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:
--Major attitude change in major company now looking at raiding big stars to rebuild
--Shocker talks about why he's been out of action
--One of the best wrestlers in the world is announced as coming to CMLL
--Update on business at Arena Mexico
--Annual King of Flyers match
--Plans for Jeff Jarrett's return to Mexico as AAA champion
--Latest New Japan vs. All Japan angle news
--New Japan opens tour and starts building the next PPV show
--Lineup for New Japan's next PPV show
--Pro wrestling world champion has MMA fight in a few weeks
--Disgraced former well known athlete faces Bob Sapp in a few weeks
--Two Hall of Famers battle for the first time ever
--A look at the WrestleReunion convention in Los Angeles
--More notes on Mike Tyson and Superstar Billy Graham meeting
--What Tyson remembers about pro wrestling
--Tyson appears at pro wrestling show
--Who was in this year's legends Battle Royal
--PWG has its biggest event of the year with many Dragon Gate stars
--Celebration of the Los Angeles territory
--Verne Gagne gets publicity as a Minneapolis theater has special showings of "The Wrestler" movie from 1974
--Other former AWA employees who were there
--How the event did
--Notes on a lot of lawsuits
--Former ROH star talks about why he's retiring in detail and looks back at his career
--Coach of one of pro wrestling's biggest stars passes away
--More on the death of wrestling trainee
--MVP talks the new Wrestling Retribution promotion and playing an all-new character
--How MVP got interested in being a pro wrestler
--Is he interested in returning to WWE
--Annual 16 Carat Gold tournament
--More on ROH vs. CHIKARA angle
--Hulk Hogan's return to the ring
--Ric Flair's new business deal and what does it mean
--Against All Odds PPV card
--Lots of crazy Hogan stories from his U.K. media work
--A look at the Bobby Roode and James Storm booking
--Why Hogan did the U.K. tour at the last minute
--How the U.K. tour did business-wise
--What angles didn't work in the U.K. and which ones did
--How TNA tried to save money on the tour
--Injury updates from the TNA tour
--What wrestling legend to Hogan invite to London
--TNA stars doing movies
--An update on Haywire
--One of the best promos likely of the year for a match that still may not happen
--Two of UFC's biggest stars want one last match with each other
--A special on ordering UFC PPV events
--Matt Hughes talks his future
--Update on GSP and who and when he will likely fight
--Notes on the 3-D airing of UFC 143 and how often 3-D airings of UFC shows will be taking place in movie theaters
--What fixture of the UFC is gone as of now
--Notes on a movie about one of UFC's all-time greatest fighters
--What recently fired star is Dana White at least open about thinking about bringing back
--Another of Bellator's potentially biggest fights is not going to happen and why
--Fedor Emelianenko's plan for next fight
--Career of Olympic star turned MMA fighter now in jeopardy
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 52 .
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.
--Dwayne Johnson is scheduled on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight as well as Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Friday. He's promoting Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, which opens on Friday in more than 3,400 theaters nationwide. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--Shawn Michaels returns to Raw for the Mania build starting with the 2/20 Raw the day after the Elimination Chamber.
--We're looking for reports from anyone who attended the UFC show at the theaters for the 3-D showing. We're interested in how was the experience, and how did it draw.
--The Super Bowl did a 47.8 rating on the overnights and a 71 share, making it the third highest rated of all-time based on the overnights behind Super Bowl 15 and 21, which both did 47.9 ratings. Because there are a lot more Americans now than there were then, there is a good chance this will be the most watched show in the history of American television. Last year's game holds the record with 111 million viewers.
--No real preview on tonight's show other than there should be Undertaker vs. HHH follow-up and it will be interesting how they follow up on the final segment in regard to John Laurinaitis. I expect an above average rating just based off the way the show ended last week. Maybe not as high as last week because the post-Rumble show usually does well and last week's did the big 3.9 first quarter.
--Josh Koscheck talks about why he left AKA
. He pointed to a personality conflict with Javier Mendez, and noted that he is still affiliated with Bob Cook (who was in his corner for the fight) and Dave Camarillo (who had a business split with Mendez) and would be paying fighters to come to Fresno, where he owns two AKA Gyms (I would presume he would be changing the name of the gyms) to train with him. Koscheck said that even though he's not training in San Jose, that he will still never fight Jon Fitch.
--UFC announced today that Tapout is now the official lifestyle apparel brand partner of the UFC. They will continue to sponsor the television shows, and present the submission of the night on UFC shows.
--Regarding a question on last night's radio show, on Pat Miletich, apparently his Showtime contract allows him to work for HDNet because Miletich is listed as announcing the 3/3 Strikeforce show from Columbus, OH with Frank Shamrock and Mauro Ranallo.
--Chuck Langerman's daily pro wrestling trivia concerns St. Edward High School, a wrestling powerhouse in Lakewood, OH. The all-boys Catholic school has won 26 state championships and 11 national champions. The 1998 team included Nick Nemeth (Dolph Ziggler), Gray Maynard, Andy Hrovat (2008 Olympian) and Matt Tolar (an independent wrestler). Nemeth had 82 career pins, at the time the school record, although he was the only member of that foursome never to win a state title. Nemeth went to Kent State where he had 121 career wins. The first NCAA champion from the school was Alan Fried, which is notable because Fried is Jewish. He went to Oklahoma State and was the 1994 champion at 142 pounds.
--In yesterday's list of people who both played in a Super Bowl game and also wrestled professionally, Teddy Wycheck noted we missed one: Frank Wycheck, who had wrestled a few matches for TNA and did very well for a celebrity wrestler.
--Maryse is interviewed here
. She said the women in WWE deserve better, that when she signed, she could only speak ten words of English but they loved the way she spoke French. "I developed a heel persona and everything about Maryse was presentation, facials, gestures, I believe the Maryse personality was the best female persona in years within the WWE."
--Lance Storm faces Kevin Steen on 5/26 in Quebec City for the NSPW promotion's biggest show of the year, Golden Opportunity IV. The show is at the Centre Horizon.
--Stacy Keibler, minus George Clooney, got some gossip mentions and photos for her outfit at a Super Bowl party in Las Vegas that she hosted yesterday. Story is here
--For tomorrow on Fuel, The Best of Pride will air at 7 p.m. Eastern (4 p.m. Pacific), UFC 136 Jones vs. Rampage Jackson replays at 8 p.m., leading into UFC Tonight at 10 p.m. and the debut of The Ultimate Insider at 10:30 p.m.
--Best TV show of the past week
UFC Prime Time Diaz vs. Condit episode 3 13.3%
UFC 143 prelims 12.9%
Countdown to UFC 143 1.7%
UFC Tonight 0.4%
MMA Live 0.4%
Pretty great week of TV looking back. That Impact show would have been No. 1 most weeks.
--Traditional Championship Wrestling from Saturday night in Booneville, AR before more than 500 fans: Greg Anthony b Dustin Heritage, Tim Storm b Sigmon, Genetic Perfection b Good Ole Boys, Jim Duggan b Prince Al-Farat, Anthony b Dexter Hardaway, Jon Michael Worthington b Sigmon, Matt Riviera b Shane Williams-DQ, Tim Storm DCOR Killer Nikels. Bobby Eaton and Harvey Wippleman were also there working as agents. Chris Cruise works as the TV announcer for the group which airs on ME TV on Arkansas on Saturdays at 11 a.m.. Next show is 4/7 in Fort Smith, AR headlined by Mickie James vs. Cheerleader Melissa vs. Malia Hosaka.
--EWF on Friday night in Covinam, CA: D.K. Murphy b Stryder, Dave the Bruiser b Joshua Dunbar, Ashley Hollywood b Nikki Hollywood, Roger Ruiz & Jeremy Jaeger b Eddie Mattson & Big Bad Maddix, Sugar Sweetz b Valiant, Brandon Gatson & Tommy Wilson DDQ Johnny Starr & Mike Maze, Adam Pearce b Joey Ryan to retain NWA title. Next show is 2/11 in Lake Elsinore, CA at the Trevi Events Center.
--WPW from yesterday in Costa Mesa before 50 fans: Platinum Players b Pantera Azteca & Frankie Segura, Lil Cholo & Cyber Ram b Red Rum & Stryker, Ramtha Jr. & Infernale b Amazona & Yumi-DQ, Mariachi Loco b Wama. Yumi, a woman wrestler in her third match was said to have serious potential (thanks to Roy Lucier)
--This is the first episode of School of Roc: Class Wars
, a pro wrestling show modeled after The Ultimate Fighter where students of Indiana's School of Roc compete in a tournament that will run as a 12 week Internet TV series and eventually for a DVD.
--Friday night results from Tijuana: Super Astro (that guy has been around since the 70s) & Super Kendo b El Hijo del Espectro II & Zandokan (is this the same Zandokan from the 80s?), Cinico & Dr. Wagner III & Drago b Black Abyss & Electroshock & Fugitivo, Damian 666 & Bestia 666 & El Hijo del Rey Misterio I b Psycho Circus (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Another show on WrestleMania weekend will be NWA Ring Warriors on 3/29 in Fort Lauderdale at the National Guard Armory headlined by Chance Prophet vs. Kahagas in a cage match, plus NWA champion Adam Pearce, an appearance of Jim Cornette, Billy Gunn, Head Bangers, Jesse Neal, Tammy Sytch, Christina Von Eerie and Vordell Walker.
--Mercedes Martinez vs. Jessicka Havok plus the WSU 5th anniversary show and Hall of Fame inductions are scheduled for 3/3 at the NYWC Sportatorium in Deer Park, NY.
--Combat Zone Wrestling from Saturday night in Indianapolis: Shane Strickland & Vu & Hollywood Dream & Kyle Maverick b Remi Wilkins & Tripp Cassidy & Sue Jackson & Dale Patricks, Alex Colon b Aaron McCormick, Naveah b Kimber Lee, Greg Excellent b Drake Younger, AR Fox b Samuay Del Sol, Sami Callihan b Tommy Dreamer, Dave Crist & Ricky Paige b Jake Crist & B.J. Whitmer, Scotty Vortekz won the CZW world title in a three-way over D.J. Hyde and Devon Moore, Danny Havoc b Matt Tremont in an Ultraviolent Rules match. Next show is 2/11 in Voorhees, NJ.
--Empire Wrestling on Friday night in Avondale Estates, GA at the Academy Theater.
--BANG Wrestling on 2/18 in Ocala, FL at the Funking Conservatory.
--Colt Cabana vs. R.J. Singh, El Ligero vs. Noam Dar, Nathan Cruz vs. Colossus and Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Marty Scurll headline an eight-man tournament for the Progress championship on a 3/25 show in London, England at The Garage at 20 Highbury Corner. They vow, no gimmicks, no foam fingers, no kids, no PG, and affordable tickets.
--Premiere Championship Wrestling "Die Hard" featuring Eddie Edwards, Grizzly Redwood, Rhett Titus and Cedric Alexander coming this Friday night in Lancaster, SC at the American Legion Building and Saturday night to Columbia, SC at the Solomon Blatt Physical Education Center. The Lancaster main event is Titus vs. Alexander vs. Edwards. The Columbia main event is Edwards vs. Caleb Konley.
--Rampage Pro Wrestling on 2/12 at 3 p.m. in Warner-Robins, Ga at Johnny G's Fun Center