The same crew is in Asbury Park, NJ tomorrow night including Flair.
WWE is overseas this week with no television tapings coming up. The Raw crew runs tomorrow in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday in Perth, Australia, Monday in Adelaide, Australia and Tuesday is Brisbane, Australia before finishing Wednesday in Auckland, New Zealand. We're looking for reports on all of these shows.
The biggest weekend show is UFC 132 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The prelims start on facebook at about 6:15 p.m. Eastern
Jeff Hougland vs. Donny Walker
Anthony Njokuani vs. Andre Winner
Aaron Simpson vs. Brad Tavares
Brian Bowles vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Live on Spike at 8 p.m.
Rafael dos Anjos vs. George Sotiropolous
Melvin Guillard vs. Shane Roller
Live on PPV at 9 p.m.
Matt Wiman vs. Dennis Siver
Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader
Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben
Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber for the bantamweight title
The Smackdown crew is off this weekend, but they start in South Africa on Wednesday in a tour that includes Bret Hart.
*Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry in a non-title match
*Daniel Bryan vs. Ted DiBiase
*Sin Cara vs. Christian
*Ezekiel Jackson vs. Cody Rhodes in a non-title match
*Kane vs. Wade Barrett
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.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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
--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
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major story (ies) 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. Our most requested issues in our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series
plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but
everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article
and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth, and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the
night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s,
Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and
Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund,
Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered
separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world
wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the
history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their
Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and
behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings,
Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a
double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher,
double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working
in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him
tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart
signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why
there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double
issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
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.
--WWE guys have been doing extensive media in Australia this week in conjunction with the tour that started earlier today in Sydney. The Miz appeared on "Sports Tonight," Kofi Kingston and Kelly Kelly were on the National Rugby League Footy show. Both came off well although when asked what your and when the first WrestleMania was, neither knew. Kelly admitted having no idea. Kingston thought it was in 1981, but when told he was wrong, did say 1985 as his second guess, but he didn't know where it took place, until one of the hosts started humming "New York, New York," (thanks to Tim Forge). Today's Sydney Morning Herald had a story on R-Truth. (thanks to James Stanios and Tim Forge)
--Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of what was at the time the biggest pro wrestling match of the decade, when Buddy Rogers beat Pat O'Connor at Comiskey Park in Chicago to win the NWA world heavyweight title. The listed attendance was 38,622, which may or may not have been a U.S. record, but would have been the largest since the mid-30s for sure and it was a number that wasn't legitimately topped in the U.S. until Hulk Hogan wrestled Andre the Giant at the Pontiac Silverdome.
--Weigh-ins for UFC are at 7 p.m.
--Who do you expect to take this fight?
Ryan Bader 87.2%
Tito Ortiz 12.8%
--In North America, how will UFC 132 vs. Money in the Bank stack up
UFC gets more buys but not double 32.3%
UFC gets more than double, not triple 30.6%
UFC gets more than triple, not quadruple 11.5%
UFC gets more than four times as many buys 13.9%
Money in the Bank gets more buys 11.8%
My gut on this says easily double, possibly triple but not a guarantee of triple.
--What did you think of Countdown to UFC 132
47.9% of those responding didn't see the show
--Matt Mitrione, Maximum Fighting Championships president Mark Pavelich and Dr. Nickolas Tomasic (an expert on testosterone use) are guests tonight on Inside MMA at 9 p.m. on HDNet. Mitrione will talk about his altercation at the fighters summit with Tito Ortiz. They also preview tomorrow night's UFC show. A preview is up at http://www.hd.net/blogs/2011/06/mitrione-fires-back-at-tito-oritz-plus-mu ch-more-on-inside-mma/
--HDNet also has It's Showtime kickboxing from Poland at 10 p.m. tonight.--Dana White yesterday at the press conference talked about UFC going to Japan for a live event before the end of the year. He didn't say the date or venue, although it's expected to be at the end of the year. There hasn't been a live UFC in Japan in more than ten years.
--I've got stories on both Urijah Faber and Ryan Bader up today at http://www.yahoo.com in the UFC section of the sports.
--Juggalo Championship Wrestling from last night in Pontiac, MI: Kawabata the Magic Ninja b Jimmy Jacobs, Corporal Robinson b Sexy Slim Goodie, Bull Pain & Tracy Smothers b Madman Pondo & Necro Butcher, Haters b Zach Gowen & U-Gene, Bill Martel b Weedman, Rhino NC Kongo Kong, 2 Tuff Tony b Butler Geeves to become JCW champion. You can watch this show on replay for $5 at http://www.psychopathiclive.com Next iPPV is 7/14. (thanks to Andy Pellegrini)
--Paul Lazenby talks with Steve Austin at http://www.paullazenby.com when he was in Texas for Strikeforce and drove down to the Broken Skull Ranch. Lazenby has worked as a stunt double for Austin in some of his movies filmed in Vancouver.
--Chris Hero will be appearing for ROH on 7/8 and 7/9 in Richmond and Charlotte. Claudio Castagnoli will not be on the shows that weekend.
--Christopher Daniels is featured in the premiere issue of New York Smash, a new magazine available in the Hamptons. It talks about his diet and fitness routine. The story is not available on-line.
--Urijah Faber appears on the TNT series "Leverage" in an episode scheduled to air in a few weeks. He'll have a fight scene with Christian Kane on the show. That's an actor, and not an indie wrestler copying WWE. Kane plays Elliot Spencer on the show.
--Cage Fighting Championship 18 takes place 8/26 in Sydney, Australia at Luna Park with Jesse Juarez vs. Manuel Rodriguez as the main event (thanks to James Stanios)
--Crossfire Entertainment on 8/20 at the Fairgrounds in Nashville headlined by Bill Dundee vs. Dutch Mantel in a cage match, plus Rikishi, Maria, Raven, Kid Kash, Jerry Lynn, David Young, Road Dogg, Wolfie D, Brian Christopher, Cassidy Riley and more.
--IWA East Coast on 7/12 in Nitro, WV at the Community Center features Low Ki vs. Necro Butcher and Chris Hero vs. Sami Callihan, plus Madman Pondo, 2 Tuff Tony, Mickie Knuckles and Irish Airborne.
--Josh Nason interviews Carlos Condit at http://wgamthegame.com/2011/06/30/the-wgram-mma-show-063011-guest-carlos- condit/ The show airs on Thursday nights on ESPN radio in New Hampshire.
--World Wrestling Coalition on 7/9 in Aberdeen, OH at the Municipal Building
--PWF Northeast Pro Wrestling on 9/24 has an all day benefit for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research at Maironis Park in Shrewsbury, MA. Among those appearing are Luke Gallows, Kenny Doane, Antonio Thomas, Gillberg and UFC fighter John Howard. The main event will be Sara Del Rey vs. Mercedes Martinez.
--Ed Loredo talks the C.M. Punk promo at http://my.blogtalkradio.com/cutrer
--Kevin Eck does a parody of the promo at http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/wrestling/blog/2011/07/ring_posts_ xtra_episode_19.html
--Premier Championship Wrestling has the Great Canadian Bash tonight on West St. Paul, Manitoba at the Sunova Centre. Admission is free.
--Lucky Strike Lanes in Denver is having a party tomorrow night including airing UFC 132. There will be area fighters at the party at Denver Pavilions.
--MMA Live's Jon Anik talks tomorrow night's UFC 132 at http://shotofyager.com/Podcast/A_Shot_of_Yager/Entries/20111/7/1_Kicking_ N_Screaming_UFC