Bellator tonight at 9 p.m. on MTV 2
Neil Grove (264.4) vs. Zak Jensen (263.4)
Chris Horodecki (155.4) vs. Chris Saunders (155.4)
Nazareno Malegarie (145.6) vs. Marlon Sandro (145.6) for the featherweight tournament semifinals
Pat Curran (146) vs. Ronnie Mann (144.8) for the featherweight tournament semifinals
Sunday has Raw in Upper Marlboro, MD and Smackdown in White Plains, NY.
Monday has Raw in Hampton, VA, featuring Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz in the finals of the WWE title tournament. The show is being built around the theme of HHH's first day in charge. There is also a Monday Impact taping in Orlando.
Tuesday has Smackdown and NXT being taped in Philadelphia, while a second night of Impact tapings will be in Orlando.
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.
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:
--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
--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
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.
--Kenta Kobashi returned to action today after 19 months in a tag team match in Osaka. Kobashi & Go Shiozaki lost to Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito when Akiyama pinned Kobashi.
--ROH champion Davey Richards is currently hospitalized with a staph infection. Best wishes to him for a quick recovery.
--Bret Hart will be working this weekend's Smackdown house show tour, as the referee of the Randy Orton vs. Christian main events. Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz from Raw have been added to the Pittsburgh show tonight. They worked last night on the Raw show in Springfield, MA. A brief interview with Hart is at http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_748072.html
--They are doing an angle where Kane suffered a broken leg from the attack from Mark Henry that aired on last night's Smackdown show. Similar to Big Show, they are going to keep him out of action for several weeks to sell the angle and bring him back.
--Last night on Smackdown in Canada, they were promoting upcoming Canadian house shows with John Cena defending the WWE title and Randy Orton defending the world title. Don't read anything more into this other than WWE doesn't alert its advertising side about changes ahead of time, usually because they don't make the decisions, and things like this will always happen without long-term planning and communications. (thanks to Paul Begley and others)
--Dana White and Frank Shamrock got into a twitter war last night. It started when someone asked Shamrock to name one person that would get him out of retirement to fight and he said White. The guy who asked the question then twittered it to White, who started out responding as a joke saying, "After seeing the beatings Frank has got in his last few fights, I don't blame him for wanting to fight me." Then he started joking about Shamrock's braces and Frank challenged him to a fight. Then White brought Mike Swick's name into it as Swick claimed Shamrock shouldn't be involved in an anti-bullying campaign since he used to bully people in the gym. Then Shamrock wrote "Real men fight their own battles. I watched you beat up a girl and celebrate." The punch line is that Shamrock is an announcer for a company that White controls, although it's pretty clear Shamrock figures that's temporary, and he'd probably be accurate in that assessment. So they are doing the real-life Austin vs. Vince angle and aren't going to make any money off it.
--Do you believe C.M. Punk is under contract to WWE right now?
Not sure 8.9%
--Regarding Alistair Overeem not being in the Grand Prix tournament
I may still watch but the tournament means less to me 51.9%
Makes no difference either way 31.2%
Makes me less likely to watch 16.9%
--Should the semifinals of the tournament been delayed to November to get Overeem in?
--Who will win the tournament
Josh Barnett 58.4%
Antonio Silva 27.9%
Daniel Cormier 8.8%
Sergei Kharitonov 5.0%
--Poll on Impact
46.2% of those responding didn't see the show
--The Nat Geo channel on 8/24 will be airing a documentary on independent wrestling. They will be featuring both Ring of Honor and National Wrestling Superstars.
--The first MMA show in Oshawa, ONT will be 8/20 put on by the Oklahoma based Cage Combat Championships, headlined by Rich Clementi vs. Cameron Dollar. Other former UFC fighters on the bill include Matt Veach, Carmello Marrero and Dan Cramer. They also announced appearances by Joe Stevenson and Melvin Guillard.
--Ring of Fire is doing an autograph event tonight at 6 p.m. in Denver at the National Western Complex. For a $5 donation you can get autographs from Shane Carwin, Brendan Schaub, Nate Marquardt, Eliot Marshall and Duane Ludwig. All money is earmarked a memorial for Denver's Dr. Alex Constantinides, whose campsite in Wyoming was hit by a flood and in driving away, their van was washed into a river and Constantinides' wife and three daughters all lost their lives.
--ESPN U.K. HD is now free for all Sky Sports subscribers in Ireland, which will lead to larger audiences in that country watching UFC events. (thanks to Jordan Gallen)
--An article on Christopher Daniels from the San Diego Comic Con is at http://www.monstersandcritics.com
--Varsity Pro Wrestling on 8/18 in Portsmouth, U.K. at the Guildhall features Shawn Daivari.
--FEW announced that tomorrow's show in Fort Wayne at Broadripple has been canceled because the venue has been repossessed by their bank. If you purchased tickets for the show, they will be good for a makeup date, or you can contact FEW for a refund.
--SAW tonight in Nashville at The Stadium Inn features Kid Kash, Chase Stevens and David Young.
--An interview with me with Jeff Marek from yesterday (it starts at the 17:45 mark) is at http://pmd.fan590.com/podcasts/pts/PTS-2011-07-22-4-pm.mp3 (thanks to Steve Khan)
--Tuesday night CMLL in Pachuca: Nino de Ebano b Medic III, Principe Azteca & Principe Azteca Jr. b Drastick Boy & Kido, Bugambilla del Norte & Exotico b Low Rider & Shiima Xion, Maldito Jr. & Stell Rock b Cerebro Negro & Super Brazo, La Mascara & Shocker b Atlantis & Rey Bucanero-DQ
--Tuesday night CMLL in Queretaro: Los Draonges de Oriente I & II b Los Rayos Tapatios I & II-DQ, Metal Blanco & Palacio Negro b Dragon Rojo Jr. & Nitro, Negro Casas & Mr. Niebla b Ultimo Guerrero & Volador Jr.-DQ (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Thursday night in Naucalpan for IWRG: Dragon Fly & Triton b Imposible & Muerte Infernal, Bagambilla del Norte & Dinamic Black & Miss Gaviota b Carta Brava Jr. & Keshin Black & Polifacetico, El Hijo del L.A. Park & 911 & Shiima Xion b Angelico & Dr. Wagner III & Multifacetico, Damian 666 & Bestia 666 & Halloween & X-Fly b Pirata Morgan Sr. & Barba Roja & El Hijo del Pirata Morgan & Pirata Morgan Jr.
--USWO from last night in Nashville: Big Bully Douglas & Ox Harley b Panther & Tim Renesto, Chrisjen Hayme won three-way over Fireball Roberts and Shawn Hoodrich, Abrilla b Nemesis, Bryan Casey b Nick Iggy, L.T. Falk b Jocephus, Chris Michaels b Damien Payne (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--An interview with Rip Morgan, a former member of The Sheepherders, talking about New Zealand wrestling and the talent he trained is at http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/5326867/Professional-wrestling-returns- from-the-80s
--HPW on 8/6 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds
--Stevie J and Peter H interview UFC fighter Chris Cope at http://angrymarks.com/?ArticleID=14574