SUN. UPDATE: WWE shakeups, web changes, Tough Enough future, Why people stopped watching TNA



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       We're looking for reports from last night's TNA show in Atlanta, as well as Friday night's show in Rome, GA and Thursday night's show in Columbus, GA at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

        No shows today from WWE or TNA.

        Live Raw comes from Edmonton on Monday.  Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Calgary.

        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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--A lot of WWE office changes.  Brian Kalinowski, Executive VP of Digital Media, was let go because Stephanie McMahon has taken over the WWE.com web site and the web site is now under a new department, WWE Creative.  They are bringing in someone new to oversee the web site.   Mark Keys, VP of Digital & Interactive Contest Productions and Social Media was also let go.


--Steve Austin in the Daily Star mentioned that there would be another Tough Enough season.

--Bryan and I will be back tonight for Wrestling Observer Radio.  No shortage of things to talk about including the shake up in the WWE office, the UFC/Fox deal, the history of Vale Tudo, Rey Mysterio, Matt Hardy, Sin Cara and a bunch of other stuff.  If you've got questions on this week's news, and please limit it to this week's stuff, you can send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

--Steve Austin talks C.M. Punk and coming back at http://www.dailystar.co.uk/inthering/view/207161/Fightin-Talk-Steve-Austin-s-made-of-stone/  He said he likes Punk, that he's a breath of fresh air and he likes that they are treating him like a top guy. 

--Rabbi Rafael Halperin, who got a big push in the early 50s in the Northeast as a Jewish superstar, doing a Goldberg winning streak but then left and returned to Israel, passed away from cancer yesterday at the age of 87.  He had been living in Israel for decades and used to promote pro wrestling there.

--The Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square on 10/20 is bringing Rocky Johnson (Dwayne's father, the old pro wrestling star, not the MMA fighter who once beat Ben Henderson), Dan Severn, Frankie Edgar and others for the Rocky Marciano Bullying...We're Kickin It National Campaign.  Johnson will be honored at this event. 

--Natalya is happy to be in Calgary Tuesday night for Smackdown, story at http://www.fpress.com/sports/othersports/2011/08/19/18578691.html  She talked about her grandmother driving her to Vincent Massey High School, which must have produced more pro wrestling stars than any high school in history (Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Bruce Hart, Rhonda Singh, Natalya, Teddy Hart, Harry Smith and there's probably others I'm not thinking of at the moment).

--If you recently stopped watching TNA, why?
Just realized there was no hope 37.9%
Bad booking 33.8%
TV show has gotten worse 12.6%
Long-term issues just caught up with me 6.8%
Tired of the talent on top 6.1%
Something else I got tired of 2.8%

--Poll on Smackdown
Excellent 14.5%
Good 50.6%
Average 22.9%
Fair 4.8%
Poor 7.2%
        39.2% of those responding didn't see the show

--Strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates
Sting 25.2%
Edge 19.6%
Curt Hennig 16.9%
Rock & Roll Express 10.0%
Fabulous Moolah 5.2%
Pedro Morales 4.4%
Dick Murdoch 4.3%
Ivan Koloff 3.9%
Sgt. Slaughter 3.9%
Jimmy Snuka 3.9%
Mr. Wrestling II 1.4%
Batista 1.2%

--Former UFC fighter Mike Whitehead pleaded no contest on a sexual assault charge from April 2010 in Las Vegas.  Whitehead in the plea bargain agreed to plead guilty to one felony count of sexual assault.  He had been arrested on charges of sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, and gross lewdness and also faced possible marijuana possession charges.  Whitehead's next hearing in September.  A woman and her friend were both at Whitehead's home for a barbecue, and after drinking, decided against going home according to the police report.  The report said Whitehead allowed the women to sleep in his bed.  One told police she then woke up and found her pants down and Whitehead having sex with her, and demanded he stopped, but he didn't for about three minutes.  The other woman said she saw it happen and Whitehead groped her while this was going on.  When police showed up at his home, they found an upstairs bedroom where he was growing marijuana plants.

--From Chuck Langerman, speaking of high school, Paul Levesque graduated from Nashua High School South in New Hampshire in 1987.  He was described as a good student who got into trouble because he didn't know when to shut his mouth.  He played no sports but was Mr. Teenage New Hampshire in bodybuilding and for a Christmas present one year, Stephanie gave him posters of all the Mr. Olympia winners.  Seriously.  The other most famous person to come out of that high school was former NFL quarterback Greg Landry, who played in the 70s for the Detroit Lions, Baltimore Colts and Chicago Bears.

--Langerman also wanted to be the first to get Anthony Campolattano into these pages.  Campolattano graduated from Bound Brook High School in New Jersey this year with a 175-1 record and 116 pins.  He is only the second wrestler in New Jersey history to win four state titles, and right now, New Jersey is considered one of the best states for high school wrestling.  Many have called him the greatest high school wrestler ever to come out of New Jersey.  He had a scholarship to play football at Rutgers, but turned it down and took a wrestling scholarship to Ohio State.

--Scott Keith in Saskatoon thought the so-so attendance last night was a bad sign.  He noted the history.  In 2004, a show was scheduled but canceled due to a bad advance.  They tried again in 2007, but that got canceled when they pulled out of Canada after the Chris Benoit deal.  A Smackdown show was set in 2009, but that's when the Denver Debacle happened and they rearranged all the dates when Vince went crazy and the show was canceled again.     

--More fun from WWE creative.  For next Tuesday's Smackdown special the DirecTV preview lists the show features Michael Cole and JBL. (thanks to John Patton)

--Crossfire Entertainment from last night in Nashville before almost 1,000 fans:  Gary Valiant b L.T. Falk, Shane Williams b Jocephus-COR, Dutch Mantell b Bill Dundee in a cage match, Maddox Brothers b L.T. Falk & Drew Haskins, Wolfie D b Jamie Dundee, Hammerjack b Raven, Kid Kash b Jerry Lynn-DQ, Rikishi & Brian Christopher b David Young & Sigmon.  Next show is 9/9 with Jim Duggan appearing.

--Conan the Barbarian tanked at the theaters with a $10.5 million open.  Tracking showed a big weekend, particularly among African-American and Hispanics.  This was a $90 million project and the feeling was there was a strong fan base that would guarantee a big open and Lions Gate execs were stunned by this. 

--Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in East Carondolet, IL before 180 fans:  Chase King b Max Archer, Dan Walsh d Eric Allen, Brian Breaker b Waco-DQ, Dave Vaughn b Ryan Drago, Jack Gamble b Johnny Courageous, Big Texan b Sir Bradley Charles, LaMarcus Clinton b Bobby D, Chris Hargas & Chaz Wesson b Ron Powers & Sean Vincent in an elimination match (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer and Larry Matysik)

--IWC Caged Fury from last night in Elizabeth, NJ:  Logan Shulo b Bobby Shields and Pepper Parks in a three-way, Dalton Castle b David Dimera, Tyler Sotne & Aiden Veil b Blue Collar Slaughter, Matt Cross won three-way over Johnny Gargano and Justin Idol, Super Hentai b Shiima Xion (Zema Ion) in a cage match, Bubba the Bulldog b Chest Flexor in a cage match, Jimmy DeMarco & Michael Facade & Jason Gory & Raymond Rowe b John McChesney & Jimmy Vegas & Dennis Gregory & Bubba the Bulldog in a War Games match.  Next show is 10/22 in Elizabeth, PA.  (thanks to Tyler Dawson)

--Insanity Pro Wrestling from last night in Indianapolis:  Sue Jackson & Tripp Cassidy & Remi Wilkins b Reed Bentley & Matt Knicks & Overload, D.J. Hyde b Dave Davidson, Hammett b James Avery, Neveah b Ivelisse Velez (from Tough Enough), Chrisjen Hayme over Alex Colon, Dustin Rayz and Hyzaha, Drake Younger b Danny Havoc, Jesse Emerson b B.J. Whitmer, Ricochet b Billy Roe, Tony Kozina b Tarek the Legend, Sami Callihan & Dave & Jake Crist & Tarek the Legend b Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reilly & Adam Cole & Tony Kozina when Callihan made Richards submit

--I Believe in Wrestling from last night in Orlando:  Tha Nyuoricanz b James Boys, J.D. Amazing b Simon Sez, Q.T. Marshall b Chasyn Rance, Santana b Jelena, Lince Dorado & Jack Le Duc & Carl Allen b Mike Reed & Biff Slater & Brandon Scherer, Jason Hanley b Super Grover, Ray Beez b Aaron Epic, Latin Assassins b Francisco Ciatso & Shooter Storm, Larry Zbyszko NC Robin Donahue in a bull rope match (thanks to Al Haft)

--The movie "The A Team" was the second highest rated show on Pay TV in Australia this past week with 123,000 viewers.

--The new All Pro Wrestling TV show is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NizOb1CF9z8&feature=feedu 

--IPW and NZWPW did a joint show last night in Papatoetoe, New Zealand before 150 fans:  Megan Kate Deluxeo & Pirate Burns b Elias & Britenay, Rufguts b Jordan Invincible, Rocketman won 7 way over Jacob Cross, Kazuki, Link Van Haggard, Brother T, Eddie Dreamboat and The Ant, Tykade b Vinny Dunn, Johnny Kingi & Alexander b Alfred Valentine & Dominic LeFauce, Dal Knox won three-way over Travis Banks and Liam Fury, Evie & Jordan Invincible & Vinny Dunn & Brian St. James & Liger & A-Class b Rufguts & Johnny Idol & James Shaw & Taylor Adams & Misty & Paul Sayres & Jacob Cross in a two-ring Capture the Flag match.  (thanks to Steve Ogilvie)

Who is the strongest Hall of Fame candidate from this list?

 

Who is the strongest Hall of Fame candidate from this list?

 

Who should get the next featherweight title shot?