WED. UPDATE: BOOKER T/TNA PROBLEMS; TNA SPECIALS; SUPERSTARS; FLAIR'S TITLE BELT AUCTION; KIMBO
Tonight on Spike has two hours of Unleashed from 8-10 p.m. with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia, Anthony Johnson vs. Tommy Speer, Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Serra, Alan Belcher vs. Denis Kang, Cheick Kongo vs. Mostapha Al-Turk and Dan Henderson vs. Rich Franklin.
This leads in to episode four of Ultimate Fighter, where Marcus Jones keels over, giving Kimbo Slice hope for a comeback. There is a traitor in Team Rashad, and we finish to see if the string of crappy matches that have headlined the highest rated show will continue.
An examination of the WWE major programs, where they stand, and how they are handicapped by the current PPV theme situation, is the lead story in one of two issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter coming out this week.
A second issue lead story will be the history of the golden age of pro wrestling in Northern California. We used the Hall of Fame biography on Roy Shire, who promoted pro wrestling in Northern California from 1961-1981, as a theme to look back at one of the strongest territories during those years. This is one of the biggest historical pieces we've ever undertaken, as we look back at who Roy Shire was, who Ray Stevens was, Pat Patterson, Moondog Mayne, Pepper Gomez and so many others.
The first issue is available on the web site right now to premium members. The second issue, which will be a collectors item issue, will be on the web site tomorrow. Details are below on getting the issues themselves delivered via mail.
We look at the background of Punk vs. Undertaker, what happened, why it happened, and decisions that have been changed and where things go from here. We also look at the other main event programs in the company going forward.
The San Francisco feature looks at the heyday, the many ways the wrestling industry today has been impacted by Shire as a booker, the legend of Ray Stevens, the story behind the famous Cow Palace Battle Royals that led to the Royal Rumble, a look at the most famous shows Shire put on, his biggest feuds, and a rundown of 20 years of ups and downs.
We look at Roy Shire as a wrestler in the 50s, how he got started as a promoter, the heyday of National All-Star Wrestling, one of the highest rated wrestling television shows in the country, with lots of comments from people who were around from the start. We look at Roy Shire's first show ever at the Cow Palace, Shire's first big angle, his most remembered angles, the Stevens vs. Gomez feud, Shire's philosophy of what a wrestling match was, and the ironies of his run and how that relates to Vince McMahon, Verne Gagne, Bill Watts and others who came after him.
We look at Stevens vs. Sammartino, the Texas death matches, the atmosphere during the heyday of wrestling at the Cow Palace, the end of the Ray Stevens era, the Pat Patterson era, how television shaped the history of pro wrestling in this part of the country. We look at Shire burning out as a booker, the heyday of Moondog Mayne, Bob Roop, Kevin Sullivan and Buddy Rose, attempts to buy and steal the territory and what actually killed the territory.
We look at his decision to shut down, his final show, as well as the first pro wrestling personality to pose on a Playboy cover (and it was more than 30 years before Sable) as well as the alumnus of Roy Shire's wrestling who went on to become a major television star and had one of the most successful wall posters of anyone over a ten year period.
We look at Shire's philosophy of television, as well as the big name sports star he tried to lure into pro wrestling as well as his famous feud with a boxing Hall of Fame legend. We look at his problems getting along with people, some of the most controversial issues during his run, and so many of the obstacles he dealt with. We look at his attempts to kill pro wrestling after his run was over.
We also have full coverage of the two major shows of the week. We've got coverage of the WWE Hell in a Cell show, with poll results, business notes, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and more. We also have coverage of Dream 11, looking at the good, bad, ugly, with match-by-match coverage and more on the company's next show.
We also look at Kimbo Slice and UFC setting record ratings with the Ultimate Fighter reality show. We look at just how strong the show was with Males 18-34, the records set as well as other records which were not set. We look at the change in marketing of Slice, the fight itself, Roy Nelson talks about Kimbo and his future and lessons to learn regarding marketing of Slice.
We also have a look at the SummerSlam buys, how they compare with last year both worldwide and domestic, and the key lessons of this year's show now that the numbers are in.
We also have updates on Jeff Hardy and his court situation, Rock's appearance, Linda McMahon's campaign, Undertaker's future, Jim Ross' future and things to look for, as well as a former WWE star who canceled an interview saying he was negotiating to come back, injury updates, some new WWE doctrines, more on Matt Hardy, the WWE's best selling DVDs this year, as well as updates in other business categories.
We also have a look at a new WWE signing, who was top three in the world in another sport, what former WWE star actually set up a famous Hollywood marriage, as well as the origin of the name of the current WWE star.
We also have a look at the ratings for all the major pro wrestling
and MMA shows on television over the past week.
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.
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--More notes on Bound for Glory
--TNA title change
--TNA TV specials on Spike
--Updates on a major TNA star who looks to be gone
--ROH wrestler booked on an upcoming TNA date
--Lacey Von Erich causes controversy
--Pilot shot of several former WWE and TNA Divas
--Mick Foley talks philosophies of gimmicks
--A look at the TNA European tour and the recent TNA Impact tapings
--An updated look at UFC revenue and how it compares with WWE revenue
--Lots of new UFC matches
--Dana White gets high ranking
--UFC cuts and why
--The next season of Ultimate Fighter
--Matt Hughes talks future
--Movie about to come out featuring three former or current UFC champs
--Sentencing for UFC fighter in a car chase with police
--Jim Lampley talks UFC
--Update on Strikeforce matches
--A new promotion talks a national TV deal
--Several wrestlers announcing retirements
--Second Misawa memorial show
--Surprise on Japanese tour
--NOAH jr. tournament news
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--There was a blow up last night at the TNA tapings when Booker T refused to do a job for Matt Morgan. According to a TNA source who confirmed the story, Booker's contract is about to expire and negotiations for a new deal aren't going well. We had been hearing for weeks that Booker has been telling people he's going back to WWE when his deal expires. As noted earlier this week, during a show in Zurich, Switzerland, after Scott Steiner got some fans throwing things into the ring, Booker and Sharmell left the ring and wouldn't wrestle in the main event. The reaction internally was something of a good riddance, that Sheik Bashir stepped up, and that it was a better match for it. My impression was Booker & Scott Steiner were losing the tag team titles at Bound for Glory either way. Booker did work on the show, which was part of the three-hour special airing in a week, but the match with Morgan never happened. People are saying Booker right now feels very similar to Christian at the end of his TNA contract, although Reso was said to have handled it more professionally. He expected TNA to be his island of tranquility after a bad WWE experience at the end of his run. Those in WWE had talked about him coming back over the summer, but it may be quicker than that.
--The TNA Bound for Glory preview airs on Ch. 101 on DirecTV at 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Pacific time tonight (thanks to David Herrera)
--The Fairgrounds in Nashville, which has housed pro wrestling since the beginning of time, may be shut down. Nashville mayor Karl Dean made a statement that the fairgrounds, the state fair, the racetrack will be taken over by the Metro Finance Department at the end of June. He said the state fair is no longer sustainable at its current location and said he wants to redevelop the fairgrounds site which would close down the arena. The story is at http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/mayors-statement-puts-end -state-fair
--Superstars matches for tomorrow are Ted DiBiase vs. Evan Bourne, Sheamus vs. Shelton Benjamin and Cryme Tyme vs. Hart Dynasty.
--TNA sent out a press release to note Global Impact 2, a tape from the 1/4 Tokyo Dome show, will be airing tomorrow night after Impact at 11 p.m.
--Sting will be appearing at the Bound for Glory Fan Fest on 10/17 in Irvine, TX at the Hilton Hotel. There will be a Sting fan exhibit and they'll have a museum of memorabilia from his entire career.
--Ric Flair's original NWA title belt is now up for auction from highspots at http://www.highspots.com/nwabelt.asp They don't want any offers less than $75,000
--In the U.K. for the week ending 9/27, Impact had 66,000 viewers, TNA No Surrender PPV had 56,000, Raw had 53,000 live and 82,000 on the Thursday replay, Smackdown had 54,000 live and 36,00 on the Saturday replay and ECW had 37,000 (thanks to Ian Hamilton)
--Is Kimbo Slice a PPV draw?
Yes, he's the biggest star right now and just being on the show will make people buy 9.0%
Yes, with the right opponent he'd draw big numbers 36.5%
Unless it's the right match, PPV is different from TV and the TV viewers aren't going to spent $44.95 to see him 36.0%
Generally no unless they market a great grudge match for him 13.0%
No, he would not draw on PPV under any situations 5.5%
--Poll on Raw
22.8% of those responding didn't see the show. Marks aren't as good as most shows, but better than Raw has been doing.
--Who do you think is the biggest PPV draw right now
Brock Lesnar 42.7%
The Rock if he were to have a match 32.7%
Floyd Mayweather Jr. 9.1%
Steve Austin if he were to have a match 7.3%
Hulk Hogan if he were to have a match 3.0%
Manny Pacquiao 2.3%
Chuck Liddell 1.2%
Kimbo Slice 0.9%
Georges St. Pierre 0.5%
John Cena 0.3%
--Who is the best of these Hall of Fame wrestlers
Shawn Michaels 79.2%
Pat O'Connor 7.5%
Pat Patterson 6.9%
Bronko Nagurski 5.7%
Danny McShane 0.6%
--This morning on NFL Total Access, after airing clips of Ben Roethlisberger on Raw, the panel was asked their favorite pro wrestler. Charles Davis said Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen. Mike Martz has "The Destroyer, you pencil neck geek." Actually it was Fred Blassie who used the pencil-neck geek term. (thanks to Steve Te Tai and Mike Green)
--There is a very good interview with Steve Austin up at the U.K. sun web site at http://www.thesun.co.uk Austin said he missed the 10th anniversary Smackdown show because he was filming an episode of the NBC-TV show "Chuck."
--Mike Bennett worked a non-Impact match last night at the TNA tapings against Kip James. He is a New England indie wrestler known as "The Epic" Mike Bennett, trained by the late Steve Bradley and Bob Evans.
--Happy birthday to Bruno Sammartino, who turned 74 yesterday.
--Yesterday was also the 10th anniversary of the death of Gorilla Monsoon.
--On Monday's Pardon the Interruption, Tony Kornheiser wished a Happy anniversary to Kimbo Slice, noting Sunday was the one year anniversary of his being knocked out by Seth Petruzelli. He said, "The most recent time Kimbo was on TV, he got smothered by a giant belly belonging to some troglodyte." (thanks to Steve Khan)
--More on the movie with Kevin Nash and Kurt Angle at http://www.dreadcentral.com
--This coming Monday's episode of "The Simpsons" has an MMA themed episode with Marge leading a protest against an MMA show coming to Springfield
--Jim Ross is will be on an episode of "Dinner Impossible" at 9 p.m. on 11/11
--Lance Storm talks about The Rock's promo, an autograph signing and watching Wrestlemania I at http://www.stormwrestling.com/100609.html
--Should note that we will be having a Wrestling Observer radio show tonight covering Booker T, Roddy Piper, Ultimate Fighter and more. You can send e-mail questions to
We will also have a special show tomorrow with Bryan, myself and Lance Storm together.
--Matt Ratayczak said that in the John Cena vs. Randy Orton match at the Hell in a Cell PPV, what appeared to be a blade (which made no sense since blading is forbidden in the modern WWE), was a piece of silver confetti that got stuck on Cena's shoulder, and after taking the back cracker, it flew off onto the mat.
--The Bella Twins were at a ceremony to rename a street in Trenton, NJ yesterday at http://www.trentonian.com/article/2009/10/07/sports/doc4acc1e54e2f4e74748 4819.txt
--The presale for a Smackdown taping at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ on 12/29 started today. You can go to ticketmaster and use the password ACCESS. Presale lasts until Friday and tickets go on sale to the public on Saturday morning (thanks to Mike Omansky)
--Blitz Wrestling from Saturday night in Joliet, IL: Ryan Slade b Dave Rydel, Zach Thompson won Battle Royal, American History Next b Tony Rican & A.J. Smooth, American History Next b Tokyo Twins, Egotistico Fantastico b Ashton Vaton, Tony Scarpone & Jay Ryan b Raschke Brown & A.M. Vision
--A Fights Chance, an MMA charity and Tapout are working to raise money for Jennifer Molder of Salisaw, OK, who is a friend of UFC fighter Brian Foster who needs a liver transplant. They have set up a web site at www.AFightersChance.com
--Bob & Steve Armstrong vs. Dennis Condrey & Bobby Eaton headline or Global Championship Wrestling on Saturday night in Pell City, AL. Also wrestling on the show are Jimmy Golden, Mike Jackson and Lord Humongous, plus appearances by Austin Idol, Tommy Rich, Joe Hamilton and referee Nick Patrick. The Midnight Express will be doing a seminar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the best students at the seminar will get to work on the show. For more info you can contact
--Tommy Rich headlines on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Wayne, WV at the Fall Festival
--Stro wrestles on 10/10 in Hinton, WV at the Summers County Memorial Building tonight
--Steve Corino writes about wrestling for the Tri-State Wrestling Alliance reunion show on 10/24 at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ at http://www.corinowrestling.com/Chronicles.html
--Texas All-Star Wrestling on Saturday night in Humble, TX at the Bingo Hall with a Street fight with 12 men as the main event
--Sara Del Rey, Antonio Thomas, Bruiser Costa and Mistress Belmont are donating items for auction for Breast Cancer Awareness. Anyone else looking to help can e-mail
--Championship Wrestling Experience on 10/23 in Austintown, OH at The Wedge Nightclub headlined by Patrick Hayes vs. Necro Butcher
--MCPW on 10/17 in Kalkasa, MI at the Civic Center
--Bodyslam Wrestling Organization on 10/17 in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ at the Pioneer Club with a TLC match
--Eric Bemben at
is looking to get rid of his collection of Japanese videotapes
--UCW on 10/9 in Lebanon Junction, KY at the Junction Jamboree and 10/10 in Glasgow, KY at the Liberty District Ralph Bunche Community Center
--Liberty Wrestling Organization on 10/24 in Lodi, NJ at the Boys and Girls Club