THURS. UPDATE: Tonight's major TNA show, Ratings, Austin DVD, Bio of White, Nashville legends,Hogan



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        Impact tonight on Spike:
*Bobby Roode vs. The Pope vs Samoa Joe in the Bound for Glory series
*Shannon Moore vs. Austin Aries
*Tara vs. Madison Rayne
*Hernandez & Anarquia vs. Magnus & Doug Williams - Winners get a tag title shot at Beer Money on 8/7 at Hardcore Justice
*Mr. Anderson vs. Sting for TNA title
        Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Kurt Angle also appear on the show.
 
        Superstars on the WWE web site
*Santino Marella vs. Zack Ryder
*Beth Phoenix vs. Maryse
*Trent Barreta vs. Wade Barrett
*David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty vs. Usos in a non-title match 
 
        The latest on C.M. Punk, his future, Money in the Bank as well as updates on contract situations involving some key people who are free agents in wrestling is among the lead stories as we've got two issues of the Observer coming out this week.
 
        Our lead story talks about reactions in wrestling that surprised me to the Punk direction, why worrying about the ratings right now and even the PPV buy rate are only a small part of the story going forward and the pitfalls of how long you can go in this direction as seen by previous attempts and their self life.  We look in depth at the ratings, and just as important, the ratings of Punk's segments compared to the rest of the show.
 
        We look at PPV vs. TV, Punk's interviews and what is and isn't real regarding his contract talks as well as who he wants to face at WrestleMania and right now where that stands.
 
        We also have a look at TNA's promotion of the X Division, with comments from wrestlers, and thoughts about the heyday of the Division vs. today and if Destination X did well and if so, what would it mean.  We have a complete rundown of the show including poll results and star ratings for all of the matches.
 
         Both issues are up today on the web site for web site subscribers and the second is available tomorrow.  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 also have an in-depth look at the changes in the WWE writing team, both in structure, as well as notes on the new head writers for both Raw and Smackdown, what the new roles are for the old head writers, reactions from those with experience in creative about these changes as well as the basic depth chart regarding who answers to who, and how the writing process is changing.  We also have notes regarding new writers being looked at.
 
        We also have more on the future of WWE developmental, as well as what these moves mean regarding John Laurinaitis.  We also look at some reactions we got to the Randy Orton interview before the European tour. We've got more on wrestlers belongings being stolen in South Africa as well as a story regarding something somewhat similar happening in the U.S. to one of WWE's biggest stars at the time.
 
        We also have notes on what at least on paper could be a major potential hurdle to Randy Savage going into the WWE Hall of Fame at WrestleMania, a wrestler whose work is cause for concern and more on Tivo and tape viewership of Raw and how it's changing.

        We also have a trivia note of a wrestler currently on WWE TV who got interested in wrestling when one of his friends who was a WWE star showed him something.
 
        We've also got WWE business notes from the past week as well as highlights of all of the overseas house show events including a new angle about to be shot and its test marketing first overseas.
 
        We also look at the future of women's MMA fighting and how several things in the past few months has put a lot of uncertainty into it on a major level, and why the next big fight is so important.
 
        We also have the beginning of Hall of Fame season, looking at NWA world championship records during the heyday of the territorial record, looking at the biggest stars, their title shots and what people have been overlooked in Hall of Fame discussions.  For those into history, you'll really enjoy this piece looking back at a different era of the business and what lessons about drawing and who draws that this period showed that seemingly have been forgotten.
 
        We also look at UFC's problems with injuries, including a laundry list of main events that have fallen through this year.
 
        We also look at Pro Wrestling NOAH's last major show, as well as its major upcoming jr. tag team tournament.
 
        We also have a feature looking back nearly a century ago at one of the most famous matches in wrestling history, Strangler Lewis vs. Joe Stecher's nearly five hour match in Omaha.  We look at the background of the match, as real a story of the match as can be ascertained including notes from Steve Yohe's research on both men.  We look at the program, and how it shaped pro wrestling going forward including why Lewis and not Stecher became the era's icon, what didn't happen that likely hurt Stecher from becoming the better known legend, as well as how double-crosses changed the direction of wrestling in the Lewis era.     
 
         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 issues:
 
--More notes on plans for TNA to tape outside the Impact Zone over the next few months
 
--How the tapings are going to be done
 
--Why this is another experiment
 
--Morale in TNA right now
 
--Hogan's future role in TNA
 
--X Division wrestlers weigh in on what they hope the PPV will show
 
--Update on Ric Flair and TNA and what has happened in recent weeks
 
--More on the Flair situation on the New York house show tour
 
--More on the departure of Generation Me and Orlando Jordan
 
--Update on Chris Sabin
 
--More on the pilot and plans for All Wheels Wrestling and who is behind it
 
--Kurt Angle talks Olympics
 
--More TNA injury updates
 
--Notes on the next few weeks of TNA television
 
--Notes on business for upcoming UFC shows
 
--What this is saying about the UFC product and how it relates to the same issues with the WWE product
 
--Talk about what looks to be the next monster UFC show
 
--Lots of talk regarding new UFC fights
 
--Notes on a major year-end show
 
--Pay records for UFC in Vancouver
 
--Fighters cut by UFC of late
 
--Major movie role for a UFC regular

--Surprise result in title match regarding someone supposed to be headed to WWE

--Update on Arena Mexico

--Ratings from Mexico

--A look at AAA taping with Jeff Jarrett, Abyss and Mickie James

--More TNA stars at the next AAA TV tapings

--Notes on upcoming Dragon Gate USA shows

--Next major NOAH show including return of Kenta Kobashi, title eliminator and tournament matches

--Complete details of the upcoming G-1 Climax tournament, lineups of all the major matches

--Wacky IGF world title tournament goes to final featuring Zuffa current headliner vs. K-1 legend

--What unique match of a Zuffa star vs. an indie MMA name took place in pro wrestling this past week

--What is being talked about as the biggest nostalgia show of all-time featuring multiple Hall of Famers and tons of big stars of the past

--Details of the bus accident involving a recent WWE headliner and the eery coincidence regarding it of another famous bus accident that is well known in rock and roll history

--New book on the history of pro wrestling in one of its most important cities ever

--Update on wrestling reality show and its future

--Claim of an overseas show featuring some of the biggest non-WWE names in the world, as well as the legitimacy of it

--The fiasco that was the Randy Savage benefit show over the weekend

--New TNA signing

--Update on UFC 132 PPV numbers and where it was strongest

--Major lighter weight star set for UFC debut in Las Vegas

--More on the half-point system in MMA and its applications

--Former WWE star continues MMA career

--Freak show Ken Shamrock vs. James Toney match rules and thoughts
      
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--We will have a second update in a few hours but I have commitments right now and this is most of the news.


--USA once again won the prime time ratings race in cable last week with a 2.2 average to 1.9 for Disney and 1.8 for TNT.  Syfy was up to No. 9 with a 1.0 average.  Spike was No. 25 with an 0.6 average.  Because Raw fell on July 4th, it did not make the top 25 shows for the week, the first time I can ever call that happening.  Nothing from last Monday did.  If you normalize the Monday viewing audience with a normal Monday, Raw would have only been No. 21.  It was nowhere near the top in the usual demo listings either.  
 
--WWE will be producing another Steve Austin DVD shortly.
 
--Once again, nobody from MMA won any awards at the tapings for the Espy Awards last night.  Jon Jones and Georges St. Pierre were both up for Fighter of the year, while Fabricio Werdum was up for the greatest upset in sports over the past year.  Manny Pacquiao won fighter of the year for the second straight year, while Virginia Commonwealth University going to the Final Four won the greatest sports upset.

--TNA Bound for Glory takes place on 10/16 at the Temple University Gym in Philadelphia.  Tickets go on sale 7/22.
 
--TNA's next on the road TV tapings on 8/25 from Huntsville, AL have tickets going on sale priced at $60, $40 and $20 tomorrow at 10 a.m.   
 
--Dana White confirmed that both Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen had texted him asking for the fight with Rashad Evans.  He dismissed both because they are in a different weight class than Evans.
 
--Lyoto Machida did confirm that he asked for Anderson Silva money, noting he was recovering from an elbow injury and also was asked to train in the U.S. so he'd be available, and all of that costs money.
 
--UFC fighter Chris Lytle is looking at running for a seat in the Indiana legislature in 2012.  He has formed an exploratory committee.  He's talking abut either the State Senate or State House of Representatives.  Lytle is one of the rare UFC fighters who has continued to work a full-time job, as a firefighter, while fighting.
 
--ROH announced Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Kings of Wrestling on 8/13 in Chicago at the first ROH TV taping for the Sinclair Stations.  It will be a tag title match.  The TV title held by El Generico and Davey Richards' singles title will also be defended that night.
 
--A few notes.  Lots of positive feedback about the Figure Four Daily show with Jeff Katz so you can check it out, and we have a special show with Michael Schiavello today with a great story in detail about their negotiations to get Ultimate Warrior on HDNet.
 
--Juggalo Championship Wrestling Above the Law iPPV on 7/20 from Pontiac, MI at Clutch Cargos for $5 features 2 Tuff Tony vs. Colt Cabana, plus Rob Conway, Rhino, Jimmy Jacobs, Corporal Robinson, Zach Gowen, U-Gene and more.  They also have iPPV shows on 7/28 and 8/4.
 
--Gulas Old School Wrestling on 7/30 at the NWA Arena in Nashville features Jerry Lawler & Bill Dundee vs. Chase Stevens & Shane Williams, plus Brian Christopher and Derrick King will appear.  Plus, Jackie Fargo, the biggest star in the history of Nashville wrestling, will appear for a meet and greet.  
 
--Shark Fights 17 airs tomorrow night from Frisco, TX, on HDNet headlined by Matt Horwich vs. Jake Rosholt in a big rematch (Horwich won the first meeting by TKO in November) plus Ricco Rodriguez vs. Karl Knothe,  Knothe has won 12 in a row and Rodriguez, a former UFC heavyweight champion, has won 11 in a row.
 
--A feature on Matt Horwich, who is a very unique individual, is at http://blip.tv/hdnetfights/matt-horowich-in-shark-fights-17-live-this-fri day-on-hdnet-537642
 
--Bjorn Rebney of Bellator told MMA junkie.com that he doesn't think Nate Marquardt is a good fit for his organization.  The two had been negotiating, so talks must have fallen apart.
 
--Hayato Sakurai has pulled out of Saturday' Dream show with a leg injury, so Marius Zaromskis, their welterweight champion, now faces Eiji Ishikawa in a non-title match at the Ariake Coliseum.
 
--Mickie James will be performing in concert tomorrow night in Louisville at Jim Porter's Good Time Emporium starting at 8 p.m.  She's also doing a meet and greet. For more info you can go to www.Jimporters.com
 
--June White, the mother of Dana White, is writing a book called "Dana White  King of MMA."  The two haven't spoken in years.  In the book, she compares her son to Rosemary's Baby and how money has changed him, as well as disputes his background.
 
--Hulk Hogan:  Back from the Brink is a talk show scheduled for 8/26 at the War Memorial Auditorium in Greensboro where he talks about his life.  Tickets go on sale Saturday for $10, with meet and greets going for $100.  More info is at http://hulkhogan.com/featured/hulk-hogan-back-from-the-brink.html
 
--There is a story on Rey Mysterio at http://www.postcrescent.com promoting his appearing in Green Bay for Raw on Monday night.  He said the West Coast pop move is hard on his knees which is why he's had five operations on his left knee.  He told the same story about how the veterans told him to protect his body, but when you're a young kid, you never listen.  Sean Waltman once told me about how everyone told him to be less reckless and he didn't listen, so now he tells others the same thing, and jokes that he knows they won't listen, but he does it because he thinks that's what veterans are supposed to do.
 
--Absolute Action MMA airs Saturday night on Gofightlive.com from Florence, KY with Nicholas Noe vs. Oleg Nesenchuk in the main event.
 
--The Tragos/Thesz Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Waterloo, IA announced an autograph signing for 7/23 at the Dan Gable Museum at 1:30 p.m.   Those appearing will be Jim Ross, Terry Funk, Gerald Brisco, Jim Duggan, Mick Foley, Baron Von Raschke, Danny Hodge, Dan Gable, Pat Miletich, Bob Roop, Larry Hennig, Fritz Von Goering and Colt Cabana.
 
--Former wrestler Sonny Siaki is putting together legal services for wrestlers.  It's basically insurance if you need legal help for $25.95 per month.  For more info you can contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it    
 
--There will be an MMA show called Martial Arts Super Sport Inauguration on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, PA with 10-14 matches headlined by Jacob Kirwan vs. Jimy Hetes.
 
--Becky Bayless (Cookie in TNA) will be accompanying Jason Hanely and Naphtali in their match against Lince Dorado & Santana (managed by Scott Hall) on Saturday night at the Downtown Rec Center in Orlando.  ESPN E:60 cameras will be filming for an upcoming feature on Hall.
 
--We send our condolences to Scott D'Amore on the loss of his father, who passed away on Monday night at the age of 82.  There is a story on Pat D'Amore at http://www.windsorstar.com/story_print.html?id=5093436&sponsor=true
 
--The link to the APW TV show yesterday didn't work.   This should at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKOQ0PwGtmI
 
--Fit Finlay will be wrestling for DOA Pro Wrestling on 11/19 in Portland, OR as well as doing a seminar for already trained wrestlers.  

--PWS on 8/20 in Ronkonkoma, NY at Center Island Sports will feature Ted DiBiase Sr., Mick Foley, Carlito, Necro Butcher and Sonjay Dutt.  Carlito faces Eddie Kingston in a singles match.
 
--NWS on 7/16 in Dunellin, NJ at the Knights of Columbus Hall featuring the Captain Lou Albano Memorial J Cup tag team tournament.
 
--Future Stars of Wrestling TV show is at http://blip.tv/dashboard/episode/5369554 featuring Austin Aries and Michael Modest.
 
--Milton Viera, a BJJ expert billed as the inventor of the Anaconda choke, has signed with Strikeforce.
 
--Lance Benoist was the 4th St. Louis area fighter to sign with UFC.  The 22 year old welterweight is 5-0 as a pro, with all first round finishes, four by submission.  Story is at http://www.stltoday.com/sports/article_b78590aa=acf3-1130-p330-0019bb30f3 1a.html (thanks to Matt Burrows)
 
--Branko Busick, son of Nick, faces a second felony charge at http://www.wvillustrated.com/wvufootball/story/id/1188
 
--NWA Pro Mach 1 on 7/23 in San Diego an the Downtown YMCA featuring Adam Pearce, Eric Watts from Tough Enough and more.
 
--AWF on Sunday at the Class Act Dinner Theater in Whitby, ONT at 2 p.m. featuring Johnny Puma vs. Kevin Grace.