Monday, 20 June 2011 12:00
We're also looking for reports on the WWE show Saturday night at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ as well as TNA's BaseBrawl show last night in Buffalo.
Tonight 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.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
-- Bill S1707A, calling to legalize MMA in New York, didn't end up on the docket for the Ways and Means Committee's final legislative session of 2011 today, meaning unless a special session is called, which is extremely unlikely, that's the end of the road for the bill this year and UFC will have to start all over in 2012.
-- As noted on last night's Observer Radio, WWE is now testing for synthetic marjiuana, with a failure being a $2,500 fine, same as if you tested postive for the real thing. In an update from last night, many of the products, including K2, Spice, Blaze and Red X Dawn, are no longer legal after the DEA placed an emergency one-year ban on them effective March 1st of this year. The ban will allow them to investigate the chemicals used to create the products and determine whether they should remain illegal. At this moment they are considered Schedule I drugs. We are told there are people in WWE extremely unhappy about this as many moved to synthetic pot after the real deal was banned.
-- Gabe Sapolsky has a new blog up here which is a fascinating read. Basically, it's Paul Heyman's TNA plan for Bryan Danielson had he gotten control of TNA last summer and Danielson would have signed there during the period where he was fired from WWE for choking out Michael Cole with a tie. Gabe also talks about his own talks with Heyman about TNA and whether he was ever close to agreeing to go. It's pretty interesting, and there is also a deal if you click the story to get DGUSA and EVOLVE DVDs at a discount today.
-- The originally-scheduled match for last night was Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes, but they decided to go with Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne instead. On a live PPV, particularly in the death spot on the card, that was the right choice. One of the reason's Bourne is getting the mini-push now (which could end tonight based on how WWE usually operates) is that they want him to be one of the featured performers at Money in the Bank next month.
-- Dark match last night was Koslov & Santino beating Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater when Santino pinned Gabriel with the cobra. So Gabriel is going from losing to the cobra in dark matches to working headline matches on the upcoming tour of South Africa.
-- Little Jimmy throwing pop on R-Truth leading to the finish is available in Fan Cam format here.
-- Comedian Reggie Brown, the fake Obama last night, made headlines earlier in the weekend after being pulled off the stage at a GOP event for "going too far" in a monologue. Stories are everywhere but one of them is here.
-- We got a report that a fan at the PPV last night was asked to take off his American Wolves T-shirt.
-- If you were one of the few who loved the Fake Obama comedy on WWE last night, well, it's your lucky day. His twitter is up here.
-- As it is now scheduled the Matt Morgan vs. Pope and Gunner vs. AJ Styles matches from the TNA BaseBrawl house show this weekend will be airing in their entirety on Impact. They are both tournament matches for the title match at Bound for Glory in four months. If they actually pull this off, which is open to great debate, the series will be a great way to get fans into the matches, make the finishes mean something, and even promote the house show events. Of course, if you look at this company historically, I'm not sure I'd put bets on them pulling this off.
-- Matt Hardy on his Twitter said he was "getting a few weeks off" and said it was due to injuries, "dates" (like, dinner and a movie?) and "outside issues". I expect a video at any time.
-- Riki Fukuda is out of UFC 133 after suffering a knee injury in a minor car accident.
-- Story here on the death of indy worker JT Roberts, who was involved in a car crash.
-- Joel Simon, former President of WWE Films and the man behind the Condemned, the Marine and See No Evil (the latter of which was by far the most successful WWE Film to date), passed away this weekend after a long battle with cancer. There is a story up here. WWE posted this: WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of former WWE Films President Joel Simon. Joel launched what is now known as WWE Studios in 2002 and was integral in expanding WWE into the motion picture business. As head of WWE Films, Joel produced The Marine, The Condemned and See No Evil. The company sends its sincerest condolences to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.
-- Tony Rivera told Super Luchas in today's issue that he hasn't had his demands met yet by CMLL and if he doesn't by tomorrow then the protests will begin again as early as Tuesday. Rivera nearly managed to get Friday night's CMLL big show shut down as Steve Sims and I discussed on Saturday night's Wrestling Observer Radio. Thanks to Kris Zellner.
-- By the way, due to an uploading issue that show is gone from the archives. I accidentally labeled Sunday's show the same as Saturday's, so when I uploaded it the Saturday show was deleted. Thanks to David Crumbley it should be fixed by the time most of you read this.
-- The Voice Michael Schiavello vs. Badr Hari debuts on HDNet on June 24th at 10 PM Eastern. Funny note that I mentioned on the radio show this weekend, I was at a Father's Day weekend deal with my family and six or seven of them were downstairs watching the Strikeforce prelims with me. They all thought Schiavello was awesome and were laughing at his one-liners. They enjoyed it so much that even though the prelims were kind of boring, many of them came back three hours later to watch the main fights on Showtime (we were on the West Coast, so the prelims were live and the main show was on the three-hour tape delay). They were sad Schiavello wasn't there but they did enjoy Mauro's one-liners.
-- Shane McMahon was shown several times during the US Open last night. It appears he's friends with Rory McElroy. Thanks to everyone who sent that in.
-- TNA is holding an event at The Forum in Rome, Georgia on August 26th, 2011. Thanks to Devin Cutting.
-- Lance Storm is trying to amass his entire career record. I know there are a lot of people out there who collect results and such, so if anyone is willing to help or has information, please click here.
-- Deadspin has a list of the top ten most racist or xenophobic moments in wrestling here. Short list.
-- Jim Ross talks Father's Day, Capital Punishment and a lot more here.
-- Big interview with Vickie Guerrero here where she talks about losing fifty pounds (50), how she felt about WWE calling her fat all those years, how she met Eddy, where "EXCUSE ME!" came from, and more. Good stuff.
-- Article about Greg Valentine still wrestling in his 60s here.
-- Sean Waltman has an interesting look at the Hogan/Warrior tiff here.
-- The Filsinger Games Chikara game will be out soon, and more info on that can be procured here