SUNDAY UPDATE: TNA VIDEOGAME SALES, FORMER TNA STAR WINS MAJOR WORLD TITLE, JR ON ECW; RATINGS
Sunday, 21 September 2008 06:29
by Dave Meltzer
We're looking for reports on tonight's Smackdown & ECW tapings from Columbus, OH. Matches announced so far are Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder vs. Carlito & Primo for the tag titles, Natalya & Victoria vs. Brie Bella (and her secret twin under the ring) & Maria, and Vladimir Kozlov vs. Great Khali. I so wish that was on Raw so they wouldn't have a chance to save it in editing.
Raw is tomorrow night in Cincinnati and Dream runs Tuesday (airing very late Monday night on HD-Net live) with the final four of a middleweight tournament, Mirko Cro Cop vs. Alistair Overeem, Sergey Kharitonov vs. Jimmy Ambriz and even Masakatsu Funaki vs. Minowa Man.
Tomorrow's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter will be a special issue devoted to the career of Walter "Killer" Kowalski. It will be an in-depth look at 30 years of traveling all over the world, most of the time was one of the top attractions in the business. We've already gotten some incredible feedback on the issue, which is one of the best issues of the year. The issue is available online today if you are a premium member and you can sign up on the site. For a print subscription, there are details here.
We look at the beginnings of HHH's career, the scene at his funeral as well as a look back at how Killer Kowalski was thought of during his heyday. We look at the beginnings of his ring career, his complete title history and major awards, the first Bruno Sammartino vs. Kowalski match, Sammartino looks back at Kowalski, and his unique eating habits.
We look at his career ups and downs, his first retirement and why it happened. We look at his thoughts on the health problems of protege John Studd, his return to wrestling and the top stars of the late 50s in wrestling.
We look at his career in Montreal, including the famous match with Yukon Eric and what happened, the story behind it getting so much publicity as well as the first televised wrestling match in Canada, and his heyday as a national star. We look at his interaction with Jack Dempsey as well as him doing the remnants of one of the most famous wrestling angles in history but before the angle was famous.
We look at his various world championship runs as well as his international travel. We look back at the night he sort of won the NWA title and the embarrassing situation it put the alliance in. We look at his debuts in both Japan and Australia and why he was so important in both country's wrestling history.
We look at his matches with Giant Baba and Rikidozan, and his role in the angle that led to the most watched pro wrestling match in modern times.
We look at his various WWWF runs, including wrestling Sammartino, teaming with Gorilla Monsoon and John Studd, and traveling with Bill Watts.
We look at how he became a household name in Australia, and his eventual babyface turn. We look at his tag team with Sammartino, his run in Los Angeles, the promotional war in Montreal, his run as The Masked Destroyer, and his final WWWF tour.
We also have more on the Affliction/Golden Boy boxing/wrestling tie-in and what the plans are, and what the problems are as well as whether it's a good idea in theory and practice.
We have a look at No Mercy, an update on the WWE move to MyNetwork TV and other changes in the fall. We look at a situation that got major heat and shows how hard WWE, almost to the point of hilarity, that WWE is looking to protect a certain performer. We look at why probably the most talented of the younger wrestlers isn't succeeding. We look at how new characters are doing, as well as WWE misleading facts on its bumpers. We look at DVD releases for the rest of 2008, more on the championship Scramble, an update on Freddy Prinze Jr. as a WWE writer and Smackdown's writing. We also look at WWE signing Naofumi Yamamoto, a wrestler getting an award from a college and another opening a store. We've got a look at the best selling DVDs and two more potential third generation pro wrestlers, one of whom was signed and another of whom looks to be after finishing college.
We also have developmental notes including the company overhauling many names and why, an update on the next tour of Mexico as well as notes and highlights from all the weekend house shows.
We also look at the TNA No Surrender show, with poll results, match-by-match coverage and star ratings.
We also have a rundown on AAA's second biggest show of the year, as well as reaction to WWE getting on major network TV in the country.
We also have a blow-by-blow of Jake Roberts falling off the wagon including comments from the people who worked with him on what exactly happened.
We have our usual detailed look at the ratings of all the national shows, including segment-by-segment for Raw and TNA. We also have major TV reviews.
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Also in the issue:
--Update on CMLL's traditional biggest show of the year and possible negative signs going into the show
--How AAA is trying to deal with its locker room problems
--Vampiro talks about the problems and his things being stolen
--Head Hunter talks about AAA after leaving
--A look at the ROH Japanese tour
--Mick Foley talks about his value
--Kurt Angle talks more on Vince McMahon, deaths of wrestlers, injuries and being on the death watch list
--Angle predicts Lesnar vs. Couture
--TNA debuts in California
--Earl Hebner talks "You Screwed Bret" chants
--Wrestler who says he's the opposite of his gimmick
--Funny Sting story
--Contradictory stories on the death of Evan Tanner
--UFC plans to honor Tanner
--UFC fires fighter for a unique set of circumstances
--Mir and Nogueira predict Lesnar-Couture
--UFC star arrested
--Amir Sadollah's debut
--Updated Dream lineup
--Updated financial info on Elite XC
--Notes from Shamrock-Kimbo press conference and funny stories
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:
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*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)
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*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)
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*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
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*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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*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)
August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
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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.
--Smackdown on Friday night did a 2.6 rating on the fast nationals, its best number in a while
--The TNA Impact videogame was No. 9 for XBox 360 on the rental charts for last week. It was the No. 9 best seller in the U.K. In Australia, it was No. 3 on PS3, No.2 on XBox 360 and No. 4 on PS2. Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 was No. 10 bestseller for PS 2 and No. 6 for PSP. (thanks to Jereme Warneck)
--The Score in Canada had a street party last night to kick off the opening of their new HD studio. They were promoting all of their shows, including wrestling, as well as looking at the history of the network. Natalya Neidhart was there, but didn't get much of a reaction, except when bringing up Jim Neidhart, Bret Hart and the Hart Foundation. She talked about training in the dungeon. She didn't come off that well, and was followed by Iron Sheik, who started talking about wrestling at Maple Leaf Gardens. C.M. Punk was the last guest out before the musical performers (after Jermaine O'Neal of the Raptors and Wendel Clark of the Maple Leafs) and he said being champ was great and wanted to thank the fans in Canada, because he knows ratings went up in Canada when he won the title and it meant a lot to him. He came off very well and the crowd was into him. He gave a replica title belt to the winner of a contest (thanks to Steve Khan)
--Low Ki beat Tiger Mask earlier today in Kobe to win the IWGP jr. heavyweight title
--Due to a family emergency, Todd Grisham wasn't able to attend tonight's TV tapings in Columbus, OH. Jim Ross will be working with Matt Striker on the show that airs Tuesday night.
--Bryan and I will be back with an audio show tonight talking about all the new from the past few days. We'll also be doing questions so you can e-mail to
and we'll get to as many as we can. We'll also be back tomorrow night after Raw.
--Today is the 6th anniversary of the death of Ted Petty of Public Enemy fame
--Jack Brisco, one of the biggest stars of the 70s, turned 67 today. Ricky Morton, one of the biggest names of the 80s, turned 52.
--If anyone watches the NFL games on CBS today, were there any plugs or commercial spots for the Elite XC show on 10/4?
--Poll on Smackdown
36.6% of those responding didn't see the show
Poll on Impact
39.5% of those responding didn't see the show
--A&E has aired commercials for "Chris Angel: Mindfreak" this past week and apparently the episode with Kurt Angle is airing soon. This was taped in early February. (thanks to Anthony Sullivan)
--HHH & Stephanie McMahon were all over the Motorhead concert last night in New York. HHH introduced them when the show started. They dedicated one song to them and HHH was brought on stage at the end of the show to take a final bow
--Dawn Marie is trying to raise supplies for Hurricane Ike victims in Houston. She is asking people to send food, toothpaste, toiletry items, and towels to Torrie Wilson and Nick Mitchell, who will distribute them to the community, by sending to Wilson at 9595 Six Pines Dr., The Woodlands, TX 77380. Make sure to donate with your name and mention it is for Wrestlers Rescue.
--Sid Vicious vs. Big Daddy V headlines for WrestleReality on 10/25 in Voorhees, NJ at the Flyers Skate Zone. They should have put that one on tonight's Smackdown tapings with Kozlov vs. Khali as part of a four-man tournament.
--CHIKARA results from last night in Streamwood, IL: Silas Young b Egotistico Fantastico, Lince Dorado & Helios b Brandon & Vito Thomaselli, Buck Hawke b Tim Donst, Da Soul Touchaz b Ultramantis Black & Crossbones & Sami Callihan & Trik Davis, Colin Delaney b Jimmy Olsen, Discovery & Incognito b Mini Guerrero del Futuro & Aguila de Oro, Stigma b Drake Younger, Vin Gerard b Fire Ant, Mike Quackenbush & Player Dos & Gran Akuma & Soldier Ant & Amasis b Hallowicked & Player Uno & Icarus & Worker Ant & Ophidian (thanks to Mark Coale)
--AAA tapes TV tonight in Oaxaca with the Psycho Circus vs. Teddy Hart & Jack Evans & Kenzo Suzuki, and a main event of Cibernetico vs. Chessman vs. Mesias. CMLL TV tapings tonight at Arena Coliseo has Dos Caras Jr. & Hector Garza & La Mascara vs. Lizmark Jr. & Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero. Guadalajara has the unmasked Blue Panther & Alex Koslov & Marco Corleone vs. Negro Casas & Villano V & Mr. Niebla. Naucalpan has Billy Boy & Crazy Boy & Gronda vs. Espiritu & Joe Lider & Nicho. Ciudad Juarez has Axel & Dr. Wagner Jr. & La Sombra vs. Damian 666 & El Terrible & El Hijo del Texano. (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--The premiere of the documentary "Tiger Khan - Fire in the Blood" will be on 10/26 at the Pioneer Theater in East Village, NY at 9 p.m. The movie is produced by Franco Frassetti and Evan Ginzberg
--TNA's Hernandez and local promoter Brandon Oliver will be on KENS-5's "Great Day San Antonio" at 9 a..m. tomorrow, pushing a 9/27 River City Wrestling show in San Antonio at the Silverado Rodeo
--Velocity Pro did an afternoon show at the Alhambra in Philadelphia yesterday before ROH, drawing 275 fans: Nigerian Nightmares b Chris Answert & Phil Bousche & Angel Gonzalez, Aramis b Ethan Page, New Hollywood Blondes b Gym Ratz, Sterling James Keenan b Shiima Xion, All Money is Legal b Super Hentai & Facade, Ray Rowe won four-way over Z-Barr, Niles Young and Shane Taylor, Azrieal b Bobby Fish, Mark & Jay Briscoe b Best Around (said to be close to ****). Next show is 10/18 at the Alhambra
--Carolina Wrestling Showcase from last night in Asheboro, NC: Mariachi b Mikal Mosley, Hotbody Jason b Justin Cross, Steve Dillinger b Chris Collins, Pat Friday & Isaac Daniels & Ryan Billings b Adam Holdaway & Les & Jimmy Parker, Tank Youngblood b Mark Stratus (thanks to Bobby Yates)
--EWA tonight at Tall Cedars Hall in Parkville, MD at 7 p.m.
--I Believe in Wrestling from last night in Orlando: Gus Money b Nick Fame, Raymond Snow b Demon Toro, Austin Amadeus & Scotty Davis b Barney Rumble & Biff Wesley, Bumz R Us b Larry Zbyszko & Nick Hollder, Frankie Capone b Jaison Moore, Team Vision b Heartbreak Express to keep AWA tag titles in a tables match (thanks to Ari Goldstein)
--World League Wrestling from Friday night in Eldon, MO: Sigmon & Shawn Schultz b Michael Elgin & Adam Thornstowe, Dustin Lane & Brian Breaker b Mark Sterling & John Saxon, Bobby Fish b Tommaso Ciampa, Virgil & Paul Isadora b Dinn T. Moore & Paul Diamond, Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima b Keith Walker & Oliver John, Ricky Steamboat Jr. & Naomichi Marufuji b Takeshi Morishima & Bao Nguyen (thanks to Reed Benson)
--Ron Lemieux at
is looking to sell two tickets to the 10/3 TNA house show in Lowell, MA for less than face value
--Rome Georgia Wrestling from last night in Rome, GA (where else?) before 60 fans: Stupid the Clown b Patriot, Jamie Hall & Lamar Phillips b Josh Hate & Seth Cruise, Mark Pain b ?, Waylon Rhodes b Convict, Bobby Eaton b Ricky Morton when Mr. Hughes interfered. Next show is 10/9 with Morton vs. Hughes (thanks to David Wills)
---Purely Obsessed Wrestling World from last night in Woodstock, IL before 100 fans: Trevor Blanchard b Chris Chaos, Matt Mayhem b Great Malaki, Melanie Cruise b Jimmy Blaze, Joey Cece & Terry Allen b Dehok & Xcon, Black Iron b Ruff Crossing, Melanie Cruise won Battle Royal (thanks to Rob Myers)
--Gary Graham at
is looking to get in touch with former wrestler Barry Houston
--Rich Tate's Atlanta wrestling nostalgia:
52 years ago today: Art Nelson beat Don McIntyre to win the Southern title and Red McIntyre & Cyclone Anaya beat Wild Bull Curry & Fred Blassie on the day Ricky Morton was born
48 years ago in Columbus: Dick Steinborn beat Mighty Yankee via DQ so Yankee kept the Southern title, and Fabulous Moolah beat Lady Angel to keep her version of the women's title
46 years ago: The Assassins beat Chief Little Eagle & Chief Crazy Horse to keep the world tag team titles. Johnny Walker, who later became Mr. Wrestling II, beat Miguel Torres, who is likely no relation to the WEC champ
43 years ago in Macon: Lou Thesz beat Freddie Blassie via DQ to keep the NWA title
37 years ago in Macon: Bob Armstrong & El Mongol beat The Assassins via DQ to keep the Macon tag team title, and Vicky Williams beat Fabulous Moolah in what was either a DQ finish or a non-title match
35 years ago: A one-night tournament for the vacant Georgia tag team tiles saw Bobby Duncum & Stan Vachon beat Bob Armstrong & Tom Jones in the finals.
32 years ago in Macon: Jos LeDuc beat Dick Slater in a Texas death match
29 years ago at the Omni: Cowboy Bill Watts beat Ernie Ladd in a lights out match, while Tommy Rich & The Crusher (da one, da only) beat Ole Anderson & Ivan Koloff in a cage match to win the Georgia tag team tiles, plus Tony Atlas subbed for no-show Dusty Rhodes and beat Killer Karl Kox, The Sheik beat Ray Candy, Stan Hansen beat Blackjack Lanza and Bob Armstrong beat Toru Tanaka in a judo match. I wonder if when they were doing that match, the crowd didn't start chanting, as they were doing judo moves, "We want judo."
28 years ago in Columbus: Ole Anderson beat Lars Anderson and The Assassins beat Mr. Wrestling I & II
27 years ago in Augusta: NWA champion Ric Flair beat Jimmy Snuka, Masked Superstar beat Tommy Rich in a lumberjack match and Michael Hayes & Mr. Wrestling II (subbing for no-show Kevin Von Erich) beat Terry Gordy & Killer Tor Kamata
24 years ago in Augusta: Ronnie Garvin beat Ted DiBiase in a strap match and Nick Patrick (the famous ref) beat Bob Roop in a lights out match