THURS. UPDATE: TV Tonight, California makes TRT ruling public, TNA June PPV location, New network shows, Billy Robinson highlights, New UFC fights, WWE stock, First major win of legendary tag team, WWE star in U.K.



By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @DaveMeltzerWON
 
        We're looking for your thoughts on today's New Japan 42nd anniversary show, 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
 
        NXT on the WWE network tonight
Charlotte vs. Emma
Adrian Neville vs. Camacho
Yoshi Tatsu vs. Corey Graves
Solomon Crowe vs. Sylvester Lefort
 
        Impact on Spike at 9 p.m.
Eric Young vs. Samuel Shaw
Velvet Sky & ODB & Madison Rayne vs. Gail Kim & Le'D Tapa & Alpha Female
Elimination match for the man advantage in Lethal Lockdown:  MVP & Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Bobby Roode & Bro Mans
 
        Part one of the life and times of Billy Robinson, plus updates on WrestleMania, the end of TRT, NXT Arrival and the best UFC show this year highlight the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that will be up on the site today.
 
        Our lead story looks at what happened at Raw, the C.M. Punk sage and how WrestleMania is shaping up.
 
        We've got a huge feature on the legend of Billy Robinson and what made him among the most polarizing figures of his era.  We look at his background in wrestling, his death, his planned big news for just a few weeks from now that involved one of the biggest stars in wrestling industry and one of the best in-ring performers of the 90s, we look at Billy Robinson in Japan, his debut, his world title tournament win, the legend of his fights with Peter Maivia and Sailor Ed White, his confrontation with the Iron Sheik, Jack Brisco and Karl Gotch, his training of some of the biggest stars in both pro wrestling and MMA of the last 40 years, his family history and why it was a fluke that he even was a wrestler.
 
        We look at the original movie "The Wrestler" and the AWA of the 70s, his introduction to the promotion, his controversial run through Stampede Wrestling and bouts with Dory Funk Jr. and Archie Gouldie, his matches with Verne Gagne and his MMA training.
 
        We also look at the end of TRT in Nevada, Vitor Belfort pulling out of UFC 173, why UFC is the only sport to ban TRT, WWE regulations, why Belfort's situation is no unique and more.
 
        We look at NXT Arrival, including PPV delivery, match content, Main Event delivery, match-by-match with star ratings and poll results.
 
        We've also got more on the WWE Network, including a poll asking questions about future ideas, notes on Jake Roberts in the Hall of Fame, Paul Bearer Hall of Fame, major sports piece on WWE, greatest champions in WWE  history, Dolph Ziggler, The Shield, Total Divas, new signing, plus business notes from the past week and house show highlights. 
 
        We also look at the TNA PPV show from Japan, including background, booking and why the titles changed hands.
 
        We've also got a full rundown of the UFC show in China, with all the highlights of what may have been the company's beset show of the year.
 
        We also look at Ricochet's win of the Open the Dream Gate title.
 
        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 television shows over the past week and results from all the major arena events.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--How CMLL's first big show main event got changed due to injury
 
--Upcoming CMLL big shows
 
--CMLL star heads to China
 
--Notes on the upcoming Rey de Reyes show from AAA
 
--Update on the original Sin Cara and why he won't be on TV for a while
 
--A look at AAA and CMLL's shows over the weekend
 
--One promotion folds and another goes on hiatus over the past week
 
--Jake Roberts notes
 
--Update on Lionheart after injury
 
--Update on Extreme Rising
 
--How wrestling related podcasts are doing
 
--What famous kids movie character was patterned after a former pro wrestling star
 
--Upcoming big ROH shows
 
--Update on Rampage Jackson and pro wrestling
 
--Notes on this week's Lockdown show
 
--TNA after Lockdown
 
--TNA TV overseas
 
--A look at the weekend TNA house shows
 
--Biggest woman's fight of all-time
 
--Update on Rashad Evans
 
--Update on UFC's major new TV deal
 
--UFC's biggest week of the year
 
--Diaz Brothers notes
 
--Tons of new UFC fights
 
--Bellator's first PPV
 
--Notes on the first week of Bellator TV
 
--Major TV show this weekend featuring MMA legend      
 
       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.
 
THURSDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
 
--Andy Foster, the Executive Officer of the California State Athletic Commission, said that they fully support the Nevada decision to eliminate TUE's for testosterone replacement therapy.  He actually said they are enacting the WADA standard, which is so high that very few could meet it, which is not a total ban, but a logical level of banning.  But he said that until the rule is put in place, for now, there is a total ban in California.  That has actually been the case for some time.
 
--TNA Slammiversary PPV will be on 6/15 at the College Park Center in Arlington, TX.  That's the same location they ran two years ago.
 
--New shows on WWE Network today are an April 18, 1993 episode of Raw, plus the new episodes of NXT and Superstars.
 
--NXT is actually already up on Hulu Plus before the network.  The original plan was network on Thursday and Hulu on Friday, so that surprises me.
 
--Forrest Griffin in the U.K. promoting Saturday's show in London and talking about coping with retirement at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-2574272/Fighting-Griffin-coming-terms-retirement-calling-time-career.html
 
--Billy Robinson highlights at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EOUv-vVfyY  He was way ahead of his time as a worker.
 
--The 3/15 UFC show in Dallas, if it isn't totally sold out, is very close to it.
 
--Two new UFC fights announced today were William Macario vs. Neil Magny on 5/10 in Cincinnati and Paulo Thiago vs. Gasan Umalatov on 5/31 in Brazil.
 
--A look at WWE's TV negotiations by Chris Harrington at http://whatculture.com/wwe/wwes-current-15-year-stock-high-tied-domestic-tv-future.php  
 
--Fandango visited the Everton Football Club in Liverpool, England, touring with two former stars of the team, Graeme Sharp and Ian Snodin.  This stems from post-WrestleMania, with Everton's team played his music.  Fandango also visited the Beatles Museum today at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNKiEjEKyNo 
 
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1952 - Sonny Myers beat Enrique Torres in Kansas City to win the Heart of America title
1953 - Bull Curry beat Danny McShain in Houston to become the first Texas Brass Knux champion
1959 - Angelo Savoldi beat Ivan the Terrible in Oklahoma City to win the world jr. heavyweight title
1961 - Joe & Guy Brunetti beat The Outlaw (Dory Funk Sr.) & Pancho Pico to win the Pacific Coast tag team title in Vancouver
1962 - Art & Stan Neilson beat Johnny Barend & Magnificent Maurice for the AWA tag title
1970 - Fred Blassie beat Rocky Johnson at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles to win the Americas title
1971 - Jimmy Golden & Dennis Hall beat Lorenzo Parente & Bobby Hart in Chattanooga to win the world tag team titles
1973 - Kintaro Oki & Umanosuke Ueda beat Johnny Valentine & Killer Karl Kox in Nagoya to win the International tag team titles
1974 - Kurt & Karl Von Brauner beta Pat Patterson & Rocky Johnson in Sacramento to win the world tag team titles
1979 - Johnny & Jerry Valiant beat Tony Garea & Larry Zbyszko in Allentown to win the WWWF tag team titles
1986 - Bill & Scott Irwin beat Alofa (Rikishi) & Dan Kroffat to win the International tag titles in Sudbury, ONT
1988 - Kerry Von Erich beat Al Perez in Dallas to win the World Class title
1990 - Steve Williams & Terry Gordy beat Stan Hansen & Genichiro Tenryu at Budokan Hall to win the All Japan world double tag team titles.  That was the match that established Williams & Gordy as All Japan's best tag team for the next few years.  Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas beat Toshiaki Kawada & Samson Fuyuki the same night to win the All Asia tag tiles
1991 - Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki beat Super Strong Machine & Hiro Saito in Nagasaki to win the IWGP tag titles
1994 - Shu El Guerrero beat Gran Hamada to win the UWF super welterweight title
1994 - Three title changes at the ECW Arena as Public Enemy beat Kevin Sullivan & The Tazmaniac (Taz) to win the ECW tag titles, then Tazmaniac beat Sabu for the TV title and then lost the title to J.T. Smith
1995 - The SMW TV title changed hands twice in Council, VA, as Boo Bradley (Balls Mahoney) beat Killer Kyle, but Kyle regained it later 
1999 - Vader beat Akira Taue in Tokyo to win the Triple Crown
2000 - Tarzan Boy beat Black Warrior to win the NWA light heavyweight title
2003 - Jushin Liger & El Samurai beat Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka in Tokyo to win the IWGP jr. tag title
2003 - Chris Sabin won a three-way over Frankie Kazarian and Jerry Lynn in Oldcastle, ONT to win the vacant Border City TV title and D-Lo Brown beat Johnny Swinger to win the Can-Am title
2004 - Bill Dundee beat Jerry Lawler in Memphis in a tournament final to win the Southern title
2005 - Ryo Saito & Dragon Kid & Genki Horiguchi beat Cima & Naruki Doi & Shingo Takagi in Sapporo to win the Open the Triangle Gate titles
2011 - Ryoji Sai beat Daisuke Sekimoto to win the Zero-One title
 
--A story on deaf pro wrestler Louis Long from Buffalo is at http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2014/02/27/21498676.html
 
POLL ON MAIN EVENT
Excellent 10.5%
Good 44.8%
Average 28.6%
Fair 7.6%
Poor 8.6%
        44.4% of those responding didn't see the show
 
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS REGARDING WATCHING THE NEW JAPAN SHOW IF YOU ARE WATCHING IT?
Watching Friday or over the weekend 67.4%
Watching Thursday 18.5%
Watched it live 14.1%
 
WHO WINS THIS FIGHT?
Chael Sonnen 66.5%
Wanderlei Silva 33.5% 
 
WHAT HAVE YOU WATCHED THE MOST ON WWE NETWORK?
Old WCW PPV shows 33.5%
Old WWE PPV shows 20.6%
Current TV shows and live cards 17.7%
Old territorial footage 17.5%
Old ECW PPV shows 6.8%
Old home videos 3.9%
 
--A new book called "Spandez, Screw Job and Cheap Pops" on British  wrestling is available at http://www.pitchpublishing.co.uk/shop/spandex-screw-jobs-and-cheap-pops 
 
--UIPW on Sunday in Toronto at the Rockpile East Night Club with Ethan Page vs. John Greed.
 
--PWX Pittsburgh on 3/29 at the PWX Wrestleplex
 
--Brad Pickett talks the K-1 show at the Los Angeles Coliseum, and Jimi Manuwa talks to Sky Sports radio  at https://audioboo.fm/boos/1972350-ufc-stars-speak-to-sky-news-radio-ahead-of-return-to-london

Who had the best show?

 

Who won the night?