THURS. UPDATE: UPDATE ON AFFLICTION MAIN, ANOTHER WRESTLER WANTS IN; LESNAR SPEAKS; KENTA TV MATCH



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        We're looking for reports on tonight's TNA house show in Bossier City, LA, headlined by A.J. Styles vs. Scott Steiner and Samoa Joe vs. Abyss at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   The tour continues with a show tomorrow night in Monroe and Saturday night in Memphis.  Kurt Angle works in Memphis against Styles.  

 

Impact tonight at 9 p.m. on Spike:

*Kevin Nash vs. Amazing Red for Legends title

*Hernandez vs. Samoa Joe

*Women's Battle Royal, winner gets in the Main Event Mafia

*Beer Money & Daniels & Eric Young & A.J. Styles vs. Doug Williams & Rob Terry & Brutus Magnus & Kiyoshi & Sheik Abdul Bashir

*Scott Steiner & Booker T defend tag titles against Rocco & Sally

*A.J. Styles vs. Matt Morgan in match one of best 2/3 for a shot at the TNA title   

 

Superstars tonight at 8 p.m. on WGN

Evan Bourne vs. Jamie Noble

Christian vs. William Regal

John Morrison vs Kane

 

 

Unleashed on Spike at 8 p.m.:

Matt Hamill vs. Mark Munoz

Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Quinton Jackson vs. Keith Jardine

 

        An update and detailed look at TNA and the Jeff Jarrett/Kurt Angle situation, where reality begins and its repercussions is the lead story in Monday's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  The issue, available right now to premium members of the site, is a jumbo-sized issue, which also looks at Affliction's issues with Josh Barnett out, more records set by UFC 100 and where total revenues for the event would fall in comparison to the biggest Wrestlemania shows, and how this affects UFC future PPV numbers.  We also have a Victory Road rundown, a feature looking at the Brock Lesnar double standard among MMA fans, as well as UFC stars wanting to be the next one to rock the Brock.  We also have a look at downside guarantees of WWE talent, highs, lows and average in a look at WWE profits so far this year.

        We've also got more on the departure of Jeff Hardy, the current planned main event for SummerSlam, updates on returns of Shawn Michaels and Undertaker, an update on Edge's recovery and on the WWE's next major television special.

        Our lead story talks about the situation with Jeff Jarrett and Karen Angle, the TNA business structure, what Kurt was saying about the situation in the dressing room to the wrestlers this past week, the work vs. shoot angle and how much of this is real, how the dressing room is viewing this, how Victory Road was affected and the mentality behind putting all the heels over clean in the big matches on the show.

        We also look at how the story went public with Bubba the Love Sponge and the internal reaction.

        We have more notes on Josh Barnett testing positive and being pulled out of the Affliction show, Bobby Lashley's comments on being offered the fight and how this affects business.

        We've got a complete rundown of UFC 100 business updates, including yet another company record set and where it is looking at falling on the all-time list of the biggest PPV shows in North American history.

        We've got full coverage of Victory Road, the worst match in years, the booking of the show, the Bobby Lashley promo as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings, and poll results on the show.

        We also have a WWE business feature looking at actual profits based on division so far this year.  We look at how profits have changed over the past year and what categories are up and what categories are down.  We look at the economy's affect on merchandise, what move the company did that saved them millions of dollars, what categories are down, how one division is down almost in half in sales and why even so, it is still more profitable than it was a year ago, as well as the total downside guarantees for all the wrestlers on the roster, including the variance from top to bottom and the overall average downside for the current roster.

        We also have a feature on the double standard of some MMA fans when it comes to Lesnar, as well as comments from fighters on Lesnar beating Mir.

        We also have coverage of the Dream show with the welterweight title tournament.

        All subscriptions to the newsletter and web site for more than one month will include what is traditionally our most talked about and best selling issue of the year, the 2009 Hall of Fame issue.  Starting this coming week in the Observer we are doing an historical look at the biggest draws in history and in looking at those numbers, a number of names come up as potentially overlooked candidates.  We'll have more in that direction over the next few weeks as well as a Hall of Fame preview issue after all the ballots are cast but before the Hall of Fame issue itself.  So several special issues are coming over the next six weeks.      

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The Observer is now in its 27th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling industry as well as the MMA industry, from bookers, to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest current names, both on camera, and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and 30 countries subscribe.  Many have subscribed as long as 20 years or more straight. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world and an accuracy from having the most inside sources that can't be found on the web.  Everyone from Wall Street to the major offices to the TV networks in U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business. 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. Just send your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order by faxing that information to 408-244-3402. You can also subscribe via paypal at www.paypal.com and using the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address or subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card, by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.        We also have a look at Waldo Von Erich, who passed away this past week, and his rivalry with Bruno Sammartino, Bill Watts and others.
 
        We also look at Tom Atencio talking about the future of Affliction, an Olympic silver medalist signing for MMA, tourism for Wrestlemania in Phoenix, the ZZ Top segments on Raw, why original ideas for this week's Raw show were changed, Billy Graham selling Hall of Fame ring, best selling DVDs, and a WWE roster player talks about going back to college after his career is over.

        We also have notes on why JBL is not affiliated with WWE right now, a WWE star doing a local television ad, an interesting name surfacing at WWE weekend house shows, new WWE names tabbed for a commercial campaign, Jim Ross talks Lesnar and how the viewpoint among many in WWE on Lesnar has done a 180 in recent weeks and why.  We also look at new names planned for characters, the story behind the Pretty Ricky idea, as well as notes on the weekend WWE live events.

        We've got our usual in-depth look at the ratings of all the major WWE, TNA and UFC television shows this past week.  We look at segment-by-segment of Raw and Impact as to what segments gained and lost viewers.  We also have results from the major league arena events held around the world as well as the major TV show rundowns.
 
     Also in this week's issue:

--A new U.S. national television show deal signed for an international pro wrestling group and when the first tapings are

--As he turns 70, we talk about the birth of the character of Mil Mascaras

--A look at the next CMLL major show

--A look at all the AAA booking turns

--A look at IWA's 10th anniversary show including TNA stars and former WWE stars appearing

--An unbelievable main event tag team for 2009

--A look at the Dragon Gate 10th anniversary show

--A look at Dragon Gate's first U.S. PPV show

--Update on NOAH's Junior heavyweight tag team tournament featuring some of the best matches in the world right now

--Notes on New Japan's big weekend show including some surprising booking twists including a former WWE star challenging for the IWGP title

--A retirement match announced of a onetime Hall of Fame candidate

--An incredibly crazy move

--A new touring idea of early 80s nostalgia matches

--Pro wrestling star turning to becoming a heavyweight pro boxer

--Wrestling Hall of Famer gets national beer ad that will play on the big networks

--Update on some of the biggest wrestling events by year, updating the story form a few weeks ago

--Notes on Ron Simmons and the College Football Hall of Fame

--Notes on a new book on Memphis wrestling

--Former WWE star suspended for failing a drug test

--NWA Hall of Fame news

--A look back 25 years and the anniversary of a major event and turning point in the history of the industry

--A look at a new book on arguably the greatest U.S. woman wrestler in history

--The night a major world championship changed hands in a completely legitimate match

--More on future of TNA video game

--Search for Kevin Nash's new diva

--TNA announcing situation

--A look at the next several weeks of TNA television

--Who and why is being groomed for a major singles push that had been buried in the middle for years

--Where does Bobby Lashley fit in

--First time IWGP tag titles ever change hands outside of Japan

--Dana White talks about a pending big deal

--ESPN and MMA
 
--Why Dan Henderson vs. Rich Franklin was signed again
 
--The pros and cons of that match
 
--Georges St. Pierre talks more about what he needs to do to fight Anderson Silva
 
--More on UFC business revenues
 
--Update on UFC video game sales
 
--UFC game sales vs. EA's new boxing game sales
 
--The Tito Ortiz about face and what's going on with him and UFC
 
--Update on Canadian interest in MMA
 
--Ridiculous comments on MMA
 
--Mirko Cro Cop gives his side of what went down in his contract situation
 
--Fighter says he's been promised next title shot
 
--UFC steroid test results
 
--Who UFC is pushing for the Mexico market
 
--Thoughts on MMA fighters nominated for Espy awards
 
--Lots of new UFC matches finalized over the past week
 
--Former world boxing champion signs with K-1
 
--Update on Lavar Johnson and arrest of one of the people involved in the shooting
 
--Fedor's stardom
 
--Olympic silver medalist signed
 
--One of the hottest MMA cities in the world, update on regulation and UFC plans
 
--Former amateur superstar faces MMA legend
 
--Show that first put MMA on is now canceled
 
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--On the Affliction deal, it appear to be down to either Vitor Belfort or Brett Rogers as Fedor Emelianenko's opponent for 8/1.  Emelianenko's people sent out a press release stating that a poll on Sherdog showed people greatly preferred Rogers, and thus, so did they.  Man, if UFC used Sherdog to decide their matchmaking, they'd have been out of business years ago.  A lot of fighters are trying to get their names in, largely for the $500,000 payday, including Tank Abbott and Don Frye.  Affliction canceled its press conference today.  Even though Belfort turned down facing Gegard Mousasi originally on 8/1, and Rogers has no interest in facing Fabricio Werdum on 8/15, it is the payday that, particularly for Rogers, is life changing (it would be six times more than he's made for fighting in his entire career) that is the key.  Rogers has not had a camp so would be going in cold.  Belfort has been training hard, and said he would fight at 215 without having to cut.  What it seems to come down to is whether or not Strikeforce will give approval to the fight.  Rogers is obviously really wanting it bad.  At of an hour ago, Scott Coker had not made a decision either way.  We're told Affliction is planning on making the announcement tomorrow. 

 

--Vadim Finkelchtein, Fedor's manager, at a press conference earlier today in Russia, said they prefer Rogers and believe if it won't be Rogers, it'll be Belfort.  "Everyone in the world now wants to see the fight of Fedor, not Barnett," he said.  "People want to see Fedor fight.  Belfort can make heavyweight but the fans don't want this fight.  Fedor isn't seeking an easy fight.  If logistics weren't an issue, we'd like to see Fedor fight against Brett Rogers.  Fans want it, so do we."

 

--California announced Josh Barnett was not going to be suspended, he was just being denied a license to fight.  That's a key issue because not being on the suspended list would allow him to fight as long as another state would license him, and there would be no reason not to except if they asked him to test beforehand (which many states would) and he were to fail that test as well.  

 

--Don Frye's promo on Fedor:  "He ain't seen anything I have to offer.  He built his whole reputation (as) a waffle house chef. They've been serving him up ham and eggs with a side of canned tomatoes.  I'll bring it and if he can bring it, you'll have the best fight you've ever seen on the planet." 

 

--Damian Steele, a former WWE developmental wrestler, who was tag team partner with Jesse (Ray Gordy) in developmental (and they did appear once as a team on Smackdown), was found dead yesterday.  We don't have any details.  There may be confusion as this is not Tim Fisher, who was the California/Puerto Rico "Real Deal" Damien Steele who looked like Randy the Ram.  This was an African-American wrestler who spent most of his career working indies in Georgia before being signed by WWE.



--WWE announced a show on 4/14 in Strasbourg, France (thanks to Jeremy Chevallier)

 

--Brock Lesnar was on Jim Rome today.  Didn't say much other than Dana White didn't yell at him after the match, but was mad about dissing Bud Light, and Lesnar said he apologized about the comment even before he was asked to.   He said he's got nothing personal against Frank Mir, but he is a sore loser and spent 17 months dealing with him giving Mir the first fight.  He said he'd like to fight Fedor.     

--ECW drew a 1.2 rating this week.

 

--A correction from the early reports from yesterday.  Jeremy Piven of Entourage will be hosting Raw on 8/3 from the Mohegan Sun Casino, not this coming Monday's show in Washington, DC.  Shaquille O'Neal is doing it by himself this week and Priven is doing it next week.  Time will tell on this.  O'Neal should get a lot of attention, but I'm surprised thus far at how little it's gotten.  What is happening is that if they do a celebrity guest host four times a year, they'll get pub all four times.  Doing it weekly, the public will burn out on it.  ZZ Top was an interesting deal because they drew the oldest audience in the history of Raw (there were as many viewers over 40 as under 40 on Monday--the first time in show's history) for a show that is clearly written for kids.

 

--KENTA vs. Chris Hero was announced for the 8/15 ROH TV tapings in Philadelphia. 

 

--Poll on the ECW TV show

Excellent 11.8%

Good 36.2%

Average 23.6%

Fair 9.4%

Poor 18.9%

        38.9% of those responding didn't see the show

 

--Should Bobby Lashley have taken the fight with Fedor Emelianenko

Yes, it's a no lose for him, he'll gain respect because he's not expected to do well 28.6%

Yes, he has a good future and this won't hurt it 6.5%

Yes, but has to be for more than $750,000 2.0%

No, he doesn't have time to prepare, if he had a month of training, then yes 22.1%

No, too early in his career, with a year of competition in, the yes but not now 22.1%

No, he has a good future in the sport and this will hurt it 18.6%

 

--Who would you most want to see face Emelianenko?

Lashley 44.5%

Brett Rogers 19.4%

Vitor Belfort 14.2%

Daniel Puder 11.9%

Fabricio Werdum 8.4%

Ricardo Arona 1.6%

 

--Who of those choices would be the best for business to face Emelianenko?

Lashley 70.6%

Belfort 13.9%

Rogers 6.5%

Puder 6.1%

Werdum 1.9%

Arona 1.0%

 

--A great article in today's Chicago Sun Times about former White Sox pitcher Jim Parque and why he used Growth Hormone at http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/1681419,CST-SPT-parque23.article (thanks to Jerome Cusson)    

 

--Balls Mahoney vs. Snitsky headline on 8/1 in Long Branch, NJ at the Italian-American Memorial Association  Showgrounds in a cage match for NWS.  They also have shows headlined by Bob Holly tomorrow night in Middletown, NJ at VFW Post 2179 Hall, Saturday night in Dunellen, NJ at the Knights of Columbus Hall and Sunday in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ at the Elks Lodge Showgrounds

 

--Danny Inferno (wasn't he supposed to have retired) vs. Judas Young on 8/22 in Freehold, NJ in an Iron Man match.  The Iron Sheik will also appear, and Bobby Fish, Julio Dinero, Danny Doring, Christian York, Rick Fuller and Nunzio wrestle on the show.

 

--Shot in the Dark with Jimmy Rave, Sal Rinauro and Colt Cabana is at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/PSP/2009/07/22/Shot-in-the-Dark.mp3

 

--We have a very interesting Observer Live show from yesterday that includes Terry Funk and Larry Matysik and their reactions to how the industry has changed of late as well as talk about Josh Barnett's situation.  It's up on the site right now for site members.

 

--James Brattoli at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is looking to get in touch with Michael Joy, who wrote the piece on the site on the staleness of the WWE product

 

--The TV show Leverage on TNT last night had an MMA theme, featuring a corrupt promoter and a fighter dying in a match.  Matt Lindland appeared on the show.  MMA was not treated negatively on the show. (thanks to Philip Schuler)

 

--Interviews with Trish Stratus from BITE TV in Canada are at http://www.bite.ca/video/TheSurfTrishStratusHighlights/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1F9Vw51ik4

 

--Dragon Gate wrestlers are donating items for auction to raise money for Wrestlers Rescue.  One of the goals of Wrestlers Rescue is to raise money for Steve Williams to be able to get a voice box that would enable him to talk more freely.  BxB Hulk is donating a wrestling costume.  Naruki Doi is donated a signed T-shirt.  Masato Yoshino is donating a signed World-1 members T-shirt. Cima is donating a signed T-shirt.  And Dragon Kid is donating one of his masks.  For more info you can go to http://www.Wrestlersrescue.org

 

--Monday night in Leon before 3,000 fans:  Centella Inca won, and Krimen, who finished second, got his head shaved; Mini Abismo Negro & Mini Histeria b Mascarita Divina & Mascarita Sagrada, Alan Stone & Gran Apache & Mari Apache b Cinthia Moreno & Pimpinela Escarlata & Polvo de Estrellas, Psycho Circus b Charly Manson & Elegido & Mesias-DQ

 

--Sad news that the little girl Kylie who was mentioned a few weeks ago on the site who had cancer had passed away.  After being mentioned here, she got close to 150 photos and other presents from wrestlers.  Mikey Whipwreck, who was behind this, said, "Every day she was getting something new.  It really gave her something to look forward to every day."

 

--The TNA house show in LaCrosse, WI will be on 10/9.  We had the wrong date for a few hours on the site yesterday. (thanks to Devin Cutting)

 

--More on Massachusetts and MMA at http://www.patriotledger.com/archive/x1767085570/State-could-open-door-to-mixed-martial-arts 

 

--Maryland Championship Wrestling is doing a PPV party for Night of Champions at Loafers in Catonsville, MD, with a $5 cover charge 

 

--Eugene and a name from the past, Buck "Rock & Roll" ZumHofe headline Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Scott County Fairgrounds near Jordan, MN.  ZumHofe, 58, was an AWA star in the early 80s.

 

--Ken Hoffman of the Houston Chronicle has a story on Torrie Wilson losing a close race in "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!" at http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/hoffman/6542165.html  Wilson felt in the end she was a huge winner, as she was the least famous person on the show and made it until the end, plus she raised a lot of money for the Disabled American War Veterans.  She said doing the show has led to all sorts of entertainment offers coming her way.  She said when she tried to get into acting before, being a wrestler hurt but she no longer has that stigma  

 

--Scott Hall vs. Justin Credible on 8/1 in Webster, MA at the Memorial Athletic Field


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