Wednesday, 21 September 2011 14:44
Tonight is also the debut of Ultimate Fighter with a two-hour show from 9-11 p.m. on Spike, airing highlights of 16 different empty arena matches from the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
A look at the return of The Rock at Survivor Series, the fall of Matt Hardy, the fallout of Night of Champions, backstage at Raw and coverage of a number of major shows headlines this coming week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The lead story concerns the first match in seven-and-a-half years of The Rock, as we talk about ideas for the match, the good and bad from a business standpoint, his last match, his first major WWE match and the coincidences of that, the booking of the match and the Rock vs. Cena dynamic. We also look at how much Rock's appearance likely meant for WrestleMania, what Survivor Series is coming off doing, the UFC competition that weekend and crowd reactions.
We also look at all of Matt Hardy's legal issues, his latest arrests, details of the arrests, his girlfriend's claims of the story, what led to this latest arrest, his video saying he's going to rehab and a look at that. We also look at the legal issues he's facing.
We also look at the records set by John Cena at Night of Champions. We look at the background of Mark Henry and how he got to where he now is over 15 years, looking at pre-wrestling, his WWE signing and when it actually took place, his days as an Olympian, his beginning in WWE, his near firing, and his title win.
We look at the business of Night of Champions, a look at the decisions in he various title matches and story line ramifications. We also have match-by-match coverage with star ratings, but polls on this show, the UFC show and the ROH show.
We look at the final UFC Fight Night on Spike, what the Jake Ellenberger win means in the welterweight division, business notes on he show, how each match did in the ratings and the surprising ratings champ match for the night. We also have match-by-match coverage from the show.
We also look at ROH's Final Battle early notes, including head-to-head competition that day, and a rundown of the Death Before Dishonor iPPV show.
We also have a feature on Brian Stann, and how 9/11 changed his life, the friends he lost, how it made him a fighter, what it was like in the Naval Academy on that day, the reactions and a lot of memories. This is a really notable story about one of UFC's biggest stars, who fights in two weeks.
The issue will be 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.
We also have more on WWE looking like it's going to start spending major money in what two directions and how its' going about doing so. We also have details on Linda McMahon's run for senate and how she is polling, plus the unique poll results.
We have more on backstage at Raw, the background of the table snafu, injury updates, Kevin Nash update, Dolph Ziggler update, HHH talks UFC and the reaction, UFC vs. WWE, and HHH talks Ric Flair. HHH also talks Brock Lesnar, plus more backstage on the Edge Appreciation Ceremony and Edge DVD, more on Steve Austin, Claudio Castagnoli, why Castagnoli took five years to get to FCW after the company was first interested in him, another new WWE signing, new WWE movie, plus business notes from the past week and highlights of the weekend house shows.
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Also in this week's issue:
--CMLL's champion of champion tournament ends and who is the 2011 winner
--What Hall of Fame is in Mexico as a headliner right now
--Ceremony honoring the career of Atlantis
--Pro wrestler involved in a major holocaust
--AAA's Heroes en Inmortales lineup including a number of TNA names being on the show
--A look at the most recent TNA taping including a TNA star in the main event
--Storyline for All Japan 90s superstar facing the current top star in the group
--A look at the All Japan jr. tournament
--Brothers facing each other in Japanese ring
--Notes on New Japan's latest PPV show as well as the lineup for he next one
--ROH and CMLL world champions in Japan
--Notes on the upcoming New Japan annual tag team tournament
--Hall of Fame wrestler returns to New Japan for one night
--Retired wrestler wins tournament
--Two early 80s feuds back in the ring this coming weekend
--Notes on death of Johnny Barend
--News on the Devon Nicholson/Abdullah the Butcher lawsuit
--Bruno Sammartino update
--Jesse Ventura update
--Teddy Hart's latest crazy ideas regarding his version of pro wrestling
--Update on The Destroyer
--Notes on current ROH contracts
--Future ROH events
--Future of Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair
--More on the Flair vs. Sting match and what didn't air on television
--Flair talks about his injury
--Reports on strong upcoming TNA matches
--More on the Rosita situation and who knew what
--Positioning of Bobby Roode before Bound for Glory
--More on movie "Warrior"
--Notes on Hogan's Micro Championship Wrestling
--How this show differs from most reality shows
--Documentary on a wrestling fan
--A look at the weekend TNA house shows
--More on the B.J. Penn vs. Nick Diaz situation and how UFC reacted to what Penn said
--UFC star hints at retirement
--More on Alistair Overeem's situation
--New UFC and Strikeforce fights
--Notes on the first several episodes of Ultimate Fighter this season
--Major Bellator fight postponed
--A look at the first round of the Bellator middleweight tournament
--Biggest tournament in Bellator history about to start
--Update on Joe Warren and the Olympics
--Major Japanese show this week on U.S. TV
--Sakuraba says how long he wants to continue fighting
--Fallout of the Mayweather fight
--Fedor fighting again is official, who when and what is says about the industry today
--U.S. has first world champion in real wrestling in years
--Notes on the return of Cael Sanderson
--Brett Rogers update
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
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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
*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
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*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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*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)
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*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
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*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
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*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
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*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)
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*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 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)
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*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
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*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
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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)
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--Ric Flair's appearance at the Boston Red Sox game yesterday got a ton of media in the area. It was noted that the sportscasters all treated Flair like he was a big star, and made no fun of wrestling. Flair also is a huge sports fan so they like it when he can talk about baseball or football and know what he's talking about. The Boston Globe article is at http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2011/09/21/ric_flai r_visits_red_sox_clubhouse/
--The annual one-night ROH Survival of the Fittest tournament was announced for the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Dayton on 11/18.
--Today is the 78th anniversary of the debut of the EMLL promotion (now CMLL) founded by Salvador Lutteroth, which is considered the birthday of Lucha Libre.
--As it will be likely for the next few months, ESPN was No. 1 on cable due to the NFL, doing a 3.3 prime time average to 2.2 for USA and 1.8 for Disney. FX was at 1.0, Syfy at 0.9 (No. 13) and Spike at 0.7 (No. 23). The first hour of Raw was only No. 25 and the second hour wasn't in the top 25, so that's as bad as Raw has done in a long time, with its lowest rated non-holiday, regular Raw episode in almost 14 years.
--Dana White on HHH at the UFC press conference today: "His father in law is just starting to let him talk in public now. He'll get better at it."
--Real main event for Hell in a Cell
Cena vs. Punk vs. De Rio 80.3%
Orton vs. Henry 19.7%
--Who do you expect to win Matt Hughes vs. Josh Koscheck
--Poll on Monday's Raw
16.1% of those responding didn't see the show
--In Dayton last night at the Smackdown tapings, the guy who lost to Brodus Clay on Superstars, called Joey Grey, is Dragon Gate's Johnny Gargano. He had "Gargano" trunks on except they covered up some of the letters"
--More on the Orton vs. Rhodes deal from last night. Rhodes was busted open from a shot with the ring bell, not from his own mask. There were pools of blood on the mats around the ring. Rhodes blood was all over his body, from his shoulders to his legs. The table, which didn't break, was also covered in blood. At least five towels were used to wipe up the blood. It was said to be between a .8 and a 1.0 on the Muto ridiculous blood scale. It's going to have to be heavily edited for television and the camera work at the time concentrated on close-ups of Orton's face and not showing Rhodes at all. (thanks to B. Hilliard)
--The Miz was on his new radio show today called "1st and Awesome," on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210 and XM 87) playing up the angle where he and R-Truth were fired. The show airs weekly at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.
--Eddie Edwards will be appearing on the CHIKARA shows on 10/29 in Reading, PA and 10/30 in Williamsport, PA.
--Boutwell Auditorium, the weekly pro wrestling venue in Birmingham, AL, which has been closed down since August, is the subject of either being renovated or possibly destroyed. A story is at http://blog.al.com/spotnews//print.html
--The cover of the new Steve Austin DVD WWE is releasing can be viewed at http://lockerz.com/s/140488284
--Kelly Kelly has a legit facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/BarbieBlankOfficialPage She decided since there are so many fake Kelly Kelly Facebook pages to launch a real one. (thanks to Angel Aramboles)
--Announced for ROH on 11/6 in Collinsville, IL (just outside St. Louis) besides Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly has Davey Richards, Jay Lethal, Briscoes, All Night Express, Eddie Edwards and El Generico appearing. ROH will be airing on KDNL on Saturday night at 11:30 p.m. and Sunday at midnight.
--TNA has a show on 11/6 in Windsor, ONT at the WFCU Center. You can order tickets at www.wfcu-centre.com/password The password is JARRETT. (thanks to Stephen Gray)
--AM New York has a gossip page mention of Stacy Keibler, now a big name because of her romance with George Clooney. (thanks to Jeff Sheridan)
--Rulon Gardner is being inducted into the Alan & Gloria Rice U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling Hall of Fame on 10/1 in Minneapolis at Augsburg College's Christensen Center Commons.
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia looks at Nickla Roberts, better known as Baby Doll. A second generation wrestler, the daughter of Nick Roberts, a favorite from Lubbock, TX, and Lorraine Johnson, one of the best in-ring female wrestlers of all-time, Roberts graduated in 1980 from Lubbock High School. She set the school record in the shot put and also threw the discus. The name Baby Doll came because that was the name of Tully Blanchard's favorite strip club in San Antonio, plus before she arrived in Jim Crockett Promotions, for years Ric Flair would use the term "Baby Dolls" to describe the women he hung around with.
--Ultimate Fighter in Australia will be airing on Friday nights at 8:30 p.m. on their version of Fuel TV (thanks to James Stanios)
--Chris Jericho announced the return of his radio show, The Rock of Jericho on Saturday nights at 7:12 p.m. on XM 164 starting on 10/8.
--WWE announced a TV deal for Smackdown to air in Portugal on Sundays at 7:45 p.m. on SIC Radical. It will be a one hour edited version of the show, plus WWE Experience will be airing right after at 8:45 p.m.
--Muay Thai champion Cosmo Alexander makes his MMA debut on the 10/1 Bellator show from Lake Charles, LA. This will be on the undercard of the show that night that airs on Spike.com. The main TV card on MTV 2 will be the first round of the heavyweight tournament with Ron Sparks vs. Mark Holata, Neil Grove vs. Michael "Not a Freebird" Hayes, Thiago Santos vs. Blagoi Ivanov and Eric Prindle vs. Abe Wagner (who has a win over Tim Sylvia)
--The Score announced the main event for its 10/14 Score Fighting Series show in Hamilton at the Hamilton Place Theater has Joe Doerksen vs. Brett Cooper.
--IWA Mid South King of the Death match tournament on Saturday night in Bellevue, IL: Bucky Collins b Markus Crane, Neil Diamond & Cutter & Devon Cutter & Joey Grunge b Reed Bentley & Jimmy Fletcher & Damien Payne, B.J. Whitmer b Masada, Devon Moore b Pinkie Sanchez in a four corners of hell match, Drake Younger b Mason Cutter in glass match Simon Sezz b Rory Mondo, Matt Tremont b Freakshow in a Fans bring the weapons match, Drake Younger over Devon Moore, Simon Sezz and Matt Tremont in a no rope barbed wire light tubes match to win the tournament (thanks to Adam Sanders).
--EWF on 10/14 in Converse, IN featuring Road Dogg and Billy Gunn.
--A double main event of Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. L.A. Park and Extreme Tiger & Mesias vs. Konnan & Nicho headline on 10/7 at Auditorio Municipal in Tijuana.
--There is a show in Tijuana at Auditorio Municipal on Friday night with The Psycho Circus vs. Perro Aguayo Jr. & Damian 666 &* Halloween.
--Carlito, The Patriot and Blue Meanie headline a show on 10/15 at Retro Fitness in East Norristown, PA as part of breast cancer awareness month.
--CZW runs this weekend in Germany, with shows on 9/24 and 9/25 in Wolverhampton at Planet Night Club. They also run 9/30, 10/1, 10/2 and 10/3 in Oberhausen, Germany. Among those headed to Germany for the tour are Sami Callihan, Devon Moore, Masada, D.J. Hyde, Adam Cole, Chuck Taylor, Drew Gulak and Jon Ryan, plus Japanese wrestlers Yuko Miyamoto, Jaki Numazawa and Yoshito Sasaki.
--NWA MSW TV tapings on 10/1 in Beckley, WV at Chili Night.
--Smackdown was No. 41 on Pay TV in Metro Sydney last week with 32,000 viewers.
--A story on what ever happened to Jerry Oates, a former 70s and 80s star out of Georgia, is at http://www.ajc.com/news/ex-pro-wrestler-works-1184038.html
--They are teasing that for the AWE 10/15 PPV show that Diamond Dallas Page will take Doug Ward's place as Kevin Nash's partner against Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson. That's not official, but they are certainly teasing a storyline that ends in that direction. The new poster for the Night of Legends show has photos of those four as the featured players.
--There is a story in the Daily Telegraph in Australia at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/boxing/ where Quinton Jackson said Michael Bisping is a better fighter than he ever was, and will do more in the sport. I'm sure those statements will thrill fans worldwide.
--The movie "Fast Five," with Dwayne Johnson will be released on DVD and Blu ray on 10/4 (thanks to Michael Carpenter)
--Insanity Pro Wrestling on 10/1 in Indianapolis at the Community Center with Dave Crist vs. Tarek the Legend, Drake Younger vs. B.J. Whitmer and AR Fox vs. Arik Cannon.
--Fit Finlay vs. Al Snow plus Maria Kanellis, The New Age Outlaws, Kid Kash, Val Venis, Becky Bayless, Wolfie D and more are announced for Crossfire Entertainment on 11/5 in Nashville.
--I Believe in Wrestling on Saturday night in Orlando at the I Believe in Wrestling School with Larry Zbyszko as the host.
--Sunday in Guadalajara: Evola b Divino, Pequeno Violencia & Pierrothito b Astral & Ultimo Dragoncito, Puma King & Rafaga & Tiger b Pegasso & Rey Cometa & Sensei, Shigeo Okumura b Gallo, Averno & Mephisto & Ephesto b Brazo de Plata & Mascara Dorada & Maximo (thanks to Kris Zellner and Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims)
--In a weird story, film of two eight-year-olds doing grappling was condemned by the British Medical Association and became a BBC story with the idea they were doing MMA. Even though the story noted no punching and kicking was allowed, they were going for pins and it was all grappling, Chris Cloke, head of child protection awareness at the NSPCC said, "We would strongly discourage parents from letting their children take part in this kind of fighting. It's quite disturbing that some of those involved in the bouts were as young as weight, an age when they are still developing physically and mentally. The organizers of these events should think very carefully before allowing children to be involved when they are egged on to inflict violence." In our country this would just be age group wrestling but there it was presented like eight year olds were doing MMA. Story is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-14998593
--Greg Jackson's MMA series VI on 10/22 from the Hard Rock in Albuquerque has Joey Villasenor vs. Chuck Parmelee of Shark Fight and Matt Levya vs. Federico Lopez as the double main event.