THURS UPDATE: Hardy, WWE and chair shots, TV preemption, extensive drug testing, Lashley, Rock,Edge
Superstars on WGN America tonight at 8 p.m. has:
*Bella Twins vs. Katie Lea Burchill & Jillian Hall
*Christian & Mark Henry & Yoshi Tatsu vs. Jack Swagger & Zack Ryder & William Regal
*Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane
TNA Impact will be replayed tonight at 9 p.m. on Spike. Spike made the decision to pull the movie "Predator" which they had been advertising in the time slot all week, yesterday morning.
We have the most complete Monday rundown, including how every segment on both shows gained the lost viewers, and many questions asked as TNA's gets beaten by almost three full ratings points the second week one. We look at live vs. tape, as well as the future of this battle.
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 profile on Gorgeous George and his role in wrestling and life. We look at why he's being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, including a change in philosophy of WWE films, the famous movie that was supposed to be done on his life in the past and what happened, as well as a second movie that at one time was going to be done and fell through. We look at George's heyday and how big wrestling was on television, George's only appearance in Madison Square Garden and how it hardly went as expected, where George stood as far as the most known and highest paid athletes, his role, as well as some of his most famous angles. We also look at the story that George inspired the interviews of Muhammad Ali.
We also have an update on Jim Ross and WWE as well as an interview where he talked about wanting to broadcast MMA as well as his thoughts on mistakes in MMA television broadcasts.
We also look at several Bret Hart interviews from Canada this past week, talking bout why he returned, how wrestling has changed, his relationship with Shawn Michaels and more.
We also look at a WWE Hall of Fame snafu, an update on Dwayne Johnson and Raw, Vince McMahon causes Linda McMahon's campaign some embarrassment, filings that show what the McMahons are worth, as well as WWE responds to media criticism from the McMahon campaign.
We also look at changes made in WWE rules for talent, as well as lots of items regarding WrestleMania plans. We also have an updated look at how many people watch Raw live vs. on tape, a lot of notes on WWE developmental including newcomers, a new stable, lots of second generation wrestlers and a former college football player and a former Gladiator both starting out, as well as a main eventer in a territorial system and first cousin of two current WWE wrestlers who was just signed.
We also look at Tommy Dreamer talking about why he left WWE, as well as WWE signing Gladiator and notes from all the weekend WWE house shows.
We also have a ton of history this week, including a trip back to the 1940s looking at Henry Wittenberg, who passed away this past week, the man George Hackenschmidt called the greatest wrestler who ever lived. We look at someone who was America's best wrestler of the era, and one of the greatest ever, and why he was the most unlikely wrestling legend this country ever produced given his background. We look at his gold medal win, his pro offers, and why promoters thought he could have been one of the biggest stars ever.
We also look at the life and wrestling career of Sandy Scott, including a look at the Flying Scott Brothers and their headline feuds in the 50s and 60s all over the world, but in particular being the top babyface attractions in Western Canada and the Carolinas. We follow their career path, including their breakup in real life, Sandy Scott's role in the heyday of Jim Crockett Promotions, the different tag teams they faced all over the world, the glory era of Stampede Wrestling and more.
We also look at the man of a million names, John Hill, including the many territories he was top heel, his two world title reigns in the biggest promotion in the world at the time and his feud with Bruno Sammartino, how he got his different names including The Destroyer, Guy Mitchell and Jerry Valiant. It's a look back at several territories including the glory days of Australian wrestling, British Columbia, Detroit, Toronto and Indianapolis with the stars and programs such as the heyday of The Sheik, The Bruiser, the beginning of the career of Bobby Heenan and more.
We've also got coverage of AAA's first major show of the year, the Rey de Reyes show, which featured the beginning of the L.A. Park vs. La Parka feud, as well as Mr. Anderson and Hernandez from TNA appearing.
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:
--Wrestler fired when he refuses to no-show agreed upon dates
--NFL player makes pro wrestling debut this past week
--Major ratings movement for a major foreign office
--Pro Wrestling NOAH starts singles tournament
--Hall of Famer makes NOAH debut on a gimmick oriented show
--Start of the New Japan Cup tournament including debut of new American star
--New Japan honors two legends
--Former WWE Tough Enough winner debuts with New Japan
--College wrestling star makes pro debut
--80s WWF star coming to Japan this week
--A look at the life and career of Corsica Joe aka Francois Miquet, The Corsicans tag team, and Jerry Jarrett's story about meeting up with him early in his career
--A pro wrestling match where the two participants are a combined 122 years old coming in a few weeks
--One of WWE's major stars of a few years ago returns later this year in foreign rings
--One of the biggest indie crowds of the year on a show honoring 50s world champion
--Where "Tooth Fairy" is finishing up domestically and worldwide projections
--Former WWF champion arrested on airplane
--Son of former NWA champion wins state high school wrestling championship and goes undefeated this season
--TNA ratings reaction
--Update on TNA PPV and thoughts
--Why a TNA angle looked strange on television
--Surprising former TNA wrestler who helped talk RVD into joining the promotion
--Notes on the weekend TNA house shows
--Notes on Sunday's UFC show
--UFC filing several lawsuits
--Changes in weigh-in policies in two states to affect future UFC shows, including one next week
--MMA and pro wrestling heyday in South Korea looks in danger
--Several new UFC matches
--Cung Le update
--New promotion starts in April with weekly live national television
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*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous
wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a
history of in-ring double-crosses)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation
right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was
said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural
broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but
everything that was said between the two about the match that was going
to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon
steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article
and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such
great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career
ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career
and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people
who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino,
Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally,
the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth, and the rise of fall of
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say
was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the
plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the
night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined
for a joint show and what happened)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the
controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the
seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s,
Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding
world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of
Road Warrior Hawk)
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story,
Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the
company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best
and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and
Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his
background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on
Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year
with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund,
Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts
as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately,
due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details
of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in
pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle
and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the
history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a
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*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW,
as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and
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*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at
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Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental
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*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul
Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
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*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double
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*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class
Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame
inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and
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*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of
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the industry was changed forever)
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Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro,
Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania
planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged
McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and
why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and
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*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)
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*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are
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*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
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women's wrestling) .
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the Greensboro Coliseum)
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*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
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overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)*September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
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--Jeff Hardy's side got a delay in his trial until 5/10.
--The WWE's ban of chair shots was noted in a Hartford Courant blog. WWE's Robert Zimmerman, when asked about a PPV called Tables, Ladders and Chairs, noted that it was in December, and the chair to the head ban came in January. Zimmerman noted that no performers suffered concussions on that PPV. However, James Caldwell of the Pro Wrestling Torch then notified the paper about the Elimination Chamber PPV in February, where chairs to the head weren't used, but they were throwing people hard head first into bullet proof glass and a chained cage, noting Sheamus did get a concussion on that show.
--ROH will be preempted on HDNet on the next two Monday nights due to the NCAA College Basketball Invitational tournament.
--The most extensive drug testing procedures in the history of combat sports have been agreed to in the Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley fight. Both men have agreed to no advanced notice blood and urine testing whenever a USADA official finds them.
--Tickets for UFC 114 on 5/29 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena go on sale a week from today to Fight Club members, UFC newsletter members can get ticketson the 26th and fans in general can get tickets starting the 27th at 10 a.m. Saturday. Tickets are $650, $450, $300, $200, $125 and $75. There will also be a fan fest on 5/28 and 5/29 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel on 5/28 and 5/29. Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans will headline the show.
--Bobby Lashley was contacted by Strikeforce this week regarding the 4/17 show in Chicago. Right now, despite what is reported, there is nothing solid. The sides have to agree on a match first because I don't see his side accepting a big name without time to prepare, and at this point there is no time to prepare. The idea is to tape the match before the live show and if the three fights airing go short and there is time remaining, Lashley's fight will air on CBS. The first advertising for the show on television on CBS is to begin today during the NCAA tournament games.
--Spike has been running ads for the UFC Prime Time show, which isn't weird. What is weird is the ads are for the show from last year, with GSP vs. B.J. Penn. Ads for part three showing clips of both guys were all over the station last night during the UFC programming, and even during the GSP vs. Hardy show. I'd think it was an oversight, except they've had this oversight going for days. Now I wonder if they think Penn's name equals ratings and Hardy's doesn't.
--Both Tommy Dreamer and Taz tweeted about a get together last night with Bubba Ray Dudley and Paul Heyman. They teased about rumors getting started. The idea of a Heyman-led ECW faction coming to TNA has been talked about for some time, so it's no surprise. My gut says Dreamer is likely going and Heyman is less likely.
--Awesome Kong has been officially released by TNA.
--Dwayne Johnson was on Jay Leno last night talking about singer Sam Cooke and then he sang "You Send Me," which was Cooke's most famous song. Cooke was a late 50s and early 60s star. Leno joked about how Cooke, really popular in the South, wouldn't have been known in Hawaii, where Johnson grew up, not realizing Johnson drew up literally everywhere.
--Besides Dory Funk, confirmed to appear at TNA's Legends gathering in St. Louis the night before Lockdown are Bobby Heenan and Baron Von Raschke.
--Poll on the NXT show
31.2% of those responding didn't see the show
--Who do you expect to win this match?
Junior Dos Santos 79.5%
Gabriel Gonzaga 20.5%
--Prediction for Sunday's UFC rating on Versus
Less than 1.0 20.0%
More than 2.0 9.7%
--At the Los Angeles show on Tuesday, tons of people with orange Cena shirts with matching orange head bands and wrist bands. They were no longer selling the glow sticks.
--Maria during "Celebrity Apprentice" is being billed as a "former WWE Diva," which was a late change in graphics that they went out of their way to do. So they must have been happy about it. (thanks to Ernie Santilli)
--Dan Bishop, the University of Buffalo wrestler, was able to stand up on his own for the first time for about 30 seconds on Tuesday since his spinal cord injury at the Mid-American Conference wrestling meet on 3/6. His condition is improving rapidly.
--Twin Wrestling Entertainment on 3/25 at The Factory in Vaughan, ONT with Kamala, Honky Tonk Man, Iron Sheik and Virgil. They will also have a WrestleMania party on 3/28 at The Rinx in Toronto with Iron Sheik. Tickets are $10 with a nonperishable food item.
--Presale for the 5/24 Raw in Toledo today has a code of CHAMP. The Detroit Over the Limit PPV also went on sale today with the code WWEPPV (thanks to Ricky Schmidt)
--The IWF shows for this weekend that were postponed at the IWF Centre in Paterson, NJ will be made up on 4/23 and 4/24
--Liz Hernandez, a high school senior, the daughter of TNA's Hernandez, follows in her father's powerlifting footsteps and is going for the high school state championship in that sport at the state meet this weekend. Her best lifts are a 375 pound squat, a 350 pound dead lift and 180 pound bench press. She placed second last year.
--Saturday night's Austin Aries & Kenny King vs. Tyler Black & Roderick Strong ROH match in Mississauaga, ONT, will be 2/3 falls after an Internet vote for the stipulation. Added to the show is Rasche Brown vs. Tyson Dux vs. Rhett Titus vs. mystery man.
--Odds for the next two UFC shows:
Sunday from Broomfield, CO
Brandon Vera +190 to +205
Jon Jones -230 to -303
Gabriel Gonzaga +210 to +260
Junior Dos Santos -255 to -357
Cheick Kongo -365 to -556
Paul Buentello +285 to +361
Dan Hardy +450 to +569
GSP -650 to -1000
Frank Mir -140 to -164
Shane Carwin +110 to +130
Jon Fitch +100 to +130
Thiago Alves -130 to -164
As for other main events, Kenny Florian is a strong favorite over Takanori Gomi, in some places as much at 3-1. B.J. Penn is an 8-1 favorite over Frankie Edgar and Anderson Silva is a 6-1 over Demian Maia. Lyoto Machida is a strong favorite over Shogun Rua and Josh Koscheck a strong favorite over Paul Daley. Quinton Jackson is a favorite over Rashad Evans and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira a favorite over Forrest Griffin.
--Dragon Gate USA on 3/26 in Phoenix:
BxB Hulk vs. Naruki Doi with both the Open the Freedom Gate and Open the Dream Gate titles at stake
Cima & Gamma & Dragon Kid vs. Jack Evans & Young Bucks
Masato Yoshino vs. Shingo Takagi
Brian Kendrick & Jon Moxley vs. Paul London & Jimmy Jacobs
Susumu Yokosuka & Genki Horiguchi vs. Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw
TJP vs. Yamato
L.A. Park & El Hijo de Rey Misterio vs. Derrick Neikirk & G.Q. Gallo
Plus Teddy Hart will be on the show, although the promotion won't be advertising him. Gabe Sapolsky had years ago sworn off ever using Hart. There will also be a match taped for Bob Saget's TV show on A&E. Also appearing in a prelim match are Brad Allen, the Cutler Brothers, Irish Airborne, Malachi Jackson and Chimera
--Lots of NCAA wrestling tournament television this weekend from Omaha. There will be coverage from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow and 7-10:30 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow on ESPNU (Ch. 614 on DirecTV, Ch. 141 on Dish). ESPN U will have more coverage of consolation round matches from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The finals will air live Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on the regular ESPN.
--A documentary on the life and career of Lemmy Kilmister, of Motorhead fame, debuted on Monday night in Austin, TX. HHH is in the documentary.
--New England Championship Wrestling G.M. Paul Richard and manager Tony Ulysses will be inducted into the NECW Hall of Fame on 4/18 at The Brotherhood of the Holy Ghost Charity Hall in East Providence, RI. There will be a fan fest and autograph session on 4/17 wit Rick Martel, Larry Zbyszko, Bill DeMott and Bryan Clark. For more info go to http://nepwhof.weebly.com/
--The 3/21 Maven Bentley Associates charity show in Philadelphia has been postponed. No new date has been announced.
--NWA East on 3/20 in McKeesport, PA at the Jacob Woll Pavilion
--IWA East Coast from last night in Nitro WV: Zac Vincent b Frightmare, Bull Pain b Elkview Adam, Trik Nasty & T.J. Phillips b Osirian Portal, Chris Hero won three-way over Jon Moxley and Erick Darkstorm, Jason Kincaid b Omega, Sami Callihan b Thumbtack Jack, J.C. Bailey b Mad Man Pondo, Necro Butcher b Kevin Sullivan (thanks to Scott Milam)
--There will be an autograph session with Greg Valentine on 3/26 from 6-10 p.m. at Angilo's Pizza Springdale in Cincinnati
--NWA Pro Wrestling Fusion on 4/3 at the Scottish Rite Center in Tampa
--The CHIKARA trios tournament has added a tag team from the Los Perros Del Mal promotion, Alebrije & Oriental & Cuije. Cuije will be the only mini in the 16-team tournament. Shows are 4/25 to 4/27 at the Arena in Philadelphia.
--Lucha Libre Mexicana on Sunday in Los Angeles before 125 fans: Montezume b Skyfire, Barrio Boy b Ree Lee, El Monje b Huracami, Vintage Dragon b Sexy Chino, Capital Calico & Machanico & Heusos b Sombra Infernal & Asesino Gemini & Ciclon Moreliano
--Ophidian & Frightmare vs. Pat Buck & Nicky Oceans along with Spike Dudley & Samu vs. Nigerian Nightmares in a cage match headline tomorrow night in Edison, NJ at Herbert Hoover Middle School for NWS
--Jimmy Snuka will wrestle for TWA on 4/11 at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ. Steve Corino vs. Tony Stetson for the TWA title headlines the show. Snuka & Jimmy Cicero vs. Nicky Benz & Julio Dinero is the semi.