FRI UPDATE: Huge weekend schedule, Tate/Rousey ratings, Raw angle on NXT, best De La Riva counter ever, Flair in rap video plus original promo, tons more

By Bryan Alvarez | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @bryanalvarez

A ton of stuff this weekend. We will be doing polls on the CMLL show tonight, New Japan late tonight and WWE Night of Champions on Sunday, 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 also looking for live reports from all the listed shows except the CMLL anniversary show and WWE PPV.

We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE house show in East Lansing, MI which features Daniel Bryan, Big Show, RVD, The Miz and The Shield.

The CMLL 80th anniversary show (full details in the current issue of the Observer) airs live and free tonight at starting at about 9 p.m. Eastern time, featuring what could be the biggest match in CMLL in more than a dozen years. Only we don't know what it is. It will either be Volador Jr. vs. La Sombra in a mask vs. mask match or Atlantis vs. Ultimo Guerrero in a mask vs. mask match. The show also has the new Mistico & Mascara Dorada & Valiente defending the CMLL trios titles against Rey Escorpion & Dragon Rojo Jr. & Polvora, and Blue Panther vs. Averno in a hair vs. hair match.

Bellator 99 takes place tonight in Temecula, CA.

Prelims on at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time

  • Nick Moghaddam (208.8) vs. Virgil Zwicker (206)
  • Manny Lara (245) vs. Blagoi Ivanov (251)
  • Musa Toliver (145.3) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (145.6)
  • Andy Murad (172.1) vs. Gavin Sterrett (169.3)
  • Savio Kosic (204.4) vs. Hector Ramirez (203.6)

Main show on Spike at 9 p.m. Eastern time

  • Vladimir Matyushenko (205.8) vs. Houston Alexander (204.6)
  • Joe Taimangio (146) vs. Andrew Fisher (145.4) in the first round of the featherweight tournament
  • Des Green (146) vs. Fabricio Guerrero (145.4) in the first round of the featherweight tournament
  • Justin Wilcox (146) vs. Akop Stepanyan (146) in the first round of the featherweight tournament
  • Patricio Pitbull Freire (145.5) vs. Diego Nunes (145) in the first round of the featherweight tournament

New Japan presents Road to Destruction from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo at 5:30 a.m. Eastern and 2:30 a.m. Pacific at for $15.

  • Sho Tanaka & Yohei Komatsu vs. Taka Michinoku & Taichi
  • Tiger Mask & Bushi vs. Alex Shelley & Kushida
  • Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Takaaki Watanabe vs. Takashi Iizuka &
  • Yujiro Takahashi & Yoshi-Hashi
  • Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma & Captain New Japan vs. Prince Devitt & Karl Anderson & Bad Luck Fale
  • Shinsuke Nakamura & Toru Yano vs. Minoru Suzuki & Shelton Benjamin
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jushin Liger defend the CMLL tag team title against Rey Bucanero & Tama Tonga'
  • Satoshi Kojima & Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada & Masato Tanaka

We're also looking for reports on the WWE Saturday house shows in Saginaw, MI (Daniel Bryan, Big Show, RVD, The Miz and The Shield) and London, ONT (Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Wyatt Family, Kofi Kingston, and Christian are advertised but we don't know if Christian will be there or not given his concussion). TNA also has its only weekend house show in Joplin, MO a the Leggett and Platt Athletic Center with Bully Ray vs. Magnus vs. Austin Aries for the TNA title, James Storm vs. Christopher Daniels, Gunner vs. Frankie Kazarian, A.J. Styles vs. Knux, Gail Kim vs. ODB and Manik vs. Rockstar Spud for the X title.

Besides the Mayweather fight, World Series of Fighting will be on NBC Sports at 9 p.m. Eastern from Atlantic City, NJ:

  • Georgi Karakhanyan vs., Waylon Lowe
  • Rolles Gracie vs. Derrick Melman
  • Elvis Mutapcic vs. Jessie Taylor in the middleweight tournament
  • Dave Branch vs. Danillo Villefort in the middleweight tournament
  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Mike Pyle

Sunday has WWE's Night of Champions on PPV from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

  • Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for WWE title
  • C.M. Punk vs. Curtis Axel & Paul Heyman in an elimination match
  • Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam for the world title
  • A.J. Lee vs Brie Bella vs. Naomi vs. Natalya for the Divas title
  • Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. winners of the preshow match in a tag title match
  • 7:30 p.m. preshow tag match with Prime Time Players, Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger, Usos, Brodus Clay & Sweet T and 3MB.

Raw will be on Monday in The Miz's home town of Cleveland. Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Cincinnati.

        A look at one of the biggest weeks of the year, 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.
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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

-- Jim Ross taped an episode of The Steve Austin Show today. It should be up next week.

-- Condolences to TNA president Dixie Carter and to husband Serg on the passing of her father-in-law.

-- I wouldn't have believed this had I not seen it with my own two eyes, but I was sent a photo from Impact last night taken from behind the announcers. They've got two monitors, one of which is showing Impact and the other of which is airing the NFL game. Tenay and Taz were watching the game all night while doing the show. (Thanks to Drew)

-- Just a reminder that WWE NXT is free on Hulu. In the past you needed Hulu Plus, but it's available on the free version now. You have less commercials on the Plus version, but some commercials still air.

-- Speaking of NXT, to further the Raw storyline, they did an angle at the tapings where HHH came in and removed Dusty Rhodes as GM and replaced him with JBL. I'm hoping Dusty gets to do a promo on Raw Monday. Chris Hero, aka Kassius Ohno, after not only being off TV but also having been removed from the show open, returned to the ring at the tapings as well. Undertaker and Michelle McCool were there as well, helping the trainees. There was actually a laundry list of big names there this week.

-- The final Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez hype special is available here. Mayweather is the best heel world champion in a long time, at least until you scroll down a little and check out some Ric Flair from the 80's. Dave will be doing live play-by-play Saturday night of the big fight.

-- Speaking of Dave, he has a look at the TUF Rousey vs. Tate viewership here. It's going well, and if you factor in DVR usage, you're looking at over 1 million viewers on a brand new station in FS1.

-- Chris Jericho talks Fandango program and more here.

-- On Friday's Smackdown for The Cutting Edge segment, Edge wore a t-shirt featuring an image of himself spearing a member of The Beatles walking across Abbey Road. The shirt is available on Turnbuckle T's here. Could be wrong, but presume WWE won't be thrilled to read this. (Thanks to Duane)

-- Oh my God, watch the first 40 seconds of this video. It's a new career for the Nature Boy. If you want to hear the original promo, click here. You know, for 25 years I've been wondering what was, in fact, causing all of that, and it wasn't until today that I realized the answer was INTENSIFIED BEEF PRODUCTS. (Thanks to Craig)

-- There's a list of the nine wackiest moves in MMA here, including a GIANT SWING and the ATOMIC ASS DROP.

-- Antonio Thomas is hosting a Les Thatcher seminar this weekend if you're in the area. Ringsport Pro Wrestling Gym, Sat and Sun Sept 14 & 15, 10-5 each day, $65 for both days and discounted rates for one. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for info and to sign up. He's also watching the Night of Champions and TOTAL DIVAS with Les Sunday evening, so prepare for some awesome audio next week.

-- Well, this is the cutest video ever.

-- Apparently DDP Yoga also makes you a hell of a prognosticator.

-- Paul Heyman interview on CM Punk, the Art of the Promo, and more here.

-- Everything you ever wanted to know about the WWNLive Experience over WrestleMania weekend next year (WrestleCon type event after a split following last year's convention), all the details and packages are up here.

-- This is the best. Anderson Silva turning a De La Riva guard into the FIGURE FOUR LEGLOCK.

-- LOL Dana.

-- New Japan Pro Wrestling have collaborated with Capcom and their Monster Hunter 4 game (by far this years biggest videogame release in Japan until Pokémon) for a new T-shirt available from tomorrow. Thanks to Brian.

-- It's a big weekend and here's the audio schedule. Tonight, Dave and Mike Sempervive will be back with their monthly Wrestling Observer Sin Limite show talking the CMLL Aniversario, New Japan and everything else. More details on the front page. Dr. Lucha and I will be up Saturday afternoon with all the details on the CMLL show as well, plus info on whether Cubsfan hit the ring during the main event. Sunday will be the post-PPV recap show with Dave and I talking Night of Champions, and we'll also have a new After Dark tonight with more details up on the front page later.

-- It was announce that Jericho will be on today O&A show sometime today, the show's repeated 3PM & 8PM on Sirius' ch. 206 & XM's 103. Thanks to Jeff.

-- Speaking of, haven't got a single good explanation for what my SQUATCH SOUNDS were which I recorded from the woods around my house Wednesday night. If anyone has any idea, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with "AFTER DARK" in the subject line and I'll read tonight. The audio airs early in last night's Bryan & Vinny Show.

-- Tributes to taxi driving ex-wrestler

Today in History with Brian Hoops:

  • 1970 - Bepo Mongol (aka Nikolai Volkoff) defeated WWWF World Champion Bruno Sammartino via countout at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
  • 1974 - WWWF World Champion Bruno Sammartino defeated Killer Kowalski in a Stretcher Match in the Boston Garden in Massachusetts.
  • 1974 - Harley Race defeated Mr. Wrestling II to win the Georgia Heaveyweight Title in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 1985 - Junkyard Dog won a 21-man Battle Royal in Landover, Maryland.
  • 1997 - WCW held their Fall Brawl Pay-per-view in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Eddie Guerrero defeated Chris Jericho to win the WCW Cruiserweight Title and The NWO (Buff Bagwell, Kevin Nash, Syxx & Konnan) defeated The Four Horsemen (Chris Benoit, Steve McMichael, Ric Flair & Curt Hennig) in a WarGames match when Hennig turned on the Horsemen and joined the NWO.
  • 1998 - On a live edition of Nitro from Greenville, South Carolina, Billy Kidman defeated Juventud Guerrera for the WCW Cruiserweight Title.
  • 1999 - At a taping of Smackdown in Las Vegas, Nevada, Vince McMahon defeated Triple H for the WWF World Heavyweight Title
  • 2003 - Shane Douglas defeated D'Lo Brown in Belleville, Michigan to win the Border City Wrestling Can-Am Title.
  • 2009 - At the Breaking Point PPV, John Cena defeated Randy Orton in an I Quit Match to win the WWE Championship

Excellent 18.4%
Good 44.7%
Average 18.4%
Fair 7.9%
Poor 10.5%
68.6% of those responding didn't see the show

Excellent 32.5%
Good 50.0%
Average 10.5%
Fair 0.9%
Poor 6.1%
28.8% of those responding didn't see the show

Rousey 14.7%
Tate 49.3%
Both 5.8%
Neither 30.2%

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