MON. UPDATE: SHARPTON TAKES HEAT; TAG CHAMP NEEDS SURGERY, NO WORD ON BELTS; NEW ANNOUNCER
Raw is live tonight in Albany, NY with Rev. Al Sharpton as guest host. Main event is John Cena running the gauntlet against Chris Jericho, Big Show and Randy Orton. We're looking for reports on tonight's show with the Superstars matches and dark matches.
We're looking for reports on Thursday night's Raw show in Guatemala City, Thursday night's Smackdown show in Madrid, Spain, Friday
night's Raw show in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico and Saturday night's Raw show in Guadalajara, Mexico, as well as today's Smackdown brand house show in Paris at
The 10th anniversary episode of Smackdown will be taped on Tuesday night in Boston with Undertaker & DX & John Cena vs. Legacy &
Randy Orton & C.M. Punk in the all-star main event, plus a taped appearance by Dwayne Johnson and a scheduled live appearance by Vickie
Guerrero. TNA has a show on Tuesday in Dortmund, Germany.
Chuck Liddell will be on Dancing with the Stars week two tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC tonight.
ROH on HDNet at 8 p.m. tonight
*Jerry Lynn & Tyler Black vs. Kenny King & Rhett Titus
*Sara Del Ray vs. Nikki Roxx (Roxxi)
*Alex Payne vs. Sonjay Dutt
*Brent Albright vs. Claudio Castagnoli in a cage match
Spike tonight at 6:30 p.m. will be airing a 90 minute Ultimate Iceman special on Liddell. They also have Unleashed from 8-9 p.m. headlined by Rashad Evans vs. Brad Imes and Tito Ortiz vs. Evan Tanner. The April Fight Night headlined by Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann from Nashville airs from 9-11 p.m. against Raw. Last week's Ultimate Fighter episode airs at 11 p.m. after Raw.
The 2009 Hall of Fame issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, one of the largest issues in our history and what is traditionally the best selling issue of the year, is out today for print subscribers and is also available right now on the web site.
The main focus of the double issue is a look at the six new members of the Hall of Fame as voted by reporters, historians, and people both in the current business and people with long histories of being in the business. Because of the size of the bios, we only have bios of three of the six new acts in this week's issue, and there will be bios in upcoming weeks of the other three new members which span periods from the 1930s through modern times.
We look at what the Hall of Fame is, how people get in, a complete rundown not only of the final voting but also the top ten in each different category and an explanation as to how each guy got voted in, as well as a detailed look at why others who came close didn't reach the magic 60% mark. We also have notes on people who will not be on next year's ballots, as well as who will be added to next year's ballot.
We look at the close calls, including three top active stars who almost made it and what kept them from getting in. We look at who made
the biggest strides as well as the biggest drops, as well as look at the first year on for Edge.
We evaluate all the new members and talk about those on next year's ballot for the first time.
The highlight is our lengthy bios which talk about three very different and distinct eras in wrestling and some very unique individuals that made it in.
We also have the updated list of everyone in and the year they were put in, divided into several different categories.
We also look at Saturday night's UFC 103, the head-to-head battle with boxing and different numbers that are out there. We look at the
business of the show, what came out of the show, and full coverage of the event.
We also have an update on the first week of Linda McMahon's run for the U.S. Senate. We look at her strategy in running, as well as in the first week what stories have come out regarding pro wrestling and her candidacy. We look at financing her campaign, as well as a political strategist evaluates her chances.
We also look at the retirement of Quinton Jackson, the ratings of the first episode of Ultimate Fighter and how they rank among other big shows in the history of the show. We look at Jackson's complete statement, an update on other fighters who have said similar things and what has happened, and perhaps a reason why these things happen.
We look at how the show fared in Males 18-34 this past week, as well as how the Fight Night show did, and a look at how season 10 is stacking up.
We also look at the return of MMA to CBS with the Fedor vs. Brett Rogers Strikeforce match, as well as a look at the signing of Herschel
Walker to an MMA deal, his expected debut, and more on plans for the CBS show.
We've got the most detailed look at what is going down politically in TNA, including the departures of Jim Cornette and B.G. James, the hiring of Ed Ferrara, and how everything is intertwined, including reactions from many in the company.
We also look at Batista's move to Smackdown and the move being rushed, the return from suspension of Rey Mysterio, one of the biggest
stars in company history in talks, feelings on the booking of three Hell in a Cell matches on one show, Hardys update, Lilian Garcia's future, Jim
Ross pushes for someone who is a surprise to get into the WWE Hall of Fame, Miami bidding for Wrestlemania, notes on the 10th anniversary
Smackdown show, Injury updates, Jericho talks his character, Pat Patterson's 50th anniversary of being in the business, a new signee as well as details on the WWE weekend shows.
We've got a rundown of TNA's No Surrender show, including why it doesn't look like it will do well on PPV. We look at the wrestling, the
booking, and match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
We also have a look at CMLL's biggest event of the year, the 76th anniversary event at Arena Mexico with the Mistico putting his mask up
against the hair of Negro Casas main event.
We also have tons of updates on Hulk Hogan's promotion and Hogan promoting the events.
We also have a look at the ratings for all the major pro wrestling shows on television over the past week, including the Batista return to Smackdown and Cedric the Entertainer on Raw battling against Monday Night Football.
We also have our usual weekly features such as the results of the biggest matches of the 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.
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Also in this week's issues:
--Jushin Liger in Mexico including his first singles match with Mistico and what it is building to
--A somewhat major star jumping promotions
--A major star who announces he is leaving just days before he was supposed to be in a big show major stipulation match
--GHC tag team title change
--Former WWE star disappears
--Update on TNA's Bound for Glory show
--Update on members of the TNA creative team
--Tons of news from the next few weeks of TNA television tapings
--Randy Couture's contract
--Chuck Liddell on Dancing with the Stars
--Anderson Silva's elbow injury
--Several new UFC matches
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
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Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods.
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--Eddie Edwards, who worked Saturday night's ROH show in New York, doing a ladder match after breaking his elbow the night before in Boston, will be undergoing surgery on Thursday to have a steel plate and screws put into his arm and will be out of action for some time. No word as yet on what will happen to the ROH tag team titles held by the American Wolves. On 10/9, Davey Richards now faces Kenny Omega in a singles match in Collinsville, IL. Added to that show is Young Bucks vs. Kenny King & Rhett Titus.
--Some press on Al Sharpton's appearance tonight. He said he was given a nominal fee for travel expenses but was doing the show to promote his fight against illiteracy. In an interesting twist, a main street in front of the arena was shut down all day today because of filming of "The Other Guys," a movie Dwayne Johnson is in, although he is not part of today's filming. A story in the Durham Herald-Sun saying Sharpton is lowering himself to do Raw at http://www.heraldsun.com/
It noted Sharpton ranting about Don Imus and then doing WWE. He was asked on his radio show today about it and gave an answer about how he's going to talk to Vince McMahon. The story noted the Cryme Tyme characters. Phil Mushnick also wrote about it today and was critical on it. We don't have the URL on the New York Post story.
--It is believed Justin Roberts will be the new Raw ring announcer starting tonight, so no Howard Finkel back. I sense they don't even consider him as a regular TV guy because of his age. Yeah, I think that's ridiculous as well.
--Best TV show of the past week
Ultimate Fighter 21.9%
K-1 World Grand Prix 5.4%
Strikeforce Challengers Series 1.7%
Inside MMA 0.4%
--Raw vs. Ultimate Fighter this week in the ratings, do you think:
Ultimate Fighter will beat Raw in the ratings 28.4%
Raw will win the ratings, but Ultimate Fighter will kill Raw in key demos 42.7%
Raw will win the ratings, Ultimate Fighter will win key demos but not by much 13.7%
WWE will win both the ratings and the key demos 15.2%
--Best wrestler of these Hall of Famers
Keiji Muto 54.7%
Satoru Sayama 21.3%
Mil Mascaras 17.0%
Bill Miller 6.4%
Earl McCready 0.6%
--WWE will be filming Legends roundtable shows on Southern wrestling and on the lost art of being a manager on Wednesday at the company studios in Stamford. Jim Ross, Bill Watts, Michael Hayes and J.J. Dillon are among those who will be on the panel.
--Super Crazy, YAMATO and Brian Kendrick have been added to the Open the Freedom Gate title tournament on 11/28 in Philadelphia for Dragon Gate USA
--Mike Swick vs. Dan Hardy is now official for UFC 105 on 11/14 in Manchester, England, replacing the previously announced Hardy vs. Dong Hyun Kim fight.
--There is a new index that measures "Stickiness" of television shows, basically what TV shows have the most loyal viewers. The gist is what shows have the viewers people tuning out as the show goes on. For the week ending 9/20, The Ultimate Fight Night Live was No. 10, Ultimate Fighter was No. 15, Smackdown was No. 21 and Raw was No. 25 among all shows on broadcast and cable.
--Besides all the stuff tonight, also on Spike this week will be Unleashed tomorrow night at 8 p.m. headlined by Tim Sylvia vs. Ricco Rodriguez and Georges St. Pierre vs. Jay Hieron and Wednesday night they will be airing the original episode of this season of Ultimate Fighter at 8 p.m., the new episode with Kimbo Slice vs. Roy Nelson at 10 p.m. and replaying that episode at 11 p.m.
--In an interesting trivia note, Kimbo Slice's cousin is Rhadi Ferguson, who competed for the U.S. in the 2004 Olympics in judo and has also competed in the world championships in BJJ.
--Miz & John Morrison will appear tomorrow night at 8 p.m. on "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader" on MyNetwork TV. There will be several other WWE personalities on the show this season including Michelle McCool, who was a school teacher before joining WWE, and Big Show. (thanks to Bradley Grover)
--We'll be back late tonight after Raw with Wrestling Observer Radio with our Raw rundown as well as news update
--EWA on 10/3 in Glen Burnie, MD at JD Byriders for a free show
--Championship Wrestling from Saturday night in Haleyville, LA before 150 fans: Johnny Rage b Rebecca Envy, Mike Jackson (the 80s TV enhancement guy who was always a good worker) b El Mexicano to win the Alabama title, Matt Riviera (VH-1) b Ultimate Dragon, Josh Magnum NC El Mexicano in a ladder match
--NWS from Saturday night in Edison, NJ: Kong-a-rilla b J.D. Smoothie, Paco Libro b Joey Janella, Sonny Boy Gulano b Jack Spade-DQ, Zombie (managed by George Steele) NC Kevin Matthews, J.D. Smoothie & Manny Moore b Corvis Fear & Joey Janella, Chief Draven b Jack Spade, Zombie & Nikko the Monkey Man (managed by Steele) b Matthews & Nicky Oceans
--EWF on Saturday night in Muncie, IN before 150 fans: Kevin Thorn b Matt Cavins, Last Kings of Scotland b Packman Jackson & Parker James, Kid Dynamite over Bobby Black, Kid Fabulous and Andy Santos, Osyris b Mike Perry and Party Boy, Ro-Z b Hank Calhoun, Nate Phoenix b Just Justin, Zach Gowen b Dylan Bostic, Scotty 2 Hotty b Jimmy Jacobs
--All-Star Wrestling on 10/3 in Lebanon, VA with Ricky Morton, E.Z. Money (remember him from the dying days of WCW) and local football player Mac Cooper making his debut
--Insanity Pro Wrestling on 10/3 in Indianapolis at the Fountain Square Salvation Army Corps headlined by Apollo Starr vs. Flash Flanagan
--Christine Coover at
has three front row tickets for the 10/10 show in Nashville at the Fairgrounds for sale.
--OVW Fall Brawl from yesterday in Louisville: Eye Candy Ali b Jay Millz, C.J. Lane & Bailey Parker b Epiphany & Taryn Shay, Jamin Olivencia b Asher Knight, Kharn Alexander b Apoc, Beef Wellington b Mike Mondo-DQ, Lowrider b Vic the Bruiser (thanks to Jason Frost)
--Funkdafied Wrestling Federation from yesterday in Christiana, DE: Joseph Janela b Justice Hall, Nicky Oceans d Mike Quest, Funky White Boy b Lumberjack Monroe, Black & Nerdy b Goat Boy & Tiger Mask, Neko the Monkey Boy over Sonny Boy Gulano and Johnny Marx, Rancid & Funky White Boy b Ruff Ridger & Mad Dog, Kong Ga Rilla b J.D. Smooth
--River City Wrestling in San Antonio has been renamed Reinagel Championship Wrestling with the first show with a new name on Saturday night at Church Triumphant.