TUES UPDATE: Andre the Giant Seven Foot Gold Statue, Lawler shirt, stars react to Bryan angle, Silva kicks ball, 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 night's TNA Lockdown PPV and Thursday'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

We're also looking for reports from the WWE house show in Salt Lake City on Saturday night.

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.
 
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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:
 
--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.
 
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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

-- No, the Andre the Giant statue is not really seven feet tall and made of solid gold, you geeks.

-- What is true is that Vince McMahon DETESTED the shirt that Lawler wore on Raw last night.

-- Jericho on Daniel Bryan: Congrats to @wwe for finally embracing what has been in front of their faces the whole time… @WWEDanielBryan #nextworldchampion

-- Foley has a love letter for WWE about the situation as well on his Facebook page here.

-- At the moment, our next live show will be the Bryan & Vinny Show tonight at 9 PM PT/Midnight ET talking Raw, Smackdown, giant gold statues and a lot more. I apologize for no call-in show this week, we had some big tech issues Monday that involved me rebuilding the studio. Actually, it was an entire weekend project.

-- Big E, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kington, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow, Ryback were all announced for the battle royal at WrestleMania.

-- Anderson Silva posted a video on his Instagram of him kicking a balance ball over and over again. Guy is insane.

-- Raw Backstage Fallout from last night is up hereand includes Dolph Ziggler being critical of Daniel Bryan for using fans and hijacking the show to get his way.

-- Today is the 20th anniversary of UFC 2, which was John McCarthy's debut in the company as a referee.

-- Today is also the five-year anniversary of the death of Charles "Mask" Lewis of Tapout fame, which is a really big deal in the mixed martial arts community.

-- ROH is doing a deal where they're slowly announcing the names of the New Japan stars that are coming over for the joint shows in May. Announced so far are Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi, the two biggest stars in the company.

-- Bellator announced yesterday that their first-ever PPV would be taking place on May 17th in Memphis with Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler in the main event, and Quinton Jackson vs. King Mo Lawal as the semi-main. Memphis is Quinton's hometown.

-- Pre-sale tickets for the WWE May 6 Smackdown Taping at Buffalo's First Niagara Center go on sale March 12. The password is WYATTS. Thanks to Tom.

-- UFC Countdown show this week schedule

Re-airs for Countdown UFC 171:

FOX Sports 1
Tuesday, 3/11, 8pm ET
Saturday, 3/16, 4:30pm ET

FOX Sports 2
Monday, 3/10, 6pm ET and 2am PT
Tuesday, 3/11, 2pm ET and 1am ET
Wednesday, 3/12, 11pm ET
Thursday, 3/13, 1am ET
Friday, 3/14, 4pm ET and 9pm ET
Saturday, 3/15, 6pm ET

-- The weigh-in and pre-fight press conference for Bellator MMA will take place Thursday at 5:00 p.m. CST from the Horseshoe Hammond. Bellator MMA will take place from Horseshoe Casino on Friday, March 14th with the first fight taking place at 5:45 p.m. CST and streaming LIVE on Spike.com. The televised portion of the night will begin at 8:00 p.m. CST and will air LIVE on Spike TV.

-- Article on WrestleMania's top five celebrity moments here.

-- Chris writes: Just a note. During the Dallas Stars vs Columbus Blue Jackets Stars player Rich Peverly collapsed due to a heart issue. It was a scary scene. Thank God he came too but is being evaluated. Both teams were shaken up and agrees to postpone the game. So much for "the show must go on"

-- The National Wrestling Alliance has named James Beard to the position of Director of Talent Relations. Beard, a 2013 Texas Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, is a 30-year veteran in professional wrestling both in the United States and abroad, both in the ring as a referee and behind the scenes as a television writer, creative consultant, booker, talent agent and promoter.

-- Longtime professional wrestling stars Jon Stewart who performed as Illustrious Jonnie Stewart in the AWA & business partner and co creator Christopher Jackson who performes as Cueball Carmichael mostly in the NWA National Wrestling Alliance have entered into a deal to produce a wrestling reality show they created with Emmy Winning Executive Producer, Adam Wakenfeld, at Documentary Makers, Inc.

-- Northeast Wrestling returns to the Bethany Town Hall, 40 Peck Road in Bethany, CT on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 7 p.m. for RETRIBUTION!

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1941 - Bronko Nagurski won the National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title in Minneapolis, Minnesota, defeating Ray Steele.

1952 - Hombre Montana defeated Mike Sharpe in San Francisco, California to win the San Francisco NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Title

1963 - Mitsu Arakawa defeated Kinji Shibuya defeated Gene Kiniski and Mr. X for the Vancouver NWA Canadian Tag Team Title in Vancouver, British Columbia.

1967 - Ray Stevens won the San Francisco NWA United States Heavyweight Title by defeating Bill Watts in San Francisco, California.

1968 - Aldo Bogni and Bronko Lubich defeated Eddie Graham and Lester Welch to win the Florida NWA Southern Tag Team Title in West Palm Beach, Florida

1971 - Ken Lucas and Johnny West defeated Jack Morrell and Eddie Sullivan for the NWA Gulf Coast Tag Team Title in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

1972 - Masa Saito defeated Dory Dixon for the NWA Beat the Champ Television Title in Los Angeles, California.

1972 - Yasu Fuji and Chati Yokouchi won the Central States NWA North American Tag Team Title in Wichita, Kansas, from Omar Atlas and Daniel Little Bear

1977 - Sonny King defeated Rip Tyler for the NWA Alabama Heavyweight Title in Dothan, Alabama

1980 - Paul Ellering and Sheik Ali Hassan defeat Kened Lucas and Billy Robinson to win the AWA Southern Tag Team Title in Louisville, Kentucky

1989 - Al Perez defeated Mike Graham for the NWA Florida Heavyweight Title in Tampa, Florida

1989 - Jeff Jarrett defeated Dutch Mantel to win the Championship (formerly Continental) Wrestling Association Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee.

1989 - Jason the Terrible and Steve Strong defeated The Batten Twins (Bart and Brad) to win the WWC World Tag Team Title in Caguas, Puerto Rico

1991 - Jerry Lawler defeated Terry Funk for the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee

1993- Sting pinned WCW World Heavyweight Champion Big Van Vader to win the title in London, England.

-- AJ Styles interview heretalking turning down WWE, his family and more.

-- USA Presents CLASH OF THE TITANS PRO WRESLING: VIPS First Row Ringside 40$ includes 2 autograph photos and a 1 digital print; VIPS Second Row Ringside 35$ includes 1 autograph Photo and I digital Print; VIPS Third Row Ringside 25$ includes 1 digital print; General admission 15$ 20$ at Door Kids 12 and under 10$ at Door; Doors open at 12.30 for the VIPS; General Admission 1.30pm. Both ROH and TNA stars will be working this show.

-- On March 23rd 2014, Fringe Pro Wrestling is extremely proud to present Outbreak 2.0 at Stoney Creek United Church, 1 King Street West, Stoney Creek on the corner of King St W and Lake Ave.

-- The 1st Annual Fight! 4 Cancer Sunday, April 13th 2014 The Great Hall 1087 Queen Street West Toronto, Canada 3pm Doors 4pm Action. An evening of Pro Wrestling & Live Music with 100% of Net Proceeds in support of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

-- ROH has a new AJ Styles t-shirt on sale here.

-- ONE Fighting Championship™ (ONE FC), Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization with a 90% market share, returns to the Philippines for another blockbuster event on 2 May 2014 at the world-renowned SM Mall of Asia Arena. The main event will feature reigning ONE FC Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes defending his title against Japanese sensation Masakatsu Ueda. Two of the top Featherweights in Asia, Rob Lisita and Yusuke Kawanago, will also meet in what is expected to be a slugfest, while rising Malaysian star Gianni Subba battles local favorite Eugene Toquero in Flyweight action. Tickets for ONE FC: RISE OF HEROES are on sale now at SM Tickets (www.smtickets.com). Ticket categories begin with the full Red Carpet and cageside experience for VIPs at PHP 6,360 followed by Patron at PHP 3,180, Lower Box at PHP 1,280, Upper Box at PHP 640 and General Admission at PHP 220. Pre-sale packages are available from 11 March till 23 March.

-- This week on MLW Radio, Konnan catches up with Disco Inferno. The two talk about Money Mayweather hitting the Vegas strip clubs, Disco and Konnan wrestling in a WCW ladder match over a rubber disco duck, fans hijacking WWE shows, Disco’s time working on both the WCW and TNA booking committees and more: http://traffic.libsyn.com/mlwradio/118disco.mp3