THURS UPDATE: Foley on Observer radio; WWE release, Update on WWE head writer leaving, Bellator ratings and next show, Mo doesn't like next foe, Retirement, Who faces Cena at SS, WWE star doctor in hot water

By Dave Meltzer
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        We're looking for reports tonight from the TNA tapings in Peoria (in particular for the second show for next week that will be done tonight) as well as from the NXT tapings in Winter Park, FL (Sheamus is the top guest star, Ric Flair is also there).
        Impact airs tonight at 9 p.m.  Probably not the best weeknight of the year to have a pro wrestling TV show considering tonight's game head-to-head may do 25 million viewers.  Impact is live from Peoria.  It's Open Fight Night and a Gut Check night among other things.
        The new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is up on the web site today, covering all of the changes that were made in WWE with characters as well as the future direction.
        We look at the turns of Alberto Del Rio, C.M. Punk, Dolph Ziggler and why the decisions were made.  We look at the return of Rob Van Dam, why he's in WWE and not TNA, notes on his deal, a huge change when it comes to writing of WWE television, and what happened with Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton on Raw, and Daniel Bryan and HHH backstage.  We've got full details of the injury and the backstage situation.
        We've also got a rundown of the Payback show, with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.
        We also run down UFC's schedule on PPV for the rest of 2013.  We look at the planned main events, other matches that could be added, the potential 20th anniversary sow, why decisions were made on various matches, what has and hasn't worked when it comes to promoting fights this year and more.  We look at the decision making regarding an announced title match where a new decision may be considered.  We look at the title contender who outright said he was taking the match even though he doesn't deserve it and the other contender in question does.
        We look at PPV predictions for the big fights between now and the end of the year.
        We've also got a rundown on UFC's debut in Winnipeg, with 161 coverage, including where the top guys go from here.  We also have early business notes on the show.
        We also have an update on Fandango, the short-term and long-term situation with Chris Jericho's schedule, notes on SummerSlam for this year, how an off-hand remark led to John Cena making a lot of money, more on the Total Divas reality show, a McMahon family member sells millions in stock, a  funny story regarding a WWE action figure line, the background of Fandango's former dancer, a museum dedicated to a WWE star, Kane talks Daniel Bryan and a WWE star is scheduled for an upcoming trial.
        We also have notes on the upcoming Mid South Wrestling DVD that WWE is producing, more on the Rock's latest movie, Paul Heyman talks a TNA/WWE joint show, tons of developmental news including Gerald Brisco talks recruiting and losing athletes to UFC, jobs in WWE vs. jobs in UFC, Jim Ross talks the main event scene, why people have been let go, ideas for new characters, delayed viewership of Raw notes and business notes and highlights from the weekend WWE shows.
        We've also got coverage of TripleMania from Mexico City
        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 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:
--Hall of Famer getting a Medal of Merit for out of the ring work
--Two stars in auto accident
--A look at the two major Dragon Gate shows of the past week
--An update on the All Japan/Keiji Muto split, and who seems to be leaning in what direction.
--Nobuo Shirashi talks the company's financial condition before he got there
--Jun Akiyama said he's made his decision where he's going
--All Japan announces full show for Sumo Hall
--NOAH announces the top matches on its next big show
--Coverage of Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial Show
--A look at NOAH's upcoming tag team tournament
--Lots of New Japan vs. NOAH matches
--Notes on the next New Japan PPV show
--Prince Devitt vs. Jushin Liger in England
--Zero-One's biggest event of the year
--Early 80s biggest feud returning again
--Lots of notes on the death and autopsy results of Reid Flair
--Notes on the death of Al Green
--Who is Jackie Fargo
--Brad Armstrong Memorial show notes
--A look at the last PWG show with some of the best indie wrestlers in the country
--More on Mark Starr's death
--Wrestling Hall of Famer said to be the biggest omission in Boxing Hall of Fame, makes Tyson sick
--Promotion of the WWC's match between the two biggest native stars in its history
--Promotion returns
--WCW star talks about returning to wrestling
--ROH next iPPV notes
--Notes on TNA's Destination X show
--Another major TNA exec let go
--Notes on future TNA Gut Check international star
--A look at TNA's weekend house shows
--Update on UFC in Boston
--Advance ticket sales for upcoming UFC events
--The situation with TRT being allowed in California
--Another UFC fighter takes heat for his views
--Dan Henderson talks Chael Sonnen
--Chael Sonnen says why he doesn't like LeBron James
--Jon Jones talks why he doesn't want to face Machida
--Dana White talks the currently filmed season of Ultimate Fighter
--Lots of new UFC fights
--More on Josh Burkman vs. Jon Fitch
--Former UFC fighter sentenced to 13 years in prison
--A seemingly insane attempt on PPV 
        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:
*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)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)
*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)
*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)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
*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)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
* 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:
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        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.
Thursday's News Update
--A few notes regarding the next few days.  Mick Foley will be a guest on our show tomorrow.  Mike Sempervive and I will be back for our regular monthly show on Saturday (last week was an aberration) which means a long show with lots of time for Q&A, so if you send questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it starting today, we will answer them in the order they are sent.  We will also be covering the New Japan and ROH iPPV shows on Saturday.  
--WWE head writer David Kreizman, who gave notice several days ago (it's all in the current Observer Newsletter) and was scheduled to finish with the company tomorrow, has agreed to stay through mid-August to continue with the ideas started through SummerSlam.
--Matt Kaye (Matt Striker) was released by WWE as an announcer.  His contract expired today and the company didn't offer him a new deal.

--Bellator did 480,000 viewers last night for the live fights and the debut of Fightmaster did 432,000.  Those at Spike were blaming it on the NHL game that did 6.5 million viewers, which is almost unheard of for the NHL.  You couldn't get much of a better game.  The only solace is that the shows had run tonight after Impact, they probably weren't going to do any better.
--The 7/31 Bellator show from Albuquerque is, barring an injury bug, looking to be the biggest show in company history
Michael Chandler vs. Dave "Cavemen" Rickels for the lightweight title
Ben Askren vs. Andrey Koreshkov for the welterweight title
King Mo vs. Jacob Noe in the finals of the summer light heavyweight tournament
Vitaly Minakov vs. Ryan Martinez in the finals of the summer heavyweight tournament
--Mo legitimately doesn't like Noe.  Apparently they didn't get along when they shared a dressing room at a show that both lost at earlier this year.  "I don't like him.  I don't like the gym he trains at.  He's fake.  He talks a lot of trash behind my back, and I hope that he's here listening, or y'all can tell him this because I'm going to beat the brake off of him.  I'm going to whoop his ass so bad I'm going to retire him.  I'm going to make sure he goes back crying to his family again because last time we both lost, he was crying, talking about how he misses his family.  I'm gong to make sure that happens again."
--Renato Babalu Sobral announced his retirement last night after his TKO loss to Noe.
--With the NBA moving to network this past week, USA was back to No. 1 in cable, averaging 2.65 million viewers in prime time to 2.52 million for Disney.  The three hours of Raw last week were No. 5, No. 6 and No. 9.  The top four shows were Major Crimes on TNT, Pawn Stars on History, NASCAR on TNT and Burn Notice on USA.  The second and third hours were No. 4 and No. 7 in 18-49.
Under 500,000 47.7%
501-550,000 7.2%
551-600,000 9.9%
601-650,000 9.9%
651-700,000 4.5%
701-750,000 5.4%
751-800,000 2.7%
801-850,000 4.5%
Daniel Bryan 63.2%
Mark Henry 11.8%
Rob Van Dam 8.7%
Dean Ambrose 5.8%
Brock Lesnar 4.5%
C.M. Punk 2.6%
Dolph Ziggler 2.1%
Alberto Del Rio 1.3%
0.6 or less 9.9%
0.7 21.5%
0.8 19.9%
0.9 20.4%
1.0 17.3%
1.1 4.7%
1.2 1.6%
1.3 or more 4.7%
Kazuchika Okada 28.1%
John Cena 20.1%
Bully ray 19.8%
KENTA 12.0%
Jay Briscoe 8.6%
Alberto Del Rio 5.3%
El Terrible 3.1%
Cima 1.7%
El Texano Jr. 0.8%
Suwama 0.6%
--Former TNA announcer Don West turned 50 today.  Last we heard he was working for the Wenatchee Wild, a minor league hockey team in Wenatchee, Washington.
--It was ten years ago today when Zane Bresloff, perhaps the most unheralded part of the glory days of WCW as the local house show promoter, passed away at the age of 57, stemming from an accident driving in the mountains a few weeks earlier.  It was a major omission from both Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff's autobiography to not mention him.  Bresloff worked for WCW from 1994 until it closed in 2001, and had promoted most of the Western half of the U.S. for WWF from 1984 to 1993.  He was also the local promoter for the first two UFC events.
--While this won't mean something to a lot of people, those who follow closely will know the name Dr. David Chao, the team doctor of the San Diego Chargers, because he handled most of Rey Mysterio's operations.  Last week the Chargers announced that Chao was quitting to spend more time with his family. But USA Today obtained records that noted that two different hospitals in San Diego were not allowing Chao to perform surgery there any longer.  This jeopardized his job with the team.  Scripps Memorial and Scripps Mercy Hospitals conducted reviews of his work, his quality of care, and his alcohol consumption.  Several former patients of Chao's had accused him of maiming them during surgeries, and of negligence, including one that led to Scripps Memorial Hospital reaching a large settlement.  Those were the only two hospitals he was allowed to operate out of, so this will lead to his being unable to perform surgeries.  Mysterio this past week had surgery done by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham.  Those in WWE had been unhappy with Mysterio using Chao instead of Andrews, who is the company's "go-to" guy for his multiple operations.  Chao claimed he made the decision to leave the Chargers in March to spend more time with his children, as well as due to back problems.  He said he was no longer continuing to work as the doctor for USA Rugby or the X Games.
--For the WWE Smackdown event on 8/20 in Bakersfield, tickets are currently on sale at Ticketmaster with the code WWETV.  This is the Smackdown taping after SummerSlam.
--The presale for Night of Champions on 9/15 in Detroit at Joe Louis Arena starts at 10 a.m. tomorrow with the code WWEPPV
--Shawn Michaels will be with Keith Mark talking MacMillan River Adventures, and his wrestling career at 7 PM. on Monday night.  You can listen at 347-308-8308 or at  This is to promote the new season of MacMillan River Adventures, a hunting show Michaels stars in and often features other WWE performers, which debuts on 7/2.
--Josh Wilcox, who played in the XFL as well as with the New Orleans Saints, as well as wrestled for WWF and ECW, announced he would be returning for one more match in Portland.
--On Fuel tonight, UFC Tonight is at 8 p.m., followed by UFC Insider at 8:30 p.m., Best of Pride Greatest Submissions at 9 p.m. and UFC From all angles with Rener and Ryron Gracie at 11:30 p.m.  One of the best shows of this year, the April 20 card in San Jose headlined by Gilbert Melendez vs. Benson Henderson, will be replayed at midnight.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron) 
1978 - Dos Caras (the father of Alberto Del Rio) beat top historical rival Canek in Pachuca to win the Mexican national heavyweight title.
1982 - Halcon Ortiz beat Herdoes in Guadalajara to win the Mexican national heavyweight title
--ESPN in the U.K. will be airing UFC programming on 7/6 from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. live from UFC 162 in Las Vegas, the show headlined by Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman.  
--The Arkansas State Athletic Commission had a hearing yesterday.  Chuck Moore, who has wrestled under the name Soul Train Jones (not the guy who later became Virgil, who also used that name early in his career) and Sweet Daddy, was fined $10,000 for altering his license, running unlicensed shows and failing to obtain a promoters license and bond.  Jamie Jay was fined $2,000 for running non-licensed shows and had to sign an affidavit stating that he knew the state regulations.
--Canadian Wrestling Elite on 6/27 in Arborg, Manitoba at the Recreation Centre with Danny Duggan vs. Marius in the main event, and 6/28 in Winnipeg at the Casa Do Minho Portuguese Center with Robby Royce vs. Marius as the main event, plus Paul London appears.  They also run 7/1 in Selkirk, Manitoba at the Manitoba Avenue Canadian Day Street Festival and 7/5 in Winnipeg at Rookie's Sports Bar.
--River City Wrestling is doing a free show on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Alamo City Comic Con and Heroes and Fantasies .  Hernandez and El Sicodelico Jr. will headline.  For more info you can call 210-340-0074.
--Jamie Varner vs. Gleison Tibau was added to the 8/31 UFC show in Milwaukee.
--Platinum Championship Wrestling presents War Games on 7/4 at 2001 Main St., in Porterdale, GA.
--New England Championship Wrestling airs tonight at 12:30 a.m. on WMFB-TV, Ch. 62 in Boston headlined by Antonio Thomas.
--An interesting look at the WWE business and its future is at
--Tickets are on sale for the 8/1 TNA Impact tapings in Wichita using the password IMPACTWICHITA

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