TUES UPDATE: More from Raw, Betty White angle, Terry Funk talks CM Punk, Santino Marella teaming up with Larry the Cable Guy for movie, 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 Sunday's New Japan New Beginning iPPV as well as the show that aired last night, 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 also looking for reports on Sunday's WWE house shows in Fresno and Bakersfield and the weekend TNA house shows in Battle Creek and DeKalb.

Tuesday will be the Smackdown and Main Event tapings from the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, CA.

        An update on the C.M. Punk situation, including thoughts from wrestlers who have walked out on WWE in the past is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that will be up on the web site today.
 
        We look at his leaving, who wants him back, why many don't, and looking into the future on what would have happened had he stayed as well as what logically was how it should have happened.  We look at why WWE has said nothing publicly and handled his departure differently tan others in the past.  We look at changes that have been made, some frustrations, injuries, the Steve Austin situation in 2002, as well as a grandstand challenge made to Punk from another promoter.
 
        We also look at UFC 169, talking about the Barao-Faber stoppage, the future of 135 and 145 in UFC, the next mega show the promotion is planning, business notes on the show as well as match-by-match coverage of the show.
 
        We also have a feature looking at both the top and the bottom performers in WWE in 2013 and how they impacted Raw ratings over the course of the year.  We also examine what those figures say, including what type of match is a major turnoff, whose crowd reactions does and doesn't translate into viewers, and what pro wrestling axioms are completely full of it, as well as what headliners don't draw numbers as the level they are pushed.
 
        We also look at New Japan's February tour, including the retirement of Wataru Inoue, the next PPVs, as well as full coverage of the first show of the tour and how it builds to the big shows this coming week.
 
        We also look at the new WWE television deal in the U.K. and the entire television situation, what WWE has told its television partners about the network and its effect on their business, sports vs. entertainment in marketing WWE going forward, updates on injuries to John Cena and Naomi, Internet PPV problems for WWE, notes on WrestleMania, the network Raw pregame show, Sting in WWE, 2014 Hall of Fame class, more on what will and won't be available on the WWE Network including one of the best PPV shows of all-time not on the list, and a Hulk Hogan update.
 
        We also have more on Steve Austin walking out and coming back, who WWE wants for P.R. purposes, WWE stock update, longest gap between title wins, the NXT special, next week's Raw and much more.
 
        We also look at the entire month of March on NXT television, debuts of two former All-American wrestlers, what characters in WWE the last few weeks have gotten the most Internet buzz, what is in store for the next season of Total Divas, including a WrestleMania moment, who is gone, three weddings and more.
 
        We also look at tag teams breaking up, as well as WWE business notes from the past week and highlights of all the weekend arena events.
 
        We also look back in history, with a feature on the 1965 plans to unify the WWWF and NWA world titles into one major championship with Bruno Sammartion vs. Lou Thesz.  We look at who was supposed to win, and the reasons why the unification never happened.  We also look at when the WWWF rejoined the NWA.
 
        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.
 
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        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major television shows over the past week and results from all the major arena events.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--What cost one of the world's oldest promotions its main TV outlet
 
--The return of Sin Cara to Mexico
 
--New star from Japan debuting in CMLL
 
--A look at the death of Mini Chessman
 
--AAA building to its first major show of the year with the latest angles
 
--Dragon Gate's return to the U.S. later this month
 
--Minoru Tanaka 20th anniversary show
 
--Update on KENTA after his WWE tryout
 
--What former TNA star is headed to New Japan
 
--Update on Daisuke Sekimoto
 
--More on the Nancy Argentino death case from 1983 involving Jimmy Snuka
 
--More on the arrest of Matt Hardy on New Year's Day
 
--Jim Ross debuts on a podcaster
 
--CHIKARA returns
 
--New wrestling book
 
--Update on Jeff Jarrett's proposed new promotion
 
--Why the sale of TNA fell through
 
--Full details on a deal Jeff Jarrett brought to TNA leading to a PPV show in a few weeks
 
--Lots of notes on plans for the PPV show
 
--How a last minute change at TV this past week impacts that show
 
--A look at TNA's next two PPV shows and what is planned
 
--What Japanese star is scheduled to come to TNA as a full-timer
 
--What hire TNA may make that could cost them a business partner
 
--Update on Kurt Angle
 
--What battle of Hall of Famers is being built toward this summer
 
--Future of Kurt Angle
 
--Why a planned title change fell through
 
--Lots of prospective interesting PPV matches for TNA
 
--Update on MVP in TNA and why he's using that name
 
--Update on the Lockdown PPV
 
--Lots of notes on the TNA tour of the U.K.
 
--Jessy Sorensen talks more about his departure from TNA, what he said he was promised and more
 
--A look at the 2015 TNA tour of the U.K.
 
--Details of every show TNA ran in the U.K., including a house show, a PPV show and the next five weeks of television
 
--A look at how the angles will play out to build Lockdown
 
--Lots more on the Julianna Pena story including the training partner speaks
 
--Complete list of Pena injuries
 
--Where Pena could have been by the end of the year
 
--UFC 2014 schedule in Canada
 
--More UFC overseas events planned
 
--Ticket sales for all the upcoming shows including two big surprises
 
--Tons of new UFC matches made
 
--Notes on a world title tournament upcoming
 
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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

-- Vinny and I will be back tonight with a brand new Bryan & Vinny Show talking Raw and Smackdown, plus whatever else is on our minds. I'll tweet a little later on when I know when it will air live. The live airings will be at different times than usual for the next week, but back to normal next Wednesday. Regardless, the replays will be up for members within about 15 minutes after the conclusion of the shows (slow Internet).

-- If you're a online subscriber, you should have gotten a survey in your email asking you what you like, dislike, think should be improved, etc., regarding this website. Thanks so much to everyone who has responded so far as we've got a ridiculous amount of them back already. If you didn't get one, please email Josh Nason at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Note that we don't have a survey for print subscribers yet.

-- Regarding Betty White -- and this is not defending the laxative segment with the Outlaws, because it sucks no matter what -- the reason they did that is because her new TV show is about old people pranking younger people.

-- These people liked it.

-- WWE has an article about the one-week free trial of the WWE Network here.

-- WWE's video on Bobo Brazil is up here.

-- Terry Funk tells Fighting Spirit Magazine that he thinks CM Punk will probably be back in the company by WrestleMania here.

-- Last night's dark match was Cena, Bryan and Batista beating the Wyatts via DQ. I think this was Batista's first non-Rumble match since returning.

-- Seth Rollins asking "CM WHO?" during a commercial break on Raw is up here.

-- Variety is reporting that WWE will be doing a sequel to Jingle All the Way AND a Marine 4 here. Actually, the Marine franchise has done better than I'd have ever imagined. Miz will be back as the Marine alongside Summer Rae, and Jingle All the Way 2 will feature LARRY THE CABLE GUY AND SANTINO.

-- Thiago Silva's wife did an interview on a Brazilian website where she said Thiago Silva had become increasingly violent over the past three weeks, and that in the past he'd shoved a gun in her mouth and also thrown her down a flight of stairs. She blamed the problems on cocaine and said Silva felt he was above the law. More on his arrest is here.

-- Thiago's attorney has a statement here.

-- If you haven't seen it, Ronda Rousey on the new Afterbuzz TV show heretalking about how she's the Ric Flair of the Four Horsewoman.

-- The other three members of the Four Horsewoman were at Raw tonight, but no Ronda Flair.

-- UK child put into ISOLATION at school after shaving TNA into his head. Come on. I'd have been in isolation my entire junior high and high school career, and probably still today. Story is here.

-- By the way, whoever it was on Facebook that said my hair made me look like a Lego figure, Whitney never laughed so hard.

-- Unofficial at the moment, but Usos vs. Outlaws for the tag titles is expected at the Elimination Chamber.

-- Matt Jackson broke his hand towards the end of the 2/11 New Japan match and it most likely will require surgery. Thanks to KidZombie.

-- Big Show interview on ESPN Radio here.

-- A look hereat the fella who runs the largest pro-wrestling museum in the world.

-- Ed and the Crew joined by Bobby Fulton on Over the Top Radio here.

-- Jim Ross has a FOX Sports article on Ernie Ladd here.

-- A look back hereat Funk vs. Kiniski 45 years ago.

-- The five-fight, NBCSN-televised main card for World Series of Fighting 9 is now complete with the addition of three new contests, including welterweights Josh "The People's Warrior" Burkman (26-10) vs. Tyler "The Evolution" Stinson (27-9), lightweights Ozzy Dugulubgov (5-1) vs. Johnny Nunez (4-0) and featherweights Mike Corey (12-3-1) vs. Shane Kruchten (11-2).

-- 559 Fights will return to Fresno this Saturday at Valdez Hall. 14 amateur MMA bouts. Doors open at 6, Fights start at 7. Tickets start at $20, can be purchased at Convention Center Box Office, other info www.559fights.com

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1942 - Tarzan Lopez defeated Black Guzman in Mexico City, Mexico to win the NWA World Middleweight Title.

1969 - Dory Funk, Jr. defeated Gene Kiniski in Tampa, Florida for the NWA World Heavyweight Title.

1983 - Giant Baba defeats Harley Race in St. Louis, Missouri for the Pacific Wrestling Federation World Heavyweight Title

1983 - WWF World Champion Bob Backlund defeated Intercontinental Champion Magnificent Muraco in a Texas Death Match in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1984 - Tito Santana defeated the Magnificent Muraco to win the WWF Intercontinental Title in Boston, Massachusetts,

1996 - Ric Flair defeated Randy Savage in a steel cage match to win the WCW World Title in St. Petersburg, Florida.

-- Presale for UFC Fight Night in Orlando April 19th here. Code is UFCRADIO.

-- The International Wrestling Federation is proud to present its debut event, BREAKING GROUND, Sat Mar 29th, at the Celebrity Theater, in Phoenix, Arizona. The IWF plans on incorporating the biggest names in professional wrestling, along with the brightest upcoming stars of the industry. Already signed to appear, John Morrison, Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, Young Bucks, Ricochet, Kevin Steen, Rich Swann, Hurricane Helms, Rellik, AR Fox, Chris Masters, Mickie James, Reno Scum, Brian Cage, JT Dunn, Shelly Martinez, Tyshaun Prince, and more.

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Which of these shows are you watching this week?