Superstars tonight on WGN America:
Goldust vs. Shad Gaspard
Yoshi Tatsu vs. Zack Ryder
John Morrison vs. Carlito
TNA Impact from Monday is replayed at 9 p.m. tonight.
Bellator tonight from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT on Fox Sports Net and Comcast Sports Net:
Jacob McClintock (170) vs. Ryan Thomas (167.5)
William Romero (145) vs. Patricio Pitbull (144.75)
Brett Cooper (169) vs. Steve Carl (169.5)
Dan Hornbuckle (170) vs. Tyler Stinson (170)
Countdown to Aldo vs. Faber airs again on Friday at 5 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. Eastern (2 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Pacific) on Versus.
We've got two issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter out next week for those who get the issues through the mail, and one is out today on the web for web site subscribers and a second will be out tomorrow.
We have a look at what are two of the most important shows of the year, not biggest by any means, but most important to their companies and future of their companies, covering the Strikeforce event on CBS and looking at the WEC event on PPV. We look at the goals of both shows, if the WEC goals are reasonable, the business of MMA on CBS and how the show did, its future, UFC counter programming and how that affected the key demos, what demo you would expect to be strong for MMA did not watch the CBS show, the brawl, the future of one of the headliners and more.
We also have a feature with part one of a look at one of the great wrestlers of all-time, Gene Kiniski. This lengthy feature talks about his heyday, the attempt by the NWA and WWWF to merge world titles and how that led to Gene Kiniski becoming world champion, why he got the title, why he lost the title, his affect on Dory Funk's career, where he got the nickname "Canada's greatest athlete" from, his style, memories of watching him, is last matches, his most famous matches in Japan, how he first got started in pro wrestling and how his football career played into his pro wrestling career. We look at when he established himself as a worldwide star, the Vancouver territory and much more.
We also have updated notes concerning the draft with thoughts regarding tons of different talent, as well as two celebrities being talked with about guest hosting soon.
We also look at TNA's latest change when it comes to television, how well it worked, the lessons of Monday's ratings and there were several, along with segment-by-segment breakdown. We also have coverage of the Lockdown show, including business notes, poll results and star ratings for the matches. We also cover the CBS show with poll results and notes on the show.
We have an update on Jim Ross and Paul Heyman, and rumors and what is and isn't legit, as well as an update on Vince Russo in TNA.
We look at the difference in draft philosophy this year with other years, as well as more on the WWE television situation for the new season, more on Batista, HHH's next movie and several names being talked about or being wanted to do upcoming guest hosting for Raw. We also have notes on the WWE European tour, and what the next commercial free show will be partly pushed around.
We also have an in-depth look at Jim Cornette, a look at Luther Reigns and his recovery from a stroke, and when Hulk Hogan is set to wrestle again.
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. We also have up this week a copy of one of the most requested back issues in our history, the biography on the late Andre the Giant at http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/13038/137/ The two issues are at http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/13103 and http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/13111
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:
--A look back at CMLL's Gran Alternative tournament and if it's worked as far as making stars
--Details on a new national pro wrestling television show scheduled to debut shortly on a national cable station including what it was supposed to be, how it has changed, the big names who turned down working there and a few names who are with them.
--Hulk Hogan's next planned major match
--TNA and Paul Heyman
--Another former WWE name talking with TNA
--A new TNA wrestler getting a lot of praise
--TNA taking a several week break from doing live shows
--A.J. Styles talks what he thinks should change about the product
--Former tag team of the year looks to be getting together
--Notes on the next episode of Impact
--Fallout of Anderson Silva
--UFC doing major build for upcoming match
--Dan Henderson goes into detail about his financial issues with UFC
--Who Frankie Edgar wants to defend his lightweight belt against
--Update on UFC 112 on PPV
--Next season of Ultimate Fighter
--Lots of new UFC and WEC matches
--Lots of UFC cuts
--Next major Strikeforce show
--Japan's biggest star may be headed to the U.S.
--Notes on June Strikeforce schedule
--Rematch of a candidate for this year's match of the year is tentatively on the schedule for June
--MMA star arrested on sexual assault charges
--Best TV show
--Several international stars coming to AAA
--Major TripleMania angles
--A look at the Vampiro heel turn angle
--Dragon Gate King of Gate tournament to determine top title contender
--A look at wrestling star campaigning for senate
--Big plans for a rookie because of his size and where he's from
--Next All Japan big show
--Americans take NOAH tag title
--Jr. tag title tournament in New Japan
--Former UFC fighter suspended and losing his mind
--An interpromotional angle that is debuting off television
--Junior heavyweight tag team title tournament coming
--Major angle TNA wants to shoot and what the hold up is
--The book Dana White hates, how he put it on the map, and notes and thoughts on the issues from that book
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues can get free issues from the
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we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got
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our history are:
*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
look at their Hall of Fame)
*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
behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at
the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings,
Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental
territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized
issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul
Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double
issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on
its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New
Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller
Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame
*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
Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from
the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working
in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of
Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him
tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how
the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How
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
Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why
there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real
reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are
calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*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)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his
influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas
including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S.
women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at
the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks
of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on
its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers
and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
*September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8
overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)*September 15, 2008 (Life
and Times of Evan Tanner)
*September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our
most in-depth bios)
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To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a
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can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson was at the press conference this afternoon for Saturday night's WEC fight and announced Urijah Faber Day in Sacramento. Some notes from the Countdown show, which debuted yesterday on both Spike and Versus. It wasn't the best, but it was pretty damn good. The show made Faber and Donald Cerrone come across as super babyfaces.
--Dana White guaranteed he would sign Jake Shields. In an interview with All Headline News, White said, "Jake Shields is definitely going to leave Strikeforce and he's definitely coming to the UFC."
--According to Tokyo Sports. Satoshi Kojima will announce this coming Thursday at the Korakuen Hell show that he is undergoing elbow surgery and will be leaving All Japan Pro Wrestling, ending his long association with Keiji Muto. His final show will be on 5/2 in Nagoya.
--Hulk Hogan filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo Insurance, claiming the company never told him that his policy had a $250,000 top limit, and therefore put his entire worth at risk in the John Graziano lawsuit. Attorney Will Florin is suing based on the idea Wells Fargo should have recommended an umbrella policy as opposed to the policy with a $250,000 top limit, claiming it was broker malpractice.
--Last night's Ultimate Fighter did a 1.5 rating. That is shockingly high.
--Joe Stevenson vs. Takanori Gomi looks to be on board for 8/1 in Salt Lake City, while Kenny Florian was on his ESPN show and confirmed facing Gray Maynard on 8/28 in Boston.
--A note from last night's radio show regarding Tommy Young's injury that largely ended his career as a referee. It was a match at Center Stage in November 1989 between Tommy Rich and Mike Rotunda. Young has refereed since, but only on rare occasions and not taking bumps (thanks to Chris Cutrer)
--ESPN has a story on TNA wrestling cards from TRISTAR which will include the first trading card with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair together. The story noted that signed Ric Flair trading cards go these days for $225 on the secondary market and that one Flair card from WCW sold for $1,175. Story is at http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?id=5122845
--The only stuff I heard from the Cauliflower Alley Club banquet last night was that Ted DiBiase and Jim Ross gave great speeches in accepting the Iron Mike Mazurki and Art Abrams award. Haven't heard much else, but Jim Ross did write that he met Awesome Kong and she would make a great WWE pickup.
--Angelina Love's injury on Tuesday where she suffered a partial biceps tear and a torn ligament in her elbow was when her arm got caught in Tara's knee brace. Tara and ODB are replacing the scheduled Love vs. Daffney (also injured) match at the TNA house shows tonight and tomorrow.
--Countdown to UFC 113, for Lyoto Machida vs. Shogun Rua and Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Daley debuts after the Impact replay a week from tonight on Spike. That's more than a week before the show. Ultimate Fighter will again be the lead-in at 7 p.m. for Impact on Monday.
--Frankie Edgar will be the guest on the Spike show Weekend PreGame wth Craig Carton tonight at midnight.
--Poll on NXT from Tuesday
44.7% of those responding didn't see the show
--Who wins between Faber and Aldo?
Urijah Faber 60.6%
Jose Aldo 39.4%
--What was the best Monday night match?
RVD vs. A.J. Styles 39.5%
Jeff Hardy vs. RVD 35.0%
Undertaker vs. Jack Swagger 17.7%
HHH & Rey Mysterio & Edge vs. C.M. Punk & Luke Gallows & Chris Jericho 6.6%
Team Flair vs. Team Hogan 1.2%
--People Magazine at http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20362939,00.html?xid=rss-topheadl ines talked about Ryan Phillipe doing Raw on Monday. It noted that Ricky Steamboat was a childhood hero to Phillipe who asked for a photo to be taken with him, and then loaded up on WWE merchandise for his kids.
--Alex Marvez talks to Frankie Kazarian at http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/53194
--WWE has a presale for the 6/5 Smackdown show in St. Louis at the Scottrade Center through Ticketmaster starting today with the code WWESTC
--UFC and Findlay Customs and Modern Muscle in Las Vegas have released ten limited edition Camaros. The first of the cars will be auctioned off to benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. The remaining cars will be sold to UFC fans. Bidding on the first Camaro will be on 6/26 in Orange County at Barrett Jackson's. The cars will be shown at the UFC Fan Expo over Memorial Day weekend at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
--Evolve on 5/1 in Rahway, NJ at the Rec Center has Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chuck Taylor, Jimmy Jacobs vs. Brad Allen, Chris Hero vs. Bobby Fish, Jon Moxley vs. Drake Younger, Johnny Gargano vs. Ricochet, Kyle O'Reilly vs. TJP, Up in Smoke vs. Aeroform vs. Team Beyond, Mercedes Martinez vs. Brittney Savage, Gran Akuma vs. Hallowicked vs. Brodie Lee vs. Chris Dickinson and Sami Callihan vs. Adam Cole
--Brad Armstrong headlines for Global Championship Wrestling on 4/24 in Pell City, AL at the Civic Center
--Devastation Wrestling Federation on Saturday in Pennsauken, NJ at Devastation University features a War Games. When I was a kid, I'd have loved to have gone to Devastation University and be taught under the esteemed General Skandar Akbar
--IWA East Coast on 5/12 in Nitro, WV headlined by Chris Hero vs. Roderick Strong, plus Balls Mahoney appears. Don't the people in that town know they are out of date and need to change the name of their city to Morrison, WV?
--NWA East on Saturday night in McKeesport, PA at the Jacob Woll Pavilion.
--Tuesday night in Guadalajara before 1,250 fans: Leo b Virgo, Magnum & Divino b Drago & Acertijo, Neutron & Ebola NC Gallo & Exterminador, Valiente & Palacio Negro b Sangre Azteca & Misterioso Jr., Toscano & El Hijo del Fantasma & Blue Panther b Felino & El Texano Jr. & Dragon Rojo Jr.-DQ. The big news was that the Vipers, the former AAA group that went independent, Psicosis, Histeria, Maniaco and Alebrije attacked Panther and Fantasma after the match. (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims)
--FULL on Sunday in Monterrey: Jan Carlos & Solovino & Wolly Wonker (what a great name) b Crucifijo & Face Man & Principe Azteca, Bestia & Coco Viper & Sexy Girl b Chamaco Ortiz & Cop Machine & Gato Fantasma, Dark Shadow & Los Diluvios Negros I & II & Zodiaco b Bengali & Mongol Chino & Potro Jr. & Vaquero Romo, Los Difuntos I & II & Pierko el Boriqua b Humberto Garza Jr. & El Hijo del Ninja & Silver Star, Mistico & Averno & Mephisto b Astro Boy & La Sombra & Volador Jr. Should be noted Mistico and Astro Boy are legit brothers. And not in the cartoons.
--Perros Del Mal on Tuesday in Queretaro: Dark Saint b Galaxi, Blanco & Fuego Latino b Lince & Rey Aztlan, Las Drabeks I & II b Alex Guajardo & Ursus-DQ, Leo won three-way over Sexy Diva and Medusa, X-Fly b Charly Manson, Perro Aguayo Jr. & Damian 666 & Halloween b El Hijo del L.A. Park & Lizmark Jr. & El Hijo del Santo (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--FMLL Tomorrow night in Los Angeles at Salon Jerez features Charly Manson & El Hijo del Rey Misterio & Huracan Ramirez vs. Histeria & Profeta Jr. & Psicosis
--Mike Sawyer's clothing line Joe Knuckles will be sponsoring Larry Mir, John Gettle, James Lanham and Cathy Snell at tomorrow night's Tuff N Uff show at the Orleans in Las Vegas. They are one of the main show sponsors and will have a booth at the event.
--Friday night's CHIKARA first night of the trios tournament at the Arena in Philadelphia has:
Curry Man & Los Ice Creams vs. Oriental & Alebrije & Cuije (Los Perros Del Mal team)
Atsushi Kotoge & Daisuke Harada & Tadasuke (Team Osaka Pro Wrestling) vs. Vin Gerard & Stigma & Colin Delaney
Arik Cannon & North Star Express vs. Tim Donst & Lince Dorado & Pink Ant
Daisuke Sekimoto & Kankuro Hoshino & Yuji Okabayashi (Team Big Japan) vs. Mike Quackenbush & Frightmare & Hallowicked
Gran Akuma & Icarus & Chuck Taylor vs. Dasher Hatfield & Sugar Dunkerton & Matt Classic
Jigsaw & Equinox & Helios vs. Generation Me (TNA) & Malachi Jackson
Fire Ant & Soldier Ant & Green Ant vs. Johnny Gargano & Flip Kendrick & Louis Lyndon
Claudio Castagnoli & Ares & Tursas vs. Valiente & Skayde & Turbo
--Matt Lindland vs. Kevin Casey was officially announced as the main event for the 5/21 Strikeforce show at the Rose Garden in Portland, OR. Also announced was Roger Bowling (7-0) vs. Bobby Voelker (21-7). The complete TV card on Showtime will also include Tyron Woodley (6-0, this guy everyone is talking about) vs. Nathan Coy (8-2) and Kerry Vera (2-0) vs. Julianna Pena (2-0). Casey is best known for being the Jiu Jitsu instructor, friend and business partner of Spencer Pratt.
--Mick Foley headlines Deaf Wrestlefest on 5/2 in Pittsburgh at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. Also on the show is Blue Meanie, Larry Zbyszko and David Sammartino
--ROH has released a facebook discount for both weekend shows, which are tomorrow night in Dayton and Saturday night in Chicago. You can get a coupon at http://www.facebook.com/ringofhonor to get $5 off any ticket purchased at the door.
--Pro Wrestling Warfare on 4/25 at the Orange Blossom Flea Market Rodeo Arena in Haines City, FL
--Rebecca Budig, who hosted WWE Sunday Night Heat on MTV in 2000, filed for divorce from her husband, former Bachelor star Bob Guiney. They had been married since 2004 (thanks to Brian Henke)
--CWE from last night in Regina, SK: Jimmy Jacobs b Dusty Lamborghini, Rick Matthews b Mike Rollins, A.J. Sanchez b Zack Mercury, Danny Duggan b Michael Elgin, Billy Gunn & Road Dogg b Wavell Starr & Cliff Corleone. They run again tonight in Yorkon, SK