Saturday night is headlined by the Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley boxing match which is very important going forward because the value of getting the preview show on CBS, as opposed to HBO or Spike, will be shown by how the number comes in and everyone in the industry is watching. It's expected to be the biggest PPV event of 2011.
WWE on Saturday has Raw in Macon, GA and Smackdown in Pensacola. TNA ends its weekend tour in Hot Springs, AR. Bellator will be live at 9 p.m. on MTV 2 from the First Council Casino in Newkirk, OK with Rick Hawn vs. Jay Hieron with the winner getting a welterweight title shot at Ben Askren, Bryan Baker vs. Joe Riggs, Chase Beebe vs. Jose Vega and Vince Lucero vs. Ron Sparks. ROH runs at the Ted Reeve Arena in Toronto with Eddie Edwards vs. Chris Hero for the ROH title, Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin defend the tag team titles against Mark & Jay Briscoe, Christopher Daniels vs. El Generico, Davey Richards vs. Kenny King, Colt Cabana vs. Delirious in a match in memory of Larry Sweeney, Steve Corino vs. Mike Bennett, Kyle O'Reilly vs. Claudio Castagnoli and Rhett Titus vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin vs. Grizzly Redwood vs. Andy Ridge.
Sunday has Raw in Greenville, SC and Smackdown in Tupelo, MS.
The live Raw will be Monday night in Knoxville. There is also a rare Monday night Smackdown house show in Birmingham. Smackdown will be taped along with NXT on Tuesday night in Nashville, and there will be a Raw house show on Tuesday night in Highland Heights, KY.With coverage of the biggest live event in UFC history, WWE doing three world title change in one week, a big weekend for Dwayne Johnson, the end of TNA Wrestling and beginning of Impact Wrestling, the ends of the careers of Randy Couture and Michelle McCool, we've got two issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter coming out this week.
The first issue will be up on the site today and the second will be up tomorrow. 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.
Our lead story looks at UFC 129 from Rogers Centre in Toronto. We've got a feature on the attendance, gate and PPV numbers and how all-time records are impacted, looking at the biggest live events ever held in not only MMA and pro wrestling, but also boxing around the world. We look at Canadian records as well, including one record UFC may have set that is astounding. We also look at the promotion of the show.
We look at the criticism of Georges St. Pierre in the aftermath, records set, looking at St. Pierre after the fight in different ways, St. Pierre's future, the Super 7 summit with every UFC champion and what was said and done, notes on a St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz potential fight, problems with Jose Aldo Jr., the emerging potential stardom of Rory MacDonald, how MMA is viewed differently in Ontario as opposed too the U.S., UFC's buy rate history in Canada, potential future stadium events as well as match-by-match coverage with poll results.
We also look at the big weekend with Dwayne Johnson, including the success of Fast Five, the success of this past WrestleMania with indications from WWE as to where the buys will end up and where it stands on the all-time company record books, about how much money WWE will make from PPV alone for Mania and a look at how much Johnson was likely worth to the company for just one night, and the few people historically who have had that kind of impact on a wrestling show.
We also look at the 39th birthday Raw, and go in detail as to what happened with the ratings, including perhaps the most shocking ratings number in years as well as other Johnson business when it comes to doing new movies. We also look at what Johnson did and didn't know about the ending of Raw.
We also have full coverage of Extreme Rules, including reaction to the show, where WWE is going next on PPV, and match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
We also look at WWE dropping its dividend and the leaders of the company talk about future goals. We also note things about the Cena vs. Rock program, the Raw tour of Mexico including what Smackdown star is being brought on the tour, charity fund raising notes, John Cena's next movie role, Cena criticizes a WWE TV show at a live event in a joke.
We also look at the critical reaction to "That's What I Am," the new WWE movie release. We've also got notes on a funny twitter story involving a WWE star. We look at Rima Fakih's reaction to being eliminated from Tough Enough, what she said happened that wasn't shown on television as to why it really happened, and who she blamed. We also look at her getting national attention this past week in Canada and why.
We also look at an update on Tough Enough, plans for upcoming house shows with the new lineups in place, notes on Jinder Mahal, the newcomer to Smackdown as well as a WWE diva gets engaged to a television star.
We also look at Big Show's reactions to recent occurrences, WWE stars on USA network series, an indie star who started in developmental, some WWE injury updates, son of a Hall of Famer getting started and another son of a Hall of Famer getting cut.
We also look at THQ's financials for the past year and shipping totals of WWE and UFC video games. We also note a current star who business partners have been assured will remain on top for the long run. We've got notes on Chris Jericho, viewing of WWE television shows via DVR, notes from the developmental program and what the wrestlers all have to do to move tickets.
We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw the past two weeks 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.
-- No update at this point on Shane Helms' motorcycle accident last night other than what has been updated on the front page. He has a broken ankle and is doing better today, though we still have no status report on his girlfriend.
-- Nick Diaz's camp is claiming that Nick has agreed to fight IBF champion Jeff Lacy this fall, unless, of course, Dana White offers him a fight with Georges St. Pierre. This one is going to be interesting.
-- Smackdown tonight has a very newsworthy show with Christian vs. Randy Orton for the World Title, Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan, Sin Cara vs. Tyson Kidd, Ezekiel Jackson vs. Big Show and Layla vs. Alicia Fox. We're told the main event is a great match in the ring, and I've seen the finishing sequence on Youtube and it's awesome.
-- There is nothing like throwing out a rating prediction on the Bryan & Vinny Show (1.15 for Impact) and being dead-on. Of course, it takes little talent since that's the same number they've done for seemingly a decade now. The good news is that the show did better as it went on as opposed to worse, which is what usually happens.
-- Pat writes: Former NHL enforcer Donald Brashear is going into MMA. Brashear, 39, will face Martin Trempe (0-2) on June 4th in Quebec City for Ringside MMA. Brashear played 1025 matches in the NHL adding 2634 penalty minutes (the most from all players who started their career after 1990, 15th of all-time). He’s 6’3’’ and 237 pounds.
-- We are told that if you like great high-flying lucha libre, the next two weeks of AAA on Galavision are must-see episodes.
-- Chris Jericho was on Attack of the Show yesterday portraying Thor. Highlights can be found on the G4 website here.
-- Tomorrow, May 6 at 5:00 Eastern Time, Turner Classic Movies will the 1932 film "Flesh" where Beery plays a German wrestler in The United States, where he is stunned to learn that pro wrestling in the U.S. is "Crooked!" Awesome flick also includes Nat Pendleton. Thanks to Kurt.
-- After Dark Radio returns tonight with a brand new show. We'll be joined by Karl Stern to talk the latest news, then we've got a special guest on to talk famous haunted houses. No wrestling content whatsoever! Our website for the show has a new URL, afterdarkradioshow.com, so if you have the old one bookmarked, please move to this one. We're going to try to get back into the groove of updating it daily. For those checking out the show for the first time, head to the Past Shows archive and check out some of our past episodes, particularly the one with Jeff Meldrum, PhD, talking physical evidence of Bigfoot.
-- Alex Marvez looks at WWE rebranding here.
-- There is an article up on Bischoff's new brewing company here.
-- Trina Michaels' match from ICW in Miami last week is up here. Her Figure Four Daily appearance from Tuesday is up in the archives right now.
-- Gus Johnson has parted ways with CBS, since they own Showtime it's seems likely he's done calling Strikeforce. Thanks to Mike.
-- Apollo 55 vs. Homicide & Low Ki on May 15th in Philadelphia for New Japan's tour of the USA will now be for the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Titles.
-- Joe writes: Just wanted to point out that you mentioned in last week's issue that WWE will be using "Bigger, Badder, Better" as their new slogan. If you remember, the tagline for WrestleMania 3 was "Bigger! Better! Badder!"
-- Florida Underground Wrestling is invading the Hall this Friday, May 6th located at 1330 US HWY 301, Palmetto Florida. Bell-time is 7 PM, Doors Open at 6 PM
-- Stevie J talks to Jeremiah Riggs of Ultimate Fighter here
-- EVOLVE is preparing for the first annual Style Battle tournament on May 20th in Union City, NJ at The ACE Arena, just minutes from the Lincoln Tunnel. EVOLVE has also scheduled an event for July 26th in Manhattan, NY. Tickets for both cards are now on sale in the www.EVOLVEwrestling.com Shop or by calling 267-519-9744. More at www.evolvewrestling.com
-- A welterweight showdown between UFC veteran Rory Markham and Strikeforce and Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Rudy Bears has been added to Titan Fighting Championship 18 (www.TitanFighting.com) on Friday, May 27 at the historic Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS. Jens Pulver is also fighting on this show.
-- Lou with a wacky WWE story: WWE bought ad time promoting the Nashville SmackDown TV taping on 5/10 on the radio broadcast on Nashville's 102.9 the Buzz (WBUZ) of tonight's Vancouver Canucks/Nashville Predators NHL playoff game. The names advertised for the show in the ad were Undertaker, Edge, Big Show, Kane, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett. That is interesting since... Undertaker: taking time off; Edge: retired; Mysterio: drafted to Raw; Kingston: drafted to Raw; Del Rio: drafted to Raw. So, of all the names mentioned, the only three currently active on the SmackDown brand are Kane, Big Show, and Barrett. And, of those three, Kane and Big Show (as WWE Tag Team Champions) can appear on either brand, leaving Barrett as the only advertised active wrestler who is exclusive to the SmackDown brand.
-- Upcoming Chikara dates:
"Engulfed in a Fever of Spite"
Saturday evening - 5.14.2011
Live @ The Mid-Atlantic Sportatorium
1813 Frank Holt Dr.
in Burlington, NC!
The action starts @ 7:00 pm, Doors open @ 6:30 pm!
"Aniversario & his Amazing Friends"
Saturday evening - 5.21.2011
Live @ The Palmer Center
4100 Green Pond Road
in Easton, PA!
The action starts @ 7:00 pm, Doors open @ 6:30 pm!
"Aniversario: The Legendary Super Powers Show"
Sunday afternoon - 5.22.2011
Live @ The ACE Arena
725 Sip Street
in Union City, NJ!
The action starts @ 4:00 pm, Doors open @ 3:30 pm!
-- Tonight IHWE Honors the 2011 Hall of Fame Class. Headlining the Class is the late Skandor Akbar (Ak's family will be accepting on his behalf), Rodney Mack & Necro Butcher. The Ceremony is private however IHWE will be uploading videos on Facebook.com/ihweprowrestling
-- East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) Sat, May 7th, 2011 Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702