THURS. UPDATE: Neidhart sentenced, Interesting WWE exec comments, Flair HOF debacle, NWA lawsuit
Your TV Tonight: Impact, Uncensored, UFC on Fuel
We’re looking for reports from tonight’s TNA house show in Biloxi, MS. They are advertising Jeff Hardy & James Storm vs. Bobby Roode & Bully Ray as the main event, but Storm recently on Twitter said he just had ankle surgery. Also on the tour is Austin Aries vs. Zema Ion, Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne (to get them ready for Sunday), Matt Morgan vs. Kazarian and Christopher Daniels vs. Crimson. They also run tomorrow night with the same crew in Pensacola.
Impact tonight at 9 p.m. on Spike *Crimson vs. Samoa Joe *Mr. Anderson vs. Christopher Daniels *Gail Kim vs. Mickie James *Kurt Angle vs. Garett Bischoff 5 minute challenge *James Storm vs. Gunner The show ends with a contract signing angle for the Sting vs. Bobby Roode match in this go-home show for Victory Road. MMA Uncensored airs after Impact featuring Chael Sonnen as guest. UFC programming will be on Fuel all day today. A replay of Friday’s Ultimate Fighter airs at 2 p.m. Eastern. UFC 146 (Jones vs. Machida) is at 5 p.m. UFC Tonight airs at 8 p.m. Ultimate Inside airs at 8:30 p.m. Best of Pride airs at 9 p.m., Unleashed at 10 p.m. and a replay of Friday’s Ultimate Fighter airs at midnight.
More On The New Observer: Champ vs. Champ In Japan, Kurt Angle, Ronda Rousey —Major promotion booking change —AAA’s last TV leading into Rey de Reyes —Update on Dragon Gate USA on iPPV —All Japan’s first Sumo Hall show of the year preview including a Hall of Fame candidate wrestling in his first cage match of his career —Late change to Pro Wrestling NOAH’s main event title match —Thoughts on Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada and their role in New Japan going forward —IWGP champion vs. ROH champion —Hall of Fame candidate announces his first match in more than 10 years, and the date of it —Ultimo Dragon’s 25th anniversary match —Big Van Vader returns to wrestle in Japan —Death of legendary referee Dick Woehrle and his role in the WWWF and WWF, as well as with other promotions, and how he got started in pro wrestling —More on Paul Orndorff’s battle with cancer —Latest ECW reunion and who is and isn’t going to be involved —A look at the death of a famous Southern referee, Tommy Weathers —More about the situation involving Chavo Guerrero Sr. in a match in Illinois this past week that was so strange —Bill O’Reilly talks Jesse Ventura’s incident over the alleged bar fight a few years ago —Numbers from the last ROH iPPV show —Latest on WrestleMania weekend ROH shows —Kurt Angle gives a realistic look at his training and chances regarding the Olympics —When he will be wrestling if he does the trials —Lots of new stuff regarding Hulk Hogan sex tape —Updates on Victory Road and an injury note —Update on Ring Ka King —Vince Russo marketing himself for seminars —More on Eric Bischoff and Jeremy Borash —Notes on the weekend TNA house shows —Who is TNA’s difference maker when it comes to house shows —Business numbers from the last several UFC and Strikeforce shows —What notable mark did Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate achieve —How their match drew compared to the semifinal on the show —Update on Miesha Tate’s injuries —Rampage Jackson’s latest meltdown —Jackson’s last UFC match, and a look at what he said —UFC’s night of heavyweights update —Health of Cain Velasquez update —Nick Diaz and his legal case challenging his suspension —More on UFC threatening to go after individuals who stream their PPV shows —Update on UFC regulation plans —Frankie Edgar talks future —An interesting name tosses his hat in the ring for Jose Aldo Jr. —Notes on UFC’s promotion of the next two major PPV shows —Speculation abounds regarding Gilbert Melendez’s next opponent —Two of UFC’s most impressive young fighters and their next PPV match —A UFC show where the lineup on FX may be better than that on the PPV as far as exciting fights —A suspension of a UFC fighter that got no publicity and why —A number of new UFC fights signed —Rundown of the Bellator season opener
—Thoughts on the Joe Warren stoppage and his condition after the fight
Thursday’s News, Notes & Links —Jim Neidhart was sentenced to five months and 29 days in jail on a charge that he had stolen methadone tablets and Oxycontin pills from a neighbor in September 2010, who claimed someone had broken in to the back door of her house and stolen medication from her. During the hearing Neidhart had an outburst and was also charged with contempt of court. At last report, he was still being held after being booked yesterday afternoon. —One of Hulk Hogan’s lawsuits against ex-wife Linda — this one blaming her for not getting an insurance policy that would have protected the family in the event of the major lawsuit as happened with the Graziano case — was thrown out of court today. Hogan had sued both his insurance company, Wells Fargo and his wife, for both not advising him he was inadequately insured. Linda’s attorney played this up as a major court victory. The lawsuit Hogan has against her for slander and libel regarding public statements she had made against him in her book was not affected by this. —WWE CFO George Barrios was hit with a lot of negative questions at the 2012 ROTH Growth Stock Conference where he gave a presentation and then they took questions. | *He didn’t comment on the network past saying they were in negotiations and didn’t want to say anything because that would impact negotiations. He noted they were in better position than most who start their own network because they own the rights to so much content. *One person brought up WWE, claiming the business is failing and pointing to how UFC is beating them and he claimed that they blow UFC out of the water in TV ratings (true), how Smackdown beat UFC this past Friday (true) and that UFC is primarily a PPV business while they are primarily a TV business. He claimed it was a misconception that UFC has any effect on WWE business (internally that is the company public line but privately many know better and those also note the people who don’t are living in denial). But I don’t think UFC any longer has any effect on WWE ratings, minimal effect on ticket sales (if both groups are running the same arena in close proximity there is an effect) and a substantial effect on PPV which even Vince McMahon has acknowledged, although claiming it’s not UFC, but that if there is a UFC they get less barker commercial time and that’s why their numbers are down. *The same person talked about how the WWE movie business sucks, Barrios did say the film business was a disaster in 2011 but argued they should stay in the business with the new model, saying the last idea they had for how to release moves was an expensive lesson. *There was also criticism of not being able to create new big stars to replace the ones who have left. He noted that the roster has been rapidly changing with retirements and said the fans would choose who the next big star is. He mentioned Alberto Del Rio, Sin Cara and Jinder Mahal as potential international stars, noting that due to international expansion, the brand itself is as strong as it’s ever been. —Donte Dunnagan, who wrestles in the Ohio area as DDK (short for Dangerous Damien Kass), was stabbed yesterday trying to disarm a knife-wielding guy threatening people inside an office building in Columbus. The suspect, who hasn’t been named, was in critical condition after being shot. Three men stabbed were in critical condition and a fourth had minor injuries. The man, armed with three knives, came into a building and stabbed people. Police came and told him to put the knife down. He didn’t, and came forward so they shot him. —There has been a lot of talks in the trade journals about how Jersey Shore is fading in the ratings. Last week’s show did an identical number to Raw and they were at 7.6 million viewers as recently as January. —A hearing was held on Tuesday in Brownsville, TX, on the lawsuit filed by promoter Bruce Tharpe (the former Championship Wrestling from Florida ring announcer) against the NWA, claiming that Executive Director Bob Trobich misled promoters when saying they all had insurance for shows if they joined the NWA when the policy signed claimed all gatherings would be less than 100 people. Those in the NWA had claimed it was a power play by Tharpe in trying to get control of the NWA after he failed in an attempt to get the necessary votes. At the hearing, which saw several witnesses testify including board member Fred Rubenstein (former heel ref Mr. Fred in Zero-One), the NWA’s attorney, Reynaldo Garza III, withdrew as their representative, saying he felt another lawyer within the jurisdiction would be better equipped to handle the case. The court affirmed the jurisdiction issue, in at least some aspect of the case, as the NWA had claimed a case against them would have to be heard in Mecklenberg Country, North Carolina. The court issued an order barring the sale, mortgage or use as collateral of the NWA brand as long as this case is going on. The court is looking into allegations of financial issues and alleged forgery of documents that are being conducted. The court had also granted an order prohibiting the NWA bank account or NWA money from paying legal or other fees of the individual defendants, Bill Behrens, David Marquez, Michael Porter, Rubenstein, Michael Sircy, Ken Taylor and Trobich. It is expected the jurisdiction ruling will be appealed. Sources close to the situation say the NWA is not aware of any investigations going on, and say that the insurance policy in question does not say what is claimed by Tharpe in his pleadings, noting the insurance company is not alleging any fraud nor does the policy limit it to events drawing less than 100 fans.. —The Ian McCall vs. Demetrious Johnson rematch of their draw is now set for 6/1 in Las Vegas as part of the Ultimate Fighter Finals show on FX. —C.M. Punk co-hosted The Wedge with Damian Abraham, a shot on Much Music in Canada that features indy, alternative and punk rock. The interview was taped when Punk was in Toronto for the house show on Friday and they talked punk rock news and bands, tried to position the Punk vs. Chris Jericho match as punk rock vs. heavy metal and mentioned that Rancid would be doing some music for the upcoming Punk DVD. (thanks to Jason McNeil) —The Minneapolis Business Journal had a story about two former stars of the 1970s Minnesota Vikings, Stu Voight and Ron Yary, who were involved in a lawsuit. Yary was one of four people suing Voight for $1.1 million claiming he sold them fraudulent investments. Also in the suit was former AWA and WWF announcer Ken Resnick, who lost $172,000 and his 92-year-old mother, who is listed as losing $585,000. In the lawsuit, Resnick said he lost his entire life savings, as did his mother. —When asked about the rumor he would be inducting Yokozuna into the WWE Hall of Fame, Bret Hart on Twitter said he has not even been asked. I don’t know who is doing so, but they do have the complete list drawn up and I was only told it wasn’t Rock. —Dwayne Johnson was on Ryan Seacrest today. —Even though his manager told Ariel Helwani that there was interest, Anthony Pettis yesterday said he was not dropping to featherweight, even for a title shot at Jose Aldo Jr. —A funny line from Joey Styles on the VOC Nation radio show regarding Eric Bischoff and what he wrote on Twitter knocking Jeremy Borash, asking if when Bischoff was on the same show before, was he burying his co-workers or does he only do that late at night while at the bar? He defended Borash saying he works a lot harder than others at TNA who make a lot more money than he does. Both Styles and Jim Ross have talked about the Ric Flair/Hall of Fame issue, pushing that TNA should just let him do it and Styles even said that if they don’t, it would be classless. No, what would be classless is advertising someone under contract with a rival company for a show you are putting on, nearly selling the place out and then say it’s classless that they are looking for compensation or a business agreement between sides to allow him to do it. My take on this is: whatever TNA and WWE can agree to business-wise should be how it turns out. And if they don’t, WWE is the one at fault for not calling them first and making the business deal before advertising his name. If TNA was to create its own Hall of Fame before Bound for Glory, and next year announced Hogan, Flair, Savage and Steve Austin as its first entrants, sell tickets, and since Austin is under WWE contract, if WWE wanted a deal for Austin’s appearance, would that also be considered classless? Styles pushed for Paul Heyman to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame next year when they are in New Jersey. He also pushed for Bill Apter to be put in and said Ross should be announcing the Undertaker vs. HHH match at Mania, since they are pushing it as the end of an era and Ross was the announcer of that era. Really, Ross should be doing the whole show, but that’s more than a year old issue.
—Here’s a New York Times story on MMA. —Yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch had an obituary for Rose Marshall, who is the mother of Joe Marshall (J-Mar), who is well known as the guy who makes championship belts for both pro wrestling and MMA companies. Marshall comes to virtually every major pro wrestling event in the area, either showing new designs to those in charge or bringing duplicate title belts for wrestlers who order them for their homes as trophies. Our thoughts are with Joe at this time. —Torrie Wilson on Twitter said she and boyfriend Alex Rodriguez are going to attend WrestleMania. Rodriguez grew up in Miami and at least at one point was friends with Konnan, once walking him to the ring at Nitro and boy, did WCW do absolutely nothing with that one. I remember seeing it and thinking it must be a dream to see a celebrity that big and have so little made of hi. Then again, I watched the rest of Nitro and realized that in my wildest imaginations, I could never come up with ideas that bad so it had to be real.
—Leon “Vader” White talks his side of the 1995 fight with Paul Orndorff.
—Edge talks Hall of Fame, retirement and more.
What best describes your interest level in UFC right now? Interested, not as much as in the past because of too many shows and it’s too hard to keep up with 38.0% Am as interested as ever 22.6% I was never interested 17.2% Still interested, but lost some interest when Lesnar retired 9.7% Was a big fan, now have no interest 5.4% Still interested, but bad shows have turned me off 2.2% Have no interest because there is no true strong competitive promotion 2.1% Was never interested before, but have become interested recently 1.7% Still interested, but have lost some interest due to friends not being as interested 1.0% Lost interest due to the drug issues 0.2%
Who do you think is the best in-ring wrestler in the world? Daniel Bryan 45.4% Kurt Angle 12.4% C.M. Punk 11.3% Hiroshi Tanahashi 8,0% El Generico 5.7%’ Dolph Ziggler 5.2% Davey Richards 3.3% A.J. Styles 2.9% Randy Orton 2.2% Tetsuya Naito 1.3% Yuji Nagata 1.3% Bobby Roode 0.9%
Who do you expect to win this fight? Mark Hunt 55.3% Stefan Struve 44.7%
Which of these promotions do you have the most interest in? ROH 38.7% TNA 28.2% New Japan 14.9% PWG 7.0% Dragon Gate 5.2% AAA 1.9% NOAH 1.2% CMLL 1.2% All Japan 1.0% IGF 0.6%
What was the best movie produced by WWE? The Condemned 29.6% See No Evil 22.9% The Marine I 14.7% That’s What I Am 9.7% 12 Rounds 5.2% Knucklehead 5.0% Legendary 4.3% The Chaperone 4.3% Marine II 1.7% Behind Enemy Lines 3.0 1.2% Inside Out 0.2%
—An interview I did with Mike Sempervive and Les Thatcher talking about how the industry has changed and why celebrity involvement and athlete involvement in wrestling is so much different.
—The Daily Telegraph in Australia has an article on the Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve fight. (thanks to Tim Forge) —Premier Championship Wrestling has its 10th anniversary show tonight in Winnipeg at the Marquee Lunge headlined by Honky Tonk Man vs. Jay Walker, plus Kenny Omega appears, and an ownership angle with a last man standing match with promoter Andrew Shallcross vs. Will Damon for control of the company.
—Honky Tonk Man promoting the show on the Tom & Joe show (Joe is former WWE announcer and old friend Joe Aiello). He also did a show.
—Here’s a preview of Saturday’s ROH TV show. The show features Adam Cole vs. Chris Silvio, Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong and a Kevin Steen interview. —FTW on Saturday night in Ronkonkoma, NY featuring an appearance by Roddy Piper, plus Jay Lover vs. Grim Reefer vs. Justin Credible in a TLC match for the FTW title. Amazing Red, Tony Nese and Balls Mahoney also appear. —Chaotic Wrestling tomorrow night in Woburn, MA at the Elks Lodge with an eight-man tournament for the New England championship with Mike Nice, Matt Logan, Matt Taven (who has been appearing on ROH of late), Taka Suzuki, Sean Burke, Elia Markorpoulos, Bryan Logan and Chase Del Monte. —Sid Vicious is advertised to appear on 4/19 in Winnipeg for CWE at Cowboy’s Roadhouse. The main event is scheduled as Sid Vicious & Nate Hardy vs. The Axe & Zack Mercury. Sid doesn’t exactly have the best record when it comes to independent wrestling appearances.
—Paul Lazenby, a frequent guest on our shows, has re-launched his web site.
—Bill Apter and R.D. Reynolds did a video podcast together.
—Here’s an interview with former UFC fighter Patrick Cote. —3XW Wrestling on 3/30 in Des Moines at the Baratta’s Forte Center and 3/31 in Ottumwa, IA at the National Guard Armory. Both shows will be filmed for the company’s TV show that airs on Saturday’s at 6 p.m. on KWKB in Eastern Iowa and Mondays at 1:30 a.m. on KCWI in Central Iowa. The Des Monies show features Mark Sterling vs. Jeremy Wyatt in a 60 minute Iron man match for the 3XW title coming off their 75 minute match in January 2001. The second night will have a Battle Royal, with the winner getting a shot at the title. —Crossfire Entertainment runs Saturday night at the Fairgrounds in Nashville with Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Fit Finlay, Brian Christopher & ? vs. PG-13, Kid Kash vs. Jerry Lynn, Sinn Bodhi vs. Hammerjack, Cassidy Riley & Chase Stevens vs. David Young & Sigmon, U-Gene vs. Shane Williams, Mike Bennett vs Caleb Konley plus appearances by Ron Simmons, Maria Kanellis and Shane Douglas.
—Ed, Cutrer and Craig talk WWE Hall of Fame.
—FSW High Octane TV airs at 10 p.m. Eastern tonight. Former WWE wrestler Eugene and former NOAH wrestler Michael Modest appear. —Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 3/31 in Columbus, IN headlined by Eugene.