FRI. UPDATE: UFC star avoids surgery, record low rating, TNA star hints at leaving wrestling,New TV



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        We're looking for reports on a ton of shows this weekend, including last night's WWE Raw show in Guadalajara, tonight's WWE show at the Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City, tonight's New Japan show in Rahway, NJ (Giant Bernard & Karl Anderson & Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Davey Richards & Gedo & Jado, Satoshi Kojima vs. Kenny Omega, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe vs. Rhino & Charlie Haas, Homicide & Low Ki vs. Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask as well as the first round of the new Intercontinental title tournament with MVP vs. Kazuchika Okada, Dan Maff vs. Toru Yano, Josh Daniels vs. Tetsuya Naito and Hideo Saito (Mitsuhide Hirasawa) vs. Yujiro Takahashi)  as well as today Pro Wrestling NOAH show in Broxbourne, UK (Kotaro Suzuki vs. Ricky Marvin, Taiji Ishimori vs. Satoshi Kajiwara, Takeshi Morishima & Atsushi Aoki vs. Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli, Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Zack Sabre Jr, Go Shiozaki & Shuhei Taniguchi vs. KENTA & Bobby Fish and Takashi Sugiura vs. Dave Mastiff for the GHC title) and Impact tonight in Monroe, LA (Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett, Beer Money vs. Ink Inc., Matt Hardy vs. Matt Morgan, Tara vs. Miss Tessmacher at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        Tonight's Smackdown TV:
Sin Cara vs. Daniel Bryan
Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes
Wade Barrett vs. Kane for IC title
Christian & Randy Orton vs. Sheamus & Mark Henry  
 
        Busy schedule on Saturday as well with the final Raw show in Mexico in Monterrey, Smackdown's house show run starts in Lake Charles, LA (Randy Orton vs. Sheamus vs. Christian for World title, Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes), Bellator runs in Atlantic City at Caesar's, plus there is an independent show in Brantford, ONT with Hulk Hogan doing a rare indie appearance plus Scott Steiner vs. Kevin Nash, Brutus Beefcake, Tatanka, Virgil and Nasty Boys), TNA in Jackson, MS (Angle vs. Jarrett, Beer Money vs. Ink Inc., Matt Hardy vs. Matt Morgan) Pro Wrestling NOAH in Wolverhampton, UK (battle of champions with GHC heavyweight champion Takashi Sugiura vs. jr. champion Kotaro Suzuki), CZW at the Arena in Philadelphia and New Japan in New York at Basketball City (IC title semifinals, Tanahashi vs. Haas for IWGP title, Devitt vs. Low Ki for IWGP jr. title).
 
        Sunday is headlined by the TNA Sacrifice PPV, Smackdown has a house show in Austin, TX, New Japan in Philadelphia at the Arena (Tanahashi vs. Richards, Rhino vs. Makabe in a street fight, Liger vs. Omega, Devitt & Taguchi defend IWGP jr. titles against Low Ki & Homicide and the IC tournament finals) and NOAH runs in Oberhausen, Germany  (KENTA vs. Hero, Castagnoli vs. Sugiura, Shiozaki vs. Bad Bones, Nakajima vs. Marvin, Ishimori vs. Sabre Jr.).
 
        Monday is the live Raw from San Antonio.  Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Corpus Christi.  There will be an NXT elimination which I know should excite everyone beyond belief.
 
        We have more on future plans of WWE as well as a current business rundown as the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  The issue also runs down the UFC's offering insurance to fighters, the injuries that canceled the Gray Maynard vs. Frankie Edgar main event and a look at the lightweight division going forward, the annual survey on the popularity of pro wrestling and where it has gone up and where it has gone down over the past 12 months, an update on the plight of Chael Sonnen, Nick Diaz as a boxer and the retirement of a Lucha legend.        
 
       The issue is up on the site right now.  A new back issue from early 1994 was put up yesterday, as was the new Figure Four, and another back issue will be up later 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.
 
        Our lead story covers both the WWE's annual shareholders meeting and the quarterly investors conference running down the company's financials.  It includes Vince McMahon talking about new business ventures the company is looking at getting into, an example of the type of businesses that fit their goals, how the company's financials are doing compared to the same period last year, updates on how the movie division is doing, exactly how much money WrestleMania was worth last year, how much money Dwayne Johnson added to this year's Mania, details of Johnson's deal for Mania and the single most important thing regarding the company's future.
 
        We also look at the difference between Tough Enough viewers and Raw viewers, why Vince McMahon believes the company needs to target women, more on UFC hurting WWE's PPV numbers, building up stars through wins, UFC vs. boxing and wrestling, why WWE will never admit UFC is competition, Vince talks about the move of Smackdown to Syfy, plans for the WWE Network, more on WWE staying PG, the future of blood in the company, a look at doing themed PPV shows and the company dividend change and if the quarter met the dividend.
 
        We also look at where WWE's revenue come from this year as compared to last year, as well as a look at revenue from house shows, PPV, our quarterly PPV chart looking at both worldwide numbers and domestic numbers, how important the U.K. is to WWE PPV numbers, television rights fees, WWE Classics on demand, WWE home video, toys, video games, magazine and merchandise as well as a look at categories where Rock made a substantial difference that didn't include WrestleMania.  We also look at the film division, and how much cash on hand the company feels it would be healthy to have around.
       
        In the look at UFC providing insurance for all contracted fighters, we look at how they went about it, how much insurance there is and what it does and doesn't cover.
 
        We also go into the injuries to Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard and look at the cancellation of the title mach and how that impacts the division.  We look at what could be the future plan for the fight and other future key matches in the division.
 
        We also look at the popularity of pro wrestling and how it has increased or decreased over the past year in several different age categories, educational categories, income categories and ethnic categories as well as overall.  We look at the sad message the latest surveys show about the wrestling audience as it pertains to the market desirability of the audience.
 
        We also look at Chael Sonnen being suspended again and the story behind it.
 
        We also have an update on John Morrison's neck issues, who it puts pressure on and who many benefit from a push.  We also look at Morrison's durability, updated numbers for Fast Five, updated Over the Limit lineup, Chris Jericho talks return, new WWE movies, what popular wrestling role is WWE talking about reviving, why the same angles appear with different people on Raw and Smackdown, rushing talent up too quickly, future of Batista, DVR viewership of WWE shows, notes on FCW, Kevin Dunn's income, C.M. Punk booking, Survivor Series note, Tough Enough note, WWE business notes from the past week as well as highlights from all the weekend house shows.      
 
        We also look at Nick Diaz going into boxing, the legend of Tinieblas as well as Pro Wrestling NOAH's last major show.
 
        We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw and Impact did and what viewers came and left.  We also look at all the national shows, as well as the CBS coverage of the Pacquiao vs. Mosley build.  
 
        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:
 
--Talk of creation of a new Mistico and a new Rey Misterio Jr.
 
--Update on Perro Aguayo Jr. and his cancer
 
--AAA vs. TNA in-ring feud that starts this week, who will be there and future direction
 
--How Charly Manson gave the police officers such a bad beating
 
--How Manson was treated while in prison and how he got out
 
--Dragon Gate's big singles tournament of the year
 
--NOAH's European tour shows
 
--New Japan's Best of the Super Junior early Tokyo lineups for what could be the best wrestling action of 2011
 
--Psycho fan threatens to kill wrestler
 
--Return of two of 1982-83's biggest and most lucrative feuds nearly 30 years later
 
--Plans for a three-part movie series based on a Hall of Fame pro wrestling character
 
--More on the Shane Helms motorcycle accident
 
--The sad situation revolving around the end of Scott Hall
 
--CHIKARA Pro's title tournament
 
--ECWA Super 8 tournament
 
--Health issues plague famous referee
 
--Unique tournament idea and how it worked
 
--A look at the ROH shows in Dearborn and Toronto
 
--TNA Sacrifice complete lineup
 
--Changes in programs in TNA and why
 
--Mick Foley fund raising
 
--Why Chyna got called to come in
 
--Bound for Glory potential main event
 
--Kurt Angle contract update
 
--TNA weekend show notes
 
--UFC 129 numbers
 
--Potential UFC star heavyweight career in jeopardy
 
--Update on Georges St. Pierre's eye issue
 
--UFC Fighters Summit and what types of thing were talked about
 
--UFC fighter retires
 
--Legal battle between former UFC stars
 
--Lots of new UFC fights
 
--Zuffa fighter talks steroids in MMA competition
 
--Brock Lesnar's drawing power and the next stadium show
 
--UFC star credits pro wrestling mentor for getting him in and teaching him his best hold
 
--Bellator coverage including plans for the rest of 2011
 
--NHL star making MMA debut
 
--Former UFC fighter arrested and another suspended
 
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--Jon Jones ended up not having surgery on his hand as had been scheduled this week in Las Vegas.  Instead, his bad hand was put in splint for six to eight weeks.  This should speed up his recovery time significantly.  We don't have an estimate as to when he'll be fighting next, but it would likely be as soon as the Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis winner (8/6 in Philadelphia) would be ready, so year-end show sounds right.  The thing is, Jones may be ready significantly faster so it wouldn't shock me to see some changes either, but right now that seems to be the plan.   
 
--Wednesday night's Ultimate Fighter did a 0.8 rating, which either ties or is the lowest rating in the history of the show.  The final ten minutes of the NBA game head-to-head had 10.8 million viewers. 
 
--Pope D'Angelo Dinero certainly teased the idea of leaving TNA as on twitter today he wrote:  "My time has come.  It's time to move on.  I've served well.  Hope no one has been disappointed, hope my hard work has been applauded and appreciated.  This may time in to the fact Elijah Burke graduated college with a criminal justice major last week.
 
--Sunday's TNA Sacrifice show on PPV
*Sting vs. RVD for TNA title
*Kurt Angle & Chyna vs. Jeff & Karen Jarrett
*Beer Money vs. Chris Harris & Matt Hardy for tag titles
*Kazarian vs. Max Buck for X title
*Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne for Knockouts title; if James wins, Tara is set free
*A.J. Styles vs. Tommy Dreamer
*Hernandez & Anarquia vs. Ink Inc.
*Brian Kendrick vs. Robbie E
 
--Bellator tomorrow night at 9 p.m. on MTV 2
*Hector Lombard (middleweight champion) vs. Falaniko Vitale in a non-title bout
*Patricky Pitbull Freire vs. Michael Chandler in the lightweight tournament final
*Brett Cooper vs. Alexander Shlemenko
*Bryan Goldsby vs. Anthony Morrison for a shot in the fall bantamweight tournament
 
--Sean Waltman is back at FCW today.
 
--Speaking of FCW, Booker T, Trish Stratus, Bill DeMott and the cast of Tough Enough are coming in to Tampa on Thursday for tapings. 
 
--Jon Olav Einemo, the original opponent for Shane Carwin on 6/11 in Vancouver, will now face Dave "Pee Wee" Herman on that show. 
 
--There are two hours of Ultimate Fighter tonight on Spike from 7-9 p.m. airing the last two weeks episodes.
 
--Inside MMA tonight with have Josh Thomson as the guest host and feature King Mo, Mark Miller (who fights in a few weeks after undergoing open heart surgery) and Antonio Silva as guests.  King Mo will challenge Rampage Jackson.
 
--Another big indie show this weekend will be at the Nashville Fairgrounds on Saturday night  headlined by Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson vs. Dennis Condrey & Bobby Eaton with Dutch Mantel as referee, plus Doug Gilbert & Tommy Rich vs. Wolfie D & Road Dogg, plus Brian Christopher & Kevin White vs. Tracy Smothers & Chris Hamrick.
 
--The grand opening of the newest UFC Gym in Corona, CA is tomorrow at 10 a.m.  A number of UFC stars will be in attendance. 
 
--There are a ton of new stories on the http://www.yahoo.com MMA page this week including one on The Pitbull Brothers and Bryan Baker of Bellator as well as a preview of the next two months of Zuffa main events.
 
--Future Stars of Wrestling starts Saturday night late/Sunday morning at 2 a.m. this weekend in Las Vegas moving to one hour on the CW affiliate.
 
--HDNet signed a contract with the Holland based "It's Showtime" promotion and will debut on 5/20 at 11 p.m. Eastern, immediately following Michael Schiavello's one hour interview with Hulk Hogan.  The show features the return of Badr Hari, facing Tony Gregory, plus Giorgio Petrosyan, who is like the Tiger Woods of kickboxing.  The promotion will air ten events from across Europe including a show on 9/24 in Brussels, Belgium as a one-night eight-man tournament of 154 pounders led by Petrosyan.
 
--WWE is doing a nostalgia merchandise direction at WWEShop.com with WCW shirts, ECW shirts, WCW Fall Brawl shirts, Raw is War, WrestleMania X, and Steve Austin shirts.
 
--Tough Enough debuts in Canada on The Fight Network on 5/23 
 
--Lance Storm talked about his experience wrestling in India at http://www.stormwrestling.com/112402.html  This was not one of the great wrestling tours of his career.  He also talks about the period when he and Christian were traveling partners at http://www.stormwrestling.com/032503.html
 
--In the U.K. ESPN on 5/28 will start airing UFC programming at 12:15 a.m. with the Countdown to UFC 130, followed by MMA Live, and then the live show starts at 2 a.m.  Not sure why they can't do the prelims in the U.K.  they sent out a release today and still had Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard listed as the main event.  Cable commercials this week were also still listing that match which has been canceled due to Edgar and Maynard both being injured.
 
--Jim Ross, who has had his own battles with diverticulitis, talks Brock Lesnar's plight at http://www.jrsbarbq.com
 
--Alex Marvez talks to Insane Clown Posse about their background in wrestling and their $5 iPPV shows at http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/61579 as well as how wrestling has helped their musical career.
 
--Who is the best Ryan
Nolan Ryan 38.3%
Ryan Shamrock aka Alicia Webb 15.3%
Meg Ryan 12.7%
Ryan Reynolds 12.4%
Mason Ryan 4.8%
Ryan Bader 4.2%
Buddy Ryan 3.6%
Ryan Shamrock aka Ken's son 2.6%
Bob Ryan 2.4%
Ryan Couture 1.8%
Ryan O'Neal 1.8%
 
--Who is the best prospect to hang as a new WWE main eventer
Sheamus 22.8%
John Morrison 17.2%
Wade Barrett 14.8%
Daniel Bryan 10.0%
Sin Cara 7.8%
Jack Swagger 7.6%
R-Truth 5.7%
Cody Rhodes 4.7%
Dolph Ziggler 3.2%
Mason Ryan 2.6%
Ezekiel Jackson 1.9%
Kofi Kingston 1.6%
 
--What weekend show are you most interested in?
TNA Sacrifice 57.3%
Bellator 42.7%
 
--Poll on Ultimate Fighter
Excellent 15.5%
Good 19.0%
Average 26.2%
Fair 6.0%
Poor 8.3%
        56.9% of those responding didn't see the show.    
 
--NWA East on 5/21 in McKeesport, PA at the Jacob Woll Pavilion
 
--Yesterday's Rialto (CA) Record had a story on Sonny Valens, a former Empire Wrestling Federation wrestler who got into acting after wrestling trainer Jesse Hernandez got him a spot in an independent movie, and he's been on The Closer, Southland and Law and Order-LA and worked on the same set with Hilary Swank.
 
--There is a story on Pennsylvania longtime indie promoter Dino Sanna on the plight of running shows, saying it's more difficult to book shows at schools because Vince McMahon made the rep of wrestling worse, and noting Saturday will be his 30th anniversary show at http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/business/ (thanks to Chuck Langerman)
 
--Malia Hosaka talks about Madusa and Molly Holly among other things in this interview plugging this weekend's Tulalip Championship Wrestling show at http://ringbellesonline.com/2011/05/11/wow-podcast-21-with-malia-hosaka/
 
--TNA did open up its new impactwrestling.com web site that it purchased, after last night's show, but it just directs you to tnawrestling.com  The gist is they are still using the TNA initials, although TNA is expected to be used less and less as time goes on. (thanks to Harry Simon and many others)
 
--Australian comedian Sam Simmons on the government's youth radio station Triple J talked with Brian Ebersole of UFC at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODiAXb40bSq
 
--ECWA on 7/16 in Newark, DE at the greater Newark Boys & Girls Club  
 
--Wild Bill's Fight Night on 5/20 in Duluth, GA.
 
--Kenny Bolin talks his relationship with Jim Cornette and John Cena, and how WWE botched up so many wrestlers who came through OVW at http://angrymarks.com/?ArticleID=13986   
 
--OTTR talks the Johnny Mantell tournament in Texas as well as old Crockett Cups, WrestleMania IV, King of the Ring and the Super J Cup at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cutrer  

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