SAT. UPDATE: UFC match for next week falls through, notes on tonight's show, WWE signs bodybuilder



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We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's UFC 146 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're also looking for reports from tonight's WWE Raw show in Quito, Ecuador, tonight's Smackdown show in Guadalajara, as well as Thursday night's Smackdown show in Hermosillo, Mexico and Friday night in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

UFC weigh-ins for tonight

Facebook fights at 6:45 p.m.

Mike Brown (145) vs. Daniel Pineda (146)
Kyle Kingsbury (205) vs. Glover Texeira (204)
Jacob Volkmann (155) vs. Paul Sass (156)

FX fights at 8 p.m.
Dan Hardy (170) vs. Duane Ludwig (171)
Jason Mayhem Miller (185) vs. C.B. Dollaway (186)
Edson Barboza (155) vs. Jamie Varner (156)
Diego Brandao (145) vs. Darren Elkins (145)

Live on PPV all heavyweight show
Stefan Struve (255) vs. Lavar Johnson (248)
Stipe Miocic (245) vs. Shane Del Rosario (246)
Roy Nelson (254) vs. Dave Herman (233)
Cain Velasquez (240) vs. Antonio Bigfoot Silva (264)
Junior Dos Santos (239) vs. Frank Mir (261) for the heavyweight title

Sunday has a Smackdown show in Lake Charles, LA.

Monday has Raw in New Orleans, while Tuesday has the Smackdown tapings in Baton Rouge.

The changes in Raw and Impact, what is behind them, and an analysis of both decisions is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  The issue also includes a look at the Nevada State Athletic Commission hearing on Chael Sonnen and Nick Diaz, and what evidence presented led them to the conclusions they came up with.
 
        We've also got coverage of Over the Limit, what's on the docket for No Way Out, the Strikeforce show, wrestlers leaving TNA including Ric Flair and more.
 
        Our lead story is on the television changes, including what USA pays for Raw, the pluses and minuses of adding the extra hour at this time, the consensus reaction from the company, looking back at the Nitro era and when it went to three hours and what is and isn't applicable about that time period.  We also look at why USA would want it, concerns that would already be there about adding time, hints at the direction of both shows going forward and more.
 
        We also look at why Spike made the move it did at this time, and thoughts on what is the short-term experiment of Impact going live.
 
        We also look at the Nevada hearing, what Ross Goodman, Nick Diaz's attorney, says they are going to do next, the arguments that he posed, and the key testimony at the hearing and why the decision wound up being what it was.
 
        We also look at why Chael Sonnen got his TUE, and what has been consistent in three of the four approved cases of TUE's for testosterone in Nevada.  We also look at what could and couldn't be determined about Sonnen's low testosterone, results of two testosterone tests in the last few weeks.
 
        We look at why Big Show turned, and thoughts behind Over the Limit and where it leads the company.  We've got our normal coverage of the show with match-by-match rundowns, star ratings, business, and polls on the show.
 
        We also have a note on Dwayne Johnson's status in the entertainment world and his estimated earnings for this past year, Chris Jericho talking his return to WWE, as well as his schedule away from WWE and more on the C.M. Punk angle and a similar angle done decades ago that nobody knew about. 
 
        We've also got more on Rosa Mendes' injuries from an auto accident, changes in a character, a ruling that eliminates a tax WWE and UFC had previously had to pay, more on the contract situation of Rey Mysterio, and a note about every WWE PPV show this year.
 
        We also look at a story from 1991 that made a recent book regarding an unfavorable view of Vince McMahon.
 
        We've also got notes on why the Bella Twins decided to leave WWE and their thoughts having been gone, an idea for a movie made by Vince McMahon, a full rundown on the new NXT tapings, how they were done, and why they may not be seen as quickly as people think in the U.S.  We also look at the wrestlers who are likely to be brought up to the main roster and who impressed people from the taping.  We've also got more on the John Cena divorce, the C.M, Punk DVD, why there was surprising interest in Japan in WWE's last PPV, notes on WWE in Mexico and WWE & UFC former and current talent listed as the prettiest women in the world.
 
        We've also got an update on Ted DiBiase, Canadian ratings for Raw, and business notes and coverage of the WWE's weekend house show.
 
        The issue will be up on the site today if you are a web site member.  We also have a new back issue on the site right now.
 
        The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.

        The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world.  The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe.  Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively.  They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world.  Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.

        We also look at an update on Linda McMahon's campaign for senate, what she's running on, what her opponents are saying and what role pro wrestling may have on the campaign.
 
        We've got coverage of the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix finals and the Gilbert Melendez vs. Josh Thomson fight, along with a mixed bag when it came to ratings and tickets.  We also examine the judging in Melendez vs. Thomson to explain why it is the system of judging that caused the outcome and why, exactly, another system likely would have had Thomson winning.  We look at whether there should be a fourth match and more. 
       
        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows as well as a look at how every segment on Raw and Impact did to see what stories and personalities are clicking and what are causing people to tune out.
 
        We also have results from all the major arena events around the world over the past week, as well as reviews of all the major television shows.
 
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        You can also subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O Box 1228, Campbell, CA  95009-1228. 
 
        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.
 
        Also in this week's issue:
 
--All Japan world tag team title change
 
--Promotion working with two others to build two major shows in the next two months
 
--Update on Chyna after a weekend which saw her pass out three times in public
 
--Member of famous wrestling family arrested after fighting with his brother and police finding drugs on them
 
--Update on the Extreme Reunion promotion
 
--A look at the next several weeks of ROH television and the top matches for the next iPPV show
 
--Update on the Ric Flair situation and his future
 
--What the plans were for Flair
 
--More on the Flair going to WWE Hall of Fame
 
--Brooke Hogan coming to TNA and what that's all about
 
--TNA Sacrifice early PPV estimates
 
--Dixie Carter defends usage of Hulk Hogan
 
--More on Bobby Roode's record setting title reign, or what it?
 
--Update on Ring Ka King and the show that's now in the same time slot
 
--Details on new TNA contract signings
 
--New TNA idea on how to maximize buys of well received shows
 
--TNA star moving into acting
 
--Update on King Mo in TNA and The Four Horsemen
 
--Notes on the recent TNA house shows
 
--More on the arrest of Jon Jones and what that means as well as details of another incident
 
--Will this hurt Jones' drawing power?
 
--What will that do for his public image?
 
--How UFC on FOX did compared with baseball in the same time slot
 
--Dana White talks UFC ramping up drug testing
 
--Urijah Faber talks about his reaction to finding out Renan Barao was his opponent
 
--A look at who Renan Barao is and how his style matches up with Faber
 
--The story behind how Barao got the title shot
 
--Update on Michael McDonald
 
--Update on the health of Dana White after his suffering from Meniere's Disease
 
--Why Strikeforce's stars are not going to be in UFC and how long will this remain
 
--WWE and UFC may be losing one of their major sponsors if a bill being proposed goes through Congress
 
--Notes on UFC lobbying efforts in Congress
 
--Las Vegas police called due to threats left on Dana White's answering machine
 
--Former Ultimate Fighter announces retirement
 
--Lots more on the ratings of the last UFC show on Fuel, including some amazing stats
 
--Payoffs for the UFC on Fuel show
 
--A major role Gina Carano is up for
 
--Notes on the next UFC show on Fuel
 
--A look at a new MMA reality show that was just picked up and when it starts
 
--A look at lots of new UFC fights
 
--Fedor Emelianenko talks retirement 
 
--Bellator fighter coming back from a long coma after being stabbed in a bar fight  
 
The Most Popular Observers Ever

New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.

Our most requested issues in our history are:

*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)

*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)

*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)

*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)

*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)

*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)

*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)

*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
history)

*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)

*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)

*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)

*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)

*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)

*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)

*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)

*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)

*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)

*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)

*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)

*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)

*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)

*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)

*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)

*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)

*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)

*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)

*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)

*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)

*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)

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*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)

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*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)

*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)

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*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)

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*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)

*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)

*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)

*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)

*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)

*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)

*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)

*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)

*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)

*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)

*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)

*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)

*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .

*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)

*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)

*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)

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*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)

*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)

* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)

* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)

* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)

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We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods.

To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
 
Saturday's News Update

--Bryan and I will be doing our weekend Observer radio show tonight after the UFC show.  If you've got any questions for the show, you can them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

--Just one note regarding the Dana White thing with Ariel Helwani on Thursday, when White talked about me saying UFC was a fad, in actuality in the article in question, the word "fad" was used once, in a sentence where I said that they've been popular too long to be considered a fad.  

--There isn't going to be a 40 pound weight difference between Cain Velasquez and Bigfoot Silva as we talked about on last night's show.  Silva usually goes into heavyweight fights between 280 and 290, while Velasquez was 240.  However, Silva is expecting to go into the cage at closer to 266 pounds tonight and only cut a few pounds to make weight after gradually dieting down from his usual 289 with the idea he needed to be lighter and faster in this fight.

--There are some iPPVs coming up in the next 24 hours.  Juggalo Championship Wrestling is running a combined concert and wrestling show starting at 6 p.m. Eastern time today from Farmington, NM.  ICP and other bands will be in concert.  There will be a bunch of wrestling matches featuring Daivari, Colt Cabana and Zach Gowen, as well as an NWO Wolfpac reunion with Kevin Nash & Sean Waltman, managed by Scott Hall, facing the Headbangers.

--In addition, the K-1 show from Madrid, Spain will either be an iPPV or free feed on Ustream on the K1GlobalTV channel starting at 12:15 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow.  There are some big 154-pound matches featuring names like Michael Zambidis and Artur Kyshenko as well as Badr Hari vs. Anderson Silva (unfortunately a different Anderson Silva) and Mirko Cro Cop fighting.

--The plan last night when it comes to Ultimate Fighter were that both the two winners and the two losers from last night would face off a week from tonight at the Palms in Las Vegas in the live finale.  The final with Al Iaquinta vs. Michael Chiesa is in fact.  This was really risky hoping you'd have two guys fighting and then have to fight again seven days later.  However, James Vick and Vinc Pichel won't be on the card.   Vick suffered too much of a beating in his TKO loss, and since the rest of the card was made, it means Pichel is also off the show.

--Last night after the show, Dana White said that he was going to meet with FOX officials very soon and one of the topics would be the next season of Ultimate Fighter.  He didn't say the next season would be a comeback season, but he did say there's been enough time since the last comeback season (fall 2006) and now to do it again, noting it was a good season.  Actually the comeback season was down in ratings compared to the level of the 2005-2007 seasons, but it ended up being a success in the long run since Matt Serra beat GSP for the title, which led to the big rematch in Montreal, and made Serra into a star.

--WWE signed a big bodybuilder turned wrestler named Steve Evans of Swansea, Wales, who is 6-6 and 260 pounds.  He's already been flown in for his medicals with Dr. Joseph Maroon in Pittsburgh and will be reporting to Florida shortly.

--Chris Jericho has returned from Ecuador and arrived in the U.S. this morning after his suspension for 30 days.  The Miz was moved up from facing Zack Ryder (where he was losing) to the main event title spot with C.M. Punk on the shows.

--The 6/17 WWE PPV in Germany has been given a name change to No Escape instead of No Way Out.  The reason is in Germany, No Way Out was already used in February.  In Germany, the term Elimination Chamber has a very negative connotation so it's not used there. (thanks to Stefan Georges)

--On last night's Bellator show, Cole Konrad retained the heavyweight title beating Eric Prindle with a Kimura in  1:00.  Konrad went into the fight as an 18-1 favorite.  Also, Rich Hawn earned a shot at Michael Chandler's lightweight title with a win over Chris Weedman via decision.  Luis Alberto Nogueira stopped Hiroshi Nakamura in the bantamweight tournament and will face Marcos Galvao for the tournament championship on one of the summer shows. 

--Anthony Johnson beat Dave Branch last night on scores of 30-27 at the Titan Figthing Championship show in Kansas City.  Johnson missed weight by nearly ten pounds (coming in at 194.8 for what was originally a middleweight bout) and now is talking about becoming a light heavyweight.  It marks the fourth time he's missed weight.  Johnson is the only fighter in UFC history ever cut for failure to make weight over-and-over.

--A nine-hour three-disc Hiroshi Tanahashi record setting IWGP title run is being releaed on 8/1 in Japan.  The disc will include all of Tanahashi's title matches during his reign, including the win over Satoshi Kojima, the rematch with Kojima, Yuji Nagata (a forgotten match of the year caliber bout), Shinsuke Nakamura,  Charlie Haas, Hirooki Goto, Giant Bernard, Nagata, Nakamura, Tetsuya Naito (an awesome match), Minoru Suzuki and others.  It was the best major world title run in a number of years.

--Roger Huerta vs. Phil Baroni was announced as the main event of the 6/23 One Fighting Championship show in Malaysia. 
 

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?