FRIDAY UPDATE: More on CM Punk, how it affects ROH, new UFC title match on free TV, Colt and Punk together, Ric Flair wacky claim, weekend schedule, tons more

By Bryan Alvarez

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We're looking for reports on last night's TNA house show in Salem, VA, as well as tonight's Raw show in Springfield, MA and tonight's TNA show in Winston-Salem, NC (Jeff Jarrett, Mr. Anderson, A.J. Styles, Beer Money, Bully Ray, Matt Morgan, Abyss, Crimson, Gunner, Brian Kendrick and Velvet Sky as headliners) at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

No PPVs this weekend but it will still be a most interesting next few days.

Strikeforce tonight from The Pearl in Las Vegas on Showtime at 11 p.m. has:


Sterling Ford (155) vs. Brian McLaughlin (156)

Bill Cooper (154) vs. Maka Watson (155)

Ben Lagman (185) vs. Anthony Smith (186)

T.J. Cook (204) vs. Lionel Lanham (202)

TV fights

Adlan Damagov (185) vs. Ron Stallings (184)

Liz Carmouche (135) vs. Sarah Kaufman (135)

Joe Cason (205) vs. Ovince St. Preux (205)

Devin Cole (239) vs. Shawn Jordan (255)

Roger Bowling (171) vs. Bobby Voelker (171)

Tonight at 10 p.m on HDNet has Legacy Fighting Championships from

Houston's Arena Theater:

Justin Reiswerg vs. Marc Ramirez

Rey Trujillo vs. Jesus Rivera

Chad Robichaux vs. Jonathan Mackles

Daniel Pineda vs. Frank Gomez for the featherweight title

Antonio Flores vs Pete Spratt

Carlo Prater vs. Cameron Dollar

Saturday night has Raw in Wildwood, NJ and Smackdown in Pittsburgh. Because Pittsburgh is a bigger arena, they are sending Rey Mysterio and The Miz to Pittsburgh to bolster the card. Saturday also has TNA in Harrington, DE at the Delaware State Fair, while Bellator has a show on MTV 2 in Rama, Ontario at Casino Rama with Chris Horodecki vs. Chris Saunders, Neil Grove vs. Zak Jensen, and featherweight tournament semifinals with Pat Curran vs. Ronnie Mann and Nazareno Malegarie vs. Marlon Sandro.

Sunday has Raw in Upper Marlboro, MD and Smackdown in White Plains, NY.

Monday has Raw in Hampton, VA, featuring Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz in the finals of the WWE title tournament. The show is being built around the theme of HHH's first day in charge. There is also a Monday Impact taping in Orlando.

Tuesday has Smackdown and NXT being taped in Philadelphia, while a second night of Impact tapings will be in Orlando.

        A look back at the person and angle who may have spawned everything that took place in the last week, as well as a report on the WWE Money in the Bank PPV and C.M. Punk is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
        The issue looks at Brian Pillman in 1996 and 1997, the Canadian Stampede PPV, working the system, all the WWE angle over the past week and the unique balancing act the company is trying.  We look at what talent has been told, the Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin match from 1997, the finish of the PPV, business notes on the show and match-by-match rundown with star ratings.
        We also look at the biggest drawing "B" PPVs dating back to 2005, with a look of what usually draws best on those type of shows. 
        We also have more from Punk on complaints about the company, who should be pushed that isn't, the dress code, his feedback from wrestlers and what admitting that feedback says regarding previous statements by wrestlers themselves.
        We also look at the Vince McMahon angle as well as how much reality was in the angle, including what has been said of late about Vince McMahon.
        The issue will be up today on the web site for web site subscribers.  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 also have more on the changes in the writing team, both in makeup and structure, and what to expect different because of it.  We also look at some notes on ratings and buy rates and what they mean, as well as a historical look at ratings and what they mean for attendance.  We also have an update as to time delayed viewership for Raw, a wrestler getting bad reviews, WWE going to Mexico,  and a look at Chavo Guerrero's comments.
        We also look at business at recent TV tapings, as well as a look at the past week's Raw/Smackdown joint brand show.
        We also have a look at Alistair Overeem being pulled out of the Grand Prix tournament, why it happened, the replacement fight and the tournament going forward, as well as what it means for the tournament.
        We also have a look at philosophical changes at Spike TV and how that changes the type of programming they want to do, the new goals, and how TNA and UFC do or don't fit in.
        We also have an update on Sin Cara, including what has been said both positively and negatively about him, the drug suspension and the other unanswered questions.
        We also look at the end of one of the most bitter wrestling promotional feuds in history as the IWA wrestlers showed up over the weekend at the WWC big event in Puerto Rico.  We look at how the rivalry started, and its history, we look back at when Puerto Rico was one of the true hotbeds of pro wrestling including the early Aniversario shows that featured the biggest names throughout wrestling competing before the biggest crowds in the industry.  We look at the early shows, the return of The Invader, and match-by-match coverage of WWC's biggest event of the year.
        We also look at Dragon Gate's biggest events of the year.
        We've also got a feature on the current state of women's MMA in the big time, including who could be the next face of the sport, and what may be one of the most important women's matches in history coming up at the end of this month and why.
         We also have our usual weekly features including ratings for all the major national shows, broken down the segment-by-segment for both Raw and Impact, showing which segments gained and lost viewers and evaluated their performance from an audience level.
         We also have results from all the major league pro wrestling and MMA events over the past week, as well as reviews of all the major television shows.   
           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 29th 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 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.
         Also in this week's issue:
--A major head-to-head confrontation coming at the end of the month
--Surprise results regarding WWE talent outside WWE
--Major star looks to be in jail for eight months to a year taking him right out of a major show this month
--A look at the lineup for AAA's Verano de Escandalo featuring several names from TNA
--Notes on the 2011 Lucha Libre Expo
--Updates on AAA business
--Dragon Gate USA announces big match
--Dragon Gate USA star headed to Japan for an extended tour
--Pro Wrestling NOAH's annual junior heavyweight tag team tournament notes
--Notes on the latest New Japan PPV show
--Wrestler passes away in in-ring accident
--80s star has a retirement match this past week
--Major legends show in October
--Notes on movies on Bruno Sammartino
--Update on the NWA title situation and why it went down like it did
--Notes on a new pro wrestling book about the history of wrestling in one of its most tradition based cities
--Two biggest stars in the history of wrestling return for a show in a few weeks
--More on the arrest of Branko Busich, the son of a former WWE performer
--Son of one of the 90s biggest stars now training for pro wrestling
--Contract updates
--Jeff Hardy update
--TNA makes major deal
--Why TNA/AAA relationship may end up shaky based on things that have already happened
--TNA headliner says he wants to retire by 40
--TNA headliner is under 40
--More on TNA morale
--Update on Brock Lesnar
--Tons more on UFC injury situation
--Lots more on UFC card changes
--Update on a loaded UFC event in Houston
--Update on five straight Saturdays of big shows
--Lots of new fights announced
--A look at the shows this weekend
--Another Japanese star signs with Zuffa
--Talk of reviving K-1
--Bobby Lashley's next fight
--More on a former pro wrestling star vs. boxing star mixed match and strange rules
--A look back at the last time these type of rules were in play
--Pro wrestling move from the 20s now works in MMA
--Return of Kimbo
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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 now 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.

-- As noted on the front page, UFC on Versus 6 from the Verizon Center in Washington, DC on October 1st will be headlined by the Dominick Cruz vs. Demetrious Johnson 135-pound title match. Meanwhile, Brian Bowles vs. Urijah Faber in a 135-pound number-one contender's match will likely take place at the HP Pavilion in November underneath the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos main event.

-- Davey Richards vs. Roderick Strong for the ROH Title has been signed for the first Sinclair TV tapings in Chicago on August 13th. An interesting note. ROH sources across the board insist there have been absolutely no talks between WWE and ROH about shooting any sort of angle involving CM Punk. What is interesting about this, as Todd and I talked about on yesterday's Figure Four Daily, is that Punk mentioned ROH on WWE television, meaning if he's not back on WWE TV as a regular character by the 13th then it's almost guaranteed that the ROH crowd in Chicago is going to expect him to be there and be chanting his name, perhaps throughout the evening. I don't want to use the term "victim" here in terms of ROH because that's probably a terrible word to use, but it would certainly suck for them to have "CM PUNK!" chants throughout their tapings due to something that they had absolutely nothing to do with at all. And I'm not blaming WWE either, because I can pretty much assure you that there was no conspiracy or plan to mess with ROH when Punk dropped that reference. It's just a situation that has suddenly become kind of strange.

-- Colt Cabana's latest Art of Wrestling podcast with CM Punk and Zach Ryder (what a combo) is up here.

-- Punk has his own Youtube channel up here.

-- Story on Ric Flair herewhere he claimed that he'll be facing the winner of the Sting vs. Kurt Angle title match later this fall. They're not even using him on TV so I'm a bit skeptical of that one. Well, a lot skeptical.

-- Clips of an in-shape Dan Henderson training for Fedor Emelianenko are up here.

-- Strikeforce Challenger's card for tonight on Showtime has Roger Bowling vs. Bobby Voelker, Devin Cole vs. Shawn Jordan, Joe Cason vs. Ovince St-Preux, Liz Carmouche vs. Sarah Kaufman and Adlan Amagov vs. Ron Stallings.

-- Smackdown tonight has Christian vs. Ezekiel Jackson in a champion vs. champion match, Randy Orton vs. Kane in a streetfight, Daniel Bryan vs. Heath Slater but Bryan's announcement of when he's going to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase, Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus and more.

-- Steve Austin on Twitter suggested WWE hire Samoa Joe, saying he was one of his favorite workers and deserved a green light push. Joe is under TNA contract, it should be noted, so he's not going anywhere anytime soon.

-- Former WCW star Sonny Siaki is now working with Pre-Paid Legal Services as a senior associate. If you have legal issues or want more information, he is at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or you can get more info at the website at Forbes has the company listed at #78 in "American's Best 100 Small Companies".

-- Colt Cabana won the JCW Heavyweight Title from 2 Tuff Tony this past Wednesday night at the Juggalo Championship Wrestling show. You can get an on demand replay for $5 at

-- Alex Marvez interviews Fit Finlay here.

-- Bobby Lashley is off the next Titan Fighting Championships show scheduled for next week. It doesn't appear to be an injury situation as they just said that with the things going on in his life, this wasn't a good time to fight. They claim he'll be back headlining next month's show. Clay French vs. James Krause is the new main event.

-- Some DGUSA upcoming show notes: September 9th in Indianapolis will be a Captain's Match with PAC, Rich Swann & AR Fox vs. Ricochet, CIMA & Akira Tozawa. The match can only end with PAC or Ricochet winning the fall. September 10th in Chicago will have PAC vs. Ricochet one-on-one. And September 11th in Milwaukee will feature a historic bout. It will be Title vs. Title when Open The United Gate Champions PAC & Masato Yoshino take on Open The Twin Gate Champions Ricochet & CIMA. Tickets for all three events are now on sale in the Store or by calling 267-519-9744.

-- Upcoming big Chikara dates:

"Chikarasaurus Rex: King of Sequel - Night 1"
Saturday evening - 7.30.2011
Live at The Goodwill Beneficial Assoc.
100 Madison Avenue in Reading, PA!
The action starts at 7:00 pm, Doors open at 6:30 pm!

"Chikarasaurus Rex: King of Sequel - Night 2"
Sunday afternoon - 7.31.2011
Live at Asylum Arena (former ECW Arena)
7 W. Ritner Street in Philadelphia, PA!
The action starts at 4:00 pm, Doors open at 3:30 pm!

-- Who will be the next UFC champion to lose their title?
Frankie Edgar 42.7%
Cain Velasquez 23.2%
Dominick Cruz 7.8%
Anderson Silva 7.6%
Jose Aldo Jr. 7.6%
Jon Jones 6.2%
GSP 4.9%

Will SummerSlam beat last year's numbers?
If Punk on the show, yes 43.3%
Depends on the card 26.0%
Yes 17.1%
If they advertise Rock ahead of time, yes 7.9%
No 5.6%

Who was the most influential wrestler in history?
Hulk Hogan 34.5%
Gorgeous George 19.4%
Ric Flair 14.0%
Steve Austin 7.8%
Superstar Graham 4.8%
Lou Thesz 3.9%
Rikidozan 3.8%
Bruno Sammartino 3.3%
El Santo 3.2%
Frank Gotch 2.2%
Strangler Lewis 1.5%
Antonio Inoki 1.5%

-- Just a note that the Lance Storm show this week was postponed until today. Got tons of great audio up, though, including an awesome two-hour show with Bruno Sammartino from Wednesday plus other shows with Zach Arnold, KING MO LAWAL, and, yes, Vinny.

-- Chest-shaving Australian MMA fighter Brian Ebersole to take on Dennis Hallman in UFC 133. That's really the headline.

-- Granite monument to be unveiled for decorated wrestler Rheingans

-- Great article hereon Gorilla Monsoon, which includes quotes from one of his classmates, in advance of his induction into the Lou Thesz/George Tragos Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame this weekend.

-- New Dana White audio interview talking New York and more here.

-- Nate Marquardt signed with BAMMA in the UK.

-- Speaking of the UK, Ortiz vs. Rashad will air live on ESPN and ESPN HD.

-- Bill Simmons on the best pro wrestling entrances here.

-- Cubsfan noted that the Record story on Sin Cara has not, in fact, been pulled. It's not on the front page anymore but you can still read it by clicking here.

-- I missed it, but Sheamus was scheduled to be on Bubba the Love Sponge this morning.

-- ISKA World Martial Arts Championships tonight on ESPN 2.

-- In the Room interviews Zach Gowen here. We have an interview with Zach up in our archives as well, and it's great. I mean, he's an awesome interview with an amazing story.

-- Mark Munoz did an interview with Josh Nason about fighting Chris Leben, performance enhancing drugs and more here. Josh and Bryan's Wednesday interview with "King" Mo Lawal featuring discussion of CM Punk, his WWE aspirations, Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson and more is available under Audio on the front page. If you love pro-wrestling but not MMA, listen to it anyway. He's a huge pro-wrestling fan, and was this close to signing with WWE before being talked out of it to try MMA.

-- Stevie J interviews Chris Cope here

-- Ed, Craig and Cutrer interview Pat Tanaka tonight here.

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?