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.
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.
You can also order print copies of the Observer with details below.
We also look at WWE so far this year in every category, looking at just the grosses but actual profit by division of the company and how that compares with the same period last year. We look at what division saw profits cut more than in half, another where they were cut in half and why only three divisions were more profitable this year than last year. We also look at what break-even was for the PPV shows earlier this year, what division has taken over as the most important for the company and it's not PPV or television, what division is treading on thin ice, as well as an astounding number regarding PPV on television vs. Internet, as well as how much money it costs to do a Raw and a Smackdown taping.
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.
We also have coverage of New Japan's Best of the Super Junior tournament, with the last day coverage, final standings as well as a look at the long history of New Japan jr. tournaments dating back to the first tournament that featured several wrestlers who would go on to become all-time greats.
We also have an update on Capitol Combat, the next few weeks of Raw, Royce Gracie meeting Kelly Kelly, Lots of newcomers in and people cut in WWE developmental, WWE star writing autobiography, lots of developmental update notes, behind the Sin Cara push, how much Vince McMahon now makes from stock dividends per year, attendance for 2011 vs. 2010 and how that compares with other sports and who owes WWE more than $10 million.
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.
We also look at what can be learned from Monday's three-hour Raw, including how many viewers seemingly forgot the show started early, how the return of Roddy Piper did, and an update on Randy Orton's condition.
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.
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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
--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
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues can get free issues from the last 18 years. You can get 2 free back issues by ordering 40 or more
issues and one for 24. Let us know which stories you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've
got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 18 years, as well as our biggest
issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue. Our most requested issues in
our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous
wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a
history of in-ring double-crosses)*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation
right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was
said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural
broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but
everything that was said between the two about the match that was going
to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon
steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article
and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner
*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
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career
ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*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
who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino,
Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally,
the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth, and the rise of fall of
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say
was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the
plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the
night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined
for a joint show and what happened)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the
controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*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
Road Warrior Hawk)
*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
company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best
and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and
Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his
background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*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)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year
with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund,
Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts
as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately,
due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details
of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in
pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle
and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the
history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a
look at their Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW,
as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and
behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at
the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings,
Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental
territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized
issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul
Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double
issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on
its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New
Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller
Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class
Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame
inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and
Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from
the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working
in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of
Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him
tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how
the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How
Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro,
Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania
planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged
McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and
why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and
Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why
there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real
reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are
calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his
influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas
including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S.
women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at
the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks
of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on
its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers
and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
*September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8
overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)*September 15, 2008 (Life
and Times of Evan Tanner)
*September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our
most in-depth bios)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North
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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
We also 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.
--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.