FRI UPDATE: Paul Bearer obit, Linda running again?, tons of UFC notes and maybe even more Chris Daniels interviews, weekend preview, transgender fighter, tons more



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

A rare quiet weekend coming up. The only major event is TNA's Lockdown PPV.

We're looking for reports on tonight's WWE Raw show in Colorado Springs at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

WWE on Saturday has a Raw house show in Broomfield, CO at the First Bank Center and the Smackdown tour opens in Lacrosse, WI.

Sunday is TNA's Lockdown, its No. 2 show of the year:

*Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray for the TNA title in a cage match

*Sting & Samoa Joe & Magnus & James Storm & Eric Young vs Devon & Ken Anderson & Garett Bischoff & Doc & Knox in a Lethal Lockdown cage match

*Kurt Angle vs Wes Brisco in a cage mach

*Bobby Roode & Austin Aries vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. Hernandez & Chavo Guerrero Jr. for the tag titles

*Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim for the Knockouts title

*Kenny King vs. Zema Ion vs. Christian York for the X title

*Joseph Park vs. Joey Ryan

*Robbie T vs. Robbie E

Sunday also has Raw in Loveland, CO and Smackdown in Milwaukee.

Monday is the open of the 2012 New Japan Cup tournament at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. It's a single elimination tournament building to a 3/23 PPV show.

Raw on Monday is from Indianapolis. Besides the regulars, Chris Jericho returns and Undertaker, Brock Lesnar and HHH are all booked for the show.

Smackdown, Saturday Morning Slam and Main Event are taped on Tuesday in Fort Wayne.

        We've got a double issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week, featuring a look at the life of Bill Moody/Paul Bearer/Percy Pringle, the building of Fox Sports 1 and how it affects UFC, an update on WrestleMania, a look at the career and retirement of Jerry Lynn, an in-depth look at the TNA PPV business, plus coverage of all the changes and new matches in UFC, ROH's big angle and more.
 
        Our lead story goes into detail on the passing away of Bill Moody, his health issues, his thoughts on the WWE Hall of Fame, response by major names in wrestling to his death, coverage of his death, his life-long passion for pro wrestling, what famous wrestling stars he grew up with on the Gulf Coast, his start as a wrestler, and how he broke into the business full-time as a manager.
 
        We look at why he first got out of wrestling, as well as his return, his tenure in Texas, as well as the secret story of the first time he managed The Undertaker and what pro wrestling legend it was against. 
 
        We also look at where the names Percy Pringle and Paul Bearer came from, Mini Paul Bearer, his managing and programs involving Undertaker and Kane and a lot more.
 
        We've got more on UFC's move to Fox Sports 1, both the good and the bad and the struggles looking at it both short and long-term.  We look at the network, plans for live events, issues with the Wednesday night shows that people haven't talked about, future of Ultimate Fighter, and more.
 
        We've got a look at the upcoming WrestleMania matches and what is being teased.
 
        We also look at Rock in WWE after WrestleMania, Rock talks about why he came back and why he chose to work with John Cena a second time, injury update on Rey Mysterio, updates on Steve Austin, Bruno Sammartino, which stars are booked for Raw over the next few weeks, future WrestleMania notes, post-WrestleMania cards, WWE broadcast partner in trouble over footage that made television, a main event planned for Extreme Rules and more.
 
        We've got an update on the health of Jerry Lawler and WWE movies.
 
        We have comments from Chris Jericho on The Shield, Cesaro as U.S. champion, what former star was coaching this past week, DVR viewership of Raw as well as business notes for WWE from the past week and details from all the arena events.    
 
        We look back at the career of Jerry Lynn as he comes to retirement, looking at his final show, his first career breaks, his ECW run, his TNA and WWE tenure, as well as his ROH tenure and thoughts on his final show.
 
        We also have a look at TNA's new start in the PPV business with Lockdown this week.  We look at the card, changes from previous years and are they significant, TNA cutting back on PPV shows and what in hindsight is perplexing about their product right now as well as how this show has been marketed.
 
        We also look at plans for next week and the different taped PPV shows that are in the offing and where talent from the outside is coming from.
 
        We've got a full rundown of the UFC show from this past week in Japan, looking at the emotional response to Wanderlei Silva and Mark Hunt and their great fights, business of the show, how the audience was different from a usual show in Japan, the match that made Silva legendary, business of the show and why Mark Hunt really is even in UFC.
       
        We look at the improvement of Hunt, what Japanese favorite really got robbed, thoughts on judging, the story behind the ratings including a lot of information that will surprise you as he show broke every Fuel record.  We also have match-by-match coverage.
 
        We've got coverage of New Japan's 41st anniversary show with the IWGP champion Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. jr. champion Prince Devitt main event.  We look at the match, and also rundown this year's New Japan Cup tournament.
 
        We've got coverage of the ROH 11th anniversary show, including the big angle at the end, the current major storyline, what aspect of the angle wasn't getting over and what was, the business of running TV tapings the day after PPV shows, lineup for the next ROH iPPV including a number of matches not yet announced.
 
        We also have match-by-match coverage of the show.
 
        We also look back at the career of MMA pioneer Mark Coleman, running down his career from amateur wrestling, UFC, Pride and pro wrestling as he ends his athletic career.
 
        We also look at what really happened with the proposed Coleman vs. Brock Lesnar match.
 
        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
 
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        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows as well as details of how every segment on Raw and Impact did and what gained and lost viewers.

        We also have results from all the major league arena events over the past week as well as a look at all the major television shows.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--Tease for what would be the biggest match in Mexico in years if it really happens
 
--A look at the current Parejas increibles tournament
 
--A surprising title change
 
--An insurance plan for pro wrestlers
 
--First news on this year's TripleMania
 
--A look at the building and the lineup for this year's Rey de Reyes event
 
--Unique reason a wrestler has vacated their title
 
--Surprising return to AAA and how it happened
 
--A look at the retirement show of the former Villano V, Ray Mendoza Jr.
 
--A look at two title changes in Japan involving American wrestlers who had things in common
 
--More on what has been happening in All Japan after the buyout
 
--What is being said in a unique angle
 
--Notes on this year's Champion Carnival tournament
 
--Lineup and notes for All Japan's Sumo Hall show featuring a number of outsiders and title bouts
 
--Grandson of one of the biggest names in wrestling history is about to debut and why it will be tough for him
 
--A U.S. promotion doing an invasion angle with New Japan
 
--A legends promotion in Japan
 
--Zero-One's 12th anniversary show
 
--Ric Flair on Wife Swap TV show
 
--Changes in CZW
 
--More on arrests of two former major names in the business
 
--16 Carat Gold tournament notes
 
--More on protests of the Olympics dropping wrestling
 
--New markets getting ROH television
 
--A look at the next month plus of ROH TV
 
--More Hulk Hogan bookings
 
--Roode talks TNA roster
 
--Bret Hart talks Hogan, Bischoff and A.J. Styles
 
--TNA house show notes
 
--Update on UFC struggles in New York
 
--How things have changed
 
--Why the way the laws work there involving MMA are completely crazy
 
--How popular MMA is in the New York metro area
 
--Latest UFC hit pieces
 
--Tons of new UFC cards and matches on those cards
 
--Major irony regarding an upcoming main event
 
--Working ideas for UFC's July show
 
--Notes on Alistair Overeem's injury and testosterone levels
 
--One of the biggest myths about TRT
 
--Update on pay of Robbie Lawler
 
--More on UFC 157 PPV figures
 
--Why Che Mills wasn't rehired
 
--Lots of UFC injury updates regarding top stars
 
--Rousey media coverage
 
--A look at the new Bellator app and how this one can help business
 
--More on the arrest of Daniel Straus
 
--A look at this past week's show
 
--Controversy over trans gender MMA fighter
 
--A look back at the Cro Cop career and background of the Pride heyday in Japan
 
--Gold medalist Henry Cejudo's MMA debut
     

 
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        If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
 
        We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods..
 
        To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
 
Today's News, Notes and Links

-- For those who love history we've got a great 90 minute interview with Larry Matysik on the front page right now talking, among things, his book, the 50 Greatest Professional Wrestlers of All Time.

-- Billy Moody/Paul Bearer/Percy Pringle obituary from his local newspaper's website: MOODY William "Bill" Moody, age 58, went to be with the Lord and his wife, on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. William loved his kids and grandkids more than life itself. His second love was his profession. Little did he know that his mortician background would lead him to one of the biggest characters in the history of Professional Wrestling, "Paul Bearer". "Moody" graduated from McGill Institute in 1972; shortly after, he enlisted in the Air Force. He loved the City of Mobile and local sports. He could always be seen at the Mobile BayBears games and rarely missed a Mobile Mysticks Hockey game. His favorite saying when returning from a trip and landing in Mobile was, "Wheels down in Sweet Home Alabama". He was preceded in death by his wife of 30 years, Dianna Moody, brother, Harry "Bubba", and his grandson, Troy. He is survived by his children, Michael (Beth) Moody, Daniel (Jami) Moody, grandkids, Grace, Danielle, Hope, parents, Harry and Clarice Moody, sister, Joan (Art) Garrett, nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. Visitation will be held Friday, March 8, 2013 at Serenity Funeral Home from 5 to 8 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Vincent Catholic Church on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 10 am. Interment will follow in Serenity Memorial Gardens.å

-- Dear God, Linda running again?

-- If you haven't listened to the GSP/Nick Diaz conference call that is up on the front page right now, do not pass go, do not collect $200, go listen.

-- And after that, if you've ever wanted to hear Junior Dos Santos sing Katy Perry (and really, who hasn't?), click here.

-- On the conference call GSP noted that he wasn't into social media and had someone else doing his tweets for him.

-- Alistair Overeem's injury is to his quad and will keep him out of training a little over a month.

-- Speaking of Overeem, I don't know what's going on with Dana and Mark Hunt, but Hunt a few days ago said he wanted the fight with Dos Santos over Memorial Day weekend if Overeem was out. Dana yesterday said Hunt turned down that fight. Hunt then said no, he didn't turn down the fight. Dana then tweeted that he'd just gotten off the phone with Hunt and they'd had a great conversation. I don't know what's up but that sounds like something is up.

-- Demetrious Johnson underwent successful surgery for a torn labrum today. He hopes to be back in action soon, as in, by June.

-- CNN will be doing a feature with Fallon Fox at 8:40 a.m. tomorrow morning. She's getting a lot of press as the first transgender fighter in MMA.

-- From Dixie: San Antonio's #Lockdown just officially became the biggest selling US Live Event for TNA. Thanks!! Now how about making it the biggest ever?

-- Brandon Baxter interviews Bully Ray about Lockdown here.

-- Press release on upcoming Impact live events and TV tapings:

IMPACT WRESTLING ANNOUNCES THREE NEW DESTINATIONS FOR LIVE TELEVISION EVENTS

THE SUPERSTARS OF TNA IMPACT WRESTLING INVADE INDIANA, PA.; TUPELO, MISS. AND TAMPA, FLA. TO FILL OUT LIVE TV ON THE ROAD SCHEDULE THROUGH MAY

NASHVILLE, TENN. (March 7, 2013) -- IMPACT WRESTLING, TNA Entertainment's flagship television show seen Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on Spike TV, has announced three new locations for its live TV tapings in April and May.

TNA President Dixie Carter announced the new THURSDAY NIGHT IMPACT WRESTLING LIVE destinations during IMPACT WRESTLING's final scheduled IMPACT Zone appearance in Orlando before the show goes on the road beginning next Thursday, March 14 in Chicago.

Newly added to THURSDAY NIGHT IMPACT WRESTLING LIVE's travel itinerary:

Thursday, April 25 at Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex in Indiana, Pa. (Tickets on sale March 29, more info at www.kovalchickcomplex.com)

Thursday, May 9 at BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, Miss. (Tickets on sale April 5, more info at www.bcsarena.com)

Thursday, May 23 at USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla. (Tickets on sale April 26, more info at www.sundomearena.com)

"The Immortal" Hulk Hogan and "The Icon" Sting lead IMPACT WRESTLING superstars such as Bully Ray, "The Charismatic Enigma" Jeff Hardy, "The Cowboy" James Storm, Austin Aries, X Division standouts Kenny King and Zema Ion, Velvet Sky and the lovely and lethal Knockouts, as part of the THURSDAY NIGHT IMPACT WRESTLING LIVE events.

-- Dead Man Down with Wade Barrett in the role of silent assassin is out today in theatres to mixed reviews. Richard writes: Just wanted to tell you I saw the movie by WWE of "Dead Man Down" today. I usually stay away from any of their movies in the past, but this one had a good cast. Well let me tell you its a mess! I go to quite a few movies each year and don't believe there will be a worst one than this. Anyways keep up the good work.

-- Lita has an appearance in this music video.

-- Whatever happened to Big Andy Levine.

-- Main event of ROH's May 4th iPPV Border Wars in Toronto will be Kevin Steen vs. Adam Cole for the ROH Title.

-- ARE YOU BUYING WRESTLEMANIA

Yes 55.7%

No, no longer a WWE fan 19.4%

No, not a good enough show 18.7%

No, not a strong enough main event 6.2%

IF YOU HAVE PURCHASED A NEW JAPAN IPPV, WILL YOU BUY THE NEW JAPAN CUP FINALS?

Yes 47.1%

No, not a good enough show 23.0%

No, schedule conflict 16.1%

No, don't like the main event 10.3%

No, don't like the shows I've bought 3.4%

IF YOU ARE WATCHING A MAJOR SHOW FOR THE REST OF THIS MONTH, ARE YOU WATCHING?

UFC 158 68.0%

TNA Lockdown 51.5%

New Japan Cup finals 39.0%

Of those watching UFC, 27.5% said they were watching New Japan and 40.0% said they were watching TNA. Of those watching TNA, 46.6% said they were watching TNA UFC and 31.1% said they were watching New Japan Cup. 8.0% said they were watching all three.

-- Chris Daniels interview in USA TODAY. This dude does more interviews than anyone.

-- Daniels at toplessrobot.com, and no, that's not a typo.

-- Daniels on Voice of Wrestling here.

-- May have missed a few somewhere, did my best.

-- Promo by Johnny Gargano here, who has become a hell of a talker.

-- David Otunga on Adam Carolla's podcast.

-- Over the Top Radio History of WrestleMania part 3 here.

-- Remember the Super Mario Brothers (best video game ever btw) live-action TV show with Lou Albano starring as Mario? Well, here is an interview with Luigi.

-- Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins talks wrestling and his own promotion here.