SAT. UPDATE: Rampage’s latest rampage, WWE surgery, WWE copies TNA, Dana 1-ups Spike, ROH vs. IWGP
ROH TV show tonight: - Jay Lethal vs. Kenny King - Adam Cole vs. Kevin Steen - Michael Elgin vs. Kyle O’Reilly
The Super Fight League from Mumbai, India will running on YouTube tomorrow morning at 9:45 AM EST: - Lena Ovehynnikova vs. Snaja Sucevic - Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs. Joey Guel - Satish Jha vs. Jimmy Ambriz (former pro wrestler with New Japan) - Lakwinder Sekhon vs. Madura Rathnayake - Mohd Shahid vs. Mayura Dissanakyake - Hardeep Singh vs. Jeff Bailey - Chaitanyha Gavali vs. Tiran Thakshala - Neil Natasadu vs. Travis Bell - Bob Sapp vs. James Thompson Most of the fighters involved are from either India or Sri Lanka.
Raw will be live from Cleveland on Monday featuring a sing-off between Rock and John Cena, plus a head-to-head confrontation between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. James Roday of USA show Psych will be on the show plugging an episode that Miz guest stars on later this week. Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday in Columbus, OH.
Also in the new Observer: Mexico, Japan, Russo talks We also look at the UFC show in Australia, the controversy and behind the scenes regarding the judging of the Ian McCall vs. Demetrious Johnson fight, and match-by-match coverage. We also update ROH, the direction of the company, and its last iPPV show from New York, the 10th anniversary show. We’ve got notes on Josh Barnett’s attempt to get licensed, as well as coverage of CMLL’s first big show of the year, and notes on Royal Rumble PPV business. We also have our in-depth look at the ratings of the national shows, including how every segment of Raw and Impact did, what gained in audience, and what lost in audience. We also have our weekly features with the results from the major events held around the world over the past week, as well as reviews of the major television shows. —A look at the complete card for AAA’s Rey de Reyes —Notes on the big angle being set up and the L.A. Park possible turn —Dragon Gate title change —All Japan’s major show of the week setting up the 3/20 card —Update on Kenta Kobashi —Ownership of New Japan —Plans going forward for New Japan under new ownership —Potential match of the year —Lineup for the 2012 New Japan Cup tournament —Zero-One’s anniversary show —ROH’s latest TV tapings —More on Hulk Hogan sex tape —Vince Russo talks about his departure from TNA —TNA star in movie role filming this week —Brian Kendrick talks his TNA departure —Eric Bischoff sells a new network show —Ring Ka King update —Samoa Joe & Magnus turn —Flair update —Lawsuit filed against TNA —Changes in TNA on television —TNA weekend tour notes —More on upcoming television shows —The decision to make Frankie Edgar the top lightweight contender —Arguments for Edgar and for Pettis to get the next shot —More testosterone therapy questions —Chael Sonnen apology swerve —More new UFC fights —Schedule until the end of July —More on the cast of this season’s Ultimate Fighter —Controversy over Michigan commission —Mirko Cro Cop’s retirement
Saturday’s News, Notes & Links —Jeff Mallott was the Indiana referee last night in the Joe Warren vs. Pat Curran fight. I hope someone gave him a talking to because that was one of the worst late stoppages in a long time. I can’t see Warren being okay to compete in the Olympic trials (only a month away) after that beating and this was his last shot at the Olympics after missing 2008 due to testing positive for marijuana and being suspended for two years. —Bryan and I are going to be doing Saturday morning shows most of the next three months to cover Ultimate Fighter, Smackdown and Bellator. If there are weeks where there is a major show on a Saturday (like April 14th and 21st), we’ll cover the Friday events in our usual Saturday night post-big show.
—Josh Nason has a story on Rampage Jackson’s Twitter barrage last night, which included complaints that “UFC makes billions off us all over the world n pay us chump change. Boxers r boring but making buckets of money. THINK.” He said he was hoping UFC just lets him go (he has one fight left on his deal) so he can move on, hinting going into boxing, which at his age with his speed would be a terrible idea unless you wants to do the Kimbo Slice route of getting paid a whole lot less for taking on car mechanics. He claimed UFC took away his love for fighting after the Forrest Griffin fight. —WWE is now copying TNA. At last night’s show, they did a deal where if you bought a Dolph Ziggler T-shirt, you could get it signed by Ziggler during intermission. WWE has never done that in the past, with the idea that the “stars” don’t come out until their performance and don’t do autograph sessions during the show. TNA has promoted its house shows of late based on the idea you can meet the stars, which you can’t do with the other promotion. During the show, they brought out a screen and showed footage and interviews of the main eventers earlier in the show “getting ready” and had Chris Jericho cut a generic promo (likely a tape that will also air tonight since he mentioned Ontario but never Toronto).
—Speaking of one-upping, Slice hosted reruns of The Ultimate Fighter last night on Spike. Well, guess who got hired to do a commercial for last night’s show on FX, complete with saying over and over, about how Ultimate Fighter is live on Spike? Kimbo got to double dip and boy, did Spike mess up in the terms of that contract.
—Not only is UFC doing a three-week UFC Primetime build for the late April Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans fight, but will also be doing the same build with Friday night FX specials for the three weeks before the Junior Dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem fight. What is good about this is they air right after Ultimate Fighter, the perfect time slot to hit the UFC audience. —Ted DiBiase has decided to undergo needed shoulder surgery since he’s out of action with a broken heel bone. —Don’t forget to move your clocks forward one hour when you go to bed tonight. You wouldn’t want to oversleep a Bob Sapp fight on YouTube that is likely lasting three minutes or less. —Prince Devitt retained the IWGP jr. title beating ROH champion Davey Richards earlier today in Nagoya. —For today on Fuel, Ultimate Insider airs at 7 p.m., UFC Tonight at 7:30 p.m., and UFC 139 with Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua at 10 p.m.
—A note for UFC fans, we are lucky to have Brent Wilson back this season covering the live Ultimate Fighter shows. He’s the best around at covering the shows as you’ll get details on every fighter and he’s got an awesome scouting report on everyone on last night’s show.
—Here’s the Joplin Globe story on Doug Furnas. (thanks to Joe Lancello)
—Watch this video feature from The Fight Network on Doug Furnas with Steve Austin, myself and Paul Lazenby. I can recall Lazenby telling me years ago that Furnas was his hero growing up since Lazenby was a powerlifter being becoming a pro wrestler/fighter/announcer/actor. —30-year-old Jaynie Mae Baker, part of the 2005 WWE Diva Search, is being accused of helping run a $2000-a-visit call-girl ring operated out of the 200-acre Monroe County pig farm owned by Anna Gristina (who ran the business). Both women were indicted of felony prostitution charges. Gristina said that Baker is innocent and only worked as a matchmaker. So in other words, she was the Joe Silva of the whorehouse industry. —A Japanese book on the collapse of Pro Wrestling NOAH hits the stores on Wednesday. Unfortunately, it is all in Japanese but more than 5,000 copies were pre-ordered online and it was ranked No. 221 in the best sellers list there. (thanks to Jose Gonzalez) —Shawn Michaels’ MacMillan River Adventures second season starts in July on the Outdoor Channel. Among the guests on the second season will be Steve Austin, Jim Ross and Ted Nugent. (thanks to Jhannil Jose Acero) —Brandon Jacobs was released today by the New York Giants. That would mean he would be available to do a PPV match with Bully Ray if the sides would come to terms. —TNA comes to the Showare Center in Kent, WA on 4/27. I think that means Bryan has a show to see. Jeff Hardy, James Storm and Bobby Roode are advertised as the headliners. —A note that the 3/25 Big Time Wrestling show where Bret Hart appears is in Augusta, ME, not Augusta, GA. We had the wrong state up for a few hours on Thursday.
What did you think of MMA Uncensored? Excellent 16.0% Good 32.0% Average 28.0% Fair 16.0% Poor 8.0% 77.3% of those responding didn’t see the show. The plumb time slot doesn’t seem to be helping this one.
What did you think of Impact? Excellent 7.6% Good 17.7% Average 25.3% Fair 19.0% Poor 30.4%
47.7% of those responding didn’t see the show
What was the best of these recent shows? Strikeforce on 3/3 35.3% UFC 144 on 2/25 29.0% WWE Elimination Chamber 16.7% ROH 10th anniversary show 11.8% TNA Against All Odds 4.1% UFC Ellenberger vs. Sanchez 1.8% UFC Kampmann vs. Alves 1.4%
—Doug Lunney of the Winnipeg Sun ran a story about Kenny Omega’s match with 9-year-old Hakura. —Billy Corgan’s Resistance Pro Wrestling on 3/23 in Chicago at the Excalibur has Harry Smith vs. Rhino with Smith putting up his Resistance title and Rhino putting up the old ECW title belt as the main event. Jay Bradley vs. Sean Waltman takes place with the winner getting a title shot. —USWO from last night in Nashville before 97 fans: Shawn Hoodrich b Mike Revick, Josh Crow b Shabba Shabbazz, L.T Falk b Saint, Miss Rachel b Damien Payne, Gary Valiant b Tim Rensto, Lonestar b Jocephus-DQ (thanks to Jimmie Daniel) —BWA Nemesis on 3/16 in London, England at the Road Sports and Social Club.
—Some old Memphis Wrestling footage from the 70s and 80s has been put on sale. This was tape purchased by Jeff Osborne, the MMA promoter/announcer now connected with the India promotion that debuts tomorrow morning. The footage includes the final minutes of a Harley Race vs. Jerry Lawler match, Lawler vs. Dr. Frank (some dude dressed up to be Frankenstein) and Lawler & Robert Gibson vs. Phil Hickerson & Dennis Condrey managed by Al Costello, plus the TV that led to the Lawler vs. Bill Dundee loser leaves town match in 1983. I remember this as being one of the best television shows ever.
—There will be a one-day auction for a rare autographed photo of Gordon Solie on the Championship Wrestling from Florida set. Bidding ends Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern time. —Pro Wrestling Evo from last night in Concord, NC before 150-175 fans: Joe Black b Ben Tyler, Dem Damn Texans b Mike Marletti & Mr. Elite, Chiva Kid b Corey Hollis & Chip Day, Cedric Alexander b Robyn Golphin, Kirby Mack b Trevor Lee-DQ, Caleb Konley b John Skyler, Zack Salvation b Marcellus King (thanks to Jer Polk) —CMLL on Monday night in Puebla: Espiritu Maligno & Karissma & Policeman b Asturiano & Blue Center & Stigma, Centella de Oro & Loco Max b Raziel & Virus, Blue Panther & La Mascara & Maximo b Kraneo & Morphosis & Psicosis, Atlantis & Mascara Dorada & Stuka Jr. b Polvora & Rey Escorpion & Ultimo Guerrero, Rush b El Terrible-DQ in a battle of the CMLL light heavyweight champion vs. CMLL world heavyweight champion. —CMLL on Tuesday night in Guadalajara: Virgo b Rey Trueno, Black Metal b Extreminador-DQ, Euforia & Raziel & Virus b Rey Cometa & Stuka Jr. & Triton, Princesa Blanca b Lady Apache to retain Mexican national women’s title, Volador Jr. won Cibernetico over La Sombra, Angel de Oro, Olimpico, Felino, Valiente, El Hijo del Fantasma, Negro Casas, Rush and Mr. Niebla. (thanks to Kris Zellner)