SAT. UPDATE: Money in Bank show preview, Cena talks Punk and tomorrow's match, UFC biggest show



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        We're looking for reports from tonight's WWE house show in Milwaukee which features a Battle Royal, with the winner getting a shot at John Cena's title, plus Randy Orton vs. Christian for the World title.
 
        The only major show this weekend is Money in the Bank tomorrow from the All-State Arena in Chicago:
*John Cena vs. C.M. Punk - The most talked about B show main event title match in more than a year, which will give answers to questions regarding the drawing power of Punk, promos being able to still get people to buy wrestling shows and what the ceiling is right now for B shows.  Punk is leaving, and it is possible, but unlikely Cena is retaining.  There are a lot of different ways to go, the most obvious being the Money in the Bank winner with help from Vince McMahon screws Punk, building for Punk's return in a few months.  Alberto Del Rio would be the odds on pick for that role.  In fact, the only reason I could think of for not doing it, is because it's the most predictable.  Which is usually a bad reason for not doing the obvious business move, which would lead to Del Rio vs. Cena at SummerSlam.  Del Rio vs. Cena was the SummerSlam direction even before WrestleMania.
*Randy Orton vs. Christian for the World title - The stips here are that if the referee makes a mistake, or Orton loses via DQ, then Christian becomes champion.  The stips make it easy to take the title from Orton on a screwy finish and keep the program going.  However, the program has run its course.  The only problem is, Smackdown is so weak on the heel side, that Orton's only other viable challengers are Mark Henry, who he will have a difficult time having a match with, and Sheamus, which they've been teasing for the last few weeks of going into a program with. 
*Raw Money in the Bank match with Del Rio, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, The Miz, Alex Riley, Evan Bourne and R-Truth.  Del Rio would be the favorite.  Miz could win, but only if it's to lead to Punk pinning Miz when Miz tries to collect. 
*Smackdown Money in the Bank with Sheamus, Kane, Wade Barrett, Daniel Bryan, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Cody Rhodes and Sin Cara.  Sheamus is the favorite.  Barrett a dark horse, he's tall and can talk and decent enough in the ring.  Can't see Bryan, Slater or Gabriel having much of a chance.  Rhodes is a dark horse as well, but Orton vs. Rhodes just takes Orton down right now.  Sin Cara has the office support, but it's not the right time for him.
*Big Show vs. Mark Henry - Probably will be kept short.  Right now, Henry should win, because Smackdown needs new heel challengers.
*Kelly Kelly vs Brie Bella for the Divas title.  Probably will be kept short.  And should be kept short.

        The live Raw will be Monday night from Green Bay.  Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday night in Minneapolis.
 
        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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--Tomorrow we are going to do our radio show immediately after Money in the Bank instead of the usual several hours after to pick up any post-show news since the news is the storyline in this one.  So it should be posted by midnight. 
 
--The Chicago Tribune at http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/celebrity/aboutlastnight/ct-o tt-0715-luis-20110715,0,4944924.story has John Cena's comments on Sunday's match.  He said Chicago, New York and Philadelphia have the best wrestling crowds in the country, but he expects to get booed.  Well, obviously.  He tries to explain why Punk leaving WWE is different from Rock leaving WWE.  Well, because Punk is coming back, and he's got no avenue to make five times the money he'd make in wrestling to not turn down.
 
--B.J. Penn vs. Carlos Condit is confirmed for the 10/29 show in Las Vegas, which is likely to be the company's biggest PPV event of the year.
 
--The Tampa-based XFC promotion has signed a two-year television broadcast deal with HDNet.  The promotion has had shows on the station dating back two years.
 
--Scott Steiner is rumored to be replacing Senor Anderson in the main event at tonight's AAA TV tapings in Orizaba.  Anderson was to team with L.A. Park & Samoa Joe vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. & Zorro & Electroshock.
 
--Also in Mexico tonight, Extreme Air Wrestling in Zumpango has Reby Sky vs. Nikki the New York Knockout and a main event of Zach Gowen & Marco Corleone vs. Shelton Benjamin & Paul London. 
 
--Who was the greatest challenger in NWA title history
Ricky Steamboat 33.6%
Dusty Rhodes 19.8%
Jack Brisco 11.4%
Sting 9.3%
Harley Race 8.4%
Lou Thesz 4.5%
Johnny Valentine 4.2%
Dick the Bruiser 3.0%
Mr. Wrestling II 2.1%
Dory Funk Jr. 1.8%
Wahoo McDaniel 1.7%
Gene Kiniski 0.6%
 
--Poll on Impact
Excellent 19.2%
Good 28.3%
Average 20.2%
Fair 10.1%
Poor 22.2%
        43.4% of those responding didn't see the show, a higher percentage than usual
 
--Who do you consider the leading candidate for Fighter of the Year
Jon Jones 65.3%
GSP 14.3%
Anderson Silva 10.1%
Nick Diaz 6.2%
Gilbert Melendez 3.2%
Antonio Silva 1.0%
 
--Due to a family issue, the Iron Sheik is unable to come to Boston this weekend for scheduled appearances for Dan Mirade's Millennium Wrestling Federation in Melrose, MA.  He will attempt to be part of the debut of "Late Night with The Iron Sheik" via telephone.  MWF apologizes to its fans and said they hope people enjoy the show that should be on-line late this week at the www.BostonWrestling.com site.
 
--More on the Ricky Morton/Kevin Nash building of their feud at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hin-dQCwns4 
 
--Kevin Steen will be on the 7/26 Evolve show at BB King's In manhattan.
 
--UWC Championship Wrestling at http://www.youtube.com/UWCWrestlingVideos has this week's TV show.
 
--The U.S. Grappling World Team Trials are set for 8/5 to 8/7 in Las Vegas at the Xtreme Couture Gym.  There will be both Gi an No Gi competition for both men and women, with the winners representing the U.S. at the world championships on 9/29 to 10/1 in Belgrade, Serbia.
 
--Former WCW wrestler Mike Sanders, who is now trying to make it as an actor, appeared on the USA Network show "Necessary Roughness" on Wednesday night in the role of an obnoxious NASCAR driver. (thanks to Mark Schreiner)
 
--A story on Chris Gough's Metro Pro Wrestling out of Kansas City is at http://www.kansascity.com/2011/07/15 in the Star Magazine section. 
 
--I Believe in Wrestling tonight at the Downtown Rec Complex in Orlando with Scott Hall, Larry Zbyszko, SoCal Val, Cookie and Chris Harris all scheduled.  Cody Hall, Scott's son, will be introduced for the first time at a wrestling show.  ESPN E:60 will be filming at the show.
 
--Legend City Wrestling runs a series of shows in Newfoundland, with 9/7 in Harbour Grace, 9/8 in St. John's, 9/9 in Glovertown, 9/10 in Harbour Breton and 9/11 in Marystown.  The headliner from 9/8 to 9/10 will be former WWF star Kurrgan, who was a star in the movie "300."
 
--We got a note that last night on Spike TV there was a commercial for "TNA Monday Night Impact."
 
--John Cena is pushing for Zack Ryder to get on Raw saying he has a legit following with zero TV push.  As noted in the Observer a few weeks ago, at least as of last week, the idea was for Ryder, Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga to be a heel group, so Cena isn't complaining about somebody not getting a push, but acting like he's pushing somebody where the decision was made weeks ago to push.
 
--IHWE on 7/24 in Fort Worth features Matt Borne vs. Franco D'Angelo.  the show will be on iPPV at www.radradionetwork.com
 
--All Star Wrestling in British Columbia has a one night reunion show of 80s wrestlers on 7/22 at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, the home of the promotion for years featuring a Battle Royal with Michelle Starr, Randy Tyler, Oly Olson, Rocky Della Serra, and Verne Seibert with all the 80s refs as well.  Vance Nevada vs. Kyle Sebastian is the main event.  And there will be a post-show party at Boston Pizza. 
 
--Premier Championship Wrestling from Thursday night in Winnipeg:  Trent Nash & EZ Ryder b Kory Kinkade & Prince Feurgo, Will Damon b Scott Justice, Antonio Scorpio Jr. b Leo London, Kenny Omega & Chris Stevens b Adam Knight & JP Kaos and Mike Angels & Chad Tatum in a three-way, Scott Justice won Premier Rumble.  Next show is 8/18 in Winnipeg at the Marquee Lounge & Event Centre. (thanks to Andrew Shallcross)
 
--In a trivia note from Chuck Langerman, Claude Marrow, who works as the indie wrestler Ruckus, was the Baltimore City champion in the heavyweight division from 1995 to 1997.
 
--SoCal Pro Wrestling tonight at 7 p.m. in Oceanside, CA at the Boys & Girls Club with Tommy Wilson & Nick Lovin & Peter Avalon & Ricky Mandel vs. SoCal Crazy and three mystery partners. 
 
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling from last night in Columbus, IN before 370 fans:  Troy Van Zant won Battle Royal, Damien Cole b Tom Van Zant, Cruel Intentions b Cooter Clampett & Rick Ruckus, Abriella b Camron Star, Jocephus Brody DCOR JD. Marioni, Donny Idol b Troy Van Zant, Diceman Ronnie Vegas & Dutch Mantell b T.J. Powers & Pastor Pain.  Next show is 8/6 in Columbus, IN. (thanks to Jerry Wilson)
 
--USWO from last night in Nashville before 75 fans:  Fireball Roberts b Mikey Jones, Shawn Hoodrich b Logan Shane, Nick Iggy b Jeremy Flynt, L.T. Falk b Toby Farley, Bully Douglas & Ox Harley b Tim Renesto & Jeremy Flynt, Damien Payne & Mikey Jones b Chris Michaels (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
 
--IWRG from Thursday night in Naucalpan:  Rolling Boy & Triton b Alan Extreme & Imposible, Golden Magic & El Hijo del Black Man & Miss Gaviota b Keshi Black & King Drako & Polifaceiticol Angelico & Centurion & Multifacetico b Barba Roja & El Hijo del L.A. Park & Pirata Morgan Jr., Damian 666 & Bestia 666 won four-way over Pirata Morgan & El Hijo del Pirata Morgan, Mascara Ano 2000 Jr. & Pantera and Las Traumas I & II.  

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