MON. UPDATE: Possible next Cena PPV match, Foley on ABC, Diaz vs. Condit build,WWE PPV in NY market

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        We're looking for your thoughts on last night's Royal Rumble PPV, Saturday night's UFC on FOX and Friday night's Dragon Gate USA show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each specific show to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
        Raw tonight is from Kansas City, built around HHH returning to do a review of John Laurinaitis as General Manager.  The Raw after the Royal Rumble usually kicks off the television WrestleMania season, no doubt teasing who Sheamus will challenge for the title, and should results in a ratings boost.  There was talk that the participants in the Raw elimination chamber would be announced tonight, but when it comes to Raw, nothing is certain until it happens.
        Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Omaha.
        The Countdown to UFC 143 airs at 9 p.m. Eastern and 6 p.m. Pacific tomorrow.  UFC Tonight follows at 10 p.m. and a replay of part II of Condit vs. Diaz at 10:30 p.m.  As noted before, I missed the initial airing of part II but people have raved about the show.
        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:
        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.
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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
         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:
*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)
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*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
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*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
Strangler Lewis)
*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)
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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.
--Bryan and I will be back once again tonight covering Raw on Wrestling Observer radio, as well as talking about the latest news.  With no TNA tapings tonight, we should have time to do questions so if you've got any questions on pro wrestling or MMA you can send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it had a story yesterday on how Zack Ryder used the web to make himself a star as part of a story about WWE being part of Youtube's project to have its own owned individual channels including a WWE channel that debuts on Wednesday.  The channel was pushed last night on the PPV and expect more of a push for it tonight.  Story is here.
--Episode #2 of Ring Ka King is here.
--The closed circuit showing of the Royal Rumble sold out the Scotiabank Theater in Toronto last night.
--Oliver Copp led the staff picks in Saturday night's UFC show going a perfect 5-0, finally living up to his nickname of "Oliver Knows".  The next thing you should ask him about is where Chael Sonnen gets his ideas for angles from.  Me, Josh Nason and Mike Sempervive were all 4-1.  I missed on the Lavar Johnson-Joey Beltran fight.  Todd Martin and Mike Sawyer were 3-2.  Next up is Saturday night.
--In Google searches last night, Royal Rumble did come in at No. 17 overall in the U.S.  The Pro Bowl was No. 7 head-to-head.  Ratings for the Pro Bowl were down from last year based on the overnights.
--There was talk of a John Cena vs. Kane last man standing match for the Elimination Chamber show being announced tonight.  There were some announced last man standing matches at house shows coming up.  Keep in mind that anything before it's announced is iffy at best, and even when it's announced, it sometimes gets changed.
--Mick Foley appear on the ABC show Celebrity Wife Swap tomorrow night.  His wife will go to Los Angeles to live with Antonio Sabato Jr's family while he goes with Sabato's wife.
--WWE's 6/17 PPV show will be at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ.

--Forrest Griffin, Greg Jackson, Diego Sanchez and actress Laura Preon appear on MMA Live toinght at 8 p.m. on HDNet.

--Mike Tyson being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame made the front page of the ESPN site. (thanks to Jim Lemond)

--WWE 's David Otunga and Natalya visited a school in Kansas City today before Raw to do an anti-bullying speech to students for Be a Star.

--Hulk Hogan was on the TV show "American Dad" last night, showing Stan Smith the error of his privileged ways.  They played the song "Real American" during a fight scene at a country club.  The episode ended with Hogan walking away, naked, with nothing on but a bandana. (thanks to Ian Hamilton)

--I don't know if this is national, but Jake Koch reported that in Southgate, MI, he saw an ad for the 3-D showing of UFC 143 on Saturday for $25.  That is about the price I expected.  There hasn't been a lot of publicity for it and after the first one in 2010, the theater showings of UFC events haven't been major hits.
--Best TV show of the past week
Smackdown 20.0%
Raw 18.0%
UFC on FOX 15.7%
UFC prelims on Fuel 14.9%
ROH 12.2%
Prime Time:  Diaz vs. Condit 7.5%
Impact 7.1%
CMLL 1.6%
It's Showtime 1.6% (I heard this was great actually)
Maximum Fighting Championships 0.8%
UFC Tonight 0.4%
MMA Live 0.4%
--Road Dogg will be appearing on Friday night at the FCW show in Melbourne, FL fresh off his Royal Rumble appearance.  He's now working as an agent for the company. 
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia talks about Matt Korklan, better known as Evan Bourne, currently on a 60 day WWE suspension for his second drug test failure.  Korklan grew up in St. Louis, and his suspension caused him to miss the home-town Royal Rumble.  He graduated from Pathways West High School in 2000, where he wrestled.  He was named Freshman of the Year on the team in 1997, but he always wanted to be a pro wrestler.  He was the first person under 18 to get a wrestling license in the state of Missouri.  While wrestling on indies, he got a B.A. degree in marketing from the University of Missouri in 2005 and worked as a sales and marketing Vice President of a small mailbox company in St. Louis before his success in wrestling allowed it to become his full-time job.
--Here's a story on the airing of "The Wrestler" over the weekend in Minneapolis. (thanks to Tim Kelly)  
--Jim Ross and rock star Ted Nugent are both scheduled to appear as guests during season two of Shawn Michaels' MacMilan River Adventure show that begins airing in July (thanks to Jhannil Jose Acero).
--TNA has a show on 4/20 in Fort Lauderdale at the War Memorial Auditorium, which was the old Florida territory's building in the city. (thanks to Paul Kacprzak)
--Medallion Media Group released the cover art today for the book "Booker T:  From Prison to Promise" which will be released on 9/1.  Andrew William Wright, who collaborated with Joe "Animal" Laurinaitis on his book is the co-author.  The book deal was signed before Booker signed up with WWE so it's an independent, meaning he'll have to promote it himself.
--A 15-year-old boy was charged with murder in the killing of Kearn Nedd, 28, a Toronto MMA fighter.  Nedd was one of 130 people in a poker tournament on 4/16 when two masked man with guns burst into the building.  Nedd tried to help the tournament organizer and was shot in the struggle.  The first suspect was arrested seven weeks later.  Last week police found  the murder weapon and made a second arrest of a 15-year-old, who was 14 at the time.
--While Kurt Angle was in the U.K., he did guest predictions for soccer games with BBC expert Mark Lawrenson.  This may be tough given I doubt Angle knows much about Premier League soccer in the U.K.  You can see the picks here.
--Leonard Garcia is out of the UFC show in Japan where he was to face Mongolian Wolf Tiequan Zhang.  He's going from Korean Zombie to Mongolian Wolf's, but he suffered an injury in training.
--Billy Corgan's Resistance Pro Wrestling on 2/17 in Chicago at The Excalibur has Harry Smith vs. Rhino for the heavyweight title, Melanie Cruise vs. Sassy Stephie for the women's title,The Sheik vs. Steven Walters, Robert Anthony vs. John Skyler, Super Dunkerton & Aaron Epic vs. Dany Only & Eddie Graves, Matt Cross vs. Mr. 450 vs. Teddy Hart and Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson vs. Matt Cage & Alex Castle.
--ROH announced a 5/12 return to Toronto at the Ted Reeve Arena.  
--CWE on 3/3 in Gillam, Manitoba at the Rec Center.
--NWA Anarchy from Saturday night in Cornelia, GA before 120 fans:  Dany Only & Strykyn b Galan Ramirez & Jacob Kilgore, Skirra Corvus won 8 man turmoil match, Seven & Lane Vasser b Slim J & Bryan Casanova to win tag titles, Seth Delay b Steven Walters to keep TV title, Anthony Henry b John Skyler to win Young Lions title, Shaun Tempers b Billy Buck to retain the NWA North American title.  Walters is working hard to make a name for himself as he worked in Chicago and New York in the past few weeks and is headed to the U.K. to work for Brian Dixon. (thanks to Larry Goodman)
--Maryland Wrestling Federation on Saturday night in Glen Burnie, MD before 150 fans:  Matt Reynolds b Executioner, Mike Hite b Kindred-DQ, Buzz Striker b Brad Roye, Hellcats b Julio Dinero & Kevin Chesney to win tag titles, Jimmy Dream over Skull and Shaun Cannon to win the jr. title, Brian Hardy b Jerry Lawler-DQ.  Next show is 3/31. (thanks to Joseph Klunk)
--3XW from Friday night in Des Moines before 230 fan:  Ryan Slade b Zach Thompson, Gage Octane & Casanova b Ray Stryker & Barry Ryte, Miss Natural b Stacy O'Brien, Ricky Kwong b Sir Bradley Charles, Mark Sterling b Mad Dog McDowell, Ben Sailer & Nate Bash d Mike Sydal & Jimmy Rockwell, Jaysin Strife b Jon West, Tony Sly b Devin Carter, Adam Pearce b Jeremy Wyatt-DQ in the first NWA title match in Des Moines since Ric Flair defended 25 years ago.
--Traditional Championship Wrestling on Saturday night in Booneville, AR at the National Guard Armory featuring Jim Duggan wrestling and Bobby Eaton appearing.  The show will be a TV taping for their show on ME TV in Arkansas that airs Saturday mornings at 11 a.m.
--Gregory Iron has been added to the Super 8 tournament this year.  Iron has gotten a lot of publicity for wrestling while battling Cerebral Palsy. 
--There is a benefit show for local wrestler Shane Morton on 2/12 in LaVergne, TN.  Morton's ankle snapped in a match and he needs surgery, and medical bills are very high.  There will be wrestling matches and an auction.  Show is at 1 p.m. that day at the HWA Arena.  Jerry Lynn, Chase Stevens, PG-13 and other Nashville area regulars will be working the show.
--Haywire finished No. 10 at the box office for this past weekend. It was an estimated $4 million second weekend and that's neither a good or bad drop.  Well, it's definitely not good.

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?