WED. UPDATE: More on Overeem, former WWE star arrested on drug charges, Ratings, debut of legend



By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
We're looking for reports on Monday and Tuesday's TNA tapings from Orlando at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The newest Observer will hopefully be up late tonight or if not early tomorrow, but the weekly back issue will be up today.  It is a double issue.  Honestly, it could have been a triple issue without much problem. Figure Four is already up.  We will have two Observer radio shows today, one an interview with Cheerleader Melissa Anderson and with the latest news as well as a detailed look at the Alistair Overeem situation.

The Latest Observer: Wrestlemania, pt. I

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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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.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--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
history)

*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)

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*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)

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*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 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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*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)

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*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)

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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)

*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) .

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*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)

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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)

* 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)

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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

--Nothing has been said regarding a replacement for Alistair Overeem, nor do I expect an announcement in the next few days, depending on if Overeem asks to get his "B" sample tested.  Overeem tested positive for testosterone at greater than a 10-1 ratio. The Olympic cutoff is 4-1. The actual ratio was not released.

Frank Mir has already released a statement saying that if Overeem can't fight, that he will gladly take the title opportunity if given. Smart man. UFC is likely to choose either Mir or Cain Velasquez for the shot and who they perceive the people most want to see in that spot will be part of the decision making process.  There was a recent example (and I don't want to say it publicly who the two guys were) but both were up for a fairly recent title shot and one campaigned publicly for it, the other was told that he should as well, but he decided he needed a break and wanted to go to the beach that weekend. Guess who got the title shot. In other words, Cain needs to be avoiding the beach. 

Mir may have the edge since he's coming off a submission win over Nogueira and Cain is coming off a knockout loss to Dos Santos. But the flip side is that Velasquez is probably the better fighter and even with less charisma is probably the one better for UFC business as a potential champion. 
 
--USA Network won the ratings race last week with a 2.0 rating followed by 1.4 for Disney and 1.4 for Fox News.  FX was No. 10 with a 1.0 average, Syfy was No. 14 with an 0.8 average and Spike was No. 23 with an 0.7 average.  Raw last week was No. 2 and No. 3 on cable since most of the highly rated cable shows are in hiatus.  The Nick Kids Choice awards were first.  It was No. 7 and No. 8 in 18-34 and No. 1 and No. 3 in 18-49.
 
--There will be an Internet PPV interview with Vince Russo produced by Kayfabe Commentaries on 6/1 at 8 p.m. The interview will take place before a live audience in Monroe, NJ, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  They will be selling tickets to the event and the VIP package includes a private booking seminar with Russo prior to the show. Holy shit.

Side note: I'm looking at doing our first iPPV. Plans include a physique and nutrition seminar with Roy Nelson. 
 
--There was the most unreal article by Eric Holden at Yahoo listing 10 wrestlers from the 90s who could have been successful UFC fighters.  I don't even want to spoil it for you as it's so freaking awesome in a mind-blowing way.  That's three stories in a row right there. Next thing you know, somebody is going to report the WrestleMania buy rate.   
 
--John Cena will be a guest on the Syfy series Dream Machines later this season. A custom-built vehicle built for Cena as part of the show will be shown Monday night on Raw from Washington, DC to help promote the episode.
 
--There was a really strange Ric Flair interview today on Charlotte sports talk.  He claimed his match with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24 was his last match, said Vince McMahon was the best marketer alive and noted he's wearing both of his Hall of Fame rings. (Ric does love those rings, so that's a shoot.)

He said pro wrestling is The Rock's home and Hollywood is his superficial home. I wish I had a superficial home where I was making $30 million. He said he loved Brock Lesnar returning to wrestling and hopes his health holds up. He was unaware about Jay Strongbow's death and said that he hadn't seen him in ten years. (thanks to Daniel Klitts)
 
--For those who ordered the ROH show, and for that matter, for those who didn't, the two matches from the second night that didn't air are now available on youtube.  Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly is up, as is Rhett Titus & Kenny King vs. Young Bucks in a street fight.
 
Will Daniel Bryan get a similar reaction at TV this coming week?

Similar, but not quite as vociferous 64.5%
No, Monday was a complete aberration 22.0%
It will be exactly the same as this week 13.5%
 
What did you think of RAW?

Excellent 72.1%
Good 22.7%
Average 2.3%
Fair 1.2%
Poor 1.7%
        4.0% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--The German TV feed of Raw on Monday night was described as unbearable, with the feed constantly stuttering and cutting out.  On the screen they said, "Sorry, there are feed problems from Miami."  (thanks to Markus Gronemann)
 
--Today is the 80th anniversary of the professional wrestling debut of Yvon Robert, whose first match was April 4, 1932 in Montreal at the old Mount Royal Arena, where he made John Charette before 5,500 fans underneath the Gus Sonnenberg vs. Pat McGill main event.  If you don't know the name, you probably should.  Robert was a multi-time world champion and not only the biggest pro wrestling star ever in Eastern Canada, but is generally considered the second biggest star behind Maurice "Rocket" Richard (an NHL legend) in the history of Quebec sports.  He was a far bigger cultural star than Hulk Hogan or Steve Austin in their wildest dreams were, and pretty much anyone short of El Santo or Rikidozan.  (thanks to Pat Laprade)  
 
--Fit Finlay makes his ROH debut on 5/12 in Toronto.
 
--Maven Huffman, a former WWE wrestler best known for winning the first season of Tough Enough, was arrested earlier this week on going to multiple doctors to fill prescriptions for the same ailment.  Huffman is accused of going to three different doctors, getting three different prescriptions to Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, going to different pharmacies to fill them to avoid suspicion, and coming out with about 1,000 ills.  He was released on $2,000 bond and is facing up to five years in prison.
 
--An article on Chief Jay Strongbow here. The New York Times will be doing a Strongbow obit and there are not a lot of wrestlers in history that the Times covered the death of.
 
--Pope D'Angelo Dinero was at the Nashville Predators vs. Minnesota Wild NHL game in Nashville last night.  The team mascot Gnash challenged a fan in a Minnesota Wild jersey to an arm wrestling match.  Then right before the arm wrestling match was to start, Gnash claimed his shoulder was acting up and he had to pull out, but had a replacement.  Pope's entrance music played and he came out wearing a Predators jersey and won the arm wrestling match and plugged Lockdown on 4/15 in Nashville.  (thanks to Chris Kunkel)
 
--Damien Sandow will be starting on the Smackdown brand shortly.
 
--Eric Young will be hosting a TV series called Fish America on Animal Planet.  Young is billed as an avid outdoorsman as well as pro wrestler and will go around the country fishing and doing comedy.
 
--The Miz will be hosting The Challenge: Battle of the Exes reunion on MTV tonight at 10 p.m.
 
--Lance Storm talks his WrestleMania predictions.
 
--APW Gym Wars featuring Colt Cabana vs. Rik Luxury.
 
--NWA Smoky Mountain Wrestling on 4/7 in Bailyton, TN at North Greene High School.
 
--A promotional video for Adam Pearce vs. Colt Cabana's NWA title match is here.
 
--Three different promotions in Western Canada have merged, Aggression MMA, Armageddon Fighting Championships and AX Combat.  the new promotion will be called Aggression Fighting Championships.  The first show is 4/14 in Victoria, BC and then 6/8 in Edmonton and 6/15 in Calgary.
 
--FSW on 4/6 at Sam's Town in Las Vegas at 7:30 p.m. featuring Mikey Nichols and Shane Haste from Australia against Reno Scum.
 
--Super Fight League has its second show in Dandigarh, India headlined by Todd Duffee vs. Neil Grove, Paul Kelly vs. Ryan Healy and Alexander Shlemenko vs. Minowa-man will air live at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday morning Eastern time at Youtube.
 
--Here's this week's UCW tv show.

--The next show at the Auditorio in Tijuana is 4/13 headlined by Cibernetico & Mesias vs. El Texano Jr. & Toscano and Damian 666 & Bestia 666 & Halloween vs. Arandu & Mortiz & TJ Boy.
 
--Hoodslam on Friday night in Oakland, CA at the Metro Operahouse headlined by Sinn Bohdi and Brian Kendrick.  It's more of a comedy wrestling show.

If you do get WWE network, besides PPVs, what are you most interested in?

 

If you have stopped subscribing to WWE network, why?

 

What was the best TV show of the week?