SUN. UPDATE: Slammiverary notes, Vince McMahon, Last night's WWE show, James Storm, TNA Hall of Fame, TNA's best angle



By Dave Meltzer This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's TNA Slammiversary show as well as Friday night's UFC show on FX, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        We're also looking for reports on last night's WWE Smackdown show in Salisbury, MD and today's show in Binghamton, NY.

        Tonight's Slammiversary lineup
*Bobby Roode vs. Sting for the TNA title - They could go either way on this only because of the feeling nobody really expects Sting to win.  But if he does win, it's a short-term because the money is still in James Storm chasing and winning the title later this year, probably at Bound for Glory.  Roode was been strong of late so this should be a good match, but probably not a super match.
*Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. A.J. Styles & Kurt Angle for the tag title - Could be the strongest match on the show.  I don't see it as time to change the tag titles, but given that the Styles storyline with Daniels and Kazarian probably has a long way to go, you can make any finish work since it's probably not the last time we see this match.
*Jeff Hardy vs. RVD vs. Mr. Anderson with the winner meeting the Roode vs. Sting winner on Thursday's Impact - RVD just had a shot and lost.  Hardy is the biggest star of the three.  Nobody wants to see Roode vs. Anderson, nothing against it, but it's nothing anyone wants to see. 
*Joseph Park vs. Bully Ray - The main thing here isn't the match but how they handle Abyss and Joseph Park
*Gail Kim vs. Miss Tessmacher for the Knockouts title - The last time they met on PPV, they had a very nice match, well above most women's matches on PPV from either company.  Tessmacher is a good athlete who is green, but Kim is experienced and the two have worked well together a number of times.  Given Tessmacher lost, I could sense it time for a title change, but it still feels to me like Velvet Sky is the most over and is the one who eventually gets it.
*Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe - These two have the chance to tear the house down because Aries has good matches with everyone, and they've had great matches in the past.  Just a question of time and Joe's motivation.  Storyline is cold, but the match will probably go on early.
*Devon & Garett Bischoff vs. Robbie E & Robbie T - Hopefully doesn't go too long.  Devon has done well in short explosive matches.  E is fine in his role.   Bischoff and T need to be protected.
*Crimson vs. ? - No comment.  It's not Christian as the mystery guy. 
*Kid Kash vs. Hernandez - A cold match with no build.  Neither have even been on TV in a long time.  Hernandez should win, and hopefully there is a storyline reason that will come out why it's on the show.
        There seems to be more interest in this show.  Not sure if that's a big picture thing or just from our readership.  On paper, it's really not a lot better than other TNA shows for match quality with the tag title match looking strong.  The Park angle has been very good but this match is all how the angle goes and not really about the match, and it ends up back with Abyss vs. Ray.

        Raw will be live with a three-hour special from Hartford, CT, with Vince McMahon doing a job evaluation for John Laurinaitis opening the show at 8 p.m.  Advertised locally is John Cena vs. Big Show & John Laurinaitis and C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan for the title.  One of those, if not both, will be dark matches although not sure why you would even want dark matches after a three-hour show.  
 
        Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Manchester, NH.  The major stars being advertised locally are John Cena (likely a dark match) and HHH (likely a non-televised cameo appearance).
 
        The most detailed look at the Randy Orton situation, as well as an update on Brock Lesnar when it comes to WWE, are among the major stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We look at every report and every aspect of the Orton suspension.  We also look at the Frank Mir exemption for testosterone, the state of testosterone exemptions in MMA right now and some very strange goings on in that direction.
 
        We also have a ton of news regarding plans being made for the 1,000th episode of Raw, the folding of yet another major MMA company and sale of the oldest continually running MMA promotion in history.
 
        We also look at the PPV industry in 2012, including UFC, boxing and WWE and what kind of years it not appears all three are going to have.  We look at who looks to be up, who looks to be down, how the UFC's recent all-heavyweight show looks to have done and whether or not such a show will be done again next year.
 
        We also look at the behind-the-scenes of the DQ license for UFC moving to EA.
 
        We also have more on the WWE's legal issues with reporter Chris Powell, how the story has grown, the effect it has had on the Linda McMahon campaign, what it means in the big picture and how it is being covered.
 
        Plus, we look at the end of season 15 of the Ultimate Fighter, and how things have changed with the show, its popularity, and star making capability.
 
        The issue is already on the site today if you are a web site member.  We also have a new back issue on the site from 1995 which covers the two biggest shows of that year, WrestleMania as well as probably the show with the single greatest collection of talent in one night of any pro wrestling show in history, held the same day as WrestleMania at the Tokyo Dome.  There were 14 different Hall of Famers wrestling on the show, and two others part of the presentation and I would doubt there is a show in history that could boast a number that large.
 
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        Our lead story covers Randy Orton.  We look at the various news reports and try and make sense over what seems plausible and what doesn't.  We look at WWE's reaction in the past to marijuana positives, how this suspension differs from some of the more recent ones like Rey Mysterio, Evan Bourne and R-Truth, and looking at various different reports on WWE's reaction and Orton's future with the company.
 
        We also look at WWE's star power going forward and where Orton would fit in, a look at the Smackdown main level stars, moves that have been made to bolster Smackdown attendance, what the writing team knew about Orton and why the booking for Orton on the way out made no sense.  We look at how Orton is viewed in general by the wrestlers.
 
        Plus, we look back, in detail, at all of Orton's major issues and suspensions in the past, and what does and doesn't add up about them.  We look at all the active talent on the roster with two strikes already, about how much money it is expected Orton figures to lose based on this suspension, and how this version of drug testing came to being and what incident was the black eye to the policy.
 
        We also look at Frank Mir's situation, when it got started and why it is so perplexing. 
 
        We look at plans for Raw No. 1,000 on 7/23 in St. Louis, and different ideas batted around, and what is already being advertised and planned.  We also look at what the writing team is under pressure to come up with this summer and how difficult that will be.
 
        We also have an update as to what is happening regarding Lesnar and WWE, why certain things have and haven't happened on television of late. 
 
        We also look at a story regarding the television industry, sports and bidding that will greatly affect UFC and possibly WWE when current contracts run out.
 
        We've got more on the next WWE video game, more on exactly what went down with Chris Jericho in Brazil, and the release of Tom Prichard.  We look at a notable Prichard story.
 
        We also have notes on Raw on Tivo.  We also look at Steve Austin's new TV show, run-throughs for the next PPV, Ted DiBiase talks about his future, the Million Dollar Man gimmick and why it didn't work for him like it did for his father.  We've also got all the WWE business notes from the past week as well as details from all the weekend house shows.
 
        We look at the rise and fall of Japanese MMA, including how it first got started from pro wrestling, the rise of Mirko Cro Cop, the celebrity fighters, and why it went down, as well as the folding of one promotion and sale of another longtime MMA group to a pro wrestling promoter.
 
        We've also got complete coverage of the Ultimate Fighter finals, with the business notes on the show, poll results and match-by-match coverage as well as earnings on the show.  We look at the great Michael Chiesa story and whether or not it will make him a big star, as well as what the future holds for the show.  We also look at the future of many of the fighters on the cast of the just completed season.
 
         We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on the last two weeks of Raw with segment-by-segment numbers where you can see how each segment did, as well as what audience John Cena moved the most and least.

        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:

--CMLL's biggest stip match in a long time
 
--New Japan star challenges for CMLL title
 
--Official TripleMania announcement of date and place
 
--Probable TripleMania main event
 
--Who was on the semifinal of the first ever AAA show 20 years ago and was in the main event in the return to that arena in Veracruz over the weekend
 
--Major international star shows up as a surprise for AAA
 
--Three former WWE stars headline in Mexico
 
--Major injury screws up major plans for Pro Wrestling NOAH
 
--NOAH holds matches against both All Japan and New Japan
 
--Longtime New Japan star talks about an injury and potential return
 
--Standings of the Best of the Super Junior tournament and all of the matches over the past week
 
--Former WWE star challenges for IGF title against former K-1 star
 
--Update on Genichiro Tenryu
 
--Return of the famous Great Kabuki
 
--The grandson of arguably the most influential wrestler of the 20th century talking about getting into pro wrestling
 
--One of wrestling's all-time greatest winning records hurt with loss this past week
 
--Update on Shane Douglas' Extreme Reunion group with a new name and new focus
 
--Major indie show headlined by WWE star against Luke Robinson
 
--Updated news on TNA's lawsuit against WWE, what the suit it about
 
--Lots of notes regarding TNA's live TV shoot and why everyone was so happy it went smoothly
 
--Plans going forward for live TNA shoots
 
--Dixie Carter talks about the optimum number of PPV shows per year
 
--Talk about the TNA Hall of Fame
 
--Update on Chris Sabin in TNA
 
--What TNA badly needs that has snuck up on them
 
--Who is behind TNA's recent successful angles
 
--Updates on Slammiversary
 
--Notes on the TNA big surprise
 
--Behind the Gut check segments and what is and isn't real about them
 
--Notes on the Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva fight
 
--Tons of new UFC fights announced and changed
 
--Notes on the next UFC Countdown show
 
--A look at the career of Kenny Florian
 
--Surprise of B.J. Penn returning
 
--More on the Jon Jones situation
 
--Behind all the talks when Thiago Silva got hurt over who to face Shogun next
 
--Two MMA documentaries just released covering major UFC stars
 
--A look at where Cyborg vs. Rousey stands
 
--Rousey's next title defense
 
--Lots of UFC cuts
 
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Sunday's news update
 
--Bryan and I will be back tonight for Observer radio.  We'll cover tonight's TNA show as well as preview Raw, discuss the UFC problems and they are many right now, as well as take your e-mail questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--I skipped the Pacquiao fight last night so have no comments on it.  I did follow a friends comments for a few early rounds and actually went out with the family, figured it was a route for Pacquiao, and didn't even watch any TV until I woke up and was flooded with e-mails.  Suffice to say everyone I've heard from, but one person who did score it for Bradley, thought it was pretty one-sided.  I don't buy the fixed judging and Pacquiao leaving Arum so Arum screwed him stories.  I've seen from too close a perspective on the UFC side how this works, and been involved in the process.  It's bad judging.  I can't even blame the system for this fight or any fights this weekend, because there were bad judging cards on Friday at the UFC show that were simply inexplicable.  But these things are horrible for the sport, even if it does necessitate an immediate rematch.
 
--Vince McMahon was trending on Twitter after the fight, I guess some people brought up the judging decision made it fixed like pro wrestling and that's where his name came in.  A lot of wrestlers and MMA fighters watched last night and buried the judging.  C.M. Punk made fun of Pacquiao always thanking God and getting screwed.  There was talk today in WWE about bringing up Vince trending on Twitter after the fight on Raw.  Um, that's not exactly something to brag about considering his name came up as someone who fixes fights (which I guess he does in the strictest of senses) and screws fans (which for the most part I wouldn't say he does).  
 
--Last night in Salisbury, MD, with Alberto Del Rio out due to a concussion, they had Kane beat Great Khali to earn the shot at Sheamus in the cage match main event.  Of course Sheamus retained.  They'll likely do the same thing in Binghamton today.  If Del Rio can't be cleared by next weekend, they will do something on  Raw Monday to create a new opponent for Sheamus.
 
--You know what blows my mind.  Since the thing we mentioned in yesterday's update about the West Coast getting the live feed of the UFC show on FX Friday night, and that if you tuned in when it was listed in the TV guide, or you DVR'd the show, you would get the movie "Armageddon" and have missed the show, we did get a number of people confirming that it happened to them.  But really not many.  I saw a thread on a leading MMA board and it was mentioned but like one or two people complained.  We did get an expected level response to the show (not big, but bigger than last week's show).  So does that mean so many who watch on the West Coast have a dish, or that nobody cared all that much, I'm not sure.  I wouldn't be happy if I was UFC, because at the very least you'd want to know this info and be able to promote it's going live on the West Coast.
 
--There were about 5,000 tickets out for tonight's Slammiversary show, which is well above any TNA show outside of the U.K. in quite some time.  As best we can tell, if there has been papering, it's not heavy.  Most parts of the building only have scattered seats available and there are upper sections where you can get a strip of eats together, but the floor and lower tier are sold.  The place is set up for about 6,000.
 
--A story on John Layfield looking at climbing the seven summits, which is the highest peak on every continent, and includes climbing Mount Everest, for charity is at http://www.paypal.com/p/sports/more_sports/the_rumble_nAq5sRLppZAxSnEmyeg7dO
 
--James Storm tweeted that he has made his decision.  Must be the decision is that he's going to come back to TNA.  Anyone willing to bet otherwise.
 
--Lots of talk on the TNA Hall of Fame induction.  Really, the person it should be is Bob Carter because without him, this would have been dead 9 1/2 years ago.  And they are in Arlington, and Carter is based in the Dallas area.  Hulk Hogan would be a good pick because having Hogan the first pick in a Hall of Fame at least is the way to start it out.  A guy like Lou Thesz, or Frank Gotch, should be maybe the first pick if you are starting a legit (as not in real sport, but real based on being early pioneers and legends) wrestling Hall of Fame, but as a TV show version, he's from another era and his name means nothing.  Sting would be good since he's actually not in any major Hall of Fame and has been with the company a long time.  Jeff Jarrett would be good as the founder of the company.  I can almost buy A.J. Styles based on the current storyline, but then it becomes a "what's good for this week's storyline Hall of Fame" and will be treated like that.    
 
--For whatever this is worth, Karen Jarrett on Twitter said Jeff is not in Texas and that neither of them will be at the PPV.  Keep in mind that anyone in and around TNA on Twitter talking about the product or people you have to assume is working storyline. 
 
--In the Q&A put up yesterday, regarding the Banach brothers and pro wrestling, the Banachs were talked with by Verne Gagne after each brother won gold in the 1984 Olympics.  Seven years ago, when Ed Banach was named one of the 15 greatest college wrestlers of all-time (a list that included Kurt Angle and Danny Hodge), he was asked about it.  "I had no desire to do that," he said.  But, he did not insult pro wrestling.  He said he liked watching Kurt Angle.  "What's amazing about WWE wrestling is that they go on for so much longer than amateur matches.  The pounding they take from throws is incredible.   Yeah, they know who is going to win, but they really are great athletes."  (thanks to Kevin Witt)
 
Who do you think will win this fight?
Joseph Benavidez 70.4%
Demetrious Johnson 29.6%
 
What do you think is the main reason UFC's show on Friday night didn't draw well live?
UFC has cooled off 45.3%
Johnson vs. McCall wasn't a money main event 37.1%
South Florida is hard to draw in 11.9%
Ticket prices too high 4.3%
No local fighters 1.4%
 
What is TNA's best angle?
Joseph Park-Bully Ray 55.4%
Dixie Carter/A.J. Styles/Christopher Daniels 23.6%
James Storm's return to face Bobby Roode 12.1%
Gut check 5.2%
Sting returning to face Bobby Rooode 3.6%
 
Who is the best of these two?
Rory Mac Donald 73.2%
Erick Silva 26.8%
 
Poll on Smackdown
Excellent 6.5%
Good 38.3%
Average 30.8%
Fair 9.3%
Poor 15.0%
        46.0% of those responding didn't see the show.   
 
--During last night's Arizona Cardinals game, local announcer Mark Grace was talking about an upcoming Lucha Libre mask night game and brought up Mil Mascaras, and talked about him being a legendary wrestler and such.  The other announcer did not know who he was. (thanks to Andy MacConney) 
 
--NWA Alternative Pro Wrestling from Friday night in Royston, GA before 135 fans:  Seth Delay b Yasir Akbar, Brandon Parker b Shadow Jackson, James Boulevard b Skirra Corvus, Dany Only & Strykyn b  Cail Cannon & Shaen Hexxon, Dustin Knight b Anthony Henry, Anthony Henry won a Rumble match that went 53 minutes.  Next show is 7/27 featuring Ricky Morton.  (thanks to Larry Goodman)
 
--Sugar Dunkerton returned on the above show.  He had broken his right forearm two months ago and had a plate and seven screws put in.  He was told it would take six months to heal. 
 
--A review of the documentary:  "GLOW:  The Story of the Gorgeous Women of Wrestling" that is doing the festival rounds is up at http://ringbellesonline.com/2012/06/06/film-review-glow-shines-brightly/
 
--Mid Missouri Wrestling from last night in St. Louis:  Dave Osborne b Draco Verdadero, Ace Hawkins b Jimmy D, Gary Jackson NC Brandon Espinosa, Ricky Cruz b Max Archer, Dave Vaughn b Sean Vincent, LaMarcus Clinton & Chase King b The Lumberjacks, Big Texan b Super Castaldi I (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer) 
 
--Westside Xtreme Wrestling in Germany will be doing its first tryout on 8/12 before Fan Appreciation night in Oberhausen.  The tryout is to find young talent in Europe and coaches will be Tommy End, Emily Sitoci and Big Van Walter.  At the tryout, you'll be asked to do a short match with a wrestler on the roster.  A good performance will not only get you on the show that night, but can get you a regular position with the company.  You need to send name, age, date of birth, current residence, height, weight, who trained you, experience level, a face photo and full body shot to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--We had the wrong link to a Vince Russo shoot trailer yesterday and the link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ihsACdgXY
 
--Thursday's TV tapings for the NXT show at Full Sail University are once again free and open only to students of the college.  We are looking for reports on those tapings.
 
--New Jack hates Abdullah the Butcher at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgBoJd_VE24  
 
--CZW from last night in Hamilton, OH:  Sami Callihan b Adam Cole, Dustin Rayz b Aaron McCormick, Sylar Cross & Master Jae won over  Jesse Emerson & Chris Hall, Bobby Beverly & Eric Ryan and AW2, Naveah b Kimber Lee, Dave Crist b Greg Excellent, Matt Tremont over Danny Havoc and Ron Mathis in fans bring the weapons, Drake Younger b  Drew Gulak, AR Fox b Alex Colon, D.J. Hyde b Jake Crist in a falls count anywhere no DQ match.  Next show will be 7/14 with Drake Younger vs. Sami Callihan in a 60 minute falls count anywhere Iron Man Match (thanks to Adam Sanders)  

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