WED. UPDATE: Movie filmed at Smackdown, UFC sued, Benefit for Orndorff, UFC media, TNA Jeff Hardy



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        Final episode of UFC Prime Time:  GSP vs. Shields airs tonight at midnight on Spike.
 
        There is UFC Unleashed from 3-9 p.m. on Spike today as a lead in for the new episode of Ultimate Fighter at 9 p.m.  A replay of last night's UFC Countdown show plays at 3 p.m. Friday on Spike and 7 p.m. tomorrow (Eastern, 4 p.m. Pacific) on Versus.  The first two episodes of UFC Prime Time air on Versus at 5-6 p.m. and again at 11 p.m. to midnight Eastern (three hours earlier Pacific) on Versus.    
 
        A complete guide to the WWE 2011 draft is our lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We have a depth chart looking at babyfaces and heels on both rosters, notes on the biggest stars not involved, part-timers, an update on C.M. Punk, and a rundown of all 28 performers who are changing rosters and which moves are good, bad or indifferent.
 
        We also have an interesting look at WWE's ability to create stars and upward mobility of talent in looking at every player on the roster and what it shows about the booking since WrestleMania 26.
 
        We also have the official numbers for WrestleMania 27, and what was and wasn't true about the announcements that night.  We look at where the shows stands in the all-time records and whether or not WWE really did or didn't set any kind of records in the Georgia Dome.
 
       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.
 
        With the biggest MMA show in North America this week, we take a look back at the previous biggest MMA show of all-time, the 2002 Shockwave show, looking back at the main event matches, the pageantry, the real numbers for the show, as well as talk with Royce Gracie, Don Frye, Stephen Quadros and Bob Sapp about their memories of a night that made a legend, a night one never forgot and the night one went into a match he couldn't possibly win. 
 
        We also look at the Cauliflower Alley Club banquet for 2011, and look back at my first CAC banquet in 1986, memories of moments from the past, how the club has grown, and update on honorees like Mick Foley, Awesome Kong, Rockin Robin, Honky Tonk Man, Rick Martel and Sgt. Slaughter among others.
 
        We also look at one of the biggest news stories of 20 years ago, but something almost unknown, the only major pro wrestling strike and what it said about unionization of pro wrestlers.  This was a news story at its time so big it was front page news in Mexico and even got wire service coverage in the U.S. at a time when there was little coverage of pro wrestling.  It goes back to Mexico, fears of Mexican wrestling becoming like U.S. wrestling, as we look back at the death of Manny Guzman, at one time one of the most powerful men in the industry, why a strike was called, what happened, as well as the end results of both the strike and the union, as well as the end of Guzman's power.
 
        We've also got an update on the planned WWE network, and more on why they have eliminated the word "wrestling" from the title. We look at this week's version of what they want the network to be, and how they want to emulate the business model of WWE on new properties an the type of properties they are looking for.
 
        We've got notes on Dwayne Johnson's movie career and early hints about how Fast Five will do, as well as information on how Chris Jericho fared behind the scenes on "Dancing with the Stars."
 
        We also look at how the laws in one of the countries on the recent WWE tour led to several performers not being able to perform on two shows.
 
        We also look at what the WWE booking direction was before the draft, more on what words can and can't be said in foreign WWE broadcasts, update on injuries to both Jim Ross and Michael Cole, as well as some very interesting notes about delayed viewing of two recent WWE television shows and what that says about the amount of people watching the go-home and post Mania Raw shows.
 
        Bret Hart talks about WWE eliminating the word "wrestling," John Morrison talks about what he needs to get to the top, lots more on Tough Enough including the wrestler on the show who needed crutches to walk but gutted it out on Raw a few weeks back, as well as the marketing of the retired Shawn Michaels by WWE,  PPV name change, some more people in negotiations with WWE, as well as the business notes from the European tour and a look at the highlights of most of the shows on tour.
       
        We also look at an update on Extreme Rules, a note on when Senator Richard Blumenthal was asked this week about the WWE independent contractor vs. employee classification of wrestlers,
 
        We also look at the serious aggravated assault charge against Charly Manson, what happened, and why he probably won't be wrestling for a while.
 
        We also look at one of the highest rated matches in the last 30 years and how the two participants, one retired, and the other under contract with UFC, are going to do a match to benefit the Japanese earthquake relief fund.
         
        We've also got a look at how one of the biggest UFC bouts of 2011, Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans, fell apart with notes on Jones' condition, why Phil Davis got the shot instead of others in the main event and more on UFC's second foray into Philadelphia and a look at the light heavyweight division. 
 
        We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw the past two weeks Impact did and what viewers came and left. We look at several troubling issues in the recent ratings. 
 
        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 issue:
 
--Major anniversary of wrestling as one of the biggest wrestling arenas in the world coming this week
 
--Referee loses job over drug test
 
--Updates on the All Japan junior heavyweight tournament and NOAH tag team tournament
 
--New Japan vs. NOAH match added to next New Japan big shows
 
--Two former pro wrestlers this past week win election to public office, as well as the wife of a pro wrestler
 
--Updates on Scott Hall
 
--Another honor for Bruno Sammartino
 
--Update on Devon Nicholson Hepatitis story
 
--Notes on latest NWA title change
 
--Notes on the Urban Wrestling Federation, celebrity involvement, wrestlers signed and first PPV show
 
--A look at the Junior Hodge winner and what former WWE champion was his idol growing up because they shared the same high school coach and his remarkable high school record, one of the greatest in recorded wrestling history
 
--Former WCW and New Japan wrestler writes book about his experience and some funny notes of what he says and remembers and how he remembers things
 
--Baseball team channels pro wrestling for gimmick event
 
--70s star returns to wrestle in the city he had many of his most famous matches in
 
--New ROH matches
 
--More on TNA rebranding effort
 
--TNA hierarchy updates
 
--Ric Flair update
 
--Jeff Hardy update
 
--A look at the latest lawsuit filed against TNA
 
--Notes on the next TNA PPV show
 
--A look at TNA booking issues
 
--A look at what audience TNA is drawing well on television, but the other key audience it is doing poorly with
 
--Update on Desmond Wolfe
 
--Notes on major shows planned for the summer by TNA
 
--Update on health issues with a number of major UFC stars
 
--Thoughts on UFC 129 on PPV
 
--Why Mayhem Miller was the first Strikeforce fighter signed by UFC
 
--UFC requests Nevada commission to make changes regarding judging fights
 
--Update on Fedor vs. Henderson
 
--UFC adding new stations to its preview shows
 
--A look at the sport of wrestling in the U.S. and participation levels since the rise of UFC
 
--Lots of new UFC fights announced
 
--UFC ups marketing toward Hispanic audience
 
--Notes on this season of Ultimate Fighter
 
--Notes on the attempt to get Dream back together
 
--Bellator's last show and more on the championship weeks of this season
 
--Update on Ken Shamrock and Jens Pulver 
 
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--With the NBA playoffs, TNT was No. 1 on cable this past week with a 2.6 prime time average to 2.1 for USA.  ESPN was a 1.3 (No. 6), while Syfy was an 0.8 (No 17) and Spike was an 0.6 (No. 24).  The two hours of Raw were No. 10 and No. 15 with five NBA games in the top six.  Because of the NBA games, Raw didn't crack the top ten for the week in 18-34 or 18-49.
 
--Fast and Furious is also the leading movie in the U.K. right now.
 
--A few site notes.  We have a big Observer radio show tonight with Mick Foley, Colt Cabana and Mike Coughlin as guests as we'll talk about what Foley's been up to, Cabana's recent DVD release, C.M. Punk, UFC 129, wrestling in different parts of the world and a lot more.  Bryan and I are both leaving for Toronto for UFC 129 tomorrow.  I will try and do an update late tonight, but my flight is very early and it's a long travel day, and Canadian customs is hit-or-miss when you are coming to a UFC, so the Thursday update probably won't be up until late evening tomorrow.  This will be our first of six straight nights of Observer live, as we'll have a news update show very late Thursday, weigh-ins and late UFC news and wrestling news on Friday night, UFC 129 full coverage on Saturday night, Extreme Rules coverage on Sunday and the Rock birthday Raw coverage on Monday.
 
--There was a Jeff Hardy promo piece which seemed to build for his return that aired on Impact in the U.K. yesterday.  This also could be that for whatever reason, a U.S. segment had to be cut and they just through it in, because I haven't heard anything about Hardy coming back imminently, although he is expected back at some point.
 
--At the end of the Smackdown tapings last night, John Cena came out for his role in "Fred the Movie 2" teaming with Fred in a wrestling ring against two kids who were bullying Fred.  Cena said the movie would be out in October.  After the filming was over, they sent Sheamus to the ring to attack Cena, and take the Attitude Adjustment.
 
--A Canadian group, Hobby Star Marketing, which has run the Toronto Fan Expo convention, has filed a suit against Zuffa, LLC over UFC promoting its event Friday and Saturday as the UFC Fan Expo.  Story is at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=32058  
 
--A story on a benefit for Paul Orndorff that takes place on 5/18 at the Southern Comfort Bar in Conley, GA with auctions, live music and wrestlers trying to raise money for Orndorff's hospital bills as he battles cancer, is at http://www.examiner.com/pro-wrestling-in-charlotte/benefit-for-paul-orndorff
 
--On TSN's Off the Record this week, Dana White will be the guest for the entire show tomorrow night, while GSP and Jake Shields will be on together on Friday night (thanks to Rishi Malhotra)
 
--A 6/18 fight in Dallas between Gina Carano vs. Sarah D'Alelio which has been rumored for a while is very close as both sides have agreed to the idea of the fight, which would air on Showtime on the same card as the Fabricio Werdum vs. Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers heavyweight Grand Prix tournament fights.  
 
--A story on Lance Storm's new TV show "World of Hurt," about students training for pro wrestling is in today's Calgary Herald at http://www.calgaryherald.com/entertainment/  The author, Heath McCoy, wrote one of the best pro wrestling books ever in his history of Stampede Wrestling book.  The ten episode series debuts on 5/1 on The Cave Network in Canada.
 
--A review of "That's What I Am" is at http://www.thelmagazine.com  Not much of a review, but WWE movies rarely get positive reviews except from wrestling fans.  The DVD release date for the movie will be 5/17 (thanks to Michael Carpenter)
 
--Rima Fakih cut a promo on Michelle Deighton in an interview at http://www.diva-dirt.com saying Deighton just did the show to be on TV and blamed her for her rib injury, saying Deighton didn't know how to roll and kept falling on her ribs and that's the real reason she had to leave.
 
--Poll on Raw from Monday
Excellent 3.6%
Good 29.1%
Average 31.0%
Fair 12.8%
Poor 23.5%
        10.2% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Who was the best of this group on interviews
Mick Foley 44.1%
Jake Roberts 31.5%
Shawn Michaels 10.8%
Bret Hart 6.0%
Curt Hennig 3.0%
Sting 2.3%
Kevin Nash 1.3%
Scott Hall 0.9%  
 
--Who got the better of the draft?
Smackdown 52.8%
Raw 28.5%
Even 18.8%
 
--Poll on Tough Enough
Excellent 13.7%
Good 54.5%
Average 18.0%
Fair 5.2%
Poor 8.6%
        32.5% of those responding didn't see the show
--A Yahoo note on Dwayne Johnson at http://blog.movies.yahoo.com/blog/1204-dwayne-the-rock-johnson-bulks-up-for-fast-five talking about his getting up to 260 for the movie.      
 
--Whether this is to start a program, or just the two entertaining themselves, but Michelle McCool and Kelly Kelly are doing an in character twitter war.
 
--Dana Whtie was on Prime Time Sports nationwide on Sportsnet radio and Rogers sportsnet TV today in Canada (thanks to Paul Fontaine)   
 
--A story on former Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer being a pro wrestling fan is at http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/wrestling/ noting his favorite wrestler was Hulk Hogan 
 
--Edge was still being promoted as wrestling in the Orlando market on TV commercials for Tuesday's Smackdown taping.
 
--It is notable that both WWE and TNA will both be taping on Tuesday night in Orlando. 
 
--The salon.com web site has an interview with Roddy Piper at http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movies/2011/04/26/roddy_piper_interview
 
--The all sports station in Raleigh on Tuesday spent a lot of time talking about pro wrestling because they had the Raw draft in the city the night before.  Between the talk show hosts, local reports and people calling in, when the subject of pro wrestling was brought up, most talked like they stopped watching in paying attention around 2001 or 2002.  Among the reasons cited were WCW being gone, no superstars in the sports left after Steve Austin and The Rock stopped appearing full-time, lack of great heels like a young Ric Flair, the believability factor being ruined among other things. (thanks to Ryan Day)  
 
--EVOLVE has a tournament idea for it 5/20 show in Union City, NJ at the Ace Arena.  It will be a style vs. style eight-man tournament, a throwback to the 1993 version of UFC with AR Fox (high flying), Austin Aries (Hybrid), Bobby Fish (Japanese jr. heavyweight), Brodie Lee (super heavyweight), Jon Davis (power), Sami Callihan (hard hitting) and there are two spots remaining.  Who is representing Jiu Jitsu?
 
--The M-1 Global show from St. Petersburg, Russia headlined by former TUF star Vinny Magalhaes vs. Viktor Nemkov will be streaming starting at 11 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning at www.M-1Global.com and on the M-1 Global face book page.
 
--Horizon Wrestling Alliance on 5/15 in Leonardtown, MD at the Leonard Hall Dill Hall with Delirious vs. Adam Cole, plus Grizzly Redwood Andy Ridge, Alex Payne, Shane Hagadorn, The Bravado Brothers, Ruckus, and Daizee Haze. 
 
--All Star Wrestling of Florida on Friday night in Tampa at Strokers Billiards.
 
--There are five spots left for the Zack Sabre Jr. seminar on Saturday in Council Bluffs, IA.  The cost if $40 which includes admission to the show later that night.  Anyone interested can write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--World Wrestling Coalition on 5/14 in Aberdeen, OH at the Municipal Building
 
--Traditional Championship Wrestling on 6/11 in Fort Smith, AR at the Events Center.  Bobby Eaton will be there and Matt Riviera vs. Prince Al Farat is the main event.  They have TV on Public Access in Russellville and Clarksville Ch. 6 Mondays at 7 p.m. and MY 5.2 in Fort Smith on Saturday's at 11:30 a.m. starting on 7/9.  Chris Cruise will be brought in as the announcer.
 
--In yesterday's update, the WSU show listed on 5/27 in Elmhurst, NY is actually a Pro Wrestling Syndicate show where WSU will add a few women's matches to the show. (thanks to Joe Puccio)
 
--The debut of CHIKARA in North Carolina is 5/14 in Burlington at the Mid Atlantic Sportatorium with Fire Ant & Soldier Ant & Green Ant vs. Obariyon & Kodama & Kobaid, an Osirian Portal vs. Throwbacks. 
 
--New York Wrestling Connection on 4/30 in Deer Park, NY at the Sportatorium
 
--Lance Storm is on with Ed, Cutrer and Craig at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cutrer
 
--AFO Uncensored on 5/6 in Fall River, MA at the PAL Hall for an MMA show

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