SUN UPDATE: Strikeforce and UFC notes, Capital Punishment, Batista gym, new WOL, Kofi Dolph update



By Bryan Alvarez

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We're looking for your thoughts on both last night's Strikeforce show as well as tonight'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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're also looking for reports on the WWE show last night at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ as well as TNA's BaseBrawl show last night in Buffalo.

Tonight 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.

Today 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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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.


-- Strikeforce reportedly did 7,639 fans and a $543,060 gate for last night's show. Alistair Overeem after the show said that he was disappointed with the Werdum fight and that he expected his match with Bigfoot Silva to take place in October. He also said he expected to have a stand-up fight with Werdum. Yeah. Silva at the press conference said he was going to train hard for the fight and that he knows he can knock Overeem out. He said he told people long ago that if he got past Fedor, he was winning this tournament.

-- UFC is claiming that 134 in Rio completely sold out in less than 90 minutes.

-- A story on Batista's new gym, which officially opened yesterday, is up here. You should also check out the interview Dave and I did with him last week. Based on feedback, it's probably one of the top ten most popular shows we've ever done in six-plus years. Dave said his dream was to become a Cesar Gracie black belt.

-- There is going to be some sort of Secret Service-related skit at the PPV this evening involving local-area independent workers.

-- The newest edition of Wrestling Observer Live will be up on the front page at 3 PM Pacific/6 Eastern today, FREE via streaming and also on Sports Byline USA radio affiliates, Sirius Satellite Radio channel 92, the Tapatalk app on a number of different mobile phones (search Sports Byline USA), and more. Mike Sempervive and I talk all the news in pro-wrestling and MMA, preview tonight's PPV and more.

-- Due to scheduling issues, Todd Martin will be doing the live running play-by-play of Capital Punishment starting at 5 PM Pacific/8 PM Eastern.

-- Got a lot of reports that the Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler house show matches have been awesome. Not sure how much Orton is going to want to do coming off his concussion last week, but if the match is anywhere near their first few matches, and if Ziggler vs. Kofi is awesome and Rey vs. Punk is great, this could be a hell of a show in terms of wrestling.

-- Kofi and Dolph, by the way, have had 16 matches on TV or PPV since November of 2009. Thanks to Mike. Amazingly, during that period Cena and Orton have only had three.

-- Bret Hart will be working as special guest referee for the Orton vs. Christian title match at the July 23rd Smackdown show in Pittsburgh.

-- TMZ has a story here about how Alex Riley is off the hook for the DUI he got last year in Tampa.

-- Lance Storm has the longest Q&A in the history of Q's and A's up here, including why he hates when people use the term "haters".

-- David Lagana talks here about how the problems with United this weekend shut down both Sonjay Dutt and Reby Sky.

-- Gregory writes: Just wanted to send along a note, with all the talk on Josh Barnett's pro wrestling promos in the past week before and after his Brett Rogers fight, some of the most compelling promotion I've seen in a long time has also come outside pro wrestling. HBO has produced another in their series of "Max Kellerman's Face Off", a quick 15-min broadcast where they hype a major upcoming fight by having the combatants sit at a table opposite each other and discuss their upcoming fight, face to face. (These always turn out to be phenomenal shows, though they don't do them very often, usually only when they have an extremely interesting heat-magnet of a character involved, like a Mayweather or Hopkins type.) This edition is centering around the July 2nd heavyweight title bout between Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye, and this is the most trash-talking prior to a heavyweight fight I've seen in some time. Haye in particular is doing a great job as the antagonist, as the normally extremely mild-mannered Klitschko can be seen gritting his teeth at several points during the face-to-face interview moderated by Kellerman. Great stuff, and something a lot of the F4W readers I'm sure would be intrigued by. It airs various times throughout the next couple weeks leading up to the fight on the HBO networks.

-- Jeff writes: George "The Animal" Steele threw out the first pitch at the Akron Aeros baseball game last night. He had a long line of autograph seekers and was in a great mood. During the sumo-suit contest between innings, five guys in lucha masks charged out of the visiting dugout and attacked the two sumo guys. This was set up in advance, but the sumo guys were so into their match that they forgot about the run-in, so they were surprised when the Nexus-style beatdown began.

-- The latest Slammin Stan podcast talking Mistico and more is up here.

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