SUN. UPDATE: WWE house show notes, Rousey TV special, Riggs comeback, Lesnar vs. Rock, Goldberg, Hogan, Rhodes, Magnus, Boxing champ wants to be pro wrestling world champ
By Dave Meltzer |
We're looking for reports on today's WWE house shows in Ontario, CA and Rio Rancho, MN, as well as last night's shows from San Diego and Las Cruces, NM at
Total Divas airs on E! tonight at 10 p.m.
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 Tuesday 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 took place, 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 differing 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 Champions, 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 from many people around him, more on the heat on Sin 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 WrestleMania finishes as well as the Reddit guy.
We also have notes on C.M. Punk's reaction to Ryan Braun, WWE video sales, 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.
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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 responses
--Dana White talks Ben Askren
--UFC fighter fired after burglary conviction
--Rousey talks Miesha Tate and Bryan Caraway
--UFC thinking about creating a regional circuit
--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)
*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)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*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)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
*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..
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
--Bryan and I will be back tonight for Wrestling Observer radio talking all the weekend news. We'll also be taking e-mail questions sent to
--Some major events upcoming on Fox Sports 1. UFC 148 airs from 7-10 p.m. tonight. That's the second Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen card. Countdown to UFC 164 airs tomorrow night from 10-11 p.m. against the third hour of Raw. Spike always did well with those shows at 11 p.m. Mondays. Wednesday is a live show from Indianapolis with Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann. UFC 164 prelims are 8-10 p.m. Saturday night before the PPV. A week from tomorrow is a one hour special at 8 p.m. called "Breaking Ground with Ronda Rousey" to help build the debut of Ultimate Fighter a week from Wednesday. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--The WWE show in San Diego last night was the same show as in Fresno the night before with Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan ending with The Shield interfering for the title-saving DQ as the main event. (thanks to Garry Kamansky)
--The Las Cruces show, which would be the same as today's Rio Rancho show, had C.M. Punk over Curtis Axel in a non-title match as the main event. Paul Heyman is on the tour. Christian also worked with Alberto Del Rio.
--The move of UFC Tonight from Fuel/FS 2 to FS 1 will be on 9/11, because the next two Wednesdays are live UFC events on FS 1. UFC Tonight will be part of a block with the new season of Ultimate Fighter.
--ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
1967 - Skull Murphy & Killer Kowalski beat Red Bastien & Mario Milano in Sydney to win the IWA tag titles
1970 - Johnny Walker & Tojo Yamamoto beat The Masked Interns to win the Southern tag team titles in Memphis
1970 - Skandor Akbar & Buddy Colt beat Bill Dromo & Alberto Torres to win the Macon tag team titles
1984 - The Road Warriors beat Crusher & Baron Von Raschke in Las Vegas to win the AWA tag titles
1984 - The Crush Gals (Chigusa Nagayo & Lioness Asuka) beat Jumbo Hori & Yukari Omori to win the WWWA tag titles
1991 - Sting beat Steve Austin in the finals of the tournament for the U.S. title in Atlanta
1995 - 2 Cold Scorpio beat Eddy Guerrero to win the ECW TV title in Jim Thorpe, PA
1996 - Original Tiger Mask & Yoji Anjo beat Abdullah the Butcher & Daikokubo Benkei in Yokohama to win the TPW tag titles
1997 - Taka Michinoku beat El Satanico in Puebla to win the FMW/Michinoku Pro Independent jr. title
1999 - Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa beat Yoshihiro Takayama & Takao Omori to win the All Japan tag titles in Hiroshima
2002 - Brock Lesnar beat The Rock at SummerSlam to become the youngest WWE version world champion in history at the Nassau Coliseum. Rob Van Dam beat Chris Benoit for the IC title on the same show.
WHAT SEPTEMBER SHOW ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO?
WWE Night of Champions 63.6%
UFC 165 17.9%
New Japan Kobe 12.1%
ROH Death Before Dishonor 6.4%
WHY WERE DOMESTIC BUYS SO FAR UP FOR MONEY IN THE BANK?
A series of good shows increased buys 44.7%
Far more interest in MITB matches 31.9%
People wanted to see Cena vs. Henry due to Henry's promo 23.4%
WHY WERE INTERNATIONAL BUYS SO FAR DOWN FOR MONEY IN THE BANK?
Lessening of interest in WWE overseas 51.0%
People didn't want to see Cena vs. Henry 29.2%
Far less interest in MITB matches 13.5%
A series of good shows didn't make a difference 6.3%
IF YOU WATCHED LAST SATURDAY'S UFC, ARE YOU WATCHING ON WEDNESDAY?
Yes, will watch a free UFC show 50.0%
Yes, good main event with Condit vs. Kampmann 23.8%
No, Wednesday night is a bad night for me 8.8%
No, only watched UFC to see Sonnen 8.8%
Yes, like Wednesday's card 6.3%
No, Saturday was a good card, this one isn't 2.5%
POLL ON SMACKDOWN
37.8% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON MAIN EVENT
62.8% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON FIGHT MASTER
72.8% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON IMPACT
36.4% of those responding didn't see the show
WILL HENDERSON VS. PETTIS BEAT 275,000 BUYS
Will be right at that number 20.5%
--Hulk Hogan made page one yesterday of BILD, one of the biggest newspapers in Germany. They talked about how Hogan was washed up because he couldn't even beat Toronto mayor Rob Ford in an arm wrestling match. Yes, they thought it was real.
--Cody Rhodes will be speaking at Thunderbird High School in Phoenix tomorrow before Raw.
--Jim Ross is in the U.K. this week doing a series of speeches around the country to sold out audiences with the exception of tickets available still in Manchester on Monday at the Comedy Store.
--Magnus was in the U.K. this weekend hosting a World's Strongest Man type TV show.
--SMASH All women's wrestling and a free viewing of WWE Night of Champions on 9/15 at The E-Zone in Toronto at 120 North Queen St. Live matches are 5 p.m. All tickets for the live show and WWE screening are $15.
--Extreme Wrestling League on 8/29 in Oshawa, ONT at the Octaviens Hall
--Riddick Bowe, 46, the former world heavyweight boxing champion, wants to get into pro wrestling saying he wants to become the first person ever to hold both the world heavyweight boxing and pro wrestling title.
--Squared Circle Live at 6 p.m. at the Class Act Dinner Theater in Whitby, ONT. They will screen a Michael Elgin vs. Colt Cabana DVD at 5:35 p.m. and then have a show at 6 p.m. with Matt Morgan, Tyson Dux and Jimmy Korderas.
--WWE will have a Smackdown TV taping on 10/29 in Tampa at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
--John Tovar is looking for help from historians for an August 25, 1984 show promoted by Southwest Championship Wrestling called ""The Event IV" with the Zambuie Express vs. Sheepherders and Rock & Roll Express vs. Fabulous Blonds, looking for results, attendance and gate at
--Lucha Xtreme TV from last night in Fresno: Brian Tannen b Jessie Richards, Mike Rayne & Zero b Marcus Eriks & Crimson Plague, Wiseguy b Al Azar.
--In Your Face Wrestling on 11/9 in Ballston Spa, NY at the Community Center.
--Great Lakes Championshp Wrestling on 10/14 at Turners Hall in Milwaukee.
--Angelina Love will join Ted DiBiase (Sr.) and Tommy Dreamer on 11/1 to 11/3 in Winnipeg for the Central Canadian ComicCon at the CWE booth.
--SHINE on 9/27 in Ybor City, FL at the Orpheum for a 9 p.m. show