SAT. UPDATE: Frazier in serious condition, Tons of Cain vs. Junior hype,Why NOC didn't draw,Lashley
We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's UFC 138, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're also looking for reports on TNA on Thursday night in Mount Pleasant, MI, Raw on Thursday in Nantes, France, Smackdown on Thursday in Bilbao, France, Raw from yesterday in Amneville, France, Raw today in Manchester, England, Smackdown today in Vienna, Austria and TNA today in Toledo.
Tonight is also Pro Elite from Moline, IL at 9 p.m. on HDNet.
Heavyweight title tournament first round
Richard Odoms vs Rodney Housley
Cody Griffin vs. Justyn Riley
Ed Carpenter (the not so flying Frenchman) vs. Jake Heun (former University of Hawaii linebacker)
Mark Ellis (who they are trying to push as 2009 NCAA champ) vs. Ryan Martinez
Reagan Penn (B.J.'s younger brother) vs. Evan Cutts
Andrei Arlovski vs. Travis Fulton
Tim Sylvia vs. Andreas Kraniotakes
Tomorrow will be a Raw show in Sheffield, England, a Smackdown show in Cardiff, Wales and a TNA show in Windsor, ONT.
Monday has Raw in Liverpool, England, which will air worldwide on a tape delay. We should have the show rundown on the site before the show airs. Kevin Nash returns as a wrestler on the show and Brodus Clay will also be wrestling on the show. There is also a Smackdown brand show in Newcastle, England on Monday so the crossover of Smackdown guys on Raw will be less than usual, if at all.
Tuesday has Smackdown and NXT being taped in Liverpool while Raw will be in Newcastle.
The latest on Nick Diaz, Georges St. Pierre, Dana White and the aftermath of UFC 137 and build to the Super Bowl Saturday show headlines the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We also have features on and health updates on Barry Windham and Jacques Rougeau and notes on Windham's career, full coverage of UFC 137 and a historical look at the first generation of UFC fighters who at one point or another crossed over into pro wrestling.
The issue is available today on the web site, as is a back issue from 1994 as part of ten issues of the Observer and Figure Four available to web site subscribers. We also have the Observer as a print newsletter available with details below.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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We look at how Dana White hyped the GSP vs. Diaz match, lots of comments from Diaz, retirements of B.J. Penn and Mirko Cro Cop and what happened next, contract talks, early buy rate and business info, how much all the fighters got paid on the show, poll results and repercussions. We also look at the ramifications of the show.
We look at the career of Barry Windham, his heyday, the second part of his career and his two most famous matches with Ric Flair as well the story behind his near miss of winning the world title for the first time.
We also have notes on Evan Bourne's drug test failure and the bigger picture message, as well as the tag team title.
We also have an update on the Strikeforce brand and negotiations between UFC and Showtime, and what types of things have been talked about.
We have a feature looking back at the stars of the early years of the UFC and those who either came from or went into pro wrestling from that era, from the ones you would know like Tank Abbott, Ken Shamrock and Don Frye, to those you may not know about.
We also have early notes on the WWE 12 video game, the story behind the release of Maryse and background on the Diva Search where she got her deal, what angle seemed to destroy her upward momentum and more. We also look at what there was unhappiness about at Raw this week, as well as a look at Raw and Smackdown on social media. We've got more on Mick Foley's return, the European tour, update ont he WWE Network, September business notes when it comes to DVD sales, web visitors and merchandise, PPV locations for 2012 and more on the Ross vs. Cole program. We also look at a wrestler who hasn't been on TV much of late after a quick push and a Fit Finlay WWE update.
We also have the first buy rate estimates for WWE Night of Champions headlined by C.M. Punk vs. HHH, how it compares with last year and if this is good or not.
We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week. We also have a breakdown of Raw and Impact and what segments gained and lost viewers so you can see what segments and personalities people tune in and out from. We look at the affect of The Rock, The Muppets, Halloween and the World Series on the shows over the past week.
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:
--The weekly Friday night show at Arena Mexico sets a new standard and it isn't good
--What is the main reason for the disastrous attendance
--Notes on the 35th annual Real World Tag League participants
--All Japan heads to Taiwan
--New Japan team defends NOAH titles
--Death of a U.K. celebrity who was once a pro wrestler
--Update on Killer Karl Kox
--Update on Travis Tomko
--Update on MVP
--Shocking allegation by messed up former WWE star
--Son of famous wrestling star talks going into the business
--Update on TNA Turning Point PPV lineup
--Spike talks about sending Impact on the road
--Notes on how the Bobby Roode vs. James Storm angle played out
--Notes on the wrestling debut of Garrett Bischoff and Ronnie from Jersey Shore
--More Hogan business projects
--Notes from the weekend TNA house shows
--Notes from the next two weeks of Impact television
--How they changed the title and injury angles
--Update on the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix finals
--Who is likely most affected by whether or not Showtime renews with Zuffa
--First international season of Ultimate Fighter
--Countdown to Dos Santos vs. Velasquez
--Lots of new UFC matches made over the past week
--Changing weight classes
--Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen update
--Next UFC show
--Ultimate Fighter update
--New UFC announcer
--Additions to the Lesnar vs. Overeem show
--UFC twitter bonus report
--Plans for Bellator on Spike
--What changes are being talked about
--Where Viacom is expected to put money into
--Notes on the last and next Bellator show
--Mayweather vs. Ortiz buy rate info
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
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. For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 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.
--Joe Frazier, the legendary boxer and rival of Muhammad Ali, is in hospice care with liver cancer. Frazier was diagnosed about a month ago. There is no word from doctors how long the 67-year-old former heavyweight champion has left to live but hospice care is never a good sign. The New York Post quoted an unnamed source saying, "He's in serious shape, we're looking for a miracle. They're only giving him a short time to live. We need to have as many people as possible praying for Joe right now." The Frazier-Ali series was one of the most talked about sporting events of their time, one of the few times where literally the entire country stood still while the fight was going on waiting for the result.
--There was something of a major media breakthrough this week for UFC, as the new issue of Sports Illustrated has a page (page 40) on it, concentrating on the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos fight.
--There will be tons of TV in the last few days leading to Velasquez vs. Dos Santos.
Among the programming
Weigh-ins live at 7 p.m. Eastern on Fuel TV
A three-part series Cain Velasquez: Brown Pride from 3-6 p.m. on Fox Sports Deportes
Weigh-ins replay at 5:30 p.m. on Fuel
UFC Prime Time: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 6 p.m. on Fuel
Velasquez vs. Brock Lesnar fight 6 p.m. on Fox Sports Deportes
Prelims live on Fox Sports Deportes at 7 p.m. including Guida vs. Henderson
Preflight show at 7 p.m. on Fuel
Live radio coverage 8-10 p.m. on Fox Sports radio
Fight at 9 p.m on FOX
Post-game show at 10 p.m. on Fuel
Plus Spike will be running Velasquez and Dos Santos fights from 9 p.m. to midnight, including Velasquez vs. Lesnar head-to-head with the live Velasquez fight.
--The weekend edition of Wrestling Observer Radio will be tonight, talking today's UFC, WWE, TNA, WWE financials, the build to Velasquez vs. Dos Santos and taking your questions. You can e-mail questions to
--There is no Bellator live event tonight, however MTV 2 is running a 30 minute Bellator show tonight at 11 p.m. building up the final three shows of the season. It's scheduled to start roughly when UFC on Spike ends.
--Inside MMA on Monday night features Nick Diaz, Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez as guests.
--What reason will be given for HHH's first match back during the second lowest PPV numbers of 2011?
His opponent looked like a Waffle House cook 35.5%
HHH even for a first match back doesn't mean anything as a draw 17.3% (dare you even think that and you lose your job)
Bad creative leading to the show 15.4 (but that puts the blame on Vince & Stephanie so can't be)
The NFL 10.7% (well, there was a game that night, plus they've had it out for Vince ever since he threatened their every existence by creating the XFL)
Creative had already ruined Punk's drawing power 10.2%
It was the summer, or the fall, depending on which day the season changed 9.0%
UFC had a lot of shows coming the rest of the year 1.9%
Who wins the TUF bantamweight division?
T.J. Dillashaw 42.3%
Johnny Dodson 28.8%
Johnny Bedford 18.9%
Dustin Pague 9.9%
Poll on Impact
50.0% of those responding didn't see the show
--What November show is the biggest to you?
UFC on Fox 56.1%
WWE Survivor Series 28.1%
Pacquiao vs. Marquez 9.0%
TNA Turning Point 4.4%
UFC 139 2.3%
--The taped Urban Wrestling Federation Street King PPV will be airing at 8 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow headlined by Homicide vs. Rasche Brown vs. Bestia vs. Ricky Reyes.
--Bobby Lashley is without an opponent again as Dave Huckaba, who was scheduled to face him on 11/11 in Lubbock, pulled out of the show. He makes the third person scheduled to face Lashley for the prestigious Texas heavyweight title who has pulled out.
--UFC has a press conference on Wednesday open to the public at the Nokia Center in Los Angeles. Dana White, Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, Clay Guida and Ben Henderson will be appearing.
--WWE is running a June tour of Spain
6/6 in Madrid
6/7 in Seville
6/8 in Valencia
6/9 in Barcelona
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia concerns Mercedes Martinez, one of the best independent woman wrestlers in the country. Mercedes is a 1998 graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, CT. She played basketball and softball in high school. With 32 months as the Wrestling Superstars Uncensored champion, she is believed to be the longest reigning and defending champion in all of independent wrestling (I guess nobody counts Mil Mascaras going on 37 years as IWA champion). In that time she's had 46 title defenses.
--Ric Flair was quoted, well, misquoted in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Thursday when talking about the Miami Dolphins, and they used a quote saying, "To be the best you have to beat the best," and the author thought the quote was originated by Flair. Well, the Dolphins are far from that category this season.
--When NBC Insider talked about Monday's Raw with The Muppets, they noted that The Muppets were on "Smackdown" on Monday night and also plugged that John Cena will face off against The Rock on the WWE's next PPV, without mentioning a date.
--With WrestleMania tickets on sale in Miami today, a lot of WWE personalties are in town including HHH, Shawn Michaels and Rey Mysterio. Jimmy Hart was a guest during intermission of the Florida Panthers vs. Chicago Blackhawks game on television last night plugging the show. Sgt. Slaughter was also there, wearing a Panthers jersey, putting a guy in a Blackhawks jersey in the cobra clutch (thanks to David Kaplan)
--The show "Kitchen Nightmares" on Fox plugged the UFC show in the bottom right corner of the screen for a few segments (thanks to Steve Malinoff)
--The Tulsa World at http://www.tulsaworld.com
had a story on a Smackdown taping coming to the BOK Center on 2/7. Tickets go on sale on 12/17.
--Travis Fulton will be looking to extend his MMA record of 247 wins tonight against Andrei Arlovski. Well, that's if you don't count all those guys in Brazil in the Salvador, Bahia promotion that fought weekly during the heyday.
--There is a convention on 11/12 at the Courtyard Marriott near LaGuardia Airport on 11/12 with Johnny Valiant, Jake Roberts, Ashley Massaro, Velvet Sky, Brutus Beefcake, Tammy Sytch, Ox Baker, Luke Robinson, Jim Powers, Marty Jannetty, Dawn Marie, Jim Duggan, Angelina Love, Crimson, Howard Finkel, Jessica James, Amazing Red, Cookie, Jimmy Snuka, Jay Lethal and The Nasty Boys. Superstar Billy Graham has been canceled because he's unable to travel to New York. It's from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more details you can call 34-992-0038 or email
--IWA East Coast on Tuesday in Nitro, WV featuring Dan Severn vs. Sami Callihan as the main event, plus Mad Man Pondo & 2 Tuff Tony vs. Trik Nasty & TJ Phillips, Necro Butcher vs. Jason Kincaid, Irish Airborne vs. Rich Swann & Alex Colon, Adam Cole vs. B.J. Whitmer, Facade vs. Jason Gory and Mickie Knuckles vs. Mary Dottson.
--Impact Zone Wrestling tonight at 7 p.m. from Lawton, OK at 7 p.m. on Gofightlive.TV featuring a Battle Royal, plus Brent Albright vs. Aaron Neil.
--Platinum Championship Wrestling on Friday night in Avondale Estates, GA at the Academy Theater has a ten vs. ten elimination match with the winning team "getting control" of the company with captain Rachel's tam against Captain Stephen Platinum's team.
--Evolution Fighting Championship 8 on 11/12 in Rahway, NJ at the Rec Center has a 3 p.m. show so people can get home in time to see Velasquez vs. Dos Santos. Al Alo vs. Ryan Vernay headlines.
--NAAFS Night of Champions on 11/23 in Canton, OH at the Civic Center. Stipe Miocic of UFC will be signing autographs at the show.
--G4 on-air talent Blair Butler has an MMA comic book called "Heart" that is out.