County Music Television (CMT) has wrestling themed programming tonight with a wrestling-based movie called "To The Mat" starring Ricky Schroder who plays a former wrestler trying to keep his wrestling school going, and at 10 p.m. there is an episode of "Made" based on Matt Morgan training someone to be a pro wrestler.
We've got the most detailed look and analysis of the UFC deal with FOX and how it affects the landscape of pro wrestling and MMA as the lead story in our two issues of the Wrestling Observer that come out this week. We also have full coverage of SummerSlam, UFC on Versus, Alberto Del Rio, plus the G-1 tournament, the death of Shawn Tompkins and even more on WWE business.
The first issue is already up on the web site and the second will be up tomorrow. 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 look at the UFC deal with FOX, how it happened, how the price compares with other products, notes on the long-term nature of the deal. We look at what this means for PPV business, what to look out for, what fighters become more valuable with the nature of this deal, the positives and negatives, the history of UFC on Spike, how important television truly is when you are doing a PPV business, why the timing of this deal was great and how UFC got to greatly increase its TV revenue at the same time its audience is declining.
We also look at how this affects TNA, Bellator and the amazing revenue comparison from television when you compare UFC with WWE.
We look at the history of Alberto Del Rio, his background, how he changed everything about himself to become a star, business notes on SummerSlam, ribs, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results for the show.
We also look at how the UFC show affects Chris Lytle, Ben Henderson, Dan Hardy and Jim Miller, both good and bad records Lytle has, what saved Hardy's job, who are the viable lightweight contenders and comparing them, plus who do people want to see get the next show. We also look at business notes on the show and match-by-match rundowns.
We also look at WWE's profitability by sector. We look in depth at the money made at WrestleMania, where it came from and what was spent as well. We also look at where WWE profits most, where they've slashed spending, the problems in the magazine and movie division, and what divisions are declining but still making more money. We also look at how much WWE spends to do a PPV and a TV taping.
We also look at the career of Shawn Tompkins.
We also look at Bill Goldberg's next match, Paul Orndorff's battle with cancer, death of former boxer and AWA wrestler Scott LeDoux, as well as Goldberg vs. Crimson.
We also look at early returns of Hardcore Justice, the TNA U.K. tour, Linda Hogan talks Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan's 1993 WWF departure, TNA makes more cuts and notes from the weekend TNA house shows.
We also look more at the UFC/Golden Glory issues, the future of Alistair Overeem, future of Brock Lesnar, lots more UFC and Strikeforce fights and a look at the last Challengers show.
We've also got more on a WWE executive being let go, Linda McMahon's future, Edge talks about his plans, Daniel Bryan talks why he became a vegan, vegan MMA fighters, Rey Mysterio update, Mother of former WWE star rips people in the company, Chris Masters talks his departure, what talent is told to tell the press, reaction to someone in for enhancement matches and WWE performer gets stuff stolen/
We've got a huge story on the G-1 Climax tournament, the booking of the finish, where New Japan goes from here, as well as a history of the winners from the past.
We also have more on Heath Slater's situation, what he's being investigated about, what his alleged victim said as well as how WWE is treating the incident.
We also look at a poll of sports fans, how pro wrestling and MMA fared and some amazing stats about pro wrestling that are the exact opposite of what most would seen to think. We also look at the WWE 12 roster and who got left out. We also look at how the economy may change the cable business. We look at how that would affect WWE and UFC, as well as more from the sign police, WWE tryouts and time delayed viewership of Raw.
We also look at the death of Bobby Fields, and his relationship with the most famous family feud in U.S. folklore, and career highlights.
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 issues:
--Press conference announcing heels turning babyface
--World title change in Mexico
--Who have won the CMLL world heavyweight title including some well known Americans
--Foreign Hall of Famer heads to Arena Mexico
--Notes on All Japan's annual junior heavyweight tournament
--Major head-to-head battle in Japan
--Zuffa fighter headlines major pro wrestling event in Tokyo promotional war
--WWE star involved in that wrestling war show
--How the situation with celebrities doing pro wrestling has changed
--Mil Mascaras 40th anniversary of his Japanese debut show announced, including main event and stars involved
--Oldest living wrestler
--New Jack/Terri Runnels lawsuit update
--Devin Nicholson lawsuit update
--Juggalo Championship Wrestling legends show notes featuring some of the biggest stars of the 70s, 80s and 90s
--NWA Legends Convention news
--Update on NWA title belt
--Whatever happened to Pampero Firpo
--Music star opens up a new wrestling promotion
--Former wrestling headliner and celebrity in Canada doing autobiography
--Wrestler arrested as sex offender
--UFC 133 early PPV estimates and what areas did well
--Mauro Ranallo and Dana White talk Fedor
--Future of Cung Le
--Next major Dream show
--Bellator's next show
--One of the most well known names in sports wants to do MMA, and calls out a former Dream headliner
--Jens Pulver on comeback trail
--Kimbo Slice in boxing
--Debut of new promotion with an old name including an NCAA champion former UFC stars
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 FOX Network announced a 1 p.m. Pacific time press conference tomorrow in Los Angeles to say they have "one of the biggest announcements in Fox Sports History." Oh God, they're going to turn Goldberg as well. All the main people from the sports division, and not the entertainment division will be there. While not announced, Dana White got into Los Angeles today with Frankie Edgar, and Rashad Evans and Georges St. Pierre are on the way.
--USA Network was No. 1 in the prime time ratings this past week with a 2.3 average, ahead of Disney at 1.9. Syfy was No. 11 at 1.0, while FX was No. 14 at 0.9. Spike was not in the top 25. Jersey Shore, doing a 5.4, was the highest rated show of the past week on cable. The two hours of Raw were No. 18 and No. 19. Raw did not make top ten in any major demo.
--Some new Dragon Gate USA matches for 9/10 in Chicago have Masato Yoshino vs. Naruki Doi vs. Sami Callihan vs. Chuck Taylor, Johnny Gargano vs. Akira Tozawa and Jon Davis vs. Rich Swann
--Update on the U.K. ratings. Raw on 7/25 did 156,000 viewers live and on 8/1 did 129,000. Smackdown on 7/29 did 128,000 viewers and on 8/5 did 126,000. TNA on 7/26 did 231,000 viewers and on 8/2 did 297,000. The 297,000 was the most viewers ever to see a TNA broadcast in the U.K. As noted, TNA is on a station that is available in tons more homes than Sky, which carries WWE. (thanks to Ian Hamilton)
--UFC 136 tickets went on sale today to Fight Club members. They go on sale to the public on Friday.
--David Lagana and Dutch Mantel talk booking and writing at http://iwantwrestling.com/2011/08/16/formerly-creative-podcast-dutch-mant ell-dirtydutchman1-talks-tna-wwe-pr-and-memphis/
--Everyone tested at the Strikeforce show on Friday in Las Vegas passed their tests. Main eventers Joe Duarte and Jorge Gurgel were tested twice, being surprise tested each three weeks before their fight.
--2004 judo Olympian Rick Hawn has pulled out of the Bellator welterweight tournament that stars on 9/10 due to a knee injury.
--Chuck Liddell announced that he and girlfriend Heidi Northcott were having a baby. Northcott was the former girlfriend and corner person for Jose Canseco when he fought Choi Hong-man.
--There is an article at http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&opt=printable&id-42699 interviewing boxer Monte Barrett, who is a friend of John Cena's about him doing a boxing match with David Tua at WrestleMania. He pitched it to Cena. I can't see this happening. Boxing at a WrestleMania is not a good mix, especially when it's non-celebrity boxers in a serious boxing match. Barrett has talked of leaving boxing for WWE per the advice of Cena.
--Booker T is not fond of Generation Me. He wrote today on twitter, regarding the brothers who had a WWE tryout this past week: "A friend RVD made comment few week back...now I no why, i say a small tag team called the YB's did hay shake my handno! Yes I said SMALL!!" I think in the Booker to English translation, Nick & Matt Massie are small and didn't shake his hand.
--Do you think SummerSlam beat last year's PPV numbers?
The same 25.5%
--Poll on Raw for Monday
10.6% of those responding didn't see the show
--Stacy Keibler has gotten into several U.K. gossip mags including People and Hello! due to her romance with George Clooney (thanks to Brian Henke)
--Eric Darnell Anderson, the Deputy County Counsel of Contra Costa County in Northern California, a former wrestler who was mentioned in yesterday's trivia noted that he had worked as a school teacher at Poly Prep in Brooklyn and came across someone who had a lot of love and knowledge and pro wrestling, who later worked for ECW--Joel Gertner.
--There is a rap song out by Killer Mike, called "Ric Flair," using a lot of Flair promos and he raps in between the promos. This apparently gets a lot of air play (thanks to Troy Doucet)
--More on Mark Fowler, the kickboxer in Australia whose death after a match has gotten a lot of national news at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/kickboxers-death-rocks-community/story-f n6b3v4f-1226116923186
--UFC fighter Anthony Perosh responds to the story and safeness of his sport at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/plenty-of-safety-rules-for-fighters /story-e6freuy9-12261170077097 (thanks to Tim Forge)
--Pro Wrestling World 1 on 8/28 in Jackson, NJ at the Knights of Columbus for a 1 p.m. show headlined by Chris Rockwell vs. Super Sweet and Sam Shields vs. Steve Corino.
--IWA East Coast on 9/20 in Nitro, WV at the Kings Way Center with Sean Waltman, Necro Butcher and Sami Callihan.
--Billy Gunn talks his career at http://www.wrestlingvoice.net/2011/08/interview-with-billy-gunn/
--NYWC on 8/18 in Port Jefferson Station, NY at the Elks Lodge
--UWC Championship Wrestling TV show at http://www.youtube.com/UWCWrestlingVideos
--Shimmer has announced Hiroyo Matsumoto, Neveah, Yumi Ohka and Hailey Hatred for its next set of DVD tapings on 10/1 and 10/2 in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club.
--UK wrestlers Rob Holte and Ross Williams talk Varsity Pro Wrestling at http://tinyurl.com/3mumwqm
--CMLL from Monday night in Puebla before 4,000 fans: Astral & Mascarita Dorada & Ultimo Dragoncito b Nitrito & Pequeno Olimpico & Pequeno Warrior, Brazo de Plata & Maximo & Toscano b Dragon Rojo Jr. & Rey Escorpion & Ultimo Guerrero-DQ, Mascara Dorada b Mephisto to keep CMLL welterweight title
--Last night in Queretaro: Rey Aztlan & Verdugo Blanco b Golden King & Super Gallo, Los Malignos Negros I & II b Dragon de Oriente II & Galaxy, Delta & Guerrero Maya Jr. b Las Drabeks I & II, Mascara Dorada & Sangre Azteca b Felino & Polvora, Mr. Niebla b Ultimo Guerrero-DQ (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Super X Wrestling on Sunday in Puebla: Black Bull b Trash Metal, Radamantis won three-way over Ikaro and Tornado, Eterno & Veneno b Super Nova & Tribal, Fuerza Guerrera & Villano III b Pirata Morgan & Rambo, Mr. Aguila & Kung Fu Jr. & Super Crazy b El Hijo del Fishman & Lizmark Jr. & Histeria
--New Jack and Terri Runnels stuff was carried on Fox Sports at http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/ex-wrestling-couple-fighting-over-ph otos-081611
--Strikeforce announced Lorenz Larkin vs. Virgil Zwicker, Lavar Johnson vs. Shawn Jordan and Ryan Couture vs. Maka Watson as the three headline fights for a 9/23 Challengers show in Las Vegas at The Palms. Tickets go on sale Friday for this event that will air on Showtime to the public. UFC Fight Club members can get tickets starting at 10 a.m. Pacific tomorrow at UFCFightClub.com UFC & Strikeforce newsletter readers can order tickets starting at Noon Pacific tomorrow.