THURS. UPDATE: WWE on UFC, More on FOX deal, Tompkins, Punk vs. Nash



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        We're looking for reports on tonight's TNA house show in Columbus, GA at the Civic Center at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

        It's the first of a three-day swing that includes tomorrow night in Rome, GA and Saturday night in Atlanta.  No matches announced but those appearing include A.J. Styles, RVD, Mr. Anderson, Jeff Jarrett and Mickie James.

        Impact tonight features the return of Ric Flair, beginning his new feud with up-and-coming babyface Sting.  Sorry, I was just transporting myself to 1988 and figuring I can see a match of the year at the Clash of Champions.  Plus:

Devon vs. Scott Steiner in the Bound for Glory series
X Division Gauntlet series with Robbie E, Austin Aries, Mark Haskins, Zema Ion, Jesse Sorensen, Anthony Nese, Kid Kash and Alex Shelley.  Winner gets a title shot at Brian Kendrick's X Division belt at the next PPV on 9/11
Mickie James vs. ODB
A.J. Styles vs. RVD in the Bound for Glory series
Beer Money vs. Mexican America for the TNA tag titles
        Hulk Hogan is also on the show.

        Superstar tonight:
Santino Marella vs. Primo
Zack Ryder vs. Drew McIntyre
Jose Vargas vs. Brodus Clay
Trent Baretta vs. Wade Barrett

        We've got the most detailed look and analysis of the UFC deal with FOX and how it affects the landscape of pro wrestling and MMA as the lead story in our two issues of the Wrestling Observer that come out this week.  We also have full coverage of SummerSlam, UFC on Versus, Alberto Del Rio, plus the G-1 tournament, the death of Shawn Tompkins and even more on WWE business.

        Both issues are now up on the site.  If you can't find them on the front page, you can always access the latest issues of the Observer on the front page by clicking on the Archives tab at the top.  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 look at the UFC deal with FOX, how it happened, how the price compares with other products, notes on the long-term nature of the deal.  We look at what this means for PPV business, what to look out for, what fighters become more valuable with the nature of this deal, the positives and negatives, the history of UFC on Spike, how important television truly is when you are doing a PPV business, why the timing of this deal was great and how UFC got to greatly increase its TV revenue at the same time its audience is declining.

        We also look at how this affects TNA, Bellator and the amazing revenue comparison from television when you compare UFC with WWE.

        We look at the history of Alberto Del Rio, his background, how he changed everything about himself to become a star, business notes on SummerSlam, ribs, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results for the show.

        We also look at how the UFC show affects Chris Lytle, Ben Henderson, Dan Hardy and Jim Miller, both good and bad records Lytle has, what saved Hardy's job, who are the viable lightweight contenders and comparing them, plus who do people want to see get the next show.   We also look at business notes on the show and match-by-match rundowns.

        We also look at WWE's profitability by sector.  We look in depth at the money made at WrestleMania, where it came from and what was spent as well.  We also look at where WWE profits most, where they've slashed spending, the problems in the magazine and movie division, and what divisions are declining but still making more money.  We also look at how much WWE spends to do a PPV and a TV taping.

        We also look at the career of Shawn Tompkins.

        We also look at Bill Goldberg's next match, Paul Orndorff's battle with cancer, death of former boxer and AWA wrestler Scott LeDoux, as well as Goldberg vs. Crimson.

        We also look at early returns of Hardcore Justice, the TNA U.K. tour, Linda Hogan talks Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan's 1993 WWF departure, TNA makes more cuts and notes from the weekend TNA house shows.

        We also look more at the UFC/Golden Glory issues, the future of Alistair Overeem, future of Brock Lesnar, lots more UFC and Strikeforce fights and a look at the last Challengers show.

        We've also got more on a WWE executive being let go, Linda McMahon's future, Edge talks about his plans, Daniel Bryan talks why he became a vegan, vegan MMA fighters, Rey Mysterio update, Mother of former WWE star rips people in the company, Chris Masters talks his departure, what talent is told to tell the press, reaction to someone in for enhancement matches and WWE performer gets stuff stolen/ 
 
        We've got a huge story on the G-1 Climax tournament, the booking of the finish, where New Japan goes from here, as well as a history of the winners from the past.

        We also have more on Heath Slater's situation, what he's being investigated about, what his alleged victim said as well as how WWE is treating the incident.

        We also look at a poll of sports fans, how pro wrestling and MMA fared and some amazing stats about pro wrestling that are the exact opposite of what most would seen to think.  We also look at the WWE 12 roster and who got left out.  We also look at how the economy may change the cable business.  We look at how that would affect WWE and UFC, as well as more from the sign police, WWE tryouts and time delayed viewership of Raw.

        We also look at the death of Bobby Fields, and his relationship with the most famous family feud in U.S. folklore, and career highlights.

          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 issues:

--Press conference announcing heels turning babyface

--World title change in Mexico

--Who have won the CMLL world heavyweight title including some well known Americans

--Foreign Hall of Famer heads to Arena Mexico

--Notes on All Japan's annual junior heavyweight tournament

--Major head-to-head battle in Japan

--Zuffa fighter headlines major pro wrestling event in Tokyo promotional war

--WWE star involved in that wrestling war show

--How the situation with celebrities doing pro wrestling has changed

--Mil Mascaras 40th anniversary of his Japanese debut show announced, including main event and stars involved

--Oldest living wrestler

--New Jack/Terri Runnels lawsuit update

--Devin Nicholson lawsuit update

--Juggalo Championship Wrestling legends show notes featuring some of the biggest stars of the 70s, 80s and 90s

--NWA Legends Convention news

--Update on NWA title belt

--Whatever happened to Pampero Firpo

--Music star opens up a new wrestling promotion

--Former wrestling headliner and celebrity in Canada doing autobiography

--Wrestler arrested as sex offender

--UFC 133 early PPV estimates and what areas did well

--Mauro Ranallo and Dana White talk Fedor

--Future of Cung Le

--Next major Dream show

--Bellator's next show

--One of the most well known names in sports wants to do MMA, and calls out a former Dream headliner

--Jens Pulver on comeback trail

--Kimbo Slice in boxing

--Debut of new promotion with an old name including an NCAA champion former UFC stars
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--The WWE comment regarding UFC programming moving to Friday is succinct:  "Different audiences."

--However, just hours after the UFC press conference ended, Syfy announced that as a one time experiment, they are moving what would have been the show that would normally air on 9/2, into a live format airing on 8/30 from Wichita, KS and the INTRUST Bank Arena.

--We've already got more notes on the FOX/UFC deal.  It's a seven year deal worth between $90 million and $100 million per year.  There are a lot of questions regarding time slots and such that are not answered, including the time slot for Ultimate Fighter when it begins on FX in March.  It may not go against Smackdown on a weekly basis, because it could run from 10-11 p.m., but at a minimum of 8-10 Fridays next year, they would be doing two hours on Friday nights, if not more, which would mean going head-to-head, unless WWE moves to Tuesdays, which is in their best interest anyway.  WWE would draw a much larger audience on a Tuesday than a Friday.
 
--We should have more regarding the UFC/FOX TV deal.  It is not a lock that UFC will regularly go head-to-head with Smackdown.  If TUF starts at 10 p.m., Smackdown is already over by that point.  It would still be head-to-head for two-hour specials (at least with the second hour of Smackdown), and live shows, so probably a minimum of 6-8 weeks a year, but that's different from 32-34 weeks a year.
 
--We've also got several stories at http://www.yahoo.com in the UFC section on both the press conference as well as an interview I did with Dana White this afternoon.

--Another aspect is this would go head-to-head with the Friday night fights on HDNet.  If TUF is 10-11 p.m., Inside MMA can stay at 9-10 p.m., but HDNet is going to have to make some decisions about the frequent secondary promotion fights they air at 10 p.m. Fridays.

--Inside MMA tomorrow night on HDNet will feature Bas Rutten doing the first segment of the show honoring  Shawn Tompkins, who was one of his best friends for the past decade.  You can see a preview at http://www.hd.net/blogs/inside-mma-honors-shawn-tompkins-inside-mma-preview/  Rutten told me that even though it was the first segment you'll see, he taped it last saying after doing the segment, it would have been impossible for him to have done a regular show.

--Strikeforce announced two new matches for the 9/10 show in Cincinnati, Rafael Feijao vs Yoel Romero (a Cuban who won a silver medal in wrestling in the 2000 Olympics) and Mike Kyle vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima. 

--The Miz will be in Cologne, Germany tomorrow to promote WWE 12 at the games convention called Gamescom.  He'll be signing autographs (thanks to Jan Rothkopf)

--Who won the Monday face-off
C.M. Punk 66.7%
Kevin Nash 3.1%
Both lost because they went over the heads of the audience 21.5%
Pretty much even at the end 8.7%

--Will this new UFC TV deal change the game:
Yes, puts them at a higher level in terms of prestige and exposure 52.2%
No, UFC has its fans but going on Fox won't be a difference just like WWE on NBC doesn't make a difference 32.0%
A negative because they won't draw good enough ratings on FX and Fox 15.8%

--What did you think of the decision to make Alberto Del Rio champion?
He's over enough to be champion, but it wasn't the right time 35.8%
Should have been done earlier 24.1%
Not over enough to be champion 23.4%
Good decision, right timing 16.7%

--Alex Marvez talks with Colt Cabana about Five Dollar Wrestling at http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/63596    

--ROH announced its WrestleMania shows this year will be on 3/30 on Friday night before Mania, and 3/31 on Saturday afternoon, at the War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, which for years was the home of Friday night wrestling for Eddie Graham's Championship Wrestling from Florida promotion.  Tickets will go on sale on 9/9 at 10 a.m. on the ROH web site.

--Rush defends the CMLL world light heavyweight title against Mr. Aguila this coming Tuesday at Arena Mexico. (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims). 

--If you missed last Sunday's Versus show, with Ben Henderson vs. Jim Miller and Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle, it replays at 9 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. tonight on Versus (thanks to Ryan Frederick)

--Jim Ross talks about the Steve Austin DVD that he just worked on at http://www.jrsbarbq.com  He said it will be a four DVD set that comes out in late November for the Christmas season.  Ross and Austin did new commentary on Austin's WrestleMania matches with Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and The Rock (the 2001 version).  He also said the music video on the documentary is "as moving as any I've ever experienced in the business."  Besides Ross and Austin, also as part of the documentary were comments by Vince McMahon, HHH, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Christian, C.M. Punk, rock, Paul Heyman and Dutch Mantell.

--Ross also mentioned a new Legends Roundtable show talking about major stadium shows in wrestling history will debut on Monday. Ross, Kevin Nash, J.J. Dillon and Michael Hayes are the panel guests with Gene Okerlund hosting.   

--The Urban Wrestling Federation today announced it will debut its first promotional mix tape. The CD will feature tracks by artists in the UWF and will be released at the same time as the company's second PPV, called Hood Justice, airing on 9/25.  Among those featured are Triple C's, L.E.P. Glocc, Red Cafe, Brisco, Melle Mel, Bob Block, Uncle Murda Billy Blue and Cuban Link.

--"Monster Brawl," which sounds like a monster truck show but is actually a movie that features such luminaries as Kevin Nash, Jimmy Hart, Robert "Kurrgan" Maillet and Herb Dean is at http://youtu.be/H1GIAkd5tYw (thanks to Deryn O'Sullivan)

--Tickets for the second ROH TV tapings, on 10/1 at the Davis Arena in Louisville, go on sale on Monday at Noon at the www.rohwrestling.com web site.
 
--The Smackdown house show on 8/21 in Kamloops, BC has been canceled.  The Raw show for Sunday was canceled some time back.  Very rare to have two tours on the road in a far away place and neither working on Sunday. (thanks to Devin Cutting)

--More Chuck Langerman trivia for today.  Former owner of the Tri-State Wrestling Alliance, the predecessor in Philadelphia to ECW, Joel Goodhart, is the founder and a partner in Brie Financial Services, LLC (although based on our polls, people prefer Nikki Financial Services, LLC) out of Plymouth Meeting, PA.  He is also the figurehead commissioner of the local Tri-State Wrestling Alliance group that took the name of the original, but he is said to have no ownership interest in the group.

--In addition, there are only three high school wrestling programs in the U.S. that have accumulated 1,000 wins.  They are Paulboro High School in Paulsboro, NJ, Granite City High School in Granite City, IL (outside of St. Louis) and Vacaville High School in California.  Larry Weil, better known as Pretty Boy Larry Sharpe was a onetime star on the Paulsboro High wrestling team.  Kevin Greene, a former NFL star who worked for WCW, was on the Granite City High team.  Michael Cariglio aka Michael Modest, was on the Vacaville team, as was Kyle DeVan of the Indianapolis Colts.  When I was in high school, I competed against a guy on the Vacaville team whose name I don't remember, but he I think ended up placing in the Mr. USA contest or something like that and ended up being casual friends with me for a few years.  And now I can't even remember his name.  He was such a genetic freak that he went through pretty significant levels of bodybuilding competition and placed and won events completely drug free, going against roid monsters.  
 
--For Monday, the TV Guide for Raw listed:  "An anonymous GM runs television's longest running weekly episodic show."  So much for knowing where they are going two weeks ahead (thanks to Jeff Parks)

--A correction from yesterday, it was People Magazine in the U.S., not the U.K. that featured Stacy Keibler this past week because of her strategic business alliance with George Clooney.  The newest US Weekly has Keibler and George Clooney in the bottom right hand cover (thanks to Steve Murphy)

--FEW on 9/11 at 5 p.m. at Hollywood MMA in Fort Worth.  This is a pro wrestling show at an MMA place, starting at 5 p.m.

--Insanity Pro Wrestling on Saturday night in Indianapolis at the Salvation Army Community Center.

--Platinum Championship Wrestling on Friday night at the Academy Theater in Avondale Estates GA.   

--Nick Bockwinkel talks WWE, Vince McMahon, Ray Stevens, Curt Hennig and Bobby Heenan at http://t.co/Ij4NEkl
 
--Bruiser Wrestling on 9/17 in Lima, OH at the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center.
 
--In a New York Daily News headline a few days ago, Hulk Hogan was identified as "WWE Kingpin."  That speaks volumes about TNA, and to an extent, about WWE today as well.  (thanks to Lucas Day)
 
--A wrestling poster is at http://popchartlab.com/collections/print/products/the-titanic-taxonomy-of -wrestlers-names looking at names of pro wrestlers.
 
--Reader Jerry Blundo was at an antique shop in New Jersey where he saw an oil painting personally autographed by Henri DeGlane (a 1930s world champion) inscribed "To Bob Jones Camden NJ 1932" and another of Jim Londos, also autographed.  The owner of the shop was asking for $1,900 for both.  We don't have the name of the shop but it was on North Union St., in Lambertville, NJ.  Blundo noted he has no financial interest in any of this, but if there were collectors interested he wanted to let them know it's out there.
 
--American Fighting Organization on 9/16 in Revere, MA at the Wonderland Entertainment Complex.
 
--Pro Wrestling Syndicate on Saturday night in Ronkonkoma, NY at Center Island Sports with Harry Smith vs. Dan Maff, Carlito vs. Eddie Kingston, Tony Nese vs. Amazing Red vs. Azrieal vs. Brian XL, Necro Butcher vs. Devon Moore, Sonjay Dutt vs. Kevin Matthews vs. Alexa Thatcher and more.  Ted DiBiase Sr. will be the guest commissioner.

--Classic Championship Wrestling on 9/10 in Marysville, PA  at the Lion's Club.

--CWE on 8/28 in Winnipeg at the Polish Fraternal Hall headlined by Danny Duggan vs. Carter Mason

--A story on the portrayal of Native Americans in pro wrestling, from Billy Two Eagles, Gerald Brisco, Princess Victoria and Princess Little Cloud is at http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2011/04/11/17955016.html

--CHIKARA announced for 8/27 in Easton, PA at The Palmer Center a show with 12 Large tournament matches (their singles tile) with Sara Del Rey vs. Hallowicked, UltraMantis Black vs. Jigsaw, plus Matt Jackson of the Young Bucks refuses to shake the hand of Johnny Gargano, and Eddie Kingston & Mike Quackenbush & Fire Ant vs. Claudio Castagnoli & Icarus & Vin Gerard.  The trios match isn't for the singles title tournament, because this isn't TNA.

--Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 9/3 at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Columbus, IN

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