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
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
--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:
*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.
--Our annual Wrestling Observer Radio awards show will be up later today. If you've got any questions on this year's awards, you can e-mail for today's taping to
--Some notes from today's UFC press conference for Saturday night's show.
Dana White, on Sonnen's recent interviews saying that if he wins he's not facing Anderson Silva, but GSP or Jon Jones: "Chael's nuts. He says all kinds of crazy things. He says he's the champion. Listen to me, he's not the champion. He will fight Anderson Silva if he wins. He will not fight for the heavyweight championship or against Jon Bones Jones. I have to have a separate press conference to stop all the stuff that Chael says."
Sonnen showed up with a replica UFC belt and put it in front of himself like he was champion. He claimed he took it from Anderson Silva and that possession is nine-tenths of the law (a saying that used to be used regularly in belt stealing pro wrestling angles).
Michael Bisping saw the belt and said, "I think you can get it on ebay for $29.99."
Sonnen was out cutting Superstar Billy Graham promos. Later, when asked about if he watched wrestling growing up, he said he came from a poor family and they didn't have cable so he never saw wrestling, and instead said he grew up watching Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran.
He made fun of people to do training camps: "I don't do these camps. I think fighters go to camp as a way to say, `My wife and kids are driving me nuts and I gotta get out of town.' I practice every day. I practice harder before a fight. I don't run practice. My coach runs practice. My skills are my skills. May the better man win, and I will."
Rashad Evans was trying to get into Phil Davis' head, saying he wasn't a very good wrestler, that his technique is lousy, that he only won the NCAA's because it was a down year and he guaranteed if they were in college at the same time he'd have beaten Davis in wrestling. This is in response to Davis saying that he would beat Evans 100 times out of 100 in a wrestling match.
Davis' response was: "Cocaine's a hell of a drug... I encourage imagination, it's good that he has that, no he'll never beat be in any kind of wrestling, not thumb wrestling, not anything of the sort."
Davis later told the Illinois commission that they need to test Evans when he kept saying he would beat Davis in wrestling.
Evans also said that Davis looks like John Salley and Arsenio Hall had a baby.
--Since the injury angle was shot, Ted DiBiase today said that he has both a broken wrist and torn cartilage in his wrist, but that he can still work with the injury.
--A note about the airing of the original 1974 movie "The Wrestler" at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis several times over the weekend. Verne Gagne has not made a public appearance in many years but Greg Gagne is bringing Verne to the Saturday at 2 p.m. showing of the movie to see how well he can do. If Verne is okay, he will attend other showings on both Saturday and Sunday. Greg, now 63, who is doing a Q&A at the 6:30 p.m. tomorrow night showing, is currently working two jobs, selling insurance for Colonial Met, and also selling cars. I wouldn't call it a good movie and the acting by the wrestlers of 1974 was certainly no better than John Cena's acting, but there is something very enjoyable about the movie, including the ridiculous bar fight scene with Dick Murdoch & Dusty Rhodes, and Sam Menacker played a fifth-rate gangster Today's Minneapolis Star-Tribune has more at http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/movies/138064638.html
--There is a Dragon Gate USA PPV at 11 p.m. Eastern and 8 p.m. Pacific time tomorrow night at www.WWNLive.com
with these matches:
Cima & Ricochet vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Jimmy Susumu for the Open the United Gate title
Pac vs. Akira Tozawa
Masato Yoshino vs. Naruki Doi
AR Fox vs. Sami Callihan
Low Ki vs. BxB Hulk
Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann vs. Young Bucks
Jon Davis vs. Caleb Konley
--UFC weigh-ins will be airing live on Fuel TV and also on this site tomorrow at 5 p.m. Eastern.
--The second episode of the Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz Countdown show will air tomorrow night at 11 p.m. Eastern on FX. Keep in mind that FX does not have a staggered feed so it's 8 p.m. on the West Coast.
--Tommy Dreamer today did an interview with www.radaronline.com
claiming that WWE twice wanted to fire C.M. Punk early in his tenure but that he saved Punk's job. "I saved his job two times when he was about to be let go, I was saying, `Ya gotta help this kid, ya gotta keep the kid.'"
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia concerns 70s and 80s star George "The Animal" Steele. Jim "Moose" Myers grew up in Madison Heights, MI, and graduated from Madison Heights High School in 1956. Myers played football, track, basketball and baseball in school, and then went to Michigan State as a football player. But he blew out his knee. He ended up earning both a B.A. and a Master's Degree at Michigan State. He started teaching and coaching both football and wrestling at Madison Heights High in 1961. Looking at supplementing his teaching salary, he worked as a pro wrestler for The Sheik under a mask as "The Student," to hide from people in school that he was wrestling. In 1967, while working in Pittsburgh during summer vacation, since he was out of his area, he wrestled without a mask, but didn't want to use his real name. He used the name George Steele, partially because Pittsburgh was the Steel City. However, the George Steele name came because one of Myers' rival football coaches was a man named George Steele, who coached at Warren High School. Myers wrestled full-time in the summer, and in the area during the school year, until 1986, when he quit his teaching job because Vince McMahon Jr. wanted him full-time year-round touring. A trivia note is that in Myers' early year as a football coach, when Madison Heights played Warren High, an all-state player on the Warren High football team coached by the real George Steele, was Frank Goodish, who later became a pro wrestling star as Bruiser Brody.
--The movie "Like Water," a documentary showing Anderson Silva training for his fight in 2010 with Chael Sonnen, was picked up by Cinedigm for a theatrical release sometime this summer.
--We'll have more on this later, but Bruce Tharpe, a Texas promoter with the NWA has sued the NWA as well as promoters Bob Trobich, Fred Rubenstein, Bill Behrens, Dave Marquez, Michael Porter, Ken Taylor and Michael Sircy on an insurance fraud claim, saying they misrepresented to the insurance company that their shows would all be gatherings of less than 100 people and claimed they got members by telling them they would have insurance for their events by joining the NWA. One NWA member claimed the suit was a power play and Tharpe wanted to be Executive Director of the organization and claimed NWA bylaws required suits to be filed in North Carolina, and this was not.
--The Miz is currently in Abu Dhabi doing a promotional tour for the shows there next month.
--ESPN in the U.K. is having a free preview weekend from 2/3 to 2/5, which means UFC 143 will be free to everyone in the U.K. with qa digital TV set (thanks to Lee Wall).
--The filming dates for "Legends House" look now to be 2/12 to 3/17.
--Who do you predict wins this fight?
Demian Maia 67.8%
Chris Weidman 32.2%
--Which of these shows do you think is more important?
Royal Rumble 51.9%
UFC on FOX 48.1%
--Which are you most interested in?
Royal Rumble 60.9%
UFC on FOX 39.1%
--Who is the biggest star right now?
The Rock 29.7%
Manny Pacquiao 17.2%
Muhammad Ali 17.1%
Floyd Mayweather Jr. 11.0%
C.M. Punk 8.2%
Hulk Hogan 3.6%
John Cena 3.2%
Mike Tyson 2.3%
Jon Jones 1.6%
Anderson Silva 1.4%
Randy Orton 1.1%
--Best series of matches in modern wrestling history?
Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat 33.6%
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi 15.2%
Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin 12.7%
Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels 11.0%
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit 8.6%
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada 6.7%
Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite Kid 5.4%
Jack Brisco vs. Dory Funk Jr. 3.1%
Tsuruta & Taue vs. Misawa & Kawada 1.8%
Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham 1.1%
Lou Thesz vs. Pat O'Connor 0.6%
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Genichiro Tenryu 0.1%
--CWE has its third year anniversary show tomorrow night in Winnipeg at the Polish Fraternal Hall.
--Tuesday night CMLL in Guadalajara: El Hijo del Javier Cruz & Thunder Boy b Acertijo & In Memoriam, Arkangel de la Muerte & Evola b Black Metal & Starman, Triton b Rafaga, Titan b Polvora, Marco Corleone & Mascara Dorada & La Sombra b El Terrible & Rey Bucanero & Tiger-DQ
--70s and 80s star Enrique Vera is doing a farewell tour in Mexico this weekend with shows on 1/29 in Reynosa, 1/30 in Hermoso, 1/31 in Matamoros and 2/1 in Rio Bravo. Vera worked for Roy Shire in California during the 70s with a push.
--There is a tribute to Los Angeles wrestling tomorrow afternoon at the Westin by the Airport which includes some hand held footage shot during the 70s, old audio, and a lot of wrestlers from the territorial era are scheduled including Gene LeBell, Billy Graham and Dick Beyer.
--I Believe in Wrestling on 2/4 in Orlando at the Team Vision Dojo featuring The Sheik defending the NWA title belt that he never gave back, against Larry Zbyszko, who defends his AWA title belt from the early 90s (he was the AWA champion when that promotion folded) in a match where somebody is getting two belts. I was told there will be a winner and a loser.
--Azrieal was named as the 5th entrant into the ECWA Super 8 tournament on 4/7 in Newark, DE at the Boys & Girls Club.
--CHIKARA announced that for Saturday's show in Easton, PA at the Palmer Center, any fan who brings three paying customers can get one free ticket for their group.
--The wXw 16 Carat Cold tournament will be held 3/2 to 3/4 in Oberhausen, Germany. It's the biggest event of its kind each year in Europe. Announced for this year are El Generico, Fit Finlay, Karsten Beck, Jon Ryan, Axeman, Zack Sabre Jr., Doug Williams, Johnny Moss, Ricky Marvin, Tommy End, Drake Younger, AR Fox, Marty Scurll, Bad Bones, Yoshihito Sasaki and Sami Callihan. (thanks to Patrick Gronemann)
--If you are in St. Louis for the Royal Rumble, Sean Waltman and Billy Gunn have an after party at the Tigin Irish Pub in downtown St. Louis, a mile from the Scottrade Center, starting at 11 p.m. They have dropped the age to get in from 21 to 18. General admission is $10 in advance and VIP tickets are $50 for which you get an autograph and photo with Waltman, and Gunn, as well as drink specials and more time with the wrestlers.
--Another Legends of the Ring convention is 6/2 in Monroe, NJ at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Names announced so far are Maryse, Bobby Lashley, Don Muraco, Lance Storm, Charles "Godfather" Wright, Larry Zbyszko, Judy Martin, Leilain Kai and Hugo Savinovich. The first 400 ordering G.A. tickets can get them for $15. For more info go to www.legendsofthering.com