Smackdown is tonight from Orlando, meaning they will be going head-to-head with TNA tapings.
This Week's Observer
The first WrestleMania issue of the Observer is out this week with a rundown of what the company believes will be the biggest money event in the history of pro wrestling. We look at the matches, the stories, the build, the Countdown show and what has and hasn't worked as well as the big questions leading up to the match. We look at who has headlined the most Manias, how many tickets have been sold and what the demand for tickets is like, how Miami got the event and what to look out for in every match.
-- Just want to start off by saying how much I appreciate getting a chance to meet everyone from the website who came to Miami/Ft. Lauderdale for Mania weekend. I don't think I got a chance to meet everyone but I wish I had, and if I didn't hopefully I'll get a chance either next year or this coming July at the Vegas convention. As always, an awesome group of people, and if you are reading this and have never done a weekend Mania trip, it's really something you should consider doing.
Mania weekend isn't only the biggest WWE weekend of the year, it's the biggest for all of pro-wrestling when you factor in all the different shows, conventions, etc. It's really a great time. There is already a thread up here for people making plans for 2013. Thanks as well to everyone involved in getting blocks of tickets for various groups to various shows, and to Mr. Jai-A-Lai for making travel and lodging so easy for so many people.
-- Michael Graziano, the younger brother of John Graziano, is in critical condition after crashing into a dump truck in Largo, FL last night. Police said both Graziano and the driver were not wearing seatbelts when they attempted to pass the truck at a high rate of speed and collided with it. Story is here. Both Graziano and driver Cameron Bosley have a long list of driving infractions on their records.
-- Brock showed up at the building last night seconds before he had to go through the curtain.
-- Very interesting article here talking to Oprah about the difficulties in starting her own network. She said with the benefit of hindsight there is a good chance she's have done something different. "I didn’t think it was going to be easy, but I did not know — if I knew then what I know now, I might’ve made some different choices. I would say, if I were writing a book about it, I could call the book '101 Mistakes.'" Among the biggest mistakes? Get this: "Launching when we really weren’t ready to launch, and doing that because you’d announced that you were going to do it." She did note that she feels better about her network today than she ever has. The WWE Network, as most of you are aware, was, in fact, originally scheduled to launch Sunday. Now they'll be lucky to launch by the end of 2012 if they ever end up launching at all.
-- As noted on the front page, Randy Orton was dropped from the upcoming Marine sequel after complaints from the military over the fact that he went AWOL in his teens and was dishonorably discharged. WWE claimed they were completely unaware of this. Never mind the fact that it's been part of storylines and discussed many times on WWE DVDs.
-- From talking to those backstage, Daniel Bryan was the most popular wrestler overall in the building, beating even Brock and Rock.
-- Daniel Bryan gave a speech after the six-man dark match last night (where he dropped the fall to Sheamus, who was hated), saying Sunday was the worst night of his life, but thanks to all the YES chants he was probably getting a new t-shirt out of it. He told fans to buy it and then went YES YES YES! and they all went nuts. There were YES chants all weekend, tons of them at ROH and DGUSA, and also randomly at non-wrestling functions, similar to how people used to just randomly go WHOOO!
-- WWE was thrilled that Raw trended during the West Coast feed as well last night, something it has never done before.
-- There is a thread on Wrestling Classics here about a George Hackenschmidt film that has been found that may date all the way back to 1908. Hackenschmidt is listed as the winner so it's not one of the Frank A. Gotch matches. The film is in very bad shape and they're looking for funds to help restore it.
-- Jake writes: I watched the evening bloc of Access Hollywood, TMZ, and Extra last night. No mentions at all from AH or TMZ about WM. Extra showed quick highlights of Maria giving the stinkface with Kelly Kelly and then the pin on Beth. Nothing at all on Rock vs. Cena. They even promoted it like Maria was the big star of WM.. From there they brushed it off and went right to her backstage coverage segment of Dancing with the Stars.
-- I don't know how or why, but "F4W" briefly trended worldwide on Twitter during WrestleMania. I guess I should have some sort of celebration or something, or call a meeting with the staff.
-- The Vince Russo Youshoot will air live on iPPV through the World Wrestling Network (WWNLive.com, same place that does the DGUSA shows) on June 1st at 8 PM.
-- Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Final tickets go on sale next week for the May 19th show at the HP Pavilion headlined by Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier for the title and Gilbert Melendez vs. Josh Thomson for the lightweight title.
-- From FUEL. Very happy with UFC, obviously: FUEL TV, FOX Sports Media Group's dynamic sports network for males, is television's fastest-growing cable network this year, according to figures released by Nielsen Media Research. In both the Total Day and Prime Time, the network recorded the largest percentage increases of total viewers among all rated, ad-supported cable networks in the first quarter of 2012.
-- ROH has their 10th Anniversary DVD out for sale here. Also, a brand new Michael Elgin t-shirt.
-- Not sure what to make of this article. Pretty sure he's serious.
-- More on the rear-naked choke WrestleMania party death up here.
-- Not sure how long it will be up, but Epico is having a Twitter meltdown here complaining about the tag titles not being on the main WrestleMania show but they had enough time for a concert.
-- Brian Stann will be a guest on UFC Tonight at 10 PM Eastern on FUEL. Also Ariel Helwani with a Nick Diaz update.
-- Leonardo writes: Today in an afternoon radio show in Puerto Rico the host talk about that Maripily (a low-rent celebrity in PR) attended the show in Miami. They were making fun of the fact that she was sitting far away from ring side (where the real celebrities should be), that she was triying to do anything on her power to get recognised (the radio host say he post a photo of her triying to steal the spotlight on a red carpet; don't know what red carpet he was thalking about), and mostly they were making fun of the fact that she has claimed that her ideal man is The Rock! In Puerto Rico she is recognised as a stupid-gold digger-airhead. Or the combination of Paris Hilton, Snooky and the Kardashians, in the real bad way of it.
-- Kris Zellner with some lucha news: AAA announced today that due to the arm injury that El Mesias suffered yesterday at the hands of Perro Aguayo Jr. that he was out of action indefinitely. Alex Koslov has been visiting his buddies Marco Corleone & Prince Devitt at the EMLL shows recently so it's probably a matter of time before he comes back into the fold.
-- LIVE PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING returns to Lima, Ohio this Saturday night as W.A.R. Wrestling presents "FOOL'S GOLD" at the UAW Hall 1440 Bellefontaine Ave. 45804. Come out and witness the best professional wrestling around with 8 hard hitting, high flying, action packed matches that has thrilled thousands of fans over the years and Lima, Ohio's best kept secret for entertainment.
-- Only 25 VIP tickets remain for TCW Wrestling's Ft. City Showdown on 4/7 in Ft. Smith, AR at the Convention Center for a TV Taping. Ken Resnick will handling the backstage interviews and Chris Cruise is one of the commentators. Mickie James vs. Cheerleader Melissa is a match billed as the first time they have met in a singles match in the U.S. Also, Matt Borne will be appearing as Boink the Clown (they changed a letter) and Bobby Eaton will be backstage as an agent.
-- All Star Wresting presents "Friday the 13th" Fri April 13th., 8:00 PM doors open at 7:15 Cloverdale Fairgrounds
-- What was the best of these shows?
ROH second night 16.4%
ROH first night 3.8%
Dragon Gate first night 3.5%
Dragon Gate second night 2.2%
What show for the rest of April are you most looking forward to?
UFC 145 Jones vs. Evans 53.1%
WWE Extreme Rules 34.5%
TNA Lockdown 8.7%
Bellator Aoki vs. Alvarez 2.1%
UFC in Stockholm 1.7%
Will Brock Lesnar in WWE be a success?
Booking will screw it up 31.4%
Not as big a financial success as people think 21.9%
Lesnar will get fed up 10.6%
Who would you most like to see Lesnar face at Mania next year?