FRI UPDATE: Big weekend preview, New Japan and ROH iPPVs, more famous fighters retire, yay for Saraya, help Sheiky Baby, tons more

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

We're looking for your thoughts on tomorrow morning's New Japan Dominion PPV, 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 WWE house show in Mobile, AL (Team Cena featuring John Cena, The Shield, Daniel Bryan and Ryback) as well as tonight's Family Wrestling Entertainment show in Corona, NY on iPPV at 8 p.m. Eastern time (Carlito vs. John Morrison, Rob Van Dam vs. Tommy Dreamer no DQ, Maria Kanellis & Ivelisse Velez vs. Angelina Love & Katarina, Paul London vs. Jimmy Akio Yang, Brian Kendrick vs. Petey Williams, Young Bucks vs. Jigsaw & Anthony Nese) at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Smackdown tonight :

Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes

Curtis Axel vs. Wade Barrett for IC title

A.J. Lee vs. Natalya non-title

Alberto Del Rio vs. Chris Jericho non-title

Christian vs. Drew McIntyre

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

Tonight on AXS at 10 p.m. is the Resurrection Fighting Alliance from The Eagles Club in Milwaukee:

Dan Moret vs. Jose Pacheca

James Barber vs. Chinzo Machida

Mike Rhodes vs. Benjamin Smith

Keoni Koch vs. Pedro Munhoz

Jared Downing vs. Lance Palmer for featherweight title

Sergio Pettis vs. Joe Pegg for flyweight title

Saturday is the New Japan Dominion iPPV which begins at 4 a.m. Eastern time at For most of us who sleep during those hours, the show is available for about a week after

Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Taichi & Taka Michinoku

Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov vs. Kushida & Alex Shelly for IWGP jr tag titles

Yuji Nagata & Tomoaki Honma & Captain New Japan vs. Karl Anderson & Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga

Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan defend IWGP tag titles in a three-way

against GHC tag champs Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka and NWA tag champs Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.

Rob Conway vs. Manabu Nakanishi for NWA heavyweight title

Minoru Suzuki & Shelton Benjamin vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii

Tetsuya Naito vs. Yujiro Takahashi

Hirooki Goto vs. Katsuyori Shibata

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Prince Devitt

Kazuchika Okada vs. Togi Makabe for IWGP heavyweight title

Saturday is also the ROH Best in the World iPPV at from the Du Burns Arena in Baltimore at 5 p.m. Eastern time

B.J. Whitmer vs. Mike Bennett

Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Tadarius Thomas & ACH Michael Elgin vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Roderick Strong vs. Adam Cole

Kevin Steen vs. Matt Hardy

Matt Taven vs. Jay Lethal vs. Jimmy Jacobs for TV title

Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. Rhett Titus & Cliff Compton vs. Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman for tag titles

Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe for ROH title

Saturday also has WWE house show with the Cena crew in Tallahassee and the Orton crew (randy Orton, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett) in Daytona Beach.

Saturday also has Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore show from the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory in Philadelphia with Too Cold Scorpio vs. John Morrison, Tommy Dreamer (managed by Terry Funk) vs. Lance Storm, MVP vs. Sami Callihan, Young Bucks vs. Paul London & Brian Kendrick, Tony Nese vs. Petey Williams vs. Alex Reynolds, plus appearances by Ric Flair, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, Carlito, Mike Bennett, Maria Kanellis, Rosita, Devon Storm, Sandman, Little Guido, Danny Doring, Eddie Kingston and more)

Sunday feature the ROH TV tapings from the Du Burns Arena in Baltimore at 2 p.m. headlined by Team ROH of B.J. Whitmer & Jay Lethal & Michael Elgin & Mark Briscoe vs. Team SCUM of Jimmy Jacobs & Rhett Titus & Cliff Compton & Rhino where if Team SCUM wins then Steve Corino becomes TV booker and if they lose, then SCUM disbands, Jay Briscoe vs. Matt Hardy for the ROH title, Matt Taven vs. Eddie Edwards for the TV title, QT Marshall vs. Tommaso Ciampa and Veda Scott vs. MsChif.

Sunday also has the Cena crew house show in Savannah and the Orton crew show in Albany, GA.

Raw will be Monday night in North Charleston, SC.

Smackdown and Main Event are taped Tuesday night in Columbia, SC.

        The new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is up on the web site today, covering all of the changes that were made in WWE with characters as well as the future direction.
        We look at the turns of Alberto Del Rio, C.M. Punk, Dolph Ziggler and why the decisions were made.  We look at the return of Rob Van Dam, why he's in WWE and not TNA, notes on his deal, a huge change when it comes to writing of WWE television, and what happened with Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton on Raw, and Daniel Bryan and HHH backstage.  We've got full details of the injury and the backstage situation.
        We've also got a rundown of the Payback show, with match-by-match coverage, star ratings and poll results.
        We also run down UFC's schedule on PPV for the rest of 2013.  We look at the planned main events, other matches that could be added, the potential 20th anniversary sow, why decisions were made on various matches, what has and hasn't worked when it comes to promoting fights this year and more.  We look at the decision making regarding an announced title match where a new decision may be considered.  We look at the title contender who outright said he was taking the match even though he doesn't deserve it and the other contender in question does.
        We look at PPV predictions for the big fights between now and the end of the year.
        We've also got a rundown on UFC's debut in Winnipeg, with 161 coverage, including where the top guys go from here.  We also have early business notes on the show.
        We also have an update on Fandango, the short-term and long-term situation with Chris Jericho's schedule, notes on SummerSlam for this year, how an off-hand remark led to John Cena making a lot of money, more on the Total Divas reality show, a McMahon family member sells millions in stock, a  funny story regarding a WWE action figure line, the background of Fandango's former dancer, a museum dedicated to a WWE star, Kane talks Daniel Bryan and a WWE star is scheduled for an upcoming trial.
        We also have notes on the upcoming Mid South Wrestling DVD that WWE is producing, more on the Rock's latest movie, Paul Heyman talks a TNA/WWE joint show, tons of developmental news including Gerald Brisco talks recruiting and losing athletes to UFC, jobs in WWE vs. jobs in UFC, Jim Ross talks the main event scene, why people have been let go, ideas for new characters, delayed viewership of Raw notes and business notes and highlights from the weekend WWE shows.
        We've also got coverage of TripleMania from Mexico City
        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.
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        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows as well as details of how every segment on Raw and Impact this past week did and what gained and lost viewers.

        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:
--Hall of Famer getting a Medal of Merit for out of the ring work
--Two stars in auto accident
--A look at the two major Dragon Gate shows of the past week
--An update on the All Japan/Keiji Muto split, and who seems to be leaning in what direction.
--Nobuo Shirashi talks the company's financial condition before he got there
--Jun Akiyama said he's made his decision where he's going
--All Japan announces full show for Sumo Hall
--NOAH announces the top matches on its next big show
--Coverage of Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial Show
--A look at NOAH's upcoming tag team tournament
--Lots of New Japan vs. NOAH matches
--Notes on the next New Japan PPV show
--Prince Devitt vs. Jushin Liger in England
--Zero-One's biggest event of the year
--Early 80s biggest feud returning again
--Lots of notes on the death and autopsy results of Reid Flair
--Notes on the death of Al Green
--Who is Jackie Fargo
--Brad Armstrong Memorial show notes
--A look at the last PWG show with some of the best indie wrestlers in the country
--More on Mark Starr's death
--Wrestling Hall of Famer said to be the biggest omission in Boxing Hall of Fame, makes Tyson sick
--Promotion of the WWC's match between the two biggest native stars in its history
--Promotion returns
--WCW star talks about returning to wrestling
--ROH next iPPV notes
--Notes on TNA's Destination X show
--Another major TNA exec let go
--Notes on future TNA Gut Check international star
--A look at TNA's weekend house shows
--Update on UFC in Boston
--Advance ticket sales for upcoming UFC events
--The situation with TRT being allowed in California
--Another UFC fighter takes heat for his views
--Dan Henderson talks Chael Sonnen
--Chael Sonnen says why he doesn't like LeBron James
--Jon Jones talks why he doesn't want to face Machida
--Dana White talks the currently filmed season of Ultimate Fighter
--Lots of new UFC fights
--More on Josh Burkman vs. Jon Fitch
--Former UFC fighter sentenced to 13 years in prison
--A seemingly insane attempt on PPV 

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        If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
        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.
Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Best wishes to everyone affected by the massive flooding in Calgary. I know Lance Storm and his family are fine since they live at a higher elevation, but a lot of people aren't so lucky. The Calgary Saddledome is apparently flooded all the way up to row 10.

-- As noted yesterday, with the move to Wednesday night Bellator saw its ratings cut nearly in half. Spike claims they had tough competition and they believe that things will be better next week. In the past, strong Impact numbers lead to strong Bellator numbers, suggesting a crossover audience that is no longer there with both shows on different nights. Fight Master also did less than a half million viewers.

-- Also as noted, Invicta 6 with Cris Cyborg vs. Marloes Coenen will air on traditional PPV on July 13th. Based on history (promotions with no TV running PPV hoping to sell based on Internet promotion), it's almost impossible to believe that this will be anything other than a gigantic disaster.

-- Lots of great shows on the site this week including Figure Four Daily with Sweet Saraya Knight, mother of Paige here (rave reviews all week on Twitter and elsewhere), Observer Radio today with Mick Foley, and a brand new Doc Young show just went up with Gerry Briscoe here, talking everything you ever wanted to know about how to get to WWE. And that's just the tip of the iceberg from the last seven days and we've got a lot more to come.

-- Speaking of Saraya, the lovely Paige won the NXT Women's Title in the tournament finals last night.

-- Zema Ion's Kickstarter to raise money to help pay to remove a growth in his bladder and pay other medical expenses only raised a little under $7,000 of the $30,000 he needed, so he doesn't get any of the money.

-- Dave wanted to note a correction from this week's Observer, that it wasn't CM Punk who helped set up Colt Cabana getting a WWE announcing tryout. WWE approached him on their own.

-- After Dark Radio returns tonight at midnight Pacific/3 AM EST with a brand new show. Main topic is what book you have read that changed your life. Most everyone has one. Maybe it was a self-help book, or a philosophy book, or a diet book or even a great work of fiction. Call or email and tell us about it. Number at midnight Pacific is 425-482-1686, or you can send emails with After Dark in the subject line or body of the email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . As always, it's OPEN LINES, and if you've ever heard the show you know what that means. We're a listener-driven show, so please start sending emails ASAP or prepare to call, because without you, no show!

-- Jacob Volkmann admitted that he suffered a seizure the day before his World Series of Fighting bout with Lyle Beerbohm. He said it was due to dehydration from cutting weight, and that after fainting in his hotel room and having his seizure he performed his own self medical analysis, cleared himself to fight, didn't tell the NSAC or anyone involved, and fought. He said he was a licensed chiropractor and felt that this gave him the knowledge to determine whether he was OK to fight or not. Also, he needed the money. Yeah. Not good.

-- In addition to Babalu Sobral, Seth Petruzelli also announced his retirement after his KO loss to King Mo: I want to thank my family, friends, fiancée and fans for being by my side these past 13 years plus of my MMA career. Every time I fought it was to please and excite you but most of all make you proud of me. Up until a couple years ago it pleased and excited me as well. That is where I went wrong, for the past couple years I have been fighting for the wrong reasons, I don’t have the desire or drive to fight like I used to and the past couple fights have shown it. So at this point in my life I would like to officially announce my retirement from the sport of MMA. Competing has been a part of my life since I was 6 years old, now I would like to put more of an effort into seeing my students/fighters do the same and making my gym grow and flourish. MMA has taken me around the world, let me meet the best and worst of people and made me feel like the brightest star but also like a black hole at times ... and I have no regrets because I did it all my way.

-- Really nice video hereof Undertaker out of character doing a Make-A-Wish appearance I believe shortly after WrestleMania in 2009.

-- Tommy Dreamer and John Morrison talk House of Hardcore 2 here. This show has a pretty great line-up, including Young Bucks vs. London & Kendrick, which sounds awesome, and Dreamer faces Lance Storm in the main event. Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Eddie Kingston and Homicide has also been added to the show.

-- Johnny Gargano talks next week's Wrestling Cares show in Los Angeles here.

-- Main Event Wrestling presents The California Cup 2013 Sunday July14th Fresno Fairgrounds Gem and Mineral Building Fresno, Ca. 7:30pm

-- Matt Striker, who was axed from WWE yesterday, already has a new job as commentator for Family Wrestling Entertainment.

-- From the promoters: Less than 7 months after Pro Wrestling Revolution came to an agreement with Azteca America KMCE TV43 to begin airing its Lucha Libre show, Azteca America KEMO TV50 has joined the Revolution and will begin airing Uprising, starting on June 29, 2013. Pro Wrestling Revolutions’ Uprising will now air in 8 counties. spanning from Sonoma County down through Monterey County. Watch Uprising weekly Saturdays at Midnight on one of these stations in your area, KMCE 43: Comcast 29, Charter 23 & 57, Dish 43, and beginning starting June 29 on KEMO TV50: Comcast 31, Mediacom 10, DIRECTV 50, Dish 50, AT&T 50. Uprising will have Lucha Libre action featuring starts like Blue Demon Jr., Hijo del Santo, La Migra®, Kafu, El Mariachi™, Lady Apache and more top tier talent from around the world, delivered into the comfort of their homes, on Azteca America TV50 and TV43. -- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1934 - Francisco Aguayo defeated Martinez Larrea in Mexico City, Mexico for the Mexico National Heavyweight Title.

1942 - Ciclon Veloz defeated Jack O'Brien to win the Mexico National Welterweight Title.

1957 - Pepper Gomez & El Medico defeated Duke Keomuka & Tokyo Joe in Houston, Texas for the NWA Texas Tag Team Title.

1963 - Pepper Gomez defeated Bill Watts to win the NWA Texas Heavyweight Title in Houston, Texas.

1965 - Stan Stasiak & Haru Sasaki defeated Pepper Martin & Shag Thomas in Portland, Oregon for the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title.

1966 - Tojo Yamamoto & Great Higami defeated Len Rossi & Mario Milano to win the Mid-America version of the NWA Southern Tag Team Title in Birmingham, Alabama.

1969 - Paul DeMarco defeated The Professional (Doug Gilbert) for the NWA Georgia Heavyweight Title in Atlanta, Georgia.

1969 - Johnny Walker & Bearcat Brown defeated The Great Mephisto & Dante to win the Mid-America version of the NWA World Tag Team Title in Chattanooga, Tennessee

1971 - Don & Al Greene win the Mid-America version of the NWA Southern Tag Team Title by defeating Tojo Yamamoto & Jerry Jarrett in Memphis, Tennessee

1971 - Tarzan Zorra defeated Jos LeDuc to win the International Wrestling Association International Heavyweight Title in Montreal, Quebec.

1978 - Mongolian Stomper won an elimination tag team match in Knoxville, Tennessee to win the vacant NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Title

1980 - Takachiho (The Great Kabuki) & Killer Karl Kox defeated Bob Brown & Pat O'Connor to win the NWA Central States Tag Team Title in Kansas City, Kansas.

1981 - Dusty Rhodes defeated Harley Race for the NWA World Heavyweight Wrestling Title in Atlanta, Georgia,

1982 - Junkyard Dog defeated Bob Roop for the Mid-South North American Heavyweight Title in New Orleans, Louisiana

1984 - The Uptown Boys (Marty Janetty & Tommy Rogers) defeated The Grapplers (Len Denton & Tony Anthony) for the NWA Central States Tag Team Title in Kansas City, Kansas. At the same show, Ted Oates defeated Luke Graham to win the NWA Central States Heavyweight Title.

1984 - Steve Grey defeated Danny Collins for the British Welterweight Title in Malvern, England.

1985 - Sgt. Slaughter defeated Larry Zbyszko to win the AWA America's Heavyweight Title in Chicago, Illinois.

1985 - Rayo de Jalisco, Jr. defeated MS-1 to win the NWA World Light Heavyweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico.

1986 - Mika Komatsu and Kanako Nagatomo defeated The Red Typhoons (Kazue Nagahori and Yumi Ogura) for the AJW Tag Team Title in Tokyo, Japan.

1987 - Al Perez defeats The Dingo (Ultimate) Warrior for the World Class Texas Heavyweight Title in Puerto Rico.

1992 - Punish (Keiti Takayami) and Crush (Shoji Akiyoshi) defeated Scorpio, Jr. and Shu El Guerrero to win Michinoku Pro Wrestling's UWA/UWF Intercontinental Tag Team Title in Tokyo, Japan

1992 - Villano III defeated The Killer for the UWA World Junior Heavyweight Title in Naucalpan, Mexico.

1993 - Owen Hart defeated Papa Shango for the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee. On the same show, New Jack & Homeboy defeated Rex King & Steve Doll for the USWA Tag Team Title

1994 - El Pantera defeated Felino to win the CMLL World Welterweight Title in Cuernavaca, Mexico

2000 - Steven Regal defeated Jerry Lawler for the MCW Southern Heavyweight Title, and The Fabulous Rocker defeats Spanky to win the MCW Light Heavyweight Championship in Memphis, Tennessee

2000 - The Samoans (Eddie Fatu [now WWE's Umaga] and Matty Samu [later known as Rosey]) defeated Hideki Hosaka and Yoshinori Sasaki in Tokyo, Japan to win the FMW/WEW Hardcore Tag Team Title.

2001 - Michael Modest defeated Bruce Hart fot the Stampede North American Heavyweight Title in Lethbridge, Alberta.

2003 - Terry Funk defeated The Sandman and "Pitbull" Gary Wolfe (subbing for then-champion Sabu) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the vacant 3PW Heavyweight Title.

2003 - The Impact (Scott Cage & Kaos) defeated Future Shock (Jay Freeze & Brandon P.) for the NWA Wildside Tag Team Title in Cornelia, Georgia.

2009 - Beer Money, Inc defeated Team 3-D for the TNA Tag Team Title and Kurt Angle won the TNA Heavyweight Title in a King of the Mountain match over Mick Foley, Jeff Jarrett, Samoa Joe and AJ Styles at the TNA Slammiversary PPV.

-- Dave Meltzer asking for it with an appearance on Over the Top Radiotonight.

Excellent 25.0%
Good 56.8%
Average 13.6%
Fair 2.3%
Poor 2.3%
63.3% of those responding didn't see the show

Excellent 20.5%
Good 56.8%
Average 20.5%
Fair 0.0%
Poor 2.3%
59.3% of those responding didn't see the show

Excellent 0.0%
Good 56.8%
Average 32.4%
Fair 2.7%
Poor 8.1%
67.8% of those responding didn't see the show

Yes, it's a good rivalry, will watch on with the spotlight on them 35.9%
Not sure, depends on how the TUF season goes 24.2%
Yes, Rousey is a superstar, would beat 500,000 with or without Tate 18.5%
No, first Rousey show was a onetime novelty buy, won't sustain 14.5%
No, Tate coming off a loss won't draw as a contender 6.9%

Never have bought New Japan, not buying this 68.1%
Regular buyer, getting this 13.4%
Semi-regular buyer, getting it for Tanahashi vs. Devitt 4.6%
Semi-regular buyer, getting for overall card 3.7%
Never have bought a New Japan show before, am getting this one 3.2%
Semi-regular buyer, not getting, don't like the main event 2.8%
Semi-regular buyer, not getting, don't like overall show 0.9%
Semi-regular buyer, getting for Okada vs. Makabe 0.9%
Regular buyer, skipping, don't like card 0.9%
Semi-regular buyer, done with New Japan 0.9%
Regular buyer, skipping this, don't like Okada vs Makabe main event 0.5%

-- New interview with Rob Van Dam here.

-- Trailer for a new Tiger Mask movie here.

-- Sheiky Baby in Maxim.

-- Sheiky Baby in

-- Sheiky Baby in website address ever)


-- So yeah, help poor Sheiky Baby with his documentary.

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?