Wednesday, 14 September 2011 16:43
We're looking for reports on tonight's Impact tapings in Orlando with the final show of the three nights.
Hulk Hogan's Micro Championship Wrestling reality show debuts tonight at 10 p.m. on Tru TV.
With coverage of why this past week was a bad one for WWE business wise, notes on a crazy week from UFC with arguably its biggest fight of 2011 being changed and why, coverage of Strikeforce and the behind-the-scenes talk on that promotion, plus the fundamental issues wrong with TNA, and coverage of their PPV and television shows, we've got two issues of the Observer out this week.
The first issue is available today on the site and the second will be available tomorrow. There is also a new back issue from 1994 up on the site this week. 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.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
Our lead story looks at WWE's business week, in particular ratings against week one of football. We look at how the show has done in recent years against the first weekend of Monday Night Football, the expected drop, what kinds of ratings should be expected the next few months as well as why, at least for a period this football season, things may not be so bad. We also note problems that are actually more significant then the ratings, as well as Smackdown guys on Raw, how every segment on Raw did including what point of the show a huge percentage of the audience tuned out.
We also look at the situation with Nick Diaz, B.J. Penn, GSP and others after a week of change in the UFC's biggest show. We look at Diaz's punishment for missing the press conferences, Penn's long-term goals, how bad a financial hit Diaz is likely to take, the dynamic of the show, the story behind the ticket sales of the show, and a look back at Diaz's track record in recent years. There are comments from Dana White, talk about why GSP vs. Diaz would have been huge box office and looking at the Penn vs. Diaz fight, as well as where it currently stands.
We also have a feature on Jeff Hardy, after pleading guilty a three felony distribution of drug charges. We look at why Hardy needed to avoid a trial. We look at the terms of his sentencing, how this may affect his career, things said in court, as well as Hardy's track record from the last six years. We look at Hardy's most recent WWE tenure, and why he ended up in TNA, and the incidents that WWE did and didn't ignore in his rise to the top of the business, and that TNA both did and didn't ignore.
We also have an update on Kevin Nash's role in WWE, explanations he's given publicly, things said privately and more, as well as the story behind the Survivor Series immediate sellout and the return to the ring of The Rock in November. We also have more on when Linda McMahon is expected to announce her running for senate and why, update on Night of Champions, HHH talks about changes they are looking to make when it comes to recruiting wrestlers as well as more changes to how creative in WWE is being structured. We also look at a head writer who has left, more on the WWE Network, Edge talks about he end of his career, WWE returns to Japan, A date floated for Shawn Michaels returning to Raw, as well as business notes from the past week and highlights of the weekend arena events.
We look at the fallout of the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix semifinals, both matches and business. We've also got match-by-match coverage and poll results. We look at the shocking rating and put it into perspective as well as what it means, and a look at why the show did so poorly on TV.
We also have full coverage of TNA No Surrender, with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results, as well as an early look at where Bound for Glory seems to be going.
We also have a feature on UFC fighter Brian Stann, and how 9/11 changed his life. This is a piece about someone who suffered untold tragedy because of that day, but how it changed him in so many ways.
We also have Mick Foley talking TNA exit, Raw ratings in Canada, what major changes have been made since February in viewing habits of Raw.
We also have a look at one of the most historic pro wrestling events of the year, All Together Now, the joint venture of All Japan, New Japan and Pro Wrestling NOAH. We talk about the atmosphere of the show, notes about it, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings, the good and bad and unique crowd.
We also have notes on CMLL's plans for its anniversary events over the next few weeks.
We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week as well as how every segment did when it comes to gaining and losing viewers on both TNA & WWE's A shows.
We also have our regular weekly features with results of all the major arena events around the world, as well as all the major TV show reviews.
Also in this week's issue:
--Update on Roddy Piper and his injury
--More on changes in the tour where Bill Goldberg is to return to wrestle and who right now is earmarked as his opponent, as well as the names on tour.
--Much more on Kurt Angle's DWI case, including what happened when he was pulled over and why he was pulled over.
--Hulk Hogan sticks his foot in his mouth talking about Angle.
--More on CMLL's Champion of Champions tournament
--Hall of Famer's 40th anniversary event including the return of many major 70s and 80s stars
--Chavo Guerrero Sr. returns to wrestling in Mexico
--Mexican promotion bringing in a number of U.S. stars
--Sting's Mexico debut opponent official
--TNA names going to Mexico this week
--A look at the Dragon Gate USA weekend
--Why some wrestlers are improving so fast
--New potential stars
--Lots of problems
--Update on attendance
--Four star matches
--90s wrestlers coming out of retirement to honor one of that era's biggest promotions
--Notes on All Japan's jr. tourney
--Former U.S. champion out with herniated disc
--Return to the ring of Marufuji
--NOAH big singles tournament
--Next major event at the Tokyo Dome
--Champion vacates title due to injury
--New Japan PPV show corning
--One of the greatest woman wrestling stars in history brings back her persona for one night and why she disappeared from wrestling
--Daughter of pro wrestling legend makes her final bid for an Olympic gold medal
--Update on the Wrestling Revolution Project
--Controversy over the return of Stampede Wrestling
--Teddy Hart's latest insanity
--More on the Greg Valentine/Lanny Poffo/Devon Nicholson issues with a blow-by-blow
--Planned TV show featuring two former WWE stars
--Former WCW wrestler returns after nine years out of action
--CZW Cage of Death
--70s and 80s headliner starts promoting his autobiography
--Story on shooting death of former pro wrestler ad details behind it
--Sons of two major wrestling stars training for pro wrestling
--More stations to pick up ROH down the road and where
--Notes on ROH & Urban Wrestling Federation contracts
--Warrior movie talk and box office
--Lots of new UFC fights between now and the end of the year
--How UFC ticket sales for all the upcoming shows are doing
--What famous person is UFC inviting to a show early next year
--Former WWE star vs. former boxing champion fight falling through
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.
--Ric Flair suffered a left arm injury in his match with Sting at Monday night's tapings. Between the injury to Flair and Sting forgetting spots, this match is going to have to be cleaned up a lot in editing before it airs tomorrow night.
--Lucha Libre USA: Masked Warriors is being brought back to MTV 2 starting on 10/1 at 10 a.m. That's in the morning. They'll be appearing matches that have been taped the past year in Albuquerque at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
--USA was No. in cable this past week with a 2.3 prime time average. This will likely be the last week for a while they are as ESPN, which did a 1.9, with the addition of Monday Night Football, will shoot past them. FX was No. 8 at 1.2, Syfy was No. 21 at 0.8 and Spike was No. 25 at 0.7. The two hours of Raw last week were No. 14 and No. 17. Neither hour made the top ten in 18-49, which they are usually a fixture near the top in.
--Some clips of Edge appreciation night from last night in Toronto:
(thanks to Adam Lebow)
--There is an interview with Nick Diaz up today at www.mmajunke.com talking about going from fighting GSP to fighting B.J. Penn.
--Newest names for Jeff Katz Wrestling Revolution project are Shawn Spears and Joey Ryan.
--There will be a Yokozuna Memorial Show on 10/1 in Chester, PA at Harrah's Casino. Ro'z, Dawn Marie, Gillberg, Jimmy Snuka, Big Daddy Voodoo (Nelson Frazier), Gene Snisky (Snitsky), Road Dogg Sandman, Steve Corino, Mikey Whipwreck,Homicide, Samu, Rikishi, Manu and many others are appearing at the show.
--Jerry Lawler got national attention in football for sending an e-mail to the Memphis Commercial Appeal saying Memphis football will never improve under coach Larry Porter at http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/24156338/31979208
--Do you think Sunday's Night of Champions will:
Do better than last year's show 32.6%
Do worse than last year's show 34.0%
Do the same as last year 33.4%
--Did the HHH-Punk confrontation on Raw make you:
More want to see their match 29.1%
Less want to see it 22.2%
Made no difference 48.7%
--Poll on Raw
15.8% of those responding didn't see the show. Those marks are far worse than the show traditionally does on our polls.
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia. Terry Allen lettered in wrestling and track at Norfolk Collegiate Prep School in Norfolk, VA. In wrestling, he went from winning only one match as a freshman, to winning the state championship at 167 pounds as a senior in 1977. He wrestled briefly at Old Dominion University at the Division I level before he left to become a pro wrestler. As Magnum T.A., he was one of pro wrestling's biggest stars of the 80s before his career ended in a 1986 auto accident. He is now married to Courtney Shattuck, who was previously married to Tully Blanchard. Years before either met Shattuck, the Magnum T.A. vs. Tully Blanchard I Quit match was one of the most famous matches of the 80s.
--Kip Frey, who ran WCW in the early 90s (between Jim Herd and Bill Watts) was hired today as CEO and President of EvoApp, a social media company. Frey was lauded in the press release for his track record in developing organizations. (thanks to Jason Solomon)
--Mick Foley Hardcore Comedy on 12/2 at 8 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. at the Toronto Underground Cinemas.
--Kevin Nash will be in Woodstock, VA on Saturday night at the AWE show to formally sign a contract for a PPV match on 10/15 where he will team with Doug Gibson against Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson. On Saturday's show at Central High School in Woodstock, besides Nash, also at the show will be DDP, Jim Duggan, Fit Finlay, Tully Blanchard and C.W. Anderson
--More Hulk Hogan promoting tonight's debut of Micro Championship Wrestling at http://amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/hulk-hogan-s-big-new-micro-wrestling-sh ow-1.3168516 (thanks to Jeff Sheridan)
--More on the Edge Appreciation Night is at http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2011/09/14/18685736.html
--AAW on 10/28 in Merrionette Park, IL at 115 Bourbon Street has a show with Scott Steiner, Rhino, Matt Cross, Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine.
--In Your Face Wrestling on 10/1 in Ballston Spa, NY at the Community Center.
--New TNA Best of the Spin Cycle show is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Esg6PGDhTiA
--Kevin Eck of WWE creative has put up a column at http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2011-09-12/ecks-factor-09-13-11
--A story on Cael Sanderson going for his first ever world championship this week in Istanbul, turkey is at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/story/2011-09-13/wrestler-cael-sa nderson-wants-to-add-to-04-gold/50393984/1
--Lance Storm wants to set the record straight regarding rumors of any impending direct relationship between his wrestling academy and WWE at http://www.stormwrestling.com/091311.html The short answer is there is no direct relationship, there is no serious talk of a direct relationship, but if WWE was interested, he could be as well, since he's been a developmental trainer for them in the past.
--Chris Jericho got to choose a track in the upcoming Judas Priest compilation album "A Chosen Few." He chose the 1984 song "The Sentinel."
--Bret Hart appears on 10/1 for a Northeast Wrestling show in Poughkeepsie at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center and that afternoon at Collector's Realm in Poughkeepsie for an autograph appearance.
--The Score Fighting Series returns on 10/14 at the Hamilton Place Theater in Hamilton featuring Joe Doerksen as the headliner. The show airs live on TheScore.com and on tape delay on TV.
--WWE Raw was No. 42 on Pay TV in Australia with 66,000 viewers.
--Jim Duggan and Maria Kanellis appear at the Steel City Con on 12/2 to 12/4 in Monroeville, PA at the Convention Center.
--ACE TV tapings on 10/8 at the Ace Arena in Union City, NJ and on 11/12 in the same arena they have a show with Carlito, Savio Vega and Jay Lethal.
--3XW on 9/17 and 9/18 with afternoon shows at the Iowa Latino Heritage Festival in Des Moines. They also run on 9/23 at the Forte Center at All Play in Des Moines.
--The Muay Thai Premier League show that several have raved about is available right now on tape at the GFL.tv web site as a video on demand product.
--West Coast Wrestling Company's third anniversary show on Saturday night in Lake Elsinore, CA at the Trevi Entertainment Center headlined by Devin Sparks vs. Joey Ryan.
--An interview with Bill Apter is on Ed Loredo's show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cutrer
--UWC Championship Wrestling's new show is at http://www.youtube.com/UWCWrestlingVideos
--Bodyslam Wrestling Organization on 9/17 in Elmwood Park, NJ at the American Legion Post 147
--XFC on 10/21 at the UCF Arena in Orlando headlined by Jamie Varner vs. Nate Jolly