Tuesday, 30 August 2011 14:17
By Bryan Alvarez
We're also looking for reports on Sunday's Raw show in Little Rock and Smackdown show in Springfield, MO.
Tonight is SUPER SMACKDOWN. More later in this report.
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.
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
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.
-- So for tonight, Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio appears to be off. Del Rio is not at the tapings as of this update, which means he's probably not going to be there. He's been in Mexico getting his work visa renewed. Presumably we're going to find out more about the HHH/Nash/Punk storyline. The story going around backstage last night was that Nash had a medical issue that would prevent him from working Night of Champions, but that it was something that will likely be cleared up for later down the road, perhaps the October PPVs (yes, two in two weeks in October). So, amazingly, they're likely doing the Punk vs. HHH match first, and having that lead into Punk vs. Nash. I mean, really stop and think about that for awhile. Also on the show, Randy Orton vs. Christian for the World Title following Christian getting beaten clean as a sheet in a tag match on Raw last night, Cena vs. Wade Barrett, and CM Punk vs. Great Khali.
-- The Punk/HHH/Nash thing, obviously, is to be continued tonight.
-- Former WCW World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette has been added to the new season of Dancing with the Stars.
-- Hunter's film, Inside Out, will play in nine theatres nationwide next weekend before heading to DVD. They include Arizona Mills in Tempe, AZ, Chino Hills 18 in Chino, CA, Harkins Northfield 18 in Denver, CO, Regal Palace 18 in Miami, FL, Channelside Cinemas Stadium 9 in Tampa, FL, Mall of America 14 in Bloomington, MN, Crownpoint Stadium 12 in Charlotte, NC, Quad Cinemas 4 in New York City, and Southlake Town Square 14 in Southlake, TX.
-- Tickets for UFC 137 on October 29th at the Mandalay Bay in Vegas with GSP vs. Nick Diaz headlining go on sale September 7th to Fight Club members, September 8th to UFC newsletter subscribers, and September 9th to the general public.
-- Bellator announced that starting with season 5 on September 10th, the shows will not only air on MTV2, but also EPIX TV, where they will be broadcast in high definition.
-- Mick Foley writes about his experiences at the Gathering of the Juggalos here.
-- Parliament confirmed Yoshihiko Noda as new Prime Minister of Japan today, the sixth in the past five years. Apparently he's a big pro-wrestling and MMA fan and loved New Japan. Thanks to Jose.
-- James writes: On the front page of today`s (Tuesday) Sydney Morning Herald newspaper in Australia is a story on 30-year old MMA fighter Emmanouil Ntaras and one other bouncer been charged with assaulting 19-year -old Nicholas Barsoum at the Ivy club in Sydney, Australia. There is also a photo of Ntaras. Ntaras will appear in court today. It was on Channel Nine New last night but did not mention one of the bouncers was a MMA fighter. Most likely because they did not know at the time. A follow-up on Australian MMA fighter Emmanouil Ntaras being charged with assault. It was the main story on Channel Nine News tonight (Tuesday). Channel Nine News tonight acknowledged that Ntaras was an MMA fighter. They called him a cage fighter. Ntaras was released on bail. Ntaras and two other bouncers have been sacked from the Ivy night club.
-- Wacky storyline-style twist here. Quinton Jackson is accusing Jon Jones of putting a SPY in his training camp to track Jackson's every move. Jackson faked a hand injury to see if it would get out, and he did, and so he's convinced he's being spied on in his secret camp. Jones' camp claims there's nothing to it.
-- Adam writes: WUTV (Fox - Buffalo) is now running advertisements for ROH. Just caught one now as I was flipping through the channels.
-- The re-edited version of the "EVOLVE 9: Gargano vs. Taylor" iPPV is now available at www.WWNLive.com On Demand. It's been re-edited with perfect audio and video plus some new backstage segments.
-- Chris writes: I just wanted to note that in the news update yesterday you mentioned that WNYO is not available on Rogers Cable in Windsor ( I don't believe Rogers Cable is available in Windsor at all ). It is however available on Cogeco in Windsor, if you have the digital package, it's channel 116.
-- Hamilton wrestler ‘Johnny K-9’ a member of B.C. gang. His gang has been linked to the murder of another gang leader earlier this month, but so far nobody has been charged. He's got quite the rap sheet, which you can read about in the article.
-- Kevin Nash autographed guitar up for sale here. Couldn't think of a good joke, sorry.
-- Buy it now before it gets changed to a drum set? I dunno.
-- Former UFC fighter Joe Son, of Joe Son Do fame, in hot water over a 1990 rape case. Story is here.
-- Joey Ryan interview here.
-- Who is the strongest Hall of Fame candidate from this list?
Steve Williams 56.3%
Kensuke Sasaki 23.7%
Volk Han 6.7%
Gran Hamada 6.0%
George Gordienko 3.0%
Kiyoshi Tamura 2.5%
Seiji Sakaguchi 1.8%
Do you think UFC did a good job on the PPV getting the atmosphere in Brazil over?
What is the most important tournament in pro wrestling?
G-1 Climax 43.4%
Top of the Super Junior 14.3%
New Japan Cup 11.8%
Bound for Glory Series 11.8%
Champion Carnival 8.3%
All Japan tag tourney 6.0%
AAA Rey de Reyes 3.2%
CMLL Tournament of Champions 0.9%
-- Eastern Wrestling Alliance, Springfield Turnverein, 176 Garden Street, Feeding Hills, MA, Saturday 9/3/11, Doors Open 7pm, Belltime 7:30pm, $10 for adults, $7 for kids under 12 years of age.
-- Jim Cornette talks the timeline of the Montreal Screwjob in a new DVD from Kayfabe Commentaries here.
-- The J.T Lightning Memorial Show, Sunday September 25th,2011, live from The Phantasy Theater, 11802 Detroit Ave, Lakewood,Ohio, 4:00 Pm Bell time. All tickets are just $10 and can be purchased online at http://www.aiwrestling.com/jtlightning. 100% of the proceeds go to the family of J.T Lightning
-- Now is your chance to own some more of Dave's vintage pre-Wrestling Observer Newsletter work. These rare issues of Dave's International Wrestling Gazette are available from Grant Zwarych by clicking the following ebay link. Check out all of Grant's other items as well while you are on ebay which include great Obserevr, Wrestling, UFC, Beer items and more. There will be close to 500 items by midnight. Start your Christmas shopping early! Link is here.
-- Audio of Jimmy Hart on Right After Wrestling here.
-- Platinum Championship Wrestling at the Academy Theater on Friday! Bell is at 8 p.m. www.academytheater.org. 119 Center Street, Avondale Estates, GA 30002. $8 a ticket
-- Chris Masters at the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet in Santa Fe Springs Ca. Saturday September 10th from 12p- 2p. The address is 13963 Alondra Blvd. Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670, Space H-5 (The Wrestling Guy) for more info http://www.wrestlingguy.net