TUES UPDATE: Raw notes, WWE statement on Punk, Pledge of Allegiance, Riki Ataki, French Stallion, Pro Elite returns, tons more



By Bryan Alvarez

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We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday night's UFC 132, 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 Saturday's WWE show in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday's WWE show in Perth, Western Australia, today's show in Adelaide, Australia and Saturday's TNA house show in Asbury Park, NJ.

The WWE crew continues Tuesday is Brisbane, Australia before finishing Wednesday in Auckland, New Zealand. We're looking for reports on all of these shows.

The Smackdown crew is off this weekend, but they start in South Africa tomorrow in a tour that includes Bret Hart.

A note that there are no TV tapings for WWE or TNA this week. Raw was taped last week in Las Vegas. Smackdown was taped last week in Tucson.

A look at the most talked about interview on a pro wrestling show in many years, as well as the most detailed background story on what happened with Nate Marquardt are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We also have an extensive look at Ring of Honor under new management, its TV station lineup and thoughts on what that means in the big picture of pro wrestling going forward.

We look at the promo, including a word-for-word breakdown, where the angle goes, what is the status of Punk right now according to what people in WWE are being told, and the pluses and minuses of this when it comes to timing. We look at the mentioning of different names in the promo and what they all mean, as well as a look at Money in the Bank, and the reaction to the promo.

We also look at the Nate Marquardt situation, with the detail on why he was medically disqualified, a time line of what happened, all the different questions regarding testosterone replacement therapy, how long he has been on it, what he has done as far as getting approved, what went wrong, Marquardt's previous drug test failure and his response to it. We look at a very interesting subject in sports that rarely gets talked about, because TUE's are part of a number of sports, but for some reason, only in MMA has it become a major point.

The issue is available right now for web site subscribers, and you can get a mail subscription to the Observer with information below. The Observer has the most detailed coverage of pro wrestling around the world, as well as insider UFC coverage not available anywhere else. We have about 14 new newsletters each month, usually six Observers, four or five Figure Four Weeklies and four or five back issues of the Observer each week.

We look at the Ring of Honor press conference and give thoughts on the company going forward. We look at the realities of pro wrestling, how its business model has changed, the plight of being No. 3 in the market, a look at the talent, who is going, who is staying as well as the TV station lineup and time slots for September when the new television show goes on the air.

We also have full coverage of the Best in the World PPV, with match-by-match and poll results, as well as business notes and what the business notes tell you.

We also look at the new Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels DVD that WWE was working on this week and timing for release. We also look at Michaels doing an interview talking about WWE and what he'd like to do with the company going forward. He also talks why he didn't have more world title reigns. Batista talks more about if he would return and why, talks about doing MMA and more. We also have a look at the reaction to the quitting of Chavo Guerrero, as well as his comments regarding it, and Eric Bischoff's previous thoughts on him a decade ago. We look at who from WCW is still left with WWE. We've got an update on John Morrison's return, HHH's advice to Sin Cara, WWE talks with fans about future plans regarding WrestleMania week and other big shows, why so many in the company hit the wall the past few weeks, notes on DVD sales including early WrestleMania DVD numbers, what aspect of WWE business has increased by a huge margin and an updated look at how the house shows are doing. We also look at an interesting chart looking at WWE fans vs. fans of other sports as far as political leanings and likelihood to vote.

We've got more on Mason Ryan, plans for SummerSlam, Luke Robinson talks Tough Enough and Andy Leavine, a look at potential new marriages, plus WWE business over the past week and notes and highlights from all the arena events.

We also have full coverage of UFC on Versus, with match-by-match coverage, business notes, controversies and a look at the head-to-head UFC television war with itself on that Sunday night.

We also have a feature updating WWE PPV business, including a record low show and another show that was up worldwide, although not in North America, compared to the previous year. We look at year-to-year comparisons of numbers as well as the show.

The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.

Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sites and has the most complete look at the business as a whole anywhere. The Observer is now in its 28th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling industry as well as the MMA industry, from bookers, to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest current names, both on camera, and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed as long as 20 years or more straight. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world and an accuracy from having the most inside sources that can't be found on the web. Everyone from Wall Street to the major offices to the TV networks in U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business. If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. Just send your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order by faxing that information to 408-244-3402. You can also subscribe via paypal at www.paypal.com and using the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address or subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card, by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.

-- As noted on last night's Observer Radio, after Michael Cole made an unfortunate slur on Twitter the company made him go to meetings. Not sure what they're going to do with Punk if he's actually going to be leaving the company for awhile after the PPV.

-- WWE official statement on Punk: WWE does not condone this type of language or bias and we reinforce that with our talent who are independent contractors.

-- We've gotten a lot of emails about the Pledge of Allegiance since last night's show. We've heard from people whose children don't know it at all, some whose children still say it every day, and some whose children learned it way back, like in Kindergarten, but probably don't remember the whole thing.

-- More from the Adam Geller wedding: The Best Man's entrance.

-- For fans of 80s WWF, we've got a great interview up today with RIKI ATAKI talking about the scene during that period, memorable moments on Superstars and Prime Time Wrestling, what he did before and after wrestling, and so much more.

-- For those following our Lance Storm World of Hurt reviews, we're told by those who have seen the French Stallion episode that it's awesomely awesome.

-- Kim Couture vs. Jessica Bartness in a kickboxing match has been signed for July 30th at the Hard Rock in Vegas.

-- Article hereon the return to MMA of PRO ELITE~! Yes, Stratus (not Trish) Media Group bought the assets and it's rising from the grave. And what better man to headline, according to MMA Junkie, than Andre Arlovski. August 27th is the date for the Hawaiian revival.

-- TNA heads to Belgium in January of 2012.

-- Chyna has signed on to do a Youshoot with Kayfabe Commentaries. This should be one for the ages.

-- TNA will be holding an event at the Chenango County Fair in Norwich, New York on August 12th, 2011. Bell time is 7:30 PM. Tickets are on sale now. Thanks to Devin Cutting.

-- MMA announcer Jeff Gorman has an interview with Beau "Blackjack" Baker, who will fight on Friday night's M-1 Challenge card on Showtime here.

-- John Morrison and Melina will be making a personal appearance at FCW this Friday and Saturday night. Morrison is still several months away from returning.

-- Video of MVP getting his hair cut and his new look up here.

-- Jim Ross looks at July 4th, Paul Heyman, Nancy Grace and more here.

-- The audio of Claudio Castagnoli on Right After Wrestling is up here.

-- What was the best TV show of the past week?
Raw 54.0%
UFC 132 prelims 15.2%
Impact 12.5%
Countdown to UFC 132 5.8%
Smackdown 4.9%
CMLL 3.1%
It's Showtime 2.2%
Inside MMA 1.8%
MMA Live 0.4%

Poll on Smackdown
Excellent 20.6%
Good 49.5%
Average 16.5%
Fair 2.1%
Poor 11.3%
37.0% of those responding didn't see the show

Best recent major show
UFC 132 55.7%
ROH Best in the World 24.1%
WWE Capital Punishment 7.0%
TNA Slammiversary 5.7%
UFC on Versus 3.5%
UFC 131 2.2%
Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix 1.4%
Ultimate Fighter finals 0.5%

-- Men in lycra guarantee a big show

-- Platinum Championship Wrestling at the Academy Theater on Friday! Bell is at 8 p.m. www.academytheater.org, 119 Center Street, Avondale Estates, GA 30002. $8 a ticket

-- Ed, Craig and Cutrer talk the CM Punk promo here.

-- The American Fighting Organization will make its debut in Revere, Massachusetts at the Wonderland Entertainment Complex on Friday night July 15th with its inaugural “Glory” event.

-- Jerry Jarrett Joins Memphis Heat Showings for The Best of Times Booksignings: The exceedingly well-received wrestling documentary Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin’ will have premieres in the following markets: Paducah, Kentucky Maiden Alley Cinema July 15-17 (July 15th evening booksigning with Jerry Jarrett); Memphis, Tennessee Orpheum Theater July 22; Birmingham, Alabama Alabama Theater August 5; Atlanta, Georgia Plaza Theater August 5-7 (August 6th evening booksigning with Jerry Jarrett)

-- From the promoter: M-1 GLOBAL, Europe's leading MMA promotion, makes its West Coast debut at The Hangar on Friday July 8th and will amp the crowd with the stacked M-1 Challenge: Bennett vs. Garner card. Headlined by the hotly anticipated rematch between 2010 M-1 Selection Americas Tournament heavyweight finalists Pat Bennett (4-2) and Kenny 'Deuce' Garner (6-3), the action airs LIVE on SHOWTIME

-- A review of the famous WWF Calgary Stampede show is up here.