SUN. UPDATE: Anniversary of Benoit tragedy, Bret Hart stroke, Piper talks haunted house, White changes date for one of big fights of 2012, UFC business predictions for weekend shows shows of year

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 today's ROH iPPV, last night's UFC show as well as Friday night's UFC show, 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 today's  Raw show in Huntington, WV, Smackdown in Bloomington, IL and TNA in Hamilton, ONT at the Convention Centre (Bobby Roode & Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. A.J. Styles & Samoa Joe & Austin Aries, James Storm vs. Mr. Anderson in the Bound for Glory series, Miss Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim for Knockouts title, Samoa Joe vs. Zema Ion, Robbie E vs. Gunner).  We're also looking for reports on last night's Smackdown brand house show in Springfield, IL.

ROH Hostage Crisis iPPV starting at 5 p.m. Eastern time:

-Kevin Steen vs. Davey Richards for ROH title in an anything goes match with the piledriver legal, if Richards loses he never gets another title shot as long as Steen is champion        
-Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Kenny King & Rhett Titus for tag titles
-Fit Finlay vs. Michael Elgin
-Roderick Strong vs. Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa for TV title
-Eddie Edwards vs. Homicide
-Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. The Guardians of Truth (who will be a masked mystery team managed by Truth Martini)
-Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly with Hybrid rules, no pins, match can only end via submission, knockout or DQ

We'll be doing live coverage of the show as it happens.

Raw will be live on Monday from Fort Wayne, IN.  Chris Jericho returns on Monday. Smackdown will be taped on Tuesday in Evansville, IN at the Ford Center.

We've got thoughts on an MMA Hall of Fame, who definitely belongs in, who should be considered, and who shouldn't be in, as one of the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  The issue also includes an update on WWE after No Way Out, full coverage of the show, New Japan PPV coverage and the career of its top star, Hiroshi Tanahashi, two of the biggest promotions in the world combine for a show in two weeks, what moved the Raw ratings, as well as plans for an annual tradition that will be the MMA equivalent to WrestleMania.

The issue will be 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 fallout of WrestleMania that year, the aftermath of Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie II, which at the time was the biggest nonbeing sports PPV of all-time, the 1995 Champion Carnival tournament, TripleMania build for that year and more.
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        We look at a number of questions regarding an MMA Hall of Fame, how it would differ from a UFC Hall of Fame, the weakness of the UFC Hall of Fame, who is in the UFC Hall of Fame, who are the most talked about people who could be in that aren't and why, questions regarding Brock Lesnar, Tank Abbott, Gina Carano, Bob Sapp and other notable attractions of the past.
        We also break down various candidates and put them into five different categories regarding who should and shouldn't be in.  We also speculate on the future of the UFC Hall of Fame, and also ask questions regarding two key issues that would keep most candidates out of a sports Hall of Fame that are uniquely different in MMA.
        We also look at WWE's No Way Out, with full coverage of the show included polls, business, match-by-match coverage with star ratings, stories behind the booking, where things are probably headed next month and more.
        We also have more on Randy Orton's drug test failure, what he actually failed for, how WWE changed plans greatly because of it and what Orton wants.
        We also have an update on the Linda McMahon campaign, including how wrestling was brought up in political debates, reactions and policy.  We've got an update on Ric Flair's status, what Vince McMahon wants regarding new signees to the company, plans for blueprint of the three hour Raw shows, Vince's new philosophy on announcers behavior, what happened to Eve Torres, and Chris Jericho talks future.
        We also have notes on the new WWE video game, who is in charge of booking house shows, Randy Savage in the WWE Hall of Fame, Brock Lesnar returning and WWE Raw in Mexico.
        We also look a lot at WWE developmental, Vader's reaction to WWE, the future of NXT, why it's no longer on the Internet, as well as notes from the last taping.  We've got updates on Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes, viewership of Raw on DVR, as well as WWE business notes from the past weekend and house show highlights.
        We also cover the New Japan Dominion PPV, look at the records when it comes to the IWGP title, the title reign of Kazuchika Okada, and full show coverage.
         We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on the this week's Raw and Impact.  We also look at how the time slot move and going live has affected TNA numbers.
        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:
--A web site streaming live overseas matches every week
--New Japan star to challenge for CMLL heavyweight title
--TNA star in a TV feud in Mexico
--A look at the reality show premise CMLL is doing on its shows
--Updated Mexico TV ratings
--Changes in AAA booking explained
--A look at the angles leading into TripleMania along with new major matches added to the show
--What American stars are scheduled on the show
--Notes on All Japan's annual junior heavyweight tournament
--Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial show notes
--What wrestler from the past got carried away on that show and ended up hurt
--Notes on NOAH's next big show
--Update on Davey Richards in Japan
--Notes on 2012 Fire Festival tournament
--Shinjiro Otani anniversary show
--Lots more on tape collections not owned by WWE including what is left in one of wrestling all-time best markets
--One of the best in-ring wrestlers explains why he is retiring next year and his disappointment with wrestling
--Notes on the Best in the World show from ROH
--ROH upcoming dates
--Notes on the weekend ROH combined show and TV taping
--Does TNA have momentum
--Early Slammiversary numbers
--Update on Chris Sabin and Matt Morgan in TNA
--Notes on the Bound for Glory tournament
--What is different from last year
--What still doesn't make sense from the tournament
--Thoughts on TNA's X Division title and what it's worth right now
--Who TNA should make a push to get
--Notes on Eric Young's new TV show
--Notes on TNA female star competing in a national bikini contest
--Update on King Mo
--Notes on weekend TNA house shows
--A major UFC tradition they are looking at starting
--Behind the Feijao suspension and how that screws up the Strikeforce light heavyweight title picture
--Notes on the weekend UFC shows
--The controversy over Clay Guida's hair
--Alistair Overeem talks his return and what he said that doesn't make sense
--Notes on how other sports are now doing on Saturday nights
--Health update on Demetrious Johnson
--News on lots of UFC special TV programming
--How FOX is going to help promote the upcoming major shows
--Why there is an extra PPV match at UFC 148
--Lots more UFC card changes
--U.K. ratings for UFC
--Thoughts on the latest judging snafu
--More on drug testing in UFC
--Former trainer files suit against Anderson Silva
--Notes on UFC's return to the U.N.
--New Bellator signees
--Pacquiao vs. Bradley business notes
--International group with a long-term TV deal
--Updating the Bob Sapp career
        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.
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*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)
*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
*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)
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*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
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*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)
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*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)
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*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
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        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.
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Sunday's News Update
--Today is the fifth anniversary of the death of Chris Benoit and the weekend Nancy Benoit and son Daniel died in their house at Chris' hands.

Today is also ten years since Bret Hart suffered a serious stroke while riding his bicycle in Calgary.  He had to relearn to walk again and made incredible progress from it.  Hart wrote today: "10 years ago today at this very hour, death came calling and returned home empty handed. Thank you God for letting me continue my journey."

--Roddy Piper on Celebrity Ghost Stories talked about how when he was 22, he met Adrian Adonis who was also 22 (the two are a few months apart in age although I can recall Piper and Keith Franks doing a brief storyline where Piper was going to hypnotize Franks so he could stop smoking a few years before that. Yes, they really did that stuff in the 70s, the Los Angeles promotion had its share of really bad angles) while in Oregon. 

He said that Adonis was the one who convinced him to buy a house and Piper did.  He then talked about how Adonis later died in a car accident and he misses him greatly.  He said that his daughter and son of late have seen shadows and a man in the house, and one day when he was coming home, his son was screaming about a man in the house and he went to confront the person and it was Adonis. Adonis then disappeared.  Damn.  I wish he at least had his camera phone with him so we could see what Adonis looks like today.  He said he thinks Adonis is actually looking over himself and his family in the house.  Wait a minute, there's no way in 1977 that Piper would have had the money to buy the mansion he lives in now. Piper said that he never believed in ghosts until that moment.
--Dana White noted last night that the Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez fight would not be taking place on 9/22 in Toronto.  He didn't say when it would take place.  According to those close to Velasquez, they don't know anything other than Velasquez will be ready in September if need be.
--If you want to get familiar with the fighters on Ultimate Fighter Brazil after the finals are already over, well, Fuel has two episodes airing from 9-11 P.M. tonight.  At 11 p.m. tonight is Friday night's Maynard vs. Guida show from Atlantic City. The main event was UFC's first Ambien death match in a while. 
--The Super Fight League, which is the MMA group run by Ken Pavia out of India, announced signing Jeff Monson, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Satoshi Ishii and Michael Page to exclusive four fight deals.  Monson and Ishii will join the heavyweight division that includes James Thompson, Bobby Lashley and Todd Duffee.  They run shows regularly in India on Colours TV and their events all air live on Youtube. 
--The CZW Tournament of Death airs at 8 p.m. as an iPPV.
--El Terrible defends the CMLL world heavyweight title today at Arena Coliseo in Mexico City against New Japan's Yujiro Takahashi.
--Birthdays today include Adam Pearce (34) and "Tiny" Lister, who was Zeus in the WWF (54).  WWE had commercials for No Holds Barred on Smackdown since the DVD is coming out. Holy shit, was that movie awful.
--Shane Bauer, who was Benoit's early tag team partner Biff Wellington, was also found dead that week at 42.  Toni Adams passed away two years ago at the age of 45, while 60s midget wrestling star Cowboy Bradley passed away two years ago today at the age of 75 (thanks to Rich Tate).
--Jim Ross talks Jerry Sandusky, the 1000th Raw, the first NXT show that aired internationally this past week, Paul Heyman, Roger Clemens and more.
What rating do you think Friday night's UFC show did?
0.6 or less 26.7%
0.7 8.4%
0.8 15.3%
0.9 13.7%
1.0 21.4%
1.1 6.1%
1.2 1.5%
1.3 2.3%
1.4 1.5%
1.5 0.0%
1.6 or more 3.1%
* The last two shows in the slot did 0.8s and Clay Guida is a bigger draw than anyone they had on those shows, so 0.6 or less would not be a happy rating.
Poll on Smackdown
Excellent 9.9%
Good 46.5%
Average 22.8%
Fair 8.9%
Poor 11.9%
* 43.6% of those responding didn't see the show
How many buys do you think UFC 147 gets?
Under 75,000 16.7%
76-100,000 22.9%
101-125,000 18.9%
126-150,000 10.1%
151-175,000 10.1%
176-200,000 7.0%
201-225,000 6.2%
226-250,000 1.8%
251-275,000 0.9%
More than 276,000 5.3%
--Juggalo Championship Wrestling announced shows on 7/5 in Taylor, MI at the Taylor Town Center, 7/6 in Grand Rapids, MI at the Orbit Room and 7/7 in Milwaukee at the Miramar Theater.  Announced include Rhino, Tommy Dreamer, Steve Corino and Colt Cabana.
--Lucha Xtreme TV from last night in Fresno, CA.  Mike Rayne b Steve Stamp, Mariachi b D-Unit-DQ, Manny Fernandez b Braihn Tannen-DQ.  They also aired a match taped from a show they did after a Fresno Grizzlies minor league game at the local stadium with Brian Cage over D-Torch. (thanks to Jon Southerland)  
--Friday night in Puebla:  Mini Pegasso & Mini Scorpio Jr. b Mini Dark Cuervo & Mini Dark Espiritu, Argenis & Fenix b Dark Dragon & Tito Santana (not the 80s star), Drago & La Parka b Chessman & Ultimo Gladiador
--IWRG on Thursday night in Naucalpan:  Imposible b Templario, Dinamic Black & Golden Magic b Alan Extreme & Eita, Heddi Karaoui & Pete Powers (Lance Storm trainee) & Shadow Phoenix b Chicano & Dr. Cerebro & Trauma II, Danny Casas & Pantera & Veneno b Bestia 666 & El Hijo del Mascara Ano 2000 & Super Nova, Cien Caras Jr. b Head Hunter I-DQ to keep the IC heavyweight title.
--Perros Del Mal from Thursday night in Queretaro:  Fabi Apache & Ludark Shaitan b Sexy Lady & Taya Vokyrie, Psycho Circus b Black Terry & Negro Navarro & Zumbi, El Texano Jr. & Mascara Ano 2000 Jr. & Toscano b Halloween & Psicosis & Silver King, Blue Demon Jr. & Cibernetico & Dr. Wagner Jr. b Perro Aguayo Jr. & Hector Garza & L.A. Park
--The 15th anniversary of pro wrestling at Arena San Juan Pantitlan on Friday night:  Black Fury & La Chona & Sexy b Tauro de Creta & La Briosa & Demoledora, Super Tarin & Colombiano & Miserable (who got his name from watching the UFC main event that night) b Millonario & El Hijo del Ebano & Rey del Espacio Jr. and by the stips, Millionario lost his mask, Cuchillo & Infinito & Pirata Morgan Jr. b Dinamico & Mascara Divina & Super Pinocho, Pirata Morgan & Villano IV b Huracan Ramirez & Super Brazo, Ricky Ricon won a three-way over El Rey de Espacio and Mohicano I which led to Espacio getting his head shaved, El Texano Jr. & Mascara Ano 2000 Jr. b Cibernetico & Dr. Wagner Jr. (thanks to Kris Zellner and Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims) 
--NWA Anarchy TV tapings from last night in Cornelia, GA:  Mike Posey won over Cedric Alexander, Skirra Corvus and Corey Hollis, Tommy Daniels b Jacob Ashworth, Bo Newsome b Nemesis, Dustin Knight b Adrian Hawkins, Brandon Parker b Joey Rhymer, Bobby Moore & Andrew Pendelton b Johnny Dangerous & Seth Delay, John Skyler b Kameron Kade, Slim J & Azrael b Jacoby Boykins & Bo Newsome.  They have a show on 6/30 featuring a 12 man elimination match to determine the new General Manager.
--GOUGE from last night in Butner, NC:  King Ray King b Coach Court Montgomery, Jaheem & Dream & Sideshow Phil b C Swizzle & J Swagg, ATL b Cruumb the Bum, Mickey Gambino b James Anthony, Mikey Gambino b Mike West, Trailer Park Heat b Earl McCraney, Jimmy Jack Funk Jr. b Lou Marconi.  Next shows are 7/4 in Raleigh as part of a fireworks event on Fayetteville Street and 7/14 in Roxbro, NC at the National Guard Armory.
--CZW has an iPPV on 7/14 from Voorhees, NJ at Flyer's Skate Zone headlined by Masada vs. AR Fox for the CZW world title.  There will also be a one hour Ultraviolent Ironman match with Drake Young vs. Sami Callihan
--Trans South Wrestling on 7/7 in Union, SC at the Union County Fairgrounds features The Barbarian and George South, as well as Eric Bradford, who is on the "Redneck Island" show that Steve Austin hosts on CMT. 

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?