WED. UPDATE: UFC in talks to run 100,000 seat stadium, Ratings, Vince, Matt Hardy, WWE cancels show
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 16:03
The National Geographic Channel's documentary on indie wrestling airs tonight at 10 p.m. It's about ROH and NWS.
One of our biggest issues of the year and biggest historical pieces in our history with a look at the history of mixed martial arts from its inception with the first of what would be considered an MMA show nearly 80 years ago through the ups and downs in Brazil and Japan as well as its origins in the United States with the formation of the UFC is the big feature.
In addition, we've got the most detailed look at the UFC FOX deal, all the platforms it covers, what to look out for with all the major players involved talking about plans and goals.
We also have a look at TNA bringing back Jeff Hardy while firing Matt Hardy. We also have more on the WWE office cuts, injury to Rey Mysterio and the impending front office power play in WWE that many believe is inevitable involving the most powerful people in the company.
The issue will be up on the site later today. 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 back at the origin of mixed fighting, including before it became popular in Brazil. We look at just how big the interest in Saturday's UFC show has been in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1930, the different heyday periods of Brazilian Vale Tudo, and the legends of that world like Helio Gracie, Carlson Gracie, Masahiko Kimura, Waldemar Santana and the forgotten tough guys like Euclides and Ivan Gomes.
We look at the start of the Gracie family in Jiu Jitsu, their original fights and marketing of their art and how they became famous. We look at the original Jiu Jitsu vs. Judo feud, and the similarities in career between Helio Gracie and son Royce, as well as each man's older brother, Carlos and Rorion, in the formation and popularity of the sport.
We look back to what would be considered the first real MMA event of its type, and the emergence of Helio Gracie. We look at Helio's big matches with pro wrestlers and giants and why he was so popular.
We look at the second big period starting with the Jiu Jitsu vs. Judo/Pro Wrestling wars of the 50s. We look at the program that led to the first fight at Maracana Stadium, Rio's big soccer stadium, and how big it was during the heyday. We look at the legendary matches of that period like Helio Gracie vs. Kimura and Carlson Gracie vs. Santana, as well as myths about that period.
We look at the real story behind the biggest feud that drew the biggest crowd, as well as the most famous match that almost nobody saw. We look at how pro wrestling played a huge role in almost all of the really biggest fights of the era.
We look at how Carlson Gracie followed Helio Gracie into being the big fighting star of the 50s and 60s. We look at what pro wrestling legend grew up during this period and how he was influenced by the Vale Tudo angles, and how he used them to promote some of the biggest pro wrestling events of the 70s.
We look at the differences between the fighting and teaching styles of Carlson and Helio Gracie, the mainstream national peak of the sport in Rio, as well as the regional promotion in Brazil that is historically forgotten but was actually the biggest the sport ever got, and some would say, featured the two best fighters of the era.
We look at what killed the sport of Vale Tudo in most of Brazil, except its regional outpost where it thrived. We look at what was billed as "The Match of the Century," and may have been the ultimate fight before 1990 in Vale Tudo history, yet almost nobody knows it existed and has been erased from history.
We look at the street fighter who played heel that brought the sport back to soccer stadiums and the emergence of Rickson Gracie. We look at more challenges to Olympic medalists and pro wrestling stars.
We look at the fighter forgotten in history who some say was actually the best of the Gracie fighters, but was unfortunately that his prime came when the sport was banned.
We look at Rickson Gracie's most famous gym confrontations, including Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz, Luta Livre heavyweight Hugo Duarte, and pro wrestler Yoji Anjo.
We look at how Rickson Gracie played a part in killing one of the hottest pro wrestling companies in history.
We look at Rickson Gracie and the birth of the Pride Fighting Championships with his matches with Nobuhiko Takada and what was going on behind the scenes. We look at the second Gracie vs. Takada fight, what went on behind the scenes, and where Shinya Hashimoto fit into this equation. We look at the realities of Takada as a fighter.
We look at why Rickson Gracie never fought in UFC, and the emergence of Royce Gracie as the new Gracie star fighter and MMA's first superstar in the U.S.
We look at the first UFC, Gene LeBell's feud with the Gracie family, LeBell's first MMA fight and Lou Thesz's thoughts on the early UFC, Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn.
We look at the emergence of Kimo, the heyday of Ken Shamrock, Royce Gracie's departure from UFC, Rorion Gracie selling his interest in UFC and why all this happened.
We also look at Ken Shamrock's role as Pancrase champion, the fall of UFC and Ken Shamrock going into WWF and who was instrumental in the deal.
We look at the role of Shamrock in the rebirth of UFC, and his three big matches that never took place.
We look at Vale Tudo being banned in Brazil again and why, as well as Royce Gracie's fights in Japan and the emergence of Kazushi Sakuraba as a Japanese sports hero. We look at how the cards had to fall into place for the Gracie vs. Sakuraba fight to even happen, and how that made the sport huge in Japan.
We look at all the things leading to the fight and detail what was the biggest fight in Japanese MMA history, as well as the controversy over Sakuraba vs. Mezger to get there. We look at the growth and death of Pride, as well as the final fight of Rickson Gracie's career and who was Masakatsu Funaki.
We look at what Rickson Gracie said about the next generation stars like Fedor Emelianenko and Brock Lesnar, as well as what happened to all the major players in the early days of the sport, as well as what fighter brought in the resurgence of interest in Brazil.
We also have a complete report on the UFC/FOX deal. We look at the debut show, changes in mentality of the broadcast, how the negotiations went down, what Dana White said to the office, how the announcing will change on FOX, as well as the details of the change starting next year in The Ultimate Fighter reality show.
We've got talk about UFC vs. WWE and UFC vs boxing on Friday nights, as well as UFC vs. MMA on Friday nights. We look at who UFC was negotiating with, what programming will be on what channel, why UFC is able to get so much money in rights fees that WWE can't get, reaction from Spike TV, chances of Bellator moving to Spike, Bellator & TNA cross-promotion, what Fox said in the past about UFC, the first UFC event on U.S. television, as well as Bob Arum and Dana White go toe-to-toe. We also look at what may be the most important aspect of this deal that has not yet really been discussed anywhere.
We also have a look at the Hardys and a history of their issues and Jeff bouncing from promotion to promotion.
We've got more on Rey Mysterio, on WWE office shakeups including two Vice Presidents being let go and what is the story behind it. We look at the return of the original Sin Cara, Mick Foley talks his future in WWE and how many more matches he thinks he has left, live Smackdown show, update on Linda McMahon's plans to run for senate, Edge Appreciation Night, Canadian ratings, Chris Jericho talks his WWE run, Bret Hart talks Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin talks C.M. Punk and will he wrestle him next ear, third generation WWE star leaving the company, Kevin Nash's reaction to being back, Longest reigning WWE champions, how Edge got his TV acting gig, Jerry Lawler wrestling two of his biggest rivals once again, the Steve Austin DVD, the departure of Todd Grisham, as well as business notes from the past week and house show highlights from the past week.
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:
--Special Arena Mexico show built around the minis
--Angle where wrestler turns on his father
--U.S. indie star headed to NOAH
--A look at the IGF show this week
--Well known indie star announces retirement
--A look at the Battle of Los Angeles tournament
--Death of a wrestler who was getting a monster push in another generation
--Wrestler dies in the ring
--Update on health issues of some major stars of the 80s
--Impact time slot change
--More craziness in the Hogan family
--Jerry Jarrett talks about TNA's problems and Vince Russo
--TNA star trying for a reality show gig
--Notes on weekend TNA house shows
--Dana White feuds with ESPN
--Government investigating UFC
--UFC star arrested just before he starts with a big TV push
--Dana White talks about one more international version of Ultimate Fighter coming soon
--Among those who are being considered for coaches
--Two fighters trying to push for their own big match on FOX
--How the age of UFC viewers has changed
--Update on Mike Swick injury
--Next fight for Gilbert Melendez
--Notes on the next season of Ultimate Fighter
--Lots of new UFC fights
--A look at the last Bellator show
--MMA Fighter kills someone in street fight
--Womens' freak show fight in Japan, daughter of a famous murderer vs. daughter of one of the most successful American in the entertainment world
--Return of Pro Elite this week
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*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart
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*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
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--UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta has been negotiating this week with the Convention Center of Manaus in Brazil, an outdoor building that holds 100,000 people for an upcoming show. He said they expect to set a new company attendance record and sell the place out.
--USA was No. 1 for the week in cable with a 2.5 prime time average to 1.9 for Disney and 1.7 for TNT. FX did a 1.0 average, Syfy had a 1.0 average (No. 12 and No. 13 respectively) and Spike was No. 25 at 0.7.
--Raw last week was No. 11 and No. 13 on cable. The first hour of Raw was No. 10 in the 18-34 age group and the two hours were No. 8 and No. 10 in 18-49.
--Today is Vince McMahon's 66th birthday.
--Maryse is having abdominal surgery for a hernia today.
--UFC has announced appearing at the Fan Expo on 10/7 and 10/8 in Houston at the George Brown Convention Center will be Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Dominick Cruz, Chuck Liddell, Frank Mir, Forrest Griffin, Tito Ortiz, Vitor Belfort, Rashad Evans, Shane Carwin, Matt Serra, Wanderlei Silva, Urijah Faber, Miguel Torres, Phil Davis, Jason Miller, Clay Guida, Brendan Schaub, Mark Munoz, Donald Cerrone, Jon Fitch, Amir Sadollah, Matt Mitrione, Pat Barry, Jake Shields, Chan Sung Jung, Cole Miller, Stephan Bonnar, Gilbert Melendez, Tyron Woodley and Tim Kennedy. Tickets are on sale at www.ufcfanexpo.com
--Matt Hardy's girlfriend Reby Sky when asked about his situation said: "Hurt, exasperated, exhausted, furious, tired of being lied to, tired of enables, just tired."
--Todd Grisham is leaving WWE and will be working for ESPN, following the lead of Jonathan Coachman who went from WWE to ESPN. Grisham, whose first love is soccer, finished up last night. He had been the play-by-play host of NXT.
--There is a story on Miz in the Edmonton Journal at http://www.edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/
--Monday's WWE house show in St. Joseph, MO has been canceled. You can call 816-271-4717 for refunds. Most likely a combination of a bad advance and probably wanting the main talent on Raw to build angles for the live show in Wichita the next day. WWE rarely runs Monday house shows to begin with.
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Smackdown, UFC 134, Matt Hardy and the rest of the news. You can ask any questions for the show at
--The Young Bucks return to ROH on the 9/17 iPPV show in a three-way elimination match with the Bravado Brothers and Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly.
--Dragon Gate USA announced its iPPV show on 9/10 in Chicago with Yamato vs. Cima for the Open the Freedom Gate title, Pac vs Ricochet, Naruki Doi vs. Masato Yoshino vs. Chuck Taylor vs. Sami Callihan, Sabu & AR Fox vs. Arik Cannon & Pinkie Sanchez, Akira Tozawa vs. Johnny Gargano and Rich Swann vs. Jon Davis.
--UFC has released Jason Reinhardt after losing on 8/14 to Edwin Figueroa in a prelim on the Versus show.
--Dream announced Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Gerald Harris for the 9/24 Dream show in Saitama at the Super Arena.
--Who takes this fight?
Shogun Rua 53.0%
Forrest Griffin 47.0%
--Biggest upcoming UFC fight?
Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir 32.7%
Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen 27.0%
GSP vs. Nick Diaz 22.3%
Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans 18.0%
--After the next two title defenses, who do you think will be UFC light heavyweight champion?
Jon Jones 72.5%
Rashad Evans 21.1%
Quinton Jackson 6.4%
--Poll on Raw on Monday
14.0% of those responding didn't see the show.
--Chuck Langerman's daily trivia. Former pro wrestler Larry Weil (Pretty Boy Larry Sharpe) is the golf ranger/starter at Pitman Golf Course in Pitman, NJ, whose job includes greeting players, maintaining accurate tee times, customer and pace of play records and enforcing golf course rules and regulations.
--Brian Fritz talks to Shane Helms at http://betweentheropes.com/295/episode-8-shane-helms/
--Ken Doane (Kenny Dykstra) and Len Olson (90s FMW star Dr. Luther) have been added to Jeff Katz's Wrestling Revolution Project, to go along with Scott Colton (Colt Cabana).
--University of MMA is doing an amateur show called Salute to the Service on 9/11 at the Avalon in Hollywood for a 4 p.m. show.
--Hulk Hogan is doing another of his live Back to the Brink shows on 10/1 in Jacksonville at the Florida Theater. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. with the password HULK.
--An interview with T.J. Perkins, talking about PWG, Evolve, New Japan and other promotions is at http://maniaweekend.blogspot.com/2011/08/interview-with-tjp-aka-tj-perkin s-aka.html Perkins faces Eddie Edwards on the 9/10 PWG show in Reseda, CA.
--Maximum Fighting Championships on 10/7 in Edmonton at the Mayfield Conference Centre featuring Dheigo Lima vs. Terry Martin.
--MMA Xplosion runs on 9/16 at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas with two teams, coached by Marivn Eastman and Tony Fryklund. The idea is to put amateur fighters on teams. Eventually they are going to do a team based league with the Las Vegas Spiders against the Las Vegas Scorpions. Main event has Cesar Campos (8-1) vs. Rudy Morales (7-1) in a featherweight fight.
--AAW from Saturday night in Berwyn, IL: Louis Lyndon b Shane Hollister, Christian Faith b Austin Mannix, Keith Walker b T.D. Thomas, Jimmy Jacobs NC Mason Beck, Darin Corbin & Marion Fontaine b Clash, Awesome Threesome b Zero Gravity, MsChif b Sassy Stephanie, Silas Young b Gregory Iron, Arik Cannon b Steve Corino. Next show is 9/30 headlined by Alex Shelley vs. Shane Hollister, plus Colt Cabana, Jimmy Jacobs, Arik Cannon, Keith Walker, Michael Elgin and Irish Airborne. They also have an iPPV on 10/28 from Merrionette Park, IL at 115 Bourbon Street featuring Rhino.
--Carlito, Boogeyman, Paul Bearer, Low Ki, Abyss, Tony Atlas and Tony Garea will appear at the MWF 10th anniversary bash on 9/17 at Memorial Hall.
--Young Lions Cup on 8/27 in Easton, PA at the Palmer Center with Sara Del Rey vs. Hallowicked, UltraMantis Black vs. Jigsaw, Matt Jackson vs. Johnny Gargano, Eddie Kingston & Mike Quackenbush & Fire Ant vs. Claudio Castagnoli & Icarus & Vin Gerard.
--Wild Bill's Fight Night on Friday night at Wild Bill's in Duluth, GA.
--If you think some people in wrestling have gone off the deep end, consider this from former Rocky V co-star and boxer Tommy Morrison. Morrison believes that HIV doesn't really exist and that Magic Johnson got paid millions by a pharmaceutical company to say he had HIV. He also said that he can teleport himself.
--Maria Kanellis is currently working at a model for Bench Warmer products.
--Gangrel headlines for CWE on 9/9 in Melfort, Saskatchewan and 9/10 in Yorkton, Saskatchewan and the Agri-Paviliion at The Gallagher Center.
--Insanity Pro Wrestling on Saturday night in Indianapolis at the Fountain Square Salvation Army Community Center with Drake Younger and Irish Airbone.
--Former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner headlines the 9/23 Titan Fighting Championship show at Memorial Hall in Kansas City. Varner will face Alonzo Martinez on a show that airs live on HDNet.
--Legends of the Ring 13 on 10/8 in Monroe, NJ at the Crowne Plaza Hotel features for Superticket buys, Bob Backlund, Lita, Mickie James, Barry Windham, Samoa Joe, Dan Severn, George Steele, Jim Duggan, Terry Taylor, Ivan Putski, Gangrel, Winter, Jamison, Nicole Bass and Kevin Kelly. Also appearing are Mick Foley, New Age Outlaws, Melina, D-Lo Brown, Ashley Massaro, Chavo Guerrero, Shane Douglas, Jerry Lynn, Tammy Sytch, Luke Robinson and Robbie E.
--Jerry Lynn has canceled his appearance with Traditional Championship Wrestling on 10/15 in Fort Smith, AR. Jay Lethal will replace him in a singles match against Greg Anthony. Harley Race will be signing autographs and Harvey Wippleman will be there as a manager.
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 9/3 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds.
--CMLL on Sunday in Guadalajara before 800 fans: Xavier Cruz Jr. b In Memoriam, Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno b Infierno & Drago, Marcela & Lluvia b Kiara & Zeuxis, Exterminador & Escandalo & Arkangel de la Muerte b Stuka Jr. & Leono & Guerrero Maya Jr., Maximo & Brazo de Plata & Mascara Dorada b Rey Bucanero & Dragon Rojo Jr. & Atlantis-DQ (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
--ONE HD in Australia airs the UFC Countdown show at midnight Friday. They also replay UFC 122, which is the Yushin Okami vs. Nate Marquardt show at 11:15 p.m. on Saturday night. (thanks to Tim Forge)
--AWF Psychoticslam on Saturday night at the in Blacktown RSL in Blacktown, Australia. Dick Togo from Japan appears as part of his international retirement tour.
--Mick Foley will be doing a comedy show on 10/1 in LaSalle, IL at the 9th Street Pub at 11:30 p.m.. You have to be 21 or older to attend. This will be after Foley appears at the Dream Wave Wrestling show that night.
--IWF on Saturday night in Woodland Park, NJ at the IWF Centre.
--CZW tapes Wired TV on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Philadelphia at the Parkwood Youth Organization. Admission to the show is free. There will be a Battle Royal and the winner faces Devon Moore for the CZW title later that night.
--West Coast Wrestling Company on 9/17 in Lake Elsinore, CA at the Trevi Entertainment Center.