TUES UPDATE: Diaz's lawyer and the GSP weigh-in controversy, another GSP issue regarding his gi, Flair update, Steph talks gay marriage, TWO HEADED SHARK FOUND, 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 New Japan iPPV, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're also looking for reports from tonight's Smackdown tapings in Hershey, PA.  The announced main event is a weightlifting contest with Ryback vs. Mark Henry.

We're also looking for reports on Sunday's Smackdown house show in Baltimore, Friday's Raw show in Charlottesville, VA and Saturday's TNA show in Roanoke Rapids, NC.

        We've got a WrestleMania update, full coverage of UFC 158, a look at the life and career of Booker T, as well as coverage of the major international shows all in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter on the site today.

       In addition, the new back issue is a major one, as it's the 1995 Awards issue, covering the best and worst in pro wrestling from the yea where U.S. interest bottomed out right before the start of a resurgence.  It's the biggest issue of the year, covering the year in review and how things were at the time.
        Our new issue has a feature on WrestleMania, including the change in price, the reason for the price change, how much extra WWE figures to make if the price change doesn't hurt buys.  We also look at how important WrestleMania revenue is to the company's year and long-term goals for the show.
        We also have a list of the current lineup, as well as a number of matches on the books to be added for the complete event.
        We also have a look at Nick Diaz, and how he moved business numbers.  We look at his hotel confrontation with GSP, his match with GSP, reaction to GSP, records he's set, criticism of him, and where the welterweight division goes from here.  We also have all the business notes on the show, from TV numbers to early buy rate figures, reaction to judging and match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
        We also have a look at plans for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter with Ronda Rousey as coach.  We look at the different new dynamics for the show, as well as who exactly is Cat Zingano, who may end up being one of the coaches.  We also look at how readers of this web site have reacted to plans for the show.
        We also have a look back at the details behind negotiations for a Vince McMahon vs. Dana White match at WrestleMania.  We look at how the talks started, if they were ever serious, when they took place and what happened when they took place.
        We also have a feature on Booker T, running through his life and pro wrestling career upon the announcement of him going into the WWE Hall of Fame.
        We look at how he got started in pro wrestling, and life before wrestling.  He look at his arrest for armed robbery, his early years in wrestling and what people helped get him from wrestling school to stardom in WCW.  We look at the era of Harlem Heat as WCW tag team champions and their various storylines.
        We also look at why Booker T ended up as a singles star, and what program put him over the top as far as being respected as a top level wrestler.  We look at some of the bad angles in WCW, his rise to world champion, why his pay was so high, as well as the death of WCW.
        We also look at his early WWE run, his major WWE angles, his rise to the world title, his King Booker days, his leaving for TNA and his return, as well as his trademark spots.
        We also have more on injuries to Rey Mysterio and C.M. Punk, WWE house show business, WWE's Latin and merchandise business, WWE movie business updates, more on Eric Pankowski being let go from the creative team and what it means, new WWE hirings planned, more on women being approached to come to WWE, a WWE injury that hasn't been reported, Sports Illustrated looks at WWE department head as one of the best in the country, more on developmental, why Beth Phoenix left, another turn being contemplated, new wrestlers being recruited including the son of a celebrity in his country, as well as all the house show highlights from the past week.
        We also have full coverage of All Japan's show at Sumo Hall in Tokyo featuring a plethora of 90s stars, including the new figurehead commissioner, business notes on the show, the strange actions behind the scenes of the new owner, and match-by-match coverage of the show.
        We also look at CMLL and AAA's first major shows of the year, as well as the planned TripleMania main event, more on AAA coming to the U.S. and its TV partner, a look back at AAA drawing big in the U.S. and why it'll be difficult to repeat that success.
        We also have match-by-match coverage of both shows
        We also have a feature on the retirement of Villano V, Rey Mendoza Jr.  We look at all the old-timers who worked the show, and career highlights.
         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:
--What may be the biggest match in years in Mexico
--Debut of planned new idol
--American wrestlers coming to major Mexico show
--Notes on the next Dragon Gate iPPV show
--Notes on NOAH's upcoming tag team tournament
--Notes on All Japan's jr. heavyweight tag team tournament
--Update on the New Japan Cup and charting out the rest of the way
--More matches for the next two New Japan PPV shows
--Notes on the death of Don Carson
--Notes on WrestleCon, who is coming and what happened with Ric Flair
--Why the issue wasn't resolved
--Update on Batista
--More on ECW documentary
--What to look for in the upcoming NCAA tournament
--Who look to be the stars of the tournament
--He is looking to make history
--What are the prospective killer matches
--Notes on upcoming major shows in Puerto Rico
--What WWE star is headed to Puerto Rico to work for the local promotion and why
--Lots of TNA stars and major indie stars to a rival group in Puerto Rico
--Japanese wrestling legend headed in for Mania weekend
--Promotion touring a number of major U.S. markets
--Notes on Karl Anderson coming to ROH
--When he was there before
--Notes from ROH TV
--A look at upcoming ROH matches
--Notes on booking of Hogan
--Hogan's latest revised version of history
--The controversy surrounding Bully Ray
--Thoughts on current TNA booking
--Notes from the Chicago TV tapings
--Why a woman star hasn't bee around of late
--A look at all the upcoming PPVs taped this past week by TNA
--A look at TNA's house shows
--More UFC PPV news
--Ronda Rousey talks PEDs
--Why GSP vs. Diaz didn't have even more hype
--Background of making Dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt
--Herschel Walker situation
--Groups protesting against UFC
--Lots of UFC injury updates
--New UFC matchups
--New division directions
--Chael Sonnen promo notes
--Biggest all women's MMA show in history upcoming

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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

-- Bombarded with audio of late. Yesterday we had Nikita Koloff on, which is a mind trip if you believe he did a great job portraying a mad Russian during his career, Chris Jericho this morning talking WWE, Robot Combat League, Fandango, his WWE run with Shawn Michaels and more, Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks talking every major indy show, plus a bunch of Observer Radios, Observer Live, Bryan and Vinny Show tonight and more. WrestleMania season is always the best time to sign up as we've got tons of content every day, plus anytime you sign up you get full access to every show, interview, etc. that we have done dating back to 2005. So what are you waiting for?

-- As always, follow me on Twitter @bryanalvarez so you'll know when to call in, how to send questions for guests, etc. Plus you get pics of my cats.

-- Nick Diaz's lawyer has a statement on the front page regarding the weigh-in incident we talked about on Observer Radio last night. Basically, it sounds like they either want a title fight rematch or for GSP to vacate the title. A UFC rep was filmed before the fight telling Diaz's camp, "Here, they're going to allow you and Georges to have an extra hour. Just in case somebody doesn't make it. But the good news is, they don't count the decimal. If you're 170.2 it's 170. If it's 170.9. it's 170." He said Diaz's camp hadn't been told earlier because it was "an off-the-record type of thing". Obviously, the controversy is that in title fights there is no one-pound plus-or-minus, you have to make weight exactly for a title fight otherwise you forfeit 20% of your purse and the fight is non-title, and the belief from the Diaz camp appears to be that UFC was concerned that GSP couldn't make 170, so they allowed for an 0.9 pound overage, which is completely unfair.

-- The Quebec Commission is denying any wrongdoing, or that anything out of the ordinary occurred. They claim their rules have always allowed an overage in title fights and that it is uniformly applied.

-- There was also a controversy regarding the walkout gi that GSP wore at 158, provided by Hayabusha. Chang Sung Jung, the Korean Zombie, was very upset with it. Jung wrote: Hi. My name is Chan Sung Jung from South Korea. As one of many Koreans who like you as an incredible athlete, I feel like I should tell you that many Korean fans, including myself, were shocked to see you in your gi designed after the Japanese 'Rising Sun Flag'. For Asians, this flag is a symbol of war crimes, much like the German Hakenkreuzflagge. Did you know that? I hope not. Just like Nazis, the Japanese also committed atrocities under the name of 'Militarism'. You can easily learn what they've done by googling (please do), although it's only the tiny tip of an enormous iceberg. Furthermore, the Japanese Government never gave a sincere apology, and still to this day, so many victims are dying in pain, heartbroken, without being compensated. But many westerners like to wear clothes designed after the symbol under which so many war crimes and so much tragedy happened, which is ridiculous. I know most of them are not militarists. I know most of them do not approve unjustified invasion, torture, massacre, etc. They're just ignorant. It's such a shame that many westerners are not aware of this tragic fact. Wearing Rising Sun outfits is as bad as wearing clothes with the Nazi mark on it, if not worse. Since you're influenced by Japanese Martial Arts, your wearing a headband designed after Japanese flag is understandable. But again, that huge 'Rising Sun' on your Gi means something else. Many people say GSP is the best Welterweight fighter throughout history, to which I totally agree. This means you have a great influence on every single fan of yours all around the world. And I do believe your wearing 'the symbol of War Crime' is a very bad example for them, not to mention for yourself. So, what do you reckon? Do you want to wear the same Gi next time as well?Both the gi-maker and St. Pierre publicly apologized and it was noted that the gi will thus never come to market.

-- Captain America: The Winter Soldier with GSP as Batroc The Leaper begins filming next month. GSP wasn't scheduled to fight again until the end of the year at the earliest anyway, so this shouldn't be a major issue for his fighting career. His trainers noted that his Achilles was fine and he's already back in training. Well, he better be if Diaz wants a rematch.

-- Take a trip back to 1997 with this article in the New York Post about why MMA should remain banned in New York. Pro MMA, that is. Amateur, unregulated MMA runs in New York regularly.

-- Bloody Elbow has a story hereabout Melvin Guillard facing assault charges in New Mexico.

-- Ric Flair was scheduled to get looked at by his doctor today after being sent home from Raw last night. All of his lines in the main event segment were given to Booker T.  He was, as always, downplaying the situation and saying he felt fine.

-- World Series of Fighting claims that the reason Andre Arlovski wore UFC gloves last weekend was because they tried on a bunch of different pairs and the UFC brand was the only brand that fit him that night.

-- Stephanie McMahon talks gay marriage here.

-- Tara and Jessie Godderz have joined the cast of Tainted Dreams, a "scripted soap-within-a-soap" that shoots in New York.

-- UFC fighter Christian Morecraft announced on Facebook that for the time being, he was retiring. He said he'd seen too many unemployed broken bodies after guys retired, and he wanted to do something now to make a better living and, most of all, be happy.

-- Brandon Baxter interviews Dixie Carter here.

-- Story hereabout WWE and it's Hurricane Sandy aid efforts.

-- For those heading to Mania weekend who want to meet up with us, perhaps even taking a giant BUS with us to Mania, click herefor Ed in San Antonio's Facebook info page. Any questions, email him at the best email address ever, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


1957 - Fred Blassie defeated Mike Clancy for the NWA World Junior
Heavyweight Title in Nashville, Tennessee
1962 - Hard Boiled Haggerty and Gene Kiniski defeated Mr. Kleen and
Whipper Billy Watson for the Vancouver NWA Pacific Coast Tag Team Title
in Vancouver, British Columbia.
1970 - Gene and Ole Anderson defeated George Becker and Johnny Weaver to
win the NWA Atlantic Coast Tag Team Title in Greensboro, North Carolina
1971 - Antonio Inoki defeated John Tolos for the NWA United National
Heavyweight Title in Los Angeles, California
1973 - Jerry Lawler and Jim White defeated Jackie Fargo and Jerry
Jarrett in a Hair vs. Title match in Memphis, Tennessee to win the
Mid-America NWA Southern Tag Team Title.
1977 - The Medics won the Tri-State NWA United States Tag Team Title by
defeating Tony Rocco and Bob Sweetan in Shreveport, Louisiana.
1978 - Jack Brisco won the NWA Florida Heavyweight Title in Orlando,
Florida by defeating Bob Roop.
1978 - Baron Von Raschke defeated Johnny Weaver in Greensboro, North
Carolina to win the NWA Television Title
1978 - Dutch Mantel defeated Randy Savage for the NWA Mid-America
Heavyweight Title in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
1980 - Don Muraco won the NWA Florida Heavyweight Title from Manny
Fernandex in Miami, Florida.
1981 - Perro Aguayo defeated Gran Hamada in a tournament final in
Shimizu, Japan to become the first WWF Light Heavyweight Champion.
1984 - Eddie Gilbert and Tommy Rich defeated The Pretty Young Things
(Norvell Austin and Sweet Brown Sugar) to win the vacant AWA Southern
Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee.
1984 - Johnny Rich defeated Rip Rogers for the Southeast NWA United
States Junior Heavyweight Title in Birmingham, Alabama
1986 - Tui Selinga defeated Jerry Lawler in Honolulu, Hawaii to win the
NWA Polynesian Pacific Heavyweight Title.
1987 - Akira Maeda and Nobuhiko Takada defeated Shiro Koshinaka and
Keiji Muto for the IWGP Tag Team Title in Osaka, Japan.
1988 - Avalanche (P.N. News) and Mike Golden defeated The Southern
Rockers (Steve Doll and Scott Peterson) to win the NWA Pacific Northwest
Tag Team Title in Portland, Oregon.
1991 - The Texas Hangmen (Killer and Psycho) defeated Eddie Gilbert
(subbing for Jerry Lawler) and Jeff Jarrett to win the USWA Tag Team
Title in Louisville, Kentucky.
1993 - Canek and Dr. Wagner, Jr. defeated Canadian Vampire Casanova
(Vampiro) and Pierrorth, Jr. in the final of a best-of-three match
series in Mexico City, Mexico to become the first CMLL World Tag Team
1993 - Ultimo Dragon defeated Negro Casas to win the UWA World
Middleweight Title in Mexico City.
1995 - Gedo defeated Lion Heart (Chris Jericho) in a tournament final to
become the first WAR International Junior Heavyweight Champion in Tokyo,
1999 - Steven Dunn wins the NWA Texas Heavyweight Title from Brian Adias
in North Richland Hills, Texas

-- Ed's Over the Top Radio with Craig and Cutrer running down Mania history here.

-- Let us pray this two-headed sharkdoes not attack.

-- Support the Lance Storm Wrestling and Dance Academy with an awesome new T-shirt here. These are the shirts we talked about on the radio show last week.

-- And don't forget our awesome new shirts here. As noted, you have until April 15 to order, because we're doing one giant batch and once they're gone they're gone forever.

-- From the promoter: You have read it right! The guys at BWC Films have secured the World famous ECW Arena (Asylum Arena) for their film premiere screening of the documentary, “Barbed Wire City… The Unauthorized Story of ECW” –Saturday, April 20th 2013. Purchase tickets now http://www.barbedwirecity.com/store/index.php?cPath=2

-- CAWS (Charity Appeal Wrestling Shows) are extremely proud to announce that we are welcoming, for two shows, exclusive guest appearances from Luton based boxer, and Southern Area Super Featherweight Champion, Michael Devine. Michael is a former South Luton school pupil, and he currently boasts a win loss record of ten matches, with nine wins, and one loss; so far in his career. The two professional wrestling events are on Sunday 28th April, and Friday 31st May 2013, and being held at The Hightown Club, Oxen Road, in Luton. They are being organised by CAWS (Charity Appeal Wrestling Shows), who have been featured on BBC Radio three times this year (BBC Three Counties Radio, and BBC Radio Northampton), and in the Luton News newspaper; and who's website can be visited at www.cawswrestling.com The events have been announced to be raising money for The FireFighters Charity (Sunday 28th April), and Bliss – for premature, and special care babies (Friday 31st May). The respective official websites for more information on each charity can be found at www.thefirefighterscharity.org.uk, and www.bliss.org.uk.

-- DEATHPROOF FIGHT CLUB presents Till Death Do Us Part May 31, 2013 Elements Nightclub 90 King St. West - 8pm bell time Tickets $15 in Advance $20 @Door Kitchener, Ontario For more info check out http://youtube.com/deathproofwrestling

-- East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! 17th Annual ECWA Super 8 Tournament Sat, April 13, 2013 Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702 (302) 836-6464. Always LOL at #1 POSITIVE PLACE. Should be DDP's address.

--This Saturday night, Mar 30th, Future Stars of Wrestling returns with Collision Course 2, 7:30pm at the Silverton Hotel & Casino, in Las Vegas. The main event features, the 6'6" 375lb Champion Tyshaun Prince, defending against TNA X Division Champion Kenny King,with special guest referee King Mo. Also featured will be former WWE Tag Team Champion Paul London, along with Reno Scum, Elite Champ Remy Marcel, Shaun Ricker vs Brandon Gatson, and much much more. For more info, go to www.futurestarsofwrestling.com.

-- Glenn Robinson, manager and owner of Team Blackzilians today announced that decorated and highly respected boxing trainer Pedro Diaz is joining the Blackzilians and is now the Delray Beach-based team’s new coach for Boxing. Diaz is already training former UFC Champions Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort out of JACO Hybrid Training Center, the home of the Blackzilians, and customizing programs for both athletes for their upcoming UFC fights, as well as the team’s entire roster of professional mixed martial artists.

-- On this week’s special edition of UFC TONIGHT: Before They Were Champions. Jon Jones. Anderson Silva. Cain Velasquez. Georges St-Pierre. These champions are household names now, but do you remember these men before they were champs? Get ready for a trip down memory lane as UFC TONIGHT looks back at some of the earliest fights from the UFC's best before they became champions. In this special episode, you’ll get to see GSP vs. Jay Hieron at UFC 48, Jon Jones vs. Jake O'Brien from UFC 100, Cain Velasquez’s UFC debut vs. Brad Morris at UFC 83, and Anderson Silva’s UFC debut vs. Chris Leben at UFN 5.

This week on UFC ULTIMATE INSIDER, Johny Hendricks arrives in Montreal for the biggest fight of his life as our cameras cover every moment leading up to his fight against Carlos Condit and follow Bigg Rigg in the aftermath of the fight that determines the next welterweight title challenger. As “The Mauler” prepares to headline the UFC’s return to Sweden in April, light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson shows off his family’s crib in the Swedish countryside that includes an unusual place for a gym. Then, go all-access for UFC 360’s photo shoot with the baddest man on the planet. Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez takes his new toy - the Harley Davidson motorcycle he won at UFC 155 - for a ride on the open road.

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?