SUN. UPDATE: Battleground notes, UFC loses fight due to weight cutting, What do Bruno Sammartino & Dixie Carter have in common?, Austin movie No. 1, Predict tonight's PPV number, Nash
By Dave Meltzer |
We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE Battleground PPV, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're also looking for reports on last night's WWE house show in Rochester, 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 IC title
A.J. Lee vs. Brie Bella for the Divas title
Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt
Great Khali & Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro
Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow is the preshow match at 7:30 p.m
We have a show preview up in Saturday's update. Looking at this on paper, a few matches should be good but this is not, when looking at the lineup, any kind of a super thing can't miss show. Interest levels appear to be down and most PPV predictions are not good. Main event should be great, although last month's was more just very good. There will also be another PPV, Hell in a Cell, in three weeks, so they need to come out of this with a clear direction for that show.
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.
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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
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)
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*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.
SUNDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I will be back late tonight talking tonight's Battleground PPV as well as all the latest weekend news with Wrestling Observer Radio tonight. You can send in questions for tonight's show to
--I don't even want to get started on the embarrassment that is our government shutdown, but the Armed Forces Network during the shutdown has stopped showing all programming except the news to our troops overseas. That means all the major WWE shows, including the PPVs which air for free to the troops, have not been shown this week.
--The Rodrigo Damm vs. Hacran Dias fight scheduled for Wednesday's UFC show in Barueri, Brazil (yes, there is a show this week from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on FS1 in the Eastern time zone, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific time) has been canceled as Damm was suffering from kidney stones that occurred while he was cutting weight over the last few days.
--Happy birthday to the following people today:
Bruno Sammartino, our favorite radio show guest, turned 78
Barry Darsow, the man of 1,000 identities (Krusher Khrushev, Demolition Smash, Repo Man, the golfer dude, Man Mountain Darso) turned 54
Dixie Carter-Salinas, the President of TNA, turned 49
Afa Anoi'a Jr., who worked in WWE as Manu, turned 29
--It was 14 years ago today that Gorilla Monsoon passed away at the age of 62.
--Jamie Varner vs. Pat Healy was added to the already strong 12/14 UFC show in Sacramento. This will likely air on FS 1 before the FOX show.
--Stacy Keibler is not returning to wrestling. Yeah, I know, nobody with half a brain ever thought she was.
--Chris Jericho and Fozzy are playing tonight at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1967 - Cowboy Bill Watts & Tarzan Tyler beat Giant Baba & Michiaki Yoshimura to win the International tag team titles in Fukushima, Japan
1975 - Dusty Rhodes beat Bob Roop in Tampa to win the Florida title
1982 - Kevin Sullivan beat Barry Windham in a tournament final in Tampa to win the Florida title
1984 - Hercules Ayala beat Jan Wilkens in Johannesburg, South Africa to win that area's world super heavyweight championship
1987 - Kung Fu beat Dandy to win the NWA middleweight title
1990 - Tony Anthony & Doug Gilbert beat Jeff Jarrett & Jeff Gaylord to win the USWA tag titles in Memphis while Jeff Jarrett the same night beat Dick Slater to win the Southern title
1998 - Tamon Honda & Jun Izumida beat Johnny Smith & Wolf Hawkfield (Jungle Jim Stele) in Kagoshima, Japan to win the All-Asia tag
--Grown Ups 2, which had Steve Austin in a role, debuted at No. 1 in Australia this weekend grossing $5.2 million (thanks to James Stanios)
--Miguel Torres returns to action on the 10/26 World Series of Fighting show in Coral Gables, FL at the BankUnited Center. The former WEC bantamweight champion faces Pablo Alfonso at 145 pounds.
POLL ON FRIDAY'S BELLATOR SHOW
64.5% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT MATCH TONIGHT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO?
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton 41.1%
Rhodes Family vs. The Shield 34.6%
A.J. Lee vs. Brie Bella 7.0%
C.M. Punk vs. Ryback 4.9%
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam 4.3%
Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt 3.2%
Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow 2.7%
Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth 2.2%
PREDICT TONIGHT'S PPV BUYS IN NORTH AMERICA
Under 70,000 19.3%
More than 171,000 2.8%
POLL ON SMACKDOWN
41.5% of those responding didn't see the show
--Fox Sports 1 ha a lot of UFC programming tonight. at 7:30 p.m. is Ultimate Insider. At 8 p.m. is a Greatest Knockouts special and at 10 p.m. is a replay of The Ultimate Fighter from this past week.
--Kevin Nash has canceled his appearance at the 10/19 Border City Wrestling show in Windsor, ONT, citing a schedule conflict. He will be replaced by Rikishi on the show that also includes Tyson Dux, Scott D'Amore, Cody Deaner, Cody Hall, Scott Hall (not wrestling), Rhino, Angelina Love, Petey Williams, and Johnny Swinger. The show is at the St Clair College Gym.
--Former UFC heavyweight Mike Russow has signed with the World Series of Fighting.
--Bulldog Brawl tonight in Centerville, TN
--Toryumon runs a show tonight in Mexico City headlined by Atlantis & Ultimo Dragon vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Gran Guerrero
--Promciones del Valle runs 10/18 at the Auditorio in Tijuana with El Hijo del Santo & L.A. Park & Tinieblas Jr. vs. Dr Wagner Jr. & El Hijo del Solitario & Super Parka.
--Dynamo Pro Wrestling from last night in Glen Carbon, IL: Jackal b Brandon Gallagher, Ken Kasa & Dave Vaughn b Alexandre Rudolph & Jake Parnell, Kevin X won three-way over Jeremy Wyatt and Geek Singh, MsChif b Miss Natural, Shorty Biggs & Outkast b K.C. Karrington & Steven Kennedy, Jake Dirden b Ricky Cruz, Dan Walsh b Dingo (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
--Lucha Xtreme TV from last night in Fresno: Al Azar b Marcus Eriks, Mike Hayashi b Jesse Poole, Mike Rayne & Jeff Cobb b Suburban Commandos-DQ (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--Celtic Championship Wrestling has an over 18 shot on 11/29 in Cork City, Ireland at the Savoy theater.
--NAWA from last night in Waxahachie, TX: Corey Saturn b Max Muscles and American Mad Dog, Kevin Douglas b Bulldozer, Cowboy Adam & Joe Angelo Garcia b Doberman & Big John Famous, Nobe Bryant b Scott Putski-DQ. They had a ten bell salute honoring the late T-John Tibbideaux at this show. Next show is 11/2 with Bryan vs. Putski in a rematch (thanks to Rob Moore)
--U-Pro Wrestling from last night in Goshen, IN: Terror Khan won Battle Royal, Jack Thriller b Bandolero, Kharn Alexander b Rod Street, Osyris b Dru Skillz, Jake Omen b Louis Lyndon, Russ Jones & Scott Young b Jeremy Hadley & Gidion and Painkillers, Rey Fuego b Skayde, Jake Omen b Jack Thriller, Kharn Alexander b Osyris, Dezel Bishop won four-way over Zach Gowen, Nick Cutler and Ryan Epic, Jake Omen b Kharn Alexander in tournament final to become the first U-Pro champion (thanks to Jeremy Parsons)