SUN. UPDATE: Rock vs. Cena ratings, BJ Whitmer update, Aldo injury, Machida vs. Davis, G-1, Lesnar, UFC 163 feedback, Art Donovan passes away, Fan Fest notes, Fandango

By Dave Meltzer
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        We're looking for your thoughts from last night's UFC 163 as well as today's New Japan from Osaka show with a thumbs up, thumbs down and thumbs in the middle with a best and worst match as well as from all of the other first three G-1 shows at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
        We're also looking for reports from these shows:
*WWE yesterday in Johannesburg, South Africa
*TNA in Thibodaux, LA (Chris Sabin vs. Ken Anderson for TNA title, Jeff Hardy vs. Christopher Daniels, Kurt Angle vs. Frankie Kazarian, A.J Styles vs. Bobby Roode in BFG Series, James Storm & Gunner vs. Devon & Knux for tag titles, Gail Kim vs. ODB)
*WWE Friday in Shanghai, China
*TNA Friday night in Tyler, TX
*WWE on Tuesday in Cape Town, South Africa
*WWE on Wednesday in Cape Town
*WWE on  Thursday in Durban
        Raw will be Monday in Green Bay.  Brock Lesnar returns on that show.  Daniel Bryan also gets a corporate make over.
        Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Rockford, IL.
        G-1 late Monday/early Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. Eastern and 2:30 a.m. Pacific from Ishikawa
Satoshi Kojima vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Toru Yano
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Lance Archer
Tetsuya Naito vs. Shelton Benjamin
Karl Anderson vs. Minoru Suzuki
Yuji Nagata vs. Kota Ibushi
Shinsuke Nakamura.vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Kazuchika Okada vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Hirooki Goto vs. Prince Devitt
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Togi Makabe
        The new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is on the web site today as well as a new back issue from 1996.
        A look at the state of UFC on FOX with coverage of Saturday's show is our lead story.  We talk about what the rating means, both the good and the bad, why the reaction should be different from a similar rating a year ago, but what it also says about the UFC brand value both good and bad.
        We look at what each individual match did, how each match on prelims did, UFC's FOX baseline, the idea of booking FOX vs. booking PPV, comparisons of UFC on FOX with Strikeforce on CBS, why MMA ratings on individual shows have declined and the argument for moving everything to television, and if it's viable now and when it may be.  We look at how UFC's PPV business has been so far this year as well as the direction of things. 
        We also have other business notes on the show, what went wrong and right on the show, match-by-match coverage, payoff records and poll results of both the show and the close decisions.
        We also have a feature on the debut of Total Divas, real vs. fake, notes on the newcomers, what the ratings said for the first three showings, real names, how the characters come off and WrestleMania.
        We also have notes on the death of Memphis announcer, promoter and wrestler Cory Maclin, his background, a couple of major lawsuits, running for political office, how he got into wrestling and more.
        We also look at the future of Madison Square Garden, the bad week of Randy Orton, WWE injuries and scheduled comebacks, latest on SummerSlam, Thoughts on a Hall of Fame rumor, Jerry Lawler returning to the ring, Stacy Keibler talks her days in pro wrestling, Maria Kanellis' claim, War Games, Rock vs. Cena on TV, and notes on the Australia and South Africa tour between business and shows themselves.
        We also have a big feature looking back at one of the most famous tag teams of the early 70s, The Mongols, with the death of Geto, Newton Tattrie this past week.
        We look at Tattrie's life as a wrestler, trainer and promoter, the original Mongols with Nikolai Volkoff and the second Mongols with Bill Eadie.  We look at his days as Sunk Man, how he first met Volkoff and got him into wrestling, the idea of The Mongols tag team, where they first started and their big run as WWWF International tag team champions as well as singles matches with Bruno Sammartino.  We look at their biggest matches of the era and how they left the WWWF as a tag team having never lost their titles or a major match.
        We look at Geto buying the Pittsburgh area circuit from Sammartino, The Mongols basing themselves out of Pittsburgh, Volkoff leaving the team and becoming a singles star, where Geto met Eadie and how the new team was formed.  We look at the end of The Mongols in their champions vs. champions match with Gene & Ole Anderson, and his post-wrestling career.
        We also have an in-depth look at the drug culture in sports, how this may affect UFC with the revelation that some MMA fighters are on the list of clients with Biogenesis, as well as looking at WWE's history with the issue, how WWE is handling testing, drugs that people are using to beat testing, the current state-of-the-art, the controversial Victor Conte and more.
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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:
--Injury to top young star in Mexico and him not taking the time off recommended
--Notes on a tourney for the top mini in CMLL
--Latest from Arena Mexico this past week
--What local star was responsible for a legitimate sellout in Puebla
--A court case over the rights to one of the most valuable wrestling names in the world
--AAA star leaves promotion
--A look at Dragon Gate USA's weekend shows in New York
--All Japan bringing back the Open championship tournament and a look back at one of the greatest tournaments in pro wrestling history as far as top stars involved.
--Lots of new title matches
--A look at the ending of NOAH's junior heavyweight tag team tournament and upcoming title bouts
--More on the G-1 Climax series
--New Japan doing a tryout camp and what they are looking for
--New Japan stars coming to the U.S.
--An upcoming major pro wrestling documentary about to be released
--Update on New Jack
--A man threatening to kill a former WWF star
--Carlos Colon vs. Invader program continues
--Colon involved in a major news story in Puerto Rico
--Wrestler spending a month overseas doing comedy
--Update on Matt Morgan
--Notes regarding ROH tag title change
--New ROH TV markets expected
--What happened with the Kevin Steen DVD
--Major change in ROH's front office
--Update on status of a number of ROH wrestlers
--A look at the most recent ROH TV tapings
--Dixie Carter talks TNA's latest issues
--TNA and developmental
--Why Keiji Muto was in Nashville
--Taelor Hendrix again talks leaving TNA
--Update on Taryn Terrell
--Notes on next TNA PPV
--A look at TNA's weekend house shows
--More business notes on Silva vs. Weidman
--UFC's attempt to get into a foreign market they are strong on TV in and why it's being held up
--A look at this week's UFC show
--Dana White on Frank Shamrock in the UFC Hall of Fame
--New season of Ultimate Fighter notes
--New MMA rules being talked about
--Rousey and the movie and training for her next fight
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Major Bellator contract news
--Major Bellator firings
        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:
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*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)
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*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)
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*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)
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*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
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*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
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*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)
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*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..
        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.
Sunday's News Update
--An update on B.J. Whitmer from last night's ROH show.  Whitmer lost all feeling in his right leg and arm and his entire right side went numb after the piledriver on the ring apron from Michael Bennett in their match.  The match was stopped immediately.  Whitmer started to get the feeling back before he was taken from the ring about 15 minutes later.  He was taken to the hospital.  He had no fractures and it appears he suffered a serious stinger.  He has full feeling back but at last word was still hospitalized in Toronto. 
--The Rock vs. John Cena WrestleMania replay last night on NBC did 1.92 million viewers which is way down from last year's Mania replay on NBC.  It did an 0.6 in the key demo.  It killed soccer on FOX.  For a comparison, soccer did 1.30 million viewers and an 0.5 in the demo, or barely half of what UFC did the week before, which either puts UFC's ratings into perspective, or perhaps ratings of soccer in prime time since it was the lowest rated show of the night on network TV.
--Sorry this is up late.  I had a ton of different commitments today including doing our G-1 Osaka show with Mike Sempervive and Observer Sin Limite with tons of questions answered that is now up on the site.
--Jose Aldo suffered a broken foot in the first round, maybe on his first kick, in his match last night against Chan Sung Jung.  That may explain why he didn't throw as many kicks as usual.
--Phil Davis became the first American to go 2-0 fighting in Brazil.  He was quite lucky in that regard.  All three judges had it 29-28 for Davis.  However, in a poll of 14 leading MMA writers, 79% had Machida 30-27 and 21% had Machida 29-28.  Zero gave it to Davis.  Fightmetric also had it 30-27 for Machida.  Dana White had it 30-27 as well.
--Anthony Perosh set a record for shortest amount of fight time in back-to-back fights.  He lost in seven seconds in his last fight a year ago to Ryan Jimmo.  Last night he beat Vinny Magalhaes via knockout in 14 seconds.  Having two fights lasting a combined 21 seconds is a record that I don't know that we'll ever see broken.
--Lyoto Machida suffered the first unanimous decision loss of his career.  And in a fight he should have won no less.
--Chan Sung Jung lost for the first time in UFC.  He had lost twice, to George Roop and Leonard Garcia, fighting in WEC (thanks to Andre Allen)
--Know it gets redundant, but not only was Tomohiro Ishii vs. Katsuyori Shibata a must-see match earlier today, but Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kota Ibushi was among the greatest second best matches on a card in history.  As good as this stuff looked on paper going in, it's blowing away any expectations. 
--The angle for The Shield match at SummerSlam is right now scheduled to be shot at Raw tomorrow night in Green Bay.  Brock Lesnar also returns.
--UFC 163 was the second most searched for item in the U.S. on Google yesterday behind only Powerball.  The search number would indicate a lower level of PPV buys than usual, but we already knew that going in.  It was well above the searches last Saturday for the Seattle show.  For whatever reason, our traffic yesterday was unusually high.  In theory that would mean a lot of interest, but in reality it may mean a lot of curiosity from people who weren't watching, although the  numbers were also way high even during prelims which were on TV for free.     
--The Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Phil Davis Fight Night from a few years back airs at 9 p.m. tonight on Fuel.  Prelims from last night air at 11 p.m.
--Art Donovan, a pro football superstar in the 50s with the Baltimore Colts of Johnny Unitas fame, passed away today at the age of 89.  Donovan was the guest commentator on a WWF PPV show from Baltimore, the 1994 King of the Ring show.  It was...interesting.  His commentary was, over and over, saying  "Hey Gorilla, how much does that guy weigh?"
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1966 - Fritz Von Erich beat Johnny Valentine in Fort Worth to win the American title
1967 - Ray Mendoza beat Dory Dixon in Mexico City in a tournament final for the vacant NWA world light heavyweight title 
1976 - Seiji Sakaguchi & Strong Kobayashi beat Tiger Jeet Singh & Gama Singh in Tokyo to win the NWF Asian tag team titles
1983 - Tatsumi  Fujinami beat Riki Choshu via count out to win the International title at Sumo Hall in Tokyo
1984 - Super Medicos I & III beat Invaders I & III in San Juan to win the WWC tag titles
1987 - Shane Douglas beat Eddie Gilbert in Morgan City, LA to win the UWF  title
1989 - Cactus Jack & Scott Braddock beat Jeff Jarrett & Matt Borne in Dallas to win the World Class tag team titles
1990 - Lance Idol (Steve Schumann) & Rick Valentine (Kerry Brown) beat Super Medicos I & III in Caguas to win the WWC tag titles
1996 - At Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Ultimo Dragon beat Shinjiro Otani to win four different titles and Great Sasuke beat El Samurai to win four titles.  They are doing a tournament with eight different junior heavyweight champions from around the globe where the winner got eight titles.  In the end, Ultimo Dragon, who won, wound up holding ten different championships at the same time.
1997 - Lex Luger beat Hulk Hogan on Nitro to win the WCW heavyweight title
Less than 100,000 20.9%
101-125,000 12.9%
126-150,000 10.8%
151-175,000 13.7%
176-200,000 15.8%
201-225,000 10.1%
226-250,000 5.8%
251-275,000 0.0%
276-300,000 1.4%
301-325,000 0.7%
326-350,000 2.2%
More than 351,000 5.8%
Tanahashi vs. Ishii 28.1%
Styles vs. Aries 24.9%
Christian vs. Orton vs RVD 23.8%
Punk vs. Fandango 8.9%
Christian vs. Del Rio 3.6%
Tanahashi vs. Smith 3.2%
Kojima vs Shibata 1.8%
Ibushi vs. Naito 1.8%
Tanahashi vs. Kojima 1.4%
Nagata vs. Suzuki 1.4%
Goto vs. Okada 1.1%
Excellent 17.9%
Good 46.3%
Average 23.2%
Fair 5.3%
Poor 7.4%
        31.7% of those responding didn't see the show
--Mark Henry promoting Raw tomorrow night in Green Bay at
--Norichika Aoki, the starting right fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers, uses Fandango's entrance music whenever he comes up to bat.  Aoki is actually not a wrestling fan, but Mike Vassalo, the Senior Director of Media relations for the Brewers, is a big fan and Fandango is his favorite wrestler and convinced Aoki to come to bat to the music during a 7/25 game against the San Diego Padres.  In that game, Aoki hit his first home run in two-and-a-half months.  Given how superstitious a lot of baseball players are, after the game, he said he wanted the song played every time he came up to bat.  While he had never even heard of Fandango, now he's a fan of his and he wears a "Fandango"  T-shirt which WWE sent him.
--From the Mid Atlantic Fan Fest wrestling shows
Saturday night before 300 fans:  Papadon b Micah Taylor, Cassidy Riley b Corey Hollis, Lodi & Sic Boy b Bob Roberts & Brad Pierce, Bev Berwick b Michael Blaze Richard, Bobby Fulton b Mike Jackson (good match considering Fulton is 52 and Jackson is over 60, Fulton did mic work to establish himself as a heel saying he should have been inducted into the Hall of Heroes and may take it out on Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson later in the show),  Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson b D-Lo Brown & Luke Gallows with Tommy Young as special referee.
From today:  Damien Wayne b Homicide, Michael Elgin b Davey Richards, Dojo Brothers b Caleb Konley & Cedric Alexander, Mike Jackson b Michael Blaze Richard, Ron Starr b Sheik Akbar Shabaz, Gunner b Luke Gallows (thanks to Michael Carpenter, Chris GST and Jamie Combs)
--There was apparently a very heated discussion between Tammy Sytch and Tom Prichard behind the commentators at the control stage for about 20 minutes.
--Grown Ups 2 was No. 6 at the box office this past weekend at $8.1 million, so it's at $116.4 million in four weeks.  Pacific rim was No. 10 at $4.57 million and it's at $93 million. 
--Pacific Rim was No. 5 at the Australian box office this weekend. (thanks to James Stanios)
--Lucha Libre Xtreme from last night's TV in Fresno:  Brian Tannen b Zero, Jeff Cobb (former 2004 Olympic wrestler from Guam) b Marcus Ericks, Al Azar b Bigg Dogg, JR Kratos b AJ Kirsch-DQ.  Kratos is one of those guys who is so huge it's almost freaky and WWE has expressed interest in him.  Kratos is shorter but wider and thicker than Bill Goldberg.  Next TV taping is 9/14 in Merced at the American Legion Post 83 with Kratos vs. Tannen, the later of who is a 21-year-old powerlifting champion.  (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--SCW Rebranded from last night in Bremerton, WA:  Victor Price b Iron Buddah II, Demarcus James & Dale Houston b Randy Zellers & Kane James, Patrick Large b Kellen Raeth-DQ, Hot Hands Mendoza b Exile-DQ, Mary Jane Payne NC Anni Richards in a boxing match, Dave Hollenbeck & Von Hess & Hoss Tull & Fallen b Zack Winters & Badd Blood & Ian Bear & Bedlam.  Next show is 8/31 in Poulsbo, WA at the Suquamish Tribal Center (thanks to Charles Short)
--Ring Wars Carolinas from last night in Fayetteville:  Urlich Von Vorse & Solomon Spade b Real Steel, American Dragon b James Anthony, Diego Vazquez b American Dragon, Hangtyme won Battleground match, Amanda Rodriguez b Mia Svensson, Hector Sanchez b Steve Corino (thanks to Matthew McCoy)
--Slam Pro Summer Heat from last night in Sparta, TN:  Vordell Walker b Clay Moore, Ryan Jeffries b Hot Rod Biggs, Hammerjack & Brian Christopher b Nick Iggy & Kerry Awful, Kahagas b Johnny Bandana, Yukon Jack NC Jocephus Brody, Matt Boyce b Shane Andrews, Shane Helms & Cody Hall b Shane Williams & Joker.  Kevin Nash & Scott Hall were both there (thanks to Lekisha Oliver)  
--Future Stars of Wrestling's fourth season begins at  Paul London and Kenny King are on the show and Disco Inferno is the announcer.
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling from last night in Columbus, IN before 185 fans:  JKO Jr b TJ Kemp Jr., Aaron Anarchy & Darrin Knight & Fast Eddie Felson b Cooter & Stompin Steve & Ace Perry, Damien Cole b  Fuji Wildman, TJ Kemp b  Donny Idol, TJ Powers b JKO, Ricky Ruckus & Tom Van Zant b Rob Ramer & JD Marioni Dash Venture b Diceman Ronnie Vegas.  Next show is 9/7.  On 10/5 they have Jillian Hall vs. Jesse Belle Smothers. (thanks to Jerry Wilson)
--U Pro Wrestling from last night in Plymouth, IN:  Jack Thriller b Jun Hado, Steven Drochner b Big Daddy Dean-COR, Mark Vandy & Tripp Cassidy b Dale Patricks & Adam Bueller, Scotty Young b Ryan Epic, Melanie Cruise b December, Super Diva b Mr. Fitness, Louis Lyndon over Denzel Bishop & Jynx, Russ Jones b Ruff Crossing, Jake Omen b Kharn Alexander, Osyris b Shane Douglas (thanks to Jeremy Parsons)

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?