Friday, 07 October 2011 11:58
By Bryan Alvarez
Fairly normal weekend schedule, with the big event being UFC 136 tomorrow night in Houston.
We're looking for reports tonight from the WWE Raw house show in Denver and the TNA house show at the Claude-Ribllard Complex in Montreal. 14 years after Survivor Series and they'll still be pushing Earl Hebner as a heel there. No matches have been announced but the tour will feature A.J. Styles, Bobby Roode, Mr. Anderson, Christopher Daniels, Bully ray, James Storm, Scott Steinr, ODB and Brooke Tessmacher.
The Raw tour has Del Rio vs. Cena for the WWE title, Ziggler vs. Morrison for the U.S. title and Show vs. Swagger as the top matches. Smackdown tour has Henry vs. Orton for the world title and Christian vs. Sheamus.
Saturday has UFC 136 from the Toyota Center in Houston. The facebook fights are Steve Cantwell vs. Mike Massenzio, Eric Schafer vs. Aaron Simpson, Darren Elkins vs. Tiequan Zhang (The Mongolian Wolf) and Joey Beltran vs. Stipe Miocic. The Spike fights are Antony Pettis vs. Jeremy Stephens and Demian Maia vs. Jorge Santiago. Main PPV fights are Nam Phan vs. Leonard Garcia, Melvin Guillard vs. Joe Lauzon, Chal Sonnen vs. Brian Stann, Jose Aldo Jr. vs. Kenny Florian for the featherweight title and Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard for the lightweight title.
Bellator goes head-to-head at 9 p.m. on MTV 2 with Josh Burns vs. Thiago Santos, Kenny Foster vs. Ronnie Mann and welterweight tournament semifinals with Chris Lozano vs. Douglas Lima and Luis Santos vs. Ben Saunders.
WWE on Saturday night has Raw in Loveland, CO and Smackdown in Beaumont, TX while TNA runs in Shebrooke, Quebec at the Centre de Foires, which I believe was where the old promotion decades ago taped television.
WWE on Sunday has Raw in Colorado Springs and Smackdown in Bossier City (Shreveport), while TNA finishes up its Quebec tour with a show in Trois-Rivieres at the Batisse Industrielle.
Raw is how do we get out of that angle on Monday night in Oklahoma City. Smackdown and NXT are taped on Tuesday in Dallas.
Our annual Hall of Fame issue of the Observer, the most talked about issue of the year, will be coming out in two weeks. If you are a print subscriber and sign up for two sets you will be getting the issue. It will be a double issue with bios of new Hall of Famers, complete voting records and a detailed story plus the updated list of Hall of Fame members.
We've got two issues of the Observer out this week. Both can be accessed by web site subscribers on the front page. All issues after they leave the front page can be accessed in the Observer archives section. We also have, for the second week in a row, one of the biggest back issues in our history. This is the 1994 issue covering when Vince McMahon was put on trial in a steroid distribution case. The issue has all the details of what happened, all the testimony, the legal technicalities, why McMahon was acquitted and a lot more. From a history standpoint, this was one of the biggest news stories in pro wrestling history and this is the most detailed coverage of that story.
This week's issues include a story on the business of Hell in a Cell. We look at when Hell in a Cell was a PPV monster, the decline of Hell in a Call, reactions to this year's show and a chart of shows since 2005 so you can see when the declines came. We talk about why the declines came and what decision that the company made that they need to evaluate when it comes to the PPV schedule.
We look at the hard business numbers and tends for PPV early, and what lessons can be learned from the show.
We also look at WWE's big angle with HHH at the end of Raw, including the television audience reaction, did fans tune in or out as the segment was going on, and more about the angle. We look at the follow-up to the Hell in a Cell closing angle as well, how plans for the PPV changed the week of the show, booking Mark Henry, the frivolous lawsuit angle and where it came from, as well as the who John Laurinaitis is texting angle. We look at what aspect of the type of writers WWE employs led to the ending of Raw and how a wrestling person would have likely done it different than a Hollywood person and why.
We also have full coverage of the PPV, with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results from the show.
We also have a feature looking back at the history of Kurt Angle's negotiations with several different MMA promotions over the years. We've got details of his UFC talks from Dana White, as well as Angle's response, as well as response from those close to angle. We look at the time that White thought he had an agreement with Angle for an exclusive contract including what pro wrestler White had called to be Angle's first PPV opponent. We look at why that fell apart. We look at the real story behind Angle as a participant in the 2009 season of Ultimate Fighter. We look at the pitch Angle made to White to try to get into UFC as well as how talks with other groups fell apart over the years including what fights were on the table. We look at Angle doing a 180 based on what he had said in the past and more.
We've also got coverage of the final UFC event on Versus, including what a UFC championship match on TV for the first time in four years on free TV meant to ratings. We also have full coverage of the event, with match-by-match coverage, as well as poll results for the show.
We also have coverage of CMLL's 78th anniversary show that was held over the weekend at Arena Mexico. We look at the business of the show, how it compares to the past, and full coverage.
We also look at what could have been in impetus of the WWE lawsuit angle, and more notes on Devon Nicholson's lawsuit filed against WWE in Ottawa. We look at his claims.
We also look at HHH's way of thinking when it comes to stars, in an interesting look at the mind set of the future of WWE and looking at what makes sense and doesn't make sense in his line of thinking.
We also have a look at one of the more underrated major names of the 50s and 60s, Handsome Johnny Barend, a New York native who headlined Madison Square Garden, Japan, and all points in between, and was one of the four biggest stars in the history of the Hawaiian pro wrestling scene. We look at his glory days in a number of territories, his standing in wrestling and much more about a headliner around the world for more than two decades. We look in particular at the scene in Hawaii and his being linked with legends like Peter Maivia, Dory Funk Jr., Mad Dog Vachon, Fred Blassie, The Sheik, Jimmy Snuka and many others.
We also look at basic WWE plans for television through the end of October, the next two three-hour Raws and a story barely covered that is chipping away slowly and significantly each month at the audience that watches WWE, TNA and UFC. We also look at Shawn Michaels and The Rock returning to WWE television over the next two months, plus more joint branded television shows.
We've got background on the new Vice President of Talent Relations, Jane Geddes, who was actually a more significant sports star than almost anyone on the active roster.
We look at Vince McMahon's latest fetish about the product. We've also got an update on Rey Mysterio, the DUI arrest of Jimmy Uso and how it was mocked in storyline. We also look at more WWE expansion plans, how Tivo is affecting WWE viewership, a former WWE performer who has signed on to a reality show, a new announcer hired, as well as what WWE stars have the most social media followers. We look at a model who will be getting a tryout next month, a rock band who wrote a song about a famous 1980s wrestling angle that ended up running afoul of WWE legal, Steve Austin's next movie, Austin talking about a champion in WWE who he doesn't believe is ready to be on top, the status of John Morrison, one of the all-time great wrestlers becomes a grandfather, WWE stars working in FCW, plus the weekend business and house show report.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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We also look at Hulk Hogan signing his new deal and a lot of thoughts about Hogan in TNA, as well as what his signing showed. We also look at where Hogan got his retirement speech from, and a new Hogan business.
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 issues:
--An update on the conditions, both physically and legally of both Matt and Jeff Hardy
--More on the last ROH iPPV show
--What those numbers say about iPPV shows
--Current plans for ROH Final Battle in December
--A look at the ROH TV tapings held this past week as well as why certain people weren't on the show
--A look at issues with the TVs in some markets
--Update on the TNA schedule
--A former WWE performer who is now free to come to TNA
--Dana White goes into more details of doing two shows on the same night in February and how it will be handled
--We also look at UFC flooding one market with show after show
--Update on Gilbert Melendez to UFC
--More on the Showtime/Strikeforce deal, when it expires and what may be next for both
--Update on UFC's return to Toronto
--Update on Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans
--More on this season's Ultimate Fighter show
--Boxer challenges Brock Lesnar
--Lots of new UFC fights signed
--A look at the big picture of pro wrestling in Mexico today
--Pro wrestler charges in major arson case that made international news
--ROH title being defended in Mexico
--AAA final taping before big show
--Recently departed WWE wrestler gets a one year suspension from wrestling by an athletic commission and why
--What pro wrestling promotion is doing a television show based on Ultimate Fighter
--Why the show is already getting a backlash
--Dragon Gate U.K. update
--One of the best pro wrestlers in the world hospitalized for appendicitis and has to vacate his title
--Hiroyoshi Tenzan 20th anniversary show
--Hall of Famer talks returning for a show in January for first match in a decade
--Jerry Lawler vs. Terry Funk feud continues
--One of biggest indie shows of the year
--What WWE Hall of Famer in no shape to perform
--Luke Robinson returns to wrestling for main events against two long-term stars
--An indie promotion does a live PPV featuring 90s stars
--Yokozuna Memorial show
--Hall of Famers to wrestle in CHIKARA at the end of the year
--90s pro wrestling star from WCW now doing MMA
--Notes on a wrestling reunion from a major promotion of the past
--Former WWE performer marries rock star
--Son of 70s star ranked nationally for upcoming college wrestling season
--Ben Askren's biggest pro fight
--Details of the weekend Bellator show and this week's matches
--Update on the heavyweight tournament
--Bobby Lashley returns to MMA to go after heavyweight title against former TUF heavyweight
--Notes on one of the most famous wrestling movies ever made
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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.
-- Jon Jones is listed at -375 for his upcoming fight with Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 in December. That means he's considered a stronger favorite against Rashad Evans than against Machida.
-- Dixie on the final segment of Impact: What an ending to IMPACT! I hate that the crowd fell for Hogan - but it's on now! I cannot wait for Bound For Glory!
-- Smackdown tonight has Mark Henry's confrontation with Big Show, Albeto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara, Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler vs. Air Boom, Beth vs. Alicia Fox, Ezekiel Jackson vs. Jinder Mahal, and Randy Orton & Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes & Christian. Yes, in fact, wrestlers are back wrestling for WWE again. The storyline is that even though Hunter is COO of Raw and Smackdown, and even though Mark Henry, for example, may have ended Great Khali's career with a violent attack on Smackdown, the wrestlers are only boycotting Raw. They also agreed to work all the house shows this week as long as Triple H, who almost never goes to house shows, doesn't go to them.
-- The angle appears to be on its deathbed as there are wrestlers on Twitter, and others such as Jim Ross, asking HHH if it's OK to come back to work on Monday.
-- Last night the Yankees vs. Tigers did a 7.27 rating in the metered markets and College football on ESPN did a 1.68 metered market rating. So football won't hurt TNA, but the baseball will probably hurt in the New York market in particular.
-- Full line-up for Bound for Glory after last night's show from Philadelphia, PA on October 16th has Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode for the title, Sting vs. Hulk Hogan in what will be a no-DQ match where if Sting wins then Dixie Carter gets TNA back, RVD vs. Jerry Lynn in a full metal mayhem match, Bully Ray vs. RVD falls count anywhere, Austin Aries vs. Brian Kendrick for the X-Title, Mexican America vs. Ink Inc. for the tag titles, Winter vs. Mickie James vs. Velvet vs. Madison Rayne for the women's title, Samoa Joe vs. Crimson vs. Matt Morgan, and AJ Styles vs. Chris Daniels in an I Quit match.
-- John Cena teams up with Ethan Embry, Boyd Holbrook and Amy Smart in WWE’s newest release “The Reunion” which will hit theaters October 21st. It will be a very limited release before going to DVD and Blu-Ray.
-- WWE signed Taya Valkyrie, one of the girls from the first season of Lance Storm's World Of Hurt reality show. She's the fifth person who has been signed to WWE from his Academy. Info on how to sign up for his school is up at stormwrestling.com.
-- In a quick correction from last week, Mike Mondo has not, in fact, been signed by ROH.
-- Ex-NHL great Rick Martin had degenerative brain disease. Researchers concerned CTE found in non-enforcer's brain tissue.
-- ONE HD is showing the UFC 136 Prelims at 10am Sunday morning in Australia. Thanks to Tim.
-- Dave and I will have more tonight, but I thought last night's Impact was the best and least-stupid Impact probably in as long as I can remember.
-- The WWE Live Tour section of WWE.com is largely back up today. It has been down for awhile because they set it up so that fans could upload their own house show pictures to the site. Someone actually thought this was a good idea. Next thing you know there are photos of ECW Tiffany nude from Playboy, screen grabs of China's whateverhood from her porn film with Sean Waltman, and more. Whole area had to be completely yanked. Bad choice of words, I know.
-- A story on Todd Grisham and his new job here.
-- JR has a new blog up here.
-- Alex Marvez has a very good story on Bobby Roode up here.
-- Who do you think wins this fight?
Jon Jones 80.6%
Lyoto Machida 19.4%
How many buys do you think UFC 136 does?
Under 250,000 13.2%
More than 501,000 2.6%
What do you think of the HHH angle so far?
What did you think of Ultimate Fighter on Wednesday?
50.7% of those responding didn't see the show
-- Live Audio Wrestling will now be on TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto every Sunday night at 12 Eastern. Dave appears on the show every week talking the news.
-- MFC 31 – The Rundown” LIVE follows “Inside MMA” tonight, October 7, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET
-- CZW returns THIS Friday, October 7 to The Asylum Arena (former ECW Arena), 7 W Ritner ST in Philadelphia, PA with a 7:30 pm bell time.
-- Both Granny and Lance Storm make podcast appearances here.
-- The Eastern Wrestling Alliance returns to action on Saturday night, October 8 at the Springfield Turnverein, located at 176 Garden Street in Feeding Hills, MA. The action kicks off at 7:30pm, with tickets available at the door for only $10 for adults, and $7 for children under 10 years of age.
-- Peach replaces Craig on Ed's show tonight, talking the news of the week here.
-- Speaking of Ed, he, Rodney, Matt Cleary and others are doing a Houston meet-and-greet tomorrow before the UFC show. It's at Lucky's Pub, 801 St. Emanuel - Houston,TX 77003. It's behind the Expo and walking distance to the UFC show. They will be there around 2:30 and up until showtime, and then plan on meeting up again after the show.
-- New England Championship Wrestling returns to live action on Sunday, October 23rd at the Irish-American Club, 177 West Street, Malden, MA with a 3 PM bell time for RISE. This is NECW's first event in the Boston area in nearly a year and a homecoming on a number of levels.
-- This Saturday in Montreal, it's NCW Femmes Fatales VII. The main-event will be the NCW International Femmes Fatales champion LuFisto vs Kalamity, who just had a breakout performance at the last SHIMMER tapings. The newest SHIMMER champion Cheerleader Melissa will wrestle for the first time since winning the title as she will face Yumi Okha. Also, two former SHIMMER tag team champions will wrestle in a 3-way, as Portia Perez vs Tomoka Nakagawa vs Sweet Cherrie. Also, Mercedes Martinez, Kellie Skater, Courtney Rush and the returning Tiana Ringer. More details at www.ncwfemmesfatales.com