TUES UPDATE: Raw notes, rapper punches fan, Josh Matthews possible spoiler, Rock Austin and Ross on UFC Fight Pass, Mania weekend 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 reports on these weekend shows to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

*WWE Sunday in Norfolk

*TNA Sunday in Spencer, IA

*WWE Saturday in Charlottesville, VA

New Japan has an iPPV late Tuesday night (4:30 a.m. Eastern, 1:30 a.m. Pacific) from Korakuen Hall as the retirement show for Wataru Inoue:

Sho Tanaka & Yohei Komatsu vs. Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka

Ryusuke Taguchi & Desperado vs. Kushida & Bushi

Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Gedo & Jado

Yuji Nagata & Super Strong Machine & Captain New Japan vs. Minoru Suzuki & Taka Michinoku & Taichi

Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tetsuya Naito & Togi Makabe & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Kazuchika Okada & Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii & Yujiro Takahashi & Yoshi-Hashi

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma vs. Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata.

        The most talked about issue so far this year, and one of the biggest features we've ever done on a wrestler, a look in depth at the life and career of Billy Robinson, headlines the new double issue of the Observer that will be on the web site today.
        The issue has an update on WrestleMania, with the updated card, the gambling odds, behind the Dish Network decision to carry the show and what Elimination Chamber showed about the Dish Network's not carrying it.  We look at the power the cable companies have individually or as a group, as well as an update on WrestleMania ticket availability, as well as what the high priced tickets are going for.
        Our big feature looks at the life and times of Billy Robinson.  We've got his records, a look back at wrestling legends like Karl Gotch and Billy Joyce, Robinson's amateur career, why he didn't go to the Olympics, his rise to the top, his matches with Joyce and title wins, his economic problems and what caused them and life after wrestling.
        We look at his dark side, the heyday of the UWFI, how shoot style wrestling got popular in Japan, the explosion of the second UWF, the training of Kiyoshi Tamura and Kazushi Sakuraba and the famous Robinson temper.
        We've got comments from friends, family, what Robinson had been doing of late and the physical pain he had been living with.
        We look at his start in the sport of wrestling, his early infatuation with boxing, his first meeting with Karl Gotch, and how Robinson first linked up with Japan and why he became such a big star there.
        We look at Robinson's original run in Japan, how he got so popular, his firs run of famous matches, the first IWE world title tournament, the Japanese stars he coached.
        We look at the scene in the movie "The Wrestler," and how close to real life it was regarding Verne Gagne first hearing about Billy Robinson. 
        We look at Robinson's run in Hawaii, his first tour of Stampede Wrestling and all the havoc that came from it, as well as his legendary series of matches with Dory Funk Jr.
        We look at Gagne first discovering Robinson and what he originally had him in Minneapolis doing besides wrestling. 
        We've got comments from tons of wrestlers who trained under him and worked with him.
        We look at Robinson's thoughts on Japanese shoot style wrestling, UFC and Olympic wrestling, as well as the Gracies.
        We look at Robinson's run in Australia, his interaction with Dick Murdoch and Jack Brisco, as well as the legendary 1971 World Series of wrestling battles with Robinson, Gotch and Andre the Giant.
        We look at his AWA debut, his role in the company, his battles with Ray Stevens & Nick Bockwinkel over the tag team title, We look at the Gagne vs. Robinson feud, the creative finishes, and what angle was done to build for their match at Comiskey Park in Chicago.
        We look back at the Robinson vs. Inoki and Robinson vs. Baba matches and why they were considered so historically important, as well as the background of how the two matches happened.
        We look at how Baba secured Robinson away from Inoki, and how his reputation figured into the Inoki vs. Baba cold war.  WE also look at why Robinson never became one of the longtime top stars in St. Louis, looking at his only  main event, what he did that upset Sam Muchnick and his record from there.
        We look at his run in Florida, and his last years in the AWA, as well as his run as a headliner in Mexico and Quebec, as well as the tail end of his career.
        We've got full coverage of the New Japan Cup tournament, including the booking, where it looks to be headed, the next major shows, details of a big symbolic match coming to Tokyo as well as all three Tokyo shows for next week.
        We've also got more on Sting and WWE, this year's class of the WWE Hall of Fame, talk regarding next year and names being mentioned, Ted DiBiase talks Ultimate Warrior induction, SummerSlam ticket sales, Hogan talks sex tape and tells more tales about Metallica, the Rolling Stones and his restaurant.
        We also look at a movie about a former WWE champion, a lawsuit filed by Shane McMahon, someone expected to return to WWE within a few weeks, plans for the WWE Network, Christian's injury, the WWE TV situation in Germany, developmental news, Total Divas, DJ gets fired over actions at a WWE show, a new WWE investment, WWE wrestler starts new business, the last WWE tryout camp, what WWE is talking with Jonathan Coachman about, Dean Ambrose talks Jake Roberts, business notes from the last week as well as highlights from all last week's live events.
        We also look at this past week's UFC show in Brazil, what the business showed, and match-by-match coverage.
        We also look at the story behind the UFC firing of Will Chope over a domestic abuse charge from yeas ago,  We look at how the story got out, the gist of the story, why he said he pleaded the way he did, and the UFC decision.
        We also have a rundown of the Dos Leyendas show in Mexico City.
        We also have a detailed breakdown on the WWE's Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber PPV numbers, on what those numbers say about the product today.
        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, how the segments individually did on Raw and Impact, and results from all the major arena events.
Also in this week's issue:
--TNA title defended in Japan this past week
--Notes on this year's Champion Carnival series and the major show lineups
--A look at Pro Wrestling NOAH's Global tag league tournament for 2014, including who is in and matches announced
--A look at a major American star headed to New Japan
--What New Japan star is now in serous talks with WWE
--Legends barbed wire match
--NCAA tournament coverage
--Lots of notes regarding WrestleMania weekend
--Pro wrestler still competing in Greco-Roman wrestling with Olympic dreams.
--Wrestling fights and beats cancer
--Wrestling podcast rankings
--Arrests of wrestlers
--A movie about a legendary strongman and wrestler
--A look at the Canadian Hall of Fame wrestlers
--A look at TNA's weekend show and new competitors
--A look at the departure of Le'D Tapa
--What to do about UFC's 5/24 show with the Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida fight postponed
--Doctors weigh-in on weight-cutting
--Injury updates from UFC 171
--Notes on the next season of Ultimate Fighter
--Former Bellator champion trying out for Ultimate Fighter
--Retirement of a UFC fighter before he eve fought in UFC and why
--A look at last week's Bellator show
--Two big events coming this week
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., $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

-- As noted on the Bryan & Vinny Show, one of the best friends of the site, Kenneth Nida, aka Barrock on the board, has been in the ICU for several days as a result of what was apparently a virus which attacked his heart and lungs. It was a very bad deal for awhile, but the good news is that he's doing a lot better and they are hoping to move him out of the ICU and into a normal room tomorrow. He was planning on going to WrestleMania, but obviously that's not going to happen. The good news is that he's in the hospital in Baton Rouge, about an hour from New Orleans, so a bunch of us from the site are going to head out there over WrestleMania weekend and say hello to him. If you're going and you'd like to join us, we'll have more information on that in a few days. For now, you can send him email wishes for when he gets around to reading his email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and we're also trying to help raise money to offset some of his medical costs, donations of which can be sent via PayPal to the same address. Kenneth is really one of the nicest guys in the world and many on the site can tell you about all the times he selflessly helped people, both online and in the real world during meet-ups. We're so happy he's doing better and excited to see him this weekend!

-- Josh Matthews at the WrestleMania press conference referred to John Cena as Nikki Bella's "fiancee". She quickly corrected him. All I know is that there are people in the company who believe that's where Total Divas is headed, so may have been a spoiler by Josh. Could also have just been him being confused.

-- Josh writes: On Good Morning America they had Hulk Hogan and John Gena on to promote WM. Among the highlights: The host dropped Bray Wyatt's name and told Cena the match would steal the show. The host asked if Hogan and Cena would ever team up. Hogan said anything can happen in WWE. They did a deal with a fan where he was told he would have to wrestle Cena on the plaza. Then Cena (who was shown on a titantron like screen) held up an April fools sign. Campy but effective.

-- If you heard the Jim Ross Wrestling Observer Radio, the Toronto show on May 9th in association with ROH has tickets on sale right now by clicking here. That's a big-time weekend so go quick if you're interested.

-- There is a Brock Lesnar section up on Fight Pass and they've got interviews up there with Rock, Steve Austin and Jim Ross talking his WWE and UFC career.

-- Rapper punches fan at Raw

-- Our next live show is the Bryan & Vinny & Craig Show talking Raw, Smackdown and the WWE Countdown best bloopers show which I am so excited to watch. That show airs at 9 PT/midnight ET. All shows link up on the front page, or you can go to F4WLive.com, or favorite F4WLive on TuneIn Radio. The latest free show plays 24/7 on the stream all day every day.

-- Amazing Mark Briscoe promo hyping up Friday's SuperCard of Honor show in New Orleans here. Very limited tickets still available last time I checked. I'll be there and I'm very excited for the show. Make sure you stop by and say hi if you see me.

-- Another make good just came through for DGUSA in New Orleans. Masato Tanaka has now been added to the Saturday: Six Man Tag Team Tournament First Round Match- Masato Tanaka, Chris Hero & Roderick Strong vs. Ricochet, AR Fox & Rich Swann. As noted yesterday, also added to the weekend are matches involving Low-Ki and Chris Daniels & Frankie Kazarian (live show only due to TNA deals). A full look at all of the line-ups for not only DGUSA but all of the shows running during the WWNLive Experience in New Orleans is up here.

-- Speaking of excellent videos, great hype video for the return of Low-Ki to DGUSA here.

-- By the way, my personal schedule for Mania weekend looks to be: Jim Ross Thursday if I can get there on time (plane lands 10 minutes before he goes on stage); ROH Friday night; WWE Hall of Fame Saturday night (gotta go, Ultimate Warrior was my favorite wrestler when I was a kid) (seriously); WrestleMania Sunday; Raw Monday. Also, obviously, all of the WON/F4W dinners, brunches, etc., plus hopefully a trip to see Kenneth Nida, one of the WWNLive shows, the Haunted New Orleans walking tour, and one of the AXXESS events. Will do as many radio shows as I can.

-- Latest from Chikara: We asked our fans, and the message came through loud and clear: Put the Season 14 Premiere event "You Only Live Twice" on iPay-Per-View. And when the CHIKARMY speaks, we listen. So that we can deliver this event to you at the optimal level that the medium of live streaming will permit, we have upgraded the Palmer Center's internet service specifically for "You Only Live Twice". With a dedicated line and much higher speed we can provide the best possible stream for our worldwide fanbase. Our 5.25.14 iPay-Per-View will be offered for $16.99 US, but in the month of April, we are pleased to offer this limited-time special: Pre-order the iPPV from our partners Smart Mark Video before 5.1.14, and you'll get the event for just $12.99! Craving a sweeter deal? How about this - when you pre-order our May iPPV event "You Only Live Twice" from Smart Mark Video, we'll give you the brand new eBook "CHIKARA: Press Start" for your smart phone or tablet device ABSOLUTELY FREE! For information on how to get all of this, pre-order, etc., head to chikarapro.com.

-- Collin Makamson, who called into our show yesterday, is doing a talk on pro-wrestling in World War II in New Orleans tomorrow if you happen to already be in town for Mania. Check out all the details by clicking here.

-- Paul Heyman talks Undertaker, Brock Lesnar and WrestleMania here.

-- Ten of the worst gimmicks of all time list here.


-- Your guide to the Champion Carnival 2014 from All Japan here.

-- Jericho talks WrestleMania and why he's not involved here.

-- Tickets for the Impact Pro Wrestling show during the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame weekend are now on sale. The Hall of Fame show will take place on Friday, July 18 at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in Waterloo, Iowa. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with a bell time of 7 p.m. Ringside seats are $20 each and general admission tickets are $15 each. Ringside seats consist of the first four rows. Scheduled guests include Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, Diamond Dallas Page, Larry “The Axe” Hennig, Jim Ross, Gerry Brisco, Baron Von Raschke, Danny Hodge, Colt Cabana, and many others. A talent evaluation for aspiring professional wrestlers will be held prior to the Impact Pro Wrestling show at noon. Professional wrestling legends Gerry Brisco and Jim Ross will evaluate the talent. The event is open to spectators at a cost of $10 each. There are also a few all access passes available for $100 each. Professional wrestlers interested in participating in the talent evaluation should contact Troy Peterson at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

-- On Friday, April 4th, Legacy Fighting Championship, in conjunction with Fresquez Productions, Inc. and Wink Tactical Striking, takes over the Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albuquerque, NM with a stacked professional and amateur fight card. The Texas based promotion will be host to one of its biggest main events of the year when Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm takes on Juliana Werner for Legacy’s inaugural women’s Bantamweight Championship.

HHH vs. Bryan 54.7%
Undertaker vs. Lesnar 17.5%
WWE title match 12.9%
Cena vs. Wyatt 7.5%
Shield match 4.3%
Divas 1.5%
Battle Royal 0.9%
Tag title 0.6%

Down from previous years 37.7%
Up from previous years 34.9%
Same as previous years 27.4%

Will buy the show no matter what 43.1%
Buying based on getting the network, would not have bought otherwise 30.%
Not getting it 16.6%
Not watching it 9.8%

UFC Jones vs. Teixeira 50.6%
New Japan Invasion Attack 38.1%
TNA PPV 6.5%
UFC Browne vs. Werdum 2.6%
UFC Nelson vs. Nogueira 2.3%

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1989 - Master Of Pain defeated Jerry Lawler for the USWA Unified Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee

1990 - At Wrestlemania VI in Toronto, Canada; Demolition defeated the Colossal Connection, Andre the Giant and Haku to win the WWF Tag Team championship. WWF Intercontinental champion The Ultimate Warrior pinned WWF champion Hulk Hogan to win the WWF World Title.

1994 - The Rock N' Roll Express defeated the Heavenly Bodies (Tom Pritchard & Jimmy Del Ray) for the SMW Tag Team Title in Pikeville, Kentucky

1996 - Goldust defeated Savio Vega to win the WWF Intercontinental Title at a Raw taping in San Bernadino, California.

2001- At Wrestlemania 17 in Houston, Texas; Kane beat Raven and Big Show to win the WWF Hardcore championship, Eddie Guerrero pinned Test to win the WWF European championship, Chyna pinned Ivory to win the WWF Women's championship and Steve Austin pinned The Rock in a No DQ match to win the WWF World Title

-- Superstars Of Wrestling Returns To Spotswood At The Knights Of Columbus Hall 30 Crescent Avenue On May 2 With A 7PM Bell Time

-- Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler won’t be the only lightweights featured on Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view as Bellator Lightweight Tournament winner Will Brooks will be back in action and face Nate Jolly on Saturday, May 17th from The Landers Center, located just outside Memphis. The fight joins a card headlined by Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, who will complete MMA’s greatest trilogy, while Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will battle King Mo in a light heavyweight tournament final. Tickets for the event are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com, Bellator.com and The Landers Center Box Office.

-- The weigh-in and pre-fight press conference for Bellator MMA will take place Thursday at 5:00 p.m. PST from the Silver Legacy Hotel (407 N Virginia St., Reno, NV 89501). Bellator MMA will take place from the Reno Events Center on Friday, April 4th with the first fight taking place at 4 p.m. PST and streaming LIVE on Spike.com. The televised portion of the night will begin at 6 p.m. PST and will air LIVE on Spike TV.

-- EXTREME RISING PRO WRESTLING returns to the former ECW Arena (now 2300 Arena) for a jam packed weekend with two big live events Friday, April 25th with“SPRINGTIME BEATDOWN” and Saturday, April 26th with “Extreme Rising Anniversary”. Both events begin at 8pm, with doors opening at 7pm. The Arena is located at 2300 Swanson Street Philadelphia, PA 19148.

-- Trina Michaels on Over the Top Radio here.

-- A return to the days of classic TV studio professional wrestling will debut Saturday, April 19th at the Richfield/Minneapolis American Legion! The great young stars of “Steel Domain Wrestling” will showcase their talent with a great evening of action being taped for future broadcast on the internet. Harkening back to the days of the Twin Cities-based juggernaut, the American Wrestling Association, the matches will be held in a smaller venue, recreating the atmosphere of days gone by. The broadcast will officially be called “Championship Wrestling from the Twin Cities.”

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?