SAT UPDATE: What's next for Gustaffson, Cena talks his supposed injury, what Kurt Angle is up to next, WWE cable deal talk, 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 yesterday'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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

A huge week coming up, with a full touring schedule.

We're looking for reports from all the live arena show at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

UFC is Saturday starting at 12:30 p.m. Eastern live from London on Fight Pass:

Louis Gaudinot (126) vs. Phil Harris (125)

Igor Araujo (171) vs. Danny Mitchell (170)

Roland Delorme (134) vs. Davey Grant (136)

Brad Scott (186) vs. Claudio Henrique da Silva (185)

Luke Barnatt (186) vs. Mats Nilsson (184)

Cyrille Diabate (205) vs. Ilir Latifi (205)

Omari Akhmedov (170) vs. Gunnar Nelson (170)

Brad Pickett (125) vs,. Neil Seery (125)

Melvin Guillard (156) vs. Michael Johnson (155)

Alexander Gustafsson (204) vs. Jimi Manuwa (205)

Saturday also has Glory at 9 p.m. from Zagreb, Croatia featuring Mirko Cro Cop vs. Remy Bonjasky and Andy Ristie defending the Glory lightweight title against Ky Hollenbeck. The Glory on Spike shows have delivered more consistently great big shows than pretty much anyone over the past few months, although Cro Cop vs. Bonjasky is two guys years out of their primes.

Saturday also has WWE in Madison Square Garden with a loaded up card that includes John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, Daniel Bryan, Bray Wyatt as well as HHH as a second in the Bryan match with Kane. Saturday also has a weak WWE show in Salt Lake City with Christian, Big Show, Sheamus and The Shield as headliners. ROH runs Saturday in Chicago Ridge, IL (Adam Cole vs. Chris Hero for ROH title, Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly vs. Young Bucks with ROH tag champions defending against IWGP jr. tag champions, Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. Eddie Kingston & Homicide, Kevin Steen vs. Cedric Alexander, Michael Bennett vs. Jay Lethal, Michael Elgin vs. Tyson Dux, Matt Taven vs. Silas Young, ACH & Tadarius Thomas vs. Roderick Strong & B.J. Whitmer).

Sunday's highlight show is TNA Lockdown from Miami:

A few card changes. Kurt Angle vs. Ethan Carter III is out due to Angle not being ready after knee surgery. We'd reported from the announcement of the match that it was iffy at best. TNA announced Angle having knee surgery today, which is a work, as the surgery was weeks ago. All matches are in a cage:

Great Muta & Seiya Sanada & Yasufumi Nakanoueno vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie

Kazarian & Chris Sabin

Tigre Uno vs. Manik

Ken Anderson vs. Samuel Shaw

Gunner vs. James Storm last man standing

Madison Rayne vs. Gail Kim for Knockouts title

MVP & Jeff Hardy & Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Bobby Roode & Austin Aries &

Robbie E & Jessie Godderz in a Lethal Lockdown match for control of wrestling operations

Magnus vs. Samoa Joe, match can only end via submission or knockout for TNA title

WWE runs Sunday with Team Cena in Jonesboro, AR (John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista) and in Jackson, TN (Christian, Big Show, Sheamus, The Shield).

Raw will be Monday in Memphis. Besides the regulars, Hulk Hogan and Undertaker and both announced for the show. Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman are not announced, which doesn't mean they aren't there, although the idea at one point was not to book Undertaker and Lesnar on the same show until the go-home show.

Smackdown is Tuesday in Little Rock.

        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
        You can also order by paypal by sending to and directing the funds to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
       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      
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.
Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Following today's show, Dana White announced that Alexander Gustaffson was next in line for the title shot against the winner of Jon Jones vs. Glover Texeira.

-- Dana also flipped his lid on ESPN today and their article about TRT, outraged at the claim he'd "flip-flopped" on it. "That story was such a sham, and of course, they ran the shit out of it because it's negative, half of it wasn't true or was just embellished. It's rampant throughout MMA. 500 guys in MMA and five guys can't have exemptions now."

-- Although Kurt Angle has been "removed" from the Lockdown PPV (he was actually never really going to be on the show), the good news is that he has signed to appear in SHARKNADO 2. YES.

-- George Barrios talks about the WWE cable deal here. Really nothing new to report. They hope to make an announcement late April/early May.

-- John Cena claims he was really hurt in the brawl with the Wyatts even though his injury was written into the script that night: "And yes rumor mill folks. Both left groin was strained and fluid in right ankle. Hobbled thru it. Ice and device called MarcPro got me back. Wasn't gonna hobble down road to @WrestleMania #evenstronger #nevergiveup"

-- These segments are awesome. Conan O'Brien's seven-minute review of WWE 2K14 in the Clueless Gamer segment here.

-- Former UFC fighter Thiago Silva actually released from jail Friday on a $25,000 bond. He's charged with a number of crimes including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The story of his arrest is up on FOX Sports here. TMZ has a story on his release here.

-- And over the side he goes. Some shots of Paul Lazenby's latest stunt work here.

-- Davey Richards says he's happy WWE said no to him here.

-- Brian Fritz also interviews Davey in audio form here.

-- From the promoter: On his 24th birthday, Chase Owens defeated Ricky Morton at an NWA Smoky Mountain event at Volunteer High School in Church Hill, Tennessee on Friday to win his third NWA World Jr. Heavyweight Championship.

Ric Flair 56.2%
Kazushi Sakuraba 16.3%
Ricky Steamboat 15.9%
Josh Barnett 7.6%
Ken Patera 2.4%
Sgt. Slaughter 1.6%

Excellent 11.0%
Good 16.4%
Average 28.8%
Fair 11.0%
Poor 32.9%
51.3% of those responding didn't see the show

TNA Lockdown 30.0%
UFC from England 29.3%
Bellator 16.0%
Glory 14.0%
45.0% aren't watching anything

-- MCPW returns to action on May 3, 2014, from the hallowed ground of The Kaliseum in Kalkaska. Historically, “Battleground” has been the biggest show of the year for MCPW, and has played host to guest superstars such as The Sandman, Mick Foley, Rhino, and Goldust.

-- What a nothin happenin day in history, per Brian Hoops:

1983 - The Samoans, Afa & Sika, defeated Chief Jay & Jules Strongbow for the WWF World Tag Team Title in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

1996 - ECW Tag Team Champions The Eliminators retained the title by defeating The Pitbulls and ECW World Champion Raven defended the title by defeating The Sandman at a house show in Queens, New York.

-- Josh writes: I just got back from the Florida panther game. At the beginning of the game it was announced that MVP was there. JB was sitting next to him. When he was announced you could hear a pin drop. I was probably the only person who knew who he was.

-- Sneak preview of RF Video's latest shoot with Bruce Prichard here.

-- Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 television channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, presents a live broadcast of GLORY 14 Zagreb, the world’s premier kickboxing action, on Saturday, March 8, beginning at 4 p.m. ET. Emanating from Zagreb, Croatia’s Arena Zagreb, GLORY 14 Zagreb is headlined by world-renowned heavyweight Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (22-7-0, 12 KOs) making his GLORY debut against fellow living legend Remy Bonjasky (98-12-0, 36 KOs). The bout is a rematch from 2002, which Filipovic won by TKO.

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?