By Bryan Alvarez
We've got a two PPV weekend coming up.
UFC 133 airs tomorrow night from Philadelphia. It starts at about 6 p.m. with Facebook fights of Paul Bradley vs. Rafael Natal, Mike Brown vs. Nam Phan, Johny Hendricks vs. Mike Pierce and Ivan Menjivar vs. Nick Pace. On Spike at 8 p.m. is Chad Mendes vs. Rani Yahya and Alexander Gustafsson vs. Matt Hamill. The PPV fights are Rory McDonald vs. Mike Pyle, Jorge Rivera vs. Constantinos Philippou, Brian Ebersole vs. Dennis Hallman, Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Vitor Belfort and Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz.
Also Saturday night is Raw from Fresno and Smackdown from Boise, ID.
Sunday is TNA's Hardcore Justice from Orlando with Sting vs. Kurt Angle for the TNA title, Beer Money vs. Mexican America for the tag titles, Brian Kendrick vs. Alex Shelley vs. Austin Aries for the X title, A.J. Styles & Kazarian & Christopher Daniels vs. Gunner & Scott Steiner & Abyss, Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray, RVD vs. Crimson, Devon vs. Pope and Mickie James vs. Winter.
WWE on Sunday has Raw in Stockton.
Monday is the live go-home for SummerSlam Raw from San Jose, as well as the first night of Impact tapings in Orlando.
Tuesday is Smackdown and NXT from Sacramento. Several Raw wrestlers are scheduled for this show including Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio. Sin Cara also returns on this show.
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.
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
For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for
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.
We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more
about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk,
Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods. To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best
Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North
America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
-- Melina, Gail Kim, DH Smith, Chris Masters and Koslov were all released from WWE today. Gail claimed on her Twitter that she quit on Monday. The rest may be late post-WrestleMania eliminations. The belief from WWE sources is that this isn't the end of the cuts, though the rest won't necessarily come today.
-- John Morrison on Melina's cut: I’ve always believed that Melina is the most talented Diva ever employed by World Wrestling Entertainment. (not to mention the hottest!) Her face conveys emotion. Vince McMahon likes to say “Television is a feeling” and I agree with him. That’s what Sports Entertainment is all about. Melina’s presence on Television, aside from the obvious (she be sexy!) is raw emotion- joy, rage, surprise, disgust… her passion just pours out of her. Melina’s presence on Monday Night Raw will be missed by the WWE universe… and especially by me. I think this is the end of a chapter in the book of @RealMelina – I met Melina on my audition for Tough Enough 3, I never forgot the smile, and hug she gave me when I made the show and she got cut and told to go home. I’ve stood next to her with Joey while MNM was yelled at; told we’d never make it, we were worthless. I’ve seen her come back from 2 career threatening injuries. She is one of a kind, and talented enough to do whatever she wants. I’m proud to be her man. I love her, and will support whatever she chooses to do next.
-- In your classic Right Hand Doesn't Know What The Left Hand Is Doing moment of the week, the subject of your WWE.com Diva Focus for today is, yes, Melina. The link, at least for the time being, is here.
-- Melina wrote: Feel free to Tweet, write, call @WWE about how u feel about anything. You deserve to be heard regarding any matter. Strength in numbers. I love you all so dearly and reading all of your tweets. Seeing the trend... I know w/out a doubt, I'm a lucky woman! In the next few days you will see many updates on the matter, so keep checking www.RealMelina.com I will definitely Blog & Vlog about it. I've been through quite a bit of stuff in my life. I Overcame each time. I'll never give up. Not now. I'll Always fight & #StayStrong
-- Gail is engaged to celebrity chef Robert Irvine, so she'll be fine.
-- Amazing Red also quit TNA yesterday. He said on his Twitter that creative had nothing for him. You know, the same creative that is in the middle of pushing the X-Division again starting with a new batch of X-Division-style guys coming in next week, a month after an X-Division PPV.
-- As was noted on the front page last night, Sin Cara's official first night back will be this coming Tuesday night at the Smackdown tapings. The decision for him to return was only made a couple of days back, and prior to that his future was very much up in the air with the company. He will be returning just three weeks after he was given a four-week suspension for a Wellness Policy violation. To get around this fact, there is talk that they might put developmental wrestler Hunico under the mask for a week until the real Sin Cara's suspension date hits.
-- Matt Hardy on Twitter said a lot of promoters had been talking to him about bookings, but for now he was putting everything on hold. He's not being used by TNA either.
-- Miss Tessmacher & Tara vs. Rosita and Sarita for the Knockouts Tag Team Titles has been added to Hardcore Justice.
-- Since Dave wrote about Wrestling Observer Live in the Observer this week, the show continues to air every Sunday from 3-5 PM Pacific, 6-8 PM Eastern on Sports Byline USA affiliates and Sirius Satellite Radio channel 92. If you don't have an affiliate or Sirius, you can listen to the show free on the Tapatalk app on about a million different smartphones by going to the Sports Byline USA channel, and we also put a streaming link up on the front page of the website Sunday afternoon, and an .mp3 of the show up on the front page late, late Sunday nights. I host the show with Mike Sempervive.
-- A look at the Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart Greatest Rivalries DVD is up here. It appears this will be the first in a series of Rivalries DVDs.
-- Lance Storm has a big column on testosterone replacement therapy here. The fighter in question, by the way, is Dennis Hallman. This one is pretty much guaranteed to be message board fodder for a long time.
-- Hulk Hogan is going on the road for not TNA. Yes, he'll be doing the CWI East Coast Invasion Tour through the Maritimes with Scott Steiner, Tatanka, Brutus Beefcake, Kevin Nash, New Age Outlaws and more. These are not wrestling appearances. Hogan is scheduled to make non-wrestling appearances August 19th in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, and August 20th in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. He may work one additional date as well.
-- Davey Richards beat Sean Casey at the OVW tapings in Louisville last night, then announced that the October 1st ROH TV tapings for Sinclair would take place there at the Davis Arena.
-- Speaking of OVW, sad to report the death of Rod Steele, a former OVW Champion, of suicide. In a trivia note, Steele was the first person that Rip Rogers ever trained back in 1988. Our condolences to his friends and family.
-- Several tabloids are claiming that after Stacy Kiebler tweeted about how much fun she was having at Lake Como with George Clooney, and that they were an item now, he told her to pack her bags and hit the road.
-- Kurt Brown writes: Heard the podcast talking about a title in WWF changing on a DQ. You're going to laugh at me for remembering this off the top of my head, but Chris Adams won the WWF/UWA Light-Heavyweight championship from Perro Aguayo on a disqualification on October 18, 1981. Reason I remember this so well is because I bought Lucha Libre and Box y Lucha regularly, and being puzzled about a DQ title change that I figured my Spanish translation was even worse than I thought it was (and still is!!!), but it was indeed a DQ title change! Info here.
-- Cohen writes: Daniel Bryan's New Theme Music is The Theme Music of The WWE Night of Champions 2010 PPV Music that aired on Smackdown.
-- Radio interview with Eric Escobar here.
-- Devon talks his career with 3-D, splitting up, and more here
-- Jorge Rivera did an audio interview with Josh Nason talking his UFC 133 fight with Constantinos Philippou here.
-- Interview with Michael Elgin of ROH up here.
-- Leon writes: In regards to the WWE's WrestleMania special on NBC being pre-empted in New York City, they are still airing the special, but on a delay. It will air the afternoon of SummerSlam(Sunday August 14th) at 1pm on NBC. This is according to my Verizon FiOS tv grid.
-- Paul writes: Also Sheamus gave an interview to BBC Radio 5 Live, a national news and sport radio station in the UK last night. Sheamus talked about where he came from to get to the WWE, and wearing hoodies during the Summer so he doesn't get a tan. Sheamus like usual came across really well.
-- Interview with Big Brodie Lee here.
-- For all the girls doing MMA or jiu jitsu, or the guys who know a girl who likes MMA or jiu jitsu and who wants to get on their good side, I Tap Boys has new 5-inch full-color, fully-embroidered patches available here. Great for gis, gi bags, back packs, jackets, etc. They've also got a Facebook page up here, so check them out and click LIKE!
-- Do you believe Strikeforce will exist by the start of 2013?
Which show are you more interested in this weekend?
UFC 133 79.1%
TNA Hardcore Justice 20.9%
Should Zuffa have cut the Golden Glory fighters?
Yes, but not Coenen and Alistair Overeem 28.7%
Who was the Wrestler of the Decade?
Shawn Michaels 28.9%
Kurt Angle 24.2%
Chris Jericho 9.7%
John Cena 8.9%
Kenta Kobashi 8.6%
Steve Austin 4.8%
The Rock 4.1%
Keiji Muto 1.1%
Brock Lesnar 0.4%
-- Since Lance and I were talking reality shows yesterday, click hereto take a look at some of the absurdities in the Real World contract.
-- Sweet science is top draw. Story on boxing in Australia.
-- Mike Sawyer has a brand new UFC 133 preview show up here.
-- Smackdown tonight has Orton & Morrison vs. Christian & Truth in a tag match, Sheamus vs. Great Khali, AJ vs. Natalya, Daniel Bryan vs. Tyson Kidd, Mark Henry vs. Vladimir Koslov in the end for poor Koslov, Michael McGillicutty & David Otunga & JTG (who turned heel on a show nobody watches) vs. Usos & Trent Barreta. They did a segment where Triple H asked for the cameras to be shut off so he could pedigree Zach Ryder, and in fact they did turn off the cameras and that won't air on TV tonight. Aksana from NXT also debuts on the show as Teddy's new scantily-clad assistant. Yes, the man needs two assistants to run this ship.
-- Don't forget, Edge is on HAVEN tonight after Smackdown as well. He has an interview talking about the show and life after wrestling here.
-- Chael Sonnen during his UFC Q&A today dropped the names Bret Hart, Sgt. Slaughter and Iron Sheik.
-- MFC 31: The Rundown, to be held on Friday, October 7 at the Mayfield Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, will feature the debut of former MMA star Sokoudjou.
-- AAA confirmed yesterday that the Copa Antonio Pena tournament will take place as usual at this year's Heroes Inmortales show at Arena Monterrey on 10/9. Thanks to Kris Zellner.
-- Luke Robinson will be on Ed's show with Craig and Cutrer tonight at 7 Eastern on blogtalkradio.
-- Tri-State Wrestling Enertainment, LLC presents East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! 44th Anniversary Show Sat, Sept, 24th, 2011 Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702. Doors Open: 6:00 PM. Bell Time: 7:00 PM
-- CZWrestling.com - On Saturday, August 13, ‘Tangled Web 4’ airs on iPPV from The Asylum Arena, 7 W. Ritner ST in Philadelphia, PA at 7:30 pm. The iPPV airs LIVE on HybridEnt.TV. Pre-order TODAY for $14.99 or get a special package with the Live Stream, the DVD, & an autographed poster signed by Scotty Vortekz & Drake Younger for just $30.