MON. UPDATE: Heyman doing WWE project, Feedback to last night, Hogan talks TNA problems, Bret Hart



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 last night's WWE Extreme Rules 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 looking for live reports from Dayton tonight from Raw.  Announced for the show includes an appearance by HHH, as well as by Brock Lesnar, along with John Cena giving an update on his medical condition.
 
        Smackdown & NXT will be taped on Tuesday night in Toledo.
 
        TNA will be taping tonight and tomorrow night in Orlando.  Tonight's show will have RVD pick Bobby Roode's opponent in a singles match, Roode picks RVD's opponent in a singles match, plus A.J. Styles & Samoa Joe & Magnus vs. Kurt Angle & Christopher Daniels & Kazarian, and Gail Kim & Madison Rayne vs. Brooke Tessmacher & Velvet Sky.
 
        We're looking for reports on Saturday's CHIKARA shows in Chicago Ridge, IL, Saturday's TNA show in Wenatchee, WA, and any match breakdowns as opposed to nervous breakdowns from the Extreme Reunion show in Chicago.
 
        UFC on Fuel over the next two days includes a replay of the Alexander Gustafsson vs. Thiago Silva show from Sweden at 8 p.m. tonight, a replay of Penn vs. Diaz at midnight, a replay of the Melvin Guillard vs. Jim Miller show on FX at 2 p.m. tomorrow, Best of Pride at 7 p.m. tomorrow as well as UFC Tonight at 10 p.m. and Ultimate Insider at 10:30 p.m.
 
        A look at booking Brock Lesnar from Extreme Rules and into WrestleMania, the most in-depth look at the Alistair Overeem hearing and the decision made by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the changes in major UFC shows over the past week including, full coverage of UFC 145 and the Cauliflower Alley banquet are just some of the major stories packed into the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.   
 
        The issue will be up on the site tonight along with a back issue from early 1995 also up on the site this week,
 
        Our lead story concerns Brock Lesnar's return to PPV with WWE this week.  We look at the buildup, a comparison with last year's biggest "B" show, numbers "B shows have been doing and how well Lesnar's return can perform.
 
        We also look at why the goals of the wrestlers in this match should be completely different from a usual WWE PPV main event, and why.  We also look at the difference between this Brock Lesnar and the one that was in WWF in 2002-2004.  We look at the Extreme Rules show, keys to the show, the decision to put prelims on You tube and the flaw that was shown by another organization with the same idea. 
 
        We also look at ideas for both SummerSlam and WrestleMania and one idea currently floated for SummerSlam.
 
        We also have full coverage of the Overeem hearings and decision by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.  We look at how the decision went down, the testimony, the background of Dr. Hector Molina and media criticism of the decision.
 
        We also look at how the UFC shows have changed with the Overeem and Chael Sonnen situation evaluating the new main events, update on the Brazil show, and what show company officials are talking like they expect to do a monster number with.
 
        We also have full coverage of UFC 145 from Atlanta, with the business notes including early buy rate info, the key parts of the show, match-by-match coverage, payoffs and poll results on the show.
 
        We've also got a look at the 2012 Cauliflower Alley Club banquet and the speeches by people like Steve Austin, Jim Ross, Ricky Steamboat, Wendi Richter, Sgt. Slaughter and others.  We look at the awards, we go back to the famous Slaughter & Kernodle vs. Steamboat & Youngblood mach in Greensboro, how Steamboat started as a pro wrestler, where he got his name, his altercations with Verne Gagne and more. 
 
        We look at Jim Ross talking about his friendship with Steve Austin, while Austin talked about breaking in as a wrestler and the psychology of doing a match, as well as the possibility of wrestling again.
 
        We also look at Chris Jericho's tenure in WWE, the story behind Nikki Bella winning the Divas title and where it goes, more on the current planned start date of the network and a show they are working on, the release of Andy Leavine, David Otunga, the new philosophy in the WWE movie division, why Edge was on Raw, WWE business numbers, Austin talks Mania, change in a finishing move and why WWE champs defending in another promoting, next show in New York, new signing, as well as a look at the final shows of the recent 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.

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        You can also subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O Box 1228, Campbell, CA  95009-1228. 
 
        We also have a look at what material caused Anheuser-Busch to come down on UFC and what UFC's response was, as well as the originators of the situation and why it was inevitable.
 
        We've got our weekly Friday night ratings notes.
 
        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:
 
--Yet another new idea for a pro wrestling tournament
 
--Arena Mexico 56th anniversary show
 
--Update on All Japan Champion Carnival tournament
 
--Update on NOAH tag team tournament
 
--Tatsumi Fujinami 40th anniversary show
 
--A look at highlights of Fujinami's career
 
--Two Japanese sports legends meet in the ring for the first time
 
--President of one of the biggest wrestling companies in the world works as a heel manager on a minor show
 
--Former MMA heavyweight champion signs to make pro wrestling debut next month
 
--Update on Buff Bagwell's injuries
 
--Famous anniversaries in recent weeks
 
--The latest ECW revival attempt
 
--U.S. Olympic trials
 
--New books coming out
 
--Former WWE wrestler now fighting MMA
 
--ROH back on the road
 
--Lockdown PPV estimates
 
--PPV main event being tried out on the road
 
--The last episode and the future of Ring Ka King
 
--Looking at taping TNA television on the road
 
--Update on James Storm
 
--Notes on upcoming TNA television
 
--TNA house show notes
 
--Update on Nick Diaz
 
--UFC signs a champion from Bellator and details behind it
 
--Update on MMA legalization in New York
 
--A look at the next Fuel live special
 
--Update on B.J. Penn
 
--In hindsight, what actually killed Strikeforce as an independent group
 
--Decorated wrestler who once beat Ben Askren signs with UFC
 
--Lots of new UFC fights
 
--Coverage of one of the biggest fights in Bellator history
 
--Fedor's next fight updated
 
--Gina Carano tag teams with The Rock
 
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)

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*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)

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*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)

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*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)

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*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)

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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.
 
Monday's News Update
 
--Bryan and I will be back late tonight for Wrestling Observer radio covering Raw and Impact as well as any other news.  We'll also be taking e-mail questions that you can send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   
 
--C.M. Punk did an interview in Chicago promoting last night's show and noted Paul Heyman will be a talking head on his upcoming DVD.  The Heyman interview is expected to be filmed next month.  Heyman and Punk will also do commentary together on some of his big matches.
 
--We're sorry to report on the death of Frank Etienne, a Virginia independent wrestler who worked as Prince Malik and was part of the scene in that area for 11 years.  He passed away on Saturday morning after having wrestled the night before in Fort Lee, VA for Military Pro Wrestling.  His cause of death is unknown but was found at his home by his roommate.  He was a regular on WWE tapings as an extra when they came to that part of the country.
 
--For those who know him, tributes are being left on his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1406018127 
 
--Also, they are trying to raise money for his funeral in an account set up by his sister at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it     
 
--This morning, WWE Extreme Rules was No. 12 on Google searches in the U.S.  Usually WWE B shows don't crack the top 20 so that's a good sign.  Our web traffic is pretty high today, better than most B shows but I would have expected that.  Not through the roof to indicate monster numbers.  Our feedback was really high.  It's too early to say, but could be at the same level as the Cena vs. Punk Money in the Bank show last year.
 
--Scott Fishman was promoted to Senior Vice President, Executive Producer at Spike TV.  Fishman is the main Spike executive working with TNA and will also be working with Bellator next year.   
 
--Today's New York Post had an interview with Hulk Hogan.  He said TNA focuses more on the in-ring product and fan reactions.  "They don't want to call their talent wrestlers anymore.  I get it, but we are focusing on the wrestling and really feeling the vibe."  Hogan claimed there they've got a momentum shifting idea for the industry.  He compared it to Hulkamania and the Austin era, saying "I have this huge monster idea that I am going to throw out there that I really think is going to change the business."  The story said, "Hogan's reputation as one of the premiere minds in wrestling precedes him, and he has essentially turned TNA on its head since joining the company in 2009. Since then, Hogan has helped to unveil a new TNA Impact Zone featuring a traditional four-sided ring and develop new concepts such as the TNA Fight Night and Gut Check."  "We are going to give more power to the fans, make them more involved and more important.  I can't say much more, but I can say this, I'm either going to be really right on this one or really wrong.  If I'm wrong, you probably won't see me again because I'll be hightailing it out of here."  Hogan said that John Morrison and Chris Masters have both been in contact with TNA looking for work.  He said the title needs to stay with Bobby Roode.
 
--Due to thousands of votes received Bret Hart will be among those discussed for a spot this year in Canada's Walk of Fame.  They had a fan vote and Hart ran in second place behind Phil Hartman.  Seven get added each year. (thanks to Arda Ocal)
 
--Edge pulled out of his 5/11 appearance for Resistance Pro Wrestling because of a change in the filming of the TV show "Haven" that he has a regular role in.  He said that he would appear and do an autograph signing at a future show.  The show at the Teamster Auditorium in Chicago will now include Vader and Shelly Martinez. (thanks to Terri Bey)
 
--Aaron Relic from last night's show is Missouri indie wrestler Ace Hawkins.  Not sure who Jay Hatton was.
 
--35 years ago today, Superstar Billy Graham defeated Bruno Sammartino in Baltimore to win the WWWF title.  It was the last time Sammartino held the title.
 
--El Generico vs. Sami Callihan was added to the 5/12 Evolve show in Concord, NC.  Ricochet has been added to that show as well as 5/11 in Charlotte, where Ricochet faces Generico.  
 
--Randy Orton on Brock Lesnar on Fight Club Chicago:  "I'm a big Brock Lesnar fan and I've always been. We came up together about ten years ago.  Me and him, we were buds.  We've lost touch over the years as you usually do with guys like that, but I wish him the best.  I know he's had a few health issues as of late. But he'll conquer those just like he's conquered every other obstacle that has come his way.  I truly feel he's one of the few human beings I've ever met that have been able to accomplish as much as he's accomplished.  He puts his mind, body and soul into it and he's gonna get it done."  Interview is at www.sportstownchicago.com/fightclub
 
--Shogun Rua vs. Thiago Silva may be earmarked for a UFC fight this summer.  Dana White when asked on Twitter who Rua faces next, responded with Thiago Silva's name, without giving a date or show. 
 
--The Karl Amoussou vs. David Rickels welterweight tournament semifinal fight scheduled for this Friday's Bellator show has been moved back to weeks to the 5/18 show in Lake Charles, LA. 
 
--Kurt Angle has a role in the movie "Pain and Gain," which is the movie Dwayne Johnson stars in as a jacked up bodybuilder.  
 
--From last night's radio show talking about former football star Brian Bosworth and pro wrestling, the actual story is that WCW once offered him $50,000 to manage Sting in a PPV match, but he turned it down (thanks to Brian Hoops)
 
--Bellator champion Hector Lombard, he of the great physique department, has asked that he and opponent Brian Stann be random drug tested before their scheduled 8/4 fight.
 
What did you think of the ROH TV show?
Excellent 23.4%
Good 55.1%
Average 6.5%
Fair 4.7%
Poor 10.3%
        54.7% of those responding didn't see the show
 
What was the best TV show of the past week?
Raw 35.2%
ROH 16.0%
Smackdown 14.9%
Ultimate Fighter 14.9%
Impact 12.1%
Inside MMA 2.5%
CMLL 2.1%
MMA Uncensored 1.1%
UFC Insiders 1.1%
 
Who was the fastest rising star of 2012?
Daniel Bryan 59.9%
Ronda Rousey 21.0%
Jon Jones 9.1%
Sheamus 4.6%
James Storm 3.6%
Rory MacDonald 1.8%
 
--NWA Anarchy from Saturday night in Cornelia, GA for a TV taping before 125 fans:  Vandal & Brandon Parker b Zach Daniels & Joey Rhymer, C.B. Gibson b Jacob Ashworth, Dany Only & Stryknyn b Bryan Casanova & Seven-DQ, Jacoby Boykins b Nemesis, Anthony Henry & Billy Buck b Bobby Moore & Andrew Pendelton III, Bo Newsome b Seth Delay Azrael b Shaun Tempers-DQ.  They announced Azrael vs. Tempers on 5/12 in the same building in a cage match. (thanks to Larry Goodman)
 
--Netflix is listing Randy Orton:  Evolution of a Predator and the Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels sit down as two of their new selections.  Hart/Michaels is definitely one fascinating DVD that if you are a fan of 90s wrestling you would really be intrigued by (thanks to Brian Hoops)
 
--Matt Hardy was at Chicago City Limits in Schaumburg watching Extreme Rules at a sports bar.  He was there for the entire show.  The bar was full, more to see the show than Hardy but he took photos signed autographs and sold merchandise.  He was pushing his new shirt, "Stronger Than Death - Matt Hardy," which is I guess his new slogan.  On the back of the shirt is the same phrase in Spanish.  (thanks to John Petersen)
 
--World Power Wrestling did a free show at the Anaheim marketplace on Saturday before 1,200 fans:  Jalapeno Lopez b Red Spider, Frankie Segura Jr. b Cyanuro, Jarritos Guy b Red Spider, Yumi & Super Nino & Cyber Ram b Amazon & Red Rum & Lee Steel, Spiderman & Drew Molzhon & Jarritos Guy b Infernal & War Hawg & Red Spider (thanks to Roy Lucier)
 
--They then followed with a paid evening show before 115 fans:  Jalapeno Lopez b Red Spider, Frankie Segura Jr. b Amazona, War Hawk b El Sueno, Cyber Ram won four-way dog collar match over Lee Steel, Super Nino and Angel Guerro, Red Rum & Infernal & Lil Cholo & Don Ramon DCOR Mariachi Loco & Wama & Genio & DJ Junior
 
--EWF on 5/4 in Covina, CA at the Knights of Columbus Hall featuring the Great Goliath Memorial Battle Royal.
 
--For English test cricketer Adam Hollioke makes his pro MMA debut on Saturday night against Joel Millar of Australia on the Gold Coast in Australia at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Center for Days of Glory Promotions.  I don't know Hollioke and his level in cricket but this has gotten mainstream attention there.  He fought once as an amateur a few weeks ago, winning via third round TKO.   (thanks to James Stanios, Tim Forge and others)    
 
--Davey Richards is doing U.K. training seminars for beginners from 8/13 to 8/17 and for advanced students from 8/20 to 8/24 at the Future Shock Training School in Manchester.  For inquiries you can send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   A video is at http://youtu.be/nXSwu_TTgiA  Seminars will be at least 30 hours of training, limited to 16 students per session.   
 
--Vendetta Pro Wrestling on 5/11 in Santa Maria, CA at Lakeview Junior High School headlined by Matt Hardy vs. Billy Blade, Shannon Ballard vs. El Hijo de Rey Misterio, Bobby Lashley vs. Rik Luxury and Shawn Daivari vs. SoCal Crazy, plus Gangrel is in action.
 
--A comparison of pro wrestlers to NBA stars is at http://m.espn.go.com/wireless/story?storyid=7861414&i=FB&w=1bpl2
 
--Lucha Libre on Saturday in El Paso before 1,000 fans:  Peluchin Maldad & Titanik & Kenish b Cometa & Centinela & ?, Metro & Hermes & SkyBird b Hurricane Hector &  Baby Solis & Fussion, Marcela b Tiffany to retain the CMLL women's title, El Hijo de Rey Misterio II & Sicodelico Jr. b Magno & Ultimo Samuray, Atlantis & Mascara Dorada b Ultimo Guerrero & Cobarde-DQ.  (the original show had Mil Mascaras and Canek in the semifinal, but that fell through since Mascaras usually doesn't work semis).  El Hijo de Rey Misterio II got raves, much better than I (thanks to Albert Cerda)
 
--Former pro wrestler Jay French has written a novel about an 18-year-old getting into pro wrestling in the 70s in Florida but it's said to be an in-depth look at the business and lifestyle of wrestling in that era.  The book is called "Shane Carbo, Professional Wrestling Shooter.  For more info you can contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   I haven't seen the book yet so can't say much about it.
 
--Metro Pro Wrestling on Saturday night in Kansas City at the Turner Rec Center  for a TV taping with nine matches including a 20 man Rumble, Bradley Charles vs. Mike Sydal and Mark Sterling vs. Ricky Cruz.
 
--Politicus USA, a democratic web site, has a story on how pro wrestling show how republicans are trying to fool us all at http://www.politicususa.com/pro-wrestling-explains-how-republicans-try-to-fool-us-all.html
 
--Steel Domain Wrestling on Saturday night:  Craven Knyte b Rob James, Sammy Savard b Red Lightning, Miss Natural b Heather Hallberg (the daughter of Buck Zumhofe), Renny D b Robbie Thuner, Arya Daivari b Ryan Cruz, Benjamin Sailer b Adam Pearce.  Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell appeared together as The High Flyers.  Larry Zbyszko interrupted and invited everyone to come to LarryLand to see the greatest AWA champion of all-time.  Former AWA announcer Mick Karch handled the interview (thanks to Brian Hoops)
 
--Ted Irvine, the father of Chris Jericho and a former NHL star, talks about the Kings vs. Blues playoff series and compared the teams to the John Cena vs. Rock program at http://mayorsmanor.com/2012/0/4/mayorsmanor-live-round-two-playoff-preview-show/ 
 
--Irv Muchnick will be interviewed tomorrow on PBS in New York and New Jersey, airing on NJTV at 7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. and WNET at 12:30 a.m. (late Tuesday night)
 
--IWF from Saturday night in Nutley, NJ before 600 fans:  Marc Corino b Mike Dennis, Austin Williams & Mr. Casino b Frank Scoleri & Absolutely Edwin, Kevin Knight b Roman Zachary, Phat Daddy Biggie Biggs b Dr. Hurtz, Tito Santana b Shane O'Brien in a bullrope mach, Marty Jannetty b Travis Blake.  They raised $6,000 on the show for cancer research.  
 
--Shane Madison upset at Sid Vicious for no-showing last week's Winnipeg show at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player-embedded&v=JJaW46wrlvA