Tonight is Smackdown and NXT tapings at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The newest issue of the Wrestling Observer looks at the changes in the WWE business strategy. We look at the whys and the risks, as well as the attempt to rebrand pro wrestling, the stock price, debt operations, changes in the marketplace that have benefited both WWE and TNA, changes being planned by HHH, Vince McMahon's history outside of the wrestling industry as well as notes on other major sports franchises over the years that WWE had negotiations with about acquiring and how they fell through.
We also look at changes in the Board of Directors, the strategy of the movie division, how many have reacted to Vince's changes, and more.
We also look at the identity of the pro wrestling legend who was just immortalized with his own postage stamp.
We also have more on the TNA rebranding campaign and major changes the company is looking at making.
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 retirement of Randy Couture before what is scheduled as his final fight, records set by Couture as a fighter, Couture talks about his decision and downplays it.
We also look at the WWE draft going forward and have a career title history on Edge.
We also have a complete rundown of TNA Lockdown, including business notes, poll results, match-by-match coverage with star ratings, thoughts on Kurt Angle's big bumps, the story behind them, what screwed up on the show and how the crowd was.
We also look at the return of The Rock to Raw, more on the injury that ended Edge's career, more on exactly who watches WWE television right now, two new major hirings, Ziggler haircut reaction, WWE legend looking at getting into acting, lots of notes on Jericho's return and Dancing with the Stars, WWE Hall of Famer asks to be taken out of the Hall of Fame, and notes from the Eddy Guerrero funeral that he brought up. We also look at an idea for the next season of NXT, more on Tough Enough, former wrestler talks about how much company cares about the health of talent, notes on new talent signed, plus business notes so far in the European tour and a look at highlights from all of the European shows so far.
We also look at the first announcement of what will be one of the biggest pro wrestling events of 2011, as well as a look back at what this show is the anniversary of.
We've also got a rundown on the Champion Carnival tournament and a look at the history of the winners dating back to its inception as the World League tournament in 1959, including the legends that made it to the finals.
We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Impact did and what viewers came and left. We look at several troubling issues in the recent ratings.
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.
-- Ridiculously full week of shows upcoming. Dave and I are doing Observer Radios on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday covering UFC live in Toronto, Extreme Rules, Raw and more. Tonight is the last Bryan & Vinny Show of the week due to traveling. Mike Quackenbush Figure Four Daily is already up. Tomorrow we'll have a mega Observer Radio with three different segments featuring Mick Foley for 30 minutes, Colt Cabana talking his Wrestling Road Diaries DVD, and Mike Coughlin previewing Toronto. We will also have a Figure Four Daily with Lance Storm this week talking his new TV show, World of Hurt, a DVD of which I will have watched by the time we tape. A great week to sign up if you're a freeloader, and remember, you not only get all the new shows but you get full access to our entire archive of every show we've ever done dating back to 2005. Plus the Observer and Figure Four newsletters and more. Sign up here.
-- By the way, speaking of World of Hurt, the DVD was sent FedEx and on the label, under description, it read: "DVD World of Hurt for personal viewing non pornographic".
-- For Chikara fans, the Quackenbush show is up as a free download today on the front page. You are welcome to post that link elsewhere to help spread the word as well.
-- Regarding the arrest of AAA star Charly Manson which we talked about yesterday, this is a big deal. He's being charged with attacking three police officers, aggravated assault and attacking authority figures. They wouldn't even allow him the option of posting bail, so he is in jail until his trial and faces as much as fifteen years in prison. One of the officers he attacked, Román Castañeda Castro, is still hospitalized and in very bad shape with a fractured skull, and the other needs nose surgery and work done on his neck. Thanks to Cubsfan and Steve Sims.
-- WWE will be adding one more match to Extreme Rules at the Smackdown tapings tonight.
-- As of last night, TV ads for Raw in Orlando still listed a main event of Edge and Rey Mysterio vs Alberto Del Rio and Cody Rhodes.
-- Also, for those who saw localized house show line-ups listing guys that are now on another brand, that's what happens when you decide to do a draft a week ago.
-- Mark Henry cut a hell of an unscripted babyface promo here, the kind that really makes you want to get behind a guy. Of course, then they turned him heel.
-- Chris Jericho needs all the help he can get on Dancing with the Stars tonight. The number to vote: 800-VOTE4-09. I think there is a seven vote limit, but he needs all seven.
-- Want to be a WWE writer's assistant? Click here. I would recommend signing up for our website if you haven't already and listening to the WrestleMania Writer's Week shows from the last few years first. Just to be safe.
-- Countdown to UFC 129 on at midnight tonight on Spike TV.
-- Dave has a great look back at the 2002 Shockwave MMA event here.
-- Randy Couture will be doing his picks for UFC this weekend here, one per day. I would presume he picks himself versus Lyoto, but we'll have to wait and see.
-- For the first time ever, UFC will be gathering together all seven of its reigning champions in one place at the same time for a presentation at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto on Friday, April 29 at 3:15 p.m. ET. Those champions, for the record, are Cain Velasquez (heavyweight), Jon Jones (205), Anderson Silva (185), GSP (170), Frankie Edgar (155), Jose Aldo Jr. (145) and Dominick Cruz (135). For the record, I was able to name all of those guys and their divisions in order off the top of my head, and most weeks I couldn't tell you who half the champions are on Raw, Smackdown or Impact. There is a reason for that, and it's not that I like UFC better or that I have suffered head injuries.
-- You can actually see video of Gino Martino setting the world record for slabs of concrete broken over his head via falling bowling balls (see yesterday's update), here. Seriously, don't try this. This makes Vic Grimes taking a bump off a scaffold look like a level-headed idea.
-- UFCLatino.com, launched yesterday.
-- ESPN 3:60 is doing a story on MMA Backyard Brawling at 7:00 ET. Thanks to Steve.
-- Dana Hall has a lot to say about Scott's health here. She also has an open letter to the public, similar to one she wrote over a decade ago which apparently didn't do too much good.
-- Jericho and Cheryl Burke talk Dancing with the Stars here.
-- Pro Wrestling Syndicate comes to The Queens Elks Lodge, 8220 Queens Blvd in Elmhurst, New York on Friday, May 27 with ‘Refuse To Lose II’. Autograph signing starts at 7 pm, bell time 8 pm. Mick Foley will be at the show as guest commissioner.
-- At least as of right now, on WWE Shopzone they are selling WWE "title belts".
-- What upcoming UFC main event are you most interested in?
Brock Lesnar vs. Junior Dos Santos 40.1%
Georges St. Pierre vs. Jake Shields 37.2%
Urijah Faber vs. Dominick Cruz 8.1%
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard 7.3%
Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami 3.8%
Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis 3.6%
Which of these fighters would you have most liked to have seen face
Shogun Rua 30.5%
Lyoto Machida if he beats Randy Couture 22.8%
King Mo 16.8%
Phil Davis 10.2%
Gegard Mousasi 8.6%
Lyoto Machida even if he loses to Couture 8.1%
Roger Gracie 3.0%
If you add up the two scores for Machida, it would be 30.9%
Which of these wrestlers was the best on interviews?
Ric Flair 63.0%
Dusty Rhodes 13.6%
Randy Savage 9.4%
Hulk Hogan 5.4%
Ted DiBiase 3.6%
Masked Superstar 2.4%
Bruiser Brody 1.5%
Rick Rude 1.0%
Who was the best wrestling booker?
Paul Heyman 39.5%
Vince K. McMahon 20.6%
Shohei Baba 12.6%
Bill Watts 9.8%
Pat Patterson 6.6%
Eddie Graham 4.1%
Jerry Jarrett 2.2%
Roy Shire 1.2%
Dusty Rhodes 1.1%
Hisashi Shinma 1.1%
Antonio Pena 0.6%
Bobby Bruns 0.6%
Nothing against Heyman, but that tells you how down people are on WWE today.
-- In Your Face Wrestling has been informed that due to injury, MsChif will not be able to appear at "Defy The Odds." Barbie will still be at the Ballston Area Community Center, and we'll have to wait and see who, if anyone, will step up to challenge in the World Class Women's Wrestling match. All that and more in the latest INTERFACE audio report online now! In Your Face Wrestling, www.iyfwrestling.com, presents Defy The Odds Saturday, April 30, 2011, 7:00pm
-- On Sunday, May 15 it will be the debut of Horizon Wrestling Alliance at The Leonard Hall Drill Hall (Leonard Hall Recreation and Parks), 23150 Leonard Hall RD in Leonardtown, MD with a 3 pm bell time. Delirious vs. Adam Cole main event
-- Lance Storm on Ed in San Antonio's show here.
-- East Coast Wrestling Association ECWA 15th Annual SUPER 8 Tournament April 30th, 2011 Flyers Skate Zone 601 Laurel Oak Road Voorhees, NJ 08043 Doors Open 2PM Bell Time 3:45 PM. Show will air live on gofightlive.tv.
-- Trina Michaels will be wrestling at the ICW show this Sat April 30 in Miami. Her promo is here. She will also be at Raw Monday in Miami mainly to visit friends in the WWE
-- WSU May 27th The Elks Lodge, Located at 8220 Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, New York
-- This Saturday night April 30th, NWS returns to the very popular (and frequently sold-out) Brick, NJ Elks Lodge (2491 Hooper Avenue, just off Route 70 & the Brick Plaza, minutes from the Parkway) with a 7:35pm bell time. Carlito works the show
-- Hoosier Pro Wrestling Returns to the HPW Arena at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Columbus, IN on Saturday May 7th with 7 Big matches
-- Classic Championship Wrestling returns to Eagles Hall 116 8th Street in Lebanon,Pa on Saturday May 21st,2011 for "It's the end of the world as we know it". On this night you will see Mark Mest take on Petey Noxious for the CCW Heavyweight Championship in a "Basic Instinct" match. "IL Capo" Jason Gotti will get a shot against Ed House for the CCW Tradition Championship. The Dawg Pound will defend their Tag Team Championship against the debuting Lucha Lynch Mob. Plus the return of CCW superstar Vargas! All this and much more! Doors open at 6:30 pm with a 7:30 pm belltime.