Weekend mailbag: History of WWE, UK Promoter spaks on tour problems, Dana & Ronda, Fight Feedback,


Oh, and I watched the History of WWE DVD. Just the documentary, I didn't watch any of the matches. It was fucking terrible. The stuff about Vince's steroids trial was hilarious. They paint him as an innocent bystander who was unfairly accused. They spent as much time talking about their social media initiatives and how they broadcast in HD as they did on Bruno Sammartino. I don't even think they mentioned Pedro Morales' existence. Buddy Rogers was on screen for about thirty seconds. They did a few minutes on Backlund, and mentioned Billy Graham a couple times in passing. They didn't talk about Crockett or any of the other competition from the '80s. They claimed the reason they invented Survivor Series and Royal Rumble was because ppv was becoming so popular, mentioning nothing about the promotional war with Crockett, or Starrcade or Bunkhouse Stampede. The only time AWA was mentioned was when it was noted they were a regional promotion where Hulk Hogan first became popular. They put over the debut of Monday Night Raw in '93 as if it changed the industry the way Nitro did, being an edgy, live arena show with a modern presentation. They spent a little bit on the Monday night wars, but claimed the reason they succeeded against WCW was that WWE had better talent. At least the last half hour of the documentary was about WWE's charity work, social media, web site, HD broadcasts, and film division. The whole thing came off as a corporate promotional video rather than a documentary. It was about two hours long and got really, really dull in last hour. But who expected different?

Take it easy,
Jeremy Wall


Dana White and Ronda Rousey as heels: Counter Point!
I just finished reading Josh Nason's 'editorial' on sportsmanship in the UFC and I just HAVE to reply to the condescending nonsense that he posted.
Josh, you seem to be of the opinion that Dana White would be better served being more like Pope Francis. You would rather bear witness to a tender, humble, soft spoken ambassador of the UFC who would rest his hand upon Tito Ortiz's forehead and forgive instead of seeing the 'successful multimillionaire' who has been able to grow so due to in part to his temperament and no nonsense attitude.
He's not running the local retirement home's bake sale. He's running an organization where every single performer thinks they are the toughest human being to ever trod the earth and will punch you in the mouth to prove it. You can't seriously think a kinder, gentler Dana would be the one you would want to have dealing with those Alpha personalities. He needs to be no nonsense just to keep guys like Nick Diaz from walking all over him.
The UFC is an asylum that the inmates just cant run and still be expected to operate successfully. Dana knows this and keeps all these eclectic personalities moving forward making both themselves and the company money by putting out a product that fans love to watch.
And speaking of fans, I know that this next part isn't going to make much sense to you, but I'm going to try anyway. Dana White appeals to the fans. I know from your rather elitist remarks that you consider most UFC fans to be the ...how did you put it...unwashed masses, but those of us you see as societal dirt bags like the 'take no crap' way that Dana carries himself.
He flat out says what we wish we could if we were in the same situation.
In this case Dana has arguably the top star in his promotion - perhaps even the top drawing star - coming back from a year and a half layoff, taking the worse beating he's taken in a while, barely getting by with a win and then jumping on a live microphone giving a disjointed, rambling, quasi retirement speech saying he's vanishing again for a while - absolutely blind siding his boss.
Dana's got a right to be ticked.
St. Pierre is one of a growing handful of champions who barely fight once a year. The boss lets them do that. The boss lets them hold on to their titles. Letting them do this - while title contenders fight three and sometimes 4 times a year - also lets them reap advertising opportunities and dollars that come with being the champ.
Fighting is not a 25 year career. While everyone else gets to take the physical toll fighting over and over waiting to finally get their shot one or two years down the line, George gets to avoid all that. His boss allows him to do this.
So yeah, George owes him a little more then what we are getting on camera AND (this is the part that you are dismissing) the parts that are happening behind closed doors. The public isn't privy to those pieces so your opinion may be somewhat premature without the whole story.
You say he lost a chance to appear human?
I say he came off looking as human as everyone else.
Then you move on to Rousey and show that you absolutely have no understanding of the sport you are watching.
What do you think the Ultimate fighter is a vehicle for? Yes, its to showcase and hopefully establish new stars, but why do you think Dana puts together coaches like Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell, Rampage and Rashaad or Sonnen and Silva?
Part of the formula of the show is to have that coaches match at the end of the season and the more friction there is between coaches, the better the show and the fight will be.
Jon Fitch and Lyoto Machida would make great trainers but they wouldn't draw flies when it comes to the build up of a main event match. Both guys are just too cordial and likeable.
You need that friction and Rousey and Tate have that in spades.
Nick Diaz will tell you that after almost every fight.
In this case, the two women ARE PORTRAYED AS blatantly disliking one another and it brings...what are we again? Oh yeah, the unwashed masses! It brings us - who are apparently lower in cognitive abilities then yourself - to the show every week and keeps us looking forward to their match up.
It's prefight hype designed to get folks thinking "Man that behavior is so bad! She's terrible! I hope Meisha straightens her right out on fight day! That will show her! Boy! If she can't act like a champion, I hope Tate takes that belt!"
Kind of like what your thinking right now, huh?
Yeah, Josh. They got ya.
That's the reality you were talking about.
You might have realized this if you weren't busy hypocritically telling us that Rousey should show some decorum while at the same time: calling her classless, mocking her mother, claiming she cant control her emotions, calling her a Type A caricature of a coach despite her team actually learning from her (verses the fiasco of a season with Roy Nelson), dismissing MMA fans as unwashed masses (always sounds more clever when Limbaugh uses it on his program) and then stunningly mocking those who "still hold the flag for free speech."
Oh yeah..almost forgot...as a side note...when wrestling in the early 90's was loosing steam...that whole middle finger flipping foul mouth swearing shtick didn't seem to hurt that other prominent multimillionaire did it?
Just my two cents.
John Kutz  (proud member of the lower class and certified beer swilling, finger flipping, fun loving, flag waving, pie eating yahoo.)


I'm sure you've heard my name by now, it's Chris Duke, the scapegoat for the events that took place this week.  I thought I'd give you a little insight as to what happened, from my perspective anyway.  I'll start by saying that I am not trying to absolve myself from responsibility here, I'm just putting out more information.
I'm writing this as an open letter, because, well, as the apparent "boss" of this tour, my posting rights have been removed by another party, so I have no choice but to do it this way.
In the initial stages of setting this thing up, I did take on a lot of the responsibility, booking flights, hotels, paying the talent ect etc etc.  and up until Monday evening I was very hands on, so much so, that there was still a few things left to be done come Tuesday morning, nothing impossible, just some extra niggly things like paying venue balances, booking hotels for the hosts/staff etc.
On the Sunday before the shows, we were all in Milton Keynes for the convention there, when I had the sudden idea to fly to Glasgow that night, and surprise my wife and daughters (Our wedding anniversary was Sunday, Daughters birthday was Monday), so I asked the guys if it would be ok.  Leaving 3 guys down there to pick up Scott Hall from the airport seemed like a decent enough deal to me.
So all went well, my wife was surprised, my daughter ecstatic to see me.  However on Monday night, around 5:30pm, I stated to feel unwell, warm, chest pains and a pain up my arm, so I dialled 999, and let the ambulance take me to hospital.  My wife let the guys know what happened, and I was drugged up to the nines in an ambulance.
It was at this point I received the following text from one of the other guys running the tour:
"Just leave it with us and relax, man. The tour is over for you, as your health is more important."
The tour is over for me.  PayPal account was emptied. Although never fully true, this is the last I heard from anyone involved in the tour all week, no one called, text, emailed, anything, they really meant it to say that the tour was over for me.
Then things started changing, I read that events were now being run: 1 hour pictures, 2 hours Q&A and 1 hour signing. Which, on paper, sounds great, but clearly didn't work. I had no say in this.
Also, and I will happily admit this, no matter how much trouble it may get me in, the initial deal was indeed "2 items to be signed by all the talent", I have no idea who changed it, but again, I had no say in this.
The prices that I had set out we're the following:
£20 for photoshoot
£20 for T-Shirt
£20 for 8 x 10 which you could then have signed.
That was it.  None of this £50 here, or £30 for this, something else I had no say in.
The reason we didn't announce prices ahead of time is because we advised not to by the professionals.
I'm hearing rumours about promo's being cut on me and saying that I owe x amount of money.  I don't know if these are true, as I haven't seen them, however, every receipt, invoice is present and correct, and will present them when needed.
It seemed increasingly easy to place the blame on the guy in the hospital bed, who couldn't respond, until now.
Whether you believe I was in hospital or not is a non issue, I know I was there, my family were by my side, and that's all I really need.
I will also stress, I am not, to use the popular term "throwing anybody under the bus", certainly not publicly, it's not the right thing to do.
Let me stress, I am not running from my responsibilities, anything that was my doing, I will put my hands up and admit, but the most common complaints for the past few days are things that are out of my hands.  I did end up with a few parking fines too, which was not the smartest thing i'd done.
I want to publicly apologise to the TWO media outlets that I had promised interviews too, The Wrestling Mania and Wrestletalk TV.  Although I don't know if WTTV got their interviews, I know that The Wrestling Mania didn't, and that is my doing, if I was there, I would have made every effort to sort that for you.
And whether they like me or not, Andy and Jamie held it together, completely, in my absence.  So props to them, a lot of people couldn't and wouldn't have handled that.
A lot of lessons have been learned this week, least of all, trust.
As this is my own personal PayPal account,I will, once healthy, respond to every single refund request, it's the least I can do.
As I say, it's easy to jump on a bandwagon when you don't know the facts, I trust this will help.
Thanks for reading

Christopher Duke
Freelance Radio & Print Journalist



Thumbs. again, all the way up. Another killer card with plenty of KOs, upsets and drama. FMJ and Evander ITH @ MSG.

Best fight: Barrett-Schilling

Worst fight: Hollenbeck-Stevelmans and it wasn't that bad

KO: Ristie, TWICE

4 man LW tourney starts with Davit Kiria looking to avenge a previous loss to Robin van Roosmalen. And they have lost the commentary audio, which is always an improvement.1: These guys have the same style and it's not defense. About the evenest round I ever saw. 10-10. Edge to Kiria if either, landed cleaner early in the round. 2: RVR imposing his will, busier and more accurate, and mixing it up more---kicks and knees score more than punches under the rules. Kiria pulls out some fancy kicks late but they miss. Less steam on his shots as the fight progresses. RVR 10-9. Commentary's back, boo. 3: More same in the 3rd, little closer but still clear. RVR 30-28, maybe 29-28 which is how all 3 judges have it. Decent fight. No real fireworks.

Other tourney opener is Giorgio Petrosyan, very technical and widely regarded as #1 P4P with a 78-1 record but recently inactive due to injury, vs. Andy Ristie, more of a brawler. The refs are making them start in the corners, which kickboxers aren't used to, they usually come to the center before the bell. 1: Fairly tentative 1st, Petrosyan looking a little rusty but probably still edging the round. 2: Petrosyan gets a little more untracked as the round goes on. Making the other guy miss and countering. Still not a lot of flow. Ristie still in single digits for landed strikes. 3: Ristie knows he's behind, comes out winging and quickly knocks Petrosyan flat with a left hook. He does not beat the count. This is a major upset.

Ky Hollenbeck, off the upset over Albert Kraus, basically mugs much smaller late sub Warren Stevelmans. Dirty, rough, foul-filled brawl. Stevelmans manages to rock the bigger guy a couple of times but just too small to follow up. 30-26 with a standing 8 in the 2nd. Judges same.

Major drama as Aussie Ben Edwards takes a pasting from Moroccan giant Jamal Ben Zaddik for 2 3/4 rounds then rallies to knock him out in the final 10 seconds of the fight, actually count ending after the bell.

Great fight. 3-0 Wayne Barrett steps way up against MW tourney winner Joe Schilling and wins the first two rounds, the 2nd 10-7 with 2 KDs. Schilling rallies to drop Barrett in the 3rd for a 10-8, so that should be 28-26 Barrett and another upset. Again the judges agree. GREAT fight. Crowd loves it as Barrett fights out of NYC.

Tourney final. 1: Ristie looks about a foot taller than RVR. Keeps him out on the end of everything throughout the 1st and drops him in the final seconds with left hook right hook. It was close to a 10-8 even without the KD. 2: Deja vu all over again. Ristie knocks Roosmalen flat with a left hook. He does not beat the count. Ristie wins the tourney and having beaten the top two, takes over the #1 ranking in the division.

Kickass card.

So now ANTHONY can't make weight and quits trying. Rhonda takes responsibility even though she was on his ass about his eating the whole time. But this is what I don't get---they show her going to Dana and saying she was going to cut to her fighting weight in one day just to show them it was a matter of focus and Dana talking her out of it, where the fact was that she DID DO IT. And not only that, but she beat Miesha in the wall climb IN HE MIDDLE OF DOING IT, and they edited it to look like that had happened days earlier. How was the truth not better TV? I guess the superobjective here is to keep conning people into thinking Miesha has any chance in the fight.
Thumbs up.
Best fight: Hawn-Keslar
Worst fight: Etim-Cenoble
KO: gotta split that Shlemenko and Hawn
Sub: Bannon
Lester Caslow KDs and Guillotines Jay Haas in the 3rd after a mostly uneventful fight. Brent Primus (does not rhyme with thymus) remains impressive going right through Brett Glass in an 0 Must Go, finishing with RNC. Bubba Jenkins gets back on the W track and shows much improved cardio, grinding then finishing Ian Rammel in the 3rd with G&P. Probable future champion Japanese-born Brazilian Goiti Yamauchi, with almost all his wins by sub, misses weight by 7 lb. but blows away Brazilian-born American Saul Almeida with punches for a quick KO. Yamauchi just turned 20 and showing more every time. Keith Bell rocks Blagoi Ivanov early but gasses quickly and gets rocked and taken down and taps quickly to RNC. Ivanov who beat Fedor in Sambo and has resumed his career after being stabbed and in an induced coma for three months remains undefeated. Mike Bannon quickly puts Ahsan Abdullah out with an arm tri, rare headsup reffing from a local.

British UFC vet Terry Etim debuts wrestle-effing Berto family cousin Patrick Cenoble to a boring UD to open the top card. One judge somehow gives Cenoble a round and almost as bizarrely another gives Etim a 10-8. There was no damage done in the fight.

Will Brooks, getting off first standing and doing whatever he wants wrestling wise, totally drubs Tiger Saranavskiy, taking the UD with one reasonable 30-26. MW champ Alexander Shlemenko in Saranavskiy's corner, which can't help him much going into his title defense in the main. Brooks wins the LW tourney and I guess will fight the winner of Alvarez-Chandler 3, or, I guess, Chandler for the vacant title if Alvarez wins and leaves Bellator---he's only committed to that one more fight and then it's Emancipation Day.

Judo Olympian Rick Hawn comes from behind after losing the 1st round to win the 2nd with boxing and then stun the much bigger Ron Keslar and not let him off the hook in the 3rd, scoring the clean KO to win the WW tourney. Hawn now has won 4 tourneys, 2 each @ LW and WW. Hawn will fight Douglas Lima for the now vacant with Askren gone WW title. Hey, be the first entertaining WW title fight in Bellator in a long time.

Shlemenko makes it look easy, taking heavy punching obnoxious skinhead Doug Marshall down at will, working the body, and finishing with a liver shot late in the 1st.


Didn't see the whole card but Lyoto Machida's older brother, Chinzo, nearly killed some guy with a knee to the head. Stretcher job. Check out a gif.


Thumbs down. Good performances by the winners. 

Best fight: Gradovich-Dib, I guess and it wasn't competitive

Worst fight: Ruiz-Hamer, pathetic

KO: Gradovich, I guess

Obese but reducing HW prospect Andy Ruiz struggles with Tor Hamer (black guy despite the name) for a couple rounds, finds range in the 3rd and Hamer quits on his stool. which apparently he also did in his last fight. They charge money for this.

Euvgeny Gradovich repeats his whatever-title-winning performance against Billy Dib by a much wider margin this time, forcing the corner stoppage during the 9th. Pretty much a one sided battering but Dib was at least in the exchanges.

Pacquiao does a paint job on mechanical, plodding, made-to-order Brandon Rios, winning every round by a wide margin. How Rios got a round on one card and two on another escapes me. Manny wins the vacant WQAM Mocha Spam Interlocutory WW title, or something. Important part is he maintained pace and focus for the whole 36 minutes, and restrained the urge to slug with a bigger stronger slugger. Hope they at least let him get the win back over Bradley, which shouldn't be much of a problem if the judges remember to bring their Seeing Eyed Dogs.

Crimson Mask


At the Bellator show on Friday, i was sitting next to a group of Russian guys. One guy was getting hammered during the pre-show. By time show started, he could barely stand. When the first Russian fought on the main card, he was wobbly and couldn't stand. He staggered out, falling over and disappeared. A few minutes later, security came to the Russian guys to say their friend was passed out in the bathroom and would one of them come help him? After a few minutes of discussion, none of them would leave to help him until the fight was over. Finally, during the third fight, one of them left to help the guy. They came back for the. Ain event, but without their drunk friend.
Also, finally got to meet Wheelock in person and we talked for maybe 15-20 minutes about old school KC/STL wrestling and soccer and the radio show he does on the BBC.
The funny thing about the casino where the show was in Bethlehem PA is that it is prob less than five miles on the highway in the opposite direction from the little town i used to drive to every month to see Chikara in a tiny American Legion hall.
Really enjoyed the HOF bios. Looking forward to hearing you on the Austin podcast.
Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine


Just watched the latest GLORY. Actually I thought the first show on
SPIKE was a little better but still I can't help but wonder how much
much better  MMA fighters would be if they trained seriously in this
sport as well. The intensity is incredible and there's non stop action
and every punch / pick is delivered with power. Overall a very exciting
show as usual although I suspect the ratings will be bad.

Paul Dowling


Thumbs in the middle

Best match: Captain New Japan & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Shinsuke Nakamura

Worst match: Yuji Nagata vs. Takashi Iizuka

With six shows coming over forty-three days, accumulating a hundred-twenty dollars, New Japan are asking a bit too much from their audience at a time of year where money's tight. As for this one, if you want to watch some well worked average matches and a couple of good ones, then this is the show for you.  

Tiger Mask & Jushin Liger vs. Yohei Komatsu & Sho Tanaka: This didn't grab my attention. Nothing glaringly appalling, though. Tiger Mask always does something to make me sit up and notice. Tanaka and Komatsu could do with some presence. The charisma doesn't exactly ooze out of their pores.

KUSHIDA, Strongman & Manabu Nakanishi vs. TAKA Michinoku, Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer: If this match was anything, it was a showcase for KUSHIDA. He really needs to break out and become a single. As for Manabu and Strongman, I'm enjoying their clumsy big guy gimmick, even if it isn't intentional.

Yuji Nagata vs. Takashi Iizuka: When Nagata was in control, this was fine. I just find Iizuka's limited offence boring. It's certainly not my cup of tea, despite being different to everything else on the card.

BUSHI & Kota Ibushi vs. Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson: Fast and furious action from BUSHI and Ibushi and it's nice to see Gallows getting put over strong. After two companies misusing him, I don't think New Japan will make it a hat trick. I liked the hangman gimmick. It's very clever considering his name's Gallows. Too bad the match ended before getting good.

Jado, Yujiro Takahashi & Toru Yano vs. Taichi, Shelton Benjamin & Minoru Suzuki: What a fun match. Maybe too much fun. Taichi burying Jado's head between the legs of the girl sat in the front row was outrageous. Saying that, I had to chuckle at Jado's subsequent smile. From Minoru and Jado's chop battle that culminated in the Flair flop, I was entertained by this. I'm guessing Yujiro and Suzuki are going to cross paths soon and maybe big things are to come for Yujiro. I didn't get why Shelton went after the ring announcer. It was an impressive spot, nonetheless.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Jax Dane & Rob Conway: Anything good said about this match has to be credited to Kojima. Which is incredible considering his ailments. Very rough around the edges and Dane wasn't great. No complaints about Conway, except he really isn't over.

Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe vs. Bad Luck Fale & Prince Devitt: A fairly decent match. Honma is excellent at taking a beating. I just hope he gets his due in 2014. I'm extremely fascinated by Fale's Border Toss. He seems to do an immense power spot with very little effort. With the finishes it's yielded, I think it will lead to some special moments.

Captain New Japan & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Shinsuke Nakamura: I was beginning to think this would be the best match by default, irrespective of being quite average. Fortunately, it picked up in the latter stages and who'd of guessed the star would be the Captain. I've really warmed to him over the last few months. I'd love to see him get a big win somewhere down the line.

La Sombra & Tetsuya Naito vs. YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada: Whilst Shinsuke and Tanahashi didn't light up Korakuen (and why should they, their match is sold), Naito and Okada showed their wares with some lightning fast moves in the early exchanges. Sombra and YOSHI were almost as good. Sombra looked huge compared to the last time I saw him and YOSHI continues to surprise me. He's on my shortlist for "most improved". Back to Sombra, I want to see him regularly in the heavyweight mix. Even though this match was a lot more action packed, I felt the previous contest was overall better.

Jonny Clare

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?