SAT. UPDATE: UFC 145 and questions that don't have answers, Piper, Ryder, Penn, WWE news



By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's UFC 145 PPV, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're also looking for reports on today's WWE shows in Glasgow, Scotland and Antwerp,  Belgium as well as the TNA house show in Estero, FL, as well as the WWE shows this past week from Cardiff, Wales, Toulose, France and Milan, Italy.

UFC tonight from Atlanta's Phillips Arena
 
Facebook fights at 7 p.m.

- Maximo Blanco (146) vs. Marcus Brimage (145)
- Chris Clements (169) vs. Keith Wisniewski (170.5)
 
FX at 8 p.m.

- Mac Danzig (155) vs. Efrain Escudero (156)
- John Makdessi (158*) vs. Anthony Njokuani (156)
- Stephen Thompson (171) vs. Matt Brown (171)
- Travis Browne (250) vs. Chad Griggs (228)
*Makdessi missed weight by two pounds and had to forfeit 20% of his purse to Njokuani.

PPV at 10 p.m.

- John Alessio (155.5) vs. Mark Bocek (155)
- Mark Hominick (145.5) vs. Eddie Yagin (144.5)
- Michael McDonald (135) vs. Miguel Angel Torres (135.5)
- Ben Rothwell (263) vs. Brendan Schaub (237)
- Rory MacDonald (169) vs. Che Mills (170)
- Jon Jones (205) vs. Rashad Evans (204) for light heavyweight title
 
There will be no major events tomorrow, although the U.S. Olympic team trials will be airing at 4 p.m. Eastern on NBC Sports.

Raw will be a three-hour special starting at 8 p.m. on Monday night from Detroit.  The John Cena/Brock Lesnar contract signing for Extreme Rules takes place on this show.

Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Grand Rapids.

This Week's Observer: The Business Of Wrestlemania 28

A look at the complete business numbers from WrestleMania 28 and how it compares with the biggest shows in wrestling history, as well as a look at past WrestleManias and how much mainstream interest there was, is the lead story of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
 
The issue is up on the site today along with a back issue from early 1995 also up on the site this week.
The article look at the total gross revenue on the show, an update on PPV numbers on the show, early estimates of North American numbers, plans for next year's show in New Jersey, the possible main event and what will determine it, how TV ratings and pay-per-view numbers relate, a list of the seven biggest worldwide PPV shows in history, what things helped this year's number, comparing the number with a big boxing or MMA show, as well as record shows in boxing and MMA.
 
We compare the interest with the early WrestleManias and the difference in PPV interest in that era, Hogan vs. Andre, Hogan vs. Savage and more.
 
We also have more on the UFC and steroid testing, including Dana White's remarks regarding the company doing random tests, the usage of TUE's, the Alistair Overeem situation, Dos Santos talks about fighting Overeem, Dos Santos talks drug testing, and the comments by Ben Askren and Dana White.
 
We also have a look at TNA Lockdown, the lack of crowd heat, the Roode vs. Storm angle and finish, early look at interest, attendance, Kurt Angle's situation plus match-by-match coverage, poll results and star ratings for all of the matches.
 
We have an update on the WWE Network, the 1000th episode of Raw, the potential of a draft, the Extreme Rules card, Brock Lesnar's special deal, The Rock to host a TV show and the Mick Foley/Dean Ambrose angle.  We look at other being brought to the main roster, Daniel Bryan talks the "Yes" chants, his thoughts on WrestleMania, admits where he got the chant from, WWE vs. Indies and more.  We also have developmental news, updates on Terry Taylor and Fit Finlay, notes on WWE's return to Japan, beauty queen says she's got a WWE project, DVR viewing of Raw, next European tour and a look at the highlights of the current European tour.
 
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 www.paypal.com 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 UFC's debut in Stockholm, including ratings, attendance, what's next for Alexander Gustafsson, crowd reactions and match-by-match coverage with poll results.
 
We've got notes on where the Nick Diaz case stands as well as his lawyers argument on why Diaz should not be suspended.
 
We've got our weekly Friday night ratings notes and what the Smackdown rating says.
 
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:
 
--More on a huge indie show that sold out a major arena and what was the reason
 
--Latest from Arena Mexico
 
--Former WCW star will go back to his 90s identity
 
--Two proteges of Lance Storm debut in AAA
 
--Jeff Jarrett's return to Mexico against two former WCW stars
 
--Tell Joseph Park that Abyss has resurfaced
 
--All Japan jr. tag title tournament finishes
 
--Next big All Japan show
 
--NOAH title matches over the past week
 
--Update on the NOAH tag team tournament
 
--Members of the 2012 Best of the Super Junior tournament
 
--Update on whether pro wrestling will be allowed in Oklahoma
 
--What was the issue in it temporarily being shut down
 
--Sports Illustrated on Jay Strongbow and notes on him
 
--Shane Douglas tries to revive the spirit of ECW one more time and notes on his first show
 
--Autobiographies of two major stars have just come out
 
--Notes from WrestleReunion in Toronto
 
--Why WrestleReunion is closing up shop
 
--Update on Bruno Sammartino
 
--Jack Brisco teamed with Dory Funk Jr. at least twice
 
--Former UFC heavyweight making his pro wrestling debut
 
--One of the biggest stars of the 90s looks to be doing an autobiography
 
--Notes on the Border Wars ROH iPPV from Toronto
 
--More on Kurt Angle pulling out of the Olympic trials and the publicity it got
 
--Notes on TNA after the TNA and Spike meetings last week
 
--Some television changes
 
--What Dixie Carter would like to do differently
 
--Update on the Ring Ka King promotion and what TNA star is about to get married on Ring Ka King TV
 
--Notes on future TNA storylines
 
--Problems for the fighters training for the May 26 UFC show
 
--Problems with the UFC going to Rio de Janeiro in June
 
--Idea of UFC doing several developmental promotions
 
--Bad news for UFC when it comes to mainstream opinion in New York
 
--What age groups like and hate UFC
 
--More on the Jones vs. Evans fight
 
--UFC legend talks about wanting to try WWE
 
--Notes on court cases for pirating UFC being settled out of court
 
--New UFC fights
 
--Chael Sonnen starts a new business
 
--World champion may be leaving the promotion without losing his title
 
--The return of K-1 and Mirko Cro Cop fighting again
 
--Lots of notes from the Super Fight League in India behind the scenes including a brawl
 
--Why Frank Trigg was fired from HDNet
 
--A fighter worth paying attention to overcoming a handicap

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)

*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)

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*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)

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*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)

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*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)

*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)

*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)

*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:

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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.

Saturday's News, Notes & Links
 
--Our weekend edition of Wrestling Observer radio will be tonight after UFC, covering both the show as well as the latest news.

--At the weigh-ins yesterday, Jon Jones was 100% booed, but Rashad Evans only got a 50/50 reaction.  The weigh-ins are not always indicative of what happens at the live show. The PPV numbers will be interesting. The match has a story, both headliners are name fighters, the light heavyweight title always draws and the build up has been very good.  On the flip side, so much of the build up has been on Fuel, which almost nobody sees.  It's the first major fight of the year and it's been two months between PPV shows which is a longer gap than usual.

--Evans last week was training his boxing with Roy Jones Jr. I was watching ESPN a lot and saw no mention of the fight and regular Sportscenter coverage often makes the difference as far as casual fan knowledge or interest.

--Right now nothing is official regarding the UFC show in Brazil, but time is running out on making a deal.  Dana White is going to Brazil on Tuesday for a press conference where the rumor has it that the show will be canceled and Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen will be moved to 7/7 in Las Vegas. 

--For what it's worth, those close to the situation have said that Fabricio Werdum is not in the running as an opponent for Cain Velasquez for 5/26.  The reason given was Werdum was too valuable to the Brazil show. Bigfoot Silva's name has been mentioned the most as Velasquez's new opponent but Javier Mendez, Velasquez's trainer, said this afternoon that he does not know who the opponent will be. Between that and UFC pulling Alistair Overeem off the 5/26 main event, there will probably be a lot of questions answered after the show. I've got a story on Grantland on the Overeem situation.

--The Facebook for Colours TV lists today and tomorrow's episodes of Ring Ka King as the final shows of the series.  As of right now, there are no dates for future tapings.

--Tomorrow's update won't be up until the early evening because I'll be in flight all day coming back from tonight's show.

--On Facebook, Zack Ryder was complaining about WWE taking two minutes off the show he submitted on the Youtube channel saying he sent in a good show, it was edited and came out to be bad.  Not sure if this is storyline or not, but if it's WWE on Twitter, you have to assume storyline.  That or you have to expect booking retribution, although I'm not sure they can do any worse than they already are with him.  What did air seemed to be about Ryder showing how he's over with the crowd and then showing Kane squash him on Raw on Monday.

--B.J. Penn is doing an appearance at Shanna's Pub, a popular college hangout in Guaynabo, PR, tonight.  There is more media for tonight's UFC show in Puerto Rico than any show in a long time, apparently due to Rashad Evans going there for a promotional tour and meeting island legend Felix Trinidad a few weeks ago.

--CHIKARA Pro on 4/29 in Lafayette, IN.

--An interesting note on the direction of WWE Films. They are helping finance a movie called "Dead Man Down" that beings filming tomorrow in Philadelphia. This is a completely different deal as they are putting a percentage of the $30 million budget for a romantic thriller starring Colin Farrell. I don't believe any WWE performers are in the movie. WWE is, instead of putting together its own movies (which it will also continue to do), looking at purchasing the rights to good movies they see at film festivals and working with established studios in a co-promotion venture.  In this case, they are working with IM Global, which is not Fedor's guys although it would be funny if it was.

--Roddy Piper will be featured on the TV show Celebrity House Hunters that airs on Thursday at 10 p.m. on the Biography Channel.  The episode will feature Piper and his wife looking for a new home.

--Even though he is not in the event, they aired Kurt Angle footage from his 1996 gold medal win during the Olympic wrestling team trials webcast today in Iowa City.

--Aaron Simpson vs. Jon Fitch will take place on a 7/11 UFC show on the Wednesday after the Las Vegas show. I believe the show will be airing on Fuel.

How many buys do you think the UFC show on 12/6 did?

 

What are you watching this weekend?

 

What was the best TV show of the past week?