MON. UPDATE: Notes on tonight's Raw; Fight to the wire in NY, Batista, Foley, Biggest WWE star ever



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        We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday night's UFC 131 from Vancouver as well as last night's TNA Slammiversary show, 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 looking for reports on tonight's Raw tapings from the Nassau Coliseum with dark matches and Superstars matches.  Remember, it's a three-hour show starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time.  Kelly Kelly in promoting the show said she expects a seven vs. seven Divas match.  Steve Austin will be the guest General Manager.  John Cena vs. The Miz is the advertised main event.  Andy Leavine was scheduled to be written into the show.
 
        We're also looking for reports on tonight's Impact tapings in Orlando.
 
        Tomorrow will be Smackdown and NXT tapings in Providence as well as the second night of Impact tapings in Orlando. 
 
        We're also looking for reports on yesterday's WWE house show in Madrid, Spain, as well as Saturday's Smackdown in Barcelona, Spain, Friday night's WWE shows in Florence, Italy, Syracuse, NY and TNA in Marion, IL, as well as Thursday night's WWE show in Turin, Italy.
 
        Randy Savage:  The Early Years is the theme for the lead feature story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which also details the resignation of the president of one of the top wrestling companies in the world, the fallout from the stroke suffered by Super Hate, the most detailed look at the Tough Enough decision making, the stardom of Clay Guida, the Ultimate Fighter finals, plus the latest PPV notes on boxing, wrestling and MMA including some new numbers that are both good and not so good.  We also have our quarterly business charts for both WWE and TNA, so you can see how both companies right now are shaping up in all the key categories.
 
       The issue will be up on the site today.  A new back issue from early 1994 was put up earlier in the week and another will be up in a few days.  Between the Observer and Figure Four Weekly, we have about 14 issues put up every month and dozens of new audio shows for web site subscribers including coverage after the shows of every major pro wrestling and MMA event.
 
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        Our story on Savage includes a look at his death, funeral, his days in baseball, the Randy Savage-Vince McMahon issues, the end of his career in WCW, negotiations in the last decade for him to return, his connecting with baseball friends after being in wrestling and using baseball players on television to put him over.
 
        We look back at the start of Savage's career, how long he worked under a mask, the first match he had under the name Randy Poffo, as well as the first match as Randy Savage and the first match and debut of the Macho Man name.
 
        We look at his run from territory to territory during the 70s, as he worked his way up the ladder, and the places where he got his first breaks. 
 
        We also go into the history of the infamous ICW promotion, including the unique way it started, the first grandstand challenge, the feud with Ronnie Garvin, The Slapowitz Syndicate, the unique departure of their TV announcer, the beginning of the career of Elizabeth, and more on challenges made to the stars of other promotions and how they were viewed at the time.
 
        We look at the war between the ICW and Jarrett Promotions, including police having to take action, Savage's bragging about beating up one of the Jarrett top stars on television, what wrester Vince McMahon asked him to shoot on, the downfall of the ICW, and the night he took on the police and a police dog.
 
        We also look at the Tough Enough finale, the background of Andy Leavine and why he won.  We also look at the qualities that killed Luke Robinson, the advantages Leavine had going in and the bizarre "it" factor remark.  We also look at the clever way Vince McMahon handled the ratings, talks about season two, where the rating peaked on Monday's show and what the final segment meant. 
 
        We also look at how Leavine got into pro wrestling.
 
        We also look at Clay Guida and the Ultimate Fighter finals, with business notes, poll results, how every match did in the ratings, the Kingsbury vs. Maldonado decision, plus match-by-match coverage and the announced purses for all the fighters.
 
        We look at attendance, ratings and PPV for WWE and TNA and how business is faring, as well as what areas are strongest for UFC and WWE on PPV right now.
 
        We also have more on Linda McMahon running for office, a new member of the WWE Board of Directors, lots of WWE injury notes, Changes in WWE magazine being tackled about, video game name change and why, New WWE developmental, Capitol Combat notes, SummerSlam activities, why WWE is bullish on India, Dwayne Johnson's movie career and Kharma talks Jim Ross.  We also have Bret Hart's return, news on Batista, why a current WWE performer hasn't been on television, what percentage of Raw viewers watch live vs. tape, as well as business notes from the past week and main stuff on the house shows.  
 
        We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw and Impact did and what viewers came and left. 
 
       We also have our usual weekly features with results of the major arena shows from around the world, and the major TV show rundowns and reviews.
       
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Also in this week's issue:
 
--New top contender for CMLL heavyweight title
 
--Arena Mexico weekly coverage
 
--New idol tournament and two other championship tournaments
 
--What happened at the TripleMania press conference and what TNA stars were brought to Mexico City
 
--What TNA tag team is being put back together, but not in TNA
 
--AAA trying to copy U.S. reality shows
 
--Three former WWE stars form a trio in Mexico on major show
 
--A look at the Dragon Gate USA tour and big matches
 
--The two year anniversary of the death of Mitsuharu Misawa
 
--Update on Manabu Nakanishi
 
--Details of the 2011 Best of the Super Junior tournament
 
--Former star returns to promotion after 11 years
 
--90s star announces his retirement and just had final match
 
--A look at the Urban Wrestling Federation
 
--Pittsburgh Studio Wrestling reunion
 
--Roddy Piper vs. Terry Funk in 2011
 
--One of wrestling's most famous arenas being shut down
 
--Update on the next major ROH show  
 
--A look at the departures of both Mick Foley and Tommy Dreamer from TNA
 
--A look at the backstage mentality in TNA
 
--Foley talks WWE Hall of Fame
 
--Foley talks chair shots to the head in wrestling
 
--Wrestlers TNA is planning on giving major pushes to
 
--Will Chyna return?
 
--How television usage is changing
 
--Notes on UFC 131
 
--New UFC video game with a twist
 
--More on GSP vs. Nick Diaz
 
--Interesting political move by Spike
 
--The attempt to get MMA legalized in New York
 
--What aspect of its business is UFC pushing
 
--UFC's debut in Milwaukee
 
--More on upcoming Strikeforce shows
 
--Upcoming UFC shows
 
--New UFC matches announced
 
--Joe Warren makes a title defense
 
--Former star fighter in another sport heads to MMA
 
 
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--It is crunch time in New York as MMA forces have until a week from today to get a vote on the Assembly floor for a bill that would legalize MMA in the state.  If that doesn't happen, as the session ends, they would have to start the process in both houses all over again.  UFC took out a full page ad in today's New York Post urging people to call their Assembly rep and ask them to support the bill and to call for a vote.  The ad says, "Be sure to tell them that you live in their district. Be firm but polite."
 
Dana White wrote an article in the New York Daily News today, saying it's time to allow MMA in New York.  "I won't pretend to be objective.  I run the UFC, the single most popular MMA promotion company.  White I think that our fans here in New York and the city would profit immensely from legislation it will also certainly affect my bottom line."  He talked about how if a fighter gets a concussion, they are forced out of training and matches for a specified time period, saying no other sport has that (actually commission regulated boxing and kickboxing do as well).  He said there has never been a serious injury in the history of UFC and said it was odd that New York allows and celebrates football which has had far more serious injuries while clinging to the idea MMA is legalized assault.   This article is at http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2011/06/13/2011-06-13_ny_stop_fighting_this_sport.html
 
Bad news was that a Siena College poll of registered voters that came out today was that 55% felt MMA should not be legalized as opposed to 39% which felt it should be legalized with 7% undecided.  As expected, younger voters were strongly in favor and older voters were strongly against.  This is the third time a major poll has been done in the last two years, and while this poll showed a gap closing by about 10 points from before, all three polls (one of which had a misleading question that could have skewed results and there is an argument this one did as well, while the other did not) showed a strong majority against legalization.
 
State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, who is a supporter of the bill, wrote a story that came out today at http://www.gchron.com/news/central/article_03d98f2d-318f-5326-a-7d0-9a7107cc1dd8.html
 
--Not that this is going to make much of a difference on the TNA buy rate, but the Heat vs. Mavericks game last night did a 15.0 rating based on the overnights.
 
--We've got our third straight night of Observer radio tonight, covering Raw, Impact and the rest of the news.  If you've got any questions for tonight's show, you can send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--Tonight's Raw was still being written tonight.  The expectation was they would have angles to set up two matches for Sunday's PPV.
 
--Expect Zack Ryder to get a big reaction when he appears on the show since it's from Long Island.
 
--Dave Bautista will be our guest on Wednesday's Wrestling Observer radio show. 
 
--Speaking of Dave Bautista, his new MMA gym will be having a grand opening on Saturday in Tampa.  Batista and Cesar Gracie are partners in the gym, and they, along with Nick Diaz will be signing autographs from 4 to 8 p.m.  The gym is called Gracie Fighter Tampa and is at 6333 N. Dale Mabry Highway.
 
--Without getting into any specifics of the story, Mick Foley wrote a long thank you upon leaving TNA at http://mickfoley.typepad.com
 
--Juggalo Championship Wrestling on 6/30 has an iPPV from Clutch Cargos in Pontiac, MI.   Matches will be announced soon.
 
--ROH announced Eddie Edwards, Charlie Haas, Shelton Benjamin, Roderick Strong, Davey Richards, El Generico, Mark & Jay Briscoe, All Night Express, Chris Hero, Michael Elgin, Colt Cabana, Steve Corino, Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, Tommaso Ciampa and Mike Bennett appearing on 7/8 in Richmond and 7/9 in Charlotte.  Haas & Benjamin will defend the tag titles in Richmond.
 
--Who do you expect to win this fight
Cain Velasquez 66.5%
Junior Dos Santos 33.5%
        Interesting because Dos Santos is the betting favorite.
 
--Best TV show of the past week
UFC 131 prelims 22.7%
Tough Enough final 21.4%
Smackdown 17.3%
Raw 12.5%
Impact 11.5%
Countdown to UFC 131 5.4%
CMLL 3.4%
AAA 2.4%
Inside MMA 1.4%
Maximum Fighting Championships 1.4%
MMA Live 0.7%
 
--Biggest star in WWE history
Hulk Hogan 48.8%
Steve Austin 24.8%
Bruno Sammartino 9.6%
The Rock 7.6%
Shawn Michaels 2.4%
Undertaker 1.7%
Bret Hart 1.5%
Superstar Graham 1.1%
Randy Savage 0.9%
HHH 0.7%
John Cena 0.5%
Roddy Piper 0.4%  
 
     
 
--For those in the Cincinnati area, interested in strength training with a different approach, there is a seminar on6/17 and 6/18 at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center in Cincinnati with former NFL and major division I strength coaches Kim Wood (who is the person who came up with the Brian Pillman mid 90s wrestling character), Dan Riley, Mike Gittleson and Mike Asanovich.  For more info you can go to www.footballstrength.com  Clinic is only $25.  I probably learned more about functional strength training from Wood than pretty much everyone else in my life combined and it's a completely different approach than you'd learn just about anywhere else.
 
--C.M. Punk retweeted someone writing "Why does something tell me that even though WWE will have Steve Austin and C.M. Punk under the same roof tomorrow they'll fuck it up."
 
--The Urban Wrestling Federation announced a PPV on 6/26 which is a tape of the 6/3 show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan.  
 
--New York Wrestling Connection on 6/11 in Port Jefferson Station, NY:  Odie Montes b Marty Flames, J.T. Kasin b Tony Nese, K-Murda b Mikey Whipwreck, Syther b Kieran, Dickie Rodz & Nickie 6 b Francis Kipland Stevens III & Violet, K-Pusha b Spyder and Manny Martinez, King Mega & Alex Reynolds b Kenny Royal & DJ Pat, Stockade b Dimitrios Papadon, Apollyon & Rex Lawless b Tony Burma & Ryan Rush.  Next show is Saturday night in Deer Park, NY.
 
--Pro Wrestling Eclipse on 6/19 in North Oshawa, ONT for a 12:30 p.m. show headlined by  Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin
 
--Live Pro Wrestling from Saturday night in Dorchester, ONT before 60 fans:  Supremo Fantastico b Jake O'Reilly, Michael Elgin b Brent B, Derek Wylde b Mike Rollins, Courtney Rush b Holly Hilton, Jon Bolen b Crazzy Steve, Jake O'Reilly & Michael Elgin b Brent B & Phil Atlas, Robbie McAllister b Reza Stars (thanks to Steven Ashe)
 
--Showtime All-Star Wrestling from Saturday night in Gallatin, TN before 325 fans:  Ryan Genesis b Jesse Emerson, David Young b Michah Taylor, Sigmon b Matt Korbaine, Jeremiah Plunkett b Chris Cane, Vinnie & Sonny Scarboni b Jeff Daniels & Jocephus-DQ, Ryan Genesis & Bryan Wilcott b David Young & Jesse Emerson, Derrick King b J.P. Magnum, Cody Melton b Drew Haskins in a loser leaves town, Crimson Tommy Mercer DCOR Chase Stevens, Tracy Taylor b Miss Rachel, Kid Kash b Chris Michaels to become SAW International champion (Gunner from TNA was the champion but he's not coming back to defend it).  Promoter Reno Riggins got into it with Kash to set up a return date in September, that also includes Mercer vs. Stevens in a cage match. (thanks to Larry Goodman)
 
--Platinum Championship Wrestling on Friday night in Avondale Estates at the Academy Theater
 
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on 6/26 at the AIW Arena in St. Gregory's Byzantine Hall in Lakewood, OH headlined by Johnny Gargano vs. Tim Donst, plus Sabu, Eddie Kingston and B.J. Whitmer.  This will take place after a CHIKARA show in the same building.
 
--All Pro Wrestling in the Bay Area has pulled out of KFTY-50, with the last show the one that aired on Saturday.  They will stay on TV on KAXV-14 in the Salinas area, but the TV that will be pushed is on the APW Youtube channel.  According to booker John LaRocca, they felt the combination of the increased price of being on the air plus the poor time slot, it was best not to do what they thought was wasting money, at least right now. 
 
--NWA MSW on Friday night in Sabine, WV at the Upper Laurel Fire Department headlined by Stro vs. Pitbull Bob Brown.  This isn't the more famous Bob Brown who passed away years ago.  They also run Saturday night in Alderson WV at the Community Center.
 
--Traditional Championship Wrestling from Saturday night in Fort Smith, AR before 250 fans:  Killer Nikels b Andy Dalton, Jacob Kilgore b Dustin Heritage, Bull Schmitt b Chas Cardington, Genetic Perfection b Danny Matthews & Galon Ramirez, Jimmy Youngblood b Jon Michael Worthington, Matt Riviera b Prince Al-Farat-DQ, Jeff Jett b Greg Anthony.  TV starts 7/9 on MY 5.2w at 11:30 a.m. in Northwest Arkansas and on Public Access Ch. 6 on Mondays at 7 p.m. in Russellville and Clarksville.  Bobby Eaton managed Anthony.  Next show in Fort Smith is 10/15 and will include appearances by Harley Race and Jerry Lynn.  They also run 8/6 in Clarksville at the Marvin Vinson Center with Rodney Mack, Doug Somers and Bobby Eaton. 
 
--Fight Card Entertainment runs Saturday night in Waukegan, IL at the Sundance Saloon for an MMA show.
 
--Yesterday at Arena Naucalpan:  Centurion & Dinmiac Black b Alan Extreme & Kenshin Black, Dr. Cerebro & Golden Magic & Micke Segura b Carta Brava Jr. & Comando Negro & Imposible, Los Oficiales b Black Terry & El Hijo del Pantera & Multifacetico, El Hijo del Fresero & Mascara Ano 2000 Jr. & Super Crazy b Angel & Pantera & Veneno, Freelance b Avisman in a hair vs. hair match (thanks to Kris Zellner) 


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