THURS UPDATE: New arena to host UFC and bxing events, WWE investors call, lots of Spike programming, TNA notes, Strikeforce, Where did people go?, Tonight's TV




 

By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @DaveMeltzerWON

Impact on Spike tonight at 9 p.m.

A series of matches with Gunner, Ken Anderson and Bobby Roode, winner of the series challenges Eric Young for the title in the main event
Willow vs. James Storm
Seiya Sanada & Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Robbie E & Jessie Godderz & Zema Ion


NXT on the WWE Network tonight at 9 p.m.


Tyson Kidd vs. Bo Dallas
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks in the women's title tournament
Adam Rose vs. Danny Burch
Natalya vs. Layla in the women's title tournament
Adrian Neville vs. Brodus Clay no DQ for the NXT title
KENTA's leaving Pro Wrestling NOAH, what that means for the company and his WWE tryout is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that is up on the web site now.
 
The issue also has lots of news regarding upcoming WWE and TNA TV shows, angles on the horizon, potential title changes and more.
 
We've got full coverage of UFC 172, including where Jon Jones stacks up on the list of all-time greats, his issues with popularity, drawing, ratings, PPV and more thoughts coming off the show, as well as match-by-match coverage and poll results.
 
We also look at the always touchy subject of deaths in pro wrestling.  We look at the story in the ESPN satellite site, look at the numbers, the problems, how things have changed from the 80s and 90s, whether the problems are WWE problems or industry problems and where the issues were worse, including looking back at the 1992 rosters of WCW and WWE and what has happened to them.
 
We also look at wrestler deaths compared to the general public, and what periods are the worst.
 
We look at the WWE on PPV starting with Extreme Rules, how the satellite companies decisions have affected PPV numbers in the past, the lineup for the PPV show, Rumors on the timing of WWE's next big announcement, WWE worth, WWE major executive leaves, time frame for A.J. Lee, and Hulk Hogan goes to Japan for WWE dates.
 
We also look at Hogan's big Japanese matches, his standing in that country and why he was a star there before he was in the U.S.
 
We also have notes on Buddy Danielson, the father of Daniel Bryan, more on Undertaker losing to Brock Lesnar, the upcoming WWE European tour, the NXT women's title change and tournament, the upcoming NXT Takeover show, the story behind booking that doesn't appear to make sense, as record setting title reign goes unnoticed, , overseas TV notes, developmental notes, recruiting notes, what former TNA star had a WWE tryout, new WWE signing, and notes on all the weekend house shows with highlights.

We've also got full coverage of TNA Sacrifice from Orlando, with match-by-match rundowns, star ratings and poll results.  We look at the positives and negatives of where TNA stands right now and more.
 
We also look at Lee Marshall, the former AWA and WCW voice, who passed away this past week, what he was most remembered for, life after pro wrestling and outside of pro wrestling.

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.
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
 
--Latest from Arena Mexico
 
--CMLL does big crowd for kids day anniversary double special show
 
--A look at this week's Dragon Gate PPV show and one of the company's best shows of the year with multiple showcase matches
 
--Coverage of the 2014 Champion Carnival tournament
 
--Final standings
 
--Pro Wrestling NOAH's Global tournament final standings and rundown
 
--Notes on major New Japan shows coming this month and a full card for Wrestling Dontaku this week
 
--New Japan star autobiography notes turning down a seven figure offer to leave
 
--Tanahashi causes a stir in New Japan
 
--A look at the New Japan/Border City wrestling joint show
 
--Kenta Kobashi becomes a wrestling promoter
 
--Update on Bobby Heenan
 
--Update on the Nancy Grace show and pro wrestling
 
--Son of one of the most well known pro wrestlers of this generation about to debut
 
--One of the best in-ring workers of the past 25 years said he has one match left against the career biggest rival
 
--Hardys vs. Briscoes for the first time
 
--WWC does angle based on Carlos Colon in Hall of Fame
 
--TV station in Puerto Rico does a Colon TV special this past week
 
--Colon talks about his interaction with biggest stars, biggest matches and the biggest match ever in Puerto Rico
 
--Lucha Libre comes to Philadelphia with Masked Republic promotions
 
--Major issues with promoters on two different weekend events and background
 
--Longtime promoter passes away
 
--Famous TV icon talks about how his fight scenes were based on being a kid watching pro wrestling
 
--Terry Funk wrestles once again
 
--ROH lineups for the two New Japan shows this month
 
--Stories behind the matchmaking
 
--Eric Young and his title win and why it was done on TV
 
--Eric Young's non-wrestling TV show notes
 
--New TNA business deal
 
--Jessy Sorensen talks about why he didn't sue TNA
 
--Current TNA announcer now working road shows in a completely different world
 
--A look at TNA television for the next several weeks
 
--UFC officially announces Mexico debut
 
--UFC pay records for the FOX show from Orlando
 
--Cain Velasquez injury updates
 
--Daniel Cormier talks path to Jon Jones
 
--What WWE star played a behind-the-scenes role in Ultimate Fighter
 
--UFC signs Andrei Arlovski after years away
 
--UFC injury notes
 
--Notes on the next two seasons of Ultimate Fighter as well as a rundown of the strawweight tournament
 
--A look at the UFC TV network that airs outside of the U.S.
 
--UFC champ complains about pay
 
--New UFC fights
 
--Notes on Bellator

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.

THURSDAY'S NEWS UPDATE

--They held the groundbreaking ceremony today for the building of a new arena at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  Both Dana White and Richard Schaefer (Golden Boy) were there.  The new arena is going to hold more than 20,000 fans, as compared to about 15,000 that the current arena holds (UFC sets up for 13,000 to just over 14,000 due to production and big screens).  White said it could result in more shows in Las Vegas.  It'll be harder to fill, but the big shows will become bigger is how I see it.  White said he was pushing to get the first date in the building, which is a guaranteed mega event.
 
--Floyd Mayweather showed up at the press conference coming in a bulldozer.  He didn't spray Dana White with beer or anything like that.

--Investors took today's WWE conference as a positive as the stock was up 89 cents to $20.39 at the time of this writing.  As noted, people were expecting higher losses.  While not a lot of questions were answered and there are key questions going forward, I came out of it with a positive feeling.  The company is going to be considerably more profitable in 2015, the only question is how much.  All of the negatives and losses are short-term based on setting everything up in place for future growth.

--A note that Glory returns on Spike Saturday night featuring former UFC star Pat Barry in his return to kickboxing.
 
--Also, New Japan has an iPPV around the world very early Saturday morning headlined by Kazuchika Okada vs. A.J. Styles for the IWGP title.
 
--Bellator announced today these TV shows on  Spike to build its 5/17 PPV show
 
Countdown to Alvarez vs. Chandler III debuts on Monday night at 11 p.m. right after Raw.  It will also be replayed on 5/12 in the same time slot
 
Rampage vs. Mo winner take all debuts on 5/13 at 11:30 p.m.
 
Unfinished Business:  Alvarez vs. Chandler III debuts on 5/14 at midnight
 
Unrivaled:  Michael Chandler debuts on 5/16 at 11 p.m.

--Rampage Jackson is on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS at 12:35 a.m. tonight.the Late
--Rob Terry is the masked bodybuilder in Knux's new heel group in TNA.  He had been working for the Wreslte-1 promotion in Japan.
 
--Speaking of that, has anyone seen Hernandez?  I'm thinking I'm going to see his face on a milk carton along with JTG any day now.
--For those wondering about what caused Strikeforce to disappear, there is an article at www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/5/1/5665136/the-secret-history-of-strikeforce-part-5-business-as-usual
--From a discussion on last night's radio show, the potato that Sgt. Slaughter gave Ultimate Warrior was more than just the two guys potatoed each other in 1991, but apparently one night they did a cage match and Slaughter actually brought a potato into the ring and Warrior was having trouble not laughing during the match.  Slaughter said Warrior told him after the match that he had a receipt coming for that, but Slaughter told him that he hoped it was a sweet potato (thanks to Phil Nourse)
 
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Grame Cameron)
1980 - Jumbo Tsuruta beat Dick Slater to win the Champion Carnival tournament
1981 - Harley Race beat Tommy Rich to regain the NWA title in Gainesville, GA
1991 - Gene & Ole Anderson beat Paul Jones & Masked Superstars to win the NWA tag titles in Richmond
1981 - A WWF vs. NWF (precursor to IWGP) world title match was held at El Toreo in Mexico City promoted by the UWA (when UWA was doing monster business) with Bob Backlund vs. Antonio Inoki, going to a 60 minute draw in a 2/3 fall match.  This one is usually forgotten when people write about world champion vs. world champion matches
1983 - Tatsumi Fujinami beat Canek to win the UWA heavyweight title1984 - Tully Blanchard beat Mark Youngblood to win the NWA TV tilte
1993 - Brian Christopher beat Jeff Jarrett in Memphis to win the Southern title
1994 - Shinya Hashimoto beat Tatsumi Fujinanmi to win the IWGP title at the Fukouka Done
1995 - Jerry Lawler beat Razor Ramon in Memphis to wni the USWA title and PG-13 beat Brickhouse Brown & The Gambler to win the tag titles
1998 - Booker T beat Chris Benoit to win the WCW TV title in Greenville, SC
1998 - Toshiaki Kawada beat Mitsuharu Misawa to win the Triple Crown in Tokyo

--Odds from Paddy Power on Extreme Rules.  Keep in mind that historically these don't mean much until a few hours before the show.

 
Daniel Bryan -600
Kane +350
 
The Shield +200
Evolution -300
 
Paige -1000
Tamina +500
 
RVD +600
Jack Swagger +450
Cesaro -500
 
Rusev -1800
Truth & Woods +650
 
Big E +400
Barrett - 700
 
Cena +150
Wyatt -200
 
Torito -300
Hornswoggle +200
 
--ROH sent out a release regarding the upcoming iPPV shows this month.  Both shows can be pre-ordered for $14.95 each now.  Both 5/10 from Toronto and 5/17 from New York will air at 7:30 p.m. Eastern and 4:30 p.m. Pacific time.The 
 
--The TNA taped Jokers Wild PPV will debut on 5/9
--The WWE app won a fan voted People's Voice Awards in the Sports Mobile & App category in the annual Webby Awards.  The ceremony takes place on 5/19 in New York at Cipriani Wall Street. 
--Chris Hero has a seminar on 5/10 in Selkirk, Manitoba from 3-5 p.m. at the Selkirk Arena for $40 for trained wrestlers and $20 for managers, referees and trainees just looking to observer and listen.  They are limiting it to 15 wrestlers.  For more info go to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
--Weigh-ins for tomorrow ONE FC show in Manila, which airs on iPPV at www.onefc.livesport.tv
 
Masakatsu Ueda (134) vs. Bibiano Fernandes (134) for the bantamweight title
Kotetsu Boku (153) vs. Eduard Folayang (154)
Joshua Alvarez (123) vs. Rey Docyogen (124)
Rob Lisgta (144) vs. Yusuke Kawanago (144)
James McSweeney (240) vs. Chris Lokteff (251)
Tetsuya Mizuno (184) vs. Leandro Ataides (184)
Aaya Saeid Saber (124) vs. Ana Julaton (125)
Gianni Subba (125) vs. Eugene Toquero (125)
Keet Toshi (104) vs. Jujeath Nagaowa (105
 
--AAW tomorrow night in Merrionette Park, IL at 115 Bourbon Street has Shane Hollister against the winner of a match earlier in the show with Kevin Steen vs. Jimmy Jacobs, with the AAW title at stake, plus Silas Young vs Eddie Kingston in a cage match, Michael Elgin & All Ego vs .Irish Airborne and more.
 
--New England Championship Wrestling on Saturday night in Abington, MA at the High School with Antonio Thomas & Brad Hollister in a 2 on 3 handicap match against Jeremy Prophet & Sean Burke & Genesis.

--John Lister is starting a blog where he reviews wrestling books at www.prowrestlingbooks.com

--Dory Funk Jr. on his web site at www.dory-funk.com has a TV match with the Briscos vs. Funks from the Sportatorium in Tampa.  Jerry Brisco wil lbe at his 5/24 show in Ocala, FL at the BANG Sound Stage.

--Insane Clown Posse announced a seven city tour of wrestling and music called the Road to the Gathering tour with Rude Boy, 2 Tuff Tony, Ring Rydas, Mad Man Pondo, Necro Butcher, Crazy Mary Dobson and more.

Dates are:

5/2 in Kokomi, IN at Centerstage

5/3 in Dayton at the Rockstar Arena

5/4 in Toledo at Headliner's

5/6 in Beckley, WV at the Beckley-Raleigh Convention Center

5/8 in Clarksville, IN at Jammerz

5/9 in Sauget, IL at Pop's

5/11 in Joliet, IL at Mojoe's

--Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling is doing a 55th anniversary of the debut of Wrestling at the Chase a the East Carondelet, IL Community Center.  Jim Cornette will be there.  Ron Powers faces Ricky Cruz in a loser leaves town match plus a  Battle Royal.

--Battleground MMA announced a one-night tournament at the BOK Center in Tulsa in the welterweight division.  It'll be like the old days of UFC, with an eight-man tournament with a $50,000 first prize.  Among those entered are Dennis Hallman, Cody McKenzie, Josh Bryant and Luigi Fiorvanti, all with UFC experience.  Former amateur wrestling star Chris Honeycutt, who trains with Josh Koscheck, will also have his first spotlight fights after going 4-0.

--559 Fights at Visalia, CA's Rawhide Stadium tomorrow night with an all-amateur MMA show.

If you do get WWE network, besides PPVs, what are you most interested in?

 

If you have stopped subscribing to WWE network, why?

 

What was the best TV show of the week?