MON. UPDATE: Fox airs UFC earlier then you think, WWE's week, Rock talks why he came back



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        We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday night's UFC 134 PPV from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        We're also looking for reports from Tulsa on Raw tonight, with dark matches, Superstars matches and anything else not evident from the live show.  Both Raw and Smackdown main talent is booked on the show, which is going to be heavily geared toward promoting tomorrow night's Smackdown show that airs live on Syfy.
 
        We're also looking for reports on yesterday's Raw show in Little Rock and Smackdown show in Springfield, MO.

        The top Smackdown matches for Tuesday will include John Cena vs. C.M. Punk (not announced but WWE has released this info to advertising purposes), Randy Orton vs. Christian for the World title in a cage match and Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio.

        One of our biggest issues of the year and biggest historical pieces in our history with a look at the history of mixed martial arts from its inception with the first of what would be considered an MMA show nearly 80 years ago through the ups and downs in Brazil and Japan as well as its origins in the United States with the formation of the UFC is the big feature. 

        In addition, we've got the most detailed look at the UFC FOX deal, all the platforms it covers, what to look out for with all the major players involved talking about plans and goals.

        We also have a look at TNA bringing back Jeff Hardy while firing Matt Hardy.  We also have more on the WWE office cuts, injury to Rey Mysterio and the impending front office power play in WWE that many believe is inevitable involving the most powerful people in the company.      

        The issue is available on the site currently, as is a new back issue.  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 back at the origin of mixed fighting, including before it became popular in Brazil.  We look at just how big the interest in Saturday's UFC show has been in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1930, the different heyday periods of Brazilian Vale Tudo, and the legends of that world like Helio Gracie, Carlson Gracie, Masahiko Kimura, Waldemar Santana and the forgotten tough guys like Euclides and Ivan Gomes.

        We look at the start of the Gracie family in Jiu Jitsu, their original fights and marketing of their art and how they became famous.  We look at the original Jiu Jitsu vs. Judo feud, and the similarities in career between Helio Gracie and son Royce, as well as each man's older brother, Carlos and Rorion, in the formation and popularity of the sport.
       
        We look back to what would be considered the first real MMA event of its type, and the emergence of Helio Gracie.  We look at Helio's big matches with pro wrestlers and giants and why he was so popular.

        We look at the second big period starting with the Jiu Jitsu vs. Judo/Pro Wrestling wars of the 50s.  We look at the program that led to the first fight at Maracana Stadium, Rio's big soccer stadium, and how big it was during the heyday.  We look at the legendary matches of that period like Helio Gracie vs. Kimura and Carlson Gracie vs. Santana, as well as myths about that period.

        We look at the real story behind the biggest feud that drew the biggest crowd, as well as the most famous match that almost nobody saw.  We look at how pro wrestling played a huge role in almost all of the really biggest fights of the era.

        We look at how Carlson Gracie followed Helio Gracie into being the big fighting star of the 50s and 60s.  We look at what pro wrestling legend grew up during this period and how he was influenced by the Vale Tudo angles, and how he used them to promote some of the biggest pro wrestling events of the 70s.

        We look at the differences between the fighting and teaching styles of Carlson and Helio Gracie, the mainstream national peak of the sport in Rio, as well as the regional promotion in Brazil that is historically forgotten but was actually the biggest the sport ever got, and some would say, featured the two best fighters of the era.

        We look at what killed the sport of Vale Tudo in most of Brazil, except its regional outpost where it thrived.  We look at what was billed as "The Match of the Century," and may have been the ultimate fight before 1990 in Vale Tudo history, yet almost nobody knows it existed and has been erased from history.

        We look at the street fighter who played heel that brought the sport back to soccer stadiums and the emergence of Rickson Gracie.  We look at more challenges to Olympic medalists and pro wrestling stars.

        We look at the fighter forgotten in history who some say was actually the best of the Gracie fighters, but was unfortunately that his prime came when the sport was banned.

        We look at Rickson Gracie's most famous gym confrontations, including Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz, Luta Livre heavyweight Hugo Duarte, and pro wrestler Yoji Anjo.

        We look at how Rickson Gracie played a part in killing one of the hottest pro wrestling companies in history.

        We look at Rickson Gracie and the birth of the Pride Fighting Championships with his matches with Nobuhiko Takada and what was going on behind the scenes.  We look at the second Gracie vs. Takada fight, what went on behind the scenes, and where Shinya Hashimoto fit into this equation.  We look at the realities of Takada as a fighter.

        We look at why Rickson Gracie never fought in UFC, and the emergence of Royce Gracie as the new Gracie star fighter and MMA's first superstar in the U.S.

        We look at the first UFC, Gene LeBell's feud with the Gracie family, LeBell's first MMA fight and Lou Thesz's thoughts on the early UFC, Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn.

        We look at the emergence of Kimo, the heyday of Ken Shamrock, Royce Gracie's departure from UFC, Rorion Gracie selling his interest in UFC and why all this happened.

        We also look at Ken Shamrock's role as Pancrase champion, the fall of UFC and Ken Shamrock going into WWF and who was instrumental in the deal.

        We look at the role of Shamrock in the rebirth of UFC, and his three big matches that never took place.

        We look at Vale Tudo being banned in Brazil again and why, as well as Royce Gracie's fights in Japan and the emergence of Kazushi Sakuraba as a Japanese sports hero.  We look at how the cards had to fall into place for the Gracie vs. Sakuraba fight to even happen, and how that made the sport huge in Japan.

        We look at all the things leading to the fight and detail what was the biggest fight in Japanese MMA history, as well as the controversy over Sakuraba vs. Mezger to get there.  We look at the growth and death of Pride, as well as the final fight of Rickson Gracie's career and who was Masakatsu Funaki.

        We look at what Rickson Gracie said about the next generation stars like Fedor Emelianenko and Brock Lesnar, as well as what happened to all the major players in the early days of the sport, as well as what fighter brought in the resurgence of interest in Brazil.

        We also have a complete report on the UFC/FOX deal.  We look at the debut show, changes in mentality of the broadcast, how the negotiations went down, what Dana White said to the office, how the announcing will change on FOX, as well as the details of the change starting next year in The Ultimate Fighter reality show. 

        We've got talk about UFC vs. WWE and UFC vs boxing on Friday nights, as well as UFC vs. MMA on Friday nights.  We look at who UFC was negotiating with, what programming will be on what channel, why UFC is able to get so much money in rights fees that WWE can't get, reaction from Spike TV, chances of Bellator moving to Spike, Bellator & TNA cross-promotion, what Fox said in the past about UFC, the first UFC event on U.S. television, as well as Bob Arum and Dana White go toe-to-toe.  We also look at what may be the most important aspect of this deal that has not yet really been discussed anywhere.

        We also have a look at the Hardys and a history of their issues and Jeff bouncing from promotion to promotion.

        We've got more on Rey Mysterio, on WWE office shakeups including two Vice Presidents being let go and what is the story behind it.  We look at the return of the original Sin Cara, Mick Foley talks his future in WWE and how many more matches he thinks he has left, live Smackdown show, update on Linda McMahon's plans to run for senate, Edge Appreciation Night, Canadian ratings, Chris Jericho talks his WWE run, Bret Hart talks Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin talks C.M. Punk and will he wrestle him next ear, third generation WWE star leaving the company, Kevin Nash's reaction to being back, Longest reigning WWE champions, how Edge got his TV acting gig, Jerry Lawler wrestling two of his biggest rivals once again, the Steve Austin DVD, the departure of Todd Grisham, as well as business notes from the past week and house show highlights from the past week.   

          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.
 
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         Also in this week's issue:

--Special Arena Mexico show built around the minis

--Angle where wrestler turns on his father

--U.S. indie star headed to NOAH

--A look at the IGF show this week

--Well known indie star announces retirement

--A look at the Battle of Los Angeles tournament

--Death of a wrestler who was getting a monster push in another generation

--Wrestler dies in the ring

--Update on health issues of some major stars of the 80s

--Impact time slot change

--More craziness in the Hogan family

--Jerry Jarrett talks about TNA's problems and Vince Russo

--TNA star trying for a reality show gig

--Notes on weekend TNA house shows

--Dana White feuds with ESPN

--Government investigating UFC

--UFC star arrested just before he starts with a big TV push

--Dana White talks about one more international version of Ultimate Fighter coming soon

--Among those who are being considered for coaches

--Two fighters trying to push for their own big match on FOX

--How the age of UFC viewers has changed

--Update on Mike Swick injury

--Next fight for Gilbert Melendez

--Notes on the next season of Ultimate Fighter

--Lots of new UFC fights

--A look at the last Bellator show

--MMA Fighter kills someone in street fight

--Womens' freak show fight in Japan, daughter of a famous murderer vs. daughter of one of the most successful American in the entertainment world

--Return of Pro Elite this week   

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--According to one person who contacted us, the stress level at the WWE show among the writing staff was almost at WrestleMania level because of how important tomorrow night's Smackdown is.  The feeling is WWE wants the show off Friday because it's the second worst night of the week for a wrestling show.
 
--Tomorrow's show will air live on both Syfy and on The Score in Canada.
 
--The first UFC on the Fox network will actually be a one-hour Prime Time special, presumably building up the 11/12 live show.  It will air on 10/30, a Sunday, right after the NFL postgame show according to what Fox has sent to its affiliates.
 
--Dwayne Johnson on why he came back to WWE on a twitter chat over the weekend:  "A few years ago when Cena inexplicably started talking trash publicly, I knew then I could turn this into a massive main event, one that could elevate WWE to unprecedented heights.  The timing had to be right though.  WrestleMania 27 for me and the fans, the time was right."   Regarding WM 28:  "The match itself will be historic.  I didn't come back to WWE to become champion again.  I came back for these reasons, entertain the fans like no one else can, elevate the WWE to new heights never seen before, challenge and mentor some of the younger talent, give the millions what they want which is to kick John Cena's f'n ass."
 
--We'll have our usual post-Raw Wrestling Observer radio show late tonight, and take your questions on pro wrestling or MMA at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--After TV the Raw crew goes to Puerto Rico while the Smackdown crew runs shows in France and Switzerland.
 
--Hassan Assad aka MVP has been announced today for Jeff Katz' Wrestling Revolution Project.  
 
--The new WWE movie, "Inside Out, premiers on 9/10 on DirecTV Cinema.  Hopefully they start advertising it this week (thanks to Jess Bruckner)
 
--The movie "Warrior" opens 9/9 in the U.S. and 10/27 in Australia.  I saw a preview a few days ago and we'll talk about it on a radio show soon.
 
--Paul Daley vs. Jordan Radev was announced for the 9/10 BAMMA show in Birmingham, England at the National Indoor Arena.  Radev is a top level wrestler, and has wins over Jorge Santiago and Alexander Schlemenko. 
 
--David Duffett noted this about UFC in South Korea.  All the UFC shows air on Super Action, a channel carried by most Korean cable companies on the basic package.  UFC airs live at 10 a.m. Sundays due to the time difference, and then are replayed that night in prime time where commercials are added.  Usually the Spike shows don't air in South Korea, but the 9/17 show will because Dongi Yang is fighting.  
 
--Jamie Varner vs. Nate Jolly was announced as the main event of an XFC show on 10/21 in Orlando that will air live on HDNet.  Varner is scheduled to fight twice in HDNet main events over the span of three weeks.  Jolly, out of Johnson City, TN, has a 10-3 record.  Varner had one of the best feuds in MMA in recent years in the old WEC with Donald Cerrone, and was a former WEC lightweight champion. 
 
--Here's the situation with ROH in Toronto and Ontario.  ROH airs on WNYO out of Buffalo on 9 p.m. Saturday nights starting 9/24, which is on Rogers Cable in Toronto, Ottawa and London, but not in Hamilton, Niagara Falls, or Windsor.  However, it can be seen over the air in Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Falls and St. Catherines with an outdoor UHF antenna.  There will be an 11 p.m. Sunday replay on WUTV which is also on cable in Toronto, as well as in Hamilton, as well as St. John's Newfoundland and Fredericton, New Brunswick.  Other cities in New Brunswick and Newfoundland get WUHF out of Rochester which will air the show on Sundays at 2:30 a.m. Atlantic time and 3 a.m. Newfoundland time.  WUHF is also on Shaw Direct, one of Canada's biggest satellite companies that airs nationally.  Bell TV, the leading satellite company doesn't air any station that carries it. (thanks to Adam Lebow)
 
--For the 9/17 iPPV by ROH from the Manhattan Center in New York, new matches announced are Charlie Haas vs. Michael Elgin and Shelton Benjamin vs. Mike Bennett.
 
--Sam Stout has pulled out of UFC 137 where he was to face Dennis Siver on 10/29 in Las Vegas according to mmajunkie.com
 
--There was a story on Saturday on Matt Morgan at http://www.ctpost.com talking about the episode of CMT MADE that he was in that aired on Wednesday.  An interesting note is that he said his goal after retiring from wrestling would be to coach basketball at the high school level back home in Fairfield, CT.
 
--A story on Yuzuki Aikawa, who was one of Japan's pin-up models a few years ago and is now a pro wrestler is at http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/08/from-bikini-idol-to-bloody-wrestler/
 
--Lance Storm talks about his recent health scare, going to the WWE shows in Calgary and Edmonton last week, as well as returning to the ring for a short impromptu match with Tommy Dreamer over the weekend at http://www.stormwrestling.com/082911.html
 
--Kevin Nash has pulled out of shows in Nova Scotia this weekend for the UCW group and will be replaced by Billy Gunn.
 
--Best TV show of the past week
Raw 46.0%
UFC 134 the prelims 18.5%
Impact 12.7%
CMLL 6.9%
Countdown to UFC 134 6.9%
Smackdown 5.8%
Inside MMA 2.6%
MMA Live 0.5%
 
--Does UFC's new TV deal in any way affect the futures of WWE or boxing?
It affects both 42.4%
Only boxing 17.5%
Only WWE 7.7%
Affects neither 32.3%
 
--With the market going up, WWE stock went from $9.06 to $9.54 as of 40 minutes before the close of the market today.
 
--HWA from yesterday in Norwood, OH:  Kaden Assad & Jeremy Madrox b DNA to win tag titles, Kaden Assad & Jeremy madrox b Clark Konnor & Jon Murray, Matt Taylor b Chad Cruise, Nick Cutler b Marcus Anthony-COR, Juice Jennings won five-man gauntlet over Sid Fabulous, Doug Charlesz, Jerry Andrews and Tim Lutz, Danny O'Brien b Matt Taylor-DQ, Chris Hall over Jake Crist, Dustin Rayz and James Avery, Ron Mathis b Dave Crist, Jesse Emerson b B.J. Whitmer to win the HWA title.  Next show is 9/24 in Norwood and the group is also running every Tuesday in Hamilton, OH (thanks to Adam Sanders)
 
--Interviews from the weekend with Ted DiBiase Sr. are at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZcfACGKM60 and with the Nasty Boys at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcZU_gU-gUzgZc and with Maria Kanellis at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM-ifqAmhUA&feature=related
 
--IWA East Coast on 9/20 in Nitro, WV at the Kings Way Center with Sean Waltman, Necro Butcher, Sami Callihan, Mad Man Pondo and Adam Cole.
 
--Former wrestler (well he still works on occasion) Mean Marc Ash has opened a new bail bonds business, Mustang Bail Bonds in Southeastern North Carolina.
 
--NWA Anarchy from Saturday night in Cornelia, GA:  Azrael b C.G. Gibson and Tommy Daniels in a handicap match, Shadow Jackson & Nemesis b Bobby Moore & John Skyler, Bo Newsome b Jacob Ashworth, Bryan Casanova & Andrew Pendleton III b Anthony Henry & Dustin Knight to win the Anarchy tag tiles, Adrian Hawkins won three-way over Seth Delay and Skirra Corvus, Galan Ramirez & Jacob Kilgore b Lane Vasser & Johnny Dangerous, Mikal Judas (TNA's Murphy) b Shaun Tempers-DQ (thanks to Larry Goodman)
 
--Scott Walton noted that with the 40th anniversary of the Blassie vs. Tolos Los Angeles Coliseum show, that his father, who worked in the wrestling office from the late 60s until the early 80s still has copies of his book "Richmond-9-5171" talking about the background of building the show.  In the early 70s, I once read somewhere that was the most famous phone number in the world.  It probably was up there, given that it was plugged on boxing events syndicated nationally, Roller Games syndicated worldwide and wrestling shows syndicated nationally.
 
--Added to the WrestleReunion in Los Angeles 1/27 to 1/29 are Kevin Von Erich as a VIP guest, and Fit Finlay as a guest of HighSpots.  Finlay will also be a guest at the WrestleReunion in Miami next year in conjunction with WrestleMania, and will also appear at their Toronto event in April. (thanks to Daniel Short)
 
--All Pro Wrestling TV show at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYX9i_itAvw&feature=share
 
--WCWA on 9/24 in Norcross, GA at Best Friend Park featuring Mr. Hughes (who plays G.M. and will wrestle), AR Fox of Dragon Gate USA and recent WWE cut DeSean Bishop.
 
--Ayumi Kurihara has been added to the 10/1 and 10/2 Shimmer tapings in Berwyn, IL.
 
--AWF Psychotic Slam 2011 on Saturday night in Blackstown, NSW before 250 fans:  El Technico b Mick Moretti, Anubis & Del Fuego b Shane Saw & Sir Loin, Blakestone b Dean Draven, Mad Turk Hassain b Gladiator Apollo, Party Trix b Mass Transit, Spaceboy Dacey b Scott Club, Jack Tasman b Freddie Falco and Julian Ross, Concrete Davidson b Tama Williams, Selene b Rachel Rose, Jay Law & Dick Togo b Iron Ben Coles.  Next show is 9/17 in Minto, New South Wales.
 
--Southeastern Xtreme Wrestling from Saturday night in Dothan, AL:  Preston Veston III b Nathan Phoenix-DQ, Zane Stevens b Hollywood Star and Scott Austin, Tommy G b Player, Executioner b Senorita Margarita, Thomas Shock & Chaos b Psycho Carl & Josh Quinn, Michael Enfinger b Rex Andrews, Kamala Jr. & Chris Brackin b Tommy Ladd & Bone Crusher, Texas Roughriders b Tommy & Johnny Rich (thanks to James Ward)
 
--Yesterday in Saltillo:  Guerrero Negro II & El Hijo del Guerrero Negro Jr. b Alfa Romeo & King Rap, Krator Jr. & Lince de Oro & Pajaro Azteca Jr. b Eclipse & Sangre Latina & Tormenta Negro, Angel del Infierno & Indio Kikapoo Jr. & Tempestad b Dragon Oriental & Green Demon II & Smoke, Metal Blanco & Zorro Plateado II & Zorro Plateado Jr. b Chavo Lomeli & Latino & Okumura, Dr. X-Treme & Espartaco & Nitro b Mascara Dorada & Palacio Negro & Piloto 2000, Negro Navarro & Rey Bucanero & Ultimo Guerrero b Histeria & Olimpico & Psicosis (thanks to Kris Zellner)
 
--CMLL in Puebla tonight is headlined by IWGP champion Hiroshi Tanahashi teaming with Ultimo Guerrero & Averno vs. Atlantis & Hector Garza & La Sombra. 
 
--The Los Perros Del Mal team of Perro Aguayo Jr. & Damian 666 & Halloween face the Psycho Circus in the main event on 9/23 in Tijuana.
 
--Future Stars of Wrestling from yesterday at Sam's Town in Las Vegas:  Best b Crash Test Cody, Michael Modest & Mike Dalite b Kid Vegas & Sugar Brown, Bryce Harrison b Sheik Khan Abadi, Funny Bone b Sinn Bodhi-DQ, Reno Scum won three-way over Hater Nation and Suburban Commandos to win tag titles, Kenny King b Rush, Remy Marcel b Sikou, Legacy b Remy Marcel to win No Limits title, Jody Kristofferson & Brandon Gatson b Shaun Ricker & Mempho Mofo, Al Katrazz b Eugene

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