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Thank You, Axl Rotten (And R.I.P.)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tonight's Episode Of 'ECW On Sci Fi' Is In The Books

The lowdown from Phoenix, Arizona's US Airways Center:

- Another change in opening theme (same one they used to used for 'One Night Stand'), I see. Yeah, that'll boost ratings.

- John Morrison went to the ring, said some stuff, introduced the next participant in his little challenge, then took all of twenty-seconds to beat the (unnamed) dude's ass. This kid used to be so cool, but now he's trying way too hard. Why did Morrison's opponent have belt loops on his wrestling trunks? Morrison was ready for another challenge, which led to Tommy Dreamer, Elijah Burke and (surprise, surprise) CM Punk all saying they should be next. Morrison wanted them to meet in a 'Triple-Threat Match,' with the winner going on to face him on next week's show. C'mon, Elijah!

- Stevie Richards defeated Kevin Thorn. Despite the built-in story of Richards' "upset" win, not much heat. Well, not for Thorn, anyway. Thorn was again dominating, but missed a charge into the corner. Richards hit a fluke schoolboy and scored another pin.

- Big-Daddy-V (accompanied by Matt Striker) fustigated three guys (one of them was last night's Brandon Dentson), all of whom bumped like a mofo for him, so it was fun to watch, but not enough for me to take note of the finish. I do know slamming was somehow involved. After the bout, The Boogeyman (with new contact lenses) chased V and Striker from the ring.

- Extreme Exposé danced. Layla then introduced The Miz (he's a chick magnet), who went on to defeat Balls Mahoney. Miz' awesome kneelift/swinging-neckbreaker combo was too much for Mahoney to handle. Miz then got to celebrate and leave with the babes.

- Burke claimed to be on his way to ECW gold. I wish.

- Punk defeated Dreamer and Burke, so he's in next week's main event. Damn good match, with each man taking their share of high-impact bumps. I missed how it happened, but Burke ended up with a (very) bloody mouth. Punk ended up isolating Burke, hitting the 'GTS,' and scoring the pin. After the bout, Dreamer and Punk shook hands.

This didn't do much for me, but I was also distracted and wasn't payin' a lot of attention, so I wasn't hatin' it, either.

PS: If you care, they aired videos on two of tonight's main-event participants. I didn't care, so I think you can guess which one didn't get a video.

Combat-Hooligans.com Show Episode 2, With Daniel Puder!

Travis Lutter Unable To Fight At UFC 74

Travis Lutter, scheduled to face Ryan Jensen on August 24, has been forced to pull out of that fight, citing a flare-up of a neck injury, which occurred while training on Saturday.

No word on Lutter's replacement, but it's plenty early enough to find one, so I'll keep you abreast of further developments.

Final Ratings Info For Last Week's Episode Of 'WWE SmackDown'

According to data supplied by Nielsen Media Research, the show finished with a 2.6/5.0, pretty much where it's been for the summer.

Jeff Hardy May Be Ruining His Last Big Chance

I'm not gonna jump to conclusions (maybe the kid has one hell of an explanation, or this is somehow related to a miscommunication), but Jeff Hardy was a no-call/no-show at last night's RAW taping.

Hardy was penciled-in to challenge for Umaga's Intercontinental title at 'SummerSlam,' a bout which now appears to be in jeopardy, although WWE's yet to even hint at another direction for Umaga, so that could be a good sign for Hardy's future with the company.

Programming Alert: BDSSP Presents Two-Nights Worth Of PRIDE FC

Not sure exactly what this will be (well, other than repeats), but on Thursday and Friday, FSN's 'Best Damn Sport Show, Period,' will feature two nights of 'Best Damn PRIDE Fighting.'

If you're really interested, check your local listings, because I doubt I'll be watching it.

Karl Gotch's Cause Of Death

According to what Osamu Nishimura told Nikkan Sports, a couple of weeks before Karl Gotch's death, he had undergone emergency surgery to remove an aortic aneurysm, and never fully recovered.

I'm no rocket surgeon, but in layman's terms, Gotch had a bubble in aorta, which is, like, some kind of important vein.

Update On Condition Of Bobby Lashley

To put heat on Mr. Kennedy, WWE has credited him with injuring Bobby Lashley's left shoulder, but the actual injury (believed to be a torn rotator-cuff) is legit.

Not sure what happened, or when, but Lashley is set to meet with Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday, where the full damage will be assessed.

Lashley and Carlito's 'SummerSlam' match is still tentatively planned, assuming Lashley can go.

Dallas Rolls Out Red Carpet For "Art Of War"

Courtesy of SUN Sports & Entertainment Inc.:

Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Welcomes Fans to Dallas for September 1st Event

DALLAS, TX--(July 31, 2007) - SUN Sports & Entertainment, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: SSPE) and the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) are rolling out the Red Carpet to promote the "Art of War" as one of their marquee events in Dallas this year.

The invitations have been sent, the arena is ready, the television crew have been working day and night and the city of Dallas is on edge. The list of VIPs is being kept strictly confidential. Movie Stars, Musical Artists, Athletes, Corporate CEO's, Politicians, and the exclusive "A List" have been assembled to what is being referred to as 'one of the biggest parties Dallas has ever hosted' to be televised around the world.

Phillip Jones, CEO of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, in an open letter stated, "We look forward to hosting the world championship Mixed Martial Arts -- 'Art of War' event at the American Airlines Center on September 1, 2007. We are excited that Dallas was chosen as the location for the largest International Team Mixed Martial Arts Event featuring USA and Brazil."

The fun at SUN does not stop there. The "Art of War," Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) championship event produced by SUN, will also be hosting demonstrations during the 14th Annual Sports & Fitness Super Show on August 10-11, 2007 at the Dallas Convention Center. This year's Super Show will feature a mix of athletic competitions, martial arts, a model search, displays by fitness and supplement companies and the first annual O'Reilly Custom Car Super Show presented by Subaru of America.

"Art of War is one of the most dynamic, adrenaline-pumping events in the growing world of mixed martial arts," said Ed Pariso, Show Producer at Vision Entertainment, Inc. "We'll have the official Art of War fight cage on-site with world-class athletes demonstrating what it takes to survive these battles. It'll be quite a show."

Entering the cage will be Art of War stars Justin Wren, Alex "El Toro" Andrade and Anthony Njokuani, UFC champ Travis Lutter, three-time U.S. Olympic wrestler Kenny Monday and local mixed martial arts fighters Buddy Clinton and Jason House. Judo legend Mike Swain and Scott Templeton of Dollamur Martial Arts in Southlake will also conduct a Judo demonstration. In addition, tickets to "Art of War 3 - Team USA vs. Team Brazil" at Dallas' American Airlines Center on September 1, 2007, will be on sale during the Super Show.

The Art of War 3 will feature a World Championship fight featuring the first time ever, US National Team vs. the Brazilian National Team. Headlining the ten-bout card will be the Heavyweight Championship Fight for the IFA Belt between Jeff "the Snowman" Monson who will face defending and current IFA Champion Pedro "the Rock" Rizzo. This will also be the first Pay-Per-View MMA event ever produced by the Dallas company, SUN. Tickets may be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com.

About SUN:

SUN is a Professional Sports & Entertainment Production Company. SUN is a Certified and Licensed Combat Sports Promoter and produces World Class Mixed Martial Arts Events. The properties of SUN Sports & Entertainment (www.SUNorganization.com), Art of War LIVE (www.artofwarLIVE.com) International Fighters Association (www.IFApro.com), USA National Team - Team USA MMA (www.teamUSAmma.com) and UNDERGROUND Cage Fighting (www.undergroundcagefighting.com), are pending trademarks.

About Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau is an independent, not-for-profit organization comprised of professionals promoting Dallas as a destination for business and pleasure. Our mission is to promote Dallas as the ideal business and pleasure destination to the regional, national, and international marketplace, and to favorably impact the Dallas economy through conventions and tourism. DCVB efforts have significantly increased awareness of Dallas locally, nationally, and internationally, and have resulted in Dallas being recognized as one of the top convention destinations in the nation and the #1 visitor destination in the state of Texas. More information please visit (http://www.visitdallas.com/visitors/events/events.details.php?id=8999)

Safe Harbor Statement -- This release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 27E of the Securities Act of 1934. Statements contained in this release that are not historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain. Actual performance and results may differ materially from that projected or suggested herein due to certain risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, ability to obtain financing and regulatory and shareholder approvals for anticipated actions. Such statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to certain factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, events and performance to differ materially from those referred to or implied by such statements. In addition, actual or future results may differ materially from those anticipated depending on a variety of factors, including continued maintenance of favorable license arrangements, success of market research identifying new product opportunities, successful introduction of new products, continued product innovation, sales and earnings growth, ability to attract and retain key personnel, and general economic conditions affecting consumer spending. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Sun Sports & Entertainment Inc. does not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in its expectations, except as may be required by law.

For Further Information:
SUN Corporate Contact
Ms. Taylor L. Cole, APR
Director of Public Relations

Media and Event Promotion
Mr. Lester Bedford
The Bedford Agency

Top 'Ultimate Fighter(R)' Alumni Take To The Octagon(R) On Spike TV's 'UFC(R) Fight Night(TM)' Wednesday, September 19 At 9:00pm ET/PT

Courtesy of Spike TV:

Din Thomas, Nate Diaz, Chris Leben, and Mike Swick All Face Tough Tests In Nationally Televised Fight Card

NEW YORK, July 31 -- For The Ultimate Fighter(R) alumni Din Thomas (Season 4), Nate Diaz (Season 5 champ) Chris Leben (Season 1) and Mike Swick (Season 1), the Ultimate(R) Fight Night(TM) on Spike TV Wednesday, September 19 at 9:00pm ET/PT will provide a golden opportunity to showcase their talents in front of a nationally televised audience. Each fighter is facing a tough test with the winners moving up the UFC(R) ranks and another step closer to a title shot. The two-hour live fight card will take place live from The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV.

Din Thomas (23-7) may have gained national recognition on Season 4 of The Ultimate Fighter last year, but the 30 year-old fighter was already well-known to mixed martial arts fans with a resume including an impressive win over current welterweight champ Matt Serra at UFC 41 in 2003. Now, the American Top Team product out of Port St. Lucie, Fl. looks to ascend the lightweight ranks against Spencer "The King" Fisher (21-3). The 31 year-old Team Miletich fighter from Bettendorf, Iowa earned national acclaim when he won a hard- fought decision over Canadian Sam Stout on Spike TV in June. With three wins in his last four UFC fights, "The King" is inching closer for a shot at the UFC lightweight throne.

A bold personality from Season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter, Chris "The Crippler" Leben (16-4), was a rising star in the UFC with five straight victories until his career was sidetracked by a devastating stoppage at the hands of current middleweight king, Anderson Silva, last June. Leben, fighting out of Gresham, Ore., has lost two of his last three bouts, and is desperate for a win against Chicago's Terry Martin (18-2). The 26-year-old Martin, working toward a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, is on a two-fight winning streak in the UFC including a first round TKO over Ivan Salaverry at UFC 71 in May.

The Ultimate Fighter 5 champ Nate Diaz (6-2) gets his first big opportunity as a UFC fighter against the tough Atlanta-based Junior Assuncao (6-2). Diaz was awarded a six-figure multi-fight deal with the UFC when he defeated Manny Gamburyan in the second round of their nationally-televised bout in June. Diaz will look to use his impressive array of submission skills against the hard-charging Assuncao.

Mike Swick (10-2) was on the fast track to a UFC title shot with a five- fight winning streak since appearing on The Ultimate Fighter 1 with wins over vets David Loiseau and Joe Riggs. However, the talented 28-year-old fighting out of San Jose, Calif. lost a decision in a three-round war to Yushin Okami at UFC 69 in April. Now he is dropping down to welterweight to fight Canadian Jonathan "The Road Warrior" Goulet (19-8), who trains with UFC star Georges St-Pierre, and is making his fifth appearance on a Spike TV fight card.

The undercard will also feature prominent The Ultimate Fighter alumni as Gray Maynard (Season 5) takes on Joe Veres, Cole Miller (Season 5) battles Leonard Garcia, and Pete "Drago" Sell (Season 4) takes on Nate Quarry (Season 4).

Spike TV is available in 91.6 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom (NYSE:VIA) (NYSE:VIA.B) , MTV Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.

CONTACT: David Schwarz, 212-767-8639, or Salil Gulati, 212-767-8621,
both of Spike TV; or Jennifer Wenk, UFC, 702-221-4790

'The Ultimate Fighter(R): Team Serra Vs. Team Hughes' Premieres Wednesday, September 19 At 11:00pm On Spike TV

Courtesy of Spike TV:

NEW YORK, July 31 -- UFC(R) Welterweight Champion Matt Serra and former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes will serve as coaches for Season 6 of Spike TV's highly-rated series, "The Ultimate Fighter(R)," premiering Wednesday, September 19 at 11:00pm ET/PT.

"The Ultimate Fighter: Team Serra vs. Team Hughes" features sixteen of the best up-and-coming mixed martial artists in the 170 lb. division from around the world. The two finalists will square off in a live finale in December, with the winner netting a six figure contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship(R), the premier mixed martial arts organization in the world. The series recently wrapped production in Las Vegas. Hughes and Serra will fight each other in a UFC pay-per-view event after the series finale in December. The series will assume its regular timeslot of Wednesdays at 10pm on September 26.

Serra is no stranger to "The Ultimate Fighter," having won Season 4 last November, earning the right to fight then-welterweight king, Georges St- Pierre. Serra proceeded to stun the sports world by defeating St-Pierre at UFC 69 in April to claim the title. A Long Island native, Serra began training under the legendary Renzo Gracie in the mid 1990's and was awarded the black belt in 2000, the first American to have such an honor under Gracie. Among Serra's most memorable victories prior to beating St-Pierre are his defeat of Yves Edwards at UFC 33 and his win over Ivan Menjivar at UFC 48. He currently runs two successful jiu-jitsu schools on Long Island. Joining Serra on his coaching staff will be his "The Ultimate Fighter 4" cast-mate Pete "Drago" Sell and boxing coach Ray Longo.

One of the sport's all time greats, Hughes, from tiny Hillsboro, Illinois, is a former UFC welterweight champion and four-time collegiate All-American wrestler. A coach for The Ultimate Fighter 2, Hughes' list of victories in the UFC includes the sport's biggest names, including Royce Gracie, Georges St- Pierre, BJ Penn, Carlos Newton and Frank Trigg. Joining Hughes on his coaching staff will be mixed martial arts star Robbie Lawler, Matt Pena, and Marc Fiore.

During the six-week Ultimate Fighter competition, the sixteen men endure a grueling regimen of jiu-jitsu, judo, muay thai, karate, boxing and wrestling. The intense competition between the fighters continues after they leave the gym -- at The Ultimate Fighter House. These warriors are forced to live together, knowing that any day they might be forced to fight each other in the famed UFC Octagon(TM).

In each episode, opponents from each team are selected to square off in battle, officially weighed in and then, in front of their teammates, coaches and the Nevada State Athletic Commission, face off in two five-minute rounds with a sudden death third round in the event of a draw.

Over the first five seasons, the show has delivered approximately two million viewers each week, often beating the NBA, NHL, MLB and NCAA football and basketball head-to-head on Thursday nights with men 18-34.

Craig Piligian of Pilgrim Films and Television, Frank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White of Zuffa, LLC, and Kevin Kay of Spike TV are the show's executive producers. Brian J. Diamond, senior vice president, Sports & Specials, Spike TV is co-executive producer and Christopher Martello is executive in charge of production for Spike TV.

Spike TV is available in 91 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom (NYSE:VIA) (NYSE:VIA.B) , MTV Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.

CONTACT: David Schwarz, 212-767-8639, or Salil Gulati, 212-767-8705,
both of Spike TV; or Jennifer Wenk, UFC, 702-221-4790

Monday, July 30, 2007

Tonight's Episode Of 'WWE RAW' Is In The Books

The lowdown from Tucson, Arizona's Tucson Convention Center:

- John Cena went to the ring and said some stuff. Carlito, thankfully, interrupted Cena, to inform Cena he was the first guest on the "new and improved" Carlito's Cabana. Carlito wanted to brag about his US title victory over Cena, but Cena talked about (via hip references, which I'm not cool enough to understand) long ago that was. To make a long, boring story short, the segment saw Carlito (speaking of short and boring) and Mr. Kennedy argue over which of them should really be the number-one contender. Cena awkwardly ended up asking Kennedy to challenge Bobby Lashley, even though his name was never brought up (or, if it was, I didn't hear it). Cena ended by challenging Carlito. Cena, by the way, seemed to have very few detractors in this crowd. Guess being from Arizona will do that to a person.

- Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall & Melina defeated Candice Michelle, Mickie James & Maria (accompanied by Santino Marella). Marella's got a great gig, if you can get it. Not sure why, but Jim Ross twice referred to Hall as Phoenix. Hall hoisted Maria, allowing Melina to drive Maria's face into the mat and get back last week's win by scoring the pin.

- Some important-looking guy's coming back at 'SummerSlam.'

- An upset Marella chastised (to chants of, "What?!") referee Jack Doan (Chad Patton, someone) for what happened to his beautiful Maria, so Umaga came down to shut Marella's mouth. Doan called for the bell, and it took all of about one-minute for Umaga to hit the 'Samoan Spike' and score the pin. Back to OVW wit' ya, Santino.

- Todd Grisham interviewed King Booker and Queen Sharmell. Booker vowed to end Jerome Lawler's reign, and he was also going to be sending a message to Triple H, should he return. Don't worry, Book, because I don't think Trips has got the guts.

- Jonathan Coachman was on his cell phone, when Cody Rhodes (with a legitimate black eye) knocked at his door. Coach wanted to rub in what Randy Orton did to Dusty Rhodes on last week's show. Can't say as I blame him. Coach said Cody would no longer wrestle for WWE, were he to touch Orton. Coach then said Cody had to later wrestle, and if he lost, he was fired. So, if Cody loses (yeah, right), gets fired, and then puts his hands on Orton, what happens to him?

- Grisham interviewed Orton, who said he's having a hard time finding opponents, and vowed to (again) win the WWE title at 'SummerSlan.' Some old, fat guy in military fatigues offered to be the next to get his ass kicked by Orton.

- Daivari was in the ring, I think, to speak about being living proof of how well WWE's Wellness Policy works. Cody Rhodes, Daivari's opponent, interrupted, eventually hit a DDT, then scored the pin. Never noticed Cody's nose ring, but then I don't like directly looking at the lad.

- We saw Lashley making his way to the ring.

- Kennedy defeated Lashley. What in the fuck?! Believe this, or not, Lashely's entrance interrupted Kennedy's pre-match shtick. How original. Speaking of Lashley's entrance, his new music sucks. I may have forgotten to mention that. Kennedy was given far too much offense (and actually had three or four fans, which was equally disturbing) and managed to "injure" Lashley's shoulder, which led to the finish. Lashley went for a spear, but Kennedy drove a knee into Lashley's shoulder, then scored the pin. What in the fuck?!

- Snitsky said some menacing stuff.

- During the break Lawler and some referees helped Lashley back to the locker room.

- Lawler earned a disqualification win over King Booker (accompanied by Queen Sharmell). Of course, just before the bout, we were reminded of HHH's return. Lawler (who had somehow obtained a small cut on his chin) thought he had scored a three-count, but Booker had managed to get his foot on the rope. Booker went on to not let Lawler out of the corner, prompting the decision. What a rip-off! It was funny to hear Ross say Lawler had outwrestled Booker, when neither man used almost nothing more substantial than a fist. Booker rightfully believed he'd proven himself to be the true king, so a jealous Lawler attacked Booker on the ramp, until referees made the save.

- Cryme Tyme (yes, they're still here) defeated John Mason & Brandon Dentson. 'G9,' quick pin (by JTG) on Gadsden. After the match, Shad had a kiss (on the cheek) for Lilian Garcia, then he and JTG held an impromptu auction for Gadsden's boots, which they were kind enough to autograph. Said boots sold for forty-dollars.

- Orton was seen making his way to the ring.

- Orton fustigated Sgt. Slaughter. I don't remember much about Slaughter, so he can't be anywhere near the caliber of star Orton is. Just before this bout began, Lawler rejoined Ross. 'RKO,' pin, kick to the head. That'll teach Slaughter to lock in that illegal chokehold of his. The usual scenario (officials, EMTs, and the doctor placing the old guy on a stretcher) then unfolded (continuing a busy night for the refs). Orton sure knows how to have a good time.

- Orton stuck around for tonight's (non-title) main event, which saw Carlito defeat Cena. Orton ended up getting involved, allowing Carlito to hit a back-cracker and score the pin. Even better, Cena took a face full of apple bits! This scenario, of course, led to tonight's post-taping match between Cena and Orton.

What a show! Well, some of it, anyway. The rest was okay.

Last-Minute Addition For Tonight's Episode Of 'WWE RAW' ...

Candice Michelle, Mickie James & Maria vs. Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall & Melina.

Local Paper Publishes John Kronus' Obituary

According to Laconia, New Hampshire's Citizen, there will be a memorial gathering at 7 PM on Friday, August 3.

You'll be missed, buddy.

Preview For Tonight's Edition Of 'WWE RAW'

Host: Tucson, Arizona's Tucson Convention Center (marking a return after more than a three-year absence).

What to expect?: Not fucking much.

- When they meet, King Booker will teach Jerome Lawler, that rapscallion, a lesson he won't soon forget.

- I'm sure we'll see more of Randy Orton (Yes!), and they're threatening us with an appearance from Ken Kennedy. Speaking of Orton, as of last word, he was to meet John Cena in the evening's final (dark) bout. He'll lose, but it's okay, because he'll win at 'SummerSlam' (where it counts).

If you don't hear more from me before the start of the show, look for my review, which should be posted at about 11:10 PM ET.

!BANG! TV Results - Inter-gender Pier Six Brawl

Courtesy of Dory Funk Jr.:

Results from !BANG! TV's Support the Troops 18, "Fight for Freedom."

From a new talent at the Funking Conservatory here from England, Mario Benedetti on his My Space Website, "I know this is random but I just wanted to let EVERYONE know I just had my first match last night and I lost and got my ass kicked but I don't give a shit coz it was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!."

For the second show in a row, the Funking Conservatory's !BANG! TV Taping started early because the house was already "Standing Room Only." This time it was twenty minutes early as the scheduled 7:00pm show started at 6:40.

In the first match a three way for the Women's Championship between The "Pop Tarts" Lady Kimberly and (Champion) Miss Vicki and The Claw, Claudia Reiff with special guest referee, Cowboy James Storm, Miss Vicki Retained her women's championship with a controversial quick count by James Storm who seemed to be under the influence of Miss Vicki during and after the match.

We have a new Florida Heavyweight Champion as Flyin' Ryan' "Air" Mitchell with Sandii Skye won over the Champion, Blain Rage when "Air" Mitchell feigned unconsciousness to catch Blain Rage off balance catching him in a Half Nelson Cradle for the three count becoming the new Florida Champion. This makes "Air" Mitchell a Triple Crown Champion, Florida Champion, Tag Team Champion and International Champion.

In a three way European Championship Match between the Champion, Elvis Sharp, Cory Squires and Mario Benedetti, Elvis Sharp retained his European Championship when Mario Benedetti double crossed Cory Squires enabling Elvis to hit his finishing move the "Fall From Graceland."

Defending his International Championship Belt, Flyin' Ryan "Air" Mitchell the reigning Triple Crown Champion faced Italy's Il Marchese with La Contessa. Il Marchese used a distraction of the referee by La Contessa to allow him to ram the butt of his whip into the throat of "Air Mitchell, then cover Air Mitchell for the win. After the match Sandii Skye and La Contessa got into an affray that nearly got out of hand before they were separated by "Air Mitchell and Il Marchese.

In the final match of the night, a Three Way Tag Team Championship match between the Champions, Flyin' Ryan "Air" Mitchell and Elvis Sharp vs Johnny Magnum and Shane Chung vs Cowboy James Storm and Blain Rage. Cowboy James Storm was disqualified when he outrageously body slammed the referee, Claudia "The Claw" Reiff. Since the match was held under NWA Texas rules, the belts did not change hands on a disqualification. The night ended with an inter-gender "Pier Six Brawl followed by a Five Girl Cat Fight and then Dory Funk Jr. knocking Cowboy James Storm on his ass with his special uppercut forearm blow.

To top it all off, Johnny Magnum followed Blain Rage outside and threw him upside down against the building.

!BANG! TV's Support the Troops 18, "Fight for Freedom" will be available in all it's excitement in streaming video 24/7 on www.dory-funk.com coming soon.

The next !BANG! TV Taping, Support the Troops 19 comes to the Funking Conservatory Sunday September 2nd. For ticket information and training schedules at the Funking Conservatory, Call 352-895-4658 or visit www.dory-funk.com for more information.

Imperia Entertainment Formulates New Short And Long Term Revenue Strategy

Courtesy of Imperia Entertainment, Inc.:

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., July 30 -- Imperia Entertainment, Inc. (Pink Sheets: IPEI) (http://www.imperiaentertainment.com/) announced today that it has formulated a plan to generate short term revenue of $680,000-$1.3 million over the next twelve months, while streamlining its long term strategy of producing revenue from high quality feature films. The company will divest itself of its family film production subsidiary, Muller Media, Inc. (Pink Sheets: MUMI), and is now seeking merger candidates in related fields. It will hold back approximately 4 million shares of Muller for distribution of the dividend declared to Imperia shareholders last year, and enter into licensing agreements for the company's wholly owned distribution company, Imperia International Distribution, Inc., to handle distribution of Muller's library, which includes "The New Three Stooges" cartoon series.

Imperia International Distribution will seek immediate content distribution for its "Autograph(R)," "Faces & Names," and "The New Three Stooges" television series, and its feature film, "All That I Need," in traditional international distribution outlets, such as broadcast television and cable, and non-traditional outlets, such as Internet web site distribution of segments. It also will create downloadable segment content surrounding the explosive sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) in conjunction with its production of the feature film, "Never Submit," for the generation of short term revenue. The company projects short term cash flow of approximately $680,000-$1,360,000 over the next twelve months (based on average prices for reality television programming as published in Variety).

The company will continue its long term revenue production strategy of producing high quality feature films for distribution, and projects distribution of its feature film, "Say it in Russian," by the end of the American Film Market in November, with estimated worldwide gross revenues of $7.1 to $10.6 million over the next twenty four months. First money from the film will be used to reimburse Imperia's $1.9 million cash investment in the film, which will be used for future film budgets, and company earnings from its equity share of the film are projected at an additional $1.4 million to $2.1 million. The company continues production of "Never Submit," a feature film surrounding the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), with earnings projections of $42 million.

Finally, the company will launch a nationwide search for new management. Once a management team is secured, the company's current Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth Eade, will be stepping down as an officer of the company, and will concentrate on the creative side of the business.

This press release contains statements, which may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of Imperia Entertainment, Inc. and members of its management as well as the assumptions on which such statements are based. Prospective investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. Important factors currently known to management that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-statements include fluctuation of operating results, the ability to compete successfully and the ability to complete before-mentioned transactions. The company undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results. The revenue projections contained herein have been prepared by management, and are based on assumptions as to future events and conditions, such as timing and success of our future development efforts, the size of the market, our market share, general industry conditions and other matters. Many of these assumptions relate to matters beyond our control and all of these assumptions are subject to wide variation and merely represent management's forecast of future events based upon assumptions which may or may not occur. To the extent that actual experience varies from any one or more of the assumptions, our actual financial results will differ, likely to a material degree, from the Financial Projections.

Imperia Entertainment, Inc.
Kenneth Eade: 310-275-0089

Murray Weissman & Associates
(818) 760-8995
Leonard Morpurgo
Murray Weissman
Rick Markovitz

CONTACT: Kenneth Eade of Imperia Entertainment, Inc., +1-310-275-0089, imperiaentertainmentinc@yahoo.com; or media, Leonard Morpurgo,
leonard@publicity4all.com, or Murray Weissman, murray@publicity4all.com, or
Rick Markovitz, rick@publicity4all.com, all of Murray Weissman & Associates,
for Imperia Entertainment, Inc., +1-818-760-8995

Sunday, July 29, 2007

"God Of Wrestling" Passes Away

Lemme show Casey how this is should be done:

No, I'm not talking about JBL. I'm talking about shooter-extraordinaire Karl Gotch.

I don't know why, but do know Gotch (born Karl Istaz, but adopted the surname from Frank, and was a far-bigger name in Japan, than in the US) had recently been hospitalized, which, I'm assuming, is also where he died.

Here's more, courtesy of Jake Shannon:

Karl Gotch died today, among his family and closest friends. Karl was a devoted husband, father, mentor, animal advocate, Holocaust concentration camp survivor, and one of the greatest Professional and Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestlers in the 20th century, but Karl would have described himself as "just a kid from the waterfront". He would have been 83 years old in a few days.

He died in Tampa, Florida at 9:45pm EST on July 28th, 2007. Karl was fiercely independent and private and truly lived life on his own terms, ask anyone that knew him.

Karl's estate wishes he be granted privacy post-mortem. Anyone seeking to pay their respects is encouraged to donate to animal rescue, in particular Pit Bull terrier rescue. The Paw'd Squad Animal Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit organization and has already set up a rescue fund in Karl's name. All donations and contributions are tax deductible. These can be sent to:

Paw'd Squad Animal Rescue
P.O. Box 6564
Burbank, California 91510-6564
Alternatively, donations can be accepted at their website:

Paw'd Squad Animal Rescue

Karl was a true friend and a personal hero and I will miss him sorely.

Per Karl's wishes, all proceeds from the sale of his Conditioning For Combat Sports DVD will now directly benefit animal rescue.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Early Ratings Info For Last Night's Episode Of 'WWE SmackDown'

According to fast-national data supplied by Nielsen Media Research, the show finished with a 2.5/5.0.

Final numbers are still to come.

More On The Death Of Ronald P. Gossett

Paul Ronald Gossett, who was living in Rossville, Georgia, was, at the time of his of death, sixty-three-years-old.

Gossett had been diagnosed with colon cancer, which had left him hospitalized (in Nashville) since April, and passed away in the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 24.

Not sure who was at today's funeral (which took place at Rossville's Tennessee-Georgia Memorial Park), although "Dirty White Boy" Jimmy Powell, legitimately a reverend and close to Gossett (who, late in life, had found the Lord) presided. Both of Gossett's parents are also deceased, and his listed survivors included only an aunt and some cousins.

Dynamite Kid Speaks On Chris Benoit

An article in what I believe to be this week's edition of GLOBE (I can't remember the last time I picked up a tabloid, so I may be wrong about the date), features comments from recluse Tom "Dynamite Kid" Billington, who claims he tried to warn Chris Benoit about the dangers of steroids, and blames the drugs for what happened to Nancy and Daniel Benoit.

The Undercard Of EliteXC's 'ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series' Is In The Books

The lowdown from Santa Ynez, California's (said-to-be-sold-out, though I doubt it) Chumash Casino (as seen on proelite.com):

- This time, the hosts were some guy and $kala. They also said a lot of shit, but I tuned out most of it.

- In what was, for me, the most-anticipated fight on the card, Shayna "Mac-O" Baszler defeated (submission, 2:40, 1st) Jan Finney "Cent." They were only given three-minute rounds, but that never played a role, since Baszler was able to secure a takedown and armbar, which caused Finney to tap. Please feed Gina Carano to Baszler.

- It was announced, that on Saturday, August 25, the next edition of 'ShoXC' would feature the long-anticipated rematch between Charles Bennett vs. Victor Valenzuela. Seems as if I've heard that before. Anyway, this airs on Showtime at 11 PM ET, which is way too fucking late, so one of the Combat Hooligans http://www.combat-hooligans.com/ may have to handle the recap. This might just be me, but shouldn't this have been mentioned on Showtime?

- Josh "Vince" Neal defeated (KO, 2:56, 1st) Eric "Vinnie" Biondo. Neal survived a close call in the first, and even reversed position on the grappler, although he also grabbed the fence (which Cecil Peoples entirely missed) to avoid a takedown. A standing Neal began raining down punches on the fallen Biondo, prompting Peoples to stop it.

- Anthony Ruiz defeated (TKO, 5:00, 1st) Jason Geris. These two are actually friends and have even trained together. Geris was winning, but about three-fourths of the way in, something was noticeably wrong and he just managed to hang on until the end. Just before the second, the doctor stopped the fight, because of a knee injury to Geris.

- Anthony Rubalcava defeated (TKO, 4:19, 1st) Drew Montgomery "Burns." I know, I know, but that's better than his real nickname of "Scobby-Drew." Impressive MMA debut for Rubalcava! Takedown, ground and pound, finish. Montgomery had some good defense on the ground, but he eventually succumbed to Rubalcava's strikes from the top, so the ref had to step in. Three-in-a-row for Team Voodoo. Rubalcava didn't say much in his post-fight interview, but look for more from this kid.

- Brian Cobb defeated (submission, 4:09, 1st) John Reedy. This time, Team Voodoo wasn't so lucky. I figured Reedy could avenge his earlier losses to Cobb, but shows you what I know. Cobb, apparently a world-class wrestler, used that edge to control Reedy and secure a (third) win by rear-naked choke. As with Rubalcava (the only other fighter on this portion to have a post-fight interview), Cobb didn't say much, but is definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Not sure if it was just being wide awake, but much easier for me to watch than the televised portion.

!BANG! TV Press Release - Cowboy James Storm To Officiate 3 Way Women's Championship Match

Courtesy of Dory Funk Jr.:

In addition to wrestling on Support the Troops 18, Fight for Freedom on the Funking Conservatory's !BANG! TV Cowboy James Storm has been named special Guest Referee for the Three Way Women's Championship Match between The Claw, Claudia Reiff and the "Pop Tarts," Lady Kimberly and the Champion, Miss Vicki.

These ladies have been hard to control and their wrestling matches have turned in to a "Pier Six Brawl." Cowboy James Storm is just the person to keep this Women's Championship Match under control.

Cowboy James Storm will also be teaming with Blain Rage to face Johnny Magnum and Shane Chung in a tag team championship match.

Also appearing on the card are Dory Funk Jr., Father James Mitchell, Italy's Il Marchese (The Mystro) with the Contessa, Flyin' Ryan "Air" Mitchell, with Sandii Skye, Elvis Sharp, England's Mario Benedetti, Cory Squires and more.

Support the Troops 18, Fight for Freedom will take place Sunday July 29th at the Funking Conservatory Wrestling School in Ocala, Florida. Showtime is 7:00pm and doors open at 6:30. Tickets are $10 purchased in advance or online and $15 at the door. For more information and wrestling school training schedules go to www.dory-funk.com or call 352-895-4658.

'ShoXC's' Undercard: Too Tired To Stay Up For The Live Stream

Sorry, but I'm old, cranky, and need my beauty sleep. I'll record the fights, and will eventually review them.

EliteXC's 'ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series' Is In The Books

The lowdown from Santa Ynez, California's (said-to-be-sold-out, though I doubt it) Chumash Casino (as seen on Showtime):

- Hosts were Mauro Ranallo and Stephen Quadros. Ring announcer was Jimmy Lennon Jr. If you really wanted to know any of this, you need to get a fucking life. Ranallo and Quadros hit us with a bunch of facts, but I didn't pay attention to a lot of them, as they tended to get in the way of my enjoying the show.

- Muhsin Corbbrey defeated (unanimous decision of 29-28, 30-27, 30-27) Lee "CM Punk" Gibson. On paper, Corbbrey should've walked through Gibson, but that wasn't the case, which seems to be something of a theme. All standup and tough to score, as only the third was decisive (in Gibson's favor). The first two were way too close to call, with Corbbrey being the more-technical fighter, and Gibson being (especially as the rounds wore on) the more-aggressive fighter. After the fight, Corbbrey continued to be his usual arrogant self, saying he never felt it was close.

- Aaron Rosa defeated (TKO, 5:00, 1st) Jefferson Silva. Has anyone told Rosa how much he and Forrest Griffin sound alike? Maybe I was just tired. Neither fighter had great technique, but this ended up being exciting, especially on the ground, where both men were able to escape submissions and reverse positions. As Silva went back to his corner, there was a cut on his face, which forced the doctor to stop the fight. After the fight, Rosa thanked the Lord, which I could've done without.

- Scott Jorgenson defeated (unanimous decision of 29-28, 29-28, 30-27) Chris David. As you'd expect from bantamweights, a lot of action! Jorgenson seemed to have the edge in technique, but David, being a freak (and I meant that in a good way), was able to hold his own. I agreed with the 30-27, although the second round, in particular, was close. Fight of the night (although, to be fair, the competition wasn't particularly stiff)! In his post-fight interview, Jorgenson seemed like a classy kid.

- Gladiator Challenge Middleweight title: Jaime Jara retained, defeating (TKO, 4:15, 1st) Jeremiah Metcalf. This was weird, as both guys were fighting at a catch weight of one-hundred-seventy-five-pounds, so not sure why it wasn't a non-title affair. Jara, the wrestler, managed to drop Metcalf with a big right hand, prompting the referee to stop the fight. Going by the post-fight interview, another likable guy.

- Edson Berto defeated (KO, 0:45, 3rd) KJ Noons. Don't ask me how in the fuck this happened, but Noons pretty much dominated all three rounds. By the third, Berto was spent, and when he went for a takedown, he was a sitting duck for a knee to the face. The ref immediately stopped the fight. Still not a big fan of Noons.

Not bad, but wasn't worth my staying up until 1 AM.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Tamdan McCrory Seems Like One Hell Of A Guy ...

At least in this article at CBS SportsLine.com.

'The Hardy Show' Pays Tribute To Euan Taylor?


Tonight's Edition Of 'WWE SmackDown' Is In The Books

The lowdown from Fresno's Save Mart Center at Fresno State:

- Batista defeated Deuce (accompanied by Domino, who had no fear about getting involved, and Cherry). Didn't do much for me, one way or the other, but Batista ended up running Deuce (on the apron) into his partner, hitting a 'Batista Bomb,' and scoring the pin.

- Some guy interviewed Jamie Noble, who said everyone's laughing at him, because Hornswoggle pinned him, and he's about to get his revenge by winning the Cruiserweight title.

- Michelle McCool loves swimming. Yeah, it's definitely better than, oh, I don't know, eating.

- Hornswoggle, of course, ended up defeating Noble (by count-out), so he's still Cruiserweight champ. This was full of "comedy," like, when Horny alternated being in and hiding under the ring, when Horny stomped on Noble's feet, and when Horny used a "big folks'" moves. Noble was chasing Horny around the ring, and at the last second, Horny scooted in, leaving Noble on the floor with only a handful of shoe. Yep, funny as balls.

- Rey Mysterio is apparently about to return. In building up Mysterio's feud with Chavo Guerrero, Michael Cole and JBL were forced to just blatantly ignore the "loser-leaves" stips of last year's '"I-Quit" Match.'

- Speaking of Chavo, he defeated Eugene, but not quickly enough for me. 'Frogsplash,' pin, no one cared. Next.

- Ric Flair and Matt Hardy ('Woooing' along the way) were seen heading to the ring.

- Jesse & Festus love America, and are coming. Well, they're cooler than Mr. Kennedy and MVP.

- Speaking of, Flair & Hardy defeated Chris Masters & MVP. This sounds familiar, but it didn't do much for me, one way or the other. Masters took a 'Twist-of-Fate,' allowing Hardy to pin him. MVP decided not to save his partner, and after the bout, bragged about already having defeated Flair and Hardy. Hardy challenged MVP to once again put his US title on the line. MVP refused, so Hardy vowed to earn another shot.

- Chuck Palumbo likes bikes.

- Believe this, or not, Mark Henry fustigated Joey Blaylock. Blaylock ended up passing out from Henry's bearhug. After the bout, Henry said some menacing stuff, then used an overhead press to eject Blaylock from the ring.

- In the wake of the 'Jackass' crew pulling out of 'SummerSlam,' WWE's finally come up with a video to promote the show. It's four-weeks away, you know?

- Theodore Long, Vickie(s) Guerrero(s), and Kristal Marshall were thrilled to see Ron Simmons. Long asked Simmons to be his best man. I forget what Simmons said.

- Edge recently had some surgery, which he'll soon recover from, because he's the fucking man! Edge said it best: "Go to hell." I'm not directing that at anyone in particular, it's just for all of you.

- Kane (who had the nerve to injure Edge) defeated Dave Taylor. Still not sure why Taylor wears John Tenta's old singlet. Chokeslam, pin.

- Jimmy Wang Yang was approached by Torrie Wilson, who was so excited about their upcoming match, she dressed as a hick. Wilson's wardrobe earned a, "Yee-haw," from Yang.

- Yang & Wilson defeated Kenny Dykstra & Victoria. I don't know what it is, but Dykstra (Didn't he used to be cool?) somehow looks taller. Anyway, Yang caught Dykstra with a Moonsault block, then scored the pin.

- The Great Khali treated us to a lavish celebration, in honor of Khali's championship win. He cut a long promo, and I was erect! Batista decided to interrupt, which was okay with me, because Khali had already finished talking. Batista wanted a title show, but his request was denied, so he went on the attack and cleared the ring.

I had to record Scott Baio's new show for this?!

WWE Issues Statement On Congressional Request

WWE has issued the following statement:

"The media has provided us with a copy of a letter from the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. We are reviewing this letter and will respond accordingly."

Just Thought I'd mention This ...

Today's edition of the South Bend Tribune features an article on Brian Costello's International Association of Wrestling, which is running some kind of a show or something.

Sure, Greg Valentine was interviewed, and there were lots of (exaggerations of) facts and figures, but the truly interesting part, to me, is that Costello's real name is Brian Woodworth, which I did not know before today. If you were gonna remember Costello, it would probably be from his countless appearances (in the eighties and nineties) on WWF TV.

Congress Looks To Open A Can Of Whoop-Ass On WWE

According to ESPN's Shaun Assael, Rep. Henry Waxman (Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform) and Tom Davis (ranking-minority member, whatever the fuck that means) have requested, in a three-page letter (which ESPN was also kind enough to provide), WWE present them with specific results of their drug tests.

WWE has not responded to requests for comment, but I think I can pretty much guess what their answer will be. They've already got it trademarked, and it contains two words (for ya).

PS: I won't even address the "investigation" line, because no way WWE has bothered with any such thing.

Quick Picks For Tonight's 'ShoXC' Card

I'm too busy and not emotionally invested enough to spend a lot of time on this, but here you go:

Edson Berto

Jeremiah Metcalf

Aaron Rosa

Lee Gibson

Chris David

Shayna Baszler

Josh Neal

Drew Montgomery

John Reedy

Anthony Ruiz

Notes: For picks from some of the Combat Hooligans, click here ... Results of main card should be posted at about 1 AM ET ... Results of the Internet broadcast should be up at about 3 AM ET.

WEC™ Announces Four Fights Added To August 5th Event

Courtesy of World Extreme Cagefighting:

Las Vegas, Nev. (USA) – 07/27/2007 – With two World Extreme Cagefighting® titles on the line, the August 5th WEC™ card at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is already packed with world-class mixed martial arts excitement. Add four more evenly matched battles pitting a mix of established contenders and rising stars against each other, and you have a night to remember for all fight fans.

Today, the organization announced that WEC: Condit vs. Larson, headlined by the WEC Welterweight title bout between reigning Champion Carlos Condit and the No. 1 Contender Brock Larson, and the vacant WEC Middleweight battle Paulo Filho vs. Joe Doerksen, will now also feature featherweights Jeff Curran vs. Stephen Ledbetter, and lightweights Jamie Varner vs. Sherron Legget in the televised main card lineup.

Preliminary bouts will include welterweight Hiromitsu Miura vs. Fernando Gonzalez, and bantamweights Antonio Banuelos vs. Justin Robbins.

WEC: Condit vs. Larson will be televised live nationally on VERSUS beginning at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT. All live WEC events will be presented in Hi-Definition (HD) where available. For more information and how to find VERSUS in your local viewing area, visit http://www.versus.com/findversus.

Tickets for WEC: Condit vs. Larson are on sale now, and are priced at $250, $150, $75 and $25 (not including applicable services or taxes). Tickets are available at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box office and all Ticketmaster locations. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000. Tickets also are available online through www.wec.tv or www.ticketmaster.com.

One of the premier 145-pound fighters on the planet, Jeff “Big Frog” Curran (30-8-1) finally returns to the WEC after an almost five year absence. A veteran of the UFC and PRIDE organizations, Curran has been fighting professionally since 1998. This 29-year old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt has traded with premier names in mixed martial arts, including Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, current UFC Champion Matt Serra, and Hatsu Hioki. He has his sights set on taking the WEC Featherweight title from Champion Urijah Faber, and knows that a win over Stephan Ledbetter will move him one step closer to earning that coveted championship fight.

“I know that coming out of Hardcore, the gym where he trains, that he definitely will be in top shape and well rounded,” said Curran of Ledbetter. “So far, although he hasn’t had a whole lot of cage experience, he is undefeated, so won’t look past him – not for one minute. I feel comfortable taking him on in all areas, but respect him enough to be cautious.”

A member of the respected Hardcore Gym in Athens, Georgia, unbeaten 25-year old Stephen Ledbetter (6-0) is a versatile fighter who knows that a win over an established contender like Curran will catapult him into the world featherweight rankings. With all but two of his wins coming via submission, he obviously has the skills to get the job done. (nice)

“Fighting in the WEC means a lot to me,” said Ledbetter. “It means my efforts during the past few years are finally paying off. This is my opportunity to show the world who I am.”

Rising star Jamie Varner (12-2,1 NC) comes to the WEC after a two-fight stint in the UFC, where he impressed fight fans with his win over Jason Gilliam and his hard fought loss to Hermes Franca. Now the Phoenix native brings his confidence and aggression to the World Extreme Cagefighting organization, and he said that he’s not going to stop “sleeping people” until he gets his hands on a lightweight title belt.

Chicago-born Sherron “Rob Roy” Leggett (16-1, 1 NC) impressed the mixed martial arts world with his stoppage of Charlie Kohler in May, the Chicago native established himself as a fighter to watch and is a true fan favorite. Now training with UFC veteran Dave Strasser, Leggett is an up and comer with a bright future ahead of him in the fight world.

Known as “The Last Samurai”, Tokyo’s Hiromitsu Miura (7-4) is a world-respected fighter who, at 25, is just starting to reach his potential as a mixed martial artist. A Pancrase and K-1 veteran whose judo and standup skills make him a tough fight for anyone in the sport, Miura gave world-ranked Jason “Mayhem” Miller all he could handle at WEC 27 before losing a hard fought three round decision.

Hard-nosed battler Fernando Gonzalez (12-4) has only one speed in the cage, and that’s all out. A boxer and jiu-jitsu fighter out of Temecula, California, the 5 foot 8 “Menifee Maniac” is 2-1 in the WEC, with wins over Alex Stiebling and Jimmy Dexter. He will be looking to notch his third win at the expense of Miura on August 5.

27-year old Antonio Banuelos (14-4) is a true veteran of World Extreme Cagefighting, having competed in the show eight times over the course of his six-year pro MMA career, compiling a 6-2 WEC record in the process. A protégé of the legendary Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, this native of Tulare, California has his sights set on the top of the WEC’s 135-pound weight class.

Springfield, Illinois’ Justin Robbins (11-2-1) counts wrestling as his base fighting discipline, but the other aspects of his game are nothing to be laughed at, as he has scored four wins by submission and one by TKO as he fought his way up the ranks to earn a spot in the WEC. But if he wants to stay here, he has to get by the veteran Banuelos.

“He’s a tough scrappy kid, explosive and quick, with good wrestling,” said Robbins of his opponent. “I think it has the potential for being fight of the night.”

The remaining bouts for WEC: Condit vs. Larson will be announced in the near future. All bouts subject to change. For more information about WEC: Condit vs. Larson and current WEC fight news, visit www.wec.tv.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Next Big Player In Mixed-Martial-Arts?

According to what Joe Kelly, promoter of Titan Fighting Championships, recently told KC Community News, it's he and his group.

If it'll provide any more incentive, something tells me that's not gonna happen, but if they've got a good product, I certainly wouldn't mind being proven wrong.

RIP: Tor Kamata

McRonald Kamaka, 70, who, as Tor Kamata, was one of the sport's best-known heels, passed away while at Saskatoon's St. Paul's Hospital on Monday.

Not much else is known, although according to SLAM! Wrestling's Greg Oliver, Kamaka had a history of heart disease.

Funeral details and a guestbook were published in today's edition of The StarPhoenix.

Condolences to Kamaka's family and close friends.

WWE Releases Former Tag-Team Champion

Rene Dupree, who had his share of well-publicized disciplinary issues while with WWE, has been officially fired. Didn't hear an official reason, but I'm sure it had something to do with him being more trouble than he's worth.

Injury Forces Major Change In 'ShoXC' Lineup

Aaron Wetherspoon (King Of The Cage's Welterweight champion) is injured and has had to pull out of Friday's show, where he was to unify his title with Jeremiah Metcalf's Gladiator Challenge Welterweight belt. Replacing Wetherspoon, Jaime Jara (GC's Middleweight champ), with the new fight taking place at a catch weight of one-hundred-seventy-five-pounds. In this new fight, neither title will be on the line.

Here's the complete card (as it presently stands):

EliteXC's 'ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series'
Chumash Casino
Santa Ynez, California
Friday, July 27
Main card airs live (11 PM-1 AM ET) on Showtime/Undercard begins airing (at 1 AM ET) on proelite.com

Main card
* Edson Berto vs. KJ Noons
* Jeremiah Metcalf vs. Jaime Jara
* Jefferson Silva vs. Aaron Rosa
* Lee Gibson vs. Muhsin Corbbrey
Swing bout
* Chris David vs. Scott Jorgenson
Internet broadcast
* Shayna Baszler vs. Jan Finney
* Josh Neal vs. Eric Beondo
* Anthony Rubalcava vs. Drew Montgomery
* John Reedy vs. Brian Cobb
* Anthony Ruiz vs. Jason Geris

Notes: Don't ask me for weight classes or bout order, because I have no clue and am too lazy to look it up ... Yes, I'll be covering this for the site.

Canadian Publisher Announces The Publication Of Chris Benoit Book

Courtesy of ECW Press:

TORONTO, July 26 - In the wake of the horrific double-murder suicide, four noted wrestling writers grapple with the life and death of Chris Benoit in the book Benoit: Wrestling with the Horror that Destroyed a Family and Crippled a Sport, by Steven Johnson, Heath McCoy, Irvin Muchnick, and Greg Oliver.

Michael Holmes, senior editor for ECW Press, says, "This is not a maudlin rehash of tabloid news coverage. The book's four contributors are respected investigative journalists. They'll look at this terrible event with the integrity and passion they've shown in years of experience in the world of pro wrestling". Holmes adds, "ECW's commitment to publishing wrestling books to the highest possible standard is underlined by bringing this difficult story to light."

The book, scheduled for release in October, will include an introduction and four essays that discuss the subject from a distinct perspective.

- The media's coverage of the story and the role of the media in the story itself will be covered by Steven Johnson.

- Heath McCoy establishes the facts of the case and examines Benoit's Alberta wrestling roots.

- Irv Muchnick gives his opinion on the pop-cultural relevance and the place of this tragedy in wrestling's dark history.

- Greg Oliver discusses the Benoit story in the context of the pro-wrestling industry and personal correspondence with Benoit.

About the contributors:

Steven Johnson is co-author of The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame series with Greg Oliver. Johnson holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and has received several awards for investigative and general news reporting. He lives in Springfield, VA.

Heath McCoy is a pop culture reporter and rock critic for the Calgary Herald. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling (ECW, October 2007).

Irvin Muchnick has written about a variety of subjects including wrestling for many publications, including the Village Voice and The New York Times. His new book, Wrestling Babylon: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death and Scandal, was released by ECW in April 2007.

Greg Oliver is a writer and editor from Toronto. Oliver has covered professional wrestling for 20 years through the Slam! Wrestling Web site, the Canadian Wrestling Report newsletter, magazines and newspapers. With Steven Johnson, he has written three wrestling books: The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Canadians (ECW Press 2003), The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams (ECW Press 2005), The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels (ECW Press, June 2007), and a fourth book in the series (The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Baby Faces) is scheduled for publication in 2009.

For further information: Simon Ware, ECW Press, (416) 694-3348, simon@ecwpress.com

Note from Ric: Not sure how I feel about this idea, but I'm presently leaning toward not liking it much.

TUF Alumnus Set For Surgery

Best of luck to Rory Singer (of 'The Ultimate Fighter's' third season), who's literally just about to have arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder.

For about four-and-a-half-months, Singer (recently told he'd have to work his way back up to fighting for the UFC) has been suffering from impingement syndrome.

Since I know nothing about nothing, let Singer's own words (courtesy of his MySpace page, meaning any typographical errors are not my fault) describe what that means: "My rotator, labrum, and biceps tendon are all fine. What I have amounts to a bone spur on my clavicle (near the AC joint) which catches the humoral head when it rotates into certain positions. Which as of late feels like any position. Basically it causes me extreme amounts of pain. It severly limits my ability to lift and leaves me in much pain after every training session. It absolutely sucks. The doctor said that he will have to file down the bone and clean up a little. My recovery should be about 2-4 weeks before I can get back into training again. I need to have this done. Although nothing major is damaged it was explained that in time an impingement like this can lead to something rupturing. I was also told that I should notice immediately the benefits of this surgery. I will look to fight again in late October, early November if my healing allows me. I will be going under general anesthesia in a few hours. That will be a first for me. I had my right shoulder done in 1995 and I had a local block. One of my good freinds and training partners is actually a CRNA and will be doing the procedure. I feel confident I am in good hands."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Another State Inches Closer To Legalizing Mixed-Martial-Arts

This time, it's Michigan, as their House passed the necessary bills (by a margin of 94-14) on Wednesday.

Next, it's off to the Senate, then whatever the fuck else has to happen.

Final Ratings Information For Last Night's Edition Of 'ECW On Sci Fi'

According to data released by Nielsen Media Research, more bad news, as the show finished with a 1.3.

I have no idea what the breakdown of viewers was, nor do I care, and same goes for whatever last week's program drew.

UFC Announces The Debut Of Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua

Courtesy of the Ultimate Fighting Championship:

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – 07/25/2007 – Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell is wasting no time returning to the Octagon™ to fight his way back to a title shot, and he has made his mission clear: he wants his title belt back. But standing in his way, with the power to stop the former UFC® 205-pound champion, is “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine, who awaits him for a light heavyweight main event showdown at UFC 76. As a special feature, former PRIDE FC phenomenon Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will enter the Octagon for the first time to take on Forrest Griffin in one of the two light heavyweight “knockout” fights of the night. The Ultimate Fighting Championship® organization presents UFC 76: KNOCKOUT, featuring Liddell vs. Jardine and Rua vs. Griffin, live from Honda Center in Anaheim Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007.

“After Jardine knocked out Forrest Griffin, Chuck and Keith were on course to fight each other. Keith lost his last fight and so did Chuck, so now they face each other not for the title, but to get back in the race,” said Dana White, UFC President. “Shogun is coming into the UFC because he wants the same thing, to get in the race and ultimately prove he is the best light heavyweight in the world – so UFC 76 is going to have a huge impact on the 205-pound division and who we could eventually see fight Dan Henderson or Rampage for the title.

Tickets for UFC 76: KNOCKOUT will go on sale Saturday, August 4 at 10am PT and will be priced starting at $50. Tickets will be sold at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at ticketmaster.com, hondacenter.com or www.ufc.com, or by phone at 213.480.3232.

UFC 76: KNOCKOUT is available live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $39.95 ($39.99 CAD) in Standard Definition, and $49.95 ($49.99 CAD) in High Definition.

UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Tuesday, July 31 at 10am PT via www.ufc.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers starting Thursday, August 2 at 10 a.m. PST. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through www.ufc.com.

Liddell (20-4), considered by many to be the greatest light heavyweight fighter of all time, reigned as the 205-pound UFC champion for over three years. He knocked out seven opponents in seven consecutive fights, including Randy Couture (twice), Vernon White, Jeremy Horn, Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Tito Ortiz (twice), before he was defeated by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 71 in May. Liddell now makes his return to the Octagon with the mission to once again reign as UFC light heavyweight champion. And on September 22nd, Liddell feels that he will once again show the world why he has earned international recognition as one of the best mixed martial artists ever.

“This is going to be a good standup fight, and it will be a very exciting fight for the fans,” said Liddell. “But I will beat him. I’m going to knock him out – I’ll go in there and pound on him until he goes down – I want to knock him out as fast as I can, win the fight, and then go get my belt back.”

Jardine (12-4-1) has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most feared 205-pounders on the planet. Despite his upset loss to Houston Alexander at UFC 71, “The Dean of Mean” has the power and explosiveness to derail any fighter’s game plan at any moment during the fight. Jardine displayed that skill when he stopped Forrest Griffin in a single round at UFC 66 last December. Like Liddell, he combines power and strength with exceptional wrestling and kickboxing, which makes him 100 percent capable of scoring a fast knockout. Jardine knows Liddell is his greatest challenge to date, but he also knows that the former champion considers him a danger.

“For me, I think this is a great fight and people shouldn’t underestimate me -- I know Chuck Liddell won’t underestimate me,” said Jardine. “I think he knows this will be similar to my fight with Forrest, a good, exciting, stand up fight … that ends with a knockout. It will be a real honor to fight Chuck, he’s the greatest light heavyweight champion ever, and I’m excited to fight him at UFC 76.”

In a special feature, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, fighting out of Brazil, will take on Forrest Griffin in his Octagon debut at UFC 76. The PRIDE 2005 Middleweight (205 pound) Grand Prix Champion is known for his aggressive style, and despite his willingness to stand and trade with anyone, he also holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He holds victories over current UFC Champion Quinton Jackson, who he defeated by first round KO, as well as Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira, Ricardo Arona, and Kazuhiro Nakamura. Currently riding a four-fight win streak in PRIDE, Shogun enters the UFC with an eagerness to introduce himself as a new contender in the organization’s ultra-competitive 205-pound division.

Griffin (14-4) has faced serious opposition in the Octagon, and is respected for having never backed down from a challenge. He is a well rounded fighter whose aggressive style and warrior’s heart propelled him to become the Light Heavyweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter® Season 1. He has fought Tito Ortiz, Stephan Bonnar, Elvis Sinosic, Keith Jardine, and most recently, Hector Ramirez at UFC 72. Griffin battled Ramirez for three rounds and won by unanimous decision, not only scoring a victory, but reclaiming his status as a rising 205-pound contender. He would like nothing more than to stop “Shogun” in his transition to the Octagon and continue his ascent up the light heavyweight ranks.

Starting today, UFC.com will present two of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s previous fights in the PRIDE organization through UFC® On Demand™, a service that makes UFC archives, previously unaired fights as well as exclusive UFC programming and the classic “Legendary Fights™” series available to fight fans.

Shogun vs. Overeem from PRIDE 33 and Shogun vs. Arona from PRIDE Final Conflict 2005 can be accessed through http://video.ufc.com/. Pricing for individual videos is $1.99 and monthly subscriptions are available for $9.99.

For more information about UFC 76 or any upcoming UFC event, visit www.ufc.com or uk.ufc.com. All bouts are live and subject to change.

High-Profile Doctor Agrees To Name Names In Steroid Investigation

When it comes to this case, I'm not as "in-the-know" as I should be, but yesterday morning, Dr. Claire Godfrey pleaded guilty to charges of basically writing illegal prescriptions.

Surprise, surprise, Godfrey's believed to have written close to one-and-a-half-million-dollars worth of scripts for steroids to, among others, two of WWE's (unnamed, although neither of them were Chris Benoit) wrestlers.

As part of Godfrey's plea bargain, she will fully cooperate with David Soares (Albany's DA, who's presently working on a related investigation), thus avoiding any jail time (which could've seen her face up to twenty-five-years in prison).

WWE's Gary Davis was quoted in today's edition of the New York Times, saying, "We applaud the efforts of government officials to shut down the illegal use of steroids and those doctors who illegally prescribe them" (which is only slightly better than saying, "Who cares?").

Jeannie Williams Resurfaces To Speak Out Against Drug Use In Pro Wrestling

Kudos to Simon Rothstein for finding Chris Adams' ex-girlfriend and Steve Austn's ex-wife, who returns from the new world with spices, gold and interesting tales. Well, maybe just that last thing.

Most-telling to me, was Williams' claim of never being physically assaulted by either beau, but there's plenty more to enjoy, so have a look.

PS: When the real numbers are staggering enough, there's no need to exaggerate them to one-hundred-five in a ten-year period, as if anywhere near that many died so soon from anything even close to mentioned in the article.

IFL Announces Athletes, Venues, Dates For First IFL World Grand Prix Tournament

Courtesy of the International Fight League:

Top Four Athletes In Each Weight Class To Compete For Individual Championship Belts

NEW YORK, July 25, 2007 – The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI) today announced the dates, venues and rosters for the 2007 IFL World Grand Prix, the individual all-star competition for the world’s number one mixed martial arts league. The semifinals will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Sears Centre in Chicago and the finals will take place on Saturday, Dec. 29 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., sites of two of the league’s most successful team events in 2007.

The tournament will feature the top four athletes from the IFL regular season in each of five weight categories. The winner from each weight class will be crowned a world Grand Prix champion, rewarding their great individual athletic accomplishment in team-based MMA.

Tickets for the IFL World Grand Prix semifinals will go on sale on Saturday, August 4. Tickets can be purchased at the Sears Centre box office, by calling 1-888-SEARSTIX, or online at www.ifl.tv. Tickets for the Finals at Mohegan Sun will go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 17, at 10 a.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun box office, online at www.Ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-860-886-0070.

Among the stars scheduled to compete are Silverbacks’ heavyweight Ben Rothwell (Milwaukee, Wis.), Anacondas teen sensation lightweight Chris Horodecki (London, Ontario), Sabres’ light heavyweight standout Vladimir Matyushenko (Belarus) and Anacondas’ unbeaten middleweight Benji Radach (Coconut Creek, Fla.). Among the highly-anticipated matchups are rematches between Rothwell and Roy Nelson (Las Vegas) of the Lions and between Horodecki and Bart Palaszewski (Wonder Lake, Ill.) of the Silverbacks. Additionally, Wagnney Fabiano (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), unbeaten and the only IFL athlete with three first-round wins, takes on John Gunderson (Medford, Ore.) in the deep lightweight division.

“The World Grand Prix provides an additional stage for our top athletes at every weight class,” said IFL Commissioner and Co-Founder Kurt Otto. “In addition to striving for the team championship, the best of the best have the opportunity to compete for an individual championship belt, which will give fans the chance to see great matchups between the IFL’s rising stars.

“The fact that every team has at least one qualifier for the World Grand Prix also speaks to the quality and depth of our teams across the board.”

The unbeaten Los Angeles Anacondas have the most qualified athletes with four. The Quad Cities Silverbacks are next with three, while the Toronto Dragons, Nevada Lions and Tokyo Sabres have two each and the remaining seven teams have one apiece. All 20 competitors (four at each weight class) will take to the ring in the semifinals in Chicago. The winners will advance to the finals at Mohegan Sun, which will also include a series of Superfights to round out the card. In the event of injury prior to the competition, the fifth seed (alternate) will fill the vacated spot.

IFL team competition reaches its pinnacle over the next six weeks, as the 2007 IFL World Championship semifinals are set for Thursday, August 2, at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., with the finals set for Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla.

Athletes were selected for the World Grand Prix based on their respective match records during the 2007 regular season. In the event of a tie, competitors with the fastest finishes or best strength of victories earned the higher seeds. The winners then defend their individual belts throughout the 2008 IFL season (dates and locations TBA).

The full rosters for the World Grand Prix Semifinals follow. Bout order will be determined prior to the Official Weigh-in on November 2.

Lightweight (155 lb.)
No. 1 Wagnney Fabiano, Dragons (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (3-0 IFL 2007, 3-0 IFL career, 7-1 overall) vs. No. 4 John Gunderson, Lions (Medford, Ore.) (2-1, 2-1, 15-4)
No. 2 Chris Horodecki, Anacondas (London, Ontario) (3-0, 6-0, 10-0) vs. No. 3 Bart Palaszewski, Silverbacks (Wonder Lake, Ill.) (2-1, 7-1, 27-8)
Alternate: Shad Lierley, Tiger Sharks (Seattle) (2-1, 2-1, 2-1)

Welterweight (170 lb.)
No. 1 Delson Heleno, Pitbulls (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (3-0, 4-1, 11-2) vs. No. 4 Mark Miller, Red Bears (Chicago) (2-1, 8-2, 2-1)
No. 2 Antonio McKee, Sabres (Lakewood, Calif.) (3-0, 3-0, 20-3-2) vs. No. 3 Jay Hieron, Anacondas (Las Vegas) (2-1, 4-2, 12-4)
Alternate: Pat Healy, Lions (St. Louis) (2-1, 2-1. 18-12)

Middleweight (185 lb.)
No. 1 Benji Radach, Anacondas (Coconut Creek, Fla.) (3-0, 3-0, 15-3) vs. No. 4 Brent Beauparlant, Dragons (Ottawa, Ontario) (2-1, 3-3, 6-4)
No. 2 Matt Horwich, Wolfpack (Portland, Ore.) (2-1, 4-3, 19-9-1) vs. No. 3 Brian Foster, Razorclaws (Moreno Valley, Calif.) (2-1, 3-2, 9-11)
Alternate: Fabio Leopoldo, Pitbulls (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (2-1, 3-1, 5-2)

Light Heavyweight (205 lb.)
No. 1 Vladimir Matyushenko, Sabres (El Segundo, Calif.) (3-0, 3-0, 18-3) vs. No. 4 Alex Schoenauer, Anacondas (Las Vegas) (2-1, 4-3, 12-7)
No. 2 Mike Whitehead, Scorpions (Central Point, Ore.) (2-0, 4-0, 19-4) vs. No. 3 Mike Ciesnolevicz, Silverbacks (Williamstown, Pa.) (2-0, 4-2, 12-2)
Alternate: Jamal Patterson, Pitbulls (Hoboken, N.J.) (1-0, 3-1, 3-1)

Heavyweight (265 lb.)
No. 1 Ben Rothwell, Silverbacks (Milwaukee, Wis.) (3-0, 7-0, 22-5) vs. No. 4 Roy Nelson, Lions (Las Vegas) (2-1, 2-1, 8-2)
No. 2 Antoine Jaoude, Condors (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) (3-0, 3-0, 7-2) vs. No. 3 Reese Andy, Tiger Sharks (Billings, Mont.) (3-0, 5-1, 7-1)
Alternate: Bryan Vetell, Pitbulls (Jamaica, N.Y.) (1-1, 1-2, 2-2)

About the IFL

International Fight League™ (IFL) is the world’s number one professional mixed martial arts sports league. IFL has its headquarters in New York and offices in Las Vegas. For more information about IFL, please see: www.ifl.tv.

Oh, Yeah, This Guy Gets It

This, on the UFC and steroids, from Dan Wetzel (of Yahoo! Sports):

"I have faith in (Dana) White. He's too shrewd not to realize his sport's credibility is at stake. And he's way too tough to care about any backlash. He also has been open to significant oversight of the sport. Rather than lash out at Sen. John McCain's famed assessment that MMA was 'human cockfighting,' he embraced it and worked to create the regulation that made it legit."

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Where in the fuck does one even begin?

Luke Cummo Names His Next Opponent ...

Edilberto de Oliveira (who recently suffered the first loss of his career, to Paul Taylor, at UFC 70).

The fight will be part of the UFC's next edition of 'Fight Night,' and here's how that care presently stands:

'UFC Fight Night'
The Pearl
Las Vegas, Nevada
Wednesday, September 19
Live (9-11 PM ET) on Spike TV

* Lightweights: Din Thomas vs. Spencer Fisher
* Welterweights: Mike Swick vs. Jonathan Goulet
* Lightweights: Gray Maynard vs. Joe Veres
* Lightweights: Nate Diaz vs. Junior Assuncao
* Middleweights: Chris Leben vs. Terry Martin
* Welterweights: Thiago Alves vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka
* Welterweights: Luke Cummo vs. Edilberto de Oliveira

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tonight's Episode Of 'ECW On Sci Fi' Is In The Books

The lowdown from Fresno's Save Mart Center at Fresno State:

- John Morrison had Justin Roberts read an elaborate intro, which extolled Morrison's virtues. Hell, those virtues are still on RAW. Morrison went on to brag about defeating CM Punk (not much of a feat, really) and retain the ECW title. According to Morrison, Punk will never again get a shot at his belt. Even though he's already wrestling on the show, Morrison, as a way of moving on, issued an open challenge, saying if someone could beat him, or even last fifteen-minutes in the ring with him, he'd give them a shot at his title. Morrison claimed to be intimidated by a local (no name given), who was very tiny, but still looked like he could take Punk. Punk ... I mean, the guy, only lasted about thirty-seconds. This segment, 'Fifteen-Minutes of Fame,' reminded me of that shit Kurt Angle used to do, except Angle had charisma, so his segments were fun to watch.

- (What's left of) Stevie Richards defeated (speaking of guys who've recently been separated from their charisma) Kevin Thorn, confirming my belief that Stevie-lyte is still better than many of those the company chooses to push. Thorn went for what looked to be a version of the 'Razor's Edge,' (I think, as Mordecai, he used that as a finisher), but Richards slid out, caught Thorn with a backslide, and scored the pin.

- After rambling about being something and inviting Extreme Exposé to sit at ringside, The Miz defeated Nunzio. Miz' new, potent finisher involves a running-kneelift/swinging-neckbreaker combo. As a victory surprise, Miz "danced" with EE. Why, oh, why?

- We saw Big-Daddy-V and Matt Striker on their way to the ring. Feel free to fill in your own joke.

- Handicap match: While Striker joined Joey Styles and Tazz, BDV went on to fustigate Jimmy Cruz & Victor Calmiho (or something along those lines). Because BDV wasn't wearing a shirt, I tried not to look directly at him, so I have no idea exactly how he beat them.

- Tommy Dreamer's bald spot & Punk defeated Elijah Burke & Morrison. Morrison spent the majority of time trying to avoid Punk. In the end, Punk nailed Burke with the 'GTS,' then scored the pin. Burke's great, and all four of these guys have shown they can work, but this just didn't click for me (with the exception for the minute or two after Punk's hot tag). If anything, Burke's personality was being sucked out of him, as if the main event was being held in a vacuum.

I found myself doing a lot of clock watching. Geesh, they could've at least humiliated Striker for me, so I'd have had something to enjoy.

Final Ratings Information For Last Night's Edition Of 'WWE RAW'

According to data released by Nielsen Media Research, the news is not good, as even coming one-day after a pay-per-view (whatever it was called), the show finished with another 3.4.

Even worse, overall viewership is down (particularly in males, which hurts them the most), meaning this cloud ain't got much of an accompanying silver lining.

Programming Alert: Mr. Kennedy On 'Tom Green Live'

Too unhip to know (or care about) what it is, but you can find it on Tom Green's website, tonight at 11 PM ET.

Hulk Hogan Steps Into The Ring At QVC

Courtesy of QVC, Inc.:

Pro Wrestler and Reality Show Star to Make Broadcast Debut

WEST CHESTER, Pa., July 24 -- Sixteen-time heavyweight wrestling champion and recent reality show star Hulk Hogan is scheduled to make his QVC(R) debut on Thursday, July 26, 2007. Hogan will offer shoppers a specially packaged Hulk Hogan(TM) Ultimate Grill as the Today's Special Value(R).

The Ultimate Grill features dual-sided grilling capabilities, self-contained grease trapper and three interchangeable plates, including two grills and a skillet. However, as part of QVC's Today's Special Value the Hulk Hogan Ultimate Grill will be offered with five interchangeable plates -- two grill plates, two waffle plates and one griddle plate.

Each day, QVC offers one Today's Special Value, which is an item offered at an exceptionally low price -- good for the day of the Today's Special Value, until 11:59 PM (ET). The grill will be available throughout the day -- while supplies last.

"This is an exciting venture for QVC," said Ken O'Brien, director of home merchandising for QVC. "Hulk's appearance on QVC will allow our viewers to see the other side of the wrestling legend while introducing them to a great new product. It's a win-win situation for everyone."

Hogan adds, "It will be QVC-Mania in the building as we kick off the Hulk Hogan Ultimate Grill."

Hogan wrestled his way into the hearts of fans everywhere when he first entered the ring in 1979 with his above-the-ropes persona, long white hair and signature 24-inch "pythons." Arguably the most famous WWF (later renamed WWE) superstar of all time, Hogan brought unprecedented mainstream attention to wrestling, sparking the "Hulkmania" frenzy that landed him in various television and movie roles, including his famous 1983 appearance in Rocky III playing opposite Sylvester Stallone. Today, he continues to be a star on his own reality TV show, which kicked off its fourth season on July 22.

The Hulk Hogan Ultimate Grill is available through QVC at 800.345.1515 or http://www.QVC.com while supplies last.

About QVC
QVC, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation attributed to the Liberty Interactive Group (Nasdaq: LINTA), is one of the largest multimedia retailers in the world, with annual revenue of more than $7 billion. QVC is committed to providing customers with thousands of the most innovative and contemporary beauty, fashion, jewelry and home products. Its programming is distributed to more than 166 million homes worldwide. The company's website, QVC.com, is ranked among the top general merchant Internet sites. With subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, West Chester, PA-based QVC has shipped more than a billion packages in its 20-year history.

!BANG! TV Report - Support The Troops 18, "Fight For Freedom "Webbies" Now Up

Courtesy of Dory Funk Jr.:

!BANG! TV cameras take you behind the scenes at the Funking Conservatory in Reality Format for an In Depth look at the Funking Conservatory athletes in preparation for the next !BANG! TV Taping coming Sunday July 29th.

Flyin' Ryan "Air" Mitchell - Slapped in the Face
Flyin' Ryan "Air Mitchell is training under the watchful eye of Sandii Skye for Sunday July 29th Support the Troops 18, Fight for Freedom where Air Mitchell with Sandii Skye will have two matches and the opportunity to become a Triple Crown Champion. Air Mitchell and Sandii Skye are rudely interrupted by the garbage mouthed Blain Rage and what follows is "Despicable."

Elvis Sharp is Goin' to a Party

Elvis Sharp has his guitar in hand and is wooing the Pop Tarts with promises of a trip to the Bahamas on his Lisa Marie (Elvis' Private Jet). Elvis promises the Pop Tarts champagne, money, gambling and the opportunity to meet John Travolta at the air strip. Just as Elvis starts to strum a tune, Elvis' Opponent for Support the Troops 18, Fight for Freedom, Cory Squires walks on the scene and garners the attention of the Pop Tarts with his cool country talk. Elvis's strumming of the guitar turns to jealousy of the popular Cory Squires and then-------.

Mario Benedetti, Straight Talk from The Claw, Deception by "Air" Mitchell and Sandii Skye

Young and brash newcomer to the Funking Conservatory, Mario Benedetti complains to The Claw, Claudia Reiff about unnecessary roughness on the part of Blain Rage in a training match at the Funking Conservatory. After being informed by The Claw that this is a rough game, Young Benedetti offers up some gossip about Blain Rage and the Pop Tarts. The Claw introduces Mario to Veterans Flyin' Ryan "Air" Mitchell and his beautiful valet Sandii Skye who feign friendship with the young Englishman.

Shane Chung Snaps

Shane Chung complains to Miss Vicki about lack of support in his match on !BANG! TV in which Shane lost his Florida Championship to Blain Rage. When Miss Vicki shows Shane Chung Her championship belt Shane "snaps" and goes into a temper tantrum not seen since the days of Stone Cold Steve Austin followed by some special comments for "Air" Mitchell.

Blain Rage - "Shocking Behavior"

In the latest !BANG! TV Webbie, Blain Rage stiffens up on a young trainee (Mario Benedetti of the UK) in a training match officiated by The Claw. Blain Rage then faces the wrath of Dory Funk Jr. and is sent to the dressing room for picking on someone with less experience. An inconsiderate Blain Rage has some insulting words for The Pop Tart's Lady Kimberly then asks something about a sandwich. Lady Kimberly tells Blain Rage in no uncertain terms just where He can stick the sandwich. Unbelievably, Blain finds his way to Dory Funk Jr.'s dressing area where he places a porno 900 call on Coach Funk's cell phone to the tune of $5.00 plus a minute. Blain's phone call is interrupted by newcomer Cory Squires who has some admiration for Blain's wrestling skills. They make friends and as a token of their friendship, Blain Rage gives Cory Squires a present to confirm their friendship, Coach Funk's cowboy had and $2,500.00 Lucchese Classic Alligator cowboy boots. As coach Funk enters the scene he is met by an apologetic Blain Rage then Coach Funk sees Cory Squires wearing his cowboy hat and cowboy boots.

You can see all of the above "Webbies" and check out Coach Funk's reaction now on !BANG! TV at www.dory-funk.com. If you would like to train at the Funking Conservatory and appear on !BANG! TV Call 352-895-4658

John Kronus' MySpace Page To Remain Open


"This page will remain open as a tribute to John

Thank you all for the many letters of condolences, thoughts and prayers during our time of berievement. John was a wonderful Father, Brother, and Friend who was loved by many and will be missed by all."

RIP: Ronnie P. Gossett

I should later have more on this, but Ronnie P. Gossett (probably best remembered for his role as a manager in Memphis), who'd recently been hospitalized, passed away in the late evening or early morning hours.

If WWE's Trying To Find More Ammunition For The Lawsuit Against Dale Gagner ...

"'Ultimately, at the end of the day, injuries are going to happen,' American Wrestling Alliance commissioner Dale Gagne said."

Note from Ric: I assume that was supposed to read: "American Wrestling Association," although I would also assume Gagner can't be as stupid as he looks (and I have been way off on that one).

PS: Ironic topic, considering Kirby Mack was just added to a growing list of legitimately injured victims of Hernandez' 'Border Toss'?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tonight's Episode Of 'WWE RAW' Is In The Books

The lowdown from Sacramento's ARCO Arena:

- Jonathan Coachman bragged about how, thanx to him, the 'Great American Bash' was a major success. If he says so. Coachman said, with 'SummerSlam' on the way, a new number-one-contender needed to be made, so he'd be keeping his eyes open. He then talked about tonight's main event, the 'Champions-Only Match.'

- King Booker and Queen Sharmell came to the ring, which (on one side) was elaborately decorated with a throne, a goblet, and an elegant feast of fruit. On the other side, was a coffee mug and donut. Booker summoned Jerome Lawler, so the two could state their cases for being WWE's true "King." Lawler's microphone didn't work, so this segment was solely carried by Booker. Booker even insulted the Sacramento Kings, whatever they are, saying they should be the Sacramento Peasants. I think Triple H was also mentioned in there. Lawler was eventually allowed to respond (damn), saying the people don't want Booker to be their king, and thought he was (among other things) a pain in the arse. Speak for yourself, Jerome. Booker and Jerome ended up going nose-to-nose, and Lawler (being from Memphis) decided to cheap shot my king, sending him from the ring. An angry Booker vowed revenge on "Jerry."

- We saw Beth Phoenix and Melina on their way to the ring, where they will wrestle someone.

- Phoenix & Melina defeated Mickie James & Maria. Santino Marella accompanied Maria to the ring, then sat down with Jim Ross and Lawler. Hey, just be glad you've still got a job, pal. Melina, in particular, took a couple of good bumps, which were pretty much the highlight of the entire segment. Well, unless you're Marella, then, it's the pleasure of being all over Maria. Marella ended up interfering, tripping Phoenix and Melina. That allowed Maria to hit Melina with a bulldog and score the pin.

- Gerald Brisco was giving advice to Cody Rhodes, when Randy Orton came onto the scene. Rhodes seems to think Orton is afraid of something. Yeah, maybe damage to his face, but not anyone in your family, punk. Orton tried to let the little dick out of their match, but you know how little dicks can be. Well, I don't, but I've heard.

- Snitsky likes to hurt people. Oh, and he feels no remorse. Good for him.

- Todd Grisham wanted John Cena's thoughts on tonight's main event. Cena's so colorless, he even bored me to tears while describing Candice Michelle's beauty. Cena still ain't worried about nothing, he's ready for any challenge, etc., etc., etc.

- William Regal & Carlito defeated Jim Duggan & The Sandman. What a waste of talent (Regal and Carlito) and space on the roster (Duggan and Sandman). Coachman, as promised, was seen looking on. Yes, plenty of number-one-contender types involved in this one. Well, at least I got to see Carlito hit his back-cracker (on Duggan, whom he then pinned).

- Carlito was quite happy with his earlier performance, so he took a bite out of his apple. In looking for a place to spit, he accidentally hit Bobby Lashley (who just happened to be walking by). Carlito immediately ran to the ring, so he could publicly apologize for what happened. Lashley, however, didn't accept, so he and his shitty new music joined Carlito, who attacked first and tried to escape. Lashley pretty much made sure that plan failed.

- Orton defeated David Flair ... I mean, Cody Rhodes. Orton (earning his share of support on the way) spent the majority of the time playing with Rhodes, while Rhodes spent the majority of the time sucking. 'RKO' and pin. Orton wanted to punt Rhodes' head, but some fat, stupid-looking guy made the save. Orton, however, went ahead and punted the head of said fat, stupid-looking guy. It's fun to kick things. Several referees made the save (damn), so various medical personnel could bring out a (reinforced) stretcher. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your number-one-contender and next WWE champion!

- During the break, Rhodes nearly cried, as they loaded that guy onto the stretcher. Ross and Lawler promised us updates on whomever that was.

- I was having such a good time, when Mr. ("Birth that baby for you, Mrs. McMahon-Levesque?") Kennedy came out for his match (against Jeff Hardy). Kennedy said something, and if you wanna know what it was, too fucking bad. Hardy appeared to purposely blow a split-legged moonsault, which looked to nearly cripple his ass, but he was actually fine. They ended up on the floor, where Hardy beat the ref's count to earn a victory. I've heard it was a good match, but I'm so disgusted by Kennedy's gimmick, I didn't notice.

- Moments ago (during Kennedy's ring introduction), Rhodes, Duggan and Arn Anderson were among those accompanying the fat, stupid-looking guy to the ambulance. Rhodes even joined the guy on his ride to the hospital. What a courteous (but dorky) young man.

- In an update from last night, Triple H is still slated to return at 'SummerSlam.' He's a lot like that wife of his, in that I don't really care.

- The World's Greatest Tag Team defeated Paul London & Brian Kendrick. I could barely keep up with the action! Kendrick ended up whiffing a plancha (ouch), allowing TWGTT to catch London with that rope-straddle thingy they do. Charlie Haas immediately nailed London with a captured German suplex and scored the pin. Gotta learn to keep that trap of yours shut, London.

- Booker and Sharmell again made their royal presence felt, saying, on next week's program, Book would be kicking Lawler's ass (or something along those lines).

- Grisham asked Coachman for an inside track on the new number-one-contender. Coach first wanted to inform that person and was on his way. Candice (Did she have that black eye before tonight?) appeared, hoping Coach would reconsider tonight's main event, but he refused.

- Speaking of tonight's main event, we saw Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch & Umaga making their way to the ring.

- ''Champions-Only Match': Cena & Candice defeated Cade, Murdoch & Umaga. As if the odds weren't stacked enough against Cena, no-disqualification stipulations were added. It didn't really work, as he still had his share of both supporters and detractors. The heels had Candice set up for Umaga's ass thing, but Hardy returned to destroy a chair on Umaga. As Candice and Umaga (with Hardy in tow) fled, Cena managed to hit Murdoch with an 'FU' and score the pin. No sooner did that happen, then Orton snuck into the ring to nail the WWE champion with an 'RKO.' Coachman then announced Orton as the new number-one-contender. Orton fucking rulz! PS: I'm crushin' on Cade's new haircut.

Even some of the non-Orton stuff was entertaining, but we all know what the people came to see!

Couple Of Early Acceptances For This Year's Diva Search

Look for a lot more of these names to be revealed in coming days, but at this time, I know WWE has chosen Jem Palmer and Louise Glover to be two of the fifty semifinalists for 2007.

On August 16, those fifty will be whittled down to eight, and I'm pretty sure you know what happens after that.

Best of luck to both of these young ladies.

Preview For Tonight's Edition Of 'WWE RAW'

Host: Sacramento's ARCO Arena.

What to expect?: Oh, a big program, kiddies.

- 'Champions-Only Match': John Cena & Candice Michelle vs. Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch & Umaga. Gee, interesting.

- Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton. Good, maybe, this time, Orton can finish the job.

- Lots and lots of things, such as other stuff.

If you don't hear more from me before the start of the show, look for my review, which should be posted at about 11:10 ET.