FRI UPDATE: Tons of stories and videos from WWE Performance Center, big weekend preview, all women's MMA and pro-wrestling shows, was Anderson going to retire win or lose?, 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 ROH show in Milwaukee at Turner Hall Ballroom (Matt Taven vs. Jay Lethal vs. Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin; Davey Richards vs. Bobby Fish; Eddie Edwards vs. Kyle O'Reilly; Kevin Steen vs. Silas Young; Tommaso Ciampa vs. Rhino; Mike Bennett vs. B.J. Whitmer and Athena vs. MsChif at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Smackdown tonight:

Daniel Bryan vs. Christian

Jey Uso vs. Seth Rollins

Curtis Axel vs. Chris Jericho non-title

The Miz vs. Ryback

Fandango vs. Wade Barrett

Sheamus vs. Randy Orton

There is a Shine iPPV tonight at 9 p.m. at WWNLive.com, an all-women's pro wrestling show with a one-night tournament to determine the first champion

Mercedes Martinez vs. Nikki Roxx vs. LuFisto vs. Su Yung - Winner faces Rain

Amazing Kong vs. Angelina Love vs. Ivelisse Velez vs. Kimberly - Winner faces Santana Garrett

Sweet Saraya Knight vs. Jessicka Havoc

Leva vs. Mia Yim

Tournament continues from there.

Saturday night is the PPV debut of the Invicta Fighting Championships from the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City.

Free on InvictaFC.com, ustream.com and on DirecTV and Dish as well as in Canada at 7 p.m. Eastern

Cassie Robb vs. Livia Von Plattenberg

Mollie Estes vs. Veronica Rothenhausler

Ashley Cummins vs. Emily Kagan

PPV and iPPV at 9 p.m.

Rose Namajunas vs. Tecia Torres

Miriam Nakamoto vs. Duda Yankovich

Bec Hyatt vs. Mizuki Inoue

Ediane Gomes vs. Tamikka Brents

Joanne Calderwood vs. Norma Rueda Center

Jessica Penne vs. Nicdali Rivvera-Calanoc

Jennifer Maia vs. Leslie Smith

Sarah D'Alelio vs. Lauren Taylor

Claudia Gadelha vs. Ayaka Hamasaki

Marloes Coenen vs. Cris Cyborg for the first Invicta featherweight title

Saturday also has a WWE house show in Trenton, NJ with John Cena, Randy Orton, C.M. Punk, Chris Jericho, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler and Ryback; plus TNA has a house show in Washington, PA (Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles, Jeff Hardy vs. Devon, James Storm & Gunner vs. Wes Brisco & Garett Bischoff for the tag titles, Chris Sabin vs. Austin Aries, Joseph Park vs. Doc and ODB vs. Gail Kim) and ROH in Dearborn, MI at the Ford Community Center with Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin & Jay Lethal; Matt Taven vs. Kevin Steen; Bobby Fish vs. ACH; Kyle O'Reilly vs. Tadarius Thomas and B.J. Whitmer vs. Adam Cole.

Sunday is WWE's Money in the Bank PPV from Philadelphia:

John Cena vs. Mark Henry for WWE title

Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler for World title

WWE title Money in the Bank match: Randy Orton, Christian, Sheamus, C.M.

Punk, Daniel Bryan and Rob Van Dam

World title Money in the Bank match: Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow,

Fandango, Dean Ambrose, Wade Barrett, Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger

Chris Jericho vs. Ryback

Curtis Axel vs The Miz for IC tile

A.J. Lee vs. Kaitlyn for Divas title

Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Usos (Pre-show match at 7:30 p.m. on WWE web site)

Raw will be Monday in Brooklyn at the Barlcays Center

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Providence.

        The aftermath of Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman, some notes on the 2015 WrestleMania, a physical WWE Hall of Fame, the New Japan iPPV business, G-1 and more are among the features in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that is up on the site today.
 
        We look back at the Silva vs Weidman match, why the finish so perfectly lends itself to a quick rematch.  We look at Silva's strange behavior before and after the match, who time delays favor, impact on superfights with Silva vs. Jones or GSP, whether what happened was a business positive, UFC talk about the rematch, odds, Dana White's PPV estimate, TV ratings notes, other business notes on the show, match-by-match coverage, poll results and how much everyone's base pay was for the show.
 
        We also have a complete look at the upcoming G-1 Climax series.  We look at the bracketing surprises, what surprised the crowd at the announcement, coverage of the shows and lineups every night.
 
        We also have notes on WWE making decisions for the 2015 and 2016 WrestleManias, the divorce of Randy Orton, how legit are the money figures listed, what the real top downsides are, SummerSlam notes, more on Natalie Neidhart's wedding, a SummerSlam match in planning stages,  a heel turn in the works, Rock box office, the latest on why social media explosion hasn't changed live attendance, ratings and PPV, lawsuit against the company, a WWE injury not being talked about, a UFC finish was mirrored a WWE finish from a few days earlier, tons of news from developmental, former WWE star blames current stars for not being in the company now and a look at ideas for a physical WWE Hall of Fame and the irony of where it's now being talked about for.
 
        We also look at the Sports Illustrated article on WWE SVP of Talent Relations, Jane Geddes, her role, what she knew about wrestling whe she was hired, why she was hired and how talent is paid.
 
        We also look at why it's a fluke that Titus O'Neil even considered pro wrestling, Dolph Ziggler talks his concussion and Spirit Squad, which McMahon, WWE losing its dominance in foreign markets, WWE business over the last week as well as highlights from all the WWE weekend shows.
 
        We also have a look at MMA streaks, looking at the greatest streaks in history that are over, as well as the greatest streaks that are still going on now that Anderson Silva has lost.  We look at the careers of notable performers including Fedor Emelianenko, Anderson Silva, Royce Gracie, Georges St-Pierre, Jose Aldo, Ronda Rousey and others.
 
        We've also got complete coverage of New Japan's iPPV show from Korakuen Hall, including the setup for the next show, and Pro Wrestling NOAH's latest big show.
 
        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 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:
 
--Promotion loses U.S. television after nearly two decades
 
--CMLL's Champion of Champions tournament notes
 
--List of possible entrants
 
--35th anniversary of legend's debut show coming next month to Arena Mexico
 
--Next Cage of death show for CMLL
 
--Notes from Arena Mexico
 
--Busca de un Idolo finals
 
--Notes from most recent AAA TV taping
 
--Dragon Gate's next live iPPV lineup
 
--Notes from the first live iPPV show from Dragon Gate
 
--Dragon Gate's next major Tokyo show
 
--Future of All Japan Pro Wrestling
 
--Notes on the debut of Keiji Muto's new World 1 wrestling promotion
 
--Giant main event for DDT's show at Sumo Hall
 
--Legends Pro Wrestling next cards
 
--Update on Buck Zumhofe's legal troubles
 
--More on the shooting outside Colt Cabana's comedy show in Vancouver
 
--Notes on Jim Cornette's new book about the history of merchandising wrestling in Tennessee
 
--What would have been one of the biggest pro wrestling matches in history from a mainstream standpoint that was being talked about when one of the participants suddenly died before the match took place
 
--George Clooney and Stacy Keibler notes
 
--More on the Flair/Piper wife swap show
 
--Former WWF wrestler pleads guilty to participation in a gangland slaying
 
--Major star out with hernia operation
 
--WWL's talent loaded show in Mexico
 
--Politicians proposing law to tone down pro wrestling in Pennsylvania
 
--PWG's anniversary show notes
 
--Update on Bobby Eaton
 
--An update on Bushwhacker Luke Williams and his new company
 
--The Destroyer Dick Beyer and his new company
 
--80s star in a zombie movie
 
--ROH title tournament update
 
--Notes on more ROH contracts expiring and notes from an interview by them
 
--ROH WrestleMania weekend shows for next year
 
--ROH star gets married to another wrestler
 
--Note on ROH star appearing on Raw
 
--Story behind Matt Morgan's release from TNA
 
--Morgan's background and how he got here
 
--Notes on several other TNA cuts and why
 
--What the deal was with developmental talent
 
--New TNA TV deals
 
--How the company handled the Brooke Hogan engagement
 
--Update on the Bound for Glory series
 
--A look at TNA's weekend house shows
 
--Dana White talks Roy Jones Jr.
 
--More on the next season of Ultimate Fighter
 
--UFC plans for the rest of the year
 
--More on UFC TV plans with the move to Fox Sports 1
 
--UFC's promotional plans starting in a few weeks
 
--Lots of new UFC fights
 
--Major UFC event planned for Mexico television
 
--UFC fighter plea bargains in an assault case
 
--Update on Nick Diaz
 
--Update on Dan Hardy
 
--Werdum issues challenge and why the match isn't the right one to make
 
--Notes on a major brawl at a gas station involving a former UFC fighter
 
--Biggest Bellator show in history
 
--Notes for the Invicta show
 
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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.
 
Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Heard nothing but rave reviews about the new WWE Performance Training Center. It appears to be HHH's baby and one WWE source said he clearly put his heart and soul into it and deserves a lot of credit. It's gigantic. They've got a bunch of rings, including one with an extra-padded surface so that guys can practice highspots or top rope moves and not have to crash and burn in the normal ring, or drag out a crash pad every time. This isn't new, but trainees are now wearing headgear when they first learn how to do bumps, since it's not unusual to slam the back of your head on the canvas when you're learning for the first time. They've got an in-house medical center where Dr. Sampson (the guy who saved Jerry Lawler's life) will hold regular office hours. There's a full workout area, a Gold's-Gym style facility with free weights, machines, cardio equipment, etc. There are several studios with different uses, where guys can practice promos, announcing and calling matches, etc. They're also setting up CCTV cameras so the office in Stamford can watch practice matches (they have a studio ring with lights, etc.) and essentially keep a Big Brother-style eye on everything. That'll motivate guys to train hard and also hopefully eliminate any of the he-said/she-said about how guys are being trained. They're really pushing it as the start of the future of WWE.

-- Very interesting article hereon SHARKNADO and Twitter. Long story short, Sharknado was a gigantic hit on Twitter with people tweeting in huge numbers until 3 AM about the movie. Bad news? Despite all that tweeting, the show only did an 0.4 rating a 1.0 million viewers, not only a bust by TV standards, but a bust by Syfy movie standards, which usually do about 1.5 million viewers. So Twitter =/= ratings in this case at all.

-- A few videos to check out on the front page. The WWE Performance Center press conference just went up, it's about an hour long. We've also got an Anderson Silva video blog that includes footage from in the hotel room afterwards where it seems to finally sink in that he lost the title to Chris Weidman via knockout. The last two minutes is excellent and hopefully they use it for a Countdown special to the second fight.

-- There is an interview herewith Andre Galvao where he says that Anderson Silva was considering retiring after the Weidman fight win or lose, basically saying the same thing Anderson said in the post-match, that he had been champion for a long time and was tired. He also notes that the loss lit a fire underneath him and he'll be back.

-- As noted, Kane has been removed from the ladder match Sunday, selling the beating at the hands of the Wyatt clan.

-- Add Mike Bennett to the ROH Title tournament.

-- Jeff Hardy has a Q&A herewhere all the questions are submitted by kids.

-- All of the UFC 162 drug tests came back clean.

-- No After Dark again this week but we'll be back with a new show next week, probably heavily e-mail based.

-- One of our readers, John Brooks, has started a Gofundme account to pay for a prepaid cremation. It's a really sad story and here's hoping that somehow things will turn around for him and his family. The story and the page to donate is up here.

-- New England Championship Wrestling (NECW) returns to Beverly, MA on Saturday night, August 3rd at the Cove Community Center, 19 East Corning Street with a 7 PM bell time with CLASH AT THE COVE. Fans in Beverly and the surrounding area packed the house in June for NECW’s premiere event at the Cove Community Center. As was the case in June, matches on the August 3rd card will be taped for local television. (New England Championship Wrestling can be seen Thursday nights (Friday morning) at 12:30 AM on COZI TV, WMFP TV Channel 62 in Boston.)

-- Today in history with Brian Hoops:

1933 - Thor Jenson defeated Harold Heibert for the Pacific Coast Middleweight Title in Eugene, Oregon.

1946 - Tex Riley won a tournament in Nashville, Tennessee to win the vacant Tennessee World Junior Heavyweight Title.

1946 - Joe Savoldi defeated Everett Marshall for the Rocky Mountain Heavyweight Title in Colorado Springs, Colorado

1951 - Eduardo Perez and Red Roberts defeated Ray Piret and Herb Welch to win the Mid-America NWA Southern Tag Team Title in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

1957 - Herb Freeman defeated Bill Savage to win the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title.

1963 - Johnny Valentine defeated Moose Cholak to win the International Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title in Chicago, Illinois.

1966 - Louie Tillet won the NWA Texas Brass Knuckles Title in Dallas, Texas

1966 - Don Carson defeated Bobby Fields for the NWA Louisiana Heavyweight Title in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

1967 - The Beast and Bob Sweetan defeated Bobby and Jerry Christy to win the Stampede International Tag Team Title in Calgary, Alberta.

1969 - Bob Ellis and Stan Pulaski defeated Bob Geigel and The Viking for the AWA Midwest Tag Team Title.

1972 - Bob Kelly defeated Gorgeous George, Jr. in Mobile, Alabama to win the NWA Gulf Coast Heavyweight Title.

1974 - Ernie Ladd defeated Porkchop Cash to win the NWA Americas Heavyweight Title in Los Angeles, California.

1974 - Carlos Colón and José Miguel Pérez defeated Jim Dalton and Bruce Swayze for the WWC North American Tag Team Title in Ponce, Puerto Rico

1976 - John Tolos defeated Kinji Shibuya for the Vancouver NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Title in Vancouver, British Columbia.

1978 - Whipper Watson, Jr. defeated Dutch Mantel to win the NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Title in Nashville, Tennessee

1979 - Central States Wrestling held an eight-team tournament for the vacant NWA Central States Tag Team Title in Kansas City, Kansas. Jerry Brown and The Turk defeated Bob Brown and Gama Singh to win the vacant NWA Central States Tag Team Title.

1981 - Mr. Fuji defeated Angelo Mosca to win the Toronto NWA Canadian Heavyweight Title in Toronto, Ontario

1982 - Bobby Eaton defeated NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Champion Dutch Mantel to win the title in Memphis, Tennessee.

1986 - The Fabulous Ones (Steve Keirn and Stan Lane) defeated The Sheepherders (Butch Miller and Luke Williams) in a fictitious tournament final in Portland, Oregon for the vacant Florida NWA United States Tag Team Title.

1989 - Riki Choshu defeated Salman Hashimikov for the IWGP Heavyweight Title in Osaka, Japan.

1992 - At the Great American Bash PPV in Albany, Georgia; Big Van Vader (with Harley Race) pinned WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sting to win the title. Also, WCW World Tag Team Champions Terry Gordy and Steve Williams defeated Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham to win the NWA World Tag Team Title.

1994 - Dan Kroffat defeated Masanobu Fuchi for the AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Title in Kagoshima, Japan.

1997 - Spellbinder defeated Billy Travis for the USWA Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee,

1999 - In Jacksonville, Florida; Hollywood Hulk Hogan defeated WCW World Heavyweight Champion Randy Savage to win the title.

2002 - Chris Hero defeated Colt Cabana to win the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Title in Clarksville, Indiana.

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT?
Excellent 23.1%
Good 51.9%
Average 11.5%
Fair 3.8%
Poor 9.6%
        51.9% of those responding didn't see the show
 
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S FIGHT MASTER?
Excellent 14.3%
Good 57.1%
Average 11.9%
Fair 2.4%
Poor 14.3%
        57.1% of those responding didn't see the show
 
WHO SHOULD WIN BLOCK B IN THE G-1 TOURNAMENT?
Nakamura 31.4%
Naito 20.0%
Benjamin 15.1%
Anderson 11.4%
Ibushi 11.4%
Suzuki 4.3%
Tenzan 2.2%
Nagata 2.2%
Takahashi 2.2%
Yano 0.0%
 
WHOSE MMA WINNING STREAK IS THE MOST IMPRESSIVE?
Anderson Silva 40.4%
Fedor Emelianenko 25.1%
Georges St-Pierre 13.8%
Jon Jones 7.2%
Ronda Rousey 6.3%
Royce Gracie 4.4%
Wanderlei Silva 1.9%
Jose Aldo 0.6%
Renan Barao 0.3%

-- An intriguing lightweight bout between 14-year MMA veteran Antonio "Mandingo" McKee (28-5-2) and undefeated "Lethal" Lewis Gonzalez (8-0) and a light-heavyweight matchup pitting Lew "The Titan" Polley (12-4) against Dutch standout Hans Stringer (21-5-2) are among four new contests that have been added to the preliminary card of next month's "World Series of Fighting 4: Spong vs. DeAnda" event, which takes place Aug. 10 at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. Additionally, Cleber Luciano product Joe Murphy (6-1) faces John Robles (7-1) in a bantamweight contest, and Isaac "High Risk" Gutierrez (5-3) faces Victor "Joe Boxer" Valenzuela (12-6-2) in a 150-pound catchweight fight.

-- Adam Pearce looks at being cut from Gut Check here.

-- Jonathan Snowden looks at the WWE Training Center here.

-- George Zimmerman's gym is now getting bombarded with one-star ratings on Yelp after his trial testimony.

-- Ted DiBiase Sr. has a new blog herewhere he talks his memories of Buck Robley.

-- A full review with photos of last night's ROH show here.

-- Ed talks the F4W Convention here, along with Peachmachine.

-- Fun interview with Mark Henry herewhere he notes he doesn't need no VISINE to cry.

-- Another Mark Henry interview, this one on video with Brian Fritz, here.

-- Brian interviews Stephanie

-- Brian interviews Sheamus.

-- Brian interviews Shield.

-- Brian interviews HHH.

-- Brian's tour video of the training center.

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