FRI UPDATE: Huge weekend schedule, WWE PPV, Paige's father retirement match, horrifying Hulk commercial, Ronda's mom is awesome, After Dark, 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 reports on tonight's WWE house show in Syracuse, NY (Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan, plus Big Show and The Shield) at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tonight's Smackdown TV lineup:

Rob Van Dam vs. Fandango

R-Truth vs. Ryback

Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler non-title

Brie Bella vs. Aksana

Los Matadores vs. Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal

Kofi Kingston vs. Big E Langston

Big Show vs. Randy Orton & The Shield 1 vs. 4

Bellator tonight from Visalia, CA featuring the start of the four-man heavyweight tournament:

On at 7 p.m. Eastern time

Scott Cleve (145.1) vs. Isaac De Jesus (145.3)

Thiago Santos (264.8) vs. Javy Ayala (264.5)

Brandon Girtz (155.9) vs. Poppies Martinez (155)

Stephen Martinez (164.2) vs. Bryan Travers (164.5)

Cain Carrizosa (155) vs. Juan Quesada (155.8)

William Richey (243.3) vs. Brandon Cash (256.3)

On Spike TV at 9 p.m. Eastern

Mikkel Parlo (185) vs. Jason Butcher (185.6) in the middleweight tournament semifinals

Joe Pachecho (186) vs. Brennan Ward (185.2) in the middleweight tournament semifinals

Rafael Silva (136) vs. Anthony Leone (135.7) in the finals of the spring bantamweight tournament, winner gets a title shot

Vinicius Spartan (236.2) vs. Lavar Johnson (253.3) in the heavyweight tournament semifinals

Max Godbeer (239.6) vs. Cheick Kongo (235.9) in the heavyweight tournament semifinals

The lower card from Arena Mexico airs tonight at starting at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.

We're also looking for reports on Saturday's WWE house shows with the A crew in Rochester (Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton) and the B crew in Albany, NY (C.M. Punk vs. Curtis Axel plus Paul Heyman, Alberto Del Rio and The Wyatt Family)..

ROH runs on Saturday night in Baltimore (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly vs. Jay Lethal & Michael Elgin, Matt Taven vs. Cedric Alexander for the TV tile, Michael Bennett vs. Jimmy Jacobs, Adam Page vs. Eddie Edwards, ACH vs. Kevin Steen, Tadarius Thomas vs. Caprice Coleman vs. Antonio Thomas vs. Roderick Strong, Eddie Kingston & Homicide vs. Josh Alexander & Ethan Page).

The weekend's big show is Battleground from Buffalo, NY:

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton for the vacant WWE title

C.M. Punk vs. Ryback

Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam for the world title

Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins in a non-title match, if Rhodes & Goldust win, they get their jobs back, if Reigns & Rollins win, then Dusty Rhodes is fired and Cody & Goldust can never wrestle in WWE again

Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth for the U.S. title

A.J. Lee vs. Brie Bella for the Divas title

Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt

Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow is the pre-show match at 7:30 p.m.

Notes: There has been a lot of talk of Bryan going over on this show, but the late odds shift will probably tell the story. There was also some talk of Kingston vs. Wyatt ending up as Kingston & Usos vs. Wyatt Family.

Also on Sunday is Pro Wrestling NOAH's big show at the Yokohama Bunka Gym with KENTA vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima for the GHC heavyweight title, Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste vs. Takashi Sugiura & Yoshihiro Takayama for the GHC tag titles, Tiger Mask & Jushin Liger vs. Taiji Ishimori & Atsushi Kotoge for the GHC jr. tag titles, Naomichi Marufuji & Mohammed Yone vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Yoshi-Hashi, Takeshi Morishima vs. Kensuke Sasaki, Super Crazy & Pesadilla vs. Shiori Asahi & Hiro Tonai and more.

Raw will be on Monday night in Pittsburgh at the Consol Energy Center.

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday night in Columbus, OH.

        The situation with Hulk Hogan and updates on TNA, as well as a look at New Japan as it heads into the stretch drive for its biggest show of the year, are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that is up on the site today.  We also have updated PPV information and a look at the best in-ring performers in pro wrestling over the past two plus decades.

        Our lead story looks at Hulk Hogan and TNA, both the angle, the reality, and why everyone should be skeptical of almost anything that comes out.  We look at the obsession with the swerve, the situation with Eric Bischoff, questions being asked by those in the company, the Hogan era of TNA, the successes and the failures.  We look at the value in theory of Hogan and how much turned out.  We also look at others who are gone from TNA and their situations.
        We also have the Bound for Glory lineup for TNA and the goals for the matches as well as questions facing the company going forward.
        We also have a look at New Japan going into one of its biggest shows of the year, the Kings of Pro Wrestling event at Sumo Hall.  We look at how this show will affect the Tokyo Dome main event and what the arguments are for the various combination of matches that could headline.  We look at the record of Hiroshi Tanahashi, the status of Kazuchika Okada as well as a rundown of all the matches on the show and their back stories.
        We also have full coverage of the New Japan Destruction show, with match-by-match rundowns, star ratings and poll results.
        We also have more on the build to WrestleMania, WWE makes a major office hire, the Bryan Danielson/Brie Bella engagement, Vince McMahon TV return, lots of injury updates, several new contract signings, as well as who hasn't been signed that tried out.  We also have a look at the potential future of a character booked in a way he can't stay long-term, a look at the Battleground show, notes on the biggest match ever held at the Superdome in New Orleans and why Dusty Rhodes' interviews feel so much different than all but a few.
        We also look at leaks, DVD sales, John Cena's return along with business notes from the past week and highlights from all the weekend house shows.     
        We also look at the career of Gene Petit, his background, how he got into pro wrestling, why he used the name Gene Lewis, who was Dale Lewis, how a one year run in WWF gave him more than a decade of indie bookings and his difficult life after wrestling ended.
        We also have a look at the wrestlers who have had the most **** matches on major WWF, WWE, ECW, ROH, TNA and WCW shows over the past 27 years.  We look at who is and isn't in the Hall of Fame from that list, and who isn't No. 1, but would almost surely be if many of their most prominent matches were counted. 
        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:
--A long time pro wrestling major network deal in a very difficult situation
--A second national TV deal also seems dead
--CMLL tag team tournament update
--Heat on wrestler likely for showing up at rival promotion show
--Major AAA stars robbed at gunpoint
--Lineup for AAA's Heroes Inmortales tribute to Antonio Pena show
--Identity of a new hot babyface
--Wrestler about to get biggest career push needs surgery
--Former WCW star getting another last chance to get his act together
--Dragon Gate tag team tournament notes
--Notes on NOAH's annual Global League singles tournament, including lineups for the tour's biggest shows
--Changes in the hierarchy at New Japan Pro Wrestling
--Notes on New Japan profits for this year
--Wrestler trying to gain weight to become a legitimate heavyweight
--What program that was set up involving a Japanese and U.S. title is up in the air due to a major injury.
--Grandson of one of the biggest stars in wrestling history about to debut on a major tribute show
--Antonio Inoki's latest promotion
--Movie on famous wrestling murder release date changed
--Note on WWC video tribute piece
--Attitude era star looking at returning for regular bookings
--What famous entertainer was inspired by Bam Bam Bigelow
--Update on the whereabouts of Maven Huffman
--How Pedro Morales got his first really big career break in California
--Story on the man chosen as the replacement for Haystacks Calhoun and why it never worked out
--Wrestler elected to parliament, but nobody knew he was a pro wrestler
--Notes on ROH's latest shows and next big shows
--More changes in TNA
--Jim Ross talks about TNA
--Update on Gut Check
--Update on Jeff Jarrett
--A look at the recent TNA TV tapings
--The decision to go with Glover Teixeira as the next light heavyweight title contender
--Looking at the arguments of Teixeira vs. Gustafsson for the next Jon Jones fight
--Why one of UFC's biggest events of 2014 looks to be a very difficult local sell
--Ticket sales for upcoming UFC events
--Promotion of Silva vs. Weidman
--Note on Ultimate Fighter China
--Lots of injury updates
--Update on Michael Bisping, Gegard Mousasi and others
--Lots of new UFC fights and card changes
--The cutting of Yushin Okami and what it says
--Update on GSP vs. Johny Hendricks drug testing battle
--Who Anderson Silva says he will retire before fighting
--Wanderlei Silva vs. Chael Sonnen angle at the Mr. Olympia
--Next UFC card
--Notes on this season of Ultimate Fighter and Tarverdyan vs. Hallman
--Rundown of last Bellator show
--Joe Warren health situation
--How Lavar Johnson got his suspension cut
--Story behind the first weight cutting death in modern MMA history
--What former Strikeforce fighter had a close call with weight cutting
--How much will Floyd Mayweather make out of his last fight

Rates are:

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        If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
        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

-- God bless Hulk Hogan, but if I never see this commercialagain, it will be too soon.

-- Ricky Knight, the husband of Sweet Saraya and the father of Paige of WWE NXT fame, has his retirement match tonight. There is a trailer for the show here, and the iPPV of the event is very cheap (only $12). You can click herefor details on how to order.

-- Cain Velasquez and Luke Rockhold were both promoted to black belt in BJJ this week. Daniel Cormier was also promoted from white belt to brown belt, skipping both blue and purple.

-- Regarding last night's Bryan & Vinny Show, Paul writes: Kurt Angle debuted in the ring in WWF on November 14, 1999 at Survivor Series and finished up there August 25, 2006 for a total of 6 years, 285 days. He debuted with TNA (in-ring) on October 19, 2006 and it’s now October 4th, 2006 for a total of 6 years, 350 days. He’s been with TNA 65 days longer than he was on the WWE main roster.

-- Speaking of shows, After Dark Radio is back tonight and the topic of the day is weird crimes from your neck of the woods. We've got listeners from all over the world. What strange, wacky or infamous crimes took place near where you live? The more weird and obscure, the better. You can send an email with your story to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with "After Dark" in the subject line (two words, please, and try to keep the length of the story manageable), or prepare to call at midnight Pacific/3 AM Eastern at 425-482-1686. I want some good ones! You can always get info on when to call this or any other show by following me on Twitter @bryanalvarez, or if you're not on Twitter, you can get the alerts sent to your phone by texting FOLLOW BRYANALVAREZ to 40404. Standard text messaging rates apply. This is a listener-driven show, so please email or prepare to call tonight!

-- Ben Askren says he doesn't want to retire until he gets a fight with GSP. He said that the GSP of 2009 would probably have beaten him, but today's GSP fights "way too scared." He also said, and this is a direct quote: "I will lay on GSP for as long as I damn well please."

-- Clips of Ronda Rousey's mom running roughshod on TUF this week up here.

-- New interview with Roman Reigns up here.

-- Interview with Brie Bella up here. You have to read the conversation she reportedly had with her sister when she first discovered pro-wrestling. It's like a WWE scriptwriter wrote it.

-- People Magazine has a story on Darren Young here, along with a photo of him and his boyfriend.

-- JR's latest blog is up here.

-- In quite the shock, Matt Riddle has already unretired and will be fighting for Bellator next month. He admitted his first retirement a month ago was the result of a "hissy fit" and that Bellator called him, offered him a fight and an advance, and made it right.

-- Mike notes: It was Friday, October 4th, 1963 -- fifty years ago -- that Bruno Sammartino defended his newly won WWWF title against Gorilla Monsoon, at Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City NJ. This was the first ever meeting between Sammartino and "Monsoon" (Sammartino had fought Marella in Canada previously). Monsoon was presented as a Manchurian giant, who Bobby Davis found nude wading in a mountain stream, and had great difficulty getting him on a boat to America. As the 10/4 date was supposed to be a Sammartino-Rogers rematch, and Rogers retired, a Ring Wrestling tournament was held to determine the #1 challenger. Monsoon pinned another heel, Killer Austin, in under a minute, on Washington, DC TV, to win the title shot. Monsoon won the first meeting on 10/4 via disqualification, so no title change; the series then continued to Madison Square Garden. It was renewed in 1967 when the two started all over again.

-- From the promoter: Reigning Bellator Heavyweight Champion Alexander Volkov will defend his title for the first time as he battles fellow Russian striker Vitaly Minakov on Friday, November 22nd from Pennsylvania’s Sands Event Center live on Spike TV. The event will air live starting at 9 p.m. ET on Spike TV and in Spanish language on mun2. The preliminary card will be streamed exclusively on starting at 6:30 ET. Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting or the Sands Casino Event Center Box Office. The night is also scheduled to host two Bellator Tournament Finals, as well as a loaded preliminary card streamed live on

-- CHIKARA getting a new broadcast home: Mega popular comic book & sci fi influenced independent wrestling promotion to be featured on Sundays as part of channel's live-action block. While wrestling fans have been mourning the apparent death of one of the most beloved independent wrestling promotions of all time, anime channel Neon Alley is bringing the CHIKARA library to it's 24/7 channel available on Mac/PC, PS3 and XBOX 360. The channel, which launched in October 2012, is the only service which offers English dubbed anime, uncut and uncensored, 24/7 365...except for Sundays when the channel becomes a mix of anime movies and marathons along with live-action martial arts classics, and now CHIKARA. The channel has acquired 26 CHIKARA events which will debut each Sunday as part of the channel's new fall lineup. The episodes will also be available as part of Neon Alley's "Catch Up" service which makes all Neon Alley shows available the following day on-demand. Each episode will remain available in Catch Up for at least 2 weeks. Episodes will be 2 hour edited versions of events, though all matches featured will be shown in their entirety. Now, fans who miss the great action of CHIKARA will be able to catch 8 hours of action a month for only $6.99, plus take advantage of the other 700+ hours a month of great uncensored, uncut, all English dubbed anime featuring favorites including NARUTO Shippuden, Bleach, One Piece, and the super-hero reality show Tiger & Bunny.

Excellent 23.3%
Good 40.0%
Average 26.7%
Fair 3.3%
Poor 6.7%
67.7% of those responding didn't see the show. No matter how good the show is, these types of shows only mean something when they are drawing the casual fan.

Excellent 6.5%
Good 29.0%
Average 35.5%
Fair 16.1%
Poor 12.9%
65.9% of those responding didn't see the show.

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton 71.6%
Rhodes Family vs. The Shield 25.3%
C.M. Punk vs. Ryback 3.1%

Demian Maia 72.9%
Jake Shields 27.1%

Excellent 10.4%
Good 58.2%
Average 19.4%
Fair 4.5%
Poor 7.5%
44.2% of those responding didn't see the show

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1957 - In Atlanta, Georgia Ray Gunkel and Don McIntyre defeated Kurt Von Brawner & Fritz Von Brauner to win the International Tag Team Title.

1960 - Hard Boiled Haggerty & Len Montana defeated Murder Inc. (Tiny Mills & Stan Kowalski) to win the AWA World Tag Team Title in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1972 - Antonio Inoki defeated Karl Gotch for the New Japan Real World Heavyweight Title in Tokyo, Japan.

1975 - Tosh Togo defeated Jose Miguel Perez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, to win the WWC Puerto Rican Heavyweight Title

1979 - Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Ryuma Go to win the WWF Junior Heavyweight Champion in Tokyo, Japan

1981 - Sgt. Slaughter won a one night tournament in Charlotte, NC to win the United States Championship. The previous champion, Wahoo McDaniel, was forced to vacate the title after being injured by Abdullah The Butcher. Slaughter defeated Ricky Steamboat in the finals.

1991 - Eddie Gilbert defeated The Handsome Stranger (Marcus Bagwell) in a tournament final to win the Global Wrestling Federation Television Title in Dallas, Texas

1993 - Marcus Alexander Bagwell & 2 Cold Scorpio defeated The Nasty Boys to win the WCW World Tag Team Title in Columbus, Georgia.

1993 - Tim Horner defeated Juicy Johnny for the SMW "Beat The Champ" Television Title in Jellico, Tennessee,

2009 - The Undertaker defeated CM Punk in a Hell in a Cell Match to win the World Championship in Newark, NJ. At the same event, Randy Orton defeated John Cena to win the WWE Championship in a Hell in a Cell match.

-- DREAMWAVE Wrestling is back tomorrow night for "No Escape" featuring Jason Hades defending the DREAMWAVE Championship against Christian Rose inside a steel cage. Lince Dorado faces Shane Hollister, Colt "Boom Boom" Cabana returns to action and D-Von Dudley makes his first midwest indy appearance!

-- TCW Wrestling tomorrow Saturday, October 5, 2013 Meridian, MS Frank Cochran Center 1725 Carousel Drive Doors open for VIP Meet & Greet at 5:00 PM

-- Paul London seminar Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 7:00PM at the PWX Wrestleplex at 2125 Beacon Street in McKeesport, PA. Cost is $35. The seminar is open to pro wrestlers of all experience levels. Friday, October 18, 2013 at 7 PM at the MEGA Pro Wrestling School at 1121 Tower Blvd. in Lorain, OH. Cost is $35 in advance, or $40 day of. The seminar is open to pro wrestlers of all experience levels.

-- AIW Sunday October 6th, 2013 3:00pm From the legendary Turners Hall 7325 Guthrie Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44102

-- Not making the name of this promotion up: Mister Chainsaw Pro Wrestling makes its debut in Traverse City on Saturday, October 12th, with an event titled “New Beginnings,” at The Hollow on 715 Beitner Street in Traverse City (The old St. Vincent DePaul‘s building).

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