THURS. UPDATE: FORMER ECW CHAMP VS. HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING CHAMP TALKED ABOUT FOR PPV; UFC VS. MANIA
Thursday, 12 March 2009 08:38
TNA Impact tonight:
*Taylor Wilde vs. Madison Rayne with Roxxi as referee
*Team 3-D & Abyss vs. Beer Money & Matt Morgan in an elimination match
*Jay Lethal & Consequences Creed & LAX vs. Booker T & Scott Steiner & Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin--Main Event Mafia & Frontline members as a team
Plus Mick Foley meets with Jenna Morasca from Survivor, TNA's new star, and Sting and Kurt Angle do their go-home angles for Destination X
A look at all the chaos that surrounded UFC this weekend, including the changing of the main events, Frank Mir's injury, Quinton Jackson, the show and how it all went down is one of several major stories in this coming Monday's jumbo-sized issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The issue also has an update on Hulk Hogan's career, details behind the current financial issues, what he filed in court and what that says about not only wrestling at Wrestlemania, but other endeavors like television shows.
We also have a story about a WWE headliner who is talking about retirement very soon.
We also have the first official word on how the Royal Rumble did, and what that means for Wrestlemania. We also look at how the Rumble on PPV did compared to the other PPV shows in January and there is a shocking deal there. We also talk about the promotion of the event itself.
The current issue is available right now to premium web site subscribers, who get approximately ten issues per week, six new and four or five historical, as well as all our radio shows, Figure Four Weekly, Karl Stern's historical Dragon King newsletter as access to all premium articles on the web site. You can also get the Observer mailed to you weekly in print form following the instructions underneath.
We've also got full coverage of UFC 96, including poll results as well as financial records of the show, early business indicators fro UFC and more.
We also update Wrestlemania, including a look at many of the women not on the roster who have been contacted for the Battle Royal as well as other notes on the show including who are the odd men out right now. We've got an update on ticket sales, as well as a feature on Koko Ware.
We also have a look at the age where wrestling fans are dropping out and how that is completely different from the past. We've got more news on the 500th episode of Smackdown, as well as a major Smackdown celebration show planned for 2009, a look at the WWE Legends of Wrestling videogame as well as comments by the designer and why certain people weren't included as legendary matches not available for play.
We also have notes on a Bret Hart interview talking about Eric Bischoff, Owen Hart, as well as what actually happened with Owen Hart after the 1997 Survivor Series and why he stayed in WWE. Hart also talks about steroids in wrestling as well as a union.
We also have notes on one of pro wrestling's all-time greats who hinted this past week about wanting to come back for one last match, as well as an analysis of Christian's return to WWE.
We have a look at how JBL has saved the nearly dead Ohio Valley Wrestling promotion and wrestling school.
We've got an update on the Raven independent contractors lawsuit against WWE, including the judges rulings on why he threw the case out, where the case now stands, as well as TV analysts talk about the case including one who predicts that if it goes before a jury, the wrestlers will win big.
We've got a lot of notes on WWE business including some very interesting web site news as well as DVD sales news.
We've got features on six different people let go by WWE over the past week or weeks, details as to why and what was and wasn't expected. We look at a TNA star who wants to come to WWE, how WWE projects like DVDs and the album did this past week, as well as an analysis of the leaked Raw script.
We also have a look at the leading candidate for a site for Wrestlemania in 2011, and if it's in the site, a few possible Hall of Fame candidates from that city.
We also have a look at how WWE sees its roster, including rankings from top to bottom on all three brands, as well as a listing of all the second generation wrestlers currently in training, and a wrestler who is listed on the main roster but seems to have been forgotten even though Vince wanted him to be pushed and at one point he was earmarked for a major role.
We also discuss Lance Storm's recent articles on WWE doing seasons like in other sports with down time.
We've also got coverage of the latest Dream show, details on the next season of Ultimate Fighter including a rundown of the roster of the two squads, and coverage of Europe's biggest annual pro wrestling tournament featuring stars from several Japan offices, TNA and ROH.
We also have our usual weekly features including in-depth on the ratings of all the national TV shows, as well as results from the major league arena events held around the world, and the major TV show reviews.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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Also in this week's issues:
--New legend WWE is working on a DVD of
--Plans at this point for a major late May house show and what it shows
--A new WWE movie plan
--Lawler draws a big crowd for an indie show against one of his all-time greatest rivals
--Bret Hart talks about who he'd be up for inducting into the Hall of Fame
--A look at WWE arena business and highlights of the road shows over the past week
--Another major promotion loses TV due to the bad economy
--The first member of one of pro wrestling's all-time most legendary family to be on their way to going heel
--What promotion is in negotiations with some stars right now that would be nothing less than gigantic additions
--Notes on the go-home show angles for Rey de Reyes
--One of Mexico's biggest star of the last 25 years gets head shaved
--One of the most famous families in wrestling history reunite for a match for the first time since 1991
--Former WWF stars now booking for Puerto Rican group
--Notes on top stars from past and present in Puerto Rico in recent weeks
--Dragon Gate gets a network slot
--The story behind one of the most famous cheap shots in wrestling history
--New Japan honors past stars
--Beginning of Japan Cup tournament
--90s hardcore promotion doing a revival show
--Update on Verne Gagne case
--80s pro wrestling star and former college football star arrested for bank robberies
--Promotion celebrates milestone and brings in top indie talent for the weekend
--Former TNA wrestler gets gig on national show
--Unique indie match from a major backstage incident in the 90s WWF
--Recent WWE star talks about going into MMA
--A look at the Danny Hodge book
--Update on how "The Wrestler" is doing at the box office
--Update on Nick Dinsmore and his attempt to get back to WWE
--Two former pro wrestlers, a one-time gimmick wrestler and a former WCW wrestler, both nominated for newest College Football Hall of Fame balloting
--Update on Vader
--Update on new wrestling books
--Update on Scott Hall
--One of Montreal's best drawing heels doing farewell match
--Death of one of New Zealand's top stars who was in a famous U.S. movie
--More on ROH on HDNet
--ROH brings back a few former performers
--Notes on ROH ticket sales
--Notes on TNA's different celebrity signings
--TNA cancels major show
--Update on some TNA gimmicks
--TNA to release DVD featuring some big matches from Japan including IWGP title match
--Tokyo Dome rematch being built for TNA
--Booker talks about his Fan Fest and WWE trying to ruin it
--Lots of new UFC matches
--Notes on WEC going to PPV
--UFC TV outlet feeling financial pain
--UFC 101 and 102 notes
--UFC debuts on TV in new market
--UFC 98 complete lineup
--Major Canadian media breakthrough for UFC
--New MMA based movie
--New MMA superstar basing character around Ric Flair
--Don King's new involvement in MMA
--New ESPN MMA promotion news
--New weekly MMA TV show begins on a national outlet in ay
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major story (ies) of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue. Our most requested issues in 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)
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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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*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 Lex Luger)
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*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
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*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 Lesnar)
*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 business changed)
*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,
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*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
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*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the
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*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
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*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
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*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher,
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*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)
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*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*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
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*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
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*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*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)
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*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
*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 overseas)
*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)
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--Officials for Roy Jones Jr.'s promotion, which has the boxing/wrestling combined PPV that was advertised on Raw & ECW in several markets that was supposed to have Ken Shamrock vs. Bobby Lashley as the MMA main event (Jones himself will box Omar Sheika in the actual main event), have come to Lashley today with Hasim Rahman, the former world heavyweight champion boxer, and Don Frye, as potential opponents. Lashley accepted both bouts. Rahman was their first choice and they are trying to work out a deal today.
--The Hennepin County Attorney's office announced today that it would not file any charges against Verne Gagne for the death of Helmut Gutann due to his mental condition.
--At the press conference for Strikeforce today, it was announced Joe Riggs vs. Jake Shields is off the 4/11 show and instead Shields vs. Robbie Lawler will headline the second Showtime card, a May show in the Seattle/Tacoma area.
--ECW on Tuesday did a 1.3 rating
--Steve Austin and Charisma Carpenter (as the female lead) have been added to the movie The Expendables, which features Sylvester Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Jet Li and Randy Couture among others.
--The U.S. Cellular Arena in Bloomington, IL has a super show advertised on 5/16 with John Cena & HHH & Batista vs. Randy Orton & Edge & Big Show, Jeff vs. Matt Hardy and Jack Swagger vs. Christian. The Chevrolet Center in Youngstown, OH on 5/9 is advertising HHH vs. Orton, Cena vs. Show and Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho
--We're looking for regular correspondents for the web site to do reviews on the ROH TV show when it starts next weekend, as well as Inside MMA. If you send in last week when we asked, please send in again.
--For the 4/1 UFC show on Spike, due to a rib injury, Efrain Escudero is out and Jeremy Stephens' new opponent is Gleison Tibau. There is a TUF winner jinx, because Amir Sadollah, who won the previous season, still hasn't fought since winning with injury and infections.
--HBO announced 24/7 dates of Pacquiao vs. Hatton starting 4/11 at 9:30 p.m., with the other three shows on 4/18 at 10 p.m., 4/25 and 9:30 p.m.. and 5/1 at 9:30 p.m. (the night before the 5/2 fight). There will also be tons of replays during the week
--The last Affliction show airs tomorrow night at 10 p.m. Eastern time on HDNet. This is the show headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski. This will be with a new commentary track done by the HDNet announcing team.
--Dwayne Johnson said his next project is he wants to be in a Broadway musical. His Disney movie "Witch Mountain" opens tomorrow. (thanks to Matt Schreiner)
--Strikeforce had its first press conference with Showtime today in Los Angeles. Frank Shamrock, Nick Diaz, Cris Cyborg and Josh Thomson were on the KTLA news this morning.
--Do you think Urijah Faber vs. Mike Brown on PPV can do 50,000 buys?
Yes, about that much 43.5%
No, won't come close 41.9%
Will do significantly more 14.6%
--What are you planning on watching on 4/11?
Strikeforce on Showtime 41.3%
UFC 94 replay on Spike 8.4%
Bellator on Fox Sports Espanol 0.9%
None of the above 49.4%
--UFC 100 vs. Wrestlemania on PPV in North America, do you think?
UFC beats Wrestlemania 41.1%
UFC doubles Wrestlemania 17.5%
UFC triples Wrestlemania 2.6%
Both shows do about the same 14.8%
Wrestlemania beats UFC 15.9%
Wrestlemania doubles UFC 4.7%
Wrestlemania triples UFC 3.3%
--Jesse Ventura weighed in on the employees vs. independent contractor situation saying he thinks WWE listing wrestlers as independent contractors is absurd in an interview at http://www.cyinterview.com
He said he was in the Senate, he would have investigated the WWE due too all the young deaths in wrestling.
--Ric Flair debuts tomorrow night in Collinsville, IL for ROH. He'll be doing a meet and greet from 6-8 p.m. with special tickets at the door for $30 for the first item and $20 for any addition item per person. The live show features Nigel McGuinness vs. Brent Albright for the ROH title, Bryan Danielson vs. Bison Smith, Tyler Black & Jerry Lynn vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Delirious, Kevin Steen & El Generico & Bobby Dempsey vs. Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards & Chris Hero, Roderick Strong vs. Jay Briscoe and more. Flair will appear at the live show. They are also running Saturday night in Indianapolis at the Fairgrounds Farm Bureau Building with McGuinness & Austin Aries vs. Jerry Lynn & Tyler Black and Steen & Generico defending the tag titles against Kenny King & Rhett Titus, Danielson vs. Kenny Omega vs. Claudio Castagnoli, Richards & Edwards vs. Strong & Albright and Hero vs. Jay Briscoe.
--Former NFL running back Herbert "Whisper"Goodman (3-1) faces former Olympic wrestler and UFC bet Jordan Radev on 3/28 in Sofia, Bulgaria in the next M-1 Challenge TV taping. Goodman fights as a middleweight.
--TNA is running in Shepherdsville, right outside Louisville, tomorrow night. It goes head to head with the Big East semifinals, but that's the breaks. About 500 tickets have been sold in advance for the show.
--TNA has made a deal to have some of its matches on the Xbox Live video marketplace
--ECWA on Saturday night in Newark, DE: Chase Del Monte over Billy Bax, Frederick of Hollywood and Dan Eckos, Cha Cha Chance & Mega b Leather N Lace, Nigerian Saifu b Nigerian Maifu, Logan Brothers b Tiki & Falah, Rob Eckos b Chase Del Monte, Glen Osbourne & Corey Blaze b Scott Wright & Tim Richards, Couragous Cruz b Mr. Ooh La La, Heavyweights b Scott Reed & Frankie Arion, Magnum & Frederick of Hollywood & Andrew Ryker b Travis Blake & Jason Leigh & Aden Chambers
--ECCW on Saturday night in Vancouver: Tony Baroni & Jamie Diaz b B.J. Laredo & Alex Plexis, Dan Myers b Brandon Van Danielson, Ray Brooks NC Mikey D, Randy Myers b Chucky Blaze, Scotty Mac b Tony Tisoy, Veronika Vice b Nicole Matthews, Memphis b Cole Bishop, Kenny Lush won Extreme Rumble. Next show is 3/27 with Phantasmo vs. Kyle O'Reilly in a three stages of hell match (thanks to Mike Sweetser and Ryan Ro)
--I Believe in Wrestling from Saturday night in Orlando: Nooie Lee b Aaron Epic, Raymond Snow b Ray Beez, Lou Cypher b Carlos Maldonado, Roderick Strong b Austin Amadeus, Barney Rumble b Zoe, Rip Malibu & Gus Money b Scott Davis & Brett Thunder, Milo Beasley b Demon Toro, Heartbreak Express & Nick Fame b Chasyn Rance & Larry Zbyszko & Glacier (thanks to Ari Goldstein)
--Branden Lee Hinkle vs. Chris Tuchscherer headlines Beatdown 4 on 3/21 at the 4 Bears Casino in New Town, ND, featuring Brock Lesnar as a special guest. Former UFC fighter Drew Fickett faces Nick Lentz in a welterweight match.
--W1 Inception on 3/28 in Gatineau, Quebec at the Robert Guertin Arena is headlined by the return of Carlos Newton, facing Nabil Khatib. Former CFL star and WWF wrestler Glenn Kulka aces Josh Strickland.
--Even though the WWE Magazine has erased Chris Benoit from its records in the Wrestlemania issue, the WWE Encyclopedia that was released by DK Publishing has a half page profile and photo of him (thanks to James Rossiter)
--Regarding WFAN in New York, the overnight guy Tony Paige, does cover boxing and mentions MMA but is not a fan of it. A source close to the Mike Francesa show noted that there have been lots of rumors of Max Kellerman joining the show, because Francesa and Kellerman have been friends since Max was a teenager, but it is not happening. I'm told Francesa's rating are up since Chris Russo left for Sirius and they feel there is no reason to add a co-host.
--Brooke Hogan is coming out with a new album called "The Redemption" (thanks to Jeff Sheridan)
--Chuck Langerman wrote in saying the reason TNA isn't selling that well in Philadelphia for Lockdown is not the economy, but because the Liacouras Center is in the middle of a terrible area, with parking difficult and a very high crime rate. He noted a lot of people are afraid to go there at night.
--Les Thatcher is doing a seminar for the NWA Anarchy promotion from 3/20 to 3/22. The three days are $100. You can contact the Days Inn of Cornelia at 706-778-7700 for room rates. For more info contact
--Johnny Powers, who at one time was the most popular wrestler in the area in the early 70s, returns to Rochester for an autograph signing at the Webster Columbus Center on 4/26 with Ox Baker. For more info you can call 585-241-3198 or e-mail
--Bill Behrens at
is now taking bookings for Colin Delaney for indie shows and autograph gigs. He's based out of Rochester, NY
--Eclectic Media Productions will be handling publicity and management for Afa the Samoan. You can book him by contacting Shannon Rose at
or calling 813-960-8412
--Victory Pro Wrestling on Saturday night in Deer Park,. NY at the Community Center