By Bryan Alvarez
We're looking for reports on tonight's Smackdown tapings in Philadelphia as well as tonight's Impact tapings in Orlando.
We're also looking for reports on Sunday's WWE Raw show in Upper Marlboro, MD, Saturday's Raw show in Wildwood, NJ, Saturday night's TNA show in Harrington, DE, Friday night's TNA show in Winston-Salem, NC and Thursday night's TNA show in Salem, VA.
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.
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
--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
For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for
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.
-- CM Punk vs. John Cena champion vs. champion headlines SummerSlam.
-- Punk's new music, "Cult of Personality", broke the top 200 on iTunes last night. It's the same music he used for his ROH Summer of Punk angle, and also, coincidentally I'm sure, the same music they used for the Steve Austin highlight video before he went into the Hall of Fame.
-- The CM Punk Best in the World t-shirts, which were selling for over $500 on eBay the night of the PPV, can now be purchased for $24.99 at WWEshop.com.
-- Tickets for the Strikeforce Grand Prix semifinals on September 10th at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati go on sale this week ranging from $38 to $203. Top matches include Daniel Cormier vs. Bigfoot Silva in a tournament match and Josh Barnett vs. Sergei Kharitonov in the other semifinal. Jacare also faces Luke Rockhold for the middleweight title.
-- Tickets for the UFC Fight Night on September 17th with Jake Shields vs. Jake Ellenberger headlining go on sale this week. It takes place at the Earnest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
-- Santino broke his nose in his Superstars match last night. He teamed with Chris Masters to lose to Michael McGillicutty & David Otunga, the latter of whom are still, in fact, WWE Tag Team Champions.
-- Miz is on The Lopez Show tomorrow night. He'll also be part of the SiriusXM Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft this coming Thursday in Times Square.
-- Kyle O'Reily and Adam Cole signed with ROH.
-- Don't forget the EVOLVE iPPV takes place tonight with Johnny Gargano vs. Chuck Taylor headlining, plus Sami Callihan vs. Fit Finlay in what sounds like an awesome match. Kevin Steen has also been promised an open mic as he's kind of doing an indy version of the CM Punk storyline right now. Full ordering information is up on the front page right now.
-- As it regards tonight's show, Shiima Xion (who just signed with TNA, by the way) is off the show after getting stuck in Mexico, and he'll be replaced by Lince Dorado.
-- We have a reader who cannot be named looking for episodes of Raw from September 1997 to April 1999 on DVD for trade. Anyone who can help, email me and I'll forward the info.
-- Deadline.com had an exclusive today about a new film project based on the life and death of Bonnie and Clyde that Shane McMahon's wife, Marissa McMahon, may end up producing and financing.
-- Juggalo Championship Wrestling Presents “F#CK THE POLICE”, Thursday, July 28th, Bell Time - 8:00 PM EST, Live Chat – 7:30 PM EST, Live from Clutch Cargos (65 East Huron St, Pontiac, MI 48342 – Doors 7:00PM), Internet Pay-Per-View for $5.00 @ www.psychopathiclive.com, Video On Demand Replay available next day!
-- Jay writes: Great work as always. Just wanted to send you a link to a site called "My Garden Moments" that MSG is doing. It is located here: http://www.msgtransformation.com/moments/wrestlemania.aspx - This particular moment as you will see is from Wrestlemania I-and out of all the cards at MSG, it is the only one listed. Anyhow, what makes this one unique as you will see, is there an error in the description of the evening. It says "In one of Wrestling's most iconic moments, Hulk Hogan and Mr. T claimed the tag-team belt with a dramatic (and perfectly orchestrated) win against "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff." As most fans of wrestling could tell you, this match was not for the tag team title- even more surprised Vince let them say "belt" but that's a whole other story. Of course, Hogan was the only one with any belt going in.
-- Daniel writes: On the third day of Comic Con (Saturday), there was a panel for the upcoming follow-up series to the popular Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The series is called The Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra, which takes place roughly seventy years since the events of the first series. As the series will see expansions in various forms of martial arts, the show's creators have sought to incorporate references to different styles. Among them is mixed martial arts, which will be used as a basis to a form of a similar sport in the series called Pro Bending. The creators called upon Ultimate Fighter 6 winner and current UFC fighter Mac Danzig to provide reference demonstration. Danzig brought in recent Strikeforce fighter Jeremy Umphries to help out and both showcased their abilities in a reference video that was shown during the panel. No airdate has been announced yet for The Legend of Korra, though it is deep into production that a trailer premiered at the panel.
-- Jimmy writes: On the commercial tonight during Raw for the Smackdown taping coming to St. Louis in September, the radio ads playing around St. Louis, and the e-mail sent out to WWE email subscribers about the taping in September, Sin Cara is mentioned both times as scheduled to be there. Just an interesting note I thought I'd pass along.
-- Lance Storm Q&A herewith such fascinating questions as whether he drives with his headlights on. This person had the opportunity to ask Lance Storm anything and that was his question.
-- Who do you expect to win this fight?
Marloes Coenen 53.5%
Miesha Tate 46.5%
Greatest heel of all-time
Ric Flair 41.9%
The Sheik 18.1%
Roddy Piper 15.6%
Fred Blassie 7.2%
Terry Funk 5.2%
Buddy Rogers 4.2%
Killer Kowalski 3.0%
Stan Hansen 1.7%
Superstar Graham 1.2%
Fritz Von Erich 0.9%
Ray Stevens 0.7%
Gene Kiniski 0.3%
Will St. Pierre vs. Diaz do 1 million buys?
-- CZWrestling.com - On Saturday, August 13, ‘Tangled Web 4’ airs on iPPV (courtesy of HybridEnt.TV) from The Asylum Arena, 7 W. Ritner ST in Philadelphia, PA at 7:30 pm.
-- Michael Barton talks to Tracy Smothers here.
-- The United Pro Wrestling Association brings LIVE pro wrestling action THIS SATURDAY, 7/30 to the National Guard Armory, 2221 Carolina Beach RD in Wilmington, NC. Proceeds will benefit Jimmy Kadnar, a retired New York City firefighter who responded to the World Trade Center attack on September 11, lost his home in a fire on July 5.
-- Young Bucks talk TNA and RVD here.
-- Time Warner on Demand has a Steel Asylum match with MCMG, Red, Daniels, Pope, Suicide, Lethal and Creed in their Events free preview section.
-- On eBay you can get the entire Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine set from 1979-2001, which is a lot of issues. Click herefor more.
-- Over the Top Radio with Pat Tanaka here.