THURS UPDATE: WWE drops dividend, TUF rating, Scott Hall, major UFC bout announced, UFC tickets

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Impact tonight on Spike:
Velvet Sky vs. Angelina Love
Chris Sabin vs. Anarquia
Christopher Daniels vs. Gunner
Samoa Joe vs. Crimson
Sting vs. Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson
Superstars for those of you not living in the U.S. (available on Internet in the U.S.)
David Hart Smith vs. Zack Ryder
Natalya & Gail Kim vs. Melina & Alicia Fox
Trent Baretta vs. Tyson Kidd    
        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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--Sorry this is up late but I just arrived in Toronto after a long day of travel.  Bryan and I will be back tonight talking the latest news and taking your e-mails so you can sent questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
--The expected dropping of the WWE dividend was announced after the close of the market, with the dividend being cut by 67%, from 36 cents per share to 12 cents per share.  This should negatively affect an already dropping stock price, but with the company looking at spending its available cash and doing debt spending to acquire new entertainment companies, it was a decision that had to be made.  We had written about the probability of this happening a few weeks ago
--Last night's Ultimate Fighter did a 1.1 rating, the highest rating of the season. 
--I know a lot of people are down regarding how Kevin Nash's is handling the Scott Hall situation on twitter and in public, but the guy is watching his best friend of decades basically do a slow, torturous form of suicide that only gets worse by the day, so cut him some slack the next few days or weeks.  This is a tragic situation, and that there may be a conclusion that is inevitable at some point is not going to make it any easier for those closest to him.  The fact it's slow probably only makes it worse.  Even though Hall did it to himself, this is similar for his loved ones to someone watching someone in the final stages of cancer.  
--UFC has announced Diego Sanchez vs. Matt Hughes in a fight this fall, without giving a date.  This ends any thoughts of Royce Gracie vs. Hughes in Brazil in August.
--For those in the Toronto area that want to attend UFC 129, there are tickets available on and they have released some tickets at now that production has moved in.
--UFC sent out a press release tonight with various celebrities (and Jeremy Botter) making predictions for the GSP vs. Jake Shields match.  Botter picked Shields, as did Shane Victorino of the Phillies, David Haye and Chuck Liddell (Liddell has trained with Shields).  However, The Rock picked GSP finishing Shields in round five and Shaq also picked GSP. 
--Regarding any rumors of Mick Foley at Raw Monday, that's not happening.  Foley is scheduled to do whatever was planned from him last Wednesday that was canceled due to miscommunication (they thought he was doing something in Las Vegas; he came back from Las Vegas to do the show but it had been rewritten) this coming week at the Impact tapings in Orlando. 
--Kurt Angle is featured in the movie "Dylan Dog Dead of Night" which comes out in theaters tomorrow.  So three different wrestlers have featured roles in movies that come out tomorrow, with "That's What I Am" in about a dozen theaters with Randy Orton having a role from WWE Films, and some movie with cars and bank robberies and the girl on the cover of Maxim, as well as  Vin Diesel that Dwayne Johnson is starring in. 
--The web site has a number of reviews of "That's What I Am."  As of yesterday, five out of seven reviews were positive.  
--Inside MMA will be live from Toronto with Georges St. Pierre and Jake Shields as guests.  HDNet will be airing UFC 129 stuff from 8-11 p.m. tomorrow and then repeating it, with the Countdown to UFC 129 at 8 p.m., Inside MMA at 9 p.m. and two GSP vs Shields Prime Time shows at 10 p.m.
--Today is the 6th anniversary of the death of Chris Candito.
--Jay Lethal is taking independent bookings from Bill Behrens at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
--Two episodes of GSP vs. Shields Prime Time aired at 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. last night on ESPN 2 doing an 0.11 and 0.09 rating.  Neither airing was advertised ahead of time.
--EVOLVE announced a show on 7/26 at B.B. King's in New York
--The next EVOLVE show is 5/20 in Union City, NJ at the Ace Arena, called Style Battle with eight wrestlers representing different styles, a takeoff on the original UFC I in Denver.  AR Fox represents high flying, Austin Aries represents Hybrid, Bobby Fish represents Japanese jr. heavyweight style, Brodie Lee represents super heavyweight style, Jon Davis represents Power and Sami Callihan represents Hard Hitting.  Two more names will be announced.
--The Jeff Hardy video on the U.K. version of Impact on Tuesday likely doesn't necessarily  mean anything other than it was used as filler because they have less commericials so need additions to the show to fill a two hour time slot (thanks to Kelvin Clegg)
--Jim Ross said that his X-rays were not encouraging (meaning some sort of a break most likely) after punching Michael Cole in the mouth.  He noted Cole's tooth wnt to the bone of his knuckle which caused bleeding from both his hand and Cole's mouth and the risk of infection is kind of high.  He will be wrestling on Sunday's Extreme Rules PPV.  Well, if you can call it wrestling.  They will be whipping each other with belts.  Ross also talks Chris Jericho and UFC 129 at
--UFC Central, an Internet show on UFC.TV will preview Saturday's show at 8 p.m. Saturday with Stephan Bonnar, Todd Harris, Kenny Florian and Molly Qerim covering the event. 
--Dragon Gate USA's next tour will be 6/3 in the Boston area, 6/4 in Deer Park, NY (Cima vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Yamato vs. Masato Yoshino, plus another 3-way and 6-way match) and 6/5 at B.B. King's in New York with Cima & Austin Aries & Brodie Lee vs. Chuck  Taylor & Johnny Gargano & Rich Swann in an elimination match.
--The Creative Caolition will be announcing a campaign working with WWE against bullying tomorrow called "Be a STAR," with STAR standing for Show Tolerance and Respect.  Among those working with WWE are the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, The Ad Cuuncil, Island Def Jam Musci Group and the Close Up Foundation.  Among those endorsing the project will include Jeremy Piven, Jao Biggs, Omar Epps, Marlon Wayans and Bob Dole.
--Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin were announced for the 5/21 Supercard of Honor show from ROH in  Chicago.
--Jon Moxley starts next week in FCW. made note of Kevin Dunn's annual compensation for 2010, which was $746,154 in straight salary, $608,400 in stock grants, $359,000 in other income or more than $1.7 million.
--Michael McDonald replaces Kid Yamamoto on the 5/28 show in Las Vegas against Chris Cariaso in a prelim fight.  This comes just a day after the announcement in Japan of a Yamamoto vs. Masato exhibition fight next week. 
--Pro Wrestling Phoenix on Saturday night in Council Bluffs, IA with Arik Cannon vs. Zack Sabre Jr. plus Akira Tozawa appearing.
--Alex Marvez had an interview with the former Lord Humongous, Jeff Van Kamp, talking about how Jeff Van Kamp Jr. a quarterback at Florida Atlantic University is expected to be a mid-to-late round NFL draft pick at  Van Kamp got major pushes in both Memphis and for Bill Watts in the mid-80s but got out of wrestling after a few years to work in law enforcement.
--A correction from yesterday.  The Paul Orndorff fund raiser at the Southern Comfort Bar in Conley, GA will be on 5/8 at 1 p.m.
--Former WWF wrestler Steve Gatorwolf runs Tough Man style shows n 5/5 and 5/6 in Chinle, AZ at the Community Center with four weight classes.  Koa Marie Turner, who worked for Hulk Hogan & Eric Bischoff's tour of Australia in 2009, will be the ring card girl.
--A story on Duane Gill's Gillberg's Pro Wrestling Academy is at
--Wrestlfest 2011 on 5/21 in Newark, CA at the Pavilion will have autograph signings with Honky Tonk Man, Nasty Boys, Jimmy Snuka, Tony Atlas, Sean Waltman, Lanny Poffo, Bret Hart, Amber O'Neal, DDP,Jimmy Hart, Don Muraco, Greg Valentine, Ted DiBiase Sr., Jim Neidhart, Sara Del Rey,Kevin Nash and more.
--NWA East tomorrow night in McKeesport, PA at the Jacob Woll Pavilion with a Battle Royal.

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?