THURS. UPDATE: Hogan calls ex-wife insane, talks losses; WWE releases ECW star, UFC drug test fail



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        Impact tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern:
*Ladder match for an X Division title shot with Brian Kendrick, Jesse Sorensen, Kid Kash, Zema Ion and Alex Shelley
*Tara vs. Madison Rayne
*Mr. Anderson vs. Pope
*Bobby Roode vs. A.J. Styles - I was told this was a very good match
        Hulk Hogan does his retirement angle tonight, plus they set up the Crimson vs Samoa Joe vs. Matt Morgan three-way.
 
        Our annual Hall of Fame issue of the Observer, the most talked about issue of the year, will be coming out in a few weeks.  If you are a print subscriber and sign up for two sets you will be getting the issue.  It will be a double issue with bios of new Hall of Famers, complete voting records and a detailed story plus the updated list of Hall of Fame members.
 
        The new issue of the Observer talks about plans for the WWE network going forward.  We look at what it appears WWE wants out of the network, notes on the survey they have taken for the network, the idea of WrestleMania and the other big four shows on the network as well as a look at how those shows would have to change if they were removed from PPV.
 
        We also look at the future of PPV, the Mayweather fight and what it said about PPV today, the irony of what Vince McMahon told me about PPV many years ago and how it appears he was completely right, but he's doing it completely different.    We also look at the wrestling on TV, the success and subscriber base for WWE 24/7, money spent on WrestleMania, UFC's talk of its own network and how WWE and UFC are taking opposite approaches in a similar situation when it comes to business.
 
        The issue is available today on the site.  There is also a new back issue from 2006 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 look at one of WWE's biggest television partners being for sale, more on the Hell in a Cell show, WWE angle gets a lot of mainstream pub, a look at the background of Dolph Ziggler in wrestling, Vince McMahon's bad mood and the story of how it went down.  We also look at the big angle in WWE, more on the health of Rey Mysterio, HHH talks the movie business, Dana White talks at length about Vince McMahon, angle to bring Booker T back gets pitched, front office shakeups, DVD sales, web site traffic and  a big surprise in that number, best selling DVDs of this year and a surprisingly up stat for WWE business.
 
        We also have an update on both Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli when it comes to WWE.
 
        Plus we've got notes from the Rumble, an idea pitched for Vengeance, Raw ratings in Canada, future of Superstars, FCW news, Chris Jericho talks, Mick Foley non-wrestling appearances, next WWE movie, plus business notes from the past week and highlights from the weekend house shows.
 
        We also look at Jon Jones, UFC's brightest young star, with coverage of UFC 135.  We look at Jones' win over Rampage Jackson, business notes from the show, early PPV numbers, as well as Dana White's thought on certain champion vs. champion dream matches.  We also look at Josh Koscheck, Nate Diaz, Matt Hughes and the other stars of the show, along with match-by-match coverage and poll ratings.
 
        We also look at the debut of Ring of Honor on syndicated broadcast TV, mentality behind the early shows, the questions regarding the shows, good and bad and what the shows reminded me of.
 
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        We also look at the Japanese MMA scene as Dream ran a show with its biggest mainstream stars, Sakuraba, Aoki, Kawajiri, Uno, Minowa-man and the bantamweight tournament.  We look at the match-up of pro wrestlers, former UFC stars and more.
 
        We also have your scorecard for this season's Ultimate Fighter, which opened to some of the most exciting fights and finishes in the history of the show just in the first episode.  We look at the favorites, what happens with Jason Miller and Michael Bisping, and more.
 
        We also have a look at the SummerSlam buy rate, with a look at the card,  how it did compared to the past few years, and mistakes made in the promotion of the show that hurt things.  We also look at how the card compared with those of previous years.
 
        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
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         Also in this week's issue:
 
--CMLL draws its largest crowd in months
 
--Ceremony to honor one of CMLL's oldest full-timers
 
--Notes on the 78th anniversary shows in both Mexico City and Guadalajara
 
--Indie tries running a 14,000 seat arena using former WWE stars vs. Mexican legends
 
--Return of Arturo Rivera
 
--Lineup for Heroes Inmortales, one of AAA's biggest shows of the year including the debut in Mexico of Sting
 
--Notes on a crazy story involving a former WWE star working in Mexico
 
--All Japan's junior heavyweight tournament ends, with standings, winner and where the title is going
 
--One of All Japan's top stars returns and is put into the top mix
 
--The latest edition of the oldest annual tradition in pro wrestling is announced
 
--NOAH building a number of title programs
 
--This week's update on Matt Hardy
 
--More on Greg Valentine no-showing the Randy Savage show
 
--Indie worker pleads no contest on sex charge
 
--Trial begins regarding the murder of an 80s wrestler that is largely forgotten about
 
--Former WCW star and a DUI charge
 
--Update on Dave Bautista and his thoughts on wrestling again
 
--Update on Bobby Heenan
 
--Another promotion gets TV in the U.K.
 
--Notes on the move on the ROH Final Battle show
 
--A look at the next few TV tapings
 
--More on the philosophy of ROH going forward
 
--Update on Ric Flair's injuries
 
--Unique promotional activity for Bound for Glory that is going to bomb and is almost a secret
 
--Complete Bound for Glory card
 
--Notes on the TV in Knoxville behind the scenes and crowd reactions
 
--More on the TNA time slot change in the U.K.
 
--More international for TNA including notes on future tours and new TV shows being produced
 
--The story behind the Kurt Angle vs. Kimbo Slice fight, how real was it, and what role Kurt Angle was called for by Dana White
 
--Notes on weekend house shows
 
--A look at the next few weeks of television
 
--The story on Spike going to war with UFC next month
 
--Dana White talks a lot of 2012 plans including markets they are going to run live shows in, and markets they are planning on taped market specific shows in
 
--The story behind the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos match being put on TV and is it a financial winner
 
--Future of Strikeforce
 
--Future of women in UFC
 
--What all-time legend has his back against the wall in his next match and needs a win or won't be booked again in UFC
 
--Update on the San Jose UFC debut
 
--Another Golden Glory fighter returns to UFC
 
--Notes on Cris Cyborg's first fight in more than a year, when and against who
 
--What building UFC will attempt to break its all-time attendance record in
 
--Update on Vitor Belfort
 
--This week's UFC show
 
--UFC star wins a shoot tournament in another sport against people from MMA and pro wrestling
 
--Lots of new UFC matches
 
--A major contract clause that will prevent a major television move from taking place
 
--When that expected move will likely take place
 
--Bellator bantamweight tournament notes
 
--Fighter linked to three different rapes
 
--TV show is going to switch dates and go live starting very soon
 
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--Hulk Hogan was on Good Morning America today, plugging Micro Championship Wrestling.  It's really notable that he's got his first PPV match in five years scheduled in two weeks and didn't mention it.  Partially because of the time frame of the TNA storyline, he shouldn't, but that only makes it more mind-boggling.  He ripped on Linda, when they brought up how she claimed in her book that she was fearful Hogan would kill her in a fit of rage.  Hogan called it insane.  They brought up Hogan's silly remark in Rolling Stone about understanding why O.J. did what he did but said he wasn't violent.  He claimed he had lost hundreds of millions of dollars, which is probably an exaggeration, but this is Hogan.  He said the money going out was "way off" the money coming in, but that financially he's doing better and living in a rental house and trying to sell his mansion.  The Daily Mail in the U.K. at http://www.dailymail.co.uk  has a story on it.
 
--The 10/11 Smackdown tapings in Dallas will include Raw talent.  They are advertising a 41 man Battle Royal, claiming it be as the biggest Battle Royal in the history of WWE, with wrestlers from both Raw and Smackdown.  They also are advertising an appearance from DX.  I know that Shawn Michaels has been talked about as coming to a TV show or two to promote the Hart vs. Michaels DVD, but all that is listed is DX, nor Michaels, but when we were told about him being asked, it was a show in Texas in October.  
 
--WWE has released referee James Maritato, who was better known as Little Guido in ECW, James Stone in UWFI and Nunzio in WWE.  Maritato is looking for wrestling bouts and appearances on the indie scene through Bill Behrens at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   He is based in New York.
 
--The Dave Herman vs. Mike Russow slobber knocker fight scheduled for the 10/8 UFC show in Houston is off because Herman was given a preshow drug test by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations and he failed for marijuana.  Herman claimed that he has not used marijuana and can't understand it.  Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan will now be moved to the live PPV show, which will be a more exciting fight most likely anyway. 
 
--ESPN in the U.K. announced for 10/8 they will air the Countdown to UFC 136 at 12:15 a.m., followed by MMA Live at 1:15 a.m. and then at 2 a.m. will be the Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard PPV show. 
 
--The Miz will be appearing on the TV show H8R on the CW Network.  It's a story about real people who hate certain celebrities and then the celebrities meet them face-to-face.  The shows airs on Wednesday nights. 
 
--We have a special edition of Wrestling Observer radio later today with Jerry Jarrett talking about the legacy of Tennessee wrestling.  Also want to note the show we did yesterday with John McCarthy, talking about the early days of UFC.  If you are a fan of that era, you'll like that show, and we also talked about ROH on Sinclair and the latest wrestling news.  We've got shows this coming weekend on both Saturday night covering UFC and Sunday night covering WWE Hell in a Cell.
 
--A note on the Memphis Heat DVD that will be talked about tonight, the DVD will be released on Saturday and you can order it at www.MemphisHeatTheMovie.com  I'd highly recommend this just for the historical perspective of so many of the people there, including Jerry Lawler, Jerry Jarrett, Bill Dundee and many others.
 
--Alex Marvez talks to Stan Hansen at http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/64458 about his book "The Last Outlaw."
 
--In the interview, Hansen claimed that Bruno Sammartino told him that after he broke Sammartino's neck by accident in a 1976 match, that "connected" people told Bruno, "Let me know if you want me to take care of this."  Hansen said, "Thank God Bruno said,, `No, that's all right, because I'm going to get him. 
 
Sammartino, who said he has no problem with Marvez noting, that he knows Hansen said it in his book, said such a conversation never happened.  Sammartino was said to have been happy that Marvez killed the first column and replaced it with a second one that deleted Hansen's quote.  Chris Cruise said that Sammartino was satisfied, but puzzled that Hansen would have said such a thing.
 
--There will be an article on Meredith Whitney, which will have photos of John Layfield and Rey Mysterio running in Saturday's Wall Street Journal magazine. (thanks to James Schettino)
 
--Pro Elite has announced a show on 11/5 in Moline, IL, headlined by Tim Sylvia vs. Pedro Rizzo and Andrei Arlovski vs. Travis Fulton.
 
--Who do you most want to see against Anderson Silva?
Chael Sonnen 61.2%
Dan Henderson 14.0%
Cung Le 7.9%
Brian Stann 6.1%
Michael Bisping 5.0%
Vitor Belfort 2.2%
Rousimar Palhares 1.8%
Luke Rockhold 0.7%
Alan Belcher 0.7%
Mark Munoz 0.4%
 
--What match at Hell in a Cell do you think will be the best one?
Cena vs. Punk vs. Del Rio 46.6%
Sheamus vs. Christian 29.4%
Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara 13.3%
Kelly vs. Phoenix 5.7%
Orton vs. Henry 5.0%
 
--Best TV match of the past week
Kings of Wrestling vs. Haas & Benjamin 49.3%
Angle vs. Storm 21.5%
Punk vs. Del Rio 16.4%
Orton vs. Rhodes 8.2%
Henry vs. Christian 4.6%
 
--Best of the recent big shows
UFC 135 23.2%
UFC 134 19.4%
ROH Death Before Dishonor 17.6%
WWE SummerSlam 12.5%
UFC Lytle vs. Hardy 8.0%
Strikeforce Barnett vs. Kharitonov 6.2%
WWE Night of Champions 4.8%
TNA No Surrender 3.8%
Bellator bantamweight tournament 3.1%
UFC Shields vs. Ellenberger 2.4%
 
--Biggest show between now and the end of the year
UFC Lesnar vs. Overeem 33.1%
UFC on Fox Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 24.8%
WWE Survivor Series with Rock 24.4%
Pacquiao vs. Marquez 11.5%
UFC St. Pierre vs. Condit 6.2%
 
 
--Stacy Keibler is now a contributing writer to Open Sky magazine. She is listed as an award winning actress, model and natural health, fitness and lifestyle expert. (thanks to Mike Lano)
 
--A correction from yesterday's update.  It was not Enson Inoue that played a bodyguard on the episode of Hawaii 5-0 earlier this week, but his brother Egan Inoue.  Egan was also an MMA fighter, but unlike Enson, was never to my knowledge a pro wrestler. (thanks to Paul Onishi)
 
--The first ROH television show is now on-line on the ROH web site. 
 
--Kevin Knight's IWF is apparently closing shop.  They sent a message to us early today saying that after running shows for 15 years, the final three events will be 10/15, 10/22 and 10/29 at the IWF Centre in Woodland Park, NJ.
 
--Kevin Nash pulled out of his weekend shows for Northeast Wrestling, due to filming a movie, which is also why he wasn't on Raw the past two Mondays.  He's scheduled back on Raw in a few weeks.  NEW is bringing in Vladimir Kozlov and Tammy Sytch as replacements for the 9/30 show in Waterbury, CT headlined by Jerry Lawler vs. Luke Robinson and 10/1 with Lawler vs. Terry Funk in Poughkeepsie.  Bret Hart will also be in Poughkeepsie.  Fit Finlay is also on the shows.  
 
--There is a benefit show on Saturday in Nashville at the NWA Arena for Mike Rapada Jr., the son of the local area wrestling star and former NWA champion, who was seriously injured and is currently hospitalized after being hit and run over by a car.  Among those appearing on the benefit show are James Storm, Doug Gilbert, Chase Stevens, Mike Rapada Sr., Tommy "Crimson" Mercer as well as other area stars and TNA official Rudy Charles.  Tickets are $10 and any donation above that would be appreciated because of the overwhelming medical bills.
 
--CHIKARA Pro on 10/8 in Kingsport, TN featuring Osaka Pro Wrestling's top tag team, Daisuke Harada and Atsushi Kotoge, facing Fire Ant & Soldier Ant, plus woman's star Kana faces Sara Del Rey in one main event, plus UltraMantis Black vs. Jigsaw in the Tourney bout.  It's part of a two-night swing with a 10/7 show in Burlington, NC at the Mid Atlantic Sportatorium.
 
--I don't have anymore info on this other than Alvin Mallory, who was a Roller Derby skater for the Bay Bombers in the 70s, passed away on Tuesday at a convalescence home.  He wouldn't be that old, maybe 62 or so. 
 
--Wrestlelicious season one is airing on French TV every Thursday night at 9 p.m. on MCS Extreme, the same channel that broadcasts CMLL.  They also have numerous replays of the show (thanks to Celian Varini)
 
--There is a report that Craig Pittman is fighting on Saturday at a show called Real Fighting Championships held in Tampa.  Since the Craig Pittman from WCW is 52 years old now, I'd think it couldn't be him, but Sherdog.com listing of him lists him as the WCW pro wrestler.  Pittman was a very good Greco-Roman wrestler in the 80s and fought in a 1995 MMA tournament in Japan.
 
--The next Evolve show is in jeopardy because the building it was scheduled for, The Ace Arena in Jersey City, may be shutting down.  The show is scheduled for 10/15.
 
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia concerns Paul "Big Show" Wight.  Wight never wrestled in the ECW Arena during the days of the original ECW, but he was in the building for an ECW show once.  He came with Larry Sharpe, who was training him at the time at The Monster Factory in Paulsboro, NJ.  The two of them were standing next to a 6-6, 325 pound huge security guard who looked at Wight and said, "Wow, and I thought I was big."
 . 
--Monday's New York Daily News had a story on wrestling memorabilia, interviewing Chuck Marrrone, the co-owner of Royal Collectibles in Forest Hills, NY. 
 
--Cage Warriors 44 from North London, England will be airing live at 4 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday on Fight Now TV, which is on Cablevision Ch. 464 as part of the sports and entertainment pack.  Mike Garrow, who launched The Fight Network in Canada, debuted this 24-hour a day combat sports channel which also has Randy Couture doing analysis and as a spokesperson.
 
--Munenori Sawa will be appearing at the Kaiji Big Battel show on 10/14 in Brooklyn, NY at Warsaw.  Sawa, a soon to be retired wrestling star from Japan, is going to challenge one of the fighting monsters.  They also run on 10/16 in Philadelphia at the Union Transfer.
 
--Go Fight Live weekend shows include American Mixed Martial Arts Fight League on Friday at 8 p.m. from Newtown, PA as a free show, using local fighters.  They also have iPPV shows on 10/1 from Fletcher, NC in a womens' MMA show headlined by Roxanne Modafferi vs. Barb Honchak. 
 
--Luke Robinson's first indie match since Tough Enough was on 9/4 in Riverview, New Brunswick and is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSqCoQdbxYc
 
--Among the matches on the new Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels DVD that WWE is releasing are Rockers vs. Hart Foundation from 11/25/89 in Madison Square Garden; Hart vs. Michaels on 2/10/90 in a TV match; Rockers vs. Hart Foundation on 3/30/91 at the Tokyo Dome on an SWS show; Hart vs. Michaels ladder match from 7/21/92 (this was the first ladder match in WWE history, Hart brought the idea from Calgary where I believe Dan Kroffat came up with it in the early 70s), Hart vs. Michaels for the IC title on 4/29/92; Hart vs. Michaels for the WWF title on 11/25/92 at Survivor Series; Hart vs. Michaels cage match on 12/1/93; Hart vs. Michaels Iron Man match from 1996 WrestleMania, as well as both men's Hall of Fame inductions.  The Blu Ray will also include the 1997 Survivor Series match which is the most famous match the two of them had, and probably one of the ten most famous matches in U.S. pro wrestling history.
 
--There is a pro wrestling outing at the San Francisco literary festival on 10/14 at the Hemlock Tavern.  The cost is $10 and Bob Calhoun, who has written books about Incredibly Strange Wrestling, as well as Gene LeBell's autobiography, will be there with Allan Bolte, the area's most noted ring announcer for nearly four decades and a number of other pro wrestling personalities.
 
--Michael Motley at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is looking for info on any indie shows in the Oklahoma City area.
 
--EWF on 10/14 in Converse, IN at Borderman Gym features The New Age Outlaws.
 
--FEW on 10/9 in Fort Wayne, IN at the Hollywood MMA features a local DJ wrestling who goes by the name Chris Cruise.  That's not the same Chris Cruise that announced for WCW in the 90s.
 
--The Awesome Wrestling Entertainment PPV on 10/15 (they are pushing it being on inDemand, DirecTV and Bell TV although inDemand has not confirmed it) features Kevin Nash & ? (rumored to be DDP) vs. Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson, Tommy Dreamer vs. Terry Funk, Perry Saturn vs. C.W. Anderson, Jim Duggan vs. Mohammed Akbar, Fit Finlay vs. Buddy Landel vs. Alex Silvia and Jamin Olivencia vs. Sonjay Dutt. 
 
--Teddy Hart has pulled out of the 11/12 Pro Wrestling Syndicate show in Queens, NY, reported as due to an injury.  he was going to face Amazing Red.  He'll be replaced by Shiima Xion (Zema Ion in TNA).
 
--The TV show "Hot Seat" in Australia, a quiz show on Ch. 9, asked a question about what movie star's real name is Mark Vincent.  One of the options was The Rock.  The contestant thought it was Vinny Jones, but it was Vin Diesel (thanks to James Stanios) 
 
--For those into history, Project Gutenberg at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/37562/37562-h/37562-h.htm has a wrestling book from 1893 called "Wrestling and Wrestlers:  Biographical Sketches of Celebrated Athletes of the Northern Ring."  I'm sure a number of historians will have interest in that. (thanks to James Hold)  
 
--The WCW trio of Johnny Stamboli, Big Vito and Chuck Palumbo will be reunited on the EXW Adrenaline Rush show on 10/4 in Phoenix at the Celebrity Theater, which will be a TV taping.  Val Venis will also be on the show, which debuts on AZTV on 10/15 at 11 p.m.
 
--Tulalip Championship Wrestling on 10/1 in Marysville, WA at the Pacific Rim Restaurant.
 
--NWA World Class Wrestling on 10/16 in Brownsille, TX with Adam Pearce vs. Ben Galvan for the NWA title at the Brownsville Sports and Rec Complex.  Greg Valentine is scheduled as the referee.