WED. UPDATE: Douglas on changes in promotion, Davey Richards update, UFC odds, ratings



By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Between Brock Lesnar's first WWE match in years, the WWE stockholders meeting with tons of comments by Vince McMahon about the company's future, the life and times of 70s icon Chief Jay Strongbow, behind the drug test failure of Rey Mysterio and much more, there will be two issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter out this week.

The first issue will be up on the site today.  A back issue from 1995 is also up covering the life and times of Eddie Gilbert as well as the first ever Hulk Hogan vs. Vader major match.  A second issue will be up later today or tomorrow.

Our lead story looks at the WWE Extreme Rules show, what Brock Lesnar brought to the table, why the company decided to beat Lesnar in his first match, what happened after the match ended, and why that decision all depends on what you believe Lesnar is there for.

We look at how Vince McMahon was thinking, as well as looking at a lot of similar situations in wrestling history and how promotions handled them.  We look at what the response was, what the future is for Lesnar vs. Cena, a look at the numbers.  We also look at the business of the show, match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results from the show.

We also look at the WWE philosophy that has become so strange and paranoid, as well as the success of the Youtube prelim fight.

We also look at the change in the movie business philosophy, plans for movies, more plans for the network, Vince McMahon guarantees the company will grow over the next year and strange quoting of statistics.  A look at the real statistics when it comes to ratings and house shows for WWE this year.  We talk a lot of the business moves, a new television show being taped that is being kept secretive, PPV numbers, plans for a lot of upcoming movies, PPV on TV vs. Internet, UFC vs. WWE on PPV, WrestleMania outdoors and future of TV and movies.

We also look at the life and times of Chief Jay Strongbow, including his career records and biggest matches.

We've got notes on the suspension of Rey Mysterio, what happened, when the test took place, wrestlers who have two strikes, what the policy is regarding wrestlers who have two strikes and then leave, his previous violation and a look at the last few years of his career as well as his world title reigns.

We also have a feature on the Extreme Reunion show over the weekend put on by Shane Douglas and Dr. Mark Keenan.  We look at the legacy of ECW, its unique popularity, the promotion going forward, the good, the bad, the business and the disasters that happened before, during and after the show.

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.

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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:
 
--Update on Buff Bagwell and more details regarding his accident. 
 
--Death of independent wrestler Prince Malik
 
--Arrest of a former wrestler Whipper Watson Jr., the son of one of Canada's two most popular wrestlers in history.
 
--Jury overturns the verdict against Penthouse in the case of publishing nude photos of Nancy Benoit.
 
--More notes on the change in time slot of Impact and the good and bad of it
 
--Dixie Carter talks why PPV is declining
 
--Is PPV declining?
 
--More on the deal to get Ric Flair to attend the WWE Hall of Fame
 
--Dixie Carter talks the Garett Bischoff push, and compares his in-ring to several wrestlers on the roster
 
--Hulk Hogan threatens a lawsuit but nobody backs down
 
--Hogan says he's got new ideas for TNA going forward, and if they don't work, he's leaving
 
--Story behind cutting Anarquia
 
--Hogan's wife changes her story, says Hogan & Ed Leslie were not gay lovers
 
--Kurt Angle teams with Dwayne Johnson
 
--Sacrifice PPV lineup
 
--TNA weekend touring
 
--Notes on the next TNA television shows
 
--More on Nick Diaz's lawsuit against the Nevada State Athletic Commission
 
--What he's looking for and can he get it
 
--The whole medical marijuana controversy involving Diaz
 
--UFC fighter arrested for a DUI
 
--Main matches for UFC's debut in Calgary in July
 
--Updated info on UFC 147 in Brazil
 
--Early notes on UFC 150 in Denver
 
--Early notes on the August UFC show on FOX including storyline that will be built for the main event
 
--Thoughts on Mayweather vs. Cotto
 
--Notes on the New Jersey show on FOX
 
--Notes on what UFC is scaling the gate for and potentially its second biggest gate in history for Silva vs. Sonnen
 
--Dana White talks about bringing Sonnen to Brazil
 
--Fighter turns down an offered title shot
 
--Update on Rampage Jackson
 
--Lots of new fights and changes in cards due to injuries
 
--Dana White talks this season of Ultimate Fighter and ratings
 
--White criticized for talking gambling lines
 
--Update on contract situation with one of biggest stars of the past decade
 
--Chris Jericho's schedule for the summer
 
--More on the Bella Twins leaving
 
--Return of a star in a few weeks after knee surgery
 
--Wrestler in trouble for working too stiff
 
--Indie promotion without TV draws almost 4,000 fans with nostalgia lure bringing back 90s stars
 
--Wrestling PPV main event in jeopardy when world champion suffers legit biceps tear
 
--Wrestler on Bachelor like TV show doing a unique gimmick
 
--Karen Jarrett returns to wrestling managing Jeff
 
--Update on the Champion Carnival tournament
 
--Finals of NOAH's annual tag team tournament
 
--Two Hall of Famers meet for the first tie in a singles match
 
--Notes on the early days of Ricky Steamboat's career
 
--Notes on ROH Border Wars show
 
--ROH weekend show notes
 
--Notes on new TNA signee Alex Silva
 
--Dana White says he'll pull out of California if new bill passes, a look at the bill
 
--Marketing of Jon Jones
 
--Ronda Rousey challenged in grandstand play
 
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history)

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Wednesday's News Update
 
--Here's an older column from March on The Mad Lies of Hulk Hogan.
 
--Dwayne Johnson turned 40 today.  
 
--Shane Douglas did a video up on the site today regarding Saturday's Extreme Reunion show.  He said that he doesn't want to overstay his welcome in the business so he's taking himself off the active roster of his promotion and won't be wrestling again for his company.  He also announced there would be a major overhaul of the talent roster and will no longer tolerate the toxic environment when many of the guys congregate saying that they disrespect their opponents and disrespect the fans and will not be tolerated going forward.
 
--USA was barely No. 1 in cable this past week and without Raw, it would have fallen to No. 2 as both USA and ESPN did 2.0 prime time averages.  FX was No. 11 at 0.9, Syfy was No. 13 at 0.9 and Spike was No. 23 at 0.6.  The two hours of Raw were No. 4 and No. 12, with the NFL draft, with 6.66 million viewers on ESPN (it also had a couple of million on the NFL Network) in first place.  In 18-34, the hours of Raw were No. 5 and No. 7, while in 18-49 they were No. 3 and No. 7.
  
--With Davey Richards out due to his auto accident, the lineup for tomorrow's New Japan PPV show from the Fukuoka International Center Arena is:

- Strongman & Captain New Japan & Tama Tonga vs. Yoshi-Hashi & Jado & Tomohiro Ishii
- Ryusuke Taguchi & Kushida vs. Taka Michinoku & Taichi
- Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Rocky Romero & Gedo
- Prince Devitt vs. Low Ki for IWGP jr. title
- Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka for IWGP tag titles
- Togi Makabe & Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki & Yoshihiro Takayama
- Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Karl Anderson
- Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tetsuya Naito vs. Masato Tanaka & Yujiro Takahashi
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Hirooki Goto for IWGP heavyweight title 
 
--Richards is expect to wrestle on the 5/12 ROH show in Toronto against Kevin Steen for the ROH title.

--With the suicide death of Junior Seau, that makes eight players from the 1994 San Diego Chargers Super Bowl team who have passed away.  Seven people who wrestled at WrestleMania that year passed away. (thanks to Brian Hoops)  

--UFC has a press conference tomorrow for the Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller fight on Saturday night on FOX from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ.
 
--Odds from 5 Dimes for Saturday
 
Jim Miller -220
Nate Diaz +180
 
Lavar Johnson +175
Pat Barry -210
 
Johny Hendricks -120
Josh Koscheck +100
 
Alan Belcher +240
Rousimar Palhares -280
 
For Strikeforce on the 19th
 
Daniel Cormier +105
Josh Barnett -125
 
Gilbert Melendez -495
Josh Thomson +350
 
For UFC on the 26th
 
Junior Dos Santos -550
Frank Mir +400
 
Antonio Silva +420
Cain Velasquez -500
 
--Regarding the promotion of the show, during the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers game on Saturday which ran nationally, there was a five to seven second spot during the breaks with a voiceover quickly saying "four big fights next Saturday."  The graphic showed the lineup but it was so quick, if you weren't playing close attention you would have missed it.  UFC was never mentioned.  You could have easily thought it was a boxing event.

After the game, they had a longer ad with some clips of fighting. On the Fox cartoons on Sunday, there was a "UFC on Fox" logo in the right corner of the screen that popped up.  It was super small and with the white colors, it was almost invisible.  (thanks to Jake Koch)   
 
--Who do you expect to win this fight?
Brian Stann 57.6%
Hector Lombard 42.4%
 
Who do you expect to win this fight?
Lyoto Machida 81.6%
Ryan Bader 18.4%
 
Who is the biggest star of this group?
The Rock 35.3%
Brock Lesnar 16.1%
Floyd Mayweather Jr. 13.8%
Manny Pacquiao 8.6%
John Cena 7.6%
C.M. Punk 7.1%
Jon Jones 4.8%
GSP 2.4%
Hulk Hogan 2.4%
Gina Carano 1.0%
Randy Orton 0.8%
Anderson Silva 0.2%
 
Poll on Raw
Excellent 10.9%
Good 31.0%
Average 24.1%
Fair 13.8%
Poor 20.1%

8.2% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Urijah Faber has a new book out called "The Laws of the Ring" published by William Morrow that goes on sale on 5/22.  The book is a guide to mental dominance inside and outside the cage. 
 
--A note from Monday: the comments by Randy Orton on the Chicago radio show referring to Brock Lesnar being broadcast now were from an interview in November, when Lesnar was still in UFC. (thanks to Becky Graham)
 
--Konnan is now doing a weekly podcast with Major League Wrestling. On this week's episode, he responds to Kurt Angle's twitter rant and talks with Teddy Hart.
 
--WWE Raw will be taped on 7/16 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, the home of UFC.  The Thomas & Mack is booked for NBA Summer League basketball that week so they had to move. (thanks to Devin Cutting and Guillermo Monti)
 
--Bjorn Rebney today on Mauro Ranallo's show said that he could book a Michael Chandler vs. Eddie Alvarez rematch, but only as a three-round non-title fight.  He said the only way Alvarez gets a title shot is if he beats three people in a tournament.
 
--The Fit Finlay Twitter account up earlier today is a fake, but a lot of people in wrestling were taken in by it.
 
 
--Scott Steiner ripped on Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan today.  He noted that they are no longer bringing Mike Tenay and Taz to television and they are just broadcasting in studio and said he bets Bischoff will try and replace one of them and take over the spot.  He said to thank God that Hogan's son quit wrestling training or else he'd be pushed like Garett Bischoff.
 
--Bobby Roode will be doing a free meet and greet in Dublin, Ireland on 5/22.  Every person attending will get a singing card and have a photo opportunity with Roode.
 
--Bret Hart and Jillian Hall are doing a signing at the Wrestling Universe store in Queens at 11 a.m. on Saturday. 
 
--All Pro Wrestling vs. Action Zone Wrestling Pacific Challenge for the week.
 
--All Pro Wrestling's annual Young Lions tournament takes place Saturday night at the APW Garage in Hayward.  Round 1 is four tag team matches.  Round 2 has the four winning teams face off against each other in singles matches.  From then on, the winners advance in singles matches.  Competitors are Damien Grundy of All Pro Wrestling, Shoop Shellammer of Pro Championship Wrestling of Yuba City, CA; Sasha Darevko of Battle Ground Pro Wresting in Los Alamitos, CA; Jeff Cobb of Action Zone Wrestling in Honolulu; Sledge of Vendetta Pro Wrestling in Santa Maria, CA; Shane West of Devil Mountain Wrestling in Martinez, CA, J.R. Kratos of Supreme Pro Wrestling in Sacramento; Ray Rosas of Battle Ground Pro Wrestling in Los Alamitos; Technismo of Vendetta Pro in Santa Maria; Levi Shapiro f Devil Mountain Wrestling in Martinez; Darren Dean of Davey Richards' Team Ambition in St. Louis; Kay Justler of England; Mikey Jay of All Pro Wrestling; Daniel Torch of Pro Wrestling Bushido in Modesto, CA; Chris Cali of Devil Mountain Wrestling in Martinez, CA and Joe DeSoul of Supreme Pro Wrestling in Sacramento.
 
--Shane Helms was on The MMA show with Mauro Ranallo talking Brock Lesnar's return to pro wrestling.
 
--Melbourne City Wrestling from Australia has a show on Go Fight Live called New Horizons 2012 that features Paul London and Sonjay Dutt.
 
--Traditional Championship Wrestling for this week is up.
 
--NWA Rampage Pro Wrestling TV tapings from Sunday in Warner-Robins, GA:  Dany Only b Leon McMichaels, Jeremy Vain b Chris Jacobs, Jake Slater & Joey Kidman b Tommy Daniels & C.B. Gibson, Adonis & Moore b Billy Knight & Anthony Henry, Tommy Daniels & C.B. Gibson & Chris Jacobs & Anthony Henry b Jimmy Rave & Mike Posey & Corey Hollis & Chip Day & Patrick Bentley, Drew Adler b Michael Stevens, Cru Jones & Shaun Banks b Trey & Jon Williams.  Next show is 5/6 at 3 p.m. at Johnny G's with free admission.
 
--EWF on Friday night in Marion IN, headlined by Ro-Z (former WWE wrestler Rosey)
 
--On Japan's BS Asahi tomorrow night at 11 p.m. will be the March 20, 2011 New Japan Cup finals with Yuji Nagata vs. Toru Yano, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Togi Makabe, the Nagata vs. Nakamura finals plus a tag title match with Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Taka Michinoku & Taichi.  One of the best matches of last year airs a week from Thursday, with the entire show devoted to the Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Nagata match held April 3, 2011 at Korakuen Hall (thanks to Jose Gonzalez)
 
--Colt Cabana vs. Adam Pearce in their seven cities and seven gimmick match series for the NWA title starts 5/13 in Glendale, CA at Glendale Studios with a first blood match, and then on 6/8 go to Bridgewater, MA at the Knights of Columbus Event Center for a Boston street fight.
 
--El Hijo del Santo vs Blue Demon Jr. headlines 5/18 in Cudahy CA at the Clara Sports Complex.
 
--There is a Q&A with Black Bart on Saturday at the XCW Wrestling Institute on 3737 Mingo Road Suite 505 in Denton, TX starting at noon for $30.. 
 
--UWC Championship Wrestling TV for this week is up.
 
--BANG on Saturday night in Ocala, FL at the BANG Sound Stage with Dory Funk Jr. & Cory Weston vs. Wes Brisco & Shane Chung.
 
--Crossfire Entertainment on 5/19 in Nashville at the Fairgrounds with Matt Hardy vs. MVP, Reby Sky vs. Jessicka Havoc, Hammerjack vs. Kevin Sullivan, Kid Kash vs. Jerry Lynn and Brian Christopher vs. Wolfie D.
 
--In Your Face Wrestling on 6/23 in Whitehall, NY at the Whitehall Armory.
 
--Ted DiBiase, Virgil, Honky Tonk Man and Vance Nevada were all at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo this past weekend.  DiBiase had decent lines and Honky Tonk Man also had decent lines.  Not so much the other two.  (thanks to Ryan Pike)