THURS. UPDATE: Big TV matches, WWE angle, TUF debut, White talks, U.K. controversy, Miz & Truth



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        Impact tonight on Spike:
Mickie James vs. Brooke Tessmacher
Austin Aries vs. Jesse Sorensen for the X title
James Storm vs. Kurt Angle
        Lots of talking on this week's show pushing Hogan vs. Sting and Angle vs. Bobby Roode.  Angle vs. Storm was said to be a great match. 
 
        Superstars tonight:
Alex Riley vs. Primo
Mason Ryan vs. Drew McIntyre
Brodus Clay vs. Joel Gray (Johnny Gargano)
Ted DiBiase vs. Tyson Kidd
        DiBiase vs. Kidd was said to have been a great match. 

        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

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--Regarding the Hugh Jackman/Dolph Ziggler stuff, the broken jaw thing is a work.  Ziggler was fine after the show.  They just decided to work an angle off it for publicity.  And it got publicity, including on the Early Today show on NBC where they covered it like Jackman had broken his Ziggler's jaw. (thanks to Charles Humphreys and many others)
 
--Want to make mention that if you didn't see Ultimate Fighter last night, the fights on the show were better than those on most PPV shows.  There are a number of fighters in the cast who are not only good fighters, with exciting styles, but have natural charisma to boot.  Brett Wilson on the site did a great job of looking at all the participants in the season.  But if you didn't see it, you should check for replays because the show starts off with a bang, ends with a bang, and there are a lot of great fights in between.  Easily the best "fight to get into the house" episode of the show in history.
 
--Joe McDonnell talks to Dana White at http://www.foxsportswest.com/09/20/11/Q--A-with-UFC-president-Dana-White/ landing.html?blockID=565987&feedID=8686 and talks about the Velasquez vs. Dos Santos fight at http://www.foxsportswest.com/09/20/11/Velasquez-Dos-Santos-to-kick-off-UF C-on/landing.htmlblockID=566138&feedID=8686
 
--UFC weigh-ins will air live from Denver on HDNet at 6 p.m. Eastern.  HDNet also airs Titan Fighting Championships from Kansas City at 10 p.m. with Jamie Varner vs. Dakota Cochrane and Brett Rogers vs. Eddie Sanchez.  At  3 a.m. Eastern will be Dream from Saitama.  Countdown to UFC 135 airs at 8 p.m. and a replay of the UFC weigh-ins will air at 9 p.m.
 
--Championship Wrestling International, which used Hulk Hogan on a show last month in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, is under investigation at http://www.gfadvertiser.ca/News/2011/09-21/
 
--UFC and Musclepharm have signed a sponsorship agreement where Musclepharm will be the exclusive nutritional supplement supplier of the UFC. 
 
--The story on the kids grappling inside a cage, just exchanging holds, no punching and kicking, has become a big issue in the U.K. media with stories at http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/09/22/  They talk about how they are battling barehanded (you usually wouldn't use gloves doing grappling matches) and without headgear (other than ear protection, why would you have any with striking not allowed).  That said, I don't think kids should be allowed to use joint locks that young in competition, and the setting can be questioned, although kids doing exhibitions has been part of every Strikeforce show I ever went to before 2006.  Another story is at http://www.telegraph.co/uk/news/uknews/8778582/Children-filmed-in-disturb ing-cage-fight.html
 
--WWE in sending out ticket info for upcoming Raw shows still list Miz and R-Truth as being on the shows.
 
--Full lineup for the Dream show that airs at Midnight Pacific and 3 a.m. Eastern late Friday night live from Saitama, Japan:
Minowa-man vs. Baru Harn
Rodolfo Marques vs. Yusup Saadulaev in bantamweight Grand Prix
Masakazu Imanari vs. Abel Cullum in bantamweight Grand Prix
Bibiano Fernandes vs. Takafumi Otsuka in bantamweight Grand Prix 
Hideo Tokoro vs. Antonio Banuelos in bantamweight Grand Prix
Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Gerald Harris
Satoru Kitaoka vs. Williamy Freire
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Yan Cabral
Caol Uno vs. Lion Takeshi
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Joachim Hansen
Shinya Aoki vs. Razor Rob McCullough
 
--Who takes this fight?
Cung Le 51.0%
Wanderlei Silva 49.0%
 
--Why don't angles draw anymore?
Damage has been done for years and now nobody cares 43.3%
Angles are dropped without conclusion too often, no reason to invest in them 19.2%
Stips not followed up on, fake retirements, they treat viewers like they are stupid 15.3%
Bookers not in touch with public and can't book to suspend disbelief 12.0%
Wrestling portrays itself as a joke 4.2%
UFC has forced wrestling to not be able to book itself a serious 3.8%
Too many angles 2.2%
 
--Poll on Countdown to UFC 135
Excellent 36.9%
Good 46.2%
Average 6.2%
Fair 0.0%
Poor 10.8%
        59.4% of those responding didn't see the show 
et viewers ink 
 
--Alexander Gustafsson vs. Vladimir Matyushenko has been added to the 12/30 UFC show in Las Vegas, which is the Overeem vs. Lesnar show.
 
--Urban Wrestling Federation has a PPV on Sunday, a taped show headlined by Slyck Wagner Brown vs. Ricky Reyes and former WWE wrestler Rich Ortiz vs. former ROH wrestler Rasche Brown.    
 
--The CZW show we mentioned yesterday in Wolverhampton is in the U.K., not Germany.  The Oberhausen shows are in Germany.  The shows are a combination CZW, Fight Club Pro and wXw as well as Big Japan Pro Wrestling.  the 9/30 show features Sami Callihan vs. El Generico and Dick Togo vs. Marty Scurll.  (thanks to Markus Gronemann)
 
--The Abu Dhabi Combat Club submission wrestling world championships take place Saturday and Sunday in Nottingham, England at the Capital FM Arena.  A number of MMA names are expected to compete including Rani Yahya (UFC), Vagner Rocha (UFC), Andre Galvao, Rousimar Palhares (UFC), Paulo Filho, Dean Lister, Fabricio Werdum (Strikeforce), Jeff Monson, Vinny Magalhaes and Rosi Sexton (Bellator).
 
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia looks at Heath Slater of the WWE.  Heath Miller, his real name, is from Pineville, WV, which has a population of 800 people.  That probably explains why he was the one man rock band, because there was nobody else in town wanting to be in a band.  The most famous athlete out of Pineville was Curt Warner, who went to Penn  State and the Seattle Seahawks.  By the time Miller was in high school, Pineville High was closed and he went to Wyoming County East High School.  Miller played high school basketball and then went to Potomac State Junior College in Keyser WV as a basketball player before going into pro wrestling.
 
--There is a story on Charlie Haas at http://www.friscoenterprise.com pushing the debut of the ROH TV show, pushing it as a more athletic version of wrestling than WWE.
 
--Gail Kim will be doing a live interview on iPPV on 10/12 at 8 p.m. at http://www.WWNLive.com
 
--Munenori Sawa, who is retiring in November, will have his final U.S. match on the 10/15 Evolve show at the ACE Arena in Union City, NJ as Sawa will face Sami Callihan.  Chuck Taylor vs. AR Fox is also on the show.
 
--We will be interviewing Jim Cornette on the site today talking about the ROH TV debut on Saturday night in the Sinclair Network.
 
--Jim Ross talks about a number of things including Mick Foley, Matt Hardy, Jerry Lawler and C.M. Punk at http://www.jrsbarbq.com
 
--UWC Championship Wrestling TV show is at http://www.youtube.com/UWCWrestlingVideos
 
--Go Fight Live (www.gofightlive.tv) this weekend has School of Hard Knocks Fighting Championship from  Calgary tomorrow night at 9 p.m., and Rumble in the Cage from Lethbridge, Alberta on Friday night at 9:30 p.m.
 
--Tickets for the 11/18 Strikeforce Challengers show in Las Vegas a the Pearl went on sale today to Fight Club members and newsletter readers and go on sale to the public at Noon Pacific time tomorrow.  
 
--Great North Wrestling tomorrow night in Bristol, New Brunswick at the Northern Carlton Civic Center with Lanny Poffo and Hannibal headlining.
 
--NWA Mountain State Wrestling on 10/17 in Princeton, WV headlined by Adam Pearce and Eugene.   And no, Denise Richards is not part of the taping.
 
--West Coast Wrestling Company on 10/1 in Lake Elsinore, CA at the Trevi Entertainment Center.
 
--This probably means nothing, but on Raw during a local promo for the 10/24 Raw show in Austin, when talking about the three-way dark match with Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena vs. C.M. Punk had Del Rio listed visually as champion. (thanks to John Tovar)   
 
--Future Stars of Wrestling on 9/23 at the FSW Arena on 6658 Boulder Highway in Las Vegas featuring Reno Scum vs. Michael Modest & Mike Dalite.  Pat Tanaka will also be appearing.
 
--GOUGE on Saturday night in Butner, NC at the Butner Armory featuring Gluteus Maximus vs. Seymour Snott in a Roman Gladiator Death match.
 
--PWX tomorrow night in Charlotte at the Naomi Drenan Rec Center features Roderick Strong vs. Caleb Konley and Rhett Titus vs. Cedric Alexander.  They also run Saturday night in York, SC with Strong vs. Adam Page and a Battle Royal. 
 
--Craig and Cutrer talk the news of the week at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cutrer/201...f-the-week
 
--Ben Walters is selling his wrestling collection at http://charlotte.craigslist.org/tag/2611963468.html
 
--Steeltown Pro Wrestling on Saturday night in Selkirk, Manitoba at the Memorial Hall.   There will also be an after party at the Merchants Hotel in Selkirk.