WWE tapes tonight at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. That show is also sold out. Impact will tape next Monday's show in Orlando tonight.
The most detailed look at the changes in WWE television, with the Smackdown move to Syfy, future of NXT and how the deals went down is one of the lead stories in this coming Monday's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We also have more on the mentality of Chris "Kanyon" Klucsaritis leading to his suicide death. We also have a look at the many revelations that have come out in the Linda McMahon campaign, with a detailed look at what they were, what was going on at the time, how the campaign is going and how voters are affected.
We also have full coverage of UFC 112, including thoughts on the behavior of Anderson Silva, the decision in the B.J. Penn vs. Frankie Edgar match, what is next for Penn, Edgar and Silva, how this show was marketed differently, what is claimed set Silva off, and business notes from the show.
The issue is available today for web site subscribers and you can access this by ordering a web subscription. You can also order mail copies of the Observer with details on mail subscriptions below.
The lead story goes through the financials of the show, the real reasons it's leaving MyNetwork and going to Syfy, what contract specifications led to this, the expense of producing WWE caliber television, as well as why NXT was no longer a valuable show for Syfy.
We look at both the differences in available homes between Syfy and MyNetwork, plus how this may end up being slightly worse than just that percentage difference for demographic reasons. We look at the difference in viewership of the two stations and the pluses and minuses. We look at current Smackdown ratings, how this move should affect Syfy ratings overall. We look at the clearance of the various stations that air wrestling and MMA currently and the decision to keep the show on Fridays.
We look at correspondence that gives some idea of the mentality of Chris Kanyon, actually years ago, but that may have another clue as to why things happened, as well as more comments from Jim Mitchell.
We look at the details of the memo written by Linda McMahon in 1989 related to Dr. George Zahorian and WWF breaking ties that has become a campaign issue. We look back at the trial of Zahorian, the 1994 trial of Vince McMahon, the government's weak case and the key component they couldn't prove. We go through the story, the reaction of the principles, how Rob Simmons is trying to turn it into a campaign issue and the effectiveness of it, along with Connecticut media coverage.
On the UFC PPV, we look at the show, with match-by-match coverage and poll results on the show.
We also have updates on several WWE injuries, a PPV update, an update on talks with Bill Goldberg, the play-by-play of the 2003 Goldberg-Jericho situation, Shawn Michaels being advertised for two dates in upcoming months, former WWE performer's past becomes basis of a story in the McMahon campaign and Charlie Haas jokes about his release. We also talk about new guest hosts, tons of developmental news and reviews, more on Jim Ross, women's wrestling, what Hall of Famer said he was glad another person asked who declined didn't come. Another name goes through WWE rehab, update on two books by WWE wrestlers, the next European tour, as well as tons of notes on the current European tour with highlights from all the shows.
We also have notes on this year's Champion Carnival tournament as well as a listing of all winners dating back to its inception in 1959. We look at the last few days and how the standings ended up.
We also have a look at the newest promotion to get national clearance, Bellator Fighting Championships, and its debut show this past week on Fox Sports Net and Comcast Sports Net.
We also have the most detailed look at the television ratings of all the major national shows, including how each segment gained and lost viewers, and in particular the head-to-head competition between Raw and Impact.
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.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sites and has the most complete look at the business as a whole anywhere.
-- We'll have ratings up later this afternoon. Dancing with the Stars last night did an average of 21 million viewers between 8 and 10 PM.
-- Still no final rating for Strikeforce, but it's in the 1.8 range with 2.9 million viewers. The UFC PPV replay going head-to-head did a 1.0 rating and 1.4 million viewers, but beat Strikeforce in the male 18-34 demo.
-- If you attended Raw last night you can take your ticket to the box office between now and Friday afternoon and get a refund.
-- The Raw dark match was HHH vs. Undertaker which only went a couple of minutes before all the Smackdown guys ran in for the schmozz.
-- As of an hour ago, the Raw crew was still in Europe, so zero chance of them getting back in time for Smackdown tonight.
-- Tony writes: The UK's SkySports News ran a short interview with WWE star John Cena regarding the travel disruption faced by the Raw roster. Cena, wearing a suit and tie, was speaking from Belfast, where the Raw roster have been stuck since all flights in and out of the UK were grounded due to ash from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland
Cena: "It's never a problem, we tour the United Kingdom about twice a year, usually in April and November, we're actually coming back in November and looking forward to it. We've had a fantastic stay here in Belfast. I know selfishly, all the WWE Superstars are wishing to get home to their families, but every day we kinda congregate and look each other and say it could be a lot worse.
"We look at people in the news who are literally stranded. We're in a fantastic city, Belfast has been just overly gracious as a host to us and we're making do. We certainly could have it a lot worse."
When asked about the difficulties of travel, and how much driving was involved, Cena said: "Yeah we actually made a decision about halfway through our tour, to finish the tour. We had a couple of days that actually involved 40 hours of straight travel, just to make sure that we got to certain towns in the UK and in Europe. Belfast was our last stop, and we said we're gonna make it, no matter what. so We did two shows at the Odyssey, they were fantastic shows, great response, and we've been vacationing here ever since. It's a great place to be, a lot of character here and it's a fun unscheduled holiday for a lot of the superstars."
Cena added: "Personally I'm hoping to get back as soon as I can. I think everybody has business to take care of, I've personally been travelling since the week before Wrestlemania, which would be the last week in March. I'd just like to get home and check my mailbox. I haven't had a vacation in 8 years, so like I said, an unscheduled holiday and certainly happy to have it."
-- Lilian Garcia only lives about an hour from the building where last night's Raw was taped. Justin Roberts was among those stranded in Ireland.
-- Mike Aldren noted -- and this should tell you something about the effectiveness of WWE angles these days as it never occurred to me for a second -- that Great Khali was supposed to be on a hiatus after losing that match to Dolph Ziggler to a sleeper a few weeks back. If you'll recall, Khali said he was going home to rest and regroup and that he'd return to win the World Title. Which was, now that I think about it, the exact same promo Kurt Angle did on Sunday. That's probably the first and only time I will make a comparison between those two men.
-- Big interview with Dana White here talking WEC, why UFC is taking over promotion of the PPV, the Strikeforce show, Jake Shields, and more.
-- Impact tapings tonight have Flair vs. Abyss for the Hall of Fame ring, Kazarian vs. Shannon Moore, and Matt Morgan and whoever is this week's dumbest guy on the roster vs. Team 3-D.
-- Best wishes to indy wrestler LuFisto, 30, who suffered a stroke last week. Apparently she is doing all right now and is undergoing further tests.
-- Lots of indy guys celebrating today being 4/20. If you want to go to WWE someday, I'd recommend against doing so loudly and publicly. Lance Storm is planning on doing a commentary on this later today.
-- Also quite the coincidence that today is RVD's first full day as TNA Champion.
-- TMZ has picked up the story -- in 2010, mind you -- of Daniel Puder not really getting $1 million for winning Tough Enough.
-- WWE has a new iPhone app. Not much to it.
-- What do you think the ratings differential will be between Raw and Impact
1.8 or less 13.0%
1.9 or 2.0 13.7%
2.1 or 2.2 19.2%
2.3 or 2.4 20.8%
2.5 or 2.6 16.6%
2.7 or 2.8 4.2%
2.9 or 3.0 4.2%
3.1 or 3.2 1.6%
3.3 or more 6.5%
Do you think there will be another CBS prime time show?
Yes, with Strikeforce in the fall 38.9%
Yes, but not with Strikeforce 13.1%
No, the ratings killed it 48.1%
What do you blame the ratings drop for Strikeforce on
Too much of an insider lineup, needed Walker or Lashley 25.2%
Only UFC can make it on network TV, unless Fedor or Carano are on the show 25.2%
No big enough drawing cards 19.3%
Not well enough publicized 18.6%
So many MMA events that just seeing MMA on TV is no big deal 11.7%
-- Goldberg is on Ellen today.
-- Round 5 announced today their third series of UFC figures, including Rich Franklin, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Diego Sanchez, Anderson Silva and Wanderlei Silva, as well as a new "Versus" line with pairs of fighters in classic matchups.
-- This is actually really sweet. Iron Sheik meets Kermit the Frog.
-- There are clips here of Jon Moxley winning the FIP title from Roderick Strong this past weekend.
-- Kayfabe Commentaries has a new DVD looking at Superstar Billy Graham's WWWF Title run with thoughts from the man himself here
-- Lucha Libre Mexicano from the 18th in LA: Jalen Wu defeated Jose Murrieta, Ponky Boy defeated Ultrastar, Darkside defeated Sexy Chino and Mike Violence, MAIN EVENT: Capitan Calico, Cyanide and Vintage Dragon defeated Johnny Starr, Ciclon Moreliano and Monje in 2/3 falls
-- Brian Fritz is on the Drunkcast here