MON. UPDATE: Tonight's Raw, WWE house show news, Ryder, Undertaker, Barnett, TNA departure

By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Lead: Big RAW tonight, house show reports still needed

We're looking for your thoughts on last night's ROH show, Saturday night's Strikeforce show from Columbus, OH, as well as Friday night's UFC on FX from Sydney, Australia, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Bryan and I will be back tonight covering Raw, the ROH iPPV, Josh Barnett, Miesha Tate's arm, Doug Furnas and a number of other subjects with Wrestling Observer Radio. You can send in questions for the show to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

We're also looking for reports from Raw tonight in Boston with dark matches, Superstars matches and anything else not evident on the live show.  The show is scheduled to have, based on promotion, a HHH/Shawn Michaels confrontation, a Big Show vs. David Otunga match, a Rock/Cena confrontation and the show is basically sold out. Teddy Long is guest General Manager.

We're also looking for reports on yesterday's Raw show from Bangor, ME, Smackdown from Macon,  GA, TNA from Wichita, Saturday's Smackdown show in Albany, GA, the TNA house shows this weekend on Thursday in Kansas City, Friday in Salina, KS, and last night in Dodge City, KS and today in Wichita, as well as the Friday night Raw show from Cornwall, ONT, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Smackdown is Tuesday from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT with John Laurinaitis as General Manager.    

This Week's Observer: Double Issue featuring WrestleMania build, Rock/Cena & Punk/Jericho promos

We've got another double issue of the Observer out this week.  The new issue is already available on the web site right now, as is another back issue from 1994 covering UFC IV and all the wrestling news from that period.

We look at the build for WrestleMania, the Rock-Cena promo, the Punk-Jericho promo, the internal predictions, the ratings, including exactly what happened with the ratings in the last segment and the goals of building the Mania match, and more importantly, what the Mania match can't do for long-term business.  We update the card announced as well as other matches teased, as well as how the key demos fluctuated in the last half hour of the show.

We also have coverage of the business of WWE with a rundown of the final quarter as well as the entire year of 2011.  We look at why the company is losing money for the first time in years, what divisions are up, what divisions are down, how it differs from last year, the dividend, and comments by Vince McMahon about the last few months as well as the company going forward.

We look at ticket sales and internal PPV predictions for WrestleMania, as well as the theory on how this show will build the company going forward.  We look in depth at the problems of the film division and will it continue and for how long is it safe in the wake of all the money losses.  We also look at an update on the network, why Vince McMahon said they are strong going into the network and why the stats he used may not really indicate strength in that marketplace.

We look at the money earmarked for the network's debut in 2012, and how to look at whether or not it is successful past the obvious bottom line because of opportunity costs changing.

We also look at his talk about recent non-WWE sports deals for content, as well as a look back at the historical cycles of pro wrestling in North America over the past 60 years.  We look at how the stock price is doing, as well as go into almost every facet of the business.

We look at WWE revenue over the past three years and what part of the world it comes from.

We look behind the small gain in attendance and why part of that is misleading.  We also look at ticket prices and merchandise, as well as compare grosses from this year and last year.

We also look at what recent PPV hit rock bottom, and why PPV numbers were up this past year.  We've got a chart listing all the PPV numbers for the past three years, as well as another chart looking at "Rock less" numbers, basically if you take Rock out of the equation, the overall trend of PPV numbers over the past four years.

We also look at a major lesson this year brought forth when it comes to big angles and PPV shows.

We look at why Superstars and NXT are not on television right now, as well as why one sector being down was so disappointing.  We look at toys, video games, novelty products, magazine sales and web site revenue.

We also have a year-by-year look at WWE business final numbers.

We also have a look at the Wrestler of the Year for the U.S. and Japan annually dating back the past 30 years.

About The Observer: The Must-Read Publication For Wrestling and MMA Fans, Media and More

The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.

The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world.  The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe.  Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively.  They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world.  Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.  Just sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order at and use the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address.

You can also subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O Box 1228, Campbell, CA  95009-1228.

More On The New Observer: UFC Back To Japan, Wrestling/MMA Connection, Tons More

We also have a look at UFC's return to Japan after 11 years, why the show sold, what the show indicated about the Japanese market, what kind of a crowd attended and how it differed from a pro wrestling crowd and a Pride crowd, a look back at the Benson Henderson title win over Frankie Edgar, stats on striking and takedowns, judges scoring, where the lightweight division goes, what Edgar is being pressured to do, and whether Edgar should move down in weight.

We look at the business stats of the show, gate, TV ratings on FX and early PPV numbers, the TV situation in Japan, and a look at the Japanese favorites on the show.

We've also got match-by-match coverage of the show, poll results and more.

We also look at the next Raw, tons of details on this year's Hall of Fame ceremony, where Ric Flair stands, Undertaker health update, Rock box office notes, more on Legends House, Rey Mysterio's return and WWE business notes from the past week as well as highlights from all of the weekend house shows.

We've also got the third part of our history of the UFC/pro wrestling connection, with notes and profiles on 16 more current and former UFC stars who have done pro wrestling.

We've also got a preview of Friday night wars, which start on 3/9 with four different stations broadcasting pro wrestling or MMA in prime time.  We look at how the night is going to shake up, the first Bellator show, as well as a look at the 32 fighters who will be competing on 3/9 to become Ultimate Fighter cast members.  We look at their backgrounds, records and who are the favorites coming in.

We also have our in-depth look at the ratings of the national shows, including how every segment of Raw and Smackdown did, what gained in audience, and what lost in audience.

We also have our weekly features with the results from the major events held around the world over the past week, as well as reviews of the major television shows.

Also in this week's issue:

--CMLL's first major show of 2012 and how the advance looks

--A world champion vs. world champion match coming this week

--Sisters-in-law battle for national championship

--Sons of legends in a feud building to a three-way mask match

--Health update on a major fixture in Mexican wrestling

--Build to the Rey de Reyes show

--Longtime star celebrates 25 years in pro wrestling and they don't even shoot an angle

--Rey de Reyes eliminations

--Unique Dragon Gate angles from the past week

--A look at more matches when Dragon Gate returns to the U.S>

--Kenta Kobashi health update

--Keiji Muto appears in major NOAH main event

--New ownership makes announcements about radio and television of New Japan going forward as well as notes on big shows coming up

--Hall of Famer in wrestling returns to the ring in sumo

--Zero-One's anniversary show

--Update on Shane McMahon

--WWE Hall of Famer autobiography released in a few weeks

--Notes on a TV pilot featuring a lot of former WCW & WWE stars

--More on the dressing room brawl between Brian Knobs and New Jack

--Son of 70s pro wrestling star now ranked No. 7 in the nation in wrestling going into the NCAA's

--Story about the youth of Andre the Giant

--Longtime European star and former ECW wrestler announces retirement

--Cauliflower Alley honorees

--Update on 16 carat gold tournament this week

--Update on ROH's anniversary show

--Update on TNA Victory Road show

--More on Eastbound and Down on HBO and Ric Flair connection

--Update on Ring Ka King, ratings, angles and more

--A look at the next few weeks of Impact television

--A look at the major MMA shows this week

--Update on ticket sales to major UFC events

--Gina Carano's drawing power and Ronda Rousey

--Will the Strikeforce Grand Prix ever end?

--Update on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

--Lots of new UFC matches

--Ultimate Fighter Brazil U.S. airing

--Forrest Griffin talks Tito Ortiz

--MMA heavyweight battles for life after bar room stabbing

--MMA Uncensored talks the death of Pride

--How hard it has become to sell tickets to MMA in Las Vegas

The Most Popular Observers Of All Time: Available Now

New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories 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)

*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)

*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 trial)

*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 Hogan)

*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)

*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 and friends)

*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 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, 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 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 in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)

*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 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)

*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 Lewis)

*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)

* 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)

You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.

Rates are:

For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for 4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52.  In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 for 52 .

If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.

We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods.

To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.

Monday's News, Notes & Links

--Some notes from the weekend WWE shows: Alberto Del Rio worked on Saturday night on the Smackdown side and did his first match since his groin injury.  He was there because Mark Henry was in Columbus, OH for the Arnold Fitness Expo being inducted into their Hall of Fame.  Henry did work last night in Macon, GA.  Dean Ambrose worked with Drew McIntyre on the Smackdown house shows.  Yes, McIntyre, fired and all, was still working house shows. As noted before, Xavier Woods worked with Curt Hawkins on the Raw shows.

--Zack Ryder has indicated he will be in Boston tonight.

--From the fake WWE Creative Twitter account: "It's Teddy Long's show, which is why we had to pull Undertaker since he's Teddy's go-to mystery opponent.  so yeah, no Undahtakha at Raw tonight."

--ROH has opened its office in Baltimore as part of the WBFF building, which is the Sinclair station in the market.

--Josh Barnett was granted a license in California for his proposed 5/19 fight with Daniel Cormier in San Jose in the finals of the Strikeforce Grand Prix tournament.  It has been nearly three years since he failed a test for Drostanolone, a steroid, and wasn't licensed in California.  It was noted at the hearing that he passed a test administered last week, and has passed tests in his previous U.S. fights in Ohio and Texas.  The vote was 4-2.  What hurt Barnett in the eyes of at least some members of the commission is that he would never admit to using steroids, saying his 2002 failure was as a result of taking a tainted supplement and offered no explanation of why he failed in 2009, other than saying he has never used steroids. 

He questioned if the machinery that examined the specimen was properly cleaned.  I think at the end of the day because it has been almost two years and he's passed several tests that they were going to license him, but they also expected him to admit using steroids and saying he never would again.  He did say that if he failed another test, he believed his career would be over.  Barnett failed one test in 2001 in Nevada, but that test didn't court because the testing was done for informational purposes, like the testing the first time they did it in a number of sports.

--Shannon Moore has said that he is taking time off wrestling to concentrate on his own business.  He now owns two tattoo places.

--Peter King's NFL Monday Morning Quarterback column in today's USA Today (which wasn't on Monday but a few days ago) when mentioning Saturday's Strikeforce show said it would mark the first time a major promotion headlined a show using a women's fight with staying power.  He noted the Gina Carano vs. Cris Cyborg fight but said, "This time the women have a realistic chance of producing future headliners." 

The thing is, at the time of the first fight, had Carano won, she'd have come out of it as a headliner.  Her becoming a movie star came on a fluke because one director saw the fight and saw how people responded to her.  If that hadn't happened and she had won, it's guaranteed she'd have been a headliner consistently after that fact.

--Today's USA Today has a story on the Rousey vs. Tate fight (page 10) with a quote from Gene LeBell. Not sure if it's in this story, but LeBell was quoted as saying that anyone who wants to date her first has to beat her.

--There is a press conference at Radio City Music Hall tomorrow for the 5/5 UFC show at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ.  Tickets go on sale to Fight Club members the next day, newsletter subscribers on Thursday (presale password is IZOD) and to the public on Friday.  The press conference is at 11 a.m. Eastern and is open to the public, and will feature Dana White, Jim Miller, Nate Diaz, Josh Koscheck, Johny Hendricks, Alan Belcher, Pat Barry and Lavar Johnson.  Doors open to the public at 10 a.m.  The first 500 fans to show up will get a UFC T-shirt.  Tickets are priced from $250 down to $50 for the Izod Center show.

--The Calgary Herald today at a story about the Canadian Medical Association calling for a ban of MMA fighting. CMA president Dr. John Haggie wrote, "The object is to render your opponent insensible.  It's the commercialization of violence, it sets a very bad example for children.  It's not a sport in my book.  It's two guys out to pummel each other." 

While UFC literature has already noted a 7/21 planned date at the Scotiabank Saddledome, the booking is not official at this point and UFC has not applied for a license with the Calgary Combative Sports Commission but everyone is under the impressions it's on. It would be UFC's debut in Alberta, where it has done strong PPV business for years. Nick Ring, Calgary's only fighter on the roster, complained that a lot of sports have a higher injury rate than MMA but the CMA isn't trying to ban them.  The story noted boxing and football have higher concussion rates.

Like most medical associations, the CMA has been negative toward boxing but is not likely to come out against hockey and football, claiming the injuries are collateral and the intention is not to knock out your opponent.  To me, if you are advocating banning one, you have to advocate banning every other sport with the same or higher level of brain injury rate.

--UFC Roundtable will air at 7 p.m. tomorrow night on Fuel as well as UFC Tonight at 10 p.m. and Ultimate Insider (profiling the Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber feud) at 10:30 p.m. -- all Eastern time.  It's three hours earlier Pacific time. A replay of Tate vs. Rousey airs on Showtime Extreme at 10 p.m. tomorrow night.

--Some Strikeforce notes: Bristol Marunde, who lost to Jacare Souza on the Saturday Strikeforce show, had gotten a therapeutic use exemption for testosterone...both Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate passed all their drug tests. Tate had no bone breaks, but is getting an MRI on her arm.  It's the tendon and ligament damage I'd be more concerned with....Rousey told Ariel Helwani post-event that she will not be wearing those short shorts for future fights as they weren't comfortable.

--Roy Nelson has said that if he can add 100,000 people to his Facebook account in the next two weeks, he will cut to 205 pounds.

--It's probably not the first time ever, but it is historically significant of a Funk & Brisco tag team.  Dory Funk Jr. & Wes Brisco face Shane Chung & Cory Weston on the 3/24 BANG show in Ocala, FL.

--Here's video of Devon Nicholson being kicked out of the WWE show in Ottawa on Saturday night.  He was there pushing a show he was doing with Lanny Poffo on 5/5 in Smiths Falls, ONT, that is headlined by Scott Steiner. Before the show started, WWE sent security to have him removed.

--Me talking WrestleMania III with the Boston Garden Balcony blog.

Who do you think takes this fight?
Ronda Rousey 89.3%
Sarah Kaufman 10.7%

Who do you think takes this fight?
Josh Barnett 80.1%
Daniel Cormier 19.9%

What was the best show of the weekend?
Strikeforce 47.0%
ROH 10.9%
UFC 6.1%
16.7% said they watched none of the three shows.  Others didn't vote because they didn't watch all three, although no way this percentage watched all three.

What was the best TV show of the weekend?
Strikeforce on Showtime 44.0%
Raw 28.0%
ROH 6.8%
UFC on FX 6.8%
Impact 4.8%
Smackdown 4.1%
UFC prelims on Fuel 2.0%
Strikeforce prelims 1.7%
UFC Tonight 0.7%
Titan Fighting Championship 0.7%
Inside MMA 0.3%

--Dixie Carter on Twitter indicated they would be announcing the location of the 6/10 Slammiversary show shortly.

--Steve Bridges, who impersonated Barack Obama on a WWE broadcast, passed away this past week.

--Jim Duggan was at the Variety Club telethon in Iowa this past weekend.  He has done this in the past. (thanks to Brian Henke)

--Cody Rhodes will be appearing on 3/21 at the FCW show at the Orlando Armory.

--There is a film festival at The Theater Lobby in Madison Square Garden tomorrow from 4-8 p.m. on MMA. They will air the world premiere of  "In Her Corner:  The Inside Story of Women's MMA" with interviews with Roxanne Modafferi, Murnah Holland and Bellator's Bjorn Rebney at 4 p.m.; "New York Mixed Martial Arts" at 4:45 p.m., a documentary with Bas Rutten, Josh Barnett and Frank Shamrock; and "Fight Life at 6 p.m. with Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, Miesha Tate and John McCarthy.

--Here's the trailer for Edge's movie "Bending the Rules".

--Austin Aries and Alex Shelley are in a music video "The Real McCoy" by Get Cape Wer Cape Fly.

--Bellator weigh-ins take place on Thursday at 5 p.m. local time at the Horseshow Hammond in Hammond, IN, the venue where the show is taking place Friday night.

--ECWA from Saturday night in Newark, DE:  Shane Strickland b Alex Payne, Bandido Jr. & Azrieal b Danny E & Ricky Martinez, Shazza McKenzie b Kylie Pierce, Corey Blaze b Kid USA, Alex Reynolds b Tony Nese, Paul Lopreesti NC Mr. Oooh La La in what was billed as an MMA exhibition, Fusion-DS b Midnight Sensations, Bobby Shields & Breaker Morant & Josh Daniels b Chris Wylde & Kekoa the Flyin Hawaiian & Ahtu, Papadon b Johnny Silver

--Super Fight League debuts on Saturday in Mumbai, India, with a show headlined by Bob Sapp vs. James Thompson, airing live on Youtube at 9:45 a.m.  Phil Baroni was announced as an announcer. That should be fun. Herb Dean will be the lead referee.

--Worldwide Mixed Martial Arts, Inc. announced the 3/31 show in El Paso at the Don Haskins Center benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), headlined by a super heavyweight fight between former UFC fighter Sean McCorkle vs. Brian Heden, plus Thomas Denny vs. Karo Parisyan, Lyle Beerbohm vs. Derrick Noble, Drew Ficket vs. Kevin Knabjian, Jamaine Facey vs. Wille Parks and Rodney Wallace vs Derrick Mehman.

--Great Championship Wrestling from Saturday night in Oshawa, ONT: Amazing Darkstone b Hardkore Hick, Rick the Ref b Shocker, Hornet b Southside Strangler #2, Buck Gunderson b Bruno Davis, Warhead b Cousin Eddie, Anthony Davis & R.J. b Shawn Spears & Jake O'Reilly. (thanks to Steven Ashe)

--New England Fights announced an MMA show on 4/14 in Biddeford, ME, at the Biddeford Arena headlined by Ryan Sanders (3-0) vs. Mike Winters (5-2)

--Jersey All Pro Wrestling on 4/14 in Rahway, NJ has Low Ki vs. Dan Maff as the main event of its 14th anniversary show and being billed as the last JAPW title match. Frank Iadevaia has said an announcement is forthcoming as to why that's the case. Homicide & Eddie Kingston vs. Philly's Most Wanted will fight for the JAPW tag titles. It will be a doubleheader with CHIKARA.

--Here's a look at the movie "Bounty Hunters" with Trish Stratus.

--Ed, Cutrer and Craig interview Matt Farmer and Nicky Sixx about Farmer's proposed book on Buddy Rose.

--Norm Connors announced he would be returning to wrestling as a character this coming Saturday night for the IWC promotion that he used to own in Elizabeth, PA, at the Court Time Sports Center.  He noted he's just there as a character and to help behind the scenes. He said it was a tough decision to leave wrestling and an even tougher decision to come back, but there is less pressure just being a character than risking money as a promoter. Here is Connors' 2009 interview with Bryan.

--Empire Wrestling on Friday night at the Academy Theater in Avondale Estates, GA

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?