TUES UPDATE: Videos from Jim Ross Appreciation Night after Raw, former WWE star chokes out attacker, Griffin on failed drug test, tons of ratings notes, TNA future angles, more
By Bryan Alvarez
We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday's UFC on Fuel show so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're also looking for live reports from these shows:
*Friday night's WWE Raw house show in St. Joseph, MO (C.M. Punk vs. Big Show)
*Sunday's Raw house show in Wichita
*Sunday's Smackdown house show in Wichita Falls, TX
Smackdown, Main Event (for its Wednesday night debut on Ion) and Saturday Morning Slam are taped tonight in Tulsa. C.M. Punk vs. Sheamus in a champion vs. champion match will headline the first Main Event show.
Today's News, Notes and Links
We've got two issues on the web site and one double sized issue in print coming out this week. Both issues are currently up on the site.
Our lead story looks at an update on Jerry Lawler, updating his physical condition, his recovery from the heart attack and his appearance on Raw. We also have more on Lawler history in Memphis, including the Jerry Lawler vs. Jimmy Valiant feud, Lawler's first retirement angle, the forgotten night that Lawler won the AWA title from Nick Bockwinkel but it was only mentioned in Memphis, the Lawler vs. Bockwinkel angle including when Bockwinkel came in as AWA champion to defend even though Rick Martel was champion at the time, as well as the only time Bobby Heenan ever managed Bockwinkel in Memphis.
We also look at what SummerSlam says about Brock Lesnar, including comparing this year's PPV numbers with every SummerSlam dating back to 2008 both on a domestic and international basis and how interesting those numbers are.
We also look back at UFC 152, with the story behind Jon Jones and Dana White making up, business notes from the show, a look at ticket sales before Jon Jones was on the card and after and what that means. We also look at the top fights on the show, the judging, the unique fight that could have been judged three different ways based on what scoring system was used, as well as poll results and a show rundown.
We also look at WWE's new deal with Hulu Plus, what it entails, how this does or doesn't affect the proposed network and how the Raw on the USA Network and the repeat showing on Hulu Plus are altogether different.
We also look at New Japan's Destruction PPV, running down the stories and the results, as well as a look at the big head-to-head showdown in the Tokyo area in two weeks where New Japan and Pro Wrestling NOAH both have major shows, and what NOAH is doing to compete.
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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We also look at the WWE's relationship with Silver Vision ending, an update on John Cena's elbow surgery, another WWE star gets two operations during his down time, the Linda McMahon run for senate and how nasty it has gotten and how the public is viewing it. We look at the McMahons paying back people they owe, the McMahons late on tax bills, Murphy late out his mortgage and how both candidates are now turning off voters. We also look at the Democratic party's behind the scenes view on this being such a pivotal race because the senate majority is in jeopardy in this election.
We've got more on Cameron's legal issues, the crazy schedule for nearly next year of Dwayne Johnson, a look at how Beth Phoenix got into WWE and her departure, the new plans for TV tapings starting next week as well as the WWE schedule for the end of the year. We also look at current plans for November.
We look at WWE signing new broadcasters, the NXT TV tapings, how Edge's episode of Haven did, Chris Jericho post WWE and his musical career, WWE you tube channel, a roster wrestler seemingly forgotten shows up, a wrestler just cut talks about her departure and reputation. We also look at the WWE business over the past week and a rundown of all the house shows.
We also look at the life and career of Don Hatfield, better known as Don Fields from the famous Fields brothers of the 50s and 60s, and their role in wrestling in Alabama and Tennessee, and a look at one of the largest pro wrestling families of all-time that they came from.
We also have a rundown of the Dragon Gate Dangerous Gate PPV show from the past weekend.
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:
--More on WWE and All Japan
--Kevin Nash returns to Japan
--A rundown of All Japan's major weekend show including the NWO reunion with Nash, Keiji Muto and Masahiro Chono
--What major foreign star in Japan returns in two weeks
--A look at All Japan's major show of October
--A rundown of NOAH's junior heavyweight tag team tournament
--Building NOAH's next major show
--Reports of New Japan offering seven figures to sign a new wrestler, while likely exaggerated, who they are interested in
--American becomes first foreigner to win Zero-One jr. tournament
--Two Hall of Famers set for a rematch in nostalgia based group in Japan
--Inoki's next lineup featuring a crazy variety of well known stars from different worlds
--Update on Jesse Ventura
--One of the longest running pro wrestling shows in history comes back after more than a decade to its original channel, and the two stars from the territorial era who are bringing it back
--What son of one of pro wrestling's all-time legends is being trained for that group
--A look at the Northeast Wrestling show with Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper at Dutchess Stadium in New York
--A look at the Hogan/Piper showdown
--Roddy Piper's fading memory
--Two different former major league baseball players wrestle over the weekend
--The former genuine celebrity player who got no pub for his debut, and the irony about his debut
--ROH handling of the iPPV mishap
--A look at the ROH schedule for the rest of the year
--Running down the ROH TV tapings over the weekend and where the angles are headed
--Notes on TNA Bound for Glory
--TNA makes plans for WrestleMania weekend
--How DVR viewership affects TNA
--Why some of the women have quit TNA
--Why independent promoters more and more are getting away from using TNA talent
--The situation with TNA and Jeff Hardy
--A look at the TNA house shows over the weekend
--Where the biggest name promoters stand right now as far as the wealthiest people in the country
--A look at the Strikeforce cancellation and everything behind the scenes as to why
--How Zuffa is handling it with the fighters
--How it's different for Strikeforce fighters than UFC fighters when it comes to the cancellation
--Zuffa, Strikeforce and Showtime going forward, why the relationship at times seems bad but why they may need each other
--A look at Saturday's UFC show
--Dana White talks Sonnen vs. Jones
--A look at the situation involving Daniel Cormier needing an opponent
--White talks about Anthony Johnson
--More on Rampage Jackson and his future
--New UFC matches signed
--Former WWE star starting as a regular on a soap opera
--Major star disappears
--A great run of business forgotten in history with a feud that drew 15,000 fans five straight Friday nights
--Major promotion gets a new television deal
--Another interpromotional angle
--How boxing shows destroyed wrestling gate
--Update on Jim Powers as he battles staph infection
--Rulon Gardner's bankruptcy case
--Update on John Morrison
--Why a lot of WWE wrestlers have been leaving
--Notes on CHIKARA King of Trios
--Cyndi Lauper talks her experience in pro wrestling
--Update on Abdullah the Butcher
--Update on Superstar Graham
--Former Tough Enough winner captures international title
--Update on Ultimate Warrior
--PBS documentary airs this week
--Retirement of Cole Konrad
--Bellator's new season opener
--More on Batista's MMA debut
--Why he has a new opponent
--Notes on his opponent
--Latest on the boxing business
--What it teaches about promotion
--How Canelo Alvarez on Showtime drew compared to major MMA fights
--Gina Carano stars in what is expected to be first of a new franchise
--Promotional feud in Japan starting up
--Super Fight League announces new strategy for producing television and will air weekly in the U.S.
--SFL makes deal with a U.S. group
--Major promotion that has stopped running shows is now officially folded
--Biggest college wrestling match in years coming in a few weeks
--Kickboxing world champion set to make MMA debut in a few weeks
--Head-to-head PPVs coming in the first week of October
--Whatever happened to Bob Sapp
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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.
-- Story hereabout former WWE star Shawn Daivari choking out a man on a train after the man allegedly became agitated and went nuts threatening to kill everyone. Everyone was pressing the help button but no help was coming, so Daivari threw him down, choked him out from behind, then threw him off the train. Police are investigating.
-- There is a story herewhere Forrest Griffin admits to taking Xanax the night before his fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 101 in August 2009. He failed his drug test but the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission never made it public. Forrest went on Twitter to add: "Just to be clear I was not on drugs for the Sliva fight I simply appeared to be stoned."
-- As noted yesterday, Dave Bautista will now be fighting Vince Lucero in his MMA debut this coming Saturday night in Providence, RI. The show will be available online and on DirecTV PPV. Bautista will be on our show tomorrow talking the fight, his pro-wrestling career and more.
-- Aces and Eights are all over the TNA Turning Point poster. Since that's the November PPV, they're probably going to run roughshod at Bound for Glory.
-- Saturday's UFC on FUEL show did 111,000 viewers for the live airing and 140,000 viewers for the replay, so time slot was more important than live vs. taped. That is way, way, WAY down from previous shows.
-- Anthony Johnson vs. D.J. Linderman has been added to the November 3rd World Series of Fighting show in Las Vegas, which is currently headlined by Andrei Arlovski vs. Devin Cole.
-- The TUF Brazil 2 casting call takes place on October 14th at the Hotel Windsor in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They're looking for lightweights and welterweights. You have to have three verifiable fights, and two of those have to be wins. They're only looking for fighters between 18 and 35, and you can't have any past UFC experience.
-- We've got a great interview with Chris Daniels up on the front page right now talking tons of different subjects including the Claire Lynch storyline, his new tag team with Kazarian and how that came about, the Appletini, wrestling career influences, a promo he cut on backyarders, and so much more
-- There are clips here, here and hereof Jim Ross Appreciation Night, the second real-life version after Raw went off the air. I did love Vince McMahon saying nobody appreciated JR more than he did. Nobody.
-- ROH has new DVDs out today including a Best of the Kings of Wrestling, which sounds awesome. All up at ROHWrestling.com
-- From the Team 3-D Academy: The Team 3D Academy of Professional Wrestling and Sports Entertainment is proud to announce that along with “Hope for a Single Mom” they were able to raise more than $7,000 to help in the fight against breast cancer. On September 8, 2012, Devon Hughes, p/k/a Devon Dudley in WWE and Brother Devon in TNA, teamed with “Hope for a Single Mom” in order to put on a family friendly wrestling show at Viera High School in Melbourne, FL. All proceeds from the show went towards the “Hope for a Single Mom” charity. The show featured talent from QWEST Pro wrestling, a top independent wrestling promotion in Florida, which showcases many of the Team 3D academy students. The “Hope for a Single Mom” charity was started 2 years ago. Every year, the two founders and the people at Breast Friends of Florida choose a single mother to raise money for in order to help with medical and other expenses that have been incurred to lost income while battling cancer. Devon is a 23 time World Tag Team champion along with his long time tag team partner, Bubba/Bully Ray, holding championships in every major organization in North America, including TNA, WWE, ECW, WCW, NWA as well as Japan. They are the most decorated team in the history of Professional Wrestling. The Team 3D Academy was opened in May of 2007 and prides itself on having trained some of the best young talent in professional wrestling today, having students signed to WWE Developmental contracts, TNA Gut Check, Ring of Honor (ROH), and Zero-1 Japan. The Team 3D Academy, located in Kissimmee, FL, is under an open enrollment policy and is always accepting new students. All interested in joining the Team 3D Academy may visit www.team3dacademy.com and also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Team-3D-Academy-of-Professional-Wrestling/. All SERIOUS applicants may schedule a preliminary appointment by calling (407) 390-9005.
-- Heyman Hustle has new shots from a Kelly Kelly photoshoot here.
-- DGUSAlatest special: If you order $60 or more in DGUSA and EVOLVE DVDs and Gear, you qualify to get a free DGUSA or EVOLVE iPPV at WWNLive.com On Demand of your choice. Shipping does not count towards total. This includes DVD 2 & 3 Pack Deals. This means if you pre-order all our new DVDs mentioned above you can then pick any DGUSA or EVOLVE iPPV On Demand that you want. You will get unlimited On Demand access of the iPPV of your choice. You must redeem your free iPPV when you place your order. To redeem simply email
with your free selection. This offer expires on October 8th at midnight EST. We appreciate your business and hope you will take advantage of this free iPPV offer. All DGUSA and EVOLVE iPPVs at www.WWNLive.com On Demand normally sell for $14.95 so this is a great deal!
-- New Chris Harris interview up here.
-- Upcoming MMA TV:
On this week’s “UFC Tonight: Special Edition ‘Dana White One-on-One Part 2’,” FUEL TV presents an exclusive and in-depth interview with UFC President Dana White. Conducted by “UFC Tonight” Insider Ariel Helwani, White covers numerous topics including the FOX television deal, changes to “The Ultimate Fighter,” the UFC’s growth, his life after the UFC, his health and much, much more.
In this week’s “UFC Ultimate Insider,” experience the dramatic UFC 152 Flyweight Championship match between Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez from fight hype through the postfight aftermath in On The Brink. Then Training Day with Jake Ellenberger and Jay Hieron juxtaposes a 12-hour window into each fighters’ camp. Then, the legendary duo of Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar sit down to evaluate their immediate future and Anderson Silva.
-- Latest TCW Wrestling show is up here. A former WWE writer has signed with him and the announcement will be made later this week.
-- Jeff writes: ed that John McCain was in Connecticut to endorse her. Gary Dell'A'Bate (show producer, who lives in CT) came in to say he was with Murphy, her opponent, over the weekend, and that McMahon is spending tens of millions of dollars. Stern commented, "I'm amazed nobody tries to compete with them, but they do a good job." So much for any awareness of TNA, and they've had on Hogan and Kurt Angle during their TNA tenures. Stern then said, "It must be weird with Linda on the campaign trail and Vince on TV." So they have no awareness of the current product (i.e., Vince no longer a weekly character). Stern said [as Vince], "Vote for my wife. Now let's go put on bathing suits and beat people up, but not really."
-- Preview for this Friday's Ultimate Fighter: “Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson – Can’t Fix Stupid” (Airs October 5, 10:00 pm e/p) – Dana treats the fighters to a special outing away from the house. After Roy uses a bizarre method to pick the next matchup, one fighter's weight problem puts his future in jeopardy. Then, two more welterweights face off in the Octagon.
-- And speaking of, tickets for The Ultimate Fighter Finale go on sale Friday, Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. PT and are priced at $304, $254, $179, $154, $104 and $79. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the Hard Rock Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com, www.thejointlasvegas.com or charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000. Show takes place December 15th.
-- Who has done the best job of running their company this year?
Vince McMahon 30.1%
Dixie Carter 22.2%
Dana White 21.2%
Takaaki Kidani 13.2%
Paco Alonso 4.0%
Joaquin Roldan 3.6%
Raj Kundra 2.6%
Victor Chui 1.7%
Joe Koff 1.3%
Predict the Raw rating
Under 2.5 12.9%
3.4 or better 0.4%
What was the best of these shows?
WWE Night of Champions 30.0%
Strikeforce Rousey vs. Kaufman 22.7%
UFC on Fuel Struve vs. Miocic 16.8%
WWE SummerSlam 10.0%
TNA No Surrender 9.5%
UFC 152 5.5%
ROH Death Before Dishonor 5.5%
Do you think there is a correlation on PPV with UFC going up or down and
UFC doing the opposite at the same time?
It's there, but huge, but it exits 49.7%
Pure coincidence 24.2%
It's obvious 17.6%
UFC and boxing affect each other, wrestling has no bearing 8.5%
-- Over the Top Radio with a Moron of the Week segment, and also Craig and Cutrer, here.
-- Another story claiming George Clooney and Stacy Kiebler are about to break up here.
-- Story on Rashad Evans turning down Glover Texeira here.
-- Universal Championship Wrestling returns to Hartford, KY on Saturday, October 20 at 7:00 PM at the Ohio County Fairgrounds Building #2. This event will feature former WWE/WCW/ECW/TNA and national television star Raven, fitness model Melissa Coates, a costume contest, and a live rock concert after the wrestling matches performed by Nashville based band Perfect Angels. Adult ticket prices are $10 in advance $12 at the door the night of the event. Kids 6-12 $5 and kids 5 and under are free. Advanced tickets are available at Pizza Kings in Beaver Dam.