FRI. UPDATE: Barnett & Dusty promos, TNA firing, Update on ROH stars contracts, Biggest show



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We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE Super Show in Lowell, MA and the TNA show at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto (Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle, Matt Morgan vs. Scott Steiner, James Storm & Alex Shelley vs. British Invasion) at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

CMLL also has its Juicio Final show tonight at Arena Mexico with La Mascara vs. Averno in a mask vs. mask match. At last word there was a picket line being set up by wrestler Tony Rivera in front of the arena. More on that in a story up on the front page.

Saturday is loaded with the Strikeforce Grand Prix show from the American Airlines Center in Dallas featuring Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum, Brett Rogers vs. Josh Barnett, Daniel Cormier vs. Jeff Monson, Chad Griggs vs. Valentijn Overeem and K.J. Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal on the Showtime card that starts at 10 p.m. The prelims will start at 8 p.m. on HDNet and be headlined by J.Z. Cavalcante vs. Justin Wilcox.

AAA has TripleMania with Mesias putting up his hair against the mask of L.A. Park, plus Zorro vs. Jeff Jarrett for the AAA heavyweight title, Rob Van Dam vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. to create the Latin American champion, Psycho Circus vs. Perro Aguayo Jr. & Damian 666 & Halloween to create the AAA trios titles and a cage match for the tag titles with Jack Evans & Extreme Tiger defending against Mr. Anderson & Abyss.

Saturday also has a major New Japan show in Osaka which includes Prince Devitt vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP jr. title.

WWE also has a loaded lineup Super Show at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ with John Cena vs. R-Truth, Randy Orton vs. Christian and Miz vs Alex Riley headlining. Not sure if Orton will be wrestling on this show. TNA has a big show in Buffalo outdoors at Coca Cola Field featuring an appearance by Hulk Hogan, plus Angle vs. Steiner, Storm & Sheley vs. British Invasion and Styles vs. Gunner.

Sunday is the WWE Capitol Punishment PPV from Washington, DC, with Cena vs. R-Truth for the WWE title, Orton (if he can go) vs. Christian for World title, Miz vs. Riley, Rey Mysterio vs. C.M. Punk, Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett vs. Ezekiel Jackson for the IC title and Kofi Kingston vs Dolph Ziggler for the U.S. title.

Sunday is also All Japan at Sumo Hall with Suwama vs. Yuji Nagata for the Triple Crown, Akebono & Ryota Hama vs. Great Muta & Kenso for the vacant tag titles and Masakatsu Funaki vs. K-1 world heavyweight champion Kyotaro in an interpromotional match.

Monday has a Fans Choice Raw show, another three-hour event, from Baltimore.

Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Hershey, PA.

Smackdown tonight:

Sin Cara & Daniel Bryan & Ezekiel Jackson vs. Wade Barrett & Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes

Vladimir Kozlov vs. Jinder Mahal

Natalya & A.J. & Kaitlyn vs. Rosa Mendes & Tamina & Alicia Fox

Usos vs. Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel

Christian vs. Sheamus

 

We've got a jam-packed double sized issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week, including a discussion of 5 rounds vs. 3 rounds for UFC main events, looking at all the ramifications of the story including reviewing what has happened in matches that would be affected, how prevalent these matches are, as well as a lot of different things that usually you wouldn't think about that this affects, including long-term plans, availability of main eventers. We also have a readers poll on the subject.

We also look at why the current climate is perfect for UFC, even with declining ratings, to get a major increase in TV revenue. The UFC's future on television, as well as rights fees, UFC per hour vs. WWE per hour with different audiences are all things looked at.

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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We also look at Kenta Kobashi, one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all-time, trying yet another comeback. We look at his legacy and the last decade of his career, as well as some of his big matches.

We've got full coverage of both UFC 131 and TNA Slammiversary, with background on the shows, business notes from the shows, poll results, star ratings for the wrestling show and more. We also look at the proposed Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez fight, what happened with Shane Carwin, marketability of Carwin vs. Brock Lesnar, judging issues on the card on a case-by-case basis and why the wheels are off the current TNA product.

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Alberto Del Rio talks WWE style vs. Lucha style, Shane McMahon's latest venture, what was scripted in the Tough Enough finale, usage of DVR and tapes to watch Raw, plus business notes from the foreign and domestic house shows as well as coverage of this past week's shows.

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Also in this week's issue:

--A look at all the major shows coming this week

--Major network announces a movie on two pro wrestling Hall of Fames

--Title tournaments

--TripleMania preview

--What Hall of Famer was being talked about for a major show for AAA and why it's not happening

--Brodie Lee injury update

--Update on the turmoil in All Japan after the stroke suffered by Super Hate

--All Japan Sumo Hall preview

--A look at foreign teams in Pro Wrestling NOAH jr. tag team tournament

--Antonio Inoki running major show head-to-head with biggest show of the year

--Two women in a loser must expose their breasts match, what happened

--40th anniversary of the Japanese debut of one of wrestling all-time legends show announced for October and the legends on the card

--A look at not just Kurt Angle, but three other former world champion wrestlers who this week made it clear they are going for the 2012 Olympics

--Dick Togo's career winding down

--A look at the career of Duncan McTavish

--Danny Davis out of retirement for one match

--Former WWE star makes headlines in Las Vegas this past week in a whatever happened to

--ROH talent updates including contract issues

--Former WWE star set to debut in ROH

--New television pilot being shot

--Mick Foley talks leaving TNA

--More on Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior

--Producer of Hogan Knows Best talks family

--Hogan says who he'd like to wrestle in a retirement match

-- Hogan on who he thinks can be the guy to carry TNA in the future

--Eric Bischoff rips on all kinds of people

--Newcomers to TNA

--TNA's first baseball stadium shows of the summer coverage

--Background of Crimson

--Why Austin Aries came to TNA

--What will be on TNA TV over the next several weeks

--Update on attempts to get MMA legalized in New York

--What blow may have killed the passing of the bill at the last minute

--Popularity of MMA in New York

--New weight class to be added to UFC

--Notes on Nick Diaz vacating Strikeforce title

--What message this sends

--Future of UFC champion vs. Strikeforce champion fights

--Future of Strikeforce guys appearing on UFC shows

--Lots of new UFC and Strikeforce matches

--Late notes on Dallas show

--Why one fighter in the Grand Prix tournament has so much of an effect on the timing and future of the tournament

--This next season's Ultimate Fighter looked at

--New UFC grudge match and why fight will almost surely not happen

--Brother of UFC star entering MMA

--Update on UFC Milwaukee debut

--Yet another MMA show added to the national TV schedule next month

--Former NCAA champion announces going pro

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--We'll have Strikeforce weigh-in stuff up shortly. I've got a story up today on Alistair Overeem at http://www.yahoo.com in the UFC section.

 

--Weigh-ins are live on HDNet at 5 p.m. Eastern time with Kenny Rice, Bas Rutten, Herschel Walker and Guy Mezger as hosts. The live show tomorrow night starts at 8 p.m. Eastern on HDNet with two hours of prelim fights, followed by Showtime airing a five fight main card at 10 p.m. Also tonight at 10 p.m. on HDNet will be United Glory World Series final MMA.

--Desmond Wolfe aka Nigel McGuiness was releaesed by TNA. He had not been medically cleared for a long time and had been serving as the on-air commissioner of Xplosion, although since nobody actually watches Xplosion, it's kind of like the question if there is any noise if a big tree falls in an empty forest.

 

--For those asking regarding Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli, both of their ROH contracts expired in April so they would be free agents to take an outside offer.

 

--If you haven't seen Josh Barnett's knockoff of the 1985 Dusty Rhodes "Hard Times" interview, it's at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TncvorpGb6k

 

--The original interview he was knocking off is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxC3oAD1Ug This was before his Starrcade 85 match with Ric Flair. It's going to be interesting to see if in 2037, an MMA fighter is going to be reciting lines from John Cena's interviews.

 

--What was the best of the recent shows?

UFC 131 28.6%

UFC 129 22.4%

WWE Extreme Rules 16.8%

Ultimate Fighter finals 14.9%

WWE Over the Limit 6.8%

TNA Slammiversary 5.6%

TNA Sacrifice 3.7%

UFC 130 1.2%

 

What was the biggest news story of March?

UFC purchases Strikeforce 42.5%

Earthquake and other problems destroy Japan, affect wrestling industry shutting down shows and such 32.1%

Cena-Rock build WrestleMania 8.9%

Jeff Hardy in no condition to perform against Sting, sent home by TNA7.9%

Daichi Hashimoto makes debut 2.2%

Sir Oliver Humperdink passes away 1.9%

Jon Jones wins UFC light heavyweight title and captures mugger 1.9%

WGN cancels Superstars 1.6%

Nik Lentz wins, avoids being fired once again 1.0%

 

Who do you expect to win the Strikeforce Grand Prix

Alistair Overeem 61.7%

Fabricio Werdum 10.0%

Josh Barnett 10.0%

Bigfoot Silva 9.4%

Sergei Kharitonov 4.4%

An alternate 4.4%

Brett Rogers 0.0%

 

--Gunner will be appearing on Fox Got Game on Fox-18 in Charlotte tomorrow night at 10:30 p.m.

 

--UFC announced the top matches for 9/24 in Denver which will be UFC 135 as Jon Jones vs. Quinton Jackson for the light heavyweight title, Matt Hughes vs. Diego Sanchez, Ben Rothwell vs. Mark Hunt and Damacio Page vs. Kid Yamamoto.

 

--Wild Bill's Fight Night takes place tomorrow night at Wild Bill's in Duluth, GA headlined by Diego Saraiva vs. Ronnie Rogers.

 

--World Championship Fighting tomorrow night in Wilmington, MA at the Shriners Auditorium headlined by Dan Lauzon vs. Noah Weisman. Appearing at the show at a 5:30 p.m. autograph signing are Bellator's Rick Hawn and UFC's Chuck O'Neil and Josh Grispi.

 

--TWCW and SSW at the O'Connell High School in Galveston, TX headlined by Ken Carson vs. Irish Mike.

 

--GXW tomorrow night in Hopewell, VA

 

--ESPN radio in Columubs, OH has a weekly MMA radio show on Friday nights at 10 p.m. at 1460 AM. Urijah Faber will be the guest. Mark Coleman is one of the hosts.

 

--Here is the upcoming WrestleReunion schedule. The Los Angeles reunion on 1/27 to 1/29 has The Steiner Brothers and Kevin Sullivan so far. There will be a Miami reunion on 3/30 to 4/1 in conjunction with WrestleMania with Road Warrior Animal, Larry Zbyszko, Rick Steiner, Kevin Sullivan, Tommy Dreamer and Tito Santana. This will also include a tribute to Championship Wrestling from Florida and they are going to try and bring in stars from that era. They also have a Toronto reunion next year with Bruno Sammartino, Roddy Piper,Tito Santana,Tommy Dreamer and Road Warrior Animal.

 

--FEW on 6/26 in Fort Wayne, IN at Broadripple.

 

--EWF on 6/21 in Marion,IN at the Grant County 4-H Fairgrounds with Zack Gowen and Ryan "Skidmark" Howe

 

--3XW on 6/24 in Des Moines at All Play with Darin Corbin & Arik Cannon vs. Ben Sailer & Nate Bash in the finals of a tag team tournament for their titles.

 

 

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Which of these main events would draw the best?

 

What are you planning on watching on Friday?