WED. UPDATE: Diaz fallout, White responds, WWE Films new head, Ratings, Bischoff on Angle, Rock



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        The return of Brock Lesnar, the story behind the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos fight getting on FOX, more on the first two UFC shows on FOX and thoughts on the two big heavyweight fights is one of our lead stories in this week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
 
        We look at the 12/30 date, Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem as a match, marketing of the fight and will UFC have its first hair vs. hair match.
 
        We also have the summer WWE & TNA business charts, so you can see what is up, what is down, and some people may be surprised at the one aspect of business that is up, and more on how television ratings don't seem to have much correlation to business.  We look at live attendance, TV ratings and PPV numbers for the last few months, what it all means, as well as television viewership of the various shows throughout 2011.

        The issue is available today 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 also look at a letter sent by the Culinary Workers union in Las Vegas to the Federal Trade Commission and their complaints regarding the business practices of UFC.  We look at the items they bring up on a case-by-case basis.
 
        We also have another in our series on this year's candidates for the Hall of Fame, with a look at the biggest drawing cards on this year's ballot.  We also have a lot of notes on Edge, Sgt. Slaughter, Atlantis and others.

        We also look at Rock at Survivor Series, the future of the Sin Cara character, lineup for Night of Champions, notes on Hell in a Cell matches, more on Santino Marella's auto accident, WWE injury updates, return to TV talked about for two legends, mystery G.M., the Divas take their feud seriously, and who is holding up the induction into WWE Hall of Fame of one of the greatest omissions.
 
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        We also look at the proposed return to wrestling of Bill Goldberg, as well as news regarding Batista and Chris Jericho, and proposals to run a bigger stadium show than WrestleMania.
 
        We also have more on the career of Little Tokyo, the top midget star of the 70s and 80s. 
       
        We also have tons more on Matt Hardy and Kurt Angle's last week.  We look at Angle's most recent arrest, his past arrests, his unique behavior as well as the writer and director of "Warrior" talks about Kurt Angle getting the role in the movie.
 
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         Also in this week's issue:
 
--First week of CMLL's Champion of Champions tournament yields bad news
 
--CMLL honors one of its longest lasting wrestlers
 
--Atlantis vs. Ultimo Guerrero feud heats up
 
--Tragedy strikes a wrestler in AAA
 
--A look at Dragon Gate's upcoming weekend
 
--New Prime Minister of Japan and background as a fan as a wrestler
 
--Another wrestler looking at running for major political office
 
--Legends, freaks and fighters from other sports do major pro wrestling event this past week
 
--Major international star coming to U.S. promotion
 
--Another pro wrestler tests out MMA
 
--Another promotion claims they are doing PPV
 
--More on the Terri Runnels/New Jack court fight
 
--More on the arrest of Daffney
 
--More on death of Bill Kunkel
 
--Whatever happened to Steve Beverly
 
--Two former WWE female stars, one wants back in, the other has a major mishap
 
--A book on ESPN talks about the decision to get AWA wrestling
 
--Complete card for TNA No Surrender
 
--More on Styles vs Daniels program
 
--Bound for Glory series notes
 
--Ric Flair talks heath
 
--Former star hints returning to TNA
 
--More on the business of UFC 134 and UFC's PPV business this year
 
--A look at Anderson Silva as a draw
 
--Lots of injuries and new fights in UFC
 
--Olympic silver medalist debuts for Zuffa this week
 
--Notes on UFC's return to Japan
 
--Notes on Bellator's new season
 
--Fedor's proposed next fight
 
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--The WWE web site is listing Kevin Nash as being fired but that follows the storyline on Raw, and Nash is trying to sell it as legit, saying that the sides didn't come to a financial agreement.  Keep in mind Nash also claimed he was never signed to TNA when TNA did the storyline of Nash quitting even though Nash had signed a new deal. 
 
--Regarding Nick Diaz, obviously the guy is in a bad place when it comes to depression.  Dana White said he would most likely cut him and he really has no logical alternative.  You can't have guys in a company that you are promoting who no-show.  Diaz no-showed a press conference yesterday in Canada, and then today was booked on three different flights for a press conference in Las Vegas.  He didn't get on any of the flights, and snuck out Cesar Gracie's back door as Gracie told UFC he would bring Diaz to the press conference.  The 10/29 main event is now GSP vs. Carlos Condit for the welterweight title.  Condit was to face B.J. Penn on the show. 
 
--Dana White said, "He looked me right in my face and lied to me and told me he'd do (business).  "Nick Diaz can't handle the pressure of a major main event."
 
--This afternoon at one point we had more visitors on this site at that moment than any day that I've ever checked (I check generally once every afternoon).  Make of that what you will.
 
--WWE announced today that Michael Luisi has been named the new President of WWE Studios.  Luisi will be overseeing the next WWE movie, a horror film called "No One Lives."
 
--WWE stock went up 50 cents today. The bad news is that it's at $9.35 per share, which means it closed yesterday at $8.85 per share.
 
--USA was again No. 1 in cable this past week with a 2.1 prime time average to 1.7 for Disney.  ESPN will start talking over in a week or two due to football.  The two hours of Raw last week were No. 6 and No. 10.  Rizzoli & Isles was the highest rated show on cable at 5.2.  Raw was No. 6 and No. 8 in 18-49.
 
--Hulk Hogan will be on Good Morning America on Friday.  He'll be promoting Micro Championship Wrestling and not TNA.
 
--Eric Bischoff said he was embarrassed and disappointed by Kurt Angle's actions in the past few days.  Angle probably won't take well to that, and then 24 hours later reverse himself. 
 
--Madison Square Garden has sent out text messages to people on their mailing list talking about Survivor Series.  The wording is:  "The People's Champion-The Rock returns to action for the first time in 8 years to join John Cena and all your favorite WWE Superstars at Survivor Series."  That sure sounds like he's wrestling, whether he does or doesn't.
 
--Bryan and I will be back later today for Wrestling Observer radio, talking more about Nick Diaz, Brock Lesnar, Night of Champions as well as the major events this coming weekend.  We'll also be taking questions that you can send in to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--Survivor Series tickets are currently on Internet pre-sale for Madison Square Garden with the promotion code ORTONDELRIO and go on sale to the public on Saturday at 10 a.m. (thanks to Mike Omansky) 
 
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia.  Bob Marella, who later became Gorilla Monsoon, finished second as a heavyweight in the 1959 NCAA wrestling tournament, competing for Ithaca College.  After college, he lived in Willingboro, NJ, and became a school teacher, before going into pro wrestling as Gino Marella.  Monsoon is the second most famous former resident of Willingboro, NJ, behind only multi-time Olympic medalist Carl Lewis.  Two others from the city are WWE referee Mike Chioda, who grew up near Monsoon and was friends with Joey Marella, Monsoon's son.  Also from Willingboro is David Miscavige, who dropped out of high school and is now CEO of the Church of Scientology and is best friends with Tom Cruise.
 
--Mick Foley has been named as a VIP Guest for the Wrestle Reunion on 1/27 to 1/29 in Los Angeles.  He will also referee on the Saturday night Pro Wrestling Superstars show and be at the Breakfast of Champions on Sunday.  They are also working on Foley doing a comedy show.
 
--Speaking of Foley, he will be a guest tomorrow for a special edition of Wrestling Observer Radio.
 
--Jessie Godderz, who is under contract to TNA but has yet to appear on TV, was a guest on "Big Brother" this past week.  He did that show in the past where he got his name.
 
--ROH announced a show on 11/6 in Collinsville, IL, just outside of St. Louis.  The main event is Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin defending the tag titles against Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly.
 
--Who is the strongest Hall of Fame candidate from this list?
Gorilla Monsoon 22.7%
Lou Albano 19.4%
Jesse Ventura 17.8%
Jim Crockett Jr. 10.0%
Bill Apter 9.8%
Jerry Jarrett 8.7%
Gary Hart 7.4%
Don Owen 2.0%
Dr. Alfonso Morales 1.5%
Kent Walton 0.8%
 
--Viewing plans for this weekend
Strikeforce only 16.2%
TNA No Surrender only 8.0%
Bellator only 2.1%
Strikeforce & Bellator 12.8%
Strikeforce & TNA 4.0%
TNA & Bellator 0.4%
All three 2.9%
None of the three 53.7%
 
--Should TNA give Kurt Angle time off and pressure him to get help?
Yes 86.1%
No 7.6%
Not sure 6.3%
 
--Rating for Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos
Under 2.0 14.1%
2.1 to 2.3 6.6%
2.4 to 2.6 4.9%
2.7 to 2.9 8.2%
3.0 to 3.2 11.0%
3.3 to 3.5 5.9%
3.6 to 3.8 5.6%
3.9 to 4.1 9.1%
4.2 to 4.4 8.9%
4.5 to 4.7 5.2%
4.8 to 5.0 2.6%
5.1 to more 18.0%
 
--Which fight does more PPV business
Lesnar vs. Overeem 84.9%
GSP vs Diaz 15.1%
        I guess we'll never know now.
 
--Who do you predict to win this fight?
Brock Lesnar 58.8%
Alistair Overeem 41.2%
 
--Best TV match of the past week
Daniels vs. Styles 53.0%
Punk vs. R-Truth 26.1%
Elimination tag on Raw 12.5%
Kurt Angle vs. Sting 8.4%
 
--Poll on Raw
Excellent 3.4%
Good 18.9%
Average 30.2%
Fair 18.9%
Poor 28.7%
        16.7% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Jim Ross talks Brock Lesnar, Stan Hansen and the Midnight Express at http://www.jrsbarbq.com
 
--Schedule for MMA Live on ESPN 2 the rest of  this month is 2 a.m. on 9/10, 12:30 a.m. on 9/17, 1 a.m. on 9/24 and 2 a.m. on 9/30
 
--Raw was the No. 44 ranked show on Australian Pay TV with 65,000 viewers last week.
 
--Monday's Raw was the first time Jinder Mahal had lost this year.  He had won his first 26 matches.  So he had more straight wins than Undertaker's streak (thanks to Stefan Gorges)
 
--The Wrestling Revolution Project we've been writing about will be taping 10/11 to 10/13 in Hollywood.  Today's new name on the roster is Jonathan Figueroa, better known as Amazing Red.
 
--BAMMA 7 will be airing live on Saturday in Canada on The Fight Network.  The show begins at 4 p.m. Eastern time.
 
--UFC 137 $100 and $200 tickets were all sold even before they went on sale to Fight Club members today.  Casinos were making tons of purchases ahead of time and it looks to be the biggest advance since UFC 100.  The cheapest seats at 10 a.m. today when they were put on sale was $300. (thanks to Ben Smith)   
 
--Matt Grice has pulled out of the 10/8 UFC show in Houston where he was to face Nam Phan in a prelim match.  No new opponent has been announced for Phan.
 
--Pro Wrestling Blitz from Saturday night in Joliet, IL:  Gringos Locos b Gilbert Lewis & Herros, Hardcore Craig b Matty Starr, Justin Dredd & Brandon Blaze b Dysfunction & Machine, Tony Rican b Zach Thompson, Willie Da Bomb Richardson b Jimmy Rockwell, Mark Sterling & Silas Young b Mike Sydal & White Russian, Ryan Slade b Mike Horning, Kevin Nash b Tony Scarpone (thanks to Steve Stone)
 
--New England Championship Wrestling from Sunday in Spencer, MA:  Ryan Bisbal b Nick Farenheight, Mercedes & Ivy b Mistress Belmont & Veda Scott, Giant Pharoah b Scotty Shields & Elia Markropolis, Julian Starr b Chase Del Monte, Sean Burke b Chris Neil, Taka Suzuki b Eddie Ryan, Bobby Fish & Matt Taven b Brian Fury & D.C. Dillinger.  Next show is 10/23 in Malden, MA at the Irish-American Club.
 
--Emerson Whitner talks the 1992 Royal Rumble at http://angrymarks.com/?ArticleID=15050
 
--Today's New York Daily News had a story about police shooting John Collardo, 43, who was identified as a former pro wrestler.  The story was about a Tuesday incident where Collardo was allegedly trying to break up an arrest and put one of the officers in a choke.  While being held in he choke the officer fired a shot to Collardo's stomach.  I don't have any details on Collardo's wrestling career, if he even had one of any significance.
 
--David Lagana interviews John Layfield, Lilian Garcia, Pete Doyle, Tim Walbert and Paul Heyman about 9/11 at http://iwantwrestling.com/2011/09/06/wwe911/
 
--Mark Takada said that while in South Korea, he saw a lot of UFC on television.  He also saw an episode of Raw.  They are behind North America by several weeks as the episode he just saw on 9/3 had HHH firing Vince from the company and TV commercials were for SummerSlam.
 
--UFC 136 airs on ESPN in the U.K. with MMA live on 9/24 at 1:15 a.m. and the main show starting at 2 a.m.
 
--CZW runs on 9/10 at the Arena in Philadelphia featuring Big Japan's death match champion Ryuji Ito putting up his title against CZW Ultraviolent Underground champion Masada. Both titles will be at stake.
 
--RCW No Remorse on 9/24 in Baltimore at the DuBurns Arena
 
--CHIKARA Pro on 9/18 in New York City at the Highline Ballroom with Eddie Kingston vs. Fire Ant, Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano and UltraMantis Black & Hallowicked & Frightmare & ? vs. Sinn Bodhi & Obarlyon & Kodama & Kobald. 
 
--CMLL from Monday night in Puebla before 4,500 fans:  Dragon Lee & Fuego & Stuka Jr. b Escandalo & Loco Max & Nitro-DQ, Averno & Mephisto & Hiroshi Tanahashi b Blue Panther & La Mascara & Mascara Dorada, Ultimo Guerrero b Atlantis
 
--AAA on Sunday in Neza:  Rey Neza won elimination match, Estrella de Fuego & Mini Cibernetico & Reina del Sur b Yozan & Mini Oriental & Yuriko, Extreme Tiger & Super Nova & Zumbi b Heddie Karaoui & Dark Ozz & Puma, Cinthia & Rossy Moreno & Vanely b La Chola & Hechicera & Sexy Star, Dr. Wagner Jr. & Dr. Wagner III & Oriental b Psycho Circus-DQ
 
--Monday night in Leon:  Chica Tormenta & Tarahumara & Vaquerita b Eva Bernal & Keira & Shitara, Mascarita Sagrada & Mini Aventura & Octagoncito b Bracito de Oro & Bracito de Plata & Mini Maniaco, El Hijo del Huracan Ramirez & Huracan Ramirez Jr. & Mascara Sagrada b Pirata Morgan & El Hijo del Pirata Morgan & Pirata Morgan Jr.-DQ, Brazo de Plata & Hector Garza & La Sombra b El Texano Jr. & Rey Bucanero & Volador Jr.-DQ 
 
--Rey Misterio benefit show (that's the uncle of the WWE wrestler) on Saturday night in Mazatlan:  Barbaro & Mercury Boy & Tyson b Dark Samurai & Sangre Maligna & Sigma, Black Power & Colmillo Negro & Wilbert b Fly Metal & Mercury Boy & Tornado, Black Ninja & Sargento Negro & Tiger Boy b Eclipse & Rosabel & Serpiente Marina, Angel Metalico b Tony Casanova, El Hijo del Rey Misterio & El Hijo del Santo & Huracan Ramirez b El Hijo del Solitario & L.A. Park & Cassandro-DQ
 
--Steven Spitzer at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it has two front row balcony tickets for the 9/17 ROH iPPV show from the Manhattan Center available for face value, which is $120
 
--Crossfire Entertainment on 9/9 at 625 Smith Ave. in Nashville headlined by Jim Duggan.
 
--Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame will be honoring the oldest living wrestler, Angelo Savoldi on 10/1 in Carteret, NJ at the Raddison Hotel.  Tickets are $50 for a buffet dinner, autographs, photo ops  and more with Bob Backlund, Tito Santana, J.J. Dillon, Davey O'Hannon, Domenic DeNucci, Johnny Rodz, Manny Soto, Larry Sharpe, Billy Caputo and Dick Woehrle.
 
--NWA Top Rope on Saturday night in Lebanon, TN as the Corsica Joe Arena 
 
--NWA MSW on 9/9 in War, WV at the Fall Festival
 
--NWA MSW on 9/10 in Mount Hope, WV at the Community Building
 
--Carmello Marrero, who once beat Cheick Kongo in UFC, will headline the XFC show against Scott Barrett on 10/21 in Orlando at the UFC Arena.  The show will air on HDNet.
 
--The Orlando Sentinel gave "Inside Out" a * rating, so it's like the movie version of a Bellas match.  HHH in particular gets skewered.

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