TUES UPDATE: Latest from Raw, WWE statement on cable negotiations, Independent covers wrestling, all details on ROH's HONORCON this Saturday, tons more



By Bryan Alvarez | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @bryanalvarez

We're also looking for reports on tonight's Smackdown tapings in Colorado Springs with Christian vs. Sheamus as the announced main event.

We're also looking for reports on Sunday's TNA show in Abilene, TX.

        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
 
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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.
 
Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Just a note that aside from the new Wrestling Observer Radio, which is up right now, we won't be having any new shows up on the site today, but will be back with a vengeance on our normal schedule tomorrow.

-- WWE will release its fourth quarter earnings report on Thursday. Going to be a very interesting conference call just days before the launch of the Network. I'm sure this will be asked about as well: WWE's exclusive negotiating period with NBCU for our flagship television programs, 'Raw' and 'SmackDown,' has now expired. While we were unable to reach an agreement with NBCU during this period, we have certainly appreciated our long and productive partnership. With year-round, live programming that is highly coveted by programmers, distributors and advertisers, we are extremely excited about our future. We look forward to engaging with potential partners who recognize the value of having the #1 show on cable and live content delivered 52 weeks a year.

-- Ronda Rousey x Sara McMann promo for their fight here.

-- Regarding the lack of promotion of the Network on Raw last night, they are planning to do a heavy pitch at Elimination Chamber. Why they chose the PPV, especially since there will be satellite carriers not airing it, and not the show that will draw four-plus million viewers is beyond me.

-- After the show ended, everyone hit a finish on Dean Ambrose, including Cesaro swinging him about 100 times.

-- Sheamus vs. Christian headlines tonight's Smackdown tapings.

-- A story on WrestleMania in the Independent here.

-- All the details on ROH's HonorCon this weekend: Are you ready for #HONORCON? Ring of Honor is celebrating its 12th Anniversary with an interactive fan convention and admission is FREE! On February 22nd from 1:00pm - 4:00pm, the stars of ROH will gather to spend the day with you at the National Guard Armory. There will be lots of ROH athletes signing autographs and doing exclusive Q&A sessions. Ever want to stand in the ROH entranceway just like "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin or World Champion Adam Cole? We will have a special photo opportunity for you to step into their shoes! We we also present an ARM WRESTLING TOURNAMENT between some of the stars of ROH. For collectors, you will have the opportunity to buy rare, one-of-a-kind items and a wide variety of Ring of Honor merchandise, including limited edition apparel. Finally, you have to be there LIVE to witness a huge announcement from Ring of Honor! Admission is free! But if you want to get the most out of your #HonorCon experience, check out the #HonorCon VIP wristband. With the VIP Pass, you pay one price and don't have to worry about purchasing individual autographs.The #HonorCon Band, a $120 value, will allow you to receive an autograph from every ROH star that is signing, as well as to participate in any special photo opportunities. Buy in advance to save! Also, only #HonorCon VIPs will receive a FREE #HonorCon T-Shirt sponsored byBarbershop Window! #HonorCon Bands are available for purchase now by clicking HERE for just $59.99 (over a $120 value). HOURS AND LOCATION: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm; Pennsylvania National Guard Armory; 2700 Southampton Road; Philadelphia, PA 19154; Admission is FREE!!!! The special announcement is at 3:00 PM.

-- I don't know what it is, but was told the announcement is really cool and will not disappoint.

-- Ronda Rousey will be on the Pete Holmes show a week from tonight.

-- 2K today announced Levi McIntire of West Portsmouth, Ohio as the winner of the WWE® 2K14 WrestleMania 30 contest. The winning screenshot entry, chosen by the WWE Games community and featuring a fantasy WrestleMania 30 matchup between WWE Superstars Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan, provided McIntire with an all-expense-paid trip for two to the pop culture extravaganza of the year, WrestleMania 30, scheduled for Sunday, April 6, 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The screenshot is available for viewing at wwe.2k.com/WM30Moment/.

-- Should be noted that the winning screenshot, as voted by fans, was Randy Orton RKO'ing Daniel Bryan off a ladder through tables.

-- Q&A with Prince Devitt here.

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1978 - WWWF World Champion Superstar Billy Graham defeated Bruno Sammartino in a steel cage match in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1984 - Brad Armstrong defeated Ted DiBiase in Atlanta, Georgia to win the Georgia National Title. Armstrong was wrestling under a mask as "Mr. R". DiBiase thought it was Tommy Rich under the mask as Rich had been wrestling as Mr. R in previous weeks. DiBiase was rolled up and pinned by Armstrong after DiBiase pulled off the mask and realized it wasn't Rich.

1985 - One of the most famous matches in WWF history, "The War To Settle The Score" between WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper took place in Madison Square Garden. At the same event, Lelani Kai defeated Wendi Richter to win the WWF Women's Title.

1993 - Kerry Von Erich committed suicide with a handgun on his father's ranch in Texas.

1995 - "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert died of a heart attack at the age of 33 in his apartment in Puerto Rico

1996 - Johnny B. Badd defeated Lex Luger in Norfolk, Virginia to win the WCW World Television Title

1996 - At the Louisville Gardens in Kentucky, WWF World Heavyweight Champion Bret Hart defeated Diesel in a steel cage match when Hart escaped the cage as Undertaker came up through the canvas and pulled Diesel into the hole.

-- Playful wrestling turned tragic

-- Lenny, who has been doing a good job covering this story, writes: I just wanted to give you an update on HB 2573, the bill requiring the department of licensing to conduct a review of the need for regulation of theatrical wrestling events in Washington State. The bill passed the House late last night 82-14, which is pretty encouraging. It goes to the Senate next. No word on a hearing date yet.

-- Have heard nothing but good reviews of John Cena on the Steve Austin podcast.

-- Speaking of podcasts, and Steve Austin, Jim Ross' podcast kicks off tomorrow at PodcastOne with Austin as guest.

-- On April 5, 2013 in Amherst, Virginia, the North American Catch Wrestling Association will be hosting their Regional Qualifier submission wrestling tournament, the Virginia Shooter's Challenge will take place at Amherst County High School 139 Lancer Lane Amherst, VA 24521. This tournament will be held under traditional American catch wrestling rules, where you can win by submission or pin. There are no points, no politics, and no sandbagging. Grapplers of all styles, organizations, and levels of experience are welcome. Early and online registration is only $40, whereas door registration will cost $60. Registration covers both weight division and absolute division, and will end at 12 midnight EDT, March 28, 2014. Registration forms, rules, and regulations can be found on NACWA’s website, at http://NACWA.weebly.com.

-- WHAT DID YOU THINK OF SATURDAY'S ROH TV SHOW?
Excellent 46.4%
Good 32.1%
Average 10.7%
Fair 0.0%
Poor 10.7%
60.3% of those responding didn't see the show

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF SATURDAY'S UFC SHOW?
Excellent 4.4%
Good 10.6%
Average 23.0%
Fair 20.4%
Poor 41.6%
35.8% of those responding didn't see the show

WHO WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN SEEING NEXT CHALLENGE FOR THE MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE?
Jacare Souza 54.1%
Lyoto Machida 45.9%

WHAT WAS THE BEST TV SHOW OF THE PAST WEEK?
Raw 34.1%
Smackdown 26.1%
Impact 14.6%
ROH 13.7%
UFC Machida vs. Mousasi 5.4%
Main Event 3.2%
Inside MMA 1.6%
Ultimate Fighter 0.6%
UFC Tonight 0.4%

-- With a stacked main card already in place that includes two championship contests, World Series of Fighting 9's full lineup is now complete with the addition of six preliminary bouts. The intriguing contests include no less than 10 of Las Vegas' finest mixed martial artists, as the "Fight Capital of the World" will be well represented on the card. The new matchups include featherweights Chris "Gritz" Gruetzemacher (11-1) vs. John "Guns" Gunderson (34-15), bantamweights Sean Cantor (1-0) vs. Bryson Hansen (6-1), welterweights "Filthy" Phil Dace (9-4) vs. Danny "Dee1" Davis (8-8-1), bantamweights Jimmy "Rabbit" Jones (4-2) vs. "Ruthless" Rudy Morales (2-0), lightweights Gil Guardado (2-0) vs. Jimmy Spicuzza (2-0) and debuting lightweights Tanner Cowan (0-0) vs. A.J. Williams (0-0).

-- CWE Friday February 21st- Winnipeg, MB; Location: Holy Cross Gymnasium Hall (290 Dubuc St.); Time: Doors Open 6:30pm, Bell time 7:00pm.; Tickets: $15 in advance, $18 at the door; Advance Tickets Available at: Rudy's Video (668 Sheppard St.), Blade Hair Design (3-1341 Henderson Hwy), Video 1001 (576 Mountain Ave)

-- The Union of Independent Professional Wrestlers returns to the Rockpile East Nightclub (2787A Eglinton Ave East, Scarborough, Ontario) on Sunday March 9th for WRESTLESTOCK! Door open at 3:30pm. Bell time is 4pm sharp. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets are currently on sale at Rockpile East, at Silver Snail Comics (329 Yonge Street, Toronto) and online at www.wrestlersunion.ca.

-- Sat, Feb. 22 Empire Wrestling Federation - American Sports University 360. W. Court St. San Bernardino, Ca. 7:00 PM

-- Latest When We Were Bouncers blog

-- ONE Fighting Championship™ (ONE FC) has agreed to a landmark agreement with Mall of Asia Arena. The historic deal will see Asia’s largest mixed martial arts promotion partner up with the most iconic arena in Philippines to hold ONE FC events twice a year in Manila. Mall of Asia Arena is an indoor arena within the SM Mall of Asia complex, in Pasay, Philippines. It has a seating capacity of 16,000 for sporting events, and a full house capacity of 20,000. The Arena officially opened on June 16, 2012.

If you do get WWE network, besides PPVs, what are you most interested in?

 

If you have stopped subscribing to WWE network, why?

 

What was the best TV show of the week?