THURS. UPDATE: TV RATINGS, OUT OF RING INJURIES/SURGERY UPDATES; STEAMBOAT,REFFING,FRIENDS, WWE PPV



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        We're looking for reports on yesterday's WWE Raw house show in Perth, Australia as well as tonight's TNA house show in Jamestown, NY at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        Tomorrow night will be a WWE Smackdown house show in Manila, Philippines and a TNA house show in Hamilton, ONT.
 
        ECW tonight at 7 p.m. on Syfy:
*Nikki Bella vs. Katie Lea Burchill
*Yoshi Tatsu vs. Shelton Benjamin
*Ezekiel Jackson vs. ?
*Abraham Washington interviews Tommy Dreamer
*Christian vs. Vladimir Kozlov for a title shot at Dreamer at Night of Champions on 7/26
 
        Superstars at 8 p.m. on WGN America
*R-Truth vs. Ricky Ortiz
*Zach Ryder vs. Tyler Reks
*Hornswoggle vs. Chavo Guerrero
 
        Impact tonight in Spike:
*Homicide vs. Doug Williams in a ladder match
*Jesse Neal vs. Jethro Holliday
*Beer Money vs. Motor City Machine Guns
*Tara vs. Velvet Sky
*Angelina Love vs. Tara for Knockouts title
*A.J. Styles & Daniels vs. Kevin Nash & Matt Morgan
*Mick Foley vs. Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett
        Plus Mike Tenay interviews Suicide   
 
        All subscriptions to the newsletter and web site for more than one month will include what is traditionally our most talked about and best selling issue of the year, the 2009 Hall of Fame issue.  Starting this coming week in the Observer we are doing an historical look at the biggest draws in history and in looking at those numbers, a number of names come up as potentially overlooked candidates.  We'll have more in that direction over the next few weeks as well as a Hall of Fame preview issue after all the ballots are cast but before the Hall of Fame issue itself.  So several special issues are coming over the next six weeks.      
 
        We've got a look at UFC 100's attempt to become the biggest non-boxing PPV event in history with a look back at Dana White, Vince McMahon, the difference between the two, how both got into power, how history of given both men credit for things they didn't do, the real story of UFC's rise to prominence and what slowed it up, and what was really the night where UFC broke through as a television entity, and it was not Griffin vs. Bonnar.

        We also have a look at Edge's torn Achilles tendon, and different ideas bounced around regarding what happens next, as well as what plans for Edge and the tag title that have been thrown out the window.

        We also have a look at the public funeral of Mitsuharu Misawa, the biggest athlete funerals of all-time and where it ranks, as well as the new power hierarchy in Pro Wrestling NOAH including who gained and lost power, and what Misawa's wishes were for the promotion in the event he could no longer run things.
         
 
        We've got a lot of history in this coming week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We have a feature looking back at the biggest event of each year in pro wrestling since 1900, as well as all the record-breaking events in both recorded pro wrestling and MMA history.  Japan, Australia, Europe, U.S., Canada and Mexico are all covered in a look at many of the biggest pro wrestling and MMA events of all-time.  

        The feature also looks at wrestlers who may be considered strong Hall of Fame candidates based on these records, as well as others who were big draws who for other reasons may not be strong candidates.  We look at dozens of different names, as well as former football players who were among the bigger draws in wrestling history, the case for two of the biggest candidates as promoters, as well as what wrestlers make the list the most times in their career.  We also look at the enduring legends, people who drew the biggest crowds of the year more than a decade apart.

        This is probably the most complete look at huge match draws, in the context of their era, that has been produced, and we will have more on the subject in future issues.

        The issue is available today for subscribers to the web site.

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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 pro wrestling industry as well as the MMA industry, 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 issues sent to you today. Just send your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order by faxing that information to 408-244-3402. You can also subscribe via paypal at www.paypal.com and using the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address or subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card, by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.        We also have a look at Waldo Von Erich, who passed away this past week, and his rivalry with Bruno Sammartino, Bill Watts and others.

        We also have more on the deaths of Mexican minis the Jiminez brothers, including with major WWE PPV shows both men worked, and more details regarding their murders.

        We've got an update on Jeff Hardy's future, Matt Hardy's surgery, notes on WWE television production, the head of a major station talks about what the station needs to break through to being a top five station on cable, and where wrestling could fit.

        We also look at Jerry Lawler running for mayor, the Jericho vs. Miz feud, update on both the WWE video game and TNA video game going forward, as well as where the UFC game fits into posturing for the WWE game.

        We've got notes on some of the PPV shows for WWE for the rest of this year, reviews of Ted DiBiase and what he was best known for as a wrestler, notes on WWE travel, update on Mr. Kennedy, and business notes from all of the WWE shows over the past week.

        We also have notes on a new WWE signing, a former wrestler with national exposure getting a name change, plus a look at all the shows both domestically and on the two international tours this week.

        We've got an update on Lavar Johnson, the Strikeforce heavyweight who was shot this past week, including the big fight he was about to be announced for the next big show.

        We've also got a feature on Billy "Red" Lyons, including what he was best known for in Toronto, his career title history, his early days in wrestling, his heyday, The Flying Redheads, his tag team with The Destroyer and lifelong friendship, some of his biggest matches and the latter stages of his career in Toronto.

        We also have preliminary numbers for the Judgment Day PPV and how it performed compared with last year's show.

        We also have our usual weekly features, including the most detailed look at the ratings of the major shows, including what segments gained and lost viewers, results from the major league arena events over the past week, and the major TV show reviews.
 
        Also in this week's issue:
 
--80s and 90s star needs emergency surgery and career looks to be over

--Two big names for more than 20 years talk about doing a career vs. career main event on a major show later this year

--Unique match where all six wrestlers opposed their real life brother

--Retirement of a Hall of Famer and another says he's slowing down and may never wrestle outside his home town

--International promotion signs up with a Canadian company to market house shows, English language television, PPVs and merchandise in the U.S.

--WWE pulls wrestler from a major show for interesting reasons

--A look at the All Japan junior heavyweight tournament

--Heavyweight vs. junior heavyweight champion match takes place this past week

--Motor City Machine Guns lose belts in Japan

--Former ECW champ set to have a program with current IWGP champ

--First news on the G-1 Climax tournament

--Former promoter sentenced to a year in jail

--Update on Brian Blair's situation

--Update on Roddy Piper's legal situation

--Internal predictions for UFC 100

--Newest members of UFC Hall of Fame

--UFC gets gigantic television breakthrough

--Lots of new UFC matches and big shows for the rest of the year

--WWE's biggest star (according to Vince) and one of UFC's biggest stars hit it off

--UFC may sue rival promotion

--Update on next Strikeforce show and next Affliction show
    
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and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
 
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*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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*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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*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
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*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,
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*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
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*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
 
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*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,
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*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
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*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,
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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
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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
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*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
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*July 23, 2007 (Part five of 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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*September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
 
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--In last week's cable ratings, TNT was first with a 2.1 prime time average followed by USA at 1.8.  Spike was No. 17 at 0.8 and Syfy (new spelling of same name) was No. 22 at 0.8.  For last week, Raw was No. 2 and  No. 4 behind The Closer (4.7 rating).  It was No. 1 and No. 2 in 18-34 and 18-49 and NASCAR post race show (3.8)
 
--Vampiro suffered what appears to have been a broken back in a non-wrestling related incident and was hospitalized as of last word.
 
--If you are Tivoing Impact tonight and have the Dish Network, make sure to make a change because it's now called TNA Impact instead of TNA Wrestling, so if you have your old settings, it won't record. (thanks to Steve Te Tai)
 
--U.K. ratings for the week ending 6/28.  Raw did 71,000 viewers live and 36,000 in the Thursday replay.  Smackdown did 30,000 on the Saturday replay and less on Friday night.  Nothing for TNA ranked (thanks to Ian Hamilton).
 
--WWE sent out a press release noting 12 Rounds was No. 1 on the best seller charts overall for both DVD and Blu Ray for the week ending last Sunday.  That's not No. 1 in sports, a position WWE DVD's frequently hit, but No. 1 overall.  The release states "John Cena pins Jonas Brothers," because the Jonas Brothers Concert was behind 12 Rounds.  
 
--Since we've gotten a lot of people asking about this one, the Countdown to UFC 100 will replay tomorrow night at midnight on Spike, and again at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon.  This may have been the best pro wrestling television one hour show in years.
 
--The other question I've started getting regards the changing of the tab from "MMA" to "UFC" on Yahoo.  That was a corporate decision not made by the sports department.  The feeling was that the brand name UFC is far more readily known than MMA (a point you can't argue) and thus the feeling was they were not optimizing traffic by listing the term "MMA" that a large percentage of their casual fan base audience doesn't know.  As far as the coverage goes, nothing is going to be different.  If I had to vote, I'd vote different since we're covering more than UFC (but the NASCAR tab covers more than NASCAR and if there's a major story on non-NHL hockey or non-NBA basketball, it is listed under NHL and NBA), but it barely affects me, only that there are people in other promotions not happy about it.  The truth is, the term MMA is actually a pro wrestling term coined in the 70s by Antonio Inoki and Hisashi Shinma for Inoki's worked matches against people like Chuck Wepner, Willem Ruska and Mike Dayton, as well as his famous match with Muhammad Ali which wasn't exactly worked.  Its original meaning is a match (with a predetermined outcome) between a pro wrestler and a fighter from a martial art held on Japanese network television.  The "sport" as it is now evolved from the Brazilian Vale Tudo matches that date back to the 1920s, so you could argue Vale Tudo as the real name of it historically.  The UFC name came around in 1993 and the MMA name for the sport started being used many years later when Jeff Blatnick was working with UFC to get athletic commissions to regulate the sport because it lost PPV on most cable systems.  It was called NHB as the name of the sport with the transition to MMA being around 1998 or 1999.  NHB stood for no holds barred, as the sport's name for years.  The MMA label has then been used to describe matches in both the U.S. and Japan that were held before the term was ever used outside of pro wrestling, and was a better sounding name to get athletic commission regulation, but it is not and was never the original name of the sport or genre.  It is the accepted term for the sport now by those who write about it, and by Hardcore fans, but casual people don't know that or the term.  A lot of people are upset because there is a mentality that all the cool people call it MMA because they are smart enough to know UFC isn't the be-all and end-all, and how when people say someone is training in Ultimate Fighting, it means anyone who says or write that is beneath the smart people and doesn't know what they are talking about.  The counter to that is from a mainstream writing standpoint, if a writer for the Wall Street Journal is writing to their audience and says someone is training to be an MMA fighter or an Ultimate Fighter, it is the latter term that will make the highest percentage of readers actually know what they are talking about.  The reality of that point itself is probably what drives people crazy and why there is a reaction to this.
 
--Also, the other question we've gotten a lot of in the last two days is regarding the referees at UFC 100.  Herb Dean will referee Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar.  Lesnar has refused to fight with Steve Mazzagatti as a referee.  Mazzagatti will referee Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves.   
 
--Spike will be replaying the five-part 100 greatest matches in UFC history (or at least 100 greatest matches of people that are on the current Dana White approval list) from 5-10 p.m. Eastern and 2-7 p.m. Pacific on Spike, leading up to UFC 100.
 
--An article on UFC and MMA gambling is at http://www.lvrj.com/sports/50213022.html  Another article on UFC expansion is at http://www.lvrj.com/sports/50213007.html
 
--As noted earlier today, UFC 100 will air live in the U.K. on Sky 433, which is usually a horse racing channel, and in Ireland on Setanta Ireland. The show starts at 3 a.m.  Because many don't have access to the Sky channel, it will also be available for free at uk.ufc.com only to residents of the U.K.  Sky Ch. 433 will have UFC coverage starting at 9 p.m. with all five episodes of the best 100 fights in UFC history, and at 2 a.m. will be the UFC Mir vs. Lesnar preview show.  (thanks to Andrew Ryan, Anthony Talbot, Vincent Haworth and many others).    
 
--Ricky Steamboat talks about wrestling tomorrow night in Manila at http://www.gmanews.tv/story/167029/The-Dragon-vows-not-to-disappoint-WWE- fans  The story also plugged appearances by "The Edge" and "Umaga" who aren't going to be there
 
--Lavar Johnson was able to get up and walk around a little yesterday after his Monday surgery to remove a bullet from his stomach.  He is expected to make a full recovery.
 
--Best of luck to WWE official Gerald Brisco who will be undergoing his several times delayed heart surgery today.
 
--Warehouse 13, the show that aired in the ECW time slot on Syfy on Tuesday night did a 2.5 rating and 3.5 million viewers, roughly double what ECW usually gets.  Don't expect that in a "Did You Know" this coming week.
 
--I was guest today on the Bill Simmons pod cast on ESPN's web site talking UFC 100 and we actually ended up talking a lot of pro wrestling as well for more than an hour.  Also, I'll be on Inside MMA tomorrow night on HDNet with Josh Barnett and Ken Shamrock where I talked quite a bit less than an hour.  Shamrock was clearly the star of that show.
 
--We'll also have a ton of UFC 100 coverage on the site with weigh-in news, an audio update on Friday night after weigh-ins, we'll have the full press conference after the show as well as an audio update really late Saturday night.
 
--What would be the best name to change Cyber Sunday to?
UFC 100.5 24.7%
Abomination 17.8%
The Royal Battle:  Every Match is a Battle Royal 14.9%
Showdown several miles from Shea 12.1%
WWE Meltdown 9.3%
Annihilation 6.2%
You Can't See Me 4.4%
Undertaker returns 4.1%
DX is coming back again 3.1%
A Night of Three Way matches 1.5%
Countdown 1.3%'
A Night of Four Way matches 0.5%
 
--Who is the best UFC middleweight champion ever?
Anderson Silva 80.1%
Rich Franklin 12.3%
Evan Tanner 4.6%
Murilo Bustamante 1.9%
Dave Menne 1.1%
 
--What did you think of Countdown to UFC 100?
Excellent 74.6%
Good 20.2%
Average 1.2%
Fair 0.0%
Poor 4.0%
        23.5% of those responding didn't see the show.  I think that may have been the best response to a show in our history.  Certainly near the top ever.
 
--The episode of "Friends" in 1997 where Jon Favreau played Monica's boyfriend who got beat up wanting to be a UFC fighter by Tank Abbott was one of a series of episodes of Favreau in that role.  Former WWE writer David Lagana was with the show in 1999 and 2000, so it was before his tenure there.     
 
--People aren't going to be happy with this one.  In an archived G4 interview with John Cena, the description of him is "Wrestler turned Mixed Martial Artist John Cena." (thanks to Heath Santo)
 
--Mr. Anderson, formerly Mr. Kennedy, has been added to the K&S Wrestlefest convention in Carteret, NJ at the Raddison Hotel on 7/25
 
--Round 5 action figures of Dan Henderson and Shogun Rua will debut at UFC Fan Fest in Booth 427 this weekend.  They will also mark the public availability of figures of Shogun,  Henderson, Cung Le, Gina Carano and Matt Serra.  Randy Couture and Wanderlei Silva will be signing autographs at the Round 5 booth and meeting fans.
 
--Pro Wrestling Ohio on 8/9 at the Nautica Pavilion in Cleveland is headlined by Al Snow vs. N8 Mattson
 
--Val Venis is available for bookings through www.WrestleBookings.com
 
--Cage Wars in the U.K. has signed a TV deal with Sun Sports in Florida
 
--WAR on 7/28 in Sidney, OH at the Shelby County Fair with all tickets $5 headlined by Al Snow and Buff Bagwell
 
--Great Canadian Wrestling on 8/22 in Oshawa, ONT at the Royal Canadian Legion
 
--There is a story on Lance Storm returning to the ring at http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/wrestling/story/1125607.html
 
--The Hamilton Spectator has a story on hometown wrestler, the late Billy "Red" Lyons at http://www.thespec.com/Sports/article/594271 (thanks to Chris Cooper)
 
--The next Roller Derby game on KOFY television in San Francisco will be 9/5 at 11 p.m.  
 
--Full Impact Pro on 8/1 in Crystal River, FL at the National Guard Armory headlined by Davey Richards vs. Kenny King for the FIP title and Erick Stevens & Roderick Strong vs. British Lions for the tag titles.
 
--CZW on Saturday night in Philadelphia at the Arena at 2:30 p.m. headlined by Drake Young vs. Sami Callihan for the CZW title
 
--Mick Foley and Trina Michaels, who he has mentioned a few times on TNA, will work together on the same show for the first time on 8/1 in San Antonio for River City Wrestling.  Hernandez will also be on the show.
 
--Heat XC 3 on 7/17 at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton put on by Maximum Fighting Championships with Thiago Goncalves vs. Cory MacDonald as the main event.  
 
--Umaga is doing an autograph session tonight at 6 p.m. at Dream Team Store at Plaza San Patricion in Guaynado, PR.  Mr. Kennedy, Carlito and Primo will be at the same store on Saturday from Noon to 2 p.m. (thanks to Manuel Gonzalez)
 
--Michael Criscuolo at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is selling his tape collection of about 1,000 six hour tapes from 1987-2007 including every PPV from that period as well as 1,500 magazines from the 70s through 2008.
 
--Showtime All-Star Wrestling now airs Saturday night at midnight on KLHU in Lake Havasu City, AZ
 
--A story on Jake Roberts and the circus coming to Salt Lake City is at http://www.sltrib.com/themix/ci_12787302
 
--MSNBC's web site listed dysfunctional families and the Hogans topped the list
 
--Summerfist 3 on 8/15 at the Irvine Marriott Grand Ballroom
 
--Tonight at 5 p.m. at Artist Hall 5&6 at the Hard Rock Hotel has the Fights Only World MMA awards press conference to announce an Oscars style ceremony on 12/30
 
--New England Championship Wrestling on 7/11 in Quincy, MA at the National Guard Armory with Antonio Thomas vs. Alex Arion ______________________________________________

Who had the best show?

 

Who won the night?