By Bryan Alvarez
We've got a gigantic next several days of shows coming up, including major shows from WWE, TNA, ROH, UFC and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
There is a Legacy Fighting Championship show tonight from Houston on HDNet tonight at 10 p.m. with the top matches being Jorge Patino vs. Pete Spratt, Andrew Craig vs. Eric Schambari and Steve Garcia vs. Steven Peterson.
Saturday is a loaded day here on the site. Bryan will be covering the ROH show and I'll be covering the UFC shows live. WWE has a joint show in Youngstown, OH while TNA finishes its weekend tour with a show in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The TNA show has the same lineup as tonight.
UFC Battle on the Bayou takes place at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans with a main card of Jake Shields vs. Jake Ellenberger, Court McGee vs. Dongi Yang, Jonathan Brookins vs. Erik Koch and Alan Belcher vs. Jason MacDonald. The Spike show starts at 9 p.m. The prelims on Facebook start at around 6 p.m. All times being Eastern.
ROH will be on iPPV starting at 7:30 p.m. from the Manhattan Center headlined by The Briscoes vs. All Night Express in a ladder match with a contract for a tag title match hanging from the ceiling, Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong (first fall pin fall, second fall submissions, third fall 15:00 Iron Man match), Shelton Benjamin vs. Mike Bennett, Charlie Haas vs. Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal & Homicide vs. Tommaso Ciampa & Rhino, Young Bucks vs. Future Shock vs. Bravados and Jimmy Jacobs vs. El Generico.
Bellator will be airing at 7 p.m. on MTV 2 from Hollywood, FL at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, two hours earlier than usual to avoid competition with UFC, with a middleweight tournament with first round matches of Bryan Baker vs. Jared Hess, Zelg Galesic vs. Alexander Shlemenko, Sam Alvey vs. Vitor Vianna and Victor O'Donnell vs Brian Rogers.
Sunday is WWE's Night of Champions PPV from Buffalo with HHH vs. C.M. Punk, Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena for the WWE title, Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry for the World title, Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne vs. Miz & R-Truth for the tag titles, Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase for the IC title, Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger vs. John Morrison vs. Alex Riley for the U.S. title, Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix for the Divas title.
Raw on Monday is from Cleveland.
Monday also has a New Japan PPV from Kobe, Japan, headlined by Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP heavyweight title.
Smackdown and NXT tapings on Tuesday are from Dayton.
Wednesday night will be the final two weeks of Impact tapings before Bound for Glory, taking place in Knoxville. It's also the debut of the new season of Ultimate Fighter.
With coverage of why this past week was a bad one for WWE business wise, the Hulk Hogan retirement speech, a crazy week from UFC with arguably its biggest fight of 2011 being changed and why, coverage of Strikeforce and the behind-the-scenes talk on that promotion, plus the fundamental issues wrong with TNA, and coverage of their PPV and television shows, we've got two issues of the Observer out this week.
Both issues are available today on the site. There is also a new back issue from 1994 up on the site this week. 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.
Our lead story looks at WWE's business week, in particular ratings against week one of football. We look at how the show has done in recent years against the first weekend of Monday Night Football, the expected drop, what kinds of ratings should be expected the next few months as well as why, at least for a period this football season, things may not be so bad. We also note problems that are actually more significant then the ratings, as well as Smackdown guys on Raw, how every segment on Raw did including what point of the show a huge percentage of the audience tuned out.
We also look at Hulk Hogan's latest retirement speech and look at the different types of games that may be being played here, regarding if he's gone, what would that mean, why it makes no sense for Bound for Glory and why it's so imperative right now for TNA to deliver ratings in a few weeks. We look at Hogan's run in TNA, if anyone can care these days about any retirement speech, and what Hogan said in the final segment of Impact that airs on the 29th.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
We also look at the situation with Nick Diaz, B.J. Penn, GSP and others after a week of change in the UFC's biggest show. We look at Diaz's punishment for missing the press conferences, Penn's long-term goals, how bad a financial hit Diaz is likely to take, the dynamic of the show, the story behind the ticket sales of the show, and a look back at Diaz's track record in recent years. There are comments from Dana White, talk about why GSP vs. Diaz would have been huge box office and looking at the Penn vs. Diaz fight, as well as where it currently stands.
We also have a feature on Jeff Hardy, after pleading guilty a three felony distribution of drug charges. We look at why Hardy needed to avoid a trial. We look at the terms of his sentencing, how this may affect his career, things said in court, as well as Hardy's track record from the last six years. We look at Hardy's most recent WWE tenure, and why he ended up in TNA, and the incidents that WWE did and didn't ignore in his rise to the top of the business, and that TNA both did and didn't ignore.
We also have an update on Kevin Nash's role in WWE, explanations he's given publicly, things said privately and more, as well as the story behind the Survivor Series immediate sellout and the return to the ring of The Rock in November. We also have more on when Linda McMahon is expected to announce her running for senate and why, update on Night of Champions, HHH talks about changes they are looking to make when it comes to recruiting wrestlers as well as more changes to how creative in WWE is being structured. We also look at a head writer who has left, more on the WWE Network, Edge talks about he end of his career, WWE returns to Japan, A date floated for Shawn Michaels returning to Raw, as well as business notes from the past week and highlights of the weekend arena events.
We look at the fallout of the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix semifinals, both matches and business. We've also got match-by-match coverage and poll results. We look at the shocking rating and put it into perspective as well as what it means, and a look at why the show did so poorly on TV.
We also have full coverage of TNA No Surrender, with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results, as well as an early look at where Bound for Glory seems to be going.
We also have Mick Foley talking TNA exit, Raw ratings in Canada, what major changes have been made since February in viewing habits of Raw.
We also have a look at one of the most historic pro wrestling events of the year, All Together Now, the joint venture of All Japan, New Japan and Pro Wrestling NOAH. We talk about the atmosphere of the show, notes about it, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings, the good and bad and unique crowd.
We also have notes on CMLL's plans for its anniversary events over the next few weeks.
We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week as well as how every segment did when it comes to gaining and losing viewers on both TNA & WWE's A shows.
We also have our regular weekly features with results of all the major arena events around the world, as well as all the major TV show
Also in this week's issue:
--Update on Roddy Piper and his injury
--More on changes in the tour where Bill Goldberg is to return to wrestle and who right now is earmarked as his opponent, as well as the names on tour.
--Much more on Kurt Angle's DWI case, including what happened when he was pulled over and why he was pulled over.
--Hulk Hogan sticks his foot in his mouth talking about Angle.
--More on CMLL's Champion of Champions tournament
--Hall of Famer's 40th anniversary event including the return of many major 70s and 80s stars
--Chavo Guerrero Sr. returns to wrestling in Mexico
--Mexican promotion bringing in a number of U.S. stars
--Sting's Mexico debut opponent official
--TNA names going to Mexico this week
--A look at the Dragon Gate USA weekend
--Why some wrestlers are improving so fast
--New potential stars
--Lots of problems
--Update on attendance
--Four star matches
--90s wrestlers coming out of retirement to honor one of that era's biggest promotions
--Notes on All Japan's jr. tourney
--Former U.S. champion out with herniated disc
--Return to the ring of Marufuji
--NOAH big singles tournament
--Next major event at the Tokyo Dome
--Champion vacates title due to injury
--New Japan PPV show corning
--One of the greatest woman wrestling stars in history brings back her persona for one night and why she disappeared from wrestling
--Daughter of pro wrestling legend makes her final bid for an Olympic gold medal
--Update on the Wrestling Revolution Project
--Controversy over the return of Stampede Wrestling
--Teddy Hart's latest insanity
--More on the Greg Valentine/Lanny Poffo/Devon Nicholson issues with a blow-by-blow
--Planned TV show featuring two former WWE stars
--Former WCW wrestler returns after nine years out of action
--CZW Cage of Death
--70s and 80s headliner starts promoting his autobiography
--Story on shooting death of former pro wrestler ad details behind it
--Sons of two major wrestling stars training for pro wrestling
--More stations to pick up ROH down the road and where
--Notes on ROH & Urban Wrestling Federation contracts
--Warrior movie talk and box office
--Lots of new UFC fights between now and the end of the year
--How UFC ticket sales for all the upcoming shows are doing
--What famous person is UFC inviting to a show early next year
--Former WWE star vs. former boxing champion fight falling through
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-- Survivor Series advertising claims Rock and Cena will be teaming up together in the match, for the first time and the last time. Dave and I will be up with a breaking news audio on this story a little later this afternoon.
-- It's official: Claudio Castagnoli to WWE as Antonio Cesaro.
-- Fedor Emelianenko vs. Jeff Monson is official for November 20th in Russian, promoted by M-1 Global.
-- Smackdown tonight has the return of Edge for a Cutting Edge segment with Orton and Mark Henry hyping up Night of Champions Sunday, Sin Cara vs. Daniel Bryan, Beth vs. AJ, Justin Gabriel & Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett & Christian, Great Khali vs. Heath Slater, Evan Bourne vs. R-Truth, an appearance by Trish Stratus and more.
-- Dave has a good story on Jake Shields, who faces Jake Ellenberger this Saturday night, here.
-- ROH did a storyline yesterday where Kevin Steen "hacked" the ROH forum and forced visitors to download a video of himself saying that he was determined to bring down a company and was going to buy a ticket to the show Saturday night, which, coincidentally, airs live on iPPV at gofightlive.tv. I hope he bought that ticket yesterday because ROH announced today that the show was completely sold out. If you want to check out his video, click here.
-- Mayhem Miller, who is coaching this season's Ultimate Fighter, the last one ever on Spike TV, was on Jimmy Fallon last night.
-- Velvet Sky wants people to vote for her hereso she can make next season's Dancing with the Stars.
-- There is a Matt Hardy story heredetailed what was until yesterday an as-yet-unreported new car accident, one that he'd hinted about in a video a few weeks back.
-- Everyone tested for drugs at UFC 134 came back clean.
-- Mick Foley's new official website is up here.
-- The best Twitter ever is here. I believe this is being done by someone who has worked for WWE.
-- Today's Wrestling Reality star is -- Trisha LaFache, a non-wrestler, and in fact a legit actor who has worked on Law & Order, Cold Case, Ghost Whisperer and more.
-- John Pollock has an important video hereon the most important rules of Twitter for wrestlers.
-- Hogan's Micro Championship Wrestling on Wednesday did an 0.8 rating and 1 million viewers. On TruTV, I don't think that's a bad number at all. Of course, the important number is the one they're getting about two weeks from now.
-- Zack Ryder's latest Z True Hollywood Story is up here.
-- Brett Rogers plead guilty yesterday to one count of third degree assault in a June domestic incident with his wife. As a result of the guilty plea, three other charges were dropped and Rogers is not expected to get any jail time. His wife has gone on the record with him of late saying that everything is fine.
-- Bobby Lashley has reportedly signed with Shark Fights.
-- Local boy done good story on Dolph Ziggler here.
-- Interview with Rhett Titus and Eddie Edwards up here.
-- ROH, Shimmer, CZW, and Japanese star Mia Yimtalks Ring of Honor's move to Sinclair, working with Prince Nana, the talent in ROH, wrestling for Shimmer Wrestling, her upcoming schedule and tours of Japan, her parents thoughts on wrestling and modeling, college, and more in this nearly forty minute interview.
-- Ed, Craig and Cutrer talk the news of the week here.
-- Inside MMA celebrates 200 episodes tonight with John McCarthy, Pat Miletich and more.
-- HPW Wrestling "FALL BRAWL", 10/1/11, 4-H Fairgrounds, Columbus, IN, 7:45PM Bell Open 6:45pm, Tickets $12 Kids 10-5 $10 4 & under Free