TUES UPDATE: Why Rock went on when he did last night, off air Raw notes, Jones has child, Mania line-up so far, Diaz says GSP nuts, 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 your thoughts on Saturday's ROH iPPV, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're also looking for reports from Sunday's Raw show in Syracuse, Sunday's Smackdown show in Cleveland, and TNA on Friday night in Dodge City, KS and Saturday night in Salina, KS.

Smackdown, Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam are taped tonight in Albany, NY.

        The business and historical significance of UFC 157 is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We also update this week's news on the road to WrestleMania looking at what's up with Undertaker, what he could and couldn't do in his return match, plus we also have the first issue of 1996 new on the site this week, where we look at the year that ended and made predictions on the year that was coming.
        For UFC 157, we look at the business of the show, the narrative that built the show, the marketability of Ronda Rousey, a look at the PPV numbers for the last two shows, Dana White and Rousey talk about the reaction to the show, who was at the show, comparisons with the prior show, how the show was expected to fare, when the last time someone lighter than 170 did those kind of numbers, the marketing of Liz Carmouche, some interesting notes about viewership and what they meant, thoughts on skeptics, the Cyborg factor going forward, Rousey's outside offers, Hollywood offers, plans for her next opponent, plus all kinds of new fights talked about from the past week.
        We also have fight-by-fight coverage, how much everyone earned on the show as well as poll results from the show, and polls on the close decisions. 
        We also look at the HHH/Brock Lesnar angle, Undertaker's return, Jack Swagger's arrest, WWE's attempt to garner publicity through Glenn Beck and the irony of the reaction.
        We also have more notes on All Japan Pro Wrestling being sold, including background of the new ownership group, how the company is being reorganized and what is the vision of the new owners for the company.
        We also look at the secondary market for WrestleMania tickets, the business of the movie "Snitch" starring The Rock, more on Donald Trump in WWE Hall of Fame and what to look out for, Chris Jericho talks how he got a Raw main event that the creative team didn't think would happen.
        We also have tons of developmental news, name changes, angles, who is looking good, plus all the WWE business notes from the week and highlights from all the weekend house shows.
        We also have an extensive article on one of pro wrestling's top stars of the 60s and 70s, the late Ciclon Negro, who headlined all over the world against some of the biggest names of the era.  We talk about his glory days in places like Japan, Australia, California, Texas and more.  We look back at his world title challenges in Houston to Pat O'Connor, his promotion as King of the death matches and more.
        We also look at the theory that live sports are DVR proof.  We look at what percentages in the 18-49 age group are watching which type of shows, and in particular how shows like Raw and Bellator do when it comes to DVR viewership.
        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:
--Notes on CMLL's first big show of the year and its lineup
--Anniversaries coming up in Mexico
--Benefit show for the patriarch of the family that has produced the largest number of successful modern wrestlers
--Update on Arena Mexico wrestling
--Major legends match coming up
--Problems with a retirement show
--More notes on WrestleMania week shows
--Three promotions all run big shows in Japan head-to-head and how they did
--All Japan vs. Burning best-of-five seres
--A look at All Japan's first major show of the year including a rematch from one of the greatest fights in history
--Notes on wrestlers leaving New Japan
--Huge group of legends attend pro wrestling show this weekend including five Hall of Famers
--More on Nielsen looking at changing ratings
--Update on wrestling in the Olympics going forward
--1980s star will be part of a Lifetime reality show
--Notes on the AAA Canada show and the funny tournament they ran for their title
--Plans going forward
--A new pro wrestling reality show debuts i the U.S.
--New promotion opens its doors in April for "rematch of the century"
--Notes on the next ROH iPPV
--Hulk Hogan talks C.M. Punk
--Hulk Hogan talks why he nixed Bobby Roode as champion
--Reaction to Hogan's restaurant
--TNA looking at video games deal
--A look at TNA weekend shows
--Dana White talks cutting of Jon Fitch
--The real reason behind Fitch being cut
--Where Fitch is expected to end up
--The match equation around the UFC roster
--Lineup for this week's UFC show
--Alistair Overeem's testosterone level
--UFC again fights for legalization in New York
--Dana White unhappy with Diaz brothers
--Lots of UFC new matches and card changes
--More on UFC women's division
--Chael Sonnen files lawsuit
--More on Matt Riddle being cut
--Michael Bisping injuries
--UFC TV situation in the U.K.
--Notes on the most Explosive Bellator TV show to date
--What went wrong for King Mo

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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.
Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Best wishes to my long-time buddy Craig of Over the Top Radio who just learned that his father has cancer. Everyone here is wishing him and his dad the best in this situation, and keeping our hopes up.

-- Big news for UFC as starting in August, the Speed Channel will be rebranded as Fox Sports 1 with availability in 90 million homes, nearly three times as many as get FUEL today, and UFC programming, including prelim fights, will become a regular staple. They'll also be airing live Fight Nights on the station, so it's almost the equivalent audience-wise of being back on Spike (well, at least a lot closer than it was when they moved to FUEL). FUEL is also being rebranded as FOX Sports 2, and an announcement about its future is forthcoming.

-- Congratulations to Jon Jones, whose wife just gave birth to a new daughter, Olivia Haven Jones. Daddy and new baby here.

-- Marine 3 with Miz is out on DVD and Blu Ray today so get your ass to Best Buy.

-- So after Raw, line-up for Mania thus far looks to be Rock vs. Cena for the WWE Title, Del Rio vs. Swagger for the World title, CM Punk vs. Undertaker for the streak, Brock Lesnar vs. HHH, Ryback vs. Mark Henry, and Shield vs. Sheamus & Randy Orton & Big Show.

-- Regarding the placement of Rock on the show, he didn't have to leave early. They put him there because they figured Rock is on regularly now and HHH's return and challenge to Brock would be the biggest thing on the show besides Undertaker's return, which was scheduled for the open and close of the show. They forgot to tell the fans that HHH's segment was the most important, apparently.

-- After Raw during the dark match with Shield, Big Show actually went up for the triple powerbomb. That'll be a spot to see. If you can't wait, click hereto see it.

-- Lots of Jack Swagger DUI signs confiscated last night.

-- Speaking of Swagger, if you want all the details on the man behind his character, RJ Brewer, I have a new interview with him up on Figure Four Daily right now, talking the genesis of the character, backlash, Lucha Libre USA, ROH, and tons more.

-- There is a video on WWE.com of a Mae Young birthday celebration that CM Punk didn't interrupt, with Stephanie presenting Mae with a WWE Divas Title belt. Mae wants to wrestle Stephanie when she turns 100. It's a nice little video.

-- Larry Matysik was bumped to Friday, for those asking. He'll be talking his new book, the 50 Greatest Wrestlers of All Time.

-- As noted on the front page, UFC to Winnipeg is official for 161 with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Shogun Rua and Dan Henderson vs. Rashad Evans if Henderson can be cleared to fight by then.

-- In what won't help his case either with UFC or the anti-pot crowd, Matt Riddle is talking about how it might be a conspiracy that he failed his drug test, noting he stopped smoking 20 days out and nothing should have come up, plus noting that others have failed pot tests and not been cut. He said if UFC asked him to come back a few years down the road he'd say no. OK. Someone tweeted the quote to Dana White, who responded, "We can make sure that happens."

-- Nick Diaz also did an interview saying the only negative thing he'd ever said about GSP was that he should do more. He said GSP was crazy for not accepting a fight with Anderson Silva.

-- Forrest Griffin said his knee is doing great and he hopes to be back in about eight months.

-- Steve Austin's Redneck Island renewedfor a third season.

-- Story on Sam Shaw signing with TNA here.

-- ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) announced the five remaining bouts for its return to Singapore on 5 April. Singaporean fighter Ronald Low makes his ONE FC debut against Malaysia’s Chen Yun Ting on the undercard while NCAA Division I wrestler and Princeton graduate Jake Butler faces Nuur Muhammad of India. Russia’s Yusup Saadulaev meets Brazilian Leandro Issa in a Bantamweight bout while Wushu World Champion and former SEA games and Asian games gold medalist Rene S. Catalan of the Philippines faces Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Alex Silva. Also on the card, Pakistani MMA pioneer Bashir Ahmad meets Shannon Wiratchai of Thailand. ONE FC: KINGS & CHAMPIONS will be broadcast live on STAR SPORTS across Asia. This historic moment will mark the first time ever a live Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event will be broadcast on the network. ONE FC: KINGS & CHAMPIONS will be available in 28 countries to an estimated 500 million viewers.

-- CZWrestling.com - THIS SATURDAY, March 9, CZW 'Wanted' comes to The Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ with a 7:30 pm bell time.

-- WrestleMania weekend meet-up info from Ed:

The friday meet-up will be at 4:00pm (but we might ask to move it to 3:00) to 7:00pm at LA LUCHA at 147 Avenue A New York, NY 10009 (between 9th & 10th) (http://www.laluchanyc.com/); The Pre and post Wrestlemania meet-ups will be at REDDS RESTAURANT at 317 Washington Avenue, Carlstadt, NJ 07072 If you are driving you can park there for 25.00 and take Redds shuttle to Wrestlemania and back to Redds (http://www.reddsrestaurant.com/). We do need to figure out how to get to Redds so if anyone going would like to look into what it would take and cost to rent a bus to take us from the F4W Empire Hotel to Redds and back, please let me know at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

-- Today in history with Brian Hoops:

1934 - Leroy McGuirk defeated Hugh Nichols for the World Light Heavyweight Title in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

1942 - Tom Zaharias defeated Orville Brown for the Midwest Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title in Kansas City, Kansas

1949 - Buddy Rogers defeated Shei Lawrence to win the Jack Pfeffer-promoted version of the World Heavyweight Title in Pomona, California

1953 - Antonino Rocca defeated Buddy Rogers to win the American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title in Cleveland, Ohio. This title was the Ohio branch of Boston's AWA title.

1959 - The Fabulous Kangaroos (Al Costello and Roy Heffernan) defeated Mike DiBiase and Danny Plechas to win the Amarillo NWA International Tag Team Title in Amarillo, Texas.

1959 - Chico Garcia and Chet Wallick defeated George and Sandy Scott for the Stampede International Tag Team Title

1962 - Mr. Kleen and Whipper Billy Watson defeated Gene Kiniski and Killer Kowalski for the Vancouver NWA Pacific Coast Tag Team Title in Vancouver, British Columbia.

1963 - Bob Brown and Bill Kochen defeated Frenchy Champagne and George Eakin to win the Madison Wrestling Club Tag Team Title in Winnipeg, Manitoba

1964 - Johnny Valentine defeated The Beast to win the Toronto NWA United States Heavyweight Title in Toronto, Ontario.

1965 - Johnny Barend and Magnificent Maurice defeated Chris and John Tolos to win the Detroit NWA World Tag Team Title.

1969 - Chris Markoff defeated George Cannon for the NWA Beat the Champ Television Title in Los Angeles, California.

1970 - Randy and Rip Tyler won the NWA Gulf Coast Tag Team Title in Panama City, Florida, defeating Dick Dunn and Ken Lucas.

1971 - Wahoo McDaniel defeated Toru Tanaka to win the NWA American Heavyweight Title reign in Houston, Texas.

1977 - Billy Robinson defeated Jumbo Tsuruta for the NWA United National Heavyweight Title in Akita, Japan.

1977 - Dick the Bruiser defeat The Masked Stranger (Guy Mitchell) to win the World Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title

1978 - Johnny Weaver defeated Baron Von Raschke for the NWA Television Title in Charlotte, North Carolina.

1980 - Jumbo Tsuruta defeated Dick Murdoch to win the NWA United National Heavyweight Title in Kuroiso, Japan

1980 - Hans Schroder defeated Peter Maivia for the NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Title.

1980 - Rocky Brewer and Pat Rose defeated The Blond Bombers (Wayne Farris and Larry Latham) to win the NWA Mid-America Tag Team Title in Nashville

1983 - Buddy Landel defeated Pierre Martel to win the WWC North American Heavyweight Title in Bayamón, Puerto Rico

1984 - Rip Rogers defeated Larry Hamilton for the NWA Southeastern United States Junior Heavyweight Title in Birmingham, Alabama

1985 - Jay and Mark Youngblood defeated The PYT Express (Norvell Austin and Koko Ware) for the Florida NWA United States Tag Team Title in Tampa, Florida

1986 - Kendall Windham defeated The Cuban Assassin to win the NWA Florida Heavyweight Title in Tampa, Florida.

1988 - The Ultimate Warrior defeated Harley Race and in a steel cage match; Randy Savage and Strike Force, defeated the Hart Foundation and the Honky Tonk Man in Boston, Massachusetts.

1988 - The Southern Boys (Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers) defeated Robert Fuller and Jimmy Golden for the NWA Southeast Continental Tag Team Title in Dothan, Alabama

1989 - Phil Apollo and Eric Sbraccia defeated Joe Savoldi and Vic Steamboat for the International Championship Wrestling Tag Team Title in Augusta, Maine.

1994 - Kevin Sullivan and The Tazmaniac defeated The Bruise Brothers to win the held up ECW Tag Team Title. Also, Terry Funk defeated Shane Douglas in a Taped Fist match.

-- City issues Smackdown to wrestling school

-- Young aspiring pro wrestler passes away.

-- Alan Counihan of Dr. Keith Presents on this website sent this in: Hey folks, I'm starting a fund to help out @KingRicochet who had $1600 stolen from him in Germany this weekend. He lost his payoffs for both the Dragon Gate UK shows and 16 Carat, plus a whole lot of merch sales. As I'm sure we'll all agree, this sucks, but it really sucks when it's a nice humble guy like Ricochet who works so hard and literally risks his life to entertain us. If you're a Ricochet fan and have appreciated his work over the years, then maybe you'd like to help him make back some of the money he lost. I've set up a paypal account for anyone who wants to chip in a few bucks. I have no idea what to expect as far as what donations might come in but obviously if the total reaches the $1600 mark we will close off the account from receiving any more money. The paypal is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it If you don't fancy donating but wanna support the clause, please give a retweet or plug this in any outlet you can. It'd be really appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

-- World Series of Fighting announced exciting Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) undercard action today, featuring local product Kris McCray (8-4) of Toms River, N.J. in a middleweight (185 pounds) scrap against battle-tested Danillo “Indio” Villefort(13-4) of Coconut Creek, Fla., and Waylon Lowe (13-4) of Philadelphia, Pa. squaring off withCameron Dollar (11-4) of Colorado Springs, Colo. in a featherweight (145 pounds) tilt, from Ovation Hall at Revel in Atlantic City, N.J. on Saturday, March 23.

-- SHIMMER - WOMEN ATHLETES is proud announce the addition of "Regeneration X" ALLISON DANGER & LEVA BATES to all of our April events! They will be a part of SHIMMER 53 on April 6th as part of WrestleCon at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, NJ, as well as SHIMMER 54-57 on April 13th & 14th at the Berwyn Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL!

-- The next !BANG! TV Taping, Support your Troops 89, "!BANG! A Mania" comes to the !BANG! TV Sound Stage in Ocala, Florida Saturday July 23rd - Featured on the card, !BANG! TV "Bombshells" Mickie James, Hollywood Heather, Claudia "The Claw" Reiff and Jessica "Power House" Hill - (Beautiful Ladies of !BANG! TV) Showtime is 7:00pm with doors opening at 6:30pm.

-- Radio interview with So Cal Val here.

-- Poll on Saturday's ROH TV show
Excellent 34.1%
Good 46.3%
Average 12.2%
Fair 0.0%
Poor 7.3%
61.0% of those responding didn't see the show

Poll on Saturday's UFC on Fuel TV show
Excellent 29.9%
Good 43.7%
Average 14.9%
Fair 4.6%
Poor 6.9%
35.6% of those responding didn't see the show

What was the best TV show of last week
Raw 40.9%
UFC on Fuel 21.6%
Impact 21.2%
ROH 8.2%
Ultimate Fighter 3.8%
Smackdown 1.4%
UFC Tonight 1.4%
Saturday Morning Slam 1.0%
Main Event 0.5%

-- Interview with WOW Champion Lana Star here.

-- And a Matt Hardy interview here.

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?