WED. UPDATE: Ratings, Storm book, Hogan in U.K., new UFC show, Keibler & Carano in People, Sonnen



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TNA's European tour continues Thursday in Nottingham, Friday in Manchester and has the TV taping on Saturday in London. We're looking for reports on all of these shows at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tonight on Fuel is UFC Tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern, Part one of the Diaz vs. Condit Countdown show at 7:30 p.m. and UFC 79 PPV at 8 p.m. (Wanderlei Silva vs. Chuck Liddell and GSP vs. Matt Hughes). UFC Diaz vs. Condit airs again at 1:30 a.m. and UFC 79 again tomorrow at 5 p.m.
Our traditional best selling issue of the year is out today on the web site, the 32nd annual Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards issue. Our annual readers poll is out and the awards issue has the top place winners in every category along with stories on the winners and a history of everyone who has won awards dating back to 1980.
The awards covered this year are:
LOU THESZ/RIC FLAIR AWARD FOR WRESTLER OF THE YEAR
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS MVP
MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER
MOST OUTSTANDING FIGHTER
BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW
FEUD OF THE YEAR
TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR
MOST IMPROVED
BEST ON INTERVIEWS
MOST CHARISMATIC
BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER
BRUISER BRODY MEMORIAL AWARD FOR BEST BRAWLER
BEST FLYING WRESTLER
MOST OVERRATED
MOST UNDERRATED
PROMOTION OF THE YEAR
BEST WEEKLY TELEVISION SHOW
BEST PRO WRESTLING MATCH OF THE YEAR
BEST MMA MATCH OF THE YEAR
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
BEST NON-WRESTLER
BEST TELEVISION ANNOUNCER
WORST TELEVISION ANNOUNCER
BEST MAJOR WRESTLING SHOW
WORST MAJOR WRESTLING SHOW
BEST WRESTLING MANEUVER
MOST DISGUSTING PROMOTIONAL TACTIC
WORST TELEVISION SHOW
WORST MATCH OF THE YEAR
WORST FEUD OF THE YEAR
WORST PROMOTION OF THE YEAR
BEST BOOKER
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
BEST GIMMICK
WORST GIMMICK
BEST BOOK
BEST DVD
We also update plans for WrestleMania and plans for a match not yet announced. We also look at this past week's changes in the 2012 PPV schedule. We also look at the Royal Rumble, an angle planned for the Rumble that was put on hold, update on the WWE network, who watches WWE programming right now and more on the Legends House show.
We also look at the latest from WWE Films, why nobody cares about storylines, former TNA wrestler looking at getting into WWE, the return of The Rock to television, and WWE inadvertently starts up the media story they most want to go away.
We also look at this past weekend's house shows, the new formula tried, was it a success or not and business notes from the past week.
We also have all the news from the past week including a rundown of UFC on FX, a look at ratings for both the FX version of the show and the prelims on Fuel. We look at where both stand for the stations, in the key demos, how FX drew for a Fight Night compared to Spike, as well as how Spike's counter programming did for the night.
We also look at the main stories coming out of the show, along with match-by-match coverage of the show.
We also look back at Mid South Wrestling in the 80s, the attempt to replace the Junkyard Dog that led to the brief period of stardom of Savannah Jack, who passed away this past week.
We look at how Jack got into pro wrestling, who he played college football with who became a major star, how he broke in and found his way to Mid South Wrestling and the UWF, the list of JYD replacements in that territory that never panned out, his moment in the Sun, why it ended so quickly and the health problems that ended his career and plagued the rest of his life.
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 also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week. We also have how every segment on Raw and Impact did as far as gaining and losing viewers, as well as who did what in the key segments and who appeals to what.

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
reviews.

Also in this week's issue:
--CMLL's first major show of the year notes and what legends are being honored
--Star wrestler put out of action in an accident the likes of which you'll never believe
--Notes on AAA's first television taping on 2012
--What it looks like AAA is building for its first major show of the year
--Johnny Gargano injury situation
--A look at Dragon Gate's major show at Korakuen Hall this past week
--NOAH's first big show of the year, title changes and other big matches as well as two new title matches announced
--A look at New Japan's Fantasticmania, joint shows with CMLL
--More on the Jesse Ventura story
--Wrestling announcer whose career spans four decades in serious accident
--Pro wrestler sentenced to 32 years in jail this past week
--Pro wrestling promoter serving time in jail right now
--Behind the firing of Syd Eick from ROH
--A look at ROH angles going forward and the two shows this past week
--Early notes on TNA Lockdown and ticket sales
--Against All Odds main event situation
--Update on Jeff Hardy
--More people leaving TNA
--Notes on the India promotion and plans going forward
--Mr. Anderson talks leaving WWE
--More on Ric Flair in WWE Hall of Fame a second time
--Notes on all the TNA house shows this past week both in the U.S. and Europe
--Update on UFC PPV numbers
--Strikeforce ticket sales
--More on the box office results for Haywire and thoughts on the opening weekend
--Notes on UFC and WWE and their support of SOPA
--Dana White responds to hackers
--Stipulations on the UFC on FOX show this week
--Update on UFC doing its own drug testing
--More on King Mo Lawal's failed drug test
--Marc Ratner rules on Erick Silva vs. Carlo Prater fight from Brazil
--New UFC ad and what is behind it
--UFC millionaires
--Update on Mark Munoz after surgery
--More on the TUF Brazil show
--Notes on plans for TUF Australia vs. U.K, time frame, finals and a probable coach
--UFC banning more sponsors and why
--NFL star talks about wanting to do MMA after football is over
--Notes on the beginning of the next season of TUF U.S.
--UFC star in a Super Bowl commercial
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Early plans for April PPV in Atlanta and May FOX show
--Notes on the next Bellator show and its new time slot
--More on HDNet being sold and what that means for the MMA programming
--Details on new weekly MMA TV show on Spike that starts in March
--Former UFC and Strikeforce fighter sentenced to prison
--More on the grandson of a pro wrestling legend in MMA
--A new potential MMA star and opponent for the women's champion
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major story (ies) of the past 11 years you are most interested in
and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue. Our most requested issues in our history are:

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*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
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*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)

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*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth, and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)

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*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
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Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)

*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)

*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)

*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)

*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)

*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)

*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and
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*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)

*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)

*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)

*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund,
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America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--The USA Network was No. 1 for this past week on cable with a 2.1 prime time average to 1.9 for Fox News and 1.7 for Disney. FX was No. 9 with a 1.2 average, meaning the UFC show actually fell well below average. Syfy was No. 14 at 1.0. Spike didn't crack the top 25. Raw last week was No. 14 and No. 16. The 49ers vs. Giants game did an incredible 30.6 rating and 57.64 million viewers on Sunday night.
--We have a ton of audio shows coming up over the next few days. Today we will talk the latest news, including previewing Saturday night's UFC show and taking questions that you can send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Tomorrow will be our annual Awards show. We also have shows Saturday night after UFC on FOX, Sunday after the Royal Rumble and Monday after Raw.
--Lance Storm's second eBook is out, with tons of stories about his WWE period of his career and a lengthy look at why he decided to get off the road in his 30s at www.amazon.com/Storm-Front-Tales-StormWrestling-com-ebook/dp/B0071IH2A0/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1327505973&sr=1-2
--Hulk Hogan appeared on the U.K. TV show "Loose Women," similar to The View, today. The hosts knew little about wrestling. Hogan said that TNA was the most popular wrestling television show in the U.K. (it's not, but he should say that) and that the U.K. fans were the best in the world. He said he wouldn't be wrestling this week but would get in on the action. He pushed that children can attend the show. He came across well and made TNA out to be a big deal. He didn't mention the names of any of the TNA wrestlers. One thing he said was the biggest change in wrestling is that the angles moved so fast. He said that it used to take 6-7 months to complete a storyline and now the same storyline starts and finishes in the same two hour television show. (thanks to Adam Dawes)
--UFC is looking at a show on 5/15 in Fairfax VA at the Patriot Center which would be an FX show. MMAjunkie.com reported Jason MacDonald vs. Tom Lawlor being on the show.
--Shane Helms does an interview on DDP's radio show at 9 p.m. Eastern tonight to talk about his motorcycle accident at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ddpradio You can also call 347-994-1216 to talk with him.
--ROH and CHIKARA have a plan for 4/28 tickets for the afternoon and evening show in Chicago. If you buy tickets for both shows you can get $10 off the total purchase, which is $5 off a ticket for each show.
--Kevin Nash said "Under no circumstances will I be at the Royal Rumble, unless of course, I'm going over. Oh, and I need to be No. 30."
--The Johnny Bedford vs. Mitch Gagnon fight scheduled for Saturday night's UFC Chicago show has been canceled because Gagnon is unable to get into the U.S. The fight was scheduled for the Fuel network prelims.
--The presale for TNA Lockdown is taking place today and tomorrow at ticketmaster.com with the presale code word CAGE.
--The People Magazine review of Haywire is at http://m.people.com/bb/reviewsmoviesitem.rbml?item=0&emvcc=-1
--The new issue of People Magazine kept a diary of a day in her life with George Clooney which included going to a Baltimore Ravens game and the Golden Globe awards on the same day.
--The USA Network will not be airing the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony on the night before WrestleMania, at least on that night. Last year it aired on Monday, so it's possible that will be the case this year as well (thanks to Devin Cutting)
--Paul Heyman talks Low Ki's Evolve debut at http://www.heymanhustle.com/articles/news/23-news/167481-low-ki
--Ronda Rousey's mother is tired of women fighters bad mouthing her daughter at http://drannmaria.blogspot.com When I was in college, Ronda's mom was someone that everyone was in awe of, since I went to a college where some of the best judokas in the world trained.
--Speaking of Rousey, she was on Attack of the Show, and came off better than I've seen just about any fighter or wrestler come across on a show of that type.
--Chael Sonnen promoting Saturday night's fight on the Dan LeBatard show at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF5BlBh-mSM&t=0m23
--Chuck Langerman's daily pro wrestling trivia talks about today being the second anniversary of the death of Georgiann Makropolous. Georgiann Makropolous was a wrestling fan who dated back to the 1959, the year she graduated high school. She did the Wrestling Chatterbox Newsletter for 22 years, but was involved in fan clubs dating back to the early 60s and her official fan clubs for Bruno Sammartino, Buddy Rogers, Bob Orton Sr. and many others. Other the years she regularly undertook causes for wrestlers including helping raise money for Konnan's kidney transplant in 2007. In pro wrestling, 99.9% of decision are based on either money or ego, but neither money nor ego drove Georgie's life.
--Tickets for the go-home Raw, and the go-home Smackdown featuring The Rock, on 3/26 at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta go on sale on Saturday at 10 a.m.
--Tickets for the UFC PPV on 4/21 at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta go on sale on 2/18.
--What do you think is the real main event for Saturday night's show?
Bisping vs. Sonnen 69.5%
Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis 30.5%
--Which title match at the Rumble do you think is bigger
Punk vs. Ziggler with Laurinaitis ref 69.6%
Show vs. Henry vs. Bryan 30.4%
--What was the best pro wrestling match 2005-2010
Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels I 49.3%
Kenta Kobashi vs. Samoa Joe 20.2%
Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels II 9.6%
Dragon Kid & Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi vs. Cima & Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino 8.1%
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho ladder match 7.1%
Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima 5.7%
--What was the best MMA fight 2005-2010
Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar 49.8%
Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida 16.8%
Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung 14.9%
Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia 8.7%
Diego Sanchez vs. Karo Parisyan 5.5%
Forrest Griffin vs. Rampage Jackson 4.3%
--Best lightweight from this group
Frankie Edgar 52.6%
Ben Henderson 36.2%
Eddie Alvarez 5.6%
Jim Miller 2.8%
Michael Chandler 2.8%
--Do you think Gina Carano will fight in 2012?
Yes 16.4%
No 83.6%
--Who is the best woman fighter at 135 pounds?
Ronda Rousey 44.4%
Miesha Tate 35.1%
Sarah Kaufman 17.5%
Alexis Davis 2.6%
Sara McMann 0.4%
--Who do you expect to take this fight?
Josh Koscheck 93.3%
Mike Pierce 6.7%
--Poll on Monday's Raw
Excellent 3.9%
Good 28.9%
Average 28.3%
Fair 15.5%
Poor 23.4%
15.6% of those responding didn't see the show
--Chris Jericho will be hosting a free D1 experience at his new D1 Sports Training facility in Tampa on Saturday from 10-11 a.m. Jericho co-owns the facility with Derrick Brooks, Tim Tebow and Chipper Jones. The facility is at 6918 Gunn Highway in Tampa. For more info you can call 813-358-7671 or go to http://www.D1Tampa.com You have to be over the age of 16 to attend.
--Michelle McCool turns 32 today and talks new hobbies, new hair color, and a potential LayCool reunion at http://MichelleMcCool.Net
--WWE 24/7 Classics this week has the Superstar Billy Graham DVD.
--Advertised for the 3/13 Smackdown tapings in Columbus, OH at Nationwide Arena is Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show for the world title and Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett in a street fight (thanks to Steve Helwagen)
--AWWL from Saturday night in Jackson, MI: SuperLover Man b Cecil Cerveza, Serenity b Randi West to win womens' title, RiveRok b El Toro and Tommy Johnson, The Viking b Masked Demon, Prince d Harlem Jackson, Jerome Pruitt b Mr. X, Whipdog Johnson b Rastakhan-DQ, Tim Horner Jr. NC Harker Dirge
--The EWF's annual X8 tournament on 3/17 at Borderman Gym in Converse, IN has a one night tournament with Drake Younger, Sugar Dunkerton, Gregory Iron, Troy Miller, Bobby Steele, Kyle Matthews, The Flying Wondercat and one more person. Matt Hardy will also be wrestling on the show.
--Aggression MMA on 2/11 in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Centre headlined by Ryan Ford vs. Tyson Steele and Victor Valimaki vs. Tim Chemelli.
--NWA Rampage on Sunday in Warner-Robins, GA before 100 fans: Rob Adonis b Jacob Ashworth, Cru Jones b Anthony Henry, Chris Jacobs b Ninja, Chip Day & Corey Hollis & Patrick Bentley b Anthony Henry & C.B. Gibson & Jacob Ashworth, Trey & Jon Williams b Michael Stevens & Anthony Andrews, J-Rod b Shaun Banks, Frankie Valentine b Patrick Bentley-DQ, Frankie Valentine & Trey & Jon Williams b Chip Day & Corey Hollis & Patrick Bentley, Drew Adler b Michael Stevens-DQ, Michael Stevens & Anthony Andrews b Sal Rinauro & Drew Adler-DQ, Kyle Matthews & Murder One & A.J. Steele b Jeremy Vain & Mikal Judas (Murphy in TNA) & Rob Adonis. (thanks to Larry Goodman)
--Pro Wrestling Syndicate on 3/9 in Rahway, NJ at the Rec Center has Sami Callihan vs. Colt Cabana, Matt Hardy vs. Sid Vicious, Davey Richards vs. Dan Maff, Necro Butcher vs. The Sheik (managed by Abdullah the Butcher), Anthony Nese vs. Alex Reynolds plus Warlord, Barbarian, Amazing Red, AR Fox, Eddie Kingston, Angelina Love, Shelly Martinez, The Shockmaster and The Godfather.
--Michael at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is looking for a signed or ring worn mask of Jushin Liger, Mistico or Hayabusa.
--Tri-City Wrestling from Sunday in Kitchener, ONT: Brent Banks vs. Jersey Wave vs. Eric Ryan was a draw, Mr. All-Star b Alex Vega, Scotty the Body b Mr. Atlantis, Ethan Page b Josh Alexander-DQ, Shawn Spears & Ethan Page b Jake O'Reilly & Josh Alexander, Cherry Bomb b Allysin Kaye, Crazzy Steve b Derek Wylde, Anthony Darko b Scotty O'Shea. Next show is 2/19 at Battlezone in Kitchener. (thanks to Steven Ashe)
--Mike Brown will be honored on 2/11 at the New England Fights show in Lewiston, ME at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. Brown will also be doing a seminar on 2/9 at Central Maine Jiu Jitsu in Auburn, ME from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for $55. If you buy a ticket to the Fight show you can $5 off the seminar price.
--River City Wrestling on 2/4 in San Antonio at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church features Alissa Flash and Hernandez.
--UWC Championship Wrestling is at http://www.youtube.com/UWCWrestlingVideos
--IWC on Friday night in Elizabeth, PA at the Court Time Sports Center has Jimmy DeMarco vs. John McChesney in the main event.