SUN. UPDATE: Belfort talks TRT, Fallout of UFC, WWE market research, TNA signs intl deal, First show ever in Madison Square Garden, Bobo Brazil, Mick Foley, Bellator going forward

Last Edited: 1/21/13 @ 10:30 AM EST

By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @DaveMeltzerWON
Lance Storm and I did our first show together in a long time, mainly a discussion of steroids in sports, Lance Armstrong, MMA, pro wrestling, etc.  This is a bonus show since my usual weekend show was done last night and Lance's regular show will be this Wednesday.

We're looking for reports on today's WWE Raw/Smackdown combined show today in Fresno, as well as WWE's Smackdown brand house shows from Fairbanks, Alaska on Friday night and Stockton on Saturday night at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Monday is Raw in San Jose, CA, with both The Rock and Ric Flair booked.

TNA opens its annual European tour on Monday with a show in Dublin.  Announced as appearing with no matches listed are Sting, Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode, James Storm, A.J. Styles, Ken Anderson, Rob Van Dam, Velvet Sky and Gail Kim.
        Tuesday is Smackdown, Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam tapings in Sacramento with both The Rock and Ric Flair booked.
        Last night's UFC show is replayed at 11 p.m. tonight on Fuel.
         A quick note is that if everything goes as planned, the biggest issue of the year, the 2012 Awards issue, will be up on the site this coming week.  Anyone who subscribes today to either a print version of the Observer or the web site will get the issue as part of their subscription.  It's possible the issue will be in three weeks depending on the volume of news of the week, but given a Jan. 30 released issue would cover both Royal Rumble and UFC on FOX, having that be the awards issue is something that I'd like to avoid.  Balloting for the awards ends tomorrow night at midnight Pacific time.  The categories are covered in the Dec. 3 issue which is up in the Observer archives section.       
        With the wrestling season heating up, we've got a ton of news in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that will be on the site today.  In addition, there is a new back issue up on the site from 1985.
        In a huge WWE news section, we look at an update on Brock Lesnar in WWE, his contract situation, will he be around after WrestleMania, what should be done at Mania, why the most valuable match he could do with the company isn't a slam dunk, thoughts on the HHH program and more.
        We also look at the departure of Eve Torres, her background and why she left.
        We've got more on the WWE Hall of Fame for 2013 and a very interesting psychological situation regarding the Hall of Fame and people who have not been on Vince McMahon's good side at times, as well as talk about updates on the names that aren't in that have been most talked about.
        We've got notes on someone who is back having influence on the television product, as well as an employee behind the scenes who just left the company.  We've got notes on El Generico in WWE and his prospects, as well as an update on what is planned for the Royal Rumble including matches not announced, and how significant each match will be, as well as what has not been decided yet.
        We've got notes on Ric Flair going forward in WWE, the reason he was on Raw this past week, and if this is or isn't a good thing for The Miz.
        We also look at a number of names on WWE radar who are big names on the independent scene who will be looked at in a few weeks, as well as notes on wrestlers the company has just let go.
        We look at the 2013 WWE & TNA PPV schedules and have notes on changes and why for both companies, including the change of a traditional date and the reason it makes sense.
        We also note the single most successful segment on Raw in 2012, injury updates, Rock appearances, the Main Event TV show, a talked about Mania match that is no longer expected, lots of news on the weird video game front, update on Rey Mysterio, future of Dolph Ziggler, tons of news on developmental including what wrestles shined in recent appearances including a popular international star.
        We also have all the weekend WWE business notes and a rundown of highlights from all the company's arena events.
        We also have a look at how TNA is approaching the PPV business in 2013, why the changes are being made, the economics of everything, plans for the rest of this year, how this affects television, full rundowns of the first two taped PPV shows, as well as a look at TNA Genesis.
        We also rundown the final Strikeforce show, with a look back at some of the highlights, the biggest shows, the worst shows, a list of Strikeforce fighters going into UFC, some early matches including a show on FOX featuring a number of Strikeforce fighters in featured roles.  We look at the all-time title history in the promotion, the future of Josh Barnett, Daniel Cormier, MMA on Showtime and Scott Coker.  We also have rundowns of all the matches with how much everyone got paid,which in and of itself will tell you about why the promotion had the history in the end that it had.
        We also have all the details of the Eddie Alvarez lawsuits with Bellator, his exact contract offer from UFC, his contract offer from Bellator, whether it's really a match, as well as additional money offers he received.  We look at the entire story step-by-step as well as the possibilities of Bellator going to PPV.
        We also look at annual ratings for every WWE property, recent changes to how many people get the various cable shows.
        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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        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows as well as details of how every segment on Raw and Impact did and what gained and lost viewers.

        We also have results from all the major league arena events over the past week as well as a look at all the major television shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--Latest from Arena Mexico
--First AAA major show of the year
--Notes on Dragon Gate USA's next U.S. shows and former WWE stars involved
--Upcoming Dragon Gate major matches in Japan
--Update on All Japan's first big show of the year featuring Ric Flair and the major league pro wrestling debut of Reid Flair
--Some newcomers to NOAH
--Grandsons of one of pro wrestling's biggest stars get first big win in Japan
--Major contract signing by New Japan
--Notes on the New Japan PPV schedule for this coming year
--Changes in Fantasticmania shows with CMLL and New Japan combined
--A legends show sells out Tokyo with an 80s vs. 90s theme
--An actual challenge a year ahead for the Tokyo Dome
--Two rivals from 30 years ago form tag team
--Sabu returns to Japan
--The end of a major era in pro wrestling with a 45 year institution of the business taking another step down
--Promotion which talked big plans seemingly in financial trouble with bouncing checks
--El Generico's farewell to Pro Wrestling Guerrilla at the DDT4 tag team tournament
--Return of the OMEGA promotion
--Unique lineups for WrestleMania week indie events
--What wrestlers had, as voted by Observer readers, the most consistent great matches of the last four-and-a-half year and who was No. 1
--What tag team is now changing their gimmick to pattern themselves after a fighter who had super heat
--Upcoming ROH shows
--More on the latest Hulk Hogan lawsuits
--Looking into Hogan's claim of losing $50 million
--Future of Hogan wrestling
--Dixie Carter's cryptic comments about more changes coming this year
--Looking at the big picture of where TNA fits in for Spike TV and why it's safe
--Another TNA wrestler let go
--Noes on British Boot Camp
--Background of Zema Ion and a funny college story
--Two UFC fighters fail steroid tests and are suspended
--Business notes from UFC 155
--Details of Dana White's surgery
--A look at upcoming UFC cards
--Longtime UFC headliner says he's leaving no matter what after his next fight and where he's going
--Chael Sonnen news
--A UFC hotbed market essentially passes a law that will keep UFC from debuting
--New UFC fights announced
--Bellator's debut looked at
--MMA TV show quietly disappeared
        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)
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*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*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 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)
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*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.
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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.
Sunday's News Update
--There's not a lot of real news coming out of last night's UFC show, but here's a few notes:
  • Dana White didn't attend the show as he's recovering from surgery on his ear Thursday but he was fine and at work all day, before and during the show. They have a set up in Las Vegas which is like a Mission Control center for him to work when he's not there.  Lorenzo Fertitta, Joe Silva and Sean Shelby were all running the show live in Sao Paulo.

  • Regarding all the questions from last night, Vitor Belfort was asked by about if he's using TRT not all that long ago.  This was his response:

    "If a question is private, I have the choice to answer or not.  If I make it public, it's not private anymore.  If I want to say something private, I will say it, but I keep to myself and I respect the laws of the sport. whatever the organization, whatever the law, they know what to do.  This is too controversial, what am I going to say something that doesn't accomplish anything?  If it's legal, they know what to do.  If it's legal, there's nothing to say about it.  It's legal."

  • Regarding White tweeting that Dan Miragliotta is done because he was mad about the late stoppage in the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Thiago Tavares fight, he would have influence over shows in foreign countries because UFC brings its own referees and judges overseas.  However, in commission states, the commission choose the referees and judges. 

    It's one of the reasons that you see John McCarthy refereeing all the time at UFC events, even though he's not on that good terms with UFC and they never bring him to foreign shows.  Miragliotta is a New Jersey referee, and unless that commission makes a change, he would on every show in that state, and a lot of other states use him as well, so it's not like he'll disappear even if White doesn't have a change of heart.  White has always been critical of Steve Mazzagatti, as have many others, but he's still a ref on virtually every Las Vegas show.
--The WWE is doing market research on, asking fans what type of programming they are most interested in for their YouTube channel.  Here are the choices:

*Behind the scenes footage, backstage interviews
*Best of video rankings
*Reality shows
*Profiles of wrestlers lives at home and out of the ring
*Recaps of matches and highlights
*WWE game shows with fans as contestants
*Wrestler hosted fitness and exercise shows
*Cartoons with WWE characters
*Classic matches from the past
*News show with fan call-ins
--TNA signed a two year deal with Fuel in Australia, which is a pay channel there.  Besides Impact and Xplosion, they will also air British Boot Camp and a show called Unfinished Business, featuring footage from TNA's history.  The show has aired in the U.S. on inDemand ppv.
--15 years ago today, the legendary Bobo Brazil (Houston Harris) passed away at the age of 74.  He was a very important character historically in the sense he broke the color barrier in a lot of parts of the U.S.  Legendary wrestler and photographer Tony Lanza was 84 when he passed away eight years ago.  And former Texas promoter Grey Pierson was 61 when he passed away eight years ago (thanks to
--I really liked the Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar UFC Super Bowl weekend hype commercial.  That show is going to be interesting because it's got a very deep undercard with Alistair Overeem and Rashad Evans both fighting. The main event is a match some fans have been looking forward to for years and Demian Maia vs. Jon Fitch is a strong match for a second bout on the card. However, Aldo and Edgar individually are not draws.
--A mention for those of you who didn't listen to it, we've had tremendous feedback to last Wednesday's Observer Radio talking about the history of Houston wrestling with Peter Birkholz.  Particularly if you grew up near Houston, it's a must listen. 
--For those of you who do the phone-in and e-mail polls, I've made a decision not to do it for every UFC show as we've done in the past.  It's just too much to do it for UFC every week.  We'll do it from this point for all WWE and TNA PPV shows, all UFC PPVs, UFC on FOX specials (including the FX prelims), plus iPPV shows from New Japan and ROH and anything else that pops up that would be consider a major show.

I'm not going to do it for weekly Bellator shows, but going forward, we may do it for a major show if it appears something has built up above usual interest levels.  We will publish letters on any of the shows, whether they are Raw, Bellator, UFC's and whatever that we don't do polls on.
--We didn't have the this day in history in yesterday's update, but there is one major historical note that 133 years ago yesterday was the first pro wrestling show ever in Madison Square Garden.  That's correct, it was January 19, 1880, where William Muldoon, pro wrestling's first U.S. superstar, retained his American Greco-Roman wrestling heavyweight championship beating Thiebaud Bauer, who as legend has it, is a very distant relative of Court Bauer.  It was also 21 years ago yesterday when Ric Flair won his first WWF title in the Royal Rumble match in Albany that was probably the most famous of the early Rumbles.
--In UFC picks last night, I had a bad night, only getting the Nurmagomedov fight right.  Mike Sawyer (picked Belfort) and Josh Nason opened 3-1. Mike Sempervive (also picked Belfort), Todd Martin and Oliver Copp were 2-2 and I was 1-3.
--Also wanted to make mention of the death of Stan Musial and Earl Weaver yesterday: two of the all-time greats in baseball, Musial as one of the greatest players in history who was the St. Louis sports icon, and Weaver as a Hall of Fame manager.  
--The new Sports Illustrated has a full page Bellator ad with their eight big stars in a photo. The guy they put front and center as their biggest star was Michael Chandler and not King Mo. 
--This was not national, but there was a 60 second Bellator ad in some markets during last night's UFC show on FX. I also saw a Royal Rumble ad during the show.
--Donald Cerrone was on last Tuesday's episode of "Justified" on FX doing an underground MMA fight.  He did the job. (thanks to Don Boike)
--La Sombra won the NWA world historic light heavyweight title from Dragon Rojo Jr. earlier today at Tokyo Korakuen Hall at the combined CMLL/New Japan Fantasticmania card.
--Mick Foley will be doing his comedy act in Northern California in March with dates on Wednesday, 3/20 in Sacramento and the next night at Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco. 
Will watch it next week and every week 46.2%
Will watch it next week for Ben Askren and/or King Mo, but not every week 24.0%
Will not watch it again 22.1%
Will watch on occasion but not next week 7.7%
***That's not a good sign overall for the rating staying anywhere near that level on a regular basis.
Pat Curran vs. Patricio Pitbull Freire 50.8%
Michael Chandler vs. Rick Hawn 27.0%
Renato Babalu Sobral vs. Mikhail Zayats 22.2%
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler 45.4%
James Storm & Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries & Bobby Roode 20.5%
Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro 16.2%
Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton 8.6%
Orton & Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes & Wade Barrett 5.4%
Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show & Dolph Ziggler 3.8%
Excellent 12.4%
Good 44.0%
Average 23.8%
Fair 3.4%
Poor 20.2%
***38.6% of those responding didn't see the show
--On this day in history with Brian Hoops and Greame Cameron
  • 54 years ago:  Joe Christie beat Pepper Gomez to win the Texas heavyweight title in Dallas
  • 52 years ago:  Pepper Gomez & Hogan Wharton beat Jet Monroe & Sputnik Monroe to win the Texas tag team titles in Houston
  • 51 years ago:  Fritz Von Goering beat Billy White Wolf (Adnan Al-Kaissie) to win the Pacific Northwest title
  • 49 years ago:  Don Leo Jonathan & Kinji Shibuya beat Dory Funk Sr. & Dory Funk Jr. to win the Canadian Open tag team titles in Vancouver
  • 45 years ago:  Killer Karl Kox beat Mario Milano in Melbourne to win the IWA world heavyweight title
  • 43 years ago:  Kinji Shibuya & Mitsu Arakawa beat Killer Buddy Austin & King Curtis Iaukea to win the IWA world tag team titles in Sydney
  • 41 years ago:  Nick Bockwinkel & Ray Stevens won the AWA world tag titles for the first time, beating Red Bastien & The Crusher in Denver.  Stevens & Bockwinkel went on to be arguably the best tag team champions in the history of the promotion.
  • 38 years ago:  Guy Mitchell beat Gene Kiniski in Vancouver to win the Pacific Coast heavyweight title
  • 37 years ago:  Randy Poffo (Randy Savage) and brother Lanny beat the original British Bulldogs (John Foley & Edward Heath) to win the Gulf Coast tag team championship in Mobile
  • 34 years ago:  Thor the Viking (Scott Irwin) beat Terry Funk to win the Southern title in St. Petersburg
  • 29 years ago:  Killer Khan beat Archie The Stomper Gouldie in Calgary to win the North American title
  • 26 years ago:  Badnews Allen beat Ron Simmons in Tampa to win the Florida title, Mike Davis & Tommy Lane as the RPMs beat Jeff Jarrett & Billy Travis in Memphis to win the Southern tag team titles
  • 16 years ago:  Mitsuharu Misawa beat Kenta Kobashi in one of the best matches of the decade in Osaka to win the Triple Crown 
--CWE from last night in Winnipeg:  Marius b Robby Royce, J.J. Sanchez b Rick Matthews, Matt Fairlane b Danny Duggan, Anderson Tyson Moore b La Sombra (not the CMLL star), Mentallo & Tyler Colton over J..J Sanchez & Kory Kinkade, Shadow Xtreme & Blake Martel and Scottie Raver & Bubble McFly, Nate Hardy & Tommy Lee Curtis b Darren Dalton & Spyder, Bobby Collins b Mystery Client, Axe b Buddy Wiser, Scott Steiner a, Mike Mission & Cliff Corleone b Big Sexy Beasts, Syko b Kory Kinkade, Robby Royce b Matt Fairline to win the CWE title.  Next show is 2/15 at the Polish Fraternal Hall with Sabu and 3/15 at Southeast Collegiate with Shane Douglas.
--Amazing Kong vs. Miya Yim was announced for WrestleMania week on the Shimmer show that takes place on 4/6 at Noon in Secaucus NJ at the Meadowlands Exposition Center.
--For those interested in sumo, there is a daily stream that starts at 8 p.m. Eastern for the entire current tournament.  Every match on the shows are streamed.

--EWF this coming Saturday at The Sports Academy at 293 E. Redlands Blvd. in San Bernardino.
--Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in East Carondelet, IL before 246 fans (4 shy of a sellout):  Max Archer b Brandon Gallagher, Shorty Biggs b Waco-DQ, Gary Jackson b Big Texan, Ron Powers & Jake Dirden b Jimmy Douglas & Brent Myers, Kevin X b Purple Passion Chaz Wesson b Dave Vaughn, Chris Hargas DCOR Alexander Rudolph, Ken Kasa b Ricky Cruz-DQ (thanks to Larry Matysik and Patrick Brandmeyer)
--Lucha Xtreme TV tapings is 2/17 in Fresno at the Sierra Heath Club, and not at the TV studio.
--New Era Wrestling from last night in Shelbyville, IN:  Troy Van Zant b Anthony Lee, Aaron Anarchy b Willie Losegain, Donny Idol b Billy Bart, Bishop Brothers b Hillbilly Jed, Osyris b Shawn Cook-DQ, Rob Ramer & Baron Von Kane b Bobby Black & Dylan Bostic, Trash Cassidy b Camron Star, Flash Flanagan b Tom Van Zant.  Next show is 2/16.   
--Resistance Pro Wrestling from Friday night in Chicago:  Tripp Cassidy b Joe Pittman, Chris Castro & Matt Knicks b Ace Hawkins & Brandon Espinosa, Mr. 450 b Steven Walters, Suge D & Epic b Ruff Crossing & John Skyler, Amazing Kong won over Thunderkitty, Nikki St. John and D'Arcy Dixon to become new RPW champion, Col. Jesse Corgan & Chrs Hall b Eric St. Vaughn & GQ, Jocephus b Jay Bradley, Robert Anthony b Matt Hardy.  Next show is 2/24 in Lockport, IL at the VFW Post 5788 with a One-night eight-man tournament.  The show is a benefit for the Samuel J. Thompson Memorial Foundation. (thanks to Keith Lipinski)
--Platinum Championship Wrestling on 2/2 in Porterdale, GA at 2001 Main St.

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?