Saturday, 01 October 2011 12:20
We're also looking for reports from tonight's ROH TV tapings in Louisville (Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal defends the TV title against Mike Bennett, Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander, Young Bucks vs. Bravado Brothers) and tonight's WWE joint branded house show in Mobile, AL.
UFC lineup for tonight from the Verizon Center in Washington, DC:
Facebook fights starting at about 5:45 p.m. Eastern time
Joseph Sandoval (134) vs. Walal Watson (134.5)
Josh Neer (171) vs. Keith Wisniewski (170)
T.J. Grant (155) vs. Shane Roller (156)
Byron Bloodworth (138) vs. Mike Easton (135) - Bloodworth missed weight, an agreement was made to change this to a 138 pound catch weight fight with Bloodworth forfeiting 20% of his purse
Michael Johnson (156) vs. Paul Sass (155)
Yves Edwards (155) vs. Rafaello Oliveira (155)
Live fights on Versus starting at 9 p.m.
Mac Danzig (155) vs. Matt Wiman (156)
Charile Brenneman (171) vs. Anthony Johnson (171)
Pat Berry (243) vs. Stefan Struve (261)
Dominick Cruz (135) vs. Demetrious Johnson (135) for the banamweight title.
Bellator tonight on MTV 2 at 9 p.m. from Lake Charles, LA with the first round of the heavyweight tournament
Neil Grove (265.5) vs. Michael Hayes (228)
Blagoi Ivanov (244) vs. Zak Jensen (265)
Eric Prindle (265.5) vs. Abe Wagner (247.5)
Mark Holata (258) vs. Ron Sparks (263)
Sunday has the WWE Hell in a Cell PPV from New Orleans:
*John Cena vs. C.M. Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio for the WWE title - It really doesn't matter who wins this because these three are likely going to be mixing and matching for the title for the next several months. It's pushed as the first time ever a three-man Hell in a Cell, but I don't think that means anything to the average fan, and if anything having a Hell in a Cell match with no feud ready dilutes the Cell. My gut says this will be the lowest Hell in a Cell PPV number in history. As far as the match goes, this should be good.
*Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton for the World title in a Hell in a Cell - From a timing standpoint, Henry should win because it does nobody any good to put Orton over this month. This is going to be a challenge because you've got a limited worker and no blood in a match designed for blood, and a match that usually goes long.
*Sheamus vs. Christian - On paper the best match of those announced on the show. It's almost impossible for Christian to have a bad match unless it's booked too short or overbooked. Sheamus is a strong enough worker that he should only help. Sheamus probably wins because the current Christian character seems to be one that always loses and then always has an excuse.
*Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix for the Divas title - One would expect a title change here if only because Kelly has pinned Phoenix clean the last two PPV shows. To their credit, they've gotten to where they can do a better than average women's match. For the most part they can do a few impressive things, but the key is to avoid too many spots where Kelly comes off the ropes.
*Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara - Best high spots on the show. Also has the chance to be the sloppiest match on the show. Probably a lot of pressure on both guys. The bad Sin Cara needs to be impressive because once this program is over, if he doesn't do well, he's going to struggle to keep a good spot, or even any spot. The good Sin Cara is going to be pushed because Christmas is coming and he sells merchandise, but he still has to overcome that his style is different and that he can be sloppy in the ring.
There will be at least one, and possibly two matches added to the show. Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne vs. Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler was at least one of the bouts under consideration.
Raw will be life from Lafayette, LA on Monday night. Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday night in Biloxi.
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.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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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
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
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:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series
plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
*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
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
separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*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
wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*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)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings,
Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a
double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*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
tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*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)
*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)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
*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)
*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)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double
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)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
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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
about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk,
Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods. To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best
Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book
price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North
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--Rey Bucanero lost his hair to Felino at Arena Mexico in the main event of last night's anniversary show.
--Their annual Leyenda de Plata tournament will end this coming Friday night with La Sombra vs. Jushin Liger.
--The Observer back issue up on the site from earlier this week was the 2006 issue including the story of Ann Calvello, who was probably the best female working heel that I ever saw, even though she was not a pro wrestler, but a Roller Derby skater. It was one of the best selling back issues we ever did and was probably the issue that garnered the most feedback of any issue in the last ten years.
--The Urban Wrestling Federation's next PPV show will debut on 11/6.
--ROH on Sinclair broadcasting tonight has:
Jimmy Jacobs vs. Mike Bennett
El Generico vs. Jay Lethal for the TV title
--Hulk Hogan's latest gig is having his name and likeness attached to a supplement company called Hogannutrition.com It's a deal with Sports Nutritional Innovations.
--Sabu has been announced as appearing on the Dragon Gate USA shows on 11/11 in Boston, 11/12 in Philadephia and 11/13 in New York.
--C.M. Punk will be making a guest appearance on 10/21 at the Florida Championship Wrestling house show in Kissimmee, FL.
--The 10/15 Evolve show that was scheduled for the Ace Arena in Union City, NJ, has been canceled.
--How's this for a crazy match. Juventud Guerrera's promotion in Mexico is running on 10/14 at Arena Queretaro with Juventud Guerrero & Davey Richards vs. Super Crazy & Daga as the main event. Also on the show are 2 Tuff Tony, Necro Butcher, Mad Man Pondo and early 90s giant Gigante Warrior (6-11 Butch Masters).
--Mick Foley and Edge will be doing stand-up comedy on 10/5 in Charlotte at the Comedy Zone as part of a fund raiser for Shane Helms. Foley said that they are also trying to get Ric Flair to appear. (thanks to Terri Bey)
--Devon Nicholson, who has been in the news a lot of late, has said he's decided to retire from wrestling with his final appearance on 10/8 in Renfrew, Ont. He will face Darko, the giant that WWE has shown some interest in. He feels that since there is no chance he will ever be signed by WWE due to his Hepatitis, at 29, it's time to try something else.
--Today's silly grandstand challenge is Mark Pavelich, the promoter of the Maximum Fighting Championships, a group out of Edmonton that runs on HDNet, has challenged Dana White to a boxing match. As if there's any chance of that.
--T.J. Waldburger vs. Marc Stevens in a grappling match will be part of the Fan Expo in Houston this coming week. UFC is doing a fan expo event which includes two grappling matches, with that taking place at 1:30 p.m. at the expo on 10/8 before the PPV show later that night. Waldburger is coming off a win in UFC while Stevens was on the season of Ultimate Fighter with Josh Koscheck and GSP as coaches. Wesley Gann vs. Justin Rader, who are better known for grappling, will have a match on 10/7 at 1:30 p.m