By Bryan Alvarez
Friday night's schedule has:
Bellator from Cleveland on MTV 2 at 8 p.m.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki in the highest profile fight in Bellator history
Brian Rogers vs. Andreas Spong in the middleweight semifinals
Maiquel Falcao vs. Vyacheslav Visiliveky in the middleweight semifinals
Rick Hawn vs. Lloyd Woodard in the lightweight semifinals
Thiago Michel vs. Brent Weedman in the lightweight semifinals
Ultimate Fighter on FX at 10 p.m. has John Cofer (Team Faber) vs. Vinc Pichel (Team Cruz).
Saturday is UFC from Phillips Arena in Atlanta:
Facebook fights at 7 p.m.
Maximo Blanco vs. Marcus Brimage
Chris Clements vs. Keith Wisniewski
FX at 8 p.m.
Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero
John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani
Stephen Thompson vs. Matt Brown
Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
PPV at 10 p.m.
John Alessio vs. Mark Bocek
Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
Michael McDonald vs. Miguel Angel Torres
Ben Rothwell vs. Brendan Schaub
Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills
Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans for light heavyweight title
Saturday is also the end of the WWE European tour with shows in Glasgow, Scotland and Antwerp, Belgium. TNA runs Saturday night in Estero, FL at the Germain Arena.
Raw will be a three-hour show on Monday from Detroit featuring the contract signing for Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena.
A look at the complete business numbers from WrestleMania 28 and how it compares with the biggest shows in wrestling history, as well as a look at past WrestleManias and how much mainstream interest there was, is the lead story of 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 article look at the total gross revenue on the show, an update on PPV numbers on the show, early estimates of North American numbers, plans for next year's show in New Jersey, the possible main event and what will determine it, how TV ratings and pay-per-view numbers relate, a list of the seven biggest worldwide PPV shows in history, what things helped this year's number, comparing the number with a big boxing or MMA show, as well as record shows in boxing and MMA.
We compare the interest with the early WrestleManias and the difference in PPV interest in that era, Hogan vs. Andre, Hogan vs. Savage and more.
We also have more on the UFC and steroid testing, including Dana White's remarks regarding the company doing random tests, the usage of TUE's, the Alistair Overeem situation, Dos Santos talks about fighting Overeem, Dos Santos talks drug testing, and the comments by Ben Askren and Dana White.
We also have a look at TNA Lockdown, the lack of crowd heat, the Roode vs. Storm angle and finish, early look at interest, attendance, Kurt Angle's situation plus match-by-match coverage, poll results and star ratings for all of the matches.
We have an update on the WWE Network, the 1000th episode of Raw, the potential of a draft, the Extreme Rules card, Brock Lesnar's special deal, The Rock to host a TV show and the Mick Foley/Dean Ambrose angle. We look at other being brought to the main roster, Daniel Bryan talks the "Yes" chants, his thoughts on WrestleMania, admits where he got the chant from, WWE vs. Indies and more. We also have developmental news, updates on Terry Taylor and Fit Finlay, notes on WWE's return to Japan, beauty queen says she's got a WWE project, DVR viewing of Raw, next European tour and a look at the highlights of the current European tour.
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.
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 UFC's debut in Stockholm, including ratings, attendance, what's next for Alexander Gustafsson, crowd reactions and match-by-match coverage with poll results.
We've got notes on where the Nick Diaz case stands as well as his lawyers argument on why Diaz should not be suspended.
We've got our weekly Friday night ratings notes and what the Smackdown rating says.
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.
-- Inside MMA announced that they'll be live streaming the Alistair Overeem hearing Tuesday here.
-- Line-up and weights for tomorrow's UFC 145:
Jon Jones (205) vs. Rashad Evans (204)
Rory MacDonald (169.5) vs. Che Mills (170)
Ben Rothwell (263) vs. Brendan Schaub (237)
Michael McDonald (135) vs. Miguel Torres (135.5)
Mark Hominick (145.5) vs. Eddie Yagin (144.5)
John Alessio (155.5) vs. Mark Bocek (155)
Travis Browne (250) vs. Chad Griggs (228)
Matt Brown (171) vs. Stephen Thompson (171)
John Makdessi (158) vs. Anthony Njokuani (156)
Mac Danzig (155) vs. Efrain Escudero (156)
Chris Clements (169) vs. Keith Wisniewski (170.5)
Maximo Blanco (146) vs. Marcus Brimage (145)
-- Yes, Makdessi missed weight by three pounds and gave up 20% of his purse to fight.
-- Dixie Carter announced that due to technical difficulties, the April 19th Impact is going to re-air next Thursday from 7-9 PM before the new show. I have no idea what technical difficulties these would be because the show aired fine over here.
-- UFC will recognize Atlanta’s 2012 McNair High School wrestling program for their accomplishments with an “Octagon of Excellence" award, which includes a $10,000 grant. The grant will assist the Dekalb County Wrestling Champions with the purchase of uniforms, mats and travel to tournaments for the upcoming season.
-- Jon Jones and Rashad Evans were both on TNT's Inside the NBA (based in Atlanta) tonight promoting their fight. Thanks to Jose.
-- I should note that in response to Dave's article on Sid Vicious on the front page, around here in Seattle when we wake up and the sky is blue, that is, in fact, a surprise.
-- As noted on the front page, Alberto Del Rio has been drafted to Smackdown by John Lauranitis. Should be noted that this Monday's three-hour Raw was originally a draft show, but now it's looking like the draft will actually take place June 11th. All subject to change.
-- In the Welcome to 2012 file, Fedor Emelianenko vs. PEDRO RIZZO has been signed for June 21st in St. Petersburg, Russia.
-- Smackdown tonight has the debut of Antonio Cesaro, aka Claudio Castagnoli, plus Natalya vs. AJ, Brodus Clay vs. Hunico, Titus O'Neil & Darren Young vs. Usos (former team drafted from NXT in the phantom draft that also brought Alberto Del Rio over), Ryback vs. Local Jobber, and more.
-- Jim Ross has a look at this year's Cauliflower Alley Club banquet here.
-- Adam Pearce challenges Colt Cabana to a match to end their series here.
-- Glove Up returns tonight on The AngryMarks Podcast Network! Tonight Peter H and Stevie J are joined by TWO of our favorite returning guests. First up is Nick Kalikas, who will help us break down the odds on Saturday's fights. After commercial we'll be joined by 'The Mauler' Paul Lazenby'! We'll preview Saturday's UFC: Jones vs. Evans PPV, but we'll also get his thoughts on the Alistair Overeem debacle, Brock Lesnar returning to WWE, Paul's new Punch Inna Face vlog, and more! Enjoy Glove Up or Shut Up every Wednesday at 9:00 PM ET courtesy The AngryMarks Podcast Network w/ replay on iTunes (kw: angrymarks), AMP'd Radio and GoFightLive.tv. Be sure to visit PaulLazenby.com and follow @MaulerMMA on Twitter!
-- Roddy Piper talks his current physical state, doing another match, more here.
Who do you think wins this fight?
Eddie Alvarez 73.5%
Shinya Aoki 26.5%
Who do you expect to win this fight?
Jon Jones 78.0%
Rashad Evans 22.0%
Who was the greatest wrestler with a Native American gimmick?
Wahoo McDaniel 78.6%
Chief Jay Strongbow 13.3%
Jay Youngblood 5.5%
Don Eagle 2.5%
What was the best match of the 80s
Flair vs. Steamboat 3-20-89 Chicago 24.2%
Steamboat vs. Savage 3-29-87 Pontiac 21.0%
Flair vs. Steamboat 4-2-89 New Orleans 18.7%
Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite Kid 8-5-82 Tokyo 11.4%
Pat Patterson vs. Sgt. Slaughter 4-21-81 New York 5.4%
Ric Flair vs. Sting 3-27-88 Greensboro 4.7%
Ric Flair vs Barry Windham 2-14-86 Orlando 4.5%
Steamboat & Youngblood vs. Slaughter & Kernodle Greensboro 3.1%
Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich 12-25-82 Dallas 2.6%
Freebirds vs. Von Erichs 7-4-84 Fort Worth 2.0%
Backlund vs. Patera 5-19-80 New York 1.3%
Tiger Mask vs. Kuniaki Kobayashi 6-12-85 Tokyo 1.2%
-- Interview with Beau James tonight here.
-- Real World Mixed Martial Arts has recently announced that on May 2 former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion and UFC star Nick Diaz will be hosting a seminar from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Team Renzo Gracie Denville school.