TUES UPDATE: Free Observer Radio, ratings, what happened after Raw ended, jailed fighter signed by Bellator, HBK Appreciation Night, 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 Saturday night's Ultimate Fighter finals on Fuel and FX, so send 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 also looking for reports from tonight's Smackdown tapings in Columbia, SC, last Sunday's Smackdown show in Savannah, GA, the Saturday night Raw show in Mobile, AL, the Pro Wrestling Superstars iPPV in Rahway, NJ and Friday's Raw show in Alexandria, LA.

The Raw crew leaves after Monday's show for a four-show tour of Spain, with a Wednesday night show in Madrid, Thursday in Seville, Friday in Valencia and Saturday in Barcelona.


Latest Observer: Full Details & Analysis On Wrestlemania, Extreme Rules PPV Numbers

A full report on the WrestleMania and Extreme Rules PPV numbers, what they mean, and comparisons to other shows is among the lead stories in this week's jam-packed issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  Besides looking at what The Rock and Brock Lesnar brought to the gate, we also have an in-depth look at the lawsuit TNA filed against WWE, WWE's reaction, the situation involving Ric Flair and other TNA talent that may or may not have been contacted by WWE.

We also look at one of the top heels of the early television era, Hans Schmidt, a major box office attraction when wrestling was on in prime time on network television and a look at his gimmick, his career, and life after wrestling.  We have stories from wrestlers and his career highlights.  We also have full coverage of UFC 146, including where Brock Lesnar fit into the show, what happened after the show, and reaction to the show.

We also have a look at what happened with Chris Jericho in Brazil and TNA going live all summer on Thursday nights.

The issue will be up on the site today if you are a web site member.  We also have a new back issue on the site right now.

ABOUT THE OBSERVER

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.

Our lead story looks at the updates on WrestleMania numbers, including why the amount of buys isn't what the company first reported and how and where they got the first number from, where the North American numbers rank historically, notes on what the real live attendance was.  We also look at the WWE's usual protocal on WrestleMania attendance exaggerations.

We've also got notes on how Extreme Rules featuring the return of Brock Lesnar did, both how it affected business domestically and overseas.  We look at the lessons of the Lesnar return and an analogy to the territorial days.  We also look at whether Lesnar's first show was a success or failure, and how it'll likely be when all is said and done.  We also look at notes on whether Lesnar's salary paid off on his first PPV, and thoughts on this year's SummerSlam.

We go in detail on the TNA lawsuit against WWE, including what they are alleging happened, what has happened thus far in the court case, where Ric Flair stands in all this, what talent looks to be losing out right now because of the suit and more.

We look at the creation of the Hans Schmidt gimmick and why it got over as big as it did, his major rivalries, his heyday, the highest paid athletes of the 50s, and when he was billed as the biggest box office star in the country.  We look at the movie role based on his fame, his early career, his Madison Square Garden run, and the wrestlers who follow in his wake.

We have full coverage of UFC 146, with match-by-match rundowns, how much base pay everyone got, poll results of the show, and where the winners and losers go next.

We also look at what happened with Chris Jericho, the laws in Brazil regarding desecrating the flag, the WWE's reaction, was the punishment fair, what Jericho will be doing over the next few weeks, others in wrestling comment on what happened and how much this could cost him.We also look at what happens in Canada when Raw goes live in the U.S., an update on WWE developmental and more changes.

We also have notes on a major conflict that will greatly affect the promotion of next year's WrestleMania.  We look at what it is and the real story of how it happened, as well as a look at a match now planned for Mania.

We also look at WWE promoting the New York market over the next year, as well as the site of all the PPV shows for the remainder of 2012, and an update on the No Way Out show.

We've got a lot of company business notes for April, as well as an update on the company's best selling DVDs.  We have notes on a finishing move that has been banned, a lot more on the Linda McMahon campaign including a threat to sue a reporter for commenting on WWE.  We look at the controversy that has caused which has gotten some national publicity.

We also have the roster for the WWE video game including some surprises and a new them for this year.  We look at a wrestler who has been branded a flop by the promotion and why he's been replaced onto, as well as a new singing, how two former WWE stars will be facing two current WWE stars on a show in a few weeks, a former ROH wrestler who had a tryout, an update on Mark Henry, as well as all the business notes from two different overseas tours this past week and highlights from all the house shows.

We also look at TNA going live, what it means, Brooke Hogan and more.

We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows as well.

We also have results from all the major arena events around the world over the past week, as well as reviews of all the major television shows.

Also in this week's issue:

--Big hair vs. hair match at Arena Mexico
--Unique cage of death match ending with a local vet being unmasked
--AAA expansion
--The last AAA TV taping
--Young wrestler with a lot of potential announces retirement due to injuries
--All Japan's big show of the week
--More news on the combined All Japan and New Japan joint show on 7/1
--Masakatsu Funaki set to return
--UWFI nostalgia on Takayama 20th anniversary show
--Notes from the All Japan/New Japan combined press conference
--Lots of New Japan business notes
--Two wrestlers arrested on how one affects the current Junior heavyweight tournament
--Updates notes the first days of the Best of the Super Junior tournament
--Tajiri starts new promotion
--A look at the wrestling and broadcasting career of Dave Brown on his 50th anniversary of being in the media
--Notes on the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame induction ceremony
--Notes on the Extreme Reunion second set of shows
--80s promoter coming back to do a reality show based on an old wrestling promotion
--Former WWE diva arrested
--Notes from the last weekend of ROH shows and notes on the next iPPV
--Why Don West left TNA
--Dixie Carter talks Kurt Angle's Olympic dream
--Updated business notes on the last Strikeforce show
--Full details of the Jon Jones accident as well as his court plea and what he's facing
--This week's UFC lineup
--Final episode of Ultimate Fighter this season talked about
--Next Strikeforce lineup
--How baseball is doing on Saturday night on FOX in the UFC time slot
--Daniel Cormier in UFC an a move to 205 and if it's possible
--A look at the future of Josh Barnett
--A look at the details of the arrets of Arianny Celeste
--More on how Renan Barao got a title shot
--Next UFC programming on FOX
--Fighter in great fight a few weeks ago came in with serious injury
--B.J. Penn talks his future
--Notes on the next season of Ultimate Fighter that starts being filmed in June.
--Lots of new UFC fights

TUESDAY NEWS, NOTES & LINKS
 
-- Last night's Wrestling Observer Radio is a free download, so check it out. If you're not a subscriber and you like what you hear, you can sign up for only $10.99 per month. Besides the weekly Observers, Observer back issues and Figure Four Weekly newsletters, we do radio shows every single day (sometimes as many as FOUR in a single day) and there are over 10,000 hours of audio archived dating back to 2005. Ten thousand hours. Sign up now and join the fun.

-- Smackdown did a 1.7 rating this week.

-- Big Show was, in fact, at Raw last night. He worked the dark match, teaming with John Lauranitis and David Otunga to take on John Cena. Cena pinned Otunga to win the match. Lauranitis is only retired from singles competition, as he noted on the show.

-- The August 6th San Antonio Raw is being billed locally as Shawn Michaels Appreciation Night.

-- Impact Thursday has AJ Styles & Sting & Kurt Angle vs. Daniels & Kazarian & Bobby Roode in the main event, plus to attempt to get people to remember to tune in at 8 Eastern they're kicking off the show with Dixie Carter addressing everything that is going down with AJ Styles. I predict she won't have much to say. They're also doing a Joe Park/Bully Ray contract signing for Slammiversary, plus a four-way to determine who gets a title shot at Gail Kim at the PPV.

-- Check out the Impact Hall of Fame logo.

-- Michael McDonald, 21, has signed a four-fight contract extension with UFC.

-- Countdown to UFC 147 debuts on June 19th at 9 PM on FUEL.

-- Fresh off a 60-day jail sentence on a felony third-degree assault charge, former Strikeforce star Brett Rogers has been signed by Bellator and will debut as part of the company's Summer Series later this month.

-- A video hyping up the second battle between Adam Pearce and Colt Cabana over the NWA Heavyweight title is up here. The second in their Seven Levels of Hate series is a Boston Street Fight, this weekend in, yes, Boston. (Well, Bridgewater, MA, close enough.)

-- The All Night Express flips out.

-- TCW Wrestling, which has awesome production values and draws great crowds, will begin airing on KSN 16 in Joplin, MO on Sunday June 17 at 10AM-11AM. More markets to be announced soon.

-- ROH has a two-disc Homicide set up for sale here.

-- Hunico talks about his collection of lucha libre masks. This is a really cool video that will never see the light of day outside the Internet.

-- Jim Ross talks about changes in developmental. On Twitter, Ross wrote: "After sleeping on it, sort of feel bad for @michaelcole. Humiliation is no fun, trust me. He's got tuf gig."

-- Best wishes to Shane Helms, whose girlfriend is currently hospitalized with pregnancy complications. He has a new interview here updating people on the situation and talking the latest news.

-- Dan writes: Haven't seen this mentioned today, but George "The Animal" Steele was featured on Sportscenter's top plays today. He threw out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game and bit the ball in half before tossing it to the catcher. Here's the link to Sportscenter's tweet on it; it also has the video if you click the link.

-- SHINE Wrestling presents SHINE 1 on July 20 at 8 PM at The Orpheum 1915 E. 7th Ave. Ybor City, FL. This is a new all-women's promotion. The show will stream live on WWNLive.com.

-- The ECWA makes its return to the Greater Newark Boys and Girls Club of Newark, Delaware on Saturday night, July 14th! ECWA will meet Blackheart in a STEEL CAGE WARGAMES rules match and "Greek God" Papadon will defend his ECWA Heavyweight Title against Tony Nese! Stayed tuned to www.ecwaprowrestling.com for details. Call 609.220.5598 for tix.

-- Latest DOA Championship Wrestling TV show from the Portland, OR area is up.

-- Bill Goldberg and Brian Knobbs were among the celebrities at the Jim Kelly Celebrity Classic VIP Charity Gala Sunday night in Buffalo. Goldberg came on stage a couple of times to shut up the crowd when Jim was trying to speak but mostly kept out of sight all night. Knobbs was probably the most accessible celebrity, taking pictures and talking with guests all night long. (Thanks to Chris.)

-- WSU presents Uncensored Rumble V Live on IPPV Saturday June 16, 2012 Meet & Greet: 4:00 PM Belltime: 7:00 PM Live iPPV: 7:00 PM @ GFL.TV. Live from the NYWC Sportatorium 435-13 Brook Avenue Deer Park, New York 11729

-- NWA Rampage Professional Wrestling returns to Johnny G's in Warner Robins, GA on Sunday, June 10, 2012 with a start time of 3PM, and in the tradition of the Crockett Cup presents the 1st annual RAMPAGE CUP Tag Team Tournament. Dr. Johnny Gayton plans an announcement this Sunday on the teams already in the 1st round and the teams contending for 1st round slots. Already announced for a 1st round match this Sunday is the new team of Jimmy Rave & NWA RPW Heavyweight Champion, Kyle Matthews vs ROH's Caprice "Ice" Coleman & Cedric Alexander.

-- FSW celebrates Sun Jun 10th, 5pm at the FSW Arena, 6658 Boulder Hwy in Las Vegas, with its 3 year anniversary show. Doors open at 3pm for free burgers and dogs for all its fans. Show starts at 5pm, and features FSW Champ Alkatrazz vs Tyshaun Prince, former WWE star Daivari vs Remy Marcel, Brandon Gatson, Michael Modest, and a new No Limits Champ will be crowned. Tickets are available online at eventbrite.com and the FSW Arena.

-- Rolling Stone covered MLW.com Radio's interview with Billy Corgan, a one time almost MLW investor and his new Smashing Pumpkins album Oceania as well as a new reality TV project. Article is linked here.

-- What are your thoughts on the past season of Ultimate Fighter?
Never was into the show to begin with 26.5%
Watched the season, liked it, good season overall 20.9%
Gave up on the show a longtime ago 17.1%
No longer interested because they no longer produce guys who can come in and be stars 9.2%
Have watched for a long time, too much sameness 9.2%
The new live format took away from things for me 5.4%
Watched the early part of the season, didn't like it and gave up on it 5.2%
Stopped watching the show due to the move to Friday 5.2%
Didn't watch this season because I didn't like the coaches 1.3%

Predict the Raw rating
2.5 or less 7.9%
2.6 2,8%
2.7 4.3%
2.8 11.2%
2.9 28.8%
3.0 32.7%
3.1 7.7%
3.2 1.7%
3.3 0.4%
3.4 0.2%
3.5 0.0%
3.6 or more 2.3%

What is your thoughts on fighters getting testosterone use exemptions?
Never should be allowed 38.9%
Some may need it, but it's being abused so should be stopped 28.5%
Fie with it with commission approval and constant testing 14.8%
Would be okay in extreme situations, done too frequently 12.6%
Think all you should need is a doctor's prescription 5.2%

Who would you be most interested in seeing face the Silva vs. Sonnen winner?
Michael Bisping 47.4%
Hector Lombard 11.9%
Wanderlei Silva 11.4%
Mark Munoz 8.6%
Brian Stann 6.7%
Alan Belcher 5.6%
Vitor Belfort 5.2%
Chris Weidman 2.2%
Tim Boetsch 1.1%

Who would you most like to see added as a weekly regular on Raw?
Jim Ross 34.0%
Paul Heyman 17.1%
Dean Ambrose 14.7%
Steve Austin 10.6%
Ric Flair 10.3%
Seth Rollins 6.0%
Shawn Michaels 3.5%
Roddy Piper 2.1%
Mick Foley 0.9%
HHH 0.8%