Tonight will be Smackdown and NXT tapings in Providence as well as the second night of Impact tapings in Orlando.
We're also looking for reports on Sunday's WWE house show in Madrid, Spain, as well as Saturday's Smackdown in Barcelona, Spain, Friday 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.
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.
You can also order print copies of the Observer with details below.
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.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
-- As expected, Texas officially licensed Josh Barnett today.
-- Dana White's guest editorial in the New York Post, which Dave and I talked about on Observer Radio last night, can be read here.
-- UFC Prelims on Saturday night did a 1.0 rating and 1.6 million viewers, third highest of all time.
-- Regarding Zack Ryder not being on the show last night, someone from the company texted me last night and just said, "Vince hates the Internet." It is rather ironic that the company spends so much time burying Internet fans (remember an entire season of NXT) while at the same time plugging Twitter and Facebook incessantly. Welcome to WWE, though. A lot of WWE talents last night were pretty upset about it, thinking the company was just fucking with Ryder, which, well, they pretty much were. There were "WE WANT RYDER" chants all night, not only on TV but during the commercial breaks.
-- Jericho wrote: So LAME that WWE didn't include @ZackRyder on Raw last night. No reason not to!! Wrestling is supposed to be FUN remember? Time to riot
-- Dolph wrote: You didn't rib "the kid" tonight, you ribbed the fans, Long Island & the boys in the back! AND you kicked him in the nuts! #RyderOrRiot
-- Weird situation in Mexico as there is a story out there that Mesias was kidnapped at the Mexico City International airport, beaten and then released. AAA supposedly sent out a press release about it, which Super Luchas picked up, but then AAA claimed they never sent out a press release. They also didn't deny the incident happened. Mesias definitely no-showed some events and fans were upset, but there were also no reports from the airport that anyone had been kidnapped. Strange story, more to come.
-- Strikeforce Challengers at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas on July 22nd with Bobby Voelker and Roger Bowling headlining. This will be their rubber match.
-- The M-1 Challenge Pat Bennett vs. Kenny Garner event will be airing live on Showtime on July 8th at 11 PM Eastern and Pacific.
-- Wes Brisco was removed from the FCW roster page yesterday but we haven't confirmed whether he's been released.
-- Harley Race interview here, where he says, among things, that the King of the Ring tournament that he won he considered more prestigious than if he'd won the WWF Championship at the time.
-- Tim Kennedy of Strikeforce will be the guest with John Nason and I on Figure Four Daily tomorrow, plus we'll talk the latest MMA news.
-- Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin', opens Friday, June 17th at Nashville's Belcourt Theatre with an already extended run for one week through June 23rd. There will be a short Q&A with Memphis Heat director Chad Schaffler after the 7:00 p.m. showing Friday, June 17.
-- For those in Canada who are watching Lance Storm's World of Hurt on The Cave, we've got a great interview today with the one and only FRENCH STALLION talking, well, everything you'd expect the French Stallion to talk about. A pretty great show even if you're not following World of Hurt, so check it out if you're a member.
-- "Slammed – Inside Indy Wrestling" will debut on Nat Geo on August 24th at 10 Eastern.
-- Interview with Davey Richards up here.
-- Kelly Kelly and the Bellas were on Price is Right today.
-- TMZ.com has Kevin Nash's mugshot from when he was arrested after whatever happened with the dude and his wife last month. The picture is awesome because he's so tall that he actually towers over the top of the height chart. Check it out here.
-- Which of these fights are you most interested in?
GSP vs. Nick Diaz 46.2%
Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos 25.1%
Jon Jones vs. Quinton Jackson 18.0%
Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber 5.6%
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard 3.8%
Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami 0.9%
Jose Aldo vs. Kenny Florian 0.3%
Which event this weekend do you feel is the most important?
Strikeforce Grand Prix tournament 44.6%
AAA TripleMania 24.1%
WWE Capitol Combat 16.9%
New Japan title nights on Osaka 9.7%
All Japan Sumo Hall 2.8%
CMLL Juicio Final 1.9%
What do you think of Kurt Angle's Olympic aspirations?
Pure publicity stunt, he's not serious, will claim an injury in training 37.3%
He's serious, but will get injured in training and never compete 23.6y%
He's serious, will compete in a tournamnent, do poorly and pull out 13.9%
He's serious, will compete, do okay but not win, and then pull out 10.6%
Will qualify for the Olympics 7.5%
He's serious, will do well in the tournament but not qualify for the team 7.1%
-- TNA has new Gut Check tryout camps on July 2nd in Asbury Park, NJ and July 30th in Houston, TX. You can get an application and more information here.
-- Modern Arts Grappling Saturday June 18th, Forever Indy Wrestle'Plex, 7928-A Congress St., Port Richey, FL. Belltime 7:30pm
-- Former WWF Announcer Sean Mooney and Jumpin' Jim Brunzell will join Brian Schenk on OFF THE TOP ROPE RADIO on Tuesday, June 14, 2011. Check it out on WWW.KQCKLIVE.COM at 7:30pm PACIFIC time.
-- From the promoter: As a thank you for the success of TPI 2011 and to get you all prepared for AIW's 6 Year anniversary celebration "Absolution 6" on Sunday Night June 26th We have decided to host a completely free event to show our thanks to our very loyal AIW fan base Tonight June 14th at the Around the Corner Saloon in Lakewood, Ohio!
-- Former Womens Champion Madusa has announced she will be getting married to finace Alan on June 25, 2011 in Memphis, TN. They will be honeymooning in Germany and in August she will be moving to Germany temporarily while he is posted there in the army. She will be continuing racing with Monster Jams Europe Tour while over there. Thanks to Paul.
-- Ed, Craig and Cutrer talk to Ryan Howe of Tough Enough here.