No Bellator tonight. Ultimate Fighter on FX tonight has Sam Sicilia of Team Cruz vs. Chris Saunders of Team Faber.
No WWE house shows this weekend. Besides TNA, the biggest events on Saturday night are CHIKARA and ROH doing a double-header in Chicago Ridge, IL at the Frontier Fieldhouse, with Eddie Kingston vs. Kevin Steen headlining the 2 p.m. CHIKARA show and Brsicoes vs. Jigsaw & Hallowicked for the tag tiles and Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reilly headlining the ROH show at 8 p.m. There is also the Extreme Reunion show Saturday night in Philadelphia at the National Guard Armory. There is also the all-women's Invicta Fighting Championships show from Memorial Hall in Kansas City headlined by Marloes Coenen vs. Romy Ruyssen that will be airing live at http://www.Invictafc.com starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time. We're looking for reports on all of these shows.
The weekend's biggest event is Extreme Rules on Sunday from Chicago's All-State Arena.
*John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar in an Extreme rules match
*C.M. Punk vs. Chris Jericho in a Chicago street fight for the WWE title
*Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan 2/3 falls for the world title
*Randy Orton vs. Kane falls count anywhere
*Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes for IC title
*Nikki Bella vs. Beth Phoenix for Divas title
*Santino Marella vs. The Miz for the U.S. title (on You tube)
ROH also runs Sunday in Dayton at Hara Arena with Davey Richards vs. Adam Cole for the ROH title and Briscoes vs. Haas & Benjamin for the tag titles.
Raw will be live on Monday night also from Dayton. Smackdown & NXT will be taped on Tuesday night in Toledo.
TNA will be taping on both Monday and Tuesday night in Orlando this week.
A look at booking Brock Lesnar from Extreme Rules and into WrestleMania, the most in-depth look at the Alistair Overeem hearing and the decision made by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the changes in major UFC shows over the past week including, full coverage of UFC 145 and the Cauliflower Alley banquet are just some of the major stories packed into the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
-- Deepest condolences from everyone here at the website to Mike Coughlin and his family on the passing of his father last night.
Notes from Dave Meltzer on today's WWE shareholders meeting
Vince McMahon spoke for 7-8 minutes off the cuff. He said that the only two things in life that are guaranteed are death and taxes. He said there are actually three things because he guarantees that one year from now, the company will be in way better shape than it is now. He said there were two reasons, the film department and TV licensing, why revenue and profits were down. He noted that they, by choice, kept two hours (NXT & Superstars) off the air and thus didn't get any U.S. rights fees for those two hours. He claimed ratings for Raw were up 3% and Smackdown up 15%, I know you can look up the numbers and compare them to last year and come up with different results. Vince was said to have looked really old without makeup, his voice was hoarse and he looked tired.
CFO George Barrios talked about the financials, saying that 95% of what was wrong this past year was the film division and TV licensing. He said the film division would be changing. They will be doing PG-13 and money movies, more action, crime, sci-fi and thriller movies. He claimed for for every WWE fan who watches a WWE movie, there are four people who aren't WWE fans who watch WWE movies. Hey, he said that, explaining how the movies expand the audience.
They said that the new movies would be 50/50 partnerships with existing movie studios and they would be doing more movies that either had no wrestlers in them, or the wrestlers would have light support roles.
No talk about The Rock, Brock Lesnar, storylines, or anything.
They took questions for about 45 minutes.
When asked why they think they could pull off a network when Oprah couldn't, Vince said that Oprah was about her TV show and she didn't put her TV show on her network. Why would anyone care about her network if she doesn't put her show on? He said the start date of the network was delayed because they didn't want to make the mistakes Oprah made. He said he couldn't tell you when the network would launch because we don't know for sure, hopefully by the end of the year, that's the plan.
When asked if they were dropping Classics on Demand, Vince said "Most likely."
When asked about PPVs moving to the network, he said they may or may not be.
When asked about developmental, they said a big announcement would be coming soon.
When asked if they would switch from PG programming on television, Vince said "Absolutely not."
The falling stock price wasn't talked about much, but Vince said that if he had the money, he'd be buying shares at this price. Actually, he does have the money. He said the price was down because of the uncertainty about the network.
In the comedy part of the show, an older guy asked Vince if he had received his letter of a few weeks ago suggesting he work with or emulate other web sites, in particular mentioning kinky.com and also if they'd work with Go Fight Live. Yes, if I was WWE, I'd be putting my big shows on Go Fight Live as well.
Another person asked, since they always say WrestleMania is their Super Bowl, to follow the lead of the Super Bowl and put it on free television and make money from the ad revenue. "Why would we do that? That makes no sense to our bottom line to do that." Vince noted they just came off their most successful money-making WrestleMania and said that the Super Bowl would move to PPV if they were allowed to do so.
They also said they would be announcing the new star of "The Marine" shortly.
-- Dave and I will be back later tonight with a brand new radio show talking the McMahon shareholder's meeting, Impact, TNA in Kent, Ultimate Fighter and Smackdown, only for subscribers. We're also back Sunday night after Extreme Rules.
-- Tonight's show at Arena Mexico is the 56th anniversary of wrestling in the building.
-- Spike TV announced that Impact is moving to 8 PM Eastern/Pacific starting May 31st. The official explanation is that there are more available viewers from 8-10 and less sports competition in the 8 PM hour. The NFL starts at 9 Eastern, but that begins in the fall, and this earlier start time is probably going to hurt them a lot most of the year, particularly in the summer.
-- Um, look at the Rock.
-- Ronda Rousey will apparently guest-star on Ultimate Fighter on FX tonight.
-- Marc Ratner of UFC was appointed chairman of the new International Mixed Martial Arts Federation. The organization is based in Sweden.
-- FCW announced that they will begin taping in Orlando at Full Sail University starting on May 17th. They are still scheduled to run at the FCW Arena in Tampa as well, at least for the time being. They have signed for shows in Orlando through at least September and Tampa through October.
-- I will be attempting to out-tweet Jeremy Borash at the TNA house show in Kent, WA tonight at @bryanalvarez, so follow me there for updates. If you're in the area, I'll put up on Twitter where we are going to meet up if such a thing happens before or after the show. I've been to two TNA house shows before, both at the Showare Center, and they've both been a lot of fun. The advance for tonight is apparently pretty good as well, at least in comparison to the numbers TNA drew on the road last weekend.
-- I am quoted herein an article on Eight Steps to Creating a Better Podcast. Thanks to Anna Harris for the interview.
-- Although he is billed as appearing, Kurt Angle is off the weekend house show loop.
-- Full line-up for UFC 148 in Las Vegas over July 4th weekend has:
Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen for the middleweight title
Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber for the bantamweight title
Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le
Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz
Michael Bisping vs. Tim Boetsch
Renan Barao vs. Ivan Menjivar
Fabricio Camoes vs. Melvin Guillard
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Gleison Tibau
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Demian Maia
Riki Fukuda vs. Constantinos Philippou
-- That's a really big show. Tickets go on sale next week, and I believe they are the single most expensive tickets to a show in UFC history. They start at $125 and range all the way up to $1200. That should probably give you an idea of what Anderson Silva requested to take the fight in the United States instead of Brazil. Fight Club members can purchase May 2nd, newsletter readers May 3rd and general public May 4th.
-- Some notes on the July 4th weekend in Vegas, which is our annual convention this year. If anyone would like to sit in one of the Empire groups for the UFC event, post in in this thread as soon as posible since people are going to attempt to buy blocks of tickets Wednesday: UFC ticket blocks thread
General info about the trip/convention can be found here.
There is also a Facebook page set up here.
-- We're looking to get 100 people to the Convention this year, so check out the following links above and make your plans. It's grown every year and is an awesome time!
-- Honky Tonk Man interview from the SCORE is up here.
-- Smackdown tonight has Sheamus vs. Mark Henry, Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio non-title (what does it take to get an IC title match in WWE?), Nikki Bella vs. Alicia Fox, Titus O'Neill & Darren Young vs. Ezekiel Jackson & Yoshi Tatsu, Antonio Cesaro vs. Tyson Kidd, Great Khali vs. Cody Rhodes, Ryback kills a local jobber, and more.
-- There is a video here which does a much better job than Hulk Hogan does in explaining Open Fight Night and Gut Check.
-- Chandler Jones, Jon's younger brother, was drafted in the first round by the New England Patriots, who lost in the Super Bowl. They traded up for a shot to get him. He was the 21st pick overall.
-- Damien Sandow debuts live on Smackdown on Tuesday.
-- Nash's full Twitter rant: HOF means nothing to me,If I Die before it I,ve asked my wife to pass.Nothing against it or WWE,but if Pete Rose ain't in cooperstown....Just don't need it to validate my life.I wake every morning to the sight of the ocean. for a Detroit boy I'm already in....I watched it this year from up close,just don't need the stress,I love the WWE,just love me more.90% of my shout outs are gone.Not cool....Don't worrie some stooge at WWE;who's job is to read all this s--t will as of tonight'make sure it never comes up,let alone happens
-- Kevin writes: Imagine you already know this – but last night during the prime time NFL 1st round draft, each time the NFL Commish would pause in announcing the draft pick, he was met with very loud “What” chants all night.
-- Scott writes: Thought you might be interested to know that Bellator and the Friday night show is ranked 7 on Entertainment Weekly's Must List for the next issue. This weekly list ranks new movies shows bands songs etc and never have I heard of any MMA being on this list let alone Bellator. Included a screen shot from the iPhone app. List goes up there first and is printed in the upcoming issue which most people get early next week. Was shocked to see this. It's rare to see any sport let alone MMA. It's the number one Entertainment and pop culture weekly magazine in the country.
-- If you haven't seen it yet, James Storm's music video is up here.
-- Latest TCW Championship Wrestling TV show is up here. Excellent production values.
-- Adam Pearce challenges Colt Cabana to SEVEN LEVELS OF HATE here.
-- Zack Ryder's latest show is up here.
-- Tanguy writes: Christophe Agius has announced on Twitter earlier this week that he had left his job. He was, along with Philippe Chérault, on the French announce team since 2002 and his act was part of the reason wrestling got big in France a few years ago: he played the heel announcer. His departure is bad news for professional wrestling in France (which is becoming, in fact, a dead territory).
-- WrestleMania 28 out on DVD and Blu-Ray May 8th.
-- UFC on FUEL 4 takes place on July 11th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose with Chris Weidman vs. Mark Munoz headlining.
-- Quick correction from yesterday: the Press-Enterprise is the newspaper in Riverside, CA, which is in Riverside County, not San Bernardino County. (Thanks to Joey)
-- What was the best of these matches?
Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin 1997 Chicago 46.1%
Flair vs. Steamboat 1989 Chicago 33.8%
Undertaker vs. Michaels 2009 Houston 20.2%
Who do you expect to win this fight?
Junior Dos Santos 83.7%
Frank Mir 16.3%
Biggest news story of March?
Ascension of Ronda Rousey 32.3%
Rock vs. Cena build for Mania, ratings don't rise 30.2%
NOAH admits Yakuza ties 11.1%
Death of Doug Furnas 9.5%
WWE Hall of Fame ceremony 6.9%
King Mo fired 3.6%
Death of Joe Blanchard 2.3%
Friday Night Wars 1.3%
WWE almost sells out MSG for house show 1.3%
AAA Rey de Reyes show 0.8%
All Japan Sumo Half show 0.7%
Who is WWE's biggest star?
-- The newest episode of DOA Championship Wrestling from up here in the Northwest is up.
-- Shane Douglas joined Mister Saint Laurent on MLW Radio this week to discuss his upcoming ECW reunion show and how Dixie Carter's treatment of former ECW stars led to his decision to hold his own reunion show.
-- Peachmachine returned to the Drunkcast this week.
-- The 2012 Young Lions Cup takes place on Saturday, May 5th in Hayward, CA at the famous APW Garage. This years tournament will feature 16 competitors from California, Hawaii and overseas. This years tournament will have a unique format. Round 1 will consist of four tag team matches. The winning team will face off against each other in Round 2. From then on, the tournament will be single elimination.
-- El Generico has just been confirmed for EVOLVE cards on May 11th in Charlotte, NC and May 12th in Concord, NC. Tickets for both events are now on sale by calling 267-519-9744. Both cards will be broadcast on worldwide live iPPV with three pricing options. You can pre-order now.
-- Indy promotion Pro Wrestling Syndicate has recently been on fire since coming off its massive Super Card 2012 event this past March 9th in Rahway NJ which made headlines across the wrestling world for the infamous no show of Psycho Sid. PWS has now assembled not one, not two, but three even bigger events to follow up its Super Card 2012 which drew close to 950 fans at The Rahway Rec Center.
Next Friday, May 4, PWS returns to Rahway NJ with Refuse To Lose 2012 featuring WWE Hall Of Famers Bret Hart and Rocky Johnson. Sami Callihan defends the PWS Heavyweight Title against Jay Lethal, Colt Cabana collides with Matt Hardy, Jerry Lynn battles Marty Jannetty for the first time ever, and lots more including Maria Kanellis, Demolition, Jillian Hall, Reby Sky, The Young Bucks, Samuray Del Sol, Zema Ion, Adam Cole, and the return of Teddy Hart.
-- A look back at when Austin Idol, Tommy Rich and Paul Heyman shaved the head of Jerry Lawler in one of the most heated angles ever in Memphis (and that covers a lot of ground).