THURS. UPDATE: Notes on recent deaths, Ratings, St. Pierre, Bret Hart, WWE signs member of 80s team



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        TNA Impact from Monday will be repeated tonight in the old 9-11 p.m. time slot on Spike.
 
        Superstars tonight on WGN America:
Santino Marella vs. Zack Ryder
Christian & MVP vs. Chavo Guerrero & Carlito
Goldust vs. Mike Knox
Shelton Benjamin vs. Dolph Ziggler
 
        The most complete look at what the numbers said on Monday night is our lead story in this coming Monday's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We look through the spin, look at the pluses and minuses of TNA's full-time move to Monday, promotional mistakes, things that can be done that would immediately, at least for the short-term, increase the ratings significantly, at what went wrong.
 
        We look at why the tapings after Destination X are so important, as well as look at every segment of Raw and Impact on Monday, the gains and losses of viewers, and what that says about people switching channels. 
 
        We look at the departure of several people from TNA over the past week.
 
        The issue is available on the web site today.  For those wanting the print edition, there are details here on how to get it delivered to your door each week.
 
        We also have a lengthy look at the life and career of Angelo Poffo, including a look at the early days of Randy Savage, and why it took Savage so long to become an international star.  We look at one of the most heated promotional wars of all-time, a television battle that makes the Bischoff vs. Vince war seem absolutely tame in comparison, including threats and realities of actual violence between the sides, including the filing of a multimillion dollar lawsuit.
 
        We look at the peak of Angelo's career, Randy Savage's beginnings in pro wrestling, the legend of the ICW/Jarrett feud, the debut in wrestling of Miss Elizabeth.  We look at the promoter who started signing away their talent, yet ended up giving what Randy Savage would later say was the career advice that ended up changing his life in giving up an angle that would have been between two of the biggest stars of the 80s.
 
        We look at Poffo setting the sit-up record, how he got started in wrestling, his role in the origination of the popularity of the manager character and his controversial WCW Hall of Fame induction.
 
        We also look at the career of Jens Pulver and his role in establishing lighter weight fighters, his interview that was one of the most memorable in MMA history, as well as his future, along with a rundown of WEC 47, with poll results, details on the show and how much all the fighters got paid.
 
        We also look at a new form of pro wrestling production that took place featuring some of the biggest stars of several different promotions that took place over the weekend.
 
        We also have a look at how the Royal Rumble did, comparisons with UFC 109 held a week later, a look at what the price increase meant and comparisons to how the Rumble has done in the two previous years.
 
        We update the lineup for WrestleMania, looking at where the top talent fits in, have more on Raw guest hosts, WWE web site stats, the return to Madison Square Garden, updates on Steve Austin, Bret Hart thrilled to meet a guest host, several WWE talents released talk about being gone, as well as injury updates.  We also have more on senior executives getting major cash for stock selling, cutting of a Playboy model, the story of Chuck Austin and his lawsuit against WWE, update on WWE scouting as well as a look at the house shows over the weekend, with business notes and highlights.
 
    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 issue:

--Lineup for CMLL's first major show of the year with the biggest name in Mexico putting his mask up
 
--Current NFL star wrestles this week in Mexico
 
--How WWE is affecting the mentality when it comes to business in Mexico
 
--Wrestler fired for associating with the wrong wrestler
 
--TNA makes overseas talent deal
 
--Updates on Dragon Gate USA business
 
--Annual King of Gate tournament notes
 
--One of the all-time greats needs another knee operation and insiders question if this Hall of Famer's career may have ended this week
 
--Former WWE star debuts in All Japan at Sumo Hall this week
 
--First cage match in All Japan history features two former MMA headliners against each other
 
--World champion breaks elbow, out indefinitely
 
--Lots of news regarding the school named after Tiger Jeet Singh
 
--The only other known school named after a pro wrestler
 
--Eric Bischoff's latest pro wrestling show idea
 
--Wrestling announcer recovers from stroke
 
--Notes on the recent ROH TV tapings
 
--Updated lineup for TNA Destination X
 
--More on TNA roster changes
 
--What TNA personality credits the dropping of ratings to his not being on TV as much
 
--Problems with the build to the first Monday show
 
--A.J. Styles wrestles tag team partner when he first broke in
 
--Funny story on U.K. reporter doing a story on TNA
 
--Desmond Wolfe talks his start in TNA
 
--Funny story from Vince Russo's book
 
--RVD TV series update
 
--RVD talks Umaga death
 
--Scott Steiner update
 
--TV star looking to get into TNA
 
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--Dana White talks weight class change for one of UFC's biggest stars
 
--UFC gets a network prime time deal overseas and network predicts a 10.0 rating for the debut show
 
--TV show canceled
 
--Jens Pulver talks the Miletich camp
 
--UFC now available in several new countries
 
--Lots of new UFC matches
 
--Update on Herschel Walker fighting
 
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--A couple of notes on some deaths in the last two days.  Sandy Scott was always a nice person the few times I met him.  Very professional and level headed in his approach to the business.  Henry Wittenberg, one of the great wrestlers this country ever produced, had quite an amazing story (next week's issue).  He was almost the American Karelin in the 40s, an unbeatable force on the mat even though he never took up the sport until his sophomore year in college.  Merlin Olsen, well known as an NFL star and later and actor, had pro wrestling ties in the sense that like Wittenberg, he was heavily recruited to get into pro wrestling in a tag team with his brother.  His brother ended up as an AWA promoter in the 80s although I don't recall Merlin Olsen ever being involved in an AWA show.  But he was a wrestling fan and was responsible for an episode of Little House on the Prairie that had an old-time carnival wrestling storyline.
 
--For the week ending 2/28 in the U.K., Impact did 91,000 viewers.  Raw did less than 25,000 and Smackdown did 165,000.  NXT did 38,000.  (thanks to Ian Hamilton)
 
--Does anyone have contact information on former wrestler Bob Roop?
 
--Dennis Condrey has signed with WWE and starts Monday as a trainer at FCW, assigned to the NXT crew (thanks to Rich Tate) 
 
--Last night's UFC Prime Time building up GSP vs. Dan Hardy drew and 0.9 rating and 1 million viewers, far higher than any Countdown show has done since UFC 100.
 
--Strikeforce officials have confirmed to us that April 17 is official and the show won't be moved to another date.  
 
--Smackdown on My50 Chicago will be delayed tomorrow as well as next Friday due to high school basketball playoffs.  Smackdown will air after the games are over. (thanks to Rich Koz)
 
--Smackdown tomorrow night in Lubbock will be airing at 10:30 p.m. due to college basketball (thanks to Victor Martinez)
 
--A story on an attempt to pass a bill rescinding the ban of MMA in West Virginia, one of he few states left, is at http://wboy.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=76557  A bill to do so recently failed.    
 
--More Jim Ross talking MMA at http://www.heavy.com/post/exclusive-jim-ross-talks-becoming-an-mma-fan-james-toney-brock-lesnar-and-more-pt-2-4457
 
--A review of Steve Austin's new movie "Damage" is at http://dvd.ign.com/articles/107/1076515p1.html  The review is positive, saying it's one of the best fighting movies on the DVD market, calling it a strong B- movie
 
--Bret Hart has been in Toronto today promoting his match with Vince McMahon.  He will be on Off the Record.  He did a very good interview on Canada AM at http://watch.ctv.ca/news/top-picks/hitman-returns/#clip275113  He was sitting in a chair in jeans and made no mention of his "injury" nor was the leg taped up.  However, he was selling the leg earlier today in the OTR studio. (thanks to Steve Khan)
 
--There is an interview with Colt Cabana about how he got the Scotty Goldman name and how he was used in WWE at http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/wrestling/
 
--Rachelle Leah is announced as returning as a ring girl at UFC 111 for one night only.  The last time that was announced, in 2008, it didn't happen, and she has talked in the past about how uncomfortable she was in that role when she had it.
 
--Alex Marvez talks the Monday Night Wars at http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/52096
 
--Poll on NXT
Excellent 23.6%
Good 54.0%
Average 12.9%
Fair 3.0%
Poor 6.5%
        26.1% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Do you think TNA's rating will go up or down next week?
Up 16.5%
Down 49.7%
Stay the same 33.8%
 
--What should TNA do first?
Focus on making the wrestling on the show more meaningful 27.4%
Move ASAP to 8-10 p.m. Monday 22.6%
Try to use television to build up matches with more focus 15.6%
Stop worrying about ratings and try and build issues 13.0%
Turn into more of a comedy spoof of wrestling show 8.4%
More back to Thursday 8.2%
Make no changes 3.8%
More old style interview segments 1.2%
 
--Doug Williams noted that despite it being written that he trained Jemma Palmer, a new woman signed by WWE, "The most I have ever done is point her in the direction of decent wrestling gyms in the U.K." 
 
--Jesse Ventura interview at http://prowrestlingabout.com/od/interviews/a/jesseventura201interview.htm 
 
--This turned into minor controversy as Ventura said that he has depositions showing that Hogan got more money at WM 3 than everyone else combined, and Jim Ross, who has WWF payoff records, since he was in charge of that department, says that isn't the case.  I do recall the late Jim Barnett, who handled payoffs in 1987, telling me what everyone got.  Hogan and Andre both got $750,000 (Hogan now gives the number at $1,750,000) so, Hogan did not make more than the rest of the show combined.  Hogan and Andre together probably did.
 
--Jesse Ventura will be signing his book at 7 p.m. tonight at Borders at Columbus Circle in Manhattan.
 
--The claim is that 41,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday's Pacquiao/Clottey fight at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
 
--Vance Nevada will be signing his book "Wrestling in the Canadian West" at Another Dimension Comics in Calgary from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday.  The book is a great record book of what seems like hundreds of promotions, both large and small, that have operated in Western Canada.  There will also be a drawing for a copy of a 484-page Owen Hart scrapbook 
 
--A story on John Morrison returning to Stockton on Saturday night.  The story notes about 6,000 tickets have been sold for the show.  Morrison, as John Hennigan, went to college at nearby UC-Davis, and in a trivia note, would have gone to the college at the same time as Urijah Faber.  He noted that he first got started training at Supreme Pro Wrestling in Sacramento before Tough Enough, noting looking forward to seeing Jesus Kruze.  Story is at http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100311/A_LIFE/3110309
 
--Speaking of Faber trivia, until a few weeks ago, he had never even heard of the name Kerry Von Erich.
 
--Shine Fight Promotions runs its first show on 5/15 at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville and on PPV, called World's Collide, featuring Ricardo Mayorga, who drew the second biggest PPV number of 2006 in his match with Oscar De La Hoya, making his MMA debut against Din Thomas.  Nick Thompson vs. Eduardo Pamplona was announced for the show today. 
 
--During UFC 108's airing last night, they aired a commercial for UFC Prime Time, except it was building up an episode with GSP and B.J. Penn as opposed to GSP and Dan Hardy.  The right episode aired, of course, just the wrong preview commercial.  The funniest part is the first words out of Penn's mouth is he's going to "kill" him.
 
--The big angle at the end of the show is that Dan Hardy is training with Matt Serra for the fight.  At least part one didn't do a lot for me, even with the last second payoff.  (thanks to Will Gregory)  
 
--Dan Hardy's strength and conditioning coach is Joe DeFranco, who has worked with Miles Austin of the Dallas Cowboys and Brian Cushing.  There is a video at http//asp.elitefts.com/qa/training-logs.asp?qid=116397&tid=
 
--The EA Sports MMA game will have three sets of rules, Strikeforce rules, UFC rules and Japanese rules.  They will also have a Strikeforce style cage, a circular cage and a ring. (thanks to Jereme Warneck)  
 
--CHIKARA on 3/21 in Fairfield, CT in combination with Power & Glory  Wrestling headlines a 4 p.m. show at the Knights of Columbus Hall with Mike Quackenbush & Hallowicked & Frightmare vs. Claudio Castagnoli & Ares & Tursas
 
--Spike Dudley vs. Danny Demanto in a cage match headlines NWS on 3/19 in Edison, NJ at Herbert Hoover Middle School.  Samu also appears on the show.
 
--DWF/Loco on 3/20 in Pennsauken, NJ at B&B Boxing & Fitness features War Games
 
--Platinum Championship Wrestling tomorrow night in Avondale Estates, GA at the Academy Theater.  They also run Tuesday at Eyedrum in Atlanta  
 
--Combat Championship Wrestling at the Advantage Village Academy Gym in St. Petersburg with Sean Spears & Sinn Bodhi (Kizarny) & The Sheik & Cuban Assassin vs. Eric Perez (Eric Escobar) & Tyrone Jackson & Jesse Neal & Ricky Ortiz
 
--Tuff-N-Uff on 3/26 in Las Vegas at The Orleans Hotel & Casino headlined by Ryan Couture, Randy's son, against Sean Bollinger for the Tuff-N-Uff lightweight title
 
--Jamie Dundee and Brian Christopher will be doing a seminar tonight from 6-9 p.m. at Belindas Nite Club in Cleveland for $30, and then wrestling tomorrow night at the same club at 7 p.m.  Call 216-536-2969.  I shudder to thing what the seminar will be about.
 
--Cage Fighting Championship 13 on 4/16 in Gold Coast, Australia with Jesse Juarez vs. Justin Murray as the main event
 
--Former UFC fighter Richie Hightower faces Kavan Johnson as part of the 5/7 MFC show in Edmonton which airs live on HDNet.  Wilson Gouveia vs. Ryan Jimmo, David Heath vs. Solomon Hutcherson and Luigi Fiorvanti vs. Pete Spratt are also announced for the show at the Northlands Expo Centre 
 
--CWE from Sunday night in Winnipeg:  Jon Cutler b Kevy Chevy, Chi Chi Cruz b Rick Matthews, Keith Walker & Michael Elgin won gauntlet over J.J. Sanchez & Cliff Corleone, Arik Cannon & Arya Daivari, Brian Rich & Scottie Rapper and Bobby Fox & Bobby Sharp, Wavell Starr won gauntlet over Paul Arcidi, Don Douglas and Billy Blaze, Bobby Jay b Bushwhacker Luke, Billy Gunn b A.J. Sanchez-DQ, Danny Duggan & Mentallo b Tajiri & Kushida
 
--CWE on Monday night in Kenora, ONT:  Mentallo b Keith Walker, Cliff Corleone b Brian Rich, Arik Cannon & Arya Daivari b Kenny Omega & Kushida, Danny Duggan b Michael Elgin, A.J. Sanchez b Bushwhacker Luke, Billy Gunn b Gangrel
 
--CWE on Tuesday night in Fort Frances, ONT:  Kenny Omega b Arya Daivari, Cliff Corleone b Keith Walker, A.J. Sanchez & Gangrel b Danny Duggan & Mentallo, Kushida b Arik Cannon, Brian Rich b Bushwhacker Luke-DQ, Billy Gunn b Michael Elgin
 
--Mammoth Sasaki returns to action after a year  out with a strained vertebrae stemming from a car accident when he stopped at a light and was rear ended at 40 miles per hour (thanks to Bret Querner) 
 
--John Pollock of The Fight Network is looking for anyone who has photos of Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon for a documentary.  He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--ASW on 3/12 in Tampa at Strokers Billiards
 
--Vampiro wrestles for the first time ever in his original home town of Thunder Bay, ONT on 5/15 at the Fort William Gardens against Hannibal with Terry Funk as referee on a show that also includes Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner, Lanny Poffo and Honky Tonk Man.