TUES UPDATE: More from Raw, Total Divas scoops, Extreme Rules so far, most TRUSTED wrestler in America, new UFC TV deal, UFC cuts, funny Twitter feud, 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 the weekend's ROH and New Japan iPPV shows as well as TNA's Jokers Wild PPV 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 from tonight's Smackdown tapings tonight in Raleigh at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're also looking for reports from these shows:

WWE Raw Sunday in Charleston, WV

WWE Smackdown Sunday in Upper Marlboro, MD

WWE Raw from Saturday in Wheeling, WV

WWE Smackdown from Saturday in Reading, PA

TNA from last night in Baron Rouge, LA

        A look at the business of WrestleMania is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that will be up on the front page today.  In addition, we've got a very interesting back issue talking about when Paul Heyman tried to ban blading in ECW in 1996, which is an amazing story in hindsight, the trials of Brian Pillman in his game changing approach to his career, and UFC faces the beginnings of the major problems that ended up nearly putting them down, but wound up with the new ownership group.
 
        This week's issue runs down the WrestleMania finances, where the extra money came in from, how much WWE took in of the money listed, how much WrestleMania has expanded in recent years, the usage of big money performers Dwayne Johnson and Brock Lesnar, early PPV number estimates and where the Rock vs. John Cena feud stands historically.
 
        We also have a look at the fan base of boxing, wrestling and MMA based on a major study done recently.  We talk about which group does the best and worst at engaging its fan base, the real demographics of each fan base, if what people perceive about the fan bases are correct, and the huge changes in the business structure of pro wrestling.  We look at the affluence of the audiences, the education of the audiences, the metropolitan areas with the most fans, age group of fans, annual income of fans and more.
 
        We've also got a look at the UFC 159 show, including the stories around the show, what is next for the stars of the show, rule changes UFC is interested in doing coming off the show, a look at Chael Sonnen's career, as well as the business notes on the show, match-by-match coverage and how much everyone on the show earned in base salary.
 
        We also have a lot more exclusively on a WWE TV show they are looking at getting a U.S. broadcast home in the fall, details of it, why they are doing it and why it represents a change in a long standing philosophy.  We also look why the economy has changed leading to this philosophic change.
 
        We also look at the Undertaker-Shield program, more on Dwayne Johnson, his future in WWE and what those in the company believe.  We also look at Vince McMahon's reaction to the question of Johnson's future in WWE, changes in a major WWE broadcast partner and new WWE licensing deals.  We look at what is next for C.M. Punk, the company's new reality show, ratings for Saturday Morning Slam and Main Event, movies with wrestles and there business, an updated lineup for Extreme Rules and thoughts on the show.
 
        We also have notes on the return of a major star to WWE, a minor change in the Smackdown TV show that wouldn't be noticed and he Zack Ryder character.
 
        We also have all the business notes from the past week in WWE and highlights from the last week of the European tour.
 
        We also look at this year's All Japan Champion Carnival tournament, the changes in the hierarchy of All Japan, and where the booking goes from here.
 
        We also have a look at a number of the women who will be on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, from fighters who have been on national TV.
 
        We also have a look at the good and the bad of Twitter as a marketing tool and the reason it hasn't been as successful as those in the major wrestling companies expected.
 
        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
 
        You can also order by paypal by sending to www.paypal.com and directing the funds to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        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:
 
--A look at the 57th anniversary of pro wrestling at Arena Mexico as well as the first main event ever.
 
--Another special show coming this week
 
--One of the legends of wrestling quits home promotion and why
 
--The real reasons AAA is splitting into two groups and who can appear on what show
 
--A look at the expected rosters after the split
 
--A look at Dragon Gate's biggest show so far this year coming up
 
--Notes on the next two tournaments on Dragon Gate shows
 
--Hottest tag team feud right now in pro wrestling and its next chapter
 
--A look at NOAH's Global Tag League tournament
 
--The biggest women's pro wrestling show in many years and what former TNA star wins a title
 
--Health update on stars from the past
 
--Another major international group moving its big shows to iPPV
 
--Another new pro wrestling DVD funded
 
--Notes on next year's Cauliflower Alley Club and why the changes
 
--City bans pro wrestling
 
--Book on 30-year-old wrestling death comes out next week
 
--Tommy Dreamer runs second House of Hardcore show
 
--Indie name retires due to injuries
 
--A look at ROH's shows this week
 
--How Sinclair Broadcasting is doing with finances
 
--Details on Hulk Hogan's legal battle with Gawker media
 
--What match is TNA building toward
 
--Thoughts on the current TNA product and main angle
 
--Who is responsible for TNA's main angle
 
--Why TNA is no longer going live on Spike even though they are pretending they are
 
--Notes on the next TNA taping
 
--A major hire from WWE comes to TNA
 
--Notes on next TNA PPV show
 
--Lots of UFC business notes
 
--Thoughts and lineup for the next UFC on FOX show
 
--Thoughts on the Matt Mitrione situation
 
--Jon Jones gets involved in Mitrione controversy
 
--Jones talks Sonnen
 
--A look at the UFC heavyweight division
 
--UFC meeting with major companies about possible deals
 
--How NASCAR did compared to UFC in same time slot
 
--New UFC endorsement deals
 
--New UFC matches made
 
--Idea batted around for the first UFC on FS 1 show in Boston
 
--Olympic gold medalist continue to rise in MMA ranks
 
Rates are:
 
        For the United States, it is $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52.  In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52 .
 
        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

-- Reader's Digest has published a list of the Top 100 Most Trusted People in America. The only wrestler on the list, and thus the MOST TRUSTED PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER IN NORTH AMERICA, is none other than Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

-- We've updated the listing of our latest FREE radio shows on the right-hand side of the front page, including today's new show with Kevin Kleinrock talking everything from his new Viva LA Lucha project to Urban Wrestling Federation to Wrestling Society X. As a subscriber, you'd not only have already heard all of these shows, but we do anywhere from 10-15 new audio shows per week, plus for your subscription fee you get every single show we've ever done in our archives, dating back to mid-2005.

-- We'll also have a new Observer back issue, new Figure Four Weekly newsletter, new 10-Minute Audio update and new Bryan & Vinny Show up before the day is out. Tuesday always the busiest day of the week for me.

-- Extreme Rules official line-up after last night has John Cena vs. Ryback for the WWE Title Last Man Standing, Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Title in a ladder match, HHH vs. Brock Lesnar in a cage, and Mark Henry vs. Sheamus, probably in a strap match or country whipping match.

-- The WWE Total Divas show is going to highlight the dating life of all the girls, including the Bellas (one of whom is dating Daniel Bryan and one of whom dated at least for a period John Cena) and Nattie Neidhart (dating Tyson Kidd, which kills off the TV angle of her dating Khali). Whole thing is weird because they're also doing storylines on the show involving storylines on TV.

-- Damian Sandow singing Orton's entrance was something he came up with and has been doing on Youtube for months now.

-- Miz is finished filming his Christmas movie and should be back in action at any time.

-- WWE WrestleMania 29 Blu-Ray with the entire Hall of Fame Ceremony and more is out next Tuesday. Hall of Fame in HD is worth the price.

-- Mike Bucci, aka Nova, has a big statement herewith his thoughts on Bob Holly apparently burying him in Bob's book. We'll have Holly on the show in a few weeks talking the book and his career and now what Nova had to say about his book and career.

-- Chris Weidman, understandably, was outraged that Anderson Silva missed his media appearances in LA yesterday while he had to take three days out of his training camp to do it all.

-- Story hereon a lawsuit based on the script for GI Joe 2. The writers of the original sequel claim that the sequel script that ended up being used (not theirs) was almost exactly the same, and they're asking for over $20 million in damages from Paramount/MGM and a hold to be placed on the Blu-Ray/DVD release. The wrestling tie-in, of course, is that Rock stars in the film.

-- Petition hereto try to get Eddie Gilbert into the WWE Hall of Fame.

-- UFC signed a three-year deal with BT Sports in the UK, which goes into effect on August 1st. BT Sports if the former ESPN UK, and the UFC programming will be on a new paid tier channel.

-- Pablo Garza and Antonio Carvalho have both been cut from UFC. Garza's statement is up here.

-- Chael Sonnen's latest is that the reason he wants a fight with Wanderlei Silva is because he wants an easy fight, and also because Wanderlei is broke.

-- Jose Conseco and Shaq are fueding on Twitter. It's amazing.

-- Mickie James' new Country Music album, "Somebody's Gonna Pay", (sounds like a heel turn coming) with eOne Music Nashville drops today. It's live on iTunes worldwide hereand also available in select Walmarts, FYE's, Best Buy online, as well as Amazon.

-- Preview of Irv Muchnick's new eBook on Jimmy Snuka and the Nancy Argentino case is up here.

-- TNA Thursday night has Sting & Kurt Angle & AJ Styles if he accepts vs. Aces & Eights, Bad Influence vs. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries with the winners getting a tag team title shot, and more.

-- ROH has a new Bryan Danielson DVD out at ROHWrestling.com.

-- This shouldn't have been so funny: Brodus Clay interview at LOCAL BOZO.com.

-- Trailer for the new Youshoot with Diamond Dallas Page talking a lot of WCW history and more up here.

-- Baron Von Raschke will talk with Frank Cusumano on KFNS Radio 590 AM in St. Louis on Wednesday at 10:45 a.m. He'll be plugging the Legends weekend at the Argosy Casino this Friday and Saturday. Larry Matysik will be on with Cusumano on KFNS Friday at 10:45 a.m. At this point, it appears likely that KFNS may do a live broadcast from the casino on the Friday evening question-and-answer.

-- On this week’s UFC TONIGHT SPECIAL EDITION: TITO ORTIZ FIGHTER’S CUT, the UFC Hall of Famer relives two of his biggest fights. First, The People’s Champ talks through his fight at UFC 51 where he faced Vitor Belfort. “This was one of the most memorable fights for me. Everything was on the line. I knew I had to push the pressure as much as possible and wait for him to make a small mistake.” Then, Ortiz watches his career-reviving battle against Ryan Bader at UFC 132. “One of my mottos is: prepare for the worst and the best will happen. Bader looked like a feared animal in the cage with a lion and he was going to get eaten at this time. Everything was on the line, my contract, my career, my legacy, my name.” Follow the link to watch a clip from the UFC TONIGHT SPECIAL EDITION: TITO ORTIZ FIGHTER’S CUT: http://youtu.be/-k87hmvpqiI.

This week on UFC ULTIMATE INSIDER, when it comes to the striking game in MMA, it’s largely about location. Hear the biggest names in the UFC breakdown the perfect place to land the most effective strike. Then, the 205-pound wrecking machine Glover Teixeira, who burst onto the UFC scene in 2012, has family in Connecticut who keep the talented Brazilian grounded. They will provide him all the motivation he’ll require in his run towards the light heavyweight championship. The athletic middleweight Luke Rockhold gained quite a reputation for his fluid movements and devastating power en route to becoming the Strikeforce middleweight champion. Hear from the newest addition to the UFC roster as he sits down for an exclusive one-on-one interview with host Jon Anik. Plus, UFC announcer Joe Rogan riffs on the phenomenon of fighters becoming overwhelmed when they step into the Octagon for the first time.

-- UWA Wrestling returns to Green Acres Flea Market in Alcoa, TN on May 9th. Belltime is 8 PM and Tickets are $6.

-- The JT Lightning Invitational Tournament May 24 & 25 • Turners Hall, Cleveland Ohio Friday: 7:30 pm • Saturday: 3:00 pm Fanfest, 6:00 pm show Tickets: $20/Show, $5 Fanfest ($40 combo packs that include Fanfest are available) www.shop.aiwrestling.com

-- There is a review of a Mick Foley show from Coventry up here. He's gotten a lot of great reviews for his show.

-- Video hereof Shawn Michaels and the new air rifle he's endorsing. He'll also be at the NRA Convention with Steve Austin.

-- Big day in history according to Brian Hoops:

1914 - Stanislaus Zbyszko defeated Americus (Gus Schoenlein) to win the World Heavyweight Title in Kansas City, Missouri.

1948 - Danny McShain defeated Miguel Guzmán for the Texas Heavyweight Title in Houston, Texas

1954 - Bull Curry defeated Ray Gunkel to win the NWA Texas Heavyweight Title in Houston, Texas

1955 - Lord James Blears and Gene Kiniski defeated Ben and Mike Sharpe for the San Francisco NWA World Tag Team Title

1956 - Larry Chene and Herb Freeman defeated Jack O'Reilly and Kurt Von Poppenheim to win the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title.

1970 - Jerry Christy defeated Abdullah the Butcher for the Stampede North American Heavyweight Title in Calgary, Alberta.

1970 - Terry Funk defeated Ricky Romero for the NWA Western States Heavyweight Title in Amarillo, Texas.

1975 - George Gulas and Jerry Jarrett defeated Don and Ron Wright for the NWA Tennessee Tag Team Title in Nashville, Tennessee. At the same event, Luke Graham won the NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Title from Don Kent

1975 - Giant Baba & Samson Kutsuwada defeated WWWF World Champion Bruno Sammartino & Mike George in Enu, Japan.

1976 - The Super Destroyer defeated The Mighty Canadian (Gene Kiniski) to win the Amarillo NWA International Heavyweight Title in Amarillo, Texas

1977 - José Miguel Perez defeated Hurácan Castillo in a tournament final for the vacant WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Title in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.

1977 - WWWF World Champion Superstar Billy Graham defeated Billy White Wolf (Sheik Adnan El Kassey) in the main event of a WWWF event in New Haven, CT.

1979 - Bill Dundee and Robert Fuller defeated The Assassins in a loser leaves town match in Memphis, Tennessee to win the AWA Southern Tag Team Title.

1979 - Blackjack Mulligan won the Amarillo NWA International Heavyweight Title from Dory Funk, Jr. in Odessa, Texas.

1981 - Rufus R. Jones defeated Bobby Jaggers for the NWA Central States Television Title in Kansas City, Kansas

1982 - Timothy Flowers and Adrian Street defeated Chris Adams and Ringo Rigsby to win the NWA Americas Tag Team Title.

1984 - World Class Championship Wrestling ran Fort Worth, Texas, headlined by NWA World champion Kerry Von Erich pinning Terry Gordy. Underneath, Killer Khan defeated Kelly Kiniski for the World Class Television Title.

1984 - Tommy Gilbert defeated Johnny Rich to win the NWA Southeast United States Junior Heavyweight Title in Birmingham, Alabama.

1985 - Jerry Oske defeated Randy Savage to win the AWA Southern Heavyweight Title in Louisville, Kentucky.

1986 - Jim Crockett Promotions ran Rhonda, NC, headlined by The Rock N' Roll Express defeated NWA World Tag Team champions The Midnight Express in a non-title match.

1988 - The Southern Rockers (Steve Doll and Scott Peterson) defeated Avalanche (P.N. News) and Mike Golden to win the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title in Portland, Oregon,

1989 -At the WCW "Music City Showdown" PPV in Nashville, Tenn., Ric Flair pinned NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ricky Steamboat to win the title, beginning his seventh reign. After the match, Terry Funk attacked Flair after Flair turned down a future title match with him, piledriving him on a ringside table. Flair would be "out of action" until the July 1989 Great American Bash PPV against Funk. Also, Michael Hayes (with Hiro Matsuda) pinned NWA United States Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger to win the title

1999 - Nick Dinsmore defeated Rob Conway to win his third OVW Heavyweight Title in New Albany, Indiana.

2000 - At the final WCW Slamboree event, Jeff Jarrett defeated WCW World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette and Diamond Dallas Page in a triple-tier steel cage match to win the title in Kansas City, Missouri.

-- Tickets to the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame inductions are now on sale. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum will host its annual induction ceremony on July 12-13 in Waterloo. Tickets to either event may be ordered by calling (319) 233-0745 for e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Which of these main events would draw the best?

 

What are you planning on watching on Friday?