THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE: FEDOR'S NEXT BOUT; MICHAELS UPDATE; ROH PPV TAPING; PROMOTION CLOSING



By Dave Meltzer
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        TNA tonight on Spike has:
*Consequences Creed & Eric Young vs. Jimmy Rave & Johnny Devine
*Matt Morgan vs. Trevor Chavis (Kory Chavis)
*Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley vs. Robert Roode & James Storm in a strap match
*Taylor Wilde vs. Velvet Sky for the Knockouts title
*Tables elimination match:  A.J. Styles & Christian Cage & Rhino vs. Team 3-D & Kurt Angle
        UFC Unleashed airs at 11 p.m. with Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar and Tyson Griffin vs. Clay Guida.
        We are only a few weeks away from what is traditionally the most talked about issue of the year, the 2008 Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame issue.  All subscribers for two or more sets and all on-line subscribers will be getting the issue in August.
        With so many major shows, one of the biggest issues of 2008, a double issue, will be out on Tuesday of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and it is currently available to on-line subscribers.
        The fallout of Super Saturday is the lead story as we look back at one of the biggest nights in MMA history in North America.  We look at the successes and failures in the debut of the Affliction promotion.  We've got both UFC and Affliction reaction, a look at the numbers and what the numbers mean, the background of Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski leaving UFC for Affliction.  We also have Tom Atencio's thoughts on what UFC running live called them.  We've got news on the next Affliction show and probable main event, as well as a secondary main event Atencio said is still under consideration.  We also have poll results on both shows.
        We also have a look at Affliction live vs. PPV, early PPV numbers, as well as how Affliction is going to have to change for the future.  We look at Fedor's future plans, an update on Fedor vs. Randy Couture.  We also have a lot more on the Affliction live gate, comparisons to the last time UFC ran the same building.
        We also have details on the UFC numbers for the night, how the West Coast going live affected the number, the goals of the show and the whether UFC achieved them.  We look at how every match on the UFC show did in the ratings and whether Anderson Silva has become a ratings draw or not. 
        We also have coverage from both shows including how much the fighters earned on each show.  We also have note of a UFC nickname that seems to indicate a collision course with Brock Lesnar.  
        We also have full coverage of the Great American Bash, including the thought process behind the Michaels-Jericho stoppage, the booking of he key programs, the story behind the Parking lot brawl, business notes on the show, early PPV estimates and match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
        We've got an update on Quinton Jackson's situation and more problems he may be facing, including what Jackson had talked about the day before that led to his problems.  We also look at what Jackson had heard about Griffin that may have affected his strategy for the fight and it turning out the way it did.
        We also have a lot of thoughts on ways to make WWE better stemming from a Matt Randazzo article.  We have his thoughts, as well as our own thoughts, and the viability of these changes both working and happening, including the schedule, medical coverage, work style, unionization and retirement benefits.  We also look at what we can learn from tragedies to at least try and lower their numbers in the future.
        We have notes in the changes planned for WWE programming and why, and whether it will pay of or not.  We also look at a long-term plan that has been changed, the future of WWE movies and productions, the next Saturday Night's Main Event and many celebrities scheduled to appear, and more on the CW decision to drop Smackdown.
        We also have coverage of the latest Dream event from Japan, including TV ratings, what the ratings mean, and the desperation main event they are planning for the next show that better do big numbers.  We also look at what match drew the biggest numbers, why, and what it says.  We've got more on the future of Kid Yamamoto, the September Dream show, the tournament, Eddie Alvarez, as well as match-by-match coverage.
        We also have notes on WWE's updating its medical staff.
        We look at a segment taped at a Smackdown show that didn't air involving Ric Flair, WWE merchandising revenues that go to wrestles, an interesting early note about possible viewing changes of Smackdown since the draft, best selling pro wrestling and MMA DVDs, an update on WWE developmental and the top prospects, how much Kevin Dunn and John Laurinaitis' WWE stock is worth, advertising indicates a possible turn and John Cena training.  We also have notes on a wrestler who will be doing a TV guest spot playing the role of a Roller Derby skate, the reaction in WWE to the movie, "Bigger, Stronger, Faster," an arrest at the Great American Bash, a former tag champion who is getting a look at returning and two wrestlers expected to start imminently on television.
        We've got the full story on the Sandman's arrest and the incident at Lou Albano's birthday party including several eyewitness accounts of what happened.
        We also have coverage of several major international shows from the past weekend.
        We also have a look at the ratings of every major pro wrestling TV show from the past few weeks, including segment-by-segment so you can see what is adding and losing viewers and who is and isn't hot.  We look at the rise of ECW, Matt Morgan as The Beast, the surprising most watched show and it isn't Raw anymore, who is watching Raw these days, how Punk's segments are doing as champion as well as Jericho-Michaels and the Smackdown wedding show.
        The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.  
        Each 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
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Also in the issue:
--Update on CMLL anniversary show ideas
--Who Mistico wants to pattern his career around
--Aguayo Jr. vs. Wagner Jr. feud
--A potential new star in CMLL
--A look back at stars made in the Gran Alternativa tournament in years past
--Notes on TNA wrestlers working in CMLL on this week's big show
--Notes on a new promotion doing a European tour
--Update on AAA build to Verano de Escandalo
--Hustle Grand Prix news including stars like Bob Sapp and Rene Dupree
--All Japan planning major event
--Reality of NOAH's last Budokan Hall show and what it says
--A look at what will likely be, in the ring, the greatest tournament of the year
--New Japan major event with several title matches
--Plans to bring back a major faction later this year
--Tank Abbott returns to pro wrestling
--RVD and an MMA legend wrestling on the same show
--Legendary 80s tag team reunites for the first time in 20 years
--Hall of Famer announces retirement for the end of the year
--Latest major Dragon Gate show
--Notes on the latest attempt to revive one of the classic wrestling companies of the past
--Lance Storm talks retirement and one of his favorite matches
--Interesting drug testing news
--Death of a local legendary sportscaster brings back one of the most famous local wrestling stories of the 60s involving one of the biggest names in history
--A move to preserve the home of a famous wrestler as a historical monument
--Next class of the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame including the induction of one of the major mainstream media personalities of the 70s who started as a wrestling announcer
--Front office changes in TNA
--Update on the TNA videogame
--Update on the Hard Justice PPV
--Early trending numbers on Griffin-Jackson on PPV and a look at UFC's popularity in the U.S. vs. Canada
--Strongest U.S. UFC markets for per capita interest
--Update on UFC and IFL
--Champion from another promotion signs with UFC
--Randy Couture softens his anti-UFC stance
--Lots of new UFC matches added for upcoming big events
--Two NCAA champions set to debut in September
--Update on Matt Hughes vs. Matt Serra
--Two former WWE cup of coffee guys appearing in kickboxing tournament in Hawaii
--Elite XC talking about a TV deal
--Update on Cung Le and Frank Shamrock's fighting plans
--Crazy situation at an MMA show
--Don Frye's return
--Wrestling legend quietly loses his first MMA fight
--Two of last year's best college wrestlers set to make MMA debut
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
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*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)
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*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)
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*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their
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*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)
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--Kevin Iole at Yahoo! has reported that the next Affliction show will be 10/11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski.  Tom Atencio of Affliction said that match announcement is premature.  
--Shawn Michaels is advertised for house shows all over the place next month so the career ending injury angle isn't going to last much longer.  Cena & Michaels vs. Jericho & JBL are some of the Raw brand main events post-SummerSlam
--Today's New York Daily News said Brooke Hogan has been approached to pose nude for Playboy and hasn't turned it down.  The story said her musical career could use the boost.
--ROH PPV lineup for the taping on Saturday night in Detroit has Nigel McGuinness vs. Claudio Castagnoli for the ROH title, Bryan Danielson vs. Tyler Black, Chris Hero & Go Shiozaki vs. Roderick Strong & Naomichi Marufuji, an Honor Rumble for a world title shot (not taped for ))V) and more.  More than 1,000 tickets have been sold for the Toronto show tomorrow night.
--As has been expected, the IFL is expected to officially close its doors imminently.  The company is in its final stages of being sold or folding.
--Highlight of the past weekend
Fedor decapitating Tim Sylvia 39.7%
Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho match at the Bash 17.9%
Chris Jericho interview on Raw 17.8%
HHH ruining Edge & Vickie's post-wedding 12.1%
Rory Markham's high kick 5.4%
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Eddie Alvarez match 4.1%
Ben Rothwell vs. Andrei Arlovski match 3.0%   
--Alex Marvez has an interview with Randy Couture at http://msn.foxsports.com/boxing/story/8363930/Legal-battle-keeping-Couture-from-fighting-Fedor
--The Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ has an article called "All the World's a Cage" talking about UFC's international expansion.  Same Dana White quotes he's been giving everywhere about UFC being bigger than the Super Bowl and the World Cup in eight years.  On not having a network deal:  "We literally could have been on three to four places if I wanted to be stupid." 
--There is an article on Petey Williams at http://www.miamiherald.com/675/story/616012.html taking about the birth of the Canadian Destroyer
--Jeff Hardy vs. Edge is scheduled for the weekend Smackdown brand house shows as the main event along with Big Show vs. Umaga
--HHH is likely off this weekend because Stephanie is due to give birth at any time 
--Tentative date for the next Elite XC show on CBS after Saturday would be 10/4
--There is an interview with Michael Modest at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x686xx_modestcommercial_sport 
--Superstar Billy Graham and promoter Greg Price of the NWA Legends convention are at odds.  Suffice to say that Graham will not be appearing.  The gist is that Graham agreed to do the convention, and induct Ivan Koloff into their Hall of Heroes.  He wanted an upgrade to first class because of his physical condition and health, although the original agreement did specify Graham would upgrade the ticket himself.  Graham then pulled out and e-mails back-and-forth got very nasty.  Price has said he would post the e-mails if things weren't worked out, although the e-mails do neither side any favors.
--Smackdown tomorrow night will be moved in Sacramento (airing at 10 p.m.), Hartford (Saturday at 8 p.m.) and Wilkes-Barre (airing at 10 p.m.)  The show features a Battle Royal with the winner facing HHH for the WWE title at SummerSlam.  Spoilers are up on the site.
--The newest Heyman Hustle with Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt of the "Girls Next Door" fame is at http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/wrestling/heyman/article1460097.ece
--Sandman was expected to be released from jail today on $10,000 bond.  He was held another day when the court found records of him pleading guilty to two robberies in Pennsylvania in the 80s
--Randy Couture's book is ranked No. 1 in pro wrestling, No. 16 in sports and No. 767 in all books on amazon.com 
--There is an article at http://www.scnow.com/sep/entertainment/ on Kurt Angle building to the house show in Florence tomorrow night.  Kurt's latest is saying TNA has much more talented wrestlers than WWE and the wrestling has improved 200% since he got there.  He should have seen it when they started on PPV.  He said TNA takes better care of him, doesn't overwork him and tries to make sure he'll last another 5-8 years.  He said there is a lot of politics in WWE and no politics in TNA.  He said his training consists of 45 minutes of lifting three times a week and three mile runs the other days. He said he looks up to Bruno, Hogan and Bret Hart and that Ric Flair is the greatest.  But when he said people studying pro wrestling need to look at, also mentioned Sting, Christian and Kevin Nash.  Kevin Nash?  Maybe if you're studying how to manipulate the system, which is a talent, but I'm not sure about studying his matches being relevant to anyone under 6-8.
--Nick Bollea turns 18 on Sunday which means he's moving to the Pinellas County adult jail for the remainder of his sentence 
--Hulk Hogan is back on CNN Headline News' Showbiz Tonight talking about Nick and his marriage  
--Brian Tramel at http://rasslinriotnews.blogspot.com/ has an article on the local TV ratings scene.  Memphis has, since the beginning of time, drawn the best ratings for wrestling of any city in North America.  Impact last Thursday did a 2.9, Smackdown did a 4.6, the 9 a.m. Friday morning Impact replay did a 0.6, A.M. Raw did a 0.9 and Raw from this past Monday night did a 6.2, peaking at 6.7 for Cena & Cryme Tyme vs. JBL & Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase
--WWE house show in Reading, PA has been moved from 8/11 to 12/15  
--2CW on Saturday night in Binghamton at American Legion Post 80 features Slyck Wagner Brown, Nikki Roxx (Roxxi in TNA) and Eddie Edwards
--There is a story at http://www.wickedlocal.com/carver/sports/x544092472/Ready-to-rumble about local wrestler Mike Bennett wrestling in Plymouth, MA against Jerry Lawler.  Bennett spent several months in OVW,and is planning on moving to Orlando in the summer to train under Team 3-D so he's serious about making it.
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 8/2 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds is headlined by Greg Valentine vs. Ronnie Vegas
--Blood, Sweat & Ears on 8/9 in Mississauaga, ONT at the Churchill Meadows Gym
--Jerry Lynn vs. Kid Kash headlines for Reno Riggins' Showtime All-Star Wrestling tomorrow night in Millersville, TN. Chase Stevens is also on the show.
--Ultimate Championship Wrestling is on tour with shows tonight in Halifax at the Forum, tomorrow in Summerside, Prince Edward Island at the Credit Union Place, Saturday in Charlottetown, PEI at the Civic Centre and Sunday in Berwick, Nova Scotia at the Berwick Arena
--WWE is doing a contest with codes being announced every Wednesday night during the MSG Classics show on Wednesday night to win ringside seats and to meet a superstar at the 8/23 show in MSG.  If you didn't watch, and I'm sure most didn't, the code for this week is Junkyard Dog    
--APWF on 9/20 in Palm Coast, FL at Matanzas High School featuring Doug Basham, Jake Roberts, The Shane Twins and Kip James
--Pro Wrestling Phoenix on 8/16 in Council Bluffs, IA at the National Guard Armory
--Results from the 55th anniversary of pro wrestling at  Arena Puebla on Monday night:  Cerebro Negro & Espiritu Maligno & Negro Navarro b Blue Center & The Tiger & Toro Bill, Asturiano & Flash & Metalik b Escandalo & Euforia & Nosferatu, Policeman b Centella de Oro in a hair vs. hair match, Hector Garza & Hijo del Fantasma & La Mascara b Heavy Metal & Negro Casas & Mr. Niebla in a CMLL trios title match, Dr. Wagner Jr. & Shocker & La Sombra b Perro Aguayo Jr. & El Terrible & El Hijo del Texano-DQ
--Tuesday night in Guadalajara:  Egipcio b Impostor, Depredator b Virgo, Palacio Negro b Evola, Malefico b Magnum, Cien Caras Jr. & Infierno b Casanova & Tony Rivera, Ultimo Guerrero & Toscano b Alex Koslov & Marco Corleone, Atlantis b Shocker
--Mistico vs. Averno in a non-stip singles match headlines Baja Star Wrestling on 8/2 in Tijuana.  Promociones Mora runs tomorrow night with El Hijo del Santo & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. L.A. Park & Rey Misterio Sr.  (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--This is a style clash of epic proportions.  Greg Valentine vs. Necro Butcher headlines Sunday in Warren, MI for XICW at 5:30 p.m. at The Ritz.  Jimmy Jacobs vs. Josh Abercrombie is also on the show
--IWF runs Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. at the IWF Centre in West Paterson, NJ.  They also announced a three-day seminar and clinic with WWE trainer Tom Prichard from 8/22 to 8/24.  IWF students and graduates can attend for $79, indie wrestlers, managers and referees with at least one year of training can attend for $179.  For more info call 973-345-7745 or visit www.WrestlingIWF.com 
--ACPW will be inducting Dennis Condrey, Charlie Mintz, Tre G, Stro and Dave Renegade into its Hall of Fame on 8/2 in Roseboro, NC.  Already in are Ivan Koloff, Buff Bagwell, Jimmy Valiant, Rick Steiner, Ricky Morton, John Thundercloud, Tommy Young, Bobby Eaton, Abdullah the Butcher, The Barbarian, East Coast Bodily Harm and Robert Gibson