SUN. UPDATE: TNA Lockdown preview, Roode update, WWE movie update, Mania update, Sammartino, Jericho, Rousey, Punk, Retiring young



By Dave Meltzer
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        We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's TNA Lockdown PPV, 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 today's Raw show in Loveland, CO and Smackdown in Milwaukee.
 
        We're also looking for reports from these shows:
*Raw Friday night in Broomfield, CO
*Raw Saturday night in Colorado Springs
*Smackdown Saturday night in Lacrosse, WI.
 
        Today is TNA's Lockdown, its No. 2 show of the year:
 
*Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray for the TNA title in a cage match - I expect an entertaining presentation here.  Ray hasn't had a lot of true singles match PPV main events.  It's a face vs. face match, and you never know how a TNA crowd will take to Jeff Hardy.  Some love him, sometimes a Hardcore PPV crowd could go against him.  
*Sting & Samoa Joe & Magnus & James Storm & Eric Young vs Devon & Ken Anderson & Garett Bischoff & Doc & Knox in a Lethal Lockdown cage match - These type of matches are usually bloody and have a lot of stunts.  It's a fairly weak lineup, given you've got probably the weakest heel team in a War Games environment in history.  The key guys here are Magnus, in a high profile match needs to both hold his own and have the crowd treat him like a star, Young has to prove he belongs, and really Knox and Bischoff are also stretches this high on the card based on anything they've done.
*Kurt Angle vs Wes Brisco in a cage mach - Another test for angle.  Brisco has not stood out to date, and now he's in with one of the best big show wrestlers of the last 15 years and if the match isn't good, he'll be on that list of guys Kurt Angle didn't have a good major show match with.  And most of the guys on that list aren't very good.  
*Bobby Roode & Austin Aries vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. Hernandez & Chavo Guerrero Jr. for the tag titles - At this writing, one company source said that they expect Roode to be on the show.  If he is, by all rights this should be the best match on the show.  If he's not, it still should be very good.  Matt Morgan was a name brought up as a possible replacement.
*Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim for the Knockouts title - Sky is the most popular woman in TNA, but she's the hardest to have a good singles match with.   
*Kenny King vs. Zema Ion vs. Christian York for the X title - You should get a lot of effort and high flying.  The question is whether it'll hold together.
*Joseph Park vs. Joey Ryan - Pure comedy match that Park should win. 
*Robbie T vs. Robbie E - Going to be difficult for this to get over as anything but a comedy match as well.
        This show has a lot of question marks.  Whether it ends up good or bad I think depends a lot on how Lethal Lockdown gets over, if Brisco can have a goo match with Angle and if the X match gives the show momentum.  They are claiming this will be the most attended U.S. show in company history.
 
        Monday is the open of the 2012 New Japan Cup tournament at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.  It's a single elimination tournament building to a 3/23 PPV show.  First round has Satoshi Kojima vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto vs. Tama Tonga, Manabu Nakanishi vs. Toru Yano, Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Karl Anderson, Togi Makabe vs. Yujiro Takahashi, Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki, Kazuchika Okada vs. Lance Archer and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
   
        Raw on Monday is from Indianapolis.  Besides the regulars, Chris Jericho returns and Undertaker, Brock Lesnar and HHH are all booked for the show.  Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow face The New Age Outlaws.
 
        Smackdown, Saturday Morning Slam and Main Event are taped on Tuesday in Fort Wayne.
 
        Fuel tonight has the last two weeks of Ultimate Fighter from 9-11 p.m. and the Jake Shields vs. Jake Ellenberger Fight Night at 11 p.m., and the Urijah Faber vs. Dominick Cruz show at 1 p.m. 
        We've got a double issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week, featuring a look at the life of Bill Moody/Paul Bearer/Percy Pringle, the building of Fox Sports 1 and how it affects UFC, an update on WrestleMania, a look at the career and retirement of Jerry Lynn, an in-depth look at the TNA PPV business, plus coverage of all the changes and new matches in UFC, ROH's big angle and more.
 
        Our lead story goes into detail on the passing away of Bill Moody, his health issues, his thoughts on the WWE Hall of Fame, response by major names in wrestling to his death, coverage of his death, his life-long passion for pro wrestling, what famous wrestling stars he grew up with on the Gulf Coast, his start as a wrestler, and how he broke into the business full-time as a manager.
 
        We look at why he first got out of wrestling, as well as his return, his tenure in Texas, as well as the secret story of the first time he managed The Undertaker and what pro wrestling legend it was against. 
 
        We also look at where the names Percy Pringle and Paul Bearer came from, Mini Paul Bearer, his managing and programs involving Undertaker and Kane and a lot more.
 
        We've got more on UFC's move to Fox Sports 1, both the good and the bad and the struggles looking at it both short and long-term.  We look at the network, plans for live events, issues with the Wednesday night shows that people haven't talked about, future of Ultimate Fighter, and more.
 
        We've got a look at the upcoming WrestleMania matches and what is being teased.
 
        We also look at Rock in WWE after WrestleMania, Rock talks about why he came back and why he chose to work with John Cena a second time, injury update on Rey Mysterio, updates on Steve Austin, Bruno Sammartino, which stars are booked for Raw over the next few weeks, future WrestleMania notes, post-WrestleMania cards, WWE broadcast partner in trouble over footage that made television, a main event planned for Extreme Rules and more.
 
        We've got an update on the health of Jerry Lawler and WWE movies.
 
        We have comments from Chris Jericho on The Shield, Cesaro as U.S. champion, what former star was coaching this past week, DVR viewership of Raw as well as business notes for WWE from the past week and details from all the arena events.    
 
        We look back at the career of Jerry Lynn as he comes to retirement, looking at his final show, his first career breaks, his ECW run, his TNA and WWE tenure, as well as his ROH tenure and thoughts on his final show.
 
        We also have a look at TNA's new start in the PPV business with Lockdown this week.  We look at the card, changes from previous years and are they significant, TNA cutting back on PPV shows and what in hindsight is perplexing about their product right now as well as how this show has been marketed.
 
        We also look at plans for next week and the different taped PPV shows that are in the offing and where talent from the outside is coming from.
 
        We've got a full rundown of the UFC show from this past week in Japan, looking at the emotional response to Wanderlei Silva and Mark Hunt and their great fights, business of the show, how the audience was different from a usual show in Japan, the match that made Silva legendary, business of the show and why Mark Hunt really is even in UFC.
       
        We look at the improvement of Hunt, what Japanese favorite really got robbed, thoughts on judging, the story behind the ratings including a lot of information that will surprise you as he show broke every Fuel record.  We also have match-by-match coverage.
 
        We've got coverage of New Japan's 41st anniversary show with the IWGP champion Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. jr. champion Prince Devitt main event.  We look at the match, and also rundown this year's New Japan Cup tournament.
 
        We've got coverage of the ROH 11th anniversary show, including the big angle at the end, the current major storyline, what aspect of the angle wasn't getting over and what was, the business of running TV tapings the day after PPV shows, lineup for the next ROH iPPV including a number of matches not yet announced.
 
        We also have match-by-match coverage of the show.
 
        We also look back at the career of MMA pioneer Mark Coleman, running down his career from amateur wrestling, UFC, Pride and pro wrestling as he ends his athletic career.
 
        We also look at what really happened with the proposed Coleman vs. Brock Lesnar match.
 
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        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:
 
--Tease for what would be the biggest match in Mexico in years if it really happens
 
--A look at the current Parejas increibles tournament
 
--A surprising title change
 
--An insurance plan for pro wrestlers
 
--First news on this year's TripleMania
 
--A look at the building and the lineup for this year's Rey de Reyes event
 
--Unique reason a wrestler has vacated their title
 
--Surprising return to AAA and how it happened
 
--A look at the retirement show of the former Villano V, Ray Mendoza Jr.
 
--A look at two title changes in Japan involving American wrestlers who had things in common
 
--More on what has been happening in All Japan after the buyout
 
--What is being said in a unique angle
 
--Notes on this year's Champion Carnival tournament
 
--Lineup and notes for All Japan's Sumo Hall show featuring a number of outsiders and title bouts
 
--Grandson of one of the biggest names in wrestling history is about to debut and why it will be tough for him
 
--A U.S. promotion doing an invasion angle with New Japan
 
--A legends promotion in Japan
 
--Zero-One's 12th anniversary show
 
--Ric Flair on Wife Swap TV show
 
--Changes in CZW
 
--More on arrests of two former major names in the business
 
--16 Carat Gold tournament notes
 
--More on protests of the Olympics dropping wrestling
 
--New markets getting ROH television
 
--A look at the next month plus of ROH TV
 
--More Hulk Hogan bookings
 
--Roode talks TNA roster
 
--Bret Hart talks Hogan, Bischoff and A.J. Styles
 
--TNA house show notes
 
--Update on UFC struggles in New York
 
--How things have changed
 
--Why the way the laws work there involving MMA are completely crazy
 
--How popular MMA is in the New York metro area
 
--Latest UFC hit pieces
 
--Tons of new UFC cards and matches on those cards
 
--Major irony regarding an upcoming main event
 
--Working ideas for UFC's July show
 
--Notes on Alistair Overeem's injury and testosterone levels
 
--One of the biggest myths about TRT
 
--Update on pay of Robbie Lawler
 
--More on UFC 157 PPV figures
 
--Why Che Mills wasn't rehired
 
--Lots of UFC injury updates regarding top stars
 
--Rousey media coverage
 
--A look at the new Bellator app and how this one can help business
 
--More on the arrest of Daniel Straus
 
--A look at this past week's show
 
--Controversy over trans gender MMA fighter
 
--A look back at the Cro Cop career and background of the Pride heyday in Japan
 
--Gold medalist Henry Cejudo's MMA debut
     
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Sunday's News Update
 
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking TNA Lockdown, the Shannon Spruill lawsuit, lots of WWE news, Diaz vs. GSP and taking questions that you can send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--The only updated word we had on Bobby Roode today is that those in TNA were seeming confident he would be signed and be on the show tonight.  It wasn't said as a done deal.
  
--Tonight's crowd is expected to be heavily Hispanic, and it was noted that aside from Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy, the longest lines for autographs yesterday were for Chavo Guerrero Jr & Hernandez.   Plus, Hernandez is actually from San Antonio and does local shows there, so they are expected to be major over.  

--Sources in Boston note that Slammiversary will be on 6/2 at the Agganis Arena at Boston University.

--"Dead Man Down" is expected to finish No. 4 for the weekend with a $5.35 million gross.  That's a poor showing.  The expectations going in were $5-8 million and even at $8 million the reports were that would not be considered good.
 
--The schedule for WrestleMania is an Internet pregame show from 6-7 p.m. and a PPV from 7-11 p.m. 
 
--A story on Bruno Sammartino is at http://tribulive.com/sports/otherlocalsports/3556533-74/sammartino-bruno-goldman#axzz2N9zycu4V  It's about the International Hall of Fame ceremony from last week.  Another local piece on him is at http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/03/01/bruno-sammartino-to-be-honored-by-wwe/
 
--Chris Jericho returned to WWE touring at the Raw show last night in Broomfield, CO, beating Dolph  Ziggler.  He is scheduled for Raw tomorrow. 
 
--A number of former TNA wrestlers including Awesome Kong and Nikki Roxx who TNA was going to script into an all-women's PPV have reportedly declined appearing.  Kong wrote as much on twitter. 

--Bob Raissman in the New York Daily News listed C.M. Punk as Dude of the week for paying a visit to Thomas Dotterer in the hospital last Sunday in Syracuse.  Dotterer was shot in January in a robbery, but said the worst thing that happened to him that week was Rock beating C.M. Punk for the WWE title.  Punk invited him to the matches, but he was back in the hospital, so Punk went to the hospital to see him.  To me the dude of the week is the famous pro wrestler who fills his humvee with toys and goes to children's hospitals passing them out, and doesn't want anyone to know he did it.   
 
--Countdown to UFC 158, the preview for Nick Diaz vs. GSP, will air at 11 p.m. Eastern and 8 p.m. Pacific on Tuesday night.
 
WHO DO YOU EXPECT TO WIN THIS FIGHT?
Junior Dos Santos 71.1%
Mark Hunt 28.9%
 
SHOULD DANA WHITE HAVE MADE HUNT VS. DOS SANTOS?
Yes 69.0%
No, should have kept Overeem vs. JDS for July 31.0%
 
WHAT WAS THE BEST OF THESE MOMENTS?
Randy Couture beating Tim Sylvia 72.7%
Tito Ortiz beating Ryan Bader 13.7%
Wanderlei Silva beating Brian Stann 8.8%
Mark Coleman beating Stephan Bonnar 4.8%
 
WHO IS WWE'S BIGGEST DRAW?
The Rock 68.0%
C.M. Punk 11.0%
John Cena 8.1%
Brock Lesnar 8.1%
Undertaker 4.3%
HHH 0.5%
       
POLL ON SMACKDOWN
Excellent 7.4%
Good 42.0%
Average 27.2%
Fair 12.3%
Poor 11.1%
        42.1% of those responding didn't see the show.  
 
--ON THIS DAY IN WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
143 years ago - James H. McLaughin won a tournament in Detroit to become the first American Collar and Elbow champion
63 years ago - Tommy O'Toole beat Sonny Myers in a tournament final to become the first Missouri State champion in St. Joseph
54 years ago - Shag Thomas & Mighty Ursus (Jesse Ortega) beat Maurice & Paul Vachon to win the Canadian tag team titles in Edmonton
54 years ago - Andre Bollet & Frank Valois beat Johnny Walker (Wrestling II) & Amazing Zuma to win the Texas tag team titles in Dallas
53 years ago - Cowboy Bob Ellis beat Kinji Shibuya in Kansas City to win the Central States title
53 years ago - Jesse Ortega & Alex Perez beat Dory Funk Sr. & Dick Hutton in Amarillo to win the North American tag team titles 
46 years ago - The Assassins beat Skandor Akbar & Swede Karlson to win the U.S. tag team titles in Oklahoma City
45 years ago - Yukiko Tomoe beat Fabulous Moolah in Osaka to win the NWA women's title
41 years ago - John Tolos beat Killer Kowalski in Los Angeles to win the Americas title
38 years ago - Bill Dundee & George Barnes beat Eddie Marlin & Tojo Yamamoto in Memphis to win the Southern tag team titles
35 years ago - Cowboy Ron Bass & Moondog Mayne beat Chavo Guerrero & El Halcon to win the Americas tag team titles in Los Angeles
33 years ago - Jack Brisco & Jimmy Garvin beat Nature Boy Stanley Lane &  Bryan St. John to win the Florida tag team titles in West Palm Beach
30 years ago  - Billy Jack Haynes & Stan Stasiak beat The Assassin (David Cannell) & Rip Oliver to win the Pacific Northwest tag team titles in Salem, OR
27 years ago - Brian Adias beat Chael Sonnen's favorite wrestler, The Grappler, in fort Worth to win the Texas title
25 years ago - Peter Bainbridge beat Jim Breaks in Bristol to win the European lightweight title
22 years ago - Brazo de Oro & Brazo de Plata beat Gran Hamada & Perro Aguayo in Tokyo to win the vacant UWA tag team titles
 
--Mike Sawyer talks Mark Hunt at http://blog.toughtalkmma.com/2013/03/09/fans-rally-for-mark-hunt--now-the-rest-is-up-to-him.aspx
 
--A story plugging Devon Nicholson & Superstar Billy Graham's live interview tonight on the RF Video web site is at http://www.netnewsledger.com/2013/03/09/this-is-hannibal-the-interview-live-online/
 
--New Era Wrestling on 3/16 in Shelbyville, IN at the Boys Club.
 
--IWA East Coast from Nitro WV on Friday night:  Jason Kincaid won five-way over Alex Colon, Zac Vincent, Smoky C and Aaron Draven, Viper NC Juggulator, Jake & Dave Crist b Jason Gory & Matt Connard, Mary Dobson won three-way over Naveah and Jessica Havok, Ron Mathis b Kevin Sullivan, Mad Man Pondo NC Chance Prophet, Facade b Sami Callihan (thanks to Scott Milam)
 
--Rick Bassman is starting a kickstarter program to publish his autobiography at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/23420271/been-there-done-that-the-book-the-life  He noted people who have donated so far include Daniel Puder, Tony Jones, DDP, Mike Bucci, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian.   
 
--Paul Bearer's final performance as a manager, as Percy Pringle, is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLkavja9BjQ&list=UU5w6jeixXvDy0yJQqVYmeZQ&index=1
 
--Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in East Carondelet, IL before just over 200 fans:  Big Texan b Moondog Rover, Ron Powers b Brian James, Gary Jackson & Heath Hatton b Alexandre Rudolph & Jake Dirden, Ken Kasa b Shorty Biggs-DQ, Chaz Wesson b Max Archer, Flash Flanagan b Kevin X, Ricky Cruz b Dave Vaughn (thanks to Larry Matysik and Patrick Brandmeyer)  
 
--GOUGE from last night in Raleigh:  HeadRush b King Junior Reyes, Luscious Lance b The Goat, Otto Schwanz b Fabulous Frankie, Krazy Killer Klowns b Chief War Eagle & Chris Nemesis, Jimmy Jack Funk Jr. b Chalupa Libre, Mickey Gambino b Seymour Snott.
 
--The Chicago Tribune had a note about Chase Patton, the son of WWE ref Chad Patton, a senior at St. Joseph-Ogden High.  The team placed fourth in the state 2A tournament.  He noted he would be attending Mania.
 
--Ronda Rousey did a seminar put together by her mother yesterday in Glendale, CA at the Fight Club called "Don't Throw Up, Throw Down," and donating $11,800 to the Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services to combat eating disorders.  Friday night she was raising money at a Hoover High Shooting for Hope basketball game to benefit the World Food Program.  A note is that one of the people at the clinic was a former pro wrestler and old friend of mine, David Hannah (one of the best friends of Louie Spicolli).  In the story in today's Glendale News-Press, Hannah said, "I actually think Ronda Rousey is the greatest grappler I've ever seen and I've actually trained with Royce Gracie.  It as watching a true marital arts master.  It was a great experience."
 
--Very good article talking with fighters who retired young at http://www.mmafighting.com/2013/3/10/4079816/for-many-young-fighters-retirement-calls-early
 
--As he does every year, Jim Duggan was a guest at the Variety Club telethon in Iowa over the weekend.  He's been doing this forever. (thanks to Brian Henke)
 
--Anarchy Wrestling TV tapings from last night in Cornelia, GA before 100 fans:  Stryknyn b Tommy Penirelli, Najasism & Vandal b Mike Posey & Corey Hollis, Jacoby Boykins b Billy Buck-COR, Jagged Edge & Seven & Nemesis & Shadow Jackson & Shaun Tempers b Brodie Chase & Slim J & Azreal & Brian Casanova & Seth Delay to setup up a War Games match.  Next show is 3/23.  The War Games match is 3/30 at the Anarchy Arena in Cornelia (thanks to Bill Behrens)
 
--Newsday has a story on Chris Weidman getting a shot at Anderson Silva at http://www.newsday.com/sports/mixed-martial-arts/chris-weidman-says-fighting-anderson-silva-is-a-dream-come-true-1.4785448 (thanks to Jeff Sheridan)
 
--Lucha Xtreme from TV last night in Fresno:  Manny Fernandez b Matt Sparks, Mike Rayne b Al Azar, Suburban Commandos b Skitzo & Big Dog-DQ.  Net TV taping is 3/16 in Merced, CA at the American Legion Post 83.  They did a nice tribute before the show to Paul Bearer (thanks to Jon Southerland)
 
--UWC on 4/13 in Browns Mills, NJ at the Fire House has Rick Silver vs. Joe Rules in Joe's retirement match.
 
--A show on TNA Lockdown with Ed and Cutrer will be at midnight  Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cutrer/201...-game-show
 
--Southern Championship Wrestling from last night in Sanford, FL:  J.D. Amazing b Sweet Thang Willie, J.D. Amazing b Chico Adams, Green Light Hit Squad & Justine Silver b Fan Boys & Leva Bates, London Vince b Lince Dorado Victor Creed b Jack Harley, Johnny Armani b Leo Gold, Solo Darling b Chelsea Diamond, Stevie Richards b Chasyn Rance to retain the Extreme Rising title. Next show is 4/27.  Richards is on today's I Believe in Wrestling show in Orlando. (thanks to Al Haft)
 
   

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