MON. UPDATE: TNA stars at TripleMania, BJ Penn/Rory Mac update, WWE stock news, TMZ covers Kharma
Monday, 06 August 2012 12:38
By Dave Meltzer |
Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio, covering Raw and the rest of the news. You can send in questions for tonight's show to
We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday night's UFC on FOX, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're looking for reports from the live Raw tonight in San Antonio with dark matches, Superstars matches and anything else not on the live show. It has been promoted locally as Shawn Michaels Appreciation Night. Brock Lesnar is scheduled to return to television tonight as they start building SummerSlam.
We're also looking for reports on these shows from the weekend:
*WWE Raw on Friday night in Jacksonville
*TNA on Friday night in Enid, OK
*WWE Raw on Saturday night in Albany, GA
*TNA on Saturday night in Oklahoma City
*WWE Raw from last night in Dothan
*TNA from last night in Tulsa
Smackdown will be taped on Tuesday in Houston.
The G-1 tournament on Tuesday in Miyagi has Tetsuya Naito vs. Rush, Shelton Benjamin vs. Yujiro Takahashi, Satoshi Kojima vs. Karl Anderson, Hirooki Goto vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Kazuchika Okada vs. Lance Archer, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. MVP, Minoru Suzuki vs. Naomichi Marufuji and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Toru Yano.THE LATEST OBSERVER: Who is the most popular combat sports competitor?
Our twice annual look at the most popular figures in pro wrestling, MMA and boxing, broken down with an extensive look at the U.S. market, the world market and the Canadian market is one of the lead stories is a news packed issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter out this week.
We also have updates on WrestleMania and UFC 148 business and where PPV is falling into.
We've got a popularity chart, including currently active participants and legends, with notes on how pro wrestling, boxing and MMA differ when it comes to both current and enduring popularity. We also have a chart listing the rankings at this point with those of the past three years so you can see who is gaining and losing steam.
We look at people over pushed, under pushed, the difference between boxing enduring legends, who have become the biggest new stars this year, who have faded, the current value of UFC and WWE championships in making stars, do UFC fans by and large want to see smaller guys and who is pro wrestling's most enduring legend worldwide.
We also have a piece on the history of wrestling on television following up last week's story on the longest lasting TV shows in wrestling history. We look at Georgia television wrestling prior to TBS, as well as how Ronald Reagan changed television and how that changed pro wrestling from the 70s to the 80s and paved the way for Vince McMahon's changing of the business. We also look back at how Gordon Solie got to be the national voice of wrestling.
We also look at the surgery Great Khali underwent, why John Laurinaitis was demoted from his real position and how the talent department has changed in recent months and different people who have replaced Laurinaitis at his job. We also look at how Laurinaitis got to WWE and became head of talent relations.
We have an update on SummerSlam, a look at the Linda McMahon campaign, how much the McMahon family has lost in the last two years as well as Linda McMahon taking credit for WWE but not wanting to talk about it.
We've got more notes from backstage at Raw 1,000, what happened between Bruno Sammartino and Steve Austin, Another WWE tryout camp coming, update on WWE 13 the video game, more on Chris Jericho's schedule as well as updated plans for Raw and Smackdown house shows and who will be on what tours after SummerSlam.
We also have our monthly business rundown of live attendance, DVDs, web site numbers and more.
We also have notes on next week's Raw, AW, Tensai, NXT tapings, a WWE developmental wrestler arrested, someone who just arrived in developmental, as well as a rundown of the weekend business and the weekend house shows.
We also have a look at the business of women's MMA and some staggering figures if one chooses to believe them regarding Invicta Fighting Championships.
Our look at Olympians who became pro wrestling stars looks at a 1940 name, Ed Virag, who was for a brief period of time, Sam Muchnick's headliner after World War II when he first got started and was an early NWA world champion.
We also have a look at how No Way Out did on PPV with a comparison to last year.
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 from 1995 just put up talking about the financial effects of the PPV business at that time and the back story behind the relationship and announcement of the engagement of Kensuke Sasaki and Akira Hokuto.
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We also have results from all the major league arena events over the past week as well as a look at all the major television shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--What happened to this week's Friday night TV taping in Mexico City
--History of Arena Mexico having to cancel wrestling including how one of the most famous matches in history led to a several week period when no matches are allowed in the arena.
--Several anniversary shows honoring veteran wrestlers
--The last TV taping before TripleMania and what famous angle did they reprise
--A look at TripleMania
--Notes on the annual Lucha Libre fan fest and who isn't going to be involved this year
--A look at the Dragon Gate USA weekend shows
--All Japan plans its next big show and what decision is being made right now regarding the Triple Crown
--A look at the finals of the All Japan annual junior heavyweight tournament and standings
--All Japan opening up a new market
--More on TNA stars in Japan
--New Japan enters iPPV business and lineup
--What Olympian is already getting looks from a major pro wrestling company and why
--A look at the star power of wrestlers in Japan
--Hall of Famer undergoes back surgery
--A look at the life of a pivotal figure in the history of women's pro wrestling as well as country music
--Lots more on the situation with Davey Richards, Kyle O'Reilly and Tony Kozina
--Questions ROH has to ask about Richards
--ROH tag team tournament notes
--Notes on TNA contracts
--More on the Aces and 8s identities
--Current TV taping schedule for TNA
--Update on Hardcore Justice PPV card
--Notes on who is Sam Shaw and thoughts on TNA Gut Check
--TNA house show notes for the weekend
--More on Jon Jones sentencing
--A look at the FOX UFC card
--Dana White's talk about the next light heavyweight title contender and evaluating all the leading candidates
--A look at UFC booking between now and the end of the year with the big fights expected
--How Kurt Angle's name came up in UFC this past week
--Tons of new UFC matches
--Thoughts on Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz
--Who got pulled from a TV slot because of a prior offense
--An arrest of a former world champion after a brawl at a rave
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Our most requested issues in our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
*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)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
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*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
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*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
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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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*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
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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.
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.
Monday's news update
--In the key matches at TripleMania last night, Mesias retained the AAA heavyweight title over Perro Aguayo Jr. in a match where they started a Hector Garza split from Aguayo; Dr. Wagner Jr. beat Mascara Ano 2000 Jr. in the mask vs. mask main event and L.A. Park & Electroshock beat Kurt Angle & Jeff Jarrett, managed by Karen. However, Dorian Roldan shaved his fathers' head after the match and not the other way around.
--Saturday's FOX show will be replayed at 7 p.m. Eastern time on Fuel. If you didn't see it, it's worth DVRing. UFC Legends Roundtable is on Fuel at 11 p.m. and UFC 140 (Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida) is on at midnight tonight.
--B.J. Penn has asked for his match with Rory MacDonald to be on 10/13 in Brazil as opposed to 11/17 in Montreal, saying that a one month (well three week) delay should be enough for him to be ready. I get not wanting to fight MacDonald on home turf, but Penn should think about the value of being on a show headlined by GSP as opposed to Jose Aldo, when it comes to his exposure, pocketbook and marketability.
--For those keeping score in the TNA Bound for Glory series, Christopher Daniels picked up seven points beating The Pope yesterday in Tulsa.
--In the predictions for the UFC show, since the Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado match was thrown out as a no contest, it wasn't a bad night for everyone with no big surprises. I went 4-0. Everyone else went 3-1. Josh Nason and Oliver Copp picked Ryan Bader. Mike Sawyer picked Jamie Varner. Todd Martin and Mike Sempervive picked DaMarques Johnson. I came real close to picking Johnson as well.
--WWE stock shot up today to $8.41 per share, the highest it has been in a long time.
--There will be the first of a two-part special on Ronda Rousey on Showtime airing Wednesday night at 9:30 p.m. They are so disrespecting Sarah Kaufman.
--Don't know if this is serious, but John Layfield tweeted about going back to announcing on Smackdown now that Booker T is off as G.M. It was mostly he and Michael Cole insulting each other in a fake Twitter battle, so there is probably little to this.
--TMZ ran a short piece on Kia Stevens, who was Kharma in WWE, saying she fell into depression and put on too much weight and was out of shape. That was pretty much the book on her in WWE as they thought she was too heavy. She plans to get back into shape and is trying to get a reality show gig showing her dropping weight.
--Fuel TV sent out a release today noting that July was the biggest month in the history of the network, breaking the record set in June. They are pretty much growing by the month as people know it's the UFC destination channel. They are up 180% in total viewers and 300% in Men 18-49 from the same point a year ago, but nobody was watching a year ago.
The Weidman vs. Munoz UFC show was the third most watched show in the history of the station, trailing two UFC shows earlier this year. It was the third most watched overall day in the history of the station. They had 480 hours of UFC programming in July, which works out to 15 1/2 hours out of a 24 hour day on average.
--John Finnegan passed along a site
that started keeping track of TV/PPV wins and losses in November 2006, so over the last nearly six years, with Sheamus' win over Tensai on Smackdown Friday night, he now has 100 TV wins. The only others to hit that mark are C.M. Punk (137), John Cena (121) and Randy Orton (118). Close are Kane (98) and Jeff Hardy (91).
--LATV has dumped CMLL and has replaced it with MMA programming in the Saturday 7-9 p.m. time slot. There is also a channel called Ultra Macho on Verizon FIOS that airs old CMLL matches, mostly from about a year ago. Interestingly over the weekend, Galavision aired the Averno vs. La Mascara mask vs. mask match from last year, but it was with up to date promos since they were talking about the cards over the past week (thanks to Ken Doucet)
--TNA sent in an ad which was put on the web site of the Bowie Baysox minor league team for a show on 9/1 at the Bowie, MD ballpark. One of the names listed was Drew Hankinson, the real name of Luke Gallows who has been the big guy in Aces and 8s. Apparently he is going to work under his real name, which surprises me since TNA follows WWE's lead in creating names for wrestlers so they can own the character.
--The Wall Street Journal has a story about Randy Couture and preparing for retirement
in sports without going broke. Well, it is easier when you've got connections that give you regular movie work, but he gives some logical advice about starting to save money and not spending money like a big shot.
Who should UFC pick as the next opponent for Junior Dos Santos?
Cain Velasquez because he massacred Bigfoot Silva to earn the shot 30.1%
Cain Velasquez because Alistair Overeem shouldn't get an immediate shot after failing a drug test and being banned 29.5%
Cain Velasquez because UFC promised him the shot already 13.5%
Alistair Overeem because Velasquez already lost to Junior Dos Santos 10.3%
Alistair Overeem because he will draw more on PPV 8.7%
Cain Velasquez because he will draw more on PPV 3.2%
Cain Velasquez because he will be more valuable to the company as champion 2.6%
Alistair Overeem because he will be more valuable to the company as champion 2.2%
Adding it all up, it's 78.8% for Velasquez and 21.2% for Overeem
Best TV show of the past week?
UFC on FOX 49.6%
Inside MMA 0.8%
--5 Dimes has SummerSlam odds out:
Brock Lesnar -160
C.M. Punk -260
John Cena +180
Big Show +180
Alberto Del Rio +225
(thanks to Jeff Burns)
--Matches on the upcoming C.M. Punk DVD release:
Punk vs. Brent Albright 3/1/06
Punk vs. Justin Credible 8/1/06
Punk vs. John Morrison for ECW title 9/4/07
Punk vs. Jericho vs. Benjamin vs. Morrison vs. Carlito vs. MVP vs. Kennedy at the 2008 WrestleMania MITB match
Punk & Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase for tag titles 10/27/08
Punk vs. William Regal for IC title 1/19/09
Punk vs. Jeff Hardy TLC match for world title 8/23/09
Punk vs. Rey Mysterio 5/23/10
Punk vs. John Cena 7/17/11 - the big match last year
Punk vs. Chris Jericho from WrestleMania
Punk vs Daniel Bryan from Over the Limit
--Davey Richards is going on a European tour with these dates:
8/10 for Britannia Wrestling Promotions in Prestatyn Wales against C.J. Banks
8/11 for WXW in Oberhausen, Germany vs. Axeman
8/12 for WXW in Oberhausen, Germany
8/13 to 8/17 - A five day seminar in Manchester, England at Star Power Training
8/17 for Preston City Wrestling in Preston, England
8/18 for Southside Wrestling Entertainment in Huntingdon, England vs Stixxx
8/19 for Southside Wrestling Entertainment in Nottingham, England vs. Noam Dar
8/20 to 8/24 - Another five day seminar in Manchester, England at Star Power Training
8/25 for Future Shock Wrestling in Manchester, England vs. Jack Gallagher
8/26 for Future Shock Wrestling in Dudley, England
8/26 for Pro Wrestling Live in Bilston, England
--Tickets for Tommy Dreamer's first House of Hardcore show on 10/6 in Poughkeepsie, NY are on sale at Ticketmaster starting today.
--Jimmy Valiant turned 70 today.
--For the weekend, there were more than 50,000 searches on Google for UFC, putting it among the most searched items over the weekend. Other sports names hitting the 50,000 mark were Andy Reid (200,000), McKayla Maroney (200,000), Sanya Richards Ross (200,000), Andy Murray (100,000), Olympic javelin (100,000), NFL (100,000), Misty May Treanor (50,000), Olga Korbut (50,000 - there was a big NBC feature on whatever happened to her, many credit the popularity of women's gymnastics at this level to her in the 1972 Olympics), Kirk Urso (50,000), Nathan Adrian (50,000), Synchronized Swimming (500,000), Usain Bolt (200,000), Jessica Ennis (200,000), Serena Williams (100,000), Oscar Pistorius (100,000) and Roger Federer (50,000).
--Today's Los Angeles Times' entertainment section has a story on Mike Tyson's Broadway show. It's mostly about the reviews of the show in the New York media which have been more negative than positive.
--Family Wrestling Entertainment on 10/5 in Brooklyn with Tommy Dreamer vs. Rhino, Paul London & Brian Kendrick & Jay Lethal vs. Petey Williams & Young Bucks, Velvet Sky & Angelina Love vs. Maria Kanellis & ?, plus Sonjay Dutt and Chris Masters appear.
--Empire Wrestling from Friday night before a full house of 45 fans in Avondale Estates, GA: Hayden Young b Supernatural, Asesno b Warhorse 50, Chip Day b Najasism, Fred Yehi & Pandora b Marko Polo & Nina Monet, Trey & Jon Williams & De La Vega & Johnny Danger b Mr. Eric & Eric Walker & Shaun Adams & William Huckaby III, Mason NC Jacob Ashworth, Geter & Brian Blaze b Master Jae & Sylar Cross, Shane Marx b Dany Only. Dany Only is leaving for a one year job in the Middle East (thanks to Larry Goodman)
--2CW from Saturday night in Rome, NY before 500 fans: Steve McKenzie & Steve Cruz & Loca Vida b Dick Justice & Peter D. Order & Eric M. Timmins (for EMT), Isys Ephex b Cheech, Bin Hamin & Matt Milan b ZS3 in a handicap street fight, Player Uno & Player Dos b Punisher Van Slyke & Kevin Graham to keep tag titles, Jason Axe b Masada, Kevin Steen b Eddie Edwards to keep 2CW title, All Money is Legal b Sean Carr & Kage, Slyck Wagner Brown won four-way over Colin Delaney, Rich Swann and Jay Freddie Tommaso Ciampa b Sami Callihan (thanks to William Johnson)
--BANG Wrestling on 8/11 in Ocala, FL at the Bang TV Sound Stage featuring Mickie James and Dory Funk Jr. wrestling.
--Powerslam Productions from Saturday night in Tylertown, MS before 400 fans: Bolt Brady b Jack Jameson, Matt Lancie b Rudy Russo, Ling Phan b Jack Ford, Reggie Matthews & Bulldog Kid & Curt Matthews & Kool Jay Steel b Shane Champagne & Great Mystic & Calvin Rose & Blade Boudreaux in an elimination match, Brett DiBiase b Aeon Flex, Lukas Frost b Carlos Socorro, Gangrel & Wes Adams b Joe Kane & Ron Horn. Orlando Jordan and Paul Bearer also appeared at the show. Jordan and Luke Hawx are running a wrestling school in New Orleans and a lot of their students worked this show.
--K-1 announced Vinny Shoreman and Kieran Keddle as the announcing team for their 9/8 show from the Los Angeles Sports Arena. No word on where the show will be broadcast.