FRI UPDATE: Lots of shows, big historical weekend, GSP talks weight conspiracy and adds fuel to fire, Fandangoing, SMMAF talks Gustaffson cut and pull from card, tons more

By Bryan Alvarez | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @bryanalvarez

After the biggest weekend of the year, and maybe ever, this is the calm after the storm. WWE has given everyone off touring given they do TV and then both crews right after TV leave for Europe where the tour runs from Wednesday until 4/28. TNA is off this weekend after last night's taping, and ROH doesn't have another show until the iPPV on 5/4.

So for the weekend, it's strictly, MMA. AXS has the Legacy Fighting Championships tonight from Allen, TX at the Allen Event Center will Will Campuzano vs. Allan Nasciemento for the flyweight title, Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Din Thomas and famed Jiu Jitsu trainer Robert Drysdale vs. D.J. Linderman. It's a deeper card when it comes to name fighters than most of the Friday night AXS shows.

UFC runs tomorrow with a show on Fuel and FX that has a lot of ramifications.

Facebook fights at 5:30 p.m.

Sam Sicilia vs. Maximo Blanco

Justin Lawrence vs. Daniel Pineda

Cole Miller vs. Bart Palaszewski

Fuel at 7 p.m.

Clint Hester vs. Bristol Marunde

Dylan Andrews vs. Jimmy Quinlan

Luke Barnatt vs Collin Hart

Kevin Casey vs. Josh Samman

FX at 9 p.m.

Bubba McDaniel vs. Gilbert Smith

Travis Browne vs. Gabriel Gonzaga

Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano - Winner coaches the next season of Ultimate

Fighter and gets the next shot at Ronda Rousey

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Uriah Hall for the TUF championship

Urijah Faber vs Scott Jorgensen

Although a minor show as compared to the next two weeks, there are probably more stakes on this show than most. Every match on Fuel and the McDaniel vs. Smith match on FX are all likely loser leaves town style matches unless the loser looks impressive and they tear down the house. Tate vs. Zingano is a match where the winner will be put in position to be a superstar, a coaching spot on TUF and a major PPV main event. Hall vs. Gastelum is the TUF finale and Hall is coming out of the house fights with more momentum than any TUF competitor in years.

Raw is Monday in Greenville, SC at the Bi Lo Center. Nothing has been announced for the show other than C.M. Punk will be back doing a promo and they'll follow up on Cena vs. Ryback.

Smackdown, Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam will be taped on Tuesday in Knoxville.

        One of the year's biggest issues, the annual WrestleMania issue of the Observer is out and up on the web site.  You can also order the print version.  It's a double issue that covers Mania and most of the other major events that took place over the past week.  Because there is so much, even with a double issue we couldn't cover every major show, so we'll have more next week.  In addition, a new back issue is up from 1996, including coverage of one of the great pro wrestling shows of all-time, the second Super J Cup.
        Our lead story looks at WrestleMania, including business records, attendance, where it stands on the all-time WWE list, legit attendance at the biggest WrestleManias of the past, live gate records, what WWE claimed as records, the 25 biggest pro wrestling and MMA gates in history in North America, a listing of WWE's biggest PPV shows to date, and how many buys on PPV does this show need to get to break the all-time revenue record for a single pro wrestling event.
        We look at the problems associated with the show, why one early indicator points to huge numbers, why different people loved and hated it live, the ordering problems on PPV, the Internet issues, how that changed aspects of the show, as well as a rundown of the entire show.  We look at the complaints about the show, why writing wrestling is so difficult, what the plans were for Raw for The Rock, questions about his future, his potential Mania matches and what is planned, why  Brock Lesnar and C.M. Punk weren't at Raw, the Dolph Ziggler title win, the Fandango craze, what happened in Boston, the two IC title changes, WWE plans for post-WrestleMania including an angle shot backstage.
        We also have match-by-match coverage with star ratings on WrestleMania the New Japan Invasion Attack show and ROH Supercard of Honor.
        We've also got coverage of where New Japan goes next on PPV after this past weekend, look at the title change to Kazuchika Okada, what next for Hiroshi Tanahashi and a complete look at the show.
        We also look at how ROH did with its show, as well as a look at the Border Wars card and future of talent like Maria Kanellis and Karl Anderson.
        We also have a look at WrestleCon, which looks to no become an annual part of WrestleMania weekend.
        We also look at news regarding the new developmental facility for WWE, an announcement made by Stephanie McMahon that blind sided WWE's partners, Stephanie McMahon talks the future of the company, why there is a business reason for Dwayne Johnson to return to Raw long before he does his next match, new Monday night sports programming against Raw, Owen Hart lawsuit settled, John Cena talks Dwayne Johnson and other WWE stars when it comes to ambition, HHH talks about getting Bruno Sammartino and Vince's reaction, a look at Sammartino's stadium matches in Jersey City and New York, Daniel Bryan talks current wrestling and what frustrates him, C.M. Punk talks about his theory regarding the WWE title and why Rock shouldn't have been champion, his thoughts on their matches, thoughts about dream opponents and more.  Also, Dwayne Johnson talks why he came back, the storyline, plus we look at updates on movies with wrestlers, Shane McMahon, newcomers and returnees to WWE, and more.   
        We also look at the records set over the weekend in UFC's Fuel card from Sweden, including a look at the firsts of the main event, how viewership habits have changed greatly over the past year, business notes on the show and the creation of a new potential superstar.
        We also have a lot more on the life of Reid Fliehr, Ric Flair's involvement in his life, his issues with drugs and the law, his trip to Japan, the funeral and more.
        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.
       If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.  Just sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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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 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:
--Former WWE star in serious auto accident
--One of AAA's biggest stars claims he's going back to CMLL
--Notes on the 70th anniversary of pro wrestling at Arena Coliseo in Mexico City
--Notes on the person who was there for the 70th show as well as the first show
--Notes on the upcoming Gran Alternativa tournament
--Update on Hector Garza
--Notes on TripleMania
--A look at new AAA stars
--All Japan's junior heavyweight tag team tournament
--New trainees from North America coming to Pro Wrestling NOAH
--One of the best workers in the world about to return form knee surgery
--A look at the big show preluding the New Japan PPV
--Talks about a major show for December
--Updates on Scott Hall
--The first closed circuit pro wrestling show anywhere in the world and who was on top
--Update on Dave Bautista
--Strange situation with Sabu at a weekend show
--Sean Waltman talks his issues
--Update on Rick Bassman's book
--An iPPV this coming week featuring stars from all over the world
--More on the termination of Grizzly Redwood
--More cities will be getting ROH programming
--A look at the next several weeks of ROH television as well as the next PPV top matches
--Rob Van Dam's future
--More Hogan mythology
--Hogan talks Cena going heel
--Upcoming dates and places for TNA tapings
--TNA star set to return
--More on Ivelisse Velez
--Notes on TNA's show in New York over WrestleMania weekend
--Updated PPV numbers for St-Pierre vs. Diaz
--More on UFC television in the U.K.
--Notes on this week's UFC show
--Notes on final episode of Ultimate Fighter
--Notes on the suspension of Matt Mitrione
--Lorenzo Fertitta talks expanding drug testing
--Lineup for UFC's debut in Winnipeg
--Notes on upcoming UFC PPV events
--New UFC fights
--A look at Bellator's reality show
--Live Bellator events going forward
--When King Mo fights again
--Bellator first season notes
--Notes on Bellator's season finale show
--Notes on the last Invicta show and main event for the next show
--Shinya Aoki captures championship
--Notes on one of Canada's major sports stars debuting in MMA
--Japanese MMA star may compete for U.S. in the Olympics
--Notes on the fighter who passed away this past week

Rates are:
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        If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
        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

-- Lots of site notes. First off, Wrestling Observer Radio with Mick Foley is up on the front page right now and FREE, so please spread the word in your various social media outlets. It's a great show as he talks the Hall of Fame, Jericho and the big elbow, Mr. Backlund, Bruno, his comedy tour and tons more.

-- Also tonight at midnight Pacific, we'll be taking calls at 425-482-1686 for the return of After Dark. We're doing part two of our local legends show, so please call in on that topic or send emails with your best stories to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with "After Dark" somewhere in the body of the message or subject line. Will read as many as I can on the air. Keep in mind, it's a listener-driven show and all emails and phone lines are open on any topic under the sun. You can always be kept abreast as to when we're taking calls for this or any other show by following me on Twitter @bryanalvarez, and having tweets sent to your phone. I normally don't tweet all that much unless it's like a WrestleMania weekend, so I won't blow up your phone.

-- All WrestleMania weekend newsletters are up now, both Observer (double issues) and Figure Four Weekly (live perspective, probably biggest issue of the year).

-- Speaking of Foley, June 2nd appearance at a major New York comedy club: Newly minted WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley will perform his one-man stand-up show, Mick Foley: Tales from Wrestling Past, on Sunday, June 2 at 7:30 PM, at Carolines on Broadway (1626 Broadway, between 49th and 50th Streets). Tickets are $25.00 per person, plus a two-drink minimum and can be purchased online at Reservations can be made by calling the Carolines on Broadway Box Office at 212.757.4100. Mick is a former WWE champion, a hardcore legend and a New York Times best-selling author. He's a globetrotting athlete and entertainer that has bled and sweated for hundreds of thousands of fans all across the world. Now Mick Foley has exchanged the world of headlocks, steel chairs and punches for the world of stories, banter and punch lines. Universally acclaimed as one of the most entertaining talkers in professional wrestling, Mick has decided to unleash his verbal talents on the world of stand-up comedy. With his understated combination of wit and easy-going, understated charm he's sure to enthrall fans old and new from behind the microphone. In his one-man show, Mick finds that escaping the worldwide shadow of WWE and one infamous match in particular has proven to be the greatest challenge of his twenty-seven year career. Along the way he also finds time to explain that his rollercoaster ride through the world of professional wrestling has given him a unique insight into subjects as diverse as politics, pornography and the quest for world peace.

-- GSP admitted in an interview yesterday that, in fact, he believed he weighed 170.4 pounds for his title fight with Nick Diaz last month in Montreal. The legal limit for a title fight is 170.0 on the dot. He said he was surprised as Diaz to learn that they were rounding down. Diaz's camp will likely go nuts when they hear this, but at the same time, GSP was wearing fight shorts and such when he weighed in so it's hard to believe he'd have missed weight had he stripped down. He was over, however, so there is something to this story.

-- Jim Ross has a new blog up here talking next week's Cauliflower Alley Club banquet (which Dave and I are attending, albeit very briefly and pretty much only for the banquet) and more.

-- A trailer for the next WWE Film, No One Lives, which features an appearance by dancing smiling Saturday Morning Slam kid's show babyface Brodus Clay, is up here.

-- Houston Texan cheerleaders happily Fandangoing here. WWE wants to make this into their own version of the Harlem Shake. You think I'm joking. The chart update is here. Song is at 37 in the Top 40 at present. It appears the BBC is refusing to play Ding Dong the Witch is Dead no matter what. An anti-Margaret Thatcher contingent fought to get it to number one.

-- Jamie writes: A little funny bit for the update if you want it- Everton (A big Soccer team in England) got inundated with requests to play Fandango's song before their game tomorrow. Initially the club tweeted that they would not do so (, a bit down the feed) they seemed to get more requests (including Fandango tweeting out a picture of Liverpool's club logo, who are Everton's biggest rivals, the clubs are literally within 10 minutes of each other) and now they have turned around and will play it. (Also on Twitter Feed.)

-- The Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation issued a full statement on why they pulled Alexander Gustaffson from his fight last weekend. Everything you ever wanted to know about the process of getting cut and healing is in here, and when you read it, the fact that three doctors unanimously agreed with it strongly suggests that it was the right call. You can read it here.

-- TNA's British Boot Camp has been signed on by FUEL TV in Australia, but still no US or Canadian outlets. It was a fun show.

-- This fella did what can best be described as an attempted sunset flip in an amateur match. Called it the flying squirrel. He won. Click here.

-- Over the Top Radio tonight talking WrestleMania weekend. Ed in San Antonio refers to you, the listener, as a "geek". Ed said this. ED.

-- Miz talks Fantasy Football and more here.

-- Gangrel will be doing a meet and greet appearance at Grafitti Bar & Grill in Clinton Iowa THIS Saturday, April 13th from 9pm to Midnight hosting a concert. Price is $15 @ the door for the entire show with the meet and greet. Extra professional 8x10's will be available for purchase signed by him in person.

-- Grantland article on John Cena getting booed here.

-- Super busy day in history according to Brian Hoops:

1947 - Tarzan López defeated Black Guzmán to win the Mexican National Light Heavyweight Title.

1948 - Mike Kelly defeated Gory Guerrero for the NWA World Middleweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico.

1958 - Verne Gagne defeated Dick the Bruiser in Chicago, Illinois to win the Chicago/Detroit NWA United States Heavyweight Title

1961 - The Mysterious Medics defeated Bobby and Don Fields in Mobile, Alabama for the Gulf Coast NWA Southern Tag Team Title

1963 - Karl Von Schober and Ricky Waldo defeated The Masked Destroyer and Jim Wright for the Stampede International Tag Team Title in Calgary, Alberta.

1967 - Ricky Romero defeated Stan Pulaski to win the California Heavyweight Title in Los Angeles, California.

1968 - Mr. Wrestling defeated El Mongol in Atlanta, Georgia to win the NWA Georgia Heavyweight Title

1969 - Moondog Mayne defeated Luther Lindsay for the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title.

1970 - Bill Watts defeated The Spoiler to win the Tri-State NWA North American Heavyweight Title in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

1972 - Bob Kelly defeated Don Fargo for the NWA Gulf Coast Heavyweight Title in Mobile, Alabama. At the same event, Gorgeous George, Jr. defeats Bill White for the City of Mobile Heavyweight Title

1973 - The Wrestling Pro defeated Bob Kelly to win the NWA Mississippi Heavyweight Title in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

1976 - Don Leo Jonathan and Jimmy Snuka defeated Gene Kiniski and Siegfried Steinke to win the Vancouver NWA Canadian Tag Team Title in Vancouver, British Columbia.

1977 - Fritz Von Erich defeated Bruiser Brody in Dallas, Texas to win the NWA American Heavyweight Titles.

1980 - The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) defeated Ivan Putski and Tito Santana for the WWF World Tag Team Title in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1980 - Bob Orton, Jr. and Tony Peters defeated Terry Gibbs and Bob Roop to win the International Championship Wrestling Southeastern Tag Team Title in Knoxville, Tennessee.

1982 - Bill Dundee and Steve Keirn won the AWA Southern Tag Team Title from Bobby Eaton and Sweet Brown Sugar in Memphis, Tennessee.

1983 - Ron Bass and Stan Hansen defeated Giant Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta for the NWA International Tag Team Title in Matsuyama, Japan.

1984 - The Spoiler defeated Brad Armstrong to win the NWA National Heavyweight Title in Wheeling, West Virginia.

1984 - The Grapplers (Len Denton and Tony Anthony) defeated Jerry and Ted Oates in Kansas City, Kansas to win the NWA Central States Tag Team Title

1985 - Cien Caras and Sangre Chicana defeated Cachorro and Ringo Mendoza for the Mexican National Tag Team Title in Mexico City, Mexico.

1986 - Billy Jack Haynes defeated Bobby Jaggers to win the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title in Portland, Oregon.

1987 - Rick Steiner and Sting defeated Chris Adams and Terry Taylor to win the UWF World Tag Team Title in Atlanta, Georgia.

1988 - Kendo Nagasaki and Mr. Pogo defeated Chris and Mark Youngblood for the WWC World Tag Team Title in San Juan, Puerto Rico

1990 - Robert Fuller and Kendall Windham defeated Brian Knobbs and Hurricane Walker (subbing for Jerry Sags) to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Title in Tampa, Florida.

1990 - The Lightning Kid (Sean Waltman) defeated Matt Derringer to win the Pro Wrestling America Light Heavyweight Title in Fridley, Minnesota.

1991 - Eric Embry defeated Bill Dundee for the USWA Texas Heavyweight Title in Dallas, Texas. At the same event, Jeff Jarrett defeated Tom Prichard to win the USWA Southern Heavyweight Title.

1993 - Simply Devine (Steve Doll and Rex King) won the USWA Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennesseee, defeating the Moondogs.

1997 - In Tokyo, Japan; Riki Choshu and Kensuke Sasaki defeated IWGP Tag Team Champions Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura to win the title.

1997 - The Shooting Stars (Jerry Faith and Troy Haste) defeated Flash Flanagan and Billy Travis for the USWA Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee. At the same event, King Reginald (Reggie B. Fine) defeated Jerry Lawler

2000 - The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton) defeated Steven Dunn and Jackie Fulton (subbing for Reno Riggins) for the NWA World Tag Team Title in Waegwan, South Korea.

2000 - Chris Michaels defeated Sean Casey in Jeffersonville, Indiana, to win the OVW Light Heavyweight Title

-- Conor McGregor was on TV3 news at 5.30 in Ireland with a short interview while he was buying a new suit, describing how he's a big star now after his first UFC win. The TV3 5.30 news would be the second largest viewed news program in Ireland. He's been getting a lot of pub lately.

Undertaker 38.3%
Hulk Hogan 35.0%
Shawn Michaels 10.4%
Steve Austin 8.3%
The Rock 5.4%
Randy Savage 1.9%
Vince McMahon 0.5%
HHH 0.2%

Excellent 9.8%
Good 46.3%
Average 24.4%
Fair 9.8%
Poor 9.8%
63.1% of those responding didn't see the show

Verne Gagne 50.1%
Nick Bockwinkel 31.6%
Hulk Hogan 7.8%
The Crusher 6.3%
Superstar Billy Graham 3.3%
Mad Dog Vachon 0.9%

Excellent 22.6%
Good 45.9%
Average 17.3%
Fair 8.3%
Poor 6.0%
31.8% of those responding didn't see the show

-- 17th Annual ECWA Super 8 Tournament is Saturday at the Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702. Call (302) 836-6464 for details.

-- Bill Simmons did a podcast with Colin Cowherd today and mentioned he's pushing ESPN to do a "30 for 30" documentary on Andre the Giant. He said he'd need help from WWE to do so and he thought it would be the best "30 for 30" show to date. (thanks to Patrick Conkling)

-- Michigan MMA promoter Joseph Donofrio has announced the following statement regarding the Michigan State House's passing of House Bill 4167, regarding the regulation of amateur mixed martial arts in Michigan: "Yesterday marked an important day in the Mixed Martial Arts industry with the passage of House Bill 4167 regulating amateur competition in the state. For too long, the health and safety of amateur MMA fighters have been needlessly at risk because of the lack of state oversight. Sadly, during this time of unregulated combat, a fighter needlessly died. This bill rightly honors the memory of Felix Pablo Elochukwu by ensuring in the future that amateur fighters will be competing under the safest conditions possible. I've been honored to work with Representative Harvey Santana and members of the Michigan legislature toward passing this bill in the House. I look forward to its eventual passage in the Senate and its being signed into law by our Governor."

-- Skeptical of this, but for wrestlers with back pain, this might be something for down the road.

-- Kevin "KG" Gill (voice of Juggalo Championship Wrestling) will appear at the legendary Cauliflower Alley Convention in Las Vegas as part of the Casino Royal 2013 show at the Gold Coast Hotel on Monday April 15th, with a 6pm Door, 7pm show. Admission is free for all Cauliflower Alley Club members and non members can purchase tickets.

What was the best match of the weekend in G-1?


Who was g-1 MVP


Whcih show are you most interested in?