By Bryan Alvarez
We're also looking for reports on Sunday's WWE Raw show in Springfield, IL (Cena vs. Punk) and Smackdown show in Terre Haute, IN (Orton vs. Christian), as well as reports from Friday night's TNA show in Tyler, TX.
Smackdown and NXT are taped on tonight 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.
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:
--One match television show this past week and what a match it was
--One of the top heels in the world inside the ring that you may not have heard of
--Notes from the annual Lucha Libre expo
--What longtime star is being positioned for a face turn
--Complete Verano de Escandalo lineup with several TNA stars appearing
--Why AAA lost U.S. TV
--New battle of the high flyers program being set up
--Notes on NOAH's jr. heavyweight tag team tournament
--Legends trio returns in Japan
--Sad death of indie manager
--Statue being built to honor an 80s pro wrestling star
--PWG's 8th anniversary show
--Former WWE performer places in national contest in another sport
--Destination X update
--Kurt Angle vs Sting program
--Lineup for TNA's Hardcore Justice PPV
--Lots of Hogan news
--TNA injury updates
--TNA star on another national TV show last week
--Former TNA star gets national network talk show
--RVD/Generation Me comments
--Generation Me talk leaving TNA, plans they were told, and why they decided to go
--Notes on TNA events this past week
--Notes on future TNA television
--First UFC title fight on television in four years
--Upcoming UFC show off to strong advance
--UFC's New Year's Eve plans
--Tons more UFC card changes
--Another UFC main event nearly kaput in a near miss
--Thoughts on the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix
--Dana White and Vince McMahon
--Thoughts on Fedor's future and the Strikeforce show
--Lorenzo Fertitta talks testosterone replacement therapy
--Frank Shamrock/Dana White feud
--Olympic silver medalist signs with Zuffa
--Tons of new UFC fights
--Coverage of the Strikeforce Challengers show
--Lots of upcoming Bellator plans for big matches the rest of the year
--Update on Nate Marquardt and Marquardt says why he thinks his testosterone is low
--Update on Bobby Lashley in MMA
--Notes on MMA judging including stats so far regarding testing with a new system
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.
-- John Morrison vs. R-Truth, Alex Riley vs. Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston look to be added to SummerSlam after last night. Official for the show are John Cena vs. CM Punk title vs. title, Christian vs. Randy Orton in a no-DQ match, and Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix for the women's title. Miz and Rey Mysterio are guaranteed for the show in some form.
-- In the WWE.com voting for who the real world champion is, it finished at 54% John Cena and 46% CM Punk. Fans felt the guy who beat John Cena for the title was less deserving of the championship than a guy who got the belt following a tournament that he wasn't even in.
-- Jericho on Punk: Everyone is so excited that @CMPunk mentioned me on Raw. Newsflash...I don't give a shit. Mind ur own business and stop rippin me off Punk.There are people in WWE who believe based on that tweet that we might get a Punk vs. Jericho match at WrestleMania this year.
-- It's not 100% that Ryder is moving to Smackdown, and he may end up making appearances on both shows.
-- Eric writes: For what it's worth, I just went to WWE.com to order the new Punk T-shirt, and with the exception of pre-ordering the new White shirt he has been wearing on TV, all of his other shirts (mens, womens, and youth) are out of stock.
-- Maryse will be out for awhile undergoing hernia surgery.
-- Tara in an interview with Ariel Helwani said the she would not be doing MMA as she'd claimed a few years back. She said she was 40 years old and that if she'd gotten into this ten years ago she could have been in the mix, but it's too late now, plus she suffered a pretty serious injury in a cage match with Mickie James. The interview is up right now on the front page.
-- Sheamus will be on Conan on August 11th promoting SummerSlam. What a show that's going to be.
-- David Lagana actually managed to get Johnny Ace trending on Twitter last night.
-- Briscoes vs. Kenny King & Rhett Titus added to the August 13th ROH Sinclar TV tapings in Chicago Ridge, IL. Briscoes talk the first TV taping here.
-- Chikarasaurus Rex: King of Sequel, the show that took place this past weekend, is already selling on DVD. Yes. You can order right now by clicking here. Chikara also announced that their show this fall, the finals of the Larry Sweeney 12 Large tournament to crown a first-ever heavyweight champion, will air live on gofightlive.tv, their first Internet PPV.
-- Enigma 2, which is the new Jeff Hardy DVD, comes out in October. There is a slim possibility his court case will be wrapped up by then.
-- Adam Pearce, who went down holding his neck after his NWA Title win this past weekend, is not injured.
-- Speaking of NWA, Stu Stone, who wrestles for NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, has a new album this week which is available on iTunes here. It's called Return of the Stone Movement, and you can download and preview individual songs, or buy the whole album for $9.99.
-- Check this out: Sunset flip into a suplex in a Greco Roman match. Ellis Coleman, who executed it, calls it the "Flying Squirrel" and went on to win the match. The video has gone viral. Greco-Roman wrestling videos going viral is not your everyday occurrence.
-- Update on the fate of the Nassau Coliseum, which was talked about in yesterday's news update, is here.
-- Local Boy Does Good story about Miz here.
-- Terry Taylor talks TNA on Right After Wrestling here. Shockingly, he said his best TNA hire was Kurt Angle.
-- Ever wanted to know whatever happened to Joe Pedicino? SLAM Wrestling and Greg Oliver has your answer here, along with last-minute comments from Paul Heyman.
-- Who do you consider the all-time greatest MMA fighter?
Anderson Silva 26.0%
Royce Gracie 19.6%
Fedor Emelianenko 13.5%
Kazushi Sakuraba 6.7%
Bas Rutten 3.9%
Frank Shamrock 2.2%
Matt Hughes 2.2%
Wanderlei Silva 1.7%
B.J. Penn 1.5%
Dan Henderson 0.9%
Mirko Cro Cop 0.6%
Which show does more buys in North America?
UFC 133 58.4%
What is the current worst commentary team?
Michael Cole & Booker T & Josh Matthews 60.4%
Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler 18.0%
Mike Tenay & Taz 8.4%
Gus Johnson & Mauro Ranallo & Frank Shamrock 4.6%
Mike Goldberg & Joe Rogan 3.2%
Michael Schiavello & Frank Trigg 3.1%
Mauro Ranallo & Stephen Quadros & Pat Miletich 1.7%
Sean Wheelock & Jimmy Smith 0.6%
Should Dan Henderson be signed to:
UFC because Strikeforce is dying 48.1%
UFC due to his price, can't justify it in Strikeforce 28.8%
Strikeforce, because they've lost too many champions and have to save the perception of the company 18.4%
He shouldn't be signed, his price is too high 4.7%
-- A new chapter for Real Championship Wrestling begins THIS SATURDAY, August 6 at The Du Burns Arena, 1301 S. Ellwood Ave in Baltimore, MD with ‘A New Beginning’. Bell time 7:30 pm
-- From the Juggalos: We regret to inform that JCW’s “Seal the Deal” has been cancelled. The event was scheduled for this coming Thursday, August 4th at The Alrosa Villa in Columbus, OH. But don’t be discouraged! There will be numerous iPPV Juggalo Championship Wrestling events during the Gathering, which is August 11th-14th. We’ll send out detailed information next week. Please stay tuned.