SAT UPDATE: Huge weekend, Strikeforce main odds, TripleMania and CMLL scoops, UFC cuts, NJ titles
By Bryan Alvarez
We're looking for your thoughts on both tonight's Strikeforce show as well as tomorrow night's WWE Capital Punishment, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're also looking for reports on the WWE show tonight at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ as well as TNA's BaseBrawl show tonight in Buffalo.
Saturday also has a major New Japan show in Osaka which includes Prince Devitt vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP jr. title.
WWE 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. He will be on Capital Punishment as he passed his Impact testing last night.
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.
For those on the West Coast on cable, a note is that the HDNet feed goes live throughout the country but the Showtime feed has a West Coast three hour delay so it can be prime time everywhere. So on the West Coast, HDNet is at 5 p.m. and Showtime is at 10 p.m.
Tonight's Strikeforce show:
Live on HDNet at 8 p.m. Eastern
Bryan Melancon (175) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (170)
Nah-Shon Burrell (180) vs. Joe Ray (180) - catch weight fight
Conor Heun (155) vs. Magno Almeida (155)
Todd Moore (169) vs. Mike Bronzoulis (170)
J.Z. Cavalcante (155) vs. Josh Wilcox (156)
Live on Showtime at 10 p.m. Eastern
Chad Griggs (234) vs. Valentijn Overeem (234.5)
Jeff Monson (234) vs. Daniel Cormier (239.5)
Jorge Masvidal (155) vs. K.J. Noons (156)
Brett Rogers (258) vs. Josh Barnett (256) in the heavyweight Grand Prix
Fabricio Werdum (246) vs. Alistiar Overeem (256) in the heavyweight Grand Prix
Sunday is the WWE Capitol Punishment PPV from Washington, DC, with Cena vs. R-Truth for the WWE title, Orton 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.
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.
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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.
-- It's going to be a packed weekend in terms of radio shows starting in just a few hours. Tonight we have a new Wrestling Observer Radio where in the first 30 minutes, Steve Sims will join us to talk all the news out of Mexico the last two days, including the Arena Mexico strike, CMLL last night with Averno losing his mask, and what will be a very newsworthy AAA TripleMania show this evening. Then, we'll be joined by Dave Meltzer to talk all the news from the Strikeforce event which airs on HDNet (prelims) and Showtime (main card) later this evening. Tomorrow Mike Sempervive and I will return with a brand new Wrestling Observer Radio covering all the news from the past week and previewing WWE Capital Punishment, live on the front page of this site, Sports Byline USA affiliates (also on the Tapatalk phone app), and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 92 starting at 3 Pacific/6 Eastern. Dave and I return Sunday night after Capital Punishment to run down the PPV in detail and talk the latest news, then we're back again on Monday night to recap the three-hour Raw and more. A great time to sign up if you haven't already, plus if you sign up right now you can go back and listen to our near-90 minute interview with Big Dave Batista, his longest and most in-depth interview of its kind, from this past Wednesday.
-- Alistair Overeem is -345 favorite over Fabricio Werdum at +275. Personally, and don't bet based on my thoughts, those are some long odds, particularly since I have predicted a win by Werdum.
-- As noted on the front page, Randy Orton passed his IMPACT concussion test, so he's a go for tomorrow's PPV match with Christian.
-- Averno’s real name is Renato Ruiz, age 34.
-- It's official, X-Fly is replacing Perro Aguayo Jr. at TripleMania tonight. Reports we got were that he looked really bad at a house show at Arena Naucalpan this past Thursday and the decision was made then to bump him off the show. The claim was that he was having complications stemming from his cancer medication, but many people in Mexico are skeptical of that.
-- I am interviewed
here talking this weekend's Strikeforce event and tons of WWE and UFC news. Probably 30-40 minute interview.
-- Stephan Bonnar vs. Karlos Vemola is off the August 14 UFC on Versus show after Bonnar had to pull out of the fight due to injury. Ronny Markes will be his replacement.
-- UFC cut both Kendall Grove and Chuck O'Neil.
-- Several title changes at the New Japan show in Osaka today. Mascara Dorada beat Ryusuke Taguchi to win the CMLL World Welterweight title, Kota Ibushi beat Prince Devitt for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title, and Giant Bernard & Karl Anderson beat Yoshihiro Takayama & Takuma Sano in an IWGP vs. GHC Tag Title match to become double champions. Brian Kendrick made a surprise appearance on the show, MVP retained the IWGP Intercontinental title in his first defense over Toru Yano, and Hiroshi Tanahashi beat Hirooki Goto to retain the IWGP Title in the main event. We'll talk about this more with Mike Sempervive on tomorrow's Wrestling Observer Live show.
-- URBAN WRESTLING FEDERATION "FIRST BLOOD" Airs Nationally on Pay Per View everywhere Sunday, June 26th 8pm et / 5pm pt and replayed that evening at 11pm et / 8pm pt (additional replays on each system until August 1, 2011)
Local MMA fighters battle on as state debates legalizing the sport
-- JR's latest blog is up here
-- Pro Wrestler Alex Riley: From Badass to Babyface
-- Eddie Edwards is now on Twitter at @Theeddieedwards
-- Thayne writes: I don't know if it is relevant, but I was shopping in Myer, a big department store in Adelaide last Saturday. I was looking in the DVD section, and in the clearance area, they had "Hard Knocks The Chris Benoit Story"
-- Ed, Craig and Cutrer interview Disco Inferno here
-- CZWrestling.com – This year’s “Tournament of Death” takes place on Saturday, June 25 at the Ultraviolent Underground, 179 Ebenezer Church RD in Townsend, DE, with a 3 pm bell time.
-- Big Chikara weekend upcoming:
"The Case of the Bulletproof Waldo"
Friday evening - 6.24.2011
Live at The Logan Square Auditorium
2539 N. Kedzie Avenue
in Chicago, IL!
The action starts at 7:30 pm, Doors open at 7:00 pm!
"A Demon in his Pocket"
Saturday evening - 6.25.2011
Live at The Taylortown Trade Center
22525 Ecorse Road
in Taylor, MI!
The action starts at 7:30 pm, Doors open at 7:00 pm!
"The Evil That Lies Within, Part 4"
Sunday afternoon - 6.26.2011
Live at St. Gregory's Byzantine Hall
12920 Madison Avenue
in Lakewood, OH!
The action starts at 4:00 pm, Doors open at 3:30 pm!
-- Les Thatcher was on Thursday night's AMP talking about Nigel McGuinness. Pretty newsworthy show which you can check out here