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.
--Dana White was up until at least 4 a.m. last night doing posts about the guys who hacked the UFC web site this week. He also got into a twitter argument with the guy who claims credit for doing it. I get his strategy in the long-term, but right now he's got an important show today and the last thing he needs is to take his eye of the ball. Anyway, the same people are claiming they are going to do something bad to the web site again because White supports SOPA. Constant hacking of web sites is only going to result in a bill that is more stricter getting passed than one if people didn't perceive the "bad guys" and vandals in opposition to it. The current bill has real problems but there is going to be at some point legislation passed, it's just a question of what that legislation will be. The more the opponents of this bill come across this way, and it may only take a few guys to make millions look like they are on the sides of vandalism and piracy, the worse in the long run they are when it comes to debating the issues. If the opponents came off as reasonable (and many, probably the vast majority, are), it would reflect a lot more positively.
--So in response to White calling them names, somebody released his name, address and some phone "home" numbers. Unfortunately, the address was to a $78,000 home in Las Vegas, and I assure you Dana White isn't living these days in a $78,000 home. The purported phone numbers they released were to some old women in Las Vegas who then got harassed by callers and it ended up on the Ch. 5 news last night in Vegas, only making it appear those opposing White, and by extension SOPA, which is where this fight all started, are now responsible for nutty MMA fans yelling at some woman on her home phone for not paying fighters enough. This is the quickest way to have the perception of the MMA fans be the same or worse than the perception of the pro wrestling fans to the public and decision makers, and that's not good for anyone. Mayhem Miller's web site was also hacked, and they gave out personal info for Jason Miller. And yes, it was apparently the wrong Jason Miller.
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking UFC on Fox, Dragon Gate, Royal Rumble and more with Wrestling Observer radio shortly after the completion of the press conference.
--The Rock will be on the 2/27 Raw in Portland, OR.
--We're looking for someone who can cover the Ring Ka King shows which are available in the U.S. on the Dish Network and also in the U.K. on Colors. The first show airs at 8 p.m. today.
--The Countdown show for this coming Saturday's UFC PPV will air on Tuesday at 9 p.m. on Fuel. Yeah, the tree falling in the empty forest countdown show. The second episode of the Prime Time Diaz vs. Condit which people are raving about (I missed it) airs on Fuel on 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 10 p.m. on Wednesday, 1:30 a.m. late Wednesday and 2 a.m. late Thursday, and 6:30 p.m. on Friday (right before the live weigh-ins).7 p.m. all on Fuel.
--I've got an article at http://www.yahoo.com
on why tonight's show is actually in the big picture the most important UFC show not only of this year, but in a few years. The gist is that a bad rating will force a revamp of the entire battle plan of the FOX/PPV synergy and a good rating will be affirmation that UFC is a prime time player. Under a 2.0 rating would be bad. 2.0 to 2.5 would not be good, and would be more mean there would be added pressure on 5/5 to do better. 2.6 to 3.0 is fine, and it's about where it should be. 3.0 or better would be a success and anything above 3.3 they should be popping champagne corks for this show. I've heard people talk about the show doing 10 million viewers. It's not doing close to 10 million viewers. 5 million is fine and 7 million is a home run. Under 4 million is cause for concern. Fact is several of the CBS shows did less than 2.5 million viewers after doing almost as strong a first number as the UFC show did, so there is a precedent for not sustaining. In fact, first to second show on CBS had a 42 percent drop.
--Also, a reminder on the first rating that will come out tomorrow morning. Don't make the mistake everyone made last time about not getting it. The first number will be low because it'll be a measure of the audience of FOX from 8-10 p.m. tonight. The problem with that is the entire West Coast will be airing filler programming that won't get any audience, plus the West Coast is where MMA interest is the highest and the show airs 5-7 p.m. Not staggering the feed for the West Coast will hurt the overall rating because it's a West Coast dominated sport, but that will always be the case. But the early number won't reflect West Coast viewership. If the viewing pattern is like last time, the first number that comes out will be about 24% lower than the actual number once they figure in West Coast from 5-7 p.m. vs. West Coast from 8-10 p.m. tonight.
--Some Royal Rumble notes. Jim Duggan is pretty much confirmed for the show. He had indie bookings this weekend that he had to cancel at the last minute. Others expected are Road Warrior Animal (which makes sense since his son plays for the St. Louis Rams) and Road Dogg. Other notes include Brodus Clay getting his full ring entrance at the Rumble, and they are back on the push Mason Ryan bandwagon as of this week. That's one that can change on a moments notice, though.
--Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was No. 2 for this weekend in its debut in Australia doing $1,908,651. The movie debuts in a few weeks in the U.S.
--Among those attending the Southern California history seminar at WrestleReunion in Los Angeles were Dick Beyer, Mando Guerrero, Jack Armstrong, Tony Rocco (the last I saw of Tony Rocco he had the most incredible tan in the world), El Negro, Pepper Martin, Jeff Walton, Billy Rogers, John Birch, Rock Riddle, Art Mihalik, Superstar Graham, the sons of the Torres Brothers, as well as photographers Theo Ehret and Dan Westbrook. Theo Ehret and Dan Westbrook when I was a kid were the most awesome photographers. Longtime Los Angeles, WWF and WCW announcer Miguel Alonso, who was in a horrible auto accident a few days ago, left a hospital in Oceanside and insisted on coming, came, in a wheelchair. Billy Graham gave a long anti-Vince speech and talked about the start of his career as a tag team partner of Dr. Jerry Graham. Beyer and Rock Riddle stole the show with their speeches. Riddle also cut a promo about being in the Battle Royal tonight.
--Verne Gagne was scheduled today to be appearing at a showing of the original movie "The Wrestler" with son Greg. Verne we were told would not be able to speak, nor is his hand steady enough to sign autographs, but apparently he does enjoy being in public, is able to recognize himself in the movie, and can pose for photos.
--Chuck Langerman's daily trivia talks about former pro wrestler Paul Diamond (Tom Boric). This Paul Diamond was at least the second Paul Diamond, because there was a 70s wrestler who worked under the name doing a heartthrob gimmick ("The Handsomest Man in Pro Wrestling," can you imagine the heat he'd get for that one?) and ended up owning a deli in the San Jose area. But this is the one who teamed with Pat Tanaka in the AWA under Paul Heyman, and later worked in WWF as Paul Diamond and Kato. While a lot of pro football players have gone into pro wrestling, Tom Boric was a major league soccer player. He was born and grew up in Croatia, and his father was a soccer player. He moved to Canada growing up. He went to Old Dominion University on a soccer scholarship as a goalkeeper and was on varsity from 1978 to 1980, posting a 0.88 goals against average in his senior year. This led to playing with both the Calgary Boomers and the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the old North American Soccer League. He was living in Tampa and after his soccer career ended, met the Malenko brothers and started training to be a pro wrestler.
--Tommy Dreamer talks the Royal Rumble, talking about scoring with a girl at a party by telling her he was asked to be in the Rumble one year and how he turned it down (he made the whole story up), and talked about the beginnings of the Rumble. He called the first Rumble (actually the second, the first was in St. Louis but has been erased from history because it flopped) in Hamilton a risky business decision. I don't see how putting a free show on USA head-to-head with a Crockett PPV is risky for the guy putting on the free show. The Rumble in Hamilton, at the time, set the record for most viewers for a wrestling show on cable television. Story is at http://www.thewhig.comm/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3450893
--The Ric Flair business deal hinted about in the Observer last week was announced yesterday as Coca Cola has signed him up to a lengthy contract as the Brand Ambassador for an Energy/Protein drunk called Fuel in a Bottle. No terms were released but this was a significant money deal. The drink comes out in early March.
--Who wins this fight?
Nate Diaz 55.6%
Jim Miller 44.4%
--Who wins this match?
C.M. Punk 87.5%
Dolph Ziggler 12.5%
--Who wins this match?
Daniel Bryan 86.4%
Mark Henry 8.3%
Big Show 5.4%
--Poll on Impact
61.2% of those responding didn't see the show.
--Doug Gotlieb of ESPN on Thursday was comparing the Lakers and Clippers on Wednesday with the WWE because of the ending of the game. He mentioned Michelle Beadle of Sports Nation loves Raw and watches it every on Monday night to the point he had to unfollow her to avoid hearing about it. (thanks to Charles Parker)
--At yesterday's WrestleReunion in Los Angeles for an afternoon show: Sassy Stephie b Divina Rose, Fantasia b Buggy Nova, Angel Orsini & Amber O'Neal b Shelly Martinez & Cookie (thanks to Charles Short)
--There will be a benefit show for Dustin Rayz this coming Friday in Hamilton, OH at the Great Miami Events Center. CZW wrestlers including Jake Crist, Sami Callihan, Dave Crist, D.J. Hyde, Greg Excellent, Alex Colon and others will be appearing on the show.
--USWO from last night in Nashville: Jason Xavier b Josh Crow, Allen Shepard b Super Barney, Nick Iggy & Mike Revick b Tim Renesto & Saint, Bryan Casey b White Tiger, L.T. Falk b Bully Douglas-DQ, Jocephus b Wolfie D, Damien Payne b Gary Valiant (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--IWC from last night in Orlando: Billy the Tiger b Elegant, Manuela b Beetle Juice, Christina Von Eerie b Santana Garrett, Chasyn Rance & Mister Saint Laurent b Mike Cruz & Gus Money, Lince Dorado b J.D. Amazing, Silencer b Tony Torres, El Borincano & Morales DDQ Wizard I & II (thanks to Al Haft)
--Former WWE writer Alex Greenfield co-wrote an action-horror movie called "The Temple" which was awarded by Amazon.com a Best Screenplay award. The movie is done and is free to stream or download at http://studios.amazon.com/movies/13729
--Ron Simmons has been added to the 3/17 Crossfire Entertainment show at the Nashville Fairgrounds which also includes Chavo Guerrero vs Fit Finlay, Maria Kanellis, Brian Christopher, PG-13, Kid Kash, Jerry Lynn and more.
--Universal Championship Wrestling from last night in Norcross, GA before 200 fans: Lodi b Scotty Matthews, Spyral & Chris Jacobs b Koonce & Zander, Micah Taylor b Shane Williams, Brodie Chase b Steven Walters, Adrian Hawkins won three-way over John Skyler and Antonio Garza, Johnny Swinger b Chase Stevens, Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson b Cru Jones & Shaun Banks. The main event will be rematched on 2/24. They had a show the night before that drew 400-500 fans and run tonight in Decatur GA. Joe "Assassin" Hamilton was at the show. Buff Bagwell was at the show. He was injured the first night of the tour so couldn't wrestle, but was there signing autographs.