FORMER UFC FIGHTER IN BIG TROUBLE; BUT HULK ISN'T; TRUMP LIED; MAXIM DEBATES UFC VS. WWE AND TNA PPV



By Dave Meltzer

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        We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE house shows with the Raw crew in Charleston, WV and Smackdown/ECW tour in Savannah, GA at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
        The biggest show of the weekend is TNA's Victory Road in Houston tomorrow and we'll have live coverage during the show and a post-show radio show late Sunday night, plus be doing our usual poll on the show.
        WWE has house shows on Sunday in Roanoke for Raw and Augusta, GA (birthplace of Hulk Hogan and site of the Tommy Rich world title win over Harley Race) for Smackdown.  Raw is live from Raleigh on Monday night and Smackdown has a Monday night house show in Asheville.  Smackdown & ECW are being taped on Tuesday night in Charlotte.

        A note for both print and on-line, that what is traditionally the biggest issue of the Observer each year, the 2008 Hall of Fame issue, which comes out in late August, will be part of the package for all new subscribers who sign up for 12 issues of the print edition or three months of the web site.
 
        The new rules of MMA, a history piece on wrestling based on the book "Ring of Hell," looking back at the 90s, Chris Benoit, Brian Pillman and more, plus MMA judging, Forrest Griffin, the fallout of UFC 86 and updated WWE business notes including the latest buy rate are among the features in this coming Monday's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
 
        The issue is available for website premium subscribers today and you can order on the site.
 
        We look in-depth at the new proposed MMA rules coming out of the Association of Boxing Commissioners meeting held this past week in Montreal.  We look at the original formation of the unified rules, including comments from two of the most influential commission members, Nick Lembo in New Jersey and Keith Kizer in Nevada, on their reactions and what they are going to recommend to their states, as well as the reaction of Dana White.
 
        We look at the weight classes, all of the champions of the major league MMA groups, topics in MMA that all should be looked at, looking at weight classes, looking at the power of UFC, the battle of sport vs. entertainment and sport vs. business and how they conflict with each other.  We look at the heavyweight division, interpretations of illegal blows, the smothering rule.
 
        We also look at the aftermath of the Griffin-Jackson fight, an analysis of the fight, the scoring, looking at the scorecards of every judge, the protest, poll results of who won and more of lack of understanding of the judging criteria and what scores mean.
 
        We also look at the light heavyweight division going forward.  We look at different scenarios discussed on where to go, the next title shot, updates on matches for the different challengers, Jackson's injuries and a rundown of the light heavyweight division going forward.
 
        We also have more on "Ring of Hell," the much-talked about pro wrestling book released recently.  We look at the mentality and drive that top athletes and entertainers have.  We look at several stories in the book, as well as look at both Chris Benoit and Brian Pillman, two major subjects in the book.
 
        We also look at the career of Forrest Griffin and his role in UFC growth.
 
        We run down UFC 86, including early business notes from the show.  We have early buy rate indicators plus match-by-match coverage, reported pay of all participants on the show, as well as poll results from the show.
 
        We have notes on the release of Trevor Murdoch, the angle suggested for him that isn't going to happen as well as more on Ashley Massaro.  We have notes on WWE DVD business, first notes on the sales of Wrestlemania DVDs, company web site business news, Jim Ross' return to the arena he had his pro wrestling debut in, talks of Smackdown going live and things people wouldn't think of regarding obstacles in doing so.  We look at the real reasons why Jeff Hardy and HHH had to fly to Peru for one event this past week, as well as an update on a CMLL star and his WWE offer, more on WWE videogame sales and an update on the Great American Bash PPV lineup.
 
        We also have WWE Judgment Day buy rate news, including how it did compared with last year's show.
 
        We've got more notes from Raw and something Vince McMahon was upset at, crowd reactions off the air, update on how many people watch Raw and Smackdown live vs. on tape and how the shows are different in that regard.  We have notes from a magazine in Mexico discussing a Wrestlemania in Mexico City.  We look at wrestlers about to return, best selling DVDs, why some wrestlers in a state WWE was in are mad at commission double standards, the Florida Championship Wrestling debut, JBL business updates, what WWE star is listed in an ad as undergoing hair restoration surgery soon and business notes from the South and Central America shows this past week. 
 
        We also have the most detailed look at all the pro wrestling and MMA TV ratings, including segment-by-segment rundowns for Raw, Smackdown and Impact so you can see what angles are gaining viewers and what angles are losing viewers.  We also have what could be potentially very bad news for Smackdown, as well as the ratings for Canada.
 
        We also have our regular features such as results from the major league arena shows of the past week and major TV show reviews.
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Also in the issue:
--What former Wrestler of the Year winner has been hired to cover sports at the upcoming Olympics
 
--What former Wrestler of the Year contender failed in his bid to cover the Olympics and who he lost the role to
 
--What wrestler claims fans at an arena should be separated based on who they like
 
--Ultimo Guerrero talks about his experience in TNA and the differences between TNA and CMLL
 
--Wrestler in serious car accident
 
--Lots of things hurting business at Arena Mexico
 
--What company is booking a major arena and putting on a free loaded show
 
--More on AAA coming to major arenas in the U.S.
 
--Notes on the All Japan Jr. heavyweight tournament
 
--Update on next NOAH Budokan Hall event and big events for the rest of the year
 
--TNA stars to headline at Sumo Hall
 
--Notes on the 2008 G-1 Climax tournament, including both tournaments
 
--Unique reason why wrestler was eliminated from Jr. heavyweight tournament
 
--IWGP Jr. tournament coverage
 
--New Japan vs. Zero-One Max feud
 
--More on the Bret Hart Waterloo Hall of Fame debacle
 
--Mike Chapman talks criteria for the Hall of Fame
 
--Linda Bollea's latest filed charge against Hulk Hogan
 
--Update on domestic and worldwide box office for "Get Smart"
 
--Lucha Libre comes to the U.K.
 
--ROH next major show at the Hammerstein Ballroom and next TV taping
 
--Update on Mickie Knuckles' injury
 
--Notes on ticket sales for upcoming TNA events
 
--TNA's first Canadian PPV
 
--More on CMLL/TNA relations
 
--What celebrity TNA was pushing is gone
 
--Former TNA booker leaves the company
 
--New TV concepts
 
--Angle new TV show
 
--How UFC is going to counter Elite XC on 7/26
 
--Lots more UFC matches signed or close to signed
 
--Dana White talks about the next season of Ultimate Fighter
 
--White goes into detail about a major dream match
 
--Business notes from the last Ultimate Fighter final
 
--Tentative UFC PPV plans for the rest of the year
 
--Role of Lorenzo Fertitta in UFC
 
--WEC fighter fails steroid test and suspended for one year
 
--Former Ultimate Fighter filed lawsuit against UFC
 
--Lesnar responds to critics saying he doesn't deserve his push
 
--K-1 World Max quarterfinals including TV ratings
 
--More on the heavyweight Grand Prix
 
--Talks of Choi Hong-man's return
 
--Update on the CBS & Showtime combined 7/26 Elite XC show from Stockton and what problems the show could have
 
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--Jeremy Jackson, who was on season four of Ultimate Fighter, was arrested two weeks ago in Oxnard, CA on two counts of forcible rape, two counts of sexual assault, aggravated sex crimes, kidnapping to commit a crime, first-degree residential burglary, assault with a firearm, dissuading a witness by force or threat and criminal threats.  Bail is set for $1 million.  Jackson was the guy who got kicked off the show when he snuck out of the house to meet with a lifeguard (female, just for clarification) he met, thus getting kicked out of the house.

 

--Even though the Donald claimed the show is sold out, you can get six tickets together in every price except the $50 section for the Affliction show next Saturday, at least as of checking Ticketmaster late last night.  Isn't that kind of stupid to announce a sellout when tons of tickets are left.  Like, isn't part of the goal to have Trump do a press conference is for him to help move tickets?  Then again, after the K-1 show last year, who knows what people are trying to prove.

 

--UFC has announced public workouts on Thursday at the Palms Casino Resort in Jazz Room C at Fantasy Tower. Noon to 1 p.m. will be James Irvin, Frankie Edgar, Kevin Burns and Cain Velasquez.  1-2 p.m. will be Brandon Vera, Anderson Silva and Hermes Franca.
 
--Hulk Hogan won't have to buy the penthouse in Las Vegas after all as Linda wanted him to pay half of.  His attorneys said he didn't have the amount of money people think and couldn't afford to spend it recklessly.  Judge George Greer, who a few months back, ordered Hogan to pay half, sided with Hogan in the case filed by Linda.  For more you can go to http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/myfox/pages/News/
 
--Matt Randazzo ("Ring of Hell") has a story at http://www.ugo.com/sports/how-to-reform-pro-wrestling/?cur=main  Story is good
 
--Joe Silva talks about advice to people wanting to get into UFC at http://www.floridatoday.com/
 
--Polls for the past two days
 
What do you think is the biggest drawing match for the Great American Bash
Edge vs. HHH 39.9%
Michaels vs. Jericho 39.6%
Punk vs. Batista 17.5%
Cena vs. JBL 3.1%
 
What did you think of Thursday night's Impact?
Excellent 17.1%
Good 24.4%
Average 9.8%
Fair 16.3%
Poor 32.5%
        43.6% of those responding didn't see the show 
 
--Maxim has an article on who puts on better shows, UFC or WWE at http://www.maxim.com/UFCVSWWEmdashWhoPutsonaBetterShow/articles/   Funny they list the Observer for the UFC buy rate stats and then got several of them wrong.  They also used WWE worldwide numbers vs. UFC domestic numbers.  Looks like they found the UFC numbers on a message board from someone who had some and made others up, crediting them to me.  Yay.  Out of ten comparisons, they said WWE had five better shows, UFC had four and one was a draw.
 
--Puma at this point will be replacing Taichi Ishikari in the TNA World X Cup on Team Japan on Sunday.
 
--There will be two X Cup matches tomorrow.  There will be a 12-man Torneo Cibernetico (elimination match) and the four men not in that match will do an Ultimate X match to decide which team wins the X Cup   
 
--Jesse Ventura will be on Larry King Live Monday night to announce whether or not he's running for the Senate.  I know some people take him seriously still, but the idea he asked Vince McMahon if Vince could to a television wrestling angle that would lead to Jesse announcing his candidacy for president at this year's Mania tells you all you need to know.  Nothing against Vince McMahon, at least at this minute, but if you want to be a candidate for president and feel you need his approval and help, man, that's pathetic. 
 
--The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a story on Nick Thompson at http://www.startribune.com/sports/24554354.html?location_refer=Homepage:8 who as we speak is both training for a CBS fight on the 26th AND studying for the Minnesota bar (that's being a lawyer, not training by drinking heavily as one prominent UFC fighter apparently did before the PPV) exam a few days later.  He's fighting at 170 but admitted when he's not training his weight is 220.   (thanks to Kyle Wolf) 
 
--The Charleston Gazette-Mail at http://sundaygazettemail.com/News/200807110418 has a story on Beth Phoenix, promoting the weekend Raw house show in the city.  She's doing a lot of publicity work these days even though she's disappeared from TV, and figures she's averaging two days a week home.
 
--Buff Bagwell, Rick Steiner, the Midnight Express and Rock & Roll Express headline for NWA Mid Atlantic wrestling on 8/9 in Hudson, NC
 
--Eric Caidin at Hollywood Book & Posers, 6562 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA  90078 is looking for a DVD of the AAA When World's Collide PPV
 
--Dory Funk's BANG on 7/13 in Ocala, FL at 3598 SW 74th Ave., features Dory Funk & Osamu Nishimura & Johnny Magnum vs. Shane Chung & Blain Rage & Elvis Sharp
 
--Joel Hunt at jhunt66157@ aol.com is looking to sell his tape of the ABC 20/20 special on wrestling from 1985 and books written by Lou Thesz, Missy Hyatt, Bruno Sammartino and Bobby Heenan.  The Thesz book is something of a collectors item because it's out of print.
 
--The San Francisco Bay Bombers vs. Brooklyn Red Devils old school Roller Derby takes place on 7/19 in Alameda, CA at the Alameda High School Gym.  They also have an 8/23 game at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco with kids under 12 free.  For those old school fans, E.G. Miller is doing a match race.  I wonder if Little Richard is still playing on the Bombers?  Ch. 11 in San Jose did a feature at http://www.nbc11.com/news/166855762/detail.html
 
--It was reported here that HHH was on the cover on the Smackdown vs. Raw videogame for five straight years, but that isn't correct as he was not on the cover of the 2008 game (Cena, Lashley and Undertaker) (thanks to Scott Johnson)
 
--Honky Tonk Man, Luke Williams of the Bushwhackers and Carl Oulette headline for Wrestling Supershow on 8/6 in St. Catherines, ONT, 8/7 in Hawkesbury, ONT, 8/8 in Ottawa and 8/9 in Kingston, ONT
 
--Pro Wrestling Riot tonight in Port Richey, FL at the Regency Park Civic Center with Erick Stevens and Chasyn Race and a main event of Bruce Santee & Sedrick Strong vs. Jon Davis & Kory Chavis
 
--UWA on 7/15 in Seymour, TN at Andy's Junction featuring Chase Stevens (remember, The Naturals) and David Young
 
--Booker T is looking for pro wrestlers in the Texas area to appear on shows in the Houston metropolitan area.  You will need to cover your own travel expenses and must have experience.  You have to list who you were trained by and their contact info, plus send footage to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or mail to PWA, 2301 Commerce St., Houston, TX 77002
 
--Shooto Japan presents MMA Battleground on 8/2 in San Francisco at the Fort Mason Center headlined by Drew Fickett vs. Antonio McKee. 
 
--Monday night in Puebla:  Aguila Guerrera & Black Terry & Furia Chicana b Batman & Black Tigre & Toro Bill Sr., Dark Angel & Lady Apache & Marcela b Amapola & Raven Hiroka & Mima Shimoda, Centella de Oro & Hijo del Fantasma & Valiente b Misterioso II & Policeman & Virus, Dr. Wagner Jr. & La Mascara & Shocker b Heavy Metal & Negro Casas & Mr. Niebla, Blue Panther b Villano V-DQ
 
--Wednesday night in Poza Rica:  Comando Infernal & Piloto Infernal b Dark Sagitario & Magnetco, Piloto Suicida & Serval b  Byron Temerario & Muerte Nocturna, Angel Azteca Jr. & Sombra de Plata b Artillero & Super Comando, Mistico & La Mascara & Sangre Azteca (working as a face) b Averno & Mephisto & El Hijo del Texano
 
--The third night in a row with a show at Arena Mexico is tonight headlined by Mistico & Hector Garza & La Sombra vs. Perro Aguayo Jr. & Averno & Mephisto.  Like the Thursday night show, tickets are free for this card sponsored by Autobuses Foraneos.
 
--UFC's Martin Kampmann needs minor knee surgery on the same knee that he had major surgery on last year.
 
--Phil Baroni, weighing 169.7 pounds, faces Scott Janson at Wembley Arena today for Cage Rage 27.  Mustapha Al Turk vs. James McSeeney for the British heavyweight title headlines
 
--Impact on Thursday did a 1.0 rating.
 
--Daniel Puder is promoting an event on 8/23 at the Playboy Mansion with 300 knockouts, presumably none looking like Awesome Kong.  You are supposed to dress like cops and robbers and headliner is Playboy model of the month Armada Evans.  There is also a pool party the night before, an after party, and the event will include buffet food, swimsuit fashion shows, red carpet.  Price is $500 for women and $750 for guys for regular, $700 and $950 for ticket plus ticket to pre and post party and photos taken and signed with Playmates.  For more info e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--Lex Luger was on the Christian Broadcasting Network last night (thanks to Joel Eisenberger)
 
--Doug Basham headlines for IPW UK on 7/20 in Bromley, Kent, England, facing Martin Stone for the UK heavyweight title
 
--3K Wrestling from last night in Limerick, PA for the Shinya Hashimoto Memorial tournament:  Ricky Reyes b Josh Daniels, Ricky Landell b Guillotine LeGrande, Jerry Lynn b Jake Manning, King Kaluha d Steve Corino, Inner Circle won over The Best around and Team Macktion, Alex Balboa b Ares, Kid America & Ryan Sawyer & Kevin Payne b Greg Spitz & Monster C & Chemical Khan, Reyes over Lynn and Landell to win the Hashimoto tournament
 
--Cary Tomlinson at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is selling his Raw magazines from January 2001 to September 2003
 
--AAW tonight in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club is headlined by Jerry Lynn vs. Tyler Black for the AAW title, plus Jimmy Jacobs, Silas Young, Arik Cannon, Zach Gowen, the North Star Express and the regular crew 
 
--NWA Anarchy has a TV taping tonight in Cornelia, GA at the NWA Arena
 
--Gregory Shane Helms turned 34 today and Brock Lesnar turned 31
 
--Rich Tate's Atlanta wrestling nostalgia
51 years ago today:  Freddie Blassie & Jack O'Brien (Mexico legend) & Kurt Von Brauner beat Oni Wiki Wiki & Don & Red McIntyre in the main event
45 years ago:  Dick the Bruiser beat Darrell Cochran in the main event
40 years ago:  El Mongol beat Tarzan Tyler via DQ.  Interesting second match where Bob Armstrong beat Johnny Walker, who later became Mr. Wrestling II when he was past 40 and one of the all-time biggest Georgia draws, whereas as Johnny Walker he was a prelim guy
34 years ago:  Ole & Gene Anderson beat Mr. Wrestling #1 & The Professional in a no DQ match to keep the Georgia tag team titles
31 years ago in Macon:  Mr. Wrestling II beat Ole Anderson in the main event
26 years ago in Augusta:  Paul Orndorff beat Buzz Sawyer in the main event      
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