THURS. UPDATE: More on TNA creative; White updates plans; VP legend quits, Hogan, Bruno, UFC 13



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        Impact for tonight which is an on the road taping from Knoxville:
*Kazarian vs. Gunner
*Mickie James & Velvet Sky vs. Winter & Madison Rayne
*Crimson vs. Samoa Joe
*Bobby Roode vs. James Storm - I was told this was another great match
        The show builds to the Hogan retirement segment, which is exactly what you'd think it is.          
 
        Superstars tonight:
*Percy Watson vs. Michael McGillicutty
*Alex Riley vs. JTG
*A.J. vs. Tamina
*Ted DiBiase vs. Tyson Kidd

        Our annual Hall of Fame issue of the Observer, the most talked about issue of the year, will be coming out in two 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.
 
        We've got two issues of the Observer out this week.  Both can be accessed by web site subscribers on the front page.  All issues after they leave the front page can be accessed in the Observer archives section.  We also have, for the second week in a row, one of the biggest back issues in our history.  This is the 1994 issue covering when Vince McMahon was put on trial in a steroid distribution case.  The issue has all the details of what happened, all the testimony, the legal technicalities, why McMahon was acquitted and a lot more.  From a history standpoint, this was one of the biggest news stories in pro wrestling history and this is the most detailed coverage of that story.
 
        This week's issues include a story on the business of Hell in a Cell.  We look at when Hell in a Cell was a PPV monster, the decline of Hell in a Call, reactions to this year's show and a chart of shows since 2005 so you can see when the declines came.  We talk about why the declines came and what decision that the company made that they need to evaluate when it comes to the PPV schedule.
 
        We look at the hard business numbers and tends for PPV early, and what lessons can be learned from the show. 
 
        We also look at WWE's big angle with HHH at the end of Raw, including the television audience reaction, did fans tune in or out as the segment was going on, and more about the angle.  We look at the follow-up to the Hell in a Cell closing angle as well, how plans for the PPV changed the week of the show, booking Mark Henry, the frivolous lawsuit angle and where it came from, as well as the who John Laurinaitis is texting angle.  We look at what aspect of the type of writers WWE employs led to the ending of Raw and how a wrestling person would have likely done it different than a Hollywood person and why.
 
        We also have full coverage of the PPV, with match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results from the show.
 
        We also have a feature looking back at the history of Kurt Angle's negotiations with several different MMA promotions over the years.  We've got details of his UFC talks from Dana White, as well as Angle's response, as well as response from those close to angle.  We look at the time that White thought he had an agreement with Angle for an exclusive contract including what pro wrestler White had called to be Angle's first PPV opponent.  We look at why that fell apart.  We look at the real story behind Angle as a participant in the 2009 season of Ultimate Fighter.  We look at the pitch Angle made to White to try to get into UFC as well as how talks with other groups fell apart over the years including what fights were on the table.  We look at Angle doing a 180 based on what he had said in the past and more.
 
        We've also got coverage of the final UFC event on Versus, including what a UFC championship match on TV for the first time in four years on free TV meant to ratings.  We also have full coverage of the event, with match-by-match coverage, as well as poll results for the show.
 
        We also have coverage of CMLL's 78th anniversary show that was held over the weekend at Arena Mexico.  We look at the business of the show, how it compares to the past, and full coverage.
 
        We also look at what could have been in impetus of the WWE lawsuit angle, and more notes on Devon Nicholson's lawsuit filed against WWE in Ottawa.  We look at his claims.
 
        We also look at HHH's way of thinking when it comes to stars, in an interesting look at the mind set of the future of WWE and looking at what makes sense and doesn't make sense in his line of thinking.
 
        We also have a look at one of the more underrated major names of the 50s and 60s, Handsome Johnny Barend, a New York native who headlined Madison Square Garden, Japan, and all points in between, and was one of the four biggest stars in the history of the Hawaiian pro wrestling scene.  We look at his glory days in a number of territories, his standing in wrestling and much more about a headliner around the world for more than two decades.  We look in particular at the scene in Hawaii and his being linked with legends like Peter Maivia, Dory Funk Jr., Mad Dog Vachon, Fred Blassie, The Sheik, Jimmy Snuka and many others.
 
        We also look at basic WWE plans for television through the end of October, the next two three-hour Raws and a story barely covered that is chipping away slowly and significantly each month at the audience that watches WWE, TNA and UFC.  We also look at Shawn Michaels and The Rock returning to WWE television over the next two months, plus more joint branded television shows.
 
        We've got background on the new Vice President of Talent Relations, Jane Geddes, who was actually a more significant sports star than almost anyone on the active roster.
 
        We look at Vince McMahon's latest fetish about the product.  We've also got an update on Rey Mysterio, the DUI arrest of Jimmy Uso and how it was mocked in storyline.  We also look at more WWE expansion plans, how Tivo is affecting WWE viewership, a former WWE performer who has signed on to a reality show, a new announcer hired, as well as what WWE stars have the most social media followers.  We look at a model who will be getting a tryout next month, a rock band who wrote a song about a famous 1980s wrestling angle that ended up running afoul of WWE legal, Steve Austin's next movie, Austin talking about a champion in WWE who he doesn't believe is ready to be on top, the status of John Morrison, one of the all-time great wrestlers becomes a grandfather, WWE stars working in FCW, plus the weekend business and house show report.
 
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        We also look at Hulk Hogan signing his new deal and a lot of thoughts about Hogan in TNA, as well as what his signing showed.  We also look at where Hogan got his retirement speech from, and a new Hogan business.
  
        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
reviews.   
 
         Also in this week's issues:
 
--An update on the conditions, both physically and legally of both Matt and Jeff Hardy
 
--More on the last ROH iPPV show
 
--What those numbers say about iPPV shows
 
--Current plans for ROH Final Battle in December
 
--A look at the ROH TV tapings held this past week as well as why certain people weren't on the show
 
--A look at issues with the TVs in some markets
 
--Update on the TNA schedule
 
--A former WWE performer who is now free to come to TNA
 
--Dana White goes into more details of doing two shows on the same night in February and how it will be handled
 
--We also look at UFC flooding one market with show after show
 
--Update on Gilbert Melendez to UFC
 
--More on the Showtime/Strikeforce deal, when it expires and what may be next for both
 
--Update on UFC's return to Toronto
 
--Update on Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans
 
--More on this season's Ultimate Fighter show
 
--Boxer challenges Brock Lesnar
 
--Lots of new UFC fights signed 
 
--A look at the big picture of pro wrestling in Mexico today
 
--Pro wrestler charges in major arson case that made international news
--ROH title being defended in Mexico
 
--AAA final taping before big show
 
--Recently departed WWE wrestler gets a one year suspension from wrestling by an athletic commission and why
 
--What pro wrestling promotion is doing a television show based on Ultimate Fighter
 
--Why the show is already getting a backlash
 
--Dragon Gate U.K. update
 
--One of the best pro wrestlers in the world hospitalized for appendicitis and has to vacate his title
 
--Hiroyoshi Tenzan 20th anniversary show
 
--Hall of Famer talks returning for a show in January for first match in a decade
 
--Jerry Lawler vs. Terry Funk feud continues
 
--One of biggest indie shows of the year
 
--What WWE Hall of Famer in no shape to perform
 
--Luke Robinson returns to wrestling for main events against two long-term stars
 
--An indie promotion  does a live PPV featuring 90s stars
 
--Yokozuna Memorial show
 
--Hall of Famers to wrestle in CHIKARA at the end of the year
 
--90s pro wrestling star from WCW now doing MMA
 
--Notes on a wrestling reunion from a major promotion of the past
 
--Former WWE performer marries rock star
 
--Son of 70s star ranked nationally for upcoming college wrestling season
 
--Ben Askren's biggest pro fight
 
--Details of the weekend Bellator show and this week's matches
 
--Update on the heavyweight tournament
 
--Bobby Lashley returns to MMA to go after heavyweight title against former TUF heavyweight
 
--Notes on one of the most famous wrestling movies ever made
  
          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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*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)
 
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history) 
 
*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)
 
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*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk
Hogan)
 
*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)
 
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*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
 
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*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
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*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,
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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 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart
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*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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*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)
 
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*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)
 
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*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)
 
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*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)
 
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* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
 
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--Prowrestling.net reported that Bruce Prichard was given the position as head of creative in TNA which we've since confirmed.  Vince Russo will still write the TV but Prichard will set the direction he wants the angles to go in.  This has actually been the big picture case unofficially for some time now.  Prichard has been getting more and more influence of late and the angles, or at least some of them, have shown a lot of improvement.

--Dana White yesterday now said the deal running two shows on 2/25 is not a done deal but something that may happen.  I do know that over the past weekend internally everyone was preparing for it to happen.  White said the TV for that day if they do two shows would be on FOX, and that he would be attending the FOX show and not the PPV show.  So in theory, he would be going to Japan if everything goes smoothly.  

--Kenta Kobashi resigned as Vice President of Pro Wrestling NOAH.  We'll have more on that, but he was not day-to-day in the office and had the title more due to his stature as a legendary wrestler.

--Hulk Hogan will be making the media rounds on Wednesday and Thursday to promote Bound for Glory.  Besides appearing on all the ESPN shows, he will be on Howard Stern on Wednesday morning and Fox and Friends and The Today Show on Thursday.

--Today is Bruno Sammartino's 76th birthday.  He is in Italy for a ceremony where somebody is getting the annual Bruno Sammartino award in Pizzoferrato, Italy, where he grew up. 

--UFC betting odds for Saturday night's UFC show

Frankie Edgar -135
Gray Maynard +115

Brian Stann +225
Chael Sonnen -265

Jose Aldo -350
Kenny Florian +290

Joe Lauzon +295
Melvin Guillard -355

Anthony Pettis -300
Jeremy Stephens +250

Darren Elkins -100
Tiequan Zhang -120

Leonard Garcia +180
Nam Phan -220

Mike Massenzio +115
Steve Cantwell -135

Joey Beltran +175
Stipe Miocic -210

Demian Maia -280
Jorge Santiago +240

Aaron Simpson -330
Eric Schafer +270

--Mick Foley's Medal of Reasonableness that Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert gave him at their Rally to Restore sanity is being auctioned off to raise money for the victims of flooding in Vermont.  100% of what the auction takes in will go to the Mad River Community Fund.  For more info go to http://myworld.ebay.compickels01

--Who do you expect to win this fight?
Frankie Edgar 60.4%
Gray Maynard 39.6%

--What do you think is the best wrestling show on television?
ROH 43.0%
Raw 21.7%
Smackdown 19.7%
Impact 9.3%
CMLL 5.7%
Lucha Libre USA 0.7%

--What fight at UFC 136 are you most interested in?
Sonnen vs. Stann 45.7%
Maynard vs. Edgar 28.4%
Also vs. Florian 17.3%
Phan vs. Garcia 3.5%
Pettis vs. Stephens 3.1%
Guillard vs. Lauzon 2.1%

--Who would you like to see get the winner of Maynard vs. Edgar?
Clay Guida 30.4%
Gilbert Melendez 20.9%
Nate Diaz 9.1%
Melvin Guillard 7.8%
Donald Cerrone 2.7%
Dennis Siver 1.4%
Sam Stout 1.4%
Gleison Tibau 0.3%
 

--Ben Askren, the Bellator welterweight champion, will be appearing in Joplin, MO, tomorrow night at the High School with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.  They will be giving away tickets to people in the town who were victimized by the recent tornado for the show on Saturday night in Miami, OK. 

--Due to travel issues, Bret Hart will not be at a show in Derry, Northern Ireland today.  His flight out of Calgary was delayed by nine hours due to a mechanical issue.  He will be at the shows the next two days in Castelbar and Limerick.

--We're looking to hear from if anyone went to the Shane Helms benefit show last night in Charlotte.

--Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres vs. Cole Escovedo has been added to the UFC show on 11/12 in Anaheim in a prelim before the FOX show.  Caceres, who started as a lightweight, moved to featherweight, is dropping again to bantamweight in quest of his first UFC win.

--UWC Championship Wrestling is at http://www.youtube.com/UWCWrestlingVideos

--Matt Riviera did this interview which was clearly inspired by a Tommy Rich interview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_ZVM8WDSLw&feature=channel_video_title

--An interview with George Napolitano talking about the Ric Flair vs. Jack Veneno match in the Dominican Republic and the Montreal screw job is at http://solomonster.podbean.com/2011/10/04/sound-off-182/

--Fight Now TV (Ch. 464 on Cablevision) will be airing Instinct MMA live from Montreal (actually Boisbriand, Quebec just outside Montreal) tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.  The show features Houston Alexander vs. Steve Bosse, a former hockey enforcer who is a big star on the Montreal fight scene with six straight wins, plus Patrick Cote vs. Crafton Wallace and Butterbean will be on the show.  One of the prelims features Derek Gauthier.  I wonder if he's related in any way to Denis Gauthier of Montreal?  The show will also replay on Monday night at 10 p.m.  The card will air as a live PPV in Canada. (thanks to Patrick Lono)

--ROH tickets go on sale this weekend for the shows in Spartanburg (12/3) and Greensboro (12/4).

--Chuck Langerman's pro wrestling trivia concerns Scott Hall.  Hall is a graduate of St. Mary's College, a small liberal arts school in St. Mary's City, MD.  Hall studied pre-med with hopes of going into medical school and being a pediatrician.  Instead, he decided to become a pro wrestler.

--Comedy Central the last two weeks has had several mentions of wrestling.  One of the characters woke up with dyed blond hair after a party and his friend called him Ric Flair.  On Tuesday, the main plot was the main character trying to win a refrigerator with a TV so they can watch WrestleMania 28, which they thought was taking place in 72 hours.  There were various WrestleMania references throughout the episode and one of the characters pretended to be a customer named Terry Bollea on the phone to prevent another co-worker from winning the refrigerator/television.  The ending showed a WrestleMania party with people watching the show and one character dressed up like Randy Savage (thanks to Shawn McDougall)

--There will be a tournament for the vacant NWA world jr. title on 10/7 i Charlotte at the Metrolina  Expo. 

--Nick Kalikas talks about how he does odds for MMA and talks UFC 136 at http://angrymarks.com/?ArticleID=15431

--Platinum Championship Wrestling on 10/20 in Atlanta at The Masquerade.

--AAW on 10/28 in Merrionette Park, IL at 115 Bourbon Street featuring Scott Steiner, Silas Young, Rhino, Irish Airborne, Josh Raymond, Jimmy Jacobs, Arik Cannon, MsChif, Keith Walker, N8  Mattson, Michael Elgin, Sami Callihan, Alex Colon and more.  There will also be a meet and greet from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for those sitting in the first three rows with Steiner, Rhino, Honky Tonk Man, Greg Valentine and Matt Cross.  

--GXW on 10/8 in Richmond, VA at Club Aurora featuring Gunner Scott, Shelly Martinez and Doink the Clown.

--NWA MSW on 10/7 in Princeton, WV at the Rec Center.

--Squared Circle Pro Wrestling on 10/15 in Lubbock at Jake's Sports Cafe & Backroom.

--There will be a web site get together at Lucky's Pub at 801 St. Emanuel in Houston about 2:30 p.m. Saturday.  It is behind the Fan Expo and within walking distance of the Toyota Center.  Bryan and I won't be in Houston for the show.

--ROH announced the signing today of T.J. Perkins, who will be at the 11/5 show in Louisville for the next TV tapings as well as the house show on 11/6 in Collinsville, IL.

--Over the Top Radio talks the 50 greatest incidents in WWE history at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cutrer/201...-radio-169

--Lion Fight Promotions presents Battle in the Desert 4 from the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.  This will be a Muay Thai show headlined by Kit Cope vs. Jose Palacios, Chidi Njokuani (Anthony's brother) vs. Ken Tran and Elaina Maxwell (who fought MMA against both Gina Carano and Miesha Tate) vs. Roxy Richardson.  It is Maxwell's first Muay Thai fight.  Maxwell was the gold medalist in 2003 at the world San Shou championships in China.

--The correct link for the trailer for the Bloodstained Memories DVD is http://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=bSHEIHTDznU

--Emi Sakura, Tsukasa Fujimoto, Hikaru Shida and Ice Ribbon champion Hikari Minami are in the U.K. this weekend for a series of interpromotional matches against European wrestlers from Pro Wrestling Eve.  The shows are on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 pm. at Gym Combat in Nottingham.  If you purchased tickets to see Shawn Michaels at 1PW and have not gotten a refund, show your receipt on the Sunday afternoon show and you will get free entrance.

--The ROH TV show is available today on the ROH web site.

--Steeltown Pro Wrestling on 10/21 in Morden, Manitoba at the Access Event Centre and 11/13 in Winnipeg at the Royal Canadian Legion Polish Branch.

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