Sunday, 11 September 2011 12:31
We're also looking for thoughts on the Bellator show and yesterday and today's Dragon Gate USA shows.
We're looking for reports from today's Raw house show in Kingston, ONT and Smackdown will be in Moncton, New Brunswick, as well as today's Dragon Gate USA iPPV show in Milwaukee featuring Pac & Yoshino vs. Cima & Ricochet with the Open the United Gate vs. Open the Twin Gate titles at stake, Yamato & Fox vs. Cannon & Callihan, Doi vs. Gargano, Tozawa vs. Jon Davis and more. Sabu has also been added to the show.
We're looking for reports from last night's Dragon Gate show in Chicago on iPPV at www.WWNLive.com and Friday night's Raw house show in Barrie, ONT.
TNA No Surrender lineup:
*Matt Morgan vs. Samoa Joe - Morgan's first match back since his torn pec. Theoretically, Joe needs to go over to set him up with a match with Crimson, or Morgan does over when Crimson distracts or interferes. That's if we're doing logical progression booking.
*Mickie James vs. Winter for the Knockouts title. With advertising already out for Winter as champion, that tells us that at least the plan was for Winter to win here. Whether they change it or not based on it getting out is the story of the match. As far as the bout goes, they had a bad match last time on PPV, but a good TV match.
*Brian Kendrick vs. Austin Aries for the X title - Aries was also supposed to win the title and in this case it doesn't make much sense to not have it happen since Aries is the most complete performer by far they've got in the X Division right now.
*Mexican America vs. Pope & Devon for the tag titles. Match should be okay, nothing special. Big story here is where, if anywhere, they take the Pope & Devon story
*Bully Ray vs. James Storm in the Bound for Glory series - Storm has a shoulder injury which may hold the match back
*Bobby Roode vs. Gunner in the Bound for Glory series - The pressure is on Roode here to see if he can perform at the level of a singles main eventer against a green, but hard working and athletic opponent.
*Kurt Angle vs. Sting vs. Mr. Anderson for the TNA title - While on paper, this match doesn't inspire buys, and it's never a good policy when you announce your PPV main event on the Thursday prior to the show on the first NFL Sunday on the season. And your champion was just arrested. Still, a healthy (or even unhealthy) and motivated (and on big shows, Angle is almost always motivated) can have a good match with anyone.
On paper, this is a show that doesn't seem to inspire much attention. Being in Orlando of late for PPV has been more of a negative than a positive and a lot of the company's best wrestlers aren't even on the show. Expect more storyline stuff as the final PPV before Bound for Glory.
We have live coverage of the show starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Monday has Raw live from Ottawa, while Impact will be taped in Orlando with the first Ric Flair vs. Sting match in 10 1/2 years, and possibly the last one the two will ever have.
Tuesday has Smackdown and NXT from Toronto with Daniel Bryan vs. Sin Cara announced, while Impact will again be taped in Orlando.
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.
We also update Gail Kim, JBL's potential to return, new WWE signee, Mick Foley's return, Edge talks about life after leaving wrestling and what question he's getting frustrated about being asked.
We also look at business numbers from the past week as well as details from all the major league house shows. We also have SummerSlam numbers.
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.
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.
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
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major story (ies) of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue. Our most requested issues in our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series
plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but
everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article
and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth, and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the
night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s,
Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and
Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund,
Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered
separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world
wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the
history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their
Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and
behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings,
Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a
double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher,
double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working
in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him
tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart
signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
*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
there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double
issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more
about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk,
Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods. To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best
Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North
America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--No update on Daniel Cormier's right hand, which he injured on the first punch to the beat of Bigfoot Silva. If it's broken, that could delay the fight with Josh Barnett for the Grand Prix finals which was planned to take place in January or February.
--Does Joey Odessa have odds up to bet on whether the Nick Diaz vs. B.J. Penn fight ever gets into the cage?
--The movie "Warrior" is now estimated at doing $5.61 million at the box office for the weekend. It was No. 3 behind Contagion and The Help, but a big disappointment overall.
--How did TNA ever miss the boat on having Rosita challenge Winter for the title on today's show? I mean, when life hands you an obvious angle, you just ignore it because you didn't create it? Rosita's father died ten years ago today, and she was on NBC which got TNA more exposure than anything in a long time. She's not even booked on the show.
--Torrie Wilson and Tom Lister (Zeus in an angle with Hulk Hogan in the 80s and once came to WCW in the 90s) will be two of the people on a reality show called The Z Team, which will air on the Reelz cable network. The two, along with others, the biggest name being Lorenzo Lamas, become police officer types. Similar to that show Trish Stratus did with Erik Estrada.
--CZW from last night in Philadelphia at the Arena: Ricky Reyes b Kekoa the Flyin Hawaiian, Latin Dragon b Alex Payne, Jake Crist b Dustin Rayz, Mr. Tofiga b Danny Havoc, Adam Cole b Greg Excellent, Philly's Most Wanted b Trent 7 & MK McKinnan, Devon Moore b B.J. Whitmer, Ryuji Ito d Masada in a no rope barbed wire ladder match. Both titles were at stake hanging from the ceiling and each guy grabbed their own belt to retain. They announced the Cage of Death show for 12/3 in Philadelphia. Wrestlers from Big Japan Pro Wrestling and K-Dojo in Japan will be coming. (thanks to Bob Magee)
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia. Frank Goodish, who later became Bruiser Brody, grew up in Warren, MI and went to Warren High School, graduating in 1964. Goodish was an All-State athlete in both football and basketball. He wasn't very skillful, but he was an intimidator in both sports. In his senior year, he was the star of the team that beat Lakeshore High 65-56 to win the only Michigan regional basketball championship in the history of the school.
--Jim Ross was shown on the sidelines yesterday at the Virginia vs. Indiana football game. Ross is friends with the coach at Indiana.
--As expected, on all the FOX football games today, they had plugs for the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos fight on 11/12. There were also commercials for the Jon Jones vs. Rampage Jackson PPV fight on 9/24 during the broadcasts.
--The press conference for Velasquez vs. Dos Santos will be on Thursday at 1 p.m. Pacific time at the west Hollywood Hotel in Great Rooms 2 and 3. The event is open to the public and the UFC web site will cover it. Tickets go on sale Wednesday to Fight Club members and Friday to the public.
--Who do you think wins this fight?
Vitor Belfort 69.8%
Cung Le 30.2%
--Best TV match of the week
Orton vs. Rhodes 39.0%
Punk vs. Truth 29.9%
Elimination match on Raw 15.3%
Angle vs. Anderson 9.6%
Bully Ray vs. Gunner vs. Roode vs. Storm 6.2%
--Poll on Smackdown
38.5% of those responding didn't see the show
--The video noted in yesterday's update of Lanny Poffo and promoter Devon Nicholson issuing the challenge to Greg Valentine for an "MMA match" "without a predetermined winner" is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBmRnitRHDI Nicholson insists this is all real.
--Wrestling Legends of the Squared Circle on 10/22 in Lake Charles, LA is not taking place. The event was canceled when promoter Chris Simon failed to send deposits to the wrestlers as promised. Names he had contacted to appear on the show included Bobby Eaton, Dennis Condrey, Ricky Morton, Robert Gibson, Tammy Sytch, Davey Richards, Adam Pearce, Colt Cabana, Gunner, Tommy Dreamer, Bill Dundee, Jim Duggan and Luke Gallows. (thanks to Larry Goodman)
--SoCal Pro Wrestling has a War Games on 9/17 in Oceanside, CA at the Boys and Girls Club with SoCal Crazy & Adam Pearce & Rockness Monsters vs. Tommy Wilson & Peter Avalon & Nick Lovin & Ricky Mandel.
--Pro Wrestling Syndicate on 11/12 in Queens NY at the Elks Lodge has Bob Backlund vs. Jerry Lynn in a catch wrestling match. What is that supposed to mean? Also Teddy Hart vs. Amazing Red.
--CHIKARA this coming weekend runs 9/17 in Brockton, MA at the Boys & Girls Club and 9/18 in Manhattan at The Highline Ballroom.
--A Luke Gallows interview with a newspaper in Nigeria playing foreign heel Super Festus who recently challenged Power Uti, the local champion at http://nationalmirroronline.net/sports/sport-new/19820.html
--Great North Wrestling web TV show with Jay Lethal and Lanny Poffo among others at http://www.youtube.com/watch/v=r4vS1dDI0CE
--NWA Anarchy TV tapings from last night in Cornelia, GA: Anthony Henry & Billy Buck b Kilgore & Ramirez, Steven Walters b Drew Haskins to keep the TV title, Mayne & Boykins & John Skyler & Bobby Moore b Brody Chase & Skirra Corvus & Tommy Daniels & Ty Tyson-DQ, Azrieal DCOR Kimo, Damien Wayne b Ty Tyson, Only & Stryknyn b Mike West & Raymond King, Seth Delay b Adrian Hawkins-DQ Mikal Judas (Murphy in TNA) & Jacob Ashworth b Shaun Tampers & Bo Newsome, to set up Tempers vs. Judas for the NWA North American title on 9/24 in a no DQ match in Cornelia (thanks to Bill Behrens)
--Usually you'll only hear about autograph sessions if the talent was listless or whatever, but Ed Ludwig went to a Trish Stratus signing in Burnaby, BC yesterday. There was a two hour line but she spent several minutes with everyone there and he said of all the people he's seen at autograph signings that she would rank with JBL and Anderson Silva as the nicest to the fans.
--Fox Sports in Australia at http://www.foxsports.com/au has a story about Tahu, a rugby league star with the Newcastle Knights, training this week with Rampage Jackson at his new training center. The connection is New Zealand fighter James Te Huna, who is friends with Tahu and a training partner with Jackson. Also flying out to train at the center is New Zealand heavyweight Mark Hunt. (thanks to Tim Forge)
--NWS from yesterday afternoon in Edison,NJ: Bobby Youngblood b Eddie Franken, Corey Havoc b Wrestling Clown, J.D. Smoothie & Sucio Sanchez b Ricky Roxx & B. Fehrm, Steve Monsta Mack NC Koko B. Ware
--NWS from last night in Edison, NJ: Bobby Youngblood b Eddie Franken, J.D. Smoothie vs. Jack Spade vs. Ricky Roxx was a triple count out, 2/3 falls: Koko B. Ware & TV Wrestling Clown b Steve Monsta Mack & Corey Havoc. Ox Baker managed Ware & The Clown, replacing Iron Sheik, who canceled due to health issues.