FRI. UPDATE: Weekend schedule, WWE schedule changes, Hogan arm wrestling, Alvarez statement, Cena post-sugery, Austin interview, 2 of greatest promoters in history birthdays, WWE stars doing USA show, and famous world title double-cross

By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @DaveMeltzerWON

 We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE house show in Fresno (The Shield, Wyatt Family, Jack Swagger, Usos, R-Truth) as well as last night's NXT tapings in Winter Park, FL at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 It's a quiet weekend compared to most, with no major events in the U.S.

 WWE is running a full road schedule, but there is nothing from UFC (they had a Wednesday night show and a Saturday night show this coming week and a crazy schedule going forward) this weekend, nor from TNA or ROH.

 AXS tonight has Legacy Fighting 22 from Lubbock, TX at 10 p.m. headlined by Paul Buentello vs. James McSweeney and Eric Davila vs. Artemas Young.

Smackdown tonight from Bakersfield:

Dolph Ziggler vs. Big  E Langston
Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian non-title
Big Show & Mark Henry vs. Drew McIntyre & Heath  Slater & Jinder Mahal
Darren Young vs. Antonio Cesaro
Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett in a cage match

 CMLL at Arena Mexico starts its Champion of Champions tournament in which all the different champions are put in a 16-man single elimination tournament.  There is an eight-man tournament tonight, another eight-man tournament on 8/30, with the finals on 9/6.  With Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jushin Liger holding the CMLL tag titles, both are in the tournament.
 WWE is running Saturday in San Diego (Rey Mysterio was added to both the Saturday and  Sunday shows, I presume as a special guest) and Las Cruces, NM (C.M. Punk, Paul Heyman, Alberto DelRio, Curtis Axel, Dolph Ziggler).

 WWE is running Sunday in Ontario, CA and Rio Rancho, NM.

 All Japan has three title matches on Sunday at a show at the Ota Ward Gym in  Tokyo with suwama defending the Triple Crown against Go Shiozaki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru defending the junior heavyweight title against Hikaru Sato and Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Aoki defend the All-Asia tag team title against AAA's Drago & Argenis.

 Raw is Monday night in Phoenix with Curtis Axel vs. C.M. Punk for the IC title on the show.

 Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tueday in Las Vegas, which is the end of the company's long West Coast tour.

We've got two issues up of the Observer this week, both a 1996 back issue covering the saga of Brian Pillman, and the newest issue covering the saga of John Cena.

Our lead story looks at Cena's injury, the reaction of the live crowd in Anaheim, roughly when the injury tookplace, notes on the surgery, on Cena's final interview, why the injury can be viewed as a blessing in disguise and what it forces WWE to do right now.  We also look at questions regarding Cena's injury, notes from Bob Holly's book about the WWE program, thoughts from other wrestlers on Cena, Cena's public statements on steroid and PED use which are stronger than almost anyone in pro sports, WWE scheduling changes with Cena out and what may end up as Cena's very unique legacy and position in the history of the industry.

We've got full coverage of  SummerSlam, looking at the big two fantastic matches, analysis of the booking of the main event, more on the McMahon family storyline going forward, the WrestleMania symposium and controversy coming out of it, as well as a look at the key comments that probably caused the dffering opinions on it.  We look at the various Ric Flair stories including one the company probably didn't like and the wide variety of reactions the symposium got.

We look at what Ric Flair was in town for, and how the WWE handled things after the fact.

We also look at the Alberto Del Rio/Drew McIntyre story, or at least the version that went across the company the day after.

We also look at the business notes on the show, a rundown of what is on the board and what looks like is being built up for Night of Champoins, a dark horse idea for one of the top matches, and a look at the new RVD/Ricardo Rodriguez pairing.

We've also got our usual PPV coverage with match-by-match rundown with star ratings and poll results of the show.

We also have a look at the debut of FS 1 with UFC  Fight Night.  We look at the business moves that were paid to insure 90 million homes had the availability to see the show, and how and why from a financial standpoint they are opening up far weaker than expected.

We also look at the first night ratings, and the growth throughout the show.  We look at other business, the stories post-show, as well as match-by-match coverage.

We also have a major feature on Darren Young coming out.  We look at where the idea likely came from, the media reaction, stars who had come out previously to little media interest, the sad final chapter of Kanyon and WWE history when it comes to sexual orientation of employees.  We look at why those who thought Young was risking his career couldn't have been more wrong.  We look at how WWE handled it on television, and company reaction.

We also have an update on Dwayne Johnson and WWE and what an affiliate business was told about who they have major plans for.  We also look at a major star from the past they are in talks with, as well as notes on Ultimate Warrior in Los Angeles.

We have more on next year's WrestleMania, as well as Steve Austin's reaction when it comes to wrestling again.

We've got a note on the WrestleMania 2015 location and something that likely didn't make WWE happy regarding the negotiations.

We've got tons of comments on Daniel Bryan based on a long feature story on him, with quotes frommany people around him, more on the heat on Si Cara, his injury, the Legends of WrestleMania mode in the video game, more on the WWE's unknown rules of wrestling, the repackaging of the Colons, and gambling and the WrestleMani finishes as well as the Reddit guy.

We also have notes on C.M. Punk's reaction to Ryan Braun, WWE video sals, Brock Lesnar fighting again,the Jerry Lawler museum and Rob Van Dam taking heat from TNA fans.  We also look at the Total Divas 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 31st 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:
--New Japan translating its TV into English

--Lineup for the next New Japan PPV show

--Upcoming CMLL tag title match in New Japan

--Hiroshi Tanahashi heads to the U.K.

--Major rock stars in Japan talk pro wrestling

--Update on wrestling in the Olympics

--Looking at the entire Jose Gonzalez autograph show situation

--WWC Night of Champions notes

--Loaded indie shows internationally

--NOAH star debuting with ROH

--Update on Richards & Edwards with ROH

--ROH running show on another WWE big show weekend

--Notes on ROH's last show in New York

--Behind Brooke Hogan being let go by TNA

--Hulk Hogan's expected return to TNA

--Notes on Devon being gone from TNA

--TNA's next major TV show and plans

--Notes on Bully Ray's title win

--More on the Jesse Sorensen being cut situation

--TNA's handling of Kurt Angle's situation

--Update on the Bound for Glory series and standings

--Notes on Howard Stern tie-in for Bound For Glory

--TNA weekend house show note

--Stefan Struve's medical condition

--Latest UFC PPV numbers

--Thoughts on upcoming UFC PPVs

--Dana White's reaction to the Biogenesis story

--GSP asks for outside drug testing and what it means

--Former WEC champ fined and suspended for steroid test failure

--Lots of new UFC matches, and matches being talked about

--First Countdown show on FS 1

--Boston legal controversy regarding minors attending shows

--Will UFC go head-to-head against Bellator

--Chael Sonnen speaks with the inspiration of his promos

--Dana White talks Ronda Rousey's mentioning of retirement and her Twitter resonses

--Dana White talks Ben Askren

--UFC fighter fired after burglary conviction

--Rousey talks Miesha Tate and Bryan Caraway

--UFC thinking about creating a regional circujit

--Notes on  Eddie Alvarez settlement and contract

--How Bellator is gambling with this

--More on the Bellator PPV show  

        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)
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*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
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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)
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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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Friday's News Update

--WWE has updated its advertising for future house shows.  Daniel Bryan is being moved from the "B" tour to the "A" tour as the singles headliner.  He's taking the place of John Cena on those shows. 

--Hulk Hogan, in Toronto for a big autograph show, did an arm wrestling match against Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.  Ford won.  It was very clear Hogan could have beaten the totally unathletic looking Ford with ease, but allowed him to win.  Ford said that Hogan was his childhood hero.  The event was held in a room with a few dozen reporters, but it was taped and aired on a number of TV channels today in the area.  Story is at (thanks to Ben Hearsum)

--Regarding the discussion we had on Wednesday night on Eddie Alvarez's contract, he released a statement just saying it was a complicated settlement with many contingencies, which are all confidential and the settlement terms he said talked about were just speculation as they signed a 40 page contract.  he said he doesn't want people speculating on his terms because he just wants to concentrate on his fight.

--John Cena on Twitter posted a photo of his elbow and triceps after surgery.  He's saying that his target for a return is  WrestleMania, although privately people are talking about Royal Rumble, which is just under five months after the surgery, which would be pushing it slightly.

--An interview with Steve Austin is at:

--Prince Devitt was announced as having signed a five event deal with Wrestling.IE for shows in Ireland.  He debuts on 10/4 in Belfast at the Waterfront in an eight-man tournament to crown the first Wrestling.IE champion.

--Vince McMahon turns 68 tomorrow.  Happy birthday to him. 

--Yesterday would have been Sam Muchnick's 108th birthday, and it was also the birthday of former world champion Pat O'Connor, a St. Louis regular for decades, who was born on this day in 1924. 

--The Bella Twins are in Vancouver this past week taping an episode of the USA Network show "Psych."

--There is an article on Ken Doane, formerly Kenny Dykstra, who is now, at 27, a sophomore tight end and defensive end on the Nichols College football team, where he is studying sports management.  Article is at (thanks to Roy Lucier and Jim Wilson)

1929 - Dick Shikat beat Jim Londos in Philadelphia to win the NWA world heavyweight title (not the same NWA as in the 50s to the present)
1941 - Frank Sexton beat Wild Bill Longson to win the Pacific Coast title in San Francisco
1944 - Yvon Robvert beat Frank Sexton to win the Montreal version of the world title in Montreal
1944 - Sandor Szabo beat Dean Detton to win the Pacific Coast titel
1956 - Don & Red McIntyre beat Eddie Gossett (Eddie Graham) & Art Nelson to win the Georgia tag team title in Augusta
1961 - Whipper Billy Watson beat Gene Kiniski in Vancouver to win the British Empire title
1963 - Bearcat Wright beat Fred Blassie via count out in Los Angeles to win the WWA world title.  There was a great story here as Wright when the time was up, kept refusing to drop the title.  In one match, he double-crossed Blassie when he was supposed to lose.  He came to a small town a day or two later and his scheduled main event opponent hadn't shown up.  Across the ring was Gene LeBell.  Even though Wright was a 6-foot-7, 275 pound unbeaten heavyweight boxer in his younger days, he saw LeBell, got out of the ring, and drove to Arizona, never to return for a few years.  The promotion then announced Edouard Carpentier had beaten Wright for the title.
1974 - In a mask vs. title match, Mr. Wrestling II beat Buddy Colt to win the Georgia title in Atlanta
1975 - The Masked Invaders (Rocky Montero & Kurt Von Steiger) beat Pat Patterson & Moondog Mayne to win the world tag team titles in San Francisco
1977 - The Masked Medics won the U.S. tag team titles from Porkchop Cash & Mike George in Shreveport
1979 - Paul Jones &  Baron Von Raschke beat Blackjack Mulligan & Ric Flair to win the world tag team titles
1980 - Wahoo McDaniel beat Tully Blanchard in San Antonio to win the Southwest title
1982 - Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Don Kernodle & Jim Nelson to win the Mid Atlantic tag team titles in Toronto
1983 - Marty Jones & Clive Myers beat Fit Finlay & Skull Murphy (not the U.S. wrestler of the same name) in Lincoln, UK to wij the World of Sport tag team tournament
1986 - Dump Matsumoto & Bull Nakano beat The Crush Gals, Chigusa Nagayo & Kazue Nagahori (subbing for injured Lioness Asuka) to win theWWWA tag titels and Yukari Omori beat Devil Masami to win the WWWA title in Kawasaki
1991 - The Patriot beat Al Perez to win the GWF North American title i Dallas
1993 - Jeff Jarrett beat Vampire Warrior (Gangrel) to wi the Southern titel and Miss Texas (Jacqueline) beat Luna Vachon to win the USWA women's title in Memphis
1993 -Masa Fuchi beat Dan Kroffat in Shizuoka to win the All Japan jr.title
1998 - Chigusa Nagayo beat Devil Masami in Tokyo to win the Gaea title and Aja Kong & Mayumi Ozaki beat Sugar Sato & Chigayo Nagashima to win the Gaea tag team title
1999 - Barry & Kendall Windham beat Harlem Heat to win the WCW tag titles in Las Vegas
1999 - HHH beat Mankind to win the WWF title on Raw in Ames, IA
1999 - Hayabusa beat Yukihiro Kanemura to win the FMW World Brass Knux title

--Jonathan Coachman appeared on "Mike and Mike" this morning on ESPN radio answering twitter questions on WWE.  (thanks to Adam Silverman)

Excellent 20.7%
Good 31.9%
Average 16.4%
Fair 8.0%
Poor 23.0%
 48.6% of those responding didn't see the show

Daniel Bryan 66.0%
C.M. Punk 14.1%
HHH 6.2%
The Shield 6.0%
Stephanie McMahon 3.1%
John Cena 1.9%
Paul Heyman 1.7%
Vince McMahon 0.5%
Big Show 0.4%

SummerSlam 79.4%
UFC 164 Henderson vs. Pettis 20.6%

Excellent 19.1%
Good 50.5%
Average 18.0%
Fair 4.2%
Poor 8.2%
 7.0% of those responding didn't see the show

--The correct link for a story on Mick Foley appearing in Jacksonville Sunday night is

--Shine iPPV at 9 p.m. Eastern time tonight at from Ybor City, FL

*Rain defends Shine title against winner of a No. 1 contenders three-way between Jessicka Havok vs. Mia Yim vs. Ivelisse Velez
*Amazing Kong vs. Mercedes Martinez
*Angelina Love vs. Shanna
*Leva Bates vs. Christina Von Eerie
*Santana Garrett vs. Brandi Wine
*Tracy Taylor & Su Yung vs. Nikki Roxx & Solo Darling
*Kimberly vs. Kimber Lee

--XFC on 9/6 in Albuquerque on ASX at 10 p.m. Eastern is headliend by Stephanie Eggink (3-1) vs. Angela Magana (11-5) for the 115 pound women's title and Dheigo Lima (8-1) vs. Ricky rainey (7-1) ffor the welterweight title.

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?