THURS. UPDATE: SMACKDOWN MYNETWORK NOTES; ECW & CABLE RATINGS; NASH TALKS CONTRACT; TERRY FUNK; RVD
By Dave Meltzer
Tonight's Impact on Spike, featuring Mick Foley's debut promo:
*ODB vs. Angelina Love
*LAX vs. Motor City Machine Guns - winners get into the Monster's Brawl at Bound for Glory
*Sheik Abdul Bashir defends X title against Jimmy Rave and Eric Young
*Christian Cage & Jay Lethal & A.J. Styles vs. Booker T & Team 3-D
*ODB & mystery partner (who isn't Gail Kim) vs. Love & Velvet Sky
Foley's debut promo also features Kurt Angle coming out and making references to Jeff Jarrett's wife, who died of cancer two years ago. It sure read like desperation from a company that seemed to be doing a good job otherwise in building Bound for Glory.
WWE debuts tonight on MyNetwork TV at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific and 7 p.m. Central with a one-hour Wrestlemania TV special, building toward the Smackdown debut tomorrow.
Ultimate Fighter from last night is replayed at 11 p.m. tonight after Impact. Good show.
A look at Vince McMahon's new kick when it comes to improving the product and what he's stressing is one of the major items in this coming Monday's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The issue also has a look at the move of Smackdown to MyNetwork TV, the places where the time slot changes, a look at what will likely happen to the ratings and a rundown of the first taping.
Details on how to get the printed Observer with both of these issues mailed to you immediately are here, or you can get them as part of a premium web site package which can be ordered on the front page of the site.
We have notes on the battle for PPV supremacy between WWE, UFC and HBO boxing, which includes comments from all existing parties, both insightful and sometimes funny. We look at UFC PPV numbers so far in 2008 as well as where UFC stands when it comes to the all-time records of PPV, and what WWE record they won't be approaching. We look at an interesting quote on what WWE's programming goals are when it comes to their audience, Lorenzo Fertitta talking about competition, and the UFC television situation.
We also have an update on the UFC/Affliction wars, with the announcement of the new show, as well as Fedor Emelianenko talking about his next fight and where it will be, another champion approached by Affliction and the UFC/TNA head-to-head in Dublin.
We also have updates on some major contract in TNA as well as where Sting now stands with the company heading into the company's biggest angle, perhaps in its history.
We also look at WWE's overseas business and what happened in one country seems to be duplicating in another formerly hot market.
We also have notes on the all-time Japanese record tying title win of Keiji Muto.
We also have notes on several major international shows over the past week including a star current pro wrestler headlining an MMA show and what American Olympic hopeful was given a gimmick patterned after what legendary pro wrestler and debuted in MMA. We also have a look at a major MMA name who has lost 46 pounds since his last fight and surgery and what this may mean regarding his future.
We also have lots of notes of matches under discussion by Affliction.
We also have funny notes on sign confiscations at the last Raw taping, another former WWE employee talks about the company, another second generation wrestler in developmental who is picking things up quickly, as well as best selling DVDs, and a former WWE president talks about a new TV idea for the company.
We also have our usual features including ratings of all the major shows, including details on the segment-by-segment on Raw and Impact, results from the biggest live events over the past week as well as major TV show rundowns.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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Also in the issue:
--Return of Mistico
--Latest from Arena Mexico
--Wrestler claiming he's going independent as a way to save face
--Juventud Guerrera update
--What foreign stars AAA is looking at using
--Former TNA worker trying to get into AAA full-time
--Next NOAH Budokan Hall matches announced
--WWE match airs on big screen at NOAH house show this past week
--Next NOAH tour and ROH stars all over it
--New Japan G-1 Climax tournament update
--What promotion is trying to get its big name stars onto the New Japan Tokyo Dome show
--What pro wrestlers' gym now has a gold medal from the last Olympics in a trophy case
--What controversial character from the last Olympics is now being talked with about turning to pro wrestling
--Updates on Ric Flair and Dwayne Johnson
--New TV show earmarked for Jesse Ventura
--Notes on some of the biggest traditional indie tournament shows
--Pro wrestling Hall of Fame announcer to be inducted into another Hall of Fame in November
--Reason behind ROH postponing shows in Florida
--Final lineup for TNA's Bound for Glory
--More on TNA Impact videogame
--Update on live Impact from Las Vegas and more notes on it
--Update on Kevin Nash contract reports
--The Kurt Angle/Jeff Jarrett angle
--TNA drug testing update
--New TNA character and a decision has to be made about
--Update on international stars who have talked about coming to TNA
--Update on Gail Kim
--ROH house show business update
--A look at all the TV's leading to Bound for Glory
--How the dropping of the WEC light heavyweight and middleweight divisions is being handled regarding assimilation into UFC and the championships
--Dana White's surprising comments on Anderson Silva's retirement talks
--Lots of new UFC matches official
--Mirko Cro Cop health update
--Top Dream star talks retirement
--Update on negotiations by Showtime to buy Elite XC
--Next Elite XC card on Showtime and some details
--A look at one of the better MMA shows of the year
--A look at an Elite XC TV pilot
--A look at the ownership of the IFL tape library
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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*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)
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*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)
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*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)
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*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
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*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)
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*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)
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*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) .
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*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)
September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
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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.
--Some more Smackdown time changes for this week. Greenville, SC will air at about 10 p.m., Birmingham at about 10 p.m. and Lafayette at about 9:30 p.m. WWE has taken out several major newspaper ads this week for the network change. We got a run sheet for the top 50 or so markets and besides stuff already mentioned, Sacramento on KQCA is 7 p.m. instead of 8 p.m., Jacksonville is 1 a.m., Providence is 11:30 p.m. and pretty much everywhere else that hasn't been mentioned will air at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific and 7 p.m. Central. Regarding Salt Lake City, if you have the Dish Network, you can get it off the St George, UT station (KCSG) and if you have DirecTV, you can get it also off that station.
--Bill Fitzmaurice writes that Comcast in Southern Massachusetts serving Marshfield, Plymouth, Duxbury, Abington, Rockland, Carver, Halifax and Kingston doesn't have MyNetwork TV.
--The weigh-in for Saturday's Elite XC show will be at 4 p.m. at the Chairman's Club at the Bank Atlantic Center. It's open to the public. What a spectacle the Gina Carano bikini weigh-in is going to be.
--ECW did a 1.1 rating on Tuesday in the new time slot. They should be very happy about that, because they were only down 11% in total viewers from last week at the regular slot. In the past when ECW has been out of its normal slot, the ratings have nosedived. So it shows they did a very good job on Raw in alerting their audience to the change.
--USA was No. 3 in the cable ratings last week at 2.0, behind ESPN at 2.8 (due to football) and Fox News at 2.6 (due to the election). Raw's final placings were No. 18 and No. 21. Mostly news shows on Fox News and CNN, a few SpongeBob episodes and NFL & college football on ESPN beat it. The USC game that went head-to-head with Impact last week ended up doing a 5.0. Second hour of Raw was No. 8 in 18-34 and No. 9 in 18-49.
--Big Show will be on G-4's Attack of the Show tonight at 7 p.m. to promote the Smackdown move to MyNetwork
--There is a presale for the TNA Impact tapings on 10/23 in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock at ticketmaster with the code "SPIKE."
--Kevin Nash said he still hasn't signed his contract, which expires a week from Friday according to an interview in the Daytona News-Journal. He said the hold up is the merchandise and that he said he has talked to Vince McMahon, who offered him a spot if he would dye his hair.
--A note that Spike tomorrow night at 9 p.m. will replay the Kenny Florian vs. Joe Lauzon Ultimate Fight Night special from 4/2 in Broomfield, CO. On Saturday they will replay the first two episodes of Ultimate Fighter from 4-6 p.m. and also air the UFC 86 show from 9 p.m. to midnight featuring Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin as competition for the CBS show.
--The Condemned starring Steve Austin makes its cable TV debut on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on USA.
--Ch. 43 in Oklahoma City's food critics showed up at J.R.'s Family Barbecue in Moore, OK. You can access it at http://www.jrsbarbq.com/blog/ok43-reviews-jrs-family-bar-b-q-moore-ok
After seeing this piece, if I'm assigned to something in Oklahoma City, I'm so there, and both UFC and Elite XC have talked about that market since it was the highest rated market for the first CBS special.
For Raw on Monday
21.3% of those responding didn't see the show
--What TV show for the rest of this week are you most looking forward to?
Elite XC on Saturday night 46.0%
TNA Impact tonight 20.6%
Smackdown's MyNetwork TV debut 19.8%
Wrestlemania special tonight on MyNetwork 6.3%
Ultimate Fighter 5.8%
Strikeforce on Friday night on HD-Net 1.3%
--For those in Hawaii, KGMB-TV, the CBS affiliate in Honolulu, will be airing a one hour special on MMA immediately following the Elite XC show on Saturday night. The documentary, entitled "Blood Sport or Misunderstood: MMA 808 - Inside Hawaii's Fight Game" features author David Mayeda and award winning filmmaker Edgy Lee's look at the sport with interviews with B.J. Penn, Chris Leben, Egan Inoue (Hawaii's first drawing card), ESPN's Jon Anik and Dana White
--Terry Funk, 64, wrestles tomorrow night in Robersonville, NC at the Roanoke High School in a cage match against Steve Corino in the main event, on a show that also includes Lodi, Ricky Reyes, Ares, Allison Danger, Daffney, Ricky Landell and C.W. Anderson. Al Snow and Blue Meanie are both off the card. Raven works for the promotion on 10/12 in Limerick, PA at the Fire Hall.
--TNA starts in Mexico Saturday on 52mx
--Michelle Waterson, known as "The Karate Hottie," as a former bikini model, faces Tyra Parker on the Strikeforce card from Broomfield, CO, tomorrow night which will air live on HD-Net. The show's main events are Duane "Bang" Ludwig vs. Sam Morgan and Frank Trigg vs. Falaniko Vitale
--During the intros for the starting lineup for the visiting Detroit Shock at last night's WNBA finals, they played the Undertaker's music. (thanks to Binu Paulose)
--IWA is doing its Golpe de Estado tour this weekend with a big show on Saturday night in Bayamon. The Sheik from Florida, managed by Barrabas, faces Savio Vega, while the Heartbreak Express, Sean & Phil Davis, face tag champs Cruzz & Diabolico
--Larry Matysik and Herb Simmons in St. Louis on Saturday at 11 a.m. on KZQZ radio (1430 AM) will have Jack Brisco as a guest, talking about Brisco's induction into the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame, which moves on Saturday night to the South Broadway Athletic Club.
--Rob Van Dam is launching his own radio show. He will have a new show every Wednesday at www.blogtalkradio.com/rvdradio
with Chris Mordetzsky and Shawn Stasiak. After Van Dam, Stasiak will follow with a one hour show at www.blogtalkradio.com/askdrshawn
doing a show on fitness and well being, as will as pro wrestling
--105.9 in Miami this morning had a Kimbo Slice lookalike contest during its morning show. All contestants got free tickets to the show on Saturday. A Kimbo lookalike showed up unannounced in the middle of the show wanting to fight the DJ's to scare them. (thanks to Dennis Burkholder)
--Patric Laprade and Michael Ryan are looking to get in touch with people with good stories and info on the history of pro wrestling in Quebec for a book they are working on. They can be reached at
--Shocker & Zumbido vs. Fuerza Guerrera & Tarzan Boy headlines at Arena Naucalpan tonight.
--NWA runs Juan de la Barrera Gym in Mexico City on Saturday night with Mil Mascaras & Juventud Guerrera & Tarzan Boy vs. Head Hunter A & Antifaz del Norte & Hator, plus Blue Demon Jr. vs. "Who are you to doubt" El Dandy
--Tomorrow night in Tijuana at the Auditorio Municipal has Cibernetico & Mesias vs. Chessman & Kenzo Suzuki plus a cage match for the AAA tag titles in a three-way with Halloween & Extreme Tiger vs. Arandu & TJ Boy & Joe Lider & Nicho (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--The first annual Roller Derby California Ann Calvello Cup game will in on 11/22 in Pleasanton, CA at the Alameda County Expo Center
--Chris Masters and Gangrel will be signing autographs at Chase Chevrolet in Stockton on 10/11 from 2-4 p.m.
--NWS on 10/11 in Manville, NJ at the VFW Hall with Romeo Roselli, Danny Doring, Konnan, Raven and Kevin Sullivan
--TNA Impact was No. 4 on PS 2 in Australia, while WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 was No. 9 for PSP (thanks to Jereme Warneck)
--Harley and B.J. Race want to alert aspiring wrestlers interested in going to WWE to attend the upcoming Florida Championship Wrestling camp at http://sites.google.com/site/fcwtalent/Home
noting they are sending some of their own talent to the camp.
--A pop culture blog comparing the dying days of the AWA favorably to the current product at http://galleyslaves.blogspot.com/
I don't know about that one. (thanks to George Guida)
--Jim Ward noted he was in Jasper, AL yesterday and saw a flier for a Saturday night show at the Sherer Auditorium listing Tommy Rich, Scott Armstrong (isn't he working for WWE?) and Mike Jackson. The photo of Rich was from 1979.
--XICW's 100th show and 8th anniversary show is 10/19 at The Ritz in Warren, MI at 5:30 p.m. with Necro Butcher vs. Toby Klein in a fans bring the weapons match, while Gavin Starr & Keith Creme defend the tag titles against Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley. Corporal Robinson, Jimmy Jacobs and Josh Raymond also appear
--The web site http://listverse.com/sports/top-10-greatest-professional-wrestlers-of-all-time/
lists the ten greatest wrestlers in history in order as Hogan, Flair, Thesz, Bret Hart, Inoki, Austin, Bruno, Andre, Rock and Buddy Rogers. And in the comments, the biggest complaints were no Undertaker ("He's undefeated in 16 Wrestlemanias" and Mick Foley. Hey, that's what they wrote. Best line was a guy who said "Rogers primary claim to history is losing the WWWF title to Sammartino in 45 seconds." The only other guy who got a bunch of mentions was Ultimate Warrior with a few Randy Savage's and Shawn Michaels' thrown in. One person wrote a long thing saying Rock shouldn't be in because he could never make the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, which is considered the most prestigious. Well, other than he made it last year with the highest vote percentage of anyone ever from North America, that was cool.