TUES UPDATE: Big anniversary, notes on last night's much-talked-about AJ promo, Total Divas viewership, WWE offering $100,000 in grants, tons more
By Bryan Alvarez |
We're looking for reports from tonight's Smackdown and Main Event show in Las Vegas at
If you are in the arena you can text us results as it goes on to 408-218-6562
We're also looking for reports on the weekend house shows in Rio Rancho, NM, Las Cruces, NM and San Diego to
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.
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.
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
You can also order by paypal by sending to www.paypal.com
and directing the funds to
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:
--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:
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
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
-- 42 years ago today was the famous Blassie-Tolos match at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum which still holds the state's all-time wrestling attendance record.
-- There were people in WWE -- a lot of them, actually, including the announcers -- obviously raving about AJ's promo last night. Obviously, it was all being shot as part of the next season (well, the continuation of season 1 with six additional episodes) of Total Divas. There were cameras filming an angle backstage, the promo and the girls' reactions, and it'll lead to an AJ vs. Total Divas cast member at Night of Champions, also to be filmed for the E! show.
-- Total Divas did 1.46 million viewers this week, a very good number going head-to-head with the VMA's, which did over 10 million. I attribute all of this to Ariane.
-- Big Show, Mark Henry and RVD beat the Shield in a six-man after Raw went off the air Monday night.
-- Last night's Raw Backstage Fallout is here.
-- Pat Curran vs. Daniel Straus has been added to the November 2nd Bellator PPV for the 145-pound title.
-- From WWE: The Creative Coalition and WWE, co-founders of the Be a STAR (Show Tolerance and Respect) anti-bullying initiative, announced today the first-ever Be a STAR grant program that will allocate $100,000 in grants. Four $25,000 grants will be awarded to qualified non-profit public charities that have programs focused on developing and implementing anti-bullying programs. Be a STAR is an anti-bullying initiative co-founded in 2011 by The Creative Coalition and WWE. Its mission is to encourage young people to treat each other with tolerance and respect through grassroots efforts beginning with education and awareness. WWE, its Superstars and The Creative Coalition leverage the power of The Creative Coalition’s entertainment industry constituencies and WWE’s global brand and platforms to help eradicate the bullying epidemic plaguing today’s youth. Applications for the grant program are due by Friday, November 1, 2013. For the full grant application please click here. All 501(c)(3) organizations with programs focused around anti-bullying are eligible to apply. Grantees will be formally announced in early 2014.
-- New Lex Luger interview here.
-- Zack Gowen interview up here.
-- Stevie J has footage of Martin Kampmann shootin some hoopsbefore his fight tomorrow night.
-- John writes: I thought you and your readers might find this kind of interesting: according to NorthAmericanWrestlingRankings.blogspot.com, which started keeping track of wrestlers’ records and ranking them as of Nov. 2006, when Alberto Del Rio defeated Christian on the 8/23/13 episode of Raw it was his 100th televised singles win! That makes him only the 10th wrestler to reach this milestone, behind only C.M. Punk, John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Kane, Jeff Hardy, Kofi Kingston, Big Show, and Mark Henry. Also, Del Rio reached the century mark in the shortest time of any wrestler: approx. 3 years and 3 days since his first televised WWE match. This beats Sheamus’ approx 3 years, 1 month, and 3 days to win his 100th. Next in line is the Miz with 98 victories and Dolph Ziggler, with 96 wins as of 8/27/13.
-- NO ONE LIVES with Brodus Clay is out on Blu-Ray and DVD today.
-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:
1965 - Nick Kozak & Dick Steinborn defeated Billy Hines & Bad Boy Hines to win the Southern Tag Team Title in Atlanta, Georgia.
1974 - Ernie Baker defeated Ox Baker to win the Heavyweight Title in Atlanta, Georgia.
1990 - The Hart Foundation defeated Demolition (Smash & Crush) in a two out of three falls match to win the WWF World Tag Team Title. Also, Kerry Von Erich defeated Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig to win the WWF Intercontinental Title in Philadelphia, PA.
1990 - The Snowman is stripped of the USWA Unified Heavyweight Title after no-showing a title defense.
1994 - In Philadelphia, PA; Shane Douglas defeated 2 Cold Scorpio to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title in a tournament final, but threw it down and proclaimed himself the first ECW World Heavyweight Champion. Cactus Jack & Mikey Whipwreck (subbing for Terry Funk) defeated The Public Enemy to win the ECW World Tag Team Championship.
1995 - Bertha Faye defeated Alundra Blayze to win the WWF Women's Title in Pittsburgh, PA.
-- WHAT RATING DO YOU EXPECT RAW TO DO?
2.6 or less 8.4%
3.6 or more 2.2%
WHO WAS THE MOST COMPLETE MODERN PRO WRESTLING STAR?
Ric Flair 39.0%
Shawn Michaels 17.2%
Steve Austin 14.4%
Randy Savage 9.3%
The Rock 6.1%v Bret Hart 4.7%
Kenta Kobashi 4.7%
Jumbo Tsuruta 1.2%
Mitsuharu Misawa 1.2%v Keiji Muto 1.0%
Hiroshi Tanahashi 0.8%
WHO IS THE BEST OF THESE MMA FIGHTERS AT PRO WRESTLING?
Katsuyori Shibata 51.9%
Josh Barnett 17.6%
Kazushi Sakuraba 14.2%
Bobby Lashley 8.3%v Rampage Jackson 8.0%
-- Jessica Eye on the MMADUDEBRO Podcast here.
-- Matt Striker on Pro Wrestling 101 with Justin Credible here. Striker talks about pro-wrestling like he's teaching a math class, it's awesome.
-- Tennessee Takeover Friday, September 6, 2013 Nashville, TN Fairground Sports Arena 625 Smith Avenue. Doors open for VIP Meet & Greet at 5:00 PM
-- NWA FU Presents: Throwdown 6 Saturday August 31 Doors 7:00pm Belltime 7:30pm Sports Center Tampa Bay 7235 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, Florida 33634 General Admission is $10 in advance and $15 the day of the show. Front Row VIP tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the show
-- GLORY, the world’s premier kickboxing league, today announced the full fight card for Glory 10 Los Angeles, featuring a one-night, four-man, Middleweight World Championship Tournament, live from the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California on Saturday, September 28th. GLORY’s Middleweight World Championship Tournament pits #1 ranked contender Artem “The Lion” Levin (45-3-1, 33 KOs) of Russia against Jason Wilnis (19-2-1, 4 KOs) of the Netherlands, and pride of England, Stephen “The Surgeon” Wakeling (37-4-1, 17 KOs) against hometown favorite Joe Schilling (14-4-0, 10 KOs). Headlining Glory 10 Los Angeles is a Heavyweight match-up between Pride and Strikeforce MMA star Sergei Kharitonov (19-5, 9 KOs MMA/3-3, 3 KOs Kickboxing) and southpaw knock out artist Jérôme Le Banner (90-20-2, 70 KOs). The co-main event showcases fast paced Lightweight action, as world #2 contender Robin van Roosmalen (29-5, 19 KOs) tests himself against the heavy hands of Swiss strikerShemsi Beqiri (72-8, 31 KOs).
-- UWA Wrestling returns August 29th after their big free event for another night of HUGE wrestling action. Some of the best in professional wrestling in the southeast and you dont want to miss it! Alcohol is served but event is for all ages and security will be in place Address: 940 Blackstock Ave in Knoxville, TN. Belltime is 7:30 PM and Tickets are $6 while children 6 and under are free