TUESDAY UPDATE: Paul Bearer's sons comment on Taker/Punk storyline, Gustaffson fight off, Dan Hardy on surgery to correct heart ailment, Mania post-show you can watch free, tons more
By Bryan Alvarez |
We're looking for reports from Sunday night's WWE show in White Plains, NY at the Westchester County Center, as well as the Friday night show in Springfield, MA and Monday's RAW/Smackdown tapings in Atlantic City, NJ. Send them to at
Raw tapings last night were the last WWE shows until WrestleMania.
The latest on WrestleMania, including examining who would be expected to win or lose the matches, and gambling odds for the top matches leads off this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
We look at the story and angles building the show, potential match outcomes and why for everything on the card as well as matches not yet announced that are being built.
We also have full coverage of the New Japan Cup finals, and how angles on the show build to two big shows over WrestleMania week in Tokyo including a major PPV show from New Japan featuring title matches from three different promotions. We also have match-by-match coverage of the New Japan PPV show this past week, with star ratings and poll results.
We also look at the question regarding the next move for the IWGP title as well as who was copying Ric Flair, what former TNA star is in two title matches next week and more.
We also have an update on C.M. Punk, current notes on the Extreme rules show, Mick Foley's TV role, more on the death of William Moody including reaction from Kane. We also have notes on TV gigs Dwayne Johnson is doing, the release of Jack Doan, how WWE movies are doing, ratings vs. twitter followers, a correction on a new WWE signing, Bruno Sammartion in the Hall of Fame and who are expected to be doing the inductions. We also have an update on the two different Sammartino movie projects and where they stand, notes on a new WWE head writer, a new writing position that has opened up largely to get one WWE wrestler over as a mainstream star.
We also look at an Attitude Era star who wants to come back but it's falling on deaf ears, notes on Chris Jericho's current run and future, what happened with Ric Flair when it comes to Raw on Monday, how Jericho got his black eye and another WWE wrestler biography.
We also have notes on Jane Geddes, the WWE's Senior Vice President of Talent Relations and how and why she got hired and her background.
We also have lots of notes from developmental, including the last NXT tapings, who stood out, what were the best matches and angles.
We also have the WWE business notes from the last week and highlights from all the weekend house shows.
We also look at the life and times of Joe Weider, behind his marketing, his connection with pro wrestling, his battle with Vince McMahon and his role in creating Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as his major goal that he never was able to achieve.
We also look back at Kyle Dake vs. David Taylor, the biggest NCAA championship match in years, with a look at why the match was so big, the background of both, as well as a look back at the biggest matches in college wrestling history. We also look at two people from the tournament on the pro wrestling radar.
We also have coverage of the second World Series of Fighting show from Atlantic City. We look at the ratings, the strange reactions and the happy and sad of 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.
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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:
--Another nail in the coffin of the era of wrestling magazines
--Announcement of the biggest match in Mexico in at least a decade and a look back at the biggest matches of the last 25 years
--A look at major plans for the CMLL promotion
--A look at the 70th anniversary of wrestling at one of its legendary arenas
--Why a wrestler who just had his retirement show is returning
--Legendary Hall of Famer now in AAA
--Takeshi Morishima's 15th anniversary show
--Satoru Sayama's Real Japan Pro Wrestling card notes
--A look at the career and death of Bill Smithson, formerly Moondog Spike in the USWA
--Who was the original Moondog before pro wrestling?
--Who was pro wrestling's first Moondog
--A look at the creation of the Moondogs tag team
--How Smithson got started in pro wrestling
--Lots more on what happened with Chris Masters
--A look at al the publicity Masters has received
--What happened with the Extreme Rising shows this past week
--More on Sean Waltman's injury
--A look at the Jerry Lynn retirement show
--Another wrestler announces he's retiring next week
--Update on the movement to get wrestling back in the Olympics
--The return of Abyss and why
--More on Rick Bassman's autobiography project
--Cost of getting Hulk Hogan for an appearance
--Former WWE wrestler wants to try out for the NFL
--Pro wrestling's greatest announcing pair may be getting back together next month
--Latest on wrestling in Puerto Rico
--Notes on a wrestling tour of India
--Update on Chyna
--Upcoming ROH cards
--More on Bully Ray apologizing for comments to a fan and what he said afterwards
--Cost of TNA taping on the road
--Thoughts on new X Division rules
--What happened to Jeff Jarrett
--Former WrestleMania headliner says he's in talks with TNA
--A look at what should be one of TNA's biggest house shows ever
--UFC fires Lavar Johnson
--Update on health issues with Dan Hardy
--A look at the next major FOX card and the date scheduled after that for FOX
--What is going head-to-head with the next FOX card
--The strange story of the UFC 158 weigh-ins in Montreal
--Why the Diaz camp is so upset
--GSP in the movies
--Nevada commission being questioned
--Latest UFC advances
--Notes on the UFC show in Newark next month
--Ronda Rousey signs endorsement deal
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Former UFC fighter blasts Dana White
--A look at the final two Bellator episodes of this season
--One of the craziest MMA stories ever
--Three successful boxing events coming this next month
--Olympic gold medalist scores another quick win
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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
-- Michael Moody, son of Paul Bearer, commenting on the Undertaker/CM Punk angle storyline: "If anyone is wondering, yes WWE did come to us wanting approval for tonight's storyline. The way it was presented to us was OK. Seeing it on screen was a different story. I don't even know what to say."
-- And his brother Daniel Moody: "Totally different."
-- The Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation officially ruled that Alexander Gustaffson is not physically able to fight at this Saturday's UFC on FUEL event due to a cut suffered in training. The cut happened several days ago, and UFC had been waiting for them to make an announcement. Obviously, they're very upset about the situation.
In a weird twist, Wanderlei Silva on Twitter yesterday said he'd been contacted to fly out and face Gegard Mousasi as Gustaffson's replacement. Dana White then told Arial Helwani that Silva was messing around and that it was an April Fool's joke. Silva, however, insisted it wasn't a joke and he was packing his bags to leave. Today, he indeed confirmed it was a joke.
-- Dan Hardy told USA Today Sports that he's opting out of the heart surgery that would correct the Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome he was diagnosed with. This is the same problem MVP had, and WWE paid for his surgery. When it was over, he was good as new. Hardy isn't sure he wants them tinkering around with his heart since he's never had issues with it in the past.
-- UFC officially announced the Fan Expo in association with July's Independence Day UFC event (their version of WrestleMania) on July 5th and 6th at the Mandalay Bay.
-- WWE will be streaming their WrestleMania pre-show online, on the website, app, etc.
-- If you're a fan of indy wrestling or are going to WrestleCon this weekend, we've had great interviews the last two days with Adam Cole and Arik Cannon -- just really fun shows with guys who love pro wrestling. There are tons of shows up the last few weeks with more to come leading to the biggest weekend of the year.
-- Bid to win a fishing trip with Shawn Michaels here with all money going to a great cause.
-- You can watch footage of LANCE HOYT winning the TCW Title here.
-- You can listen to a Karl Anderson interview on the LAW here.
-- Paul wrote in with this: I have 2 front row tickets available for ROH Supercard of Honor, Friday night in NYC. Just looking for face value, $100 each. Contact
-- And Dan sent in this: My friend Josh Goodman is selling two tickets to Wrestlemania 29. They're dead center on the field level opposite the hard camera. Really awesome seats. Section 113F, Row P, seats 23 and 24. He's looking to try and get face value price for the tickets. If anyone is interested, contact Josh by e-mail at
-- Looks like UFC Magazine Australia is no more. From the publishing company: Bauer Media has decided to cease publication of UFC Australia and I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked on the title. The magazine was launched in 2011 under license from Zuffa, LLC and the final edition of UFC Australia, Issue 22, went on sale on Monday, March 25.
-- Tommy Dreamer has announced the date for his next House of Hardcore event, June 22nd, and there is a preview video here.
-- SICW Wrestling April 13 in East Carondelet, IL is a tv taping topped by Ron Powers vs. Bull Schmitt, Ironman Kasa and Dave Vaughn vs. Chaz Wesson and Chris Hargas plus the signing of Ricky Cruz versus Flash Flanagan for May 11 at the Argosy Casino in Alton, IL.
-- Ryback interview talking Mania and more here.
-- New PS3-exclusive wrestling game announced here.
-- Karl Stern of the DragonKingKarl Classic Wrestling Audio show has put together a 2 1/2 hour audio documentary on the history of Southeastern/Continental/CWF wrestling promotion. The audio documentary is a downloadable MP3 and is only 99 cents by PayPal to
. More information here.
DOES WRESTLEMANIA BEAT DIAZ VS. GSP IN NORTH AMERICA?
WHO WAS THE BEST OF THESE ON INTERVIEWS?
Ric Flair 88.0%
Jerry Lawler 12.0%
WHAT WAS THE BEST OF THESE WRESTLEMANIA MATCHES?
Steamboat vs. Savage 61.4%
Hogan vs. Warrior 9.7%
Warrior vs. Savage 9.3%
Savage vs. Flair 8.1%
Hart vs. Piper 5.4%
Hogan vs. Savage 2.3%
Hogan & Mr. T vs. Piper & Orndorff 1.2%
Rockers vs. Akeem & Bossman 1.1%
Bulldogs vs. Valentine & Beefcake 0.7%
Savage vs. DiBiase 0.4%
Nasty Boys vs. Hart Foundation 0.4%
Hogan vs. Slaughter 0.1%
WHAT WAS THE BEST OF THESE WRESTLEMANIA MATCHES?
Bret Hart vs. Austin 52.6%
Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart 13.6%
Michaels vs. Ramon 8.0%
Edge & Christian vs. Hardys vs. Dudleys TLC 6.7%
Michaels vs. Hart 4.4%
Angle vs. Benoit 4.2%
Edge & Christian vs. Hardy vs. Dudleys ladder match 3.2%
Austin vs. Rock I 2.5%
Undertaker vs. HHH I 2.2%
Angle vs. Jericho vs. Benoit 1.2%
Austin vs. Michaels 0.9%
Michaels vs. Diesel 0.5%
-- Fight Network will present a live broadcast of ONE FC 8: Kings & Champions this Friday, April 5, at 7 a.m. ET. ONE FC 8: Kings & Champions will replay on Saturday night, April 6, at 7 p.m. ET.
-- South Jersey's Number One Wrestling Promotion NWA Dangerous Adrenaline Wrestling Gladiators Returns to the Clayton High School in Clayton, NJ on Saturday Night April 20th with a 7:30pm Bell Time. Matt Cross works the show.
-- Former WWE/TNA star and current Indie wrestler Katarina Leigh Waters makes a great acting appearance in the web series TeleviSean, playing the character of Natasha - a mentally deranged drug-addicted formerly homeless woman. Direct link to her episode here.
-- Today in history with Brian Hoops:
1989 - At Clash of the Champions VI in New Orleans, Mike Rotunda & Steve Williams defeated The Road Warriors to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship and NWA World Champion Ricky Steamboat defeated Ric Flair in a 2 out of three falls match
1989 - At Wrestlemania V in Atlantic City, New Jersey Hulk Hogan defeated Randy Savage to win the WWF World Title
1995- At Wrestlemania XI in Hartford, CT; Owen Hart & surprise partner Yokozuna defeated The Smoking Gunns to win the WWF World Tag Team Title, Bret Hart defeated Bob Backlund in an I Quit match and WWF World Champion Diesel defeated Shawn Michaels
2000 - At Wrestlemania 2000 in Anaheim, CA; Edge & Christian defeated The Hardys and The Dudleys in a ladder match to win the WWF World Tag Team Championship, Chris Benoit won the Intercontinental Title and Chris Jericho won the European Title in a two fall match with Kurt Angle, who entered the match holding both titles and Triple H defeated The Rock, Mick Foley and The Big Show in a Four Way Elimination Match to retain the WWF World Title.
2006 - At Wrestlemania 22 in Chicago, Illinois; WWE Champion John Cena defeated Triple H with the STFU, Rob Van Dam won the Money In The Bank Match, and JBL defeated Chris Benoit to win the United States Title
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