THURS UPDATE: Inside WWE financials, Mayweather/Cotto effect this weekend, tons of UFC news

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

Impact tonight on Spike:
Velvet Sky & Brooke Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim & Madison Rayne
Devon vs. Robbie T for TV title
Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy
A.J. Styles & Samoa Joe & Magnus vs. Kurt Angle & Christopher Daniels & Kazarian
Bobby Roode vs. Mr. Anderson no DQ

The show also opens with a Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan confrontation.
Superstars tonight:
Dolph Ziggler vs. Mason Ryan
Zack Ryder vs. Michael McGillicutty
Great Khali vs. Jinder Mahal

Best of Pride airs tonight on Fuel at 9 p.m.  For tomorrow on Fuel, they are airing the prelims from UFC 142 from Brazil at 2 p.m., followed by the weigh-ins live from New Jersey at 4 p.m. Eastern.

New Observer Alert: Lesnar/Cena fallout, WWE financials, Rey Mysterio drug test failure

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 is already up on the site and the second will be up later 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.
        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.

        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 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 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
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

*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)

*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)

*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)

*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)

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

*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)

*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)

*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:

For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for 4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52.  In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 for 52 .

If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.

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.
Thursday's News Update

WWE Business

We'll have a lot more in next week's issue, but WWE had a strong quarter with $123.1 million in revenue and $15.3 million in profits. The profits were higher than expected for a number of reasons, including previously unrecognized tax benefits which totaled $4.1 million. Even so, that would be ahead of the same period last year that did $119.9 million and had an $8.6 million profit.  Vince McMahon categorized this as "not as rosy as it appears."

The big differences from last year were huge grosses for two shows in the United Arab Emirates ($2.2 million) and $1.6 million in ticket sales for Fan Axxess in conjunction with Mania that would have been in the second quarter in 2011.  PPV revenue was identical even though buys were down, because a greater percentage of buys were North American, plus more people are ordering in HD.

Actual PPV buys were down, all due to international.  Rumble was down worldwide but up domestic slightly.  Chamber was down both foreign and domestic.  Worldwide, Rumble did 443,000 buys (down from 476,000 last year) and Elimination Chamber did 178,000 (down from 212,000).  Keep in mind the numbers for both will change with more data. Based on the same reporting day numbers, Rumble was only down 3,000 and Chamber was down 21,000, so that may be a more accurate number as to where it winds up. 

Home video was up which McMahon called a surprise. This was from sales of items released in late 2011 like the Austin DVD.  Licensing was slightly up even though video games were way down and toys declined slightly.  Another difference is revenue from the YouTube channel and even with a decline in web site traffic, they were able to increase web ad revenue.

Vince praised WrestleMania, saying the company executed better this year and they reached a larger audience due to Rock coming back, and also noted Undertaker vs. HHH appealed to longtime fans.

Stock went way up. At this time of this writing, it was up from a miserable near record low $7.84 per share to $8.83 because of better expected profits.  Really most of that was just Fan Axxess being in this quarter and the tax break, although they were up in a number of categories as opposed to down in most as has been the case of late.  
--The President of the World Anti-Doping Agency, John Fahey, brought up the idea of amending the international drug code.  In particular, he talked about marijuana not being banned for certain sports. Several Australian sports boards were pushing a change in how WADA views pot.  If there is a change, that could affect MMA. While WADA doesn't govern MMA, several commissions use WADA guidelines on what drugs are banned.  The idea of a banned drug is that it needs to meet two of these three criteria:

*It is a performance enhancer
*It is against the spirit of the sport
*It has health dangers

The feeling is in sports where nerves are a part, the marijuana can be a performance enhancer, and the ban would stay.  In "speed," sports, the argument will be that it is not a performance enhancer.  Some in the sport of soccer claimed there is no reason to suspend players for marijuana because it's a "speed" sport.  A new WADA code wouldn't be released until the end of 2013. MMA is interesting because it is both a speed sport and a sport of nerves.
--Here is a weird Brock Lesnar column from someone who clearly doesn't get a lot of things, such as claiming when Lesnar went to UFC, he didn't want to work that hard (please, nobody has ever questioned that man's work rate in the gym in history) and "UFC threw him in against world class competition figuring they would job him out to one of their best fighters, cash in on his name in a one-off, then laugh at him, and their PPV competition, pro wrestling, as Lesnar walked away embarrassed."   Well, that's roughly 180 degrees different than UFC's mind set was in 2008.
--Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey, Frankie Edgar and FOX's Curt Menefee rang the opening bell yesterday for NASDAQ's MarketSite in Times Square to promote Saturday's show.  Very notable they would bring Rousey, who fights for Strikeforce, and tells you once again their view on her potential as a star.  I expect a big promotional effort for Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman this summer.
--You can get bargains for UFC tickets at Stubhub for Saturday's show because the scalpers market is weak.  The show did not sell well, as you can't go into the New York market with anything less than an "A" show.  It's just the New York mentality.  There are not a lot of scalper tickets, so  most scalpers didn't pursue this show to begin with, but this afternoon when I checked you could get a ticket for as low as $11 and good floor seats for less than $200.  The advance sales were in the 8,000 to 8,500 range, which as noted, wouldn't be bad given this lineup, except they booked the massive Izod Center. (thanks to Scott Yager and many others)
--Some notes from today's UFC press conference:

- A reporter told Dana White that the last FOX main event (Phil Davis vs. Rashad Evans) sucked.  It wasn't that good, but the guy was a douche the way he said it.

- Josh Koscheck said that he would rather people boo the hell out of him than have crickets chirp, because if crickets chirp and he wouldn't have a job.  He said, "Keep booing me, please."  People responded by booing him.  He said he was putting Johny Hendricks to sleep and when the fight was over, everyone would be cheering for him.

- Another reporter said to Nate Diaz, "We know you hate reporters and you hate press conferences, how miserable are you right now?" The guy got the wrong brother, nobody ever has any troubles or problems with Nate.  Nate responded, "I don't hate the media.  I think you guys are doing great."  I hope nobody thinks I'm out there enjoying juggling knives on a unicycle.

- Tapout will donate $10 for every Jim Miller shirt sold to the Daniel James Miller Foundation, which is raising money for the huge medical bills his young nephew has.

- A fan asked White if he could do a ring entrance with a fighter on Saturday.  White said it was up to the fighters.  Miller than immediately said the guy could come out with him.

- White talked about arranging a closed circuit viewing party in Las Vegas on 7/7 for those who can't get tickets to the live show.  The thing is, because those tickets are so expensive, I'm not sure they'll sell out so quickly that closed-circuit is needed, although casinos are expected to buy up a lot of the tickets.  As noted in this week's Observer, they are expecting the second biggest gate in history for 7/7.

- White also hinted at a huge show in January.  He said if everything goes right (meaning the right fight), he said it could be Las Vegas, Cowboys Stadium or Rogers Centre.  The only fight I can think of at that level would be something like Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva or GSP vs. Nick Diaz.

- Regarding going head-to-head with boxing, he said, "I think we both benefit.  We've seen in numbers in the past, everybody works hard all week.  We've got Friday night and Saturday night.  We've got stuff to do with kids, take girls out on those two nights.  Saturday, you can watch free fights on FOX, then watch Mayweather.  More guys will stay home.  Every time we do these FOX cards (on the same night as a big boxing show), we'll do these fights and then I'll watch the boxing.  I'll switch to Mayweather-Cotto right after."

The negative is that they are getting very little media past the MMA media, because any major mainstream sports media is only going to push one fight, and it's the Mayweather fight. 
--ROH announced today that Border Wars and all future PPVs will be seen on their website. They've been working on a deal with a company that did some testing this week and will be broadcasting the shows on their own site.  It's available for PC, MAC, iOS, and Android Devices.  Also, if you are a Ringside Club member, you can order it for $12.71.  Everyone else gets it for $14.95.
--Nick Diaz is doing a Jiu Jitsu match with world champion Braulio Estima on a show that features Kayron, Kron and Kyra Gracie on 5/12 on iPPV for $9.95 at 10 p.m. on 5/12 from the Long Beach Convention Center.  I don't know if I'm UFC that I would allow a contracted fighter to appear on a non-UFC PPV event, even in a different sport.   
--Jerry Lawler piledrove a fan during half time of the Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Clippers game.  He was in his wrestling gear with his crown and a Grizzlies jersey.  Highlights aired on Inside the NBA last night and Charles Barkley (a big wrestling fan) talked about how much he loved Lawler and told Brock Lesnar to leave John Cena alone or he and Shaq would come to Raw to get him.  Then they showed footage of Shaq vs. Big Show from Raw. (thanks to Jose Echavarria and many others)
--WWE Raw goes on tour in Huntsville tomorrow night.  The current plan for this weekend's Raw house shows are:

C.M. Punk vs. Mark Henry for WWE title
John Cena vs. Lord Tensai
Santino Marella vs. David Otunga for U.S. title
R-Truth & Kofi Kingston vs. Primo & Epico for tag titles
Brodus Clay vs. Jack Swagger
Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix
Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler
Alex Riley vs. Husky Harris

Keep in mind how all of this can change.  Harris had been working under a different name with a religious gimmick in developmental and had dropped that name.

--Alberto Del Rio replaces the suspended Rey Mysterio on 5/12 in a promotional tour of Japan.

--Wade Barrett is currently filming the movie "Dead Man Down," a WWE release starring Colin Farrell.

--Primo, Epico and Rosa Mendes have "signed" with All World Talent. I guess the former Abraham Washington, now A.W., stands for All World.  That's all storyline.

--For more clarification of what we talked about last night on the radio show, Saturday's Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto fight is bringing in $2 million in sponsorship revenue from Corona, AT&T, DeWals, O'Reilly Auto Parts, The History Channel and the state of Puebla in Mexico.  That's double the record of any fight in history. The show is not just on PPV, but will be closed circuited to about 350 theaters around the country. 

In addition, O'Reilly Auto Parts is spending $1.5 million on English and Spanish radio this week to promote the fight.  Both HBO and CNN have been running the 24/7 preview show.  By traditional metrics, most would expect this to do 1.5 million. Anything above that may be attributable to CNN exposure.  And if they do less, well, then people have overestimated.  It should close to if not double both WrestleMania (the "almost" 1.3 million figure quoted includes 500,000 or so buys outside North America) and Jones vs. Evans. 

The idea for promoters is to use this big fight as the launch pad for Canelo Alvarez to become a U.S. draw, since he's expected to run through a "past his prime but fans don't know it" Shane Mosley.
--Bobby Lashley's next MMA fight, against James Thomson in New Delhi, India, airs live on YouTube at 9:15 a.m. EST Sunday morning/6:15 a.m. PST. Lashley vs. Thompson headlines a show that also has Trevor Prangley vs. Baga Agaev, Doug Marshall vs. Zelg Galesic and a women's fight with Lena Ovchynnikova vs. Joanne Calderwood.  The undercard fights are based on India vs. foreigners. 
--Hiroshi Tanahashi gets his IWGP title rematch with Kazuchika Okada on a PPV on 6/16. (thanks to Jose Gonzalez and others) 
--UFC announced a change in plans where the first two fights on Saturday (Roland Delorme vs. Nick Denis and Mike Massenzio vs. Karlos Vemola) will air on Facebook at 4 p.m. Eastern.  We'll have live coverage of the show starting at that time.  Fuel starts at 5 p.m. and FOX starts at 8 p.m.  Keep in mind if you are on the West Coast, that's all three hours earlier.  It's going live on the West Coast on FOX at 5 p.m.
--Dana White said if Nate Diaz wins, he gets a 155-pound title shot, while if Jim Miller wins, he's a fight or two away.  Later, White had a talk with Joe Silva who told him that if either guy wins, schedule-wise, there isn't an open title opportunity since Anthony Pettis gets the Henderson vs. Edgar winner, so even if Diaz wins, he'd either have to sit out or fight once. 

Not sure why Diaz would be considered a stronger contender than Miller, who was on a seven fight win streak when he lost to Henderson. He went into that fight with mono and came back running through Melvin Guillard. White also said if Johny Hendricks beats Josh Koscheck, he'll be in line for the GSP vs. Carlos Condit winner.  If Koscheck wins, well, it had better be impressive.
--There will be a three-week UFC Primetime building Frank Mir vs. Junior Dos Santos airing after Ultimate Fighter on 5/11, 5/18 and 5/25.
How many buys does Mayweather vs. Cotto do?

Less than 1 million 20.9%
1.0 to 1.1 million 22.6%
1.1 to 1.2 million 11.7%
1.2 to 1.3 million  8.8%
1.3 to 1.4 million 6.7%
1.4 to 1.5 million 7.1%
1.5 to 1.6 million 9.2%
1.6 to 1.7 million 1.3%
1.7 to 1.8 million 2.5%
1.8 to 1.9 million 2.1%
1.9 to 2.0 million 0.8%
More than 2 million 6.3%
If you bought Extreme Rules specifically to see Brock Lesnar's return, what best describes you current feelings?

Every time WWE gets me interested, they do something that makes me lose interest very quickly 70.9%
Made me a bigger fan, am buying Over the Limit 12.4%
Fun show, but not buying any show without Lesnar 7.3%
Fun show, but not buying anymore WWE PPV shows 4.3%
Up in the air about buying Lesnar's next appearance, won't buy anything else 4.3%
Didn't like the show 0.8%
What will draw a higher rating this weekend?

Smackdown 54.0%
UFC on FOX 46.0%    
--An interview with Tara, talking about growing up in Southern California as Lisa Marie Varon, and appearing tomorrow night in Ontario, CA at the Citizens Business Bank Arena.
--Myroslav Dykun, 29, the top Greco-Roman wrestler in the U.K., tested positive for amphetamines.  He's asked to have his "B" sample tested which if that tests positive, means he will be out of the summer Olympics.  Dykun, who competes in the 145 pound weight class and was born in The Ukraine,  had reportedly no-showed some recent training sessions.  He's facing a potential two-year ban. 
--Ultimate Warrior talks staying at Vince McMahon's home, his relationship with Shane McMahon, being fired as well as the backstage at SummerSlam 1991 real story.
--Sho Soya suffered a knee injury and is out for the remainder of the Champion Carnival tournament, which ends on Monday.
--Billy Evangelista is out of the 5/19 Strikeforce show in San Jose, where he was to face James Terry.  Terry now faces Bobby Green.
--CZW has an iPPV on 5/12 from the Parkwood Youth Organization in Philadelphia for $4.99.  CZW runs Saturday night in Bloomington, IN at the National Guard Armory.
--Former Mid South Wrestling and Crockett Promotions valet Dark Journey (Linda Newton) is interviewed.
--Here's a preview of July's Wrestling Observer/Figure Four convention in Las Vegas.
--Pro Wrestling Blitz drew 650 in Joliet, IL, which is more than CHIKARA and not too much less than ROH, on Saturday:  Mike Horning b Zach Thompson, Jimmy Rockwell b Justin Reno, Mike Horning b Gilbert Lewis-DQ, Matty Starr & Zach Thompson b Hardcore Binge, Tony Scarpone & Ruff Crossing b Robert Anthony & Jon E. Kash, Pauly  Thomaselli & Ratt NC Buddy Roberts Jr. & Mike Anthony, Ryan Slade b Ashton Vuitton, Barry Ryte b Matt Hardy-COR.  Hardy was in great shape and worked very hard.  Next show is 5/26 headlined by DDP (thanks to Steve Stone) 

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?