TUES UPDATE: More from Raw, potential injury updates, almost a new light heavyweight champion, Undertaker out of character, UFC 166 video preview, tons more
By Bryan Alvarez |
We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday night's UFC 165, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with the best and worst match
We're also looking for reports tonight from Smackdown and Main Event in Milwaukee. You can send the results here or text to 408-218-6562.
We're also looking for reports on these weekend shows:
WWE Saturday and Sunday in Hidalgo, TX
WWE Sunday in Springfield, IL
TNA Saturday 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
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.
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 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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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
-- No update on Randy Orton after they cryptically mentioned on Raw that he might be hurt after being dropped on his head. No idea if that's good or bad. If there was nothing to it we'd normally have heard something by now.
-- Punk told people he was fine after the table bump on Monday night. Looked like a terrible landing.
-- The Angelo Savoldi tribute video that kicked off Raw is here.
-- Great FREE interview with George the Animal Steeleon the front page right now talking his career, breaking into wrestling, working Bruno Sammartino in main events while also coaching and teaching part-time, the disease that nearly killed him in the 80s, how he beat it, working on ED WOOD with Johnny Depp, his new book and tons more.
-- We have more free shows on the right-hand side of the front page. Keep in mind we do 10-12 new shows per week plus have over 5,000 in the archives dating back to 2005, and it's only $10.99 per month to sign up. Should note Keil wrote in a few days ago with this: Signed up 10 days ago for your audio package after listening to the free shows for a year. Your plug is so on. The audio portion is second to none, and is great because a lot of different voices and views that get heard. You all do great work with all the updates and polls. Thanks for being in my head with the promo for a year.
-- John McCarthy on the MMA Hour Monday noted that the doctor was very close to stopping the fight due to the cut over Jon Jones' eye on Saturday night. He said everyone was asking the doctor not to stop it, including Jones and his corner. John said he told the doctor that it was the fifth round, they should let them finish up, and if it got really bad he promised he'd take Jones back over to the doctor for another examination. Had the doctor stopped it, Alexander Gustaffson would be UFC light heavyweight champion right now. McCarthy said he felt it was even going into the fifth round but that Jones did enough in that round to win him the fight.
-- Steve Austin was also on the show and said in regards to wrestling at WrestleMania next year, he felt the chances were pretty slim.
-- Austijn's podcast with Jim Ross will be out today.
-- WWE tossed from Federal court.
-- The ROH Death Before Dishonor show from this past weekend is now available for streaming at ROHwrestling.com.
-- Regarding the Bryan & Vinny Show the other day when talking about Undertaker doing interviews out of character, Kirk writes: I believe the interview you are talking about was from the show Off The Record with Michael Landsberg during the period when they had TV on TSN in Canada.
-- Video preview for UFC 166 is up here.
-- UFC 165 Backstage Pass.
-- Latest with Nate Diaz is he refuses to fight on November 30th because he doesn't want to miss his high school reunion. Someone tell him that doesn't mean his whole school gets high.
-- TICKETS ON SALE THIS WEEK! UFC 168: Weidman vs Silva 2 Presented by Bud Light Saturday, December 28 MGM Grand Garden Arena - Las Vegas, NV; UFC Fight Club Presale Starts Wednesday, Sept. 25 - 10am PT; UFC VIP Packages On sale Wednesday, Sept. 25 - 10am PT; UFC Newsletter Presale Starts Thursday, Sept. 26 - 10am PT Presale Password: CHAMPION; Public On-Sale Starts Friday, Sept. 27 - 10am PT
-- Phantom Cam highlights (SUUUUUUUUUUUPER slow motion) from UFC 165, which are both awesome and creepily frightening, are up here.
-- World Series of Fighting's first-ever event in Florida continues to fill out, and a light-heavyweight matchup of Francisco "Kiko" France (8-3) vs. Hans Stringer (21-5-2) and a bantamweight contest of Chad "Robo" Robichaux (10-2) vs. Andrew "The Golden Boy" Yates (7-0) are the latest additions to the lineup. Both matchups take place on the World Series of Fighting 6 preliminary card, which streams live on the promotion's official website, WSOF.com, and precedes the night's two-hour, nationally-televised main card on NBCSN.
-- Trailer for the UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2013 is on sale here.
-- John writes: Here's my interview with Spike Eskin, son of notorious Philly sportscaster Howard Eskin, on bringing pro-wrestling coverage back to mainstream radio.
-- Impact officially did a 1.1 and 1.3 million viewers Thursday.
-- This Thursday night, September 26, come on down to Hokkaido as we film their new TV commercial and join DJ Victor Ng for karaoke. NECW stars Mike McCarthy, announcer Kevin Castro, NECW Legend Jonny Idol, plus Sheldon Goldberg & Paul Richard will be on hand. You could end up being seen in the commercial or on a segment taped for TV. Hey, we may even stick around and watch NECW in the bar when it comes on TV later that night! Join us around 8 PM for all the fun!
-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:
1960 - Hard Boiled Haggerty (sub Gene Kiniski) & Len Montana defeated Tiny Mills & Stan Kowalski in a 2/3 falls match to win AWA Tag Team Title in St. Paul, Minnesota
1963 - Gory Guerrero defeated Ali Bey in El Paso, Texas to win the NWA World Light Heavyweight Title
1984 - Greg Valentine defeated Tito Santana in London, Ontario, Canada to win the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Title.
2000 - The Hardy Boyz defeated Edge & Christian in a cage match to capture the WWF World Tag Titles at the Unforgiven PPV in Philadelphia, PA.
-- Mike writes: Was watching the morning news on the local Fox affiliate in Milwaukee this morning. The Smackdown show is this evening in Milwaukee, so they had Damian Sandow on for an interview. He came out with his MITB briefcase but wasn't in character. He came off as well spoken and humble. Nice little three minute spot for him.
-- Lance Archer on Over the Top Radio here.
-- The MMA Dudebro podcast has an interview herewith Michael Winslow, guy from Police Academy who does all the sound effects who also happens to be a big MMA fan.
-- New ROH T-shirts here, including a new one for Jay Briscoe.
-- Mike writes: The Fight Network in Canada is airing a program on Mondays called Fighting Spirit Wrestling that is showing old NJPW matches. Tonight's show had Suzuki vs Giant Bernard and now I'm watching Tajiri vs Tanahashi, I think from last year's G1. It's quite fun.
-- New Impact podcast with David Lagana, Bill Banks and Bob Ryder here.
-- WHAT IS WRESTLING'S HOTTEST PROGRAM?
Daniel Bryan vs. HHH 37.7%
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton 24.9%
C.M. Punk vs. Paul Heyman 21.7%
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bullet Club 6.5%
Atlantis vs. Ultimo Guerrero 3.6%
A.J. Styles vs. Dixie Carter 2.9%
Hulk Hogan vs. Bully Ray 1.7%
Volador Jr. vs. La Sombra 1.0%
WHAT IS MMA'S HOTTEST PROGRAM?
Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate 62.8%
Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva 15.8%
Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman 13.2%
Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez 8.1%
HAS YOUR OPINION OF RONDA ROUSEY CHANGED BASED ON TUF?
Not at all, still interested in seeing her fight 28.6%
Not at all, but not interested in seeing her fight 18.4%
Somewhat, still interested in seeing her fight 17.1%
Major change of opinion, now more interested in seeing her fight 10.7%
Somewhat changed my opinion, more interested in seeing her fight 9.0%
Not at all, more interested in seeing her fight than before because of the story 8.1%
Major change of opinion, no longer want to see her fight 5.1%
Somewhat, lost interest in seeing her fight 3.0%
WHAT WAS THE BEST OF THESE RECENT SHOWS?
WWE SummerSlam 66.5%
UFC 165 21.7%
UFC 164 4.8%
CMLL 80th anniversary show 4.5%
WWE Night of Champions 2.6%
WHO IS THE BIGGEST STAR RIGHT NOW?
Daniel Bryan 35.9%
Floyd Mayweather 25.7%
Dwayne Johnson 24.8%
C.M. Punk 2.7%
John Cena 2.3%
Hulk Hogan 2.2%
Ronda Rousey 1.8%
Jon Jones 1.5%
Brock Lesnar 1.3%
Canelo Alvarez 0.5%
Randy Orton 0.5%