SUN. UPDATE: Michaels talks wrestling at Mania, Updates for Raw tomorrow, UFC broadcast, Sheamus
Sunday, 06 November 2011 15:21
We're looking for your thoughts on last night'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, Smackdown on Thursday in Bilbao, France, Raw today in Sheffield, England, Smackdown today in Cardiff, Wales, TNA today in Windsor, ONT and ROH from today in Collinsville, IL
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.
Wednesday has Raw in Nottingham and Smackdown in Brussels, Belgium.
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.
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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)
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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
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
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America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--While in Miami for the ticket sale kickoff for WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels and HHH did a television news show and the sports anchor asked Michaels if he would wrestle on the show. One word answer was "No."
--Regarding Monday's Raw, Jim Ross was still on twitter as of this afternoon and if he was going to Liverpool, England, he would have left by now and be in transit, so I'd say he's probably not at Raw. Based on geography, it would be difficult for Mick Foley to be at Raw and there's no way they'd have him be at the Smackdown house show in Birmingham on Monday which goes on at the same time Raw is being taped, if he was to be at Raw. It's a two hour car ride between the cities. He could go on first thing in Birmingham and rush him to Liverpool for the final segment, but rather than do that, why would be go to B-Ham in the first place since WWE never advertised him for the show. (thanks to Stephen Lyon and others)
--Regarding last night's UFC broadcast, the broadcast in Canada, the U.K., and the rest of the world was different from what we saw on Spike. In those markets, they heavily hyped the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos fight and they didn't do nearly the hype for San Jose. Mark Munoz's post-fight interview aired. It was so weird to see the main event end and have them rush off without even interviewing Munoz on the Spike broadcast so they could start Blue Mountain State on time.
--Bryan and I are doing a bonus radio show tonight. This will be a complete Q&A show, so if you've got any questions on pro wrestling or MMA you can send them to
Our usual weekend news show is already up, covering the latest TNA and WWE news as well as last night's UFC show.
--If you're looking for coverage of UFC 138, because we put so many things up and it was an early show, it's already off the front page, but is on the second page.
--Last night's LSU vs. Alabama game for the No. 1 ranking on CBS did an 11.9 rating. It was the second highest rated college football game on CBS since 1987, trailing a Notre Dame vs. Miami game in 1989. Dwayne Johnson played in that game.
--Sheamus was a presenter today on the MTV European Music Awards show in Belfast. He gave Justin Bieber a trophy and ripped into Rory McIllroy for splitting up with his Northern Irish girlfriend.
--Bryan and Mike Sempervive today on Wrestling Observer Live will be doing two hours talking about the history of WCW and death of the company. It's on this site live, on Sports Byline USA, Sirius Ch. 94 and XM Ch. 208 starting at 6 p.m. Eastern time.
--What MMA fighter had the most potential to be a top pro wrestler
Quinton Jackson 42.1%
Bas Rutten 11.4%
Kimbo Slice 10.5%
Frank Mir 7.7%
King Mo 7.5%
Gina Carano 7.3%
Frank Shamrock 4.7%
Randy Couture 2.8%
Rashad Evans 2.6%
Kevin Randleman 1.5%
Forrest Griffin 1.5%
Wanderlei Silva 0.6%
--If Velasquez vs. Dos Santos run short, they should:
Air Henderson vs Guida 55.4%
Air the best undercard fight 22.9%
Air the fight with the best finish 15.1%
Don't air another match 6.6%
--Poll on Smackdown
38.0% of those responding didn't see the show
--An attempted robbery at a motel in Los Angeles was stopped by two Jiu Jitsu practitioners, Brent Alvarez, 33, and Billy Denney, 28. Alvarez, the owner of a martial arts gym in Eugene, OR, and Denney, one of his students, were getting off an elevator last week when they saw someone forcing the motel clerk to empty the cash drawer. Alvarez saw a weapon, and went after the guy. He got the guy in a body lock and choke while the clerk called police. Luis Rosales, 31, was arrested and police found him carrying a loaded 9mm handgun.
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia. Back when Shawn Michaels was married to his first wife, Michaels, in Philadelphia for a show, flew home to attend his wife's graduation from interior design school. The flight had a layover in Atlanta. Michaels bought a tie for the graduation ceremony at the airport but he had no clue had to tie a tie, so he went to a complete stranger in the airport and asked him for help.
--There will be a Domenic DeNucci roast on 12/3 at the DoubleTree Hilton in Pittsburgh/Green Tree (currently the Radisson Hotel/Green Tree). It will take place at 1 p.m. For more info called Dr. Mike Martini at 412-480-9531.
--The movie "Warrior" opened at No. 5 at the box office in Australia with a gross of $1 million. (thanks to James Stanios)
--Platinum Championship Wrestling from Friday night in Avondale Estates, GA: Supernatural b Zackary Blane, Pandora b Campus Orange, Jay Fury NC Eric Walker, Jon Williams & Trey Williams DCOR Nemesis & Brian Blaze, Zach Daniels b Chip Day, Phantom b Sylar Cross, Vandall b Warhorse 47 BC, Dany Only b Seth Delay 2/3 falls.
--Tulalip Championship Wrestling from Friday night in Marysville, WA: Ron Sutherland b Amun Sorrow, Christopher Ryseck b Brickhouse Bereta, Anni Richards b Sunni Daze, Dash Venture b Azeem the Dream, Kellen Raeth b Gangrel, Damon James & Aaron Bolo b Azul Angel & Exile, Cole Bishop & Calibur X and Ideal Protection II & Christopher Ryseck in a four corners elimination match to win the TCW tag titles (thanks to Charles Short)
--USWO from Friday night in Nashville: Psycho Medic b Guido Andretti, Fireball Roberts b Shawn Hoodrich, Damien Payne & Josh Crow b Nick Iggy & Michael Jablonski, L.T. Falk b Bryan Casey, Jocephus NC 2 Tuff Tony, Gary Valiant b Bully Douglas. Raven returns as USWO champion to defend against Jocephus on 11/11 (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--NAWA from last night in Waxahachie, TX: James Johnson b American Ninja, Joe Pearce b Mad Dogg, Nobe Bryant b Masx Muscles, Cowboy Adam & Tim Storm b Li Fang & Doberman (thanks to Rob Moore)
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling from last night in Columbus, IN before 325 fans: Cruel Intentions b TVZ, Cooter Clampett & Fugi Brown & Stompin Steve b Aaron Anarchy & Sabotage Styles & Fast Eddie, Brian Brown b QT in a thumbtacks arm wrestling match, J.D. Marioni b T.J. Powers, Ricky Ruckus b Eric Deaven in a first blood match, Lylah Lodge & Dylan Bostic b Damien Cole & Camron Star, Flash Flanagan & Officer Greg Burns b Bobby Black & Shawn Cook, U-Gene & Donny Idol b Diceman Ronnie Vegas & Sign Guy. Sign Guy and Fast Eddie both ended up with their heads shaved by promoter Jerry Wilaon and U-Gene. Next show is 12/3 in Columbus, IN.
--Showtime All-Star Wrestling and NWA Top Rope tonight run in Lebanon, TN at the Corsica Joe Arena with a benefit show for Mrs. Pat Gregory, the mother of Lisa Sweet and mother-in-law of Bully Douglas, to help pay for her massive medical bills. Chase Stevens vs. Chris Michaels headlines the show.
--Mid Missouri Wrestling last night in St. Louis: Big Texan b Chase King, Lumberjacks NC Phil E. Blunt & Jimmy D, Dave Vaughn b LaMarcus Clinton, Johnny Courageous d Ace Hawkins, Brandon Espinosa b Max Archer, Ricky Cruz b Dave Osborne, Gary Jackson b Jimmy D (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
--EWA from last night in Feeding Mills, MA: I.M. Valor b Shane Sharpe, Dan Da Man b Shane Marvel, Valkyrie b Mafi the Tongan Warrior, Doug Summer b Zachary Pierre Beaulieu-COR, Sebastian Reese DDQ Shane Sharpe, Pursits b Punk n Pre United, Adrian Vine b Mac, Taka Suzuki & Alex Cypher & Chris Mooch b Johnny Idol & Dr. Reginald Heresy & William King in a bunkhouse match. Next show is 1/14.
--There is a bus trip from New York to Philadelphia for that show that leaves at 12:30 p.m. on 9th Avenue between 42nd and 43rd street in Manhattan in front of Starbucks and a block from the Port Authority. Tickets, including transpiration and a G.A. seat for the show are $55. You can go in a luxury bus and watch wrestling footage on the drive. For more info call Richard Parker at 347-531-7947 or write
--CWE on Friday night in Winnipeg at the Polish Fraternal Hall with a 50 man Rumble.