FRI UPDATE: Vince McMahon writes about Savage for TIME, Vegas weekend, UFC, new Hogan game,WWE audit



By Bryan Alvarez

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Not a busy week with the biggest event being UFC 130 tomorrow night from Las Vegas. We'll have complete coverage of the event on the site tomorrow with weigh-in coverage tonight.

We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE Raw house show in Winnipeg. As noted earlier in the week, Jimmy Hart will be replacing Road Warrior Animal as the guest host due to WWE being unhappy with comments Animal made in an interview. Tonight is also the Titan Fighting Championships from Kansas City on HDNet starting at 10 P.M. with Jens Pulver vs. Brian Davidson, Jake Rosholt vs. John Ott, Jared Rosholt vs Kirk Grinlinton, Rudy Bears vs. Darryl Cobb, Nick Budig vs. Bobby Cooper and more.

There is also the debut tonight of the new Dragon Gate USA PPV featuring Yamato vs. Akira Tozawa for the Open the Freedom Gate title and Pac & Masato Yoshino defending the tag team tiles against Cima & Naruki Doi.

UFC 130 is tomorrow night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas with:

Live fights on PPV
Quinton Jackson vs. Matt Hamill
Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson
Stefan Struve vs. Travis Browne
Thiago Alves vs. Rick Story
Brian Stann vs. Jorge Santiago

Spike fights at 8 p.m.
Miguel Torres vs. Demetrious Johnson
Kendall Grove vs. Tim Boetsch

Prelim fights on facebook
Rafaello Oliveira vs. Gleison Tibau
Michael McDonald vs. Chris Cariaso
Renan Barao vs. Cole Escovedo

Besides UFC 130, Saturday night has Raw in Sioux City, IA and Smackdown in Madison, WI.

Sunday has Raw in Sioux Falls, SD and Smackdown in LaCrosse, WI.

The live Raw will be Monday from Omaha. There is also a TNA Impact taping on Monday night in Orlando and a rare Monday night Smackdown house shows in Cedar Falls, IA.

Tuesday is Smackdown and NXT from Des Monies and another TNA Impact taping in Orlando.

The life and times of one of the biggest stars in pro wrestling history, Randy Savage, is the focus of the new double-issue of the Observer. This is one of the biggest bios we've ever done, with comments from many of the biggest stars in history, looking at Savage from his days as a child playing baseball, through his years as a skinny enhancement guy, to becoming the most talented wrestler on the outlaw circuit, and how he became one of the most recognizable names in pro wrestling history.

The issue also has complete coverage of another of the year's biggest news stories, the sale of Ring of Honor, with details, future direction and thoughts on where the company is going. We also have full coverage of the Over the Limit PPV, the Chael Sonnen suspension hearing, and the story of a fighter who battled through and back to overcome one of the worst hands possible being dealt in a look at Bellator's Bryan Baker.

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.

We look at the death of Savage, the media response, his career title record and major awards, the poem by Jay Lethal who imitated him, comments from a number of the biggest stars in wrestling, as well as a look back at his most famous storylines, how they happened, and even more important, how much luck was involved because all of them could very well have not happened.

We go back to the famous WrestleManias, the first SummerSlam, Saturday Night's Main Event against Bret Hart, the uniting and breakup of The Megapowers. We look back at his matches with Hogan and his feud with Ricky Steamboat, as well as his retirement match with Ultimate Warrior, his talks with WCW, why his relationship with Hulk Hogan has been so rocky, as well as a look back at the life and times of Elizabeth.

Ricky Steamboat looks back at his most famous match and his thoughts about it 24 years later, as well as his WCW days, Dusty Rhodes talks about his baseball days as well as his final match in TNA when Rhodes was booking.

We look at his childhood love for baseball, growing up in a wrestling household, baseball in high school and the minor leagues, how pro wrestling played a part in his original tryout, notes from baseball teammates, his second wife, his beginnings in pro wrestling while still playing baseball.

Bret Hart talks about Savage's departure from WWF in the 90s, how Savage got into WWF in the first place and McMahon and Howard Finkel calling people for background on him and Elizabeth, as well as the portrayal of Elizabeth and how it was not the original direction for her. We also look at how the popularity of female valets got started, Savage's first Madison Square Garden match and the story behind that. We look at the problems with Savage and Elizabeth, her life between wrestling gigs and Savage and Elizabeth in WCW.

We look at how Elizabeth got in WCW, what she did after WCW and her slow downfall leading to her demise.

We also look at his formative years in the business, where he got the name Randy Savage as well as the Macho Man name, and working himself up the ranks in smaller promotions. We look at his run in Georgia, Tennessee and in Canada as well as a look back at International Championship Wrestling, one of the most talked about outlaw promotions in history.

We look at Savage as ICW champion, what they would do on television, the threats of violence, grandstand angles, his near altercations and real altercations. We look at his feud in the ring with his brother, his lawsuit against the establishment promotions and why it fell apart. We also look at the angle for Savage in Mid South Wrestling with someone who went on to become one of the biggest stars in the business, and why it stared but never played out.

We also look at how the biggest enemy of the Jarrett promotions for more than a year became one of their biggest stars. We look back at the program with Jerry Lawler, his face turn against Rick Rude, his heel turn, what all-time legend he was planning to drop the ICW title to when that star no-showed a major event.

We look at how Savage first got the call to join WWF and how he did business on the way out.

We also look at his professionalism and other wrestlers talk about the respect they had for him, as well as his erratic behavior. We look at how he made Diamond Dallas Page, the Team Madness era, what happened in WCW and his post-WrestleMania feud with Hulk Hogan. We also look at his time as a recluse, and what death led to two of today's biggest names seeing him one last time. We also look at his talks that led to his appearing on video doing a promo last summer.

For Ring of Honor, we look at who Sinclair Broadcasting is, how the deal to purchase ROH came about, a background of how ROH was originally formed and the changes it has gone through. We also look at ROH changes, and historically how television has or hasn't helped the group. We look back at what weekend led to the formation of the promotion, as well as a background of who is in charge. We look at the early plans for the first television, sage of blood, how the tapings will be done, expected time slots and a station listing, as well as iPPV plans, and what happened over the weekend that is already of concern.

We've got full coverage of WWE's Over the Limit, including poll results and star ratings.

We also have a feature on a new clause that has been added to every WWE contract, and what it means. We look at how WWE and UFC both cover their fighters and similarities and differences. Chris Jericho talks future plans for the next year, WWE marriage falls apart, advertising for a HHH return, Capitol Combat thoughts and what got a WWE Hall of Famer pulled from shows this past week.

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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range. We also have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods. To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.


-- Can't read it because you have to be a subscriber to the magazine, but apparently in the new issue of TIME there is an article on Macho Man written by Vince McMahon. The first few paragraphs, which are free, appear to be pretty flattering. Vince calls him one of the building blocks of the World Wrestling Federation and a guy who knew how to be a star.

-- I am in Vegas for both UFC 130 this weekend and our annual Vegas convention. Having a great time so far. Our schedule of shows from the road includes Lance Storm this afternoon as well as Dave Meltzer both tonight and tomorrow night after the PPV. We've also got a ton of stuff up on the front page, about a dozen shows from the last four or five days, new and archived Observers including this week's issue with a bio on the life of Randy Savage, a new Figure Four Weekly and more.

-- I will be tweeting from Vegas all weekend at twitter.com/bryanalvarez, so follow me there, especially if you are in Vegas and want to know where people are meeting up next.

-- Hulk Hogan has a new video game coming out, HULK HOGAN'S MAIN EVENT, exclusively for Kinect on X-Box 360. It's scheduled out this fall. "Hulk Hogan's Main Event is the first performance-based wrestling game on Kinect for Xbox 360 that lets players train with mentor Hulk Hogan as they build their own wrestling personalities and learn the art of showmanship to win over the crowd."

-- Another story on the WWE audit, where they were found to owe $7000, is up here. The article also notes that they overpaid on payroll taxes. The company paid the $7000 under protest.

-- DGUSA's "Mercury Rising" pay-per-view premieres on cable systems everywhere and The DISH Network TONIGHT with the must see YAMATO vs. Akira Tozawa and Masato Yoshino & PAC vs. CIMA & Naruki Doi matches. Check your local listings for time, channel.

-- DGUSA also returns to live iPPV exclusively on www.WWNLive.com with two big events next week on June 3rd and June 5th. June 5th has YAMATO vs. Pac, Blood Warriors vs. Ronin, Masato Yoshino vs. Ricochet, Masaaki Mochizuki & Susumu Yokosuka vs. Arik Cannon & Sami Callihan, AR Fox vs. Pinkie Sanchez and a FRAY. The show on the 4th has Pac vs. Ricochet vs. Chuck Taylor in a three-way freestyle, YAMATO vs. CIMA vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Masato Yoshino, Caleb Konley vs. Flip Kendrick vs. Jon Davis vs. Louis Lyndon vs. Pinkie Sanchez vs. Rich Swann vs. Sami Callihan vs. Scott Reet in the first-ever eight-way freestyle, Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Arik Cannon, Austin Aries vs. Susumu Yokosuka, Akira Tozawa vs. AR Fox, and Brodie Lee vs. Tony Nese.

-- Everyone made weight for the Titan Fighting Championships show tonight headlined by Jens Pulver vs. Brian Davidson. This show airs on HDNet so check your listings. Pulver was on our show a couple of days ago and was awesome, so check that one out. A completely likeable guy.

-- Story here about luchador Cassandro, which is currently the most-watched video on the entire BBC website.

-- Interview with Missy Hyatt here.

-- Dana White and Quinton Jackson will be the guests on Inside MMA tonight. Hopefully Dana can coax some life out of Jackson for tomorrow's show.

-- Smackdown tonight has Sin Cara vs. Chavo Guerrero again, Kane vs. Great Khali, Zeke vs. Heath Slater, Alicia Fox & Tamina vs. Kaitlyn and AJ (NXT), and Sheamus vs. Christian vs. Mark Henry to determine a new contender for the World Title. Some slim pickin's there in the main event picture.

-- Mick Foley talks to Alex Marvez here about the Impact name change and more.

-- Jeff writes: A little late with this one, but on Jay Leno a few days go, he was doing his "Headlines" bit. One of the headlines was the Graziano hitman story, with the part about the pizza gift card designed to get the crowd to laugh. And they laughed, but I don't think anyone realized that, unlike most headlines in the bit, this one wasn't a mistake. It was part of the real story and just happens to be silly. Leno did not mention, and perhaps didn't know, that the Graziano case was tied to Hogan. Ed Graziano, the father of John Graziano who was left in a vegetative state following the Nick Hogan car crash, was accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill his wife in return for $2,100 and a pizza gift card. He was ultimately sentenced to ten years in prison.

-- River City Wrestling -- San Antonio's brand of professional wrestling -- will hold a live event entitled "The World Isn't Big Enough III" on Saturday, June 4 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Activity Center, 1630 Goliad Road in San Antonio, TX. Start time is 8 p.m. and the doors open at 7:30 p.m.

-- From the promoter: Class Act Dinner Theatre (104 Consumers Drive) in Whitby, ON will be the place to be this Sunday afternoon at 2 PM as Canada's Apocalypse Wrestling Federation once again explodes into action with a very special afternoon of professional wrestling excitement. The card titled "AWF ALL STAR MEMORIES: A Tribute to Mad Dog Rex" will honour Canadian veteran NEIL "MAD DOG REX" CARR who passed away in December of last year after suffering from cancer.

-- The American Fighting Organization returns to its home base in Mansfield, MA on June 17th for “AFO Summer Brawl". Tickets can be purchased at www.AFOMMA.com or by calling 401-286-3413.

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