MON. UPDATE: More from Mania, Reactions, Raw tonight, more Angle, Wrestling TV pilot, Tough Enough



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        We're doing polls for WrestleMania, as well as  both of the ROH iPPV shows and the Dragon Gate iPPV show.  No poll for Strikeforce since it's a B show or Bellator.  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 live reports from Atlanta tonight with dark matches, Superstars matches and anything else not evident from the live show.  Besides Rock and Steve Austin on the show, Sin Cara will also be debuting in the ring.
 
        Big TV night with the Hall of Fame on USA at 8 p.m. (focusing on the Road Warriors, Sunny and of course Shawn Michaels based on preshow ads) and the debut of Tough Enough at 11:15 p.m. or later.  Raw is expected to go long tonight because with Austin and Rock, and the day after Mania, this should be one of the biggest ratings of the year even going against the NCAA title game, which is going to hurt at least somewhat.
 
        We're also looking for reports on this past weekend's TNA house shows, Thursday night in Corbin, KY, Friday night in Pikeville, KY and Saturday night in Johnson City, TN, as well as the Friday night Dragon Gate USA show in Burlington, NC.
 
        Smackdown and NXT will be taped Tuesday night from Charlotte.
 
        The final ROH TV show airs tonight at 8 p.m.   The show is said to be great, featuring Davey Richards & Briscoes vs. Roderick Strong & Kings of Wrestling taking up almost the entire hour.   
 
        With WrestleMania upon us, we have two issues of the Observer out this week, and one of our big three issues of the year, the WrestleMania review issue covering not only the major WWE activities, the big show, the financial and backstage news, but also the ROH and Dragon Gate shows, will be out next week.
 
        Both issues are up on the site right now in the Observer archives section listed as April 4 and April 6.
 
        Among the major features in the issues coming out this week is a look back at the start of WrestleMania and the real history, the good, the bad, how the show changed the face of the industry in so many ways, as well as truths, lies, myths and more that have sprung up regarding 27 years of what in almost every year was the biggest show on the North American continent, and in most cases, in the world each year.  We look at questions regarding the show, including arena vs. stadium, real main events, and the untold history, particularly from the first show and why it is still the most important of all of them.
 
        We look back at the concept of the big show, problems doing the first one, the growth to WrestleMania III, the ups and downs of the 90s, and the new era starting in 1998 to the current show.
 
        We also have a WrestleMania preview, looking at company goals, markets efforts, predictions on how the show will do, a match-by-match preview, what is the real key to whether this show does bigger than last year and more.  We look at how and why matches changed, notes on the Hall of Fame, celebrity involvement, ticket availability and much more.
 
       The first of the two issues will be up on the site today, and the second will be up tomorrow.  A back issue from early 1994 was just put up yesterday.  Between the Observer and Figure Four Weekly, we have about 14 issues put up every month and dozens of new audio shows for web site subscribers including coverage after the shows of every major pro wrestling and MMA event.
 
        You can also order print copies of the Observer with details below.
 
        We also have an interesting look at the controversial UFC plan for the next season of Ultimate Fighter and why it may or may not happen.
 
        We've also got a bio on the great manager, Sir Oliver Humpderink, going through his career through the territories, his legend in Florida, the unique way he got into pro wrestling, his first night as a manager, his most famous roles, his time with WWF and WCW at the end of his career, an life after wrestling, including his own words about life and wrestling taken from lengthy interviews he's done before his death, and friends talk about him as well. 
 
        We also look more at the firing of Fit Finlay by WWE, more on the Elimination Chamber numbers, Lesnar talks Undertaker and going back to wrestling, a longtime WWE vet says he's retiring in 18 months, lots of news on the season of Tough Enough, a look at Sin Cara's house show debut, Chris Jericho talks Dancing with the Stars and does pro wrestling help him, an upcoming Dwayne Johnson movie as well as a new John Cena movie, what happened with Michael Cole on twitter and why, behind the greatest 50 wrestlers DVD and WWE sending 80s legends on the road after Mania.
 
        We also look at a former member of The Ultimate Fighter cast known for doing pro wrestling interviews who is trying out for WWE, if the return of Rock has affected DVR usage when it comes to Raw, lots of background on who is David Otunga, pre-Mania publicity, notes on the Hall of Fame process and celebrates, Scott Hall on why he's not going to Atlanta for the Shawn Michaels induction, a former WWE star says he'd be insulted if asked to go into the Hall of Fame, Hall of Famer son wins first championship an more developmental news.  Plus an interesting stat on Lay Cool, how WWE handles crowd mishaps, as well as business notes from the past weekend and a look at all the WWE house shows the last weekend before Mania and what the notes indicate.
 
        We also run down the UFC Fight Night show, with our usual match-by-match coverage, how much everyone earned on the show, business notes, poll results, where the main fighters go and more.  We also have some very interesting notes because the ratings for this show were very different than most UFC shows on Spike and we look at what that says about different variables including start time and matches.  We also look at a couple of big matches and moments underneath that, because the show ran long, were not able to be aired on Spike.
 
        We also look at the question marks surrounding the future of Bobby Lashley in MMA and pro wrestling.
 
        We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw and Impact did and what viewers came and left.  In particular this week we look at the WrestleMania go-home show, and how the key segments on the show did. . 
 
        We also have our usual weekly features with results of the major arena shows from around the world, and the major TV show rundowns and reviews.
       
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Also in this week's issues:
 
--Return of CMLL to U.S. television
 
--68th anniversary of pro wrestling at Arena Coliseo in Mexico City
 
--A look at the death of a wrestler turned movie villain
 
--Heels talk about their belief heeling is a lost art and complain why
 
--TripleMania date announced
 
--Mexico ratings
 
--Promotion feuding with leading magazine
 
--AAA starts pushing new talent
 
--Japanese star tries to put together an all-star charity show and major star from the last decade says he'll come out of retirement for it
 
--Notes on the 2011 Champion Carnival tournament
 
--ROH tag champs head to NOAH for its annual tag tournament
 
--More on New Japan coming to the U.S. for a tour
 
--Hall of Famer in Japan has his first match against the son of a major former rival
 
--Update on Jinsei Shinzaki and his plight after all the troubles he's had after the earthquake
 
--Update on plans for a major feature movie on one of the greatest pro wrestlers in history
 
--A look at Memphis Heat, business, reviews and notes about the movie and its future
 
--A sleazy promoter and sleazy athlete combine for a story
 
--Larry Zbyszko talks Chris Jericho
 
--More notes on Lockdown
 
--Update on the Bellator tournaments and future shows
 
--Granddaughter of one of the most famous wrestlers in history and her sex with a minor charges case comes to a close
 
--A look at Kurt Angle's latest arrest
 
--Hulk Hogan now working indies?
 
--Former TNA wrestler looked at regarding a return
 
--Plenty of TV craziness
 
--A look at the last weekend of TNA shows
 
--Updated UFC PPV estimates
 
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--A very interesting statement made by Spike TV head about something they are talking about for the fall
 
--A look at the Thiago Silva drug case
 
--Update on Fedor Emelianenko
 
--Future of Mirko Cro Cop
 
--Future Spike UFC shows
 
--A controversy regarding medical suspensions
 
--Another foreign champion comes into the Zuffa fold next week
 
--Several UFC cuts
 
--Women fighters feud on the radio    
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--Nothing of note from the post-show party.  Heard none of the celebrities were there.  Undertaker was banged up pretty bag after the match but we didn't hear anything more in specific.  HHH was banged up as well.
 
--We've got lots of thoughts on Mania from last night on the Observer radio show up on the site.  We'll have another show up tonight covering Raw, Tough Enough and more.  If you've got questions, and again, keep them to questions about the events from the past week, send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   We'll start taking questions on other subjects on Wednesday's show.   
 
--Last night was the first time in the history of Mania that no titles changed hands on the show.  Notable the value of belts when you've got six and only two even made the PPV.
 
--Was that Amber Riley of Glee in the gospel choir last night?  I don't know given I've only seen the show once.
 
--Dwayne Johnson is on Jay Leno tomorrow while Drew Carey is on George Lopez tomorrow.  Carey is on The Talk on Wednesday.  Johnson is on Ellen DeGeneres a week from today.  Chris Jericho will be on Jay Leno a week from Wednesday.  David Arquette (I guess he sort of has to do with wrestling is on Leno Friday, Ellen DeGeneres on the same show  with Johnson and Regis & Kelly on 4/15. (thanks to Adam Lebow)    
 
--David Lagana talks to various WWE creative members about last night's show at http://iwantwrestling.com/2011/04/04/wrestlemania-formerly-creative-podcast-show-thoughts-and-notes-on-afterparty/
 
--Kurt Angle on his twitter today said that he didn't watch WrestleMania, but did get a lot of tweets about Orton and Swagger during the show.  He wrote "Oh, and Orton-relax, I won't beat ur ass.  You can use my move."  Orton had complained about Angle's post by saying the ankle lock came from Ken Shamrock and then Angle came back saying he never used the ankle lock while Shamrock was still wrestling.  Then he said he didn't care and somebody hacked his account and he never wrote the tweets last night.      
 
--Awesome Kong and Scott Steiner were seen going backstage just recently in Atlanta.  Kong appearing is possible.  Steiner is more than likely just visiting.
 
--The guys doing the HHH ring entrance were almost all from NWA Anarchy, but they were Georgia and Tennessee based indie wrestlers
 
--TMZ noted about a reality show called "Wrestler Wives" about Sharmell Huffman (Booker T), Stacy Carter (married to Sinn Bohdi, but formerly to Jerry Lawler) and Jackie Haas (Charlie Haas).  We had reported that in the Observer a few weeks back as they did the first taping in Houston.  No word on if it's picked up as at the time we were told they were shooting a pilot.
 
--TNA will be doing a live pregame show for Lockdown on 4/17 with Devon vs. Anarquia as the match.
 
--AM New York, in talking about Tough Enough debuting tonight, at http://wwwamny.com/urbanite-1.812039/top-5-wwe-tough-enough-alums-1.2798454 has a story on the five best wrestlers coming from Tough Enough listing, in order Miz, John Morrison, Maven, Skip Sheffield and Josh Matthews.  Dis on Matt Morgan who should be no worse than No. 3. 
 
--Two-time NCAA heavyweight champ and current Bellator champ Cole Konrad faces Paul Buentello in a non-title match on the 4/23 TV show from Concho, OK.
 
--Big Show talks about problems traveling when you're 450 pounds at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/05/business/05flier.html?_r=1
 
--Odds for Saturday's Strikeforce
Nick Diaz -205 to -220
Paul Daley +165 to +185  Most money coming in on Daley
 
Gilbert Melendez -206 to -265
Tatsuya Kawajiri +170 to +205  Most money coming in on Melendez
 
Dominick Cruz has opened as an early significant favorite over Urijah Faber for 7/2, with most of the money coming in on Faber.  Alistair Overeem ranges from -270 to -333 as a favorite against Fabricio Werdum.  While Frankie Edgar is -130 to -147 favored against Gray Maynard for 5/28   
 
--Best TV show of the past week
Raw 54.2%
Impact 13.4%
Ultimate Fighter 10.7%
Bellator 7.1%
CMLL 3.6%
Smackdown 2.8%
Inside MMA 2.0%
Strikeforce Challenger 2.0%
Superstars 2.0%
MMA Live 1.6%
AAA 0.8%
 
Poll on Bellator from Saturday
Excellent 21.0%
Good 46.8%
Average 12.9%
Fair 6.5%
Poor 12.9%
        55.4% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Would WrestleMania have been bigger if Brock Lesnar wrestled Undertaker and Rock wasn't on the show?
Yes 54.9%
No 45.1%
 
--The Kenny Florian vs. Takanori Gomi Fight Night airs at 1 a.m. tonight on Spike.  The Nate Marquardt vs. Rousimar Palhares Fight Night airs at midnight Tuesday followed by a Best of Pride at 2 a.m. late Tuesday/early Wednesday.
 
--Juggalo Championship Wrestling will be doing iPPV events every two weeks at http://www.PsychopathicLive.com starting on Wednesday night.
 
--Due to the domination of the CMA awards, nothing relating to WrestleMania was among the top searched stuff on Google after the show, although late last night a WrestleMania mention got as high as No. 19, but today nothing once again.  I've seen almost no mainstream post-show which surprises me.  Our feedback was through the roof, but it always is for Mania and it's too early to tell but it's nothing close to the Trump show if that's the comparison.     
 
--MWF on 6/4 in Bridgeport, CT at the Shehan Center with Shelton Benjamin, Paul Bearer and John Cena Sr. 
 
--World Wrestling Coalition on 4/9 in Aberdeen, OH at the Municipal Building for a show called The Last Laugh.  Weird name for a wrestling show. 
 
--Jerry Lawler's first post-Mania match is Saturday night in Fort Smith AR for Traditional Championship Wrestling teaming with Matt Riviera to face The Dark Circle.  Jazz, Malia Hosaka, Rodney Mack and Bobby Eaton are also on the show.  
 
--Paul Lazenby talks about Bellator and whether friends should fight friends in MMA at http://angrymarks.com/?ArticleID=13508 
 
--DreamWave Wrestling is doing an iPPV on 4/9 from La Salle, IL at the Knights of Columbus headlined by Kevin Thorn vs. Jason Hades, plus Terry Funk will appear on the show.  For info on ordering you can go to http://www.1gimmickworld.com
 
--NAW TV taping on Saturday night in Fresno at the NAW Dojo.
 
 

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