WED. UPDATE: Major UFC announcement, Reax to Ross, Former AWA star on trial, Major WWE star birthday, Star of Raw, TV show moves networks tonight, Wrestling talk show renewed, Early boxer vs. pro wrestler match
By Dave Meltzer |
Lots of TV tonight including Main Event on Ion at 8 p.m.
Kofi Kingston vs. Antonio Cesaro - Said to be really good
Titus O'Neil & Darren Young vs. Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal
R-Truth vs. Big E Langston
Tonight is the debut of UFC Tonight on FS 1, as well as at 10 p..m. will be the second episode of this season's Ultimate Fighter.
NXT is on Hulu.com tonight with a new episode
Enzo Amore & Colin Casaday vs. Scott Dawson & Alexander Rusev
Paige vs. Sasha Banks
Xavier Woods vs. Leo Kruger
A look at one of the biggest weeks of the yea, with the stories behind all of the major shows including WWE Night of Champions, the biggest PPV in six years from boxing, TNA's next event, New Japan and other big shows is the lead in this week's Observer.
We look at all the different shows including a look at Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Canelo Alvarez, thoughts on the biggest boxing events of the generation, records already set, buy rate and match predictions and where things go from here.
We also look at all the other big shows, including direction of New Japan and TNA, what makes this Night of Champions far more intriguing than a usual B show even though it's a two match show. We run down the card as well.
We also look at wrestling being brought back into the Olympics, the story behind it first being nixed and it coming back, what had to change and why, as well as a look at Tokyo getting the 2020 games and how it affects pro wrestling in Japan.
In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the debut of the world's longest lasting wrestling company of all-time, the former EMLL, now CMLL, we have a history feature.
We preview the Anniversary show and what led up to it, look at the careers of Atlantis, Ultimo Guerrero, Volador Jr. and La Sombra and how they got to one of the biggest matches in Mexican wrestling history. We look at how all of their careers have intertwined, the go-home match the week before the show, as well as the complete card.
We also go through a history of the anniversary show, from the beginning of the promotion, where the anniversary idea came from, the legends of Mexican history like El Santo, Blue Demon, Mil Mascaras, Gori Guerrero, Tarzan Lopez and more, as well as the stars from anniversary shows who went on to fame in the U.S. like Rito Romero, Blackie Guzman, Ruben Juarez, Raul Mata and Ray Mendoza.
We look at many of the biggest matches in the history of wrestling in Mexico, the original fame of the first Tiger Mask, big matches with 19-year-old Eddy Guerrero, the rise in fame of Perro Aguayo, 20-year old Negro Casas as a big star, attempts to bring in Ric Flair for big shows, the match where they changed the finish at the last minute, as well as a look at the wrestlers with the most anniversary sow main events.
We also look at Dwayne Johnson and WWE films, WWE's latest major hire, departure of head writer again, Cody Rhodes angle, Bray Wyatt's music, house show advertising, Jim Ross trivia, Middle East touring, Lanny Poffo talks Randy Savage and the Hall of Fame and who he thinks should induct Savage if he goes in, NXT wrestlers being used on tours, why Cena may be back on TV before January, Total Divas, a physical Hall of Fame, lots of Dolph Ziggler comments, behind the scenes at Total Divas, athletes who started from scratch in WWE system with no indie training, a look at NXT TV and Sami Zayn main events, plus all the weekend business notes as well as details from all the arena events.
We also look at this past week's UFC show from Brazil, as well as the ratings for that show as well as for Ultimate Fighter and a major reason few are talking about as part of the decline. We also have coverage of the show.
We also have an updated story on Matt Grice, the UFC fighter involved in an auto accident who is battling to recover after brain surgery.
We look at the debut of Keiji Muto's new Wrestle-1 show, as well as a look at the first show and the unique way it was promoted.
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 Raw and 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:
--A look at the Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Rush match for the Universal champion of champions tournament final
--Notes on AAA's next show honoring Antonio Pena
--Notes from this week's AAA TV taping
--Why all but one of the Dragon Gate titles is vacant and how they are filling them
--The change in hierarchy of All Japan that had been rumored is now official and who is in charge
--Some New Japan vs. NOAH matches upcoming
--A look at New Japan's end of the month PPV
--A rundown of this past week's New Japan iPPV show
--Wrestlers and MMA stars in movies
--A wrestling movie that is being talked about for potential major awards
--Update on WWC's Anniversary show as well as the first time Sting ever works in the country
--We look at who WWC is honoring and the biggest Puerto Rican star in wrestling on an international basis
--More on the Sting vs. Carlito build
--Wrestlers from all over the world congregate for the WWL weekend shows
--CMLL stars come to Los Angeles
--ROH weekend show rundowns
--Kurt Angle update
--Hulk Hogan talks a number of subjects
--Hulk's version of why he went to TNA
--Hulk's version of his power in creative
--Hulk's thoughts on who the top young stars in wrestling are
--Hogan talks Rampage and Tito and ratings
--Hulk talks his all-time favorite wrestlers
--Hulk talks why Hogan vs. Flair never happened at WrestleMania
--Hulk says who he wishes he could work with today
--TNA weekend house show notes
--UFC's 20th anniversary card coming together
--Is UFC losing interest with the casual audience and why?
--The story behind Miesha Tate and what Ronda Rousey didn't know or thought when Tate was brought on the show
--Dana White talks Dominick Cruz
--What FS 1 told Dana White after the first night on the station
--Why Sean Sherk retired
--The change in Nevada's policy on marijuana
--Pay records for the UFC show in Boston
--Fighter asked what percentage of fighters use PED's
--Tons of new UFC matches announced
--Update on Ben Askren's contract situation
--A look at this week's Bellator show
--A look at the retirement of Matt Riddle
--Latest on Mayhen Miller
--Megumi Fujii's retirement match
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.
WEDNESDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I have at least two shows today. We just did a show covering the departure of Jim Ross from WWE, and will have an interview with Konnan talking AAA coming to the U.S., boxing, and whatever other topics come up, as well as us running down the latest news.
--There is supposed to be a major announcement tonight as UFC Tonight moves to Wednesday night on FS 1. The show debuts on the station in its new weekly time slot of 7 p.m. Eastern and 4 p.m. Pacific. Dana White, Miesha Tate, Rashad Evans and Marc Ratner are guests. All-star panel today.
--Paul Heyman turned 48 today. I wonder if when he started that he'd still think he'd be a headline manager nearly three decades later.
--Life often imitates art. There are some very unhappy campers in WWE today over the Jim Ross thing but now it's like the TV angle is reality.
--The trial of former AWA star Buck Zumhofe on sexual misconduct with his daughter which was scheduled to start on 9/23 has been delayed to 12/6 in Kandiyohi County District Court in Wilmar, MN. A hearing was held Monday where a 24-year-old Wisconsin woman said that she traveled with Zumhofe's wrestling promotion in 2006 and 2007. She said she was 17 at the time, and awoke early one morning to find Zumhofe sexually touching her she slept on the floor of a motel room with wrestlers in the promotion. There was discussion as to whether her testimony will be allowed at the trial. She never reported it to authorities at the time. Zumhofe was released from jail in July on $50,000 bail. More is at http://www.wctrib.com/content/Zumhofe-trial-moved-december-testimony-heard-evidence#sthash.kp331deJ.dpuf
--Mauricio Shogun Rua vs. James Te Huna was announced for the 12/7 UFC show in Brisbane, Australia on the show headlined by Bigfoot Silva vs. Mark Hunt.
--Charles Oliveira will face Jeremy Larsen on the UFC show on 10/19 in Houston. Oliveira replaces Matt Grice, who is hospitalized in Norman, OK after brain surgery stemming from serious injuries in an auto accident on Sunday.
--Kevin Souza, who fought in last Wednesday's UFC show in Brazil, and beat Felipe Arantes, had surgery today for a really nasty broken hand.
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
Daniel Bryan 67.8%
Antonio Cesaro 2.7%
Paul Heyman 2.2%
Santino Marella 1.4%
Randy Orton 1.0%
Dean Ambrose 0.5%
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS REGARDING UFC 165?
Not getting it, won't be buying any UFCs the rest of this year 34.8%
Getting it, getting most UFC's the rest of this year 32.3%
Not getting it because not interested in Jones vs Gustafsson 10.6%
Not getting it because I don't think Gustafsson is a real challenge for Jones 8.7%
Getting it specifically for Jon Jones 5.0%
Not getting it because don't like the card 4.3%
Getting it because I specifically want to see Jones vs. Gustafsson 3.1%
Getting it because I like the overall card 1.2%
WHO SHOULD BE RANKED NO. 1 POUND FOR POUND?
Jon Jones 45.9%
Jose Aldo 5.8%
Anderson Silva 4.7%
Cain Velasquez 3.9%
Anthony Pettis 1.6%
Demetrious Johnson 0.8%
Chris Weidman 0.4%
Renan Barao 0.4%
WHO WINS THIS FIGHT?
Floyd Mayweather Jr. 80.8%
Canelo Alvarez 19.2%
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF RAW?
12.8% of those responding didn't see the show
--Fuse TV announced today that ICP Theater, which features ICP, Vampiro and Greg Valentine has been picked up for a second season. The final episode of the first season is at 11 p.m. tonight on Fuse.
--Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva airs tonight at 8 p.m. on FS 1, followed by a replay of the Ronda Rousey special at 9 p.m. and Ultimate Fighter at 10 p.m. The show features the two biggest women stars of the cast battling for first blood.
--Bully Ray in an interview promoting Impact tomorrow night in St. Louis talked about maybe doing a television divorce party on the show.
--Mick Foley appears in Hartford tonight at Funny Bone at 8:30 p.m. He also plays tomorrow night in East Providence, RI at the Comedy Connection at 8 p.m. and Friday night in Boston at Nick's Comedy Club at 8 p.m.
TODAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1933 - Australian champion Tom Lurich beat Whiskers Blake in Sydney before 10,000 fans, equaling the crowd drawn in the same venue by Strangler Lewis and Joe Stecher three years earlier. It was unusual for a native to be put over the American stars in those days, but Lurich became a big draw.
1959 - Ray Mendoza beat Dory Dixon in Guadalajara to win the NWA world light heavyweight title
1967 - Fritz & Waldo Von Erich beat Brute Bernard & Mike Paidousis in Fort Worth to win the American tag team title
1973 - Toru Tanaka & Mr. Fuji beat Tony Garea & Haystacks Calhoun in Philadelphia to win the WWWF tag team title
1976 - Wahoo McDaniel beat Ric Flair in Greenville, SC to win the Mid Atlantic title
1978 - The Destroyer beat Mil Mascaras in a famous battle of the two biggest masked stars in Japan to win the U.S. title and designation as King of Masked Men in Morioka, Japan
1993 - Ultratumbita beat Ultimo Dragoncito in Mexico City to win the CMLL minis title
1994 - Apolo Dantes beat Javier Llanes in Mexico City to win the CMLL middleweight title
1995 - Brian Christopher beat Billy Jack Haynes in Memphis to win the Southern title
1997 - A celebration of 50 years of Funk before 4,000 fans in Amarillo saw WWF champion Bret Hart beat Terry Funk in Terry Funk's retirement match. Stop laughing, I was there. They filmed Beyond the Mat that week including Dennis Stamp getting to referee the main event.
--Hall of Famer Ray Steele passed away on this day in 1949 at the age of 50. Steele was in one of the first boxer vs. pro wrestler shoot matches in the 30s, which he won in less than one minute. Mike Shaw, best known for playing Makhan Singh in Calgary and Norman the Lunatic in WCW, passed away three years ago today at the age of 59. He was also Bastion Booger and Friar Ferguson in WWF.
--559 Fights return tomorrow night in Tulare, CA at the Tulare County Fair with local fighters in a cruiserweight tournament.
--Evolve 23 on 9/21 in Ridgewood, Queens, NY at the Guzman Sports Lounge has Josh Alexander vs. Biff Busick vs. Maxwell Chicago vs. Andrew Everett and Lince Dorado vs. Drew Gulak vs. Shane Strickland vs. Mr. Touchdown in four-ways as part of a Style Battle tournament. The winners face off the next night at The Brooklyn Lyceum in Brooklyn.
--Andrew Garvey has a novel about a wrestler in the 1890s battling a vampire in London at http://amzn.to/15TMB2
--Bellator weigh-ins are tomorrow at 5 p.m. at the Cabaret Lounge at the Pechanga Resort in Temecula, CA at 8 p.m. Eastern time. It will be streamed live at www.Bellator.com
--ROH has forced Matt Taven and Jay Lethal off the FWE iPPV on 10/12 because they are under contract. ROH contracts prohibit talent from appearing on iPPV or television with anther company.
--There will be a convention at the Hudson Valley Hotel in Newburgh NY on 9/22 from Noon to 3 p.m. with Tommy Dreamer, Brooke Tessmacher, Ron Simmons, Joey Styles, Rikishi, and Jillian Hall.
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Virgo & Black Metal b Magnum & Ebola, Nitro & Malefico b Magnus & Leo, Tiffany & Amapola & Princesa Sugei b Estrellita & Goya Kong & Dalis la Caribena, Brazo de Plata & Maximo & Valiente b Dragon Rojo Jr. & Vangelis & Rey Escorpion, Atlantis & La Sombra & Blue Panther b Volador Jr. & Averno & Mephisto-DQ
--European featherweight Daniel Weichel has signed with Bellator. The promotion announced Weichel would debut in the next featherweight tournament.