SAT. UPDATE: UFC 131, Cyborg rumors, Cena vows final knockout, TNA angle, White talks Bisping



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        We're looking for your thoughts on Thursday night's UFC show and tonight's Strikeforce show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
        We're looking for reports on tonight's Raw show in Alexandria, LA (The Miz vs. John Cena vs. C.M. Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. Ted DiBiase for the U.S. title), Smackdown show in Albuquerque (Edge vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Cody Rhodes) and TNA house show in Salem, OR. 
 
        Strikeforce tonight at 10 p.m. on Showtime
Prelims off television
J.P. Felty (0-0, 170.5) vs. John Kuhner (0-2, 170.5)
Marc Cofer (3-3, 185) vs. Mitch Whitesel (15-20, 182.5)
Brian Rogers (6-2, 184.5) vs. Ian Rammel (4-2, 180.5)
Jason Riley (9-5, 259) vs. Jason Freeman (6-5, 221.5)
Jorge Gurgel (13-7, 155) vs. Billy Vaughan (9-6, 152.5)
Roger Bowling (8-1, 170) vs. Josh Thornburg (5-1,170)
 
Live on Showtime
Jorge Masvidal (20-6, 155) vs. Billy Evangelista (11-0, 1 NC, 155.5)
Tim Kennedy (12-3, 186) vs. Melvin Manhoef (24-8-1, 185)
Marloes Coenen (18-4, 135) vs. Liz Carmouche (6-0, 134) for Strikeforce women's welterweight title
Rafael Feijao (10-2, 204.5) vs. Dan Henderson (26-8, 204.5) for Strikeforce light heavyweight title
 
        We will have live coverage on the site starting at 10 p.m.
 
        Bellator tonight at 9 p.m. on MTV 2
Prelims
Jesus Castro (135) vs. Paul Ruiz (134.8)
Brandon Bender (146.4) vs. Josh Herrick (145.2)
Jamie Jara (174.4) vs. Waachim Spiritwolf (173.4)
Zoila Frausto (125.6) vs. Karina Helinan (125) in a non-title fight - this will make television time permitting
 
Live on MTV2 - first round fights of a season long welterweight tournament
Dan Hornbuckle (170) vs. Brent Weedman (169.4)
Rick Hawn (170.6) vs. Jim Wallhead (170)
Jay Hieron (170.8) vs. Anthony Lapsley (170.8)
Lyman Good (170.8) vs. Chris Lozano (170.6)
 
        Sunday's major show is Zero-One at Tokyo Sumo Hall with Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Ryoji Sai for the Zero-One World title, Shinjiro Otani vs. Yoshihiro Takayama, Yuji Nagata vs. Masato Tanaka and the pro debut of Daichi Hashimoto (son of Shinya Hashimoto) vs. Masahiro Chono.
 
        WWE runs Sunday in College Station, TX for Raw and in Waco, TX for Smackdown.
 
        Monday is Raw from the American Airlines Center in Dallas featuring Steve Austin's return.
 
        Smackdown and the beginning of the new season of NXT will be on Tuesday in Houston at the Toyota Center.  The main event being advertised is HHH & John Cena &  Rey Mysterio & Edge & Big Show vs. Wade Barrett & Alberto Del Rio & Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel & Ezekiel Jackson.
 
        The newest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, for this coming Monday, just went up on the web site earlier today, which has the complete WrestleMania show, and notes on the hottest programs on the show.  We also have a look at every controversy coming out of UFC 127, more on Mistico in WWE, Strikeforce's future big shows and plans for the rest of the year, and more on the biggest threats facing both the UFC and WWE business years from now.
 
        Our lead story covers WrestleMania 27, with a match-by-match breakdown, including what staple of the show is no longer there, and the building of the Rock/Cena angle.
 
        We also look at UFC 127, including business numbers, ratings numbers, what the ratings show, early PPV numbers.  We look at what long-term major match fell apart, at the welterweight division going forward, Fitch vs. Penn judging and round two in detail, Dana White's view on the fight, polls on the fight, what pro wrestler debuted on the UFC show and White's reaction to him, and all the Michael Bisping vs. Jorge Rivera controversy, how it started why it started and how real it was or wasn't.  We've also got match-by-match coverage and poll results on the show.
 
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        We look at the WWE and CMLL press conferences on Thursday regarding Mistico.  We look at Jim Ross' comments at the press conference, Smackdown vs. Raw for him, the history of Latino stars on Smackdown, the challenges facing the former Mistico, now Sin Cara, in WWE, as well as the CMLL reaction to losing its top star.
 
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        We also have more on CMLL's first major show of the year, and the CMLL and AAA situation in Mexico as WWE has gotten network caliber television.
 
        We also look at the future of Strikeforce and the heavyweight tournament.
 
        We also look at the problems facing UFC and WWE gong forward, as well as how it affects other sports.
 
        We've got coverage of the ROH 9th anniversary show as well as how the iPPV did.
 
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Also in this week's issues:
 
--The national incredible partners tournament in CMLL ends
 
--What the ratings in Mexico say
 
--Update on AAA's Rey de Reyes and top angles
 
--Dragon Gate star returns over the weekend
 
--U.S. star gets Dragon Gate tile match
 
--Hall of Fame pro wrestler returns in late March as a father-and-son tag team
 
--Biggest Zero-One show in recent history featuring wrestlers from many groups and son of Hall of Famer debuting
 
--Tons of Chris Jericho news, what projects he has, how his book is doing, Dancing with the Stars and concerts
 
--Three different promotions sign national television deals this past week, we look at their starts and chances
 
--Update on a major theatrical release movie about a pro wrestling iconic figure
 
--WXW comes to U.S.
 
--Former TNA tag champs face current ROH tag champs
 
--Behind new ROH signings
 
--More on TNA's TV taping in Fayetteville
 
--A look at celebs at the show and why they were used
 
--Update on TNA taping television outside Orlando
 
--Hogan filed another lawsuit
 
--Backstage employee leaves TNA for WWE
 
--How Impact is doing on TV in the U.K.
 
--Notes from the weekend TNA house shows
 
--UFC talks international plans
 
--UFC moves to 3-D coverage
 
--More on UFC relationship with bars
 
--UFC star goes into legit sports Hall of Fame
 
--Update on the Brock Lesnar autobiography
 
--UFC fans get ripped off by scam in Australia
 
--Lots of more new UFC matches
 
--Story behind challenger in upcoming Strikeforce title match
 
--Fedor Emelianenko update
 
--Notes on new Bellator season
 
--Return of Steve Austin
 
--Chris Jericho talks WWE return
 
--More on Bob Armstrong
 
--WWE new major marketing deal
 
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--An article in the Star Phoenix at http://www.thestarphoenix.com/sports/mixed-martial-arts/ notes that despite UFC listing in a release that UFC 131 would be 6/11 in Vancouver at Rogers Arena, that UFC Director of Canadian Operations Tom Wright said that no deal is finalized and no announcement should have been made.  UFC has been working on closing the deal for months, and Wright said they remain positive that the deal will be completed, but it has not been signed and agreed to by the city of Vancouver.  
 
--We've got an article on Cris Cyborg and WWE rumors at http://www.yahoo.com in the UFC section.  Suffice to say she is under contract to Strikeforce so WWE would need their approval to use her.  Unlike UFC, they would likely be amenable to doing so. But WWE is likely not amenable to promoting on their television under contract to another organization unless they are a celebrity like Brock Lesnar who can make them big money.  However, she is in the process of negotiating a new Strikeforce deal.  WWE denied ever making her a contract offer.
 
--John Cena promises a "final knockout" of The Rock in an interview he will do on Monday night on Raw.  Hopefully it's better than the one he did this past Monday.
 
--On the NXT show that airs in New Zealand, at the start of the show they had John Cena give a message dedicating the show to victims of the recent earthquake and praising the firefighters, Red Cross and rescue workers. (thanks to Nicholas Graves)  
 
--Dana White on Thursday night's post-fight show on Versus said that he believed the knee Michael Bisping threw was intentional and that Bisping is in a lot of trouble.  Marc Ratner has been quoted as saying that the ref should have disqualified Bisping or at least deducted two points instead of one.
 
--There were Bellator ads on the screen on Spike TV late this week.  Spike is heavily promoting the show which is very interesting. (thanks to Jeff Gagliardo) 
 
--Pope D'Angelo Dinero was in the front row at the UFC show in Louisville (I believe he lives there. and if not, certainly has lots of friends there due to all his time in OVW).  He was sitting next to Pat Barry, but he left before the television portion of the show started.  He may have been friends with Cyrille Diabate since he was jumping up and down and cheering for him, and then left after his fight ended (thanks to Ehren Schaffter)
 
--ESPN's Pardon the Interruption talked about Bart Scott doing TNA and being put in the ankle lock by Kurt Angle.
 
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking both the Strikeforce show, the debut of Bellator, last night's TNA house show in Kent, WA and WWE news on Observer radio.  If you've got any questions on wrestling or MMA you can send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--Poll on Impact
Excellent 15.1%
Good 34.9%
Average 14.4%
Fair 5.5%
Poor 30.1%
        30.8% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Poll on Superstars
Excellent 15.2%
Good 33.3%
Average 21.2%
Fair 12.1%
Poor 18.2%
        70.0% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--For tonight, what are you planning on watching
Strikeforce 22.0%
Strikeforce and Bellator both 19.5%
Only Bellator 3.9%
Nether 54.6%   
 
--Web site for World of Hurt, the reality show based on Lance Storm's wrestling camp in Calgary which debuts on Canadian TV on 5/1 is at http://www.wohtv.com/
 
--Wrestling Eclipse tonight in Vaugh, ONT at the Sportsplex headlined by Michael Elgin vs. Anthony Fiasco
 
--NWA Main Event from Thursday night in Nashville:  Mike Cobbs & Super Barney b Damien Payne & Dave Adkins, Sebastian Stardust b Kaige Kuttler, Psycho Medic b Ox Harley, Shawn Schultz & Big Bully Douglas b Adam Graves & Kirk Patrick, Derrick Neal b Kevin Dunn, Will Owens NC Steve O. (thanks to Lekisha Oliver)
 
--TWA on Sunday in St. Catherines, ONT at the TWA Powerhouse
 
--ASW from last night in Tampa:  Don Maximo b Josh Rayne, Josh Allen b Wayne Van Dyke, James Boys b Damon Divine & Brian Badical, Kennedy Kendrick b Colby Godwin, Mike Cruz & Gus Money b Eric Cooper & Eddie Taurus to win tag titles.  Next show is 3/5 in Orlando at the National Guard Armory.  Traci Brooks, Chris Harris, Jay Lethal and Jesse Neal will be on that show with Neal vs. Francisco Ciatso, Lethal & Simon Sez vs. Cooper & Taurus and Brooks vs. Christina Von Eerie. (thanks to Alan Wojcik)
 
--Both CMLL and AAA have bullring shows as part of the Lucha festival this weekend in Guadalajara.  The CMLL show is today with Negro Casas & Felino & Mr. Niebla vs. Atlantis & Rey Bucanero & Ultimo Guerrero, plus Oro II vs. Fantasma de la Opera in a mask vs. mask match.  The AAA show has Cibernetico & Dr. Wagner Jr. & La Parka vs. L.A. Park & Silver Kain & Zorro, plus Electroshock & Jack Evans & Mesias vs. The Clowns. (thanks to Kris Zellner)
 
--USWO from last night in Nashville before 98 fans:  C.D. Thiller b Drifter, Saint b Mike Cobbs, Kevin Dunn b Eric Hodge, Mike Woods b Danny Copass, Jocephus b Panther, Damien Payne b Psycho Medic (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)  
 
--Mickie James will challenge Claudia Reiff for the Funking Conservatory's womens' title on 3/26 in Ocala, FL at the Bang TV Sound Stage.
 
--Southern All-Star Wrestling from last night in Millersville, TN:  David Matthews b Anthony Wayne, Lee Cross & LBK DCOR Wild Boys, Cody Weatherby b Dave Adkins, Arrick Andrews b Kevin Weatherby, Derrick Neal b Shane Eden, Hammerjack b Lonestar
 
--New Era Wrestling on 3/19 in Shelbyville, IN at the Boys Club
 
--Bushwhacker Luke Williams appears tonight on the USWO show in Nashville at the Stadium Inn, facing Damien Payne.  Williams and partners Butch Miller and Rip Morgan had numerous battles in Nashville in the early 80s against The Fabulous Ones.
 
--Danish photographer Sara Brincher Galbiati's series of Lucha Libre photos from Mexico won an award for best sports picture series.  It's quite an accomplishment to win in the sports category, particularly since there is almost no knowledge of Lucha Libre in Denmark.  You can see the photos at http://www.saragalbiati.com/index.php?/projects/lucha-libre-mexican-wrestling/ (thanks to Ole Kirk)  

Long-term, what are your thoughts on Lucha Underground?

 

What did you think of Wednesday's Ultimate Fighter TV show?

 

What did you think of TNA Impact?

 

What did you think of Lucha Underground last night?