SAT UPDATE: Three-hour Raw latest, whether it will be one block or three Moday, weekend audio and big show schedule, Hulk Hogan signing over Mania weekend, tons more



By Bryan Alvarez | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @bryanalvarez

We're looking for reports on tonight's TNA house show in Beckley WV, at the Convention Center and ROH in Cincinnati at the Masonic Center with Davey Richards & Adam Cole & Michael Elgin vs. Kevin Steen & Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino, Roderick Strong vs. ACH, B.J. Whitmer vs. Kyle O'Reilly, Jay Lethal vs. Tadarius Thomas, Mark Briscoe vs. Nate Webb, Jay Brisco vs. QT Marshall and Charlie Haas vs. Pepper Parks.

Sunday is the weekend's biggest show, the Elimination Chamber PPV from the New Orleans Arena:

The Rock vs. C.M. Punk for WWE title, title can change hands via DQ or count out

John Cena & Ryback & Sheamus vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns

Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show for world title

Elimination Chamber for world title match: Daniel Bryan vs. Kane vs. Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger vs. Mark Henry

Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz for the U.S. title

Kaitlyn vs. Tamina Snuka for the Divas title

Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow in the pregame show match at 7:30 p.m.

TNA finishes up its weekend tour on Sunday in Morgantown, WV at the Events Center.

Raw will be Monday night in Lafayette, LA where WrestleMania will start to take shape.

Smackdown, Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam will be taped on Tuesday in Biloxi.

This week's issue of the Wrestling Observer will be up on the site today, as well as a back issue from late 1995. The back issue talks about the legal issues that were going down at the time when there were attempts to ban UFC, as well as a preview of the first-ever Ultimate Ultimate competition, more details on the street fight that severely damaged Shawn Michaels, and the annual big tag team tournaments in Japan during the heyday of All Japan Pro Wrestling.

The new issue has a final preview of the Elimination Chamber PPV, what changes were made over the past few weeks on the show, why the changes were made, a look at the new Zeb Colter character, where it came from, the card as it stands and more.

We also have a major update on the WWE Network, with not just the plans, but what type of business it needs to do to be successful. We look at the value of the U.S. PPV franchise that they are putting at risk, whether this will end up helping WrestleMania, how many subscribers they will need, and what percentage of non-PPV buyers do they need. We also look at whether names like Brock Lesnar and The Rock pay off if the structure of PPVs besides WrestleMania changes, and how the wrestlers could come out the worst in this deal. We also look at what is being planned for the network.

We also look at the IOC's decision to get rid of wrestling as an Olympic sport. We look at the politics of how it went down, how the voting went down, the real reasons wrestling was dumped, the slim chance wrestling has to survive, movements being done that may be too little too late, how this affects amateur wrestling after college in the U.S., as well as its potential effects on UFC and even WWE. We also talk with Kurt Angle on what this means to him, as well as comments by Cael Sanderson and others.

We also have an update on the Bruno Sammartino movie and how his deal with WWE may lead to the movie being done, the challenges of the movie, and an interesting thing about the movie if WWE ends up producing it.

We also have more on WrestleMania ticket sales, an update on Undertaker, Changes in Raw, movie on former WWF star, more on the last WWE training camp, updates on Steve Austin, an Olympic medalist WWE is looking at, JBL missing some TV, as well as all the weekend UFC business notes and house show highlights.

We also have complete coverage of the New Japan New Beginnings PPV show, including the most important thing that came out of the show that shocked people and what it says about the future of the company on iPPV. We've got business notes, thoughts on Tanahashi's run on top, New Japan's attempt to break Tanahashi out of the pack from being a current world champion to the business' legend in his prime, and where the company is going next.

We also have match-by-match coverage on the show as well as poll results on 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

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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 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.

Today's News, Notes and Links

-- UFC on FUEL 7 is taking place as I'm writing this and Dave has live running play-by-play on the front page. He'll be up later this afternoon/evening about 45 minutes after the post-fight presser with Mike Sempervive to run down all the fights, talk Elimination Chamber and whatever else is going on in pro-wrestling and MMA. I'll be up with him tomorrow night after Elimination Chamber as well, and Monday after Raw, plus we'll have a new one-hour version of Wrestling Observer Live on Sirius 94/794, XM 208 and Sports Byline USA affiliates (you can get the TuneIn Radio app for your phone and listen to the show there as well) at 6 Eastern/3 Pacific Sunday, right before the PPV starts.

-- We're told at this point the working plans are for Raw to be three hours at least through SummerSlam.

-- Speaking of, as noted elsewhere, Raw should be back to a three-hour block on most cable guides this Monday as opposed to three one-hour shows. Everyone is blaming everyone else for why it happened like that last week.

-- Hulk Hogan is heading to WrestleCon over Mania weekend, on Saturday, April 6th with a meet and greet/photo op for the first 200 fans who pay. For $500, you get front of the line access (they're only offering 24 of these, so 24 people get to be at the front of the line at the same time), a Hogan photo opp and autograph, 5 autographed Hogan items which you provide (they claim this is a $600 value, so $100 per signed piece of memorabilia). You can also choose between one autograph and 1 photo opp, or two autographs. If you purchase the $500 package you can get extra things autographed for $75 each. Tickets are on sale right now at legendsofthering.com.

-- ROH runs Cincinnate tonight at the Masonic Center with Davey Richards & Adam Cole & Michael Elgin vs. Kevin Steen & Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino, Roderick Strong vs. ACH, BJ Whitmer vs. Kyle O'Reilly, Jay Lethal vs. Tadarius Thomas, Mark Briscoe vs. Spyder Nate Webb and Jay Briscoe vs. QT Marshall, plus Charlie Haas vs. Pepper Parks. Obviously if you're going, we'd love reports from the show to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

-- Ricky Marvin on his Twitter said he suffered a concussion versus KENTA last night in the Latin American Tournament.

-- Mil Mascaras will be going to Japan on November 4th for a match with NOSAWA. Mascaras will be 75 at the time of the match and they're billing it as most likely his last-ever match in Japan. Thanks to Cubsfan.

-- After saying on Twitter that he'd believe Scott Hall was going to DDP's to get cleaned up when he sees it, Kevin Nash did an about-face today and said after talking to DDP and Hall he's pretty confident Hall will be moving in this Thursday. DDP has done wonders for Jake Roberts and his next project is Hall.

-- El Signo announced on Tuesday that he will be having his official retirement match on 3/17 at Arena Lopez Mateos teaming Misioneros de la Muerte members Black Power & Negro Navarro against eternal rivals Los Brazos (Oro/Plata/Platino.) Thanks to Kris Zellner.

-- Check this out, a lost Samoa Joe match in WWE here

-- Cold Fury, Friday, March 1, 2013 Polish American Veterans Club 201 Coburn Street Lowell, MA Doors open at 7:00PM for ticket holders 7:15 for general admission (if available) Show starts at 8:00PM

-- Great Deadspin article on Nigel McGuinness here.

-- Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! has been announced as the wrestler who will fill the spot vacated by El Generico on next weekend's Dragon Gate UK cards. He will wrestle Akira Tozawa on Friday 22nd February and Ricochet on Saturday 23rd February, both in Broxbourne, and he will wrestle BxB Hulk in Castleford on Sunday 24th February. The Tozawa match is a rematch of last year's Dragon Gate King of Gate tournament final in Japan, which Horiguchi won.

-- Team Viggity has a new deal on personal training if you're interested. He put a program together for Whitney that helped her get signed to two fitness modeling agencies last year, plus he does programs for several WWE stars. This deal expires on March 1: Ultimate Membership (3 months): Regular price 350, YOUR price 250; Elite Membership (1 month): Regular Price 300, YOUR Price 200; Premier Membership (1 week): Regular Price 250, YOUR price 150; Affiliate Program: Tell a friend, and receive an additional 50 dollars off, if your friend signs up and mentions YOU! Sign up as many friends as possible. Sign up 5 friends and receive a totally FREE 3 month Ultimate Membership. If you're interested, email him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

-- For those who loved the Brian Kendrick interview, he'll be back on Figure Four Daily next Tuesday. He's running his first-ever show, which we talked about on the last episode, on March 24th, an eight-man KING OF FIGHT, with Amazing Red, The Young Bucks, Ricochet, Paul London, AR Fox, Samuray Del Sol and Rich Swann. We'll have more on this in the next few weeks.

-- Not much happened this day in history, according to Brian Hoops:

1971 - Jack & Jerry Brisco defeated The Infernos in Tampa, Florida to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Title.

1997 - - Bret Hart defeated Steve Austin, Vader and The Undertaker to win the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Title in a "Final Four" elimination match in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

2004 - In Bakersfield, California, Booker T & Rob Van Dam defeated Ric Flair & Batista to win the WWE World Tag Team Title

-- How many North American buys will Elimination Chamber do?
Less than 100,000 5.8%
101-125,000 12.9%
126-150,000 8.6%
151-175,000 16.5%
176-200,000 11.5%
201-225,000 18,0%
226-250,000 6.5%
251-275,000 6.5%
276-300,000 6.5%
301-325,000 2.9%
326-350,000 0.7%
More than 351,000 3.6%

What did you think of Rousey vs. Carmouche Prime Time episode two?
Excellent 56.3%
Good 22.9%
Average 6.3%
Fair 2.1%
Poor 12.5%
52.9% of those responding didn't see the show

What did you think of Bellator's TV show?
Excellent 21.2%
Good 60.6%
Average 15.2%
Fair 0.0%
Poor 3.0%
65.3% of those responding didn't see the show

What did you think of Thursday's Impact TV show?
Excellent 20.3%
Good 47.3%
Average 16.2%
Fair 6.8%
Poor 9.5%
42.2% of those responding didn't see the show

Who was the best former Olympian in pro wrestling history?
Kurt Angle 59.4%
Danny Hodge 12.8%
Jumbo Tsuruta 12.5%
Verne Gagne 6.0%
Karl Gotch 3.3%
Hiroshi Hase 1.8%
Riki Choshu 1.3%
Masa Saito 1.0%
Mad Dog Vachon 1.0%
Yoshiaki Yatsu 0.5%
Earl McCready 0.5%

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