WED. UPDATE: Condit injury update, Hendricks injury update, WWE Mania update, Drug testing may be changing, Earliest footage of Andre, Jericho TV, new ROH title match, Lots of new UFC fights



By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @DaveMeltzerWON
 
        Main Event airs tonight on Ion at 8 p.m. with a replay of the show that aired live on the WWE Network.  The Rhodes Brothers vs. Real Americans match is good and there is a Paul Heyman/Undertaker confrontation.
 
        Ultimate Fighter airs on FS 1 at 10 p.m. tonight.         
 
        We've got a jam packed issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week, with the changes in the WrestleMania card, almost a finalized card including two new matches, one of which has not been announced officially, and what went down and why for the minor changes over the past week.  We look at the Battle Royal, and changing angles.
 
        We've got full coverage of UFC 171, including some records set, business notes on the show, a look back at the previous Johny Hendricks vs. Tyron Woodley match, the difference in Hendricks from the GSP fight, the judging of the fight with Robbie Lawler and looking at each round, and looking at the various contenders including polls on who people thought won the close fights, and who they want to see get the next title shot.  We've also got match-by-match coverage of the show.
 
        We've got lots of updates on WWE TV talks and rumors including a new station thought to be in the game and how to make economic sense of  the bid, John Cena may be in a major non-WWE movie, lots of notes on international TV deals, Daniel Bryan wedding and booking, future of WWE on traditional PPV, how much top WWE executives including Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and HHH have earned, including HHH's total wrestling income from the past few years and how it's broken down, how much value in stock do the WWE bigwigs have and more.
 
        We've got notes behind the WWE animated series, what stars are on what pre-Mania TV shows, the Chael Sonnen prank on the McMahons, Sonnen when he trained for pro wrestling, Lesnar vs. Undertaker on PPV, update on Sting and WWE, thoughts on Carlos Colon and Mr. T in the WWE Hall of Fame, how Mr. T became famous and his importance to the WWE today, Study on WWE female portrayals, WWE workout videos, WWE gets awards and a look at the next several weeks of NXT.
 
        We also have a look at the Total Divas! show, as well as notes on all the weekend WWE house shows, with highlights and business.
 
        We also have a look at Georges St-Pierre talking PED testing, what he claims he said to Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta, what he is looking for to come back, and his thoughts on fighting Anderson Silva.
 
        We also look at AAA's first major show of the year, the Rey de Reyes show, the no-shows and the coverage.
       
        We also have notes on the first round of the New Japan Cup, with match-by-match coverage and star ratings as well as poll results.
 
        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, how the segments individually did on Raw and Impact, and results from all the major arena events.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--A look at CMLL's first major show of 2014
 
--Bobby Bonales Cup
 
--A major legends show
 
--Update on AAA coming to U.S. television in 2014
 
--Two title changes in Dragon Gate
 
--TNA title up for grabs in Japan this week
 
--A look at the 2014 Champion Carnival tournament
 
--New Japan business update, how they are doing compared to last year, goals, iPPV, and where WWE is ahead of New Japan in ways they can't seem to catch up
 
--What major U.S. star is likely to be a New Japan regular very shortly
 
--Notes on the 2014 Best of the Super Junior tournament
 
--A Japanese wrestling news story that got a ton of national publicity
 
--Rikidozan's grandson continues in pro wrestling
 
--Notes on a unique show next month where a Hall of Fame pro wrestler faces a debuting sumo star, and a former K-1 fighter also debuts as a pro wrestler.
 
--Tons of news from WrestleMania weekend.  A look at all the non-WWE events scheduled with lineups
 
--A look at the career of Lorenzo Parente
 
--A must-see match of Parente that is on YouTube
 
--A look at the 16 Carat Gold tournament this past week
 
--First time ever battle of brothers tag team
 
--What to watch for in NCAA wrestling tournament
 
--More on New Japan wrestlers coming to ROH
 
--What star would like to come and why it's unlikely
 
--This coming week's ROH show notes
 
--ROH starting a new concept
 
--News on Jeff Jarrett's new promotion
 
--Why so many in TNA are talking about it
 
--What won't be happening
 
--Unique ideas
 
--Update on Kurt Angle
 
--Why TNA is looking at taping in New York
 
--Notes on the next TNA PPV
 
--TNA wrestler called sexiest woman in the world
 
--Other women wrestlers on list
 
--A look at the next month of TNA television and where everything is going
 
--Update on the UFC PPV business
 
--UFC international TV notes and one show doing great, another not as good
 
--More on Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva
 
--Notes on new shows
 
--Ronda Rousey latest legal action
 
--MMA announcer has health scare
 
--Notes on Rousey's next potential opponents
 
--What potential opponent has at least temporarily fallen out
 
--Rousey and C.M. Punk notes
 
--Rousey and WrestleMania notes
 
--More on the Thiago Silva arrest
 
--New UFC fights
 
--Crazy request of a fighter in public
 
--Bellator PPV gets major competition
 
--A look at last week's Bellator show and next week's show
 
--Boxing PPV update
 
       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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*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)
 
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*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)
 
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*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
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*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)
 
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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.
 
WEDNESDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
 
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio talking the latest news in pro wrestling and MMA.  You can also send questions for tonight's show to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--Want to thank Mick Foley for doing our show today.  There was a family emergency and he could have easily canceled for another time, but instead still did the show to promote his raffle fund raiser for a WrestleMania dream vacation.  You can go to www.realmickfoley.com for more information.
 
--Carlos Condit had his MRI after the injuries that caused his fight with Tyron Woodley on Saturday to be stopped.  They showed he had a fully torn ACL and a partially torn meniscus, and will likely need surgery.
 
--As it turned out, Johny Hendricks' injury was not an elbow injury as he first thought, but a torn biceps.  He'll be undergoing surgery on Monday.  He'll be out of training for about two months.
 
--WrestleMania will be a six hour show this year, and not five hours as originally thought.  It will start at 5 p.m. with a pregame show on WWE.com, Facebook Twitter, etc.  Then there will be one hour on the WWE Network at 6 p.m. exclusively followed by the regular show at 7 p.m.  I think they should reverse that.  You want the masses to see the second hour, not the first, because the idea of the pregame show is to garner late buys, not to service those who have already paid for it. 
 
--Supposedly the entire nature of drug testing in sports is about to get a lot more sophisticated as noted by this story at http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26636371  I always believe this after it's implemented and people are caught as opposed to believing the hype before it's out there.  They say their system can detect steroid use from years back.  But even then, no HGH can be detected and I wonder about natural vs. artificial testosterone.
 
--The earliest known footage of Andre the Giant, age 19, from 1965 is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-bEbg0luD!#t-47
 
 
--Chris Jericho appears tonight on the TBS show "Deal with it." 
 
--Adam Cole vs. Kevin Steen for the ROH title has been announced for 5/10 in Toronto.  That show is almost sold out. 
 
--A review of the WWE Scooby Doo movie is at http://comicsalliance.com/scooby-doo-wrestlemania-mystery-review/ 
 
--The next WWE show in Houston is 7/28, a Raw taping.  Presale code is HOUSTON
 
--Cub Swanson vs. Jeremy Stephens was announced as the main event for the 6/28 FS 1 UFC Fight Night show in San Antonio.  The announcement of that fight would indicate a Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes fight is about to be announced, since Mendes and Swanson were the two guys seemingly in contention for the next title shot.  
 
--Other new fights announced today are:  Jingliang Li making his debut against Danny Mitchell on 5/23 in Las Vegas.  Li is from China, and debuts with an 8-2 record; Anthony Njokuani vs. Vinc Pichel on the same show; Daniel Sarafian vs. Kiichi Kunimoto in a welterweight fight on 6/14 in Vancouver, which is also a PPV show, although it would be a non-PPV fight; and Lance Benoist vs. Bobby Voelker on 6/7 in Albuquerque for an FS 1 show.
 
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY
1943 - El Santo beat Murceliago Velasquez to win the Mexican national welterweight title.  This was just one year after he debuted the gimmick
1955 - Roy McClarity & Pat O'Connor beat Reggie (Crusher) Lisowski &  Art Neilson to win the world tag team titles in Moline
1965 -  Buddy Fuller & Jesse James beat The Masked Medics to win the Southern tag team titles in Atlanta
1968 - Tojo Yamamoto beat Len Rossi in Chattanooga to win the Southern jr. heavyweight title
1973 - Jackie Fargo & Jerry Jarrett beat Jerry Lawler & Jim White in Memphis to win the Southern tag team titles
1974 - The Masked Texan (Blackjack Mulligan) beat Fritz Von Erich to win the American title     
1975 - Mach Fumiake, the first pop idol in Japanese women's history, beat Jumbo Miyamoto to win the WWWA title
1976 - Wahoo McDaniel won a Cadillac tournament in Richmond VA
1978 - Tim Woods beat Blackjack Mulligan in Greensboro to win the U.S. title
1979 - Rick Martel beat Mad Dog Martin in Auckland, New Zealand to win the British Empire heavyweight title
1984 - Bobby Fulton beat Adrian Street in San Antonio to win the Southwest jr. heavyweight title
1988 - Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond beat Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels in Las Vegas to win the AWA tag titles   
1989 - Super Strong Machine & George Takano beat Masa Saito & Riki Choshu in Yokohama to win the IWGP tag team title
1989 - Erika Shishedo beat Manami Toyota to win the Japanese women's title. Shishedo a few months later became Aja Kong 
1992 - Pierroth beat Jerry Estrada in Cuernavaca to win the CMLL light heavyweight title
1993 - El Hijo del Santo beat Espanto Jr. in Tijuana to win the WWA welterweight title
1994 - Brian Christopher beat Eddie Gilbert to win the USWA title in Memphis
1997 - Shoichi Funaki (who was in WWE for years) beat Pantera to win the UWA middleweight title
2004 - Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero beat Shocker & L.A. Park in Mexico City to win the CMLL tag team title
2010 - Taiji Ishimori & Takeshi Morishima beat Joe Lider & Nicho in Mexico City to win the AAA tag team title
 
 
--TV matches announced for the Bellator show on 4/4 from Reno's Events Center
Vitaly Minakov (13-0) vs Cheick Kongo (20-8-2) for the heavyweight title
Andrey Koreshkov (15-1) vs. Sam Oropeza (11-2) in a welterweight tournament semifinal
Dan Cramer (10-4) vs. Jeremy Kimball (10-4) in a welterweight tournament semifinal
Johnny Cisneros (8-2) vs. Mikkel Parlo (11-2)
 
--UFC fighter Steve Bosse, well, he was supposed to be a UFC fighter debuting on 4/16, and former hockey enforcer, announced his retirement yesterday.  The 32-year-old Bosse said that his body has been talking to him and telling him it's time to retire.  He said he hasn't trained since May and has gotten a job as a fire fighter in Saint-Constant in January.  But UFC was a dream, so he accepted a contract, but after a few weeks of training, he hurt his shoulder.  He said he's underwent four surgeries and broken his hand 12 times, and decided against cortisone.  He got into 221 fights in six seasons in the North American Hockey League. and was 10-1 in MMA. (thanks to Patric Laprade)
 
--The WWE stock continue to go up, up 24 cents today to $31.14 per share.
 
--An article that says rising sports rights fees are going to continue, which is good news for market leaders in significant sports that draw TV ratings like WWE and UFC at www.sportsbusinessdaily.com
 
--Both the USA Network and Syfy can be streamed through Comcast's Xfinity TV service for those who subscribe to it. (thanks to David Parker)
 
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW
HHH 33.7%
Daniel Bryan 32.8%
Bray Wyatt 13.7%
Stephanie McMahon 13.2%
Randy Orton 2.7%
John Cena 2.0%
Batista 1.5%
Kane 0.5%
 
WHAT SHOW ARE YOU MOST INTERESTED IN THIS WEEKEND
UFC on Sunday from Brazil 35.1%
New Japan Cup 33.6%
NCAA tournament 25.0%
CMLL Dos Leyendas 4.5%
Bellator 1.9%
 
POLL ON RAW
Excellent 20.9%
Good 50.3%
Average 18.3%
Fair 2.9%
Poor 7.5%
        11.6% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--The WWE's annual stockholders meeting will be 9 a.m. on 4/25 at the company headquarters.
 
--FIP on Saturday night in Orlando:  Rhett Giddins won Battle Royal, Gary Jay b Aaron Epic, Kennedy Kendrick b Josh Hess, Jack Gallow b Earl Cooter, David Starr & J.T. Dunn b Evan Gelistico & Pierre Abernathy, Blake Edwards Belakus b Chasyn Race, Sasso Rivera b Maxwell Chicago, Aaron Solo & Jason Cade b Eddie Graves & Teddy Stigma, Lince Dorado won over Biff Busick, Gran Akuma and Timothy Thatcher in a four-way, Drew Gulak b Roderick Strong.  Next show in Orlando is on 5/3 (thanks to Al Haft)
 
--UFC is having tryouts for a few open spots in its tournament to crown a woman's 115 pound champion on the fall season of the Ultimate Fighter.  Tryouts are 4/28 at 8 a.m. at the Palace Station Hotel.  You have to be between 21 and 34, female, and have an above .500 record with verifiable MMA experience.  Applications are at http://www.ufc.com/tuf20  Fighters will be required to grapple and hit pads.  Bring appropriate gear.  For questions, send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--CMLL on Monday night in Puebla:  Akron & Rebelde b Meyer & Paris, Asturiano & Leono & Robin b Blue Center & Espiritu Maligno & King Jaguar-DQ, Delta & Guerrero Maya Jr. & Stigma b Kamaitachi & Puma King & Tiger, Diamante Azul & Titan & Valiente b Euforia & Kraneo & Ripper, Atlantis & Mascara Dorada & Volador Jr. b Averno & Mephisto & Ephesto-DQ (thanks to Kris Zellner and Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims).
 
--AAW on Friday night in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club has Michael Elgin & Allego defending the tag title against Dave & Jake Crist, plus Shane Hollister & ? vs. Colt Cabana & ?, Alex Shelley vs. Silas Young and Jimmy Jacobs, Eddie Kingston and more.
 
--A couple of wrestling references on Sports Center over the past few days.  Scott Van Pelt and Max Bretos, who are both fans, in covering the Iowa State vs. Kansas game, when one player had been hit in the face and was bleeding a lot, Bretos said that he looked like he just came out of the losing end of a match with Abdullah the Butcher.  Van Pelt then brought up Kamala.  The second was during a  Florida game, during a blocked shot, and Bretos said, "Believe in The Shield." (thanks to Jerry Costello)
 
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara:  Virgo b Demonio Maya, Raziel & Cancerbero b Esfinge & Black Metal, Okumura & Camorra & Sadico b Starman & Leo & Gallo, Estrellita b Dallys la Caribena to keep the Mexican national womens' title, Atlantis & La Sombra & Brazo de Plata b Ultimo Guerrero & Gran Guerrero & Niebla Roja, Shocker & Rey Bucanero b Rush & Marco Corleone-DQ
 
--There is a show on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the  Battle Arts Academy in Mississauaga, at the Don Kolov Arena
 
--B.J. Penn and Urijah Faber are appearing at the UFC Gym in Alexandria, Australia on 3/22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a Q&A, as well as photo and autographs from 2-5 p.m. (thanks to James Stanios)
 
--NWA Smoky Mountain Wrestling on 3/29 in Kingsport, TN at the Civic Auditorium with Rob Conway & Jax Dane defending the NWA tag titles against the Lords of Kaos as well as Chris Richards & Chase Owes, plus Jason Kincaid defends the SMW title against Vince Brent.
 
 
--A look at Continental Wrestling from 20 years ago and the Tom Prichard vs. Dirty White Boy feud at www.soundcloud.com/jerryvonkramer/titans-of-wrestling-23
 
--John Corrigan looks at the greatest PPV matches ever to come from Philadelphia  at http://temple-news.com/arts/corrigan-top-10-philly-wrestling-ppvs/
 
--Tennessee independent pro wrestler Jacob Bevis, 31, was arrested and charged with solicitation of a minor on Sunday as he allegedly tried to get a 14-year-old girl to send him a nude photo of herself on his cell phone.  Story is at http://www.stategazette.com/story/2061917.html
 
--The Fight Network in Canada has a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. Eastern on Saturday with Cage Warriors from Copenhagen, Denmark followed by Enfusion Live from Dublin, Ireland.
 
--Upcoming Reddit Ask Me Anythings:
Ted DiBiase on Thursday at 2 p.m. Eastern
Court Bauer on Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern
Jim Ross on 3/28 at 11 a.m. Eastern (thanks to Neal Hager) 
 
--A wrestling gallery exhibit at http://nineteeneightyeight.com/collections/bruce-white-velvetmania (thanks to Matt Wright)