MON. UPDATE: TNA move to Monday, UFC deal; Awesome high flyers match signed; Great TV commercial



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        We're looking for your thoughts on last night's TNA Against All Odds show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
        
        We're looking for reports from Raw live tonight in Des Moines, with Superstars matches, dark matches and anything else of significant not on the live show.  We're also looking for reports on tonight's Impact tapings in Orlando.
 
        We're also looking for reports from Saturday night's Raw show in Madison, WI, Saturday night's ROH show in New York as well as Sunday's Raw show in Philadelphia and Smackdown show in Guadalajara.

        Raw tonight has Jerry Springer as guest host, and a triple main event of John Cena vs. HHH, Kofi Kingston vs. Ted DiBiase and Randy Orton vs. Sheamus.  TNA will also be taping Monday in Orlando.

        Tuesday has Smackdown  in Kansas City headlined by Edge's first singles match back against Batista, as well as Smackdown matches of Christian vs. Ezekiel Jackson in an Extreme rules match for the ECW title and Miz & Big Show vs. Goldust & Yoshi Tatsu for the tag titles on the final episode of the show.
 
        UFC has programming all day on Spike.  It started at 9 a.m. and continues through 8 p.m..  The 100 Greatest Fights (where the winners of the fights weren't on the political outs so no Frank Shamrock, Tito Ortiz, Maurice Smith, Pat Miletich and others) are counted down from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., followed by a new episode of Unleashed featuring three matches from UFC 106 at 8 p.m., Ben Saunders vs. Marcus Davis, Amir Sadollah vs. Phil Baroni and Josh Koscheck vs. Anthony Johnson.
 
        ROH at 8 p.m. on HDNet tonight.
 
        One of the biggest biographies in the history of the Observer, a look at the life and career of Jack Brisco, is the subject of one of two issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter out this week.

        A look at WrestleMania this year, how it's shaping up, the top matches, the Elimination Chamber preceding it and how the past several years shows have performed is among the other lead stories.

        For those into wrestling history, we have one of our biggest features ever on the career of Jack Brisco.  In particular, we look at one of the greatest feuds in pro wrestling history with Jack Brisco vs. Dory Funk Jr. over the NWA world heavyweight championship, the psychology behind it and go back to when that was considered the classic wrestling match worldwide.  We also talk with some of the greatest wrestlers in history on Jack Brisco, as well as look back at comments about the feud, Brisco, and what was going on from other major power players in the industry at that time.

        Both issues are available today for web site subscribers.  For those interested in getting the Observer mailed to your home, ordering details follow.

        We look at the night Dory Funk Jr. won the NWA title, the process of becoming world champion, Jack Brisco growing up, his early interest in pro wrestling, his heroes growing up, the night he teamed with his idol to win his first major title, his thoughts on Funk Jr. becoming world champion and how that day changed his career.

        We look back to the first Funk Jr. vs. Brisco world title match, and how the program heated up including a record setting sellout streak, Terry Funk establishing himself as a top draw, the length and breath of the feud, his background, his personal standards, the announcing of Gordon Solie, Brisco vs. Billy Robinson, the night he was originally supposed to win the title and what happened, his debut in St. Louis, the first Brisco vs Funk Jr. match in that city, the Brisco Brothers vs Funk Brothers, setting the all-time Florida record gate, the longest matches in modern wrestling history and the setting up of his world title run.

        We look at the build for Brisco vs. Funk Jr. in Houston, the title change to Harley Race, the win over Harley Race and how it was covered at the time, as well as comments from people like Dory Jr., Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross, Bill Watts and many others.

        We also have major career record rundowns on Brisco, life outside of wrestling, health issues, the hotel story with Billy Robinson, outside the ring stories, behind the selling of WCW, Black Saturday, Jack's final NWA title match, how he first got over, his leaving wrestling and so much more.

        This is, size wise, one of the biggest biographies in the history of the Observer, and really couldn't be fitting because Brisco was a consensus all-time great.

        We also have tons more on the WWE NXT show, including different ideas talked about, as well as a reaction of someone close to the situation regarding thoughts on the currently planned direction.

        We also have notes on the 2010 schedule for Shawn Michaels.

        We also have a look at the end of the careers of Ron Simmons and Mark Coleman.

        We've got full coverage of UFC 109, with business notes, why the TV ratings were up, early buy rate indicators, the debut of Phil Davis, plus match-by-match coverage, poll results and payoff records for the night.

        We also have a detailed look at step-by-step, what happened with Davey Richards, ROH and Dragon Gate USA.

        We've got a look at Ron Simmons, noting his college football success, how he got into pro wrestling, his early days in Florida, the tag team of Doom, the story behind his WCW title win and his tenure in WWE, plus a look at the first African-American stars to have held world titles.

        We've got an update on WWE video game sales.  We've got more on WWE WrestleMania week plans, how Serena Deeb made it to the main roster, an update on the Linda McMahon campaign for the senate, attempts for Vancouver too get WrestleMania, future of ECW talent, Fozzy and WWE new CD record sales, more on the Marella sitcom, Royal Rumble all-time records, PPV site change, Mickie James' first record, Cena knocks Hogan, update on developmental, new WWE guest hosts and house show rundowns.

       We also have a look at the ratings for all the major pro
wrestling and MMA shows on television over the past week.

    We also have our usual weekly features such as the results of the
biggest matches of the week and rundown of the major television shows.

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Also in this week's issues:

--Talent for Dragon Gate's WrestleMania weekend shows and big show main event

--Unlikely Sumo Hall main title match

--2010 Champion Carnival tournament

--Unique pro wrestling show coming in a few weeks including world champion from rival organizations, one worked and one shoot, doing a match as well as top stars from rival organizations forming a tag team

--Wrestling Hall of Famer's governor election coming this week

--Crazy match-ups on Inoki's next show including brawler of the year against cult MMA favorite, legends match

--Dreamer goes to Japan and draws advanced sellout

--Notes on Against All Odds PPV

--What happened with Scott Steiner

--RVD in TNA update

--Notes on Foley's comedy show in Las Vegas

--Injury to TNA star

--Injury to WWE star

--Update on Bobby Lashley

--More on major lawsuit against Hogan

--New businesses Ric Flair looking to open

--Update on Honky Tonk Man in TNA

--Flair talks about his return to the ring as a wrestler in TNA

--Notes on weekend TNA house shows

--Details of WEC's first PPV

--Notes on UFC Undisputed video game for 2010

--White talks future of Ultimate Fighter

--Earliest start for a UFC PPV show coming up

--Notes on upcoming UFC schedule of events

--Pride ratings

--Tons of new matches added to upcoming shows

--Notes on Herschel Walker's Strikeforce payday

--Business notes on the show including how much the main fighters earned, how much Showtime paid for the show, and who has challenged Walker to a fight

--Former gold medalist announces retirement match at Budokan Hall
     




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and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)

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*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say
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*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the
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*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the
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--Not a lot from today's TNA press conference.  The news had largely been out for weeks regarding the move to Mondays.  Hulk Hogan put over the company, saying they were filled with positive people with a high work ethic.  Dixie Carter said they could have gone 8-10 p.m. but they felt 9-11 p.m. was the best decision.  Hogan said that wrestlers want to prove they are the best by going head-to-head.  They don't even remember that when WCW started beating Raw on a regular basis it was partially because they had an unopposed hour first.  Hogan said for him it was the only option because wrestlers like a good fight.  She said no plans for going three hours but they are planning on additional programming on Spike.  Hogan said Vince McMahon won't acknowledge it publicly (he will if the ratings become close but probably not until and ratings becoming close would be a long shot for a long time).  He claimed WWE talent wants TNA to do well (well, the smart ones do, the brainwashed ones don't).  Carter said she'll be happy to start out at the same level of ratings they have on Thursday and grow from there.    
 
--The Variety article on TNA moving to Mondays at http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118015914.html?categoryid=14&cs=1  TNA claimed ratings are up 27% in Males 18-49 since Jan. 4, which would be the case because of the big numbers the first three weeks.  The only WWE quote was from Robert Zimmerman, saying, "We're not too concerned.  We're in good shape," noting the increase in Raw ratings after implementing guest hosts.  There's something to that to a point, as some guest hosts have helped ratings, but Raw ratings were up about the same before the guest hosts.  The increase is largely due to the fact ratings for 90% of sports programming is up with the bad economy and people going out less.    
 
--ESPN has some notes on Jerry Springer on tonight's Raw at http://espn.go.com/espn/page2/index?id=4915512  The reason Springer got WWE more press than most celebrities have is because he was willing to do a national conference call to promote tonight's show.  We'll see if that pays off in the ratings.
 
--UFC has signed a licensing deal with Fathead for wall posters of top UFC fighters.  There will be fatheads of all the top draws.  

 

--Bryan and I will be back tonight after Raw with both a rundown of Raw, a rundown of the Impact tapings tonight, and answering questions.  You can send in questions to the link on the front page and we'll answer as many as possible tonight.

 
--There will be an old surprise on tonight's Raw that I was asked not to reveal, likely working with Jerry Springer.  Nothing that major.  
 
--There is an awesome commercial on the Cartoon network encouraging kids to do pushups with Bas Rutten.  I mean, really tremendous.  It's  a shame his prime wasn't now because I don't think there's anyone in MMA who has his natural charisma.
 
--Jack Evans & Young Bucks vs. Cima & Gamma & Dragon Kid was announced for 3/26 in Phoenix on the Dragon Gate USA show.
 
--The second Evolve show will be 3/13 in Rahway, NJ at the Rec Center with Chris Hero vs. Ikuto Hidaka, Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Hallowicked & Frightmare vs. Amasis & Ophidian vs. Fire Ant & Green Ant and Ricochet vs. Chuck Taylor
 
--ROH announced Rhett Titus and Skullcrusher Rasche Brown have signed.
 
--Chris Jericho's band Fozzy will be playing on the Friday night of Mania weekend at Club Red in Tempe, AZ, just outside of Phoenix.   
 
--Shelton Benjamin, who had the weekend off, was shown at mat side during last night's Iowa vs. University of Minnesota wrestling meet which aired on the Big 10 network.  They showed him, but didn't mention WWE or pro wrestling.  There was also a Brock Lesnar banner hanging from the ceiling of the gym commemorating Lesnar's NCAA title win (thanks to Roger Hill)
 
--The A-Team trailer played yesterday during the Daytona 500 race on FOX.  Quinton Jackson was all over the trailer and had as many lines in it as anyone.  Looked like the movie was getting a major push (thanks to Kevin Miller)
 
--The roof of the Rostraver Ice Gardens, not far from Pittsburgh, collapsed yesterday at 3:30 p.m..  Nobody was injured even though a youth hockey tournament was going on.  TNA had a house show in the arena set for 3/13 which is going to have to be moved as they are looking for a new location in the Pittsburgh area. (thanks to Devin Cutting)
 
--Best TV show of the past week
Smackdown 32.6%
Raw 28.0%
Impact 22.6%
ROH 7.4%
CMLL 2.9%
AAA 1.7%
ECW 1.7%
Inside MMA 1.4%
King of the Cage 1.4%
Superstars 0.3%
 
--Which of these fan bases has the highest percentage of its audience earning more than $100,000 per year
NFL 23.7%
UFC 19.4%
Boxing 17.3%
MLB 12.9%
NBA 9.0%
NHL 7.3%
WWE 6.1%
TNA 2.5%
Strikeforce 1.8%
        Based on who goes to the web site, the correct answer is Major League Baseball.
 
--Is the new WWE idea of doing themed PPVs better than the old idea
No, it forces gimmick matches that aren't ready and thus don't mean as much as they did before 84.5%
Yes, gimmick matches are a better selling point 15.5%
        Wow, very one-sided and completely opposite of the current WWE belief.  The real answer to this won't be evident until the end of this year.
--Congratulations to Sonjay Dutt, who is getting married this coming Saturday.
 
--WWE releases the John Morrison DVD tomorrow.
 
--The Daily Record in the U.K. has a story at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/showbiz/celebrity-interviews/ on Maria Kanellis, plugging an album called "Seven Sins" she has coming out in April and pushing a post-Mania show on 4/10 outside of Glasgow, Scotland.    
 
--One of the oldest indie groups in the country, Southern States Wrestling, runs its 19th anniversary show on 2/26 in Kingsport, TN at the National Guard Armory with Ray Idol vs. Frank Parker as the main event, plus Ricky Morton appears and there is an 18 man Cyclone Stampede.
 
--There is a story on Shark Boy appearing at a TNA show on Saturday in Massena, OH at the St. Lawrence Centre Arena  http://www.ogd.com/article/20100215/ODG01/302159932/-1/ogd01  He said his favorite wrestlers growing up were Randy Savage, Brian Pillman, Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan, but when he started wrestling, his favorites became Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Steve Austin.  
 
--Ultimate Championship Wrestling in Bay City, MI on Saturday night before 400 fans:  Teo b POD in a minis match, Zach Gowen (isn't he out with a torn ACL, or is the torn ACL just a way to cancel bookings?) b N8 Mattson, Scarbonis b Davincis, Eddie Venom b Tommy Titus, Adam Sniper b Sebastian Rose, Ty Darious b Mad Dragon, Pete Christie b Jeff Brooke.  Next show is 3/27 at the National Guard Armory in Bay City with Sid Vicious, Jon Heidenreich and Matt Cross.
 
--Universal Wrestling Enterprises on Saturday night in Gladwin, MI:  Rex Hart & Canadian Hit Squad b Road Dogg & Eric Freedom & Jimmy Blaze, Melanie Cruz b Taylor Made, Cadillac Jones b Andrew McLeod, Ramon Ramirez b Darkstar Logan, Zane Ramsey b Brandon Bishop, Steve Amani & Chris Cairo b Levi Blue & Gameboy, Justin James b Diamond Steele, Prince b Johnny Graves, Ruff Crossing b Grim Reaper (thanks to Leonard Brand)
 
--Showtime All-Star Wrestling TV tapings on Saturday night in Nashville before 1,000 fans at the Fairgrounds:  Ryan Genesis b Big Bully Douglas, Kevin White b Cody Melton, Brian Christopher b Sigmon, Chase Stevens b David Young, PG-13 b Derrick King & J.T. Stahr, Tracy Taylor b Sue Yung, Hammerjack NC Mark Anthony, Andy Douglas b Jesse Emerson, Vordell Walker b Drew Haskins-DQ, Micah Taylor b Sigmon, Flash Flanagan b Rick Santel-DQ, Chase Stevens b Kid Kash to win International title.  Jerry Jarrett was at the show.  Dutch Mantel and Reno Riggins (promoter) did the announcing.  Mantel also did a seminar that day.  Next tapings are 3/13 (thanks to Larry Goodman)
 
--Cleveland All Pro Wrestling on 3/12 in Cleveland at Belindas Nite Club with PG-13 and Bull Pain
 
--NWA New Beginnings from yesterday in Charlotte:  Jake Manning b Ty Tyson, Caleb Konley b John Davis, Ryan O'Reilly b Josh Magnum, Caprice Coleman b Damien Wayne, Chase Stevens b Cedric Alexander, Blue Demon Jr. b Zack Salvation to keep NWA title, Phil Shatter b Adam Pearce to keep National title (thanks to Michael Carpenter and Marc Watkins)
 
--Some old episodes of NWA on the Mat, which was the TV show during the heyday of pro wrestling in New Zealand are at http://www.nzonscreen.com/search?search_text=on+the+mat+  I remember one episode of that show, the entire 30 minutes devoted to a Harley Race vs. Rick Martel match for the NWA title that I must have seen a half dozen times since Race would send the tape to local promotions before he came to a territory. (thanks to Stephen Ackroyd)
 
--"The Wrestler" was voted by the viewers of the Australian show "At the Movies" as the seventh best movie of the last year (thanks to James Stanios)
 
--ICW Pro Wrestling on 4/3 in Cloverdale, BC at the Fairgrounds    
 
--VPW from Friday night in Portsmouth, UK before 500 fans:  Jake McCluskey b Rob Holte, Ian Logan b Zulu Warrior, Christopher Starr b Brian Hardy, Billy Gunn & Chris Andrews b Bob Holly & UK Kid
 
--NWS on Saturday night in Bloomfield, NJ at the High School Gym with James "Nunzio" Maritato, Tammy Sytch and Jim Duggan
 
--NWA Pro Wrestling Fusion (they name a promotion after neck surgeries?) on 3/6 at the North Tampa Youth Baseball Sports Complex in a fund raiser for North Tampa youth baseball with Steve Madison, Big Vito, The Heartbreak Express, New Heavenly Bodies and more.
 
--AAW is opening up a wrestling school in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club.  Eric Priest and Silas Young will be the head trainers.  They will have classes every Tuesday and Friday night and the course is six months long.  For more info you can contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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