We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's UFC 118 PPV, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
WWE has Raw in Wildwood, NJ, Smackdown in Bethlehem, PA and a mixed brand tent show in Cohasset, MA. ROH is running Charlotte (Four-way tag title match, Tyler Black vs. Davey Richards non-title, Roderick Strong vs. Kevin Steen) and there is also a Lucha Libre USA TV taping in Charlotte featuring David & Reid Flair, as well as Marco Corleone and the regular Lucha crew.
We're also looking for reports on last night's WWE show in Hampton Beach, NH as well as last night's ROH show in Richmond, VA.
Mike Pierce (171) vs. Amilcar Alves (171)
Nick Osipczak (171) vs. Greg Soto (170)
Dan Miller (185) vs. John Salter (185)
Live on Spike at 9 p.m.
Demian Maia (184) vs. Mario Miranda (185)
Nate Diaz (171) vs. Marcus Davis (170)
Kenny Florian (156) vs. Gray Maynard (156) for the next lightweight title shot
James Toney (237) vs. Randy Couture (220)
Frankie Edgar (154) vs. B.J. Penn (154) for the lightweight title
Sunday has WWE Raw at the Prudential Center in Newark, Smackdown in Springfield, MA, and the final tent show in Hyannis, MA. All Japan is also running a show at Sumo Hall in Tokyo.
Monday is the 900th episode of Raw at the T.D. Bankworth Garden in Boston. All wrestlers from both brands are scheduled to appear on the show. They are also bringing in some names from the past for nostalgia and they are going to do some retrospective features.
Tuesday will be the finals of this season of NXT, done live, as well as Smackdown taped in Albany, NY.
This coming Monday's issue of the Observer is one of the bigger issues of the year, with a look back at the career of Scandor Akbar, notes on the future of NXT, notes on the main event for the PPV after Night of Champions with advertising out, an in-depth look at the firing of Serena Deeb by WWE, an update on the injury to Skip Sheffield and what comes next, how the death of Lance Cade has become a political issue for Linda McMahon and the issue with Chris Nowinski.
We also have a look at an interview Cade did just before his death where he openly talks about his WWE career, how and why he started using steroids, performance enhancing usage in modern WWE, as well as what pro wrestling legend is actually a relative of Cade that wasn't known. We also look at the very eery story about the three wrestlers who discovered the death of a performer nearly a decade ago. We also have more on the suspension of Tiffany as well as the legal issues she faces, as well as a member of the creative team being gone, the names of international stars who had a secret tryout with WWE over the pat week. We also look at more regarding WWE scouting for new talent.
We've also got an update on contracts with three of the biggest name performers in the sport, and their futures. We look at what is and isn't true about Alberto Del Rio and why one of the company's biggest stars isn't working house shows right now.
The issue will be on the site today along with a back issue from June 1993 new to the site. All are available right now for web site subscribers in the Wrestling Observer listings on the top of the page. You can also get the Observer delivered by mail, with details below. For those who are web site subscribers, not only do we have issues once and in big news weeks, twice every week, but also release one back issue per week, covering 1993.
All subscriptions for 12 or more issues will include what is traditionally our most talked about issue of the year, the 2010 Hall of Fame issue that comes out in September.
Our lead story looks at the wrestling career of General Skandor Akbar, one of the best known managers of his era. We look at the big names who he helped mentor in the sport, the letter Steve Austin wrote him, his death, how he got started as a pro wrestler, growing up as a Lebanese boy in rural Texas, what he was best known for, his friendship and feud with Danny Hodge, as well as comments by Austin, Bill Watts, Jim Ross and Hodge. We also look at what he was most well known for regarding modern fans, his first match and his biggest career disappointment.
We also look at the state of Strikeforce coming out of Saturday's show, looking at the future for King Mo, Bobby Lashley, Tim Kennedy, the officiating issues, the regulatory problems with Texas and how the Lashley situation is unique for U.S. pro wrestling. We also update on the possibility of the Batista fight, business notes on the show, match-by-match coverage with poll results.
We also look at the big question coming out of last week's WEC show from a business standpoint, as well as match-by-match coverage of the show with poll ratings.
We've also got coverage of the major international event of the week, the 10th anniversary show from Pro Wrestling NOAH, as well as the in-ring NOAH vs. New Japan program that continued, and the symbolism of the results and matches.
We've also got a list of the winners of the annual New Japan singles tournament dating back to 1974, with finals that include many of the biggest names in the history of the sport.
We also have the complete lineup for what is the longest lasting traditional event in pro wrestling history, dating back to 1934, including comments on the unique main event.
We also have updates on what Bryan Danielson is being allowed and not allowed to do, an original Raw diva who is now an elected political official, Carlito talks about WWE, management and his booking. Why a former WWE wrestler who appeared to be headed for the top is going nowhere. We also look at a ton of new WWE signings.
We've also got the real business numbers for SummerSlam, as well as the weekend business on both the international and domestic front, and details from the weekend house shows, including both events at Sumo Hall in Tokyo.
We also look at the ratings for every national MMA and pro wrestling television show in the U.S., as well as the segment-by-segment numbers for the major shows.
We also have our weekly results from the major league arena events held around the world as well as the major TV show reviews.
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 issue:
--A unique tournament in pro wrestling given the stipulations announced regarding the winner
--Mexico TV ratings
--AAA reaction to Verano de Escandalo
--Update on Perro Aguayo Jr. in AAA
--Update on Teddy Hart
--Story behind a big star shaving his head on a non-televised event
--Interpromotional feud update in Mexico
--Return to pro wrestling of a Hall of Famer this coming week
--Popular Japanese star out of action with concussion
--A second group running before the end of the year in China
--Hall of Famer with a 45th anniversary of his debut with his famous name
--Hall of Famer starring in a movie
--Quiz show reaction shows teenage level of pro wrestling historical interest in Japan
--Life and times of Nightmare Ted Allen
--His unique start in the business
--The scary thing about the Charlotte convention
--Update on Mr Wrestling II
--Update on Sean Davis Project and it isn't good
--Former WWF star election results
--Promoter retires after 40 plus years
--Scott Hall update
--A look at the death of a wrestling student
--The security issues leading to a reality TV show getting pelted with debris at Gathering of the Juggalos
--California indie star explains why he's not going to wrestle any longer
--Wrestler just on a recent TNA PPV arrested with a crazy back story
--Notes on a wrestling PPV coming this week
--Update on Tyler Black and WWE
--Notes on ROH with the booking change and first TV tapings with the new booker
--Update on the TNA No Surrender lineup as well as build for Bound for Glory
--What Homicide was told when he was released
--Other TNA cuts
--A wrestler TNA is bringing in and details of who he'll team with
--Update on Jerry Lynn
--Kurt Angle responds to his name in the Applied Pharmacy sentencing
--Pat Kennedy responds to criticism of the Hardcore Justice PPV
--More on dressing room questioning TNA direction
--Update on TNA coming to New York next
--Hulk Hogan radio interview
--Wrestler on last TNA PPV says he'll never team with his former partner again and blames him for not being professional
--Notes on the next several weeks of TNA television
--Details regarding the Applied Pharmacy prescriptions for steroids and other drugs to Shane Carwin in 2006 and a look back at Carwin then and now, as well as Dana White's response
--More on Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen
--Notes on UFC considering a holiday show
--UFC fighter becomes New York Times best selling author
--Lots of new UFC matches
--Notes on Fedor's next fight
--MMA fighter charged in the death of a longtime friend after a fight at a party
--Notes on what many are calling the match of the year
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues can get free issues from the last 18 years. You can get 2 free back issues by ordering 40 or more
issues and one for 24. Let us know which stories 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 18 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
*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
*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
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
*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
*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
*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
*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
*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
*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
*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)
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We also 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.
--Regarding Luna Vachon's death yesterday morning at the age of 48, a preliminary autopsy should be completed today.
--Vitor Belfort vs. Yushin Okami will be the main event of UFC 122 on 11/13 in Oberhausen, Germany. This will be a Spike show in the U.S. The winner will likely face the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen winner for the middleweight title sometimie next year.
--Not a lot of notes from last night's weigh-ins. We have a show talking about the weigh-ins, previewing tonight's show as well as talk about Luna Vachon, Tough Tony Borne and other pro wrestling news up on the site right now with Ariel Helwani as our guest. Helwani has become one of our most popular guests after only two appearances as he talks a lot of background on tonight's fights.
--We'll have full coverage of UFC later tonight, with live play-by-play as well as a post-game radio show.
--Penn looked in very good shape and seemed hungry. Fans at the weigh-ins booed Edgar, although not heavily. Couture-Toney got the best reaction with everyone hating Toney. Kenny Florian was very popular, although not close to the level of Couture, fighting for the first time in his home city of Boston. Joe Lauzon, also from the area, was popular. Gabe Ruediger, in his first UFC appearance since being booted off TUF with the idea he'd never be back, was more unpopular than expected. It seemed like people remembered him from the show.
--As for James Toney, he did the match no favors showing up at 237. His last boxing match, less than a year ago, saw him weigh 217. Plus, when he took his pants off for the weigh-in, his underwear went down and it wasn't like people were laughing hilariously, but he did come off like a comedy figure which is not what you'd want. ESPN is giving the match coverage with the same brief clips while not touching the main event. To me, when I think of an average person watching ESPN and seeing it, and they see the ages (47 and 42) it comes off like two old guys and not the big boxer vs. MMA fighter big star vs. big star confrontation UFC wants it to be. Toney didn't train that hard for this given his weight, nor was he at a major MMA gym. In that sense, he wasn't even as dedicated as people like Herschel Walker and David Bautista who are at least training with top fighters.
--Don't have a lot of details, but this was the first WWE weekend show from Hampton Beach, NH (technically not a tent show even though everyone refers to the C shows this weekend at the tent show tour): Goldust b Luke Gallows when Hornswoggle distracted him. Hornswoggle was close enough to be in Boston so it is possible he was masquerading yesterday as Wanderlei Silva. Michael McGillicutty b Kaval. I guess who cares but given Kaval should win NXT, that's curious. JTG b Primo. Jack Swagger b Chris Masters, who was billed as being from New Hampshire. Gail Kim & The Bella Twins b Rosa Mendes & Maryse & Jillian Hall. R-Truth b Dashing Cody Rhodes. Main event saw Dolph Ziggler keep the IC title in a four-way over Matt Hardy, Drew McIntyre and Kofi Kingston in a match played up a lot for comedy.
--For the Lucha Libre Masked Warriors, they announced a "season finale," which never sounds good on a pro wrestling show. However, they are scheduled to do some changes for a second season. The plan is to do all the taping from a single location, similar to TNA, but also tour the country with house shows. However, we don't know the location, but they do have tapings scheduled in a few weeks in Texas. That group doing house show tours doesn't sound like the wisest of ideas.
--Kurt Angle has endorsed Linda McMahon for the U.S. Senate for the state of Connecticut.
--TNA Impact did a 1.1 rating, up from last week, while Reaction did an 0.7, which is still very good for that time slot.
--WWE canceled a 10/16 dual brand show in Vancouver.
--The first major MMA show in Wisconsin will be a Bellator event on 9/16.
--HHH & Stephanie had their daughter either the same day or the day after Vince's 65th birthday. I've heard both. Vince's birthday was Tuesday.
--If you thought the most criminal thing in MMA was the work of the Texas commission and referees last Saturday (and Texas giving a rubber stamp to Antonio Margarito before California cleared him smelled real bad from here), Dream on 9/25 has announced Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Mayhem Miller. For those wondering whatever happened to Gegard Mousasi, who a few months back people were talking of as one of the guys who would dominate the sport for the next decade (before King Mo beat him in Nashville), he's facing Tatsuya Mizuno on the same show to create a Dream light heavyweight title.