FRI UPDATE: Huge weekend schedule, how to watch ROH for free tonight, WrestleMania tix on sale date, PPV record broken, new WWE hire, tons more



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

Lots of stuff taking place this weekend.

We're looking for reports tonight from the WWE house show in Lexington, KY (Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for WWE title, Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler for world title), the TNA house show in El Paso at the County Coliseum (Bully Ray vs. Samoa Joe for TNA title, James Storm & Gunner vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian for tag titles, Manik vs. Eric Young for X title, Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode, ODB vs. Lei'D Tapa for Knockouts title, Joseph Park vs. Hernandez) and the NXT show at the Orlando Armory. Live reports can be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Smackdown TV tonight:

A.J. Lee vs. Naomi non-title

Ryback vs. Jamin Olivencia (using another name)

Darren Young vs. The Shield 1 vs. 3

Titus O'Neil vs. The Shield 1 vs. 3

Dolph Ziggler vs. The Shield 1 vs. 3

RVD vs. The Shield 1 vs. 3

Justin Gabriel & Zack Ryder vs. Eric Rowan & Luke Harper

Alberto Del Rio vs. R-Truth non-title

Daniel Bryan & Usos vs. The Shield

Arena Mexico tonight at www.terra.com.mx is live at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time headlined by Atlantis & La Sombra & Blue Panther vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Volador Jr. & Averno.

ROH has Death Before Dishonor 11 Friday night at the National Guard Armory in Philadelphia. The show airs live on gfl.tv at 8 p.m.  We're looking for live reports on this show Semifinals and finals of ROH title tournament with semifinals of Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa and Michael Elgin vs. Kevin Steen

Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly & Matt Taven & Michael Bennett vs. ACH & Tadarius Thomas & Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander

Ricky Marvin vs. Roderick Strong

Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov vs. Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards for IWGP jr. tag titles

Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young

Plus B.J. Whitmer, Homicide and Eddie Kingston

Bellator 100 tonight from Phoenix

Spike.com fights at 7 p.m. Eastern

Efrain Escudero (155.2) vs. Zack Surdyka (155)

Joe Yager (205.5) vs. Clifford Starks (202.7)

Johnny Buck (170.4) vs. Adam McDonough (170.5)

Mighty Mo (264.2) vs. Dan Charles (235)

Beau Tribolet (204.1) vs. Liam McGeary (204.5)

Bubba Jenkins (155.6) vs. LaRue Burley (153.8)

Travis Marx (135.8) vs. Brandon Bender (135.2)

Spike TV at 9 p.m. Eastern

Ron Keslar (170.5) vs. Sergio Junior (170.8) in the first round of the welterweight tournament

Brent Weedman (170.4) vs. Justin Baesman (170.1) in the first round of the welterweight tournament

Rick Hawn (170.6) vs. Herman Terrado (171) in the first round of the welterweight tournament

War Machine (170.4) vs. Vaughn Anderson (170.1) in the first round of the welterweight tournament

Douglas Lima (169.9) vs. Ben Saunders (169.4) in the finals of the spring welterweight tournament

UFC 165 takes place Saturday from Toronto's Air Canada Centre

Facebook at 6 p.m. Eastern

Nandor Guelmino vs Daniel Omielanczuk

Alex Caceres vs. Roland Delorme

Michel Preazeres vs. Jesse Ronson

Renee Forte vs. John Makdessi

Prelims on FS 1 at 8 p.m.

Mitch Gagnon vs. Dustin Kimura

Chris Clements vs. Stephen Thompson

Ivan Menjivar vs. Wilson Reis

Myles Jury vs. Mike Ricci

Main card on PPV at 10 p.m.

Pat Healy vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Francis Carmont vs. Costa Philippou

Matt Mitrione vs. Brendan Schaub

Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland for the interim bantamweight title

Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson for the light heavyweight title

We're also looking for reports on these house shows on Saturday:

WWE Raw in Hidalgo, TX (Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Big Show, The Shield, Rey Mysterio)

WWE Smackdown in Fort Wayne (Alberto Del Rio, C.M. Punk, Curtis Axel, Paul Heyman, Rob Van Dam)

TNA in Tucson at the Convention Center (Bully Ray vs. Samoa Joe for TNA title, Manik vs. Frankie Kazarian for X title, Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode), James Storm vs. Hernandez, ODB vs. Le'd Tapa for Knockouts title,

Eric Young vs. Christopher Daniels

NXT in Crystal River, FL at the Armory

ROH TV tapings in Philadelphia at the National Guard Armory (Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov for ROH tag titles, Matt Taven vs. Jay Lethal for TV title, Ricky Marvin vs. Davey Richards, Michael Bennett & Maria Kanellis vs. Brutal Bob Evans & Cheeseburger, Mark Briscoe vs. Tadarius Thomas, Adam Page vs. ACH plus Adam Cole, Tommaso Ciampa, Kevin Steen, Michael Elgin, Eddie Edwards, Roderick Strong, Homicide, Eddie Kingston, Silas Young, QT Marshall, RD Evans and Veda Scott.

We're looking for reports from these shows on Sunday:

WWE Raw in Hidalgo, TX (Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Big Show, The Shield, Rey Mysterio)

WWE Smackdown in Springfield, IL (Alberto Del Rio, C.M. Punk, Curtis Axel, Paul Heyman, Rob Van Dam)

Raw will be Monday night in Chicago. C.M. Punk returns on the show, HHH will make an announcement regarding the people who defied him and the video game roster will be announced.

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday night in Milwaukee.

        With such a busy news week, we've got a double issue of the Observer that will be up on the site today.

 
        We go in-depth with TNA's business as the lead story.  We look at the futures of Hulk Hogan, Sting, A.J. Styles, Ken Anderson, Mickie James, taping on the road and the company itself.
       
        Our lead story talks about the key contracts, the return of Jeff Jarrett, evaluating the different ideas for television in 2014, costs and why one talked about location makes no sense, problems in going back to a single location, company future ownership, how that affects the positions of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, and other financial issues.
 
        We also have an in-depth look at what happened to Jim Ross, his departure from WWE, his future, and looking back at the night where everything started to fall apart.  We also look at the behavior of Ric Flair, strange things that showed who did and didn't know what was going down, what Ross said two weeks earlier about retirement, reaction in wrestling, the Ross/McMahon relationship, the constant stories regarding replace Ross on Raw dating back 14 years, his work in talent relations, a look at the many different times Ross was going to be replaced, wrestling people moving into other sports, reactions, Ross on MMA and more.
 
        We also have our full coverage of WWE Night of Champions, as well as an early look at WWE Battleground in a few weeks.  We've got notes on the storylines of the night, the stories going forward, betting odds that moved, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results of the show.  We also look at the polls WWE did on its PPV show.
 
        We also look at the change in WWE's financial outlook and why it has been downgraded, and if that should be considered significant long-term.  We look at the lessons shown by this year's WrestleMania, the movie business, developmental, exactly what the difference in profit margins have been this year compared to last, what was the last year WWE's profits were at this level, projected profits for the rest of the year, and more.
 
        We have more on the final episode of Total Divas for this run, name issues on the show, Bret Hart with a new view on the 1997 Survivor Series, Mick Foley talks leaving TNA, Nick Dinsmore talks the Eugene character, WWE  DVD business, what WWE DVD business says about star power, two new recruits with strong backgrounds, why a star missed TV last week, Jerry Lawler's announcing run when he first started and more.  We also look at what Lawler did in the late 80s when Linda McMahon said wrestling wasn't real.  We also break down the top names in developmental, talk about the recent WWE cuts, next NXT tapings, and all the highlights of the weekend shows.
 
        We also have a feature on CMLL's anniversary show including business notes, the old record, why the crowd turned on the show during the best matches, as well as match-by-match coverage, poll results and star ratings.
 
        We also look at drug testing in MMA, politics, games, reputations and much more.
 
        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:
 
--Death of Mini L.A. Park
 
--Arena Mexico news coming after the Anniversary show
 
--Huge day for wrestling coming up next month in Mexico
 
--Konnan talks comeback
 
--AAA tryout notes
 
--AAA plans for U.S. market
 
--Dragon Gate big show coverage
 
--The second week of the Wrestle-1 promotion and how it did
 
--All Japan singles tournament
 
--Low Ki injury update
 
--NOAH big show coverage
 
--Early notes on the next New Japan show at the Tokyo Dome
 
--Expected Tokyo Dome main event
 
--Changes to the next New Japan PPV including a new gimmick match and bringing in one of the world's best high flyers
 
--Coverage of the last New Japan iPPV show
 
--Notes on the careers of two sons of Hall of Famers
 
--Update on Buck Zumhofe's trial
 
--Another ex-WWF wrestler, Duke Droese arrested
 
--How one of the year's biggest matches fell through and why it's unlikely to happen
 
--More news for the 2014 WrestleMania weekend
 
--Notes on Riddick Bowe trying pro wrestling
 
--Notes on movie featuring WWE headliner
 
--A look at Maximo of CMLL
 
--Former WWF star talks coming out of retirement
 
--Terry Funk's next last match
 
--Big indie shows
 
--Update on Jay Briscoe
 
--TNA's big angles looked at
 
--Why TNA can't copy WWE, while WWE can copy TNA
 
--Update on Ortiz and Jackson in TNA
 
--Austin Aries on his retirement thoughts
 
--Bound for Glory main event
 
--Matt Morgan talks leaving TNA
 
--The return of B.J. Penn
 
--How B.J. Penn would up coaching Ultimate Fighter
 
--A look at UFC's next show on FOX
 
--Tons of new UFC fights
 
--Updated notes on UFC viewership
 
--How much UFC headliners have made
 
--UFC issues in he U.K.
 
--Dana White cuts a promo on Matt Riddle
 
--Do fighters think Ronda Rousey should fight Fallon Fox
 
--Should fighters unionize
 
--A look at the UFC featherweight title picture
 
--UFC cuts a controversial fighter
 
--Next Bellator show
 
--Very interesting Bellator win over former UFC star
 
--What is the all-time PPV record
 
--Mauro Ranallo's pro wrestling past
 
--Jon Fitch's return
 
--Cris Cyborg returns to action
 
--A look at the Louisiana standards banning breast implants from MMA fighters and boxer
 
 
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        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

-- As noted on the front page, the claim is that Mayweather vs. Canelo did 2.2 million buys, down from the famous Mayweather vs. De La Hoya fight in terms of buys, but breaking its record in terms of gross revenue. It would be the biggest-grossing PPV event in the history of the world.

-- Weigh-in results and notes for tomorrow's UFC show are all up on the front page. At the end of the day everyone made weight so all of the fights are on as scheduled.

-- Impact did 1.3 million viewers last night, almost identical to last week.

-- As noted on the front page, tonight's ROH Death Before Dishonor show will air LIVE on Gofightlive.tvtonight.

-- More on the arrest of the former Duke The Dumpster Droese here.

-- UFC's Paul Taylor, who has battled one injury after another, announced that he was retiring.

-- Dana White also made it clear that if Dominick Cruz cannot defend the UFC 135-pound title against the winner of the Barao vs. Wineland fight tomorrow, he'll have to be stripped of the belt. He hasn't defended in two years due to blowing out both knees in succession. Cruz has said he believes he'll be back at the beginning of 2014.

-- Nick Dinsmore will be starting as a trainer at the WWE Performance Center any time. He first met with the company about the role back in May. We're told they had also offered a position to Rob Conway, but Conway didn't want to relocate.

-- Kevin Nash going off on Impact here.

-- Preview video for this weekend's EVOLVE events here. Website has all the info you'll need about this weekend's shows and iPPVs. We've got another one with Johnny Gargano up on the front page now.

-- Paul writes: Not sure if you’re aware but Mark Henry did Jay Mohr’s podcast and it’s up today. He was very entertaining. The interview was mostly out of character and he doesn’t really say anything you don’t know but it’s a fun hour, just a conversation between the two. Mohr is obviously a big fan of his but not necessarily of the current WWE. Mark Henry put over Daniel Bryan as being the best current guy on the roster and Mohr didn’t even know who he was. Show is here. -- Steve writes: The Gardiner Expressway, the main highway connecting drivers to downtown Toronto, will be closed for maintenance this weekend. That means anyone who was planning on driving to UFC will have to find alternate routes. This will likely cause a big traffic headache for people getting into the city, especially if enough people don't know about it.Still have nightmares to this day about WrestleMania in Orlando when they were doing traffic construction work around the city the same weekend, absolute nightmare.

-- Vic writes: I listened to the Impact review, then turned on http://vaughnlive.tv/mistyskin; this channel is running lots of 80's wrestling. They showed UWF TV from November of 1986 where the UWF tag titles changed hands WITHOUT A HOT TAG. It was Bad Leroy Brown & Wild Bill Irwin vs champs John Tatum & Jack Victory. The heels (Brown & Irwin) got the heat, and more heat, and even more heat… and then they won the titles. Jim Ross went nuts putting over the heels domination of the champs and the crowd was STUNNED.

-- Very good story on pro-wrestling/comic book tie-ins on the Chicago Tribune site. It's behind a paywall but if you click hereand access it through Twitter you can read the whole thing.

-- Dave at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is looking for an ECW baseball cap if anyone has one.

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1957 - Ivan The Terrible & Nikita Zolotoff defeated Pepper Gomez & El Medico in Houston, Texas for the NWA Texas Tag Team Title.

1968 - Ramon & Alberto Torres defeated Butcher Vachon & Stan Vachon for the NWA Georgia Tag Team Title in Atlanta, Georgia.

1975 - WWWF World Champion Bruno Sammartino defeated George Steele in a stretcher match at the Philadelphia Spectrum in Pennsylvania. Andre The Giant was the special referee.

1975 - Jose Miguel Perez defeated The Spoiler II in Caguas, Puerto Rico to win the WWC Puerto Rican Heavyweight Title. On the same show, Carlos Colon defeated The Spoiler I in to win the WWC North American Heavyweight Title

1975 - Ric Flair defeated Wahoo McDaniel in Hampton, Virginia to win the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title.

1978 - Jose Lothario defeated Assassin #1 in Monroe, Louisiana to win the Mid-South Wrestling Association Heavyweight Title.

1981 - Big John Studd defeated Angelo Mosca in Toronto, Ontario to win the NWA Canadian Heavyweight Title

1997 - New Jack & John Kronus defeated The Dudley Boys to win the ECW World Tag Team Title in Philadelphia, PA.

1997 - Sugar Sato defeated Yoshiko Tamura to win the WCW Women's World Cruiserweight Title in Kawasaki, Japan.

2008 - Adam Pearce defeated Brent Albright to regain the NWA World Title in Philadelphia, PA.

2009 - Sarita & Taylor Wilde defeated The Beautiful People to win the TNA Knockouts Tag team Title and AJ Styles won the TNA World Championship by defeating Matt Morgan, Sting and Kurt Angle in a 4 way match.

-- Lance Archer, who has improved a ton in the past few years, is the guest on the Over the Top Radio Show tonight here.

-- Five questions with Lufisto here

-- Vale Tudo Japan has announced four additional fights for the upcoming Vale Tudo Japan 3rd fight card which will take place on Saturday, October 5th at the Ota City General Gymnasium in Ota, Tokyo, Japan. VTJ and UFC veteran CAOLUNO will be battling DANIEL ROMERO, MOTONOBU TEZUKA steps in the cage against YUTA NEZU, the experienced TAKESHI INOUE takes on YUSUKE YACHI, and newcomers RYUTO SAWADA and HIROYUKI TAKAHASHI have been added to the card.

-- U-Pro Wrestling returns to the Goshen, IN V.F.W on October 5th, featuring Zach Gown vs. Troy Miller, and an 8-man tournament to crown the 1st champion with: Osyris, Dru Skillz, Kharn Alexander, Jack Thriller, Rod Street, Rey Fuego, Louis Lyndon, and Jake Omen. If fans bring in a can good or any other nonperishable item, they will receive $2 off the ticket price. Donations go to the food pantry at New Paris First Brethren Church. More info available at http://uprowrestling.com.

-- WHAT DID YOU THINK OF WWE MAIN EVENT?
Excellent 22.9%
Good 45.7%
Average 17.1%
Fair 0.0%
Poor 14.3%
58.3% of those responding didn't see the show

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF ULTIMATE FIGHTER?
Excellent 20.5%
Good 53.4%
Average 12.3%
Fair 5.5%
Poor 8.2%
34.2% of those responding didn't see the show

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Which of these main events would draw the best?

 

What are you planning on watching on Friday?