FRI UPDATE: Variety article on WWE numbers, G-1 and weekend big show line-ups, Rousey says two more years left, 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 your thoughts on the first of two G-1 shows at Sumo Hall in Tokyo lae tonight with 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

Aside from the G-1 tournament, it's a quiet weekend with no UFC, TNA or ROH and limited WWE.

Tonight there will be an FIP iPPV at www.WWNLive.com from the Orpheum in Ybor City, FL:

Jon Davis vs. Trent Baretta for the FIP title and the title can change hands via DQ
Mia Yim & Dos Ben Dejos vs. Larry Dallas & Vik Dalishus & Hale Collins in a TLC match
Uhaa Nation vs., Gran Akuma for the Florida heritage title
Leva vs. Solo Darling
Chasyn Rance vs. Lince Dorado
Jessicka Havoc vs. Maxwell Chicago
Dasher Hatfield & Mr. Touchdown vs. Eddie Graves & Teddy Stigma
Kenneth Cameron vs. Jesus DeLeon

The next to last night of the G-1 Climax tournament is late tonight/early tomorrow at Tokyo Sumo Hall at 5 a.m. Eastern and 2 a.m. Pacific.

Prince Devitt vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Karl Anderson vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Satoshi Kojima vs. Lance Archer
Toru Yano vs. Shelton Benjamin
Togi Makabe vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Kota Ibushi vs. Minoru Suzuki
Tetsuya Naito vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada

World Series of Fighting has its fourth show Saturday night on NBC Sports at 10:30 p.m. Eastern and 7:30 p.m. Pacific time

J.Z. Cavalcante vs. Tyson Griffin
Keon Caldwell vs. Nick Newell
Ray Sefo vs. Dave Huckaba
Marlon Moraes vs. Brandon Hempleman
Tyrone Spong vs. Angel DeAnda

The G-1 finals, the second biggest show of the year in Japan, takes place on Sunday at Tokyo Sumo Hall at 2 a.m. late Saturday night Eastern time and 11 p.m. Pacific time. The show can be ordered as a stand-alone PPV for $30 at www.ustream.tv/njpwsub

Toru Yano vs. Minoru Suzuki
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Shelton Benjamin
Tetsuya Naito vs. Karl Anderson
Yuji Nagata vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Lance Archer vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Kazuchika Okada vs. Satoshi Kojima
Togi Makabe vs. Prince Devitt
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Akebono & Kazuchika Sakuraba vs. Takashi Iizuka & Yoshi-Hashi
G-1 finals

WWE's only house show this weekend is a combo show at the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Sunday with John Cena, Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, Ryback, Rob Van Dam and The Shield appearing.

The go-home Raw for SummerSlam, featuring Brock Lesnar, plus a C.M. Punk vs. Paul Heyman match, is Monday night in Sacramento.

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday at the SAP Center in San Jose.

        We've got a huge week with the Observer with two different issues for web site readers and a double issue for those who are mail subscribers.  Both issues should be on the site today.
 
        The most in-depth look at every aspect of the WWE business, and most notably its future, is the lead story in the new issue.  We look not only at the numbers, but behind the numbers.  We compare things this year to last year, and figure out where the increase in costs are coning from including how much more was spent on PPV and television, where cutbacks have been made, and what this all leads to.
 
        We also look at the two biggest questions regarding the WWE business going forward and why the profit margin currently is not that important but what two key things have to go well, including the history of one of them. 
 
        Vince McMahon talks about the business including what type of television station he is looking at shopping his product to and thoughts on whether this will work out.  We look at the very unique nature of the WWE and television and why the best money deal isn't always the best deal, and look back at previous WWE TV deals.
 
        We look at why cash flow and cash on hand continues to drop, cost of the WWE Performance Center, profit and expenses so far in 2013 as compared to 2012, all the figures on WrestleMania including the profit margin and how it compared with the previous two years, how business has done the past few months without WrestleMania, talk on Wall Street about WWE's ability to sustain the dividend and thoughts on it, and what would happen if a change is made.
 
        We look at what the key aspect of business will be going forward and what to watch for in 2014 because how negotiations go will make a huge difference for the company in many ways going forward.  We look at the real attendance and gate figure for this year's WrestleMania, Vince McMahon's reaction to the drop in profits and the quarter as a whole, his thoughts on Total Divas, why WWE's content isn't getting what it should from networks and if that can change and why WWE is taking a complete 180 in the positioning of its product.
 
        We look at the television landscape and how WWE fits in, its major value to a network, the movie division, social media and its affect on business thus far, and outside business deals.
 
        We also look at, by a percentage basis, how each part of the world has changed over the past three years when it comes to WWE's revenue base.
 
        We also chart out every different category of business and how much they contribute to the bottom line, including something of a surprise as the aspect of the business that contributed the most over the past three months.
 
        We go through every sector and look not only at revenues, but expenses, profitability and changes.  We look at the business of an average WWE arena event for the quarter both domestic and overseas, merchandise, as well as PPV.  We look at how every PPV has done so far this year, including costs.  We look at what The Rock vs. C.M. Punk meant for Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber. 
       
        We also compare the PPV figures for June of this year and last year, and how UFC did the day before Payback. 
 
        We look at the current WWE television deals, the home video business, the licensing business, the magazine business, the movie business and the web site business.
 
        We also look at the arrest of Kurt Angle, his going into rehab and his past issues.
 
        We also have a look at the prospects of TNA and Bellator working together for the Jackson vs. Ortiz PPV, including what was said at the press conference, how the deal was made, the Ortiz surprise on TNA and Bellator, how much wrestling has proven to mean when it comes to Bellator ratings, criticism of the fight, track record for both guys, nostalgia value in MMA historically, Tito Ortiz's injuries and surgeries, the undercard, the Bellator title picture and more.  
 
        We also have complete coverage of the G-1 Climax series, including injuries, business, coverage of the biggest matches, standings, poll results, star ratings for matches and more of the biggest week of wrestling for the year in Japan.
 
        We also look at the Sheamus injury, more on next year's WrestleMania, the fan who attacked Randy Orton in South Africa, the one time a fan attack led to the fan becoming a pro wrestler, Dwayne Johnson talks if he'll wrestle again, how SummerSlam's directions have changed and why, more on See No Evil 2 and what that means will likely happen next.
 
        We also look at twitter hubs for UFC and WWE, one of the biggest stars of all-time in talks with WWE, WWE hires a VP of Kids Entertainment, Jerry Lawler talks the death of Corey Maclin and more on Ricardo Rodriguez.
 
        We also look at Total Divas, WWE Half of Fame, house show plans, Chris Jericho update, business notes on the overseas tours as well as highlights from all the house shows.
 
        We also have the monthly WWE business comparisons.
 
        We also have complete coverage of UFC 163, with background on the show, the future of the featherweight division, Aldo injury update, Machida vs. Davis decision, ratings, business as well as match-by-match coverage and poll results on the show.
 
        We also look at CMLL's plans for its biggest shows of the year, including a number of big announcements for August and September major events.
 
        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:
 
--The B.J Whitmer injury and an update on his condition
 
--What was planned to happen and the future of the ROH title tournament
 
--Updates on the contract situation with a number of top ROH talent
 
--The mentality of a lot of ROH talent when it comes to TNA
 
--Full coverage of the ROH show in Toronto
 
--The booking of Jim Cornette and Gabe Sapolsky and how it differed
 
--Why the Kevin Steen DVD was pulled
 
--More bad news for TNA in the PPV field
 
--Update on TNA creative
 
--Madison Rayne on being let go by TNA
 
--Bound for Glory series update
 
--A look at the weekend TNA house shows
 
--UFC finds a new obstacle they didn't see coming
 
--Ticket sales for the upcoming UFC events
 
--Update on proposed MMA rule changes
 
--Update on title situations
 
--Another UFC fighter inks movie role
 
--Controversy over a UFC hire
 
--More on Ronda Rousey's movie debut
 
--Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier issues
 
--Notes on some new UFC dates
 
--New UFC fights
 
--CMLL on U.S TV
 
--Latest from the Arena Mexico shows
 
--What Mexican wrestler has taken the theme from an infamous U.S. wrestler
 
--A look at AAA's big show in Mexico City with the Perro Aguayo Jr. vs. Cibernetico rematch
 
--Why CMLL fans are so tough
 
--Huge angle AAA shoots
 
--Legendary belt being retired and replaced
 
--Promoter tries to copy Vince McMahon and wrestle
 
--All Japan's next big show
 
--Grandsons of one of Japan's all-time biggest stars return
 
--Zero-One Fire Festival finals
 
--A look at the Mid Atlantic convention in Charlotte
 
--A look at the Hall of Heroes ceremony
 
--A look at the Q&As
 
--A look at the documentary
 
--Former WWE star who got fired from his job gets it pack
 
--Return of Dominick Cruz
 
--Bellator's biggest show in its history
 
--Major Bellator star's contract expires
 
--Spike's newest fighting franchises early dates
 
--A look at two retirements in Japan      
 
Rates are:
 
        For the United States, it is $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52.  In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52 .
 
        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

-- Amazing article here claiming WWE set a personal milestone with 20 million viewers in the US watching some form of their programming over the past week. What's funny is that we get the viewership breakdowns for every single show, and the most you can get to if you presume that every single viewer only watches one show (meaning Raw viewers ONLY watch Raw, Smackdown viewers ONLY watch Smackdown, Total Divas viewers ONLY watch Total Divas, zero crossover whatsoever), the best you can get to is 11 million. It appears what WWE did was claim that each hour of Raw consisted of totally different viewers, meaning anyone who watched hour one ONLY watched hour one, hour two viewers ONLY watched hour two, etc. Even then you can't quite hit 20 million. The actual viewership for the shows this week was 4.18 million for Raw, 900,000 for Main Event, 1.53 million for Total Divas, 2.75 million for Smackdown and 1.92 million for the WrestleMania special on ABC, and of those 11 million, again, you have to presume that there was ZERO overlap between shows. The article is here.

-- I've updated the front page with an explanation from WWE on how the 20 million number was determined here.

-- Ronda Rousey on MMA Junkie Radio said she works her life in four-year cycles, so she thinks that most likely her MMA career will go two more years and then she'll move on. She said the difference is that she wants to set up an exit strategy, which she didn't do with judo and which she now regrets because it lead to a tough time in her life.

-- After all the hoopla, Chael Sonnen was, in fact, licensed by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission, so he is cleared to fight Shogun Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 on August 17th in Boston, MA.

-- After Dark Radio returns tonight at midnight Pacific/3 AM Eastern after a three-week hiatus taking your open line phone calls and emails. The number is 425-482-1686, and you can send emails on any topic to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with "After Dark" in the subject line. I'll put some interesting news articles in a front page posting here that you're welcome to call about, and you're also welcome to recap your favorite Art Bell memories (he's back in less than 40 days), or really anything else that's on your mind. Check out the front page for more, and to always get updates on when to call, etc., follow me on Twitter @bryanalvarez.

-- An article on the good and bad of Dutch Savage is up here.

-- For old-school wrestling fans, you can, in fact, watch the OVW OLD SCHOOL iPPV here. Danny Davis and I talked a lot about this show on Figure Four Daily last week and I know he really enjoyed it.

-- Tryouts for Ultimate Fighter 19 are August 27th in Indianapolis. They're looking for middleweight and light heavyweight fighters between 21 and 34 with at least three fights and a winning record.

-- So Hulk Hogan, who claims a movie about his life is being shopped around despite nobody seeming to have any idea what he's talking about, is now saying he wants his son Nick to play him.

-- Dave looks at Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones here. Find out how this whole feud started, read some hilarious quotes from Jones attacking Cormier for, of all things, how many Twitter followers he has.

-- Magnus signed a new two-year deal with TNA according to Fighting Spirit Magazine.

-- Vinny Magalhaes, who said before his 14 second knockout at UFC 163 that if he lost to Anthony Perosh he should be cut by UFC, hasn't been cut yet but says if it happens he'll retire from MMA and look to open his own gym.

-- All UFC 163 drug tests came back clean.

-- Best wishes to Markus Gronemann, who was involved in a pretty spectacular car accident last week on his way home from a Fozzy concert, an accident so spectacular that it made some local papers. Thankfully, nobody involved was hurt. He also managed to get I believe the third Chris Jericho photo with a mock copy of Figure Four Weekly burying Lance Storm, which should be up on the front page soon.

-- Congratulations to Debra Marshall, formerly of WCW and WWE, on graduating Cum Laude from the University of Alabama this past Sunday.

-- Also sad to report that Drew Statin, who is the brother of Ryan Statin of TMZ, was involved in a freak accident yesterday and was on life support at last word. Ryan is the go-to guy at TMZ for all wrestling-related stories. Drew was set to attend both SummerSlam and tonight's PWG show. Best wishes that he can pull through and make a strong recovery.

-- Story on Gypsy Joe, who is in rough shape.

-- Add a fractured orbital bone to Korean Zombie's many woes. That injury really sucks.

-- Kyle writes: On TMJ4 in Milwaukee the Morning Blend they had Mick Foley on talking about his Christmas projects like the Movie I am Santa Claus, talked about mr. Socko, talking about his comedy, and short survey, like Blondes or brunets, and compassion is best quality. They said he is at Mirmar Theater on Sunday at 7pm. It was a good interview.

-- Universal Championship Wrestling makes its long awaited return to Owensboro , KY on Saturday, September 7 at 7:00 PM at the Next Level Indoor Sports Facility when they present UCW Uprising. This event will feature former WCW/NWO/TNA and national television star Marcus "Buff" Bagwell, former WWE/ECW/TNA/ ROH star Rhyno, former WWE star and current NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion "Ironman" Rob Conway, former WWE/TNA star "Pope" D'Angelo Dinero, and former TNA star "The Natural" Chase Stevens. VIP 1st and 2nd row ticket prices are $20 in advance and include early entry into the event for a private meet and greet as well as an assigned seat in the 1st or 2nd row. General admission tickets, row 3 and back, are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Advanced tickets are available at The Next Level Indoor Sports Facility in Owensboro , Airbrush Inc. located in Town Square Mall also in Owensboro , Pizza Kings in Beaver Dam, and may be purchased online at the event website www.ucwuprising.com.

-- New interview with Dolph Ziggler talking SummerSlam and more here.

-- And another one here.

-- Today in history with Brian Hoops:

1980 - WWF held their "Showdown at Shea" event at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York, drawing 36, 295 fans. Main events on the card included: Andre the Giant defeated Hulk Hogan; Tony Atlas defeated Intercontinental Champion Ken Patera via countout; Bob Backlund & Pedro Morales defeated The Samoans (Afa & Sika) to win the WWF World Tag Team Title. However, because Backlund was already the WWF World Heavyweight Champion, he and Morales were forced to vacate the belts and Bruno Sammartino defeated Larry Zbyszko in a steel cage match.

1986 - Ric Flair defeated Dusty Rhodes for the NWA World Heavyweight Wrestling Title in St. Louis, Missouri .

1997 - Hulk Hogan defeated Lex Luger to win the WCW World Heavyweight Title at the Road Wild PPV in Sturgis, SD.

1999 - Kane & X-Pac defeated The Acolytes for the WWF World Tag Team Title during an edition of Monday Night Raw. Chris Benoit defeat David Flair for the WCW United States Title during an episode of Monday Nitro.

2010 - Angelina Love defeated Madison Rayne to win the TNA Knockouts Title.

-- WHICH OF THESE GUYS SHOULD BE ADDED TO THE HALL OF FAME BALLOT?

Eddie Gilbert 25.3%
Afa & Sika 20.5%
Chief Jay Strongbow 20.1%
Buddy Rose 16.0%
Boris Malenko 6.6%
Gino Hernandez 4.9%
Jerry Estrada 1.7%
Mighty Igor 1.7%
Tony Garea 1.0%
Jay Youngblood 1.0%
Apache Bull Ramos 0.7%
La Fiera 0.3%

Haystacks Calhoun 41.6%
Tojo Yamamoto 15.5%
Moondog Mayen 8.4%
Lord James Blears 6.0%
Hard Boiled Haggery 6.0%
Leo Nomellini 5.6%
Brute Bernard & Skull Murphy 5.6%
Moose Cholak 4.4%
Missouri Mauler 2.6%
Sonny Myers 2.0%
Hercules Cortez 1.2%
Tex McKenzie 0.8%

Larry Hennig 42.0%
The Spoiler 18.6%
Sweet Daddy Siki 9.5%
Cowboy Bob Ellis 7.6%
Sailor Art Thomas 5.7%
Wild Bull Curry 3.8%
Hans Mortier 3.8%
Ilio DiPaolo 3.4%
Waldo Von Erich 2.3%
Duke Keomuka 1.5%
Sammy Steamboat 1.5%
Ripper Collins 0.4%

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF FIGHT MASTER?
Excellent 4.0%
Good 36.0%
Average 36.0%
Fair 0.0%
Poor 24.0%
72.2% of those responding didn't see the show

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF MAIN EVENT?
Excellent 14.0%
Good 51.2%
Average 16.3%
Fair 4.7%
Poor 14.0%
60.2% of those responding didn't see the show

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