TUES UPDATE: New Hogan interview, Cena whereabouts, more from Raw backstage, Lauranitis ruling, Spike vs. UFC again, Rock fan of TNA star, tons more

By Bryan Alvarez

Bryan Alvarez: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're looking for your thoughts on Saturday night's UFC 143, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're also looking for reports on the weekend WWE shows in Topeka, Wichita, Wichita Falls and Salt Lake City and the TNA show in Florence, SC.

Smackdown and NXT are taped on Tuesday in Tulsa.

        A note that if you order a new print or web site subscription to the Observer this week you will get one of our biggest issues of the year, the 2011 awards double-issue.

        The annual Royal Rumble issue of the Wrestling Observer is out this week, with coverage not only of the Rumble but of the UFC on FOX, with notes on what both shows meant in the big picture going forward, an update on the direction of both companies coming out of two of what will be the biggest and most important shows of the year.
        We look at the surprise element of the Rumble, the Elimination Chamber direction, poll results from both shows, star ratings for the wrestling show and the Mania direction.  We also have a chart on the Royal Rumble scorecard, how long everyone was in, all the eliminations, order in and out, etc.
        We also have a look at the sale of New Japan Pro Wrestling to Bushiroad.  We look at the particulars of the sale, surprises about it, reaction of the top wrestlers, who knew ahead of time, the new owner talks about his plans and his own background as a wrestling fan and running wrestling shows.  We look at the pro wrestling scene in Japan including notes on the historical highs and lows of New Japan, the type of money the top stars are making now as compared to the past and more.
        We also look at the UFC's second prime time show on FOX, what was good, what was bad, the fights, the Chael Sonnen interview, the build for the future, poll on who won between Sonnen vs. Bisping.  We look at the ratings, what they mean, how they compared with the first show, what the big differences were and the five most watched fights in U.S. television history when it comes to MMA.  We also look at how the competition of airing UFC against the special worked for Spike, and other business notes on the show.
        We also have match-by-match coverage.
        We also have an update on Dana White vs. The Hackers, a strange story as well as arguments regarding live streaming of WWE & UFC events.
        We also look at why WWE isn't panicking about the hackers, 2013 WrestleMania talk, notes on Rock's schedule for Raw leading up to Mania as well as promotional work, and the 1000th episode of Raw coming.
        We also have more on the WWE Network, as well as on a new WWE Senior Vice President, another 2012 PPV change, and lots of notes about Chael Sonnen, C.M. Punk and the show in Chicago.  We also have notes on the WWE's youtube channel, Mike Tyson in the Hall of Fame, an idea talked about for Mania, the anniversary of the origin of the WWE title and an update on the Legends House show.
        We also look at a former PPV main eventer who is interested in returning and why it's unlikely to happen, more on Mark Henry's injury, lots of business notes when it comes to web traffic, DVD sales and the Christmas merchandise season and how it did compared to last year.
        We also have notes on Zack Ryder's new-found success, an update on a former world champion and his life after wrestling, David Otunga going back to legal work, Mick Foley talks about potential in-ring and the lone weekend house show and business notes on it.
        We've also got coverage of the Dragon Gate USA iPPV show.
        We also have a look at the numbers of the WWE's TLC PPV with the company releasing first estimates this week, as well as a look at how UFC 142 looks to be doing based on early estimates.
        The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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        We also have a look at TNA's tour of the U.K., and Hulk Hogan's media.
        Plus we've got the most detailed look at Ring Ka King, the new promotion in India, including notes on the first weekend of television and how the final episode of the season ends with a match involving famous athletes from both India and Japan.
        We also have notes on the next few weeks of Impact programming and how Against All Odds gets built.
        We also have notes on a federal investigation of the UFC, the sale to Strikeforce, the real money figures of the sale and what was ruled.  
        We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week.  We also have how every segment on Raw and Impact did as far as gaining and losing viewers, as well as who did what in the key segments and who appeals to what.  

        We also have our regular weekly features with results of all the major arena events around the world, as well as all the major TV show
         Also in this week's issue:
--Major attitude change in major company now looking at raiding big stars to rebuild
--Shocker talks about why he's been out of action
--One of the best wrestlers in the world is announced as coming to CMLL
--Update on business at Arena Mexico
--Annual King of Flyers match
--Plans for Jeff Jarrett's return to Mexico as AAA champion
--Latest New Japan vs. All Japan angle news
--New Japan opens tour and starts building the next PPV show
--Lineup for New Japan's next PPV show
--Pro wrestling world champion has MMA fight in a few weeks
--Disgraced former well known athlete faces Bob Sapp in a few weeks
--Two Hall of Famers battle for the first time ever
--A look at the WrestleReunion convention in Los Angeles
--More notes on Mike Tyson and Superstar Billy Graham meeting
--What Tyson remembers about pro wrestling
--Tyson appears at pro wrestling show
--Who was in this year's legends Battle Royal
--PWG has its biggest event of the year with many Dragon Gate stars
--Celebration of the Los Angeles territory
--Verne Gagne gets publicity as a Minneapolis theater has special showings of "The Wrestler" movie from 1974
--Other former AWA employees who were there
--How the event did
--Notes on a lot of lawsuits
--Former ROH star talks about why he's retiring in detail and looks back at his career
--Coach of one of pro wrestling's biggest stars passes away
--More on the death of wrestling trainee
--MVP talks the new Wrestling Retribution promotion and playing an all-new character
--How MVP got interested in being a pro wrestler
--Is he interested in returning to WWE
--Annual 16 Carat Gold tournament
--More on ROH vs. CHIKARA angle
--Hulk Hogan's return to the ring
--Ric Flair's new business deal and what does it mean
--Against All Odds PPV card
--Lots of crazy Hogan stories from his U.K. media work
--A look at the Bobby Roode and James Storm booking
--Why Hogan did the U.K. tour at the last minute
--How the U.K. tour did business-wise
--What angles didn't work in the U.K. and which ones did
--How TNA tried to save money on the tour
--Injury updates from the TNA tour
--What wrestling legend to Hogan invite to London
--TNA stars doing movies
--An update on  Haywire
--One of the best promos likely of the year for a match that still may not happen
--Two of UFC's biggest stars want one last match with each other
--A special on ordering UFC PPV events
--Matt Hughes talks his future
--Update on GSP and who and when he will likely fight
--Notes on the 3-D airing of UFC 143 and how often 3-D airings of UFC shows will be taking place in movie theaters
--What fixture of the UFC is gone as of now
--Notes on a movie about one of UFC's all-time greatest fighters
--What recently fired star is Dana White at least open about thinking about bringing back
--Another of Bellator's potentially biggest fights is not going to happen and why
--Fedor Emelianenko's plan for next fight
--Career of Olympic star turned MMA fighter now in jeopardy
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We now 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
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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.

-- Giant new Hulk Hogan audio interview up here. A dandy, as usual. He claims in the Shawn Michaels feud, after he beat Michaels the first time, he was fully intending to lose the second match until Shawn buried him on Raw the next night. Of course, the reason Shawn buried Hogan was because he believed Hogan absolutely shut down the idea of him ever losing to HBK under any circumstances.

-- As noted on Observer Radio last night, tons of heat on Miz for not catching Truth during his dive spot in the six-man last night. Truth was legitimately helped out as they feared he had a serious injury. Although he smashed the back of his head on the mats, he ended up being OK and will continue onto the International tour.

-- Eve also had her nose destroyed by a Beth Phoenix clothesline last night. Lots of carelessness on the show.

-- John Cena was at Raw last night and beat Kane in the TV dark match via DQ.

-- John Lauranitis is still the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim General Manager of Raw. His ideas last night, Kane vs. Cena in an ambulance match and Shawn Michaels returning to Raw, were so good in storyline that the Board of Directors decided to keep him on. This after the storyline last week was that they gave permission to HHH to take over the job at any time. Don't pay too much attention to this stuff, you'll become infuriated.

-- For whatever it's worth, the idea was that they were going to re-do the Brodus Clay/Drew McIntyre angle that got cut from Smackdown last week at the tapings tonight.

-- FUEL TV premieres “UFC Ultimate Insider” tonight at 10:30 PM ET/7:30 PM PT.

-- Akira Corassani vs. Jason Young has been added to UFC on FUEL 2 in Sweden this April.

-- The UFC 143 prelims on FX drew 1.4 million viewers, up significantly from the last time out but still below the best shows on Spike TV.

-- Speaking of Spike, they'll be running a Diego Sanchez marathon head-to-head with UFC on FUEL 1: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger on February 15th. Based on the respective universes, it's pretty much a guarantee that the Spike marathon will do significantly more viewers than the live FUEL event.

-- The Rock is a fan of Bobby Roode: @REALBobbyRoode I dig your work. Keep movin' the crowd and kicking that ass. (tell Bubba his calves still aren't as big as mine)Thanks to Josh Nason.

-- Today marks the 20th anniversary of the death of "Mad Dog" Buzz Sawyer. Thanks to Brian.

-- What was the best of these recent shows?
UFC 142 Aldo vs. Mendes 48.5%
Royal Rumble 24.4%
UFC 143 Diaz vs. Condit 8.5%
TNA Genesis 7.1%
UFC on FX Miller vs. Guillard 5.8%
UFC on FOX 2 3.7%
Strikeforce Rockhold vs. Jardine 2.0%

Poll on Saturday's ROH TV show?
Excellent 34.0%
Good 47.2%
Average 5.3%
Fair 1.2%
Poor 1.8%
68.5% of those responding didn't see the show

What are your thoughts regarding a Condit vs. Diaz rematch in the spring or summer?
Condit won the fight, but they should do a rematch because Condit didn't win decisively and people don't right now want to see him against GSP 21.9%
Diaz deserved to win, and thus they should do a rematch 21.2%
Condit won the fight clearly, they should not do a rematch as it's not fair to him 20.6%
They should rematch on the next FOX show, not PPV 18.6%
Fight was close, but boring, so not a good idea to do it again 11.6%
UFC needs main events, people will want to see it 5.9%
Basically 67.6% of those responding favor doing a rematch

-- CZW returns to the state where it all started to celebrate CZW's 13th Anniversary THIS SATURDAY, February 11 at the Virtua Flyer's Skate Zone, 601 Laurel Oak Road in Vorhees, NJ with a 7:30 pm bell time.

-- "MCS Extreme" in France signed on for 26 new episodes of CMLL programming, never aired before in Europe. These are shows Arena Mexico shows from 2010. Starts this Thursday at 8:15 pm, with multiple replays during the week, airing weekly after that. More info up here.

-- East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! "SPRING BATTLE!" Sat, Mar 3rd, 2012 Greater Newark Boys' & Girls' Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702

-- Regarding the St. Edwards High School trivia from yesterday, also an alumni for this school is DGUSA Champ Johnny Gargano. Mike Tolar, the grad, retired from wrestling after being turned down for a WWE contract by Johnny Ace.

-- From the promoter: Perry Saturn, one of pro wrestling’s top national stars a decade ago, makes his return to the Midwest for the first time in years as part of 3XWrestling’s Reign of Terror III event. Reign of Terror III takes place Friday, February 24 at the Baratta’s@Forte Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

-- From the promoter: Insanity Pro Wrestling's March 3rd event in Indianapolis, IN has been cancelled due to an unfortunate situation with the building we run our shows out of. We sincerely apologize to all you great fans, as I'm sure you are as disappointed as we are. More information will be announced as it becomes available. Thank you.

-- NWA Ring Warriors announced this morning that “The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff, will make a special appearance on March 29th at the Fort Lauderdale National Guard Armory, 400 State Road 84, for their “Battle of the Belts” event.

-- From the promoter: The UWC returns to the Browns Mills Fire House (the UWC Arena) in Browns Mills, New Jersey on Saturday night, February 11th at 7 PM. The show will feature eight great matches, including a UWC TV title match, a UWC tag team title match as the Secret Society defend the tag team titles against the Party Rockers, and in the big main event, it will be a grudge match as Biggie Biggs goes one on one with the Big Rig! Tickets are only $10 for adults and $8 for children, and the Browns Mills Fire House is less than a half hour from Philadelphia, so if you're in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area, be sure to check us out!

-- From the promoter: FSW Friday Night Fights Returns this Friday, Feb 10th, 7:30pm at the FSW Arena, 6658 Boulder Highway, Las Vegas. The main event will feature a 4 way elimination match Reno Scum vs Hater Nation vs Von Dooms vs The Agency, for the FSW Tag Titles, the return of former WWE Superstar Eugene, Michael Modest, NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion Kevin Douglas vs FSW NO Limits Champion Funny Bone, Shaun Ricker, Brandon Gatson and Willie Mack in a 3 way Dance for the FSW Elite Championship. For more info go to www.futurestarsofwrestling.com

-- From the promoter: TASW Wrestling makes its return to Galveston this Saturday night February 11th, at the Knights of Columbus Hall located at 1912 Winnie street 77550. TASW's "Galveston Rumble" gets started at 7pm. Tickets available at the door this Saturday night starting at 6pm.

-- Ed and the crew talk football and wrestling here.

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?