TUES UPDATE: Brock return date set, Mike Tyson in WWE ring, John Lauranitis & Randy Orton update

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 Sunday night's No Way Out show from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ, 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 also looking for reports on tonight's Smackdown from Baltimore.

We're also looking for reports on Saturday night's TNA show from Houston as well as both the WWE house shows on Friday night in Augusta, ME and last night in Lowell, MA.

The Fight Network in Canada will be airing the M-1 show live on Thursday at noon EST, headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Pedro Rizzo from St. Petersburg, Russia. We're looking for someone to cover this show for the site and also to cover Bellator Friday night since Dave will be watching UFC. You can email him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Latest Observer Alert: A Look At TNA

Is TNA on the rise, and if so, what is their ceiling?  A look at TNA with coverage of Slammiversary is the lead story in the new double issue of the Observer.  We look at the history of the promotion, its most valuable players, with our usual big show coverage.

We also look in depth at UFC's issues with injuries, card changes, sorting it out, a look behind why the decisions that were made had to be made, who is unhappy, thoughts on the next FOX main event, why injuries are happening with such frequency and Dana White makes a plea to camps.

We also look at WWE acquiring the Mid South Wrestling tape collection, including a look at the key things in wrestling in the 80s that, had they happened, the business could have looked far differently.  We look at the deal that was on the verge of happening that fell through, as well as the many factors that killed the UWF/Mid South.

We also look at the tape collections that aren't owned by WWE, a background of some of the things on them, and the value of such tapes.

We also look at the Ultimate Fighter no longer going live, notes on the new season, when it'll be taped, when it'll air, as well as a number of new planned Ultimate Fighter seasons around the world expected to debut within the next year.

We also have our annual WWE roster directory, with everyone's ages, years pro, real name and backgrounds of all the major roster talent and the top developmental talent.

We also have a look at UFC's plans over the next year for international expansion and growth.  We look at a new TV deal, as well as plans for new reality shows, a huge show planned for November and how many shows and on the books for different parts of the world in 2013.

We have coverage of this year's Best of the Super Junior tournament, and of the latest UFC show on FX.

The issue will be 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 fallout of WrestleMania that year, Shawn Michaels turn details, Sabu being fired by ECW, as well as coverage of the legendary and boring second Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie fight.  Last week's back issue, in the archives, covers that year's 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.

We look at TNA's improved product, is there evidence yet that it's a direction that will make a difference, business notes from Slammiversary, the good and bad of the show, who the real key people are in the survival of the company, what happened to Jerry Jarrett, who knew about Sting in the Hall of Fame, the background of Christian appearing on the show, and thoughts on Destination X.

We also have our match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results from the show.
We look in detail at all the various injuries in UFC, the motives for the changes, the message that Chael Sonnen sent to Michael Bisping and more.

We look at the turning point of Mid South Wrestling, the period when it was the most watched wrestling television show in the United States, why that period was brief, the 1985 deal that fell through that would have changed the history of wrestling, what killed the promotion, as well as what the WWE acquired in the tape collection, who were the featured stars, and a list of still existing wrestling tape collections not owned by WWE.

We also have an update on the TNA lawsuit against WWE, the move WWE made, what isn't going to happen any time soon because of it, and more on Ric Flair's contractual situation right now.  We also look at how Linda McMahon has risen in the polls and why, and how close the Connecticut senate race looks to be.  We look at who supports McMahon, who doesn't, and what role wrestling plays in it.

We also have an update on Shane McMahon, what he's doing in business right now, and how the company is doing.

We also look at how the talent relations department in WWE has changed, who is in, who is out, and what the mentality is regarding new talent.  We look at how HHH has shaped the new department and changes that are expected to happen.

We've got an update on Brock Lesnar, UFC and WWE and the reality of Lesnar's potential future as a fighter.  We also look at his schedule in WWE for this year and next.

We also look at the WWE house show business.  We look at changes in who is going to be on what tour, who is going to be on television, why the changes are made, who is coming back, who isn't advertised as coming back and how the business is doing overall.  This covers the biggest names right now in the company.

We've got more on Randy Orton, Chris Jericho's schedule, advanced orders for the video game, developmental plans, who they are looking at.

We also look at a WWE tryout and who the company is scouting, and the thought process of recruiting college sports stars vs. independent wrestlers and the positives and negatives of each.

We've also got updates on The Rock, Kelly Kelly, JBL's mountain climbing and Raw plans, Punk rips on an episode of Raw,  Vader and more.

We also look at how major sports, TV and advertising executives right now perceive the value and interest in boxing, UFC and WWE now and as compared to five years ago.  This is actually very important, because that perception drives so much of the key decision making.

We look at more WWE releases, a wrestler who quit, wrestlers who are doing enhancement work, the last FCW tapings, a member of a legendary wrestling family getting a tryout, Steve Austin's new TV show, the WWE tour of Spain and how business went, and notes on all the house shows from the past week.

We look at the final two days of the Best of the Super Junior tournament as well as New Japan's next PPV show.  We also have a history of the championship matches in the tournament dating back to the first major New Japan junior tournament in 1984.

We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on the this week's Raw and the last two weeks of Impact.  We look at the Vince effect on the ratings, what segments gained and lost viewers and where the growth was.  We also look at how the time slot move and going live has affected TNA numbers.

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:

--AAA teasing a Hall of Famer headed to this year's TripleMania
--One of the best wrestlers in the world announces his engagement to a TV star
--Update on a number of pro wrestling injuries
--Two Hall of Famers, an 80s legend vs. 90s legend, meet for the first time later this month
--Wrestler released from jail after arrest on drug charges
--Update on Sabu after his problems that kept him off the Extreme Reunion show
--Retired pro wrestler wins major TV reality show
--Pro wrestling legend honored in Canada
--The second annual wrestling Beat the Streets in Times Square
--Great Muta returns to U.S.
--Former NFL star vs. former WWE wrestler in MMA fight, what happened
--Boxer who fought the greatest heavyweights of his era does angle on indie show
--Newest member of one of the most famous wrestling families stars wrestling
--A book about the toughest wrestlers in history
--New all-women's iPPV promotion
--Coach talks about what Tough Enough winner she was against winning
--Former WWF announcer gets job as news anchor
--One of pro wrestling's best performers says he will retire next year
--Notes on the next ROH iPPV show
--Morale notes at TNA and why
--Notes on the A.J. Styles/Dixie Carter angle
--Notes on wrestlers who received TNA tryouts
--New TNA TV deal
--More on the background of TNA Gut Check
--Raw vs. Impact vs. Smackdown viewership in the U.K.
--More on the UFC video game license change and THQ says why it gave the license up
--A look at how the WWE & UFC games have been doing the last few years
--Official numbers for UFC 146
--Updates on UFC big show ticket sales
--The current UFC all-time record gate in the U.S. and can UFC 148 break that record
--More on the Nick Ring situation in Calgary and Ring's thoughts on the muggers he helped catch
--UFC star doing Dancing with the Stars
--How other sports are doing on Saturday nights right now
--More on the making of Rory MacDonald vs. B.J. Penn
--Problems with training partners being stars in the same weight class
--What New Yorkers feel about the MMA ban, latest poll numbers, and a breakdown by age and demos
--UFC star talks once again about doing pro wrestling
--Brock Lesnar as a UFC Hall of Famer
--New matches announced
--A look at Bellator's summer schedule
--One of the most recruited wrestlers in history by colleges is now about to start an MMA career
--More on the Pacquiao-Bradley decision

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.


-- Brock Lesnar is scheduled for the August 13th Raw show in Dallas, the final show before SummerSlam.

--THQ announced today that Mike Tyson would be an exclusive playable character for fans who pre-order the WWE 13 video game. So now you know what all the videos were about with Tyson claiming he was coming back to the ring.

-- As several people have noted, why would John Lauranitis book a match for John Cena on Raw if he went into the PPV presuming that Cena would lose and be fired? Besides the fact that it makes no sense for the Board of Directors to OK a fired Lauranitis wrestling on Raw because he supposedly booked the Raw main event before he was fired, even if that is OK, it still makes no sense.

Lauranitis suffered further humiliation after Raw went off the air with HHH pedigreeing him, Vince kicking him in the balls, Show slapping him around (in such a way as to remain a heel, basically asking the fans if he should give him more chops and when they said yes, he just walked off), and even Zack Ryder coming out to give him the Broski boot. It appears the character is being written out at least for the moment. He's still booked in handicap matches on the road with advertising that was sent out yesterday and in real life, is the guy in charge of putting together the house show line-ups.

-- Justin writes: WWE has been advertising Randy Orton for the July 24 SmackDown in Kansas City. However, tonight, that changed. No longer is Orton being advertised. Instead, they're teasing Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio, along with John Cena vs. Big Show and John Laurinaitis (despite his firing).

-- If you love audio and haven't signed up for a site account, do so now. I currently have 13 shows scheduled between now and Sunday and am waiting to hear back from two people that would bring the total to 15 shows in the next six days.That's not counting any other shows anyone else produces, or the 10,000-plus hours of audio in the archives right now dating back to 2005. Thursday is looking to be my first-ever five-show day.

-- Also, brand new full-color PDF Figure Four Weekly with all the scoops from the past week is up on the front page right now. It looks awesome on iPad or other tablets or you can just read the text file on the site.

-- 15 years ago, on June 19, 1997, former WWWF champion Stan Stasiak passed away at the age of 60. Also 5 years ago, it was Chris Benoit's last match against Elijah Burke in Charlotte, NC on a WWE house show. Thanks to Patrick Laprade.

-- UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones will participate in the 2012 Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game on July 8 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Jones will be joined by many celebrities from music, television and sports alongside former Kansas City Royals greats and Baseball Hall of Famers in the star-studded event.

-- Here's some video of Dana White talking his rare inner-ear ailment.

-- Countdown to UFC 147 debuts tonight at 9 Eastern on Fuel TV. This is a two-UFC show weekend with UFC on FX taking place Friday night from Atlantic City and UFC from Brazil taking place Saturday night.

-- On Twitter, Alistair Overeem claimed he'd fight again in December. Given his drug failure suspension doesn't end until December 27th and he has to pass a test to get licensed, my guess is nobody is going to book him for a show in December.

-- UFC Ultimate Insider tonight on FUEL takes a look at Tito Ortiz's second home in Big Bear, once owned by Oscar De La Hoya, and also Joe Rogan discusses why fighters need to trash talk.

-- A preview of the new Kayfabe Commentaries project, Breaking Kayfabe with Sean Waltman, is up here.

-- Duane "Bang" Ludwig vs. Che Mills has been added to UFC on FUEL 5 in Nottingham on September 29th.

-- For everyone considering going to our Convention in July this year, the official T-shirt design and order info is up on the Board.

-- Florida Supercon is once again hosting over 6 hours of professional wrestling at our annual 4-day convention. Please join us the evenings of Friday June 29th, Saturday June 30th, and Sunday July 1st and see some of your favorite sci-fi, comic book, and video game characters in larger than life battles within the squared circle. Florida Super Championship Wrestling is one of the most popular attractions at the show each year.

-- EWA Saturday June 23 Springfield Turnverin Agawam, Mass 730 pm bell time featuring a 4 on 4 war games match pitting the Diamonds of the Ring vs Joey Eastman Worldwide, also in action "the Promise" Antonio Thomas and more! Thomas has a new Twitter account.

-- JR has a new blog up here talking No Way Out and more.

-- Preview of a new Carlos Colon shoot video.

-- Interview with IZW commissioner Brandon Bishop

-- Sat June 23 2012 7pm bell time EWF Wrestling Card The Sports Academy Fight Club 293 E. Redlands Blvd, San Bernardino, Calif. Joey GUT CHECK Ryan headlines.

-- Deathgrip Clothing presents AAW: Professional Wrestling Redefined Bound by Hate Friday June 22, 2012 7:45pm Berwyn Eagles Club 6309 W. 26th St. Berwyn, IL

-- Crossfire Wrestling will be LIVE Saturday, June 23 at the Nashville Convention Center as a part of the huge 104.5 The Zone Sports Fest 2012 from 8:30am to 5pm. Hammerjack, LT Falk, Aaron Camaro, the debut of Jon Davis & Damien Payne plus more will be there LIVE for autographs all day long and a special mini wrestling show at 2:30pm! Also at the Sports Fest, WWE Superstar Mick Foley will be there plus Nashville Titans and Predators players & more!! Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children (ages 3-12). Children under 3 are free. www.1045thezone.com for all details!

-- Interview with Kyle O'Reilly here.

-- UCC 5: UNLEASHED is an ALL-PROFESSIONAL Mixed Martial Arts Fight Night that will include between 8 – 12 live cage fighting matches inside the Teaneck Armory Arena. There will be free parking, a cash bar with both beer and mixed drinks and live DJ Entertainment provided by DJ David S and DJ Yonny courtesy of 92.3 FM. Tickets range from $25.00 General Admission with Seating and Standing Area – To $125.00 Front Row Table Seats with bottle service (Tables of 4 people). Go to www.uccfights.com for more details.

Which company puts on the best PPV shows?

UFC 34.8%
WWE 22.8%
TNA 14.4%
ROH 12.1%
New Japan 7.4%
HBO Boxing 5.3%
Dragon Gate 2.3%
AAA 0.8%

Which of these people most deserves a spot on the Hall of Fame ballot?

Tully Blanchard 18.5%
Junkyard Dog 18.2%
Brian Pillman 12.6%
Booker T 10.4%
Honky Tonk Man 8.5%
Big Show 7.7%
Rob Van Dam 7.4%
Diamond Dallas Page 6.3%
Bill Dundee 5.3%
Nikita Koloff 2.5%
Tony Atlas 1.5%
Taz 1.3%

Which of these people most deserves a spot on the Hall of Fame ballot?

Magnum T.A. 17.9%
Raven 17.0%
George Steele 13.8%
Jerry Brisco 12.1%
Art Barr 11.1%
Fabulous Ones 7.2%
Austin Idol 6.3%
Gran Markus Sr. 5.5%
Ivan Putski 3.2%
Jos LeDuc 2.6%
Fuerza Guerrera 2.5%
Jerry Estrada 0.8%

What was the best of the recent major shows?

TNA Slammiversary 35.6%
WWE Extreme Rules 28.4%
UFC 146 17.5%
ROH Border Wars 5.8%
WWE Over the Limit 3.0%
UFC on Fox Miller vs. Diaz 2.3%
TNA Sacrifice 1.9%
WWE No Way Out 1.5%
UFC McCall vs. Johnson 1.5%
UFC Ellenberger vs. Kampmann 1.3%
Strikeforce Cormier vs. Barnett 1.3%

-- Ed and his crew talk to Brian Fritz here

-- Axl Rotten, who retired two months ago, is un-retiring in a shocker. He is available for bookings here.

-- TMZ has a story here about Puppet the Psycho Dwarf who overshot a dive and destroyed himself.

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?