SUN. UPDATE: UFC TITLE BOUT; UPDATED ON SLICED UP WRESTLER; EXTREME RULES PREVIEW; ENDURING DRAWS



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        We're got three polls going on today.  We're looking for your thoughts on last night's Strikeforce show, tonight's WWE Extreme Rules show and tonight's WEC show, 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 last night's WWE house show in Pensacola and last night's TNA house show in Penticition, BC.
        Raw will be live from Lafayette, LA Monday night along with Superstars.
        Smackdown and ECW will be taped on Tuesday night in Biloxi.  The only thing hinted about is Tony Atlas vs. Evan Bourne.
        Notes on tonight's Extreme Rules show from New Orleans:
*Edge vs. Jeff Hardy in a ladder match for the world title - One would suspect this will be a tremendous match as it's almost impossible for them to have a bad match and both are ladder match specialists.  Word we got is both have vowed to steal the show tonight.  For what it's worth, the company just decided the finish of the show very late last night. 
*Randy Orton vs. Batista in a cage match for the WWE title - I don't know about this one.  The Judgment Day match was good, but that was largely because of the Ric Flair run-in at the end.  This is a cage match and there is also a blood ban, so that shortcut to heat has been eliminated.  Both are usually good big-match wrestlers.
*John Cena vs. Big Show in a submission match - These two don't jell.  Aside from the big pop when Cena gets Show on his shoulders, the matches have been plodding at best.  Taking away near falls isn't going to help, although it is good they've established a camel clutch as a finisher for Show they can work the match around.  Since they've spent so much time "proving" Show is too big for the STF, that either means Cena will fail all match to get it and finally get it, or he'll come up with a new submission variation late in the match.
*Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho for the IC title in a no holds barred match - This should be a title change and will probably be a great match
*Christian vs. Jack Swagger vs. Tommy Dreamer for the ECW title - Christian has been one of the best workers in the company of late, and he and Swagger usually deliver, but they've yet to pull off the great PPV match.  This is all about Dreamer anyway.  For what it's worth, Dreamer has told the wrestlers that this is his last match, but at this point, nobody believes anything until it happens.
*C.M. Punk vs. Umaga in a strap match.  Probably a painful match to work.  Should be kept short.  They had a strong regular match last time.  Strap match should be different from everything else on the show.
*Vickie Guerrero vs. Santina in a hog pen match for the Miss Wrestlemania crown.  Obviously not meant to be any kind of a deal except for Guerrero to be humiliated.  Has to be kept short.
*Kofi Kingston defends the U.S. title against MVP, Matt Hardy and William Regal.  I guess they figure it's good that Hardy is working on his broken hand and that with four guys, his limitations won't be as obvious.  But Kingston vs. MVP had a very strong TV match on Monday, and it'll be hard with four people than two to have a good match.
        On paper, the main event looks great and it should be a good show overall.  WWE has been on a roll since Mania with strong shows.  It may not be as good as Backlash, but no reason looking at the lineup it won't be a good show.
        Live coverage will start at 8 p.m. Eastern
        WEC lineup for tonight in Sacramento's Arco Arena, which may set a North American attendance record for featherweights (current record is 12,682)
Prelims
Seth Dikun (136) vs. Rolando Perez (135.5)
Noah Thomas (134.5) vs. Frank Gomez (136)
Antonio Banuelos (135.5) vs. Scott Jorgensen (134)
Anthony Pettis (156) vs. Mike Campbell (155)
Kyle Dietz (134) vs. Rafael Rebello (134.5)
Live matches
Manny Gamburyan (144) vs. John Franchi (145.5)
Josh Grispi (145.5) vs. Jens Pulver (144)
James Krause (155) vs. Cowboy Donald Cerrone (155)
Cub Swanson (144) vs. Jose Aldo Jr. (144.5)
Mike Brown (143.5) vs. Urijah Faber (143.5) for WEC featherweight title
        Live coverage starts at around 7 p.m. Eastern  
        A look at the golden age of pro wrestling in Los Angeles, and the life and career of one of its big three stars of that era, John "Maniac" Tolos, is the feature story in Monday's double-issue of the Observer.  We also have the most in-depth feature on this week's biggest stories, including behind-the-scenes with the firing of Mr. Kennedy, how it happened, why it happened, as well as where he looks to be headed.  We also have an update on the situation with Ric Flair, WWE, ROH as well as returning to wrestle.  We also look at the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, with not only Kimbo Slice appearing, but a number of former NFL players in the cast, as well as looking at the biggest house show so far this year from WWE.
        The issue will be available later today for web site subscribers, and you can get a mail subscription to the Observer with information below.
          The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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       We look back at one of the most famous wrestling angles in history, as well as one of the original megashows, before Starrcade or Wrestlemania, the 1971 Blassie vs. Tolos show at the Los Angeles Coliseum in one of our biggest history features so far this year.
        We talk about the role of Blassie, the status of pro wrestling in Los Angeles when Tolos arrived, the Blassie turn, the Tolos Brothers tag team of the 50s and 60s, and how they got started.  We start at the beginning of John's career in the early 50s when he was a regular on national television, the original Blassie vs. Tolos matches, and how he got started for his big run in Los Angeles.
        This story features a ton of comments by Tolos and friends about his thoughts during this period, as well as the business when it was at one of its peaks.  We look at pro wrestling at the Olympic Auditorium and the main players, how it was structured in those days, the origination of the idea for the Blassie vs. Tolos match at the Coliseum, as well as the original feud that preceded the Coliseum show.
        We look at the famed Sicilian Stretcher match, the episode of the Steve Allen show that preceded Jerry Lawler and Andy Kaufman doing essentially the same thing, the beginning of the prominence of the United National heavyweight title in Japan and the Tolos vs. Inoki feud, as well as full details of the biggest angle ever in Los Angeles and one of the biggest in history, and the whole back story of the angle.
        We look at how the post-angle television was handled, the booking for the months leading the big show, as well as a look at the first time pro wrestling was ever on closed circuit.  We look at what was going on in Los Angeles regarding the angle the week before the match, as well as a look at the loaded up show.
        We look at the business of the show, as well as the most famous copycats of the angle, and the regrets Tolos had with everything in looking back.  We look at the babyface turn, and how Tolos' first babyface title win over Killer Kowalski wasn't planned out originally, and why it happened.  We look at Tolos as a babyface champion, the era of Ernie Ladd as a monster heel in 1972, as well as Tolos' role in the California scene for the rest of the decade.
        We look at his interview style, the birth of The Maniac Tolos, the heyday of the Tolos Brothers tag team in Madison Square Garden, his title match with Bruno Sammartino, the background of winning the WWWF tag team titles, a unique angle he came up with, and the heyday of pro wrestling in British Columbia.
        We also look at the fall of pro wrestling in Los Angeles, and the different things that went on to kill what was once one of the hottest pro wrestling markets in the world, as well as the politics behind the Los Angeles/San Francisco booking offices and why Tolos was never a star in San Francisco.
        We also look at the end of his career, the birth of The Coach character, the Tolos transition into the real world work force after nearly 35 years, his thoughts on being a manager and working for Vince McMahon and the rest of his career history.
        We also have full details on what happened with Mr. Kennedy, how he got the call, where Randy Orton did and didn't fit in, the reaction to his firing, the last time a star wrestler got someone fired (and it was 14 years ago), the plane flight home from Los Angeles, the steroid talk and issues, Vince McMahon's criticism of him and his goals from here, as well as the people involved in the origination of his gimmick.
        We also have an update on Ric Flair, WWE, ROH, HDNet and overseas bookings.
        We also have notes on reaction to falling WWE ratings, Randy Orton losing it overseas and something that would have gotten many wrestlers fired over, wrestler unhappy with portrayal, update on Finlay's injury, update on how the different WWE TV shows are thought of, and HHH in Japan and what he said about his comeback, as well as the Japanese lineups.
        Cena defends Vince as usual, lots of notes from developmental and a funny developmental story and new terminology.  We also have notes on matches HHH is being advertised for and how soon, best selling DVDs, celebrity tie-ins with WWE, current WWE star who was originally chosen for Tough Enough but cut at the last minute, return of Candice Michelle, as well as coverage of this past weekend's WWE house show tour and business notes on the tour.
        We also have our usual weekly features including the most detailed look at the TV ratings of the national shows, major TV show reviews and results from the major league arena events held over the past week.
        Also in this week's issue:
--Former pro wrestling headliner aging badly after recent health problems
--Top Mexican star now out for the rest of the year
--Details on the Arena Mexico weekend and what main event didn't draw
--Smallest crowd of the year for a big show and what killed he crowd
--Update on TripleMania
--Perro Aguayo Jr. responds to comments Konnan said on Wrestling Observer radio
--Several WWE stars working a big show for an outside promotion next month
--Promotion dresses up someone to look like one of its biggest stars to fool the public
--Pro wrestling star tries to become a heavyweight boxer
--A look at All Japan's major show of this week, as well as its next big event
--A look at the next NOAH tour that starts this week
--Update on the Super Junior tournament
--Former WCW champion's new promotion in Japan
--Legend has to close his gym
--Return to Japan of one of its biggest foreign stars of the 90s
--The continuation of the ridiculousness that is the Hogan family
--Hogan talks about the proposed 90s match with Mike Tyson
--Dwayne Johnson's next projects
--Former 80s star hosting a national TV show this fall
--Update on Bruno Sammartino
--ECW Legends of Wrestling reunion
--50th anniversary show of Wrestling at the Chase
--Update on Mark Lewin
--Legends of Southeastern Wrestling show
--Hall of Fame pro wrestler and her exploits of trying to make it as a golfer
--Torrie Wilson's NBC show and early happenings
--Former WWE star apparently has a memorable role in an upcoming movie
--Former wrestling couple on Divorce Court TV show
--Time Warner/HD Net update
--Notes on the recent ROH TV tapings
--More new ROH matches
--Where the TNA video game stands right now
--Noes on the injury to Samoa Joe
--Complete lineup for Slammiversary
--Notes on the status of Raven, Victoria and Shane Douglas in TNA
--What match that will not air on TNA television tore the house down at the tapings
--Potential issues with TNA in its biggest market
--Update on Sarah Stock in TNA
--TNA's next overseas tour
--Notes on movie "Warrior" with Kurt Angle
--WWE personality rips on Jarrett
--The new TNA TV show, its open, and what it tells people
--The story behind Kevin Nash's weekend match
--Business notes from the live gate and PPV for UFC 98 and what it showed
--Lots of new matches signed for UFC
--Videogame sale updates and the contract and what it means for UFC
--Update on the debut in Philadelphia
--Zuffa running shows on consecutive nights this summer
--UFC fires fighter
--UFC issues with TV in the U.K.
--Dana White's latest predictions
--Brock Lesnar talks life in WWE
--Notes on the announcing at the WEC show
--Update on Satoshi Ishii
--Fighter critical of Dana White wants to make amends
--Notes on this season of Ultimate Fighter
--Minor star arrested but gets major national attention
--Next Dream event
--Background of Michael Schiavallo's announcing
--Tentative date and place for Carano vs. Cyborg
--Top matches and likely lineup for next Affliction PPV show
--Update on Sengoku
--Plans for TV show on womens' MMA
--Two fighters in a very bad way from things that happened last week
--Former WWE Diva in training makes MMA debut
--Daughter of former NWA light heavyweight champion now doing MMA
      
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--Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio Shogun Rua for the UFC light heavyweight title is largely agreed to.  The date is not definite.  UFC wants it for 10/24 at the Staples Center but one of the fighters is trying to push for November.
--Nick Gage was kept over night in the hospital but at last word he is expected to make a full recovery from his side being sliced open taking a bump into light tubes in last night's CZW King of the Death matches tournament held last night in Townsend, Delaware in the Markland family backyard (parents of D.J. Hyde) before 250 fans:
Nick Gage b Deranged in a no rope barbed wire fire match
Whacks b Toby Klein in a barbed wire and tube bundles match
Scotty Vorketz b xOMGx and Drake Younger in a thumb tack kickpads match
Danny Havoc b Dysfunction in a pane of glass wrapped in barbed wire match
Jon Moxley b Brain Damage in a tables, chairs and silverware match
Thumbtack Jack b D.J. Hyde in a Jack in the box match
Nick Gage over Vorteksz & Moxley in fans bring the weapons
Thumbtack Jack b Whacks & Havoc in fans bring the weapons
Non tourney:  Tyler Veritas b Alex Colon, Greg Excellent b Devon Moore, Trent Acid b Sami Callahan,
Finals:  Thumbtack Jack vs. Nick Gage in 200 light tube and panes of glass death match.  Gage went through a pane of glass, suffering a bad cut under his armpit.  He was taken to the back and needed to be airlifted to the hospital where he had emergency surgery because he was losing a terrible amount of blood.  They did an impromptu Battle Royal that somehow Zandig won.  Then Zandig claimed he doesn't put himself over on his shows and said Jack won. 
--Good story on Consequences Creed in today's Atlanta Journal Constitution at http://www.ajc.com/print/content/printedition/2009/06/07/creed0607.html  It talks about his background, noting he was a college senior when he started with TNA and while not mentioned, he went to the same high school as Marcus Bagwell.  He's hoping to start graduate school next year while still working for TNA.  
--A story on backyard fights in New York at http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2009/06/07/2009-06-07_back_alley_fights+_abound.html 
--UFC's broadcast partner in the U.K., Setanta Sports, is on the verge of collapsing this weekend according to several reports in the U.K.  Unless they can find a last minute cash injection, rights to the various sports they have will have to be sold off, and that would include UFC.\
--I will be appearing as a guest with Chet Coppock in Chicago at 5 p.m. tomorrow Chicago time to talk pro wrestling and MMA
--Last night on the Strikeforce show, Joe Riggs noted he started watching Phil Baroni in UFC when he was in seventh grade.  If that sounded strange, well, it's because Riggs was 19 when Baroni had his first UFC fight. 
--Tough Talk with post-fight interviews with Phil Baroni and Kevin Randleman from last night at http://media001.f4wonline.com/dmdcouments/060709tt.mp3  Both talk about what they each need to do differently in the future.
--Poll on Smackdown
Excellent 52.5%
Good 36.2%
Average 6.8%
Fair 1.1%
Poor 3.4%
        20.6% of those responding didn't see the show.  Excellent numbers across the board here
Who do you expect to win tonight
Edge 71.2%
Hardy 28.8%
Orton 88.1%
Batista 10.9%
--Who would you think was the biggest enduring long-time drawing card in wrestling history
Hulk Hogan 44.2%
Ric Flair 18.6%
Bruno Sammartino 15.0%
El Santo 8.5%
Antonio Inoki 5.3%
Lou Thesz 4.4%
Jim Londos 2.1%
Strangler Lewis 0.8%
Bill Longson 0.4%
Buddy Rogers 0.4%
Joe Stecher 0.2%
Argentina Rocca 0.0%
        I actually got so intrigued by this one that I charted out wrestlers first time they drew the largest crowd of the year and their last time.  The longest enduring top drawing cards were, in this order, Lou Thesz, El Santo, Antonio Inoki, Hulk Hogan and Killer Kowalski.
--Ian Hamilton and Adam Firestrom talk with Neven Drevinksi of UFC Undisputed the video game at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ringsidelive/2009/06/05/Ringside-Live-June-5-2009
--UFC has five hours of Unleashed today from 2-7 p.m. on Spike.  Main events of the five shows are Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes, Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin, Ivan Salaverry vs. Joe Riggs, Anderson Silva vs. James Irvin and then the first show is repeated in the final hour.
--Brooke Hogan knows best is back on for season No. 2 starting today, with the prime time showing at 10 p.m.
--Lance Storm has a Q&A up at http://www.stormwrestling.com/060609.html  He talks about what wrestlers are told before a Royal Rumble, booking ECW, some of his favorite matches, releasing Mr. Kennedy, selling and his thoughts on Lesnar vs. Mir.
--Kimbo Slice is featured on a PPV that is called "Money Talks:  What's Your Price" that debuts on 6/15 for one hour.  It's basically a knock off on the 1980s Ted DiBiase skits where they pay people money to do humiliating things.
--Krissa Timbs, the daughter of 80s and 90s Mexico headliner Fabuloso Blondy (Ken Timbs), won her MMA debut fight last night at Wild Bill's in Atlanta.  Show drew about 1,500 fans:  Josh Parker b Drew Keesey 1st round TKO; ? b Justin Sims via decision; Mike Alvarado b Brian
Avery 2nd round knockout; Chris ? b Jericho Lathem via decision; Sonny South b Joe Elmore 2nd round TKO; Jon Queiroz b R.C. Hagans second round TKO; Dustin Chovanic b J.R. Hines round one TKO; Krissa Timbs b Heath Myers round three triangle choke.  Timbs slammed Myers at the start of the match in tribute to her late father.  Derrick Kinnington b Will Kunn round two submission; Frank Millsap b Ran Weathers via decision in a fight so boring it made Ricco Rodriguez vs. Pedro Rizzo look like a fight of the year.  A fight broke out in the crowd during round two and they had to stop it and then start it up again.  Jan Finney vs. Lissa Braverman was canceled when Finney didn't make weight.  Next show is 7/24. (thanks to Scott Decker)
--Scott Decker at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is looking for a tape of this show when it airs on Atlanta comcast videos on demand.
--IWRG on Thursday night in Naucalpan:  Guizmo b Radamantis, Epidemia & Heavy Boy b Comando Negro & Goleador, Avisman & Fantasma de la Opera & Tetsuya Bushi b Pendula & Diva Salvaje & Miss Fabiota, Black Terry & Cerebro Negro & Dr. Cerebro b Las Traumas I & II & Zatura, Ricky Cruz & Fuerza Guerrera & Pirata Morgan b Angelico & Bobby Lee Jr. & Scorpio Jr.
--AAA has a TV taping tonight in Pachuca with parejas increibles with Dr. Wagner Jr. & Konnan vs. Mesias & Silver King and Jack Evans & Octagon & La Parka vs. Electroshock & Teddy Hart & Kenzo Suzuki.  Arena Coliseo in Mexico City for TV tonight has Hector Garza & El Hijo del Fantasma & La Mascara vs. Black Warrior & Tetsuya Naito & Yujiro.  Guadalajara has Mistico vs. Felino.  Tlalnepantla has Cibernetico's new promotion with Cibernetico & Emo Xtreme & Rock Steel vs. Head Hunter I & Pirata Morgan & Scorpio Jr.  Monterrey for AAA has Charly Manson & Elegido vs. Black Abyss & Chessman (thanks to Kris Zellner)    
--Last night's Strikeforce show replays at 10 p.m. Wednesday night on Showtime 2
--WSU from last night in New Jersey:  Annia Social & Roxxie Cotton b Sean Hanson & Rick Cataldo, Rain b Nikki Roxx (Roxxi), Jana & Kacee Carlistle & Trixie Lynn & Lea Morrison b Latasha & Amy Lee & Missy Sampson & Lady Dyvyne, Big Van Missy b Jennifer Cruz, Brooke Carter & Alicia b Jessicka Havok & Hailey Hatred, Nikki Roxx won Battle Royal, Mercedes Martinez b Angel Orsini in 70 minutes.  They did a 60 minute Iron woman match with no falls, and then went to a sudden death.  They are billing this as possibly the longest woman's match in history.
--Coastal Championship Wrestling from last night in Coral Springs, FL before 519:  American Marvel b Dirty White Boy, Cash Money Brothers & Jimmy Snuka DDQ Mikhail Ivanoff & American Taliban & Vito Denucci, Alex Chamberlain b Anthony Michaels, Johnny Velvet & Ernie Alexander b Ace Skyfighter & Shane McLane, Bruno Sassi (TNA security) & J.T. Flash b Dade County Collision, Showtime J.B. Cool b Bobby Sanford, Kimberly won gauntlet match, Pablo Marquez over Sabu, Brent Dail and Kahagas (thanks to Dan Ackerman)
--WWC from last night in Aguadilla before 200 fans:  Hiram Tua b Mr. X, La Morena b Killer Kat, La Pesadilla b Thunder, Ricky Reyes b Zafiro, Angel b Tommy Diablo, B.J. & Chicky Starr & Lightning b Steve Corino & Idol Stevens & Mr. Mac (thanks to Manuel Gonzalez)
--HPW from last night in Columbus, IN before 240 fans:  Jeff Ryzer b Eddie Felson, Ox Harley b Hillbilly Jed, General Lee b Tom Van Zant, Donny Idol b Dylan Bostic, Rob Ramer b T.J. Kemp, Ronnie Vegas & Bobby Black b Troy Van Zant & Kurt Awesome & Fuji Brown.  Next show is 6/27 at J.D. Byrider's with admission being bringing a can of good (thanks to Jerry Wilson)
--FX3 makes its London debut with Rough Justice at York Hall in Bethnal Green with an MMA show headlined by Scott Janson vs. Joe Mac for the British title and Jake Bostwick vs. Greg Siwy for the world title.  Joachim Hansen and Melvin Manhoef will appear at the show

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