TUESDAY UPDATE: Early Raw numbers, more notes from the show, smartest wrestlers, GSP back, Harold, Smackdown line-up, UFC 152 full card, tons more
By Bryan Alvarez
We're looking for reports from Sunday's Raw show in Rockford, IL, Smackdown in Rochester, MN, and Saturday night's Raw show in Peoria.
Smackdown will be taped tonight in Green Bay.
Our annual SummerSlam issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is out this week, covering one of the year's biggest MMA shows, as well as a look at what has the potential to be the biggest women's fight of this era with Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Cyborg, what both have been saying and why right now, based on what they are saying, it may never happen. We also look at the business of the Strikeforce show, ratings, what they said, and coverage of the event. We also have notes on the new television deal to bring K-1 to Spike TV, as well as coverage of a pro wrestling show featuring one of the best matches of the year, a promotion most have never heard of that just drew more than 10,000 people to a major arena for a gimmick oriented event, the annual DDT mega show.
Plus,we've got our 2012 TNA roster directory, going through the entire roster of the promotion, with real names, ages, years pro, and backgrounds in sports and entertainment.
The issue is 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 beginnings of what ended up as the Monday Night Wars.
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.
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Our lead story looks at SummerSlam, including what was expected, not expected, where the finish of the main event came from, business of the show, booking as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results.
We also look at plans for Night of Champions in September.
We go in depth on the proposed Rousey vs. Cyborg fight, including politics behind where it can air, if it can air on PPV, whose decision that comes down to, as well as whether the match can happen or not. We've got extensive comments from both about where they stand in the argument, as well as where Rousey's career can go if the fight never takes place.
We also look at the show, including Rousey's career, what the rating meant, ticket sales, the Tate vs. Kedzie fight and Tate's comments after.
We also have an update on Linda McMahon's campaign and WWE feuding in words with her opponent, Chris Murphy. We've got notes on the discovery of the original WWWF title belt and a background in 1963 of how the title first came to being. We've got notes on the legal settlement and why the scratch logo is back on old WWF footage. We have notes on a Punk/Austin face-to-face interview session. We've got an update on Mark Henry's return, more on the WWE/Scooby Doo movie idea, tons more on new WWE signings and cuts, including one member of the U.S. Olympic team that is in talks. We've got more on the roster for WWE 13, and the latest on C.M. Punk vs. AW on AW's firing.
We also have notes on the WWE web site, the WWE You tube channel, Jim Ross talks origination of one of pro wrestling's mast famous gimmicks, Paul Heyman talks his WWE run, coverage of a WWE minor title change as mainstream, the next show in Madison Square Garden and A.J. talks about how she got into WWE.
We also look at plans for K-1 on Spike TV as well as Spike.com for the next several months and into 2013. We look at the lineup for the first show in Los Angeles, as well as K-1's rival as the big kickboxing league, Glory Sports.
We also have coverage of the crazy DDT promotion and how it drew one of the biggest non-WWE, New Japan, AAA or UFC crowds of 2012, as well as the main event that is getting talked about as one of the year's best bouts.
We also have an update of just how many homes all of the major cable providers that have pro wrestling or MMA programming are really in right now.
We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on how every segment of Raw and Impact 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:
--Wrestler wins a court case to give him the right to use one of the most famous names in wrestling history in a battle with a family member
--A look at CMLL's anniversary month and some of the big events on it
--A look at feuds being built up for the month
--Notes on the first night of the annual CMLL Champion of Champions tournament
--What major world champion has become a surprise entrant into the tournament
--How the new Mistico is drawing
--What the promotion is charging to get bookings with the new Mistico
--How much Sin Cara made at his peak as Mistico in Mexico
--American stars headed to Mexico for a major show
--A look at this past week's AAA TV taping
--Dragon Gate fills vacated title
--All Japan makes an offer for one of pro wrestling's all-time greats to be part of a legends tag team
--A look at All Japan's major show this week that celebrates Kaz Hayashi's 20th year as a pro wrestler
--Samoa Joe & Magnus return to Japan to defend their tag titles
--Notes on newcomers to Japan
--Notes on the NOAH jr. heavyweight tag team tournament
--Notes on the upcoming Yuji Nagata 20th year anniversary show
--Prince Devitt talks about New Japan in comparison to WWE and TNA
--The son of one of pro wrestling's biggest stars turns in his golf clubs to go to the Snake Pit
--Former WCW star running for mayor
--Dave Bautista's biggest acting role to date
--Former WWF star in the 80s now in jail
--Reality show star's death notes he did some pro wrestling
--Documentary on the history of ECW
--Return of Davey Richards to ROH and possible storyline
--Notes on ROH television tapings
--Why the Claire Lynch angle changed directions
--Early estimate on Hardcore Justice on PPV
--TNA injury notes
--Update on the Bound for Glory series
--Update on Sonjay Dutt in TNA
--Notes on Bound for Glory
--Taryn Terrell's TNA debut
--Notes on the new Gut Check competitor
--Notes on the Gail Kim wedding on television
--Former TNA wrestler with a big push sent to OVW
--TNA weekend house show notes
--The latest on Jon Jones vs Chael Sonnen and how likely that match is to happening
--Jones explains why he made the comments he did regarding Lyoto Machida and facing him again
--Notes handicapping Jones vs. Dan Henderson
--More on UFC 150 numbers
--Frankie Edgar's move to featherweight
--Thoughts on who Edgar's first opponent could be and where it could take place
--Dana White talks Anderson Silva vs. GSP one more time
--Update on the UFC lawsuit in New York, trying to be able to run events in the state
--Another UFC fighter arrested and being held
--Who will be on TRT at the next UFC event
--Thoughts on the UFC lightweight division with Edgar moving out
--UFC fighter safes a drowning person
--Urijah Faber talks future
--Jason Miller talks about the incident
--New UFC and Strikeforce fights
--UFC star training movie star in a major upcoming movie where he'll play the role of a former gold medalist
--Notes on the Bellator weekend show as well as a title match announced
--Shinya Aoki returns to action
--The Secretary of State in Nevada does his first, and he says his last, MMA fight
--A new promotion gets a U.S. TV deal
--More on Batista's MA debut
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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.
-- Early Raw numbers: First hour 4.2 million, second hour 4.8 million, third hour drop to 4.5 million for 4.5 million average. There was no strong football competition this week.
-- Regarding last night's show, have heard zero fallout regarding Punk blading on Raw, so apparently nothing became of it.
-- Georges St. Pierre announced today that he is medically cleared to return to full-time training, and is on target to fight Carlos Condit on November 17th at the Bell Centre in Montreal as planned. St. Pierre blew out his ACL and has been out of action for almost two years.
-- Latest Quinnipiac Poll (August 28) has Linda McMahon leading 49-46 over Christopher Murphy. It is Quinnipiac's first "likely voter" poll of the race. "The poll is good news for Linda McMahon. In our first likely voter poll in Connecticut, McMahon has a 3 point advantage in a too-close-to-call-race. Her edge is due to her double- digit lead among independent voters and being close among women, a group she struggled with in her 2010 run," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD. "McMahon has worked on her image in the last two years, and it shows. Voters like her more now than they did when she faced Richard Blumenthal in 2010."
-- Harold from last night's Anger Management skit -- who, by the way, is going by the name of former UFC fighter Harold Howard who scored what I guess should be considered a victory over Royce Gracie at UFC 3 when Gracie's corner threw in the towel before the fight -- was SoCal and recent TNA star Scorpio Sky. WWE was very happy with his performance in last night's skits. There are more to come. The skits were all filmed before SummerSlam and have been planned for awhile.
-- Just a quick note that I'm on "vacation" in Canon Beach, OR, all week. Reason I mention it is that my laptop here doesn't have the software to create the PDF version of Figure Four Weekly, so that won't be up until next week and if you're a hardcopy subscriber, that issue will be arriving very late. The online text version of the newsletter will still be up late tonight or tomorrow. I do have everything else here including a portable audio studio, so other than that the only major difference will be that Vinny's appearance tonight will be via phone instead of in-studio since he refuses to drive four hours down the coast to co-host the show.
-- A Facebook page has been set up hereto try to get Ric Flair a role in Hangover 3, after Flair mentioned having interest in doing so on a radio show this week.
-- Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler is scheduled for Smackdown tonight. I'd bet you anything Orton gets the win coming off tapping out clean to Alberto Del Rio next week. Ziggler doing jobs to both Sheamus and Orton, if that happens, might suggest he's cashing in his briefcase sooner rather than later.
-- Full line-up for UFC 152, replacing the MURDERED (Dana's words, not mine) UFC 151:
Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort for the light heavyweight title
Joseph Benevidez vs. Demetrious Johnson in a decision match for the flyweight title
Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann
Matt Hamill vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
Charles Oliveira vs. Cub Swanson
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Igor Pokrajac
Evan Dunham vs. TJ Grant
Lance Benoist vs. Sean Pierson
Marcus Brimage vs. Jim Hettes
Seth Baczynski vs. Simeon Thoresen
Mitch Gagnon vs. Walel Watson
Charlie Brenneman vs. Kyle Noke
-- Clips of Eve on NBC's Stars Earn Stripes up here.
-- Post-Raw interview with a very sad Triple H here.
-- Story on NO ONE LIVES which features the happy-go-lucky Brodus Clay killin dudes here.
-- Bellator Friday did 167,000 viewers, slightly below the season average.
-- WWE has a very wacky list hereof the 20 smartest superstars of all time. Smartest. Amazingly, they didn't rank HHH number one (he got third, and not for the reasons many would list), but rather, yes, PAUL HEYMAN. That was something else. I was amused that in the description there was a video link that read, "Watch Heyman sue Triple H". Well, there's a storyline that went nowhere.
Who did the best job of carrying the brand this year as world champion?
C.M. Punk 50.0%
Bobby Roode 22.8%
Hiroshi Tanahashi 9.7%
Kevin Steen 4.4%
Austin Aries 4.2%
Kazuchika Okada 3.6%
Davey Richards 1.6%
Jun Akiyama 1.4%
Who do you consider WWE's biggest star right now?
John Cena 49.0%
C.M. Punk 28.1%
Brock Lesnar 21.2%
What are your personal thoughts regarding Jon Jones and shows he is now on?
Like him the same as before, makes no difference regarding buying shows 32.6%
Didn't like him before, still don't, makes no difference regarding buying shows 29.4%
Dislike him more, less interested him buying shows he's on 22.5%
Dislike him more, but will buy shows he's on because he's become a bigger star and want to see him lose 11.4%
I like him more after this, but won't buy more shows he's on 2.4%
I like him more and will buy more shows he's on 1.6%
Which of these matches are you most looking forward to?
Rousey vs. Cyborg 55.1%
Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 28.0%
GSP vs. Condit 14.5%
Jones vs. Belfort 2.4%
Which of these matches would you have the most interest in?
Punk vs. Rock 32.8%
Lesnar vs. Undertaker 32.5%
Lesnar vs. Rock 15.4%
Cena vs. Undertaker 11.3%
Cena vs. Bryan 5.4%
Cena vs. Rock 1.0%
Punk vs. Sheamus 0.9%
Lesnar vs. HHH 0.8%
-- Upcoming MMA TV show previews:
On this week’s “UFC Ultimate Insider” host Jon Anik sits down with middleweight contender Michael “The Count” Bisping to discuss his past, present and future. Then, the two breakdown the current state of the UFC in an animated discussion. Gracie Brothers, Rener and Ryron, join the show to explain the technique and strategy behind Jon Jones’ devastating guillotine choke at UFC 140 that led to his victory over Lyoto Machida. Lastly, Joe Rogan participates in “Rogan Riffs: Celebrations,” where he reflects on the most memorable Octagon celebrations in UFC history. Rogan evaluates which fighters have the most crowd pleasing routines and which ones leave him scratching his head.
On this week’s “UFC Tonight,” we break down the latest on UFC 151's cancellation and look forward to UFC 152. Vitor Belfort joins us to talk about how he landed on the main event of UFC 152, joined the Blackzilions, moved to light heavyweight, and how this "Old Lion" will beat "young lion" Jon Jones. Plus, “UFC Tonight” Analyst Kenny Florian reveals the truth behind whether Chael Sonnen knew of Dan Henderson's injury when he started talking trash about Jon Jones two weeks ago on “UFC Tonight.” We also have an update on Chris Weidman's situation and who he is willing to fight if the Anderson Silva match doesn't happen. Find out the latest on a possible fight between Mark Munoz and Hector Lombard. And Brendan Schaub talks exclusively about his upcoming fight with Lavar Johnson.
-- Big interview with Chris Jericho herewhere he discusses the real story behind everything he tried to fool everyone about all last year.
-- Colt Cabana's comments backstage after his stage 5 best of seven battle with Adam Pearce over the NWA Heavyweight title is here. Next up -- TEXAS DEATH MATCH.
-- The 22nd annual PWI 500 list, published by Pro Wrestling Illustrated, is available now for digital download at pwi-online.com. The print version will hit the newsstands on September 18.