MON. UPDATE: Hall of Famer on Raw, Awesome show today, Match of Year on PPV on fee TV Thursday, Sakuraba vs Gracie in pro wrestling, Bray Wyatt notes, Bruno on TV today, Bellator finishes PPV lineup, Reaction to Glory
By Dave Meltzer |
We're looking for your thoughts on the 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 from Raw tonight in St. Louis with dark matches, Superstars matches, attendance and anything else not evident from the live show, as reports from yesterday's WWE show in Philadelphia.
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.
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:
--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
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)
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*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)
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*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)
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*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
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*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)
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*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
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*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
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*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.
MONDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I just did a show with Frank Shamrock that is on the site today, as well as a show last night talking all the latest news. We'll also be back tonight talking Raw, New Japan Kings of Pro Wrestling, and taking your e-mail questions that can be sent to
--Shawn Michaels will be on Raw tonight and was already backstage in St. Louis a few hours ago.
--Low Ki announced his retirement on twitter today. He had told promoters he was retired a few months ago before signing with All Japan, and things didn't end up well there. He said he was hurt, and he was, that's legit, but we also heard they weren't bringing him back.
--It's like a broken record, but I highly recommend today's New Japan show. The first half was really only so-so except the Tomohiro Ishii vs. Katsuyori Shibata match, but the second half was excellent and the main event with Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi was an absolute classic. I feel like a broken record saying this is the best in-ring program of this generation, equivalent to Flair/Steamboat, O'Connor/Thesz, Funk/Brisco or Misawa/Kobashi. But every match is another classic
--Fox Sports 1 is going to air the Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson fight on Thursday, the fastest replay of a PPV main event I can ever call. It's scheduled at 8 p.m. Eastern and 5 p.m. Pacific. Last week it was listed as Jones vs. Belfort, but the listing changed. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--WWE is looking at hiring a Supervising Producer for its new network, so they are still hiring new people which indicates they expect to do it somewhat soon.
--In a really weird thing on last night's show, they set up for the Tokyo Dome, Yuji Nagata & Kazushi Sakuraba in a tag match against Daniel & Rolles Gracie. Awkward. Sakuraba vs Gracie Family was gigantic in 1999-2001, but still. I think the idea is you need something out of the box at the Tokyo Dome and New Japan's early successful Dome shows often had non-pro wrestlers on them.
--Coming off the show, it looks like Okada vs. Karl Anderson for the IWGP title and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Minoru Suzuki for the IC title on 11/9 in Osaka.
--Bray Wyatt's injury was a deeply bruised calf. He was backstage on crutches in Philadelphia yesterday but did sit in his rocking chair. He's only expected out four weeks, and could be even less than that.
--Bruno Sammartino was on TV in New York on the Columbus Day Parade, When Joseph Mattone, Chairman of The Mattone Group, was interviewed on Ch. 7 in New York, Sammartino was shown and hugged Mattone. They had an arm wrestling match where Mattone used two arms to win and donated $100,000 to charity. (thanks to Jeff Sheridan)
--Bellator finished up its PPV main card lineup with the final match being Cheick Kongo vs. Vinicius Spartan in the finals of the current heavyweight tournament.
--The Extreme Rising promotion is back in business with the idea of returning on 12/28 at the old ECW Arena in Philadelphia, which is going to be reopened for pro wrestling events in a few months. They are also going to be getting television in Philadelphia starting in January. Steve O'Neill will now be in charge of all aspects of the promotion..
--The Tampa Tribune has a story about the old days of weekly wrestling at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory at http://tbo.com/sports/
It notes the 10/29 Smackdown tapings in Tampa and talks to old fans, Dusty Rhodes, Eric Solie (Gordon's son), Haku, Roman Reigns, and radio host Ted Webb who said that Dusty Rhodes was a bigger star than Hulk Hogan.
--Yushin Okami has signed with the World Series of Fighting after being cut by UFC. He's expected to debut in early 2014.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
1966 - Lou Thesz beat Buddy Austin in Los Angeles to win the WWA title
1978 - The Assassin beat Jose Lothario in Shreveport to win the Louisiana State title
1985 - Butch Reed beat Dick Murdoch in New Orleans to win the North American title
1989 - Tito Santana beat Rick Martel in Providence to win the King of the Ring tournament
1989 - Bruce Hart beat Gama Singh in Lethbridge, to win the British Commonwealth mid-heavyweight title
2002 - Chris Jericho & Christian beat Hurricane & Kane to win the World tag team title in Montreal
2007 - Gail Kim because the first TNA Knockouts champion at Bound for Glory in Atlanta. In the main event Sting beat Kurt Angle to win the TNA title
2012 - At Bound for Glory, Rob Van Dam beat Zema Ion to win the X title, Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Hernandez beat Kurt Angle & A.J. Styles and Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels to win the tag titles, Tara beat Brooke Tessmacher to win the Knockouts title and Jeff Hardy beat Austin Aries to win the TNA title.
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF SATURDAY'S GLORY SHOW?
60.6% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON SATURDAY'S ROH TV SHOW
57.9% of those responding didn't see the show
WHICH OF THESE SHOWS IS THE BIGGEST?
WWE Hell in a Cell 46.5%
UFC 166 29.4%
New Japan Kings of Pro Wrestling 12.8%
TNA Bound for Glory 10.7%
WILL BOUND FOR GLORY COMING DAY AFTER UFC AFFECT YOUR BUYING EITHER SHOW?
No buying either 47.7%
No, was only going to buy UFC 26.9%
No, was only going to buy TNA 16.6%
Yes, would like to get both, only getting UFC 3.0%
Getting both, so not affecting me 3.0%
Yes, would like to get both, only getting TNA 2.5%
BEST TV SHOW OF THE PAST WEEK?
Frank Shamrock Bound by Blood 15.8%
Ultimate Fighter 14.3%
UFC from Brazil 4.1%
Main Event 1.5%
Legacy Fighting Championships 1.0%
UFC Prime Time Cain vs. Dos Santos 1.0%
--Stephanie McMahon Levesque will be speaking at Boston University on 10/24 to lecture on the Business of Branding at 4 p.m.
--Mick Foley on his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RealMickFoley
has a story listing ten guys who have done notable things after retiring from the ring. In order of importance he had:
1. Chris Nowinski - I agree with this but it's amazing how negative everyone in wrestling talked about him a few years ago
2. The Rock
3. Chris Jericho
5. John Layfield
6. Steve Austin & Hulk Hogan
7. Trish Stratus
8. Roddy Piper
9. Marc Mero - Mero isn't exactly liked in wrestling by a lot of people so that was a gutsy pick
10. Bret Hart, Edge and Shawn Michaels (because he wanted all of them on his list)
--UFC is going to have talent touring from 10/28 to 11/16 all over the country to promote the 20th anniversary show.
--Foley also announced WWE will be filming his talk show on 11/17 in Smithtown, NY for either a DVD release or some sort of a TV release. He's performing at the Smithtoon Performing Arts Center, only a few miles from where he grew up and a theater he's attended events at since childhood. He's inviting wrestling fans because he wants as many as possible since he'll be telling all wrestling stories. I've been to his show and it's a fun night, and a hilarious night.
--The Miami Herald at http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/10/13/
has a story on Daniel Bryan, since he's headlining the Hell in a Cell PPV in the city on the 27th. He noted that it was in Miami, the day after Mania, when the "Yes" thing really took off so it's the city that really gave him the impetus to be a headliner. He also noted that he was fired over an incident doing the Nexus angle in Miami, so he's got a lot of history in the city.
--There were WWE and TNA office people at the Wrestling Cares show on Saturday night in Gardena, CA.
--IFL 58 at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit for a 15 fight MMA show called Brawl in the Fall.
--Funkdafied Wrestling Federation on 11/9 in Edison, NJ at St. Matthew's Parish Gym featuring Hurricane Helms.
--Right Coast Pro Wrestling on 11/9 in Newark, DE at the RCP Arena at Life Community Center featuring Mikey Whipwreck.
--CMLL last night in Guadalajara: William Rock b Furia Nazi, Metalik & Brillante Jr. b Yaqui & Pirana, Halcon de Plata & Divino b Angel del Mal & Demonio Rojo, Smaker & Leo & Black Metal b Magnum & Espectrum & Demonio Maya, Fuego & Rey Cometa & Gallo b Malefico & Exterminador & Barbaro Cavernario, Tama Tonga & Rey Bucanero b Rush & Maximo (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
--Chuck Liddell appears on the TV show "Bones" tonight.
--Paul London has a seminar on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the PWX Wrestleplex in McKeesport, PA for $35 and Friday at the Mega Pro Wrestling School in Lorain, OH for $35 in advance, $40 day of the show. London will talk the difference between singles and tag team psychology, match structure, marketing, how to get yourself noticed and more. For more info write to
--Jimmy Korderas also has a ref seminar for $20 on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Iron City Wrestling Academy in South Park Township, PA. You can also write
for more info.
--The injury Gene Snitsky suffered on Friday night while working in Manitoba was a cut mouth from a dropkick. We're waiting for more info on that. He missed the Saturday night show.
--Future Stars of Wrestling from last night in Las Vegas: Brandon Gatson b Virgil Flynn and Lorenzo Henderson, Big Duke b Jason Cash, Cutler Wright b Clutch, Al Katrazz & Funny Bone over Beauty & The Beast and Suburban Commandos, Greg Romero b Rush, Remy Marcel & Jack Manley b Bryce Harrison & Jakob Austin Young, Kenny King b Disco Inferno to keep FSW Elite title, Leon Hater b Legacy, Sweet N Soul b RockNess Monsters, Tyshaun Prince b Luster the Legend in a last man standing match to keep FSW title Their show, FSW High Octane, is available on You Tube.
--UPW Pro Wrestling from Saturday night in Escanba, MI: Tyler Jackson b Peter Schwanz, Jordy Lee b Dysfunction, Brian Skyline b Brad Sharp, Silas Young b Nathan Gust, Tyler Jackson b Jordy Lee, Silas Young b rent Skyline, Tyler Jackson b Silas Young to win the tournament, Ink Jet Express b Brock Hall & Devin Nash-DQ, Judge Jesse b Kaz Karter, Tyler Jackson won Battle Royal, Seth Gambino b Brett Powers (thanks to Leonard Brand)
--On today's episode of Sesame Street, "Me Amigita Rosita," the main angle was the puppet Rosita try to write a story of what it's like to be Mexican. The people and the muppets talked about how much they all liked Lucha Libre and some of the muppets put masks on their stuffed animals (thanks to Steve Te Tai)
--Results from The Crash promotion in Tijuana on Friday night: Black Boy & Mosco Negro vs. Bufalo Ayala & Venum Black Jr. vs. Sargon & Star Dragon was a draw, Animal & Cinico & Mr. Maldito b Jonathan & Juventud 2000 & Spyder Black, Viento & Zarco b Dinastia & Flamita, Angel Metaltico & Fenix & Willie Mack b Pentagon Jr. & Star Boy & X-Torm, Devil Rocker & Machine Rocker & Soul Rocker b The Psycho Circus
--Real Wrestling Promotions on Sunday in El Paso at the Wild Wild West Ballroom