Meltzer update: Orton update, CBS thoughts, WWE DUI, Lita, Impact tapings, EliteXC, more

By Dave Meltzer

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We're still looking for your thoughts on last night's WWE One Night Stand, as well as last night's WEC show, Saturday night's Elite XC show on CBS and Friday night's ROH show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each individual show at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're also looking for reports on tonight's Raw from Bakersfield with dark matches and anything else not evident from watching the PPV. It will be interesting because I believe this will be the first week without taping Heat before Raw, so wondering if they do more developmental talent matches or just do a shorter show.

Smackdown and ECW are taped on Tuesday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Cousin Sal of the Jimmy Kimmel show vs. Santino Marella match will be taped on Tuesday for airing the following Friday.

If you haven't had enough MMA, the Countdown to UFC 85 featuring Matt Hughes and Thiago Alves airs tonight on Spike at 11 p.m. as well as Saturday at 2 p.m. (interestingly, that would be during the show itself for West Coast viewers)

We have a look at Vince McMahon's million dollar offer and part one of a look at what will be the most controversial wrestling book in years as lead items in this coming Monday's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We look at the wording of what Vince McMahon said, look at the draft and other changes in WWE plans as well as some backstage reaction to those changes.

We have the first part of our look at the book "Ring of Hell," looking at the portrayals of wrestlers, fans, the research what book it's comparable to, a look at some of the conclusions, wrestlers who destroyed their bodies, Japanese society and the long-term results of pro wrestling.

We have an update on a lawsuit filed against WWE that has now been concluded, as well as more on William Regal, a type of new wrestler WWE is looking for, recent WWE business notes and more on ideas for next year's Wrestlemania.

We also look at the Hogan family, the taped messages, the expected lawsuit from the Grazianos as well as the media coverage of the family.

We have more on the parting of Tito Ortiz and the UFC, looking at exactly what happened at the press conference, what the match with Lyoto Machida showed about Ortiz, business notes on the show as well as both the payoffs and some bonuses that haven't been released publicly, as well as preshow buy rate predictions that surprised me. We look at where Dana White was during the match, the crowd reaction to Sean Sherk, talks of UFC going to a major stadium, the return of Chuck Liddell and Anderson Silva, as well as match-by-match coverage and poll results of UFC 84.

We also have a look at what happened with CMLL and WWE went head-to-head with major shows and what is currently the No. 1 pro wrestling city in the world.

We've got more on Brock Lesnar and Heath Herring, and Mark Coleman's injury and future.

We also have our usual weekly features with major TV show rundowns and detailed look at the ratings of every show and segment-by-segment ratings to see what angles and matches were and weren't successful this past week.

Each usual weekly issue of the Observer ranges from 25,000 to 35,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.

Every weekly 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. The Observer is now in its 27th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the industry, both from bookers, to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest current names, both on camera, and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed as long as 20 years or more straight. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world and an accuracy from having the most inside sources that can't be found on the web. Everyone from Wall Street to the major offices to the TV networks in U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business. If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. Just send your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order by faxing that information to 408-244-3402. You can also subscribe via paypal at and using the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address or subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card, by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.

Also in the issue:

--Notes on a major tournament coming with NOAH and ROH talent

--TV show that a major wrestling star pulled out of and what new wrestlers, as well as other celebrities are up for the lead role

--Return of a major regional promotion that has been on hiatus

--Major network show on wrestling and what happened

--Story behind Mark Madden being dumped by ESPN

--Update on Bobby Lashley

--ROH tag team tournament notes

--Update on TNA injuries, both real and imagined

--What former WWE star was TNA looking to sing and who got the spot instead

--A look at upcoming TNA TV shows

--Update on the Randy Couture case

--A jinxed PPV show

--Updates on ticket sales to all upcoming UFC shows

--Media destroys Dana White and why

--Dream middleweight tournament update

--K-1 Max tournament update

--More new Dream and UFC matches

--Update on Elite XC losses

--MMA stars on magazine covers

--Gary Shaw makes comment that he better not be taking literally

--Promoters argue B.J. Penn vs. Kimbo Slice

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)

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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.

--Tomorrow's WWE press conference at the Staples Center in Los Angeles will be for the $1 million giveaway. It is a total of $1 million and not $1 million per week. I had that feeling watching how uniquely worded McMahon's message ended up being. What will happen is that you have to go to the web site and register with name, address, phone number (to help compile a merchandise catalog listing if they are smart and they usually are in these things). At the beginning of Raw each week as long as this goes on, they will give a code. During the show, Vince will call someone up at random and ask for the code. If they are watching, they'll know and get money, although the amount isn't known yet and maybe announced on tonight's show. Appearing at the press conference will be Chris McCumber of USA Network, wrestlers and Divas, and Gabe Carp of E-Prize, which must be involved. Vince will have $1 million in cash to show off at the press conference. The first week they will attempt to give away Monday is 6/9.

--Smackdown did a 2.2 on the fast nationals while Impact did a 1.0 on Thursday.

--Randy Orton doesn't need surgery for his broken left collarbone and early indications are he'll be back in about three months.

--We'll try and update later in the week on Undertaker and whether it's a short of long sabbatical to sell the stipulation from losing last night to Edge.

--Another WWE DUI in Tampa this week. Mike Brendli, aka Mikey or Mike Mondo, was arrested last night at 11:12 a.m. with a 0.09 blood alcohol level. Anything over 0.08 is illegal. Between him, Ted DiBiase Jr. and Santino Marella in recent weeks, I have feeling John Laurinaitis is going to make some regulation changes.

--Batista vs. Edge is being advertised as the main event for the Smackdown tapings in Los Angeles. Likely a dark match.

--Make no mistake about it, the face of MMA changed big time this weekend. It's all over the sports news because of the rating Elite XC got. UFC is not happy, at least about the rating. They are likely thrilled over last night's show in Sacramento. Can you imagine if last night's show was the one on CBS? Probably wouldn't have done the same rating, because Kimbo Slice drew that number, but Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres would be instant superstars.

--Jim Rome spent an hour on MMA today with Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! talking about Elite XC. The gist was the MMA hardcore fans hated the show, but everyone else loved the show. They said the fighting wasn't good, but the show was entertaining. Rome also said how weird it is with baseball in full swing, and the NBA finals set, how MMA was the sports story people are most talking about. (thanks to Roy Kendal)

--Poll on Elite XC
Excellent 13.8%
Good 39.1%
Average 19.4%
Fair 11.1%
Poor 16.7%
24.4% of those responding didn't see the show

--Sportscenter on ESPN last night showed Shawne Merriman laying out Chavo Guerrero with a chair shot from last night during its regular rotation. (thanks to Steve Maudlin)

--In other UFC TV this week, Unleashed on Wednesday at 9 pm.. is listed as headlined by the Anderson Silva vs. Travis Lutter match. There will be a second Unleashed Wednesday at 11 p.m. after Ultimate Fighter featuring Clay Guida vs. Marcus Aurelio and Leonard Garcia vs. Roger Huerta. The Best of 2007 special replays both Friday night at 9 p.m. and Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

--Lita's Luchagores are playing 6/5 in Atlanta at Smith's Old Bar in an over-21 show

--Did anyone with Tivo have problems with the Elite XC show? Reader Shane Madison said he recorded it off the Minneapolis CBS station and when he watched, the screen was blank saying "no video input"

--There is a story on the death of Rudy Kay at noting that the Cormier Brothers to those who grew up in New Brunswick were like the Hart family in Western Canada.

--Top Rope Promotions in Fall River, MA announced Bobby Cruise, the ROH ring announcer, as the new booker

--TNA Impact tapings starting a week from tonight in Orlando have been moved up to a 5:30 p.m. start. We're still looking for a regular correspondent for those shows.

--Mike Tirico today talked about the Elite XC show, saying it being on a big four network gave the sport credibility. Neither he nor co-host Michelle Tafoya said they could get into because of the violence and Tafoya didn't like they fought in cages. Tirico noted the "so-called MMA experts" (his words) ripped on Kimbo being used to draw ratings, but in the end, he did. (thanks to Jonathan D'Antoni)

--Tons of radio hosts were talking about Kimbo Slice and the show. On the Mike in the Morning show in Detroit, the hosts thought Slice was the top fighter in the sport, and they didn't even know wha UFC was. The host said he saw something similar a few years back but found it boring. A co-host asked of Elite XC was going to be the big competition for WWE. They just talked about ratings and all agreed Gina Carano had the best fight. (thanks to Mike Malasev)

--The next ROH PPV replay is 11 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday at 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Thursday at 11 a.m. on inDemand. They weren't exaggerating about bad time slots. Dish has an all day ticket Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Most of ROH PPV buys come from inDemand.

--The next Sportfight in Portland at the Rose Garden is 6/20 headlined by Michael Pierce vs. Nathan Coy in a battle of unbeaten fighters. Former UFC fighters Fabiano Scherner and Ryan Jensen are on the card.

--Great Championship Wrestling on 6/5 in Phenix City, AL with David Young vs. Sonny Siaki

--AWA World 1 South from Friday night in Ellaville, GA before 159 fans: Ricky Romero b Big Bank Barfield, Lou Cypher DDQ Pain, Francico Ciatso b Barney rumble, Chick Donovan & J-Rod b Jake Slater & Pete Cannon, Tommy Rich b The Bug (Ciatso)

--Today is the 10th anniversary of the death of JYD at the age of 45 and the fifth anniversary of the death of Freddie Blassie at 85. Those bring back some memories.

--Lex Luger turns 50 today and TNA wrestlers A.J. Styles (30) and Velvet Sky (27) also have birthdays (thanks to Rich Tate)

--Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the first ever sellout at the Omni in Atlanta, when Harley Race defended his world title against Mr. Wrestling, Tim Woods, who announced he would unmask before the match. They went to a 60 minute draw

--NWS from Friday night in Lacey Township, NJ before 400 fans: Ryan Blackheart won Battle Royal, J.D. Smoothie won three-way over Mikey Pacifica and Golden Lynx, Tito Santana b Ace Darling, Patriot & Famous Clown b Saddam Insane & TNT, Equalizer b Ryan Blackheart, Rhett Titus b Nicky Oceans, Eugene b Sal Sincere

--Kaiji Big Battel in Philadelphia from Saturday night before 200 fans: Pedro Planmtain b Grudyin, Sun Buster b Vegetius, Hero Intern 08 b Tucor, American Beetle b Chris Hero, Uchu Chu b Neo Teppen to win Kaiji Grand title (thanks to James Burrows)

--NWA Anarchy from Saturday night in Cornelia, GA before 275 fans at half priced tickets: Bo Newsom over Andrew Pendleton and Jay Clinton, Jeff Lewis & Brodie Chase & Melissa Coates & Andrew Alexander & Kyle Matthews & Bob Smith & Tyler Smith b Don Matthews & Billy Buck & Chris King & Wes Grissom & Chip Day & Adrian Hawkins & T.K. Cross, Iceberg b Shatter, Mikal Judas & Ace Rockwell & Derrick Driver & Steven Walters b Todd Sexon & Chad Parham & Jeremy Vain & Rob Adonis, Shadow Jackson & Slim J b Azreael & Shaun Tempers-DQ (thanks to Larry Goodman)

--West Coast Wrestling alliance on 6/14 in Concord,CA at the New Hope Church Gym

--East Coast Pro Wrestling from last night in North Sydney, NS: Titus b Sidewinder, Julien Young & Adam DeJesus b Jamie Hamilton & Sexton Phoenix, Lumberjack Johnson b Lincoln Steen, Danyah b Krysta Lynn Scott, Sidewinder won Battle Royal, Billy Gunn b Brody Steele, Mike Hughes b Al Snow (thanks to Sheldon MacLean)

--Tonight in Puebla has Atlantis & Rey Bucanero & Ultimo Guerrero vs. Perro Aguayo Jr. & El Terrible & El Hijo del Texano. Irapuato has Axel & Hector Garza & Mistico vs. Averno & Ephesto & Toscano. Nuevo Laredo has Chessman & Cibernetico & Pimpinela Escarlata vs. Electroshock & Espiritu & Head Hunter B (thanks to Kris Zellner) {plug}

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?