SAT UPDATE: Tons on Savage, old interviews and footage, news stories, UFC charity, Chael, more



By Bryan Alvarez

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We're looking for reports from last night's TNA house show in Amsterdam, NY, which is in conjunction with the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame inductions tomorrow night in that city. Jeff Jarrett vs. Rob Van Dam, Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne for the Knockouts title, A.J. Styles vs. Tommy Dreamer and Mr. Anderson vs. Samoa Joe headline, and Mick Foley will also be appearing at the show.

Tonight includes a Raw & Smackdown combined show at Yakima, WA--the only regular WWE house show of the weekend, plus ROH's Supercard of Honor in Chicago Ridge, IL (Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong for ROH title, Briscoes vs. All Night Express in a street fight, Claudio Castagnoli vs. Shelton Benjamin, Davey Richards vs. Charlie Haas, Chris Hero vs. El Generico, Christopher Daniels vs. Colt Cabana for the TV title, Steve Corino vs. Mike Bennett, Homicide vs. Michael Elgin and Bravado Brothers vs. Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly), and a TNA house show in Plattsburgh, NY.

ROH will also be making a major announcement from a business standpoint regarding a deal that has been signed at 4 p.m. Eastern today. We will have it posted within minutes of the announcement here.

Bellator runs its final show of the the current season tonight from Lake Charles, LA, with these TV matches: Richard Hale (204.4) vs. Christian M'Pumbo (199.4) for the light heavyweight title in a tournament final Patricio Pitbull Freire (145.8) vs. Daniel Straus (145) in the featherweight tournament final for a shot at Joe Warren's title Sam Alvey (184.6) vs. Karl Amoussou (185)

Sunday is the WWE Over the Limit PPV from Seattle featuring John Cena vs. The Miz in an I Quit match for the WWE title, Randy Orton vs. Christian for the World title, Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole, Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth and Wade Barrett vs. Ezekiel Jackson for the IC title as the top matches. There is also a TNA house show in Massena, NY.

Monday is Raw from Portland, OR. Tuesday is Smackdown and NXT from Spokane, WA.

A look at what happened to Brock Lesnar and his future is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We also look at what will be one of the biggest long-term stories of 2010, which is the future of UFC on television after the current deal with Spike expires at the end of this year. We also look at TNA's new slogan, the Sacrifice PPV and a first-time ever match.

The issue is up on the site right now. A new back issue from early 1994 was put up earlier in the week and another will be up in a few days. 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 Brock Lesnar's illness, with Lesnar talking about what went down, how Shane Carwin vs. Junior Dos Santos changes things both in the cage and for business, handicapping the fight, looking at the UFC's injury issues that have seen one main event after another go down the tubes. We look at Lesnar over the past year coming back from diverticulitis.

We also look at the future of UFC on television, including what is rumored to be the company's new destination, Dana White talks about the talks, thoughts on business strategy, and what moves Spike could make if they lost UFC.

We also look at the issues at TNA, the top stars, the Impact name, and what bad thing Sacrifice told TNA about its most loyal fan base. We also have full coverage of Sacrifice with a match-by-match rundown with star ratings, issues with the show, and poll results on the show.

We also look at the unveiling of a national postage stamp commemorating one of the biggest stars in wrestling of the past 40 years.

We also look at a world record WWE is talking about gunning for, perhaps at next year's WrestleMania, update on "Fast Five" business, Chris Jericho's return, KENTA talks C.M. Punk, Unique booking for a home town heel, anniversary of a famous Raw match, a WWE PPV name change and why and WWE call-ups and cuts.

We also run down the closing episodes of Tough Enough, a story about Bret Hart's last match as well as business notes on both the U.S. shows of the past week, as well as the tour of Mexico, with rundowns of the matches.

We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw and Impact did and what viewers came and left.

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.

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-- WWE has a great tribute video to Randy Savage up on their site, which you can watch by clicking here. The way it's designed certainly makes it look like it'll open the PPV Sunday or Raw Monday night.

-- TNA did a ten-bell salute for Savage before last night's house show in Amsterdam, NY.

-- As noted on the front page, the California State Athletic Commission ruled that Chael Sonnen's indefinite suspension should have been classified as a license revocation, meaning he can officially re-apply for his license on June 29th, nearly a year earlier than had been expected. It is important to note that if Chael decides to re-apply next month he'll have to appear before the commission to do so, and if they deny him he'll have to wait a full year to apply again. So it's a real crapshoot for him, and most likely that's not enough time for them to feel that he has been rehabilitated.

-- Good ol JR looks at Savage's career here.

-- CNN's story on Savage is here. WWE is referred to as a "wrestling federation". I wonder if WWE considers that a bigger journalistic error than the New York Post yesterday claiming that Ultimate Warrior was dead.

-- Southern California Public Radio looks at Savage's death with quotes from me and others here.

-- I'm also up on stackofdimes.com talking the death of Savage, his best matches and more.

-- Washington Post on Savage here.

-- Pat writes: I just wanted to let you know that even in Montreal, the death of Randy Savage was covered by the local news. They either acknowledged it or talked about it in almost every media, from radio to television. Jacques Rougeau was even interviewed by the biggest French sports radio station. I’ll look at the newspapers tomorrow to see if they’re talking about it as well and I’ll let you know. It’s kind of surprising because they don’t really talk about death in wrestling except for big local names like Carpentier. It shows you the impact Savage had and how well known he was even in Montreal, which was never a big town for him.

-- Savage happened to die the same day a Slim Jim plant closed up in Garner, NC.

-- Lance Storm looks at the Macho Man here. He talks about Savage being one of the guys that got him into wrestling as a fan way back when, and also tells an awesome story about some advice Savage gave him one night at a Smokey Mountain house show when he mistook Lance for Chris Candido. I want everyone to click the link, but I also want everyone, particularly wrestlers, to read this advice, so I'm going to reprint it here. It is timeless wisdom: “I see they’re doing an angle with you and your wife. Well I did an angle with my wife one time, and I ain’t got no wife no more."

-- A pretty awesome early-80s Macho Man video is up here.

-- Macho Man tribute shirts already selling here.

-- An older Macho Man interview here where he discusses, among things, deaths of wrestling friends.

-- A look at last night's EVOLVE iPPV is up here. Gets a very good review. You can still order the show to watch at anytime by checking out evolvewrestling.com.

-- Dan Severn, in attempting to get his 100th win in MMA competition, was beaten badly and KO'd last night at a show in Worcester, MA. There is a review and video footage of the incident here.

-- Don't forget ROH Supercard of Honor tonight in Chicago if you're in the area. The full line-up is at the top of this page. We'll post the big ROH announcement moments after it breaks on the front page of this site as well.

-- THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY, a wrestling play by Kristoffer Diaz, received the Obie Award for Best New American Play, which is accompanied by a $1000 check. Thanks to Evan Ginzburg.

-- Jon writes: Just wanted to mention that "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is scheduled to be a guest on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon next Friday night (05/27) on NBC.

-- UFC announced today that it will partner with Texas-based the Boot Campaign to launch a fundraising effort benefiting the Lone Survivor Foundation. UFC fans are encouraged to “get YOUR boots on” by purchasing The Boot Campaign’s signature “give back” combat boots and apparel at www.BootCampaign.com/UFC , with proceeds benefiting the Lone Survivor Foundation. Fans purchasing “give back” combat boots will be granted free admission to the UFC 130 after-party on May 28 at XS Nightclub at Encore Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. More info at UFC.com/boots.

-- The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Amsterdam, NY is doing inductions this weekend including Bronko Nagurski and Everett Marshall as Pioneers, The Sheik (original, not new NWA Champ, obv) and Dick the Bruiser in the TV Era category, Jerry Lawler and Ivan Koloff for Modern Era, Billy Robinson in International (someone needs to ask him about the story of Sgt. Slaughter giving him a run for his money in training which Slaughter claimed during his CSAC induction), Road Warriors and Paul Ellering in Tag Team, Judy Grable for Ladies, and Vince McMahon in the "Colleague" category.

-- Countdown to UFC 132 Faber vs. Cruz premieres on June 29th at the auspicious time of 3:30 PM Eastern and Pacific on Spike.