Monday, April 2, 2007

Pro Wrestling/Mixed Martial Arts news and notes 4/2/07

By Art Shimko

-- As expected, the whole Donald Trump/Vince McMahon head shaving bit from Sunday night's Wrestlemania 23 show made it to various press and news outlets including both men appearing on the Today show Monday morning. Ric Gillespie wrote on his site Got a chance to catch Vince McMahon and Donald Trump on 'Today.' Wasn't a whole lot to it, but the public did get its first look at McMahon's completely bald pate, and also saw a shiner on McMahon's left eye, courtesy of Trump's punches at 'WrestleMania.'

-- Final tally for Wrestlemania: Attendance announced was 80,103 at Detroit's Ford Field and brought in a live gate of $5.38 million making it the highest grossing one-day live event in company history.

-- Raw will be in Dayton tonight, expect insanity that only Vince McMahon can deliver now that he's been humbled on the grandest stage of them all and other follow-up from Mania with Cena, HBK and more.

-- Injury report from ROH's shows this weekend from Mark Briscoe suffered a concussion after landing bad on a shooting star press to the floor. He was in the hospital for the entire weekend. He is now questionable for 4/13 & 4/14. We hope to have an update later this week. BJ Whitmer will be forced to miss 4/13 & 14 for a neck injury he suffered in the Steel Cage Showdown against Jimmy Jacobs last Saturday. Fans are calling this brutal match the greatest cage match in ROH history. Unfortunately both Whitmer and Jacobs paid the price. Jacobs suffered worst of all. He had half of one of his front teeth chipped. Worst yet, he will need major surgery to repair a completely torn my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Jacobs will miss 6-9 months of action, but will still have a role on most of the ROH shows.

-- The Evening Tribune out of Hornell, NY has an article on ‘Leapin' Lanny Poffo about his appearance at the 34th Annual Sports Night on Saturday. Poffo also discusses his SNME with Hogan, what he did to stand out amongst the typical WWF wrestler look, his wrestling family and his literary career where Poffo wants to help today's youth from taking up smoking which he states is part of the five nightmares of youth which also includes dropping out of school, teenage pregnancy, drugs and suicide.

-- TNA will hold its Slammiversary pay-per-view on 6/17 in Nashville.

-- TNA has a show this Saturday at The Crossroads Arena [2800 South Harper Road] in Corinth, MS featuring NWA World Heavyweight Champion Christian Cage, Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle, Abyss, “The War Machine” Rhino, X Division Champion Chris Sabin, “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Petey Williams, “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels, Team 3D, Sonjay Dutt, The Naturals, “Wildcat” Chris Harris and “Cowboy” James Storm. Tickets available at particpating Subway restaurants or call (662) 287-7779.

-- Sting on retirement: “Last year, I said 2006 probably would be my last year, my last hurrah in wrestling. But then (TNA President) Dixie (Carter) started talking to me about 2007, as well as other TNA executives. So I figured I’d go another year. But, after 2007, I can’t make any promises. I have a feeling this, 2007, will be it,” said Sting. “I’m not a commentator or manager type. Not in my blood. Wrestling is the only thing in my blood.”

-- The Best Of AJ Styles DVD Vol. 2 is available on Tuesday which will cover:
- AJ as a kid growing up
- Memories and stories about his family and friends
- Excelling in sports in high school and college
- How and why he got into wrestling
- Stories about his time in NWA Wildside and WCW
- Finding faith and religion in his life
- Meeting his wife and beginning their family
- The birth of his first son and what it meant to him
- His career in TNA, including his favorite matches and stories
- His love of video games and more

-- Female wrestlers: Friends outside ring, foes inside

-- Patrick Stoetzer of Carroll County Times reminisces about old-school WWF wrestling and pay-per-views

-- Father charged with assaulting son - An East Pennsboro Twp. man faces charges after police said he punched his 11-year-old son and made him run laps around their vehicle because he cried on the mat during a wrestling practice, police said.

-- Multiplayer: Putting Up A Fight

-- It's a busy week in mixed martial arts as we have two UFC events (Fight Night this Thursday night on Spike TV followed by the premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 5, UFC 69 on Saturday) and Pride 34 on pay-per-view this Sunday. Myself, Casey and Euan from Old Country Times and Ric from Canvas Chronicle will be recording a podcast to review only a few of the fights from each card (although we're each picking three to review so we can either have a bunch of different fights to discuss or talk about the same ones, we'll see), that will take place on Wednesday so expect to be posted maybe by Thursday. Fight cards: UFC Fight Night; UFC 69: Shootout; Pride 34: Kamikaze

-- Swick discusses UFC 69, Okami and going home

-- Penn wants to pulverize rival

-- Here's some interesting build-up for the Josh Koscheck/Diego Sanchez fight this Saturday:
- Five Ounces of Pain: An interview with Josh Koscheck
- The Fringe: An interview with Diego 'The Nightmare' Sanchez

-- The Iowa Senate voted 35-12 last Wednesday to end state regulation for mixed martial arts. Democratic senator Bill Dotzler, who spearheaded this move, states that the bill would ban any MMA event to take place and will protect the state from any liability due to a fighter's death or injury, the bill is a result of not enough senators being able to agree whether to ban the sport or not. Promoter Monte Cox stated, "De-regulating it is the biggest pansy way out of this situation," and is concerned that de-regulation will encourage fly-by-night promoters to run shows and cause more chances of injuries or death for fighters. The state obviously is covering their ass over fighters' safety and regulations would be more of a help to the sport so that jack-ass dishonest promoters don't come in and make money without any regard to fighters' safety. The bill is headed to the House.

-- IFL ratings info:
“IFL Battleground” has achieved record numbers for MyNetworkTV in just its first three weeks.

Those numbers include:

• A 60% increase in overall audience size over MyNetworkTV February sweeps prior program numbers, including a 250% increase in males 18-49.

• A three-telecast viewer reach of over 6.1 million, the best first three telecast cume for any show since the Network launched last September.

• The February 26 “IFL Battleground” show featuring the New York Pitbulls set a record for males watching MyNetworkTV, delivering a 0.7 in the male 18-49 category.

On the sports cable side, the IFL’s weekly Friday night matchup on FSN has seen:

• An impressive 24% increase in the 11 p.m. window from other programming that has held that time slot in the first quarter of 2006 (FSN’s “Best Damn Sports Show Period”).

• Overall the program rose in all key male demos, with men 18-34 up 41%, men 18-49 up 15% and men 25-54 up 27%.


-- Robbie Lawler won the Icon middleweight champion Saturday night when he KO'ed Frank Trigg at Honolulu's Blaisdell Arena making him the promotion's first ever two-time middleweight champ.

-- One-on-one with UFC heavyweight Heath Herring

-- TV schedule for WEC on Versus Network this summer:
6/3/2007 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm WEC HIGHLIGHTS
6/3/2007 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm WORLD EXTREME CAGEFIGHTING
6/6/2007 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm WEC HIGHLIGHTS
6/13/2007 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm WEC HIGHLIGHTS
8/5/2007 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm WEC HIGHLIGHTS
8/5/2007 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm WORLD EXTREME CAGEFIGHTING
8/8/2007 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm WEC HIGHLIGHTS
8/15/2007 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm WEC HIGHLIGHTS
9/5/2007 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm WORLD EXTREME CAGEFIGHTING

-- HBO looking outside the boxing ring

-- Florian ready for comeback

-- Former baseball player Welker wins debut in cage match

-- Mayweather/De La Hoya Conference Call Transcript

-- De La Hoya adds bit of Sugar to his training regimen
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