FRI UPDATE: Notes from Impact, Bound for Glory extra TV show, line-up for PPV, weekend schedule, Batista talks getting dropped in training and if he'd fight BROCK, Rousey in Rolling Stone, tons more

By Bryan Alvarez | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @bryanalvarez

Something of a quiet weekend with the Raw brand off tour and no major MMA shows.

We're looking for reports from tonight's TNA house show in Atlanta which features A.J. Styles, Mr. Anderson, Kurt Angle, Mickie James, Zema Ion, James Storm, Christopher Daniels and Miss Tessmacher at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

We're also looking for reports from last night's show in Dalton, GA. The only news we got from the show is that Angle had to be helped to the back and the main event with Angle vs. Anderson ended abruptly. Angle has been working on hamstring injury for the past week, perhaps suffered in his TV match with Jeff Hardy, because he was very limited in what he could do at the house shows last week.

There are no Raw house shows over the weekend because the crew had the tough travel week last week, going straight from Raw to Australia, then straight back without the usual mid-week break. The Raw crew goes back to work on Monday night.

We're also looking for reports on these weekend events:

Smackdown opens its tour on Saturday night in Hamilton, ONT. Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton are the big three stars for the weekend tour. Orton had last week been pulled from these shows. TNA runs Saturday night in Gainesville, GA at the Georgia Mountain Center promoted as a homecoming for A.J. Styles, who is from Gainesville. ROH is in Charlotte at the Metrolina Trade Cente (Mark & Jay Briscoe & Rhett Titus vs. Kevin Steen & Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino, Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Michael Elgin & Roderick Strong, Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly, Caprice Coelman & Cedric Alexander vs. Lance & Harlem Bravado, Jay Lethal & Adam Page, Mike Mondo vs. QT Marshall).

Saturday is also the Evolve iPPV show at 5 p.m. Eastern:

Lineup is:

- El Generico vs. Samuray del Sol
- Richochet vs. AR Fox
- Rich Swann & Super Smash Brothers vs. Chuck Taylor & Drew Gulak & Orange Cassidy
- Sami Callihan vs. Masadsa
- Johnny Gargano vs. Jon Davis
- Christina Von Eerie vs Marti Belle

The big show of the weekend is TNA No Surrender from Orlando:

- Austin Aries vs. The Armbreaker (Drew Hankinson/Luke Gallows)
- Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe in Bound For Glory semifinals
- James Storm vs. Bully Ray in Bound for Glory semifinals

Winners of the semifinals meet for a title shot at Bound for Glory:

- Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. A.J. Styles & Kurt Angle for tag titles
- Rob Van Dam vs. Magnus
- Zema Ion vs. Sonjay Dutt for X title
- Miss Tessmacher vs. Tara for Knockouts title

Raw will be Monday night in Montreal. The big hook is that Bret Hart returns to Montreal's Belle Centre for the first time as a performer in nearly 15 years, since the legendary 1997 screw-job match with Shawn Michaels. In addition, it is being locally advertised as Pat Patterson Appreciation Night, although it is possible if not most likely those festivities will not be on television.

Smackdown will be taped in Ottawa on Tuesday.


We've got a double issue week of the Observer, with two major features.  We're looking at the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot, including a history of the voting.  We look year-by-year at who has come close, and how trends in the business have changed.  We look at the voting, how it's done, who does it, and who appear to be the strongest candidates.  We also look at the new candidates on the ballot this year.  We also have some research regarding Mexico, looking at who has won the Wrestler of the Year award in Mexico annually since the advent of Lucha Libre.  We examine a lot of the close candidacies, the effect of death of voters and who is on the ballot from each region.

        Our other lead story is a look at New Japan Pro Wrestling, which is probably right now the most successful non-U.S. pro wrestling group in the world, and arguably the No. 2 company overall.  We look back at the start of the promotion in 1972 and the politics that were going on at the time.  We look at how Japan changed in 1972 with All Japan and New Japan, what New Japan was forced to do to survive and the unique concepts they specialized in.  We look at how New Japan got into the NWA, its ties with the 70s WWWF as well as why they were at times, and not at others, able to get the WWWF champion to defend.
        We look at the early 80s peak, business problems, the Tokyo Dome sellout era and Antonio Inoki's mentality that built the company, and later nearly killed it.  We look at the downfall in the last decade, and the turnaround.  We look at how the Japanese industry is so much different than the U.S. based on technology, as well as the company's talent mix and why it leads to entertaining major events. 
        We also look at where things stand right now, as well as look at the June PPV show, treating it like it's a major show of the past week, the roles everyone played and themes of matches, which include the last chapter in Tanahashi vs. Okada, perhaps their last meeting until the Tokyo Dome.
        We also have an update regarding Steve Austin and any short-term plans to wrestle, why Punk going heel was a good idea for him, what other top WWE face wants to go heel, a match now scheduled for Mania in 2013, notes on the rise in WWE stock price and the funny reason it's going up.  We also look at two wrestlers who have good bargaining power because of it.  We look at C.M. Punk's cut, what we saw and what may not have happened.  We also have more on the arrest and suspension of Cameron.  We've got more on the Linda McMahon campaign, notes on Monday's Raw, Chris Jericho talks leaving and different talent and where they stand.
        We look at the funny story about how one of the PPV matches at Night of Champions got made.  We also look at a wrestler getting more mainstream ink in his home country, more on different wrestlers recently signed by WWE and their backgrounds as well as a top prospect gets a new gimmick and the debut of the Hollywood Express.  We've also got more on legends house and a second generation wrestler not getting off to a good start.
        We also have notes on the sensational business of the WWE Australia tour, as well as a look at all the house shows of the past week.
        Both issues are on the site now, as well as a new back issue from 1995. 
        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.
        We also have a note on the changes in television, most notably the decline in television homes while the population increases in the U.S., why this is happening, and the most important television markets.
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         We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on how every segment of Raw and Impact this past week did.  We look at what segments 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:
--World champion vs. world champion in two of the biggest international promotions, not one but two showdowns this past week
--Another legends show in Mexico and notes from the event
--Three different suspensions this past week
--Next AAA big show and an AAA vs. TNA champions program that looks to be put together
--Top ranked boxer's girlfriend is a pro wrestler
--A look at the next major Dragon Gate show
--More on the Funaki Triple Crown title win over Akiyama
--One of oldest titles vacated due to wrestler getting pneumonia
--A look at the third generation Von Erichs, as Kevin's sons start their careers
--Wrestling star out of action for almost a year and a half sets a target return date
--Kenny Omega on match with Kota Ibushi
--The first Olympic wrestler being talked about to go into pro wrestling instead of MMA, and a big show debut talked about
--Billy Robinson and Japanese pro wrestling stars looking at creating a new sport with details
--Zero-One jr. tournament featuring wrestlers from a number of different groups
--Current WWE employee is being allowed to wrestle in Japan
--This year's World masked man tournament
--Notes on the first father-son tag team match among Japanese ever
--More on Zeus being indicted and his brief pro wrestling career
--Reorganization of the NWA
--One of the best tournaments each year, annual Battle of Los Angeles report
--A number of health updates and obituaries of wrestlers
--Two former WWE wrestlers in different major brand TV commercials
--Wrestler apologizes for a bad idea photo
--More on Shelton Benjamin's heat with The Barbarian
--New pro wrestling comedy planned
--Former WWE wrestler and tag champ enrolls in college and will be playing football this fall
--ROH star out with knee surgery
--Story behind Devon leaving TNA
--What happened to the Dudleys name
--Update on Bully Ray
--More on the wrestlers who have recently left TNA
--Update on the Bound for Glory series
--Notes on TNA's new television show
--What Hall of Fame candidate will be featured on TNA's new show
--A look at the TNA weekend house shows
--A look at how much the cancellation of UFC 151 cost
--Dana White blames both Dan Henderson and Jon Jones
--White talks about making Jones vs. Sonnen
--What's next for Chris Weidman
--More thoughts on GSP vs. Anderson Silva
--Thoughts on Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo
--Why Edgar vs. Aldo is so important
--More UFC business figures
--A look at the new season of Ultimate Fighter
--Pacquiao going head-to-head with UFC
--Notes on the November Strikeforce show
--More on the arrest of Ian McCall
--UFC fighter talks about the pay scale and why it's so tough
--A look at just how frequently fighters are being injured
--Lots of UFC injury notes and returns
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Bellator updates including 2013 plans
--A look at a number of new MMA groups that will feature name fighters and Las Vegas planned events
--One of the best heavyweight wrestlers of the last decade makes MMA debut later this year
--Top kickboxer also set to make MMA debut
--Two Olympians in talks regarding MMA
--A look at the One Fighting Championship show, one of the most successful live crowds of the year
--A look at the "Here comes the Boom" movie starring Kevin James and its UFC theme
--Former UFC fighter a hero
--Canadian MMA pioneer stabbed

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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.
Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Bully Ray re-signed with TNA.

-- Dave Bautista was on MMA Uncensored Live last night (watch the whole episode) and noted that he got dropped for the first time in training last week, going head-up with Stephan Bonnar. He apparently loved the experience. He said he would be interested in returning to WWE at some point but was going to wait until the PG era died down a bit. He better not be holding his breath about that one. He said he'd like to work with HHH again (by far his most successful feud at the box office during his run), and also perhaps Brock Lesnar. He said if the deal was right he'd fight Lesnar in MMA, but he'd prefer to do a pro-wrestling battle instead. Me too.

King Mo on the show noted he'd be debuting for TNA in October. He just started training in Ohio Valley Wrestling. That will be an interesting story to follow as one month of training before a live TV debut has disaster written all over it 99 times out of 100. Or maybe he's the next Kurt Angle.

-- CSAC head Kathi Burns admitted today that they only tested two fighters on the Strikeforce Rousey vs. Kaufman show last month, those being Rousey and Kaufman. Both came up clean. Nobody else was tested, and they claimed that was not due to budgetary concerns, but rather, well, just because they didn't. CSAC is an absolute mess right now.

-- Speaking of Ronda Rousey, Rolling Stone has a bit in their latest issue detailing her "feud" with Kim Kardashian and outright proclaiming her the best female fighter ever.

-- As noted on Impact last night, Spike is giving TNA a one-hour countdown special before Bound for Glory on October 14th at 7 PM Eastern. Basically, it's a one-hour pre-show including one live match that you don't have to tune into the barker channel to see. WWE has been wanting something like this before their PPVs but USA hasn't bit yet. The TNA pre-show will also include highlights of Sting going into the Hall of Fame. Christian is doing the induction as part of the deal between WWE and TNA stemming from Ric Flair showing up at the WWE Hall of Fame this past WrestleMania weekend.

-- As noted on the front page, Bound for Glory has Austin Aries vs. Armbreaker (could have sworn Bobby Roode had an armbreaker finisher), James Storm vs. Bully Ray in a Bound for Glory semifinal, Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy in another semifinal (and their match on Thursday was great if you didn't see it), finals of the tournament, Miss Tessmacher vs. Tara for the Knockouts title, Daniels & Kazarian vs. AJ & Kurt Angle is Angle is healthy enough to go (he may have re-injured his hamstring for seemingly the third time this year at the house show last night), RVD vs. Magnus, and Zema Ion vs. Sonjay Dutt for the X-Title.

-- Dave has a new story up here talking about how the cancellation of UFC 141 was a – wait for it – FORTY MILLION DOLLAR HIT. Any by hit, I mean hit to the pocketbook.

-- WWE did an exclusive video of AJ saying that while she lost her mind on Monday, she's feeling much better now and will be in a great state of mind when she introduces Bret Hart to the live audience in Montreal on Monday. Uh oh.

-- Very wacky article about Kane and Eve visiting India here. Kane talks Bollywood Theatre and majoring in English literature, and Eve, described as John Cena's on-screen girlfriend (???) strikes a muscle post next to a masked Kane in street clothes.

-- Don't forget the EVOLVE iPPV tomorrow night. We've got a one-hour interview with Gabe Sapolsky from this week talking the event, next year's giant WrestleCon in association with WrestleMania weekend, rumors of him negotiating with ROH from a few months back, and more. It's a great interview.

-- Regarding the World Series of Fighting announce team that was reported on this site and elsewhere (Kurt Angle, Bas Rutten and Michael Schiavello), sources close to WSOF say the announce team as listed and reported is not official.

-- Fox Sports has reported Tim Boetsch vs. Chris Weidman is official for the UFC's end of year show on December 29th.

-- Also confirmed, Sara McMann vs. Liz Carmouche for Strikeforce's 11/3 date in Oklahoma City.

How many buys would you predict for Anderson Silva vs. GSP?
Less than 700,000 7.3%
700-800,000 1.1%
801-900,000 2.4%
901,000-1 million 10.0%
1.0 to 1.1 million 17.9%
1.1 to 1.25 million 25.5%
1.26-1.5 million 23.0%
More than 1.5 million 12.7%

Who should Rock wrestle at WrestleMania?
C.M. Punk 49.5%
John Cena 17.7%
Brock Lesnar 17.5%
Undertaker 8.6%
HHH 3.4%
Randy Orton 1.7%
Sheamus 1.6%

What should WWE do regarding three hour Raws?
It's a mistake, we already know it, work toward going back to two hours ASAP 56.4%
Smile, take the extra money, ratings aren't going to drop too much 16.0%
Give it time, evaluate it after football season 9.6%
Give it time, evaluate it after Mania 9.6%
In time, people will get used to three hours and it will do no harm 6.3%
In time, it'll be a bigger success than two hours 2.1%

-- HOOPLA with Truth Martini

-- Dutch Pro Wrestling on November 18th at the Leuningjes Arena (Julianastraat 49) in Poeldijk (next to The Hague), the Netherlands. Bully Ray and Tajiri are already confirmed and there is at least one other big name to be announced in the next week or two. For more info on the promotion, click here.

-- Red Canvas Fight Promotions, the only fight promotion to showcase the ‘Art of Submission’ in the cage and on the big screen, is set to make their debut in the mixed martial arts world in September with ‘Art of Submission 1.” Red Canvas Presents: ‘Art of Submission 1’ will take place on Saturday, September 15 at the San Jose Civic Auditorium in San Jose, California. Fans can also watch the fights live via internet pay-per-view on MSXN.TV.

-- A preview for the RF Video New Jack vs. Balls Mahoney face-off is up here. Whatever it is between the two, there were police stationed there just in case anything got out of hand.

-- If you live in South Florida a huge card is scheduled for next Saturday night, September 8th at the German American Clubhouse, 6401 Washington Street, Hollywood. Bell time is 8 p.m. The full lineup includes: Former WCW Champion and WWE superstar Vader vs. former TNA star Jesse Neal; "The Marquee" Bruce Santee (NWA Ring Warriors Grand Champion) vs. Chance Prophet; a four team tournament to crown NWA Ring Warriors Global tag team champions with Mosh & Thrasher (The Headbangers), Mikhail Ivanov & Aleksander Chekov (The Red-Devil Fight Team) managed by Adam Barisano, Wes Brisco & "The VIP" Cassidy Riley, and Steve "the Moose" Madison & Tommy Vandal; La Rosa Negra (Battling Bombshells Cahmpion) vs. "The Diva Beater" Sienna Duvall; "Iceman" Buck Q vs. Vordell Walker; and Billy Fives vs. Johnny Vandal.

-- Latest DOA Pro Wrestling TV show is up here.

-- The Rock sends support to injured player.

-- New audio interview with Downtown Bruno, aka Harvey Whippleman, here.

-- East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! 45th ANNIVERSARY SHOW "CHAMPIONS COLLIDE!" Sat, Sept 15, 2012 Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702 Doors Open: 6:00 PM Bell Time: 7:00 PM

-- New interview with Dolph Ziggler here

-- Over the Top Radio tonight talking the news of the week here.

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?