THURS UPDATE: More from the McMahon earnings call, Network concern, Impact preview for tonight, Davey Richards update, Kamala update and how you can help, tons more

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

Impact tonight at 8 PM on Spike TV has:

- In-ring debut of Chavo Guerrero
- More on James Storm and Aces and Eights
- Kurt Angle vs. James Storm in a Bound for Glory Series match
- Austin Aries & Kenny King vs. Bobby Roode & Zima Ion
- Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James vs. Tara for the women's title match at Hardcore Justice
- Brooke Hogan returns

NEW OBSERVER ALERT: Who's the most popular in combat sports?

Our twice annual look at the most popular figures in pro wrestling, MMA and boxing, broken down with an extensive look at the U.S. market, the world market and the Canadian market is one of the lead stories is a news packed issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter out this week.

We also have updates on WrestleMania and UFC 148 business and where PPV is falling into.

We've got a popularity chart, including currently active participants and legends, with notes on how pro wrestling, boxing and MMA differ when it comes to both current and enduring popularity.  We also have a chart listing the rankings at this point with those of the past three years so you can see who is gaining and losing steam.
        We look at people over pushed, under pushed, the difference between boxing enduring legends, who have become the biggest new stars this year, who have faded, the current value of UFC and WWE championships in making stars, do UFC fans by and large want to see smaller guys and who is pro wrestling's most enduring legend worldwide.
        We also have a piece on the history of wrestling on television following up last week's story on the longest lasting TV shows in wrestling history.  We look at Georgia television wrestling prior to TBS, as well as how Ronald Reagan changed television and how that changed pro wrestling from the 70s to the 80s and paved the way for Vince McMahon's changing of the business.  We also look back at how Gordon Solie got to be the national voice of wrestling.
        We also look at the surgery Great Khali underwent, why John Laurinaitis was demoted from his real position and how the talent department has changed in recent months and different people who have replaced Laurinaitis at his job.  We also look at how Laurinaitis got to WWE and became head of talent relations.  We have an update on SummerSlam, a look at the Linda McMahon campaign, how much the McMahon family has lost in the last two years as well as Linda McMahon taking credit for WWE but not wanting to talk about it.  We've got more notes from backstage at Raw 1,000, what happened between Bruno Sammartino and Steve Austin, Another WWE tryout camp coming, update on WWE 13 the video game, more on Chris Jericho's schedule as well as updated plans for Raw and Smackdown house shows and who will be on what tours after SummerSlam.
        We also have our monthly business rundown of live attendance, DVDs, web site numbers and more.
        We also have notes on next week's Raw, AW, Tensai, NXT tapings, a WWE developmental wrestler arrested, someone who just arrived in developmental, as well as a rundown of the weekend business and the weekend house shows.
        We also have a look at the business of women's MMA and some staggering figures if one chooses to believe them regarding Invicta Fighting Championships.
        Our look at Olympians who became pro wrestling stars looks at a 1940 name, Ed Virag, who was for a brief period of time, Sam Muchnick's headliner after World War II when he first got started and was an early NWA world champion.
        We also have a look at how No Way Out did on PPV with a comparison to last year.
        The issue will be  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 talking about the financial effects of the PPV business at that time and the back story behind the relationship and announcement of the engagement of Kensuke Sasaki and Akira Hokuto.
        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
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        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:
--What happened to this week's Friday night TV taping in Mexico City
--History of Arena Mexico having to cancel wrestling including how one of the most famous matches in history led to a several week period when no matches are allowed in the arena.
--Several anniversary shows honoring veteran wrestlers
--The last TV taping before TripleMania and what famous angle did they reprise
--A look at TripleMania
--Notes on the annual Lucha Libre fan fest and who isn't going to be involved this year
--A look at the Dragon Gate USA weekend shows
--All Japan plans its next big show and what decision is being made right now regarding the Triple Crown
--A look at the finals of the All Japan annual junior heavyweight tournament and standings
--All Japan opening up a new market
--More on TNA stars in Japan
--New Japan enters iPPV business and lineup
--What Olympian is already getting looks from a major pro wrestling company and why
--A look at the star power of wrestlers in Japan
--Hall of Famer undergoes back surgery
--A look at the life of a pivotal figure in the history of women's pro wrestling as well as country music
--Lots more on the situation with Davey Richards, Kyle O'Reilly and Tony Kozina
--Questions ROH has to ask about Richards
--ROH tag team tournament notes
--Notes on TNA contracts
--More on the Aces and 8s identities
--Current TV taping schedule for TNA
--Update on Hardcore Justice PPV card
--Notes on who is Sam Shaw and thoughts on TNA Gut Check
--TNA house show notes for the weekend
--More on Jon Jones sentencing
--A look at the FOX UFC card
--Dana White's talk about the next light heavyweight title contender and evaluating all the leading candidates
--A look at UFC booking between now and the end of the year with the big fights expected
--How Kurt Angle's name came up in UFC this past week
--Tons of new UFC matches
--Thoughts on Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz
--Who got pulled from a TV slot because of a prior offense
--Bellator's future
--An arrest of a former world champion after a brawl at a rave
Rates are:

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        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

-- Vince McMahon noted on the WWE earnings call today that one of the main reasons that PPV revenue was up (this is revenue, not actual buys, which is a different argument) is that more people than ever are spending the extra $10 to buy the shows in HD.

He was really pressed for more information about the network from concerned stockholders and he had very little to say about it, only that he was confident they'd have some announcements next quarter.

When asked about PG, he reiterated that they weren't going PG-13 anytime soon, but PG offered them a lot of latitude that they'd take advantage of, and that it was fair to say that at times they'd gone way too far into the G realm.

The complete filing is available here. Dave has a lot of notes about business up and will have a full breakdown and comparison in next week's new Observer. We'll talk the numbers this weekend on Observer Radio as well.

-- We have an official statement from Davey Richards up on the front page right now concerning the incident that went down in Ohio this weekend. He notes that he's already PayPal'd all of the money back and has the receipt to prove it, plus talks about the back story of what happened and why they did what they did.

-- Regarding the Kamala situation and the arguments from all sides on whether donations are getting to him or not, Rob Feinstein, who did a RF Video shoot with him years ago, got the OK to post his actual PayPal address, which is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If anyone wants to donate, if they send to that address, there is no middle man involved.

-- Tickets for Hell in the Cell in Atlanta on October 28th go on sale tomorrow and the pre-sale code is ATLANTA.

-- Herb Dean and John McCarthy will ref the top two bouts at UFC on FOX Saturday night.

-- Bret Hart has his first-ever in-ring training seminar on Saturday in Nashville. It's a four-hour deal open only to those with pro-experience, and the best two people in the camp get a match that night on the Crossfire Wrestling show. Interested participants should send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for payment info and proper registration forms.

-- Dixie Carter announced Kurt Angle vs. Samoe Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Chris Daniels for the August 12th Hardcore Justice PPV today. Rest of the show thus far has Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode for the title, Brooke Tessmacher vs. whoever wins the four-way women's match on Impact tonight, Bully Ray vs. James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Robbie E, and RVD vs. Magnus vs. Mr. Anderson vs. the Pope. All of the four-ways will have stipulations and the winner of each match gets 20 points in the tournament.

-- James writes: I read on the NME website that " Fast & Furious 6 " featuring Dwayne Johnson & Gina Carano has began filming in Surrey`s Shepperton Studios in England.

-- This Friday, EWF presents a 6 match wrestling card at Knights of Columbus hall 4315 N. Vincent Ave, Covina Calif. Start time 8pm. Main Event EWF Hvy. Champ Joey Ryan vs Famous B

-- Lucha notes from Kris Zellner: In a press conference yesterday with Secretary of Health Salomón Chertorivsky Woldenberg, AAA President Marisela Pena announced that they have combined forces to start a campaign called Lucha Libre contra La Obesidad where they will preach the ills of obesity especially regarding children. Elegido & El Mesias will be the ambassadors for the campaign and they even had a couple of matches at the presser with Dinastia/Mascarita Divina/Mascarita Sagrada beating The Mini Psycho Circus and El Brazo (a perfect fit for the obesity campaign) & Dark Dragon falling to Elegido & El Mesias proving that yes being obese makes you a loser I guess. The campaign is starting at Triplemania XX on 8/5 and will last until 11/19.

-- River City Wrestling International Champion "The Female Terminator" Alissa Flash will be on KENS-5's Great Day SA on Friday, August 3. Great Day SA airs at 9 a.m. CST. KENS-5 is the CBS-affiliate for San Antonio, TExas. Flash will be on to discuss her career and the River City Wrestling event on Saturday, August 4.

-- The Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) returns to Hamilton, OH this Saturday night to the Great Miami Event Center - 333 South 2nd St with a 7:30pm bell time. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids 14 and under.

-- "The NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship and all NECW recognized champions will be in the house, as New England Championship Wrestling celebrates its 12th anniversary with HOT AUGUST FIGHT Saturday night, August 18th at the Knights of Columbus, 582 Bedford Street, Bridgewater,MA with a 7 PM bell time. The main event marks the return of the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship to NECW in Stage Five of the Seven Levels of Hate, a Best of Seven series of matches taking place across the country for the legendary 10 poundsof leather and gold that signifies the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) World’s Heavyweight Championship. In June, NECW hosted the 3rd match in the series between then champion, Colt “Boom Boom” Cabana and former champion, “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce. Cabana won the first three matches in the series, but Pearce regained the title with a victory in Kansas City on July 21st. Though he is still down 3 matches to 1, the roles will be reversed with Pearce holding the gold and Cabana looking to recapture the title and end the series. Everything is on the line for Pearce, as he has pledged to leave the NWA forever if he loses the series. Each match in the "Seven Levels of Hate" has a stipulation and on Saturday night, August 18th “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce and Colt “Boom Boom” Cabana will square off in a Dog Collar Match! In this bout, the two contestants will be joined together by an 18 foot steel chain attached to each man with a dog collar. The chain can be used as a weapon in the match.

Who do you expect to win this fight?
- Shogun Rua 88.7%
- Brandon Vera 11.3%

Who do you expect to win this fight?
- Lyoto Machida 78.8%
- Ryan Bader 21.2%

What do you think is the real main event at SummerSlam?-
- Lesnar vs. HHH 75.7%
- Punk vs. Cena vs. Show 21.2%
- Del Rio vs. Sheamus 3.1%

Which of these people most deserves a spot on the Hall of Fame ballot?
- Steiner Brothers 37.1%
- Rick Rude 22.4%
- Davey Boy Smith 12.3%
- Tito Santana 7.6%
- Ken Shamrock 5.8%
- Ron Simmons 5.6%
- New Age Outlaws 2.7%
- Rikishi 1.9%
- Wendi Richter 1.3%
- Bobby Roode 1.1%
- Mike Rotunda 1.0%
- Sandman 1.0%

What best describes your impression of WWE's current popularity?
- Raw 1,000 increased interest but now that it's over, it's back to normal 47.2%
- At the same level it's been for a while 18.6%
- Decreasing 16.8%
- Increasing 6.2%
- It is up due to Raw 1,000 , but you won't see the signs until after the Olympics 6.0%
- It's just starting to grow after Raw 1,000 5.2%

-- Demo reel for the FLAMES OF LOVE

-- Wrestlers are holding a Make-A-Wish fundraiser.

-- JR talks a number of subjects, including alerting us that, in fact, Undertaker is not dead.

-- A petition to get WWE to book Billy Gunn for a match. Yup.

-- A look at Rita Cortez, old-time pro-wrestler and country music star here.

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?