We're looking for reports on all the weekend TNA shows, with the tour headlined by Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett with Mick Foley as enforcer and Kazarian vs. Matt Hardy starting last night in Erie, PA. They also run tonight in Cleveland at the Agoura Theater, Saturday just outside Pittsburgh at the Rostraver Ice Arena, as well as a Sunday show in Moundsville, WV at the John Marshall Fieldhouse.
As far as the weekend goes, no WWE house shows and there is good reason for that. They start a monstrous tour which begins with the Raw taping Monday in Bridgeport, PA and Smackdown on Tuesday in Albany, and then fly to Europe for a tour from 4/13 to 4/24.
The other major shows this week are Maximum Fighting Championships from Windsor, ONT airing Friday night on HDNet; Strikeforce with Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley for the welterweight title, Gilbert Melendez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri for the lightweight title, Gegard Mousasi vs. Keith Jardine and Shinya Aoki vs. Lyle Beerbohm in a battle of the fancy pants from San Diego on Saturday night at 10 p.m. on Showtime; and Bellator with Ben Askren vs. Nick Thompson headlining on MTV 2 at 9 p.m.
One of the year's biggest issue, our annual WrestleMania issue of the Observer is coming up this week. This covers the big show of the year, as well as both ROH shows, both Dragon Gate shows, the debut of Tough Enough and Hall of Fame detailed coverage.
We also look at the business records for WrestleMania, looking at where the show stands including a list of every WWE show in history that has topped 60,000 in attendance, which numbers were real, faked or papered, as well as the 25 biggest gates in North American pro wrestling and MMA history including figures that have never been reported up to this point. We also look at who has drawn the most top 25 gates in history. We also have a listing of the wrestlers who have had the most match time in the history of WrestleMania.
We have a number of lead stories including the announcement of the WWE name change, the political issues and announcements for Rock vs. John Cena at next year's WrestleMania, looking at the announcement, and trying to keep the issue from cooling off while not burying John Cena at the same time.
We also have a full report of the year's biggest show, including reaction, poll results, match-by-match coverage with star ratings, the story of Undertaker vs. HHH and it stealing the show, what went wrong in John Cena vs. Miz, creative, gambling, celebrities and more.
The issue will be up on the site today. A back issue from early 1994 will also be up this week. Between the Observer and Figure Four Weekly, we have about 14 issues put up every month and dozens of new audio shows for web site subscribers including coverage after the shows of every major pro wrestling and MMA event.
You can also order print copies of the Observer with details below.
We also look at the Hall of Fame ceremony, including changes for television, as well as a look at all the inductees and the speeches.
We also look at many of the big names from the past at the Hall of Fame ceremony, including a Hall of Famer that almost nobody recognized. We have notes on the goings on at WrestleMania, Steve Austin talk Tough Enough, Snooki talks wrestling, Celebrity match that wasn't at Mania, former WWE star who hasn't been back in years will make appearance on Tough Enough, Austin's next movie role, Edge talks future as well as competition with UFC, myths about the current WWE audience, where wrestlers stand mainstream and a recent WWE signing.
We also have a look at the ROH shows, business of the shows and where things are going.
We also look at the first episode of the return of Tough Enough, more on some of the participants, and the eliminations.
We also look at every major MMA world champion who won their title before the age of 26.
We also look at Bobby Lashley and Phil Baroni attempting to rebuild their careers on the indie MMA circuit, and what went right and wrong for both of them.
We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw and Impact did and what viewers came and left. In particular this week we look at the post-WrestleMania, as well as first looks at Tough Enough, Ultimate Fighter, Hall of Fame show and more.
We also have our usual weekly features with results of the major arena shows from around the world, and the major TV show rundowns and reviews.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
-- In light of WWE announcing plans to expand further into non-wrestling ventures, a very interesting article here speculating that the WWE dividend could soon be slashed, which would also negatively affect the stock price. At some point it's inevitable this will happen because it's not sustainable over the long haul at 36 cents per share unless they doubled revenues, which isn't impossible, but highly unlikely. The big question is when. Thanks to Cory.
-- Full card for UFC in Vancouver, June 11th, tickets on sale April 15th for Fight Club members and April 16th for general public:
1. Junior Dos Santos vs. Brock Lesnar
2. Shane Carwin vs. Jon Olav Einemo
3. Donald Cerrone vs. Mac Danzig
4. Demian Maia vs. Mark Munoz
5. Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes
6. Yves Edwards vs. Sam Stout
7. Dustin Poirier vs. Rani Yahya
8. Anthony Perosh vs. Krzysztof Soszynski
9. Darren Elkins vs. Michihiro Omigawa
10. Jesse Bongfeldt vs. Chris Weidman
11. Joey Beltran vs. Dave Herman
-- The WrestleMania Blu-Ray will include the entire Hall of Fame ceremony, which was really quite good, particularly HHH's induction of Shawn, which was outstanding, Shawn's speech, Dusty's induction speech, and Terry Funk for the brief time he was out there.
-- Paul wrote in with this: Dave wrote this 17 years ago, so it was a fresher perspective. He was doing a career retrospective on Ric Flair after Flair won the title from Vader at Starrcade 93. “Flair's role as champion differed from most of the NWA champs of the past in that he rarely won his matches at the house shows after he became a heel everywhere. With Crockett using him on every show rather than him touring, among numerous reasons and this wasn't the main one but an important one, Flair's new role killed business in the Crockett strongholds” Again, even if you want to say that Miz is similar to Flair (ridiculous, but let’s pretend) it’s still a dumb way to book him. Everyone looks at the past with rose coloured glasses but this was written when that period was fresh in people’s minds.
-- Smackdown tonight has Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio with the winner getting a ladder match with Edge at Extreme Rules, Kane & Big Show & Kofi & Santino vs. Corre in a best of three falls rematch (why best of three falls? WHY NOT?), Cody Rhodes vs. Trent Baretta, Kelly & Beth vs. Laycool, and another run-in by Sin Cara.
-- Trailer for an upcoming MMA film here which features Nick Nolte. The real Nick Nolte this time. Kurt Angle I believe also has a role.
-- Thiago Silva was fined $33,750 and given a one-year suspension for providing non-human urine prior to his fight with Brandon Vera at UFC 125. This will certainly encourage other fighters to admit their wrongdoing and apologize in the future. Vera, who was released following the loss, will now be given another chance in UFC since the result of the fight has been changed to a no-contest.
-- TUF did a 1.0 rating this week and was down to 1.2 million viewers from last week's 1.5 million. That's not good at all.
-- Snooki and J-Woww are being given their own show, which is why she said she was done with WWE despite saying a week or so earlier that she wanted to become a Diva.
-- EMLL held a press conference today announcing the Torneo Forjando del Idolo that is starting at Arena Puebla on 4/11 and will end at Arena Mexico on 5/20 where the young lions will wrestle each other while being mentored by veterans. They also announced that they would be starting a working agreement with REINA which is a joshi promotion in Japan starting in May. Mascara Dorada announced at the press conference that he was vacating CMLL Super Lightweight Title and would be moving up to Middleweight. Thanks to Kris Zellner.
-- Future of Wrestling (FOW) will put on "Monarch Mayhem 2" on Friday, April 8 at Monarch High School (5050 Wiles Rd., Coconut Creek). And on Saturday, April 9, FOW will put on "Made in America" at the VFW Post 2500 in Hollywood (814 S. Dixie Hwy.). Both events start at 7:30 p.m.
-- As part of American Cancer Society’s local Relay for Life event, “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels will be posing for photos and signing autographs for just $5.00 in support of the "Errepressible Hope" team, Saturday, April 9 from 3-5pm, at Quartz Hill High School, 6040 West Avenue L in Quartz Hill, CA. (Near Los Angeles) All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. For more information about the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, please visit www.relayforlife.org
-- Rare Bill Watts Mid-South/UWF booking formats are up on eBay right now here.
-- The 2009 edition of TNA 'Lockdown' will air commercial free this Sunday at 5pm EST on The Fight Network headlined by Sting Vs Mick Foley for the TNA Title along with a Lethal Lockdown Match between Team Angle and Team Jarrett and a Tag Title Match between Beer Money and Team 3-D.
-- DREAMWAVE Wrestling returns to LaSalle, IL at the Knights of Columbus with the biggest show on its calendar, “Anniversary II” on iPPV. Terry Funk will be involved. More info is up at dreamwavewrestling.com.
-- Saturday April 16th 2011, Oceanside Boys & Girls Club, 401 Country Club Ln, Oceanside, CA. SoCal Crazy vs. Johnny Paradise mask vs. hair headlines.
-- Federation of Elite Wrestlers (F.E.W.) Presents: "April FEWls", Sunday, April 17, 2011, Broadripple, 4610 Parnell Ave.. Fort Wayne, IN 46825. Doors Open at 3:00, Bell Time is 4:00 PM
-- New YouShoot with Honky Tonk Man is out now at kayfabecommentaries.com.
-- wXw and CZW are both doing iPPVs this weekend. More information on how to order up here.
-- NWA Fusion has its biggest event of the year Shanghai Showdown on Saturday April 16th, 2011 at King and Queen Elementary School in King and Queen County, Virginia. The promo video the event can be viewed on Vimeo here
-- Slammin Stan podcast talking Black Gordman, Goliath and Oliver Humperdink up here
-- King of Trios 2011, 4.15 - 4.16 - 4.17 - Friday - Saturday – Sunday. Live at The former ECW Arena, 7 W. Ritner St. in Philadelphia, PA. The action starts at 7:30 pm on Friday, April 15th. Told tickets are going very fast.
-- New Japan East Coast Invasion Tour: Saturday 5/14/11 in New York at Basketball City with IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion Prince Devitt vs. Low Ki and the Intercontinental championship tournament semi-finals. Sunday 5/14/11 in Philadelphia at the Asylum Arena with a South Philadelphia Street Fight: Togi Makabe vs. Rhino, JAPW Light Heavyweight champion Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Kenny Omega and the Intercontinental championship tournament final.
-- Wrestling for a Cause: Professional Wrestling to Benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Santa Rosa Featuring Former WWE/WCW Superstar Hurricane Helms. Saturday, April 9. Time: 5:30 p.m. Doors Open at 5 p.m. Location: 1011 Hahman Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95405