TUES UPDATE: More from Raw, costumed characters, Striker talks announcing rules in WWE, Bellator finale falls apart, Jay Briscoe update, 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 Saturday night's UFC 164, so you can leave 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

We're looking for reports from tonight's WWE Smackdown/Main Event tapings in Minneapolis.  You can send reports to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or text them as they are going on to 408-218-6562.

We're also looking for reports on these weekend events:

*WWE Sunday in Washington, DC

*TNA Saturday in Woodstock, VA

*TNA Friday in Hagerstown, MD

Wednesday is a big UFC day with a live card (third in eight days plus the debut of the Rousey/Tate TUF season), with FS 1 coverage from 4 p.m. to midnight.

Facebook fight at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time

Sean Spencer vs. Yuri Villefort

FS 1 fights at 5 p.m.

Ivan Jorge vs. Keith Wisniewski

Elias Silverio vs. Joao Zeferino

Ramiro Hernandez vs. Lucas Martins

Felipe Arantes vs. Edmilson Souza

Ali Bagautinov vs. Marcos Vinicius

Rafael Natal vs. Tor Troeng

Piotr Hallmann vs. Francisco Trinaldo

Joseph Benavidez vs. Jussier Formiga da Silva

Glover Teixeira vs. Ryan Bader

         It's a big week of Observers with a double issue on the site as well as the new back issue on the site which covers the life and career of Dick Murdoch, as well as one of WCW's best-ever PPV shows on its road to growth.

 
        It's kind of a West Texas week, with both the story of Murdoch, as well as the story of Don "The Lawman" Slatton, one of the most colorful figures of the 60s and 70s, known for being the greatest practical joker of his time with the classic story of Jack Brisco and the Governor.
 
        The lead story in the new issue looks at the biggest stars in boxing, MMA and pro wrestling, and thus far in 2013, comparing where they stand from 2012.  Who gained by losing.  Who lost by losing.  Who doesn't get pushed to the level of their popularity.  Some interesting notes in this one.
 
        We also talk about what will be one of the biggest shows in Mexican wrestling history, the CMLL's 80th anniversary show coming up on 9/13 at Arena Mexico.
 
        We look at the HHH interview in Grantland with comments on a lot of subjects, including Vince McMahon, Steve Austin, Wade Keller, Bruce Mitchell, Brock Lesnar, buffer matches, match orders, wrestling reporters, Mick Foley, chair shots to the head, Japanese death matches, developmental, Sly Stallone, a physical Hall of Fame, and even Damien Sandow.  A lot of different topics are broached here.
 
        We also have notes on WrestleMania 32, Bill Goldberg talks what he has and hasn't agreed to regarding WWE and his thoughts on Ryback and Undertaker, what wrestling movie project WWE has turned down, an interesting note on Night of Champions on PPV, update on the show, Ted DiBiase talks leaving WWE and his background and a look back at his WWE run, planned key house show programs, wrestlers appearing on USA Network show, lots of TV work by former WWE star, who was the mystery guy in Total Divas chasing Nattie Neidhart, SummerSlam gambling and what was different from recent shows, update on Rey Mysterio, Jerry Lawler's affinity for Batman, WWE NXT tapings notes, new signings, new names, return to Mexico, Best of MSG DVD, Jim Ross U.K. talk show stories, Sammy Zayn vs. Antonio Cesaro 2/3 falls, as well as business notes from the past week and highlights from all the house shows.  
 
        We also have a feature on the greatest heavyweight rivalry on the current MMA scene Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos as they prepare for their October match.  We look at what is holding both back from being considered all-time legends, their amazing records in fights not against each other, personality differences, MMA in the U.S. vs. Brazil, something Velasquez believes is a significant edge for him in fight No. 3.
 
        We also note the rosters for the new season of Ultimate Fighter.
 
        We've got a major feature on Don "The Lawman" Slatton, one of the most colorful wrestling figures of the 60s, including the questions regarding the night he either did or didn't try to steal the world title from Harley Race in a chain match, the story of that match that has gone down in wrestling folklore, West Texas wrestling, where he first gained national recognition, his most famous practical jokes, and wrestling in Abilene.
 
        We also look at the WWE July business notes including the big unanswered question involving the Money in the Bank numbers, as well as attendance, DVD shipments and more.
 
        Plus we've got an updated look on how Raw, Smackdown and Impact are doing as a trend as compared to a year ago.  We look at what is a notable continuing trend regarding viewership of pro wrestling in 2013 as compared to 2012.
 
        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:
 
--An interesting story to watch regarding an arena and which promotion they ally with.
 
--The latest from Arena Mexico
 
--A new member of a famous wrestling family makes his major arena debut
 
--A look at the first night of the Champion of Champions tournament
 
--Hiroshi Tanahashi in Mexico
 
--Major wrestling star gets sentenced to more than seven years in prison for assault
 
--Open the Dream Gate title changes again
 
--Company looks to have dropped iPPV after its biggest event
 
--All Japan's first major show after Keiji Muto era is over
 
--The reaction and changes on the way
 
--A look back at the first main event in All Japan history
 
--The end of the three-belt Triple Crown
 
--Upcoming big All Japan shows
 
--Naomichi Marufuji's 15th anniversary show
 
--What world title feud was teased at the show
 
--Okada vs. Ibushi notes
 
--Notes on the debut of Wrestle-1
 
--Legends promotion unique main event with stars of 80s New Japan
 
--A special show in December to honor the 50th anniversary of the death of one of the biggest wrestling names in history
 
--Sting makes his debut in Puerto Rico on the Anniversary show
 
--Ric Flair talks with Steve Austin and the real story of the night Bruiser Brody was killed
 
--Why Jose Gonzalez eventually worked for Bruiser Brody's best friend in Puerto Rico
 
--What wrestler was always against it
 
--Ric Flair's fondness for Wahoo McDaniel
 
--Flair talks greatest tag teams he ever saw
 
--Boxing champ and UFC Hall of Famer both talk about getting into pro wrestling
 
--A retirement match for one of the 80s best workers
 
--Update on former WWE star now playing college football this season
 
--Youngest U.S. Olympic wrestler passes away
 
--Damien Darling talks relationship with Tammy Sytch
 
--More notes on a wrestling movie that is being released in December for Academy Award recognition
 
--First local promotion to get TV in Quebec since International Wrestling
 
--Update on Jake Roberts
 
--Update on Gypsy Joe
 
--Changes talked about in ROH
 
--Next ROH shows and year's biggest show
 
--Update on A.J. Styles contract situation
 
--The mess that the Bound for Glory tournament turned into
 
--Tara talks leaving TNA and if she'll come back
 
--Departure of SoCal Val
 
--A look at Hulk Hogan's comments at his Q&A in Toronto
 
--Hogan and Bischoff talk 90s angles
 
--Hogan admits where he got his schtick from
 
--Bischoff says he's learned a lot
 
--Notes on next taped TNA PPV show
 
--Notes on Wanderlei Silva interview
 
--Update on the health of Stefan Struve
 
--Lots of notes on how FS 1 is doing
 
--How the first boxing show did
 
--Lots of new UFC fights
 
--Notes on Cerrone arrest
 
--Blow away notes on the first UFC on FS 1
 
--What this says about the UFC's fan base
 
--Boston politics regarding minors attending  MMA shows
 
--My thoughts on the new law
 
--UFC injury updates
 
--Bellator PPV notes
 
--Bjorn Rebney talks Ben Askren's contract situation
 
--Notes on Bellator's first few shows of he new season
 
--Former UFC fighter arrested twice in the same week in his attempt to beat Tammy  Sytch's records
 
--Cris Cyborg tries new sport on TV
 
 
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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.
 

Today's News, Notes and Links

-- We've got a great interview with Awesome Kong AKA Kharma up on the front page right now with tons of stories from Japan, TNA, the time Bryan Danielson gave her a bloody nose and changed her perspective on the business, and more. If you're a subscriber, click hereto check it out.

-- Steve, who was at Raw last night, has an update on the costumed characters that distracted everyone during the Randy Orton match: The story coming out on what happened with the chants/security issue is a bit murky, so I thought I'd shed some light on what actually happened. To start this off, I was in attendance for Mania weekend and the RAW the following night. This is important, because the original reason the fans were giving Sheamus and Orton a hard time that night was due to all of the rest holds and typical Orton style, which was boring beyond belief. This resulted in the classic chants from that RAW, courtesy of some insane European fans in the risers. (Same fans responsible for the Fandango chants.) Flash forward to last night: I was in attendance, sitting on the floor, about 8 rows back. Randy was hitting his lame rest holds and the crowd was clearly bored, so I said fuck it, and decided to start the Randy Savage chant. The chant built and caught on quickly and was pretty damn audible on TV. The guys who were dressed as the wrestlers at ringside (a few rows away from me) eventually stood up and started hamming it up for the crowd, acknowledging the chants, which gained even more steam. The crowd was into it, and started cheering for Jake Roberts, and woo-ing for Ric Flair, there was also more of this going on during the commercial breaks. Security saw this, hit the barriers and aggressively told the costumed fans to knock it off. It didn't appear as though there was panic in the back or that anyone had issue with the chants, it seemed as though it was more so the fact that these guys were posing on the hard camera side, where the television audience could clearly see them distracting the live crowd. Just my two cents. Randy didn't appear to be too happy with it either. For what it's worth, after the dark match, CM Punk did come by and acknowledge the costumed characters. He seemed to get a kick out of it.

-- Matt Striker talks WWE announcing here. He says no words are banned by WWE but some aren't used. Like you can't call a WWE Title belt a belt. Why? Because a belt is what holds up your pants, and fans WILL BE CONFUSED if you say two guys are fighting for a belt, because they'll ask themselves why two guys are fighting for a clothing accessory that holds your pants up. You think I'm joking.

-- You can check out his debut for Championship Wrestling from Hollywood here.

-- Punk beat Axel in a no-DQ non-title match after Raw.

-- Various WWE stars react to the firing of Cody Rhodes here. As noted on Observer Radio last night, he's leaving on a planned hiatus to get married and go on a honeymoon but apparently there isn't a lot of communication within creative so it ended up a rush job last night.

-- Also, new Raw Backstage Fallout here.

-- Well, this is unfortunate. After completing the entire season of the Fight Master reality show, the Joe Riggs vs. Mike Bronzoulis welterweight finale is off this Saturday's show after Riggs suffered an eye injury in training.

-- ROH announced that Jay Briscoe will appear at the September 20th Death Before Dishonor show to present the ROH title belt, which he still has possession of, to the winner of the tournament.

-- New fun Y2J interview on The LAW here.

-- From the booking agent: Dallas Page (DDP) was promoted for two events, October 4-5, 2013, in Columbus, IN (Foundation For Youth Building 812-348-4558) & Indianapolis, IN (TC Howe High School 317-217-1980) for Pro Wrestling Elite & Fighting Spirit Wrestling www.fightingspiritpro.com. Dallas was confirmed on July 18, 2013 through Show Business, Inc and SBI Bookings and a deposit & flight fee was required to promote him. No deposit nor flight fee was received so promoters were given until September 1, 2013. Neither promoter sent deposit nor flight fee by that date after promising to do so. Accordingly, the bookings for Dallas Page were canceled and he will not be at either event. If anyone bought tickets because Dallas Page was promoted by these promotions please contact Pro Wrestling Elite (Robert Davis This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 812-374-8639) and/or Fighting Spirit Pro (James This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 209-910-3377). Dallas Page and I regret that he will not be at these events for the reasons noted. Both events are still being promoted at this time without Dallas Page.

-- AJ Lee got a new tattoo on the back of her neck which is the day, month and year she won the WWE Divas Title for the first time. She's been a massive fan since childhood and WWE has video of her as a little girl crying when meeting Lita at a signing.

-- There is a Ronda Rousey special on FS1 tonight at 10 Eastern. To say Rousey is concerned about how she will come across on the show is an understatement. She's preparing for the worst and noted that she wouldn't do a season again if they paid her $10 million.

-- Since people are asking about it, don't read anything into the new WWE Hell in a Cell poster with R-Truth on it. It's just a poster.

-- Just a quick note if you're trying to search for it, the name of the show Konnan, Court Bauer and MSL are doing is "MLW Radio", not "Major League Radio".

-- Impact did a 1.0 and 1.2 million viewers this week.

-- Paul Lazenby is a guest on the Steve Austin show here. Lazenby has worked as Austin's stuntman on a number of films.

-- WHO SHOULD ANTHONY PETTIS FIGHT NEXT?
T.J. Grant 35.3%
Jose Aldo 26.3%
Benson Henderson 10.8%
Gilbert Melendez 10.8%
Frankie Edgar 7.8%
Josh Thomson 6.6%
Khabib Nurmagomedov 1.8%
Rafael dos Anjos 0.6%

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS SEASON'S ULTIMATE FIGHTER?
Will give it a try this week and then decide 27.5%
Never watch the show 25.5%
Stopped watching in the past, not watching 23.5%
Stopped watching in the past, planning to be watching this season 19.5%
Watched last season, don't get FS 1 2.5%
Would watch, Wednesday is a bad night 1.5%

POLL ON SUNDAY'S TOTAL DIVAS?
Excellent 24.4%
Good 32.2%
Average 17.8%
Fair 5.6%
Poor 20.0%
48.9% of those responding didn't see the show

WHICH FIGHT DO YOU HAVE THE MOST INTEREST IN?
Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva 32.7%
GSP vs. Johny Hendricks 21.4%
Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate 18.9%
Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva 8.9%
Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos 6.4%
Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 3.9%
Tito Ortiz vs. Rampage Jackson 3.9%
Michael Chandler vs. Eddie Alvarez 2.5%
King Mo vs. Emanuel Newton 0.7%
Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland 0.4%
Daniel Cormier vs. Roy Nelson 0.4%

WHO WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO SEE AGAINST UNDERTAKER AT WRESTLEMANIA?
Brock Lesnar 47.5%
John Cena 30.3%
Bray Wyatt 13.3%
The Rock 6.5%
Randy Orton 1.9%
HHH 0.6%

-- Ed, Cutrer and Craig talk the news of the week in pro-wrestling here.

-- Busy day in history according to Brian Hoops:

1944 - Earl Wampler defeated Ken Fenelon in Waterloo, Iowa to win the Iowa Heavyweight Championship.

1948 - Dave Levin defeated George Becker to win the California Heavyweight Title in Santa Monica, California.

1950 - Sandor Szabo defeated Terry McGinnis for the NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Title in Honolulu, Hawaii

1953 - Verne Gagne is awarded the first Chicago NWA United States Heavyweight Title in Chicago, Illinois.

1966 - The Destroyer (Guy Mitchell) defeated Bearcat Wright to win the International Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Title in Melbourne, Australia.

1969 - Ciclón Negro and Sam Steamboat defeated The Missouri Mauler and Hiro Matsuda for the NWA Florida Tag Team Title in Miami, Florida. At the same show, Beautiful Brutus (Bugsy McGraw) defeated Boris Malenko to win the NWA Florida Brass Knuckles Title.

1974 - Mariko Akagi and Jumbo Miyamoto won the WWWA World Tag Team Title in Hiroshima, Japan, defeating Panama Franco and Jackie West.

1976 - Dory Funk, Jr. defeated Dennis Stamp for the Amarillo NWA Brass Knuckles Title in Lubbock, Texas.

1976 - The Black Bombers (Porkchop Cash and Tom Jones) defeated The Valiant Brothers (Jimmy and Johnny) to win the NWA Georgia Tag Team Title in Atlanta, Georgia.

1976 - The Hangman defeated Chavo Guerrero for the NWA Americas Heavyweight Title

1979 - Mr. Fuji defeated Peter Maivia to win the New Zealand NWA British Empire Heavyweight Title in Auckland, New Zealand.

1980 - Barry Windham defeated The Super Destroyer for the NWA Florida Television Title in Miami, Florida.

1980 - Don Fargo and Robert Gibson defeated The Blond Bombers (Larry Latham and Wayne Ferris) for the NWA Mid-America Tag Team Title in Nashville, Tennessee.

1980 - Stanley Lane defeated Kevin Sullivan for the NWA Georgia Junior Heavyweight Title in Columbus, Georgia.

1982 - Bad New Allen defeated Bret Hart in Calgary, Alberta to win the Stampede North American Heavyweight Title

1982 - Tony Atlas defeated The Mongolian Stomper for the Southwest Championship Wrestling Southwest Brass Knuckles Title in Houston, Texas.

1984 - Genichiro Tenryu and Jumbo Tsuruta defeated Crusher Blackwell and Bruiser Brody in Hiroshima, Japan to win the vacant NWA International Tag Team Title in Hiroshima, Japan.

1984 - In Fort Worth, Texas.. Kerry and Kevin Von Erich defeated WCCW Six-Man Tag Team Champions The Fabulous Freebirds (Terry Gordy, Michael Hayes and Buddy Roberts) in a Handicap (due to Mike Von Erich being injured in his earlier match) Elimination Loser Leaves Town match to win the title. Also, WCCW Texas Brass Knuckles Champion Chris Adams defeated WCCW Television Champion Jake Roberts to win the title and WCCW Texas Heavyweight Champion Gino Hernandez defeated WCCW American Heavyweight Champion Mike Von Erich to win the title.

1984 - in Memphis, Tennessee, Jimmy Valiant defeated King Kong Bundy to win a one night tournament and a new Cadillac.

1987 - Ashura Hara and Genichiro Tenryu defeated Stan Hansen and Austin Idol to win AJPW's PWF World Tag Team Title in Nagoya, Japan.

1988 - The Beach Boys (Buddy Rose and Avalanche (PN News)) defeated The Southern Rockers (Steve Doll and Scott Peterson) for the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title in Portland, Oregon

1989 - The Great Muta defeated Sting to win the vacant NWA World Television Title in Atlanta, Georgia.

1990 - Jeff Gaylord and Jeff Jarrett defeated Chuck Casey (replacing Don Harris) and Brian Lee in Memphis, Tennessee for the vacant USWA Tag Team Title.

1993 - Ted DiBiase and Stan Hansen defeated Toshiaki Kawada and Akira Taue in Tokyo, Japan to win the AJPW Unified World Tag Team Title.

1993 - In Dallas, Texas.... Steven Dane and Chaz Taylor defeated The Sicilian Stallions (Guido Falcone and Vito Mussolini) to win the GWF Tag Team Title and King Parsons defeated Chris Adams by disqualification for the vacant GWF North American Heavyweight Title.

1996 - Bill and Jamie Dundee defeated The Moondogs (Rover and Spot) for the USWA Tag Team Title in Louisville, Kentucky.

-- New interview with Antonio the Promise Thomas here

-- CZW THIS SATURDAY in Dayton; Discounts & Matches for Sept 14 in NJ CZWrestling.com - VOD.CZWrestling.com - CZWiPPV.com Facebook.com/OfficialCZW - Twitter.com/CombatZone - YouTube.com/CZWnews

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Who do you think won this fight?