FRI UPDATE: Tons of UFC notes, upcoming fights, huge weekend for pro-wrestling and MMA, iPPV notes, Rey/Sin Cara rib, TUF drama, tons more



By Bryan Alvarez | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | @bryanalvarez

One of the busiest weekends of the year is upon us, featuring two PPVs, two Internet PPVs, and several MMA specials.

We're looking for reports from tonight's WWE house show in Terre Haute, IN, which features John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio as the headliners; plus the TNA outdoor show tonight at the Appalachian Power Park in Charleston WV (Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy for ROH title, James Storm & Gunner vs. Bobby Roode & Austin Aries for ROH tag titles, A.J. Styles vs. Ken Anderson, Kurt Angle vs. Devon, Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky for Knockouts title and Chris Sabin vs. Kenny King for X title) at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Loads of TV tonight:

Smackdown at 8 p.m. on Syfy
Sheamus vs. Antonio Cesaro
Great Khali vs. Heath Slater
Chris Jericho & Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston
Wade Barrett vs. Curtis Axel non-title
Kane & Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield

World Series of Fighting at 11 p.m. on NBC Sports Network from Las Vegas
Justin Gaethje (8-0) vs. Brian Cobb (20-7)
Lyle Beerbohm (21-2) vs. Jacob Volkmann (15-4)
Tyson Steele (10-1) vs. Steve Carl (19-3)
Jon Fitch (27-5-1, 1 no contest) vs. Josh Burkman (25-9)

XFC at 9 p.m. on AXS from Tampa
Shah Bobonis vs. Jason Hicks
Courtney Casey vs. Kelly Warren
Kevin Forant vs. Eric Reynolds
Dave Courchaine vs Luis Santos
Reggie Pena vs. Ricky Rainey
Scott Holtzman vs. John Mahlow for lightweight title

Dragon Gate iPPV from Nagoya at http://www.ustream/tv/DragonGate (taped May 5 available all day and for the next several days)
Mondai Ryu & Kazy vs. Chihiro Tominaga & Yuki Shimizu
Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi & Jimmy Kanda vs. Super Shenlong & Super Shisa & Cyber Kong
Jimmy Kagetora & Quu Quu Toyonaka Dolphin vs. K-Ness & Kotoka
Jimmy Susumu vs. Ricochet
Naruki Doi & Shachihoko Boy & Rich Swann vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Hub & Don Fujii for the Open the Triangle Gate title
Dragon Kid vs. Masato Yoshino for the Open the Brave Gate title
BxB Hulk & Uhaa Nation vs. Yamato & Shingo Takagi for the Open the Twin Gate tag titles
Cima vs. Akira Tozawa for the Open the Dream Gate title

All the feedback we've gotten on the show is that it's one of the best shows of the year.

The big show Saturday in UFC 161 from Winnipeg

Facebook fights at 7 p.m. Eastern time
Yves Jabouin vs. Dustin Pague
Mitch Clarke vs. John Maguire

FX at 8 p.m.
Roland Delorme vs. Edwin Figueroa
Sean Pierson vs. Kenny Robertson
James Krause vs. Sam Stout
Jake Shields vs. Tyron Woodley

PPV at 10 p.m.
Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan
Alexis Davis vs. Rosi Sexton
Ryan Jimmo vs. Igor Pokrajac
Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic
Dan Henderson vs. Rashad Evans

We're also looking for reports on the WWE house show Saturday night in Bloomington, IL with John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, Sheamus, Ryback and Alberto Del Rio; and one of TNA's biggest house shows of the year, from Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, KY (Sting & Kurt Angle vs. Team 3-D, Jeff Hardy vs. Ken Anderson, A.J.Styles vs Garett Bischoff, James Storm & Gunner vs. Bobby Roode & Austin Aries for the tag titles, Chris Sabin vs. Kenny King for the X title and Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky for the Knockouts title.

Payback from Sunday at the All-State Arena in Chicago
John Cena vs. Ryback 2/3 falls Lumberjack match/Tables match/Ambulance match for WWE title
C.M. Punk vs. Chris Jericho
Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan & Randy Orton for tag titles
Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio for World title
Wade Barrett vs. The Miz vs. Curtis Axel for IC title
Dean Ambrose vs. Kane for U.S. title
Kaitlyn vs. A.J. Lee for Divas title
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow (pre show match at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time)

AAA TripleMania from Arena Ciudad in Mexico City at 7:30 p.m. at www.ustream.tv/channel/aaaluchalibre
Man, Woman, mini and transvestite four vs. four match: Elegido & Fabi Apache & Dinastia & Pimpinela Escarlata vs. Silver Kain & Taya Valkyrie & Mini Abismo Negro & Mamba
Five way for vacant AAA tag titles: Joe Lider & Crazy Boy vs. Mr. E & Sexy B vs. Fenix & Drago vs. Jack Evans & Angelico vs. Halloween & Psicosis
Psycho Circus vs. Jeff Jarrett & Matt Morgan & Monster Pain managed by La Bruja Karen
Heavy Metal vs. Chessman - winner gets AAA title match
Battle of legends: La Parka & Octagon & Electroshock & Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Canek & Villano IV & Universo 2000 & Mascara Ano 2000
Mesias vs. Blue Demon Jr. for the vacant Latin American heavyweight title
El Texano Jr. defends AAA Mega heavyweight title against Metal vs. Chessman winner
Cibernetico vs. Perro Aguayo Jr. hair vs. hair match

Raw and Superstars will be taped on Monday night in Grand Rapids, MI.

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped Tuesday night in Dayton.

        We've got a new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter up on the site today, as well as our back issue this week, which is the 1996 WrestleMania issue.
 
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        We look more at Bellator's move to Friday nights, the history of MMA shows on Fridays, Bellator's average on Friday vs. Saturday in the past, why the move was made, Bellator's Summer plans and notes on the new Bellator reality show.
 
        We also have full coverage of UFC's weekend show from Brazil, with the record night of submissions, the future of Fabricio Werdum, notes on the ratings, funny challenges and match-by-match coverage.
 
        We also look at the April and May ratings for WWE and TNA and compare them from how they were doing, including what have been the changes year-over-year in wrestling and what, in particular, has changed, consistent with every major wrestling television show.  Is WWE or TNA doing better than they were a year ago.
 
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        We also have results from all the major league arena events over the past week as well as a look at all the major television shows.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--Notes on the CMLL trios tournament
 
--CMLL and AAA going head-to-head this week
 
--Notes on the 2013 DragonMania show
 
--TripleMania update
 
--UFC star will be part of TripleMania and how the deal was put together
 
--The next Dragon Gate USA tour of the U.S.
 
--More details of Dragon Gate shows from Japan airing live on iPPV in North America
 
--First lineup of such, as well as the second lineup
 
--This week's big Dragon Gate shows and all the title matches
 
--Update on All Japan problems including the future of several of the wrestlers
 
--What's next for Keiji Muto
 
--Shiraishi talks All Japan goals for the next year
 
--Former All Japan star set to return
 
--More on the pro wrestling debut of the son of the son of El Santo
 
--Notes on New Japan business right now and going forward
 
--New Japan owner talks UFC, WWE and where New Japan stands
 
--New Japan star training this past week with UFC big names
 
--Former name pro wrestling star, retired, now working as a model
 
--Notes on the death of Mark Ashford-Smith aka Mark Starr
 
--Update on a number of former 90s stars of WCW and WWF
 
--A look at a number of major indie shows on iPPV
 
--One of wrestling's oldest promotions moves to iPPV for big show in a few weeks
 
--Notes from the last ROH show
 
--Wrestler dropped by ROH
 
--Lots of notes on Rampage Jackson in TNA
 
--Notes on how first impressions are important, but also often don't tell the full story
 
--Thoughts on Rampage Jackson going forward
 
--Slammiversary numbers
 
--Bound for Glory series notes
 
--TNA cuts
 
--Sting talks potential of going to WWE
 
--The reason Sting has never gone to WWE
 
--Notes on TNA announcer Hector Guerrero
 
--Lots of notes and thoughts on upcoming UFC events
 
--When the biggest names will be ready
 
--More on MMA being allowed in different locales
 
--Is Chael Sonnen a liar?  What would he say if asked?
 
--Update on Nick Diaz as a fighter and as a promoter
 
--Lots of UFC injury updates
 
--Lots of new UFC matches
 
--A look at Bellator's U.K. TV deal
 
--Rampage Jackson Bellator plans
 
--Notes on upcoming shows for World Series of Fighting
 
--Jon Fitch talks extensively on UFC pay
 
--Bobby Lashley MMA update               
 
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Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Big change to the August 3rd UFC in Rio. Jose Aldo Jr. vs. Anthony Pettis for the 145-pound title is off due to Pettis suffering a knee injury in training, so it's now Aldo Jr. vs. KOREAN ZOMBIE for the title. Maybe for the best since Pettis claimed he wanted to win the title and then move back up to 155, and Aldo said if he beat Pettis he wanted to then go to 155 and challenge for that title. So either way it looked like the belt was going to end up on ice afterwards.

-- On eBay: CM Punk Rare Video 1998 Chicago LWF Indy Wrestling Tape Non WWE DVD

-- Well this is something else. Reader Chris was at Wal-Mart looking at various wrestling action figures and came across a Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara two-pack. The Sin Cara doll is wearing an arm sling. Really. The package even reads, and I quote, "INCLUDES ARM SLING!" Don't get a reputation for being hurt all the time.

-- Due to my schedule this weekend, no After Dark Radio Friday night. We'll be back on as scheduled next weekend. Dave Meltzer and Mike Sempervive will be doing the post-UFC Observer Radio, Mike and I will do Observer Live on Sunday, then Dave and I return Sunday night for the post-Payback PPV report.

-- Would like to thank everyone for all the birthday wishes this week, and also for everyone who wrote in with nice things to say about the Royler Gracie vs. Eddie Bravo headline article from this week's new Figure Four Weekly.

-- Dana White noted that this Saturday's fight is the final one on Roy Nelson's current contract and that it should be an interesting renegotiation period since neither side sees eye-to-eye on a lot of things. He said one way or another, win or lose against Stipe Miocic, Nelson was not in line for a heavyweight title shot yet.

-- Even though Jon Jones is claiming on Twitter that Alexander Gustaffson is his toughest fight yet, he did note that he largely just said that to psyche himself up. He's a huge favorite, 8-to-1, over Gustaffson, at this point.

-- Keep in mind he hypes up every season as something out of the ordinary, but Dana is insisting this week that Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate is the new Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock, that both they and their respective teams absolutely hate each other, and that it's "pure fucking mayhem" every day on the set of the new Ultimate Fighter. So far he said it appears men and women in the same house is going just fine and he hasn't heard about any romance, but he noted he doesn't see all the footage until later and he doesn't get called to the house unless disaster happens.

-- USA Today on the Dan Henderson vs. Rashad Evans fight here.

-- At the moment it appears Chris Jericho has a Fozzy tour lined up that will make it impossible for him to work SummerSlam. He's found his way around some conflicting touring schedules in the past, however.

-- “THE BRITISH INVASION: U.S. VS. U.K.” will take place on Saturday, June 29th, live at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Doors will open at 7 PM, and the first bout is scheduled for 7:30 PM. Tickets for this electrifying event are on sale right now through www.SprintCenter.com, charge-by-phone at (888) 929-7849, or in-person at the Sprint Center Box Office. Ticket prices are $37, $52, $62, $77, $92, and $102.

-- Vanguard Championship Wrestling proudly announces THE INNOVATOR OF VIOLENCE, Tommy Dreamer will appear at the 2013 Liberty Lottery at the Norfolk Masonic Temple on July 27th, 2013, bell time 7:30 P.M. The former ECW World and WWE Hardcore Champion will team with rookie sensation, “Mr. Excellence” Brandon Scott. Scott is seeking revenge on former tag-team partner “Platinum Icon” Phil Brown. Brown turned on Scott at VCW’s June event and formed a new tag team with “The Enforcer” CW Anderson dubbed “Platinum Enforcers”. This will be the first time Tommy Dreamer has stepped inside a ring with CW Anderson since their infamous I quit match in 2001 at ECW Guilty as Charged!

-- New regulations for pro wrestling in Alabama.

-- The Miami Heat were introduced to the Undertaker's theme at last nights game. Thanks to Matt.

-- Remembering Little John Adams

-- Josh Thomson, MMA Fighter, Compares Gay Marriage To Polygamy, Pedophilia And Incest

-- Dana's response: "Josh should probably get a hobby, like fingerpainting or something, and leave talking to smart people."

-- You can't read it unless you're an online subscriber to the Houston Chronicle, but very good interview with Undertaker here. It notes that he is not, in fact, from Death Valley, but from Houston. He said the reason he still wrestles after all these years is because he loves it, and that he'd feel a sense of letting Vince McMahon down if he skipped out on a WrestleMania.

-- Kane talks being the sane, level-headed one in his tag team with Daniel Bryan here.

-- Kickstarter for I am Santa Claus, a documentary featuring, among people, Mick Foley. We'll have Mick on in the next week or two to talk more about it.

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1981 - The Highflyers (Jim Brunzell & Greg Gagne) defeated The East-West Connection (Adrian Adonis & Jesse Ventura) for the AWA World Tag Team Title in Green Bay, Wisconsin

1984 - Antonio Inoki defeated Hulk Hogan for the IWGP Heavyweight Title in Tokyo, Japan.

1989 - At Clash of the Champions VII in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, The Freebirds defeated The Midnight Express in a tournament final for the NWA World Tag Team Championship.

1993 - The Steiner Brothers defeated Money, Inc. (Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster) for the WWF World Tag Team Title in Columbus, Ohio,

1998 - In Baltimore, Maryland Chris Jericho defeated Dean Malenko via disqualification to win the vacant WCW Cruiserweight Title and Booker T defeated Fit Finlay to win the WCW Television Title.

-- Interview with Heidi Fang talking World Series of Fighting this weekend here.

-- Over the Top Radio tonight has news of the week here.

-- PREDICT THE BUYS FOR UFC 161 IN NORTH AMERICA
Under 125,000 15.4%
126-150,000 5.7%
151-175,000 10.6%
176-200,000 6.5%
201-225,000 12.2%
226-250,000 11.4%
251-275,000 12.2%
276-300,000 7.3%
301-325,000 7.3%
326-350,000 0.8%
351-375,000 0.8%
More than 376,000 9.8%

PREDICT THE BUYS FOR WWE PAYBACK IN NORTH AMERICA
Under 75,000 11.1%
76-100,000 30.9%
101-125,000 28.4%
126-150,000 13.0%
151-175,000 8.6%
176-200,000 3.7%
201-225,000 1.2%
More than 226,000 3.1%

ASIDE FROM WWE AND UFC , WHAT PROMOTION DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE THE MOST INTEREST IN?
TNA 28.8%
New Japan 28.2%
ROH 18.3%
CHIKARA 8.4%
Bellator 5.3%
Dragon Gate 3.1%
AAA 2.5%
All Japan 1.9%
Invicta 1.2%
CMLL 1.2%
WSOF 0.6%
NOAH 0.6%

POLL ON WWE MAIN EVENT
Excellent 4.3%
Good 34.0%
Average 38.3%
Fair 8.5%
Poor 14.9%
63.6% of those responding didn't see the show

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