MON. UPDATE: Complaint to Election commission claims WWE violated fedeal election law; Another fighter gets TUE for test; Orton suspension; New belt; WWE star one month from coming back, WWE vs. TNA in court; Should TNA sign Ryan?, UFC signs Dream champ
By Dave Meltzer |
We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday night's Ultimate Fighter finals on Fuel and FX, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
Raw will be live tonight in Greenville, SC. The show will open with John Cena being interviewed by Michael Cole to promote his match with Big Show on 6/17.
We're also looking for reports from yesterday's Smackdown show in Savannah, GA, the Saturday night Raw show in Mobile, AL, the Pro Wrestling Superstars iPPV in Rahway, NJ and Friday's Raw show in Alexandria, LA.
Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Columbia, SC.
The Raw crew leaves after Monday's show for a four-show tour of Spain, with a Wednesday night show in Madrid, Thursday in Seville, Friday in Valencia and Saturday in Barcelona.
Latest Observer: Full Details & Analysis On Wrestlemania, Extreme Rules PPV Numbers
A full report on the WrestleMania and Extreme Rules PPV numbers, what they mean, and comparisons to other shows is among the lead stories in this week's jam-packed issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Besides looking at what The Rock and Brock Lesnar brought to the gate, we also have an in-depth look at the lawsuit TNA filed against WWE, WWE's reaction, the situation involving Ric Flair and other TNA talent that may or may not have been contacted by WWE.
We also look at one of the top heels of the early television era, Hans Schmidt, a major box office attraction when wrestling was on in prime time on network television and a look at his gimmick, his career, and life after wrestling. We have stories from wrestlers and his career highlights. We also have full coverage of UFC 146, including where Brock Lesnar fit into the show, what happened after the show, and reaction to the show.
We also have a look at what happened with Chris Jericho in Brazil and TNA going live all summer on Thursday nights.
The issue will be up on the site today if you are a web site member. We also have a new back issue on the site right now.
ABOUT THE OBSERVER
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Our lead story looks at the updates on WrestleMania numbers, including why the amount of buys isn't what the company first reported and how and where they got the first number from, where the North American numbers rank historically, notes on what the real live attendance was. We also look at the WWE's usual protocal on WrestleMania attendance exaggerations.
We've also got notes on how Extreme Rules featuring the return of Brock Lesnar did, both how it affected business domestically and overseas. We look at the lessons of the Lesnar return and an analogy to the territorial days. We also look at whether Lesnar's first show was a success or failure, and how it'll likely be when all is said and done. We also look at notes on whether Lesnar's salary paid off on his first PPV, and thoughts on this year's SummerSlam.
We go in detail on the TNA lawsuit against WWE, including what they are alleging happened, what has happened thus far in the court case, where Ric Flair stands in all this, what talent looks to be losing out right now because of the suit and more.
We look at the creation of the Hans Schmidt gimmick and why it got over as big as it did, his major rivalries, his heyday, the highest paid athletes of the 50s, and when he was billed as the biggest box office star in the country. We look at the movie role based on his fame, his early career, his Madison Square Garden run, and the wrestlers who follow in his wake.
We have full coverage of UFC 146, with match-by-match rundowns, how much base pay everyone got, poll results of the show, and where the winners and losers go next.
We also look at what happened with Chris Jericho, the laws in Brazil regarding desecrating the flag, the WWE's reaction, was the punishment fair, what Jericho will be doing over the next few weeks, others in wrestling comment on what happened and how much this could cost him.We also look at what happens in Canada when Raw goes live in the U.S., an update on WWE developmental and more changes.
We also have notes on a major conflict that will greatly affect the promotion of next year's WrestleMania. We look at what it is and the real story of how it happened, as well as a look at a match now planned for Mania.
We also look at WWE promoting the New York market over the next year, as well as the site of all the PPV shows for the remainder of 2012, and an update on the No Way Out show.
We've got a lot of company business notes for April, as well as an update on the company's best selling DVDs. We have notes on a finishing move that has been banned, a lot more on the Linda McMahon campaign including a threat to sue a reporter for commenting on WWE. We look at the controversy that has caused which has gotten some national publicity.
We also have the roster for the WWE video game including some surprises and a new them for this year. We look at a wrestler who has been branded a flop by the promotion and why he's been replaced onto, as well as a new singing, how two former WWE stars will be facing two current WWE stars on a show in a few weeks, a former ROH wrestler who had a tryout, an update on Mark Henry, as well as all the business notes from two different overseas tours this past week and highlights from all the house shows.
We also look at TNA going live, what it means, Brooke Hogan and more.
We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows as well.
We also have results from all the major arena events around the world over the past week, as well as reviews of all the major television shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--Big hair vs. hair match at Arena Mexico
--Unique cage of death match ending with a local vet being unmasked
--The last AAA TV taping
--Young wrestler with a lot of potential announces retirement due to injuries
--All Japan's big show of the week
--More news on the combined All Japan and New Japan joint show on 7/1
--Masakatsu Funaki set to return
--UWFI nostalgia on Takayama 20th anniversary show
--Notes from the All Japan/New Japan combined press conference
--Lots of New Japan business notes
--Two wrestlers arrested on how one affects the current Junior heavyweight tournament
--Updates notes the first days of the Best of the Super Junior tournament
--Tajiri starts new promotion
--A look at the wrestling and broadcasting career of Dave Brown on his 50th anniversary of being in the media
--Notes on the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame induction ceremony
--Notes on the Extreme Reunion second set of shows
--80s promoter coming back to do a reality show based on an old wrestling promotion
--Former WWE diva arrested
--Notes from the last weekend of ROH shows and notes on the next iPPV
--Why Don West left TNA
--Dixie Carter talks Kurt Angle's Olympic dream
--Updated business notes on the last Strikeforce show
--Full details of the Jon Jones accident as well as his court plea and what he's facing
--This week's UFC lineup
--Final episode of Ultimate Fighter this season talked about
--Next Strikeforce lineup
--How baseball is doing on Saturday night on FOX in the UFC time slot
--Daniel Cormier in UFC an a move to 205 and if it's possible
--A look at the future of Josh Barnett
--A look at the details of the arrets of Arianny Celeste
--More on how Renan Barao got a title shot
--Next UFC programming on FOX
--Fighter in great fight a few weeks ago came in with serious injury
--B.J. Penn talks his future
--Notes on the next season of Ultimate Fighter that starts being filmed in June.
--Lots of new UFC fights
MONDAY NEWS, NOTES AND LINKS
--The Manchester Journal-Inquirer
not only didn't apologize to WWE by today's deadline, but late last week filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission claiming that WWE has violated federal election law by assisting Linda McMahon in threatening the newspaper. WWE has claimed the threat had to do with protecting the image of the company and had nothing to do with the McMahon campaign. McMahon claimed last week that she wasn't even aware of the threat until she was informed about it after it had gotten press, through her clippings service. Connecticut reporters were heavily skeptical of that statement.
--Frank Mir was given a therapeutic use exemption for testosterone for his 5/26 match with Junior Dos Santos. He passed all his tests, both blood and urine when it came to testosterone and being within allowable limits.
--SuperLuchas.net reported Randy Orton's suspension was for Dianabol. We'll have a lot more on that in this coming week's Observer.
--There should be a new WWE title belt debuting imminently to replace the spinner belt which C.M. Punk spoke about Saturday in Philadelphia. Punk said that he wasn't happy about the new belt, saying he emails people in the company constantly about it, although showed the current spinner belt and felt it was better than that one. He said the new belt will be about 20 pounds heavier.
--Ted DiBiase did an interview with the Baltimore Sun Ring Posts blog
, saying he's about a month away from being ready to return to WWE with injuries to his shoulder, wrist and ankle. He said he could come back right now if needed but considers himself right now at 85%, with the ankle injury the one needing more healing time. He also talked about why the Million Dollar Man gimmick didn't work, and for obvious reasons given he's no longer doing the gimmick and is a babyface, why he wants new entrance music.
--Bobby Roode and Brooke Hogan were sent by TNA to walk the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards last night. MTV is part of the Viacom family, like Spike. The ability to do that shows Spike and Viacom being behind TNA as a brand, although the commitment to going live all summer also shows that.
--Regarding Sean Oliver and his claims about two guys who wouldn't promote his interview with Vince Russo on Friday night on iPPV or ask questions, he didn't mention names, but apparently people are saying he meant Bryan and I. For the record, Bryan invited Oliver on one of his shows during this past week, but Oliver declined due to a scheduling conflict. Bryan also plugged it on his Thursday show. I would have gladly had Vince Russo on the show on Wednesday to promote the event but he was never offered to me.
--Riche Steamboat, who was on the road on the Smackdown tour, and Dean Ambrose, are both scheduled for television tapings today and tomorrow. Usually they only do one dark match with developmental talent on the show, although one or both could also be debuting on the Tuesday version of NXT.
--WWE and TNA had a conference earlier today regarding the lawsuit TNA filed against WWE since WWE had not been able to defend itself when TNA got a temporary restraining order against them. There is a planned hearing on 6/11 in Knoxville but there are issues because John Laurinaitis is a key part of the suit and the hearing and he would be needed at Raw that night.
--Added to the 6/24 ROH iPPV in New York is Fit Finlay vs. Michael Elgin.
--Added to the TNA PPV on 6/10 is Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries.
--With the folding of Dream, current bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes has been signed by UFC and debuts against Roland Delomore on 7/21 in Calgary.
--UFC announced Chris Clements as the replacement for Thiago Alves on 7/21 in Calgary in a match against Siyara Bahadurzada. There is still no replacement for Thiago Silva as an opponent for Shogun Rua on that card.
--Ronda Rousey's latest on Twitter: she held up Spice Hunter's product called Caraway Seeds and claimed how she and Miesha Tate are on the same diet. Tate's boyfriend is named Bryan Caraway. Always have to be thinking that rematch.
Should TNA sign Joey Ryan?
He's not bad, but there's no spot on TV for him right now 28.1%
Should give him a few weeks on TV then decide 24.0%
Yes, he was impressive on TV and should be a regular 19.0%
No, he wasn't impressive on the show 16.5%
Sign him, but use him sparingly like Anthony Nese, when a spot needs to be filled 12.4%
Will Sonnen vs. Silva beat WrestleMania's North American numbers?
*I will say this: if it doesn't, UFC is going to be very disappointed.
Will Pacquiao vs. Bradley beat WrestleMania's North American numbers?
*Ditto. If it doesn't, Bob Arum won't be happy because Pacquiao would clearly come across as a distant No. 2 behind Mayweather if that's the case.
What did you think of the ROH TV show?
*58.6% of those responding didn't see the show.
What was the best TV show of the past week?
Ultimate Fighter finals on FX 20.6%
Inside MMA 1.8%
Ultimate Fighter final prelims on Fuel 1.8%
Ultimate Fighter Brazil 1.3%
MMA Uncensored 0.4%
--You can already get the CHIKARA iPPV show from Saturday night
. The show was fun to watch. CHIKARA is different, but their live crowds are respectful and make it all fun. It's a lot of inside jokes and I was laughing a lot at the commentary.
--The annual amateur wrestling show in Times Square will be Thursday free to the public and shown on the largest screen in Times Square. There will be matches during the afternoon and early evening, featuring some of the best U.S. wrestlers facing some of the best wrestlers from Russia, including four members of the U.S. Olympic team, most notably Jordan Burroughs at 163, who was world champion last year and is a strong medal possibility.
There will also be matches to determine the final U.S. Olympic team slot, at 132 pounds. Reece Humphrey vs. Coleman Scott wrestle at 1 p.m. The winner then faces Shawn Bunch in a best of three series that starts at 6 p.m. The main card starts at 6 p.m. with the US vs. Russia dual. The heavyweight match has Tervel Dlagnev of the U.S. vs. Eduard Bazrov of Russia.
--If you are an indie wrestler, just a fan or have dreamed of having your own action figure, a new company called MyFaceOnAFigure.com
has been started to allow people to customize their own action figures. They are looking at marketing this to hardcore fans and independent wrestlers. The company doing this is from people who work for Figure Toy Company/Wrestling Superstore who produce items like replica belts for WWE.
--On the 6/16 New Focus Wrestling show in Evansville, IN at the Metro Sports Complex, there will be a wedding of "Big Al" Alan Gouda and Penny after the main event. Rob Conway and Flash Flanagan appear on the show.
--Rob Conway will be competing in a bodybuilding contest on 6/9.
--IPW UK from yesterday in Sittingbourne, UK: Stixx b Dean Allmark, Dave Mastiff b T-Bone (subbing for injured Big Van Walter), Roy & Zak Knight (brothers of Paige in WWE/FCW) b Martin Kirby & Kris Travis, Marty Scurll b Rockstar Spud, Akira Tozawa b Mark Haskins, Terry Frazier b Rene Dupree, Magnus (TNA) b Sha Samuels-DQ, Marty Scurll won four-way over Stixx, Dave Mastiff and Akira Tozawa. Next show is 8/26 with Sha Samuels vs. Marty Scurll for the British heavyweight title and the U.K. debut of Johnny Gargano (thanks to Martin Bentley)
--Peachstate Wrestling Alliance from Saturday night in Carrollton, GA drew about 375 paid, much better than most Georgia indies do, on a show where 62-year-old Mike Jackson once again stole the show. Stupid b John Skyler, Pandora b Aisha Sunshine, Little Fabio b Dusty McWilliams, Mike Reid b Bad Company, Antonio Garza b Stich Sypher, Mike Jackson & Shane Noles & Simon Sermon & Tommy Too Much & Ultimate Dragon b J-Rod & C.J. Awesome & Cru Jones & Chris Knox & Wicked Nemesis in a War Games match that went 34:18 when Nemesis submitted to Noles. Jackson started, went the entire way, and bled heavily.
There was some drama at the show as a man touched a young woman inappropriately in the crowd in the middle of the War Games match and then ran off. Rich Michaels, out of jail, came out with a mask, did a run-in and unmasked. Was told this was a dark ending to the show. (thanks to Larry Goodman)
--Traditional Championship Wrestling TV tapings on Saturday night in Fort Smith, AR before 600 fans: Alucard b Moe Stegall, Titan b Greg King & Angel, Shane Williams b Tim Storm, Genetic Perfection b Lars Manderson, Jim Duggan b Prince Al-Farat, Lorelai Lee b Athena, Matt Riviera b King, Jon Michael b Angel, Greg Anthony b Dustin Heritage, Stegall b Sigmon, Williams b Disco Inferno, Titan & Storm b Boink the Clown (Matt Osborne) & Killer Nikels.
This was the company's first taping in HD for a one hour show that begins on 6/16. An announcement of new markets for the show is expected in a few days. Next show is a free card on 7/4 in Benton, AR at the Saline County Fairgrounds headlined by Duggan. The next TV taping is 7/14 in Fort Smith with Carlito, Big Daddy V and Bushwhacker Luke. Bobby Crabtree, a former pro boxer, made the save after the Duggan vs. Al-Farat match. Al-Farat attacked local D.J. Dennis McCaslin and Crabtree made the save and threw a knockout punch at Al-Farat. Security then hauled him off.
--There was a report from the BJJ world championships that during a match with Beneil Darlush and De'Alonzio Jackson, with Jackson up 4-2, the crowd did a countdown of the clock, as happens all the time. When one sounded, Darlush stopped fighting. According to the report, what he didn't know is that the chant was from Team Lloyd Irvin, who Jackson fights for. The match still had ten seconds left and Jackson then took Darlush down and passed to side control to add to his score.
--Jerry Brisco and Mick Foley will be at the 7/12 BANG tapings in Ocala, FL. Foley will be doing comedy after the show and Brisco will be there because his son Wes is appearing in the main event.
--Fuel sent out a press release regarding May ratings, up 171% in viewers and 200% in Males 18-49 vs. May of last year. Of course, they had almost no viewers before the UFC deal came into play in January. The 5/15 UFC on Fuel was the third most watched event in the history of the station, trailing the two previous UFC live events. It was the most watched Tuesday in the history of the station, but it was going to be no matter what with a live UFC event. It was the second most watched month for the station, trailing February.
--AAA in Oaxaca yesterday: Apolo & Rigo & Tony Jr. b Challenger & Lalo el Loco & Spiderman, Mini Psycho Circus b Mascarita Sagrada & Octagoncito & La Parkita, Mari Apache & Cinthia Moreno b Fabi Apache & Lolita, El Brazo & Drago & Extreme Tiger b Alan Stone & Pasion Kristal & Polvo de Estrellas, Dr. Wagner Jr. & Alan Stone b Chessman & Silver Kain
--AAA for Promociones Munoz yesterday in San Luis Potosi (Del Rio's original home town): Aero Boy & Aero Star & Argenis b Conde Bartock & Dark Cuervo & Dark Ozz, Octagon & Mini Psicosis & Yuriko b Electroshock & Mascarita Sagrada & Pimpinela Escarlata, Psycho Circus b El Texano Jr. & Mascara Ano 2000 Jr. & Toscano, Cibernetico & Jack Evans & Zorro b L.A. Park & Hector Garza & Psicosis-DQ (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--UIPW on 7/7 in Toronto at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall with Josh Alexander vs. John McChesney and Michael Elgin vs. Sebastian Suave.
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