TUESDAY UPDATE: Ratings notes, Extreme Rules line-up, Sylvia going home, next Rock project, Angle challenged to amateur match, tons more



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

We're looking for your thoughts on Sunday night's TNA Lockdown as well as Saturday's UFC show from Stockholm, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're looking for reports on Smackdown and NXT, will be taped tonight in London, as well as the TNA Impact tapings tonight in Orlando and the Raw house show in Rome, Italy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Raw crew goes to Milan, Italy on Wednesday. The Smackdown crew goes to Sheffield, England on Wednesday. We're looking for reports on all the European shows.

TNA will be taping TV also tomorrow in Orlando.


This Week's Observer: Brock Is Back

A look at Brock Lesnar in WWE is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which also looks at more on Alistair Overeem's situation and the situation with the next UFC heavyweight title shot, and a look at the glory days of Southern California wrestling in a biography of announcer Miguel Alonso, who passed away this past week.


Our lead story talks about the Lesnar vs. Cena match, the lessons and examples of putting on a major match on a "B" PPV show, looking at Cena vs. Punk, Steve Austin's planned coming out of retirement match and Rock & Cena vs. Miz & R-Truth.  We look at what makes Lesnar completely unique to the WWE main event scene on a business negotiating level, and being a former UFC champion is actually a tiny part of it.

We look at why the demands on Lesnar to succeed in driving business is completely different than for someone like C.M. Punk.  We look at what the first Lesnar rating showed, not just in the overall number but in the key opening quarter.

We look at the two matches and dates that have the best chance of moving business. We look at the creative, and how UFC, unscripted, appears to have done a better job of bringing him in due to a boundary that even scripted, WWE has never allowed itself to cross.  We also look back at certain major programs WWE did that are similar to this and whether they worked or not.  We also look at why, given Lesnar's track record, doing the best thing for short-term Lesnar business may not be worth the risk, and why this approach is the more conservative.

We look at Lesnar's second week of television, as well a what is likely to happen in Chicago for the PPV.

We've also got a look at where the UFC 146 main event stands today.  We look at the Overeem situation, as well as look at the prospective other opponents and evaluate who should get the next shot, as well as who people want to see get the next shot.  We also look at the major issues involved in the hearing.

We also have a feature on Miguel Alonso and the heyday of Los Angeles wrestling.  We look at Alonso's death, how wrestling became a staple on Wednesday nights in prime time and when and why it moved into a Spanish affiliate.  We look at the national exposure of Los Angeles wrestling during the early days of what is now Univision.  We look at the wrestler who changed the face of Southern California wrestling in 1968 and became its biggest drawing card for most of the next 14 years, and how he differed from the previous Latin stars in the market.

We look at the stars from Mexico who headlined in California during the era, and the story behind the television show.  We also look back to the first closed-circuit pro wrestling show in history, as well as the decline of the territory, and how different promoters viewed its exposure into their markets.  We also look at how Alonso got his jobs in WWF and WCW after the closing of the local promotion.

We also have the first estimates of how WrestleMania did in 2012, more on the departure of the Bella Twins from WWE and a look at the cost of having Dwayne Johnson at Survivor Series.  We've got more on Daniel Bryan "yes" chants and signs, a rundown of the Extreme Rules show, notes on upcoming three hour Raw shows, will Undertaker return next year and more on Legends House.
We also have an update on the developmental in WWE and the latest moves that have been made including a very strange television move.

We also look at a segment edited off the show, a look at Dwayne Johnson and the end of his football career, WWE gives awards on a television show, notes on Miz and Christian at WrestleMania, why Del Rio was pulled from the show, and Punk changes his tune on Rock.

We've also got our weekly Friday night ratings scoreboard, with Smackdown, Ultimate Fighter, Prime Time and Bellator and how they stacked up both in ratings, audience, and in the key demos and who was up and down and why.

We've also got a feature on the New Japan Cup tournament, including a detailed look at the second night of competition, as well as a look at the next New Japan PPV show.

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 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:

--Update on the Gran Alternative tournament

--Dragon Gate WrestleMania weekend rundown

--Two major promotions working together for a big show in July

--Update on the All Japan jr. heavyweight tag team tournament

--Former WWE performers starting up a new promotion later this month

--The most famous man ever to be a regular pro wrestling announcer and the name will shock most people

--Scott Hall's latest arrest details

--Update on Nigel McGuinness' fund raising for his documentary

--Notes on a big weekend in Toronto

--Change in the leadership of the NWA

--The end of one of the famous wrestling arenas

--More notes from the bio of Joe Blanchard

--More on the arrest of Maven Huffman

--Son of Hall of Famer released from baseball contract

--More on the ROH and Go Fight Live issues, as well as plans for ROH's biggest match so far this year, Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen in Toronto on 5/12

--Update on the last iPPV numbers

--ROH and CHIKARA joint show notes

--Details of the next several weeks of ROH television and where angles are going

--Notes on the new Spike contract with TNA

--Why people were breathing a sigh of relief when the deal was announced

--Kurt Angle and the Olympics update

--Update on the Lockdown show

--Notes on the last few weeks of Ring Ka King

--Thoughts on someone under consideration to win first singles world title

--What happened at Cris Cyborg's hearing regarding suspension

--California looking to introduce new legislation

--Joe Rogan goes against the grain, claims marijuana is performance enhancing

--Nick Diaz's next match signed for a few weeks from now

--Notes on the Brazilian version of Ultimate Fighter being on U.S. TV

--Tons of new UFC matches signed

--UFC on FOX schedule for the rest of the year

--How UFC is part of FOX's major change in programming philosophy

--Notes on this past week's Bellator and next week's show

--Ultimate freak show match signed

--The supposed return to prominence of K-1, except as an American group


Tuesday's News, Links and Updates

-- After last night's Raw, the line-up for Extreme Rules in just under two weeks is Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena in an extreme rules match, CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE Title in a Chicago Street Fight, and Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the World Title in a best of three falls match.

-- Rock's latest project is a TV program called "Hero" which is going to rely heavily on social media.

-- The Smackdown replay on Friday did just slightly better than the live airing: a 1.6 rating and 2.3 million viewers.

-- Bellator did 163,000 viewers Friday night, slightly above the season average.

-- Countdown to UFC 145 debuts tonight on FUEL TV at 9:30 Eastern, immediately preceding UFC Tonight.

-- Our audio schedule will be weird over the next couple of days. Bryan & Vinny is on as scheduled tonight, then Dave and I will be back Wednesday night from Las Vegas where we'll be attending the Cauliflower Alley Club banquet. The Dr. Lucha and Karl Stern shows will likely be delayed due to travel. Todd Martin will be back late Thursday, with the second Bryan & Vinny show of the week back on as scheduled Thursday night.

-- An angry Devon Nicholson challenges Kurt Angle to an amateur wrestling match due to Angle not taking his Olympic bid seriously, dropping out due to a claimed torn hamstring and then immediately wrestling a cage match at Lockdown.

-- Tim Sylvia will fight in his home state for the first time as a pro when he headlines New England Fights’ (NEF) Fight Night III on June 16th at The Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine. The announcement was made on April 14 in Biddeford, Maine where Sylvia was the guest of honor at Fight Night 2.

-- Here's a new trailer for a new Guest Booker DVD where Kevin Sullivan and Gabe Sapolsky attempt to book TNA.

-- This week's Creative Has Nothing For You is up.

-- There is a new "Best of El Generico" dvd, which I'd bet is pretty damn awesome.

-- Shane "Hurricane" Helms is teaming up with TruTV's Lizard Lick Towing as Ronnie, Amy & Bobby offer fans a chance to win a Monster Truck. All proceeds from this raffle go to the Kanaan Bunn Foundation, whose mission is to provide funding to promote research for Down Syndrome, and the many medical issues and life challenges that individuals with DS face including Leukemia, heart ailments, Alzheimer’s, vision and hearing loss. Tickets are still available, so click on the monster truck raffle located on the home page. The drawing will be held on May 2nd when the cast of Lizard Lick Towing appears on Helms' Internet Talk Show "Highway 2 Helms."

POLLS~!

Did you like the Roode vs. Storm finish?

It really doesn't matter at all at this point, the damage was done a long time ago  55.6%
No, it was time for Storm to win 19.4%
No, I didn't mind Roode winning but didn't like the way it was done 14.1%
Yes 10.9%
 
Predict this week's Raw rating!

Less than 2.8 8.7%
2.8 3.4%
2.9 11.2%
3.0 29.9%
3.1 28.3%
3.2 14.1%
3.3 3.3%
3.4 1.3%
3.5 0.4%
3.6 0.0%
3.7 or more 2.8%
 
What do you think when Dana White says UFC drug testing is the gold standard except for the Olympics?

He shouldn't say that because it only means more pub exposing that it's not 50.5%
He's a promoter and that's what they say 44.7%
I think it is 4.8%

-- Tickets just went on sale for EVOLVE on May 11th in Charlotte, NC and May 12th in Concord, NC in the www.DGUSA.tv Store or by calling 267-519-9744. Fit Finlay works that show. I heard his match with Sami Callihan this past weekend was awesome and on par with their first match.

-- Brand new episode of LUCHAWORLD is up.

-- CHIKARA: "Hot Off The Griddle" is set for Saturday, April 28th, 2012 Live at the Frontier Fieldhouse in Chicago Ridge, IL.

-- IWF One-Night-Only "Hit n' Run" Live Event Family-Friendly Fundraiser to Benefit: American Cancer Society's 2012 Relay For Life of Nutley Saturday, April 28, 2012, 7:45 pm Parks & Recreation Building, 44 Park Avenue in Nutley, NJ.

-- This weekend, California's SPW celebrates its 12 Year anniversary by running two shows. On Saturday "Wrestle for the Cure" at Inderkum High School (Sacramento). All proceeds go to the Race for the Cure Foundation. Sunday the 12 Year Anniversary show (Sacramento) at St. Peter's Hall (6200 McMahon Drive). Show will be taped by Slammedfan for their reality show and will feature an appearance from ECW's Mustafa.

-- East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA) LIVE! Presents DIVIDE & CONQUER! Sat, May 5th, 2012 Greater Newark Boys’ & Girls’ Club 109 Glasgow Drive, Rt. 40 & #1 Positive Place Newark, DE 19702