We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week, who is and isn't watching and how each segment on Raw gained or lost audience.
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 on the new CMLL world champion
--Angle being dropped and wrestlers getting new characters
--Identities revealed of two decade long regulars
--90s star resurfaces as a new member of Perros Del Mal
--The retirement of Abdullah the Butcher and a Japanese ceremony to take place
--90s star returns to All Japan to try and bring back their world title
--All Japan's start of the year angle involving all of their championships
--Notes on the new shooter trio
--Notes on end of the year shows in Japan
--Controversy over world jr. title name
--Notes on A-Rod and Torrie Wilson
--Reports on death of Hall of Famer are exaggerated
--More on a new movie about one of pro wrestling's biggest stars and who will and won't be involved
--Two of the most famous tag teams of the past 20 years face off later this month
--Unique pro wrestling show set for Los Angeles
--More on Kim Neilson on "Biggest Loser."
--Anniversary of the end of one of the longest running weekly TV shows in U.S. history, an it was a pro wrestling show
--Update on Barry Windham
--Update on Luke Robinson
--A look back at 70s star Buddy Colt
--Famous evangelist's father was a 60s wrestling star
--Notes on next ROH TV tapings and future matches
--Notes on the Genesis PPV
--TNA's Christmas house shows
--Test of FX as a promotional vehicle for UFC
--State of UFC's welterweight division
--Behind the return of Miguel Torres
--Updates on Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos
--Notes on ticket sales for upcoming UFC events
--Notes on this week's Showtime event
--UFC debuts in Sweden
--More on UFC's fastest fight arguments
--Notes on the UFC return to Japan and how tickets are doing
--Fighter retires on camera, and then says he has no recollection of it
--Lots of new UFC fights announced
--30-year-old solid level MMA fighter passes away tragically
--Sapp signs to face a Gracie
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
4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
. 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.
--Dana White was ambushed by cameras last night in Los Angeles and when asked if he'd late Brock Lesnar go to WWE, he said that he would, so that issue seems settled. When asked about Fedor Emelianenko, he said Fedor was on the way down and "Fedor sucks." Then he said he didn't want to say anything bad about him but he's on the down side of his career.
--There is an article at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
in the entertainment section about Harbhanjan Singh, the cricket star being affiliated with Ring Ka King, the new wrestling show on Colors in that country which pushed the show features Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, Matt Morgan and Abyss.
--TNA has reached a deal with SuperSport in Africa which will air its programming throughout the continent.
--Cable ratings for this past week saw all kinds of college football bowl games carry ESPN to a 3.9 prime time average. TNT had a 1.9 prime time average while USA only finished third at 1.8. FX was No. 15 at 0.9, Syfy was No. 18 at 0.8 and Spike was No. 20 at 0.8. The two hours of Raw last week were No. 18 and No. 20, which is really low. There were seven college and pro football games that week which beat Raw.
--We will be back talking the latest MMA and pro wrestling news with Wrestling Observer radio late tonight. You can also send questions on pro wrestling and MMA to the show at
Our schedule for this coming week will include a Saturday night show covering Strikeforce and Sunday covering TNA Genesis.
--A note that Chuck Langerman, who does our daily wrestling trivia pieces, is undergoing serious eye surgery due to issues that have resulted in him having very limited version. His surgery will be on Friday in Philadelphia so it will be a while before he's able to return to the site. Best wishes to Chuck in his recovery.
--A note from Monday is that Randy Orton turns 32 on WrestleMania Sunday this year, not 31.
--Roddy Piper will be on the "Legends House" show that will be on the WWE Network. Filming starts in a few weeks and it'll be one of the first series on the network when it debuts in April.
--Tito Ortiz will be appearing on Friday night on CBS on the show CSI: NY. Ortiz appears in a show with the storyline that a cage fighter has been murdered by a stalker.
--Hall of Famers Jerry Lawler & Dory Funk Jr. will team up on 1/21 at Funk's show in Ocala, FL. Lawler & Funk Jr. & Johnny Magnum & Cory Weston face Shane Chung & Blain Rage & Fushicho Masuku & a mystery partner. Lawler will also referee a Claudio Reiff vs. Hollywood Heather women's match.
--On Australian TV, the Freddie Flintoff venture into Lucha Libre ended up being anticlimactic. He injured his rib learning to run the ropes and couldn't do Lucha Libre. Darren Gough, another former cricket player did wrestle in his place in a tag team match in Mexico and did okay. (thanks to Graeme Cameron)
--There is an Internet pre sale for the 3/18 WWE return to Madison Square Garden with a joint house show featuring John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Kane, C.M. Punk and Daniel Bryan that started today at Ticketmaster.com with the password "CENAPUNK." There is also a pre sale that started today for the 3/20 Smackdown tapings in Newark at the Prudential Center with the password ROCKWWE or PRUCENTERWWE
--Biggest News Story of September poll
Diaz misses two press conferences, pulled from title match with GSP 31.6%
WWE announces Rock will wrestle his first match since 2004 at Survivor Series 17.8%
Matt Hardy self destructs 12.8%
Raw's 2.71 rating is lowest for non-holiday show in almost 14 years 7.0%
ROH debuts on Sinclair Broadcasting 5.3%
Jon Jones beats Rampage Jackson to keep UFC light heavyweight title 4.4%
Jeff Hardy pleads guilty to 3 drug felonies, spends 10 days in jail 4.4%
SummerSlam does disappointing number with Cena vs. Punk rematch 4.0%
Culinary workers union tries to undermine UFC, attempts to get Fox to pull the deal 1.1%
Hulk Hogan retirement angle before Bound for Glory 0.9%
Cena breaks his own record for most WWE title reigns 0.6%
--Thoughts on Jericho's debut
--Who do you expect to win this fight?
Junior Dos Santos 54.3%
Alistair Overeem 45.7%
--Poll on Raw
11.4% of those responding didn't see the show
--WWE returns to the Bell Centre in Montreal on 3/16 with a Road to WrestleMania joint show with John Cena, C.M. Punk, Randy Orton The Miz, Big Show, Christian, Mark Henry, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder and Kelly Kelly.
--Most U.S. homes will be able to watch Showtime for free this weekend with a free preview weekend. This will include a ShowBox: New Generation show on Friday night at 11 p.m. and the MMA show on Saturday night. The MMA show starts at 8 p.m. with prelims on SHO Extreme, with the main card at 10 p.m. on Showtime.
--The last weekend of April will not only feature an ROH show on 4/28 in Chicago, but also a CHIKARA show that day in Chicago. The Extreme Rules PPV will be at the All-State Arena in Chicago the next night.
--Esteven Payan debuts with Strikeforce as a late addition to Saturday night's card, facing Alonzo Martinez. Payan replaces Bobby Green, who pulled out a couple of days ago due to an injury.
--UFC announced Anthony Perosh vs. Nick Penner for the 3/3 show in Sydney. Perosh is from Australia and has been in UFC since they started running the country and looked good beating Cyrille Diabate in early November. Penner, is an 11-1 fighter from Canada, who makes his UFC debut.
--The new People en Espanol magazine has a three-page feature on Blue Demon Jr. (thanks to Robert Miqueli)
--Some more notes on the WrestleReunion event in Los Angeles. The comedy event will take place on 1/27, after the Dragon Gate USA show ends, priced at $5 with Colt Cabana and Marty DeRosa. The 1/29 Breakfast of Champions has been cut back from 100 slots to 64, due to lack of advanced sales. Carlos Colon was scheduled but he won't be there due to travel issues. Still expected are Kevin Von Erich, Scott Steiner, Vader, Tommy Dreamer, Mikey Whipwreck, Molly Holly, Spice (Nitro Girl, not chemical that gets WWE stars suspended), Kevin Sullivan, Rick Steiner, Fit Finlay, Harry Smith, Jimmy Hart, Raven and Godfather. (thanks to Daniel Short)
--Also announced for the WrestleReunion is 80s female manager Dark Journey (Linda Newton), who worked in Mid South and Crockett Promotions for a few years.
--Lucha Libre returns to Minneapolis on 1/8 at El Nuevo Rodeo on 2709 E. Lake St. bringing Renagado Estrada from Juarez vs. Apostle 13 for a 3 p.m. show
--NWF from Sunday in Cincinnati: Brothers Sanchez b Malpractice & Brian Dewey, Brody Cormick b Chris Majors, T-Money b Playboy, Pompano Joe & Nasty Russ NC Matt Stephens & Virus, Revolution b Perfection & Dustin Lillard, Danny Todd b Christopher Michael Lotus, Kyron b Muldoon & Roger Ruffen. Next show is 1/7 in Fairfield, OH at the UAW Hall. They also run 1/14 in West Harrison, IN at the Harrison Health & Fitness Center and 1/21 in Cincinnati at Bonekrushers Pro Wrestling Training Center.
--New England Championship Wrestling on 1/13 in Malden, MA at the Irish American Club with Bobby Fish vs. Eddie Edwards for the NECW title.
--Tommy Young, the former Crockett and WCW referee, has been added to the NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest weekend from 8/2 to 8/5 in Charlotte at the Hilton University Place Hotel.
--I Believe in Wrestling on Saturday night at 8 p.m. at the Team Vision Dojo in Orlando
--EWF on Friday night in Covina, CA at the Knights of Columbus
--Former WWE wrestler Rodney Mack and wife Jazz are available for bookings and appearances through Bill Behrens at
Both are based out of Lafayette, LA.
--Arianny Celeste as signed as an endorser of JACO, a training apparel company based out of Deerfield Beach, FL. She will be both a model and a brand ambassador.