THURS UPDATE: Mania press conferences, Cena talks about those who criticize Rock, Foley Hall of Fame possible slight update, Best match at Mania, WWE milestones, TNA gets corporate sponsor, ROH iPPV late news, GLOW doc, huge update



By Dave Meltzer
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        TNA tonight is a taped show from last week in Jonesboro, AR:
*Magno vs. Adam Pearce in a Gut Check match
*Joey Ryan ref:  Velvet Sky & Taryn Terrell vs. Gail Kim & Tara
*Sonjay Dutt vs. Petey Williams vs. Mason Andrews- winner gets an X title match
*Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe & Magnus & Eric Young & Joseph Park vs. Doc & Devon & Wes Brisco & Garett Bischoff & Knox
        Much of the show will be building next week's live show from Corpus Christi which they are pushing like the equivalent of the monthly PPV event.
 
        Bellator tonight from Atlantic City in the final show of the season at 8 p.m. on  Spike.com
Liam McGeary (204) vs. Anton Talamantes (205)
Kevin Roddy (146) vs. Brylan Van Artsdalen (145.2)
Michael Hess (145.9) vs. Will Martinez (144.9)
Brian Kelleher (139.5) vs. Jimmie Rivera (139.3)
Darrell Horcher (156) vs. Phillippe Nover (156)
Carlos Brooks (188.8) vs. Tom DeBlass (185.9) - Brooks must forfeit 20% of his purse to his opponent for failing to make weight
Shedrick Goodridge (172.8) vs. Sam Oropeza (170.5) - Goodridge must forfeit 20% of his purse to his opponent for failing to make weight
Lyman Good (170.8) vs. Dante Rivera (170.9)
       
        Live on Spike at 10 p.m.
Rick Hawn (170.7) vs. Karo Parisyan (171)
Brett Cooper (185.2) vs. Doug Marshall (185.4) in finals of this season's middleweight tournament
Frodo Khasbulaev (145.4) vs. Mike Richman (145.1) in finals of this season's featherweight tournament
Pat Curran (144.7) vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev (144.7) for the featherweight title.  Shamhalaev at first didn't make weight but did make it on a later attempt after more cutting.       
 
        We've got a look at what may be the biggest weekend in the history of the industry as the main story in a double issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter which is on the web site today.  We also have a new back issue posted this week from early 1996.  We not only look at the latest on WrestleMania and the Hall of Fame, but all the piggyback shows, iPPV shows, as we go through all the major shows, look at who is on them, what is the goals, how you can see them and more.  This is a week where it's impossible to keep up with everything without a scorecard.
 
        We preview this year's WrestleMania, look at the business, how it compares with last year's record setting year, predictions by the company of how it will do.
 
        We look at plans for the layout of WrestleMania, thoughts on the results, what will steal the show, who has to be pushed and working in cold weather.
 
        We also look at shows from all over the world this week that you can watch on television or your computer, featuring the biggest names, legends and the best up and coming workers in the business, as well as perhaps the single best match-up in the business.  We've got a look at CMLL, Dragon Gate USA, New Japan, Evolve, WWE Hall of Fame, ROH, CHIKARA, Shimmer, CZW, UFC, TNA, Invicta and more.
 
        We also have thoughts on the death of Reid Fliehr, the youngest son of Ric Flair.  We look at his life, and the role wrestling played, a lot of notes on why there is literally nothing possible that could have been worse for Ric Flair, and circumstances of what happened.
 
        We also have a look at Shannon Knapp, who could become one of the major players in MMA and women's sports if the right deal comes to fruition.  We look at the Invicta show that takes place this week, the forming of the promotion, what they need to survive, the role of Ronda Rousey, television, PPV, drug testing and the world of transgender women trying to become fighters.
 
        We also look at Dwayne Johnson training, his first pro match, his movie business, as well as C.M. Punk talks Undertaker match and how he believes there is no such thing as going too far, his dream opponent, awards WWE was nominated for, WWE CFO says the most ridiculous thing possible about its crowd and the UFC crowd, more on the Jerry Lawler museum, WWE charity work, major executive hire an background, Steve Austin's retirement, major change in coaching, writing at NXT, scouting NXT for potential stars, who is coming to WrestleMania after not having been with the company for 30 years, more on where the Fandango "What's my name" gimmick came from and more.
 
        We also look at Mick Foley in high school, a major star from another country in developmental almost unnoticed, Evan Bourne's return, delayed viewership from Raw setting a record, Bob Holly gives background on one of the most famous matches in WWF history, plus all the WWE business notes from the past week and house show highlights.
 
        We also have a feature on 60s and 70s Southern star Don Carson, most notably the two years when he, by virtue of being in the right place with the right opponents, was drawing sellout business on type working in Los Angeles.  We look at his role in the Blassie vs. Tolos feud, the original Roman Gladiator Death match, Blassie & Don Carson team and why Blassie never liked it, the build to what is still the most attended wrestling show ever in California, why he clicked in some places but not in others, and the major international star who started out as Ron Carson, his little brother.  We also look at the Southern promotions and their star of the 60s, the Jack Pfefer/Tony Santos days in Boston, , his biggest Southern feuds and his managing career.
 
        We also look back at the wrestling and MMA career of Dan Severn, an amateur great who went into pro wrestling and ended up being one of the original UFC legends.  This is a major piece about the early days of a very different UFC, with tournaments, style vs. style, and no weight classes.  We go back to the days of Royce Gracie, the original stars of UFC, as well as still fighting at the age of 54.
 
        He look at the crazy days of MMA in its infancy, before it was even called MMA, reasons he credits for his longevity, and a philosophy very different from the mentality of most fighters as to the reason.  We go back to when Dan Severn was a wrestling machine in high school and his first year of college, his hopes and frustrations when it came to the Olympics.  We look at how wrestling politics and the Olympics paved the way for Severn to go another three decades in competition.
 
        We look at becoming a name in Japanese pro wrestling, how he got into UFC, the idea that UFC scouted him while he was doing a pro wrestling match, his early MMA training with Al Snow, winning the Ultimate Ultimate and the UFC title, and why his relations fell apart with UFC.
 
        Severn also look at who he thinks from pro wrestling could have done well in UFC.  He also talks about the current popularity of UFC, what he thought about it yeas ago, and the modern era.
 
        We also have a look at the Elimination Chamber buys, and what this said about Rock vs. Punk, how much extra money thus far did they bring in, does it pay for the costs, why in some ways looking at the show in isolation doesn't tell the complete story, what Rock and Brock Lesnar mean on PPV in revenue, and comparisons with last year.
 
         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:
 
--Match in Mexico that got rave reviews even though it was short
 
--Main event from 23 years ago still headlining today
 
--A nostalgia show featuring the return of a number of stars in their 60s
 
--A look at the weekend AAA TV taping and the next tapings
 
--What may be the last Budokan Hall wrestling sellout for a long time
 
--Details of this year's Champion Carnival tournament
 
--First night pairings and bracketing
 
--More craziness in Japan from Nobuo Shiraishi
 
--Update on the All Japan junior heavyweight tag team tournament
 
--New Japan stars going to NOAH for big matches
 
--Notes on NOAH's upcoming Global tag team tournament
 
--New Japan working with the NWA and other U.S> indie groups
 
--Japanese star announces retirement
 
--Son of Hall of Famer about to debut next month
 
--Sean Waltman talks injures when he tore up his ass, literally, wrestling Jerry Lynn
 
--Fund raisers for Scott Hall
 
--More on Extreme Rising canceling shows, wanting their title belt back and more
 
--Former WWF star fighting for life, questions why company helps other but not him
 
--Former ROH champion talks retirement
 
--Former WWE star in a movie role
 
--More notes on the Joe Weider pro wrestling connection
 
--What legendary pro wrestler used to appear in Weider barbell ads
 
--65-year-old territorial legend announces a comeback to build for his group's biggest show of the year and brings up a murder to build his angle
 
--WWE wrestler appears in foreign promotion based on contract clause
 
--TNA stars appearing in Puerto Rico
 
--Update on former wrestling announcer Bob Caudle
 
--A look back at the days when local station personalities handled the area wrestling
 
--Funny story about a wrestler playing a prank on a sportscaster
 
--80s star home burns down
 
--Story behind Charlie Haas leaving ROH, both the altercation and why people were so upset at him
 
--A look at ROH's show in Asheville
 
--More stations that could be getting ROH
 
--A look at changes in Spike TV and what they are looking at as far as changing image
 
--A look at TNA writing
 
--Hulk Hogan talks HHH taking over
 
--A title forgotten about
 
--UFC's debut on Fox Sports 1
 
--UFC champion getting married
 
--Lots  of UFC cuts
 
--Lots of new UFC fights
 
--Story behind Dan Hardy's ailment and his fighting future
 
--Nick Diaz's future as things stand
 
--Updating this season of Ultimate Fighter as the final episode approaches
 
--A look at the ending of the Bellator season
 
--Ken Shamrock coming out of retirement
 
--More notes on World Series of Fighting ratings
 
        New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.
 
        Our most requested issues in our history are:
 
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
 
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
 
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
 
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)
 
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
 
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
 
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
 
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
history)
 
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
 
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
 
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
 
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
 
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
 
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
 
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
 
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
 
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
 
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
 
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
 
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
 
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
 
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
 
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
 
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
 
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
 
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
 
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
 
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
 
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
 
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
 
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
 
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
 
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
 
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
 
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
 
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
 
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
 
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
 
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
 
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
 
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
 
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
 
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
 
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
 
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
 
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
 
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
 
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
 
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
 
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
 
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
 
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bigelow)
 
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
 
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
 
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
 
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
 
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
 
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
 
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
 
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
 
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
 
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
 
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
 
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
 
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
 
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
 
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
 
Rates are:
 
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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.
 
Thursday's News Update
 
--Just a few notes.  With this being the biggest week of the year when it comes to shows, we will be doing radio shows Friday night through Monday night, covering all the shows and the news of the night.
 
--The Quebec commission only drug tested six fighters from UFC 158.  They would not say which six, but none of them failed. 
 
--WWE held a WrestleMania press conference this afternoon in New York.  In a sense, in an attempt to be more respected in the New York media, this wasn't open to the public.  This led to some awkwardness when HHH said, "Are you ready?" the first time to no reaction.  He ended up doing it two more times and the people there sorta picked up on it.  There was no real news past "Living Colour" performing at the show.
 
--At the press conference, John Saboor did some facts about economic impact, Vince McMahon spoke about celebrities at WrestleMania I in Madison Square Garden, Alberto Del Rio spoke about being the first Mexican-born and Mexican-bred world champion who will defend their title at Mania (he had only challenged for it in the past).  HHH was the only person who cut a promo, and he got maybe 30 seconds tops before Stephanie McMahon came out.  They tried to do a sit-com comedy act of the pretty and intelligent wife and her much less intelligent husband.  It didn't seem to work even though HHH usually has good comedy timing.  Stephanie did most of the speaking, talking about social media for this event and family history, dating back to great-grandfather Jess McMahon, who was a boxing and wrestling promoter dating back to 1925, when he promoted a light heavyweight boxing title match in Madison Square Garden.  Mark Henry was next, saying little other than noting he lives in Harlem now, and that he will not be embarrassed at WrestleMania.  C.M. Punk did maybe 30 seconds, saying he was going to end the streak.  Rock did a long interview, talking about his grandfather wrestling with Vince's father, and how both would be watching the show form heaven.  He put over Cena as, by far, his best possible opponent for this show.  John Cena came out last and was clearly positioned as the face of the company.  John was his usual self, although it felt he was overly scripted here.  He put over Rock, said it would be the greatest show ever because of how good the production people are and how great the lineup is.  He also spoke a little in both French and Chinese, and at least to me, sounded like he pulled it off well.
 
--The contrast between this and the Diaz-GSP press conference couldn't have been greater.  This was far more awkward, almost stuffy, everyone in suits and ties, very scripted, but still had polished speakers who knew what they were saying ahead of time.  You can argue which is better.  This came across more of trying to show how big an event it is to media while the UFC was one more organic, more insane, and clearly, with the benefit of hindsight, led to far more late interest by the ticket buying public.  But in talking about hundreds of millions of dollars in impact and all the different events, this did come across like a bigger event.
 
--Brock Lesnar is doing no media at all, which tells you what a sweet deal he cut.  He was difficult for UFC, but he did do at least the major media.  Paul Heyman is out there doing the media, but Lesnar could get sports media that it would be difficult for others to get.  Lesnar didn't even speak at the press conference, nor did Undertaker. 
 
--There has been a lot of talk regarding the Hall of Fame and Mick Foley ever since the TV commercial for the TV broadcast only mentioned Bruno Sammartino, Trish Stratus and Donald Trump.  We've got more on it in the current issue on this.  Mick Foley got a lot of Twitter feedback from fans who were mad about it.  I felt it was a major slight but a WWE official told me they are 90% sure Foley will be part of the broadcast.  On Monday night and Tuesday, we did hear from a number of people in the company who were not happy, and quite shocked.  Foley said that he watched his new DVD with his kids and that he realizes he has so much to be proud of, so he's giving the best possible speech he can and whatever happens from there is a decision out of his control.  He said he would do everything he can, to make the decision, if it doesn't air, to "look as glaringly stupid as possible."
 
--There was an AP story on Dwayne Johnson related to Sunday's show.  When asked about criticism of the rematch, he said it was the biggest money match the promotion could make on this date.  He noted he had a private wrestling ring set up when he was on location for his movies to keep in as good a ring shape as is possible without doing it regularly.  It was noted Rock could call his shots and he chose Cena for this year.  Cena also argued against fans and any talent who believed a full-time wrestler should have gotten the main event spot, noting, "I wish we had one guy with 10 percent of his vision and his aspiration.  When he gets a small opportunity, he kicks the damn door down and owns the house.  Often times here, we have superstar that remind me of a hamster on the treadmill, and those are the guys that usually complain.  I don't take too kindly to them.  I'm fortunate Rock's here and I'm glad he's here.  He can show up whenever he wants." 
 
--Johnson said that he hasn't decided if he's going to do next year's show in the story, although the writer clearly didn't believe it and thought Rock vs. Brock Lesnar made sense.    
 
WHAT DO YOU PREDICT WILL BE THE BEST MATCH AT WRESTLEMANIA?
Brock Lesnar vs. HHH 38.3%
Undertaker vs. C.M. Punk 32.6%
Chris Jericho vs. Fandango 9.0%
The Shield vs. Big Show & Randy Orton & Sheamus 7.5%
The Rock vs. John Cena 7.3%
Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger 1.5%
Ryback vs. Mark Henry 1.3%
8 man tag 1.3%
Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston 1.1%
The Miz vs. Wade Barrett 0.0%
 
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF TUESDAY'S ULTIMATE FIGHTER?
Excellent 37.9%
Good 46.0%
Average 5.7%
Fair 2.3%
Poor 8.0%
        50.8% of those responding didn't see the show
 
WHAT COMPANY WILL HAVE THE BEST SHOW THIS WEEKEND?
WWE 45.4%
New Japan 16.9%
TNA 9.4%
ROH 8.1%
Dragon Gate USA 5.7%
CHIKARA 4.7%
Shimmer 3.3%
UFC 2.9%
Invicta 1.8%
CMLL 0.8%
CZW 0.6%
PWS 0.4%
 
WHAT WAS THE BEST OF THESE WRESTLEMANIA MATCHES?
Undertaker vs. HHH III 38.3%
Undertaker vs. HHH II 33.3%
Punk vs. Jericho 16.9%
Rock vs. Cena 6.9%
Orton vs. Punk 2.4%
Edge vs. Del Rio 2.3%
 
--Right now the plan is to start Christian back imminently.  As of last night, it was as a babyface.  
 
--The Bruno Sammartino story noted in yesterday's update was picked up nationwide and ran in today's San Francisco  Chronicle.  The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is staffing the Hall of Fame on Saturday.
 
 
 
--Honky Tonk Man on his Facebook page said he signed a new deal with WWE.  That would a Legends Deal.

--Adam Pearce was named as Samoa Joe's partner against Christopher Daniels & Kazarian on the 4/21 World Wrestling League debut show in San Juan  

--One more show was added to the national television of this weekend, a Jungle Fight event from Brazil which airs on ESPN Deportes at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday night.
 
--There is also a Glory iPPV on Saturday at 1 p.m. Eastern time from Istanbul, Turkey featuring two of the best heavyweight kickboxers in the world in Daniel Ghita vs. Gokhan Saki.  The winner of this fight with get a title shot at Semmy Schlit's world heavyweight title.
 
--We have a ton of readers all over New York.  Bryan will be doing get togethers to check him out on Twitter for details.
 
--Stephen Lyon noted to us that there is a huge billboard advertising the Half of Fame underneath the Madison Square Garden sign at one of the entrances, featuring photos of Bruno Sammartino and Mick Foley, nobody else.  Inside Madison Square Garden there was a poster, again with only those two names.  He noted Chris Jericho dressed in a Rangers uniform, like his father, last night when he made his appearance.  Lyon said there is a real buzz around town for the show.
 
--John Cena talks WrestleMania, Undertaker vs. Punk, whether he's in the same class as The Rock all at http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/tv/wwe_superstar_john_cena_discusses_AjNX69oxt4pwDzG5fTsial
 
--Newsday spoke to Hulk Hogan talking about his one man show and TNA at http://www.newsday.com/sports/pro-wrestling/hulk-hogan-sans-wwe-wrestlemania-heads-to-new-york-1.5005463
 
--A look at Uhaa Nation of Dragon Gate USA, who they are going to turn into one of the big stars of the company at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNzr4CmPoVA&feature=youtu.be
 
--ROH announced today that Shelton  Benjamin will be wrestling on tomorrow night's iPPV show from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York.  Benjamin was to wrestle Charlie Haas, who quit/was fired on Saturday night.
 
--DDP and Jake Roberts will be on ESPN U's Unite TV show which airs at midnight.   
 
--On Fuel tonight, UFC Tonight is at 8 p.m., Best of Pride at 9 p.m., Jon Jones vs. Rampage Jackson at 10 p.m. and this week's Ultimate Fighter at 11 p.m.
 
--Kane & Daniel Bryan passed the 200 day mark as tag team champions today.  The only longer reigns of modern times are Brian Kendrick & Paul London (331), Carlito & Primo (280), and John Morrison & The Miz (249). 
 
--Antonio Cesaro, at 228 days, passed Chris Benoit for the third longest U.S. tile reign of he modern belt behind MVP (343) and Shelton Benjamin (243).  Just looking at the people in the top spots kind of tells you how meaningless in the big picture long reigns for secondary titles are. (thanks to Patrick Gronemann)
 
--TNA has picked up Candlewood Suites as a corporate sponsor with a one year deal naming them the official hotel partner for TNA. 
 
--A story on Jim Johnston, who has written a ton of WWE entrance music, is at http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/
 
 
--This is behind a paywall, but the Chicago Tribune did a story on Lisa Varon's (Tara) pizza restaurant in Lincoln, Park, IL, "The Squared Circle."  A food writer at the paper, also a subscriber, noted "I was delighted and surprised to find the food there to be quite good."  Story is at http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/ct-dining-0404-squared-circle-profile-20130404,0,6041853.story (thanks to Kevin Pang)
 
--Weigh-ins for One FC, an iPPV from a sold out Singapore Indoor Stadium at 8 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning
Chen Yun  Ting (124) vs. Ronald Low (124)
Swain Cangco (203) vs. Jake Butler (205)
Bashir Ahamd (145) vs. Shannon  Wiratchai (145) 
Rene Catalan (124) vs. Alex Silva (125)
Yusup Saddulaev (135) vs. Leandro Issa (135)
Arnaud Lepont (154) vs. Eddie Ng (154)
Thanh Vu (135) vs. Kevin Belingon (135)
Jens Pulver (134) vs. Masakatsu Ueda (135)
Brock Larson (185) vs. Melvin Manhoef (185)
Kotetsu Boku (154) vs. Shinya Aoki (155) for the lightweight title 
 
--Dave Musgrave and Dylan Hales talk Mania week at http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterid=112658@cmd=tc
 
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1947 - Bert Assirati beat Yvon Martinson in a tournament final in London to become the world heavyweight champion as recognized in Europe 
1969 - The Spoiler (Don Jardine) beat Spyros Arion to win the IWA title in Sydney
1969 - The Assassins, Jody Hamilton & Tom Renesto, beat El Mongol & Louie Tillet in the tournament finals to win the Georgia tag team titles
1980 - Tatsumi Fujinami beat Mike Graham in Kawasaki to win the NWA International jr. title
1984 - Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood to win the NWA world tag team titles in Spartanburg, SC
1988 - Jim Breaks beat Peter Bainbridge in Bath to win the European lightweight title
1988 - Pierroth Jr. beat Halcon in San Lorenzo, Mexico to win the Mexican national light heavyweight title 
1991 - Aja Kong & Bison Kimura, The Jungle Jacks, beat Suzuka Minami (super underrated) & Akira Hokuto in Osaka to win the WWWA women's tag team titles   
1993 - WrestleMania IX took place in Las Vegas.  It is generally considered one of the three or four worst in history.  It was outdoors, with bad lighting, not sold out, and best remembered for togas, plus Yokozuna beat Bret Hart to win the WWF title, and then Hulk Hogan immediately beat Yokozuna in an impromptu match in like 25 seconds to take the title, with the idea of building to Hogan vs. Bret in a big singles program with Bret winning.  Oh well, you know how that went.
1994 - Tatsumi Fujinami beat Shinya Hashimoto in Hiroshima to win the IWGP title
1998 - Tatsumi Fujinami beat Kensuke Sasaki in Tokyo to win the IWGP title
1998 - Rob Van Dam beat Bam Bam Bigelow in Buffalo to start a long run as ECW TV champion
 
--DDP and Jake Roberts are in New York.  Perhaps this could lead to Roberts getting into the Hall of Fame next year.  Domenic DeNucci is in town for Bruno Sammartino.  Mil Mascaras is in town to see WrestleMania with his brother Dos Caras. 
 
--Gary Wolfe last night announced he was forming a new Pitbulls tag team with Kid Kash, who will be Pitbull #3.  Pitbull #2, Anthony Durante, passed away years ago.
 
--Invicta weigh-is take place today at 6:30 p.m. Eastern  time at the Aladdin Holiday Inn in Downtown Kansas City on the 16th floor.  They are open to the public. and will stream live at www.InvictaFC.com  
 
--JWP in Japan announced that Nikki Storm, the champion of Europe's Pro Wrestling Eve, will be going on tour there from 4/9 to 5/5.
 
--The web site for the ECW documentary Barbed Wire City is up at www.barbedwirecity.com 
 
--Speaking of which, the LogoTV.com web site at www.logotv.com has the GLOW documentary up.  I finally saw it last night.  It was really good, more based around a reunion of the women after about 20 years.  Most of the cast was interviewed, including Lisa Moretti, who was Tina Ferrari in GLOW and went on to become Ivory in WWF.
 
--Impact Zone Wrestling debuts on The Combat Network at 1 a.m. late Saturday/early Sunday    
 
--Former Ultimate Fighter Shamar Bailey faces Luis Santos in the main event on 4/19 for XFC in Louisville, KY, which airs nationally on AXS.
 
--New England Championship Wrestling debuts on WMPF in Boston tonight at 12:30 a.m.  
 
--Dan Wahlers talks WrestleMania at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/squaredcirclerundown
 
--Damien Wayne vs. Vordell Walker for the NWA national title headlines for  Southern All-Star Wrestling tomorrow night at the SAW Mill in Millersville, TN.

What are you watching Wednesday?

 

What will the WWE network number be?

 

What are you planning on watching next weekend?