By Bryan Alvarez
We're looking for reports on tonight's Smackdown tapings in Indianapolis where the new Smackdown General Manager will be named.
We're also looking for reports on Sunday's Raw show in Louisville, Sunday's Smackdown show in Pikeville, KY, and Friday night's Raw show in Charleston, WV.
We've got a special history of Monday Night Raw and a look back at the longest lasting wrestling shows in U.S. television history as the main focus of two issues of the Observer on the site this week. If you are a print subscriber, the two issues are combined into a double issue.
We look back at the 1,000th Raw, including the highlights, what things are building to, the usage of wrestlers from the past, what the ratings pattern said about what people were most into, as well as how the various demographics related to different segments and personalities on the show.
We look at the people on the show, as well as what happened to others who were either at the arena or talked about at one point regarding being there. We look at the C.M. Punk heel turn, what people expect for SummerSlam, Royal Rumble and WrestleMania as well as full coverage of the show.
We also have a history of Raw, the transition from syndicated television to cable television, promotions paying to get on the air, stations paying promotions, how wrestling changed in the 80s, what killed the territories that people never talk about, the real longest running weekly episodic television shows in U.S. history, the Monday Night Wars, how viewership of wrestling has changed since the Monday Night Wars, how the aim of wrestling has changed, how Raw and Nitro differed from wrestling show of the past, what killed Nitro, Raw ratings history, the voices of Raw, who Vince McMahon tried to get to host Raw and the story behind it.
We also look at the longest running wrestling shows in history and the people most associated with them. We look at the histories of those shows. We also have a lot of stats for the history of Raw, including who had the most matches, won the most matches, ratings and what cities have played host the most times.
We also have full coverage of UFC 149, what went wrong, why fans turned on the show, the future of Urijah Faber as well as the bantamweight and middleweight divisions, along with a look at controversial judging and close decisions. We also have our usual match-by-match coverage and fan reaction to the show.
We also have a look at three major shows over the past week in Japan, as Pro Wrestling NOAH had its big summer show featuring Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels and Magnus, New Japan had its big event of the month with multiple championship matches, while Dragon Gate had its big event of the year.
We also look at Vince McMahon comments on ratings, WCW and UFC. We've got more on Steve Austin, notes on Vince McMahon's 2010 tax returns, how much income he made, how much he paid in taxes and more. We've got an update on the Linda McMahon campaign for senate, and reactions to her recent debate. We also look at her policy on tax cutting.
We've got more on another lawsuit filed against WWE, a look back at Terry Gordy on the anniversary of his death, the WWE 2013 PPV schedule, update on Kharma, developmental and an update on the TV situation, Raw going three hours, HHH talks reality TV, why David Otunga has been missing from TV, new people and names in developmental, Ziggler talks his future, how many people watch Raw on DVR's, notes on newcomers to the road for WWE, as well as the business notes for the past week as well as rundowns of all the WWE house shows.
We also have a note on yet another former Olympian who became a pro wrestling world champion, as well as a look at Tito Ortiz's career, his retirement and the UFC Hall of Fame.
Both issues are up on the site today if you are a web site member. We also have a new back issue on the site from 1995 just put up.
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.
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 also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on how every segment of Raw this past week did. We look at what segments gained and lost viewers
We also have results from all the major league arena events over the past week as well as a look at all the major television shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--More on Pac leaving Dragon Gate and the tournament to crown the vacant trios champion
--Update on All Japan's junior heavyweight tournament
--Next major matches for NOAH
--Early notes on NOAH's annual junior heavyweight tag team tournament and where ROH competitors fit in
--New Japan vs. WWE big shows in a few weeks
--Notes on a new promotion that will likely make waves on the indie level
--Notes on the life of the late Goldie Rogers, a longtime Canadian star
--Notes on the next ROH iPPV
--Davey Richards/ROH update
--More on Hulk Hogan doing an indie show
--Why there are new issues in TNA and what changes are attempting to be made with what contracts
--A scoreboard regarding TNA talent, who is going and what will be very interesting to watch play out
--Identity of Aces and 8s
--Bound for Glory series update
--TNA house show notes
--A change at FOX
--The arguments regarding a bill in Congress that would affect UFC, WWE and Bellator
--Doctor who treated UFC star being investigated by board
--UFC and social media
--Lots of new UFC matches
--More on the situation with Strikeforce contracts
--New reality TV show on small station set to debut in August
--5,000 seat arena sells out two straight weeks
--Build for TripleMania
--Indie promotion books the biggest show in its history in a 16,000-seat arena
--Hall of Famer hospitalized trying to do too much after surgery
--Update on Bellator
--Notes on international MMA
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
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.
Today's News, Notes and Links
-- Big article in the new Greenwich Timesabout Linda McMahon's Senate run and how since her first run in 2008 the stock price has plunged and the McMahon's themselves have lost over $500 million. Peter Schiff, who lost the Republican primary to Linda in 2010, tried to somehow tie the stock price plunge into Linda I guess taking her efforts away from WWE and directing them towards politics. Dave is quoted in the article and notes that Linda has had nothing to do with either the success or failure of WWE over the years. He even made a Star Wars analogy. Lots of arguments from all sides on why the stock price is down, how it ties into the Network launch or lack thereof, and more. Very good read.
-- Official WWE statement on the departure of John Lauranitis: Effective immediately, John Laurinaitis is resigning from his position as Senior Vice President of Talent Operations. Following his very public firing at June’s No Way Out, Laurinaitis continued to work behind-the-scenes in his corporate role. After eight years of service in talent relations, he’s "burned out" and now hopes to concentrate on what he knows best: putting together matches and working with WWE talent as a producer.
-- Lauranitis did a run-in after Raw ended last night and got AA'd by John Cena.
-- As noted on the front page, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was sentenced today in his DWI case -- $1,000 fine, six-month license suspension, plus he has to install ignition interlocks (in-car breathalyzer) and complete a victim-impact panel. He tweeted a thank-you and said it was time to move forward.
-- Randy Orton has an exclusive interview heretalking his return to Raw. He says he feels better than he has in years after his sixty-day "vacation", and that the other wrestlers were so happy to see him back that they set the stage on fire before the show.
-- Fans were sick to death of video recaps by the time the live Raw ended last night.
-- Matt Mitrione vs. Rob Broughton has been moved to UFC on FX 5 in October from the originally-booked September 7th date.
-- AW was reprimanded last night after saying during a Raw match that Titus O'Neill was "like Kobe Bryant at a hotel room in Colorado, unstoppable". Vince McMahon had Michael Cole issue a stern apology after a commercial break. The incident got play on TMZ.com and WWE said they would be taking appropriate action. AW tweeted: I would like to apologize to all the #WWEUniverse for my inappropriate and insensitve remarks. I went too far with that joke. #NotFunny!! There was no malicious intent behind the joke. It was either a Kobe or Lebron joke. Lebron jus won the finals so there you have it. TMZ wrote that AW went all over the place backstage apologzing to everyone personally for what he'd said. The full story is here.
-- Nielsen Sued for Billions Over Allegedly Manipulated TV Ratings. It's a lawsuit filed in India over alleged corruption between Nielsen and television companies.
-- Dana White upon changing his mind about who gets the next title shot against Jon Jones. Originally he said that only the winner of Shogun Rua vs. Brandon Vera would get a shot: "The fans didn't like the Rua and Vera choice, so here it is: The guy that wins most impressively on Saturday night out of the co-main event and the main event will get the shot at the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson."
-- The NBC Olympics page interviews Iron Sheik. Really.
-- ROH has a new two-disc Brisco Brothers DVD available here.
-- UFC released John Alessio today.
-- UFC On Fox 4: In Promotion, The Truth Can Also Be A Good Storyby Josh Nason.
-- As far as radio shows, we'll have an MMA-heavy show on Wednesday with both Josh Nason and Jeremy Botter, plus a big lucha show previewing TripleMania and more with Dr. Lucha and Cubsfan, plus our usual Observer Radio late in the evening. Bryan & Vinny Show returns tonight as well.
-- My wife Whitney has been working for months on creating a new non-profit organization called "Whale Scout" which would essentially involve sending trained naturalists out whenever whales are spotted to educate people about the local whale population. The Whale Scouts would provide information, binoculars, literature, etc., with the idea being that by educating locals it will encourage them to take small steps to help ensure the whales' survival. It would start locally in the Seattle area and hopefully expand to other coastal areas around the country and perhaps the world. She has entered a contest where whichever ideas get the most votes receives a $5,000 project grant. She is currently ranked number 22 out of over 100. The Whale Scout project page is here, and if you like the idea we would really appreciate the votes. You can also check out her Whale Scout Facebook page here. Thanks to everyone for supporting the idea, and if you know someone who loves whales, please pass this along!
-- I Believe in Wrestling returns to the Team Vision Dojo in Orlando, FL this Friday at 8pm. Scheduled to compete: Kirby Mack, Lince Dorado, Chasyn Rance, Santana Garrett, Cody Hall w/ Scott Hall, Tim Zbyszko w/ Larry Zbyszko, and many more. Tickets are $10. www.ibelieveinwrestling.com
-- On FUEL tonight: This week’s “UFC Ultimate Insider” steps inside one of the fastest rising fight camps - Alliance MMA in Chula Vista, California - for a closer look at Brandon Vera, Phil Davis and Phil De Fries just days before their huge fights on UFC on FOX. Then, watch a minute-by-minute account of a crucial training day in real time for Ryan Bader and Lyoto Machida, highlighting both the differences and similarities in preparation before their UFC on FOX fight. Next, Joe Rogan sounds off on the psychological warfare before a fight and the fighters who have perfected the art of the very best and most intense stare downs in the UFC. And finally, discover lightweight Champ Benson Henderson’s obsession with comic books, as he reveals what kind of superheroes UFC champs would be. Go beyond the Octagon, as “UFC Ultimate Insider” delivers an all-access pass with unparalleled coverage of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, making it the hardest-hitting sports magazine show ever. Every week, tune in for unprecedented access, including in-depth profiles of the UFC’s biggest stars, tell-all features, and compelling backstage footage hosted by Jon Anik. New episodes air on Tuesdays at 10:30 PM ET/7:30 PM PT on FUEL TV.
-- nuvoTV launches FIGHT FACTORY with back-to-back episodes on Wednesday, August 15 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT). Offering an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s fastest growing sports, mixed martial arts (MMA), the series showcases two of the country’s best MMA gyms: San Jose’s American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) and Fresno’s Dethrone Base Camp. Viewers will experience a rare look at the preparation and dedication it takes to become a champion fighter and world title holder. The original reality series takes fans inside champion-making coach Javier Mendez’s AKA, providing an exclusive look at the legendary Mexican-American kickboxer’s current roster of MMA superstars, including former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez, current Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier and multiple-title-takers Jon Fitch, Phil Baroni, Luke Rockhold and more.
-- New episode of AIW Intense TV here.
-- Pro Wrestling Syndicate "Saved By The Ring Bell" Friday September 14th Rahway Rec Center - 275 East Milton Ave in Rahway, NJ. Dennis Haskins of Saved by the Bell will be there.
-- Latest TCW TV show which features, among things, an interview with Carlito, is up here. He looks like he's been working on a pirate ship of late. Video quality of this show is amazing.
-- Video podcast Highway2Helms will have three special guests this week. Shelly Martinez, TNA KnockOut Rosita and StrikeForce fighter Derek Brunson. Brunson is currently scheduled to face Jacare on StrikeForce's next big event.
-- FUW Presents: Tuesday Night Wrestling Tues July 31 2012 Doors Open 7:30pm Belltime 9:00pm Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th Street, Largo, Florida, 33771 All tickets are just $10. Come early for prime seats. $2 drink specials all night long. Tickets also available at Crazy Dave's Sports Bar 201 Keene Rd, Largo Fl 33771. 727 531-5518
-- Shad Gaspard will be on TV Land's "The Exes" Wedensday 8/1/12 at 10:30pm/9:30pm central. Sneak peak here.
-- Pro Wrestling Onslaught Sat Aug 25th 7 Pm Bell Time Draft Picks Mckinney Ave Suite 101 Dallas, Tx 75202. Matt Cross of WWE Tough Enough Fame will headline. www.dfwwrestling.com
-- SAW Wrestling returns to the Nashville Fairgrounds Sports Arena on Saturday Sept 15 and Sunday Sept 16. The 15th is headlined by TNA's Crimson vs Luke Gallows, plus Vordell Walker vs Chase Stevens and Lucha Libre superstar Psicosis, Cassidy Riley, and others. Sunday the 16th is Headlined by Gallows vs Vordell Walker with Psicosis appearing again. Both events are FREE with paid admission to the Tennessee State Fair which is just $5 in advance at www.tnstatefair.org.
-- If you were running UFC and you had to book Anderson Silva's next match, what choice would you make?
Michael Bisping if he beats Brian Stann, second biggest name but proven himself in the division 36.2%
Nick Diaz, the biggest name and would draw the most interest 34.6%
Chris Weidman, best shot at beating Silva 13.9%
Vitor Belfort, he'd draw more than Bisping based on first match and has wins in the division 3.3%
Brian Stann if he beats Bisping 2.9%
Someone else not listed based on their chances of winning the fight 2.5%
Alan Belcher if he beats Belfort 2.2%
Someone else not listed based on their ability to draw 2.0%
Rich Franklin 2.0%
Tim Boetsch 0.4%
Do you think Saturday's UFC show will top a 1.5 rating?
It will do a 1.5 5.4%
Will Raw this week top a 3.4?
It will do a 3.4 17.1%
What event are you most interested in?
UFC on FOX 48.1%
New Japan G-1 Climax 28.6%
AAA TripleMania 23.3%
How should C.M. Punk be booked?
Tweener based on circumstances 45.7%
Full fledged heel 45.1%
Babyface but only feuds with Rock 9.3%
-- Ed and the crew talk Raw 1,000 here.