THURS. UPDATE: WWE finances, Fedor, Vince talks Rock future with WWE, and UFC, plus new TVs s



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        Tonight is the go-home show for Hardcore Justice which takes place on Sunday:
*Miss Tessmacher vs. Madison Rayne
*A.J. Styles vs. Devon in a Bound for Glory challenge
*Samoa Joe vs. Pope in a Bound for Glory challenge
*James Storm vs. Hernandez in a street fight
*RVD & Crimson vs. Gunner & Scott Steiner in a Bound for Glory challenge
 
        Superstars tonight:
Vladimir Kozlov vs. Primo
Chris Masters vs. Jack Swagger
Pat Silva (who is not the love child of Pat Patterson and Anderson Silva) vs. Brodus Clay
Kaitlyn vs. Alicia Fox
 
        The big question about the long-term future of Strikeforce and why UFC is now going to have to address the issue very shortly is one of the lead stories in one of two issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter out this week.

        We look at the future of both Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson coming off their big fight, the contract situation, and what decisions about their future need to be made.  We also look at the show, the business of the show, the marketability of both men, as well as whether it was a success or failure in the first major women's MMA title fight under the Zuffa banner.  We also look at the figure direction of Strikeforce fights coming off the show, the championship situation, as well as have comments from Emelianenko about his future, and Emelianenko, Herb Dean and Henderson about the stoppage.

        We also have match-by-match coverage and poll results from the show.

        Both issues are now up for web site subscribers.  You can get a mail subscription to the Observer with information below.  The Observer has the most detailed coverage of pro wrestling around the world, as well as insider UFC coverage not available anywhere else.  We have about 14 new newsletters each month, usually six Observers, four or five Figure Four Weeklies and four or five back issues of the Observer each week.
 
        We also have more on the fallout of the Zuffa/Golden Glory impasse and the victims, both innocent and other, in the crossfire.
 
        We also have a historical piece on the NWA world heavyweight championship and the 60:00 draw.  We look at the wrestlers who were in the most 60 minute world title matches during their career and also look at the few 90 minute matches.
 
        We also have a rundown of AAA's No. 2 event of the year, Verano de Escandalo, with business notes, match-by-match coverage and how the TNA stars like Jeff & Karen Jarrett, Samoa Joe, Abyss and Mickie James performed, as well as a major return, the future of Jarrett's title run and the booking.

        We also have an update on how WWE's Capitol Punishment did on PPV, as well as major numbers changes in the reporting of two recent shows.  What did the experiment of putting R-Truth in a PPV main event deliver, how it compared with last year and what are now the four lowest bought shows in North America of the modern era.

        We also have an update on the G-1 Climax tournament, update Hardcore Justice, more on the Bound for Glory series as well as a couple of wrestling weddings.

        We also look at Dana White's comments to Sports Illustrated about the current state of UFC, his role in Strikeforce, what he says about declining ratings and PPV numbers as well a twitter vs. Internet.

        We also have notes on Brock Lesnar's WWE non-wrestling deal, WWE DVD sales and WWE sub site traffic.

        We also look at how well the term sports entertainment has been picked up by the public and why it only makes talent look bad when they use the term.

        We also look at Jeremiah Riggs' talking about not making it to FCW.

        We also have an update on SummerSlam, another reason why The Rock will be at Survivor Series, an update on Mick Foley in WWE, will Foley wrestle again, more on Sin Cara, an update on the stealing stuff from the Smackdown wrestlers bags when they were in South Africa, the next UFC vs WWE head-to-head battle, C.M. Punk talking about why he changed his mind, his thoughts on the reaction to the angle, ratings, and why his reaction to telling people to wait until the story plays out doesn't work in today's environment.  We also look at the major problems in writing, the last super successful title feud and how it was nearly destroyed, and the time even Steve Austin couldn't prevent ridiculous booking from ruining a potential money feud.  Punk also talks about what kind of match he doesn't ever want to do again, and who his favorite performer is.

        We also have notes on a future WWE title change, as well as this week's talk about bringing back an old pr wrestling role, as well as an update on Undertaker and SummerSlam ticket notes.

        We also have more on the health of John Morrison and why he came back, as well as Morrison talks last year's WrestleMania and Trish Stratus, what WWE star is expecting, as well as business notes from the past week in WWE and highlights of all the house shows.

        We also look at the problems between UFC and Golden Glory and why what happened this past week with the releasing of Alistair Overeem and Marloes Coenen took place.

        We also have our annual TNA roster directory, with the list of all performers in the company real names, age, years pro and sports and entertainment backgrounds. 

        We also have a look back at the beginnings of Wrestling Observer Live, how Bryan got involved with the show, and how pro wrestling changed in 2001 in ways that even a decade later it has never even come close to recovering from.  We look at the deaths of WCW and ECW, why Wrestling Observer Live didn't last on regular radio at first, and what saved it.

          We also have our usual weekly features including ratings for all the major national shows, broken down the segment-by-segment for both Raw and Impact, showing which segments gained and lost viewers and evaluated their performance from an audience level.
 
         We also have results from all the major league pro wrestling and MMA events over the past week, as well as reviews of all the major television shows.   
 
           The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
 
         Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sites and has the most complete look at the business as a whole anywhere.  The Observer is now in its 29th 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.
 
         Also in this week's issues:

--Big title rematch

--Wrestler mad that a promotion he isn't with used his family name and trademark for a tournament

--Hair match draws near sellout

--U.S. promotion looking like it will drop PPV

--A look at this past week's All Japan big show

--Wrestler turns politician returns to the ring next week

--Weight lifter set for pro wrestling debut

--Notes on a new junior heavyweight tournament

--Kenta Kobashi's next match back

--Jr. heavyweight tag team tournament notes

--Son-in-law of arguably the most influential wrestler in history is linked to national steroid scandal

--Nine-year-old in popular youtube wrestling match

--Lots of notes on the Devon Nicholson lawsuit against Abdullah the Butcher

--More on Nicholson's background

--Butcher responds to the charges

--Update on Abdullah's health

--Chris Jericho goes into business with baseball and football star

--The biggest legends show in history talked about

--Notes behind Adam Pearce winning the NWA title again

--A look back at when one of WWF's biggest stars refused to work in certain cities and why

--What wrestler lost his job in WWF due to loyalty to another promoter

--Urban Wrestling Federation next PPV

--Rock star starts wrestling company

--Hall of Famer scheduled for first U.S. tour in 16 years

--Update on big CHIKARA show

--Fit Finlay does indie tournament

--Update on Hurricane Helms

--Death of Judy Sowinski

--Note on criminal charges against former WWE star

--Notes on ROH's first TV taping of the Sinclair era

--Bellator's middleweight tournament

--Major promotion sold, but does it have a future?

--Update on Brett Rogers after his recent arrest

--High level wrestlers going into MMA

--Athletic commission tries to kill MMA in his state

--What state is it currently a criminal offense to attend an MMA show

--Something in another sport causing officials to talk about banning MMA in one of its hotbeds

--TNA stars in movie

--TNA star wants to open new business

--Notes on TNA house shows and business

--Thoughts on upcoming UFC show

--UFC star gets two major league sponsors

--Cris Cyborg update

--Olympic silver medalist signs with Zuffa

--Movie planned on the life of UFC star

--Lots of new UFC matches

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--WWE took in $142.6 million in revenue and finished with a $14.3 million profit for the second quarter, which included WrestleMania.  Of that, $11.4 million of the profit was WrestleMania, which is great when it comes to Mania, but when you think about it, that really says something about how the rest of the quarter did with a $2.9 million profit compared to last year, without Mania, being $6.3 million.
 
--Worldwide PPV numbers, updated, are 1,059,000 for WrestleMania (third biggest in history trailing only 2007 and 2005 although with more international homes now, that's a misleading comparison), 209,000 for Extreme Rules, 140,000 for Over the Limit and 170,000 for Capitol Punishment.  He also estimated Money in the Bank being up 20% from last year, which would be 197,000 buys.  That has to be a huge disappointment if you think about it, although I guess you can spin it differently.  He tried to use MITB being up as the beginning of the trend in a PPV turnaround, but anyone who follows the product can tell you that whatever up MITB was, was due to a unique onetime circumstance of the main event, and not indicative of the product overall.  We'll have a lot more on this in the next Observer.          
 
--Dana White today said that Rashad Evans gets the next light heavyweight title match with a win over Tito Ortiz on Saturday.  If Ortiz wins, he's not guaranteed the same thing, but would be in the mix.
 
--M-1 Global noted that even though Fedor Emelianenko's contract with Strikeforce is not being renewed, he still has a contract with Showtime.  In theory, he could appear on the M-1 shows on Showtime, but M-1 hasn't proven to be able to promote well and I don't see unless Showtime itself wants to kick in seven figures for rights fees, that it would be cost effective for anyone unless you pay him a lot less and give him handpicked opponents, and hope just Fedor alone with no opponent or undercard will increase the 0.5 base to double that figure.
 
--White when asked about the cutting of the Golden Glory fighters, that they weren't going to pay the management the fees instead of paying to the fighters directly.
 
--Vince McMahon said Rock has agreed to do multiple PPV appearances.  He said UFC fell "flat on their butts" in negotiations to start a new network with NBC.  He also pushed the idea of NXT and Superstars being back on U.S. television this year.  Vince admitted a financial failure in "That's What I  Am," the Randy Orton movie that got by far the best reviews of any WWE project to date (an estimated $3.3 million in losses on the movie)i.  He said that it was a great movie, but it wasn't a movie that their audience wanted to see.  I think I wrote that a few weeks before that movie came out.  He said the next step in the movie business is to lower the budgets for new releases.  Not good.  Vince said that business was about to take off.  He also said that before SummerSlam last year.  He said all indicators are up, even though ratings are essentially the same, house shows are down slightly and PPV is hit and miss.
 
--He said they were in talks about doing a one-hour show at 8 p.m. on Monday nights.  It would likely be something similar to TNA's short-lived Reaction, except it would be Preaction.
 
--He pushed the new network hard, saying they were 12-18 months away from launching it.
 
--Mick Foley said on twitter that he's considering doing ABC's Wife Swap TV series and was asking for feedback.  Hopefully he's doing that as a tongue in cheek joke.
 
--Who do you expect to win this fight?
Vitor Belfort 53.6%
Yoshihiro Akiyama 46.4%
 
--What are your thoughts on Michael Cole as an announcer?
He needs to be replaced because they've damaged his character and he can't perform the job of a lead announcer effectively because of it 41.7%
He was never good to begin with, so shouldn't be there 36.4%
He can stay but needs to change from this character 14.0%
He's fine the way things are 7.9%
 
--What is the real main event at Hardcore Justice?
Kurt Angle vs. Sting 74.2%
Aries vs. Kendrick vs. Shelley 15.8%
RVD vs. Crimson 3.2%
Fortune vs. Immortal 2.9%
Beer Money vs. Mexican America 2.5%
Mr. Anderson vs. Bully ray 1.4%
 
--This weekend what are your predictions on UFC vs. TNA buys
UFC will do more than 65 times as many 29.0%
UFC will do 35-45 times as many 24.8%
UFC will do 25-35 times as many 16.4%
UFC will do 45-55 times as many 12.6%
UFC will do 15-25 times as many 9.8%
UFC will do less than 15 times as many 3.7%
UFC will do 55-56 times as many 3.7%
 
--Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling podcast talks to Johnny Saint at http://www.welovecolt.com
 
--Alex Marvez talks to Bruce Prichard about TNA at http://www.scrippsnews.co/node/63305      
 
--There is a combined Raw & Smackdown supershow on 10/22 in Corpus Christi.  Tickets go on sale 8/27.
 
--ROH will be doing its second TV taping for its new series on 10/1 in Louisville at the Danny Davis Arena.
 
--TNA and Circle K convenience stores have made a deal for August for an Impact tag team combo of a hot dog, chips and a drink, as well as register for a trip to Philadelphia to see Bound for Glory.  
 
--Very sad to report the death of the mother of longtime Memphis area promoter and manager Randy Hales, who was 89, and passed away yesterday.
 
--Even more bad news.  Longtime promoter/wrestler as well as longtime correspondent James Haase, better known at J.T. Lightning, is in hospice care due to his long battle with cancer.  He's in his early 40s.  He's promoted Cleveland All Pro Wrestling since 1993 and has three children.  He's been fighting this for a couple of years and no matter how much pain he's been in, he's continued to stay abreast of the business and continued to run shows.
 
--UFC announced today a two-year TV deal with Fox Sports Latin America.  This gives Fox Sports the distribution rights to UFC content in 18 countries, which is most of Latin America, except Brazil, where UFC already ha a deal.  Fox Sports Latin America will air 24 events per year, as well as a syndicated show UFC Guerreros.  Hey, I hear Chavo is looking for a job.
 
--Some notes from Mattel.  They are offering a Rockers legend two pack in 2012, after which, six more legends figures will be released next year.  The second release will be of Andre the Giant. The remaining five will be chosen via poll at mattycollector.com, with the choices being Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, Crush, DDP, Doink the Clown, Don Muraco, Faarooq, Jimmy Snuka, Junkyard Dog, King Kong Bundy, Magnum T.A., Ted DiBiase, Elizabeth, One Man Gang, Savio Vega, Tito Santana and Tully Blanchard.
 
--Ghostrade Partners announced a new social commerce network and has hired Frank Shamrock at spokesperson and Vice President of Marketing.  It will enable consumers and companies all over the world to donate and recycle technology items like unused cell phones, gaming units and computers.
 
--Mickie James will be recording a new album and is asking fans to donate to fund the project in return for various prizes, including a thank you on he album sleeve, a personalized video and even an Executive Producer credit.  A big enough donation and James will come to your home and perform and 30 minute set.  You can also get a role in her music video.  Anyway, it's at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/144468367/mickie-james-is-making-a-new-record
 
--For those hoping Marloes Coenen quits Golden Glory and signs again with Strikeforce, she wrote, "Golden Glory is more than a fight team; we're a family.  We are in this together and now I know the fans have joined us."
 
--When asked about Dan Henderson coming to UFC, Dana White said today, "We'll see what happens.  Hendo and  have had some history in dealings. We'll see if we can figure something out, and get him back in the UFC." 
 
--The revival of Pro Elite on 8/27 in Honolulu announced this lineup:
*Andrei Arlovski vs. Ray Lopez
*Kendall Grove vs. Joe Riggs
*Kala Kolohe Hose vs. Drew McFedries
*Reagan Penn (B.J.'s younger brother) vs. Paul Gardner
*Mark Ellis (2010 NCAA heavyweight champion) vs. Jake Heun (football player at U of Hawaii)
*Sara McMann (2004 Olympic silver medalist) vs. Raquel Pa'aluhi
 
--Fuel TV announced a new shot called "Punk Payback" that will star Bas Rutten that debuts on 11/2.  Rutten will give tips to people on how to avoid bad situations, or how to react under pressure to bad situations.  I don't know that if a tough guy comes up to you, and you think what would Bas do, and the answer is, he'd beat the hell out of them, works for every day people.
 
--Former wrestler/MMA fighter Daniel Puder is promoting a health and fitness expo on 8/13 at The Grove retail and entertainment complex in Los Angeles from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  It's called the Shape Up America campaign.
 
--TNA has put up a bunch of C.M. Punk matches on www.tnaondemand.com
 
--Yesterday was the 14 year anniversary of the 1997 SummerSlam where Owen Hart destroyed Steve Austin's neck and nearly ended his career with a sit out piledriver, and where Bret Hart beat Undertaker to win his final WWF title when Shawn Michaels hit Undertaker with a chair and turned heel, leading to something or other.  (thanks to Jeremy Rinehart)
 
--WWE was used in Jeopardy last night.  The question was, "The name of this WWE show is slang for a decisive defeat."  The answer is Smackdown.  What were you thinking, Vintage Collection or Xplosion? (thanks to Grant Zwarych)
 
--There will be a Randy Savage Memorial Show endorsed by Lanny Poffo and promoted by  Devon Nicholson on 9/3 in Hawkesbury, ONT a the Robert Hartley Arena.  Wasn't that the character Bob Newhart played on his TV show?   I can't wait to see wrestling shows at the Ted Baxter Memorial Gym.  Anyway, Lanny Poffo faces Greg Valentine, Jay Lethal vs. Sexxxy Eddy and Devon Nicholson vs. Nathan Banner have been announced.
 
--Squared Circle Training is putting together an 8-12 woman class that will be taught by Taylor Wilde at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   They are also doing the same contest that Adam Copeland (Edge) won 20 or so years ago.  Starting on 8/5, they will be accepting essays via e-mail asking why you think you will make it in pro wrestling.  Include a photo.  They will be judged on 9/2 and the top ten will be sent to Copeland who will pick the winner, who will get free lifetime training at the Squared Circle Training facility.  Copeland will be on hand to present the scholarship to the winner.
 
--3XW Wrestling on 8/26 in Des Moines at the Forte Ballroom with the third annual King of Des Moines tournament.
 
--Adam Pearce defends the NWA title on 8/20 in Brownsvlle, TX for the debut of NWA World Class Championship Wrestling.  There will be a Battle Royal and Pearce will face the winner.  Willie Hamilton, a former member of the Dallas Cowboys will be in the Battle Royal.
 
--Interview with Paul Bradley, who fights Rafael Natal on Saturday night's UFC show, at http://angrymarks.com/index.php?ArticleID=14705
 
--Kevin Nash & Aaron Draven vs. Marion Fontaine & Brodie Lee headlines the PWO show on Gofightlive.tv at 3 p.m. on Sunday.  There is also a Josh Prohibition vs. Matt Cross vs. Johnny Gargano match, as well as Tito Santana, Gregory Iron, Louis Lyndon, Flip Kendrick and Shiima Xion appear.
 
--More Chuck Langerman trivia.  Two of Camden, NJ's biggest sports legends were Buddy Rogers (Herman Rohde) and Jersey Joe Walcott (Arnold Cream).  The two met on October 7, 1959, at the Forum in Montreal in a pro wrestling match which Rogers won in 1:07 of the third round of what was billed as a boxer vs. wrestler match, using the figure four leglock.  Walcott was one of a number of world heavyweight boxing champions who participated in pro wrestling, including Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Trevor Berbick and Primo Carnera.  The other trivia is that Rogers was a police officer before he got into pro wrestling, while Walcott was the Sheriff of Camden County after retiring from boxing.
 
--Ring of Fire announced a UFC 133 viewing party at 7 p.m. at Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge in Denver at the Pavilions.  A number of local MMA fighters will be at the party including Tyler Toner and Duane "Bang" Ludwig.
 
--Paul Fontaine noted that based on today's poll, the mean number is that UFC will do 47 times the buys of TNA.  He's noted that this web sites predictions on buys are usually very close.  The predictions would be 310,000 for UFC and 6,600 for TNA.

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