THURS. UPDATE: UFC on ground floor of new sports challenge, Miz, WWE Network, Tons of Mania news

Impact tonight
- Matt Morgan vs. Crimson
- Velvet Sky vs. Madison Rayne
- Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson
- Austin Aries & James Storm vs. Bobby Roode & Bully Ray

The show once again is built around Dixie Carter and Sting trying to get Hulk Hogan to be the new authority figure in TNA.
WWE Superstars tonight
- Heath Slater vs. Alex Riley
- Justin Gabriel vs. Tyson Kidd
- Lots of videos
- Fuel tonight has UFC Tonight at 8 p.m., UFC Insider at 8:30 p.m. and Best of Pride at 9 p.m.
- The Rock vs. Cena special airs on mun2 tonight at 8 p.m. and on E! at 1 a..m. It's also on NBC Sports (formerly Versus) at 6 a.m., Syfy at 6 a.m. and Bravo at 11 a.m. tomorrow morning. 
New Observer Alert: Wrestlemania Issue No. 1 Is Here

The first WrestleMania issue of the Observer is out this week with a rundown of what the company believes will be the biggest money event in the history of pro wrestling.  We look at the matches, the stories, the build, the Countdown show and what has and hasn't worked as well as the big questions leading up to the match.  We look at who has headlined the most Manias, how many tickets have been sold and what the demand for tickets is like, how Miami got the event and what to look out for in every match.

We also look at next year's show, the Hall of Fame and the non-WWE events in South Florida.

We also look at the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen fight, will it set an attendance record, what is the Brazilian attendance record for something of this type, why they aren't really in an 80,000 seat stadium, what Dana White is saying about the show, how WWE got a break on this show and WWE going into Brazil as well.

We also look at the problems facing Pro Wrestling NOAH with the publicity of Yakuza involvement in the company, the meeting this week for all talent and workers and what happened, and how this dooms future growth of the company in many ways.

We also have a major history piece covering the glory days of Texas wrestling in the 70s and 80s and the death of longtime promoter Joe Blanchard.

We talk about Blanchard's role on television in his home town of San Antonio, the first big stadium show in Texas and Blanchard's role on the show and how to many it mirrored what would go down years later.  We look at the angle which was copied 15 years later and popped the territory.  We look at how Blanchard first knew Fritz Von Erich and how their friendship was instrumental in Blanchard becoming a promoter.  We look at how Von Erich got the power when wrestling changed in Texas in the 60s.

We look at the heyday of the Texas wrestling office, the way it was structured and why the alliance of the big three promoters was really doomed from the start.  We look at one of San Antonio's most famous pro wrestling stories involving Fritz Von Erich and sportscaster Dan Cook.  We look at the Kiniski vs. Von Erich feud in San Antonio and how San Antonio changed when Von Erich stopped traveling there.

We look at how Texas wrestling changed in the late 70s and what led to the breakup of the once powerful conglomerate.  We also look at the rise of Tully Blanchard as a star, Tully Blanchard & Gino Hernandez on top, the high and low points of Southwest Championship Wrestling and how the promotion went down.

We also look at the rise of the Von Erich brothers, the Von Erichs vs. Freebirds feud, Paul Boesch, the in-ring career of Joe Blanchard and his last match.

We also have a look at the Friday night ratings scoreboard for the past week, and how all the shows did.

We've got more on King Mo Lawal getting fired shortly after his hearing where he was suspended for nine months, including his hopes to get into WWE, his previous connection with WWE, what happened at the hearing, what got him fired and more.

The issue is up on the site today along with a back issue from early 1995 also up on the site this week,

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.

We also look at Linda McMahon's run for senate and the latest poll numbers as well as the unique way she's viewed that hurts her, John Cena building up the Rock match, how much WWE and UFC take in per year from television rights, Kevin Nash on why the feud with C.M. Punk fell dead in its tracks, two major new WWE hires, WWE's symposium for talent about twitter on Monday, Randy Orton movie role, who C.M. Punk bumped into in Atlanta, The Rock business empire, Evan Bourne update, Punk talks about the angle from last summer and new story on when he signed, and long-term goals.

We also have Punk talking more about Dwayne Johnson, Cult of Personality, children, marriage and his eating habits.

We also look at a new role for a wrestler formerly on the roster who is being considered to be brought back, more on the movie division, plus February business notes, PPV dates and places for the end of 2012 and a weird Cena and Ben Roethlisberger coincidence.

We also talk Arn Anderson in the Hall of Fame, WWE opening a new office, Layla's return, plus business notes from last week and highlights from all the weekend house shows.

We also have a look at how the Elimination Chamber PPV did this year as compared to years in the past.

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.

More On This Week's Observer

--Prince Devitt starts at Arena Mexico to build the champion vs. champion match this week

--The latest new tournament in Mexico

--One of wrestling's biggest stars in a court case and the unique twists the case has had

--More on the Rey de Reyes show

--Wrestlers leaving Perros Del Mal

--Jeff Jarrett in Mexico

--The 2012 Best of the Super Junior tournament

--Update on Genichiro Tenryu after two surgeries

--A shoot tournament that involved both Vader and Fedor

--Battle of Hall of Famers

--Notes on Bert Randolph Sugar

--Bill Goldberg at wrestling shows this coming weekend

--Hodge Trophy winner announced

--Sputnik Monroe day in Memphis

--Two of the biggest indie shows of the year in the U.S.

--Whatever happened to Luke Robinson

--Debut of the third generation of Von Erich brothers announced

--Wrestling in Colombia featuring stars from ROH, AAA and a former WWE headliner

--Notes on Bruce Prichard

--Notes on a new non-wrestling television show Eric Bischoff is involved with

--Original plan for tag tam feud

--Update on the Ring Ka King promotion

--Notes on upcoming TNA television

--UFC Canadian plans

--Who will face Jose Aldo Jr. next

--Notes on the UFC/FOX deal

--Coverage of the debut of Ultimate Fighter Brazil

--Update on Alistair Overeem and his latest move

--Notes on why there could be some real problems at the end of the Ultimate Fighter season

--UFC star gets national TV spot

--Dana White gets ripped for comments on soccer

--A lot of new fights in UFC announced

--More on testosterone replacement exemptions

--Ronda Rousey update

--Why there was no Bellator heavyweight tournament final

--Notes on last week and next week's Bellator show

--Middleweight tournament winner in danger of not advancing

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)

*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.
Thursday's News, Notes & Links
--A major potential story is that a number of outlets are reporting that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is going to start its own national sports channel to try and compete with ESPN.  That would make the fourth national sports channel as there is NBC Sports and CBS Sports Network, neither of which have been unable to touch ESPN thus far. The belief is that the station currently called Fuel would be rebranded as their sports network, meaning UFC would likely be flagship programming when this gets off the ground. Plans are to start this channel by the end of the year.   
--Kurt Angle was on TMZ wanting to track down the people who scammed $4000 from his 80-year-old mother.  Angle told TMZ that his mother got a phone call from someone in the Dominican Republic who claimed her grandson was in a local jail in the Dominican Republic and needed $4000 to get out or the consequences would be severe.

She wired the money and the next day, got another phone call asking for another $4000. So she called Kurt. Kurt thought it sounded like a scam and then found out the grandson in question was fine and had left the Dominican Republic more than a year earlier, so he called the authorities.  He said the FBI told him it was a part of a string of international scammers who prey on the elderly.  He thinks someone in Pittsburgh might be involved, because they knew about his family and got his mother's unlisted phone number.
--The Miz got a gig as the host of MTV's The Challenge: Battle of the Exes Reunion that airs on 4/4 at 10 p.m. Maria Menounos was originally going to host but she's in training for Dancing with the Stars.   
--There is a story on the WWE Network at NewsTimes. Michelle Wilson, the Chief Marketing Officer of WWE, was quoted saying that there will be a network in some shape or form (there have been rumors questioning whether this will ever get kicked off) but getting distribution agreements aren't easy.  She claimed they are not behind in launching and that there was never a date to start.  Well, except that April 1 date that is about to come and go without a peep.

She said they've hired 30 people so far for the network and estimated there would be 120 employees all total, but she would not give any kind of an estimate when it would launch.  She did say the model would be getting rights fees from cable companies for the network, a per household carriage charge, and with the cable economy being what it is, it would have been better in that regard to have launched a few years ago when cable was still growing.
--The WrestleMania Fan Axxess event opens tonight at the Miami Beach Convention Center.  I used to go to pro wrestling shows with Dusty Rhodes in that building in the 70s.  In fact, the first show I ever saw in that building would have been Jack Brisco vs. Johnny Valentine and Dick Murdoch & Dusty Rhodes (as heels) vs. Tim Woods & Johnny Walker, which was I think about a week before Walker went to Georgia and became Mr. Wrestling II.  Appearing tonight include C.M. Punk, Kane, Jim Duggan, Vickie Guerrero, Edge, Wade Barrett, Mark Henry, Daniel Bryan and Christian.
--Although advertised, Terry Funk will not be appearing with Dory Funk Jr. at the Fan Axxess events this weekend.  He just got a knee replacement two weeks ago, and said he was planning on going but there's no way he could.  He went to Joe Blanchard's funeral in San Antonio on Monday and realized there was no way physically he could go to Miami this early.
--If you are in Miami, there will be a get together on Friday afternoon at the outdoor patio of the Dos Camino's Restaurant at the Sheraton in Fort Lauderdale Beach at 5 p.m.  It's four miles away from the ROH show that night.

--Dragon Gate USA and CZW run tonight at 8 p.m. in Hollywood, FL at the German American Society Clubhouse

- Drake Younger vs. D.J. Hyde in an Ultraviolent death match
- Danny Havoc vs. Lucky Thurteen in an Ultraviolent death match
- Johnny Gargano & Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann vs. Akira Tozawa & BxB Hulk & Uhaa Nation vs., Sami Callihan & Arik Cannon & Pinkie Sanchez
- AR Fox vs Pac
- Low Ki vs. Bobby Fish
- Cima & Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Scott Reed & Caleb Konley
- Masato Yoshino vs. ?
- Ricochet vs. Mike Cruz
--NWA Ring Warriors runs tonight at 8 p.m. at the Fort Lauderdale National Guard Armory:

- Adam Pearce vs. mystery ROH opponent managed by Jim Cornette for NWA title
- Dark City Fight Club vs. Headbangers vs. Red Devil Fight Club for NWA tag title
- Kevin Sullivan & Gangrel vs. Cassidy Riley & Steve Madison
- Chance Prophet vs. Kahagus cage match
- Wes Brisco vs. Francisco Ciatso
- Robbie E vs. Stevie Richards
- Billy Gunn vs. Vordell Walker
- Bruce Santee  vs. Giant Titan Ivan Koloff, Tammy Sytch and Larry Zbyszko appear
--We're looking for reports on all the weekend activities, any news notes or anything from the various events. 
--Here's a story on Sheamus.
Do you think WrestleMania will beat last year's number?
Yes 59.9%
No 40.1%
Should King Mo have been fired?
Yes 45.6%
No 54.4%
Should WWE sign King Mo?
Yes 54.4%
No 45.6%
Amazing how those percentages of the last two questions are exactly the same, like people who think he should have been fired also think WWE should hire him. I don't think he should have been fired, particularly given what he's gone through this year, but as far as being reprimanded in some way, at some point guys have to learn when to say when. 
What was the best of these WrestleManias?
10 36.2%
3 31.4%
8 9.9%
6 6.7%
12 5.1%
7 2.8%
4 1.9%
5 1.9%
2 1.6%
1 1.4%
9 0.9%
11 0.2%
I just remember 4 being ungodly bad and 5 being just as bad except for the main event. The one in Las Vegas (9) was also bad. 10 had two awesome matches, one good match and the rest being nothing special.  Amazing #1 did so poorly, not that it was a great show and in no way was the best, but it was easily the most important and had the most mainstream interest. 
What was the best of these WrestleMania matches?
Steamboat vs. Savage 40.5%
Hart vs. Hart 22.5%
Michaels vs. Ramon 15.8%
Warrior vs. Savage 7.0%
Flair vs. Savage 5.1%
Hogan vs. Warrior 3.4%
Hogan vs. Savage 2.1%
Hogan & T vs. Piper & Orndorff 1.0%
Michaels vs. Tatanka 1.0%
Bulldogs vs. Beefcake & Valentine 0.8%
Michaels vs. Diesel 0.8%
--Britz Fritz interviews Tully Blanchard and Ron Simmons.

--A correction from Tuesday: Pat Laprade's upcoming book on the history of pro wrestling in Montreal is called "Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screwjobs: The Untold Story of How Montreal Shaped the World of Wrestling."  'Mad Dogs' is from Vachon, 'Midgets' is because Sky Low Low and Little Beaver came from Quebec and 'Screwjobs' is because of the 1997 Survivor Series, and perhaps the 1931 Henri DeGlane vs. Strangler Lewis match.
--ESPN in the U.K. announced its coverage for Jones vs. Evans on 4/21.  It will start at 1:30 a.m. with the Countdown show, MMA Live then airs at 2:30 a.m. and the main card starts at 3 a.m. 
--A story on the Lucha Libre USA show that takes place tomorrow night at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. The funny part of the story is they claim they are expecting 8,000 people at the show.
--Steve Austin roasts Zakk Wylde.
--Just to answer the most frequently asked question of the last few days, I don't know if Jim Ross will be announcing any of the matches on Sunday.  The logical answer would be yes, he will announce all of the matches, but you run into grave trouble predicting WWE based on logic.
--Here's a story on if there will be blood in the Undertaker vs. HHH match. The story quotes me, Bryan and Kurt Angle.  Kurt thinks there will be blood. I'd bet on no but not strongly because HHH can pretty much do anything he wants.
--Leonard Garcia vs. Matt Grice has been added to the 6/8 UFC show on FX.
--There is a documentary on pro wrestling called "The Booker" with the trailer put out by Studio 5 Productions out of Atlanta.  It's about the PCW promotion that runs in the area.
--TNA is selling a Jeff Hardy Louisville Slugger baseball bat at its BaseBrawl events at minor league parks this summer including a 5/6 show at Rawhide Park in Visalia, CA.
--Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson, Eric Young and SoCal Val are on the Spin Cycle. They talk about high school.  Two of the four members of the panel were home schooled and one missed out on prom to wrestle, and one trained to be an MMA fighter. 
--The five-part Los Angeles Times interviews for Mania has Cody Rhodes. Tomorrow will be HHH.
--Reader Adam Sanders said that he was unable to buy 'Mania from Time Warner cable on screen like usual and had to call the local customer service office and place an order over the phone.  The rep told him that they've never seen anything like this before when it comes to the number of orders, so that is at least an example that things look good for the show.

I question that in this regard, the most any Mania has ever done in North America is 950,000 buys, and every Mayweather & Pacquiao fight in recent years beats that easily. Most Lesnar fights beat it as well, and De La Hoya-Mayweather more than doubled that figure. So I find it hard to believe this show, even if it sets a Mania card, is going to have any kind of unprecedented demand that companies have never seen before.
--A story on WrestleMania III in Grantland...Today is the 25th anniversary of that show, which at the time was the biggest grossing pro wrestling show ever, although the record only lasted two years until the Hogan vs. Savage match beat it.      
--The Miami Herald today had a WrestleMania pullout section, which included a Cena vs. Rock preview plus a look at the career of Ron Simmons.
--There will be a $300 a ticket WrestleMania VIP party tonight at Star Island, where WWE personalities will show off their fashion designs and artwork that will be auctioned off for charity.
--Jerry Lawler talks WrestleMania to the Miami Herald. He said his favorite WrestleMania moment was wrestling last year against Michael Cole.  His favorite match to call was Hogan vs. Rock in Toronto.  
--Chaotic Wrestling tomorrow night in Lowell, MA at the Polish American Veterans Club.
--A video on Bill Apter and the WWE Hall of Fame.
--Tri State Wrestling's first year anniversary show on July 7, 2001, in Rutland, VT is now on for free.  It was an all cage match show before Dixie Carter came up with the idea.  Actually, the first all cage match show I recall was in the 70s in Los Angeles where they promoted that every match would be in the Blassie cage.
--Texas All Star Wrestling's 19th annual Humble Rumble takes place Saturday night at Coaches Sports Bar in Humble, TX.    
--Big Time Wrestling on 4/27 in Saco, ME at the Southern Maine Sportszone features The Nasty Boys, Tammy Sytch and Ron Simmons.  They also run 4/28 in Presque Isle, ME, at the Forum with Sytch, Simmons and the Nasty Boys. (thanks to Bradley Grover)  
--Steeltown Pro Wrestling on 4/26 in Arborg, Manitoba at the Rec Centre; 4/27 with a free show in Winnipeg at LA. Roadhouse at 9 p.m. (18 years or older show), 4/28 in Selkirk, Manitoba at the Friendship Centre and 4/29 in Winnipeg at the Royal Canadian Legion. 
--Roy Englebrecht's Fight Club OC shows debut on 4/14 at the Hangar at the Orange County Fair & Events Center in California.  The show features all local fighters.  They will be running three shows this year, with the others being 10/6 and 12/8.  Chuck Liddell will be in attendance at the first show, which is headlined by Tyson Jeffries vs. Keith Berry.   
--FSW High Octane airs at 10 p.m. Eastern for free, headlined by Funny Bone vs. Kevin Douglas.
--Lanny Poffo talks his new promotion.

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?