FRIDAY UPDATE: Weekend preview, Dave talks Henderson, charges against former WWE star dropped, ESPN talks Punk and Iron, Jericho new business, first-ever WON newsletter, more

By Bryan Alvarez

Bryan Alvarez: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Dave Meltzer: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're looking for reports from tonight's Raw show in Peoria and TNA show in Tyler, TX (Jeff Jarrett vs. A.J. Styles, Beer Money vs. Bully Ray & Gunner vs. Pope & Devon, Mr. Anderson vs. Crimson, Hernandez vs. Samoa Joe and Rosita & Sarita vs. Velvet Sky & Mickie James).

Tonight is also the Titan Fighting Championships on HDNet at 10 p.m. from Memorial Hall in Kansas City:

Anthony Gutierrez vs. Cody Land

Daniel Gallemore vs. Alex Huddleston

Marcio Navarro vs. Nick Nolte (he's back, and he's even doing an MMA movie)

Willian de Souza vs. Joe Wilk

Rob Kimmons vs. Brendan Sequin

Sara McMann (U.S. Olympic wrestler) vs. Tonya Evinger

James Krause vs. Clay French.

Saturday is headlined by the Strikeforce show from the Sears Center in Chicago. Lineup has:


Bryan Humes vs. Gabriel Salinas-Jones

Derek Brunson vs. Lumumba Sayers

Alexis Davis vs. Julie Kedzie

Edouardo Pamplona vs. Tyler Stinson

J.Z. Cavalcante vs. Bobby Green

Live on Showtime at 10 p.m.

Scott Smith vs. Tarec Saffiedine

Paul Daley vs. Tyron Woodley

Tim Kennedy vs. Robbie Lawler

Marloes Coenen vs. Miesha Tate for the Strikeforce women's welterweight title

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Dan Henderson

We're also looking for reports on the Saturday night shows with Raw in Rockford, IL, Smackdown in Louisville and TNA in Houston at the Verizon Wireless Theater (Hernandez vs. Mr. Anderson, A.J. Styles vs. Bully Ray, Jeff Jarrett vs. Crimson, Gunner vs. Devon vs. Bobby Roode vs. Samoa Joe, Pope vs. James Storm, Mickie James vs. Sarita for the Knockouts title and Shannon Moore & Velvet Sky vs. Sangriento & Rosita). C.M. Punk is scheduled for all the Raw house shows this weekend.

Sunday has Raw in Springfield, IL and Smackdown in Terre Haute, IN.

The live Raw is Monday night in Indianapolis featuring 14 Divas in a Battle Royal trying to get a title shot at Kelly Kelly, not to mention there will be a C.M.. Punk interview. Smackdown and NXT are taped on Tuesday in Lexington.

An update on C.M. Punk, SummerSlam, and the direction, if there is such a thing, of WWE going forward is the lead article on the newest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The lead story talks about the past and present plans for SummerSlam, changes, the return of Jim Ross, behind the scenes regarding the returns of Punk and Ross, ratings, early indications on Money in the Bank on PPV, people second guessing the return, why Punk fans should be happy with how the angle played out, as well as what people knew what. We also look at the period that could have doomed his career in WWE.

We also look back on the Jim Ross run in WWE, the attempts at replacing him and what happened each time that has led him back to the main chair.

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.

Our other lead story is our twice yearly look at who are the biggest stars in the industry. Our top 50 in the U.S. power list based on Google searches yields some very interesting results, including a new No. 1 for thus far in 2011, a shocking No. 2, as well as who is stronger than their push, and who is the most noticeable person weaker than their push. We also look at who left and became a bigger star, and who left and was forgotten. It's a look at the biggest names in wrestling, boxing, MMA, as well as how 2011 has trended for WWE vs. UFC around the world.

We also look at the value of the UFC championships, and a predictor of what will be a big PPV before the year is out. We also look at an ominous sign regarding boxing, and what pro wrestling legend is gigantic on a worldwide basis that most wouldn't think of.

We also look at the return to wrestling of Kenta Kobashi this past week, the scene in Osaka, the booking of the return, and a look back at Kobashi's previous returns.

We also look at The Rock talking about his return, as well as talk about future plans, why Survivor Series under normal circumstances would not be expected to do well this year, more on Sin Cara, Mark Henry's new role, hints of a lawsuit, WWE star has a stalker and goes to court trying to put the person away, Randy Orton gets lucky, WWE's popularity in the Hispanic community, one of the hardest working men in the company, Fit Finlay talks more about his firing, star in another sport talks about quitting and going into WWE, notes on how much stock WWE execs like Kevin Dunn and Stephanie Levesque own, plus all the business notes from the past week and highlights from all the weekend WWE live events.

We also have a feature on the return of Chael Sonnen, looking back at the last year of his life, as well as his comments about his return. You may like him or hate him, and some do both, but he's certainly among the most quote worthy athletes in sports today.

We also look at DDT's biggest show of the year, and update Dragon Gate USA with a look at the Uprising PPV, and many of the new stars that appear on the show, plus strengths and weaknesses of this coming week's taped PPV offering.

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.

-- Don't forget the Dragon Gate USA PPV that debuts tonight on traditional cable and satellite PPV. Dave has a full review in this week's new Observer. Line-up has Rich Swann vs. Sami Callihan vs. Jon Davis vs. Scott Reed vs. Flip Kendrick vs. Louis Lyndon vs. Pinkie Sanchez vs. Caleb Konley, Brodie Lee vs. Tony Nese (of recent Impact fame), Austin Aries vs. Susumu Yokosuka, YAMATO vs. CIMA vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Masato Yoshino, Masaaki Mochizuki vs.Arik Cannon, Akira Tozawa vs. AR Fox, and PAC vs. Ricochet vs. Rich Swann. More info at

-- For those who remember the story of Shad Gaspard getting busted at the Arnold Classic for jaywalking and subsequently resisting arrest, it's being reported today in the Columbus, OH press that all charges have been dropped. Josh Barnett recorded the aftermath on his cell phone, which you can check out here

-- ESPN has a big story on CM Punk and Gregory Iron here.

-- Ever wanted a copy of the first-ever Wrestling Observer Newsletter? Click here.

-- Dave looks at Henderson vs. Fedor for here.

-- Kurt Angle on Twitter yesterday put out another plea for Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin to come to TNA to reunite Team Angle. What a strange way to try to make business deals.

-- From Y2J: Proud to be part owner w Derek Brooks and Chipper Jones of the D1 Training Center opening soon in Tampa! Best in the US

-- One day before his fight with Fedor Emelianenko at tomorrow's Strikeforce event, Dan Henderson appears as guest tonight on Inside MMA.

-- WWE returns to the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas on October 22nd, 2011. Thanks to Devin Cutting.

-- Charles Robinson and girlfriend Amy Charles are getting married this weekend. Hopefully he takes her last name.

-- In Daniel Bryan's latest Youtube video, he BERRIES a cockroach.

-- Lex Luger has a message for Chikara's GREEN ANT here.

-- Colt Cabana interviews Beth Phoenix here.

-- Colt also has another edition of "Creative Has Nothing For You" here.

-- A story on Devon Nicholson and his $6.5 million lawsuit against Abdullah the Butcher over Hepatitis allegations is up here.

-- "PWO Wrestlelution 4: Overdrive" is the biggest event in PWO Wrestling history. On Sunday, August 7, PWO premiers on internet pay-per-view exclusively on See a special advanced screening of the opening video of the PWO Wrestlelution 4 iPPV before it hits the airwaves right here.\

-- Fit Finley cuts a promo on Bambi Killer in preparation for their upcoming match in Germany here.

-- Ed, Craig and Cutrer interview Brodie Lee 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?