MON. UPDATE: More from last night, Punk talks Raw, UFC PPV build, odds, ratings, TNA champion



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        We're looking for your thoughts on last night's WWE Night of Champions, as well as last night's UFC Fight Night and last night's  ROH Death before Dishonor iPPV show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        We're also looking for live reports from Cleveland tonight with Superstars matches, dark matches, attendance and anything else from tonight's show that isn't on television.  Not much known about tonight's show other than they pretty much have to establish the main matches for Hell in a Cell on 10/1 because of so little time between shows.
 
        We're also looking for reports on the Thursday night TNA house show in York, PA.

        Smackdown and NXT tapings on Tuesday are from Dayton.

        Wednesday night will be the final two weeks of Impact tapings before Bound for Glory, taking place in Knoxville.  Based on story line they would be having a Bobby Roode vs. James Storm match on one of the two shows, plus the Hulk Hogan retirement ceremony, whatever that is supposed to mean.  It's also the debut of the new season of Ultimate Fighter.
 
        With coverage of why this past week was a bad one for WWE business wise, the Hulk Hogan retirement speech, a crazy week from UFC with arguably its biggest fight of 2011 being changed and why, coverage of Strikeforce and the behind-the-scenes talk on that promotion, plus the fundamental issues wrong with TNA, and coverage of their PPV and television shows, we've got two issues of the Observer out this week.

        Both issues are available today on the site.  There is also a new back issue from 1994 up on the site this week.  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.      

        Our lead story looks at WWE's business week, in particular ratings against week one of football.  We look at how the show has done
in recent years against the first weekend of Monday Night Football, the expected drop, what kinds of ratings should be expected the next few
months as well as why, at least for a period this football season, things may not be so bad.  We also note problems that are actually more
significant then the ratings, as well as Smackdown guys on Raw, how every segment on Raw did including what point of the show a huge percentage of the audience tuned out.

        We also look at Hulk Hogan's latest retirement speech and look at the different types of games that may be being played here, regarding if he's gone, what would that mean, why it makes no sense for Bound for Glory and why it's so imperative right now for TNA to deliver ratings in a few weeks.  We look at Hogan's run in TNA, if anyone can care these days about any retirement speech, and what Hogan said in the final segment of Impact that airs on the 29th.

              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
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        We also look at the situation with Nick Diaz, B.J. Penn, GSP and others after a week of change in the UFC's biggest show.  We look at
Diaz's punishment for missing the press conferences, Penn's long-term goals, how bad a financial hit Diaz is likely to take, the dynamic of the
show, the story behind the ticket sales of the show, and a look back at Diaz's track record in recent years.  There are comments from Dana White, talk about why GSP vs. Diaz would have been huge box office and looking at the Penn vs. Diaz fight, as well as where it currently stands.

        We also have a feature on Jeff Hardy, after pleading guilty a three felony distribution of drug charges. We look at why Hardy needed to
avoid a trial.  We look at the terms of his sentencing, how this may affect his career, things said in court, as well as Hardy's track record
from the last six years.  We look at Hardy's most recent WWE tenure, and why he ended up in TNA, and the incidents that WWE did and didn't ignore in his rise to the top of the business, and that TNA both did and didn't ignore.

        We also have an update on Kevin Nash's role in WWE, explanations he's given publicly, things said privately and more, as well as the story behind the Survivor Series immediate sellout and the return to the ring of The Rock in November.  We also have more on when Linda McMahon is expected to announce her running for senate and why, update on Night of Champions, HHH talks about changes they are looking to make when it comes to recruiting wrestlers as well as more changes to how creative in WWE is being structured.  We also look at a head writer who has left, more on the WWE Network, Edge talks about he end of his career, WWE returns to Japan, A date floated for Shawn Michaels returning to Raw, as well as business notes from the past week and highlights of the weekend arena events.

        We look at the fallout of the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix semifinals, both matches and business.  We've also got match-by-match
coverage and poll results.  We look at the shocking rating and put it into perspective as well as what it means, and a look at why the show did
so poorly on TV.

        We also have full coverage of TNA No Surrender, with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results, as well as an
early look at where Bound for Glory seems to be going.

        We also have Mick Foley talking TNA exit, Raw ratings in Canada, what major changes have been made since February in viewing habits of Raw.

        We also have a look at one of the most historic pro wrestling events of the year, All Together Now, the joint venture of All Japan, New
Japan and Pro Wrestling NOAH.  We talk about the atmosphere of the show, notes about it, plus match-by-match coverage with star ratings, the good and bad and unique crowd.   

        We also have notes on CMLL's plans for its anniversary events over the next few weeks.

        We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week as well as how every segment did when it comes to gaining and losing
viewers on both TNA & WWE's A shows.

        We also have our regular weekly features with results of all the major arena events around the world, as well as all the major TV show
reviews.   
 
         Also in this week's issue:

--Update on Roddy Piper and his injury

--More on changes in the tour where Bill Goldberg is to return to wrestle and who right now is earmarked as his opponent, as well as the names on tour.

--Much more on Kurt Angle's DWI case, including what happened when he was pulled over and why he was pulled over.

--Hulk Hogan sticks his foot in his mouth talking about Angle.

--More on CMLL's Champion of Champions tournament

--Hall of Famer's 40th anniversary event including the return of many major 70s and 80s stars

--Chavo Guerrero Sr. returns to wrestling in Mexico

--Mexican promotion bringing in a number of U.S. stars

--Sting's Mexico debut opponent official

--TNA names going to Mexico this week

--A look at the Dragon Gate USA weekend

--Why some wrestlers are improving so fast

--New potential stars

--Lots of problems

--Update on attendance

--Four star matches

--90s wrestlers coming out of retirement to honor one of that era's biggest promotions

--Notes on All Japan's jr. tourney

--Former U.S. champion out with herniated disc

--Return to the ring of Marufuji

--NOAH big singles tournament

--Next major event at the Tokyo Dome

--Champion vacates title due to injury

--New Japan PPV show corning

--One of the greatest woman wrestling stars in history brings back her persona for one night and why she disappeared from wrestling 

--Daughter of pro wrestling legend makes her final bid for an Olympic gold medal

--Update on the Wrestling Revolution Project

--Controversy over the return of Stampede Wrestling

--Teddy Hart's latest insanity

--More on the Greg Valentine/Lanny Poffo/Devon Nicholson issues with a blow-by-blow

--Planned TV show featuring two former WWE stars

--Former WCW wrestler returns after nine years out of action

--CZW Cage of Death

--70s and 80s headliner starts promoting his autobiography

--Story on shooting death of former pro wrestler ad details behind it

--Sons of two major wrestling stars training for pro wrestling

--More stations to pick up ROH down the road and where

--Notes on ROH & Urban Wrestling Federation contracts

--Warrior movie talk and box office

--Lots of new UFC fights between now and the end of the year

--How UFC ticket sales for all the upcoming shows are doing

--What famous person is UFC inviting to a show early next year

--Former WWE star vs. former boxing champion fight falling through

          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:
 
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*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
history) 
 
*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
Hogan)
 
*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
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*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
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*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)
 
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*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)
 
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*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)
 
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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)
 
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We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more
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--After the Night of Champions show went off the air last night, they had medics attending to both Scott Armstrong and Kevin Nash.  they held up the "X" sign and everything.  Was told Nash was fine backstage but not sure about Armstrong.  I guess we'll see if he's on the show tonight.
 
--C.M. Punk was asked today on Ariel Helwani's show who he was facing at WrestleMania and said, "I don't even know who I'm facing tonight because it's already changed about 152 times in the last hour."
 
--Both Rampage Jackson and Jon Jones are scheduled for Jimmy Kimmel tonight, along with Dr. Phil.  UFC did a press conference earlier today and Jackson acted even more than usual like he didn't want to be there. 
 
--The Countdown show for UFC 135 airs tomorrow night at 11 p.m.
 
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio.  We'll be covering Raw tonight and see if all the loose ends from last night are tied up or not, talk about Hell in a Cell and we should have time for questions as well, so you can send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   A big week as we'll be talking with Jim Cornette about ROH's debut on Sinclair during the week as well as coverage leading to and coming out of Saturday's UFC show.   
 
--UFC ratings may not be too good from Saturday.  Besides a show that didn't look good from a ratings standpoint, there was the Mayweather fight (prelims on PPV went against the show) and Oklahoma vs. Florida State which did a 6.1 metered market rating.  The Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons game that went against Night of Champions did a 15.7 rating on NBC, while baseball on ESPN did a 0.91, both metered market preliminary ratings.  Final ratings for all those shows aren't out until tomorrow.
 
--UFC odds for Saturday
Jon Jones -500
Quinton Jackson +400
 
Josh Koscheck -475
Matt Hughes +380
 
Nate Diaz -250
Takanori Gomi +210
 
Rob Broughton +300
Travis Browne -360
 
--Right now, Alistair Overeem has become the favorite -145 to Brock Lesnar at +125.  
 
--ROH announced today shows on 12/3 at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium and an afternoon show on 12/4 at the Greensboro Coliseum.  They have to be using the Annex because no way can ROH book the big Coliseum.  Tickets go on sale on 10/7.   
 
--Linda McMahon is expected to announce her candidacy for the U.S. senate tomorrow.
 
--Thoughts on Floyd Mayweather's knockout punches to Victor Ortiz
A bitch move 44.1%
A bitch move but justified because of the head-butt 36.6%
No controversy at all 19.3%
 
--Who should be TNA world champion?
Bobby Roode 22.2%
A.J. Styles 19.2%
Samoa Joe 16.6%
Kurt Angle 12.5%
Bully Ray 9.0%
Hulk Hogan 6.3%
James Storm 4.3%
RVD 3.3%
Jeff Hardy 1.9%
Jeff Jarrett 1.7%
Sting 1.6%
Mr. Anderson 1.3%
 
--If advertised a few weeks ahead, can a Rock return to Raw hit a 4.0 in November?
Yes 29.8%
No 70.2%
 
--Best TV show of the past week
Raw 23.9%
UFC Fight Night 23.3%
Smackdown 18.1%
Impact 13.9%
Micro Championship Wrestling 10.4%
Bellator 3.9%
Inside MMA 2.9%
CMLL 2.6%
MMA Live 1.0%
 
--Just a note that because Vintage Collection was delayed on Sky Sports due to live sports coverage, our report will be in after the show airs in the U.K.
 
--We're looking for someone who can regularly cover the ROH TV shows that start this coming Saturday night.
 
--Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat talks about growing up as a wrestling fan here. He compared the signing celebration last year when the Heat signed himself, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade to pro wrestling and Hulk Hogan.
 
--There is a concept album about old time British wrestling called "Psychedelic Meditations British Wrestling 1970s that is available at amazon.co.uk with titles of songs including "Inside the Restless Mind of Rollerball Rocco," "Big Daddy Got a Cassio VL-Tone" and "Haystacks In Heaven." (thanks to Stephen Marshman)
 
--A clip of the Kevin Steen angle from the ROH show on Saturday is here.
 
--An angle for the Kevin Nash & AWE promoter Doug Ward vs. Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson match scheduled for a 10/15 PPV show took place on Saturday night in Woodstock VA.  They did a contract signing for the match angle.  The stipulation was that the match would be off if Nash laid a hand on Morton or Gibson.  Nash then hit Morton with a chair shot right after the contract was signed, and said a chair is not a hand and he'd outsmarted them.  He left the building and later in the show, after Morton & Gibson beat Chase Owens & Malik, they attacked Ward and did an angle where he's supposed to be injured as they announced he had two broken bones in his right forearm.  They announced Nash would now pick a new tag team partner.  Ward, who hadn't wrestled since 1997 due to injuries said this was supposed to be a one-time only coming out of retirement match.  They've pushed this hard with strong interviews on the Internet.
 
--Tru TV announced they were picking up "Conspiracy Theory" with Jesse Ventura for a third season.
 
--Real Championship Wrestling presents No Remorse on 9/24 in Baltimore at the DuBurns Arena headlined by Azrieal vs. Christian York.
 
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia talks about Ron Reis, the giant who was in WCW but never really did much there.  Ron Reis was a basketball star at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, CA, and scored 2,082 points and led his team to the 1987 Central Coast championship.  He played four years at Santa Clara but the team never made the NCAA tournament.  However, his father, Ron Reis Sr., played at the University of Cincinnati on teams that won both the 1961 and 1962 NCAA title.  Two other alumnus of Monta Vista high school are former Tough Enough winner and MMA fighter Daniel Puder, and current UFC fighter Kyle Kingsbury, who were classmates and best friends.
 
--Bellator's Bjorn Rebney talks the current scene here.
 
--Channel GO! in Australia will be airing Ultimate Fighter on Thursday night at midnight.  Also this week in Australia, OND HD airs the UF Countdown show Wednesday night at midnight, a tape of UFC 86 (Rampage Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin) airs 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night and the prelims before the PPV will air live at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning Australia time (thanks to Tim Forge)
 
--CHIKARA results from Sunday in New York:  Sara Del Rey b Ophidian in the 12 Large tournaments, Throwbacks b Soldier Ant & Green Ant, Gregory Iron b Icarus, Young Bucks b Tursas & Tim Donst, Ares b Marshe Rockett, Ultramantis Black & Hallowicked & Frightmare & Crossbones b Sinn Bodhi & Kobald & Obarlyon & Kodama, Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano b Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw in 2/3 falls to win the tag team titles, Eddie Kingston b Fire Ant.
 
--CHIKARA results from Saturday night in Brockton, MA:  Throwbacks b Batiri, Johnny Gargano b Marshe Rockett, Amber & Doug Somers & J.T. Dunn & Da Hoodz b Todd Sople & Tripleicious & Minute men of the Night, Chuck Taylor b Ophidian, Jigsaw b Icarus, Mike Quackenbush b Vin Gerard, Sara Del Rey b Ares, Colony b Tim Donst & Jacob Hammermeir & Tursas (thanks to Jim Baker)
 
--IWA East Coast tomorrow night in Nitro, WV at the Kings Way Center with Sean Waltman, Necro Butcher and Sami Callihan.
 
--In MMA staff picks from UFC Saturday night, Josh Nason and Todd Martin were 5-0, Mike Sempervive, myself and Mike Sawyer were 4-1 and Oliver Copp was 2-3.
 
--A Lucha Libre comic is here.
 
--Bay Bombers Roller Derby returns to Richmond, CA on 11/5 at the Memorial Auditorium, which was a hotbed in the 60s.
 
--Jersey Shore Championship Wrestling on 11/5 in Jersey City at the Golden Doors Charter School
 
--WAR on 10/1 in Lima, OH at the UAW Hall with a tag team tournament for the titles
 
--Fit Finlay will be appearing for Varsity Pro Wrestling on 10/25 in Stroke, UK at Victoria Hall, 10/26 in Basingstoke at Vyne College and 10/27 at the Portsmouth Guilhalll.  Daivari will also be on the tour.
 
--ECWA's 44th anniversary show on Saturday night in Newark, DE at the Boys & Girls Club.
 
--There is a story here about Shaun Valentine, the first National Rugby League player to donate his brain to the Sports Legacy Institute.
 
--Wild Bill's Fight Night on 9/23 at Wild Bill's in Duluth, GA featuring Diego Saraiva vs Ronnie Rogers II in a rematch of what they called a candidate for 2011 match of the year when Rogers beat Saraiva via a controversial decision.  There will be an eight-fight card.

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