FRIDAY UPDATE: Big weekend, Rock's next project, TUF coaches for next season, missing belt, DiBiase



By Bryan Alvarez

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We're looking for reports on the WWE shows last night with Raw in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Smackdown at the Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City, as well as Wednesday night's Raw show at Arena Monterrey.

The tour continues with Raw tonight in Puebla, while Smackdown is in Queretaro, Saturday has Raw at the Palacio de los Deportes (also virtually sold out) and Smackdown is in Leon. The final show is Sunday with Smackdown at Arena Monterrey.

The biggest event of the weekend is UFC 113 from the Bell Centre in Montreal headlined by Lyoto Machida vs. Shogun Rua for the middleweight title, Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Daley and Kimbo Slice vs. Matt Mitrione.

Ring of Honor runs tonight in Manassas, VA at the Sports Network and Fitness Inc. headlined by Tyler Black & Delirious vs. Austin Aries & Rhett Titus, Chris Hero vs. Mark Briscoe, Jay Briscoe vs. Claudio Castagnoli, Roderick Strong vs. Erick Stevens, Christopher Daniels vs. Kevin Steen and Kenny King vs. Colt Cabana. The ROH Supercard of Honor takes place Saturday night at the Manhattan Center with Tyler Black vs. Roderick Strong for the ROH title, Castagnoli & Hero vs. Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley for the tag titles, Steen vs. Cabana, Awesome Kong vs. Sara Del Rey, Daniels vs. Eddie Edwards, Aries vs. Delirious and Briscoes vs. King & Titus.

Dragon Gate USA runs Friday night in Windsor, ONT and Saturday night in Mississauga, ONT. First night has BxB Hulk & Pac vs. YAMATO & Shingo, Dragon Kid vs. Masato Yoshino, Naruki Doi vs. Masaaki Mochizuki, John Moxley vs. Phil Atlas, CIMA vs. Jimmy Jacobs, Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Brad Martin & Xtremo, and more. Night two, which is a PPV taping, has BxB Hulk vs. Masato Yoshino for the title, CIMA & Kid vs. YAMATO & Shingo, Doi & PAC vs. Quackenbush & Jigsaw, Mochizuki vs. Akira Tozawa, Jacobs vs. Moxley and more.

Smackdown tonight has:
* Jack Swagger vs. Kane
* Kofi vs. Dolph Ziggler
* Cody Rhodes vs. Christian
* MVP vs. Luke Gallows
* Kelly & Tiffany (oh my God) vs. Michelle & Layla
* Drew McIntyre mysteriously gets fired

This coming Monday's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is our biggest issue so far in 2010, due to the extensive Dr. Lucha Hall of Fame biography on Konnan. He and Konnan have both been working since Konnan's election into the Hall of Fame last year on this piece, which by itself is the size of a regular sized issue.

The issue also has a lot more on the TNA move back to Thursday, a lot of future business talk by WWE and why the company's future looks bright even with wrestling in something of a current malaise, as well as a look at several major international shows over the weekend, detailed updates on the women's division in TNA, Bubba the Love Sponge and more.

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 a back issue from 1993 up at http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/13223/ This concerns the bloodletting in WCW including the beginning of a series of events that led to Jim Ross coming to WWF, as will be played out over the next few issues. This was before Bill Watts was let go, but his power was demoted. Very interesting times.

We look back at what led to the first Monday Night Wars, and why history didn't repeat itself the second time around. We look at the big questions as TNA moves back to Thursday, as well as a look at history when it comes to promotion that have caught fire.

We also look at Vince McMahon's talks with WWE shareholders this past week, including areas where they expect business to pick up, promotional ideas this summer to build SummerSlam, the ramifications of going PG, new video game news, cost cutting, McMahon's explanation as to why PPV numbers have fallen and what does and doesn't make sense, talk about running a full-time WWE promotion overseas, and Vince's future as a performer.

We also look at the finals of the Global League from Pro Wrestling NOAH, the booking of the Budokan Hall show and the return to the ring of one of the great workers of the past decade.

Our biggest feature is the life and times of Konnan in the most detailed biography of the new Hall of Famer ever done. Dr. Lucha starts with Konnan's parents, him growing up, his first taste of pro wrestling, his troubled childhood and legal problems, and how that all led to being in San Diego and discovering Lucha Libre. We look at his start in pro wrestling, the never talked about family history in wrestling, getting the name Konnan, meeting with Rey Mysterio and Eddy Guerrero, his early days in Mexico as well as Stampede Wrestling and his quick rise to stardom.

We look at his first forgotten WCW run, as well as a promotion that was going to be built around him in California. We look at his first major feud with Canek, the background of wrestling in Mexico in the late 80s when he broke in,. how wrestling exploded and some of the biggest matches of the boom period, including the politics behind the scenes, the Arena Mexico sellout record, and the feud with Perro Aguayo.

We look at the politics behind the creation of the AAA promotion, the first TripleMania, the record setting show in Los Angeles, his period as the biggest draw in pro wrestling, the AAA U.S. boom and his heel turn. We look at what killed the Mexico wrestling boom and why the top stars came to ECW and WCW. WE look at the WCW years and his various roles. We look at Konnan getting into trouble in WCW, life after WCW, his run in TNA and his return to Mexico. We look at his illnesses, injuries, lawsuit against TNA, death of Antonio Pena, death of Abismo Negro, problems with Juventud Guerrera, as well as his present and his future.

This is a very different and in depth look at a wrestler the likes of which is very rarely seen, including a lot of notes about his future that will surprise a lot of people.

Dr. Lucha did a fantastic job on this bio and no doubt this will be one of the most interesting issues of the year.

We look at where Jim Ross stands with his contract expiring and the various options on the table. We also have an update on where Batista stands, future of Bret Hart in WWE, main event planned for the June PPV, lots of WWE injury notes, an update on WWE talks with Bill Goldberg, plans for the NXT show, what is the reason one of the WWE's most well respected veterans has disappeared from television, a wrestler who was about to get called up gets hurt at the worst possible time, scouting future stars, when HHH is advertised to return, future shows, as well as weekend house show notes.

We also look at the background and what went down with Bubba the Love Sponge and Awesome Kong, how it was set up, what happened, his firing and his going crazy after.

We also look at New Japan's PPV show held over the weekend including Togi Makabe's IWGP title win. We've also got an update on TripleMania, as well as a look at a taping for a U.S. PPV from a new promotion.

We also have the most detailed look at the TV ratings over the past week, with the Monday Night Wars as well as every other show from the past week. We look at segment-by-segment on Raw and Impact to see what did and didn't work.

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.

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-- Today would have been Owen Hart's 45th birthday.

-- While Dana White won't give a number, he did say the WEC PPV was the "second-highest mixed martial arts event ever on pay-per-view behind the UFC", meaning it beat the first Affliction show. Most sources are pegging the final number at around 150,000, which was double what they were expecting going in.

-- As noted on the front page, the coaches for next season's Ultimate Fighter will be Georges St. Pierre and whoever wins tomorrow's Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Daley fight. The two coaches will then square off for GSP's title at the end of the season.

-- Dwayne Johnson is in serious negotiations to do Fast & Furious V with co-star Vin Diesel.

-- Pat Curran beat Roger Huerta via decision in a big upset on the Bellator show last night, knocking Huerta out of the lightweight tournament.

-- The WWE wrestlers stayed at the Mariott in Aguascalientes, Mexico earlier this week. Reports were that they were all friendly with everyone and that Cena being the biggest hit.

-- We can confirm that Brett DiBiase injured his knee this past week and will have to undergo surgery.

-- Super Parka and Rita D'Albert were on Philadelphia's Preston and Steve radio show this morning to promote tonight's Lucha Va-Voom show at the Trocadero.

-- AP story on Kimbo Slice here.

-- Latest Independent World MMA rankings are here. I am having flashbacks to Dana White screaming at Ariel Halwani about why Fedor could possibly be ranked number one.

-- Phillip writes: During the Montreal Canadians vs. Pittsburgh Penguins game 4 in Montreal, UFC had prime real estate on the boards, at about the red line, at the far end of the Penguins visiting team bench. By the way, Dana was at this game.

-- For those asking about our annual F4W/Wrestlingobserver.com convention, the man to talk to is our buddy Ed in San Antonio. It'll be the 27-30th in Vegas, in association with both UFC and the UFC Fan Expo. Dinner is Friday night May 28th at Texas de Brazil Town Square at 5:30 PM. Over 40 people are already scheduled to attend. There will be an after party at Planet Hollywood Towers. Some of us will also be going to the Cirque show that night. For any further information on the weekend, please contact Ed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

-- A look at women's wrestling tonight in Sudbury here. A former UK Gladiator, Jemma Palmer, will be making her debut.

-- A story on indy wrestling in the new AM New York. The usual indy wrestling story with the usual lines you've read in every single one, including, "But while the outcome is fake, the action isn’t. When a wrestler is lying on a mat and a 300-pound grappler jumps off the top rope and hits him with a flying elbow — that’s real." No, it's not, unless your opponent sucks.

-- A look at the famous 1975 plane crash that nearly ended Ric Flair's career (and did end the careers of Bob Bruggers and Johnny Valentine, and killed the pilot) is here.

-- Stephan Bonnar, Manny Gamburyan and Jens Pulver will be guests on tonight's Inside MMA on HDNet.

-- What was the main reason WrestleMania performed after the January & February shows did well?
UFC 111 was the night before 57.6%
Wrong build up for Hart vs. McMahon 8.7%
Trying to build the main event around retirement stipulations can't work because of how many times they've lied 8.4%
Card itself wasn't good 8,0%
Wrestling took a dive in interest in March 7.1%
Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon was a match people didn't want to see 6.2%
Show wasn't promoted well 4.0%

What did you think of Wednesday's Ultimate Fighter show?
Excellent 5.1%
Good 45.8%
Average 32.2%
Fair 5.1%
Poor 11.9%
39.8% of those responding didn't see the show

What did you think of the Nick Ring vs. Court McGee match
McGee won both rounds 13.0%
Rig won both rounds 12.0%
Each won a round, should have gone to a third round 75.0%

-- EWF Wrestling presents 2010 X8 TOURNAMENT. THIS Saturday, May 8, 2010, Ross Community Center, 1110 West 10th St, Muncie, IN 47302. Doors open at 6 PM, 7 PM bell time

-- Elite Wrestling Alliance returns Saturday night to Summit Park VFD in Clarksburg, WV. Ryan Reed versus TJ Phillips, Stylin' Steve takes on Smokey C, also a Tai Pei death match with Bildo taking on Viper.

-- From the promoters: PCWA Presents Retribution on May 15th at the Citizen's Fire Co. Palo Alto (Pottsville), Pa Doors open 5:30 P.M. Bell Time is set for 7:00 P.M. In conjunction with the show we will be collecting for a local guy who is in the Army belongs to Delta Company 1-502 Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team 101st Airborne Div. Air Assault and is stationed at Ft Campbell Kentucky. Brandon will be going to Afghanistan. Brandon's mother has let Brian Steele know that they are in need of canned goods, dried goods, cookware, baby wipes, Hygine items, etc. So at Retribution we will be collecting those items to send over to Afghanistan. Please bring all your donations to Retribution May 15th and help out a worthy cause.

-- CZW returns to South Philly Saturday, May 8th, 2010, The CZW Arena - 7PM Belltime, 7 West Ritner Street - South Philly, PA. For tickets and more: www.czwrestling.com

-- Tony Kozina is on the Drunkcast tonight here.

Long-term, what are your thoughts on Lucha Underground?

 

What did you think of Wednesday's Ultimate Fighter TV show?

 

What did you think of TNA Impact?

 

What did you think of Lucha Underground last night?