By Bryan Alvarez
A slow weekend, and with the exception of the Labor Day weekend, this will be the last one of these for a long time.
Saturday night has Bellator live on MTV 2 from the Mohegan Sun Casino at 9 p.m. The TV bouts feature Pat Curran vs. Marlon Sandro in the finals of the summer-long featherweight tournament. The winner gets both $100,000 (as in real money, not Battle Royal winnings) and a shot at Joe Warren's title, although it may be a long time before the latter happens. In addition, undefeated heavyweight champion Cole Konrad faces Paul Buentello in a non-title match, Ricco Rodriguez vs. Seth Petruzelli and Juan Barrente vs. Rene Nazare.
WWE has a Raw house show on Saturday night in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (the site of Bret Hart's first WWF title win over Ric Flair in 1992) while Smackdown will be in Tacoma and TNA is in Atlanta at the Tabernacle.
As noted yesterday, WWE canceled both Sunday shows due to weak advances so the wrestlers are going to be on the road with nothing to do. Well, the Smackdown crew can come visit Bryan and avoiding crossing the border for a couple of days.
Raw on Monday will be taking place in Edmonton.
Smackdown and NXT will be coming from Calgary, which means Tyson Kidd will be doing a job.
We've got the most detailed look and analysis of the UFC deal with FOX and how it affects the landscape of pro wrestling and MMA as the lead story in our two issues of the Wrestling Observer that come out this week. We also have full coverage of SummerSlam, UFC on Versus, Alberto Del Rio, plus the G-1 tournament, the death of Shawn Tompkins and even more on WWE business.
Both issues are now up on the site. If you can't find them on the front page, you can always access the latest issues of the Observer on the front page by clicking on the Archives tab at the top. 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 look at the UFC deal with FOX, how it happened, how the price compares with other products, notes on the long-term nature of the deal. We look at what this means for PPV business, what to look out for, what fighters become more valuable with the nature of this deal, the positives and negatives, the history of UFC on Spike, how important television truly is when you are doing a PPV business, why the timing of this deal was great and how UFC got to greatly increase its TV revenue at the same time its audience is declining.
We also look at how this affects TNA, Bellator and the amazing revenue comparison from television when you compare UFC with WWE.
We look at the history of Alberto Del Rio, his background, how he changed everything about himself to become a star, business notes on SummerSlam, ribs, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results for the show.
We also look at how the UFC show affects Chris Lytle, Ben Henderson, Dan Hardy and Jim Miller, both good and bad records Lytle has, what saved Hardy's job, who are the viable lightweight contenders and comparing them, plus who do people want to see get the next show. We also look at business notes on the show and match-by-match rundowns.
We also look at WWE's profitability by sector. We look in depth at the money made at WrestleMania, where it came from and what was spent as well. We also look at where WWE profits most, where they've slashed spending, the problems in the magazine and movie division, and what divisions are declining but still making more money. We also look at how much WWE spends to do a PPV and a TV taping.
We also look at the career of Shawn Tompkins.
We also look at Bill Goldberg's next match, Paul Orndorff's battle with cancer, death of former boxer and AWA wrestler Scott LeDoux, as well as Goldberg vs. Crimson.
We also look at early returns of Hardcore Justice, the TNA U.K. tour, Linda Hogan talks Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan's 1993 WWF departure, TNA makes more cuts and notes from the weekend TNA house shows.
We also look more at the UFC/Golden Glory issues, the future of Alistair Overeem, future of Brock Lesnar, lots more UFC and Strikeforce fights and a look at the last Challengers show.
We've also got more on a WWE executive being let go, Linda McMahon's future, Edge talks about his plans, Daniel Bryan talks why he became a vegan, vegan MMA fighters, Rey Mysterio update, Mother of former WWE star rips people in the company, Chris Masters talks his departure, what talent is told to tell the press, reaction to someone in for enhancement matches and WWE performer gets stuff stolen/
We've got a huge story on the G-1 Climax tournament, the booking of the finish, where New Japan goes from here, as well as a history of the winners from the past.
We also have more on Heath Slater's situation, what he's being investigated about, what his alleged victim said as well as how WWE is treating the incident.
We also look at a poll of sports fans, how pro wrestling and MMA fared and some amazing stats about pro wrestling that are the exact opposite of what most would seen to think. We also look at the WWE 12 roster and who got left out. We also look at how the economy may change the cable business. We look at how that would affect WWE and UFC, as well as more from the sign police, WWE tryouts and time delayed viewership of Raw.
We also look at the death of Bobby Fields, and his relationship with the most famous family feud in U.S. folklore, and career highlights.
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 issues:
--Press conference announcing heels turning babyface
--World title change in Mexico
--Who have won the CMLL world heavyweight title including some well known Americans
--Foreign Hall of Famer heads to Arena Mexico
--Notes on All Japan's annual junior heavyweight tournament
--Major head-to-head battle in Japan
--Zuffa fighter headlines major pro wrestling event in Tokyo promotional war
--WWE star involved in that wrestling war show
--How the situation with celebrities doing pro wrestling has changed
--Mil Mascaras 40th anniversary of his Japanese debut show announced, including main event and stars involved
--Oldest living wrestler
--New Jack/Terri Runnels lawsuit update
--Devin Nicholson lawsuit update
--Juggalo Championship Wrestling legends show notes featuring some of the biggest stars of the 70s, 80s and 90s
--NWA Legends Convention news
--Update on NWA title belt
--Whatever happened to Pampero Firpo
--Music star opens up a new wrestling promotion
--Former wrestling headliner and celebrity in Canada doing autobiography
--Wrestler arrested as sex offender
--UFC 133 early PPV estimates and what areas did well
--Mauro Ranallo and Dana White talk Fedor
--Future of Cung Le
--Next major Dream show
--Bellator's next show
--One of the most well known names in sports wants to do MMA, and calls out a former Dream headliner
--Jens Pulver on comeback trail
--Kimbo Slice in boxing
--Debut of new promotion with an old name including an NCAA champion former UFC stars
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.
-- As Dave noted on the front page, the first FOX special will be a one hour show, with two fights only, airing from 9-10 p.m. Eastern time on 11/12 from Anaheim, likely from the Honda Center. They will be off the air before the Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez fight starts.
-- Mayhem Miller, who is coaching the upcoming season of Ultimate Fighter, got himself arrested this week for simple assault and false imprisonment after he allegedly grabbed his sister in a headlock as she was trying to leave a party and wouldn't let her go. The story, carried by TMZ, is here.
-- WWE announced the first-ever live Tuesday night Smackdown special on August 30th at 8 PM on Syfy from the INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, KS. They're going live Tuesday night and then the show will replay Friday in the usual 8-10 PM time slot. Presumably they figure everyone is going to be out of town Labor Day weekend so they'll just air the show live as it's being taped and try to make it into something special.
-- Tonight's Inside MMA will feature a look at the life of the late Shawn Tompkins.
-- Cena was at FCW yesterday checking out the talent.
-- WWE canceled Sunday's house show in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. The Saturday night show in Tacoma, WA is still on. Saturday's show will be interesting as the original Sin Cara is free to return as of yesterday.
-- Going head-to-head with Smackdown in Tacoma is Lucha Libre in Seattle. More info is here. First I've heard of this. Do not ask how I know less about what is going on in the Seattle area than I do anything else in wrestling or MMA. A few years ago, Full Throttle promoted some lucha matches up here in Seattle and I worked under a mask as one of the luchadors, so it may be something like that.
-- I Tap Boys has awesome 5-inch fully-embroidered jiu jitsu gi patches available along with stickers, t-shirts, shorts, and more at itapboys.com. Great gift idea for the young lass in your life. They're on Facebook at facebook.com/itapboys
-- I am up at facebook.com/bryanalvarez and Wrestling Observer Live is up at facebook.com/wrestlingobserver. You can also subscribe to my Twitter at twitter.com/bryanalvarez and the site RSS Twitter at twitter.com/wonf4w.
-- There is a fan-created EVOLVE Wrestling promo here, straight out of the 1980s. It's something else.
-- Just want to send a shout-out to Matt Cleary from our board for just generally being awesome.
-- Good article hereon Truth, talking his career, his life before wrestling that wasn't going along all that well, how Jed became a millionaire, Little Jimmys and more.
-- Smackdown has a 20-man battle royal to determine number-one contender for the title (laziest booking imaginable), Alberto Del Rio vs. Daniel Bryan which is said to be awesome, Cody Rhodes vs. Zeke, Tyson Kidd vs. Justin Gabriel, and Kelly & AJ vs. Alicia & Natalya. Am told that for your own health and sanity, turn down the volume during Bryan vs. Del Rio, otherwise you'll shoot holes in your TV due to Cole's commentary.
-- Will Ultimate Fighter airing on Friday night but being live on FX make you:
Not watch, never watched before, won't now 29.1%
More likely to watch because the show will be live 27.5%
Regularly watched, still will 24.0%
Less likely to watch because it's on Friday 10.3%
Less likely to watch if it goes against Smackdown 4.8%
Less likely to watch because it's on FX 2.3%
More likely to watch because it's on FX 2.1%
Will UFC grow in popularity in 2012?
Yes, because of the new TV deal 50.2%
No, it's at the leveling off point and people already knew about it so it will stay around the same 34.9%
Would have gone up next year even without this TV deal 8.3%
Will decline even with this new TV deal 6.7%
Should Spike pick up Bellator?
-- Austin Idol has proclaimed himself KING OF THE JUGGALOS
-- Joey Ryan appeared last night at the Lucha Va Voom show in Los Angeles.
-- Ed, Craig and Cutrer talk Super China Buffet Day, SummerSlam and tons more here.