FRI UPDATE: Wild weekend schedule, first huge Friday of many, Edge's movie in a few theatres, JOE PARKS and Chris Abyss, new MMA video game, new UFC Prime Time, tons more

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

The Lead: Bellator vs. Smackdown vs. The Ultimate Fighter

We're looking for reports from tonight's Raw house show in Toronto, as well as tonight's TNA house show in Corbin, KY and last night's TNA show in Covington, KY 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 .

The first night of the Friday night TV wars begins with four shows going head-to-head on Syfy, MTV 2, Epix, Spike and FX. Bellator and Smackdown to head-to-head at 8 p.m. Bellator is on MTV 2, as well as on Epix in HD, with Smackdown on Syfy.

To celebrate, Dave and I are going to be back with a special show tonight after all of the action.

Bellator tonight from Hammond, IN:

Prelims on starting at 6 PM:
- Bobby Reardans (146) vs. Kenny Foster (145.6)
- Josh Shockley (165.8) vs. Shamar Bailey (164.6)
- Sean McCorkle (281) vs. Richard White (277.6)
- Travis Wiuff (214.8) vs. Anthony Gomez (213.8)
- Jake Nauracy (135.2) vs. Cory Galloway (136)

MTV 2 at 8 p.m.
- Jeremy Spoon (145.6) vs. Daniel Straus (144.8) in featherweight tournament first round
- Alexandre Bezerra (145.4) vs. Genair da Silva (149) in featherweight tournament first round however da Silva failed to make weight
- Ronnie Mann (145.6) vs. Mike Corey (145.4) in featherweight tournament first round
- Marlon Sandro (145.6) vs. Roberto Vargas (145.4) in featherweight tournament first round
- Joe Warren (145) vs. Pat Curran (144.8) for Bellator featherweight championship. Warren was a guest on Figure Four Daily last year and was awesome.

UFC's The Ultimate Fighter will have 16 live matches to get into the house starting at 9 p.m. on FX. Spike will be airing the best of The Ultimate Fighter from 9 p.m. to midnight with Kimbo Slice hosting the segments during and between episodes.

The Super Fight League from Mumbai, India will running on Youtube Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m. Eastern time with this lineup:

- Lena Ovehynnikova vs. Snaja Sucevic
- Xaver Foupa-Pokam vs. Joey Guel
- Satish Jha vs. Jimmy Ambriz (former pro wrestler with New Japan)
- Lakwinder Sekhon vs. Madura Rathnayake
- Mohd Shahid vs. Mayura Dissanakyake
- Hardeep Singh vs. Jeff Bailey
- Chaitanyha Gavali vs. Tiran Thakshala
- Neil Natasadu vs. Travis Bell
- Bob Sapp vs. James Thompson

Most of the fighters involved are from either India or Sri Lanka.

Also tomorrow afternoon is Mirko Cro Cop's retirement fight from Croatia, a kickboxing match against Ray Sefo which airs at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Fight Now TV (Cablevision Ch. 464) and DirecTV PPV (Ch. 123 and Ch. 124). You can also get it here.

The card also has: Ivan Posavaec (19-4) vs. Rocky Fabjan (34-5) Stefan Jelicv (6-1) vs. Michael Duut (15-5) Pacome Assi (11-6) vs. Agron Preteni (56-10) Mladen Dynamite Kujundzic (8-3) vs. ? Dzevad Poturak (47-16) vs. Ismail Londt (27-3) Mladen Brestovac (36-8) vs. Mourad Bouzidi (65-15) Daniel Ghita (39-7) vs. Sergei Laschenko (29-9) Igor Jurkovic (29-3) vs. Freddy Kemayo (60-18).

Saturday has a Raw show in London, ONT, Smackdown in East Lansing, MI and TNA in Pikeville, KY. Sunday has Raw in Buffalo and Smackdown in Kalamazoo, MI. Raw will be live from Cleveland on Monday featuring a sing-off between Rock and John Cena, plus a head-to-head confrontation between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels.

Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Columbus, OH.

New Observer Alert: Cena/Rock in-depth, Doug Furnas remembered, Rise of Rousey

A look at the John Cena/Rock program and the questions that have come up this week, plus part one of our look at Doug Furnas, the rise of Ronda Rousey, the first shots in the Friday night war, and a look at WWE profits in every division, a look at some of WWE's ancillary income, the movie division, Ring of Honor's iPPV, a look at what Rock has and hasn't meant to ratings and more on the build to WrestleMania is all in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

We look at the life of Doug Furnas, including how he got in the Can-Am Express, his career in Japan, his life after wrestling, his amazing powerlifting career, how Kevin Sullivan got him into pro wrestling and the way his debut was set up, football, leaving Japan for WWF and more.

We also look at what has and hasn't worked so far in the Rock-Cena program and the reason for the current battle plan, as well as its risks.

We also look at television viewing on Friday nights from this point forward, the likely winners and losers and who people say they will be watching.

We look at Saturday's Strikeforce show and the future of women's MMA.  We look at the Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey feud, Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman and the future of the Strikeforce brand.

We also have more on WWE business, including total attendance numbers for the last three years, the unique way house show profitability has risen while attendance has gone down, how much the company spends for a television taping and a PPV show, the WWE business revenue streams vs. those of UFC, plus magazine, video division and movie divisions, and business increases and cutbacks, as well as how much income the company derives out of the U.K.

We also have more on the John Laurinaitis vs. Teddy Long feud, matches for Mania, updates on Kharma and Wade Barrett, the WWE Network, Dwayne Johnson's movie career and how that relates to future wrestling, what happened to Mark Henry's push, HHH's contract, plus for a number of wrestlers going forward, Edge talks Hall of Fame, twitter embarrassments, WWE tryout news, plus notes on all the WWE weekend house shows with highlights and business notes.

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 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.
We also look at the UFC show in Australia, the controversy and behind the scenes regarding the judging of the Ian McCall vs. Demetrious Johnson fight, and match-by-match coverage.

We also update ROH, the direction of the company, and its last iPPV show from New York, the 10th anniversary show.

We've got notes on Josh Barnett's attempt to get licensed, as well as coverage of CMLL's first big show of the year, and notes on Royal Rumble PPV business.
We also have our in-depth look at the ratings of the national shows, including how every segment of Raw and Impact 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 the new Observer: Mexico, Japan, Russo talks

--A look at the complete card for AAA's Rey de Reyes

--Notes on the big angle being set up and the L.A. Park possible turn

--Dragon Gate title change

--All Japan's major show of the week setting up the 3/20 card

--Update on Kenta Kobashi

--Ownership of New Japan

--Plans going forward for New Japan under new ownership

--Potential match of the year

--Lineup for the 2012 New Japan Cup tournament

--Zero-One's anniversary show

--ROH's latest TV tapings

--More on Hulk Hogan sex tape

--Vince Russo talks about his departure from TNA

--TNA star in movie role filming this week

--Brian Kendrick talks his TNA departure

--Eric Bischoff sells a new network show

--Ring Ka King update

--Samoa Joe & Magnus turn

--Flair update

--Lawsuit filed against TNA

--Changes in TNA on television

--TNA weekend tour notes

--More on upcoming television shows

--The decision to make Frankie Edgar the top lightweight contender

--Arguments for Edgar and for Pettis to get the next shot

--More testosterone therapy questions

--Chael Sonnen apology swerve

--More new UFC fights

--Schedule until the end of July

--More on the cast of this season's Ultimate Fighter

--Controversy over Michigan commission

--Mirko Cro Cop's retirement

Friday News, Notes & Links

-- Smackdown tonight has Randy Orton/Sheamus/Big Show vs. Miz/Cody Rhodes/Daniel Bryan, Drew McIntyre vs. Hornswaggle in a match to determine whether Drew gets re-hired, Santino defending the US Title against Jack Swagger in a cage match, Mark Henry vs. Zeke, Teddy Long vs. John Lauranitis (yes on free TV with no build, not that anyone would have paid for it anyway) and Primo & Epico vs. Truth & Kofi Kingston in a non-title match.

-- Edge's movie, Bending the Rules, debuts in less than a dozen theaters nationwide this weekend. A list of theaters and more on the film is up here. If anyone sees it, send a report. Edge looks like a better and more natural actor than any of the other WWE stars currently doing films, but it's always hard to tell much watching trailers.

-- More on the transgender person who allegedly stole $50,000 from a WWE bank account by hijacking routing numbers is up here. Bond is set at $50,000, so hopefully they saved the money.

-- Regarding the TV tonight, Gary writes: "In Canada, because Bellator’s contract is with The Score, and The Score broadcasts Smackdown on Friday nights, the shows will be airing instead on Saturday nights. TheScore will be streaming Bellator shows live on its website at (which I assume will be blocked outside Canada) -- that was part of their announcement of an "expanded programming partnership" a month ago.

"Normally, the shows will be broadcast Saturdays at 8pm, but because of NCAA basketball, this week's show won't be airing until 11pm on Saturday night. BTW, I think FX Canada is probably available in many places -- I imagine a lot of people don't know they get it, since it's new (tomorrow will be the first time I'll be watching it). I get it and I certainly don't have the most comprehensive cable package."

-- As noted on the front page last night, Joe Parks is, indeed, an unmasked Abyss playing his own brother. Took me three segments to figure that out. Someone else noted he looked like Dave Marquez of the NWA. I think Dave has a better forehead. Apparently a bunch of fans were tweeting about whether or not it was Abyss because "Abyss" ended up trending on Twitter during the show.

-- UFC announced that they'll be doing a Primetime series for the Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans late April title bout.

-- 345 Games and Spike TV announced yesterday the upcoming summer release of a new video game, Bellator: MMA Onslaught.

-- I am featured here as the INTERESTING EXPERT OF THE WEEK~! Sadly, no tilde bang. Everything you ever wanted to know about how this website, newsletter, radio shows, etc., got started. Well, a little bit about it, at least.

-- This post claims to string together every lie Hulk Hogan has ever told. It's suspect as it's barely even scratched the surface, but it's a fun read nonetheless.

-- Dolph Ziggler talks WrestleMania, why the locker room is siding with John Cena, why he dyed his hair brown at one point and tons more here.

-- Lance Storm talks about Wrestling Retribution Project here.

-- New interview with Colt Cabana here.

-- Ted DiBiase on his injury: "Update: torn ligament and small break, but NO torn tendon which means no surgery! Again, thank you all for your encouragement!" That poor guy needs all the encouragement he can get these days.

-- CW Anderson joins MLW Radio for part 1 of his conversation with Mister Saint Laurent about his career starting from being a top Major League Baseball prospect all the way to dominating Major League Wrestling. They talk Extreme Horsemen, MLW, his experiences with Ole and Arn Anderson, training at the WCW Powerplant, JJ Dillon, Paul Heyman, ECW and not getting paid for 6 months, crazy story behind his famous "I Quit Match" with Tommy Dreamer and more. You can also search iTunes for MLW Radio.

-- Next Urban Wrestling Federation show debuts March 25th with RUTHLESS REVENGE~!

-- We've got a great interview with Konnan and Dr. Lucha up for members right now with tons of scoops from CMLL and AAA.

-- Many have noted that the John Cena garden gnomes are not for sale on right now. Hopefully, they sold out after Monday. There are, however, Rock garden gnomes. I suspect that'll be mentioned Monday as well.

-- UFC on Fuel 2 on April 14th (no big shows from UFC or Strikeforce until then) has Alexander Gustafsson vs. Thiago Silva, Alessio Sakara vs. Brian Stann, Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Paulo Thiago, Diego Nunes vs. Dennis Siver, DaMarques Johnson vs. John Maguire, and Damacio Page vs. Brad Pickett.

-- Shawn Michaels noted that he paid a visit to WWE LEGEND HOUSE. Can't wait for that. I wonder if the wrestlers are sequestered away with no access to cell phones or the Internet. And, if that's the case, how many would notice?

-- Who do you expect to win this fight?
Benson Henderson 53.0%
Frankie Edgar 47.0%

What was the biggest news story in February?
Diaz tests positive for marijuana, suspended, no Condit rematch 31.4%
Vince Russo quits TNA 19.2%
Rock-Cena confrontation on Raw- ratings don't increase 13.5%
Mania 2013 in New Jersey 7.6%
New Japan sold to Bushiroad 7.1%
UFC sells out in Saitama, Japan, Henderson beats Edgar to win title 5.7%
Undertaker vs. HHH made Hell in a Cell 4.8%
Condit beats Diaz 3.9%
Okada beats Tanahashi to win IWGP title 3.0%
Condit vs. Diaz does 410,000 buys 2.1%
GSP offers to vacate title to get a shot at Diaz 1.6%
Second All Together Now show 0.2%

What is the biggest event left this month?
Ultimate Fighter live debut 39.6%
TNA Victory Road 16.6%
All Japan 3-20 Sumo Hall Muto vs. Akiyama 14.3%
AAA Rey de Reyes 9.7%
ROH 3-31 6.5%
Dragon Gate USA 3-30 4.9%
Bellator debut 3.6%
ROH 3-30 3.6%
Dragon Gate USA 3-31 1.3%

Who should win: Rock or Cena?
Cena clean 38.4%
Rock clean 36.7%
60 minute draw 7.8%
Rock via outside interference to give Cena a new program 7.0%
Cena via outside interference to set up a Rock match 5.3%
No contest, join forces against 2 heels 3.1%
Double count out or double DQ 1.3%
Rock via DQ 0.4%
Cena via DQ 0.1%

-- Federation of Elite Wrestlers (F.E.W.) Presents: "Family FEWD" Saturday, March 10, 2012, The FIGHT House 2250 Pennsylvania St (isn't that the address of the White House?) Fort Wayne. IN Doors open at 6:00 PM, 7:00 PM Bell time. Sunny will be there.

-- FUNDRAISER for the YMCA of Salem County. East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! Sat, Mar 10th, 2012 YMCA of Salem County 204 Shell Road Carney’s Point, NJ 08069 PHONE: 856-299-1493. Yes, Carney's Point.

-- From the promoter: "The UWC returns to the Browns Mills Fire House in Browns Mills, New Jersey (a half hour from Philadelphia) this Saturday at 7 PM for the UWC's 14th Anniversary Show! As part of this big celebration, it will be Fan Appreciation Night where the fans can pick some of the matches! Matches already announced include a UWC Tag Team Title Match as the Secret Society defend the titles against the Party Rockers with fans picking the special stipulation, a battle of the big men as Biggie Biggs battles X-Ray Stevens with the fans picking the special referee, and a UWC TV title match where The Ripper will defend against the fans' choice! Tickets are $10 and $8, priced affordably for families, and the UWC provides great family-friendly entertainment with no blood, no weapons, and no cursing, so we hope you can make it out!"

-- The latest edition of FSW High Octane is now available. This week's show features a huge main event. A 3 way match for the FSW Elite Title, featuring Willie Mack, Shaun Ricker, and Brandon Gatson. Also see Michael Modest, Funny Bone, Enemies of the State and more.

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?