UFC announces location and date of the April FOX show

Saturday, 22 November 2014 21:35

The UFC's second FOX show of 2015 will be on 4/18 in Newark, NJ, at the Prudential Center.  That's the New York market where it's hard to pack the building unless you've got a high level show.

 

Sakuraba, Renzo Gracie battle at Metamoris BJJ event

Saturday, 22 November 2014 20:57

If you're into Brazilian jiujitsu draws, Saturday's Metamoris event was for you. Five of the six bouts on the promotion's fifth show ended in a draw, including the main event featuring old rivals Sakuraba and Renzo Gracie.

In the co-main, top UFC welterweight Rory MacDonald's bout against J.T. Torres ended in a draw, as did the "secret match" between Jake Shields and Roberto Satoshi, Yuri Simoes vs. Keenan Cornelius, and Vinny Magalhaes vs. Mattheus Diniz.

The only match that ended in a finish was Garry Tonon submitting Zak Maxwell with a heel hook.

For a full recap, check out MMA Fighting.com's coverage.

 

After Dark Radio 11/21: Lyle Blackburn talks the real story behind the legendary film, THE BEAST OF BOGGY CREEK~!

Saturday, 22 November 2014 18:35

After Dark Radio with Bryan Alvarez returns tonight with special guest LYLE BLACKBURN to talk his new book on the real story behind the legendary film, THE BEAST OF BOGGY CREEK~! Tons to discuss, plus more updated stories on Bigfoot, the latest news and emails and more! A fun show as always so check it out~!
 

Update on New Japan tournament

Saturday, 22 November 2014 17:19

Yoshitatsu is out of the New Japan tag team tournament due to a neck injury as reported earlier today. However, Hiroshi Tanahashi will remain in the tournament with Ryusuke Taguchi as his new partner, so it's a double world champion (heavyweight and junior heayweight) tag team. This enables them to continue the tournament without having to re-book everything.

 

UFC Fight Night live coverage from Austin, TX - Edgar vs. Swanson

Saturday, 22 November 2014 16:08

Welcome to live coverage of UFC Fight Night from Austin, TX, featuring Cub Swanson vs. Frankie Edgar as the  main event.

DOO HO CHOI VS. JUAN PUIG, FEATHERWEIGHTS

First round: Puig a big crowd favorite.  It’s early but the place looks pretty empty.  Choi landed a right and a second right put him down and pounded him out in 18 seconds. 

PAIGE VANZANT VS. KAILIN CURRAN, WOMEN'S STRAWEIGHTS

First round: Curran has a star look, the crowd immediately took to her.  Both of these women have wrestling backgrounds.  VanZant also has major star potential if she can fight.  Kerry Hatley referee.  Reminds us we are in Texas.  Not a good thing.  Both came out swinging.  VanZant landing more punches.  VanZant couldn’t get the takedown.  Both working at a super fast pace.  VanZant trying a takedown.  Curran defending well.  Judo takedown by Curran.  Curran got up and throwing more punches and a knee.  VanZant landing more punches.  VanZant landing a lot of punches.  Curran took her down again.  VanZant working for an armbar but couldn’t get it. VanZant again trying for an armbar.   Power bomb by Curran.  Curran moved to side control.  Van Zant working for another armbar.  Curran escpaed.  Hard right by Curran on the ground, Van Zant swept and on top pounding away on her.  Van Zant hurt her with hard punches.  Curran nearly reversed her.  Standing ovation for both.  This fight needs to be put on TV.  10-9 VanZant.

Second round: VanZant with punches, Curran went for a takedown but VanZant rolled through.  VanZant landing punches and a knee.  VanZant trying for a takedown.  Both tired after that first round.  Knees by VanZant from the clinch.  VanZant with punches but Curran witha hip toss takedown into side control.  Curran with another headlock takedown.  VanZant back up.  VanZant almost took her down.  VanZant landing punches and a knee.  Curran took her down again.  VanZant again trying for an armbar but doesn’t have it.  Close round, crowd gave both a big hand.  VanZant 20-18.

Third round: VanZant got the takedown right away.  Curran up.  Trading punches.  Curran bruised under the right eye.  VanZant keeping her against the fence.  Landed a punch and knee.  Knee by VanZant standing and another takedown.  More punches on the ground by VanZant and it’s over.  If people saw this fight it was a star making performance.  2:54

Van Zant did not do a scintillating promo.

AKBARH ARREOLA VS. YVES EDWARDS, LIGHTWEIGHTS

First round: Arreola throwing punches.  Head kick by Arreola.  Low kick by Arreola.  Body kick by Arreola.  Arreola dropped him with an uppercut.  Arreola threw some punches on the ground.  Edwards back up.  Edwards tried a high kick, blocked and Arreola threw him down and moved into the mount.  Arreola going for an armbar and got it for the submission.

NICK HEIN VS. JAMES VICK, LIGHTWEIGHTS

First round: Hein came out to Badstreet USA and it didn’t make TV.  Hein dropped him with a right.  He’s got side control.  Vick reversed to the top.  Hein back to his feet.  Vick throwing front kicks.  Knee by Vick but Hein decked him with a left counter.  Hein let him up.  Nice left by Vick.  Spin kick missed by Vick.  Hein 10-9.

Second round: Vick starting to land.  Hein countered with a right.  Vick with a shin to the face.  Hein hasn’t tried to use any judo.  Hein got a clinch but Vick got away.  Vick’s round so 19-19 after two.

Third round: Hein landed a left.  Hein landed a few punches.  Both tradingpunches.  Hein landed some punches.  Vick with a nice right.  Vick with a right.  Hein landing some punches.  Big right by Vick.  Body kick by Vick.  Vick kept backing off.  Very close round.  Vick was dancing away a lot which may be a mistake in a close round.  I have Vick close but it’s a toss-up.

Scores: 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 Vick.  How the F does Vick win the first round on any card?

LUKE BARNATT VS. ROGER NARVAEZ, MIDDLEWEIGHTS

First round: Narvaez is the favorite from Corpus.  May not too him much good.  Luke’s nickname is The Big Slow.  Unlike Jared Rosholt who fights later tonight whose nickname is The Big Show. Hard right by Narvaez and he took a low blow, it was a knee to the body but the foot hit the groin.  Barnatt with a body kick.  Not much to this round.  Barnett nearly got a takedown but Navarez up.  10-9 Barnatt.

Second round: Body kick by Narvaez.  Body kick by Barnatt.  Fans booing because not much is happening here.  Barnatt with a body kick.  Navaez tried a takedown but Barnatt stopped him.  Crowd booing.  Body kick by Barnatt.  Trading body kicks.  Barnatt landing late.  Barnatt landed a hard uppercut at the end of the round.  Barnatt 20-18.

Third round: Left by Narvaez.  High kick by Narvaez and Barnatt is hurt.    A left put him down and Narvaez throwing punches on the ground.  Narvaez with punches on the ground.  Narvaez working for a choke.  Barnatt is in a lot of trouble.  Barnattt out of the choke attempt.  He’s again going for a choke.  Barnatt pulled the arm off.  Narvaez working for another choke.  He gave it up.  Barnatt bleeding.  Barnatt back to his feet.  High kick by Barnatt.  Narvaez won the round so Barnatt should have it 29-28.

Scores: 29-28 Narvaez 29-28 Barnatt 29-28 Narvaez

Narvaez pushed to get fight of the night.  Considering the first two rounds were booed, that shouldn't happen.  That woudl beHe talked about being a firefighter in Corpus Chrsti who doesn't have the luxury to train full-time.   

JOSH COPELAND VS. RUSLAN MAGOMEDOV, HEAVYWEIGHTS

First round: Knee by Magomedov.  Hard right by Magomedov.  Copeland landed some punches and had Magomedov backing off.  Magomedov back with a jab and a high kick.  Magomedov landed a punch that put Copeland down and then kicked him right in the face when he got up.  Magomedov with more punches.  Magomedov is a really good striker for a guy his size.  Another nice left  high kick by Magomedov.  Copeland landed a hard right.  Magomedov’s round 10-9.

Second round:   Magomedov with a right.  Right by Copeland and a left.  Nice right by Copeland. Trading punches and then Magomedov with body kicks.  Another body kick by Magomedov.  Left by Copeland.  Kick to the face by Magomedov.  Right kick and Copeland is in trouble. Magomedov with kicks, knees and punches and Copeland landed a hard right to back him off.  Head kick by Magomedov.  Copeland bleeding from the left eye.  Another body kick by Magomedov.  Magomedov 20-18.

Third round: Body kick by Magomedov.  Body kick by Magomedov.  Head kick by Magomedov.  Hard right by Magomedov.  Copeland moved in and hurt Magomedov with a left.  Magomedov tied him up.  Copeland’s body is all bruised up from the kicks.  The ref ordered a separation.  Magomedov landing kicks. .  Magomedov took him down as Copeland charged at him.  Easily 30-27 for Magomedov.  No other score possible.

Scores: 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 for Magomedov.  There is no way Copeland won a round.

ISAAC VALLIE-FLAGG VS. MATT WIMAN, LIGHTWIEGHTS

First round: Vallie-Flagg pushed him into the fence.  Wiman turned vegetarian in his long layoff. Vallie-Flagg pushing him into the fence.  Both trading elbows in the clinch.  Vallie-Flagg landing punches.  Vallie-Flagg too strong for him.  Wiman with elbows at close range.  Vallie-Flagg with elbows.  Wiman got his back and working for a choke now.  Wiman now working for an armbar with 22 seconds left.  Wiman still working for an amrbar.  I had Wiman winning for the sub attempts at the end but could say it going the other way 10-9 Wiman.

Second round: Vallie-Flagg too strong.  He’s bulling him into the fence and controlling him.  Vallie-Flagg trying for a takedown but Wiman out.  Vallie-Flagg landing punches and elbows. Wiman back with punches.  Both guys landing.  Both trading elbows.  Wiman with more elbows. Uppercuts by Vallie-Flagg.  Wiman back.  Crowd really into this.  Takedown by Vallie-Flagg but Wiman got behind him and is working for a choke.  Wiman keeping back position.  Vallie-Flagg escaped.  Vallie-Flagg with good body punches and Wiman right back. Both trading elbows.  This is like a Japanese wrestling match.  Wiman 20-18 but again the round could easily go the other way.

Third round: They are back in the clinch.  Knee and punches by Wiman.  Vallie-Flagg landing punches.  Both trading blows.  Wiman working for a guillotine. Wiman is on his back with a body triangle.  Wiman is working for choke.  Wiman working for a choke.  Wiman won this round for sure, I’ve got 30-27 for him but 29-28 for Vallie-Flagg wouldn’t be a bad score.  Both men had words for each other when it was over.

Scores: 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 for Wiman

JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VS. DUSTIN ORTIZ. FLYWEIGHTS

First round: Ortiz looks like Little Bruiser.  Trading body kicks.  Benavidez in with punches.  Benavidez with punches.  Left by Benavidez.  Benavidez landing punches.  Benavidez landing a solid punch and body kick.  Ortiz with a body kick.  Benavidez moving in and landing.  Benavidez landing solidly.  Takedown by Benavidez late to clinch the round.  Benavidez 10-9.

Second round: Benavidez landing a punch and a head kick.  Punches and knees by Benavidez.  High kick by Benavidez.  Oritz landed a left.  Ortiz working for a takedown. Ortiz got him down but Benavidez right back up.  Benavidez cut under the right eye.  Hard left by Benavidez. Oritz put him down. Benavidez got his back.  Hard right by Benavidez.  Oritz bleeding form the right eye.  Oritz with a body shot.  Another body kick by Ortiz.  Benavidez slipping a few times.  Body kick by Benavidez.  Hard righr by Benavidez.  Benavidez seems tired.  Oritz landed a right.  Front kick by Ortiz.  Benavidez tried a takedown, but didn’t get it.  Right and left by Benavidez.  Hard left by Benavidez.  Benavidez spun behind him. 20-18 Benavidez.

Third round: Benavidez with a front headlock.  Now he’s behind Ortiz.  Right by Benavidez.  Benavidez with a right.  Left and right by Benavidez. Benavidez got behind him.  Ortiz got a takedown but Benavidez out immidately.  Body kick by Benavidez.   Hard right by Benavidez.  Spin kick by Benavidez.  Fans really liked this fight.  Benavidez 30-27.       

All three have it 30-27 for Benavidez

Benavidez really put over Ortiz for staying in there.

JARED ROSHOLT VS. ALEXEY OLIYNYK, HEAVYWEIGHTS

First round: Both trading big punches.  Rosholt really putting on a show.  Olynik back.  Rosholt landed big shots that would have taken other guys out.  Rosholt now wrestling him.  Rosholt now wrestling him.  Rosholt bleeding form the nose.  Knee by Rosholt.  Rosholt landing uppercuts and elbows.  He’ll throw a flurry and them wrestle him.  Oliynik back with punches and knocked Rosholt down and Oliynik finished him.  That was a turnaround.  Solid left hook to the ear was the finishing blow, Rosholt was down and his eyes were glassing. 3:21

CHICO CAMUS VS. BRAD PICKETT, FLYWEIGHTS

First round: Both out swinging.  Camus flying knee.  Both trading some more.; Pickett tried a slam, didn’t get it and Camus landed on his feet.  Camus starting to land.  Pickett landed punches and got a takedown.  Pickett landing punches and elbows from the top.  Camus bleeding.  Hard elbow by Pickett.  Camus back up.  Both guys are bleeding.  Camus landing the lefts.  Another flying knee by Camus.  Pickett couldn’t take him down.  Camus keeps landing the left.  Another left by Camus and a push kick.  Camus got a takedown.  Close round Camus 10-9.

Second round: Camus with an uppercut.  Camus keeps landing.  He’s too fast for Pickett.  Pickett picked him up but again Camus blocked it and landed on his feet.  Pickett missed a flying knee.  Camus landing punches.  Pickett with punches as well.  Takedown by Pickett.  Guillotine by Camus but Picket out of it.  Picket landed a right.  Good left by Pickett.  Another close round, I’ve got it 19-19.

Third round: Pickett working for a takedown but didn’t get it.  Left and right by Pickett. Pickett working for a takedown.  Camus blocked and moved away.  Camus landed a right and danced around.  Low kick by Pickett left by Camus.  Traded punches.  Font kick by Camus.  Right by Camus.  Spin kick by Pickett.  Left by Camus.  Pickett working for a takedown but Camus moved away.  Front kick by Camus.  Front kick by Pickett.  Right by Pickett after a left hook.  They traded at the end.  Very close round.  I think Pickett 29-28 but almost any score is possible.

Scores: 29-28 Camus 30-27 Pickett 29-28 Camus.  Some boos.

EDSON BARBOZA JR. VS. BOBBY GREEN, LIGHTWEIGHTS

First round: Body kick by Barboza.  Green threw him down but let him up.  Barboza landed a series of punches to the body.  Body kick by Barboza.  Green landed punches.  Another series of punches by Barboza.  Low kick by Barboza. Green taunting him but Barboza landing on him.  Barboza landing punches and a low kick.  Low kick by Barboza.  Body kick by Green.  Trading punches.  Barboza 10-9.

Second round: Head kick by Barboza.  Barboza continues to land.  Spin kick to the body.  Hard right by Barboza.  Spinning kick to the head knocked Green down.  Low kick by Barboza.  Low kicks by Barboza.  Barboza landing all kinds of shots.  Low kick by Barboza.  Flying knee by Green.  Barboza bleeding over the left eye.  Knee by Green.  Barboza 20-18.

Third round: Hard right by Barboza rocked Green.  Green missed a wild overhand.  Left by Green.  Body kick by Barboza.  Head kick by Barboza.  Right by Barboza.  Barboza bleeding fom the right eye.  Right and left by Barboza.  Both trading.  Barboza dancing away.  Hard kick by Barboza to the body.  Barboza 30-27.

Scores: All three have it 30-27 for Barboza.

FRANKIE EDGAR VS. CUB SWANSON, FEATHERWEIGHTS


First round: Swanson with a left hook.  Low kick by Swnason.  Edgar landed a few.  Edgar tried a takedown and didn’t get it.  Swanson smiled big at blocking the takedown. Edgar landed several punches.  Right by Swanson and Edgar back.  Swanson landed some good punches.  Edgar took him down.  Edgar with a hip toss takedown.  Edgar 10-9

Second round: Swanson landed a punch to the face and body.  Edgar back with big right and Swanson back.  Hard right by Edgar.  Edgar trying to force a takedown and finally got it.  Swanson bleeding from the left eye.  Edgar keeping him down.  Edgar landing elbows form the top now.  Now he’s landing punches.  Edgar clearly won this round and up 20-18.

Third round: Another takedown by Edgar.  Edgar pounding on him.  Edgar killing him with elbows from the top and has him bloodied up.  Edgar with knees to the body.  Edgar tried to get mount but Swanson got guard.  Edgar is continuing to pound on him.  Edgar continuing to land.  Edgar with more punches from the top.  10-8 round for Edgar so 30-26.

Fourth round:   Swanson landed hard lefts and rights.  Swanson landing more punches.  Edgar with another takedown.  Edgar staying on top.  Edgar staying on top with punches and elbows.  Swanson bleeding from the left eye.  Edgar pounding on him.  Edgar landing lots of punches.  This is about to be another 10-8 round.  Edgar moved to mount and just pounding.  Swanson gave up his back and Edgar continuing to punch.  Swanson up with 18 seconds left.  Edgar with a right.  10-8 round so 40-34.

Fifth round: Edgar with a combo followed by an uppercut.  Swanson blocked a takedown attempt.  Swanson’s right eye is closing.  Edgar took him down again.  Edgar working for a guillotine.  Edgar continuing to pound.  Edgar with a head and arm choke attempt.  Edgar gave it up and threw knees to the body.  Edgar has his back, Swanson turned.  Edgar just pounding him on the ground.  Edgar with hard elbows from the top and pounding the hell out of him.  Seriously if this round isn’t a 10-8 the judges should be tossed.  Edgar got the choke and Swanson tapped out with a four seconds left in the fight.  This was the latest finish in UFC history. 4:56

 

WWE Survivor Series news: Randy Orton in St. Louis, Sting rumors

Saturday, 22 November 2014 13:45

There was a report from Wrestling News that Randy Orton is in St. Louis at a restaurant, doing nothing to keep his presence there under wraps. They had earlier reported (complete with the boarding pass) that Orton took a 9 AM flight out of Albuqerque, where he is filming a  WWE movie, to DFW Airport, connecting to St. Louis.

The fact he is in St. Louis doesn't guarantee him being on the show, because he lives there and was visiting with his father today. However, he is in town right now.

The belief from a number of people is Sting will be at the show, but nobody was able to confirm that to us. PWInsider.com reported that story first as a definite that he would be at the show, and the timing makes sense for a number of reasons.

 

WWF Saturday Night's Main Event ep. 15 review: Wrestlemania 4 go-home with Hulk Hogan vs. Harley Race, Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase

Saturday, 22 November 2014 15:00

One Man Gang

By Josh Nason, WrestlingObserver.com

In our last weekly recap of everything WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event, Hulk Hogan lost the heavyweight title to Andre The Giant in double-Hebner fashion and Randy Savage finally decided to treat Elizabeth with some respect. Championship losses and respect for women were big in ‘88. Who knew?

One month later, we return to SNME proper where we begin to sort through the fallout from the controversial title change, and quiclky jump on the short road to an actually-referenced Wrestlemania IV.

If you’re new to these reviews, here’s the disclaimer: no star ratings, no snark, no deep evaluation of matches. These are the musings of a relatively lapsed fan with a great assignment: watching old SNMEs from his childhood on the WWE Network.

In what’s become a common occurrence, Randy Savage and Elizabeth opens up our show. Savage is set to face Ted DiBiase and says that tonight, “Macho talks...money walks, yeah!” Liz, as always, is nervous and pensive. We flip to DiBiase and Virgil, sporting lots of $100 bills. He’s says he’s brought fiscal responsibility to the World Wrestling Federation, and that what he brings to the ring tonight will be worth its weight in gold. Perhaps he should be in charge of the WWE Network.

We go to Brutus Beefcake who has been feverously jotting down haircutting references. He says "heads up!". Tonight, we’re on the “cutting edge of sports entertainment” and his match against Greg Valentine will be “a shear delight”. Oh boy.

Slick is with the SNME-debuting One Man Gang who has an Olympic update. Tonight, Ken Patera will do what all Olympians do best: lose! OMG (not a text, kids) simply says “Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!” and point to the camera for some reason.

Bobby Heenan is with “King” Harley Race and says in an exclusive that tonight, Hulk HOgan will be on his hands and knees. Race adds in a gravely voice, “Hogan, you will either bow...or break!” We flip to Hogan, sporting a taped fist. He says that Race will be crowned like never beforrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre!

The SNME open changes slightly with full screen highlights with no framing effect. It’s not a major change, but I noticed. So, take that.

Vince McMahon welcomes us to Nashville, TN, where “the Sons of Dixie are in for a hoedown!” Somewhere, Dixie Carter says she wants to starts a wrestling promotion. McMahon admits he’s from the South and Jesse Ventura checks his neck to verify that it’s red. As they reference the Hogan/Andre bout from The Main Event, someone in the background is sporting a ‘Shit Happens’ hat.

Shit Happens

As we see the Hogan/Andre finish, McMahon references that 35 million people watched the show. Ventura says that in wrestling, “we don’t use instant reply.” He insists that Hogan paid for plastic surgery for someone to look like Dave Hebner because he knew he would lose. Ventura then references that the issue will be resolved at Wrestlemania IV, one of the first times an impending PPV was actually referenced in SNME due to network regulations.

To the back and reigning SNME MVP “Mean” Gene Okerlund is with Greg Valentine who says he had to “carry that hot dog” Brutus in their tag team together. You see, Beefcake = meat references in promos. Jimmy Hart says that Valentine will “prove what a rump roast that Brutus really is.” Valentine says he’ll tenderize it with THE HAMMER. As they leave, Gene says, “He’s got his work cut out, pardon the pun, for him tonight.”

As the two make their way out, Gene is with Brother Bruti who drops about 43 hair-cutting references. We heard gems like “Got a little snippy, did they?”, “They can’t cut it in the ring”, “If you were sharp, you’d know that”, “don’t get that in a lather”, and “When it comes to wrestling, I have the edge”. Gene makes a pun and says the puns are getting to him. Ventura is wondering why Beefcake is so obsessed with hair as women are screeching for Beefcake.

Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (w/Jimmy Hart)

The irony about the hair cutting character is that Beefcake has a mullet. He is also wearing tights that show off quite a bit of leg.

WWF Saturday Night's Main Event

Beefer (as Gorilla Monsoon used to call him) corrals his former longtime partner into two atomic drops and Valentine’s selling is awesome. As they say, he’s got his working shoes on.

As Beefcake does a roll-through crotch first into the camera, Ventura says, “That’s a lot more of Brutus Beefcake than I want to see.” He wisely asks which Dave Hebner is reffing this match. I like that WWF let Hebner ref even though the issue of the double Hebners wasn’t fully resolved. Was it? Tweet me if I missed something.

Valentine locks on the figure four and does it by the ropes, grabbing them for an advantage and using the five count to further hurt Beefer. Smart move! The reigning Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man strolls out, grabs the mic and asks the people if this is the guy people think is going to take his title and cut his hair at Wrestlemania IV. That’s two mentions! Several refs escort him to the back as we go to break.

Beefcake calls for the sleeper and Valentine walks it to the outside to break up the hold. As Valentine climbs back in, Hart nails Beefcake from behind. Beefcake chases him through the ring and Valentine attacks. “The Hammer” hits a belly-to-back suplex and both guys’ shoulders are down. Beefcake gets his shoulder up right before the three count, and wins the match. The fans jump out of their seats and go crazy. Babyface!

As Valentine and Hart linger on the outside, Beefcake sneaks up and cuts a lock of Valentine’s hair. As Hart holds Valentine back, Beefcake sneaks outside and grabs his giant shears. Staring down a weapon that could kill him, Valentine wisely gets out of Dodge and Hart gets his jacket ripped off before escaping. Beefcake almost stabs Hebner as he spins around.

To the back and Gene is with Race and Heenan. Heenan is getting shit from Gene for helping set Andre’s title “win” over Hogan in motion. He says he will “shoulder that responsibility” and is the “force behind that” title change. He adds that Hogan will be on his hands and knees showing proper respect to “the true king of the World Wrestling Federation.” The profusely sweating Race says that, “All mortal men will bow to the King” as Heenan says Hogan will kiss Race’s feet. Your former NWA World Champion, ladies and gentlemen!

As the two do the walk, McMahon says Hogan’s “wrestling skills are superior to the King.” Really? There was a lot of discussion what kind of Hogan we’ll see tonight given that he’s no longer the champion. They really pushed that being without the title was a huge deal which was refreshing.

Gene is with Hogan who assures us “the big wheels of Hulkamania are turning away” and that he only bows to one man, “the big dude that walks on water.” He adds that “all the Weasel’s horses and men won’t be able to put the King back together agaaaaain. Raraararaahr!” As he does the walk, he has a different headband but his shirt is ripped as it was in the back.

Hulk Hogan vs. “King” Harley Race (w/Bobby Heenan)

Hogan runs Heenan off to the back. As he attacks Race before the bell, his music continues to play which was a thing that happened more and more at the time. Race lands a slew of headbutts, Hogan does a quick comeback, and as he rips the shirt off, the music stops.

We even get a Funk Spot!

Harley Race

Race’s hair is just tremendous. Hogan is all fired up and wants a piece of Heenan who is back. The two are just brawling all over the place, laying in fists, kicks, and a back body drop on the outside of the ring. Back in the ring, Hogan unravels his wrist tape and chokes Race. Joey Marella gives it a five count and Ventura is questioning who the ref it. He suddenly realizes it’s Marella and understands why Hogan is getting leniency. There was, what, three or four regular WWF refs? How is it possible Ventura wouldn’t immediately know who was reffing the match?

Race gets the advantage when Hogan goes after Heenan again, leading to the classic series of Race moves: headbutt, knee drop, belly to belly suplex, and piledriver. Race puts Hogan on a table on the outside and goes for a diving headbutt. Hogan moves and Race cracks the, ahem, “steel table” in half. ECW! ECW! ECW!

Harley Race

He shakes it off quickly and connects on a Benoit-esque top rope headbutt. He doesn’t go for the pin right away and we get The Hogan Comeback. Clothesline in the corner, another clothesline, legdrop, pin, done. Heenan puts on some brass knucks and hits Hogan from behind. he backs off and then lucha leaps over the top rope to escape. Ventura and McMahon keep referencing Wrestlemania without saying how he could get the title back.

(Side note: if you want a really good Hogan/Race match, check out this December '87 Texas Death Match from Madison Square Garden -- a match I distinctively remember from my childhood because of the stipulation. I don't think it's available on the Network yet.)

Gene is in the back with DiBiase and Wrestling Superstar Virgil. DiBiase says that Hogan’s in-ring posing isn’t quite the same without the belt. Gene says that DiBiase doesn’t have the belt either and Ted replies, “Politics, you pygmy. Politics.” A jacked Virgil stands stoically with a slew of hundred dollars bills fanned out. “There’s nothing more macho than a man with money, and I’ve got it all,’ DiBiase explains.

Vince’s voice gets soft as we go back to TME when Savage decided to start respecting Liz. To the back and Gene is with our newest feminist sans Liz. Savage says he’s going to “bounce you all over the WWF” and introduces something “worth its weight in gold, the bravest little manager in the world today, the platinum doll Elizabeth!”

As they do the walk, McMahon says that Liz is more beautiful than Brutus’ tights that Ventura was looking at earlier on. In a funny response, Ventura simply says, “What?”

“Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (w/Virgil)

In something teased by DiBiase, Andre The Giant emerges from the back. Ventura laughs as he knew but didn’t say a word. The thought of the heels backstage talking about nefarious plans makes me smile. As Virgil stalks Liz early, Savage comes out and slaps Virgil twice. The odd thing: Virgil doesn’t back down and keeps coming toward Savage, making him look small.

DiBiase is rolling early. Dave Hebner is our referee and McMahon makes mention that we know it’s him because he was fingerprinted. My God, what a segment that would have been. Savage lands a sit down clothesline and his the running ‘drape the throat over the top rope’ move which are simply classic. DiBiase does his classic head over heels bump spot. How many times can I say classic? A lot during this match. I also notice that DiBiase plays with his trunks a lot.

As the two battle on the outside, Andre looms and distracts Savage. Virgil forearm smashes Savage in the back, and Hebner sends Virgil to the back instead of a DQ. Fan friendly! Of course, as Savage is making a comeback, Hebner awkwardly steps in the way and DiBiase gets tossed into him. Klutz!

Much to the fans’ overwhelming delight, Savage hits the flying double axehandle on the outside and is rolling. Andre attacks with a headbutt to the back of Savage’s head, tosses him into the post, and is throttling him. Liz runs to the back which prompts Ventura to says she’s leaving his man. DiBiase shields the groggy Hebner from the attack. Fans are furious, pointing at Andre. Remember when people did that? DiBiase steps away, and Savage gets counted out. Virgil returns from exile, and holds Savage’s arms for some million dollar slaps to the face.

To no one’s surprise, Hogan charges from the back with a chair and everyone runs away. The alliance formed in October 1987 finally sprouted again. In a nice subtle touch, Savage has red trunks and yellow boots to Hogan’s yellow trunks and red knee pads. This was a fun match that was a great preview to what was to come.

Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage

Ventura heads to the back to interview Heenan and the SNME-debuting Islanders, leading to this awesome ridiculous image.

WWF Saturday Night's Main Event

Heenan says that the Islanders are animal lovers ("bees, bulldogs"), which prompts Tama to make a buzzing noise and Haku to bark. Ok then. Heenan references dancing bees or something along those lines. This was a wacky fun promo. As the Bees come out, Ventura says, “What a run to get back here”, adding that journalists go where the stories are. McMahon mocks him being out of breath and says he thought he was supposed to be an athlete too.

The Islanders (Haku/Tama) w/ Bobby Heenan vs. The Killer Bees (Jim Brunzell/B. Brian Blair)

Tama is rocking some very high waisted tights. Ventura says that he’s seen McMahon wear a few suits that look like the Islanders’ tights. McMahon replies, “You in high heels is something to behold”.  ‘seen you wear a few suits like that’ ‘you in high heels is something to behold.” The banter between these two was something else on this night.

Back to the match, Triple B gets the hot tag and has Tama rolled up for a visual pin. A very jacked up Brunzell ran in the ring to thwart Haku, and when the ref had his back turned, Haku hit a clothesline for the pin. This match wasn’t good.

Gene is with SNME MVP runner-up Slick and the text-friendly OMG. Slick says the U.S. Olympians are nothing but a bunch of losers and calls out Gene’s son as ‘that loser son of yours on that loser hockey team!” In a fun fact, he was referring to Todd Okerlund who was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic hockey team. Slick says that even though George Steinbrenner is being brought in to help the team, he’ll help them to 2nd place. OMG does the ‘Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!’ deal again.

Ventura references that Steinbrenner (“Daddy Big Bucks”) is a friend of his and that soon, you’ll see “The Body” in pinstripes.

Ken Patera vs. One Man Gang (w/Slick)

Jesus, this match was terrible. This was in the ultimate death spot and the amazingly awkward crowd sweetening didn’t help. Patera didn’t get a ring entrance and looked like a jacked up version of Richard Simmons. Both guys had ridiculous hairstyles, actually.

Ken Patera

Patera’s right arm is in a giant ugly brace, and OMG oddly yells a lot as he sells. After Patera dominated most of the match, OMG hit a clothesline off an Irish whip and essentially fell on Patera for the pin. Post-match, Patera threatens to slam Gang and Slick hits him with a cane to prevent it. Ugh.

Backstage, a laughing Hogan is with Gene. He says that his behavior is that of a “stark raving Hulkamaniac” and he can’t wait to face “the big, nasty giant” in the second round of the tournament, the first time the championship tourney is referenced. We close out with “Real American” over the footage of Hogan helping Savage post-match.

In a lot of ways, this was a great go-home for Mania IV. The last 15 minutes or so were really bad, but the first 45 minutes made up for it. Knowing what was to come, the Hogan/Savage deal was really well done. DiBiase was continuing his ascent into a major heel role while the undercard was continuing to form with fan favorite Beefcake. In all, thumbs up episode!

See you next Saturday for our post-Mania IV edition of SNME!

 

SAT. UPDATE: UFC & Metamoris previews, Montreal Screwjob is mainstream news, Jon Jones screws up again, weird CM Punk story, & more

Saturday, 22 November 2014 13:31

by David Bixenspan | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @davidbix

For those who haven't seen it yet, this week's Figure Four Weekly is FREE, so please check it out if you're not a subscriber and spread the word. We've got an in-depth look at WWE 2K15 for the Playstation 4, both reviewing the game and examining the historical context of where it fits into the the grand scheme of WWE games over the years, as well as notes on the Observer Hall of Fame results, international news, reviews, and much more.

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Metamoris on IPPV at Metamoris.com returns at 5 p.m. ET with possibly their most star-studded card to date:

Vinny Magalhaes vs. Matheus Diniz [The idea is they put a $10,000 "bounty" on Vinny to get a lesser-known BJJ player.]
Rory MacDonald vs. J.T. Torres 
Renzo Gracie vs. Kazushi Sakuraba

UFC has comes live from Austin, Texas with a Fight Night special on Fox Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.

7 p.m. ET prelims on UFC Fight Pass 
Doo Ho Choi vs. Juan Puig [Choi has some hype as the "next Korean Zombie" being a Korean featherweight action fighter]
Kailin Curran vs. Paige VanZant [Yes, the latest fight with non-TUF strawweights is, like most of the others so far, stuck on Fight Pass, even with the potential star power of these two. Did they forget they're trying to build a division?]
 
8 p.m. ET prelims on Fox Sports 1
Akbarh Arreola vs. Yves Edwards
Nick Hein vs. James Vick
Roger Narvaez vs. Luke Barnatt
Josh Copeland vs. Ruslan Magomedov [Copeland is the RFA Heavyweight Champion making his UFC debut.]
 
10 p.m. main card on Fox Sports 1
Isaac Vallie-Flagg vs. Matt Wiman [Wiman's first fight back in almost two years after a self-imposed layoff.]
Joseph Benavidez vs. Dustin Ortiz
Alexey Oliynyk vs. Jared Rosholt
Chico Camus vs. Brad Pickett [Camus's debut at flyweight.]
Edson Barboza Jr. vs. Bobby Green [Green is contemplating retirement, probably for reasons having to do with taking care of his family after two of his brothers were shot, one of them fatally. He's riding an eight fight win streak, split evenly between Strikeforce and the UFC.]
Cub Swanson vs. Frankie Edgar [Winner gets a title shot at Jose Aldo. In theory.]
 
This is the best Fox Sports 1 main card in a long time, with plenty of recognizable names, divisional relevance, and good action on paper. If you want a full breakdown, it doesn't get any better than Patrick Wyman's preview at Sherdog. Swanson vs. Edgar is a fantastic main event, Barboza-Green is an interesting test for both, Camus-Pickett could be a really fun scramble-heavy ground fight, Benavidez always has entertainingly skillful fights, and Wiman-Vallie-Flag matches up reliable action fighters. Only the Oliynyk-Rosholt matchup really has the potential to be a boring fight, as Rosholt has a tendency to use his wrestling to grind out boring decisions.
 
VanZant-Curran not being on TV, even if it wasn't on the main card, is so amazingly stupid it's shocking. It was bad when UFC put the first two non-TUF strawweight fights on Fight Pass prelims, but VanZant and Curran have a ton of star potential. Hell, they wanted VanZant (as well as Claudia Gadelha and Juliana Lima) to be on TUF until the legal drinking age (plus the weight cut and English proficiency, respectively) got in the way. Why are you burying them on Fight Pass? 
 
****
 
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****
 
One of our two biggest issues of the year, the 2014 Hall of Fame issue, is now out.  We've got a complete story on this year's voting process, who is in, the voting process, next year's ballot information, a feature on one of the inductees, and how the different candidates did with every major voting group are all part of the story.  You'll see who voted for who and who didn't.  We also look at TNA's new television deal, how the Bellator show Saturday changed the MMA landscape, Survivor Series coverage, UFC's 2015 plans, the WWN tour of China, House of Hardcore and a new promotion forming that is completely different from anything we've seen to date.
 
The new issue is up on the site at http://www.f4wonline.com/component/content/article/110-wrestling-observer-newsletter/39986-nov-24-2014-wrestling-observer-newsletter-annual-hall-of-fame-issue-plus-tons-of-news-from-all-over-the-world-including-mma-triple-header-saturday
 
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The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
 
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We also look at Survivor Series and its ramifications.
 
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We also have a story about a new promotion in Japan, the heavy hitters behind it, the crazy rules employed, they those rules are in place, first show and long-term plans.
 
The Observer is the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
 
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
 
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--CMLL's big year end show notes
 
--New promotion in Mexico using big names as well as names from the U.S.
 
--Big angles leading to major matches in Mexico
 
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--Dragon Gate's big show of the week
 
--Why Alberto Del Rio bladed for the first time in his career
 
--Hall of Famer turning heel
 
--All Japan tag tourney opens
 
--Booking a team to win tag team of the year
 
--Update on New Japan Tokyo Dome show
 
--What Okada has said about the Tokyo Dome main event
 
--What numbers on U.S. PPV does the Tokyo Dome show need
 
--Marketing the Tokyo Dome show in the U.S.
 
--A new wrestling magazine being published
 
--Legendary fighters coming to pro wrestling event on New Year's Eve.
 
--What pro wrestling promotion is trying to sign one of UFC's top fighters
 
--Lots of successful indie events
 
--NWA shakeup
 
--Nostalgia show featuring the biggest names in Carolinas history
 
--The end of the NWA's version of Wrestling at the Chase
 
--Why wrestlers are being signed to contracts in Germany
 
--wXw major events coming
 
--TV announcer quits promotion he's worked at for many years
 
--New promotion debuting this week
 
--Mick Foley Christmas album
 
--Lucha Underground ratings update
 
--ROH contract notes
 
--Updated Final Battle card
 
--This weeks' UFC show
 
--Lots of new UFC fights
 
--Update on Georges St-Pierre
 
--Nick Diaz says Montreal doesn't drug test
 
--This week's crazy Diaz story
 
--Tim Kennedy future
 
--A look at the first three Bellator shows of next year
 
--What major network is looking into launching an MMA group
 
--One of the most exciting fighters says he's retired
 
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.
 
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories 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:
 
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
 
*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)
 
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
 
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)a
 
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
 
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
 
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
 
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our history)
 
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
 
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
 
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
 
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
 
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
 
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
 
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
 
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
 
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
 
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
 
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
 
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
 
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
 
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
 
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
 
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
 
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
 
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
 
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
 
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
 
*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)
 
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You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
 
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., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
 
****

Saturday News Update


-- In case you skipped past the top section with the show previews: For those who haven't seen it yet, this week's Figure Four Weekly is FREE, so please check it out if you're not a subscriber and spread the word. We've got an in-depth look at WWE 2K15 for the Playstation 4, both reviewing the game and examining the historical context of where it fits into the the grand scheme of WWE games over the years, as well as notes on the Observer Hall of Fame results, international news, reviews, and much more.

If you've never read the newsletter before, or haven't in a long time, now's a great time to check it out. If you're not a subscriber, remember that a subscription gets you three newsletters a week (Figure Four plus two issues of the Wrestling Observer with one new and one classic), tons of audio content, and extensive archives of all of the above. Click here to subscribe.

-- If there was any concern about WWE holding a PPV in St. Louis this weekend, it looks like the grand jury decision regarding Officer Darren Wilson's shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri won't come in until Monday or Tuesday.
 
-- Sports Illustrated interviewed Bret Hart about the Montreal screwjob for some reason. I guess since Bret punching Vince isn’t necessarily well-known to non-hardcores, the New York Post website picked up News.com.au’s article about the punch has a big story. So we should expect Montreal talk to heat up again...
 
-- TMZ asked Jon Jones for his thoughts on Bill Cosby. He proceeded to crack jokes about how Bill Cosby has no need to rape anyone. It's fascinating that Jones is clearly aware he needs to put on a facade in public because his real personality isn't the one he wants to sell, yet he constantly loses all control of said facade.
 
-- Fascinating interview with Alternative Press Music Awards co-founder Josh Bernstein here. Essentially, he booked CM Punk to host their show before he left WWE, and the show was just a few days after Punk's contract was up, so the circumstances meant he couldn't announce it until a few days before the show. Somehow, people thought this meant they could use him to get to Punk, and that's where it gets weird.
 
-- Lance Storm reviews the first WWF In Your House PPV here.
 
-- Today in title change history from Brian Hoops (my notes in brackets):
 
1922 - Billy Meeske defeated Joe Bailey in a tournament final to win the vacant Australian Heavyweight Title in Melbourne, Australia. 
 
1950 - Baron Michele Leone defeated Enrique Torres in Los Angeles, California to become recognized World Heavyweight Champion in Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest
 
1954 - Lord James Blears & Joe Pazanadak defeated Gene Kiniski and John Tolos for the NWA International Television Tag Team Title in Los Angeles, California.
 
1955 - Rikidozan defeated King Kong in a tournament final to become the first All Asia Heavyweight Champion in Tokyo, Japan. 
 
1960 - George Eakin won the Madison Wrestling Club Heavyweight Title from Bob Brown in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
 
1961 - Lord James Blears & Neff Maivia won the NWA Hawaii Tag Team Title by defeating Shoulders Newman and Ted Travis in Honolulu, Hawaii.
 
1962 - The Fabulous Kangaroos (Al Costello & Roy Heffernan) defeated Tony Baillargeon & Maurice Lapoine for the Florida version of the NWA World Tag Team Title in Jacksonville, Florida.
 
1963 - Billy Hines defeated Mickey Sharpe to win the NWA Gulf Coast Heavyweight Title in Mobile, Alabama.
 
1968 - The Assassins (Tom Renesto & Jody Hamilton) defeated Ramon & Alberto Torres for the NWA Georgia Tag Team Title in Atlanta, Georgia
 
1968 - Rocket & Flash Monroe defeated Don Carson & Dick Dunn to win the NWA Gulf Coast Tag Team Title in Dothan, Alabama.
 
1969 - Joe Scarpa (Chief Jay Strongbow) defeated Assassin #2 (Tom Renesto) in a tournament final in Atlanta, Georgia to become the first NWA Georgia Television Champion.
 
1972 - Bob Kelly won the NWA Gulf Coast Heavyweight Championship by defeating The Wrestling Pro in Mobile, Alabama.
 
1972 - Rocket & Flash Monroe defeated Rip Tyler & Eddie Sullivan to win the Gulf Coast version of the NWA United States Tag Team Title in Mobile, Alabama
 
1974 - Pampero Firpo defeated John Tolos for the NWA Americas Heavyweight Title in Los Angeles, California. 
 
1976 - "Superstar" Billy Graham defeated Dusty Rhodes for the NWA Florida Heavyweight Title in West Palm Beach, Florida
 
1978 - Mando Guerrero defeated Larry Sharpe for the NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Title in Honolulu, Hawaii.
 
1979 - Tojo Yamamoto, Bobby Eaton & Secret Weapon defeated George Gulas, Ken Lucas & Joey Rossi for the NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Title in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
 
1979 - The Avenger defeated The Turk to win the NWA Central States Heavyweight Title in Kansas City, Kansas.
 
1980 - Judy Martin defeated Princess Little Heart for the NWA United States Women's Title in Atlanta, Georgia.
 
1982 - Kevin Sullivan defeated Dusty Rhodes for the Florida version of the NWA Southern Heavyweight Title in West Palm Beach, Florida
 
1984 - Jimmy Golden defeated Austin Idol for the NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Title in Birmingham, Alabama. [One of my favorite promos ever is one that Idol cut during this feud. Go watch it right now.]
 
1984 - Invaders I & III win the vacant WWC Tag Team Title by defeating Super Medico I & Black Gordman in Bayamn, Puerto Rico. 
 
1987 - The Midnight Rockers (Marty Janetty & Shawn Michaels) defeated The Rock 'n' Roll RPMs (Mike Davis & Tommy Lane) to win the AWA Southern Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee [The Rockers also feuded w/ the Rock & Roll Express during this run.]
 
1989 - Big Van Vader defeated Canek for the Universal Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico.
 
1991 - John Tatum & Rod Price defeated Steve Simpson in a handicap match to win the Global Wrestling Federation Tag Team Title in Dallas, Texas. [Chris Walker had been Simpson's partner, and I believe this is how he left the promotion. While they still had some outside talent, this is when the balance started to shift more towards Global relying on local talent.]
 
1992 - Ultimo Dragon defeated El Samurai for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title in Tokyo, Japan. On the same card, Scott Norton & Tony Halme (later known as Ludvig Borga in the WWF) defeated The Steiner Brothers to win the the IWGP World Tag Team Title. [Ultimo was the first outsider to win the title.]
 
1992 - Jeff Jarrett won a Battle Royal for the USWA Unified Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee, pinning Jerry Lawler to win the belt.
 
1993 - Buddy Landell defeated Jeff Jarrett for the USWA Southern Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee
 
1995 - Tex Slazenger defeated Brian Christopher for the vacant USWA Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee.
 
1998 - At WCW's World War III PPV in Auburn Hills, Michigan Billy Kidman defeated Juventud Guerrera to win the WCW Cruiserweight Title [If I'm remembering it right, they had an off night and this was the worst match of their feud by far.]
 
1999 -  In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Creative Control (Patrick & Gerald [The Harris Brothers]) defeated The Filthy Animals (Konnan and Billy Kidman) to win the WCW World Tag Team Title
 
2003 - Raven defeated Justin Credible for the 3PW Heavyweight Title in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [This was Blue Meanie's promotion.]
 
2010 - The Miz captured the WWE championship after cashing in his Money in the Bank contract and defeating Randy Orton [Four years later it seems amazing this ever happened.]
 

2014 Hall of Fame results, Who is in, how the balloting went, Fallout of big Bellator show, TNA new TV deal, Survivor Series update, Crazy new promotion to debut

Saturday, 22 November 2014 10:10

One of our two biggest issues of the year, the 2014 Hall of Fame issue, is now out.  We've got a complete story on this year's voting process, who is in, the voting process, next year's ballot information, a feature on one of the inductees, and how the different candidates did with every major voting group are all part of the story.  You'll see who voted for who and who didn't.  We also look at TNA's new television deal, how the Bellator show Saturday changed the MMA landscape, Survivor Series coverage, UFC's 2015 plans, the WWN tour of China, House of Hardcore and a new promotion forming that is completely different from anything we've seen to date.

 
The new issue is up on the site at http://www.f4wonline.com/component/content/article/110-wrestling-observer-newsletter/39986-nov-24-2014-wrestling-observer-newsletter-annual-hall-of-fame-issue-plus-tons-of-news-from-all-over-the-world-including-mma-triple-header-saturday
 
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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
 
The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
 
We've got a look at how every wrestler fared on the Hall of Fame ballot from Historians, Current Wrestlers, Former Wrestlers and Reporters.  We also look at those who didn't get in but came close, why.  We looked at those with double digit increases and decreases.
 
We look at the TNA TV deal with Destination America.  We look at time slot, TV tapings, programming, who is no longer under contract that were top stars with the promotion, whey Spike dropped them, what type of audience they can be expected to get, house shows and taping sites as well as where to get Destination America.
 
We look at what was and wasn't real about Tito Ortiz, Stephan Bonnar and Justin McCulley, the ratings, what the ratings said, why it set records, what things out of the pro wrestling playbook were employed on the show next major show plans, who is Aaron Pico and all the match-by-match info.
       
We also look at Survivor Series and its ramifications.
 
We look at what sounds like crazy WWE business projections, who does and doesn't draw on the WWE network, password sharing, the future of Lesnar, how three groups are after him, WrestleMania ticket sales, WrestleMania party, thoughts on TLC main event, WWE week on USA, details on Tribute to the Troops, Firing of Great Khali, return of a former champion, lots of injury updates and returns, WWE movie news, why WrestleMania will be an emotional event to some, Randy Savage Hall of Fame notes, weekend developmental news, notes on a sports star who stared wrestling for WWE, and business notes and highlights of the WWE's European tour events.
 
We look at the 2015 UFC schedule, both the main events announced so far and all the scheduled dates.  We look at the media event, when we'll find out if it's the weak main events that have hurt PPV numbers,  we look at Conor McGregor and the goals of Jon Jones.
 
We've got full coverage of Saturday's Bellator show, how the head-to-head played out on TV, the UFC in Mexico, Mark Hunt, business notes and full coverage.
 
We look at the WWN tour of China, what the fans thought, how they reacted and title changes.
 
We also look at Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore show at the Arena in Philadelphia.
 
We also have a story about a new promotion in Japan, the heavy hitters behind it, the crazy rules employed, they those rules are in place, first show and long-term plans.
 
The Observer is the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
 
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--CMLL's big year end show notes
 
--New promotion in Mexico using big names as well as names from the U.S.
 
--Big angles leading to major matches in Mexico
 
--A look at the AAA TV tapings and build for Guerra de Titanes
 
--Dragon Gate's big show of the week
 
--Why Alberto Del Rio bladed for the first time in his career
 
--Hall of Famer turning heel
 
--All Japan tag tourney opens
 
--Booking a team to win tag team of the year
 
--Update on New Japan Tokyo Dome show
 
--What Okada has said about the Tokyo Dome main event
 
--What numbers on U.S. PPV does the Tokyo Dome show need
 
--Marketing the Tokyo Dome show in the U.S.
 
--A new wrestling magazine being published
 
--Legendary fighters coming to pro wrestling event on New Year's Eve.
 
--What pro wrestling promotion is trying to sign one of UFC's top fighters
 
--Lots of successful indie events
 
--NWA shakeup
 
--Nostalgia show featuring the biggest names in Carolinas history
 
--The end of the NWA's version of Wrestling at the Chase
 
--Why wrestlers are being signed to contracts in Germany
 
--wXw major events coming
 
--TV announcer quits promotion he's worked at for many years
 
--New promotion debuting this week
 
--Mick Foley Christmas album
 
--Lucha Underground ratings update
 
--ROH contract notes
 
--Updated Final Battle card
 
--This weeks' UFC show
 
--Lots of new UFC fights
 
--Update on Georges St-Pierre
 
--Nick Diaz says Montreal doesn't drug test
 
--This week's crazy Diaz story
 
--Tim Kennedy future
 
--A look at the first three Bellator shows of next year
 
--What major network is looking into launching an MMA group
 
--One of the most exciting fighters says he's retired

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.
 
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories 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:
 
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)

*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)

*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)

*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)a

*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)

*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)

*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)

*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our history)

*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)

*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)

*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)

*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)

*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)

*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)

*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)

*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)

*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)

*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)

*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)

*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)

*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)

*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)

*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)

*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)

*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)

*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)

*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)

*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)

*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)

*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)

*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)

*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)

*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)

*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)

*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 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)

*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)

*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)

* 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)

You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.

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., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
 
 

Major injury in New Japan tag tournament may put one of the favorites out

Saturday, 22 November 2014 10:03

Yoshitatsu suffered what was reported as a neck injury at today's opening day of the New Japan World Tag League event.  More details to come but that looks to eliminate the Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yoshitatsu team from the tournament.

The injury likely took place two weeks ago when Yoshitatsu took the Styles Clash wrong, although he claimed he was fine after that match.

 

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