Meltzer update: Dana's announcement, Floyd, Raw, Impact, Machine Guns, more



By Dave Meltzer

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We're looking for your thoughts on both last night's TNA Slammiversary PPV and Saturday night's UFC 85 PPV, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to 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 Oakland, which is a huge show because it's the $1 million giveaway and we're going to know tomorrow if it had any ratings effect at all. No Smackdown tapings tomorrow as the show for this week was taped on Saturday night in Fresno. Next week's Smackdown & ECW were taped in San Jose last night.

TNA Impact will be taped tonight and tomorrow night in Orlando and we're looking for reports on the shows. Tonight's show features Samoa Joe vs. Kaz for the TNA title, Gail Kim vs. Velvet Sky and Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley vs. Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi. There is a tease of Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles as well

It was a week that completely changed the MMA industry as well as a week of major happenings in the wrestling industry and we've got full coverage in two issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter out this week. These issues are literally jam-packed with news on pro wrestling and MMA around the world.

One our lead stories talks about Donald Trump's entree into MMA promotion, and what it means for the future both short and long-term of the industry. We look at the keys necessary for his group to make it work and what is best and worst for the industry as a whole.

We've got a detailed report on what clicked and didn't click on the three big weekend shows, with full coverage of the matches, atmosphere and business of WWE's One Night Stand, Elite XC on CBS and WEC on Versus.

We look at what the rating was for Elite XC and what it means, including breaking it down in different categories including what matches increased viewership, how the show did i its key demos, media reaction and more. We look at the most-watched MMA matches in history and how numbers being released are misleading. We look at how the key aspect of the show, the advertising, did, as well as how this affects the future of MMA as far as profitability. We also look at a not talked about aspect of the show itself, and one that doesn't tell a very good story going forward for the promotion.

We look at time management, an amazing item about the drawing power of Kimbo Slice, and in particular the eerie coincidence about his biggest markets. There is a very interesting thing about the cities he drew well in, in that his biggest cities have something in common that have nothing to do with MMA.

We look at something the show did that is almost unheard of in television in a positive way. We also look at how the makeup of the audience was very different from UFC. We also look at what UFC did head-to-head with taped programming, all the controversies from the stoppages, to Gina Carano's weight and why much of the criticism of the show from MMA fans misses a certain huge point about the goal of the first show.

We look at Kimbo's drawing power going forward, the backstage argument with Kimbo and Brett Rogers, next show, business on this show, the reality of MMA as a television spectacle and reality of what will happen to Gina Carano. We look at how the ratings pattern for the show differed from a pro wrestling broadcast as well as how MMA has changed and what follows next.

We look at how competitors feel the UFC business model is threatened going forward.

We also have poll results from all the major weekend shows.

We have a WWE update with more on the $1 million giveaway and Vince's new battle plan. We look at reaction to Vince McMahon's Raw promo and the nature of the giveaways. We also look at updates on Undertaker and Randy Orton including updates on Undertake's current story line.

We also look at the "value" of ratings points and why this $1 million is quite a strange number. We've also got business notes on the One Night Stand PPV and early buy rate indications. We look at Orton's injury, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings.

We've got an update on Tito Ortiz.

We've got more on WWE business including the actual paid attendance and Wrestlemania and what Wrestlemania record they came close to setting. We look at the Floyd Mayweather affect on live ticket sales as well as a return trip to Orlando.

We look at live merchandise sales, how much WWE receives per week for producing U.S. television, as well as a look at the actual profitability of every major department for the first three months of the year so you can see the importance of house shows, merchandise, PPV, TV, 24/7, licensed products, DVDs, magazines and web site and make an interesting comparison with UFC.

We've got more on the new indictment against Dr. Phil Astin III with details on what he's accused of prescribing to numerous pro wrestlers, and the very curious questions that come out of the indictment regarding who is missing and even more, what is missing. This has details that include not only Chris and Nancy Benoit, but one of the WWE's current biggest stars and other well-known pro wrestlers.

We also have a huge update on the Hogan family situation, between reactions to the family due to the TV features, the Graziano family reaction, the divorce, the family's TV shows, Hogan's new television show and more.

We also have more from the creative side, including interesting notes about the Undertaker angle an creative. We have lots more on the situation with Ric Flair and the NWA as well as WWE's decision to nix the deal.

We have a feature on the state of the ROH promotion and its role in a more and more difficult wrestling environment. We look at the company's PPV business, the catch-22 of the company's growth, ROH vs. ECW, history, natural frustration and how the current pro wrestling landscape both helps and hurts the company.

We have a major feature on the Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver match, the business of the match, including just how big it was, how the fighters were paid, as well as coverage of one of the biggest non-UFC events in North American MMA history.

We also have a feature from Matt Randazzo, the author of "Ring of Hell," with more on his thoughts regarding his book and his thoughts on the industry, as well as more of my thoughts on the book.

We've got more notes on Bobby Lashley's signing with the AFL, plans for his debut.

We also have a look at the ratings for all the major pro wrestling and MMA TV shows over the past week, including segment-by-segment of the major shows so you can see what angles are working, and what angles are causing people to tune out. We also have major TV show reviews.

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 www.paypal.com 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 issues:

--A look at different tournament ideas being looked at for Japan

--Update and rundown of the World X Cup

--What participant is questionable and how a match will be done next week to cover for any issues

--A look at how the tournament is being put together and what dates the foreign talent will be working

--Update on the Slammiversary PPV

--Scott Steiner goes off on WWE's biggest names

--TNA wrestler graduates college

--UFC's new television show idea

--Updates on UFC shows with lots of new matches, as well as a former UFC star getting brought back

--Final business numbers for UFC 84

--Drug test results for recent UFC events

--Mirko Cro Cop's next match

--A hugely important show just a few weeks away for the future of the Japanese MMA market

--Why the son of a famous pro wrestler may have big ratings power for Japanese shows

--Fedor's manager gives details in Japan on his thoughts of a Fedor vs. Randy Couture program

--K-1 goes extreme in planning on making long-term builds for stars in a way no promotion ever has

--Best selling DVDs in pro wrestling and MMA

--Promoter and wrestler at war last week make up this week

--Hall of Fame candidate talks possible retirement at the end of this year

--Funny title story

--A major head-to-head pro wrestling showdown next week both in the same city and on PPV in its country

--Updates on the lineups for both shows

--Boxers being talked with to do pro wrestling angles

--All Japan's next big show

--Young wrestler announces retirement

--Update on the Best of the Super Junior tournament from New Japan

--An interpromotional tag team tournament announced

--Update on Cima's health

--Another 90s promotion that folded is looking at a new company starting out headed by its biggest star and using the spirit of the promotion

--1970s dream tag team being talked about being put together

--Nostalgia women's show

--Ultimate Warrior update

--Coroner rules on death of well-known local wrestling personality

--Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame notes

--Son of one of the great workers of the recent generation now training to be a wrestler

--Bill Apter and London Publishing update

--One of biggest stars of the glory days of British wrestling coming back later this year

--Lucha Libre coming to Europe

--Update on Bret Hart

--Pro wrestling fraud

--Rolling Stone magazine on Dana White and brings up the Dana vs. Vince question

--Reaction in Japan to Kimbo

--Notes on the death of Sammy Vazquez from a Texas hearing

--MMA fighter arrested

-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)

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*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)

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*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)

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*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)

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*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.

--Dana White has vehemently denied the big announcement has anything to do with Floyd Mayweather. The story as reported made absolutely no sense even though rumors did predate his retirement. As far as what it is, other than a network deal (which there are no rumors out on at all and those are very hard to keep quiet), I can't think of anything worthy of renting a place to tell all the employees.

--WWE is doing another press conference on Thursday at Noon at the Hard Rock in New York at 1501 Broadway to push the Million Dollar Giveaway week No. 2. Fans are welcome to attend

--Dr. Phil Astin pleaded not guilty today on charges of over prescribing medicine to 17 people, including Chris and Nancy Benoit. This has gotten some brief national coverage.

--UFC TV schedule for the week has Unleashed at 9 p.m. on Wednesday featuring the Anderson Silva vs. Dan Henderson fight. Ultimate Fighter has Tim Credeur vs. Jesse Taylor. Next week's fight has Amir Sadollah vs. C.B. Dollaway. For what it's worth, on the PPV Saturday they pushed that in the final two episodes is the biggest shock in the history of the show and there will be another episode of Unleashed at 11 p.m. No Friday night taped Fight Night this week.

--The Boston Herald noted that every member of the Red Sox has a T-shirt they wear that reads "Wooooo!!" The idea was from Sean Casey, who made the T-shirts for the players that also read on the back, "Diamonds are Forever And So Is El Alcalde," which is Casey's nickname

--ROH has booked Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley back on 8/1 and 8/2 with the first show in Virginia and the second at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Naomichi Marufuji is also booked on those shows

--Smackdown poll Excellent 21.0% Good 25.7% Average 23.8% Fair 9.5% Poor 20.0% 57.8% of those responding didn't see the show. Very much more negative and fewer people watching than in a long time in our poll

--ROH and NWA are working together to at least a point as Nigel McGuinness vs. Adam Pearce for the ROH title vs. NWA title takes place on 6/27 in Dayton

--Jerry Lynn faces McGuinness in a non-title match on 6/28 in Chicago for ROH

--Scott Hall is being talked with by Nu Wrestling Evolution for June dates

--Vampiro was in New York City this past weekend doing Guardian Angels public appearances and was photographed with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Guardian Angels head Curtis Sliwa (thanks to Bob Barnett)

--There will be no MSG Classics on the MSG Network the next two Wednesday nights. The show returns 6/25 (thanks to Joe Puccio)

--More Hogan on CNN' Headline News' Showbiz Tonight. Doesn't look like anything new here other than plugging Larry King for tomorrow

--Kelly Kelly's injury may have been a work. At least one correspondent there live said it appeared that way. She was not at the San Jose show last night. We'll check on it.

--Mae Young was in California visiting family this week and WWE asked her to come to tonight's show in Oakland. I don't know if she'll be scripted into the show or not but was asked to be there.

--Nigel Sherrod, former Deep South announcer, played Elvis last night on the TNA Slammiversary show (thanks to David Wills)

--3K Wrestling on Sunday in Limerick, PA: Jihad b Ryan Sawyer, Dylan Page b Kevin Payne, Johnny B & Alex Balboa b Dr. X & Texas Hangman #1. Page is the nephew of DDP. Next show is 6/13 in Oaks, PA at Sports Extreme

--Insanity Pro on Saturday night in Indianapolis: Chris Hall b Tommy Chill, Jon Moxley & Marc Houston b P.T Hussla & Ryan Rich, Osyris b Carlton Kaz, Lou Roberts & Dustin Rayz b Ernie Ballz & Brian Bender, Dave Davidson b Joey Owens-DQ, Louis Linaris DCOR Jake Crist, Diehard & Vortekz b Drew Johnson & Apollo Starr, Billy Roc d Sami Callihan, Drake Younger b Hillbilly Jedd. Next show is 7/5 with Younger vs. Osyris

--PCW from Saturday night in Arlington, TX: Franco D'Angelo b Spoiler 2000, James Johnson b J.T. LaMotta, Robert Evans b Wally Darkmon, Mace b Aaron Eagle, Mike Foxx b Steve DeMarco (thanks to Rob Moore)

--Greg Valentine, Bob Orton, Jim Neidhart, Bushwhacker Luke, Disco Inferno, U-Gene and Chris Masters appear on 7/24 in Somerset, KY at the Pulaski County Fairgrounds

--TCW on Saturday night in Mountain City, TN: Chief Blackfoot b Sgt. Rock, Beau James b Mohammed Ishtar, Rebecca Lynn b Misty James, D.P. Holliday b Chance Gibson, Allen King & Dameon Cross b Brady Hawks & Mikkie McMasters, Jeff Storm b Jamie Gibson

--Promoter Mitch Lucas in Tyler, TX is looking to get in touch with Downtown Bruno so if anyone knows him, he can contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

--Reader Skip Murdock at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is selling older videos on amazon.com using the seller name skipmurdock

--Rich Tate's Atlanta wrestling nostalgia: 47 years ago today: Dick the Bruiser retained his U.S. title from the Detroit office beating Ray Gunkel via DQ 41 years ago: Gene Kiniski retained the NWA title beating former champ Lou Thesz 36 years ago: Ray Gunkel beat Ox Baker via DQ in the main event 30 years ago: Angelo Mosca won a one-night tournament for the Georgia title beating Dick Slater in the finals

--Steve Williams appears for Asylum Championship Wrestling in Colorado Springs on Friday night

--Bill Barnwell at ign.com wrote a story on ten people who need to return to WWE, listing Jake Roberts, Perry Saturn, Meng, DDP, The Barbarian, Bret Hart and Tajiri among those listed

--NWA Pro East/Liberty States Wrestling on 6/13 in Ridgefield Park, NJ with Sid Vicious and NWA champ Adam Pearce as headliners

--2CW on Saturday night in Syracuse before 225 fans: Max Bauer b Nikki Roxx (Roxxi), Jason Axe & Max Bauer & Gordy b J Freddie & Dunn & Marcos, Frankie Arion b Brian Fury, Steve King b Johnny Law, J.D. Love & Loca Vida b Brodie Lee & Jimmy Olsen, ZS3 b Antonio Thomas, Kevin Grace b Steve Kruz, Slyck Wagner Brown b Isys Ephex {plug}

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