SAT. UPDATE: Rock returns to Raw in a few weeks; Gracie foes want rematch,How people liked TV shows



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        We're looking for reports on the WWE shows on Thursday in Munich, Friday in Dortmund and today's shows in Birmingham, England for Raw and Smackdown in Kiel, Germany, as well as last night and tonight's CHIKARA Pro shows in Philadelphia at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        Weigh-ins for tonight's Bellator TV show at 9 p.m. on MTV 2 from Yuma, AZ
Kenny Foster (146) vs. Daniel Stratus (145.4) in a featherweight tournament semifinal
Bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky (135.4) vs. Chad Robichaux (134.2) in a non-title match
Patricio Pitbull Freire (145.8) vs. Wilson Reis (145.6) in a featherweight tournament semifinal
Featherweight champion Joe Warren (136.8) vs. Marcos Galvao (136.6) in a non-title match
 
        Sunday is the TNA Lockdown PPV with Sting vs. Mr. Anderson vs. RVD for the TNA title, Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett 2/3 falls (first fall submission rules, second fall pinfall rules, third fall escape the cage rules), Beer Money & Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. Ric Flair & Matt Hardy & Abyss & Bully Ray in Lethal Lockdown, Madison Rayne puts up the Knockouts title against the hair of Mickie James, Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan, Pope vs. Samoa Joe, an X Division Escape the cage match and Orlando Jordan & Eric Young vs. Shannon Moore & Jesse Neal vs. Scott Steiner & Crimson vs. Douglas Williams & Magnus in a four-way match.  Every match on the show is in a cage.  There is also a Devon vs. Anarquia match free on the PPV channel at 7:30 p.m.
 
        WWE runs Sunday with Smackdown in Newcastle, England and Raw in Nottingham, England.  The CHIKARA King of Trios tournament ends on Sunday in Philadelphia.
 
        Monday will be Raw TV tapings at the O2 Arena in London, plus a Smackdown house show in Liverpool. 
 
        Tuesday will be a Smackdown taping at the O2 Arena in London, plus a Raw house show in Cardiff, Wales, and a TNA taping in Orlando.
 
        Wednesday will be a TNA taping in Orlando, plus WWE house shows in Salzburg, Austria and Brussels, Belgium.
 
        The retirement and career of Edge is the lead story of the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  In our story, we go through his career from the start to the finish, how final appearances as an active wrestler, what happened both on and off camera at the final Smackdown tapings, why he will likely be back on television soon, his injuries, other wrestlers who have ended their careers as world champion and details on how, a discussion of Edge in the Hall of Fame, what most of the talent did and didn't know, what the loss of Edge means to the company, how he got into the company, the story behind his early title wins, the match that both made and shortened his career, the Edge/Lita/Matt Hardy story, his rise to world title status and why he stuck there, and many of his career angles.  We also have comments from some of the biggest names in the industry on him.
 
        We also look at the death of Larry Sweeney, and an update on Perro Aguayo Jr. and Scott Hall.
 
        We also look at the first major Strikeforce show under the Zuffa banner, looking at the stories that came out of the show, the judging in Mousasi vs. Jardine and what the ratings said.
 
        We also look at WWE changes, how Wall Street has reacted, what other aspects of WWE are likely to be changed, more fallout from WrestleMania, WWE All-Stars video game, Jericho on Dancing with the Stars, More notes on Tough Enough, Changes HHH is looking to make, Steve Austin talks wrestling, celebrity earnings, and a national wrestling champion being recruited by WWE.
 
        We also look at 25 years later in the death of one of the biggest stars in wrestling history, El Solitario, but a name that very few in the U.S. know anything about.
 
       The issue will be up on the site today.  A back issue from early 1994 will also be up this week.  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'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 post-WrestleMania, as well as first looks at Tough Enough, Ultimate Fighter, Hall of Fame show and more.
 
        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.
       
        The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
 
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Campbell, CA 95009-1228.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--Another title vacated
 
--New Mexican tournament idea
 
--Longtime wrestling announcer who it is believed right now has called his last match
 
--Notes on the Champion Carnival tournament
 
--Notes on New Japan's upcoming U.S. tour
 
--Famous celebrity fighter announces pro wrestling debut in May
 
--A look at the CZW Best of the Best
 
--New TNA campaign getting ready to start
 
--Kurt Angle's latest on his TNA future
 
--New Hulk Hogan television show
 
--Update on Jeff Hardy
 
--More on Kurt Angle's latest legal issue
 
--Update on movie with Angle about to be released
 
--Sting talks about his return
 
--Mick Foley fund raising activities
 
--A look at the weekend TNA house shows
 
--Story behind the Thiago Silva license revocation
 
--Lots of UFC injury updates
 
--More on Chael Sonnen's guilty plea and his return to UFC
 
--Fedor vs. Henderson talks
 
--UFC release
 
--Lots of upcoming UFC dates
 
--Wrestlers changing weight classes
 
--A Royce Gracie comeback
 
--Lots of new UFC bouts
 
--Ben Askren talks about entertainment  
 
       New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues can get free issues from the last 18 years.  You can get 2 free back issues by ordering 40 or more
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*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous
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history of in-ring double-crosses)*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation
right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was
said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural
broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but
everything that was said between the two about the match that was going
to take place that same night)
 
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon
steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article
and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
 
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networks)
 
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such
great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
 
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian
steroid trial)
 
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
 
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career
ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
history)
 
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career
and life of The Sheik)
 
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people
who worked with him and where he stands historically)
 
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino,
Backlund and Backlund era)
 
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally,
the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk
Hogan)
 
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth, and the rise of fall of
Lex Luger)
 
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say
was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
 
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals
and friends)
 
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the
plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the
night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined
for a joint show and what happened)
 
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the
controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
 
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the
seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s,
Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding
world title and much more)
 
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of
Road Warrior Hawk)
 
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
 
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story,
Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
 
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock
Lesnar)
 
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the
company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the
business changed)
 
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best
and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and
Wrestlemania history books)
 
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his
background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
 
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on
Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
 
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
 
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year
with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund,
Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts
as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately,
due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
 
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details
of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in
pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
 
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle
and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the
history of TNA)
 
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
 
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a
look at their Hall of Fame)
 
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
 
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW,
as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and
behind the scenes of both shows)
 
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at
the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings,
Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental
territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized
issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
 
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul
Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
 
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
 
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
 
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double
issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
 
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on
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*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New
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*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame
week)
 
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class
Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
 
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame
inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and
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the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working
in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7
overseas)
 
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of
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*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how
the industry was changed forever)
 
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How
Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro,
Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania
planned celebrity away)
 
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged
McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and
why it didn't click)
 
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and
Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why
there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real
reasons the company fell apart)
 
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8
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*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
 
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are
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*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
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*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
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*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his
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Lewis)
 
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S.
women's wrestling) .
 
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the Greensboro Coliseum)
 
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8
overseas)
 
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
 
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of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on
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*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers
and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
 
*September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8
overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)*September 15, 2008 (Life
and Times of Evan Tanner)
 
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most in-depth bios)
 
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We also have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about
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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.
 
 
--The FBI seizing offshore on-line poker sites including FillTiltPoker.com a sponsor of Strikeforce and a number of MMA fighters.  UFC had banned poker web sites as sponsors.
 
--The Rock will return to Raw on the 5/2 show, which is also his 39th birthday which will be part of the show.  The show is coming from Miami, where he has a home and went to college.
 
--Chris Jericho posted a video asking for people to vote for him on Monday night for Dancing with the Stars.  It's getting to be crunch time and historically wrestling fans have not supported wrestlers on this show to the level of their performance on the show and at least as of two weeks ago that was the case with Jericho as well.
 
--Boxing promoter Lou DiBella indicated interest in matching up Sergio Martinez with Nick Diaz in a boxing match after he said that his twitter account was overloaded by MMA fans asking about such a potential match.  Diaz was on Inside MMA last night and said he was going to switch to boxing because Strikeforce has nobody for him to fight and guys ranked above him don't want to fight him.  (read that:  Everyone knows his Achilles heel is top level wrestlers, Strikeforce has carefully avoided matching him with high level wrestlers, and now his most likely opponents are high level wrestlers). 
 
--Dan Severn and Art Jimmerson, both of who have losses to Royce Gracie in 1993 and 1994, have challenged him to a match on 8/27 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Gracie seemed to think he would be facing Matt Hughes.  I can't even imagine that they'd put Severn in with Gracie due to the weight differential.  
 
--UFC Prime Time St. Pierre vs. Shields airs on Spike tonight at 11 p.m.  
 
--On last night's Smackdown show in the U.K., where the whole show was talking about Edge being retired, they had ads for the U.K. tour listing Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio as the main event. (thanks to Paul Clay) 
 
--Poll on Impact
Excellent 11.8%
Good 16.4%
Average 19.1%
Fair 9.1%
Poor 43.6%
        45.3% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Poll on Ultimate Fighter
Excellent 7.9%
Good 43.4%
Average 26.3%
Fair 10.5%
Poor 11.8%
        47.9% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Biggest weekend show
TNA Lockdown 57.9%
Bellator 42.1%
 
--Who should be top babyface on Smackdown?
Christian 48,0%
Randy Orton 13.0%
John Morrison 12.0%
C.M. Punk 6.4%
Kofi Kingston 4.1%
The Miz 3.1%
Alberto Del Rio 1.7%
Kane 0.8%
Cody Rhodes 0.8%
Big Show 0.6%
 
--Poll on the first week of UFC Prime Time
Excellent 20.7%
Good 46.6%
Average 15.5%
Fair 0.2%
Poor 15.5%
        56.7% of those responding didn't see the show  
 
--The Fight Network is airing last year's Lockdown show at 5 p.m. Sunday commercial free, which includes that great Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson cage match.
 
--Lance Storm writes about the career of Edge at http://www.stormwrestling.com/041511.html  He has does a Q&A asking about Vince McMahon, Austin Aries, Michael Cole and more at http://www.stormwrestling.com/041611.html
 
--The National Geographic cable channel is filming at Tuesday night's Evolve show in New York City at B.B. King's doing a story on independent wrestlers struggling to make a big company.
 
--A story on Rima Fakih is at http://www.arabamericannews.com  The story talks about people from the Arabic community thinking she's a bad role model because of all the swearing they showed her doing this past Monday.
 
--TNA is doing a Coastal Chaos Cruise in conjunction with the Final Resolution PPV.  The cruise starts at $479 per person and will be a three nigh cruise from 12/8 to 12/11 starting at Port Canaveral, FL and heading to the Bahamas.  Names on the cruise include A.J. Styles, Beer Money, Kazarian, Chris Sabin, Velvet Sky, Jeff & Karen Jarrett and Mr. Anderson.
 
--A really great interview Bryan and Josh Nason did with Joe Warren, who headlines tonight's Bellator show, is at http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/20149/161/  I also have a story on Warren at http://www.yahoo.com in the UFC section.
 
--Time Warner on Demadn has a Lockdown 30 minute preview special as well as a UFC 129 special which covers the top three matches on that show.
 
--The Fight Network in Canada announced they have acquired broadcast rights to Cage Warriors, a U.K. based promotion, and will air eight events this year starting with a 4/24 show from London.  They also run 5/28 in Ireland and will have shows in Jordan this year (the country, not the TNA wrestler which would be kind of gross) as well.
 
--NWA Subtle Hustle on 4/23 in Jacksonville, FL at Sin City headlined by Colt Cabana defending the NWA title against The Sheik, Dark City Fight Club vs. Briscoe Brothers for NWA tag titles and Craig Classic vs. Lince Dorado for the NA jr. title. 
 
--Rockstar Wrestling Alliance on 4/23 in Tucson, AZ at the El Casino Ballroom
 
--USWO from last night in Nashville before 95 fans:  Shane Williams b Arrack Andrews (taped for Showtime All-Star Wrestling TV), Psycho Medic b Kid Dynamite, Nick Iggy & Jamey Farrari b Saint & Tim Renesto, Damien Payne b Steve O, Panther b Kevin Dunn, Gary Valiant b Jason Nesmith, Chris Michaels b Wolfie DQ-DQ (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
 
--Heartland Wrestling Association from last night in Hamilton, OH:  Reed Bentley b Tim Lutz, Mustafa Saied b Clark Konnor, Sid Fabulous b American Kickboxer II, Dave Crist b Jon Murray, Jake Crist b Dustin Rayz, Chris Hall & Dameon Daniels b Brutally Handsome and Noble Bloods, Jesse Emerson b Jake Crist, B.J. Whitmer NC Gerome Phillips.  Next shows are 4/22 and 4/23 in Owensville, OH as part of the Heartland Cup (thanks to Adam Sanders).
 
--Platinum Championship Wrestling from last night in Avondale Estates, GA:  Brandon Kage b Mason-DQ, Pandora NC Campus Strikeforce, Najasism b De La Vega, Rick Michaels & Simon Sermon b Brian  Blaze & Geter-COR, Marco Polo (wouldn't he be too old to be wrestling these days?) b Lee Roy, Vandal & Thomas Johnson b Shane Marx & Aisha Sunshine
 
--NWS has gotten Kurt Angle to appear on 5/6 in Manville, NJ and 5/7 in North Middletown, NJ.  Carlito is also on those two shows as well as a 4/30 sow in Brick, NJ at the Elks Lodge.  
 
--Christopher Daniels will be on WLW in Cincinnati between Noon and 3 p.m. at http://www.700wlw.com before the PPV show.
 
--Stars of Wrestling tonight at the Alameda County Fair in California with Kamala, Honky Tonk Man and Koko B. Ware.

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