TUES UPDATE: Notes on Rock surgery, big Raw main event, Hunter talks Performance Center, Roode talks contract, Bellas update, who is promoting UFC hardest this week, 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 night's UFC on FOX/FX so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

We're looking for reports on yesterday's Smackdown show in Cardiff, Wales, Sunday's Raw show in Geneva, Switzerland, Saturday's Raw show in Paris as well as the TNA house shows in Massena, NY, Rouses Point, NY and Barre, VT over the weekend, as well as today's Smackdown in London and Raw in Nottingham.

THE LATEST OBSERVER: WWE HALL OF FAME IN FOCUS

        We've got a huge focus on the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony and careers and backgrounds of all inductees as the lead story in this week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We've got both the current issue along with a major back issue from early 1996 on the site right now.  The back issue covers the period leading to the changes in wrestling that would fuel the rise of the Monday Night Wars and take the business eventually to its highest modern level of popularity.
 
        We look at the Class of 2013, looking at the crowd reaction, an overview of the show, credibility of the WWE Hall of Fame, what HHH said about bringing Bruno Sammartino in, as well as what happened behind-the-scenes with Sammartino and Vince McMahon, the hype, the reality, the booing, the standing ovations and more.
 
        We also have with it the complete Madison Square Garden record of Bruno Sammartino, covering every match he had in the arena, from his 1960 debut, through his two title reigns, through his final match in the building in 1986.  We look at the opponents, results, attendance and more.
 
        We also go through the high points of every speech, what was and wasn't true, as well as a career background of everyone put in.  It's the most in-depth WWE Hall of Fame coverage available anywhere.
 
        We also look at the most recent UFC show in Las Vegas, including the Cat Zingano vs. Miesha Tate womens fight, reaction to the stoppage, more on the ratings for the show and where it did well, as well as full coverage of the show with details of every match, as well as how much all the fighters earned.
 
        We also have an update on Dwayne Johnson, more on HHH's injuries suffered in the Brock Lesnar match, more on the Extreme Rules show and current planned lineup, update on C.M. Punk, notes on movies with wrestlers, Jack Swagger's legal issue, Fandango music, WWE being sued by former producer, WWE not only confiscate signs but doesn't want people with offending signs in front of the camera any longer, Ziggler personal life, new main events scheduled for next month, Bret Hart talks current WWE product and more.
 
        We also look at UFC's move of almost all its live TV main shows to Fox Sports 1 in August.  We look at FS 1's plan for UFC night weekly and what that will entail, and look at the long-term and short-term of it.
 
        We also have a look at Kenta Kobashi's retirement, his career highlights, the record he set that will almost surely never be broken regarding being a Hall of Famer, his big title run from 2003 to 2005, and bringing it to May 11th when he has his retirement match.
 
        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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        You can also subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228. 
        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:
 
--Notes from this past week's show at Arena Mexico
 
--The annual Gran Alternativa tournament in Mexico City
 
--New Mexican national welterweight title tournament
 
--American indie stars being brought to Mexico City next week to headline at a major arena
 
--Notes on the last AAA TV tapings
 
--One of Mexico's all-time biggest draws says he's going to try for a final comeback run
 
--Notes on one of Dragon Gate's biggest shows of the year coming in two weeks
 
--Big stars from other promotions come to Dragon Gate this past week
 
--The Dragon Gate Ultimate Six Way event
 
--Update on injuries to Naomichi Marufuji
 
--Update on the current tag team tournament and results from all the matches
 
--Injury to one of the best worker in the business keeps him out of action
 
--Death of someone who changed the course of pro wrestling history more than almost anyone ever in the business, the man who committed an infamous murder.
 
--Update on the health and a look at the career of Dutch Savage
 
--Woman star announces her retirement in her 30s due to a stroke
 
--A look back at the death of Jimmy Snuka's girlfriend 30 years ago as it was brought up in his autobiography, with more based on how things were reported and what came out later
 
--75th anniversary of the first ever pro wrestling match on television
 
--Crazy advertising
 
--Controversy follows big indie show with Kevin Nash, Mick Foley and others.  What happened at the end
 
--Former WWE performer announces retirement
 
--More on the next ROH iPPV
 
--Maria Kanellis talks her future
 
--Notes on Bound for Glory
 
--A look at TNA's last television taping.
 
--Ronda Rousey talks Fallon Fox
 
--Lots of notes on the tryouts for the Ultimate Fighter's next season featuring more name fighters than any tryout in history
 
--Lots of new fights announced
 
--More on Jones vs. Sonnen
 
--Update on Liz Carmouche and her furniture
 
--Two new TV deals announced
 
--Champion boxer moving to MMA because of more money
 

 
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

-- On Twitter, The Rock noted that his abdominal surgery was a complete success.

-- It was announced that the main event of next week's Raw will be John Cena & Ryback vs. Shield. WWE.com is teasing that there could be a mystery fourth member of the Shield.

-- We have a great free show up right now with Les Thatcher talking all sorts of topics including his thoughts on the aftermath of the Eric Kulas situation in ECW (as talked about by Dave and I last night on Observer Radio), the promotion's legacy and what they were fighting for, his upcoming Wrestling Cares Supershow and other events, Cauliflower Alley Club and how you can get involved, and tons more. You can also follow myself and the site's Twitter for free show updates.

-- Triple H video interview here talking WWE's new Performance Training Center.

-- Bobby Roode talks what happened a few months back with his TNA contract here. Good interview. He said he was four years into a five year deal and for whatever reason the final year didn't roll over.

-- As noted on the front page, the reason the Bellas were not on Raw was because they were in New York doing promo work for the new Total Divas! show on E! that debuts in July. Still doesn't explain why they came up with the goofy excuse for neither of them getting a title shot (they were pulled from the title match for cheating last week, which is preposterous on a show where half the finishes on an average week involve some sort of cheating), other than most likely the creative team just changed their minds.

-- This article speculates that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother of the two alleged Boston Bombers, might have suffered from CTE given he was an avid boxer.

-- If you didn't join us at WrestleMania this year, which was the best time yet, or you did an want to relive the fun, Ed in San Antonio has put together an awesome gallery of photos here for everyone to check out. Some really good stuff. If you have photos that aren't in the album, you can email them to Ed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and he'll add them in. Thanks to everyone once again for a great time, and I hope to see many of you at the annual convention in Las Vegas over July 4th weekend (more to come on that).

-- Children interview Jeff Hardy here.

-- The guy working hardest to promote Saturday's UFC show is Michael Bisping: "A win over me will be the biggest win in his pathetic career. No one gives a fuck about Alan Belcher. It's going to be nothing more than a formality. All I have to do is slap your little face and take my check."

-- Meanwhile, Chael Sonnen is doing the pro wrestling-style psychology of putting over Jon Jones as the best ever, the man, he says, who could beat Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson on the same day. Yes, he said this. Idea, obviously, is that if he wins, which I don't think in his mind he thinks is all that great a possibility, he's beaten the best ever, and if he loses, well, he lost to the best ever.

-- UFC stuff in preparation for the weekend:

The Countdown to UFC 159 Begins Tonight On FUEL TV Go behind-the-scenes with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and challenger Chael Sonnen as they prepare for their showdown this Saturday night in Newark! Countdown to UFC 159 premieres tonight at 9pm ET / 6pm PT on FUEL TV

Get Ready For UFC 159 Get ready for UFC 159 with free fights from the headliners, available in Road to UFC 159 on UFC on Demand, the Fight Stories Experience on Xbox Live and UFC.com

UFC & MetroPCS Take Over Herald Square The UFC & MetroPCS are taking over Herald Square on Wednesday, April 24th. The event will feature Q&A sessions, special appearances, UFC FIT(tm) demonstrations with interactive workouts, punch meters, music, giveaways by MetroPCS and more! Free and open to the public

Tickets Available For Upcoming UFC Events At Ticketmaster.com UFC 159: Jones vs Sonnen - Saturday, April 27 - Newark, NJ UFC 160: Velasquez vs Bigfoot II - Saturday, May 25 - Las Vegas, NV

-- This as well:

On this week’s UFC TONIGHT, UFC heavyweight Daniel Cormier sits alongside Kenny Florian to break down the stacked UFC 159 card. Plus, Cormier opens up on whether he'll next fight at heavyweight or light heavyweight. Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre is here to discuss everything from his new book to whether he'd rather fight Hendricks or Anderson. And, Chael Sonnen has a special message for Jon Jones, only on UFC TONIGHT.

This week on UFC ULTIMATE INSIDER, travel to Iceland to witness the origins of welterweight prodigy Gunnar Nelson. Watch Phil Davis deliver the play-by-play as Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson square off in a match to determine the 205 pound division’s next title challenger.Alan Belcher’s jiu-jitsu skill goes under the Gracie brothers Rener and Ryron’s microscope as they evaluate his technique to successfully neutralize Rousimar Palhares. Plus, we pay a visit to Montreal’s Tristar Academy, where they’ve gathered a dormitory full of fighters from around the globe looking to train with the best UFC stars.

-- And this:

UFC GYM celebrates the grand opening of its first gym in Manhattan in the heart of the financial district. Grand opening festivities will take place Wednesday, 4/24 (VIP party), Thursday, 4/25 (free classes, fitness assessments, etc.), and Saturday, 4/27 (viewing party). The new location is part of UFC GYM’s expansion following its acquisition of LA Boxing® earlier this year. With the addition of the current 81 LA Boxing locations in 23 states, UFC GYM will begin to franchise this new model of boutique clubs while preserving the character and guiding principles of its brand. Franchisees will have the unique opportunity to own and operate the new UFC GYM franchise model across the U.S. and the globe. VIP Party on Wednesday – RSVP to 212.968.1100 Complete grand opening details available at UFC.com

-- Karl Stern of the Classic Wrestling Audio Show now has his Stern Stick 1 collection of pro wrestling history files and audio interviews available as a digital download. The collection has tens of thousands of match results and other wrestling research plus over 40 hours of classic wrestling podcasts including interviews with people like Jeff Jarrett, Dr. Tom Prichard, Paul Bearer, Johnny Valiant, Pat Rose, and several notable wrestling historians. The price is only $5.99.

-- CZW charity show this Saturday at The Vogt Rec Center, 6700 Cottage Ave in Philadelphia, PA. Bell time 7 pm.

-- UWA returns to Green Acres Flea Market in Alcoa, TN, this Thursday. Tickets are $6 and Belltime is at 8 PM.

-- This Sunday, Pro Wrestling Bushido presents the third annual Warriors Way Tournament. This year the competitors are Sami Callahan, Drake Younger, Dylan Drake, Sir Samurai, Bobby Hart, Tj Perkins, B-Boy, and Brian Cage. Non tournament matches include former Olympian Jeff Cobb vs Timothy Thatcher and Adam Thornstowe vs Davey Richards. Show is at the Fat Cat Music House in Modesto, California.

-- The most active PR guy in wrestling, Chris Daniels,has a new interview here.

-- TCW Wrestling's Mississippi Madness will be held on Saturday, June 1, 6:30 p.m., in Meridian, MS, at the Frank Cochran Center (1725 Carousel Drive). Doors will open for the VIP Meet & Greet at 4:30.

-- Lance Storm has an article here on the Undertaker's streak, a topic we discussed on the show last week.

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1935 - Wildcat Pete defeats Tetsuo Higami in Honolulu, Hawaii to become the first NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Champion.

1976 - Bob Backlund defeated Harley Race for the Missouri Title in St. Louis, Missouri

1978 - Paul Jones & Ricky Steamboat won the NWA World Tag Team Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, defeating Cyclon Negro & Baron Von Raschke, Gene & Ole Anderson, and Masked Superstar & Ken Patera in a tournament to win the belts.

1979 - The Assassins defeated Bill Dundee & Robert Gibson to win the AWA Southern Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee. On the same show, The Mongolian Stomper defeated Toru Tanaka to win the AWA Southern Heavyweight Title

1985 - Ox Baker defeated Carlos Colon in San Juan, Puerto Rico to win the WWC World Heavyweight Title

1988 - Sting & Lex Luger, managed by Magnum T.A., won the third, and final, Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup tag team tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina by defeating Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson

1990 - Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig defeated Tito Santana in a tournament final in Austin, Texas to win the WWF Intercontinental Title.

1992 - The Heavenly Bodies (Stan Lane & Tom Pritchard) defeated The Fantastics (Bobby & Jackie Fulton) in a tournament final to become the first Smoky Mountain Wrestling Tag Team Champions.

2003 - Tiger Mask IV defeated Koji Kanemoto in Hiroshima, Japan to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title

-- The English language version of Fire Pro Wrestling Returns will be released later today as a PS2 Classic on the Playstation Network. The game was originally released for the Playstation 2 in 2005 in Japan and 2007 in North America and Europe. Thanks to Andrew.

-- Over the Top Radio crew revisits the life and times of Mick Foley here.

WHAT WAS THE BEST OF THESE RECENT SHOWS?
UFC on FOX 35.1%
New Japan Invasion Attack 29.0%
WrestleMania 14.9%
ROH Supercard of Honor 11.8%
UFC 4/13 Faber vs. Jorgensen 5.7%
Dragon Gate 4/6 3.1%
UFC 4/6 from Sweden 0.4%

WHAT MAY SHOW DO YOU HAVE THE MOST INTEREST IN?
UFC 5/25 Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 26.4%
WWE Extreme Rules 24.7%
New Japan Wrestling Dontaku 24.4%
ROH Border Wars 12.5%
Mayweather vs. Guerrero 9.2%
UFC 5/18 Belfort vs. Rockhold 2.7%

WHO ELEVATED THEIR STOCK THE MOST ON SATURDAY?
Josh Thomson 66.7%
Matt Brown 16.0%
Gilbert Melendez 6.6%
Benson Henderson 4.9%
T.J. Dillashaw 2.1%
Chad Mendes 1.6%
Yoel Romero 1.2%
Joseph Benavidez 0.8%

WHAT PROMOTION HAS THE MOST MOMENTUM RIGHT NOW?
New Japan 41.9%
UFC 25.5%
WWE 19.3%
TNA 9.3%
ROH 3.4%
Bellator 0.6%

If you do get WWE network, besides PPVs, what are you most interested in?

 

If you have stopped subscribing to WWE network, why?

 

What was the best TV show of the week?