MON. UPDATE: Future of famous wrestling arena up today; Edge the actor; WWE wary of stalker



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        We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday night's Strikeforce show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        We're also looking for live reports from Raw tonight in Indianapolis, with the Superstars matches, dark matches, attendance and anything else not evident on the live show.  Besides a Divas Battle Royal, C.M. Punk is scheduled to do his big return interview which is actually by far the most important thing on the show.
 
        We're also looking for reports on yesterday's WWE Raw show in Springfield, IL (Cena vs. Punk) and Smackdown show in Terre Haute, IN (Orton vs. Christian), as well as reports from Friday night's TNA show in Tyler, TX.

        Smackdown and NXT are taped on Tuesday in Lexington.    
 
        An update on C.M. Punk, SummerSlam, and the direction, if there is such a thing, of WWE going forward is the lead article on the newest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  The lead story talks about the past and present plans for SummerSlam, changes, the return of Jim Ross, behind the scenes regarding the returns of Punk and Ross, ratings, early indications on Money in the Bank on PPV, people second guessing the return, why Punk fans should be happy with how the angle played out, as well as what people knew what.  We also look at the period that could have doomed his career in WWE.
 
        We also look back on the Jim Ross run in WWE, the attempts at replacing him and what happened each time that has led him back to the main chair. 

        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.
 
        Our other lead story is our twice yearly look at who are the biggest stars in the industry.  Our top 50 in the U.S. power list based on Google searches yields some very interesting results, including a new No. 1 for thus far in 2011, a shocking No. 2, as well as who is stronger than their push, and who is the most noticeable person weaker than their push.  We also look at who left and became a bigger star, and who left and was forgotten.  It's a look at the biggest names in wrestling, boxing, MMA, as well as how 2011 has trended for WWE vs. UFC around the world.

        We also look at the value of the UFC championships, and a predictor of what will be a big PPV before the year is out.  We also look at an ominous sign regarding boxing, and what pro wrestling legend is gigantic on a worldwide basis that most wouldn't think of.

        We also look at the return to wrestling of Kenta Kobashi this past week, the scene in Osaka, the booking of the return, and a look back at Kobashi's previous returns.

        We also look at The Rock talking about his return, as well as talk about future plans, why Survivor Series under normal circumstances would not be expected to do well this year, more on Sin Cara, Mark Henry's new role, hints of a lawsuit, WWE star has a stalker and goes to court trying to put the person away, Randy Orton gets lucky, WWE's popularity in the Hispanic community, one of the hardest working men in the company, Fit Finlay talks more about his firing, star in another sport talks about quitting and going into WWE, notes on how much stock WWE execs like Kevin Dunn and Stephanie Levesque own, plus all the business notes from the past week and highlights from all the weekend WWE live events. 

        We also have a feature on the return of Chael Sonnen, looking back at the last year of his life, as well as his comments about his return.  You may like him or hate him, and some do both, but he's certainly among the most quote worthy athletes in sports today.

        We also look at DDT's biggest show of the year, and update Dragon Gate USA with a look at the Uprising PPV, and many of the new stars that appear on the show, plus strengths and weaknesses of this coming week's taped PPV offering.     
  
         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.
 
         Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sites and has the most complete look at the business as a whole anywhere.  The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling industry as well as the MMA industry, from bookers, to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest current names, both on camera, and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and 30 countries subscribe.  Many have subscribed as long as 20 years or more straight. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world and an accuracy from having the most inside sources that can't be found on the web.  Everyone from Wall Street to the major offices to the TV networks in U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business. If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. Just send your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order by faxing that information to 408-244-3402. You can also subscribe via paypal at www.paypal.com and using the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address or subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card, by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.
 
         Also in this week's issue:
 
--One match television show this past week and what a match it was

--One of the top heels in the world inside the ring that you may not have heard of

--Notes from the annual Lucha Libre expo

--What longtime star is being positioned for a face turn

--Complete Verano de Escandalo lineup with several TNA stars appearing

--Why AAA lost U.S. TV

--New battle of the high flyers program being set up

--Notes on NOAH's jr. heavyweight tag team tournament

--Legends trio returns in Japan

--Sad death of indie manager

--Statue being built to honor an 80s pro wrestling star

--PWG's 8th anniversary show

--Former WWE performer places in national contest in another sport

--Destination X update

--Kurt Angle vs Sting program

--Lineup for TNA's Hardcore Justice PPV

--Lots of Hogan news

--TNA injury updates

--TNA star on another national TV show last week

--Former TNA star gets national network talk show

--RVD/Generation Me comments

--Generation Me talk leaving TNA, plans they were told, and why they decided to go

--Notes on TNA events this past week

--Notes on future TNA television

--First UFC title fight on television in four years

--Upcoming UFC show off to strong advance

--UFC's New Year's Eve plans

--Tons more UFC card changes

--Another UFC main event nearly kaput in a near miss

--Thoughts on the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix

--Dana White and Vince McMahon

--Thoughts on Fedor's future and the Strikeforce show

--Lorenzo Fertitta talks testosterone replacement therapy

--Frank Shamrock/Dana White feud

--Olympic silver medalist signs with Zuffa

--Tons of new UFC fights

--Coverage of the Strikeforce Challengers show

--Lots of upcoming Bellator plans for big matches the rest of the year

--Update on Nate Marquardt and Marquardt says why he thinks his testosterone is low

--Update on Bobby Lashley in MMA

--Notes on MMA judging including stats so far regarding testing with a new system

         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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*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
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--A vote is taking place today on the future of the Nassau Coliseum, which has housed pro wrestling regularly since its opening in 1972.  The vote would include taking down the Coliseum and building a new arena, convention center and minor league baseball park on the same complex.  This would likely require a 4% increase in property tax to fund.  The threat is unless there is a new arena, that the New York Islanders, the main tenant of the arena will move, costing jobs.  The New York Times noted that building new arenas, as Cincinnati, Houston and Seattle have done, usually costs a lot more than expected (this is expected to cost $400 million) and rarely produces the economic benefits its supporters claim, and usually results in local governments going deeply in debt.
 
--The Countdown to UFC 133 will air after Raw on Spike, which has been traditionally its best ratings time slot, starting at 11 p.m.  It will be replayed on Thursday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m. on Spike, as well as on Versus and HDNet during the week.
 
--Edge will be in four episodes of the TV series "Haven" on Syfy this season.  He will play the role of Dwight Hendrickson, debuting with the episode that airs on Friday night after Smackdown.  The character is a former Army Ranger who works in the shadows to cover up supernatural events, making people disappear and manipulating evidence.  Edge will appear on episodes that air after Smackdown on 8/5, 9/9, 9/16 and 9/23.
 
--If you didn't see the Strikeforce show, it will be replayed tomorrow night at 10:30 p.m. on Showtime Extreme.  Most people seemed to like the show.  I thought it was good but the main event is definitely worth going out of your way to see, because it'll be a candidate for match of the year this year.  Plus, I don't know how it came off on TV, but the scene of Miesha Tate winning the title was one of the most impressive reactions to a title win in a long time.
 
--TMZ reported that WWE is upping security because of 61-year-old Lee Silber, who threatened to take Maryse Oullet to heaven with him and has contacted her many times, sending her letters and such, resulting in her getting a protection order against him.  WWE plans to keep extra protection in place for Maryse as long as they feel there is a legitimate threat. 
 
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Raw, SummerSlam, TNA Hardcore Justice, UFC Countdown, fallout from the weekend and whatever else comes up tonight on Wrestling Observer radio.  You can send questions in for tonight's show to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--To the surprise of nobody, Versus will change its name and branding to NBC  Sports effective January 2, 2012, with a new name and the NBC peacock logo, in time for the Olympics.  It is expected that UFC will have a new presence on the network in 2012, but that may not be as likely today as it appeared to be a couple of months back, because the UFC television contract after the end of this year is very much up in the air.
 
--WWE's annual summer promotion with 7/11 is back on for the month of August.  They will have collectible cups of John Cena, The Rock, Roddy Piper, The Miz, Steve Austin, Rey Mysterio, Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton. 
 
--Add Pope vs. Devon to Sunday's Hardcore Justice PPV.  This will be a Bound for Glory series match.
 
--Dana White on twitter in responding to fans mad at him over things he's said about Fedor Emelianenko, responded, "Michael Jordan of MMA!?  Dumbest thing ever said!!!  So stupid."  Which led to infuriating even more people.
 
--Adam Pearce regained the vacant NWA title in the show last night at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, OH, before an estimated 180 fans:  Orlando Savage b Eric Fallen, Izzy Lambert b Jake South, Apollo Star b Kaden Assad, Ted McNailer & Adam Revolver b Jamin Olivencia & Rudy Switchblade, Paradise b Muhammad Ali Vez to keep the OVW TV title, James Ross & Ashton Amherst b Murder One & A.J. Steele, Ace Rockwell b Chip Day to keep the Southern title, Cliff "Domino" Compton b Mike Mondo, Adam Pearce won four-way over Chance Prophet, Jimmy Rave and Shaun Tampers to win the NWA world title. (thanks to Bill Behrens).
 
--IWL iPPV from last night in Mexico City:  Guerrero Arlequin & Molosco Jr. b Quiminico Jr. & Nino de Fuego, Big Mama & Juan el Ranchero b Guerrero Arlequin & Molosco Jr., Big Mama & Juan el Ranchero b Caderno Punk & Matanza 88, Big Mama & Juan el Ranchero b Hammer & Black Heart, Freelance & Turbo & Naruto b Tribal & Kansuke & Samuray del Sol (they went to a draw, then ordered five more minutes and the Freelance team won, Tony Rivera DDQ Zumbido, ATM b Hijo de Medico Asesino & Epidemia & Fishman Jr. & Kung Fu Jr. in an elimination match, Daga d Micke Segura with a double pin finish in a great match that went 25:00, Oriental & Craig Classic b Super Crazy & Heddi Karaoui, Low Rider & Mad Man Pondo & Balls Mahoney & Fantasma de la Opera b Los Porros.  Show went almost four hours (thanks to Jimmy Korte)
 
--A story on the Smackdown brand house show in Terre Haute yesterday is at http://tribstar.com/local/x1926602845/Talking-Smackdown/print  WWE is really pushing to local media the theme that going to pro wrestling events is a multi-generational activity. 
 
--I'm also looking for reports on the weekend CHIKARA events.  Chris Cruise went to the show in Philadelphia yesterday and said, "I have been watching and calling wrestling for 43 years are there are not many cards I have seen in all that time that are better than the one I saw tonight in Philly.  CHIKARA has made me a rabid wrestling fan again."  Got a few other notes on people who raved about the Johnny Kidd and Johnny Saint appearances.  Well, if you're in that area and missed it, don't say I didn't warn you, like a half-dozen times.    
 
--It was also announced at the CHIKARA show that Hall of Famer Aja Kong will make her return to the U.S. after probably a decade or more later this year (thanks to Jim Mills)
 
--Who do you predict takes this fight?
Miesha Tate 57.0%
Sarah Kaufman 43.0%
 
--If Fedor's people ask for a $1 million price tag, should Zuffa sign him to a new deal?
Yes, for Strikeforce, because even if they lose money, the prestige is worth it 6.9%
Yes, only for UFC for PPV 15.8%
No, bad financial move at that price 77.3%
 
--Which of these fights was the best?
Daley vs. Diaz 28.7%
Maynard vs. Edgar 28.1%
Fedor vs. Henderson 26.9%
Faber vs. Cruz 16.4%
 
--Poll on Smackdown?
Excellent 11.0%
Good 43.0%
Average 33.0%
Fair 4.0%
Poor 9.0%
        39.0% of those responding didn't see the show.
 
--Best TV show of the past week
Raw 51.2%
Strikeforce 31.6%
Impact 10.2%
Smackdown 2.3%
CMLL 1.9%
Inside MMA 0.9%
MMA Live 0.9%
Titan Fighting Championships 0.9%
 
--"Living Colour" on twitter thanked C.M. Punk for bringing back interest in the song "Cult of Personality." 
 
--A story that sounds like it's bad but really was pretty good, talked about six silly sounding jobs that are way harder than you think at http://www.cracked.com/  Pro wrestling was No. 5, talking about the schedule and physical abuse.  Airline flight attendants was No. 6. (thanks to Curtis Hughes) 
 
--This was the scene in Mt. Laurel, NJ at the first game since the death of former Roller Games star heel Judy Sowinski with a speech and a slide show at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StwPq6xHsfA  It was very emotional for the people involved.  The league is going to have a memorial tribute to Sowinski on 8/21 at 5 p.m. at their banked track warehouse in North Philadelphia.
 
--James Stanios noted that Judy Sowinski was born on the same day as Ringo Starr, who was not a pro wrestler by the way, although there were a bunch of Ringo's in the 60s and 70s in pro wrestling named after Ringo Starr. (Ringo the Wrestling Beatle, Ringo Rigby, Johnny Ringo). 
 
--Urban Wrestling Federation announced they've reached an agreement with Carol City Cartel, Triple C, for their next taping that will take place in the fall in Miami.  He's also shot footage with promoter Steve Karel in South Beach that will be on the next event.
 
--In the useless trivia department, Toms River East High School in Toms River, NJ produced both a pro wrestler and an MMA star.  Frankie Edgar, a 2000 graduate, wrestled at 130 and 135 pounds and was a three-time district champion and placed second in the state as a junior and fifth as a senior before going on to Clarion College.  Mike Bucci, who wrestled as Nova and Simon Dean among other names, graduated in 1990.  His twin brother Don, who was a manager on the indie scene as Donnie B, also graduated in 1990  (thanks to Chuck Langerman) 
 
--Taichi Palace Fights on Friday night in Lemoore, CA is headlined by Darrell Montaugue defending the flyweight (125 pound title) against Ian McCall and Joe Soto vs. Eddie Yagin, as well as former WEC light heavyweight champion Doug Marshall vs. Giva Santana. 
 
--Eric Bischoff's new project, Buffalo Bill Cody Beer, is now being distributed in several locations in Cody, WY, where Bischoff has a home.
 
--Las Vegas gossip columns listed that Brooke Hogan was spotted over the weekend on a date with Sidney Rice of the Seattle Seahawks.  
 
--Tony Garea has been added to the list of those at the MWF 10th anniversary bash on 9/17 in Melrose, MA at Memorial Hall.  Among those appearing are Carlito, Paul Bearer, Low Ki, Abyss, Jay Lethal, Ox Baker and Tony Atlas.
 
--Some notes from Chuck Langerman on the Gravity Death Match iPPV show.  Shane Douglas, who did the announcing, has put on a lot of weight.  There was no A.C. in the building and he was wearing a long sleeve shirt.  The show started about an hour late.  At 11 p.m., the manager of the baseball arena was freaking out because they still had two matches to go and it's unlikely they'll be allowed back.  Masada vs. Necro Butcher as the main event was rushed due too time, and they were so rushed they never even bothered to clean up the light tubes from the previous match.  They did a deal where fans in the building were supposed to vote for the winner of matches electronically as something new.  It didn't work.  Fans were chanting, "This is not wrestling."  The women's match with Mickie Knuckles and Amanda blew everything away on the show.  Both women juiced.  A lot of the audience did not appear to be wrestling fans.  They were well dressed and looked like aspiring actresses and actors.  One well dressed woman was told she was being paid by a local talent agency to attend the show.
 
--There was some controversy about John Cena twittering a photo of himself coming out of the shower.  It just showed him from the waist to the neck.  To me it felt like much ado about nothing.
 
--Platinum Championship Wrestling on Friday night at 8 p.m. at The Academy Theater in Avondale Estates, GA.  Shane Marx vs. Kyle Matthews headlines, with the winner getting a shot at Davey Richards' ROH title on 9/24.
 
--Maryland Championship Wrestling on Saturday night drew 600 in Dundalk,, MD for the Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup:  Alex Colon over Corey Hollis and Judas Young, Vordell Walker over Kyle Matthews and Nathan Crown, Ronnie Zukko b Nui Tofiga-COR, Ricky Reyes over Mike Posey and Aden Chambers, Josh Daniels over Oliver Grimsley and Alexander James, Napalm Bomb won Battle Royal, Fed Up b Holy Rollers in a strap match (based on stipulations, the Holy Rollers have to retire from wrestling), Cobian b Bruiser, Sami Callihan b Kirby Mack, Alex Colon, Vordell Walker, Ricky Reyes and Josh Daniels to win the 2011 Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup (thanks to Joe Burrows)
 
--Phil Mushnick in his column in the New York Post yesterday noted that former Post Deputy Sports Editor Dick Klayman said Bartolo Colon and Andre the Giant were lookalikes.  (thanks to Jeff Sheridan)
 
--Platinum Championship Wrestling from Friday night in Avondale Estates before 150 fans:  Tommy Daniels b Marko Polo, Geter & Brian Blaze b Zach Daniels & Zachary Blaine, Mason b Sylar Cross, Dany Only & Stryknyn & Andrew Pendleton III b Jon & Trey Williams & Eric Walker, Vandall DCOR Michael Cannon, Kyle Matthews over Shane Marx, Vordell Walker and Spitfire Thomas Johnson, Lee Roy b Brandon Kage, Pandora b Aisha Sunshine in a last woman standing match, Chip Day b Grotesque-DQ (thanks to Larry Goodman)
 
--IWF from Saturday night in Woodland Park, NJ:  Frank Scoleri b Steven Sterling, Joey Golden b Kasey Coresh, Aaron Stride & Jarrett Foster b Kerson Slade & Donte Arcade, Austin Williams b Absolutely Edwin, Travis Blake b Chris Steeler, Kraig Stagg b Flex Freeman.  Next shows are 8/13 and 8/27.
 
--On Howard Stern last week, they did a superfan trivia contest.  One of the contestants wore a Larry Sweeney Sweet & Sour T-shirt and a CHIKARA baseball cap as well as Randy Savage style sunglasses, although Stern never called attention to it.  He won $2,500 and a cruise. (thanks to Troy Snyder and Tom Robinson)
 
--NWS from Saturday night in Carteret, NJ:  Corey Havoc & Chris Steeler b J.T. Highlander & Slayer, Tim Hughes & Leon St. Giovanne b Chief Draven & Jake Spade, Corvis Fear & J.D. Smoothie b Mike Dennis & Chris D'Andrea-COR, Nicky Oceans & Damian Darling b Mike Donovan & Nick Napoleon, Steve Scott & Nick Talent b Paco Libro & Manuel Manny Moore, Bobo Brazil Jr. & Zombie b Monsta Mack & Danny Inferno
 
--Tommy Dreamer and Rhino will be wrestling in Bradford, ONT on 8/20 at part of their annual Carrot Fest. (thanks to Devin Cutting)
 
--Squared Circle Pro Wrestling on 9/3 in Lubbock, TX at Jake's Sports Cafe and Backroom.
 
--Ed, Cutrer and Craig talk to the recovering Brodie Lee at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cutrer
 
--UWC returns on 9/10 in Browns Mill, NJ at the Fire House.
 
--FSW on 8/7 at the FSW Arena on 6658 Boulder Highway in Las Vegas.  Franco D'Angelo has vacated the FSW title due to injury, so the main event will determine a new champion.  Al Katrazz will be one of three participants, with the others being the final two in a Battle Royal earlier in the show.

Who had the best show?

 

Who won the night?