WED. UPDATE: Notes for next week's WWE tapings, Knapp Funeral, Bellas on TV, UFC picks, Who should get next lightweight shot, UFC in Europe

By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @DaveMeltzerWON
        Main Event tonight on Ion at 8 p.m.
Goldust vs. Seth Rollins
Prime Time Players vs. Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger
Naomi & Cameron vs. Alicia Fox & Aksana
Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow
        Tonight's episode of Ultimate Fighter is an all clips show.  The feeling was they didn't want to buck the World Series.  The regular show returns next Wednesday with the final male and female fight of the first round.
        If you are into history, this is the time to be subscribing to the Observer because it's Hall of Fame season.  The original Hall of Fame issue will be up next week, and the 2013 Hall of Fame issue is also coming with the balloting now closed.
        The new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter will be up on the site today with analysis pieces of where the UFC & TNA both stand coming out of the weekend and going forward.
        Our lead story looks at while profits are high and business is overall good for UFC, there are some causes for concern in recent weeks.  We look at the move to FS 1, ratings, PPV vs. boxing and what has 2013 in UFC shown about what does and doesn't work on PPV.
        We also look back at UFC 166, how the top stars come out of the show, view polls on the close fights, the show as a whole and full match-by-match coverage.
        We also look at TNA coming out of Bound for Glory, its biggest show of the year.  Unlike with UFC, profits are not high and business is not good.  We look at the changes on the horizon for 2014, how the new goals have to be different from the old goals, Hulk Hogan & Sting, TV tapings in Orlando, the PPV business, the house show business, injury updates and full coverage of  Bound for Glory.  We have poll results and star ratings on the show as well.
        We also talk WWE network, WWE stock prices, WWE Hall of Fame, a WrestleMania match where the first angle was shot three years ago now on the books, update on Rey Mysterio, why he wrestled and why he wasn't on Raw.  We look at the next PPV, the Big Show angle, updates on all WWE angles, former WWE wrestler accuses others of keeping her out, Jim Ross talks Undertaker's streak, time limits and no DQ tag matches.
        We also update the 2014 PPV schedule and changes for the new year, sports executives on how UFC, WWE and boxing are doing, Nowinski talks why WWE was awarded, changes in this past week's Raw show, the HHH interview and what may have been clever and what was counterproductive, what WWE is looking for with prospective new talent, Daniel Bryan talks Hall of Fame, training with Shawn Michaels, wrestling Shawn Michaels, the best wrestler he ever wrestled against and the name will surprise you, favorite opponents and who he credits for getting him over.  He also talks what he thinks about Total Divas.
        Chael Sonnen talks a recently signed WWE wrestler who he trained with, as well as business notes and highlights from the Mexico and U.S. tours from this past week.
        We also look at AAA's big event of the past week, the Heroes Inmortales show, the surprises, the jump and the enemies that became partners. 
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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:
--The hard to explain and even harder to make sense situation out of what CMLL did on its big show this past week
--Surprising release
--Updates on an international group getting U.S. TV and plans
--Major Dragon Gate show and how that leads into the next major show that will air around the world on iPPV
--A look at newcomers to the promotion
--All Japan prepares 41st anniversary show
--Tokyo Dome ticket notes
--New Japan officials come to the U.S., notes on seminar and business discussion
--Update on next New Japan major show
--Wrestler critical of New Japan tournament feeling the top stars need to be in and aren't
--Notes on Hiroshi Tanahashi and Bret Hart together in the U.K. over the weekend
--A look at New Japan talent in the U.S. and U.K. over the past week
--Business discussions with New Japan in the U.S. market
--Notes on Michinoku Pro in the U.K.
--More on Dos Caras' Japanese retirement match
--Still active wrestling star turns 70
--Notes on the career of Dennis Hall
--Pointed comments made regarding the death of Calvin Knapp
--A look at a new attempt for indie groups to work together and goals
--Update on Low Ki
--Update on Tammy Sytch
--A look at the next major ROH show, a unique angle and Jesse Sorensen
--Kurt Angle talks rehab and follow-up
--Angle talks Hogan
--Background of new TNA TV announcer
--More on plans for UFC Super Bowl show
--Thoughts on UFC going to Mexico
--More on Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva
--Mike Pierce injuries
--More on secret meeting for Fedor vs. Lesnar
--New arena being talked about being built that would be the home of the biggest UFC shows going forward
--Notes on the next season of Ultimate Fighter
--Update on Ben Askren
--UFC signs some major foreign names including one of the world's most exciting fighters of the last decade
--Pro wrestling talk in TUF house
--Promotion of Bellator PPV
--Update on Bellator's last show and next show
   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)
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*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)
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*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)
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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)
*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)
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*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.
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking the latest wrestling news, previewing the busy weekend and answering e-mail questions that you can send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
--Vince McMahon is being advertised locally as appearing on Raw on Monday night in Orlando.
--Also being advertised for Tuesday night's Smackdown tapings is John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio and Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton.
--The funeral for Calvin Knapp, who passed away earlier this week, will be tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Anderson-Clayton Funeral Home in Terrell, TX.   Knapp was a  Dallas area pro wrestler since the early 90s. (thanks to  David Farmer) 
--James Beard talks the death of Calvin Knapp at 
--A funny segment with the Bellas from Jimmy Kimmel last night at (thanks to Michael Bernstein)
--UFC Tonight is listed at 7:30 p.m. on FS 1 because of World Series coverage at 7 p.m.  Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen is replayed at 8 p.m. before last week's TUF and this week's show.
--Sheamus is now completely clean-shaven.

--A note for Friday.  The UFC weigh-ins are 11 a.m. Eastern time because the show is in the U.K. on Saturday.
--WWE return to Memphis on 3/10.  Presale tickets are on sale now with the code word MEMPHIS.  They don't go on sale to the public until January.
--Masaaki Mochizuki debuts for Evolve on the 11/16 and 11/17 shows in Queens and Brooklyn.
Lyoto Machida 75.9%
Mark Munoz 24.1%
Gilbert Melendez 64.3%
TJ Grant 35.7%
Daniel Bryan 52.1%
Big Show 11.6%
Paul Heyman 11.1%
Shawn Michaels 8.2%
Big E Langston 7.3%
HHH 2.7%
C.M. Punk 2.4%
Stephanie McMahon 2.2%
Bray Wyatt 1.8%
Randy Orton 0.4%
Excellent 7.0%
Good 34.2%
Average 29.1%
Fair 13.6%
Poor 16.1%
        16.7% of those responding didn't see the show.     
--Bellator announced some signings yesterday.  Featherweight Julio Cesar Morceguinho Neves, who is 19, will debut with a 28-0 record with only 3 fights going the distance.  Also signed from Brazil are Cleiton Duarte and Diego Marlon.
--Last week when we ran down those lists of the greatest champions in WWE history based on Topps, the lists were from surveys on the WWE web site in April.  Mick Foley wrote the backs and cards on the series will include Bruno Sammartino, Trish Stratus and Paul Heyman for the first time ever.
--Impact Podcast with the Hall of Fame speeches, and interviews with the Bro Mans, Phil Heath and Gail Kim at
--UFC's Garry Cook said that no date has been finalized, but they will have a show at the O2 Arena in London early next year.  They are also looking at doing regular shows in Europe.  Cook said the goal is 12-16 events a year, which would mostly be shows geared toward the market, with local prime time television and European fighters.    
--Premier Wrestling on 12/15 at the Nine Lives Club in Gilroy, CA at 5 p.m.  Tickets are only $10 if you purchase them on-line at headlined by Jeff Cobb (3-0) vs. Oliver John (2-0).  John is one of the best talents in the country who for some reason never made it on the big stage.   
--Bret Hart, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman, Scott Steiner, Buff Bagwell, Virgil, Hernandez and  Scott Norton will be at the Alamo City Comic Con in San Antonio this weekend.  Bret Hart has a Q&A on Friday at 3 p.m.   Nash, Hall & Waltman have a Q&A on Saturday at 1 p.m. 
--Daniel Cormier, when asked on MMA Junkie radio about a fight with Alexander Gustafsson, said it's fine as long as it's in the U.S., and at the same time as the Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira fight.  Since Gustafsson's next fight is scheduled for Europe, this is going to mean some compromises have to be made. 
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1940 - Yvon Robert beat Lou Thesz for the Montreal version of the world heavyweight title
1956 - Ben & Mike Sharpe beat Bill & Ed Miller in a battle of giants to win the NWA world tag team titles
1958 - Buddy Rogers & Ronnie Etchison beat Gene Dubuque & Mike Valentino (who later became Baron Mikel Scicluna) in Oakland to win the NWA tag titles
1964 - Jim Barnett & Johnny Doyle started their run promoting the debut of World Championship Wrestling at Sydney Stadium in  Australia and creating the golden age of Australian wrestling.  For the next several years, the Australia promotion was the No. 1 wrestling company in the world, and highest paying promotion in the world.  The first show was headlined by original world champion Killer Kowalski retaining his title against Domenic DeNucci.  Kowalski would end up being the greatest heel ever in the country, and according to Barnett, DeNucci became the longest longtime draw during the WCW era.
1965 - Kurt &  Skull Von Stroheim beat Sammy Steamboat & Ron Etchison in Tampa for the world tag team titles
1967 - The Sheik beat Gino  Brito to win the International title in Montreal
1967 - Abdullah the Butcher & Dr. Jerry Graham beat John & Chris Tolos for the Canadian Open tag team titles in Vancouver
1967 - The Spoiler & Gary Hart beat Bruce Bernard & Mike Paidousis in Fort Worth to win the American tag team title
1970 - La Pantera Negra beat Dale Lewis in Los Angeles to win the United National title
1974 - Robert Fuller beat Jerry Lawler in Nashville to win the Southern title
1978 - Kengo Kimura & Hiro Sasaki beat Jose Rivera & Invader I in Caguas to win the WWC tag title
1981 - Ken Patera beat Jack Brisco in St. Louis to win the Missouri State title
1981 - La Fiera beat Lizmark to win the NWA welterweight title in Mexico City
1981 - El Satanico beat Solar to win the Mexican national middleweight title.  Solar is still going strong 32 years later.
1982 - Ringo Mendoza beat El Satanico in Guadalajara to win the NWA light heavyweight title
1983 - Enrique Vera won a three-man tournament over Canek and Dos Caras to win the UWA heavyweight title   
1985 - Jon Cortez beat Johnny Saint to win the world lightweight title
1988 - Jerry Lawler beat Kerry Von Erich in Memphis to win the USWA title
1989 - Soul Taker (Godfather) beat Jerry Lawler in Memphis to win the USWA title
1992 - Black Bart & Johnny Mantell beat The Ebony Experience (Stevie Ray & Booker T) to win the GWF tag titles in Dallas
1994 - Paul Roma & Paul Orndorff beat Marcus Bagwell & The Patriot (Del Wilkes) to win the WCW tag titles at Halloween Havoc in Detroit
1995 - Brian Christopher beat Jesse James Armstrong (Road Dogg) in Memphis to win the Southern title
1995 - Alundra Blayze beat Bertha Faye to win the WWF women's title
1996 - Carlos Colon beat Huracan Castillo Jr. to win the Universal title
1999 - Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama beat Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa to win the All Japan world tag titles in Nagoya       
2000 - Matt & Jeff Hardy beat Edge in a handicap match to win the WWF tag titles
2001 - The Dudleys beat the Hardys for the WCW tag titles in Omaha
2002 - A.J. Styles beat Syxx-Pac to win the TNA X title in Nashville
2004 - C.M. Punk beat A.J. Styles to win the IWA Mid South title in Highland, IN
--CMLL Monday in Puebla:  Toro Bill Jr. & Ares el Guerrero b Paris & Black Tiger Sr., Ultimo Dragoncito & Electrico & Astral b Sauron & Pequeno Violencia & Pierrothito, Marcela & Goya Kong & Estrellita b Amapola & Princesa Blanca & Dallys la Caribena, Vangelis & El Terrible & Tama Tonga b Maximo & Titan & Rush,. Mistico & Valiente & Mascara Dorada b Dragon Rojo Jr. & Polvora & Rey Escorpion to retain the CMLL trios titles
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara:  Ebola & Demonio Maya b Idolo & Divino, Nitro & Espectrum & Hooligan b Leo & Esfinge & Back Metal, Tiger & Puma & Felino b Smaker & Triton & Gallo, Stuka Jr. & Blue Panther b Averno & Mephisto, Mistico & La Sombra & Mascara Dorada b Euforia & Gran Guerrero & Ultimo Guerrero
--CMLL Sunday in Guadalajara:  Explosivo & Indigo b Relampago Azul & Tapatio, Angel del Mal & Demonio Rojo b Martin & Tony Escobedo, Acertijo & Infierno & Magnum b El Hijo del Javier Cruz & Leon Blanco & Virgo, Fuego & Gallo & Triton b Barbaro Cavernrio & Exterminador & Malefico, El Terrible & Tama Tonga b Rush & Titan (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)  
--The San Francisco Chronicle did a big article on Hoodslam, the Oakland based promotion, that runs the first Friday of every month. 
--On Howard Stern's show today, Eric the Midget called in and said how Magnus was interested in dating Robin Quivers.  Quivers saw a photo of him and seemed interested (thanks to Jon Zepnick)  
--559 Fights take place on Friday night at The Island in Dinuba, CA featuring area fighters.
--Cedric Alexander talks his career and Glory by Honor this weekend at
--New England Championship Wrestling on Saturday night in Hyannis, MA at the Youth & Community Center with Slyck Wagner Brown vs. Jeremy Prophet in a last man standing match.
--CZW on 11/2 has an iPPV from Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ with Drew Gulak defending the CZW title against Chuck Taylor and BLK Out defending the tag titles against Azrieal & Bandido Jr.
--A discussion of 1979 WWF is at
--AAW on Friday night in Berwyn, IL at 115 Bourbon Street with Shane Hollister defending the title against Eddie Kingston plus the first round matches in a tag team tournament with Irish Airborne vs. Drew Gulak & Gran Akuma, Juntai Miller & Prince Ali vs. Dan Lawrence & Marcus Craine, Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano vs. Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman and Zero Gravity vs. Keith Walker & Lamar Titan.  The tournament will end on 11/30 in Berwyn, IL.
--MMA Platinum Gloves has the first amateur MMA show on Long Island on Thursday night at the UpSky Hotel in Hauppauge, NY starting at 6 p.m.  Tickets are on sale for this event at and will air on 
--A look at Quebec wrestler Angie Skye at

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?