 Madison Avenue in the Hyde Park part of Reading, PA
Doors at 6:30 pm, Belltime is 7:00 pm!
Tickets on sale now!

"Caught in the Spider's Den"
February 26, 2012
Sunday afternoon at the NYWC Sportatorium!
435-15 Brook Avenue in Long Island, NY
Doors at 3:30 pm, Belltime is 4:00 pm!

If you do get WWE network, besides PPVs, what are you most interested in?

 

If you have stopped subscribing to WWE network, why?

 

What was the best TV show of the week?