By Bryan Alvarez
We're also looking for reports on the Thursday night TNA house show in York, PA.
Smackdown and NXT tapings tonight are from Dayton.
Wednesday night will be the final two weeks of Impact tapings before Bound for Glory, taking place in Knoxville. Based on story line they would be having a Bobby Roode vs. James Storm match on one of the two shows, plus the Hulk Hogan retirement ceremony, whatever that is supposed to mean. 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.
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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-- Linda McMahon, as expected, announced today that she was making another run at the Connecticut Senate. Her official announcement is up here. The Hill has a story about Democrats going on the attack here.
-- Lots of details on the Matt Hardy drug bust that preceeded his announcement of going into WWE-sponsored rehab is here. TMZ posted a story on him today as well, noting that it was girlfriend Reby Sky who called police, saying Matt was strung out on drugs and needed help, and then led them to a safe containing prescription medication. They then obtained a search warrant and the rest is history.
-- Mark Henry was super upset that Lawler got hurt being put through the announcer's table last night. The table was supposed to be gimmicked, but somehow – and how does this happen? – they forgot to gimmick it. Lawler suffered a back injury and had to be hospitalized. The belief is he won't be back by TV next week.
-- Hulk Hogan on his Twitter indicated that whatever they are doing with his retirement claim, they're shooting it at the TNA taping tomorrow night.
-- Regarding the Mick Foley tweet about Hell in the Cell that has made it's way around the Internet, it was one of many random tweets last night meant to be a tongue-in-cheek joke, and there is nothing to it.
-- Last night's St. Louis Rams vs. New York Giants football game did an 8.84 metered market rating, so lower than average. However, something to watch for in the ratings patterns for last night as Two and a Half Men did an 18.7 rating from 9-9:30 and the second hour of Dancing with the Stars (9-10) did a 13.7, both based on metered market over nights (close to what will be the final number).
-- Can't even tell you how many emails and other forms of correspondence I received yesterday from people noting that Hugh Jackman ran the ropes better than Kelly Kelly.
-- During the RAW broadcast on Televisa, they announced Sin Cara vs Sin Cara for the 10/16 SmackDown taping in DF Mexico. Thanks to Cubsfan.
-- Alistair Overeem announced today that he'd done with Golden Glory, his former management team that has been at odds with Zuffa.
-- Josh Nason brought to our attention an underreported note from a Dana White interview last month where he said the Facebook fights would be no more once UFC went to FOX, as FOX wants to air them on one of their outlets.
-- Edge is no longer being advertised for tonight's Smackdown tapings.
-- Doesn't mean much this far out, but for the November tour of Germany they're listing Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry matches for the title. Doesn't specify who the champion is.
-- Just days after his appearance on TNA, Eddie Alvarez announced he had suffered an injury and so his long-promoted fight with Michael Chandler will be delayed at least 30 days.
-- UFC Fight Night this weekend did a 1.2 rating and 1.8 million viewers. I guess that's even a little better than I expected. It peaked in the first hour, though the main event still did 1.9 million viewers. Bellator, meanwhile, did 114,000 viewers, their worst number ever.
-- As noted yesterday on the front page, THE MUPPETS guest host Raw on Halloween night. WWE is teasing that the Muppets will be doing skits with, among people, Randy Orton. I hope he puts a stop to that idea. They're plugging the first new Muppets movie in theatres in years.
-- The Countdown to UFC 135 show debuts tonight on Spike TV at 11:00 PM Eastern.
-- ROH Death Before Dishonor IX, which was a very good show, is replaying now on gofightlive.tv.
-- The American Wolves (ROH World Champion Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin with Truth Martini has been added to the Ring of Honor tapings at the Davis Arena in Lousiville, KY on Saturday, October 1st
-- Speaking of ROH, new COO Joe Koff was on Figure Four Daily today for members talking this weekend's Sinclair Television debut, international TV possibilities, touring, his past in the business helping promote Battle of the Belts in 1986, and so much more.
-- It was announced over the weekend that the WrestleReunon event in Los Angeles will feature the return of the WrestleRoyal match taking place during the Pro Wrestling Superstars show on Saturday, January 28, 2012. The WrestleRoyal match became a runaway hit previously when it was part of the PWG Kurt RussellReunion II show as it came down to Roddy Piper and Terry Funk in their second ever face-off at the time. Thanks to Daniel Short.
-- Peachmachine on our board, aka The Viggity, has a good article on training and dieting for women athletes (and actually, the advice would be relevant for anyone who trains) up here.
-- Did Night of Champions make you:
More likely to watch Raw 20.5%
Less likely to watch Raw 22.9%
Made no difference 56.6%
For October, what show are you most interested in
UFC 137 St. Pierre vs. Condit 45.9%
UFC 136 Edgar vs. Maynard 21.5%
WWE Hell in a Cell 16.6%
TNA Bound for Glory 9.1%
WWE Vengeance 4.5%
UFC on Versus Cruz vs. Johnson 1.7%
Bellator Chandler vs. Alvarez 0.7%
Who was the star of the weekend
Floyd Mayweather Jr. 39.7%
Mark Henry 30.3%
Jake Ellenberger 13.6%
Best of the current world champions
Kurt Angle 53.1%
Hiroshi Tanahashi 14.6%
Mark Henry 11.7%
John Cena 5.8%
Ultimo Guerrero 5.4%
Go Shiozaki 5.4%
Jeff Jarrett 3.1%
-- Jimmy Rave talks his problems with addiction and more here, including what's going on with Matt Hardy.
-- Hailey Hatred has become the first US women's wrestler to hold the top four female Joshi wrestling championships in Japan – Grand Prix Final, JWP Openweight, TLW World Women's and the IMW Championship.
-- Sacred Ground: Chapter Two will take place September 24th at Sharon Baptist Church, 536 North Ola Rd, McDonough, Georgia. Daffney was scheduled to be there but won't make it.
-- CZW 'Project Mayhem' Starts the Europe 2011 Tour, Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25 CZW heads to Planet Nightclub, Westbury Street in Wolverhampton, WV1 1JD for 'Project Mayhem', which includes a two-day Death Match Tournament.
-- The Hunt for Wrestling's Most Awesome Angle is on-sale today at kayfabecommentaries.com. It is not, amazingly, a twelve-disc set.
-- Crossfire Entertainment, LLC Presents “A New Beginning”, Fundraiser Benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee, LIVE Saturday, November 5, 2011, Nashville Fairgrounds Sports Arena, 625 Smith Ave, Nashville, TN 37203, Belltime: 7:30 PM – Doors: 6:30 PM, VIP Event Pre-Show: 5:30 – 6:30 PM
-- Ed and his crew talk the news of the week here.