THURS UPDATE: Punk doing MMA, Overeem talks, Dana White talks about everything, Matt Jackson update, new TV show announced, Flair to NorCal, Sammartino, Promotion returns, Vampiro and more



By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @DaveMeltzerWON
 
        Impact tonight on Spike taped from Manchester, England:
Gunner vs. Ethan Carter III
James Storm & Gunner vs. Ethan Carter III & Magnus
Samoa Joe & Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Zema Ion & Robbie E & Jessie Godderz
MVP vs. Rockstar Spud
Ken Anderson vs. Bully Ray casket match
 
        The new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, a double issue, will be up on the web site shortly.  Our lead story is more on C.M. Punk, from reactions during the week, house shows, TV, WWE cleverness and how quickly things have changed.  We look at different responses within the company, plus more comments on people regarding Punk and his reasons for leaving.
 
        We also have a detailed look at the arrest of UFC fighter Thiago Silva, the police report of what went down, what led to it, what his wife has said, what others have said and what happens to his career from here.
 
        We also have our look at who the most popular performers in wrestling, MMA and boxing were in 2013 with our annual chart including looking back at the last five years.  Who has broken through as someone people are interested in, who has broken through as a draw, who is and isn't underutilized from a personality standpoint, who are the new stars and who is falling. 
 
        We also look at FOX's ability to make new stars, has John Cena passed his peak, who never wins but is more over than those who win all the time, as well as a comparison of the last nine years between WWE, UFC and TNA.
 
        We look at what company did the best to create new stars, what company has the most stars, the difference between U.S and worldwide popularity, the plight of TNA and what is scary about it right now, and how market forces are changing greatly that have already led to both more revenue and less popularity for UFC and WWE.
 
        We've also got more on WWE television negotiations for a new deal, what Raw is going to be loaded up and why, update on the network launch, update on the Elimination Chamber PPV, update on Sting and WWE, lots of WWE injury updates, WWE movie updates, WWE stock updates, Jim Ross talks about the situation of his being let go, Mick Foley WWE update, Shawn Michaels DVD notes, pregame shows on the network, Flair deal and more.
 
        We also have notes on the career of Lita, developmental news, name changes, big show payoffs, indie stars on WWE's radar, business notes from the past week as well as details from all the weekend house shows.
 
        We've also got full coverage of both New Japan big shows over the past week, the New Beginning in Hiroshima and Osaka.  We look at what New Japan is looking at changing its business according to its owner, what were the keys to this weekend from a business standpoint, matches of the year, what appears to be future directions, the first round matches in the New Japan Cup, the 2014 anniversary show with a unique main event, poll results from both shows and a lot more.
 
        We also have more in a 2013 year in review, with the win/loss records of everyone on the WWE and TNA roster.  Who gets put over the most.  Who never wins.  Who are the workhorses in both groups.  Exactly how much more do WWE performers work than TNA performers. 
 
        We also have a look at with WWE pulling away from PPV, who is putting more emphasis on it and big shows planned.
 
        We also have an all-time list of U.S. world and Olympic medal winners in wrestling who have gone into either pro wrestling or MMA dating back to 1904.
 
        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:
 
--Update on CMLL's Gran Alternativa tournament
 
--Wrestlers on TV weekly who want to go back to their gimmicks from years ago
 
--Jeff Jarrett goes to Mexico
 
--AAA star in a major reality show
 
--Dragon Gate big show coverage
 
--Notes on this year's Champion Carnival tournament
 
--Update on All Japan jr. tournament
 
--Outsider captures major world title
 
--Update on KENTA and Pro Wrestling NOAH
 
--Update on Prince Devitt
 
--Hall of Famer hints at retirement after putting over protege
 
--Pro wrestling world title put up in a shoot match
 
--IGF announces its plans for the next several months
 
--Adam Copeland (Edge) talks about leaving wrestling, growing up as a fan and more
 
--Chavo Guerrero Jr. talks Chris Benoit on Chris Jericho's show
 
--CZW has big show
 
--Pro wrestling trivia note as it relates to one of the biggest celebrities of the last 100 years
 
--Update on the original Sin Cara
 
--Someone does a pro wrestling and pro wrestling match on the same day
 
--Latest from  Puerto Rico
 
--Notes from the heyday of San Francisco wrestling
 
--Former TNA wrestler slowing down
 
--Whatever happened to???
 
--Notes on pro wrestling documentaries in discussion
 
--Former UFC fighter and former WWE star in international TV commercial
 
--ROH weekend show and what matches are being built for
 
--Vince Russo and TNA, an update
 
--How the TV has changed
 
--Notes on the next few TNA PPV shows
 
--What PPV show said to be really good
 
--Lots more backstage from the European tour
 
--A look at the TNA shows this past weekend
 
--More on Ronda Rousey in Hollywood
 
--Story behind her latest movie roles
 
--Details on the Jessica Eye situation
 
--More suspensions
 
--The situation with the fighter on Ultimate Fighter who will not be going to UFC no matter what happens on the show
 
--More on UFC changing its bonus structure
 
--A look at the next show
 
--Dana White's latest TV show
 
--More on UFC prosecuting those who steal their PPVs
 
--Update on Anderson Silva
 
--Tons of new fights
 
--What UFC fighter is a Roller Derby coach
 
--New Bellator title fight
 
--Update on three-way TV battle in two weeks
 
--New promotion with national TV about to debut and notes on who is involved with the show including UFC's first superstar and a major name in pro wrestling
 
--Update on Ben Askren
 
--What boxing champion is interested in MMA
 
        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:
 
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        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.


THURSDAY UPDATE
 
--A bunch of people at the World MMA Awards weigh in on the idea of C.M. Punk doing an MMA fight including those who know of his training. You'll note that most there were very respectful of him.
 
--Alistair Overeem said that he turned down the Junior Dos Santos fight due to a rib injury, so he couldn't commit.
 
--Bellator announced today that they have signed announcer Jimmy Smith (the most underrated announcer around, by the way) to a five-year contract through 2018.  Smith is a former pro fighter who started commentating on shows in Russia before Bellator got English language television.
 
--The Matt Jackson broken hand from the Tuesday New Japan show in Osaka came when Kushida gave him a forward flip to the floor.   

--Ric Flair will be appearing at Wrestlefest in Newark, CA on 5/17 at American High School.  For dealer tables and ticket info call Kirk White at 510-386-1799.  Scott Hall, Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson will also be there.
 
--There is a huge story in the March 2014 issue of Charlotte Magazine on the local heroin crisis. Reid Fliehr is mentioned in the story.
 
--An announcement was made today of UFC: The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, a new show that will air throughout Mexico, Central and South America.  They are looking for fighters who come from Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela between 21 and 34, who speak Spanish, have had at least three fights and have won more than they've lost.  It is open to fighters of all weight classes.  The show will be shot this spring in Las Vegas.
 
--Dana White had a press meeting today in Las Vegas.  Among the notes, thanks to Dave Farra):

*Said it's so expensive to randomly test fighters and it has to be done through the athletic commission
*Said they were the leader in the industry for going after TRT.  There is no easy answer but they are taking steps to get rid of drugs
*"Alistair is not one of the biggest busts we've ever had.  That would be someone I believed in ..and Alistair wasn't that."
*Drug usage is the worst thing that ever happened to the business
*"These guys think tons of fighters in the UFC are on drugs.  They aren't.  Say it, who the f*** is on drugs in the UFC?"  I'll test them."
*"Seriously, give me a name of a not clean fighter and I will have someone go to their house right now and test them.  Not even kidding."
*"Cyborg" looks like Wanderlei Silva.  She's done so many drugs her head is this big.  Does anyone really think she fights clean?"
*He said if Vitor would pull out of fighting in Nevada over the TRT issue, that would be a huge problem
*Said Belfort was just tested randomly to the Nevada State Athletic Commission this week
*Said Ronda vs. Cyborg was ridiculous.  "Cyborg said she would die if she went to 135.  It doesn't make any sense."
*Made a point Rousey is getting paid big for her movie roles.  Said she was the biggest star UFC has ever had and with her fight this next week she will break into the top ten of most money ever made by a UFC fighter.
*Doesn't read anything on-line anymore.  Said if he listened to people on twitter, the company would be out of business. 
*Mousasi vs. Machida winner on Saturday will get a middleweight title shot 
*Rashad Evans needs knee surgery, will be out a lot longer than four weeks.  That's one of the reasons Pat Cummins has been brought in to face Daniel Cormier on 2/22.
*Doesn't think there will ever be a time when PPV is dead.  PPV will change, but not die.  Fight Pass was not created to replace PPV.  
*Said Fight Pass has been a home run so far.
*They are working on UFC uniforms for fighters.  This is big because if this happens, it will change the entire fighter sponsorship aspect of the industry as well as have a huge effect on current sponsors.
*"I have a feeling Alistair' rib injury will last as long as it takes for Dos Santos to get another opponent, then it'll heal."  He doesn't buy the injury and said his rib wouldn't be hurting if they booked him against Brock Lesnar.
*Said Gilbert Melendez is negotiating with Lorenzo Fertitta and he's out of the negotiations.
*Told a funny story about Pat Cummins, who faces Cormier.  He called him at work (he works at a coffee shop) and his manager then fired him for spending too much time on the phone.  White said, "Tell your manager to go f*** themselves and go to the gym, you got the fight."

--Ian McCall is out of his 3/8 match in London with Brad Pickett due to an injury. 

WHAT WILL DO THE BEST ON PPV?
Rousey vs. McMann 56.4%
Jones vs. Teixeira 29.2%
Hendricks vs. Lawler 14.4%
 
WHAT WAS THE BEST NEW JAPAN SHOW THIS YEAR?
New Beginning Osaka 49.5%
Tokyo Dome 33.6%
New Beginning Hiroshima 6.5%
Second Fantastica Mania show at Korakuen Hall 5.6%
First Fantastica Mania show at Korakuen Hall 4.7%
        Not that I disagree, but it's really amazing how the 1/19 (second Fantastica Mania) only got 5.6% given it was one of the best shows I've seen in a long time.  But I'd vote for Osaka as well.
 
WHAT WAS THE BEST NEW JAPAN MATCH SINCE DECEMBER?
Satoshi Ishii vs. Tetsuya Naito  New Beginning Osaka 47.1%
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shinsuke Nakamura Tokyo Dome 10.9%
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shinsuke Nakamura New Beginning Hiroshima 10.9%
Tanahashi & Naito vs. Nakamura & Okada 12/23 Tokyo 10.1%
Hirooki Goto vs. Kazuchika Okada New Beginning Osaka 8.4%
Okada vs. Naito Tokyo Dome 7.6%
Volador Jr. vs. Mascara Dorada Fantastica Mania in Tokyo 2.5%
Tanahashi & Naito & Goto vs. Nakamura & Okada & Ishii 2-3 Tokyo 2.5%
 
WHAT WAS THE BEST WWE TV MATCH THIS WEEK?
Daniel Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro 59.1%
Sheamus & Christian vs. Jack Swagger & Cesaro 25.3%
John Cena vs. Randy Orton 10.1%
Randy Orton vs. Christian 5.5%
 
WHAT IS BETTER FOR NEW JAPAN?
One loaded PPV per month 87.5%
Two PPVs per month so more main events get time 12.5%
 
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1958 - Dorrell Dixon beat Al Kashey in Mexico City to win the NWA world light heavyweight title
1984 - John Quinn beat Tony St. Clair in Slough to win the ASP world title
1984 - John Studd beat Jan Wilkens in Cape Town, South Africa to win the EWU Super heavyweight title
1985 - MS 1 beat Ringo Mendoza in Acapulco to win the NWA world light heavyweight title
1994 - Dirty White By beat Brian Lee to win the Smoky Mountain title in Knoxville
1997 - Shawn Michaels lost his smile in Lowell, MA when told he was to lose the WWF title to Sycho Sid on a live TV shoot.  He instead cut a promo, said due to a knee injury, he could never wrestle again.  That also meant his WrestleMania match with Bret Hart was off.  He was back a few months later better than ever.  Rocky Maivia beat Hunter Hearst Helmsley to win the IC title, and was promptly rejected by fans, leading to a heel turn and the creation of The Rock.
1998 - Atsushi Onita & Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Koji Nakagawa beat Yukihiro Kanemura & Mr. Gannosuke & Jado in Chiba to win the FMW six man street fight title
1998 - Badnews Allen beat Shigeo Okumura in Toyama to win the Canadian title
2000 - Big Vito & Johnny the Bull beat Ron & Don Harris to win the WCW tag titles in Germany
2001 - Brock Lesnar & Shelton Benjamin beat B.J. Payne & Damien to win the Southern tag titles in Louisville
2010 - Pequeno Olimpico beat Bam Bam in Mexico City to win the CMLL minis title
 
--The Pittsburgh Post Gazette had a story on the sports stars who attended the Dapper Dan banquet in the city, mentioning Bruno Sammartion and Franco Harris. (thanks to Chris Cruise) 
 
--All Pro Wrestling, the name of Roland Alexander's group, is resurrected on 3/15 at 450 Martin St. in Daly City at the Bayshore Community Center next to the Cow Palace with Adam Thornstowe vs. Drake Younger, Chris Masters vs. Dylan Drake, Brian Cage vs. JR Kratos and Jeckles vs. Luster the Legend.
 
--ECWA Code Red video here.
 
--Vampiro debuted under that name in Mexico City 23 years ago yesterday.
 
--Fransino Tirta, billed as the top MMA fighter in Indonesia, has signed with One FC for its 3/14 show at Stadium Negara in Malaysia.
 
 
--An interview with Bobby Fulton is up here.
 
--Announced for the ECWA Super 8 tournament on 4/5 in Newark, DE as the latest entrant is John Skyler, who has worked in WWE, TNA and All-Star Wrestling in the U.K.
 
--Does anyone have contact info for Rick Bogner, who wrestled in Japan as Big Tytan?
 
--Here's a look at the New Japan New Beginning shows.

--Here's a TV spot for the next Extreme Rising show, set for 3/1 at the ECW Arena featuring Sandman and Shane Douglas returning plus Stevie Richards vs. Sabu, Rhino vs. Devon Storm falls count anywhere, Balls Mahoney & Axl Rotten vs. 2 Tuff Tony & Matt Tremont, Luke Hawx vs. Rich Ortiz, Papadon vs. Takaaki Watanabe (New Japan) and more.
 
--Tom Prichard and Les Thatcher will be doing a four-day training camp along with Gerald Brisco, Nigel McGuinness and Lance Storm from 7/31 to 8/3 in Charlotte.  The best person in camp will get a $2,500 Reid Fleihr Memorial Scholarship toward future pro wrestling training, in honor of Ric Flair's son. The camp is intended for experienced wrestlers and referees, beginnings and those who want to be wrestlers will have the chance to observe.  The cost is $309. Visit their site or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for info. Given those five people, there is a ton of knowledge you can pick up.
 
--This is the lineup for the upcoming WWE release "WCW: Greatest PPV Matches Volume 1" that comes out on 3/11. I added my thoughts as well. Boy, there were a lot of omissions including Flair vs. Steamboat in Nashville which may be better than any match on that listing.  
  • Ric Flair vs. Ron Garvin 11/26/87 - Good match, not great
  • Barry Windham vs. Dusty Rhodes 7/10/88 - Not great, but good.  Windham at that time was as good as anyone in the business
  • Dusty Rhodes & Sting vs. Road Warriors 12/26/88 - Good one
  • Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat 2/20/89 - If you've never seen it, you really should, a classic match for its ear
  • Lex Luger vs. Brian Pillman 10/28/89 - Not expected to be good by management going in, made opened people's eyes on Pillman
  • Ric Flair vs. Sting 7/7/90 - Good match
  • Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham 7/14/91 Don't remember thinking this was all that good, bad time, horrible card
  • Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman 2/29/92 - At this one live, ahead of its time, great at the time
  • Sting's Squadron vs. Dangerous Alliance War Games 5/17/92 - Excellent match
  • Vader vs. Cactus Jack 10/24/93 - Pretty great match
  • Steve Austin vs. Ricky Steamboat 7/17/94 - Very good match
  • Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair with Mr T referee 10/23/94 - Also very good
  • Hulk Hogan's heel turn 7/7/96 - Historical
  • DDP vs. Randy Savage 4/6/97 - Good stuff
  • Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio 10/26/97 - Best WCW match of that era
  • Bret Hart vs. Randy Savage with Roddy Piper as referee 5/17/98
  • Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera with Dean Malenko as referee 8/8/98
  • Goldberg vs. DDP 10/25/98 - better than  expected, one of Goldberg's best ever matches
  • Jeff Jarrett vs Booker T 7/9/00
  • Three Count vs. Jung Dragons vs. Jamie Noble & Evan Karagias ladder match 12/26/00 -  Really good
  • Scott Steiner vs. DDP 3/18/01