FRI UPDATE: Lots of WWE news, former WWE star works TNA tapings, weekend schedule, UFC notes, more

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

We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE Raw house show in St. Joseph, MO headlined by C.M. Punk vs. Big Show.

No major events this week, with the major show being a Saturday afternoon UFC show which starts at 4 p.m. Eastern and 1 p.m. Pacific on Fuel coming from Nottingham, England.

Bellator opens its season tonight in Atlantic City with a welterweight tournament that starts at 8 p.m:

Andrey Koreshkov (170.8) vs. Jordan Smith (169.8)

Michail Tsarev (171) vs. Tim Welch (170.4)

Nordine Taleb (170.8) vs. Marius Zaromskis (170.8)

Lyman Good (170.2) vs. Jim Wallhead (169.8)

Smackdown at 8 p.m.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella for U.S. title

Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya

Zack Ryder vs. Wade Barrett

Usos vs. Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow

Ryback vs. Tensai

Randy Orton vs. Big Show

Saturday's UFC show:

Facebook fights at 1:45 p.m. Eastern

Robbie Peralta (15-3, 1 no contest, 144) vs. Jason Young (9-5, 145)

Gunnar Nelson (9-0-1, 175) vs. DaMarques Johnson (18-11, 183)

Brad Tavares (8-2, 185) vs. Tom Kong Watson (15-4, 186)

Akira Corassani (11-4-1, 144) vs. Andy Ogle (8-1, 144)

Jimi Manuwa (11-0, 204) vs. Kyle Kingsbury (11-4, 1 no contest, 204)

Live on Fuel at 4 p.m.

Che Mills (14-5, 1 no contest, 170) vs. Duane Ludwig (29-13, 169)

John Maguire (18-3, 169) vs. John Hathaway (15-1, 169)

Matt Wiman (14-6, 156) vs. Paul Sass (13-0, 156)

Yves Jabouin (18-7, 136) vs. Brad Pickett (22-6, 135)

Amir Sadollah (7-3, 169) vs. Dan Hardy (24-10, 1 no contest, 169)

Stipe Miocic (9-0, 239) vs. Stefan Struve (28-5, 251)

Raw has a house show on Saturday night in Topeka while Smackdown opens its tour in Abilene.

Sunday has a Raw house show in Wichita while Smackdown has a house show in Wichita Falls. So weird how they are on the same night. Hopefully nobody goes to the wrong state.

Monday is the live Raw from Oklahoma City. It is Jim Ross Appreciation Night, which as of last word is only for the live audience. No matches have been announced for the show. Superstars will also be taped.

Smackdown, the first episode of WWE Main Event (and the plan, at least at first, is to use main event caliber matches) and Saturday Morning Slam are taped on Tuesday night in Tulsa.

        We've got two issues on the web site and one double sized issue in print coming out this week.  Both issues are currently up on the site.

        Our lead story looks at an update on Jerry Lawler, updating his physical condition, his recovery from the heart attack and his appearance on Raw.  We also have more on Lawler history in Memphis, including the Jerry Lawler vs. Jimmy Valiant feud, Lawler's first retirement angle, the forgotten night that Lawler won the AWA title from Nick Bockwinkel but it was only mentioned in Memphis, the Lawler vs. Bockwinkel angle including when Bockwinkel came in as AWA champion to defend even though Rick Martel was champion at the time, as well as the only time Bobby Heenan ever managed Bockwinkel in Memphis.
        We also look at what SummerSlam says about Brock Lesnar, including comparing this year's PPV numbers with every SummerSlam dating back to 2008 both on a domestic and international basis and how interesting those numbers are. 
        We also look back at UFC 152, with the story behind Jon Jones and Dana White making up, business notes from the show, a look at ticket sales before Jon Jones was on the card and after and what that means.  We also look at the top fights on the show, the judging, the unique fight that could have been judged three different ways based on what scoring system was used, as well as poll results and a show rundown.
        We also look at WWE's new deal with Hulu Plus, what it entails, how this does or doesn't affect the proposed network and how the Raw on the USA Network and the repeat showing on Hulu Plus are altogether different.
        We also look at New Japan's Destruction PPV, running down the stories and the results, as well as a look at the big head-to-head showdown in the Tokyo area in two weeks where New Japan and Pro Wrestling NOAH both have major shows, and what NOAH is doing to compete.
        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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        We also look at the WWE's relationship with Silver Vision ending, an update on John Cena's elbow surgery, another WWE star gets two operations during his down time, the Linda McMahon run for senate and how nasty it has gotten and how the public is viewing it.  We look at the McMahons paying back people they owe, the McMahons late on tax bills, Murphy late out his mortgage and how both candidates are now turning off voters.  We also look at the Democratic party's behind the scenes view on this being such a pivotal race because the senate majority is in jeopardy in this election.
        We've got more on Cameron's legal issues, the crazy schedule for nearly next year of Dwayne Johnson, a look at how Beth Phoenix got into WWE and her departure, the new plans for TV tapings starting next week as well as the WWE schedule for the end  of the year.  We also look at current plans for November.
        We look at WWE signing new broadcasters, the NXT TV tapings, how Edge's episode of Haven did, Chris Jericho post WWE and his musical career, WWE you tube channel, a roster wrestler seemingly forgotten shows up, a wrestler just cut talks about her departure and reputation.  We also look at the WWE business over the past week and a rundown of all the house shows.
        We also look at the life and career of Don Hatfield, better known as Don Fields from the famous Fields brothers of the 50s and 60s, and their role in wrestling in Alabama and Tennessee, and a look at one of the largest pro wrestling families of all-time that they came from.
        We also have a rundown of the Dragon Gate Dangerous Gate PPV show from the past weekend.   
         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:
--More on WWE and All Japan
--Kevin Nash returns to Japan
--A rundown of All Japan's major weekend show including the NWO reunion with Nash, Keiji Muto and Masahiro Chono
--What major foreign star in Japan returns in two weeks
--A look at All Japan's major show of October
--A rundown of NOAH's junior heavyweight tag team tournament
--Building NOAH's next major show
--Reports of New Japan offering seven figures to sign a new wrestler, while likely exaggerated, who they are interested in
--American becomes first foreigner to win Zero-One jr. tournament
--Two Hall of Famers set for a rematch in nostalgia based group in Japan
--Inoki's next lineup featuring a crazy variety of well known stars from different worlds
--Update on Jesse Ventura
--One of the longest running pro wrestling shows in history comes back after more than a decade to its original channel, and the two stars from the territorial era who are bringing it back
--What son of one of pro wrestling's all-time legends is being trained for that group
--A look at the Northeast Wrestling show with Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper at Dutchess Stadium in New York
--A look at the Hogan/Piper showdown
--Roddy Piper's fading memory
--Two different former major league baseball players wrestle over the weekend
--The former genuine celebrity player who got no pub for his debut, and the irony about his debut
--ROH handling of the iPPV mishap
--A look at the ROH schedule for the rest of the year
--Running down the ROH TV tapings over the weekend and where the angles are headed
--Notes on TNA Bound for Glory
--TNA makes plans for WrestleMania weekend
--How DVR viewership affects TNA
--Why some of the women have quit TNA
--Why independent promoters more and more are getting away from using TNA talent
--The situation with TNA and Jeff Hardy
--A look at the TNA house shows over the weekend
--Where the biggest name promoters stand right now as far as the wealthiest people in the country
--A look at the Strikeforce cancellation and everything behind the scenes as to why
--How Zuffa is handling it with the fighters
--How it's different for Strikeforce fighters than UFC fighters when it comes to the cancellation
--Zuffa, Strikeforce and Showtime going forward, why the relationship at times seems bad but why they may need each other
--A look at Saturday's UFC show
--Dana White talks Sonnen vs. Jones
--A look at the situation involving Daniel Cormier needing an opponent
--White talks about Anthony Johnson
--More on Rampage Jackson and his future
--New UFC matches signed
--Former WWE star starting as a regular on a soap opera
--Major star disappears
--A great run of business forgotten in history with a feud that drew 15,000 fans five straight Friday nights
--Major promotion gets a new television deal
--Mexico ratings
--Another interpromotional angle
--How boxing shows destroyed wrestling gate
--Update on Jim Powers as he battles staph infection
--Rulon Gardner's bankruptcy case
--Update on John Morrison
--Why a lot of WWE wrestlers have been leaving
--Notes on CHIKARA King of Trios
--Cyndi Lauper talks her experience in pro wrestling
--Update on Abdullah the Butcher
--Update on Superstar Graham
--Former Tough Enough winner captures international title
--Update on Ultimate Warrior
--PBS documentary airs this week
--Retirement of Cole Konrad
--Bellator's new season opener
--More on Batista's MMA debut
--Why he has a new opponent
--Notes on his opponent
--Latest on the boxing business
--What it teaches about promotion
--How Canelo Alvarez on Showtime drew compared to major MMA fights
--Gina Carano stars in what is expected to be first of a new franchise
--Promotional feud in Japan starting up
--Super Fight League announces new strategy for producing television and will air weekly in the U.S.
--SFL makes deal with a U.S. group
--Major promotion that has stopped running shows is now officially folded
--Biggest college wrestling match in years coming in a few weeks
--Kickboxing world champion set to make MMA debut in a few weeks
--Head-to-head PPVs coming in the first week of October
--Whatever happened to Bob Sapp
        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.

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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.

-- Jerry Lawler is doing a meet and greet today at the Mid-South Fair in Southaven, Memphis. During a local TV interview today he said he plans to appear before the live crowd when WWE returns to Memphis on October 18th, and that he does plan to return to pro-wrestling. Not sure if he’ll be announcing on the 18th, but his voice is still really rough post-surgery.

-- As of today, WWE has not released Shaul Guerrero.

-- Kelly Kelly, on the other hand, is officially gone per a WWE announcement today. This obviously had been a long time coming. More on the front page.

-- Regarding Batista's fight, replacement opponent Bruno McKee is also out as he felt he didn't have enough training time for the fight. Promoter Pat Sullivan said there is a new opponent but we still don't have a name. So stay tuned. Batista will be on our radio show next Wednesday talking the event.

-- Dave (Meltzer) has a big story on Batista here, and several others up at as well.

-- Jillian Hall, formerly of WWE and OVW fame, did a tryout match versus Tara at last night’s TNA tapings. Speaking of OVW, just wanted to personally send out my best wishes to Kenny Bolin, who is stepping away from Ohio Valley and pro-wrestling after many, many years to deal with health issues. I met Kenny in 2008 when I went to OVW to do an Iron Man Match with Ted McNaylor, and Bolin was very nice to me and always did a great job on the local television shows. During their farewell to him last night they announced that the area near the curtain at the Davis Arena was going to be renamed “The Bolin Position” after the famed Gorilla Position in WWE.

-- UFC on FUEL weigh-in notes are up on the front page right now. No major stories. The deal with the DeMarques Johnson vs. Gunnar Nelson weights is that Johnson was a late replacement and both sides agreed to a 175-pound catch weight (as opposed to 170). Johnson, however, couldn’t make weight, only getting down to 183, so he’ll be docked 20% of his purse.

-- Dana White said today that Rashad Evans would probably fight again in December or January. Clay Guida is also dropping to 145 pounds.

-- Happy day for all New Japan fans as their October 8th King of Pro-Wrestling Ryogoku event will air worldwide on PPV through They’re going to promote nine matches including five IWGP title bouts for $25 US. The first New Japan iPPV that aired only in Japan did a ridiculously huge number of buys. You can check out the website here. It’s a pretty damn big show headlined by Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki for the IWGP Heavyweight title. The full line-up and preview is in the new Observer which is up on the site this week.

-- Lucha notes from Kris Zellner: EMLL had a press conference yesterday where Mercurio & Mini Fantasy signed a contract to have their mask match at Arena Mexico on 10/14.

Latin Lover who had his appendix taken out last week is now back in intensive care in a Monterrey hospital due to a bacterial infection in his abdomen from his surgical scar. After his surgery, Lover went to Texas to see his son and when he came back to Monterrey he had extreme diarrhea and a high temperature which forced him to go to the hospital where the doctors found the infection. As of now it isn't known what the bacteria is quite yet.

-- Sad to report the death of Ted Boy Marino, one of Brazil’s top babyfaces from the 1960s show Telecatch. He underwent emergency surgery after a case of thrombosis and died of cardiac arrest shortly afterwards. Thanks to Kurt Brown.

-- According to WWE, reports that the Attitude Era DVD has been canceled are not true. It’s still scheduled for a November release.

-- Kyle writes: Found Fight Factory on Hulu+ too for those interested. Found it when just searching networks and there is one for nuvoTV. A lot of people would call this the best TV show of the entire week most weeks.

-- WrestleForce will be holding it’s third Fall Brawl event on Saturday October 20th at The Loose Cockaboose Sports Bar & Grill in Columbia, South Carolina featuring WrestleForce Champion The Salem Sinner Sixx (managed by The Fabulous Playboy Bob Keller) defending his title in an All or Nothing Four-way match against The Southern Savior John Skyler, former Impact Wrestling superstar Chase Stevens, & Juggernaut Jon Malus. Other matches will have stipulations determined by a spin of the wheel.

-- Pro wrestler arrested after fan attack.

-- Ultimate Warrior signing on October 6th in Portland, ME. All the details are up here. They have a $500 ALWAYS BELIEVE package available for parties of two.

-- A story about Jim Ross Appreciation Day in Oklahoma Monday night is up here.

-- And speaking of JR, his latest blog post is up here.

-- Zack Ryder’s latest Youtube show is up here.

What is the biggest factor in UFC on FX ratings being down?
UFC losing popularity 47.2%
FX doesn't promote the product as well as Spike 18.5%
Bad mix, Spike hit the demo directly, FX or a more well rounded network 13.8%
Friday night is a bad night 11.4%
All the build up is on Fuel which people don't see 8.3%
Two hour prelims vs. one hour 0.8%

What is the biggest factor in Raw ratings being down?
Three hour show 42.5%
Continuation of slow decline in casual interest 26.7%
Football is tougher this year 17.8%
No new stars have broken through 13.0%

Will Bound for Glory beat last year's number?
Yes, better angles 22.7%
No, a few weeks away and haven't promoted enough of the show 19.5%
No, angles are weaker 16.3%
Yes, better TV and a stronger promotion 15.6%
Yes, Hardy in a stronger spot as he's the most popular guy 7.8%
No, weaker promotion than a year ago 7.4%
No, worse lineup 6.0%
Yes, if Hogan wrestles 4.6%

-- Pro Wrestling Syndicate's brand new all women's wrestling promotion Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling debuts live in less than two weeks! The freshest women's wrestling action comes to you live on Thursday night October 11th at The Rahway Rec Center on 275 East Milton Ave in Rahway, NJ (30 minutes from NYC) and live on Internet Pay Per View. Watch the entire show LIVE via 4 high definition cameras featuring exclusive backstage content by visiting

-- Colt Cabana and "Scrap Iron" Adam Pearce left it all in the ring during Stage Five of "Seven Levels of Hate", a DOG COLLAR MATCH on August 18 in suburban Boston for New England Championship Wrestling. Pearce was able to retain the vaunted "ten pounds of gold" and now goes into a TEXAS DEATH MATCH for stage six THIS SUNDAY, September 30 in Salem, OR for NWA West Coast Wrestling Connection. Cabana still leads the series 3-2; which means if Pearce loses one more match he will lose the title, the series, and must leave the NWA forever.

-- Ed, Craig and Cutrer talk the news of the week tonight here.

-- Edge will join host Jack Encarnacao on The Mouthpiece Wrestling show at 10 a.m. Saturday on NBC Sports Radio 1510 AM Boston. Edge talks his life after WWE, who the smoothest guy he's worked with in the ring and how different his character would be coming up in the current WWE. To learn more about the show, follow @MouthpieceRadio and MouthpieceRadio on Facebook.

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?