FRI. UPDATE: Marquardt suspension update, WWE looks for VP, Sheen at wrestling show, TNA PPV change



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        We're looking for reports on today's WWE house show in Durban, South Africa, yesterday's show in Cape Town, South Africa and tonight's ROH show in Richmond, VA (Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas vs. El Generico & Colt Cabana for the tag titles; Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin, Chris Hero vs. Rhett Titus, Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedrick Alexander, Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. Bravado Brothers, Mike Bennett vs. Kenny King) at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

        Pretty quiet weekend with the major show being TNA's Destination X PPV from Orlando on Sunday.
 
        The Smackdown crew continues tomorrow and Sunday shows in Johannesburg before returning for TV.
 
        ROH runs tomorrow night in Charlotte at the Metrolina Tradeshow Expo with a cage match with El Generico vs Roderick Strong, Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly, Jay Briscoe vs. Rhett Titus, Mark Briscoe vs. Kenny King, Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas vs. Bravado Brothers and Chris Hero vs. Colt Cabana.
 
        Smackdown tonight:
*Daniel Bryan & Ezekiel Jackson vs. Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes
*Trent Barreta vs. Jinder Mahal
*A.J. vs. Tamina
*Sin Cara vs. Tyson Kidd
*Usos vs Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel
*Randy Orton vs. Sheamus in a non-title match
 
        M-1 Global has a show on Showtime tonight at 11 p.m. from Costa Mesa, CA with these matches:
*Jason Norwood (184.6) vs. Eddie Arizmendi (186)
*Daniel Weichel (155.5) vs. Beau Baker (156)
*Mairbek Taisumov (155) vs. Josh Bacallao (154)
*Arthur Guseinov (183.4) vs. Tyson Jeffries (184.8)
*Pat Bennett (240) vs. Kenny Garner (256.6)
 
        TNA Destination X on Sunday has A.J. Styles vs Christopher Daniels, RVD vs. Jerry Lynn, Abyss vs. Brian Kendrick for the X title, Samoa Joe vs. Kazarian, Robbie E vs. Shannon Moore vs. Alex Shelley vs. Amazing Red with the winner getting a title shot in an Ultimate X match, Jack Evans vs. Low Ki vs. Zema Ion (Shiima Xion) vs. Austin Aries with the winner getting a TNA contract, plus a singles match involving Douglas Williams.
 
        Raw will be Monday in Boston, with, at least as of a few days ago, plans included a C.M. Punk/Vince McMahon television confrontation.  Impact will also be taped Monday in Orlando with Mr. Anderson vs. Sting for the TNA title and Tara vs. Madison Rayne as two of the top matches.
 
        Smackdown and NXT will be taped Tuesday at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT.  Impact will also be taped on Tuesday.
 
        The aftermath of the C.M. Punk promo, where the situation goes next, Punk's best friend talks his situation in depth as well as WWE, and where this is all expected to go is the lead story of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
      
        This issue also has our 2011 WWE roster directory.  We go through the entire roster with real names, ages, years pro as well as sports and entertainment backgrounds of all the roster members prior to joining WWE.
 
        The issue also includes coverage of UFC 132, both inside the cage as well as all the business rundowns regarding the show.  We also look at the close decisions, who people thought won the fights and where the bantamweight division goes next.
 
        We also have more on the death of Randy Savage with the autopsy report.  We also look at the arrest and firing of Strikeforce heavyweight Brett Rogers.
 
        We also look at John Cena's comments about The Rock in Australia, more on the future of SummerSlam and attempts to turn it into a second WrestleMania.  We have more on the deal involving Brock Lesnar that would involve WWE, UFC approval, and a non-wrestling aspect.
 
        We also look at plans for the go-home Raw on Monday night for Money in the Bank, why Extreme Rules did so poorly, a wrestler who was told he was returning was then told plans have changed and he is talking giving up wrestling.  We also look at an active roster wrestler getting a try as an agent, the theft of luggage of Smackdown stars on the trip to South Africa, Batista talks Finlay as well as Bloomberg TV's business report on WWE.  Vince talks future of Tough Enough, HHH talks what his job is, and a look at what was really the most profitable year in WWE history.
 
        We also look at the lengthy Randy Orton interview, his talk about his overdose, criticism of Rock, apologizing to Kelly Kelly and his concussion history.
 
        We also look at the unlikely WWE star that Joe Rogan called a freak athlete, what happens to Nexus, an idea being batted around to make Zack Ryder a Raw regular on TV, Claudio Castagnoli talks WWE, Kevin Nash lands role in a major budget movie, more business notes from WrestleMania week, as well as the business notes and highlights from the WWE's tour of Australia.
 
        We also have more on MMA judging as well as the early experiments in California using a new system and how it has worked out so far.
 
         The issue will be up today 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.
 
        Our lead story talks about the Cena vs. Punk match that took place this week, what was notable about the match, and how this leads to the PPV.  We talk about different ideas regarding the finish and where things go from there.  We also talk about the GLAAD controversy with Punk's remarks to hecklers in Australia, Punk's apology, and what WWE told GLAAD about Punk's future.  We look at how WWE has viewed comments of this type, as well as interesting comments by Punk from the past that show his viewpoint.
 
        We look at how Money in the Bank did last year, the promos on July 4th by John Cena and Vince McMahon as the next step of the angle, the role Punk could play that WWE needs, his return, as well as tons of comments by Colt Cabana regarding why he was unhappy, and thoughts on the entire WWE at this point.
 
        We also look at the aftermath of UFC 132.  We look at the fight, stats on the fight, the judging of the fight, crowd reactions and future bantamweight fights.  We also look at the win by Tito Ortiz and loss by Wanderlei Silva.  We look at the early show, what happened next , as well as the Matt Wiman vs. Dennis Siver judging.
 
        We look at the business notes on the show, early PPV estimates as well as match-by-match coverage, injuries, commission disclosed payoffs and more.
 
        We have an update on Bruno Sammartino after heart valve surgery, with the background of his surgery and his recuperation.
 
        We also look back at years ago when July 4th was considered a terrible day in the wrestling industry and the tragedies associated with that day.
 
        We have full details on the police report of what happened with Brett Rogers and his wife and the reaction by Zuffa to it.
 
        We also have a look at MMA judging, the good, the bad, the acceptable, and the inherent problems.   We cover the new California system, its application thus far in more than 300 fights and what it tells us.
 
         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.
 
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         Also in this week's issue:
 
--Two major international superstars headed to CMLL
 
--Latest from Arena Mexico
 
--New promotion in Mexico using ex-WWE names
 
--What happened with Charly Manson being put back in jail
 
--Promotional jumps
 
--More on TNA/AAA business relationship
 
--A nostalgia day with a late 80s main event brought back
 
--Several wrestlers returning to All Japan and first matches back
 
--Two of the great mat masters of all-time going at it
 
--More on the return of Kenta Kobashi
 
--This year's G-1 Climax tournament participants and rules
 
--Former WWE star change his look
 
--Update on current most decorated tag team in the world
 
--Next New Japan major shows
 
--Dick Togo's Japanese retirement show
 
--World champion vs. world champion dual title match has a clean winner
 
--Zero-One Fire Festival notes
 
--A look at DDT's biggest show of the year with veteran stars being brought in
 
--Early 80s legendary feud brought back for more matches this year
 
--Death of indie wrestler in Florida
 
--Wrestling marriage break up makes TMZ
 
--Former wrestling announcer passes away
 
--A look at the annual WWC aniversario event
 
--Urban Wrestling Federation PPV note
 
--How Jacques Rougeau is able to promote some of the biggest indie events in North America
 
--Update on Scott Hall
 
--More on the All Wheels Wrestling promotion, what the taping was for, who are the stars and how is behind it
 
--Update on the January WrestleReunion in Los Angeles with notes on the live events
 
--High NBA draft choice says he wants to go into WWE after his NBA career
 
--Carlos Colon in non-wrestling controversy
 
--Copy of C.M. Punk stunt
 
--Zach Gowen talks about his life, battling drug problems and recovery, and who from WWE never gets the credit they deserve in these situations
 
--Reality show stars training to be pro wrestlers
 
--Billy Gunn, life at 47
 
--New ROH matches
 
--What is going on with Ric Flair in TNA
 
--More on Linda Bollea trying to market her book
 
--Hogan tries to sell the mansion
 
--Character in TNA seemingly dropped
 
--TNA ratings in the U.K. and what is notable about their PPVs in that country
 
--TNA expands into new country in January
 
--Notes on TNA television
 
--Update Bound for Glory series points standing
 
--Notes on the weekend TNA house shows
 
--Announcer signs network deal to host a prime time show
 
--Injury to Strikeforce Grand Prix member may delay next round
 
--Result of match overturned by commission
 
--More on the Nate Marquardt situation
 
--Updates on Cris Cyborg and Chael Sonnen
 
--Dana White talks Spike using UFC tapes to counter-program UFC
 
--Next UFC PPV lineup
 
--UFC in Japan for live event
 
--Update on Edgar vs. Maynard match
 
--Fighter expected to be fined for TV rule infraction
 
--Lots of new fights either talked about or signed
 
--Notes on the Bellator bantamweight tournament which people are saying is the best tournament the company has done
 
--Title fight off
 
--Kimbo Slice returns to the ring in a new venue
 
--Interesting trivia regarding the biggest boxing PPV events of all-time
 
--Five-year TV contract signed
     
         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:
 
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--The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission will hold a hearing on 7/13 which will rule on the suspension of Nate Marquardt.  Marquardt's people believe that since he tested within normal range of testosterone on 6/26 (a day or two after he could have been sanctioned) that they should remove his current indefinite suspension.   
 
--The WWE corporate web site has a posting looking for a Vice President of Talent Relations.  This is not to replace John Laurinaitis (Senior VP of Talent Relations), but to be his main assistant as Ty Bailey is being moved to a new post in HHH's new talent development system.  They are looking for someone with seven years experience of related experience including heavy interaction with pro athletes or pro talent, someone with experience dealing in a fast-paced high-profile environment with time sensitive, confidential and/or controversial matters, proven experience in managing, coaching or developing a staff, excellent interpersonal, organizational and communication and presentation skills, ability to travel extensively and a flexible 24/7 schedule.
 
--Charlie Sheen of all people will be the M.C. at the upcoming Gathering of the Juggalo, which is a combination of a few days of concerts and pro wrestling.  Joe Bruce of IC told TMZ that it was Sheen's people who called them in April about doing the gig.  They figured there was no way they could afford him, but Sheen's people said he wanted to be part of it in a bad way and agreed to a reasonable price and the deal was finalized last week.
 
--Taz will not be announcing Sunday's Destination X PPV due to a schedule conflict involving his family.  He will be at TV on Monday and Tuesday.  Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash (who hosts Xplosion) will be announcing the show.
 
--Regarding Destination X, the poll here is bullish on its prospects
More interested in it than a usual TNA PPV 58.2%
Same level of interest as a usual TNA PPV 38.0%
Less interested than a usual TNA PPV 3.8%
        Interesting only because much of the highest paid talent is not even booked on the show, yet people are either the same, or in most cases, more interested than usual.
 
--Who wins Chael Sonnen vs. Brian Stann
Sonnen 54.8%
Stann 45.2%
 
--What will be the next UFC show to top 500,000 buys?
Jon Jones vs. Rampage Jackson 9/24 48.1%
GSP vs Nick Diaz 10/29 26.1%
Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami 8/27 12.6%
Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos 11/19 3.4%
Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis 8/6 1.7%
None of these fights will top 500,000 8.0%
 
--Will John Cena vs. C.M. Punk and Money in the bank top 170,000 North American buys?
Yes 55.6%
No 44.4%

--Tom Lawlor was injured in training and will be replaced by Ed Herman against Kyle Noke on the 8/14 UFC on Versus show in Milwaukee (thanks to Ryan Frederick)
 
--John Cena on twitter said he cut another promo on Rock and he hopes somebody puts it up on youtube.
 
--More on the San Diego Comic Con.  There will be a panel on 7/21 with HHH, Rey Mysterio and a "surprise WWE legend" where they will unveil new Mattel products that will be released for 2012 (thanks to Robb Block)
 
--Lance Storm noted that Pyramid Productions is looking to do a second season of World Of Hurt, but that he won't be part of it.  He wrote, "Lance Storm and Pyramid Productions have completely severed ties.   Lance Storm wishes Pyramid Productions all the best in their future endeavors."  Storm talks World of Hurt and why he's down on UFC on yesterday's Figure Four Daily which is up on the site.
 
--The WWE house show on 8/21 in Medicine Hat, Alberta has been canceled (thanks to Devin Cutting)
 
--Fit Finlay will be doing shows for Westside Xtreme Wrestling in Germany on 8/13 and 8/14, which is believed to be his first match for a European-based promotion in more than a decade. (thanks to Patrick Gronemann)
 
--Tom "Kong" Watson vs. Frank Trigg for the BAMMA middleweight title headlines on 9/10 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England.  Watson said he was injured and would likely not even get a week's worth of training in for the fight, "but I'm sure a week is enough to beat an old man who calls himself Twinkle Toes.  I apologize to the BAMMA fans in advance that I won't be able to prepare like I normally do, but it is what it is. A man's got to eat."  Former TUF winner Efrain Escudero faces Tim Radcliffe and Matt Ewin vs. Valentino Petruescu have also been announced for the show.
 
--Trigg, Dennis Hallman and Ovince St Preux will be the guests on Inside MMA tonight at 9 p.m. on HDNet.  The panel will be talking two issues that never get resolved, performance enhancing drug use and MMA judging.  A preview is at http://www.hd.net/blogs/inside-mma-tackles-steroids-and-judging-inside-mm a-preview/
 
--Ricky Morton and The Stro headline for SWA tomorrow night in Loris, SC at the Kingston Lake B&E Center.
 
--Rodney Kellman, who does an Abdullah the Butcher gimmick, is expected to get a tryout at the upcoming WWE tapings in Boston and/or Uncasville.  Most tryouts are in the afternoon with the agents and others watching and usually not in front of the paying customers. I(thanks to Dave Maginitis)
 
--Former TUF winner Efrain Escudero faces Mike "The Wolverine" Rio on 7/23 in Miami, FL for Championship Fighting Alliance II.  Rio, 6-0, was a three-time NAIA national wrestling champion at Lindenwood College in Missouri.
 
--UCB Bombs Away tomorrow night in Parma, OH has an MMA show promoted by former pro wrestler Dan Bobish at the Ohio Nets Sports Complex headlined by Matt Masterson vs. Marcus Finch.
 
--A benefit wrestling show for the family of Nashville wrestler Lawrence The Sharp Dressed Man takes place Sunday in LaVergne, TN at 121 Old Nashville Highway.  Minimum donation is $5 with all money going to pay funeral expenses for Lawrence's father, who passed away on 6/20.
 
--Evolve 9 on 7/26 at BB King Blues Club in Manhattan features Fit Finlay, doing an autograph signing as well as wrestling Sami Callihan, plus Johnny Gargano vs. Chuck Taylor headline and Cheech & Cloudy face Jigsaw & Frightmare and NOAH's Bobby Fish faces Jon Davis.  The show will air live on iPPV at www.WWNLive.com
 
--UWC TV is at http://www.youtube.com/UWCWrestlingVideos

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