SAT. UPDATE: Bryan talks food habits, changes in wrestling, dating Brie Bella, Lashley fights, Greatest TNA wrestler of all-time, 23rd anniversary of legendary match



By Dave Meltzer
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        We're looking for reports on tonight Raw in Lakeland, FL (John Cena vs. Ryback), Smackdown in Johnson City, TN (Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, A.J. Lee, Big E Langston, Sheamus), TNA in Aiken, SC (Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode, A.J. Styles vs. Ken Anderson, Kurt Angle vs. Wes Brisco, Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Hernandez vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian, Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim, Joseph Park vs. Robbie E) and ROH in Columbus, OH at the Ohio Expo Center (Jay Briscoe vs. Eddie Edwards for ROH title, Kevin Steen vs. Rhino and Mark Briscoe vs Matt Hardy) at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
        We're also looking for reports on last night's WWE show in Fort Lauderdale and last night's TNA show in Rome, GA.
 
        Raw on Facebook and Fuel from Fortaleza, Brazil
 
Facebook fight at 4:45 p.m. Eastern time
 
Antonio Braga vs. Anthony Smith
Caio Magalhaes vs. Karlos Vemola
Rodrigo Damm vs. Mizuto Hirota
Ildemar Alcantara vs. Leandro Silva
Felipe Arantes vs. Godofredo Castro
Derek Brunson vs. Ronnie Markes
Raphael Assuncao vs. Vaughn Lee
 
Fuel fights at 8 p.m.Eastern
Rony Jason vs. Mike Wilkinson
Erick Silva vs. Jason High
Daniel Sarafian vs. Eddie Mendez
Rafael Feijao Cavalcante vs. Thiago Silva
Leo Santos vs. William Patolino Maracaio for the TUF Brazil championship
Fabricio Werdum vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
 
 
        The big show on Sunday is the finals of the Best of the Super Juniors tournament, held at Korakuen Hall.  The semifinals are Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Alex Shelley and Prince Devitt vs. Kenny Omega.  The winners meet later that show in the championship match.
 
        Sunday also has Raw in Jacksonville and Smackdown is in Fayetteville.
 
        Raw on Monday comes from Richmond, VA.  HHH vs. Curtis Axel is announced for the show.
 
        Smackdown and Main Event are scheduled for Tuesday at the Greensboro Coliseum. 
 
        The newest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is up on the site right now.  We've got the details of UFC's beating WWE to the punch with a 24 hour network, including why it's not in the U.S.
 
        We look behind the deal, what it means to UFC in Mexico as well as South America, UFC's previous flirtations with a 24 hour network in the U.S., time frame of when the network is scheduled to roll out, marketing philosophy of how it will be promoted and what Televisa properties will be used.
 
        We also look at the UFC strategy for Mexico, when UFC is likely to run the market, and how this is the same and how it is different from the WWE network.
 
        We also have an update on Keiji Muto and the future of All Japan Pro Wrestling.  We look at how Muto came to power in the company, what has happened since, what led to Muto leaving and where things stand right now.  We look at All Japan owner Nobuo Shiraishi's attempt to not be a heel owner, as well as Muto's comments on what is going on.
 
        We've also got a rundown of TNA Slammiversary, with match-by-match coverage, star ratings, poll results and a look at the various storylines from the show.
 
        We also have tons of news from WWE including the situation with the writing team after the low ratings the past two weeks, details behind the writing of this week's Raw show, what WWE is looking for in writers and what positions are they looking at right now not just in writing but also in upper management.
       
        We also look at the short-term for C.M. Punk, Daniel Bryan, Money in the Bank direction, Payback card, plans for next year at this time, why Fandango had a start and stop push originally, the Bret Hart Tribute segment and why it didn't air on Raw, update on Bret Hart, Who are WWE's best wrestlers at formulating matches, WWE star speaks about politics, WrestleMania DVD sales and more on scouting for new WWE talent. 
 
        We also look at Legends House, Curtis Axel, lots of WWE injury updates as well as several more new signings..
       
        We also have business notes from WWE over the past week as well as highlights from all the arena events.
 
        We've also got a look at the Rampage Jackson to Bellator and TNA deal, Jackson's previous foray into pro wrestling, growing up as a fan, the former Rampage vs. King Mo issue, and a look back at Rampage's career in MMA, from Pride to UFC.
 
        We also have a look at one of the biggest names in pro wrestling history who is running for the senate once again in his country.
 
        We've got a look at the New Japan Best of the Super Juniors tournament.
 
        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.
 
       If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.  Just sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
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        You can also subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228. 
 
        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows as well as details of how every segment on Raw the past two weeks did and what 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:
 
--Notes on La Sombra vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
 
--Details from Arena Mexico
 
--Four major title changes in one promotion
 
--Promoter talks about one of the biggest potential non-WWE matches in years and if it's still on with one of the guys leaving the promotion.
 
--AAA continues to build TripleMania
 
--Notes on the finals of this year's King of Gate tournament
 
--Lots of injury updates
 
--The grandson of one of the biggest pro wrestling stars of all-time set to start training to be a pro wrestler
 
--A look at an upcoming junior heavyweight tag team tournament in Japan
 
--Next title matches in NOAH
 
--Son of Hall of Famer makes debut
 
--Update on wrestling's chances to be put back into the Olympics
 
--A look at what happened with CHIKARA
 
--Health issue updates from another of major wrestling stars
 
--Hall of Famer looking at opening a venue for a new sport he found out about while wrestling
 
--Steiner Brothers return
 
--New markets ROH is expected to get TV in
 
--A look at ROH's weekend show and news on more matches and updated lineup for next iPPV show
 
--Behind the Chael Sonnen vs. Shogun Rua main event for Boston
 
--The beleaguered UFC show in Winnipeg update
 
--Will UFC really do an outdoor show in Las Vegas this year?
 
--A look at UFC's heavyweight division
 
--Daniel Cormier talks plans
 
--Tons of new UFC matches announced
 
--UFC changes its policy on marijuana
 
--Nevada talks changes talked about when it comes to drug testing
 
--Anderson Silva's future
 
--Notes on this next season of Ultimate Fighter
 
--More problems for UFC in New York
 
--Update on B.J. Penn
 
--UFC Fan Expo notes
 
--Another major Bellator signing
 
--Will an upcoming fight open up something that will change the economics of big events?  One of the biggest promoters thinks a game changer is at hand.
 
--Update on another MMA star talking about getting into pro wrestling
 
--Boxing champion goes into MMA
 
--Son of famous talk show host stating as MMA fighter.
 
        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.
 
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*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)
 
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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)
 
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*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)
 
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
 
*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)
 
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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)
 
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* 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)
 
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
 
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
 
Rates are:
 
        For the United States, it is $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52.  In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52 .
 
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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.
 
Saturday's News Update
 
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking UFC, Impact, Smackdown and taking your questions at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 --Coverage of UFC on Fuel tonight starts at 7 p.m. Eastern and 4 p.m. Pacific with the pregame show with live fights scheduled from 8-11 p.m. from Fortaleza, Brazil.  There is no post-game show at 11 p.m. scheduled in the listings I've received 
 
--A very good lengthy interview with Daniel Bryan promoting the Raw show in Richmond, talking why he isn't a vegan any longer, how wrestling has changed, dating Brie Bella and more is at http://rvamag.com/articles/full/21044/the-worlds-most-humble-man-an-interview-with-wwe-superstar-daniel-bryan
 
 
--Bobby Lashley had his first MMA fight in more than a year last night, beating Kevin Asplund with a keylock submission at 1:23 of the second round in Fort Riley, Kansas for the Titan Fighting Championships.  The fight aired on AXS.  After the fight, Lashley said he didn't want to challenge anyone, but then challenged Dave Bautista.  Lashley dominated the fight from start-to-finish. (thanks to John Patton)
 
--Superstar Billy Graham had successful gallstone removal surgery earlier this week.  He has a second operation scheduled on 6/18.  The belief is the gall bladder issue was associated with his Hepatitis C.  Graham talks about his issues at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VLDqzzKmhU4
 
--Former UFC fighter Diego Nunes has signed with Bellator, likely for their next featherweight tournament.
 
WHO SHOULD GET THE NEXT UFC LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE SHOT?
T.J. Grant 59.1%
Josh Thomson 40.9%
 
WHO IS THE GREATEST WRESTLER IN TNA HISTORY?
A.J. Styles 45.0%
Kurt Angle 34.7%
Samoa Joe 7.7%
Jeff Jarrett 4.3%
Sting 3.0%
Christopher Daniels 2.2%
Christian Cage 1.0%
Bobby Roode 0.8%
Jeff Hardy 0.8%
Austin Aries 0.6%
 
WHAT ACTIVE WRESTLER NOT IN THE HALL OF FAME IS THE BEST CANDIDATE?
Sting 43.1%
C.M. Punk 16.9%
Hiroshi Tanahashi 14.2%
L.A. Park 5.3%
A.J. Styles 4.9%
Randy Orton 3.3%
Jun Akiyama 3.3%
Kensuke Sasaki 2.5%
Yuji Nagata 2.3%
Dr. Wagner Jr. 2.1%
Minoru Suzuki 1.1%
Atlantis 1.1%
 
POLL ON IMPACT ON THURSDAY
Excellent 19.9%
Good 49.3%
Average 19.2%
Fair 3.4%
Poor 8.2%
        33.3% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1976 - Maki Ueda beat Jumbo Miyamoto to win the WWWA women's title
1979 - Cachorro Mendoza beat Sangre Chicana in Mexico City to win the Mexican national middleweight title
1984 - Fit Finlay beat Marty Jones in Carlisle to win the World mid-heavyweight championship
1985 - Dynamite Kid beat Mighty Inoue in Takamatsu to win the NWA Int. jr. title
1985 - Black Bart beat Ronnie Garvin in Atlanta to win the National title
1990 - Stan Hansen beat Terry Gordy at Budokan Hall to win the Triple Crown.  The main event on that show was the famous Misawa vs. Tsuruta match that Misawa won.
1997 - HHH beat Mankind to win the King of the Ring tournament in Providence
1999 - Kendo Ka Shin beat Koji Kanemoto in Tokyo to win the Best of the Super Juniors tournament
1999 - Ivory beat Debra McMichael to win the WWF womens' title in Worcester, MA
 
--In last week's cable TV ratings, TNT with NBA coverage was No. 1 at 3.88 million viewers.  USA was No. 3 at 2.34 million.  FX was No. 11 at 1.29 million, Syfy was No. 20 at 972,000 and Spike was No. 22 at 825,000.  Last week's Raw was No. 9, 10 and 12 overall, behind Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Longmire and several NBA games.  One of the hours was No. 10 in the 18-49 demo.
 
--The finals of the Super Juniors tournament airs live on Asahi Newstar (TV Asahi Ch. 2) from 6:30 p.m. Japanese time.  Let me know if there is any way to access that in the U.S. and I'll post it for those wanting to watch the show.
 
--Richard Ramirez, the famed Night Stalker of the 80s in Los Angeles, died yesterday in prison at the age of 53.  He had been on death row for 24 years.  He was the inspiration for the wrestling character of the same name played by Bryan Clark in the AWA and WCW. (thanks to Stephen Lyon)
 
--UFC fighter Erik Perez will be appearing at TripleMania next Sunday in Mexico City
 
--Premier Wrestling tomorrow at the 9 Lives Club in Gilroy, CA at 7430 Monterey St at 5 p.m.  Dave Dutra (2-0) vs. former Olympian Jeff Cobb (1-0) headlines plus Nick Ruiz vs. Brian Tannen, Timothy Thatcher vs. JR Kratos, A.J. Kirsch vs. Dylan Drake, Drake Younger vs. Sledge and Oliver John vs. Marcus Lewis.
 
--Adam Lash noted that he went on the UFC App on XBox today and there wasn't even a mention of today's show.  Everything was geared for next week's show in Winnipeg.  He said there is usually a commercial, maybe a free fight or two with the main eventers and the weigh-ins on video. 
 
--For those going to Winnipeg for UFC next week, PCW is presenting a pro wrestling show in the city on Saturday night (a week from tonight) at Doubles Fun Club at the Trevelodge Hotel with all seats $10.  There will be a Rumble in the main event plus Antonio Scorpio Jr. vs. Adam Knight.
 
--CPW tonight in Hedgesville, WV at the Fire Hall.  All seats $10.
 
--Mick Foley will be doing IAMA (Ask Me Anything) on reddit.com on 6/11 at Noon Eastern time.  These things sometimes get interesting.  (thanks to Neal Hager)
 
--In Your Face Wrestling on 6/22 in Ballston Spa, NY at the Community Center at 7 p.m.
 
--Tito Santana faces Wes Mercer for the EWA title on 6/15 in Parkville, MD, plus there will be a ten-man elimination match.  Seats are $25, $20.  Santana will also be doing a meet and greet for $15.
 
--Scott Steiner beat Santos to win the Dutch heavyweight title in front of a sellout crowd of 755 fans in Holland this past Sunday.  Carlito, Shelton Benjamin beat Emil Sitoci, Chris Masters beat Mark Kodiak (the area's top heel) and Max Damon beat Carlito on the show.  Next show is 11/17 with Jushin Liger vs. Emil Sitoci as the main event for a show called "Japanese Conflict."  There will also be a fan fest with Liger in conjunction with the show.  For more info you can go to www.dutchprowrestling.nl
 
 

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