MON. UPDATE: WrestleMania fallout, record set, death during show, early trends, Rock after show
Monday, 02 April 2012 14:30
We're also looking for reports from Raw tonight in Miami and the TNA Impact tapings in Orlando. The Rock will be on Raw tonight, which will be his last week on the show for a while. Neither Undertaker nor HHH are advertised. A ten-man tag match is the advertised main event, with John Cena & C.M. Punk & Randy Orton & Big Show & Sheamus vs. Mark Henry & Daniel Bryan & Kane & Chris Jericho & Cody Rhodes, although that could be a dark match. Expect some major angles tonight since this is expected to be the highest rated episode of the year, although the NCAA finals with Kansas vs. Kentucky always hurts.
Smackdown will be Tuesday night from Orlando, meaning they will be going head-to-head with TNA tapings.
Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley return to TNA tonight as the Motor City Machine Guns team. Hulk Hogan will be doing a State of the Union address. Don't those even do bad ratings when Obama does them? Eric Young is also having a bachelor party. Plus the Country band Montgomery Gentry will be in the house helping promote Bobby Roode vs. James Storm. Impact will also be taped on Tuesday, with the go home show for Lockdown.
On Fuel tonight, Best of Pride airs at 8 p.m., The prelims from the 2/26 show in Saitama, Japan air at 9 p.m. and UFC 136 Jones vs. Rampage airs at midnight. For tomorrow, Best of Pride airs at 7 p.m., and a replay of Ultimate Fighter from Friday airs at 8 p.m. They don't list UFC Tonight at all this week. I'll check on that and update later today.
This Week's Observer: 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.
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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:
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*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)
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*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)
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*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
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*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)
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*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
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Monday's News, Notes & Links
--There is surprisingly little news coming out of WrestleMania. The company was very happy with the show overall. There don't appear to have been any significant injuries other than Justin Gabriel, who suffered an elbow injury that appears to not need surgery and he'll be out for several weeks. C.M. Punk looked like had a bad landing on his head during his match but we've heard nothing about it since.
--The WWE reported an $8.9 million gate, which would be by far the largest in pro wrestling history. Keep in mind the original numbers are often very different from actuals that hopefully will come out in a month or two. Still, they had broken the gate record in ticket sales a long time back, so whatever the final number is, it'll be the record.
--In Google searches, WrestleMania did not fare nearly as well as one would have expected. The term WrestleMania hovered between No. 10 and No. 20 last night and until this afternoon, but nobody on the show including The Rock cracked the top 20. A few hours ago the only mention was WrestleMania itself as No. 20.
--For what it's worth, our web site traffic yesterday was up 33% from last year, but I attribute that to all the Brock Lesnar stuff that broke combined with WrestleMania, as last year didn't have that. That will mean little to nothing when it comes to the final buy rate.
--There were technical issues with WrestleMania in different parts of North America. We didn't get a lot of complaints, but there were people who didn't get the show for an hour, and others who had sound and video being very slightly out of sync. Nothing like the ROH show.
--After the show was over, Rock made a point of shaking hand with every fan in the front row, as well as the announcers and the crew members. He also defaced a John Cena photo, which popped the crowd pretty big, and signed a lot of autographs. It appeared he was sending a message to people as it was a lot more than the usual end of the show babyface shaking hands with the fans stuff that they do at the end of almost all the house shows. Amazing that there wasn't one Rock interview on the entire show. (thanks to Stephen Lyon)
--Not a ton of mainstream media coverage today of Mania. Less than you'd think really. This was the South Florida Sun Sentinel story
, which put over the idea that U2, Paul McCartney, five Super Bowls and two World Series never had as many people in the building as last night's show.
--TNA has released Scott Steiner, although he is still with Ring Ka King.
--Actually, something that his getting mainstream coverage, and WWE is lucky the PTC isn't on their case because they blew stories like this up byond belief, is 24-year-old Stephan Arceneaux III died last night at his home in Destrehan, LA,
when a 14-year-old relative put him in a choke hold at 10 p.m. Central time while watching "a wrestling pay-per-view." The 14-year-old weighed 110 pounds and the adult weighed 220. He used what was called a rear naked choke for 30-40 seconds and didn't release him until he was stopped when they noticed Arcenueaux was turning blue and called 911. His girlfriend was unable to revive him, and he was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The story has since been picked up nationally. (thanks to Adam Lebow and others)
--A story about an April 2011 killing where the victim, Raymond Mohlman
, 49, was listed as a former pro wrestler, was at I don't think he ever wrestled professionally but he was an accomplished amateur wrestler. If anyone knows the name and that he was a pro wrestler, let me know. (thanks to Paul Kacprzak)
--If you haven't seen it, I do recommend going out of your way and getting the replay of ROH night two to see the Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin match.
--Joey Styles tweeted that he will host a new ECW Unreleased Volume I DVD that WWE is putting out, which will have the Terry Funk vs. Shane Douglas vs. Sabu Night the Line Was Crossed match that was gigantic at the time, plus a 1994 Tommy Dreamer vs. Jimmy Snuka match where Snuka let Dreamer kick out of the splash at a time when very few had done so. It was a big deal in the Dreamer push.
--Dana White announced that the winner of the 6/1 Jake Ellenberger vs. Martin Kampmann fight on FX at the Ultimate Fighter Final in Las Vegas will be getting a lightweight title shot. Tickets are $354, $204 and $104 for the live show at the Palms. Tickets go on sale 4/11 to Fight Club members, 4/12 to newsletter subscribers and 4/13 at Noon to the public.
--The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins had a big fight yesterday afternoon
in the last minute of the game. There was a fan who looked like a small, out of shape version of Hulk Hogan with the white mustache, sunglasses and bandana. There was no question he was trying to look like either Hogan or Dave Sullivan with sunglasses. He was yelling at the Flyers coaches and players. While the referee was sorting out all the penalties, Scott Hartnell of the Flyers pointed to the fan and started doing the Hogan ear cupping routine. One of the broadcasters made a Junior Hulk Hogan reference regarding the fan. (thanks to Eric Fisher)
--River City Wrestling in Winnipeg from Saturday night: Cory Diamond over James Beaver and Mr. Nasty, Lou Natik b Samuel, Dick Walker & Damon Marx b Billy Blaze & Buddy Wiser, Bobby Collins & Lou Natik b Zamil & Samuel (thanks to Paul Ranville)
--During the Yankees exhibition game in Florida, announcer Michael Kay noted that Alex Rodriguez would be going to WrestleMania after the game. Rodriguez was shown with Torrie Wilson at ringside during the show.
--Dana White did watch Mania, largely to see the main event because he's good friends with Dwayne Johnson. He actually didn't turn it on until the Punk match, so don't go asking him about what he thought of Undertaker's match. We've noted it here a few days back, but White has no problem with Lesnar doing pro wrestling.
--John Cena came out last night with a new green shirt that appeared to resemble a Boston Celtics type shirt. We had a picture of him last night with Mike Tyson on the site
--ROH announced shows for 6/15 at the Charleston, WV Civic Center and on 6/30 at the Rostraver Ice Garden in Belle Vernon, PA, outside of Pittsburgh. There will be a meet and greet before the show with Bruno Sammartino.
--The AP ran a national story today about how Jon Jones and Rashad Evans are both natives of New York (both upstate New York) and how UFC was not allowed to bring their fight to the state. It noted how both fighters have gone to Albany to meet with legislators and would have wanted the match in Madison Square Garden. The story noted that Bob Reilly, the legislator most well known for blocking MMA in the state, is retiring after this year, but Reilly said that there are others in the legislature who will continue to oppose it, and in particular noted that UFC pays a bonus on every show for the best knockout, claiming they are promoting concussions at the same time most sports are backing away from them.
--The UFC build for Jones vs. Evans starts Friday night at 11 p.m. on FX after the conclusion of Ultimate Fighter. It will air the next three Fridays leading into the show.
--Regarding El Generico working for Evolve on 4/13 and Dragon Gate is that he was never signed to an ROH contract after his last deal expired.
--Brian Fritz has some pre-Wrestlemania videos from a press conference. Here's one with John Cena
, a Chris Jericho interview here
and Dwayne Johnson talks about Mania
What was the best TV show of the past week?
Rock-Cena Once in a Lifetime 37.0%
Ultimate Fighter 9.2%
UFC Tonight 1.2%
MMA Uncensored 1.2%
Inside MMA 1.2%
--The 13th annual Kenny Jay benefit for cystic fibrosis was held Saturday night in Savage, MN, just outside of Minneapolis. Besides Jay, other longtime area wrestlers who attended were Dr. X (was that Beyer or somebody else?), The Big K, Larry Hennig, Greg Gagne, Jim Brunzell, Baron Von Raschke, Eddie Sharkey plus former announcers Al DeRusha and Mick Karch and historian George Schire. Nick Bockwinkel was scheduled but was unable to appear (thanks to Brian Hoops)
--IPW on Saturday night in Papatoetoe, New Zealand: Neo Justice over Dal Knox & Dave O'Connor to win IPW tag titles, Antonio b T.J. Rocket, T Man b Brother T, Tykade & Dominic LeFauce b Vinny Dunn & Reuben De Jong (former WWE developmental), Brian St. James won Rumble, Alexander b Kingi (thanks to Steve Ogilvie)
--WPW from yesterday afternoon in Santa Ana, CA before 175 fans: War Hog b Big Tony, Cyber Ram over Lee Steele, Mircrobio and Terremoto Jr. to get a title shot later in the show, Ariekin b Angel Guerrero, Sgt. Stryker & Frankie Segura b Yumi & Amazona, Cyber Ram b Pentacgoncito to win the WPW cruiserweight title, Mariachi Loco & Little Cholo b Infernal & Red Rum to win the WPW tag titles. (thanks to Roy Lucier)
--IWF on 4/28 in Nutley, NJ for an American Cancer Society benefit show at the Parks and Rec Building has Tito Santana and Marty Jannetty as headliners and Jim Powers will host a meet and greet.
--Amazing Red has pulled out of the ECWA Super 8 tournament that takes place Saturday in Newark, DE at the Boys and Girls Club and will be replaced by Tony Nese of TNA.
--Uhaa Nation blew out his knee on Thursday night in Hollywood, FL and unable to wrestle the rest of the week.