FRI UPDATE: Huge weekend preview, main event off tonight, new Mania match, new Mania participant, Gary Hart tribute, WWE Studios latest hit, tons more



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

Your TV & House Show World: Friday Night Wars Redux

We're looking for reports on tonight's TNA house show in Pensacola (James Storm & Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray & Bobby Roode) and last night's show in Biloxi 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 .

Tonight is week two of the one-sided Friday night wars, with Bellator and Smackdown from 8-10 p.m., Best of Ultimate Fighter on Spike from 9 p.m. to midnight and the live Ultimate Fighter at 10 p.m. on FX. No fight has been announced for Ultimate Fighter, but they will be picking teams and there will be one fight.

Bellator is minus the Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos main event, as Prindle had issues with the flu and Thiago may or may not have had major weight issues, and the match for the finals of last season's heavyweight tournament has been moved to next Friday night.

Tonight's lineup from the Horseshoe Riverdome in Bossier City, LA:

On Spike.com at 6 p.m.

- Trey Houston (185) vs. Jeremiah Riggs (185.8) - The same Jeremiah Riggs from Tough Enough

- Jeremy Myers (141) vs. Jason Sampson (134.6) - Looks like somebody missed weight bad

- Eric Scallan (170.4) vs. Derrick Krantz (170.4)

- Josh Quayhagen (164.6) vs. Brent Taylor (165.2)

Live on MTV2 and Epix, all first round middleweight tournament bouts

- Brian Rogers (186) vs. Vitor Vianna (185.6)

- Giva Santana (186) vs. Bruno Santos (185.2)

- Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (185.6) vs. Victor O'Donnell (186)

- Norman Paraisy (186) vs. Maiquel Falcao (186)

Also, ESPN U has coverage of the NCAA wrestling tournament all weekend from the Savvis Center in St. Louis. It will be airing at 7 p.m. tonight. The NCAA tournament semifinals will be at 11 a.m. Saturday morning on ESPN U with the finals on ESPN at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday night has a WWE dual branded house show in Providence, RI.

Sunday is a big day, with TNA Victory Road, WWE in Madison Square Garden, Pro Wrestling NOAH in Yokohama and AAA Rey de Reyes in Guadalajara.

TNA has Bobby Roode vs. Sting no holds barred, Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy, James Storm vs. Bully Ray, A.J. Styles & Mr. Anderson vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian, Samoa Joe & Magnus vs. Matt Morgan & Crimson for the tag titles, Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne for the Knockouts title, Austin Aries vs. Zema Ion for the X title and Robbie E defends the TV title.

The last Madison Square Garden lineup we had was C.M. Punk & Randy Orton & HHH vs. Chris Jericho & Dolph Ziggler & Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry vs. Big Show for the world title, John Cena vs. Kane last man standing, The Miz vs. R-Truth, Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder (which is likely to be changed to Santino Marella since this lineup was before they changed the U.S. title)

AAA has Jeff Jarrett vs. Mesias for the AAA title, the four-way Rey de Reyes match with L.A. Park vs. Perro Aguayo Jr. vs. Jack Evans vs. hector Garza, plus Dr. Wagner Jr. & Heavy Metal & Electroshock vs. El Texano Jr. & Toscano & Mascara Ano 2000 Jr.

Pro Wrestling NOAH runs Yokohama Bunka Gym with Takeshi Morishima vs. Naomichi Marufuji (replacing an injured Takashi Sugiura who suffered a herniated disc in his lower back) for the GHC title and Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito vs. Go Shiozaki & Keiji Muto for the GHC tag titles.

Monday is Raw from Philadelphia with John Cena vs. Mark Henry as the TV main event, plus a confrontation in the ring with HHH, Shawn Michaels and Undertaker. The Rock will also be there.

Tuesday is the Smackdown in Newark at the Prudential Center.

Tuesday is also All Japan's biggest show of the year so far at Sumo Hall in Tokyo featuring Akiyama vs. Muto for the Triple Crown and a cage match with Yuji Nagata vs. Masayuki Kono.

New Observer Alert: Latest On Wrestlemania, Friday Night Wars, Mirko Cro Cop Retrospective

The latest WrestleMania update, as well as a look in depth at the Friday night wars week one, along with features on WWE developmental and a career look at Mirko Cro Cop are among the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

The issue is up on the site today along with a back issue from early 1995 also up on the site this week,

The lead story updates the lineup for WrestleMania, where every major star is figured in, looking at how the show looks on paper as well as the business of the show.  We look at the drawing power of Rock vs. Cena and Undertaker vs. HHH as the main matches, what ratings and ticket sales say and thoughts of the show as a whole.

We also look at what week one of the Friday night wars showed, looking at the ratings and the ratings pattern of The Ultimate Fighter debut, Spike's Ultimate Fighter rerun notes, as well as Bellator's season opener with a championship match all battling the incumbent Smackdown.  We look at how things can be spun positively for UFC, but the one stat that was significant and is not a positive, and what can be learned from it.  We also look at the different audience breakdown for UFC and WWE on Fridays, as well as what value, if there is any, of going live as well as the disadvantages of going live.      

We also have a feature on the WWE developmental system in Florida, looking at the top stars that have come out of it over the past decade, OVW vs. FCW, why OVW no longer exists in a relationship with WWE, why the glory days of OVW can't be brought back so easily, HHH's first major move as the head of the developmental system, and a scouting report on some of the key wrestlers in the system today.                    

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.

We also look at changes in how WWE is doing house shows following up on notes we had on the subject a few weeks ago.  We also look at changes in PPV plans for post-WrestleMania including a match scheduled for Mania that has been set for post-Mania and changed once again.  We have notes on the wealth of Vince McMahon based on filings by Linda McMahon in her senatorial run.  We also look at major names who are supporting her and how much money she has spent so far on the new campaign.

We've got more business notes regarding Dwayne Johnson, as well as Edge talking about the final days of his career and what he did or didn't know going into last year's WrestleMania.  We also look at two very different names WWE has just signed and will be coming in next week, as well as someone on he verge of signing.  We've got more on plans for WrestleMania week, as well as business notes from all the weekend house shows and highlights of what was done at those shows.

We also look back on the glory days of Japanese MMA with a story on Mirko Cro Cop.  We look at the real story of how Cro Cop because such a popular star in Japan, and how pro wrestling plays a part in it, as well as Cro Cop's matches with famous pro wrestlers and the thoughts of why the Cro Cop vs. Yuji Nagata match took place and how devastating it was for pro wrestling and Nagata at the time.\

We also look at why Cro Cop never had success in the UFC, as well as a look back at how big a deal it was when he made the jump, and the real reasons UFC was able to put the deal together and why it signalled so much more in the grand scheme of things.

We also look at how Cro Cop got so popular and his chase and the build to the ultimate MMA match of its era, Fedor vs. Cro Cop in 2005.

We also have a report on the fighters who made it into the house for Ultimate Fighter coming off the live show on Friday night.

We also have an obituary feature on California wrestling mainstay Woody Farmer, who wrestled in the area for nearly 50 years.  We look at his background, how he got started in wrestling, the three generations of Farmers in wrestling and the sad story about why he always hated his birthday and Christmas.

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.

More On The New Observer: Champ vs. Champ In Japan, Kurt Angle, Ronda Rousey

--Major promotion booking change

--AAA's last TV leading into Rey de Reyes

--Update on Dragon Gate USA on iPPV

--All Japan's first Sumo Hall show of the year preview including a Hall of Fame candidate wrestling in his first cage match of his career

--Late change to Pro Wrestling NOAH's main event title match

--Thoughts on Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada and their role in New Japan going forward

--IWGP champion vs. ROH champion

--Hall of Fame candidate announces his first match in more than 10 years, and the date of it

--Ultimo Dragon's 25th anniversary match

--Big Van Vader returns to wrestle in Japan

--Death of legendary referee Dick Woehrle and his role in the WWWF and WWF, as well as with other promotions, and how he got started in pro wrestling

--More on Paul Orndorff's battle with cancer

--Latest ECW reunion and who is and isn't going to be involved

--A look at the death of a famous Southern referee, Tommy Weathers

--More about the situation involving Chavo Guerrero Sr. in a match in Illinois this past week that was so strange

--Bill O'Reilly talks Jesse Ventura's incident over the alleged bar fight a few years ago

--Numbers from the last ROH iPPV show

--Latest on WrestleMania weekend ROH shows

--Kurt Angle gives a realistic look at his training and chances regarding the Olympics

--When he will be wrestling if he does the trials

--Lots of new stuff regarding Hulk Hogan sex tape

--Updates on Victory Road and an injury note

--Update on Ring Ka King

--Vince Russo marketing himself for seminars

--More on Eric Bischoff and Jeremy Borash

--Notes on the weekend TNA house shows

--Who is TNA's difference maker when it comes to house shows

--Business numbers from the last several UFC and Strikeforce shows

--What notable mark did Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate achieve

--How their match drew compared to the semifinal on the show

--Update on Miesha Tate's injuries

--Rampage Jackson's latest meltdown

--Jackson's last UFC match, and a look at what he said

--UFC's night of heavyweights update

--Health of Cain Velasquez update

--Nick Diaz and his legal case challenging his suspension

--More on UFC threatening to go after individuals who stream their PPV shows

--Update on UFC regulation plans

--Frankie Edgar talks future

--An interesting name tosses his hat in the ring for Jose Aldo Jr.

--Notes on UFC's promotion of the next two major PPV shows

--Speculation abounds regarding Gilbert Melendez's next opponent

--Two of UFC's most impressive young fighters and their next PPV match

--A UFC show where the lineup on FX may be better than that on the PPV as far as exciting fights

--A suspension of a UFC fighter that got no publicity and why

--A number of new UFC fights signed

--Rundown of the Bellator season opener

--Thoughts on the Joe Warren stoppage and his condition after the fight

The Most Popular Observers Ever


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 and Notes

-- As noted on the front page, they shot an angle on Extra yesterday with Maria Menounos, Kelly Kelly, Beth Phoenix and Eve. Apparently Eve and Beth are back on the same page after Monday. Anyway, it's a tag match for Mania now with Maria & Kelly vs. Beth & Eve. I wonder if the Divas not on the show are going to complain in the locker room about Maria taking one of their spots.

-- WWE added R-Truth to Teddy Long's WrestleMania team.

-- Linda Bollea wins a court battle versus Hulk, thought it is not the much-publicized defamation suit.

-- Major League Wrestling released a MLW Digital Short this morning in memory of "Playboy" Gary Hart here. This footage was produced by Major League Wrestling as part of a viral campaign that was set to launch in March 2004 for Gary Hart's reemergence in pro wrestling. Signing Low Ki and Homicide was just the start. Gary Hart's Black Friday Management was an ominous force set to explode in MLW. This is a sample of what Gary Hart's propaganda was to be. It also was slated to appear in Gary Hart, Low KI and Homicide's MLW entrance video.

-- WWE Studios' newest film: A remake of Leprechaun. Really. They'll be teaming with Lions Gate again, who they worked with for both See No Evil and The Condemned. Although there is a belief that See No Evil was the most successful of all the WWE Films, in fact, according to the latest company filing, both that film and Condemned lost millions ($2.9 million for See No Evil, $6.6 million for Condemned). By far, the most successful WWE film was The Marine with John Cena, which made $14.6 million -- $13.9 million more than second place made. Only three WWE films have not lost seven figures.

-- Today's Calgary Herald News and Opinion section has a large photo from about 1970 of Stu Hart, Carlos Belafonte (Colon) and then Calgary mayor Rod Sykes. The article is about a rundown area near the city hall and doesn't mention Stu at all. Thanks to Mark.

-- Smackdown tonight has Chris Jericho vs. Sheamus, the return of Christian for a Peep Show with John Lauranitis and Teddy Long, which sounds hideous given the Teddy vs. John backstage debates the past few weeks, Kofi Kingston vs. David Otunga, Brie Bella vs. AJ, Cody Rhodes vs. Great Khali, Drew McIntyre vs. Big Show, and Mark Henry vs. Yoshi Tatsu.

-- Lucha Libre USA released the following tour schedule:

March 23 Reno, NV- Reno Events Center
March 25 Stockton, CA- Stockton Arena
March 30 San Jose, CA- HP Pavilion
April 13 Los Angeles, CA – Walter Pyramid at Long Beach State
April 14 Fresno, CA- Selland Arena
April 20 Houston, TX- Verizon Wireless Theater
April 22 Dallas, TX- Mesquite Arena
April 29 Phoenix Arizona – Celebrity Theatre
May 11 San Antonio, TX - Alamodome
May 12 Austin, TX - Round Rock Express

-- Weird Al and John Morrison. Yes.

-- Over the Top Rope Radio tonight with part 2 of the Hall of Fame discussion.

-- Jim Cornette talks Battle of the Belts and more here.

A ton of lucha news from Kris Zellner

- IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Prince Devitt who arrived in Mexico City yesterday posing for pictures to media fanfare ready for his upcoming tour with EMLL has had to cancel after they found out he had a calf injury that is forcing him to take some time off. No word on how long he will miss time but he is off the lineups for now.

- La Familia de Tijuana (Damian 666/Bestia 666/Halloween/Super Nova/X-Fly) all decided to leave Perros del Mal mutually on Tuesday with everyone resigning their office positions and Super Nova leaving his PdM Lt. Heavyweight Title on Perrito's desk. They are free to work anywhere they want but Halloween assured that they would work all of their contracted dates for AAA and anyone else before taking new bookings but they are open to still working with PdM as freelancers.

- In the ongoing Hijo del Santo vs. AAA trial over royalties he felt he deserved off of DVD sales from the Triplemania show he was on a couple of years ago, AAA Owner Marisela Pena pulled a power play on her birthday no less demanding that Hijo del Santo unmask if he is going to testify because she wanted to face her accuser to see if it was actually Santo under the hood since she has seen him unmasked in the past. Santo of course refused to do this and the judge wasn't too hot on the idea but decided to postpone the case for an appeal.

- In some wacky Monterrey news, the newest gimmick to hit the Arena Coliseo de Monterrey scene is the Masters of the Universe and I'm not talking about Sid Vicious but yes, 80's cartoon icon He-Man. No word if Skeletor will be coming after him but he will be teaming with Batman and I'm not talking about Tony Marino for you longtime WWWF Pittsburgh fans.

- WWE is coming back to Mexico in May but only for a couple of dates as they are scaling back right now just doing shows on 5/25 in Aguascalientes and 5/26 in Guadalajara. The lack of shows in Mexico City is interesting.

POLLS~!

Which of these upcoming UFC shows are you most interested in?

Brazil - Sonnen vs. Silva 50.1%
Las Vegas - all heavyweight show 32.1%
Atlanta - Jones vs. Evans 17.6%

What best describes your interest level in WWE right now?

Still interested, but bad shows have turned me off 41.5%
As high as it has ever been 14.5%
Was a fan, but have lost complete interest 12.3%
Still interested, not as much because too many shows and hard to keep up with 9.4%
Have lost interest over the years due to too many tragedies ignored 9.4%
Still interested, but not as much because friends have lost interest 6.1%
Lost interest due to lack of strong competitive promotion 5.7%
Never really that interested 1.0%
Never was interested but have just gotten interested 0.1%

If Nick Diaz gets a six month suspension and is available in August, should UFC book him against Condit right away?

No, he lost the match to determine who got GSP and they are only giving him a second chance because they didn't get the result they wanted 62.2%
Yes, it's the right thing for business 22.8%
Yes, first fight was close enough to do a rematch 15.0%

What was the greatest foreign tag team in Japanese wrestling history?

Brody & Hansen 21.7%
Gordy & Williams 21.5%
Road Warriors 18.9%
Funks 17.2%
British Bulldogs 6.0%
Steiners 5.4%
Sheik & Abdullah 2.9%
Hansen & Vader 2.2%
Furnas & Kroffat 1.4%
Mascaras & Caras 1.2%
Hansen & Hogan 1.1%
Bruiser & Crusher 0.5%

What is the biggest event of the weekend?

NCAA tournament 55.1%
TNA Victory Road 15.0%
All Japan Muto vs. Akiyama 12.7%
AAA Rey de Reyes 8.7%
NOAH Morishima vs. Marufuji 5.6%
Bellator 2.9%

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!