SAT. UPDATE: Shocking name in tournament tonight; Huge weekend next week, Impact rating, Florian

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        We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's UFC 131 from Vancouver, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
        We're also looking for reports on today's WWE house shows with Raw in Rochester, NY and Smackdown in Barcelona, Spain, as well as today's TNA house show at Auto Zone Park in Memphis (Sting vs. Mr. Anderson for TNA title, Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle, Bully Ray & Tommy Dreamer vs. A.J. Styles & Devon, Kazarian vs. Matt Hardy).  We're also looking for reports on last night's WWE shows in Florence, Italy, Syracuse, NY and TNA in Marion, IL, as well as Thursday night's WWE show in Turin, Italy.
        Tonight's UFC lineup
Facebook and Youtube coverage starting at 5:50 p.m. Eastern time
Darren Elkins (145) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (145)
Joey Beltran (247) vs. Aaron Rosa (261)
Jason Young (145) vs. Dustin Poirier (146)
Nick Ring (185) vs. James Head (186)
Mike Massenzio (201) vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (205)
Spike TV at 8 p.m.
Jesse Bongfeldt (185) vs. Chris Weidman (186)
Yves Edwards (155) vs. Sam Stout (155)
PPV at 9 p.m.
Vagner Rocha (155) vs. Donald Cerrone (155)
John Olav Einemo (261) vs. Dave Herman (233)
Demian Maia (186) vs. Mark Munoz (186)
Kenny Florian (146) vs. Diego Nunes (145)
Shane Carwin (254) vs. Junior Dos Santos (239) 
        We will have live coverage on the site starting at 5:50 p.m. Eastern time
        Sunday has TNA Slammiversary in Orlando:
*Sting vs. Mr. Anderson for TNA title
*Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett - Angle puts up gold medal
*James Storm & Alex Shelley vs. Douglas Williams & Magnus tag titles
*A.J. Styles vs. Bully Ray last man standing
*Abyss vs. Kazarian vs. Brian Kendrick for X title
*Mickie James vs. Angelina Love for Knockouts title
*Crimson vs. Samoa Joe
*Matt Morgan vs. Scott Steiner
        Randy Savage:  The Early Years is the theme for the lead feature story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which also details the resignation of the president of one of the top wrestling companies in the world, the fallout from the stroke suffered by Super Hate, the most detailed look at the Tough Enough decision making, the stardom of Clay Guida, the Ultimate Fighter finals, plus the latest PPV notes on boxing, wrestling and MMA including some new numbers that are both good and not so good.  We also have our quarterly business charts for both WWE and TNA, so you can see how both companies right now are shaping up in all the key categories.
       The issue will be up on the site today.  A new back issue from early 1994 was put up earlier in the week and another will be up in a few days.  Between the Observer and Figure Four Weekly, we have about 14 issues put up every month and dozens of new audio shows for web site subscribers including coverage after the shows of every major pro wrestling and MMA event.
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        Our story on Savage includes a look at his death, funeral, his days in baseball, the Randy Savage-Vince McMahon issues, the end of his career in WCW, negotiations in the last decade for him to return, his connecting with baseball friends after being in wrestling and using baseball players on television to put him over.
        We look back at the start of Savage's career, how long he worked under a mask, the first match he had under the name Randy Poffo, as well as the first match as Randy Savage and the first match and debut of the Macho Man name.
        We look at his run from territory to territory during the 70s, as he worked his way up the ladder, and the places where he got his first breaks. 
        We also go into the history of the infamous ICW promotion, including the unique way it started, the first grandstand challenge, the feud with Ronnie Garvin, The Slapowitz Syndicate, the unique departure of their TV announcer, the beginning of the career of Elizabeth, and more on challenges made to the stars of other promotions and how they were viewed at the time.
        We look at the war between the ICW and Jarrett Promotions, including police having to take action, Savage's bragging about beating up one of the Jarrett top stars on television, what wrester Vince McMahon asked him to shoot on, the downfall of the ICW, and the night he took on the police and a police dog.
        We also look at the Tough Enough finale, the background of Andy Leavine and why he won.  We also look at the qualities that killed Luke Robinson, the advantages Leavine had going in and the bizarre "it" factor remark.  We also look at the clever way Vince McMahon handled the ratings, talks about season two, where the rating peaked on Monday's show and what the final segment meant. 
        We also look at how Leavine got into pro wrestling.
        We also look at Clay Guida and the Ultimate Fighter finals, with business notes, poll results, how every match did in the ratings, the Kingsbury vs. Maldonado decision, plus match-by-match coverage and the announced purses for all the fighters.
        We look at attendance, ratings and PPV for WWE and TNA and how business is faring, as well as what areas are strongest for UFC and WWE on PPV right now.
        We also have more on Linda McMahon running for office, a new member of the WWE Board of Directors, lots of WWE injury notes, Changes in WWE magazine being tackled about, video game name change and why, New WWE developmental, Capitol Combat notes, SummerSlam activities, why WWE is bullish on India, Dwayne Johnson's movie career and Kharma talks Jim Ross.  We also have Bret Hart's return, news on Batista, why a current WWE performer hasn't been on television, what percentage of Raw viewers watch live vs. tape, as well as business notes from the past week and main stuff on the house shows.  
        We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw and Impact did and what viewers came and left. 
       We also have our usual weekly features with results of the major arena shows from around the world, and the major TV show rundowns and reviews.
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Also in this week's issue:
--New top contender for CMLL heavyweight title
--Arena Mexico weekly coverage
--New idol tournament and two other championship tournaments
--What happened at the TripleMania press conference and what TNA stars were brought to Mexico City
--What TNA tag team is being put back together, but not in TNA
--AAA trying to copy U.S. reality shows
--Three former WWE stars form a trio in Mexico on major show
--A look at the Dragon Gate USA tour and big matches
--The two year anniversary of the death of Mitsuharu Misawa
--Update on Manabu Nakanishi
--Details of the 2011 Best of the Super Junior tournament
--Former star returns to promotion after 11 years
--90s star announces his retirement and just had final match
--A look at the Urban Wrestling Federation
--Pittsburgh Studio Wrestling reunion
--Roddy Piper vs. Terry Funk in 2011
--One of wrestling's most famous arenas being shut down
--Update on the next major ROH show  
--A look at the departures of both Mick Foley and Tommy Dreamer from TNA
--A look at the backstage mentality in TNA
--Foley talks WWE Hall of Fame
--Foley talks chair shots to the head in wrestling
--Wrestlers TNA is planning on giving major pushes to
--Will Chyna return?
--How television usage is changing
--Notes on UFC 131
--New UFC video game with a twist
--More on GSP vs. Nick Diaz
--Interesting political move by Spike
--The attempt to get MMA legalized in New York
--What aspect of its business is UFC pushing
--UFC's debut in Milwaukee
--More on upcoming Strikeforce shows
--Upcoming UFC shows
--New UFC matches announced
--Joe Warren makes a title defense
--Former star fighter in another sport heads to MMA
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steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article
and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
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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)
*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
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*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
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Backlund and Backlund era)
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Lex Luger)
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was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
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and friends)
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the
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night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined
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*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the
controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
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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
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*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
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the
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business changed)
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best
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*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his
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*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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Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro,
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why it didn't click)
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--Cael Sanderson, who was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame, is coming out of retirement with no notice for tonight's U.S. World Team Trials in Oklahoma City.  Sanderson is competing at 185.5 pounds in Freestyle wrestling, looking to make the team and compete for the world championships in September, with the ultimate goal of the 2012 Olympics.  Sanderson turns 32 this coming week, and his coming back after winning a gold medal in 2004, staying in the sport, training and coaching the national championship team at Penn State, is considered a tough deal, so imagine what the odds are regarding Kurt Angle, who turns 43 this year, with a ridiculous amount of injuries and history of prescription pill issues, coming back after having not competed in any sporting event since 1996.
--Tonight is the first of three straight nights of Observer radio.  We'll be talking UFC 131 tonight after the show.  Tomorrow night we will be covering TNA Slammiversary and Monday night we'll be covering both the three-hour Raw from the Nassau Coliseum as well as the TNA Impact first night of tapings.  You can also send in questions for the show at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
--Next weekend is one of the bigger ones of the year with Strikeforce, WWE, All Japan, New Japan, CMLL and AAA all having major shows.  That would include the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix, WWE Capitol Combat, All Japan at Sumo Hall, New Japan in Osaka with a loaded show, CMLL's Juicio Final and AAA's TripleMania, featuring a number of TNA stars with a three main events of Mesias putting up his hair against the mask of L.A. Park, Zorro defending their world title against Jeff Jarrett, and RVD vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. for the Latin American title.
--Regarding the Impact rating on Thursday, the NBA game had 18.3 million viewers.  Those trying to attach any significance to the Impact number are wasting your time and breath.  As a general rule, the Impact ratings variation in recent weekly has been directly based on the audience the NBA game that opposes it gets.  They are neither in a growth or declining pattern, but a pattern based on whether LeBron James is playing against them.
--During last night's Vancouver vs Boston NHL game, they showed Kenny Florian coming out wearing a Boston Bruins jersey and Diego Nunes coming out wearing a Vancouver Canucks jersey.  Florian wore a Shawn Thornton jersey.  The two of them are friends.  So expect Florian to be the heel tonight in that fight . (thanks to Mark Coale, Grant Zwarcych and many others). 
--Starting tonight, the price of PPVs in Australia for UFC rises from $39.95 to $44.95 (thanks to James Stanios)
--Bill DeMott is teasing the idea of a comeback, just saying, "I am training for something.  Take that any way you want."
--A story on Alberto Del Rio is at talking about working under a mask, the difference between Mexico and the U.S. and more.
--Sergio Pettis, the younger brother of Anthony Pettis, now 17, is training for an MMA career.  He'll debut in September.
--Ted DiBiase accidentally double booked himself both for the Wizard World Convention in Philadelphia and a series of appearances in St. Louis.  DiBiase is scheduled to be appearing in St. Louis and not Philadelphia.
--Alex Marvez talks with Crimson about his background at
--Tonight in Memphis is Tommy Dreamer's final appearance with TNA, as his contract expires imminently and it's not being renewed.\\
--If Bellator moves to Spike TV in 2012 are you:
Likely to watch it even though didn't watch it on MTV 2   23.9%
Did watch it on MTV 2, will continue to watch it  22.1%
Would watch it when I know the fighters involved, won't watch MMA without knowing the fighters 18.0%
Won't watch it because I'm not an MMA fan 15.3%
Won't watch it because I won't watch non-UFC MMA  8.6%
Likely to watch on a weeknight, not Saturday because other things are going on 6.3%
Likely to watch on a weeknight, but not Saturday due to competing sorts events 3.8%
--What did you think of the Countdown to UFC 131
Excellent 19.6%
Good 53.6%
Average 10.7%
Fair 7.1%
Poor 8.9%
        61.1% of those responding didn't see the show
With a fresh headliner in R-Truth, how do you think Capitol Combat will do?
More than usual WWE B show numbers 22.2%
The same 48.3%
Less 29.5%
--Impact post-game show at with Mickie James, Jeff Jarrett, Alex Shelley, James Storm and Bobby Roode.
--The All Wheels Wrestling TV taping on 6/29 at the Impact Zone in Orlando is a pilot that TNA is involved with for the Speed Channel.
--There is a huge story on The National, the newspaper I worked at from 1989-1991 which the goal was to get the national All-Star team of sportswriters in one spot at 
--WWE has a house show on 8/20 at the Tacoma Dome.
--The new US Weekly magazine has in the "Who wore it best" page both Stacy Keibler and Kelly Kelly.  Keibler goes against Stephanie Pratt while Kelly against Pia Toscano. (thanks to Steve Murphy)
--The Big Event on 11/11 and 11/12 in East Elmhurst, NY at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel has a convention with Rick Martel, Stan Hansen, Larry Zbyszko, Jacques & Raymond Rougeau, Shane Douglas, Tito Santana, Matt Morgan, Paul Roma, The Godfather, Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas, Candi Divine, Judy Martin, Leilani Kai, The Berzerker John Nord, Del Wilkes, Road Warrior Animal, Paul Ellering, Howard Finkel and Rachel Summerlyn.
--An interview with Kyoko Inoue, who is wrestling for CZW tonight in Philadelphia against Sumie Sakai, is at 
--NWA New Jersey on 6/18 in Mays Landing, NJ at the Watering Hole Cafe.
--British tennis player James Ward claims his upturn in his game was as a result of training with Argentinean MMA fighter Diego Visotzky, who he said taught him to be more prepared and more ruthless.
--Dory Funk's BANG on 6/25 in Ocala, FL at the BANG V Sound stage features Bert Prentice, the long time Nashville promoter.    
--Scott Hall works tonight in Orlando at the Downtown Rec Center for I Believe in Wrestling.  Also on the show are Larry Zbyszko, Jesse Neal, Santana, Lince Dorado and Alex Porteau. 
--On ESPN's Pardon the Interruption on Friday, when talking about Detroit Lions' defensive tackles Nadamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, Michael Wilbon said they were the best tag team since Blackjack Lanza & Blackjack Mulligan and said "for those who are AWA fans."  (thanks to James Solomon, Shawn Robinson and many others). 
--USWO from last night in Nashville before 40 fans:  Fireball Roberts b Toby Farley, Nick Iggy b Shawn Hoodrich, Jason Xavier b Panther-DQ, Jocephus b Mike Cobbs, Josh Crow b Saint, Tim Renesto b Gary Valiant-DQ, Chris Michaels b Damien Payne (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--IWC Super Indy X on 6/18 in Elizabeth, PA at the Court Time Sports has a tribute to Larry Sweeney, plus the Super Indy tournament with first round matches of Samuray del Sol vs.  El Generico, Facade vs Adam Cole, Ricky Reyes vs. Jason Gory and Ego Fantastico vs. Pinkie Sanchez, plus Super Hentai vs. Colt Cabana.  Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli challenge IWC tag champs Jimmy Vegas & Dennis Gregory on the same show.
--SoCal Summer Classic finals tonight in Escondido CA at Escondido Sports & Fitness with Kid Caramba vs. Joey Barone, Johnny Paradise vs. Carlos Castillo, Nick Lovin vs. SoCal Crazy and Johnny Yuma vs. Ricky Mandel.  

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?