SUN UPDATE: Latest notes on Payback PPV, late injury note, Hall of Famer Fargo in critical condition, Lawler museum moved, Classics on Demand update, Fandango, UFC reaction

By Dave Meltzer
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        We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's WWE Payback, tonight's AAA TripleMania and last night UFC 161, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
        We're also looking for reports from Friday night's WWE show in Terre Haute, IN and TNA show in Charleston, WV.
Payback from Sunday at the All-State Arena in Chicago
*John Cena vs. Ryback 2/3 falls Lumberjack match/Tables match/Ambulance match for WWE title - The idea of doing the three match series is to make this something epic.  We'll see how it goes.  The longer this match goes, the less time the undercard matches will have.
*C.M. Punk vs. Chris Jericho - A lot of people are considering this the real main event, and certainly for the live crowd Punk will be the star of the show.  Lots of talk about this being the start of a Punk babyface turn  I guess we'll see.  It's Punk's first match since WrestleMania, and if you recall, he didn't wrestle much for several weeks before Mania either     
*Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan & Randy Orton for tag titles - These guys have been tearing it up on television the past few weeks.  Hopefully they'll get the opportunity to do so again here.
*Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio for World title - If you read yesterday's update, you'll note that the odds were astronomical that Del Rio was going to win with tons of money coming in on him on Saturday.  Now that didn't mean title change, because he could win via DQ.  Well, after that, tons of money came in on Ziggler.  Whether that's WWE money from people who know (which has moved odds on some recent PPVs) or not, it's hard to say, but the odds at one point were even and I'm not sure what they are now.  
*Wade Barrett vs. The Miz vs. Curtis Axel for IC title - Most expectations have Axel winning the title here.  Fandango was supposed to originally but he's out with a concussion.
*Dean Ambrose vs. Kane for U.S. title - I wouldn't think there will be a title change here, but it's WWE and anything can happen, or change, up until the last second.
*Kaitlyn vs. A.J. Lee for Divas title - Most expect a title switch here.  A.J. at one point was supposed to get the belt some time ago, but they moved the match back.  Again, that is what the odds were favoring.
*Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow (pre show match at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time) - These matches are usually just a few minutes and the general rule is to put the face over in the preshow unless it's a much bigger star who is a heel or it's a title match.
        On paper, this should be a good show.  Whether it'll be great will revolve around how the main event is worked since it's likely to go on last, even though to the fans in the building, Punk is more likely the most anticipated match.  Punk vs. Jericho should be very good, and if they have time and with the crowd, it could be the show stealer.  The tag much will be as good as they have time for.  Ziggler has been taking it easy thus far as a precautionary measure.  Ziggler vs. Del Rio may be a key match as far as just how good the show is, because there is a chance of four top level bouts out of seven, and those are the four that will probably get the most time.
AAA TripleMania from Arena Ciudad in Mexico City at 7:30 p.m. at
Man, Woman, mini and transvestite four vs. four match:  Elegido & Fabi Apache & Dinastia & Pimpinela Escarlata vs. Silver Kain & Taya Valkyrie & Mini Abismo Negro & Mamba
Five way for vacant AAA tag titles:  Joe Lider & Crazy Boy vs. Mr. E & Sexy B vs. Fenix & Drago vs. Jack Evans & Angelico vs. Halloween & Psicosis
Psycho Circus vs. Jeff Jarrett & Matt Morgan & Monster Pain managed by La Bruja Karen
Heavy Metal vs. Chessman - winner gets AAA title match
Battle of legends:  La Parka & Octagon & Electroshock & Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Canek & Villano IV & Universo 2000 & Mascara Ano 2000
Mesias vs. Blue Demon Jr. for the vacant Latin American heavyweight title
El Texano Jr. defends AAA Mega heavyweight title against Metal vs. Chessman winner
Cibernetico vs. Perro Aguayo Jr. hair vs. hair match
        Raw and Superstars will be taped on Monday night in Grand Rapids, MI.
        Smackdown and Main Event will be taped Tuesday night in Dayton.

        We've got a new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter up on the site today, as well as our back issue this week, which is the 1996 WrestleMania issue.
        Our lead story this week looks at the latest news stories as well as what came out in them which is new covering the 1983 case involving the death of girlfriend of Jimmy Snuka as well as a look back at the career of Snuka.  It's a story that has been covered before, but was front page news in two newspapers this past week and got tremendous response.
        We look back at the career of Snuka, his run in the WWF, who Nancy Argentino was, family reaction, Snuka's story, new information revealed, where mistakes were made in the handling of the case, how different things were 30 years ago and the reaction this got at the time, and Snuka's post-WWF run career.
        We also have a story covering this year's Best of the Super Juniors tournament, including trivia notes, what was unique about this year's show, how the final changed from original plans, more on New Japan's next PPV show, plus full coverage of the final night of the round-robin tournament and the final four night.  We also have a history of all the previous finals.
        We also have more on the reaction to the lower Raw ratings, update on Payback, changes in the TV show and why, and an update on WWE injuries to some of the biggest names in the company.
        We also look at new executives coming into WWE, notes on Dwayne Johnson's movies, John Cena reality show notes, a look at WWE's last training camp and what has been noted about the new class.
        We also look at Daniel Bryan and Dean Ambrose talking about their current situation, Lanny Poffo talks Randy Savage and the WWE Hall of Fame, more notes on new WWE signees, notes on recent Intercontinental champions, if the IC title and U.S. titles are effective in elevating talent, plus business notes from WWE over the past week and house show highlights.
        We look more at Bellator's move to Friday nights, the history of MMA shows on Fridays, Bellator's average on Friday vs. Saturday in the past, why the move was made, Bellator's Summer plans and notes on the new Bellator reality show.
        We also have full coverage of UFC's weekend show from Brazil, with the record night of submissions, the future of Fabricio Werdum, notes on the ratings, funny challenges and match-by-match coverage.
        We also look at the April and May ratings for WWE and TNA and compare them from how they were doing, including what have been the changes year-over-year in wrestling and what, in particular, has changed, consistent with every major wrestling television show.  Is WWE or TNA doing better than they were a year ago.
        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.
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        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows as well as details of how every segment on Raw and Impact this past week 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 the CMLL trios tournament
--CMLL and AAA going head-to-head this week
--Notes on the 2013 DragonMania show
--TripleMania update
--UFC star will be part of TripleMania and how the deal was put together
--The next Dragon Gate USA tour of the U.S.
--More details of Dragon Gate shows from Japan airing live on iPPV in North America
--First lineup of such, as well as the second lineup
--This week's big Dragon Gate shows and all the title matches
--Update on All Japan problems including the future of several of the wrestlers
--What's next for Keiji Muto
--Shiraishi talks All Japan goals for the next year
--Former All Japan star set to return
--More on the pro wrestling debut of the son of the son of El Santo
--Notes on New Japan business right now and going forward
--New Japan owner talks UFC, WWE and where New Japan stands
--New Japan star training this past week with UFC big names
--Former name pro wrestling star, retired, now working as a model
--Notes on the death of Mark Ashford-Smith aka Mark Starr
--Update on a number of former 90s stars of WCW and WWF
--A look at a number of major indie shows on iPPV
--One of wrestling's oldest promotions moves to iPPV for big show in a few weeks
--Notes from the last ROH show
--Wrestler dropped by ROH
--Lots of notes on Rampage Jackson in TNA
--Notes on how first impressions are important, but also often don't tell the full story
--Thoughts on Rampage Jackson going forward
--Slammiversary numbers
--Bound for Glory series notes
--TNA cuts
--Sting talks potential of going to WWE
--The reason Sting has never gone to WWE
--Notes on TNA announcer Hector Guerrero
--Lots of notes and thoughts on upcoming UFC events
--When the biggest names will be ready
--More on MMA being allowed in different locales
--Is Chael Sonnen a liar?  What would he say if asked?
--Update on Nick Diaz as a fighter and as a promoter
--Lots of UFC injury updates
--Lots of new UFC matches
--A look at Bellator's U.K. TV deal
--Rampage Jackson Bellator plans
--Notes on upcoming shows for World Series of Fighting
--Jon Fitch talks extensively on UFC pay
--Bobby Lashley MMA update               
        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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*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
*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)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
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*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
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*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
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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..
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Sunday's News Update
--First, thanks to Mike Sempervive last night.  We ended up doing the show from 3:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Eastern time last night, which is not something I want to make a habit of doing.  But I did say we'd answer all the questions and we got to most of them.  Mike and I will be back next Saturday, at a more normal time slot since ROH is early evening and New Japan is actually the early morning, unlike UFC which ends at 1 and then there is still the press conference that's usually not done until close to 2:30 or so and I often have to write something after the show.  But we've got a weekend review plus hours of questions being answered up on the site today.
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking WWE Payback and other weekend news, as well as being back Monday after Raw.
--Hall of Famer Jackie Fargo has been hospitalized and is in cortical condition.  Fargo, 85, has had heart problems for some time.  He was found unconscious in his home in China Grove, SC yesterday and rushed to the hospital.  His heart was only working at 15%.  Everyone say special prayers for one of the all-time legends of Southern wrestling.
--Chris Jericho tweaked his knee, possibly in his match with Curtis Axel that took place on Tuesday's Smackdown taping.  He is definitely working tonight and he did work last night as well, but there is fear of a torn meniscus.  
--Ultimate Warrior, the former Jim Hellwig, turned 54 today.
--The Jerry Lawler museum is moving from Memphis to Tunica, MS.  It was Wynn Automotive in Memphis, which just closed.  It's now going to be moved to the casino in Tunica next to the Paula Dean Buffet.
--Lawler is interviewed about Man of Steel and other subjects at
--Fuel has an Anderson Silva special at 6 p.m., plus replays from season five of Ultimate Fighter from 9-11 p.m. and last night's prelims at 11 p.m.
--It was announced at last night's New York Wrestling Connection show that Dan Eckos had signed a WWE developmental deal.
--ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Greame Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1937 - Bronko Nagurski beat Dean Detton in Minneapolis to win that area's version of the world title
1961 - Pepper Gomez & Dory Dixon beat Duke Keomuka & Tony Martin to win the Texas version of the world tag team titles in Houston
1967 - Ronnie Etchison & Sonny Myers beat Bob Geigel & Bulldog Bob Brown to win the North American tag titles in St. Joseph, MO
1969 - Tojo Yamamoto & Johnny Long beat Johnny Walker (Mr. Wrestling II) & Sundown Kid for the Southern tag team titles in Memphis
1970 - Hiro Matsuda beat Dale Lewis in Tampa to win the Southern title
1971 - Steven Little Bear & Suni War Cloud beat Mad Dog Mayne & Ripper Collins to win the Hawaiian tag team titles
1973 - J.B. Psycho beat Johnny Powers to win the NWF title in Buffalo
1975 - Guy Mitchell & Ricky Hunter beat Gene Kiniski & Dale Lewis in Vancouver to win the Canadian Open tag team titles
1975 - Karl Von Steiger & Otto Von Heller beat Tojo Yamamoto & Jimmy Golden (who later played Jack Swagger Sr.) to win the Southern tag team titles in Memphis
1977 - Great Kojika & Motoshi Okuma beat Akihisa Takachiho (Great Kabuki) & Samson Kutsuada to win the All-Asia tag titles
1980 - The Assassins beat Ole & Lars Anderson to win the Georgia tag team titles in Augusta
1984 - Massao Ito beat Austin Idol in Memphis to win the International title
1984 - Terry Taylor beat Krusher Khruschev (Barry Darsow) to win the Mid South TV title in New Orleans
1986 - Dutch Mantell beat Rip Rogers in Memphis to win the Mid-American title
1986 - Buzz Swayer beat Chris Adams to win the World Class TV title in Fort Worth
1993 - Ted DiBiase & IRS beat Rick & Scott Steiner to win the WWF tag titles in Rockford, IL
1995 - Rey Misterio Jr. beat Juventud Guerrera in Queretaro to win the WWA lightweight title 
2002 - American Dragon (Daniel Bryan) beat Super Dragon to win the APW Internet title in Hayward, CA
--In UFC picks, me, Bryan, Oliver Copp, Josh Nason and Mike Sempervive all went 3-2, missing on Stipe Miocic and Shawn Jordan winning.  Todd Martin and Mike Sawyer went 2-3.
--WWE Classics on Demand update for this week:
Super Brawl 7
HHH King of Kings part 3 and 4 
Nitro 10/27/97
Raw 10/27/97
Tuesday Night Titans 12/20/85
Jerry Lawler & Greg Gagne vs. Masa Saito & Riki Choshu AWA TV 7/24/88
Jerry Lawler & Isaac Yankem (Kane) vs. Bret Hart & Hakushi Raw 10/23/95
Jerry Lawler vs. Austin Idol for USWA title 11/3/90
Jerry Lawler vs. Jeff Jarrett for USWA title 1/7/91
Greatest Kings of Wrestling part 2
Best of King of the Ring parts 3 and 4
Best of King of the Ring:  Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy (2001), Kurt Angle vs Chris Jericho (2000), Bobby Lashley vs. Fit Finlay (2006), Brock Lesnar vs. Test (2002), X-Pac vs. Billy Gunn (1999)
WCW on TBS 7/9/88
Raw 3/1/99
Excellent 2.8%
Good 27.8%
Average 30.6%
Fair 13.9%
Poor 25.0%
        67.3% of those responding didn't see the show
Excellent 32.2%
Good 43.7%
Average 14.9%
Fair 3.4%
Poor 5.7%
        37.0% of those responding didn't see the show
Smackdown 49.4%
World Series of Fighting 18.1%
XFC on AXS 4.8%
        42.3% watched none of the above. 
--I've heard contradictory stories regarding C.M. Punk and new music from people inside the company, so I guess we'll have to see, but one person contacted me this morning and said it wasn't happening.  It would seem to make no sense to do it tonight since "Cult of Personality" when he comes out should be the reaction of the night.  I guess we'll see what happens because others internally have said Rancid has cut a new entrance song for him and I think one of the members of the band tweeted something to that effect.
--UFC 161 was the fourth most searched term on Google yesterday.  Usual it's No. 1 or No. 2, but it was a distant fourth behind Kim Kardashian, Fathers Day and Boston Bruins.  Searches were at a much lower level than most UFC PPVs, but that was to be expected.
--The Fandango song was played during the Baltimore Orioles game yesterday with the Boston Red Sox in Baltimore. (thanks to Michael O'Brien)
--Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. Cien Caras Jr. headlines on 7/31 at Auditorio Municipal in Tijuana for Baja Stars Wrestling.
--Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in East Carondelet, IL before a standing room crowd of 300 fans:  Bobby D b Jay Parnell, Big Texan b Brent Meyers, Dave Vaughn & Ironman Ken Kasa b Shorty Biggs & Gary Jackson, Adam Raw b Brandon Gallagher, Chas Wesson b Ax, Chris Hargas b Flash Flanagan-COR, Ricky Cruz b Ron Powers-DQ, Ironman Ken Kasa b Ricky Cruz to win the SICW title ending Cruz's 392 day reign (thanks to Larry Matysik and Patrick Brandmeyer)    
--Pro Wrestling Revolution runs on 7/28 in Watsonville, CA at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds (I used to go to matches there as a kid) at 5 p.m. with Kafu & Dinamita vs. El Hijo del Santo & Blue Demon Jr., Oliver John vs. Anibal Jr and more, including Famous B, Drake Younger and Willie Mack.  They also have a show on 8/4 in San Jose at the Santa Clara County Fair.
--Daniel Cormier will be speaking at the Pro Wrestling Revolution gym on Monday night, talking about his life and his struggles.  Cormier is nicknamed the world's nicest guy in some circles.  They are doing a one-day special on Monday that if you sign up for the school, you get 50% off the first month and only students at the school can see Cormier's speech.  For more info you can call 408-728-8318. 
--Eastern Wrestling Alliance from last night in Parkville, MD:  Skull b Super Phoenix, Hijynnk b Lous Rich, Kenny Browning b Aken Pembrooke, Tito Santana b Wes Mercer-DQ, Vincent Varelli b Matt Wylde-DQ, T Jay Syks b Trent Affrell, Christian Academy b Sports Management International in a ten-man elimination match in 39:00 where the losing group had to disband.  Reports were that Santana looks much better than most of the 80s guys doing indies these days, which doesn't surprise me.  (thanks to Joe Burrows)
--Fast & Furious 6 debuted this past weekend in Australia at No. 1, doing $15.4 million in that country.  "The Call" was No. 10 (thanks to James Stanios)
--John Klinger, 29, better known in Germany as Bad Bones, won TNA's on-line Gut Check challenge yesterday.  The on-line voting had about 200 wrestlers who had received Gutcheck challenges at tryouts over the past several years.  He had his fans in Germany started a campaign on Facebook and Twitter, as well as grassroots efforts to get non-wrestling fans to vote for him.  Wrestlers in CZW and Big Japan Wrestling who knew him also posted to vote for him in England and Japanese.  Most German web sites and Power Wrestling, the last remaining German wrestling magazine, also campaigned for him.  This means he'll get a tryout on Impact. (thanks to Markus Gronemann)
--Otto Wanz, a former German promoter and top star wrestler in the 70s and 80s, turned 70 on Thursday.  He got some national press in Kronen Zeitung, the leading print newspaper in the country, with a photo of him celebrating with friends.  A story is at!-Story-365060 with photos of him  tearing phone books and shaking hands with Andre the Giant.  He is out of wrestling, but promotes strong man contests.
--Lucha Xtreme TV from Fresno last night:  Brian Tannen b Marckus Eriks, Wiseguy b Al Azar, A.J. Kirsch b Elemento, J.R. Kratos b Manny Fernandez-DQ (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--Former wrestler Mike Snyder talks about his father, Wilbur Snyder, at
--An update on Devon Nicholson's battle with Hepatitis C is at
--NWA Southern All-Star Wrestling from Friday night in Millersville, TN before a sellout of 180 fans:  Lance Erikson & Hot Rod Biggs b Lightning Bolt Kid & Jason Nation, Shane Williams & Jocephus b Justin Grandberry & Kevin James Weatherby, Drew Haskins & Jeremiah Plunkett b Gary Valiant & Hammerjack, Wolfie D b Chris Michaels, Rob Conway d Chase Stevens (30:00 draw which actually took 28:05), Vordell Walker b Damien Wayne in a cage match to win the NWA National championship (thanks to Larry Goodman)  Apparently Conway vs. Stevens was originally going to go 60:00 but Conway was nursing a minor injury.
--A video of former boxing champion  Riddick Bowe, now 45, doing a Muay Thai fight in Thialand at

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?