Probably the most detailed look at every aspect of WWE business, in particular WrestleMania, the movie business, the house show business, the future of WWE television and a lot of comments by Vince McMahon regarding the current and future state of the company is in the lead stories of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The story look at plans for a WWE network, Vince McMahon talks about UFC vs. WWE, meeting with Dana White, why such a relationship could never work, future of different WWE shows, plans for far more television in the fall and how that would work out, more on a third hour of Raw each week as well as the lessons of WCW. We also look at financial reasons for adding shows, a look at how much money, profits and expenses are in a WrestleMania and comparing the numbers for the last several years. We also look at the value of Dwayne Johnson to this year's show, money spent on production and merchandise, bigger payoffs and Johnson's statement regarding C.M. Punk.
We also look at predictions for next year's Mania, future of The Rock in WWE, why booking Rock vs. Cena is tricky as well as the unique situation Cena is in and the pros and cons of a heel turn.
We also look at the Money in the Bank number that was originally announced and what that says about the current product and lessons to be learned from it going forward.
We look at the positives and negatives of doing the first Cena vs. Punk match the night they did it and timing it the way they did.
We look at the three aspects of the WWE business that were in the greatest decline, and the two aspects losing money and their futures.
We also look at the future of the movie business, and what appear to be the real sale levels of the DVDs.
The issue will be on the site today for web site subscribers. You can get a mail subscription to the Observer with information below. The Observer has the most detailed coverage of pro wrestling around the world, as well as insider UFC coverage not available anywhere else. We have about 14 new newsletters each month, usually six Observers, four or five Figure Four Weeklies and four or five back issues of the Observer each week.
We also have the quarterly report breaking down every category, what is up, down and the hidden facts that aren't as obvious in comparisons. We look at the company's current mentality regarding the changing of the price structure for house shows, the profit margin so far this year, the dividend so far this year, and what Vince McMahon has earned from his dividends so far this year.
We also breakdown where WWE makes its money, look at house show revenue, chart all the PPV shows this year and compare them with the previous two years, a look at just how important WrestleMania really is, what show did surprisingly well, how TV rights are doing, how merchandise is doing, Classics on Demand, Home video, video games, toys and the web site.
We also have coverage of both UFC 133 and TNA Hardcore Justice. We have poll results from both shows. We have match-by-match rundowns for both shows and star ratings for the TNA show. We look at angles going forward on both shows, as well as preliminary business numbers for UFC 133 and the hidden number. We look at where the winners and losers go next, why Dennis Hallman wore what he wore, Dana White's reaction, injuries in the show, and Matt Hamill's retirement.
We also look at the WWE departures over the past week, who, how and why, as well as the names cut in developmental. We also look at Gail Kim's quitting the company, John Morrison talks about Melina being cut, Chris Masters and Gail Kim talk about leaving and who Japan is interested in and who TNA may be interested in.
We also look at Linda McMahon's future, the future of Sin Cara both the character and the original person playing the character, more on Rey Mysterio and Dolph Ziggler's injuries, more on SummerSlam, C.M. Punk rips The Rock, Steve Austin talks wrestling again, Raw in Canada, WWE titles that changed via DQ, Mystery GM angle, Edge talks when he would have retried if he wasn't hurt and Hall of Fame.
We also look at a former World champion who has expressed an interest in working for WWE again, an update on WWE time delayed television viewership, several new people being signed, as well as business notes from the past week and highlights of the house shows.
We also look at the lineup for a show in a few weeks that will be among the biggest pro wrestling events in many years, featuring three major promotions all working together for the first time in years.
We also have our usual weekly features including ratings for all the major national shows, broken down the segment-by-segment for both Raw and Impact, showing which segments gained and lost viewers and evaluated their performance from an audience level.
We also have results from all the major league pro wrestling and MMA events over the past week, as well as reviews of all the major television shows.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
Also in this week's issue:
--Update on Arena Mexico
--How far one of the biggest draws of the past quarter century has fallen
--Dragon Gate's tag team tournament
--A new idea for a gimmick match that takes place this week
--Kenta Kobashi's second and third matches back
--Complete G-1 tournament rundown
--A look at the death of James Haase aka J.T. Lightning
--Hulk Hogan talks Randy Savage
--Hogan talks about a comeback match
--Brooke Hogan nude unveiled
--Mickie James fund raising for her next record
--Update on Hardys and Ric Flair
--Update on TNA's No Surrender
--TNA star gets $10,000 bonus in another line of work
--Generation Me explain why they left TNA
--New TNA signing
--Update on Bound for Glory series
--Behind the Fedor Emelianenko cut
--Future of Dan Henderson and why it's so important
--Health concern for fighters
--The UFC TV deal for next year
--Upcoming Strikeforce schedule for rest of the year
--Change in Strikeforce TV
--Two MMA shows this week from Zuffa
--Notes on the new season of Ultimate Fighter
--Update on the UFC New Year's show
--What happened to Brittney Palmer at the last PPV?
--GSP vs. Diaz promotion
--Bisping lashes out at cheaters
--What Zuffa star is thinking WWE in his future
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
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.
--The Biography Channel will be airing a repeat of the 90s "Exposed: Pro Wrestling's Greatest Secrets" tonight at 10 p.m. Hopefully we can learn more about stunt grannies and the promotions handing out signs to the fans. (thanks to Ryan Ebelhar)
--Versus announced on Sunday they will air a one hour live pregame show from Milwaukee with Craig Hummer, Ariel Helwaani and Stephan Bonnar. Not sure why they don't just show an hour of undercard matches because you hear the matches going on in the background for an hour, and you don't need an hour pregame. Versus will also be doing a 30 minute post game show.
--Terry Yorkston, a wrestler and referee out of Hamilton, ONT, passed away on Sunday at the age of 78. There is an obit at http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2011/08/10/pf-18534081.html
--We will update this with more news in a few hours.
--UFC tickets for the 10/1 show in Washington, DC, headlined by Dominick Cruz vs. Demetrious Johnson go on sale today for fight club members. Newsletter pre sale is tomorrow at 10 a.m. Eastern with the code word BANTAM and tickets go on sale Friday to the public.
--Howard Stern was talking Stacy Keibler yesterday, mostly negative, wondering when George Clooney would dump her. Stern said that Clooney has women on deck ready to go when he gets tired of one. Stern said that Keibler has an incredible ass, a great body, very pretty and is nice and captivating. (thanks to Jeff Cohen)
--Xtreme Knockout TV taping on 9/3 at The Gym in Arlington, TX. The promotion has weekly television on Saturday night's at 11 p.m. on Ch. 21 in the Dallas market.
--Empire Wrestling Federation on Friday night in Covina, CA at the Knights of Columbus Hall with Ryan Taylor vs. Johnny Starr with Shaun Riker as referee. They are also doing a free show on 8/27 at 2 p.m at Court Street Square in downtown San Bernardino.
--Pro Wrestling Blitz from Saturday night in Joliet, IL: Willie Da Bomb won four-way, Ryan Slade over Egotistico Fantastico and Hardcore Craig, Jimmy Rockwell b Gilbert Lewis, Traci Brooks & December b Melanie Cruise & Taylor Made, Justin Dredd b Tony Rican, Masaru b Tokyo Twin Mi, Dysfunction & Machine b Brandon Blaze & Mark Horning, Kip & B.G. James b Matty Starr & Zach Thompson (thanks to Steve Stone)
--Chuck Langerman's latest trivia. Chris Pallies of Washington Township High School in South New Jersey was the Region 8 heavyweight champion in 1973 and 1974. Pallies, who later became King Kong Bundy, was a classmate in high school of Linda Fiorentino and Mike Rossman. Fiorentino was the female lead in "Vision Quest," a movie about wrestling. Rossman in 1978 won the world lightweight boxing title from Victor Galindez.
--And more. The late Andrew "Test" Martin of Henry Street High School in Whitby, ONT, the same school as Eric Lindros and Joe Neiuwendyk. Lindros and Martin attended school together (thanks to Dave Musgrave)
--All Pro Wrestling from Saturday night in Hayward: Sheik Khan Abadi b Levi Shapiro Shane West & Mickey Jay b Omega & Corvus, Damien Grundy b Brian Tyler, Dylan Drake b Damien Grundy-DQ, A.J. Kirsch (Tough Enough) b Billy Blade, Timothy Thatcher b Blackwell, Will Rood b Dave Dutra-DQ, Matt Carlos vs. Shane West vs. Mikey Jay was a draw, Dalton Frost & Jody Kristofferson DCOR Dareveko Brothers, Rik Luxury b Mr. Wrestling IV, Timothy Thatcher b Jeckles
--World of Hurt is doing a TV taping featuring Roddy Piper on 8/18 in Calgary at the Acadia Rec Complex. Piper is the new coach of the show as they are taping the second season.
--The Wrestling is a live show on Monday at the Pleasance Courtyard in Edinburgh at the Fringe Festival. Name wrestlers including Mark Haskins of TNA and Pac of Dragon Gate are scheduled on the show.
--Pro Wrestling Xtreme Holiday Hell no 10/8 in Orlando at the National Guard Armory.
--The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame will honor Angelo Savoldi, who with the deaths in recent years of Abe Coleman and Jack LaLanne, would be the world's oldest living pro wrestler as best we can tell. It will take place on 10/1 at the Radisson Hotel in Carteret, NJ. Among those appearing will be Bob Backlund, Tito Santana, J.J. Dillon, Davey O'Hannon, Domenic Denucci, Johnny Rodz, Doink the Clown, Manny Soto, Larry Sharpe, Dick Woehrle, Billy Caputo, Cousin Like and more. For more info you can call 732-283-0487.
--Insanity Pro Wrestling on 8/20 in Indianapolis at the Fountain Square Salvation Army Community Center with Sami Callihan vs. Davey Richards and Irish Airborne vs. Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly, plus Billy Roc vs Ricochet and Ivelisse Velez from Tough Enough.
--Time Warner on Demand has a 30 minute SummerSlam preview with Steve Austin vs. Undertaker, Undertaker vs. Edge, Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon and John Cena vs. Randy Orton. (thanks to Suju Abraham)
--PWO iPPV from Sunday in Cleveland before 2,200 fans: Dan Arkham b Will Esquire, Jason Gory b Michael Facade and Bobby Beverly, Ben Fruith b Bobby Shields, Portia Perez b Veda Scott, Krist b Corey Winters, Matt Cross over Johnny Gargano and Josh Prohibition, N8 Mattson & Benjamin Boone over Louis Lyndon & Flip Kendrick, Gregory Iron & Hobo Joe and Brian Bender & Bryan Castle, Tito Santana b Nickie Valentino, Jason Bane b Krimson, Kevin Nash & Aaron Draven b Mario Fontaine & Brodie Lee