We're also looking for reports on Friday night's TNA house show in Biloxi, MS.
Tonight has the unique situation with WWE taping Smackdown and TNA taping Impact both in Orlando on the same night.
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.
-- Also like to send out best wishes to both Karl Stern and Kris Zellner, who were affected by the tornados that swept through the Southeast last week. Both are OK, but know many people who did not make it.
-- Fast Five finished at $86.2 million for the weekend, even higher than expected and breaking a lot of records, including the biggest opening in the history of April.
-- Judge dismisses Hulk Hogan lawsuit against insurance company. Big blow for Hogan there.
-- The WrestleMania Blu-Ray is out next week. It's a three-disc set, and for a Blu-Ray that means a metric ton of content, including the entire 2011 Hall of Fame ceremony.
-- The UFC Prelims on Spike this weekend did 1.5 million viewers, tied for fourth place in Prelims history. Dave will have more in the Observer but early trending numbers are putting the show slightly below 1 million buys. Of course, anything this early is tough to take too seriously.
-- Tickets for UFC 132 Faber vs. Cruz 2 on July 2nd from the MGM in Las Vegas go on sale May 5th at 10 AM for Fight Club members, May 6th at 10 AM for Newsletter members (password SUMMER), and May 7th at 10 AM to the public.
-- The Countdown to UFC 130 show airs on May 25th at 11 PM Eastern. The Memorial Day weekend is our annual Figure Four Online/WrestlingObserver.com Convention in Vegas, and if you're interested in spending the weekend with us (over sixty people confirmed thus far including Dave and I) you need to check out this thread right now for general info, and this thread if you want to attend our Empire Banquet on Friday night.
-- ICP's next bi-weekly iPPV event is tomorrow night at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit with Rob Conway, Rhino, Sabu, Colt Cabana and more working the show. It's only five dollars, and for more info you can click here.
-- There is a Phil Davis seminar this weekend in State College, PA. For more info click here.
-- From Fox Sports: Dave Duerson, a former NFL player who committed suicide in February, had ''moderately advanced'' brain damage related to blows to the head, according to the researcher who made the diagnosis. Chris Nowinski is quoted. More here.
-- Who was the best of these guys on interviews?
Roddy Piper 65.7%
Arn Anderson 22.7%
Larry Zbyszko 2.9%
Kevin Sullivan 2.7%
Don Muraco 2.1%
Badnews Allen 1.6%
Jerry Blackwell 1.2%
Sgt. Slaughter 1.1%
Who put on the better show?
UFC 129 31.7%
WWE Extreme rules 26.7%
Didn't see either show 17.9%
Only watched UFC 129 18.4%
Only watched Extreme rules 5.3%
What show are you most looking forward to in May?
UFC 130 44.8%
WWE Over the Limit 21.5%
TNA Sacrifice 10.0%
Who do you want to see GSP fight next?
Nick Diaz 57.8%
Anderson Silva 37.3%
Carlos Condit 4.9%
-- Mike writes: Was watching "The Dr's." today on WHDH and they had a segment where an audience member volunteered to get 'manscaped/waxed' on his pelvic region. This was Lilian Garcia's husband as they repeatedly showed her in the crowd laughing as it happened and then mentioned that she was infact the guy's wife. Pretty funny.
-- Robert Irvine of the Food Network's Dinner Impossible and Restaurant Impossible was on Philadelphia's Preston and Steve radio show this morning. He announced that he's engaged to Gail Kim.
-- Ed, Craig, Cutrer and guest host David Lagana talk wrestling weddings here.