FRI UPDATE: Possible breakthrough on brain injury diagnosis, huge weekend schedule, Sorensen update, WWE stars heading to Florida



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

The Lead: Huge weekend with plenty of wrestling and MMA

We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's UFC on FX from Sydney, Australia, 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'll also be doing polls tomorrow on the Strikeforce show and Sunday on the Ring of Honor show.

A very busy weekend coming up, but for the next three months, they will all be like this.

We're looking for reports on tonight's Raw show from Cornwall, ONT, and TNA show in Salina, KS (Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray, Matt Morgan & Crimson vs. Hernandez & Anarquia, Gail Kim vs. Velvet Sky, A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels, Austin Aries vs. Zema Ion) at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

UFC tonight from Sydney, Australia:

Facebook at 5:30 PM Eastern/2:30 PM Pacific

- Shawn Jordan (245.5) vs. Oli Thompson (235)

Fuel on at 6 PM EST/3 PM PST

- Mackens Semerzier (146) vs. Daniel Pineda (146)

- Jake Hecht (171) vs. T.J. Waldburger (170)

- Andrew Craig (185) vs. Kyle Noke (185)

- Steven Siler (146) vs. Cole Miller (146)

- Nick Penner (203.5) vs. Anthony Perosh (205)

- Aaron Rosa (205.5) vs. James Te Huna (206)

FX at 9 PM EST/6 PM PST

- Costa Philippou (185.5) vs. Court McGee (184.5)

- Ian McCall (125.5) vs. Demetrious Johnson (125.5) in the semifinals of the UFC flyweight title tournament

- Yasuhiro Urushitani (125.5) vs. Joseph Benavidez (125.5) in the semifinals of the UFC flyweight title tournament

- Martin Kampmann (170.5) vs. Thiago Alves (170.5)

Also tonight is the Titan Fighting Championships on HDNet from Kansas City's Memorial Hall with the TV starting at 10 PM EST:

- Mirsad Bektic (146) vs. Cody Carrillo (146)

- Junior Hernandez (145.5) vs. Kevin Croom (144.5)

- Fabio Mello (134.5) vs. Josh Hunber (141) Huber missed weight by 6 pounds had to forfeit 20% of his purse

- Joe Ellenberger (155) vs. Jesse Zeugin (155.5)

- Joe Wilk (146) vs. Andrew Carrillo (146)

- Jorge Santiago (184) vs. Leonardo Pecanha (183.5)

Saturday's big show in Strikeforce from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH:

Showtime Extreme at 8 p.m.

- Roger Bowling vs. Brandon Saling

- Ryan Couture vs. Conor Heun

- Caros Fodor vs. Pat Healy

- Sarah Kaufman vs. Alexis Davis

Showtime at 10 p.m.

- Lumumba Sayres vs. Scott Smith

- Jacare Souza vs. Bristol Marunde

- Paul Daley vs. Kazuo Misaki

- Josh Thomson vs. K.J. Noons

- Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey for women's bantamweight title

We're also looking for reports on Saturday's ROH TV tapings from Baltimore at the DuBurns Arena (Jay & Mark & Papa Briscoe vs. Michael Elgin & Roderick Strong & Truth Martini, Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander, Tommaso Ciampa vs. Kyle O'Reilly; Eddie Edwards vs. Mike Bennett), as well as Raw in Ottawa, Smackdown in Albany, GA and TNA in Dodge City, KS (Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy, Bully Ray vs. James Storm, Matt Morgan & Crimson vs. Hernandez & Anarquia).

Sunday is headlined by the ROH 10th anniversary show from the Manhattan Center which starts at 5 p.m. Eastern (Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reilly vs. Eddie Edwards & Adam Cole, Briscoes vs. Young Bucks for tag titles, Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa for the TV title, Jimmy Jacobs vs. Kevin Steen no DQ, Amazing Red & T.J. Perkins vs. Michael Elgin & Roderick Strong, Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas vs. Rhett Titus & Kenny King, Homicide vs. Mike Bennett and more.

There is also Raw from Bangor, ME, Smackdown from Macon, GA and TNA from Wichita.

Both New Japan and All Japan have shows at Korakuen Hall on Sunday. New Japan has Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP heavyweight title, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hirooki Goto & Karl Anderson vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Masato Tanaka & Yujiro Takahashi and Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Takashi Iizuka & Toru Yano.

All Japan has Suwama vs. Seiya Sanada, Masayuki Kono vs. Yuji Nagata and Kenso & Kaz Hayashi vs. Takao Omori & Manabu Soya (winners face Dark Cuervo & Dark Ozz on 3/20 for the tag titles) plus Keiji Muto & Shuji Kondo & Hiroshi Yamato vs. Taiyo Kea & Minoru Tanaka & Yasufumi Nakanoe. Raw will be live Monday from the Garden in Boston with Rock, Shawn Michaels and HHH all scheduled to appear. Undertaker has been pulled from the advertising. Teddy Long will be General Manager.

Smackdown is Tuesday from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT with John Laurinaitis as General Manager.

This Week's Observer: Double Issue featuring WrestleMania build, Rock/Cena & Punk/Jericho promos

We've got another double issue of the Observer out this week.  The new issue is already available on the web site right now, as is another back issue from 1994 covering UFC IV and all the wrestling news from that period.

We look at the build for WrestleMania, the Rock-Cena promo, the Punk-Jericho promo, the internal predictions, the ratings, including exactly what happened with the ratings in the last segment and the goals of building the Mania match, and more importantly, what the Mania match can't do for long-term business.  We update the card announced as well as other matches teased, as well as how the key demos fluctuated in the last half hour of the show.

We also have coverage of the business of WWE with a rundown of the final quarter as well as the entire year of 2011.  We look at why the company is losing money for the first time in years, what divisions are up, what divisions are down, how it differs from last year, the dividend, and comments by Vince McMahon about the last few months as well as the company going forward.

We look at ticket sales and internal PPV predictions for WrestleMania, as well as the theory on how this show will build the company going forward.  We look in depth at the problems of the film division and will it continue and for how long is it safe in the wake of all the money losses.  We also look at an update on the network, why Vince McMahon said they are strong going into the network and why the stats he used may not really indicate strength in that marketplace.

We look at the money earmarked for the network's debut in 2012, and how to look at whether or not it is successful past the obvious bottom line because of opportunity costs changing.

We also look at his talk about recent non-WWE sports deals for content, as well as a look back at the historical cycles of pro wrestling in North America over the past 60 years.  We look at how the stock price is doing, as well as go into almost every facet of the business.

We look at WWE revenue over the past three years and what part of the world it comes from.

We look behind the small gain in attendance and why part of that is misleading.  We also look at ticket prices and merchandise, as well as compare grosses from this year and last year.

We also look at what recent PPV hit rock bottom, and why PPV numbers were up this past year.  We've got a chart listing all the PPV numbers for the past three years, as well as another chart looking at "Rock less" numbers, basically if you take Rock out of the equation, the overall trend of PPV numbers over the past four years.

We also look at a major lesson this year brought forth when it comes to big angles and PPV shows.

We look at why Superstars and NXT are not on television right now, as well as why one sector being down was so disappointing.  We look at toys, video games, novelty products, magazine sales and web site revenue.

We also have a year-by-year look at WWE business final numbers.

We also have a look at the Wrestler of the Year for the U.S. and Japan annually dating back the past 30 years.

About The Observer: The Must-Read Publication For Wrestling and MMA Fans, Media and More

The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.

The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world.  The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe.  Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively.  They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world.  Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the 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 sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order at www.paypal.com and use the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address.

You can also 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.

More On The New Observer: UFC Back To Japan, Wrestling/MMA Connection, Tons More


We also have a look at UFC's return to Japan after 11 years, why the show sold, what the show indicated about the Japanese market, what kind of a crowd attended and how it differed from a pro wrestling crowd and a Pride crowd, a look back at the Benson Henderson title win over Frankie Edgar, stats on striking and takedowns, judges scoring, where the lightweight division goes, what Edgar is being pressured to do, and whether Edgar should move down in weight.

We look at the business stats of the show, gate, TV ratings on FX and early PPV numbers, the TV situation in Japan, and a look at the Japanese favorites on the show.

We've also got match-by-match coverage of the show, poll results and more.

We also look at the next Raw, tons of details on this year's Hall of Fame ceremony, where Ric Flair stands, Undertaker health update, Rock box office notes, more on Legends House, Rey Mysterio's return and WWE business notes from the past week as well as highlights from all of the weekend house shows.

We've also got the third part of our history of the UFC/pro wrestling connection, with notes and profiles on 16 more current and former UFC stars who have done pro wrestling.

We've also got a preview of Friday night wars, which start on 3/9 with four different stations broadcasting pro wrestling or MMA in prime time.  We look at how the night is going to shake up, the first Bellator show, as well as a look at the 32 fighters who will be competing on 3/9 to become Ultimate Fighter cast members.  We look at their backgrounds, records and who are the favorites coming in.

We also have our in-depth look at the ratings of the national shows, including how every segment of Raw and Smackdown did, what gained in audience, and what lost in audience.

We also have our weekly features with the results from the major events held around the world over the past week, as well as reviews of the major television shows.

Also in this week's issue:

--CMLL's first major show of 2012 and how the advance looks

--A world champion vs. world champion match coming this week

--Sisters-in-law battle for national championship

--Sons of legends in a feud building to a three-way mask match

--Health update on a major fixture in Mexican wrestling

--Build to the Rey de Reyes show

--Longtime star celebrates 25 years in pro wrestling and they don't even shoot an angle

--Rey de Reyes eliminations

--Unique Dragon Gate angles from the past week

--A look at more matches when Dragon Gate returns to the U.S>

--Kenta Kobashi health update

--Keiji Muto appears in major NOAH main event

--New ownership makes announcements about radio and television of New Japan going forward as well as notes on big shows coming up

--Hall of Famer in wrestling returns to the ring in sumo

--Zero-One's anniversary show

--Update on Shane McMahon

--WWE Hall of Famer autobiography released in a few weeks

--Notes on a TV pilot featuring a lot of former WCW & WWE stars

--More on the dressing room brawl between Brian Knobs and New Jack

--Son of 70s pro wrestling star now ranked No. 7 in the nation in wrestling going into the NCAA's

--Story about the youth of Andre the Giant

--Longtime European star and former ECW wrestler announces retirement

--Cauliflower Alley honorees

--Update on 16 carat gold tournament this week

--Update on ROH's anniversary show

--Update on TNA Victory Road show

--More on Eastbound and Down on HBO and Ric Flair connection

--Update on Ring Ka King, ratings, angles and more

--A look at the next few weeks of Impact television

--A look at the major MMA shows this week

--Update on ticket sales to major UFC events

--Gina Carano's drawing power and Ronda Rousey

--Will the Strikeforce Grand Prix ever end?

--Update on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

--Lots of new UFC matches

--Ultimate Fighter Brazil U.S. airing

--Forrest Griffin talks Tito Ortiz

--MMA heavyweight battles for life after bar room stabbing

--MMA Uncensored talks the death of Pride

--How hard it has become to sell tickets to MMA in Las Vegas

The Most Popular Observers Of All Time: Available Now

New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.

Our most requested issues in our history are:

*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)

*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)

*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)

*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)

*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)

*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)

*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)

*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
history)

*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)

*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)

*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)

*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)

*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)

*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)

*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)

*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)

*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)

*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)

*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)

*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)

*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)

*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)

*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)

*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)

*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)

*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)

*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)

*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)

*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)

*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)

*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)

*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)

*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)

*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)

*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)

*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)

*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)

*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)

*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)

*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)

*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)

*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)

*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)

*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)

*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)

*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)

*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)

*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)

*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)

*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)

*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)

*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)

*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)

*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)

*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)

*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)

*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)

*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)

*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)

*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)

*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .

*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)

*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)

*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)

*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)

*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)

*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)

* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)

* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)

* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)

You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.

Rates are:

For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for 4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52.  In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 for 52 .

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 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 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.

Friday News, Links & More

-- Very interesting article on how new technology could change how traumatic brain injuries are diagnosed. The claim is the new brain scan is like an HD TV compared to a fuzzy black-and-white, which is how the old process is described.

-- Dixie Carter update on Jesse Sorensen: @TNASorenson met w/doctors this wk & is out for up to a yr. We’re blessed he will be back at all. He’s staying positive. No comment on Zima.

-- Big article in the New York Post today about how the WWE Network is having issues getting off the ground. It claims they don't have a single cable or satellite partner deal yet. Not one. Whether that's the case or not, that's what they're reporting and I would hate to be in the WWE office today. You can read it here.

-- I have been informed that Mickie James and Velvet Sky are, in fact, going by the name THE HARDCORE PIGEONS. It's taken me an hour to wrap my head around that one.

-- Thiago Alves, who made weight at 170.5 yesterday, apparently put on almost 30 pounds in the next few hours.

-- We have a bonus Figure Four Daily up today with Truth Martini talking Sunday's ROH 10th Anniversary show. The event is only $9.99 on Go Fight Live, both to introduce the concept to new viewers and also, I would presume, to celebrate 10 years.

-- Sheamus will be at the FCW show in Kissimmee, FL tonight. Dusty Rhodes will also be appearing this Saturday night in Lake City as part of FCW’s 2012 Tour.

-- Not sure why Quinton Jackson needed TRT when he could have just used GAMMA-O.

-- Almost 400 consecutive print issues of Figure Four Weekly up on eBay here.

-- Smackdown tonight from Seattle has Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler in a good match, Big Show vs. Mark Henry, Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton, Santino vs. Heath Slater, Eve vs. Natalya, Justin Gabriel vs. Drew McIntyre in a match – get ready – were if Drew loses he's fired, and more. I've got a full review in the new Bryan & Vinny Show that went up Tuesday.

-- Triple H is booked as wrestling on the March 18th Madison Square Garden show. No opponent is listed at this point.

-- Cubsfan has a big preview of tonight's CMLL Dos Leyendas show here. He'll also be doing a live chat on his site during the show. Speaking of lucha, Steve Sims and I will be joined by Konnan on Figure Four Daily next week.

-- Lots of news out of Mexico from Kris Zellner:

AAA announced today that Jeff Jarrett would be making his next defense of his AAA Mega Heavyweight Title against El Mesias at the big Rey de Reyes show on 3/18 in Zapopan.

On the eve of Dos Leyendas, Blue Panther said that he is excited to be in the main event of such a grand show that is honoring two legends in Salvador Lutteroth & Bobby Bonales but he has to admit that he is worried about losing his hair. BP said that he has battled Negro Casas for 30 years and he is one of the most dangerous opponents you can face and to face him in such a big match he has to be prepared for anything because they are equals in almost every way. BP said that their rivalry has exploded since last Summer after the Forjando de Idolo tournament where it was a battle of their students against each other but it turned into a personal battle between the teachers to prove who was the better man.

BP said that their rivalry is now coming to a culmination after months of buildup and hostility where it has become more personal than ever especially after Negro's brother Felino lost his hair to him last December. BP said that he expects the match to be a battle of atrition but he will win although he has mentally prepared himself for a loss and will accept a defeat like a man. BP was then asked if a loss will force him into retirement and he said that he has no plans to retire as he has plenty to give lucha libre.

Negro Casas in response said that he is anxious about the match because he wants to see who is the better man between him & BP and the butterflies in his stomach have been growing by the day. Negro said that he admires BP as a fighter and that he has had many matches both with BP as a partner and a rival but none compared to the one coming up tomorrow night at Arena Mexico because this match could define both men's careers. Negro said that their careers have been like looking in a mirror because there are many similarities but he thinks their match will be unpredictable because both men know each other so well that they are going to use some different techniques to try and trick the other man. Negro does think he has the speed advantage though but does admit that BP may be the better technical wrestler so one offsets the other.

Negro talked about Felino losing his hair to BP last December and he said that the loss won't affect him because he is defending his own heritage not his brother's. Negro said that the rivalry will continue until one or the other retires because no matter who wins or loses the loser of the match will try to avenge their loss to the end.

Hijo del Medico Asesino who promised he was going to FCW all last year is down there and has been there since January and now has his new gimmick. He is still masked and his name is Benicio Salazar.

-- Whitney from I Tap Boys is up here talking Rousey vs. Tate this weekend, the Smackdown tapings with Santino and more.

-- Ring Rust Radio with a number of different interviews up here.

-- Pretty cool Limited Edition Andre the Giant "Villain" - 12x18 Officially Signed, Dated and Hand-Stamped Art Print.

-- Should WWE get out of the movie business?
Yes 71.1%
They should give the next model a chance to work and decide from there 26.0%
No 2.9%

What do you think tonight's UFC show will do in the ratings?
0.8 or less 35.1%
0.9 7.3%
1.0 9.8%
1.1 11.2%
1.2 10.7%
1.3 6.8%
1.4 6.8%
1.5 5.4%
1.6 0.5%
1.7 2.4%
1.8 0.0%
1.9 or more 3.9%

Which show draws a higher rating?
UFC on FOX tonight 63.0%
Strikeforce on Showtime 37.0%

Regarding Sunday's ROH iPPV show, what best describes your feelings:
Am buying because I like the show or hype 14.8%
Am buying because of the $9.99 price, wouldn't at $14.99 3.8%
Have never bought before, am doing so because of price 1.6%
Have never bought before, am doing so due to lineup 0.9%
Don't buy iPPV shows 29.2%
Wouldn't buy an ROH show 27.8%
Have bought ROH in the past, but don't like this lineup 12.0%
Haven't bought in the past, would consider buying, but not this lineup 9.9%

-- LEGENDS OF THE RING 14 on Saturday June 2, 2012 Doors open at 8:30 am Crowne Plaza Hotel – Monroe, New Jersey Exit 8a NJTPK.

-- EWF Presents X8 Tournament Borderman Gymnasium A.K.A. - EWF Arena 501 E. Marion St. Converse, IN 46919 Doors open at 5:30 PM for Meet & Greet Bell Time 7:30 PM, "FORMER WWE/TNA SUPERSTAR MATT HARDY WILL BE IN ACTION!"

-- Watch PINFALL: a pro wrestling documentary in HD

-- Baltimore Sports Blog has a story on Tate vs. Rousey here.

-- Local boy done did good story here.

-- Interview with Trish Stratus here.

-- Matt Farmer and Nicki Syxx are guests on Ed in San Antonio's show tonight, talking a bunch of things including road stories from the late 90s in the Northwest, some of which, unfortunately, probably involve Craig and I.

Send us a news tip: newstips@wrestlingobserver.com

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news from this site or from our newsletters, please include a link to www.wrestlingobserver.com

For the most in-depth and detailed news and analysis on pro-wrestling and MMA, always turn to Wrestlingobserver.com/Figure Four Weekly Online, the #1 website of its kind on the Internet. Members receive online access to both the Wrestling Observer and Figure Four Weekly newsletters and growing archives, Wrestling Observer Radio with Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer three times per week, the popular Bryan and Vinny Show three times per week, additional radio shows including Figure Four Daily with Alvarez, Mike Coughlin's Five Star Radio, the Dr. Keith Lipinski Show, The Adam and Mike Big Audio Nightmare, Tough Talk and the Karl Stern Wrestling History Show, the infamous BOARD, and more! Members also have full access to the thousands of hours of audio in our radio show archives which date back to 2005. For your convenience, we offer secure online payments using your VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover card or PayPal account. Don't miss out on the fun, sign up now! Don't miss out on the fun, sign up now!

Want full access? QUICK AND EASY SIGN-UP, AS LOW AS $9.99 PER MONTH!

Who would win under MMA rules

 

Who is the best Hall of Fame candidate from this list?

 

Who is the best Hall of Fame candidate from this list?

 

Who is the best Hall of Fame candidate from this list?

 

If you get the WWE Network, which of these shows do you watch weekly?