MON. UPDATE: Raw preview, NXT tomorrow, wrestler sells believably, Raw ratings, Best TV show, TUF
We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday night's UFC 114 PPV, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're also looking for live reports from Austin, TX tonight from Raw, looking for dark matches, Superstars matches, attendance and anything else not evident from the live show. They had a big advance sale for tonight's show, and it will either sell out or come close to it. Still nothing announced for tonight's show other than a main event of John Cena & Randy Orton vs. Edge & Sheamus. Ashton Kutcher being there.
We're also looking for reports on the Saturday night Raw house show in Monroe, LA, the Saturday night Smackdown house show in Las Cruces, NM, as well as Sunday's Raw show in Memphis and Smackdown show in Rio Rancho, NM.
Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday night in Dallas. Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre for the IC title was announced for Smackdown. NXT will have its winner as its the final episode of the show.
We've got updates on the WWE injury situation, as well as more on Batista, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, notes on the Fatal Four Way PPV and more coming out of the Over the Limit PPV in today's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The issue also has a look at Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans, where it stands historically, the reality of the animosity, the promos, notable stats on both fighters and their background as well as a verbal blow-by-blow of the two fighters coming into and out of one of the most anticipated fights in UFC history.
We also have a look at Rusher Kimura, and his role in pro wrestling in Japan in the 70s, 80s and 90s with various different promotions. We look at his death and the reaction to his death .
We also have a look at what happened to cause Carlito to get fired, as well as his family's reaction, and who ended up benefiting from it by getting a better push, while who besides Carlito was hurt by it. We also look at what went wrong with his career.
We also have an interesting look at the viewership habits of WWE fans as compared with a decade ago. We look at interesting stats regarding the company's decline in popularity and how the fan base has changed.
We also look at an update on Tivo and tape viewership of Raw, and whether TNA moving from Monday has made a difference.
We also look at Michael Benoit's article in the Hartford Courant and why it is not likely to have impact on voters.
We also have a major issue regarding this past WrestleMania that won't be the case next year. We also look at upcoming guest hosts, a look at the revival of Memphis wrestling, and more on the financial worth of Vince and Shane McMahon.
We also have notes on the NXT wrestlers who right now it has been decided will be on a major roster after the show ends, notes on why the matches air as they do on Vintage Collection, notes on new DVDs as well as the weekend house show in Cincinnati.
We also look at one of the biggest head-to-head pro wrestling battles of the year, with CMLL and AAA going head-to-head, each doing one of their biggest events of the year.
We've also got an update on Scott Hall, his arrest, his TNA future, what happened, what was reported, what those close to Hall have said and more.
The issue is available today for web site subscribers and you can access this by ordering a web subscription and linking to http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/13510/. You can also order mail copies of the Observer with details on mail subscriptions below. Our weekly back issue from 1993, covering Jim Ross leaving WCW before he joined WWE and what led to it is at http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/13482/ The 1993 issues are going to start getting really interesting because wrestling wasn't doing well, but 1993 saw the emergence of new companies like UFC, Pancrase, ECW, Michinoku Pro and K-1 which all revolutionized the industry.
We look at the reaction to Batista leaving WWE, what kind of money he's leaving, what he has told people where he's headed next that people find impossible to believe, and more.
We've got an update on Rey Mysterio, including the decision to shave Punk's hair when it happened. We also look at some of the other injuries, how things build to Fatal Four Way, and thoughts on some of the programs being built.
We also look at the decision making on the PPV, reaction to the PPV with poll results and star ratings, as well as expectations regarding how the show would do and more business notes.
We look at the Jackson vs. Evans build, what is and isn't real, thoughts on the match itself and what will transpire, key elements that will probably be established early in the match, and both men talk all over each other. We look at the background of the program, the different and not talked about pro wrestling tie-ins in the background of both men's lives, what happened when they first met in 2004, where Jackson wants to go from here, how UFC upped the tension between the two, things that happened between the two in the past that have not gotten much publicity of late and whether ring rust will be a factor.
We look at why Rusher Kimura was known in Japan as the king of the cage match, a look at the big stars he headlined against, the lay of the wrestling land in the 70s in Japan, his role in a major interpromotional feud, Japan's first ever cage match, Kimura's career travels, his last run as a serious star, as well as the famous period as a comedy foil for Giant Baba.
This goes back to a lot of Japanese wrestling history during the glory days of pro wrestling in that country.
We look at the AAA vs. CMLL battle on 6/6, with the complete lineups, new signings by CMLL, and the complete TripleMania lineup with new matches.
We also look at what Linda McMahon getting the Republican endorsement for the U.S. senate means. We look at the reaction of the other two main candidates, why one claims the fix was in, why McMahon made an attractive candidate and what it says about the Republican party's belief as to whether her background running WWE will come back to haunt them. We also look at the current polls and where she stands.
We've also got the most detailed look at the national TV ratings. We've got notes on how every segment on Raw and Impact did the past week, including what match was the big winner on Raw. We also look at how the main matches on Strikeforce did, and what group is TNA not drawing from at all right now.
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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Also in this week's issue:
--What international star returns next month to CMLL
--What former WWE star debuts at Arena Mexico this week
--A legends match featuring an eight-man match where three members of one team are Hall of Fame members, two from another generation including the highest profile match for one of the biggest stars of the 70s worldwide
--What major star got into a fight with fans at a weekend show
--A new title being introduced, a concept of which has never been used to our knowledge of a championship
--Notes on the next Dragon Gate USA PPV show
--What wrestling legend is now out campaigning and helping his friend in a major election
--Pro Wrestling NOAH's 10-year anniversary tour update
--Notes on the career of Mighty Inoue, a former wrestler and referee in Japan who has been part of the business for 43 years
--20th year anniversary show of one of the big stars of the 90s, and a recently cut WWE star joins his former 90s tag team partner
--Producer of some major movies in talks with a pro wrestling legend about doing a biographical movie
--Notes on the wedding of Randy Savage
--What legendary heel who became the biggest babyface in history in a major market did his turn with Kinji Shibuya
--Wrestler found guilty of murder this past week
--Another man sentenced to three life terms in a series of murders, one of which was a pro wrestler
--Syfy will do a unique show on the pro wrestling Hall of Fame
--Update on Joanie Laurer's charges
--Details of the ROH TV tapings and the type of crowd it drew
--Where one of the big angles came from
--Update on TNA Slammiversary
--Updates on Sting, Hulk Hogan and Vince Russo in TNA
--Kurt Angle's current angle
--More on why Booker T wrestled over the weekend for TNA
--Another TNA injury, including to one of its top stars
--More on UFC's campaign to get MMA into Ontario
--What is the holdup
--What percentage of UFC revenue comes from Canada and what are its strongest PPV markets
--UFC title contender wins Republican primary for local office
--Costs of doing business in Vancouver
--Difference for the wrestlers/fighters in the UFC and WWE video games
--Notes on future plans for UFC overseas events
--When the GSP/Koscheck season of TUF debuts
--Unique injury to UFC fighter
--Several new UFC matches
--More on Strikeforce ratings
--A look at the strong Challengers show
--Future of Fedor
--Early word on July Dream show
--Former WWE developmental wrestler who had a memorable match on Raw signed for a high profile MMA fight in Japan this week
--Updates on the Bellator shows
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right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was
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everything that was said between the two about the match that was going
to take place that same night)
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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
*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
*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
*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
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth, and the rise of fall of
*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
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the
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*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the
controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
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*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,
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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,
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*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the
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*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best
and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and
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*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his
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*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on
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*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year
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*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details
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*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
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--There is no ROH television show tonight. It resumes in its usual time slot next Monday.
--NXT will be cutting two people tomorrow night and announcing the winner. It's not clear even internally if the winner will get his title shot at the Fatal Four Way PPV or the July PPV. The original plan was for the title shot in July, but that was before they cut several weeks out of the season. (thanks to Dan Wahlers and others)
--We got a few questions regarding Edge being injured at a house show in Memphis. While this is not 100%, I'm pretty sure he just did a good job of selling Jerry Lawler's piledriver, knowing how well the piledriver was put over as a killer hold for decades in Tennessee, similar to Mexico.
--For those of you who saw UFC 114 on location (sports bar), we're looking to hear how attendance was.
--With Memorial Day weekend, I expect Raw's rating to be slightly lower than it has been the past few weeks. We also may not get the ratings until Wednesday, as holidays often delay ratings by a day.
--For UFC on Spike this week, with no PPV, not a ton of stuff. They have Unleashed from 8-10 p.m. on Wednesday, Jamie Yager vs. Josh Bryant in the final quarterfinal match is on Ultimate Fighter, plus probably they'll announce the semifinals, and Rich Franklin debuts as Tito Ortiz's replacement as coach. Last week's TUF is replayed on Thursday at 7 p.m. and there is an Unleashed marathon from 12:26 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
--Who do you think won this match?
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 14.5%
Jason Brilz 78.6%
A draw 6.9%
--Best TV show of the past week
UFC Prime Time: Rampage vs. Evans 28.0%
Ultimate Fighter 5.8%
Countdown to UFC 114 1.9%
--Poll on Smackdown
39.4% of those responding didn't see the show
--It may be not just Josh Koscheck vs. Georges St. Pierre, but a battle of top camps. Koscheck is bringing with him as coaches, the AKA crew of Javier Mendez, Bob Cook and Dave Camarillo. GSP hasn't named his coaches, but considering he trains with the Jackson camp, he's likely to bring in some of the best coaches himself.
--We're back with Observer radio tonight after Raw. We should have a chance to answer a lot of questions, which the last few shows we haven't had time to do. You can ask anything about pro wrestling or MMA to
--The web site moviefone.com had a list of the 25 best movie fight scenes in history. Roddy Piper's fight in "They Live" was listed as No. 4. A trivia note is that the fight choreography for that movie I believe was done by Gene LeBell.
--MacGruber fell to No. 9 with an estimated $1,553,000 at the box office in week two, which is a bad second week. Even though Memorial Day weekend may have hurt business, no other major release fell 62% from last week (A Nightmare on Elm Street remake fell 61% but that's because its theaters were cut more than in half while MacBruber was in all the same theaters and its per screen totals were terrible, about $610 over the weekend per screen--or about 61 people total at all showings combined over the weekend).
--Juggalo Championship Wrestling from Saturday night at Memorial Hall in Kansas City: Weedman b Jeremy Wyatt, Thomaselli Brothers b Superstar Steve & Mark Sterling, Corporal Robinson b Sir Bradley Charles. They run tonight in Denver (thanks to Kevin Gill)
--Pure Wrestling Association on Friday night in Cambridge, ONT: Eddie Osbourne b Brandon Hynes, Geza Kalman Jr. b Juan Ortiz, Super Kamikaze b Eddie Osbourne. Saturday results: David Daniel b Joey Allen, Eddie Osbourne b Father Blob, Super Kamikaze b Moondog Buddy, Osbourne b Moondog Buddy, Kamikaze b Drucker, Drucker NC Paul Wright, Moondog Buddy b Wright, Osbourne b Kamikaze. Sunday had Super Kamikaze b Rhys Greenaway, Juan Ortiz b Brandon Flip, Eddie Osbourne b Swoosh, Juan Ortiz & Eddie Osbourne b Super Kamikaze & Swoosh, Swoosh b Rhys Greenaway, Super Kamikaze b Eddie Osbourne-DQ, Super Kamikaze won three-way over Rhys Greenaway and Swoosh, Geza Kalman Jr. (a former early UFC competitor) b Eddie Osbourne. All were carnival shows. (thanks to Devin Cutting)
--Impact Pro Wrestling from Saturday night in Auckland, New Zealand before 225 fans: Saint Chaos b Kazuki & Link Van Haggard, A-Class b Jon E. King, BFF b Just Plain Evil & Britenay, Jordan Invincible b Antagonist & Flag Boy, Astro & Rocketman b Danny Jacobs & Elias, NZ Dream b Liger, Pirates & Ninjas b Joseph Kinkade & Mischa Ivanoff, Vinny Dunn b Alexander, Reuben de Jong b Vinny Dunn. IPW wrestlers David and Dils O'Connor have moved to Florida (thanks to Steve Ogilvie)
--On an episode of Jeopardy that aired on Sunday, they had a question asking" Royce Gracie won the first two of these UFC events in a tournament. The UFC stands for." All three contestants tried to click in immediately and the one who did got it right (thanks to Grant Zwarych)
--Lance Storm talks about garbage can shots to the head vs. chair shots to the head, books, training wrestlers and not watching TNA at http://www.stormwrestling.com/053010.html A lot of interesting answers to mostly good questions.
--Former wrestler Sonny King talks wrestling at http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2010/05/22/14047696.html
--NWA at the Ohio State Fair on 8/1 is listing as the main event, Scott Steiner vs. a former NWA world champion, plus Adam Pearce defends the NWA title against Shatter.
--Apocalypse Wrestling on 7/11 in Whitby, ONT for a 2 p.m. show at the Class Act Dinner Theater
--PWA Niagara on 7/17 in Port Colborne Carnival
--Mecca Pro Wrestling from Saturday night in Cornwall, ONT: Canadian Justice b Damien Holmes, Frank Couture b Mark Green, Eric Dawson b J.Q. Publik, MTH b Alex D, Reggie Marley won three-way over Firestorm and Randy Berry, Pierre Vachon b Eric Mastrocola, Eric Mastrocola won Battle Royal
--Friday night in Tijuana: Tony Casanova & Mr. Maldito & Platino b Angel Metalico & Extassis & Spyder Black, Enfermero Jr. & Zarco b Cholo & Rubi Gardenia, Blue Demon Jr. & Super Astro b L.A. Park & Super Parka-DQ
--There is an AAA house show on 6/11 at the Auditorio in Tijuana with Dr. Wagner Jr. & Pimpinela Escarlata & Alan Stone vs. Konnan & Silver King & Electroshock as the main event (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--EWF from Saturday night in Lylte Creek, CA: Joshua Dunbar b Eddie Mattson, Jarek Mathews b Johny Starr, Mike Mountain b Mercurio Jr., Omar Slam Duncan b Jeremy Jaeger-DQ, Tab Jackson b Kitana Vera, A-List b Coconut Joe & Omar Slam Duncan , SoCal Crazy b Liger Rivera
--On the MPW results in yesterday's update the team of Anchors Away beat Kyle Webb & Amazing Ray. We didn't have Webb's name and had a different guy.
--A whole bunch of people from the web site including myself and Bryan Alvarez are interviewed from Las Vegas (outside of a restaurant) at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Edward-Loredo
--Adam Pearce is doing an ROH tryout on 7/9 and 7/10 in Winnipeg working with the Canadian Wrestling Elite promotion. For more info you can write to
--W-1 Judgment Day MMA on 6/19 in Laval, Quebec at the Colisee de Laval featuring Denis Kang vs. Dae Won Kim as the main event.