FRI UPDATE: Weekend schedule, possible Raw change, Hogan attempts impossible task, John Morrison and WWE, TNA and UFC paid Youtube channels, Jay Briscoe update, After Dark, 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 reports on tonight's WWE Raw house show in Shreveport, LA (besides the usual John Cena, Sheamus, Ryback and The Shield main matches, Chris Jericho is back on the Raw tour this weekend); tonight's TNA house show in Birmingham, AL at Boutwell Auditorium (Bully Ray vs. James Storm for TNA title, Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim for Knockouts title, Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Hernandez vs. Wes Brisco & Garett Bischoff for tag titles, A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels, Bobby Roode vs Joseph Park and Rockstar Spud vs. Robbie E); as well as tonight's NXT show in Winter Haven, FL at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

AXS will be back airing Inside MMA tonight at 9 p.m., followed by the Maximum Fighting Championships show from Edmonton's Shaw Conference Centre.

The biggest show of the weekend is in Japan, with the end of the career of Kenta Kobashi, in a show Saturday at Budokan Hall in Tokyo. Unlike most retirements in wrestling which are gimmicks, Kobashi really has been retired for some time and this is more official ceremonial. I've been studying back on Kobashi's career this past week and you can argue where he places on the list of all-time greats, but there is no argument he's high on the list, particularly inside the ring. He's also as gutsy a performer as there has been, coming back from more surgeries than perhaps any wrestler in history, as well as from cancer. The main event is Kobashi & Jun Akiyama & Keiji Muto & Kensuke Sasaki as the surviving legends of the 90s against KENTA & Go Shiozaki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Maybach Taniguchi, who are all wrestlers who Kobashi helped start out.

Saturday has a Raw house show in Beaumont, TX, while the Smackdown crew runs in Odessa, TX. The Smackdown lineup will have to be rearranged as the Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio world title match main event for the title is off with Ziggler out of action with a concussion.

There is also an ROH house show in Belle Vernon, PA (outside of Pittsburgh) at the Rostraver Ice Garden with Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. Mark & Jay Briscoe for the tag titles, Kevin Steen vs. Rhett Titus, Michael Elgin vs. ACH, Jay Lethal vs. Jimmy Jacobs no DQ, Matt Taven vs. Tadarius Thomas for the TV title and Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. R.D. Evans & Q.T. Marshall.

There is also a Cage Warriors MMA show from Al Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates at 1 p.m. Eastern time airing on Facebook as well as in Canada on The Fight Network.

Sunday has the Raw crew in Fort Worth and Smackdown crew in Amarillo. Raw will take place Monday in Tulsa. The only thing announced is a dance-off with Chris Jericho vs. Fandango. Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Wichita.

THE LATEST OBSERVER: WWE BIZ, NEW JAPAN, MORE

        We've got two issues of the Observer up on the web site, both the current issue, with the most detailed look anywhere at the current WWE business and future business, and a back issue from 1996 looking at the beginning of the story of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash leaving WWF for WCW, the build to the 1996 WrestleMania, return of the Ultimate Warrior, Vince McMahon lashes back at WCW's skits and a lot of craziness just as the business was starting to turn around.
 
        The back issue is up here, with the newest issue here.
 
        The issue  goes in depth on the current business.  We update on the network plans, why this can't be compared to anything on television, why profits were down as we look at each category, as well as why the stock price is improving.
 
        We also look at the PPV business, how it changes, how much profit WWE made on PPV last year and what is being risked. 
 
        We look at the movie division, the value of Dwayne Johnson and Brock Lesnar to the product, why their names are never mentioned on investors calls, where business is up, and down and why in places where it is up are profits still down.
 
        We look at how business has changed over the past two years in every part of the world, as well as have a chart on every revenue stream and the profit margin, and the surprise of where more money is made then anywhere else.
 
        We also look at how much extra talent was or wasn't paid with buy rates up, a ballpark on what Dwayne Johnson earned for Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber, and how talent payoffs are done in WWE when it comes to big shows.
 
        We also look at what category WWE believes its revenues can significantly increase in.  We also look at what continually declining aspect of business that had a big quarter.
 
        We look at house show business both at home and overseas, as well as the average company cost to produce a show.  We also look at the changes in revenue from PPV, including how much the company took in for Rumble and Elimination Chamber, as well as the chart for the two PPVs for the last three years.
 
        We also look at the return to wrestling of Jerry Lawler, another project by Dwayne Johnson, how Johnson's movies are doing, new movies coming out starring wrestlers, thoughts on Kingston vs. Cesaro, the Extreme Rules card, why Fandango has two rotating dancers, as well as teases on the Kaitlyn secret admirer angle.
 
        We also have more on the "Total Divas" show, a look at the return of several wrestlers from injuries and another who has disappeared, as well as those on the independent scene who are being considered.
 
        We also have tons of stuff from developmental, as far as tapings, who new guys are, backgrounds, El Generico, football players, wrestlers and more who are starting on television.
 
        We've also got business notes from the past week as well as highlights from all the WWE house shows of the past week.
 
        We've also got a look at the retirement of Shane Carwin and his famous fight with Brock Lesnar.  We look at his background, pre-UFC days, and why he is retiring.
 
        We've got a complete rundown of New Japan's Wrestling Dontaku show held this past week in Fukuoka.  We look at the top three matches, the next New Japan PPV show, who is returning, the Prince Devitt heel turn as well as the full rundown of the Best of the Super Junior tournament that starts in two weeks.
 
        We also have a match-by-match rundown of the show with star ratings.
 
        We also have full coverage of the ROH Border Wars PPV.  We talk about the experiment of shooting television the day after the house shows in the same market.  We look at ROH's new iPPV, and a look at the entire card with match-by-match rundowns.
 
        We also look at the elusive Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Cyborg fight and why it hasn't happened yet.  We have why Liz Carmouche got the first UFC title shot, if the problem really was the weight class and what is next for Cyborg.
 
        We also have coverage of the Dragon Gate Dead of Alive PPV that was held over the weekend that include several U.S. wrestlers and was one of the company's biggest shows of the 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:
 
--Foreign pro wrestling group claims they are running a 50,000 seat stadium and will be loaded up to get ready
 
--How a different group was planning on dong the match his year
 
--Longtime Mexican star announces retirement
 
--Pro wrestling star tabbed for international version of Survivor
 
--Dragon Gate planning its annual King of Cage tournament, as well as a second ticket
 
--Full-time Canadian pro wrestling stars this weekend
 
--Seiya Sanada getting big matches
 
--Ryo Saito essentially in the same position
 
--Kenta Kobashi retirement show notes
 
--What legend KENTA wants to defend his GHC title against
 
--Wrestling to return to one of his most famous locations
 
--Notes on the next four weeks of ROH television
 
--Dixie Carter looks at plans for early next year
 
--King Mo in pro wrestling
 
--TNA house show notes
 
--Wrestler who doesn't exist wins poll for a title shot
 
--Notes on UFC's new television deal in the U.K.
 
--When the deal goes into effect
 
--What will Wednesday on FS 1 look like
 
--Early PPV numbers for UFC 159
 
--Thoughts on what the numbers say
 
--How UFC PPV business is doing so far this year
 
--What to look out for on the July UFC show
 
--What's behind Anderson Silva's fine
 
--Lots of UFC cuts
 
--Lots of Ronda Rousey notes
 
--Early Mayweather vs. Guerrero PPV numbers and the fallout form it
 

 
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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

-- TMZ has a story here about how Hulk Hogan has vowed to wipe his sex tape completely and totally off every site on the Internet. Good luck with that.

-- As noted on the front page, WWE Saturday Morning Slam ends its seasonal run at the end of this month. Mick Foley had noted that the show was originally scheduled to be seasonal, and the hope is that it'll start up again in the fall.

-- WWE.com has a story here not only on what John Morrison is up to these days, but also plugging his new fitness program. Would be stunned if this wasn't an indication he's back at any time.

-- WWE turned down a paid channel partnership with Youtube earlier this week in favor of a free ad-based model. UFC and TNA, however, have joined up with TNA charging $4.99 per month for content here and UFC charging $5.99 per month here.

-- Don't know the severity, but James Storm suffered some sort of leg/quad/hip flexor/groin something injury last night at Impact. If you watch the match he's refereeing, at one point he does a two count and then grabs at his leg/hip, then suddenly just stands up like nothing has happened. He's visibly limping throughout the rest of the match. He was able to throw two superkicks at the end and also to do most of the stuff he was scheduled to do at the second set of tapings, but something definitely did happen because they changed a backstage segment where he was supposed to be attacked by the four guys in the match into a segment where you just saw him lying there after it had happened. Hopefully it's not too serious.

-- More on the Jay Briscoe situation from the ROH side:

Jay Briscoe would like to again express his sincerest apologies and regrets to all, especially his young fans, for his recent hateful twitter comment. Ring of Honor has insisted that Jay also make a public apology at the Ring of Honor event this Saturday night. Jay will address the public during the event.

In addition to this apology, Ring of Honor and Jay have agreed that he will donate his full pay from the next two Ring of Honor events to the Partners Against Hate charitable organization. Partners Against Hate was created to help prevent, deter, and reduce juvenile hate-related behavior. His tweets got picked up by the Delaware Liberal here.

-- Fighter's Cut on FUEL TV with Tito Ortiz saying the Ryan Bader fight saved his career.

-- There is video here of New Jack's appearance yesterday on the Daily Show. Not making this up. It's a comedy skit where Jack and a buddy (Jay Lover) attempt to convince students to say no to school and further education.

-- Tickets for UFC 162 over July 4th weekend with Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman go on sale to the general public today. Tickets for the July 27th UFC on FOX show from Seattle, WA, with John Moraga vs. Demetrious Johnson for the latter's 125-pound title go on sale next Friday.

-- Help support Cheerleader Melissa Anderson's AIDS walk.

-- We have a great interview up today with Peter Birkholz on the history of Houston Wrestling, Paul Boesch, the glory days of Texas territorial wrestling and more with your phone calls up on the front page. A great show for history buffs, the second we have done with Peter

-- After Dark Radio returns tonight at midnight Pacific, 3 AM Eastern taking your phone calls and emails on any topic under the sun. In recent weeks we've discussed people's fears, scary stories, local legends, etc., and you are welcome to call or email in on any of those topics or anything else that catches your imagination. The phone number at midnight Pacific/3 EST tonight will be 425-482-1686, and the email address is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (make sure you put "After Dark" in either the subject line or body of the email, otherwise it'll be missed). This is a listener-fueled show, so prepare to call or send those emails and get the conversation started!

--"No One Lives" has its theatrical release today, but it's a very limited release, in only 53 theaters so it's not going to be on any charts as far as far as numbers compared with even "Dead Man Down." RottenTomatoes.com noted out of 16 reviews of the movie, three were positive and 13 were negative. Brodus Clay is in the movie, which stars Luke Evans. Clay is not among the top seven billings in the cast.

-- Wrestlefest 2013 tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Newark, CA at the Newark Memorial High School. Among those attending are Bret Hart, Honky Tonk Man, Terry Funk, Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, Winter, Mickie James, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Chris Masters, Terri Runnels, Lanny Poffo, Colt Cabana, Roddy Piper and Rob Van Dam. I'll also be there. General Admission to the convention is $5. Autographs and photo ops are extra. There will also be a live show at 7:30 p.m. with appearances by Funk, Hart and Piper.

-- After being cut from UFC after going 0-5, Leonard Garcia said he's going to go train with Team Alpha Male since his cousin Duane "Bang" Ludwig is now working there, and that he plans on doing lower-level indy shows or the World Series of Fighting to get the fire back. He said he wasn't hot on talking to Bellator because of the stories involving Eddie Alvarez and Zack Makovsky (who basically claims the company in a contract renegotiation ended up shorting him money he felt he was owed, a dispute that lead to the season three tournament winner leaving the company). That's a big issue with the Alvarez story that goes far beyond just what happened to him. Bellator is getting a reputation among fighters as a place you may not want to do business with.

-- For those asking about the F4W~! Empire T-shirts, what we did was take pre-orders, then when the pre-order period ended on April 15th the shirts were put into production based on how many people ordered (in other words, we didn't create a batch and then do pre-orders since so many different shapes and sizes were going to order, but rather waited until pre-orders ended to send in the order). As soon as they're back from the printers Craig will be mailing them out to everyone, hopefully within the next week or two.

--King Mo beat J Best at the OVW TV tapings last night via submission in what appeared to be a quick match.

-- Jim Ross writes about Dolph Ziggler's concussion, among other topics, here.

IF BELLATOR MOVES FROM THURSDAY, WHAT DAY SHOULD IT MOVE TO?

Tuesday 69.9%
Friday 10.8%
Wednesday 8.1%
Sunday 5.4%
Monday 4.3%
Saturday 1.6%

WILL BELLATOR MAINTAIN ITS AUDIENCE ON ANOTHER NIGHT?

Yes, because it will be in a better time slot 31.6%
No, ratings were propped up by following TNA 68.4%

DID YOU LIKE WEDNESDAY'S MAIN EVENT TV SHOW?

Excellent 21.7%
Good 60.9%
Average 10.9%
Fair 0.0%
Poor 6.5%

WHO IS THE BEST PERSON RIGHT NOW TO MOVE PPV NUMBERS?

Georges St-Pierre 39.4%
The Rock 24.8%
Brock Lesnar 13.4%
C.M. Punk 6.5%
Undertaker 5.6%
Chael Sonnen 4.2%
Anderson Silva 3.9%
Jon Jones 1.4%
John Cena 0.7%
Rashad Evans 0.2%

-- CPW tomorrow night at Berkeley County Fairgrounds, 2419 Golf Course Rd, Martinsburg, WV with The Patriot, The Maestro, Jimmy Valiant & others. Tickets $15 Ringside (which includes a 6pm Meet & Greet) & $10 General Admission. Anyone who brings a copy of Observer gets $2 off.

-- Over the Top Radio with part 2 of the history of the WWE Title airs tonight here. Part 1 is here.

-- ECWA LIVE Tomorrow Sat, May 11 at the YMCA of Salem County in Carney's Point, NJ plus D-LINE on their Tag Title Shot. FUNDRAISER for the YMCA of Salem County! East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! ECWA YMCA V Sat, May 11, 2013 YMCA of Salem County 204 Shell Road Carney's Point, NJ 08069 PHONE: 856-299-1493 (venue only) (Just 15 miles from Newark, DE !!!) http://www.myymca.net/ Doors Open: 6:00 PM Bell Time: 7:00 PM

-- Slow day in history according to Brian Hoops:

1946 - Buddy Rogers defeated Lou Thesz in Houston, Texas to win the NWA Texas Heavyweight Title

1968 - The Big O (Johnny Valentine under a mask) defeated Mr. Wrestling in Atlanta, Georgia to win the NWA Georgia Heavyweight Title.

1980 - Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood defeated Ray Stevens & Greg Valentine for the NWA World Tag Team Title in Greensboro, North Carolina,

1981 - Verne Gagne announced he was retiring as AWA World Heavyweight Champion. Verne vacated the title and it would later be awarded to number-one contender Nick Bockwinkel, who Gagne had defeated for the belt on July 18, 1980.

1999 - Debra defeated Sable for the WWF Women's Title in Orlando, Florida.

-- Platinum Championship Wrestling returns to Porterdale, Georgia on Saturday, May 18th! 6 p.m. bell time! We're there every First and Third Saturday of the month! 2001 Main Street Porterdale, Georgia 30070 (20 East, Go right off of Exit 88, 3.5 miles go left at the four-way stop, building is on the left side of the street)

-- Meet and greet Shawn Michaels upclose and personal on Saturday August 31st, 2013 from 4pm pm in Waynesboro, VA and he will be signing autographs and taking pictures plus exclusive Q&A session after the vip meet and greet. Packages range from $25 to $175 that consists of a Q & A and Meet and Greet where fans can also get an 8×10 signed photo and a photo with Michaels.

-- Part 2 of a Between the Ropes interview with Court Bauer here. Court is always a great guest and will be back on our show soon.

-- Review of Mick Foley's latest performance here.

-- Les Thatcher and Tomasso Ciampa interviews here.

-- Survivor Series 1991 WrestleCrap induction by our buddy Emerson Whitner up here.

Long-term, what are your thoughts on Lucha Underground?

 

What did you think of Wednesday's Ultimate Fighter TV show?

 

What did you think of TNA Impact?

 

What did you think of Lucha Underground last night?