By firstname.lastname@example.org">Dave Meltzer
We're looking for your thoughts on both last night's WWE Payback show and the ROH Global Wars show from Toronto so you can send a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org
We're also looking for reports from Raw tonight in Richmond, VA with dark matches, Superstars matches and anything else that wouldn't be evident from the live show. John Cena is scheduled to do another open challenge for the U.S. title.
Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday night in Norfolk, VA.
The newest issue of Figure Four Weekly is up on the site for subscribers (subscribe here) and being the first week of May, features an extensive article demystifying what Sweeps mean for ratings and how it affects the wrestling business in 2015:
-- What do Sweeps periods actually measure?
-- Do Sweeps matter for cable at all?
-- What wrestling companies are they relevant to these days?
-- What was their past significance?
-- And more.
Plus, as always, we have all of the usual reviews and international news.
Also, now available for the first time on Kindle (meaning Kindle devices and anything with the Kindle app) is Fall Guys, the seminal 1937 book that has been described as being like the 1930s version of the Wrestling Observer. It was surprisingly not on Kindle already, so we put together a nice version with a full table of contents w/ chapter marks, proper formatting on everything, etc. Right now it's available from the American, Canadian, and Australian Amazon/Kindle stores OR you can also buy it from anywhere in the world on PayHip, who will provide you with both Kindle and ePub (every other e-reader) format files, and you can either sideload them to your device or have them email it to your Kindle.
The story behind the Elimination Chamber as a network special, why and how it came about, as well as a look at the next two WWE major shows, Payback and Elimination Chamber and NXT Takeover, is the lead story in this week's Observer. We also have a look at the injury situation with Daniel Bryan, Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami. We also look at the Mayweather-Pacquiao business, New Japan & ROH working together for big shows, a detailed story on Global Force Wrestling including talent and television outlets and the TV scene, a lawsuit that has nothing to do with WWE & UFC, but where the result will be very important to both, Tough Enough, has NOAH turned the corner, as well as the monthly business rundowns for WWE & TNA.
The latest Wrestling Observer: May 18, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Last minute Elimination Chamber special, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao destroys PPV records
You can also order the print Observer right now and get it delivered to your door via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also order at www.paypal.com directing funds to email@example.com
For the United States, it is $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to firstname.lastname@example.org For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 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.
The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
The lead story looks at the addition of the Elimination Chamber show, why this is being done, plans for the future and how this relates to it, the Elimination Chamber card as well as notes on the Chamber matches. We also look at Daniel Bryan and the poor job of pushing his appearance and how they are pushing the Payback main event.
We also look at the Mayweather-Pacquiao business, and how it breaks down, live event business, Vegas closed circuit, bar business, how much Mayweather and Pacquiao figure to earn, Mayweather talks rematch, why the fight was so big, and the state of PPV in 2015.
We also look at a big question as to how this relates to UFC going forward.
We look at the historical implications of Ronda Rousey on the Sports Illustrated cover.
We also have a rundown of ROH and New Japan working together in Philadelphia.
We've got a major piece on Global Force Wrestling. We look at the talent list, notes on the schedule for different talent, notes on the taping schedule, different TV stations they are talking with, Spike talks about getting into wrestling, the business ideas behind all this, as well as thoughts on the talent and both who is surprisingly not listed.
We also look at the new season of Tough Enough including the nature of the contract to the winner, Steve Austin talks WrestleMania 32, the Owen Hart DVD controversy, new movie projects with Dwayne Johnson and Dave Bautista, a night Raw is going to have to be special show next year, WWE injury notes, Fourth generation wrestler gets a WWE tryout, WWE angle news, When they had ideas for Justin Bieber at SummerSlam, Jerry Lawler day, Sheamus talks his career, WWE raising ticket prices for premium seats, WWE tryout notes, most popular shows on WWE Network, WWE Japan tour notes, why Jericho vs. Balor was put on the Japan show, Lesnar story involving the brother of a famous actor and notes and business of all the arena events from the past week.
We look at last week's UFC show in Australia, the heavyweight title picture, the Mark Hunt stoppage and match-by-match coverage.
We also look at the latest Pro Wrestling NOAH major show, which included appearances by Kenta Kobashi and Yuji Nagata, as well as NOAH's Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial tour coming up next month.
We also have a business rundown for WWE & TNA and where things stand in the different categories.
The Observer is the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--Wrestler fired once from major promotion, doesn't last long on his return
--The Santo Memorial tournament for 2015
--Notes on the format of the AAA World Cup tournament
--Who is now heading two promotions at the same time and why the move was made
--Update on Dragon Gate's King of Gate tournament
--Minoru Suzuki promoting a show
--New Japan lineups for all the big shows in June as well as the Dominion PPV in July
--Notes on this year's Best of the Super Junior tournament
--Hall of Famer and health issues noted
--Shinya Hashimoto Memorial show
--Fujinami vs. Funaki Battle of Hall of Famers for the first time
--Notes from the AGON promotions and main event pay
--Notes on a promotion which claimed a TV deal and it falling apart
--Details on all TNA television through mid-June, with matches, angles and destinations
--A look at TNA's Slammiversary show
--Notes on TNA's prospects on PPV
--Update on Jeff Hardy
--Notes on the best of five series between the Wolves vs. Aries & Roode
--Update on TNA money issues
--Update on TNA creative team
--A look at those who returned to TV this past week and who is long and short-term
--Who turned down an offer to come in
--TNA announcing situation
--Notes on TNA's relationship with AAA
--What happened with TNA and Wrestle-1
--Can TNA talent work for GFW
--Best stuff at the TNA tapings
--Updates on UFC PPV numbers
--Managers meeting and why
--Dana White's reaction regarding complaints about the Reebok deal
--An interesting legal question stemming from the deal
--UFC schedule notes
--Anthony Pettis injury notes
--Josh Barnett vs. Ryron Gracie
--Fight Pass promotion
--New Fight Pass deals made
--Rousey talks coaching vs. Cyborg
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Active UFC fighter sort of does a pro wrestling match
--Huge Bellator signing of Olympian
--This week's Bellator show
If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories 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)a
*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 history)
*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 Hogan)
*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 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)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
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., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
MONDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
- Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Raw and the latest MMA and pro wrestling news. You can send questions to tonight's show to email@example.com
- A judge ruled today in District Court in Nevada two things regarding the Wanderlei Silva vs. Nevada State Athletic Commission case:
The commission had the right to test and punish Silva even though he was not a licensed competitor in the state
The punishment of a lifetime ban and a $70,000 fine was too harsh (Nevada had no actual rules in place regarding treatment of someone who refused to take a test past it counts as a positive, but first positive isn't a lifetime ban).
The judge ordered a new hearing regarding punishment for Silva. The Nevada announcement on Friday of specific penalties for offenses will close that loophole going forward. Silva would likely have to be suspended at the same level as fighters who had failed drug tests for the first time.
Silva's lawyer, Ross Goodman, said they are looking at appealing the ruling based on the idea that Silva should not have been tested since he was not a licensed fighter in Nevada.
- WWE was the No. 7 most searched thing yesterday on Google with 100,000. That's much lower than usual, as most B shows get to 200,000, but it kills a Demetrious Johnson UFC show. Billboard Music Awards were No. 1. The only sports term that beat it was the Los Angeles Clippers with 200,000.
- Adam Rose on twitter wrote "Rosebuds are done! Party over." I guess we'll see at TV what that means. But the entire entourage ring entrance looks to be history.
- Paul Levesque will be doing a media conference call tomorrow to promote Wednesday night's NXT Takeover special. Still no word on what is going on with Hideo Itami, who has a shoulder injury. They are still promoting Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn hard as the main event. There was no weekend talk one way or the other on him.
- Jessica Aguilar, the WSOF strawweight champion, who many thought was the best in the world in that division, has gotten her release from the organization. The expectation is that she's moving to UFC. WSOF sent out a press release stating that she was being released. "We sat down with Jessica and her manager and we all agreed that she needs to move on to a place where she can compete against the best 115 pound women in the world," said Ray Sefo, the WSOF President.
- NBC Sports Network will be airing Thursday's Beat the Streets wrestling show from Times Square via tape delay at midnight.
- AXS starts its new season of New Japan Pro Wrestling at 9 p.m. on Friday night with the semifinals and finals of last year's Best of the Super Junior tournament, featuring Ricochet.
- Shinsuke Nakamura got himself photographed in front of the Rocky statue when in Philadelphia this past week.
- Smash Wrestling from yesterday in Toronto: Rip Impact & Space Monkey b Dan O'Hare & Plunkett, Tournament for a title shot: Matt Cross (replacing Gregory Iron) b Tarik, Biff Busick b Scotty O'Shea, Tyson Dux b Drew Gulak, Candice LaRae b Brent Banks, Trevor Lee b Rich Swann, John Greed & Scott Hunter b Kirk Warmack & Shane Sabre, Johnny Gargano b Chris Hero to retain Smash title, Candice LaRae won five-way over Matt Cross, Biff Busick Trevor Lee, Tyson Dux and Matt Cross to become No. 1 contender. (thanks to Dave Musgrave)
- One Championships has an iPPV on 5/22 from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore headlined by Shinya Aoki defending the lightweight title against Koji Ando.
- EWF from Saturday night in Rialto, CA: RJ Ruiz b Eddie Mattson, Archnmedes b Wolftanus, Brandon Gatson b Brute Daddy, Uptown Andy Brown b Tommy Wilson-DQ (thanks to Frank Mott)
- World Series of Fighting announced a 6/5 show from Edmonton on NBC Sports headlined by Lance Palmer (9-1) defending the featherweight title against Chris Horodecki (21-5-1) and Smealinho Rama (9-1) putting the heavyweight title up against Blagoi Ivanov (11-1). The show will start on 9 p.m. Eastern.
- The movie Pitch Perfect 2, where Lana has a small role, was No. 1 at the box office this weekend in its opening week with $70.3 million estimated. Mad Max: Fury Road, which former WWE wrestler Nathan Jones has a role in, was No. 2 at $44.40 million. Furious 7, in week 7, was estimated at $3.6 million and in sixth place. In Australia, one and two were reversed, but Pitch Perfect 2 was already released there last week so that explains it. Furious 7 was No. 6 (thanks to James Stanios)
- Axl Rotten is doing a Gofundme campaign as he needs two spinal surgeries on his cervical vertebrae and to walk again
- Steven Borden Jr., the son of Sting, is at a three-day rookie mini-camp right now with the Kansas City Chiefs. He's a long shot to make the team. Borden played last season with the University of Kentucky and is the last son of Sting who is still active playing football. (thanks to Alex Marvez, Mike Gunter, Kevin Witt and many others)
- It appears from close odds and lack of late movement in significant new directions that smart money did not come in on Payback.
- RFA runs on 6/5 from Broomfield, CO live on AXS TV with Ben Smith vs. Gilbert Smith for the welterweight title and Thiago Alves (not the UFC fighter of the same name) vs. Marcus Edwards as the co-main event.
- Booker T talks Comipalooza this coming weekend in Houston, as well as Tough Enough, who from NXT has the most potential and his own promotion
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY INTERNATIONAL (thanks to Graeme Cameron)
1969 - Toyonobori & Shozo Kobayashi beat Michael Nador & Ivan Strongoff in Paris to win the IWE tag team titles
1974 - Bobby Ryan beat Jim Breaks in Hanley to win the British lightweight title
1986 - Gran Cochisse beat Chamaco Velaquez to win the NWA middleweight title
2013 - Zack Sabre Jr. beat Sha Samuels in Swanley to win the IPW UK All England title
WWE NETWORK SCHEDULE FOR TOMORROW (thanks to Bert Duckwall)
12:00 AM ET
WWE COUNTDOWN Countdown Greatest High Flyers counts down the top ten greatest high flying superstars of all time!
1:00 AM ET
TOTAL DIVAS Trinity's inability to have sex frustrates Jon, and Bryan and Nikki shock Brie when they team up to stage an intervention.
2:06 AM ET
WWE NETWORK EXCLUSIVE The action continues live after Raw!