TUES UPDATE: Lots of notes from Raw, Observer/F4W Vegas Convention details, join us for dinner, Payback line-up, UFC programming tonight, tons more



By Bryan Alvarez | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @bryanalvarez

We're looking for reports on tonight's Smackdown and Main Event tapings from the Greensboro Coliseum at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're also looking for reports on Sunday's WWE show in Jacksonville, Saturday's Smackdown show in Johnson City, TN, TNA in Aiken, SC and Friday night's TNA show in Rome, GA.

        We're looking for reports on tonight's Raw show in Richmond, VA.  HHH vs. Curtis Axel is announced for the show.  Vince McMahon is also scheduled.  We're looking for Superstars and dark match results as well as anything else not evident from the live show at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        We're also looking for reports on Sunday's WWE show in Jacksonville, Saturday's Smackdown show in Johnson City, TN, TNA in Aiken, SC and Friday night's TNA show in Rome, GA. 
 
        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
 
        You can also order by paypal by sending to www.paypal.com and directing the funds to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        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.
 
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 .
 
        If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
 
        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.
 
Today's News, Notes and Links

-- There are only three weeks left until the Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online Convention over July 4th weekend in Las Vegas. It's being done in association with UFC 162, and we've got tons of things for people to do that weekend, everything from karaoke and grappling contests to the annual Empire dinner and all-you-can-eat Brazilian Steakhouse get-together. If you want in on the Empire dinner, we've rented out a room and still have ten spots left (we're capping it at 50). We'll have dinner, meet everyone, plus there will be a raffle for some really cool prizes. If you want one of the last ten spots you need to contact Ed as soon as possible at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and he'll fill you in on all the details. Don't wait, because once the 50 spots are filled up there won't be anymore room. He'll also give you the full itinerary of everything that is being done all weekend and where you can meet up with us for various fun excursions. Can't wait to see everyone there!

-- Line-up for Sunday's WWE Payback PPV after last night has Cena vs. Ryback for the WWE title three stages of hell, Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto del Rio for the World Title, Dean Ambrose vs. Kane for the US Title, CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho, Shield vs. Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan for the tag titles, Wade Barrett vs. Miz vs. Curtis Axel in a three-way for the X-Divi -- I mean the Intercontinental Title, Kaitlyn vs. AJ for the women's title and Sheamus vs. Damian Sandow on the pre-show.

-- Cena beat Ryback in a tables match after Raw last night. Wonder if that means Ryback wins lumberjack match (maybe someone interferes and accidentally costs Cena the match leading to a program), Cena wins the tables match and then Cena wins the ambulance match. We'll see. No such thing as anything set in stone this far out.

-- Did you enjoy Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins last night? Well, here is the ROH version of the same match-up.

-- Some interesting comments from Dolph Ziggler on Twitter the last few days, including saying that his favorite WWE memory was having gone five straight weeks without losing, the best run of his career (this, of course, being the five weeks that he was at home with a concussion).

-- Oakland confirmed for a house show 8/11 Sunday and RAW TV from Sacramento 8/12 confirmed.

-- Strongly suspect these won't be up for long -- NXT performers doing promo practice. It's the good, the bad and the really ugly.

-- Not that Maddox. From WWE: WWE today announced that Brian Maddox has been promoted to Vice President, Global Digital Sales. Maddox, was previously Director of National Sales at WWE and will report to the Global Head of Sales and Partnerships, Michael Pine. In his new role, Maddox will be responsible for monetizing all of WWE’s digital, video, social, and mobile assets, including WWE.com, WWE’s Facebook pages, YouTube Channel, Twitter followers and mobile app. His primary focus will be working with WWE’s partners to maximize their digital budgets by leveraging all of WWE’s media assets, content and talent to develop engaging custom, cross-platform programs.

-- Trailer for the next House of Hardcore event here. Actually a pretty packed show with Lance Storm working the main event, Sami Callihan having his last indy match before going to WWE, Young Bucks vs. Brian Kendrick and Paul London which sounds awesome, and even an appearance by Ric Flair.

-- Are you ready for an Ultimo Dragon graphic novel?

-- UFC on FOX Sports 1 on August 28th tickets go on sale this Friday. UFC on Boston on August 17th has a June 20on-sale date.

-- Tonight's UFC programming on FUEL TV:

On this week’s UFC TONIGHT, we preview the upcoming UFC 161: EVANS VS. HENDERSON and get predictions from Kenny Florian, Chael Sonnen and special guest UFC bantamweight contender Urijah Faber. In an exclusive interview, Faber discusses his upcoming fight on FOX SPORTS 1, the injured bantamweight champs, and whether he thinks he deserves a title shot with one more win. Also, Sonnen sets the record straight about whether he and Dan Henderson did in fact set up Jon Jones prior to UFC 151. All that and much more on UFC TONIGHT.

This week on UFC ULTIMATE INSIDER, we spend 12 hours inside the training camps of Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans as the longtime UFC stars prepare for a major showdown at UFC 161. Then, fast-rising welterweight Tyron Woodley has lofty aspirations for his future inside the Octagon. Witness his reactions in real time as he watches the division’s long-standing champion Georges St-Pierre defend his belt against Nick Diaz. Finally, fighters are increasingly looking to upgrade their style with new suits and looks, but two upcoming UFC Hall of Fame inductees, Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar, evaluate this trend as only they can.

-- Countdown to UFC 161 also debuts tonight. That show, this Saturday night, features Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson, Stipe Miocic vs. Roy Nelson, Alexis Davis vs. Rosi Sexton, Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan, and Ryan Jimmo vs. Igor Pokrajac.

-- Here's the trailer for the new UFC video game from EA Sports.

-- Mark Hunt is recovering from one of the most gruesome staph infections you've ever seen. Don't google it.

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1879 - H.M. Dufur defeated James Owens in Boston, Massachusetts to win the American Collar-and-Elbow Title. Owens still claimed the championship despite losing to William Muldoon on February 6, 1877.

1955 - Doug Donovan & Ivan Kameroff defeated Luther Lindsay & George Dussette to win the Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title.

1965 - Wilbur Snyder & Dick the Bruiser defeated The Assassins (Guy Mitchell & Joe Tomasso) to win the World Wrestling Association Tag Team Title

1971 - The Assassins, (Tom Renesto & Jody Hamilton) won the NWA Georgia Tag Team Title, defeating Ray Gunkel & El Mongol in Atlanta, Georgia

1973 - El Marquez defeated Karloff Lagarde for the Mexico National Welterweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico

1973 - Masked Lee & Sandy Parker defeated Jumbo Miyamoto & Mariko Akagi for the WWWA World Tag Team Title in Sasebo, Japan

1975 - Gene & Ole Anderson defeated Wahoo McDaniel & Paul Jones to win the Mid-Atlantic version of the NWA World Tag Team Title in Raleigh, North Carolina

1976 - Great Kusatsu & Mighty Inoue defeated Rip Tyler & Eddie Sullivan to win the IWA Japan World Tag Team Title in Furukawa, Japan

1980 - Alan Dennison defeated Jim Breaks for the British Welterweight Title in London, England

1981 - Takashi Ishikawa & Akio Sato defeated Kevin & David Von Erich to win the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Title in Tokyo, Japan.

1983 - King Tonga & Gran Apolo defeated Buddy Landel & Terry Gibbs for the WWC North American Tag Team Title in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1984 - Rick Rude defeated Jerry Lawler to win the AWA Southern Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee

1989 - The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) defeated The Southern Force (Black Bart and Tony Anthony) in Orlando, Florida, to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Title.

1993 - Tracy Smothers defeated Tony Anthony to win the held up SMW Heavyweight Title in Knoxville, Tennessee.

1993 - Saemi Numata defeated Kumiko Maekawa for the AJW Junior Title.

-- In Your Face Wrestling www.iyfwrestling.com Presents: "Truly Independent" Saturday, June 22, 2013 7pm Ballston Area Community Center 20 Malta Ave Ballston Spa, NY

-- PREMIER CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING Presents HIGHWAY 2 HELL !!! Friday, June 14th 2013 Doubles Fun Club (at the Travelodge Hotel) $10 at the Door 9 PM Start Time

-- Lance Storm on Over the Top Radio here.

-- PREDICT THE RAW RATING

2.5 or less 13.7%

2.6 4.2%

2.7 8.3%

2.8 20.8%

2.9 24.4%

3.0 22.0%

3.1 4.8%

3.2 0.6%

3.3 0.6%

3.4 0.0%

3.5 or more 0.6%

WHICH OF THESE IPPV EVENTS ARE YOU PLANNING ON WATCHING OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS?
New Japan Dominion 35.3%
AAA TripleMania 19.5%
ROH Best in the World 19.0%

As far as crossover, New Japan & AAA and New Japan & ROH were named the same. 47.8% said they wouldn't watch any. Somehow I think the real figure of readers not watching any would be significantly higher. 3.9% said they were watching all three.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE REAL MAIN EVENT FOR PAYBACK?
Jericho vs. Punk 62.2%
Cena vs. Ryback 37.8%

WHAT WAS THE BEST TV MATCH THIS WEEK?
Shield vs. Bryan & Kane & Orton 39.0%
Ryback vs. Bryan 29.9%
Reigns & Rollins vs. Bryan & Orton 15.4%
Bully Ray vs. Hardy 6.3%
Cesaro vs. Sheamus 3.5%
Sabin-Gunner-Storm vs. Aries-Roode-King 3.1%
Jericho vs. Axel 2.0%
Cena vs. Axel 0.8%

WHO IS THE CLOSEST MMA EQUIVALENT TO ULTIMATE WARRIOR?
Kimbo Slice 31.7%
Bob Sapp 28.9%
Tank Abbott 14.2%
Ken Shamrock 8.8%
Chael Sonnen 5.1%
Tim Sylvia 5.1%
Fedor Emelianenko 2.8%
Randy Couture 2.5%
Royce Gracie 0.8%

Send us a news tip: newstips@wrestlingobserver.com

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news from this site or from our newsletters, please include a link to www.wrestlingobserver.com

For the most in-depth and detailed news and analysis on pro-wrestling and MMA, always turn to Wrestlingobserver.com/Figure Four Weekly Online, the #1 website of its kind on the Internet. Members receive online access to both the Wrestling Observer and Figure Four Weekly newsletters and growing archives, Wrestling Observer Radio with Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer three times per week, the popular Bryan and Vinny Show three times per week, additional radio shows including Figure Four Daily with Alvarez, Mike Coughlin's Five Star Radio, the Dr. Keith Lipinski Show, The Adam and Mike Big Audio Nightmare, Tough Talk and the Karl Stern Wrestling History Show, the infamous BOARD, and more! Members also have full access to the thousands of hours of audio in our radio show archives which date back to 2005. For your convenience, we offer secure online payments using your VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover card or PayPal account. Don't miss out on the fun, sign up now! Don't miss out on the fun, sign up now!

Want full access? QUICK AND EASY SIGN-UP, AS LOW AS $9.99 PER MONTH!

What did you think of Monday night's Raw?

 

Shouid Cena go heel?

 

Who was the star of Raw?