WED. UPDATE: Fallout of Punk promo, Rock comments, Orton admits to OD, rips Rock, UFC result change

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        We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE Smackdown tapings in Tucson.  They are taping tonight for the show that airs on 7/8.  WWE begins an Australia tour on Friday.
         Versus will be replaying Sunday night's UFC show at 9 p.m. and midnight Eastern tonight with the Cheick Kongo knockout of Pat Barry that was one of the great finishes in recent MMA.
         The UFC 132 replay already debuted today at 1:12 p.m. on Spike.  Not exactly prime time.  The show is said to be very good, particularly Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz.  It will air again on Spike right after Impact at 11 p.m. tomorrow night.
         A look at the most talked about interview on a pro wrestling show in many years, as well as the most detailed background story on what happened with Nate Marquardt are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We also have an extensive look at Ring of Honor under new management, its TV station lineup and thoughts on what that means in the big picture of pro wrestling going forward.
         We look at the promo, including a word-for-word breakdown, where the angle goes, what is the status of Punk right now according to what people in WWE are being told, and the pluses and minuses of this when it comes to timing.  We look at the mentioning of different names in the promo and what they all mean, as well as a look at Money in the Bank, and the reaction to the promo.
         We also look at the Nate Marquardt situation, with the detail on why he was medically disqualified, a time line of what happened, all the different questions regarding testosterone replacement therapy, how long he has been on it, what he has done as far as getting approved, what went wrong, Marquardt's previous drug test failure and his response to it.  We look at a very interesting subject in sports that rarely gets talked about, because TUE's are part of a number of sports, but for some reason, only in MMA has it become a major point.
         The issue is available right now for web site subscribers, and you can get a mail subscription to the Observer with information below.  The Observer has the most detailed coverage of pro wrestling around the world, as well as insider UFC coverage not available anywhere else.  We have about 14 new newsletters each month, usually six Observers, four or five Figure Four Weeklies and four or five back issues of the Observer each week.
         We look at the Ring of Honor press conference and give thoughts on the company going forward.  We look at the realities of pro wrestling, how its business model has changed, the plight of being No. 3 in the market,  a look at the talent, who is going, who is staying as well as the TV station lineup and time slots for September when the new television show goes on the air.
         We also have full coverage of the Best in the World PPV, with match-by-match and poll results, as well as business notes and what the business notes tell you.
         We also look at the new Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels DVD that WWE was working on this week and timing for release.  We also look at Michaels doing an interview talking about WWE and what he'd like to do with the company going forward.  He also talks why he didn't have more world title reigns.  Batista talks more about if he would return and why, talks about doing MMA and more.  We also have a look at the reaction to the quitting of Chavo Guerrero, as well as his comments regarding it, and Eric Bischoff's previous thoughts on him a decade ago.  We look at who from WCW is still left with WWE.  We've got an update on John Morrison's return, HHH's advice to Sin Cara, WWE talks with fans about future plans regarding WrestleMania week and other big shows, why so many in the company hit the wall the past few weeks, notes on DVD sales including early WrestleMania DVD numbers, what aspect of  WWE business has increased by a huge margin and an updated look at how the house shows are doing.  We also look at an interesting chart looking at WWE fans vs. fans of other sports as far as political leanings and likelihood to vote.
         We've got more on Mason Ryan, plans for SummerSlam, Luke Robinson talks Tough Enough and Andy Leavine, a look at potential new marriages, plus WWE business over the past week and notes and highlights from all the arena events.
         We also have full coverage of UFC on Versus, with match-by-match coverage, business notes, controversies and a look at the head-to-head UFC television war with itself on that Sunday night.
         We also have a feature updating WWE PPV business, including a record low show and another show that was up worldwide, although not in North America, compared to the previous year.  We look at year-to-year comparisons of numbers as well as the show.
         We also have our usual weekly features including ratings for all the major national shows, broken down the segment-by-segment for both Raw and Impact, showing which segments gained and lost viewers and evaluated their performance from an audience level.
         We also have results from all the major league pro wrestling and MMA events over the past week, as well as reviews of all the major television shows.  
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         Also in this week's issue:
 --Update on CMLL referee Rafa El Maya's health
 --Coverage of the latest from Arena Mexico
 --Annual Bobby Bonales Cup
 --Mexico ratings
 --Many U.S. stars headed to Mexico for show
 --More fallout from TripleMania
 --How the TNA talent did
 --A look at wrestling shows already planned for the 2012 Mania weekend
 --Former ROH champion challenges for major international championship
 --A look at NOAH's junior heavyweight tag team tournament
 --Splitting up of a longtime tag team
 --New matches for big shows in Japan
 --New Japan trios tournament notes
 --Wrestler raises nearly $45,000 for Earthquake victims
 --A wrestler who believed his career was over four months ago makes his return, and what happened
 --A wrestler vows to continue into his 70s to stay active longer than his idol, Lou Thesz
 --Bruno Sammartino update
 --New promotion update
 --Combat Zone Wrestling Tournament of Death notes
 --Notes on TNA taping outside the Impact Zone and the business behind it as well as plans
 --Linda Bollea buries Hulk Hogan in media blitz
 --Hogan responds to the charges
 --Update on Matt Hardy and why he is suspended
 --What Hardy has done since that isn't going to help his situation
 --Update on Jeff Hardy
 --Update on Ric Flair
 --Destination X lineup
 --Kurt Angle talks doing UFC and the Olympics again
 --Jeff Jarrett talks Kurt's situation as well as TNA going forward
 --Amateur wrestling reaction to Kurt Angle
 --Sting does a movie
 --Sting talks TNA future
 --Thoughts on TNA talent going forward
 --Sting talks Jeff hardy match
 --A look at the TNA weekend house shows
 --A look at what is scheduled for all the Impact TV leading to Destination X
 --Major UFC signing
 --New UFC television main event announced
 --Update on the complete lineup for the next Strikeforce major show including new matches
 --UFC files lawsuit against a night club
 --UFC fighters up for Espy awards
 --Injury updates and lots of new fights announced
  --Notes on the first round of the Bellator tournament
  --Former WWF star to do a shoot against a boxing legend
  --Former WCW star signs for MMA announcing gig
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--Lots of talk today about a Randy Orton interview on Real Rock Radio in Tuscon promoting tonight's show.  He did a long interview that looks to be a new company philosophy (they always have a media rep when their guys do media to make sure they don't say things Vince wouldn't want) to shoot.  He said he could off the top of his head name ten guys who had slept with Kelly Kelly.  He admitted to overdosing, stopped breathing and being rushed to the hospital in 2006 (this story had been reported by Irv Muchnick shortly after it happened) but he also admits to that on a new documentary  DVD the company is putting out.  The interview is hilarious when he talks about how he can't say he's a wrestler but everyone thinks what he's going to do tonight is have a wrestling match.  The host said, "We're not going to come see you superstarring."  He said John Cena was a better promo than Rock, and that nobody can touch Cena as a promo, not him or anyone, that Rock needs a teleprompter and writers to do his promo while Cena does everything off the top of his head.  He said Rock called up Vince and was mad that Orton said that about him and then put down Rock for saying he'd never leave and was back for good and now he's never around, and when he said it, he didn't come back.  Smart guy trying to start an angle since it worked for Cena.  He said he was a much better wrestler than Cena, saying he's too bulky and robotic in his movements.  He also ripped on Randy Couture as an actor and had no idea who Manny Ramirez was when the hosts brought up his name.  It's at

  --A lot of wrestling buzz today in the media.  105.3 FM in San Diego talked about the Linda Bollea interviews and played some clips of her talking about Hulk using drugs and pain killers, choking her on the bed, afraid to become Nicole Simpson, etc.  The host had great sympathy for her, saying she was a gold digger and was just trying to push a book.  He said the Hogan truth is probably halfway between Hulk and Linda.  The host then talked about the C.M. Punk promo, and the host said nothing gets said on Vince McMahon's show without him knowing about it, but hoped this would break up what had been a stale boring show for the past five years.  He said he hoped they wouldn't screw this up.  
 (thanks to Garry Kamansky)
--Jim Rome on the air brought up the Punk promo and said he believed it was legitimate and wanted to get Punk to do his show to tell him what he was going to say when they cut off the mic.  Lots of people in media right now are laughing at Jim.  He spent several minutes breaking it down, reading quotes from it, and playing audio from it.  He said he believed it to be real but with WWE you never know, but he said working in entertainment it is frowned upon to blast corporate partners (which is why he thought it was real was the crappy shows on USA Network line).  He treated Punk's interview as a legitimate sports news story.   (thanks to Daniel Short, Jeff Wilmoth and many others)

--Another story on the interview is at

--Dwayne Johnson responds:  "C.M. Punk:  It's simple business.  The Rock is in the main event at Wrestlemania cause it draws more money in one night then u will in a lifetime."

  --Wrestling Observer Live returns tonight with Luke Robinson as our guest, plus we will be talking what has been a huge week of news.

--Trevor Murdoch is apparently not WWE bound after all.  After being told they were going to bring him back, he got a call today from John Laurinaitis saying they had changed their mind and would not be offering him a contract, based on budget cuts.  Murdoch on facebook wrote, "I say bullshit.  I think I'm done with pro wrestling.  Anybody know of any job openings." (thanks to Laura Samson and others)

--All Wheels Wrestling has its debut taping tonight at the Impact Zone in Orlando. has reported that Michelle Deighton of Tough Enough has split with husband Jonny Fairplay.

--Batista on twitter defended mentor Fit Finlay saying "no one in this world could convince me that Fit, the honorable man that he is, did anything that would warrant his losing his livelihood."  He said he'd have never made it without Finlay and said he was not replaceable.

--Negotiations between Cris Cyborg and Strikeforce are dead.  They were far apart on money when Scott Coker was negotiating a new deal with her and things didn't get better when UFC took over.  Her exclusive negotiation period ended yesterday so she is now a free agent and in Brazil reported that she is set to fight in Brazil and Singapore.

--Keith Kizer talked to the media today on the Nate Marquardt situation and indicated that Nevada would never allow testosterone replacement therapy to a fighter who had previously tested positive for a performance enhancing drug.  This means Marquardt would have to fight without it in Nevada since he had a 2005 Nandrolone test positive.

--Pennsylvania has overturned the Nik Lentz vs. Charles Oliveira result.  Oliveira won the fight via choke, but right before getting the choke, hurt Lentz badly with a knee to the head when Lentz was down.  Because it led to the finish and was illegal, even though the ref did not make the call, the commission was ruled the fight a no contest.

--Tickets for the 8/12 Strikeforce Challengers show at the Palms in Las Vgas go on sale Saturday at Noon Pacific to the public.  Presale starts tomorrow at 10 a.m. Pacific for Fight Club fans and newsletter readers of UFC and Strikeforce newsletters can get tickedts on 7/1 at 10 a.m.
--USA Network was No. 1 in prime time again this week with a 2.6 prime time average to 1.9 for Disney and 1.6 for TNA.  Last week's three hours of Raw were No. 6, No. 7, and No. 21 with The BET Awards at 4.7 being No. 1 followed by Spring Car racing from Sonoma, CA on TNT.  The final two hours of Raw were No. 3 and No. 6 in 18-49.

  --Should the ref have stopped the Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo fight when Barry was on top
  Yes 22.7%
  No 77.3%
  --If ROH continues to produce shows similar in caliber to Best In the World, can they be successful?  Yes if they produce iPPV shows like this, the numbers will grow and word of mouth will make them successful 34.0%
  No, people may support a third promotion, but this group doesn't have strong enough TV in big markets 26.2%
  Impossible because even if they find a great new star, the bigger groups will sing that person away 16.9%
  No, the style they use is too limited in appeal 11.3%
  No, people aren't going to support a No. 3 promotion past hardcores in a niche business like pro wrestling in big enough numbers 7.8%
  No, people may support a No. 3 group, but this one doesn't have the star power 3.8%
  --ROH has announced Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin defending the tag titles against El Generico & Colt Cabana as the main event on 7/8 in Richmond, VA at the Richmond Raceway Complex.  Added to the 7/9 show in Carlotte are Jay Briscoe vs. Rhett Titus and Mark Briscoe vs. Kenny King.  
  --In UFC media, the ESPN web site has an interview with Rashad Evans talking the video game
--Story on Urijah Faber is at

  --WWE Raw last week was No 66 in Australia on Fox8 with 25,000 viewers (thanks to Mike Kuzmuk)
  --Colt Cabana talks his UK training seminars in August at
  --Time Warner on Demand has the Ultimate X match from the 2009 Destination X PPV on their Events Free Preview section (thanks to Suju Abraham)
  --M-1 Global runs next on Showtime on 7/8 from Costa Mesa, CA at The Hangar, headlined by Pat Bennett vs Kenny Garner.
  --Former WWE writers talk the C.M. Punk promo at
--There is a story on former wrestler Dickie Steinborn at

--New York Rangers General Manager Glen Sather has copied from WWE when talking about someone who has left the team and said, "we wish him the best in his future endeavors."

--The University of MMA announced a show at the Avalon in Hollywood, CA on 7/24 called Fight!  Jacob Rockymor vs. Jose Huerta in a flyweight match has been announced.

  --We had incorrect results of a Skull Wrestling show on Saturday night in Troy, NY.  Real results were:  Viper b Randy Walker, Bert Williams b Sgt. Fury, Kyller Jones b Ash Maybrook, Jena Mya b Dee Licious, Redneck Express b Easy Riders, Timmy Alight b Cee Student, Swinger Sidusky b Reed James, Ron Falco b Marc Kreiger, Foxx Vyner & R.L. Coleman b C.J. Scott & Damon Ravage J.P. Black b Shane Alden.
  --A.J. Kirsch from Tough Enough showed up as a surprise at the APW show on Saturday night in Hayward at the TV tapings.  He was tag team champion in 2006-2007 with the promotion and announced his return with his first match back on 7/16 in Hayward.
  --Results from the APW show on Saturday night:  Jody Kristofferson b Billy Blade, Derek Sanders & Dave Dutra b Daniel Torch & Shane West, Rik Luxury b Sheik Khan Abadi (one of the best APW matches this year I'm told), Perry Von Vicious b Mr. Wrestling #4, Dylan Drake & Timothy Thatcher & Matt Carlos & Mickey Jay b Jeckles & Blackwell & Corvus & Omega in an elimination match
  --Southern Wrestling Alliance from Saturday night in Crestview, FL:  Colby Godwin b Scotty Rayz, David Prime b Dorrian, Ryan Holland & Donnie B b Psycho Milo & Doug Pitt, Marcus Gibbs b Carlos D'Angelo and Joe Gibson, Billy Rayz b Cameron Frost, Road Dogg & Billy Gunn & Bob Armstrong & Rob Brown b Mr. Fantasy & Waylon Barley & Mike Thrash & Ryan Mills (thanks to Jim Ward)
  --Former NWA champion Gary Steele was on the U.K. version of "Deal or No Deal" yesterday.  They called him a former world champion wrestler.
  --A note on the Glastonbury Festival written about a few days ago here.  It was from Glastonbury, England, not Glastonbury, CT (thanks to Dan Ayass)
  --There is a Tough Enough marathon on Universal HD on Saturday with the entire season airing from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., right before the station does the Raw and Smackdown replays (thanks to Ryan Fredrickson)
--Raw returns to Columbus, OH at the Nationwide Arena for a TV taping on 9/5. (thanks to Devin Cutting)

  --HWA on 7/17 in Leonardtown, MD headlined by Grizzly Redwood vs. Rhett Titus and Dam Cole vs. Prof. Milo Shizo for a 3 p.m. show at the Leonard Hall Drill Hall
  --The first fights of BAMMA 7 on 9/10 in Birmingham, England at the National Indoor Arena have been announced with Rob Sinclair vs. Leonard Santos for the lightweight title, former TUF winner Efrain Escudero vs. Tim Radcliffe and Matt Ewin vs. Avlaentino Petrescu.  About ten more fights are to be announced (thanks to Matt Singh)
  --Acid Fest 2, a tribute to Trent Acid takes place on 7/10 at 4 p.m. at the Asylum Arena in Philadelphia.  A $10 donation is requested at the door for admission, going to Acid's family to help pay for his funeral costs.
  --Kevin Von Erich will be a special guest at the October Harley Race World League Wrestling camp.  Kevin will give ring and training information.  For more info you can call Harley Race or Jason Jones at 573-392-4100.  
  --Sunday CMLL in Guadalajara:  Divino & Hierro b Angel del Mal & In Memoria, Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno b Apocalipsis & Mortiz, Angel Azteca Jr. & Guerrero Maya Jr. & Starman b Arkangel de la Muerte & Escandalo & Rafaaga, Metal Blanco b Tiger to keep Occidental welterweight title, El Terrible & El TexanoJr. & Tetsuya Naito b El Hijo del Fantasma & Rush & Toscano
  ---Monday night CMLL in Puebla before a strong crowd of 4,500:  Centauro de Fuego & Siki Osama b Blue Center & Silver, Amapola & Seductora & Mima Shimoda b Estrella Magica & Lluvia & Marcela, Astral & Bam Bam & Electrico b Demus 3:16 & Nitrito & Pierrothito, Angel de Oro & Delta & Diamante b Felino & Polvora & Rey Escorpion, La Mascara & La Sombra & Rush b Mr. Niebla & Averno & Mephsito (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Modern Arts Grappling on 7/2 in Port Richey, FL at the Forever Indy Wrestleplex  

--Craig and Cutrer talk the WCW Invasion angle at

--Danny Hodge and Greg Halsor are doing an MMA seminar with Hodge talking submission holds from catch wrestling on 7/23 at 9 a.m. at the Dan Gable Teaching Center as part of the Thesz/Tragos Hall of Fame weekend.

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