THURS. UPDATE: TUF rating; UFC changes; Rock media; WWE Hall of Fame; King on Cole; Edge; Cornette

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        We're looking for reports on tonight's TNA house show in Corbin, KY, as well as tomorrow night's show in Pikeville and Saturday night's show in Johnson City at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   We're also looking to get reports from all of the activities in Atlanta, so if you are there, whether it's WWE activities, ROH or Dragon Gate USA, there are a lot of major events the next few days that we're looking for reports on.
        TNA Impact tonight on Spike:
Scott Steiner vs. Jesse Neal
Max Buck vs. Jeremy Buck
Velvet Sky vs. Winter
Kurt Angle vs. Rob Terry
Sting & Mr. Anderson & RVD vs. Abyss & Matt Hardy & Bully Ray
        Superstars tonight
Trent Baretta vs. Curt Hawkins
Eve Torres & Natalya & Gail Kim vs. Bella Twins & Melina    
        With WrestleMania upon us, we are going to have two issues of the Observer out this week, and one of our big three issues of the year, the WrestleMania review issue covering not only the major WWE activities, the big show, the financial and backstage news, but also the ROH and Dragon Gate shows, will be out next week.
        The first of the issues is already up and the second will be up today.
        Among the major features in the issues coming out this week is a look back at the start of WrestleMania and the real history, the good, the bad, how the show changed the face of the industry in so many ways, as well as truths, lies, myths and more that have sprung up regarding 27 years of what in almost every year was the biggest show on the North American continent, and in most cases, in the world each year.  We look at questions regarding the show, including arena vs. stadium, real main events, and the untold history, particularly from the first show and why it is still the most important of all of them.
        We look back at the concept of the big show, problems doing the first one, the growth to WrestleMania III, the ups and downs of the 90s, and the new era starting in 1998 to the current show.
        We also have a WrestleMania preview, looking at company goals, markets efforts, predictions on how the show will do, a match-by-match preview, what is the real key to whether this show does bigger than last year and more.  We look at how and why matches changed, notes on the Hall of Fame, celebrity involvement, ticket availability and much more.
       The first of the two issues will be up on the site today, and the second will be up tomorrow.  A back issue from early 1994 was just put up yesterday.  Between the Observer and Figure Four Weekly, we have about 14 issues put up every month and dozens of new audio shows for web site subscribers including coverage after the shows of every major pro wrestling and MMA event.
        You can also order print copies of the Observer with details below.
        We also have an interesting look at the controversial UFC plan for the next season of Ultimate Fighter and why it may or may not happen.
        We've also got a bio on the great manager, Sir Oliver Humpderink, going through his career through the territories, his legend in Florida, the unique way he got into pro wrestling, his first night as a manager, his most famous roles, his time with WWF and WCW at the end of his career, an life after wrestling, including his own words about life and wrestling taken from lengthy interviews he's done before his death, and friends talk about him as well. 
        We also look more at the firing of Fit Finlay by WWE, more on the Elimination Chamber numbers, Lesnar talks Undertaker and going back to wrestling, a longtime WWE vet says he's retiring in 18 months, lots of news on the season of Tough Enough, a look at Sin Cara's house show debut, Chris Jericho talks Dancing with the Stars and does pro wrestling help him, an upcoming Dwayne Johnson movie as well as a new John Cena movie, what happened with Michael Cole on twitter and why, behind the greatest 50 wrestlers DVD and WWE sending 80s legends on the road after Mania.
        We also look at a former member of The Ultimate Fighter cast known for doing pro wrestling interviews who is trying out for WWE, if the return of Rock has affected DVR usage when it comes to Raw, lots of background on who is David Otunga, pre-Mania publicity, notes on the Hall of Fame process and celebrates, Scott Hall on why he's not going to Atlanta for the Shawn Michaels induction, a former WWE star says he'd be insulted if asked to go into the Hall of Fame, Hall of Famer son wins first championship an more developmental news.  Plus an interesting stat on Lay Cool, how WWE handles crowd mishaps, as well as business notes from the past weekend and a look at all the WWE house shows the last weekend before Mania and what the notes indicate.
        We also run down the UFC Fight Night show, with our usual match-by-match coverage, how much everyone earned on the show, business notes, poll results, where the main fighters go and more.  We also have some very interesting notes because the ratings for this show were very different than most UFC shows on Spike and we look at what that says about different variables including start time and matches.  We also look at a couple of big matches and moments underneath that, because the show ran long, were not able to be aired on Spike.
        We also look at the question marks surrounding the future of Bobby Lashley in MMA and pro wrestling.
        We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw and Impact did and what viewers came and left.  In particular this week we look at the WrestleMania go-home show, and how the key segments on the show did. . 
        We also have our usual weekly features with results of the major arena shows from around the world, and the major TV show rundowns and reviews.
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Also in this week's issues:
--Return of CMLL to U.S. television
--68th anniversary of pro wrestling at Arena Coliseo in Mexico City
--A look at the death of a wrestler turned movie villain
--Heels talk about their belief heeling is a lost art and complain why
--TripleMania date announced
--Mexico ratings
--Promotion feuding with leading magazine
--AAA starts pushing new talent
--Japanese star tries to put together an all-star charity show and major star from the last decade says he'll come out of retirement for it
--Notes on the 2011 Champion Carnival tournament
--ROH tag champs head to NOAH for its annual tag tournament
--More on New Japan coming to the U.S. for a tour
--Hall of Famer in Japan has his first match against the son of a major former rival
--Update on Jinsei Shinzaki and his plight after all the troubles he's had after the earthquake
--Update on plans for a major feature movie on one of the greatest pro wrestlers in history
--A look at Memphis Heat, business, reviews and notes about the movie and its future
--A sleazy promoter and sleazy athlete combine for a story
--Larry Zbyszko talks Chris Jericho
--More notes on Lockdown
--Update on the Bellator tournaments and future shows
--Granddaughter of one of the most famous wrestlers in history and her sex with a minor charges case comes to a close
--A look at Kurt Angle's latest arrest
--Hulk Hogan now working indies?
--Former TNA wrestler looked at regarding a return
--Plenty of TV craziness
--A look at the last weekend of TNA shows
--Updated UFC PPV estimates
--Jon Jones' drawing power
--A look at UFC's July PPV
--A very interesting statement made by Spike TV head about something they are talking about for the fall
--A look at the Thiago Silva drug case
--Update on Fedor Emelianenko
--Future of Mirko Cro Cop
--Future Spike UFC shows
--A controversy regarding medical suspensions
--Another foreign champion comes into the Zuffa fold next week
--Several UFC cuts
--Women fighters feud on the radio    
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*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)
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*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the
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*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the
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world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of
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*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story,
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*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
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*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best
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*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his
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*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
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*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul
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--Scott Coker at the top of the Strikeforce press conference noted that Mike Kyle broke his hand in training yesterday so he's out of the fight with Gegard Mousasi on 4/9 in San Diego.  A replacement is expected to be named shortly.  He also said rumors that Fedor Emelianenko's contract had been dropped by Zuffa were not true and that Emelianenko is going to be fighting in late July.
--As of this morning, no replacement had been finalized for Jon Fitch, who was injured and had to pull out of the 7/2 UFC fight with B.J. Penn.  I would expect a name to surface relatively soon.
--Dwayne Johnson in the New York Post at (thanks to Jeff Sheridan)
--We're looking for some new reporters for these shows:  Tough Enough on Mondays, Ultimate Fighter on Wednesdays and AAA & CMLL on the Galavision weekend spots.
--The original plan that has been kept secret was for all the current Divas together to induct Tammy Sytch into the Hall of Fame.  The idea is she will then be known as The Original Diva.
--WrestleReunion has announced they are coming to Toronto from April 13-April 15, 2012 at the Doubletree by the Hilton at the Toronto Airport.
--Last night's Ultimate Fighter show did 1.0 rating.  That's the lowest season opener in history, and that's with Brock Lesnar, who was expected to be a huge ratings draw.  The thoughts this would be one of the two or three biggest seasons ever don't look good at all.     
--The Phoenix New Times, which is an award winning paper, has a story on Superstar Billy Graham this week at  I haven't read the entire story yet, but everything I've ever read from that paper is topnotch.
--John Cena & Randy Orton vs. The Miz & C.M. Punk is advertised as the main event of the 5/10 Raw house show in Highland Heights, KY (thanks to Brian Henke)   
--Chris Jericho did the Gayle King Show, live on radio and television this morning.  He's also doing the Joy Behar Show with Robin Quivers as guest host, The Rachel Ray Show (that airs on 4/5), Opie & Anthony tomorrow morning at about 8:30 a.m., Good Day New York tomorrow morning at about 9:40 p.m., Sirius shows in the afternoon tomorrow and filming for AP TV tomorrow.
--Alex Marvez talks to Jerry Lawler about WrestleMania, and the Andy Kaufman feud at  Lawler said he doesn't think there's any way Cole can screw up the match. 
--WWE is returning to Calgary and Edmonton with Raw taped on 8/22 in Edmonton and Smackdown taped on 8/23 in Calgary. 
--Steve Austin talks WWE All-Stars and a feud with C.M. Punk at
--Greg Jackson will be a guest on Inside MMA tomorrow along with Jim Miller and Mike Kyle talking about fighting friends.  This was taped before Kyle's injury I guess.  A clip is at
--Regarding the possibility that if Jake Shields wins the UFC welterweight title and he remains Strikeforce welterweight champion if they would fight, Nick Diaz said he was mad somebody even would ask him that question.  He said he and Shields are real training partners, not like Jon Jones and Rashad Evans were.   
--Edge was on George Stroumboulopoulos at  It starts at the 11:00 mark of the show.
--A press conference was held in Brantford yesterday for the indie show that is billing Hulk Hogan to appear.  Robbie McAllister was the only wrestler at the press conference.  They announced Brooke Hogan would be doing the halftime entertainment, yes at a wrestling show, plus there would be a Brooke Hogan after party at a local bar.  The promotion has said they are looking at drawing 4,000 fans.  Their last show without Hogan did 1,000.
--Jim Cornette interview on Live Audio Wrestling talking about HDNet, Lawler vs. Michael Cole and the WWE Hall of Fame at
--Canadian independent wrestler Devon Nicholson said that he had a WWE deal in 2009, underwent the medicals and found out he had Hepatitis C, and thus the company rescinded their offer.  He blames it on his matches on the indie scene with Abdullah the Butcher at  I don't know that he'll get another shot given that he shot on Tommy Dreamer in the middle of a worked match a few months back.
--The first WrestleMania took place 26 years ago today in Madison Square Garden.  The current Observer has a long story on the background of that first show.     
--The WWE Hall of Fame ceremony in Canada will air on The Score on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. with some replays later in the week.  Still no word on Tough Enough in Canada (thanks to Paul Fontaine)
--Weigh-ins for tomorrow night Strikeforce show, the first Strikeforce show since Zuffa purchased the company, take place at 5 p.m. today in Stockton at the Lexington Waterfront Hotel.  They are open to the public.  The show airs live tomorrow night at 11 p.m.
--Ultimate Warrior will be doing a track on an upcoming release by metal band "Winds of Plague."  The spoken word track will be called "The Warrior's Code."  The band and Warrior have the same management which is likely how the deal went down.  Story is at (thanks to Robert Pasbani)
--Michael Langan has 2 Hall of Fame tickets, Section 114, Row G and two Axxess tickets for Friday (6-10 p.m.) and Saturday (12-4 p.m.) that he wont be using since he's instead going to Dragon Gate USA and ROH shows.  Face Value is $91 for Hall of Fame and $50 for Axxess but is willing to negotiate.  He's at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   
--Georgia Championship Wrestling is doing a benefit for Susan Meeks, who was Dusty Rhodes' assistant when Rhodes was doing Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling, and is battling colon cancer, with a show called "A Night for Susan" on 4/9 in Douglasvile, GA.  Ernest Miller, Jimmy Powell and referees Charlie Smith and Scrappy McGowan are there, with a main event of Steve Corino vs. Glacier, Mike Sanders vs. Buddy Lee Parker, plus Joel Deaton, Giant Ron Studd and Bambi & Peggy Lee Leather.
--The Miami Herald has a story on Colt Cabana on life after WWE and working ROH at   
--The Internet PPV appears still not to work in some foreign countries.  It was noted to us that if you live in a country where WrestleMania is not available, the credit card billing process for the web site ordering of the show doesn't seem to verify any address outside North America.  This is a problem WWE has had for years.  Reader Markus Gronemann noted he's had the problem in the past and been told they are working on rectifying it, but he's had no problems ordering shows on GoFightLive or in less than a minute.  He as given a message that the company is working diligently to fix it but can't give a time frame to when this will change.
--Jim Ross talks WrestleMania, Hall of Fame and Barry Bonds at 
--Ricardo Almeida announced today he was retiring after his loss on 3/19 to Mike Pyle.  This is the second time Almeida retired, the first being in 2004.
--A long set of videos on the new season of Tough Enough is at  Steve Austin said this would not pull back the curtain as much as other seasons.  Booker T also talks about the difference between WWE and TNA.
--Bob Orton Jr. talks about his wrestling career in Georgia starting out with Dick Slater as a tag team and seeing Bruno Sammartino at
--Kevin Eck talks with Randy Orton about being a babyface and facing C.M. Punk at
--The Miz talks WrestleMania in Atlanta and Dwayne Johnson's comeback at 
--Cain Velasquez is on Ring Talk tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern at
--Poll on MMA drug testing
UFC should implement its own very strict Olympic testing because you can't count on government funded testing in this economy to take care of the problem 68.8%
Current testing keeps PED's out so they should continue to do what they do 19.6%
There should be no drug testing because it's inherent in competitive sports and too easy to beat 11.6%
--Do you expect Hulk Hogan in TNA in 2012
Yes 29.1%
No 70.9%
--Do you expect a Rock vs. Cena match before the end of this year
Yes 67.8%
No 32.2%
--Dr. Keith show on the front page has an interview with Johnny Gargano talking about this weekend's Dragon Gate USA shows and being in Japan when the earthquake hit. 
--The New York Daily News has a story on Snooki in Mania at  Story doesn't give her much credit.  But she at least knows this ride isn't going to last. 
--In an interesting breakthrough, the U.K. actors union Equity has unanimously approved a motion to allow pro wrestlers to join the actors union. 
--Showtime All-Star Wrestling on 5/14 at the Fairgrounds in Nashville has a Make-a-Wish Foundation show featuring The Midnight Express, Dennis Condrey & Bobby Eaton, against Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson, the Rock & Roll Express, plus Doug Gilbert & Tommy Rich vs. Wolfie D & Road Dogg, Brian Christopher & Kevin White vs. Tracy Smothers & Chris Hamrick, Mike (Simon Dean) Bucci vs. Jerry Lynn and an appearance by Dutch Mantel.
--In the Texas state high school hockey finals a few days ago, there was a brawl which included one of the kids using a Karl Gotch style piledriver (Jerry Lynn style).  Clips are at (thanks to Jason Hagholm) 
--The Dynamite D Memorial wrestling show takes place 4/9 in Newhall, CA at the American Legion Hall.  Dynamite D, better known as Darren McMillen, was a Southern California indie wrestler and radio personality.
--All Pro Wrestling in the San Francisco Bay Area on Ch. 50 has been canceled.  KFTY said they were taking on a new programming direction and getting rid of a lot of the paid programming slots.  APW was told they could pay more for the slot or move to 1:30 a.m. while paying the rate they had been paying.
--Former UFC fighter Shonie Carter debuts in pro wrestling on Sunday at the ACPW show in Oaks, PA.  Lauren Mayhew, who worked very briefly for WWE is also on the show.  
--Matt Borne is running a show on 4/9 in Freehold, NJ at the 3-2 Count Gym.  It's billed as a family friendly show based on the early days of wrestling.  I hope that doesn't mean 3 hour main events and those handlebar moustache looking dudes.  Well, they are doing a 75 minute Iron Man match and a TLC match, plus a taped fist match.
--Tuesday night in Guadalajara:  Leo b Quka, Infierno & Malefico b Black Metal & Virgo, Metal Blanco & Palacio Negro b Inquisidor & Raziel, Delta & Metro & Sangre Azteca b Euforia & Misterioso Jr. & Virus, Hector Garza & Volador Jr. b Rush & Toscano
--Promociones Cantu in Nuevo Laredo on Monday night:  El Brazo & Persues & Yuriko b Decnis & Tito Santana & Sobredosis, Hombre sin Miedo & Rio Bravo II & Super Fly b Aero Star & Argenis & Laredo Kid, Dr. Wagner Jr. & Extreme Tiger b Silver Kain & Ultimo Gladiador (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Kaiju Big Battel is coming to the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in Manhattan on 4/9 at 7 p.m.  
--Tuff N Uff:  Future Stars of MMA will be 4/8 in Las Vegas at the Orleans Hotel Mardi Gras Ballroom headlined by Eddie Jackson defending the welterweight title against Lee Henry Lilly.
--Besides ROH, had iPPV of Recife Fighting Championships MMA at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Xtreme Caged Combat Primal Fury at 6:30 pm. tomorrow, AFC 5 on Saturday at 9 p.m., and Combat at the Cabaret on Saturday night at 9 pm. 
--NWA Main Event tonight in Nashville at the NWA Arena.
--The Quincy, IL Herald-Whig previews WrestleMania at
--B.G. James has been added as a vendor guest at the Kevin Nash & Sean Waltman WrestleMania party tomorrow night in Atlanta at the Sutra Lounge.  Mike Sanders is also coming.  You can email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more info.  Doors open at 8 p.m.
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on 5/20 and 5/21 in Lakewood, OH at St Gregory's Byzantine Hall with a two-night tournament.  Names announced are Mad Man Pondo, Tim Donst, Sonjay Dutt, Shiima Xion and Jimmy Jacobs among others.  It'll be a 24-man tournament total.
--When Marty Jannetty was asked if he would attend the Shawn Michaels Hall of Fame induction he said, "I want to be there but the cab ride from where I am is over 22 dollars and 23 cents, give or stank a dolla..." (thanks to Matt Ficke) 

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?