THURS. UPDATE: Ratings, Sin Cara update, big Dragon Gate bouts, Best world champion, Hogan, White



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        Tonight's Impact:
*Rob Van Dam vs. Scott Steiner in the Bound for Glory tournament
*Rosita & Sarita vs. Tara & Miss Tessmacher for the Knockouts tag titles
*A.J. Styles vs. Matt Morgan vs. Samoa Joe vs. Gunner in a ladder match for the Bound for Glory tournament
*Brian Kendrick vs. Alex Shelley for the X Division title
*Sting & Kurt Angle vs. Bully Ray & Senor Anderson
 
        Superstars tonight on the Internet:
*Michael McGillicutty & David Otunga vs. Zack Ryder & Santino Marella in a non-title match
*Evan Bourne vs. Primo
*Justin Gabriel vs. Tyson Kid
*Natalya vs. Alicia Fox
 
        A look back at the person and angle who may have spawned everything that took place in the last week, as well as a report on the WWE Money in the Bank PPV and C.M. Punk is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

        The issue looks at Brian Pillman in 1996 and 1997, the Canadian Stampede PPV, working the system, all the WWE angle over the past week and the unique balancing act the company is trying.  We look at what talent has been told, the Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin match from 1997, the finish of the PPV, business notes on the show and match-by-match rundown with star ratings.

        We also look at the biggest drawing "B" PPVs dating back to 2005, with a look of what usually draws best on those type of shows. 
       
        We also have more from Punk on complaints about the company, who should be pushed that isn't, the dress code, his feedback from wrestlers and what admitting that feedback says regarding previous statements by wrestlers themselves.

        We also look at the Vince McMahon angle as well as how much reality was in the angle, including what has been said of late about Vince McMahon.

        The issue will be up today on the web site for web site subscribers.  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 more on the changes in the writing team, both in makeup and structure, and what to expect different because of it.  We also look at some notes on ratings and buy rates and what they mean, as well as a historical look at ratings and what they mean for attendance.  We also have an update as to time delayed viewership for Raw, a wrestler getting bad reviews, WWE going to Mexico,  and a look at Chavo Guerrero's comments.

        We also look at business at recent TV tapings, as well as a look at the past week's Raw/Smackdown joint brand show.

        We also have a look at Alistair Overeem being pulled out of the Grand Prix tournament, why it happened, the replacement fight and the tournament going forward, as well as what it means for the tournament.

        We also have a look at philosophical changes at Spike TV and how that changes the type of programming they want to do, the new goals, and how TNA and UFC do or don't fit in.

        We also have an update on Sin Cara, including what has been said both positively and negatively about him, the drug suspension and the other unanswered questions.

        We also look at the end of one of the most bitter wrestling promotional feuds in history as the IWA wrestlers showed up over the weekend at the WWC big event in Puerto Rico.  We look at how the rivalry started, and its history, we look back at when Puerto Rico was one of the true hotbeds of pro wrestling including the early Aniversario shows that featured the biggest names throughout wrestling competing before the biggest crowds in the industry.  We look at the early shows, the return of The Invader, and match-by-match coverage of WWC's biggest event of the year.

        We also look at Dragon Gate's biggest events of the year.

        We've also got a feature on the current state of women's MMA in the big time, including who could be the next face of the sport, and what may be one of the most important women's matches in history coming up at the end of this month and why.

         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:

--A major head-to-head confrontation coming at the end of the month

--Surprise results regarding WWE talent outside WWE

--Major star looks to be in jail for eight months to a year taking him right out of a major show this month

--A look at the lineup for AAA's Verano de Escandalo featuring several names from TNA

--Notes on the 2011 Lucha Libre Expo

--Updates on AAA business

--Dragon Gate USA announces big match

--Dragon Gate USA star headed to Japan for an extended tour

--Pro Wrestling NOAH's annual junior heavyweight tag team tournament notes

--Notes on the latest New Japan PPV show

--Wrestler passes away in in-ring accident

--80s star has a retirement match this past week

--Major legends show in October

--Notes on movies on Bruno Sammartino

--Update on the NWA title situation and why it went down like it did

--Notes on a new pro wrestling book about the history of wrestling in one of its most tradition based cities

--Two biggest stars in the history of wrestling return for a show in a few weeks

--More on the arrest of Branko Busich, the son of a former WWE performer

--Son of one of the 90s biggest stars now training for pro wrestling

--Contract updates

--Jeff Hardy update

--TNA makes major deal

--Why TNA/AAA relationship may end up shaky based on things that have already happened

--TNA headliner says he wants to retire by 40

--TNA headliner is under 40

--More on TNA morale

--Update on Brock Lesnar

--Tons more on UFC injury situation

--Lots more on UFC card changes

--Update on a loaded UFC event in Houston

--Update on five straight Saturdays of big shows

--Lots of new fights announced

--A look at the shows this weekend

--Another Japanese star signs with Zuffa

--Talk of reviving K-1

--Bobby Lashley's next fight

--More on a former pro wrestling star vs. boxing star mixed match and strange rules

--A look back at the last time these type of rules were in play

--Pro wrestling move from the 20s now works in MMA

--Return of Kimbo

    
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--In last week's cable ratings, USA was No. 1 with a 2.5 rating.  Syfy was up to No. 7 with another 1.1 prime time average.  Spike did not crack the top 25.  The two hours of Raw last week were No. 21 and No. 25 in the ratings.  Top was the Japan vs. USA women's soccer World Cup final doing an 8.6 on ESPN.  Home Run Derby did a 4.7.  TNT had Sprint Car racing that did a 3.3 and Home Run Derby prelude on ESPN did a 3.1.  The second hour of Raw was No. 9 in 18-49.
 
--Sin Cara has added heat to himself by doing an interview with Record where he claimed he had no idea why he tested positive, but used a steroid for a routine injection in his knee (the old injury rehab story).  The newspaper has since taken the story down.  WWE officials were furious at him for doing an unauthorized interview, but as of last night according to two different people in positions where they would need to know based on long-term planning, his future with the company was not determined.  
 
--Some new Dragon Gate USA matches.  9/9 in Indianapolis has a captains fall match (the only way the match can end is if one captain beats the other) with Pac (captain) & Rich Swann & A.R. Fox vs. Ricochet (captain) & Cima & Akira Tozawa.  Pac vs. Ricochet in a single has been added to the Yamato vs. Cima Open the Freedom Gate match on 9/10 in Chicago.  Milwaukee features the Open the United Gate (US) tag titles against the Open the Twin Gate (Japan) tag titles with Pac & Masato Yoshino vs. Ricochet & Cima.
 
--Our new interview with Bruno Sammartino is up on the site.  Like all, this is nearly two hours of talking about everything from two movies on his life, his feud with Buddy Rogers, the story about how his match with Pedro Morales happened, and the big match that he always wanted that Vince McMahon Sr. would never let happen, as well as more on Antonio Inoki, Toru Tanaka, how he got double-crossed in a match with Hans Schmidt and why he owes his career to the late Frank Tunney, as well as his final match ever, where he teamed with Hulk Hogan for the only time in Baltimore.    
 
--Bill Simmons was scheduled to tape an interview with C.M. Punk today for his podcast.
 
--Simmons also wrote a big story about his favorite WWF entrance themes of all-time at http://grantland.com/story/_/id/6790423/good-lord-music  He credited Hogan for entrance music in 1983.  Wow, everyone copied him by doing entrance music, interviews, and working the crowd between moves.
 
--Who is the biggest oversight in the WWE Hall of Fame?
Bruno Sammartino 59.2%
Randy Savage 26.4%
Lou Thesz 7.3%
Bob Backlund 3.0%
Crusher 0.9%
Frank Gotch 0.8%
Whipper Watson 0.8%
Johnny Valentine 0.7%
Dick the Bruiser 0.6%
Jim Londos 0.2%
 
Best wrestler of the current world champions
C.M. Punk 59.8%
Davey Richards 14.8%
Christian 10.7%
Hiroshi Tanahashi 5.7%
Sting 4.0%
Jeff Jarrett 1.3%
Masaaki Mochizuki 1.3%
Ultimo Guerrero 1.2%
Go Shiozaki 1.1%
Suwama 0.2%
 
Greatest tag team of all-time
Road Warriors 44.7%
Midnight Express 19.5%
British Bulldogs 14.0%
Brody & Hansen 5.6%
Funks 3.2%
Stevens & Patterson 3.0%
Kangaroos 2.4%
Briscos 1.9%
Bruiser & Crusher 1.9%
Andersons 1.7%
Steamboat & Youngblood 1.2%
Rocca & Perez 0.7%
 
--Hulk Hogan claimed Andre the Giant checked his oil and it hurt because his fingers were so large.  No, I don't know of anyone else who believes that story either.
 
--The Hulk Hogan "Back from the Brink" speech on how you can lose weight, be a happier person and all that on 8/26 in Greensboro has tickets going on sale Saturday at the Greensboro Coliseum box office.
 
--Dana White was on WFAN in New York this morning.  He claimed it was the Culinary Workers Union that was keeping MMA out of New York.  He said GSP was the biggest star in the company right now, but mentioned everyone who holds a title and Brock Lesnar, while burying Kimbo Slice when his name was brought up (thanks to Michael Barton)
 
--A story on Dana White and Shane Vittorino and how White got Vittorino into the 2009 All-Star game, which is kind of a huge indictment of the fan voting system, is at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/

 

--The 10/1 UFC show on Versus is official for the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.
 
--The 9/10 Strikeforce Grand Prix semifinals are slated for the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.
 
--At a conference call, Scott Coker confirmed Daniel Cormier vs. Antonio Bigfoot Silva in the semifinal instead of Alistair Overeem.  He was very careful not to bury Overeem at all, just saying he was injured and wouldn't be ready to fight on that date.
 
--Ric Flair is now selling things like a personally signed world title replica belt, and for $495, you can get a five minute personal phone call from Flair, plus lots of autographed products at http://ricflair.com/shop/catalog/index.php?cPath=34  Kids, don't get divorced three times when you're making hundreds of thousands per year.
 
--C.M. Punk is posting videos to keep himself in the news including at http://youtu.be/2NAvDqglbAE and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NAvDqglbAE    
 
--Nate Marquardt and Chris Leben went at it yesterday at the taping of HDNet's Inside MMA, that airs tomorrow night at 9 p.m.  Well, Marquardt did an interview saying that people who are criticizing him don't know what they are talking about, and Leben took umbrage to that.  Marquardt also issued a challenge to fight a UFC superstar in a gym fight.  Leben, Miesha Tate and Melvin Guillard will be guest on the show.
 
--Uncensored K-Swiss commercial with Rey Mysterio, Urijah Faber and Jon Jones is at http://www.youtube.com/watch/v=Xl_oYxr0blo and behind the scenes stuff is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slQ0EhEMiSs&playnext=1&list=PL2E8A4D678EDA D872F
 
--Sheamus will appear tomorrow on Bubba the Love Sponge to promote the FCW house show on Saturday night in Melbourne, FL that he will be headlining.
 
--Which reminds me of a story.  A group of wrestlers from a major promotion were watching a recent UFC PPV show together.  The phone rang on one of the guys' cell phones and he left.  At this point, the championship match had just ended and Dana White was in the cage putting the belt on the champion.  Then the guy came back in the room and said, "That was Dana, he just called me because he wanted me to fight in UFC."  
 
--ROH has added Davey Richards defending the ROH title against Roderick Strong for its 8/13 TV tapings in Chicago.
 
--Frightmare was injured and is out of Tuesday's Evolve show in New York at BB Kings Blues Club.  It'll be an iPPV.  Kevin Steen appears.  Johnny Gargano vs. Chuck Taylor, Sami Callihan vs. Fit Finlay, Bobby Fish vs. Jon Davis, Cheech & Cloudy vs. Mystery team, Player Uno & Player Dos vs Facade & Jason Gory, Shiima Xion vs. Pinkie Sanchez, Tony Nese vs. John Silver and Silas Young vs. Sugar Dunkerton is also on the show.
 
--Juggalo Championship Wrestling from last night in Pontiac, MI:  Corporal Robinson b Kevin Thorn, Rob Conway b Weedman, Sabu b U-Gene, Amber O'Neal b Brittany Force, Zach Gowen won three-way over Jimmy Jacobs and Bill Martel, Rhino b Breyer Wellington, Kongo Kong b Bumpin Uglies, Colt Cabana b 2 Tuff Tony to win JCW heavyweight title
 
--I'll be appearing tomorrow afternoon at about 4 p.m. on Prime Time Sports in Canada with Jeff Marek. 
 
--UFC fighter Cub Swanson suffered a broken nose, cheekbone and orbital bone in sparring the day after the UFC insurance kicked in, which saved him about $50,000 in medical bills.  There is a story on http://www.mmajunkie.com on it.
 
--Xtreme Knockout on 7/23 for a TV taping at The Gym in Arlington, TX for an 11-fight card.
 
--There is a book called "Men of Warrior," which is about the movie "Warrior," which premiers at the theaters on 9/9, a martial arts movie that Kurt Angle plays a Russian middleweight world champion in.
 
--Steve Johnson does a story on the athletic background of Gorilla Monsoon at http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2011/07/11/18402696.html
 
--Edge will be at the San Diego Comic Con tomorrow and Saturday.
 
--This weekend on Go Fight Live on iPPV, all MMA offerings:
*Ultimate Reno  Combat at 11 p.m. Friday night
*CFCC 10 from Atlantic City on Saturday at 7 p.m.
*Warriors Cup 12  from Lincroft, NJ at 7 p.m. Saturday
*Summer Fight Night (boxing & MMA) at 8 p.m. Saturday from Springfield, MO
*Sportfight X from Norcross, GA at 9 p.m. Saturday
 
--Her's a different twist, Eddy Mansfield & David Shults have been added to the NWA Wrestling Legends Fanast talking about the John Stossel 20/20 expose of pro wrestling that aired in early 1985.  This will take place on 8/4 at 8:05 p.m. at the Atlanta Airport Marriott.  They are added to a list that includes Ole Anderson, Assassin Jody Hamilton, Mr. Wrestling II, Steve O, Ted DiBiase, Tony Atlas, Tim Brooks, Masked Superstar, Funk Brothers, Tommy Rich, Nick Bockwinkel, Harley Race, Joyce Grable, Judy Martin, Leilani Kai, Rob Van Dam, Joe Pedicino, Boni Blackstone, Thunderbolt Patterson, Ron Simmons, Gypsy Joe, Stan Hansen, Teddy Long, Ron Garvin, Ron Bass, Buddy Colt, Scrappy McGowen, Moondog Rex, Tully Blanchard, Baby Doll, Greg Valentine, Big Mama, Lars Anderson, Ivan Koloff, J.J. Dillon, Archie "The Mongolian Stomper" Gouldie, Jimmy Snuka, Austin Idol, Pat Rose and Randy Rose.  For more info go to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it    
 
--University of MMA has a show on Sunday at The Avalon in Hollywood, CA, at 4 p.m., with 14 fights headlined by Georgie Garcia vs. Mike Reyes, plus a best-of-three series between Legends MMA and Dan Henderson's Team Quest in Temecula.
 
--Paul Nicholson of Australia did a C.M. Punk arm crossing pose and wore a Nexus scarf on a darts show on Thursday. (thanks to Paul Philbin)
 
--NWS on Saturday night in Island Heights, NJ at the Fire Company Hall with Manu and Monsta Mack 
 
--Ian Stewart, a third basemen for the Colorado Rockies, who was called up from AAA (that's the highest tier of minor league baseball, not a wacky promotion in Mexico) is using John Cena's entrance music whenever he comes up to bat (thanks to Mike Green)
 
--Real Championship Wrestling on 8/6 in Baltimore at the DuBurns Arena with Ophidian vs. Shiima Xion, Frightmare vs. Adam Cole in a battle of former Wrestling Observer Rookies of the Year and the Briscoes.
 
--A story on Alex Riley building up Saturday's Raw house show in Wildwood, NJ is at http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/    
 
--Pro Wrestling Syndicate on 8/20 in Ronkonkoma, NY at Center Island Sports with appearances by Mick Foley, Ox Baker and Ted DiBiase Sr., plus wrestling will be Necro Butcher Sid Vicious, Amazing Red, Tony Nese, Sonjay Dutt, and Carlito faces Eddie Kingston.
 
--Texas All-Star Wrestling on Saturday night in Brenham, TX and the Silver Wings Ballroom with a Battle Royal.
 
--TNA's November PPV, Turning Point, will be on 11/13 in Orlando.
 
--EWF on 7/22 in Covina, CA at the Knights of Columbus Hall

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