THURS. UPDATE: More TV shakeups, ratings, Hall on ESPN, Hardy punishment, title match announced

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        We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE Raw house show in Merida, Mexico and tonight's Smackdown show at Arena Monterrey at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

        Impact at 9 p.m. tonight on Spike TV:
*A.J. Styles & Rob Van Dam vs. Christopher Daniels & Jerry Lynn
*Matt Morgan vs. Samoa Joe
*Brian Kendrick & Jesse Sorensen vs. Austin Aries & Kid Kash
*Mr. Anderson vs. Scot Steiner
*Bobby Roode vs. Gunner & Jeff Jarrett in a handicap match
        There is also a contract signing for the Sting vs. Hulk Hogan match.

        The tour has Raw shows continuing Friday night in Puebla and Raw is being taped on Saturday night at Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City before probably 15,000 people.
        Smackdown's shows are Friday in San Luis Potosi (Alberto Del Rio's home city), Saturday in Veracruz and the TV tapings are Sunday at Los Palacio de los Deportes. 
        We're looking for reports on all of these events.
        Our annual Hall of Fame issue of the Observer, the most talked about issue of the year, will be coming out in next week.   If you are a print subscriber and sign up for this set, you will be getting the issue.  It will be a double issue with bios of new Hall of Famers, complete voting records and a detailed story plus the updated list of Hall of Fame members.

        WWE's most heavily hyped DVD release of the season, the Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels face-to-face with Jim Ross as moderator, is the lead story in this week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
        The DVD looks back at the career of both men, with a heavy emphasis on one of the most famous matches in history, the 1997 Survivor Series match.  In our new issue, we look back at the careers of both men, their legacies in the sport, the events leading to the double-cross and looking back 14 years, perspective on how it went down and a key, perhaps the key person involved, in what ended up leading to Vince McMahon making the call that he did.
        We look at the DVD, comments from both men, historical accuracy, the Vince McMahon viewpoint, how Jim Ross directed traffic, the emotion from both men and why this DVD will be tough to top in future releases.
        We look at what has been said that makes sense and a key thing said that to this day still doesn't make sense.  We look at who knew, and the key phone call with Vince McMahon, Michaels and HHH, in Michaels own words about how it went south.
        We look at how much wrestling has changed and how something that was so big then looks so silly now.  We look at both men's career before WWE, what frustrated Shawn Michaels so much when his WWE career started and how something that was considered a positive for him in the ring in the AWA was such a negative in WWE.  We look at the unique perception of size in pro wrestling in those days, as well as the days of The Rockers and The original Hart Foundation in the 80s and early 90s.
        We talk about the night The Rockers won the tag team titles, only to have it erased from history, and the reason why given publicly as well as the real reason.  We look at Bret Hart talking about one of his worst matches ever in the company.
        We look at Hart winning the IC title, and why Hart thought it was a breakthrough, as did Jim Ross, and why Michaels did not, but what Michaels saw that Hart did that was a breakthrough for him.  We look at why the Hart Foundation and Rockers would often close shows while being considered mid-card acts.  We look at the reasons WWE on house shows used to put the main event in the middle of the show instead of at the end.
        We look at Hart talking about the main event scene before he headlined, and a person he said was a friend, and was also a friend of Michaels, who he said was not successful as champion and pointed to the specific match where he knew the man's reign was going down.
        Both men talk about their friendship when they were starting, and how it fell apart in the last two years they were together.  We also look at the brief period when Bill Watts came in as booker, and how this affected both men because of his opinions of them. 
        We look at business, as well as Hart talking about one of his title reigns that in his heart he said felt like it meant nothing, and what famous title reign it can be compared with.  We look at Hart having one of the better matches in company history but it being one of the least purchased PPV shows.
        We look at different statements made by Michaels in 1996 and 1997 and how Hart took them badly, and Michaels response.  We look at the first time WCW approached Hart and the unrest in the WWE locker room.
        We look at Hart and Michaels attempting to work everyone into believing they were shooting and ended up working themselves into ruining what could have been a major program.
        We look at why the 1997 WrestleMania was not headlined by the Michaels vs. Hart title match return as originally planned.  We look at Hart saying he believes Michaels was faking his knee injury that caused a brief retirement and Michaels response to that accusation.
        We look at the incidents that caused the two to mistrust each other, attempts at working things out, and why they kept falling apart.  We look at why the two never wrestled in a major singles match for a year-and-a-half when they were the two top guys in the company, and both admitting blame.
        We look at what caused the Survivor Series double-cross to take place, including a number of important matches where the finishes were changed that led to hostility and why the dynamic was what it was.
        We look at what Vince McMahon had said for years and was never said in this DVD.  We look at where Eric Bischoff fit into everything, whether Hart ever refused to drop the title, the buy rates of the big shows of that year and how telling they were, and what happened when Vince McMahon decided to have Bret Hart win in Montreal and why it didn't happen.
        We also look at the dynamic between Bret Hart and HHH in 1997, and where The Rock fit into the equation.  We also look at the one thing WWE feared most could have happened in the ring in Montreal.  We look at Michaels' reaction in hindsight on Montreal, as well as the original plans for a double-cross finish and why it didn't happen the way McMahon envisioned it.
        We also look at why Hart even came to Montreal and why he could have easily skipped it contractually.  We look at what Michaels regretted, and what he didn't regret, about what happened.  We also look at the fight with Bret Hart and Vince McMahon, the scene in Wrestling with Shadows with Julie Hart telling off HHH, and Michaels attempting to get closure from Hart, taking a first step, but then never taking the next step and why.
        It's one of the most talked about, perhaps the single most talked about controversy in pro wrestling and the first time the participants were together answering questions on it.
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        We also have full coverage of UFC 136 from Houston, including where the big matches go from here, business notes on the show, poll results on the show, and match-by-match coverage.
        We also look at the framework and how far in advance when it comes to big shows that WWE creative is talking about.  We look at ideas that have been thrown around this past week, and almost for sure aren't going to happen.  We've got more on Brock Lesnar in the WWE video game, as well as Lesnar talking about the two matches he's most interested in doing if he were to come back for a big show.  Lesnar for the first time comments about how he probably will do something in the ring with WWE again.
        We look at Rock's return and what is being advertised.  We also look at a lot of backstage stuff in WWE with the current storyline.  We look at show changes from what it scripted to what ends up, as well as a look at Jim Ross being taken off Raw as an announcer.  We also look at where Vengeance seems to be going, the Sin Cara feud, Mil Mascaras in a WWE ring, the Mexico tour, Road Dogg's return to WWE and C.M. Punk turning down a WWE movie role.
        We also look at a new WWE signing, more twitter tales of a guy whose career is not looking healthy right now, as well as business notes from the weekend and notes from all of the WWE house shows.     
        We also have notes on UFC changing the PPV starting time, and different reasons why this may have happened.
        We also have a look at one of AAA's biggest events of the year, Heroes Inmortales, how it did, what the problems were, the shocking turns of two of the company's biggest babyfaces as well as Jeff Jarrett, Magnus, Abyss, Sting and Velvet Sky all appearing on the show.
        We also look at the real story about the sad state of former WWE and TNA star, Travis Tomko.  We look at the particulars of his arrest, and his drug addiction.
        We also look at New Japan's latest PPV show, its booking going forward, and its next PPV show.
        We also look at the former UFC name who went into pro wrestling who is accused of killing a cell mate in prison.
        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:
--More details on the shooting death of Dr. X this past week and a look back at his career
--Why his CMLL career ended
--What famous wrestling character is being brought back and if it is a good idea
--The Leyenda de Plata tournament
--All Japan's next major show and the build up
--Story behind Kenta Kobashi being out as Vice President of NOAH
--Next NOAH title match
--A look at New Japan's annual tag team tournament
--The 40th anniversary show of Mil Mascaras going to Japan
--Ric Flair, Edge and Mick Foley work on the Shane Hems fund raiser, a look at his injuries and comments on what happened including the stars who gave private donations
--A look at the indie wrestling PPV show this week
--What former WWE wrestler was at UFC this past week and is talking about going into MMA, wanting to be a star there, and then return to pro wrestling
--Notes on ROH television and thought son the show
--Notes on Bruce Prichard as head of creative in TNA
--More on Bound for Glory
--Notes on Hulk Hogan's video game, as well as the first night he was called Hulk Hogan
--Update on Ric Flair
--Who deserves the praise for the Bobby Roode videos
--TNA couple
--Update on charges against Kurt Angle
--A look at TNA's tour of Quebec
--UFC's primary sponsor on FOX
--A look at the Toronto UFC show and the announcement of Jones vs. Machida
--Jones talks Rashad Evans
--Evans talks about being replaced as the next contender
--The last Strikeforce show of the year
--Fighter who isn't Chael Sonnen says he'll retire if he loses
--Bellator welterweight tournament 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:
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*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)
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*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
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*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,
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*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the
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*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)
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*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)
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*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)
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*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
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--Ken Hershman announced today he was leaving Showtime, where he was the Executive Vice President and General Manger of Showtime Sports and Events Programming.  He's expected to move into what was Ross Greenburg's position at HBO, running the sports there which means the boxing coverage.  Hershman is a fan of MMA far more than Greenburg was, but it would be hard for HBO to take any MMA other than UFC, so I don't think the change will mean anything regarding HBO picking up MMA.  Greenburg left HBO in July after 33 years building the HBO boxing franchise.

--Ultimate Fighter last night did a 1.1 rating.

--The E:60 piece on Scott Hall will be airing this coming Wednesday night on ESPN at 8 p.m.  There is a preview of the piece on the front page of the site.

--Rich Franklin's shoulder surgery was said to be a success.  He had surgery yesterday to repair a torn labrum, suffered in training, and is expected to make a full recovery.

--Jeff Hardy's ten day sentence ended yesterday so he's out of jail.

--The Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler Bellator lightweight title fight that was postponed when Alvarez was injured, was announced today for 11/19 in Hollywood, FL on MTV 2.  I've been looking forward to this one.  Chandler has shown a very impressive gas tank and he's very strong for his size with good wrestling.  I think Alvarez will have a lot more of a challenge than most would expect here.

--The Culinary Workers Union of Las Vegas sent a letter to Anheuser-Busch, a major sponsor of UFC, listing anti-gay quotes from different fighters over the years as well as Joe Rogan and the infamous Dana White rant on Loretta Hunt from a few years back.  They are requesting Bud Light drops its sponsorship and for FOX to drop its contract with UFC.  This is a political game as the Culinary Workers are targeting UFC because the Fertitta Brothers run nonunion casinos in Las Vegas.

--What do you think of UFC moving its PPV start time back an hour?
More convenient 16.1%
Less convenient 46.9%
Makes no difference 37.0%

--What Bellator champion would you most like to see in UFC?
Eddie Alvarez 59.3%
Hector Lombard 16.5%
Ben Askren 9.7%
Cole Konrad 7.3%
Joe Warren 3.6%
Christian M'Pumbu 2.4%
Zach Makovsky 1.2%
--Was firing Jim Ross as an announcer a good move?
Yes 6.3%
No 93.7%

--What promotion has the best booking?
ROH 59.1%
New Japan 13.4%
TNA 9.7%
WWE 8.3%
Dragon Gate 4.8%
CMLL 1.8%
AAA 1.4%
NOAH 1.2%
All Japan 0.2%

--Hulk Hogan said he no longer supports Obama at  Not sure why anyone cares, but it shows the clip when he was on  Fox and Friends today.  Hogan claimed he's make a great president and the first thing he'd do is have a flat tax.

--Kim Couture did an interview with Sportstown Chicago and said that both she and Cris Cyborg have been approached by TNA wrestling.  Cyborg isn't happening because she's under contract to Zuffa, which won't let their people do pro wrestling.  It could happen if Zuffa doesn't pick up women and Strikeforce shuts down in February. Couture did an angle with Tara some time back on a PPV show but TNA never followed up on it because, well, nobody cared and they could see that.  Plus, they thought they could fool people into thinking it was real.  Pretty hard when you don't clue in your own people in the match you are shooting an angle, but Vince Russo is right there directing it.  The interview is at

--Fast Five,which features Dwayne Johnson in a lead role, is the top selling DVD in the country right now.  (thanks to Brian Henke)  

--Jim Ross at talks about being dropped from the Raw announce team.  He said he hoped to have a role in the new WWE Network and will be in Stamford next week recording two Legends Roundtable shows, one one outlaws in pro wrestling (Bruiser Brody types) and athletes and celebrities that got into pro wrestling.  On the panel besides Ross will be Michael Hayes and Dallas Page with Gene Okerlund as host.   Ross noted he has a lot to say about the deal when Jay Leno wrestled. 

--Dave Bautista and Kimbo Slice appear in the made for DVD movie "Scorpion King 3:  Battle for Redemption" that will be released on DVD on 1/17.

--Rick Roufus vs. Mighty Mo in kickboxing will headline a 10/22 WCK kickboxing show at the Las Vegas Hilton.

--The John Cena movie "The Reunion" airs the weekend of 10/21 to 10/23 at these theaters:
Chino Hills 18 in Chino Hill, CA
Chatham 14 in Chicago
Montgomery Royal 6 in Wheaton, MD
Quad Cinemas 4 in New York
Rialto Piccolo 9 in San Antonio
Southlake Town Square 14 in Southlake, TX.  

--M-1 Challenge weigh-ins for tomorrow night's Showtime card will be at 6:30 p.m. in Phoenix at the Metro Sports Bar at 10402 N. Black Canyon Parkway.  The show is headlined by Vinny Magalhaes of TUF fame vs. Mikhail Zayats and Kenny Garner vs. Maxim Grishin.

--Chuck Langerman's daily trivia concerns another participant in the Vince McMahon steroid trial, Harrisburg urologist George Zahorian III.  Zahorian and McMahon were accused of being in a conspiracy to have steroids provided for WWE wrestlers, but the case fell apart when there was no direct link found between McMahon and Zahorian other than McMahon had purchased steroids from Zahorian.  The whole case can be read in the August 1, 1994 issue of the Observer which is in the current archives on the site.  Zahorian graduated Bloomfield College in Jersey in 1970, and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1975.  After doing time in Franckville State prison for a few years after a 1991 conviction of selling steroids to a number of WWE wrestlers, he is back practicing urology in Hershey, PA.  The web site Vitals gives Zahorian ***1/2 out of four stars and his patients today rave about him.

--Tammy Sytch will manage Alex Silva on Saturday night's AWE PPV show in his match with Fit Finlay.

--Shane Helms will be doing a Facebook chat tonight at 8 p.m. on  R.J Brewer will be doing a similar chat on Friday night at 10 p.m. 

--Weigh-ins for the W-1 reloaded show which includes Marcus Davis, Edson Berto and Kim Couture will be at 5 p.m. Eastern tomorrow at The Fieldhouse at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, FL.

--UWC Championship Wrestling at

--Carlito headlines on 10/15 in East Norriton, PA at the Retro Fitness in a fund raiser for the Susan G. Komen For The Cure of Breast Cancer foundation.  Also appearing are The Patriot, Blue Meanie and Doink the Clown.

--Platinum Championship Wrestling on 10/20 in Atlanta at The Masquerade

--Photos of Bryan Alvarez, Vinny Verhei, Bryan's wife Whitney, Mike Coughlin, Jakey Emmert and others were all featured prominently as party pictures on the big screen during "Last Friday Night" with Katy Perry.  They had asked people to send in party pictures and a lot of photos taken at the Figure 4 convention were shown.

--The Chicago Sun Times at m/entertainment/people/81788751-421/hogans-his-hero-and-his-pal.html has a story on Chris Sader and the documentary "Sadermania" about his friendship with Hulk Hogan.  It opens Saturday at the Chicago International Film Festival.  It noted that in 2006, when Sader's father went into a coma and their medical insurance lapsed for a few weeks, that Hogan paid some of the family's mortgage payments.

--Traditional Championship Wrestling on Saturday night in Fort Smith, AR at the Events Center with Jay Lethal vs. Greg Anthony, Matt Osborne as Doink and an appearance of Harley Race.  This will be a TV tapings for the show that airs in Fort Smith, Russellville and Little Rock.  They also run 11/19 in Pine Bluff, AR at the Convention Center with Jake Roberts (not wrestling), Stacy Carter, Bobby Eaton and Tommy Rich.

--NWA Rampage Pro Wrestling on Sunday in Warner-Robins, GA at 2 p.m. at Johnny G's Fun Center.

--James Stanios at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is looking for a DVD of the CMLL El Juicio Final show on 6/17

--Chavo Guerrero Jr. has been added as a vendor guest at the WrestleReunion 1/27 to 1/29 at the Los Angeles Airport Westin Hotel.  He'll be coming with R.F. Video, who have also announced two more names they will be bringing.  So far at the WrestleReunion are The Steiner Brothers, Kevin Sullivan, Tommy Dreamer, Carlos Colon, The Godfather, Vader, Mikey Whipwreck, Molly Holly, B.G. James, Billy Gunn, Harry Smith, Kevin Von Erich, Mick Foley and Fit Finlay.

--All Pro Wrestling's biggest show of the year, Halloween Hell 14 takes place on 10/15 at the APW Garage in Hayward, CA.  Boyce LeGrande returns to face Mr. Wrestling IV.  Main event is Jeckles vs. Timothy Thatcher for the Universal title.

--Dory Funk's BANG on Saturday night in Ocala, FL at the BANG TV Sound Stage at 7 p.m.   Funk will wrestle on the show.

--CHIKARA runs 10/29 in Reading, PA at the Goodwill Beneficial Association Hall and 10/30 in Williamsport, PA at the Campbell Street Center.

--Ed & Cutrer talk about who has "It" in wrestling at

--Pro Wrestling Evo from Saturday night in Concord, NC before 100 fans:  Trevor Lee & Ben Tyler b Chiva Kid & Joe Black, Big Country b Mike Merletti, Jake Manning b Zack Salvation, Airik Royal b Circo, Caleb Konley b Kirby Mack, Marcellus King b Cedric Alexander (thanks to Jeremy Polk)

 --Go Fight Live tomorrow night at 9 p.m. has Clash at the Kilt II from the Tilted Kilt in Elgin, IL with David Booth vs. Sam Ferguson for their  middleweight title in an MMA fight.  There is also Clash Epic Fighting 8 on Friday at 10 p.m. from San Diego in an amateur tournament.  Warrior One MMA on Saturday at 8 p.m. from the UnitedBank  Center with Marcus Davis vs. Chuck O'Neil.

--Michael Carpenter at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is looking for a copy of the LPWA Superladies Showdown PPV

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?