FRI UPDATE: Daniel Bryan t-shirt now for sale, Warrior injured, Steiner buries Hogan and Hogan responds, weekend preview, Overeem update, fate of MMA Uncensored Live, tons more



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

It's a quiet weekend with most of the action tonight as neither WWE, UFC or TNA have events scheduled.

Tonight has The Ultimate Fighter Live show at 10 p.m. on FX featuring Michael Chiesa (the sentimental favorite from Team Faber) against Jeremy Larson of Team Cruz.

Bellator is live tonight at 8 p.m. from Caesar's in Windsor, Ontario:

On Spike.com at 6 p.m.

Jason Fischer (155.6) vs. Taylor Solomon

Matt Secor (170) vs. Nordine Taleb (171)

Chris Horodecki (145.8) vs. Mike Richman (145)

Chad Laprise (169.8) vs. Josh Taveirne (170.6)

Lance Snow (159) vs. Kyle Prepole (158.6)

Rich Lictawa (192.2) vs. Elias Theodorou (185.6)

Live on MTV 2 and Epix

Rodrigo Lima (136) vs. Hiroshi Nakamura (135.8) in the bantamweight tournament first round

Travis Marx (135.2) vs. Masakatsu Ueda (135.8) in the bantamweight tournament first round

Alexandre Bezerra (146) vs. Marlon Sandro (146) in the featherweight tournament semifinals

Ben Askren (169.6) vs. Douglas Lima (170) for the welterweight title

Saturday night has the ROH TV tapings from the DuBurns Arena in Baltimore at 7 p.m. Among the matches are Davey Richards vs. Rhino in a non-title match, Roderick Strong vs. Adam Cole for the TV title, Kevin Steen vs. Kyle O'Reilly, Eddie Edwards vs. Mike Bennett, All Night Express vs. Young Bucks and Briscoes vs. Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman in a non-title match. Also appearing are Jay Lethal, Michael Elgin, Charlie Haas, Shelton Benjamin, Mike Mondo, Tommaso Ciampa, T.J. Perkins and several wrestlers from CHIKARA Pro.

The biggest show on Sunday is the finals of the New Japan tournament, the Japan Cup, with Togi Makabe vs. Hirooki Goto and Karl Anderson vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi as the semifinals. The winner gets a title shot at Kazuchika Okada's IWGP belt.

Raw will be Monday night from Washington, DC, featuring Brock Lesnar.

Smackdown will be live on Syfy on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. from Hampton, VA. Appearing on the show will be the cast from Legends House, including Roddy Piper, Gene Okerlund, Jimmy Hart, Hillbilly Jim, Jim Duggan, Tony Atlas, Howard Finkel and Pat Patterson.

New Observer Alert: Lesnar Returns, Overeem Busted, Wrestlemania

We've got a monster issue covering in depth the Brock Lesnar signing, WrestleMania, the Alistair Overeem drug test failure, the ROH match of the year and all the major news from the past week.  It's our annual special double WrestleMania issue.

Our lead story concerns the WWE signing of Lesnar.  We look at the details of the new deal, how much he has to move business for the deal to be worth it, exactly how long the sides have been talking, how this ties into his fight with Alistair Overeem, the most top WWE stars are guaranteed on their deal and what the biggest names in WWE earn.  We look at how the big names get paid.

We look at the potential ups and downs of the deal, how this ties in with The Rock, Lesnar's potential opponents, the original plan for his debut, Lesnar's original WWF contract in 2000 and his second major contract in 2003 and details.  We look at when he left, why he left, his attempts at football, New Japan Pro Wrestling and MMA.  We look at his return angle, the Paul Heyman aspect of the question, what is currently being advertised for the next two PPV shows, the obvious matches, and a unique look at how this affects both WWE and UFC.
 
We also have full coverage of WrestleMania 28, notes on the Rock vs. Cena finish, what Cena demanded on the finish, the story behind Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan and how it backfired, plus a look at WrestleMania 28 as compared to the biggest shows in history.  We look at every WWE show in history that drew 60,000 fans as well as the biggest money shows in history, and who has drawn the most number of them.
 
We also look at how much this needs to do on PPV to be officially, the biggest money show in pro wrestling history.
 
We also have detailed coverage of every match, with star ratings and poll results.
 
The issue is up on the site today along with a back issue from early 1995 also up on the site this week.

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 have a look at a timeline of Alistair Overeem over the last few months leading to his steroid test positive, what it means, the unique situation it puts things in, and how soon he'll be able to fight again, or if he'll be able to fight again in UFC.
 
We also include Dana White's reaction, and what is the probable new main event for UFC 146.
 
We also have an in-depth look at the WWE Hall of Fame, with the highlights from the speeches, notes about them, as well as a history of everyone that was involved.  This is likely the biggest feature out there on the show.
 
We also have part one of our career bio on Chief Jay Strongbow, looking at both his pre-Jay Strongbow days as Joe Scarpa, and his WWWF run where he spent years as the No. 2 babyface, including his style, his role and his most remembered matches.
 
We also look at Randy Orton getting dropped from "The Marine" movie, an update on the WWE television network, lots more on television shows planned for the network, more on Legends House, Terry Taylor in WWE and his background with HHH, updates on WWE injuries including Wade Barrett, a very interesting John Cena story dating back 11 years ago last month, more on WWE movies, HHH talks the difference between being a wrestler and an executive, newcomer set to start on WWE television this week and Cena talks about the last year of his life.  We also look at new WWE non-TV angles, what part of the company got a morale kick in the butt and Edge's future.
 
We also look at the ROH iPPV shows from the past week, talking about the technical issues, what was good and bad on the show, and coverage of both shows.
 
We also have a look at the Friday night ratings scoreboard.
 
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 this week's issue:
 
--One of the biggest independent crowds of the year as a gimmick that has drawn for nearly 30 years pulls another sellout
 
--Prince Devitt becomes a double champion
 
--An international promotion looks to syndicate TV in the U.S. and to run tours
 
--An interesting battle for Hispanic television in the U.S.
 
--Notes on the recent AAA TV tapings
 
--Coverage of the Dragon Gate USA shows over WrestleMania weekend
 
--Notes on the 2012 Champion Carnival tournament
 
--Open of the All Japan jr. heavyweight tag team tournament
 
--Notes on the upcoming Pro Wrestling NOAH tag team tournament
 
--Top worker fired for unique reasons
 
--Independent star signs contract overseas
 
--Notes on the open of this year's Japan Cup tournament
 
--One of the best high flyers and workers in the business set for a return in a few weeks
 
--More on the accidental death while watching WrestleMania
 
--NWA changes its leader
 
--Arrest of former Tough Enough winner Maven
 
--Notes on upcoming ROH shows
 
--Roderick Strong talks chair shots to the head
 
--Kurt Angle and his latest injuries and escapades, as well as his mother being scammed and his reaction
 
--Update on the Lockdown card
 
--TNA star gets his own TV series
 
--Victory Road PPV estimates
 
--Future of TNA twitter promotion
 
--Update on Ric Flair in TNA
 
--Changes in a major recent angle
 
--Update on Jeff Hardy
 
--A new No. 1 contenders fight in UFC
 
--Build of Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans
 
--Notes on the Atlanta PPV
 
--How many tickets have been sold for all the upcoming major UFC shows
 
--Update on King Mo's situation
 
--Update on the next Strikeforce show
 
--Name fighter says he will retire if he loses his next fight
 
--Who faces the Jones vs Evans winner
 
--Tons of new UFC matches
 
--Bellator future
 
--Bellator second television show
 
--Next Bellator card 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 Links and News

-- Larry Zbyszko is not dead.

-- Here you go: The new Daniel Bryan YES! YES! YES! t-shirt.

-- Smackdown tonight has Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match where if Alberto wins he gets a shot at the belt, Randy Orton vs. Kane in a no-DQ Even Steven Mania Rematch (which, unsurprisingly, is said to be much better than the Mania match), Damien Sandow debuts (former Aaron "The Idol" Stevens and we are told he is one of the most complete wrestlers down in developmental right now), Mark Henry & David Otunga vs. Truth in a handicap match, the return of Ryback, Beth Phoenix vs. Nikki Bella, and Big Show vs. Heath Slater.

-- Brock Lesnar's bio acknowledges that he won the UFC title but manages to tell the story without using the letters "UFC". As noted on the front page yesterday, Brock is scheduled for Raw in Washington DC this Monday, Raw in Detroit on the 23rd and the Extreme Rules PPV in Chicago on April 29th.

-- Warrior announced that he'd torn his biceps training and may have to have it reattached.

-- CM Punk will be at Chicago Comic Con this August. WWE is claiming that Punk was injured by the glass bottle attack by Chris Jericho on Raw Monday. They said he had a contusion on the back of his head but avoided serious injury.

-- Scott Steiner went nuts on Twitter about TNA. Hulk Hogan's response: Wow do I feel like a fool!I knew Steiner came to TNA the last tapings then was asked to leave,I heard the news and I was lobbying hard to Bring him back the right way because I see money and talent in him,I had no idea he felt that way about me because he is always really nice To me and my family,guess I was really wrong,at least I know who he really is now. HH

-- Since we've gotten a lot of emails about it, MMA Uncensored Live on Spike has not been canceled. They took a week off and will do so every now and then. Show returns next week after Impact on Spike.

-- The Nevada commission put Alistair Overeem on the docket for a hearing on April 24th regarding his surprise drug test failure. So far, Overeem hasn't said anything and I wouldn't expect to hear anything until then.

-- Joe writes: Today on The Spice Channel on SiriusXM Radio, co-host Christy Canyon made a connotation between porn and pro wrestling in that both had their boom periods in the 1980s. She then added that Hulk Hogan was just like herself and co-host Ginger Lynn in that he just won’t go away. Who says that pornstars aren’t intelligent?

-- Sisterhood of the Traveling Tights looks at Antonio The Promise Thomas here. There is fish-licking involved.

-- Billy Gunn talks how far he'd have gone to get the Billy and Chuck gimmick over here.

-- Jonathan Snowden looks at the rise of Ronda Rousey here.

-- Lucha Libre Rudos Promociones Sunday April 15th @ 3pm New York Plaza 13th and East Lake Street

-- From FCW: Two-time WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio will be appearing at the Charlotte Harbor Event Center tonight Friday April 6th! Fresh off the heels of this year’s Wrestlemania, Del Rio will be taking part in an intimate Meet-and-Greet with fans as part of Florida Championship Wrestling’s return to Punta Gorda. FCW officials could not be happier to have a star of this caliber join them for the event. Bell time is at 7:30 with a special Meet-and-Greet with Del Rio starting at 6:30. The Charlotte Harbor Event Center is located at 75 Taylor Road, Punta Gorda, FL 33948 – (941) 639-5833. Tickets start at just $10 for kids and $20 for adults and can be purchased at Buddy’s Home Furnishings in Port Charlotte 1825 Tamiami Trail Unit 6E - (941) 766-6133, in Ft. Myers 4175 Palm Beach Blvd, (239) 656-1392, and of course at www.fcwwrestling.com. For group tickets, call 813-344-8904.

-- MPW's regular benefit for the Boys and Girls Club in Simi Valley, CA takes place on April 7th. Brawlin' Bo Cooper vs. Austin Draven is the main. Also on the card is a triple threat match and Amanda vs. Nikki the New York Knockout. mpwwrestling.com for details.

-- CHIKARA: "I'll Be a Mummy's Uncle" Saturday, April 14th, 2012 Live at the Rahway Rec Center in Rahway, NJ! Doors = 1:30 pm :: Belltime = 2:00 pm

-- The Gracies have a video where they explain how Stephen Arceneaux III was killed by his cousin at a WrestleMania party via rear naked choke and how to prevent accidents like this from happening in the future.

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