SUN. UPDATE: No Surrender preview, Kurt Angle update, RAW in Montreal notes, CZW trends, results



By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @DaveMeltzerWON

Bryan and I will be back tonight after No Surrender, both covering the show, any news from today as well as taking e-mail questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's TNA No Surrender PPV, 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 these shows:

- Smackdown tonight in Kingston, ONT (Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler)
- TNA from Thursday night in Dalton, GA, Friday night in Atlanta and last night in Gainesville, GA
- K-1 iPPV from the Los Angeles Sports Arena

The big show of the weekend is TNA No Surrender from Orlando:

- Austin Aries vs. The Armbreaker (Drew Hankinson/Luke Gallows) - Really tough to put an unknown in a PPV main event in that kind of a gimmick.  Aries is a good wrestler, but he's got to make this work with a huge size difference in a main event caliber match.  It will be interesting to say the least.

- Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe in Bound For Glory semifinals 

- James Storm vs. Bully Ray in Bound for Glory semifinals

Winners of the semifinals meet for a title shot at Bound for Glory - In theory, the winner faces Aries unless Aries drops the title first.  Hardy would be the best draw.  Storm is the one the storyline has been built for.  Ray and Joe are both better heels if they are looking for the face vs. heel dynamic.  I still think Storm is the guy even though he has cooled off.  If they don't go with him he becomes just another guy on the roster. 

- Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. A.J. Styles & Kurt Angle for tag titles - Under normal circumstances, this is a show stealing match.  Kurt Angle has said he will wrestle and he will have a great match tonight.  Or he's going to kill himself trying.   But he's been hurting for a while and wasn't able to work the last two nights after having to cut his match short on Thursday.  Still, Styles on his own can carry a match from his side with both guys and make it really good.  Still looks like the best match on the show. 

- Rob Van Dam vs. Magnus - Just the product of an angle late on Thursday's show to build a match for both guys on the card.  Magnus to me should be pushed.  He's young, talks really good, and continues to improve as a worker.  I hate seeing guys like that just fall by the wayside.  

- Zema Ion vs. Sonjay Dutt for X title - These two have been getting good reviews the last two nights for their house show matches.   Dutt looked great when he returned in the X division tournament.  If the crowd gives them a chance, they've got a shot at a show stealer.

- Miss Tessmacher vs. Tara for Knockouts title - They have a storyline.  Since Tara won the non-title and the story is Tessmacher has to prove she can beat her teacher, it makes sense for her to go over here.  Up to Tara to carry the match because on PPV you've probably got to go a lot longer than a 3:00 TV bout.

On paper, it really comes down to the BFG series and the main event.  The main event is important in a lot of ways, because if this Aces and 8s thing in the first big match isn't good, it's going to give a negative vibe to the angle.  One figures it ends with a lot of interference.  Between the start of football season, the fact the card wasn't announced on TV until Thursday, and a main event that on paper is going to be a tough one to draw with, I think not much for business here.

We'll have live coverage of the show on the site at 8 p.m.

Fuel will be airing the Forrest Griffin special again at 9 p.m. tonight as well as a Legends Roundtable show at 10:30 p.m. and Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos I at 1 a.m.  All times are Eastern.

Raw is live Monday in Montreal.  The big hook is that Bret Hart returns to Montreal's Belle Centre for the first time as a performer in nearly 15 years, since the legendary 1997 screw-job match with Shawn Michaels.  In addition, it is being locally advertised as Pat Patterson Appreciation Night, although it is possible if not most likely those festivities will not be on television.

Smackdown will be taped in Ottawa on Tuesday.

THIS WEEK'S OBSERVER: HALL OF FAME BALLOT. NEW JAPAN WRESTLING IN FOCUS

We've got a double issue week of the Observer, with two major features.  We're looking at the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot, including a history of the voting.  We look year-by-year at who has come close, and how trends in the business have changed.  We look at the voting, how it's done, who does it, and who appear to be the strongest candidates.  We also look at the new candidates on the ballot this year.  We also have some research regarding Mexico, looking at who has won the Wrestler of the Year award in Mexico annually since the advent of Lucha Libre.  We examine a lot of the close candidacies, the effect of death of voters and who is on the ballot from each region.

Our other lead story is a look at New Japan Pro Wrestling, which is probably right now the most successful non-U.S. pro wrestling group in the world, and arguably the No. 2 company overall.  We look back at the start of the promotion in 1972 and the politics that were going on at the time.  We look at how Japan changed in 1972 with All Japan and New Japan, what New Japan was forced to do to survive and the unique concepts they specialized in.  We look at how New Japan got into the NWA, its ties with the 70s WWWF as well as why they were at times, and not at others, able to get the WWWF champion to defend.
 
        We look at the early 80s peak, business problems, the Tokyo Dome sellout era and Antonio Inoki's mentality that built the company, and later nearly killed it.  We look at the downfall in the last decade, and the turnaround.  We look at how the Japanese industry is so much different than the U.S. based on technology, as well as the company's talent mix and why it leads to entertaining major events. 
 
        We also look at where things stand right now, as well as look at the June PPV show, treating it like it's a major show of the past week, the roles everyone played and themes of matches, which include the last chapter in Tanahashi vs. Okada, perhaps their last meeting until the Tokyo Dome.
 
        We also have an update regarding Steve Austin and any short-term plans to wrestle, why Punk going heel was a good idea for him, what other top WWE face wants to go heel, a match now scheduled for Mania in 2013, notes on the rise in WWE stock price and the funny reason it's going up.  We also look at two wrestlers who have good bargaining power because of it.  We look at C.M. Punk's cut, what we saw and what may not have happened.  We also have more on the arrest and suspension of Cameron.  We've got more on the Linda McMahon campaign, notes on Monday's Raw, Chris Jericho talks leaving and different talent and where they stand.
 
        We look at the funny story about how one of the PPV matches at Night of Champions got made.  We also look at a wrestler getting more mainstream ink in his home country, more on different wrestlers recently signed by WWE and their backgrounds as well as a top prospect gets a new gimmick and the debut of the Hollywood Express.  We've also got more on legends house and a second generation wrestler not getting off to a good start.
 
        We also have notes on the sensational business of the WWE Australia tour, as well as a look at all the house shows of the past week.
 
        Both issues are on the site now, as well as a new back issue from 1995. 
 
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Also in this week's issue:
--World champion vs. world champion in two of the biggest international promotions, not one but two showdowns this past week
 
--Another legends show in Mexico and notes from the event
 
--Three different suspensions this past week
 
--Next AAA big show and an AAA vs. TNA champions program that looks to be put together
 
--Top ranked boxer's girlfriend is a pro wrestler
 
--A look at the next major Dragon Gate show
 
--More on the Funaki Triple Crown title win over Akiyama
 
--One of oldest titles vacated due to wrestler getting pneumonia
 
--A look at the third generation Von Erichs, as Kevin's sons start their careers
 
--Wrestling star out of action for almost a year and a half sets a target return date
 
--Kenny Omega on match with Kota Ibushi
 
--The first Olympic wrestler being talked about to go into pro wrestling instead of MMA, and a big show debut talked about
 
--Billy Robinson and Japanese pro wrestling stars looking at creating a new sport with details
 
--Zero-One jr. tournament featuring wrestlers from a number of different groups
 
--Current WWE employee is being allowed to wrestle in Japan
 
--This year's World masked man tournament
 
--Notes on the first father-son tag team match among Japanese ever
 
--More on Zeus being indicted and his brief pro wrestling career
 
--Reorganization of the NWA
 
--One of the best tournaments each year, annual Battle of Los Angeles report
 
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--Wrestler apologizes for a bad idea photo
 
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--Former WWE wrestler and tag champ enrolls in college and will be playing football this fall
 
--ROH star out with knee surgery
 
--Story behind Devon leaving TNA
 
--What happened to the Dudleys name
 
--Update on Bully Ray
 
--More on the wrestlers who have recently left TNA
 
--Update on the Bound for Glory series
 
--Notes on TNA's new television show
 
--What Hall of Fame candidate will be featured on TNA's new show
 
--A look at the TNA weekend house shows
 
--A look at how much the cancellation of UFC 151 cost
 
--Dana White blames both Dan Henderson and Jon Jones
 
--White talks about making Jones vs. Sonnen
 
--What's next for Chris Weidman
 
--More thoughts on GSP vs. Anderson Silva
 
--Thoughts on Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo
 
--Why Edgar vs. Aldo is so important
 
--More UFC business figures
 
--A look at the new season of Ultimate Fighter
 
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--Notes on the November Strikeforce show
 
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--A look at just how frequently fighters are being injured
 
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--Bellator updates including 2013 plans
 
--A look at a number of new MMA groups that will feature name fighters and Las Vegas planned events
 
--One of the best heavyweight wrestlers of the last decade makes MMA debut later this year
 
--Top kickboxer also set to make MMA debut
 
--Two Olympians in talks regarding MMA
 
--A look at the One Fighting Championship show, one of the most successful live crowds of the year
 
--A look at the "Here comes the Boom" movie starring Kevin James and its UFC theme
 
--Former UFC fighter a hero
 
--Canadian MMA pioneer stabbed
 
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Sunday's news update
 
--As noted above, Kurt Angle has been tweeting that he's wrestling tonight and while injured, he's still going to have a great match.
 
--A quick note as we're looking to hear from anyone who attended the K-1 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Wondering if it drew and how well the show came across live.
 
--As of yesterday, and obviously this can change, the Pat Patterson stuff in Montreal is scheduled to be dark.  The Bret Hart stuff is scheduled to be along with C.M. Punk & Paul Heyman and whatever is done with John Cena to be the focal points of the show.  In Montreal, the show has been promoted as Pat Patterson Appreciation Night.  Patterson, who is from Montreal, has been affiliated with WWE since the late 70s and his run with Bob Backlund for the title, and has worked as an announcer, booker, agent, head of talent relations and all kinds of jobs.  He's the guy who came up with the Royal Rumble concept after being involved in Roy Shire Battle Royals in the 60s and 70s and is regarded as one of the greatest at coming up with finishes in the history of wrestling.
 
--Last night at 1:45 a.m., the No. 1 trend on Twitter was CZW.  That's for an iPPV that probably had a few hundred orders tops.  Results from the show before about 300 fans in Voorhees, NJ:  Shane Strickland b Rich Swann (Swann looking good), Drew Gulak & Kimber Lee b Greg Excellent & Mia Yim (good), Pepper Parks b Keoka the Flyin Hawaiian (Tammy Sytch managed Keoka), Devon Moore & Danny Havoc b Little Mondo & Rob Matres-DQ (outside interference finish when Alex Colon and Drew Gulak interfered), Matt Tremont b ? (D.J. Hyde and Tremont cut promos to set up a barbed wire match in Delaware in two weeks), Ruckus b Alex Colon (Devon Moore interfered helping Ruckus), Sami Callihan & Jake Crist b Super Smash Brothers (Callihan may have injured ribs on the afternoon Evolve show), Masada b El Generico to keep CZW title (very good match.  Joe Gacy challenged Masada to a title mach on 9/22), AR Fox b Dave Crist in a ladder match to unify the jr. and TV titles.  Fox put Crist through two tables off the top of a huge ladder.  Said to not be everyone's cup of tea but an exciting match.
 
--ESPN Classics will be replaying the greatest athletes of the century piece on Dan Gable at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning and 4 a.m. Tuesday morning.
 
--Some notes on WWE Classics on Demand or this month.  Among the segments are:
*Macho Madness:  The Randy Savage Ultimate Collection Part 2
*AWA All-Star Wrestling from August 15, 1981 (squash wins by Adrian Adonis & Jesse Ventura, Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie and a Hulk Hogan handicap match)
*ECW from April 28, 1998
*Stampede Wrestling from July 1978 (thanks to Brian Hoops)
 
--A note on Josh Reddick and people chanting "Yes, Yes, Yes" when he comes out to Daniel Bryan's music: when Yoenes Cespedes, who speaks no English and is from Cuba, who follows him in the Oakland A's batting order comes out, the fans in the bleachers at the Coliseum chant, "Si, Si, Si."
 
--There are still $99 tickets left at the box office for the UFC 152 show in Toronto on 9/22.  The cheapest tickets are gone but tickets are available in every other price range. (thanks to Corey Baird)
 
Would you be interested in buying a Batista fight on PPV?
Yes 24.8%
No 75.2%
 
If New Japan's Tokyo Dome show was on iPPV, would you order it?
Yes 52.8%
No, would not order any iPPV 30.1%
No, would not order a New Japan iPPV 17.0%
 
Poll on Smackdown
Excellent 13.0%
Good 31.5%
Average 23.9%
Fair 13.0%
Poor 18.5%
***38.3% of those responding didn't see the show
 
What was the best TV match of the week?
Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy 39.5%
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler 17.6%
Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena 15.1%
Daniels & Kazarian vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr & Hernandez 13.4%
RVD vs. Bully Ray 7.6%
Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. The Miz & Cody Rhodes 6.7%
 
--Hall of Famer Leroy McGuirk, who help start the careers of people like Danny Hodge, Jack Brisco, Bill Watts, Wahoo McDaniel, Jim Ross and tons of others, passed away on this date in 1988 at the age of 78.  McGuirk was an NCAA champion who dominated the world lightweight title in the 40s and was one of the early superstars of pro wrestling in Mexico as well.  His career was cut short because he went blind (various stories of what happened, but auto accident is the official one).  He promoted from that point on, into the early 80s.  His daughter Mike was a WWF ring announcer, and grandson Max was in FCW for a short time.
 
--USWO from last night in Nashville before 50 fans:  Shabba Shabbazz b James Duncan, Zach Hartnell b Justin Grandberry, Big Time Sexy won three-way over Josh Crow and David Matthews, Jocephus b Michael Steele, Hot Rod Biggs b Hammerjack, Justin Grandberry won Battle Royal
 
--USWO from Friday night in Nashville before 57 fans:  Kerry Awful b Mike Jablonski, Shawn Hoodrich b Josh Crow, Jason Nation b Hot Rod Biggs, Shawn Hoodrich b Justin Grandberry-COR, Antonio Cathey b Justin Grandberry, Hot Rod Biggs b Big Time Sexy in a lumberjack match, Jocephus & Damien Payne b Wolfie D & Jason Nation (thanks to Jimmie Daniel) 
 
--Millenium Pro Wrestling from last night in Simi Valley, CA:  Sean Christian b Chris Phoenix, Ryan J. Morals & Jacob Tarasso b Bar Room Saints, Vandal Drummond (Kurt Brown) & Crayz b Mr. Tanaka & Jimmy Mayhem, Hellkid b Brett Walters, Hobo b G.Q. Money-DQ, Tofer Cash b Spectre, Hector Canales & Hed & Fern Owens b Nikki the New York Knockout & Michelle Morgan & Thunder Kitty, Drew Shepard (former WWE wrestler Jacob Novak) & Terex b Logan & J.J. Steele.  Next show is 10/20 (thanks to Scott Walton and Dan Farren)
 
--MW Promociones runs Tijuana at the Auditorio on 9/14 with Dr. Wagner Jr. & Joe Lider vs. Mascara Ano 2000 Jr. & Psicosis, Cibernetico vs. Mesias vs. El Hijo del Rey Misterio vs. Silver Kain and Juventud Guerrera defends the AAA cruiserweight title against TJ Boy. (thanks to Kris Zellner)
 
--Jerry Lawler vs. Dutch Mantel, who used to tear it up in Memphis more than 30 years ago, headlined on 9/15 in Nashville at the Nashville Christian School for USA Championship Wrestling.
 
--Tonight on OWN at 9 p.m. Easter on Oprah's Next Chapter, Oprah Winfrey interviews both Jennifer Hudson and David Otunga.  Some promotional clips were released but none listed Otunga's WWE career.
 
--On TMZ TV earlier this week, they talked about the story of HHH cutting his hair.  One of the people in the background asked, "Who is Triple H?"  Another person told him he was a pro wrestler.  Host Harvey Levin once accidentally called him Triple X. (thanks to Jake Koch)
 
--"Haywire" starring Gina Carano is available on Netflix.
 
 
--Missouri Wrestling Alliance from yesterday afternoon in Hillsdale, MO:  Brian James b Super Castaldi I, Jimmy D b Stevie K, Ricky Cruz b Max Archer, Gary Jackson NC Sean Vincent, Gary Jackson & Ricky Cruz b Max Archer & Stevie K
 
--Mid Missouri Wrestling Alliance from last night in St. Louis: Ricky Cruz NC Sean Vincent, Lumberjack Gabe b Brian James, Gary Jackson b Jimmy D, Stevie K b American Blue Demon, Max Archer b Lumberjack Abe, Ricky Cruz & Sean Vincent b Max Archer & Stevie K (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
 
--Newsday today has a story on Eddie Gordon of the Serra/Longo camp in Long Island, who is the current Ring of Combat light heavyweight champion. He defends his title this coming Friday night in Atlantic City against Anton Talamantes.  Gordon was a high school football star who played at Fordham who quit his job six weeks ago to become a full-time fighter. He's got a 5-0 record having no fighting skills at all before going to Philadelphia three years ago to see UFC 101 and deciding to train for the sport.
 
--Steel Domain Wrestling on 9/22 at the West St. Paul Armory is headlined by Colt Cabana vs. Arya Daivari. Shelly Martinez (Ariel in WWE, Salinas in TNA) will also be appearing. 
 
--Jim Fitzpatrick listed these dates for Bay Bombers Roller Derby in Northern California: a 9/15 show at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium and a 10/13 return to Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco for the first and likely only show of the year. Kind of sad as it seemed there was a resurgence with them packing Kezar a few years back. Ch. 20 in San Francisco will be airing a one hour Roller Derby game on 10/6 at 8 a.m. 

Who had the best show?

 

Who won the night?