MON. UPDATE: UFC counters Strikeforce; Raw vs. Impact; New show starts Thursday; TNA house shows

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      We're looking for reports from tonight's Impact tapings in Orlando as well as tonight's Raw tapings in Moline, IL at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   From Raw, we're looking for Superstars matches, dark matches, attendance and anything else that wouldn't be seen on the television portion of the show.
        Raw is from Moline, IL, with David Otunga as guest host.  No matches have been announced for the television show.  Smackdown & NXT are taped on Tuesday night in Chicago.
        TNA airs live on Monday from Orlando, starting at 8 p.m. instead of 9 p.m., with Team 3-D vs. Motor City Machine Guns being just added, Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson in a ladder match, The Pope vs. Desmond Wolfe, The Beautiful People & Daffney vs. Tara & Angelina Love & ODB & Hamada and an X Division Royal Rumble.  They will also be taping the 4/12 episode of Impact, the Lockdown go-home show, on Tuesday night in Orlando.
        ROH returns at 8 p.m. tonight on HDNet after two weeks off.
        We have one of the biggest issues of the year of the Wrestling Observer, our annual WrestleMania issue, coming out today for print subscribers.  If you are a member of the web site, you can get the issue right now.
        The issue looks at the end of four of the major WWE characters of the past generation and how it's not all that ironic that all are finishing up at the same time.  We look back at the Shawn Michaels sendoff and wrestling retirements, talk about his farewell speech.
        We also have full coverage of WrestleMania, with the show, match-by-match rundowns with star ratings, poll results, a look at another Shawn Michaels WrestleMania record, as well as a look at the 20 biggest money live events in pro wrestling and MMA history.  We also look back on Michaels' WrestleMania legacy.
        We also have full coverage of UFC 111.  We have early buy rate estimations, television ratings, as well as a detailed look at UFC vs. WWE when it came to day-by-day build and interest levels, as well as comparing the big stars. 
        We look at UFC's attempt to closed circuit the show into movie theaters around the country.  We look at the aftermath of the GSP fight with Dan Hardy, as well as a look at the welterweight division, Jon Fitch, Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin, weekend talk about major names in pro wrestling and possibilities with UFC, details on the situation with Thiago Alves, as well as match-by-match coverage.
        We also have coverage of the WWE Hall of Fame, as well as the other major shows in Phoenix like Dragon Gate USA and ROH during the biggest wrestling weekend of the year.
        We also have results of the annual poll on popularity and interest in pro wrestling.  We look at whether to the general public, it is up or down, as well as look at longtime trends.
        We also have a story on Ultimate Warrior, what he said about why he wasn't in the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, what his issues are, as well as notes on the Hall of Fame going forward.
        We also have the first word on 3/8 and who watched Raw & Impact on Tivo.  That's actually a fascinating subject because what happened that night surprised a lot of people.
        We also have a full breakdown of the 3/29 ratings, segment-by-segment for Raw and Impact.  We look at where Impact went wrong, as well as the lowest rated episodes of Impact in history.  We look at the retirement segments of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, as well as a look back on how the Ric Flair segment did.  We look at what audience Impact lost this past week. 
        We also have more regarding locations of future WrestleManias, the penetration of the various TV channels that cover pro wrestling and MMA, more on Bill Goldberg's talks with WWE, Bret Hart's future with WWE  and WWE future movie plans.  Bret Hart also talks about his decision to come back, celebrities at WrestleMania, one of the world's greatest wrestlers was at WrestleMania and almost nobody knew he was there, as well as lots more from WrestleMania weekend.
        We also have where Bret Hart got his name, a wrestler who figures he'd have been an NXT star if his timing was right, Maria Kanellis talks life after wrestling, a look at developmental, comparisons of WrestleMania to the Oscars and Super Bowl for a community, Shawn Michaels talks about his first Mania match with Undertaker, a well known athlete in another part of the world that WWE is trying to recruit as well as notes on match lineups for post-Mania just released.
        We also have full reports on the other events in Phoenix held during WrestleMania week.
        We also have an update on the most popular personalities in pro wrestling and MMA for this year, who is up from last year, ad who is down.
    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:

--A riot hurts future business in an arena
--Sabu resurfaces
--Member of a trio that changed wrestling announces his retirement
--First main event announced for TripleMania
--One of 90s biggest stars teases retirement angle
--A look at the Global singles tournament
--Major name targets August for his return
--Notes on Bobby Heenan and Bruno Sammartino
--A look at the late Tom Burton
--Notes on funeral of Baron Mikel Scicluna
--Antonio Inoki, Muhammad Ali and Hideki Matsui
--ROH's next Internet PPV lineup
--Impact time change
--Catalyst of the experiment
--Lethal Lockdown main events
--Background of new TNA character
--McMahon/Bischoff war of words
--How TNA is handling the tag team titles
--Bubba the Love Sponge injury
--Mick Foley update
--Matt Hardy says Jeff won't be in TNA long
--Shawn Michaels talks Ric Flair
--TNA weekend house show notes
--Lots of UFC match-up talks
--Editorial by Canadian Post on UFC in Ontario
--New MMA TV show starts on ESPN 2
--Research on how many people per home watch WWE & UFC PPV shows
--B.J. Penn and Anderson Silva talk moving up in weight classes
--New UFC fights
--UFC fighters cut
--Bobby Lashley MMA update
--Notes on first major K-1 Max show
--The Score ads another promotion
--Freak show PPV in May
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--This should come as no shock.  UFC is putting UFC 110 (Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez; Wanderlei Silva vs. Michael Bisping, Joe Stevenson vs. George Sotiropolous) on Spike on 4/17 at 9 p.m., going head-to-head with the Strikeforce show on CBS.
--The funeral for former pro wrestler Tom Burton will be on Thursday at 11 a.m. at the CAC house on 1701 Sheila Anne Dr., in Mount Juliet, TN.  It's been very hard on Candi Divine, who had been with Burton on-and-off for around 20 years, as she also lost her mom six weeks ago.    
--CNN ran a three paragraph item on its web site on the death of Chris Kanyon.
--Chris Bell, who did the documentary "Bigger, Faster, Stronger," wanted to respond to on-line reports on the death of Kanyon.  "Great guy. A super nice guy and I'm just so angry that all of the web sites are dying that Test and other wrestlers have died recently due to complications with steroids.  It's a massive wave of misinformation.  Not to defend steroids, but how do we stop the nonsense of people who don't understand that painkillers and other drugs like Alcohol are the main cause of these problems? . . The other ting that makes me mad is that they always link a wrestler who has passed to Vince.  Whether it's my brother, who wasn't ever under contract, or Chris Kanyon, they always say former WWE star and they don't retrace the steps to show that the WWE is doing its best to prevent guys from this type of behavior now.  While I recognize there is a problem in wrestling, the fact that they blame it on steroids still ceases to amaze me."
--TNA or Spike did spend money on ads, as on Friday's Smackdown in San Francisco, there was an ad promoting Monday's Impact show starting at 8 p.m., focused on Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Jeff Hardy.
--Raw starts at around midnight tonight in Canada on The Score because they have the NCAA finals on live.  The general rule is ratings will be down as the NCAA finals usually takes a football-like hit on Raw.
--If there isn't enough weekly television, Bellator starts on Thursday night on Fox Sports Net.  It's live in many markets.
--There is a major indie MMA show on 4/24 at the Target Center in Minneapolis with Jeff Monson vs. Travis Wiuff as the main event.  Good luck to them, as running buildings of that size for non-brand name MMA makes as much sense as ROH or TNA running buildings of that size.  Several former UFC fighters like Dave Menne, Drew Fickett, Brendan Seguin, Brock Larson and Brad Kohler (former pro wrestler) are on the show.
--Last time I checked, Dana White fell to No. 11 in the Time Magazine poll of the most influential person in the entire world.  Conan O'Brien was running away with it.
--Best TV show of the past week
Raw 39.5%
Smackdown 16.5%
Impact 11.7%
UFC Fight Night 9.4%
Ultimate Fighter 8.6%
NXT 6.4%
AAA 2.3%
Superstars 1.9%
CMLL 1.1%
K-1 Max 1.1%
K-1 regular 1.1%
Inside MMA 0.4%
--Best of the recent big shows
WWE WrestleMania 60.4%
ROH Big Bang 14.6%
UFC 111 8.7%
TNA Destination X 4.5%
TNA Against All Odds 2.8%
UFC 110 2.8%
Dragon Gate Fearless 1.4%
UFC Fight Night 1.4%
WWE Elimination Chamber 1.4%
Dream 0.7%
UFC on Versus 0.7%
WEC 0.7%
--Which do you think did more buys in North America?
WrestleMania 71.2%
UFC 111 28.8%
        If this turns out to be the case, or even close, there will be some massive celebrations in Stamford
--What fight are you most looking forward to seeing?
Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans 34.4%
Lyoto Machida vs. Shogun Rua 12.8%
Urijah Faber vs. Jose Aldo Jr. 11.5%
Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley 11.0%
Forrest Griffin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 9.6%
King Mo vs. Mousasi 7.3%
Anderson Silva vs. Demian Maia 3.2%
Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Daley 2.3%
Shinya Aoki vs. Gilbert Melendez 2.3%
B.J. Penn vs. Frankie Edgar 2.3%
Ben Henderson vs. Donald Cerrone 1.8% - Did anyone not see their first fight?
Dan Henderson vs. Jake Shields 1.4% - CBS is banking on this one
--There is a story on Edmonton MMA promoter Mark Pavelich at  When asked when it comes to fighters, does he look for talent or personality, he said, "I used to look just for straight talent, but now I'm more likely to say, `Okay, he can fight, but can he speak well on the microphone?  Does his image and name sell tickets?  Do people want to watch him live on HDNet?'"
--A story on The Young Bucks is at  They said it was TNA policy not to reveal how much they earn, other than they don't need a side job.
--The Hart Family DVD will be released officially tomorrow.  I've heard it's very good.  If anyone has seen it, let me know because this is one I'll probably get.     
--ROH announced a double main event for 4/24 in Chicago Ridge with Colt Cabana & El Generico vs. Steve Corino & Kevin Steen in a Chicago street fight, plus Tyler Black vs. Chris Hero for the ROH title
--Dragon Gate USA announced 5/8 in Toronto with Cima & Dragon Kid vs. Yamato & Shingo Takagi and Naruki Doi & Pac vs. Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw 
--Christopher Daniels is available for indie bookings through Bill Behrens at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   He can also work if you like as Curry Man and would be flown out of Los Angeles
--CMLL on The Fight Network in Canada tonight has Mascarita Dorada vs. Pequeno Warrior, Metro & Sagrado & Maximo vs. Misterioso Jr. & El Texano Jr. & El Terrible, and Dos Caras Jr. & Marco Corleone & Mistico vs. Negro Casas & Heavy Metal & Mr. Niebla in a show taped one year ago.
--Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling legends night on Saturday night in Gastonia, NC at the Forrest View High School with Lex Luger and Nikita Koloff appearing, plus wrestling will be Buff Bagwell and The Rock & Roll Express.
--Ovince St. Preux, a former linebacker at the University of Tennessee, faces Chris Hawk in a dark match on the 4/17 Strikeforce show on CBS.  Also on the undercard is Hunter Worsham, the son of early UFC fighter Cal Worsham and former TUF fighter Cale Yarbrough, who sounds like he was named after a 70s race car driver.
--Bobby Lashley officially confirmed that he would not be fighting on that show.  Right now there is no date booked for his next Strikeforce match, but the company at last word was scheduled for three major shows on Showtime coming up, one in May in St. Louis, and two in June. has a story today on WEC fighter Shane Roller, who faces Anthony Njokuani on the 4/24 PPV show, talking about all the Oklahoma State wrestlers who have become MMA stars.  That has a chance to be an explosive match. The winner of this fight will likely face the Ben Henderson vs. Donald Cerrone winner for the title.  Well, if that's Henderson.  If Cerrone wins, I can see a Cerrone vs. Jamie Varner match taking place.
--There is an article at interviewing Jeff Jarrett and promoting TNA shows in Corbin, KY, Pikeville, KY and Huntington, WV this weekend.  Jarrett noted that TNA couldn't financially run Rupp Arena at this point and noted TNA can't afford to run loaded house show cards and make money.  He said all of their shows are financial winners (the house show business right now is the most successful part of the operation because they run small markets with low advertising cost, don't bring that much expensive talent, and do well with merchandise.  Jarrett said TNA was going to start bringing the bigger names to house shows by the end of the year.     
--M-1 Selection results from Saturday night at Bally's in Atlantic City:  160-John Salgado b Renato Miglicaccio via split decision; 135 - Zach Makovsky b Josh Rave via guillotine 1:49 3rd round; 130 - Lennox Chance b Rami Ibrahim choke choke 4:46; 155 - Dennis Bermudez b Kevin Roddy via unanmious decision on 30-27 scores; 155 - George Sheppard b Mervin Rodriguez via split decision; 185 - Mike Geurin b Todd Chattelle via TKO ref stoppage :32 of round three; 155 - Pat Audinwood b Robert Conner via unanimous decision on straight 29-28 scores; 185 - Plinio Cruz b John Doyle on 30-26, 30-26 and 30-27 scores; 170 - Colin Schrader b John Smidt via guillotine :30 (thanks to Bob Trieger) 
--Maryland Championship Wrestling from Saturday night in Dundalk, MD before 400 fans:  Ryan Slater & Joe Gacy b Harbor City Hit Squad and Joel Maximo & Joe Itel in a three-way, Rich Swann b CA Elliot, Ricky Blues Jr. b Ricky Blues, Fed Up b Ronnie Zukko & Cole Calloway in a tornado match, Ruckus b Amazing Red, Tom Brandi b Nui Tofiga in a strap match, Ryan McBride & Cobain b Adam Cole & Tyler Hilton, Team Macktion b Holy Rollers, Kent Brink b Josh Daniels (thanks to Joe Burrows)  
--Rikishi headlines for NWS on 4/16 in Cateret, NJ at the Holy Family Church.  On 4/17 in Tower City, PA at the Williams Valley High School, Rikishi & Samu will team up for the first time in many years.  The two were the Samoan Swat Team and Headshrinkers in the 80s and 90s
--Covey Pro Wrestling has a show on Ch. 68 in Shippensburg, PA on Saturday night at 11 p.m.  Last night's show was plugging a 4/24 date in Berkley Springs, WV at the High School with Tatanka (head trainer at their wrestling school), Sunny and Shane Douglas (thanks to John Mabry)
--Scott D'Amore's Maximum Pro Wrestling announced dates on 4/9 in Windsor, ONT at Assumption High School, 4/10 at 5 p.m. in Markham, ONT at the Fairgrounds, 4/11 at 3 p.m. in Woodstock, ONT, at the District Community Complex, 4/16 in Timmins, ONT at the McIntyre Arena, 4/17 in North Bay, ONT at the Ecole Seondaire Catholique Alongnquin and 4/18 in Brampton, ONT  at the Terry Miller Rec Center at 3 p.m.  Tommy Dreamer headlines the shows this coming weekend.  Kevin Nash appears on 4/17.
--Iron Sheik's retirement show on 4/14 in Melrose, MA, which also includes Paul Bearer, Boogeyman, Road Dogg, Jay Lethal and Chris Sabin takes place a Memorial Hall
--Ed, Cutrer and Craig are joined by Jimmy Jacobs at
--FIP announced a 4/17 show in Crystal River, FL, as the Southern Stampede at the National Guard Armory with a12-man elimination match for the vacant FIP title that was held by Davey Richards.  In the tournament are Brad Allen, Bruce Santee, T.J. Perkins, Erick Stevens, Jon Moxley, Jigsaw, Chasyn Rance and Rhett Titus
--NWS from Saturday night in Kearny, NJ:  Devon Moore & Alicia b Danny Demanto & Marti Belle, Kevin Matthews & Nikki Roxx b J.D. Smoothie & Angel Orsini, Nicky Oceans & Jana b Joey Janella & Niya, Balls Mahoney & Jazz b Bison Bravado & Amber O'Neal, Mercedes Martinez b Melissa Coates, Moore & Alicia b Oceans & Jana, Matthews & Roxx b Mahoney & Jazz, Britney Savage b Tina San Antonio, Moore & Alicia b Matthews & Roxx to become the King & Queen of the ring for NWS
--Canadian Wrestling's Elite on 4/19 in Estevan, SK at the Wylie Mitchell Hall featuring The New Age Outlaws in a tag team match plus Jimmy Jacobs and Wavell Starr
--NAW on 5/22 at 630 H. St. in Fresno
--I Believe in Wrestling from Saturday night in Orlando:  Rich Young (Ricky Ortiz) b Carlos Rivera, Gus Money b Simon Sez, Mister Saint Laurent b Insane Wayne, Chasyn Rance b T.J. Perkins, Nooie Lee & Santana (Orlando Jordan's female) b Maxwell Chicago & Lucky O'Shea, QT Marshall b Ray Beez, Raymond Snow & Zoe b James Boys.  5/8 has Sean Waltman & Zoe vs. Rich Young & Chasyn Rance (thanks to Ari Goldstein)
--Wide Open West cable in Evansville just dropped HDNet.  Well, sucks if you live there.
--IWHE on 4/17 in Fort Worth at the Worth Heights Community Center will honor the late Johnny Valentine at the show

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?