By Bryan Alvarez
Smackdown and NXT are taped tonight in Bakersfield.
We're also looking for reports on Saturday night's TNA house show in Rochester, NY and Friday night's show in Norwich, NY.
Probably the most detailed look at every aspect of WWE business, in particular WrestleMania, the movie business, the house show business, the future of WWE television and a lot of comments by Vince McMahon regarding the current and future state of the company is in the lead stories of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The story look at plans for a WWE network, Vince McMahon talks about UFC vs. WWE, meeting with Dana White, why such a relationship could never work, future of different WWE shows, plans for far more television in the fall and how that would work out, more on a third hour of Raw each week as well as the lessons of WCW. We also look at financial reasons for adding shows, a look at how much money, profits and expenses are in a WrestleMania and comparing the numbers for the last several years. We also look at the value of Dwayne Johnson to this year's show, money spent on production and merchandise, bigger payoffs and Johnson's statement regarding C.M. Punk.
We also look at predictions for next year's Mania, future of The Rock in WWE, why booking Rock vs. Cena is tricky as well as the unique situation Cena is in and the pros and cons of a heel turn.
We also look at the Money in the Bank number that was originally announced and what that says about the current product and lessons to be learned from it going forward.
We look at the positives and negatives of doing the first Cena vs. Punk match the night they did it and timing it the way they did.
We look at the three aspects of the WWE business that were in the greatest decline, and the two aspects losing money and their futures.
We also look at the future of the movie business, and what appear to be the real sale levels of the DVDs.
The issue will be on the site today 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 the quarterly report breaking down every category, what is up, down and the hidden facts that aren't as obvious in comparisons. We look at the company's current mentality regarding the changing of the price structure for house shows, the profit margin so far this year, the dividend so far this year, and what Vince McMahon has earned from his dividends so far this year.
We also breakdown where WWE makes its money, look at house show revenue, chart all the PPV shows this year and compare them with the previous two years, a look at just how important WrestleMania really is, what show did surprisingly well, how TV rights are doing, how merchandise is doing, Classics on Demand, Home video, video games, toys and the web site.
We also have coverage of both UFC 133 and TNA Hardcore Justice. We have poll results from both shows. We have match-by-match rundowns for both shows and star ratings for the TNA show. We look at angles going forward on both shows, as well as preliminary business numbers for UFC 133 and the hidden number. We look at where the winners and losers go next, why Dennis Hallman wore what he wore, Dana White's reaction, injuries in the show, and Matt Hamill's retirement.
We also look at the WWE departures over the past week, who, how and why, as well as the names cut in developmental. We also look at Gail Kim's quitting the company, John Morrison talks about Melina being cut, Chris Masters and Gail Kim talk about leaving and who Japan is interested in and who TNA may be interested in.
We also look at Linda McMahon's future, the future of Sin Cara both the character and the original person playing the character, more on Rey Mysterio and Dolph Ziggler's injuries, more on SummerSlam, C.M. Punk rips The Rock, Steve Austin talks wrestling again, Raw in Canada, WWE titles that changed via DQ, Mystery GM angle, Edge talks when he would have retried if he wasn't hurt and Hall of Fame.
We also look at a former World champion who has expressed an interest in working for WWE again, an update on WWE time delayed television viewership, several new people being signed, as well as business notes from the past week and highlights of the house shows.
We also look at the lineup for a show in a few weeks that will be among the biggest pro wrestling events in many years, featuring three major promotions all working together for the first time in years.
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:
--Update on Arena Mexico
--How far one of the biggest draws of the past quarter century has fallen
--Dragon Gate's tag team tournament
--A new idea for a gimmick match that takes place this week
--Kenta Kobashi's second and third matches back
--Complete G-1 tournament rundown
--A look at the death of James Haase aka J.T. Lightning
--Hulk Hogan talks Randy Savage
--Hogan talks about a comeback match
--Brooke Hogan nude unveiled
--Mickie James fund raising for her next record
--Update on Hardys and Ric Flair
--Update on TNA's No Surrender
--TNA star gets $10,000 bonus in another line of work
--Generation Me explain why they left TNA
--New TNA signing
--Update on Bound for Glory series
--Behind the Fedor Emelianenko cut
--Future of Dan Henderson and why it's so important
--Health concern for fighters
--The UFC TV deal for next year
--Upcoming Strikeforce schedule for rest of the year
--Change in Strikeforce TV
--Two MMA shows this week from Zuffa
--Notes on the new season of Ultimate Fighter
--Update on the UFC New Year's show
--What happened to Brittney Palmer at the last PPV?
--GSP vs. Diaz promotion
--Bisping lashes out at cheaters
--What Zuffa star is thinking WWE in his future
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.
-- UFC Agrees To Deal With Fox That Will See Up To Four Events Per Year On Broadcast TV. Dana White says this is not yet official.
-- It is being reported that MMA trainer Shawn Tompkins' death at age 37 this week was due to a heart attack.
-- The UFC on Versus show from this weekend, which was awesome, replays Wednesday night at 6 Pacific/9 Eastern. Check this one out if you didn't see it, particularly the Ben Henderson match and the main event.
-- Rock started shooting GI Joe today.
-- Several indy wrestlers and Tough Enough stars were in town for WWE this weekend. Many got tryouts, including the Young Bucks (Generation Me in TNA) and Joey Ryan (the "fan" who flipped out on TV when Mark Henry went through the barricade at SummerSlam).
-- Apparently today is the one-year anniversary of the debut of Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez in WWE. They made their debut the Tuesday after SummerSlam last year in Bakersfield, and today's TV taping, the Tuesday after this year's Summerslam, is also in Bakersfield.
-- For those who heard the MMA message board discussion on last night's Observer Radio, the thread that spawned the entire discussion is here. The original poster is the guy who reported months back that Dave and Ariel knew about Brock. And yes, there is a Dana White run-in halfway through the thread.
-- More from Jimmy Yang: 7 weeks and still no check somebody called me and said i was being unprofessional not paying somebody for a job is UNPROFESSIONAL
-- Kenneth writes: I just saw this story on my local news and I thought I should share it. A family in central Illinois was having a birthday party for their 8 year old son that included him and all his friends watching Summerslam. They ordered the ppv days in advance, but when all the kids were there and they turned on the TV, there was a porno movie on instead. Their cable company, Comcast, responded by saying that it was a "signal mix up" and that only a few homes were affected.. Definitely not PG.
-- Ohio Valley Wrestling is having a Rod Steele Memorial Show this Saturday night at the Danny Davis Arena in Louisville, KY. They are hoping for a good turnout as the money is going towards his burial expenses. Steele, a former OVW Champion, passed away several weeks back. For more information you can check out ovwrestling.com.
-- From Matt Hardy: I'm ready.. It's time for me to get back in the ring. I'm gonna train my ass off & get ready for the day-wherever it may be. Preach.
-- Resistence Pro Wrestling, which is the new group that Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins is working as creative consultant of (Gabriel Baron and Jacques Baron, two brothers, are the co-owners) runs their first show, Black Friday, on November 25th (a Friday, thank goodness, so this isn't TNA) at the Excalibur in downtown Chicago. They've already confirmed Jay Bradley, Teddy Hart and Harry Smith for the show, and Raven is working as agent.
-- From Rikishi: OK ALL DIVAS WHO DOES THE STINKFACE MOVE WHERES MY CHECK ?
-- For those traumatized by the departure of UFC ring girl Brittney Palmer, there is a brand new interview with her heretalking about her departure from that role, whose decision it was (hint: not hers), and tons more.
-- First match announced for the September 17th ROH Death Before Dishonor iPPV from the Manhattan Center in New York, just days before the Sinclair TV series debut, is Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong in a Ringmaster Challenge: Best of three falls, first fall pinfall only, second fall submission only, third fall if needed is a fifteen minute Iron Man match.
-- One of Nash's final indy matches is available on gofightlive.tv here.
-- Doug with some interesting trivia: -In 2009, Triple H won his 8th WWE Championship. The company made a big deal about it, mentioning it surpassing The Rock's 7. I believe you mentioned it as well in the newsletter, but not as a huge deal. Earlier this year, John Cena tied that mark. No one seemed to notice. Then, on the July 25th, 2011 RAW, he surpassed it. John Cena holds the record for 9 WWE Championship reigns now and no one seems to be mentioning this at all. Sure shows the state of the title doesn't it? Also this year, John Cena crept pass Pedro Morales on the most time spent as Champion list. Pedro is number 5 with 1027 days and Cena is now number 4 with 1044. However, it's doubtful Cena will break the top 3. Bob Backlund has 2138 and Hulk Hogan has 2185. Cena's average reign is 116 so it would take him roughly 9 MORE reigns to complete this. That's assuming that each reign is the average instead of these one or two month title reigns he's been enjoying lately. Neither world championship has been held for more than 200 days since Randy Orton's 2nd reigned ended on April 27, 2008. In fact, the World Heavyweight Championship hasn't even gotten CLOSE to 200 days since Batista's reign that ended in January 2006. The closest was Kane last year with 154. Completely random, but a blip on long-term booking in effect. Since 2007, the loser of the final of NJPW's Best Of The Super Juniors has gone on to win the next year. In 2007, Wataru Inoue won. He went on to win in 2008 over Koji Kanemoto. Kanemoto won 2009 over Prince Devitt. Devitt won over Kota Ibushi in 2010. Ibushi then won this year over Ryusuke Taguchi. Barring injury, it looks like Ryusuke would be the logical pick for next year.
-- CMT Made (yes, CMT, not MTV) with Matt Morgan taking a 28-year-old Texas police officer and trying to turn him into a pro-wrestler airs tomorrow night at 10 PM ET and PT.
-- Also, Slammed: Inside Indie Wrestling premieres Wednesday, August 24, at 10PM ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel. The powerful one-hour special will highlight the behind the scenes action of the indie wrestling circuit. The same circuit that feeds the WWE, TNA Impact and other high profile televised pro wrestling companies with talent and even story line ideas. Two of the major indie companies featured will be none other than C M Punk’s favorite wrestling company Ring of Honor and along with many industry experts call old style carny type wrestling, east coast drednort National Wrestling Superstars.No, I have absolutely not idea what a "drednort" is, but that was in the official press release.
-- What would you like to see as the headline matches at Night of Champions?
Cena vs. Del Rio plus Punk vs. Nash 35.5%
Punk vs. Del Rio and Cena vs. HHH 33.5%
Punk vs. HHH and Cena vs. Del Rio 31.0%
Astonishing that people would rather see a Punk vs. Nash match than a Punk vs. HHH match.
What international promotion are you most interested in?
New Japan 34.7%
Dragon Gate 27.6%
All Japan 2.7%
-- English fighter Dan Hardy promises fans he will use cartwheel kick against Chris Lytle at UFC Live 5. Interview before the fight, obviously. He didn't even throw many regular kicks, much less a cartwheel kick.
-- Jimmy Hart talks best wrestling themes here.
-- Oh boy. Diana Hart talks Harry, Michael Cole and tons more in a new audio interview here.
-- Chris Masters on Between the Ropes here.
-- THQ are doing a poll to see who the fans want on the front cover of the collectors editions of the new WWE 12 game. The choices are Cena or The Rock. Thanks to Craig.
-- Sid Vicious works a Bunkhouse Stampede on October 15th at the AWE Awesome Night of Legends show in Fisherville, VA.
-- Pro Wrestling Syndicate FIGHT NIGHT Live this Saturday night in Ronkonkoma NY (Long Island) at Center Island Sports on 101 Union Ave. Doors at 6pm, autograph signing at 6:30pm, Pre-Show Matches at 7:30pm, and main matches begin at 8pm. All remaining tickets (non front row) are just $20. First 100 fans in attendance will receive a FREE dvd. Call 1-800-838-3006 to order tickets or visit www.ProWrestlingSyndicate.com. Harry is working this show.
-- Future Stars of Wrestling returns for its biggest show in its history, Sun Aug 28th, 5pm, at Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada.
-- Over the Top Radio with a Lance Storm interview here.
-- Best wishes to Ed and his family as well, as his father goes in for open heart surgery today.