SUN. UPDATE: Windham update, Odd man out in UFC, Foley's WWE return, WWE name change, RVD, Liddell
We're looking for your thoughts on last night's UFC 137 PPV show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're also looking for reports from the Thursday night TNA house show in San Francisco.
Raw will be live from Atlanta tomorrow and we're looking for reports from the show. C.M. Punk vs. Mark Henry is the announced main event, with Punk getting a title shot at Alberto Del Rio (not Mark Henry) if he beats Mark Henry. There is also a Jim Ross vs. Michael Cole challenge with the winner getting to stay as Jerry Lawler's sidekick on Raw and the loser getting to stay home on Monday nights for the time being.
Smackdown and NXT are taped on Tuesday night in Greenville, SC.
WWE, which had no weekend house shows, returns to Europe on Wednesday for a two week tour. Raw opens Wednesday night in Dublin, Ireland. Thursday has Raw in Nantes, France and Smackdown in Bilbao, Spain.
The return of The Rock at Survivor Series is the subject of the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The issue is up on the site today, and a back issue was put on the site yesterday. In addition, our most talked about issue of the year, the Hall of Fame issue is available on the site for web site subscribers, and you can still get the issue with a new print subscription if requested.
We also have a look at the Viacom purchase of Bellator and what it means for U.S. MMA going forward, as well as notes on two different sets of the leading wrestling companies in the world this past week in discussions to further working agreements and why.
Our lead story talks about the angle setting up Rock & John Cena vs. The Miz & R-Truth. We look at how tickets moved for Survivor Series when Rock was announced, as well as what the scalper situation of ticket sales based on anticipating huge demand. We also look at the unique effect the return of Rock has on the popularity of John Cena and why. We look at the match itself, whether Miz & R-Truth are the right opponents, notes on HHH vs. Kevin Nash, thoughts on the HHH angle, title matches and more.
We also look at the Vengeance PPV, including major notes on the show, thoughts on the creative, business notes and match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
We also look at the business of WrestleMania this past year, the value to a city, comparisons with the Super Bowl and Final Four, comparisons to UFC in Toronto and other UFC events, and a breakdown of who bought tickets to WrestleMania and from where. We also note why John Cena gets a different reaction based on different types of shows.
We've got notes on WrestleMania tickets, an update on Gerald Brisco, WWE fires announcer and tries to reprise Michael Cole character into Spanish, updates on the plans for the WWE Network, new positions WWE is looking to hire, a WWE policy change that was changed again bringing comedy to the commentary, Mick Foley's return, former WWE wrestler says he's going into MMA in 2012, update on Batista, lots of names having tryouts for WWE positions last week and why. We also look at the company's feeling on twitter, Heath Slater talks his suspension, Raw Canada numbers as well as what percentage of Raw viewers watch live and not live. We also look at the return of a wrestler that looks to be fairly soon with a new name, Legends roundtable shows filmed, WWE wrestlers working non-WWE stars, and the son of a wrestling legend doing a tryout camp. We also look at post-Christmas WWE lineups including a non-wrestler booked for an angle which at this point hasn't taken place. Plus we've got notes from the lone weekend house show and business notes.
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 Bellator purchase by Viacom and what that means to the company going forward. We look at the plans for 2013, why this is going to take so long to develop, how this changes thing for Bellator and comparisons made between Bellator and TNA.
We also look at ads aimed at major professionals by both UFC and WWE, what they claim, what is and isn't accurate about claims, the breakdown of who actually watches UFC and WWE on television and more.
We also have a look at All Japan's last major show of the year at Sumo Hall. We look at Jun Akiyama winning the Triple Crown, his background, why historically that result is significant, All Japan plans going forward, and where its business stands.
We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week. We also have a breakdown of Raw and Impact and what segments gained and lost viewers so you can see what segments and personalities people tune in and out from.
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:
--Trying to promote a major wrestling group when the TV is preempted
--Father of a wresting family passes away
--Update on Jushin Liger in Mexico
--Star quits CMLL
--Davey Richards defends the ROH title in Mexico
--Legendary brother team faces former WWE stars
--Updated ratings from Mexico
--Upcoming major shows
--Two reality show ideas that are being talked about in wrestling, one to have a star become the person playing a former top star and another based on Tough Enough
--Update on Dragon Gate USA's next tour
--More on the change in the hierarchy at Pro Wrestling NOAH
--How much money did one of the biggest shows of the year raise for charity
--Thoughts on New Japan's last major show
--Update on the New Japan annual tag team tournament
--Crazy Antonio Inoki statement
--Daughter of wrestling legend and her last Olympic dream
--One night revival of one of the 90s most popular wrestling companies with old stars coming back
--Update on Killer Karl Kox
--Two wrestling shows look to be on their last legs
--More on the ESPN story on Scott Hall
--Update on Travis Tomko after his arrest
--Thoughts on the AWE PPV show
--What former star gets the most money for doing personal appearances nowadays
--Jury convicts several in the murder death of a wrestler a few years back and the sick plot described
--Former pro wrestler says he's going back to amateur this year for Canadian Olympic trials
--More notes on Curtis Iaukea in Australia and the heyday of WCW
--Former Tough Enough personality turns down $50,000 to appear on a reality show and why
--Update on Bruno Sammartino movie
--Several wrestlers talking about doing autobiographies
--Notes on Memphis Heat, the DVD
--A famous wrestler cited in a song
--Wrestler and MMA star together in a movie
--A look at a reunion of wrestles from the Gulas territory
--Story behind a former indie wrestler killed by New York police in a fight
--A lot of where are they nows with 80s and 90s wrestlers
--Notes on the return to the ring of Nigel McGuinness
--Thoughts on ROH booking and the good and bad of the television show
--Lots of new ROH shows
--The push of Garrett Bischoff
--Eric Bischoff behind a new non-wrestling television show for Nick at Nite
--Update on Kurt Angle injuries
--More on latest TNA Jersey Shore angle
--Notes on next TNA PPV show
--Gail Kim talks about her departure from WWE
--Update on Georges St. Pierre's injuries
--More on UFC losses for GSP not fighting
--Notes on UFC going back into theaters for 3-D shows
--Why UFC PPV buyers say they aren't buying recent shows
--Ticket sales for all the upcoming UFC shows
--Update on Feb. 25 UFC plans
--Note on movie "The Hammer" about the life of UFC star Matt Hamill
--UFC donating money to a presidential candidate
--Kenny Florian talks his future
--UFC foes mobilize and jump on former statements
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Notes on the last Bellator show and the bantamweight tournament
--Boxing PPV numbers
--Harrowing weight cutting story
--Bobby Lashley's next MMA fight
--Former MMA names arrested this past week
--Notes on major indie MMA shows with name fighters
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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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
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
America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--Barry Windham's issues were officially diagnosed as a massive heart attack. He's currently in stable condition in a hospital in Florida that he was just moved to.
--Malki Kawa, the agent for Carlos Condit, wrote, "Carlos Condit didn't just step aside. GSP is choosing to fight Nick." Well, Dana is choosing to promote Nick. He said he's sure White is going to make it worth Condit's while.
--WWE has stopped advertising Mick Foley for the 11/14 Raw show in Boston that was billed as "Rock Reunion," because of The Rock & Sock Connection planned reunion. Foley had never been told 100% when advertised he was on the show but he was talked with about the date.
--Was the Northeast snow storm serious enough to have an affect on UFC numbers for last night?
--Our weekend radio show is up today covering last night's UFC, as well as the latest from WWE, UFC and TNA. We'll be back after Raw on Monday night.
--Bryan and Mike Sempervive on Wrestling Observer Live at 6 p.m. Eastern and 3 p.m. Pacific is on this site, as well as Sirius Ch. 94, XM Ch. 208 and on Sports Byline affiliates nationwide.
--It is now official that Sin Cara Negro's wrestling name is Hunico, the name he used before becoming the second Sin Cara.
--At the TNA house shows over the weekend, because they were doing Bobby Roode as a heel defending against James Storm, Jeremy Borash made an announcement regarding what happened at TV at the start of both shows.
--The GSP vs. Nick Diaz welterweight title fight, if it takes place on 2/4, will be airing in theaters around the U.S. in 3-D.
--We're looking for a correspondent who can cover non-UFC MMA shows (Bellator and HDNet shows) for the site as well as someone who would like to cover Superstars either off the Internet or off international television.
--What show do you think will do a bigger rating
UFC on FOX 11/12 62.4%
Three-hour Raw with Rock 11/14 37.6%
--Who takes this fight?
Mayhem Miller 51.7%
Michael Bisping 48.3%
--What company has the worst problems with PEDs
--Poll on Smackdown
43.9% of those responding didn't see the show
--USA Today will be doing a major feature on UFC on 11/9.
--Chuck Liddell was on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown show today talking about NFL players tapping out during games (thanks to Brian Henke)
--Cain Velasquez was on FOX NFL today with Howie Long. Long made a joke and Cain didn't laugh, but everyone else did. (thanks to Bill Beecroft)
--On last night's show, Todd Martin went 5-0, while Me, Bryan and Mike Sempervive were 4-1, Josh Nason and Mike Sawyer with 3-2 and Oliver Copp was 2-3.
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia is actually regarding UFC referee Herb Dean. While Dean is best known as a referee, he's competed as a fighter and holds a 2-3 record with his last fight being a TKO loss to Dave Legeno at Cage Rage 22 on July 14, 2002, in London, England. In 2003, he lost via submission to Joe Riggs. John McCarthy has never fought in MMA, but he was contacted to fight in Pride, but turned it down when he was told he had to do the job for Nobuhiko Takada, his planned opponent.
--Cima announced that Uhaa Nation will be making his debut in Dragon Gate in Japan shortly. Rich Swann is currently in Japan until the end of the year. (thanks to Daniel Short)
--Tommy Dreamer will be on the CHIKARA iPPV on 11/13 from Philadelphia. Dreamer will be in the corner of Eddie Kingston when he faces Mike Quackenbush in the main event to crown the Grand Champion of CHIKARA.
--Preliminary estimates of Friday night's World Series final game is that it did 23.2 million viewers. Final numbers will be out later.
--Impact Zone Wrestling on 11/5 in Lawton, OK at the Impact Arena on iPPV through GFL.tv
--River City Wrestling on 11/5 in San Antonio at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.
--USWO from Friday night in Nashville: Psycho Medic b Shawn Hoodrich, L.T. Falk b Bryan Casey, Nick Iggy & Mike Revick d Damien Payne & Josh Crow, Jocephus b Chris Michaels, Bully Douglas b Gary Valiant (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--CZW on 11/5 in Indianapolis and 11/12 in Philadelphia at the Asylum Arena.
--Crossfire Entertainment on 11/5 in Nashville at the Fairgrounds with Fit Finlay making his local debut against Al Snow in a first-time ever match, plus New Age Outlaws vs David Young & Sigmon, Kid Kash vs. Steve Richards and appearances by Maria Kanellis and Shane Douglas.
--CMLL on Friday night in Guadalajara: Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno b Los Rayos Tapatios I & II, Fuego & Guerrero Maya Jr. & Stuka Jr. b Exterminador & Malefico & Rafaga, Dalis la Caribena & Estrellita & Goya Kong b Princesa Sugei & Seductora & Mima Shimoda, Olimpico & Psicosis & Volador Jr. b La Mascara & Metro & Sagrado to keep Mexican national trios titles, Atlantis b Ultimo Guerrero
--There is a special FULL show at Arena Monterrey today with Blue Demon Jr. & El Hijo del Santo & L.A. Park vs. Carlito & Colt Cabana & Rikishi. Monday night has a show in the border town of Matamoros with Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras Sr. & Cassandro vs. Carlito & Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Rikishi. Tuesday in Reynosa has Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras Sr. & El Hijo del Canek vs. Carlito & Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Rikishi (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--SWA on 11/5 at the Forest City, NC Armory featuring the return of Chris Hamrick.
--GOUGE from last night in Wake Forest, NC: Mickey Gambino b Goat and Redman to win jr. title, Otto Schwanz b Leatherface, Lou Marconi won three-way over Mike West and Vector to win the Spaceman Frank Hickey Memorial Scientific Trophy, Rob McBride & Seymour Snott b Frank Stalleto & Mickey Gamino, Jimmy Jack Funk Jr. b Sean Alexander
--Mid Missouri Wrestling Alliance from last night in Lemay, MO: Lumberjacks (managed by Dave Hebner) b Tony Raze & Big Texan, Brandon Espinosa b Dave Osborne, Phil E. Blunt b Johnny Courageous, Dave Vaughn b Max Archer, Gary Jackson b Ace Hawkins, Brandon Espinosa b Phil E. Blunt-COR, Brandon Espinosa b LaMarcus Clinton, Gary Jackson b Dave Vaughn, Stacy O'Brien b Jimmy D, Brandon Espinosa b Gary Jackson to win one-night tournament (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
--ECWA doubleheader with shows at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on 11/19 in Newark, DE at the Greater Newark Boys & Girls Club featuring a tag team tournament.
--CRW from last night in Montreal before 115 fans: Big Bryan Kevin b Maverick, Chris Cruze & Johnny Jack Spade b Shayne Hawke Stew Ramjattan, Mike Gibson b Leon Saver, Super Smash Brothers b Thomas Dubois & Mathieu St.Jacques, LuFisto & Kalamity b Angelie Skyde & Missy, Pitbull Brando b John Fury in a dog collar match, Paul Rosenberg b Pat Skillz, Dru Onyx b Sylvain Grenier, Jake Matthews won three-way over Michael Elgin and Darkko, Davey Richards b Kevin Steen. Ted DiBiase Sr. was at the show unadvertised since he was a last minute addition doing a meet and greet (thanks to Pat Laprade)