Saturday, 22 August 2009 03:22
With the exception of SummerSlam on Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, we've got a quiet weekend.
We're looking for reports on last night's TNA house show in Robstown, TX and tonight's show in Laredo.
We're also looking for reports from last nights AAA Verano de Escandalo, its No. 2 show of the year.
Raw will be taped in Las Vegas on Monday night with Floyd Mayweather Jr. as guest host. Smackdown and ECW are taped Tuesday night in Phoenix.
A detailed look at Kurt Angle's arrest, his reaction, the charges, the explanation and more, as well as a rundown of the Gina Carano vs. Cris Cyborg match, a business breakdown, two major wrestling personalities running for senate, another running for mayor, the turmoil in TNA, G-1 Climax tournament and a look back at the early days of women's wrestling in the U.S. with the death of Gladys "Killem" Gillem are among the headlines in Monday's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
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.
The issue is available now on the web site to premium members.
The issue also has a look at a network carrying wrestling and a major disagreement with the promotion and where things stand, including a television taping when the announcers didn't show up.
We look at TNA's decision making process when it comes to Kurt Angle, Angle's history of problems, a look back at Angle being let go by WWE, all the companies that were after him at the time, his move to TNA, his relationship with Rhaka Khan, predictions ahead of time of where it would lead, and the blow-by-blow of the blowup between the two. We look at the time line, the Angle explanation, what TNA told the wrestlers, the police report on the case, what Angle is charged with as well as additional charges that were filed this past week that have not been covered in other stories.
We also look at Angle's interviews on the subject, what he told TNA about how it went down, his explanation for using Growth Hormone, his feeling about spending time in jail, the coverage of the story, how WWE differs from TNA in a situation like this and story contradictions.
We also have a business rundown on the Gina Carano vs. Cris Cyborg match. We look at what it told about at least Carano's drawing power, as well as women's MMA. We look at the reaction, what hasn't been reported anywhere about the finish, the reaction of the fans, the excitement level in the crowd, ratings in detail, Showtime's biggest MMA events in history, the live crowd and how it differed from a usual Strikeforce event, and why the fight took place on Showtime and not CBS.
We look at the most watched MMA fight in history, ratings for the UFC competition with Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir replayed, why ratings weren't close to Lesnar vs. Couture, how the events did compared with other sports on that day, whether the UFC audience and Strikeforce audience were similar and how the loss affects women's MMA going forward.
We have notes on the TNA & Spike TV negotiations, the changes in TNA this week, creative issues, as well as full coverage of the Hard Justice show with poll results and star ratings.
We also have coverage of the Strikeforce show, including why the reaction in the U.S. and Canada to the event was so different, Fedor Emelianenko coming, a look at the issues regarding dates, the future of Nick Diaz and other future Strikeforce matches, as well as how each match on the show did in ratings.
We've also got updates on Jeff Hardy and his return, Vince McMahon directive for Smackdown, an update on the first PPV after SummerSlam, a story that could be very significant to WWE in October if things don't change, because it will mean almost a guaranteed significant ratings drop for a key show.
We also look at a television show that will have several WWE guests in the fall.
We have an update on the guest hosts for Raw including a huge name up for doing it. We look at whether the Raw guest hosting has made a difference in the ratings. We look at how publicity isn't always good, the return of Shawn Michaels, the making of the SummerSlam show, the firing of Nick Dinsmore, and even some early news regarding Wrestlemania 28.
We also look at upcoming WWE planned lineups, the Rise of Fall of WCW and weekend WWE house show business and rundowns.
We also have a look at the G-1 Climax tournament, including the business, the Makabe story, and the history of the tournament.
In a look back at the early days of women's wrestling, we have a feature on Gladys "Killem" Gillem, and her role in women's wrestling in another generation. We look at her thoughts on her heyday as the No. 2 woman wrestler in the country, and the interesting reasons she quit.
We also have our usual weekly features such as the most in-depth look at the ratings, the results from the major league events held around the world over the past week, and rundown of the major television shows.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sites and has the most complete look at the business as a whole anywhere.
Also in this week's issue:
--Masked Hall of Famer puts mask up in big match
--Former ECW champ draws sellout in Mexico
--AAA promotion talks plans to revolutionize wrestling
--Dragon Gate stars come to the U.S.
--Dragon Gate tag team tournament update
--Pro Wrestling NOAH title bouts for September
--Masahiro Chono's 25th anniversary show
--Top TNA team challenges for titles in Japan
--Movie on the life of a major pro wrestling star falls through
--Son of famous actor debuts as a pro wrestler this weekend
--Indie group will be available on TV nationwide
--Wrestler running for state House of Representatives
--Hulk Hogan update
--Keys to ROH future
--A look at several major upcoming ROH matches
--Rundown of ROH TV tapings
--What match and what person stole the show, including a potential match of the year candidate
--TNA announcing change
--TNA star issues challenge to MMA name
--Notes on people backstage at the recent TNA tapings
--TNA TV taping notes
--Updated estimates of UFC 101 business
--Possible reasons for UFC PPV numbers continuing to grow
--Best UFC markets and best Strikeforce markets
--Nevada passes new regulation for MMA
--Chuck Liddell on Dancing with the Stars
--New UFC signings
--Drug test failure in WEC
--A look at UFC 102 show
--Update on Nick Diaz in Strikeforce
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 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 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.
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.
--B.J. Penn has agreed to face Diego Sanchez on 11/14 in Manchester, England for the UFC lightweight title. This will be on Spike, not PPV.
-- There is an article on the death of Frank Fertitta Jr. here.
-- Multichannel News reported yesterday that if DirecTV and Versus cannot come to a carriage agreement by September 1st, Versus will be dropped from the channel. Versus, of course, is home to all the WEC events.
-- WWE SummerSlam Axxess takes place today in LA, so if you attend we'd love any reports from the event.
-- Matt Hardy on his twitter noted that Jeff Hardy would still be with WWE after SummerSlam. Technically that's correct since he'll probably work at least Raw and perhaps the Smackdown tapings this coming week, but then he's finished. Hardy is being advertised for Tuesday night in Phoenix, which is expected to be his last date.
--Who do you expect to win Lesnar vs. Carwin
Brock Lesnar 86.0
Shane Carwin 14.0%
--What do you think of the decision to replace Don West with Taz on TNA Impact?
Good decision 44.0%
Too early to tell 31.9%
Bad decision 24.1%
Who is the least deserving member of the WWE Hall of Fame?
Pete Rose 32.0%
William Perry 30.0%
James Dudley 18.5%
Koko Ware 11.2%
Johnny Rodz 3.6%
Baron Scicluna 2.7%
Ivan Putski 1.3%
Johnny Valiant 0.7%
--First odds out on the fight are Lesnar at -180 and Carwin at +150
-- Dan Wahlers writes: I heard ads for Summerslam running all day Friday in regular rotation on WFAN Sports Radio 660 AM, which covers the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area. Some of the ads would just mention Summerslam, and the date and time of the show, and other longer ads would actually mention matches. The return of DX vs. Legacy was mentioned as the top match (they mentioned HHH and Shawn Michaels by name, but not Rhodes and Dibiase, big surprise there) followed by Orton vs. Cena and then Hardy vs. Punk in a TLC Match. Then the announcer said "The Unified Tag Team Championship, Intercontinental Championship, and ECW Championship will also be defended." I guess the ECW Title officially ranks behind the tag titles, and the I-C Title on the depth chart. I'm not sure if it was just random, or if it signifies where they view the importance of each match. But it definitely gave you the impression that DX vs. Legacy was the main event of the show.
-- For those who loved the first season of Bully Beatdown, the show returns for its second season on August 27th (Thursday, new day) at 9:30 PM.
-- XPW ten year anniversary show takes place this afternoon with Supreme vs. Angel for the Deathmatch title, Joey Ryan & Lizzy Valentine vs. Vinnie Massaro & Monica Massaro in a "Joey Ryan Sleazy Strip Wrestling Ironman Challenge", Johnny Webb & Cast Iron Cothern & Thunderkitty & Matt Classic vs. Dante & Timothy Thatcher & Christina Von Eerie & Chupacabra, M-Dogg20 vs. Scorpio Sky, Homeless Jimmy vs. Luke Hawx, Youth Suicide vs. Carnage, Pogo the Clown vs. RCG Leroy, and more. Pre-show starts at 1:30 PM and the main show starts at 2:00 PM at the Arena, 6655 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA.
-- Jim Ross has a new blog up here where he talks a lot about the Rise and Fall of WCW DVD. He said it's really very good, and noted that it's not a hatchet job and that he thinks even old fans of WCW will enjoy it.
-- Lance Storm, Mauro Ranallo and Paul Lazenby discuss the Jenna Morasca Vs Sharmell classic here
-- Quick TNA results from Robstown (Corpus Christi) before 1,000 saw Homicide d. Sheik Bashir, Sarita beat Angelina Love, Matt Morgan beat Cute Kip, Hernandez d. Eric Young, Booker & Scott Steiner b Beer Money, and AJ Styles beat Samoa Joe in a non-title match.
-- Kizarny will be appearing at the All-Star Wrestling events in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada on October 2nd, 2009 and Vernon, British Columbia, Canada on October 3rd, 2009.
-- Rikishi, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Ronny "The Dice Man" Vegas, The Barbarian, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Bo Bo Brazil Jr., Boink the Clown and valet Nicole Marie will all be performing at the Grandstand at the Illinois State Fair tomorrow afternoon at 5 PM. There is an autograph session from 3-5 today as well. As a special bonus, four contest winners will be selected to valet the wrestler of their choice from the locker room to the ring, watch the match at ringside and return with the wrestler to the locker room. Four more winners will be selected as ring girls and will take care of the wrestlers' attire and accessories after they enter the ring prior to the match. Thanks to Devin Cutting.
-- Find out what Vince Russo ripped off to create that Cody Deaner segment on Thunder by clicking here
-- For those into this sort of thing, the latest Independent World MMA rankings are up here
-- The Ultimate Collectibles Show Oct 3rd and 4th in Oaks, PA with Roddy Riper, Ken Shamrock, Candice Michell, Ivan Putski, Lance Storm, Kevin Thron, Christy Hemme, Terri Runnels, April Hunter, Dawn Marie, Sean Waltman, Greg Valentine, King Kong Bundy, Steve Blackman, Chris Harris, Steve Corino, Chris Nowinski, The Nasty Boys, The Blue Meanie, Stacy Carter, Missy Hyatt, Dick Kroll and more. For full lineup vist www.mp-events.net.
-- WRESTLEART takes place Saturday September 19, 2009 at 9:00 PM at The Producers Club, 358 West 44th Street NYC. Phone 212-315-4743. Johnny Valiant will be performing.