THURS. UPDATE: Rousey TV, new WWE show, Nash explains why Michaels doesn't count, UFC odds, WWE hires new EVP, How much Vince earned last year, WWE in Japan, Forrmer UFC & TNA star in jail, and feelings on UFC in relation to PEDs
Thursday, 09 August 2012 14:57
*Rob Van Dam vs. Pope D'Angelo Dinero in the Bound for Glory series
*James Storm vs. Bully Ray in the Bound for Glory series
*A.J. Styles vs. Kurt Angle in the Bound for Glory series
The next G-1 Climax show is Friday (late tonight) in Niigata with Tetsuya Naito vs. Lance Archer, Yuji Nagata vs. Shelton Benjamin, Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. MVP, Togi Makabe vs. Rush, Karl Anderson vs. Toru Yano, Satoshi Kojima vs. Minoru Suzuki, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yujiro Takahashi and Hirooki Goto vs. Kazuchika Okada. The tournament concludes with a show on Saturday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo and Sunday at Sumo Hall in Tokyo which is a PPV show featuring eight singles matches and the championship match.
On Fuel tonight, UFC Tonight is at 8 p.m., Ultimate Insider at 8:30 p.m., Best of Pride at 9 p.m., Unleashed (with the first Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar fight) is at 10 pm. and Countdown to UFC 150 is at 11 p.m., with TUF Brazil at midnight.
We have our look at WWE quarterly financials as well as profitability of each sector as our lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We cover the WrestleMania quarter, including breaking down the financial numbers of the show, including how much more or less than wrestlers made from the show compared with the previous two years, company projects on profits for the rest of the year, as well as Vince McMahon and George Barrios talk the company's future.
We look at Vince McMahon's appraisal of the quarter, what was up, what was down, who and what they credited the increase in PPV to, update on network expenses, the difference in the current business model with that of the past, a look at the production of television in the fall, what the company says will be the result of adding a new TV show and a third hour of Raw and more.
We look at the investment in Tout, business in different international regions, breaking down WrestleMania, how much more the company took in this year and a profit estimate for the show. We also look at house show business, we've got a chart when it comes to PPV for the first six months of the last three years showing the annual increases from the bottoming out point.
We also look at what records from a business standpoint were set at WrestleMania, how the return of Brock Lesnar was different in different markets on PPV, a WWE vs. UFC comparison when it comes to television that is very telling, costs of producing a WWE television shoot, how much less talent made this quarter on merchandise royalties, magazine sales, as well as a breakdown of how much money every WWE movie has made or lost to date, an updated schedule of WWE movies as well as a breakdown of actual profits by division in WWE.
We also have a breakdown of UFC on FOX, talking about the fights, the business of the show, ratings, growth the next show, and GSP vs. Anderson Silva as the idea being floated around. We've also got match-by-match coverage and poll results form the show.
We also look back at the first TripleMania as well as cover the 20th version of the show which took place over the weekend.
The issue is 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 how a WWE network TV special got squashed and everyone running for cover changing their stories, how future Hall of Famer Hiroshi Hase left pro wrestling full-time for politics, huge nostalgia shows, the death of a well known bodybuilder turned wrestler named Don Ross, the Bret Hart-Jerry Lawler feud and more on the engagement of Kensuke Sasaki and Akira Hokuto.
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We also look at what Dwayne Johnson has been up to, Undertaker's wife having a kid, the Rosa Mendes story with Jackson Andrews and how he lived with two women at the same time, why JTG blew up as well as the complaints a lot of prelim talent have been taking since the WrestleMania payoff came out, an update on the SummerSlam card, WWE considering adding another weekly TV show, departure of Chris Jericho, TV ratings in Canada, WWE business in Japan, a new Mick Foley book, new WWE signing, WWE Hall of Famer gets rid of his ring, DVR viewership of Raw, as well as business notes from the last week and details on all the house shows of the past week.
We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on how every segment of Raw this past week did. We look at what segments gained and lost viewers
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:
--The debut of the new Mistico, who he is and how business did the first few nights in
--AAA in a campaign against obesity
--AAA TV after TripleMania
--More on Johnny Gargano's new contract
--The Villano III 40th anniversary show
--A look at New Japan's debut in the iPPV business
--The cultural differences when it comes to PPV and iPPV between the U.S. and Japan
--Breakup of one of New Japan's lead heel groups
--A complete rundown of the G-1 Climax tournament to date, including best matches and storylines
--A look at the conclusion of this year's Zero-One Fire Festival
--New Japan stars coming to California
--New Japan having a tryout in the U.S.
--World's Greatest Masked Man tournament
--Kamala, Dawn Marie and more in the latest on things that make no sense
--Independent wrestler sentenced to 15 years in prison due to a sexual assault
--Former major league baseball player to headline a wrestling show
--Update on Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reilly
--The next two ROH iPPV shows
--Notes on the next several weeks of ROH television
--Update on TNA's schedule
--Hardcore Justice update
--Booking of James Storm looked at
--Upcoming TNA advertising perhaps giving away a major name debuting
--Update on King Mo and his planned debut
--Update on the Bound for Glory series
--A look at the weekend TNA house show
--Update on UFC 149 numbers
--Advance ticket sales for upcoming UFC shows
--More on the Chad Mendes situation
--Debut of the new season of Ultimate Fighter
--More on Rory MacDonald's cut
--A look at Velasquez vs. Overeem, and who gets the next title shot
--Update on lots of new UFC and Strikeforce matches
--A look at UFC 150
--Donald Cerrone looking past Melvin Guillard
--Dana White talks Forrest Griffin, Chris Leben, Matt Hughes, Nate Diaz and drug testing
--A look at Anderson Silva's prospective opponents
--Lorenzo Fertitta on the background of making Mir vs. Cormier
--Drug testing the Toronto show
--More on Josh Koscheck's injury
--Dana White changes his tune on TRT
--Roy Nelson on Alistair Overeem
--White's talks with Nate Diaz
--Plans for UFC's next show in Minneapolis
--Tons of new UFC fights
--Update on Georges St. Pierre
--Arrest of a member of Chael Sonnen's camp
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.
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)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
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*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
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*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
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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 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
*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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*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)
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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)
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*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
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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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Thursday's news update
--Some notes on the Ronda Rousey stuff on TV last night. She was on Conan O'Brien and Conan brought up if she was like a boxer and abstained from sex before a fight. She said that as a woman, having sex before competition increases your testosterone level (I have no idea if this is true) but noted that she didn't currently have a boyfriend so indicated she wasn't doing that before this fight.
There were jokes about all kinds of people who would be willing to help her in that predicament. People who didn't see the show are now on her case regarding the idea that as a role model for young girls, she was advocating them having premarital sex before they compete in sports. Okay, whatever. She's usually very good on these type of shows, but she wasn't nearly at the level of a lot of the prior interviews she's done, and it was more Conan carrying things.
Regarding the Showtime special on her, it was interesting to see the small thrashed place she still lives in, including having a flat screen TV that isn't hooked up and she doesn't get cable. She basically lives like a 21 year old guy with a roommate who never clean up. It really showed she had become a somebody very quickly. They pushed the Sarah Kaufman fight, which is what the show was designed to promote. Neither said anything negative about the other past Kaufman saying she thought it was unfair Rousey got a title shot at a weight class where she had never fought before because promoters thought they could sell Tate vs. Rousey with the two pretty girls and she thought as far as being a sport, that was completely unfair. Dana White was all over the piece talking about what a big fan he is of her, how she's got the charisma and said he could see her being the first woman fighter to compete in UFC. Quite frankly, I'm sure he'd like to have her on the UFC roster today. There were also clips of Gina Carano. When you see Carano and Rousey on the same show, even though Rousey is a better athlete and has more personality, Carano has a look and even a way of talking (as long as she's limited to short sound bites) that immediately makes her a superstar. But they are two completely different characters who both happen to be female fighters. But when the piece was over, if you saw it, Rousey did come across as a star.
--A note is that the new WWE Saturday Night Slam TV show that debuts on 8/25 on CW, will be a 30 minute show.
--Odds from 5Dimes on the next two weeks of MMA
Benson Henderson -200
Frankie Edgar +170
Ed Herman +165
Jake Shields -190
Donald Cerrone -320
Melvin Guillard +260
Justin Lawrence -110
Max Holloway -110
Buddy Roberts +450
Yushin Okami -600
Ronda Rousey -550
Sarah Kaufman +425
Roger Bowling +250
Tarec Saffiedine -300
--From Hector Lombard's Facebook:
"I want to let all my fans know, I fought my last fight injured. I wasn't 100% sure, but I went to the doctors, I have a fractured sternum with a torn cartilage, I got this injury in training for my fight with Tim Boetsch. I have to be out of training for six weeks. I should never have fought like that."
I know people hate to hear this, and the basic axiom is that everyone is hurt when they fight, but it was pretty clear this guy wasn't himself in that fight.
--WWE announced today the hiring of Parker Miller as the new Executive Vice President of Digital Media. He'll report to Stephanie McMahon-Levesque. His job is to oversee all planning and initiatives in digital media and social media on a global basis. He was the COO and a founder of Vocativ, a global digital media startup. This is part of the much broader picture of Stephanie and Paul Levesque getting their own team of senior management in place.
--The Olympics last night did an 18.6 rating and 30 share in the 55 metered markets last night. It did 28.75 million viewers in the fast nationals. We don't have final numbers at this time.
--Linda McMahon filed her tax returns and released them to the AP today. Vince & Linda McMahon earned a gross $24.1 million in 2011, down from more than $30 million in 2010. The difference stems from the change in WWE dividend structure which makes up more than 90% of the couple's income.
--Sunday's G-1 Climax finals at Tokyo Sumo Hall is almost sold out. That's not necessarily a great thing, because in the past that show would have sold out weeks ago.
--After the WWE show earlier today in the same building with the new stage that they brought, fans were asking New Japan why they don't bring a stage to their house shows.
--At the WWE show in Japan, a number of fans came dressed as Damien Sandow with the Sandow beard. He was not at the show.
--An interesting note is that Bushiroad, which is the company that owns New Japan Pro Wrestling, was the sponsor for today and tomorrow's WWE shows at Sumo Hall, even though they are competitors running the same building.
--The DDT promotion ran a show in Tokyo a couple of train stops away from WWE's show. There was a notable exit of fans before the main event of the DDT show leaving to catch the opener at the New Japan show. (thanks to Jose Gonzalez)
--Randy Orton, who is in Japan right now for the WWE tour, on twitter said that he was not wrestling at SummerSlam.
--Dave Doyle in an article on the Sports Illustrated web site talks about the potential for Saturday's Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar fight to be the match of the year. His listing for the top candidates this year were the first Henderson vs. Edgar match in Japan, Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier and Joe Lauzon vs. Jamie Varner, voting for Zombie vs. Poirier as his pick. The story mentions the Observer newsletter's award winners of the past few years and runs them down as well.
--MMA fighter, broadcaster and former TNA performer Frank Trigg was arrested yesterday in Las Vegas on charges of battery dating back to a domestic violence allegation from last year and was being held on $15,000 bond with a hearing tomorrow. It's alleged that Trigg attempted to suffocate his wife. This story has been known for some time and was part of the reason Trigg is no longer announcing on HDNet (now AXS).
Who do you expect to win the G-1 Climax tournament?
Hiroshi Tanahashi 22.6% (wouldn't that sort of defeat the purpose?)
Kazuchika Okada 19.9%
Tetsuya Naito 15.6%
Yuji Nagata 11.8%
Naomichi Marufuji 7.0%
Hirooki Goto 4.3%
Shinsuke Nakamura 3.8%
Togi Makabe 2.7%
Yujiro Takahashi 2.2%
Hiroyoshi Tenzan 2.2%
Satoshi Kojima 2.2%
Do you expect the WWE Network to be a success?
Right from the start 3.6%
Not at first, but eventually 24.4%
What is your feeling on UFC in relation to drug testing?
They would like to eradicate PED use but not at the expense of losing a marketable fight 31.5%
It's all just a game played for the public, they know the game and are just playing it like most sports do 21.5%
They want to give the public the impression they went to eradicate PED use as much as possible, but they really don't care 17.0%
They are too lenient on the subject 16.1%
They are fair on the subject 7.4%
They truly want to eradicate PED use as much as is possible 3.5%
They are too harsh with those who test positive 2.9%
Who is the most valuable performer to WWE right now?
John Cena 51.4%
The Rock 26.4%
C.M. Punk 22.2%
If GSP fights Anderson Silva, will it break 1.6 million buys?
No it wouldn't before and wouldn't now 31.2%
It would have two years ago, but won't now 42.7%
--C.M. Punk got some pub in TMZ for a tweet yesterday, "Let's reward more drunk drivers with endorsement deals. Responsibility." That's in reference to the Jon Jones Nike deal that was finalized yesterday. That's resulted in hundreds of pages of message board overanalysis about how drunk driving is okay, cool, everybody does it, Punk is just attention starved, Punk made a brilliant move because he got press for himself like he did with Chris Brown but it's all a work and all that. Who knows, maybe that's an issue he actually cares about and was just giving his true feelings on the subject. But yeah, he's a wrestler, so it has to all be a work. If it wasn't a drug related issue and if it wasn't an issue the guy has talked about for a dozen years out of character, maybe. But given his history, it may not be this time. Granted, it is possible he just did it hoping for attention, but based on things he said privately even a few days ago, would bet against it.
--Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio today ripped on Punk saying that a pro wrestler doesn't have the right to criticize people in other sports because of all the deaths in their industry. Wow, you'd flunk sixth grade debating if that's the best point you can come up with. Shouldn't the radio host be at least as smart as goofs on message boards who come up with points at that level? (thanks to Charles Parker)
--Wagner Prado, who fought Phil Davis, is no longer upset about his fight being stopped. He is still having trouble seeing out of his right eye from the poke for Phil Davis. He flipped out in the cage, but now says that he didn't understand it at the time, but it was the right decision.
--Kevin Nash was on the Busted Open show today, kissing up to the top guys in WWE, HHH, Punk and John Cena. He was asked about UFC and said MMA got hot, people spent $60 for a PPV, the main event went 1:12 and people weren't so apt to buy another PPV for $60 the next month. Yes, he really said that. He said that's where pro wrestling has a big advantage over MMA because you know you're getting 20-25 minutes in the main event and you'll get your money's worth.
I agree with him that pro wrestling as a sustainable business has big advantages over MMA (MMA has some over pro wrestling as well, but MMA never proven anything over the long haul while pro wrestling has survived in this country for 130 years). I think it's more in the ability to protect top stars and feature the most marketable guys on top, while MMA has limitations because the most marketable guys may not be the best fighters, or even average fighters (Kimbo Slice) and even the best fighters deteriorate usually long before their box office peak would be.
But as far as short explosive main events, yeah, I remember all those Tyson fights bombing on PPV when he was in his prime. Sorry, I keep forgetting whenever Nash says something that doesn't hold up to an iota of thinking, he's just trolling for a response.
--On if Shawn Michaels fits into his comments on how small guys on top killed the business, he said Shawn was 6-1 1/2 and 225 pounds in his prime. Funny, Shawn in his Hall of Fame speech said he was 5-10 and 185.
--Some history notes. 36 years ago today in Fort Worth, TX, Kevin Von Erich made his pro wrestling debut defeating Paul Perschmann (who later became famous as Playboy Buddy Rose). Hall of Famer Jackie Sato, the most popular female wrestler of all-time before the era of the Crush Gals, passed away 13 years ago today from cancer at the age of 41. Iron Mike Sharpe Sr. (father of the WWE wrestler in the 80s), part of the legendary Sharpe Brothers tag team that were legendary in Japan, passed away 24 years ago today at the age of 65.
--Karyn Bryant, Jay Glazer, Ariel Helwani and Frank Mir will be the broadcast team this weekend for the UFC on Fuel stuff. The two shows will be the weigh-ins at 6 p.m. tomorrow Eastern time and the post-fight show at 1 a.m. Eastern.
--In Your Face Wrestling on 8/18 in Whitehall, NY at the Whitehall Athletic Club featuring the final four in the Coronation Cup.
--Wrestlelution 5 will be an iPPV show on Go Fight Live for $14.99 on 8/19 at 3 p.m. Eastern time with Jimmy Jacobs vs. Johnny Gargano for the Prime championship, Zach Gowen vs. Gregory Iron, Rhino vs. Jason Bane, Petey Williams vs. Matt Cross, Michael Facade vs. Gory in a casket match and Bobby Shields vs Bobby Beverly in a hair vs. hair match.
--CWE on 8/16 in Carman, Manitoba at the Community Hall and 8/18 in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba at the BDO Centre for the Community with Brian Christopher.