SUN. UPDATE: Preview of SummerSlam, UFC on Versus, G-1. TNA papering, ROH tapings, Ref controversy



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        We're taking polls tonight for both SummerSlam and UFC on Versus, 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 reports on last night's TNA house show in Rochester, NY and Friday night's show in Norwich, NY.
 
        Tonight is SummerSlam, WWE's traditional third biggest event of the year.  Only five matches are official:
*John Cena vs. C.M. Punk for the WWE title - Everyone knows this is really a one show match and this is the match.  HHH on Smackdown tried to push this as the biggest title match in WWE history, which sounds overdone but given how weak the undercard is, they need to push this as a big one.  There are two champions and this is to unify, plus Alberto Del Rio has vowed to cash his Money in the Bank in after the match.  Expect a long match similar to the last one, but a big difference being HHH as referee who will probably play into the outcome.  Any of the three could wind up leaving as champion.
*Christian vs. Randy Orton for the world title in a no holds barred match.  As far as this goes, it's probably early to take the title back.  This has become a never-ending feud, not because it's a hot feud, but because Smackdown is so weak on headliners.  The matches in this program have ranged from very good to excellent and no reason to believe this won't fit into that category.
*Sheamus vs. Mark Henry - Interesting booking because they are giving the big babyface push to Sheamus, while at the same time making Henry a monster. At the house shows they've gotten out of it by doing DQ finishes with Henry.  This match is best served as short, and probably also best served right now with Sheamus slipping over because he doesn't need his momentum cut off right after the turn, whereas Henry can survive a loss right now with no problem.
*Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett - If nothing else, they should have a good match and can give you time.  Bryan is the one in focus with the briefcase. There may be the belief they can beat him since he's got the briefcase, but unless it's for something big soon with Barrett, it's probably better for Bryan to go over.
*Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix for the Divas title.  Best kept short.
        There will likely be one or two more matches added.  There was talk of The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio, which at one point was planned, but that depends on whether they want to put Mysterio in a match and what the MRI said about his knee.
 
        On paper this is a good show.  While it will be hard for Cena vs. Punk to repeat last month's match because they aren't in Chicago and things have changed, they still had an awesome match and it's not like you have to have match of the year to have a good main event.  Orton vs Christian is always good. Bryan never has a bad match.  Sheamus vs. Henry and Kelly vs. Phoenix are likely to be short.  Cee Lo Green will be performing on the show as well 
 
        UFC tonight on Versus.
 
Facebook fights starting at 5:45 p.m. Eastern time
 
Edwin Figueroa (136) vs. Jason Reinhardt (135)
Danny Castillo (156) vs. Jacob Volkmann (156)
Cole Miller (155) vs. T.J. O'Brien (155.5)
Alex Caceres (146) vs. Jim Hettes (145.5)
Karlos Vemola (205.5) vs. Ronnie Markes (205)
Ed Herman (186) vs. Kyle Noke (185)
Joseph Benavidez (135.5) vs. Eddie Wineland (136)
C.B. Dollaway (186) vs. Jared Hamann (185)
 
Live at 9 p.m. on Versus
 
Amir Sadollah (170) vs. Duane Bang Ludwig (170.5) - Sadollah is a former TUF winner who is an overachiever.  Ludwig is primarily a kickboxer and has the knockout power, while Sadollah has the better overall game.
 
Cowboy Donald Cerrone (156) vs. Charles Oliveira (155) - Cerrone is one of the more charismatic fighters in the promotion and usually has great fights, although his most recent win over Vagner Rocha did not fit into that category.  Oliveira is one of the youngest fighters on the roster, and is awesome on the ground.  Oliveira looked like he was a star of the future, but Jim Miller submitted him, which took some of the shine off him.  Big fight for both guys and on paper could be fight of the night.
 
Jim Miller (155.5) vs. Ben Henderson (156) - If Miller wins, he becomes the next lightweight title contender for the Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard winner.  But Henderson, with his combination of wrestling, stand up and a guillotine from hell, is no joke as an opponent.  Miller is favored, and will join rarified air with people like Royce Gracie, Jon Fitch, GSP, Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida if he wins this, because that would be his 8th win in a row in UFC competition.
 
Dan Hardy (171) vs. Chris Lytle (170.5) - Big story heel is that Lytle announced last night that, win or lose, this is his retirement fight.  He's been talking about running for the Indiana state senate and even though he's been a UFC star for a couple of years, never gave up his regular job as a firefighter.  Hardy, on the other hand, is fighting for his career after losses to GSP, Carlos Condit and Anthony Johnson.  Both guys are also bonus hunters, so expect them to stand there and trade until one goes down.
 
        The TV fights look good as far as action goes, as every fight is booked to please, plus Vemola at 205 is an underrated force and Benavidez vs. Wineland are both top bantamweight contenders although they'll probably go to the decision.
 
        We will have live coverage of both shows tonight, with Mike Coughlin from Milwaukee for UFC and me covering SummerSlam starting at 8 p.m. Eastern.
 
        Raw will be live from San Diego on Monday night.  They are advertising Rey Mysterio facing the WWE champion as the main event, but that would be questionable given Mysterio's knee injury.  Smackdown and NXT are taped Tuesday night in Bakersfield.
 
        Probably the most detailed look at every aspect of WWE business, in particular WrestleMania, the movie business, the house show business, the future of WWE television and a lot of comments by Vince McMahon regarding the current and future state of the company is in the lead stories of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

        The story look at plans for a WWE network, Vince McMahon talks about UFC vs. WWE, meeting with Dana White, why such a relationship could never work, future of different WWE shows, plans for far more television in the fall and how that would work out, more on a third hour of Raw each week as well as the lessons of WCW.  We also look at financial reasons for adding shows, a look at how much money, profits and expenses are in a WrestleMania and comparing the numbers for the last several years.  We also look at the value of Dwayne Johnson to this year's show, money spent on production and merchandise, bigger payoffs and Johnson's statement regarding C.M. Punk.

        We also look at predictions for next year's Mania, future of The Rock in WWE, why booking Rock vs. Cena is tricky as well as the unique situation Cena is in and the pros and cons of a heel turn.

        We also look at the Money in the Bank number that was originally announced and what that says about the current product and lessons to be learned from it going forward.

        We look at the positives and negatives of doing the first Cena vs. Punk match the night they did it and timing it the way they did. 

        We look at the three aspects of the WWE business that were in the greatest decline, and the two aspects losing money and their futures. 

        We also look at the future of the movie business, and what appear to be the real sale levels of the DVDs.

        The issue will be on the site today 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 the quarterly report breaking down every category, what is up, down and the hidden facts that aren't as obvious in comparisons.  We look at the company's current mentality regarding the changing of the price structure for house shows, the profit margin so far this year, the dividend so far this year, and what Vince McMahon has earned from his dividends so far this year.

        We also breakdown where WWE makes its money, look at house show revenue, chart all the PPV shows this year and compare them with the previous two years, a look at just how important WrestleMania really is, what show did surprisingly well, how TV rights are doing, how merchandise is doing, Classics on Demand, Home video, video games, toys and the web site.

        We also have coverage of both UFC 133 and TNA Hardcore Justice.  We have poll results from both shows.  We have match-by-match rundowns for both shows and star ratings for the TNA show.  We look at angles going forward on both shows, as well as preliminary business numbers for UFC 133 and the hidden number.  We look at where the winners and losers go next, why Dennis Hallman wore what he wore, Dana White's reaction, injuries in the show, and Matt Hamill's retirement.

        We also look at the WWE departures over the past week, who, how and why, as well as the names cut in developmental.  We also look at Gail Kim's quitting the company, John Morrison talks about Melina being cut, Chris Masters and Gail Kim talk about leaving and who Japan is interested in and who TNA may be interested in.

        We also look at Linda McMahon's future, the future of Sin Cara both the character and the original person playing the character, more on Rey Mysterio and Dolph Ziggler's injuries, more on SummerSlam, C.M. Punk rips The Rock, Steve Austin talks wrestling again, Raw in Canada, WWE titles that changed via DQ, Mystery GM angle, Edge talks when he would have retried if he wasn't hurt and Hall of Fame.

        We also look at a former World champion who has expressed an interest in working for WWE again, an update on WWE time delayed television viewership, several new people being signed, as well as business notes from the past week and highlights of the house shows.

        We also look at the lineup for a show in a few weeks that will be among the biggest pro wrestling events in many years, featuring three major promotions all working together for the first time in years.

          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:

--Update on Arena Mexico

--How far one of the biggest draws of the past quarter century has fallen

--Dragon Gate's tag team tournament

--A new idea for a gimmick match that takes place this week

--Kenta Kobashi's second and third matches back

--Complete G-1 tournament rundown

--A look at the death of James Haase aka J.T. Lightning

--Hulk Hogan talks Randy Savage

--Hogan talks about a comeback match

--Brooke Hogan nude unveiled

--Mickie James fund raising for her next record

--Update on Hardys and Ric Flair

--Update on TNA's No Surrender

--TNA star gets $10,000 bonus in another line of work

--Generation Me explain why they left TNA

--New TNA signing

--Update on Bound for Glory series

--Behind the Fedor Emelianenko cut

--Future of Dan Henderson and why it's so important

--Health concern for fighters

--The UFC TV deal for next year

--Upcoming Strikeforce schedule for rest of the year

--Change in Strikeforce TV

--Two MMA shows this week from Zuffa

--Notes on the new season of Ultimate Fighter

--Update on the UFC New Year's show

--What happened to Brittney Palmer at the last PPV?

--GSP vs. Diaz promotion

--Bisping lashes out at cheaters

--What Zuffa star is thinking WWE in his future

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--As noted a few times, tonight's SummerSlam show is legitimately sold out.  Talent wasn't even able to get comps for friends today.
 
--The script for tonight's show was not finalized as of this morning, although it was expected to be finished by this point in time.  They had two different main event endings as of a few days ago but whatever they were doing was decided by today so it's supposedly not one of those deals where it's going down to the wire. 
 
--Lots of FCW wrestlers and former Tough Enough wrestlers have either been brought in or came in on their own.
 
--A funny thing is all the talent when dealing with reporters now have to correct reporters whenever they use terms like wrestling or wrestlers in their questions.
 
--Santino Marella beat Jack Swagger with the cobra at Axxess last night in a match the fans enjoyed.  Jimmy Hart and Booker T were there.  John Cena, as you'd figure, had a long line, mostly kids and women but more adult males than you would think.  He signed everything for everyone well past his time limit.  He even signed a box of Fruity Pebbles.
 
--Today at Axxess they had Justin Gabriel pinning Tyson Kidd in a very good match.  Much better than the usual standard for matches in that kind of setting (thanks to Bill Douglas)
 
--The winner of tonight's Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle main event will get a new Harley motorcycle in addition to his regular contracted pay and any bonuses.  It was announced the added prize would be a 2012 Harley Davidson Blackline motorcycle, that goes for about $15,000.
 
--Shinsuke Nakamura beat Tetsuya Naito earlier today at Sumo Hall in Tokyo to win the 21st annual G-1 Climax tournament.  This sets up another Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Nakamura IWGP title match, although the date has not been announced.
 
--TNA is heavily papering its 8/25 TV tapings in Huntsville, AL.  Starting Wednesday, anyone who purchases a TNA action figure at Toys R Us at 1001 Memorial Parkway in Huntsville gets a free ticket to the taping.  
 
--We will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio covering all the weekend news, notably SummerSlam, UFC on Versus, G-1, ROH and probably not have time for questions.  However, you can send questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and we'll get to them on tomorrow night's show after Raw.
 
--Wrestling Observer Live previews tonights shows, talks Strikeforce on Friday, Smackdown and more.  The show has been moved to Sirius Ch. 94 and XM Ch. 208 and streams live on the front page starting at 6 p.m. Eastern time.  You can also listen via Tapatalk app on every major smartphone.
 
--Some notes from the ROH tapings last night.  There were a lot of delays for production issues and they taped four shows and didn't get out of there until about 1 a.m.  A large percentage of the crowd left after the third show, although those who stayed for show four were pretty responsive, but they didn't tell the fans who stayed to fill up the ringside seats.  Nigel McGuinness is the color commentator for the TV show, working with Kevin Kelly.  Jerry Lynn was backstage as an agent.  Matches were shorter de to TV, but mostly well worked with hot finishes and never came across as rushed.  Good crowd energy even though the show went fie hours, but the flow was hurt by audio problems and lengthy delays between matches.  Everything came across disorganized as people would think there would be a delay, then without warning after a few minutes, they were back.  There was one very brief C.M. Punk chant before the first match, as well as a Colt Cabana chant.  Maria Kanellis was hanging around near the production table watching.  It wasn't pushed that she was there it didn't seem like most fans even knew she was there (thanks to Aaron Steinke)
 
--We got tons of responses to last night's Abner Mares win over Joseph Agbeko fight on Showtime from last night in Las Vegas.  I didn't see it as I was watching CHIKARA's last show, The G-1 Climax tournament and reading John McCarthy's new autobiography (we will try and get McCarthy on Observer radio ASAP), but the gist was that referee Russell Mora evidently did one of the worst jobs ever, allowing Mares to get away with numerous low blows.  Kevin Iole described it as several dozen low blows.  After the fight was over, Jim Gray confronted Mora and it came off like Lance Russell confronting a heel referee, particularly since Mora's behavior was like a Danny Davis/Tirantes after Gray showed him a replay of a punch that was clearly low, and Mora kept saying the punches were all legal on the belt line, and after the replay, said that isn't what he saw and ended up walking off.  There was one low blow that was ruled a knockdown as opposed to a low blow in the 11th round when Agbeko went down, that may have changed the outcome of the fight.      
 
--Who do you expect to take this fight?
Donald Cerrone 73.2%
Charles Oliveira 26.8%
 
--And this one
Christian 59.7%
Randy Orton 40.3%
 
Poll on Smackdown
Excellent 10.4%
Good 32.8%
Average 34.4%
Fair 8.8%
Poor 13.6%
        35.2% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--WWE is doing a campaign where fans can choose who gets the cover of the Collector's Edition of WWE 12, either Rock or John Cena at http://www.facebook.com/WWEgames?sk=app_117361208354897  Rock was way ahead as of yesterday.
 
--Sheamus on Conan O'Brien is at http://teamcoco.com/video/wwe-sheamus-kicks-conans-face-off (thanks to Steve Khan)
 
--Mike Mooneyham talks last week's NWA Fan Fest at http://www.postandcourier.com/
 
--There has been a lot of press in Australia regarding steroids after the heart attack death at 22 of Aziz Sergeyevich Shavershian, an Australian bodybuilder who had been arrested for steroid use recently.  It noted that customs has between  2005 and 2010 had a 155% increase in seizures of steroids being imported from other countries.
 
--Lance Storm is looking for help for cover designs for his eBook project which will be a compilation of his commentaries at http://www.stormwrestling.com/news.html
 
--Storm also has a new Q&A up at http://www.stormwrestling.com/081411.html
 
--MSN yesterday at http://wonderwall.msn.com/tv/pop-cultures-most-memorable-wrestlers-14379. gallery?gt1=36010 lists pop cultures most famous pro wrestlers.  The names they listed were Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, The Rock, Steve Austin, Andre the Giant, Jesse Ventura, Mr. T, Chyna, Chris Jericho, HHH, Stacy Keibler, Ric Flair, John Cena, The Miz, Lou Albano, Vince McMahon, Bret Hart, Undertaker, Roddy Piper, Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young. (thanks to Chris Cruise)  
 
--wXw from last night in Turbinehalle, Oberhausen, Germany before 263 fans:  Karsten Beck b Darin Corbin, Brend Foehr over Jonathan Gresham, Willie Mack and 2Face, Drew Gulak b Freddy Stahl, Tommy End & Anthony Zeus b Johnny Moss & Emil Sitoci, Arik Cannon b Kim Ray, Marty Scurll b Jaysin Strife, Fit Finlay b Jon Ryan, Big Van Walter b Axeman to keep wXw title.  Tonight's show features Walter defending against Finlay.  No other matches are announced for the show.  People noted to us that not announcing Finlay challenging for the title until last night probably didn't help the promotion for today's show (thanks to Timo Knopf)
 
--Harry Smith makes his return to Alberta on 9/15 headlining Live Pro Wrestling in Red Deer. (thanks to Dwayne Soper)
 
--Northern Ireland's leading Sunday paper, "Sunday Life" had a two page spread of IMS, which is a company Shane McMahon is involved with, noting he works with golfers Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke.  They played it up like Shane was a major wrestling star, which he kind of was, that he is the son of Vince, which is for sure is, and that he left wrestling 18 months ago. (thanks to Bryan McCandless)  
 
--The New York Post also had a mention of Shane McMahon, noting he was one of the celebrities (along with Deborah Harry) at a charity benefit event on Thursday to raise money to save the life of six-year old Aiden Seeger, who was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder. (thanks to Jeff Sheridan)
 
--Traditional Championship Wrestling hosted by Chris Cruise and Brian Thompson at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaoX66u6k5s&feature=player_embedded
 
--Platinum Championship Wrestling has its biggest show of the year on 9/14 in McDonough, GA at the Sharon Baptist Church featuring NWA champion Adam Pearce vs. Chip Day and ROH champion Davey Richards in a three-way against Shane Marx and Kyle Matthews.
 
--Mark Rattelle will be appearing tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. on the NBC affiliate in Western Massachusetts, WWLP, with Frankie Arion and Antonio Thomas on the TV Show Mass Appeal talking about his independent documentary "The Indies," which follows three area independent wrestlers.  After the interview there will be a live match.
 
--Chuck Langerman's daily trivia.  Ron Simmons was named to the Prep Sports magazine's 1976 High School Football All-American team as a linebacker, even though he was more famous as a nose guard when he went to Florida State, where he was a Heisman Trophy candidate.  Among the other players on that All-American team were Ron Lott (who became Ronnie Lott), Danny Ainge, Jim McMahon and Cris Collinsworth.  Simmons, even though a super college player, was measured at 6-0, and thus was considered too small for that position in the NFL, and played minor league ball before starting as a pro wrestler in Florida.  As it turned out, Simmons was not the most successful football player on his high school team, as running back James Brooks ended up as a four-time Pro Bowler in the NFL. 
 
--Mid Missouri Wrestling Alliance from last night in St. Louis:  Max Archer b Dave Osborne, Mephisto DCOR Tony Raze, Phil Blunt b Dave Vaughn, Sean Vincent b Chas King, Brandon Espinosa b Mark Merrik, Johnny Courageous b LaMarcus Clinton, Dave Vaughn b Phil Blunt (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
 
--EWF from last night in Converse, IN:  Tripp Cassidy b Scott Young, Blackhearts b Hank Calhoun & Mike King, Edwin Torres b Joey Owens and Kyle Cassidy, Jack Verville b Jack Omen, Andy Santos b Troy Miller, Marc Houston b Andy Santos, Marc Houston b Jack Verville, Hillbilly Jedd b Marc Houston, Hillbilly Jedd b Bobby Steele 
 
--In Your Face Wrestling from last night in Ballston Spa, NY:  Hoss b Punisher, War & Vile b Ricky Williams & Shiloh Robinson, Good Lord Willing b Ian Daniels, Pierre Vachon & Roman Dominguez b Bobby Ocean & Drake Evans, Liam McFerran b Franz Roddy, Steve McKenzie & Steve Kruz b Adam Badger & Michael Monroe-DQ, Vigo b Scott Scarsdale, Pierre Vachon won Rumble.  Next show is 10/1.
 
--Orlando Pro Wrestling from last night in Orlando:  Carlos Riviera & D.Ramos b Q.T. Marshall & Mike Reed, J.D. Amazing b Jason Hanley, Jelana b Chasyn Rance, Brandon Scherer b Anthony Santiago, Lince Dorado b Luis Ruiz, Santiago won Battle Royal (thanks to Al Haft)

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