THURS. UPDATE: Barnett steals from Dusty, Thesz book, UFC Brazil, Huge weekend, Ross surgery, Riot



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        Big weekend of action, in fact among the biggest of the year coming up. 
 
        It starts with a TNA house show tonight in London, ONT at the John Labatte Centre headlined by Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle for the TNA title, A.J. Styles vs. Scott Steiner and James Storm & Alex Shelley vs. British Invasion for the tag titles, plus Abyss vs. Kazarian for the X title and Jeff Jarrett vs. Eric Young.
 
        Friday has a WWE Super Show in Lowell, MA, TNA in Toronto at the Ricoh Coliseum with Anderson vs. Angle, Matt Morgan vs. Steiner and Storm & Shelley vs. British Invasion.  CMLL has its Juicio Final show at Arena Mexico with Averno vs. La Mascara in a mask vs. mask match.
 
        Saturday is loaded with the Strikeforce Grand Prix show from the American Airlines Center in Dallas featuring Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum, Brett Rogers vs. Josh Barnett, Daniel Cormier vs. Jeff Monson, Chad Griggs vs. Valentijn Overeem and K.J. Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal on the Showtime card that starts at 10 p.m.  The prelims will start at 8 p.m. on HDNet and be headlined by J.Z. Cavalcante vs. Justin Wilcox.
 
        AAA has TripleMania with Mesias putting up his hair against the mask of L.A. Park, plus Zorro vs. Jeff Jarrett for the AAA heavyweight title, Rob Van Dam vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. to create the Latin American champion, Psycho Circus vs. Perro Aguayo Jr. & Damian 666 & Halloween to create the AAA trios titles and a cage match for the tag titles with Jack Evans & Extreme Tiger defending against Mr. Anderson & Abyss.
 
        Saturday also has a major New Japan show in Osaka which includes Prince Devitt vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP jr. title. 
 
        WWE also has a loaded lineup Super Show at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ with John Cena vs. R-Truth, Randy Orton vs. Christian and Miz vs Alex Riley headlining.  Not sure if Orton will be wrestling on this show.  TNA has a big show in Buffalo outdoors at Coca Cola Field featuring an appearance by Hulk Hogan, plus Angle vs. Steiner, Storm & Sheley vs. British Invasion and Styles vs. Gunner.
 
        Sunday is the WWE Capitol Punishment PPV from Washington, DC, with Cena vs. R-Truth for the WWE title, Orton (if he can go) vs. Christian for World title, Miz vs. Riley, Rey Mysterio vs. C.M. Punk, Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett vs. Ezekiel Jackson for the IC title and Kofi Kingston vs Dolph Ziggler for the U.S. title.
 
        Sunday is also All Japan at Sumo Hall with Suwama vs. Yuji Nagata for the Triple Crown, Akebono & Ryota Hama vs. Great Muta & Kenso for the vacant tag titles and Masakatsu Funaki vs. K-1 world heavyweight champion Kyotaro in an interpromotional match.
 
        Monday has a Fans Choice Raw show, another three-hour event, from Baltimore.
 
        Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Hershey, PA.
 
        Impact tonight on Spike:
*Devon vs. Hernandez
*Austin Aries vs. Kid Kash vs. Jimmy Rave
*Rosita & Sarita vs. Velvet Sky & Miss Tessmacher for Knockouts tag titles
*Rob Van Dam vs. Samoa Joe
*Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner in a non-title match
        Was told this is the best Impact in a while when it comes to wrestling, particularly Joe vs. RVD and the Aries match.  They will also announce the Bound for Glory tournament of which RVD vs. Joe is the first match in.  Aries vs. Kash vs. Rave is not for a TNA contract in storyline as the spoilers indicated, but builds to a match with those stips.
 
        Superstars tonight on the Internet
Zack Ryder at the Nassau Coliseum vs. Primo
Vladimir Kozlov vs. Drew McIntyre
Kane vs. Tyson Kidd
 
        We've got a jam-packed double sized issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week, including a discussion of 5 rounds vs. 3 rounds for UFC main events, looking at all the ramifications of the story including reviewing what has happened in matches that would be affected, how prevalent these matches are, as well as a lot of different things that usually you wouldn't think about that this affects, including long-term plans, availability of main eventers.  We also have a readers poll on the subject.
 
        We also look at why the current climate is perfect for UFC, even with declining ratings, to get a major increase in TV revenue.  The UFC's future on television, as well as rights fees, UFC per hour vs. WWE per hour with different audiences are all things looked at.
 
       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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        We also look at WWE so far this year in every category, looking at just the grosses but actual profit by division of the company and how that compares with the same period last year.  We look at what division saw profits cut more than in half, another where they were cut in half and why only three divisions were more profitable this year than last year.  We also look at what break-even was for the PPV shows earlier this year, what division has taken over as the most important for the company and it's not PPV or television, what division is treading on thin ice, as well as an astounding number regarding PPV on television vs. Internet, as well as how much money it costs to do a Raw and a Smackdown taping.
 
        We also look at Kenta Kobashi, one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all-time, trying yet another comeback.  We look at his legacy and the last decade of his career, as well as some of his big matches.
 
        We've got full coverage of both UFC 131 and TNA Slammiversary, with background on the shows, business notes from the shows, poll results, star ratings for the wrestling show and more.  We also look at the proposed Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez fight, what happened with Shane Carwin, marketability of Carwin vs. Brock Lesnar, judging issues on the card on a case-by-case basis and why the wheels are off the current TNA product. 
 
        We also have coverage of New Japan's Best of the Super Junior tournament, with the last day coverage, final standings as well as a look at the long history of New Japan jr. tournaments dating back to the first tournament that featured several wrestlers who would go on to become all-time greats.
 
        We also have an update on Capitol Combat, the next few weeks of Raw, Royce Gracie meeting Kelly Kelly, Lots of newcomers in and people cut in WWE developmental, WWE star writing autobiography, lots of developmental update notes, behind the Sin Cara push, how much Vince McMahon now makes from stock dividends per year, attendance for 2011 vs. 2010 and how that compares with other sports and who owes WWE more than $10 million.
 
        Alberto Del Rio talks WWE style vs. Lucha style, Shane McMahon's latest venture, what was scripted in the Tough Enough finale, usage of DVR and tapes to watch Raw, plus business notes from the foreign and domestic house shows as well as coverage of this past week's shows.
 
        We also look at what can be learned from Monday's three-hour Raw, including how many viewers seemingly forgot the show started early, how the return of Roddy Piper did, and an update on Randy Orton's condition.  
 
        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:
 
--A look at all the major shows coming this week
 
--Major network announces a movie on two pro wrestling Hall of Fames
 
--Title tournaments
 
--TripleMania preview
 
--What Hall of Famer was being talked about for a major show for AAA and why it's not happening
 
--Brodie Lee injury update
 
--Update on the turmoil in All Japan after the stroke suffered by Super Hate
 
--All Japan Sumo Hall preview
 
--A look at foreign teams in Pro Wrestling NOAH jr. tag team tournament
 
--Antonio Inoki running major show head-to-head with biggest show of the year
 
--Two women in a loser must expose their breasts match, what happened
 
--40th anniversary of the Japanese debut of one of wrestling all-time legends show announced for October and the legends on the card
 
--A look at not just Kurt Angle, but three other former world champion wrestlers who this week made it clear they are going for the 2012 Olympics
 
--Dick Togo's career winding down
 
--A look at the career of Duncan McTavish
 
--Danny Davis out of retirement for one match
 
--Former WWE star makes headlines in Las Vegas this past week in a whatever happened to
 
--ROH talent updates including contract issues
 
--Former WWE star set to debut in ROH
 
--New television pilot being shot
 
--Mick Foley talks leaving TNA
 
--More on Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior
 
--Producer of Hogan Knows Best talks family
 
--Hogan says who he'd like to wrestle in a retirement match
 
-- Hogan on who he thinks can be the guy to carry TNA in the future
 
--Eric Bischoff rips on all kinds of people
 
--Newcomers to TNA
 
--TNA's first baseball stadium shows of the summer coverage
 
--Background of Crimson
 
--Why Austin Aries came to TNA
 
--What will be on TNA TV over the next several weeks
 
--Update on attempts to get MMA legalized in New York
 
--What blow may have killed the passing of the bill at the last minute
 
--Popularity of MMA in New York
 
--New weight class to be added to UFC
 
--Notes on Nick Diaz vacating Strikeforce title
 
--What message this sends
 
--Future of UFC champion vs. Strikeforce champion fights
 
--Future of Strikeforce guys appearing on UFC shows
 
--Lots of new UFC and Strikeforce matches
 
--Late notes on Dallas show
 
--Why one fighter in the Grand Prix tournament has so much of an effect on the timing and future of the tournament
 
--This next season's Ultimate Fighter looked at
 
--New UFC grudge match and why fight will almost surely not happen
 
--Brother of UFC star entering MMA
 
--Update on UFC Milwaukee debut
 
--Yet another MMA show added to the national TV schedule next month
 
--Former NCAA champion announces going pro
 
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--Josh Barnett did the Dusty Rhodes "Hard times" interview, talking about his suspension and things like that but using pretty much the Dusty promo today, practically word-for-word when promoting his match with Brett Rogers at Saturday's Strikeforce show at today's open workouts.
 
--Want to make mention that I just got the remake of the 1995 Lou Thesz autobiography "Hooker" with updates.  This is one of the best wrestling books ever written because Thesz was in so many places and involved in so many things first-hand, plus the new version goes through a lot of historical updates, time line corrections and such.  It's available at http://www.crowbarpress.com and I'd highly recommend it.
 
--Also a note if you haven't checked it out yet that we did an interview with Dave Bautista on the site yesterday which turned out excellent.  Also, Bautista's Gracie Fighter Gym will have its grand opening on Saturday from 4-8 p.m. in Tampa on North Dale Mabry Highway.  Batista and Cesar Gracie, who are partners in the gym, will both be there signing autographs.
 
--Dana White and several fighters including Anderson Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira were in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a press conference and for the ticket on-sale for the 8/27 show in Rio at the HSBC Arena, which holds nearly 17,000 fans for the show headlined by Silva vs. Yushin Okami.  They are pricing tickets from $163 to $1,000 for the first UFC show in Brazil in more than a decade.  White said this would be the start of regular shows in Brazil.
 
--A Smackdown taping has been announced for 11/29 in Charlotte at the Time Warner Cable Arena. (thanks to Devin Cutting)  
 
--Not sure what this means, because sometimes the hardest tickets to sell are the most expensive ones for MMA, but as of Noon today you could still get second row for the Strikeforce show in Dallas.  The show has gotten little local publicity due to all the coverage of the Mavericks winning the NBA title.  Herschel Walker (who lives in Dallas) and Josh Barnett have done some press a few weeks back. (thanks to Cory Van Kleeck)
 
--Chris Jericho is raving about seeing a Motley Crue concert in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, hanging around with James Durban of American Idol and talks about it at http://www.sixxsense.com/pages/podcast/?uri=channels%2F444211%2F1375887 (thanks to Jeff Gagliardo)   
 
--Wrestling with Cancer launched a web site at http://fighting-back-ca which is a group of wrestlers looking to raise money and awareness for cancer research. They are doing a show on 8/12 in Ottawa and Tudor Hall.  The group is in memory of Phrank Morin, the 23-year-old independent wrestler who passed away from cancer a few months ago.  They as well as C-4 wrestling tomorrow night in Ottawa and Inter Species Wrestling on 7/23 in Danbury, CT are also involved in fund raising.
 
--Sports Illustrated writer Joe Posnanski wrote a great story comparing LeBron James with Ric Flair (although he got Flair's age wrong, saying he was 66) at http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2011/06/case-for-rooting-against-lebron.html
 
--Justin Kendall has an interview with Trevor Murdoch, talking about his farewell to Metro Pro Wrestling tomorrow night and going back to WWE at http://blogs.pitch.com/plog/2011/06/trevor_murdoch_metro_pro_wrestling.php
 
--Jim Ross is home recovering from abdominal surgery yesterday.  He needed 11 staples, was sent home, but started bleeding and had to go back today.  He wrote that he was sore but okay.
 
--For those looking to bet on fights this weekend based on what Randy Couture says, here's got two videos at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciXuyJhiT4&feature=channel_video_title and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjXTnj-91q8&feature=channel_video_title
 
--There is some irony about how Vancouver was trying to hit up UFC for extra money for additional police costs for fear of rioting and problems because of the fan base they were supposedly going to bring to town, with the riots that took place yesterday. 
 
--Jakks Pacific was awarded the Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association Best Sports/Sports-Themed Entertainment Licensee of the Year award for excellence at the awards last night in La Vegas for its UFC line.
 
--Strikeforce weigh-ins will be covered live starting at 6 p.m. on HDNet with Herschel Walker, Guy Mezger, Kenny Rice, Bas Rutten and Ron Kruck.

--WWE and Eurosport have renewed a television deal for another two years, for the TV shows This Week in WWE and WWE Vintage Collection which will be airing starting at 9 p.m. CET.  This Week in WWE is a Eurosport exclusive rundown show.
 
--The Carroll County Times talks to home towner Alex Riley, talking about his background as a former linebacker at Boston College, building to his match on Sunday vs. Miz in Washington, DC.  Riley grew up in nearby Fairfax, VA as the son of Kevin Kiley Sr., a well known sports broadcaster.  Story is at http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/entertainment/
 
--Who do you expect to win in the Overeem vs. Werdum fight?
Overeem 80.3%
Werdum 19.7%
 
--Who do you expect to win in Barnett vs. Rogers?
Barnett 83.3%
Rogers 16.7%
 
Which of these people would you have most liked to see do MMA in their prime?
Bruce Lee 25.6%
Kurt Angle 23.8%
Danny Hodge 13.8%
Mike Tyson 9.7%
Andre the Giant 8.8%
Alexander Karelin 5.0%
Rickson Gracie 3.9%
Muhammad Ali 3.0%
Karl Gotch 2.9%
Billy Robinson 2.3%
Cael Sanderson 0.9%
Dan Gable 0.4%
 
--What was the biggest news story in February
Rock returns to WWE 66.6%
UFC sells 52,000 tickets immediately in Toronto 10.6%
Antonio Silva beats Fedor 6.9%
WWE signs Mistico 6.9%
Rashad Evans injured, Jon Jones gets title shot 6.0%
Michael Bisping hits Jorge Rivera with an illegal knee and spits in his corner after Rivera and his team insult him on videos 1.3%
Chris Jericho autobiography released 1.0%
Anderson Silva beats Vitor Belfort 0.6%
 
--R-Truth talks about Sunday's match with John Cena at http://bit.ly/jiAyLo
 
--Joe Laurinaitis interview at http://www.wdfn.com/pages/wrestling/.html with WDFN radio in Detroit.
 
--Alex Marvez interviews Bill DeMott and promotes his new autobiography that just came out at http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/62312  DeMott said he didn't think the people on the show this season were as hungry for success in wrestling as the crew he coached in earlier years but he did praise Andy Leavine.
 
--A preview of The Voice vs. Badr Hari at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjBjK1Vr8Ls  The entire episode will air on 6/24.  
 
 
--Monday night CMLL in Puebla:  Fuerza Chicana & King Jaguar b Asturiano & Centella de Oro, Dr. X & Hooligan & Loco Max b Lestat & Stigma & Tigre Rojo Jr., Ayumi Kurihara & Luna Magica & Marcela b Amapola & Princesa Sugei & Mima Shimoda, Ephesto & Misterioso Jr. & Virus b Metal Blanco & Palacio Negro & Valiente, Brazo de Plata & Maximo & Rush b Atlantis & Shinsuke Nakamura & Ultimo Guerrero
 
--Tuesday night CMLL in Guadalajara:  Virgo b Leo, Camaleon & Trueno b Angel del Mal & Malefico, Guerrero Bala Jr. & Hombre Bala Jr. & Starman b Arkangel de la Muerte & Escandalo & Rafaga, Amapola b Lluvia to keep CMLL women's title, La Mascara & Toscano b Mr. Aguila & Volador Jr. (thanks to Kris Zellner)
 
--The night before TripleMania, tomorrow night in Tijuana, has Mesias & La Parka vs. Cibernetico & L.A. Park at the Auditorio (thanks to Kris Zellner)   
 
--BANG on 6/25 in Ocala, FL at the BANG TV Sound Sage has Dory Funk Jr. wrestling and Bert Prentice will be brought as in a guest referee for a women's tag team match.
 
--Awesome Wrestling Entertainment will be announcing its main event for the 10/15 show in Fisherville, VA on Monday.  Names already announced for the show are Terry Funk, Diamond Dallas Page, Tully Blanchard, Baby Doll, Bobby Eaton, C.W. Anderson, Eugene, Jim Duggan and Fit Finlay.
 
--Fight Night Entertainment on 7/9 in Bellevue, WA at the Meydenbauer Convention Center will have MMA fights and live music headlined by Len Bentley (former TUF fighter who was the guy who had problems with Brock Lesnar this past season) vs. Rob Yundt.  There will be live music by Seattle group Island Trybe.  The show will also air as an iPPV through GoFightLive.tv
 
--A story on former WWF announcer Todd Pettingill, who will be part of a new Fox TV show "Dish Nation" starting next month is at http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2011/06/16/2011-06-16_scott_todd_to_dish_it_out.html  The story has a sentence about Pettingill's days with WWF. 
 
--GXW on Saturday in Hopewell, VA and they also have a Meet and Greet before the show at Noon at Bojangles 
 
 

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