We're also looking for reports on today's WWE joint branded show in Lubbock which will feature a guest appearance of Dusty Rhodes, last night's Raw show in El Paso, last night's Smackdown show in Amarillo, as well as today's TNA show in Hillsdale, MI at the County Fair.
The Urban Wrestling Federation presents its second PPV tonight at 8 p.m. Ricky Reyes vs. Slyck Wagner Brown and Rich Ortiz vs. Rasche Brown are two of the matches on the show.
Raw comes from Kansas City on Monday night.
Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday night in St. Louis.
A look at the return of The Rock at Survivor Series, the fall of Matt Hardy, the fallout of Night of Champions, backstage at Raw and coverage of a number of major shows headlines this coming week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The lead story concerns the first match in seven-and-a-half years of The Rock, as we talk about ideas for the match, the good and bad from a business standpoint, his last match, his first major WWE match and the coincidences of that, the booking of the match and the Rock vs. Cena dynamic. We also look at how much Rock's appearance likely meant for WrestleMania, what Survivor Series is coming off doing, the UFC competition that weekend and crowd reactions.
We also look at all of Matt Hardy's legal issues, his latest arrests, details of the arrests, his girlfriend's claims of the story, what led to this latest arrest, his video saying he's going to rehab and a look at that. We also look at the legal issues he's facing.
We also look at the records set by John Cena at Night of Champions. We look at the background of Mark Henry and how he got to where he now is over 15 years, looking at pre-wrestling, his WWE signing and when it actually took place, his days as an Olympian, his beginning in WWE, his near firing, and his title win.
We look at the business of Night of Champions, a look at the decisions in he various title matches and story line ramifications. We also have match-by-match coverage with star ratings, but polls on this show, the UFC show and the ROH show.
We look at the final UFC Fight Night on Spike, what the Jake Ellenberger win means in the welterweight division, business notes on he show, how each match did in the ratings and the surprising ratings champ match for the night. We also have match-by-match coverage from the show.
We also look at ROH's Final Battle early notes, including head-to-head competition that day, and a rundown of the Death Before Dishonor iPPV show.
We also have a feature on Brian Stann, and how 9/11 changed his life, the friends he lost, how it made him a fighter, what it was like in the Naval Academy on that day, the reactions and a lot of memories. This is a really notable story about one of UFC's biggest stars, who fights in two weeks.
The issue will be available today on the site. 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.
We also have more on WWE looking like it's going to start spending major money in what two directions and how its' going about doing so. We also have details on Linda McMahon's run for senate and how she is polling, plus the unique poll results.
We have more on backstage at Raw, the background of the table snafu, injury updates, Kevin Nash update, Dolph Ziggler update, HHH talks UFC and the reaction, UFC vs. WWE, and HHH talks Ric Flair. HHH also talks Brock Lesnar, plus more backstage on the Edge Appreciation Ceremony and Edge DVD, more on Steve Austin, Claudio Castagnoli, why Castagnoli took five years to get to FCW after the company was first interested in him, another new WWE signing, new WWE movie, plus business notes from the past week and highlights of the weekend house shows.
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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
Also in this week's issue:
--CMLL's champion of champion tournament ends and who is the 2011 winner
--What Hall of Fame is in Mexico as a headliner right now
--Ceremony honoring the career of Atlantis
--Pro wrestler involved in a major holocaust
--AAA's Heroes en Inmortales lineup including a number of TNA names being on the show
--A look at the most recent TNA taping including a TNA star in the main event
--Storyline for All Japan 90s superstar facing the current top star in the group
--A look at the All Japan jr. tournament
--Brothers facing each other in Japanese ring
--Notes on New Japan's latest PPV show as well as the lineup for he next one
--ROH and CMLL world champions in Japan
--Notes on the upcoming New Japan annual tag team tournament
--Hall of Fame wrestler returns to New Japan for one night
--Retired wrestler wins tournament
--Two early 80s feuds back in the ring this coming weekend
--Notes on death of Johnny Barend
--News on the Devon Nicholson/Abdullah the Butcher lawsuit
--Bruno Sammartino update
--Jesse Ventura update
--Teddy Hart's latest crazy ideas regarding his version of pro wrestling
--Update on The Destroyer
--Notes on current ROH contracts
--Future ROH events
--Future of Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair
--More on the Flair vs. Sting match and what didn't air on television
--Flair talks about his injury
--Reports on strong upcoming TNA matches
--More on the Rosita situation and who knew what
--Positioning of Bobby Roode before Bound for Glory
--More on movie "Warrior"
--Notes on Hogan's Micro Championship Wrestling
--How this show differs from most reality shows
--Documentary on a wrestling fan
--A look at the weekend TNA house shows
--More on the B.J. Penn vs. Nick Diaz situation and how UFC reacted to what Penn said
--UFC star hints at retirement
--More on Alistair Overeem's situation
--New UFC and Strikeforce fights
--Notes on the first several episodes of Ultimate Fighter this season
--Major Bellator fight postponed
--A look at the first round of the Bellator middleweight tournament
--Biggest tournament in Bellator history about to start
--Update on Joe Warren and the Olympics
--Major Japanese show this week on U.S. TV
--Sakuraba says how long he wants to continue fighting
--Fallout of the Mayweather fight
--Fedor fighting again is official, who when and what is says about the industry today
--U.S. has first world champion in real wrestling in years
--Notes on the return of Cael Sanderson
--Brett Rogers update
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)
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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
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America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--Dana White after the show last night said that he thinks Matt Hughes is retired, but just doesn't want to say the word. I think that was the impression most people had after his interview where he said that he wasn't retired, but was putting himself on the shelf for a while.
--Nate Diaz said that he was sticking with the lightweight division, as opposed to welterweight. That makes sense because him fighting at welterweight, even if he could handle the wrestlers in that division, would create a logjam with his brother and Jake Shields also fighting at that weight.
--We don't get ROH here so I can't comment on the first show, but we're looking for comments on it from those who have seen it. I also have yet to see Bellator from last night, but I've been told it was a great show.
--Update on U.K. ratings. The live Raw show did 101,000 viewers on 8/22, 153,000 on 8/29 and 146,000 on 9/3. Smackdown's first airing did 97,000 on 8/26, 72,000 on 9/2. Impact did 209,000 on 8/23, 194,000 on 8/28, 180,000 on 9/4 and 149,000 on 9/11. The move from Tuesday to Sunday, making it more current, and pushed as an upgrade by everyone, has turned out to be a negative. Worse, the Sunday ratings have fallen every week, so it's not like they have to rebuild the numbers. The first Sunday did only a little below normal ratings on Tuesday, and now they are way down. It should be noted as always that TNA is on a station that is available in far more homes than WWE is, so total viewers is very misleading. (thanks to Ian Hamilton)
--While on a main feud right now, because Randy Orton's main program is with Mark Henry, there is talk of building up another Orton vs. Cody Rhodes match stemming from all the reaction to the bloodbath that aired on Friday night. Until this is taken down, a video of the incident uncut it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmkleFk0v9k
--Our weekend Observer radio show is already up on the site covering last night's UFC, as well as talking TNA and a lot of other subjects, including answering questions. Our next show will be tomorrow night after Raw and we'll have a busy week upcoming including John McCarthy as a guest for the first time on Wednesday. If you've got questions about the origination of UFC and its early years, as well as its growth, there is nobody who can probably give more perspective on it than McCarthy, who was at UFC I.
--The reason the ROH web site went down last night is because a new site is being launched.
--WWE legitimately sold out last night in El Paso. Sellouts for house shows are not very frequent these days.
--The link for the ESPN story on ROH's Kenny King is at http://espn.go.com/espn/page2/index?id=7008195 (thanks to Brian McCarthy)
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia. What a difference 21 years make. In 1990, there were 57 active wrestlers on the roster at the time the Wrestling Observer Yearbook was printed. Of those, only one, Undertaker, who only works a few shows a year, is still in the WWE today. Of those 57, 13 have passed away (23%).
--Sherman Wilmott, who did the documentary Memphis Heat, talks at http://horrornews.net/41242/interview-sherman-wilmott-memphis-heat/
--Jose Gonzalez said that Time Warner cable in Woodland Hills, where he lives, is fine. AT&T U-verse sent messages to customers apologizing for the problems at last night's UFC show.
--One person close to the situation said the problem was it was overloaded, but I doubt last night's show did even half of what the Mayweather show did the week before, so that doesn't seem to make sense on the surface.
--Regarding any early indications, last night several hours after the show, on Google's most searches in the U.S., Rampage Jackson was No. 4, Matt Hughes was No. 8, and Jon Jones was No. 10. This afternoon, Jones was No. 10 and Hughes was No. 12. UFC events haven't fared that well in months. For what it's worth, our level of responses was below usual. It's not a perfect predictor of PPV numbers, but it's more often than not a good indicator.
--Nobody saw Strikeforce Challengers on Friday night
85.6% of those responding didn't see the show. That's even worse than Hogan's Micro Championship Wrestling. Well, better remarks from those who saw it, but most didn't watch.
--Poll on Smackdown
42.3% of those responding didn't see the show.
--What company puts on the most consistently good major shows?
New Japan 10.6%
Dragon Gate 3.3%
Pro Wrestling NOAH 0.4%
--Real Championship Wrestling from last night in Baltimore before 300 fans: Sean Haze b Ruckus, Monster Mafia b 4Saken, Skull b Milo Shizo, Niles Young b Greg Excellent, Alex Payne b T. Jay Sykes, Sabian b Ryan McBride-DQ, Ophidian b Robbie Mireno, Azrieal b Christian York. Next show is 11/5. (thanks to Joe Burrows)
--There is a video of Jerry "The Chef" Carr, a wrestler who is also a chef at http://www.ocregister.com/articles/night-318755-wrestling-friday.html?vid eos (thanks to Jonathan Khamis)
--Crossfire Entertainment on 11/5 in Nashville at the Fairgrounds has Fit Finlay vs. Al Snow, New Age Outlaws vs. David Young & Sigmon, Kid Kash vs. Stevie Richards, Brian Christopher vs. Derrick King plus appearances by Shane Douglas and Maria Kanellis.
--CWE on 10/2 in Winnipeg at the Polish Fraternal Hall featuring Teddy Hart.
--NWA Anarchy TV tapings from last night in Cornelia, GA: C.B. Gibson & Tommy Daniels b Davey Vega & Gary Jay, Bo Newsome b Jacob Ashworth-DQ, Bryan Casanova & Slim J b Boykins & Mayne, Drew Haskins b Donnie Steamboat, Johnny Dangerous & Body Chase b Pierre Abernathy & Evan Gelistico, Steven Walters b John Skyler, Anthony Henry won elimination match over Gi Quest, Skirra Corvus, Billy Buck, J.C. Walker and Bobby Moore, Shaun Tampers b Mikal Judas (Murphy from TNA) (thanks to Bill Behrens)
--NWA Force 1 on 10/8 in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.
--The Daily Telegraph in Australia has a story on James Te Huna's win over Ricardo Romero in a prelim match last night at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/boxing/tehuna-reveals-reason-for-s tunning-win/story-e6freygr-1226145807333
--Newsday on Long Island has a story about Dennis Bermudez, who is on this season's TUF. He lives in Massapequa, NY and trains at the Long Island MMA. Bermudez wrestled at Bloomsburg and his goal in life was to be a truck driver for UPS, work 25 years and then retire, but he got hooked on MMA. He was in the hunt for season 12 of TUF but blew it on the interview portion after advancing through all the physical aspects.
--The Bangor Daily News at http://www.bangordailynews.com/ has a story on Bangor's Marcus Davis, the former UFC fighter who also briefly did an angle in TNA during one of the Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe feuds as Joe's MMA trainer, choked out Travis Coyle last night for Global Fight League 13 in Portland, ME before 2,600 fans. Davis, who is 38, needed only 1:21 to get the win. Davis will next fight Chuck O'Neil, who was briefly in UFC coming off TUF, on 10/15 in Miami.
--I Believe in Wrestling from last night in Orlando: Latin Assassins b Nuyoricanz, Richard Parliament b Damien Darling, Mike Reed b Chasyn Rance, Ray Beez & Jack LeDuc & Lince Dorado & Raymond Snow & Brandon Scherer b Francisco Ciatso & Aaron Epic & Simon Sez & Shooter Storm & Jason Hanley (thanks to Al Haft)
--GOUGE from last night in Butner, NC: Scrapyard Dog b Vector, Otto Schwanz b Mike West, Lou Marconi b Blue Dewey, Rob McBride b Leatherface, Mickey Gambino & Frank Stelletto b Redman & Codename Fox, Seymour Snott b Gluteus Maximus in a gladiator death match. Next show is 10/8 in Raleigh at the Downtown Amphitheater.
--SCW from last night in Poulsbo, WA: Randy Zellers b True Buddah, Valiente Brothers b Sam Simms & Sniper, Exile b Biohazard & Gremlin, Randy Taylor & The Chef b Josh Blaze & Outpatient, Diaffulah Dobashi b Dean de Drifta, Valiente Brothers b Randy Taylor & Chef to win SCW tag team titles, Dash Venture b Hoss Tull and Christopher Ryseck, Dale Houston b Ron Sutherland (thanks to Charles Short)
--Acer Arena, the building where WWE and UFC both run in Sydney, Australia, has had its name changed to the Allphones Arena. (thanks to James Stanios)