MON. UPDATE: Raw notes, big guests this week, Undertaker background, Jericho playing major arenas



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        We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday night's UFC 135 PPV, 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 reports on yesterday's WWE joint branded show in Lubbock Saturday night's Raw show in El Paso, Saturday's Smackdown show in Amarillo, as well as yesterday's TNA show in Hillsdale, MI.

        Raw comes from Kansas City tonight.

        Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday night in St. Louis.
 
        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

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--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

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--Update on The Destroyer

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--More on movie "Warrior"

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--How this show differs from most reality shows

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--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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--Not much from Raw tonight announced.  They are advertising the same John Cena vs. C.M. Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio three-way for the title for Kansas City tonight as the dark match.  This is the go-home Raw show for Hell in a Cell, and right now there are only two official matches on the show. 
 
--C.M. Punk did a nice post-show tribute to Eddy Guerrero on Saturday night in El Paso.
 
--Bryan and I will be back tonight covering Raw and other weekend news with Wrestling Observer radio.  You can send questions for tonight's show to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--Besides Bryan's regular guests. we'll have two Observer radio special guests with John McCarthy on Wednesday and Jerry Jarrett on Thursday.  If you've got any questions about how UFC got started or the early years, McCarthy is the best guy to ask on the subject.  
 
--For people who record ROH, this week it was listed as "Ring of Honor" and next week in some places it's listed as "Best of Ring of Honor Wrestling" so if you've got it on a season pass you should check (thanks to Adam Lebow)
 
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia.  Mark Calaway, The Undertaker, is a 1983 graduate of Waltrip High School in Houston.  Then 6-7, Calaway was both a basketball player and a wrestler while in college.  The most famous graduate of Waltrip High was actor Patrick Swayze, who graduated in 1971, and had his own connection to wrestling as his uncle was former wrestler Beautiful Bruce Swayze.
 
--On UFC 135 picks, Todd Martin, Josh Nason, Oliver Copp, Mike Sempervive and Mike Sawyer all went 4-1, and I went 5-0 (9-1 overall. missing the opener).  Not a lot of surprises on this show.  Mike Coughlin of the top seven fights went 6-1.
 
--Chris Jericho's band Fozzy is playing some major arenas over the next few weeks as part of the Uproar Festival with Avenged Sevenfold as the headliners.  They are playing 9/28 at the Saddledome in Calgary, 9/29 at the Rexall Place in Edmonton, 10/1 at the White River Amphitheater in Seattle and 10/15 at the House of Blues in Las Vegas.
 
--Ric Flair was a guest last night on The Cleveland Show, the animated sitcom on FOX.  Flair played himself from the 80s in cartoon form.   The show did a 3.8 rating on the overnights, down from the 4.2 it did the week before.
 
--Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky faces Ryan Roberts in a non-title match as the main event of 10/15 in Atlantic City.  That's the show that originally was to have the Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler lightweight title fight, that was postponed when Alvarez was injured.
 
--Poll on Bellator
Excellent 40.0%
Good 36.7%
Average 6.7%
Fair 0.0%
Poor 16.7%
        73.7% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Poll on the debut of ROH
Excellent 33.7%
Good 44.9%
Average 12.2%
Fair 1.0%
Poor 8.2%
        43.7% of those responding didn't see the show.  That's a surprisingly low percentage of those not seeing, better than TNA and Ultimate Fighter do on our polls.  Kind of fishy in a sense when most of the country doesn't even have access to the show to begin with.
 
--Who do you predict in this fight?
Jon Jones 86.1%
Rashad Evans 13.9%
 
--Best TV show of the past week
ROH 31.8%
Raw 21.0%
Impact 13.8%
Countdown to UFC 135 8.7%
UFC 135 the prelims 6.7%
Bellator 5.6%
Smackdown 4.1%
CMLL 4.1%
Titan Fighting Championships 1.5%
Inside MMA 1.0%
MMA Live 1.0%
Strikeforce Challengers 0.5%
 
--In Nashville on WUXP, Ch. 30, next week's ROH show aired last night.  The regular show aired on Saturday night at 9 p.m., but the show that aired at midnight last night was with Jay Lethal vs. El Generico, so they got ahead by one week.   
 
--Lance Storm's 15-year-old daughter has written an e-book with two novellas she has written for Amazon Kindle at $1.99 each.  For more info go to http://www.stormwrestling.com/test.html
 
--The Saturday night LSU vs. West Virginia football game on ESPN that went against UFC and Bellator did a 4.0 metered market rating.
 
--The latest from Chael Sonnen is at http://www.paullazenby.com
 
--David Lagana talks to Luke Gallows about his trip to Nigeria, which was quite the trip at http://iwantwrestling.com/2011/09/26/luke-gallows-realgallows-talks-niger ia-wwe-festus-and-more/
 
--TNA announced live shows on 11/18 in Greenwood, MS and 11/19 in Vicksburg.
 
--NWA MSW on 10/1 in Beckley, WV at Chili Night and 10/7 in Princeton, WV at the Rec Center.  Nick Dinsmore and NWA champion Adam Pearce appear in Princeton as well as in Hinton, WV on 10/8 at the Summers County Memorial Building..
 
--PWX from Saturday night in York, SC:  Zane Riley b Alex Avgernios, Kirby Mack b Chvia Kid, Jimmy Jack Funk Jr. b Thunder Warrior, Roderick Strong b Adam Page, Grizzly Redwood b Mr. Elite, Caleb Konley & Cedric Alexander b Corey Havock & Joey Janella, Rhett Titus b Jake Manning.  Next show is 10/21 in Charlotte (thanks to Thomas Simpson) 
 
--Lucha World podcast at http://www.luchaworld.com/?p=10424
 
--HWA from Saturday night in Norwood, OH:  Jerry Andrews b Sid Fabulous, Ron Mathis b Remi Wilkins, Naveah b Lil Naughty, Jesse Emerson b Chris Hall, Jake Crist won Battle Royal.  Next show is 10/15 in Hamilton, OH with B.J. Whitmer vs. Jesse Emerson plus Mickie Knuckles in action.
 
--AAW on 9/30 in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club headlined by Colt Cabana vs. Silas Young for the AAW title.  Also on the show includes Alex Shelley, Jimmy Jacobs, Ryan Boz, MsChif, Madison Eagles, Gregory Iron, Arik Cannon, Louis Lyndon, Keith Walker, Michael Elgin and Irish Airborne.
 
--Platinum Championship Wrestling on Saturday night in McDonough, GA before 225 fans:  Vandal won Battle Royal, Dany Only b Vordell Walker, Jon & Trey Williams b Geter & Brian Blaze, Chip Day b NWA champion Adam Pearce in a non-title match, Kyle Matthews won three-way over Jay Lethal and Shane Marx to get a shot at the ROH title held by Davey Richards on 10/28 in Avondale Estates GA, Nemesis b Jay Fury, Pandora NC Aesha Sunshine, Mason b Grotesque.  Richards was originally scheduled for this show but pulled out due to the New Japan tour. (thanks to Larry Goodman)
 
--River City Wrestling this coming Saturday night at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Activity Center  
 
--IWA East Coast from Tuesday night in Nitro, WV:  Mickie Knuckles b Jay Bly, Bulldozer b Matt Conrad, Viper b Zac Vincent, Adam Cole over Facade, Alex Colon, Ophidian and Jason Gory, Vance Desmond b Jason Kincaid, Mad Man Pondo & 2 Tuff Tony & X-Pac b Trik Nasty & T.J. Phillips & Omega Aaron Draven, Necro Butcher b Sami Callihan to win IWA East Coast vacant title.  Next show is 11/8 featuring Dan Severn vs. Sami Callihan (thanks to Brian Damewood)
 
--Jeremy Prophet beat Lanny Poffo yesterday in Port Andover, New Brunswick to  become the new Great North Wrestling champion.  Prophet headlines the 10/8 show in Renfrew, ONT in a tables match.      
 
--Legends of the Ring on 10/8 in Monroe, NJ at the Crowne Plaza Hotel is an autograph show that will feature Bob Backlund, Lita, Mickie James, Barry Windham, Samoa Joe, Dan Severn, George Steele, Jim Duggan, Terry Taylor, Ivan Putski, Gangrel, Winter, Jamison, Nicole Bass, Kevin Kelly, Mick Foley, New Age Outlaws, Melina, D-Lo Brown, Ashley Massaro, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Shane Douglas, Jerry Lynn, Tammy Sytch, Luke Robinson, Kevin Sullivan, Vladimir Kozlov, Jillian Hall, 2 Cold Scorpio, Lanny Poffo, Jim Mitchell, Rob Conway, Sylvan Grenier, Johnny Rodz, Damien Demento, Warlord and Barbarian.
 
--A video from Saturday's On Top 3 MMA show from Glasgow, Scotland is at http://ustream.tv/channel/on-top-3
 
--Future Superstars of Wrestling TV at http://blip.tv/fswhighoctane/future-stars-of-wrestling-high-octane-episode-14-5586901
 
--The Fight Network announced the biggest grappling tournament ever in Canada for 12/3 and 12/4 as part of a Toronto MMA Expo.  There will be 300 different divisions for age, skill and weight.
 
--WAR on 10/1 in Lima, OH at the UAW Hall
 
--DOA Wrestling from last night in Portland, OR before 220 fans:  Draven Vargas & Nate Andrews b C.J. Edwards & Kellen Raeth, Ricky Gibson & Patrick Large b Jonas Albert Robinson & Eric Right, Matt Borne NC Wade Hess, Ugly as Sin b Blanchards, Mike Santiago d Dr. Kliever, Thunder b Ethan HD-COR, Raven b The Grappler.  Next show is 10/7 in Keizer, OR and 10/30 in Portland. (thanks to Mike Sweetser)
 
--WSU on 11/19 in Union City, NJ with an iPPV featuring the first women's War Games, plus Melina faces Serena.

What are you watching Wednesday?

 

What will the WWE network number be?

 

What are you planning on watching next weekend?