THURS. UPDATE: Vince talks WWE financials, new plans, PPV numbers, Chyna in TNA, TUF rating,Couture



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        Impact tonight:
*A.J. Styles & Christopher Daniels vs. Bully Ray & Gunner
*Rob Terry vs. Murphy
*Mickie James vs. Miss Tessmacher
*Sangriento (Amazing Red) vs. Suicide
*Kurt Angle & Velvet Sky vs. Jeff Jarrett & Angelina Love & Winter
 
        Superstars tonight on the Internet
*Beth Phoenix vs. Melina
*Evan Bourne vs. Zack Ryder
*Trent Baretta vs. Jey Uso
 
        With coverage of the biggest live event in UFC history, WWE doing three world title change in one week, a big weekend for Dwayne Johnson, the end of TNA Wrestling and beginning of Impact Wrestling, the ends of the careers of Randy Couture and Michelle McCool, we've got two issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter coming out this week. 
 
       The first issue will be up on the site today and the second will be up tomorrow.  A back issue from early 1994 will also be up this week.  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.
 
        Our lead story looks at UFC 129 from Rogers Centre in Toronto.  We've got a feature on the attendance, gate and PPV numbers and how all-time records are impacted, looking at the biggest live events ever held in not only MMA and pro wrestling, but also boxing around the world.  We look at Canadian records as well, including one record UFC may have set that is astounding.  We also look at the promotion of the show.
 
        We look at the criticism of Georges St. Pierre in the aftermath, records set, looking at St. Pierre after the fight in different ways, St. Pierre's future, the Super 7 summit with every UFC champion and what was said and done, notes on a St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz potential fight, problems with Jose Aldo Jr., the emerging potential stardom of Rory MacDonald, how MMA is viewed differently in Ontario as opposed too the U.S., UFC's buy rate history in Canada, potential future stadium events as well as match-by-match coverage with poll results.
 
        We also look at the big weekend with Dwayne Johnson, including the success of Fast Five, the success of this past WrestleMania with indications from WWE as to where the buys will end up and where it stands on the all-time company record books, about how much money WWE will make from PPV alone for Mania and a look at how much Johnson was likely worth to the company for just one night, and the few people historically who have had that kind of impact on a wrestling show.
 
        We also look at the 39th birthday Raw, and go in detail as to what happened with the ratings, including perhaps the most shocking ratings number in years as well as other Johnson business when it comes to doing new movies.  We also look at what Johnson did and didn't know about the ending of Raw.
 
        We also have full coverage of Extreme Rules, including reaction to the show, where WWE is going next on PPV, and match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
 
        We also look at WWE dropping its dividend and the leaders of the company talk about future goals.  We also note things about the Cena vs. Rock program, the Raw tour of Mexico including what Smackdown star is being brought on the tour, charity fund raising notes, John Cena's next movie role, Cena criticizes a WWE TV show at a live event in a joke.
 
        We also look at the critical reaction to "That's What I Am," the new WWE movie release.  We've also got notes on a funny twitter story involving a WWE star.  We look at Rima Fakih's reaction to being eliminated from Tough Enough, what she said happened that wasn't shown on television as to why it really happened, and who she blamed.  We also look at her getting national attention this past week in Canada and why.
 
        We also look at an update on Tough Enough, plans for upcoming house shows with the new lineups in place, notes on Jinder Mahal, the newcomer to Smackdown as well as a WWE diva gets engaged to a television star.
 
        We also look at Big Show's reactions to recent occurrences, WWE stars on USA network series, an indie star who started in developmental, some WWE injury updates, son of a Hall of Famer getting started and another son of a Hall of Famer getting cut.
 
        We also look at THQ's financials for the past year and shipping totals of WWE and UFC video games.  We also note a current star who business partners have been assured will remain on top for the long run.  We've got notes on Chris Jericho, viewing of WWE television shows via DVR, notes from the developmental program and what the wrestlers all have to do to move tickets.
 
        We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw the past two weeks Impact did and what viewers came and left. We look at several troubling issues in the recent ratings. 
 
        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:
 
--All Japan junior heavyweight tournament notes and where that division goes next
 
--Pro Wrestling NOAH annual tag team tournament final results and what matches that sets up next, including how the Kings of Wrestling did
 
--Complete rundown of the New Japan PPV show this past week involving interpromotional matches and a number of title matches including an ROH star, the company's biggest feud and something of a dream match
 
--Newcomer looking to fit into the New Japan main event picture
 
--First look at the 2011 G-1 Climax tournament
 
--Notes on ROH's probable next iPPV main event and this coming weekend's shows
 
--Update on Ric Flair's shoulder injury
 
--A look at the TNA Sacrifice PPV card
 
--What match was changed
 
--Hulk Hogan's latest legal action
 
--Notes on Jeff Hardy in TNA
 
--TNA sets a ratings record
 
--Details on TNA taking a big step backwards in one of its major international markets
 
--The real story behind Mick Foley to Raw for Rock's birthday show
 
--Kurt Angle once again talks getting back to real sports and few believe him
 
--TNA house show rundowns
 
--What is scheduled for the next few weeks of TNA Impact
 
--UFC in Philadelphia updated show
 
--Update on Fedor vs. Dan Henderson
 
--Update on health of B.J. Penn and Kid Yamamoto
 
--Lots of new UFC matches
 
--Notes on the next three Strikeforce shows
 
--Crazy period for shows by Zuffa
 
--Notes on the 55th anniversary show of pro wrestling at Arena Mexico
 
--A look at a unique idea for a pro wrestling tournament that is getting good reviews and how it's being done but why it wouldn't work in the modern U.S. environment
 
--A unique reason why a main eventer is getting a push slowed down
 
--Update on Perro Aguayo Jr. and rumors and his claims regarding his health issues
 
--Major U.S. stars coming to TripleMania
 
--The unique Inoki Genome Federation show featuring 80s superstars, one of the biggest late 80s feuds, as well as a kickboxing legend faces the IGF's biggest star
 
--Pro wrestler sentenced in bank robbery
 
--Update on Paul Orndorff
 
--A look at Lance Storm's reality show
 
--Lou Thesz Hall of Fame inductees for 2012 and notes about the ceremony and who will be there
 
--Wrestler now facing 11 counts and a potential of 120 years in prison
 
--Note about the town hit by the hurricane and how it ties in with pro wrestling
 
--A look at Don Kernodle as he goes in for major surgery
 
--Mike Graham admits to something on video which led to one of the biggest jumps of personnel of the last 15 years
 
--CHIKARA honoring Larry Sweeney
 
--Notes on the Super 8 tournament
 
--Usage of social media as a promotional tool
 
--More on Strikeforce sale to UFC
 
--Notes on the UFC Fan Expo
 
--Lots of notes on Dana White
 
--Update on why Cris Cyborg hasn't been fighting
 
--UFC fighter doing a smaller show
 
--Strikeforce fighter competes and wins national tournament in another sport and talks Olympics
 
--Krzysztof Soszynski talks about how Badnews Allen got him interested in MMA
 
--Update on Bellator
 
--Promoter of top MMA indie is now out of the picture
 
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--Not really much came out of the WWE investors conference call today other than Vince McMahon talking about two new live events shows that he feels they will have no trouble getting a partner for.  It wasn't clear if they were going to do television specials, or that they were going to produce new weekly live shows.  I'm figuring the former.  The company took in $119.9 million in revenue in the first quarter and had an $8.6 million profit.  Comparing with last year is faulty because WrestleMania was first quarter last year and second quarter this year.  But expenses were up, PPV was flat not including Mania (prior quarter buys made up the difference in the steep decline of Elimination Chamber, while Rumble was pretty much in the same ball park as last year.  Attendance was down even with the huge period from late February through March, because January through mid-February was way down.  But with higher ticket prices, that was flat.  Merch was down, but toys were up because of the Mattel deal.  DVD shipments were up due to the History of Mania DVD.  Vince McMahon said it wasn't a great quarter, but later said that the storylines were connecting better than at any time in company history.  Wow.  He also said they have been successful at elevating talent, noting Miz was a prelim guy a year ago and main evented Mania, and Alberto Del Rio wasn't even with them a year ago and main evented Mania.  Unlike Shawn, Batista, HHH and Undertaker, where their absence was credited for business going down, he mentioned the unfortunate retirement of Edge but also said that business would not be affected at all by his retirement.
 
--The funniest was when he was directly asked about UFC affecting PPV buys.  He said that they have found it to be true when UFC runs on a Saturday and they run on a Sunday.  But it's not because there is any crossover.  He said the crossover of WWE and UFC was no different from WWE and boxing in the past.  He said it was because on a week when UFC has a show, they get most of the cable ads and WWE gets less of a push.  Think about this.  Didn't this happen in the past when they were the same weekend as a boxing fight?  Yet there was never any indication at all that boxing ever hurt WWE numbers.  But there are reasons they have to say it. 
 
--We'll have a complete rundown on it in next week's issue.  Actual PPV numbers were 446,000 for Rumble (down 16,000 from 2010) and 199,000 for Elimination Chamber (down 86,000).  They blamed not being on PPV in the U.K. for the decline, but it was still down 15% in the U.S. from the prior year.
 
--Fast Five is now at $103 million in U.S. gross.
 
--TMZ notes that Chyna worked Tuesday night's TNA show without a contract.  I don't know whether to laugh or cry that they would do something like that.  She claimed she's been offered a one-year contract by the IGF.  Maybe she can face Bob Sapp next. 
 
--Ultimate Fighter last night fell back down to a 0.9 rating.
 
--There will be a Shark Fights show on 5/27 in Albuquerque headlined by Joe Villasenor vs. Chris Camozzi.  Camozzi was cut by UFC after the Australia show while Villasenor was with Strikeforce for a while.
 
--At this year's annual Grilled Cheese sandwich invitational tournament in Los Angeles (which drew more people to a studio lot than have ever attended a TNA show), there was a sandwich called Jake the Snake (thanks to Chris Harrington).
 
--A note again that the Anaheim Angels are having Lucha Libre mask night on 5/10 in their game against the Chicago White Sox.
 
--Trish Stratus teaches yoga to the Tough Enough contestants at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aV1Bpfl5XPA (thanks to Randy Jacobs)
 
--Chris Lytle and trainers Keith Palmer and Pat McPherson have launched a Police Athletic League club devoted to boxing, wrestling and Jiu Jitsu in Indianapolis.  McPherson will  teach the three sports as well as academic support at no cost to children in the city at the gym where Lyle and his team train at through a $50,000 grand from Pepsi.
 
--Chris Jericho guest hosts SixxSense radio tonight.
 
--On Pardon the Interruption on Monday, they wished happy trails to Randy Couture.  Michael Wilbon noted that Couture was a UFC Hall of Famer.  Tony Kornheiser said, "UFC has been around five minutes, how can they have a Hall of Fame?"  (thanks to Emerson Witner)    
 
--Juggalo Championship Wrestling PPV results from last night in Detroit:  Corporal Robinson b Izabella Smothers, Kowabata b Bill Martel, Mad Man Pondo & Necro Butcher b Bumpin Uglies, U-Gene NC Sexy Slim Goodie, Ring Ryders b Haters to keep JCW tag titles, Officer Colt Cabana b Weedman in a mask vs. badge match but after Weedman lost, Cabana let him keep his mask if he would agree to become his deputy, 2 Tuff Tony b Sabu.  Rhino was there as was Rob Conway in a brawl before the main event, scheduled as a tag, but they brawled to the back.  Next show is 5/18 at Modern Exchange in Southgate, MI on iPPV headlined by Butler Geeves defending the JCW title against 2 Tuff Tony.
--Stephan Bonnar will co-host Inside MMA tomorrow night with Kenny Rice. Bas Rutten is doing a movie outside the country.  Ben Henderson
will be a guest along with Punkass and Skyscrape from Tapout.
 
--Who do you expect to win this match
Frankie Edgar 71.8%
Gray Maynard 28.2%
        Surprised at this one considering the last fight was a draw and Maynard won their first meeting
 
--Who is the biggest star in combat sports entertainment
The Rock 34.6%
Manny Pacquiao 24.0%
Brock Lesnar 15.7%
Floyd Mayweather Jr. 8.2%
Georges St. Pierre 6.2%
Hulk Hogan 5.2%
John Cena 3.4%
Anderson Silva 1.9%
Randy Orton 0.7%
 
--Best of these guys on interviews
Jesse Ventura 31.9%
Raven 27.1%
Tully Blanchard 12.2%
Shane Douglas 11.6%
Honky Tonk Man 8.8%
Bill Dundee 4.6%
Junkyard Dog 2.0%
Mr. Wrestling II 1.6%   
 
--Roddy Piper has been added to the NWA Legends Fanfest the first week of August in Atlanta.
 
--CMLL from Tuesday night in Guadalajara before 1,750 fans, their best Tuesday in the city in months:  In Memoria b Xavier Cruz Jr., Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno b Ebola & Leon Blanco Starman & Metalico b Malefico & Infierno, Angel de Oro & Delta & Magnus b Loco Max & Polvora & Cancerbero, Psicosis & Olimpico & Mr. Aguila b Rush & Toscano & La Sombra  (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha"Sims)
 
--FSW is doing shows every two weeks on Friday nights in Las Vegas, with shows on 5/6, 5/20 and 6/24 as well as a special anniversary show on 6/12.  So they aren't running convention week.  Franco D'Angelo, Michael Modest Sinn Bodhi, Adam Thornstowe, Al Katrazz and Paul Isadora are all booked for the next show.
 
--Donofrio MMA runs 5/7 at The Palace in Auburn Hills with a 16 fight show including Michael Jordan.  Unfortunately, it's not that Michael Jordan.  Shamir Garcia vs. Lee Trombley headlines. 
 
--M-1 Global on 7/8 in Vancouver headlined by Guram Gugenishvili defending his heavyweight title against Pat Bennett and Jose Figueora defends the lightweight title against Daniel Weichel.  The press release lists the show in Vancouver, Canada, but the press release writes that it's the "second U.S, based event in 2011."  I guess that's like on Raw when a Japanese wrestler would be on TV and the scriptwriters would write jokes about Mu Shu Pork.
 
--Aggression MMA comes to Edmonton on 6/10 at the Shaw Conference Centre featuring Ryan Ford vs. Nick Hinchliffe and Shane Campbell vs. Luke Harris.
 
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling on Saturday night in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds.
 
--UWC Championship Wrestling's new TV show is at http://www.youtube.com/UWCWrestlingVideos  They also run Saturday night in Westampton, NJ at Holly Hills Elementary School with Shockwave the Robot. 
 
--Jon Horton, the former Global Wrestling TV announcer in the early 90s, is doing a one-man improv show on Saturday night at the Phoenix Theater in Edmonds, WA, just north of Seattle.  The Dark Patriot has been banned from the building (thanks to Steven Prazak)
 
--The Fight Network in Canada has signed to acquire nine monthly events from Golden Boy Promotions as well as classic fights from their video library including Mayweather vs. Marquez and De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao
 
--MPW on 5/7 in Simi Valley, CA at Yankee Doodles featuring Akira Tozawa vs. Ryan Taylor

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