THURS. UPDATE: Bryan surgery update, WWE on TV deal, Current Raw plans, Reigns injury update, Change in ROH show Saturday, Don't get worked up on WWF title ad for next week, Liger in San Jose, Rampage vs. Mo and crazy interview tomorrow night
Thursday, 15 May 2014 12:38
By Dave Meltzer
We're looking for reports from today's WWE shows in Newcastle, England (Big Show vs. Kane last man standing, The Shield, Randy Orton, Ryback, Curtis Axel) and the opening of the second tour in Rome, Italy with John Cena, Sheamus, The Wyatt Family, Rhodes Brothers, Usos and Dolph Ziggler at
Impact tonight at 9 p.m.
Frankie Kazarian vs. Crazy Steve
Willow vs.Magnus & Bram
Ken Anderson vs. James Storm
Gail Kim vs. Velvet Sky
Seiya Sanada vs. Tigre Uno vs. Zema Ion for X title
Eric Young vs. MVP in a non-title match
NXT tonight on the WWE Network at 9 p.m.
Colin Cassady vs. Angelo Dawkins
Mojo Rawley vs. Aiden English
Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte in the women's title tournament
Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Tyler Breeze - winner faces Adrian Neville on the 5/29 live special
The Orton tour continues Friday in Leeds, England and Saturday in Nottingham, England.
The other tour runs Friday in Turin, Italy and Saturday in Innsbruck, Austria.
We're looking for reports on all the European shows.
Our lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that is currently up on the site concerns Daniel Bryan and what his injury has shown, how it should be handled in storyline, his booking and what issues this has opened up.
We talk about his neck injury, more on it, early estimates on his return, the world title situation, the recent booking of Bryan as world champion, how the recent business changes impact the ramifications of this injury, how it impacts the PPV business and TV business and a look at future top headliners.
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We also look in depth at Ring of Honor as it attempts to make its big move to PPV over the next several months. We look at the Toronto show, the realities of the iPPV business, the impact of WWE Network on PPV and iPPV, booking, New Japan Pro Wrestling, reaction to Japanese wrestlers, what Kevin Steen said off camera, notes on New York, , as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
We also look at updates on the WWE TV situation, why WWE is now far more important to USA Network than even a few months ago, what happens to USA & Syfy without Raw and Smackdown. We look at outside business forces that impact both TV rights fees and network price, including WWE plans for loading up a show later this year and why.
We also look at Batista's getting a major role in Kickboxer, a lawsuit settlement that impacts the WWE Network, the tough position HHH is put in as head of talent relations, more on C.M. Punk and WWE, Update on Sting and WWE, WWE worth, More old footage for WWE Network and how difficult a collection will be to put together, Hulk Hogan's return, update on the Payback PPV show, Prince Devitt in WWE, Chris Jericho talks suspension and a fine, a return and life after wrestling. We also note a Showtime exec who has taken a major position in WWE, and company attitude toward giving up things on Raw to push the network.
We also look at the Rosebuds, Adam Rose character, WWE's end of the year European tour and how TV will be shot and its booking, how much wrestling each week and does that affect ratings, why Drake Younger is in WWE as a referee, and update on a documentary on one of pro wrestling's all-time biggest stars.
We also look at the Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva UFC fight, booking the welterweight division title picture, ratings of the show, business of the show, how much everyone earned, what the UFC audience make up was on Saturday night, and Matt Brown's streak, plus match-by-match coverage .
We also have a monthly business breakdown for WWE & TNA, what is up, what is down, and what WWE category is the big question mark for an unbelievable rise. We also look at how ratings business pre-Mania was doing compared to last year.
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 the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, including who are the big movers in WWE & TNA, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--Big title match pulled from show over disciplinary action, who and why
--A look at some of the best new talent coming into pro wrestling
--An insane weekend move and the state of the art of what you will be doing soon
--A heartwarming story regarding one of the major pro wrestling companies putting on a show specifically for one fan
--Two legends including a Hall of Famer hit Dragon Gate this past week
--This year's first matches in the King of Gate tournament
--An era ends in Japan and rotes on ticket sales
--Update on Prince Devitt
--More notes on this year's Super Juniors tournament
--Unique concern for fans at one of this year's biggest live events and the promotion trying to get ahead of the game
--A major city mayor, and it's not Rob Ford, is upset about a title change in his city
--Update on physical health of New Japan stars
--New Japan stars come to Windsor, ONT
--Satoshi Kojima comes to the U.S. as NWA champion
--A look back at the debut of a wrestler who became an MMA pioneer and now is back as a star wrestler, 26 years ago
--A star from another sport and how much he's pulling now as a pro wrestling regular
--More on the sentencing of Buck Zumhofe, the 80s AWA star
--Attorneys on both sides try to influence judge
--When he is eligible for parole
--A look at Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame inductees Leroy McGuirk, Stu Hart, Bill Eadie and Don Muraco
--A look back at Stu Hart
--His family members in wrestling
--People he started in North America
--Who was Leroy McGuirk
--The story of the longest reigning major world champion in history and tragic way it ended
--Legends McGuirk got started in wrestling
--How Jim Ross broke into wrestling
--The night McGuirk really wanted to kill Ted DiBiase
--A look back at Bruiser Brody
--The legend of Mr. Wrestling II
--How the gimmick got started and why it was so popular
--Bill Eadie and his wrestling career, including the story behind The Machines, Demolition and more
--Unique background info on Don Muraco and his run in pro wrestling and what he was most famous for
--Another 80s wrestler accused of sex crimes
--Notes on this year's Cauliflower Alley Club awards and banquet
--More on Jim Ross and boxing announcing as well as the unique timing of the show
--Former WWE star chokes out a thief while overseas
--Former TNA stars headed to ROH
--Update on Kurt Angle, his injury and his contract
--What his future looks like
--TNA Slammiversary, complete card, new programs and notes on all TNA television through mid-June
--A look at the TNA roster
--Who is left of the best paid talent
--A look at the last three TNA departures
--A look at angles planned and dropped
--What happened at the tapings this past week that led to the issue with many members of the production crew
--What was the issue and how was it resolved
--More on the Bobby Roode suspension angle
--More on the Samuel Shaw character
--Notes on TNA newcomer Rebel and her background
--Tons of new women debuting in TNA, or returning and how they did
--Funny story on Dixie Carter that started on Twitter
--TNA video game note
--TNA TV taping schedule news
--More on TNA talent
--UFC in New York, same story new year
--Lots of new UFC matches and thoughts
--UFC injury updates
--Return of Stefan Struve
--Strongest UFC PPV markets
--UFC working with other promotions for huge Fight week
--Thoughts on UFC rankings
--Why Brock Lesnar called Dana White last week
--Fighters agree to enhanced drug testing
--More new UFC dates
--UFC fighter competes in a very different sport over the weekend
--Eddie Alvarez injury situation
--How it happened, and the timetable
--The WWE connection with the Alvarez injury and treatment
--A look at the new Bellator PPV lineup and booking going forward
--Battle of former Pride stars on a June U.S. PPV debut of new promotion
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.
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.
Our most requested issues in our history are:
*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)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)a
*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)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*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 history)
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*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)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
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
--The WWE released information on Daniel Bryan's post-surgery earlier today. Bryan was diagnosed with a nerve problem in his neck by Dr. Chris Amann, and according to wwe.com, underwent a cervical foraminotomy, to decompress the nerve root, performed by Dr. Joseph Maroon of Pittburgh. They would not list a timetable for his return. I expect they want to surprise people with it on TV beacuse it won't be that long.
--Nothing new regarding the WWE TV deal past what is on the front page. WWE would not confirm that an announcement was going to be made today.
--The plan right now, heavily subject to change, is for John Cena vs. Luke Harper and Usos vs. Rhodes Brothers for Raw on Monday in London.
--Roman Reigns needed stitches for the nasty cut above his right eye suffered in his cage match with Randy Orton when they bonked heads last night in Glasgow, Scotland. The impression we were given is there was no concussion and he would be working the rest of the tour.
--Due to the anticipation of the new TV deal, WWE stock rose 58 cents per share today to close at $19.93 on triple normal level volume.
--The originally announced Cedric Alexander vs. Kazuchika Okada match for Saturday's ROH iPPV in New York is off. Okada will be involved in something else. This was the plan as that's why they did the injury angle with Alexander after his win over Roderick Strong. This was part of a deal with New Japan.
--Regarding the story of Big Show vs. Kane on Tuesday in Sheffield, England being advertised as a WWE title match, those in WWE claim it was a mistake by the venue. The match was originally Daniel Bryan vs. Kane for the title Last Man Standing, and Show is replacing Bryan in the match with the same stipulations. The venue forgot to remove the "WWE world heavyweight championship last man standing" and change it to just "Last Man Standing" when they did the new ad. My impression is the decision on what to do will come after getting reports from Daniel Bryan's surgery today in Pittsburgh.
--While Kazma Sakamoto was at the NXT show last week in Orlando, he is not under a new WWE deal. He was just at the show.
--Playing off the Jay-Z incident, TNA copied it with an angle they have on their web site, or had, where Dixie Carter attacked Spud.
--The Bellator PPV will play at every Dave & Buster's in the U.S. Bellator announced sponsors lined up for Saturday as Miller Lite, Dave & Busters, Ubisoft, Monster Energy, Everlast, AutoZone, Victory Motorcycles, Bamboo Nutra and Attack Poker. Most if those are weekly Friday night advertisers.
--Pro Wrestling Revolution on Sunday at 3 p.m. in Morgan Hill, CA at the Rancho Grande de Morgan Hill has Jushin Liger vs. Blue Demon Jr., Zokre & Vaquero Fantasma & Damian 666 vs. Gallo Tapado Jr. & Mascara Sagrada & Atlantis, Almighty Sheik vs. Mariachi, Mini Mariachi vs. Pequeno Halloween for the PWR minis title, Derek Sanders & Colt Stevens vs. Los Gallineros and more.
--Today's birthdays include Kevin Von Erich (57) and Ron Simmons (56).
--Among those passing away on this date include Ben Alexander, a Southern prelim wrestler, who was 51 when he passed away in 2002, and Ron West, a jack-of-all trades as a promoter, booker, and referee, who was 65 when he passed away one year ago today. (thanks to Georgia Wrestling History)
POLL ON MAIN EVENT THIS WEEK
52.2% of those responding didn't see the show
WHO DO YOU EXPECT TO WIN THIS FIGHT?
Rampage Jackson 72.0%
King Mo Lawal 28.0%
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1956 - Masahiko Kimura (the same Kimura who beat Helio Gracie) & Kiyomikawa beat Raul Romero & Yacqui Rocha in Tokyo to win the Central/South American tag team title
1957 - Ed Francis beat Luigi Macera to win the Pacific Coast jr heavyweight title
1958 - Verne Gagne & Leo Nomellini beat Doc & Mike Gallagher for the world tag team titles in Minneapolis
1963 - Rocket Monroe (Bill Fletcher) beat Joe Scarpa (Chief Jay Strongbow) and Pancho Villa in a three-way in Mobile to win the Gulf Coast title
1965 - Mighty Igor beat Mad Dog Vachon for the AWA title in Omaha. The title change was only recognized in Nebraska
1970 - Marl Lewin & Antonio Pugliese beat Rip Hawk & Swede Hanson in Sydney to win the IWA tag titles
1970 - Donna Christantello & Kathy O'Day beat Fabulous Moolah & Toni Rose to win the NWA womens' tag title at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles
1971 - Red Bastien & Hercules Cortez (who passed away shortly thereafter in an auto accident) beat Mad Dog & Butcher Vachon in Milwaukee to win the AWA tag titles
1972 - Boris Malenko beat Bearcat Wright in Orlando to win the Florida Brass Knux title
1975 - Paul Jones & Wahoo McDaniel beat Gene & Ole Anderson in Greensboro to win the NWA tag title
1976 - The Sheik beat Bobo Brazil to win the U.S. title in Detroit
1976 - Pat Patterson & Tony Garea beat Don Muraco & Invader I (Rocky Montero) to win the world tag team titles at the Cow Palace in San Francisco
1976 - Cyclone Negro beat Ron Miller in Melbourne to win the WCW Brass Knux title
1978 - Gene Kiniski beat John Quinn in Vancouver to win the Pacific Coast heavyweight title
1981 - As newcomers, Chigusa Nagayo (later Crush Gals) beat Itzuki Yamazaki (later Jumping Bomb Angels) to win the Japanese jr. women's title
1982 - The Moondogs, Rex & Spot, beat Eddie & Tommy Gilbert to win the North American tag titles in San Juan
1986 - Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty beat Bart & Brad Batten to win the Central States tag titles in Kansas City
1995 - Reggie Bennett beat Manami Toyota in Niigata to win the IWA women's title
1999 - Lady Apache beat Mariko Yoshida in Naucalpan to win the CMLL women's title
2000 - Ric Flair beat Jeff Jarrett to win the WCW title in Biloxi, MS
2001 - Brock Lesnar & Shelton Benjamin beat Damien & B.J. Payne in Louisville to win the OVW tag titles
2002 - Nova beat Prototype (John Cena) in Jeffersonville, IN to win the OVW title
2011 - MVP beat Toru Yano in the tournament final to become the first IWGP IC champion in Philadelphia. In less than three years, this same belt headlined the Tokyo Dome with 35,000 paid.
--The Voice returns this weekend on AXS. Michael Schiavello's in-depth interviews (these are almost always really strong) will have two episodes tomorrow night. At 10 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Pacific, he interviews Royce Gracie, taking about celebrity fighters, his father, and early UFC. At 11 p.m., he talks with Frank Dux, who has the reputation for being a cross between Hulk Hogan and yesterday's Pat Tanaka, so that hour should be insane.
--Big Time Wrestling on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Newark, CA Memorial High School has Chris Masters vs. Tony Vargas, Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson vs. Jason Styles & Shane Kody, Kimo vs. Gangrel, Ryan Von Kool & Victor Sterling vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian, Cody Hall (managed by Scott) vs. Vinny Massaro plus also wrestling will be The Godfather Charles Wright, who grew up in San Jose and was a high school basketball star before he gained 130 more pounds, and Molly Holly. Tickets have sold really well for this show. I believe Ezekiel Jackson will be there. Ric Flair is in town for the convention in the same building that morning and afternoon.
--An interview with Don Muraco, who from 1975-82 was one of the most talented men in the business, is at http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2014/03/28/21564311.html
He was a star everywhere, but I don't think he ever got his full due, even when he was the No. 2 guy in WWF for a while. Once the company went national, he was gigantic and no longer the same guy. We've got a feature on Muraco in the new Observer, along with a look at others entering the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame this weekend.
--A few notes from last night's show we did:
*The referee I couldn't remember in the 1955 Thesz vs. Nomellini sort of world title change in San Francisco was Mike Mazurki, who was a character actor and pro wrestler, and actually the guy who started the Cauliflower Alley Club years later.
*On the tent shows in the Northeast held each summer, they started in 1992 with Ric Flair vs. Jim Duggan and Natural Disasters vs. Money Inc. WWF ran those shows until the late 90s, when they were doing 10,000 fans or more every night, and it made no sense to run before 1,500 to 2,500. After business had dropped, they returned to doing them in 2004. They continued through 2006. In 2007, they didn't do it and the local promoters went with TNA that summer. Crowds were terrible. WWE returned from 2007 to 2010, but running in late August 2010, when most of the families that vacationed there in the summer had returned home, led to bad crowds that year and they were dropped at that point. People like Flair, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Undertaker, The Rock, HHH, Mick Foley and Randy Orton all did those shows. (thanks to Matt Grady)
--A former weekly wrestling building, the Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta, GA, has what is billed as the first wrestling show in the building in 20 year (that couldn't be true since ECW did a PPV there in 1998 and I can't believe someone hasn't run it since then) on Saturday with Southern Championship Wrestling running with Matt Hardy, Shane Helms, Ron Simmons (not wrestling), Santana Garrett (Brittany in TNA), Rico Casanova and John Cena Sr. (as a special referee). For tickets go to www.scwwrestling.com
--Chaotic Wrestling tomorrow night in Woburn, MA at the Elks Lodge with Brian Fury vs. Julian Starr, plus Matt Taven, Vinnie Marseglia, Hanson, Biff Busick and more.
--AAW on 5/31 in Pontiac, IL at Freakster's Roadhouse with Shane Hollister & Walking Weapon vs. Michael Elgin & ACH, plus Silas Young, Louis Lyndon, Marion Fontaine and more.
--Sacramento Pro Wrestling on Sunday at the SPW Arena at 6200 McMahon Dr. has Dexter St. Jock vs. J.D. Bishop, plus Jeff Cobb, Timothy Thatcher and more.
--Pro Wrestling Phoenix has its 9th anniversary show on Saturday in Council Bluffs, IA at the National Guard Armory with Branden Juarez vs. Matty Starr in a TLC match.
--Canadian independent wrestler Wildman Gary Williams announced he is retiring with his final show on 5/23 in Halifax at the Forum. He will give his retirement speech and special guests will be at the show. Petey Williams (no relation) headlines the show.