FRI. UPDATE: Weekend preview, NBCU offers Hall of Fame to WWE, Interesting note on Lockdown advertising, TNA debut, New book, Lots of new shows, new WWE job,



By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @DaveMeltzerWON
 
        We'll be doing polls this weekend on both the UFC on FOX show Saturday and the Royal Rumble.
 
        We're looking for reports from tonight's WWE house show in State College, PA, headlined by Randy Orton vs. John Cena.  Also on the show include Ryback, Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Rio,  Antonio Cesaro and the Rhodes Brothers.
 
        Smackdown tonight on Syfy:
Big Show & Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro
The Miz vs. Brodus Clay
A.J. Lee vs. Cameron
Los Matadores vs. Curtis Axel & Ryback
Prime Time Players vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper
Kofi Kingston vs. Fandango
Usos & Rhodes Brothers & Big E Langston vs. The Shield & New Age Outlaws
 
        Tonight is also a Resurrection Fighting Alliance show on AXS at 10 p.m. from The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles:
Zac Chavez vs. Marcus Kowal
James Moontasri vs. Rick Reger
Justine Kish vs. Randa-Markos Thomas
Kevin Casey vs. Eddie Mendez
Pedro Munhoz vs. Billy Daniels for bantamweight title
Brian Ortega vs. Keoni Koch for featherweight title
 
        Shine iPPV tonight in Ybor City, FL at the Orpheum with a 9 p.m. start at www.WWNLive.com
 
Rain vs. Ivelisse for Shine title
Jessicka Havok vs.  Allysin Kay no DQ
Amazing Kong vs Taylor Made
Angelina Love vs. Leah Von Dutch
Nevaeh vs. Leva
Serena Deeb. Santana
Kimberly vs. Sojo Bolt
Amber O'Neal vs. Rosa Negra
        Plus Mercedes Martinez, Su Yung and Jessie Belle Smothers.  Appearing as mangers include April Hunter and Daffney.
 
        Tomorrow's UFC show in Chicago from the United Center
 
Fightpass at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time
 
Walt Harris vs. Nikita Krylov
 
FS 1 at 5 p.m.
 
Mike Rhodes vs. George Sullivan
Daron Cruickshank vs. Mike Rio
Ramiro Hernandez vs. Hugo Viana
Chico Camus vs. Yaotzin Meza
Yves Jabouin vs. Eddie Wineland
Alex Caceres vs. Sergio Pettis
 
FOX at 8 p.m.
 
Darren Elkins vs. Jeremy Stephens
Donald Cerrone vs. Adriano Martins
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Stipe Miocic
Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thomson
 
        WWE has a house show Reading, PA on Saturday night headlined by Orton vs. Cena.
 
        ROH has a TV taping on Saturday night in Pittsburgh (Adam Cole & Matt Hardy vs. Chris Hero & Michael Elgin vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe, Paul London vs. Cedric Alexander winner gets a title shot on 2/8 in San Antonio), Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jay Lethal vs. Matt Taven for TV title, Finals of the Top Prospect tournament, Kevin Steen vs. Kyle O'Reilly, Jimmy Jacobs & B.J. Whitmer vs. ACH & Tadarius Thomas, Romantic Touch vs. Michael Bennett).  With the Royal Rumble the next night, the advance for this show was strong.
 
        Sunday is the Royal Rumble from Pittsburgh:
30 man Royal Rumble
Randy Orton vs. John Cena must be a winner for WWE title
Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar
Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt
Rhodes Brothers vs. New Age Outlaws for tag titles on pregame show at 7:30 p.m.
        A.J. Lee vs. Naomi could be added depending on how the main show times out.
 
        Raw is Monday in Cleveland.  Batista and Brock Lesnar are both scheduled on the show.  Neither are scheduled for Smackdown.
 
        Smackdown will be taped Tuesday in Toledo.
 
        The biggest Observer of the year is out today, the 2013 awards issue.  The issue features awards, as voted on by the Observer readership, in all of these categories, as well as all the top place winners in each category, details on the voting, notes on the winners as well as a listing of winners of every award dating back to 1980.
 
        The awards are:
 
Lou Thesz/Ric Flair award for Wrestler of the Year
 
MMA Most Valuable
 
Most Outstanding pro wrestler
 
Most Outstanding MMA fighter
 
Best Box Office Draw
 
Feud of the Year
 
Tag Team of the Year
 
Most Improved
 
Best on Interviews
 
Most Charismatic
 
Best Technical Wrestler
 
Bruiser Brody Memorial Award for Best Brawler
 
Best Flying Wrestler
 
Most Overrated
 
Most Underrated
 
Promotion of the Year
 
Best weekly TV show
 
Pro Wrestling match of the year
 
MMA match of the year
 
Rookie of the Year
 
Best non-Wrestler
 
Best TV announcer
 
Worst TV announcer
 
Best major show of the year
 
Worst major show of the year
 
Best wrestling maneuver
 
Most disgusting promotional tactic
 
Worst TV show
 
Worst match of the year
 
Worst feud of the year
 
Worst promotion of the year
 
Best booker
 
Promoter of the Year
 
Best gimmick
 
Worst gimmick
 
Best book
 
Best DVD
 
        We also have a feature on George Scott, the wrestling star of the 50s and 60s, who became the booker for Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling in the 70s and brought a regional company running in secondary markets to national prominence as the premier pro wrestling promotion in North America.  We look at how Scott influenced the building of people like Ric Flair, Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper and many others.
 
        We also look at his run as booker for WWF in the mid-80s during the national expansion.
 
        We look at how Scott changed the entire way wrestling was done in the Carolinas and brought in new talent.  We look at the big offer he turned down, why his run ended, as well as his various booking runs over the next decade including his short run as booker of WCW in 1989, and why that didn't last.
 
        We look at the Flair-Steamboat series, the 1989 Super Sunday and what major PPV draw got his first big break on independent shows booked by Scott.
 
        We also look at this past week's UFC show in Duluth, GA, and what this card showed UFC is dangerously close to becoming, notes on the ratings, as well as match-by-match coverage and how much everyone on the show earned.
 
        We also have an update on the Royal Rumble, thoughts on the show, Daniel Bryan's concussion issues, how the Ultimate Warrior deal got put together, plans on the network for WrestleMania week, more on WrestleMania tickets for this year, Hulk Hogan's return, Hulk Hogan legal situation and an update on WWE stock.
 
        We also look at WWE signing a multi-book contract, a wrestler leaves WWE and starts up on his own next week, a WWE legend whose will no longer be under contract when his deal expires, politics of this year's WWE Hall of Fame, Daniel Bryan talks his reaction to WWE booking, theories about superstar booking, how he got over and connected, who in UFC he compares himself to, a new marketing idea come up with for him and who was behind it and more.
 
        We also have more on a new WWE movie project, double booking, Dana White talks Brock Lesnar in UFC, and what announcers were told before TV.
 
        We also have more notes from developmental, next MSG show lineup, a weird radio deal involving a WWE major star, locations for two upcoming WWE PPV shows, as well as notes on all the weekend WWE house shows and business notes.
 
       We also have a look at the 2014 Fantastica Mania tour, looking at the concept, how Lucha Libre has changed over the past decade, as well as match-by-match coverage of this past weekend's two big shows and why the second show may end up as one of the most entertaining two hours of pro wrestling on a show this 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 31st 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. ox 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.
 
        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows.

        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major television shows.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--CMLL's first major show of 2014
 
--Family feud being started among Mexican legends
 
--A look at AAA's first TV taping of the year
 
--First title matches of the year in Dragon Gate, as well as upcoming title matches
 
--TNA rumored to be part of a major show
 
--Wrestling promotion sues its rival for contract tampering
 
--A look at All Japan's upcoming junior heavyweight tournament
 
--More notes on the 2014 G-1 Climax tournament
 
--Lots of injury updates
 
--Notes on the life and careers of Luis Martinez and Don Chuy
 
--Big angle in WWC where longtime enemies join forces and tease of the beginning of career rivals also joining forces
 
--Health updates on a number of pro wrestling stars
 
--A new promotional gimmick
 
--Details on the 16 Carat Gold tournament
 
--More on the upcoming Mid South wrestling fan fest over WrestleMania weekend
 
--ROH's next show
 
--What U.S. promotion looking to bring in the best in the world
 
--More on current TNA angles
 
--What former WWE star is close to signing if not already in
 
--Update on Sting's status
 
--Why an original booking idea changed
 
--What contracts of major players in WWE and TNA are coming due and what do they mean
 
--Update on TNA TV tapings
 
--Kurt Angle talks his favorite matches and favorite cities to wrestle in
 
--Notes on TNA talent meeting
 
--Why TNA matches are going the way they did
 
--A look at TNA's house show weekend
 
--A look at TNA's upcoming TV show
 
--Notes on the last WSOF show
 
--Dana White responds to Georges St-Pierre and thoughts on the subject
 
--Chris Leben and his retirement
 
--This week's UFC lineup and notes on the show
 
--Next TV card after this week
 
--Notes on Dana White's new TV show
 
--Update on the health of Stefan Struve
 
--When Chris Weidman wants to defend his title next
 
--More on the looks to find a new head of the Nevada state athletic commission
 
--Another two TV show main events signed
 
--Lots of new UFC shows
 
--Details on Bellator shows from 2/28 to 4/18
 
--More on next Bellator PPV show
 
        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)a
 
*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:
 
        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.
 
FRIDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
 
--The New York Post has a story that NBC Universal has offered to house the WWE Hall of Fame in Orlando (we've noted that's been on the table for at least a year) at Universal Studios as part of its renewal process to get a new contract.  The exclusive negotiating period for Raw & Smackdown ends on 2/1.  The story stated that WWE is asking for more than double the current rate, or a $190 million per year package. 
 
--UFC weigh-ins are at 5 p.m. Eastern time tonight.  Should be on the front page of the site as well as on FS 2.
 
--Tickets for TNA Lockdown on 3/9 in Coral Gables, FL at the BankUnited Center are on sale today from $175 down to $15 at Ticketmaster.  The names announced for the show are Magnus, Bobby Roode, Gail Kim, Bully Ray, James Storm, Ken Anderson and Ethan Carter III.  Very conspicuous by their absence from this list is Kurt Angle.  
 
--The wrestler known as MVP debuts this coming Thursday for TNA in Glasgow, Scotland.   
 
--Referee James Beard has released a book called "The Third Man" at www.jamesbeardbook.com  We should have more on that soon.  Beard has a ton of experience in wrestling, particularly in Texas and Japan.
 
--We will have three straight nights of Observer radio this weekend, Saturday night covering the UFC, Sunday covering the Rumble and Monday covering Raw.
 
--Extreme Rising has an iPPV at www.highspots.tv on 2/8  in Pittsburgh at the Irish Centre at 7 p.m. with Stevie Richards vs Sabu for the title, Rhino vs. Devon Storm, Luke Hawx vs. Rich Ortiz, Jay Bradley vs. Papadon, Matt Cross vs. Facade, BLK OUT vs. Danny Maff & Monsta Mack plus Balls Mahoney, Blue Meanie, Gregory Iron and more.
 
--National Pro Wrestling Day on 2/1 at the Palmer Center in Easton, PA has a free show as a fund raiser for the Against Malaria Foundation.   
 
--Roderck Strong is off tomorrow's ROH show in Pittsburgh due to his neck injury.  He will be at the show doing commentary for the tapings.

--The third AGON promotions show, called Festival of Funk, with Ben Askren as the top star, a new twist to pro wrestling (non predetermined) takes placed Sunday at 1 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewaer at the Williams Center.  The main event is Ben Askren vs. Mike Poeta.  This will be Askren's first match in Wisconsin since he was in high school.  A story is at http://www.associatedwrestlingpress.com/news_article/show/342509?referrer_id=1023868    
 
--Bellator has added the first round featherweight tournament match lineup to its season opening show on 2/28 from the Mohegan Sun Casino.  This is the show with the Rampage Jackson vs. Christian M'Pumbu and King Mo Lawal vs. Mikhail Zayats light heavyweight tournament first round matches.  The featherweight bouts are Diego Nunes (18-5) vs. Matt Bessette (12-4), Mich Richman (16-3) vs. Desmond Green (9-2), Daniel Weichel (31-8) vs. Scott Cleve (14-3) and Will Martinez (8-2) vs. Goito Yamauchi (16-1).
 
--Bellator also announced a 5/2 date at Revel in Atlantic City when the winner of the 3/7 fight with Eduardo Dantas vs. Rafael Silva for the bantamweight title will defend against Joe Warren
 
POLL ON ULTIMATE FIGHTER
Excellent 3.8%
Good 23.1%
Average 7.7%
Fair 15.4%
Poor 50.0%
        71.7% of those responding didn't see the show
 
POLL ON MAIN EVENT
Excellent 10.0%
Good 20.0%
Average 30.0%
Fair 23.3%
Poor 16.7%
        69.4% of those responding didn't see the show
 
WHAT WAS THE BEST OF THESE MATCHES?
Rhodes Brothers vs. Show & Mysterio vs. Ryback &  Axel vs. Swagger & Cesaro 66.2%
Okada vs. Naito 14.5%
Tanahashi & Naito vs. Okada & Nakamura 8.8%
Volador Jr. vs. Mascara Dorada 6.6%
Anderson & Gallows vs. Kojima & Tenzan 2.5%
Okada & Guerrero & Ishii vs. Tanahashi & Naito & Sombra 1.3%  
 
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1950 - Ray Eckert won the Pacific Coast title from Sandor Szabo in San Francisco
1956 - Buddy Rogers beat Karl Von Albers in Baltimore to win the Eastern title
1963 - Lou Thesz beat Buddy Rogers in Toronto  to win the NWA title.  This was the match that pretty much led to the creation of the WWWF title and Vince McMahon quitting the NWA
1963 - Mark Lewin & Don Curtis beat The Fabulous Kangaroos to win the world tag team title
1967 - Mad Dog Vachon beat Hans Schmidt in Chicoutimi to win the International title
1968 - Clayton Thompson beat Mick McManus in London to win the British middleweight title
1968 - Danny Hodge beat Lou Thesz in Tokyo to win the TWWA title
1969 - Paul Jones & Nelson Royal beat Los Medicos in Los Angeles to win the Americas tag team title
1972 - Gene Kiniski & Bulldog Bob Brown beat Mark Lewin & Steven Little Bear in Vancouver to win the Canadian Open tag team title
1973 - Jacques Rougeau Sr. beat Waldo Von Erich in a tournament final to win the NWF title in Buffalo
1977 - Ricky Gibson & Bill Dundee beat Dutch Mantel & David Shults in Memphis to win the Southern tag team title
1977 - Jim Breaks beat Bobby Ryan in Bradford to win the European lightweight title 
1980 - The Assassin (Jody Hamilton) beat The Avenger (Reggie Parks) in Kansas City to win the Central States title
1988 - Larry Zbyszko beat Barry Windham at the Nassau Coliseum on PPV to win the Western States Heritage title. Dusty Rhodes won a cage Bunkhouse Stampede in the main event
1988 - Head to head with the PPV, on the USA Network, Jim Duggan won the first nationally televised Royal Rumble in Hamilton, ONT.  Contrary to almost all history, this was not the first Royal Rumble, as that was held in St. Louis
1988 - Yumi Ogura beat Bull Nakano in Nagoya to win the Japanese title'
1992 - Eddie Gilbert beat Terry Garvin (Terry Simms) to win the GWF TV title in Dallas
1993 - Yokozuna won the Royal Rumble in Sacramento
1996 - Stan Hansen & Gary Albright beat Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue in Matsumoto to win the All Japan world tag team title
1996 - Lioness Asuka beat Kyoko Inoue in Tokyo to win the TWF title
1998 - Chris Jericho beat Rey Misterio Jr. in Dayton to win the WCW cruiserweight title
1999 - The Rock won the WWF title beating Mankind in an I Quit match in Anaheim ("Beyond the Mat") and Vince McMahon won the Royal Rumble
2000 - Sid Vicious beat Kevin Nash for the vacant WCW title in Los Angeles
2009 - Kota Ibushi & Kenny Omega beat Harashima & Toru Owashi in Tokyo to win the King of DDT title   
 
--Among the birthdays today are Hall of Famer Akira Maeda (55), Vince Russo (53) and Jay Briscoe (30)
 
--Former world champion Orville Brown was 72 when he passed away on this day in 1981.  Dr. Jerry Graham, who was Vince McMahon's favorite wrestler as a teenager, was 58 when he passed away on this day in 1997.  Shohei "Giant" Baba, perhaps the most successful former wrestler who was a promoter as well, was 61 when he passed away on this day in 1999.  Bobby Duncum Jr. was 34 when he passed away on this day in 2000.  Jack Tunney was 68 when he passed away on this day in 2004.
 
--Wes Brisco is taking indie bookings through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   He can also be booked in tandem with father Gerald Brisco out or Orlando.  Also available for bookings include Dory Funk Jr., Scott & Cody Hall (out of Atlanta, Scott will not wrestle), Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman, Jay Lethal, Tommy Dreamer, DDP, Matt Striker, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Corey Hollis, Mike Posey, Scott Steiner, Rick Steiner, Devon, Shane Helms, Al Snow and Gunner.
 
--WWE has a job listing for Office Assistant/Creative Liaison to work out of the Performance Center in Orlando.  The job includes helping with character development of talent, and helping set up and tear down developmental live events. 
 
--Golden Boy Live boxing tonight at 10 p.m.  on The Fight Network is headlined by Antonio Orozco vs. Miguel Anhel Huerta.  They also have a show at 2 p.m. tomorrow, live kickboxing from Eindhoven, Holland promoted by the Enfusion promotion.
 
--Superstars of Wrestling on 2/28 in Spotswood, NJ at the Knights of Columbus with Koko B. Ware, Sal Sincere, Justin Credible, Nunzio, Rhino and Sonjay Dutt.
 
 
--Added to the 3/14 One FC show in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia is Wes Jaya vs. Peter Davis and Saiful Merican vs. Khi Dima.  Merican is a Muay Thai champion of Malaysia and Dima is a Kun Khmer boxing champion from Cambodia.
 
--Josh Matthews will preview the Royal Rumble on the Bower Show at www.tinyurl.com/979ESPN or 97.9 ESPN i Connecticut at 6:45 p.m. tonight. 
 
--Bobby Fish and Dalton Castle talk pro wrestling at http://travelingtights.podomatic.com/entry/2014-01-24T09_32_31-08_00
 
 
 

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