WED. UPDATE: Cain vs. Mir official, Hogan victim, Diaz night, ratings, new Mania bout, Bruno,Piper
By Dave Meltzer |
Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio, talking about Smackdown, the match of the year, new UFC fights as well as taking e-mail questions at
Scheduled for Fuel TV tonight is UFC Tonight being replayed at 7 p.m., Ultimate Insider at 7:30 p.m. an UFC 139, which was one of the best UFC shows of all-time and generally considered the best of 2011, airing at 8 p.m., plus Best of Pride at midnight. New Observer Alert: Cena/Rock in-depth, Doug Furnas remembered, Rise of Rousey
A look at the John Cena/Rock program and the questions that have come up this week, plus part one of our look at Doug Furnas, the rise of Ronda Rousey, the first shots in the Friday night war, and a look at WWE profits in every division, a look at some of WWE's ancillary income, the movie division, Ring of Honor's iPPV, a look at what Rock has and hasn't meant to ratings and more on the build to WrestleMania is all in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
We look at the life of Doug Furnas, including how he got in the Can-Am Express, his career in Japan, his life after wrestling, his amazing powerlifting career, how Kevin Sullivan got him into pro wrestling and the way his debut was set up, football, leaving Japan for WWF and more.
We also look at what has and hasn't worked so far in the Rock-Cena program and the reason for the current battle plan, as well as its risks.
We also look at television viewing on Friday nights from this point forward, the likely winners and losers and who people say they will be watching.
We look at Saturday's Strikeforce show and the future of women's MMA. We look at the Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey feud, Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman and the future of the Strikeforce brand.
We also have more on WWE business, including total attendance numbers for the last three years, the unique way house show profitability has risen while attendance has gone down, how much the company spends for a television taping and a PPV show, the WWE business revenue streams vs. those of UFC, plus magazine, video division and movie divisions, and business increases and cutbacks, as well as how much income the company derives out of the U.K.
We also have more on the John Laurinaitis vs. Teddy Long feud, matches for Mania, updates on Kharma and Wade Barrett, the WWE Network, Dwayne Johnson's movie career and how that relates to future wrestling, what happened to Mark Henry's push, HHH's contract, plus for a number of wrestlers going forward, Edge talks Hall of Fame, twitter embarrassments, WWE tryout news, plus notes on all the WWE weekend house shows with highlights and business notes.
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.
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We also look at the UFC show in Australia, the controversy and behind the scenes regarding the judging of the Ian McCall vs. Demetrious Johnson fight, and match-by-match coverage.
We also update ROH, the direction of the company, and its last iPPV show from New York, the 10th anniversary show.
We've got notes on Josh Barnett's attempt to get licensed, as well as coverage of CMLL's first big show of the year, and notes on Royal Rumble PPV business.
We also have our in-depth look at the ratings of the national shows, including how every segment of Raw and Impact 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 the new Observer: Mexico, Japan, Russo talks
--A look at the complete card for AAA's Rey de Reyes
--Notes on the big angle being set up and the L.A. Park possible turn
--Dragon Gate title change
--All Japan's major show of the week setting up the 3/20 card
--Update on Kenta Kobashi
--Ownership of New Japan
--Plans going forward for New Japan under new ownership
--Potential match of the year
--Lineup for the 2012 New Japan Cup tournament
--Zero-One's anniversary show
--ROH's latest TV tapings
--More on Hulk Hogan sex tape
--Vince Russo talks about his departure from TNA
--TNA star in movie role filming this week
--Brian Kendrick talks his TNA departure
--Eric Bischoff sells a new network show
--Ring Ka King update
--Samoa Joe & Magnus turn
--Lawsuit filed against TNA
--Changes in TNA on television
--TNA weekend tour notes
--More on upcoming television shows
--The decision to make Frankie Edgar the top lightweight contender
--Arguments for Edgar and for Pettis to get the next shot
--More testosterone therapy questions
--Chael Sonnen apology swerve
--More new UFC fights
--Schedule until the end of July
--More on the cast of this season's Ultimate Fighter
--Controversy over Michigan commission
--Mirko Cro Cop's retirement The Most Popular Observers Ever
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)
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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)
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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 in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
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*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)
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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)
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*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
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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.
Wednesday's News, Notes & Links
--UFC today announced that Frank Mir vs. Cain Velasquez will be taking place on the 5/26 show in Las Vegas. The match had been in the works for months, but Velasquez was recovering from a number of injuries including his knee and it was touch-and-go whether he'd be ready in time for that date. Also announced for that show: Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva vs. Roy Nelson.
--Hulk Hogan says he's the victim in the sex tape
being shopped to porn companies, saying it was filmed without his permission and he had no idea it was happening. There is still no time line on when it was filed. David Houston, the lawyer for Hogan, said, "Terry Bollea is appalled at the unauthorized release of secretly filmed video." he said he never approved of it and said it was an invasion of privacy and a breach of trust and threatened legal action.
--Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler was announced as having a non-title match against Akihiro Gono on 5/4 in Rama, ONT at Casino Rama.
--This one is a shocker. On 5/5, Spike TV will be airing old UFC footage head-to-head with the live FOX card. This will be Nate Diaz night, airing three shows headlined by Diaz vs. Marcus Davis, Diaz vs. Josh Neer and Diaz vs. Melvin Guillard.
--USA won the weekly cable ratings race with a 2.2 prime time average to 1.7 for TBS. FX was No. 14 at 0.8, Syfy was No. 18 at 0.8 and Spike didn't crack the top 25. Raw last week was No. 4 and No. 6 for the two hours, behind only Waking Dead, Jersey Shore and Pawn Stars. It was No. 4 and No. 7 in 18-34 and No. 4 and No. 7 in 18-49.
--As of right now, the announcement for the Teddy Long vs. John Laurinaitis match and participants is scheduled for Raw in Cleveland.
--Bruno Sammartino will be working as a babyface second at the WrestleReunion show in Toronto on 4/14. Sammartino will manage Domenic DeNucci, who will wrestle at the age of 77, and DeNucci's protege Shane Douglas, against Larry Zbyszko & Lord Zoltan, who will be managed by J.J.Dillon. Also on that show will Jushin Liger vs. Roderick Strong.
answers a number of questions.
--Roddy Piper was on the TV show "Breaking In" last night on FOX. One of the other characters on the show used his, "I'm here to kick ass and chew bubble gum...and I'm all out of gum," line from "They Live," on him. (thanks to Robert Miqueli)
--Irv Muchnick has a story on NFL bounties
and Ronda Rousey, saying that Rousey vs. Tate was the most important sports event of the month in the United States and that Rousey has a chance to become the fourth genuine crossover star in MMA after Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano and Brock Lesnar. Should UFC weigh-ins be the same day as the fight?
No, it will result in too many health issues 19.4%
No, too much of a risk of last minute problems with weight issues 16.9%
No, for a combat sport, the way it is done is the safest way 9.2%
What would you have preferred?
Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis 38.1%
Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar 25.1%
Same interest in either fight 22.3%
No interest in either fight 14.6%
What do you consider the real WrestleMania main event?
Rock vs. Cena 75.0%
Undertaker vs. HHH 12.9%
Punk vs. Jericho 8.6%
Bryan vs Sheamus 3.4% Poll on Raw
10.2% of those responding didn't see the show
Did the nature of the scoring in Johnson vs. McCall show a problem with MMA judging?
Yes, need a half point system so one-sided rounds aren't judged the same as close rounds 24.8%
Yes, the fight showed this problem because McCall won the fight handily but it could be scored either way 23.8%
Fights should be judged as a whole, not with points 23.8%
The problem isn't the system, it's the judges 23.4%
McCall didn't win the fight so no problem 4.3%
--In the women's boxing version of a TNA main event, Christy Martin faces Mia St. John on 6/19 in Friant, CA, at the Table Mountain Casino. It is billed as their final fight for the WBC world super welterweight belt. Martin is coming back after being shot and stabbed a few years back.
--Carlito has canceled his appearance on 5/18 in Amersterdam, NY for In Your Face Wrestling. Lanny Poffo will be appearing on that show.
--Carlito and Charles "Godfather" Wright, now called Pimp Fatha, headline the Territory League show on 3/27 at the Avalon in Hollywood, CA.
--There will be a Woody Farmer Tribute show on 3/16 in Newark, CA. Harry Smith and Chris Masters will appear at the show.
--A scheduled court date in Ottawa for the Devin Nicholson lawsuit against WWE that was to be tomorrow has been delayed for a few months.
--Mando Guerrero is in the movie Casa De Mi Padre
, a Will Ferrell comedy.
--Texas All-Star Wrestling on 3/31 has the 19th annual Humble Rumble, a 17 man Battle Royal at Coaches Sports Bar in Humble, TX.
--Tommy Dreamer and Ted DiBiase Sr. appear tomorrow night in Winnipeg for CWE at Cowboy's Roadhouse. Dreamer will be on TSN radio in Winnipeg
(1290 AM) tomorrow at 4:15 p.m. Winnipeg time. There's a video of Dreamer here
and another here
, plus one of Jay Lethal
--In what could be a landmark sports case, Samuel Zylstra, a former wrestler at Boise State, is suing the school, saying he suffered a concussion in the 2010 Pac 10 championships but continued to wrestle the next two days. He said he suffered impaired vision, severe bleeding, headaches, cognitive impairment and memory loss, and was then insulted and criticized by coaches and teammates when he refused to continue on in the NCAA tournament. He said his performance in both school and ROTC suffered from his memory problems, causing him to drop out of school and he was dropped from the ROTC and discharged by the Army reserves. He's asking for damages in excess of $10,000, money for past, present and future medical bills and interest on all medical bills and expenses, and money for lost income and earning capacity.
--Jim Miller, Pat Barry and Johny Hendricks on Boomer & Carton here
. Craig Carton is the lead host on Spike's MMA Uncensored Live.
--Lucha Libre Galli from Chicago has a GFL.tv iPPV on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time with Skayde defending the NWA Mexican welterweight title against Discovery and Jorge Paez (a big boxing star of 20 years ago in Mexico who did an angle in WWE a few years back) & Rey Fuego vs. Chavo Guerrero Sr. & Gigolo Americano.
--Monday night in Nuevo Laredo: Extrano & Guerrero Universal b Malefico & Violento, Sexy Lady & Sexy Star b Fabi Apache & Ludark Shaitan, Perseus & La Braza & Pimpinela Escarlata b Hombre sin Miedo & Sobredosis & Yuriko, Octagon & Tito Santana & Tigre Cota b Psych Circus, Hector Garza & El Texano Jr. & Toscano b La Parka & Silver Kain & Ultimo Gladiador
--Sunday in San Luis Potosi: Destello & Maligno & Mini Maniaco b Aero Boy & Bogar Jr. & Oro Azul, Los Rayos de Plata III & IV & V d Crazy Star & Mensajero & Tigre del Ring, Black Terry & Brazo de Platino & Negro Navarro b Angelico & Solar & El Hijo del Solar, X-Fly over Joe Lider, Zumbi and Bestia 666, Perro Aguayo Jr. & Damian 666 & Hector Garza b Dr. Wagner Jr. & El Texano Jr. & Toscano
--Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn has pro wrestling shows set for 3/10, 4/28, 6/9, 7/21, 11/10 and 12/22 from Johnny Rodz's wrestling school.
--Edge will be appearing on 4/14 and 4/15 at the Wizard World Toronto Comic Con at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.
--Brian Fritz talked to Edge
, who has a movie being released in about nine theaters nationally on Friday. (thanks to Terri Bey)
--On the 4/20 Bellator show in Cleveland at the I-X Center, which is headlined by Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki, there will be two fights from the local NAAFS promotion on the undercard. Aisling Daly defends the NAAFS 125 pound title against Jessica Eye will be one of them.
--Robbie E will be doing a wrestling seminar on 3/27 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Tempe, AZ. It will be open to any trained wrestler and the price is $30. He will also be wrestling that night at Graham Central Station in Tempe on a show that includes Adam Pearce, Colt Cabana and Joey Ryan.
--Here's a story on a fight
involving Fernando Rodrigues, a trainer at American Top Team. The story goes that Juan Uribe and Michael Caccavella, two South Florida pool service men didn't start fast enough on a green light, and Rodrigues, behind them in a hummer, lost his cool. Rodrigues is alleged to have pistol whipped Uribe in the face and also attacked Caccavella. It could have gotten worse, as Caccavella was carrying a gun and pulled the trigger, but he no bullets in the chamber. He ended up allegedly getting punched in the eye. Caccavella had a black eye and Uribe had several fractured bones around the left eye. Rodrigues was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, burglary of a structure, burglary with an assault (for allegedly reaching into Caccavella's truck and punching him) and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.
--The Asylum Fight League runs Saturday night in Atlantic City at the Golden Nugget Casino.
--Saturday night in Saltillo before 2,800 fans: Fabi Apache & Ludark Shaitan b Sexy Lady & Sexy Star, Espartaco b Latino, Argos & Pimpinela Escarlata b Ultimo Gladiador & Yuriko-DQ, Octagon & La Parka & Silver Kain b Psycho Circus
--Friday night in Tijuana: Mosco Negro b Bola de Humo, Animas Trujano & Maquiavelico b Pensamiento Negro II & X-Torm, Espectro II & Espectrum b Mortiz & El Sicodelico Jr. and El Hijo del Rey Misterio II & Viento to became the new Americas tag team champions, Juventud Guerrera & Steve Pain b El Hijo del Rey Misterio I & Super Nova, Angel Blanco Jr & El Hijo del Solitario b El Hijo del Santo & Rayman
--The next Tijuana show is 3/16 headlined by Blue Panther & Valiente & La Mascara vs. Negro Casas & Misterioso Jr. & Mr. Niebla (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Honky Tonk Man and Kenny Omega appear on 3/15 for the PCW's 10th anniversary show at the Marquee Lounge and Event Centre in Winnipeg, headlined by Adam Knight vs. Antonio Scorpio Jr.
--ECWA has a fund raiser on Saturday night in Carney's Point, NJ at the YMCA of Salem County. Carney's Point is a great setting for a pro wrestling show.
--Wild Bill's Fight Night on Friday night in Duluth, GA at Wild Bill's headline by Dave Vitkay vs Bret Chism for the Georgia middleweight title and Elvis Cruz vs. Shea Taylor.
--UWC Championship Wrestling TV for the week.
--Fight Club OC MMA on 4/14 at the Orange County Fair & Event Center headlined by Tyson Jeffries vs. Keith Berry