TUE UPDATE: Post-WWE Raw notes, Undertaker and John Cena live tonight, WCCW reviews starting, CM Punk on Talking Dead, Andre the Giant Memorial notes, 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 Saturday's New Japan New Japan Cup show from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo and Saturday's UFC 171 from Dallas, 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

Smackdown is Tuesday in Houston with both John Cena and Undertaker booked for the show.

        The new issue of the Wrestling Observer is up on the site today with a WrestleMania update, a story on one of the more heinous crimes in pro wrestling history with the conviction of Buck Zumhofe of a number a sex charges, as well as an update on TNA coming off the Lockdown PPV, UFC's new phase of international expansion and New Japan's anniversary show, as well as lots of WWE info on who is planned on being pushed going forward.
 
        Our lead story looks at Daniel Bryan being moved into the WWE title match, how it went down, why it went down, as well as thoughts on what hasn't been announced yet, who looks to be in the Battle Royal and what names aren't yet accounted for on the show.
 
        We have a feature on the conviction of former AWA star Buck Zumhofe on sex charges, including notes on the charges, who he was in wrestling, the nature of the victim, what witnesses saw, his entree into wrestling and his career.
 
        We also look at TNA's return to live PPV after several months, problems with the key storylines, where TNA could have made PPV still work and why it's difficult now, a look at the storylines, surprises, business and match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
 
        We also look at UFC's most recent show in London at the O2 Arena, how this is the first show in a new approach overseas, business notes on the show and full coverage.
 
        We also have more on WWE negotiations for television, more on marketing the WWE Network, response to polls on how well the network is doing, a new WWE TV deal inked, lots of Hall of Fame news including a look at Carlos Colon, SummerSlam ticket sales, merchandise draws, upcoming Raw main events and why John Layfield ripped on Jim Ross on Raw last week.
 
        We also look at who was in the most PPV matches, WWE executives stock, how the different WWE characters are talked about after recent big shows, a look at Total Divas, a WWE star preparing for life after wrestling by starting a new company, a new signing, as well as business notes from all the weekend shows as well as in-ring highlights.
 
        We also look at the New Japan anniversary show, including videos, the ceremony, notes on the Okada vs. Ibushi main event and what it showed about both men, as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
 
        We also look at Pro Wrestling NOAH's biggest show so far this year.
 
        We've also got a feature on Jerry Kozak, who passed away last week, a Texas fixture in the 60s and 70s who was also a promoter.  We look at his career in wrestling, the Kozak Brothers, and the famous rib story he was most famous for, as well as his role in one of the most important wrestling tours in history.
 
        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:
 
--Popularity of wrestling in Mexico
 
--How the decline in Mexico differs from the decline in Japan
 
--Strange booking announcements
 
--The Mexican national incredible partners tag team tournament
 
--The last AAA original is no longer with the company
 
--A look at AAA TV plans after Rey de Reyes
 
--First foreigner vs. foreigner Open the Dream Gate title match main event
 
--Notes on the next Dragon Gate big show
 
--Promoter makes promise in national magazine that an April big show will air live on national TV
 
--A look at Pro Wrestling NOAH's upcoming tag team tournament
 
--New Japan vs. NOAH program's next step
 
--Major U.S. star may be less than one month from starting with New Japan.  A look at the clues
 
--A look at the next few New Japan iPPV shows
 
--New Japan adds another overseas tour
 
--Hall of Famer's 60th birthday special show
 
--Feature movie coming up on overseas star
 
--A look at the death of Eikatsu Yoshida, the father of the greatest woman freestyle wrestler who ever lived and why it's made national attention in Japan
 
--A look at 16 Carat Gold tournament in Germany with a number of different major indie group champions and complete lineup
 
--Update on independent shows over WrestleMania weekend
 
--More on Stacy Keibler's wedding
 
--Wrestling personalities having success on iTunes
 
--Notes on new wrestling books
 
--Update on Buff Bagwell
 
--Where the most Hall of Famers have come from
 
--Gulf Coast wrestling reunion
 
--Notes on the wrestlers up for Cauliflower Alley Awards  this year
 
--Where are they now on a short-lived WWE performer who now has a very unique profession
 
--Major news involving Sinclair Broadcasting and their TV empire
 
--Updates on the ROH shows with New Japan
 
--Value of Japanese in ROH
 
--A look at the weekend ROH title change
 
--ROH star buries hatchet with WWE stars
 
--A.J. Styles upcoming ROH schedule
 
--A look at all the details of the weekend ROH shows
 
--Jeff Jarrett teases his big announcement and what former name in production is with him
 
--Notes on TNA's upcoming TV tapings
 
--Davey Richards talks WWE and ROH
 
--Update on Thiago Silva after his arrest
 
--Notes on this upcoming wee's UFC show
 
--UFC's upcoming dates in Europe for the next year
 
--Update on Conor McGregor
 
--UFC running two shows in different parts of the world on the same day
 
--Chael Sonnen talks competing without TRT
 
--California commissioner talks TRT
 
--Notes on UFC Fight Pass
 
--Anderson Silva throwing kicks
 
--Next Fight Pass card
 
--UFC injury updates
 
--Lots of upcoming UFC events
 
--Notes on Bellator's first PPV show
 
--A rundown of Bellator's last show and next show
 
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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., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
 

Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Our next live show is at 9 PM PT/midnight ET, Bryan & Vinny & Craig talking Raw, Smackdown and WCCW. Starting this week we'll begin going through the WWE Network for classic reviews. Tonight we'll be talking episode #43 from 1982, which is up on the Network right now. Michael Hayes vs. THE GREAT RENESTO headlines this stunner.

-- Regarding the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, as of today the match is scheduled to be part of the main show on PPV. However, as always, once the show is timed out, it's possible it could be bumped to the pre-show.

-- Some bonus video from CM Punk -- er, Phillip Brooks on Talking Dead here. All people could talk about yesterday was how he looked 10 years younger on the show.

-- Cena & Undertaker beat Rowan & Harper in the post-Raw dark match last night. It was supposed to be Cena & Bryan but Bryan was "hurt" and they stretchered him off.

-- Undertaker appears live on WWE Main Event at 5 PT/8 ET tonight on the WWE Network to discuss Paul Heyman.

-- Mick Foley is doing a giant WrestleMania raffle to support RAINN. He'll be on our show tomorrow talking about it, and for more you can click here.

-- Regarding the "JBL outing himself as @CrankyVince" story from yesterday, we were told from someone there that they don't believe JBL is involved, that it's not one person but rather two and maybe three (some who may not even be with the company right now), and that the social media department is on a big kick to mess with Internet fans of late. In other words, the claim is not to read too much into it. But I have no idea who it is.

-- Chael's latest on Wanderlei: Why won't he sign? What else is he going to do? Go play tennis? That's out. He's got a racket but has no balls.

-- More an update than actual news, but one of our readers, William, contacted Dish Network for confirmation and was told that no, WrestleMania will not be available on Dish this year.

-- The full Rich Franklin on AfterBuzz TV episode where he takes everyone through his new passion, his juice bar, is up here.

-- In UFC 171 picks from Saturday, Mike Sawyer, Front Row Brian and Todd Martin all went 5-0. Mike Sempervive and Lance Storm went 4-1, Dave Meltzer and John Pollock went 3-2, Josh Nason and Steve Juon went 2-3, and Oliver Copp went 1-4.

-- Bob Barnett is selling his Mid-South/UWF master tapes that WWE didn't get from the family. He writes: 48 UWF/Power Pro Wrestling Broadcast Masters. These are tapes sent out for broadcast -- not taped from TV -- quality is perfect. Includes color bars/local breaks/national commercials. Available in 1 show per XP Pro Grade VHS Tape here. Interested parties contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

-- Bill Goldberg and his Mopar will be featured on the car restoration show 'Graveyard Carz" tonight. The show will have multiple time slots. Mark Worman who owns the company mentions that he grew up with Portland Wrestling. Thanks to Paul.

-- During Monday's telecast of Chicago Cubs baseball on Comcast Sports, announcer Jim Deshaises (a former Houston Astro) made mention of wrestler Lars Anderson. Thanks to Tony.

-- A new reality show starring Chuck Palumbo premiered last night on Discovery. The show is about finding, rebuilding, and restoring classic cars. I watched it and it was pretty cool. Here is a link to the show's homepage. Thanks to Michael.

-- Legend's House debuts April 17 at 8 PM and they're already talking about shooting a second season with different legends later this year. Let's see how the first one does.

-- UFC on June 7 in Albuquerque on FS 1. Main event Benson Henderson vs. Rustam Khabilov.

-- If you liked the attempt to determine a linear WWE World Heavyweight Champion, well, here's the LINEAR TNA CHAMPION breakdown. Not nearly as wacky.

-- Regarding all the talk of linear champions, Karl Stern, who would know as well or better than anyone, writes: Been seeing all this talk about linear champions. Last year I tried to get from Frank Gotch to today. I wasn't able to ever make it work. I couldn't even get from Gotch to the NWA in 1948. Aside from the fact Gotch didn't lose even if you count the people he put over to the papers as the real world champion in his opinion (Roller among others) I still couldn't get to the 1940's. So as far as I could ever tell nobody can tie back to Gotch-Hackenschmidt. If anyone can I'd love to read about it.

-- The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Brazil for UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SHOGUN VS. HENDERSON 2 live on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes on Sunday, Mar. 23 (7:00 PM ET), headlined by a five-round light heavyweight rematch of former UFC light heavyweight champion and current No. 7-ranked Shogun Rua(22-8) versus former Strikeforce Champion and No. 8-ranked Dan Henderson (29-11). Their first bout at UFC 139 in 2011 was considered one of the greatest UFC fights of all time, with “Hendo” scoring a five-round unanimous decision victory.

-- On March 29, when World Series of Fighting welterweight champion Steve Carl and challenger Rousimar Palhares headline World Series of Fighting 9, live on NBCSN, fans will find out who is the better fighter, but who is the smartest World Series of Fighting fan? For the first time ever, that question will be answered when fans participate in SHOUT TV's "Champions Challenge" game. The stakes are high as the fan that racks up the most points will win a new Ducati Monster street bike valued at nearly $10,000.

-- So whatever you thought of the shutdown angle, Chikara is doing well. Our 6.21.14 event in Chicago sold out in just 12 days - so we're adding another! CHIKARA is back at last! When we announced our 2014 tour would take us to Chicago, we had no idea the fervor this would unleash - the event completely sold out before some fans could even get tickets! But we don't want anyone to miss out on our annual visit to the Windy City! Today, we are pleased to tell our Illinois-area fans: you aren't out of luck! In cooperation with our friends at the Logan Square Auditorium, we are adding not just another card to the docket - "Quantum of Solace" - but an interactive fan event that we like to call the "Expansion Pack" to the day as well! Don't wait! Get tickets before they're gone: http://chikarapro.com/store.php

-- POLL ON TOTAL DIVAS
Excellent 32.7%
Good 26.9%
Average 23.1%
Fair 1.9%
Poor 15.4%
55.9% of those responding didn't see the show

POLL ON ROH
Excellent 33.3%
Good 33.3%
Average 21.2%
Fair 3.0%
Poor 9.1%
59.3% of those responding didn't see the show

POLL ON IMPACT
Excellent 11.3%
Good 9.7%
Average 25.8%
Fair 9.7%
Poor 43.5%
41.0% of those responding didn't see the show

POLL ON BELLATOR
Excellent 27.6%
Good 41.4%
Average 17.2%
Fair 3.4%
Poor 10.3%
65.9% of those responding didn't see the show

POLL ON SMACKDOWN
Excellent 18.2%
Good 36.4%
Average 26.1%
Fair 6.8%
Poor 12.5%
34.8% of those responding didn't see the show

-- K-1 will once again return to Spain on April 12th with an exciting night of fights featuring some of the most popular K-1 fighters from Spain and around the world. The main event will feature a clash between two Spanish superstars at 70kg MAX, with Elam Ngor meeting the ever-popular Maximo Suarez in what should be an amazing fight. The Battle for Spain will include fighters not only from Spain, but from Holland, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, England, Morrocco and many more.

-- Below is the first round of names confirmed for the American Icon Autographs presents Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore VI show outside of San Diego: Terry Funk; Tommy Dreamer; Ron Simmons; The Young Bucks Matt & Nick Jackson (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight & PWG Tag Team Champions). Saturday June 14th Harrah’s Rincon Casino in Valley, Center CA (just north of San Diego) 21 and Over. Tickets on sale soon with more than 30 names to be added to the weekend events.

-- New England Fights Mixed Martial Arts (NEF MMA) today announced the addition of a professional lightweight bout to the fight promotion's May 10, 2014 card scheduled to take place at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine. The fight is the third professional lightweight bout added to the "NEF XIII" fight card. The bout, which will be contested at a weight of 155-pounds, will feature Devin Powell (2-1) taking on Jonathan Lemke (3-1).

-- "Tuff-N-Uff: The Future Stars of Mixed Martial Arts" will host a four-woman strawweight tournament, and the winner will be rewarded with a professional fight contract with Invicta Fighting Championships. The four women involved in the tournament include Texas' Jianna Denizard (5-2), Las Vegas' own Jamie Moyle (3-2), Arkansas' Laura Uyeda (5-0) and California's Molly Wren-Holmes (4-0). The opening round of the bracket takes place at Tuff-N-Uff's April 11 fight card at The Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Tickets for the event, which start at just $25, are available at Tuff-N-Uff's official website, tuffnuff.com.

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1933 - Joe Dawson defeated Billy Meeske to win the Australian Heavyweight Title in Brisbane, Australia

1943 - Whipper Billy Watson defeated Jack Claybourne in Toronto, Ontario to win the Toronto NWA British Empire Heavyweight Title.

1952 - Ben and Mike Sharpe defeated Hombre Montana and Leo Nomellini for the San Francisco NWA World Tag Team Title

1954 - Roy Shire defeated Marvin Mercer in Dayton, Ohio to win the Midwest Wrestling Association World Junior Heavyweight Title.

1956 - Billy Varga defeated Al Loloati for the NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Title in Honolulu, Hawaii.

1957 - George and Sandy Scott defeated Jim Austeri and Ali Bey to win the Mid-Atlantic NWA Southern Tag Team Title in Charlotte, North Carolina.

1959 - Papa Pasquale defeated Billy Wicks for the NWA Gulf Coast Heavyweight Title in Mobile, Alabama

1960 - Ed Francis defeated Shag Thomas to win the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title

1963 - Louie Tillet defeated Bull Curry for the NWA Texas Brass Knuckles Title in Fort Worth, Texas

1964 - Nick Bockwinkel and Nick Kozak defeated The Destroyer and Art Michalik to win the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title in Salem, Oregon

1964 - Larry Hennig and The Viking defeated Ken Lucas and Fritz Von Erich for the Amarillo NWA North American Tag Team Title in Lubbock, Texas.

1964 - Lee Fields and Mario Galento defeated The Mysterious Medics to win the Gulf Coast NWA Southern Tag Team Title in Mobile, Alabama

1968 - John DaSilva defeated George Gordienko for the New Zealand NWA British Empire Heavyweight Title in Auckland, New Zealand.

1971- In Tampa, Florida, The Texan defeated Bob Roop to win the vacant NWA Florida Television Title. After the match, The Texan unmasked, revealing himself to be Terry Funk.

1974 - Lou Thesz defeated Tommy Gilbert to win the NWA Southern Junior Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee. At the same event, The Infernos (Ron Gibson and Stan Pulaski) defeated Don Fargo and Rufus R. Jones for the Mid-America NWA Southern Tag Team Title

1976 - The Hollywood Blonds (Jerry Brown and Buddy Roberts) defeated Gorgeous George, Jr. and Greg Valentine in New Orleans, Louisiana to win the Tri-State NWA United States Tag Team Title.

1981 - Ricky Cortez defeated Dick Garza for the Michigan Championship Wrestling Michigan Heavyweight Title in Port Huron, Michigan.

1983- WWF Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion Don Muraco in Boston, Massachusetts.

1984 - Ivan Koloff defeated Angelo Mosca, Jr. in Charlotte, North Carolina to win the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title.

1985 - Ivan and Nikita Koloff defeated Manny Fernandez and Dusty Rhodes for the NWA World Tag Team Title in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

1986 - Black Bart defeated Sam Houston in Mooresville, North Carolina to win the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title.

1988 - Chris Benoit defeated Gama Singh to win the Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Title in Calgary, Alberta

1995 - Greg Valentine won the NWA North American Heavyweight Title by defeating John Hawk in Dallas, Texas

1997 - Colonel DeBeers defeated Matt Borne to win the Championship Wrestling USA Television Title in Vancouver, Washington

-- CPW Wrestling Sunday, March 23 at 3:00pm. Goff Hall 381 Finkle Street, Woodstock, Ontario N4V 1A3.

-- Bellator MMA, the world’s largest tournament based mixed martial arts promotion and global health supplement and lifestyle company Bamboo Nutra announced today a new multi-year, multi-faceted sponsorship alliance making Bamboo Nutra the “Official Nutrition and Supplement Partner” of Bellator. On Friday, April 4th, live on Spike TV, the alliance formally kicks off during Bellator 115 from the Reno Events Center in Reno, NV. Bamboo Nutra will be strategically integrated throughout all live Bellator broadcasts on Spike in addition to activating a host of consumer touch points on-site and in-market during the coming years.

-- East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! 18th Annual ECWA Super 8 Tournament Sat, April 5, 2014 Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place… Newark, DE 19702 (302) 836-6464 http://www.bgclubs.org/page155812/greater-newark-boys-girls-club.aspx Doors Open: 6:00 PM Bell Time: 7:00 PM

-- Ed and the crew talk WWE Network shows here.


How many buys do you think the UFC show on 12/6 did?

 

What are you watching this weekend?

 

What was the best TV show of the past week?