WED. UPDATE: Lesnar, Dragon Gate matches, Miz in LA, Tough Enough favorite,new PPV event, MMA on TV

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        UFC is on Spike tonight with Unleashed from 7-9 p.m. followed by Ultimate Fighter at 9 p.m.
        A look at what happened to Brock Lesnar and his future is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We also look at what will be one of the biggest long-term stories of 2010, which is the future of UFC on television after the current deal with Spike expires at the end of this year.  We also look at TNA's new slogan, the Sacrifice PPV and a first-time ever match.
       The issue is up on the site right now.  A new back issue from early 1994 was put up earlier in the week and another will be up in a few days.  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.
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        Our lead story looks at Brock Lesnar's illness, with Lesnar talking about what went down, how Shane Carwin vs. Junior Dos Santos changes things both in the cage and for business, handicapping the fight, looking at the UFC's injury issues that have seen one main event after another go down the tubes.  We look at Lesnar over the past year coming back from diverticulitis.
        We also look at the future of UFC on television, including what is rumored to be the company's new destination, Dana White talks about the talks, thoughts on business strategy, and what moves Spike could make if they lost UFC.
        We also look at the issues at TNA, the top stars, the Impact name, and what bad thing Sacrifice told TNA about its most loyal fan base.  We also have full coverage of Sacrifice with a match-by-match rundown with star ratings, issues with the show, and poll results on the show.
        We also look at the unveiling of a national postage stamp commemorating one of the biggest stars in wrestling of the past 40 years.
        We also look at a world record WWE is talking about gunning for, perhaps at next year's WrestleMania, update on "Fast Five" business, Chris Jericho's return, KENTA talks C.M. Punk, Unique booking for a home town heel, anniversary of a famous Raw match, a WWE PPV name change and why and WWE call-ups and cuts.
        We also run down the  closing episodes of Tough Enough, a story about Bret Hart's last match as well as business notes on both the U.S. shows of the past week, as well as the tour of Mexico, with rundowns of the matches.
        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 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:
--Top Japanese star headed to Arena Mexico
--Update on CMLL's attempt to create a new star
--Mask vs. mask match at Arena Mexico
--Mexico ratings
--The TNA invasion of AAA
--Notes on TripleMania
--Update on the King of Gate tournament
--Two nights of champions shows
--Former Olympic gold medalist does pro wrestling angle
--Notes on All Japan booking Sumo Hall
--Pro Wrestling NOAH's annual European shows featuring Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli
--How business was and the top matches
--New Japan's Northeast tour rundown
--Next major New Japan show
--New Japan trios tournament lineup
--Notes on the Amsterdam Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame inductions
--New promotion debuts on PPV with notes on the debut show and who is on it
--Wrestling star will appear in a national TV ad
--New book scheduled about a deceased wrestler
--Legendary tag team feud continues perhaps for the last time
--Wrestling's most unbreakable records
--Son of former wrestler and NFL aspirations
--ROH Supercard of Honor
--Update on Pope D'Angelo Dinero
--Hulk Hogan talks wrestling one more match
--Hogan's craziness regarding TNA's bad PPV numbers
--Thoughts on TNA vs. WWE when it comes to getting their fan base to buy PPV sows
--Hogan works his first indie in a long time with many 80s stars
--Notes on the creation of a new TNA title
--Movie planned on major TNA star
--Hogan talks about bringing back another 90s star
--A Battle Royal screw up and how it was covered up
--Thoughts on TNA house shows and reactions
--A look at the next few weeks of Impact
--Update on Jon Jones
--Jones' next opponent
--Lots of notes from the UFC Fighters Summit
--Dana White wants everyone on twitter to promote themselves
--How White is going to bonus fighters for being on twitter
--Thoughts on who will be the first to screw up
--More on UFC 129 PPV numbers
--Comparing GSP's biggest fights
--Update on Fedor's return
--Lots of new matches
--Update on Jon Fitch after surgery
--UFC up for major award
--Behind the Matt Mitrione/Tito Ortiz issues
--Update on attempts to combat PPV piracy
--People let go by UFC
--What major MMA draw who is unlikely to fight again
--Changes UFC wants in judging protocol
--Paul Heyman's role with UFC and what happened
--What UFC fighter is linked with someone in a murder-for-hire case
--Notes on new UFC TV specials
--Update on Rashad Evans/Jon Jones feud
--Bellator coverage
--Longest unbeaten streak among major champions
--For Olympic bronze medalist signs with Bellator for next tournament
--Former UFC fighter arrested
--New promotion debuts on TV
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--A few notes regarding upcoming guests on radio shows.  Michael Schiavello won't be on today's Wrestling Observer radio due to having issues at his hotel in the U.K., where he's getting ready to broadcast Saturday night's BAMMA show.  We are working on getting him on the show shortly.  Jens Pulver will be doing the show next week.  Josh Gross of will be a guest tonight talking about Chael Sonnen and MMA.  Bret Hart is scheduled for tomorrow and Brock Lesnar is scheduled for next week.
--Dragon Gate USA has announced these new matches for the next shows:
6/3 in Revere, MA live on iPPV has Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Sami Callihan and Cima & Brodie Lee vs. Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann
6/4 in Long Island for a regular PPV taping has Mochizuki vs. Arik Cannon, Austin Aries vs. Susumu Yokosuka and AR Fox vs. Akira Tozawa
6/5 in Manhattan on live iPPV has Mochizuki & Susumu Yokosuka vs. Cannon & Callihan 
--Last week, WWE Shop Zone was selling an old school ECW shirt with the barbed wire logo.  One of our readers placed an order,a nd got a WrestleMania VII shirt instead and the ECW shirt is no longer listed, even as out of stock.  The men's shirt has now been discontinued but there is still a women's shirt.  Like there is a huge demand for women wearing ECW barbed wire T-shirts.   (thanks to Josh Jabcuga)
--The Miz throws out the first pitch at tonight's Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants game at Dodger Stadium.
--James Maritato is now a regular on the WWE ref crew.  He appeared on Raw recently after doing some house shows.  Maritato used to wrestle as Nunzio, Little Guido, James Stone and Damien Stone among other names.
--Poll on Tough Enough
Excellent 21.6%
Good 51.0%
Average 17.2%
Fair 4.9%
Poor 5.4%
        24.4% of those responding didn't see the show
--Which of these was the best on interviews
Bobby Heenan 85.5%
Jesse Ventura 14.5%
--Who should win Tough Enough?
Luke 45.4%
Jeremiah 38.2%
Andrew 8.2%
Christina 5.4%
A.J. 2.8%
--Jorge Masvidal vs. K.J. Noons is now official for the 6/18 Strikeforce show in Dallas headlined by Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum.  The winner is expected to get a shot at Gilbert Melendez for the lightweight title.     
--Juggalo Championship Wrestling iPPV tonight at 8 p.m. for $5 at features Bill Martel vs. Corporal Robinson, Jimmy Jacobs vs. Sonjay Dutt, Colt Cabana & Weedman vs. Zach Gowen & Eugene, Sexy Slim Goodie vs. Breyer Wellington vs. Kawabata, Izabella Smothers & Bull Pain vs. Ring Ryders and Butcher Geeves defends the JCW title against 2 Tuff Tony. 
--A story on blood in pro wrestling is at 
--The Urban Wrestling Federation taping on 6/3 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York will be for a taped PPV that debuts on 6/26 at 8 p.m.  Not only are some of the biggest names in rap including Melle Mel, Uncle Murda and Gun Play on the show, but Homicide, Ricky Ortiz Scorpio Sky and Ricky Reyes are among the headline wrestlers appearing.
--Pre sale for the Smackdown tapings in Lexington on 8/2 started today using the password WWELIVE (thanks to Terri Bey)
--For last week in Australia, in the pay TV ratings, Smackdown was No. 51 with 28,000 viewers and Raw was No. 98 with 20,000 viewers.
--Saturday's BAMMA 6 from Wembley Arena in London will be airing live at 4 p.m. on The Fight Network in Canada.  We're looking for reports either from the U.K. or Canada on the show, which features Murilo Ninja Rua vs. Tom Kong Watson, Frank Trigg vs. John Phillips, Ivan Salaverry vs. Matt Ewin, and Neil Wain vs. Marcin Bartkiewicz
--IWF Mayhem on Saturday night in Woodland Park, NJ at the IWF Centre with Tom Prichard appearing as a referee.
--Horizon Wrestling in Leonardtown, MD on Sunday:  Pelle Primeau b Ruckus, Matt Wylde & Harold Ian Varelli b Keagan Collins & Orishay Silva, Daizee Haze b Veda Scott, Kindred b Alex Bird, Latin Dragon b Fredo Majors and Drolix in a three-way, Shane Hagadorn & Alex Payne b Bravado Brothers, Andy Ridge b Milo Shizo, Grizzly Redwood b Ernesto Osiris, Delirious b Adam Cole (thanks to Nate Stein)
--GXW on Saturday night in Prince George, VA at the High School featuring the return of Luke Gallows.
--NWS on Saturday night in South Brunswick, NJ at the High School gym with Nikolai Volkoff, Rikishi, Kenny Dykstra and Jim Duggan.
--CWE runs on 5/27 in Winnipeg at 10:30 p.m. at the 4Play Sports Bar, across the street from the MTS Center, where WWE is running a show that night.  There will be a party after hosted by Eugene plus a Battle Royal.
--3XW is billing a 5/27 show in Des Moines at All Play as featuring the biggest Battle Royal ever in the city with 30 men.    
--An interview with Sonjay Dutt at
--Vendetta Pro Wrestling on 6/4 in San Luis Obispo with Gangrel, Jason Watts (Eric from Tough Enough) and Shannon Ballard at The Graduate at 5 p.m.
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on Friday and Saturday night at St. Gregory's Byzantine Hall in Lakewood, OH.  The winner of the TPI 24 man tournament gets essentially a Money in the Bank deal for their title.  First round matches on Friday have Tim Donst vs. Mad Man Pondo, Paul London vs. Shiima Xion, Louis Lyndon vs. Flip Kendrick, Sonjay Dutt vs. Bobby Beverly, Facade vs. Sugar Dunkerton, Colt Cabana vs. Marion Fontaine, John Kermon vs. Gregory Iron, Dave Crist vs. Ricky Shane Page, Jon Gresham vs. Jake Crist, Duke vs. Aero, Izeah Bonds vs. Sterling James Keenan and B.J. Whitmer vs. Jimmy Jacobs.  Also on the show in a non-tournament match is Akira Tozawa vs. Johnny Gargano and Mickie Knuckles vs. Jessica Havok.
--Larry Zbyszko hosts I Believe in Wrestling on Saturday night at the Downtown Orlando Rec Complex
--Marius Zaromskis, the current Dream welterweight champion, faces Jordan Mein in the main event on 6/10 for The Score Fighting Series in Mississauaga, ONT at the Hershey Centre.  Mein is coming off wins over former UFC fighters Joe Riggs and Josh Burkman.  Jorge Britto vs. Kurt Southern was also announced.
--ECWA on 7/16 in Newark, DE at the Greater Newark Boys & Girls Club
--Dory Funk's BANG on 5/28 in Ocala, FL at the BANG TV Sound Stage features a five woman Battle Royal.  Dory Funk Jr. will wrestle on the show.
--The Santino Brothers Dojo has both pro wrestling and MMA training in Bell Gardens, CA at 5640 Shull St. Unit S.  
--United Wrestling Federation on 6/18 in Marshalltown, IA at the Marshalltown Coliseum with Road Dogg vs. Jeremy Wyatt for the UWF title as the main event.
--Texas All Star Wrestling Rage in the Cage on Friday night in Houston at the Kingdom Arena on3702 FM 1960 and Waters Rd features six cage matches.  They also run Saturday night in Nacogdoches, TX at the County Expo Center with a 16 man Hardcore street fight in a cage.
--NAAFS on Saturday night in Streetsboro, OH at The Arena headlined by Dan Sophn vs. Big John Hawk, who is not JBL, even though JBL used to be Big John Hawk.  Sophn is coming off a win over former UFC fighter Josh Hendricks.
--Monday night in Puebla for CMLL:  Princesa Blanca & Princesa Sugei & Mima Shimoda b Dalis la Caribena & Goya Kong & Luma Magica, Pegasso & Rey Cometa & Sensei b Hooligan & Loco Max & Nitro, Ephesto & Mephisto & Olimpico b El Hijo del Fantasma & Maximo & Valiente, Atlantis & Negro Casas & Mr. Niebla b La Mascara & Mascara Dorada & La Sombra (CMLL trios champs) in a non-tilte match.
--Legends from last night in Pachuca:  Rocky Lobo b Lancelot, Concord & Konami b Dinastia & Profecia, Chaupline Negro & Katomiko II & Peligro b Low Rider & Pesadilla & Rex, Super Crazy & Chico Tormenta b Crazy Sid & Iao Shirai, Canek & Mil Mascaras & Villano IV b Leatherface & Nosawa & XL (thanks to Kris Zellner and Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims)
--Dr. Wagner Jr. & Joe Lider & Nicho vs. Abyss & Jeff Jarrett & Zorro headlines tonight's AAA tapings in San Luis Potosi, which is the home town of Alberto Del Rio.
--Dory Funk will be on The Sports Edge radio show 1380 in St. Louis at 4 p.m.

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?