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THURS UPDATE: TNA to re-edit shows, Undertaker & Sting, Fedor, Historian death, Ziggler, Swick, Angle

By Dave Meltzer

Smackdown tonight on Syfy:

Lucha Dragons vs. New Day

Jack Swagger vs. King Barrett

Cesaro vs. Rusev

Neville vs. Stardust

Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus & Big Show

The Conor McGregor phenomenon and the new direction of women in WWE and a history of women in WWE are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  The issue is on the site right now at July 20, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: UFC 189 report, WWE calls up NXT women

Web site subscriptions, which include access to both current and older newsletters as well as every audio show in the history of the site are at  Sign up here for as low as $9.99 per month!

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The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.

Our lead story talks about the Conor McGregor phenomenon, how it ushered in the new era of UFC, the business notes on the show, McGregor's popularity in Ireland, why iPPV numbers probably set records, U.K. reaction, what to learn from McGregor vs. Mendes, how risky a gamble this fight was, similar gambles from the past, the story of the fight, McGregor vs. Aldo next, Ultimate Fighter and a full rundown of UFC 189.

We also look at WWE's bringing up Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks this past week, and a look back at the history of women performers in WWE dating back to the Wendi Richter vs. Fabulous Moolah match in 1984.  We look at the forgotten best women's matches in main roster history and best workers, and failed attempt to market athletic women, what really happened with Aja Kong, We also look at the different ways this can go, how the angles changed, how the angle was done, as well as how UFC made it work and what was the same and different.

We also look at what may be UFC's biggest event of 2016, the UFC 200 show.

We also look at the NXT show in Brooklyn and the busy weekend in the New York area, notes on when the next WWE network number will be released and what it would be up to, as well as break-even, and the peak number.  We look at advance sales for Battleground and the card, Lennox Lewis admits to almost doing a mixed match with Brock Lesnar in 2003, the story behind that fight and why it never happened, William Regal explains what WWE is looking for in new talent in a fascinating interview, notes on the future of Smackdown, who are planned to be focal point of NXT, Ziggler, Cody Runnels, update on Tyson Kidd, key WWE exec gets fired and new major WWE stock purchase by one of the richest men in Holland.

We also look at an update on several legal proceedings involving WWE suits, notes on Tough Enough, as well as a rundown of the weekend NXT and WWE house shows with business notes on the shows.

We also look at this year's UFC induction ceremony, how it has changed, its future goals, and the speeches by Bas Rutten, B.J. Penn, Matt Hughes Frank Trigg, Lori Blatnick and many others.  We look at the histories of all the inductees as well.

We also have more on Fedor Emelianenko being shopped around for a comeback at the age of 38.  We look at who he is, what he said just a few months ago about a comeback, if it is realistic to expect a match with Brock Lesnar, what Fedor said directly a few months ago about a match with Lesnar, as well as how UFC or Bellator can use him.

We also look at UFC's Sunday show in Las Vegas and business notes on the show.

The Observer is the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
Also in this week's issue:

--A look at the big weekly event at Arena Mexico

--Build to CMLL's big summer show

--A major big show controversy and a lot of buck passing involved

--Top matches for this year's TripleMania

--A look at this past week's AAA TV taping

--Wrestling returns to Royal Albert Hall in London

--A major star celebrates 30th anniversary of his pro debut

--Third generation legend makes debut

--Wrestle-1 announces its own tournament

--Coverage of Wrestle-1 show from the past week

--Notes on the G-1 debut card

--Shinya Hashimoto death anniversary show

--More on Dusty Rhodes and one of his most famous angles

--A look at the build of Starrcade 85

--GFW's road shows and TV tapings

--A look at the Waterloo wrestling Hall of Fame and this year's inductions

--A match of the year candidate

--Former WWE star falls into more problems

--One match which features champions from New Japan, a top star of Evolve, the TNA world champion, a Lucha Underground champion, anther TNA wrestler as well as a WWE wrestler and an ROH wrestler all in the same match

--A look at Tommy Dreamer's next show

--Update on Alberto Del Rio

--Update on Lucha Underground

--Movie being made about a Lucha Underground star

--More on ROH over WrestleMania weekend

--This week's upcoming ROH show in Las Vegas

--A look this past week's ROH show

--More on the future of TNA

--Update on Davey Richards

--Something to watch for when it comes to UFC fans

--Update on Travis Browne situation

--This week's UFC show on FS 1 and Fight Pass Titan show

--More on C.M. Punk and his debut

--More on fighters and prospective TV show ideas

--Cris Cyborg, UFC and Invicta

--New UFC fights

--Lawsuit filed regarding Bellator

--This week's Bellator show

--Notes on how new Bellator announcer used to write for a wrestling newsletter

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories 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.

Click here for the most requested Wrestling Observer back issues.


  • We have a couple of new shows up on the site, one with Tom Lawlor talking last night's UFC and the latest pro wrestling news, and another with Bruce Mitchell talking conventions, the Waterloo Hall of Fame and ironies about what the business was and is.
  • TNA has had to stop showing all footage with Hernandez, which means all footage of the Beatdown Crew going forward after getting a cease and desist letter from Lucha Underground, who claimed either he was still under contract, or if not, under a non-compete, but either way was not legally able to be wrestling at this time on television for TNA.
  • As noted in:Update on Undertaker and Sting in WWE and on Wrestling Observer Radio 7/15: Huge news show, Sting, Undertaker, Conor McGregor, UFC Fight Night, both Undertaker and Sting are scheduled for SummerSlam.  As of the last word, both were scheduled for matches on the show.  Undertaker is expected to start his angle for the show in the next few days.
  • Vadim Finkelchtein said today that he was surprised when he was told Fedor Emelianenko wanted to come back, saying he only told him about a week ago that he might come back and he told him he wanted to come back just a few days ago.
  • Very sorry to report on the death of Fred Hornby, one of pro wrestling's most noted historians.  Hornby's research led to the original Buddy Rogers record book as well as the history of wrestling in Madison Square Garden book, and tons of other books.  He passed away yesterday after entering into hospice care a few days ago.   
  • In an interview with SavageHenry Magazine, Dolph Ziggler said he was in the process of finalizing his contract renewal with WWE after considering taking time off wrestling.  He said he's got a few months left on his current contract but decided to sign a new deal saying he loves the business more than anything.
  • Kurt Angle is home and recovering from his emergency surgery yesterday which is described in Angle undergoes emergency second surgery
  • After his loss to Alex Garcia on Saturday night, Mike Swick has announced his retirement.  He said he was healthy and injury free for the first time in eight years, but realized he was older and not what he used to be and said he knows he's done.  He said he will continue to run his AKA Thailand gym.
  • Josh Barnett, Maryse Mizanin and Chris Jericho are all in the new Sharknado film which airs on 7/22 on Syfy.
  • WWE stock is back over $17 a share, closing today at $17.06 after a gain of 10 cents per share.
  • For those attending WrestleMania, rooms at the Hyatt Regency, the site of WrestleCon, are going fast.  There is also a secondary host hotel for the overflow at the Springhill Suites in Dallas.  
  • For the Saturday and Sunday UFC shows:

Jack Encarnacao, Josh Nason, Mike Sawyer, Steve Juon and John Pollock went 5-2

David Bixenspan and Frontrow Brian went 4-3

I went 3-4

Mike Sempervive went 2-5

For last night's show:

Me, Mike Sawyer and Jack Encarnacao went 5-0

Josh Nason, Mike Sempervive, John Pollock and Frontrow Brian went 4-1

Steve Juon and David Bixenspan went 3-2

  • Six episodes of Global Supercard Wrestling air tonight on ESPN Classics (thanks to Victor Martinez)
  • According to Comic Book Movies, Adam "Edge" Copeland is currently filming an episode of "The Flash" for CW.  He will play a masked villain.
  • The 8/22 WWE NXT Takeover special in Brooklyn has already sold more tickets in the pre-sale than the previous record for NXT of 4,700 set for the San Jose show two nights before WrestleMania. 
  • Bellator has announced an 8/28 show in Temecula, CA at the Pechanga Resort & Casino with Melvin Guillard (32-14-2, 2 no contests) vs. Brandon Girtz (11-4) and Saad Awad (18-6) vs. Patricky Pitbull Freire (13-6). 
  • The brother of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, makes his debut for WSOF on 8/1 in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood.  The main event on that show is Rousimar Palhares vs. Jake Shields to the welterweight title.
  • GOUGE on 7/18 in Fuquay Varina, NC at the Draft Line Brewing Company.
  • AAW tomorrow night in Merrionette Park, IL at 115 Bourbon Street has Ethan Page vs. Johnny Gargano, Dave & Jake Crist vs. Devin & Mason Cutter, Matt Cage vs. Shane Hollister, Chris Hero vs. Tommaso Ciampa and more.  
  • WWE returns to Montreal on 9/18 at the Bell Centre.
  • Blue Demon Jr. & Alebrije vs. Pentagon Black & Pierroth headline 7/26 in Houston at Club LaBoom
  • ECWA on Saturday night in Woodbury Heights, NJ at the Community Center.
  • ECCW on 8/7 in Port Coquitlam, BC will all net proceeds going to Sam Donovan and her family.  Donovan was diagnosed with leukemia for the second time in a year and is awaiting a bone marrow transplant.  Sam's parents have moved to a Ronald McDonald House and this is to help pay their expenses.
  • ECCW will have shows from 7/31 to 8/3 at the Agrifair in Abbotsford, BC,.  All shows are free with fair admission.
  • ACE Anarchy on 8/8 in Wallington, NJ at the Morgan Jr. Arena with Ethan Carter III of TNA vs. Ricky Reyes of Lucha Underground.
  • Former WWE creative team member Kevin Eck talks banned words
  • Trailer for the movie "Sisters," which includes John Cena
  • An interesting issue that is no doubt adversely impacting the WWE Network as well
  • An interview with Gabi, latest contestant eliminated from Tough Enough
  • Conor McGregor on an MMA Forum four years ago
  • Destiny Wrestling on 8/30 in Mississauga, ONT at the Dan Kolov Arena at Santino Marella's Gym featuring Team 3-D, Kongo Kong, Robbie McAllister, PJ Black, Kevin Cross and more.
  • World League Wrestling from last night in Troy, MO:  Brandon Espinosa b Jon Webb, Mike Outlaw won three-way over Dustin Bozworth and John E. Rock, Leland Race & Trevor Murdoch b Justin D'Air & Kyle Roberts (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
  • One Championships announced these new six dates:

9/1 in Shanghai, China

9/27 in Jakarta, Indonesia

10/9 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

11/7 in Macau, China

11/13 in Singapore

12/11 in Manila, The Philippines

  • Grand Slam Wrestling on 8/8 in Moosic, PA at the Moosic Youth Center. 
  • Lucha Libre on 8/23 in Toronto at the Royal Canadian Legion Longbranch 101 with Shelly Martinez, Ricky Reyes, Lince Dorado, Mr. 450 and Los Ben Dejos.
  • Victory Commonwealth Wrestling on 8/16 at 2 p.m. in Ajax, ONT at Yuk Yuk's.
  • All Star Wrestling on 7/24 in Cloverdale, BC at the Alice McKay Building will be honoring Vance Nevada, Bob Steele, Moondog Ed Moretti, Roy McClarity and Don Leo Jonathan, on a show headlined by Gangrel vs. Moondog Manson in a dog collar chain match.
  • Big West Wrestling on 7/17 in Kelowna, BC at Lake City Bowling & Billiards.
  • The much delayed Bob Backlund autobiography is now slated for a mid to end of September release.  This was a change from late August, but the people involved with the project are saying that they don't anticipate any further delays.  (thanks to Richard Wierzbowski)
  • The Toronto Sun ran a story on wrestlers, boxers and judokas from the Venezuelan national team spending a few weeks prior to the Pan American Games training at Santino Marella's Gym.  The story noted that several of the wrestlers and judokas were big pro wrestling fans who knew who Marella was.  Marella said he was called by a Pan Am games official a few months ago about opening his gym to combat sports athletes from another country and he was all for it.  He said several of the Venezuelan athletes attended a beginning pro wrestling class for fun as well.

Click here for the WWE Network schedule


1976 - Carlos Plata beat Adorable Rubi in Mexico City to win the NWA light heavyweight title

1978 - Bobby Lee beat Solar in Monterrey to win the UWA welterweight title

2000 - Momoe Nakanishi & Nanae Takahashi (who works this week for ROH) beat Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita in a tournament finals for the vacant WWWA tag titles

2003 - KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji beat Jushin Liger & Takehiro Murahama in a tournament final in Osaka to crown the first GHC jr. tag champs

2004 - Santino Marella beat Umaga in Milan, Italy to win the IC title

2010 - Hector Garza & Mr. Aguila beat La Sombra & Volador Jr. in Mexico City to win the CMLL tag titles



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