FRI UPDATE: Mike Graham death, Anderson Silva open to Jones fight perhaps, latest on Bubba vs. Hulk, UFC December big show official, Arianny new bikini video, UFC drug test failures, tons more
By Bryan Alvarez
A rare quiet weekend upcoming with no major shows.
We're looking for reports on last night's Smackdown show in Cairo, Egypt, tonight's Smackdown show in Cairo, Egypt and tonight's Raw show in Trenton, NJ at
Bellator tonight in Reading, PA on MTV 2 features four first round matches in the lightweight tournament:
Rene Nazare (156) vs. Ricardo Tirloni (155.4)
Marcin Held (155.8) vs. Murad Machaev (155.4)
David Janesen (155.8) vs. Magomed Saadulaev (155.4)
Rich Clementi (155) vs. Alexander Sarnavskiy (155.6)
Saturday has Raw in Reading, PA at the same building Bellator ran the night before, Smackdown's final show of the tour in Cairo, Egypt, and TNA in Macon, GA headlined by Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, James Storm, Rob Van Dam, A.J. Styles, Kurt Angle and Gail Kim.
Sunday has Raw in Hartford, CT and TNA in Savannah, GA.
Monday is the live Raw in East Rutherford, NJ. Kane vs. Big Show and Sin Cara & Rey Mysterio vs. Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes are scheduled for TV, and dark matches are Sheamus vs. Big Show last man standing and Ryback vs. C.M. Punk in a lumberjack match.
Tuesday is the Smackdown, Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam tapings in Providence, RI.
Our most talked about issue of the year, the 2012 Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame issue will be out in two weeks. Anyone who subscribes to either a print or on-line subscription will get the issue. In addition, our other major issue of the year, the awards issue, comes out in January.
A look at the hottest new star in pro wrestling, Ryan "Ryback" Reeves, is the lead story in one of two issues of the Observer out this week. There are two issues on the web site and a double issue in the mail this week of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Both issues should be up on the site today along with a back issue from 1995.
We look at the rise of Ryback, what the original plan was for Hell in a Cell, how it changed, the updated medical report on John Cena, and how everything went down leading to new Hell in a Cell main event. We look at how the company is getting the match ready, as well as how the popularity of Ryback flies in the face of what everyone in wrestling tries to brainwash wrestles into believing. We also look at how WWE's theme PPV concept backfired with this show, and look at a variety of finishes and scenarios.
We look at the Cena vs. Ryback matches so far, business, the background of Reeves, Tough Enough, his years i developmental, days as Skip Sheffield and the Hell in a Cell show.
We also have a look at Hector Garza's battle with lung cancer. We look at his background and how he was a wrestler who has been a major star for two decades, but in reality, missed out on his potential for a number of reasons. We look at his run in WCW and TNA, his brief experience in WWF, and his role in Mexico.
Plus, we've got everything on the Hulk Hogan lawsuits, sex tape, police reports, Bubba the Love Sponge, Howard Stern, what is full of shit, why Hogan may not fare well in court even if he's in the right, and what things don't add up at all.
We look at Bubba the Love Sponge's tirade against him, and an interesting note about his divorce.
We also look at the decision to put Jon Jones vs Chael Sonnen as the coaches for Ultimate Fighter and as the next light heavyweight title match. We look at the dynamics involved that led to the decisions being made.
We also have full coverage of TNA's Bound for Glory, the decision to make Jeff Hardy champion, when they company made the call on Devon, what terrible segment on Impact wasn't in the script, , business notes on the show, booking, poll results and star ratings for all of the matches.
We also have a look at UFC 153, the build of Bonnar vs Silva, highlights from the show and match-by-match coverage with poll results.
We also look at Ring of Honor's changes with Hunter Johnston taking over as booker from Jim Cornette, the problems going into Final Battle, the top matches at Final Battle, business notes from the show and match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
We also have an update on C.M. Punk and the incident with the fan in Sacramento, More on Punk vs. Austin after the release of their video shot in August, latest on Mania plans, notes on the upcoming video game, WWE promoting the Rolling Stones and background of it, and latest polls on the Linda McMahon senate race. We also look at what McMahon said last week that drew heavy criticism and her response to it.
We also look at a new WWE promotional slogan, Jerry Lawler's return in Memphis, WWE reaching a settlement regarding paying millions in state taxes and backgrounds on two new announcing hires. We also look at a new WWE video release, a former WWE employee says why Linda McMahon shouldn't be senator, Paul Heyman's road schedule, JBL has to apologize to Carlos Colon, and the latest announcing changes.
We also have a ton of developmental notes, NXT tapings, El Hijo del Santo talks why he never went back to WWE, Christmas WWE television schedule, Raw delayed viewership, Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels event planned for Mania week, what wrestler nearly got into a fist fight with John Laurinaitis, plus business notes from the last week and coverage of the weekend house shows.
We also look at more business notes from this year's WrestleMania, including the tourism effect and notes on how many locals attended the show.
We also look at the death of Alex Karras, the former NFL and television star who was a pro wrestler for a few years. In particular, we look at the famous feud with Karras vs. Dick the Bruiser and a pro wrestling match and an incident beforehand that got national publicity in the 60s and is a part of Detroit sports folklore.
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 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:
--The annual tournament in Mexico honoring Blue Demon
--Japanese title changes hands in Mexico
--The longest reigning champion in pro wrestling history retains once again with a storyline finish that dates back to a match in 1975
--Why RVD's X Division title win was a late decision
--Former WCW wrestler about to return to Mexico
--Japanese title matches in Mexico last week and this coming week
--A battle with two father-and-son teams with legendary fathers and newcomer sons going at it
--Upcoming Dragon Gate USA matches
--Hall of Fame candidate this year needs major surgery that will put him out for a long time.
--Feedback from the last New Japan iPPV show
--How iPPV is so different in Japan than the U.S.
--A unique concept tournament New Japan is doing next month
--Main event for Inoki's New Year's Eve show announced
--A look at Inoki's last show featuring a current Zuffa fighter
--Taka Michinoku's 20th anniversary show
--Tajiri's promotion does tournament for the title
--U.S. indie star wins Japanese world title
--Update on Bobby Eaton
--Full details on Tammy Sytch's latest arrests
--Vader/Harley Race notes
--Update on Lance Russell
--What historical stuff Lance Russell recently found
--Guilty plea involving the murder of a 90s wrestler
--U.S. Olympic team member makes pro wrestling debut this week
--Linda Hogan reality show role
--Jerry Lynn's U.K. retirement
--Former WCW and WWF wrestler sentenced to probation in steroid case
--A look at former WCW wrestler who after leaving won 22 straight boxing matches, all by knockout
--A look at the death of the former Stan Vachon and Stan Pulaski
--Arrest of a former 90s WWF wrestler whose debut match was against Edge
--Update on the Extreme Rising promotion
--A look at the TNA Hall of Fame ceremony
--Funny notes about Sting's interest in wrestling growing up
--Update on TNA lawsuit
--Notes on Bound for Glory at theaters
--Sting talks Undertaker match
--Notes on the latest Strikeforce cancellation and what it means
--Reaction from fighters
--Future of Strikeforce
--FX vs. Spike in 2013
--Advance ticket sales for upcoming UFC events
--Update on Jeremy Stephens
--Rashad Evans talks future
--Anderson Silva hits milestone
--Notes on UFC future business changes
--A look at Roy Nelson's grandstand play to embarrass Shane Carwin
--Notes on the Jake Shields suspension
--UFC payoffs for the Minnesota show
--UFC Fighter career in jeopardy
--All-time UFC legend hasn't announced retirement, but figures he's retied
--Notes on cutting DaMarques Johnson
--New UFC fights
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:
Today's News, Notes and Links
-- Sad to report the death of Florida wrestling standout Michael Gossett, aka Mike Graham, sometime in the last 24 hours. We'll have more details on what happened later today. He was in Daytona, Florida for Bike Week when his wife found him deceased.
-- Anderson Silva on SporTV in Brazil yesterday suggested that for the right amount of money he'd consider fighting Jon Jones, but it would have to be a catchweight non-title fight. Silva has vehemently opposed the idea of this fight for months. Silva's manager Ed Soares said yesterday that currently in Brazil, Silva is "bigger than Kobe Bryant and LeBron James."
-- Latest on Hulk and Bubba: TMZ reported todaythat they have been provided with three additional tapes featuring Bubba's wife Heather having sex with unnamed individuals. They claim on one of them she walks up to the camera and says, "Is this thing recording? Okay, not that I don't trust you but I will get in trouble if it doesn't."
-- Forest Griffin vs. Phil Davis has been added to Dos Santo vs. Velasquez II, now official for 12/29 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira had wanted the fight with Forrest and campaigned on Twitter for it.
-- Big article hereabout Connecticut state Democracts alleging that WWE "cheated" on $4 million in state taxes. WWE, obviously, is outrated. Many comments from all sides in the article.
-- Cliff Compton beat Alex Silva to win the OVW TV title at the tapings last night.
-- UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste has a new MUSIC VIDEO~! out here. Lots of gratuitous bikini shots.
-- There is a music video herelooking at the career of indy wrestler Brain Damage (Marvin Lambert), who passed away yesterday.
-- Both Matt Riddle and Francisco Rivera failed drug tests at UFC 149, the former for marijuana and the latter for an undisclosed "over-the-counter stimulant". Both received 90-day suspensions.
-- A shirtless Jeremy Stephens alerts us that he is back, fresh from posting bail on a felony assault warrant that saw him pulled from UFC on FX 5.
-- Interview with Sheamus herewhere he says his dream match is versus Undertaker at WrestleMania in an attempt to break the streak. That match was actually on the drawing board for a few years.
-- A bunch of lucha notes from Kris Zellner:
AAA announced yesterday that their next big show Guerra de Titanes will take place on 12/2 at Auditorio Benito Juarez de Zapopan.
Mr. Aguila worked an indy show teaming with La Familia de Tijuana that featured AAA talent which is usually a no-no among the EMLL guys even if they have a special deal like Aguila who can work more freely than others. Aguila is booked for Arena Mexico tomorrow night so if he gets pulled then we know he has been punished.
Jesus Zuniga who announces the AAA shows on Televisa tweeted yesterday that he fully expects Konnan would be returning to the ring full-time in January which his return had been rumored for a while with Konnan himself talking about on his podcast with Court Bauer but this is the first time that a specific timetable has been set. Konnan said he would like to work an 18-month run which if he started in January would put his endgame for Triplemania XXII in 2014.
New Japan President Naoki Sugabayashi and foreign booker Tiger Hattori met with EMLL President Paco Alonso yesterday to discuss their future cross promotion in 2013 and more of the same talent will be going back and forth as everyone has been highly pleased with who has worked the promotions. NJPW promised to send one of their top rudos over to show Mexico how their rudos are and that rudo is likely to be Kazuchida Okada.
Rayo de Jalisco Jr. tried to defend himself in this week's Box y Lucha magazine regarding his no-showing a big Monterrey show a few weeks ago saying that he never got his plane ticket which prompted the Llaves y Canados promoters to send copies of said ticket and the deposit slip which they had at the show to the local media in Monterrey to prove him wrong.
Ricky Marvin said that he is excited to be defending the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Titles with Super Crazy against Daga & Halloween on the AAA FUSION taping at Arena Lopez Mateos on Sunday as he hopes it leads to more bookings in AAA. Ricky said that he hasn't worked regularly in Mexico for the last four years but he has kept up with what's going on scouting challengers such as Daga & Halloween who he is impressed with especially Daga. Ricky thinks though that his experience in Japan has made him a much stronger wrestler which he plans on showcasing at the taping to get future bookings.
-- ROH is offering 20% off all compilation DVDs this week at ROHwrestling.com.
-- Ed writes: The new Brock Lesnar DVD set in now available at Walmart and Best Buy stores in Vancouver, BC. If you purchase the new CM Punk release at Walmart there is a pair of wrist bands included.
-- Extreme Rising debuts at the Golden Dome in Monaca, PA Saturday, November 17, 2012 with their fourth live event of the year. This event promises to be monumental, as the stars of Extreme pay homage to the 15 year anniversary of “November to Remember,” a show broadcast live on national pay per view from the Golden Dome in 1997.
-- East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! ECWA WITCHING HOUR Sat, October 20, 2012 Sports and More 1855 Hurffville Road Sewell , NJ 08080 (856) 401-8111
-- Shine 4 TONIGHT on iPPV from Ybor City, FL, 1915 E. 7th Avenue in Ybor City, with an 8pm Belltime.
-- Ed, Cutrer and hopefully Craig on the former Drunkcast tonight (now PEARL SLAM RADIO) with guest Brutal Bob Evans here.
-- Denis notes: Soup host Joel McHale introduced the clip by saying viewers "should be aware of three things: One, former 'Real Worlder' The Miz is a wrestler and no one likes him. Two, sometimes when someone gets kicked in the face, it may not be completely real. Three, if The Miz gets kicked in the face and it's completely real, the WWE will make damn sure you saw it." From there, the show aired the clip of Kofi kicking Miz in the face to win the match, plus the four replays. When the Soup cut back to McHale, he was wearing a headseat and shouting, "Keep hitting the replay button! Why haven't we considered actually hurting people in the first place? Something real happened!"
-- Who do you think leaked the Hogan sex tape?
A close friend of Hogan doing it for him 9.2%
An employee who hates Bubba 6.8%
A Hogan friend who turned on him 1.8%
Someone who broke into Bubba's house 1.5%
A repairman in Bubba's house show found it 0.9%
A guest/family member of Bubba 0.9%
Did Dana White make the right decision to do Sonnen vs. Jones
Given the ratings of TUF, yes, without that aspect, no 19.4%
I don't like the decision, but it was the best business decision 17.8%
People getting upset about this show no knowledge of how UFC was built and what combat sorts are 16.1%
No other light heavyweight whe is better has gotten themselves over and it's good because fighters need to realize they have to market themselves 7.9%
It will hurt the sport in the long run 3.3%
What did you think of WWE Main Event
55.0% of those responding didn't see the show
What was the best of these fights?
Miesha Tate vs. Julie Kedzie 39.6%
Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva 20.1%
Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar II 10.7%
Eddie Alvarez vs. Patricky Pitbull 7.1%
Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard 7.1%
Matt Wiman vs. Paul Sass 5.3%
T.J.Grant vs. Evan Dunham 4.1%
Diego Nunes vs. Bart Palaszewski 2.4%
Demetious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez 2.4%
Jimi Manuwa vs. Kyle Kingsbury 1.2%