Smackdown will be live on Syfy tonight at 8 p.m. from Hampton, VA. We're also looking for reports live from that show. 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, as well as Dusty Rhodes, Mick Foley and Sgt. Slaughter.
The WWE's annual post-Mania European tour will start on Wednesday with Raw in Moscow, with both Raw and Smackdown next week being taped shows from London.
Friday's Ultimate Fighter replays at 8 p.m. tonight. Evans vs. Jones Prime Time episode one (very good) airs at 9 p.m. UFC Champions Roundtable with Jay Glazer airs at 9:30 p.m. UFC Tonight airs at 10 p.m. and UFC Ultimate Insider (Evans and Jones together as guests) at 10:30 p.m.
This Week's Observer: Lesnar back, Wrestlemania, Overeem busted
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.
-- The Scott Hall domestic abuse story is up here. Quite the 180 from a week or two ago when we heard Hall was doing much better.
-- ROH has added KFDM in Beaumont, TX as an affiliate starting with the April 22nd show. It'll air around midnight.
-- The Daniel Bryan "YES!" shirts are already on back-order, so it's a good week for his pocketbook.
-- David Letterman last night, when talking about how Donald Trump told Rick Santorum to drop out of the presidential race "with dignity", said, "If anyone knows about dignity, it's Donald Trump." He then showed footage of Trump beating the crap out of Vince McMahon from several years back.
-- Just an awesome article on Bruno Sammartino and Toronto by Greg Oliver up here.
-- Eric Prindle suffered a hand injury in training, so his Bellator heavyweight title match with Cole Kondrad, which was scheduled for this Friday, has been moved to the end of May. This Prindle fella, one thing after another. First, his championship match with Thiago Santos last season went to a no contest when Santos gave him a blatant low blow. They tried to do the rematch several weeks back but it didn't happen, either because Prindle was sick or Santos couldn't make weight or both (we heard all stories). Then the next week Santos for sure didn't make weight, missing by 13 pounds, so the fight was scrapped and Prindle was given the tournament win via forfeit. He was scheduled to get his title shot this Friday but now that's off the table.
-- Although the ratings for TUF and the Jones vs. Evans Primetime debut (see front page for the full video) were dire, and Smackdown coming off WrestleMania and the return of Brock Lesnar also did nothing special (below the recent average, in fact), for whatever reason Bellator did the highest rating all season, 175,000 viewers, only slightly below the average for last season and way above average for this season.
-- Will Sasso, who played Hulk Hogan and Curly last night, is a huge pro wrestling fan and did an angle with Bret Hart way back in the WCW days, which you can check out here. He also did a Smackdown angle years back as well. WWE really likes him and the feeling is mutual.
-- Fit Finlay interview here.
-- ROH's new Nigel McGuinness career retrospective DVD is available here.
-- Jim writes: Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was on Stern this morning and Howard asked him the story about Hogan being asked by Lars to join Metallica in the early 80’s. Lars started laughing, said he heard the story about 2-3 months ago and said he had ‘no recollection’ of it happening, but ‘anything is possible between 5am – 7am when your noses are bleeding.’ He said he wasn’t much of a wrestling fan, and perhaps Hogan auditioned under his ‘Christian name.’Thanks to everyone else who sent that in as well.
-- For UFC Tonight on FUEL there will be a 149 fight announcement, and also the crew will discuss Alistair Overeem and PED's in MMA. Hopefully they do a better job than then MMA Uncensored Live crew did.
-- Deadline New York talks the Three Stooges here.
-- Tickets for EVOLVE in Toronto this weekend can be purchased here. Gabe Sapolsky is on Figure Four Daily today to talk the show plus Mania weekend and answer your questions, which you can post here.
-- AAA matchmaker Konnan and MLW President/former WWE Creative Executive Court Bauer once again joined Mister Saint Laurent on MLW Radio presented by BarberShopWindow.com. Both spoke about Shawn Michaels' disdain for losing: "I remember that was a big thing with Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan. It was supposed to be three matches and it became one match, which was a cartoon match because of the sensitivity of who was going over," said Bauer. Konnan added, "Shawn told this to Rey Mysterio once and I couldn't believe it and I told Rey Mysterio, please don't follow that advice. He said that Shawn once told him, 'Do you like doing jobs?' and Rey said, 'I don't mind.' Shawn said, 'I don't. I don't like doing jobs and you shouldn't either.' I was thinking to myself, that's the worst advice you can give to a young guy. You just never know when a wrestler is going to go to Vince when nobody is listening and say I'd rather not do this. I don't want to put these guys over." You can listen to part 2 of the Konnan & Court Bauer episode of MLW Radio presented by BarberShopWindow.com for FREE at www.MLW.com and on iTunes (search: MLW Radio) and StitcherRadio.com
-- NWA Lone Star/Texas Stampede Wrestling present "Knuckle Up" this Saturday (April 14th) in Balch Springs (just outside of Dallas) Texas. On the card, NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion "The Modern Day Hero" Kevin Douglas defends against newly crowned NWA National Champion "The Tokyo Monster" Kahagas. This match was booked prior to Kahagas's title win, and has now turned into a rare match featuring 2 of the top NWA Champions facing off. Also on the card, GWT Indy World Champion Tim Storm defends against "Main Event" Mike Foxx (w/Lance Romance) with Texas legend Action Jackson as the special referee. All this and much more this Saturday at the Balch Springs Rec. Center in Balch Springs, Texas. More information can be found at TxStampedeWrestling.com
-- PWF Northeast returns to action Saturday May 5 at the Davey Lopes Recreation Center(aka PWF Northeast Arena) at 227 Dudley Street in Providence, Rhode Island with a 7 PM local bell time.
-- "Chikarasaurus Rex: How to Hatch a Dinosaur" Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 Live at the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia, PA! Streaming live, worldwide via GFL.tv! Doors = 6:00 pm :: Belltime = 7:00 pm Click to visit the official event page
-- Crossfire Entertainment, LLC Presents Crossfire LIVE! Fundraiser Benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Middle Tennessee LIVE Saturday, May 19, 2012 Nashville Fairgrounds Sports Arena 625 Smith Ave, Nashville, TN 37203 Belltime: 7:30 PM – Doors: 6:30 PM VIP Event Pre-Show: 5:30 – 6:30 PM www.crossfirellc.vze.com (Log on for all the latest news and live events that have been signed!) VIP Seating: $15 (Reserved Seating: Includes Special VIP Event w/ Commemorative Ticket) General Admission: $10 (Bleacher Seating w/ Commemorative Ticket) $2 of each ticket goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation! Sponsored by: Red Rooster Bar & Music, Hollywood Tans, Free at Last Bail Bonding, Jonathan Augusta Attorney at Law, Advanced Financial, Doak Patton Attorney at Law, Lotus Energy, Exodus Health Center, Rent-A-Center
Will it be a black eye for MMA if Overeem is licensed to face Dos Santos?
Depends on the evidence presented, but probably 33.1%
No, it's all a game with steroids anyway 8,0%
No, MMA is at the pro wrestling level where it's beneath media scrutiny and gets a free pass real sports won't 5.5%
Who was the biggest U.S. drawing card coming out of Lucha Libre?
Rey Misterio Jr. 50.3%
Eddy Guerrero 28.5%
Mil Mascaras 15.1%
El Santo 2.6%
El Hijo del Santo 0.7%
Perro Aguayo Sr. 0.2%
Who do you expect to win this fight?
Alexander Gustafsson 62.9%
Thiago Silva 37.1%
-- Ed, Craig and the crew talk WrestleMania weekend live here.
-- New wacky Daniel Bryan interview here.