SAT. UPDATE: UFC 149 tonight, Michael Hayes' song about Terry Gordy, lots of WWE news/notes



By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's UFC 149 from Calgary, 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 on tonight's Raw house show from Little Rock, the Smackdown house show from Sioux City, as well as TNA's biggest house show of the year in Brooklyn at MCU Park (Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode for TNA title, Sting vs. Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy vs. A.J. Styles in the Bound for Glory series, Mr. Anderson vs. Robbie E in the Bound for Glory series, Rob Van Dam vs. Kazarian, Gail Kim vs. Rosita).

Tonight's UFC 149 lineup from the ScotiaBank Saddledome in Calgary:


Facebook fights at 7 p.m.
Anton Kuivanen (16-5, 156) vs. Mitch Clark (9-1, 155)
Daniel Pineda (17-8, 145) vs. Antonio Carvalho (13-5, 145)
 
FX fights at 8 p.m.
Mitch Gagnon (8-1, 135) vs. Brian Caraway (16-6, 135.5)
Ryan Jimmo (16-1, 205) vs. Antony Perosh (13-6, 205.5)
Francisco Rivera (8-2, 136) vs. Roland Delorme (8-1, 135)
Nick Ring (12-1, 185) vs. Court McGee (13-2, 185)
 
PPV at 10 p.m.
Matt Riddle (6-3, 170.8) vs. Chris Clemens (11-4, 170)
James Head (8-2, 170) vs. Brian Ebersole (50-14-1, 1 no contest, 171)
Shawn Jordan (13-3, 250) vs. Cheick Kongo (27-7-2, 231)
Tim Boetsch (15-4, 186) vs. Hector Lombard (31-2-1, 1 no contest, 185.5)
Urijah Faber (26-5, 135) vs. Renan Barao (30-1, 1 no contest,135) for the interim bantamweight title.

I will have running play-by-play on the site tonight, starting with the prelims. Mike Sempervive and I did a preview show last night for subscribers and will be back tonight covering the results, along with the other latest news from pro wrestling and MMA late tonight after the show.  Bryan will be back tomorrow and we'll catch up on Sunday night as well, previewing Raw and running down the weekend.

Sunday has a Raw house show in Springfield, MO and a Smackdown house show in Omaha, NE.

The 1000th Raw, headlined by C.M. Punk vs. John Cena for the WWE title, plus DX, The Rock, Daniel Bryan & A.J. get married, Christian defends the IC title and a ton of people from Bret Hart to Steve Blackman to Jim Ross and a million others is from St. Louis, and is the first Raw that starts at 8 p.m., the new starting time of the show.Smackdown will be taped on Tuesday night in Kansas City.

NEW OBSERVER ALERT: Road to 1000th RAW, Dara Singh, Money In The Bank

A look at WWE building the 1,000th Raw, coverage of Money in the Bank, more on WrestleMania week in New York, as well as a look at one of the most famous pro wrestlers of all-time on a worldwide basis, Indian cultural icon Dara Singh, are among the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 

The issue is on the site today if you are a web site member.  We also have a new back issue on the site from 1995 featuring WWE's move into doing monthly PPV shows with the debut of the "In Your House" concept. the WWE's final show ever in the old and legendary Boston Gardens, and the death of Buffalo institution Ilio DiPaolo, as well as a look at legendary matches including Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue in the Champion Carnival final of that year, and Antonio Inoki vs. Ric Flair before the largest crowd in pro wrestling history in Korea.  We also have all the news from WCW, ECW and WWF from that time period.

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We look at plans and thoughts on Raw No. 1,000, including what Steve Austin is currently doing and the build for SummerSlam.

We also have full coverage of the Money in the Bank PPV, including early business indications, match-by-match coverage with star ratings as well as poll results of the show.

We also have full coverage of both the UFC show on Fuel in San Jose and the Strikeforce show in Portland from the past week.  We look at who is Chris Weidman, ratings of the show, issues regarding Weidman being marketable, as well as a rundown of the middleweight contenders picture and where Weidman stands.  We also look at Dana White's reaction to the crowd, and how the best match of the night never even aired on television.

We also have more on the Strikeforce brand, the situation with the champions, the problems with the idea of title vs. title matches against the UFC champion, as well as future Strikeforce events.

We look at WrestleMania week activities updated.

We also look at WWE's buying a stake in Tout and how it is going to be marketed, Dwayne Johnson talks a possible new film role, how much Linda McMahon has spent so far in her latest run for senate as well as notes on her campaign literature.  We also look at the departure of Kharma and a number of new people starting with WWE in developmental.  We look at the recruiting process, including the types of people they are now scouting. 

We look at the match order on PPVs, more ideas for new WWE television programming, Brock Lesnar's schedule, WWE star writing a book, the NXT tapings and who has been impressive, as well as notes on the only weekend WWE house show.

We look at the life and career of Dara Singh, including a lot of notable trivia about the most famous wrestler to a generation in India.  We go through some of his most famous matches, including his bouts with Lou Thesz, Thesz's thoughts of Singh, the reaction to his death in India, his movie career, pro wrestling in India and more.

We also have a look at one of the biggest non-WWE shows in pro wrestling of this year, AAA's TripleMania show at the new Arena Ciudad in Mexico City on 8/5.

We also look at the Association of Boxing Commissioners meeting when it comes to scoring UFC fights, including criteria changes and the arguments regarding the half-point system as well as results of fighters polls on both the half-point scoring system and on announcing scores to the fighters or to the public after every round.

We also have more on four more pro wrestlers who came from the Olympics including someone who was a major overseas drawing card for years, and others who didn't become big in pro wrestling because they started too late in life.

We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on how every segment of Raw and Impact this past week did.  We look at what segments gained and lost viewers.

We also have results from all the major league arena events over the past week as well as previews of all the major television shows.

Also in this week's issue:
 
--Mini star loses mask and reveals identity
 
--59th anniversary of wrestling at Arena Puebla and what main event sold out the house
 
--Well known father teams with his two sons for the first time on a major show
 
--Opening of All Japan's junior heavyweight tournament
 
--Retirement of a long-term veteran
 
--Notes on this year's Fire Festival
 
--IGF title change
 
--Dave Bautista and MMA, movies, and being a music video director
 
--Former WCW and TNA wrestler talks retirement due to injuries
 
--Former WCW star arrested this past week
 
--Tammy Sytch checks in to rehab
 
--Notes from the George Tragos/Lou Thesz pro wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony with John Layfield, Dan Severn and more, as well as the story behind Kurt Angle not being there and why there was so much heat on him, and how it was all settled
 
--Arrest of former WWE wrestler
 
--Possible career ending injury to former WWE wrestler
 
--Lawsuit filed against Ultimate Warrior
 
--Notes on Bob Backlund
 
--Pro wrestling debut of Cody Hall, Scott's son
 
--One of the greatest woman wrestlers of all-time returns to the U.S. in September
 
--Update on Archie "The Stomper" Gouldie
 
--Someone with a pro wrestling connection hired as an announcer for the upcoming Olympics
 
--Former WWE wrestlers gets TV acting role
 
--More on ROH contract situations and what went down with Kenny King
 
--When Davey Richards is expected back for ROH
 
--More on proposed angle between ROH and Gabe Sapolsky
 
--Notes on weekend ROH house show
 
--More on Hulk Hogan and his next surgery
 
--TNA PPV news
 
--Who are the mystery guys in TNA
 
--How the DirecTV impasse affects TNA
 
--Update on the Hardcore Justice PPV
 
--Bound for Glory series update
 
--More on technicalities of the series
 
--What current TNA star entered the Diva search and didn't make the top ten
 
--More notes from the UFC Fighters Summit
 
--More on Forrest Griffin getting testosterone replacement therapy
 
--Notes on the upcoming U.S. and Australia/U.K. series of Ultimate Fighter, coaches, start times, dynamics and more
 
--Lots of new UFC matches
 
--A look at how busy the UFC schedule is going forward
 
--UFC show moved
 
--Notes on the Calgary show this week
 
--Chael Sonnen and Rashad Evans talk future and possible division changes
 
--Junior Dos Santos talks his return
 
--Next Bellator TV show as well as when the new season is scheduled to start
 
--Notes on an upcoming MMA movie featuring major movie stars

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Saturday's News Updates
 
--Michael Hayes wrote a song called "Freebird Road" in tribute to Terry Gordy, who was one of the greatest 300-pound in-ring performers this business has ever seen. This brought back so many great memories for me as Terry Gordy was one of the best wrestlers I ever saw, whether it was Japan, Texas, WCW or anywhere, a headliner at the age of 18 and a worldwide superstar at 22.

Gordy & Steve Williams to this day are considered one of the greatest tag teams in the history of wrestling, and The Freebirds were a landmark trio in North American wrestling.  I can just imagine how important doing this was to Michael Hayes, who really owes his career to Gordy's loyalty and friendship, something he'll readily admit.

This really should be on Raw on Monday, even though I know it won't.  The release coincides with the 11th anniversary of Gordy's death. The song is a takeoff on "Brickyard Road," which was Johnny Van Zant's tribute to his late brother Ronnie. 
 
--Business Week has an article about Vince McMahon called the Vince McMahon School of Productivity.  The funniest thing after reading this article was reading a fan comment that said, "Literally nothing he's said in this article is anything like the business he practices by all accounts of those who've worked for him."  Actually his first point is exactly as it is.  The second point, well, not so much. 
 
--As of yesterday on Raw, the idea was for the top of the hour key spots on the Monday show, they would go to a Rock segment, the Lesnar/HHH segment and the Cena vs. Punk match, meaning the wedding is the odd one yet with the less than choice segment.  Somehow I expect that to change five times this weekend. 
 
--Sean Waltman was on the Cowhead show and teased that he would be on Raw. Everyone is going to be on Raw.  Rumors have been strong that Road Dogg (who works for the company and is always there), Waltman and Billy Gunn would be part of the DX reunion. Chyna, on the other hand, would be a surprise.    
 
--WWE sent out a press release saying it has more then 100 million fans around the world in its various social media platforms.  They announced sending Alex Guerrero of San Antonio to Raw on Monday in St. Louis, so apparently he's there for them to announce this on the show. This is a combination of Tout, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and WWE.com. They are billing Guerrero as the 100 millionth fan to sign up.
 
--On the WWE Raw tour this weekend, John Laurinaitis is back on the road, or at least he was last night.  His deal is that he wants to be in Big Show's corner for the main event against John Cena, but the fans get to vote and they vote that he's banned from ringside.  Then after the match, Laurinaitis does the same run-in spot he does in all the TV taping dark matches, where he hits Cena with a chair, and Cena makes a comeback and lays him out with the Attitude Adjustment.

Also on the Raw tour is Leakee, aka Joe Anoi'a, the son of Sika and brother of Yokozuna and Rosey. 
 
--Kevin Kleinrock, the president of Masked Republic, will take part today in the Castro Valley (California) Relay for Life, one of over 5,000 held to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society.  As part of this, Masked Republic will be raffling off shirts, DVD's and masks for those who donate through Kevin's American Cancer Society page.  All donations are 100% tax deductible for those who pay taxes in the U.S. and all funds go directly to the American Cancer Society.  You get one raffle ticket for every $5 donation.

-- Josh Nason thinks the UFC & Urijah Faber were lucky when Dominick Cruz got hurt.

--Jay Rios of the Los Ben Dejos tag team that has worked in ROH, Dragon Gate and even TNA, is looking for his missing cousin.
 
--Here's an article on a wrestling dog from 1971. Actually I can recall Arnold the Dog being the manager of the Steiners to counter Jim Cornette during a Steiners vs. Midnight Express program in the 90s. (thanks to Kurt Brown) 
 
--Rudos Promociones has a Lucha Libre show in Minneapolis on Sunday.
 
--There is controversy over a female wrestler in the upcoming Olympics, Kyrgyzstan's Aisuluu Tynbekova, a medal hopeful at 139 pounds.  She was in a fight outside an ice cream stand and at her hearing this past week, the Judge postponed her trial until after the Olympics to allow her to compete.  This stems from an incident on 4/3 where Tynbekova was in a crowded underpass looking to buy ice cream when they were confronted by a group of five people.  One of the women knocked into Tynbekova and shouted insults and there was a short fracas that lasted a few seconds.  Nothing happened until a few days later when the wrestling federation received a complaint about an assault after the alleged victim had seen a television program on Tynbekova, the country's leading Olympic medal hope.
 
--Davey Richards talks his time off, a potential American Wolves reunion and introducing MMA style to pro wrestling.
 
What should go on last on Raw?
Punk vs. Cena 53.7%
A surprise like Undertaker 24.5%
Lesnar/HHH angle 10.9%
The Rock 7.5%
The wedding 3.4%
 
Who is the biggest star right now in boxing, wrestling or MMA?
Floyd Mayweather Jr. 33.8%
The Rock 29.8%
Manny Pacquiao 9.5%
John Cena 4.6%
C.M. Punk 4.6%
Georges St. Pierre 4.0%
Anderson Silva 3.8%
Ronda Rousey 3.6%
Brock Lesnar 3.1%
Chael Sonnen 2.1%
Jon Jones 1.0%
Randy Orton 0.2%
 
What did you think of Impact on Thursday?
Excellent 11.7%
Good 56.1%
Average 17.1%
Fair 4.4%
Poor 10.7%
        33.4% of those responding didn't see the show
 
What are your plans regarding tonight's UFC 149?
Buying the show, usually buy UFC PPVs 7.1%
Rarely buy but getting this 0.9%
Watching at a bar or restaurant 8.3%
Watching at a friends house 3.1%
Watching via illegal stream 18.0%
Never buy UFC shows 24.8%
Rarely buy, skipping this 16.8%
Usually buy, skipping this because I just bought Silva-Sonnen 7.1%
Usually buy, skipping this because I don't like the card 6.1%
Usually buy, skipping this because I don't like the main event 1.9%
Used to be a regular buyer, lost interest in UFC  5.9%  
 
--USWO from last night in Nashville:  Sean Wilhelm b Mikey Jones-COR, Playboy James Duncan b Thomas Shock, Lex Victory & Cody Allen b Big Time Sexy & Justin Grandberry, Mackenzie York b Vision, Damien Payne b Justin Overstreet, Jocephus & Dutch Mantel b Tony Falk & Gary Valiant (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
 
--Today's birthdays include Shawn Stasiak (Dr. Shawn Stepich) who turned 42, and Giant Silva (Paulo Silva), who turned 49.  Lita Marez, a woman wrestler of the 60s, whose son was a star with the Bay Bombers Roller Derby team, passed away five years ago  today.   
 
--Boone's Tavern in Denver has an official viewing party for UFC 149 tonight with area fighters.
 
--Corey Hill's opponent for the XFC show on 8/3 in Charlotte on AXS TV has been changed from Jason South to Mike Bronzoulis, a former Strikeforce fighter.

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