WED. UPDATE: More on GSP, Bellator ends season, Glory show features best in the world, UFC ratings notes, UFC fighter retires, Wrestling the night Kennedy was killed, How long should GSP be allowed to wait, Best of Hall of Famers
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 16:57
By Dave Meltzer |
Main Event on Ion tonight at 8 p.m.
Naomi vs. Tamina Snuka in a lumberjills match
Santino Marella vs. Alberto Del Rio
Kofi Kingston vs. Fandango
Ultimate Fighter tonight at 10 p.m. on FS 1 has Anthony Gutierrez vs. David Grant tonight, with the winner facing Chris Holdsworth for the men's TUF championship on 11/30 in Las Vegas. The second women's semifinal match will be next week with Jessica Rakoczy vs. Raquel Pennington.
The new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is up, talking the launch of the WWE Network as well as an idea that was brought up that would almost guarantee a successful launch, but one that doesn't come without serious risks, and we look at the risk/reward ratio. We also look at the new hire, the economics of the network at different price points and other factors involved.
We also look back at all the controversy coming out of the UFC 20th anniversary show, including the judging of the GSP vs. Johny Hendricks fight, the reaction to the judging, the realities of the ten point must scoring system, a look at other scoring systems and each's flaws, GSP's comments after the fight, Dana White's comments after the fight, interesting poll results regarding the main event, stats regarding the effect of the half-point scoring system and Pride scoring, White's blaming the commission, GSP's issues, what cost Hendricks the fight, the 20th anniversary party, business on the show, match-by-match coverage, and how much everyone earned.
We also have a huge UFC history piece, on the period that shaped UFC, from its original show, talking with the people who were there from the start, their memories, what problems ensued, what went wrong, what went right and all the various luck that was involved in bringing the sport up, nearly killing it, and its successful second birth. We also look back at the beginnings of MMA in Japan with Pancrase, how quickly UFC became a hit, threats to the people running it, how Joe Silva first got involved, the UFC curse, the court fights, the politicians, the battle with John McCain, the battle in New York, the show in Dothan, AL, the turning point for the original UFC and more.
We also look at all kinds of ironies from the early years to the modern period, the changing of the rules, the first time back on PPV, the Shamrock vs. Ortiz feud, the Ultimate Fighter and the first time UFC hit 1 million buys on PPV.
We also look at WrestleMania ticket sales, secondary market reaction, economic impact of WrestleMania, locals vs tourists at WrestleMania and more.
We also look at this year's Survivor Series, ticket sales, return of Rey Mysterio, Dwayne Johnson's latest movie project, WWE doing PPVs in Europe and does it make sense, new WWE signee, new products, Sheamus talks favorite WrestleMania moments, who the company is high on for the future, what wrestler with no push is selling merchandise well, Mickie James training at WWE, and Pat Patterson.
We also look at the WWE European tour with highlights from all the shows.
We also look at Antonio Inoki and his future in the Japanese senate after his latest escapade.
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 and how every segment on Impact did as far as gaining or losing 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:
--What Atlantis said about the potentially biggest match in Mexico in years
--Welterweight title change
--Dragon Gate USA's New York weekend including Hero vs. Gargano
--Wrestle-1 preparing its biggest show
--A.J. Styles in Japan
--The earthquake that shook the ring
--TNA tag team in Japan
--The 37th annual World's Strongest Tag league tournament
--New matches announced for NOAH's big year-end show including title matches featuring an ROH star, and a match featuring a former MMA star
--Notes on Price Devitt and his New Japan contract
--Lineup for the next several New Japan iPPV shows
--80s wrestling figure returns
--Puerto Rico's big show and latest programs
--More on Devon Nicholson's ongoing lawsuit against Abdullah the Butcher
--Boxing champion starting pro wrestling
--Updates on Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards
--What Richards said that got ROH hot
--New idea for 2014
--Notes on ROH television tapings
--TNA sale update
--More on outside talent being contacted by TNA
--Notes on upcoming TNA PPV shows
--Notes on upcoming TNA TV shoots
--Notes on the new Impact Zone in Orlando
--Gail Kim storyline
--Why Jon Jones isn't fighting
--Update on Anthony Pettis
--Update on GSP vs. Hendricks II
--More on first FOX special of 2014
--Update on Nick Diaz
--More on opening up women's 115
--Lots of new UFC shows and new UFC fights
--A look at the return of Rampage Jackson
--Sports vs. entertainment in MMA
--Upcoming on the Bellator title picture with Askren gone and tournaments ending
--The story behind Matt Riddle being fired
--Son of pro wrestler debuts in Bellator
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)
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*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)
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*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)
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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)
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*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)
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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)
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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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*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bigelow)
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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)
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*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
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*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
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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.
WEDNESDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I are back on Wrestling Observer radio today with a show previewing the weekend Survivor Series and New Japan shows, talking GSP, and the WWE network launch and more.
--TMZ ambushed GSP at the airport in Los Angeles coming back from vacation and he denied everything, saying he's not a dad, he's not in rehab, his father isn't dying and everybody is happy and in good shape. He said he'll be back training at the gym in Montreal on Monday and he feels great, but he bruises easily. TMZ insisted still that GSP got a woman pregnant in Montreal. GSP didn't actually deny it, he just said he's not a dad.
--To the surprise of probably nobody, another season of Total Divas has been ordered by E!
--The WWE Fan Nation YouTube channel ranked No. 4 in October with 63,096,390 viewers behind The Ellen Show, The fine Bros and Hola Soy German.
--Bellator's final show of the season is Friday night from Bethlehem, PA:
Alexander Shlemenko (48-7) vs. Doug Marshall (18-6) for the middleweight title
Will Brooks (12-1) vs. Alexander Sarnavskiy (25-1) in the lightweight tournament final
Ron Keslar (11-3) vs. Rick Hawn (17-2) in the welterweight tournament final
Patrick Cenoble (9-2-1) vs. Terry Etim (15-5)
--The weigh-ins for the show will be tomorrow at 5 p.m. Eastern time at the North Hampton and LeHigh rooms at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA.
--Thiago Silva vs. Ovince St Preux in a light heavyweight bout has been added to the UFC's 1/15 show in Atlanta.
--Chris Nowinski, on his honeymoon, speaking to the Australian Football League on concussions at http://www.afl.com.au/news/2013=11-20/rest-your-brain
(thanks to David Boothroyd)
-Matt Riviera of Traditional Championship Wrestling wanted me to note that he's not the Matt Rivera from New Jersey who was on the TV show "Extreme Cheapskates." Apparently a lot of people saw the similarity in names and thought he was.
--For the UFC prelims Saturday night at UFC 167, it was the highest rated cable telecast in its time slot in both Males 18-34 and 18-49. Compared to the last prelims, they were up 135% (more than double) in Males 18-34 and 81% in Males 18-49.
--With all the talk of the GSP vs. Johny Hendricks fight, a lot of MMA talk shows, including the MMA Hour that I was on Monday, set all-time record viewership numbers.
--The UFC 167 post-fight show on FS 2 did well over double the viewership of the post 166 show and nearly four times the numbers in the Males 18-34 demo and nearly triple in the Male 18-49 demo.
--Glory 12 airs Saturday night from the Theater in Madison Square Garden, live on Spike and The Fight Network at 9 p.m. Eastern. It's a one-night four-man tournament to crown the lightweight world champion. The greatest kickboxer in the world, Giorgio Petrosyan (78-1-1) faces Andy Ristie (39-3-1) and Robin van Roosmalen (6-1) vs. Davit Kiria (21-8) in the semifinals.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY
1966 - Ray Stevens & Art Nelson beat George & Sandy Scott in Melbourne, Australia to win the IWA tag title
1970 - Dory Funk Jr. beat Thunderbolt Patterson in Amarillo to win the Southwest Brass Knux title
1970 - John Tolos beat La Pantera Negra in Los Angeles to win the United National title
1972 - Jim Breaks beat Bill Ross in Nottingham to unify both the British and European lightweight titles
1976 - Thunderbolt Patterson beat The Sheik in Toronto to win the U.S. title
1985 - Solar beat Cachorro Mendoza in Mexico City to win the UWA welterweight title
1992 - Super Delfin beat Pantera in Tokyo to win the UWA super welterweight title
1995 - Shark Tsuchiya beat Megumi Kudo in Sendai to win the FMW women's title
1998 - Hiromichi Fuyuki beat Hayabusa in Yokohama to win the FMW World Brass Knux title
2000 - Chuck Palumbo & Shawn Stasiak beat Elix Skipper (subbing for General Rection) & Alex Wright to win the WCW tag titles in Augusta,GA
2002 - Jeff Jarrett beat Ron Killings in Nashville to win the NWA world title
--J.C. Dykes, the famed manager of The Infernos, passed away on this day 20 years ago at the age of 67. Stanley Blackburn, the figurehead president of the AWA and West Texas promoter, was 80, when he passed away on this day 16 years ago. Billy Goelz, an early Chicago television star, was 84 when he passed away 11 years ago today.
--A big show on 12/1 at Gimnasio Joseu Neri Santos in Ciudad Juarez has Dr. Wagner Jr. & LA. Park vs. Atlantis & Ultimo Guerrero in a teaming rivals with indies vs. CMLL, plus Niebla Roja & Silver King Jr. & El Hijo de Dr Wagner vs. L.A. Park Jr. & Cassandro & Pagano.
--Border Impact Wrestling on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in El Paso at 2930 Cassidy Rd has a free show open to the public with Hurricane Hector (who was Eddy Guerrero's best friend growing up) vs. Maquina 45 Jr. in the main event.
--Supreme Pro Wrestling from Sunday in Sacramento: Dexter St. Jacques & Pantera & Savannah Riley b John Redito & Pistolero & Kurai Hime, J.D. Bishop b Josh Robertson, Jeckles & Dusty Grimes b Truex & Sione Finau, Bobby Hart b Virgil Flynn, Brian Tannen b Kurz, Drake Younger b Marcus Lewis, Corvus & Rik Luxury b Dejon Brown & Dominic Simon, Joe DeSoul & Mustafa Saed and Drake Frost & Sir Samurai, Sal Thomaselli won three-way over Jeff Cobb and Ryan McQueen to keep the SPW title. Next show is 12/15 with Thomaselli vs. Younger. (thanks to Mike Millerick)
--Really interesting piece by Irv Muchnick about what he was doing on the night JFK was assassinated 50 years ago. He was attending Sam Muchnick's wrestling card headlined by Lou Thesz vs. Fritz Von Erich for the world tilte at Kiel Auditorium. He also talks about his uncle at http://concussioninc.net/?p=8332
--UFC fighter Brian Melancon announced he was retiring today. He was scheduled to fight Robert Whitaker on 12/7 in Brisbane, Australia. Melancon wrote: "It has been announced, I am sad to say, that my fighting career is over. I have been having kidney problems that have gotten much worse recently and I just found out that my kidney function has dropped to 47%. If I continue to train, fight and cut weight then I run the risk of permanent damage. I have been advised by my specialist to retire and move on and that is what I will be doing. This is not how I wanted to go out, but I have to believe that God has another path for me. Thanks to all of you who supported me throughout my career."
HOW LONG SHOULD GSP BE ALLOWED TO SIT OUT BEFORE A NEW TITLE MATCH IS DONE WITHOUT HIM?
One year 34.8%
Six months 32.3%
Nine months 22.0%
More than two years 5.2%
15 months 2.4%
18 months 1.5%
24 months 1.5%
21 months 0.3%
WHO WAS THE BEST OF THESE HALL OF FAMERS?
Bruno Sammartino 38.0%
Randy Savage 34.2%
Ricky Steamboat 10.2%
El Santo 7.8%
Buddy Rogers 6.8%
The Sheik 2.2%
Dara Singh 0.6%
El Solitario 0.2%
WHO WAS THE BEST OF THESE HALL OF FAMERS?
Lou Thesz 55.0%
Jumbo Tsuruta 14.1%
Ray Stevens 12.3%
Original Tiger Mask 10.4%
Genichiro Tenryu 4.5%
Nobuhiko Takada 1.7%
Joe Stecher 1.5%
Ray Steele 0.4%
POLL ON TOTAL DIVAS
50.0% of those responding didn't see the show
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
Daniel Bryan 45.8%
Big E Langston 17.0%
Florida Georgia Line 10.5%
C.M Punk 10.3%
Rey Mysterio 5.1%
Seth Rollins 3.9%
Stephanie McMahon 2.7%
Randy Orton 2.7%
John Cena 1.4%
WHAT IS THE BEST MMA SCORING SYSTEM?
No points or winning of rounds, just pick the winner at the end 37.1%
Ten point must but using half points 27.0%
Detailed points for takedowns, knockdowns, passing guard, near submissions 24.5%
Current system 11.5%
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ANNOUNCING THE SCORES AFTER EVERY ROUND IN MMA?
Like it 50.9%
Don't like it, keep it the way it is 32.8%
Corners should be told, but not the fans 16.4%
POLL ON RAW
16.0% of those responding didn't see the show
--ESPN Classic has Global Wrestling Federation mini-marathons on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. (thanks to Chris Aiken)
--Chris Masters will be doing five events for CWE in Manitoba, a tour on 2/19 in Neepawa, 2/20 in Morden, 2/21 in Winnipeg, 2/22 in Selkirk and 2/23 in Beausejour. This will be the company's fifth anniversary tour.
--Barry Meyer, the original promoter of the Las Vegas based Tuff N Uff promotion, will be honored at the company's 11/29 show at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Meyer passed away due to a suicide last month. Jeff Meyer, Barry's brother, is taking over the promotion. The show will be the day before the TUF finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Marina Shafir, Ronda Rousey's good friend and assistant coach, faces Tabby Patterson in one of the main fights.
--Resurrection Fighting Alliance on 11/22 at 10 p.m. on AXS from the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, CO. Alvin Robinson pulled out of the show this weekend as his wife gave birth to triplets and he spent almost the entire week in the hospital without any training and little sleep. In addition, Tommy Thompson suffered a broken foot that forced him out of his main event with Tyler Toner. To Toner and Raoni Barclos (who was to face Robinson) will now be meeting in the main event. They are pushing this as the 20th anniversary of the debut of MMA in Denver, since UFC 1 was in the city. From 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. there will be an autograph session for free as long as you bring one canned food item to help underprivileged families in the greater Denver area during Christmas. Among those who will donate their time are Lyoto Machida, Brandon Thatch, Cat Zingano, Nate Marquardt, Neil Magny, Pedro Rizzo, Cody Donovan, and Duane Ludwig.
--Melbourne City Wrestling on 11/30 at the Craigieburn Leisure Centre features Bob Holly vs. KrackerJak.
--CMLL on Monday night in Puebla: Bengala & Aguila Egipcia b Akron & Cholo, Sauron & Pierrothito b Asturiano & Blue Center, Raziel & Cancerbero & Fuerza Chicana b Pegasso Extreme & Metalico & Tigre Rojo Jr., Psicosis & Olimpico & Kraneo b Delta & Guerrero Maya Jr. &Stigma, La Mascara & Valiente & Titan b Averno & Mephisto & Mr. Niebla-DQ, Rush b Shocker
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Sensei & Bengala b Sadico & Demonio Rojo, Arkangel de la Muerte & Barbaro Cavernario & Hooligan b Stigma & Magnus & Leo, Goya Kong & Silueta & Dark Angel b Tiffany & Princesa Blanca & Comandante, Mr Aguila & Polvora & Olimpico b Shocker & Angel de Oro & Sagrado, Ultimo Guerrero b La Sombra in a 3 fall main event that only went 9:00
(thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner) .
--Tickets for the next WWF show in Philadelphia go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. using the code SMACKDOWN (thanks to Bill King)
--Joey Ryan and Roderick Strong are coming to Mexico for a week starting on 11/30 working for various promotions.
--CWE on Friday night in Transcona, at Rookie's Sports Bar.
--Pro Wrestling Syndicate on 12/14 with a doubleheader show in Avenel, NJ