Monday, 12 September 2011 13:22
We're also looking for reports from both Ottawa tonight for Raw, with dark matches, Superstars matches, attendance and anything else not evident from the live show, as well as from tonight's Impact tapings in Orlando, as well as tomorrow night's Smackdown & NXT tapings in Toronto and Impact tapings in Orlando.
There will be a third day of Impact tapings on Wednesday in Orlando.
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.
--Updated notes from TV. Alberto Del Rio was promoting tonight's show on Ottawa radio and talked about having an altercation scheduled with Bret Hart, who is to appear on tonight's show. Randy Orton, Sin Cara, Mark Henry, Christian, Sheamus, Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett from Smackdown were all sent to TV tonight from Moncton, New Brunswick. Ric Flair vs. Sting in their first match since the final episode of Nitro on March 26, 2001, takes place tonight in Orlando for Thursday's show.
--We did get a note from the building in Ottawa that Bret Hart is already there.
--Raw goes against the debut of this season's Monday Night Football. Football has already started hot. Thursday's game was the highest rated regular season game in the 18-49 age group on network TV in 14 years and the highest rated of any show since the Oscars.
--Edge's return was advertised for the Smackdown tapings in Toronto tomorrow night. Locally it's been promoted as a show to honor Edge with Trish Stratus and Bret Hart appearing.
--While not yet announced by Jeff Katz, Luke Gallows is another name on Jeff Katz' Wrestling Revolution Project. Announced today was Chad Allegra, better known as New Japan's Karl Anderson.
--Saturday night's Strikeforce show will be replayed on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. on Showtime.
--Stacy Keibler is all over the news with her relationship with George Clooney. One story is at http://movies.yahoo.com/news/george-clooney-stacy-keibler-public-toronto- 15182768.html?nc and http://wwwnydailynews.com/gossip/2011/09/11/2011-09-11_stacy_keibler_love s_everything_about_boyfriend_george_clooney_couple_step_out_to.html as well as http://www.usmagazine.com/celebritynews/
(thanks to Adam Lebow, Joe Puccio, Jeff Sheridan and many others)
--Mick Foley talks TNA, Beyond the Mat, WWE and more at http://astheworldturnsleft.com/2011/09/mick-foley-qa-tna-beyond-the-mat-a nd-his-little-hardcore-legend/
--Rosa Mendes started on twitter making fun of A.J. and Kaitlyn saying "One rookie looks 12 with a crater face, one looks like she is 40 and the other one looks like she needs to go on Jenny Craig. You know who you are! Lol." Clearly a work in progress. If unauthorized and she did this, she'd be endeavored so fast it wouldn't be funny. She also makes fun of A.J.'s clothes and where she shops.
--Michelle McCool teased a return tomorrow night saying, "Enough laziness, after 4 months off, tomorrow I will once again become FLAWLESS."
--The Huffington Post has a story on Hulk Hogan at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/11/ promoting the new Micro Championship Wrestling TV show on Tru TV. The show debuts on Wednesday night. The story never mentions Hogan works for TNA now.
--Challenge TV has a TNA party in Glasgow, Scotland on 9/28 with Jeremy Borash, Mickie James and Magnus appearing.
--Rafael Feijao said that he broke his forearm in the first round of Saturday night's match with Yoel Romero, that he still came back to win via second round stoppage. He said he was throwing a punch and Romero moved and the forearm hit the hard part of Romero's head.
--Who do you predict wins the Strikeforce Grand Prix tournament?
Josh Barnett 63.0%
Daniel Cormier 37.0%
--Best TV show of the past week?
Strikeforce on Showtime 44.6%
Strikeforce on HDNet 2.6%
Inside MMA 1.6%
MMA Live 1.0%
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia. The original Arena in Philadelphia was located in West Philadelphia, and is now a housing complex. It was the home of wrestling forever in the city until the building of the Spectrum. The biggest night for pro wrestling ever at the Philadelphia Arena was December 1, 1973, when Stan Stasiak defeated Pedro Morales to win the WWWF title (to set up Bruno Sammartino beating Stasiak in Madison Square Garden nine days later). It was the first time the WWWF title ever changed hands somewhere other than MSG.
--Stu Bykofsky's column at http://www.philly.com talks about the death of Frank Talent, the member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission who was a fixture at wrestling shows there as long as anyone can remember.
--Todd Martin did the best of the staff Strikeforce predictions going 4-1 on the main card. Mike Sempervive was 3-2, Josh Nason and Bryan were 2-3 and Oliver Copp (who finished tied for first on the last show) and Mike Sawyer were 1-4.
--Some TV notes involving wrestling. It was 45 years ago today that the TV series The Monkees had its first episode. Nick Bockwinkel was featured in an episode of that show. It was also 39 years ago today that the show "Maude" debuted. One of the stars of that show, which was one of the biggest shows in TV of its era, was Adrienne Barbeau, who years earlier had been Miss Wrestling on Roy Shire's National All Star Wrestling television show.
--Not that TNA was going to do any numbers on PPV anyway, but last night's Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Jets game did a 16.7 rating based on the overnights. They project 25-26 million viewers when the final numbers come out.
--The episode of "Royal Pains" with Big Show aired on 9/14 at 10 p.m. and 9/18 at 6 p.m. on Showcase. (thanks to Paul Begley)
--Wrestle Fest 2011 on Saturday night in Stockbridge, GA, did a memorial show for James Thomas Moon, who died in a car accident last month. Moon was the father of Luke Gallows' girlfriend Brittany. The show drew 200 fans for a combination very indy show early but quality stuff on top with the name wrestlers: Vince Vega won Battle Royal, Spiral & Andrew Hill b Maniac O'Malley & Mr. O'Hagan, Griffen b Kimbro, Danny Inferno b David Hart Smith, Micah Taylor b Domino (Cliff Compton), Tracy Taylor b Pandora, Luke Gallows on three-way over Raven and Jake Davis. The show ended with an emotional scene with Gallows, his girlfriend, and Joni Moon (his girlfriend's mother). (thanks to Larry Goodman)
--Jimmy Rave was supposed to be on the show but is out with a staph infection.
--FEW from Saturday night in Fort Wayne, IN: Justin Dillinger b Wicked Nataas, Adam Bueller won three-way over IdolHeize and Gary Jay, Donnie Swenson b Mitchell Taylor-COR, Badd Blood Barron b Steele, Mr. Main Event & Mangler b Matt Fitchett & Davey Vega, Jack Verville b Roderick Street, Jacob & Donatello Hallows b Pierre Abernathy & Evan Gelistico, Jimmy Shalwin b Donnie Swnson, Christian Able b Keith Creme
--In Australia, ONE HD airs the Saturday night UFC Fight Night with Jake Shields vs. Jake Ellenberger at 11 a.m. Sunday. They also will be airing UFC 104, with Lyoto Machida vs. Shogun Rua, on Saturday night at 11:10 p.m. (thanks to Tim Forge)
--Pro Wrestling Phoenix on 10/22 in Council Bluffs, IA at the National Guard Armory.
--Platinum Championship Wrestling on Friday night in Avondale Estates, GA at the Academy Theater
--Perros Del Mal from Sunday in Tlalneplanta: Dinamic Black & Celestial b Alan Extreme & Mini Mr. Aguila, Peligro & Pesadilla b Black Fire & Tribal, Bestia 666 won three-way over Aero Boy and Violento Jack, Dr. X-Treme & Veneno b Tony Rivera & Super Nova, Perro Aguayo Jr. & Damian 666 & Halloween & X-Fly b Psycho Circus & Zumbi (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Chavo Guerrero Sr. & Jr. form a tag team on Friday night in Tijuana facing Ray Mendoza Jr. & Villano IV at the Auditorio.
--Grapplers Quest has the 2011 Northeast Grappling and BJJ Open championships on 9/17 in Boston at the Reggie Lewis Center, to raise funds to fight autism.
--IndyGurlz on Saturday night in Boonton, NJ at the Elks Lodge with Team Portia vs. Team Mercedes in a best of five series of matches. featuring Sumie Sakai vs. Mercedes Martinez for the IndyGurlz world title in the main event.
--CHIKARA on Sunday in New York at 4 p.m. at The Highline Ballroom has Eddie Kingston vs. Fire Ant, Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano, UltraMantis Black & Hallowicked & Frightmare & ? vs. Sinn Bodhi & Obarlyon & Kodama & Kobald, Sara Del Rey vs. Ophidian, Marshe Rockett vs. Ares plus The Young Bucks face Tursas & Tim Donst.