WED. UPDATE: UFC TV plans for 2012, What will happen Saturday, Ratings, Storm, Velasquez, Helms
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 16:39
We're looking for reports on today's Raw house show in Nottingham, England and Smackdown show in Brussels, Belgium.
Ultimate Fighter tonight has Dennis Bermudez vs. Akira Corassani in the featherweight semifinals, winner goes to the live show on 12/3, plus one of the wildest pranks in TUF history.
Tomorrow has Raw in Glasgow, Scotland and Smackdown in Zurich, Switzerland. Friday has Raw in London at the O2 Arena and Smackdown in Gdansk, Poland. The tour finishes on Saturday with Raw in Minehead, England and Smackdown in Frankfurt, Germany, before the crew returns for a three-hour Raw featuring The Rock and Mick Foley from Boston on Monday.
UFC Prime Time, the Velasquez vs. Dos Santos preview show, replays at 8 p.m. tonight on Fuel.
The record setting first weekend gross for WrestleMania is among the lead stories in the newest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which also has a detailed preview of Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos and why it's one of the biggest fights in UFC history, the business of UFC on network TV, and the biggest money events in UFC and WWE history.
We also have our updated quarterly look at WWE business, looking at the quarterly report in every aspect. We look at the ideas for the WWE Network, talk about the planned launch time, reactions from those in the company and how many employees and how much money will be spent between now and the end of the year to get the network going.
We look at 2011 financially for both UFC and WWE so far, Vince McMahon calls another network a failure, his goals for the network, what shows will likely be on the network and what shows won't. We look at the two different concepts for WWE on PPV going forward. We look at Vince's reaction when it was brought up that WWE had a buzz over the summer and seems to have lost it.
We also look at the movie business, where WWE revenue is coming from as far as different parts of the world, live event business, PPV business including a chart of all the PPV numbers for the first nine months of the past three years. We look at what the average house show is bringing in, both in ticket sales, ticket revenue and merchandise sales. We've got updated numbers on how WrestleMania did, how Money in the Bank did, as well as SummerSlam and Night of Champions. We look at the prospects for Survivor Series and Rock's return, what the return of HHH meant on PPV and what figures are misleading due to new contracts.
We also look at the home video business, the toy business, the video game business, magazine business and the contract with the USA Network.
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 also have more on Vince McMahon, why Smackdown and Raw are different these days, a songwriter suing WWE, update on Shane McMahon, UFC in Madison Square Garden, WWE drug testing, update on Survivor Series, Brock Lesnar vs. Steve Austin, Vince McMahon donates to presidential campaign, update on Averno in WWE, update on Great Khali and a tweet that turns a champion into a job guy.
We also note GSP's favorite WWE wrestler, more complaints about a new star getting pushed, return of Kane, a 2012 program, WWE back in Japan, WWE developmental notes, WWE business notes from the past week in the U.K. and highlights of all the European events.
We also have full coverage of UFC 138, including details on the ratings, how much each match gained or lost viewers, and the fallout of Chris Leben vs. Mark Munoz and the emergence of Renan Barao as a bantamweight star and potential title challenger, plus what finish is now in the UFC record books.
We also look at the Japanese New Year's tradition, Antonio Inoki's attempt to keep it going, his idea of a show and where the networks' heads are at right now.
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 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:
--Death of a wrestler who had a very controversial gimmick in the 70s, to the point even the wrestlers protested it
--Second generation masked Russian roulette
--Two more wrestlers using the same name feuding similar to the WWE's Sin Cara feud
--An indie show draws almost the same in an arena as WWE did for its TV taping in the same building a few weeks ago
--Lots of injury updates
--Explanation for turn of Octagon and La Parka in AAA
--Notes on the upcoming Dragon Gate USA tour
--All Japan goes to Taiwan
--Pro Wrestling NOAH's Global League tournament starts, early matches and standings
--A look at the finish of New Japan's G-1 tag team tournament
--Lineup for the next New Japan PPV show
--Update on the health issues of Barry Windham
--Former WWE headliner wants to go back to promotion and why it won't happen
--Two former WWE stars in training to do MMA and update on how both are doing
--A look at longtime wrestling announcer Dave Brown of Memphis
--What former WWF star vows never to fly again and wants to move out of the country
--Former WWF star autobiography finished
--The surprising note on the biggest pro wrestlers of all-time, and they are names you would have never heard of
--ROH's first house show in a market with television and how much did television help business
--Notes on ROH TV ratings
--A look at change in ROH business and the realities of trying to compete in modern times
--Plans going forward for ROH television
--A look at the ROH TV tapings and highlights of all the shows leading to this year's Final Battle including go-home angle
--How ROH handles house show after TV is taped but before TV is played
--A note on how one of the main events on the next ROH iPPV is likely to go
--Update on A.J. Styles and Turning Point
--Details of Kurt Angle's latest court case
--TNA going to be cross promoting with MMA far more going forward
--Notes on TNA doing business with international group
--More on the TNA/OVW deal
--Notes on Jeff Hardy's legal status
--Rap record featuring Ric Flair
--Notes on all the TNA house shows of the past week
--Update on UFC PPV numbers
--Lorenzo Fertitta talks UFC business
--Notes on Gina Carano's movie premiere
--Notes on the next season of Ultimate Fighter
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Talk about the revival of K-1
--90s pro wrestling group looks to revive as a shoot promotion
--Latest on Bobby Lashley in MMA
--Another PPV show announced for November
--Nate Marquardt returns to fighting in the U.K.
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.
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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
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.
--A lot of 2012 UFC plans were talked about by Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, and FOX execs like David Hill, Eric Shanks and George Greenberg. The plan starting in the new year will be four FOX specials which will air from 8:30 to 10 p.m. on Saturday nights, airing two or three fights. There will also be six live events that will be two hours in length airing on FX, and six live events on Fuel that will be three hours in length. For PPV shows, they will air the early prelim matches on Fuel, the last two prelims on FX and then go live on PPV.
--The most notable thing is that Fuel is going to be almost the UFC channel. They are planning on airing 2,000 hours of UFC programming next year, which, if you're keeping track, is five-and-a-half hours per day, and that number may go up more than down. It will include all kinds of taped shows, talk shows, Pride shows, UFC events, UFC prelims, and any international versions of Ultimate Fighter. So without changing its name, it's almost like it'll be the UFC network.
--Lorenzo Fertitta said that there are no plans to air two shows on the same night. Dana White had talked about it for 2/25, which would have been a FOX special as the lead-in for a PPV show. He said they could do it, it won't happen 2/25, but right now there are no plans for such a night.
--They also noted on Saturday's TV show, they won't be pushing UFC 139 that much, but will instead focus on pushing UFC 141 with Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem, with both appearing on the show, and pushing that the winner of Dos Santos vs. Velasquez faces the Lesnar vs. Overeem winner.
--White has been pushing Pacquiao vs. Marquez almost as good as the boxing promoters, talking about how you can sit at home Saturday night, watch the UFC heavyweight title fight, and then buy the Pacquiao PPV.
--Today is the 14th anniversary of the Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels match in Montreal. Who knew that 14 years later there would be a video released where it was still the main subject talked about.
--Even with football, USA was No. 1 in prime time on cable last week with a 2.4 average to 2.2 for ESPN and 1.8 for Disney. FX was No. 9 at 1.0 and Syfy was No. 11 at 1.0. Spike was No. 21 at 0.7. The two hours of Raw were No. 6 and No. 10. For 18-49 Raw was No. 6 and No. 7.
--Jeff Bukantz noted in the talk about the death of Joe Frazier, that the first Ali vs. Frazier fight in Madison Square Garden was four weeks to the day, in the same arena, of the Pedro Morales WWWF title win over Ivan Koloff.
--Bryan and I will be back tonight for Wrestling Observer radio, talking Smackdown, previewing the weekend shows and taking questions that you can send to
--Lance Storm noted that he will be open for bookings in Ontario between 12/9 and 12/19. He can do appearances, training seminars or even wrestle. He's more interested in the former than the latter but is open to wrestling. He can be reached at
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia. ROH wrestler Rhett Titus was a 2005 graduate of Lacey Township High School in Lanoka Harbor, NJ. Titus played offensive tackle and defensive end on the Lacey Township football team. The most famous graduate of the school was former NFL running back Keith Elias, who played halfback at Princeton and later went on to play with the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts. Elias was also a big wrestling fan growing up.
--The Liverpool football club has a video of Sheamus visiting them at http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/latest-news/wwe-star-i-d-take-neville-down
Ted DiBiase, who is also a soccer fan, went with him. DiBiase said he nearly qualified for the U.S. national soccer team. Is there anything to that? I had heard he was a good high school football player but never heard that. (thanks to Tony Garvey)
--ESPN in the U.K. announced its schedule for 11/19. The UFC Countdown show airs at 12:30 a.m., followed by MMA Live at 1:30 a.m. and the live PPV headlined by Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua and Cung Le vs. Wanderlei Silva is at 2 a.m.
--Aja Kong vs. Meiko Satomura was announced for CHIKARA's Joshimania show on 12/3 in Everett, MA. They will be doing three nights using women wrestlers from Japan as the stars on 12/2 in Philadelphia, and also 12/4 in New York.
--Jason Segel, who is part of the Muppet movie project, was on Jay Leno last night, and asked if he was working on any good sketches for Saturday Night Live this weekend, which he is hosting. He said he may do an Andre the Giant impression, and then do an impression of Andre from "The Princess Bride" and sounded just like him. (thanks to Michael Bernstein)
--WWE has sent out advertising for Monday's Raw listing John Cena & Randy Orton & C.M. Punk vs. The Miz & R-Truth & Mark Henry as the main event. That's probably the dark match. (thanks to Josh Nason)
--Bruce Buffer did the ring announcing at the World Series of Poker main event last night on ESPN, doing his, "It's time!" catch phrase after introducing the players (thanks to Daniel Short)
--Bill Eadie aka Masked Superstar aka Demolition Ax has been added as a guest for the WrestleReunion in Miami over WrestleMania weekend. He will be wrestling as well.
--Mark Madden has gotten some publicity because people have discovered he actually broke the Sandusky story back in April and the rest of the media pretty much ignored it, and now it's the biggest sports in sports.
--Who will win this fight?
Ben Henderson 60.9%
Clay Guida 39.1%
Who do you most want to see face Dominick Cruz for the bantamweight title?
Urijah Faber 45.0%
Renan Barao 35.7%
Brian Bowles 19.3%
--Will next week's Raw do a 3.6 rating?
Better than a 3.6 9.9%
3.6 itself 8.2%
Worse than a 3.6 81.9%
--Poll on Raw
27.1% of those responding didn't see the show. Much larger not seeing it than any time in a long time, and poor results overall.
--They also announced that Maryse will be a guest at the 1/27 to 1/29 convention in Los Angeles. She will be doing autographs and also wrestle on one of the shows.
--Former UFC fighter Rich Clementi faces Ronnie Rogers at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, MA for Victory Promotions on Saturday night which airs live on GoFightLive.tv
--Former TUF fighter Ryan McGillivray returns to the Maximum Fighting Championships for a 1/27 show in Edmonton.
--Jim Fitzpatrick noted that the San Francisco Bay Bombers will be doing their annual Toys for Tots benefit game on 12/17 in Pleasanton at the Alameda County Fairgrounds with the Bay Bombers facing the All-Stars.
--New England Championship Wrestling on Saturday night in Abington, MA at the High School headlined by D.C. Dillinger & Brian Fury & Brandon Locke vs. Matt Taven & Julian Starr & Nunzio.
--Chaotic Wrestling on 11/11 in Woburn, MA at the Elks Lodge
--NWA Coastal on 11/19 in Bayville, NJ at the Elks Lodge featuring Ricky Reyes, Vordell Walker, El Bronco from the Caribbean and Tommy Cairo
--Tijuana at the Auditorio on 11/18 has Drago & Zorro vs. Chessman & La Parka as the main event.
--MMA and Muay Thai fights on 11/19 in St. Louis at the Moolah Shrine Temple. All seats are $35. Moolah Shrine Temple? I wonder if they have a Mildred Burke Shrine Temple anywhere.