THURS. UPDATE: Sonnen interview, JBL talks economy, Next MSG show, AWA legend hospitalized, Von Erichs third generation, SI on Ronda, Edgar vs. Aldo, TNA's top star, Biggest star of all-time



By Dave Meltzer
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        We're looking for reports tonight from the NXT tapings in Winter Park, FL at Full Sail University.  C.M. Punk will be appearing, most likely in a dark match.
 
        Impact tonight on Spike:
*Hulk Hogan returns
*Sting and the other babyfaces confront Aces and 8s at 8 p.m.
*Gut Check with Chris Lewis
*Open Fight Night challenges and a title match 
 
        Superstars tonight
*Yoshi Tatsu vs. Damien Sandow
*Alex Riley vs. Drew McIntyre
*Justin Gabriel vs. Cody Rhodes
*Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger
 
        Sho Extreme tonight at 10:30 p.m. will air the Miesha Tate vs. Julie Kedzie fight from Saturday night.
 
        On Fuel tonight, Best of Pride airs at 9 p.m., the Jose Aldo Jr. vs. Chad Mendes fight airs at 10 p.m. and the Alistair Overeem vs. Brock Lesnar fight at 11 p.m.  Ultimate Fighter Brazil airs at midnight.   
 
         Our annual SummerSlam issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is out this week, covering one of the year's biggest MMA shows, as well as a look at what has the potential to be the biggest women's fight of this era with Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Cyborg, what both have been saying and why right now, based on what they are saying, it may never happen.  We also look at the business of the Strikeforce show, ratings, what they said, and coverage of the event.  We also have notes on the new television deal to bring K-1 to Spike TV, as well as coverage of a pro wrestling show featuring one of the best matches of the year, a promotion most have never heard of that just drew more than 10,000 people to a major arena for a gimmick oriented event, the annual DDT mega show.
 
        Plus,we've got our 2012 TNA roster directory, going through the entire roster of the promotion, with real names, ages, years pro, and backgrounds in sports and entertainment.
 
        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 the beginnings of what ended up as the Monday Night Wars.
 
        The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
 
        The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world.  The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe.  Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively.  They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world.  Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.
 
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        Our lead story looks at SummerSlam, including what was expected, not expected, where the finish of the main event came from, business of the show, booking as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.
 
        We also look at plans for Night of Champions in September.
 
        We go in depth on the proposed Rousey vs. Cyborg fight, including politics behind where it can air, if it can air on PPV, whose decision that comes down to, as well as whether the match can happen or not. We've got extensive comments from both about where they stand in the argument, as well as where Rousey's career can go if the fight never takes place.
 
        We also look at the show, including Rousey's career, what the rating meant, ticket sales, the Tate vs. Kedzie fight and Tate's comments after.
 
        We also have an update on Linda McMahon's campaign and WWE feuding in words with her opponent, Chris Murphy.  We've got notes on the discovery of the original WWWF title belt and a background in 1963 of how the title first came to being.  We've got notes on the legal settlement and why the scratch logo is back on old WWF footage.  We have notes on a Punk/Austin face-to-face interview session.  We've got an update on Mark Henry's return, more on the WWE/Scooby Doo movie idea, tons more on new WWE signings and cuts, including one member of the U.S. Olympic team that is in talks.  We've got more on the roster for WWE 13, and the latest on C.M. Punk vs. AW on AW's firing.
 
        We also have notes on the WWE web site, the WWE You tube channel, Jim Ross talks origination of one of pro wrestling's mast famous gimmicks, Paul Heyman talks his WWE run, coverage of a WWE minor title change as mainstream, the next show in Madison Square Garden and A.J. talks about how she got into WWE.
 
        We also look at plans for K-1 on Spike TV as well as Spike.com for the next several months and into 2013.  We look at the lineup for the first show in Los Angeles, as well as K-1's rival as the big kickboxing league, Glory Sports.
 
        We also have coverage of the crazy DDT promotion and how it drew one of the biggest non-WWE, New Japan, AAA or UFC crowds of 2012, as well as the main event that is getting talked about as one of the year's best bouts.
 
        We also have an update of just how many homes all of the major cable providers that have pro wrestling or MMA programming are really in right now.  
 
         We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on how every segment of Raw and Impact 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:
 
--Wrestler wins a court case to give him the right to use one of the most famous names in wrestling history in a battle with a family member
 
--A look at CMLL's anniversary month and some of the big events on it
 
--A look at feuds being built up for the month
 
--Notes on the first night of the annual CMLL Champion of Champions tournament
 
--What major world champion has become a surprise entrant into the tournament
 
--How the new Mistico is drawing
 
--What the promotion is charging to get bookings with the new Mistico
 
--How much Sin Cara made at his peak as Mistico in Mexico
 
--American stars headed to Mexico for a major show
 
--A look at this past week's AAA TV taping
 
--Dragon Gate fills vacated title
 
--All Japan makes an offer for one of pro wrestling's all-time greats to be part of a legends tag team
 
--A look at All Japan's major show this week that celebrates Kaz Hayashi's 20th year as a pro wrestler
 
--Samoa Joe & Magnus return to Japan to defend their tag titles
 
--Notes on newcomers to Japan
 
--Notes on the NOAH jr. heavyweight tag team tournament
 
--Notes on the upcoming Yuji Nagata 20th year anniversary show
 
--Prince Devitt talks about New Japan in comparison to WWE and TNA
 
--The son of one of pro wrestling's biggest stars turns in his golf clubs to go to the Snake Pit
 
--Former WCW star running for mayor
 
--Dave Bautista's biggest acting role to date
 
--Former WWF star in the 80s now in jail
 
--Reality show star's death notes he did some pro wrestling
 
--Documentary on the history of ECW
 
--Return of Davey Richards to ROH and possible storyline
 
--Notes on ROH television tapings
 
--Why the Claire Lynch angle changed directions
 
--Early estimate on Hardcore Justice on PPV
 
--TNA injury notes
 
--Update on the Bound for Glory series
 
--Update on Sonjay Dutt in TNA
 
--Notes on Bound for Glory
 
--Taryn Terrell's TNA debut
 
--Notes on the new Gut Check competitor
 
--Notes on the Gail Kim wedding on television
 
--Former TNA wrestler with a big push sent to OVW
 
--TNA weekend house show notes
 
--The latest on Jon Jones vs Chael Sonnen and how likely that match is to happening
 
--Jones explains why he made the comments he did regarding Lyoto Machida and facing him again
 
--Notes handicapping Jones vs. Dan Henderson
 
--More on UFC 150 numbers
 
--Frankie Edgar's move to featherweight
 
--Thoughts on who Edgar's first opponent could be and where it could take place
 
--Dana White talks Anderson Silva vs. GSP one more time
 
--Update on the UFC lawsuit in New York, trying to be able to run events in the state
 
--Another UFC fighter arrested and being held
 
--Who will be on TRT at the next UFC event
 
--Thoughts on the UFC lightweight division with Edgar moving out
 
--UFC fighter safes a drowning person
 
--Urijah Faber talks future
 
--Jason Miller talks about the incident
 
--New UFC and Strikeforce fights
 
--UFC star training movie star in a major upcoming movie where he'll play the role of a former gold medalist
 
--Notes on the Bellator weekend show as well as a title match announced
 
--Shinya Aoki returns to action
 
--The Secretary of State in Nevada does his first, and he says his last, MMA fight
 
--A new promotion gets a U.S. TV deal
 
--More on Batista's MA debut
 
        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)
 
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*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
history)
 
*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)
 
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*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)
 
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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)
 
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
 
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
 
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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)
 
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)
 
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
 
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
 
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
 
*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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*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
 
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*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
 
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
 
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
 
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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.
 
Thursday's news update
 
--Chael Sonnen will be a guest later today with Wrestling Observer radio.  Sonnen is now declaring himself the uncrowned world champion, based on winning via forfeit at http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1308996-chael-sonnen-exclusive-ufc-champion-jon-jones-is-a-delusional-brat

--The WWE's return to Madison Square Garden on 12/27 has an Internet password sale going on through tomorrow night at midnight at Ticketmaster.com with the password CENAPUNK.  Tickets go on sale to the general public at the box office and Ticketmaster at 10 a.m. Saturday, for the show headlined by Punk vs. Cena.  A holiday week show at MSG, which hasn't run a show in months, is likely to be a fast seller.
 
--John Layfield was on Sean Hannity's show last night on Fox News talking about the CBO's forecast of an impending financial collapse if the current tax breaks aren't extended.  He was called by his real name, was never identified as a wrestler and looked so completely different that you wouldn't even know it was him at first.  He only had two quick sound bites, saying that there have been no jobs created that were lost in the housing bubble and said the U.S. economy is in very bad shape.  That's scary because Layfield's wife is one of the top economic experts in the country.  Layfield said that if you doubled the current income tax, it still couldn't come close to covering the current deficit. (thanks to Jeff Gagliardo)
 
--Bert Smith, better known as Stan "Big K" Kowalski, an AWA mainstay, is currently at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis after suffering a heart attack. (thanks to Brian Hoops)
 
--The Dallas News today has a major story on Ross & Marshall Adkisson, the sons of Kevin Von Erich, who are currently on tour with Pro Wrestling NOAH at http://www.dallasnews.com  They are the grandsons of Fritz Von Erich, who was the biggest local wrestling star ever in the Dallas area.   
 
--The new issue of Sports Illustrated has a mention of Ronda  Rousey, talking about pin falls in UFC and has the holder of the belt wrong:  "UFC has never staged a womans bout, but charismatic Ronda Rousey could change that.  The bantamweight pinned champ Sarah Kaufman in 54 seconds last Saturday, her sixth pro MMA win in a row - then challenged Cris Santos who returns from a PED suspension in December." (thanks to Mark Coale)
 
--Highlights of the Steve Austin and Mike Tyson THQ panel discussion promoting the upcoming WWE video game release is at http://www.gamesradar.com/watch-wwe-13-panel-featuring-stone-cole-steve-austin-and-mike-tyson/
 
--The Miesha Tate vs. Julie Kedzie fight from Saturday's Strikeforce show will be available on Showtime on Demand starting on 9/2.  
 
Who would you pick in this fight?
Jose Aldo Jr. 70.2%
Frankie Edgar 29.8%
 
Should Frankie Edgar have moved to 145?
Yes, its' the weight class guys of his frame would be in 27.3%
Yes, he'll do better there 18.0%
No, he has a great case that he should be lightweight champion, so why move weight divisions 40.8%
No, his strengths and weaknesses and opposition will make him more successful at lightweight 13.9%
 
What active wrestler do you consider TNA's biggest star?
Kurt Angle 38.2%
Jeff Hardy 22.6%
Sting 14.3%
Austin Aries 8.6%
A.J. Styles 6.8%
Bobby Roode 3.5%
Bully Ray 2.0%
James Storm 1.6%
Samoa Joe 1.6%
RVD 0.8%
 
Who would you consider the all-time biggest pro wrestling star?
Hulk Hogan 59.9%
Ric Flair 14.5%
El Santo 10.9%
Lou Thesz 6.9%
Rikidozan 2.1%
Antonio Inoki  1.8%
Buddy Rogers 1.5%
Jim Londos 1.0%
Frank Gotch 1.0%
Strangler Lewis 0.3%
Giant Baba 0.3%
 
Who is the greatest fighter in MMA history?
Anderson Silva 43.0%
Fedor Emelianenko 14.3%
Randy Couture 12.2%
Royce Gracie 10.1%
GSP 8.9%
Kazushi Sakuraba 4.7%
Chuck Liddell 3.5%
Dan Henderson 2.7%
Shogun Rua 0.5%
Jose Aldo Jr. 0.2%
 
--An interview with Jeff Hardy is up at http://www.dc101.com/pages/MikeJones.html?article=10367650
 
--Matches on the Brock Lesnar DVD release
 
Lesnar vs. Hardy Boys handicap match 4/8/02
Lesnar vs. Leviathan (Batista) 9/28/01 from OVW
Lesnar & Shelton Benjamin vs. Rico Costantino & John Cena for OVW tag team title 11/10/01
Lesnar vs. Jeff Hardy 4/21/02
Lesnar vs. RVD in the King of the Ring finals 6/23/02
Undertaker & Lesnar vs. RVD & Ric Flair 7/15/02
Lesnar vs. Hulk Hogan 8/8/02
Lesnar vs. The Rock 8/25/02 to win WWE title
Lesnar vs. Randy Orton 9/5/02
Lesnar vs. Undertaker 9/22/02
Lesnar vs. Undertaker Hell in a Cell match 10/20/02
2003 Royal Rumble
Lesnar vs. Team Angle 2/27/03
Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle 3/30/03 WrestleMania match
Lesnar vs. Cena 4/27/03
Lesnar vs. Angle Iron Man match 9/18/03
Lesnar vs. Rey Mysterio 12/11/03
Lesnar vs. Big Show 6/12/03
Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg 3/14/04
 
Blu Ray exclusives
Lesnar vs. Ric Flair 7/1/02
Lesnar vs. Rock vs. HHH 8/10/02 (from Melbourne, Australia before 55,000 fans)
Lesnar & Angle & Hogan vs. Big Show & Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin 6/26/03
Lesnar vs. Angle vs. Show 7/27/03
Lesnar vs. Cena 4/29/12
 
--Today's useless stat.  Today has been the highest traffic weekday in months for this site.

--Chris Harris is taking independent bookings, appearances, etc. at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--Showdown Fights on 8/25 in Orem, UT at the UCCU Center headlined by former UFC fighters Josh Burkman vs. Jamie Yager and James Irvin vs. Sean O'Connell.  The show will air as an iPPV on www.GFL.tv 
 
--3XWrestling on 8/31 in Des Moines with the fourth annual King of Des Moines tournament featuring Perry Saturn.  Saturn is on the show, but not in the tournament.
 
--New Focus Wrestling on 9/22 in Evansville at the Metro Sports Center with Vic the Bruiser vs. Bobo Brazil Jr. plus Nick Dinsmore, Flash Flanagan, Rob Conway and Raven.  Conway is injured is appears as the G.M.
 
--Ed, Craig and Cutrer talk SummerSlam at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cutrer/201...summerslam   
 
--Highlander Robbie McAlliser headlines for Steeltown Pro Wrestling for three shows this weekend.  The first is Friday night in Gimli, Manitoba at the Gimli Dance Pavilion.  Saturday is in Selkirk, Manitoba for the Red River Rumble.  Sunday is in Arborg, Manitoba at the Arborg Biforst Community Center.  Honky Tonk Man appears for the group on 9/20 in Morden, Manitoba at the Morden Access Event Centre, 9/22 in Winnipeg on the Paddlewheel Queen, and 9/23 in Winnipeg at the Casa Do Minho Portuguese Centre.
 
--Gouge has two shows this weekend.  Saturday is in Durham,NC at the Motorco Music Hall at Noon and at 6 p.m. is a show in Raleigh at Rebus Works.
 
--Michael Jay at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is selling his collection of wrestling magazines.
 
--Ed Leslie as Brutus Beefcake appears on 10/6 in Sardinia, OH at the Chad D. Hecker Building Gym for WBW.
 
--FSW on 8/24 in Las Vegas for a show with four title matches including champion Sikou vs. Paul London plus Disco Inferno will be there doing a talk show segment.
 
--George Schire talks with The Destroyer, Dick Beyer at http://www.radionorthland.org/featured/rasslin-memories-and-more-with-the-destroyer/  His show airs 11 a.m. Central time every Saturday.  Nick Bockwinkel will be his guest this coming week.
 
--Future Stars of Wrestling TV with Disco Inferno, Paul London and Brian Kendrick is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d69N9d--2iA&feature=share&list=UUdqKACboxLhx0k5ZQFruG_A 

Who had the best show?

 

Who won the night?