SAT UPDATE: Warrior all over the place, Cena on why he's not going heel, WWE house show



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

We're looking for reports from tonight's WWE Raw show in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Smackdown in Bowling Green, KY, Impact in Indiana, PA (James Storm & Garett Bischoff vs. Kurt Angle & Bully Ray) as well as last night's Raw in Lakeland, FL and TNA show in Elmira, NY at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
ROH tonight on Sinclair in the go-home show for their two iPPV shows next weekend:
Cedric Alexander & Caleb Konley vs. Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin
Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin 
 
Sunday has Raw in Charlotte, Smackdown in Nashville (which includes a Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole match) and TNA in Erie, PA.
 
Monday is WWE's final show before WrestleMania, in Atlanta.  They will be taping Smackdown matches before the live Raw.  Raw will include all the names that will be at Mania including Rock, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and HHH.  In addition, USA Network will be debuting the Rock vs. Cena countdown show at 8 p.m. before Raw.
 
On Fuel tonight is Ultimate Insider at 7 p.m., UFC Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Best of Pride at 8 p.m., UFC 79 at 10 p.m. and Ultimate Matt Hughes at 1 a.m.
 
Between coverage of the build to WrestleMania, WWE developmental, the sad results of week two of the Friday night wars, and coverage of Victory Road, All Japan at Sumo Hall, Rey de Reyes as well as part two on the life of Doug Furnas, we've got a double issue of the Observer out this week. 
 
The issue is up on the site today along with a back issue from early 1995 also up on the site this week,
 
Our lead story runs down the lineup and the promotion of The Rock vs. John Cena match and WrestleMania 28, including notes on the special as well as updates on the show.
 
We also look at the whole WWE developmental story, how it went down, blow by blow, a look at the FCW history as well as a look back at WWE pulling out of other territories and long-term goals of developmental.  We look at the decision that have been made and experimental tapings that have been done, as well as changes in the current TV structure.
 
In our feature on Friday night wars part two, looking at Smackdown, Ultimate Fighter, Best of Ultimate Fighter and Bellator, we look at competition, the drop in each show from week one, which show is it worse for and more.
 
We've also got a look at the Victory Road PPV, looking at what made the show good, what made the show annoying, the Bobby Roode show-ending angle, a look at Lockdown and match-by-match coverage with both star ratings and poll results on the show.
 
We look at All Japan's biggest event so far in 2012, with the Sumo Hall show headlined by Jun Akiyama vs. Keiji Muto for the Triple Crown, as well as a look at the next Triple Crown match, and notes on the upcoming Champion Carnival tournament.
 
We also look at next year's WrestleMania, CFO George Barrios talking about company future plans in the TV and movie business as well as talks UFC.  We look at the new WWE movie business strategy, John Cena's car accident, the debut of Lord Tensai and his background and Japanese tenure, a second WWE wrestler says he has gone vegan but won't say it on TV and an update on Ric Flair and the WWE Hall of Fame.
 
We also look at a new themed PPV, a show that is going to be on a UFC weekend and may suffer for it, Rock's training to get back in wrestling shape, Rock's movie gross, entertainment plans for Mania, Edge talking Hall of Fame and what he had envisioned when he would retire and who he would have been working with this year.  We look at an example of why Undertaker is so respected, as well as Daniel Bryan's road to the world title starting in high school wrestling in his backyard, WWE stock, WWE gets commended by legislature, DVR watching on Raw and does Rock have an effect and more on introducing new characters.  We also look at a WWE star appearing in a foreign movie, notes on more developmental talent and who William Regal says is the best pro wrestler he has ever seen, and it's a name that almost nobody in North America would have ever heard of.  Plus we have notes on all the WWE weekend house shows and business notes.
 
We also have part two in our look at the life and career of Doug Furnas, talking to his wife, his brother, legendary powerlifter Ed Coan as well as some anecdotes of my own interaction with Furnas during the height of his career in the 90s.  We look at him growing up, college football, powerlifting, WCW, WWF and especially All Japan Pro Wrestling with milestones achieved, why he never headlined Budokan Hall, what he was known for in Japan and the All Japan boom.
 
We look at the tragedies of that All Japan period, Furnas' life before and after wrestling.  We look at his auto accident that doctors said would end his sports career, and his coming back.  We look at the various choices he made about sports careers and life, whether it be bull riding, football, powerlifting and wrestling.  We look at his training methods to become one of the strongest men in the world, how that hampered his attempts to play in the NFL and what he learned from that and changed to become a pro wrestler.  We look at his foray into the World's Strongest man competition, and where he could have gone in powerlifting if he hadn't retired from the sport at the age of 27.
 
We look at a unique allergy that actually hurt him as a powerlifter, and why his philosophy on pro wrestling was so different from what pro wrestling was in the American market.  We look at Jim Herd's idea for him, as well as the famous Furnas story from the 1994 Champion Carnival tournament.  We have his career title history, why he left All Japan, what happened in WWE and his unique reaction to what happened at the 1997 Survivor Series.
 
We've also got a 2011 rundown of every wrestler who wrestled in WWE for the year, even if it was only one match, with win/loss records, who was the busiest, how many matches did everyone have, who was booked to win and lose the most and what two wrestlers worked the most with each other during the year. 
 
We also look at what will be one of WWE's biggest house shows of 2012, the Madison Square Garden show from Sunday.
 
We've also got a look at the event that is likely to draw the second biggest wrestling crowd of the year in the United States, the NCAA tournament finals and why the names Kyle Dake and David Taylor both have a chance to go down in history as two of the best collegiate wrestlers of all-time.
 
We've also got coverage of the AAA Rey de Reyes match, featuring Jeff Jarrett, The Rey de Reyes tournament and the road to babyface of L.A. Park.
 
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.

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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. 
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 this week's issue:
 
--One of the world's best wrestlers starts up in Mexico
 
--Funny winner of the new blood tournament
 
--More wrestlers moving promotions
 
--Something unheard of in response to a lawsuit with a legendary wrestler
 
--Yet another legendary star does a retirement stipulation
 
--More on independent shows over WrestleMania weekend
 
--NOAH's big show of the tour
 
--A look at the upcoming NOAH tag team tournament
 
--Big Van Vader returns to Japan
 
--Two Hall of Famers wrestle each other for the first time
 
--Tatsumi Fujinami's 40th anniversary as a pro wrestler
 
--The end of a promotion as it officially folds over the weekend
 
--K-1 legend and MMA star headline a major pro wrestling show
 
--Former opponents in a publicized MMA fight become a pro wrestling tag team
 
--Ultimo Dragon's 25th anniversary as a pro wrestler match
 
--Former WWE performer in negotiations to host a major network TV show
 
--Nigel McGuinness talks about his career, his documentary, his dreams, his frustrations and his successes
 
--Update on Oklahoma and its banning pro wrestling and what pro wrestling event is happening
 
--What's the real story behind the problems
 
--NWA promoters in court
 
--NFL star on one of the league's most legendary teams, who was also a pro wrestler, passes away
 
--Update on Jim Neidhart's legal troubles
 
--Lucha Libre USA running several major arenas and why this feels like a disaster happening
 
--Pro wrestler is hero as a knife wielding crazy man was attacking people
 
--Mike Tyson and Superstar Billy Graham
 
--Former WWF television announcer sues claiming he was bilked out of life savings by former NFL star
 
--Perhaps pro wrestling's most famous family feud has two members form tag team
 
--Bruno Sammartino to make a few appearances at pro wrestling events
 
--Former ECW star working on a children's book
 
--First-ever match between two different sets of WWF tag team champions from the first expansion era
 
--Son of a former champion set to debut in a few weeks
 
--More legal action involving Hulk Hogan
 
--Kevin Nash talks about where he'd like to be
 
--Ring Ka King notes for this week
 
--Tons of new UFC fights and thoughts on them
 
--UFC up for one national sports award
 
--Yet more on Nick Diaz's case with more details of the results of his drug test
 
--Lorenzo Fertitta talks UFC in Madison Square Garden
 
--More on UFC threatening to file suit against people who stream their shows
 
--Major health scare for Zuffa star worsens
 
--Statistical note on Jones vs. Evans
 
--Note on weight cutting and how it has changed in wrestling and the rules in place
 
--Dan Henderson talks his next fight
 
--Notes on the Ultimate Fighter TV show
 
--Bellator rundown and what is coming up
 
--Details on the debut of Super Fight League in India with Bob Sapp as well as plans for the next show
 
--What 80s WWF name is now the training partner of one of the most famous MMA fighters in the world          
 
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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.

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history)

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Saturday's News, Notes & Links
 
--There may be a change in WrestleMania.  Alberto Del Rio in doing media today in Puerto Rico said that he is under the impression he will not be at WrestleMania.  He said that at one point he was going to face Randy Orton, and most recently was going to be on John Laurinaitis' team but that he's been just told he's no longer in the match.  We'll see, since the final member of both teams has to be announced on Monday you would think.

--There will be a UFC press conference at 11 a.m. Pacific time (2 p.m. Eastern) on Tuesday free and open to the public at the MGM Hotel Lobby in Las Vegas for UFC 146 which takes place on 5/28.  At the press conference will be Junior Dos Santos, Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson and Antonio Silva.  Tickets for UFC 146 will go on sale Wednesday to Fight Club members, Thursday for newsletter subscribers and Friday to the general public priced from $800 down to $75 for the Dos Santos vs. Overeem heavyweight title fight.
 
--Ultimate Warrior appears tonight in Oak Lawn, IL at the Pavilion for Pro Championship Wrestling doing an autograph session for a 6:30 p.m. show.  Warrior was in Poughkeepsie doing an autograph show last night for Northeast Wrestling.
 
--Lilian Garcia will be singing "America the Beautiful" to open WrestleMania.
 
--A story criticizing UFC for suing its fans for streaming is at http://www.techdirt.com  Thus far no lawsuits have been filed. 
 
--John Cena talks why he isn't going to turn heel and why he thinks he gets booed at http://www.lfpress.com/sports/othersports/2012/03/23/19542626.html  "I'm not a bad guy.  I generate so much hatred just because of the way I act.  I look at Tim Tebow as a good example.  People couldn't stop saying his name.  He's such a stand-up guy.  People don't believe it because it's almost too good to be true.  And he generates that hatred.  I have fun with this business.  I love every second of it.  I love to be right there in the middle of the hunt. At the end of the day, it's not my job to force people in any direction.  I just to out there and see what happens.  You can analyze character development all day, but with the current state of affairs, there's no need or rationale for me to deviate from what I'm doing."  He believes he's booed by fans from the attitude era who think he's a  bad guy.
 
--Northeast Wrestling from last night in Poughkeepsie before 2,000 fans:  Jerry Lawler b Jake Manning, Melina b Velvet Sky, Brian Anthony won six-way TLC match over Tommy Dreamer, Ron Zombie, Cedric Alexander, Caleb Konley and Adam Page, Matt Taven b Matt Hardy, Hale Collins b Vik Dalishus in a loser leaves town match, John Morrison b Fit Finlay.  Ultimate Warrior also did an in-ring interview on the show.
 
--Leo Kruger from FCW looks like he's on the Raw house show loop as last night he lost to Zack Ryder at the first show of the weekend in Lakeland, FL.  John Laurinaitis was also at the show, changing the Primo & Epico vs. R-Truth & Kofi Kingston match to a non-title match (so you can guess who won that), and Brodus Clay pinned Miz.  Same Punk vs. Ziggler and Cena vs. Kane matches that have been at all the Raw shows the last several weeks on top.  They are in San Juan tonight.  Primo & Epico are going to be big faces there so we'll see how that does or doesn't change the show.  As of a week ago, they were to face Alberto Del Rio & Ricardo Rodriguez in a tag match, and as noted Del Rio is in Puerto Rico.  Neither were on the show last night.  
 
--Bill Maher last night on "Real Time with Bill Maher" said the Arizona legislature was making it so tough for a woman to get an abortion, and joked that the new standard is to get an abortion, a woman would first have to defeat wrestling star The Undertaker.  Hopefully he delivered that one better than it reads (thanks to Robb Block)
 
--The Rock vs. Cena special airs in the U.K. before the U.S., tomorrow at Noon on Sky Sports.
 
--A C.M. Punk Q&A is at http://www.inkedmag.com/features/article/q-cm-punk/   It covers a number of subjects including his tattoos.  (thanks to Andrew Smith)
 
--Regarding ordering WrestleMania in HD on Comcast, the vast majority of cable systems have it no problem.  We have gotten e-mails from people in a few parts of the country who seemingly can only order the replay in HD.  I'm guessing you should check with your cable company and alert them because it's likely a glitch because this will be one of the bigger PPV events of the year and I really don't think a company won't want it on HD live.
 
--We've got what for the time being is our weekly coverage of Friday night wrestling/MMA radio show up on the site right now, which also talks Mania, Hall of Fame, Joe Blanchard, Pro Wrestling NOAH's situation and more.
 
--Anthony Johnson's first post-UFC fight will be on the Titan Fighting Championship show on 5/25 in Kansas City at Memorial Hall facing David Branch.  The show will be airing live on HDNet, going head-to-head with Ultimate Fighter.
 
--Honky Tonk Man and Lanny Poffo talk about when they got started in wrestling, Randy Savage and other subjects at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOcZ9SG98E
 
--King Kong Bundy was either unhappy with Miz or looking for attention on twitter in the last few days.  Miz on Raw talked about how Bundy went from main eventing at Mania to wrestling Little Beaver the next year as one of the biggest falls from one year to the next, comparing to himself going from the main event to nowhere.  Miz seemed to be having fun with responding, asking which 80s midget wrestler was the toughest.
 
Is Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen the biggest fight in MMA history?
Yes 14.1%
No 30.4%
Not only no, but this question is preposterous 55.4%
 
What did you think of Thursday's MMA Uncensored?
Excellent 14.3%
Good 22.9%
Average 20.0%
Fair 8.6%
Poor 34.3%
        79.3% of those responding didn't see the show
 
Who was the best Japanese wrestler ever?
Kenta Kobashi 24.9%
Mitsuharu Misawa 20.8%
Kota Ibushi 15.1%
Jushin Liger 11.7%
Keiji Muto 9.9%
Jumbo Tsuruta 5.8%
Satoru Sayama 4.9%
Toshiaki Kawada 3.1%
Genichiro Tenryu 1.3%
Tatsumi Fujinami 0.9%
Nobuhiko Takada 0.8%
Shinya Hashimoto 0.8%
 
What did you think of Impact?
Excellent 9.2%
Good 31.6%
Average 21.4%
Fair 8.2%
Poor 29.6%
        57.8% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Tito Ortiz will be doing the Q&A at the weigh-ins the day before the 4/14 UFC show in Stockholm, Sweden, which is the company's next full card.
 
--Some brief glimpses on TV last night.  Abraham Washington was shown backstage on Smackdown around Mark Henry with no I.D.  Also Rachelle Leah, the company's most popular ring girl from years back, was in the role and there was a glimpse of her last night as well.
 
--Tim Sylvia and Cheick Kongo went back-and-forth on twitter briefly last night.  Sylvia is looking for any kind of a way to drum up enough attention to get back into UFC.  Dana White has been pretty adamant about not wanting him back. 
 
--Millennium Wrestling Federation tonight in Melrose, MA at Memorial Hall with Low Ki vs. Slyck Wagner Brown vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Fit Finlay, Brian Fury vs. Carlito, Rick Fuller & Brian Milanos (managed by Paul Bearer) vs. Bushwhacker Luke & Beau Douglas and more.    
 
--Ultimate Warrior was announced for the 6/2 Legends of the Ring convention.  For $100 you can get a photo with Warrior in his makeup and old ring jacket, one-on-one interaction, and an autograph.  For more info you can go to www.legendsofthering.com
 
--James Beard and Black Bart will be doing seminars at the XCW Institute in Denton, TX at 3737 Mingo Rd. Suite 503 with Beard on 4/28 at Noon for $20 and Bart on 5/5 at Noon for $30.  Beard is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to pro wrestling having refereed all over the world.
 
--MEXPW on 4/14 in Los Angeles at the Arena at 6655 Santa Monica Blvd. headlined by Supreme vs. Damian 666 in a fans bring the weapons death match plus Joey Kaos vs. Bestia 666 in a ladder match.
 
--Son Sunday at 1:15 p.m. on ABC1 in Australia, there is a TV show called "Roller Derby Dolls" (thanks to James Stanios) 
 
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 3/31 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds headlined by U-Gene.
 
--New England Championship Wrestling from last night in Blackstone, MA:  All Money is Legal b Matt & Brian Logan to win vacant tag titles (Promoter Sheldon Goldberg stripped D.C. Dillinger & Brian Fury of the titles), Johnny thunder b Jason Rumble, Bobby Fish b Chase Del Monte to keep NECW title, Adrianna b Mistress Belmont, Giant Pharaoh & Tank the Tank b Brandon Webb & Apocalypse (thanks to Bradley Grover)
 
--The Chaotic Wrestling show on 3/31 is in Hudson, MA at the Elks Lodge, not in Woburn, MA.  The Woburn show is on 4/20.

Long-term, what are your thoughts on Lucha Underground?

 

What did you think of Wednesday's Ultimate Fighter TV show?

 

What did you think of TNA Impact?

 

What did you think of Lucha Underground last night?