MON UPDATE: More on Total Divas rating, how it compared to UFC, Impact and Rogan, good news and bad news, TNA Mystery Man, Cabana month-long tour, Chiesa update, tons more

Bryan Alvarez

We’re looking for your thoughts on last night's UFC on FOX, 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 on today's WWE show in Adelaide, Australia, as well as Saturday night's TNA show in Pensacola, FL, Saturday and Friday night's Smackdown show in Atlanta.

Raw was taped this past Monday in Laredo, TX:

*Usos & Mark Henry vs. The Shield
*Rob Van Dam vs. Fandango
*A.J. Lee vs. Kaitlyn non-title
*Dolph Ziggler vs. Big E Langston
*Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian non-title
*Cody Rhodes vs. Wade Barrett
*Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
*Natalya vs. Brie Bella
*Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth non-title
*John Cena vs. Ryback non-title tables match
Tuesday has WWE Raw in Perth, Western Australia and Smackdown in Capetown, South Africa (Alberto De Rio, Randy Orton, Rob Van Dam, Dolph Ziggler)

        An update on what is going on in TNA is the lead story in this week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

        We look at the timing of the release of Jesse Sorensen, his comments, the departures of Bruce Prichard and D-Lo Brown, who is taking their places, Dixie Carter's meeting with the TNA performers at TV last week, the fiasco at the house show in Missouri, and the status of the creative team.
        We also have a look at the election of Antonio Inoki to the Japanese senate.  We look at his prior tenure in office, the situation regarding his election, his mainstream fame, other wrestlers who have been in the Japan senate, Inoki's standing in Japan and the promotion that bears his name.
        We also look at Ultimate Warrior and WWE opening doors for a relationship.  We look at an angle scheduled for Raw and why it had to be changed.  We update the SummerSlam card.
        We also have more notes from the Total Divas show, the Brie Bella wardrobe malfunction, WWE having an old TV show brought back, update on the 2015 and 2016 WrestleMania, the Deadspin story on WWE results getting out and betting on WWE shows.  We also look at more WWE angles, Steve Austin looking at doing another TV show, as well as who is one what TV tapings upcoming in August.
        We also look at a WWE performer whose father is a bigwig in the kids toys business, Dwayne Johnson's diet, a WWE cut, WWE injury updates and an update on Linda McMahon.
        We also look at Ronda Rousey joining the cast of The Expendables, and making her debut in acting.
        We've got full coverage of New Japan's Kizuna Road PPV show, looking at the show, the G-1 Climax tournament, match-by-match coverage with star ratings as well as poll results.
        We also have full coverage of the Dragon Gate Kobe Pro Wrestling Festival event, the company's biggest show so far this year with Shingo Takagi's title win over Cima.  We look at thoughts of the card, as well as match-by-match coverage with poll results and star ratings.
        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 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:
--CMLL's major show coverage over the weekend
--Update on CMLL's biggest match in years, the Ultimo Guerrero vs. Atlantis mask vs. mask match
--Babyfaces being booed out of the building at Arena Mexico and why
--AAA's last TV taping
--Notes on Dragon Gate USA's big shows
--All-time legend returns to the All Japan ring for appearance 
--Son of one of Japan's biggest stars considers going into pro wrestling, but changes his mind
--KENTA and Katsuyori Shibata's reactions after seeing the WWE live
--Special match at Naomichi Marufuji's 15th anniversary show
--Update on NOAH jr. tag team tournament
--Notes on New Japan's October PPV date
--Antonio Inoki runs show the day before the election with worked and shoot matches
--Keiji Muto talks new promotion, who he wants to be top stars and its goals
--Update on Kenta Kobashi
--More on the death of Matt Osborne
--El Hijo del Santo talks one of the biggest potential matches in Mexico in years
--Update on Jimmy Snuka investigation
--Movie on the life of Chris Benoit
--Hall & Nash reunite at indie show
--Former 90s star listed as Deadbeat Dad
--Piper TV shoot
--Notes on the death of Carolinas wrestler and writer Tinker Todd
--His reaction to first meeting Ric Flair
--Colon vs. Invader rematch
--WWE group reunites for WWL
--Story on how working a program was done in boxing
--Update on the next few ROH shows and the title tournament
--Notes on Chris Sabin's TNA title win
--Notes on new X title holder
--TNA PPV business note
--TNA allows fans to vote for TV lineup
--Doc talks TNA departure
--BFG Series updated
--Tom Prichard on his talks with TNA
--TNA stars in TV series
--Update on UFC PPV business
--A look at PPV business for the rest of the year
--What show will be impacted hard by competition
--Notes on Roy Nelson signing with UFC
--Why Daniel Cormier may not drop to 205 and what could change his mind
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Chael Sonnen talks his future
--Notes on this week's UFC show
--UFC schedule for August
--Notes on MMA regulations
--Ticket sales for upcoming UFC shows
--Edgar talks prospective next opponent
--UFC gets awarded
--Dana White talks Rousey vs. Tate on Ultimate Fighter
--Notes on upcoming UFC hype shows
--Dan Henderson talks about fighting without TRT
--Notes on the UFC press tour
--Latest on Nick Diaz
--Future of Nick Diaz in UFC
--Notes on the next Bellator show
--Notes on future Bellator shows this fall
--More on Mayweather vs. Alvarez and how it's being promoted
--World Series of Fighting to crown first champion
--Gina Carano movie update
--Fedor Emelianenko talks about his current
        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)
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*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)
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*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)
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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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Today's News, Notes and Links

-- At the upcoming 2013 annual Association of Boxing Commissions meeting, they're going to discuss revamping the "downed opponent" rule. In order to avoid getting kneed or kicked in the head, fighters have placed one finger or a hand on the ground, because that means you've got three points of base touching the canvas and are then considered a "downed opponent". Obviously, by doing so intentionally, it's become a strategic tactic, and a person doing so is in no way a legitimate downed opponent. If the rule change goes through, avoiding knees and kicks in such a manner will be a thing of the past.

-- Jesse Sorensen worked a tag match for NWA Florida Underground this past weekend. He did an interview a while back and from the sounds of it, his doctor told him he should never ever wrestle again, but Sorensen was determined to do so. Keep in mind he has not received medical clearance to return to the ring.

-- Total Divas did a 1.1 and 1.3 million viewers for its debut on E! last night, which is actually a little less than I'd predicted (1.5 million). The good news is that it was strong in the demos they're looking for (adults 18-49) and was the highest-rated debut since August, though I'm not sure how many debuts E! has had since August. The bad news was that its lead-in, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, did 2.8 million viewers, so there was a giant plunge (1.5 million viewers) when Total Divas started.

That tells me that your casual E! viewer isn't interested in the WWE Divas, so the show will live or die based on whether it can attract WWE fans in week two and beyond without the giant media push that the show got last week. I thought the show was fine. The backstage stuff was interesting but a lot of the participants did not come off as likable at all, and it wasn't great enough nor enough of a train wreck to really make me excited to see week two. Aside from our board, most of the feedback I got, including from people inside the business, was negative. Full review on last night's new Bryan & Vinny Show (we've added Sunday nights) here.

-- UFC on FOX 8 averaged 2.04 million viewers from 8-10 PM, which, all things considered, is fine and not anything above or below what one would have expected. These are overnights and more accurate numbers will be available tomorrow.

-- Also on last night's B&V, we reviewed Joe Rogan's new TV show, which actually was really good per the standards of that genre and also got a great debut rating (also 1.3 million viewers and the highest debut for Syfy in five months, which tells me the key to a hit TV show is for someone to create a program where the WWE Divas look for Sasquatch), as well as the new NXT show with Paige winning the Women's title.

-- Speaking of Bigfoot, by the way, Spike TV, home of Impact Wrestling, is offering a TEN MILLION DOLLAR bounty to anyone who finds one.

-- Impact also did 1.3 million viewers this week.

-- I should also note we have an awesome interview with Harry Smith up on the site from Saturday morning here. Tons on the G-1, some great Minoru Suzuki stories, and more.

-- Speaking of, unless something changes, I'm hugely disappointed to announce that it appears you cannot buy the New Japan G-1 Climax Tournament shows individually on U-Stream. They're running nine shows in eleven days and the only way to see them is to buy the entire nine-show package for $150. We'll see if that changes but it's not looking good.

-- Michael Chiesa apologized to his fans on Twitter for storming out of the cage after his loss at UFC on FX 8, a fight that saw him tap out with one second left in the round.

-- Congratulations to UFC fighter Mike Pyle and his wife on the birth of their son. Best of luck to the child as well, who they named MAXIMUS.

-- Did you know that TNA has a mystery man debuting on Impact on Thursday? Yes. They didn't make any mention of it at all on Impact last Thursday, which did well over 1 million viewers on national television, but they have been doing videos on the Internet.

-- Colt Cabana is in Scotland the entire month of August performing midnight comedy shows at the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Everything you ever wanted to know about it including ticket availability is available here.

-- Here's a story on Mick Foley's comedy appearances here.

-- Lucha notes from Kris Zellner: "Horus who has been working opening matches for EMLL for the past few years announced on Facebook on Friday that he was leaving the promotion to pursue other options in the business and made his debut for TxT last night. Horus said that he had no ill will at EMLL but they liked pushing family members over other deserving talent. Horus was at one point Hijo del Faraon and was getting a small push as part of the Generacion 75 in 2008 but he had some personal issues and injuries that hampered him and he was repackaged as Horus then relegated to opening matches."

-- Andrew writes: Action Arcade Wrestling 2 will be available to download on July 29 as an Xbox Indie title. The game costs 240 Microsoft Points ($3). You can check out the trailer here.

-- Jared Papazian replaces Joe Murphy due to injury and will face John Robles at World Series of Fighting 4 on August 10th in Ontario, CA. Papazian fought in the UFC three times, amassing an 0-3 mark.

-- Sad to report the death of Nagaharu Imai, 53, a former All Japan Women and Big Japan Pro Wrestling announcer after a long battle with cancer.

-- Platinum Championship Wrestling returns to Porterdale, Georgia, this Saturday at 6 PM.

-- New podcast interview with Bruce Buffer here.

-- BANG TV and Stuff The Bus Charity for Homeless Children present Support Your Troops 94 this Friday at the TV Sound Stage in Ocala, Florida.

-- Interview with Jim Cornette here.

-- Mike Mooneyham talks the Mid-Atlantis Fan Fest here.

-- Matt Hardy and Reby Sky will be married October 5th, and you can see their wedding site here. Best wishes to them both.

-- JR has a new blog, unfortunately missing paragraph breaks, here.

-- TMZ has before and after photos of Jake Roberts here. He's down 70 pounds and is still talking about doing the Royal Rumble this year.

-- These folks think Ric Flair should be President of the United States of America. You think we have problems with the national debt now.

Today in History with Brian Hoops and Andrew Murphy:

-- 1964 - Lord James Blears & Neff Maivia defeated Mr. Moto & Nikita Mulkovich for the NWA Hawaii Tag Team Title in Honolulu, Hawaii

1971 - Bobo Brazil beat the Sheik for the NWA US title (Detroit version) in Detroit, MI.

1976 - Tiger Jeet Singh defeated Seiji Sakaguchi to become the first NWF Asian Heavyweight Champion (a New Japan title) in Osaka, Japan.

1977 - Ric Flair defeated Bobo Brazil in Richmond, Virginia to win the NWA United States Championship

1980 - Bill Dundee defeated Paul Ellering for the Southern Heavyweight Title in Louisville, Kentucky

1985 - Jerry Lawler defeated Bota The Witchdoctor in Memphis, Tennessee for the Southern Heavyweight Title

1988 - Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy defeated Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu in Takasaki, Japan to win the All Japan Tag Team Championship (PWF World & NWA International Titles).

1988 - Yoshihiro Asai defeated Ray Richard in Mexico City, Mexico for the UWA World Welterweight Title. Asai would go on to become better known as Ultimo Dragon.

1989 - Super Medic I defeated Chicky Starr for the WWC World Junior Heavyweight Title in Caguas, Puerto Rico

1991 - Awesome Kong defeated Jerry Lawler for the USWA Unified World Title in Memphis, Tennessee

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?