By Bryan Alvarez |
This weekend starts a new era in WWE house shows. No longer are events billed as Raw or Smackdown events, but instead they are just "WWE live events." The reason is the company believed, and business has shown for years, that the "Smackdown" designation meant that even when charging lower ticket prices, fewer people would buy tickets to the event. Essentially, the crews are still split up kind of the same way. This weekend, we'll see if it makes a difference.
Saturday has WWE house shows in Bethlehem, PA (Smackdown without the name) and Manchester, NH (John Cena vs. Ryback, Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett), as well as ROH makes its debut in San Antonio at the Shrine Auditorium (Jay Briscoe vs. Davey Richards for the ROH title, ACH vs. Jay Lethal, Michael Elgin & B.J. Whitmer vs. Scum in a tornado match, Matt Taven vs. Eddie Edwards in a non-title match, Adam Cole vs. Roderick Strong, and Mark Briscoe vs. a member of SCUM. Saturday also has the Best of the Super Junior tournament in Kyoto (Hiromu Takahashi vs. Ricochet, Brian Kendrick vs. Jado, Titan vs. Taichi, Tiger Mask vs. Kushida, Alex Shelley vs. Trent Barreta, Kenny Omega vs. Alex Koslov, Bushi vs. Ryusuke Taguchi and Prince Devitt vs. Rocky Romero.
Sunday is headlined by TNA's Slammiversary show from the Agganis Arena in Boston on PPV with this lineup:
- Bully Ray vs. Sting for the TNA title in a no holds barred match
- A.J. Styles vs. Kurt Angle
- Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Hernandez vs. Austin Aries & Bobby Roode vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. James Storm & Gunner in a four-team elimination match for the tag titles
- Jeff Hardy & Samoa Joe & Magnus vs. Wes Brisco & Garett Bischoff & Doc
- Devon vs. Joseph Park for the TV title
- Kenny King vs. Chris Sabin vs. Suicide in an Ultimate X match for the X title
- Taryn Terrell vs. Gail Kim last person standing
- Jay Bradley vs. Sam Shaw - Winner goes into the Bound for Glory series
Sunday also has WWE house shows in Augusta, ME (Cena crew) and Poughkeepsie, NY (Orton crew).
Sunday's Best of the Super Junior show will be in Akashi, Japan with Takahashi vs. Barreta, Bushi vs. Kendrick, Koslov vs. Jado, Omega vs. Taka Michinoku, Ricochet vs. Titan, Jushin Liger vs. Shelley, Devitt vs. Taichi and Kushida vs. Taguchi.
Monday is Raw from Hartford, CT. There is also a Super Juniors show in Ehime, Japan on Monday with Takahashi vs. Romero, Bushi vs. Koslov, Liger vs. Barreta, Tiger Mask vs. Jado, Ricochet vs. Taichi, Shelley vs. Titan, Omega vs. Kendrick and Taguchi vs. Michinoku.
Tuesday is Smackdown and Main Event tapings from the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. Tuesday's Super Juniors show is from Osaka with Shelley vs Takahashi, Tiger Mask vs. Kendrick, Barreta vs. Romero, Koslov vs Michinoku, Kushida vs Jado, Bushi vs. Omega, Titan vs. Devitt and Liger vs. Ricochet.
-- After Dark Radio returns tonight with part 2 of our WOULD YOU GO TO MARS NEVER TO RETURN series. Last week's show was a lot of fun, so check that one out and then call or email in to join the discussion. Phone lines will open at midnight Pacific/3 AM EST at 425-482-1686. You can also send emails to
with "AFTER DARK" in the subject line or body of the email.
As always, it's open lines and open correspondence on the phones and email so you can hit on any topic you'd like, local legends, ghost stories, etc. Try to keep wrestling talk to a minimum if possible. Remember, this is a listener-driven show, so prepare to call or write in tonight!
-- My wife Whitney launches her new non-profit organization, Whale Scout, tomorrow at 3 PM at Richmond Beach in Shoreline, WA. I'll be there along with a bunch of friends if anyone in the area wants to show up. There will be refreshments, exhibits, coloring contests and other educational stations for the kids, and more. The organization looks to connect the public with trained naturalists who can lead shore-based whale-watching experiences, help people understand what they can do in their lives to ensure the survival of the whales, etc. You can follow on Twitter, on Facebook or at the soon-to-be-more-active website.
-- I'll be live talking pro wrestling with host Jason Martin on THE ZONE 104.5 in Nashville, TN tomorrow morning at 12:30 PM EST (11:30 AM in Nashville, 9:30 AM on West Coast). You'll be able to listen live here. I should be appearing at least once per month.
-- Was told the last segment of Smackdown tonight is awesome.
-- Statement from Chikara on various rumors in advance of their iPPV Sunday: "There is no issue regarding ownership of the CHIKARA name, brand, its assets or intellectual properties. Any speculation to the contrary is 100% false." We have an audio interview with Mike Quackenbush up on the front page where he explains his theory behind how these rumors got going.
-- As noted on Impact and the front page, Bound for Glory, TNA's WrestleMania, is October 20th from Viejas Arena in San Diego, CA.
-- For the first time ever, a French announce team will be at ringside for Slammiversary on Sunday. In the most obscure trivia ever this week, one of them, Celian Varini, once found a $100 bill on the floor of an ice cream parlor in Las Vegas and gave it to Granny, who then proceeded to spend $5 of it on a Lotto ticket every week in an attempt to win $1 million dollars, a process documented on the Bryan & Vinny Show. I think she got to about $30 before she gave up on the process.
--Dixie Carter on Twitter is teasing that they've signed a big free agent.
-- Jenna Jameson is going nuts on Tito Ortiz on Twitter, ranting about their separation and now posting photos that she claims are drugs he took to prepare for his fights. Tito, of course, is denying all of this. It's as messy as it gets.
-- Tim Sylvia not only missed weight by five pounds for his One FC 9 fight Thursday, but he also lost in 3:25 of the first round to opponent Tony Johnson on a blood stoppage. Phil Baroni also fought and loss, getting knocked out and perhaps breaking his ankle as well.
-- In the note in yesterday's news update about how all the fighters at the UFC on FX 8 show tested clean for steroids and drugs of abuse, that list included Vitor Belfort.
-- Wanderlei Silva said he was open to taking a fight with Chael Sonnen later this year, and said he'd prefer if it took place in Brazil. I'm sure Chael would prefer if it took place in West Linn, OR.
-- The "Anderson Silva" name is a tough one to live up to.
-- The Viva LA Lucha Kickstarter still has a long way to go, but there are still 31 days left to attempt to raise $60,000 to shoot their shows. You can check it out here.
-- This Saturday - its your turn to ask the questions...and get the answers straight from the Bully's mouth live in front of the sold out TNA Fan InterAction VIP event crowd in Boston! Join hosts Jeremy Borash, Christy Hemme and Socal Val this Saturday, June 1st at 9/8 CST as we bring Fan InterAction LIVE to YOU via Twitter and web with our "Slammin' Celebration webcast! Ask your questions to Bully Ray himself with #AskBully!
-- A Facebook page for Paul Lazenby's upcoming When We Were Bouncers book is up here.
-- Bruce Buffer interview here. Bet it was golden.
-- Fandango cover story on CT.com here.
-- If you remember the old Youtube promo with Lex Luger where he flipped out, botched his interview, and then started screaming about how the t-shirts are too tight, here is an interview with the guy who interviewed him for that, the guy who went, "MR. LUGER, MR. LUGER!" Check it out here.
-- Dean Ambrose on ESPN Radio here.
-- Busy day in history according to Brian Hoops. Thankfully American pro wrestling is only 130 years old and not 530 years old.
1937 - Red Berry defeated Hugh Nichols to win the World Light Heavyweight Title in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
1940 - Jules Larance defeated Gil Knutsen for the Midwest Wrestling Association World Junior Heavyweight Title in Columbus, Ohio.
1944 - El Santo won the Mexican National Middleweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico from Tuffy Truesdale in a tournament final.
1965 - Pepper Martin defeated The Mad Russian for the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title
1968 - Alberto and Enrique Torres defeated El Mongol and Hans Schmidt in Atlanta, Georgia to win the Georgia NWA Southern Tag Team Title.
1969 - In Boston, Massachussetts, Killer Kowalski defeated WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino in a Texas death match.
1971 - Tom Jones and Billy Red Lyons defeated The Spoilers for the Tri-State NWA United States Tag Team Title in Shreveport, Louisiana.
1972 - Karl and Kurt Von Brauner defeated Robert Fuller and Kevin Sullivan for the Mid-America NWA World Tag Team Title in Nashville, Tennessee
1972 - The Professional (Doug Gilbert) and Mike Webster won the NWA Florida Tag Team Title from Boris Malenko and Bob Roop in Miami, Florida.
1974 - Gene and Ole Anderson defeated Bob Armstrong and Robert Fuller to win the NWA Georgia Tag Team Title in Atlanta, Georgia
1975 - Ed Wiskoski (Col. DeBeers) defeated Jerry Oates for the NWA Central States Heavyweight Title in Kansas City, Kansas.
1979 - Great Kojika and Motoshi Okuma won the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Title, defeating The Kiwis (Butch Miller and Sweet William) in Noshiro, Japan.
1980 - Dick the Bruiser defeated King Kong (Bruiser) Brody in Indianapolis, Indiana for the World Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title
1981 - Jake Roberts defeated The Grappler to win the Mid-South North American Heavyweight Title in Shrevport, Louisiana.
1982 - In Memphis, Tennessee King Cobra defeated NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Champion Bobby Eaton to win the title
1986 - Ron Bass defeated Tyree Pride in Nassau, Bahamas to win the NWA Bahamas Heavyweight Title
1986 - Eric Embry won the WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Title in Bayamón, Puerto Rico by defeating Super Medico I
1991 - Los Villanos (I, IV and V) defeated The Hawaiian Beasts (Kokina (Yokozuna), Fatu and the Samoan Savage) for the UWA World Trios Title in Naucalpan, Mexico.
1991 - Bill Dundee defeated Tom Prichard (subbing for Eric Embry) for the USWA Texas Heavyweight Title in Dallas, Texas
1992 - Chi Chi Cruz (Corey Peloquin) defeated Gerry Morrow in Winnipeg, Manitoba to win the West Four Wrestling Alliance Canadian Heavyweight Title.
1999 - Bam Bam Bigelow and Diamond Dallas Page defeated WCW World Tag Team Champions Kanyon and Saturn (subbing for Raven) to win the title during a Monday Nitro event from Houston, Texas.
1999 In Moline, Illinois Jeff Jarrett (with Debra) defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion The Godfather to win the title and The Acolytes (Bradshaw and Faarooq) defeated WWF Tag Team Champions Kane and X-Pac to win the title during a Monday Night Raw event.
2002- In Louisville, Kentucky Flash Flanagan and Trailer Park Trash defeated OVW Southern Tag Team Champions The Lords of the Ring (Rob Conway and Nick Dinsmore) to win the title.
2003 - In Carolina, Puerto Rico, Carly Colón won the WWC Universal Heavyweight Title by defeating Sabu, and Alex Montalvo defeats Pablo Marquez for the WWC World Junior Heavyweight Title. Also at that show, Eddie Colón won the vacant WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Title by defeating Dominican Boy in a tournament final.
2004 - In Montreal, Quebec La Résistance (Robért Conway and Sylvain Grenier) defeated WWE World Tag Team Champions Edge and World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit to win the title.
-- Bret Hart issued an apology for his in-ring joke during WWE Appreciation Night here. The joke was that he was always nervous when Pat Patterson got down on his knees in front of him. Patterson thought it was funny.
-- Jon Fitch doesn't think PPV is a viable way to make money. Yup.
-- Bubba Jenkins, who beat David Taylor to win the 2011 NCAA title, signed today with Bellator.
-- Mikey Whipwreck on Off the Top Rope Radio with Ed, Cutrer and Craig here tonight.
-- American Icon Autographs June 8 at Frank and Son Collectible Show 19649 E. San Jose Avenue City of Industry, CA 91748 Royce Gracie Roy Nelson Lyoto Machida Nate Diaz Vida Guerra (Playboy Cover Girl) MORE INFO: WWW.AIASE.COM. Vida will have the longest line, guaranteed.
WHO DO YOU THINK TAKES THIS FIGHT?
Josh Barnett 78.0%
Frank Mir 22.0%
WHO SHOULD WIN THE PAYBACK MAIN EVENT?
John Cena 54.0%
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF WEDNESDAY'S MAIN EVENT?
58.4% of those responding didn't see the show