WED. UPDATE: Notes on Real Sports MMA feature, motion to dismiss denied in CM Punk defamation case, and more

by David Bixenspan | davidbix@wrestlingobserver.com | Follow @davidbix

Tonight on TV:

NXT at 8:00 p.m. ET on WWE Network has -Eva Marie vs. Cassie, Baron Corbin vs. Mr. 450, Samoa Joe vs. Mike Rawlis, Emma vs. Bayley, The Vaudevillains vs. Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton, and the contract signing for Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens at NXT Takeover Brooklyn.

ROH at 8:00 p.m. ET on Destination America has The Briscoes, Roderick Strong, and ODB vs. Jay Lethal, Donovan Dijak, J Diesel, and Truth Martini.

Lucha Underground at 8:00 p.m. ET on El Rey has all of this: The true meaning of the Aztec Medallions will be revealed by Dario Cueto himself. Battles of the night include Texano vs Johnny Mundo, as well as Mack vs. Cage. The fun doesn’t stop there when the major event of the night will choose a winner for the final Aztec Medallion in the Battle Royal. The madness goes down on Wednesday, July 22nd at 8:00PM ET/PT on El Rey Network.

Impact Wrestling at 9:00 p.m. ET on Destination American has Dixie Carter announcing the next inductee to the TNA Hall of Fame, Matt Hardy vs. Bobby Roode in a tables match to determine the number one contender, Bram vs. Magnus in a street fight, and Eric Young vs. Rockstar Spud in a chain match.

No UFC programming on Fox Sports 1 this time.

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The newest issue of Figure Four Weekly is up on the site for subscribers (subscribe here) with an extensive look at the new NWA Classics streaming service, the Houston Wrestling library, and Houston’s place in wrestling history. Among the topics covered are:

* What made Houston Wrestling unique and how the town evolved.

* What’s on the NWA Classics service so far and why it’s awesome.

* What other libraries are still around?

And much more. Plus, as always, we have  all of the usual reviews and international news.

Also, now available for the first time on Kindle (meaning Kindle devices and anything with the Kindle app) is Fall Guys, the seminal 1937 book that has been described as being like the 1930s version of the Wrestling Observer. It was surprisingly not on Kindle already, so we put together a nice version with a full table of contents w/ chapter marks, proper formatting on everything, etc. Right now it’s available from the American, Canadian, and Australian Amazon/Kindle stores OR you can also buy it from anywhere in the world on PayHip, who will provide you with both Kindle and ePub (every other e-reader) format files, and you can either sideload them to your device or have them email it to your Kindle. 

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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.

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Wednesday Daily Update

— HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel had an extensive feature on domestic violence among MMA fighters last night, which is available now on HBO on Demand, HBO Go, and HBO Now. The reaction has been mixed, though it’s been hard to gauge how many of the people complaining actually saw the show.

What happened was that they were going to interview Christine “Christy Mack” Mackinday about the incident last Summer where War Machine (the former Jon Koppenhaver) attacked her. In doing their research, they found out about the other high profile domestic violence arrests of MMA fighters, taking note of how so many took place in close proximity (Josh Grispi’s arrests were days before Christy Mack was attacked). Their research, focusing on Americans in the “top 200” (presumably FightMetric’s rankings) of each weight class since 2003, found that MMA fighters are twice as likely to be domestic abusers.

More than anything else, HBO not giving any more detail about their research is the biggest fault with the piece. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s automatically flawed, but there’s no way to scrutinize it. That said, it was absolutely not the hit piece some people are making it out to be. They didn’t imply that being a MMA fighter makes someone an abuser or anything like that. Instead, in a segment where they interviewed Rener Gracie, it was chalked up to a few factors as to why abusers might flock to MMA (as opposed to the other way around):

1. People prone to violent outbursts will be drawn to the idea of fighting for money.

2. Steroid use makes it worse.

3. Abusers with MMA training, especially because of the submission grappling aspect, becme more “effective” abusers, as they gain knowledge of the breaking point of a limb, how long a choke must be held before someone passes out, and so on.

Qualms about the lack of transparency in the research about the frequency abuse aside,it’s a very good piece. The Christy Mack interview is not for the squeamish (including audio of the attack, as she managed to call 911 and set the phone down), but gives good insight into that whole situation. They also interviewed Jason “Mayhem” Miller, who is clearly not in good shape mentally, whatever the cause.

— Lots of publicity for Sheamus’s plane home after the SmackDown tapings requiring an emergency landing. He even tweeted a photo where he has one of the emergency oxygen masks on.

— As noted last night, UFC fired (or technically will no longer be hiring) veteran cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran after he did an interview with Bloody Elbow where he talked about losing the ability to wear sponsor logos on his vest while not getting any additional compensation from the UFC. He most likely won’t have any trouble getting work, but it’s not a good look.

— The judge denied a motion to dismiss Dr. Christopher Amann’s defamation lawsuit against Phil “CM Punk” Brooks and Scott “Colt Cabana” Colton. Not much in the way of details, though.

— Keith Elliott Greenberg has an extensive article about Virgil at FoxSports.com. Really good article covering the majrority of his career. For those not aware, with his newly active Twitter account and GoFundMe campaign to make $1 million so he can become “the real Million Dollar Man,” Virgil appears to now have some self-awareness about his public image these days…while not necessarily having full self-awareness about his image, if that makes sense. He’s now managed by The Iron Sheik’s representation who rebuilt his image, so that’s probably why. 

— Unsurprisingly lots of rave reviews for Daniel Bryan’s book, which was officially released yesterday in all formats. AVClub gave it an A-, for example.

— The Langley Times has a story about Don Leo Jonathan being honored at an independent show.

TODAY’S PRO WRESTLING VIDEOS (thanks to Thomas Rude)

TNA

The Question Mark (Episode 17)

A Look At TNA Wrestling Hall Of Famer:  Sting

GLOBAL FORCE WRESTLING

#GFWVegas:  PJ Back-Who Is “The “Darewolf?”

#GFWAmped:  Kevin Kross-I’m Going To Punch A Hole In Bobby Roode’s Head

#GFWAmped:  Nick Aldis-Whaat Is Your Opinion Of the GWF Roster?

#GFWAmped:  Reno Scum-United We Stand, Divided We Die

GFWAmped:  Sonjay Dutt-What Do Wrestling Fans Want?

#GFWAmped:  Chris Mordetzy-How Did You Become Involved With GFW?

#GFWAmped:  Kongo Kong-Why Is He Going To Win The GFW Global Championship?

#GFWAmped:  Lei’D Tapa-I’ve Also Played Other Sports Like Professional Football!

#GFWAmped:  Bollywood Boys-Will You Guys Be The Face Of GFW?

#GFWAmped:  Bollywood Boys-The GFW Tag Team Tournament Championship Tournament

#GFWAmped:  Kevin Kross-Who Is The Tollman?

#GFWAmped:  Bollywood Boys-They Talk About Their Heritage And How It Influences Them In The Ring

WWE/NXT

7/20/15 WWE Tough Enough Digital Extra:  GiGi Goes Head Over Heels During Ring Training

7/21/15 WWE Tough Enough Digital Extra:  The Coaches Get Brutally Honest With Predictions

7/21/15 WWE Tough Enough Digital Extra:  A Divide Among Divas In The Barracks?

7/21/15 WWE Tough Enough Digital Extra:  Can ZZ Survive The Obstacle Course?

7/21/15 WWE Tough Enough Digital Extra:  Chelsea Assesses Her Spot Post-Injury

7/21/15 WWE Tough Enough Digital Extra:  Chelsea Gets An Update On Her Ankle

7/21/15 WWE Network-Tough Talk

7/20/15 Top 10 RAW Moments

CHIKARA

Top 5 Moves Of Fire Ant

CHIKARA Podcast-A-Go-Go (Episode 425)

LUCHA UNDERGROUND

The Road To Ultima Lucha:  Matt Striker

INDY TV SHOWS

AIWF Mid-Atlantic TV (Episode 220)

Covey Pro Wrestling TV (Episode 215)

Powerbomb Championship Wrestling TV (Episode 35)

America’s Most Liked Wrestling TV (Season 1, Episode 12)

West Coast Wrestling Connection TV (Episode 60)

New England Championship Wrestling “Online” (Episode 8)

MISC. STUFF

West Virginia Championship Wrestling “Spotlight” (Episode 125)