Smackdown and NXT will be taped tonight in Albany, NY and the WWE's annual post-WrestleMania European tour begins on Wednesday. Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio & Cody Rhodes was scheduled to be the main event, but now it will be Edge officially vacating the World title.
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.
-- Only update on Perro Aguayo Jr., who had a golf-ball-sized tumor removed Friday and a subsequent burst ulcer, is that he is doing OK and they won't know until tomorrow if the tumor was cancerous. Thanks to Cubsfan.
-- In an update from last night's radio show, while Edge didn't have the MRI results back when he taped Smackdown last week he apparently had a pretty good idea that the results weren't going to be good, and went into the match at WrestleMania under the impression that it was very likely his last major bout. Although on the surface it would seem to make sense to get the belt off of him, particularly since he was going in for an MRI the next day, it's possible they kept the belt on him so that if he did retire he could go out on top as champion as he talked about in his promo last night.
-- Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio in a ladder match has been pulled from the Extreme Rules preview on the WWE website, obviously.
-- Hogan on Edge's retirement, via late-night Twitter: if any of the guys like me,Flair,Hardy,Andre,AA,Blanchard,orndoff,Henning would have listened to doctors we would have quit15yrsago but I don't know Edges working environment because they are a media company not a wrestling company. wrestlers work hurt! What about Foley! I bet EDGE still wants to keep wrestling,he's one of the boys big time!!!
-- Later, Hulk added: I'm not saying anything bad about Edge but he's a real wrestler,Stone Cold and Cena had neck surgery and u couldn't stop em,Or Edge it's in Edges blood,he lives for this business he's a real wrestler,he a lifer,he's one of the real boys,he's hard to hold down,that's all. Someone needs to bring this guy up to speed.
-- Tons of others have been tweeting about Edge all day, and many of the WWE wrestlers have comments up on the WWE.com site.
-- A look at Donald Trump's charity contributions up here. He received $4 million from WWE (well, they donated to his charity) for the 2007 WrestleMania hair match with Vince, and another $1 million for a Raw appearance where he claimed he bought WWE and then later sold it back to Vince. If you include the live gate that was refunded to the fans, that was a rather costly angle that ended up going absolutely nowhere and meaning nothing. They did get a single 4.5 rating out of it (the famous commercial-free Raw), but in the grand scheme of 8,760 hours in a year that ultimately meant exactly nothing, particularly since it was back to normal the next week, and in fact that 4.5 rating managed to lead to the PPV six days later doing the second-lowest buyrate of the modern era. This link also includes among the most fantastic photos of his hair in history.
-- Speaking of Hogan, his Micro Championship Wrestling has been picked up for six episodes.
-- David Lagana has a great look at Edge here including insight into a period in 2003 where Edge was actually part of the creative team.
-- The new issue of Figure Four Weekly will be out today for members, both in text form and as a PDF (and I can tell you as someone who just purchased an iPad2, Figure Four Weekly looks great on that device in PDF form) (if I do say so myself). We've got a look at the official list of unacceptable terms ("wrestling", etc.) that WWE sends out to its international commentators, which is pretty fascinating. I'll have a longer piece on my personal memories of Larry Sweeney next week.
-- Jesse Ventura plugs his TV show, new book and more here.
-- Devin writes: During last night's Raw broadcast, Michael Cole declared himself the only undefeated WWE superstar. That is incorrect. Cole teamed with Jerry Lawler and faced Legacy for the Tag Team Championship on the July 28th, 2008 edition of Raw. The match ended with Cody Rhodes pinning Cole. To see the match, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GJc1Ul0oAA
-- Strikeforce in Dallas on June 18th at the American Airlines Centre has Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum and Brett Rogers vs. Josh Barnett in quarterfinal Grand Prix matches, Daniel Cormier vs. Shane Del Rosario, Valentijn Overeem vs. Chad Griggs and the return of Gina Carano. All official. Tickets on sale this Friday April 15th at 10 AM Central.
-- Saturday's show did 525,000 viewers and peaked at over 800,000 for the Diaz vs. Daley fight.
-- Eddie Edwards vs. Chris Hero for the title takes place May 7th at the ROH show in Toronto. Hero will be on our show today talking memories of the late Sweet & Sour Larry Sweeney.
-- EVOLVE returns to action one week from tonight for a special Tuesday night event at BB King Blues Club & Grill in Times Square, Manhattan, NY. The entire card and show title were announced today at www.EVOLVEwrestling.com. Austin Aries vs. Jon Moxley headlines in Moxley's last match before heading ot WWE. Chuck Taylor vs. Akira Tozawa is the semi-main. Show, like all future DGUSA and EVOLVE shows, will air on Internet PPV.
-- Smackdown did a 2.1 and 3.2 million viewers last week, a strong number.
-- The three-day Chikara King of Trios tournament is three days away. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the former ECW Arena, 7 Ritner ST in Philadelphia, PA. Friday show starts at 7:30 PM. This is one of the biggest indy events of the entire year.
-- Story here about NAIA national champion at Notre Dame Derek Foore, who got a call from Jerry Brisco asking him if he wanted a shot at WWE and he blew it off, thinking it was a prank. It was no prank and he's going to be giving it a try.
-- Interview with Austin here talking injuries, Tough Enough and more.
-- James Laurinaitis, frustrated with a football lockout, says he would consider pro wrestling.
-- Obviously not confirmed, but lots of rumblings in WWE that Mania 2013 will be in Toronto and both Edge and Trish Stratus will go into the Hall of Fame.
-- Edge, Adam Copeland, Amazing Kong, Mason Ryan and Mark Henry were all trending on Twitter last night.
-- Future Stars of Wrestling will be hosting a live wrestling event, Mon Apr 18th, 6pm at the FSW Arena, 6658 Boulder Highway. This will be a charity event for the Cauliflower Alley Club, with tickets starting at just $10. The Future Meets The Past, as upcoming superstars from around the world, will compete at this event. Legends confirmed to appear at the event, Jake The Snake Roberts, Raven, Honky Tonk Man, Nick Bockwinkel, Harley Race, Stacy Carter, Sinn Bodhi/Kizarny, and many surprises. Get your tickets online at www.eventbrite.com.
-- D.O.A. Pro Wrestling Benefit For The Lane County Diabetes Coalition at The U.S. Sportsplex in Eugene, Oregon. Crowd approx. 300: Draven Vargas & Nate Andrews w/Mister Ooh-La-La defeated Dr. Pain & Hellbilly, D.O.A. Champion Quiz & C.J. Edwards defeated Jonas Albert Robinson & Eric Right w/Michael Sweetser, Dr. Kliever d. Michael Santiago, Felon & Azul Angel d. Dr. Pain & "Wonderful" Wesley Todd, J_SIN Sullivan w/Michael Sweetster d. Jeremy Blanchard in a falls count anywhere match, Bubba Blanchard d. Ethan HD in a No DQ match.
-- Ed, Craig and Cutrer talk WrestleMania weekend here.