TUES UPDATE: Tie choking, UFC 134 official, Hogan talks wrestling again, Sweeney tourney, tons more

By Bryan Alvarez

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We're looking for reports on tonight's Raw tapings in Knoxville, with Superstars results, dark match results, attendance and anything else not notable from watching the live show.

We're also looking for reports on Friday night's Raw show in Dothan, AL, Friday night's ROH show in Dearborn, MI, Saturday night's Raw show in Macon, GA, Saturday night's Smackdown show in Pensacola, Saturday night's TNA show in Hot Springs, AR, and Sunday's Raw show in Greenville, SC.

Smackdown will be taped along with NXT on tonight in Nashville, with Randy Orton & Christian vs. Wade Barrett & Sheamus as the advertised dark match. There will be a Raw house show on Tuesday night in Highland Heights, KY. The Raw crew then heads to Mexico for a four-night tour.

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.

Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sites and has the most complete look at the business as a whole anywhere. The Observer is now in its 28th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling industry as well as the MMA industry, from bookers, to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest current names, both on camera, and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed as long as 20 years or more straight. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world and an accuracy from having the most inside sources that can't be found on the web. Everyone from Wall Street to the major offices to the TV networks in U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business. If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. Just send your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order by faxing that information to 408-244-3402. You can also subscribe via paypal at www.paypal.com and using the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address or subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card, by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.

-- Long-time reader and friend to many on our message board, Chris Steffey, aka Worshiptheram, passed away yesterday morning after a short but terrible illness. We want to thank everyone who donated to the Chris Steffey Memorial Fund, which at last check was clocking in at over $4,000. His sister Michelle would like to thank everyone who contributed, not just those who did so financially, but also those who have posted in what is currently a 100-plus-page thread on the board, or sent in emails or Facebook messages. You can still send in donations via Paypal to Michelle at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and that is also the address if you'd like to send well wishes. It's a very difficult time for the family as Chris passed away just days after Chris and Michelle's father's brother passed away. Michelle has been incredibly strong throughout all of this and our continued best wishes to her and her family.

-- UFC 134 on August 27th in Rio is official as of today with several fights announced. Main event is Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami for the middleweight title, Forrest Griffin vs. Shogun Rua, Edson Barboza vs. Ross Pearson, Luiz Cane vs. Stanislav Nedkov, Maiquel Falcao vs. Tom Lawlor, and Spencer Fisher vs. Thiago Tavares. Looking pretty unlikely at this point that Royce Gracie will be getting a fight on the show.

-- Did anyone notice there was TIE CHOKING on Raw last night? Presumably, nobody will be fired this time. I guess the explanation will be that Cole's facials turned it from serious to cartoonish.

-- As noted on the front page, Hulk Hogan on Monday Night Mayhem, when asked what the chances were of him returning to the ring, said if you'd asked him two months ago he'd have said no way, but if you ask him right now he'd say it's 50/50. That's a bad idea.

-- Frankie Edgar said the back injury that resulted in him pulling out of UFC 130 was bulging discs.

-- Chikara's "The 12 Large: Summit," which celebrates Larry Sweeney and will crown a first-ever singles champion, commences on May 21st in Easton, PA. The Lehigh Valley was the birthplace of CHIKARA back in 2002, so it is only fitting that the tournament to crown their first champion starts there. For more info or advance tickets to our next show: http://www.chikarapro.com/events.php. Block A has Amasis, Claudio Castagnoli, Hallowicked, Icarus, Mike Quackenbush and Sara Del Rey. Block B has Fire Ant, Vin Gerard, Jigsaw, Eddie Kingston, Brodie Lee and UltraMantis Black.

-- John writes: I was watching Conan last night, and noticed Sting and Hulk Hogan on TNA Wrestling were mentioned on the show. Conan, during his monologue, was talking about Osama Bin Laden and then said about what he was watching on Television.. First, it was one of the Kardashians, then it was Sting and Hulk Hogan doing a promo in the TNA Wrestling ring then it was Conan himself. Good exposure for TNA as it showed a TNA Logo on a Microphone. It was on for around 10 seconds.

-- For those following the story, Perro Aguayo Jr. returned to action Sunday in Cancun and worked a six-man (Perros vs. Psycho Circus) wearing a t-shirt. This is right around a month removed from supposedly having a tumorous growth removed from his stomach. Still a lot of questions about what is going on there.

-- Matt Hardy gives us an update on Shane Helms here. Don't believe everything you read on the Internet about Shane Helms, he noted. This is in reference to TMZ.com saying that Helms is under investigation for driving under the influence following his motorcycle accident.

-- Melvin Guillard has signed with Authentic Sports Management, which also represents Rashad Evans, Kenny Florian, Anthony Johnson and Jorge Santiago.

-- Network ratings as a whole down last night

-- Smashing Pumpkins are filming a new music video featuring Cheerleader Melissa, Shelly Martinez and Raven. Story is here.

-- Jeremy writes: Out in the Fremont, CA area, there's a TV ad for an upcoming show called Wrestle Fest at the Newark Pavilion. The spot consists pretty much entirely of ripped off footage from TNA and WWE.

-- FLORIDA UNDERGROUND WRESTLING This Coming Tuesday Night, May 10, 2011 8:30 bell time, Doors open at 7:30pm Gasoline Alley Cafe 14042 66th Street North, Largo, Florida. Call 727-532-0265 for more Information

-- MWF NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS 2011 Saturday, June 4th, 2011, Shehan Center - 1494 Main St. - Bridgeport, CT featuring MWF Heavyweight Champion Shelton Benjamin, Paul Bearer, "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal, President John Cena Sr. & more. Special fundraiser for the Gary Brianne Tuttle Life Fund. More at www.BostonWrestling.com/MWFEvents20110604-NightOfChampions.html

-- EWF presents "WRESTLECLASH" Saturday, May 14, 2011 The Borderman Gym 400 E. Marion St. Converse, IN 46919. Doors open at 6 PM / Bell Time 7:30 PM

-- New Era Wrestling presents "Meltdown" Saturday, May 21, 2011 Boys' Club 710 South Miller Street Shelbyville, IN 46176-2406. Flash Flanagan is on the show.

-- Real Championship Wrestling returns Saturday, June 4, 2011 to The Du Burns Arena, 1301 S. Ellwood Avenue in Baltimore, MD with a 7 pm bell time with “The Takeover 3” – RCW’s ANNIVERSARY EVENT!

-- Sabu and other AWWL wrestlers will be a part of the AWWL Big Time Wrestling Free Meet and Greet on Saturday, May 14th from 1-3pm at K-Mart 3001 E. Michigan Avenue in Jackson, MI. Fans will be able to get autographs and pictures during the absolutely free 2 hour event.

-- Which of these guys was the best on interviews?
The Rock 82.4%
Kurt Angle 5.8%
Colt Cabana 2.7%
Bully Ray 2.4%
John Cena 1.9%
Austin Aries 1.7%
Batista 0.8%

With Edgar vs. Maynard off UFC 130 are you:
Going to buy the show anyway 13.5%
Was going to buy, will still watch with friends but not buying 7.3%
Was going to watch with friends/bar anyway 23.7%
No longer watching with friends due to loss of the main event 16.4%
Not watching but would not have watched either way 39.2%

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?