SUN. UPDATE: New Japan PPV preview, Spike programming notes, Hogan update, TNA sales, WWE tonight, Jarretts, former WWE star cuts artery,
Sunday, 13 October 2013 14:17
By Dave Meltzer |
We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's New Japan iPPV, 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 today's WWE house show in Philadelphia (C.M. Punk vs. Curtis Axel & Paul Heyman; Great Khali vs. Alberto Del Rio) and from the three shows this week in Abu Dhabi.
New Japan Pro Wrestling presents the King of Pro Wrestling on iPPV at 3 a.m. Monday morning Eastern time and Midnight Pacific time at www.ustream.tv/channel/njpw1972
The show airs live from Sumo Hall in Tokyo and is designed to be the company's No. 3 show of the year behind Wrestle Kingdom and the G-1 Finals.
*Manabu Nakanishi & Super Strong Machine & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Takashi Iizuka & Yoshi-Hashi & Gedo & Jado - This pre-show match should be available for free before the show. If you've never seen Takashi Iizuka tear the shirt off announcer Shimpei Nogami, now is your chance. If you're a regular viewer, it's like the early match on every PPV.
*Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov vs. Taka Michinoku & Taichi for IWGP jr. tag team titles - Michinoku & Taichi are late replacements for Alex Shelley & Kushida, since Shelley is out of action with a disc problem.
*Minoru Suzuki vs. Toru Yano - Yano has two wins in a row over Suzuki in what has been a surprisingly entertaining storyline. No. 3 isn't likely.
*Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Takaaki Watanabe vs. Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. - Originally, this was to be Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima defending the IWGP tag team titles against the NWA tag champs. But Kojima is out with a shoulder dislocation from his IWGP title match with Kazuchika Okada two weeks ago. This is Watanabe's last match in Japan for a long time. He's leaving after the show for the U.S., and will be based in New Jersey, working U.S. indies.
*Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma & Kota Ibushi vs. Prince Devitt & Karl Anderson & Bad Luck Fale - What could be a sleeper of a match. Honma is one of the most underrated workers in the business, and Ibushi is right there with the best of the best, as is Devitt. In fact, this should set up a feud between Ibushi and Devitt for down the road. This has a decent chance of being a great match.
*Tomohiro Ishii vs. Katsuyori Shibata (rematch of one of this year's best matches) - Their last match, on Aug. 4, was a **** match and one of the best matches of the last five years. For that reason, it's almost sad they are rematching so quick because I have a feeling they simply won't be able to live up to the first match. Still, it's two hard hitting guys who have the ability top make their matches feel more real than almost anyone else.
*Yuji Nagata vs. Kazushi Sakuraba - Once again, the 1996 feud that put both on the map is revived with both in their 40s and now legends. This is their second singles match. The first is an acquired taste. If you like great mat work, you'll like it, but it's not going to be a traditional pro wrestling match. Sakuraba won the first, which makes Nagata the favorite here.
*Tetsuya Naito vs. Yujiro Takahashi for the Never championship and the Tokyo Dome main event slot. These two are tag team partners. In many ways, this is like a match on the February PPV when you already know the main event for Mania. It would be insane for Naito not to win, so it's all about match quality. Takahashi is a good wrestler, but as his title match last year with Tanahashi showed, when he's put in the high card title situation, he delivers. This match should be all about getting Naito over strong.
*Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Naomichi Marufuji for the IC title - New Japan vs. NOAH for the title. Nakamura is the total package, ability, charisma, making opponents look good. Marufuji was one of the best in the world, but has been slowed in recent years by injuries. Still, this is a high profile match on a bigger platform than he's used to. There is a good chance here for a killer match.
*Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP heavyweight title - This is their sixth major PPV main event. Each has two wins and there was one draw so far. The winner will probably headline the Tokyo Dome show against Naito in a title defense. Tanahashi said if he doesn't win, he won't challenge for the title again. Okada said that if the match goes to a 60:00 draw, he will vacate the title. Based on their previous matches, this is the best main event major league in-ring program in many years, perhaps dating back to the Misawa vs. Kobashi days. This was the 2012 feud of the year and every match they've had thus far has been a match of the year candidate.
Raw will be live from the Savvis Center in St. Louis on Monday.
Smackdown and Main Event are taped Tuesday night in Kansas City.
We've also got a double issue of the Observer on the site today on the Observer icon on the right side of the front page, with the lead story talking about the return of John Cena and the questions it asks. We'll look at the current plans for Hell in a Cell, the injury to A.J. Lee, all the major questions that came up after Battleground, the fan reaction level, why so much went wrong and what questions it brings up about the current creative process.
We also look at gambling on WWE matches, an update on Rob Van Dam and Ricardo Rodriguez, along with full coverage of Battleground with match-by-match notes, star ratings and poll coverage from the show.
We also look at what happened with Dr. Wagner Jr., as well as what he said in public about AAA and what AAA said back.
We've got a note on the announced retirement of a Hall of Famer.
We've also got WWE and UFC touting their success and what does each company point to. We also note what former WWF star is gaining power behind the scenes, WWE being honored by the SLI, More on John Cena being sued, several new WWE signings, Darren Young talks his situation an why he did what he did, DVD ideas WWE is considering, Dusty Rhodes talks Hall of Fame, A look back at the end of Crockett Promotions, Details on new major WWE hire, two new WWE DVDs NXT, plus notes from all the house shows this past week.
We also have the follow up on last week's story on the wrestlers who have had the most four star matches. This week we look at the numbers when you figure in Japanese big show matches. Who were the top in-ring performers over the past 26 years and where do the stars of the current generation stand.
We also have a major feature this week on the life and times of Oregon wrestling legend Dutch Savage. We look at the career and life of the face of wrestling in that part of the country for much of the 70s, what he represented, his life before and after wrestling, how he came to Oregon, how he became a partner in the promotion and why he suddenly disappeared. It's a major feature on the world of pro wrestling in the Pacific Northwest and its unique characters, from Lonnie Mayne to Tony Borne to Buddy Rose to Bull Ramos to Roddy Piper to Jesse Ventura.
We look at one of the longest running television shows in U.S. history, why it ended, the make up of the crowds. We look at his most famous angles, the babyface turn, the coal miner's glove match, the documentary PBS made on him, practical jokes, his runs outside the Northwest including main event title challenges in San Francisco and Los Angeles, how he got into wrestling, Big Luke Brown of The Kentuckians.
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Also in this week's issue:
--Update on wrestling at Arena Mexico
--Tag team title top contender tournament
--Update on AAA's next big show
--Debut of the son of a major longtime star
--Notes on Dragon Gate's big show of the week
--Notes on Wrestle-1's big show of the week
--Changes in booking in Wrestle-1
--Jeff Jarrett comes to Japan
--Newcomer to All Japan
--NOAH's big show of the week and where the title picture is going
--What two major matches with KENTA against stars from other promotions are being set up
--A look at the New Japan business right now
--New Japan business plans for the future
--Behind the New Japan signing of Kota Ibushi
--What other promotion tried to sign him
--What is the unique nature of his contract
--More on the Okada vs. Tanahashi program
--New matches added to the next PPV show
--The next two iPPV dates for New Japan
--New Japan stars wrestle around the world
--First news on 2013 New Year's Eve show
--Two of the all-time biggest stars in Japan talking about a return
--Battle of the greatest junior heavyweights from four different eras
--Son of major pro wrestling star being pushed as potential Olympian
--Matt Hardy wedding
--Mil Mascaras movie
--World Triangle League tournament notes
--Update on Ted DiBiase Jr.
--Who nearly got the name Stone Cold
--NFL stars who were star wrestlers
--Notes on next major ROH show
--Notes on weekend ROH show
--Update on Hulk Hogan
--New TNA acquisition
--Austin Aries talks TNA
--Mickie James talks TNA
--Tons of new UFC fights
--Thoughts on this year's Super Bowl card
--Who did Jose Aldo want
--Behind the Ben Rothwell suspension and how it's strange
--Chael Sonnen talks angle with Wanderlei Silva
--Update on UFC lawsuit against the state of New York
--Lots of UFC injury updates
--Tons of new UFC matches
--New Spike MMA programming
--Bellator's last show and next show
--Bellator fighter out of retirement
--Lots of notes regarding weight cutting
--WWE head-to-head with major MMA events
--Notes on the Glory debut on Spike
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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..
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SUNDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio talking a lot of subjects, including concussions, Glory, more concussions, Frank Shamrock, TNA, Hulk Hogan, Raw preview and more. You can send questions to the show to
--Last night's Glory show on Spike was outstanding as well, particularly the Rico Verhoeven win over Daniel Ghita in the main event to become their world heavyweight champion.
--Advertising is out for the 12/7 WWE house show in Vancouver listing John Cena as a special guest. (thanks to Rob Kurelicz)
--As expected, even though advertised, Christian did not work last night in Providence, nor is he expected in Philadelphia. Alberto Del Rio vs Great Khali will be the world title match instead.
--TNA is advertising Hulk Hogan to appear at Bound for Glory.
--This is scary. As of this morning, the entire second row of ringside by he entrance ramp for the TNA tapings in Baltimore was unsold. You can get 14 second row tickets together.
--Former WWE manager Don Callis, who was best known as network executive Cyrus the Virus in ECW, turned 49 today. He was one of those guys who recognized the future as a pro wrestler, got out, went to school to get his MBA and is at last word the president of the Manitoba Trade and Investment Corporation.
--For those who asked, and there have been many, I did watch the Frontline special from earlier this week on concussions in the NFL. I knew most of the stuff in there. A lot of the NFL stuff was very similar to what happened with wrestling at the same time, right down to lawyers calling it junk science, doing an about-face of sorts, and the company donating money to the Sports Legacy Institute after years of treating them like the enemy.
POLL ON BELLATOR FROM FRIDAY NIGHT
66.7% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT WAS THE BEST FIGHT ON WEDNESDAY'S UFC SHOW?
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Erick Silva 57.7%
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Raphael Assuncao 28.2%
Joey Beltran vs. Fabio Maldonado 5.6%
Chris Cariaso vs. Iliarde Santos 4.2%
David Mitchell vs. Yan Cabral 4.2%
WHAT WAS THE WORST FIGHT ON WEDNESDAY'S UFC SHOW?
Jake Shields vs. Demian Maia 47.1%
Matt Hamill vs. Thiago Silva 44.8%
Igor Araujo vs. Ildemar Alcantara 8.0%
WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT?
Bradley vs. Marquez 15.0%
58.6% watched neither. 3.6% watched both.
POLL ON SMACKDOWN
37.4% of those responding didn't see the show
--Transgender fighter Fallon Fox lost last night at the Championship Fighting Alliance 12 show in Miami last night to Ashlee Evans-Smith. Highlights are at www.bit.ly/17mSAYG
--TMZ ran feature today saying James Storm is going to Los Angeles to pitch a reality show based around a bar he's opening in Nashville.
--Last night at the Family Wrestling Entertainment show in Brooklyn, since it was Karen Jarrett's birthday, Jeff led the crowd in singing Harpy Birthday to her. Jason Gotti mouthed off and Jeff hit him over the head with a guitar. Karen then worked the show as commissioner. After John Hennigan Morrison beat Matt Morgan to keep the FWE title, Petey Williams laid out Hennigan with a Canadian Destroyer. Carlito suffered a bad cut in his match with Tommy Dreamer, as he cut an artery and took a tetanus shot, but refused to go to the hospital. (thanks to Stephen Yang)
--Wrestling Cares from last night in Gardena, CA:
Timothy Thatcher b Drew Gulak 3-2 in a submissions only match, Katarina Leigh (Winter) b Taelor Hendrix to retain women's title, Steve Anthony b Kyle Matthews 1-0, Papadon b B-Boy, Oliver John b Brandon Gatson, Adam Cole b Pepper Parks 3-2, Willie Mack b Aaron Aguilera, Johnny Gargano b Adam Pearce 2-1 (thanks to Chris GST)
--The No. 1 most searched item in the U.S. last night was Bradley vs. Marquez.
--Resurrection Fighting Alliance on 11/22 in Broomfield, CO at the 1st Bank Center features Matt Manzanares defending the flyweight title against former Bellator bantamweight champion Zack Makovsky. Lyoto Machida's brother, Chinzo Machda, fights on the show.
--Fox Sports 1 will be airing UFC Ultimate Knockouts at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern time and replaying Ultimate Fighter at 10 p.m.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Greame Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1964 - Ray Hunter beat Doc Steadman in London to win the British Commonwealth heavyweight title
1966 - El Santo beat El Espanto in Mexicali to win the Mexican national light heavyweight title
1970 - Spyros Arion & Mario Milano beat Kurt & Karl Von Steiger in Brisbane to win the IWA tag title
1977 - Mario Milano beat Butcher Brannigsn in Sydney to win the WCW Brass Knux title
1981 - Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito beat Tony Garea & Rick Martel to win the WWF tag team title in Allentown, PA
1984 - El Satancio beat Super Astro in Mexico City to win the UWA middleweight title
1985 - Ivan & Nikita Koloff beat Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson in Charlotte to win the NWA world tag team titles
1992 - Ted DiBiase & IRS beat Earthquake & Typhoon in Regina, Saskatchewan to win the WWF tag titles
1997 - Rick & Scott Steiner beat Scott Hall & Syxx to win the WCW tag titles in Tampa
1997 - The Legion of Doom beat the Godwinns to win the WWF world tag titles in Topeka
2006 - Chris Benoit beat Mr. Kennedy to win the U.S. title in Jacksonville
--Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in Belleville, IL before 240 fans: Gary Jackson & Heath Hatton b Big Texan & Waco-DQ, Shorty Biggs b Max Archer, Ron Powers b Alexander Rudolph, Bobby D & Chas Wesson b Jay Parnell & Ax, Flash Flanagan DCOR Jake Dirden, Ricky Cruz b Dave Vaughn, Ironman Kasa & Daniel Eads, Jake Dirden won Bunkhouse Battle Royal. Honky Tonk Man managed Cruz. Next show is 10/19 with Jim Duggan, plus Powers & Cruz vs. Kasa & Flanagan (thanks to Larry Matysik and Patrick Brandmeyer)
--New Era Wrestling on Saturday night in Shelbyville, IN at the Boys Club
--Brendan Schaub will be appearing on Chelsea Lately on Thursday night on E! (thanks to Jeff Beecher)
--Grown Ups 2, in its second week out, was No. 2 at the box office in Australia (thanks to James Stanios)
--Ultimate Championship Wrestling from last night in Bay City, MI: Justin Mane b Shane Traders, Arella Angel & KC Lofton b Jasmine & Alexia, Xander Davinci b POD, Nitro b Viper Pete Christie, Sebastian Rose b Eddie Venom, Great Akuma b Nick Xero & Ace Evans, Austin Mannix b Caleb Stills, Dave Duponte & Pete Christie b Nitro & Malice, N8 Mattson b Jimmy Jacobs (thanks to Leonard Brand)
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on 11/1 in Cleveland at Turners Hall with an eight-team elimination tournament. Also on the show is Michael Elgin vs. Josh Alexander and Allysin Kay vs. Saraya Knight.
--Anarchy Wrestling from last night in Cornelia, GA: Anthony Henry & BJ Hancock b Jeremy Foster & Kameron Kade, Dango Wynn won three-way over Jean-Pierre and Vandal, Nemesis & Shadow Jackson NC Jeremy Vain & Brody Chase, CB Suave & Tommy Penirelli b Kevin Blue & Brandon Parker, Seven & Shaun Tempers b Jon 7 Trey Williams, Geter b Steven Walters. Next show is 10/26 with Bobby More putting up the TV title against the mask of Wildside and Mike Posey vs. Slim J, Corey Hollis vs. Gunner and Geter vs. Mikael Judas in a cage match.
--There will be an autograph event, photo fest, buffet dinner, auction and Q&A at Kowloon's in Saugus, MA on 11/16, featuring Debra Marshall (McMichael) and The Godfather.
--Funkdafied Wrestling Federation on 10/16 in Livingston, NJ at the Salaaam Shrine Temple featuring Tom Brandi as both Sal Sincere and The Patriot, plus Rikishi.
--Gene Snitsky was injured in a match on Friday night in Winnipeg for CWE and unable to work last night's show in Selkirk, Manitoba. Last night's results: Camikaze b Heavy Metal, Jess Youngblood b Dick Blood, Anderson Tyson Moore b Red Thunder, Darren Dalton b A.J. Sanchez, MAN b Bobby Collins & Brian Rich, Danny Duggan won Battle Royal, Robby Royce NC Rex Roberts, Rob Stardom & Kevin Cannon b Super Friends, Matt Fairlane b Cannibal in a no DQ match.
--Full Impact Pro on Friday night in Ybor City, FL: Jason Cade b Chico Adams, Chasyn Rance b Josh Hess, Sosa Rivera b Rhett Giddins, Lince Dorado & Pinkie Sanchez b Eddie Graves & Teddy Stigma, Gran Akuma b Slyck Wagner Brown, Lance & Harlem Bravado b Dos Ben Dejos to keep tag titles, Jessicka Havok b Maxwell Chicago in an evening gown match, Trent Baretta b Rich Swann to keep the FIP title.
--FIP from last night in Orlando: Jason Cade & Aaron Epic b Wille Brown & Chico Adams, Slyck Wagner Brown & Pinkie Sanchez b Teddy Stigma & Eddie Graves, Johnny Vandal b Josh Hess, Maxwell Chicago b Sosa Rivera, Dos Ben Dejos b Lance & Harlem Bravado-DQ, Solo Darling won four-way over Mia Yim, Leva Bates and Su Yung, Gran Akuma d Rich Swann 30:00, Lince Dorado b Chasyn Rance in a hair vs. mask match. Next shows are 12/6 in Orlando and 12/7 in Ybor City.