Thursday, 08 September 2011 14:42
*Pope & Devon vs. Douglas Williams & Magnus for a tag title shot on Sunday's PPV
*Eric Young vs. Robbie E for the TV title
*Mickie James & Velvet Sky vs. Angelina Love & Winter
*Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson for the TNA title
Jeff Hardy returns for an interview in the final segment of the show.
Mason Ryan vs. JTG
Percy Watson & Titus O'Neil vs. Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks
Alicia Fox vs. Tamina
Brodus Clay vs. another man whose name is not available
The return of Brock Lesnar, the story behind the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos fight getting on FOX, more on the first two UFC shows on FOX and thoughts on the two big heavyweight fights is one of our lead stories in this week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
We look at the 12/30 date, Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem as a match, marketing of the fight and will UFC have its first hair vs. hair match.
We also have the summer WWE & TNA business charts, so you can see what is up, what is down, and some people may be surprised at the one aspect of business that is up, and more on how television ratings don't seem to have much correlation to business. We look at live attendance, TV ratings and PPV numbers for the last few months, what it all means, as well as television viewership of the various shows throughout 2011.
The issue is available today on the site. If you can't find them on the front page, you can always access the latest issues of the Observer on the front page by clicking on the Archives tab at the top. 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 look at a letter sent by the Culinary Workers union in Las Vegas to the Federal Trade Commission and their complaints regarding the business practices of UFC. We look at the items they bring up on a case-by-case basis.
We also have another in our series on this year's candidates for the Hall of Fame, with a look at the biggest drawing cards on this year's ballot. We also have a lot of notes on Edge, Sgt. Slaughter, Atlantis and others.
We also look at Rock at Survivor Series, the future of the Sin Cara character, lineup for Night of Champions, notes on Hell in a Cell matches, more on Santino Marella's auto accident, WWE injury updates, return to TV talked about for two legends, mystery G.M., the Divas take their feud seriously, and who is holding up the induction into WWE Hall of Fame of one of the greatest omissions.
We also update Gail Kim, JBL's potential to return, new WWE signee, Mick Foley's return, Edge talks about life after leaving wrestling and what question he's getting frustrated about being asked.
We also look at business numbers from the past week as well as details from all the major league house shows. We also have SummerSlam numbers.
We also look at the proposed return to wrestling of Bill Goldberg, as well as news regarding Batista and Chris Jericho, and proposals to run a bigger stadium show than WrestleMania.
We also have more on the career of Little Tokyo, the top midget star of the 70s and 80s.
We also have tons more on Matt Hardy and Kurt Angle's last week. We look at Angle's most recent arrest, his past arrests, his unique behavior as well as the writer and director of "Warrior" talks about Kurt Angle getting the role in the movie.
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:
--First week of CMLL's Champion of Champions tournament yields bad news
--CMLL honors one of its longest lasting wrestlers
--Atlantis vs. Ultimo Guerrero feud heats up
--Tragedy strikes a wrestler in AAA
--A look at Dragon Gate's upcoming weekend
--New Prime Minister of Japan and background as a fan as a wrestler
--Another wrestler looking at running for major political office
--Legends, freaks and fighters from other sports do major pro wrestling event this past week
--Major international star coming to U.S. promotion
--Another pro wrestler tests out MMA
--Another promotion claims they are doing PPV
--More on the Terri Runnels/New Jack court fight
--More on the arrest of Daffney
--More on death of Bill Kunkel
--Whatever happened to Steve Beverly
--Two former WWE female stars, one wants back in, the other has a major mishap
--A book on ESPN talks about the decision to get AWA wrestling
--Complete card for TNA No Surrender
--More on Styles vs Daniels program
--Bound for Glory series notes
--Ric Flair talks heath
--Former star hints returning to TNA
--More on the business of UFC 134 and UFC's PPV business this year
--A look at Anderson Silva as a draw
--Lots of injuries and new fights in UFC
--Olympic silver medalist debuts for Zuffa this week
--Notes on UFC's return to Japan
--Notes on Bellator's new season
--Fedor's proposed next fight
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.
--A few more notes regarding Jeff Hardy. With three felonies on his record, there may be countries that won't allow him in or to get a working visa, the key being Canada, where TNA does some shows and WWE does a lot of shows. This is not to say WWE would never hire him, but they've been pretty strict regarding hiring people with felony backgrounds. You can point to R-Truth and Booker T on the current roster, but R-Truth was nearly 20 years ago and Booker was closer to 25 years ago. There have been guys in the past they were considering hiring and nixed the idea because of felonies in their background, but they were not stars of the level of Hardy.
--Regarding Kurt Angle, as noted on this morning's radio show, the 0.091 blood alcohol test done at the scene on Saturday night would not be admissible in court. However, his failing a number of field sobriety tests is a different issue, and even if he was under the allowable limit, a combination of alcohol and prescription medication can still lead to a conviction for a DUI even if the BAC is less than 0.08.
--B.J. Penn said that Dana White made him an offer he can't refuse, without saying who that offer was with, for a new fight on 10/29 since Carlos Condit has been moved to the main event against GSP on that show.
--Jon Fitch wrote that he's willing to fight Penn. White said he's not being considered. Penn said that Fitch isn't even medically cleared so why is he saying that? Penn wrote in response: "If your not ready to fight shut your ***ing mouth. Dana said your not cleared till December. Quit wasting everybody's time."
--A story on Kyoko Hamaguchi, going for her third Olympic medal in 2012 (the first time I saw her wrestle live was 17 years ago on a pro wrestling show at the Tokyo Dome, and that's a long time for someone to still be competing at that level) is at http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201109070260.html Hamaguchi is well known in the pro wrestling world because her father was a legendary pro wrestler, Animal Hamaguchi.
--We have a ton of new stuff up today, including the new Observer, an update on Jeff Hardy, an interview with Mick Foley later today, and Todd Martin talks about why Nick Diaz should not have been removed from the main event. We also have shows on Saturday night, Sunday night and Monday night coming up. Unless somebody else does something stupid, and then we may be back tomorrow.
--C.M. Punk was on stage Tuesday night with H20, a New York Hard Core band that was opening in Las Vegas for Rancid at http://wwwyoutu.be/AY4DB2K1SqU Another twist is that Rancid's singer/guitar player Lars Fredriksen has done wrestling announcing on the San Francisco indie scene.
--I've got a story on the movie "Warrior" up today at www.yahoo.com in the UFC section of the sports. I'll also have a story on Luke Rockhold, who faces Jacare Souza for the Strikeforce middleweight title on Saturday night.
--Todd Martin has a story on King Mo at www.sherdog.com/
--Cesar Gracie talks about Nick Diaz at http://fcfighter.com/post/cesar-gracie-says-ufc-prez-dana-white-should-ha ve-fined-nick-diaz-not-cut-him
--People magazine reported that the George Clooney/Stacy Keibler romance is still going on.
--On Saturday, the BAMMA show from Birmingham, England will air free on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bammauk starting at 2:15 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday. The show airs live in the U.K. on Syfy and in Canada on The Fight Network starting at 9 p.m. in the U.K. and 4 p.m. Eastern in Canada and the U.S. It will also air in the U.S. if you have Hulu starting on 9/12. Stephan Quadros and Malcom Martin will be the announcers.
--King Mo said that if he beats Roger Gracie on Saturday night on the Strikeforce show in Cincinnati and isn't getting a shot at Dan Henderson for the Strikeforce light heavyweight title, that it then becomes a meaningless title. "It means nothing at all. Nothing."
--Dragon Gate USA will be doing two iPPVs this weekend. Not only is the Chicago show on iPPV, but the Milwaukee show on Sunday has just been made an iPPV airing at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, which features a unification with the U.S. based Open the United Gate tag titles held by Pac & Masato Yoshino against the Japanese Open the Twin Gate belts held by Cima & Ricochet.
--Should Dana White cut Nick Diaz?
--Why do you believe Nick Diaz missed the press conference?
No reason that makes sense 57.2%
He watched GSP tapes 15.4%
He knew there was no hope 10.9%
His dog ate his watch 9.8%
His car broke down as he was sneaking out of Cesar Gracie's house 5.3%
His watch broke 1.4%
--Which burned more money
WCW never putting Hogan vs. Goldberg on PPV? 36.9%
Vince hugging Eric Bischoff 28.5%
Diaz burned less money, but a higher percentage of what he'll make over his lifetime 27.6%'
The brain of Nick Diaz 7.0%
--Kurt Angle in an interview today promoting "Warrior" said he signed a three-year contract today with TNA.
--C.M. Punk was nominated for best the best villain on TV in the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in Australia. Uh, forget it.
--Inside Out starts tomorrow night at these fine theaters:
Arizona Mills in Tempe, AZ
Harkins Northfield 18 in Denver
Chino Hills 18 in Chino Hills, CA
Regal Palace 18 in Miami
Channelside Cinemas Studio 9 & IMAX in Tampa
Mall of America 14 in Bloomington, MN
Crownpoint Stadium 12 in Charlotte
Quad Cinemas 4 in New York
Shakier Square Cinemas in Shaker Heights, OH
Southlake Town Square 14 in Southlake, TX
--Wrestling Revolution Project today announced Michael Oberegger, aka Psycho Mike Rollins, as the newest member of the promotion.
--ECWA on 9/24 in Newark, DE has the company's 44th anniversary show headlined by Papadon vs. Tommaso Ciampa for the ECWA title. Becky Bayless, the former Cookie, has been added to the show.
--Chuck Langerman's daily trivia. Former pro wrestling and current boxing ring announcer Michael Buffer (half brother of Bruce Buffer of UFC fame) was raised by foster parents and went to Abington High School outside of Philadelphia. Buffer sold cars and was a male model before starting as a ring announcer. He graduated high school in 1964. In his senior year, the Abington High baseball team won their league championship beating Cheltenham High School, beating the team's star pitcher Reggie Jackson, 3-1. Jackson struck out 16 but walked 14 in that game. He walked 14 and only gave up three runs?
--Johnny Gargano video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huvnl92b7rs Good stuff here
--River City Wrestling on 10/1 in San Antonio at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.
--UWC TV at http://www.youtube.com/UWCWrestlingVideos
--Go Fight Live this weekend has iPPVs with Ring of Combat 37 on Friday night at 8:30 p.m., Lucha Libre International free on Wednesday night at 9 p.m.
--WBC World Championship Muay Thai on 11/19 in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock.
--Combat Zone Wrestling on Saturday night at the Arena in Philadelphia headlined by Ryuji Ito vs. Masada.
--Steeltown Pro Wrestling on 9/18 in Winnipeg at the Royal Canadian Legion.
--Colt Cabana talks with Cliff Compton about his crazy experiences wrestling in Nigeria, and I do mean crazy, as he was there for both a bombing and then later held hostage at the hotel at http://www.welovecolt.com
--Jerry Lawler talks Andy Kaufman and Dory Funk Jr. at http://www.ocala.com/