TUESDAY UPDATE: Lots of notes from Raw, McMahon update, PPV, who won Bradley vs. Pacquiao, UFC fight off with fighter claiming he's not in UFC, tons more



By Bryan Alvarez | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're looking for your thoughts on last night's TNA Slammiversary show as well as Friday night's UFC show on FX, 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 looking for reports on tonight;s Smackdown and NXT tapings in Manchester, NH. The TV main event is C.M. Punk & Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan & Dolph Ziggler.  The major stars being advertised locally are John Cena (likely a dark match) and HHH (likely a non-televised cameo appearance).


LATEST OBSERVER: Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar situations examined

The most detailed look at the Randy Orton situation, as well as an update on Brock Lesnar when it comes to WWE, are among the major stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We look at every report and every aspect of the Orton suspension.  We also look at the Frank Mir exemption for testosterone, the state of testosterone exemptions in MMA right now and some very strange goings on in that direction.

We also have a ton of news regarding plans being made for the 1,000th episode of Raw, the folding of yet another major MMA company and sale of the oldest continually running MMA promotion in history.

We also look at the PPV industry in 2012, including UFC, boxing and WWE and what kind of years it not appears all three are going to have.  We look at who looks to be up, who looks to be down, how the UFC's recent all-heavyweight show looks to have done and whether or not such a show will be done again next year.

We also look at the behind-the-scenes of the DQ license for UFC moving to EA.

We also have more on the WWE's legal issues with reporter Chris Powell, how the story has grown, the effect it has had on the Linda McMahon campaign, what it means in the big picture and how it is being covered.

Plus, we look at the end of season 15 of the Ultimate Fighter, and how things have changed with the show, its popularity, and star making capability.

The issue is already on the site today if you are a web site member.  We also have a new back issue on the site from 1995 which covers the two biggest shows of that year, WrestleMania as well as probably the show with the single greatest collection of talent in one night of any pro wrestling show in history, held the same day as WrestleMania at the Tokyo Dome.  There were 14 different Hall of Famers wrestling on the show, and two others part of the presentation and I would doubt there is a show in history that could boast a number that large.

The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.

The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world.  The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe.  Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively.  They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world.  Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.  Just sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order at www.paypal.com and use the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address.

You can also subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O Box 1228, Campbell, CA  95009-1228.

Our lead story covers Randy Orton.  We look at the various news reports and try and make sense over what seems plausible and what doesn't.  We look at WWE's reaction in the past to marijuana positives, how this suspension differs from some of the more recent ones like Rey Mysterio, Evan Bourne and R-Truth, and looking at various different reports on WWE's reaction and Orton's future with the company.

We also look at WWE's star power going forward and where Orton would fit in, a look at the Smackdown main level stars, moves that have been made to bolster Smackdown attendance, what the writing team knew about Orton and why the booking for Orton on the way out made no sense. We look at how Orton is viewed in general by the wrestlers.

Plus, we look back, in detail, at all of Orton's major issues and suspensions in the past, and what does and doesn't add up about them.  We look at all the active talent on the roster with two strikes already, about how much money it is expected Orton figures to lose based on this suspension, and how this version of drug testing came to being and what incident was the black eye to the policy.
We also look at Frank Mir's situation, when it got started and why it is so perplexing.

We look at plans for Raw No. 1,000 on 7/23 in St. Louis, and different ideas batted around, and what is already being advertised and planned.  We also look at what the writing team is under pressure to come up with this summer and how difficult that will be.

We also have an update as to what is happening regarding Lesnar and WWE, why certain things have and haven't happened on television of late.

We also look at a story regarding the television industry, sports and bidding that will greatly affect UFC and possibly WWE when current contracts run out.

We've got more on the next WWE video game, more on exactly what went down with Chris Jericho in Brazil, and the release of Tom Prichard.  We look at a notable Prichard story.

We also have notes on Raw on Tivo.  We also look at Steve Austin's new TV show, run-throughs for the next PPV, Ted DiBiase talks about his future, the Million Dollar Man gimmick and why it didn't work for him like it did for his father.  We've also got all the WWE business notes from the past week as well as details from all the weekend house shows.

We look at the rise and fall of Japanese MMA, including how it first got started from pro wrestling, the rise of Mirko Cro Cop, the celebrity fighters, and why it went down, as well as the folding of one promotion and sale of another longtime MMA group to a pro wrestling promoter.

We've also got complete coverage of the Ultimate Fighter finals, with the business notes on the show, poll results and match-by-match coverage as well as earnings on the show.  We look at the great Michael Chiesa story and whether or not it will make him a big star, as well as what the future holds for the show.  We also look at the future of many of the fighters on the cast of the just completed season.

We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on the last two weeks of Raw with segment-by-segment numbers where you can see how each segment did, as well as what audience John Cena moved the most and least.

We also have results from all the major arena events around the world over the past week, as well as reviews of all the major television shows.

Also in this week's issue:

--CMLL's biggest stip match in a long time
--New Japan star challenges for CMLL title
--Official TripleMania announcement of date and place
--Probable TripleMania main event
--Who was on the semifinal of the first ever AAA show 20 years ago and was in the main event in the return to that arena in Veracruz over the weekend
--Major international star shows up as a surprise for AAA
--Three former WWE stars headline in Mexico
--Major injury screws up major plans for Pro Wrestling NOAH
--NOAH holds matches against both All Japan and New Japan
--Longtime New Japan star talks about an injury and potential return
--Standings of the Best of the Super Junior tournament and all of the matches over the past week
--Former WWE star challenges for IGF title against former K-1 star
--Update on Genichiro Tenryu
--Return of the famous Great Kabuki
--The grandson of arguably the most influential wrestler of the 20th century talking about getting into pro wrestling
--One of wrestling's all-time greatest winning records hurt with loss this past week
--Update on Shane Douglas' Extreme Reunion group with a new name and new focus
--Major indie show headlined by WWE star against Luke Robinson
--Updated news on TNA's lawsuit against WWE, what the suit it about
--Lots of notes regarding TNA's live TV shoot and why everyone was so happy it went smoothly
--Plans going forward for live TNA shoots
--Dixie Carter talks about the optimum number of PPV shows per year
--Talk about the TNA Hall of Fame
--Update on Chris Sabin in TNA
--What TNA badly needs that has snuck up on them
--Who is behind TNA's recent successful angles
--Updates on Slammiversary
--Notes on the TNA big surprise
--Behind the Gut check segments and what is and isn't real about them
--Notes on the Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva fight
--Tons of new UFC fights announced and changed
--Notes on the next UFC Countdown show
--A look at the career of Kenny Florian
--Surprise of B.J. Penn returning
--More on the Jon Jones situation
--Behind all the talks when Thiago Silva got hurt over who to face Shogun next
--Two MMA documentaries just released covering major UFC stars
--A look at where Cyborg vs. Rousey stands
--Rousey's next title defense
--Lots of UFC cuts

New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.

TUESDAY NEWS, NOTES & LINKS

-- Tim Bradley said today that he finally got around to watching his fight with Manny Pacquiao from this weekend and after watching it, he concluded that he, Tim Bradley, won the fight. Glad that's settled.

-- WWE.com is claiming that Vince McMahon has "concussion-like symptoms" (they don't have someone who can make an accurate diagnosis of the 66-year-old Chairman after a seven-foot man punched him out?) and that he's iffy for the PPV Sunday. This is all storyline of course.

-- Can anyone who attended the show confirm or deny whether Jerry Lawler got his Domino's Pizza last night?

-- Full line-up for the PPV after last night has Cena vs. Big Show in a cage with Lauranitis being fired if Show doesn't win, CM Punk vs. Kane vs. Daniel Bryan with AJ pretty much guaranteeing she'll screw one of them (figuratively, and perhaps literally in storyline afterwards), Sheamus vs. Dolph for the World title, Christian vs. Cody Rhodes for the IC Title, Beth vs. Layla for the women's title, and Brodus Clay vs. David Otunga on Youtube for the pre-show. This show will die.

-- On that note, Dan writes: I just wanted to pass thing along to you guys. They must be having a hard time selling tickets for No Way Out in NJ on Sunday, because The Izod Center website is currently running a special where you can get 4 tickets for $60. They're billing it as a Father's Day special. Cause what dad wouldn't get excited about seeing John Cena and Big Show in a steel cage as the main event of a PPV here in 2012. On the flip side of that, dead center floor seats at $522.70 each are still available on the Ticketmaster site. I'm sure the building will be decently filled by Sunday, but this is a market where WWE used to have no trouble selling out. Goes to show how cold the product is right now. I'm sure it will be different when Wrestlemania tickets go on sale later this year, however.

-- The two dead presidents that Ryback re-killed last night were Scotty Slade and Mikaze of Chaotic Wrestling.

-- A video preview for this Thursday's live Impact TV show is up here.

-- Redneck Island, the new TV show starring Steve Austin on CMT, debuted with an 0.42 rating and 665,000 viewers. It was the highest-rated show on the network all day.

-- Bibiano Fernandes was removed from the lineup for UFC 149 in Calgary on July 21st, allegedly due to injury. At this point, every show is cursed. Fernandes said today that he'd never actually signed with UFC or agreed to the Calgary fight.

-- The Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benevidez 125-pound title fight will be delayed as Johnson needs to undergo hernia surgery.

-- Here's Chris Jericho's dad on the cover of the LA Kings Press Book from the late 60s. The Kings won the Stanley Cup Monday night.

-- Latest from EVOLVE, DGUSA: The 2nd annual Style Battle tournament will be a four man round robin tournament that will take place at the EVOLVE events on June 28th in Ybor City, June 29th in St. Petersburg and June 30th in Jacksonville. The field is set. We had previously announced Lince Dorado, but he has had to pull out due to commitments with Florida Underground Wrestling.

The four competitors for Style Battle are now: AR Fox (Returning Champion, High-Flying Style); Bobby Fish (Puroresu Junior Heavyweight Style); Jon Davis (Power Style); Tommy Taylor (European Style). Also, The DGUSA.tv Weekly Special on free shipping continues. Any order $50 or over in the US or $75 and over international can now get free shipping using the "Colt Cabana" code. This includes everything available in the Store, even live event tickets.

-- CHIKARA: "The Foggiest Notion" on Sat. 6/23 at Bera Creek Country Club outside London, ON, Canada at 7:30 PM.

-- Andy writes: Don't know how newsworthy it is, but Dana White, along with Tony Hawk, has been announced as a Keynote Speaker for the Variety Sports Entertainment Summit on July 15 in Hollywood, CA. (The trade magazine "Variety.") Slightly ironic note regarding the title of the conference is the fact that one of the advertised meeting sessions is entitled, "WWE SuperSession: Entertainment Kings." However, no one from the WWE is listed as a speaker in the lineup, so I'm not sure who will be talking about it.

-- Line-up for UFC Ultimate Insider tonight on FUEL: This week’s “UFC Ultimate Insider” we take a closer look at heavyweight Mike Russow’s life outside the Octagon as a police officer, as we follow his beat on the streets of Chicago. Then, two-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion and UFC heavyweight Fabricio Werdum delivers his most powerful techniques in ultra-slow motion, in preparation for his fight against Russow in UFC 147. Next, as Georges St-Pierre recovers from ACL surgery, discover how the welterweight is keeping busy in the corners of the Octagon. And finally we take a statistical look back at the unforgettable careers of recently retired legends who helped popularize the world’s fastest growing sport, including Mirko Cro Cop, Brock Lesnar, Randy Couture and Kenny Florian.

-- Ricardo Funch vs. Dan Miller and Francisco Rivera vs. Ken Stone have been added as prelims for UFC on FX 4 next Friday night. Yes, two weeks after UFC on FX 3.

-- For the record, today is the 37th anniversary of my birth, the 17th anniversary of Figure Four Weekly, the 7th anniversary of this website and the 4th anniversary of the merger with Wrestling Observer. Really, all today. Also, my cat Tiggi turned 1.

-- On that note (and I swear this has nothing to do with my birthday), there will be no Bryan & Vinny Show tonight. Vinny is out of the country (Canada) attending a relative's high school graduation. Everything should be back to normal tomorrow.

-- This week's new Figure Four Weekly with TONS of scoops is up right now for subscribers. We've greatly expanded the news sections, so if you haven't checked it out recently, I strong recommend trying the last two week's worth of issues. It's available in text format and full-color PDF for your iPad or related tablet, plus you can print it out to look exactly like the print edition. And if you'd rather we print it out and bind it and mail it to you, we have new discounted print copy rates as well.

-- In their SEVEN LEVELS OF HATE series, next up is an I Quit Match between Adam Pearce and Colt Cabana. Preview video with all the details up here. This is match three in a series for the NWA Heavyweight title.

-- New Bret Hart interview here about how Shawn Michaels stole the ladder match idea, Warrior was supposed to drop the title to him, and more.

-- A true meeting of the minds at a TNA VIP event.

-- The final half hour TCW show is up here. They're now moving to one hour in HD.

-- SoCal Pro Wrestling this Saturday in Oceanside, CA, at the Boys & Girls Club, 401 Country Club Way.

-- WWE Champion CM Punk was a guest on "The Bower Show" yesterday to promote that night's RAW SuperShow at the XL Center.

-- Free 20-minute shoot interview with Bryan Kendrick here.

-- New cast members have been added to Miz's The Marine film

-- Some Keith Larsen greatness here.

-- Ed and his crew talk tough guys and shooters in wrestling here. I better get a mention.

-- ECWA July 14, 2012 in Newark, Delaware – WARGAMES and Papadon vs. Tony Nese. East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! WARGAMES Sat, July 14, 2012 Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702

What was the best of these shows?
Slammiversary 46.9%
UFC 146 23.4%
WWE Over the Limit 13.4%
ROH Border Wars 6.9%
UFC on FX McCall vs. Johnson 2.6%
Strikeforce Cormier vs. Barnett 2.6%
TNA Sacrifice 2.4%
Ultimate Fighter Finals 1.7%

Should TNA have advertised Christian as appearing on the PPV?
Yes 54.1%
No, he couldn't do anything and it would have been a disappointment 33.7%
No, they should have kept it a secret 9.9%
No, they needed a last minute Twitter announcement 2.3%

Did TNA get fair value in comparison to WWE getting Ric Flair for the Hall of Fame and DVD?
- Yes, they did 28.9%
- No they didn't 71.1%

Should UFC has moved Faber vs. Barao off 7/7?
- Yes, they had no choice because Calgary lost so much and Las Vegas is still strong 51.3%
- No, they had taken too much off Las Vegas and charged high ticket prices 48.7%

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